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  • On Global Warming, Markets Succeed Where Government Fails

    Environmentalists had a busy month trying to force federal government action on global warming. In the Senate, Environment and Public Works Committee chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) grilled the Interior Department over delays in deciding whether or not to list the polar bear as an endangered species. In the courts, some liberal state AGs and activist groups sued the EPA in federal court for their decision to seek public comment on whether or not carbon emissions qualified for an endangerment finding under the Clean Air Act.

    One wishes they would try and pay more attention to the news instead of telling the rest of us how to live our lives. These are just some of the stories they missed:

    Global temperatures dropped this wear and mean global temperature has not risen since 1998.

    The European Union’s cap and trade system failed again to reduce carbon emissions which rose 1.1% in EU countries last year.

    Britain’s top scientist now disputes the sustainability of biofuels, warning that by increasing deforestation the energy source may be contributing to global warming.

    Science Applications International Corporation found that the Lieberman-Warner cap and trade bill would cost the U.S. economy between 1.2 and 1.8 million jobs in 2020 and between 3 and 4 million jobs in 2030.

    The almost 70 models of alternative fuel autos available today, up from 12 in 2000, helped lead to 1.8 million new alternative fuel vehicles on the road last year.

    Sales for smallest and most fuel efficient cars were the only segment of the auto industry to show growth last year.

    So to recap: Despite worldwide skyrocketing carbon emissions, the earth’s climate is now cooler than it was in 1998. Despite this, the EU continues to try and reduce their emissions through a costly, command and control, cap and trade system that continues to fail. Meanwhile, American consumers responding to market signals like higher gas prices are flocking to more fuel efficient cars.

    Finally, the Los Angeles Times reports that a growing community of scientists is beginning to realize it makes more sense to try and adopt to climate change than to adopt draconian and unrealistic carbon caps:

    Consider a United Nations estimate that global warming would increase the number of people at risk of hunger from 777 million in 2020 to 885 million by 2080, a 14% rise, if current development patterns continue.

    That increase could be counteracted by spending on better irrigation systems, drought-resistant crops and more-efficient food transport systems, said Mike Hulme, founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia in England.

    “If you’re really concerned about drought, those are much more effective strategies than trying to bring down greenhouse gas concentrations,” he said.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

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