Thursday, May 29, 2014
By Alan Caruba
Before President Obama took office in 2009, the amount of electricity being produced by coal-fired utilities was approximately fifty percent of the total. Today it is approximately forty percent and, when the Environmental Protection Agency regulations take effect as of June 2, more such utilities are likely to close their doors. The basis for the regulations is utterly devoid of any scientific facts.
Environmentalism, as expressed by many of the organizations that advocate it is, in fact, an attack on America, its economic system of capitalism, and its need for energy to maintain and grow its business and industrial base. Electricity, of course, is also the energy we all use daily for a multitude of tasks ranging from heating or cooling our homes to the use of our computers and every other appliance.
The EPA regulations are said to be necessary to reduce “greenhouse gas” emissions, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) which the Greens deem to be a “pollutant” in our atmosphere. It is not a pollutant, despite a Supreme Court decision that identifies it as such, but rather a gas vital to all life on Earth, used by all vegetation for its growth. CO2 is to vegetation what oxygen is to all animal life. Humans, all seven billion of us, exhale CO2!
Viv Forbes, the Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition and a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, notes that the Earth’s atmosphere “is not a greenhouse” and “does not have a glass roof. It uses convection to redistribute heat very quickly.” The claim for several decades has been that CO2 has an effect on the Earth’s surface temperature, but Forbes points out that “water vapor is a far more effective agent for insulating the Earth and preserving its warmth than carbon dioxide,” adding that “there is no evidence that man-made carbon dioxide is a significant cause of global warming.”
Indeed, even though the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere has increased, Forbes points out that “Close examination of past records shows that temperature tends to rise before carbon dioxide content rises, sometimes centuries earlier.” Significantly, at the same time Greens have been crying out against emissions of CO2 from coal-fired utilities and other sources, the Earth has been in a cooling cycle now verging on eighteen years!
The EPA is lying to Americans regarding carbon dioxide and, worse, its proposed regulations will reduce the number of coal-fired utilities and drive up the cost of electricity for Americans.
One of the many Green organizations, Earthjustice, claims that “Climate change threatens the world as we know it—and the chief culprit is fossil fuel burning. To avert ecological disaster, Earthjustice is pushing for a shift from dirty to clean energy to stabilize our climate and build a thriving sustainable world.”
There is literally nothing that mankind can do to “stabilize” the Earth’s climate. While the Earth has been going through climate change for 4.5 billion years, there is no evidence that anything mankind does has any effect on it. The change the Earth has encountered, as mentioned, is a cooling, a far different scenario than the “global warming” claims of the past three decades or more.
Tom Richard, the editor of ClimageChangeDispatch.com, notes that “Arctic sea ice has rebounded to higher and higher levels each year. Antarctica is actually gaining in size and there has been no increase in droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, ‘extreme weather’, flooding, et cetera.”
Reducing CO2 would have zero benefits while, at the same time, the EPA regulations would have a dangerous and totally unnecessary effect on CO2 emissions from plants producing electricity. Other nations around the world are actually abandoning “clean energy”. i.e., wind and solar power, in favor of building many more coal-fired plants to meet their need to provide energy for their populations and their economic growth. China and India are just two examples.
To support its claims of the forthcoming EPA regulations, EarthJustice is claiming that climate change “hits people of color the hardest” and that power plants “disproportionately impact Latino communities.” It noted “the moral obligation of faith community to act on climate change and support carbon pollution limits.” This has nothing to do with the actual facts of climate change and CO2 as noted here and is a blatant political campaign to secure support from these groups.
The reality, as noted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a policy research organization founded by former Senate leaders from both parties, was quoted in the May 26 edition of The Wall Street Journal saying “A 25% reduction (of CO2) with a 2015 baseline might make it impossible for some companies to operate”, noting that the cap-and-trade policies of emissions allowances that the EPA is putting in place “amounts to a hidden tax” on a whole range of electrical generation and industrial plants that produce CO2 emissions. The EPA will likely use the term “budget program” to avoid “cap-and-trade”, a proposal that was rejected by Congress.
