Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Obama anti-energy nominee thwarted

The Natural Resources Defense Council will gain a new president and the Obama administration will lose Rhea Sun Suh, controversial anti-oil and gas nominee for head of the huge bureaucracy that runs the national parks and fish and wildlife service in the Department of the Interior.

That announcement last week culminated a bruising confirmation process that Suh, an experienced and savvy lower-level Interior official, seemed to sail through. However, press revelations wounded her reputation because her history caught up with her: for four years, Suh was a program manager for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation ($7.4 billion assets), directing millions of dollars to green groups nationwide for projects to stop oil and gas production.

She told the Hewlett Foundation newsletter in 2007: “natural gas development is easily the single greatest threat to the ecological integrity of the West.”

A large placard with that quote was held up during Suh’s December 2013 confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso said to Suh, “I would like to read from an op-ed by the Washington Examiner on your nomination, by Ron Arnold, titled, ‘Another Big Green power player moved up in Obama’s Washington.’”

Deep research into foundation influence uncovered the details of Suh’s anti-energy career and her loyal membership in the Environmental Grantmakers Association – a group of more than 200 Big Green foundations dedicated to stopping development of America’s abundant natural resources.

“If confirmed,” Barrasso continued, “it will allow you to essentially stop natural gas production. And even after you joined the Interior Department, you stated to the Environmental Grantmakers Association’s 25th anniversary, ‘I look forward to working with you, my colleagues, mentors and friends, to utilize the skills and talents of the EGA community to advance a more resilient world and a resilient movement.’ So I question whether this is really the right position for you, given your deeply held views.”

Every Democrat on the committee voted for Suh’s confirmation, including Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, to the surprise of some. It was Landrieu’s first hearing as the new committee chairman. Coming from a strongly oil and gas-dependent state and facing a tough re-election battle, some guessed she would reflect her constituency. But party loyalty gave Suh her nod.

However, with mid-term elections challenging Democratic control of the Senate, powers that have not been explained arranged for Suh to slip safely out of contention for the big Interior job. She will replace the influential Frances Beinecke (2012 compensation $427,688), NRDC officer for over 30 years and president since 2006. Beinecke is heiress of the Sperry and Hutchinson Green Stamp fortune, a Yale graduate and daughter of Yale benefactor and S&H president, William Beinecke. She is a former regent of Yale University.

I asked Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana), ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, for his take on Suh’s departure. He told me, “Ms. Suh’s transition into the political, private sector route to shut down energy development is unsurprising. However, I am sure that after so much rushing through the nomination process earlier this year, a handful of my colleagues on the Energy Committee must be deeply disappointed to lose Ms. Suh to the NRDC.”

I can just see Senator Vitter’s winning smile.


Flood Wall Street Climate Change Protest was a Washout

Imposing equality is the goal; climate change is the excuse

"Stop Capitalism. End the Climate Crisis." That's the motto for the Flood Wall Street demonstration that aimed to "take to the streets of New York's Financial District" and "carry out a massive sit-in to disrupt business as usual" in order to "highlight the role of Wall Street in fueling the climate crisis." The would-be Flooders rallied at the World War II Memorial in Battery Park at the tip of Manhattan. In contrast to the huge turnout for the People's Climate March on Sunday, Flood Wall Street attracted a hardcore group of about 1,000 protestors, many of whom were clearly nostalgic Occupy Wall Street veterans. Participants were asked to wear blue so that their sit-in would signify how rising ocean tides fueled by man-made global warming will eventually inundate the inner sanctum of global capitalism.

Since I had somehow missed Occupy Wall Street events, this was my first time enjoying the human "microphone" in which participants nearer the speakers repeat by shouting what they are saying so that others further back can benefit from their insights. I will say that the rhythmic call-and-response aspect of the "microphone" did make it easy to take notes. The first speaker at the Battery Park pre-Flood rally was Canadian activist Naomi Klein, author of the new book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.

Klein began by reminiscing that the Occupy Wall Street movement had originated three years ago, almost to the same day as the Flood Wall Street protest. Occupy Wall Street "put corporate capitalism on trial," said Klein. "The entire world listened and the debate on inequality opened up." Klein continued, "We are oppressed by the knowledge that the system of short term profits and deregulated greed that deepens inequality and forecloses on our homes is the very same system that is foreclosing on our collective home." Klein ended, "We demand to Change Everything." Nice how she worked the title of her just released book into her exhortation. Listening to Klein it was pretty hard not to conclude that the real goal is imposing equality, and climate change is the excuse.

Next up followed a slate of speakers from around the globe representing "frontline communities" that are supposedly bearing the brunt of climate change caused by corporate greed. "A typical example of criminal acts caused by corporations is climate change that is already causing damages," declared socio-economist Mamadou Goita from the West African country of Mali. Specifically corporate climate change "is causing major losses in food production." Perhaps so. But World Bank data on cereal yields per hectare suggest a somewhat different story. While Malian grain yields do bounce around a bit, there is pretty clearly a long-term rising trend. In 2000, yields were 1,006 kilograms per hectare; by 2013 they had risen to 1,667 kilograms per hectare. "Corporations took power; devastated our nature; are destroying lives; and are dismantling all people's power," asserted Goita. He concluded, "Now it is the time to take back our power."

Brazilian anti-dam activist Elisa Estronioli is quite right that the rights of poor and indigenous people are all too often disregarded when it comes to constructing big hydroelectric dams in developing countries. She cogently asked at the Flood Wall Street rally how can electricity from such projects "be clean energy when it is produced inside a model that violates human rights?" Estronioli is an organizer against the giant Belo Monte dam largely being built and paid for by the Brazilian government in the Amazon region. "We are the victims of the same global model in which energy plays a central role," concluded Estronioli. "There is no clean energy in the capitalist system." Say what?

One other frontline community speaker was Miriam Miranda from Honduras. "The planet is collapsing and the time has come to act," said Miranda. Why is action necessary? Because we must fight "against the culture of death that we are being condemned to by the grand corporations of death and transnational capital," Miranda finished.

Once the featured speakers were done, it was time to configure the Flood. The protestors were instructed to arrange themselves into three cohorts depending on their willingness to be arrested: The most eager to be arrested in the front and the more hesitant at the back. However, one of the organizers whose name I didn't catch did knowingly assure participants, "We believe that if you've never been arrested before, this is the perfect action to join."

So off streamed the Flood festooned with a variety of anti-capitalist placards, buttons, posters, and so forth. One of the main attractions were a couple of giant mylar balloons symbolizing the fossil fuel industries' "carbon bubble" that activists argue is about to burst. The bubble supposedly exists because fossil fuel companies are overvalued because their worth is calculated using carbon energy reserves that they won't be able to sell in the future as the world turns toward renewables.

The Flood was firmly channeled by barricades up Broadway backed by police ornamented with garlands of white plastic flexi-cuffs. Expecting the Flood to eventually flow onto Wall Street itself, I took a back route and waited for the Flood to arrive in front of the New York Stock Exchange. While waiting, a single middle-aged demonstrator unmolested by the police waved around a poster reading "Global Warming Burns Me Up." A younger protestor climbed the steps of Federal Hall and yelled something like, "What are you going to do Wall Street when the oceans drown your kids?" He was quickly shooed off by two portly Park Service guards.

Some 30 to 40 minutes passed, so I went in search of the missing Flood and found that the police had halted the tide on Broadway. The protestors had ended up "flooding" just a couple of blocks of lower Broadway around Arturo Di Modica's Charging Bull sculpture. Some were sitting-in, others milling randomly, and an occasional chant rose from the stymied flow: "1-2-3-4, climate change is class war." Sometime around 2 p.m., a single demonstrator tried to run past the police line and was immediately caught and handcuffed in the view of several score cameras. After all that excitement, I left.

Later, when the police ordered the Flood to disperse, about a hundred refused and were arrested and booked. Wall Street was not Flooded.


Google Kills Birds

Our headline has the virtue of being true—as we will explain—unlike Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt's assertion this week that people who oppose government subsidies for green energy are liars. The real charlatans are businesses like Google that use climate change as a pretext for corporate welfare.

Google, whose motto is "Don't Be Evil," announced on Monday that it is quitting the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) because of the conservative outfit's putative denial of climate change. "Everyone understands climate change is occurring," said Mr. Schmidt. "And the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people—they're just, they're just literally lying."

In fact, ALEC takes no position on the substance of climate change. ALEC provides a forum for sundry businesses to discuss free-market reforms with state lawmakers. Two of its policy targets are renewable-energy mandates and subsidies, which are being exploited by big businesses like Google at the expense of low- and middle-income taxpayers. Google's real problem with ALEC is a conflict of pecuniary interests.

Consider Google's pledge to fund over $1.5 billion in non fossil-fuel energy. Yet Google derives most of its energy from non-renewables on the grid because it says that "while our data centers operate 24/7, most renewable energy sources don't." Data centers consume a lot of power, and renewables can cost three times as much as fossil fuels. It's no coincidence that Google's server in Iowa is located near one of the cheapest sources of coal-fired power in the Midwest.

Also not a coincidence is that nearly all of Google's solar and wind farms are located in states with renewable-energy mandates, which create opportunities for politically mediated profit-making. For instance, California requires that renewables make up a third of electricity by 2020. Google has invested about $600 million in California's solar plants such as the Ivanpah system in California's Mojave Desert. Ivanpah is the world's largest solar-thermal project, which is the target of environmentalists.

Dozens of federally protected desert tortoises have been displaced or killed. The Center for Biological Diversity estimates that Ivanpah's "power towers"—which burn natural gas—incinerate about 28,000 birds annually. The death toll is disputed by others, but Google has made taxpayers complicit in its avian-cide. The $2.2 billion bird fryer was funded with a $1.6 billion federal loan, which Google and its business partners plan to repay by applying for a federal grant.

The do-no-evil company has invested $157 million in a wind farm in California's Tehachapi Mountains, which has killed thousands of birds including federally protected golden eagles. Google's renewable portfolio includes a $275 million investment in two wind farms in Texas that are partly responsible for the construction of $7 billion in new transmission lines. The Texas Public Utility Commission estimates the lines will cost ratepayers on average $72 per year. Google has about $60 billion in cash and short-term investments sitting on its balance sheet.

Most of Google's renewable investments qualify for a federal investment tax credit that covers 30% of the cost. Its $450 million investment in rooftop solar-systems also benefits from state incentives such as "net-metering" laws. This hidden subsidy compensates ratepayers for power they remit to the grid at the retail rate, which can be three times as much as the wholesale price of electricity. Net-metering allows solar companies to charge higher rates to homeowners who lease their panels, and thus for investors like Google to reap larger profits.

ALEC as well as the right-wing radicals at the Natural Resources Defense Council and National Black Caucus of State Legislators have encouraged states to ensure that all ratepayers under net metering pay their share for maintaining the grid.

The point is that Google behaves like all other self-interested businesses—which also means that it bends to the political winds. Unions and progressive groups have been bullying corporations for years to abandon ALEC so the left has less political and intellectual opposition in the 50 state capitals. Earlier this month they wrote to Google denouncing ALEC's "extreme views," which "include denying climate change."

Perhaps Google figured it could gain political benefit by joining the liberal smear campaign against ALEC. But Mr. Schmidt shouldn't disguise his company's mercenary motives behind false and trendy appeals to green political virtue.


Danish Wind Farm Company Sued for Spoiling View

Europe’s troubled wind turbine industry has a new predicament, with a householder in Denmark successfully suing Vestas, a Danish wind turbine manufacturer. Vestas was sued by the householder with the help of International Law Office and awarded 500,000 Danish kroner (£53,000) in compensation for the loss of property values due to visual interference, inconvenience caused by the noise of the blades and light reflection. Eight turbines are visible from the owner’s house.

The Danes passed the Promoting Renewable Energy Act in 2011, which established a compensation scheme for homes affected by wind farms. It seems the Danes suffer from the a similar condition to Brits, not in my back yard (nimbyism), where there is a consensus in favour of wind farms but not near their homes.

Calls to Vestas’ office for comment were not returned.

Danish wind farms have already come in for serious criticism. Breitbart London reported in June how a mink farm saw how a recently built turbine seemed to lead to still births, birth deformities and had begun attacking in each other, costing the farmer millions.

