Monday, August 22, 2016
Fracturing common sense
Colorado extremists want to ban fracking, oil, gas, jobs, revenues, property rights
Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has given the USA and world centuries of new petroleum supplies, lowered energy prices for manufacturers, motorists and consumers, and altered geopolitics for the Middle East, Russia and Venezuela. New natural gas supplies provide low-cost petrochemical feed stocks, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by fueling electrical generating plants – which you’d think would be good news for climate alarmists.
But naturally, those who inhabit environmentalism’s loonier fringes have gone into overdrive. They used to support natural gas. However, now that they’ve shut down many American coal mines and coal-burning power plants, they’re against it.
In shale-rich Colorado, they’re upset that the state supreme court overturned several local fracking bans. So Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development collected signatures on petitions to have several anti-fracking “citizen initiatives” put on the November election ballots. To them, anything promoting or allowing fossil fuels is “extreme.”
With great hoopla, CREED delivered hundreds of boxes to Colorado’s Secretary of State. Lots of boxes, in a clever PR stunt – but most of them almost empty, and holding only a few thousand more signatures than the 98,492 required to get on the ballot, with thousands likely to be invalidated.
One frack-hater sounded relieved, saying he’d rather see the initiatives kept off the ballot than be “crushed” in the elections. That indeed would be the likely result. Most Coloradans want the benefits fracking brings, know the alleged health and environmental impacts are exaggerated or fabricated, and realize the CREED petitions fracture common sense and truly ethical energy policies.
It’s the same at the national level: Hillary Clinton and her Big Green-Bigger Government allies want to eliminate the oil, gas, coal and fracking job-creating miracle. The only energy jobs they want is those that require perpetual billions in taxpayer and consumer subsidies paid to the Democrats’ campaign donors.
Fractured common sense and ethics also mean hypocrisy. Local control is vital, CREED insists – but only if communities oppose fracking. Never if they want fracking, ethanol-free gasoline or affordable coal-based electricity for poor, minority and blue collar families. Never if locals don’t want bird-butchering wind turbines in their neighborhoods. Never if they don’t want oil replaced by biofuels grown on millions of acres that used to be croplands, forests, grasslands and rainforests.
The anti-fracking petitions also violate private property rights, the bedrock of America’s wealth creating free enterprise system. They endow us with the freedom to work hard to obtain and retain a residence, car, farm, business, college fund or retirement nest egg. They are protected by our Constitution, which holds that no one can be deprived of property without “due process of law” and “just compensation.”
If anti-fracking fringe groups get their way, property rights could become just a fond memory. If their schemes catch on, these fundamental rights could become endangered far more widely.
One CREED initiative, which did not secure enough signatures, would have guaranteed “a healthy environment.” As a Colorado Legislative Council memo notes, that raises unanswered but basic questions. Is the environmental currently healthy? If not, when was it healthy? How will environmental health be assessed – and by whom?
Another failed idea would have banned land and mineral owners from employing fracking to produce oil and natural gas. Another still pending initiative would let localities pass ordinances, including bans on drilling and fracking, with primacy over state law.
#78 would prevent drilling and fracking within 2,500 feet of occupied buildings or “areas of special interest.” CREED defines “areas of special interest” as playgrounds, sports fields and virtually any body of water: lakes, rivers, intermittent creeks, irrigation canals and nearly anything except potholes.
My former home state already has strict setback standards and some of the toughest drilling rules in the nation. Wells cannot be drilled within 1,000 feet of schools and hospitals, and must be 500 feet from homes and commercial buildings. Additional setbacks cover recreational facilities and property lines.
Extending the setbacks to 2,500 feet (nearly one-half mile) would almost eliminate the state’s energy production. Many think is CREED’s real goal. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission maps reveal that Initiative 78 would prohibit 90% of new wells and fracking operations. In the most energy-productive counties, 95% of energy development would be stopped.
A University of Colorado Leeds School of Business study projects that even a 2,000-foot setback could cut Colorado’s GDP by as much as $11 billion per year and eliminate 62,000 jobs by 2030.
