Shutting down debate on climate change

jail wikimediaAre you skeptical of human-caused global warming or climate change like many respected scientists and climate experts? Then you should be prosecuted like a Mafia mob boss, according to 20 academics at ivory towers such as Columbia, Rutgers and the University of Washington.

Apparently, these professors either don’t believe in the First Amendment or are profoundly ignorant of the basic rights it protects. They recently wrote an open letter to President Barack Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking for anyone who questions the climate-change dogma to be criminally prosecuted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, because they have “knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change.”

RICO is a federal law passed in 1970 as part of the Organized Crime Control Act. It was intended to be used as a tool to go after organized crime, including dangerous drug cartels and Mafia operations.

The letter-writers believe that any individuals and organizations involved in questioning the “science” behind global warming are the equivalent of the racketeers the RICO law was supposed to stop – racketeers like the kind Marlon Brando portrayed as Vito Corleone in “The Godfather” or Edward G. Robinson played as Enrico “Rico” Bandello in “Little Caesar.” In fact, the acronym for the federal law, RICO, comes from that Edward G. Robinson character.

The professors seem totally oblivious to the fundamental infringement of free speech they are urging. Not only that, but they seem completely insensible to the basic mission of academic institutions, which is to foster, as the University of Washington – where two of the academics who signed this letter teach – mission statement says, “an environment for objectivity and imaginative inquiry and for the original scholarship and research that ensure the production of new knowledge in the free exchange of facts, theories, and ideas.”

These academics are trying to foster the exact opposite of a “free exchange of facts, theories, and ideas.” They want to end all scientific debate.

These academics could also use a remedial course in the history of scientific development. There have been many fierce debates over new scientific theories that have occurred over the past 2,000 years of human development. There are countless examples of theories that became accepted wisdom that later turned out to be completely wrong, in which dissenters from the original “accepted wisdom” were greeted with a range of reactions from skepticism to derision.

Suggesting, however, that so-called dissidents on the climate issue be prosecuted is a whole different story and amounts to a modern-day academic Inquisition.

Have these professors never heard of Galileo Galilei? Galileo was attacked by the Inquisition for advocating the Copernican theory of the universe, which violated the consensus of the times.

Like the supposed “consensus” of the “overwhelming majority of climate scientists” today (which actually isn’t true), these lofty academics know what the absolute truth is about climate change – just like Pope Urban VIII knew what the absolute truth was about the nature of the universe and our solar system.

These academics want anyone who disagrees with their “absolute” truth to be prosecuted, just like Galileo. Should the skeptics be put in prison? Or would these professors be satisfied with the skeptics being confined to house arrest and formally abjuring their errors, as Galileo was?

The final word here is this: The heads of George Mason University, the University of Washington, Rutgers University, the University of Maryland, Florida State University, the University of Miami, the University of Texas at Austin, and Columbia University should be embarrassed to have professors on staff with such a profound ignorance or intentional disregard for the First Amendment.

The need for robust, unchecked, vibrant debate – not just in the university setting, but in American society, culture and politics – has never been greater.

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NOAA’s winners and losers in its winter weather forecast

Outlook map 2015 temperaturesIf you live in New England, or anywhere across the northern tier of the contiguous U.S., expect a slightly warmer winter with above-average precipitation. That’s according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, which issued its US Winter Outlook report today showing what to expect for the 2015-2016 winter season. Most of this can be attributed to a strong El Ni√±o that has taken hold across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, a natural phenomenon where sea surface temperatures are unusually warm for an extended period.

But a strong El Ni√±o is not the only factor determining NOAA’s seasonal divinations. According to Mike Halpert, Deputy Director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, “Cold-air outbreaks and snow storms will likely occur at times this winter.” Which is what happens in winter unless you live in Key West. But forecasting the frequency, number and intensity of winter storms can’t be “predicted on a seasonal timescale.” They are also predicting that the southern tier of the contiguous U.S. will have cooler and wetter weather.

NOAA also notes that other factors that usually play a role in winter weather include the Arctic Oscillation (think Polar Vortex), which can creep past the Arctic circle and “penetrate deep into the the South” and affect the length and intensity of Nor’easters on the East Coast. When the Arctic Oscillation (AO) is in a negative phase, frigid polar air can travel as far south as Florida. Most people refer to these oscillations as the Polar Vortex, which can last for days or even weeks.

AOs were first identified in 1998, and appear like a “zonally symmetric seesaw” that buttresses up against the Jet Stream. These natural events interact and affect weather across the planet, allowing meteorologists to create long-term forecasts based on past weather events under similar conditions. It’s unclear if NOAA takes into account solar cycles (minimums and maximums), active volcanic eruptions (which release tiny particulates into the upper atmosphere that block out the sun), microbes that feed on decaying organic matter (which emit nearly 10 times more carbon dioxide than fossil fuel emissions), and other natural variables that play active roles in influencing our climate.

Outlook map Precip 2015 2F 2000Still, NOAA’s precipitation outlook shows “wetter-than-average conditions” will likely occur in the southernmost part of the country, “from central and southern California, across Texas, to Florida, and up the East Coast to southern New England.” NOAA expects above-average precipitation to occur in southeastern Alaska. They also predict “drier-than-average conditions” for Hawaii, for central and western Alaska, for parts of the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies, and for “areas near the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.”

NOAA’s prognostications are also indicating above-average temperatures for much of the west and the “northern half of the contiguous United States.” They expect temperatures to also be above average in Alaska and much of Hawaii and “below-average temperatures in the southern Plains and Southeast.”

The big question of whether California’s drought will persist into 2016 shows “some improvement is likely in central and southern California by the end of January,” but not enough to end the drought. California, however, may find some statewide relief during February and March. NOAA is also forewarning that the drought affecting the southwest and Southern Plains will likely dissipate, but drought conditions may “persist in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies.”

Even though NOAA expects drought conditions to ease up by end of winter, Halpert says it won’t help the water-deprived state (NOAA’s about as cheery as a cold, rainy day). “One season of above-average rain and snow is unlikely to remove four years of drought.” That’s because “California would need close to twice its normal rainfall to get out of drought and that’s unlikely.” But Halpert also admits that forecasting precipitation such as seasonal snowfall amounts are “dependent upon the strength and track of winter storms, which are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.”

In other words, while Halpert admits that NOAA can’t predict how much snow and rain California will get to alleviate its four-year-long drought, he’s confident in saying that even above-average precipitation won’t alleviate the drought. Another example of the ever-shrinking line between fact and augury. NOAA does say there is a greater than 40 and 50 percent chance of above-average precipitation for central and southern California, respectively.

As reported here in mid-August, the Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting the exact opposite, with another brutally cold winter packed with lots of snow and frigid temperatures. Over the last two centuries, the Almanac has been more right than wrong in its predictions, but some meteorologists call that luck and not science. As the saying goes, only time will tell if the Almanac’s overall accuracy can compete against NOAA’s. Neither NOAA nor the Old Farmer’s Almanac foresaw last year’s brutally cold, snowy winter that brought much of New England, and the country, to its knees.

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The Real Story of Sea Level Rise the Media Won’t Tell You

Figure 1.) The Mississippi Delta, Mississippi Flood Plain, and Gulf of MexicoFigure 1. The Mississippi Delta, Mississippi Flood Plain, and Gulf of Mexico.7.4 Inches

From 1950 to 2015 the global sea level rose 7.4 inches, a rate of 0.11 inches per year. Yep, that’s it. This is the real story of sea level rise the media refuses to tell you.

Correspondingly, from 1950 to 2015 the global atmospheric temperature increased 0.65 degrees Fahrenheit, a rate of 0.01 degrees Fahrenheit per year. These temperature numbers strengthen the reliability of the sea level rise numbers. Here’s why: The 1950 to 2015 nominal atmospheric temperature increase equates to nominal ice-melting power. Nominal ice melting equates to nominal sea level rise from glacial melt water. All these facts tie together and helped confirm their reliability.

