Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Galileo and the Medicis brought Revolution and Truth

Those who cherish freedom must recognize the work of today’s solar science revolutionaries

Jeffrey Foss, PhD

Practically everyone knows that Galileo is a heroic figure in the rise of modern science. Most people do not know, however, that the scientific revolution that Galileo launched relied on the support and protection of the Medicis. The very name of this family signifies the marriage of power and wealth that strikes fear and loathing into the hearts of those among us who – how shall I put it? – lean to the left.

But without the support of Princess Christina, wife of Ferdinand I de Medici, the truth that the Earth goes round the sun would have remained a mere theoretical novelty.

Why did Galileo turn to the Medicis? Because only they had the gold required to support his research and protect him from The Church of Rome. Why did the Medicis support Galileo? They, like many rich people before and after, supported the arts and sciences.

They also resented the stifling power of The Church, and were charmed by the gallant Galileo who dared to stand up to it. So they defended Galileo against the Inquisition, which aimed to silence him and burn his books – along with his body, perhaps, just for good measure.

Fed, funded and protected by the Medicis, Galileo launched the first great scientific revolution. With the telescope he built with his own hands, and the money of his patrons, he saw with his own eyes – for the first time of any human being – the evidence that would establish Copernicus’s revolutionary idea that the sun is at the center of our solar system, and we and our planet go around it.

The very meaning of the word ‘revolution,’ in such phrases as ‘The American Revolution,’ derives from its occurrence in the title of Copernicus’s book: On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres. Galileo was the Washington that turned Copernicus’s declaration of independence into the first revolution against establishment science and a globe altering success – given Medici cash.

Many things are said to be unsustainable these days, such as driving our cars, transporting our food from afar in ships and planes, and flying in jets merely to enjoy Thanksgiving Day with our families.

One thing that really is unsustainable, though too few realize it, is the reigning scientific orthodoxy of the 2000s. Government-funded science today serves as an Orwellian Ministry of Truth, just as Church-supported science did in Galileo’s day. Nothing could be more opposed to true science. Nothing like this would have been tolerated by America’s Founding Fathers.

The government-science orthodoxy that largely controls most people’s thoughts and actions nowadays is the idea that Earth’s climate is controlled internally by CO2 levels, and is being warmed apocalyptically by the CO2 that humans emit.

The revolutionary modern-day Copernican idea is that our climate is controlled by the sun, just like our orbit through space. Perhaps new Medicis will one day help solar scientists establish the hypothesis that Earth’s climate warms and cools following the quasi-periodic rising and falling of our Sun’s brightness.

Everyone now believes that the Earth circles the Sun, but most do not know that the original Copernican idea established by Galileo’s first scientific revolution was in turn defeated by Newton`s scientific revolution, which showed that the Earth follows an elliptical path round the sun, not a circular one.

Newton`s elliptical path model then fell in Einstein`s revolution, which more accurately models the Earth as falling into the gravitational well caused by solar gravity.

The historical lesson is this: science progresses through revolution and renewal.

The frailty of the CO2 theory is shown in Graph (A): While CO2 has been climbing smoothly from 1890 to the present day, Northern Hemisphere temperatures have repeatedly gone up and down without any linkage to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

Soon, R. Connolly and M. Connolly, 2015. Re-evaluating the role of solar variability on Northern Hemisphere temperature trends since the 19th century. Earth-Science Reviews. Vol. 150, pp. 409-452 [Based on Figure 31(a) and (c)].

The power of the solar theory is obvious in Graph (B): Global temperatures are clearly linked to changes in the brightness of the sun (total solar irradiance, TSI).

Though the solar theory has been marginalized by government-funded climate scientists, it should be supported for the good of science itself, which we know is an inherently revolutionary activity. New Medicis need to fund and protect the new Galileos of our age.

We the People need to start questioning government-science with the same principled scrutiny and skepticism we employ for all other government business. We need to once again recognize the virtues of privately funded science, notably its essential freedom from government control.

