Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Why do we hear nothing from the Greenies about Third World cooking fires?

Using wood and cow dung to make cooking fires is widepread throughout South Asia.  It is so prevalent that much of South Asia has a resultant "brown cloud" hanging over it most of the time. It's pollution so bad that it can be seen from space. And that has been known since 2002.

Breathing in the originating smoke down on the ground is an obvious health hazard -- far worse for you than CO2 will ever be.  Just try breathing in the smoke from a cooking fire yourself if you doubt it.

So if those wonderfully "compassionate" Green Leftists who worry so much about the health impacts of global warming were actually sincere, they would be exerting great efforts to protect Asians from this scourge, don't you think?

But there is only one way to give the poor of the Third world an escape from such hazards:  Give them at least a mini version of a modern kitchen.  And that mostly means supplying them with electricity.

Horrors! say the Greenies.  We can't have that!  Generating more electricity will add to global warming.  So Greenies oppose all efforts by Third world countries to supply their people with electricity.  They even bully Western banks into not lending money for hydro-electric dam building.  Greenies hate dams too.

So let the poor of the world die of lung disease!  That is the Greenie gospel.  You see how "caring" they are.

The article below puts some numbers on the problem. Over 3 million people die from the smoke each year.  But note that the study  only covers outdoor cooking.  But a lot of Third world cooking is indoors, which obviously gives much more exposure to smoke.  So many millions more must be the overall death toll -- JR

The contribution of outdoor air pollution sources to premature mortality on a global scale

J. Lelieveld et al.


Assessment of the global burden of disease is based on epidemiological cohort studies that connect premature mortality to a wide range of causes1, 2, 3, 4, 5, including the long-term health impacts of ozone and fine particulate matter with a diameter smaller than 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5)3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. It has proved difficult to quantify premature mortality related to air pollution, notably in regions where air quality is not monitored, and also because the toxicity of particles from various sources may vary10. Here we use a global atmospheric chemistry model to investigate the link between premature mortality and seven emission source categories in urban and rural environments. In accord with the global burden of disease for 2010 (ref. 5), we calculate that outdoor air pollution, mostly by PM2.5, leads to 3.3 (95 per cent confidence interval 1.61–4.81) million premature deaths per year worldwide, predominantly in Asia. We primarily assume that all particles are equally toxic5, but also include a sensitivity study that accounts for differential toxicity. We find that emissions from residential energy use such as heating and cooking, prevalent in India and China, have the largest impact on premature mortality globally, being even more dominant if carbonaceous particles are assumed to be most toxic. Whereas in much of the USA and in a few other countries emissions from traffic and power generation are important, in eastern USA, Europe, Russia and East Asia agricultural emissions make the largest relative contribution to PM2.5, with the estimate of overall health impact depending on assumptions regarding particle toxicity. Model projections based on a business-as-usual emission scenario indicate that the contribution of outdoor air pollution to premature mortality could double by 2050.

"Nature", 2015

The Climate Skeptic’s Guide To Pope Francis’ U.S. Visit: Talking Points About The Pope & Global Warming

Do Catholics have to believe in man-made global warming in order to be good Catholics? No. The Pope’s view on climate science and its alleged “solutions” are not part of the faith and moral teachings of the church. When the Pope speaks on climate change, he is not speaking authoritatively on Catholic doctrine. He is merely offering his opinion. Catholics are not bound to follow the Pope’s view on global warming.

Is climate change a part of Catholic teachings now? No. Climate change is not part of Catholic doctrine. It is just another political issue to be debated among Catholics and the general public. The Federalist’s Rachel Lu: “The pontiff clearly has high authority to speak (at least to Catholics) on questions of faith and morals, but when it comes to predictive pronouncements on the Earth’s climate, he is not a definitive expert. Nor does he claim that mantle in Laudato Si.”

Does the Pope’s encyclical present accurate climate science? No. Noted climate statistician Dr. William Briggs was blunt in his assessment. “Most of the scientific claims cited in Pope’s encyclical are not true,” Briggs said. “For example, the claim that the world’s temperature has been increasing is demonstrably false: it hasn’t, and not for almost two decades. Another is the claim that storms are increasing in size and strength: also false; indeed, the opposite is true. Another is the claim that thousands of species are going extinct: false, and easily proved to be so,” Briggs added.

