Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Big Green’s lethal agenda
The outstanding presentations at this Ninth International Conference on Climate Change clearly demonstrate that activist climate science is increasingly devoid of evidence … increasingly removed from the scientific method – and yet is increasingly being used to devise, justify and impose policies, laws, and regulations that govern our lives.
Indeed, rules formulated on the basis of “dangerous manmade climate change” allegations control the hydrocarbons that power America and the world, improve and safeguard our lives, lift billions out of abject poverty, and allow us to achieve technologies and dreams never before thought possible.
Put simply, those who control carbon control our lives … our livelihoods, liberties, living standards, and even life spans. It is therefore essential that climate science reflects the utmost in integrity, transparency, and accountability.
Sadly, the opposite is true. As we have seen, far too much of the supposed science used to justify IPCC, US, EU, and other actions is distorted, exaggerated, even fabricated. If it were used to market private sector investments, products or services, the perpetrators would be prosecuted for fraud.
The latest White House claims are no better. The assertion that shutting down affordable, reliable coal-based electricity will somehow reduce asthma and protect children’s health is as baseless as any other arguments advanced in support of claims that we face an imminent manmade climate change catastrophe.
A primary reason for the fervor and longevity of these claims is that global warming is a social movement – or more accurately one manifestation of a social movement. It is a major part of a near religious Deep Ecology movement that is anti-energy, anti-people, and opposed to modern economies, technologies, and civilizations. In its determination to impose its worldview on the rest of humanity, it is dogmatic, imperialistic, and authoritarian.
It is also a Big Green and Big Government movement – with tens of billions of dollars at its disposal: over $13 billion per year just in the United States for Big Green organizations.
Global warming, climate change, climate disruption, and extreme weather mantras are almost interchangeable with sustainable development. When ClimateGate, fizzled confabs in Copenhagen and Durban, and a then-15-year pause in Earth’s warming made the world weary of climate change disaster demagoguery – Rio+20 Summit organizers simply repackaged climate crisis claims under the sustainability mantra. Fossil fuels, they intoned, must be replaced because we are running out of them, and their use is unsustainable.
Like climate change, sustainability is infinitely elastic and malleable, making it a perfect weapon for anti-development activists. Whatever they support is sustainable. Whatever they oppose is unsustainable.
For other times and audiences, climate and sustainability are replaced – in whole or in part – with over- population, resource depletion, the precautionary principle, mass species extinction … or chemical contamination. That’s why the White House is now talking about carbon pollution and asthma.
Think of the T-1000 android in the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day. This vastly improved villain had the ability to morph into any shape it desired, giving it previously unimaginable powers and near indestructibility – all with the goal of controlling the future of humanity.
And so we have Alexander King, co-founder of the Club of Rome and its concept of Limits to Growth. “When DDT was introduced for civilian use,” King wrote, within 2 years Guyana had almost eliminated malaria. “But at the same time the birth rate had doubled. So my chief quarrel with DDT in hindsight is that it has greatly added to the population problem.”
The Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich likewise blamed DDT for the “drastic lowering of death rates” in underdeveloped countries. He suggested that, because those countries were not practicing a “birth rate solution” – they needed to have a “death rate solution” imposed on them. Ban DDT.
Global warming, sustainability, and attacks on fossil fuels and biotechnology must therefore be understood as other components of their “death rate solution” and their intense desire to control all human endeavors.
In his 1973 Human Ecology book with Paul Ehrlich, President Obama’s chief science advisor John Holdren put it this way:
“A massive campaign must be launched to … de-develop the United States [and bring] our economic system … into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation…. Once the United States has clearly started on the path of cleaning up its own mess, it can then turn its attention to the problems of the de-development of the other [developed countries] and the ecologically feasible development of the [underdeveloped countries].”
“Limits to growth,” “the global resource situation,” and “ecologically feasible development” of course are synonyms for “resource depletion,” “peak oil,” “sustainable development,” and “dangerous manmade global warming” – with radical Deep Ecologists in and out of government making all the decisions.
