Thursday, March 06, 2014

Calling the Global Warming Charlatans "Nazis" is historically accurate

Nature fantasists and authoritarian people-haters in both cases.  Details here -- JR

 By Alan Caruba

On February 20th, the noted meteorologist, Dr. Roy W. Spencer, fed up with being called a “denier” of global warming, posted a commentary on his blog titled “Time to push back against the global warming Nazis.”

“When politicians and scientists started calling people like me ‘deniers’, they crossed the line. They are still doing it,” said Dr. Spencer. “They indirectly equate (1) the skeptics’ view that global warming is not necessarily all manmade nor a serious problem with (2) the denial that the Nazi’s extermination of millions of Jews ever happened.” The Holocaust happened, but global warming’s latest natural cycle ended about 17 years ago and, as a lot of people have noticed, it has been getting cold since then.

“Like the Nazis,” said Dr. Spencer, “they advocate the supreme authority of the state (fascism), which in turn supports their scientific research to support their cause…”  In the case of global warming, this huge hoax was put forth by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The UN would like to be the world’s global government, but that’s not going to happen. In the meantime, the IPCC provided scientists that cooperated with lots of money for their alleged research, all of which “proved” that carbon dioxide was dramatically heating the Earth. Others like Al Gore made millions selling “carbon credits”. Along the way, both Gore and the IPCC received a Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr. Spencer received a Ph.D. in meteorology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981. He was a Senior Scientists for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center where he and a colleague, Dr. John Christy received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites. He became a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2001 and continues to advise NASA as a U.S. Science Team Leader.  As he points out on his blog, his research has been supported by U.S. government agencies, so the usual claim by Greens that he is a paid stooge of Big Oil just doesn’t work in his case.

Dr. Spencer’s decision to call a Nazi a Nazi ignited a lot of discussion among the global warming hustlers and those whom they have been calling “deniers” for many years. I always found it particularly offensive, but I suspect those I called charlatans and hustlers felt the same way. The difference, however, is the connotation applied to the term, “denier.” Even today anti-Semites of various descriptions deny that six million Jews died in the death camps of Nazi Germany during World War Two along with millions Christians and Eastern Slavic Europeans

What makes this particularly offensive and horrid is the fact that those in the Nazi leadership under Adolf Hitler were all environmentalists, deeply committed to conservation and similar expressions that put the Earth above the value of human life.

This is all revealed in a book by R. Mark Musser, “Nazi Oaks”, now in its third printing. Musser was introduced to environmentalism at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, from which he graduated in 1989. In 1994 he received Master of Divinity and spent seven years as a missionary to Belarus and in the Ukraine.

Musser’s book is absolutely astonishing as he documents how “Green” the Nazis were from their earliest years until their defeat. It was Heinrich Himmler, the Reich Leader from 1929 to 1945, who was responsible for the “Final Solution”, the mass killing of Europe’s Jews. He led the Nazi party’s SS.

As Musser notes, “The Nazis were trying to eliminate both global capitalism and international communism in order to recover a reverence for nature lost in the modern cosmopolitan world.”  The Nazis also held Judeo-Christian values in contempt.

“That this evolutionary Nazi nature religion was clothed in secular biology and colored by environmental policies and practices, is a historical truth that has been ignored and underreported for too long a time in all the discussions about the Holocaust,” writes Musser.

I am inclined to believe that it is no accident that the global warming charlatans began to use the term “deniers” to describe skeptics.

By 2011, a Gallup poll that surveyed people in 111 countries revealed that most of the human race did not see global warming as a serious threat. Still, worldwide 42% told Gallup that they thought global warming was either ‘somewhat serious’ or ‘very serious.’ That was down from 63% in polls taken in 2007 and 2008 in the U.S.

More than just a spat between scientists, in April 2012, the Congressional Research Service estimated that, since 2008, the federal government had spent nearly $70 billion on ‘climate change activities.’  That kind of money could build or repair a lot of bridges and roads. It could fund elements of our military. It could be spent on something other than a climate over which neither the government nor anyone in the world has any influence.

Bursting onto the national stage, Dr. Spencer’s decision to call the global warming scientists Nazis for their efforts to intimidate or smear the reputations of those whose research disputes their claims, Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. a Wall Street Journal columnist, wrote on March 1 that “Surely some kind of ending is upon us. Last week climate protesters demanded the silencing of Charles Krauthammer for a Washington Post column that notices uncertainties in the global warming hypothesis.”

