Bonn U.N. Talks Seek To Avoid Deadlock Over Global Climate Agreement

climate paris talksGovernments will try on Monday to streamline an 89-page draft text of a U.N. deal to fight climate change due to be agreed in Paris in December, hoping to avoid the acrimony of the last failed attempt. The 190-nation talks among senior officials in Bonn, from June 1-11, will try to narrow down vastly differing options, ranging from promises to slash greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 to vague pledges to curb rising emissions. –Alister Doyle, Reuters, 31 May 2015

Efforts spearheaded by the United Nations to reach a global deal to fight climate change are “inadequate”, a French minister said on Monday in a sign of growing frustration before Paris hosts a major meeting later this year. Environment Minister Segolene Royal blamed negotiators for past failures. “Bonn must obey the political instructions of heads of state and governments. Otherwise, the negotiators, who have been there for 15 years, if not 20 years, will just continue going through the motions,” she said.  —Reuters, 1 June 2015

Rich countries need US$70 billion more to reach the US$100 billion goal of the U.N. Green Climate Fund set up at the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Conference. A global agreement on funding poor nations will be essential before reaching any climate change deal at the upcoming U.N. Climate Conference which kicks off Nov. 30 in Paris, French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday. “Without any financial commitment, there won’t be an agreement in Paris,” said Hollande at the Sixth Petersberg Climate Dialogue hosted in the German capital of Berlin. —TeleSUR News, 20 May 2015

France is hosting a climate summit this December that’s been billed as the most important gathering on the issue yet, but the country’s leadership is apparently quite skeptical of the UN-led process. This December’s summit is just the latest iteration of a decades-old movement to conjure up an international response to climate change, but the quest for a binding Global Climate Treaty has proven itself quixotic over the years. –Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest, 29 May 2015

The news that a group of European oil majors wants to open negotiations with governments about the creation of a global carbon tax has all the hallmarks of a public relations campaign. In the crony capitalist European capitals, kudos can be won by playing along with the green agenda, in the clear knowledge that the costs of doing so will be nil. The chances of the developing world shunning fossil fuels in favour of letting their people continue to die prematurely are slim to say the least.
–Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 1 June 2015

Los Angeles entrepreneur Elon Musk has built a multibillion-dollar fortune running companies that make electric cars, sell solar panels and launch rockets into space. And he’s built those companies with the help of billions in government subsidies. Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support, according to data compiled by The Times. –Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times, 30 May 2015

Industrial group Siemens has resigned itself to never selling another gas turbine in its home country following Germany’s switch to renewable energy, its chief executive said. Joe Kaeser is cutting 1,600 jobs at Siemens’ power and gas division, which has been turned upside down by the fallout from Germany’s decision to accelerate its nuclear exit and promote renewable energy following Japan’s 2011 Fukushima disaster. “The way in which Germany’s energy transition is being handled has made it impossible for us to ever sell our fossil fuel-related products and solutions in Germany,” Kaeser said in an interview published in Siemens’ staff magazine on Thursday. —Reuters, 28 May 2015

In the event that the Paris conference fails to make its nationally determined mitigation pledges legally binding, the EU should abandon or at least delay making its own 40% pledge legally binding. Alternatively, EU leaders could simply agree to make the 40% pledge binding at EU, but not at national levels. Such a soft exit strategy would emulate the EU’s dodgy renewable energy target for 2030 which, while being called a EU-wide and binding target, does not oblige members states to adopt any legally binding renewables targets domestically. ‚ÄìBenny Peiser,  Keynote address to the Solidarno≈õƒá Trade Union Climate Conference, 29 May 2015

Continue Reading 1 Comment

Curbing EPA abuses

gina mccarthyRussian President Vladimir Putin is outraged that the United States has indicted 14 FIFA soccer officials, accusing them of corruption, racketeering, fraud and conspiracy, involving bribes totaling over $150 million in kickbacks for awarding tournament rights. He says the US is meddling in Russian affairs and plotting to steal the 2018 World Cup from his country. What chutzpah.

This is the same Mr. Putin who annexed Crimea and parts of Ukraine, and whose close cronies have been secretly channeling millions of dollars to US and EU environmentalist groups to oppose both American oil drilling in the Arctic and hydraulic fracturing ‚Äì the game-changing process that is producing so much oil and gas that it’s slashed energy prices … and Russian revenues.

The Justice Department indictments generated global applause. Now the DOJ needs to conduct an equally zealous investigation into corruption, fraud and collusion in the Obama Environmental Protection Agency. Of course, that will never happen – no matter how rampant or flagrant the abuses have been.

As Kimberly Strassel documents in May 14 and May 21 articles, EPA emails and other documents reveal that the agency had already decided in 2010 to veto the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska on ideological grounds, “well before it did any science” on the project’s potential environmental impacts. Meanwhile, an EPA biologist was working with eco-activists to recruit Native Americans to oppose the mine. “It’s not much of a leap,” Strassel writes, “to suggest that the EPA encouraged [petitions against the mine] so that it would have an excuse to intervene, run its science as cover, and block a project it already opposed.”

At the same time the biologist was aiding the petition drive, he was also helping to write EPA’s “options paper” for the mine ‚Äì and lobbying his co-authors and report contributors to veto the mine, Strassel notes. Now, contrary to newly discovered agency emails, EPA bosses are pretending they never saw the options paper and trying to put the blame on low-level functionaries, when they were deep in cahoots all the way.

This represents incredible collusion, deception, fraud and abuse of power – to impose agency edicts and appease environmental ideologues in and out of EPA. Moreover, it is just the latest in a long line of abuses and usurpations by this Obama agency, under a culture of corruption and secretive, manipulated science used to justify regulatory overkill that imposes extensive damages for few or no benefits.