Never mind that fracking has obliterated their “peak oil and gas” mantra. Never mind that human ingenuity and innovation – Julian Simon’s ultimate resource – has and will always discover new ways to find and extract the energy and other materials needed to make new technologies that will continue improving lives, living standards and planetary health.
For eco-imperialists, whatever they support is sustainable. Whatever they oppose is unsustainable. Whatever they support complies with the “precautionary principle.” Whatever they disdain violates the principle. Or as Competitive Enterprise Institute founder Fred Smith once put it, “For radical environmentalists, ‘sustainable development’ means don’t use it today, and the precautionary principle means don’t produce it tomorrow.”
The precautionary principle always focuses on the alleged risks of using technologies – but never on the risks of not using them. It spotlights risks that a technology – such as coal-fired power plants – might cause, but ignores the risks that the technology would reduce or prevent.
That is a major part of the reason why over 700 million people and 300 million Indians (three times the population of the U.S. and Canada combined) still have no access to electricity, or only sporadic access. Worldwide, almost 2.5 billion people – nearly a third of our Earth’s population – still lack electricity or have access only to little solar panels or unreliable networks.
That means they must burn wood and dung for heating and cooking, which results in widespread lung diseases that kill 2 to 4 million people every year. It means they also lack refrigeration, safe water, and decent hospitals, resulting in virulent intestinal diseases that kill another 2 million people a year.
But when anyone points out these cold-as-grave realities, the Terminator 2 ideological android morphs yet again – shifting the topic to “global cataclysms” of manmade global warming and unsustainable development. The Deep Ecologists’ callous indifference to these intolerable and immoral death tolls is stunning.
To the extent that they do want to improve these people’s lives, they advocate wind turbines in villages and solar panels on huts – but never abundant, affordable, reliable electricity from large-scale coal, natural gas, hydroelectric, or nuclear facilities. Their opposition to a gas-fired plant in Ghana, coal-fired plant in South Africa, and hydroelectric projects in China, India, and Uganda underscores their inhumane worldview.
So Big Green activists shift the topic again: to mass global species extinctions. But these claims are based on completely irrelevant examples of predators introduced into island populations. Moreover, the true threats to wild plant and animal species are the very technologies that Deep Ecology/Climate Chaos ideologues love the most: biofuels and wind turbines.
Both of these “eco-friendly alternatives” blanket vast acreage that would otherwise be wildlife habitats – and wind turbines slaughter millions of birds and bats annually, nearly wiping out some species across broad areas near industrial wind turbine facilities.
The key point to remember is this. Climate change, sustainability, and these other mantras give Mr. Holdren and his ideological soul-mates the justification and power to determine the fate of nations … to decide how much development each should be allowed to have … to compel rich countries to de-develop and reduce their living standards … and to force poor countries to accept whatever the Deep Ecologists decide is the proper, sustainable, climate-stabilization level of development, population, poverty, disease, malnutrition, and premature death.
On and on it goes, with “climate justice” yet another weapon that these wealthy, powerful, arrogant, intolerant, immoral, mostly white elites are using in their crusade to control the rest of humanity – regardless of the human and animal death tolls. As Stalin once said, “A single death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.”
Their double standards … secret science … morphing mantras … and vicious attacks on anyone who dares to disagree with them – are all designed to seize power over the energy that powers modern civilization … and to control every aspect of our lives, livelihoods, living standards, fundamental liberties, health, welfare, dreams, and aspirations.
These mantras are truly weapons of mass destruction in a movement war on modern civilization. It is a war that pits wealthy elites against poor, minority, elderly, and working classes – and rich nations against poor nations. And in those poor nations, it is a war on women and children, for they are the most vulnerable, and they die in the greatest numbers from malaria, lung infections, malnutrition, and severe diarrhea.