“In coming weeks,” wrote Jenkins, “a libel trial gets under way brought by Penn State’s Michael Mann, author of the famed "hockey stick" graph (Editor’s note: an IPCC graph Mann created that asserted a sudden, major increase in heat has been widely debunked) against the National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, writer Rand Simberg and roving commentator Mark Steyn for making wisecracks about his climate work.”

Revelations of several thousand emails between IPCC scientists, one of whom was Mann, were christened “climategate” and demonstrated the efforts in which they engaged to suppress the publication of any papers that questioned global warming in scientific journals. As the climate turned cooler, they became increasingly alarmed.

What we are likely witnessing are the long death throes of the global warming hoax. Calling those scientists and others like myself “deniers” and other names simply reveals the desperation of those who are seeing a great source of money slip away under the spotlight of scientific truth, nor will they be able to impose their lies on the rest of us.


Frack For Freedom: What Ukraine Needs Now Is A Shale Revolution

Ukraine could hold more than 40 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale gas, enough to satisfy decades of demand

Natural gas was the origin of the crisis in Ukraine. The country serves as a transit point for about 6 billion cubic feet per day of Russia’s natgas exports into Europe. That’s about 2.2 trillion cubic feet per year, or 14% of Europe’s total supply.

More than just serving as a middleman for Russian gas, Ukraine is like the dealer who got hooked on his own supply. Under the terms of its last supply deal, Gazprom agreed to sell gas to Ukraine at $7.70 per thousand cubic feet, a 33% discount to what European customers pay (but a big premium to U.S. gas prices of roughly $4.50 per mcf). Moscow even agreed to gradually buy $15 billion of new Ukrainian bonds, to keep the country from defaulting on other debts.

Yet even at that discounted price, Ukraine has had a tough time paying Gazprom’s invoices. Earlier today Russia suggested that if Ukraine didn’t pay its $1.5 billion gas bill Gazprom might just shut off the valves and renege on those price discounts. Since 2006, Putin has twice cut off the gas to Ukraine, most recently in 2009.

Edward Chow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, wrote in this essay last December that Ukraine’s being “addicted to cheap gas … has blocked the modernization of its industry, economy and politics.”

Ukraine has been a junkie for Russian gas. Putin clearly had no problem with that; it is in Russia’s interest to keep Ukraine and Europe hooked on Russian gas at prices just low enough to quash incentives to drill and frack for shale gas. Russia’s state-run news and propaganda outlets have for years disseminated articles critical of fracking and supported opponents of the technique, despite its 50-year track record of proven efficacy and scant mishaps.

Even Ukraine’s ousted President Yanukovich, despite his dealmaking with Russia, had clearly acquiesced to pressure to explore Ukraine’s other energy options. Last year Ukraine signed natural gas exploration deals with Royal Dutch Shell as well as Chevron, which pledged to invest as much as $10 billion if adequate supplies of shale gas were found. The government said it hoped the two companies’ projects would add more than 50% to Ukraine’s current domestic natgas supply. Ukraine could hold more than 40 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale gas, enough to satisfy decades of demand.

Now with Yanukovich gone it’s as if Putin has taken the Crimea as a kind of hostage — collateral to hold against what Ukraine owes Russia for gas. A few billion dollars in IOUs is, of course, a less than flimsy pretext for thuggery. Which is why the Kremlin’s propaganda machine has been spreading lies about how his soldiers are there to save Ukraine’s ethnic Russians from right-wing crazies.

The desperation of Putin’s actions underscore the threat that shale gas development really does pose to Russia’s gas-fueled diplomacy.

Even if Gazprom were to cut off gas supplies to Ukraine, there is no real fear of a gas shortage in Europe, according to Bernstein Research. This winter has been a warm one in the region (as witnessed by the balmy temps for the Sochi Olympics), so demand for heating has not been as great. Thus, natural gas volumes in storage are higher than average, at about 50% of capacity.

What’s more, even if Russia did halt shipments through Ukraine, there’s enough extra space in the Nord Stream pipeline running from Russia into Germany to pick up about half of the slack.

The rest of any shortfall could likely be met with greater imports of superchilled LNG. Europe has been building more gas storage in recent years precisely to balance out Russia’s influence and to position itself to receive LNG not just from established gas giants like Qatar, but also from giant new projects in Australia, a host of planned export terminals in the U.S. and even new developments in the works offshore Israel.


News from the hip-pocket

Insurer Warren Buffett says  global warming not causing extreme weather, and he should know.  If he gets it wrong he loses money

Business magnate Warren Buffett contradicted a major Obama administration talking point by saying that global warming was not causing extreme weather.