On climate, EPA relies on computer models and discredited IPCC reports to predict global catastrophes that it insists can be prevented if the United States slashes its fossil fuel use, carbon dioxide emissions and living standards, even if China, India and other developing countries do nothing. Meanwhile, real-world temperatures, hurricanes, tornadoes, polar ice and sea levels continue to defy the fear-mongering. So now the rhetoric has shifted yet again, to alleged national security and asthma threats from climate change.

Just this week, EPA announced that it will henceforth regulate any ponds, puddles, creeks, ditches and other waters that have a “significant nexus” to navigable waterways, even if that ill-defined connection enjoys six degrees of separation from streams in which you can actually paddle a kayak. EPA itself recognizes that “science” does not support its new regime, so now it says its “experience and expertise” justify regulating virtually all “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) ‚Äì and thus of all lands, land uses, and family, farm and industrial activities not already covered by its climate and other rules.

Homeowners, farmers and businesses will now have to apply for permits to do almost anything that might theoretically pollute or affect waterways. Even taking a shower is now subject to EPA regulation.

On mercury, EPA is shutting down coal-fired power plants that emit barely 3% of all the mercury in US air and water. It claims this will prevent “0.00209 points” in American IQ losses and protect nonexistent “hypothetical female subsistence consumers” who every day for 70 years eat a pound of fish that they catch themselves in US navigable or “nexus” waterways.

For fine particulates, EPA wasn’t satisfied with regulations that prohibited more than one ounce of soot spread evenly in a volume of air a half-mile square by one story tall. When illegal experiments on humans failed to demonstrate that these levels were not actually “dangerous” or “lethal,” it imposed tougher standards anyway, as part of its war on coal. 

Before he landed in jail for fraud, high level EPA bureaucrat John Beale concocted the sue-and-settle tactic, under which agency lawyers meet with environmentalist groups behind closed doors, agree to new regulatory standards, and then settle a friendly lawsuit whereby a court orders EPA to adopt the rules. Parties actually impacted by the new regulations never find out about them until it’s a “done deal.” 

As presidential candidate Obama promised, under his policies electricity prices would “necessarily skyrocket.” But this means poor families, small businesses, factories, school districts, hospitals and churches must pay far more to keep their lights, heat, air conditioning and equipment running. That means people get laid off, fewer jobs are created, living standards decline, people’s health and wellbeing suffer, stress, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse increase, more people die during heat waves, and far more die during much deadlier winter cold snaps.

However, EPA ignores all these cold, hard realities – as it cherry-picks research and pseudo-science to support its agenda, ignores contradictory studies, and pays advisory boards and activist groups like the American Lung Association millions of dollars annually to rubberstamp and promote its decisions.

What can be done to curb these abuses and usurpations, and rein in this renegade agency?

Congress should cut EPA’s budget, to eliminate money that it routinely gives to activist and propaganda groups ‚Äì and prevent the agency from spending any further taxpayer funds to regulate carbon dioxide, impose its new ozone, mercury and WOTUS rules, or participate in new sue-and-settle lawsuits.

Congress should also pass the Secret Science Reform Act, to ensure greater honesty and transparency in EPA rulemakings – and hold hearings on the Pebble Mine and other questionable agency actions, with EPA officials under oath and subject to penalties for perjury, malfeasance and criminality in office.

Presidential candidates must become well versed in these issues, discuss them during interviews and debates, and be prepared to amend, suspend and upend EPA decisions and regulations that were implemented in violation of transparency, integrity, and honest, robust science.

They should also examine how the federal EPA behemoth can be systematically dismantled and replaced with a “committee of the whole” of the 50 state environmental protection agencies ‚Äì so as to balance and protect our needs for air and water quality, livelihoods, living standards, health and welfare.

State legislators, governors and attorneys general, companies and other aggrieved parties should continue to file lawsuits to block EPA excesses. However, they should stop relying on “abuse of discretion,” as courts almost always bow to government agencies. Instead, they need to demand that every agency decision is grounded in reliable, replicable, testable, peer-reviewed evidence, data and standards ‚Äì as set forth in the Supreme Court’s Daubert, Joiner and Kumho decisions ‚Äì and that the agencies demonstrate that they have fully accounted for the negative job, economic, health and welfare impacts of their rulings.

Meanwhile, as Charles Murray (author of By the People: Rebuilding liberty without permission) and others have suggested, states, communities, companies and individuals should engage in a new form of “systemic” civil disobedience: refusing to bow to harmful, nonsensical, tyrannical EPA regulations.

In short, we should take Dylan Thomas’s advice ‚Äì and rage, rage against the dying of the light ‚Äì due to regulations that are dimming the lights in our homes and the light of liberty and American exceptionalism.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: To save the world from the save-the-earth money machine.

Continue Reading 4 Comments

Gov. Walker to Obama: Clean Power Plan is ‘riddled with inaccuracies’

Scott WalkerGov. Scott WalkerThe AP reported Thursday that presidential hopeful Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) told President Obama in a letter that his Clean Power Plan is simply “unworkable” and “riddled with inaccuracies.” The letter, obtained by the AP and dated May 21, said Wisconsin would not comply with the president’s plan without “significant and meaningful changes.” The Clean Power Plan is designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that the EPA says is responsible for climate change.

A defiant Walker wrote that the proposed rule for coal-fired power plants made “questionable assumptions,” making it untenable for his state. He also wrote that adherence to the new rules would cost Wisconsin nearly $13.4 billion, raise electricity rates by 29 percent, and that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had overstated its authority by “attempting to regulate the entire electric generating system.”

