Washington Free Beacon
Not a single person showed up at the Georgetown waterfront Tuesday for a climate change agenda event put on by Organizing for Action, the shadowy nonprofit advocacy group born out of President Obama’s 2012 campaign, the NRCC wrote in its blog.
The event page for the “Climate Change Day of Action Rally” disappeared after rainy weather appeared to drive away whatever people planned to attend. The embarrassing showing follows the news that only one volunteer stayed for an OFA Obamacare event in Centreville, Va., last week to work the phones
The NRCC blog added:
Now that I’ve had Phil Kerpen write half my post for me, here’s the other half: it should surprise nobody including the, ah, enthusiasts over at OfA, bless their hearts that global warming doesn’t have nearly the same bite to it that the Left desperately wants it to. The polling is consistent: global warming or climate change, or whatever the latest buzzword is/will be is at the bottom of any list of things that people worry about, or prioritize. It is thus unsurprising that an admittedly unpleasant sudden rain shower would stop people in Georgetown from attending: after all, OfA doesn’t really want to talk about global warming at all. It’s just that the two things that they should be talking about, the economy, and health care, are also two things that OfA does not dare talk about, largely because President Barack Obama clearly has no idea how to go about repairing the damage that he’s caused to either.
Benny Peiser, Global Warming Policy Foundation
As country after country abandons, curtails or reneges on once-generous support for renewable energy, Europe is beginning to realise that its green energy strategy is dying on the vine. Green dreams are giving way to hard economic realities.
Solar panels in Spain, where 50,000 solar panels entrepreneurs face financial disaster following cuts in government subsidies. Source: AFP
Slowly but gradually, Europe is awakening to a green energy crisis, an economic and political debacle that is entirely self-inflicted.
The mainstream media, which used to encourage the renewables push enthusiastically, is beginning to sober up too. With more and more cracks beginning to appear, many newspapers are returning to their proper role as the fourth estate, exposing the pitfalls of Europe’s green-energy gamble and opening their pages for thorough analysis and debate. Today, European media is full of news and commentary about the problems of an ill-conceived strategy that is becoming increasingly shaky and divisive.
A study by British public relations consultancy CCGroup analyzed 138 articles about renewables published during July last year in the five most widely circulated British national newspapers: The Sun, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Daily Mirror, which enjoy a combined daily circulation of about 6.5 million.
“The analysis revealed a number of trends in the reporting of renewable energy news,” the study found. “First and foremost, the temperature of the media’s sentiment toward the renewables industry is cold. More than 51 per cent of the 138 articles analyzed were either negative or very negative toward the industry.”
More than 80 per cent of the articles appeared in broadsheet titles The Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, the report says, “but 55 per cent of these articles were either negative or very negative about the industry”.
EU members states have spent about 600 billion Euros ($882bn) on renewable energy projects since 2005, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Germany’s green energy transition alone may cost consumers up to 1 trillion Euros by 2030, the German government recently warned.
These hundreds of billions are being paid by ordinary families and small and medium-sized businesses in what is undoubtedly one of the biggest wealth transfers from poor to rich in modern European history. Rising energy bills are dampening consumers’ spending, a poisonous development for a Continent struggling with a severe economic and financial crisis.
The German Association of Energy Consumers estimates that up to 800,000 Germans have had their power cut off because they couldn’t pay the country’s rising electricity bills; among them, German newspaper Der Spiegel reported last October, are 200,000 long-term unemployed.
As The Washington Post writer Charles Lane observed at the time: “It’s one thing to lose your job because a competing firm built a superior mouse trap; it’s quite another, justice-wise, to lose it because a competitor talked the government into taking its side.”
Two weeks ago, the Czech government decided to end all subsidies for new renewable energy projects at the end of this year. “The reason for this law amendment is the rising financial burden for electricity consumers,” Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok said. “It threatens the competitiveness of our industry and raises consumers’ uncertainty about power prices.” In recent years, almost all EU member states also have begun the process of rolling back and cutting green subsidies.
Spain is a particularly cautionary tale. By failing to control the cost of guaranteed subsidies, the country has been saddled with 126bn Euros of obligations to renewable-energy investors.
Now that the Spanish government has dramatically curtailed these subsidies, even retrospectively, more than 50,000 solar entrepreneurs face financial disaster and bankruptcy.
Germany, however, is the nation that has pushed the renewables agenda furthest and is struggling most with the unintended damage of the green energy shift, its so-called Energiewende.
Germany’s renewable energy levy, which subsidises green energy production, rose from 14bn to 20bn Euros in just one year as a result of the fierce expansion of wind and solar power projects.
Since the introduction of the levy in 2000, the electricity bill of German consumers has doubled.
