Wednesday, April 11, 2012

More data faking

Sea Level Rise Retroactively Triples At Envisat – Overnight

Envisat was the bad girl of satellites, because she refused produce the results Hansen et al were looking for. After ten years of showing very little sea level rise (red), the experts went back in time and tortured the whole data set (blue) to produce almost 3X the rise rate.

Axiom # 1 for climate data : All adjustments trend towards increased funding.

Un … freaking … believable. The same story of upwards global warming adjustments gets repeated over and over and over again – by many different government-funded agencies.

One would expect a Gaussian distribution of error, but we see adjustments that are almost exclusively skewed in one direction – to match a political agenda.


Canadian climate scientist Tim Ball comments on the above:

It appears there is an orchestrated campaign to counteract the growing awareness among the public that there is something seriously wrong with the IPCC science. Politicians are also using declining economies as a vehicle for reassessing priorities so in many countries research funding is being withdrawn.

Australian climate scientist Bob Carter comments:


I hate to admit to sharing a conspiracy view, but I’m sure you’re right. The recent Nature CO2 versus T lead/lag paper is another example. The various revisions that we are being regularly subjected to at the moment are clearly dominoes that are being stacked up for use in what is intended to be the 5AR end-game.

But I must admit that the Envisat revision has just left me shaking my head, for if it really is the case that the revision has been crafted for political reasons (and it is hard to conclude otherwise), then the implication is beyond horrendous. Nearly all of the most influential papers on climate change today involve at some point large amounts of computer massaging of data, often in ways which result in the “correction” of real world data by modelling assumptions or algorithms, and always in ways which are too complex for the average reader (or even referee) to be able to check.

The clear implication of the Enivisat revision is that you can trust NONE of these papers, no matter how prestigious the government organisation that releases them or the scientific journal that publishes them. That the entire field of climate science is thereby corrupted is one thing, but what is most distressing is the lack of any obvious means whereby the situation can start to be corrected.

And yes, I know that this has been obvious for years, viz. Climategate, Glaciergate …. NASA GISS, NIWA data tampering etc., etc. - but I’m Australian, so it has taken a while for the penny to get to Down Under so that it could drop.

Those of you who have the advantage of remaining Up Over will doubtless be well ahead of the game, so I look forward to hearing constructive suggestions as to what I might be able to do to help counter these latest malfeasances, and even more to any ideas as to how we might be able to stop them at their source.

Natural environment not so fragile -- and capitalism should be enlisted, not fought

Peter Kareiva, chief scientist of the Nature Conservancy, the world's largest environmental organization, has had a revelation on the road to Damascus. Excerpt below. For reactions, see here

As conservation became a global enterprise in the 1970s and 1980s, the movement's justification for saving nature shifted from spiritual and aesthetic values to focus on biodiversity. Nature was described as primeval, fragile, and at risk of collapse from too much human use and abuse. And indeed, there are consequences when humans convert landscapes for mining, logging, intensive agriculture, and urban development and when key species or ecosystems are lost.

But ecologists and conservationists have grossly overstated the fragility of nature, frequently arguing that once an ecosystem is altered, it is gone forever. Some ecologists suggest that if a single species is lost, a whole ecosystem will be in danger of collapse, and that if too much biodiversity is lost, spaceship Earth will start to come apart. Everything, from the expansion of agriculture to rainforest destruction to changing waterways, has been painted as a threat to the delicate inner-workings of our planetary ecosystem.

The fragility trope dates back, at least, to Rachel Carson, who wrote plaintively in Silent Spring of the delicate web of life and warned that perturbing the intricate balance of nature could have disastrous consequences.22 Al Gore made a similar argument in his 1992 book, Earth in the Balance.23 And the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment warned darkly that, while the expansion of agriculture and other forms of development have been overwhelmingly positive for the world's poor, ecosystem degradation was simultaneously putting systems in jeopardy of collapse.