During this same 1950 to 2015 time frame, the extent and mass of the polar ice caps diminished very slightly, again correlating well with both the sea level and atmospheric numbers. This small amount of polar ice cap loss is normal in the on-going post-ice era. Interestingly, the Arctic Ice Sheet has gained ice extent and ice mass for three years in a row. Antarctica has progressively gained ice extent and mass for the last 35 years.

In stark contrast to the real story of sea level rise, climate scientists who favor the theory of man-made global warming are saying that global sea levels have been dramatically rising and are now on the verge of flooding the Earth and reeking havoc on coastal cities. They predict, based on the latest climate computer models, that in the not-to-distant future worldwide sea levels will rise catastrophically, thereby flooding many of Earth’s waterfront cities. This man-made global warming-induced sea level rise will reach its full effect in ~100 years.

Really?

Apparently their models have used either “adjusted” data or data from very selective short time periods when sea level rise rates varied relative to the overall, very consistent historical trend. This selective data computer modelling technique was utilized and even remotely plausible until the year 1998. That’s when the current 18.7 year pause in atmospheric temperatures began. Utilizing selective climate computer modelling techniques in the post-temperature “pause” era is risky at best, and some would say highly misleading.

As further evidence that Earth’s littoral cities are in grave danger of flooding, global warming climate scientists cite examples of significant sea level rise and disastrous flooding at select coastal cities. These intentionally selected locations may appear to be strong evidence that sea level rise is indeed a huge problem. However, there is much more to the story concerning what is really causing these localized sea-level rises.

Localized sea level rise at any particular coastal city is controlled by the complex interaction between geological processes, major hurricanes / typhoons, man-made engineering changes, and to a far lesser degree, by the natural worldwide sea level rise associated with on-going post-ice age melting. All of these factors play a role in determining the amount of what is termed “relative” sea level rise at a specific coastal city location.

This article will very briefly describe the impact that geological forces and man-made engineering projects have had on local changes in sea level, leaving discussions of the erosive and land-building power of hurricanes and typhoons to others.

Let’s review the impact geological forces and human engineering projects have had on the sea level of one prominent US coastal city: New Orleans. New Orleans is built on an ever-changing river delta system that is naturally sinking at significant rates as the mushy and water-filled soil beneath the city compacts. These rates are substantial. New Orleans is currently sinking at one inch per year, 8.3 feet in 100 years, purely due to normal geological processes.

The Mississippi Delta, the New Orleans substrate, is constantly changing in ways most folks don’t appreciate. Take a moment to review the geological image of the Mississippi Delta atop this article (Figure 1). The map illustrates major historical shifts in delta water flow and resulting mushy soil layer deposition. Keep in mind these are just the major changes. The mighty Mississippi Delta literally changes every year during the spring flood. This annual flood activity tangibly alters relative sea levels in many portions of the delta. It does this by either eroding certain areas that the ocean back fills, or by depositing new soil and pushing out the ocean. These types of sea level changes are called “relative” sea level changes.

Again from Figure 1.,  note the location of the Atchafalaya Bay. This Bay is one of the most infamous stories in Mississippi River history. Located at the north end of the Atchafalaya Bay is the Atchafalaya “cutoff”. The Army Corps of Engineers realized in the late 1950’s that the Mississippi River was about to change flow direction into the Atchafalaya Bay and thereby abandon its flow south into the City of New Orleans. This would dramatically affect the city by silting up the port and polluting the cities fresh water supply as salty seawater flowed north and up the abandoned old river channel.

To remedy this eminent disaster, in 1963 the Army Corps completed construction of dikes to prevent the river from diverting into the Atchafalaya bay. The dikes have held, although nearly breaking during the 1973 spring flood.  If the dikes had failed the “relative” sea level of both the Atchafalaya Bay and city of New Orleans would have dramatically changed in a few years.

Clearly the historical and future relative sea level changes of New Orleans are dominated by natural geological forces and human engineering projects, and NOT by the ongoing minor changes in worldwide sea level. Worldwide sea level changes of 0.11 inches have not, and will not, dramatically affect the health of coastal cities in the foreseeable future. A hundred years from now, the best estimate is that sea level will rise 11 inches, and not the 40 or 50 feet (see Figure 2.)

Figure 2.) The actual sea level rise over the last eighteen years is 1.85 inches, which works out to 10.4 inches per century. This is similar to the 20th century's rise of 8 inches, but much less than the average rise of 4 feet per century for the last 10,000 years as glaciers left by the last ice age continue to melt.Figure 2. The actual sea level rise over the last eighteen years is 1.85 inches, which works out to 10.4 inches per century. This is similar to the 20th century’s rise of 8 inches, but much less than the average rise of 4 feet per century for the last 10,000 years as glaciers left by the last ice age continue to melt.

When reviewing national mainstream media global-warming articles concerning the supposed man-made sea level changes at coastal cities or tiny islands in the ocean, stop for a moment and ask yourself are these “relative” sea level changes? Maybe these reported sea level changes have nothing at all to do with global warming, CO2, and so-called rapidly melting glaciers. Maybe these are local natural sea level changes related to geological forces or man-made engineering projects.

Decorum is the process of practicing good taste and propriety. It is an especially important attribute when reviewing other scientists work, because it allows us to open our minds to other possibilities. However, in the case of recent national mainstream media stories that improperly portray the scientific aspects of sea level change, it’s a struggle to maintain that level of professional civility.

This is especially true when the real story of sea level rise is drowned out by fantastical notions and driven by an overeager complacent media who’s primary goal is to separate you from your money. Remember, headlines sell papers, papers sell ads, and worse, you’re only a click away from feeding their coffers. Keep that in mind the next time you read some ridiculous story about mankind’s eventual demise under an ocean of invisible water.

James Edward Kamis is a Geologist and AAPG member of 41 years and who 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

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/carbon-emissions-could-submerge-u-s-coastal-cities-under-water/

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

http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/coastalerosion.htm

http://www.climatechangedispatch.com/the-sea-level-scam.html

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Opinions vs. facts: A climate change primer

ice ice babyClimate is always changing, but luckily, we live in an era with a stable, benign, warm climate and a healthy, abundant biosphere.

Alarmists who claim that today’s climate changes are unprecedented have not checked climate history written in the rocks, the ice cores, the satellite registers and the tide gauges.

Ice core records show that current temperatures and sea levels are not extreme ‚Äì they are more stable than they were as the last ice age ended just 12,000 years ago.  At that time, global temperature increased quickly, the great ice sheets melted, sea levels rose rapidly (130 meters), and the warming seas expelled much of their dissolved carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

As a result of this natural global warming and the additional moisture and carbon dioxide plant food in the atmosphere, plant life recovered, and the great forests and grasslands were re-established.

Check the Ice Core Records:
http://carbon-sense.com/index.php?s=ice+cores&Submit=Go

http://carbon-sense.com/2009/10/03/taxing-ambulances/

Not one coal-fired power station, diesel truck, or feedlot of belching bovines contributed to those massive climate changes, and ancient witch doctors were unable to prevent flooding of coastal settlements by sacrificing humans.  Then, as now, nature controls the climate.

More recent evidence from ice cores, sediment layers, and even historical records shows that for the last 7,000 years, Earth’s climate has been relatively stable.  Even more recently, satellite records show that global temperatures have not risen significantly for 18 years.  The tide gauges surrounding the Pacific show that sea levels are barely rising, and satellites show that there is little change in the average area of polar ice.

Check the Sea Levels:
http://carbon-sense.com/index.php?s=sea+levels&Submit=Go

Our climate is not changing rapidly, no matter how often alarmists and their media mates repeat this lie.