Equally revealing and frightening is the fact that this Big Green/Big Government movement refuses to budge an inch in its opposition to fossil fuels, fracking, and reliable electricity – even when confronted by the turmoil and destruction we are witnessing in Ukraine, the Middle East, Libya, Nigeria, and other parts of the world … many of them energy-rich, and with the prospect of Al Qaeda controlling countless billions of dollars in oil wealth.
The eco-imperialist movement’s focus on distant, conjectural, fabricated risks a century from now remains unchanged. It is truly the great moral and ethical battle of our time.
That is what we’re up against.
We have struck a blow here at this conference for honest, evidence-based science … for transparency and accountability, and open, robust debate … for the freedom and courage to stand up to the forces of tyranny, darkness, and death. But our work is not yet finished.
Like the Thirty Years War and other religious and ideological confrontations of the ages, this battle will go on, and the global death toll will rise.
However, I am heartened by the knowledge that we here gathered today will fight on – for honest science, affordable energy, accountable government, and better lives for billions of people … and against the dark forces of climate fanaticism. I also know we are being joined by more and more countries, as they increasingly understand the true nature of this ideological conflict.
In the immortal words of Sir Winston Churchill: “We shall fight in the fields, in the streets and in the hills. We shall never surrender. We shall fight on until victory, however long and hard the road may be. For without victory, there is no survival.”
Greenpeace showcases its anti-human side
Greenpeace activist confirms every negative story you’ve ever read about this activist group
It was a surreal experience. As the Heartland Institute’s hugely successful Ninth International Conference on Climate Change ended, I agreed to let Greenpeace activist Connor Gibson interview me.
I’d just given a presentation on Big Green’s lethal agenda, describing how “dangerous manmade climate change” is just one of many mantras invoked by the Deep Ecology movement to advance an agenda that is anti-energy, anti-people, and opposed to modern economies, technologies and civilizations. As readers of my book and articles know, this unaccountable movement inflicts lethal consequences on millions of people every year – the result of malaria, malnutrition, lung and intestinal diseases, and other afflictions of rampant poverty imposed or perpetuated by unelected and unaccountable eco-imperialists.
“I read your book,” he told me, and attended some of the talks by globally renowned experts on climate, weather, species extinction, human health and other topics. If so, he obviously hadn’t listened, or had simply chosen to ignore every fact and explanation presented, as not in accord with his ideologies. That would certainly include the keynote address by Greenpeace cofounder Patrick Moore, explaining how he left the organization over its increasingly bizarre, irrational and inhumane attitudes and actions.
Gibson’s “interview” quickly became a prosecutorial interrogation, marked by ignorance or denial of basic facts and repeated interruptions to contest my observations. He insisted that hurricanes are more frequent and devastating than ever before (though not one Category 3 or higher ‘cane has made US landfall in eight-plus years, breaking a century-long record, as a panel discussion I had chaired that day made clear); wildfires are worsening (though their number and acres burned are down significantly, and could be driven lower via more intelligent forest management and fire suppression policies); and rising seas will soon drown coastal communities (hardly likely at the current rate of seven inches per century).
He likewise denied the 18-year pause in global warming, even though the IPCC and other alarmists have finally admitted it is real. My references to conference participants and the exhaustive NIPCC report were met with claims that it had not been peer-reviewed. Perhaps not by the closed circle of well-funded IPCC scientists, bureaucrats and activists who rubberstamp one another’s work – while refusing to share data and methodologies, allow outside experts to review their work products, attend Heartland conferences, or debate NIPCC scientists in any forum. (Alarmists know their data, claims, conclusions and economy-killing demands cannot withstand scrutiny.) However, the NIPCC reports and the studies they laboriously analyze and summarize were fully peer-reviewed by numerous scientists.
(Alarmists say twenty years of warming proves Earth is at a “tipping point” for runaway climate chaos, requiring the end of fossil fuels. They say the subsequent 18 years of no warming, and even a slight cooling, is irrelevant and meaningless. Whom do you believe, they ask? Us alarmists and our computer models, or a bunch of “fringe” scientists who cite actual temperature and other evidence?)
