Stop ‘global warming’ hysteria

BorderPresident Barack Obama celebrated Earth Day at the entrance of Florida’s Everglades National Park.

“Climate change is threatening this treasure and the communities that depend on it, which includes almost all of South Florida. And if we don’t act, there may not be an Everglades as we know it,” Obama said. “Climate change can no longer be denied… And action can no longer be delayed.”

Sunday, in advance of his trip. the president said because of global warming “rising sea levels are putting a national treasure, and an economic engine for the South Florida tourism industry, at risk,”

Chaos throughout the Middle East and problems along our southern border are putting this country at risk. Meanwhile, despite political hyperbole, global warming hypothesis loses credibility by the day.

The federal government spends $22 billion a year fighting global warming, which is twice what it spends on border security. That’s $41,856 each minute. Accounting for the costs global warming regulations impose on businesses, Forbes columnist Larry Bell estimated the annual cost of global warming policies at $1.754 trillion each year – three times the size of the federal budget deficit.

Obama and other global warming alarmists want the country to spend even more.

We must ask ourselves what crisis they hope to solve. NASA reports the world has warmed .36 degrees over the past 35 years. Most of that warming occurred between 1979 and 1998. Since 1998, global temperatures have gradually cooled.

Eight years ago, Al Gore told us global warming had reach such a critical stage we could expect the North Polar ice cap to be gone by 2014. It is still there, and NASA satellite data show the ice cap has grown by as much as 63 percent in recent years.

A Forbes article by James Taylor blew the lid off a widely cited paper claiming a 97 percent “scientific consensus” about a human-caused global warming crisis.

Newsmax reminded us this week about a series of leaked emails in which global warming scientists candidly discussed their skepticism about the hypothesis.

“The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty we can’t,” said an email from Kevin Trenberth, part of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and a lead author of the “Scientific Assessment of Climate Change” report for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

We could go on ad infinitum with data and common sense observations that call into question the need for our country to continue hemorrhaging money on global warming – or “climate change,” when temperatures drop. The fact is, even if proved true, the chances our trillions will alter the weather are practically nil.

The Daily Caller News Foundation used the EPA’s carbon footprint calculator to determine the environmental cost of Obama’s trip to the Everglades. The entourage of planes and cars emitted 90 tons of carbon dioxide, creating the same carbon footprint as 17.2 cars driven over the course of a year.

It’s the same as burning 88,000 pounds of coal or 190 barrels of crude.

We would never suggest the president avoid travel to help save the planet. We only ask that he, Al Gore and other’s who warn about global warming stop demanding the rest of us pay for a problem no one has proved. Let’s feed hungry children, improve education and defend our country before tilting at windmills.


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Debate on the Merits, Anyone?

no free speechMarching under the banner of “transparency,” there is a growing movement in the U.S. to limit truly free speech. The movement claims to be attacking “dark money,” but the reality is that its adherents want to shut up its ideological opponents. Independent expressions of support or opposition for candidates or political issues are marginalized by irrelevant questions about funding sources. Honest research and well-formulated arguments are denounced as “biased” or “untrustworthy” because of who the donors are rather than based on the merits of the arguments presented.

One doesn’t need to look further than the tragic case of Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon to see how calls for transparency can unjustly harm others and deter future quality research. Soon was recently smeared by the New York Times and organizations like Greenpeace for his allegedly biased scientific research into the theory of catastrophic man-caused climate change.

The Times and others attacked Soon because he did not openly and immediately disclose that he received funding for his research from organizations that have a financial interest in the energy sector. It didn’t matter that Soon’s research was of the highest quality, that Smithsonian received much of the funding itself, or that numerous organizations and individuals who support the theory of manmade climate change also receive funding from parties who have financial interests in the climate debate.

Another attack last week on the Smithsonian was launched last week by, the activist group founded in the wake of the Clinton impeachment scandals. Activists want to see David Koch ‚Äì the philanthropist ‚Äì removed from the boards of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History for being a “denier” of climate change. Koch has donated tens of millions of dollars to these museums for research and exhibits.

Regardless of what you may believe about global warming, it’s undeniable that these attacks and related calls for “transparency” are simply tools used by one side of the debate in an attempt to silence the other.

Rather than debate those who disagree with them, these progressive activists have learned it is far easier to bully, to retaliate, and to destroy. But to blackball people effectively, they need to know donor names so they can isolate and disrupt funding networks. You can only get so far with smears of the messenger and innuendo about disclosed funders. That’s why this transparently intolerant movement has transitioned from ad hominem attacks and boycotts to enlisting the coercive power of the state.

For a while, the campaign operated below the radar, using the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to conduct inquisitions against Tea Party and conservative groups about their funding sources and affiliations in the course of applying for tax exempt status. Around the same time, Wisconsin prosecutors quietly launched secret “John Doe” investigations exclusively targeting subpoenas and surveillance to legions of center-right political groups and interests who were aligned with the policies of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

But then, far from being shamed by public revelations about Lois Lerner’s coordination of the IRS campaign against conservative nonprofits, the aggressive transparency movement targeting the center-right upped the ante.

Like the opening shot of a starter pistol, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) deployed his official letterhead during the summer of 2013 to demand that dozens of conservative think tanks confess that they had supported the American Legislative Exchange Council’s “Stand Your Ground” laws.

In late 2013, the Center for Media & Democracy and ProgressNow repackaged public form 990 information into lazily crafted so-called expos√©s to launch ad hominem assaults on private donors and successful advocates of conservative causes, labeling center-right public interest groups “stink tanks.”

By the summer of 2014, Arshad Hasan, executive director of ProgressNow, was openly declaring, “The next step for us is to take down this network of [conservative non-profit] institutions that are state-based in each and every one of our states.”

Supporters of this manifestly totalitarian transparency movement insist the public has the right to know who is financially responsible for various social, cultural, and political movements, because if they don’t know, greedy corporations, manipulative religious zealots, or some other allegedly biased group of people will use their deep pockets and political connections to push oppressive policies regular working Janes and Joes don’t actually want. Transparency, they say, is the only way to hold people accountable.

