Wednesday, April 22, 2015
UN Secretary General to Visit Vatican to Discuss Climate Change
As one religious leader to another. Neither is a scientist
In a speech at the National Press Club on Thursday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced that he will visit the Vatican later this month to meet with Pope Francis to discuss common concerns, “including the encyclical on the environment that he plans to issue in the month ahead.”
“The world is now recognizing a basic truth of our times: We need to buy insurance for the planet,” Ban said. “We must all be ambitious as we look to conclude on our agreement at the climate change conference in Paris in December.”
“There’s a strong moral dimension to this effort,” he said. “Today I’d like to announce that I will visit the Vatican this month and meet with his Holiness to discuss common concern, including the encyclical on the environment that he plans to issue in the month ahead.
“I think this should be first time for any secretary general to be invited by the pope,” he added.
Also in attendance at the April 28 meeting will be the pope’s top representative on the environment Cardinal Peter Turkson and American economist Jeffrey Sachs, the Associated Press reported.
The pope will deliver what is considered the first major encyclical of his papacy this summer on the issue of global warming and the environment.
Although Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI took stances in favor of the environment, Pope Francis will be the first to address climate change in “a significant way,” the AP reported.
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences said the purpose of the workshop is to “raise awareness and build a consensus that the values of sustainable development cohere with values of the leading religious traditions, with a special focus on the most vulnerable; to elevate the debate on the moral dimensions of protecting the environment in advance of the papal encyclical; and to help build a global movement across all religions for sustainable development and climate change throughout 2015 and beyond.”
In turn, Ban has invited the pope and other world leaders to the UN for a special summit meeting in September.
“For my part, I have invited Pope Francis to the United Nations and also President Obama and all the leaders of the world to a special summit meeting in September at the United Nations, asking them to adopt this visionary and ambitious sustainable development agenda, and I’m sure that all the leaders will come and declare their visions to the world as a way of celebrating 70th anniversary of the United Nations,” he added.
“There are still some people who do not want to acknowledge climate change, but there is climate change,” Ban said. “By any standard,” the scientific evidence “clearly” shows that “climate change is happening,” and “it’s approaching much, much faster” than expected.
“Tackling climate change is an urgent part of the picture. This climate change is a defining issue of our times,” he said.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are the first generation that can end poverty and we are the last generation to address climate change. This is a fact, and we must act now,” he added.
The secretary general’s speech at the National Press Club comes two days before the Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., an event to mark the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. Musical guests at the event include: Mary J. Blige, No Doubt, Fall Out Boy, Usher, Train, and Common. It will be hosted by Will.i.Am and Soledad O’Brien.
Saturday’s event was timed to coincide with the spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). Earth Day takes place on April 22. The first Earth Day took place on April 22 in 1970, according to the Earth Day Network.
The Environmental Insane Asylum
By Alan Caruba
Earth Day was declared in 1970 and for the past 45 years we have all been living in the Environmental Insane Asylum, being told over and over again to believe things that are the equivalent of Green hallucinations. Now the entire month of April has been declared Earth Month, but in truth not a day goes by when we are not assailed with the bold-faced lies that comprise environmentalism.
Around the globe, the worst part of this is that we are being victimized by people we are told to respect from the President of the United States to the Pope of the Catholic Church. Their environmentalism is pure socialism.
Organizations whom we expect to tell the truth keep telling us that “climate change is one of the biggest global security threats of the 21st century.” This was a recent statement by “world leaders” like the G7, a group of finance ministers and central bank governors of seven advanced economies, the International Monetary Fund, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States. On April 17 they adopted a report about the “threat” put together by think tanks that included the European Union Institute for Security Studies and the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.
When I speak of “climate” I am referring to data gathered not just about decades, but centuries of the Earth’s cycles of warming and cooling. When I speak of “weather”, the closest any of us get to it other than today’s, are local predictions no longer than a few days’ time at best. The weather is in a constant state of flux.
