WWU faculty find overwhelming scientific evidence to support global warming
By WWU GEOLOGY FACULTY — COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
On March 26, 2013, a long-retired faculty member of our department, Don Easterbrook, presented his opinions on human-caused global climate change to the Washington State Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee at the invitation of the committee chair Sen. Doug Ericksen, R.-Ferndale.
We, the active faculty of the Geology Department at Western Washington University, express our unanimous and significant concerns regarding the views espoused by Easterbrook, who holds a doctorate in geology; they are neither scientifically valid nor supported by the overwhelming preponderance of evidence on the topic. We also decry the injection of such poor quality science into the public discourse regarding important policy decisions for our state's future; the chair of the committee was presented with numerous options and opportunities to invite current experts to present the best-available science on this subject, and chose instead to, apparently, appeal to a narrow partisan element with his choice of speaker.
We concur with the vast consensus of the science community that recent global warming is very real, human greenhouse-gas emissions are the primary cause, and their environmental and economic impacts on our society will likely be severe if we don't make significant efforts to address the problem. Claims to the contrary fly in the face of an overwhelming body of rigorous scientific literature.
We intend no disrespect to Easterbrook personally. We appreciate his previous service to our department and to Western. His present appointment as emeritus professor was made in light of his long-standing history at WWU. But people of the state of Washington need to understand that Easterbrook's ideas on anthropogenic global warming have not passed through rigorous peer review in the scientific literature. Additionally, Easterbrook's claims in this forum and elsewhere require the existence of a broad, decades-long conspiracy amongst literally thousands of scientists to falsify climate data and to prevent publication of opposing research. This opinion demonstrates a profound rejection of the scientific process and the fundamental value of rigorous peer review, and is also simply wrong.
Science thrives on controversies; it rewards innovative, unexpected findings, but only when they are backed by rigorous, painstaking evidence and rea soning. Without such standards, science would be ineffective as a tool to improve our society. It is worth acknowledging that nearly every technological advance in modern society is a direct result of that same scientific method (think the Internet, airplanes, antibiotics, and even your smartphone).
Easterbrook's views, as exemplified by his Senate presentation, are a stark contrast to that standard; they are filled with misrepresentations, misuse of data and repeated mixing of local vs. global records. Nearly every graphic in the hours-long presentation to the Senate was flawed, as was Easterbrook's discussion of them.
For example, more than 100 years of research in physics, chemistry, atmospheric science and oceanography has, via experiments, numerous physical observations and theoretic calculations, clearly demonstrated - and have communicated via the scientific literature - that carbon dioxide is a powerful greenhouse gas; its presence and variations in Earth's atmosphe re have significant and measureable impacts on the surface temperature of our planet. Alternatively, you can take Easterbrook's word - not supported by any published science - that the concentration and effects of carbon dioxide are so small as to not matter a bit.
In a specific example, Easterbrook referred to a graph of temperatures from an ice core of the Greenland ice sheet to claim that global temperatures were warmer than present over most of the last 10,000 years. First, this record is of temperature from a single spot on Earth, central Greenland (thus it is not a "global record"). Second, and perhaps more importantly, Easterbrook's definition of "present temperature" in the graph is based on the most recent data point in that record, which is actually 1855, more than 150 years ago when the world was still in the depths of the Little Ice Age, and well before any hint of human-caused climate change.
As the active faculty of the Western Washington Universit y Geology Department that he lists as his affiliation, we conclude that Easterbrook's presentation clearly does not represent the best-available science on this subject, and urge the Senate, our state government, and the citizens of Washington State to rely on rigorous peer-reviewed science rather than conspiracy-based ideas to steer their decisions on matters concerning our environment and economic future.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Western Washington University WWU Geology Department faculty members who authored this column are Douglas H. Clark, who holds a doctorate in geology; Bernard A. Housen, who is the department chair and holds a doctorate in geophysics; Susan Debari, who holds a doctorate in geology; Colin B. Amos, who holds a doctorate in geology; Scott R. Linneman, who holds a doctorate in geology; Robert J. Mitchell, who holds doctorates in engineering and geology; David M. Hirsch, who holds a doctorate in geology; Jaqueline Caplan-Auerbach, who holds a doctorate in geophysics; Pete Stelling, who holds a doctorate in geology; Elizabeth R. Schermer, who holds a doctorate in geology; Christopher Suczek, who holds a doctorate in geology; and Scott Babcock, who holds a doctorate in geology.
