Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Global warmer Michael Milillo replies to skeptic Joseph Bast

I put up yesterday Joe Bast's comment on the the ramble about  global warming by apparent Catholic Michael Milillo.  Rather surprisingly, Milillo has replied to Bast  -- see below.  But he does not quote a single fact or statistic about climate. If there was any room for doubt, Milillo now makes clear that for him it is all about authority. Papal authority and global warming authority are his guiding lights.  Blind respect for authority gave us the armies of Nazism and Communism so Milillo is a disturbing phenomenon.  Respect for authority is indeed very Catholic but,  after the Protestant revolt against that, the church seems to have lost most of its authority.

It now asserts authority only for pronouncements made by the Pope speaking ex cathedra on matters of faith and morals.  But the Pope has made no such pronouncements about climate change, though he has offered vague pastoral guidance. An encyclical is said to be forthcoming but nobody yet knows what will be in it. From De rerum novarum to Centesimus annus (Yes. I have read both) encyclicals have always trod a middle path on the political controversies of the day.  Even Mit brennender Sorge was very cautious and limited in its aims. So the best bet is that any future encyclical will do the same, with nothing specific offered. So Milillo imagines Papal authority where none has been claimed.

So Milillo is not a modern Catholic.  He is a throwback to the sort of authoritarian Catholic who provoked the Protestant reformation.  Not much good can come of that -- but one wonders whether it is really defence of Papal authority that calls forth his energies. His trust in the authority of the global warmers is certainly trust in a very secular creed.  I think it is he who has put his trust in Mammon.  It is the church of global warming to which he owes his primary loyalty, not the Pope

The ill manners of his greeting to his bishop is also revelatory.  Even I address a bishop as "Your Grace"

My email to Bishop Baker regarding the "Climate Change Debate" hosted by The EWTN Global Catholic Network that aired on "The World Over with Raymond Arroyo" on May 15, 2015 has more to with EWTN's disobedience to Pope Francis rather than with the lies, inaccuracies, and corruption promoted by The Heartland Institute as documented in referenced items [1] [2] [3].  If this contempt and insubordination that was displayed toward The Holy See by EWTN in general and Raymond Arroyo in particular had occurred 500 years ago, Arroyo would have been excommunicated at best or executed at worst.  As The Heartland Institute is NOT a Catholic institution -- and most likely doesn't believe in God either -- due to its worship of Mammon, God would in do time punish The Heartland Institute for its sins.

Until the Papacy of Pope Francis, EWTN has repeatedly told its Catholic audience to obey the Pope without question.  Neither did EWTN televised any debates concerning either abortion or homosexuality in which those who disagree with Pope John Paul II on these moral issues can have their opinions heard.  Without any precedent established by EWTN's past actions under Pope John Paul II, there exist NO justification for EWTN's scornful behavior now in which EWTN has openly proclaimed that Pope Francis' "Encyclical on the Environment" is wrong.  As EWTN did NOT debate the moral pronouncements of either Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI, EWTN should NOT do so now with Pope Francis.  What Arroyo has done in defying Pope Francis is worthy of excommunication by The Catholic Church.  But in my letter to Bishop Baker, I did NOT urge excommunication.  However, I did exhort the Roman Catholic Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama to sever all connections with, support for, and ties to EWTN.

Although The Heartland Institute believes it can openly debate a moral issue with Pope Francis, Catholics have learned from both Pope John Paul II and EWTN that there is absolutely NO room for debating a moral issue with the Pontiff once the Pope has reached a decision.  Pope Francis has declared that the "Protecting the Environment" is a moral issue of the utmost importance which includes the issue of Global Warming.  The Heartland Institute has publicly attack Pope Francis for declaring Global Warming a moral issue.  When having a choice between the Pope and The Heartland Institute on matters of morality, I will defer to the Pope.

