The National Review online’s Larry Kudlow reports on the basis of “deep background” from a “senior McCain advisor” that “Mac’s Off Cap-and-Trade.” The Atlantic.com says “McCain Sticks By Cap-N-Trade.” You be the judge. Kudlow:
The Center for American Progress Action Fund emails out a great daily report (sign up here). Today’s subject is Dick Cheney’s one
Vader man war to use Jedi mind tricks censorship to keep the American public in the dark side on the dangers of climate change.
In this case, he censored the testimony on the “health threat posed by global warming” by Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last October. She had planned to say the “CDC considers climate change a serious public health concern.”
But who really cares what the CDC has to say on the subject anyway when we have White House Press Secretary Dana Perino to assure us “There are public health benefits to climate change“? After all, Perino is an expert on the subject thanks to here bachelor’s degree in mass communications and a masters in Public Affairs Reporting.
Here is the Progress Report in full:
Our guest blogger is Alice Madden, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund and former Majority Leader of the Colorado General Assembly.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is calling for Congress to lift the moratorium on commercial oil shale development, claiming, “Our western states are sitting on a sea of oil three times as large as the oil reserves in Saudi Arabia.” That “sea of oil” is in fact a geological formation with the energy density of a baked potato.
The quixotic quest to squeeze oil out the trillions of tons of oil shale deposits in the great fossil lake of the Green River Formation began in earnest in the 1970s, as the oil fields that fueled the region’s economy for a hundred years were getting tapped out. Companies have long tried to find a profit in processing the kerogen-rich marlstone underlying 17,000 square miles of mostly federal lands into oil, and have long failed. Meanwhile, the region’s economy was being rebuilt through the preservation of its natural resources, with clean air, abundant wildlife, and endless opportunity for tourism and sport.
Like “oil sands,” “oil shale” is a colloquial term for deposits with organic matter that are millions of years away from being actual oil deposits. Thus, processing oil shale into crude oil is necessarily a highly energy-intensive, destructive, and wasteful process. As Colorado energy analysts Randy Udall and Steven Andrews have written:
Oil shale is a fossil fuel—but just barely. Searching for appropriate low-calorie analogues, we turn to foodstuffs, the realm of Weight Watchers. Oil shale is said to be “rich” when it contains 30 gallons of petroleum per ton. An equal weight of granola contains three times more energy. The “vast,” “immense,” and “unrivaled” deposits of shale buried in Utah and Colorado have the energy density of a baked potato. If someone told you there were a trillion tons of tater tots buried 1,000 feet-deep, would you rush to dig them up?
A RAND Corporation analysis prepared for the U.S. government, “Oil Shale Development in the United States,” describes the impact of building an oil-shale industry in the Green River Formation: Read more
The NYT‘s Andy Revkin dissed the G8 climate statement with the blog headline, “Rich and Emerging Greenhouse-Gas Emitters Fail to Set Common Long-Term Goal for Cuts.” The headline of the NYT‘s article on the subject, however, is “Richest Nations Pledge to Halve Greenhouse Gas.” The Grist story begins, “world leaders reached a landmark deal: agreeing to cut emissions in half by 2050,” calling it a “significant step” for the Bush Administration, whereas NRDC’s international climate policy director, Jake Schmidt, blogs, “Yup, Just as I Predicted…No G8 Leadership!”
What is going on? You can read the “G8 statement on climate change and environment” and decide for yourself.
I think your reaction depends on whether you are a “glass is 90% empty” or “glass is 10% full” type of person and whether you judge the president on the relative basis of his dismal, pathetic, unconscionable climate record (in which case what he agreed to at the G8 was a big deal) or on an absolute basis of what needs to be done to avoid catastrophic climate impacts for the next 10 billion people to walk the earth (in which case what the G8 did was give a placebo to a diabetic — a sugar-coated placebo, that is).
The Guardian online asked for my commentary, “Ignoring the climate change alarm.” Here are some excerpts:
Climate Progress has covered the impending climate disaster known as Coal to Liquids again and again (see below). Recently the Natural Resources Defense Council has produced a 10-minute video on coal to liquids. If you know someone who prefers his or her information in video form, send them a pointer.
- China sells its soul for liquid coal
- Liquid coal means liquid problems
- Memo to Air Force: Stop misleading the public on liquid coal
- Congress should say NO to coal-to-diesel
- The WSJ (and Climate Progress) on Liquid Coal
– Earl K.
America is a land of opportunity. But when it comes to climate change and national security, it has been a land of lost chances (see Part 1).
The nation’s top scientists have warned presidents at least as far back as Lyndon Johnson that climate change is an issue that should not be ignored. We have known at least since the 1970s that we lack energy security and, by extension, economic security.
Past presidents have spoken eloquently on the need for energy independence and climate action. They apparently were “firing for affect” because we remain more insecure than ever. In fact, we live in a fundamentally indefensible society, deep in denial with little control over our own vital energy supplies, laced with fragile energy supply and communications lines and living in a “target rich” environment for terrorists.
To illustrate our lost chances, I dredged up a short book I wrote in 1981, aptly titled The Indefensible Society.