Monckton replies to the above appeal to authority
They refer to only one bit of scientific data and Monckton demolishes that
Dr. Easterbrook, to whose excellent book of scientific papers on global warming I had the honour to contribute a couple of years ago, has been libeled. It is the rent-seeking global-warming profiteers of the WWU faculty, not Dr. Easterbrook, who are guilty of misrepresentation.
To take one of many examples of misrepresentation on their part, they attempt to challenge his statement to the effect that the GISP2 ice-core temperature record from Greenland shows that the temperature of air trapped in ice that formed on the summit plateau 8000 years ago was 2.5 Celsius degrees warmer than in the mid-19th century and, therefore, 1.8 Celsius degrees warmer than the present.
They attempt to tamper with the truth by suggesting that the air temperature in Greenland is not global; that the record stops in 1850, not the somewhat warmer present; and that, therefore, we cannot say the Holocene climate optimum from 10,000-6000 years ago was globally warmer than the present.
The racketeers of the WWU faculty either know they are wrong or are ignorant and pretending to know they are right. Either way, they are guilty of deliberate misrepresentation of the objective scientific truth. For it is well understood that temperatures in Greenland and Antarctica change by approximately twice the global average, by what is called "polar amplification".
This phenomenon occurs because the tropics cannot warm significantly. Advection takes any additional heat poleward. Therefore, if Greenland was 1.8 degrees warmer than the present 8000 years ago, the world was almost a degree warmer than the present at that time.
In fact, there has been no global warming for 17 years. This is one of many facts the WWU faculty chose not to mention. For the past eight years, according to the ENVISAT sea-level monitoring satellite, sea level has been rising at a rate equivalent to just 1.3 inches per century.
As an expert reviewer for the IPCC's forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report, I can also report that the IPCC itself plans to publish a graph showing that the predictions of global warming in all four of its previous multi-thousand-page quinquennial Assessment Reports have proven to be enormous exaggerations. The computer models it uses have failed.
Dr. Easterbrook, therefore, is a great deal closer to the current state of climate science than the money-grubbing gangsters of WWU, who ought to be thoroughly ashamed of themselves but are too politicized on the far Left to have the grace to blush.
And the Bellingham Herald should have known better than to publish their poisonously pietistic libel of Dr. Easterbrook, who deserves a handsome apology both from these grasping leeches and from the Herald. Shame on the lot of you.
New Climate Scandal Exposed
Roger Pielke Jr
Roger Pielke Jr documents the gross misrepresentation of the findings of a recent scientific paper via press release which appears to skirt awfully close to crossing the line into research misconduct.
Spot the difference
Misconduct in science is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism, in proposing, performing, or reporting research. Misconduct in science does not include errors of judgment; errors in the recording, selection, or analysis of data; differences in opinions involving the interpretation of data; or misconduct unrelated to the research process.
Arguments over data and methods are the lifeblood of science, and are not instances of misconduct.
However, here I document the gross misrepresentation of the findings of a recent scientific paper via press release which appears to skirt awfully close to crossing the line into research misconduct, as defined by the NRC. I recommend steps to fix this mess, saving face for all involved, and a chance for this small part of the climate community to take a step back toward unambiguous scientific integrity.
The paper I refer to is by Marcott et al. 2013, published recently in Science. A press release issued by the National Science Foundation, which funded the research, explains the core methodology and key conclusion of the paper as follows (emphasis added):
Peter Clark, an OSU paleoclimatologist and co-author of the Science paper, says that many previous temperature reconstructions were regional and not placed in a global context.
“When you just look at one part of the world, temperature history can be affected by regional climate processes like El Niño or monsoon variations,” says Clark.
“But when you combine data from sites around the world, you can average out those regional anomalies and get a clear sense of the Earth’s global temperature history.”
What that history shows, the researchers say, is that during the last 5,000 years, the Earth on average cooled about 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit–until the last 100 years, when it warmed about 1.3 degrees F.
