Second Climate Thoughts

Polar Bears Ice Caps Climate Change Global WarmingThe latest U.N. report tones down the alarmism but ramps up the bad economics.

The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its latest mammoth report last week, and the effort marks an improvement over the IPCC’s last such effort in 2007. That may not be saying much, but on climate change intellectual progress of any sort is worth commending.

The IPCC’s “Fifth Assessment Report,” or AR5, is generating the usual alarmist headlines: “Impacts on All Continents, Worse to Come” was typical. That’s partly a function of what the IPCC frontloads into the 28-page “summary for policymakers,” the only portion of the report that most politicians or journalists ever bother reading, and that is sexed up for mass media consumption. [Read more...]

The Coming Paradigm Shift on Climate

Gore Global Warming Liesby S. Fred Singer

The just-published NIPCC reports may lead to a paradigm shift about what or who causes current climate changes. All the evidence suggests that Nature rules the climate – not Man.

Watch for it: We may be on the threshold of a tipping point in climate history. No, I’m not talking about a tipping point in the sense that the Earth will be covered with ice or become hellishly hot. I’m talking about a tipping point in our views of what controls the climate — whether it’s mainly humans or whether it’s mainly natural. It makes an enormous difference in climate policy: Do we try to mitigate, at huge cost, or do we merely adapt to natural changes — as our ancestors did for many millennia?

Such tipping points occur quite frequently in science. I have personally witnessed two paradigm shifts where world scientific opinion changed rapidly — almost overnight. One was in Cosmology, where the “Steady State” theory of the Universe was replaced by the “Big Bang.” This shift was confirmed by the discovery of the “microwave background radiation,” which has already garnered Nobel prizes, and will likely get more. [Read more...]

White House looks to regulate cow flatulence as part of climate agenda

Cow Flatulenceby Michael Bastasch

As part of its plan to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the Obama administration is targeting the dairy industry to reduce methane emissions in their operations.

This comes despite falling methane emission levels across the economy since 1990.

The White House has proposed cutting methane emissions from the dairy industry by 25 percent by 2020. Although U.S. agriculture only accounts for about 9 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it makes up a sizeable portion of methane emissions — which is a very potent greenhouse gas.

Some of these methane emissions come from cow flatulence, exhaling and belching — other livestock animals release methane as well. [Read more...]

ABC, CBS exclude scientists critical of global warming for more than 1,300 days

Media Bias PolitiFactby Sean Long

Like a simple parlor trick, the networks are able to make skeptical scientists vanish, at least from the eyes of their viewers.

In some cases, the broadcast networks have failed to include such scientists for years, while including alarmist scientists within the past six months. ABC, CBS and NBC’s lengthy omission of scientists critical of global warming alarmism propped up the myth of a scientific consensus, despite the fact that many scientists and thousands of peer-reviewed studies disagree.

Neither CBS nor ABC have included a skeptical scientists in their news shows within the past 1,300 days, but both networks included alarmists within the past 160 days — CBS as recently as 22 days ago. When the networks did include other viewpoints, the experts were dismissed as “out of the scientific mainstream” or backed by “oil and coal companies.” [Read more...]

Labeling foods with genetic fears

An ear of corn isolated on a white backgroundShoppers wanting organic products don’t need new warnings

by George Landrith

America feeds the world.

During the past half-century, improvements in productivity, land management and agricultural sciences have made this nation the world’s storehouse. It’s a good thing, because with more than 7 billion people living on Planet Earth, no other country is up for the challenge.

One discovery that is positively changing food production is Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). In the agricultural sector, GMOs use genetic manipulation to produce crops that are more disease-resistant, can thrive in harsher condition, or in some other way permit the farmers who use them to produce higher yields.

To some, GMOs are controversial — be it for health or safety concerns, or even religious beliefs. Rather than looking at the benefits of GMOs, such as the fact that they add considerable gross tonnage to the food pyramid, anti-GMO activists are trying to hamper these benefits by demanding a new regulatory regime to label GMOs. [Read more...]

