Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Dr. Tim Ball Defeats Michael ‘Hockey Stick’ Mann’s Climate Lawsuit

The Supreme Court of British Columbia has dismissed Dr. Michael Mann’s defamation lawsuit against skeptical Canadian climatologist Dr. Tim Ball. Full legal costs were awarded to Dr. Ball, the defendant in the case.

The Canadian court issued its final ruling in favor of the Dismissal motion that was filed May 2019 by Dr. Tim Ball’s libel lawyers.

Mann’s “hockey stick” graph, first published in 1998, was featured prominently in the U.N. IPCC 2001 climate report. The graph showed a spike in global average temperature in the 20th Century after about 500 years of stability. Skeptics have long claimed Mann’s graph was fraudulent.

 Dr. Ball sent an email to WUWT revealing: “Michael Mann’s Case Against Me Was Dismissed This Morning By The BC Supreme Court And They Awarded Me [Court] Costs.”

Professor Mann is a climate professor at Penn State University. Mann filed his action in 2010 for Ball’s allegedly libelous statement that Mann “belongs in the state pen, not Penn State.”

The final court ruling, in effect, vindicates Ball’s criticisms.

On Feb. 03, 2010, a self-serving and superficial academic ‘investigation‘ by Pennsylvania State University had cleared Mann of misconduct. Mann also falsely claimed the NAS found nothing untoward with his work.

But the burden of proof in a court of law is higher.

Not only did the B.C. Supreme Court grant Ball’s application for dismissal of the nine-year, multi-million dollar lawsuit, it also took the additional step of awarding full legal costs to Ball.

A more detailed public statement from the world-renowned skeptical climatologist is expected in due course.

This extraordinary outcome will likely trigger severe legal repercussions for Dr. Mann in the U.S. and may prove fatal to alarmist climate science claims that modern temperatures are “unprecedented.”

According to the leftist The Guardian newspaper (Feb. 09, 2010), the wider importance of Mann’s graph over the last 20 years is massive: “Although it was intended as an icon of global warming, the hockey stick has become something else – a symbol of the conflict between mainstream climate scientists and their critics.”


It’s time to whack greenhouse gas Endangerment Finding

Carbon dioxide does not “endanger” our health – and it’s time EPA recognized that simple fact

Tom Harris and Dr. Jay Lehr

On August 6, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (Washington) that it be granted intervenor status concerning litigation launched by environmental groups against the Trump administration’s new Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule.

The case in question, American Lung Association v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 19-1140, concerns attempts by environmental groups to strike down the ACE rule and resurrect the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). The Chamber wants to be able to intervene in the case in defense of ACE.

The Chamber’s focus is on the legal aspects of ACE and CPP, and this will perhaps be valuable. However, it sidesteps the most important issue: both ACE and CPP are unnecessary since they rest on a faulty premise, namely, the misguided notion that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions must be reduced to avoid a climate crisis.

The appellants for the case, the American Lung Association and American Public Health Association, represented by attorneys from the so-called Clean Air Task Force, certainly pull no punches in their pronouncements. Their July 8 press release alleges that “EPA’s decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan and replace it with the ACE rule continues to disregard the vast health consequences of climate change and puts more lives at risk.”

That is nonsense, of course. But that didn’t stop other groups from taking a similar approach. Carter Roberts, President & CEO of the World Wildlife Fund, said, “This [ACE] rule enables dirty power plants to keep polluting – grounding federal energy policy firmly in the past and saddling future generations with the costs of unchecked climate change.” He too apparently wants people to believe the CO2 that we exhale and plants require for photosynthesis is a “dirty pollutant” and the primary factor in driving Earth’s climate – more important than the Sun and hundreds of other natural forces that do regulate climate.

Sierra Club director Michael Brune said, “This is an immoral and illegal attack on clean air, clean energy and the health of the public, and it shows just how heartless the Trump administration is when it comes to appeasing its polluter allies.”

Environmentalists, Democrats and some state attorneys general dubbed the regulation the “Dirty Power Plan,” and more lawsuits against ACE are apparently on the way.