Wisconsin is one of a dozen “coal-reliant states suing the EPA to block the so-called Clean Power Plan,” the AP reported. The plan requires all states to “cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 30 percent by 2030.” These states, which rely heavily on coal for its electricity, believe the new rules are onerous, unreachable, cost-prohibitive, and will essentially kill the coal industry. The states also say the plan “oversteps EPA’s authority and violates the Clean Air Act.”

In March, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated this point when he wrote to all governors to challenge the proposed rules to cut CO2 emissions, which he described as “illegal” and a “job-killer.” McConnell’s letter accuses the EPA with “attempting to compel states to do more themselves than what the agency would be authorized to do on its own.”

And in Oklahoma, Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed an executive order in April preventing the state from formulating a state plan based on the upcoming federal rules. Fallin also called the upcoming rules an “overreach and directed the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality not to work on any state plans in response to the rules.”

According to the Times Record, Fallin’s executive order says that “development of such a SIP (state implementation plan) involves dozens of state and private entities and thousands of hours of study and negotiations. It is a massive undertaking and requires the commitment of untold amounts of financial and time resources.”

But the EPA still has a few tricks up its sleeve for recalcitrant governors that refuse to cooperate. If the states don’t come up with a plan for complying with the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the EPA can legally impose a federal plan on those states. If the EPA wins the legal hurdles it’s facing from industry and states alike, utility companies will have “no other options but to comply with a federal plan.” Oklahoma, like many other states, have laws that allow “regulated utilities to pass on any compliance costs to ratepayers for federal environmental regulations.”

A group of Democratic Senators also sent a disingenuous letter to all governors urging them to “comply with the EPA rule” while stating that “McConnell’s home state is already drafting a compliance plan.” Except McConnell’s home state of Kentucky is not creating a state compliance plan, but has instead “passed a bill to exempt the state from submitting a plan to meet the proposed air regulations that work against coal.” That’s according to The Olympian, which also reports the state is also suing the EPA over the rule.

And because upgrading aging coal-fired plants is too expensive, shutting them down and replacing them with natural gas-powered plants has allowed Kentucky to ‘inadvertently’ reach the low-emissions target set by the EPA’s draft rules. According to one compliance tool, “the state will be over-complying by 2.6 million tons of carbon,” even though “92 percent of its electricity comes from coal-fired power plants.”

However, if the EPA’s final rule differs drastically from the draft rule’s emission targets, or the EPA capriciously decides that closing down coal-fired power plants can’t be counted as “real carbon dioxide emission reductions,” this strategy could force utilities to become even more energy efficient with the costs being passed on to consumers. The upcoming gubernatorial election in November also complicates the matter as both the Democratic and Republican nominees have said they won’t allow Kentucky to “submit a plan to the EPA.”

Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming are challenging the EPA’s CPP in court and filed a joint motion to expedite a court review of their lawsuit. By forcing states to create implementation plans before the courts can decide on their legality, having these plans in place may “grant legitimacy to the CPP to the court.” The EPA’s final rule will be released in late summer, normally the hottest time of year for the United States.

Source

Continue Reading 10 Comments

Puddles, Potholes Under Government Control — Has EPA Gone Too Far?

ginaFirst it went after coal, now it’s going after … puddles. Is there anything the Environmental Protection Agency can’t regulate if it wants to? Based on its recent actions, apparently not.

The EPA is perhaps the pre-eminent example of the “administrative state” — the quasi-permanent unelected federal bureaucracy made up of 77 agencies and departments that operate largely free of congressional interference and that write rules that have the power of enforceable law.

Now, fresh off declaring it can essentially regulate all industrial activity to get rid of CO2 in our atmosphere, the EPA in cahoots with the Army Corps of Engineers just unveiled what it calls the “clean water rule.”

The intent, as the Obama administration announced, is to save the nation’s streams, headwaters, creeks and wetlands from “pollution and degradation.”

“Protecting our water sources is a critical component of adapting to climate change impacts,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said, adding that the new rule would help “strengthen our economy and provide certainty to American businesses.”

The EPA claims authority to do what it’s doing under the 1972 Clean Water Act, which is supposed to cover only “navigable waterways.”

The rule doesn’t provide “certainty,” as McCarthy promised. What it does is muddle the picture for businesses. The rule extends EPA control over such near-waterless features as dry creeks, potholes and puddles.

So any private individual or business that wants to do anything even remotely related to water will have to ask the government’s permission.

Not surprisingly, some in Congress are furious over the EPA’s continuing unconstitutional power grab. Dozens of Democrats have joined the GOP in opposing it.

“EPA’s attempt to redefine ‘navigable waterways’ to include every drainage ditch, backyard pond and puddle is a radical regulatory overreach that threatens to take away the rights of property owners and will lead to costly litigation and lost jobs,” said GOP House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat, earlier this week, the regulatory state — of which EPA is a major part — has become an enormous brake on our economy, one that violates Americans’ constitutional rights.

In 2012, according to a recent report from the National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. federal regulatory efforts cost the economy just over $2 trillion — an amount equal to 13% of gross domestic product.

As recently as 1990, the federal regulatory registry had “just” 50,000 pages. Today, it’s more than 80,000 — an economy-killing expansion of 60% in the amount of regulations.

Every rule promulgated by the federal government reflects a new restriction on Americans to do what they wish with their own lives, talents and property. Meanwhile, few, if any, tangible benefits exist. That’s what the administrative state represents.

The House this month already voted to send the rule back to the EPA for reconsideration. A bill before the Senate would do the same thing. Let’s hope Congress takes this bipartisan action to stem the growth of the increasingly powerful and unlawful administrative state.