Writing in Commentary, Jonathan S. Tobin, said that the new regulations on carbon emissions “will have a potentially devastating impact on America’s more than 600 coal-fired power plants” noting that “the move was made possible by Supreme Court decisions that ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency had the right to regulate (CO2) emissions, giving the President virtual carte blanche to remake this sector of our economy without requiring congressional consent.”
In July, the Heartland Institute, a free market think tank, will hold its ninth international conference on climate change. Previous conferences have brought together some of the world’s leading authorities on meteorology and climatology to debunk the decades of lies Greens have told about climate change and global warming.
The President has put “climate change” high on his list of priorities and it is an attack on the nation’s ability to affordably and extensively provide the energy needed to meet current needs for electricity and reducing our capacity to meet future needs.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is on record saying that the President’s bogus “climate change” policy could cost the U.S. economy $50 billion a year and force more than a third of coal-fired plants to close by 2030. The Heritage Foundation says “The plan will drive up energy prices for American families and businesses without making a dent in global temperatures.”
This is a form of regulatory death for the nation and comes straight out of the Oval Office of the White House.
© Alan Caruba, 2014
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
By Alan Caruba
John Kerry, our Secretary of State, continues to provide reasons to believe he is either too stupid to hold such a high position or too willing to tell lies to keep pace with President Obama.
Their views on “climate change” are so lacking in scientific fact that they are telling people we’re all doomed if we don’t abandon vast traditional U.S. energy resources and continue to throw more billions at “renewable energy” that provides a very costly three percent of the nation’s huge energy needs. Meanwhile, nations in Europe, China, India and elsewhere are abandoning solar and wind, and building coal-fired plants.
At a Boston College commencement speech on May 19, Kerry outdid himself talking about climate change. “If we make the necessary efforts to address this challenge—and supposing I’m wrong or scientists are wrong, 97 percent of them all wrong—supposing they are, what’s the worst that can happen?” The worst is more wasted billions spent on something mankind can do nothing about and the administration’s continued efforts to control every inch of land in the U.S. and all of its waters.
In the May 27 edition of The Wall Street Journal, Joe Bast, the president of the free-market think tank, the Heartland Institute, and Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama, teamed out to write about “The Myth of the Climate Change 97%.” While demolishing this Big Lie, they noted that “Surveys of meteorologists repeatedly find a majority oppose the alleged consensus. Only 39.5% of 1,854 American Meteorological Society members who responded to a survey in 2012 said man-made global warming is dangerous.”
Obama’s and Kerry’s problem, along with all the other climate change charlatans, is that is the Earth is now into its 17th year of a natural cooling cycle based on lower radiation from the Sun, itself in a natural cycle. It is the Sun, not mankind that determines the climate of the Earth.
The Petition Project in which 31,073 U.S. scientists, over 9,000 of whom have a Ph.D. in a scientific field, participated says “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will in the foreseeable future cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”
“The purpose of the Petition Project is to demonstrate that the claim of ‘settled science’ and an overwhelming ‘consensus’ in favor of the hypothesis of human-caused global warming and consequent climatological damage is wrong. No such consensus or settled science exists.”
In his State of the Union speech, Obama said “climate change is a fact.” Well, yes, if you keep in mind that climate change is measured in centuries, not decades or years. Claiming that every hurricane or tornado is evidence of climate change ignores this. His claim that climate change is “settled science” is just one more lie.
The Obama administration recently released a Climate Assessment report that was nothing more than a repeat of the lies the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been telling since 1983. They have all been based on computer models rigged to produce a global warming outcome. This process continues in several U.S. government agencies.
Following the last mini-ice age that lasted from 1300 to 1850, the Earth quite naturally warmed, most of which occurred prior to 1945. Meanwhile, the ice sheets of both the Arctic and Antarctica have been growing, particularly at the South Pole. The rise of oceans is measured in mere centimeters, posing no threat to polar bears or the island of Manhattan.
