Francis Menton, The Manhattan Contrarian
If you consume mainstream media sources in the U.S., you very likely have the impression that renewable energy sources like solar and wind are advancing smartly and soon will be providing half or more of the energy that is produced. The reality is very much the opposite. If you want to learn what’s really going on, you will never find out from reading the New York Times or Washington Post, whose missions in this area are basically to suppress all information that is important to know. What you need to read is the daily email put out by a guy named Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation in England. You can go here to subscribe.
Although it has a number of prominent scientists on its Academic Advisory Council, GWPF does not itself dabble much in the quasi-scientific debate over whether global warming is occurring and if so by how much and from what cause. Rather, its niche is government policies that are supposedly designed to address the global warming crisis, and particularly how much they cost and whether they work. Each day they provide multiple links to sources that report on these issues, most often from national publications in particular countries or from relatively small-circulation outlets.
If you haven’t been reading the GWPF newsletter recently, here are a few things you may have missed just this week:
About a quarter of the windmill capacity in the Netherlands is operating at a loss and is threatened with near-term closure. (What, you thought wind power was free?) From Financieele Dagblad (Dutch language, translated) on April 13:
Due to the low energy prices wind turbines are making losses on a large scale. The maintenance costs are higher than the benefits of the energy generated. Windmills are now being demolished according to a survey by Financieele Dagblad. According to estimates Association of Private Wind Turbine Operators (Pawex) ‘potentially 500 to 750 megawatts’ are making a loss or are at risk of doing so. That is a quarter of the power generated by onshore wind energy in the Netherlands.
Britain recently cut subsidies for household solar installations, and the pace of such installations immediately fell by three-quarters. From The Guardian on April 8:
The amount of household solar power capacity installed in the past two months has plummeted by three quarters following the government’s cuts to subsidies, according to new figures. The size of the drop-off will dismay green campaigners who want take up on clean energy sources to accelerate. The cuts were announced just days after energy secretary Amber Rudd helped agree the historic Paris climate deal, and have bankrupted several solar companies.
SciDev.net on April 11 covered a new report out from something called the International Renewable Energy Agency, saying that many major developing countries are backing away from renewables and turning more and more to fossil fuels in light demand among their people for cheap energy.
Nicholas Wagner, an IRENA programme officer who helped prepare the report, says countries such as Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria ... have ... turned to fossil fuels to power greater demand for heating, cooling and transport, he says. Renewables formed nearly 50 per cent of Indonesia’s energy mix in 2000, but this had dropped to under 40 per cent by 2013, the report found. China, India and Mexico have also seen their renewable share fall over this period.
You probably have read somewhere about the threatened closure of much of the remainder of Britain’s steel industry caused energy prices that have been intentionally driven to high levels to limit fossil fuel use. But did you read about the massive demonstrations by steel workers in Germany seeking to stave off a similar fate for their industry and their jobs? From Die Tagesshau (German language, translated), April 11:
Tens of thousands of workers in the German steel industry have taken to the streets to demonstrate for their jobs. The IG Metall union spoke of 45,000 participants...The steelworkers ... fear the introduction of stricter climate policies by the EU. Federal Economics Minister Gabriel promised the steelworkers his support. He said, he would not agree to any climate policy that threatens the future of the German steel production. According to industry figures, the planned tightening of the EU emissions trading scheme would lead to additional annual costs of one billion euros for the German steel industry.
And did you know that Germany is in the process of backing away from massive subsidies for wind energy, leading many to predict the imminent “collapse” of its wind industry (which cannot survive without subsidies). From Berliner Zeitung, April 7:
If the green energy plans by the German Federal Government are implemented, the expansion of onshore wind energy will soon come to a standstill and then go into reverse. In early March, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel presented a draft for the amendment of the Renewable Energies Act (EEG). The new rules regulate the subsidy levels for renewable energy. The new regulations are to be adopted in coming months. A study by consultants ERA on behalf of the Green Party’s parliamentary group concludes that under these provisions the development of wind energy will collapse fairly soon.
The coming wind collapse is just a small part of Germany’s disastrous “Energiewende” (energy transformation) that has made it so that Germans pay about triple what Americans pay for electricity, but they have recently had to turn to building coal plants to replace energy from closed nuclear plants and also to deal with the intermittency of solar and wind. From the Wall Street Journal on April 14:
All of this - the job losses, the unreliable power supply, the astonishing amounts of spending that could top 1 trillion Euros over the coming decades, and the rising coal emissions to boot -amounts to one of the more monumental blunders of modern governance.