The trouble for conservation is that the data simply do not support the idea of a fragile nature at risk of collapse. Ecologists now know that the disappearance of one species does not necessarily lead to the extinction of any others, much less all others in the same ecosystem. In many circumstances, the demise of formerly abundant species can be inconsequential to ecosystem function. The American chestnut, once a dominant tree in eastern North America, has been extinguished by a foreign disease, yet the forest ecosystem is surprisingly unaffected. The passenger pigeon, once so abundant that its flocks darkened the sky, went extinct, along with countless other species from the Steller's sea cow to the dodo, with no catastrophic or even measurable effects.

These stories of resilience are not isolated examples -- a thorough review of the scientific literature identified 240 studies of ecosystems following major disturbances such as deforestation, mining, oil spills, and other types
of pollution. The abundance of plant and animal species as well as other measures of ecosystem function recovered, at least partially, in 173 (72 percent) of these studies.25

While global forest cover is continuing to decline, it is rising in the Northern Hemisphere, where "nature" is returning to former agricultural lands.26 Something similar is likely to occur in the Southern Hemisphere, after poor countries achieve a similar level of economic development. A 2010 report concluded that rainforests that have grown back over abandoned agricultural land had 40 to 70 percent of the species of the original forests.27 Even Indonesian orangutans, which were widely thought to be able to survive only in pristine forests, have been found in surprising numbers in oil palm plantations and degraded lands.28

Nature is so resilient that it can recover rapidly from even the most powerful human disturbances. Around the Chernobyl nuclear facility, which melted down in 1986, wildlife is thriving, despite the high levels of radiation.29 In the Bikini Atoll, the site of multiple nuclear bomb tests, including the 1954 hydrogen bomb test that boiled the water in the area, the number of coral species has actually increased relative to before the explosions.30 More recently, the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was degraded and consumed by bacteria at a remarkably fast rate.31

Today, coyotes roam downtown Chicago, and peregrine falcons astonish San Franciscans as they sweep down skyscraper canyons to pick off pigeons for their next meal. As we destroy habitats, we create new ones: in the southwestern United States a rare and federally listed salamander species seems specialized to live in cattle tanks -- to date, it has been found in no other habitat.32 Books have been written about the collapse of cod in the Georges Bank, yet recent trawl data show the biomass of cod has recovered to precollapse levels.33 It's doubtful that books will be written about this cod recovery since it does not play well
to an audience somehow addicted to stories of collapse and environmental apocalypse.

Even that classic symbol of fragility -- the polar bear, seemingly stranded on a melting ice block -- may have a good chance of surviving global warming if the changing environment continues to increase the populations and northern ranges of harbor seals and harp seals. Polar bears evolved from brown bears 200,000 years ago during a cooling period in Earth's history, developing a highly specialized carnivorous diet focused on seals. Thus, the fate of polar bears depends on two opposing trends -- the decline of sea ice and the potential increase of energy-rich prey. The history of life on Earth is of species evolving to take advantage of new environments only to be at risk when the environment changes again.

The wilderness ideal presupposes that there are parts of the world untouched by humankind, but today it is impossible to find a place on Earth that is unmarked by human activity. The truth is humans have been impacting their natural environment for centuries. The wilderness so beloved by conservationists -- places "untrammeled by man"34 -- never existed, at least not in the last thousand years, and arguably even longer.

The effects of human activity are found in every corner of the Earth. Fish and whales in remote Arctic oceans are contaminated with chemical pesticides. The nitrogen cycle and hydrological cycle are now dominated by people -- human activities produce 60 percent of all the fixed nitrogen deposited on land each year, and people appropriate more than half of the annual accessible freshwater runoff. There are now more tigers in captivity than in their native habitats. Instead of sourcing wood from natural forests, by 2050 we are expected to get over three-quarters of our wood from intensively managed tree farms. Erosion, weathering, and landslides used to be the prime movers of rock and soil; today humans rival these geological processes with road building and
massive construction projects. All around the world, a mix of climate change and nonnative species has created a wealth of novel ecosystems catalyzed by human activities.