Today, witch doctors wearing U.N./IPCC headdress are demanding that humans sacrifice their industry and jobs on the carbon altar in the hope of changing the climate.  This sacrifice will enrich green vested interests but will fail to change the climate.

Alarmists should check the facts.  Just one stubborn fact or careful observation will beat 97 pal-reviewed opinions.

Some Fact Checking on Bank of England alarmism:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/12/fact-checking-mark-carneys-catastrophic-climate-claims/

Alarmists should heed Senator Moynihan’s advice: “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

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The 25 Craziest Things Said at the Democratic Debate

bernieAny presidential debate that involves Bernie Sanders is going to have its share of offbeat moments. But Tuesday night offered a little bit of nuttiness from everyone.

Combing through the transcript of the debate, I found these 25 head-scratchers.

Let the crazy flow.

…snip…

12) “The planet…may well not be habitable.”

Global warming alarmism is one thing. But Bernie Sanders turned it up to eleven: “The scientific community is telling us that if we do not address the global crisis of climate change, transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to sustainable energy, the planet that we’re going to be leaving our kids and our grandchildren may well not be habitable.”

The most dire scientific predictions call for a warming of a few degrees by the end of this century, and (supposedly) some flooding and droughts and hurricanes and “extreme weather.” But none of them predicts that the Earth will become uninhabitable, and that would be very strange given that global temperature have already gone through very big swings up and down, mostly down, during the time modern humans have inhabited the planet.

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Should We Celebrate Carbon Dioxide?

Patrick MoorePatrick MooreMy Lords and Ladies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Thank you for the opportunity to set out my views on climate change. As I have stated publicly on many occasions, there is no definitive scientific proof, through real-world observation, that carbon dioxide is responsible for any of the slight warming of the global climate that has occurred during the past 300 years, since the peak of the Little Ice Age. If there were such a proof through testing and replication it would have been written down for all to see.

The contention that human emissions are now the dominant influence on climate is simply a hypothesis, rather than a universally accepted scientific theory. It is therefore correct, indeed verging on compulsory in the scientific tradition, to be skeptical of those who express certainty that “the science is settled” and “the debate is over”.

But there is certainty beyond any doubt that CO2 is the building block for all life on Earth and that without its presence in the global atmosphere at a sufficient concentration this would be a dead planet. Yet today our children and our publics are taught that CO2 is a toxic pollutant that will destroy life and bring civilization to its knees. Tonight I hope to turn this dangerous human-caused propaganda on its head. Tonight I will demonstrate that human emissions of CO2 have already saved life on our planet from a very untimely end. That in the absence of our emitting some of the carbon back into the atmosphere from whence it came in the first place, most or perhaps all life on Earth would begin to die less than two million years from today.

But first a bit of background.

I was born and raised in the tiny floating village of Winter Harbour on the northwest tip of Vancouver Island, in the rainforest by the Pacific. There was no road to my village so for eight years myself and a few other children were taken by boat each day to a one-room schoolhouse in the nearby fishing village. I didn’t realize how lucky I was playing on the tide flats by the salmon-spawning streams in the rainforest, until I was sent off to boarding school in Vancouver where I excelled in science. I did my undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia, gravitating to the life sciences ‚Äì biology, biochemistry, genetics, and forestry ‚Äì the environment and the industry my family has been in for more than 100 years. Then, before the word was known to the general public, I discovered the science of ecology, the science of how all living things are inter-related, and how we are related to them.At the height of the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the threat of all-out nuclear war and the newly emerging consciousness of the environment I was transformed into a radical environmental activist. While doing my PhD in ecology in 1971 I joined a group of activists who had begun to meet in the basement of the Unitarian Church, to plan a protest voyage against US hydrogen bomb testing in Alaska.

We proved that a somewhat rag-tag looking group of activists could sail an old fishing boat across the north Pacific ocean and help change the course of history. We created a focal point for the media to report on public opposition to the tests.When that H-bomb exploded in November 1971, it was the last hydrogen bomb the United States ever detonated. Even though there were four more tests planned in the series, President Nixon canceled them due to the public opposition we had helped to create. That was the birth of Greenpeace.

Flushed with victory, on our way home from Alaska we were made brothers of the Namgis Nation in their Big House at Alert Bay near my northern Vancouver Island home. For Greenpeace this began the tradition of the Warriors of the Rainbow, after a Cree Indian legend that predicted the coming together of all races and creeds to save the Earth from destruction. We named our ship the Rainbow Warrior and I spent the next fifteen years in the top committee of Greenpeace, on the front lines of the environmental movement as we evolved from that church basement into the world’s largest environmental activist organization.

Next we took on French atmospheric nuclear testing in the South Pacific. They proved a bit more difficult than the US nuclear tests. It took years to eventually drive these tests underground at Mururoa Atoll in French Polynesia. In 1985, under direct orders from President Mitterrand, French commandos bombed and sank the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour, killing our photographer. Those protests continued until long after I left Greenpeace. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that nuclear testing finally ended in the South Pacific, and it most other parts of the world as well.

Going back to 1975, Greenpeace set out to save the whales from extinction at the hands of huge factory whaling fleets.  We confronted the Soviet factory whaling fleet in the North Pacific, putting ourselves in front of their harpoons in our little rubber boats to protect the fleeing whales. This was broadcast on television news around the world, bringing the Save the Whales movement into everyone’s living rooms for the first time. After four years of voyages, in 1979 factory whaling was finally banned in the North Pacific, and by 1981 in all the world’s oceans.In 1978 I sat on a baby seal off the East Coast of Canada to protect it from the hunter’s club. I was arrested and hauled off to jail, the seal was clubbed and skinned, but a photo of me being arrested while sitting on the baby seal appeared in more than 3000 newspapers around the world the next morning. We won the hearts and minds of millions of people who saw the baby seal slaughter as outdated, cruel, and unnecessary.

Why then did I leave Greenpeace after 15 years in the leadership? When Greenpeace began we had a strong humanitarian orientation, to save civilization from destruction by all-out nuclear war. Over the years the “peace” in Greenpeace was gradually lost and my organization, along with much of the environmental movement, drifted into a belief that humans are the enemies of the earth. I believe in a humanitarian environmentalism because we are part of nature, not separate from it. The first principle of ecology is that we are all part of the same ecosystem, as Barbara Ward put it, “One human family on spaceship Earth”, and to preach otherwise teaches that the world would be better off without us. As we shall see later in the presentation there is very good reason to see humans as essential to the survival of life on this planet.

In the mid 1980s I found myself the only director of Greenpeace International with a formal education in science. My fellow directors proposed a campaign to “ban chlorine worldwide”, naming it “The Devil’s Element”. I pointed out that chlorine is one of the elements in the Periodic Table, one of the building blocks of the Universe and the 11th most common element in the Earth’s crust. I argued the fact that chlorine is the most important element for public health and medicine. Adding chlorine to drinking water was the biggest advance in the history of public health and the majority of our synthetic medicines are based on chlorine chemistry. This fell on deaf ears, and for me this was the final straw. I had to leave.

When I left Greenpeace I vowed to develop an environmental policy that was based on science and logic rather than sensationalism, misinformation, anti-humanism and fear. In a classic example, a recent protest led by Greenpeace in the Philippines used the skull and crossbones to associate Golden Rice with death, when in fact Golden Rice has the potential to help save 2 million children from death due to vitamin A deficiency every year.

The Keeling curve of CO2 concentration in the Earth’s atmosphere since 1959 is the supposed smoking gun of catastrophic climate change. We presume CO2 was at 280 ppm at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, before human activity could have caused a significant impact. I accept that most of the rise from 280 to 400 ppm is caused by human CO2 emissions with the possibility that some of it is due to outgassing from warming of the oceans.