The initiatives severely impact property rights. If an amended state constitution imposes 2,500-foot setbacks, thousands of mineral-rights owners would be precluded from producing energy on their own land. Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper says that could be considered a “taking,” in which the state essentially confiscates private mineral rights. That means it could ultimately be required to pay billions of dollars in “just compensation.”
CREED and its allies couldn’t care less. They want all fossil fuels kept in the ground and claim fracking chemicals endanger groundwater – despite extensive evidence that refutes those claims. Even a landmark 2015 U.S. EPA study found almost no instances where fracking contaminated subsurface drinking water.
They also ignore two fundamental realities. First, government and other analysts point out, oil and natural gas will still supply 65-70% of total U.S. energy needs in 2040. Second, supposed petroleum “alternatives” also have major environmental impacts.
For example, industry and government data show that generating just 20% of US electricity with wind power would require some 18,000,000 acres of land, 186,000 turbines, 19,000 miles of new transmission lines, and 270,000,000 tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and rare earths. Those materials have to be extracted somewhere, nowadays mostly in countries with regulations that generally fail to protect human health and environmental quality, with Baotou, China a poster child for abject failure.
Of course, these are minor details for zealots. They think they should be the ones deciding whose property rights, jobs, living standards, health, welfare, environmental quality and other basic rights should be protected, and whose should be sacrificed to advance activist agendas.
So CREED and its radical allies like the Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch and 350.org intend to stir up as much state and local mischief as possible, to impose their will on America. The high stakes have made the Colorado ballot initiatives vitriolic and expensive.
CREED’s antics are akin to a “toddler throwing itself on the floor, kicking and screaming in the hope it will get its way,” the Greeley Tribune editorialized. Unfortunately, “progressive” toddlers are used to getting their way, in legislatures, in courtrooms and on college campuses.
They remind me of Irish statesman Edmund Burke’s observation. “Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field … or that they are other than little, shriveled, meager, hopping, though loud and troublesome, insects of the hour.”
Will informed, responsible adults finally inject some sanity into state and federal energy policies?
Cruise ship looks to make clean journey through Northwest Passage
Amazing where you can go with an icebreaker going ahead of you
Crystal Cruises has spent three years planning the Serenity’s voyage to prevent Titanic-like scenarios (and is requiring $50,000 in evacuation insurance for passengers). The Canadian and American coast guards and federal bodies including Transport Canada are also overseeing the trip.
Such preparation is “unprecedented,” Mr. Hutchinson said. “We’ve seen a level of planning that suggests to us the company is taking seriously the conditions they’re going to face.”
The British RRS Ernest Shackleton icebreaker is escorting the ship, along with two helicopters to assess ice conditions. The Serenity is outfitted with a forward-looking sonar, searchlights and a navigation system that displays near real-time satellite ice imagery.
Two veteran Canadian ice pilots will also accompany the captain and his team, who have been trained to navigate far-northern regions. Under regulations, the Serenity is required to debrief daily with the Canadian Coast Guard.
The Serenity’s sprawling month-long itinerary includes three Canadian stops: Ulukhaktok, a community of 400 mostly Inuit people in Northwest Territories, as well as Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet in Nunavut. Vicki Aitaok, cruise-ship co-ordinator for Cambridge Bay, will see the population of her 1,600-person hamlet double when the Serenity docks on Aug. 29.
“This one is huge,” said Ms. Aitaok, who oversees five cruise-ship visits over a tight two-week window in late August. The hamlet typically welcomes 100 passengers from small cruises for an afternoon visit. But the Serenity’s stop will require a 13-hour block scheduled to military precision, with 100 passengers passing through each half hour.
Feds permit wind mills to kill more bald eagles
This is outrageous. There would be an almighty howl if anybody else did this
Back in May, ABC News published a revealing story that is symbolic about the nature, not just of this blog, but of environmentalism itself. At the time and as the article points out, the Fish and Wildlife Service published a rule increasing the amount of bald eagles allowed to be killed by an energy project from 1,160 to 4,200. This based on the agency’s claim that the bald eagle population is healthy enough to sustain such loses.
It isn’t just the demonstration of a once endangered species in danger of going back to extinction, but demonstrates environmentalists exist to destroy civilization. The windmills are (in theory) supposed to use a natural element of Earth to generate power for humans. They are supposed to lessen human usage of Earth’s resources and are a policy environmentalists have advocated for years. The bald eagle is the symbol of the United States of America, the greatest country that has ever existed. But the US and the people who make it up will be sacrificed to the needs of nature as symbolized by the bald eagles who will be killed resulting from windmill use.