As you wrote that The Heartland Institute "mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic issue", this does NOT provide "moral" solutions to social and economic issues.  Nevertheless, "free-market solutions" do NOT have as its goal the moral obligation which humans owe to God.  With this lack of morality as stated in its mission, The Heartland Institute is -- as I have written -- a lover of Mammon.  By putting profits and wealth ahead of one's love of God, The Heartland Institute is the very essence of an "abomination in the sight of God" [4].

This "love of Mammon" is best illustrated by The Heartland Institute refusal to accept the fact that man-made Greenhouse Gases is the root cause of "Global Warming".  This induces me to ask you if you believe in Dick Cheney's "One Percent Doctrine" which was the basis for the unprovoked invasion of Iraq by the United States in 2003?  The Cheney doctrine states that "if there was even a 1 percent chance of terrorists getting a weapon of mass destruction — and there has been a small probability of such an occurrence for some time — the United States must now act as if it were a certainty" [5].

With stakes so high from the consequences of Global Warming, should NOT a reduction in "CO2 emissions" be called for even if there was only a 1% probability --  Dick Cheney's "One Percent Doctrine" -- that man-made Greenhouse Gases were responsible for Global Warming?  For "CO2 emissions" made by human activity is the only variable that Mankind can control.  What does Humanity have to lose in reducing man-made "CO2 emissions"?  You will argue profits, wealth, and GDP.  But when weight against the lost of lives and the human suffering that are the consequences of Global Warming, profits, wealth, and GDP are a small price to pay with the knowledge that Jesus paid a much higher price on being nailed to the Cross.  This is the moral rationale behind limiting man-made Greenhouse Gases that The Heartland Institute has repudiated.

I would rather trust the overwhelming number of Climate scientists -- as well as the overwhelming number of non-Climate scientists -- who say that Greenhouse Gases are the root cause for Global Warming more than I will trust the pitiful small number scientists that The Heartland Institute uses to deny Greenhouse Gases as the root cause for Global Warming.  With so many lives at risk and the possibility of the extinction of Humanity as a result of Global Warming, the number of scientists do matter.  By purposely ignoring this moral rationale, the only reason for The Heartland Institute to deny that man-made Greenhouse Gases are responsible for Global Warming makes suspect that The Heartland Institute is indeed receiving its funding from the toxic polluters of the environment.

You claimed that this is NOT the case.  if you are being honest and sincere about NOT loving Mammon, open the books of The Heartland Institute for inspection by the Environmental Defense Fund and the other environmental groups to ascertain if you are telling the truth.  For contributions from the Koch Brothers and other toxic polluters are being funnel to The Heartland Institute by way of "Donors Trust, the shadow operation that has laundered $146 million in climate-denial funding" [6].  All I can say to you, "Get thee behind me, Satan" (Matthew 16:23).

Via email

Philosopher says global warming is "truth"

I did a major in philosophy way back in my student days and I have had papers on mainstream philosophical topics published in the academic journals so this amused me.  Good philosophers -- and by that I mean analytical philosophers -- are great critics.  They tear every statement apart in an effort to get clarity about a field of discourse.  They would laugh at simple acceptance of authority as a criterion of truth.  Yet in his discussion of truth below this galoot does precisely that.  All his erudition crumbles before his credulity.  He thinks he can detect the truth about global warming just by checking what the authorities say.  He would have been a good Catholic in Galileo's day.  Any thought that he might check the facts of the matter is clearly alien to him.  He figuratively refuses to look through Galileo's telescope.  He is not even a philosopher's anal orifice.  Has he even heard of epistemology?

By Lee McIntyre

To see how we treat the concept of truth these days, one might think we just don’t care anymore. Politicians pronounce that global warming is a hoax. An alarming number of middle-class parents have stopped giving their children routine vaccinations, on the basis of discredited research. Meanwhile many commentators in the media — and even some in our universities — have all but abandoned their responsibility to set the record straight. (It doesn’t help when scientists occasionally have to retract their own work.)

Humans have always held some wrongheaded beliefs that were later subject to correction by reason and evidence. But we have reached a watershed moment, when the enterprise of basing our beliefs on fact rather than intuition is truly in peril.