NASA tells us that “Carbon Dioxide Controls Earth’s Temperature” in child-like denial of the many other factors involved in climate change. This is reminiscent of NASA’s contention that there might be life on Mars. Decades after it was demonstrated that there was no life on Mars, NASA continues to use it as a hook to raise public funding for more expeditions to the Red Planet. The promulgation of fear of Climate Change now serves the same purpose. As Bob Dylan prophetically pointed out, “Money doesn’t talk, it swears”, even in one of the most admired science organizations in the world.

On the political front the leaders of the G7 plan to “end extreme poverty and hunger” by phasing out 85% of the world’s energy supply including 98% of the energy used to transport people and goods, including food. The Emperors of the world appear clothed in the photo taken at the close of the meeting but it was obviously Photo-shopped. They should be required to stand naked for making such a foolish statement.

The world’s top climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change, is hopelessly conflicted by its makeup and it mandate. The Panel is composed solely of the World Meteorological Organization, weather forecasters, and the United Nations Environment Program, environmentalists. Both these organizations are focused primarily on short-term timescales, days to maybe a century or two. But the most significant conflict is with the Panel’s mandate from the United Nations. They are required only to focus on “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the atmosphere, and which is in addition to natural climate variability.”‚Ä®So if the IPCC found that climate change was not being affected by human alteration of the atmosphere or that it is not “dangerous” there would be no need for them to exist. They are virtually mandated to find on the side of apocalypse.

Scientific certainty, political pandering, a hopelessly conflicted IPCC, and now the Pope, spiritual leader of the Catholic Church, in a bold move to reinforce the concept of original sin, says the Earth looks like “an immense pile of filth” and we must go back to pre-industrial bliss, or is that squalor?

And then there is the actual immense pile of filth fed to us more than three times daily by the green-media nexus, a seething cauldron of imminent doom, like we are already condemned to Damnation in Hell and there is little chance of Redemption. I fear for the end of the Enlightenment. I fear an intellectual Gulag with Greenpeace as my prison guards.

Let’s begin with our knowledge of the long-term history of the Earth’s temperature and of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere. Our best inference from various proxies back indicate that CO2 was higher for the first 4 billion years of Earth’s history than it has been since the Cambrian Period until today. I will focus on the past 540 million years since modern life forms evolved. It is glaringly obvious that temperature and CO2 are in an inverse correlation at least as often as they are in any semblance of correlation. Two clear examples of reverse correlation occurred 150 million years and 50 million years ago. At the end of the Jurassic temperature fell dramatically while CO2 spiked. During the Eocene Thermal Maximum, temperature was likely higher than any time in the past 550 million years while CO2 had been on a downward track for 100 million years. This evidence alone sufficient to warrant deep speculation of any claimed lock-step causal relationship between CO2 and temperature.

The Devonian Period beginning 400 million years ago marked the culmination of the invasion of life onto the land. Plants evolved to produce lignin, which in combination with cellulose, created wood which in turn for the first time allowed plants to grow tall, in competition with each other for sunlight. As vast forests spread across the land living biomass increased by orders of magnitude, pulling down carbon as CO2 from the atmosphere to make wood. Lignin is very difficult to break down and no decomposer species possessed the enzymes to digest it. Trees died atop one another until they were 100 metres or more in depth. This was the making of the great coal beds around the world as this huge store of sequestered carbon continued to build for 90 million years. Then, fortunately for the future of life, white rot fungi evolved to produce the enzymes that can digest lignin and coincident with that the coal-making era came to an end.

There was no guarantee that fungi or any other decomposer species would develop the complex of enzymes required to digest lignin. If they had not, CO2, which had already been drawn down for the first time in Earth’s history to levels similar to today’s, would have continued to decline as trees continued to grow and die. That is until CO2 approached the threshold of 150 ppm below which plants begin first to starve, then stop growing altogether, and then die. Not just woody plants but all plants. This would bring about the extinction of most, if not all, terrestrial species, as animals, insects, and other invertebrates starved for lack of food. And that would be that. The human species would never have existed. This was only the first time that there was a distinct possibility that life would come close to extinguishing itself, due to a shortage of CO2, which is essential for life on Earth.

A well-documented record of global temperature over the past 65 million years shows that we have been in a major cooling period since the Eocene Thermal Maximum 50 million years ago. The Earth was an average 16C warmer then, with most of the increased warmth at the higher latitudes. The entire planet, including the Arctic and Antarctica were ice-free and the land there was covered in forest.

The ancestors of every species on Earth today survived through what may have been the warmest time in the history of life. It makes one wonder about dire predictions that even a 2C rise in temperature from pre-industrial times would cause mass extinctions and the destruction of civilization. Glaciers began to form in Antarctica 30 million years ago and in the northern hemisphere 3 million years ago. Today, even in this interglacial period of the Pleistocene Ice Age, we are experiencing one of the coldest climates in the Earth’s history.

Coming closer to the present we have learned from Antarctic ice cores that for the past 800,000 years there have been regular periods of major glaciation followed by interglacial periods in 100,000 year-cycles. These cycles coincide with the Milankovitch cycles that are tied to the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit and its axial tilt. It is highly plausible that these cycles are related to solar intensity and the seasonal distribution of solar heat on the Earth’s surface. There is a strong correlation between temperature and the level of atmospheric CO2 during these successive glaciations, indicating a possible cause-effect relationship between the two. CO2 lags temperature by an average of 800 years during the most recent 400,000-year period, indicating that temperature is the cause, as the cause never comes after the effect.

Looking at the past 50,000 years of temperature and CO2 we can see that changes in CO2 follow changes in temperature. This is as one could expect, as the Milankovitch cycles are far more likely to cause a change in temperature than a change in CO2. And a change in the temperature is far more likely to cause a change in CO2 due to outgassing of CO2 from the oceans during warmer times and an ingassing (absorption) of CO2 during colder periods. Yet climate alarmists persist in insisting that CO2 is causing the change in temperature, despite the illogical nature of that assertion.

It is sobering to consider the magnitude of climate change during the past 20,000 years, since the peak of the last major glaciation. At that time there were 3.3 kilometres of ice on top of what is today the city of Montreal, a city of more than 3 million people. 95% of Canada was covered in a sheet of ice. Even as far south as Chicago there was nearly a kilometre of ice. If the Milankovitch cycle continues to prevail, and there is little reason aside from our CO2 emissions to think otherwise, this will happen gradually again during the next 80,000 years. Will our CO2 emissions stave off another glaciation as James Lovelock has suggested? There doesn’t seem to be much hope of that so far, as despite 1/3 of all our CO2 emissions being released during the past 18 years the UK Met Office contends there has been no statistically significant warming during this century.

At the height of the last glaciation the sea level was about 120 metres lower than it is today. By 7,000 years ago all the low-altitude, mid-latitude glaciers had melted. There is no consensus about the variation in sea level since then although many scientists have concluded that the sea level was higher than today during the Holocene Thermal optimum from 9,000 to 5,000 years ago when the Sahara was green. The sea level may also have been higher than today during the Medieval Warm Period.

Hundred of islands near the Equator in Papua, Indonesia, have been undercut by the sea in a manner that gives credence to the hypothesis that there has been little net change in sea level in the past thousands of years. It takes a long time for so much erosion to occur from gentle wave action in a tropical sea.Coming back to the relationship between temperature and CO2 in the modern era we can see that temperature has risen at a steady slow rate in Central England since 1700 while human CO2 emissions were not relevant until 1850 and then began an exponential rise after 1950. This is not indicative of a direct causal relationship between the two. After freezing over regularly during the Little Ice Age the River Thames froze for the last time in 1814, as the Earth moved into what might be called the Modern Warm Period.