Who is advising Pope Francis? Sadly, there has been nothing short of an “Unholy Alliance” between the Vatican and promoters of man-made climate fear. The Vatican advisors can only be described as a brew of anti-capitalist, pro-population control advocates who allow no dissent and who are way out of the mainstream of even the global warming establishment.  Regrettably, the Vatican only listened to extreme voices within the climate movement with whom even other climate activists are not comfortable. Many of the Vatican’s key climate advisors have promoted policies directly at odds with Catholic doctrine and beliefs on such issues as population, contraceptives, abortion, and euthanasia. But despite these advisors, “Population control is condemned at some length, and in no uncertain terms, in the encyclical itself,” as The Federalist’s Rachel Lu points out.

Did the Vatican allow a climate debate at the Vatican before the encyclical was issued? No, none at all. In fact, the Vatican went out of its way to exclude skeptics from participating in their meetings. The Vatican banned a skeptical French scientist from its climate summit. The scientist who was invited then uninvited said the reason was that the Vatican “did not want to hear an off note” during the summit with UN officials.

Is the Pope hoping to use the encyclical to bring Catholic teachings to the secular environmental Left? Father Dwight Longnecker explains the strategy behind the encyclical: “The Pope successfully integrates a theology of creation into the ecology debate. He affirms, as so many environmentalists affirm, that ‘all things are connected.’ In doing so he then connects the rights of the unborn, the needs of the poor, the rights of immigrants, the needs of the elderly and disabled, and the rightful demands of the workers.” Many non-Catholics who are interested in reading the Papal encyclical will learn about Catholic teaching on a host of moral issues that they have probably have never been willing to listen to before. There is a lot in this encyclical that the global warming establishment will not like. For example, warmists will be challenged by Pope Francis when he states that it is “incoherent” to be concerned with climate change while at the same time supporting abortion.

The Pope’s strategy may be working. None other than Al Gore is being swayed. Gore said: “I was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition, I could become a Catholic because of this Pope. He is that inspiring to me.”

Should Catholics ask God for a successful outcome to the UN climate summit in Paris? No. But Pope Francis did summon a lobbying tone when he urged prayers for the passage of a UN climate treaty, specifically exhorting Catholics “to ask God for a positive outcome” for a Paris UN agreement. Pope Francis: “We believers cannot fail to ask God for a positive outcome to the present discussions, so that future generations will not have to suffer the effects of our ill-advised delays.” So no matter how nuanced and faithful to Catholic teachings this encyclical seeks to be, the Pope urging Catholics to “ask God for a positive outcome” to the current UN global warming treaty process will overpower every other message. The Pope is essentially endorsing a specific UN political climate treaty and implying that God is smiling upon the treaty process.

Is the state of the planet as dire as Laudato Si claims? No. The Pope’s general point that man has a moral duty to care for creation is traditional Catholic moral teaching.  However, Catholics need not agree with his encyclical’s opinion on the dire state of the planet. The Pope declared in the encyclical: “The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”

But Alex Epstein, author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, responded: “If the pope from 300 years ago could see our world today, he’d say it was actually cleaner and healthier than his own era.” Another climate skeptic responded: “We live in luxury that even kings a few centuries ago could only dream of. You only have to look at the filth and squalor in which previous generations lived to know that most people in the past would have given anything to be born now.”

As noted in its article “Sorry Pope Francis, the State of the Planet Is Getting Better,”  “If it’s covered in trash, it’s a strange kind of trash that has caused global crop yields to increase by 160% since 1961 and deaths from droughts to be reduced by 99.8% since the 1920s.

It’s an odd kind of ‘mistreatment’ of the planet over the life of the Industrial Revolution that’s resulted in the global life expectancy rising from 26 years in 1750 to 69 years in 2009. This is in spite of the fact that Earth’s population increased from 760 million to 6.8 billion and incomes (in real dollars) rose from $640 to $7,300 during the same period.”