Those who cherish freedom must become cognizant of the work of the solar science revolutionaries, support it, and help disseminate it among the people. A good place to start would be the work of Dr. Willie Soon, whose sun-centered theory of climate change has made him a modern Galileo: a scientist shunned, denied funding – and demonized by government-supported earth-centered climatologists.           

Belief grounded in actual, replicable evidence must remain free if science is to survive – along with American life, liberty, prosperity and happiness. America flirts with severe decline when it consorts with the enforcement of scientific orthodoxy under the banner of “climate change.”

But flirtation need not lead to marriage. It’s not too late to call the whole thing off.

Via email

Green New Deal Would Reward Rich, Hurt Poor

The Green New Deal’s goal is to move America to zero carbon emissions in 10 years.

“That’s a goal you could only imagine possible if you have no idea how energy is produced,” James Meigs, former editor of Popular Mechanics magazine, says in my latest video.

“Renewable is so inconsistent,” he adds. “You can’t just put in wind turbines and solar panels. You have to build all this infrastructure to connect them with energy consumers.”

Because wind doesn’t always blow, and the sun doesn’t always shine, “renewable” energy requires many more transmission lines—and bigger batteries.

Unfortunately, says Meigs: “You have to mine materials for batteries. Those mines are environmentally hazardous. Disposing of batteries is hazardous.”

“Batteries are a lousy way to store energy,” adds physicist Mark Mills, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Also, the ingredients of green energy, like battery packs, are far from green.

“You have to consume 100 barrels of oil in China to make that battery pack,” he explains. “Dig up 1,000 pounds of stuff to process it. Digging is done with oil, by big machines, so we’re consuming energy to ‘save’ energy—not a good path to go.”

Still, wind turbines and solar batteries are 10 times more efficient than when they were first introduced. That’s not good enough, writes Mills, to make “the new energy economy” anything more than “magical thinking.”

“They hit physics limits. In comic books, Tony Stark has a magic power source, but physics makes it impossible to make solar 10 times better again.”

The dream of “green” causes us to misdirect resources. Even after billions of dollars in government subsidies, solar still makes up less than 1% of America’s energy, wind just 2%. And even that energy isn’t really “clean.”

“We use billions of tons of hydrocarbons to make the windmills that are already in the world, and we’ve only just begun to make them at the level people claim they would like them to be built,” says Mills. “Pursue a path of wind, solar, and batteries, we increase how much we dig up and move by a thousandfold.”

“You gotta clear-cut the forest. These machines kill a lot of birds,” says Meigs. “I agree that we should bring down our carbon emissions … but we should also make sure we’re spending money on stuff that really works.”

There is one energy source, though, that efficiently produces lots of power with no carbon emissions; namely, nuclear.

But people fear it. They point to the Chernobyl plant accident in Ukraine and Fukushima in Japan. “The Chernobyl plant design was idiotically bad,” says Meigs. They don’t make nuclear plants like that anymore.

What about Fukushima? “Fukushima helps prove how safe nuclear power really is. No one was killed.”

I pointed out that people were killed during the evacuation. “Fear of radiation killed people,” responded Meigs. They evacuated older people who didn’t need to go.

People fear what they don’t understand and what they can’t see.

“A dam breaks, and hundreds of thousands of people die. Nuclear plants, their safety, ironically, is actually evident in their accidents,” says Mills.

“More people have fallen off of roofs installing solar panels than have been killed in the entire history of nuclear power in the U.S.,” adds Meigs.

Yet after Fukushima, Germany shut down its nuclear plants. That led to higher electricity prices and increased carbon emissions, because Germany burned coal to make up for the loss of nuclear power.

Likewise, “in Bernie Sanders’ home state of Vermont, they shut down their nuclear plant. Guess what happened? Carbon emissions went up,” recounts Meigs. “This supposedly green state, ultraliberal Vermont, went backwards.”

