Dennis Avery

About Dennis Avery

Dennis T. Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., is an environmental economist. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of "Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years." Readers may write to him at PO Box 202 Churchville, VA 24421; email to [email protected]

Fearing EPA’s carbon tax

Churchville, VA—Farmers, along with the rest of us, could get hit with a triple jolt of regulatory shock if the Environment Protection Agency goes forward with its announced controls on carbon emissions. Consumers are already paying heavily for the federal mandate that puts a huge chunk of our corn crop, as ethanol, into our gas tanks instead of into our meat, milk, and eggs. While food costs soar, along with fuel costs, it is a waste of good corn as it contributes almost zero to our energy independence. Now, the EPA is moving to impose tough limits on carbon emissions from [...]

By |2011-03-09T00:00:00+00:00March 9th, 2011|CFACT Insights|Comments Off on Fearing EPA’s carbon tax

More biofuels, more greenhouse gases

CHURCHVILLE, VA—A new study from the University of Illinois estimates that the world has more than 702 million hectares of marginal land suitable for growing biofuels. The researchers assessed land around the world based on its soil quality, slope, and regional climate. They added degraded or low-quality cropland but ruled out any good cropland, pasture, or forests; they also assumed no irrigation. They came up with the surprising total 2.7 million sq. miles of marginal land that could be available for switchgrass or other biofuel crops.  But the Illinois team didn’t, apparently, factor in a 2010 Stanford University study that found [...]

By |2011-03-02T15:14:04+00:00March 2nd, 2011|CFACT Insights|Comments Off on More biofuels, more greenhouse gases

Krugman flunks food and history

CHURCHVLLE, VA—Paul Krugman is a big deal: Princeton professor, New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate (2008). Krugman wrote last week about the “food crisis, the second one to hit the world in the last three years.” His key statement: “what really stands out is the extent to which severe weather events have disrupted agricultural production. And these severe weather events are exactly the kind of thing we’d expect to see as rising concentrations of greenhouse gases change our climate—which means that the current food prices surge may be just beginning.” What warming? The puny 0.2 degrees C we’ve had since [...]

By |2011-02-16T00:00:00+00:00February 16th, 2011|CFACT Insights|Comments Off on Krugman flunks food and history

Have the Greens finally trapped biotech crops?

CHURCHVILLE, VA—When our new knowledge of DNA permitted genetically modified crops, the environmental movement “flipped out.” Here was a new technology that promised to raise crop yields, protect our food supply from pests, and create a second Green Revolution for “over-populated” places such as Africa and India. The activists believed viscerally that more food would mean more people—and they were apparently terrified that more little brown and yellow people would “use up” such resources as copper and antelope. The Green Movement and others, who firmly believed in the power of “The Population Bomb” to destroy society, wanted to believe that population [...]

By |2011-02-14T08:46:19+00:00February 14th, 2011|CFACT Insights|Comments Off on Have the Greens finally trapped biotech crops?

Who could oppose ‘clean energy’?

President Obama didn’t mention carbon constraints in his State of the Union message. Such carbon constraints would force the nation to give up most of the energy that currently keeps us warm and productive. Instead, the President proposed a new “clean energy” program—which would force the nation to give up most of the energy that currently keeps us warm and productive. A study by the Beacon Hill Institute in Boston estimates the President’s “clean energy” proposal might well cost the economy $4 trillion over 20 years, and force huge numbers of U.S. jobs overseas. Mr. Obama’s “new” proposal is obviously being [...]

By |2011-02-03T00:00:00+00:00February 3rd, 2011|CFACT Insights|Comments Off on Who could oppose ‘clean energy’?

New study affirms natural climate change

CHURCHVILLE, VA—It’s nice when people validate your work. Fred Singer and I—co-authors of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years—are currently basking in the glow of a new paper that affirms the earth’s long, moderate, natural climate cycle. The study is by Dr. U.R. Rao, former chair of India’s Space Research Organization. He says solar variations and cosmic rays account for 40 percent of the world’s recent global warming. Dr. Rao says the data between 1960 and 2005 show lots fewer cosmic rays hitting the earth, due to a periodic expansion of the sun’s magnetic field. The bigger solar magnetic field blocked [...]

By |2012-10-19T17:52:33+00:00January 31st, 2011|CFACT Insights|Comments Off on New study affirms natural climate change

Is the world food chain stretched to the limit?

CHURCHVILLE, VA—The cable network MSNBC is warning that the world food chain “has been stretched to the limit” by rising world demand and a series of crop failures in several countries. The TV network’s warning is premature. The U.S., in fact, could ease the current global food price spike with one administrative action—limiting the amount of U.S. corn that gets turned into corn ethanol. Recently, about one-third of America’s huge corn crop has been diverted from food and feed into an ultra-costly auto fuel that gives consumers poorer mileage even as it drives up their food costs.  The corn ethanol diversion [...]

By |2011-01-19T10:59:32+00:00January 19th, 2011|CFACT Insights|Comments Off on Is the world food chain stretched to the limit?

A step-change in Earth’s climate outlook?

Churchville, VA - As Britain suffers through its third straight harsh winter, a British watchdog group is calling for an inquiry into the failed recent long-range weather forecasts of the British Meteorological Office. The Met Office has long one of the leading promoters of man-made warming fears and therefore has tended to see warming around every corner. Dr. Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation says, “The current winter fiasco is no longer a joke, as the economic damage to the British economy as a result of the country’s ill-preparedness . . . could reach $15 billion.” The Met Office [...]