As to clean energy and public health, the forced elimination of fossil fuels that provide over 80% of U.S. and global energy would be devastating to our economies, jobs, living standards, health and welfare. Any forced reduction in atmospheric CO2 levels would negate and roll back the tremendous plant growth that has been “greening” our planet for two decades.

Forcing America to install literally millions of wind turbines and solar panels, and plant tens of millions more acres in biofuel crops, would devastate wildlife habitats and countless species, while driving up electricity prices for families, factories, farms, businesses, schools and hospitals. The wind and sunlight may be free, clean and green. But the massive technologies required to harness those forces for human benefit certainly are not.

If Trump Administration advisors thought they could appease their opponents by implementing a rule focused on the useless and ultimately dangerous goal of limiting CO2 emissions, they were sorely mistaken. But as long as they did not contest the scientifically flawed idea that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant that must be controlled, they really had no choice but to replace the even worse Obama era rule with some form of CO2 reduction regulation.

Dr. Sterling Burnett, Senior Fellow of the Arlington Heights, IL-based Heartland Institute, explained recently on the internet “Think Radio” program Exploratory Journeys: The ACE rule was effectively “forced on the Trump administration because they didn’t, at the same time [they drafted the rule], say we are going to re-examine the Endangerment Finding” [EF] – the EPA’s 2009 finding that CO2 and other “greenhouse gases” (GHG) somehow endanger the health and welfare of Americans.

“As long as the Endangerment Finding exists,” said Burnett, “any administration, no matter how skeptical of the claims that humans are causing catastrophic climate change, … the courts will order them to come up with plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. So, it's time to go back and examine that finding.”

It is hard to believe that attacks that would ensue against the current administration for opening the GHG Endangerment Finding to re-examination would be any more severe than what they are already being subjected to by enabling the ACE rule. So there is little, if any, political upside to bringing in a weaker version of Obama’s misguided Clean Power Plan.

If you are going to infuriate your opponents to the extent that they will take out lawsuits against you and publicly label you “the worst president in U.S. history for protecting the air and our climate," as Brune did after Trump’s July 8 environment speech, you might as well do what you really wanted to do, instead of taking half measures.

Burnett explained that ACE has another serious downside that will limit the Trump EPA going forward.

“ACE is dangerous because it cements for a second time, this time by a Republican, supposedly skeptical administration, the idea that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that needs to be regulated,” said Burnett.

“This gives the Endangerment Finding the Trump administration’s stamp of public approval, which environmentalists will cite when they fight this in court saying, ‘even the Trump administration acknowledges carbon dioxide is damaging the U.S., but they are unwilling to take the steps necessary to truly fight carbon pollution.’”

It’s time for the Trump administration, the Chamber, and indeed everyone who wants sensible environmental policy to call a spade a spade. Rather than merely engaging their enemies in legal arguments, while fighting activists on their own ground, they should clearly state that CO2 endangers no one and the EF should be reopened.

They should demand that alarmist scientists and advocacy groups prove clearly, with convincing data and evidence, and against vigorous counter evidence and cross examination, that the small manmade portion of atmospheric CO2 and far tinier manmade portions of other greenhouse gases: are dirty and poisonous; control Earth’s climate and weather; are doing so to a dangerous and unprecedented degree never experienced in prior Earth or human history; and can be manipulated by the United States and other nations so as to stabilize planetary climate and weather systems that have never been stable.

When the re-examination inevitably reveals that effectively classifying CO2 as a pollutant was a mistake, administration officials should not be quiet about it. They must follow Winston Churchill’s advice:

“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.”

Extremists in the climate change movement clearly hate fossil fuels and apparently humanity. Ridding the world of the inexpensive, life-enhancing fossil fuels would devastate society and especially hurt our working class and poor families, as our standard of living is reduced to that of third world nations. Moreover, the environmental devastation caused by their proposed “solutions” to the supposed climate crisis would be far worse than anything caused by any foreseeable human impact on climate.

It’s time to defuse the climate scare at its source. The greenhouse gas Endangerment Finding must be given a tremendous whack, and sent to the dustbin of history.

Via email

They’re Coming For Your Hamburgers: Bernie Backs Meat Tax To Combat Climate Change

Not content with stealing the money from productive citizens to fund their scams like reparations and freebies for Millenials and stomping on free speech with the jackboot of forced diversity, the socialists now want to tell everybody what to eat too.