Scientists have coined a name for our era -- the Anthropocene -- to emphasize that we have entered a new geological era in which humans dominate every flux and cycle of the planet's ecology and geochemistry. Most people worldwide (regardless of culture) welcome the opportunities that development provides to improve lives of grinding rural poverty. At the same time, the global scale of this transformation has reinforced conservation's intense nostalgia for wilderness and a past of pristine nature. But conservation's continuing focus upon preserving islands of Holocene ecosystems in the age of the Anthropocene is both anachronistic and counterproductive.

Consider the decline of the orangutan, which has been largely attributed to the logging of their forest habitats. Recent field studies suggest that humans are killing the orangutans for bush meat and bounty at rates far greater than anyone suspected, and it is this practice, not deforestation, that places orangutans at the greatest peril. In order to save the orangutan, conservationists will also have to address the problem of food and income deprivation in Indonesia. That means conservationists will have to embrace human development and the "exploitation of nature" for human uses, like agriculture, even while they seek to "protect" nature inside of parks.

Conservation's binaries -- growth or nature, prosperity or biodiversity -- have marginalized it in a world that will soon add at least two billion more people. In the developing world, efforts to constrain growth and protect forests from agriculture are unfair, if not unethical, when directed at the 2.5 billion people who live on less than two dollars a day and the one billion who are chronically hungry. By pitting people against nature, conservationists actually create an atmosphere in which people see nature as the enemy. If people don't believe conservation is in their own best interests, then it will never be a societal priority. Conservation must demonstrate how the fates of nature and of people are deeply intertwined -- and then offer new strategies for promoting the health and prosperity of both.

One need not be a postmodernist to understand that the concept of Nature, as opposed to the physical and chemical workings of natural systems, has always been a human construction, shaped and designed for human ends. The notion that nature without people is more valuable than nature with people and the portrayal of nature as fragile or feminine reflect not timeless truths, but mental schema that change to fit the time.

If there is no wilderness, if nature is resilient rather than fragile, and if people are actually part of nature and not the original sinners who caused our banishment from Eden, what should be the new vision for conservation?

It would start by appreciating the strength and resilience of nature while also recognizing the many ways in which we depend upon it. Conservation should seek to support and inform the right kind of development -- development by design, done with the importance of nature to thriving economies foremost in mind. And it will utilize the right kinds of technology to enhance the health and well-being of both human and nonhuman natures.

Instead of scolding capitalism, conservationists should partner with corporations in a science-based effort to integrate the value of nature's benefits into their operations and cultures. Instead of pursuing the protection of biodiversity for biodiversity's sake, a new conservation should seek to enhance those natural systems that benefit the widest number of people, especially the poor. Instead of trying to restore remote iconic landscapes to pre-European conditions, conservation will measure its achievement in large part by its relevance to people, including city dwellers. Nature could be a garden -- not a carefully manicured and rigid one, but a tangle of species and wildness amidst lands used for food production, mineral extraction, and urban life.

Conservation is slowly turning toward these directions but far too slowly and with insufficient commitment to make them the conservation work of the 21st century. The problem lies in our reluctance, and the reluctance of many of conservation's wealthy supporters, to shed the old paradigms.

This move requires conservation to embrace marginalized and demonized groups and to embrace a priority that has been anathema to us for more than a hundred years: economic development for all. The conservation we will get by embracing development and advancing human well-being will almost certainly not be the conservation that was imagined in its early days. But it will be more effective and far more broadly supported, in boardrooms and political chambers, as well as at kitchen tables.

None of this is to argue for eliminating nature reserves or no longer investing in their stewardship. But we need to acknowledge that a conservation that is only about fences, limits, and far away places only a few can actually experience is a losing proposition. Protecting biodiversity for its own sake has not worked. Protecting nature that is dynamic and resilient, that is in our midst rather than far away, and that sustains human communities -- these are the ways forward now. Otherwise, conservation will fail, clinging to its old myths.


