Category — Hansen, James
[Editor Note: An earlier series at MasterResource on John Holdren, President Obama's science and technology advisor, is being reprinted given the recent controversy surrounding Dr. Holdren's earlier views. This original post is dated January 22, 2009]
Paul Ehrlich treated his intellectual rival Julian Simon with great disrespect during Simon’s lifetime. Ehrlich refused to debate Simon or even meet him in person. He insulted Simon in print. Ehrlich even scolded Science magazine for publishing Simon’s 1980 breakthrough essay “Resources, Population, Environment: An Oversupply of Bad News,” with the words: “Could the editors have found someone to review Simon’s manuscript who had to take off this shoes to count to 20?” (quoted in Julian Simon, The Ultimate Resource II, 1996, p. 612)
Such intolerance for reasoned dissent, unfortunately, has also been a trait of Ehrlich protégé John Holdren. After I published my review of John Holdren’s criticism of Bjorn Lomborg in 2003, I emailed Holdren my paper, “The Heated Energy Debate,” and alerted him to a new book I had coming out, Climate Alarmism Reconsidered. I also asked why in his course he did not see fit to assign any non-alarmist readings to his Harvard class on environmental sustainability.
I reproduce pertinent parts of our email exchange from September 17, 2003: [Read more →]
August 18, 2009 2 Comments
“[The Waxman-Markey] 1,400-page bill is a farce. They bought every industry off—steel mills, agriculture, utilities…. I would not only not vote for it. I am opposed to it entirely, because it does damage to those of us who believe that we need to act in a rational fashion about climate change.”
- Senator John McCain to Stephen Moore, Wall Street Journal, August 1-2, 2009, p. A9.
“The truth is, the climate course set by Waxman-Markey is a disaster course. It is an exceedingly inefficient way to get a small reduction of emissions. It is less than worthless….”
-James Hansen, “Strategies to Address Global Warming,” July 13, 2009.
The death of federal climate legislation in 2009 will not only be because traditional Republicans and conservative Democrats said “no”. It will also be because true believers like Senator John McCain realize that politicized cap-and-trade is all pain and no gain. A scorched earth economic policy that does not meaningfully address a feared “scorched earth” to come is worse than no policy at all.
Consider the conversation between Stephen Moore and Senator McCain in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal:
Since Mr. McCain was the co-sponsor of the McCain-Lieberman bill last year to limit CO emissions through a cap-and-trade system, I ask him about the climate change bill that passed the House last month and he surprised me with his opposition. “I believe climate change is real . . . but this 1,400-page bill is a farce. They bought every industry off—steel mills, agriculture, utilities,” he says.
So you wouldn’t vote for the House bill? “I would not only not vote for it,” he laughs, “I am opposed to it entirely, because it does damage to those of us who believe that we need to act in a rational fashion about climate change.”
August 3, 2009 14 Comments
“Enron Lives! in Waxman-Markey. The sooner the public, media, and intelligentsia realize this, the faster cap-and-trade can be put in the dustbin of bad ideas.”
- Cap-and-Trade: The Temple of Enron, MasterResource, May 14, 2009.
Joseph Romm holds a Ph.D. (in physics) from MIT and works for a 501(c)3 foundation. Being highly educated and in the education business, to most of us, means being careful and fair in our arguments–and avoiding reckless ad hominem argument. But not so with Joe as evidenced by his very inaccurate recent post against me.
In “George Will and WattsUpWithThat embrace a proud former shill for a man convicted on fraud and conspiracy charges,” Romm argues that I must be corrupt because of my former association with Enron and Ken Lay–and thus George Will and the mega-site WattsUpWithThat are party to corruption too.
I am surprised that Romm has taken this tack, for I have continually turned the tables on him regarding Enron. I am disappointed (but not surprised) that he ignored my posts and other readily available information that contradicts his argument and insinuations.
As I will again document for Romm’s information, I was a whistle blower against Enron’s climate alarmism and rent-seeking activities as director of public policy analysis and Ken Lay’s speechwriter.
But more than that, Enron’s fate is the perfect argument against the Romm-beloved HR 2454, the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, or what I call the Enron Revitalization Act of 2009. Last year I did a reason.tv video about Enron, Obama’s Enron Problem, and I have posted repeatedly about how Enron’s failure and fraud were closely related to its “sustainable energy” strategy with solar, wind, and energy efficiency.
And to complete the argument, guess what company is antithetical to Enron in terms of corporate culture, energy strategy, and financial results? It is the company Romm loves to hate–Exxon Mobil, the anti-Enron!
Challenging Enron at Enron
At the website Political Capitalism, I have penned a short history and posted memos on my public-policy conflicts at Enron, information that Romm has ignored. Some Enron executives wanted me to be fired, and I reached an agreement with Ken Lay personally to not publish anything critical of windpower in order to stay with the company (Enron Wind was struggling, and we could not sell it when we needed to, which resulted in Enron’s first crime.) [Read more →]
July 2, 2009 8 Comments
“Since 1976, Enron [and predecessor company] employees have been at the forefront of developing air credit trading policies for governments and businesses…. Enron today is the largest and most sophisticated air emissions credit and allowance trading organization in the United States. Since 1990, Enron has participated in over 80 SOx allowance transactions and has also been active in establishing policies for trading NOx in the United States and carbon [dioxide] world-wide.”
