JLF Memo
Oct. 26th, 2011: - johnlocke.org Manage Subscriptions

GAO report: 42% of temperature gauges in the US are "improperly sited"
By Dr. Roy Cordato

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This weekly newsletter, focused on environmental issues, highlights relevant analysis done by the John Locke Foundation and other think tanks, as well as items in the news.

1. GAO report: 42% of temperature gauges in the US are "improperly sited"

Dan Surber at the Charleston Daily Mail blog reports that, according the U.S. Government Accounting Office, "42% of the temperature gauges used in global warming research are improperly sited." Apparently NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) sets the siting standards, but according to the GAO report:

NOAA does not centrally track whether ... stations adhere to siting standards and the requirement to update station records, and it does not have an agency wide policy regarding stations that do not meet its siting standards ... NOAA's information systems, however, are not designed to centrally track whether stations ... meet its siting standards or the requirement to update station records. Without centrally available information, NOAA cannot easily measure the performance ... in meeting siting standards and management requirements ... NOAA has not developed an agency wide policy, however, that clarifies for agency staff whether stations that do not adhere to siting standards should remain open because the continuity of the data is important, or should be moved or closed. As a result, weather forecast offices do not have a basis for making consistent decisions to address stations that do not meet the siting standards.

Is any comment even necessary?

2. Wind power: An oppressively expensive way to reduce CO2 emissions

According to this study by the Manhattan Institute's Robert Bryce, the use of wind power as a means of reducing carbon dioxide emissions -- an approach mandated in North Carolina by 2007's Senate Bill 3, the state's renewable portfolio standard -- is outrageously costly. [I want to note that this study is discussed here for those who think it is important to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. Since I am a big fan of lush fauna (which is one of the reasons I moved to the South) and love my veggies (just ask my colleagues, I eat a big salad every day for lunch) and therefore appreciate a CO2-rich atmosphere, I personally think anything that is spent on CO2 reduction is too much.]

Here are Bryce's conclusions:

This report--which relies on data published by the Energy Information Administration and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory--finds that if wind energy were to reduce carbon dioxide, the savings would be so small as to be insignificant and so expensive as to be impractical.

Achieving the oft-stated goal of getting 20 percent of U.S. electricity needs from wind by 2030 would require a total expenditure of more than $850 billion. Yet the likely carbon-dioxide savings from that expenditure would be just 2 percent of global emissions in 2030.

If the "20 by '30" target were achieved, it would impose a tax on U.S. electricity consumers of $45 to $54 for each ton of carbon dioxide that was removed. The tax would take the form of an increase of as much as 48 percent over the current price of residential electricity in coal-dependent regions of the country.

A carbon tax at that level would be 23 to 28 times higher than the carbon-taxation regime now being used in the eastern United States. It would greatly exceed the carbon tax recently imposed in Australia and be more than three times as costly, on a per-ton basis, as the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme.

It should also be pointed out that despite all these costs there would be no measurable impact on global temperatures during the lifetime of anyone currently living or during the lifetime of their children or grandchildren.

3. Weekly Ozone Report

Each week during the summer (and most of the autumn) ozone season this newsletter will report how many, if any, high-ozone days had been experienced throughout the state during the previous week, where they were experienced, and how many have been recorded during the entire season to date. While many environmental groups express concern about air quality, the John Locke Foundation is the only organization that keeps up-to-date track of the actual ozone data and reports it in an unfiltered manner on a regular basis.

The ozone season began on April 1 and ends October 31. All reported data are from the North Carolina Division of Air Quality, which is part of the state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

During the period from October 17 through October 23, there were no reported high-ozone readings on monitors across the state of North Carolina. So far this season there have been 99 readings on various North Carolina monitors that have exceeded federal standards of 0.75 parts per billion. These have occurred over a period of 26 days.

Click here for the Environmental Update archive.


Upcoming Events

Saturday, Oct. 29th, 2011 at 9:30 am - 3 pm
A Constitutional Workshop in New Bern, NC
with our special guests Dr. Troy Kickler & Dr. Michael Sanera
Workshop #1 in New Bern, NC- What the Founders and the State Ratification Conventions Can Teach Us Today

Monday, Oct. 31st, 2011 at 12:00 pm Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
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"The Constitution: Weren't We Supposed to Have Capitalism?"

Thursday, Nov. 3rd, 2011 at 3:00 p.m.
A Lecture at Duke University
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Keynes Hayek: the Clash that Defined Modern Ecnomics

Monday, Nov. 7th, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. Noon
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
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"Were John Locke and the Founders 'Lockeans' -- or Scholastics?"

Saturday, Nov. 12th, 2011 at 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
A Constitutional Workshop in Hendersonville, NC
with our special guests Dr. Troy Kickler & Dr. Michael Sanera
Workshop #2 in Hendersonville: "What would the Federalists and Anti-federalists say about the current political and economic crises?"

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