It’s time to draw a constitutional line and defend it.

Source

Continue Reading 5 Comments

Environmental Journalism Has Become Ideological Warfare

moneyWhy do so many climate-related news reports sound like propaganda written by zealous, even fanatical, environmentalists who could never be called impartial or objective?

Why have reporters belonging to the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) abandoned the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics, which includes a pledge to support “open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant,” and instead promoted retaliation against scientists with whom they disagree, often calling for the censorship of climate-alarm skeptics?

Deep-Seated Emotions

The evidence suggests SEJ’s actions weren’t based solely on the perennial need for sensational headlines or the usual left-wing politics of covering the environment beat. It’s more personal. Many environmental journalists seem driven by emotions aroused before they entered journalism school: fear and loathing of modern technology and the flourishing human populations it brings.

That’s the core of the environmental catechism as taught by Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Paul Ehrlich’s ThePopulation Bomb, and The Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth.

Many green beat reporters appear to harbor feelings of misanthropic self-loathing, as National Book Award novelist Jonathan Franzen said of himself in The New Yorker: “I was raised as a Protestant and became an environmentalist, but I’ve long been struck by the spiritual kinship of environmentalism and New England Puritanism. Both belief systems are haunted by the feeling that simply to be human is to be guilty.”

This makes environmentalism and journalism a treacherous coupling. The father of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Bert Bolin, said as much. In his 2008 A History of the Science and Politics of Climate Change, Bolin wrote, “There has been an unfortunate polarization of the way the media report the climate change issue. … It was non-governmental groups of environmentalists, supported by the mass media, who were the ones exaggerating the conclusions that had been carefully formulated by the IPCC.”

The scientific evidence was weak, but the environmental journalists’ belief was strong, so they lied. Period.

Once greens attained real influence, environmental reporters emerged as vengeful authoritarians driven by power and a furious intolerance toward doubters who threatened their belief and personal status. The science, as Heartland Institute Policy Advisor Norman Rogers pointed out, is just window dressing.

Joyfully Wearing ‘Pareto’s Blindfold’

Rogers took his cue from the Italian economist and sociologist Vilfredo Pareto, who, in 1901, wrote in The Rise and Fall of Elites: An Application of Theoretical Sociology: “The greater part of human actions have their origin not in logical reasoning but in sentiment [emotion]. Man, although impelled to act by non-logical motives, likes to tie his actions logically to certain principles; he therefore invents these a posteriori in order to justify his actions.”

We can think of this as “Pareto’s Blindfold” and apply it to climate reporting: Reasoning about science with many environmental reporters is futile because you’re not dealing with science or reason, you’re dealing with illogical principles invented to justify their fear, loathing, human guilt, and retribution. Reporters can’t see this, much less admit it to themselves.

With the Obama administration’s Machiavellian collusion, reporters who are more environmentalist than journalist now rule the climate beat. 

Big Money Supports Alarmism

You can credit the SEJ, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with more than 1,200 member reporters and academics in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and 27 other countries, with the general decline in journalistic standards among environmental journalists. SEJ has received 119 grants from 35 notorious anti-development foundations, totaling $9.5 million since 1999. With this financial prompting, the SEJ’s stalwarts, including Andrew Revkin (The New York Times), Seth Borenstein (Associated Press), and Suzanne Goldenberg (The Guardian), have led the decline of climate news into ideological warfare.

To many SEJ writers, it is not possible for them to be biased, because issues have only one side: their own.

Associated Press’ Borenstein asserted, “The nature of reporting is to get two sides to an issue. But the nature of science reporting is to get what’s really happening.”

SEJ thinks whatever isn’t environmental dogma is a lie, as indicated by its reference webpage “Climate Change: A Guide to the Information and Disinformation.”

SEJ writers also promote “false balance,” the notion that giving opposing views concerning climate change any mention at all is not real balance because skeptics are liars paid to undermine the truth. Thus, Pareto’s Blindfold justifies total censorship. 

Public Sees Through Hype

Fortunately, the public has resisted this biased climate journalism. A March Gallup Poll found the number of people saying they worried “a great deal” about global warming peaked in 2000 at 72 percent. Despite increasingly hyperbolic media coverage, the number of people greatly worried about climate change fell to 55 percent in 2009 and has remained there since. Significantly, 42 percent of Americans think reporters exaggerate the seriousness of global warming, and only 21 percent think media reports are generally correct.

Perhaps a big reason behind newspapers’ declining readership is reporters’ increasing abandonment of their traditional fourth-estate role as government watchdog and defender of dissent in favor of promoting the “official” views of government and large bureaucratic institutions.

Climate reporters have stooped to reprehensible smears to destroy skeptic scientists with false “science-for-sale” allegations in orchestrated campaigns with extremists such as Greenpeace. The true colors of their yellow journalism are showing, loud and ugly. 

Ron Arnold (arnold.ron@gmail.com) is a free-enterprise activist, author, and commentator.

Source

Continue Reading 11 Comments

Leaving the Church of Environmentalism

Environmentalism Gone MadIn March 2009 while the Environmental Protection Agency was rushing to fulfill a presidential campaign pledge to document that carbon dioxide (CO2) and five other greenhouse gases endangered public health and the environment, a longtime employee, Alan Carlin, put out a 93-page report challenging the science being cited and the drift of the agency from its initial role to one captured by fanatical activists and alarmists, treating environmentalism more as a religion than based in science.

At the time Carlin was a 72-year-old analyst and economist who, as The New York Times put it, “had labored in obscurity in a little-known office at the Environmental Protection Agency since the Nixon administration.” His EPA career would span 38 years.

