Thursday, July 17, 2014
Climate Change Quackery
“He who seeks to deceive will always find someone who will allow himself to be deceived.” – Niccolo Machiavelli, “The Prince,” 1532
A truly scientific case for man-made “climate change” has yet to be made, but never underestimate the ability of the “climate changers” to hide that reality – and nowhere does that lack show up more tellingly than in their “Appeal to Authority” campaign to convince lay-people that it’s all “settled science.”
NASA itself, for example, has been stating for years that “97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities” (“Consensus: 97 percent of climate scientists agree”).
Wow. No kidding? And 100 percent of the people that lived in 1542 believed the Sun orbited the Earth. Believing it, however, just didn’t make it so, as Copernicus was able to demonstrate with his heliocentric theory a mere year later. Need I point out that scientific truth is not determined by the number of a postulate’s adherents?
But this oft-parroted statistic of NASA’s, used to bludgeon any legitimate dissent in the climatology arena, actually merits a little research of its own.
* And, upon engaging in such research, one will find that the major source for this figure, W.R.L. Anderegg’s “Expert credibility in climate change,” conducted his research in the following fashion:
“We compiled a database of 1,372 climate researchers based on authorship of scientific assessment reports and membership on multisignatory statements about anthropogenic climate change (ACC).” And, after that, researchers imposed a criterion “that a researcher must have authored a minimum of 20 climate publications to be considered a climate researcher, thus reducing the database to 908 researchers”… And, then, after that, Mr. Anderegg found that “97percent of self-identified actively publishing climate scientists agree with the tenets of ACC.” (National Academy of Sciences,” April 9, 2010.)
So… “97 percent of scientists agree”… Unless you’ve only written 19 or less papers. How convenient.
* Another leading source of the “97 percent” figure is John Cook’s “Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature” (Environmental Research Letters, May 15, 2013).
Well, here’s how Mr. Cook reached his conclusions: He analyzed “11,944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming.’ We find that 66.4 percent of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6 percent AGW, 0.7 percent rejected AGW and 0.3 percent were uncertain about the cause of global warming.”
And, surprise! “Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1 percent endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.” I guess we’ll just ignore the fact that more than two-thirds of those papers promoted no position at all.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what passes for scientific “research” today. “It is on the basis of this kind of stuff that you are being pushed into a new Dark Age.” (Ayn Rand, “The Anti-Industrial Revolution,” 1971.)
Now, since this entire “debate” (as well as the EPA regs that will soon completely hamstring Wyoming’s economy) is being driven by the impact of “greenhouse gases” in general and carbon dioxide in particular on the Earth’s average temperatures, let’s present the actual facts regarding such supposed correlations.
* “There have been many warmings and coolings in the past when the CO2 levels did not change. A well-known example is the medieval warming, about the year 1000, when the Vikings settled Greenland… This warm period was followed by the ‘little ice age’ when the Thames would frequently freeze over during the winter. There is no evidence for significant increase of CO2 in the medieval warm period, nor for a significant decrease at the time of the subsequent little ice age.” (William Happer, “Happer on the truth about greenhouse gases,” Watts Up With That, May 21, 2011.)
* And, indeed, as Happer continues, when significant correlations between temperature and CO2 levels do exist, such as correlations discovered by examining the ice-core records of glacial and interglacial cycles, the evidence quite clearly shows the exact opposite effect: That “changes in temperature preceded changes in CO2 levels, so that the levels were an effect of temperature changes.” (Emphases mine.)
Oops. Gee, do you think there might just be something wrong with climatology models? “Garbage In, Garbage Out.”
But let’s just forget about all of this. We’ll just rush, like lemmings off cliffs, to impose ridiculous “standards” regarding CO2 emissions that will have the sole impact of closing power plants, throwing thousands of Wyomingites out of work and jacking everybody’s utility bills sky-high. And all in the name of environmental “science” that is anything but science.
And more: The fact that you, the American taxpayer, are funding nearly all of this garbage whether you like it or not, with thanks to the collectivization and control such “science” breeds, can only be described as criminal.