Development banks spend $US billions on coal-fired power plants
Generating Greenie agony. See below. Banks survive and grow by making rational decisions, not by catering to environmental activism
Some 338 gigawatts of new coal-fired electrical generation are under construction around the world, principally in Asia, according to a March study by CoalSwarm, a global network of researchers. That is comparable to the generating capacity of all the coal-fired plants in the United States.
Nearly 1,100 gigawatts of coal-fueled generating capacity are in the planning stages. If even half of the plants planned and under construction operate as intended, that would pour upwards of 122 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the next 40 years, said the researchers.
The consequences for the world’s ecosystems, and especially the planet’s freshwater reserves, are profound. Climate change already affects the stability of the world’s hydrological cycles, producing deeper droughts and more severe floods. Warming waters contaminated with nutrients have given rise to dangerous blooms of toxic algae. The 122 gigatons produced by half of the new and planned coal-fired power plants is a sizable share of the 141-gigaton to roughly 500-gigaton carbon dioxide budget that scientists say the world can produce in the next four decades and still keep the rise in global temperatures to under 2 degrees Celsius, the limit thought to secure human and ecological safety.
Rock star-scientist Brian Cox confused on more than global temperatures
By Jennifer Marohasy
Celebrity physicist Brian Cox misled the ABC TV Q&A audience on at least 3 points-of-fact on Monday night. This is typical of the direction that much of science is taking. Richard Horton, the current editor of the medical journal, The Lancet, recently stated that, "The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue."
Firstly, Cox displayed an out-of-date NASA chart of remodelled global temperatures as proof that we have catastrophic climate change caused by industrial pollution. Another panellist on the program, One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts, tried to raise the issue of cause and effect: querying whether there really was a link between rising temperature and carbon dioxide. This is generally accepted without question. But interestingly – beyond experiments undertaken by a chemist over 100 years ago – there is no real proof beyond unreliable computer simulation models.
Indeed, in 2006, John Nicol (a former Dean of Science at James Cook University) wrote to Penny Whetton (then meteorologist-in-charge of the climate science stream at CSIRO) asking if she could provide him with copies notes, internal reports, references ("peer reviewed" of course) which would provide details of the physics behind the hypothesis of global warming. She wrote back immediately promising to find some – which he thought was odd since he had assumed her office was stacked-to-the-ceiling with such literature.
Whetton even went to the trouble of contacting other colleagues – one of whom sent Nicol an inconsequential article in a Polish journal. After eighteen months of their exchanging letters and all of her promises to be helpful, all she could finally offer was the "scientific" section of "Climate Change in Australia 2007". There, to Nicol's amazement he found nothing apart from the oft quoted: "We believe that most of the increase in global temperatures during the second half of the 20th century was very likely due to increases in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide".
"Believe", "most", and "very likely" are jargon, perhaps meaning "we don't have a clue".
The chart Cox held up on Monday night – now all-over-the-internet as proof of global warming – essentially represents a remodelling of observed temperature measurements to confirm a belief, that we most likely have catastrophic global warming.
The accurate UAH satellite record shows a spike in temperatures in 1997-1998 associated with the El Nino back then, followed by a long pause of about 17 years, before the recent spike at the end of 2015-beginning of 2016. The recent spike was also caused by an El Nino event. Global-temperatures have been plummeting since March, and are now almost back to pause-levels. Indeed, Roberts was more correct than Cox, when he claimed there had been no warming for about 21 years – despite the rise in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.
The second misleading statement from Cox on Monday night concerned the nature of the modern sceptic – often harshly labelled a denier. Cox suggested that sceptics were the type of people that would even deny the moon-landing. In making this claim he was no doubt alluding to research, since discredited, funded by the Australian Research Council, that attempted to draw a link between scepticism of anthropogenic global warming and believing in conspiracies.
