Sunday, September 22, 2013

Global Warming: The BIGGEST LIE Exposed

By Alan Caruba

I will never understand the kind of thinking behind a lie so big that it became an international fraud and swindle. I cannot understand why an international organization, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC) operating under the umbrella of the United Nations, was permitted to issue reports of an imminent threat to the Earth, to mankind, that a freshman student of meteorology would know were false.

At long last the Big Lie of Global Warming has been totally exposed and we can thank The Heartland Institute, a free market think tank that has organized and hosted eight international Conferences on Climate Change since 2008 to expose the lies behind global warming—now called “climate change”—as it became clear that seventeen years of continuous cooling has put a Big Chill on this Big Lie.

I suspect that the Heartland team, led by Joe Bast and including some remarkable, dedicated people, will only get a line or two in some future historian’s account of the deception that began in 1988 before a congressional committee. Thereafter the global warming hoax was given momentum by former Vice President Al Gore who, along with the IPCC, would receive a Nobel Peace Prize!

It helps to have a sense of humor when you are doing battle with hucksters who have the entire world’s media to defend them. The climate “skeptics”—some of the world’s most renowned meteorologists—dubbed their effort the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) and, working with the Heartland Institute, have just released a new edition of “Climate Change Reconsidered II.”

It arrives just as the IPCC will release its 5th Assessment Report. The IPCC’s lies will get lots of news coverage. Heartland's NIPCC report was fortunate to have notice taken by Fox News, but beyond that most of the intransigent U.S. news media ignored it.

As often as not one has to look to foreign newspapers to get the truth. In Great Britain’s The Mail, the headline on September 14 was “Global warming just HALF what we said: World’s top climate scientists admit computers got the effects of greenhouse gases wrong.” A leaked copy of the IPCC report revealed “scientific forecasts of imminent doom were drastically wrong.”

Well, of course, they were wrong. The so-called “science” on which they were based was idiotic. It focused primarily on carbon dioxide (CO2) and other so-called “greenhouse gases”, claiming they were trapping heat while being produced by all manner of human activity related to generating energy with coal, oil, and natural gas.

Dr. Martin Hertzberg, Ph,D, co-author of “Slaying the Sky Dragon—Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory”, summed it up neatly, pointing out that water vapor in the Earth’s atmosphere is a primary factor affecting climate long term and weather short term.

“The determinant of weather is mainly water in all its forms,” said Dr. Herzberg, “as vapor in the atmosphere, in its heat transport by evaporation and condensation, as the enormous circulating mass of liquid ocean whose heat capacity and mass/energy transport dominate the motions of our atmosphere and the precipitation from it, and finally as cloud, snow, and ice cover which influence the radiative balance between the Sun, the Earth, and free Space.” 

As you try to wrap your mind around that explanation, just think about the way the Earth goes through regular seasons as well as predictable cycles of warming and cooling. It has done this now for some 4.5 billion years.

To read "Climate Change Reconsidered II", visit its website. Among its findings, the report notes that “no close correlation exists between temperature variation over the past 150 years and human related CO2 emissions.” Blaming the climate or even the weather on humans is insane. You might as well blame the floods in Colorado on humans instead of the downpours of rain, comparable to 1894 and 1969.

Indeed, the U.S. gives ample evidence of greatly reduced events associated with the weather. There have been fewer tornadoes over recent decades.  It’s been eight years since a Category 3 hurricane hit the U.S. Droughts have been shorter and less extreme than the 1930s and 1950s. And sea levels are predicted to increase barely four to eight inches per century and that may be on the high side. There will be dramatic weather events, but there have always been dramatic weather events!

The Heartland’s new report is welcome, but both they and I know that the same deceitful charlatans are still at work in the United Nations, in the United States, and around the world to keep this greatest of hoaxes alive.

The harm the global warming hoax has done and continues to do is best seen in the efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency to wipe out the coal industry based entirely on the lie that CO2 is a “pollutant.” When the House Energy & Commerce Committee held a hearing on the Obama administration’s climate policies thirteen agencies were invited to testify, but the administration provided only EPA administrator Gina McCarty and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. The latter read a prepared statement that was one long lie about global warming. Presumably he was under oath!