Keep the EPA's Hands off Your Wages
The EPA wants to pick your pocket
The Environmental Protection Agency, apparently not content with the obscene amount of power it already possesses, has announced a new rule that further distances itself from the traditional checks and balances in government.
The rule would give the agency the power to garnish the wages of private citizens, without a court order, if it is deemed that a violation of the EPA’s Byzantine environmental regulations has taken place. It’s the same power the IRS has when dealing with tax evasion, with the key difference that environmental regulations are not laws passed by Congress, and most people have no idea what these rules actually comprise.
After imposing a fine for a violation, which can total hundreds of thousands of dollars per day, the EPA claims the right to unilaterally seize up to 15% of a person’s wages without any due process of law. Until now, people have been able to contest rule violations in court before having to submit to fines. The new rule will place the burden of proof on the accused, who is punished as if guilty until he can demonstrate otherwise.
There has always been a concerning lack of accountability in regulatory agencies. Now, the EPA wants to circumvent the courts and just do whatever it wants. It has assumed the role, not only of lawmaker, but of law enforcement as well. It is wrong for one agency, run by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats, to both make the rules, determine punishments, and carry out those punishments without any check from the other branches of government.
Several Republican senators, including David Vitter (R-LA), have penned a letter opposing the rule asking that it be withdrawn, and citing the case of a woman who was fined $37,500 per day because rain water running across her property had come in contact with dust, feathers, and manure. These type of fines do not just affect big corporations, but individual farmers who lack the resources to comply with such outrageous demands.
You can read the full text of the rule here. The period for public comment is open until August 1st, and the EPA has indicated that, with enough public opposition, they may reconsider the rule. We need every American to push back against these intrusive regulations that allow government bureaucrats to take your money without court approval.
A “Smart-Growth” Revolt in California
Larkspur City Council voted unanimously to kill a high-density “smart-growth” development plan for this community of 12,000 people 16 miles north of San Francisco.
The plan called for building 39,500 square feet of office space, 60,000 square feet of hotel space, 77,500 square feet of retail space, and up to 920 residential units in a half-mile radius around a proposed Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit station in Larkspur. The goal was to jam future residents into high-density housing and high-intensity commercial space near a future rail station to purportedly decrease greenhouse gas emissions. But local residents weren’t buying it.
According to the Marin Independent Journal, about 325 people attended the city council meeting, and all but a handful of speakers opposed the Station Area Plan, as it’s called, and cheered the city council for an “historic” no vote.
The plan was created after Larkspur received $480,000 in 2011 from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). The city of Larkspur and other agencies, such as the Transportation Authority of Marin, also kicked in $120,000 to complete the plan — money wasted to develop a rejected plan.
Unsurprisingly, the MTC and ABAG bankrolled the Larkspur “stack-and-pack” blueprint. These two unelected regional-government bodies also approved Plan Bay Area in 2013, a master plan for high-density housing, rail-intensive transit, and restricted land use in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area through 2040. Larkspur City Councilman Dan Hillmer has called Plan Bay Area “fundamentally flawed.”
The resident outcry and vote by the Larkspur City Council point to the public’s unwillingness to passively accept Plan Bay Area and its vision of tomorrow, which unelected regionalists want to impose on local communities.
Hopefully, this vote is the opening shot of widespread revolts in the Bay Area and throughout California against similar “smart-growth” plans. But expect the MTC, ABAG, and other unelected regionalists to retaliate.
As reported by the Marin Independent Journal, during the city council meeting, Larkspur Councilwoman Catherine Way asked if “Larkspur could be at a disadvantage when seeking future transportation-project funding because of the council’s decision to stop the Station Area Plan.”
It is almost certain that the MTC will retaliate, withholding transportation funding for Larkspur and other communities that refuse to go along with Plan Bay Area. But preserving local control over communities is more important than accepting MTC bribes.
NASA’s Children’s Climate Change Website, and the book 1984: Creating Spies One Child at a Time
What would you say if your child accused you of a thought crime, and turned you in to the thought police? Would you say it was ridiculous?
Perhaps you would say, “There is no ‘thought crime’ in the United States.”