Doesn’t the encyclical discuss other things besides climate? Yes. In fact, climate is a very small part of it, less than 2%. But it was the focus of intense media coverage. The Federalist‘s Rachel Lu points out: “It’s very misleading to refer to Laudato Si as ‘the climate change encyclical.’ Climate change is one of a variety of environmental problems with which the pontiff is concerned, but even his general interest in the environment is embedded within a broader critique of modernity.”

If the encyclical essentially has clauses that allow for debate, why is there such a media uproar? The encyclical has many carefully worded clauses and caveats, but key newsworthy parts were the Pope’s foray into climate science and his alignment with a UN climate treaty.

How does the Pope link economics and climate change together? Some observers have speculated that the Pope’s South American poverty perspective makes him very suspicious of modern capitalism, and thus more open to the centralized planning ideas of the UN climate agenda. A leader of the UN IPCC stated that their goal is to “redistribute wealth” by climate policy. By contrast, Pope John Paul II grew up in Soviet-dominated Poland and saw what centralized planning and restrictions did to human liberty and development.

Are Catholic climate skeptics still in good standing with the Church? Yes. The Pope’s opinion on scientific and economic matters is not the same as his authority on issues of faith and morals. Climate skeptics can agree with his teaching that we have a moral duty to care for creation without agreeing about man’s impact on climate change.

Is there a ‘consensus’ inside the Vatican on global warming? No. There is major climate dissent inside the Vatican. Skeptical Vatican Cardinal George Pell took a swing at the Pope’s climate encyclical, declaring the Catholic Church has “no particular expertise in science.”  Pell, who now serves at the head of the Vatican bank, declared in 2006: “In the past, pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today they demand a reduction in CO2 emissions.”

How did previous popes deal with the issue of global warming? Previous popes allowed debate and dissent. In 2007, during the tenure of Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican hosted a climate summit through the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and invited many different perspectives in the climate debate to participate. The 2007 event included atmospheric physicist and climate skeptic Dr. Fred Singer, skeptic and theologian Dr. E Calvin Beisner, and the climate skeptic president of the World Federation of Scientists, Dr. Antonio Zichichi. In 2007, Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, sought out different perspectives on climate change. Also in 2007, Pope Benedict was on record denouncing the type of alarmist activists that Pope Francis invited into the Vatican in 2015. Pope Benedict condemned what he termed the “climate change prophets of doom.”

Does Pope Francis have a degree in chemistry? Via the myth-busting This claim is “false.” “According to the pontiff’s official biography on the Vatican’s web site, Pope Francis ‘graduated as a chemical technician’ before entering the priesthood, received a degree in philosophy and theology from the Colegio de San José in San Miguel … the only mention of the Pope’s chemistry education was the notation that he graduated as a ‘chemical technician’; whether his training constituted the equivalent of a university degree, and where he undertook that course of study, was not specified.”

The Pope relies on UN science claims to promote climate action. How reputable is the UN IPCC? The UN IPCC is a political organization masquerading as a “science” body. Many UN lead authors have now resigned from the IPCC or had their names removed due to the politicization of science to fit the climate “narrative.” The former chief of the UN IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, declared global warming “is my religion.” Former Thatcher advisor and climate skeptic Christopher Monckton explains: “It is not the business of the Pope to stray from the field of faith and morals and wander into the playground that is science. Do not invite only one narrow and boisterous scientific viewpoint that has been repeatedly discredited as events and the science and the data have unfolded.”

Why are skeptics in an uproar over the Pope’s climate actions?  Climate skeptics have been shut out of the debate by the Vatican, and opponents have exploited and exaggerated the Pope’s support of their side to use his influence. Having a pope personally lobby for a UN agreement and hype climate fears is confusing to Catholics who may falsely believe one’s views on climate change and alleged “solutions” are now part of being a good Catholic. A major difference in what this pope has done versus previous popes is that he is taking the extra step of endorsing a UN climate treaty. This is a game changer from previous popes and previous Vatican statements on climate. It is especially frustrating for Catholic skeptics to be pitted against the Pope on climate issues because their political opponents disagree with him on just about all of the moral issues raised in the encyclical, but they have ignored their disagreement to “cherry pick” this one issue.

