Friday, April 11, 2014

Fox News Covers Heartland Climate Change Work‏

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) has been in Washington, DC this week to release Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts.

We are really pleased to call your attention to coverage we received Wednesday on “Special Report with Bret Baier,” the Fox News Channel’s flagship 6 p.m. ET news program. Heartland President Joe Bast said, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Baier’s show regularly beats its competition on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and HLN combined, by a substantial margin. This was the second day in a row Fox covered the release of Biological Impacts; Fox News’ Chicago correspondent, Mike Tobin, interviewed Joe for a segment that aired on Tuesday.

The Wednesday segment stands alone in fair coverage of the “other side” of the climate debate. It’s the kind of coverage every other network gives to the alarmists. Communications Director Jim Lakely's blog post describing the coverage is at Somewhat Reasonable.

Two particularly memorable lines from the Wednesday segment:

“A torrent of new data is poking very large holes in what the president has called the scientific consensus about global warming.”
and …

“Skeptics believe [alarmist] statements are demonstrably false. They point to observable data, not computer modeling, to prove their point.”

The 1,062-page Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts volume contains thousands of citations to peer-reviewed scientific literature, concludes rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels are causing “no net harm to the global environment or to human health and often finds the opposite: net benefits to plants, including important food crops, and to animals and human health.”

The full report, individual chapters, and a Summary for Policymakers can be downloaded in digital form (PDF) at the Climate Change Reconsidered Web site.

Via email

The Biblical Noah – the first recorded climate adaptationist?

So Noah had a problem. He foresaw a highly material change in the global climate coming, but what should he do about it? One strategy would be to attempt to prevent, or at least mitigate, the Flood. He a had a pretty good theory as to its cause – the general violence and wickedness of mankind. So if he could get everyone together and persuade them to be less violent and wicked, maybe that might do the trick? Obtaining agreement multilaterally could be difficult, so another option might be to be very and very visibly holy himself – a kind of unilateral mitigation – in the hope of shaming/encouraging everyone else to copy him. Cynicism about human nature spoke against that course, so a variant of this unilateral mitigation route might have been to try to be extra specially holy himself – so holy that his efforts, alone, might be enough to offset everyone else's wickedness. Sadly, Noah's share of the total human production of virtue/wickedness was rather small, so again this was unlikely to work.

An alternative strategy might have been denial. This "Creator" person claimed to be an expert on future weather patterns and that this Flood thing could be foreseen as following from some fairly simple principles regarding the consequences of wickedness and violence, but how reliable could any such prediction really be? Granted, the amount of rain did appear to have risen somewhat a few weeks back, but in more recent days  had stopped become more intense, achieving a plateau. Yes, yes – the plateau was at a level some might describe as "raining cats and dogs" but surely the key point isn't that the level of rainfall is at an all-time high; rather it is that it's stopped getting any worse? How do you explain that, eh? Anyway, someone that Noah's wife's best friend's cousin once bumped into by the well had explained to her in detail how such periods of intense rainfall are caused by giant Nephilim throwing rocks at clouds, and there seemed to be more Nephalim around than usual so that probably explained the whole thing. Furthermore, if everyone else was being wicked and violent Noah should probably join in – wouldn't want to miss out, now, would he?

Noah, however, didn't favour either of these strategies. He decided to believe the Flood was coming and adapt, building an ark and gathering animals two-by-two. He didn't pretend that was going to be cheap – a whole ark's-worth of gopher wood doesn't come for free. He didn't use up resources in a futile attempt to persuade the rest of the world to stop being wicked. He didn't boast of his own holiness "so at least when it comes I'll be able to tell my grandchildren I tried to prevent it." He didn't squander the food he'd need to feed his animals in a huge debauched feast so as to appear cool in front of the other wicked folk. He prepared. He adapted. He survived.