Senator Bernie Sanders who has gone from an obscure crank to the American Lenin in a few short years has said that he is on board with a tax on meat much to the joy of vegans with an authoritarian streak.

During a campaign stop in South Carolina on Friday, the communist cadaver responded to a question that if he is elected president that he would shakedown everyone in the USA with a federal tax on meat.

“As you probably know, animal agriculture is to blame for the majority of climate change and is the leading cause of deforestation, water and air pollution, and biodiversity loss. With that being known, what do you plan on doing to ensure that Americans limit their consumption of animal products?” a constituent asked Sanders at a campaign event in South Carolina. “Germany has imposed a meat tax in hopes of limiting this consumption,” she continued. “What are your plans to stop these large corporations from further usurping natural resources and polluting the planet?”

Sanders replied, “All I can say is if we believe, as I do and you do, that climate change is real then we are going to have to tackle it in every single area including agriculture, ok? And in fact, one of the things we want to do with our farmers out there is help them become more aggressive and able to help us combat climate change rather than contribute to it.”

“So we will certainly – you’re right,” he added. “We’ve got to look at agriculture, we’ve got to look at every cause of the crisis that we face.”

Comrade Bernie isn’t the only Democrat running for president to hint that if elected that he would use the power of the government to go after meat-eaters, Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker – who is an actual vegan – have openly linked meat to climate change.

There is already a propaganda campaign in the works against meat, CNN among others has promoted a report by the globalist World Resources Institute pushing Americans to “cut back” on eating hamburgers which would become a reality if Sanders and his ilk tax beef out of the affordability range.

The punitive tax would put the screws on citizens who would be coerced into becoming vegans and aligns with the new craze of fake meat as in meatless burgers that many of the nation’s fast food chains are adopting to appeal to millennials.

KFC is rolling out meatless chicken as a new front on the left’s war on Chick-fil-A is about to be opened with economic terrorism in the form of pressure campaigns and boycotts. You know it’s coming.

Like communism, climate change has become the central organizing principle for an ever more dangerous and ideological left who want to enforce their warped ideas on people who don’t think like them.

They want to strip Americans of their freedom to make their own decisions and put power into the hands of an authoritarian government that the socialists will control.


The Great Barrier Reef is not dead ... long live the reef

By Sussan Ley (Sussan Ley is the Australian federal Minister for the Environment)

A fortnight ago I was on the reef, not with climate sceptics but with scientists, the country’s lead reef agencies, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Institute of Marine Science and accredited master reef guides.

Their advice was clear: the Reef isn’t dead. It has vast areas of vibrant coral and teeming sea life, just as it has areas that have been damaged by coral bleaching, illegal fishing and crown of thorns outbreaks.

To help the reef, its wildlife and the 64,000 jobs it supports, we need to recognise both realities.

There are those who will not be happy unless we declare the reef dead in the name of climate change, just as there are those who want to claim that nothing out of the ordinary is taking place. As a minister who respects the science, who has consulted over many weeks with reef experts from the park authority, the Institute of Marine Science and the innovative Great Barrier Reef Foundation, I do not subscribe to either position.

We have the best managed reef ecosystem in the world. We have a massive job to do in protecting its future and we are getting on with that job.

The Great Barrier Reef covers some 346,000 square kilometres and the tourism experience you will find snorkelling from Cairns and other locations such as  the Whitsundays remains awe-inspiring.  The reef is showing us that it has the capacity to regenerate from impacts such as cyclones, bleaching and crown of thorns starfish outbreaks.

But it also faces enormous challenges if we do not take action. Reducing threats from rising sea temperatures, poor water quality and crown of thorns outbreaks are critical in protecting its future.

I trust the scientists who tell me that climate change is the biggest single threat to the reef, just as I trust those who tell me of the things we can do, and are doing, to make the reef more resilient.

The Morrison government is taking meaningful action to reduce global emissions. The $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package will deliver the 328 million tonnes of abatement needed to meet our 2030 Paris target.