The press release clearly explains that the paper (a) combines data from many sites around the world to create a “temperature reconstruction” which gives a “sense of the Earth’s temperature history,” and (b) “that history shows” a cooling over the past 5000 years, until the last 100 years when all of that cooling was reversed.
The conclusions of the press release were faithfully reported by a wide range of media outlets, and below I survey several of them to illustrate that the content of the press release was accurately reflected in media coverage and, at times, amplified by scientists both involved and not involved with the study.
Examples of Media Coverage
Here is Justin Gillis at the New York Times, with emphasis added to this excerpt and also those further below:
The modern rise that has recreated the temperatures of 5,000 years ago is occurring at an exceedingly rapid clip on a geological time scale, appearing in graphs in the new paper as a sharp vertical spike.
Similarly, at the NY Times Andy Revkin reported much the same in a post titled, “Scientists Find an Abrupt Warm Jog After a Very Long Cooling.” Revkin included the following graph from the paper along with a caption explaining what the graph shows:
Revkin’s caption: A new Science paper includes this graph of data providing clues to past global temperature. It shows the warming as the last ice age ended (left), a period when temperatures were warmer than today, a cooling starting 5,000 years ago and an abrupt warming in the last 100 years.
Revkin concluded: “the work reveals a fresh, and very long, climate “hockey stick.”” For those unfamiliar, a hockey stick has a shaft and a blade.
Any association with the so-called “hockey stick” is sure to capture interest in the highly politicized context of the climate debate, in which the iconic figure is like catnip to partisans on both sides. Here is Michael Lemonick at Climate Central:
The study… confirms the now famous “hockey stick” graph that Michael Mann published more than a decade ago. That study showed a sharp upward temperature trend over the past century after more than a thousand years of relatively flat temperatures. . .
“What’s striking,” said lead author Shaun Marcott of Oregon State University in an interview, “is that the records we use are completely independent, and produce the same result.”
Here is Grist.org, which refers in the passage below to the same figure shown above:
A study published in Science reconstructs global temperatures further back than ever before — a full 11,300 years. The new analysis finds that the only problem with Mann’s hockey stick was that its handle was about 9,000 years too short. The rate of warming over the last 100 years hasn’t been seen for as far back as the advent of agriculture.
To be clear, the study finds that temperatures in about a fifth of this historical period were higher than they are today. But the key, said lead author Shaun Marcott of Oregon State University, is that temperatures are shooting through the roof faster than we’ve ever seen.
“What we found is that temperatures increased in the last 100 years as much as they had cooled in the last 6,000 or 7,000,” he said. “In other words, the rate of change is much greater than anything we’ve seen in the whole Holocene,” referring to the current geologic time period, which began around 11,500 years ago.
Back to more mainstream outlets, here is how Nature characterized the study, offering a substantially similar but somewhat more technical description of the curve shown in the figure above:
Marcott and his colleagues set about reconstructing global climate trends all the way back to 11,300 years ago, when the Northern Hemisphere was emerging from the most recent ice age. To do so, they collected and analysed data gathered by other teams. The 73 overlapping climate records that they considered included sediment cores drilled from lake bottoms and sea floors around the world, along with a handful of ice cores collected in Antarctica and Greenland.
Each of these chronicles spanned at least 6,500 years, and each included a millennium-long baseline period beginning in the middle of the post-ice-age period at 3550 bc.
For some records, the researchers inferred past temperatures from the ratio of magnesium and calcium ions in the shells of microscopic creatures that had died and dropped to the ocean floor; for others, they measured the lengths of long-chain organic molecules called alkenones that were trapped in the sediments.
After the ice age, they found, global average temperatures rose until they reached a plateau between 7550 and 3550 bc. Then a long-term cooling trend set in, reaching its lowest temperature extreme between ad 1450 and 1850. Since then, temperatures have been increasing at a dramatic clip: from the first decade of the twentieth century to now, global average temperatures rose from near their coldest point since the ice age to nearly their warmest, Marcott and his team report today in Science.