Surely your children would never try to accuse you of a crime or try to change your behavior.
Well, think again, because that is exactly what websites like NASA’s Climate Kids intends to do, except they won’t accuse you of thought crime, they will accuse you of a climate crime.
This colorful, fun website has two serious flaws. First, it teaches “pseudo facts” about climate change in a childlike manner that is easy to understand. “Facts” such as
Eleven of the last 12 years have been the warmest on record. Earth has warmed twice as fast in the last 50 years as in the 50 years before that. (Actually, there hasn't been global warming in almost 18 years, and climate alarmist scientists know this.)
Climate change is causing unusual, extreme weather, some places are suffering long droughts and others are getting far too much rain in a short period. (Actually, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says there is no evidence that global warming has increased the frequency or severity of extreme weather events.)
"We don't know enough about Earth's ice to know just how many meters sea level is likely to rise as ice melts in various locations." (Actually, sea-ice melt makes no difference in sea level, and land-ice melt doesn't appear to have accelerated during the period of recent, allegedly manmade global warming. As a result, there's been no increase in the rate of sea level rise, which has been happening ever since the end of the Ice Age.)
All that carbon stored in all those plants and animals over hundreds of millions of years is getting pumped back into the atmosphere over just one or two hundred years. (Actually, there is good evidence that putting it there is not causing dangerous global warming, but it most certainly is causing improved plant growth all over the world, including of agricultural crops, adding $3.2 trillion worth of crop yield 1960–2011 and a projected $9.8 trillion more by 2050.)
...Since 1979, ice has been getting smaller and smaller and thinner and thinner. Check out the Climate Time Machine and watch the ice shrink. (Actually, both land and sea ice expand and shrink over time in cycles in response to largely natural influences.) [Update, July, 2014: NASA's own National Snow And Ice Data Center show record ice levels at Antarctica currently.]
This is a really interesting slideshow of images across time on various climate topics. The blue image represents 1885 (when humans supposedly weren’t putting out so much CO2), and the red, frightening image represents 2007 when humans have burned the dinosaurs (The CO2 section tells how dead dinosaurs are part of what created the fossil fuels we burn.) in their cars and caused anthropogenic global warming.
There is of course no mention of the fact that the prosperity made possible in large part by converting those fossil fuels into electricity and liquid fuels for transport has raised human life expectancy since that time from under 48 in 1885 to near 80 today. That would reveal to these impressionable children that there are tradeoffs involved. No, the message must be clear, simple, and hideously unbalanced. Fossil fuels are evil. And those who use them are evil.
The entire site is full of “facts” of climate alarmism, scaring children with lies while they have fun “learning” and playing games with NASA.
Of course these children will feel indignation once they learn that their space ship (the metaphor for the Earth) isn’t being properly cared for. “Whatever shall we do!?” They will say. “We must stop evil eco-terrorist man and his dinosaur burning machines!”
Thus we proceed to the “What Can We Do to Help?” section. This contains the second serious flaw, for instead of just teaching bad science, NASA here encourages children to act on that bad science in a way that brings to mind the specter of poor Mrs. Parsons and her two indoctrinated children.
There are, of course, the typical suggestions: plant a tree or a garden; unplug appliances, etc. but there are other suggestions as well.
NASA wants children to grow up and drive energy-efficient cars, put solar panels on their houses, and go into a green career to help prevent climate change. (“Green” careers are the way to help people now, not traditional careers like becoming a doctor or a nurse, or a pastor or a teacher, or a farmer or an inventor, or just a helpful person). Some of these suggestions are good things to do, while some aren’t helpful to the environment at all. But what are really disturbing are the suggestions that children should attempt to control the behavior of the adults in their lives (which means their parents).
According to NASA, a child who cares about the environment is encouraged to:
“... ask your driver to park the car and let you walk inside (at a fast-food restaurant), rather than sitting in a line of cars with the engine running and polluting.”
“Walk or ride your bike instead of taking a car everywhere.”
“Ask your parents to buy reusable grocery bags. Help them to remember to get them out of the car and take them into the store.” (Never mind the risk of disease from the contamination of these bags.)