Ms. McCarty, the latest in a long line of environmental fanatics to run the agency, was forced under questioning to admit that current and proposed greenhouse gas regulations are not there to protect the public but to influence “the international community” to reduce their CO2 and other alleged emissions. Not only do the regulations have no basis in science, but they exist to keep the environmental war on energy use going and to pressure developing nations such as China and India. Within the past month, the citizens of Australia rose up and threw out the politicians who imposed a “carbon” tax on them. The new prime minister has shut down the “climate ministry” that existed to enforce it.

And while most of the world wasn’t watching, the United Nations was seeking to impose, once again, an international agreement similar to the failed and defunct Kyoto Protocol to limit CO2 and other greenhouse emissions, based on the BIG LIE! The 44th Pacific Islands Forum, held in the Marshall Islands, was intent on “an ambitious future climate regime to be finalized in 2015.”

That is what must be understood. These people will not give up until they have no other option. They will continue to exploit the ignorance of people regarding the actual science, penalizing them by driving up the cost of energy use, by closing down energy industries, prospective projects, and the jobs they provide,

They sustain the malignant ethanol scam that is ruining engines as this is being written. They are behind the useless solar panel and wind turbine industries that produce so little actual electricity they are a negative drag on the national grid. You, however, are picking up the tab for their mandated use. They practice a form of child abuse to tell children the Earth is doomed if their mother uses a plastic bag to bring groceries home from the supermarket.

The world’s BIGGEST LIE has been exposed and it will have to be exposed again and again until a stake is driven into the evil heart of the “global warming” hoax.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Turning Smokers Into Criminals

By Alan Caruba

America is filled with groups of people clamoring for their “rights” or claiming they are being discriminated against. One group, however, has been successfully silenced and, broadly speaking, turned into criminals. They are people who enjoy a cigarette, a cigar, or a pipe. There is no one left to speak for them, so I will.

A bit of background; my Father smoked a pipe as long as I knew him and, before him, his father smoked cigarettes. Both died well into their 90s. My Mother did not smoke but in the lingo of the attack on smokers, she presumably was a “victim” of secondary-smoke. She died at age 98. I have smoked since my days in college, some six decades. I became a cigar smoker while in the army and have thoroughly enjoyed them ever since.

In 2010 I received a book by Michael J. McFadden titled “Dissecting Antismoker’s Brains”, a privately-published examination of the movement to ban smoking. He wrote at the time “If by some chance they eventually succeeded in eliminating smoking from the face of the earth there would be virtually no time lapse before they sank their fangs into Big Auto, Big Meat, Big Soda, or whatever supposedly idealistic cause was out there that would promise them Big Money and Big Power.”

He was prescient because we have all witnessed campaigns against meat and soda consumption, all replete with “scientific studies” which, on close examination are bogus. We have been through three decades of such studies regarding the end-of-the-world claims regarding “global warming” only to learn in 2009 that they represented a cabal of scientists in America and Great Britain who colluded to produce the International Panel on Climate Change reports, based on falsified “science” and manipulated, bogus computer models.

These days the IPCC’s latest assessment reluctantly admits that its claims have failed, given a cooling cycle that began around 1998. Instead of shutting down and disbanding, the IPCC continues its quest to control the use of energy sources, oil, coal, and natural gas, denying it as much as possible to nations and people who depend on them.

McFadden has expanded on his earlier book with a new one, “TobakkoNacht: The Antismoking Endgame.” (Aethna Press, $27.95, softcover) The title is a play on Kristallnach, a 1938 event in Nazi Germany that revealed the depths of that regime’s hatred of Jews, leading eventually to the Holocaust. Smokers are not being rounded up and killed, but they are subjected to bans and meritless increases in the cost of smoking; taxes that greatly benefit the states imposing them while using the power of taxation to denigrate smokers.

McFadden, who has a strong knowledge of statistics, examines how they have been used, often falsely, to impose the agenda of the antismoking forces. “Statistics have a real and valid use in science and public health,” he says, “but when it comes to using social engineering techniques toward the end goal of creating a smoke-free world, they have been destructively abused to create fear and resentment far more than they have been constructively used to share information and enlightenment.”