In fact, astronaut Harrison Schmitt – who actually stood on the moon, drilled holes, collected moon rocks, and has since returned to Earth – is a well-known sceptic of anthropogenic global warming. In short, Astronaut Harrison knows the moon-landing was real, but does not believe carbon dioxide plays a significant role in causing weather and climate change. In fact, Schmitt has expressed the view – a very similar view to Roberts – that the risks posed by climate change are overrated. Harrison has even suggested that climate change is a tool for people who are trying to increase the size of government – though he does not deny that he has been to the moon and back.
Thirdly, Cox has qualifications in particle physics, yet he incorrectly stated that Albert Einstein devised the four-dimensional-space-time continuum. Those with a particular interest in the history of relativity theory know that while Einstein reproduced the Lorenz equations using a different philosophical interpretation, he was not the first to put these equations into the context of the 4-dimensional continuum – that was done by Hermann Minkowski. Minkowski reformulated in four dimensions the then-recent theory of special relativity concluding that time and space should be treated equally. This subsequently gave rise to the concept of events taking place in a unified four-dimensional space-time continuum.
Then again, Cox may not care too much for facts. He is not only a celebrity scientist, but also a rock star. Just the other day I was watching a YouTube video of him playing keyboard as the lead-singer of the band screamed, "We don't need a reason".
There was once a clear distinction between science – that was about reason and evidence – and art that could venture into the make-believe including through the re-interpretation of facts. This line is increasingly blurred in climate science where data is now routinely remodeled to make it more consistent with global warming theory.
For example, I'm currently working on a 61-page expose of the situation at Rutherglen. Since November 1912, air temperatures have been measured at an agricultural research station near Rutherglen in northern Victoria, Australia. The data is of high quality, therefore, there is no scientific reason to apply adjustments in order to calculate temperature trends and extremes. Mean annual temperatures oscillate between 15.8°C and 13.4°C. The hottest years are 1914 and 2007; there is no overall warming-trend. The hottest summer was in 1938–1939 when Victoria experienced the Black Friday bushfire disaster. This 1938-39 summer was 3°C hotter than the average-maximum summer temperature at Rutherglen for the entire period: December 1912 to February 2016. Minimum annual temperatures also show significant inter-annual variability.
In short, this temperature data, like most of the temperature series from the 112 sites used to concoct the historical temperature record by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology does not accord with global warming theory.
So, adjustments are made by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to these temperature series before they are incorporated into the Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT); and also the UK Met Office's HadCRUT dataset, which informs IPCC deliberations.
The temperature spike in 1938-1939 is erroneously identified as a statistical error, and all temperatures before 1938 adjusted down by 0.62°C. The most significant change is to the temperature minima with all temperatures before 1974, and 1966, adjusted-down by 0.61°C and 0.72°C, respectively. For the year 1913, there is a 1.3°C difference between the annual raw minimum value as measured at Rutherglen and the remodelled value.
The net effect of the remodelling is to create statistically significant warming of 0.7 °C in the ACORN-SAT mean temperature series for Rutherglen, in general agreement with anthropogenic global warming theory.
NASA applies a very similar technique to the thousands of stations used to reproduce the chart that Cox held-up on Monday night during the Q&A program. I discussed these change back in 2014 with Gavin Schmidt, who oversees the production of these charts at NASA. I was specifically complaining about how they remodel the data for Amberley, a military base near where I live in Queensland.
Back in 2014, the un-adjusted mean annual maximum temperatures for Amberley – since recordings were first made in 1941 – show temperatures trending up from a low of about 25.5°Cin 1950 to a peak of almost 28.5°Cin 2002. The minimum temperature series for Amberley showed cooling from about 1970. Of course this does not accord with anthropogenic global warming theory. To quote Karl Braganza from the Bureau as published by online magazine The Conversation, "Patterns of temperature change that are uniquely associated with the enhanced greenhouse effect, and which have been observed in the real world include... Greater warming in winter compared with summer… Greater warming of night time temperatures than daytime temperatures".
The Bureau has "corrected" this inconvenient truth at Amberley by jumping-up the minimum temperatures twice through the homogenization process: once around 1980 and then around 1996 to achieve a combined temperature increase of over 1.5°C.
This is obviously a very large step-change, remembering that the entire temperature increase associated with global warming over the 20th century is generally considered to be in the order of 0.9°C.