“BYOM.” Bring your own mug. That’s what you can tell your parents when they stop to buy their morning coffee.”
At face value these suggestions may seem innocuous, but at their deepest level they suggest to the child that their parents are guilty of wrongdoing, and that it is the child’s responsibility to correct them. In effect, the government is attempting to coerce parents through their children to further this pseudo-science agenda, and it doesn’t mind driving a wedge between parent and child to accomplish its goal.
The environmental lobby and your government (this is a government website after all) want to use your children against you. They want to indoctrinate your children into envirospies watching your every move and harassing you until you change your behavior.
“Mommy, don’t forget the reusable grocery bags.”
“Daddy, how dare you use a paper cup for your coffee!”
“You are hurting our Space Ship!”
Just further evidence that no federal agency, once created, cannot continue to justify its need for greater and greater power and money, no matter how far removed from its original purpose.
Your tax dollars at work!
Climate change is good for you
Human Evolution Rewritten: We owe our existence to our ancestor’s flexible response to climate change
Many traits unique to humans were long thought to have originated in the genus Homo between 2.4 and 1.8 million years ago in Africa. A large brain, long legs and the ability to craft tools along with prolonged maturation periods were all thought to have evolved together at the start of the Homo lineage as African grasslands expanded and Earth’s climate became cooler and drier. Now a paper published in Science today outlines a new theory that the traits that have allowed humans to adapt and thrive in a variety of varying climate conditions evolved in Africa in a piecemeal fashion and at separate times.
These fossil skulls, representing pre-erectus Homo and Homo erectus, exhibit diverse traits and indicate that the early diversification of the human genus was a period of morphological experimentation. In July 2014, Smithsonian paleoanthropologist Richard Potts and a team of researchers analyzed new scientific data and concluded that the ability of early humans to adjust to changing conditions ultimately enabled the earliest species of Homo to vary, survive and begin spreading from Africa to Eurasia 1.85 million years ago. (Kenyan fossil casts – Chip Clark, Smithsonian Human Origins Program; Dmanisi Skull 5 – Guram, Bumbiashvili, Georgian National Museum)
These fossil skulls, representing pre-erectus Homo and Homo erectus, exhibit diverse traits and indicate that the early diversification of the human genus was a period of morphological experimentation. (Photos: Kenyan fossil casts – Chip Clark, Smithsonian Human Origins Program; Dmanisi Skull 5 – Guram, Bumbiashvili, Georgian National Museum)
New climate and fossil evidence analyzed by a team of researchers suggests that these traits did not arise as previously thought, in a single package in response to one specific climatic trend. Rather, these defining Homo traits developed over a much wider time span in response to a much more climatically variable environment, with some traits evolving in earlier Australopithecus ancestors between 3 and 4 million years ago and others emerging in Homo significantly later. The research team includes Smithsonian paleoanthropologist Richard Potts, Susan Antón, professor of anthropology at New York University, and Leslie Aiello, president of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.
“The traits that typify our own species Homo sapiens weren’t there right at the beginning of the evolution of the Homo genus; instead, humanness evolved in much more of a mosaic pattern,” explains Potts, curator of anthropology and director of the Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
“Climate instability we have found would have translated to major shifts in resource availability including fresh water and food. This instability favored genetic traits and behaviors that promoted the evolution of flexibility in how well early humans responded to change. This is quite different from the idea of adaptation to a particular ancestral habitat and is a very important change in our thinking” Potts added.
