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. What about this summer’s weather?
Recently the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization made the following statement about extreme weather events that have occurred this summer:
Several regions of the world are currently coping with severe weather-related events: flash floods and widespread flooding in large parts of Asia and parts of Central Europe while other regions are also affected: by heatwave and drought in Russian Federation, mudslides in China and severe droughts in sub-Saharan Africa. While a longer time range is required to establish whether an individual event is attributable to climate change, the sequence of current events matches IPCC projections of more frequent and more intense extreme weather events due to global warming. The Monsoon activity in Pakistan and other countries in South-East Asia is aggravated by the La Nina phenomenon, now well established in the Pacific Ocean.
This claim has been challenged by several different experts. Here is a response by Professor Roger Pielke Jr. from the University of Colorado. Pielke essentially claims the IPCC makes no such projections. The comments below Pielke’s blog post are also worth reading.
Also, over at the blog Meteorological Musings there is a very good graph showing the relationship between extreme weather events and global temperatures. What the author demonstrates is that such events are just as likely to occur when global temperatures are relatively cool as when they are warm. The author also notes that while the Northern hemisphere is experiencing a warmer-than-normal summer, the Southern hemisphere is experiencing a brutally cold winter.
2. Summer Arctic melt season
How do the warm-mongers explain the fact that the Arctic melt season (summer) temperatures are the lowest in 50 years and that they have been declining quite dramatically since the late 1980s? Here are some great graphs that tell the story.
3. President Obama opposes private lawsuits against utilities related to global warming, making enviros unhappy
From the Wall Street Journal, which notes:
It isn’t that the Obama administration is in favor of unfettered emissions. The Department of Justice brief, filed with the Supreme Court this week, says the Environmental Protection Agency is already on the job, and doesn’t need help from private plaintiffs. …
4. Ozone Report
For the week of August 22-28, the NC Division of Air Quality reports no high ozone readings registered on North Carolina monitors. From April 1 through August 28, a total of 22 weeks, North Carolina has had 96 high ozone readings (.076 ppm or above over an 8 hour period). Those readings were scattered around the state over 33 out of 39 different monitors and over 21 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 the predicted high ozone day does not materialize. For that reason, 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:
5. Participate in a live discussion on the Gulf oil spill
On September 8 the Foundation for Economics 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.