In reality, as the escalation of ad hominem into coercive state action demonstrates, this campaign is really nothing more than an attempt to silence political opponents. Fear of political or social retribution is used to prevent particular causes from being funded. That’s why legal protections for private civic engagement are necessary to ensure that individuals feel safe donating and advocating for causes they believe in without worrying about being personally attacked as a result. Towards that end, the Heartland Institute recently published a Policy Study, titled “In Defense of Private Civic Engagement: Why the Assault on ‘Dark Money’ Threatens Free Speech‚Äìand How to Stop the Assault.”  

The study advocates several methods for protecting the right to private civic engagement, but the passage of two pieces of model legislation are particularly important to protect the First Amendment rights of Americans on all sides of the political spectrum.

The first proposed law is called the “Free Speech Privacy Act,” and it would act as a “federalism shield” for free speech, “prohibiting the enforcement [by the states] of any law directly or indirectly conditioning the exercise of the rights of free speech and association on the disclosure of the identity of a person or entity who fears a reasonable probability of social, political, or economic retaliation from such disclosure.”

The second important reform proposal is the “Publius Confidentiality Act.” Publius would empower individuals by allowing them to register for an official pseudonym that could be used in political and cultural debates of all sorts, thereby forcing opponents to focus attacks on ideas rather than on individuals, their families, or their businesses.

Increasing privacy protections for individuals is an essential part of ensuring the marketplace of ideas is free from coercive fear tactics designed to silence honest debate. Without these protections, politics will continue to devolve into a political war of all against all, rather than focusing on whose ideas are more likely to improve the nation and promote liberty.


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5 Things You’re Not Likely to Hear About on Earth Day

cartoon Earth DayPresident Obama flew down to Florida this Earth Day to give his umpteenth speech on climate change. That means he’ll have added something like 94 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere on his round-trip 747 flight to decry CO2 emissions.

In any case, as with every Earth Day, the public gets an annual dose of fear and loathing about the environmental dangers facing our planet. Well, here are some inconvenient facts environmentalists aren’t likely to tell anyone. (Keep in mind that all the data come from official government sources.)

1) The air is dramatically cleaner. IBD called this “the EPA’s dirty secret about the environment” — namely, that every type of harmful air pollution it measures is dramatically reduced over the past several decades, to the point where most are at or below the government’s current standards. This decline came amid gains in GDP and increases in population, making them all the more remarkable. And they will continue to fall, even without any new rules, as the economy continues to improve its efficiency.

2) CO2 levels in the U.S. are down sharply. They’ve fallen so much in the past decade, in fact, that emissions are down to where they were around 1993. Again, that’s despite two decades of population and economic growth.

3) Green energy has no future. Despite billions spent on green energy sources like wind and solar, they are expected to make up just 4% of the nation’s domestic energy supply by 2040, according to the Energy Department.

4) Global temperatures haven’t increased in more than a decade. Contrary to what climate models predicted, global temperatures have largely flat-lined for years. As a result, climate scientists have been scrambling to explain away this “pause.”

5)If climate scientists are right, its already too late to stop catastrophic warming. For many years, climate experts have warned that the planet is close to a “tipping point” where catastrophic global warming becomes inevitable. The reason is that CO2 pumped into the atmosphere remains there for decades. The Global Carbon Project figures that even if the entire planet immediately froze CO2 emissions at today’s levels — something no one is advocating — it would push back the date the planet exhausts its “carbon budget” by just eight years.

But as IBD noted, “a review of recent research indicates that, no matter how many costly regulations the U.S. imposes or how dire the warnings, the battle appears to be already lost.” At the very least, none of the solutions bandied about would come close to preventing climate change.

The good news is that since climate models have been overestimating warming, these dire predictions about a coming catastrophe may be way off base, too.


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Earth Day Wrap Up: What a disaster

Obama’s Earth Day Flight Emits More CO2 Than 17 Cars Would In A Year
President Barack Obama’s trip to see Florida’s Everglades for Earth Day has racked up quite the carbon footprint. Using government estimates, his one day trip emits as much carbon dioxide as 17 passenger vehicles do in one year of driving. Read More

Europe’s Green Laws Force Them To Burn More Trees For Fuel Here’s some Earth Day irony for you. European countries concerned about global warming and eschewing fossil fuels are cutting down more and more trees to keep the lights on. Read More

FLASHBACK 1977: Earth Day Co-Founder Composts Dead Girlfriend Here’s an inconvenient truth about the self-described founder of a Earth Day: He murdered and composted his girlfriend. Read More

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Global Warming Pause Will Impact UN Climate Agreement

cold earthThe global temperature standstill will make it easier for governments to delay any painful decisions and will allow for a toothless UN climate agreement in Paris, says Dr Benny Peiser

The planet is currently in the midst of a so-called warming pause, with satellite measurements showing that the surface temperature may not have risen for just over 18 years.

Despite this apparent hiatus in temperature rising, leaders from around the world are due to meet in Paris later this year for the United Nations Climate Summit.

The leaders are expected to reaffirm their target of keeping the global average temperature within 2°C of pre-industrial levels.

Speaking ahead of the UN climate conference, Dr Peiser, the director of the Global Warming Policy Forum – a think tank set up to challenge the policies envisaged by governments to mitigate global warming – described this target as reasonable although he suggested that it should remain flexible to reflect the unpredictability of climate change.

However, he also claimed that with our current rates of carbon dioxide (Co2) emissions, we could be nowhere near to reaching that critical level.

Dr Peiser explained: “The CO2 we emit into the atmosphere might actually have a lower warming effect than the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] high estimates suggest.

“A continuation of the global warming pause for the next 10 years could bring down the estimates for a doubling of CO2 to 1.5¬∞C.

“That could mean that even if we double our Co2 emissions, we might not reach our 2¬∞C target.

The IPCC’s estimates for the equilibrium climate sensitivity ‚Äì the global average warming expected if Co2 concentrations were sustained at double their pre-industrial values ‚Äì range from 1.5¬∞C and 4.5¬∞C, Dr Peiser explained.

