Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy seeing former Iranian hostage Saeed Abedini expose the Obama administration’s lie by saying the hostages could not leave until another plane arrived in Iran.  They also cringe as Donald Trump seems to be a drag on GOP Senate candidates.  And they brace for a disastrous Summer Olympics in Rio.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and David French of National Review enjoy watching the Democrats get caught in their own lies after Wikileaks reveals the DNC actively backed Clinton over Sanders, manipulated the media and manufactured protests at Trump events.  They also shudder as four terrorist attacks strike Germany in less than a week and German authorities bend over backwards to avoid linking them to radical Islam.  And they react to Secretary of State John Kerry’s ludicrous contention that air conditioners and refrigerators pose just as much of a threat to human life as ISIS and other terrorist groups.

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Courtesy of the CTV, comes this useful update on the current status of various efforts to connect the oilsands in Alberta to tidewater. Keystone XL, of course, was rejected by President Obama in November 2015. That decision is being appealed. There are three high-profile projects within Canada, as well: Northern Gateway (to Kitimat BC): “The […]

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The Climate Wars Get Ugly

 

On the one side of the climate debate are the “alarmists.” To this group, the only question is what should be done to contain the problem of climate change. To be sure, there is ample evidence of climate change, and even some evidence showing that some fraction of it is caused by humans. But from this modest claim, one cannot infer that all or even a majority of this change is attributable to the use of fossil fuels, or that any and all temperature increases carry with them a threat to the natural world. But these alarmists, skeptics claim, exaggerate the supposed threat of global warming to bring an end to the fossil fuel industry and force excessive and premature reliance on expensive and unreliable solar and wind energy.

Supreme Court Puts the Clean Power Plan on Hold

 

clean-power-planOn February 8, the United States Supreme Court issued a terse order that by a five-to-four vote enjoined the Environmental Protection Agency from taking any steps to implement its Clean Power Plan. That most ambitious plan sought to impose a comprehensive long-term set of limitations on the use of coal, and indeed all energy sources, inside the United States. The order itself was a black box, which in its entirety reads:

West Virginia, et al. v EPA, et al.

The application for a stay submitted to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is granted. The Environmental Protection Agency’s “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units,” 80 Fed. Reg. 64,662 (October 23, 2015), is stayed pending disposition of the applicants’ petitions for review in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and disposition of the applicants’ petition for a writ of certiorari, if such writ is sought. If a writ of certiorari is sought and the Court denies the petition, this order shall terminate automatically. If the Court grants the petition for a writ of certiorari, this order shall terminate when the Court enters its judgment.

The Flint Fiasco

 
shutterstock_366517343

National Guard distributes bottled water in downtown Flint, January 23. Linda Parton / Shutterstock.com

The details of the Flint, MI, water scandal are all too well known to require more than a brief summary. For many years, Flint obtained its water service from the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, which acquired its supply through both Lake Huron and the Detroit River. But with Flint in receivership since 2011, its city council decided to switch its water service to the Karegnondi Water Authority, which was in the process of constructing a pipeline to carry water to Flint from Lake Huron. Once Detroit realized that it could not keep the Flint account, it terminated its contract with Flint on 12 months notice in April 2014. Unfortunately, the KWA water pipeline was not scheduled for completion until sometime in 2016 and the Flint River was identified as an interim water source. The water from the Flint River contained many more impurities than the Detroit water. These chemicals leached the lead out of aging pipes, which worked itself into the water supply.

It’s The End of the World As We Know It and I Feel Fine!

 

Al GoreWe made it! We made it! The end of days came and went and we didn’t die! Civilization didn’t come to an end!

Okay, I can see I have lost you. Don’t you remember when Al Gore, former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate, told an audience at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2006, that we only had 10 years to save our planet or the glaciers would melt and flood the earth?

It was while attending a screening of his global warming film An Inconvenient Truth.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review love watching the Democrats quickly abandon their insistence on no more debates and hastily add one on Monday to help a stumbling Hillary Clinton.  They also roll their eyes as Bob Dole says he’d prefer Trump over Cruz.  And they separate fact from fiction and spread the blame over the Flint water crisis.

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Why can’t we deal with climate change over the decades, centuries even, as the planet warms, glaciers and ice shelves melt, and other weather changes occur? Because if we don’t undo the industrial revolution right now we are doomed. The world will come to an end. All coastal cities will be underwater. Killer storms will happen […]

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Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review reveal their choices for most under-reported story, most over-reported story and the best story of 2015.

Congress Should Have Let the Sun Go Down on Solar Subsidies

 

shutterstock_79128529And in one fell swoop through the 2,000-page omnibus spending bill, Congress again saddled American taxpayers with billions in handouts to the perpetually foolish and failing solar industry. In what is sure to foster the very same practices that led to the infamous Solyndra debacle, renewable energy handouts through the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) are now guaranteed until at least 2022. In other words, don’t expect ITC or its cohorts to vanish any time soon.