And really, you could go on with this as long as you want. Peiser puts up at least five of these every day. Billions upon billions of dollars spent—all going straight to the energy bills of the populace—with essentially no noticeable effect on global CO2 emissions, let alone global warming. You owe it to yourself to check this out.
By Anthony J. Sadar
Last month, Attorney General Loretta Lynch testified before the Senate that the Department of Justice is considering taking legal action against energy industries dubious of the dire role of carbon emissions to change the climate. And Democratic attorneys general from numerous states are in hot pursuit of global warming heretics.
Before more partisan lawyering and congressional testimony clouds the climate change concern, let’s clear up what is known about this issue.
“Everything we know about the world’s climate—past, present, and future—we know through models.” So states professor Paul Edwards, a supporter of the “consensus” view of climate change, in the Introduction to his highly acclaimed book A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming (MIT Press, 2010). He also notes that “without models, there are no data.” [italics in original]
Models have become integral to modern scientific practice. In many fields, Edwards says “computer models complement or even replace laboratory experiments; analysis and simulation models have become principal means of data collection, prediction, and decision making.”
Such is the contemporary world of science aided by the powerful tool of modern computers. The three basic components of the scientific method—observation, hypothesis, and testing—still hold, but in many cases the testing portion has been abetted, if not in some cases usurped, by models.
As many challengers of the manmade disastrous global warming hypothesis can attest, the “evidence” for a worldwide climate catastrophe is founded upon the results of atmospheric models. Yet, can such results be trusted enough to direct trillions of dollars in the years ahead to shift the energy sector and redistribute financial resources? After all, as University of Pittsburgh virologist John Mellors asserted in a recent article about HIV treatment in Science ("Researchers claim to find HIV sanctuaries,” January 29, 2016), “You can use a model to support anything you want, but you can prove nothing… You can model that the sun orbits the Earth.”
Atmospheric models have tremendous difficulty simulating key elements of the hydrologic cycle like cloud cover and precipitation patterns. Such components are obviously important to decades-hence projections heavily relied upon for drastic global public policy decisions.
Water in all its phases—as invisible vapor in the atmosphere, as liquid in the vast oceans and condensed tiny droplets in clouds, as solid sheets of ice and crystals of snow—water is the ultimate regulator of climate on earth. So-called greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane play a secondary role in climate control. Yet the focus of research funding is on “carbon pollution,” and largely only negative aspects of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide are headlined in the popular and scientific press. The actual measured benefits of increased carbon dioxide, with increased greening of the globe for instance, have been summarily dismissed or simply ignored.
As I have indicated in the past, most of my nearly 35 years of professional life as an air-pollution meteorologist has been involved with atmospheric modeling in one way or another. And it’s clear from experience that the complexity of the earth’s climate is incredible. Forecasting the future of such climate in meaningful detail is incredibly challenging. And the level of training, depth of knowledge, and development of intuition to successfully even begin to achieve a semi-reliable long-range climate outlook is quite impressive.
Understandably, the vast majority of the public has to basically trust what climate scientists tell them about the future of this planet’s atmospheric conditions. Yet, that trust should be tempered with at least a modicum of incredulity, especially by contemplative adults. Thinking adults should know better than to simply trust even really smart scientists when it comes to what these scientists “confidently know” about earth’s climate in the far distant decades. Even really smart science sages cannot know the long-term state of the global climate, other than within a wide range of temperature and precipitation levels (a range too wide to be of much practical value). This lack of knowledge has been confirmed over the past 18 years as the modeled global average temperature trend has dramatically not matched reality.
So, when it comes to modeling Earth’s distant future climate, perhaps the eminent atmospheric scientist, Reid Bryson, said it best: Making a forecast is easy. Being right is the hard part.
Anthony J. Sadar is a Certified Consulting Meteorologist and author of In Global Warming We Trust: Too Big to Fail (Stairway Press, 2016)
Written by Tiffany Taylor, Heartland on 14 March 2016.
Note: Explaining the Extreme Weather Events that did Not Happen by Paul Homewood. Unable to persuade the public that a slightly warmer world is a bad thing, the climate establishment has turned to peddling the myth that global warming is leading to more extreme weather. See the AMS failed attempt here.
