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. Locke Spotlight report exposes flaws in pro-solar power "cost" analysis
A Spotlight report co-written by JLF’s Daren Bakst and Carlo Stagnaro, head of Italy’s Bruno Leoni Institute, debunks a comparative cost analysis released by the left-wing anti-nuclear power group known as NC WARN (The North Carolina Waste Awareness Network). The group made the claim that solar power is less costly than nuclear power as a source of electricity. As Bakst and Stagnaro point out, the NC WARN study biases its calculations to favor solar power; NC WARN treated energy subsidies arbitrarily, including them for solar power to calculate a lower cost for consumers but ignoring subsidies with respect to nuclear power. The authors also note that the NC WARN study is completely at odds with other studies. For example, they note that "The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that new solar power costs more than three times as much as nuclear power." Yet NC WARN makes no attempt to explain the discrepancy or show why their methodology should be preferred to approach used by the widely respected and fiercely non-partisan USEIA. Here is a link to the entire study (it can also be accessed in Italian from the Bruno Leoni Institute).
2. The InterAcademy Council takes aim at IPCC
Last week the InterAcademy Council, an international organization consisting of National Academy of Scientist members from across the world, issued a report assessing the process and science guiding the reports issued by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report was quite critical. According to the Economist magazine:
The report finds problems with the way the IPCC handles reviews of its work, the degree to which it shows fairness when considering areas that are disputed, and the way it communicates the certainty, or lack of it, wherewith it speaks. It calls for new rules on conflict of interest (or more accurately, it calls for rules — at the moment the panel has none), a new full-time leadership position and a new executive committee. Perhaps most strikingly, the report can also be read as a call for Mr [Rajendra] Pachauri to resign, though neither Mr Pachauri nor Mr Shapiro have characterized [sic] it in quite that way.
Last winter, following the Climategate scandal, it was revealed that IPCC head Pachauri stood to benefit financially if global warming alarmism was accepted and programs like cap and trade were implemented.
3. Ozone Report
For the week of Aug. 29-Sept. 4, the NC DAQ reports 4 high ozone readings registered on North Carolina monitors. From April 1 through September 4, a total of 23 weeks, North Carolina has had 100 high ozone readings (.076 ppm or above over an 8 hour period). These readings were scattered around the state over 33 out of 39 different monitors and over 22 different days. Most of the high ozone days to date have occurred in the Charlotte area and in the Triad. [Note: When an ozone alert is made through the media, it is only a prediction. Very often an ozone alert is issued but a high ozone day does not materialize. That is why we are reporting here that during certain weeks there were no actual high ozone days even though ozone alerts may have been issued and reported in the media.]
Links to recent JLF reports on ozone:
4. Today at 2 p.m.: Participate in a live discussion on the Gulf oil spill
The Foundation for Economic Education will sponsor a discussion with the editor of The Freeman, Sheldon Richman, on this summer’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Sheldon will discuss free energy markets and the perverse incentive structure that currently exists. It will be an online discussion that is open to the public. For more information, go to http://fee.org/event/idea-room-with-sheldon-richman.