“TobakkoNacht” is filled with information and enlightenment; the kind that the antismoking campaigners do not want the public to know. It is just over 500 pages long and, as McFadden warns, “A democratic republic that allows its policies to be built on the basis of lies, and a citizenry that accepts those lies as being the norm, is a republic and citizenry in very deep and serious trouble.” It’s not just lies about smoking, global warming, or what we should eat and drink. It is the lies that assure us that the government is not reading our mail and monitoring all our phone calls and Internet activity. It is the lies that lure the nation into wars.

The lies pouring out of the White House and repeated in the nation’s mainstream media have achieved a mass that the President has called “phony scandals” and they include the attack in Benghazi, the role of the National Security Agency, the actions taken by the Internal Revenue Service against Tea Party and other conservative groups, and the greatest fountain of lies, the Environmental Protection Agency.

In page after relentless page, McFadden cites the facts that disprove the lies about the connections between smoking and health. Yes, some smokers do develop lung disease, but many people who do not smoke also fall victim. No, there is no epidemic of heart attacks among smokers. The alleged links between “secondary” smoke and health are non-existent. Many of the diseases cited have a genetic component in which even people who do not smoke fall victim.

The war on smokers depends on the same general ignorance of science that other comparable campaigns use. They cite “amounts” of “toxic” substances, so let me end with a short lesson in reality:

1 milligram = 1,000 micrograms
1 milligram = 1,000,000 nanograms
1 milligram = 1,000,000,000 picograms
1 milligram = 1,000,000,000,000 femtograms

The same hucksters and frauds that tell you that 0.039% by volume of the carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere poses a huge threat to all life and those claiming that the presence of arsenic in tobacco smoke is a health threat are dependent on public ignorance. What you are not told is that there is arsenic in potatoes and in eggplants. What they are not telling you is that the earth’s active volcanoes are natural sources of carbon dioxide, along with others, including humans that exhale it.

The anti-smoking campaign is about controlling people and, as far as Big Pharma is concerned, making a ton of money selling nicotine patches and gum. The “scientists” in universities will make their money generating false studies.
It’s a scam. It’s a fraud. It has falsely stigmatized everyone who wants to light up and relax.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The EPA's War on America

By Alan Caruba

Among the targets to disable an enemy’s ability to wage war is their energy infrastructure. The destruction of the utilities that provide electricity or its ability to refine oil is critical to crippling a nation’s ability to function, based on the universal use of hydrocarbons such as coal, natural gas, and oil.

If an enemy was doing this to America we would go to war against it, but this is being done and the enemy is the government on which we depend to ensure the nation has the energy it needs to function and grow. Leading the war on America has been the Environmental Protection Agency, but it is joined by the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, and other agencies.

The Institute for Energy Research has estimated that the much of the government’s oil and gas that is technically recoverable is worth $128 trillion, about eight times our national debt. Our coal resources in the lower 48 states are estimated to be worth $22.5 trillion.

On September 10, The Wall Street Journal reported that “The Obama administration plans to block the construction of new coal-fired power plants unless they are built with novel and expensive technology to capture greenhouse-gas emissions, according to people familiar with a draft proposal.”  The U.S. has more than 27% of the world’s known coal reserves.

Greenhouse gas emissions are primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), a gas vital to all life on Earth, the “food” that vegetation depends upon. It plays no role whatever in a “global warming” that is not occurring. It is emitted by the Earth’s many active volcanoes and hot springs. It is exhaled by humans and land animals. It is the product of the combustion of hydrocarbons. As it increased in the atmosphere, the Earth has entered a cooling—not a warming—spell since the late 1990s. Its atmospheric concentration is a very tiny 0.039 percent by volume.

 It is, however, the justification on which much of the EPA’s enforcement activities are based. “The only way coal plants could comply is to capture carbon dioxide emissions and stick them underground—a costly process that hasn’t been demonstrated at commercial scale before.”

The idea of “capturing” CO2 and holding it underground is about as idiotic as it gets. More CO2 means more abundant crops to feed humans, livestock, and wildlife. It means healthier forests and jungles. Yet this is what would be required if the EPA gets its way. And even if it were possible, it would drive up the cost of electricity to consumers.