A large brain, long legs, the ability to craft tools and prolonged maturation periods were all thought to have evolved together at the start of the Homo lineage in response to the Earth’s changing climate; however, scientists now have evidence that these traits arose separately rather than as a single package. In July 2014, Smithsonian paleoanthropologist Richard Potts and a team of researchers analyzed new scientific data and concluded that the ability of early humans to adjust to changing conditions ultimately enabled the earliest species of Homo to vary, survive and begin spreading from Africa to Eurasia 1.85 million years ago. ((Image courtesy Rick Potts, Susan Antón and Leslie Aiello)
A large brain, long legs, the ability to craft tools and prolonged maturation periods were all thought to have evolved together at the start of the Homo lineage in response to the Earth’s changing climate; however, scientists now have evidence that these traits arose separately rather than as a single package. (Image courtesy Rick Potts, Susan Antón and Leslie Aiello)
To reach these conclusions, the team took an innovative research approach, including developing a new climate framework based on the Earth’s astronomical cycles from 2.5 million to 1.5 million years ago. This paleoclimatic data was integrated with new fossils and understandings of the genus Homo, archaeological remains and biological studies of a wide range of mammals (including humans). However, it was the recently discovered skeletons of Australopithecus sediba (~1.98 Ma) from Malapa, South Africa, that really cemented the idea for Potts that the evolution of the Homo genus involved a period of evolutionary experimentation and mixing of traits.
“A. sediba possesses a bizarre combination of features. It has a really small brain, the size of a chimpanzee’s, but also a human-like hand. It also has aspects of the face that resemble the genus Homo but has a foot that doesn’t look anything like the genus” Potts explains. “This makes sense from the standpoint of the environment at the time, where habitats were fluctuating between more wooded and more open grassland landscapes due to shifting intensity of wet and dry periods. Small populations would have become isolated at times and later merged, which would have lead to a novel evolutionary combinations of traits.”
This chart depicts hominin evolution from 3.0-1.5 million years ago and reflects the diversity of early human species and behaviors that were critical to how early Homo adapted to variable habitats, a trait that allows people today to occupy diverse habitats around the world. In July 2014, Smithsonian paleoanthropologist Richard Potts and a team of researchers analyzed new scientific data and concluded that the ability of early humans to adjust to changing conditions ultimately enabled the earliest species of Homo to vary, survive and begin spreading from Africa to Eurasia 1.85 million years ago. (Image courtesy Rick Potts, Susan Antón and Leslie Aiello)
This chart depicts hominin evolution from 3.0-1.5 million years ago and reflects the diversity of early human species and behaviors that were critical to how early Homo adapted to variable habitats, a trait that allows people today to occupy diverse habitats around the world. (Image courtesy Rick Potts, Susan Antón and Leslie Aiello)
We live today in a very unusual period where there is only one species that exists in our evolutionary tree. Multiple species of Homo are known to have lived concurrently during the earlier time of morphological experimentation. Along with the climate and fossil data, evidence from ancient stone tools, isotopes found in teeth and cut marks found on animal bones came together in this research to depict how these species may have coexisted.
“Taken together, these data suggest that species of early Homo were more flexible in their dietary choices than other species,” Aiello said. “Their flexible diet—probably containing meat—was aided by stone tool-assisted foraging that allowed our ancestors to exploit a range of resources.
Evolutionary and historic climate studies not only shed light on how we came to be, says Potts, but also give us a broader view of current climate change problems.
“These kinds of studies show that we do live on an unstable Earth in terms of its climate, however, humans are adding totally new influences to the environment in ways perhaps more precarious than we even thought.”
“Human features were selected for adaptability, but our earlier ancestors show there have always been limits to that. Our astonishing ability to adjust to new and changing circumstances is something that I think gives us some hope for the future,” Potts says.
“The question ahead for human beings is whether we can use our capacity for technology, culture and social interaction to a sufficient extent to avoid the kinds of precarious situations even members of our own evolutionary history faced in their past,” he added.
The team concluded that the flexibility demonstrated by our ancestors to adjust to changing conditions ultimately enabled the earliest species of Homo to vary, survive and begin spreading from Africa to Eurasia 1.85 million years ago. This flexibility continues to be a hallmark of human biology today, and one that ultimately underpins the ability to occupy diverse habitats throughout the world.
Future research on new fossil and archaeological finds will need to focus on identifying specific adaptive features that originated with early Homo, which will yield a deeper understanding of human evolution.
Ban Ki-moon’s New Climate Envoy Supports Divestment From Fossil Fuel Companies
Another reason to ban Ki-moon. Targeting companies despite absolutely no proof that they have done anything wrong or even done anything anti-Greenie. Most are in fact Greenie donors
A new “special envoy” on climate change appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – the fourth in seven months – has voiced support for divestment from the fossil fuel industry, which she accuses of helping to fund global warming denialism.