It’s not just garden-variety ignorance that periodically appears in public-opinion polls that makes us cringe or laugh. A 2009 survey by the California Academy of Sciences found that only 53 percent of American adults knew how long it takes for Earth to revolve around the sun. Only 59 percent knew that the earliest humans did not live at the same time as the dinosaurs.

As egregious as that sort of thing is, it is not the kind of ignorance that should most concern us. There is simple ignorance and there is willful ignorance, which is simple ignorance coupled with the decision to remain ignorant. Normally that occurs when someone has a firm commitment to an ideology that proclaims it has all the answers — even if it counters empirical matters that have been well covered by scientific investigation. More than mere scientific illiteracy, this sort of obstinacy reflects a dangerous contempt for the methods that customarily lead to recognition of the truth. And once we are on that road, it is a short hop to disrespecting truth.

It is sad that the modern attack on truth started in the academy — in the humanities, where the stakes may have initially seemed low in holding that there are multiple ways to read a text or that one cannot understand a book without taking account of the political beliefs of its author.

That disrespect, however, has metastasized into outrageous claims about the natural sciences.  The strategy is to say, "I refuse to believe this," and then filibuster in the court of public opinion.

Anyone who has been paying attention to the fault lines of academic debate for the past 20 years already knows that the "science wars" were fought by natural scientists (and their defenders in the philosophy of science) on the one side and literary critics and cultural-studies folks on the other. The latter argued that even in the natural realm, truth is relative, and there is no such thing as objectivity. The skirmishes blew up in the well-known "Sokal affair" in 1996, in which a prominent physicist created a scientifically absurd postmodernist paper and was able to get it published in a leading cultural-studies journal. The ridicule that followed may have seemed to settle the matter once and for all.

But then a funny thing happened: While many natural scientists declared the battle won and headed back to their labs, some left-wing postmodernist criticisms of truth began to be picked up by right-wing ideologues who were looking for respectable cover for their denial of climate change, evolution, and other scientifically accepted conclusions. Alan Sokal said he had hoped to shake up academic progressives, but suddenly one found hard-right conservatives sounding like Continental intellectuals. And that caused discombobulation on the left.

"Was I wrong to participate in the invention of this field known as science studies?," Bruno Latour, one of the founders of the field that contextualizes science, famously asked. "Is it enough to say that we did not really mean what we said? Why does it burn my tongue to say that global warming is a fact whether you like it or not? Why can’t I simply say that the argument is closed for good?"

"But now the climate-change deniers and the young-Earth creationists are coming after the natural scientists," the literary critic Michael Bérubé noted, "… and they’re using some of the very arguments developed by an academic left that thought it was speaking only to people of like mind."

That is the price one pays for playing with ideas as if doing so has no consequences, imagining that they will be used only for the political purposes one intended. Instead, the entire edifice of science is now under attack. And it’s the poor and disenfranchised, to whom the left pays homage, who will probably bear the brunt of disbelief in climate change.

Of course, some folks were hard at work trying to dispute inconvenient scientific facts long before conservatives began to borrow postmodernist rhetoric. In Merchants of Doubt (Bloomsbury Press, 2010), two historians, Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, have shown how the strategy of denying climate change and evolution can be traced all the way back to big tobacco companies, who recognized early on that even the most well-documented scientific claims (for instance, that smoking causes cancer) could be eroded by skillful government lobbying, bullying the news media, and pursuing a public-relations campaign. Sadly, that strategy has largely worked, and we today find it employed by the Discovery Institute, the Seattle organization advocating that "intelligent-design theory" be taught in the public schools as balance for the "holes" in evolutionary theory, and the Heartland Institute, which bills itself as "the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change."

What do such academically suspect centers have to offer by way of peer-reviewed, scientifically reputable evidence? Almost nothing. But that is not the point. The strategy of willful ignorance is not to fight theory with theory and statistic with statistic. It is instead to say, "I refuse to believe this," and then filibuster in the court of public opinion. It is not crackpot theories that are doing us in. It is the spread of the tactics of those who disrespect truth.


