Kerry: 'At Least 98, 99% of All Scientists in Our Country’ Believe in Climate Change
At this stage, Kerry is speaking deliberate lies. Nothing new about that for him. He's still got the hat, remember
At a time when debate is swirling over the assertion that 97 percent of scientists endorse man-made global warming, Secretary of State John Kerry – a frequent citer of the 97 percent figure – in a speech Wednesday nudged the figure up to “at least 98, 99 percent.”
“When it comes to climate change, when it comes to food security, we are literally facing a moment of adversity – perhaps even dire necessity,” Kerry said at a State Department food security award ceremony.
“It’s hard to convince people – hard to convince people of a challenge that isn’t immediately tangible to everybody particularly,” he continued. “But it is clear to at least 98, 99 percent of all the scientists in our country that to confront these challenges, we must invent and we must innovate, and most of all, we need to work together and we need to get to work.”
On several occasions this year Kerry has referred to “97 percent of scientists” backing the notion that climate change is happening, and that human activity is to blame – or what activists refer to as “anthropogenic [that is, human-induced] global warming” (AGW).
In a speech in Mexico last month, he spoke of “97 percent of the scientists of the world warning us about the devastating impact of global climate change if we don’t take action – and take serious action – soon.”
A few days earlier, he told Boston College graduates that “97 percent of the world’s scientists tell us this is urgent.”
And in a speech in Indonesia in February, Kerry said that “97 percent of climate scientists have confirmed that climate change is happening and that human activity is responsible,” adding that “these scientists agree on the causes of these changes and they agree on the potential effects.”
Kerry’s latest comments come amid debate over the accuracy of the 97 percent claim, which is based most often on a survey by a team led by an Australian physicist and climate blogger, John Cook, which reported that 97 percent of some 4,000 peer-reviewed studies that declared a position on AGW “endorsed the consensus position.”
When that survey was published in May 2013, President Obama linked to a wire service report on it on his Twitter account, tweeting, “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.”
(In fact neither the published survey nor the wire service report referred to the “dangerous” claim.)
Last month, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Heartland Institute president and CEO Joseph Bast and climate scientist Roy Spencer, charging that the 97 percent claim was “a fiction,” and challenging the Cook and other studies often cited as sources for the figure.
That in turn brought strong and critical responses from several quarters, including the online magazine Salon, and one of the co-collaborators in the Cook study, writing in The Guardian.
After a hearing of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology late last month, committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said in a statement that both the latest report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the White House’s National Climate Assessment documents “appear to be designed to spread fear and alarm and provide cover for previously determined government policies.”
“The president and others often claim that 97 percent of scientists believe that global warming is primarily driven by human activity,” Smith said. “However, the study they cite has been debunked. When asked today whether the science of climate change is settled or if uncertainties remain, witnesses unanimously said that the science is not settled.”
Witnesses at the hearing included Richard Tol, professor of economics at Britain’s University of Sussex, and an IPCC report lead author who asked to have his name removed from its latest summary report because he said he found it “too alarmist.”
Green-left messiah desperately seeking spin-doctor
George Monbiot, not for the first time, has admitted to being wrong. He feels his life’s work, banging on about saving the planet, has annoyed people. He wants to stop being annoying, which entails “changing the language”.
Like many middle-aged men, George Monbiot, one of the Guardian’s more prominent left-wing messiahs, is having a wee crisis. “For 30 years I banged on about [environmental] threats,” he laments, only to find that he’s been “engaged in contradiction and futility”.
The problem? We’re just not listening. So he is searching his soul, and making a demonstrative display of it, as if to say, “Look at me! See how intellectually honest I am with myself!”
And he is. Too honest by half, in fact. He reveals himself to be a misanthropic, insulting elitist. Let me explain.
Monbiot thinks the fact that environmentalists have failed to convince people of the urgency of their case has to do with how he and his ilk communicate things. Emphasising threats, he says, only serves to appeal to “extrinsic values”, such as “power, prestige, image and status”.