Meanwhile, Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) have shown no global warming at all for 220 months, from December 1996 to March 2014.

Other research shows that the average surface temperature of the Earth is only 0.8°C warmer than that recorded in 1900 – something which some experts suggest may be down to natural variability.

While since the 1950s, of which beforehand there were practically no global warming studies, the warming trend has been equivalent to below 1.2°C per century.

Dr Peiser suggested that the current 18-year temperature pause will be a relief to government figures when they attend the summit.

He said that the apparent temperature standstill will make it “easier for governments to delay any painful decisions” and will most likely allow for a “very toothless agreement” in relation to tackling climate change.

He said: “This pause will have no direct effect on the talks [in Paris] other than that the agreement that is now in the making will not be legally binding.

“I think the pause will allow the governments around the world to come to a very toothless agreement that essentially kicks the hard decisions into the long grass.”

He added: “Most leaders are quite aware that the global temperatures haven’t risen for several years.

“They might not know the nitty gritty but they are aware that the temperatures haven’t risen and it takes the pressure off their governments.

“They are aware that no one really knows how long this pause is going to last. No one is able to tell them why there is this pause in the first place and how long this will go on for.

“As long as we have this pause there will almost be a political pause in the international renovations. You could almost say this temperature pause will cause a policy pause.”

Dr Peiser further noted that the Paris summit will be full of pledges known as ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’.

The crucial benefit of them, he said, is that they are not legally binding – meaning they can be revised or watered down as necessary.

These pledges will be reassessed every few years and as long as there is a pause, Dr Peiser predicts that policies will become less aggressive.

He explained: “These pledges are completely non-binding. They are just ‘this is what we plan to do’. It doesn’t bind any government to actually fulfil these pledges in the next 15 years.

“They will be reviewed and reassessed every five years or so and you can imagine that if we still have a pause in 2020, then obviously these pledges will be watered down even further.

“The longer the pause lasts, the less aggressive the policies will be.”

However, Piers Forster, a Professor of Physical Climate Change at the University of Leeds, has argued that the planet is actually NOT in a state of global warming hiatus.

He also suggested that while there is uncertainty, it is likely we will go over the crucial 2°C between 2040 and 2060.

He argued: “Firstly, global warming has not paused ‚Äì 2014 was the warmest year on record, sea-ice is continuing to melt and sea-level rise.

“Secondly, the IPCC’s estimate of warming due to CO2 is based on sound physics but it has an uncertainty. This means it might be lower than our best estimates as Benny suggests, but it might also be higher.

“Thirdly, even if CO2 emissions remain as they are today, we will still go over the 2¬∞C ‘target’. Uncertainty in our knowledge just means we can’t tell exactly when but it will likely occur between 2040 and 2060.

“The only way to prevent it is very large global reductions in CO2 emissions, alternatively our children will have to adapt to living with the consequences of a 2¬∞C or even hotter world.”

Leaders from around the world will meet in Paris this December to achieve a universal and international agreement on climate for the first time in more than 20 years.

With the summit in sight, the United States officially pledged last month to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions to 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

At the same time, Russia pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 to 30 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030, while the European Union agreed to reduce emissions to 40 per cent below 1990 levels by the same time.


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Jeb Bush Gets A Bit Heated Up By Carbon Dioxide

"Jeb Bush by Gage Skidmore 3" by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -“Jeb Bush by Gage Skidmore 3” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia CommonsIs Jeb Bush trying to alienate the Republican-conservative base even more than he already has? His comments about climate change and carbon dioxide emission cuts sure make it look that way.

Speaking last week at a New Hampshire event, Bush said, “The climate is changing” and expressed his concerns about it.

Though he lamented the “hollowing out of our industrial core” and the “hollowing out of our ability to compete in an increasingly competitive world,” he at the same time said that we should “be cognizant of the fact that we have this climate change issue and we need to work with the rest of the world to negotiate a way to reduce carbon emissions.”

This is not what we need from a Republican presidential candidate. In fact, it’s not what we need from any presidential candidate.

Simply put, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant — though the Supreme Court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate it as such — in any definition outside of some lawyerly ploy. To suddenly label it as one, says Robert C. Balling Jr., a former Arizona State University climatologist who is now a geography professor, “is a disservice to a gas that has played an enormous role in the development and sustainability of all life on this wonderful Earth.”

“Mother Earth,” says Balling, “has clearly ruled that CO2 is not a pollutant.”

Maybe Bush is trying to separate himself from the rest of the GOP pack by conceding that CO2 is a pollutant. In fact, he’s already taken in some praise from billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer’s quarters.

If so, he’s likely making a mistake. Americans have seen the global warming scare fizzle out before them. Gallup’s most recent environmental survey found that “global warming or climate change” ranks dead last among Americans’ environmental concerns, with only 32% worrying about it a “great deal,” down from 34% in 2014.

Despite the never-ending hype from the media, celebrities and politicians (and celebrity politicians), “Americans’ worry about it is no higher now than when Gallup first asked about it in 1989.”

What Americans should worry about is getting a president who will surrender to the pounding from those who believe in man-made climate change and those who have a need for everyone else to buy into it. We need a White House that will stand up to the bullying, not join it.


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The White House is Lying About Climate Change and Health

houseLet us begin with the understanding that there is no connection between the climate and health. The climate is something measured in decades and centuries, so what happened in the last century has nothing to do with whether you are sneezing today.

The weather surely can help generate health problems. For example in the northeastern states, the Lyme disease season is beginning. Between 1992 and 2010 reported cases of Lyme disease doubled to nearly 23,000 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but CDC officials believe the actual number of those infected may have been three times that number.

Lyme disease is transmitted by deer ticks and since these tiny insects will hitch a ride on birds, squirrels, mice and small animals as well, even if you live in an area without deer, the possibility of being bitten by a deer tick is just as likely. This increases for people who love gardening or outdoor recreational activities such as hiking and camping. Children, too, are particularly susceptible.

The fact that Lyme disease shows up in the Spring simply tells you that the warm weather facilitates the tick population. The weather has always been tied the mating habits and activities of various species, but that does not mean that is constitutes a massive threat to everyone’s health.

