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How Gov. Jerry Brown got Republicans to sign climate change accord

BrownCalifornia’s Governor Jerry Brown was gloating yesterday that he has figured out how to get Republicans to acquiesce to climate change agreements: don’t use the words climate change. By dropping those two words (or global warming) from this new ‘energy pact’, he got three Republican governors to sign on the dotted line. Brown, who boasted about this bit of trickery, said, “The whole genius of this accord is that we’re bringing together parties, governors of different philosophies” to address climate change by not mentioning climate change.

The new accord would “increase renewable power, integrate electricity grids across state lines and boost the number of cars running on alternatives fuels.” It will also increase customers’ electric bills, as renewable energy simply can’t compete with natural gas, cheap and abundant coal, or nuclear energy. Not without taxpayer-funded subsidies. Brown also made a promise at the Paris Climate Talks in Dec. 2015 to have an all-electric vehicle system in California by 2050.

While the accord touts it will “boost state economies, cut pollution and improve public health,” nowhere does it mention ‘climate change’ even though that is Brown’s raison d’√™tre. And according to Brown, that’s the beauty of this agreement. By leaving out those two words, the plan sidesteps “the polarization that has blocked congressional action on climate change.” Brown is referring to the much more controversial Clean Power Plan.

Republican governors generally do a cost/benefit analysis of any plan that impacts taxpayers, and it is their primary complaint regarding the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The new CPP regulations, put together by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), would dramatically overhaul the U.S. energy sector by favoring renewables like solar and wind over nuclear and fossil fuels.

The EPA and Obama did such an extensive job of rewriting the laws of the U.S. energy sector that it even got the Supreme Court’s attention. The Supremes, in an unprecedented move, put the Clean Power Plan on hold pending the outcome of various lawsuits wending their way up the courts. Even the EPA’s chief administrator Gina McCarthy admitted in congressional testimony it would do nothing to avert global warming.

Brown, meanwhile, wants to get important stuff done without getting bogged down in larger controversies like ‘destroying jobs, increasing taxes, and raising energy prices.’ Brown also said that $4.3 billion in taxpayer dollars has already been invested in “renewable power projects within his state since 2009.”

Brown also noted they export one-third of renewable energy and they have more projects in the pipeline. Gov. Sandoval (R) believes that the climate change issue will eventually crop up but that for now the “focus is on what we have on the ground.”

Gov. Charlie Baker (R) of Massachusetts also signed the accord, even as his state faces “a $320 million shortfall in the current year’s budget.” Baker also axed the job vacancy of a climatologist that was never filled under the previous administration.

Of the governors who signed the new accord, only three were Republican: Terry Branstad (Iowa), Charles Baker (Massachusetts), and Rick Snyder (Michigan). Ironically, Michigan is one of 26 states suing the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The accord says that the current challenges facing all states include extreme weather events like “floods, droughts, wildfires, and sea-level rise” that can hurt electricity’s reliability and the economy.

There’s just one problem: extreme weather events haven’t been increasing worldwide, and are actually decreasing in the United States. It’s a completely false talking point repeatedly uttered by President Obama and Gov. Jerry Brown.

Statistics show that droughts (including the naturally occurring one in California), floods, wildfires, and sea level rise aren’t increasing or accelerating. We are also in a Hurricane and tornado drought, and many of last year’s wildfires were arson related and caused by environmental mismanagement.

Scientists say that because of the naturally occurring El Ni√±o of 2015-2016, California’s drought may finally be over this year. Currently, it’s the fifth worst drought since recordkeeping began and many critics point to Gov. Brown for making it worse. A combination of aging water infrastructures, mismanagement of water resources, and agricultural favoritism has made the drought even worse.

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Mugabe First To U.N. Trough In Global Warming Shakedown

MugabeZimbabwe despot Robert Mugabe is demanding billions from rich nations to pay for hardships among his people that he caused. Zimbabwe tyrant Robert Mugabe is asking the United Nations for $1.5 billion a year to feed his people, who he says are hungry due to global warming. The looting begins.

About a year ago, we said that the global warming scare is not about stewardship of the environment. It is instead an effort to pull down capitalism and redistribute wealth from rich nations that earned it to poorer nations whose governments impoverish their own people. Mugabe fully understands the plan and is making his demands accordingly.

The Zimbabwe Herald, the state-run newspaper, reports that a fifth of the country’s population is facing hunger and insists that if global warming isn’t causing the hunger now, then it will be soon. But hunger in Zimbabwe is nothing new, though it is man-caused. It’s the work of Mugabe, though, not Westerners driving SUVs, air conditioning their large homes and running a wealth-producing capitalist economy.