There have been a number of studies which have attempted to connect the two. Even then, as I showed with the above AMS attempt a few months ago, most extreme events cannot be linked, and those that are claimed to be are extremely tenuous.
Climate scientist Daniel Alongi has been indicted by the Australian government on charges of defrauding taxpayers out of $556,000 in false expenses since 2008.
Climate scientist Daniel Alongi
Alongi has already admitted to creating false invoices, credit card statements, and e-mails to cover his misappropriation of funds.
Alongi’s indictment raises serious questions concerning the credibility of his research. During the period of Alongi’s alleged fraud, his research focusing on the impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef, coastal mangroves, and coastal ecosystems was published in numerous national and international journals.
Meteorologist Anthony Watts said in a post on his popular climate website Watts Up With That he’s concerned Alongi may have falsified scientific findings to justify his expenses. Alongi has published 140 scientific publications and his work has been cited 5,861 times by other researchers.
“If Alongi falsely claimed to have spent half a million dollars on radioisotope testing, it would look pretty strange if he didn’t produce any false test results, to justify the expenditure of all that money,” wrote Watts.
‘Scientists Not Immune to Corruption’
Alongi’s arrest marks the second time in recent months questions have been raised concerning the use of government funds given to carry out climate research.
In late 2015, the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology began an investigation into George Mason University professor Jagadish Shukla’s non-profit research think tank, the Institute for Global Environment and Security Inc (IGES). IGES received more than $63 million dollars in federal grants, accounting for 98 percent of its operating revenue since 2001, but it produced very little published research.
George Mason University professor Jagadish Shukla
A complaint filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Cause of Action with the Internal Revenue Service requested the tax agency to investigate Shukla and IGES for illegally engaging in lobbying and advocacy activities, rather than conducting the research the government grants were given to them for.
“Scientists can be tempted by money just like any other profession,” said Marc Morano, publisher of Climate Depot. “A Ph.D. does not make one immune to potential financial corruption.”
“I would expect many more revelations of financial improprieties [to emerge] as the global warming industry continues to receive lavish funding from governments, foundations, and universities,” Morano said. “The drive to have your work showcased in the media so you can get further funding increases the potential for financial fraud.”
Morano says the press is contributing to the spread of scientific fraud by choosing only to advance the views of global warming alarmists.
“By only promoting a fawning view of global warming claims, the mainstream media has also made the problem worse,” said Morano. “Normally, [the news media] is on the lookout for fraud and corruption, but [it] seems to turn away when it’s time to scrutinize climate change promoters.”
Does their abysmal grasp of energy and economics make Hillary and Bernie unfit to govern?
“Natural gas is a good, cheap alternative to fossil fuels,” former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi famously intoned. (Psssst. Ms. Nancy, natural gas is a fossil fuel.)
“If I thought there was any evidence that drilling could save people money, I would consider it. But it won’t,” President Obama said in 2008. “We can’t drill our way out of the problem” of high energy prices and disappearing supplies, he still insisted two years later. How shocked he must be now.
Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing - aka - fracking [ has unleashed a gusher of oil and natural gas, sent oil prices plunging $100 a barrel since 2008, dropped US oil imports to their lowest level in 45 years, and saved American families tens of billions of dollars annually in lower energy costs.
But if price and “peak oil” rationales fail, there is always “dangerous manmade global warming” to justify carbon-based energy and fracking bans, and renewable energy mandates and subsidies.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton contend that climate change is an “existential threat” to people and planet. Senator Sanders says bluntly, “I do not support fracking.” He also wants legislation that would keep America’s abundant oil, gas and coal “in the ground.”
Mrs. Clinton opposes all fossil fuel energy extraction on federal lands. She rejects fracking if “any locality or state is against it,” any methane is released or water contaminated, or companies don’t reveal “exactly what chemicals they are using.” Under her watch, there won’t be “many places in America where fracking will continue.” She will “stop fossil fuels” and ensure 50% renewable energy by 2030.