That’s not the way the White House sees it. On April 7 the administration made it official. It announced that it is “committed to combating the health impacts of climate change and protecting the health of future generations.” 

Since the climate changes over extended periods of time, not just month to month, one has to wonder what “health impacts” the White House has in mind. The last Little Ice Age lasted from around 1300 to 1850. It was cold all over Europe and North America. Does the White House propose that it can “protect” us from a new one? If so, that’s absurd.

Let us understand, too, that there has always been what the White House announcement calls “extreme weather events.”  Notice the change from “climate” to “weather”? Among the events identified are “severe droughts and wildfires to more powerful hurricanes and record heat waves…” Has there been a time when such weather-related events have not occurred? In fact, there are times when they don’t. For example, there hasn’t been a single Category 3-5 hurricane hit the U.S. mainland since 2005!

The White House has launched a massive brainwashing effort using many elements of the federal government to frighten Americans using the “climate” and the “weather.” How deceptive is it?

One example is sufficient. The President has claimed that climate change was the cause of one of his daughter’s asthma. In its announcement, it claimed that “In the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled and climate change is putting these individuals and many other vulnerable populations at greater risk of landing in the hospital.” 

Here’s what the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has to say about the various causes of asthma.

“Since asthma has a genetic origin and is a disease you are born with, passed down from generation to generation, the question isn’t really ‘what causes asthma’, but rather ‘what causes asthma symptoms to appear?’ People with asthma have inflamed airways which are super-sensitive to thinks which do not bother other people.”

What the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America is telling us is that there is no direct connection between either the climate or the weather and the illness called asthma.

Those who suffer this disease however can be affected by a range of triggers such as irritants in the air, pollens, molds, and even cockroach droppings. Infections such as colds, flu, and sore throats are among the leading triggers for asthma attacks in children.

The facts, the truth, were no deterrent to the April 7 White House twelve-page announcement of all the things it intends to do to brainwash Americans into believing that there is a connection between the “climate” and health.

Here’s just a few of the dozens of events and programs it will initiate so that the media will report on them and thus convey the message that climate change is the greatest threat to Americans today:

“The Administration is expanding its Climate Data Initiative to include more than 150 health-relevant datasets…this is intended to help communities and businesses reduce the health impacts of climate change.”  Only there are no such impacts.

The Administration is announcing a coalition of Deans from 30 medical, public health, and nursing schools around the country, who are committing to ensure that the next generation of health professionals is trained to address the health impacts of climate change.” Only there are no such impacts.

“Announcing the White House Climate Change and Health Summit.” It will feature the Surgeon General who will lead discussions to “the public health impacts of climate change and identify opportunities to minimize these impacts.” Only there are no impacts and nothing that could be done if there were.

From the Department of Homeland Security to the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency, many elements of the federal government will be integrated into this massive brainwashing effort.

What can be done to ignore a government determined to lie to everyone about a “threat” that does not exist? Not much.


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Electric vehicles lose their buzz (and sales)

ev charging stationCCD Editor’s note: Even with the Feds giving EV buyers $7,500 in tax credits, after the initial thrill wears off quickly, so do the supposed gains. Obama’s big push for ‘sewing machines on wheels,’ and his disdain for compressed hydrogen fueled vehicles, is another reminder that people want cars that can travel more than 100 miles, require low maintenance, and can be filled up in in a few minutes. From the Detroit News (h/t Gator):

It’s a buyer’s market for drivers interested in new or used electrics and hybrids.

Sales of new electric cars and hybrids, according to automotive research and shopping site, are at their lowest level since 2011 — the first full year of sales for the groundbreaking Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and Nissan’s all-electric Leaf. So carmakers are paring prices in an effort to get them moving.

Furthermore, motorists who leased those first-generation cars, and have decided not to buy them, are turning them in. They’re on dealer lots with still relatively low mileage, and at prices considerably cheaper than the new ones.

Even with $7,500 federal tax credits and other incentives, automakers such as General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Nissan have dropped prices in an attempt to move their new hybrids and electrics. Cadillac became the most recent to reduce the sticker on an electric car, when it whacked $9,000 off its ELR plug-in hybrid last week.

“That’s the reality of the situation,” said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst for “They have to push them out at those levels for people to be interested. It really seems like the cachet of EVs and hybrids has faded away.”

It’s no mystery why these cars aren’t moving at a brisker pace. Stable gas prices, fuel-efficient internal combustion engines, continued uncertainty about electrics by some motorists and the availability of relatively cheap used electrics and hybrids make new ones a hard sell. Yet automakers offer them as part of their effort to meet fleet-wide fuel efficiency standards set by the U.S. government.

“EVs are just not selling; even hybrids and plug-ins are slow,” said Caldwell. “There’s some concern.”

Cars with advanced powertrains represented just 2.7 percent of U.S. vehicle sales through the first three months of this year, according to That’s down 1 percentage point from a high in 2013 and the lowest quarter since 2.5 percent the last three months of 2011.

“There’s a lot going against EVs right now,” said National Automobile Dealers Association senior analyst Laurence Dixon.

Like outright sales prices, lease costs on new electrics continue to come down. GM last week announced zero down and $139 per month for 39 months on the all-electric Chevrolet Spark and lowered the starting sales price on the Spark to under $20,000. Nissan is leasing the Leaf, which starts at about $21,500, at $199. Both include $7,500 federal tax credits and current offers. reports that leases comprised nearly seven of every 10 plug-in cars that drove off dealer lots from January through March.

The unprecedented leasing rates means a steady supply of used all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will continue to feed the market in the coming years.

Lease prices plummet

New mainstream plug-in hybrid electrics can sell for more than $30,000 with up to $7,500 in federal tax credits. But used models are selling for less than half of their original amount.

Used plug-in car values have been lower than comparable vehicles with traditional combustion engines since launching, due to the heavy federal tax credit and inflated pricing, according to Kelley Blue Book director of residual value consulting Eric Ibara.