Before the Marxist Mugabe ruined Zimbabwe, it was a net food exporter, considered the breadbasket of Africa. Wheat, corn and sugar cane were routinely shipped across the continent and beyond.

Mugabe has been president since 1980, but his reign of terror began in 2000, when he started plundering private farmland in his “land reform” program.

Consequently, the annual corn harvest withered from more than 1.5 million tons in 2000 to 600,000 tons in 2010. Wheat production also fell sharply, from 309,000 tons in 2000 to 27,000 tons in 2003 to roughly 18,000 tons in 2010. The 2015 harvests were hardly better for either crop.

Meanwhile, next door in Botswana, a nation with a similar climate and natural resources, food production has increased by 29% since 2004 while declining 9% during the same time in Zimbabwe.

Naturally, Zimbabwe’s economy has suffered as well. By 2009, inflation had reached 500 billion percent thanks to Mugabe’s Marxist policies, and the economy contracted 10% between 1998 and 2008. Mugabe’s regime also created a brain drain, as 3 million fled, including “tens of thousands of doctors and lawyers,” says Marian Tupy of the Cato Institute.

But Mugabe knows that the United Nations will pay no attention to the facts. It will pretend that Zimbabwe’s hardships are due to global warming and likely give him what he’s asking for from the Green Climate Fund, created last year at the Paris climate talks to “to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.”

For those who think this would be a humanitarian response, think again.

“Any money which falls into Mugabe’s hands is unlikely to be spent on food, or if it is, he will be very selective about who receives the food,” says climate blogger Eric Worrall.

“Make no mistake, if the promised U.N. climate cash starts flowing in Africa,” Mugabe and other “vicious political thugs who are well enmeshed in pan-African diplomacy … will collar the lion’s share.”

Tupy calls the Green Climate Fund a “slush fund” for the world’s dictators, and he’s exactly right because Mugabe won’t be the only one to dip into the treasure that was made just for them. One by one and in groups, they will come with their demands, and they will leave with their hands full. The productive citizens in advanced nations will be poorer, and so will the poor souls who live under the tyrants’ boots. Only the malevolent leaders and those in their elite circles will be better off.

This, of course, is perfectly in line with the U.N.’s goal to “intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history,” as Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, has put it. It is the real reason behind the global warming scare.

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Obama to sign Paris climate pact despite SCOTUS stay

paris talksThe Obama administration will officially sign onto last year’s international climate change pact, despite its top policy being put on ice by the Supreme Court.

Todd Stern, the State Department’s top climate diplomat and negotiator for last year’s Paris agreement, said Tuesday that the Supreme Court’s judicial stay last week of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan doesn’t change the administration’s plans.

“It is entirely premature, really premature to assume the Clean Power Plan will be struck down but, even if it were, come what may, we are sticking to our plan to sign, to join,” Stern told reporters in Brussels, Belgium, after he met with the European Union’s top climate official, according to Reuters.

“We’re going to go ahead and sign the agreement this year,” he said.

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 last week to put the climate change rule for power plants on hold while 26 states and various energy interests litigate against it in the federal court system.

It was the first time the high court has issued a judicial stay when a lower court refused, and the first judicial stay when the merits of the case haven’t not been heard by another court.

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10 Ways Al Gore Was Wrong About Global Warming

gore“The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Wake up before it’s too late!”

Soon Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth will celebrate its 10th anniversary. The film revealed the “grave” threat of global warming. On Jan. 26, 2006, The Washington Post stated Al “believes humanity may have only 10 years left to save the planet from turning into a total frying pan.”

My Tennessee neighbor won an Oscar and Nobel Prize for sounding the alarm in book and film as a Climate Control Caped Crusader.

Gore crisscrossed countries waving his arms, passionately declaring, “We can’t wait. … We have a planetary emergency. … The future of human civilization is at stake! … Global warming is the greatest challenge we’ve ever faced!” This is no exaggeration.

In an article highlighting his tireless service for humanity, The Washington Post labeled him “the world’s most renowned crusader on climate change.” Wow! And remember he almost became President of the United States were it not for a few “hanging chads” that didn’t go to his column.

President Obama subsequently picked up the “crisis” telling world leaders that “climate change (not Islamic terrorism or skyrocketing, unsustainable debt) is the No. 1 issue facing us today.” At the recent Global Paris Summit he pushed this agenda with urgency. The cost of his United Nations Global Warming Treaty came in at $12.1 trillion or $484 billion dollars yearly according to Bloomberg.

Gore’s efforts made him an environmental hero but took a tragic toll on his marriage. His marriage of 40 years to Tipper ended in a shocking divorce.

Today, 68-year-old Gore alternates residence in two gorgeous, spacious homes in Nashville and California. 