After twenty minutes, Gibson got to his real issue: money. Where does CFACT get its funding? The Koch brothers and ExxonMobil? That would be nice, to compliment the cash that Exxon gives to radical green groups. But no, they don’t support us. My mention of Chesapeake Energy’s $26 million to the Sierra Club, to fund anti-coal campaigns, did force him to admit this is a problem for Big Green’s social responsibility mantra. But when I noted Tom Steyer’s billions from hedge fund investments in coal mines and power plants, Gibson insisted that this money was second-hand and thus pure – whereas Koch money was earned directly (via producing energy and creating jobs) and thus was tainted by “self-interest.”
That “ethical” distinction without a difference would also apply, I suppose, to the tens of millions of dollars that Greenpeace and the Greenpeace Fund have received from fat-cat liberal foundations that are heavily invested in fossil fuel and other corporate securities.
Gibson also brought up his organization’s attempted 2003 anti-chemicals rally in New Jersey’s Liberty Park. The event turned into a resounding protest against Greenpeace, when scores of black and Hispanic demonstrators from the Congress of Racial Equality completely flummoxed the Rainbow Warriors with stilt walkers, bongo drums and chants of “Hey hey Greenpeace, what do you say? How many children did you kill today?” He dropped his inquisition when I pointed out that I’m a life-member of CORE.
Indeed, what Gibson really did not want to discuss were the destructive, even lethal effects of Greenpeace policies and campaigns. Some 2.5 billion people still do not have electricity or get it only sporadically, and so must burn wood and dung for heating and cooking, which results in widespread lung diseases that kill two to four million people every year. No electricity also means no refrigeration, safe water or decent hospitals, which means virulent intestinal diseases kill another two million annually.
Worldwide, some two billion people still live in malaria-infested areas, 500 million get the disease every year, and nearly a million die. A primary reason is their inability to acquire insecticides to kill mosquitoes and DDT to keep the flying killers out of homes. Another billion people face malnutrition and Vitamin A deficiency that causes blindness and death in children. In fact, eight million children have died from Vitamin A deficiency since Golden Rice was invented and made available at no charge to poor farmers.
But the Rainbow Warriors and other callous eco-imperialists wage well-funded campaigns against Golden Rice, insecticides and DDT, and coal-fired, gas-fueled, hydroelectric and nuclear power generation – perpetuating poverty, malnutrition, disease, misery and death. To them, a planet free from the wildly conjectural and exaggerated dangers of these technologies is far more important than the billions of lives improved and millions of lives saved by them. It is a vicious war on dark-skinned women and children, who die in the greatest numbers from malaria, lung infections, malnutrition and severe diarrhea.
Greenpeace actions are akin to denying chemotherapy to cancer patients or antibiotics to pneumonia sufferers. Their anti-technology campaigns are eco-manslaughter and should no longer be tolerated.
Personally, I cannot imagine life without modern technologies. I can’t imagine living in electricity-free, disease-ridden, malnourished, polluted poor nation squalor. As my grandmother used to tell me, “The only good thing about the good old days is that they’re gone.”
But of course, Gibson has an air-conditioned malaria-free home, fine food, access to affordable, reliable electricity and transportation, a refrigerator, video camera and cell phone. He would never give them up, nor would I ask him to. However, some of my African friends would gladly let him “enjoy” a few months in a state-of-the-art, mosquito-infested hut, rely solely on a bed net, drink parasite-infested water, breathe polluted smoke from cooking fires, and walk miles to a clinic when he gets malaria, TB or dysentery – hoping the nurse has some non-fake medicines to treat him. I’d gladly help make the arrangements.
Financially motivated innovators, entrepreneurs and companies have worked wonders to improve and save the lives of billions. Yes, there have been accidents, some of which have killed hundreds of people or thousands of animals. However, the real killers are governments and anti-technology nonprofit activist corporations. Their death tolls are in the millions – via wars and through misguided or intentional policies that institute or perpetuate starvation and disease from denial of food and life-saving technologies.
