Read all about it on Grist’s blog.
As discussed last week, Planet Gore’s Sterling Burnett was upset with the media for supposedly ignoring “the recent reports by MIT and the CBO detailing the substantial costs and regressive nature of the costs that are estimated to arise if any of the current domestic proposals restricting carbon emissions to combat global warming are enacted.”
Given that the MIT report in fact concluded the exact opposite of what Sterling claimed — and given the fact that the National Review typically doesn’t complain about the regressive nature of, say, tax cuts for the wealthy — I’m guessing you won’t be surprised to learn that the CBO report also comes to a different conclusion than Sterling claims.
I should also point out that, as a minor instance of disinfotainment, the CBO report does not in fact look at the “costs that are estimated to arise if any of the current domestic proposals restricting carbon emissions to combat global warming are enacted.” No, it merely looks at the impact of various ways of implementing a 15% cut in carbon dioxide emissions in 2010 — which is part of no current proposal.
This may seem like a tiny mistake by PG but it isn’t really, because the entire point of the CBO analysis is not to judge existing proposals but rather to show that choices about how a cap & trade system is set up have a big effect on a proposal’s impact on the economy and regressivity. An unintelligent system would be somewhat regressive, since “lower-income households tend to spend a larger fraction of their income than wealthier households do and because energy products account for a bigger share of their spending.”
You could actually make the entire system progressive by auctioning off the carbon dioxide permits and using the proceeds to make a lump-sum payment of equal size for all households. Somehow I can’t really imagine Planet Gore would endorse such a strategy.
This story deserves singling out because it is on an important but too-neglected subject — the connection between energy and water.
Climate change puts nuclear energy into hot water – International Herald Tribune. Key point: Nuclear power “requires great amounts of cool water to keep reactors operating at safe temperatures. That is worrying if the rivers and reservoirs which many power plants rely on for water are hot or depleted because of steadily rising air temperatures.”
Factoid of the day: “During the extreme heat of 2003 in France, 17 nuclear reactors operated at reduced capacity or were turned off.”
An Australian report noted that there are “few seaside sites available” for siting nuclear plants but warned “that building nuclear plants inland would be a major threat to water supplies in a country already stricken by drought.”
Schwarzenegger accuses Bush on global warming — Washington Post Op-Ed and Reuters story. Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) and Jodi Rell (R-CT): “It’s bad enough that the federal government has yet to take the threat of global warming seriously, but it borders on malfeasance for it to block the efforts of states such as California and Connecticut that are trying to protect the public’s health and welfare.” They write scathingly of the President:
Another discouraging sign came just last week, when President Bush issued an executive order to give federal agencies until the end of 2008 to continue studying the threat of greenhouse gas emissions and determine what can be done about them.
To us, that again sounds like more of the same inaction and denial, and it is unconscionable.
Dems Better on Energy, but Not by Enough – CBSNews.com reprinting a column from the Nation. Quotable quote: “In sum, Democrats call for a dramatic change of course from Bush’s policies, and their rhetoric touts a compelling national mission…. No one has yet portrayed the scope and urgency of this national imperative. A bold leader would summon the nation to action.”
And the ever important green celebrity of the week: Leonardo DiCaprio. The headline hits on the hot button issue for would-be jet-setting environmentalists: “No more private jets for me, DiCaprio tells Cannes.”