Climate change is not a threat and most certainly there is no global warming. As Prof. Bob Carter, a geologist at James Cook College in Queensland, Australia, has written, “For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco.”
The fact that the Earth is now into the nineteenth year of a natural planetary cooling cycle seems to never be acknowledged or reported. “The problem here,” says Prof. Carter, “is not that of climate change per se, but rather that of the sophisticated scientific brainwashing that has been inflicted on the public, bureaucrats and politicians alike.”
In a book I recommend to everyone, “Climate for the Layman” by Anthony Bright-Paul, he draws on the best well-known science about the Earth noting that “Since there is no such thing as a temperature of the whole Earth all talk of global warming is simply illogical, ill thought out, and needs to be discarded for the sake of clarity. The globe is warming and cooling in different locations concurrently every minute of the day and night.”
“Since it is abundantly clear that there is no one temperature of the atmosphere all talk of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is simply an exercise in futility.” A look at the globe from either of its two poles to its equator and everything in between tells us with simple logic that being able to determine its “temperature” is impossible. The Earth, however, has gone through numerous warming and cooling cycles, all of which were the result of more or less solar radiation.
The Sun was and is the determining factor. The assertion that humans have any influence or impact that can determine whether the Earth is warmer or cooler is absurd.
The Earth had passed through warming and cooling cycles for billions of years before humans even existed, yet we are told that the generation of carbon dioxide through the use of machinery in manufacturing, transportation or any other use is causing the build-up of “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere. We are told to give up the use of coal, oil and natural gas. That is a definition of insanity!
Here’s the simple truth that most people are not told: The Sun warms the Earth and the Earth warms the atmosphere.
As for carbon dioxide, the amount generated by human activity represents a miniscule percentage of the 0.04% in the Earth’s atmosphere. There has been more carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere—well before humans existed—contributing to the growth of all manner of vegetation which in turn generated oxygen.
Without carbon dioxide there would be no life on Earth. It feeds the vegetation on which animal life depends directly and indirectly. As Anthony Bright-Paul says, “A slight increase in atmosphere of carbon dioxide will not and cannot produce any warming, but can be hugely beneficial to a green planet.”
The Earth’s atmosphere is approximately 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, 0.9% Argon, 0.04% Carbon Dioxide, and the rest is water vapor and trace gases in very small amounts. They interact to provide an environment in which life, animal and vegetable, exists on Earth.
When you live in a Global Environmental Insane Asylum, you are not likely to hear or read the truth, but you can arrive at it using simple logic. We know instinctively that humans do not control the waves of our huge oceans, nor the vast tectonic plates beneath our feet, the eruptions of volcanoes, the Jetstream, cloud formation, or any of the elements of the weather we experience, such as thunder, lightning, and other acts of Nature.
Why would we blindly assume or agree to the torrent of lies that humans are “causing” climate change? The answer is that on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, we will be deluged with the propaganda of countless organizations worldwide that we are, in fact, endangering a “fragile” planet Earth. We hear and read that every other day of the year as well.
The achievement of the human race and the last 5,000 years of so-called civilization is the way we have learned to adapt to Nature by creating habitats from villages to cities in which to survive and because we have devised a vast global agricultural and ranching system to feed seven billion of us.
As for the weather, John Christy, the director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, says he cringes “when I hear overstated confidence from those who describe the projected evolution of global weather patterns over the next one hundred years, especially when I consider how difficult it is to accurately predict that system’s behavior over the next five days.”
“Mother Nature,” says Christy, “simply operates at a level of complexity that is, at this point, behind the mastery of mere mortals—such as scientists—and the tools available to us.”
Whether it is the President or the Pope, or the countless politicians and bureaucrats, along with multitudes of “environmental” organizations, as well as self-serving “scientists”, all aided by the media, a virtual Green Army has been deliberately deceiving and misleading the citizens of planet Earth for four and a half decades. It won’t stop any time soon, but it must before the charade of environmentalism leaves us all enslaved by the quest for political control over our lives that hides behind it.