And here is New Scientist, making reference to the exact same graph:
Shaun Marcott of Oregon State University in Corvallis and colleagues have compiled 73 such proxies from around the world, all of which reach back to the end of the last glacial period, 11,300 years ago. During this period, known as the Holocene, the climate has been relatively warm – and civilisation has flourished.
“Most global temperature reconstructions have only spanned the past 2000 years,” says Marcott.
Marcott’s graph shows temperatures rising slowly after the ice age, until they peaked 9500 years ago. The total rise over that period was about 0.6 °C. They then held steady until around 5500 years ago, when they began slowly falling again until around 1850. The drop was 0.7 °C, roughly reversing the previous rise.
Then, in the late 19th century, the graph shows temperatures shooting up, driven by humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions.The rate of warming in the last 150 years is unlike anything that happened in at least 11,000 years, says Michael Mann of the Pennsylvania State University in University Park, who was not involved in Marcott’s study. It was Mann who created the original hockey stick graph (see upper graph here), which showed the change in global temperatures over the last 1000 years.
Over the Holocene, temperatures rose and fell less than 1 °C, and they did so over thousands of years, says Marcott. “It took 8000 years to go from warm to cold.” Agriculture, communal life and forms of government all arose during this relatively stable period, he adds. Then in 100 years, global temperatures suddenly shot up again to very close to the previous maximum.
It seems clear that even as various media took different angles on the story and covered it in varying degrees of technical detail, the articles listed above accurately reflected the conclusions reflected in the NSF press release, and specifically the “hockey stick”-like character of the new temperature reconstruction. Unfortunately, all of this is just wrong, as I explain below. (If you’d like to explore media coverage further here is a link to more stories. My colleague Tom Yulsman got punked too.)
The Problem with the NSF Press Release and the Subsequent Reporting
There is a big problem with the media reporting of the new paper. It contains a fundamental error which (apparently) originates in the NSF press release and which was furthered by public comments by scientists.
In a belatedly-posted FAQ to the paper, which appeared on Real Climate earlier today,Marcott et al. make this startling admission:
Q: What do paleotemperature reconstructions show about the temperature of the last 100 years?
A: Our global paleotemperature reconstruction includes a so-called “uptick” in temperatures during the 20th-century. However, in the paper we make the point that this particular feature is of shorter duration than the inherent smoothing in our statistical averaging procedure, and that it is based on only a few available paleo-reconstructions of the type we used. Thus, the 20th century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.
In case you missed it, I repeat:
. . . the 20th century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes . . .
What that means is that this paper actually has nothing to do with a “hockey stick” as it does not have the ability to reproduce 20th century temperatures in a manner that is “statistically robust.” The new “hockey stick” is no such thing as Marcott et al. has no blade. (To be absolutely clear, I am not making a point about temperatures of the 20th century, but what can be concluded from the paper about temperatures of the 20th century.)
Yet, you might recall that the NSF press release said something quite different:
What that [temperature reconstruction] history shows, the researchers say, is that during the last 5,000 years, the Earth on average cooled about 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit–until the last 100 years, when it warmed about 1.3 degrees F.
So what the paper actually shows is the following, after I have removed from the graph the 20th century period that is “not statistically robust” (this is also the figure that appears at the top of this post):
Surely there is great value in such an analysis of pre-20th century temperatures. And there can be no doubt there will be continuing debates and discussions about the paper’s methods and conclusions. But one point that any observer should be able to clearly conclude is that the public representation of the paper was grossly in error. The temperature reconstruction does not allow any conclusions to be made about the period after 1900.
Does the public misrepresentation amount to scientific misconduct? I’m not sure, but it is far to close to that line for comfort. Saying so typically leads to a torrent of angry ad hominem and defensive attacks, and evokes little in the way of actual concern for the integrity of this highly politicized area of science. Looking past the predictable responses, this mess can be fixed in a relatively straightforward manner with everyone’s reputation intact.
How to Fix This
Here are the steps that I recommend should be taken:
1) Science should issue a correction to the paper, and specially do the following:
(a) retract and replot all figures in the paper and SI eliminating from the graphs all data/results that fail to meet the paper’s criteria for “statistical robustness.”
(b) include in the correction the explicit and unambiguous statement offered in the FAQ released today that the analysis is not “statistically robust” post-1900.