Retired NASA Scientists Warn Pope Against Global Warming Alarmism

A group of retired NASA scientists and engineers has written a letter to Pope Francis urging him to be skeptical of global warming claims coming from Vatican advisers.

“This letter is respectfully submitted on behalf of an independent, all-volunteer team of more than 20 retired NASA Apollo Program veterans, who joined together in February 2012 to perform an objective, un-funded, independent study of scientific claims regarding significant global warming caused by human activity, known as anthropogenic global warming (AGW),” wrote Dr. Harold Doiron, a retired NASA scientist who now chairs the The Right Climate Stuff Research Team.

“We feel compelled to write you because we are deeply troubled by the statements generated by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS) advocating that man-made CO2 is likely to cause a climate disaster that must be immediately mitigated by adopting United Nations’ proposals to enact world-wide CO2 emissions controls,” Doiron wrote.

Pope Francis is set to release an encyclical in this month focusing on global warming. It’s expected that Francis will support the United Nations goal of phasing out fossil fuels to limit warming in the coming decades.

Francis’s own Pontifical Academy of Sciences and others who attended a Vatican climate conference in April wrote that “[f]ossil fuel exploitation has also taken a huge toll on human well being.”

But Doiron and others say such claims rely on highly uncertain climate models and ignore the huge benefits carbon dioxide beings to life on Earth.

“Such statements ignore a large body of empirical evidence that calls this recommendation into serious question,” Doiron wrote, pointing to a study his group published last year.

“Available data indicate we have time to improve the scientific understanding of the AGW issue before making critical decisions regarding CO2 emissions, with potentially severe adverse consequences,” Doiron wrote. “This is especially true for the poor in developing nations who need unfettered access to relatively inexpensive fossil fuel energy sources to improve their quality of life, while benefitting from higher atmospheric CO2 levels that provide for immediate needs of increased food production.”

Global warming skeptics have already tried to convince the pope there’s no need to believe alarmists. American conservative groups and UK skeptics went to the Vatican earlier this year to warn against blindly following the United Nations.

Skeptics claimed a small victory when it was announced Francis was delaying his encyclical over concerns the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “would have demolished it” in their review. The Vatican, however, denied such speculation.

Doiron and his fellow NASA retirees hope their 11th-hour letter will help convince Francis to not back the U.N.’s climate agenda.

“There is no compelling scientific or humanitarian reason for immediate enactment of world-wide CO2 emission controls, as the UN is urging you to recommend in your soon to be released encyclical on the environment,” Doiron wrote.

“This is especially true when we know that CO2 is a very special colorless, odorless and non-polluting gas designed by our Creator to be an essential chemical compound for sustaining all plant, animal and human life,” he added.

“So far, fossil fuels have been an extremely important gift from God,” Doiron wrote. “Do we really understand God’s preference regarding CO2 emissions? To do so will require a much better understanding of the climate vs. food production issues resulting from further scientific research and prayer for wisdom and discernment on this issue.”


NOAA Lies to Justify UN Climate Treaty

Political hackery. That’s the only proper explanation for the sheer deceit being perpetrated by NOAA today, the magnitude of which is becoming exceptionally clearer as we get closer to the UN climate conference in Paris later this year. Upon further review, NOAA — in direct contrast to the IPCC — now claims the global warming hiatus that began in the late 1990s never actually happened. In a new study, a team of researchers conclude, “[A]n updated global surface temperature analysis … reveals that global trends are higher than reported by the IPCC, especially in recent decades, and … the central estimate for the rate of warming during the first 15 years of the 21st century is at least as great as the last half of the 20th century. These results do not support the notion of a ‘slowdown’ in the increase of global surface temperature.” What are the chances the suddenly-non-existent pause being announced just months before the UN tries to reach a universal climate deal is nothing more than convenient timing? About a snowball’s chance in hell.