The website for his new book, “Environmentalism Gone Mad” says, “Dr. Alan Carlin is an economist and physical scientist with degrees from Caltech and MIT and publications in both economics and climate/energy, who became actively involved in the Sierra Club in the 1960s as an activist and Chapter Chairman. This led to a career as a manager and senior analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency.”

As he says in the preface “The purpose of this book is to explain why I changed from my lifelong support of the environmental movement to extreme skepticism concern their current primary objective of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide.”

“Although I and the many other climate skeptics are now referred to as ‘deniers’ by the climate alarmists, that does not change the science—and there is no valid scientific basis for the alarmists’ catastrophic climate predictions—or justify their fantastically expensive and useless ‘solution.‘”

Carlin went from being a dedicated environmentalist, based on its initial philosophy of conservation, to an observer of the movement that was taken over and distorted to advocate falsehoods about global warming and a transition from fossil-fuels to “clean energy” meaning wind, solar and bio-fuels. As an economist he understood how absurd it was to suggest rejecting fossil-fuels, the key element of modern industry and society.

“The climate alarmists,” says Carlin, “have now been making their apocalyptic predictions for almost thirty years and it is now possible to compare their predictions with actual physical observations.”  Suffice to say all the predictions of a significantly higher temperature—the warming—have been wrong.

In fact, the Earth has been in a natural cooling cycle since 1998 and shows no indication of warming.

Predictions about the North and South Poles melting, a major rise in ocean levels, increased hurricanes and other climate events have been wrong along with countless other climate-related apocalyptic predictions.

Having observed how the EPA has functioned for more than three decades, Carlin warns that its current “environmental policy has been hijacked by radicals intent on imposing their ideology by government fiat on the rest of us whether we like it or not…If environmental policy is based on government fiat or ‘green’ policy prescriptions the results have been and are very likely to continue to be disastrous.”

At 625 pages, Carlin’s book takes the reader from his early days as a Sierra Club activist and chapter leader to being an EPA outcast, denounced for telling the truth about the false claims of global warming, climate change, and what is now being called extreme weather.

As an economist, Carlin is particularly upset that “the Obama Administration’s climate/energy policy is wasting very large sums on non-solutions to minor or non-problems.”  The book has come along as President Obama has been flogging “climate change” as the greatest threat to the nation and the world.

“It has been long recognized that weather is chaotic,” says Carlin. While we operate within the four seasons, the weather that occurs can only be predicted in the most general terms. Suggesting that humans actually have any effect on the weather is absurd.

That is why the predictions made by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and all the others based on computer models are, by definition, worthless. Computer models cannot predict anything about the vast chaotic global climate system. Even today, meteorologists are mystified by the actions of clouds which can form and disappear in minutes.

It’s useful to keep in mind that climate is measured in centuries, while the weather is reported as what is occurring today and forecast, at best, for no more than a week. Weather records are maintained for purposes of comparison and within the larger context of determining the Earth’s climate cycles. Like those in the past, the present cooling cycle is based on a comparable one of the Sun that is producing lower levels of radiation. You don’t need a Ph.D. in meteorology to understand this.

Carlin does not hesitate to excoriate the blather put forth by the alarmists; particularly their claims that the weather is affected in any significant fashion by human activity and development in particular. “There is simply no evidence thus far that the normal activities of man have or will result in catastrophic outcomes for either man or nature.”

The actions the alarmists call for do nothing to enhance and benefit our lives. They drive up the cost of energy and food. They ignore how dependent modern life is on the use of fossil fuels.

“Despite all the lavish funding by liberal foundations and the federal government on their global warming doctrine-inspired programs, the radical environmental movement has long since gone so far beyond rationality that it is counter-productive in achieving its own ends.”

So long as it remains heavily funded and backed by the federal government, we must, like Carlin, speak out against environmental extremism. We must elect new people to govern in a more realistic, science-based fashion. We must urge our current legislators to rein in the rogue Environmental Protection Agency.

Source

Continue Reading 2 Comments

Climate change: Mr. Obama, 97 percent of experts is a bogus number

Obama pen phoneNinety-seven percent of scientists agree: Climate change is real, man-made and dangerous. President Obama tweeted that, and it has been repeated by countless others. It is tempting for a politician to claim that 97 percent of experts agree with you. But do they?

The 97 percent claim was taken from a study paper by Australian John Cook, Climate Communications Fellow for the Global change Institute at the University of Queensland, and his colleagues, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters in May, 2013. The paper says nothing about the would-be dangers of climate change and it counts the number of publications, rather than the number of scientists, in support of human-made climate change. Never let facts get in the way of a good story.

The paper is a treasure trove of how-not-to lessons for a graduate class on survey design and analysis: the sample was not representative, statistical tests were ignored, and the results were misinterpreted.

Some of the mistakes in the study should be obvious to all. There are hundreds of papers on the causes of climate change, and thousands of papers on the impacts of climate change and climate policy. Cook focused on the latter. A paper on the impact of a carbon tax on emissions was taken as evidence that the world is warming. A paper on the impact of climate change on the Red Panda was taken as evidence that humans caused this warming. And even a paper on the television coverage of climate change was seen by Cook as proof that carbon dioxide is to blame.

Cook and Co. analysed somewhere between 11,944 and 12,876 papers ‚Äì they can’t get their story straight on the sample size ‚Äì but only 64 of these explicitly state that humans are the primary cause of recent global warming. A reexamination of their data brought that number down to 41. That is half a per cent or less of the total, rather than 97 percent.

The remainder of Cook’s “evidence” is papers that said that humans caused some climate change and, more importantly, papers that Cook’s colleagues thought said as much.