2) NSF should issue a correction to its press release, clarifying and correcting the statements of Peter Clark (a co-author, found above) and Candace Major, NSF program manager, who says in the release:
“The last century stands out as the anomaly in this record of global temperature since the end of the last ice age,” says Candace Major, program director in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Ocean Sciences.
A comment on Marcott et al. from Ross McKitrick
"Hiding the (20th century) decline" once more
This isn’t just a filibuster, they are defending themselves on the grounds that their paper made an incredibly subtle misrepresentation and it’s the reader’s fault for not noticing. Without the closing uptick, the main implication of their reconstruction is that, in the 20th century, we experienced the coldest conditions of the Holocene. With the uptick, we experienced nearly the warmest. The sharp uptick in the instrumental record can only be compared against their reconstruction if they can show their low-frequency proxies are capable of registering such events. If the 20th century portion of their reconstruction does not have the same uptick as the instrumental record, we would conclude that it could have missed similar swings in earlier centuries as well, so the absence of such swings in the earlier part of their graph tells us nothing about the presence or absence of decadal and century-scale warming events. Likewise, an annual or decadal observation from the modern instrumental record cannot be compared against values from their reconstruction, if their reconstruction is not capable of resolving events at that time scale.
But that is precisely what they do in Figure 3 of their paper, and it is the basis of their claim that “Global temperature, therefore, has risen from near the coldest to the warmest levels of the Holocene within the past century, reversing the long-term cooling trend that began ~5000 yr B.P.” Without the uptick in their proxy reconstruction this kind of statement could never have been made. The presence of the uptick in the proxy graph validates their comparison of the instrumental record against the proxy record. By admitting that the uptick is not robust and cannot be a basis for any conclusions they have undermined their own findings, root and branch.
Moreover, they can’t conceal the fact that they defended the robustness of the uptick in their paper. Marcott et al. stated that a RegEM variant reconstruction eliminated 0.6 of the 0.7 C closing uptick, but that due to data limitations the difference between reconstructions was “probably not robust” (p. 1198). In the context this implies that they consider the size of the closing uptick to be insensitive to choice of methodology, in other words that the uptick is robust.
But now they say the 20th century uptick is not robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and is not the basis of any of our conclusions. Did they know this prior to drawing Figure 3 and inserting it in their paper, and if so, how could they not have been aware that it would convey a false impression to the reader? Contrary to Revkin, the issue isn’t just the definitive statements they made in the media but the claims they made in the paper itself.
Important questions for Obama nominees
Interior, Energy and EPA nominees raise serious questions that need to be addressed
In his second inaugural address, President Obama pledged to address “the threat of climate change” because no one can avoid “the devastating impact of raging fires, crippling droughts and more powerful storms.” The President had said nothing about climate change during his reelection campaign –because that would have reminded millions of voters that he is committed to replacing hydrocarbons with expensive renewable energy and ensuring that electricity and gasoline prices skyrocket.
But with the election safely behind him, climate change is back on his agenda, even though the Earth has not warmed during the past 17 years; Hurricane Sandy did not end one of the longest stretches ever with no category 3 or higher hurricane making landfall in the USA; and longstanding “progressive” federal policies on timber cutting and fire suppression have made wildfires harder to control.
The President’s nominees to head the Interior and Energy Departments and Environmental Protection Agency – Sally Jewell, Ernest Moniz, and Gina McCarthy – are all supposedly much more mainstream than their highly controversial predecessors. The media has therefore criticized each of them from the Left, even though they are clearly all “team players” in a decidedly anti-fossil fuels administration.
Sally Jewell began her career as an engineer with Mobil Oil (now ExxonMobil), then switched to banking (advising on oil and gas asset management), before taking over as head of outdoors giant REI. She is touted as having business experience that is virtually nonexistent in the Obama Cabinet.
However, Jewell is being prodded to follow Bill Clinton’s practice of closing millions of acres from human activity, especially oil and gas and mineral leasing, but even livestock grazing. As a lifelong “outdoors enthusiast” whose “loyalties lie with those who view the public lands as a playground, not the source of commodities like minerals or meat” (according to Grist analyst Greg Hanscom), she may find land withdrawals an easy course to take – except where wind and solar installations are involved.