We must escape the Environmental Insane Asylum in which they want us to live.
What Are You Willing to Give Up for Earth Day?
Comrades, Earth Day is just around the corner. We’re not talking about Christmas or Easter or Yom Kippur, we’re talking about Lenin’s Birthday!
Now some outdated, religious traditions include themes of guilt and forgiveness. You know the routine. We are guilty before God and justly deserving of His punishment, but He lays our sins on His Son, Jesus Christ, and that by believing in Him we can find forgiveness of sin and eternal life. But that’s so two millennia ago.
On the other hand, Earth Day (Lenin’s Birthday!) is so progressive that it offers guilt and more guilt! See, in this advanced, highly evolved, and inclusive belief system, you are guilty before Gaia for exhaling and destroying her atmosphere, turning it into an “open sewer” to quote the Prophet Algore (PBUH). Now with Gaia, there’s none of this nonsense about atonement, justification, or propitiation. Those are big words and too hard for you to understand. You’re guilty because you might drive an SUV, consume food, once used electricity, or maybe you’re just plain white. You may have accessed healthcare to prolong your selfish, resource sucking life, and that means some poor minority child or kitten was denied healthcare – just because of you.
Forgiveness? Are you serious? When it comes to the Green Gospel, there’s only one solution, and that’s extermination. If it wasn’t for man, Bambi’s mother would be alive today instead of having her head mounted over some redneck’s fireplace desecrated with a bandanna and non-union manufactured sunglasses. We need a plan for sustainability. That’s a big word, but what it means is that we get to decide who’s a burden to Earth Mother, and who isn’t.
So who’s guilty, you ask? Probably you. Why do you think you dig holes in the ground on Earth Day? One happy day, perhaps Next Tuesday™, our government will be empowered to recycle its non-productive, Earth exploiting citizens. It’s called giving back, and it’s the only way you can redeem yourself. If we don’t take action now, all the furry animals will be dead in just ten years.
But until Next Tuesday comes along, you need to do your part. You need to confess your guilt. You need to give back. So in the days leading up to Earth Day, you need to tearfully, publicly, and loudly proclaim your sins against Gaia. You need to publish your shame by wearing awareness ribbons and riding a bicycle. In so doing, you induce feelings of necessary guilt in others, and you get a smug sense of self-righteous satisfaction because you care more. What’s not to like?
So come on, comrades, what are you willing to confess and give up in the days left before Earth Day?
The True Costs—and Beneficiaries—of Green Energy
Earth Day is celebrated once a year, but policymakers make lasting choices about natural resources day in and day out. Legislation dealing with some aspect of fossil fuels or clean energy, for example, comes up frequently in state houses and the halls of Congress. Wind power has been the leading beneficiary of the alternative-energy zeitgeist, but as Independent Institute Research Fellow Randy T. Simmons explains in a recent piece in Newsweek, subsidies for this technology have cost taxpayers far more than they realize--$30 billion over the past 35 years.
One reason, according to Simmons, is that the public overlooks key costs associated with wind power. The venerable financial advisory firm Lazard estimates that wind power costs $37 to $81 per megawatt hour, but after factoring in hidden costs, such as the need to run coal or natural gas plants when the skies are still (i.e., “baseload cycling”), the true cost of wind power is more like $149 per megawatt hour. Moreover, electricity consumers typically have little say in energy policy. Consequently, state-level mandates for renewable energy usage ensure that they are forced to buy more expensive but ostensibly “clean and green” power such as wind energy. If not consumers, who benefits? Foreign-owned wind companies, who in 2010 were awarded 84 percent of U.S. clean-energy grants.
Ethanol is another product that has benefited from government mandates. As Independent Institute Research Fellow Randall Holcombe explains, the requirement that gasoline refineries add ethanol to their fuel products has doubled the price of corn, resulting in a transfer of $32 billion from consumers to farmers in 2011 alone. That amounts to an average benefit of $79,875 per U.S. corn farmer. Holcombe writes: “This is a good example of how legislation providing concentrated benefits to an interest group and imposing disbursed costs on everybody can maintain political supports.”
