Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mother Nature's Message to Mankind

By Alan Caruba

After a tornado tore through Moore, Oklahoma in 1999, people returned and rebuilt their homes and other structures destroyed by it.

Many of the homes, instead of including a basement, were rebuilt on concrete slabs that offer no protection when high winds tear them loose. The elementary school was believed to be strong enough to protect students, but it wasn’t. No lessons were learned from that tornado, although meteorological systems have been put in place to provide some warning.

I did not have to wait for the usual pronouncements from various environmental organizations and individual “experts” that the tornadoes that struck Oklahoma were the result of “global warming” or “climate change”, but tornadoes are a product of weather systems all around the world and have occurred for the millennia of Earth’s existence.

Typical of the way Greens exploit every dramatic weather event, Solon.com, a liberal website, posted an article by David Sirota repeating all the usual environmental lies. “Was the severe weather system culminating in yesterday’s Oklahoma City intensified—or even created—by climate change? That question will almost certainly be batted back and forth in the media over the next few days. After all, there is plenty of scientific evidence that climate change intensifies weather in general, but there remain legitimate questions about how—and even if—it intensifies tornadoes in specific.” This is the worst kind of balderdash; utterly without merit.

Sirota then went on to blame “sequestration” for increasing the impact, citing “an 8.2 percent cut to the National Weather Service”, claiming falsely that there was no way it “could maintain around-the-clock operations at its 122 forecasting offices” and saying it means that its employees “are going to be overworked, they’re going to be tired, they’re going to miss warnings.”

This is the naked politicization of a human tragedy. Sequestration had nothing more to do with the deaths of some twenty children in Moore than the insane killing of children at Sandy Hook school in Connecticut that led to immediate calls for more gun control laws. This is typical of liberals for whom everything is about politics and power.

Sequestration, an idea put forth by President Obama and adopted by Congress as a process so idiotic and drastic that it was believed it would never be allowed to occur. It cuts the rate of federal spending, but not the amount of spending. As with the air controllers and meat inspectors, there have not been, nor will be, massive government employee layoffs. As Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) points out, one result was the curtailment of White House tours, but shortly after it was initiated, the Obama administration was still able to find millions to send to Egypt on top of the two billion it sends annually.

The government has responded to tornadoes and other weather-related events with an alphabet soup of agencies, from NASA and NOAA to FEMA. The National Weather Service (NWS) does its best to track and warn against tornadoes. According to Tuesday's The Wall Street Journal, “The National Weather Service estimates that 80% of tornadoes are ‘weak’—EF1 or less—and less than 1% are violent, meaning EF5 or higher.” Such tornadoes are rare. “If the storm is upgraded, it would be only the 59th EF5 since 1950—and the second in Moore…”

On a page from NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory offering “Tornado Basics”, it asks and answers the question “How do tornadoes form?” It answers by saying “The truth is that we don’t fully understand. The most destructive and deadly tornadoes occur from supercells, which are rotating thunderstorms with a well-defined radar circulation call a mesocyclone.”

Greens love computer models to justify their absurd claims, but the Severe Storms Laboratory says that tornado development “is related to the temperature differences across the edge of downdraft air wrapping around the mesocyclone. Mathematical modeling studies of tornado formation also indicate that it can happen without such temperature patterns, and, in fact, very little temperature variation was observed near some of the most destructive tornadoes in history.” Computer modeling is a poor substitute for Mother Nature.

What is known is that about 1,200 tornadoes annually and they generally occur in a stretch of the Midwest known as “tornado alley.” The worst of them do tremendous physical damage and kill people; which begs the question of why people moved back to Moore and rebuilt despite the 1999 tornado.

The real question is why people believe that humans have anything to do with the weather or the climate? Why does anyone believe that carbon dioxide (CO2) has anything to do with weather events or trends? The answer is that Al Gore, James Hensen, and a raft of other climate charlatans, along with countless Green organizations, have been lying to Americans and others around the world.

Since founding The National Anxiety Center in 1990 as a clearinghouse for information about Green fear-mongering, I have been a guest on countless radio shows. I tell listeners that Mother Nature has a message for mankind. It is “Get out of the way. Here comes a tornado, a flood, a hurricane, a blizzard, a wild fire.”

After the dead are totaled and a cost is estimated, there will still be tornadoes in Oklahoma and the rest of tornado alley. The primary lesson to be learned is that Mother Nature is infinitely more powerful than anything humans are alleged to do to affect it in any way because we have zero effect on it.

The other lesson is that America and other nations have wasted billions of dollars on idiotic “renewable energy” such as solar and wind projects that provide unreliable, costly alternatives to the energy on which a nation’s prosperity depends.