According to various peer-reviewed papers, and technical reports, homogenization as practiced in climate science is a technique that enables non-climatic factors to be eliminated from temperature series – by making various adjustments.
It is often done when there is a site change (for example from a post office to an airport), or equipment change (from a Glaisher Stand to a Stevenson screen). But at Amberley neither of these criteria can be applied. The temperatures have been recorded at the same well-maintained site within the perimeter of the air force base since 1941. Through the homogenization process the Bureau have changed what was a cooling trend in the minimum temperature of 1.0°Cper century, into a warming trend of 2.5°C per century.
Homogenization – the temperature adjusting done by the Bureau – has not resulted in some small change to the temperatures as measured at Amberley, but rather a change in the temperature trend from one of cooling to dramatic warming as was done to the series for Rutherglen.
NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) based in New York also applies a jump-up to the Amberley series in 1980, and makes other changes, so that the annual average temperature for Amberley increases from 1941 to 2012 by about 2°C.
The new Director of GISS, Gavin Schmidt, explained to me on Twitter back in 2014 that: "@jennmarohasy There is an inhomogenity detected (~1980) and based on continuity w/nearby stations it is corrected. #notrocketscience".
When I sought clarification regarding what was meant by "nearby" stations I was provided with a link to a list of 310 localities used by climate scientists at Berkeley when homogenizing the Amberley data.
The inclusion of Berkeley scientists was perhaps to make the point that all the key institutions working on temperature series (the Australian Bureau, NASA, and also scientists at Berkeley) appreciated the need to adjust-up the temperatures at Amberley. So, rock star scientists can claim an absolute consensus?
But these 310 "nearby" stations, they stretch to a radius of 974 kilometres and include Frederick Reef in the Coral Sea, Quilpie post office and even Bourke post office. Considering the un-adjusted data for the six nearest stations with long and continuous records (old Brisbane aero, Cape Moreton Lighthouse, Gayndah post office, Bundaberg post office, Miles post office and Yamba pilot station) the Bureau's jump-up for Amberley creates an increase for the official temperature trend of 0.75°C per century.
Temperatures at old Brisbane aero, the closest of these station, also shows a long-term cooling trend. Indeed perhaps the cooling at Amberley is real. Why not consider this, particularly in the absence of real physical evidence to the contrary? In the Twitter conversation with Schmidt I suggested it was nonsense to use temperature data from radically different climatic zones to homogenize Amberley, and repeated my original question asking why it was necessary to change the original temperature record in the first place. Schmidt replied, "@jennmarohasy Your question is ill-posed. No-one changed the trend directly. Instead procedures correct for a detected jump around ~1980."
If Twitter was around at the time George Orwell was writing the dystopian fiction Nineteen Eighty-Four, I wonder whether he might have borrowed some text from Schmidt's tweets, particularly when words like, "procedures correct" refer to mathematical algorithms reaching out to "nearby" locations that are across the Coral Sea and beyond the Great Dividing Range to change what was a mild cooling-trend, into dramatic warming, for an otherwise perfectly politically-incorrect temperature series.
Horton, the somewhat disillusioned editor of The Lancet, also stated recently that science is, "Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness." I would not go that far! I am not sure it has taken a turn for darkness – perhaps just a turn towards the make-believe. Much of climate science, in particular, is now underpinned with a postmodernist epistemology – it is simply suspicious of reason and has an acute sensitivity to the role of ideology in asserting and maintaining particular power-structures including through the homogenisation of historical temperature data.
Scholar exposes lies behind 'global warming
A Canadian scholar and expert on foreign affairs is uncovering through a new book many of the deceptions used by radical environmentalists and other “climate change” activists to push their “global warming” agenda that is reportedly making government and corporate bank accounts very green.
In his recently published book titled Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics, and Politics of Climate Change, Michael Hart — who serves as emeritus professor of international affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada — questions the global climate change campaign that has funneled billions of dollars into government hands in a so-called last-ditch effort to save the planet. He was asked what motivated him to take on such a challenge.