Why are many Catholic pro-life activists upset at the Vatican’s climate campaign? Many pro-life activists believe the Vatican is aligning itself with a UN climate agenda that is at odds with major aspects of Catholic teachings and doctrine. The UN’s climate agenda includes heavy doses of development restrictions, promotion of contraceptives, population control, abortions, etc.  Despite these strange bedfellows, the encyclical is clear in condemning abortion, contraception, and population control. Pro-life activists believe the Pope is causing Catholics who oppose climate fear predictions and UN “solutions” to feel as if they are not properly following their faith.

Will the Pope’s endorsement of the UN climate agenda harm the world’s poor? Yes. The Vatican is being misled on development and poverty issues as they relate to “climate change.” The Vatican’s well placed and long established concern for the developing world’s poor is being hijacked by a radical UN agenda that seeks to prevent life-saving fossil fuel energy development in the world’s poorest regions.

The Pope’s concern that climate-change impacts are going to harm the world’s poor the most was entirely misplaced. Preventing poverty-stricken nations of the world from obtaining affordable and plentiful fossil fuels means they cannot develop and thus insulate themselves from climate change whether it be man-made or natural. The Pope’s claim that “it is man who has slapped nature in the face” needs to be weighed against the fact that fossil fuels have allowed mankind to stop nature from slapping man in the face.

The more we develop with fossil fuels and increase our wealth and standard of living, the more we can inoculate ourselves from the ravages of nature. Centrally planning energy economics by restricting fossil fuels due to unfounded climate fears in the developing world is immoral. The Vatican and the Pope should be arguing that fossil fuels are the “moral choice” for the developing world for people who don’t have running water, electricity, or other basic needs.

Is the case for man-made global warming getting stronger or weaker? The science behind man-made global warming fears is actually weakening considerably. The 97% “consensus” claims are a fallacy – studies by UN lead authors now say such 97% claims are “pulled out of thin air” with no basis in fact. Extreme weather was stable or declining on almost every measure, and global temperatures have been in a standstill for over 18 years.  On everything from sea levels to polar bears, the climate narrative is failing. In addition, prominent scientists (many politically left) who used to believe in man-made global warming fears are now reversing themselves and becoming skeptics, including many UN scientists.


Insanity on steroids!  Economies collapsing, Middle East imploding – and Obama & Pals obsess over … the climate!

Paul Driessen

The Middle East is imploding. Islamic State butchers are annihilating Christian and other communities. Putin is sending arms to Assad. Under the Obama-Iran nuclear deal, the mullahs will get $100+ billion to expand their proxy terror war on Israel and the West. Saudi Arabia has 100,000 empty air-conditioned tents but won’t take any of the millions who’ve been driven from their homes. Neither will most of the other 22 Arab League nations or 57 Organization of Islamic Cooperation member countries.

Instead, millions of mostly Muslim migrants, militants and refugees are heading to Europe – with limited money, education, job skills, or desire to assimilate. They demand entry into EU countries whose energy, economic, employment and welfare systems are already foundering or nearing collapse.

EU nations have hobbled their nuclear and carbon-based energy systems so completely that unsubsidized German and Danish electricity prices are almost ten times higher than in US states that still rely on coal-fired generation. Industrial giant Siemens is cutting 1,600 jobs in its power and gas division, companies are hard-pressed to compete internationally, and 0.5% annual economic growth is deemed “robust.”

So naturally, President Obama, Pope Francis, the European Commission, United Nations, and many poor countries are obsessed with – climate change! It’s insanity on steroids. The alarmist assertions are absurd.

“Climate change is already disrupting our agriculture and ecosystems, our water and food supplies,” Obama recently inveighed. “If we do nothing, Alaskan temperatures are projected to rise between six and twelve degrees by the end of the century.”

Projected by whom? Who concocts these fables? Nature-driven climate change has disrupted lives throughout human history. Seas have risen 400 feet since the last mile-thick glaciers melted off the northern half of Asia, Europe and North America. How did “imperiled” Pacific islands survive that?