As he theorises: “Experimental work suggests that when fears are whipped up, they trigger an instinctive survival response. You suppress your concern for other people and focus on your own interests. Conservative strategists seem to know this, which is why they emphasise crime, terrorism, deficits and immigration.” (He does not say on which pusillanimous right-wing racists he experimented, and whether they survived.)
Since environmentalists have always preached the fear of armageddon, he reasons, they’ve only made people more selfish and uncaring. Instead, he thinks the green left ought to appeal to what he calls “intrinsic values”, namely “intimacy, kindness, self-acceptance, independent thought and action”.
The trick is to seduce us with promises of a better world, all nice and clean and “rewilded”. This obscure and clumsy term might be surprising in this context, but naked greed explains it. He craftily links to his book, which happens to be “a manifesto on rewilding”. After all, when he’s being self-interested, he’s not like the rest of us, who are just short-sighted, hateful and uncaring. (Especially when we write about environmental exaggeration and how it harms emerging economies. Hint, hint. I earn royalties and I don’t care.)
Monbiot makes it clear: he doesn’t think that “climate breakdown” and “mass extinction” are no longer threats. He still thinks his purpose is “saving the planet”, as if he is some sort of holier-than-thou messiah who can promise us a place in paradise if only we wouldn’t squirm under his gentle, guiding hand.
But he realises he’s been quite annoying about it, which must be why we’re not listening to him. And that is a public relations problem. It is a matter of changing how he and his allies in the environmental movement communicate. Like a priest who feels he’s lost the the youth to dancing and wickedness, Monbiot thinks it’s about “changing the language” to be less “alienating”.
It never once occurs to him that his substance, not his style, might be the problem. Monbiot has on many an occasion been forced to renounce convictions he once firmly held. It is true that someone who is often wrong is not necessarily always wrong, but it can’t help his credibility.
He famously made a u-turn about nuclear power, which he had always rejected in the strongest terms. In the aftermath of Fukushima, he conceded what most of us have long known: nuclear power is among the cleanest and safest sources of energy we know.
Monbiot had to climb down off his pulpit in praise of veganism. He once said the only way to avoid widespread famine was for the rich to give up meat, fish and dairy. He now says the ethical case “once seemed clear”, but he was wrong.
In 1999, before the violent “Battle in Seattle” protest against the World Trade Organisation, George Monbiot was rallying the anti-globalisation troops. A few years later, he admitted he was wrong about trade, adding: “The only thing worse than a world with the wrong international trade rules is a world with no trade rules at all.”
Another favourite trope of the left is that rampant greed and consumerism means we’ll inevitably run out of resources, because they’re not infinite. The most popular of these was the neurosis about “peak oil”. As recently as 2009, Monbiot wrote: “It’s probably too late to prepare for peak oil, but we can at least try to salvage food production.”
Of course, the price mechanism prevented the anticipated disaster, as I’ve always argued it would. Only when the alarmist predictions failed to come true, and new sources like shale oil and oil sands began to boom, did Monbiot finally admit “we were wrong”. He likes the royal “we” when he’s in a confessional mood.
All of these admissions of error have come with face-saving caveats, of course. Vegans were wrong, but we ought to farm meat differently. Peak oil alarmists were wrong, but there’s too much of it. Free trade is not evil, but don’t you just loathe George Bush?
To Monbiot’s mind, repeatedly being proven wrong by both argument and history couldn’t possibly be why environmentalists lack credibility when they warn about threats. No, he thinks it is because the green left fails to heed “psychologists and cognitive linguists”.
He says environmentalists just need to put a positive spin on things, and everyone will reject selfishness and greed and skip into an enchanted, rewilded future, hand in hand.
It has not occurred to Monbiot that perhaps people don’t like him because he insults them. He accuses people who disagree with him of being self-centred and insecure fools who don’t care about anyone else and care about nature least of all. What a patronising, prejudiced delight he must be at dinner parties.