The Danish situation is mirrored in the UK. In November 2013, the London School of Economics amd the Spatial Economics Research Centre published a report with lead author Professor Stephen Gibbons finding that “A wind farm with 20+ turbines within 2km reduces prices by some 11 percent on average.” In all scenarios even of less density, “Wind farms reduce house prices where the turbines are visible.”

Professor Gibbons has further evidence from when in June 2008 Mr. and Mrs. Julian Davis in Lincoln applied to the Valuation Tribunal for a reduction in their Council Tax, due to a wind turbine.  Citing “Change in physical state. Noise pollution externally and internal low frequency. Noise pollution from new wind farm 930m (away),” they won and their house was downgraded to Band A status.

Meanwhile, a report into two wind turbines collapsing in Devon and Cornwall has just been released. The Western Mail reports the towers had basic defects and flaw in the construction process. These incidents were over a year ago and the report’s publication was aided by a Freedom of Information request. Also worryingly is that “ten units with existing defects” out of the company’s 70 or 80 turbines and the “makers of the E3120 turbine which fell in Devon, identified a further 29 turbines that might have been affected by a problem with the foundations.”

It seems that European governments' race to be green has had some expensive unexpected consequences. Not only is it substantially more expensive to industry and the public, the extra costs of erecting wind farms are growing too. One can only imagine the furore if a turbine comes down on a house, seriously injuring someone or even killing them. These are troubles timed for the government and the wind industry.


An unsettled climate

by Judith Curry

In a press conference last week, UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon stated: “Action on climate change is urgent.  The more we delay, the more we will pay in lives and in money.” The recently appointed UN Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio stated “The debate is over. Climate change is happening now.”

These statements reflect a misunderstanding of the state of climate science and the extent to which we can blame adverse consequences such as extreme weather events on human caused climate change. The climate has always changed and will continue to change. Humans are adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, and carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have a warming effect on the climate. However, there is enduring uncertainty beyond these basic issues, and the most consequential aspects of climate science are the subject of vigorous scientific debate: whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes, and how the climate will evolve in the 21st century due to both natural and human causes. Societal uncertainties further cloud the issues as to whether warming is ‘dangerous’ and whether we can afford to radically reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

At the heart of the recent scientific debate on climate change is the ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ in global warming – the period since 1998 during which global average surface temperatures have not increased. This observed warming hiatus contrasts with the expectation from the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report that warming would proceed at a rate of 0.2oC/per decade in the early decades of the 21st century. The warming hiatus raises serious questions as to whether the climate model projections of 21st century have much utility for decision making, given uncertainties in climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide, future volcanic eruptions and solar activity, and the multidecadal and century scale oscillations in ocean circulation patterns.

A key argument in favor of emission reductions is concern over the accelerating cost of weather disasters. The accelerating cost is associated with increasing population and wealth in vulnerable regions, and not with any increase in extreme weather events, let alone any increase that can be attributed to human caused climate change. The IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation found little evidence that supports an increase in extreme weather events that can be attributed to humans. There seems to be a collective ‘weather amnesia’, where the more extreme weather of the 1930’s and 1950’s seems to have been forgotten.

Climate science is no more ‘settled’ than anthropogenic global warming is a ‘hoax’. I am concerned that the climate change problem and its solution have been vastly oversimplified. Deep uncertainty beyond the basics is endemic to the climate change problem, which is arguably characterized as a ‘wicked mess.’ A ‘wicked’ problem is complex with dimensions that are difficult to define and changing with time. A ‘mess’ is characterized by the complexity of interrelated issues, with suboptimal solutions that create additional problems.

Nevertheless, the premise of dangerous anthropogenic climate change is the foundation for a far-reaching plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Elements of this plan may be argued as important for associated energy policy reasons, economics, and/or public health and safety. However, claiming an overwhelming scientific justification for the plan based upon anthropogenic global warming does a disservice both to climate science and to the policy process. Science doesn’t dictate to society what choices to make, but science can assess which policies won’t work and can provide information about uncertainty that is critical for the decision making process.

Can we make good decisions under conditions of deep uncertainty about climate change? Uncertainty in itself is not a reason for inaction. Research to develop low-emission energy technologies and energy efficiency measures are examples of ‘robust’ policies that have little downside, while at the same time have ancillary benefits beyond reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile. The hiatus in warming observed over the past 16 years demonstrates that CO2 is not a control knob on climate variability on decadal time scales. Even if CO2 mitigation strategies are successful and climate model projections are correct, an impact on the climate would not be expected until the latter part of the 21st century. Solar variability, volcanic eruptions and long-term ocean oscillations will continue to be sources of unpredictable climate surprises.

Whether or not anthropogenic climate change is exacerbating extreme weather events, vulnerability to extreme weather events will continue owing to increasing population and wealth in vulnerable regions. Climate change (regardless of whether the primary cause is natural or anthropogenic) may be less important in driving vulnerability in most regions than increasing population, land use practices, and ecosystem degradation. Regions that find solutions to current problems of climate variability and extreme weather events and address challenges associated with an increasing population are likely to be well prepared to cope with any additional stresses from climate change.

Oversimplification, claiming ‘settled science’ and ignoring uncertainties not only undercuts the political process and dialogue necessary for real solutions in a highly complex world, but acts to retards scientific progress. It’s time to recognize the complexity and wicked nature of the climate problem, so that we can have a more meaningful dialogue on how to address the complex challenges of climate variability and change.


Climate alarmists are overlooking scientific facts

Some letters to the editor below that appeared in "The Australian" on 27th

ALARMISTS such as Fred Cehak and Chris Roylance (Letters, 26/9) criticise acclaimed scientists such as Dan Wood and Steven Koonin for their sceptical views, yet continue to peddle the fiction that the “science is settled” in the climate debate.

Those aboard the ship stuck in Antarctic ice early this year believed their own shoddy science that said the poles were melting. Today, the Antarctic ice sheet is at an all-time record high, and Arctic ice is now refreezing as normal.

The junk models used by the alarmists to frighten the world are in a state of disarray as more than 50 excuses are circulating trying to explain, unsuccessfully, the 17-year halt to global warming, even with rising carbon dioxide emissions.

Despite its shortcomings, even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has declared there is no relationship between emissions and hurricanes, Atlantic storms, drought and wildfires, and any other catastrophe served up as fact by the alarmists, whose arguments are always based on appeals to authority rather than the tenets of true science as embraced by sceptics.

G. M. Derrick, Sherwood, Qld

THE informative and balanced article by Steven Koonin (“A degree of uncertainty”, 23/9) brings me to the following conclusion. Much of the vast sums of taxpayers’ money being spent on researching and controlling man-made climate change should be directed to researching the magnitude and causes of natural climate change.

We would all then be in a better position to determine how significant is man-made climate change in comparison to natural climate change, and develop appropriate policy.

Charles Stanger, Manuka, ACT

FRED Cehak criticises those who doubt the accuracy of climate models and says the majority of scientists support the views of the IPCC. Yet doesn’t the IPCC’s fifth assessment report state that the rate of warming over the past 15 years, a 20th of a degree per decade, is smaller than the trend since 1951, an eighth of a degree per decade? This despite an unabated increase in the alleged driver, atmospheric carbon dioxide. Surely that’s justification for critical review of some of the more alarming predictions.

And we never see any criticism from Cehak or others of the failed predictions by Tim Flannery that Sydney and Brisbane’s dams would now be dry never to fill again, or of the equally ludicrous suggestion by Greens leader Christine Milne that repeal of the Renewable Energy Target would lead to only a billion people being left alive by 2100.

Peter Troy, Kingston, Tas



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Monday, September 29, 2014

American Medical Association prostitutes itself to the climate change scare

And let's be clear that it is just a scare. No-one knows what the future holds.  Warmism enthusiasts thought that on the basis of the slight warming of the last part of the 20th century they could predict warming from that point on.  But their models and predictions were wrong.  There has been no climate change (no warming) in the 21st century and no-one knows if the next change will be towards cooling or warming.   So the scare is no better than religious prophecies of doom.

JAMA is of course not the first medical journal to turn political.  Britain's "Lancet" is notoriously Leftist.  They actually campaigned against George Bush and the Iraq war at one stage.  And there have been many claims that warming is bad for your health.

All such claims however founder on the fact that winter is the great season of dying.  Both warmth and cold can lead to health problems but cold is by far the big killer.  A warmer climate should therefore REDUCE mortality overall.  To give JAMA its due they did not totally ignore that possibility but they went close.  Hidden away in their Method section was a single paragraph of waffle which I reproduce following the abstract below.  Most notably however, they made no attempt to address that possibility in their research.  They looked only at warm weather problems, not cold weather problems.  The entire project was totally one-sided. Not science at all

Climate change: Challenges and Opportunities for Global Health

By Jonathan A. Patz et al.



Health is inextricably linked to climate change. It is important for clinicians to understand this relationship in order to discuss associated health risks with their patients and to inform public policy.


To provide new US-based temperature projections from downscaled climate modeling and to review recent studies on health risks related to climate change and the cobenefits of efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Data Sources, Study Selection, and Data Synthesis

We searched PubMed from 2009 to 2014 for articles related to climate change and health, focused on governmental reports, predictive models, and empirical epidemiological studies. Of the more than 250 abstracts reviewed, 56 articles were selected. In addition, we analyzed climate data averaged over 13 climate models and based future projections on downscaled probability distributions of the daily maximum temperature for 2046-2065. We also compared maximum daily 8-hour average with air temperature data taken from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Climate Data Center.


By 2050, many US cities may experience more frequent extreme heat days. For example, New York and Milwaukee may have 3 times their current average number of days hotter than 32øC (90øF). The adverse health aspects related to climate change may include heat-related disorders, such as heat stress and economic consequences of reduced work capacity; and respiratory disorders, including those exacerbated by fine particulate pollutants, such as asthma and allergic disorders; infectious diseases, including vectorborne diseases and water-borne diseases, such as childhood gastrointestinal diseases; food insecurity, including reduced crop yields and an increase in plant diseases; and mental health disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, that are associated with natural disasters. Substantial health and economic cobenefits could be associated with reductions in fossil fuel combustion. For example, the cost of greenhouse gas emission policies may yield net economic benefit, with health benefits from air quality improvements potentially offsetting the cost of US carbon policies.

Conclusions and Relevance

Evidence over the past 20 years indicates that climate change can be associated with adverse health outcomes. Health care professionals have an important role in understanding and communicating the related potential health concerns and the cobenefits from reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


Might fewer cold-related deaths balance mortality from heat waves? This is a topic of active research and current uncertainty, with results likely differing for climate zone and infrastructure characteristics. Although relative increases in heat-related deaths may exceed relative decreases in cold-related deaths, this may not apply in absolute terms because the balance may depend on location, population structure (proportion of older residents), and amount of warming, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expressed low confidence that modest reductions in cold-related mortality would occur.  Reasons for this include the observation that many deaths related to cold temperatures do not occur during coldest times and that there is a lag between exposure to cold temperatures and increased risk of death typically much longer than 1 or 2 days.

JAMA. Published online September 22, 2014. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.13186.

Dreary climate summit was surely their saddest fiasco yet

The leaden speeches at this year's UN climate summit shows our leaders' gullibility

Apart from the Middle East, there can have been few more depressing places to be in the world last Tuesday than the UN General Assembly in New York, where an endless queue of world leaders, including Barack Obama and David Cameron, treated an increasingly soporific audience to leaden little appeals for humanity to take urgent action to halt global warming. The purpose of this special meeting, summoned by that dim little nonentity Ban Ki-moon, was to issue a desperate last-minute call for a legally binding treaty in Paris next year, whereby they would all agree to save the planet through an 80 per cent cut in those CO₂ emissions, which are inseparable from almost all the activities of modern civilisation.

For days the usual cheerleaders, such as the BBC and Channel 4 News, had been beating the drum for this “historic” and “important” gathering. Hundreds of thousands of activists from all over the world, joined by Mr Ban in a baseball cap, on Sunday brought the streets of New York to a halt.