There is vigorous debate about how much humans have contributed to climate change, but no one argues the effect is zero. By emitting greenhouse gases, changing the landscape, rerouting rivers, and huddling together in cities, we change the climate – perhaps by a little, perhaps by a lot – but not one expert doubts we do. However, a true consensus – 100 per cent agreement – does not serve to demonize those experts who raise credible concerns with the state of climate research.

The trouble does not end there. Cook has been reluctant to share his data for others to scrutinize. He has claimed that some data are protected by confidentiality agreements, even when they are not. He was claimed that some data were not collected, even when they were. The paper claims that each abstract was read by two independent readers, but they freely compared notes. Cook and Co. collected data, inspected the results, collected more data, inspected the results again, changed their data classification, collected yet more data, inspected the results once more, and changed their data classification again, before they found their magic 97 percent. People who express concern about the method have been smeared.

We would hope that the president of the United States of America does not spend time checking such trivia. That is the job of the editor of the journal, Dan Kammen of the University of California at Berkeley, who unfortunately has chosen to ignore all issues I and others raised about them. Similarly, the journal’s publisher, the Institute of Physics, and Cook’s employer, the University of Queensland, have turned a deaf ear to my concerns. What was an incompetent piece of research has become a highly influential study, its many errors covered up.

And for what? If Cook’s results are to be believed, 97 percent of experts agree that climate change is real and largely human-made. This does not tell us anything about the risks of climate change, let alone how these compare to the risks of climate policy.

That is a difficult trade-off, and it should be informed by the best possible science rather than dodgy work like Cook’s.

Richard Tol is a professor of economics at the University of Sussex and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He has been involved in the IPCC since 1994.

Source

Continue Reading 7 Comments

The real climate threat to our national security

Greenpeaces-time-for-chan-010Greenpeace destroying another environmental wonder.President Obama had it all wrong in his recent commencement address at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. He warned that climate change “deniers” endanger our national security ‚Äì insisting that denial “undermines the readiness of our forces.”

In fact, climate change true believers are the real threat to our national security. That includes the notorious Seattle mob of Greenpeace “kayaktivists” who were recently paddling around Puget Sound, in kayaks made from petroleum, trying to stop Shell Oil’s Polar Pioneer Arctic drilling rig from making a layover at the Port of Seattle to gear up for Alaskan waters.

When thwarted by the Coast Guard’s 500-foot no-approach cordon, the Greenpeace canoe crowd left the harbor and took to the streets, where they blocked supplier access to the rig until city police dispersed them.

These angry picketers are the threat. They undermine America’s share of the Arctic Ocean’s estimated 30 percent of the world’s undiscovered natural gas and 13 percent of its oil reserves. That fuel could power the military as well as civilians.

How can slogan shouters endanger America’s national security when their targets are civilian oil rigs? Shell’s rigs will draw needed attention to the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in an ocean filling with Russia’s growing Arctic supremacy. This month, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told a Senate appropriations committee hearing that the U.S. military Arctic defense policy is falling short.

The United States lacks ships able to operate in or near Arctic ice. We have only two medium icebreakers, one of which is nearly a decade past pull date. Russia has 40 big icecap-crunchers, 25 of them nuclear-powered, including one battleship-size beast ominously named 50 Years of Victory (but it takes tourists to the North Pole for 15-day cruises at $30,000 and up).

Our entire Alaskan Arctic coast has no U.S. military base, not one. Russian jets make nearly monthly incursions to the Air Defense Identification Zones off the coast of Alaska. Interceptors have to fly to the north coast from Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks (500 miles) or all the way from Elemendorf AFB in Anchorage (725 miles).

President Putin strategically laid claim to great swaths of Arctic oil and gas with deployed rigs. He has activated the Northern Fleet – two-thirds of the entire Russian Navy – as a strategic military command. And he has assigned a 6,000-soldier Russian Arctic warfare unit to the archipelago of Novaya Zemlya, with next generation fighter aircraft in addition to advanced S400 Triumf anti-aircraft systems. An Arctic military reconnaissance drone base 420 miles off mainland Alaska is operational.

In February, President Obama seemed to have adopted the Greenpeace strategy of roll over and play dead, when he stripped Alaska of vast stores of its oil and gas wealth, by reducing offshore drilling and declaring most of the 19.6-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge off limits to oil production. Yet his administration approved a conditional permit for Shell’s Arctic oil exploration.

The United States “may be 40 years behind” Russia, Alaska’s Senator Lisa Murkowski told Defense Secretary Carter. This spring, the U.S. Northern Command is supposed to release a report that is expected to militarize the existing 2013 National Strategy for the Arctic Region. However, according to the strategy, as reported by Foreign Policy Journal, “the Navy’s role will primarily be in support of search and rescue, law enforcement, and civil support operations.”

Shell’s oil rigs provide peaceful reasons for our warships and planes to patrol the Arctic in counterbalance to Russia. Carter told Murkowski, “The Arctic is going to be a major area of importance to the United States strategically and economically to the future.”

Research by Chicago-area Heartland Institute found a secret beneath Greenpeace’s anti-oil ruckus: it is funded by oil-drenched millions from investments in ExxonMobil, Chevron, PetroChina and dozens of other fossil fuel firms, ironically including shares of Royal Dutch Shell, owner of the rig docked in Seattle.

According to Foundation Search, the top Greenpeace donor is the leftist-run David and Lucile Packard Foundation, which paid them a total of $2,146,690 since 2000. The deceased electronics mogul’s foundation managers boast 2013 assets of $6.9 billion.