It hasn’t occurred to Monbiot that when some of us talk about economic concerns, we consider all the good things prosperity has done for humanity: lower child mortality, less disease, longer lives, better nutrition, more leisure time and – yes – improved environmental quality.
It comes as a surprise to him that caring about prosperity is not mutually exclusive with caring about humanity or nature. He can’t bear to admit that people who disagree with him might want a clean, healthy environment too.
I cannot speak for everyone on his political right, because it would be presumptuous of me to claim to know the wants and needs of billions of people. Most of humanity is hardly a monolithic bloc. Some of us surely are racist bigots, but most of us are not. Some of us are happy to be called “conservative”, but not all of us are. Some of us torture puppies, but I think I can safely say most of us want less poverty and more prosperity. Being George Monbiot is a rare gift, of course, but a few of us lesser mortals even think of nature as more than just a healthy, productive resource where we live and grow our food. Some of us actually experience “wonder and enchantment” about nature once in a while, though we won’t admit it down the boozer.
It’s hard to fathom, I know, being that we’re such a degenerate lot, but as Monbiot says himself: “Surveys across 60 countries show that most people consistently hold concern for others, tolerance, kindness and thinking for themselves to be more important than wealth, image and power.”
The shame for him is that he needs to learn this from surveys. This suggests a deep-seated misanthropy. To him, it’s always been an either-or question. Either you’re like George Monbiot, or you’re a depraved miscreant. Either you like nature, or you think only of money.
As Monbiot himself wrote less than six weeks ago, in a piece entitled “Why we couldn't care less about the natural world”: “The richer we are and the more we consume, the more self-centred and careless of the lives of others we appear to become.”
He divides the world into two stereotypes: people like him – who care about things like intimacy, kindness, self-acceptance, independent thought and action – and the rest of us – who don’t think for ourselves, fear other people, hate ourselves, are cruel and cold, and couldn’t care less about nature. We’d sell our own mothers if a toff with a demagogic streak told us he’d get an immigrant to wax our banger, because that’s how common we are. (And by “banger” I mean “old car”, of course.)
So, now Monbiot has discovered that he was wrong about that too. Without any apparent self-consciousness about his own opinion of last month, he writes: “We've tended to assume people are more selfish than they really are.”
Yes, you have tended to assume that, George. That’s why people don’t like you. That’s why people don’t listen to you. You’re wrong all the time. You insult people for saying so. And you’re condescending enough to think they can be manipulated by some shiny new spin.
There’s your communication problem, right there. Stop calling people shallow and greedy and stupid and cold and self-centred. Start respecting the needs and desires of other people, even if they don’t live in a charming and ancient Welsh hamlet of 2,000 souls.
Sorry about your mid-life crisis. But until you stop lashing out at people for not buying your brand of baloney, you’re the very epitome of the prejudice and smug hypocrisy of the green-left elite.
The EPA is America's Other Enemy
By Alan Caruba
While our attention is focused on events in the Middle East, a domestic enemy of the nation is doing everything in its power to kill the provision of electricity to the nation and, at the same time, to control every drop of water in the United States, an attack on its agricultural sector. That enemy is the Environmental Protection Agency.
Like the rest of the Obama administration, it has no regard for real science and continues to reinterpret the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. It has an agenda that threatens every aspect of life in the nation.
As Craig Rucker, the Executive Director of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) recently warned, “True to her word,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, “is busily grabbing powers for EPA that Congress specifically chose not to grant, and that the Supreme Court has denied on multiple occasions.”
“The federal bureaucracy under the Obama presidency has a voracious appetite for more power. It despises individual liberty and drags down the economy every change it gets,” Rucker warns.
In addition to implementing President Obama’s “war on coal” that is depriving the nation of coal-fired plants that provide electricity, the EPA has announced a proposed rule titled “Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act”, redefining, as Ron Arnold of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise reported in the Washington Examiner “nearly everything wet as ‘waters of the United States or WOTUS—and potentially subject us all to permits and fines.”