From an environment perspective, my focus is on the things we can do on the reef and in its catchment, from the work with farmers addressing water quality to the protection of marine park areas, the control of crown of thorns starfish, collaboration with local communities and traditional owners, and the investment in new technology to improve coral spawning success and adaptation to warmer environments.

The federal government is investing $1.2billion in the reef, including $443 million through the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, which will in turn attract significant private-sector investment in innovative reef protection partnerships. Already there are some significant gains in terms of crown of thorns control, partnerships with landholders and increased marine park compliance and surveillance.

The full benefit of many investments and management strategies already under way in the park are still to be realised through our monitoring systems.

We need to continue to accelerate our actions in these areas, as well as invest in steps to reduce plastic and waste in our waterways.

The Australian and Queensland governments’ Reef 2050 Plan – endorsed by the United Nations World Heritage Committee – is a world-leading strategy for a marine protected area. I hope to see it gain more momentum as we work in partnership with all tiers of government, the private sector, NGOs, traditional owners and the wider community.

The Australian and Queensland governments are investing $2 billion in the future of the reef, working with many partners including independent scientific panels, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the CSIRO.

Our investment in innovation through the foundation has enormous potential to deliver forward-looking conservation projects for the reef, with significant scope for private sector partnerships.

This is anything but a head-in-the-sand approach and it is in stark contrast to those who would rather rush to declare the reef dead than look at the steps we can take – and are taking – to preserve it into the future.


How The Media Destroyed Rational Climate Debate

Roy W Spencer PhD

An old mantra of the news business is, “if it bleeds, it leads.” If someone was murdered, it is news. That virtually no one gets murdered is not news.

That, by itself, should tell you that the mainstream media cannot be relied upon as an unbiased source of climate change information.

There are lots of self-proclaimed climate experts now. They don’t need a degree in physics or atmospheric science. For credentials, they only need to care and tell others they care. They believe the Earth is being murdered by humans and want the media to spread the word.

Most people do not have the time or educational background to understand the global warming debate, and so defer to the consensus of experts on the subject. The trouble is that no one ever says exactly what the experts agree upon.

When you dig into the details, what the experts agree upon in their official pronouncements is rather unremarkable.

The Earth has warmed a little since the 1950s, a date chosen because before that humans had not produced enough CO2 to really matter.

Not enough warming for most people to actually feel, but enough for thermometers to pick up the signal buried in the noise of natural weather swings of many tens of degrees and spurious warming from urbanization effects.

The UN consensus is that most of that warming is probably due to increasing atmospheric CO2 from fossil-fuel use (but we really don’t know for sure).

For now, I tend to agree with this consensus. And still, I am widely considered a climate denier. Why? Because I am not willing to exaggerate and make claims that cannot be supported by data.

Take researcher Roger Pielke, Jr. as another example. Roger considers himself an environmentalist. He generally agrees with the predictions of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) regarding future warming.

But as an expert in severe weather damages, he isn’t willing to support the lie that severe weather has gotten worse. Yes, storm damages have increased, but that’s because we keep building more infrastructure to get damaged. So, he too is considered a climate denier.

What gets reported by the media about global warming (aka climate change, the climate crisis, and now the climate emergency) is usually greatly exaggerated, half-truths, or just plain nonsense.

Just like the economy and economists, it is not difficult to find an expert willing to provide a prediction of gloom and doom. That makes interesting news. But it distorts the public perception of the dangers of climate change. And because it is reported as “science”, it is equated with truth.

In the case of climate change news, the predicted effects are almost universally biased toward Armageddon-like outcomes. Severe weather events that have always occurred (tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, droughts) are now reported with at least some blame placed on your SUV.

The major media outlets have so convinced themselves of the justness, righteousness, and truthfulness of their cause that they have banded together to make sure the climate emergency is not ignored.

As reported by The Guardian, “More than 60 news outlets worldwide have signed on to Covering Climate Now, a project to improve coverage of the emergency”.

The exaggerations are not limited to just science. The reporting on engineering related to proposed alternative sources of energy (e.g. wind and solar) is also biased.

The reported economics are biased. Unlimited “free” energy is claimed to be all around us, just waiting to be plucked from the unicorn tree.

And for most of America (and the world), the reporting is not making us smarter, but dumber.