If a Green New Deal is ever implemented, says Mills, it would rob the poor by raising energy costs, while “giving money to wealthy people in the form of subsidies to buy $100,000 cars, to put expensive solar arrays on their roofs, or to be investors in wind farms.”

“It’s upside-down Robin Hood,” he adds. “That’s a bad deal.”

Yet a majority of Americans—including Republicans surveyed—say they support some version of it.


White House rethinks plans for offshore oil expansion

The Trump administration’s proposal to vastly expand offshore oil and gas drilling has been sidelined indefinitely as the US Interior Department grapples with a recent court decision that blocks Arctic drilling, according to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

The ruling by a federal judge in Alaska last month may force Interior Department officials to wait until the case goes through potentially lengthy appeals beforethey can make a final decision on what offshore areas to open up for the oil and gas industry, Mr Bernhardt said.

“By the time the court rules, that may be discombobulating to our plan,” Mr. Bernhardt told The Wall Street Journal in his first interview since his confirmation as interior secretary April 11.

Mr Bernhardt didn’t speculate on the length of the delay, but highlighted the court case in Alaska and said the appeals process is “going to take a while.” “What I can definitely say is, I’m not at a point now where it’s an imminent thing,” he added.

In the ruling last month, a federal judge said that an Obama-era ban on drilling in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska must remain in place unless Congress passes legislation to end it.

Environmental groups cheered news of further delay Thursday and urged for the proposal to be eliminated completely. Oceana ,an environmental group focused on the world’s oceans and an opponent of expanded coastal drilling, noted the bipartisan opposition to offshore drilling from all 17 governors of coastal states in the continental US that could see new drilling under the plan.

“Anything short of all new areas being protected would be a major problem for the communities and coastal economies who havethe most to lose from dirty and dangerous offshore drilling,” said Diane Hoskins, the group’s climate and energy campaign director Commercial interest in offshore drilling has waned in recent years during the shale-drilling boom. New techniques for tapping deep oil deposits in the middle of the country have led to record US production, drawing investment away fromthe more-complex drilling offshore and in Alaska.

That hasn’t stopped industry trade groups in Washington from supporting the plan in hopes of increasing their options.

Dan Naatz, senior vice president of government relations and political affairs at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said a court decision shouldn’t bring the government’s work to a halt. “We’re hopeful that the Interior Department will remain committed to the regulatory process,” he said.

The industry’s hopes had coalesced around a more limited expansion in Alaska, the eastern Gulf of Mexico near Florida and parts of the Atlantic.

Offshore Florida, in particular, had wide interest from oil companies big and small because of how familiar they are with Gulf of Mexico operations, and its proximity to pipelines and refineries. But parts of the Alaska and the Atlantic largely would be expensive frontiers, limited perhaps to about a dozen major companies such as BP, Chevron and Exxon Mobil, said Dan Pickering, chief investment officer of TPH Investment Management in Houston.

“The opportunity to evaluate those areas, everyone believes they’re important,” said Mr Pickering, whose firm manages about $1.5 billion in assets. “But the number of companies that would be actively involved in exploiting those areas has shrunka lot in the last decade.” President Trump had directed the Interior Department to consider expanding offshore oil drilling,part of his signature energy policy of expanding U.S. production. The agency responded a year ago with a proposal to openoffshore drilling around nearly the entire country.

The plan would have offered the largest number of oil and gas leases in U.S. history starting late this year, opening up 90 per centof offshore areas for drilling as part of a five-year proposal.

The Interior Department said at the time its proposal could shrink, but it still drew swift opposition from governors of coastalstates, including some Republicans, who worried about the risk of oil spills from drilling accidents in tourism-dependenteconomies.

Then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke started backtracking in less than a week, promising that Florida’s coast would be off limits to drilling.