Leaving his V.P. office with assets of $2 million, Gore now has wealth estimated at over $100 million. Al’s movie cost $1 million and brought in $50 million. He hauls in at least $100,000 in speaking fees, is tied to at least 14 green-tech firms, sits strategically on certain boards, plus benefits from Obama grants and millions in tax breaks. He’s on his way to becoming what one congressional leader called “our first carbon billionaire.”

Here’s the Deal

Masses of people are misinformed or misled on issues such as physician-assisted suicide, marijuana legalization, unrestricted abortion, wholesale immigration, socialism, a “war on women,” “free” entitlements and “pandemic” Wall Street fraud. Similarly, people are manipulated and deceived regarding dire climate change/global warming reports.

This hysteria and apocalyptic fear mongering reminds many of the 1970 Earth Day predictions that fizzled like a firecracker:

  • End of civilization in 15-30 years

  • 100-200 million deaths to starvation yearly for 10 years

  • A new ice age by 2000

The good news is that many people are wising up! Because of longstanding behavior that is suspect to say the least, multitudes view as con artists multimillionaires like Gore, Michael Moore, the Clintons and others who prey on the gullible and get rich off causes, advance their fame and live lavish lifestyles off the backs of the unsuspecting.

Hillary told us they were almost broke leaving the White House and this week she’s on TIME magazine’s cover saying, “I know what it’s like to be knocked down,” all the while she and her husband have amassed over $120 million in speaking fees alone.

A January YouGov poll of 17 countries found that 91 percent of Americans are not concerned about global warming. Their No. 1 concern: global terrorism. A recent Fox News poll revealed that today only 3 percent are concerned about global warming!

Patrick Moore, the legendary, past president of Greenpeace says, “There is no definitive scientific proof through real-world observation that carbon dioxide is responsible for any of the slight warming of global climate which has occurred during the past 300 years.” He rejects the “science is settled” and “the debate is over.”

Recently even the Supreme Court weighed in with an extraordinary rebuke to President Obama’s attempt to control carbon emissions.

This is not to say that we should be unconcerned or uninvolved regarding legitimate environmental concerns. Christians are compelled to be good stewards of God’s resources and the earth. We should all make a quality decision to reasonably conserve energy. (It’s why we keep our thermostat low in winter/high in summer; turn off the faucet while brushing teeth and so on.) As Christians, we seek to obey His directive to care for and develop the earth’s resources while using them wisely and unselfishly (Gen.1:28; Ps. 8:4-8), especially to help the poor and underprivileged.

We do not need to succumb to fear by doomsayers and scientists contradicting God’s promise to maintain stability in seasons and oceans (Gen. 8:22; Gen. 9:11; Jer. 5:22).

People grieve God when they fail to acknowledge His ultimate control of changing, cyclical weather patterns. In Jeremiah 5:23-25, God issues a strong rebuke for people not acknowledging His ultimate control over the weather.

Gore’s Predictions Fall Flat

Ten years after Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” guilt/fear producing predictions, let’s close by examining just how accurate his “science” proved to be on his way to the bank.

1. Rising Sea Levels—inaccurate and misleading. Al was even discovered purchasing a beachfront mansion!

2. Increased Tornadoes—declining for decades.

3. New Ice Age in Europe—they’ve been spared; it never happened.

4. South Sahara Drying Up—completely untrue.

5. Massive Flooding in China and India—again, didn’t happen.

6. Melting Arctic—false—2015 represents the largest refreezing in years.

7. Polar Bear Extinction—actually they are increasing!

8. Temperature Increases Due to CO2—no significant rising for over 18 years

9. Katrina a Foreshadow of the Future—false—past 10 years, no F3 hurricanes; “longest drought ever!”

10. The Earth Would be in a “True Planetary Emergency” Within a Decade Unless Drastic Action Taken to Reduce Greenhouse Gasses—never happened.

A while back, the Washington Post stated in an expose that, “Al Gore has thrived as a green-tech investor.” Coincidental?

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Enhanced levels of carbon dioxide are likely cause of global dryland greening, study says

greening(h/t Raining Sky) Enhanced levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are a likely key driver of global dryland greening, according to a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The positive trend in vegetation greenness has been observed through satellite images, but the reasons for it had been unclear.

After analyzing 45 studies from eight countries, Lixin Wang, assistant professor of earth sciences in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and a Ph.D. student in Wang’s group, Xuefei Lu, concluded the greening likely stems from the impact of rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide on plant water savings and consequent increases in available soil water.

“We know from satellite observations that vegetation is greener than it was in the past,” Wang said. “We now understand why that’s occurring, but we don’t necessarily know if that’s a good thing or not.”

In some regions, greening could be caused by species change, with greener invasive plants replacing indigenous ones or bushes encroaching on grasslands that are used to graze cattle, Wang said.