50 Top Astronauts, Scientists, Engineers Sign Letter Claiming Extremist GISS Is Turning NASA Into A Laughing Stock!

Mostly former NASA scientists -- who are safe from retribution for speaking out

Here’s the letter:

March 28, 2012
The Honorable Charles Bolden, Jr.
NASA Administrator
NASA Headquarters
Washington, D.C. 20546-0001
Dear Charlie,

We, the undersigned, respectfully request that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites. We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data. With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.

The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements.

As former NASA employees, we feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate.

We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject. At risk is damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA’s current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself.

For additional information regarding the science behind our concern, we recommend that you contact Harrison Schmitt or Walter Cunningham, or others they can recommend to you.

Thank you for considering this request.


(Attached signatures)


Elite misanthropy still alive and well

They're pining for mega-deaths

Will 5 billion people perish from the earth in the coming century? That’s what the controversial elitist think tank, the Club of Rome, predicted back in 1972. Decades after its publication, advocates of world government are still pushing its predictions as a call to curb mankind’s footprint on the earth.

Australian physicist Graham Turner has recently made news again after revisiting computer models MIT researchers created for the Club of Rome’s 1972 publication that sees a drastic decline in human population coming in relation to a increasing scarcity of resources. Turner’s basic conclusions, however, give away the agenda in plain sight. “The world is on track for disaster,” he bluntly states, while suggesting that “unlimited economic growth” is still possible if world governments enact policies and invest in green technologies that help limit the expansion of our ecological footprint.

The neo-Malthusian Club of Rome has once again surfaced– at a time when environmentalists are demanding world government to save the earth– to present computer models it developed with MIT. It predicts a stark future where limited resources like oil, food and water supposedly trigger a crash that ends with a precipitous reduction in the human population. The graph, while failing to provide actual numbers on the Y axis, appears to show a world population level in 2100 approximately equal to the almost 4.5 billion people in 1980, a decline of more than 5 billion from projected peak numbers (which could be even higher):

Of course, the Club of Rome/MIT models already predicted that the tipping point for disaster would come by the year 2000, which, like the predictions from Sir Thomas Malthus that population would outgrow the food supply, never came.

Instead, this prediction for disaster reflects aspirations of the elite to stop growth, not a neutral reflection on trends that must be. As we have repeatedly documented, the ruling elites aim to cull the population and drive a post-industrial society that harkens back to the feudalistic era.

The Club of Rome, founded in 1968, is an “environmental” group of, by and for the elitists who want control of earth, its peoples and resources. Indeed, elitism at its height was expressed through the Club of Rome when it published in 1991 that “mankind itself” was the enemy, and man’s usage of resources its destructive weapon against the planet:

“The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.” - Club of Rome, The First Global Revolution

Critics found in the early 1980s that the MIT-created computer model had been tailored to produce the results Club of Rome founder Aurelio Peccei wanted to show. As authors Phillip Darrell Collins and Paul David Collins summarize:

“The motive for this deception, Peccei contends, is purely an altruistic one. Apparently, the “nobel lie” provided necessary shock treatment” to compel nations to adopt measures of population control (Executive Intelligence Review Special Report, p. 16, 1982). In a critique of The Limits to Growth, Christopher Freeman characterized the MIT group as a collective “Malthus with a computer” (Freeman p. 5, 1975).

In other words, the computer model used by the Club of Rome, like the one now surfacing, is designed not to predict the path of humanity but to steer it. Economist Gunnar Myrdal blasted the model’s attempt to “impress the innocent general public” while holding “little, if any, scientific validity.”

The Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth model, like Paul Ehrlich’s Population Bomb, was meant more to shame the public out of their consumption pattern more than it was meant to be a literal prediction. Thus, “confirming” the model produced by MIT remains a confirmation of the intent to curb society’s behavior– conveniently through a world government mechanism.

This is the basic aim of the United Nation’s Agenda 21 and other “sustainable development” programs. They hinge on excitement over the depletion of resources, but many assumptions are made that either prove inaccurate, or that rule out the adoption of alternatives.