Some Alaskan glaciers have been retreating for decades, but Hubbard is growing and Glacier Bay’s ice retreat began around 1750. Arctic sea ice has increased some 26% (400,000 square miles) since 2012, in a cycle that’s continued for millennia. The sea ice “was thick in the 1920s, thin in the 1930s and 1940s, thick again in the 1960s and 1970s, and thinner in recent decades,” oceanographer Igor Polyakov noted in 2004.

“Not only in the summer, but in the winter the [Bering Sea region] was free of ice, sometimes with a wide strip of water up to at least 200 miles away from the shore,” Swedish explorer Oscar Nordkvist reported in 1822. “We were astonished by the total absence of ice in the Barrow Strait,” Francis McClintock, captain of the Fox, wrote in 1860. “I was here at this time in 1854 – still frozen up – and doubts were entertained as to the possibility of escape.” How did cars and power plants cause all that?

Meanwhile Greenland’s ice mass has grown by some 200 cubic kilometers (48 cubic miles) just since 2014. Vikings built homes, grew crops and raised cattle in Greenland between 950 and 1300, before they were frozen out by the Little Ice Age and encroaching pack ice and glaciers. Antarctic sea ice set another record in May, the US National Snow and Ice Data Center reports, climbing 12% above the long-term 1981-2010 average, to reach 12.1 million square kilometers (800,000 square miles) – almost as much as Alaska and Texas combined!

If it’s global warming and climate change, shouldn’t melting phenomena be constant and global?

Pope Francis nevertheless plans to meet with President Obama September 23, to discuss “dangerous manmade climate change” and how to ensure “preferential treatment of the poor,” by building “clean” energy economies and stopping “carbon pollution.” Their concerns and solutions are illusory.

They disdain fossil fuels and capitalism – though they have brought greater health and well-being to more people than any other systems in history. They prefer the socialism, centralized government control, higher energy prices, fundamental economic transformations and wealth redistribution schemes advanced by the UN and Climate Crisis, Inc. By denying the world’s poorest people energy, jobs and economic growth, this agenda will sentence them to perpetual poverty, disease and early death. By mandating the use of biofuels, wind turbines and solar panels, it will turn food into fuel, increase malnutrition, convert wildlife habitats into enormous inefficient energy facilities, and kill countless millions of birds and bats.

The pope and president dismiss these impacts. They insist that climate change is a far worse problem, and that modern energy, housing and living standards for the world’s poor would not be “sustainable.” They believe “morality,” “climate justice” and “preferential treatment” mean protecting people from hypothesized, exaggerated and fabricated climate disasters 25, 50 or 100 years from now – by destroying millions of jobs and keeping the world’s poor energy-deprived and impoverished now and in perpetuity.

The pope and president denigrate plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide as “carbon pollution” and say this 0.04% of Earth’s atmosphere has replaced the powerful natural forces that have always driven climate and weather fluctuations and events. They disregard satellite and weather balloon data and records from East Anglia University, which show there has been no planetary warming since at least late 1997, if not 1995.

They studiously ignore the fact that even full implementation of EPA’s fraudulent and destructive Clean Power Plan would at best prevent a global temperature increase of only 0.03 degrees F and a sea-level rise of barely 0.01 inches by 2100. And those “benefits” assume CO2 is the culprit in climate change.

Like other climate alarmists, they refuse to recognize that some 2,300 coal-fired power plants are already operating worldwide, and almost 2,200 more are being proposed, developed or built. Nearly 900 are planned for China and India alone. In barely ten years, Asia’s energy consumption will increase 31% and some two-thirds of that demand will be oil, natural gas and coal. So a US shutdown would do nothing.

Developed countries have dug a tiger trap – and walked into it. Their constant rants about “catastrophic manmade climate change” are driving policies that shut down carbon-based energy, economic growth and job creation in Formerly Rich Countries, while telling developing nations to hold us for climate ransom.

Following Obama’s recent GLACIER conference in Anchorage, China, India and Russia (three of the four biggest CO2-emitting nations) refused to sign a nonbinding declaration seeking greater international action to combat Arctic melting and climate change. Nearly all developing countries oppose agreements calling for binding emission targets or even “obligatory review mechanisms” of their voluntary efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, they now insist on $100 billion to $400 billion per year in climate change “mitigation, adaptation and compensation,” plus free energy technology transfers.