Gibson is a bright guy. Perhaps one day he will understand all of this, hopefully before the death toll rises much higher. To that end, he and his alarmist colleagues would profit mightily from reading my Eco-Imperialism book and new report Three Faces of Sustainability; the new book About Face: Why the world needs more carbon dioxide; and several recent studies: Climate Change Reconsidered: Physical Science; CCR: Biological Impacts, and Climate Catastrophe: A superstorm for global warming research.
Countless jobs, living standards and lives hang in the balance. The eco-imperialist crimes against humanity must end.
Murdoch on global warming
Report from Australia
News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch has dubbed Prime Minister Tony Abbott an admirable, honest and principled man, and said Australians should not be building windmills and "all that rubbish".
In an interview on Sky News on Sunday, Mr Murdoch spoke candidly about climate change, Australia's political environment and its relationship with China.
If the temperature rises 3 degrees in 100 years, "at the very most one of those [degrees] would be man-made," he said.
"If the sea level rises six inches, that's a big deal in the world, the Maldives might disappear or something, but OK, we can't mitigate that, we can't stop it, we have to stop building vast houses on seashores.
"We can be the low-cost energy country in the world. We shouldn't be building windmills and all that rubbish," he said.
"The world has been changing for thousands and thousands of years. It's just a lot more complicated because we are so much more advanced."
On Mr Abbott, Mr Murdoch said he had met him "three, four times, and the impression is that he is an admirable, honest, principled man and somebody that we really need as Prime Minister who we can all look up to and admire.
"However, how much does he understand free markets and what should be happening? I don’t know. Only time will tell. It's too early to make a judgment on this government."
The big All-Star chill: Is the hockey stick broken?
Baseball fans across the nation will be turning their eyes to Minneapolis, Minn. for the next couple of days as the stars of the game congregate to showcase their skills.
But one thing will be missing — summer weather.
Almost as if the Michael Mann hockey stick had been turned upside down, Minneapolis is expected to see record low temperatures on Monday and possibly Tuesday nights as temperatures dip down into the low 50s in another so-called polar vortex. High temperature readings in the Twin Cities for the two days range between the low 60s and 70s Fahrenheit.
With all eyes on Minnesota for two days in July, it suddenly became fall football weather. Is this just some cruel joke by Roger Goodell and his all-powerful NFL shield to cause baseball viewers to pine for the opening of training camp?
Is it an anti-Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce plot designed to keep visitors away from the beautiful and friendly northern city?
Or is it just bad luck for baseball and Minnesota that Arctic air has chosen to put a chill over the festivities for all America to see.
Weather is weather, and obviously no climactic lessons can be derived by the big All-Star chill as a stand-alone event. However, the exact logic that dictates not jumping to conclusions based upon an unfortunately timed bout of mid-July cold weather should also be used to combat those who use each and every tornado or hurricane to somehow justify their global warming theories and the economy-destroying solutions they offer.
President Obama used episodic, individual weather events as the backbone justification for his Climate Action Plan to crush carbon-emitting industry, citing Hurricane Sandy as a pretext. He did so in spite of meteorologists telling us that we haven't had a major hurricane hit the United States in a record period of time (Sandy was not a major hurricane by National Weather Service definitions.)
While Minneapolis is cold for this time of year, it also should be noted that so is Antarctica. The South Pole sea ice hit record wintertime levels with more than 2.1 million square miles more ice than normal this time of year. To put that into perspective, the entire subcontinent of India is only 1.2 million square miles.
What's more, this dramatic growth of Antarctic sea ice is in spite of massive volcanic activity on the ocean floor of the western part of the continent that threatens the collapse of a major glacier system by warming the water beneath it.
Given all the predictions of rising tides, melting polar ice caps, and the decade-long fear campaign used as justification for regulations designed to destroy the U.S. coal and fossil fuel industries, perhaps this cold weather baseball event will remind Americans that the one thing government-grant-driven climate scientists haven't actually delivered is warmer weather.