One senses that these folks inhabit a parallel universe, cling like limpets to anti-hydrocarbon ideologies, or perhaps embody Mark Twain’s admonition that “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you’re a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
One also senses that as president the two Democrat candidates will continue Mr. Obama’s imperial practices. If Congress resists their policy initiatives, they will simply issue more Executive Branch diktats, and ignore their impacts on jobs and the economy, the absence of evidence that fracking harms human health or water quality, the reality that renewable energy “alternatives” also cause serious problems and scientists’ continuing inability to separate human from natural influences on climate and weather events and trends that are essentially the same as during the twentieth century.
Officially, 7.8 million Americans are still unemployed. But add the long-term unemployed, those who looked for a job once in the past year but not in recent weeks, and those who are working involuntarily in low-pay, part-time positions - and the total swells to 16.8 million. Over 46 million are on food stamps.
The federal debt hit $19 trillion in February and is projected to reach $23 trillion by 2020. In FY2015, the US Treasury collected $3.2 trillion in taxes and other revenues, but spent $3.7 trillion. Profligate state and local spending has swollen these deficits by tens of billions more, for the same reason: politicians are in cahoots with unions, crony capitalist rent seekers, and assorted grievance, victim and welfare groups.
Mountains of federal regulations cost businesses and families $1.9 trillion annually - half of our national budget. They drag down investment, job creation and tax revenues. State and local rules add more pain.
To borrow the Greens and Democrats’ favorite term, this is unsustainable.
Oil, gas and coal account for 82% of all US energy and 68% of all US electricity generation - reliably and affordably. Producing this abundant energy also generates positive cash-flow: fossil fuel bonuses, rents and royalties from federal lands totaled $126 billion between 2003 and 2013; corporate and personal taxes resulting from the jobs and activities powered by that energy added tens of billions more.
Wind, solar and biofuel programs, by contrast, are black holes for hard-earned taxpayer subsidies - and rarely work unless consumers are required to use that energy, and pay premium prices for doing so.
Even getting to 50% “carbon-free” energy fifteen years from now will require: vastly more subsidies and mandates; turning entire forests into fuel; blanketing croplands and habitats with enormous biofuel plantations, wind farms and solar installations; and killing millions of birds, bats and other wildlife in the process. However, biomass and biofuels are also carbon-based and also release carbon dioxide and their energy per volume is paltry, their energy efficiency deplorable, compared to hydrocarbons.
A renewable energy future means scenic, wild and agricultural lands become industrial zones and high voltage transmission corridors - feeding urban centers where people will have lower living standards
Environmentalists used to tell poor countries they could never have the lifestyles of people in developed nations, as it wouldn’t be sustainable. Now they say our living standards are unsustainable and aren’t fair to the world’s poor. Therefore, their lives should be improved a little via wind, solar and biofuel energy, while ours are knocked down a peg via climate and sustainability regulations (except for ruling elites).
Environmentalists and other liberals are also hardwired to be incapable of acknowledging the countless health, welfare and technological blessings that creative free enterprise capitalism has bestowed on humanity or to recognize the dearth of innovation by repressive socialist regimes.
Liberals like to say Republicans want to control what you do in your bedroom. But Democrats want to control everything you do outside your bedroom but for the noble, exalted purpose of changing genetically coded human behavior, to Save the Planet for future generations. That means unelected Earth Guardians must control the lives, livelihoods, living standards, liberties and life spans of commoners and peasants, especially in “flyover country.”
Fossil fuel and fracking bans are part of that “fundamental transformation.” They will force us to use less oil and gas, but they also mean we will import more petroleum from Saudi Arabia and Iran, though not from Canada via the Keystone pipeline. Energy prices will again climb into the stratosphere, more jobs will disappear, manufacturing will shrivel, and royalty and tax revenues will evaporate.
The billionaire bounties that Hillary, Bernie and their supporters also need to pay for all the free college, ObamaCare, renewable energy subsidies, income redistribution and other “entitlements” will likewise be devoured quickly, while millions more people end up on welfare and unemployment rolls. The bills will simply be forwarded to our children and grandchildren.
Meanwhile, despite any US bans, other countries will continue using fossil fuels to create jobs and grow their economies. So total atmospheric CO2 and greenhouse gas concentrations will continue to rise.
Of course, “climate deniers” and other members of The Resistance will have to be dealt with. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will pave the way on that. In the process, as Obama and Clinton mentor Saul Alinsky put it in his Rules for Radicals, the ruling elites will pick, freeze, personalize and polarize their targets. They will repeat their allegations and maintain their pressure until all resistance crumbles. Facts will be irrelevant. Power and perceptions will rule.
