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Inside the Beltway: U.N. Climate Change Conference underway — whether the weather is ready or not


There is already a lot of chatter in the press about climate change — and no wonder. The world’s best-known climate conference is underway in the United Arab Emirates and will continue through Dec. 12. More than 70,000 delegates are expected to attend, according to the United Nations.

“The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 will open with a resounding call to accelerate collective climate action. The conference takes place in what is already known to be the hottest year ever recorded in human history and as the impacts of the climate crisis wreak unprecedented havoc on human life and livelihoods around the world,” the United Nations said in a public advisory.

Find the conference at Unfccc.int.

Former Vice President Al Gore has always been climate-minded, and that interest continues. He’ll be at the conference, and he has released an outspoken video message reaffirming his interest in “clean energy solutions” and more. Find his outreach at Climaterealityproject.org.

“So much is at stake — and we know what to do,” Mr. Gore said, declaring that the conference should be a “turning point” for clean energy economies, among other things.

Some observers are not impressed, however.

“Climate activists and Third World hucksters will descend on the UN climate conference in Dubai next week demanding America pay climate ‘reparations’ for fictitious climate harms,” wrote James Taylor, president of the Heartland Institute — a nonprofit group focused on free-market solutions to social and economic problems.

“Yet, more carbon dioxide and a modestly warming Earth are stimulating record global crop yields, stimulating a burst of global vegetation, and saving millions of lives each year from excessive cold,” Mr. Taylor said in a written statement shared with Inside the Beltway,

“More carbon dioxide will be emitted because of the conference and by its attendees’ participation than will be prevented by any enforceable agreement they actually develop at COP 28,” said H. Sterling Burnett, director of the Heartland Institute’s Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy.

“Leaving aside the hyperbolic assertions made by well-paid climate alarmists in the scientific and [nongovernmental organization] communities and the outputs of deeply flawed climate models, there is no actual evidence humans are causing catastrophic global warming, or that the modest warming that has occurred over the past century and half has produced harm,” Mr. Burnett said.

Find the Heartland Institute at Heartland.org.


A new Gallup Poll has dismal news about President Biden’s job approval ratings across a spectrum of topics. How do Republicans feel about the president at this juncture?

Gallup reveals that a mere 5% approve of the overall job Mr. Biden is doing as president; 4% give the thumbs-up on his approach to foreign affairs, while 3% of Republicans approve of the way Mr. Biden is handling the economy.

Meanwhile, 16% of Republican respondents approve of the way Mr. Biden is handling the situation in the Middle East between the Israelis and the Palestinians, 11% approve of the way he’s dealing with health care policy, and 11% approve of how he is dealing with the situation in Ukraine.

See how everybody else feels in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.


Republican presidential candidate and self-described political outsider Vivek Ramaswamy has just launched a 30-second TV ad focused on Mary Ann Jordan, his childhood piano teacher.

“I would teach Vivek about the Constitution after his piano lesson. I taught Vivek to love liberty. Vivek is a true conservative,” she says, as a simple piano melody of “God Bless America” plays in the background.

“I put him in that same category with Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. He has the same ability, and he’s not afraid. I think our country would be very blessed to have Vivek. He would be fantastic,” Ms. Jordan says in the brief spot.

The candidate has some sentiment for his teacher as well.

“She was probably the first true hard-line conservative that I met. She brought a biography of Ronald Reagan one day. I was in high school then, and she brought it to me as an assignment to read it,” Mr. Ramaswamy said in a separate comment released by his campaign.


Just in case you need an unusual or hilarious Christmas or holiday gift for someone, one well-known company has it all: Archie McPhee.

The goodies include bacon-flavored candy canes, bacon-themed gift wrap, electronic “sound makers” that clearly imitate braying goats and excited monkeys, and a “Grumpy Frog” tree ornament.

About those candy canes: The company also stocks them in the following flavors: macaroni and cheese, pickle, ketchup, gravy, hot dog, Caesar salad, butter and sardine. No, really.

That’s just a sampling of the fare at Archie McPhee, founded by a Seattle entrepreneur in 1983. Find the company at McPhee.com.


For sale: St. Margaret Island, a 13-acre private island at the confluence of the Potomac and Wicomico rivers in Maryland. Features Colonial-style main house “reminiscent of a quintessential Chesapeake Bay hunting and fishing cabin” with fireplace, vaulted ceilings, exposed wood beams, “rustic” kitchen. Four bedrooms, two baths. Adjacent two-bedroom cottage features full bath, kitchen and laundry. Substantial 275-foot dock, garden, mature trees, gorgeous views, saltwater pool. Priced at $3.7 million; find the details at Stmargaretisland.com.


• 67% of U.S. adults disapprove of the way President Biden is handling the economy.

• 66% disapprove of the way he is handling foreign affairs.

• 64% disapprove of the way he is handling the situation between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

• 59% disapprove of the way he is handling his overall job as president.

• 58% disapprove of the way he is handling the situation in Ukraine.

• 57% disapprove of the way he is handling health care policy.

SOURCE: A Gallup Poll of 1,013 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 1-21 and released Thursday.

• Follow Jennifer Harper on X @HarperBulletin.

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