A point the big All-Star chill is likely to drive home to baseball lovers everywhere.
Renewable Fuel Standards Are a Pain In the Gas
Washington has a long-standing fascination with the nation's energy markets that generates an endless stream of legislation and regulation in pursuit of a wide range of policy objectives, from energy independence to climate change. For almost a decade, the government has been struggling to implement renewable fuel standards with the aim of increasing the role of ethanol and other biofuels. New mandates have been established, but it is becoming increasingly obvious that the law has created more questions than solutions. Problems first began to emerge when the economy collapsed, and with it, demand for fuel. What seemed like easily attainable targets in a rosy economy were now out of reach. Recently, the Congressional Budget Office released a study highlighting the ongoing problems with the renewable fuel standard program, raising serious concerns about the viability of the program.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 created the first renewable fuel standard, a mandate that required 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuel be blended into gasoline by 2012. Practically, this meant increasing the quantity of ethanol used in gasoline. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 revised the standard with a 15-year plan, requiring an increase in ethanol use to 9 billion gallons in 2008, with the ultimate goal of 36 billion gallons of ethanol in the gasoline supply by 2022. Not content with simply expanding the use of biofuel, the new law also created mandates for specific types of biofuels: conventional, advanced, cellulosic and biodiesel.
Washington's ambitious plans to wean the nation off fossil fuels quickly failed the market test. The 2008 economic downturn eviscerated the targets and timetables for introducing renewable fuels. Gasoline consumption declined, which meant that there was less gasoline that needed ethanol. At the same time, cars were becoming more fuel-efficient, which also put downward pressure on gasoline consumption. With less gasoline being used, the amount of ethanol needed fell well below the mandated level.
The problem is exacerbated by the technical limitations defined by the blend wall. Ethanol is corrosive, and too much ethanol, particularly in older cars, can lead to engine troubles. Consequently, E10, or 10-percent ethanol, is the limit for safely blending ethanol. The exception is more recent flex-fuel cars, which are rated for an E85 blend, or 15-percent ethanol.
At the same time, the new mandates for subcategories of renewable fuels have also been problematic. As the CBO report notes, "the supply of cellulosic biofuels is limited because such fuels are complex and expensive to produce." In fact, there is a huge discrepancy between Washington and reality with respect to this particular mandate. As of 2013 there were no commercial plants producing cellulosic biofuels, and the Energy Information Administration estimates capacity in 2022 to be only 327 million gallons - far below the EPA's 16-billion gallon mandate.
With the mandate for renewable fuels relegated to a failing academic exercise, the market for fuel is being increasingly displaced by centrally planned prices contrived in Washington, D.C. Tacitly acknowledging the infeasibility of its regulations, the EPA has been exercising its waiver authority to delay implementation of the mandates. Just recently, the EPA delayed compliance with the 2013 standards until September 2014 while it attempts to establish the 2014 standards.
With such ad hoc and arbitrary changes, it is discretionary decisions in Washington rather than market forces that are shaping America's energy future.
In recent years federal regulations have supplanted market forces in vast swathes of the economy, including health care, financial services and the energy sectors. All too often, federal courts defer to agency expertise when these regulations are challenged. Yet the renewable fuel standard raises serious questions about such expertise. As Friedrich Hayek argued more than 50 years ago, regulators are incapable of incorporating the "particular knowledge of time and place" that markets so effectively exploit. As a result, regulations fall short, disrupting markets and misallocating economic resources.
In the case of renewable fuel standards, the government's forecasts woefully missed their mark with respect to both the demand and supply in energy markets. The government also assumed the existence of technologies that have yet to be proved commercially viable. And finally, technical limitations of ethanol given the composition of the current vehicle fleet were ignored. With the EPA scrambling to keep the program afloat and the CBO acknowledging the "significant challenges" of compliance, Congress should revisit the Energy Independence and Security Act and repeal the renewable fuel standard.
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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Posted by JR at 6:22 PM