“I was initially motivated by questions from my students – and my wife – about the policy implications of climate change,” Hart told LifeSiteNews in an interview. “The more I looked into it, however, the more I learned the extent to which it fit with one of my research interests: the extent to which modern health, safety and environmental regulatory activity relies on poor science advanced by activists to push an agenda. I learned that both domestic and international actors had succeeded in using the poorly understood science of climate change to advance an ambitious environmental agenda focused on increasing centralized control over people’s daily lives.”
Uncovering a lie
The professor, who served as an official in Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, has been conducting research for his latest work for more than 10 years. He maintains that his challenging endeavor is critical to understanding a movement that is determined to use the climate issue to advance a utopian agenda that is misleading – at best.
Hart, whose research debunks the so-called climate change “science,” was asked how the teaching is being misused across the world.
“The global climate is one of the most complex, chaotic, non-linear natural systems we know,” the former visiting chair in Canada-United States relations at the Fulbright-Woodrow Wilson Center explained. “It is in a constant state of flux due to such factors as changes in the output of the sun, changes in Earth’s orbit around the sun, and oscillations in ocean heat uptake. The alarm[ist] movement has taken one such factor – growth in the minor atmospheric greenhouse gas carbon dioxide – to claim that human activity is changing the atmosphere to an alarming degree, leading inexorably to a much warmer climate.”
He argues that climate change activists misrepresent the figures to fit their agenda.
“While increased atmospheric carbon dioxide – from .03 to .04 percent of the atmosphere – should lead to some warming, the extent of that warming within the context of a complex system that is in a constant state of flux due to numerous forcings and feedbacks is highly exaggerated,” Hart continued. “The best evidence indicates that the mild warming at the end of the 20th century was well within historical and geologic experience. Over the first decade and a half of the 21st century, there has been no net warming. The alarmist movement relies extensively on flawed computer models to make its case.”
The climate expert then cited the works of acclaimed science journalist, Matt Ridley, of the United Kingdom, to stress his point.
“Environmental researchers are increasingly looking for evidence that fits their ideology rather than seeking the truth,” Ridley asserted.
Teaching myths as facts
Hart also addressed how global warming can be promoted as fact in virtually every academic institution when such a dearth of empirical data actually supports global warming – similar to the unconditional propagation of Darwinian evolution in academic circles.
“More than one motivation drives the abuse of science,”said the scholar-in-residence at the School of International Service. “Among scientists, the primary reasons are money, career advancement and prestige. In order to pursue their research programs, scientists need money from governments and foundations. They have learned that satisfying the agenda of both helps funds to flow. As a result, they have learned to adapt their research to the desired outcomes. Related to money and careers is the need to publish in so-called prestige journals on the basis of peer review of their work. As I explain in my book, over the years, much of peer review has degenerated into pal review that maintains the dominant perspective. Views that challenge that perspective are ruthlessly weeded out.”
He went on to explain further how the “science” of climate change has been able to advance in acadmia so quickly.
“Additionally, a significant amount of published research fails numerous tests of reliability due to sloppy methods, misuse and abuse of statistics, ignored negative findings and other failings in scientific integrity,” Hart impressed. “Climate change science has been particularly prone to these failings. Nobel Prize winners such as Robert Jastrow and Freeman Dyson have become increasingly critical of the course of modern science. Many indicate that the insights that led to their Nobel Prize would never have passed current peer review.”
As the founder and director emeritus of Carleton University’s Centre for Trade Policy and Law, Hart touched on the propaganda techniques being implemented to propagate the troubled theory to Americans.
“The leaders driving the climate change movement come from a variety of persuasions,” he added. “The environmental movement found in the alarm about global warming – now climate change – a potent new way in which to raise funds and increase awareness of its broader concerns about the state of the environment. UN officials learned that concern about climate change could be harnessed to bolster support for UN social and economic programs and to advance the UN’s goal of world governance by experts. Left-wing politicians discovered in climate change renewed ways to press their agenda of social and economic justice through coercive government programs.”
Hart also referred to the words of former New Hampshire governor, John Sununu on the topic.
“The alarmists have learned well from the past,” Sununu expressed. “They saw what motivates policy makers is not necessarily just hard science, but a well-orchestrated symphony of effort … announce a disaster; cherry pick some results; back it up with computer modeling; proclaim a consensus; stifle the opposition; take over the process and control the funding; and roll the policy makers.”