If implemented the proposal would guarantee one thing; fewer coal-fired plants and, as a result, less production of electricity. In 2012, the American Energy Institute warned that “coal’s share of U.S. electricity is expected to fall to below 40 percent this year from 42 percent last year and produce the lowest share since data was collected in 1949. Just five or six years ago, its share of electricity generation was 50 percent.”

The EPA isn’t content stopping the construction of coal-fired plants. In April 2013 a decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the EPA’s veto of the Arch Coal Spruce Mine in West Virginia. The decision pushed aside the Army Corps that normally conducts the environmental reviews and which granted approval to the mine in 2007.

The EPA ordered the Corps to withdraw the permit. This transfer of power to the EPA imperils all future coal mining projects. A Wall Street Journal article about the EPA’s project veto noted that “A recent study by Berkeley Professor David Sunding estimates that some $220 billion of annual investment depends on these permits; the fact of an EPA veto will deter new investment." EPA warnings have caused a British mining giant, Anglo-American, to walk away from a proposed Alaskan “Pebble” mine—potentially the largest coal and copper project in North America.

It is not just coal whose use is targeted by the EPA, fracking technology has unleashed a boom in natural gas, but the Obama administration has nominated an enemy of natural gas to chair the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Ron Binz regards it as a “dead end” because he too is a believer in carbon capture and storage. His answer to a non-existent global warming is “renewable” energy sources such as solar and wind. Solar currently provides 0.01% of the electricity fed to the grid and wind provides just 2%. FERC oversees much of the gas business and could effectively deter the growth of this industry with all of its attendant benefits from jobs to the reduction in the cost of electricity.

A recent report by the Republican members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee exposes the way the EPA has “pursued a path of obfuscation, operating in the shadows, and out of the sunlight.” The report noted how the former administration established an alias identify in order to discuss agency business without having to report on it. The report provides a lengthy description of violations of the Freedom of Information Act and other federal laws and regulations intended to encourage transparency in government.

All of this is going on while the nation languishes in the long recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, while creating jobs is vital to that recovery, and while it continues its long history of resisting the provision of energy in any form to Americans.

It is a war being waged on Americans, most of whom are unaware of it, but are being victimized by it.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Ethanol Debacle

By Alan Caruba

The government mandated blend of ethanol in every gallon of gasoline is a full-fledged disaster and neither Congress, nor the Environmental Protection Agency shows any indication of either repealing or abandoning it.

A recent Wall Street Journal editorial said, “A strong candidate for the most expensive policy blunder of recent years would have to be the mandate to blend corn ethanol and other biofuels into the nation’s gasoline supply. Last month even the Environmental Protection Agency essentially acknowledged that the program is increasingly unworkable and costly to consumers. The EPA just won’t do much to fix it.”

Some future historian will calculate how many trillions this nation wasted when it passed a law in 2007 that was supposed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to save the Earth from global warming and to provide a domestic energy source to compete with OPEC oil.

Implicit in that calculation will have to be the millions, if not billions, of automobiles whose engines were ruined by ethanol. Another element of the calculation is the way the cost of food at home and around the world was increased needlessly by requiring approximately 42% of the U.S. corn crop be used for ethanol production. It is more than the amount of corn used to feed livestock and poultry nationwide.

Only an environmentalist would think it was a good idea to burn food as fuel instead of permitting corn to be used as part of the nation’s food chain and for export. As a former Republican member of the House of Representatives, Bob Beauprez of Colorado, noted in a Washington Times commentary, “The ethanol mandate has sent corn prices skyrocketing, harmed cattle and poultry producers, forced refiners to waste money on ethanol credits, and hiked food prices worldwide.”

The ethanol mandate is so crazy that, not just corn must be sacrificed, but “cellulosic” ethanol, made from switch grass and wood chips, is also required. It isn’t even being produced despite the law, but the EPA continues to levy fines against oil company refineries for failing to buy and use a fuel that doesn’t exist. The cost of that is, of course, passed along to consumers.

In January, the D.C. Court of Appeals struck down the EPA’s 2012 cellulosic mandate as unrealistically high. The EPA has announced that it is reducing the 2013 cellulosic ethanol mandate to a mere six million gallons.