The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway told CNBC that he has not changed the way his companies calculate the likelihood of a natural disaster because of global warming.

Berkshire Hathaway owns several insurance companies that often have to pay out huge claims when natural disasters strike. Environmentalists and the Obama administration have warned that global warming has caused natural disasters like hurricanes to become fiercer and more common.

But Buffett’s experience leads him to believe otherwise, saying that insuring against hurricanes in the U.S. has been a profitable venture in recent years as only a few storms have actually made landfall.

“I think that the public has the impression that because there has been so much talk about climate, that events of the last 10 years, from an insured standpoint on climate, have been unusual,” Buffett told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “The answer is, they haven’t.”

“You read about these events, but you read about events 30, or 40, or 50 years ago,” he added.

Buffett’s comments fly in the face of efforts by the Obama administration to tie weather events to global warming. Recently, President Obama traveled to drought-stricken California to announce his plan for a $1 billion fund to prepare communities for the impact of global warming.

“Climate change is a fact. And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say, ‘Yes, we did,’” Obama said in his 2014 State of the Union Address.

But scientific evidence suggests otherwise. Research by University of Colorado climate scientist Roger Pielke, Jr. found that weather events have not been getting more extreme due to global warming.

In particular, Pielke found that hurricanes “have not increased in the U.S. in frequency, intensity or normalized damage since at least 1900.”

Pielke also noted that the costs of disasters have not been increasing either, when economic and population growth are taken into account. For example, the economic losses from floods have fallen 75 percent as a percentage of GDP since 1940.


Does Climate Change Cause Extreme Weather? I Said No, and Was Attacked by the administration


Last Friday, the White House posted on its website a six-page criticism of me by the president’s science advisor, John Holdren, expanding on testimony he had given to Congress last week claiming that my views on climate change and extreme weather are outside of "mainstream scientific opinion.” Holdren was specifically responding to Senate testimony I gave last year where I argued that recent extreme weather events, including hurricanes, droughts, floods, and tornadoes, have not increased in recent decades due to human-caused climate change.

In this debate the facts are on my side. The claims I made in my congressional testimony are no different from the ones made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ("Long-term trends in economic disaster losses adjusted for wealth and population increases have not been attributed to climate change, but a role for climate change has not been excluded") and broadly supported in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Even Warren Buffett recently explained that more extreme events haven't affected his insurance investments, but that "I love apocalyptic predictions" because they increase insurance rates, earning him more money. When Holdren links specific weather events to human-caused climate change—such as the California drought or the cold winter—he is exaggerating the state of scientific understandings.

His subsequent attack on me has him serving not as science advisor to the president, but rather wielding his political position to delegitimize an academic whose views he finds inconvenient. We academics wouldn't stand for such behavior under George W. Bush and we shouldn't under Barack Obama either.

Our debate aside, Holdren’s exaggerations on climate science will make it harder, not easier, to establish a bipartisan consensus for action on climate change.

As background, I am an expert on the relationship between natural disasters and climate change. I have published extensively in the scientific, peer-reviewed literature over the past several decades. I believe the basic science of climate change is sound and has been for decades. Humans influence the climate today and will into the future, mainly through the emission of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, and this influence poses unknown, but potentially large and irreversible risks in the future. The conclusions lay at the core of the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which despite a few missteps along the way, has well-summarized these fundamental understandings.

Moreover, I have argued for nearly two decades that stronger policy action is needed by nations to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. I have called for a carbon tax linked to greater government spending on energy technology innovation. And I have supported what President Obama has done to combat climate change, including stronger regulations on efficiency, power plants, and his funding for energy innovation and investment overseas.

Why, then, am I being attacked by the White House science advisor as outside the scientific mainstream?

Because I have also argued against exaggerating the relationship between climate change and extreme weather. While politicians and environmental advocates routinely attribute natural disasters with human-caused climate change, the uncomfortable reality is that such attribution remains speculative. There is not yet a scientific basis for making such a connection. That is not an argument against taking action, but it is an argument for accurately representing the science.

Start with drought. According to the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, drought has, “for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the U.S. over the last century. The main exception is the Southwest and parts of the interior of the West, where increased temperature has led to rising drought trends.” Globally, according to the IPCC in its special report on extreme events, “There is medium confidence that since the 1950s some regions of the world have experienced a trend to more intense and longer droughts, in particular in southern Europe and West Africa, but in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, in central North America and northwestern Australia.”