The IPCC states it is “extremely likely” that human emissions have been the dominant cause of global warming “since the mid-20th century”, that is since 1950. They claim that “extremely” means 95% certain, even though the number 95 was simply plucked from the air like an act of magic. And “likely” is not a scientific word but rather indicative of a judgment, another word for an opinion.

There was a 30-year period of warming from 1910-1940, then a cooling from 1940 to 1970, just as CO2 emissions began to rise exponentially, and then a 30-year warming from 1970-2000 that was very similar in duration and temperature rise to the rise from 1910-1940. One may then ask “what caused the increase in temperature from 1910-1940 if it was not human emissions? And if it was natural factors how do we know that the same natural factors were not responsible for the rise between 1970-2000.” You don’t need to go back millions of years to find the logical fallacy in the IPCC’s certainty that we are the villains in the piece.Water is by far the most important greenhouse gas, and is the only molecule that is present in the atmosphere in all three states, gas, liquid, and solid. As a gas, water vapour is a greenhouse gas, but as a liquid and solid it is not. As a liquid water forms clouds, which send solar radiation back into space during the day and hold heat in at night. There is no possibility that computer models can predict the net effect of atmospheric water in a higher CO2 atmosphere. Yet warmists postulate that higher CO2 will result in positive feedback from water, thus magnifying the effect of CO2 alone by 2-3 times. Other scientists believe that water may have a neutral or negative feedback on CO2. The observational evidence from the early years of this century tends to reinforce the latter hypothesis.

How many politicians or members of the media or the public are aware of this statement about climate change from the IPCC in 2007?

“we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled nonlinear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

There is a graph showing that the climate models have grossly exaggerated the rate of warming that confirms the IPCC statement. The only trends the computer models seem able to predict accurately are ones that have already occurred.Coming to the core of my presentation, CO2 is the currency of life and the most important building block for all life on Earth. All life is carbon-based, including our own. Surely the carbon cycle and its central role in the creation of life should be taught to our children rather than the demonization of CO2, that “carbon” is a “pollutant” that threatens the continuation of life. We know for a fact that CO2 is essential for life and that it must be at a certain level in the atmosphere for the survival of plants, which are the primary food for all the other species alive today. Should we not encourage our citizens, students, teachers, politicians, scientists, and other leaders to celebrate CO2 as the giver of life that it is?

It is a proven fact that plants, including trees and all our food crops, are capable of growing much faster at higher levels of CO2 than present in the atmosphere today. Even at the today’s concentration of 400 ppm plants are relatively starved for nutrition. The optimum level of CO2 for plant growth is about 5 times higher, 2000 ppm, yet the alarmists warn it is already too high. They must be challenged every day by every person who knows the truth in this matter. CO2 is the giver of life and we should celebrate CO2 rather than denigrate it as is the fashion today.

We are witnessing the “Greening of the Earth” as higher levels of CO2, due to human emissions from the use of fossil fuels, promote increased growth of plants around the world. This has been confirmed by scientists with CSIRO in Australia, in Germany, and in North America. Only half of the CO2 we are emitting from the use of fossil fuels is showing up in the atmosphere. The balance is going somewhere else and the best science says most of it is going into an increase in global plant biomass. And what could be wrong with that, as forests and agricultural crops become more productive?

All the CO2 in the atmosphere has been created by outgassing from the Earth’s core during massive volcanic eruptions. This was much more prevalent in the early history of the Earth when the core was hotter than it is today. During the past 150 million years there has not been enough addition of CO2 to the atmosphere to offset the gradual losses due to burial in sediments.

Let’s look at where all the carbon is in the world, and how it is moving around.Today, at just over 400 ppm CO2 there are 850 billion tons of CO2 in the atmosphere. By comparison, when modern life-forms evolved over 500 million years ago there was nearly 15,000 billion tons of CO2 in the atmosphere, 17 times today’s level. Plants and soils combined contain more than 2,000 billion tons of carbon, more that twice as much as the entire global atmosphere. The oceans contain 38,000 billion tons of dissolved CO2, 45 times as much as in the atmosphere. Fossil fuels, which were made from plants that pulled CO2 from the atmosphere account for 5,000 ‚Äì 10,000 billion tons of carbon, 6 ‚Äì 12 times as much carbon as is in the atmosphere.

But the truly stunning number is the amount of carbon that has been sequestered from the atmosphere and turned into carbonaceous rocks. 100,000,000 billion tons, that’s one quadrillion tons of carbon, have been turned into stone by marine species that learned to make armour-plating for themselves by combining calcium and carbon into calcium carbonate. Limestone, chalk, and marble are all of life origin and amount to 99.9% of all the carbon ever present in the global atmosphere. The white cliffs of Dover are made of the calcium carbonate skeletons of coccolithophores, tiny marine phytoplankton.

The vast majority of the carbon dioxide that originated in the atmosphere has been sequestered and stored quite permanently in carbonaceous rocks where it cannot be used as food by plants.

Beginning 540 million years ago at the beginning of the Cambrian Period many marine species of invertebrates evolved the ability to control calcification and to build armour plating to protect their soft bodies. Shellfish such as clams and snails, corals, coccolithofores (phytoplankton) and foraminifera (zooplankton) began to combine carbon dioxide with calcium and thus to remove carbon from the life cycle as the shells sank into sediments; 100,000,000 billion tons of carbonaceous sediment. It is ironic that life itself, by devising a protective suit of armour, determined its own eventual demise by continuously removing CO2 from the atmosphere. This is carbon sequestration and storage writ large. These are the carbonaceous sediments that form the shale deposits from which we are fracking gas and oil today. And I add my support to those who say, “OK UK, get fracking”.

The past 150 million years has seen a steady drawing down of CO2 from the atmosphere. There are many components to this but what matters is the net effect, a removal on average of 37,000 tons of carbon from the atmosphere every year for 150 million years. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere was reduced by about 90% during this period. This means that volcanic emissions of CO2 have been outweighed by the loss of carbon to calcium carbonate sediments on a multi-million year basis.

If this trend continues CO2 will inevitably fall to levels that threaten the survival of plants, which require a minimum of 150 ppm to survive. If plants die all the animals, insects, and other invertebrates that depend on plants for their survival will also die.

How long will it be at the present level of CO2 depletion until most or all of life on Earth is threatened with extinction by lack of CO2 in the atmosphere?

During this Pleistocene Ice Age, CO2 tends to reach a minimum level when the successive glaciations reach their peak. During the last glaciation, which peaked 18,000 years ago, CO2 bottomed out at 180 ppm, extremely likely the lowest level CO2 has been in the history of the Earth. This is only 30 ppm above the level that plants begin to die. Paleontological research has demonstrated that even at 180 ppm there was a severe restriction of growth as plants began to starve. With the onset of the warmer interglacial period CO2 rebounded to 280 ppm.  But even today, with human emissions causing CO2 to reach 400 ppm plants are still restricted in their growth rate, which would be much higher if CO2 were at 1000-2000 ppm.

Here is the shocking news. If humans had not begun to unlock some of the carbon stored as fossil fuels, all of which had been in the atmosphere as CO2 before sequestration by plants and animals, life on Earth would have soon been starved of this essential nutrient and would begin to die. Given the present trends of glaciations and interglacial periods this would likely have occurred less than 2 million years from today, a blink in nature’s eye, 0.05% of the 3.5 billion-year history of life.

No other species could have accomplished the task of putting some of the carbon back into the atmosphere that was taken out and locked in the Earth’s crust by plants and animals over the millennia. This is why I honour James Lovelock in my lecture this evening. Jim was for many years of the belief that humans are the one-and-only rogue species on Gaia, destined to cause catastrophic global warming. I enjoy the Gaia hypothesis but I am not religious about it and for me this was too much like original sin. It was as if humans were the only evil species on the Earth.