German households will pay a renewables surcharge of 7.2bn Euros this year alone. In addition, consumers will be affected by indirect costs because industry, trade and commerce pass on their rising energy costs in product prices. And because green energy subsidies are guaranteed for 20 years, the costs threaten to rise exorbitantly as more schemes are being agreed. Energy bills are going through the roof, fuel poverty is rising and renewable energy policies face a growing public backlash. What is more, governments are increasingly concerned about the threat to Europe’s industrial base.
Germany has the most expensive electricity in Europe, with an average price of 26.8 euro cents (40c) a kilowatt hour. No wonder Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that the rapid expansion of green energy programs is weakening Germany’s competitive advantage in the global economy.
The EU also is quietly rolling back its renewable agenda, which EU leaders now recognize has been raising energy prices across the Continent. At their summit in Brussels in May, leaders indicated that they intended to prioritize the issue of affordable energy over cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The EU summit signaled Europe intended to restore its declining competitiveness by supporting the development of cheap energy, including shale gas, while cutting green energy subsidies.
However, EU environment ministers are alarmed at the prospective rollback. They are seeking to prevent the development of EU shale resources by trying to introduce EU-wide environmental barriers.
Until recently, Europe had positioned itself as the global leader in climate protection and renewable energy, with Germany leading the way with ambitious targets and generous subsidies that boosted solar power and wind energy.
More than half of the world’s solar panels are installed in Germany. On June 6, Germany’s solar power production touched a new record of 23.4 gigawatts, meeting almost 40 per cent of the country’s entire peak electricity demand. But to understand that this record is quite meaningless, consider the grid’s narrow escape last winter. For many weeks in December and January, Germany’s 1.1 million solar power systems generated almost no electricity. During much of those overcast winter months, solar panels more or less stopped generating electricity. To prevent blackouts, grid operators had to import nuclear energy from France and the Czech Republic and power up an old oil-fired power plant in Austria.
Subsidies are extremely generous and guarantee investors an almost 10 per cent annual return for 20 years. Given such an unparalleled offer, it is not surprising that more than a million families already have installed solar panels. This solar boom, however, has saddled the country with obligations of more than 130bn Euros in subsidies, leading to ever increasing energy prices.
As wealthy homeowners and businesses owners install solar panels on their homes and commercial buildings, low-income families, living in rented apartments, have to foot skyrocketing electric bills. Many can no longer afford to pay, so the utilities are cutting off their power.
To stop the solar boom, the government has reduced feed-in tariffs for photovoltaic schemes in the past few years. Since 2010, however, more than 5000 companies involved in the solar business have closed, shedding tens of thousands of green jobs.
Germany’s biggest companies, such as Siemens and Bosch, are abandoning the industry too. Their renewable energy strategies resulted in costly debacles. Siemens, Europe’s largest engineering company, announced in June that it would close its entire solar division, at a loss of about 1bn. Last month the Siemens board fired its chief executive, Peter Loescher. His dramatic dumping was seen in the context of a catalogue of disastrous misinvestments in the green energy sector he presided over.
For Bosch, another German giant, its move into solar ended in disaster too, costing the electronics company even more than Siemens: about 2.4bn Euros.
During the past year, the wave of bankruptcies in solar has devastated the entire industry, while solar investors have lost almost 25bn Euros on the stockmarket.
Now Germany plans to phase out subsidies altogether, its solar industry is likely to disappear by the end of the decade.
Most observers were convinced the energy gap caused by Germany’s decision, two years ago, to phase out nuclear power would be filled by wind and solar power. Hardly anyone realized that the extraordinary boom in renewable energy construction would generate a coal boom too.
In fact, German CO2 emissions have been rising for two years in a row as coal is experiencing a renaissance. But CO2 emissions in the EU as a whole are likely to rise because of increased coal burning at power stations. The revelation has embarrassed the German government and dumbfounded the public, which cannot understand how a nation that has expanded renewable energy more than any other country is building 20 coal-fired power stations.
In much of Europe, coal has become much cheaper than natural gas for power generators. The reason is the collapse of the EU’ss emissions trading scheme and the subsequent decline in carbon prices, which make coal plants more economical than gas-fired power plants.
So far Europe’s emissions trading scheme has cost consumers more than 300bn Euros. Massive amounts of green investments originally projected on the back of a high carbon price have been shelved and are no longer feasible. There can be little doubt Europe’s flagship climate policy has turned into an utter failure. In a realistic assessment of Europe’s policy shift, the International Energy Agency recently noted that “climate change has quite frankly slipped to the backburner of policy priorities”.
Of all the unintended consequences of Germany’s Energiewende perhaps the most extraordinary is the detrimental effect of wind and solar schemes on the price of electricity generated by natural gas. Almost 20 per cent of gas power plants in Germany have become unprofitable and face shutdown as renewables flood the electricity grid with preferential energy. To avoid blackouts, the government has had to subsidize uneconomic gas and coal power stations so that they can be used as back-up when the sun is not shining, the wind does not blow and renewables fail to generate sufficient electricity.