An interesting tale to reflect upon. Perhaps in doing so one might learn something…


Ice Cold Facts

The effects of man-made global warming are reaching epic proportions. Just how bad has it gotten? Consider this: The Great Lakes are still 52.9% ice-covered, which is 1,000% above the average. Dating back to 1980, no other year comes even close.

Worse, according to NOAA measurements, “Global Sea Ice Extent is 959,000 above the 1981-2010 mean. That is ranked 4th for the day. And that is 4.61% above 'normal.'”

Additionally, “Antarctic Sea Ice Extent is 1,403,000 above the 1981-2010 mean. That is ranked 1st for the day. And that is 23.74% above 'normal.'” It's also this young year's 30th daily record. Clearly, we've got work to do. Like stocking up on blankets.


Great Lakes cover

Report: CO2 Is Not a Pollutant, Provides ‘Beneficial Impacts’ to Planet

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but a naturally occurring chemical compound that benefits plants and thus, the planet and its inhabitants, according to a lengthy  report released Wednesday by the free-market Heartland Institute.

“Carbon dioxide is an aerial fertilizer that provides many beneficial impacts,” said Craig Idso, one of the lead authors of the report, when asked him to name the most salient finding of the 37 scientists from 12 countries who contributed to it.

“You can look at thousands of studies – real world data studies that have actually been conducted that demonstrate beyond any doubt that higher levels of CO2 are going to increase the productivity of plants,” Idso said.

“They’re real,” Idso said of the benefits of CO2. “They’re not imagined. They’re not projected. They’re real, and they’re occurring now.”

On December 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final regulation listing CO2 as one of the greenhouses gases that is considered a pollutant that “endangers public health.” The regulation is part of what the EPA says is required under the Clean Air Act.

The EPA relies heavily in its environmental assessments on the climate change reports produced by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which issued its fifth report in September 2013.

Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute, said the IPCC report has been “largely discredited” by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change’s (NIPCC) “Climate Change Reconsidered II” series of reports, including a 1,000-page report on the physical science of climate change that was released in 2013.

Fred Singer, report co-author and an atmospheric and space physicist and climate change expert, said at the press conference that the models used by IPCC do not reflect the real-world data about the planet and its warming and cooling trends.

Idso provided dramatic examples of how CO2 impacts plants, showing images of small and underdeveloped plants that were exposed to a small amount of the compound compared with thriving plants with generous leaves and blossoms and expansive root systems.

“One of the overall important findings of our report is that atmospheric CO2 is not a pollutant,” Idso said. “It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that offers many biosphereric benefits.

“Probably chiefly known among all of these benefits is that elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 tend to increase the biomass and productivity of nearly all plants and ecosystems on earth,” Idso said.

Some of the other findings in the biological impacts report summary include:

 *  The ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content is causing a great greening of the Earth.

 *  Rising levels of CO2 are increasing agricultural productivity around the world, therefore increasing food security.

 *  Terrestrial ecosystems have thrived around the world where temperatures have warmed, including amphibians, birds, butterflies, other insects, reptiles and mammals.

 *  A modest warming of the planet will result in a net reduction of human mortality from temperature-related events.


Bishop Desmond Tutu compares climate skeptics to Apartheid practitioners

In an uninterrupted display of ignorance.  He thinks, for instance, that warming is going on when it in fact stopped 17 years ago

Twenty-five years ago people could be excused for not knowing much, or doing much, about climate change. Today we have no excuse. No more can it be dismissed as science fiction; we are already feeling the effects.

This is why, no matter where you live, it is appalling that the US is debating whether to approve a massive pipeline transporting 830,000 barrels of the world's dirtiest oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Producing and transporting this quantity of oil, via the Keystone XL pipeline, could increase Canada's carbon emissions by over 30%.

Who can stop it? Well, we can, you and I. And it is not just that we can stop it, we have a responsibility to do so. It is a responsibility that begins with God commanding the first human inhabitants of the garden of Eden "to till it and keep it". To keep it; not to abuse it, not to destroy it.