When the great day came, The Guardian published a 43-page running blog, reporting all the speeches from the likes of some Bosnian telling us that his country has had more rain this year than in any for more than a century (did global warming really start that long ago?). The President of Kiribati said, “I’ve been talking about climate change so long I’ve lost my voice”, although he was still somehow able to explain that his tiny island nation in the middle of the Pacific is sinking beneath the waves, despite satellite studies showing that sea levels in the area have actually been falling.

As one speaker after another overran their allotted four minutes, even The Guardian could not hide the fact that no one had anything new or interesting to say. “The most powerful speech” apparently came from Leonardo DiCaprio, which recalled a claim made more than 20 years ago by that other Hollywood star, Robert Redford, when he said, on global warming, that it was “time to stop researching and to start acting”. This prompted Richard Lindzen, the physicist and climate-change sceptic, to observe wryly that it seemed “a reasonable suggestion for an actor to make”.

The biggest excitement of the day was the news flash from England that a gaggle of Greenpeace activists had hijacked a train carrying coal to a Nottinghamshire power station. Part of the meeting’s purpose was to demand that the world’s richer nations must honour their pledge at Cancún in 2010 to contribute $100 billion a year to help poorer countries combat climate change. When The Guardian’s blog totted up the cash promised – and despite $5 million pledged by Luxembourg – there was nothing from Obama or Cameron.

Most notably absent among the 120 “heads of government” present were those from China and India, two of the biggest CO₂ emitters in the world. And, of course, this conveyed precisely why Mr Ban’s shindig was as much an empty charade as that far greater fiasco in Copenhagen in 2009, when it became evident that there will never be a global treaty, because the world’s fastest-developing nations, such as China and India, have never had any intention of signing one.

As I showed in my history of the great climate scare, The Real Global Warming Disaster, published just before Copenhagen, the scientific basis for this scare was already falling apart, as temperatures were not rising as the computer models had predicted. The real disaster from all this, I argued, was not the imagined apocalypse of the world frying, as ice caps melted and sea levels soared (thanks to Antarctica, there is more polar sea ice today than at any time since records began). It was the response of all those deluded politicians who had fallen for the scare.

Cameron may last week have drawn The Guardian’s contempt for repeating that boast that his is “the greenest government ever”. But Britain is still stuck, not least thanks to Ed Miliband’s ludicrous Climate Change Act, with a skewed and make-believe energy policy far more dangerous than most people realise.

Until our politicians wake up from this mad dream to think for themselves and pull us back from this suicidal course, we are doomed.

As yet there is little sign of any such miracle bringing them back to the real world.


The United Nations accidentally gets something right

The opening words on the website introducing the United Nations Climate Summit read, “Climate change is not a far-off problem. It is happening now and is having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow.”

In the spirit of the left-wing newspaper fact checkers who labor under the pretext of objectivity while providing cover to their more honest liberal political advocates, this statement needs to be evaluated for its veracity.

Could the U.N. climate cronies have gotten it right?  Before people scoff at that notion, they need to read what the U.N. says closely.

The U.N. statement is correct that climate change is happening now.  Otherwise we would not need weathermen to tell us when it is likely to rain or not.  The weather is always changing, and the deliberately obfuscatory language of the environmental left is designed to make this natural phenomenon seem like something that needs action to solve.

It was so much cleaner when they claimed “global warming,” but as any honest, sentient person knows, the warming has been on pause for the past eighteen years, creating a semantic issue for those in search of a problem to be solved.  Hence the undeniably obtuse climate change description shift.

The U.N. goes on to claim that not only is the weather changing, but it is having very real consequences on people’s lives.  Once again, they are correct.  In the United States electricity costs are rising, and a significant portion of the electric generation plants are scheduled to go off-line due to EPA regulations promulgated under the guise of climate change.

So, yes, the attempt by the U.S. government to deal with climate change, at a time when temperatures have paused for a generation, “is having very real consequences on people’s lives.”  It is having a particularly nasty impact on those who are on fixed incomes and struggling economically, and cannot easily fit a few extra dollars to pay for increased costs regulated into existence by the climate jihadists.

And in this same vein, the U.N. conveniently continues on by claiming, “Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow.”

Once again the U.N. gets it right.

Those creating environmental policies have it as their mission statement to disrupt national economies, particularly developed one’s like those in Europe and the United States.  How else can you explain why the coal rich United Kingdom decided to stop burning coal in one of its largest electric generation plants replacing the local and available fuel for wood chips imported from the United States.  This disruption was not exactly good news for the coal workers or the national economy that their taxes used to support.

Similarly, the tens of thousands of workers who have not been hired due to President Barack Obama’s failure to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built has a disruptive effect on the U.S. economy as these uncreated jobs leave people without alternatives and the hope that a good job provides.

Any objective analysis would reveal that the United Nation’s statement is correct – just not in the way they meant to be.  For this reason, they get a completely accidental four smiley face rating for veracity.  However, the faces are red in the cheeks, because they really didn’t mean to be caught telling the truth


Merchants of Smear

Russell Cook

For about two decades we’ve been told the science behind human-caused global warming is settled, and to ignore skeptic scientists because they’ve been paid by industry to manufacture doubt about the issue.

The truth, however, has every appearance of being exactly the opposite: A clumsy effort to manufacture doubt about the credibility of skeptical climate scientists arose in 1991 with roots in Al Gore’s Senate office; it gained effectiveness and media traction after Ozone Action took over the effort and drew attention to the “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” memo phrase (which they never showed in its full context); and the effort achieved its highest success after being heavily promoted by the “Pulitzer-winning investigative reporter” Ross Gelbspan, who never won a Pulitzer, never displayed any investigative prowess in this matter, and never proved that any skeptic climate scientist had ever knowingly lied as a result of being paid illicit money.

These efforts to portray skeptic scientists as corrupt are swamped with additional credibility problems, far more than can be described in this Policy Brief. Plain presentations of science studies contradicting reports from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have no chance of vindicating skeptic scientists in the face of such viral anti-skeptic rhetoric, as long as the mainstream media and majority of Internet sites remain gatekeepers preventing the release of accurate science information.

This gatekeeping indicates a much larger problem concerning the issue: The evidence presented in this Policy Brief here is something any unqualified, disinterested bystander could find and ask about, and indeed, believers in the theory of human-caused global warming could have explored the problems presented here with each other in order to find out whether their accusation about industry corruption of skeptics survives serious scrutiny.

Instead, this accusation has been unquestioningly accepted since 1991 by the mainstream news media and by officials who want to implement greenhouse gas mitigation regulations. During this time, skeptic scientists and other well-informed experts have revealed devastating problems with IPCC climate assessments. It has been shown time and again that the corruption accusation was riddled with obvious holes from the start. No matter.

The main pillar of support for the notion that humans are causing a dangerous warming of the climate has been the notion of “settled science.” That notion has long been questioned by skeptic scientists. The secondary pillar of support for the alarmist global warming theory has been the notion that industry-corrupted skeptics are unworthy of public consideration. This accusation could easily have been investigated and refuted long ago. That never happened, because of the third pillar: Journalists should not give equal time to skeptic scientists.

We are overdue for the biggest ideology collapse in history, begging for an investigation into why the mainstream media and influential politicians apparently never checked the veracity of claims about “settled science” and “corrupt skeptics.”


Antarctica ice: Proof they are lying

The New Scientist has gone all in on global warming, the theory that the SINS of MAN are turning the world into HELL ON EARTH.




But just one little problem. It ain't happening. At least not at a pace that should cause us to change our behavior in any way, shape or form.

After 35 years of telling us carbon dioxide is melting ice in Antarctica, New Scientist is now saying carbon dioxide has caused the ice to grow for 35 years.

What they said before:

From January 2, 2001: "Ice in the heart of Antarctica is retreating and causing sea level rise, scientists have shown for the first time."

From June 23, 2007: "Rising sea levels could divide and conquer Antarctic ice."

From March 25, 2008: "Antarctic ice shelf 'hanging by a thread'."

From January 21, 2009: "Even Antarctica is now feeling the heat of climate change."

From March 10, 2009: "Sea level rise could bust IPCC estimate: Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice fast and could end up taking sea levels to nearly twice predicted levels by 2100."

From July 31, 2011: "Antarctica rising as ice caps melt."

Got that?

Year-in and year-out, the editors at the New Scientist have warned us that the ice in Antarctica is melting fast.

It's global warming!  As Dr. Zachary Smith used to say on "Lost In Space," we're doomed. Doomed!

All that changed this month. On September 17, New Scientist said the ice is growing.  From the article:

    "Since satellite records began in 1979, the winter maximum sea ice cover around Antarctica has been growing at 1.5 per cent per decade. This year has long been on track for a new annual record, with 150 daily records already set.

    The record was finally broken on 15 September and sea ice extent has increased since, according to data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center analysed by Australia's Bureau of Meteorology in Hobart."

Wait a second, for years New Scientist has said the ice is melting at the South Pole due to global warming.  Now it suddenly claims that it has been growing for 35 years?

The topper is they still blame global warming:

"Record sea ice around Antarctica due to global warming"

    "IT JUST gets bigger. The extent of the sea ice around Antarctica has hit a record high – for the third year running. Counter-intuitively, global warming is responsible.

    Since satellite records began in 1979, the winter maximum sea ice cover around Antarctica has been growing at 1.5 per cent per decade. This year has long been on track for a new annual record, with 150 daily records already set.

    The record was finally broken on 15 September and sea ice extent has increased since, according to data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center analyzed by Australia's Bureau of Meteorology in Hobart.

    More sea ice may seem odd in a warmer world, but new records are expected every few years, says Jan Lieser of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Hobart. That's because the southern hemisphere warms more slowly than the north, as it has less landmass, boosting the winds that circle Antarctica and pulling cold air onto the sea ice.

    The melting of ice on the Antarctic mainland may also be creating more sea ice, by dumping easily frozen fresh water into the ocean, says Nerilie Abram of the Australian National University in Canberra.

    The extra sea ice is a good thing, as it reflects sunlight and slows global warming. But the sea ice is expected to shrink eventually. "By 2100 we will see dramatic reductions," says Lieser. "Once it goes belly-up it's not good for the rest of the world."

As Congressman Joe Wilson might say, they lie.  The debate is indeed over. The side that lies loses.

SOURCE  (See the original for links)

Blathering Eco-Intellectuals

By Alan Caruba

I confess I have always been wary of intellectuals. They love arcane theories that often have little to do with real life and this is particularly true of eco-intellectuals who have embraced a panoply of lies and claims about the “environment”, “fossil fuels”, “sustainability”, and other notions that permit them to bloviate without once addressing reality.

This has been a week of eco-propaganda on a global scale. On Sunday there were “Climate Marches.” On Tuesday there will be a UN “Climate Summit”, and there will likely be an avalanche of nonsense in the media intended to make us believe we have control, influence, or impact on the climate when it is obvious to the rest of us that we—the human race—have none.

In the past nearly two decades we have all been experiencing not a warning, but a cooling of planet Earth. It has nothing to do with us and everything to do with the Sun that has been in a low cycle of radiation—less heat!

A friend alerted me to an article in the August 22nd edition of the New Republic, a famously liberal magazine. “Global Warming Is Just One of Many Environmental Threats That Demand Our Attention” is the title of Amartya Sen’s article. He is a Nobel laureate in economics, a winner of the National Humanities Medal, an author, and teaches at Harvard University.

There were two immediate red flags that caught my attention. First was that he is an economist and the second was that he was writing about “global warming” as of it was happening.

In early September I had written about another economist who had an opinion published in The Wall Street Journal. It was ludicrous in terms of his complete lack of even the most basic science he was either addressing or ignoring as he too warned of horrid environmental portents to come.  Economists should stick to economics.

If you suffer from insomnia or have a fondness for reading sentences filled with words rarely used in common communication, you will find that Sen’s article will either put you to sleep or, more likely, give you a migraine headache. The article is an insufferable platform for him to demonstrate his Nobel certified intellectual brilliance, while possessing very little understanding of science or what we ordinary people call common sense.

“Our global environment has many problems. If the high volume of carbon emission is one, the low level of intellectual engagement with some of the major environmental challenges is surely another.” That’s how Sen began his article and, in the very first sentence, he reveals his ignorance by referring to “carbon emissions” instead of “carbon dioxide” (CO2) emissions.