Denmark is dropping plans to phase out coal-fired power plants and be fossil-fuel-free by 2050. Britain is junking its wind energy subsidies and pushing ahead with fracking for gas to fuel more power plants. But meanwhile, Mr. Obama is thumbing his nose at Congress and American voters and unemployed workers – and imposing ever more restrictions on coal and natural gas use, and more taxpayer subsidies for wind, solar and biofuel programs, on top of water, ozone and other regulations. This will cost trillions of dollars, inflict heavy costs on poor and middle class families, and bring few or no health or ecological benefits.

The agenda being driven by President Obama, Pope Francis, the UN and Climate Crisis, Inc. means our huddled masses will be forced to share ever-greater scarcity, ever-lower living standards, ever-fewer jobs and opportunities. But of course it all will be apportioned “fairly and equitably” – by ruling elites and their cronies, whose desk jobs, six-figure salaries and upper crust life styles will be protected by the same executive powers they employ to protect the planet from climate raptors and hobgoblins.

It’s time for Congress to pass bills dismantling and defunding Obama’s energy and climate dictates – and dare Democrats to vote against them and in favor of this destructive Executive Branch power grab.

Via email

Gohmert to EPA Director: 'You Want to Be in Charge of All the Waters of United States'

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) grilled Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy Thursday over the agency’s handling of an EPA contractor’s accidental spilling of toxic wastewater from the Gold King mine in Colorado into the Animas River.

McCarthy said that she was unaware that anyone at the EPA was under criminal investigation for their handling of the incident. “Your agency is above the law,” Gohmert said.

“You want to be in charge of all the waters of the United States, and you couldn’t even figure out to get ready for a possible discharge,” Gohmert continued, likely in reference to the EPA’s Waters of the United States rule, which expands the agency’s control over small bodies of water under the Clean Water Act.

Gohmert said he was blown away by McCarthy’s indications that the EPA did not anticipate that this type of spill could occur.

“Sir, I didn’t say that,” McCarthy interjected.

“Oh, okay, so you just went into it knowing this kind of damage could occur but not preparing for it,” Gohmert replied.

The August 5th spill affected waters in Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico and has severely affected the Navajo Nation - some of whom have slammed the government’s inaction on the toxic spill which contaminated their drinking water.

“Since you’ve been at the EPA, how many people or industries, companies have been charged with criminal violations?” Gohmert asked.

“I don’t have that number, sir,” she replied.

“You have charged plenty of people, right?” he asked.

“We have conducted enforcement activities that we should conduct, yes,” McCarthy acknowledged.

“How many people at the EPA are under investigation right now for this massive discharge that you created?” he asked.

“I’m unaware of any criminal investigation, sir,” she replied.

“Ah, well I guess there’s the rub, isn’t it?” Gohmert emphasized. “Your agency is above the law and all the damage you do to the environment, and you want to be in charge of all the waters of the United States, and you couldn’t even figure out to get ready for a possible discharge.


Real-World, Observational Evidence Contradicts Model-Driven Global Warming Narrative

Abundant, affordable, reliable energy, combined with economic freedom and limited, responsive government according to the rule of law, are indispensable to overcoming poverty. No society has risen out of poverty or can long stay out of it without both.

That is why, like the over 300 scientists, policy experts, religious leaders, and others who have signed “An Open Letter on Climate Change to the People, their Local Representatives, the State Legislatures and Governors, the Congress, and the President of the United States of America,” I oppose policies to prevent or reduce global warming allegedly caused by human emissions of carbon dioxide.

Real-world, observational evidence contradicts model-driven predictions of dangerous manmade global warming. Computer climate models, on average, simulate twice the warming observed over the relevant period; over 95 percent simulate more warming than observed, implying that their errors are not random but driven by bias; and none simulated the absence of warming over the last 18 years and 7 months. In contrast to the invalidated climate models, observational evidence—the essence of real science—strongly supports the conclusion that human carbon dioxide emissions contribute very little if anything to global warming, so reducing emissions, at a cost of trillions of dollars worldwide that could otherwise be spent to solve real and much more urgent problems, would have little or no effect on global warming.