Blue collar, middle class and minority families feel they are fighting for their very survival, against policies and regulations that profoundly impair their jobs, incomes and futures. Indeed, the governing classes are actively harming the very people they claim to care the most about - and actually killing people in the world’s poorest nations, by denying them access to energy and other modern technologies.
That’s why Trump, Cruz, Carson and other “outsider” candidates have resonates. People are fed up.
Perhaps it’s time to borrow a page from Alinsky - Rule Four, to be precise - and make “the enemy,” the ruling elites, live up to their own rules. Watching them scream and squeal would be most entertaining.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.
After a University decision to cut all its funding, Yale’s Climate & Energy Institute will close by the end of June.
The loss of the institute, which for the last eight years has conducted research related to issues of climate change, leaves a hole in climate and energy studies at Yale. Although the Energy Studies academic program will continue within Yale College, students in the YCEI said they were outraged by the budget cuts and subsequent closure of an institute that is one of the only research-focused climate change programs for undergraduates on campus. The announcement came in a Monday afternoon email to the YCEI community from institute co-directors and geology and geophysics professors David Bercovici and Jay Ague, and follows years of cuts to the institute’s funding, according to students involved in the organization.
“While not all good things have to come to an end, sometimes they just do,” Bercovici and Ague wrote. “The YCEI will stop activities and close up shop as of June 30, 2016.”
The YCEI was founded in 2008 with the backing of then-University President Richard Levin. Since then, the institute has hosted conferences, fostered collaborations across science departments and between universities outside of Yale, as well as supported scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships that address the changing climate. The institute also supplied undergraduates with a database of energy-related internships. Bercovici and Ague wrote that the YCEI was founded with “overwhelming enthusiasm from faculty and students across campus.” Bercovici and Ague declined to comment Monday night, citing time constraints.
Students interviewed said that while the YCEI was clearly a priority under Levin, administrative support has dwindled recently. They said they were infuriated by the announced closure and skeptical that it was closing because of insufficient funding.
“It can’t be a budget thing. It can’t be. I don’t want to say that Yale doesn’t support [the YCEI], but… I think it’s the administration’s lack of interest,” said YCEI New Haven Energy Scholar Intern Matthew Goldklang ‘16. “I had no idea we were going to be completely cut. It’s really sad.”
He added that he has received emails from YCEI alumni who were furious with the announcement, and he said there are many undergraduates who are also upset.
The YCEI had an extensive budget under Levin’s administration, Goldklang said. Although Goldklang did not provide specific figures, he said the YCEI had enough money to pay its student fellows, fund research and create new classes in the Energy Studies Program.
The institute was one of the few groups on campus that regularly engaged with Yale administrators to solve issues of climate change, Goldklang said.
The announced closure left students in the institute with unanswered questions about why the formerly thriving group had its funding cut. University Provost Benjamin Polak - who is currently engaged in annual budget talks with every area of campus - did not respond Monday to questions about the reasons for the YCEI’s funding cuts. Salovey was also unavailable for comment Monday evening.
One possible explanation for the end of the YCEI is that the institute did not generate many alumni donations, Goldklang said. James Barile ‘18, who is involved with the YCEI through a solar energy initiative, said the University appeared to be shifting away from undergraduate climate change research, which he said is not very public, toward climate change initiatives that are “more showy.”
YCEI conference organizer Jared Milfred ‘16 speculated that the YCEI may have been viewed as redundant or doing research that overlapped with other science departments on campus. The School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Energy Sciences Institute at West Campus conduct similar climate studies to the YCEI, although they do not engage with undergraduates to the same extent as the YCEI, Milfred said.
Barile said the institute’s budget had been cut in half over the last three consecutive years.
“They eventually cut funding so much that it just became buying food,” Barile said.
Milfred also said he was aware of drops in the budget in the past few years, but said he had believed these cuts were in line with reductions at comparable institutes across the University.
“I never realized that the YCEI was being targeted specifically,” Milfred said.
Former YCEI New Haven Energy Scholar Intern Sandra Medrano ‘15 also said the news completely surprised her, adding that she had no idea what caused the institute’s demise.
The budget cuts also follow a leadership transition in the YCEI administration: Current executive director and geology and geophysics research scientist Michael Oristaglio ‘74 took over the position from Mark Pagani, his colleague in the department, last summer.