The latter is a so-called “greenhouse” gas that the Greens keep telling us is trapping huge amounts of heat in the Earth’s atmosphere that will surely kill us all. CO2 is about 0.04% of the entire atmosphere, the least of the gases of which it is composed. It doesn’t trap heat, but it does provide the “food” that all vegetation requires to grow. We carbon-based humans exhale CO2 after we breathe in oxygen. It is part of the natural cycle of life between animals and the vegetation that releases oxygen; a perfect balance of nature.

Suffice to say that Sen’s very lengthy article is typical of the eco-intellectual disdain for virtually any form of energy to serve humanity except for the two least reliable, wind and solar energy. There’s a reason why mankind turned to coal, oil and natural gas. It was vastly abundant and released large amounts of energy for transportation and other benefits that include the production of electricity.

There was a time not that long ago when people used whale oil to light their homes. And wood was used to heat them. Walt Whitman, a famed poet who lived in Lincoln’s time, never turned on an electrical switch in his life. It didn’t exist 150 years ago. There were no autos, no telephones, et cetera. If you define a generation as 25 years, that’s only six generations ago. And Sen wants us to abandon “fossil fuels” because he fears “the dangers of global pollution from fossil fuels…”

He’s no fan of nuclear power either. (I guess we should all go back to whale oil, only we won’t because we love the whales.) “There are at least five different kinds of externalities that add significantly to the social costs of nuclear power” writes Sen, but who else refers to “externalities” of nuclear power? Okay, why not just say there have been two bad accidents, Chernobyl and Fukushima, and leave it at that. That still leaves a lot of safely performing nuclear plants here and worldwide.

We do not live in a world without risk or trade-offs. For lack of enough pipelines, a lot of oil is being transported by rail and there have been accidents. Around the world there are coal mining accidents. Even solar farms literally sizzle birds to death that fly over them and wind turbines chop them into little pieces.

Mother Nature does not care what happens to us when she conjures up a volcanic eruption, a flood, a wildfire, a hurricane or blizzard.

Humans have learned to either flee these things or wait them out in the safety of their homes. That’s what modern life is all about and it is a hundred times better than in the past when people were lucky to live to the age of sixty. Many died much younger from plagues of disease and we are watching that occur with Ebola in Africa. Even simple injuries caused death a scant time ago.

“There are empirical gaps in our knowledge as well as analytical difficulties in dealing with the evaluation of uncertainty.” Huh? What? This is intellectual gobbledygook, a substitute for saying that much of the time we don’t know what the future holds.

What we do know is that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old and that we humans have developed what we call civilization over the past 5,000 years, a blink of time in eternity.

We should know by now to accept the Earth, the Sun and the galaxy in which we live for what it is and stop bothering to embrace idiotic notions that we have any control or that we are causing so much “pollution” the Earth cannot exist much longer.

You know what we do with the mess of stuff we produce and throw away? We burn it or we bury it. We even recycle some of it.

This keeps archeologists busy as they examine the garbage our not-too-distant ancestors left behind in their caves. Thankfully, none of them were economists.



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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Muslim anger and global warming

The inability of Muslims to see any wrongdoing by their fellow Muslims seems to be common worldwide.  And we have now seen a prime example of it in Australia. A report of it below.  After a young Afghan Muslim, Numan Haider, was shot by police, the sentiment among his community seems to be that he had done no wrong.  He had simply made a "mistake" and police should not have shot him.  That the police shot him while he was stabbing them with a knife and inflicting serious injuries doesn't matter, apparently. "Infidel" police should let themselves be stabbed by Muslims seems to be the idea.  Decent people would be embarrassed that one of their number had behaved so badly but brains rotted by Islam are apparently incapable of that.

The rage is so irrational that it reminds me of a couple of other things.  In 1980 or thereabouts in Australia a Yugoslav hoodlum named Kresimir Dragosevic died in a hail of police bullets.  Mrs Dragosevic, his mother, thought it was most unfair that the police shot her dear little Kresimir.  The fact that Kresimir was shooting at the police at the time did not seem to matter.

So, clearly, for many people, reason flies out the window when their own personal interests are threatened or damaged.  Which brings me to global warming.  Warmists have the wonderful feelgood belief that they are "saving the planet" and that is far too rewarding to let facts get in the way of such a belief.  They will even let themselves be lectured by an emptyheaded High School dropout like Leonardo di Caprio on the subject if it helps to bolster their feelings of righteousness and mission.  No wonder there is so much poverty and so much suffering in the world when rationality can so easily be overwhelmed by personal emotional needs.

ANGER boiled over outside a mosque as the body of the shot teen was prepared for burial.

A man threw rocks at media waiting at the Doveton mosque after earlier being seen at Numan Haider’s family home.

The teen terror suspect’s family spoke of their devastation.

Others grieving the loss of Haider lashed out at police for shooting him.

Religious leaders told the Herald Sun Haider was expected to be buried as soon as today, after a Muslim service.

A friend who visited the family’s Endeavour Hills home said they were overwhelmed by grief. “They are very, very upset and devastated,” the family friend said.

“No one knows what happened. It’s a big shock to their family, and they can’t believe what has happened.

“This family is bright. They are well educated and have good connection to the Afghan families.”

There were angry scenes when a member of the Afghan community, on leaving the house, blamed police.

“They should not have shot him — he was 18,” the woman screamed. “If you (the police) can’t protect yourself, how are you going to protect the nation? Did you make mistakes when you were 18?  “If someone makes a mistake, you can’t shoot him.”

Conservative sheik Mohammad Jamal Omran visited the home to offer his condolences, and said he was saddened by the tragedy.

“We spoke about their sadness and we spoke about their loss.  “They cried on my shoulder, but still they need a long time to recover,” he said.

“There (is) trouble around us in the world. We don’t have to bring the trouble home.

“When I look at my right, I see the sorrow of the two police families.

“And I look at my left, and see this family losing a young man of theirs, of ours, and of Australia altogether.”


Warmist rage directed at Australia

Good to see that Australia's abolition of the carbon tax (etc.) has been widely noted

The United Nations has an awkward habit of using celebrities to give voice to its key concerns, at once amplifying its messages and somehow diminishing their significance.

At this week's General Assembly the key concern was global warming and the celebrity mouthpiece was Leonardo DiCaprio.

As though aware of the awkwardness of his position, in his address to the General Assembly, DiCaprio sought to buttress his call for drastic and immediate action to reduce carbon emissions with a voice harder to challenge than his own.

"The Chief of the US Navy's Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear, recently said that climate change is our single greatest security threat," said DiCaprio. "My friends, this body – perhaps more than any other gathering in human history – now faces that difficult task. You can make history, or be vilified by it."

The speech was well given and well received, but it turned out that his prediction was not entirely correct. Australia did not have to wait for history, it was vilified for its stance on climate change on the spot.

On Sunday the Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, told members of the Major Economies Forum at a side meeting that Australia intended to stick with its low target of 5 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

This, she said, was an ambitious target, and she noted that Australia was responsible for producing only 1.5 per cent of the world's greenhouse gasses.

"I'm disappointed but not surprised with Australia," Pa Ousman Jarju, Gambia's Climate Change Minister who represents the 54 least developed nations at UN climate talks, told the Responding to Climate Change analysis website later. "What the Foreign Minister said was as good as not coming. It's nothing… as good as not attending."

Indeed Tony Abbott did not attend Tuesday's meeting, though many attendees detected a reference to Australia – among a handful of other notable recalcitrants – in Barack Obama's keynote speech.

"We can only succeed in combating climate change if we are joined in this effort by every nation – developed and developing alike. Nobody gets a pass," he said.

"The emerging economies that have experienced some of the most dynamic growth in recent years have also emitted rising levels of carbon pollution.

"It is those emerging economies that are likely to produce more and more carbon emissions in the years to come.  So nobody can stand on the sidelines on this issue.  We have to set aside the old divides.  We have to raise our collective ambition, each of us doing what we can to confront this global challenge."

Obama appeared to be addressing not only Australia and Canada, the developed nations dependent on mineral exports, as well as China and India, the developing nations whose carbon footprint is expanding rapidly and which have asserted their right to economic expansion before carbon reduction.

As with Mr Abbott, China's Xi Jinping did not attend and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, sent Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar. China now emits more greenhouse gases than the US and EU combined and India is the third-largest emitter.

But it was Australia and to an extent Canada that were subject to most of the opprobrium, in part because they have already enjoyed the economic benefits of carbon emissions, in part because China is perceived to be on the brink of significant action.

One of the successes of Tuesday's meeting was China's announcement for the first time ever that it would set an emissions target, aiming to reduce its emissions of carbon per unit of GDP by 45 per cent by 2020, compared with levels in 2005.

"As a responsible major country, a major developing country, China will make even greater effort to address climate change," Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli said.

"All countries need to follow the path of green and low carbon development that suits their national conditions, [and] set forth post-2020 actions in light of actual circumstances."

An adviser who attended a meeting of small island states that excoriated Australia's inaction on climate said the group now viewed China's commitments optimistically.

The reaction to Australia's presence could not have been more different. Tony de Brum, the Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands, told Fairfax that small islands states were frustrated and baffled by Australia's stance, especially as they had regarded the nation as a "big brother down south" and advocated for its seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Asked if "betrayal" was too strong a word, he paused and said, "Now it is, maybe not soon."

On Tuesday the Pulitzer Prize-winning climate change news website Inside Climate News published a story about the "Canada-Australia axis of carbon". It suggested that not only were the two nations not willing to pull their weight, but that they were seeking to derail the binding agreement on emissions reductions at next year's talks in Paris that many view as the world's last best hope to prevent catastrophic climate change.

"Neither the prime ministers of Canada nor Australia will speak at the summit, and the subordinates they have sent will not be offering the kind of "bold" new steps that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is seeking on the way to a treaty in Paris late next year," it reported.

"Instead, these two governments, with their energy-rich domains sprawling across opposite ends of the earth, will present strikingly similar defences against what much of the rest of the world is offering. And their stance is earning them opprobrium among advocates of strong and immediate action."

The online magazine Slate published a story headlined, "The Saudi Arabia of the Pacific, How Australia became the dirtiest polluter in the developed world."

It charted Australian climate politics since the last election – noting for an international audience Australia's history as a leader in solar technology, the creation and then scrapping of a carbon trading scheme, the promotion of climate change sceptics to key advisory roles, the attacks on the solar industry, the scrapping of the mining tax, the failed bid to expand logging in Tasmanian wilderness.

"Let's hope that the rapacious policies of the current government represent only a temporary bout of insanity," Slate concluded. "If the Australian people cannot recover some of their earlier regard for their environment they may find in time that their great land is no longer merely apathetic toward their residence there but openly hostile."

Whether or not the UN summit was a success is open to debate. Its organisers kept its goals vague enough so as to avoid failure, declaring its intention was to build momentum towards next year's critical talks in Paris, when it is hoped a binding international resolution will be hammered out.

China's announcement was welcomed, as was the declaration by pension funds, insurers and asset management firms controlling $2 trillion worth of funds that they wanted avenues for climate friendly investments. More than a 1000 business and investors backed a World Bank campaign for emissions taxes and trading schemes like the one Australia just abandoned. Leaders reaffirmed a goal to limit climate change to 2 degrees.

More than $US2.3 billion ($2.6 billion) of a called-for $US10 billion was pledged for a Green Climate Fund to help developing nations get access to clean technologies. Organisers of Sunday's march in support of action were thrilled at a turnout of between 300,000 and 400,000.

Whether it was enough to spur real action will not be known until December next year.


Another crooked scientist

Prof. Tyson is of course an energetic promoter of Warmism

Neil deGrasse Tyson may well be America’s most prominent scientist.  He is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space, and a research associate in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History, both in New York.  He was the host for Fox’s “Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey” and PBS’s “NOVA ScienceNow.”  He is a prominent lecturer and public intellectual, and may be more well known than Bill Nye, the Science Guy.  He is a noted authority on science and current affairs — and yet, according to at least one critic, he may have a habit of making up some of the tales he tells in his speeches.