“All along, we had a very strong suspicion that they wouldn’t hold the same (residual value) percentage with traditional vehicles,” he said. All electrified vehicles besides the Toyota Prius plug-in and high-end models such as the Tesla Model S have performed at about the same depreciation rate, Ibara said.

KBB reports that after 36 months, vehicles with traditional gasoline combustion engines such as the Nissan Sentra and Chevrolet Cruze hold their residual values 10 to 15 percentage points higher than the Leaf and Volt, “which is quite significant,” Ibara said

That means consumers looking to purchase a used Chevy Volt, which can drive roughly 35 miles or more on all-electric before using a drop of gasoline, should be able to find a comparable used Chevy Cruze for about the same price.

2012 Volt for $19,000

Superior Buick GMC in Metro Detroit last week sold a 2012 Volt with fewer than 23,000 miles for about $19,000. On the same lot sat a 2013 Chevrolet Cruze with about 5,000 more miles for just under $18,000.

Dan Aliff, pre-owned vehicle manager at the dealership, said he’s had a hard time keeping used Volts in stock, due to their pricing. “They don’t stay around very long,” he said. “They definitely perceive them as good deals.

“For what they save in gas mileage alone basically makes their car payments.”

According to, the average price for 2014 model-year and older Volt, Leaf, Ford C-Max or Spark EV is under $20,000.

NADA’s Dixon said as more plug-ins and all-electrics enter the used car market, they will drive prices down even further, and likely exceed demand.

“Used EV demand arguably is going to be weaker than what it would be for new EV demand,” he said.

Dixon said even if the price of a used electric vehicle is the same price as a car with a traditional combustion engine, the rate of depreciation is expected to be greater over the long run. “That’s in addition to any cost concerns you have with expensive componentry that malfunctions down the road,” he said.

Big battery expense

The largest expense is expected to be the batteries of the vehicles that are speculated to cost thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars.

Kelley Blue Book’s Ibara said that while the vehicles haven’t been around long enough to know how they will depreciate long-term, the cost and longevity of the battery could play a very large role in a vehicle’s value.

“It wouldn’t make sense to replace a 12-year old battery with a new battery that’s going to last 12 years, because chances are the car’s not going to last that long,” he said.

Despite the uncertainty around electrified vehicles, automakers continue to invest billions in the technology and produce new advanced powertrain vehicles to meet state regulations and coming federal fuel and emissions rules.

“The government’s going to keep pushing it, but there is time to pause right now,”’s Caldwell said. “At this point, this whole market is fairly robust regarding choices.”


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Has Obama Fulfilled His Promise To Slow Sea-Level Rise?

sea level nonsenseIn 2008, then President-elect Barack Obama said his victory marked “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

Since Wednesday is Earth Day, The Daily Caller News Foundation is taking a look to see if Obama has actually lived up to that promise to slow sea level rise.

Environmentalists have been sounding the alarm over a recent Harvard University study that found that sea levels have actually been rising faster than scientists initially thought. The liberal blog ThinkProgress reports that the study showed “quite alarmingly, that the planet’s seas have been rising much faster than we thought.”

We “used to think the rate of acceleration of sea level rise in the last 25 years was only a little worse compared to the past — now that we know the rate used to be much slower, we know that it’s much worse,” ThinkProgress writes.

The study found that sea level rise during most of the 20th century was overestimated, meaning sea level rise since 1990 has been 2.5 times faster than the previous century. Alongside the study, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says “sea level is rising at an increasing rate.”

NOAA says sea levels rose “at a rate of 0.04 to 0.1 inches per year since 1900,” but that satellites suggest that sea level rise is higher at “0.12 inches per year.”

Sea levels have been rising since the end of the last Ice Age, and there are other factors that cause sea levels to rise and fall. But climate scientists and environmentalists say that currently, sea levels are rising much faster than in the past due to thermal expansion of the ocean and melting ice sheets.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental group, says that sea “level is rising — and at an accelerating rate — especially along the U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.” The group adds that even “if global warming emissions were to drop to zero by 2016, sea level will continue to rise in the coming decades as oceans and land ice adjust to the changes we have already made to the atmosphere.”

The Sierra Club’s California branch says sea levels in the Golden State could rise up to five feet by the end of the century, causing huge damage to coastal cities that it assumes would do nothing to combat changes over the next 75 years.

Even the president acknowledges rising sea levels are still a threat, despite his campaign promise. Obama will be travelling to the Everglades for Earth Day this year, where he says “rising sea levels are putting a national treasure… at risk.”

“So climate change can no longer be denied‚Äì or ignored,” Obama said in his weekly video address. “This is an issue that’s bigger and longer-lasting than my presidency.”

Interestingly enough, Obama recently issued an executive order for federal agencies to take future sea-level rise into account for new federal projects, along the coasts in particular. The order came three years after Hurricane Sandy caused massive storm surge along the East Coast.


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Obama picks a fight with Florida Republicans on climate change

obamaAs he heads to the Everglades to mark Earth Day, President Obama is picking a fight with Florida Gov. Rick Scott on climate change — part of a broader White House effort to use the issue to help Democrats and hurt Republicans ahead of the 2016 elections.

White House officials readily admit that Mr. Obama seeks an “elevated political debate” on the issue of climate change and also say Republicans are playing with fire by either denying man-made global warming or downplaying its effects. The president’s trip to the Florida Everglades — where he will talk both about protecting national parks and natural wonders, and his controversial climate-change agenda — has clear political undertones.

While the White House won’t admit it, Mr. Obama’s Florida trip seems to be an attempt to shine light on the climate-change positions of several GOP presidential contenders, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Mr. Rubio has formally launched a presidential bid while it is presumed Mr. Bush will run.

Mr. Rubio has downplayed climate change and humans’ role in causing it, while Mr. Bush recently would only say he is “concerned” about the issue.

The White House didn’t specifically mention either man but hinted their positions will be political liabilities come 2016.

“The president is hoping that his visit to the Everglades on Earth Day will prompt an elevated political debate about making climate change a priority,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on a conference call previewing Mr. Obama’s trip. “Those Republicans who choose to deny the reality of climate change, they do that to the detriment of the people they’re elected to represent. The debate we seek is one that puts this issue in a prominent place on the public agenda.”