The mess is forcing struggling utilities to contemplate even more radical solutions. E.ON, Germany’s biggest energy company, is thinking of dismantling some of its European gas power plants, mothballed because they are no longer profitable, and relocating them outside the EU. Such farcical considerations become symptomatic of the unintended consequences caused by the rapid expansion of renewable energy.
Europe’s manufacturers are rapidly losing ground to international competition. Instead of putting money into the energy-expensive EU, investors are pouring money into the US, where energy prices have fallen to one-third of those in the EU, thanks to the shale gas revolution.
The naive assumption of policymakers that Europe’s main competitors would follow the shift from cheap fossil fuels to expensive green energy has not materialized. Europe, The Washington Post recently warned, “has become a green-energy basket case. Instead of a model for the world to emulate, Europe has become a model of what not to do.”
Europe’s strategy was founded on two fears: first, that global warming was an urgent threat that needed to be prevented imminently and at all costs; and second, that the world was running out of fossil fuels, which meant oil and gas would become ever more expensive. Both conjectures, however, turned out to be wrong.
The result of a fear-driven gamble with the Continent’s industrial future is a costly shambles that threatens to undercut Europe’s economic and political position in a world that is sensibly refusing to follow its lead.
Germany’s green energy strategy is likely to change significantly after federal elections on September 22; Merkel has promised voters to drastically curtail the 20bn Euro burden they have to pay renewable energy investors every year should she win.
Australians (and America) would be well advised to watch this green train wreck very closely if they wish to avoid a repeat of the fiasco that is unfolding in Europe.BTW, Obama’s EPA is proceeding with Europe as its model. Unless we stop it, we will suffer the same results, that will hurt the poor and middle class the Obama administration claims it thinks about every day.
Persistent Cold Weather Keeps Thwarting German Efforts To Fight Warming!
By P Gosselin on 5. August 2013
According to preliminary findings of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Energiebilanzen (AGEB), Germany has consumed far more energy in the first half of this year than a year earlier, up 4 percent.
Alarmist site Klimaretter here, quoting the AGEB report, attributes the increased energy use to “the comparably long winter and the cool spring”. The AGEB writes that economic development played no role in the increased consumption.
According to the AGEB, consumption of natural gas rose almost 10%. Black coal consumption, a major contributor to CO2 emissions, jumped 8%.
Consumption of the massively subsidized renewable energy jumped only 4%. Most of the increase was due to biomass and hydro-power. According to the statistics, wind energy supplied 10% less energy into the grid during the period than a year earlier.
The bulk of Germany’s energy consumption continues to be supplied by fossil fuels, about 1/3 by oil, a quarter by natural gas, and 23% by coal. Only 11.7% was supplied by renewable energy in the first half of 2013, despite the massive subsidies. Renewable energy’s share in the energy mix remains unchanged from a year earlier.
In summary Germany’s investment in the energy transition to renewable energy has cost consumers tens of billions of euros, but has only resulted in higher (not lower!) CO2 emissions, its share remains stagnant, and energy bills for the poor have skyrocketed.
Ironically, experts blame the lack of progress in curbing energy use and combatting global-warming emissions on the persistent cold weather.
By Joseph D’Aleo, Weatherbell Analytics
TWC sadly did a story interviewing Jeff Masters of their affiliate Weather Underground (named after an Bill Ayers radical left organization founded on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan, where Jeff’s Weather Underground was founded) claiming warming is occurring at a rate ten times any time in history. As we have shown numerous times, that is only in the manipulated data from NOAA/NASA. Record highs in long term 90 year + stations, show what Hansen observed in 1999 before the heavy duty manipulation started, that the 1930s was by far the warmest decade.
The media and some at NOAA continue to pretend and hype that extreme weather is at unprecedented levels, out global hurricane activity is at 30+ year lows, the summer has been wetter and cooler (many more record lows than highs) with a shrinking drought (hard to do in summer). And in the US, the number of tornadoes is within 14 of the lowest ever recorded year to date.
My meteorologist buddy BK sent this video yesterday on the Moore tornado. He comments “This is the most dramatic one I have seen yet, at least from a documentation standpoint. It’s long, but it didn’t seem that way b/c I was mesmerized and in awe most of the time. His dialogue is excellent. No yelling or wild, silly statements. He gets really choked up around 13:20. After that is quite dramatic as he is driving through the damage path running right behind the tornado. Around 8:15 he gets caught in a violent RFD suddenly, even though it appears he was not too close. He catches the tornado right from genesis, and as you can see, it had relatively modest start (for a tornado anyways)—classic narrow funnel. It quickly turns into a elephant trunk, then cylinder, and then into a monster wedge.”