The President has made it clear that the rule of law has no importance to him and his administration and this is manifestly demonstrated by the actions of the EPA. “This abomination,” says Arnold, “is equivalent to invasion by hostile troops out to seize the jurisdictions of all 50 states. WOTUS gives untrustworthy federal bureaucrats custody of every watershed, creates crushing new power to coerce all who keep America going and offers no benefit to the victimized and demoralized tax-paying public.”
In response to the EPA’s new power grab, more than 200 House members called on the Obama administration in May to drop its plans to expanded the EPA’s jurisdiction over smaller bodies of water around the nation. A letter was sent to EPA Administrator McCarthy and Department of Army Secretary John M. McHugh (re: Army Corps of Engineers) asking that the proposal be withdrawn.
“Under this plan, there’d be no body of water in America—including mud puddles and canals—that wouldn’t be at risk from job-destroying federal regulation,” said Rep, Doc Hastings (R-Wash), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. “This dramatic expansion of federal government control will directly impact the livelihoods and viability of farmers and small businesses in rural America.”
Nearly thirty major trade associations have joined together to create the Waters Advocacy Coalition. They represent the nation’s construction, manufacturing, housing, real estate, mining, agricultural and energy sectors. The coalition supports S. 2245, “Preserve the Waters of the U.S. Act” which would prevent the EPA and Corps of Engineers from issuing their “Final Guidance on Identifying Waters Protected by the Clean Water Act.”
What has this nation come to if the Senate has to try to pass an act intended to prevent the EPA from extending control over the nation’s waters beyond the Clean Waters Act that identifies such control as limited to “navigable waters”? You can’t navigate a water ditch or a puddle!
There are acts that limit agencies such as the EPA from going beyond their designated powers. They are the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. The coalition says that the EPA and Corps “should not be allowed to use guidance to implement the largest expansion of Clean Water Act authority since it was enacted. Only Congress has the authority to make such a sweeping change.”
In two Supreme Court decisions, one in 2001 and another in 2006, rejected regulation of “isolated waters” by the EPA.
It does not matter to the EPA or the Obama administration what the Supreme Court has ruled Congress has enacted in the Clean Water Act, nor the Clean Air Act.
We are witnessing an EPA that is acting as a criminal enterprise and it must be stopped before it imposes so much damage on the nation that it destroys it.
Fixing our dictatorial EPA
EPA, White House and activists must no longer deceive America and rule by executive fiat
Last year, Congress enacted 72 new laws and federal agencies promulgated 3,659 new rules, imposing $1.86 trillion in annual regulatory compliance costs on American businesses and families. It’s hardly surprising that America’s economy shrank by 1% the first quarter of 2014, our labor participation rate is a miserable 63% and real unemployment stands at 12-23% (and even worse for blacks and Hispanics).
It’s no wonder a recent Gallup poll found that 56% of respondents said the economy, unemployment and dissatisfaction with government are the most serious problems facing our nation – whereas only 3% said it is environmental issues, with climate change only a small segment of that.
So naturally, the Environmental Protection Agency issued another round of draconian restrictions on coal-fired power plants, once again targeting carbon dioxide emissions. EPA rules now effectively prevent the construction of new plants and require the closure of hundreds of older facilities. By 2030 the regulations will cost 224,000 jobs, force US consumers to pay $289 billion more for electricity, and lower disposable incomes for American households by $586 billion, the US Chamber of Commerce calculates.
The House of Representatives holds hearings and investigations, and drafts corrective legislation that the Harry Reid Senate immediately squelches. When questions or challenges arise, the courts defer to “agency discretion,” even when agencies ignore or rewrite statutory provisions. Our three co-equal branches of government have become an “Executive Branch trumps all” system – epitomized by EPA.
Some legal philosophers refer to this as “post-modernism.” President Obama’s constitutional law professor called it “the curvature of constitutional space.” A better term might be neo-colonialism – under which an uncompromising American ruler and his agents control citizens by executive fiat, to slash fossil fuel use, fundamentally transform our Constitution, economy and social structure, and redistribute wealth and political power to cronies, campaign contributors and voting blocs that keep them in power.