Obama Warns U.S.: ‘Climate Change Poses Immediate Risks to Our National Security’
President Barack Obama warned the American people in his weekly address today that “there’s no greater threat” than climate change and that it “poses immediate risks to our national security.”
He said Americans need to work against climate change because “it’s about protecting our God-given natural wonders.”
“Wednesday is Earth Day, a day to appreciate and protect this precious planet we call home,” said Obama. “And today, there’s no greater threat to our planet than climate change.”
“This winter was cold in parts of our country--as some folks in Congress like to point out--but around the world, it was the warmest ever recorded,” said Obama.
“And the fact that the climate is changing has very serious implications for the way we live now. Stronger storms. Deeper droughts. Longer wildfire seasons,” he said. “The world’s top climate scientists are warning us that a changing climate already affects the air our kids breathe. Last week, the Surgeon General and I spoke with public experts about how climate change is already affecting patients across the country. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security.”
Obama said we need to counter climate change in the interests of families and children.
“This is an issue that’s bigger and longer-lasting than my presidency,” he said. “It’s about protecting our God-given natural wonders, and the good jobs that rely on them. It’s about shielding our cities and our families from disaster and harm. It’s about keeping our kids healthy and safe.”
Preventing a Coming Ice Age
By S. Fred Singer
Geo-engineering has become a buzzword again, thanks to a recent two-volume report of the US National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council [NAS-NRC 2015; http://bit.ly/EOSNRC]. Driven by exaggerated concerns about greenhouse (GH) warming catastrophes, the reports pursued mainly two project ideas:
Reducing atmospheric levels of the GH-gas CO2, starting with fairly innocuous schemes like planting tree farms to fertilizing the Southern Oceans by adding missing micro-nutrients (an idea much favored by the late oceanographer Roger Revelle) – all the way to full-scale engineering proposals that involve the direct removal of ambient CO2, with subsequent underground sequestration – a vastly more expensive undertaking of dubious technical feasibility.
The other favored approach would try to increase Earth’s albedo to reduce the amounts of solar energy reaching the surface. In analogy with volcanic eruptions, reflective aerosols would be injected into the stratosphere – a costly and unproven scheme, likely to constitute an environmental hazard to stratospheric ozone.
It is doubtful that either project will gain approval – beyond further studies and some feasibility tests. Costs and risks are too high, and they may not even be needed. Yet geo-engineering seems to make perfect sense when used to overcome a sure-to-arise ice-age glaciation.
Earth has been cooling for about 65 million years (ma) and has experienced a series of some 20 glaciations (“ice ages”) for the most recent 2-3 ma (“Quaternary”). Ice-core data indicate a typical duration for each glaciation of 41,000 and then 100,000 years – with a gradual onset, but with a sudden termination into a warm Interglacial period of typical duration of 10,000 years. [Imbrie, Science 1976; Ice Ages, 1986]
Our present Interglacial, the Holocene period, has now lasted over 11,000 years and (some think) may soon end, making way for the next ice age. (Some calculations [by A. Berger], however, suggest that the Holocene may last much longer than 10,000 years.)
According to the “astronomical theory” of Milankovitch, the timing of these cycles is controlled by changes in the Earth’s orbit eccentricity, inclination of the spin axis, and its precession. Although Milankovitch provides a useful guide on timing, there is still much research required to understand the full physics of the glaciations [Roe, GeophysResLett 2006].
The timing of these cycles
According to theoretical speculation, the onset of glaciation is caused by a positive feedback at a sensitive “tipping point.” Judiciously planned intervention there might destroy this positive feedback and thereby delay or even cancel an ice-age cycle. It is widely believed that a glaciation initiates when a high-latitude (at about 65 degN) snowfield survives during summer and then expands year-by-year as a result. [The initiation may occur stochastically during a (cold) sunspot minimum or after a major volcanic eruption.] Weather satellites provide a ready means for digitally identifying and tracking such critical snowfields. They can then be controlled or removed by the deposition of solar-energy-absorbing soot.