By Paul Driessen and David R. Legates
We’re getting burned by phony science and authoritarian power grabs
During this hot, wet summer, a “national climate expert” recently told Delawareans that they can expect even hotter summers with a climate like Savannah, Georgia’s by the end of the century. The culprit, naturally: runaway global warming.
Savannah residents are long accustomed to their climate and, thanks to air conditioning and other modern technologies, are better able to deal with the heat and humidity. Nevertheless, the impact on Delaware will be disastrous, Dr. Katherine Hayhoe claims. Nonsense.
Her forthcoming report promises to be no different than other proclamations that persistently predict dire consequences from climate change and then present taxpayers with a hefty bill. In this scenario, the State’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) paid $46,000 for her report, presumably to suggest that “independent scholars” support the state’s positions.
The preliminary release of her report reads like the script from a bad disaster movie, think The Day After Tomorrow and An Inconvenient Truth. Like them, it also plays fast and loose with the facts.
It fails to mention the extreme cold that many places around the globe experienced recently. Europe and Russia in particular suffered through bitter cold the past two winters. The report likewise ignores the fact that average global temperatures have not risen at all over the last sixteen years; in fact, Earth has actually cooled slightly during the past decade.
For its really scary worst-case scenario, Dr. Hayhoe says Delaware’s temperatures will rise astronomically in coming decades: with more than two full months of endless days above 95F and a hundred-fold increase in days with temperatures at or above 100F by 2100. “Trends to more extreme highs and fewer extreme lows already are apparent,” Dr. Hayhoe asserts. Except they are not.
Data from 970 weather stations across the United States reveal that more record daily maximum air temperatures were set in the 1930s than in any recent decade, and no increase in frequency of higher temperatures has been observed since 1955. The Delaware State Climatologist examined New Castle County Airport records in Wilmington and found no long-term trend in either the total number of days or the number of consecutive days with maximum air temperature above 90F.
The same can be said for days where temperatures remain below freezing.
Globally, daytime high temperatures do not show significant warming and most of the warming that has been observed is confined to nighttime low temperatures. Nighttime lows are driven by turbulence (or lack thereof) near the surface, not by the accumulation of energy related to CO2 warming of the deep atmosphere.
By contrast, maximum daily temperature is a measure of the energy content of the deep atmosphere, and is thus a much better measure of the warming due to greenhouse gases. The lack of a signal in maximum temperature suggests that the rate of warming due to CO2 is relatively small and certainly much smaller than climate models suggest.
As for precipitation, Dr. Hayhoe claims that both floods and droughts will increase, with “more rain arriving as heavy downpours, and more dry periods in between.” This assertion was dispelled in a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on extreme events, released last summer.
The IPCC report concluded that “in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense or shorter; for example in central North America.” Similarly, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has produced plots that show which parts of the United States are classified as moderate to extreme for dryness and wetness. While both conditions show considerable variability, neither exhibits a significant trend. NOAA also concludes that snowfall records show no long-term trend, and recent record snowfalls are the result of natural variability.
Why should Delaware’s or the nation’s future be any different than the past fifty years of increasing carbon dioxide concentrations? Dr. Hayhoe’s bases her extreme scenarios on climate models, the same models that have predicted major temperature trends that have not materialized; greatly exaggerated short-term trends in rainfall, droughts and violent storms; and failed to predict the lack of warming since 1998. So why should we believe them now?
The real reason behind this report is to provide the State with the justification to enact draconian measures to control Delawareans’ energy use and provide major subsidies for “alternative” and “renewable” energy projects. Delaware Secretary of the Environment and Energy Collin O’Mara says, “We need to make sure we have good science driving our decision-making in the years to come.” Apparently, $46,000 has bought the State precisely the “science” he wanted to hear.
O’Mara came to Delaware in 2009, as part of Governor Markell’s administration. Billed as “the youngest state cabinet official in the nation,” O’Mara is a self-proclaimed climate-change and energy “entrepreneur.” During his tenure in Delaware, he has spearheaded the administration’s efforts on “climate change mitigation,” renewable energy subsidies and “sustainable development.”
During the last 4 1/2 years, the Markell Administration has “invested” in Fisker Automotive, leaving the State’s citizens on the hook to pay for an automobile assembly plant that has created zero new jobs and produced zero cars.
Bloom Energy, which hails from the same town as O’Mara (San Jose, CA), has also been the happy beneficiary of enormous State subsidies and exceptions from environmental regulations. Delaware now labels natural gas as a renewable resource, for example but only if it is burned in a Bloom fuel cell. This enables the State to funnel taxpayer and ratepayer money from renewable energy credits to Bloom. To top it off, if the State ever decides to renege on the deal, the legislation requires that the State immediately pay Bloom twenty years worth of profits.