But the White House saved its harshest critique for the state’s governor.

The administration explicitly called out Mr. Scott for allegedly banning state employees from even uttering the words “climate change,” though the Republican governor has denied that claim.

“The president’s commitment to the Everglades and fighting climate change stacks up very well against Gov. Scott, particularly when you consider Gov. Scott has outlawed employees in the state of Florida from even uttering the words ‘climate change,'” Mr. Earnest said.

The jab at Mr. Scott came after the governor made specific requests from the administration for federal funding to maintain the Everglades.

“President Obama needs to live up to his commitment on the Everglades and find a way to fund the $58 million in backlog funding Everglades National Park hasn’t received from the federal government. This has caused critical maintenance delays in the Everglades to linger for over a year,” the governor said in a statement. “As we continue to make important investments in our environment, the President’s latest budget cuts millions from the repair of the Lake Okeechobee Dike — the rehabilitation of which is critical to the protection of south Florida’s estuaries. Our environment is too important to neglect and it’s time for the federal government to focus on real solutions and live up to their promises.”

White House officials didn’t directly address Mr. Scott’s specific funding questions and instead focused on the politics, with Mr. Earnest calling his words “a little rich.”

Also on Wednesday, the administration will announce a new $26 million national park restoration project. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also will release a new flood-exposure map designed to help East Coast states protect against devastating floods caused by climate change.

While in Florida, Mr. Obama also will designate the Miami house of Marjory Stoneman Douglas — author of the 1947 book “The Everglades: Rivers of Grass” — a new national historic landmark. The White House calls the book “a significant turning point in the environmental movement.”


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Geological forces trump man-made global warming again

Pinatubo eruptionMount Pinatubo eruptionTwo recently released and independent studies both conclude that natural forces in the form of unusually strong and persistent trade winds are the cause of the 18.5-year global warming haitus (see references below). The implications are absolutely stunning!

  1. This is an admission that natural forces override / trump the effect of all man-made CO2 released into the atmosphere during this time period.
  2. It is also a very public admission by “consensus” climate scientists that the 18 ¬Ω lack of atmospheric warming is real, not a fabrication of global warming skeptics. The research studies even coined a phrase to describe the lack of atmospheric global warming, the “Pause”.
  3. By stating that atmospheric temperatures have remained relatively constant for 18 ¬Ω years climate scientists have essentially admitted that an important element of climate really hasn’t significantly changed during this time period. So the phrase “Climate Change” is not well supported by actual climate data, and some might argue misleading.
  4. Implementation of pending carbon taxes should be tabled until a more accurate measure of the impact man-made CO2 has on climate can be established.
  5. Political arguing concerning climate trends and solutions should be put aside thereby giving scientists room to do unimpaired and diverse research?

There are two important climate science questions not adequately addressed by this new research, leaving discussions of carbon taxes, politics, etc to others. The two questions are: Why did climate scientists fail to predict / model the “pause”, and secondly, what is the root cause of altered trade winds?

The short answer to the first question is that climate scientists failed to predict / model the “pause” because they were, and still are, atmospherically biased. For many years climate science has been stuck in a “it’s all about the atmosphere” mindset. This bias has blinded them. They have improperly interpreted or in some cases ignored mountains of compelling non-atmospheric data, much of it geological in nature, which would have aided in the prediction of the pause.

Scientific bias is more common than you might imagine. Formulating correct answers to well defined scientific questions can only be made when in possession of three elements: an open mind, sufficiently accurate data, and most importantly a parameter diverse data set of proper resolution. Amazingly when lacking any of these elements many of us, including scientists, still charge full speed ahead to what we deem are compelling answers. These answers then form the basis of how we perceive and judge the validity of the relevant scientific theory.

Sadly, and not to surprisingly hastily ill-formed answers are often proven incorrect. It then becomes necessary to alter our perception of, and confidence in, the relevant scientific theory. This is exactly what occurred when climate scientists prematurely pronounced the atmospherically based global warming theory proven.

This discourse may seem a bit esoteric, so to make it more tangible let’s test our own bias. This can be accomplished by reviewing two real world examples. This process will help clarify how scientific bias works. The first test / example is atmospheric and the second is oceanographic. In each case you will be provided with a map that clearly indicates an anomalous area. Your task is to determine two things from the map; 1.) Point source / geographic location of the anomaly, 2.) Cause of the anomaly. No tricks, no clever deceptions, these are real climate science maps.

Real world example one is as follows. Let’s take a shot at determining the point source location and cause of an atmospheric sulphur dioxide anomaly (bright red) as illustrated on the NASA satellite generated map (see figure 1). At first glance it looks like this may be an impossible task because there just doesn’t seem to be enough information on this map to formulate precise answers. However climate scientists often answer questions and judge theories on limited data, for instance utilizing just one key map or on key parameter.


Figure 1.) Worldwide Atmospheric Sulphur Dioxide Concentration

Given that real world constraint let’s give it a shot.

  1. The anomaly source point is almost certainly within the mapped red anomaly band that circles the globe, possibly located just west of the South American Continent where the anomaly is widest.
  2. The geographic extent of the source point is likely very large because it generated an extensive worldwide anomaly.
  3. The event that created this anomaly is likely quite unique because it affects the entire world and is well defined. Anomalies are often thought of as unique and one of a kind.
  4. Lastly we could attempt to improve the existing map by digitizing all of the map contours and making a computer model from this digital data. This would yield very precise and hopefully more accurate maps. A precise and accurate looking map is often thought to be closer to the truth.
  5. The cause is difficult to estimate using this map, however knowing that sulphur dioxide is emitted from coal fired power plants we could at least say that fossil fuel pollution is a good candidate for cause.

If we feel reasonably comfortable with these real world answers, that’s natural. Unfortunately we’d be wrong on all accounts. All of our answers are incorrect. Ouch! Not to worry because we are in good company. We all make these types of errors each day.

We are strongly affected by the seemingly accurate nature of brightly colored and well-illustrated maps that have precise lines and colors. They must be correct and all telling because they are so beautiful.