Mr Bernhardt’s comments are the latest sign that the administration is scaling back its offshore plan, which many had expectedwould move to its final stages several months ago. During his Senate confirmation hearing, Mr Bernhardt repeated that theproposal could be winnowed down, and he said the planning process was still at “step one, not step seven.” Friction with coastalstates remains an issue, Mr Bernhardt said in the interview. Federal law requires his department to consider input from localelected leaders in the five-year plans it sets to manage the waters of the outer continental shelf, which typically startclose enough to the coast for rigs to be visible from shore and reach more than 200 miles out to sea. Mr Bernhardt said heis still in the process of finding common ground with coastal governors.

“Certainly that is a very important component and I made that assurance to a lot of senators,” he said.

Many supporters and critics have been skeptical the administration could do the work within two years. Every delay raisesthe chance the administration won’t finish its overhaul and be able to defend court challenges against it in time to ensureit takes effect if Mr Trump doesn’t win a second term.

Alaska is the one state where leaders have been clamoring for new drilling, making an expansion there seem most plausible.

Instead, US District Judge Sharon Gleason put 125 million acres of the US Arctic Ocean and 3.8 million acres of the Atlantic Ocean back off limits indefinitely under a ban Mr. Obama had set just weeks before leaving office. Mr Trump had tried to overturn the ban with an executive order, but Ms Gleason said nothing in the law gives a new president power to undo a ban set by a predecessor.

It was the latest setback for an administration that has repeatedly lost efforts to defend its deregulatory actions in court.It has lost roughly 95 per cent of its deregulatory cases, according to data compiled by the Institute for Policy Integrity at NewYork University School of Law. That is three times the rate of most executive-branch agencies in prior administrations forsimilar actions in the courts, according to an analysis from the Brookings Institution.


House Democrats’ Climate Bill a Trojan Horse for Green New Deal

The so-called “Green New Deal” resolution failed to get any real traction on Capitol Hill, and it’s easy to see why. The original supporting document for the “Green New Deal,” which floated the idea of banning air travel and flatulent cows, was widely mocked. The policy ideas in the resolution itself would mean a massive centralization of government and takeover of resources that would make even the most ravenous Leninist blush.

The so-called “Green New Deal” resolution may not be taken seriously on Capitol Hill or anywhere else in America, but House Democrats are still trying to push climate alarmism. In late March, a day after the Senate rejected the Green New Deal resolution, House Democrats unveiled the Climate Action Now Act, H.R. 9, which would prevent the United States from leaving the Paris Agreement.

In December 2015, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reached a nonbinding agreement in Paris to reduce carbon emissions. Each country set a target reduction of carbon emissions below its 2005 level to keep the global temperature from rising above 2 degrees Celsius. The Obama administration sought to reduce the United States’ carbon emissions by between 26 percent and 28 percent below its 2005 level by 2025. President Barack Obama also committed $3 billion for the Green Climate Fund, which was established with the Paris Agreement. Only $1 billion has been paid out.

In June 2017, President Donald Trump announced his intent to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. Despite some in the White House urging him to keep the United States in the agreement, President Trump delivered on an important campaign promise.

“The Paris Climate Accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers...and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production,” President Trump said in the White House Rose Garden. “Thus, as of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.”

The economic burdens of the Paris Agreement would have been substantial. According to a study by NERA Economic Consulting, the Paris Agreement could have reduced gross domestic product (GDP) by $250 billion in 2025 and nearly $3 trillion in 2040. The number of jobs could decline by 2.7 million in 2025 and by 31.6 million in 2040.

Separately, the Heritage Foundation estimated that household incomes will decline by more than $20,000 by 2035 and that household expenditures on electricity will rise between 13 percent and 20 percent. The impact on the climate, the Heritage Foundation’s analysis determined, would have been marginal.