To Kerry’s question, “What’s the worst that can happen?” a recent Wall Street Journal opinion said that answer is “we spend trillions of dollars trying to solve a problem that we can’t do anything to stop: that we misallocate scarce resources in a way that slows economic growth; that slower growth leads to less economic opportunity for Boston College grads and especially the world’s poor; and that America and the world become much less wealthy and technologically advanced than we would otherwise. All of which would make the world less able to cope with the costs of climate change if Mr. Kerry is right.”
Mr. Kerry isn't right and that makes him and President Obama a national and a global problem.
© Alan Caruba, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014
By Alan Caruba
Multiple murders by a crazed killer will always generate headlines as they should. The latest occurred on May 23 when a mentally ill young man, Elliot Rodger, killed six and injured thirteen others. Of the six, he stabbed three and used a gun to kill or wound the others. He wasn’t the first to do this and he won’t be the last. These killers of multiple numbers of people all have insanity in common. It’s not about the weapon, it’s about the killer.
In the 1940s when I was growing up, I went to a lot of movies in which killing was part of the stories being told. As television became part of every home in the 1950s, this theme could be seen in many of the shows and movies. Whether it was the good guys, cowboys wearing white hats or police pursuing criminals, both often had to strike down killers.
One can understand why many believe that we live in a society that is a jungle in which we are at great risk of being killed by those we know or by complete strangers, particularly in our large cities. The facts, however, tell another story entirely.
Among the leading causes of death in America, heart disease, according to statistics from 2010, was the primary cause, taking 597,689 lives. It was followed by cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, and accidents. In 2013, there were more than 316 million Americans, but you were more likely to die from old age than diseases and other causes.
Of the list of 16 leading causes of death, homicide was listed as the 15th.
Despite the daily reports of killings and assaults, the reality is that, since the 1990s, crime of all kinds has declined in the United States and current crime rates are approximately the same as in the 1990s.
Based on records maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of crime statistics, defined as four criminal offenses, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault, the potential of being a victim has been reduced. The U.S. homicide rate, which has declined since 1992 from a rate per 100,000 persons of 9.8 to 4.8 in 2010 is still, however, among the highest in the industrialized world.
The reasons given for the decline in America include the increase of police officers in the 1990s. On September 16, 1994, President Clinton signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act into law. Under the act, more than $30 billion in federal aid was spent over a six year period to improve state and local law enforcement, prisons, and crime prevention programs. Significantly, the prison population has expanded since the mid-1970s, though not all are incarcerated for violent crimes.
In fact, cities like New York and Philadelphia have been leading the way to a reduction of violent crime with the entire nation on track to have its lowest murder rate in four decades. Chicago, often cited for its murder rate, was a safer city in 2013 though it still leads in the number of murders.
All this is good news, but it is obscured by the daily reports of killings that are a staple of what the media regards as news no matter where you live. Coverage of murder trials, along with the endless shows devoted to fictional presentations about murder leads people to believe that life in our cities and elsewhere is a succession of murders, but the statistics tell us a very different, real story.
In states where concealed carrying of weapons is legal, the murder rate is lower than those that do not permit this. Efforts by the Obama administration to put limits on our Second Amendment right to bear weapons only put us at greater risk. The purchase of billions of ammunition by the administration is a backdoor attempt to reduce our access to ammunition. Demands for increased registration of gun ownership, already a standard law in all our states, represent a liberal effort to convince Americans that guns are a major threat. They are a major deterrent.
Our perception of crime and of murder is the result of the news and entertainment media’s constant depiction of this element of life in America, but it does not reflect reality. This is not likely to change, but one can take comfort in the reality the statistics provide.
There is one significant exception that does not appear on the list of the causes of death in America. If you were a fetus in 2012, you were among an estimated 1.04 million killed. Since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973, more than 50,000,000 babies have been killed.