Time for a science reality check moment…in science, beauty is only skin deep. A beautifully precise map does not necessarily communicate the truth.

The map below (Figure 2) shows the correct answer to both questions. The atmospheric sulphur dioxide anomaly was generated by the 1991 eruption of the Mount Pinatubo volcano. It is not located within the mapped sulphur dioxide anomaly because currents quickly modified the position of the erupted sulphur dioxide ash plume by pushing into normal air circulation patterns around the earth.

The geographic extent of the Mount Pinatubo volcano is not large. Actually it is very small in comparison to its worldwide affect on atmospheric sulphur dioxide concentration and the resulting two year depression of worldwide temperatures. The base of the volcanic cone is approximately 5 miles in diameter. Although not a common event, eruptions on this magnitude happen fairly regularly especially when deep ocean eruptions such as “megaplume” eruptions are included in the data set.

Keep in mind 90% of all active volcanoes are on the ocean flow and most have not been monitored until very recent times, but only in the last 5 years or so. Generating a digital computer model wouldn’t have improved our chances of generating correct answers.


Figure 2.) 1991 Worldwide atmospheric sulphur dioxide concentration with Mount Pinatubo Point Source location.

The primary take away from this atmospheric mapping resolution game is that data accuracy and resolution are vitally important to formulating correct answers to critical questions. Lacking this needed resolution we still incorrectly attempted to pick a point source and cause.

Next let’s review an ocean warm temperature anomaly example and try to discern both the point source location and cause of this high temperature anomaly. The only information we have is a NOAA Shallow Surface Temperature (SST) anomaly map from 1997 (Figure 3). At first glance this map indicates a very large high temperature shallow water anomaly across a large portion of the central Pacific Ocean (bright red). Our observations / answers from this might be as follows.

  1. The point source actually looks to be at least fairly predictable, because the bright red anomaly has a cone shape and the point of the cone located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This is likely the heat point source that warms the shallow ocean waters.
  2. The extent of the point source location is a bit tougher to determine, however as a guess it would likely be reasonably large to generate such an extensive sea water anomaly. After all it takes a lot of energy to heat a massive pool of sea water. We need a geographically extensive source point to accomplish this task. Map scale is difficult to tell, but as a guess several hundred miles across.
  3. This must be a very unusual event because the anomaly is sharp well defined and therefore unusual looking compared to other regions on the map. It is likely an infrequent and very unusual event.
  4. As before we could choose to digitize the contours of this map and use the data to generate a computer model. Maybe run time variations of the model. This would give us a number of various precise maps to aid us in making presumably more informed estimates of both point source location and cause.
  5. Lastly the cause is actually not to difficult a choice. It’s the atmosphere. The atmosphere is a logical choice because it is in direct contact with the shallow warm sea water anomaly. The atmosphere is also a geographically extensive energy source which fits well with an extensive SST anomaly. Climate scientists have been touting global air warming for years and they are the experts. Going to go with the atmosphere on this one. Feeling confident even though the map is low resolution, this conclusion seems logical, almost obvious.


Figure 3.) 1997 NOAA Shallow Surface Temperature map (bright red is warm)

Well sorry to disappoint you again, however, but you’d be wrong on all accounts. Ouch times two.

The heat point source is located on the far eastern end of the map, just east of New Guinea (see Figure 4). This location is home to a tightly spaced group of active deep sub-ocean volcanoes and tectonic faults. It is much more likely that these geological features supplied the energy to heat deep ocean water immediately above these active geologic features.

This deep ocean warm cell was transported eastward and progressively shallower by ocean currents. Eventually this ocean warm cell became shallow enough to be recorded on shallow-water SST maps. So the central ocean point source point we choose utilizing the SST map is incorrect, and furthermore, the cause of this anomaly is not related to the atmospheric warming.

This is exactly what has happened to atmospherically biased climate scientists who have for years used SST maps to “prove” that increases in atmospheric temperatures are heating the ocean. With the admission that the atmosphere is not warming it is no longer a believable explanation.

It is more likely that the altered trade winds are not the cause of the global warming “pause”, but rather a side effect of an ocean that is warmed by deep ocean geological forces. A warmer ocean alters trade winds.


Figure 4) NOAA SST Map with Geological Heat Source Point

During the last five years, scientists have amassed a better data set with increased accuracy, tighter spatial distribution, more diverse parameters, and representing a longer time period. Utilizing this new data set the mindset has changed from believing in “climate change” to believing in the need to “change the climate theory.” Clearly geological forces have a very strong impact on climate including the relative influence of man-made CO2 and the altering of trade wind patterns. This has strengthened many plate climatology theory principles.

With a clear and open mind, a sufficiently accurate data set, and most importantly a data set of proper resolution it can now be stated with confidence that “geological forces trump man-made global warming.”

James Edward Kamis is a Geologist and AAPG member of 40 years and 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. You can reach James using our Contact Us form.


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The Whitehouse-White House inquisition

sheldonSenator Sheldon Whitehouse recently had a Huff-Po tantrum. The Rhode Island Democrat was miffed that people criticized him and equally liberal Senate colleagues Barbara Boxer (CA) and Ed Markey (MA) for attacking skeptics of dangerous manmade climate change like Spanish Inquisition tormentors.

He says the skeptic community’s “overheated” response mischaracterized their motives and muddled their important messages: Global warming is the most serious threat we face today.  Financial incentives can affect behavior, which is why the public and Congress need to know who funded the skeptics’ research. And companies that produce harmful products want to foment uncertainty about well-established health and safety risks: fossil fuel interests and climate chaos skeptics are just like the tobacco industry.

These senators are abusing their power of office to threaten and silence honest scientists, and destroy their funding, reputations and careers. It’s pure Saul Alinsky, as practiced by Greenpeace, Harry Reid and the other White House: “In a fight almost anything goes. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” And the vilified scientists and their friends are just supposed to take it, the senators seem to think.  