Defined broadly as zones where mean annual precipitation is less than two-thirds of potential evaporation, drylands are the largest terrestrial biome on the planet, home to more than 2 billion people.

Recent regional scale analyses using satellite-based vegetation indices such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index have found extensive areas of dryland greening in areas of the Mediterranean, the Sahel, the Middle East and northern China, as well as greening trends in Mongolia and South America, according to the paper.

Lu and Wang considered other potential drivers that could have caused the greening, including increased rainfall and changes in land-management practices. But only carbon dioxide provided a global explanation for changes to dryland vegetation.

To date, the global average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by nearly 27 percent between 1960 and 2015, with the expectation of a continued rise in years to come, according to the researchers.

The researchers believe the greening is a response to higher atmospheric carbon dioxide inducing decreases in plant stomatal conductance — the measure of the rate of passage of carbon dioxide entering, or water vapor exiting, through the stomata of a leaf — and increases in soil water, thus enhancing vegetation growth.

The researchers examined the sensitivity of soil water change to varying levels of carbon dioxide, finding a significant positive change in soil water along the carbon dioxide enrichment gradient.

“The stability of the rate of change justifies using higher carbon dioxide enrichment levels to interpret soil water responses to currently observed carbon dioxide enrichment,” Wang said.

The analysis also showed that elevated carbon dioxide significantly enhanced soil water levels in drylands more so than it did in non-drylands, with soil water content increasing by 9 percent in non-drylands compared to 17 percent in drylands, Wang said. Determining the mechanisms of stronger soil water responses in drylands will require further investigation.

Studies including Wang’s earlier work in Africa have shown that even small changes in soil moisture in drylands could be significant enough to cause large changes in vegetation productivity.

“Importantly, the observed response lends weight to the hypothesis that any additional soil water in the root zone is then available to facilitate vegetation growth and greening under enhanced carbon dioxide,” Wang said. “Future studies using global-scale process-based models to quantitatively assess the carbon dioxide impact on soil moisture is needed to further validate the hypothesis.”

Going forward, Wang said, the positive effect of carbon dioxide-induced water savings may eventually be offset by the negative effect of carbon dioxide-induced temperature increases when the temperature increase crosses a certain threshold.

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Researchers discover volcanic activity is changing Antarctica’s geology

On January 10, 2016, amid a flurry of worldwide media fanfare, a team of 44 scientists from Australia’s Antarctic Division set sail from Hobart Australia headed for the Kerguelen Plateau (figure 1) located off the coast of Antarctica on what was billed as a Global Warming / Climate Change Research Project (Antarctic Scientists head to Biological Hotspot studying climate change in Southern Ocean).

igure 1)  Map showing the location of the Kerguelen Plateau, Kerguelen Islands , and Heard Island (Supplied: AAD).Figure 1: Map showing the location of the Kerguelen Plateau, Kerguelen Islands, and Heard Island (Supplied: AAD).

This Plateau is approximately 600 miles north of Antarctica. The research premise was that man-made global warming was heating the ocean regions in the Kerguelen Plateau region and hurting seals, whales, birds, and worst of all, melting sea ice. They wrote that this series of environmental catastrophes was “destabilizing the region’s delicate ecosystem” and was the by-product of man-made ocean warming.

The Kerguelen Plateau is a giant and volcanically active sub-oceanic platform, and other coastal regions of Antarctica have recently been found to contain active sub-ocean volcanoes (see Figure 2). More importantly, geologically induced heat flow from a major fault zone is responsible for basal melting of selective West Antarctica Glaciers.

When the vessel and scientists arrived at the Kerguelen Plateau area, the volcano (Big Ben) on Heart Island, which is in the immediate area, was erupting. The scientists started lowering probes into the ocean in the Heart Island area only to discover 50 active hydrothermal vents in the first few days.

Most geologists know that the Kerguelen Plateau is a very active and large volcanic platform. What they ended up proving was that naturally occurring geological events were causing any so-called ocean warming and not global warming. Worse still, upon reaching their destination, researchers came face to face with two very powerful and currently active geological events: an eruption of the Big Ben volcano on Heard Island, and significant fluid flow of super-heated seawater from the active seafloor hydrothermal vents.

Realization that heat energy emitted from these geological events play a major role in the warming ocean waters across the Kerguelen Plateau would ultimately force researchers to amend their primary mission objectives. Unfortunately, there’s little money in studying naturally occurring events.

Figure 2: Newly discovered undersea volcanoes around the South Sandwich Islands offshore  Antarctica are seen in a 3-D sonar image (Image courtesy British Antarctic Survey).Figure 2: Newly discovered undersea volcanoes around the South Sandwich Islands offshore Antarctica are seen in a 3-D sonar image (Image courtesy British Antarctic Survey).