They have invested enormous working capital into Anadarko Petroleum, Apache Corporation, Arch Coal, Carrizo Oil and Gas, Chevron, ConocoPhilips, Devon Energy, Duke Energy, ExxonMobil, Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum, Phillips66, Questar, Tesoro, Valero Energy, World Fuel Service (a defendant in lawsuits over the 2013 oil train explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec that killed 47 people), and many others. They pay Greenpeace from the profits.

Second-ranked Greenpeace donor is the leftist-funding Arcus Foundation, which gave the Rainbow Warrior security threats $1,055,651 since 2007. Established by ultra-green billionaire Jon Stryker, Arcus’ 2013 assets totaled $169,472,585 ‚Äì with working capital injected into China Petroleum, ExxonMobil, PetroChina, Royal Dutch Shell and TransCanada (the “tar” sands pipeline company). It also paid Greenpeace from its fossil fuel profits.

The list of foundations giving oil profits to Greenpeace goes on and on ‚Äì and Greenpeace goes on and on hypocritically taking those oil profits to undermine America’s real energy future.

This cabal could redeem itself instantly: they could just stop using any fossil fuels right now.

__________

Ron Arnold is Executive Vice President of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise. This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller.

Continue Reading 2 Comments

Harper’s climate pledge is hot air

stephen harperIn announcing the Stephen Harper government’s new greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets earlier this month, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said Canada will “work with our international partners to establish an international agreement in Paris that includes meaningful and transparent commitments from all major emitters.”

But Canadians are being tricked.

Any GHG emission reduction pledges made by developing countries in Paris later this year will almost certainly not be enforced.

Written in bureaucratese, the convoluted first sentence in last December’s “Lima Call for Climate Action,” the United Nations’ last major climate change agreement, indicated exactly that.

It reads: “The Conference of the Parties, Reiterating that the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) shall be under the Convention and guided by its principles…”

The ADP is the group of back room negotiators who are drafting the text for the big climate deal to be signed in Paris in December.

The “Convention” refers to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), signed by former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and hundreds of other world leaders at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992.

And the ADP’s work will adhere to the UNFCCC, including its critical Article 4: “The extent to which developing country Parties will effectively implement their commitments under the Convention will depend on the effective implementation by developed country Parties of their commitments under the Convention related to financial resources and transfer of technology and will take fully into account that economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of the developing country Parties.”

Translated, this means that, under any treaty based on the UNFCCC (which all UN climate agreements are), developing countries will keep their emission reduction commitments only if we in the developed world pay them enough and give them enough of our technology.

Also implied in the article is that, even if we give them everything we promise, developing countries may simply forget about their GHG targets if they interfere with their “first and overriding priorities” of “economic and social development and poverty eradication.”

Developed nations like Canada, on the other hand, do not have this option. We must keep our emission reduction commitments no matter how severely it impacts our economies.

It is not as if the UN has been hiding this “firewall” between developing and developed nations.

It has told us repeatedly in UN climate change agreements in Copenhagen, Cancun, Durban and Lima that, “development and poverty eradication,” not emission reduction, takes top billing for developing countries.

Actions to significantly reduce GHG emissions would entail dramatically cutting back on the use of coal, the source of 81% of China’s electricity and 71% of India’s.

As coal is by far the least expensive source of electric power in most of the world, reducing GHG emissions by restricting coal use would unquestionably interfere with development priorities.

So, developing countries simply won’t do it, citing the UNFCCC in support of their actions.

Some commentators have speculated that tougher requirements will be imposed by the UN on poor nations over time as they develop.

The only way this can happen is if there are substantial revisions to the UNFCCC treaty.

China, India and other developing countries have clearly indicated that they will not allow this to happen any time soon.

Chinese negotiator Su Wei summed up the stance of developing nations when he explained that the purpose of the Paris agreement is to “reinforce and enhance” the 1992 convention, not rewrite it.

Canada withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in part because it lacked legally binding GHG targets for developing countries.

So why is the Harper government supporting a process that will result in our country being stuck in another Kyoto?

____________

Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa-based International Climate Science Coalition, which challenges the hypothesis that carbon dioxide emissions from human activities are known to cause climate problems. This article originally appeared in the Toronto Sun.

Continue Reading 3 Comments

Exxon on renewable energy: ‘We choose not to lose money on purpose’

Rex Tillerson, Wikimedia, William MunozRex Tillerson Source: Wikimedia, by William MunozIn a move on Wednesday that didn’t surprise industry analysts, the shareholders of the two largest oil companies resoundingly said no to proposals that would have put climate change experts on Exxon and Chevron’s boards and impose unrealistic goals on cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from their products. Exxon’s CEO also remarked that investing in renewable energy is akin to losing ‘money on purpose.’

This isn’t the first time that activists, embedded in big oil as shareholders, have tried to steer the companies into unprofitable waters with meaningless gestures. With crude oil prices at all-time lows due to vast improvements in fracking, profits at the largest oil producers are modest at best. Exxon’s CEO Rex Tillerson told shareholders that the company is well positioned to withstand the fluctuations in oil prices and still produce a return on their investments. He also said the company does not intend to lose money by investing in renewable energy. Something Tillerson may have gleaned after seeing Al Gore’s un-green corporate investment portfolio.

Tillerson forecasts that the next two years will be particularly difficult because of the vast supplies of oil on the world market and the anemic economic growth that’s been persistent for the past six years. The explosion of new wells from fracking is also adding to big oil’s woes, as more oil is flooding the market and driving prices down. With ISIS selling millions of barrels of crude on the black market to finance its Middle East takeover, oil prices have dropped in lockstep. Exxon believes that cost-cutting measures and a reduction in capital spending will help it remain profitable and is adjusting itself accordingly.