Although Jewell owns fossil fuel (and power) industry stock, she is also likely to toe the Obama line and support a carbon tax, further curbs on coal mining, more restrictions on Arctic oil and gas drilling, and similar actions. We think Congress should repeatedly question her on two major issues:
1) In light of the President’s “all of the above” energy policy and the clear challenge posed by Chinese ownership of most of the world’s rare-earth minerals, how does the need for energy and minerals development mesh with her and the President’s strategy for managing our nation’s public lands?
2) Given that all federal land lies within state boundaries, and that land use decisions affecting federal lands clearly affect state and local economies, what role should states play in decisions about declaring land within state boundaries as national monuments or other “off limits” categories – and regarding mineral leasing, livestock grazing, road building and other activities on federal lands?
Ernest Moniz has long championed the idea that revenues from fossil fuels and nuclear energy can help fund the transition to a “clean fuels” economy. He’s invested heavily in fossil fuel, renewable and “smart-grid” companies. He has not objected to hydro-fracking or offshore oil drilling. That has caused Leftists like Margie Alt of Environment America to complain that Moniz has a “history of supporting dirty and dangerous energy sources like gas and nuclear power.”
But such criticism is likely a smokescreen. Some suspect that Moniz is being brought onboard to be a lone administration voice in support of liquefied natural gas exports, despite testifying in 2011 that the U.S. will soon be a net natural gas importer, even as fracking was substantially increasing domestic supplies. Similarly, his criticism of the flawed Cornell University study that demonized shale oil as worse than coal on greenhouse gas emissions makes him the perfect choice for future hand-wringing over some new study claiming that fracking could cause serious new environmental problems.
We think the Energy nominee should also answer two vitally important questions:
1) Given that Earth has not warmed for 17 years, despite steadily increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, is it not time to question the wisdom of increasing energy costs for American consumers via carbon taxes, cap-and-trade or the EPA’s plans to rigorously regulate CO2?
2) Given the increasing focus on energy efficiency and conservation, what are the best ways to reduce transmission line losses; curtail impacts on agricultural lands, wildlife habitats, and bird and bat species from wind turbines, solar panels and biofuels; and help families and businesses reduce energy use and expenses – without further sacrificing employment, living standards, basic freedoms or ecological values?
Gina McCarthy as new EPA administrator raises quite different concerns. As Competitive Enterprise Institute analyst Marlo Lewis has noted, McCarthy is guilty of lying to Congress during 2011 testimony, when she and other EPA officials denied under oath that motor vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards played any role in agency implementation of 54.5 mpg fuel economy standards.
Lewis surmised that this false testimony was intended to protect EPA’s efforts to legislate climate policy under the guise of saving energy and implementing the Clean Air Act. The agency’s new fuel rules were devised with the auto industry during secret negotiations – but are unconstitutional Executive Branch lawmaking that will raise consumer costs and make cars smaller, lighter and less safe.
CEI energy policy director Myron Ebell also notes that McCarthy is up to her ears in the “Richard Windsor” scandal, in which outgoing EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson created a fictitious Windsor email address to hide her controversial communications from public scrutiny. As such, says Ebell, McCarthy has “a strained relationship with disclosure and transparency.” (And with honesty, many would add.)
These actions belie suggestions that McCarthy’s state regulatory experience and face-to-face involvement with industry make her better able than Ms. Jackson to work with the business community. She may well do so with large companies that seek more subsidies, special regulatory arrangements, or regulations that penalize smaller competitors, hurt the economy as a whole or allow renewable energy companies to avoid environmental rules that apply to other industries. But she is unlikely to have a sympathetic ear for companies that she views as “polluters.”
Unless Ms. McCarthy can give honest, satisfactory, public answers to two important questions, her nomination should be rejected outright:
1) Under what authority does EPA assert the right to twist existing law, to create new laws that exceed clear legislative language, the stated intent of Congress, and historical or legal precedent?
2) Under what authority does an EPA official have the right to lie under oath to Congress, or use secret email accounts – thereby implying that Members of Congress are inferior to the Executive Branch, and avoiding disciplinary action because a partisan Justice Department shields Executive Branch officials from prosecution for such unlawful behavior?