In a series of articles for The Federalist, a right-leaning Web magazine, Sean Davis makes a strong case that Tyson has a habit of telling tall tales.  The details of one personal story – what happened when Tyson was called for jury duty — vary with each telling. Other tales, such as quotes attributed to members of Congress and unnamed journalists, seem too good to be true, and prove difficult to verify.

Most significantly, Tyson attributes a quote to a September 2001 speech by former President George W. Bush that no one can seem to find.  Here’s Davis:

According to Tyson, in the days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Bush uttered the phrase, “Our God is the God who named the stars.” According to Tyson, the president made that claim as a way of segregating radical Islam from religions like Christianity or Judaism.

TYSON: Here’s what happens. George Bush, within a week of [the 9/11 terrorist attacks] gave us a speech attempting to distinguish we from they. And who are they? These were sort of the Muslim fundamentalists. And he wants to distinguish we from they. And how does he do it?

He says, “Our God” — of course it’s actually the same God, but that’s a detail, let’s hold that minor fact aside for the moment. Allah of the Muslims is the same God as the God of the Old Testament. So, but let’s hold that aside. He says, “Our God is the God” — he’s loosely quoting Genesis, biblical Genesis — “Our God is the God who named the stars.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s story has three central claims: 1) Bush uttered that precise phrase, 2) in the days immediately after 9/11, 3) in order to distance American religion from that practiced by radical Muslims.

As you have probably already guessed, every single claim is false. Every one! Then there’s Tyson’s aside that Bush’s quote was a “loose quote” of the book of Genesis. Yep, that’s false, too.

Davis could not find any account of Bush having said anything remotely resembling the quote in the days following 9/11, and Bush’s speechwriters deny this is something the president said.  I checked the WhiteHouse.gov archive of Bush speeches, too, and it’s not there.  (There is, however, a short speech on Islam as a religion of peace, which takes a very different tack than that which Tyson suggests.)

The closest thing Davis could find to the quote Tyson attributes to Bush is from remarks the president gave in 2003.

The only similar quote came in February of 2003 after the crash of the space shuttle Columbia, when the president said, “The same Creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today.”

However, contrary to what Tyson has repeatedly claimed, the Columbia space shuttle comment — which was wholly different in purpose, content, and timing than the alleged 9/11 quote cited by Tyson — was meant to unite the nation following a horrible tragedy, not divide it based on religion. And contrary to Tyson’s claim that the alleged quote was loosely taken from Genesis, the actual quote was taken from the book of Isaiah. A similar verse can also be found in Psalm 147.

Note that the claims Davis contests are not casual remarks in conversation or responses to questions, but planned and repeated accounts.  The various stories Davis challenges are regularly repeated in Tyson’s lectures, and the Bush anecdote is highlighted on the Hayden planetarium Web site.  They are the sorts of claims someone of Tyson’s stature should not be making in public lectures unless they are, in fact, true. Politicians are routinely flayed for less — and we know Tyson is much smarter than the average politician. He should not be held to a lower standard.

It is possible that all of the claims Tyson has made are accurate (save for all the variations of his jury duty tale).  The various quotes, including that by Bush, may well exist.  If so, I would think Tyson can provide citations.  If not, Tyson should acknowledge his errors.

If the quotes are verified, by Tyson or someone else, I will update this post accordingly. I will also post any response I receive from Tyson, and link to any response from him published elsewhere.  Tyson’s agent had no response to this Daily Beast story, though a representative of the Hayden Planetarium apparently verified the Tyson comment referenced here.


White-House fence jumper was a Greenie

“White House fence jumper had ammunition, machete in car, prosecutors said,” the Washington Post’s headline screams. As always during modern-day politically-related crime stories where weapons are involved, the ideology of the suspect is investigated by the MSM. If the suspect was a man of the right, those details would be in the lede of the article, or in the headline.

If he’s a man of the left? Well, it’s likely no coincidence that you have dig down eleven paragraphs into the Post’s story for this detail:

"According to an affidavit signed by Secret Service officer David Hochman, Gonzalez after his arrest told Agent Lee Smart that he was concerned that the “atmosphere was collapsing” and that he needed to inform the president to get the word out to the people."

However, neither prosecutors nor Gonzalez’s assigned defense attorneys invoked his mental competency as an issue for now. Assistant Federal Public Defender David Bos said Gonzalez understands the proceeding against him.

Yes, if the Post’s reporting is accurate concerning Gonzalez, anyone who believes “the atmosphere is collapsing” is some brand of nutter, and nutters can be found on both sides of the aisle.


Our previous post on Terry Gilliam noted that he called those who disagree with his far left environmentalist worldview “a fungus and if I was running the country I would take them out and shoot them.”

As I wrote, we live in a media world in which Sarah Palin was tied into the Gabrielle Giffords shooting over clip-art and ABC’s Brian Ross immediately smeared a Tea Party member with the the same name as the Aurora Colorado lunatic who shot up a Batman premiere, ideology trumps insanity in the eyes of the media.

Or as Ace of Spades wrote in December of 2012 after the New York Times began politicizing the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT from the left only a few hours after castigating the pro-Constitution side of the aisle for doing the same from their worldview:

Incidentally, the gun-rights people “politicizing” this are doing so pre-emptively, because they’ve seen this play six hundred times before and they know what happens in the Second Act.

I mean, it’s not like we’re as stupid as you claim. We are able to remember things that happened more than a week ago.

This is also why we now immediately search for a gunman’s political affiliation– because we know that’s the first thing you do.

This is the cynical world the media created, in service to their Democrat allies. Once again, the MSM should read Gabriel Malor’s “Tweetable Guide To Media Myths And Left-wing Violence.”


Chief Meteorologist At Weatherbell Analytics: Organizers Of People’s Climate March Were ‘Prostituting The Weather And Climate’

Dom Giordano talked to Joe Bastardi, from Weatherbell Analytics, on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT to discuss the People’s Climate March in New York City.

Bastardi said that people are not causing climate change and expects scientific data to eventually back that up.

“The debate on what is going on is over. It is over. Now we just have to see what happens when the Atlantic flips into its cold cycle and the cyclical nature of the sun, whether we return to the temperatures we were in the late seventies as measured by objective satellite readings.”

He commented that the protestors at the climate march were more concerned with their political agenda than climate science.

“If you really paid attention to what happened, the mask is off, and I appreciate that those people that organized this came out and let us know who they were. If you look at the list of people, Communist Party USA, Socialists. Fine, if you want to have that debate, that debate should be done at the polling place and should be done in the halls of Congress or try to change laws. It shouldn’t be prostituting the weather and climate for your own needs.”

Bastardi stated there are technical disagreements that can be addressed among scientists, but really doesn’t rise to any level of concern for the general public.

“This is ridiculous. This should be two weather geeks arguing over a chess game with a cup of tea or whatever you want to drink. The whole thing is blown out, it’s one of the weirdest arguments I’ve ever been involved with, because in the end, there is nothing new under the sun, and nature, not man, rules the climate system.”


West Coast warming blamed on natural causes, not human activity

A century-long warming of the West Coast of North America has occured mostly due to natural changes in winds and not human-induced activity such as greenhouse gas emissions, a new study suggests.

The average temperature along the West Coast increased by about 1 degree Fahrenheit between 1900 and 2000. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that changing winds that affect ocean circulation were responsible for more than 80 percent of the warming trend along the Pacific Northwest coast between Washington and Northern California. In Southern California, wind patterns accounted for about 60 percent of the increased warming.

"Changing winds appear to explain a very large fraction of the warming from year to year, decade to decade and the long-term," study author James Johnstone, an independent climatologist who did most of the work for the study when he was at the University of Washington's Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, told the Los Angeles Times. The paper explains that a weakening of coastal winds slowed down evaporation and altered ocean currents, which boosted local temperatures.

The researchers determined that most of the temperature increase in the region happened before 1940, and that human activity such as greenhouse gas emissions was not a major factor.

"It's a simple story, but the results are very surprising: We do not see a human hand in the warming of the West Coast," study co-author Nate Mantua, now with NOAA Fisheries' Southwest Fisheries Science Center, told the Seattle Times. "That is taking people by surprise, and may generate some blowback."

But the results do not suggest there's no relationship between human activity and global climate change, the researchers stressed.

"This [study] doesn't say that global warming is not happening," Mantua told the paper. "It doesn't say human-caused climate change isn't happening globally. It's a regional story."

However, the new findings do raise questions about how well climate change models can predict information about changes in local temperatures.

Some experts who were not involved in the study expressed skepticism of the quality of the early 20th-century data the scientists used in the study.

"The principles they are putting forth in the paper I agree with, but as you go back further and further in time you start to increase the amount of error inherent in the data," John Abatzoglou, a climatologist at the University of Idaho, told the Seattle Times. Abatzoglu co-authored a study earlier this year that determined that human issues were a leading cause of temperature rise in the Northwest.

In addition, Amy Snover, the head of Climate Impacts Group at University of Washington, told the paper that the study doesn't contradict the long-term trend of global climate change.

"I think what it does show is that there are aspects of regional climate that these models could do better at," Snover said. "But we know we're in for a bumpy ride. We know that the influence of humans on climate is only growing over time. We expect over coming decades for that influence to get bigger and bigger."

The new study was published Monday in the journal PNAS.


UK: Power from wind turbines slumps - due to lack of wind

Power produced by wind farms slumped by a fifth in the second quarter of this year, despite hundreds of new turbines being built – because it wasn’t very windy.

Official Government statistics published on Thursday show that in the three months to the end of June, the amount of electricity produced by offshore wind farms fell by 22 per cent, to 2 terawatt-hours (TWh), compared with the same period the year before.

Yet the number of offshore wind turbines operating grew significantly – with 4.1 gigawatts (GW) of capacity installed in the seas around the UK by June this year, up from 3.5GW by June 2013.

Power output from onshore wind farms also fell, by 17 per cent to 3.22 TWh. The fall came despite dozens of new wind farms being built, increasing onshore wind capacity by 14 per cent over the same period.

There was 8GW of onshore capacity at the end of June, 1GW more than a year before.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said that the impact of increased capacity was “out-weighed by that of very low wind speeds”.

“Average wind speeds were 1.6 knots lower than a year earlier, and the lowest for quarter two for four years. Average wind speeds in June were the lowest for any month in the last 14 years,” it said.

About 900 turbines were constructed on and offshore over the course of 2013, according to Renewable UK.

Dr John Constable, director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, which publishes data on the sector and is critical of subsidy costs, said: “The latest DECC data is further confirmation that wind power output is highly variable over all timescales, minutes, hours, months, and even from year to year.

“These variabilities are physically manageable but they have highly significant negative economic impacts on the rest of the power generation fleet, whose market is made very uncertain, and these uncertainties ultimately mean much higher costs for consumers.”

While wind power output fell, the amount of electricity generated from solar farms soared by 67 per cent, to 1.2TWh.

The rise was in line with a near-identical increase in the amount of solar capacity installed.

Ministers have admitted that solar farms have been installed far more rapidly than they had expected, thanks to costs falling and developers taking advantage of generous subsidies.

In May they announced they were closing a subsidy scheme two years earlier than planned to stop the spread of the farms, which critics say are blighting the countryside.

Ministers originally anticipated between 2.4-4GW of large-scale solar being installed by 2020. Yet the latest DECC statistics show that the upper end of that range has now been exceeded, with 4.1GW installed by the end of June.

A spokesman for the wind industry trade association RenewableUK said: "Although it's no secret that there are some periods that are even windier than others, the wider statistics show that wind energy is generating increasing amounts of clean electricity for British homes and businesses year on year.

"When you look at the last twelve months as a whole, generation from renewable sources in the UK went up to just over 17 per cent - up from 13 per cent in the previous 12 months. The lion's share of that came from onshore and offshore wind - just over 50 per cent of it.

"In August, wind energy outstripped coal and nuclear for several days, and hit at all time 24-hour record high of 22 per cent of the UK's electricity needs.

"National Grid has no problem taking clean power generated by wind whenever it's available as often as it can, and it can predict exactly where the power will come from in advance with pinpoint accuracy. Every unit of electricity we generate from wind offsets a unit from polluting fossil fuels, so anyone who cares about climate change knows that we need to make the most of it whenever we can."