A new review paper just out by a team of drought experts from around the world, and who hold a range of views on climate change and drought, explained many of the complexities, “How is drought changing as the climate changes? Several recent papers in the scientific literature have focused on this question but the answer remains blurred.”

And it’s not just drought. It is wrong to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally. Hurricanes have not increased in the U.S. in frequency, intensity, or damage since at least 1900. The same holds for tropical cyclones globally since at least 1970 (at which point the data became available to allow for a global perspective).

Floods in the U.S. have not increased in frequency or intensity since at least 1950. Indeed, flood losses as a percentage of U.S. GDP have dropped by about 75 percent since 1940. At the global scale there is a similar lack of evidence for upwards trends in floods. Tornadoes have not increased in frequency, intensity or normalized damage in the U.S. since 1950, and there is some evidence to suggest that they have actually declined.

If this comes as a surprise to anyone it is because of the tendency by campaigners to cherry-pick details, obscure the larger context, and, ironically enough, attack as "deniers" anyone who disagrees.

A considerable body of research projects that various extremes may become more frequent and/or intense in the future as a direct consequence of human-caused climate changes. However, our research, and that of others, suggests that assuming that these projections are accurate, it will be many decades, perhaps longer, before the signal of human-caused climate change can be detected. Extremes are by definition rare events, and for that reason they are just not the best place to be looking for, or expecting to see, the consequences of climate change today.

Climate change is an important issue that will be managed for decades and centuries to come, making accurate representation of climate science by scientists and government officials crucial to maintaining public trust. Exaggerations by advocates of climate action, like those of science advisor Holdren, undermine that trust when they go beyond what the science is telling us. Efforts to quash mainstream, legitimate voices will further undermine that trust.


Are Rockefeller, Tides charities violating tax-deductible status opposing Canadian oil sands?

Are environmental advocacy charities, which are eligible to receive tax-deductible donations, violating their tax-exempt status in opposing extraction in the Canadian oil sands, construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and other pet projects of the radical left?

That is the subject of a series of audits by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that have been ordered under the administration of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The groups facing additional scrutiny include the David Suzuki Foundation, Tides Canada, West Coast Environmental Law, the Pembina Foundation, Environmental Defence, Equiterre, and the Ecology Action Centre.

No more than 10 percent on politics

Under Canadian rules, tax-deductible charities — the equivalent of 501(c)(3)s here in the U.S. — are only allowed to spend 10 percent of their resources on allowed non-partisan political activity.

According to the CRA, those activities allowed under the 10 percent limit include activity that “explicitly communicates a call to political action (that is, encourages the public to contact an elected representative or public official and urges them to retain, oppose, or change the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country); explicitly communicates to the public that the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country should be retained (if the retention of the law, policy or decision is being reconsidered by a government), opposed, or changed; or explicitly indicates in its materials (whether internal or external) that the intention of the activity is to incite, or organize to put pressure on, an elected representative or public official to retain, oppose, or change the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country.”

The reasons for the limits are obvious. Because donations to the groups are tax-deductible, they represent a net taxpayer subsidy.

Similar rules exist in the U.S., as between 501(c)(3) charities versus 501(c)(4) organizations allowed to engage in unlimited lobbying and issue advocacy. Both are technically tax-exempt and not subject to any donation tax, but with a big difference.

The 501(c)(3) charity receives the tax-deductible donation subsidy, whereas 501(c)(4) does not. Read that again: (c)(4)s do not take tax-deductible donations.

In a similar vein, like in Canada, (c)(3)s cannot engage in electioneering — that is, advocacy for or against a candidate for public office — whereas (c)(4)s can so long as it does not constitute a majority of their activities.

So did the environmental charities violate their tax-exempt and deductible status by exceeding the 10 percent limit on allowed political activities?

$75 million spent opposing oil sands, Keystone, led to riots and attacks on police

It may be soon to tell, as the audits are ongoing, but a December 2013 report by the Financial Post’s Vivian Krause suggest that the money spent by the charities on anti-oil sands advocacy was and is quite substantial: “these foundations have provided at least $75-million for campaigns and land use planning initiatives that thwart the development and export of Canadian oil.”

$75 million is no chump change. Krause named names, many of whom are now being audited: “the main sources of funding for this campaign are the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Oak Foundation, the Sea Change Foundation, the Tides Foundation and other charitable foundations, most of which are based in California.”

Much of the funds have been devoted to aggressive campaigns, grassroots organizing, and even blockading oil sands production and distribution including via Keystone, such as a campaign called Idle No More that happens to be funded by Tides USA.

