Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Warmists have a lot to answer for: It's not just a harmless cult

Baby survives parents' global warming suicide pact.  This does sound like fake news but it comes from a reputable conservative newspaper

A seven-month-old girl survived for three days alone with a bullet in her chest after being shot by her parents as part of a suicide pact over their fears about global warming.

Francisco Lotero, 56, and Miriam Coletti, 23, shot their daughter and her toddler brother before killing themselves.
Their son Francisco, two, died instantly after being hit in the back.

However, their unnamed daughter cheated death after the bullet from her father's handgun missed her vital organs.

Police were alerted by worried neighbours who discovered the massacre three days after the shooting and the girl was taken to hospital.

The youngster is recovering in hospital in the town of Goya in the northern Argentine province of Corrientes, where doctors say she is out of danger.

Her parents said they feared the effects of global warming in a suicide note discovered by police.


Trump Versus The Green Blob: The Biggest Science Scam In History

by James Delingpole

“I’ve waited 40 years for this moment.”

In a congressional meeting room, somewhere on Capitol Hill, one of the world’s leading sceptical climate scientists, Dr. Tim Ball, is toasting the advent of the Trump administration.

“I don’t want to use the phrase tipping point because that’s a phrase that has been abused in the scientific area. But I think we’re on the verge of a dramatic shift,” Ball tells the small invited audience of journalists, scientists, think-tankers, lawyers and DC politicos. He’s talking about the war on the Green Blob.

Most of them are scarred veterans of the decades-long battle to expose the man-made global warming scare as what another speaker, Tony Heller, describes as “the biggest scientific deception in history.” Many have suffered personally and professionally for speaking out against the so-called “consensus.” Ball, for example, a distinguished Canadian professor of climatology, has exhausted all his retirement money defending a legal action brought against him by the notorious climate alarmist Michael Mann, creator of the discredited “Hockey Stick”. (You can hear more about Ball’s struggle for truth on my latest Delingpole podcast—he’s a fascinating, articulate man and he has an inspiring story to tell).

But with Trump’s inauguration it will be the beginning of the end for the Green Blob—that sinister cabal of corrupt politicians, UN- and EU-technocrats, bent scientists, shrill activists, rent-seeking corporatists, blood-sucking lawyers and gullible journalists which has held the world to ransom these last four decades by promoting the man-made climate change scare story and other, related environmental scams.

The protests will be fierce: the global decarbonisation industry alone is worth at least $1.5 trillion a year. So many snouts in such a vast trough—they’re not going to give up easily.

One man present, a member of one of Trump’s transition teams, describes it as the climate realists’ “Anzio Moment.” That is, the teams fighting the Green Blob now have their beach head with the arrival of Donald Trump. The only question now is not “if” they’re going to be able to break out; only “when”—and also “how long.”

If you’re a regular Breitbart reader, you’ll probably be under no illusion about just how loathsome the people in the Green Blob are. But just in case you’re not, in case you’re wondering: “Well, hang on. What if the ‘consensus’ scientists are right? What if man-made global warming is a serious problem? What if Donald Trump is about to ruin everything with his sinister right-wing anti-science agenda?” let me tell you just one story which shows why the forthcoming cleaning of the Augean stables (at institutions like NASA, NOAA and most especially the Environmental Protection Agency) is so very, very right and necessary.

The story begins in 2012 in sunny La Jolla, California. A group of key figures from the Green Blob—academics, professional activists, lawyers, scientists, PR agency heads—have gathered to discuss the heist of the century. Their plan is to terrorise big business with a form of environmentalist blackmail, which they will use, in the manner of a Mafia-style protection racket to bully their target companies (with the help of tame lawyers and complicitous government officials) into handing over millions, if not billions, of dollars. This Danegeld will end up being paid to environmental campaign groups of the kind they work for themselves, thus funding yet more vexatious, money-grubbing actions against still more blameless companies.

And the cleverest thing of all is, this heist isn’t even illegal. Environmentalists have been getting away with this sort of thing for years.

You actually know what happens next because you’ll have read it, splashed all over the mainstream media in what became a campaign called “Exxon Knew.” Hillary Clinton (who was then Secretary of State) demanded an investigation into it; a group of alarmist scientists wrote to President Obama demanding he launch a RICO prosecution of Exxon; two supposedly major journalistic exposes were published at Inside Climate News and the LA Times, then eagerly endorsed in such publications as Scientific American and the Guardian.