But James Lovelock has seen the light and realized that humans may be part of Gaia’s plan, and he has good reason to do so. And I honour him because it takes courage to change your mind after investing so much of your reputation on the opposite opinion. Rather than seeing humans as the enemies of Gaia, Lovelock now sees that we may be working with Gaia to “stave of another ice age”, or major glaciation. This is much more plausible than the climate doom-and gloom scenario because our release of CO2 back into the atmosphere has definitely reversed the steady downward slide of this essential food for life, and hopefully may reduce the chance that the climate will slide into another period of major glaciation. We can be certain that higher levels of CO2 will result in increased plant growth and biomass. We really don’t know whether or not higher levels of CO2 will prevent or reduce the eventual slide into another major glaciation. Personally I am not hopeful for this because the long-term history just doesn’t support a strong correlation between CO2 and temperature.

It does boggle the mind in the face of our knowledge that the level of CO2 has been steadily falling that human CO2 emissions are not universally acclaimed as a miracle of salvation. From direct observation we already know that the extreme predictions of CO2’s impact on global temperature are highly unlikely given that about one-third of all our CO2 emissions have been discharged during the past 18 years and there has been no statistically significant warming. And even if there were some additional warming that would surely be preferable to the extermination of all or most species on the planet.

You heard it here. “Human emissions of carbon dioxide have saved life on Earth from inevitable starvation and extinction due to lack of CO2”. To use the analogy of the Atomic Clock, if the Earth were 24 hours old we were at 38 seconds to midnight when we reversed the trend towards the End Times. If that isn’t good news I don’t know what is. You don’t get to stave off Armageddon every day. I issue a challenge to anyone to provide a compelling argument that counters my analysis of the historical record and the prediction of CO2 starvation based on the 150 million year trend. Ad hominem arguments about “deniers” need not apply. I submit that much of society has been collectively misled into believing that global CO2 and temperature are too high when the opposite is true for both. Does anyone deny that below 150 ppm CO2 that plants will die? Does anyone deny that the Earth has been in a 50 million-year cooling period and that this Pleistocene Ice Age is one of the coldest periods in the history of the planet?

If we assume human emissions have to date added some 200 billion tons of CO2 to the atmosphere, even if we ceased using fossil fuels today we have already bought another 5 million years for life on earth. But we will not stop using fossil fuels to power our civilization so it is likely that we can forestall plant starvation for lack of CO2 by at least 65 million years. Even when the fossil fuels have become scarce we have the quadrillion tons of carbon in carbonaceous rocks, which we can transform into lime and CO2 for the manufacture of cement. And we already know how to do that with solar energy or nuclear energy. This alone, regardless of fossil fuel consumption, will more than offset the loss of CO2 due to calcium carbonate burial in marine sediments. Without a doubt the human species has made it possible to prolong the survival of life on Earth for more than 100 million years. We are not the enemy of nature but its salvation.

As a postscript I would like to make a few comments about the other side of the alleged dangerous climate change coin, our energy policy, in particular the much maligned fossil fuels; coal, oil, and natural gas.

Depending how it’s tallied, fossil fuels account for between 85-88% of global energy consumption and more than 95% of energy for the transport of people and goods, including our food.

Earlier this year the leaders of the G7 countries agreed that fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100, a most bizarre development to say the least. Of course no intelligent person really believes this will happen but it is a testament to the power of the elites that have converged around the catastrophic human-caused climate change that so many alleged world leaders must participate in the charade. How might we convince them to celebrate CO2 rather than to denigrate it?A lot of nasty things are said about fossil fuels even though they are largely responsible for our longevity, our prosperity, and our comfortable lifestyles.Hydrocarbons, the energy components of fossil fuels, are 100% organic, as in organic chemistry. They were produced by solar energy in ancient seas and forests. When they are burned for energy the main products are water and CO2, the two most essential foods for life. And fossil fuels are by far the largest storage battery of direct solar energy on Earth. Nothing else comes close except nuclear fuel, which is also solar in the sense that it was produced in dying stars.

Today, Greenpeace protests Russian and American oil rigs with 3000 HP diesel-powered ships and uses 200 HP outboard motors to board the rigs and hang anti-oil plastic banners made with fossil fuels. Then they issue a media release telling us we must “end our addiction to oil”. I wouldn’t mind so much if Greenpeace rode bicycles to their sailing ships and rowed their little boats into the rigs to hang organic cotton banners. We didn’t have an H-bomb on board the boat that sailed on the first Greenpeace campaign against nuclear testing.

Some of the world’s oil comes from my native country in the Canadian oil sands of northern Alberta. I had never worked with fossil fuel interests until I became incensed with the lies being spread about my country’s oil production in the capitals of our allies around the world. I visited the oil sands operations to find out for myself what was happening there.

It is true it’s not a pretty sight when the land is stripped bare to get at the sand so the oil can be removed from it. Canada is actually cleaning up the biggest natural oil spill in history, and making a profit from it. The oil was brought to the surface when the Rocky Mountains were thrust up by the colliding Pacific Plate. When the sand is returned back to the land 99% of the so-called “toxic oil” has been removed from it.

Anti-oil activists say the oil-sands operations are destroying the boreal forest of Canada. Canada’s boreal forest accounts for 10% of all the world’s forests and the oil-sands area is like a pimple on an elephant by comparison. By law, every square inch of land disturbed by oil-sands extraction must be returned to native boreal forest. When will cities like London, Brussels, and New York that have laid waste to the natural environment be returned to their native ecosystems?

The art and science of ecological restoration, or reclamation as it is called in the mining industry, is a well-established practice. The land is re-contoured, the original soil is put back, and native species of plants and trees are established. It is possible, by creating depressions where the land was flat, to increase biodiversity by making ponds and lakes where wetland plants, insects, and waterfowl can become established in the reclaimed landscape.

The tailings ponds where the cleaned sand is returned look ugly for a few years but are eventually reclaimed into grasslands. The Fort McKay First Nation is under contract to manage a herd of bison on a reclaimed tailings pond. Every tailings pond will be reclaimed in a similar manner when operations have been completed.As an ecologist and environmentalist for more than 45 years this is good enough for me. The land is disturbed for a blink of an eye in geological time and is then returned to a sustainable boreal forest ecosystem with cleaner sand. And as a bonus we get the fuel to power our weed-eaters, scooters, motorcycles, cars, trucks, buses, trains, and aircraft.

To conclude, carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is the stuff of life, the staff of life, the currency of life, indeed the backbone of life on Earth.I am honoured to have been chosen to deliver your annual lecture.

Thank you for listening to me this evening.

I hope you have seen CO2 from a new perspective and will join with me to Celebrate CO2!

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New Gallup poll shows it’s the economy, not climate change, biggest concern

gallup ECIYesterday, Gallup released the U.S. Economic Confidence Index (ECI) and the results showed Americans are still concerned about the bleak economy, rating it a -12. Gallup’s ECI is based on the combined results of two questions: The first asks respondents to “rate economic conditions in the U.S. today,” and the “second asks whether they think economic conditions in the country as a whole are getting better or getting worse.” The index can go as high as 100 if all Americans rated the economy as “excellent” or “getting better” and as low as -100 if Americans thought the economy as “poor” or “getting worse.”

So it was surprising to hear four of the five Democratic candidates on CNN’s presidential debate last night—being labeled as the ‘Giveaway Gang’—claim that climate change was the greatest, most immediate threat facing mankind. As first reported here in March, global warming ranked dead last among voter’s environmental concerns, and last in overall concerns, and that they didn’t see it as an immediate or actual threat. In fact, Americans are more concerned about issues that affect them now, rather than longer-term threats generated by computer climate models.