O’Mara has also been busy with rule-making by executive fiat. Without any public discussion or debate, and without any vote by the State legislature, O’Mara signed into law new “green” energy standards that make the First State’s emission rules even more stringent than Federal regulations, via a clever process known as prospective incorporation. Through this, all provisions from the California Code of Regulations are automatically “updated,” to ensure that Delaware’s Code is consistent with California’s.
That means any changes to the California Code implemented by the most environmentally dogmatic, job-killing and bankrupt state in the Union are immediately and completely binding via Delaware regulations. With no presentation to the people, no discussion or vote by the General Assembly, and not even any case-by-case intervention by Delaware’s executive branch, California regulations are automatically the law in Delaware. With the stroke of the pen, Delaware has surrendered its sovereignty to California.
Armed with this new “scientific” report, what draconian measures might Mr. O’Mara and the Markell Administration have in store for the citizens of Delaware? Time alone will tell. However, given their track record thus far, Delawareans are going to get burned and not by global warming.
Even worse, the same sneaky shenanigans are being played out in other states, in Washington, and all over the world, through the UN, EU and environmentalist pressure groups in the name of saving the planet from computer model and horror movie disasters. These are bigger power grabs than anything King George III tried. We the People need to take notice, and take action.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power, black death (Merril Press, 2012). David Legates is a Professor of Climatology at the University of Delaware and has studied climate change for thirty years.
The following graph could be included with the article, to illustrate its key points about global temperatures and computer models.
The multiple light colored lines track projections of mean global temperature for the lower Troposphere by 44 climate models. The dark black line is the 44-computer-model average, which is what the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uses as its best estimate of predicted “catastrophic manmade global warming.” The two brightly colored lines represent the actual satellite temperature records measured by the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH blue) and Remote Sensing System (RSS red). These two lines demonstrate that actual planetary temperatures are far below what IPCC models predict.
As clueless and/or devious as Katherine Hayhoe are our Connecticut Senators. Actual quote from US Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT): “Storms are caused by increased levels of carbon pollutants” See Tom Nelson.
Conn. Residents Call For Action over Climate Change Western Massachusetts Breaking News and First Warning Weather with WGGB.com ABC 40. From superstorm Sandy to massive snow fall, the state’s two senators addressed activists to show that they have a plan."This is not in doubt...this..these weather trends and these,” said Senator Chris Murphy. “Storms are caused by increased levels of carbon pollutants.” Chris Murphy (politician) Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Christopher Scott “Chris” Murphy (born August 3, 1973) is the junior United States Senator from Connecticut and a member of the Democratic Party.Twitter / ChrisMurphyCT: W @SenBlumenthal& ppl from ...W @SenBlumenthal& ppl from all walks of life who want action on climate change. Inaction isn’t an option #ActOnClimate pic.twitter.com/kTN9xgNAcm
Dr. E. Calvin Beisner
In a special edition of this newsletter last Friday, University of Delaware Climatology Professor Dr. David Legates rebutted some of the allegations in a recent letter from “evangelical scientists and academics” to Congress demanding immediate action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use. Dr. Legates, an evangelical, is also a Cornwall Alliance Senior Fellow.
On Sunday, Anthony J. Sadar - a consulting meteorologist and Adjunct Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Statistics, Air Pollution, Meteorology, & Engineering at Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA, published an article that also challenges the “Evangelical Scientists Initiative.”
“As a Christian and an atmospheric scientist with 35 years of experience,” Sadar wrote, “I have frequently witnessed the metamorphosis, refinement, and exploitation of the never-ending story that humans are somehow destroying a ‘fragile’ planet - this time by releasing too much carbon dioxide. But, of all people, Christians should be the least gullible on this untenable position, since Christians have a solid foundation build on the belief that God is creator and sustainer of all things. Forget about the dubious ‘sin’ of anthropogenic global warming; Christians should focus instead on the arrogance germane to the idea that not only are humans causing long-term global climate change, but that we can fix it.”
Sadar, who is also a Contributing Writer for the Cornwall Alliance, takes the letter’s authors to task for preaching “the tired environmental-activist mantra listing the results of man’s sinful actions like hottest year on record (for less than two-percent of the Earth), wildfires, droughts, and public health outbreaks (all unfortunate but not too atypical). ...You know, the kind of sinful activity that has lifted so many out of poverty, protected them from never-ending ‘unusual’ weather events, and dramatically contributed to healthy living. The very same kind of activity made possible by God’s grace.”
“After all,” he adds, “this activity involves the use of God-given, abundant, inexpensive natural resources - the kind that can truly benefit those Jesus called ‘the least of these.’ But, instead of advocating for good stewardship - which is reasonable and right - and wide, wise distribution of what is readily available to those in dire need, hundreds of evangelicals (mostly biologists) armed with a superficial understanding of atmospheric science and a misapplication of scripture chose to advocate for some sort of climate justice.”