In reality, the only thing overheated is Mr. Whitehouse’s temper ‚Äì and the increasingly preposterous rhetoric about an overheating planet. Climate change is altering our music. A 0.1 degree Celsius change in ocean temperatures has caused whales to migrate a month earlier than 30 years ago. Warming oceans will mean the end of fish and chips! Lord knows what other “disasters” await ‚Äì all because of fossil fuels.

The absurdity of this fraudulent fear mongering and its total irrelevance to our daily lives explains why Americans consistently put climate change at the bottom of every list of concerns. The very idea that governments can decree an idyllic climate is equally crazy; that has happened only once in human history.

No wonder Mr. Obama is repackaging the climate issue under the equally false and ridiculous mantras of “ocean acidification,” and “carbon pollution” causing allergies and asthma. Our oceans are not becoming acidic. It’s not “carbon” ‚Äì it’s carbon dioxide, the miracle molecule that makes all life on Earth possible. And neither CO2 nor planetary warming has anything to do with allergies or asthma.

Climate science was supposed to examine the effects that humans might be having on Earth’s climate. But anti-fossil fuel activists turned it into the notion that only humans affect the climate ‚Äì and that the powerful natural forces that caused countless, sometimes devastating climate fluctuations in the past no longer play a role. Climatology was also supposed to be about the scientific method:

Pose a hypothesis to explain how nature works. Test the hypothesis and its predictions against real-world evidence and observations. If the premise is valid, the evidence will back it up. If the data and evidence are out of synch with the carbon dioxide/greenhouse gas thesis, come up with another hypothesis.

By now, it’s obvious that the “dangerous manmade global warming” thesis, and computer models based on it, do not explain what is happening in the real world. The planet stopped warming 18 years ago, despite rising fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions. The models don’t work; their predictions are completely out of whack with reality. Instead of more hurricanes, no Category 3-5 has hit the USA since late 2005.

So the alarmists changed their mantra to “climate change” and “weather disruption.” But this is bogus: it tries to blame every change and event on fossil fuels. The thesis can never be proven or disproven, which means it’s a religious tract, not a scientific analysis. Alarmists don’t have a leg to stand on scientifically.

That’s why they refuse to debate the science; why they vilify climate crisis skeptics. It’s why Democrats became so frustrated with Dr. Judith Curry’s expert testimony at a recent House Science Committee hearing that they left the room. They couldn’t stand it when she said the “central issue” is the extent to which recent (and future) planetary warming or other climate changes are driven by manmade greenhouse gas emissions, “versus natural climate variability caused by variations from the sun, volcanic eruptions, and large-scale ocean circulations.” And they really couldn’t tolerate her noting that President Obama’s pledge to slash U.S. emissions by 28% will reduce warming by just 0.03 degrees Celsius by 2100.

Climate change and extreme weather risks are real, but carbon dioxide doesn’t cause them today any more than throughout history. Aside from Pleistocene-style ice ages, we can adapt or respond to events ‚Äì including storms, droughts, heat waves and extreme cold ‚Äì if we have affordable, reliable energy, strong economies and modern technologies. The real threats to jobs, health, welfare and lives come from anti-fossil fuel policies imposed on the pretense that they will stabilize weather and climate. Forecasting future climate changes will be equally impossible if we remain fixated on carbon dioxide, and ignore the solar, ocean circulation, cosmic ray and other powerful natural forces that actually affect Earth’s climate.

Senator Whitehouse’s suggestion that climate chaos skeptics should be tarred and feathered with tobacco industry apologists is despicable demagoguery. So are his comments about funding realist research.

The skeptics’ funding was never secret. It was always an open book, available to anyone who cared to look. But since he brought up the money issue, let’s look at a few aspects that he studiously ignores.

Alarmist research is all about carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases and fossil fuels ‚Äì precisely because financial incentives can and do affect behavior. Alarmists get a thousand times more money than skeptics. Climate Crisis, Inc. received hundreds of billions of dollars in government, industry, foundation and other money during the past couple decades. The US government alone spent over $186 billion in tax dollars on climate, “clean energy” and renewable energy projects from 2009 through 2014. Applicants know they won’t get grants if their theses and conclusions do not support climate alarmism and regulatory agendas.

Billions more went to government agencies that coordinate these programs and develop anti-hydrocarbon regulations. These bureaucrats don’t merely search health and scientific files to cherry-pick papers that support their agenda. They deliberately hunt only for supportive documents (many of which they pay for) and actively ignore, suppress and vilify research that focuses on (or even just discusses) natural forces.

Then the EPA and other agencies pay the American Lung Association, scientific advisory committees and other activists millions of dollars a year to rubberstamp their regulatory decisions. Even more destructive of our scientific method and political process, countless millions are also being funneled to climate chaos researchers and Big Green pressure groups via secretive foundations, laundered through front groups from Russian oil interests, and employed to further enrich billionaires like Warren Buffett.

The scandalous system has turned hardcore environmentalism into a $13.4-billion-per-year operation and represents an unbelievable abuse of our hard-earned tax dollars and the tax-exempt status of numerous foundations and activist groups. Cooperate and get rich; resist, and get the Whitehouse inquisition.

As a result, instead of science, we get opinion, propaganda, spin, pseudo-science and outright fraud – all designed to advance a anti-fossil fuel, pro-renewable energy agenda, that kills jobs and economic growth, endangers human health and welfare, and puts radical regulators and pressure groups in control of our lives, livelihoods and living standards. It also further corrupts our political system.

These Big Green companies, foundations, pressure groups and government unions give our politicians millions of dollars in campaign cash and in-kind help, to keep them in office and the gravy train on track.

The League of Conservation Voters collected $90 million in foundation grants 2000-2013; the LCV Education Fund pocketed $71 million more. The LCV, Sierra Club, NRDC, SEIU, AFSCME, Kleiner Perkins and allied groups are all big Whitehouse (and Obama White House) campaign donors.

Do Senators Whitehouse, Boxer and Markey plan to investigate those financial incentives and abuses?

Concerned citizens should ponder all of this on Earth Day, April 22 – and the next time they vote.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (, coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death, Climate Hype Exposed and Miracle Molecule: Carbon dioxide.

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