Jewell, Moniz and McCarthy would all would be loyal servants to the Obama camp. And though each key bureaucrat takes an oath to uphold the Constitution and serve the public, history shows that any personal views that conflict with the official agenda will likely be reshaped and compromised as department directors carry out their missions. So despite serious concerns that many Senators have over the nominees’ likely policies, we anticipate the Senate will confirm Jewell and Moniz quickly.
McCarthy is another matter. She has already demonstrated contempt for the Constitution and Congress itself. Thus, despite claims that her experience and temperament suggest she will work well with Congress and the states, such a person – absent public repentance and a promise to chart a new course – should not be rewarded with any new opportunities to lie to, mislead and harm the public. No matter how noble the ends are purported to be, they cannot justify unlawful and disruptive means.
Obama Creates More Wealth for Green Crony Soros
On Good Friday, a day fewer people would be paying attention to the headlines than on most other days, the Obama administration released news about its plans to raise the price of gasoline. Gasoline prices for the first quarter of 2013 are higher than the same time in 2012. Intentionally pushing prices up would seem stupid in the midst of a struggling economy—that is, if your goal is to help those most impacted by higher fuel and food prices, rather than boosting the bottom line for your billionaire donors.
The plans, announced Friday, call for stricter limits for sulfur in gasoline—from the current 30 parts per million to 10. (Sulfur is an important element that is found naturally in crude oil has many industrial uses.) The EPA estimates that the low-sulfur gasoline will raise the price of a gallon of gas by “less than a penny,” while industry sources say it will be closer to ten cents a gallon.
Energy analyst Robert Rapier, told me that the new regulations “will certainly make gasoline more expensive.” He said; “Note that diesel was historically less expensive than gasoline until the ultra-low sulfur diesel standard was passed. Since then, diesel has often been more expensive than gasoline. I am not saying whether or not those standards were needed, maybe they were. But the impact on cost is undeniable. I worked in a refinery when those standards were passed, and we spent a lot of capital making sure we could comply.”
Though air pollution is a worthy consideration, it is low on the public’s list of priorities, while gas prices are of utmost importance. If the public doesn’t see air pollution as a problem, and the President’s popularity has peaked, why would he put out policy that would hit the middle class the hardest? Because, despite his campaign rhetoric, he’s not “a warrior for the middle class.”
One year ago, Christine Lakatos launched her blog— “The Green Corruption Files”—through which she set out to prove that “green corruption is the largest, most expensive and deceptive case of crony capitalism in American history. Stay tuned as we expose one piece of this scandal at a time.” Last summer, Lakatos and I partnered to draw more attention to Obama’s Green-Energy Crony-Corruption Scandal. To date, I’ve written fifteen columns based on her research—this is the sixteenth.
A week ago, she posted her expose on George Soros and his profiting from his, apparent, insider information on green-energy investments. Within her post, Lakatos says: “be prepared for regulations and legislation that will, in some form or another, resemble cap-and-trade and demand additional funds to bank roll Obama’s efforts to save our planet.” Exactly one week later, the new EPA standards on gasoline were released. The standards will raise the cost of fuel—which has been the underlying goal of the Obama energy agenda: make what works more expensive so people will accept the high cost of “green energy” in the name of saving the planet. (Remember outgoing Energy Secretary Chu's 2008 statement: “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”)
But, as the Soros story shows, it’s not about the planet, it’s about the profit. Soros’ investment portfolio shows he invests where he can make money—both traditional and green energy (though, as you’ll see, through Obama’s green energy emphasis, he has more control over green energy investments). In a 1998, 60 Minutes interview, Soros said: “I am basically there to make money. I cannot and do not look at the social consequences of what I do.”
Soros’ relationship with Obama goes back almost as far as his manipulation of money and markets.