- “Enron Corp.’s Participation in Air Trading,” Enron Capital & Trade Resources, November 4, 1996 (copy in files).
“If implemented, [the Kyoto Protocol] will do more to promote Enron’s business than will almost any other regulatory initiative…. The endorsement of [CO2] emissions trading was another victory for us…. This agreement will be good for Enron stock!”
- John Palmisano (December 12, 1997) from Kyoto, Japan. Quoted in Bradley, Capitalism at Work, p. 307
“If anyone has environmental credit needs, that’s what we do. We want to be to be the clearing house to monetize available credits or to manage risk.”
- Kevin McGowan, director of coal and emissions trading, Enron Corp., (Enron Biz, November 29, 2000, copy in files)
“We are a green company, but the green stands for money.”
- Jeff Skilling, CEO, Enron Corp., quoted in Capitalism at Work, p. 310.
Enron is Exhibit A against Waxman/Markey’s cap-and-trade proposal. Enron was poised to make money coming and going by being the nation’s and the world’s largest market-maker in CO2 permits, and the “smartest guys in the room” were ready to game and game for incremental dollars (remember California?). Enron’s business model, in retrospect, had to do with regulatory complexity, [Read more →]
May 14, 2009 14 Comments
CO2 Regulation under the Clean Air Act: Economic Train Wreck, Constitutional Crisis, Legislative Thuggery
Call it an economic train wreck, a constitutional crisis, or legslative thuggery. Litigation-driven regulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) under the Clean Air Act (CAA) is all of the above.
The Supreme Court case of Massachusetts v. EPA (April 2, 2007) has set the stage for a policy disaster. Mass v. EPA’s second anniversary rapidly approaches, and in a Power Point presentation leaked to Greenwire last week, EPA reveals how it plans to respond to the Court. But first, some background on the case and the Pandora’s Box it has created. [Read more →]
March 19, 2009 23 Comments
[Note: Sunday posts at MasterResource will include best-of reposts from this blog, best-of posts or op-ed's from other writers, and other general material.]
Robert Bryce is a straight shooter and exactly the type intellectual that is needed as a rethink slowly emerges from the current politicized energy fare. He himself has changed his mind on vital issues, just as Julian Simon and Bjorn Lomborg did before him. Indeed, as Bryce mentions in the op-ed to follow: [Read more →]
March 15, 2009 No Comments
I have previously posted on NASA scientist and leading climate alarmist James Hansen as a “scientist behaving strangely.” His mixing of politics and science–controversial science at that–has raised eyebrows among friend and foe.
But then there is the old, more moderate Jim Hansen. Below, I offer some quotations for the historical record. There are undoubtedly other quotations that can be added–and should be in the “comments” section, whether by Hansen or by colleagues of Hansen.
Perhaps Dr. Hansen can say that his thinking has evolved toward greater alarm. But if so, with temperatures little or no higher today than when he wrote a decade or more ago, the question must be asked: why has his alarm gone up rather than down? [Read more →]
March 12, 2009 4 Comments
The Environmental Left has used global warming as a tool to force their Malthusian “sustainability” agenda on the U.S. and, to the extent possible, the rest of the world. Yet in one simple maneuver, the President has replaced save-the-world alarmism with a revenue-driven cap-and-trade program. It is politics, not science, which is in the driver’s seat, and the carbon cuts will be far below what the catastrophists have long demanded. The “unsaved” world moves ahead. [Read more →]
March 3, 2009 9 Comments
Last week (February 25, 2009), Dr. James Hansen, the most influential scientist in the alarmist camp, testified before the House Ways & Means Committee on “Scientific Objectives for Climate Change Legislation.” In oral remarks, Hansen, who spoke as a faculty member of Columbia University’s Earth Institute rather than as an employee of NASA, said the scientific objective of climate policy should be to lower atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) from 385 parts per million (ppm) to 350 ppm or less. This, as he surely knows, is an impossible goal barring radical breakthroughs not just in energy production but also in air capture of CO2.
Even if by 2050, the United States, Europe, Canada, Japan, and former Soviet Union achieve zero net emissions and developing countries reduce their carbon intensity to 62% below 2005 levels, this would only be enough to [Read more →]
March 2, 2009 10 Comments
Historian of science Thomas Kuhn warned of “scientists … behav[ing] differently” and experiencing “pronounced professional insecurity” when one of their long-held beliefs comes under increasing pressure from new science (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 1962. Reprint. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970, pp. 24, 67–68).
Is this the case with NASA scientist James Hansen, who (in the opinion of his many and growing critics, and even some friends) keeps putting his foot where his mouth is?
January 21, 2009 8 Comments