Global Warming Alarmists’ Lame Outrage Highlights the Wisdom of Charles Krauthammer

al gore frozen global warmingby James Taylor

Global warming alarmists are howling in outrage as Charles Krauthammer followed up a surgical takedown of global warming alarmism in his Washington Post column last week with a similarly brilliant appearance on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor this week. For all the alarmists’ collective outrage, they have yet to identify a single error in what Krauthammer wrote and said. In the process, they have perfectly illustrated the difference between global warming skepticism, which relies on scientific evidence, and global warming alarmism, which relies on name-calling and temper tantrums.

Krauthammer began his Washington Post column by expressing concern about human carbon dioxide emissions. He followed that up by pointing out the virtues of critical inquiry and the Scientific Method. In particular, he pointed out several global warming subtopics in which alarmists have been wrong on the facts. Krauthammer documented how hurricanes have become less frequent and severe, how tornadoes have similarly moderated, how climate models show global warming should increase rather than decrease California rainfall, and how alarmist computer models consistently predict far more warming than occurs in the real world. [Read more...]

The myth of ‘settled science’

Climate Change Fairtalesby Charles Krauthammer

I repeat: I’m not a global warming believer. I’m not a global warming denier. I’ve long believed that it cannot be good for humanity to be spewing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I also believe that those scientists who pretend to know exactly what this will cause in 20, 30 or 50 years are white-coated propagandists.

“The debate is settled,” asserted propagandist in chief Barack Obama in his latest State of the Union address. “Climate change is a fact.” Really? There is nothing more anti-scientific than the very idea that science is settled, static, impervious to challenge. Take a non-climate example. It was long assumed that mammograms help reduce breast cancer deaths. This fact was so settled that Obamacare requires every insurance plan to offer mammograms (for free, no less) or be subject to termination. [Read more...]

Tough Times for Climate Alarmists

al gore frozen global warmingby Wesley Pruden

Some of our snow is said to be missing, though you couldn’t tell it if you looked around in one of the harshest winters in decades. The sky has been falling nearly everywhere, and 67 percent of North America now lies under a blanket of white. It’s a thin blanket in places, but it’s almost twice the size as this time last year.

Life is particularly tough on the Great Lakes. Lake Superior is 92 percent frozen over, breaking the February record set two decades ago, and it’s getting worse, unless you’re an ice fisherman, in which case it’s getting better.

They’re expecting even more ice this week in a region where winter is always miserable. The coyotes apparently like it, however, and were seen strolling on the ice on Lake Michigan last week, just off Chicago. Perhaps they were stalking deer. [Read more...]

It is time to stop ‘studying’ Keystone XL and approve it

keystone-xl-pipelineIt appears increasingly clear that the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline project is being studied to death as President Obama dithers over whether to approve it. The massive project to move Canadian oil to American refineries should already be under construction, but the president can’t decide whether to pander to Big Green environmentalists who rabidly oppose it or to the trade unions who want to build it and benefit from the thousands of jobs that it would create. So he keeps moving the goal posts, from one study to the next, desperate to avoid responsibility for the final decision.

The latest study, released Jan. 31 by the State Department, found that the pipeline would not significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions, confirming the results of a draft version that was released in March 2013. That conclusion should put to rest Obama’s professed concern that the pipeline would add to the problem of greenhouse gases. Other studies have concluded that not approving Keystone XL could do more environmental damage because Canada will sell its oil to China. The Asian giant’s environmental standards fall far short of America’s. [Read more...]

No plausible reasons left to reject the Keystone Pipeline

XL Pipeline Keystone PipelineWhite House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough discussed with NBC News’ David Gregory the administration’s foot-dragging on the Keystone XL pipeline. The Sunday interview came in the wake of the State Department’s latest report on the project, which again found no good reason to block construction of an oil pipeline from western Canada to Steele City, Neb.

