Climate Change Weekly #95
Former Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC), the most prominent advocate for a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, placed several important conditions on his support for a carbon tax during a debate in Washington, DC.
Among Inglis’s conditions: (1) a carbon tax must be revenue-neutral, with all collected revenues offset by reductions in payroll taxes and capital gains taxes (and not offset by liberal “targeted” tax cuts); (2) government must scrap all existing and planned regulations and restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions; (3) government must eliminate subsidies for low-carbon and carbon-free energy sources; and (4) government must impose similar tax penalties on other energy sources, such as appropriate tax penalties on wind turbines for bird kills and land conservation shortcomings, and solar thermal power for water depletion.
The conditions Inglis voiced in the June 13 debate marked the first time he had placed such conditions on his support for a carbon tax. Inglis’s debate opponents, Heritage Foundation Research Fellow David Kreutzer and Heartland Institute Senior Fellow James M. Taylor (author of this Climate Change Weekly e-newsletter), pointed out that at no time in the foreseeable future is Congress likely to pass a carbon tax with any such conditions.
South Carolina voters delivered a powerful message in the 2010 elections when Inglis lost his Republican primary contest by a vote of 71 percent to 29 percent. Inglis blamed his election defeat on too much conservative purity among South Carolina Republican voters. Since his defeat Inglis has focused his efforts on advocating for a carbon tax. He identifies himself as a conservative in such advocacy, although South Carolina voters registered their strong disagreement to such a claim.
With Inglis and his debate partner Andrew Moylan, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, voicing their agreement that all of the above conditions must be met before Congress should even think about imposing a carbon tax, the two have staked out ground opposing the terms of carbon tax proposals currently under consideration by Senate Democrats. Taylor and Kreutzer presented several reasons a carbon tax would be bad policy even if Congress were to meet all of Inglis’s conditions, but the point appears moot for the foreseeable future.
SOURCES: Forbes.com and The Heartland Institute
IN THIS ISSUE
IPCC insider Storch admits models appear to be failing … Lukewarmist Curry criticizes ‘manufactured consensus’ … Obama hikes ‘social cost’ of carbon for federal decisionmaking … Global warming averted several major weather disasters? … Meteorologist D’Aleo explains CO2 benefits during 2012 drought
IPCC INSIDER STORCH ADMITS MODELS APPEAR TO BE FAILING
United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change lead author Hans von Storch told Der Spiegel that climate models are having a difficult time replicating the lack of global warming during the past 15 years. “So far, no one has been able to provide a compelling answer to why climate change seems to be taking a break. … If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations,” said Storch.
SOURCE: Der Spiegel
LUKEWARMIST CURRY CRITICIZES ‘MANUFACTURED CONSENSUS’
Georgia Tech climate professor Judith Curry, often described as a “lukewarmist” for generally agreeing with IPCC climate narratives but warning against overstating the case for a climate crisis, criticized activists for making dubious assertions of a scientific consensus to address global warming. Curry described the “folly of the ‘speaking consensus to power’ approach of climate change policy making, and danger of a manufactured consensus on climate change to the healthy evolution of climate science. We’ve lost decades in climate science by failing to pay adequate attention to natural climate variability.” Curry said the failure to pay attention to natural climate variability may undermine scientific credibility on the issue.
SOURCE: Climate Etc.
OBAMA HIKES ‘SOCIAL COST’ OF CARBON FOR FEDERAL DECISIONMAKING
The Obama administration quietly published a rule raising the asserted social cost of carbon emissions from $23 to $38 per metric ton. The federal government’s asserted social cost of carbon emissions will guide federal officials in drafting new restrictions on power plants and when considering whether to approve projects like the Keystone XL pipeline.
GLOBAL WARMING AVERTED SEVERAL MAJOR WEATHER DISASTERS?
“For every billion-dollar weather disaster identified as being ‘consistent with’ human-caused global warming, there are probably several other potential billion-dollar weather disasters that human-caused global warming averted,” climate scientist Chip Knappenberger reports. Knappenberger documents several minor weather events that had the potential to develop into catastrophic events but remained relatively minor. Applying the mantra that all weather events must be viewed with the effects of global warming in mind, Knappenberger explains how global warming may have prevented many weather disasters during recent years.
SOURCE: Master Resource
METEOROLOGIST D’ALEO EXPLAINS CO2 BENEFITS DURING 2012 DROUGHT
The recent rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations strengthened crops to withstand severe drought in the United States during 2012, meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo explained on the International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project (ICECAP) Web site. “Elevated levels of CO2 thus tend to compensate for less than optimal water supplies; and they help plants recover, both more quickly and more completely, when they have experienced a period of severe water stress. … With higher concentrations of CO2 in the air, greater photosynthetic carbon uptake typically occurs. In addition, less water is lost via transpiration,” D’Aleo explained.
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