9:21 AM, Nov 5, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
While the nation was focused on the mid-term elections Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies regarding U.S.-China relations. As he often does, Kerry brought up the subject of climate change, which he asserted is happening "faster and [at a] greater rate than scientists predicted."
According to Kerry, the U.S. and China are "the world’s two largest emitters of global greenhouse gases," together accounting for "about 45 percent and climbing, unfortunately." And to hear Kerry tell it, the situation almost appears hopeless:
So we need to solve this problem together. Why? Because neither one of us can possibly solve it alone. Even if every single American biked to work or carpooled to school or used only solar panels to power their homes – if we reduced our emissions to zero, if we planted each of us in America a dozen trees, if we somehow eliminated all of our domestic greenhouse gas emissions, guess what? That still wouldn’t be enough to counteract the carbon pollution coming from China and the rest of the world. And the same would be true for China if they reduced everything and we continued. We would wipe out their gains; they would wipe out our gains.
Kerry called the recently released United Nations climate report a "wakeup call" that demands "ambitious, decisive, and immediate action":
The UN climate report that was released over this last weekend is another wakeup call to everybody. The science could not be clearer. Our planet is warming and it is warming due to our actions, human input. And the damage is already visible, and it is visible at a faster and greater rate than scientists predicted. That’s why there’s cause for alarm, because everything that they predicted is happening, but happening faster and happening to a greater degree. The solutions are within reach, but they will require ambitious, decisive, and immediate action.
Kerry sees climate change as "not just an environmental threat but an economic threat, a security threat, a health threat," but he is nonetheless optimistic about solving the problem:
The solution to climate change is as clear as the problem itself. And it’s not somewhere out there, pie in the sky, over the horizon, impossible to grab ahold of; it’s staring us in the face. The solution is energy policy. It’s as simple as that. Make the right choices in your energy policy, you solve the problem of climate change.
Solving the climate change problem, Kerry says, has the added bonus of creating tremendous wealth, not just for the United States and China, but for the whole world:
Guess what? You also happen to kick your economies into gear. You produce millions of jobs. You create economic opportunity unlike any that we have ever known, because the global energy market of the future is poised to be the largest market the world has ever known. Between now and 2035, investment in the sector is expected to reach nearly $17 trillion. The market that made everybody wealthy in America – everybody saw their income go up in the 1990s, and the greatest wealth in the history of our nation was created in the 1990s... [W]ith a few smart choices, together we can ensure that clean energy is the most attractive investment in the global energy sector and that entrepreneurs around the world can prosper as they help us innovate our way out of this mess and towards a healthier planet.
Despite Kerry's enthusiasm for working together with China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the furthest China has been willing to go so far is to say the country will seek to cap emissions "as soon as possible."
1:01 PM, Nov 1, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
This election might determine whether the "climate crisis" is solved, former Vice President Al Gore claims. The former politician makes the statement in a fundraising email from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
"Here's what I believe," writes Gore.
"There is nothing more pressing in our time than confronting and solving the climate crisis.
"We have no time to spare. We must act now. Luckily, we have all the tools we need to solve this challenge. All we need is political will -- but political will is a renewable resource!
A carbon tax won’t happen without some give from the left. Nov 10, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 09 • By ELI LEHRER
Despite growing support from some conservative policy wonks, the idea of taxing carbon dioxide emissions, even as an alternative to the sort of heavy-handed greenhouse regulations promulgated by the Obama administration, has failed to garner much enthusiasm on the right.
The idea remains almost untouchable for Republican politicians, and the notion that there’s any chance that could change in the near future has been dismissed as “wishful thinking” by left-wing outlets like Mother Jones.
10:31 AM, Oct 10, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A new video by the Environmental Policy Alliance mocks Hollywood celebrity Leonardo DiCaprio for being "just another celebrity hypocrite" when it comes to the topic of climate change:
2:43 PM, Oct 9, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In a few minutes, Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky will meet with the editorial board of the Courier-Journal in Louisville.
1:42 PM, Sep 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
At the United Nations General Assembly, Secretary of State John Kerry will make "climate change ... a foreign policy priority," the State Department announced in press release. "Secretary Kerry Elevates Climate Change at UN General Assembly," the press release is titled.
"Secretary of State John Kerry will participate in several high-level events to reinforce U.S. leadership on climate change action this coming week during the UN General Assembly in New York," reads the release.
2:08 PM, Sep 19, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at U.S. Aid's 2014 Frontiers in Development Forum Friday and gave a stark warning about "500-year" drought conditions around the world that he says are a result of climate change. He went so far as to say that "[t]here are people killing each other over water in certain parts of the world," and part of the solution lies in a "low-carbon economy" [emphasis added]:
10:31 AM, Jul 17, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Conflate two separate issues and you get one policy error. That is what too many opponents of carbon taxes are doing, getting caught up in the argument about climate change, which really has nothing to do with the case for a carbon tax. That case is that such a tax can make growth-inducing tax reform easier to achieve, and reduce the need for an expansion of the regulatory state, while protecting the competitiveness of our industries.
4:04 PM, Jun 6, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
When the EPA released its new rules aimed to get the nation on the road carbon free (sort of) energy generation, the news was plainly bad for coal. No surprise there. The prospects for renewables – solar, wind, hydro, etc. – were enormously enhanced by the plan. This was also unsurprising. But what about nuclear power?
Has the desperate global warming crusade reached its Waterloo? Jun 16, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 38 • By STEVEN F. HAYWARD
The climate change crusaders, who have been at it for a quarter-century, appear to be going clinically mad. Start with the rhetorical monotony and worship of authority (“97 percent of all scientists agree!”), add the Salem witch trial-style intimidation and persecution of dissenters, and the categorical demand that debate about science or policy is over because the matter is settled, and you have the profile of a cult-like sectarianism that has descended into paranoia and reflexive bullying.
2:48 PM, Jun 4, 2014 • By ADAM J. WHITE
"Everything reminds Milton of the money supply," Robert Solow once said of his fellow Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman at a symposium. "Well, everything reminds me of sex, but I keep it out of the paper."
What if '97 percent' of scientists are wrong?11:38 AM, May 20, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Secretary of State John Kerry did not shy away from pejorative language when addressing "climate change" in his commencement speech at Boston College on Monday.
It’s the worst form of energy policy, except for all those others that have been tried May 26, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 35 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Having lived through and survived Richard Nixon’s promise of energy independence, Jimmy Carter’s effort to substitute a hair shirt and a woolly sweater for a thermostat set at comfortable levels, George W. Bush’s insistence that Americans surrender their incandescent light bulbs, other presidents’ support for subsidies for ethanol and nuclear power, and the current administration’s plan to substitute subsidized wind and sun for fossil fuels, I thought I had seen it all—every technique imaginable for interfering with free markets and consumer choice. I was wrong.
7:29 AM, May 14, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed French foreign minister Laurent Fabius to the State Department in Washington on Tuesday to discuss a range of issues, from Iran to Syria to climate change.