By |2011-01-07T11:59:44+00:00January 7th, 2011|CFACT Insights|Comments Off on A step-change in Earth’s climate outlook?

India and the next green revolution

Until recent decades, India was famous for its famines, not its computer industry. India’s dense population and erratic monsoon rainfall put it constantly at food risk—with a crop failure about every seven years. Two crop failures in a row often meant famine and sometimes there were three bad years in a row. During the Great Famine of 1876–78, five million Indians starved and another 6–10 million died of related dysentery, cholera, and opportunistic fevers.  When Britain ruled India (from the mid-1700s to 1947) the Brits were regularly blamed for India’s famine death tolls. However, India’s population in the late 1800s was [...]

By |2010-12-27T00:00:00+00:00December 27th, 2010|CFACT Insights|Comments Off on India and the next green revolution

When sheep didn’t have wool

CHURCHVILLE, VA—Today, farmers are accused of “tampering with Nature.” But farmers have been doing such tampering for thousands of years. We had to, for survival. As one dramatic example, wild sheep didn’t have wool. Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep still don’t! Nature gave sheep a long, coarse hair coat instead. In the beginning, the wool was just a short insulating undercoat with fuzzy fibers too short to make thread. For the first 4,000 years we herded sheep, it was only for their meat. But, as farming spread out into colder climates, humans had trouble keeping warm. The supply of bearskins, for [...]

By |2010-11-26T00:00:00+00:00November 26th, 2010|CFACT Insights|Comments Off on When sheep didn’t have wool

Muddy rivers: Don’t blame farmers

CHURCHVILLE, VA—When people hear that I’m an advocate of high yield farming to feed the world and protect the environment, assertions of farm runoff into the rivers are raised to support  charges against modern farming methods. Urban dwellers, even some of my rural neighbors, tell me their concerns about large-scale farming ruining our rivers “because the rivers are muddy.” They worry about even more soil erosion as farmers gear up to double food production over the next 40 years to feed a peak population of 9 billion people.  Certainly, the rivers in the world’s farming areas run brown. Muddy rivers generally [...]

By |2010-11-18T15:46:20+00:00November 18th, 2010|CFACT Insights|Comments Off on Muddy rivers: Don’t blame farmers

Big Green Bus has flat tires

CHURCHVILLE, VA—If the Big Green Bus hasn’t actually stalled, it’s at least got a couple of newly-flattened tires. And the suddenly-Republican U.S. Congress’s opposition to energy taxes is only part of it.It started, of course, after the 1998 El Nino when global land temperatures refused to trend back upward. It became far more serous when world thermometers actually turned downward in 2007–08. The disparity between the computer model forecasts and real-world temperatures has now become massive.   Then there was Climategate, which gave us a peep into the unscientific maneuverings of the “real climate scientists” in the IPCC establishment. The revelations seem [...]

By |2010-11-15T08:59:12+00:00November 15th, 2010|CFACT Insights|Comments Off on Big Green Bus has flat tires

Biodiversity: Losing which species?

Churchville, VA—The UN has held another Green Summit in Nagoya, Japan to save the wild species—again. The planet’s temperatures have failed to increase for 12 years, and the public is losing interest in man-made global warming. So, back to the cuddly wild animals as the excuse for shutting down the modern world.The UN’s problem is that we aren’t currently losing species, or very few. The current wildlife extinction rate is the lowest in 500 years—according to the UN Environmental Program’s own World Atlas of Biodiversity. The old wooden-ship explorers have already spread Norway rats, cats, and weed seeds all over the [...]

By |2010-11-09T10:43:36+00:00November 9th, 2010|CFACT Insights|Comments Off on Biodiversity: Losing which species?

Why are Republicans climate skeptics?

CHURCHVILLE—VA: The New York Times marvels editorially that none of the Republicans running for the Senate accept the “scientific consensus that humans are largely responsible for global warming.”  Maybe that’s because the Republicans come from more rural (Red) states that haven’t had any warming—man-made or otherwise.  My colleague Ed Long, formerly a NASA physicist, has found a severe problem with the “official” U.S. temperature records from the Goddard Space Institute and the National Data Collection Center. Both data sets deal with the inevitable gaps in station-by-station data by averaging the gap station with another nearby station. Supposedly, this works because “stations [...]

By |2010-10-29T07:54:42+00:00October 29th, 2010|CFACT Insights|Comments Off on Why are Republicans climate skeptics?

City farming – pigs in the sky?

CHURCHVILLE, VA—Green visionary, Dixon Despommier, of Columbia University has proposed growing our food in city high-rises, to cut food transport energy use. The bad news is that city farming would be impossibly expensive—as it always has been. The good news: the high-rise farms will never be built.Another project, the Sky-farm Project was proposed in 2007, as a 58-floor skyscraper that would produce as much food as an 800-acre farm! But the U.S. farms more than 400 million acres of land—equal to 500,000 skyscraper farms! Those sky-towers would cost billions.Cropland in Iowa costs an average of $6,000 per acre or about $5 [...]

By |2010-10-21T12:39:53+00:00October 21st, 2010|CFACT Insights|Comments Off on City farming – pigs in the sky?
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