One green power company, Infinis Energy, reported last month that its onshore wind farms had exported a third less power in the three months to June, compared to the same period the year before, blaming “low wind speeds experienced across the UK throughout the period”.

However, it said it would be “well placed to benefit from recovering wind speeds when they occur”.



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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Friday, September 26, 2014

Obama Organizes World Community on Climate Change

The great community organizer stood before the United Nations and rallied the peoples of the world on global warming. “Nobody gets a pass,” Barack Obama said, not even developing nations. At this point, he might have shot the Chinese delegation a glance over his teleprompter.

He continued, “The alarm bells keep ringing, our citizens keep marching,” he said, alluding to the environmentalists rallying elsewhere in New York. Did he evoke a presidential mandate from his election? No, the country is too divided for that. Instead, he based his authority for executive action on the 350,000 or so hippies, tourists and students caught up in the People’s Climate March. “We can’t pretend we can’t hear them,” Obama said. “We need to answer the call. We need to cut carbon emission in our countries to prevent worse effects, adapt and work together as global community to tackle this global threat before it is too late.”

He might have worn out his welcome in the neighborhood of Capitol Hill, but this new neighborhood seems promising.


Robert Kennedy Jr., A nasty little tyrant and an American Fascist

He’d like to charge the Kochs with treason and send climate-change dissenters to jail

Blissfully unaware of how hot the irony burned, Robert Kennedy Jr. yesterday took to a public protest to rail avidly in favor of censorship. The United States government, Kennedy lamented in an interview with Climate Depot, is not permitted by law to “punish” or to imprison those who disagree with him — and this, he proposed, is a problem of existential proportions. Were he to have his way, Kennedy admitted, he would cheer the prosecution of a host of “treasonous” figures — among them a number of unspecified “politicians”; those bêtes noires of the global Left, Kansas’s own Koch Brothers; “the oil industry and the Republican echo chamber”; and, for good measure, anybody else whose estimation of the threat posed by fossil fuels has provoked them into “selling out the public trust.” Those who contend that global warming “does not exist,” Kennedy claimed, are guilty of “a criminal offense — and they ought to be serving time for it.”

Thus did a scion of one of America’s great political dynasties put himself on the same lowly moral, legal, and intellectual plane as the titillation website Gawker.

It is dull and dispiriting that it should need so often to be repeated, but, for the sake of tedious clarity, repeat it I shall: Freedom of speech is a wholly fruitless guarantee unless it is held steadfastly to protect even those utterances that most pugnaciously contravene the zeitgeist and most grievously offend the well-connected. Inherent to the safeguard, further, is the supposition that the state may not distinguish between speakers or make legal judgments as to whose words are valuable are whose should be frowned upon. Despite a concerted and increasingly unsustainable attempt to suggest otherwise, the question of climate change remains an open and rambunctious one, and the debate that surrounds the topic remains protected in practice by the First Amendment and in civil society by the dual forces of taste and liberality. Robert Kennedy, by agitating for the suppression of heterodoxy, is casting himself as an enemy of all three.

Kennedy’s insidious aspirations are the inevitable consequence of his conviction that he is in possession of the truth and that all who have the temerity to question him are, in consequence, wreckers. At the best of times, and on the least shaky of epistemological ground, this is a dangerous instinct. In this area in particular, it is downright frightening. Of late, it has become drearily standard to hear the Kennedys of the world pretend that if one acknowledges basic climate mechanics, one is forced to take notoriously unreliable computer models at face value and, further, to acquiesce in whatever political “solutions” are currently en vogue. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whatever “consensus” can be said to exist in the realm of climatology is largely limited to the presumption that industrial activity is bound by the same chemical, biological, and physical rules as is any other human pursuit, and to the acknowledgement that if one changes the makeup of the atmosphere, the atmosphere will change. Quite how it will change, to what extent, and to what degree any such transmutation represents a problem for life on earth, however, remain open questions. At present, there remain serious disagreements as to what has caused the current “pause” in global warming; as to what accounts for the embarrassing failure of so many of the forecasts on which we are expected to rely; as to how much of an effect modulations in the climate are having on extreme weather events; and as to how much we can possibly know about the future anyhow.

Wide open, too, are the political questions of what exactly can and should be done about any genuine changes in climate — and at what cost; of whether some climatological alterations are in fact a reasonable price to pay for the astonishing improvements in life expectancy and material wellbeing that the industrial revolution has yielded; of whether man is better off attempting to leverage his ingenuity and to outrun Gaia as he has outrun Malthus; and of at what cost to our liberty and our safety any amendments to our way of life might come. When the likes of Robert Kennedy reveal themselves to be the nasty little tyrants that we have always suspected them to be, this lattermost question comes screaming back into focus. If this affair has revealed any “treason” at all, the guilty party is not the skeptical population of the United States, but Robert Kennedy and his enablers. To fantasize about jailing one’s opponents is, I’m afraid, a sure sign of mental imbalance, and a gold-leafed invitation to be quietly excluded from polite society. Goodbye, Robert.

Scientific knowledge, by its nature, cannot ever be said to be so “settled” as to justify the silencing of critics. Still, even were the debate over climate change in some way to be resolved in perpetuity, the prospect of incarcerating those who dissented would be no less grotesque. In the small part of Planet Earth in which man can be said to be free, governments exist to secure the liberty of those that employ them, not to serve as arbiters of truth. When Robert Kennedy contends that there ought to be “a law” with which the state “could punish” nonconformists, he is in effect inviting Washington, D.C., to establish itself as an oracle, to ensconce in aspic a set of approved facts, and to cast those who refuse to accede as heretics who must be hunted down and burned in the interest of the greater good. In other words, he is advising that we dismantle that most precious of all liberties: the right to our own conscience. As the blood-spattered history of the human race shows us in appalling and graphic detail, the wise response to the man who insists that the Holocaust did not happen, or that 2 + 2 = 5, or that the United States is geographically smaller than Sweden is to gently correct him — and, if one must, to mock or ignore or berate him, too. It is never — under any circumstances — to push him through the criminal-justice system. The cry “but this is different” remains in the case of climate change precisely what it has always been: the cry of the ambitious and the despotic. Once the principle of free speech is subordinated to expedience, circumstances can always be found to justify its suppression.

It is alarming, perhaps, that the loudest condemnations of Kennedy and his ilk will come not from the scientific community, but from a small clique of classical liberals who remain uncommonly jealous of their rights and who are prepared to fight for them come what may. Where, though, is the outcry from the academy? A state that is sufficiently intrusive to jail anybody who dissents from the “consensus” of the “scientific community” is also sufficiently intrusive to jail those within it. By what mathematical standard might we determine who is to be saved? Worse, perhaps, the suggestion that the nation’s courts exist to arbitrate intellectual disputes serves to plant in the minds of the general public the false and counterproductive notion that it is government force and not the interplay of unfettered reason and objective reality that determines “truth.” Airplanes do not fly because the FAA grants them approval to do so, but because our engineers and physicists have correctly determined what they need to do in order that steel might conquer air. Insofar as it has one at all in this area, the role of the state is to facilitate debate and innovation and, at least as far as the exchange of ideas is concerned, then stay out of the way. That the actions of the government and the judgments of a particular subsection of society sometimes line up is an inevitable and, sometimes, a good thing. Nevertheless, taking advice from a group and punishing that group’s critics are different things altogether, for hypotheses cannot be either proven or disproven by jackboots alone.

In its purest form, the case against Robert Kennedy’s being permitted to subject the Koch brothers to “three hots and a cot at the Hague with all the other war criminals” is a relatively straightforward one: Namely, that the Kochs are not war criminals, and that nor, for that matter, are the politicians, pundits, entertainers, businessmen, and voters who have joined them in skepticism. And yet the importance of keeping Kennedy’s view at the fringes goes much, much deeper, relating as it does to core questions about liberty, scientific inquiry, and the manner in which the two feed and support one another. There are fair arguments to be had about surface temperatures, chlorofluorocarbons, and the troposphere, but not a single one of them can be productively indulged if the price of the game is the destruction of its less popular players.


What really drives anti-fracking zealots?


Recent news stories underscore the tremendous benefits brought by America's fracking revolution.

* The shale oil production boom could boost US crude production to 9.5 million barrels of oil per day (bopd) next year, reducing America's crude oil imports to 21% of domestic demand, the lowest level since 1968. Output from fracked wells represents 43% of all US oil production and 67% of natural gas production; "frack oil" could hit 10 million bopd by 2016, the Energy Information Administration says.

* The global economy saves $4.9 billion per day in oil spending because of the shale oil boom. Without it there would be a 3 million barrel per day shortfall and prices would likely be 55% higher: $150/barrel.

* Constantly improving hydraulic fracturing technologies continue to increase production. For example, Cabot Oil & Gas refracked a 2013 Pennsylvania well, increasing its output to 30.3 million cubic feet of gas per day; that's four times the output from the best well drilled in 2003. Fracking is even being used in decades-old onshore and offshore wells, to keep them producing for many more years.

* Rust Belt cities and industries - from manufacturing, real estate and law to hotels, restaurants and many others - are rebounding because of drilling, fracking and production in nearby shale areas. In Ohio unemployment fell to 5.7% in July from 10.6% four years ago; oil output increased 26% just from the previous quarter, while gas production rose 31% - generating billions in state and local revenues.

* The US oil and natural gas boom means jobs and business for almost 30,000 companies within the industry's vast and complex supply chain. Indeed, the petroleum industry accounts for nearly 10 million jobs and almost 8% of all domestic economic activity, including states far from actual drilling activities.

* The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers launched a new website to help veterans and other men and women find high-paying jobs in the booming oilfield, fuel and petrochemical industries.

There are numerous other benefits, while the alleged risks are exaggerated or even fabricated. So what drives anti-fracking zealots who seem to materialize en masse whenever a new project is announced?

Follow the money - and the ideology. Big Green is big business. The US environmental activist industry alone is a $13.4-billion-a-year operation. It pours that money into determined campaigns to eliminate fossil fuels, gain ever greater control over our lives, reduce our living standards, and end free-enterprise capitalism. It drives its agenda with clever but phony crises: catastrophic climate change, unsustainable development, imminent resource depletion, poisonous frack chemicals and dozens of others.

Fracking obliterates its claim that we are about to run out of oil and gas - and so must slash our living standards, spend billions on crony-corporatist "renewable energy" schemes, and put radical green bureaucrats and activists in charge of our lives, livelihoods, living standards and remaining liberties. They are incensed that fracking guarantees a hydrocarbon renaissance and predominance for decades to come. They won't even acknowledge that "frack gas" helps reduce (plant-fertilizing) carbon dioxide emissions.

Even über wealthy celebrities get involved. Exaggerations and fabrications, confrontations and often callous disregard of other people's needs are their stock in trade. In torrents of angry outrage and demands for totally one-sided precaution, they denounce any suggestion that fracking is safe or beneficial.

Whatever alternative technologies they support comply with their "precautionary principle." Whatever they oppose violates it. They trumpet alleged risks of using fracking and hydrocarbon technologies, but ignore even the most obvious benefits of using them ... and most obvious risks of not using them.

Anti-fracking zealots tend to be well-off, and largely clueless about the true sources of modern living standards. They assume electricity comes from wall sockets, food from grocery stores, iPhones from Apple Stores. You can count on one hand the farm, utility or factory workers they know personally.

They are dismissive about people who are jobless because of their war on affordable energy - and about poor rural New York families that are barely hanging onto their farms, unable to tap the Marcellus Shale riches beneath their land, because of an Albany and Manhattan-instigated moratorium.

They are equally uncaring about the world's impoverished billions, whose hope for better lives depends on the reliable, affordable electricity that drilling and fracking can help bring. Worldwide, 1.4 billion people still do not have access to electricity including 300 million in India and 550 million in Africa. Millions die from lung and intestinal diseases that would largely disappear if they had electricity.

What the frack is wrong with this picture? This is not the same environmental movement that Ron Arnold, Patrick Moore and I belonged to decades ago. Big Green has become too rich, too powerful, too driven by perverse, inhumane notions of ethics, social responsibility and compassion. Their claims about ethanol and wind power being environment-friendly are just as out of touch with reality.