But shifting from abundant, reliable, affordable fossil fuels to diffuse, intermittent, expensive wind and solar drives up energy costs, harming everyone, especially the poor. Applied in developed nations, policies requiring such a shift will slow, stop, or reverse economic growth, destroy millions of jobs, and make all goods and services more expensive, again harming the poor more than anyone else. Applied in developing nations, they will condemn the world’s poorest to ongoing generations of abject poverty and the high rates of disease and premature death that it produces.

Applying such policies through a global agreement limiting carbon dioxide emissions, as President Obama, United Nations officials, and some other world leaders hope to do at the climate summit in Paris in December, would require a massive, global bureaucracy unaccountable to the people whose lives it would rule. That would undermine economic freedom, limited government, and the rule of law, and threaten the sovereignty and independence of every nation.

People with economic freedom and even moderate wealth can thrive in any climate, from the Arctic to the Sahara. Slaves and the poor cannot thrive anywhere.

Thus, as expressed in a “Petition: For the Sake of the Poor, Don’t Fight Global Warming,” our leaders should oppose policies to limit carbon dioxide emissions, whether at sub-national levels (like statewide Renewable Energy Portfolios), national levels (like the U.S. federal Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed “Clean Power Plan”), or global levels, including any treaty or agreement binding nations around the world.


Credentialism and its outcomes

I originally wrote this article for my EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL blog but it obviously has a place here too -- JR

In the 20 years during which I was an active academic researcher, I was repeatedly appalled by the low intellectual standards that I found in papers by colleagues.  They repeatedly ignored basic scientific caution and, all too often, concluded what they wanted to conclude, regardless of what their data actually showed.  I got a couple of papers a year published in the academic journals pointing that sort of thing out. See here.

I have no background in climatology and only the most basic background in physics and chemistry -- but even from that low starting point I have often found that in climate-related articles there are the most glaring follies too.  One instance is attributing the high surface temperature of Venus to a "runaway greenhouse effect" -- when that temperature is perfectly well explained by basic adiabatics -- as the outcome of the pressure exerted by the huge Venusian atmosphere.  And just basic logic seems often to be overlooked.  So I have always suspected that climate science is just as impoverished intellectually as science in the fields that I am more familiar with.

And an exquitiste demonstration of that has just been put up by Willis Eschenbach.  He takes a climate paper from a most prestigious academic journal -- "Nature" -- and tears it to very small shreds.  "Nature" is of course a great temple of global warming.  I have done some pretty savage shredding of other people's papers in my time but the comprehensive shredding by Eschenbach leaves me way behind.  It is a classic.

So how come?  How come science is often so unscientific?  Credentialism plays an obvious part.  The number of years of formal education that a person gets on average has been steadily climbing for many years.  Teachers, for instance, once learnt their job as apprentices but now a four-year degree is normally required.  And the inevitable outcome of credentialism is a great expansion of the higher education sector.  All those degree-hungry people have to be taught. And the teachers concerned have to earn their stripes.  To prove yourself as an academic you need to do research and get the results published in some respectable outlet.

But all men are not equal and those who are capable of rigorous scientific thinking is apparently few.  The sort of article that I and Eschenbach find absurd is the product of the credentialled but incapable.  There are just far too many academics around who are not up to the job.  But they are needed because there are so many students to be taught.

Is there a solution?  I think there is.  But it will be as unpopular as it is simple.  Student loans and grants should be given only to those who can be shown to be in the top 5% of IQ.  Some people who fail such a test will still be able to enroll if they can self-fund but the overall effect should be a large reduction in student numbers.  And with fewer students to be taught, universities can be more selective about the teachers they hire.  And better selected teachers should do better conceived and executed research -- JR


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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1 comment:

Strefanasha said...

For the record I am a Leftist, of life long conviction but reject the claims that global warming is caused by man and is continuing. I do this on the ground of evidence, chiefly for me historical evidence for I should have trained as a historian in my university days. My point is leftists who hold sensible views on Climate Change do exist even though we are rare. Naturally my view of Greens is now blistering contempt. Keep up the good work