Sundry environmentalist politicians and activists weighed in with further demands for action, as I reported here.

    These activists include Sharon Eubanks, a former US Department of Justice attorney who once helped bring a similar case against Big Tobacco; House Democrats Ted Lieu and Mark DeSaulnier; Canadian eco-loon Bill McKibben (who talks, with characteristic wry understatement, of Exxon’s “sheer, profound, and – I think – unparalleled evil”); and, of course, Rhode Island senator Sheldon Whitehouse, another attorney determined to use lawfare to shut down the debate on climate change once and for all.

But what had Exxon had actually done to attract all this opprobrium? Short answer: nothing. But that was never the point. The entire scam—essentially blaming Exxon for knowing something about “global warming” it couldn’t possibly have known because, hey, nobody did at the time; they don’t even know now—was purely designed as a shakedown.

Next stage of the plan was for the politicized U.S. legal system to get involved. This it did earlier this year when the grimly inevitable Al Gore turned up in New York to grandstand at a meeting with a bunch of tame Attorneys General from Democrat states to discuss ‘the potential of commencing new investigations or joining ongoing investigations,’ on climate change.

    New York AG Eric Schneiderman will appear with Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and United States Virgin Island Attorney General Claude Walker at 11:30 a.m. at his Manhattan office, 120 Broadway, 25th Floor.

Again this was all just for show. The main purpose, as one well familiar with the case explained to me in DC, was merely to put the frighteners on the chosen target of this campaign, ExxonMobil.

ExxonMobil had been carefully selected as the Green Blob’s shakedown victim because it seemed to fulfil all the necessary criteria. It was a huge oil company with masses of money to squander (its annual revenue is around $270 billion) on environmental pay outs; and, under its CEO Rex Tillerson, it had a track record of corporate cowardice (withdrawing funding from right-wing think tanks; failing to speak up for fossil fuels; kow-towing to greens) which meant that it was considered highly likely not to contest any court action but instead to settle.

The legal case against ExxonMobil would be based on the one used so successfully against Big Tobacco. (One of the key figures in the campaign against Big Tobacco, Stanton Glantz, was present to advise at the La Jolla meeting). Never mind that there were actually no serious similarities: the Big Tobacco companies clearly knew that cigarettes caused cancer; there was no similar knowledge that ExxonMobil possessed about “global warming” that it culpably withheld from its customers. The case, had it gone to court, would have been a nonsense. But that wasn’t the point. The point was, it was never meant to go to court, because ExxonMobil—it had been predicted by the Green Blob—would settle.

Once ExxonMobil had settled, the Green Blob schemed, all the other companies would settle too.

Except it didn’t turn out that way. ExxonMobil—quite remarkably, given Tillerson’s pusillanimity and cautiousness—refused to settle.

The La Jolla plan—which might still yet have stood a chance had Hillary been elected—is now certainly doomed to failure in the Trump era.

But by describing it I hope what I’ve succeeded in doing is giving you an indication of the extraordinary tentacular reach of the Green Blob. For years, the US – and the rest of the Western world—has afforded a climate in which Attorneys General and Senators and Secretaries of State and even Presidents can conspire with university professors and heads of government science institutions and environmental PR companies and green NGOs can exploit green issues in which to wage continual war on both the economy and the consumer, often enriching themselves in the process while the rest of us get poorer and more constrained by needless taxes and regulations.

“Oh come on!” these people have always said when you try to call them on it. “What kind of deranged conspiracy theorist would you have to be to suggest that all these different groups with different interests would be working together to lie about global warming?”

You really don’t need to be a conspiracy theorist to believe this stuff, though. All you need is to be cognisant of the facts. These people are crooks. A lot of them should be in prison. In fact, funnily enough, that was the joke that got Tim Ball in trouble with Michael Mann. “He shouldn’t be in Penn State. He should be in the state pen,” Ball quipped.

Not just Michael Mann. They all should.

This scam is a disgrace and has gone on far too long. Trump’s destruction of the Green Blob will come not a moment too soon.