The YCEI’s closure leaves behind a hole for students who are interested in climate change issues academically, but are not interested in activist causes like Fossil Free Yale, Goldklang said.
“I really appreciated the resources, both financial and intellectual, that the YCEI had,” Milfred said. “I learned quite a lot from YCEI staff.”
Before the institute closes, the YCEI faculty advisory committee will help students in the senior class finish their requirements for the program, Oristaglio said in a Monday email to YCEI undergraduates.
The Energy Studies Program may fill some of the space left by the YCEI, and students will have a chance to think of ways that Energy Studies can evolve at a series of dinners through the rest of the semester, Oristaglio wrote. The first such dinner took place last week, and students generated ideas about how to bolster the Energy Studies curriculum and strengthen the sense of community between students in the program.
There are a number of University climate change initiatives that were instituted more recently than the YCEI. In December 2015, Yale became the first American university to establish a system of “carbon charges” on some of its buildings.
The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies was founded in 1900.
The Not-So-Green Habits of Hollywood Gasbags and the Media That Love Them
BY MIKE CIANDELLA, SENIOR ANALYST MRC BUSINESS
Just three months earlier DiCaprio told the UN delegates that “if we do not act together, we will surely perish,” he had flown to South America on a private plane, to cruise around Brazil on the yacht of an Abu Dhabi oil billionaire. But Good Morning America didn’t mention this at all.
Variety praised actor Ian Somerhalder (Boone Carlyle from Lost) for his eco-foundation’s “laser-focused on environmental issues,” while he spent his time flying to exotic countries and his foundation only gave away one-thousandth of the money it got in donations. This doesn’t stop him for blaming average people for global warming.
The 12 celebrities chosen to highlight in this report are: Leonardo DiCaprio, Woody Harrelson, Julia Roberts, James Cameron, Al Gore, Arianna Huffington, Ian Somerhalder, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon, Cameron Diaz and John Travolta.
The media have used all of these celebrities to help promote their own climate alarmist agenda, while simply ignoring or glossing over any inconsistencies or contradictions. This report doesn’t focus on every single celebrity hypocrite. Instead, it looks at 12 whose lifestyles contradict their activism.
During the past six months of 2014 alone, ABC, CBS and NBC interviewed the celebrities highlighted in this report 25 times. Not once during any of these interviews did the networks suggest that the celebrities’ lavish lifestyles might disqualify them from lecturing others. Instead, they have referred to them as “incredibly committed,” “responsible” and praised them for “promoting the cause” of combatting climate change.
Journalists help promote Hollywood celebrities while condemning average Americans for causing climate change. The same media go out of their way to ignore or excuse the hypocrisy of celebrity “environmentalists” who fly their private jets around the world, rent mega-yachts and live in massive mansions.
Avatar Director James Cameron warned of a future “world that’s in shambles” because of climate change, and said he believes “in ecoterrorism” yet, he owns an impressive private collection of motorcycles, cars, dirt bikes, a yacht, a helicopter, a Humvee fire truck and a $32-million submarine. ABC and CBS even praised Cameron for his submarine purchase, with CBS’s Gayle King saying she loved his “passion and curiosity.”
Leonardo DiCaprio ironically stood in front of the UN warning that “if we do not act together, we will surely perish” - just three months after he had flown to Brazil on a private plane to borrow an oil billionaire’s 470-foot yacht. Yet, ABC News praised him for “not just talking the talk.”
MRC Business studied media coverage of 12 celebrity eco-activists, worth $1.9 billion, and found:
(1) Media Outlets Give a Platform to Celebrities: Actors aren’t climate scientists. But when any of the 12 celebrities makes a statement about climate change, the media are quick to promote them. Whether it was DiCaprio’s UN speech calling for more regulations on businesses, or Cameron Diaz’s PSA asking average people to curb their carbon output, print and broadcast media eagerly rushed to interview them. In the last six months of 2014 alone, ABC, CBS and NBC interviewed these specific celebrities 25 times.
(2) Overwhelmingly Positive Network Coverage: Not once during the 25 interviews on ABC, CBS and NBC in 2014 did the networks suggest that the celebrities’ lavish lifestyles might disqualify them from lecturing others. Instead, they have referred to them as “incredibly committed,” “responsible” and praised them for “promoting the cause” of combating climate change.