The opposition to “fossil fuels” and nuclear energy that Green organizations generate is an attack on human activity, along with their opposition to beneficial chemicals that can, for example, eliminate malaria and other diseases that afflict mankind demonstrates their core belief that it is humans that are responsible for harming the Earth. They are not.

To be Green is to seek to control and reduce humankind through an extensive matrix of lies.

Tornadoes are a “force majeure.” As Wikipedia explains, is “a common clause in contracts that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as war, strike, riot, crime, or an event described by the legal term, ‘act of God.”

The Moore, Oklahoma tornado was a force majeure.
(c) Alan Caruba, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Green Enemies of Humanity, Science, and the Truth

By Alan Caruba

Among the greatest liars on Earth today is the international organization called Friends of the Earth (FOE). It has engaged in the most scurrilous fear-mongering for decades, along with Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and the World Wildlife Fund, while all the time they pulled in billions in funding.

In May 2012, the Daily Caller noted that “The Congressional Research Service estimates that since 2008 the federal government has spent nearly $70 billion on ‘climate change activities.’” The leading critic in Congress, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) asked at the time, “Which would you rather have? Would you rather spend $4 billion on Air Force base solar panels, or would you rather have 28 new F-22s or 30 F-25s or modernized C-130s?”

“Would you rather have $64.8 billion spent on pointless global warming efforts or would you rather have more funds put toward modernizing our fleet of ships, aircraft and ground vehicles to improve the safety of our troops and help defend the nation against the legitimate threats that we face?’

On May 9th, I received an email from Friends of the Earth that repeated all the lies we have heard for years. Painting with a very broad brush that completely ignores the fact that the U.S. climate has always had highs and lows of temperature, FOE complained that “Last year the U.S. experienced record-breaking weather all over the country. But, the nightly news programs on ABC, CBS, and NBC barely talked about what was fueling this extreme weather—climate change.”

What FOE failed to mention was a record that was set in 2012-13; as of May, according to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, the U.S. had its longest stretch in recorded history—2,750 days—without a major hurricane landfall. The many claims of “extreme” weather are classic fear-mongering. I might also add that, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, the number of wildfires is at a ten-year low. Glaciers are not melting and seas are not rising, unless a millimeter or two worries you.

“Climate change” is the replacement name for “global warming.”  Climate is measured in centuries. The weather is whatever is happening anywhere in the nation on any given day. Around the world, however, there has been a significant increase in cold weather and many are still waiting for spring to arrive.

Typical of the hyperbole that is representative of the lies we have heard from so-called environmental organizations, FOE fumed that “the nightly news programs at the major broadcast networks have largely ignored what is fueling this extreme weather—climate change.” Citing a Media Matters for America study, FOE noted that “ABC’s nightly news program did only one segment about climate change last year. Meanwhile NBC’s news show did only four and CBS just seven segments to this critical issue.” Perhaps this is because these notably liberal news organizations have concluded it is not a critical issue?

It gets better, FOE was angry, saying “What’s almost worse is that when these networks have covered global warming, they have often treated climate change as a ‘two-sided debate’ rather than what it really is; an issue in which there is overwhelming scientific consensus.” These are people who do not want to have a debate because, based on the facts, they would lose. As for scientific consensus regarding either global warming or climate change, there is NONE. If anything, leading scientists around the world have been debunking global warming now for years.

One of the leading think tanks in the effort to end the global warming hoax has been The Heartland Institute. It has sponsored several international conferences in which scientists and others have offered papers and addressed the topic. I recommend you subscribe to its national monthly, Environmental & ClimateNews. Its Managing Editor, James M. Taylor, J.D., provides the latest information on the environmental organizations greatest villain, carbon dioxide (CO2).

Two recent dispatches by Taylor noted in one that “Climate models supporting predictions of rapid global warming during the next century have performed miserably predicting global temperatures during the past two decades”, citing a comparison of computer model predictions and real-world temperatures by climate scientist Roy W. Spencer. In another, Taylor noted that “New data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue to rise, but global temperatures are not following suit. The new data undercut assertions that atmospheric carbon dioxide is causing a global warming crisis.”

Undismayed by the facts, FOE could only cite the taxpayer-funded PBS News Hour that “devoted 23 segments to covering climate change.” When the President is telling everyone that the climate is the greatest threat to the nation, PBS bureaucrats who know where the money comes from can be depended upon to broadcast his lies.