Sadar’s point that most of the letter’s signers were biologists, not climate scientists, is fully justified. As Friday’s newsletter revealed, investigation by the Cornwall Alliance revealed that 60% of the signers were biologists, only 3% were climate scientists, and few of the remaining 36% worked in fields likely to give them expertise in debates over the impact of rising carbon dioxide on global temperatures and human or ecological welfare.
Significantly, the “evangelical scientists and academics’” letter was hosted at the website of Sojourners, a Left-wing organization heavily funded by Progressive globalist George Soros through his Open Society Institute (OSI). Sojourners founder and leader Rev. Jim Wallis, a long-time proponent of socialism, at first denied the Soros funding and called World magazine Editor Marvin Olasky, who reported it, a liar, but was forced to admit it when OSI’s IRS records proved it.
Another major player behind the letter’s creators, who call their effort the “Evangelical Scientists Initiative,” is Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, which operates under the Evangelical Environmental Network, which, as we have reported before, has received major funding from such Left-leaning, pro-abortion, pro-population-control organizations as the Hewlett Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers’ Fund.
Joe Kernen (MIT trained - MS biology) and David Gartman both skeptical of AGW made fun of recent Media Matters attacks this morning on CNBC during a segment on Gold. Media Matters has been all over CNBC like flies on honey because they dare to make fun of warmists (see, see). See the list of misguided funds and leftys that fund Media Matters in this Daily Caller report. While these groups get tens of millions from politically and environmentally driven leftists and Hollywood celebs, not a single fund or corporation aids our efforts at sites like WUWT and Icecap. We depend on you to support our efforts. The Donations button is working again. Thank all of you who have helped pay our expenses.
Relying on tax returns and websites of wealthy U.S. foundations, a Daily Caller investigation has revealed the sources of more than $28.8 million in funding collected by the liberal Media Matters for America since 2003, the year before its formal incorporation. That sum represents 54 percent of every dollar the organization has raised in its history, making Media Matters a principally foundation-driven - not citizen-supported - activist group.
The list of Media Matters’ foundation funders, 120 in all, reads like a Who’s Who of the American progressive movement, including the far-left Tides Foundation ($4,384,702), George Soros’ Open Society Institutes ($1,075,000), the Ford Foundation ($966,466), the Sandler Foundation ($400,000) endowed by subprime mortgage lenders Herb and Marion Sandler, who once bankrolled the embattled ACORN organization and the Schumann Fund for Media and Democracy ($600,000), managed by longtime PBS host Bill Moyers and his son.
They also include the anti-George W. Bush organization MoveOn.org ($50,000), the Barbra Streisand Foundation ($85,000), the kids’ shoes-powered Stride Rite Charitable Foundation ($25,000), the Lear Family Foundation ($55,000) - endowed by the TV producer and People for the American Way founder Norman Lear - and the Joyce Foundation ($400,000), whose board of directors included Barack Obama from 1994 to 2002.
(RELATED: See the list of Media Matters’ foundation donors)
The Joyce Foundation grant, made in 2010, was earmarked for “a gun and public safety issue initiative.” That program, judging from the ensuing Media Matters coverage, included scathing reports on the shooting-sports lobby and on the firearms industry’s annual convention. “To lure repeat buyers,” that story warned, “increased lethality has become the nicotine of the firearms industry.”
2010 was also, TheDC reported Monday, the year when Media Matters founder David Brock’s personal assistant was carrying a holstered and concealed Glock handgun when he accompanied Brock to events.
The Daily Caller is publishing spreadsheets describing all the grants to Media Matters it has identified, how much each donor contributed overall, and for what purpose, if any, their donations were earmarked. Most grants were described in foundations’ tax returns as “general support” contributions.
The DC reported Thursday that the ARCA Foundation, a Democratic-aligned philanthropy, made a $50,000 grant to Media Matters in 2006 for the specific purpose of “fact checking” religious broadcasters. ARCA also gave Media Matters $100,000 in startup funding two years earlier. But in the larger context of the $53.4 million the organization has raised since 2003, $150,000 is a drop in the proverbial bucket.
(RELATED: See the spreadsheet of foundation grants to Media Matters)
Non-profit organizations like Media Matters are permitted to keep their sources of support secret, but grantmaking foundations are required to disclose how much they give away each year, and to whom. According to the Foundation Center, U.S. foundations distributed more than $45.7 billion in 2009. Their publicly available tax returns make it possible to reconstruct non-profit grant recipients’ once-secret incomes to a great degree.
The identities of individual donors to Media Matters, however, are likely to remain secret. In a 2007 story for National Review, Byron York named several left-wing luminaries who personally supported the organization during its earliest days. They included Esprit clothing founder Susie Tomkins Buell, telecommunications executive Leo Hindery Jr., New York psychologist Gail Furman, Progressive Insurance tycoon Peter Lewis, SPAM scion James Hormel and Bren Simon, whose husband’s name is synonymous with shopping mall real estate.