Why does it matter? Who cares if the science (or engineering or economics) is exaggerated if the result is that we stop polluting?

Besides the fact that there is no such thing as a non-polluting energy source, it matters because humanity depends upon abundant, affordable energy to prosper. Just Google life expectancy and per capita energy use. Prosperous societies are healthier and enjoy longer lives.

Expensive sources of energy forced upon the masses by governmental fiat kill poor people simply because expensive energy exacerbates poverty, and poverty leads to premature death.

As philosopher Alex Epstein writes in his book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, if you believe humans have a right to thrive, then you should be supportive of fossil fuels.

We don’t use wind and solar energy because it is economically competitive. We use it because governments have decided to force taxpayers to pay the extra costs involved and allowed utilities to pass on the higher costs to consumers.

Wind and solar use continue to grow, but global energy demand grows even faster. Barring some new energy technology (or a renewed embrace of nuclear power), wind and solar are unlikely to supply more than 10% of global energy demand in the coming decades.

And as some European countries have learned, mandated use of solar and wind comes at a high cost to society.

Not only the media, but the public education system is complicit in this era of sloppy science reporting. I suppose most teachers and journalists believe what they are teaching and reporting on. But they still bear some responsibility for making sure what they report is relatively unbiased and factual.

I would much rather have teachers spending more time teaching students how to think and less time teaching them what to think.

Climate scientists are not without blame. They, like everyone else, are biased. Virtually all Earth scientists I know view the Earth as “fragile”. Their biases affect their analysis of uncertain data that can be interpreted in multiple ways.

Most are relatively clueless about engineering and economics. I’ve had discussions with climate scientists who tell me, “Well, we need to get away from fossil fuels, anyway.”

And maybe we do, eventually. But exaggerating the threat can do more harm than good. The late Stephen Schneider infamously admitted to biased reporting by scientists. You can read his entire quote and decide for yourself whether scientists like Dr. Schneider let their worldview, politics, etc., color how they present their science to the public.

The unauthorized release of the ‘ClimateGate’ emails between IPCC scientists showed how the alarmist narrative was maintained by undermining alternative views and even pressuring the editors of scientific journals.

Even The Guardian seemed shocked by the misbehavior.

It’s fine to present the possibility that human-caused global warming could be very damaging, which is indeed theoretically possible. But to claim that large and damaging changes have already occurred due to increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is shoddy journalism.

Some reporters get around the problem by saying that the latest hurricane might not be blamed on global warming directly, but it represents what we can expect more of in a warming world.  Except that, even the UN IPCC is equivocal on the subject.

Sea level rise stories in the media, as far as I can tell, never mention that sea level has been rising naturally for as long as we have had global tide gauge measurements (since the 1850s).

Maybe humans are responsible for a portion of the recent rise, but as is the case for essentially all climate reporting, the role of nature is seldom mentioned, and the size of the problem is almost always exaggerated.

That worsening periodic tidal flooding in Miami Beach is about 50% due to sinking of reclaimed swampland is never mentioned.

There are no human fingerprints of global warming. None. Climate change is simply assumed to be mostly human-caused (which is indeed possible), while our knowledge of natural climate change is almost non-existent.

Computerized climate models are programmed based upon the assumption of human causation. The models produce human-caused climate change because they are forced to produce no warming (be in a state of ‘energy balance’) unless CO2 is added to them.

As far as we know, no one has ever been killed by human-caused climate change. Weather-related deaths have fallen dramatically — by over 90% — in the last 100 years.

Whose child has been taught that in school? What journalist has been brave enough to report that good news?

In recent years I’ve had more and more people tell me that their children, grandchildren, or young acquaintances are now thoroughly convinced we are destroying the planet with our carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

They’ve had this message drilled into their brains through news reporting, movies, their teachers and professors, their favorite celebrities, and a handful of outspoken scientists and politicians whose knowledge of the subject is a mile wide but only inches deep.

In contrast, few people are aware of the science papers showing satellite observations that reveal a global greening phenomenon is occurring as a result of more atmospheric CO2.

Again I ask, whose child has been taught this in school? What journalist dares to report any positive benefits of CO2, without which life on Earth would not exist? No, if it’s climate news, it’s all bad news, all the time.



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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