But what about their incessant claims that fracking contaminates groundwater and drinking water? Even EPA has not been able to cite a single "proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water." A September 2013 report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences further confirms this. After carefully examining water wells in heavily fracked areas of Pennsylvania and Texas, researchers concluded that rare cases of methane (natural gas) contamination were not due to fracking.

Instead they resulted from improper cement and pipe installation near the surface, thousands of feet above the frack zone. The problem is covered by existing regulations and is preventable and relatively easy to correct. Petroleum industry and state officials are already collaborating to further strengthen the regulations where necessary, enforce them more vigorously, and improve well completion practices.

Moreover, some of the contamination resulted from water wells being drilled through rock formations that hold naturally occurring methane. Indeed, there have been very few cases of any contamination, out of more than one million wells hydraulically fractured since the first "frack job" was done in 1947, and out of 20,000 wells fracked in Pennsylvania since the Keystone State's boom began in 2008.

Of course, none of this is likely to assuage anti-fracking factions or end their fictions. They are driven by motives that have nothing to do with protecting people's health or environmental quality. In fact, what they advocate would further impair human health and environmental quality.

The great Irish statesman Edmund Burke could have been talking about these "fracktivists" when he said: "Because half a dozen grasshoppers make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle ... chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that they are the only inhabitants of the field ... or that they are other than little, shriveled, meager, though loud and troublesome, insects of the hour."

Unfortunately, these definitely loud and troublesome insects have also grown powerful, meddlesome and effective. So fracking supporters must continue to battle the anti-energy ideologues - by becoming better community organizers and persuaders themselves, to counter the anti-fossil fuel lies and insanity, and the destructive policies, rules and moratoria imposed by ill-advised or ideological politicians and regulators.

We fracking supporters are clearly on the side of humanity, morality, true sustainability and real environmental progress. We also know that - no matter how hard eco-activists despise it and rail against it - they cannot put the fracking genie back in the bottle.

America and the world have awakened to its potential - and to the critical need for this technology. Let us applaud this incredible progress, and champion it throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and worldwide.


New Research Finds Earth Even Less Sensitive To CO2 Than Previously Thought

Research Used Data From This Year’s IPCC 5th Assessment Report

A new paper published in the prestigious journal Climate Dynamics find that the effect of carbon dioxide emissions on global temperatures is likely to be even smaller than previously thought.

Earlier this year, in a widely discussed report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, climate researcher Nic Lewis and science writer Marcel Crok put forward a new estimate of the Earth’s climate sensitivity based on observational data, finding that it was much less alarming than suggested by computer simulations of the Earth’s climate.

Now, Lewis and well known American climate science professor Judith Curry have updated the Lewis and Crok report estimates using the latest empirical data, a more sophisticated methodology and an approach to accounting for uncertainties that has been described by one independent reviewer as “state of the art”. Their findings fully support the modest estimates of climate sensitivity and future warming given in the Lewis and Crok report, and compared with that report make it look even less likely that the substantially higher estimates based on computer simulations are correct.

“Our results, which use data from this year’s IPCC fifth assessment report, are in line with those of several recent studies based on observed centennial warming and strongly suggest complex global climate models used for warming projections are oversensitive to carbon dioxide concentrations,” said Nic Lewis.

Best sensitivity estimates are medians (50% probability points). Ranges are to the nearest 0.05°C

Journal abstract follows:

Nicholas Lewis & Judith A. Curry (2014) "The implications for climate sensitivity of AR5 forcing and heat uptake estimates", Climate Dynamics 25 September 2014


Energy budget estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) and transient climate response (TCR) are derived using the comprehensive 1750–2011 time series and the uncertainty ranges for forcing components provided in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Working Group I Report, along with its estimates of heat accumulation in the climate system. The resulting estimates are less dependent on global climate models and allow more realistically for forcing uncertainties than similar estimates based on forcings diagnosed from simulations by such models. Base and final periods are selected that have well matched volcanic activity and influence from internal variability. Using 1859–1882 for the base period and 1995–2011 for the final period, thus avoiding major volcanic activity, median estimates are derived for ECS of 1.64 K and for TCR of 1.33 K. ECS 17–83 and 5–95 % uncertainty ranges are 1.25–2.45 and 1.05–4.05 K; the corresponding TCR ranges are 1.05–1.80 and 0.90–2.50 K. Results using alternative well-matched base and final periods provide similar best estimates but give wider uncertainty ranges, principally reflecting smaller changes in average forcing. Uncertainty in aerosol forcing is the dominant contribution to the ECS and TCR uncertainty ranges.



Three current articles below

Climate-related disasters cost the world half a trillion dollars, warns Oxfam on eve of UN Climate Summit

A wild and completely unsubstantiated claim.  There has in any case been no global warming in the period concerned.  And there have also been fewer weather extremes in the period

On the eve of the UN Climate Summit, Oxfam has released research showing that since global leaders last met in Copenhagen to discuss climate change five years ago, climate-related disasters have cost the world almost half a trillion dollars.

Oxfam Australia climate change policy advisor Simon Bradshaw said that given tens of thousands of Australians took to the streets over the weekend, Oxfam was disappointed the Prime Minister was not attending the summit in New York, and urged the Australian Government to start living up to its international responsibilities on climate change.

“While others forge ahead with ambitious plans, Australia is continuing down a path of irresponsibility and recklessness,” Dr Bradshaw said.

“Oxfam’s research shows that over the five years since the Copenhagen summit, more than 650 million people have been affected by climate-related disasters and more than 112,000 lives have been lost.

“Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s expected no-show at the landmark summit is yet another affront to our neighbours in the Pacific who, despite their limited resources, are working determinedly to confront the climate challenge.”

The 120 or so world leaders expected in New York – the largest group that has ever come together to discuss climate change - include the heads of most of Australia’s major trading partners and the leaders of almost all Pacific island countries.

“As an international development agency working in countries throughout the region, we know that even the poorest countries – those with the least responsibility for the climate crisis - are no longer waiting for rich countries like Australia to get their houses in order,” Dr Bradshaw said.

“From Timor Leste to Vanuatu, communities are working with whatever means they have. They are leapfrogging the dirty technologies of the past and drawing on their strengths to build the sustainable, resilient economies of the future.”

He said Australia must have an ambitious long-term plan to cut its own emissions, increase support to developing countries, and play a constructive role towards a strong global climate agreement.

“A decision by a rich country like Australia to roll back its climate policies and flout its international obligations is a decision to place an even greater burden onto poor communities in developing countries, who are already being hit first and hardest by climate change,” he said.

Oxfam also said that in pushing to expand its fossil fuel sector, Australia was not only increasing its contribution to dangerous climate change but risked being left behind in the global transition to renewable energy.

“For now, Australia appears willing to ignore pleas from the international community, remain wilfully ignorant to the situation of its Pacific neighbours, and work against its own long-term national interest,” Dr Bradshaw said.  “Australians have sent the strongest possible signal this weekend that they expect better.”
For interviews, please contact Laurelle Keough on +61 425 701 801


ABC science guy denies the science that even the IPCC now accepts

Even the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admitted in its latest report that global warming had paused for some 15 years.

Read for yourself the section in the report with the headline that says it all: "Climate Models and the Hiatus in Global-Mean Surface Warming of the Past 15 Years"

So it says something about the ABC that its science presenters still deny what even the IPCC admits. Who are the true deniers of science now?

Well, here is Karl S. Kruszelnicki, who has form for denying what doesn’t suit his astonishing climate alarmism:

In the USA, the Wall Street Journal wrote, “temperatures have been flat for 15 years - nobody can properly explain it.”

Another newspaper from the same stable, the UK Daily Mail wrote “global warming ‘pause’ may last 20 more years, and Arctic sea ice has already started to recover”. Both of these statements are very reassuring, but unfortunately, very very wrong.

With regard to this ‘pause’, there are two major claims made by those who deny the science of climate change.

The first one is that the climate is actually cooling - not warming. This is incorrect.

The second claim is that after some previous warming, the global climate is now constant, and neither warming nor cooling. In other words, that the climate is in a kind of holding pattern, or haitus. This is also incorrect… The climate is still heating up.

You can read Dr Karl’s long and curious justification for refusing to believe in the warming pause, or you can simply check this graphic and decide for yourself whether Dr Karl should really be presenting science for the ABC:


Nationals MP George Christensen calls Green activists 'terrorists'

Nationals MP George Christensen is fighting activists whom he calls "gutless green grubs" opposed to the expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal in his electorate. In his speech to Parliament, the outspoken MP said "the greatest terrorism threat in North Queensland, I'm sad to say, comes from the extreme green movement".

Mr Christensen says groups oppose the expansion and associated jobs out of ideology and not to save the Great Barrier Reef, because they are still campaigning against the proposal, even though an onshore dumping proposal has been found.

"The eco-terrorists butchered the international tourism market for our greatest tourism attraction, not for the reef but for political ideology," he said.

Mr Christensen said the green groups had threatened to lie in front of trains in cardboard boxes and referred Fairfax Media to the radical Alpha Generation's "Over our Dead Bodies" campaign.

The Over Our Dead Bodies homepage vows to "trash the Aurizon brand, by telling the world Aurizon are actively enabling an environmental catastrophe". Aurizon is the freight company that transports coal. Ben Pennings from the group confirmed that activists had "talked about stopping trains" but said "we're not going to be putting people in harm's way".

In a statement issued after his speech, Mr Christensen referred to the "gutless green germ" activists as "terrorists" five times.

He did not retreat from his comments when contacted by Fairfax Media on Thursday and said the activists might not like coal mining, but had no right to try to shut down a legitimate business.  "It's not illegal to mine or export coal," he said.

 Mr Feeney slammed Mr Christensen's "infantile rhetoric", particularly in light of Tuesday's stabbing of two police officers during an encounter in which an 18-year-old "terror suspect" was shot dead.

"There are two police officers still in hospital and this government MP thinks it's OK to throw the word 'terrorism' around as part of a cheap political stunt," Mr Feeney told Fairfax Media. "This is an incredibly insensitive and stupid thing to say, especially given the horrific attack we saw less than 48 hours ago.


Climate change crowd moves goalposts — again

I have repeatedly pointed out on these pages an interesting pattern of the debating style of the loudest activists clamoring for massive government intervention to fight climate change. First, they beat their opponents to a pulp, chanting “the science is settled” and pointing everyone towards the “consensus” as epitomized in the “summary for policymakers” that accompanies the periodic reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (Here’s just one example of Joe Romm linking the IPCC reports to the supposed scientific certainty involved.) Then, when the recipients of this public lashing actually read the peer-reviewed science and realize the case for government action is very weak, the activists change their attack completely, and now all of a sudden the IPCC reports are woefully inadequate.

In the present post, I’ll walk through yet another example of this phenomenon, in this case a recent ThinkProgress article that complains that GDP (Gross Domestic Product) isn’t a good metric when it comes to the debate over climate change. As we’ll see, when confronted with very compelling arguments that the IPCC reports and leading computer models do not justify the aggressive government intervention that the people at ThinkProgress seek,[1] they don’t dispute the point. Instead, they rattle off all sorts of reasons that the IPCC is essentially wrong, because the computer models used in the IPCC reports leave out important details, and because the standard cost/benefit approach to judging policy recommendations doesn’t work when it comes to climate change.

All of this should make innocent onlookers very suspicious. For years, advocates of heavy restrictions on energy use and individual liberty have cited the IPCC reports in their proclamations that “the science is settled” and that only “deniers” could possibly dispute the need for immediate and strong government actions. Now all of a sudden, the leading advocates are changing their case mid-stream, implicitly admitting that the weight they originally put forth on the IPCC reports will no longer give them the conclusion they want.

The Strong Case Against Government Intervention

The opening paragraphs of the ThinkProgress article inadvertently showcase just how strong a case the critics of aggressive government intervention have made, ironically relying on the IPCC reports themselves:

    When it comes to obstacles to climate action, the climate change deniers in American government are pretty well known. But there’s also a subgroup of “reasonable” critics who concede the science of climate change, then deny that anything particularly dramatic needs to be done about it policy-wise.