According to The Daily Caller’s Michael Bastasch, “New climate data by NOAA scientists doubles the warming trend since the late 1990s by adjusting pre-hiatus temperatures downward and inflating temperatures in more recent years.” He adds, “To increase the rate in warming, NOAA scientists put more weight on certain ocean buoy arrays, adjusted ship-based temperature readings upward, and slightly raised land-based temperatures as well.” It’s also worth noting that satellite measurements contradict NOAA’s claim and actually put the global warming hiatus now at 18 years six months. This marks the second “bombshell” announcement, as The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang dubbed it, the agency has made over the last six months — the first being that 2014 was reportedly the globe’s warmest yet, which is also untrue. And it’s all to support the UN agenda in Paris.


The Climate Warming Pause Goes AWOL (Or Not)

Fred Singer points out below, inter alia, that even if we accept the Karl et al. claims, their findings still discredit the models

The renowned National Climate Data Center (NCDC), a division of NOAA located in Asheville, NC, claims that the widely reported (and accepted) temperature hiatus (i.e., near-zero trend) is an illusion—just an artifact of data analysis—and that the global climate never really stopped warming. If true, what a blessing that would be for the UN-IPCC—and for climate alarmists generally, who have been under siege to explain the cause of the pause.

This paper is turning out to be a “big deal.” The publisher of Science has even issued a special press release, promoting the NCDC claim of continued slow but steady warming.

Of course, NCDC-NOAA and Science may end up with egg on their collective faces. It does look a little suspicious that NCDC arrived at this earth-shaking “discovery” after all these years, after “massaging” its own weather-station data, just before the big policy conference in December in Paris that is supposed to slow the rise of CO2 from the burning of energy fuels, coal, oil, and gas.

Now watch the sparks fly—as there are two major constituencies that have a vested interest in the pause:

There are at least two rival data centers that may dispute the NCDC analysis: the Hadley Centre in England and the NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).In fact, Hadley’s partner, the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, was the first to announce, on the BBC, the existence of a pause in global warming.

Then there are also dozens of scientists who have published research papers, purporting to provide an explanation for the reported pause.Yours truly turns out to be amongst these.They will all be mightily disappointed if their intellectual efforts turn out to be for naught.

But hold on. NCDC may turn out to be quite wrong. Not surprisingly, they used the surface temperature record, with its well-known problems. Not only that, but a look at the detailed NCDC evidence shows that much depends on polar temperatures—which are mostly guessed at, for lack of good observations. If one uses the (truly global) satellite data, analyzed either by UAH or by RSS, the pause is still there, starting around 2003 [see Figure; it shows a sudden step increase around 2001, not caused by GH gases].

Not only that, but the same satellite data show no warming trend from 1979 to 2000—ignoring, of course, the exceptional super-El-Nino year of 1998.This finding is confirmed by other, independent instrumental data—and also by (non-instrumental) proxy records (from tree rings, ice cores, lake sediments). This leads to important far-reaching consequences that are more fully discussed and referenced in the reports of NIPCC (Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change) [search, esp. the CCR-II report of 2013].

UN-IPCC claims for AGW undermined

IPCC-4 [2007] and IPCC-5 [2013] both present claims for anthropogenic global warming (AGW) that are based mainly on reported surface warming from 1979 to 2000. In the absence of such a warming trend, the IPCC claims become invalid; there would be no human-caused greenhouse warming in the 20th century—and certainly not earlier.

It is worthwhile, therefore, to re-examine carefully the absence of warming in the last two decades of the 20th century.

The satellite results of near-zero warming trend are fully backed by radiosonde data from balloon flights—notwithstanding spurious claims by Santer et al [in Int’l J of Climatology 2008; see full discussion by Singer in Energy&Envir 2013].The absence of a tropical “Hotspot” (a once-controversial upper-troposphere warming trend) “makes the cheese more binding.”

Sea-surface temperatures (SST) show only a slight warming—as do night-time marine air temperatures (NMAT), assembled by the Hadley group. Data on ocean heat content before 2000 are spotty and not very useful. In any case, the interpretation of vertical temperature profiles would require factoring in ocean circulation at different levels.