Even worse, in the case of climate change, this process is buttressed by secrecy, highly questionable research, contrived peer reviews, outright dishonesty, and an absence of accountability.
Fewer than half of Americans believe climate change is manmade or dangerous. Many know that China, Australia, Canada, India and even European countries are revising policies that have pummeled families, jobs, economies and industries with anti-hydrocarbon and renewable energy requirements. They understand that even eliminating coal and petroleum use in the United States will not lower atmospheric carbon dioxide levels or control a climate that has changed repeatedly throughout Earth’s history.
Mr. Obama and EPA chief Gina McCarthy are nevertheless determined to slash reliance on coal, even in 20 states that rely on this fuel for half to 95% of their electricity, potentially crippling their economies. The President has said electricity rates will “necessarily skyrocket,” coal companies will face bankruptcy, and if Congress does not act on climate change and cap-tax-and-trade, he will. Ms. McCarthy has similarly said she “didn’t go to Washington to sit around and wait for congressional action.”
However, they know “pollution” and “children’s health” resonate much better than “climate disruption” among voters. So now they mix their climate chaos rhetoric with assertions that shutting down coal-fired power plants will reduce asthma rates among children. It is a false, disingenuous argument.
Steadily improving air pollution controls have sent sulfur dioxide emissions from U.S. coal-fired power plants tumbling by more than 40% and particulate emissions (the alleged cause of asthma) by more than 90% since 1970, says air quality expert Joel Schwartz, even as coal use tripled. In fact, asthma rates have increased, while air pollution has declined – underscoring that asthma hospitalizations and outdoor air pollution are not related. The real causes of asthma are that young children live in tightly insulated homes, spend less time outdoors, don’t get exposed to enough allergens to reduce immune hyperactivity and allergic hypersensitivity, and get insufficient exercise to keep lungs robust, health experts explain.
But the American Lung Association backs up the White House and EPA claims – vigorously promoting the phony pollution/asthma link. However, EPA’s $24.7 million in grants to the ALA over the past 15 years should raise questions about the association’s credibility and integrity on climate and pollution.
EPA also channels vast sums to its “independent” Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, which likewise rubberstamps the agency’s pollution claims and regulations: $180.8 million to 15 CASAC members since 2000. Imagine the outrage and credibility gap if Big Oil gave that kind of money to scientists who question the “dangerous manmade climate change” mantra.
Moreover, even EPA’s illegal studies on humans have failed to show harmful effects from pollution levels the agency intends to impose. Other EPA rules are based on epidemiological data that the agency now says it cannot find. (Perhaps they fell into same black hole as Lois Lerner’s missing IRS emails.) EPA’s CO2 rulings are based on GIGO computer models that are fed simplistic assumptions about human impacts on Earth’s climate, and on cherry-picked analyses that are faulty and misleading.
In numerous instances, EPA’s actions completely ignore the harmful impacts that its regulations will have on the health and well-being of millions of Americans. EPA trumpets wildly exaggerated benefits its anti-fossil-fuel rules will supposedly bring but refuses to assess even obvious harm from unemployment, soaring energy costs and reduced family incomes. And now Mr. Obama wants another $2.5 billion for FY-2015 climate change models and “assessments” via EPA and the Global Change Research Program.
EPA’s actions routinely violate the Information Quality Act. The IQA is intended to ensure the quality, integrity, credibility and reliability of any science used by federal agencies to justify regulatory actions. Office of Management and Budget guidelines require that agencies provide for full independent peer review of all “influential scientific information” used as the basis for regulations. The law and OMB guidelines also direct federal agencies to provide adequate administrative mechanisms for affected parties to review agency failures to respond to requests for correction or reconsideration of scientific information.
