Tag: climate

SEC’s Pointless Climate Disclosures


Last year, the SEC released very ambitious proposals for disclosures on climate-related issues with these soothing words: “Our core bargain from the 1930s is that investors get to decide which risks to take, as long as public companies provide full and fair disclosure and are truthful in those disclosures.” In the abstract, this message contains a good deal of sense. But in the concrete, the proposition contains some major ambiguities that need resolution to make good on this promise, especially in climate-related cases.

The first question: why would the government need to mandate disclosures of information when private parties, including sophisticated investors, can undertake their own investigations? The advantage of that voluntary system is that it does not require a public official to define exactly what must be done to secure “full and fair disclosure.” Parties who pose hard questions to issuers without getting satisfactory answers are free to go elsewhere. So the correct background assumption is that at best, the securities law should serve as a backup device to private inquiries, not as a first line of defense.

But it would be a mistake to assume that this backup never comes into play. Long before the passage of the Securities and Exchange Acts of 1933 and 1934, the common law had developed rules to deal with fraud, which necessarily had to address both concealment and nondisclosure. The danger of fraud is that it misstates the relative value of key items, especially when the seller makes it appear that his shares have extra value when they don’t. Two bad consequences follow. First, he swindles a buyer who pays $100 for an item worth only $75, and thus bilks his target of $25. Second, that individual imbalance also generates social costs by moving resources from higher- to lower-value uses. Yet the prohibition against fraud can easily be circumvented by stating some facts while omitting others. Whenever there is asymmetric access to information, the ability to conceal, or fail to disclose known facts, can have those same deleterious effects, which is why the SEC mantra of “full and fair disclosure” resonated long before the modern laws were passed.

Joe Selvaggi talks with climate expert Dr. Judith Curry about the insights contained in her newly released book, Climate Uncertainty and Risk: Rethinking our Response, in which she tracks the evolution of climate science from model development, to political weapon, to an emerging view that the best response to a changing climate is to build resiliency.


Join Jim and Greg as they welcome Sens. Joe Manchin and Jon Tester joining with the GOP to pass a bill reversing a Labor Department rule on factoring climate and social matters (ESG) into investing decisions. We realize it’s a political calculation but Tester and Manchin still voted the right way. They also thoroughly unimpressed by the Senate testimony of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who says there have been so few arrests in response to attacks on pregnancy centers because the crimes happened at night. Finally, they are crestfallen to learn Biden Climate Envoy John Kerry is disappointed in so many of us for how we drive, heat our homes, and more.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome a January jobs report showing more than half a million new jobs, although they’re more dubious as to whether Biden deserves the credit. They’re also concerned about the spotting of a Chinese surveillance balloon over Montana near a key military site and discuss Biden’s decision thus far not to shoot it down. Finally, they fume over the Biden administration’s new climate agenda, which seeks to emulate the pandemic-era emissions levels by encouraging working Americans – and even students – to engage from home.

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer the impending resignation of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, whose years in power were most notably marked by draconian COVID policies and unilaterally outlawing the right to own many different weapons. They also shake their heads as some House Republicans propose a national 30 percent sales tax to replace all other federal taxes. They appreciate the effort to simplify the code and hope discussions continue but fear this plan will only be used by Democrats to hammer Republicans. Finally, they respond to former Vice President Al Gore bellowing about boiling oceans and a billion climate refugees.

Happy New Year! Jim and Greg are back to their usual format but kick off the year with three crazy martinis after discussing the cardiac arrest of Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin Monday night. They dig into the chaos within the House GOP conference as Kevin McCarthy fails to win enough votes to become Speaker of the House on the first ballot. They also wince as the Islamic extremist who attacked police with a machete in Times Square on New Year’s Eve was on the FBI’s radar. And they hammer the media for burying the story once the motive was known. Finally, they roll their eyes as a New York Times column argues people need to be looking for shorter mates so they can have shorter children who will be less of a strain on our planet.

Join Jim and Greg as they have a good time speculating about what caused the “leaks” in the Nordstream and Nordstream 2 pipelines and what it means for the war in Ukraine and for Europe’s energy supply this winter. They also roll their eyes as Sen. Amy Klobuchar suggests passing the Inflation Reduction Act will stop hurricanes in the future and the media seems eager to paint Gov. Ron DeSantis as a failure no matter what happens with Hurricane Ian. Finally, they discuss White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre calling for a “conversation” about whether the Atlanta Braves ought to change their name.

Join Jim and Greg as they assess Rep. Liz Cheney getting trounced in the Wyoming congressional primary, her odd Lincoln reference in her speech last night, and whether she is really planning to run for president in 2024. They also shake their heads as the political left and their media allies drop the bogus talking point that their massive spending bill reduces inflation and admit it’s just advancing their big government goals on climate policy and more. And they hammer Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser for continuing to demand that all students be vaccinated for COVID before being allowed in schools when up to 40 percent of black students remain unvaccinated.

Are Climate Cultists Ignoring History?


I love history and historians. Not all, but many, like my friend Dr. Alvin Felzenberg, whose classes at the University of Pennsylvania or Yale University he would occasionally invite me to guest lecture. Felzenberg is the author of many terrific books, including “The Leaders We Deserved (And A Few We Didn’t).” It is an incomparable survey and grading of US presidents from George Washington through George W. Bush.