Pushing ahead with a drive to achieve a global climate change agreement by late 2015, Ban announced this week that Mary Robinson, a former Irish president and former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, will become his “special envoy for climate change,” effective immediately.
Robinson’s new task is to interact with world leaders in the run-up to a climate summit Ban is hosting on September 23 in New York. There he hopes leaders from governments, businesses and civil society will help to lay the groundwork for a global deal to be finalized at the next in a long series of U.N. climate megaconferences, in Paris, France in November 2015.
Robinson is an enthusiastic climate activist, who set up a foundation in late 2010 called the Mary Robinson Foundation–Climate Justice, focusing on human rights- and development-related aspects of the climate issue.
“Our work on climate justice emphasizes the urgency of action on climate change from a people’s perspective, and I intend to take this approach in my new mandate as special envoy for climate change,” she said in a statement after Ban announced her appointment.
Robinson has voiced support for divestment from the fossil fuel industry, which she accuses of helping to fund global warming denialism.
“I know there are deniers, and there’s money supporting these deniers to try to confuse us,” she told the left-wing Democracy Now news program last October. “But we can’t be confused anymore because actually the impacts of climate are undermining human rights all over the world.”
Asked about the source of that money, Robinson replied, “I think a lot of it is coming from those who benefit at the moment from selling fossil fuel, so the coal and oil communities.”
“We can no longer invest in companies that are part of the problem of the climate shocks that we’re suffering from,” she said.
“So I speak openly and encourage students and colleges to be part of that,’ Robinson continued. “It’s to me a little bit like the energy behind the anti-apartheid movement when I was a student. We were all involved because we saw the injustice of it. There’s an injustice in continuing to invest in fossil fuel companies that are part of the problem.”
Robinson is not the only prominent person Ban has recently recruited to the cause.
Last January he announced that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg would be his “special envoy for cities and climate change,” helping to mobilize support and action from cities to advance climate change efforts at the September summit and beyond.
A month earlier, Ban appointed former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and former Ghanaian President John Kufuor as “special envoys on climate change,” saying the two would help to mobilize political will and action ahead of the September summit.
“As part of their work, the special envoys will assist the secretary-general in his consultations with leaders to raise the level of ambition to address climate change and to accelerate action,” the U.N. secretariat said at the time.
It’s not clear why Ban needs multiple special envoys to fulfil this function, although Stoltenberg was recently named NATO’s next secretary-general, a post he will take up from October.
Ban’s spokesman, Farhan Haq, said Robinson succeeds Stoltenberg and will “work closely with special envoys John Kufuor and Michael Bloomberg in her new role.”
Robinson has served since March 2013 in another U.N. role, as Ban’s special envoy for the Great Lakes region of Central Africa. She now relinquishes that post, which dealt with efforts to bring a lasting peace to the conflict-ridden Democratic Republic of Congo and surrounding areas.
‘Time is not on our side’
The U.N. has high hopes for the summit Ban will host on Sept. 23.
“The summit will be an important milestone to mobilize political commitment for the conclusion of a global agreement by 2015, as well as to spur enhanced action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilient communities,” it said.
Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, has long voiced anxiety about the need for a far-reaching global agreement to combat and mitigate the effects of the emission of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” (GHGs) blamed for climate change.
As an earlier U.N. climate conference loomed – in Copenhagen in late 2009 – Ban hosted a summit in New York aimed, like this year’s one, to build momentum. In a speech that August, Ban warned that the world had “just four months to secure the future of our planet.”
In the event, Copenhagen came and went without the result activists wanted so badly – a global agreement on binding GHG emission-reduction targets.
Last week Ban was again warning darkly of the threats of climate change.
“[U.N.] member-states have agreed that we cannot exceed two degrees celsius above pre-industrial temperatures,” he said at an event at U.N. headquarters introducing a new report on ways major industrial economies can reduce their GHG emissions.
“Beyond this limit, science indicates that we may face dangerous and irreversible climate disruption,” he said. “We know that we are not on track, and time is not on our side.”
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