Those who control carbon control our lives, livelihoods, liberties, living standards and life spans. It is essential that EPA’s climate and pollution data and analyses reflect the utmost in integrity, reliability, transparency and accountability. A closed circle of EPA and IPCC reviewers – accompanied by a massive taxpayer-funded public relations and propaganda campaign – must no longer be allowed to rubberstamp junk science that is used to justify federal diktats. Governors, state and federal legislators, attorneys general, and citizen and scientific groups must take action:
· File FOIA and IQA legal actions, to gain access to all EPA and other government data, computer codes, climate models and studies use to justify pollution, climate and energy regulations;
· Subject all such information to proper peer review by independent scientists, including the significant numbers of experts who are skeptical of alarmist pollution and climate change claims;
· Demand that new members be appointed to CASAC and other peer review groups, and that they represent a broad spectrum of viewpoints, organizations and interests;
· Scrutinize the $2.5 billion currently earmarked for the USGCRP and its programs, reduce the allocation to compel a slow-down in EPA’s excessive regulatory programs, and direct that a significant portion of that money support research into natural causes of climate change; and
· Delay or suspend any implementation of EPA’s carbon dioxide and other regulations, until all questions are fully answered, and genuine evidence-based science is restored to the regulatory process – and used to evaluate the honesty and validity of studies used to justify the regulations.
Only in this manner can the United States expect to see a return to the essential separation of powers, checks and balances, economic and employment growth – and the quality, integrity, transparency and accountability that every American should expect in our government.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.
Crackdown: India Curbs Greenpeace Funding
Following an Intelligence Bureau (IB) report that alleged foreign-funded NGOs were creating obstacles to India’s economic growth, the Home Ministry has clamped down on Greenpeace, an international campaign group present in 40 countries.
In a letter dated 13th June, the Ministry has directed the Reserve Bank of India that all foreign contributions originating from Greenpeace International and Climate Works Foundation — two principal international contributors to Greenpeace India Society — must be kept on hold until individual clearances are obtained from the Ministry for each transaction.
The RBI has been asked to direct banks to this effect. The central bank has also been asked to report to the government if any government department or institution is receiving such funds.
Greenpeace was specifically targeted because the IB report had charged it with orchestrating “massive efforts to take down India’s coal-fired power projects and mining activity.”
According to the report, public protests in Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli region — which produces 15,000 MW energy — were being engineered by Greenpeace, “actively aided and led by foreign activists.”
In its directive to the chief general manager, Department of Banking Operations and Development, RBI, the Ministry has invoked Section 46 of the Foreign Contributions (Regulations) Act, 2010, that says the “Central government may give such directions as it may deem necessary” for execution of the provisions of the Act.
The new directive will effectively bar the NGO from accepting foreign money, as it will require seeking case-by-case clearance for each contribution.
Made Arrogant By His Ignorance
by Don Boudreaux
Several weeks ago I was interviewed by a very sharp high-school student in Vermont on the pros and cons of government efforts to encourage green-technology industries. Today the student’s teacher sent me a ridiculously rude e-mail. Here’s my reply.
"Were it not for the rudeness and shrillness of your note I would thank you for it. As it is, I merely acknowledge it.
You say, referencing the interview that I gave to your excellent student, that you’re “appalled to find out that a so-called economics professor opposes the U.S. taking the lead in green technology industries.” You misunderstand my position. I’m not at all opposed to U.S.-based companies “taking the lead” in those (or in any other) industries. I am, however, opposed to what you favor – namely, the government subsidizing or dispensing other favors to firms in such industries even if the end result would be that these companies become industry leaders.
The arguments against government picking industrial winners and losers are many, and I’m in no mood to rehearse them here. I’ll simply quote the 19th-century Swiss economist Jean Charles-Leonard Simonde de Sismondi, who wrote in 1815 that “It ought to be recollected that each merchant knows his own business better than the government can do; that the whole nation’s productive power is limited; that in a given time, it has but a given number of hands, and a given quantity of capital; that by forcing it to enter upon a kind of work which it did not previously execute, we almost always at the same time force it to abandon a kind of work which it did execute; whilst the most probable result of such a change is the abandonment of a more lucrative manufacture for another which is less so, and which personal interest had designedly overlooked.”*
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.
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