As Secretary of the US Senate, I was also responsible for the Senate’s Historical Office, ably led during my tenure by the legendary Dr. Richard Baker and later by Dr. Don Ritchie. He gave me the best US Capitol tour I’ve tried replicating for almost 30 years. You’ve likely seen both remarkable historians on the networks.

Join Jim and Greg as they hammer the Biden economic team for insisting two straight quarters of negative economic growth is not necessarily a recession. They also verbally pummel former Vice President Al Gore for comparing anyone not on board with his big government climate agenda to the police who refused to confront the shooter in Uvalde, Texas. And they get a kick out of NBC News once again wondering if this is the year that Democrats win in Texas with yet another glowing profile of Beto O’Rourke and his uphill campaign for governor.


Join Jim and Greg as they reject Biden’s plans to overstep his constitutional boundaries in the name of a climate emergency. They also condemn the attempted stabbing of Rep. Lee Zeldin as he campaigned for governor of New York – and for the insane no cash bail policy that allowed his attacker to walk free the same night. And they vent as White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says “it doesn’t really matter where President Biden contracted COVID after government spent the past two years keeping us away from dying loved ones, funerals, schools, churches and so many other parts of life.

Near the conclusion of the podcast, Jim and Greg announce a special upcoming edition of the 3 Martini Lunch and explain how you can be part of it.

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer the latest announcement from Sen. Joe Manchin that he will not support the left’s climate agenda or tax increases in the latest attempt to revive what’s left of the Build Back Better agenda. They also dig into reports that text messages from Secret Service devices are missing from January 5-6, 2021, and that is sparking fierce condemnation from all political angles. And they hammer Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallegos for saying a congressional candidate in his state is not an authentic Latina because she took her husband’s last name.


Join Greg and Rob Long as they hope reports of major downsizing at public schools over shrinking enrollment means public schools will need to compete for students and provide a much better education. They also cringe as Biden official Samantha Power seems happy that farmers are getting crushed by much higher fertilizer prices because it will accelerate the government’s green agenda. And they shake their heads at the administration’s latest COVID hypocrisy at the border.

Join Jim and Greg as they mostly welcome Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter and promises of speech protection and dissect why so many on the left are hysterical about this news. They also sigh as Biden climate envoy John Kerry declares war on natural gas and promises it will be dead within 10 years. And they get a kick out of Utah “independent” U.S. Senate candidate Evan McMullin’s empty vow to caucus with neither Republicans nor Democrats if he is elected this year.


Nuclear Power: Has the Time Finally Come?


Commercial nuclear power emerged in the mid-1950s, to great enthusiasm. The Eisenhower administration promoted it as a major part of its Atoms for Peace program.  There was talk about ‘electricity too cheap to meter,’ and about making the world’s deserts bloom via nuclear-powered desalination.

And quite a few commercial nuclear plants were indeed built and put into operation.  In the US, there are presently 93 commercial reactors with aggregate capacity of 95 gigawatts, accounting for about 20% of America’s electricity generation.  But overall, adoption of commercial nuclear power has not met early expectations.  Costs have been much higher than were  expected.  There have been great public concerns about safety, stemming originally from the association of nuclear power and nuclear weapons as well as by practical concerns and then supercharged by the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 and then by Chernobyl (1986) and the Fukushima disaster in 2011.  Permitting and construction times have been long and  unpredictable, driven by the public concerns as well as by the general growth of regulation and litigation in the US and the custom, one-off manner in which these plants have been constructed.

Join Jim and Greg as they wonder if Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s inability to define “woman” disqualifies her from the high court. They cover Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s announcement that many more interest rate hikes are coming and that inflation may last for three more years. And Russian Climate Envoy Anatoly Chubais steps down, citing his opposition to the invasion of Ukraine.

Real Power: Volcano Puts Human Power in Perspective


Hat tip Power Line blog for pointing to an excellent eight-minute video on the massive volcanic eruption in Tonga. Tonga is a nation of islands, administratively organized into five groups. The northernmost group includes two small islands, Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai, that are really the surface evidence of a large volcano. They mark two points on the rim of the caldera. The latest and largest eruption in a very long time was captured on a Japanese and an American satellite, as well as by live phone video before the collapse of international communications. This eruption resulted in measurable increased water on the continental U.S. West Coast, with surges of 1 to 2 feet over 5,000 miles away from the source. The longer-term effect, depending on just how much ash is ejected high into the atmosphere, may be global temperature change for a year or more.

Steven Hayward at Power Line pointed out the potential physical and political/cultural effect:

Follow the Science, Really?


What follows is about an encounter on Facebook, or Meta. I don’t know which for sure, as it happened in the transition so I can’t say where it landed. So far, all my FB icons remain the same, untouched by the mind of Zuckerberg.

I have been reading a couple of books of apostasy, they being Apocalypse Never, by Michael Shellenberger, and Unsettled? What Climate Science Tells Us, What it Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, by Steven E. Koonin. I have been drawn to them in part to test my own skepticism, and to learn why they had jumped ship.

Briefly, both are still convinced that there is indeed climate change characterized by a small increase in global temperature. What they both reject is the proposition that this increase will be catastrophic in the near future and is an existential threat. They differ on possible resolutions of this “crisis”.