There’s a word for this. It’s genocide.
© Alan Caruba, 2014
Thursday, May 22, 2014
By Alan Caruba
Even though President Obama continues to lie about “climate change” and employs the many elements of the federal government to repeat those lies, this huge hoax is dying.
Obama is on record saying that climate change “once considered an issue for the distant future, has moved firmly into the present” and is “affecting Americans right now.” Climate change as studied by climatologists is measured in terms of centuries whereas the weather is what is happening today. It has been happening before and since the rise of civilization. Obama’s claim that “climate-related changes are outside of recent experience” and “have become more frequent and/or intense” is a lie from start to finish.
The White House recently released its latest “National Climate Assessment.” It is 841 pages of outlandish claims that reflect the lies generated by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. When you consider that the federal government spends an estimated $2.6 billion annually in grants for climate research, about the only beneficiaries are those “scientists” employed to further the hoax.
The UN’s IPCC was created in 1983 and has issued a series of reports whose sole intention has been to frighten people around the world with claims of global warming that are scientifically baseless.
The Heartland Institute, a non-profit market-based think tank, responded by creating the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) and by sponsoring a series of international conferences. The 9th conference will be July 7-9 in Las Vegas. That effort began in 2003 in cooperation with the Science & Environmental Project led by Dr. S. Fred Singer and was joined by the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change.
I am an advisor to the Institute, having written about environmental and energy issues for several decades at this point.
Calling on thousands of scientists around the world, in 2013 the NIPCC published the first of a three-volume response to the IPCC’s fifth assessment. This year, it has published a volume of Climate Change Reconsidered devoted to biological impacts, a 1,062 page opus. The NIPCC is an international panel of scientists and scholars with no government affiliation or sponsorship, and it receives no corporate funding.
Writing in the Financial Post in October 2013, Lawrence Solomon, the executive director of Energy Probe, a Toronto-based environmental group, noted that “solar activity is now falling more rapidly than at any time in the last 10,000 years.” The Earth’s climate is primarily a reflection of solar radiation or the lack of it. From 1300 to 1850, the Earth was subject to a mini-ice age. While the global warming hoax began in the late 1980s, Solomon noted that, in the 1960s and 1970s, the scientific consensus was that the Earth “was entering a period of global cooling. The media in those years was filled with stories about a pending new ice age.
It was only the intervention of the UN’s IPCC that changed the “consensus” to one of global warming. A cooling cycle that began around fourteen years ago could lead to another mini-ice age or the planet could be on the cusp of a full-fledged one. On average, the interglacial periods of the Earth have lasted about 11,500 years and we are at the end of such a period.
Climate Change Reconsidered II devoted to biological impact features scientific studies that conclude:
# “Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant.” Considering that all vegetation on Earth depends on it, it is not surprising that another conclusion was that the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content is causing a great greening of the Earth.
# As a result, “there is little or no risk of increasing food insecurity due to global warming or rising atmospheric CO2 levels and that terrestrial ecosystems have thrived throughout the world as a result of warming temperatures and rising levels of atmospheric CO2. Multiple lines of evidence indicate animal species are adapting, and in some cases, evolving, to cope with climate change of the modern era.”
# In addition, “rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels to no pose a significant threat to aquatic life and that a modest warming of the planet will result in a net reduction of human mortality from temperate-related events.”
The irony of the latest NIPCC report, of course, is that it responds to the claims of global warming and carbon dioxide’s role at a time when the Earth is cooling. It makes one wish that all the talk about “greenhouse gases” is true enough to help us escape from the present cooling.
One thing we do know for sure is that the Greens talk of climate change has lost its grip on the public imagination and attention. As the cooling cycle continues, people around the world will be far more focused on increased evidence of massive ice sheets at both poles, on frozen lakes and rivers, on shortened growing seasons, and on the desperate need for more fossil fuels to warm our homes and workplaces.