Ironically, the Wall Street Journal published an opinion by Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer on the same day the FOE email arrived. It was titled “In Defense of Carbon Dioxide.” Schmitt was an Apollo 17 astronaut and a former U.S. Senator from New Mexico. He is an adjunct professor of engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Happer is a professor of physics at Princeton University and a former director of the office of energy research at the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The cessation of observed global warming for the past decade or so has shown how exaggerated NASA’s and most other computer predictions of human-caused warming have been—and how little correlation warming has with concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide.”

No wonder FOE is upset that even the mainstream media networks no longer want to report on a global warming that does not exist. There’s real science and there’s the fulminations and lies of Friends of the Earth.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

How the Greens Pick Your Pocket

By Alan Caruba

The famed Boston Tea Party was a protest against “taxation without representation”, but our pockets are picked every day by a plethora of taxes of which most Americans are not even aware.

We get robbed when the federal government thwarts exploration and extraction of energy resources that would greatly reduce those costs. We get robbed when the government (EPA) conspires to force coal-fired plants out of business through excessive regulation or declares that milk is a form of “oil” to be regulated.

One particularly egregious form of robbery is ethanol. In March, a Washington Times editorial pointed out that “only the government could come up with a bubble in a commodity that’s merely speculative…renewable identification numbers are ethanol production credits created by the Environmental Protection Agency to help companies meet federal quotes for the production of a fuel that doesn’t actually exist.”

Not content with requiring the waste of a basic food product, corn, this other supposed source of ethanol requires refineries to purchase a “renewable identification number”, then priced at $1.10, up 500% from the three cents it would have cost a few months ago. The cost is passed along to everyone filling up their tank.

The cost of the corn that is diverted from the dinner table is in the billions and creates worldwide shortages. Before the Renewable Fuel Standard was imposed, corn prices were between $2 and $3 per bushel. The price of corn has since spiked to $7 per bushel and you pay for that at the gas pump and in the supermarket where corn is an integral element of thousands of food items.

Ethanol is justified as reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, but it creates more as it is processed for use and it actually reduces the mileage that a gallon of gas provides. Worse yet, it damages the engines of all new cars and trucks. It is so corrosive, it cannot be shipped via pipelines. And the EPA wants to increase the amount of ethanol to be blended from ten percent to fifteen percent!

Not content with that approach to fending off a global warming that has not been occurring for the last sixteen years, the EPA recently proposed a “Tier 3” rule to further lower sulfur content in gasoline that would increase the refining cost of gasoline by up to nine cents per gallon.

Reflecting on Obama administration policies, David Rothbard and Craig Rucker, co-founders of CFACT, a free market think tank devoted to environmental and development issues, recently noted that “All of the above” too often means all of the above ground and little or nothing below the Earth’s surface: wind, solar, biofuels and wood, for example – but little or no oil, gas, coal or uranium. In fact, more than any other in history, the Obama administration is using its executive powers to delay, obstruct, hyper-regulate, penalize and bankrupt the proven energy that is the foundation of modern living standards.”

The fleecing of the American taxpayer defies the imagination. The Institute for Energy Research recently reported that President Obama has spent $11.45 million for every “green job” created. Since 2009, Obama’s first year in office, the Department of Energy’s $26 billion loan program has created just 2,298 permanent jobs. The DOE has squandered billions on so-called green energy companies—solar and wind—whose investors have also turned out to be heavy contributors to his political campaigns. This is borderline criminality.

Since 2008 when the housing bubble burst, causing a huge economic downturn that has created an estimated 26 million unemployed, the Obama administration has gone about cancelling oil and natural gas leases while at the same time putting an embargo on the issuance of new leases on all federally owned lands.

The federal government owns 28% of the land in the nation and a majority of the land in the energy-rich Western states. It also controls oil and natural gas leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf, the submerged area between land and deep ocean.

In sharp contrast, drilling on privately owned lands has proved to be a bonanza. If the full capacity of the nation’s technically available reserves of oil and natural was unleashed, the United States would not only have no need to import oil, but would become an exporter!

Most Americans are totally unaware of what the government is doing, but all are being impacted as the cost of transportation and electricity continues to rise for no good reason other than government policies and the environmental propaganda about “climate change” and “pollution.”

The Greek myth about Cassandra tells of the god Apollo’s gift of prophecy he bestowed on her to win her affections. When she would not become his lover, he punished her by causing anyone to hear her prophesies of future events to interpret them as lies. The gift became a curse.

Think tanks like CFACT and others are telling Americans the truth, but too many remain deaf to it. The result is our present torpid economy and the cost of energy and commodities that have been increased by the lies Greens tell.

© Alan Caruba, 2013