While solar stocks soared after the news broke of Congress’s ill-advised extension of the ITC, taxpayers should remain skeptical of the industry’s so-called success. Despite gargantuan subsidies over the past five decades, the solar industry has yet to make a convincing case for itself. In fact, there is little evidence of success. The fact is that a coddled solar industry simply can’t make it on its own.

There are many egregious recent failures of the American solar policy. As part of the Obama Administration’s solar loan program through the Department of Energy (DOE), a Spain-based solar company has received $2.7 billion in taxpayer funds since 2010. Counted among President Obama’s favorite solar companies, Abengoa solar plants across the US have massively underperformed.

It’s time to put on the tuxedos and hand out the crystal martinis.  It’s the start of our year-end political awards for 2015.  Today Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review hand out their choices for most underrated, most overrated and most honest political figures.

After the Paris Climate Deal…

 

RTX1YJBR-paris-e1450110046927Not surprisingly, perhaps, many on the right dismiss the big climate agreement reached in Paris. But here is a dour take from activist and author Bill McKibben in the New York Times:

So the world emerges, finally, with something like a climate accord, albeit unenforceable. If all parties kept their promises, the planet would warm by an estimated 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit, or 3.5 degrees Celsius, above preindustrial levels. And that is way, way too much. We are set to pass the 1 degree Celsius mark this year, and that’s already enough to melt ice caps and push the sea level threateningly higher.

The irony is, an agreement like this adopted at the first climate conference in 1995 might have worked. Even then it wouldn’t have completely stopped global warming, but it would have given us a chance of meeting the 1.5 degree Celsius target that the world notionally agreed on.…

They Saved the World?

 

This is a preview from Monday morning’s The Daily Shot newsletter. Subscribe here.

TDS-Logo-BThe 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (aka “COP21,” aka “CMP 11,” aka “Martha Stewart’s Cookware Extravaganza!”) has concluded and produced a 31-page plan to save the world. (That’s what they tell us anyway.)

Some Greens Imagine a World Without Economic Growth. But There’s a Better Way.

 

shutterstock_231138520Economic growth — material abundance and the opportunity for human advancement it generates — is the beating, sustaining heart of modern civilization. Longer lives, more interesting lives, safer lives. Mass flourishing — with lots of cool stuff and more on the way.

What does scarcity look like? Fans of “The Walking Dead” sure know, just as they know the real monsters are humans fighting over what scraps remain of our world after the zombie apocalypse.

So thank you, market capitalism. Or perhaps “innovation capitalism” is the better term. Economist Deirdre McCloskey offers several preferable options including “technological and institutional betterment at a frenetic pace, tested by unforced exchange among all the parties involved,” and “fantastically successful liberalism, in the old European sense, applied to trade and politics, as it was applied also to science and music and painting and literature.”

Without Congress, Obama’s Paris Climate Change Powers Limited

 

cop-paris-perspective-cropped

John Bolton and I have a piece in the LA Times arguing that the Obama administration cannot reach any meaningful deal at the Paris climate talks because he refuses to seek consent from the Senate or Congress. The more he promises — such as pollution caps or financial support for developing nations — the more he needs the cooperation of the legislature.

The Paris deal could not survive the Constitution’s treaty process because of the President’s poor relations with the Senate, especially on foreign policy and national security, nor could he win legislative changes by Congress, which is currently rejecting the latest ideas from the EPA on limiting greenhouse gases. Obama will probably have to rely on an executive agreement, the weakest and most tentative of our forms of international agreements because they are not even mentioned in the Constitution and depend on a President’s exercise of his sole constitutional powers. From our piece:

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review cheer Oklahoma Wesleyan University President Everett Piper for telling students to grow up and quit complaining every time they get their feelings hurt.  They also groan as Russia and Turkey crank up the tensions instead of focusing on the actual enemy.  And they point out the hypocrisy of world leaders dining at a posh French restaurant after telling the world we need to share the sacrifice in fighting climate change.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review are glad to see some coverage returning to the issue of Hillary Clinton making decisions at the State Department that regularly favored huge donors to the Clinton Foundation.  They also shake their heads at Pres. Obama after he suggests holding a summit on climate change is the best possible rebuke towards ISIS.  And Jim unloads on liberal double standards over when political speech supposedly contributes to the motives of shooters and he also rails against the notion that we have to tone down the rhetoric in the hopes that crazy people might stop wanting to kill others.

The world changed on All Saints Day in 1755, when a massive earthquake, tsunami, and firestorm struck at the heart of the Portuguese empire, reports Mark Molesky in This Gulf of Fire: The Destruction of Lisbon, or Apocalypse in the Age of Science and Reason.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Molesky explains how this cataclysm shaped scientific and intellectual history, launched the world’s first international relief effort, and revealed the enduring role of faith in European society. He also speculates on what would happen if similar earthquake were to take place near Europe today.