In order to remain in compliance with the requirement to blend ethanol, even though refiners are producing less gasoline than the law mandates, they have been forced to purchase ethanol credits called Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). The price of these RINs has climbed from seven cents in January to a high of $1.43 in July. All this does is increase the cost of gas at the pump without having a single good reason for the existence of the ethanol blend.

Determined to force ethanol into our fuel, the EPA granted a partial waiver for the sale of E15, a motor fuel that contains 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline, approving it for use in 2001 and later model cars and trucks. The Wall Street Journal noted a survey by AAA found that “only 5% of vehicles are approved for higher levels of ethanol under manufacturer warranty.”

All this waste and stupidity comes from three decades of lies about global warming and the supposed need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The President continues to lie about global warming/climate change despite the fact that Earth has entered its seventeenth year of a cooling cycle.

The EPA continues to distort the nation’s and the world’s food supply so far as corn is concerned. It continues to ignore the damage ethanol inflicts on auto and other engines. It ignores the needless increase in the cost of gasoline to the consumer.

Americans are afflicted with a government that is indifferent to the facts about ethanol and the EPA remains intent on punishing Americans for their use of gasoline.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Three-Decade Delay of a Nuclear Waste Repository

By Alan Caruba

There was a time when the United States was a can-do nation that built canals, bridges, railroads, and highways. Now we are a nation whose civil engineers annually report the dangers of decaying infrastructure. A perfect example of how incompetent our government has become is the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

In 1982 the U.S. Congress established a national policy to solve the problem of nuclear waste disposal. As far back as 1957, the National Academy of Sciences had recommended that the best way to address the problem was to dispose of it in deep underground rock. In 1987, Yucca Mountain in Nevada was designated as the site. It was immediately opposed by both environmentalists and others. Congress approved the site in 2002.

An Associated Press article on August 13 reported on a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruling that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had to complete the licensing progress and approve or reject the Energy Department’s application for the site.

“The court’s decision was hailed by supporters of the Yucca site, which has been the focus of a dispute that stretches back more than three decades,” reported the AP. “The government has spent an estimated $15 billion on the site but never completed it. No waste is stored there.”

The failure to open the Yucca Mountain repository is an obscenity. Instead of storing nuclear waste in the most studied piece of U.S. geography in the history of the nation, it is stored at more than seventy (70) sites around the nation. The Yucca Mountain site was supposed to begin accepting spent fuel by January 31, 1998, fifteen years ago.

The Appeals Court delivered a serious rebuke to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which has essentially been treated as a political instrument of the Obama administration. The Court said the NRC was “simply flouting the law” when it allowed the Obama administration to continue plans to close site. This is especially egregious insofar as federal law designates the site as the nation’s nuclear waste repository.

“The President may not decline to follow a statutory mandate or prohibition simply because of policy objections,” said Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh who wrote the majority (2 to 1) opinion. “It is no overstatement to say that our constitutional system of separation of powers would be significantly altered if we were to allow executive and independent agencies to disregard federal law in the manner asserted in this case by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”

It is not just the President and the NRC that will not uphold the law that Congress passed. It is has been the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, Democrat from Nevada. Kim Strassel noted in an August 15 commentary that “Mr. Reid has for years single-handedly thwarted Congress’s will to create a deep storage facility…Such has been one senator’s ability to render the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act, 30 years of work, and $15 billion of federal funds moot.”

The arrogance of Sen. Reid, with the support of the President, is that of imperial kings and other monarchs for whom their personal agenda outweighs the welfare of the rest of the nation. The project was abandoned in the President’s first term; in 2011 the NRC, a supposedly independent agency, allowed the shutdown to stand. 

The present claim is that there is no money to move forward with the completion of Yucca Mountain and it is true that opponents in Congress, led by Sen. Reid, have cut nearly all funding in the last three years, but the court said that the NRC has about $11 million remaining for the purpose of funding a review of its safety. Congressional staffers who have seen a redacted draft of the review to date say that is safe.

Nuclear waste, the by-product of electric power generation at commercial nuclear plants and of high-level radioactive waste from reprocessed spent fuel, must be stored somewhere. Congress addressed that in 1982, more than three decades go. We are still waiting for a rational, practical solution because of politics, not science, nor common sense.

© Alan Caruba, 2013