(3) Media Take Outrageous Claims Seriously: Cameron said “I believe in ecoterrorism,” and Entertainment Weekly didn’t bat an eye. Arianna Huffington said that SUV owners were funding terrorism, and then claimed she meant it as satire and no one objected. Yet, none of these claims were even mentioned on the broadcast networks that hyped the eco-activism of these celebrities, and they were still touted as credible voices for change.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR JOURNALISTS
MRC Business has the following recommendations for journalists who are reporting on the environmental activism or philanthropy of celebrities.
(1) Treat Celebrities Honestly: Celebrities may be famous, but that doesn’t mean that they should automatically get a platform to promote their eco-agenda. Journalists need to recognize that just because someone is well known, doesn’t mean they are well informed. Statements made by celebrities should be evaluated with the same scrutiny as statements given by anyone else.
(2) Don’t Pick and Choose the News: The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics states that journalists should “support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.” It is incumbent upon journalists to analyze the background for groups and individuals on both ends of the political spectrum.
(3) Do Some Genuine Journalism and Investigate Celebrity Climate Change Alarmists: Journalists can’t afford to be starstruck. Media outlets should hold celebrities accountable for their actions, and not turn a blind eye when a celebrity’s lifestyle contradicts his or her message.
The U.S. Supreme Court just delivered a major blow to President Barack Obama’s global warming agenda by halting the implementation of a key Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation on carbon dioxide emissions.
The court won’t allow the EPA to implement its so-called Clean Power Plan (CPP), which aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants 32 percent by 2030. This is a big win for the 29 states suing the federal government to stop a rule expected to cripple the coal industry.
“Five justices of the Supreme Court agreed with North Dakota and other parties that EPA’s regulation would impose massive irreparable harms on North Dakota and the rest of the country and that there was a substantial likelihood EPA was acting unlawfully,” Paul Seby, an attorney with law firm Greenberg Traurig representing the state of North Dakota, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
States asked the Supreme Court to halt implementation of the CPP after a lower court rejected their appeal in January. Now, Morrisey and the Obama administration will make their oral arguments on the merits of the law in front of federal judges in June.
“Make no mistake - this is a great victory for West Virginia,” said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who’s leading the states against the EPA, in a statement on the announcement.
Morrisey argues the CPP amounts to “double regulating” by the EPA, since coal-fired power plants - the main target of the rule - are already being regulated under another provision of the Clean Air Act. States also argue the CPP is in effect a federal takeover of their energy policies.
“We are thrilled that the Supreme Court realized the rule’s immediate impact and froze its implementation, protecting workers and saving countless dollars as our fight against its legality continues,” Morrisey said.
This is the second major EPA regulation to be held up by the courts in recent months. Last year, federal judges issued a stay on an agency rule redefining “waters of the United States” - this sparked backlash from nearly every industry from farmers to energy producers.
But defeating the CPP in court may not be as easy as states think, since the Obama administration will likely argue striking down these rules would go against international commitments made by the U.S. in Paris last year.
In December, the U.S. joined nearly 200 countries in pledging to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to fight global warming. Obama promised to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025.
The Obama administration, however, may have problems of its own because it has not gotten the agreement ratified by the Senate - a key requirement for a legally binding treaty. This has only added to the confusion of whether or not the United Nations Paris deal is legally a treaty or not.
“This will be a fatal blow to the president’s climate agenda,” Tom Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, told TheDCNF.
“This shows just how far the Obama administration has gone - they went too far,” Pyle said.
A Quinnipiac University poll, taken June 24-30, 2014 ranking worst presidents since WWII found Obama the worst and Bush 41 second.
Worst president since World War II
Barack Obama (33%)
George W. Bush (28%)
Richard Nixon (13%)
Jimmy Carter (8%)
Lyndon B. Johnson (tie) (3%)
Ronald Reagan (tie) (3%)
Bill Clinton (tie) (3%)
Gerald Ford (tie) (2%)
George H.W. Bush (tie) (2%)
Dwight Eisenhower (1%)
Harry S. Truman (tie) (<1%)
John F. Kennedy (tie) (<1%)
January 22nd, 2016 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.
We now have the official NOAA-NASA report that 2015 was the warmest year by far in the surface thermometer record. John and I predicted this would be the case fully 7 months ago, when we called 2015 as the winner.