The chat produced this rich quote from Mr. McDonough on President Barack Obama’s refusal to approve the privately funded project thus far: “He’s been very clear that he’s going to insulate this process from politics.”

But politics are indeed driving the president’s Keystone inaction, thanks largely to climate change and environmental alarmists. How else to explain the more than five-year wait for approval of the Keystone pipeline, a project that requires no tax money, is shovel ready and loaded with good-paying jobs? The State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, released Jan. 31, concludes: “During construction, proposed Project spending would support approximately 42,100 jobs (direct, indirect, and induced), and approximately $2 billion in earnings throughout the United States.” [Read more...]

A fracking good story missed by the media

by Christopher Harper

The United States has become the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

You may have missed this important story. That’s because the media virtually ignored it.

How did the United States reach this goal? Two simple words, which were excluded from the Department of Energy press release and the single U.S. news report I found: hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking.”

Fracking has become a dirty word in much of the media because of protests from environmentalists and Hollywood stars about the unproven charges of water contamination and environmental damage. [Read more...]

Keystone Cop Cop-out on Pipeline

keystone_copsby Charles Krauthammer

Fixated as we Americans are on Canada’s three most attention-getting exports — polar vortexes, Alberta clippers, and the antics of Toronto’s addled mayor — we’ve somewhat overlooked a major feature of Canada’s current relations with the United States: extreme annoyance.

Last week, speaking to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Canada’s foreign minister calmly but pointedly complained that the U.S. owes Canada a response on the Keystone XL pipeline. “We can’t continue in this state of limbo,” he sort of complained, in what for a placid, imperturbable Canadian passes for an explosion of volcanic rage.

Canadians may be preternaturally measured and polite, but they simply can’t believe how they’ve been treated by President Obama — left hanging humiliatingly on an issue whose merits were settled years ago. [Read more...]

Keystone XL approval is one executive action the nation would embrace

keystone-xl-pipelineMembers of President Barack Obama’s team made it clear this past weekend that Obama will use part of his State of the Union speech Tuesday night to send a message to Congress.

“When American jobs and livelihoods depend on getting something done,” senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said, “he will not wait for Congress.” Other members of Obama’s camp used similar language during appearances on Sunday’s talk shows.

By “Congress,” the president means Republicans, particularly in the House, who have not been keen on his progressive agenda. Obama laid out big plans during this speech a year ago, following his re-election, but things like stricter gun control and immigration reform ended up on high center. [Read more...]

To save lives, reform the FDA

FDA Drugs Medicine Reformby Peter Roff

America has the best health care system in the world. The same freedoms we all enjoy that produce innovations and advancement in technology, in manufacturing, in finance, in science also combine to lift what the nation’s medical community has to offer well above what is available in the rest of the world.

Recently, the deciphering of the human genome has sparked a serious of advancement in mankind’s understand of the way the human body works which, in turn, is creating new and exciting breakthroughs in the treatment of illness.

Many, like the Manhattan Institute’s Peter Huber, believe America is poised on the edge of a new era of personalized medicine arising from the ability to understand diseases and the drugs that made be used to treat them at the molecular level.

The single biggest impediment to these advances may be the very same agency that is charged with protecting the American people from patent medicine rip-offs and home-based cures that are based more on folk wisdom than science.

The facts, as ABC News recently informed people when it reported “New Drug Approvals for FDA Declined in 2013,” are clear. In the name of keeping us healthy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may be condemning people to death.

How can that be? Call it, for want of a better term, a lack of humanity and meaningful cost benefit analysis in the drug approval process. [Read more...]

Sierra Club Pressed EPA to Create Impossible Coal Standards

EPA FrankenstienEnvironmentalist suggested EPA head was lying when she told reporters coal would remain viable under new standards

by CJ Ciaramella

Emails between the Sierra Club and the EPA produced through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit show the green group and senior officials at the nation’s top environmental enforcer met and corresponded frequently about the agency’s work on new coal regulations.