These factors are indicative that geological forces play a significant, if not primary, role in driving many climate and climate-related events in the greater Antarctica area such as: variations in ocean temperature and chemistry, variations in sea ice distribution, basal glacial melting, generation of a huge interconnected sub-glacial freshwater system, and as per the original research objective…alteration of the supposedly delicate Kerguelen Plateau ecosystem.

Characterizing the Kerguelen Plateau ecosystem as “delicate is also not correct. In addition to being an ancient volcanic platform, modern volcanic eruptions in this region are very common; 1881, 1910, 1950, 1953, 1954, 1986, 1992, 1993, 2001, 2007, 2012, 2014, and 2016. This is not a delicate ecosystem, rather one that has learned how to adapt to millions of years of geologically induced and intense variations in ocean temperatures, currents, and chemistry.

Geologist Charles Darwin understood quite well how non-delicate ecosystems in oceanic volcano plateaus adapted. He dedicated his life to understanding how an ecosystem on one of Earth’s other giant oceanic volcanic platforms, the Galapagos Islands, functioned. Darwin even wrote a book on the ability of land plants, land animals, and ocean animals who adapt to an ever-changing and harsh environmental conditions: The Theory of Natural Selection.

While the primary objective of the Kerguelen research project is at the very least ill formulated, other more focused portions of the research project’s objectives are well thought out and worthy, specifically the possible cause and effect relationship between geological forces and plankton blooms.

Plankton blooms need minerals such as iron and phosphate to flourish. Hydro-thermal vents emit these minerals in abundance, thereby infusing the surrounding ocean waters with plankton essentials. The idea that plankton blooms, which are Earth’s major oxygen generator, may be driven in large part either directly or indirectly by geological forces was one of the original tenets (October 7, 2014) of Plate Climatology Theory. Unfortunately, this portion of the Kerguelen research does not figure prominently in the pre-research media hype.

All of this adds to the ever-growing mountain of evidence that many of the natural variations in climate and climate-related events occurring within the greater Antarctica area are driven by geological forces, and not man-made atmospheric global warming.

In a more general sense, this new information helps advance the idea that all of Earth’s supposedly delicate ecosystems are in fact very robust and quite capable of adapting to a wide range of environmental changes including those that are geologically induced.

Clearly it’s time to alter our perception of what drives our climate to change by including a little more geology into the global warming crock pot. Demonizing the trace gas carbon dioxide because interest groups have run out of environmental issues to capitalize on is probably the worst kind of science the media could have embraced.

From the Author: Media press releases concerning climate research projects are intentionally crafted by major news outlets to catch the public’s attention. On the web, it’s known as “click bait.” They are in the business of selling ads attached to news stories in order to make a profit, not to accurately inform us of all the nerdy details concerning research project objectives. Realizing this, it is certainly true that scientists working the aforementioned Kerguelen Plateau research project are dedicated, very qualified, and well-intentioned. No fault lies with these folks concerning the misleading and ill-formed condensed pre-mission research objectives.


James Edward Kamis is a working professional Geologist, AAPG member of 42 years who has a BS and MS in Geology. He has always been fascinated by the connection between Geology and Climate. Years of research / observation have convinced him that the Earth’s Heat Flow Engine, which drives the outer crustal plates, is also an important driver of the Earth’s climate.

REFERENCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerguelen_Plateau

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-10/antarctic-scientists-head-to-biological-hotspot/7079266

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2002GC000482/pdf

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/dramatic-australian-volcanic-eruption-captured-on-film-20160202-gmjtso.html

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Global Warming Fund a Slush Fund for World’s Dictators

mugabeDictator Robert MugabeWherever you stand on the subject of global warming, pay close attention to one under-reported aspect of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Paris Agreement. I am referring to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which is a financial mechanism intended “to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.” According to the current estimates, developed countries will be obliged to contribute up to $450 billion a year by 2020 to the GCF, which will then “redistribute” the money to developing countries allegedly suffering from the effects of global warming. 

Lo and behold, Zimbabwe’s government-run daily “newspaper” The Herald repored that “Southern Africa is already counting the costs of climate change-linked catastrophes… In Zimbabwe, which has seen a succession of droughts since 2012, a fifth of the population is facing hunger… feeding them will cost $1.5 billion or 11 percent of… the Gross Domestic Product.”

No doubt Robert Mugabe, the 91-year-old dictator who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, is salivating at the prospect of some global warming cash. Beginning in 2000, Mugabe started to expropriate privately-held agricultural land. The result of what what is euphemistically called “land reform,” was a monumental fall in productivity and the second highest bout of hyperinflation in recorded history.

gcf1

Some three million of Zimbabwe’s smartest people, including tens of thousands of doctors and lawyers, have left the country. Most of those who have remained behind are subsistence farmers with very little wealth. There is, in other words, very little loot left for the government to steal.