The big issue, as highlighted by this poll, is confidence in current economic conditions and the country’s perceived economic outlook. Having a score of -12 shows that not only do Americans not think the unfavorable prevailing economy is getting better, but that current conditions are resoundingly bleak. The score would have been lower if those polled “perceived” the country’s economic future was going to get worse. According to this poll, Americans are more optimistic that the economy will head in the right direction, and this belief is likely bolstered by low gas prices and the recovering stock market.

Also today, the Associate Press called out Bernie Sanders for once again misrepresenting the facts by overstating the “share of wealth being taken by the richest Americans,” which is at the “core of his campaign” in how to grow our economy. In the debate, Sanders said, “Almost all the new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent.” But the AP writes that Sanders is relying on outdated data. “In the first five years of the economic recovery, from 2009 through 2014, the richest 1 percent of Americans captured 58 percent of income growth.”

In fact, from 2009 through 2012, the “richest 1 percent did capture 91 percent of the growth in income.” And that only happened because of “impending tax increases on the wealthiest Americans that took effect in 2013.” Also, “the bottom 99 percent finally saw their incomes rise 3.3 percent, the biggest gain in 15 years.” The AP goes on to fact-check many of Sanders’ statements, and as other news outlets have previously noted, someone has to foot the bill for all the freebies, and that would be the taxpayer, regardless of their tax status.

So are four of the five candidates simply out of sync with the rest of America or just hamming it up for their base, the Democratic Party, in order to win the primary (where only registered Democrats can vote)? As Syria and the Middle East are increasingly torn apart by civil war, with Russia’s Putin openly challenging President Obama’s leadership by bombing our allies to prop up Syria’s dictator Assad, and as Gallup’s ECI remains stuck in its downward trend (it went from a high of 5 in Feb. 2015 and has steadily dropped to its current level of -12), many are wondering who the Democrats are actually representing.

The one candidate of the Giveaway Gang, Jim Webb, was called out by CNN’s debate moderator Anderson Cooper, who asked: “You’re pro-coal, you’re pro-offshore drilling, you’re pro-Keystone pipeline. The question is, are you out of step with the Democratic party?” Webb said he was a retro-Democrat (what the Democrats used to be like), and that the United States couldn’t solve climate change by regulating our country into the stone age without China and India following suit (which they won’t and can’t).

“If you look at China and India, they’re the greatest polluters in the world,” Webb said. “Fifteen out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in one of those two countries.” And contrary to what some of the candidates said, Webb was correct when he said that China has not agreed to cut carbon dioxide emissions, but only promised that they would look at it and ‘try’ if it didn’t affect their growing nascent economy negatively. Even India has backpedaled out of any international agreement.

“The so-called agreements that we have had with China are illusory in terms of the immediate requirements of the Chinese government itself,” Webb continued. “So let’s solve this problem in an international way, and then we really will have a way to address climate change.”

Gallup’s ECI poll was conducted Oct. 5-11, 2015, via telephone interviews on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 3,038 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The margin of error is ¬±2 percentage points.

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Tesla Plugs Into $35,000 In Tax Loopholes For Super-Wealthy Customers

Elon MuskTesla CEO Elon MuskTesla Motors, which is already heavily dependent on tax subsidies to sell its luxury electric cars, has managed to hit another lucrative taxpayer vein with its Model X electric SUV.

That car, which will retail at more than $100,000, is eligible for a $25,000 tax deduction, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Yes, you read that right.

The tax break, offered to small-business owners, comes from President Obama’s stimulus program. It was supposed to encourage small companies to spend more on equipment like tractors and trucks, or other vehicles weighing more than 6,000 pounds. Which, conveniently enough, the Model X does.

So let’s say you’re eligible for the $25,000 tax deduction and you’re in the 39.6% tax bracket. You’d save $9,900 in taxes. Combine that with the $7,500 federal tax credit for buying an electric car, plus state-level credits (the one in California is $2,500), and your total tax break hits $19,900.

That $100,000 car ends up costing you only $80,100, with taxpayers picking up the rest.

This is not a far fetched scenario. As the Times explains, Tesla buyers are overwhelmingly wealthy, with median incomes of $280,000 — which is more than five times the national median.

Tesla isn’t the only car maker benefitting from these lavish tax breaks. Overall, the federal government handed out nearly $1 billion in tax credits to plug-in electric and hybrid car buyers from 2006 to 2012, according to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2012 alone, these credits added up to $159 million.

And, as with Tesla, the credits overwhelmingly benefit the well-to-do. The Berkeley researchers found that 89% of the plug-in tax credits were claimed by people making $75,000 or more; those with incomes above $200,000 got more than a third — which makes this one of the most regressive tax credits on the books.

When he was running for office in 2008, President Obama talked about how he wanted to “spread the wealth around.”

It’s unlikely anyone could have imagined that what he meant was taking hard-earned tax dollars from the middle class and handing it over to rich luxury-car buyers.

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Joe Bast assesses the battlefield on climate/warming/global environmental political war

Joe BastJoe BastBelow I post an essay on the present state of affairs written by Joe Bast, president of the Heartland Institute of Chicago, one of the leading organizations dedicated to opposing warmer/climate change/environmentalism nonsense science and policy making. We are all committed to protecting the environment but opposed to socialist, leftist, statist hijacking the cause for their malignant political purposes.

I have been working with Joe Bast now for more than 10 years and find him to be a good editor and writer, excellent organizer and political strategist. I have benefited from my association with Heartland Institute and the many people associated with Heartland.

Today Joe sent me an essay (pasted below) that states his assessment of the current political state of affairs related to the climate change/warming crusade and environmental policy battles.

I have never had a paid position with Heartland and usually I sent my honoraria back for times when I was invited to speak. Sometimes I even paid my own travel expenses. I was and am a volunteer in the army that was gathered by Heartland and others to challenge junk science and bad policy making promoted by socialist, fanatic and misanthropic environmentalists. I had a day job so I could be a part of the effort.

Joe’s essay:

Friends,

I sent this last night to Heartland’s extended global warming team, and figured this morning it’s good enough to share more widely. I hope I’m not being overly optimistic… real-world data will reveal that soon enough.

Joe

Earlier this evening I had a long conversation with a donor. As he often does, he asked where the global warming debate stands: Are we winning? While it’s fresh on mind, I want to share some of things we talked about. We all have our own views and insights into the global warming debate, here are mine.

My usual answer to the donor is “the battle field is large, we’re winning some battles and losing others, we’re no longer retreating, but the war is too close to call.” But today, after more than 20 years in the global warming debate (I first wrote about it in 1993), and surrounded by books and reports on climate change as I work on Climate Change II: Benefits and Costs of Fossil Fuels, I think I’m seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe I’m just really tired.

In the early years, we debunked AGW myths the same way we would debunk myths about recycling, dioxin, acid rain, and the rest of the memes tossed out by left environmentalists to justify their anti-humanism. As AGW gained momentum, we struggled to keep from being swept aside as a popular delusion gripped the nation and the world. We tried economics – the high cost of reducing emissions, the small and improbable benefits – and got no traction. Who cares what the fire extinguisher costs if the building is on fire? So we resurrected the science debate, and in 2008, thanks to Climate Change Reconsidered, played a major role in the rejection of Lieberman-Warner by the Senate. (We put copies of that tome on the desk of every member of the U.S. Senate and met with most their senior staff.)

Opinion polls can be misleading, but we’ve convinced around 70% of the American people that global warming is mostly man-made, that it’s unlikely to be a problem in our lifetimes, and that it isn’t worth more than about $25 to stop. We convinced Republicans to make the issue a litmus test, at least for primary elections at the national level. We got Tea Party leaders to agree to put it in their top five issues where compromise isn’t accepted. We’ve educated thousands of state legislators and members of congress, sending every one of them a publication on the issue (Environment & Climate News) every four weeks for eighteen consecutive years.