Throughout my life I have believed that the only just response to injustice is what Mahatma Gandhi termed "passive resistance". During the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, using boycotts, divestment and sanctions, and supported by our friends overseas, we were not only able to apply economic pressure on the unjust state, but also serious moral pressure.

People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change. We can, for instance, boycott events, sports teams and media programming sponsored by fossil-fuel energy companies. We can demand that the advertisements of energy companies carry health warnings. We can encourage more of our universities and municipalities and cultural institutions to cut their ties to the fossil-fuel industry. We can organise car-free days and build broader societal awareness. We can ask our religious communities to speak out.

We can actively encourage energy companies to spend more of their resources on the development of sustainable energy products, and we can reward those companies that do so by using their products. We can press our governments to invest in renewable energy and stop subsidising fossil fuels. Where possible, we can install our own solar panels and water heaters.

We cannot necessarily bankrupt the fossil fuel industry. But we can take steps to reduce its political clout, and hold those who rake in the profits accountable for cleaning up the mess.

And the good news is that we don't have to start from scratch. Young people across the world have already begun to do something about it. The fossil fuel divestment campaign is the fastest growing corporate campaign of its kind in history.

Last month, the General Synod of the Church of England voted overwhelmingly to review its investment policy in respect of fossil fuel companies, with one bishop referring to climate change as "the great demon of our day". Already some colleges and pension funds have declared they want their investments to be congruent with their beliefs.


Antidemocratic Greens in Australia

Tony Abbott is the conservative Prime Minister of Australia

 It was called the March in March.   Abbott  was pilloried in abusive placards and righteous speeches, as the green left railed against Abbott's odious platform.

This week, Christine Milne praised that sentiment when she fronted the National Press Club. To be fair, it was a more sophisticated entreaty to voters to ‘‘make the WA election the turning of the tide; make it the defining moment where Tony Abbott’s radical, extreme agenda is stopped. Make it the moment, as [Greens senator] Scott Ludlam said, 'when we take our country back'.’’

While Milne’s call for action via the ballot box was perfectly defensible, stripped back, it asserted that the Greens speak for the majority and that Tony Abbott lacks legitimacy.

But where is the evidence given that this government has not even served out a single year of its three-year term nor handed down one budget?

It is not as if the government has done anything, excluding imperial titles, that can even be said to be outside its explicit mandate. Like it or not, Abbott's authority to repeal the carbon and mining taxes, rebalance the budget, and to stop the boats, could not have been clearer.

The March rallies so lauded by the Greens were presented as a protest against the Abbott government. But surely the real beef is with the Australian people who just six months prior had installed Abbott with a thumping 30-odd seat majority.

Such arguments fail to register it seems on both ends of the spectrum.

If ever there was an admission to having no empirical basis for a claim, it was Milne's evoking of the classic Australian movie, The Castle.

"The vibe of the nation right now is something you can't quite put your finger on but it's there, it's real, it's powerful, and it's building," she claimed.

It is beyond obvious to point out that the hapless lawyer in the movie had only resorted to "the vibe" because he lacked a real argument.

Yet some vibes are real. Such as the vibe of genuine concern, bordering on insurrection running through the Greens right now.

Unlike the former example, this one is based on empirical evidence including that the Green vote is on the wane, and that as a result, so too is Milne's grip on the leadership.

One need only look at the recent evidence such as the humiliating reversal suffered in her home state of Tasmania in the March state poll where it collapsed by almost 8 per cent statewide.

It followed a nation-wide drop of 3.3 per cent in the September federal poll.

The loss of another senator on Saturday could see a move on Milne within weeks with the two Victorians, Adam Bandt and Richard Di Natale, likely to step forward.

But even if Ludlam survives, as the late mail suggests he will, the word from inside the camp is that the Greens are actively weighing their options, with one figure noting that Bob Brown surrendered the leadership precisely because he could not guarantee serving out another six-year term as leader.

Milne's current term expires at the next election and her colleagues are already discussing succession. If Milne is looking for a vibe around the place, she might consider tuning into that one.



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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