It is reported that back before Obama became a Senator, or announced his presidential bid, and before the founding of the Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP), Morton Halperin, (the director of Soros’ Open Society Institute), John Podesta (the former Clinton White House chief of staff), Jeremy Rosner (a former speech writer for Bill Clinton), Robert Boorstin (a Democrat strategist and also a former speech writer for Clinton) and Carl Pope (a Democrat strategist and environmentalist) met in 2002 at Soros’ Long Island Southampton beach house to draft a plan to defeat President Bush in the presidential election of 2004. Without that meeting, Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson, says: “Barack Obama would be … an unremarkable and unheard of state senator. Instead, Barack Obama is the President of the United States.”
Soros was an early donor to Obama’s senatorial race. “Soros and his family gave Barack Obama $60,000. This does not include money that Soros was able to funnel to so-called 527 groups (Moveon.org, for example) that have also been politically active; nor does it include money that Soros was able to raise from tapping a network of friends, business associates, and employees.”
Once Obama was running for president, Soros was there again with support to the tune of $5 million—which put him on the Forbes’ 2008 list of Obama’s Billionaire Buddies. But the king of contributions wasn’t done there, and in September 2012, Soros pledged $1.5 million in donations to a trio of super PACs backing Obama and congressional Democrats. Soros’ political contributions are widely known, as is his funding of left-leaning organizations such as CAP, The Tides Center and the Apollo Alliance—which all play a part in his ability to cash in on green.
Soros was instrumental at the least, integral at the most, in writing Obama’s 2009 Stimulus Bill that put nearly $100 billion into various green energy companies and projects. Additionally, there is a little-publicized connection between Soros, green energy advocacy, and the White House.
Since buying access, Soros has been a frequent White House visitorand met with Obama’s, then, top economist Larry Summers—exerting his influence.
The Soros-funded Apollo Alliance brags about its role in writing the 2009 Stimulus Bill. In an interview, the best-selling author of Throw Them All Out, Peter Schweizer, states: “Billionaire George Soros gave advice and direction on how President Obama should allocate so-called ‘stimulus’ money in a series of regular private meetings and consultations with White House senior advisers even as Soros was making investments in areas affected by the stimulus program.”
Schweizer, then, reveals, “In the first quarter of 2009, Mr. Soros went on a stock-buying spree in companies that ultimately benefited from the federal stimulus.” He continues: “It is not necessarily the case that Soros had specific insider tips about any government grants,” nevertheless, Soros’ “investment decisions aligned remarkably closely with government grants and transfers.” The majority of those investments were in green energy ventures that gained from the stimulus and/or government regulation such as BioFuel Energy that benefitted when the EPA announced a regulation on ethanol.
Shortly after the 2009 Stimulus, more to secure his investments than because of any core belief, Soros launched several new groupsto help propagate the manmade climate change narrative that is the foundation for green energy investments—without belief in manmade climate change, we don’t need renewables as there is no energy shortage.
Some of the little-publicized connections include Cathy Zoi, former CEOof Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, and who, while at the Department of Energy, oversaw the disbursement of more than $30 billionin green-energy stimulus funds. In early 2011, she resigned to work for a Soros fund: Silver Lake Kraftwerk. Another is Denis McDonoughwho has replaced Jack Lewas Obama’s Chief of Staff. McDonoughwas a Senior Fellow at Soros-funded CAP, which Bloomberg Newscalled: “an intellectual wellspring for Democratic policy proposals.” Other CAP/Obama advisors central to the green-energy scheme include Carol Browner, Van Jones, and Steve Spinner.
So, what return has Soros gotten on his stimulus-inspired stock buying spree plus investments in companies like First Solar and Solar City? Lakatos’ thorough research discovered that Soros’ green tab exceeds $11 billion of stimulus money (dwarfing Citibank’s) –– and we, the taxpayers, footed the bill. Keep in mind, this tally doesn’t factor in any profit Soros has made off these investments—or will continue to make as a result of Obama’s climate change agenda being pushed by EPA regulation.
As save-the-planet regulations and legislation come out of the Obama administration, which raise costs for the middle class and hurt America's struggling economy, remember the Soros story. It illustrates that Obama is not the "warrior for the middle class" he campaigned as, but he's most concerned about creating wealth for his "green cronies"—of which Soros is just one. This new EPA low-sulfur gasoline proposal is just the latest in a series of green regulations. We don’t know for whom it creates wealth, but we know it isn’t the middle class.
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