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Sanders Spending Lots Of Donor Money On ‘Carbon Offsets’ For Private Jet Travel

sandersDemocratic Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders is spending lots of money on carbon offsets to lessen the impact of fossil fuels used by his campaign to get its socialist message across the country — even though offsets don’t actually have any impact on global warming.

Sanders has remained committed to spending an unspecified, but likely large amount, on carbon offsets.  There are no records of Sanders’s campaign paying for carbon offsets in his Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings for 2015.

FEC data shows the campaign spent nearly $185,000 in 2015 on a company which charters private jets. The Sanders campaign told The Daily Caller News Foundation all the chartered flights include the cost of carbon offsets.

Carbon offsets have been heavily criticized by the scientific community. An article in the scientific journal Nature claims “[o]ffsetting is worse than doing nothing.”

“It is without scientific legitimacy, is dangerously misleading and almost certainly contributes to a net increase in the absolute rate of global emissions growth,” according to the article.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pledged to purchase carbon offsets after being caught flying in a private jet last July. The former secretary of state, however, has not made any such payments, according to The Washington Times. Ironically, Clinton paid more than $80,000 to offset her carbon dioxide emissions during her 2008 presidential campaign. Sanders has stated he is using the exact same offset company Clinton did in 2008.

Companies which sell carbon offsets claim they contacted Clinton’s campaign about the pledge, but the campaign declined to respond.

CNN analysis published in late October stated “there are no records of the Clinton campaign purchasing carbon offsets in their latest Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports released earlier this month and, when asked, multiple campaign aides did not refute CNN’s reporting that offsets have yet to be purchased.”

This isn’t Clinton’s first clash with environmentalists. Greenpeace started taunting Clinton on Twitter in early February after she declined to sign a pledge preventing her from accepting campaign contributions from the coal, oil or natural gas industries.

The Greenpeace pledge, which was sent to Clinton in late January, states: ” I will prove that I work for the people by refusing money from fossil fuel interests and by championing these solutions for a people powered democracy on the campaign trail.” Clinton did not respond to Greenpeace, even though Sanders agreed to sign the pledge.

The energy and natural resource industries have contributed $1,784,943 to Clinton or PACs that support her, according to The Center For Responsive Politics.

ExxonMobil and Cheniere Energy, a natural gas company, donated between $1 to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to Non-Profit Quarterly. Chevron donated as much as $1 million to the foundation.

“We’ve long been concerned about Hillary Clinton’s ties to the oil and gas industry,” Ben Schreiber, a program director for the environmental group Friends of the Earth, told The National Journal. “It doesn’t shock us to see that these companies have been giving to the foundation, but it certainly raises a red flag. We’re concerned about the influence that these petro­dol­lars have.”

Despite her lack of carbon offsets, challenges by environmentalists and energy industry donations, Clinton has been endorsed by environmental groups such as the League of Conservation Voters.

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Editorial: Obama’s budget fantasy

obamas printed budgetPresident Obama’s proposed record $1.4 trillion budget landed on Capitol Hill last week, so dead on arrival it’s a pity real trees had to die in its creation.

The budget proposes to increase taxes over the next decade by a whopping $2.6 trillion. And just to show how serious Obama was about this effort, that’s nearly double the $1.4 trillion he proposed and failed to get in last year’s budget. Hmmm.

So let’s say the Congress actually lost its senses and went along with the tax and spending plan for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. Obama’s own forecast shows it would run a $9.8 trillion deficit over the next decade.

“President Obama will leave office having never proposed a budget that balances — ever,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said. “This isn’t even a budget so much as it is a progressive manual for growing the federal government at the expense of hardworking Americans.

“The president’s oil tax alone would raise the average cost of gasoline by 24 cents per gallon, while hurting jobs and a major sector of our economy.”

The proposed $10 a barrel tax on crude oil — $319 billion over the next decade — would be used to fund “alternative transportation” programs aimed at halting, of course, global warming.

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DiCaprio needs chinook lesson

chinookThe old saying “with great power comes great responsibility” can be applied to the real world, as well as the Marvel Universe. Instead of Norse Gods and web-slingers, we have pop stars and celebrities enjoying hero status in our modern world.

The message is no less relevant — those with the power to incite change have a responsibility to ensure that they are making positive changes and that they are in the best interests of everyone.

There has been a lot of media attention lately surrounding celebrities speaking out about their pet causes and rallying their fan base to garner support. There is one slight problem with all of this: They often have no qualifications to speak of and as such frequently spread incomplete or incorrect information.

Celebrity personalities like Neil Young, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jenny McCarthy have used their fame to stir up support in hopes of inciting change. But again, what qualifications do these people have?