One such oil blockade by an aboriginal First Nation group, Elsipogtog, got out of hand and turned into a full-scale riot, complete with gunshots and Molotov cocktail attacks that torched at least five police vehicles.

A police raid of the Elsipotog camp revealed guns, homemade explosives, knives and bear spray.

Elsipotog even took over a Royal Canadian Mounted Police station and replaced the Canadian flag with a First Nation flag, reports Warrior Publications, a pro-First Nation blog.

Is this what tax-deductible donations both from the U.S. and Canada to campaigns like Idle No More funding? Perhaps an audit is just what the doctor ordered.

Engaging in foreign politics can also violate U.S. 501(c)(3) tax-deductible charity status

Tides in particular was very much concerned that the funds might at least be used politically, issuing cover letters for its donations stating that recipient organizations agree “not to use any portion of the granted funds to carry on propaganda nor to attempt to influence specific legislation either by direct or grassroots lobbying.”

However, that might not be enough to excuse these foundations from violations of their tax-exempt status, reports Krause: “these letters suggest to me that [influencing legislation] this is precisely what Tides is funding. The numbering and timing of these payments indicates that they have been made systematically.”

Again, the CRA still has to finish its audits, and so we are very early in this process, but the investigation has vast implications in the U.S. where these charities are based.

Pursuant to the U.S.-Canada Income Tax Convention ratified by the Senate in 1984 tax deductibility for exempt organizations applies across borders. So, U.S. residents can claim a tax deduction for donations made to Canadian charities, and vice versa.

Moreover, 501(c)(3) clearly applies to overseas lobbying, according to an IRS publication, “Foreign activities of domestic charities and foreign charities,” which states, “As with inurement and private benefit, the restriction against lobbying and the prohibition against political activity on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate for elective public office (electioneering) exist in a foreign context as well. For example, Rev. Rul. 73-440, 1973-2 C.B. 177, concludes that the term ‘legislation’ includes foreign as well as domestic laws, for purposes of the IRC 501(c)(3) lobbying restriction.”

That’s a big deal. If Canadian authorities and courts find that U.S. tax-deductible donor dollars were misused for politics and lobbying either directly or at the grassroots level, that might be prima facie evidence for pressing an investigation into groups’ tax-exempt status here on a similar basis.

Again, the issue here is not simply one of tax-exempt status. Donations to non-profits should be tax-exempt. Whether they should be tax-deductible and enjoy a state subsidy is another matter entirely.

As Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.” Tax deductions are subsidies. The question the CRA will be answering is whether such a state-sanctioned incentive should be enjoyed by organizations to fundraise whose sole apparent purpose is undermining U.S. and Canadian energy production?


Australia:  No more national parks as government pledges to support loggers as the 'ultimate conservationists'

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said he will not support the creation of any more national parks in a speech lauding timber workers as "the ultimate conservationists".

Mr Abbott also told a timber industry dinner on Tuesday night that he would create a new Forestry Advisory Council to support the industry.

The council will be co-chaired by Rob de Fegely, president of the Institute of Foresters Australia. Mr de Fegely is the former Liberal Party election candidate for the seat of Eden Monaro.

"We don't support, as a government and as a Coalition, further lockouts of our forests," Mr Abbott said. "We have quite enough National Parks, we have quite enough locked up forests already. In fact, in an important respect, we have too much locked up forest."

Mr Abbott said the federal government was pushing to delist a world heritage listing of 74,000 hectares of forest in Tasmania. Mr Abbott said the area – which was protected under Tasmania's forest peace deal – was not pristine forest and was too degraded to be considered a sanctuary.

Tasmanians go to the polls on March 15 with jobs and the forestry industry big issues as Labor struggles to hold on to government.

"I don't buy the Green ideology, which has done so much damage to our country over the last couple of decades and I'm pleased to see that there are some sensible Labor Party people who don't buy it either," Mr Abbott said.

"When I look out tonight at an audience of people who work with timber, who work in forests, I don't see people who are environmental bandits, I see people who are the ultimate conservationists.

"I salute you as people who love the natural world, as people who love what Mother Nature gives us and who want to husband it for the long-term best interests of humanity."

Mr Abbott said Canberra would now be "friendly country" rather than "hostile territory" for the forestry industry following the change of government.

Greens leader Christine Milne said: "Who in the 21st century would say the environment is meant for man and not just the other way around?

"There is no economic future for Australia in trashing our precious native forests and national parks ... In pandering to the forestry industry the Prime Minister's statements last night reveal he's not only anti-environment and anti-conservation, he's anti-jobs."



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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