The EPA published its long-awaited New Source Performance Standards for new coal-fired plants on Wednesday, four months after the agency announced their creation.

The EPA has repeatedly said the regulations on coal-fired power plants will not be a death blow to the industry. However, the agency was working closely behind the scenes with the Sierra Club, an environmental organization that was pushing the agency to adopt standards that would be impossible for power plants to meet. [Read more...]

The global warming scam that will not die

Gore Global Warming LiesWe were all supposed to be dead by now, fried to a toasty potatolike chip. Or doomed to die with the polar bears. It was to be a soggy end for the most beautiful planet in the cosmos and for all the passengers riding on it. The global alarmists never quite got their story of fright and fear straight, whether by now we would be fried or frozen.

First they warned of global warming, and when they needed a new narrative “global warming” became “climate change.” They finally settled on something they could prove because the climate does, in fact, change. First it rains, and then the sun comes out. Then it rains again. Rain, sun, rain, sun, drip, drip and dry. The narrative is ever new.

There was always a scarcity of evidence that the globe was on a wild tear, but there was never a scarcity of alarm. We got bedtime stories of ghosts and goblins from the graveyard, wild monsters from Boggy Creek, even a creature from a black lagoon and all kinds of other things that make the night a time of fearsome fun and games. Al Gore, who had a lot of time on his hands after his White House gig was aborted, even made a movie about it. It’s still popular in certain circles on Halloween night. [Read more...]

UN Climate Models Cannot Explain the Last 15 years

Gore Ice WarmingThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change can’t explain the last 15 years.

by Ronald Bailey

In September the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the final draft of Climate Change 2013: The Physical Sciences Basis. The report’s “Summary for Policymakers” flatly states: “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.”

Pretty much everyone concerned with this issue agrees that those are the facts. But what is causing the planet to warm up? Here is where it gets interesting. [Read more...]

Global Warming Researcher Gets Stuck in Ice

ice ship climate change global warmingA funny thing happened during Australian climate change professor Chris Turney’s venture to retrace a 1912 research expedition in Antarctica and gauge how climate change has affected the continent: Two weeks into a five-week excursion, Turney’s good ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy got trapped in ice. It turns out, global warming notwithstanding, that there’s so much ice down under that two ice-breaking vessels sent to rescue the research team cannot reach the Australasian Antarctic Expedition.

Years ago, global warming believers renamed the phenomenon “climate change” — probably because of pesky details such as unusually cold weather undercutting the warming argument. Now, just as advocates argue that earth is approaching a tipping point, there’s so much ice floating in Antarctica during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer that the Australasian Antarctic Expedition posted in a statement: “We’re stuck in our own experiment.” [Read more...]

UK wastes millions on wind turbines

wind turbineWith payback periods of 190 to 452 years, these wind turbines in the UK make no sense at all. 

by Michael Bastasch

Towns all over Britain are blowing millions of dollars on wind turbines that are generating almost no revenue and will take hundreds of years to pay for themselves, reports the UK Telegraph.

The Telegraph reports that UK localities are spending hundreds of pounds installing wind turbines in an effort to boost renewable energy generation and fight global warming.

“Some turbines generate so little energy they would take hundreds of years to repay their original value,” reports the Telegraph. “Experts argue that the failure of some wind turbines to recoup their value shows how small wind turbines are a poor way to generate renewable energy.” [Read more...]

2013 Will Finish One Of The Ten Coldest Years In US History

Climate Change FairtalesBefore NASA and NOAA start tampering with the data, 2013 is one of the ten coldest years in the US since 1895, and has had the largest year over year decline on record.

NOAA of course won’t talk about this, and will massively tamper with the data before releasing it.

The graph below is the monthly average of all daily high and low temperatures at all NOAA USHCN stations. [Read more...]