Furman ($125,000) and Buell ($300,000), at least, donated through their personal foundations. Levels of support from the others remain beyond the reach of the public and the media.
Media Matters’ largest donor by far is the Tides Foundation, a non-profit that operates as a clearinghouse for Democratic-aligned causes. Other grantmakers make sizable gifts to Tides with specific instructions to pass the money on to social activist organizations; Tides keeps a management fee. The result is a murky money trail that often obscures the source of enormous levels of funding.
Tides has contributed over $4.3 million to Media Matters, more than half of which had reached its target by the time the organization announced its launch in 2004. Tides is not required to disclose to anyone, including the Internal Revenue Service, which of its hundreds of institutional donors provided the money it passed on to Media Matters.
This lack of transparency has, at least in Media Matters’ case, prompted conspiracy theories among conservatives who see money laundering where liberal philanthropists see what foundation wonks call “donor-advised giving.” For instance, in April 2007 Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly accused liberal financier George Soros of hiding his support for Media Matters by passing the money through Tides.
“The smear website [Media Matters] received more than a million dollars from the Tides Foundation alone in 2005,” O’Reilly said, “and just by coincidence, Soros’ Open Society Institute donated more than a million dollars to Tides in 2005. Figure it out.”
But although tax records of various Soros-related foundations show at least $28 million in grants to the Tides Foundation and its affiliated Tides Center, most of those donations including all but one small gift in 2005 were earmarked for purposes unrelated to Media Matters. Specific earmarks that year, for instance, attached Soros funding to initiatives aiming to restore voting rights to felons, reform U.S. drug policy and outlaw the death penalty.
Soros announced in October 2010 that he would finally make a sizable donation to Media Matters. Open Society Foundations communications director Laura Silber told The Daily Caller on Thursday that “it was a three-year grant, for a total of $1 million. I think the final payment was in 2011.”
Silber also said an additional grant of $75,000 was approved in 2010. She would not, however, say for what purpose either grant was made, offering only “general operating expenses” as an explanation. Tax records show that both grants were paid by the Foundation to Promote Open Society, one of the charities under Soros’ “Open Society Foundations” umbrella.
Other Media Matters donors responsible for more than $1 million in funding include the Fort Collins, Colo.-based Bohemian Foundation ($2,325,000), funded by medical equipment heiress Pat Stryker; the Belvedere, Calif., Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation ($2,225,000), whose millions came from a library card-catalog software business; the Millbrook, N.Y.-based Dyson Foundation ($2,150,000) no relation to the vacuum cleaner company; and the Gill Foundation ($1,160,000) in Denver, whose founder Tim Gill started the Quark desktop publishing company and now donates much of his fortune to gay-rights causes.
The Gill and Bohemian foundations combined for $1.15 million in grants specifically to support Media Matters Colorado, an affiliate that launched in July 2006 in the critical election swing state. The branch office folded in March 2009, along with at least one other progressive media satellite, after President Obama’s inauguration.
Media Matters has collected nearly $1 million, all of it since 2010, from the Ford Foundation, which Edsel Ford set up in the late 1930s to funnel Ford Motor Company profits to charitable causes.
Ironically, The Daily Caller reported Monday that a confidential Media Matters fundraising memo described ads funded by the group specifically to attack the Detroit automaker because it was advertising on Lou Dobbs’ CNN show.
“As part of the Drop Dobbs campaign,” the memo read in part, “Media Matters produced and was prepared to run an advertisement against Ford Motor Company on Spanish Language stations in Houston, San Antonio, and other cities targeting its top selling product, pick-up trucks, in its top truck buying markets.”
Among the other ironies in Media Matters’ funding portfolio is donations from the Dyson Foundation. That philanthropy’s founder, Charles H. Dyson, created The Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corporation, a leveraged buyout pioneer whose corporate takeover techniques would later make Mitt Romney a multimillionaire at Bain Capital.
TheDC left repeated messages seeking comment from several of Media Matters’ biggest foundation donors about what made the organization deserving of the millions it collects from the foundation sector every year.
The Dyson Foundation replied only that its grantees “are a matter of public record.”
Spokespersons for other Media Matters donors, however, did not respond at all, including the Barbra Streisand Foundation, the Bohemian Foundation, the Sandler Foundation, the Silberstein Foundation, the Tides Foundation, MoveOn.org Civic Action and the Ford Foundation.
By Anthony Watts
This must be personally satisfying for Steve McIntyre, though I doubt the folks at RealClimate will have the integrity to acknowledge that he was right, and they were wrong.
It seems that in the latest publication from CRU’s Keith Briffa, they decided to leave out those elements (The most influential tree in the world) Steve identified that led to the Yamal Superstick.