Young is an artist, DiCaprio is an actor and McCarthy is a former pin-up model. Not one has the education or experience to be delivering speeches about the oilsands, medical practices or climate change. Yet they receive the support that they seek. Their misinformation and skewed rhetoric often stifle discussion and ultimately hinder any real progress when their views clash with industry professionals and people who are experts in those fields.

DiCaprio has been particularly vocal regarding the Alberta “tarsands”; seemingly either oblivious or unconcerned with the fact the oilsands contain no tar whatsoever. It’s a misnomer that carries a negative connotation and in turn affects the opinions of the general population ‚Äì regardless if the meaning of those words is inaccurate.

Our friend Leo has also been rather outspoken about the weather patterns in Alberta. During the filming of his most recent film The Revenant he experienced first-hand Alberta’s don’t-like-the-weather-wait-five-minutes climate. During filming, a chinook came over the mountains, which he erroneously assumed was proof of climate change, even going as far as calling them “terrifying.”

One quick tidbit there, Leo — chinooks have been a part of central and southern Alberta’s climate for centuries. Originating from the Chinookan band of indigenous people hailing from the northwestern United States, chinook is a word that First Nations people came to use to mean “snow-eater.” It certainly isn’t a recent development proving a significant, man-made climate shift.

In our modern age we must base our advocacy and actions on scientific, peer-reviewed and time-tested evidence. Even on topics such as climate change and global warming where the scientific community is still gathering more evidence in order to draw conclusions, it is unwise to jump onto the celebrity bandwagon, grabbing our torch and pitchfork on the way.

Sadly, these celebrities may mean well, but their fervent ignorance is doing more harm than good.

The road to hell, as they say, is paved with good intentions. If these celebrities care enough about their cause, they will educate themselves, rally support for research before drawing conclusions and inciting the masses, and allow the experts in these fields to do what they do best. It’s called science.

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Rockefeller Heir’s Global Warming Activism Is More Self-Serving Than Noble

Getting dumpedAn heir of oil baron John D. Rockefeller donated all her shares in Exxon Mobil and will use the proceeds to fight global warming, and the non-profit she’s donating her shares to finances her academic work and attacks against Exxon.

“I thought the company was being foolish,” Neva Rockefeller Goodwin wrote in The Los Angeles Times Monday about Exxon’s insistence on selling oil and gas.

“But we now know it was worse: it was being deceitful, in a way that is almost unimaginably heartless to future generations,” Goodwin wrote about reports Exxon was funding global warming skeptics while internally conducting research on climate science.

Goodwin bases her claims on reporting “by two publications, working independently of each other —InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times” which shows “starting in the late 1970s, Exxon’s scientists were leaders both in understanding the role of carbon emissions in global warming and in projecting its effects.”

Goodwin added: “By the mid-1980s, however, the company… began to finance think tanks and researchers who cast doubt on the reliability of climate science.”

Neither Goodwin nor The LA Times note these “independent” reports of Exxon’s alleged climate deceit are funded by the same non-profit Goodwin donated her Exxon shares too and which funds her academic work.

Last year, InsideClimate News and Columbia University’s Energy and Environmental Reporting Project (which published its work in The LA Times) both got funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) — a non-profit founded by Rockefeller’s heirs which backs anti-fossil fuel activists and campaigns.

Inside Philanthropy, a foundation watchdog, noted RBF was instrumental in funding anti-Keystone XL oil pipeline campaigns and other environmental campaigns.

“RBF is not afraid of a fight, and it has been a supporter lately of efforts to block the Keystone XL pipeline,” according to Inside Philanthropy. “[I]t gave $50,000 to the League of Conservation Voters in 2013 to educate voters on the issues around Keystone and has addressed the broader threat posed by tar sands oil through a half-million-dollar grant to the Sierra Club Foundation.”

“In the past few years, RBF also has been a major funder of 350.org — a group at the forefront of the Keystone fight and other activist efforts to raise awareness about climate change,” Inside Philanthropy reports.

Not only does RBF fund the two news groups bashing Exxon’s handling of global warming science and environmental activists, the non-profit also funds the academic think tank which employs Goodwin.

Goodwin is an academic economist and co-director of the Global Development And Environment Institute at Tufts University. The Institute lists RBF as one of its supporters, and Goodwin’s own curriculum vitae shows she was a trustee and vice-chair of RBF’s board until 2009 — none of these details are disclosed in her LA Times op-ed.

Despite her close ties to RBF, The Times allows Goodwin to claim “Exxon Mobil is positioned to supplant Big Tobacco as global Public Enemy No. 1.”