© Alan Caruba, 2014
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
By Alan Caruba
The continuing drama of a President willing to lie about the climate continues with the release of a report, the National Climate Assessment. It is a repeat of all the lies that have been generated by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“The climate report,” said Dan Kish, a Senior Vice President of the Institute for Energy Research, “bears a strong resemblance to the IPCC report, only with less science and more rhetoric.” It is “just another attempt to justify more government intervention in American’s lives and more attacks on affordable energy and economic growth.”
Like Obamacare, the new report is, said Kish, “intentionally confusing and misleading.”
“Throughout his entire presidency,” said Kish, “Obama has promoted policies that have discouraged the use of our vast energy resources, including blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, slowing energy development on government lands and water, and forcing new restrictions on all forms of energy that Americans have used to become the number one economy in the world. Under this administration, even cows are not spared as emission sources that must be controlled in Washington.”
Marlo Lewis, a Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, writing on Fox News, identified the political agenda of the climate report “designed to scare people and build political support for unpopular policies such as carbon taxes, cap-and-trade, and EPA regulatory mandates.” Item by item, he noted the lies put forth by the report.
The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity responded to the latest climate report in a comparable, direct manner. Laura Sheehan, a Senior Vice President of the ACCCE, said, “Instead of flying his cabinet members around the world, President Obama and his deputies should take time to visit communities impacted by a much more dangerous threat; this administration’s costly regulatory crusade.”
“The Obama Administration,” said Sheehen, “consistently fails to acknowledge the enormous industry investments and advancements in clean coal technologies, place a wholly unmerited target on our back to achieve political gains; when in reality, America’s coal fleet is responsible for nearly 40 percent of our nation’s electricity and just a tiny fraction of the world’s carbon emissions.”
“Thanks to the industry’s investment of $188 billion, major emissions from coal-fueled power plants have been reduced by nearly 90 percent,” said Sheehan. “The industry plans to invest another $100 billion over the next decade to develop and deploy clean coal technology further reducing emissions.”
Left unsaid is that carbon emissions, as far as the climate is concerned, play a very minor role. Moreover, all those investments have been forced on the coal power industry by ever increasing levels of regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency. The cost is passed along to electricity consumers—all of us—as a necessary increase.
An outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s energy and climate policies, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said, “This report is part of the game the president is playing to distract Americans from his unchecked regulatory agenda that is costing our nation middle class jobs, new economic opportunities, and our ability to be energy independent.”
The report comes at a time when numerous polls demonstrate that climate change is a very low priority for most Americans. A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll in January found that “climate change” ranked last on a list of l5 issues when people were asked which ones the administration should make its priorities.
IER’s Kish deemed the climate report “a scare tactic designed to excuse the President’s agenda of centralizing power in Washington and making energy more expensive and jobs harder to find.”
A new report, “Climate Change Energy Power and National Power” by three retired U.S. Navy admirals reviews the Obama administration’s 2010 “National Security Strategy” has just been published by The Heartland Institute. The authors warn that “The U.S. government is defaulting on its responsibility to develop and execute a credible national energy policy. This failure is suppressing the nation’s economy and reducing the U.S. influence in world affairs.” Administration demands that the Navy and other elements of our military use biofuels rather than traditional sources of energy put it at risk to defend the nation.
“The U.S. economy remains dependent on OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) at a time when development of burgeoning natural fossil fuel resources could move the nation toward strategic energy independence.”
What a different nation America could be were it not for Obama’s deliberate attack on the coal industry in particular and other fossil fuels, oil and natural gas. In the name of reducing emissions, Obama deliberately ignores the increasing use of coal in Europe and nations that include China, Japan, and India.
The emissions limits the White House wants and continues to impose would constitute less than a faction of a single degree Fahrenheit over the course of a decade or more. In short, nothing.
For pure incompetence, Obama rates highest among all former Presidents, but for pure deceit he ranks as the most dangerous President ever elected.