Time to Rename the EPA the Conservation Agency

Roger L. Simon

From the ever-valuable WattsUpWithThat:

"If you think it is colder than you remember last year, you're right. Winter hasn’t officially started yet, it begins on Wednesday, December 21st. But the numbers tell a cold hard fact: as of 7 a.m. EST this morning, Sunday, Dec. 18, the average temperature across the Lower 48 states of the U.S. is colder than any time all last winter.

As this plot of hourly temperatures shows, the average temperature is 16 degrees. F, which is 4 degrees colder than any time last winter. What’s worse, the coldest part of winter is still six weeks away."

Not to worry. As we all know -- or so the "warmists" tell us -- climate is not weather. (What is it, exactly, other than weather over time?  Oh well...)  Furthermore, they insist anthropogenic global warming or -- in its most recent self-protective, factually meaningless euphemism -- "climate change" is "settled science."

Never mind that something as basic to the laws of physics as Einstein's theory of gravity is currently under attack, the over-weening, disastrous effect of human activity on the Earth's temperature is "settled." Those who are even mildly skeptical of this alleged fact are branded as anti-science, even tarnished with the Holocaust-redolent epithet "denier." Is just a bit of projection possibly going on?

I'm agnostic on the issue (not on the projection). But for now, at least, I accept the view of MIT's Richard Lindzen who at a recent conference stated “the only meaningful question would be whether we are seeing anything sufficiently unusual to warrant concern and the answer to this is unambiguously no.”

According to The Hill, Lindzen concluded his address with a quote from  Eric Hoffer: “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket. And those who benefit in the racket will defend it with passion.”

It's not just Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio who obviously benefit from this racket, er, "great cause." Much of the public at large has been brainwashed.  We see this at almost every cocktail party from New York to Los Angeles where the most passionate arguments in support of global warming usually come from people who abandoned science study with their freshman year college requirement, most often having taken, like Al Gore,  the famous "gut" geology (aka rocks).

As many have noted, global warming and, more generally, environmentalism have become the religion of the liberal. Gaia has replaced God. Whatever your opinion of the theological implications, scientific blindness and bias have been the results.  The economy has also suffered, especially for the working class.

What do we do about it?

Donald Trump has nominated someone more realistic -- Scott Pruitt -- for head of the Environmental Protection Agency currently dominated by climate totalitarians.

Libs in Meltdown Mode over Trump's Pick to Head the EPA
But why not change the name of the agency itself to give it a fresh start? Why not call the the EPA the Conservation Agency?  Yes, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet -- or not -- but bear with me.

Years ago -- before "environmentalism," before Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring"and the banning  of DDT that initiated that movement and may or may not have been a good thing -- there was a national consensus around "conservation."  Almost all Americans wanted clean air and water and, for the most part, we now have it (with exceptions like Flint, Michigan, that should be dealt with immediately).

Conservation was not God. It was simply the right thing to do, preserve places like the Grand Canyon and our other magnificent parks for future generations, enjoy and maintain "our purple mountains majesties" and "shining seas," make sure cities like Flint have what they need and maybe even give a small preference to the farmers of the San Joaquin Valley in their efforts to feed humanity over the survival (0r not) of the Delta smelt.

A Conservation Agency might regulate all that with the proper balanced spirit, not the religious fervor cum bureaucratic insanity of those climate totalitarians.  Words do count.  (Hey, I'm a writer.)

Meanwhile, there are reasons to enjoy the cold weather, though even that American classic is under attack by the (fascistically) well-intentioned.


Congress Should Target Unaccountable EPA Programs

The newly elected congressional majority should be ready and willing to help implement President-elect Donald Trump's promise to tackle onerous regulations. But what about so called "non-regulatory programs" that have significant public policy and marketplace impacts?

Congress can address problems associated with such programs by defunding them or by bringing them under the authority of existing environmental laws.

Top on the list should be the Environmental Protection Agency's Integrated Risk Information System, also known as IRIS. IRIS gains its authority simply as a line item inside EPA's Office of Research and Development. As a research program, IRIS operates outside the regulatory process and its accountability systems.

According to EPA's website, IRIS issues "assessments" of chemicals that focus on "identifying and characterizing the health hazards of chemicals found in the environment." Numerous regulatory programs inside EPA, from drinking water to hazardous waste clean-up programs, use IRIS assessments as a basis for regulation. Yet IRIS assessments are regularly criticized as unscientific and poorly designed.