    Their argument revolves around something economists call GDP, and they use to wriggle out of supporting major climate action by effectively saying, “Yeah, even if climate change is real, it’s not going to be a big deal.”

    For the uninitiated, “gross domestic product” (GDP) is the total value, in dollars, of all the goods and services produced by the American economy — or whatever economy is being measured — in a given year. It’s become the go-to metric of our society’s material standard of living and even its general well-being. The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) generally projects that losses to global GDP from climate change will be between one and five percent per year by century’s end…One to five percent is a seemingly small number. So the “reasonable” skeptics then argue an all-hands-on-deck effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions is unnecessary, and that it would likely reduce GDP even more than doing nothing.

    But to hear Kate Gordon [Vice President at Next Generation, the nonprofit founded by hedge fund manager turned environmental activist Tom Steyer] tell it, this is a terrible way to frame the debate.

The rest of the ThinkProgress article then goes on to enumerate the various reasons that policymakers should not try to evaluate climate change policies in conventional terms, to see if the aggregate benefits of the interventions outweigh the aggregate costs. (Note that the article relies on the analysis provided by Kate Gordon, a lawyer and city planner who worked at CAP with John Podesta before she went to work for billionaire Tom Steyer.) The ThinkProgress article does not circle back and say that the “reasonable skeptics” are wrong insofar as their arguments go, but merely that these “reasonable skeptics” are relying on IPCC computer models that are too simplistic.

Uh Oh, ThinkProgress Starting to Sound Like “Deniers”

Yes, you read that right: It turns out that all of the much-ballyhooed “consensus signed on by all major governments and scientific organizations around the world” actually rests on quicksand. (To repeat, here’s an example of Joe Romm using this type of rhetoric to enshrine the IPCC as the epitome of scientific “consensus.”) Here’s how the new ThinkProgress article describes the IPCC reports and computer models on which they base their assessments of the costs and benefits of climate change policies:

    [W]e’ve been tallying up GDP for most of this century, but projecting climate change’s impact on the economy is a whole other ballgame. On their own, the climate and the economy are enormously complex systems for computer models to even crudely replicate. Accounting for the effects of the first system on the second simply compounds the problem. So complexities, hidden factors, and feedback loops that could have profound ripple effects are all simplified away, because we just don’t have the information to know how to appropriately model those changes....

    Other models can also descend into ad absurdum results pretty quickly. For example, most scientists agree an 18°C rise in global temperatures would literally render the Earth uninhabitable. But the standard computer model used by the IPCC projects that rise would only cut global GDP by half....

    The point isn’t so much that one approach is better than the other. It’s that GDP projections are flung all over the map even by small changes to the input information or underlying assumptions of the models. It’s just an inherently bad metric for understanding the damage climate change will do.

Wait a second! The ThinkProgress writer is now telling us that it’s a really hard problem to model the global climate and economy? That the computer models used by the IPCC spit out nonsense results? That we can get results “all over the map” by tweaking the inputs? These guys are sure starting to sound like “deniers,” aren’t they? Is the above quote coming from a ThinkProgress post or an IER one?

So now we see their whole (original) case unraveling. We at IER have been making these points all along. For example, we reported that the computer climate/economic models were grossly simplistic and useless for policy analysis. Way back in 2009, we showed on these pages that using the analysis put out by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the costs of the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill were far higher than the benefits that would accrue to Americans, and that they would plausibly be higher than the benefits accruing to the entire world—again, using the CBO’s own numbers.

The people at ThinkProgress apparently realized that they’re fighting a losing battle. Of the links to the “reasonable critics” they cite, the analysis by Jim Manzi is particularly insightful. He carefully walks through the analysis step by step, but here’s a good summary of Manzi’s thesis, written in 2008 (so the numbers may have slightly changed since then):

    The current IPCC consensus forecast is that, under fairly reasonable assumptions for world population and economic growth, global temperatures will rise by about 3°C by the year 2100. Also according to the IPCC, a 4°C increase in temperatures would cause total estimated economic losses of 1–5 percent of global GDP…

    This is the central problem for advocates of rapid, aggressive emissions reductions. Despite the rhetoric, the best available estimate of the damage we face from unconstrained global warming is not “global destruction,” but is instead costs on the order of 3 percent of global GDP in a much wealthier world well over a hundred years from now.

    It should not, therefore, be surprising that formal efforts to weigh the near-term costs of emissions abatement against the long-term benefits from avoided global warming show few net benefits, even in theory.

After demonstrating that the standard IPCC reports have never justified the alarmist rhetoric characterizing the climate change debate, Manzi then begins to list the various reasons that even the alleged theoretically possible yet small “net benefits” will be elusive in the real world; for example, the models assume a globally coordinated regime implemented by all major emitters. In light of these difficulties, Manzi concludes that there is no case for aggressive government intervention to reduce emissions.

The ThinkProgress folks seem to realize that they can’t beat someone like Manzi (or us at IER, for that matter) on the battlefield of standard policy analysis—again, using the physical science “consensus” as stipulated by the peer-reviewed climate scientists. That’s why ThinkProgress moves the goalposts. Now all of a sudden, we can’t trust those simplistic computer models showcased in the IPCC reports, and we can’t rely on macro estimates of costs and benefits. Instead the ThinkProgress writer points us to regional (not global) impacts and brings up an insurance analogy.

Go Ahead and Use Regional Analysis—But Be Consistent

To repeat, the ThinkProgress folks realize that they can’t justify their desired government policies using conventional tools of macro cost/benefit analysis. That’s why they switch to a regional analysis:

    Another problem with measuring climate change with one single GDP number is that it requires ignoring vast differences between states, regions, communities, and socio-economic strata. That can hide tremendous amounts of real human suffering that’s hard to put a price tag on. “You have to aggregate all of the impacts up to one number,” Gordon said. “Which is insane.”

    She offered agriculture as an example: “We have a gigantic country with extremely different climate zones. If you want to move little corn symbols around on a map from place to place, you can move them all up north and then they’re still there,” Gordon said. “So that’s not that big a hit to GDP overall. But it’s a huge hit to the Southern Midwest and the Southeast.”

But hold on a second. The point of aggregating the damages of climate change into a single number is to be able to compare it to the damages from government restrictions on the economy. That’s the standard way that policymakers decide, “Does this proposed policy—such as a carbon tax—actually help on net or does it make Americans worse off?” The costs and benefits of a policy may be different, region by region, but in order to decide whether in the aggregate it’s a wise or foolish policy, you need to somehow aggregate those regional impacts into a grand total figure.

The ThinkProgress writer is correct that such aggregation ignores many important details. But if we’re going to quibble about it on the side of climate change impacts, then we have to be consistent and do it with the harms from government intervention.

For example, progressive writers often pooh-pooh the obvious harm that a carbon tax would pose to the coal industry, and all the jobs it would destroy. The progressives are quick to point out that a carbon tax would “create jobs” in the renewable sector, hence offsetting the losses in coal. Notice that this is exactly the kind of “aggregation” and “ignoring of specific impacts” that the ThinkProgress writer was just lamenting.

Later in the article, the ThinkProgress piece explains all of the hard-to-quantify damage that unrestricted climate change would pose to poor foreigners. Okay, but again, if that’s the route we are going to take, we need to be consistent. For humans to have any appreciable impact on climate change, it will take more than U.S. action. If the “solution” involves a slowing of the electrification of Africa, it will mean deaths. For example, a Forbes article in June reported:

    Since 1990, 650 million Chinese have been lifted out of poverty, infant mortality has been reduced by 70%, and life expectancy has increased six years – a historic evolution powered by coal, and what the IEA has referred to as an “example” for other developing nations…There is only enough electricity generated in Sub-Sahara to power one light bulb per person for three hours a day. Over 65% of the population lives without any electricity at all.

Right now, fossil fuels (especially coal) are a very economical way to quickly bring electricity to hundreds of millions of desperately impoverished people around the globe. Part of the hard-to-quantify impact of restricting the growth in global CO2 emissions thus includes the lower standard of living, and shorter lifespans, of these desperately poor foreigners.

We do not deny that it is ultimately arbitrary to add up human lives and other important social goals on a scale of dollars and cents. But the ThinkProgress crowd is wrong to think that this consideration tilts the deck in their favor. If they can’t justify their policies using standard tools of analysis, it’s not enough to bring up all of the limitations of that original analysis—they still need to explain why their desired policies do more good than harm.

The Insurance Analogy

The ThinkProgress article then goes on to liken climate change policies to the purchase of insurance:

    To their credit, most actual economists realize GDP was never meant to measure something as sweeping as the well-being of a society. It’s politicians and the figures and writers encased in the macroeconomic debate in Washington, DC that have focused on it to the exclusion of all else. Gordon argues against using GDP at all, and concentrating instead on the risks of what climate change could actually do to people and communities.

    On the question of how much we should spend to ward off climate change, Gordon uses the common experience of buying insurance as an analogy. When buying a health care plan, everyone instinctively considers factors like their own risky behaviors (like smoking), their own family history (say, heart disease), their future economic prospects and their future lifestyle, among other things.

This rhetorical move to discount the value of GDP as a metric—which has been afoot for some time now—shows once again that the alarmist crowd realizes that they have a very weak case on conventional grounds. Rather than claiming that it’s a no-brainer that their recommended policies will deliver more benefits than costs, now they are merely claiming these policies make sense by eliminating threats that might occur if no action is taken. (That’s what they are ultimately arguing, by switching to an insurance analogy.) To repeat, this is a definite change in rhetoric; that wasn’t the standard case that was being made ten or even five years ago.

In any event, just by labeling something “insurance” doesn’t mean it’s automatically a good deal. You still have to make a case that the benefits (broadly construed) outweigh the costs of the insurance policy. After all, not everyone buys the most expensive insurance plan available.

When it comes to climate change, in a previous post I walked through the numbers and showed that no one in his right mind would buy an insurance policy that had the same characteristics as the climate change issue. After reviewing the data from the latest IPCC report to get a ballpark estimate of the numbers involved, I wrote:

    "Suppose someone from an insurance company came to you in the year 2050 and said, “We’ve run computer models many thousands of times using all kinds of different assumptions. In the worst-case scenario, a very small fraction of the computer runs—about 1 in 500—has you losing 20% of your income in the year 2100. In order to insure you against this extremely unlikely outcome that will occur in half a century, we want to charge you 3.4% of your income this year.”

    Would you want to take that deal? Of course not. The premium is way too high in light of the very low probability and the relative modesty of the “catastrophe.”"

Once again, we see that the ThinkProgress crowd doesn’t actually take their own analysis seriously. Sure, use an insurance analogy if you want. But when you plug in the actual numbers, you see that their recommended government interventions would be an outrageously expensive “insurance policy” relative to the benefits it delivers. To be sure, the ThinkProgress people can come back and complain that my analysis relies on the IPCC numbers and that they aren’t really accurate, but it’s not my fault the interventionists have been lecturing us for years that we need to trust the “consensus” as codified in the IPCC and other official documents.


For more than a decade the advocates of aggressive government intervention in the name of fighting first “global warming” and now “climate change” have had a field day labeling their critics as “deniers.” Yet as their critics began reading the actual analyses put out by the IPCC, Congressional Budget Office, and other allegedly neutral parties, a funny thing happened: The critics saw that the aggressive government policies could not be justified using standard metrics.

Realizing this, the proponents of aggressive government measures have begun shifting their rhetoric. Many of them now admit that if we make middle-of-the-road assumptions on emissions growth and the climate’s sensitivity, their recommended policies turn out to be as expensive as the alleged climate damages they seek to prevent. That’s why the alarmists now focus on possible (if unlikely) threats, regional impacts, and insurance analogies.

We can bring the argument to this new battleground; the case for intervention is still weak. But it’s worth noting that the aggressive interventionists have moved the goalposts. By doing so, they implicitly admit that analysts like Jim Manzi, and your humble IER team, have been right all along: Using the government’s own preferred data sources and computer models, it is very difficult to justify policies to restrict carbon dioxide emissions with the metrics that are used for all other government policy debates. The alarmists who have been yelling, “Case closed!” for years were simply bluffing; now they’re trying to reopen the case they realize they’ve lost on their initial terms.



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