“Even before Exxon Mobil feels the loss in spending power among its expected developing country clients, public anger is likely to find other ways to take the company down,” Goodwin wrote. “Just when Exxon’s stock price will begin to reflect these realities is hard to predict. But I’m glad that the recipients of my Exxon stock sold it immediately.”

This is the latest chapter in environmentalists’ fight against Exxon Mobil. Last year, InsideClimate News and Columbia University came out with reports claiming Exxon, a successor company to Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, was employing scientists sounding the alarm on global warming while publically funding groups skeptical of man-made warming.

“At the same time, Exxon scientists warned the company of more dire climate change implications — for the planet and corporate revenue,” Goodwin wrote. “These findings were given to the company’s management, but not released to shareholders or to securities regulators.”

The news reports fired up environmentalist attacks on Exxon, and even got liberal politicians to call on the Justice Department to investigate the company. The attorneys general of New York and California have launched investigations into whether or not Exxon misled investors by not disclosing global warming risks in its shareholder reports.

Exxon, however, fought back against the RBF-backed newsgroups last year, claiming they “distorted” documents and interviews in an effort to smear the company.

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New era begins for environmental law, Obama’s climate rule

ScaliaJustice Antonin Scalia’s death will likely spur a tectonic shift in environmental law.

The loss of the conservative firebrand, who was found dead yesterday at a Texas resort, sent shock waves through the worlds of law and politics. Lawyers are watching to see how the departure of the Supreme Court’s strongest conservative will affect the court’s ideological balance.

Scalia, an outsized and at times bombastic personality who was equally sharp in his questions at oral arguments as he was in his opinions and dissents, reshaped conservative legal theory — bending it to focus on what the framers of the Constitution meant when it was ratified.

Some viewed the Trenton, N.J., native as U.S. EPA and environmentalists’ biggest enemy on the Supreme Court due to some of his more scathing opinions reining in federal regulations.

In the short term, his absence on the bench has major implications for a series of high-stakes energy and environmental cases the court has agreed to take on this term, since the court is now evenly split along ideological lines. Over the longer term, his death will impact how big environmental cases — including the epic battle over the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan — play out.

President Obama has pledged to nominate Scalia’s successor, and rumors already abound about who may be on the short list to replace him. But prospects for any Obama pick clearing the GOP-led Senate this year are highly uncertain as Republican leaders are pushing to stall a confirmation until the next president takes the White House (see related story).

Scalia was beloved by critics of environmental regulations and feared by proponents of expansive federal regulation. In his three decades on the high court, he penned a series of sharply worded opinions rolling back environmental rules.

“He was a stalwart of the court, not only because of his conservative views, but the power of his expression,” said James Rubin, an attorney at Dorsey & Whitney. Rubin called Scalia the court’s “most outspoken” critic of EPA.

Todd Aagaard, vice dean and professor at Villanova University School of Law, said “regardless of whether you agree with him,” Scalia’s opinions were “very tightly reasoned, and they don’t pull any punches.” That “made people worry more about the implications of his opinions,” Aagaard added.

Scalia wrote no fewer than 10 majority opinions in environmental cases, many of which shaped the principles of the country’s major environmental laws that were still in their infancies when he was confirmed to the high court in 1986.

Perhaps his biggest impact was on the concept of standing, meaning when environmental groups and others could show they were “injured” and, therefore, qualified to challenge regulations and agency actions in court.

In three majority opinions, Scalia sharply narrowed the scope of that key legal hurdle. Most notably, in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, the justice in 1992 wrote that the environmental group lacked standing to challenge Endangered Species Act protections.

The decision is still frequently cited and discussed in environmental lawsuits, and Scalia reiterated his view of standing in two subsequent majority opinions in environmental cases, one in 1998 and another in 2008.

More recently, Scalia had emerged as a foe of far-reaching EPA regulations, suggesting that the agency must consider the cost and economic impact of implementation.

Vermont Law School professor Patrick Parenteau said Scalia “basically established the principle that economic interests are presumptively in and environmental interests are not. He consistently sided with property rights over protection of wildlife, wetlands or other natural resources.”

He wasn’t seen as a solid vote against EPA, however.

Although he was very concerned about agencies “overstepping authorities,” Rubin said, “I wouldn’t call him anti-environmentalist.”

Environmental lawyers point to a major 2001 case called Whitman v. American Trucking Associations as a landmark opinion where Scalia took a pro-environment stance. In the majority opinion he penned, the court found that EPA could not consider costs when setting national limits for air pollutants.

Jonathan Adler, a professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, said that opinion showed Scalia strove to separate the environmental and public health aspects of a case from the fundamental legal question.

“Justice Scalia may have written opinions very critical of environmentalist positions, but he also wrote the majority in Whitman v. American Trucking Associations, which he believed was guided by well-established principles of administrative law.”

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