Consider the fact that even mainstream outlets like Bloomberg have had to concede the myth of peak oil, with new discoveries and existing sources making a mockery of claims that the fuel would disappear. Whether or not oil will remain desirable over alternative fuels is a different question, but current sources can easily last the world hundreds of years.

Instead, as Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson exposed back in 2005, the ruse is put forward to condition society for artificial scarcity. Cutting off the average human’s access to crude is quite different than its actual availability.

The availability and affordability of food is being challenged not by the ability to grow and supply, but by speculators driving up costs. Biofuels, namely corn-derived ethanol, are exacerbating this dilemma by dedicating acreage to fuel-over-food production, threatening billions with potential starvation due to bad policy.

MIT’s calculations in the Limits to Growth publication are thus a bit fuzzy for these reasons and numerous others. It’s not that man is unable to destroy himself that is disputed, but instead it is clear that the oligarchical tier of humanity is bent on achieving the destruction– of the bottom 80% of the world’s population. And that is simply not recognized.

The strategy is mirrored by Bill Gates, as demonstrated at his 2010 TED talk. There he contrives a formula predicting collapse unless mankind curbs population, energy consumption, services and CO2 output. “Probably one of these numbers has to get pretty close to zero,” Gates quips, hinting at population numbers as the key variable.

The elite want to frame the debate around trade offs in a zero-sum game, ultimately suggesting the negative worth of human individuals. True innovation could get us out of this dilemma, but would those in power entertain such notions?

As Mac Slavo observes, it is the unsustainability of the financial spectrum that is most likely candidate to contribute to widespread death, destruction and loss of standard of living:

There is a strong case to be made that the issuance of trillions of dollars in debt over the course of the last several decades, much like oil, will become impossible to sustain. Since the entire system of consumption is essentially based on this debt, if confidence in this system is lost, it may very well have the same initial effect as a peak oil breaking point.


Obama Gives Coal Miners the Shaft

The notion that President Obama is trying to fire up his “base,” as he prepares for a re-election campaign, raises the question of what constitutes his base. It is becoming increasingly clear that the “workers” he is supposedly concerned about are going to be dismissed or ignored so that wealthy environmental groups can be accommodated.

Consider the words of Cecil Roberts, president of the powerful United Mine Workers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, after EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson made a ruling against coal plants. “The Navy SEALs shot Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and Lisa Jackson shot us in Washington,” Roberts said. Those who missed the news about Jackson shutting down coal plants through executive branch rules and regulations may have been unprepared for the Roberts assault. It was a big story for the media but framed in a way that played down the significance of what is taking place.

“For New Generation of Power Plants, a New Emission Rule From the E.P.A.” was the misleading headline over the story in The New York Times. Much more is at stake than just a “new emission rule” that is somehow supposed to affect global warming.

West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, put it another way, saying the EPA “is fully engaging in a war on coal…” Manchin went on, “this ill-advised proposal to prevent new coal-fueled generation will move this country away from using all our domestic resources, and I will fight it every step of the way.”

EPA administrator Lisa Jackson is an environmental zealot who advocates “eco-justice.” In 2010, she received a copy of a “Green Bible” from the liberal National Council of Churches. Her mission is to wage war on the fossil fuel industry in order to build what she calls a “green economy.” She is scheduled to speak at the upcoming Conference on the Scientific, Religious, and Cultural Implications of Global Warming, sponsored by the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care. Jackson received the group’s “Steward of God’s Creation award.”

Before becoming the EPA Administrator, Jackson served as chief of staff to New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine, who also served as a New Jersey senator before running the MF Global financial group, now embroiled in scandal and corruption over $1.2 billion in missing money. Jackson had been appointed by Corzine to be commissioner of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection in 2006.

Jackson’s attack on the coal industry will help China and other U.S. competitors. Although the United States is considered the Saudi Arabia of coal because data show that U.S. currently has the world’s largest coal reserve, America is far behind China in terms of coal production and will fall even further behind because of the new EPA regulations.