Shareholders also rejected a proposal by a Catholic Priest organization from Milwaukee to put a ‘climate change expert’ on the board of directors. Exxon’s board opposed the idea saying it had “several board members have engineering and scientific backgrounds and can handle climate issues.” The proposal garnered only 21 percent support and the outcome of that proposal was similar at Chevron’s board meeting.

According to the Missoulian, Michael Crosby, who sponsored the resolution at Exxon’s meeting, said the company is too focused on oil and gas and should be more focused on renewable energy and climate change. “This company has to be making plans for the future,” he said. “Let’s get an expert on the board to deal with a critical question.”

Worse still for activists, less than 10 percent of the shareholders at Exxon and Chevron thought proposals for reducing CO2 emissions from its products was important. Vermont’s state treasurer Beth Pearce believes institutional stakeholders are growing more concerned about the topic, and thinks Exxon’s strategy is “wholly inadequate.”

Tillerson also noted that the computer models used to predict the effects of global warming haven’t been very good and it would be “very hard” to meet the aggressive CO2-reduction targets that environmentalists are clamoring to have put in place.

In fact, an April 2015 study published in the peer-reviewed journal ‘Scientific Reports’ revealed that global warming was not progressing at the rate suggested by the worst-case computer models released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The study examined 1,000 years of temperature records and it showed global warming was not progressing as fast as it would even under the most severe emissions scenarios as outlined by the IPCC.

The Exxon CEO said that technology can help the world cope with any foreseeable sea level rise “that may or may not be induced by climate change. Mankind has this enormous capacity to deal with adversity,” Tillerson said, noting that his answer may likely be an “unsatisfactory answer to a lot of people.” When asked at the meeting why Exxon doesn’t invest in renewable energy, Tillerson replied, “We choose not to lose money on purpose.” Shareholders at the meeting then broke out into thunderous applause.

Exxon made “$32.5 billion last year, down less than 1 percent from 2013, even though oil prices had fallen by half as much in late 2014.” The first quarter of 2015 showed Exxon dropping “46 percent when compared to the same period in 2014,” but still earning $4.9 billion. Both companies lost shares when the markets closed on Wednesday.

Stuart Varney, host and analyst of Fox Business’ Varney & Company, appeared on Fox News Channel this morning and reported that Exxon is also lobbying Pope Francis ahead of the looming climate encyclical expected to be released ahead of the U.N. Paris Climate talks, in which President Obama has promised the U.S. will make massive CO2 cuts even though China and India have opted out of this ‘treaty.’

Source

Continue Reading 6 Comments

NOAA announces weak hurricane season as Obama talks climate change

obamaPresident Obama will be in Miami today to get a briefing on the upcoming hurricane season and to warn the public about the dangers of climate change. A day earlier, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said this hurricane season will be below-normal, with only a six to 11 storms predicted and three perhaps making landfall. Obama is using this annual visit to pander his long-standing climate change beliefs that historically simply haven’t come to pass.

In the past ten years, no Category-3 or higher hurricane has made landfall, and those that have gone ashore have hit unusually dense areas with large populations and seaside structures, a formula for disaster when any hurricane strikes. It’s been the longest dry spell of hurricanes since the Civil War, even though computer models predicted hurricanes would increase in number and intensity in a world that includes warmer ocean temperatures.

During his visit to Miami, Obama will talk about how the federal government and local communities are doing to prepare for climate change. According to WTVD, “the news of a below average season came as local and state emergency managers, meteorologists, and researchers gathered Wednesday at East Carolina University’s 6th annual Hurricane Conference.”

Using executive fiat and the regulatory agencies at his disposal, Obama has acted to limit carbon dioxide “emissions from vehicles and power plants that are blamed for global warming.” But according to NOAA, carbon dioxide levels have reached a new global level of 400 parts per million for March, even though global temperatures have not risen for nearly 19 years.

Scientists also believe that in years in which an El Ni√±o occurs, hurricanes are not as strong and are fewer in number, though history has shown otherwise. So far this year, a small El Ni√±o is already occurring in the Pacific ocean, though its strength and length has not yet been determined.

Last week, the president addressed the Norfolk Naval Academy during its commencement and warned them that climate change is the nation’s greatest security threat. These remarks came as Ramadi, Iraq, was being captured by ISIS and the juxtaposition of the two left both Democrats and Republicans exasperated that climate change would take precedence over a terrorist organization.

While in Miami, Obama is likely to bring up examples of recent natural events to highlight his climate change narrative, once more shining a spotlight on Miami and flooding in previous years. As reported here, the so-called flooding in the streets of Miami is nothing new as the land mass the city sits on has actually gotten larger in the past 50 years. Sea level rise around Florida as measured by tidal gauges show it has leveled off to about 1 mm per year.

Flooding in the streets of Miami and elsewhere has nothing to do with higher sea levels and more to do with a higher density of people living near the coast and outdated drainage systems unable to accommodate Miami’s growing population. Miami is on track to have its ancient drainage system overhauled under Governor Rick Scott’s multi-year program to update Florida’s aging infrastructure systems.

The annual hurricane briefing is usually done in Washington, D.C., but the president remained in Miami overnight after a pair of Democratic fundraisers late Wednesday. White House spokesman Eric Schultz said, “We thought that this year it would be appropriate to go down to the Hurricane Center in person, take a look at a lot of the new technologies they’ve been employing.”

Source

Continue Reading 1 Comment

Pope Francis on the environment vs. Pope Francis on the family

Believing that human activity causes global warming, aka climate change, may soon be an official article of faith.

That appears to be the premise of leaders of Catholic social action groups in the wake of the announcement that Pope Francis will issue an encyclical on the subject in June, and address the United Nations on its importance while in the United States later this year.

Continue Reading 5 Comments