Thing is, Jack doesn't have a very good track record when discussing Climate Change. Remember this column when he got the date of an important document he quoted wrong by 5 years and was forced to issue a correction? THIS correction:
Jack Kelly's July 2 column conflated references to two different Wall Street Journal op-ed articles by MIT professor Richard Lindzen. The first quote from Dr. Lindzen was from a June 11, 2001, piece, but it was incorrectly identified as being published last week. The second Lindzen quote was correctly attributed to his commentary last week (June 26). In addition, the Kelly column referred to a National Academy of Sciences report on climate change and a quote from CNN reporter Michelle Mitchell; they were both from June 2001, not this year. The column should have addressed the NAS report on climate change released June 22, 2006.Jack should be careful when discussing Climate Change - that might include judging the sources he uses, just to see if they might be, you know, biased in some way.
That might be a good idea to do with this week's column. Paragraph ONE:
Hmm. Who's this "Americans for Prosperity" then? According to their website:
Former Vice President Al Gore and his entourage arrived at Constitutional Hall in Washington, D.C., July 17 for his speech on global warming in a caravan consisting of two Lincoln Town Cars and a Chevrolet Suburban -- not the most fuel efficient vehicles Detroit ever made. "The driver of the Town Car that eventually whisked away Gore's wife and daughter left the engine idling and the AC cranking for 20 minutes before they finally left," noted Mark Block of Americans for Prosperity.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP Foundation) are committed to educating citizens about economic policy and mobilizing those citizens as advocates in the public policy process. AFP is an organization of grassroots leaders who engage citizens in the name of limited government and free markets on the local, state and federal levels. The grassroots members of AFP advocate for public policies that champion the principles of entrepreneurship and fiscal and regulatory restraint.Ok. Seems to be a straight forward libertarian think tank. But who funds them? According to the website Media Transparency, they've been the recipients of a little under $1.2 million dollars in grants over the years 2004-2006. The source of a million of that $1.2 is the Claude Lambe Foundation, which is one of the Koch Family Foundations.
And who are the Kochs?
David and Charles Koch, sons of the ultraconservative founder of Koch Industries, Fred Koch, direct the three Koch family foundations: the Charles G. Koch Foundation, the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation. David and Charles control Koch Industries, the second-largest privately owned company and the largest privately owned energy company in the nationSo you know they're going to be giving millions away to think tanks that will be completely fair and balanced when it comes to energy issues.
Something Jack didn't tell you.
Al Gore wants you to do as he says, not as he does. The Tennessee Center for Policy Research reported last month that Mr. Gore used as much electricity last year at his mansion in Nashville -- one of four homes he owns -- as 19 average American homes do. Mr. Gore frequently travels between his homes and to speaking engagements by private jet -- which, on a per passenger basis, emits four times the greenhouse gases of a commercial jet.This part is true. However, it's also misleading. I am sure, for instance, my efficiency apartment uses less energy than the average sized house, but it's NOT an average sized house. And the Gore's house isn't an average sized house either. From Snopes.com:
They use a lot of energy, reality shows, and they purchase it from green sources. So the amount is, and you should know this Jack, irrelevant.
A spokesperson for the Gore family responded by noting some mitigating factors, such as the fact that the Gores' Nashville residence isn't an "average" house - it's about four times larger than the average new American home built in 2006, and it essentially functions as both a residence and a business office since both Al and Tipper work out of their home. The Tennessean also noted that the Gores had been paying a $432 per month premium on their monthly electricity bills in order to obtain some of their electricity from "green" sources (i.e., solar or other renewable energy sources). Other factors (such as the climate in the area where the home is located and its size) make the Gore home's energy usage comparable to that of other homes in the same area.
The former vice-president maintained that comparing raw energy-usage figures is misleading and that he leads what he advocates, a "carbon-neutral lifestyle," by purchasing energy from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and methane gas to balance out the carbon emissions produced in generating the electricity his home uses:
In his speech at Constitution Hall, Mr. Gore called for a crash program to convert the entire U.S. electric grid to carbon-free sources of energy within 10 years. That's "ridiculous," said Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio.No surprise that Senator Voinovich would be skeptical. He's the current Republican on the Committee on Environment and Public Works. Given the lockstep attitudes of Republicans in Congress, his use of the word "ridiculous" is hardly surprising.
Now let's do some fact checking. Jack's next paragraph (plus a little):
To get an idea of how ridiculous, consider this data from the Energy Information Administration. In 2006 (the last year for which complete data is available), 49 percent of our electricity was generated by coal-fired plants; 20 percent from natural gas, and 1.5 percent from oil. That is, more than 70 percent of all the electricity we have now is generated by the fossil fuels Mr. Gore wants to get rid of.Now I'm confused. I checked the EIA and found this chart. It carries the title "Renewable Energy Plays a Role in the Nation’s Energy Supply (2006)" so presumably it contains data from 2006.
Of the remainder, two thirds is generated by nuclear plants (19 percent).
For the life of me I can't make heads or tails out of Jack's numbers. They have little if anything to do with what I was able to find at EIA.gov.
Can someone explain it to me? Or is this another one of Jack's Climate Change columns that he has to correct later?
And even if I got the wrong data, shouldn't Jack Kelly, in his zeal to educate the public about issues in the public interest replicate that zeal to make it easy to check his work?