For nearly a decade, congressional oversight committees, the Government Accountability Office, and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) have all urged EPA to reform the IRIS process to address scientific and procedural problems. In paricular, a 2011 NAS review of the IRIS assessment for Formaldehyde detailed many problems associated with IRIS assessments and needed reform. The NAS report explained:

Overall, the committee noted some recurring methodologic problems in the draft IRIS assessment of formaldehyde. Many of the problems are similar to those which have been reported over the last decade by other NRC committees tasked with reviewing EPA's IRIS assessments for other chemicals. Problems with clarity and transparency of the methods appear to be a repeating theme over the years, even though the documents appear to have grown considerably in length. In the roughly 1,000-page draft reviewed by the present committee, little beyond a brief introductory chapter could be found on the methods for conducting the assessment. Numerous EPA guidelines are cited, but their role in the preparation of the assessment is not clear. In general, the committee found that the draft was not prepared in a consistent fashion; it lacks clear links to an underlying conceptual framework; and it does not contain sufficient documentation on methods and criteria for identifying evidence from epidemiologic and experimental studies, for critically evaluating individual studies, for assessing the weight of evidence, and for selecting studies for derivation of the RfCs and unit risk estimates.

Congress could address problems with IRIS by moving its functions and funding into the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) program at EPA. This action should garner broad support given that the recent TSCA reform law gained overwhelming bipartisan approval in Congress and was signed by President Obama last spring.

TSCA's requirements for reliance on "best available, peer reviewed science" as well as weight of the evidence consideration could make IRIS evaluations more meaningful.  In addition, as part of a formal regulatory program, chemical assessments would hopefully be more transparent.

Like IRIS, EPA's Safer Choice program (formerly called "Design for the Environment") is a non-regulatory program that has public policy and marketplace impacts. The program calls on companies to eliminate certain chemicals from their products voluntarily, largely based on hazard rather than actual risk. Yet "hazard" simply represents the potential for danger given specific circumstances and/or exposures. For example, water is hazardous because excessive consumption can produce fatal "water intoxification" or hyponatraemia.  But we don't need to ban or "voluntarily" phase out water.

Accordingly, Safer Choice is forcing product reformulations without justification, and many useful products may be eliminated from the market.  For example, EPA has used this program to force certain flame retardant chemicals from the marketplace, without much regard for the fact that replacements may not work as well.  The end result may well be increased fire risks and needless loss of life and property.

Safer Choice is not only and duplicative of other programs, it has adverse and potentially dangerous market impacts.  Congress can, and should, defund the program with an appropriations line item that prohibits EPA spending on the Safer Choice program.


Green deaths: The forgotten dangers of solar panels

In recent years, thousands of solar panels have been placed on Australian roofs, and millions installed around the world. But how safe are they?

According to Safework Australia, each year about 30 Australians die in falls from a height, although the number of people involved in installing or maintaining solar panels is not broken down.

Some falls involving people installing or maintaining solar panels are not reported as part of work-related statistics, and then there are people electrocuted when they come into contact with power lines.

In California, where solar panels have been embraced enthusiastically, there has been a rash of deaths like this one, this one, and another three in quick succession. However, it is a worldwide phenomenon, so much so that statistics show roofing is more dangerous than coal mining.

Because of our propensity to put panels on roofs, solar is in fact, far more dangerous than many forms of power generation,  three times more dangerous than wind power and more than 10 times more dangerous than nuclear power, by comparison to the amount of power produced.

This study puts it in perspective, using figures from the United States:

The fifty actual deaths from roof installation accidents for 1.5 million roof installations is equal to the actual deaths experienced so far from Chernobyl. If all 80 million residential roofs in the USA had solar power installed then one would expect 9 times the annual roofing deaths of 300 people or 2700 people (roofers to die). This would generate about 240 TWh of power each year. (30% of the power generated from nuclear power in the USA). 90 people per year over an optimistic life of 30 years for the panels not including maintenance or any electrical shock incidents.

There is an argument, however, that solar power may ultimately be safer than coal-fired generation because of the reduction in pollution. Ironically enough, however, solar power is far more dangerous than nuclear, even in a year when an accident like the disaster at Fukushima occurs.



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


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