Proxy data of various types, assembled by Fredrik Ljungqvist in Sweden, and independently by NOAA scientist David Anderson, generally show no warming; Michael Mann never released his post-1979 proxy data, and has even denied their existence (in a personal 1990 email); one suspects that the reason is they show no warming.

A quick word about the observed (and genuine) warming interval 1910-40. It can be seen not only in surface thermometers at weather stations, temperature records from ships, but in all published proxy records. Alas, I could not find any atmospheric temperature data for that period. It is generally agreed, however—including by IPCC—that this warming is of natural origin and not from GH gases.

Thus there is no evidence whatsoever of any warming from human-released CO2 during the whole of the 20th century or earlier.

The bottom line

One can certainly argue about whether the NCDC results are correct—and I expect many months of back-and-forth. So, has global warming really stopped? We will know for sure in just a few years.

There will certainly be debate also about my proposition of no evidence at all for AGW. We will need a persuasive answer to the puzzle—why do land thermometers show a warming before 2000, but not after 2000? I may have an answer, but must first try to convince my colleagues.

One thing is quite certain, however: Current IPCC climate models cannot explain what the observations clearly show. This makes the models unsuitable for climate prediction — and for policy purposes generally.


EPA says no evidence that fracking has 'widespread' impact on drinking water

Even the EPA can respect the facts sometimes

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a Thursday report that it found no evidence fracking has a "widespread" impact on drinking water.

The EPA report—a draft assessment of its findings—concluded that there are above and below ground mechanisms by which fracking have the potential to impact drinking water resources, but that the number of identified cases were "small" compared to the number of fracking wells.

"We did not find evidence that these mechanisms [of potentially affecting water] have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States," the report said.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process that involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into a well to extract oil or gas. Environmentalists say fracking poses health risks, often citing the affects on drinking water reserves.

In its report, the EPA notes that its findings could have been limited because of an insufficient amount of data and the presence of other possible contaminates that made it impossible to conclude fracking's effects on certain areas.

"The study was undertaken over several years and we worked very closely with industry throughout the process," Tom Burke, EPA's science advisor and deputy assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Research and Development, said on a conference call hosted by the agency.

He added that the limitations in data were not a function of companies' cooperation, but were—in many instances—a question of scientific capabilities.

Still, members of the energy industry were already celebrating the report.  "With this new report, it couldn't be clearer that shale development is occurring in conjunction with environmental protection and the claims by anti-fracking activists have been thoroughly debunked," a post from the Independent Petroleum Association of America's outreach campaign said.

In fact, the assessment includes several examples of fracking activities contaminating drinking waters, Burke said, adding that the report is not meant to issue a final conclusion on the process's safety.

"This is a study of how we can best protect our water resources. It's not a question of safe or unsafe," he said.

The EPA report was the result of Congress urging the group to conduct an assessment, and includes meta-analysis of prior studies and original agency research, Burke explained.

He emphasized that the draft assessment is not meant to directly inform policy, but is simply an advance in scientific understanding that can serve as a "foundation for future decisions."

Other than in a few select areas, the report founf fracking's potential impact on drinking water quality is relatively low, but not eliminated.

"Future problems could arise if hydraulic fracturing increases substantially in areas with low water availability, or in times of water shortages," the report said.

In March, the federal government unveiled its first set of fracking safety mandates. Affecting only federal and Indian lands, the Bureau of Land Management rule includes provisions for ensuring groundwater protection though well integrity standards, increased transparency by requiring companies to publicly disclose chemicals they use, higher storage standards, and requiring companies submit more detailed information on preexisting wells.
Read MoreFracking or water? One report says that may be the choice
The BLM estimated that those new policies will cost about $11,400 per well. Industry representatives, however, told CNBC they see compliance as potentially much more expensive.

The industry has decried the regulatory changes as redundant and based on unsubstantiated concerns. Two groups, the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Western Energy Alliance, filed a lawsuit against the rule in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming.

The study is set to be finalized after it is reviewed by the Science Advisory Board and submitted for public review and comment, the agency said in a press release.



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.  

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