The Climate Action Now Act may not be as blunt as the “Green New Deal,” but it’s still a radical notion because of the lost productivity and fewer jobs that would come as a result of meeting such an extreme reduction in carbon emissions for little to no real environmental benefit. The bill would require President Trump and his administration to develop a plan to meet the target reductions in carbon emissions and prohibit the use of funds from being used by the Trump administration to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

With many countries that signed onto the Paris Agreement failing to meet their target reductions in carbon emissions, what House Democrats are trying to accomplish with the Climate Action Now Act is clear. It is a way for them to claim they’re doing something about climate change while avoiding the accountability that comes with cooking up the crazy schemes necessary to meet unrealistic targets, such as those outlined in the Green New Deal.


Yes, Miss Greta Thunberg, back when I was 16 I knew everything too...

Peter Hitchens

When I was 16, I knew everything, as so many teenagers do. Luckily for me, and for the planet, quite a few adults did not immediately fall into a swoon and ask me to take over the world.

The last thing I needed (and, luckily, the last thing I got) was indulgence and praise. The Pope obdurately refused to invite me for tea. The World Economic Forum somehow failed to take an interest in my schemes for world reform.

And after a few decades of similar brush-offs, it began to dawn on me that, perhaps, in a few small ways, I didn’t know everything.

Which, as you may have guessed, brings me to Miss Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl before whom our political and media classes were prostrating themselves last week.

Gosh, this has been embarrassing to watch. I have a sneaking admiration for Miss Thunberg’s brass neck, even if I think her plans for self-imposed poverty, cold and darkness are unattractive. But for her worshippers I have nothing but scorn.

Michael Gove, a normally intelligent Cabinet Minister, was reduced to helpless gibbering self-abasement before Miss Thunberg.

Nick Robinson, the increasingly grandiose presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, conducted an interview with her which sounded as if he was kneeling down.

And yet amid the ‘Please tell us why are you so wonderful, exactly?’ questions, Mr Robinson slipped in a query which might have been quite productive if he had pursued it. He didn’t.

Hadn’t she perhaps come to the wrong country, he wondered. Well, quite. Britain already has one of the maddest energy policies on earth, taxing the poor to subsidise windmills and solar farms that don’t work most of the time, blowing up viable coal-fired power stations so they can never again be used even if we run short of volts and watts, relying on French nuclear power, gas and even diesel to fill the gap, and hoping somehow to avoid electricity cuts.

And while we do this, the Chinese despotism is frantically building far more coal-fired power stations than we ever had, and pouring carbon into the atmosphere at such a rate that it cancels out our small but expensive and painful sacrifice many times over. It makes no sense, whatever you believe.

And what was the response of Miss Thunberg to this rather telling point? It was worthy of the slipperiest spin doctor ever to graduate from the school of Alastair Campbell. ‘If I got an invitation to speak with Chinese leaders of course I would go there, if I had a lot of time to go there by train, but actually no country is doing nearly enough.’

Twaddle. With her current status, she could demand such a meeting and get it. Why worry about the distance? She can catch up on her studies in the peace of a railway carriage. From here to Peking by train isn’t that far, and the idea that long-distance train travel is an ordeal is rubbish. It’s far pleasanter than air travel.

Then she changed the subject to a frankly irrelevant dispute about how much Britain had cut emissions, and added, lamely: ‘If we want to change countries like China the thing to do is to stop buying unnecessary things manufactured there.’

More piffle. She is quite bright enough to know that China’s tyrants would listen politely to her, have their pictures taken with her, and then ignore her completely, as they have ignored everyone else on this subject.

Well, unlike all these crawlers, I think we owe Miss Thunberg some respect. She has embraced and taken full advantage of her fame, and why not? I don’t doubt the sincerity of her view. I just don’t think sincerity is a virtue, or that it excuses her from challenge. We should treat her as what she says she is, a major figure on the world stage.

But she has little that is of any use to say, whether you believe that human action is causing climate change or can moderate it, or not.

Abject worship of such people is always wrong. Intelligent disagreement would be far better.



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