In contrast, our satellite analysis has 2015 only third warmest which has also been widely reported for weeks now. I understand that the RSS satellite analysis has it 4th warmest.
And yet I have had many e-mail requests to address the new reports of warmest year on record. I’ve been reluctant to because, well, this is all old news. (Also, my blog has been under almost constant “brute force login attacks” for the last month, from a variety of IP addresses, making posting nearly impossible most days).
There are many things I could say, but I would be repeating myself:
- Land measurements ...that thermometers over land appear to have serious spurious warming issues from urbanization effects. Anthony Watts is to be credited for spearheading the effort to demonstrate this over the U.S. where recent warming has been exaggerated by about 60%, and I suspect the problem in other regions of the global will be at least as bad. Apparently, the NOAA homogenization procedure forces good data to match bad data. That the raw data has serious spurious warming effects is easy to demonstrate...and has been for the last 50 years in the peer-reviewed literature...why is it not yet explicitly estimated and removed?
- Ocean Measurements ...that even some NOAA scientists don’t like the new Karlized ocean surface temperature dataset that made the global warming pause disappear; many feel it also forces good data to agree with bad data. (I see a common theme here.)
- El Nino ----that a goodly portion of the record warmth in 2015 was naturally induced, just as it was in previous record warm years.
- Thermometers Still Disagree with Models ...that even if 2015 is the warmest on record, and NOAA has exactly the right answer, it is still well below the average forecast of the IPCC’s climate models, and something very close to that average forms the basis for global warming policy. In other words, even if every successive year is a new record, it matters quite a lot just how much warming we are talking about.
Then we have scientists out there claiming silly things, like the satellites measure temperatures at atmospheric altitudes where people don’t live anyway, so we should ignore them.
Oh, really? Would those same scientists also claim we should ignore the ocean heat content measurements - also where nobody lives - even though that is supposedly the most important piece of evidence that heat is accumulating in the climate system?
Finally, I don’t see why any of this matters anyway. Didn’t the Paris agreement in December signify that world governments are going to fix the global warming problem?
Or was that message oversold, too?
I’m not claiming our satellite dataset is necessarily the best global temperature dataset in terms of trends, even though I currently suspect it is closer to being accurate than the surface record - that will be for history to decide. The divergence in surface and satellite trends remains a mystery, and cannot (in my opinion) continue indefinitely if both happen to be largely correct.
But since the satellites generally agree with (1) radiosondes and (2) most global reanalysis datasets (which use all observations radiosondes, surface temperatures, commercial aircraft, satellites, etc. everything except the kitchen sink), I think the fact that NOAA-NASA essentially ignores it reveals an institutional bias that the public who pays the bills is becoming increasingly aware of.
And this brings up the elephant in the room that I have a difficult time ignoring
By now it has become a truism that government agencies will prefer whichever dataset supports the governments desired policies. You might think that government agencies are only out to report the truth, but if that’s the case, why are these agencies run by political appointees?
I can say this as a former government employee who used to help NASA sell its programs to congress: We weren’t funded to investigate non-problems, and if global warming were ever to become a non-problem, funding would go away. I was told what I could and couldn’t say to Congress...Jim Hansen got to say whatever he wanted. I grew tired of it, and resigned.
Let me be clear: I’m not saying climate change is a non-problem; only that government programs that fund almost 100% of the research into climate change cannot be viewed as unbiased. Agencies can only maintain (or, preferable, grow) their budgets if the problem they want to study persists. Since at least the 1980s, an institutional bias exists which has encouraged the climate research community to view virtually all climate change as human-caused.
There indeed is a climate change problem to study...but I don’t think we know with any certainty how much is natural versus manmade. There is no way to know, because there is (contrary to the IPCC’s claims) no fingerprint of human versus natural warming. Even natural warming originating over the ocean will cause faster warming over land than over ocean, just as we already observe.
But since the government has framed virtually all of the research programs in terms of human-caused climate change, that’s what the funded scientists will dutifully report it to be, in terms of supposed causation.
And until the culture in the government funding agencies changes, I don’t see a new way of doing business materializing. It might require congress to direct the funding agencies to spend at least a small portion of their budgets to look for evidence of natural causes of climate change.
Because scientists, I have learned, will tend to find whatever they are paid to find in terms of causation...which is sometimes very difficult to pin down in science.