In any case, ice ages impose severe stresses on human populations and on the ecology. During the most recent ice age, some 20,000 years ago, mile-thick ice sheets covered much of North America and all of northern Europe. Global sea levels were 120 meters lower than today. The English Channel was a huge river, draining the Rhine, Maas, Thames, and the melt water from the ice sheets, into the Bay of Biscayne.
In addition to the ice ages, less severe coolings and warmings have occurred on an irregular, 1500-year cycle (the so-called Dansgaard-Oeschger-Bond cycles) [see Singer & Avery, Unstoppable Global Warming, 2007]. Their likely cause is solar variability [according to Bond, Science 2001]. The most recent events include the Medieval Warm Period (around 1000 AD), the Little Ice Age, and the Modern Warming that started around 1850 AD [Loehle & Singer, Can J Earth Sci 2010]. Historic records, gathered mainly from European data, indicate that the cold periods had severe economic impacts, causing failed harvests and widespread starvation and disease [Lamb, Climate, 1972]. In his forthcoming book “Climate & Collapse: The Secret of Human Sustainability,” my colleague Dennis Avery, an agricultural economist and historian, has greatly elaborated on these themes of climatology pioneer Lamb.
There is little that can be done to mitigate the 1500-year cycles, if indeed they are controlled by solar activity. Here, adaptation may provide the only means of dealing with the disastrous effects of the cold periods. Research should be directed to discovering the best methods of countering the damaging impacts of cooling on human populations.
The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) occurred about 18,000 years ago, with the Great Lakes a remnant of this recent glaciation. A wide swath of land south of the ice was treeless tundra, unsuitable for agriculture. The human population was small but survived. [See Van Alden and Davis, Neanderthals and Humans in the European Landscape during the Last Glaciation, Cambridge Press, McDonnell Institute monograph. Also: Soares et al, Climate Change and Postglacial Human Dispersal in Southeast Asia, Molecular Biology and Evolution 25, 2008; as well as other references cited by Avery].
The onset of the next glaciation, another ice age, is widely expected. It would spell a severe test for humanity but would probably not terminate human existence on the planet. It would not match the ultimate catastrophe, the impact of a large asteroid, such as occurred 65 million years ago at the beginning of the Tertiary, which wiped out the dinosaurs.
The survival of the human race depends very much on advanced technology. This is especially the case for climate change. Good-quality agricultural land will be limited; but hothouse yields could be high. An efficient distribution system could alleviate the threat of starvation for a reduced population. Nuclear energy, based on uranium/thorium fission and on fusion reactors, may provide the mainstay of civilization. We may well be living underground, but not necessarily in caves.
An international cooperative project to stop ice ages
I can visualize a possible international collaboration that might involve three teams in North America, Europe, and Asia, working independently and using their own satellite systems -- but coordinating their efforts under WMO (World Meteorological Organization) auspices. The satellites, using simple TV cameras, could keep track of any long-term growth in surface albedo from snow and ice; an averaging interval might be 3-10 years.
Once such secular growth has been detected, each of the three teams would carry out a plan to stop such growth. Though operating independently, they might consult widely on the best techniques for generating and depositing soot and for keeping track of albedo changes.
The aim, of course, is to break the positive feedback cycle that presumably leads to the growth of an ice-age glaciation. One can think of various practical problems that could arise; yet none of them seem insurmountable or particularly costly. But a test would certainly be worthwhile.
Stopping the next ice age appears to be well within our technical capability and carries a huge benefit-to-cost ratio. An investment of millions would prevent the loss of trillions of dollars.
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.
Preserving the graphics: Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere. But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases. After that they no longer come up. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here or here
Posted by JR at 12:43 AM