In the coming two years, the three legs of the global warming scam’s stool will be kicked out. The other side’s most powerful player, the United Nations, will be kneecapped in Paris in December. EPA will be gutted and hung out to dry by the next Republican President of the USA. And temperatures will start to noticeably cool in 2017, exposing NOAA’s, EPA’s, UCS’s, and EDF’s deceptions and forever discrediting the global warming movement. None of these events are inevitable, of course. We need to make sure Congress demands a vote on any commitments made by the Obama delegation to Paris and then votes to kill them. We need to nominate and vet candidates to populate the next cabinet. And we need to be in a position to say “we told you so and here’s what it means” when temperatures dip.

The failure in Paris is explained beautifully in this essay by a senior fellow for the Council on Foreign Relations:

http://blogs.cfr.org/levi/2015/06/10/what-matters-and-what-doesnt-in-the-g7-climate-declaration/

Note the source and check out his bio… he’s one of those whiz-kid Ruling Class types that Codevilla talked about:

http://www.cfr.org/experts/energy-geoeconomics/michael-a-levi/b11890

His points in brief: (1) The developed countries are no longer pushing for binding emissions reduction commitments; (2) the emphasis has shifted from mitigation to adaptation; (3) the goals declared in Paris will be too far in the future to matter to anyone; and (4) the widely discussed pledge of giving developing countries $100 billion a year is going to consist largely of relabeling foreign aid and private funding already going to those countries.

It’s hard to emphasize too strongly how major all four of these victories for “our side” are. There will be no treaty because every world leader knows the U.S. Senate will kill it. The “work around” that allows Obama to act without Congressional approval will be closed by Congress. The shift from mitigation to adaptation (as Bob Carter will tell us) reduces the cost of “taking action against global warming” by an ORDER OF MAGNITUDE (that’s by a “factor of ten” to those of you of a certain age, and “90%” for those of another certain age). Politicians have never and will never give up tax dollars and power today to do something that doesn’t produce benefits for decades or longer. Any goal more than four years out is meaningless, empty rhetoric. Redefining the $100 billion pledge to include current and planned aid and private funds cuts that number in half. Giving the money to private entities (businesses and NGOs) for adaptation projects instead of “reparations” to corrupt third world governments cuts the amount that would be wasted (or diverted to arms) by another order of magnitude. We’re getting close to that $25 that the average taxpayer is willing to spend. The wisdom of crowds…

If a Republican ‚Äì any Republican (well, maybe not Jeb Bush) ‚Äì gets elected president in 2016, EPA takes a major hit. Gone will be billions of dollars a year funneled to environmental advocacy groups and the renewable energy industry. The beast will starve. Unlike activists on our side, the other side is mostly in it for careers and power. Take away the trough and they get real jobs (or find some other fake crisis to hype). The environmental movement is like the Soviet Union in 1991: it looked big and powerful on the outside, but it’s rotten inside and about to collapse.

And then there’s the climate itself. September was the hottest month on record, in case you didn’t hear. Utter B.S. This winter is going to long and bitterly cold, again. NOAA, EPA, and the MSM will claim it’s a mild winter while people curse their televisions, cancel their newspaper subscriptions, and shovel the driveway again. Each year it gets worse, and the lies become more obvious. More and more scientists agree: we’re entering a cooling period. Only question is how soon and how deep.

Victory is not inevitable. We might still screw it up. Lots of mischief can be done while a movement collapses and retreats. The MSM and environmentalists will never admit they were wrong. Prophets (and victims) are often not recognized or respected after a popular delusion dissipates, so we may not benefit directly from victory. But it will be a victory for consumers, producers, and taxpayers nonetheless.

And for that, we will pop open a bottle of champagne and celebrate. And then go to work on the very real entitlement crisis.

Joe

Joseph Bast
President, Heartland Institute of Chicago

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Jim Webb Is Basically A Republican When It Comes To Global Warming

webbNot a lot of people had heard of former Sen. Jim Webb before Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate, but based on his response to a question on global warming voters can assume he’s much farther to the right than his fellow Democrats on the issue.

“You’re pro-coal, you’re pro-offshore drilling, you’re pro-Keystone pipeline. Are — again, are you — the question is, are you out of step with the Democratic party?” CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked the former Virginia senator during the debate.

Webb responded that he was an “all-of-the-above energy voter” while in the U.S. Senate, adding that he supported nuclear power. Most importantly, however, Webb stressed the point that global warming would not be solved by the U.S. alone — a point most Democrats seem to ignore in the climate debate.

“And really, we are not going to solve climate change simply with the laws here,” Webb said. “If you look at China and India, they’re the greatest polluters in the world. Fifteen out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in one of those two countries. We need to solve this in a global way.”

Webb also took a swipe at the “illusory” agreements between the U.S. and China that have been announced in the last year. Webb argued that the Chinese have been vague on what they would do right away to fight global warming.

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Cuomo paid state workers to fill seats at climate change event

cuomo and goreGov. Andrew Cuomo wasn’t taking any chances that there might be empty seats at a speech he delivered last week on climate change — so state workers were summoned on the taxpayer dime to fill the audience, The Post has learned.

The workers said they left their jobs in the middle of the day Thursday and were paid their full salaries to hear Cuomo at Columbia University announce the state was joining a global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“I’d rather be at the park,” said one of the workers, who is employed by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and who has no connection to climate issues.

He explained that he went because his boss “asked me to make some time available in my schedule.”

The worker confessed that he didn’t know what the event was about before he agreed to go.

He said attendance is not required, but is viewed favorably, and that the practice is common throughout state government to support Cuomo.

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Flashback 2014: ‘Why Climate Change Had No Impact on the Syrian Uprising’

syriaSerious people speculated that climate change had ravaged Syria and was behind the drought that preceded the uprising. No matter that the reality is that those who attribute any one disaster to climate change are on ground no firmer than Councillor David Silvester in meteorological terms. But in Syria to speculate about climate change was to create a mystery where none existed.

Despite an abundance of water, between 2006 and 2010 there was a serious drought, which displaced more than 1.5 million subsistence farmers, depriving them of ninety percent of their income. The major cause was a depletion of groundwater. In the new “open” economy after Bashar al-Assad succeeded his father, the regime’s retainers were freed of restraint; they drilled more water than was sustainable to enhance their short-term gain. This happens in partially transformed economies where the monopolised corruption of the State becomes decentralised.

In short, as in Sudan, a focus on climate change exculpates the regime.

The “frequency of droughts had not increased over the last 20 years,” Ms. Chatel notes, and it was “not the drought per se, but rather the government’s failure to respond to the ensuing humanitarian crisis” that led to trouble. The regime had also in part causing the drought by over-drawing water:

[T]he desert naturally adapts to droughts and wet periods. … Experiments carried out over a period of ten years … in the eastern desert conclusively showed that the mismanagement and overexploitation of resources lay at the root of desertification, not drought or climate change.
To blame overpopulation or water-scarcity, as the regime does, is to actively mislead.

In January, a paper published by Francesca de Chatel, a Dutch specialist on water issues in the Arab world, vindicated this view. “[T]here is very little solid evidence” that climate change “will lead to more frequent and harsher droughts, [or] higher temperatures and lower and more unpredictable precipitation levels.” Indeed,

The only available evidence that global warming will lead to more extreme weather events relies on modeling. Data do not really sustain this hypothesis so far.

Moreover, where there are so many other evident causes of the current conflict, it seems unproductive to focus on the possible role of climate change.

As Ms. Chatel so pithily concludes:

“The possible role of climate change in this chain of events is not only irrelevant; it is also an unhelpful distraction.”

Source

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