© Alan Caruba, 2014
Sunday, May 4, 2014
By Alan Caruba
The public, after decades of global warming advocacy, now called “climate change”, has begun to conclude that claims of a massive warming trend were dubious and that real climate change is the natural response of the planet to forces well beyond any impact of the human race.
The fact is that the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for some 17 years based on lower rates of solar radiation as the Sun undergoes one of its natural cycles, a reduction in the number of sunspots or magnetic storms on its surface.
The May 5th edition of the National Review devotes its cover story to “The Case Against Michael Mann: The Hockey Stick and Free Speech” by Charles C.W. Cooke because the creator of the “hockey stick” graph purporting a massive warming is suing the magazine, commentator Mark Steyn, along with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Rand Simberg. In his suit, filed in the D.C. Superior Court, Mann asserts that “in making the defamatory statement” they acted intentionally, maliciously, willfully, and with the intent to injure Dr. Mann, or to benefit (National Review) and Steyn.”
Mann is asserting a “narrow form of libel that American law prohibits” said Cooke. “As a seminal Supreme Court case, New York Times v. Sullivan, outlined in 1964, using the law of libel, to drag journalists into court for expressing their sincere views on matters of major public importance is entirely inconsistent with our ‘national commitment to principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide open.’”
Mann’s feelings are hurt and he believes that any criticism of the questionable science he applied to the creation of his now-famous global warming graph is libel. I believe the court will conclude that using the charge of libel to silence his critics is wrong. That’s what makes the case important, in particular for a basic principle of science, and in general for the public understanding that global warming and/or climate change depends on vigorous debate.
Science depends on being able to reproduce the results of an assertion by other scientists. Suffice to say that Mann’s graph has been extensively disputed and found lacking in the methods used to produce it.
As Cooke reports, the graph “purports to depict global temperature trends between the years A.D. 1000 and 2000” and takes its name from “a mostly flat line of temperature data from the year 1000 until about 1900 (the handled of the hockey stick), followed by a sharp uptick over the 20th century (the blade).” The graph was published in the 2001 report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Since then the IPCC has been retreating from its vehement claim that global warming posed a major threat to life on Earth.
In 2009, the leak of many emails between members of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Center and others engaging in the global warming claims revealed that “Mann and his colleagues have processed their data in a way that makes global warming appear more severe than the evidence suggests on its own.” Most damning was Mann’s use of tree ring data and the way other data was ignored in order to make his claims about global warming appear to be valid. “The leaked emails suggest that some members of the IPCC were well aware of these inconsistencies—and even may have sought to conceal them,” notes Cooke.
Aside from the dubious science cited, the issue before the court is whether publicly questioning Mann can or should be deemed libelous. If it concludes that it is, then the most fundamental principle of science will be destroyed and the courts will fill up with similar cases whose purpose would be to censor and silence the debate that is the life blood of science.
Mann has claimed to have been a Nobel Prize laureate, but Cooke notes that the Nobel Committee “explicitly said that he is not.” He has claimed that the National Academy of Sciences and that the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit investigations into his conduct and his work “have fully vindicated him “when they in fact have done no such thing.”
Worldwide, people have been subjected to the greatest hoax of the modern era and 17 years of cooling demonstrates that carbon dioxide, a “greenhouse gas” plays no role in heating the Earth. All of the claims about global warming are demonstrably wrong, along with all of the computer models and other “proof” inaccurate to the point of being purposefully deceptive.
At the heart of the case against the National Review is whether a scientist can silence his critics and one can only hope for the sake of science, free speech, freedom of the press, and the truth that Mann loses.
Editor’s note: The testimony of climate scientist Dr. John R. Christy of the University of Alabama before a 2011 U.S. House hearing on climate change addresses how and why Michael Mann and his “hockey stick” became such a prominent part of the IPCC Third Assessment Report in 2011. It is available at: https://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/hearings/ChristyJR_written_110331_all.pdf
© Alan Caruba, 2014