Have a look at this remarkable graph below.
Unreported by CRU is that they’ve resiled from the Yamal superstick of Briffa 2000 and Briffa et al 2008 and now advocate a Yamal chronology, the modern portion of which is remarkably similar to the calculations in my posts of September 2009 here and May 2012 here, both of which were reviled by Real Climate at the time.
In today’s post, I’ll demonstrate the degree to which the new Briffa version has departed from the superstick of Briffa 2000 and Briffa et al 2008 and the surprising degree to which it approaches versions shown at CA.
Figure 3. Comparison of Briffa et al 2008 superstick to yamal_trw chronology of Briffa et al 2013. Both in z-scores. Enlarged.
...the next graphic shows the two CA calculations that had been so reviled by CRU and Real Climate (the green chronology of Sept 2009 and the May 2012 calculation with updated information from Hantemirov). I think that I’m entitled to observe that the B13 chronology is more similar to the two reviled CA calculations than it is to the Briffa et al 2008 superstick. Needless to say, this was not reported in CRU’s recent Real Climate article.
Figure 4. Comparison of B13 Yamal chronology to CA (Climate Audit) calculations. Enlarged.
omnologos points out this missive from Gavin Schmidt on RealClimate:
The irony is of course that the demonstration that a regional reconstruction is valid takes effort, and needs to be properly documented. That requires a paper in the technical literature and the only way for Briffa et al to now defend themselves against McIntyre’s accusations is to publish that paper (which one can guarantee will have different results to what McIntyre has thrown together).
Looks like that guarantee expired.
Germany and Spain have been hit by the downside of alternative energy.
As the Department of Energy considers a loan guarantee for the Cape Wind Project in Massachusetts, it should learn from Europe’s failed wind energy experiments and from its own troubled experiences with renewable energy projects.
Germany and Spain are waking up to the inevitable truth about renewable energy, especially offshore wind. They are now realizing the projects cannot survive without subsidies and that they make energy much more expensive to households and businesses. In an age of austerity, they are a luxury even Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, cannot fully afford any more.
When Germany decided to close down its nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, the original plan was to replace most of the lost generating capacity with wind power. However, wind power is expensive, and the growing size of the industry has meant that subsidies and energy bills have surged. The German subsidy is paid for by a surcharge on household electricity bills. The growth in wind power meant that in January the surcharge increased to over 5 cents (euro) per kilowatt hour, representing 14% of all electricity bills.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel, realizing that wind power is economically unsustainable, has proposed capping the subsidy until the end of 2014 and capping further rises to 2.5%, with the probability of further significant reform after the federal elections this year. It’s a similar story in Spain, where subsidies have been cut so much that the chairman of the country’s Association of Renewable-Energy Producers said recently: “Spain’s government is trying to smash the renewable-energy sector through legislative modifications.”
President Obama has repeatedly said we should look to Spain and Germany for the lead on renewable energy policy. He is right, but not in the way he thinks.
Furthermore, he should look to the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound. The project will cost $2.6 billion, and it has secured funding for $2 billion of that from a Japanese bank. But this is believed to be subject to the project gaining a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy. And there is every reason to believe that this would be as bad a bet as its loan guarantee to Solyndra.
The contracted cost of the wind farm’s energy will be 23 cents a kilowatt hour (excluding tax credits, which are unlikely to last the length of the project), which is more than 50% higher than current average electricity prices in Massachusetts. The Bay State is already the 4th most expensive state for electricity in the nation. Even if the tax credits are preserved, $940 million of the $1.6 billion contract represents costs above projections for the likely market price of conventional power. Moreover, these costs are just the initial costs, and like in Germany, they are scheduled to rise by 3.5 percent annually for 15 years.
This massive increase in energy costs is bad news for Bay State businesses and may well drive some of them out of the state entirely. That’s a disaster for jobs and for tax revenue.
The likelihood that businesses will not be willing to pay the bill means that the burden will fall increasingly on households. Yet, in all probability, this will be politically unsustainable, and the cost will therefore fall back on taxpayers across the nation, via the loan guarantee.
That’s just the economic argument. When you consider the environmental arguments, the case becomes a no-brainer. As the Alliance to Protect Nantucket sound points out, “Cape Wind threatens the marine environment and would harm the productive, traditional fisheries of Nantucket Sound.”
The Alliance also notes that, “Cape Wind would not make a significant contribution to the effort to reduce pollution emissions, and, in fact, could aggravate the problem by causing dirty power plants to run more often in order to be ready to generate power instantly when the wind stops blowing.”
For the Department of Energy to grant the loan guarantee to Cape Wind would be a triumph of blinkered ideology over real economic and environmental concerns. The president, true to his word, should learn from Germany and turn down the loan guarantee to Cape Wind.
Iain Murray is a vice president at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.