On the West Virginia Metro News Talkline radio show, Roberts made his hard-hitting remarks, which have shaken the Obama Administration. In addition to his statement, “The Navy SEALs shot Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and Lisa Jackson shot us in Washington,” he said:

* “Coal is the fastest growing energy source in the world and they’ve decided, at the EPA, well, we’re going to control what goes into the atmosphere worldwide by halting the construction of coal fired facilities in the United States.”

* “It doesn’t work, for one thing, and, the second thing, it is just devastating for our economy.”

* “You have to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions throughout the world. You can’t just regulate them through the EPA of the United States.”

The Soros-funded blog, Think Progress, called Roberts’ statements “preposterous,” a fascinating reaction that suggests that Obama is prepared to throw the mine workers down the shaft. The purpose of Think Progress, an unofficial arm of the White House, is to punish anyone—even Democrats—who speak ill of the President or his policies.

Our media failed, perhaps deliberately so, to explain the real significance of what the EPA was doing. The Washington Post headline about the EPA moving against coal was, “EPA imposes first greenhouse gas limits on new power plants.” This story by Juliet Eilperin actually quoted some “advocacy groups” as saying that the EPA proposal was “too weak.”

As noted by the Post, the EPA claimed the new EPA rules and regulations would only affect new power plants. “The media were careful to repeat this claim too,” noted a Wall Street Journal editorial. In fact, however, the paper says, “It isn’t true...the rules will put old plants at risk because of another EPA program known as New Source Review.”

It explains, “Whenever a plant upgrades—whether installing a new fan blade or replacing the proverbial toilet seat—it must comply with every rule on the books. So as a utility obeys the mercury rule, say, it will also be caught in the pincer movement of these new carbon performance standards. The green lobby knows this will slowly kill even current coal plants over time.”

The EPA says the New Source Review “ensures that air quality is not significantly degraded from the addition of new and modified factories, industrial boilers and power plants,” and that “advances in pollution control occur concurrently with industrial expansion.”

The big news is not only that Democrats like Manchin and Roberts are rejecting the Obama policy, but that an Obama-appointed judge, Amy Berman Jackson, recently ruled that the EPA exceeded the agency’s authority and violated federal law when it revoked a coal mining permit in Logan County, West Virginia.

In response, Manchin said, “I applaud our courts for stating clearly and unequivocally that a bureaucratic agency like the EPA cannot run the lives of hardworking Americans.”

Another Democrat, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, issued the following statement regarding the Obama Administration’s proposed EPA guidelines:

“This move by the EPA can lead to only one conclusion—the Obama administration is trying to end the use of coal as we know it. This regulation will devastate West Virginia and our region by reducing jobs and unnecessarily increasing the cost of power for our citizens. I will not stand for it. This latest announcement is yet another example of the EPA’s inappropriate use of its regulatory authority to set policy for our country. Those decisions reside within the Congress, not an unelected bureaucracy. Even though a federal court last week told the EPA that it was acting beyond its power, the EPA continues to act beyond its authority and in a short-sighted manner that will hurt our economy and cost our country jobs. I will continue to vigorously defend our great state against the EPA’s overreaching, ideologically-driven policies that threaten to kill coal. We should be working to make our country more energy independent and create jobs, not harm them.”

All of this was predictable. “If someone wants to build a new coal-fired power plant they can, but it will bankrupt them because they will be charged a huge sum for all the greenhouse gas that’s being emitted,” then-candidate Obama said in 2008.

In a 2011 special election, Tomblin, then-acting governor, won with 49.47 percent of the vote to Republican businessman Bill Maloney’s 47.14 percent. Maloney is running in West Virginia’s May 8 primary against fellow Morgantown Republican Ralph William Clark for what he hopes will be a rematch with Tomblin this year.

“Earl Ray Tomblin supporter Barack Obama is doing exactly what he promised he would do: bankrupt the coal industry,” Maloney says. “How many more job losses can West Virginia families take at the hands of Earl Ray Tomblin and Barack Obama?”