Also mentioned was a quote from former U.S. Senator and chief climate envoy during the Clinton administration, Timothy Wirth, which shows how Democrats unconditionally stick behind climate change to forward its progressive agenda..
“We’ve got to ride the global warming issue,” Wirth said. “Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing.”
Humans predisposed to beilieve in climate change?
When asked whether the current obsession with climate change was indicative of something deeper inside modern human consciousness, Hart had this to say.
“Alarm over a changing climate leading to malign results is in many ways the product of the hunger for stability and direction in a post-Christian world,” the author, editor/co-editor of more than a dozen books and several hundred articles asserted. “Humans have a deep, innate need for a transcendent authority. Having rejected the precepts of Christianity, people in the advanced economies of the West are turning to other forms of authority. Putting aside those who cynically exploit the issue for their own gain – from scientists and politicians to UN leaders and green businesses – most activists are deeply committed to a secular, statist, anti-human, earth-centric set of beliefs which drives their claims of a planet in imminent danger from human activity. To them, a planet with fewer people is the ultimate goal, achievable only through centralized direction and control.”
The words of philosopher of science, Jeffrey Foss, were then visited.
“Environmental science conceives and expresses humankind’s relationship to nature in a manner that is – as a matter of observable fact – religious,” Foss explained. “[It] prophesies an environmental apocalypse. It tells us that the reason we confront apocalypse is our own environmental sinfulness. Our sin is one of impurity. We have fouled a pure, ‘pristine’ nature with our dirty household and industrial wastes. The apocalypse will take the form of an environmental backlash, a payback for our sins. … environmental scientists tell people what they must do to be blameless before nature.”
The reasoning behind it …
It was then posed to Hart whether he believed global warming over-focuses on one aspect of life on Earth … to the detriment of other aspects – or if the theory is merely being used for political purposes.
“I think it is both … for some, such as movement leaders, UN officials, and many politicians, the issue is being cynically exploited to advance their agenda of greater control over human livess,” the acclaimed professor answered. “For others, particularly rank and file environmental activists, climate change serves to reinforce and validate their broader concerns to the exclusion of many other dimensions of human life.”
LifeSiteNews’ Michael O’Brien then asked if global warming should be considered as a type of passing urban legend phenomenon that based on questionable science, yet taught as being authentic … or if it is indicative of something more serious taking place within society.
“I believe [global warming] is a similar phenomenon, but one that has captured the imagination and concerns of more people and has more support among elites,” Hart responded. “In my view, it is potentially more troubling and damaging than these earlier alarms.”
Leading to disastrous societal ramifications?
He then addressed a topic in his book about society’s utopian dreams that seem to lead to freedom and a higher quality of life in the beginning, but end up degenerating into a “totalitarian democracy.”
“I am optimistic [that this won’t happen], Hart shared. “I do not think its long-term success is inevitable, but it will take a determined effort by people of faith and conscience to point to its darker motives and its sinister exploitation of populist fears. We know from history that such movements have a predictable life cycle: They emerge with much enthusiasm among intellectual elites, they gain a broad following by focusing on alarmist predictions before becoming part of the political mainstream, and then decline into a minor movement among fringe intellectuals as a new alarm movement takes its place. The problem is that such movements can do a lot of damage and remain embedded within the intellectual community with the ability to rise, phoenix-like, as a new alarm. Former adherents of the eugenics movement and its successor, population control, for example, are now an integral part of the climate change alarm movement.”
The Canadian scholar was hopeful that climate change and the policies needed to carry out its dictates would not ultimately lead to totalitarianism – a kind of a state that renouned atheist Aldous Huxley has warned the world about.
“I remain cautiously optimistic [that totalitarianism will not soon rule the day], Hart added. “Popular support for climate change action peaked a few years ago. In Europe, which has gone furthest in implementing climate change policies, politicians are beginning to look for ways to moderate earlier initiatives. In North America, rhetoric has far outstripped actions while the Obama administration has relied on stealth to implement its climate change agenda. At the same time, climate change has added to the momentum of the broader secularization of society and the pursuit of anti-human policies and programs. We are, sadly, farther down that road than we have ever been before.”
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.
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Posted by JR at 12:41 AM