Exploding the Myth Eco-Puritanism Is Harmless

Roosters of the Apocalypse: How the Junk Science of Global Warming Nearly Bankrupted the Western World, is available from the Heartland Institute.

One of the difficulties inherent to combatting the excesses of environmental activists is that their message sounds so innocuous on the surface. Who can be against a cleaner world? How can anyone not want to protect the wonders of nature? And, if the green crowd may take things a tad too far at times, what’s the harm? After all, better safe than sorry, right?

Author Rael Jean Isaac explodes the myth that eco-puritanism is harmless in her new book Roosters of the Apocalypse: How the Junk Science of Global Warming Nearly Bankrupted the Western World, published by the Heartland Institute. It’s a devastating take-down of the excesses of the environmental movement past and present, in the form of a well-reasoned, easy to digest analysis that packs equal parts reason and entertainment into a surprisingly compact package.

Isaac uses the tragedy of South Africa’s Xhosa tribe as the backdrop for her tale. In 1856 the Xhosa willingly destroyed their own economy, killing half a million cattle, destroying grain stores and ceasing to plant new crops. After a year tens of thousands of Xhosa – about a third of the population – had starved to death before British authorities intervened. Why would a society willingly destroy itself? Isaac explains why:

“The Xhosa had acted on the prophecy of a 15-year-old girl who promised that if they destroyed all they had and purified themselves of “witchcraft” (including evil inclinations and selfishness), the world before the white invaders came would be restored; The British oppressors would flee, and the Xhosa ancestors would return, bringing with them an even greater abundance of cattle and grain.”

Some of the parallels between the Xhosa tragedy and modern-day global warming alarmism are striking. For example, Isaac points out how both are essentially matters of faith, not science. As real-world evidence that challenged the young-lady’s prophecies mounted (for the tribes ancestors surprisingly failed to re-appear leading a ghostly cattle drive) true believers doubled down in their commitment to the cause. So it is today with alarmist crowd. The more actual data continues to diverge from alarmist predictions, the more intransigent alarmists become.

Just as cattle and grain were the life-blood of the 19th century Xhosa economy, fossil fuels have powered the engine that has driven western economies to higher and higher levels of prosperity for over one hundred years. By demanding that we voluntarily abandon the use of fossil fuels and have faith that some other form of cheap, abundant energy will magically appear, environmentalists would lead us down the same kind of self-destructive path as the Xhosa.

Isaac ties in Boston University historian Richard Landes work Heaven on Earth: The Varieties of the Millennial Experience, persuasively arguing that global warming alarmism displays virtually all of the characteristics common to apocalyptic movements that Landes describes. Such movements pit two groups against each other, according to Landes: “roosters” who try to whip up panic and hysteria among the populace by any means possible, and “owls” who calmly appeal to sound reasoning. Isaac goes on to describe how roosters cannot abide the existence of owls, no matter how many or how few in the latter group. She writes:

“As the ancestors failed to appear and the Xhosa believers began to starve, they blamed the stubborn owls who had kept their cattle. Arguing it was their disbelief that delayed the return of the ancestors, they believers began to kill the cattle of those they called the amagogotya, the selfish hard ones, those who “eat alone.” In the global warming apocalypse, every effort is made to banish climate change owls, no matter how distinguished their scientific record, to the outer fringe. The owls are flat-earthers, patsies for big oil, “deniers” (as in Holocaust deniers), analogous to racists (Al Gore’s contribution), “people who say that asbestos is as good as talcum powder” (this from Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). James Hansen says CEOs of fossil energy companies should be tried for “high crimes against humanity and nature.”

All and all, this is a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening read. The chapter entitled “A Climate Rooster Becomes President” should be required reading for every voter. Isaac outlines President Obama’s multi-pronged, all-out war on fossil fuels, which is sure to continue to have serious economic repercussions far into the future. Still, she remains hopeful that the wave of this particular apocalyptic movement has already crested. Indeed, fewer and fewer Americans profess to worried about man-made climate change every year. “Roosters of the Apocalypse” explains why.

Much more HERE


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