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Climate Change Has Jumped the Shark

by Steven F Hayward     •     Forbes

Global-Climate-Change-environmentLay aside for now all of the arguments that can be made about the weaknesses of catastrophic climate change predictions. In fact, for purposes of discussion, let’s assume that the worst-case scenario is likely to come true. The paradox of climate change is exactly this: the more serious the problem, the more implausible are the remedies of the environmental community. That’s what ought to make the climate campaigners realize that last weekend’s mega-march in New York City represents the dead-end for their cause. Truly we can invoke that overused cliché that climate change has “jumped the shark.”

Here’s why: From the beginning 25 years ago the arguments over climate science have dominated the scene and distracted us away from the fundamental problem: the prescribed method for preventing climate change is essentially replacing nearly all hydrocarbon energy, in the space of less than two generations. Climate orthodoxy calls for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, worldwide, by the year 2050, which would take the United States back to a level of hydrocarbon energy use last seen more than 100 years ago. For the developing world, it means remaining poor for several more decades.

There has been very little recognition and less candor about the sheer fantasy of the emissions target. Energy transitions, as the energy scholar Vaclav Smil has explained in great detail, are long-term affairs, even if a new superior technology exists to displace a current technology. But affordable large-scale, low- or non-carbon energy capable of replacing our current energy infrastructure simply doesn’t exist at present, and there isn’t much on the horizon. The developing world needs to triple its energy supply over the next generation if it is going to raise hundreds of millions out of abject poverty, and that means using abundant hydrocarbon energy, not expensive boutique energy popular with ever-preening rich Americans and Europeans. Just last week India’s new environmental minister, Prakash Javadekar, reiterated that India is not willing to discuss limitations on its rapidly growing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. “India’s first task is eradication of poverty,” Javadekar told the New York Times; “Twenty percent of our population doesn’t have access to electricity, and that’s our top priority. We will grow faster, and our emissions will rise.”

American and European climate change action advocates have ignored these realities, and have from the earliest engaged in relentless happy talk that a shift to renewable energy (chiefly solar, wind, and biofuels) would launch us down the golden road to a post-carbon energy future. The more economically illiterate among the climateers peddle the free-lunch argument that we’ll all get richer by mandating investment in more expensive, low-yield energy sources. The relatively modest amounts of low-carbon energy developed over the last two decades have required enormous government subsidies and have delivered negligible reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. (In some cases, like biofuels from palm oil and corn, the full environmental tradeoff is likely negative.) The bitter irony for the climateers is that the most significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions have been achieved by the production of newly abundant cheap natural gas through fracking, which has been displacing coal at a rapid rate.

The climate change community has reacted to this wreck of a policy not with second thoughts or openness to alternative frameworks, but with rage. The fact that global warming has slowed or stopped, and that an increasing number of peer reviewed studies conclude that climate sensitivity is overestimated (meaning that the problem is either over-predicted or will be much slower in developing) is greeted with denunciations, and a shockingly shallow new refrain that “97 percent of scientists believe in climate change,” which is like saying that “100 percent of scientists believe in gravity” in response to any query about the mysteries of how gravity actually works. When you point out the unreality of green energy dreams, you are met with foam-flecked denunciations of the Koch brothers. In fact the opposition to the climateers is tiny by comparison to the resources deployed by the environmental establishment, not to mention the massive sympathy they receive from an uncritical media. From the way people like Al Gore complain you’d think the climateers were up against the teachers union.

Which brings us back to last week’s crazy-quilt climate march in New York. The most conspicuous aspect of the march was its open expression of discontent not so much with climate change, but with our current civilization generally. It coincided with a new Naomi Klein book, This Changes Everything, that is getting a lot of buzz on the left (and even in Vogue magazine). In case you’ve forgotten your show notes, Klein is the author of The Shock Doctrine, a book ragingly popular with the far left that is so far gone into absurd conspiracizing and looney renderings of “neoliberalism” that it makes Lyndon LaRouche look positively staid by comparison.

What is the “this” that “changes everything” in Klein’s new title? Why climate change, of course. And what does it “change”? Why capitalism, naturally. The argument of the book in one sentence is that only overthrowing capitalism can we solve climate change. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s how the progressive lefty site CommonDreams described it: “Forget everything you think you know about global warming. The really inconvenient truth is that it’s not about carbon—it’s about capitalism.” This view was well represented in the banners and posters at the climate march last week. If climate change disappeared, one suspects the capitalism haters would still find a reason to march and rage against civilization. For this bit of candor, we owe Klein and the climate marchers a debt of thanks.

Even more revealing was the rage of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who told reporters during the march last week that climate skeptics should be jailed, and that the Koch brothers are “war criminals.” This is what passes for reasoning among environmental leaders? Quite obviously no one would pay attention to RFK Jr. if is last name was Jones instead of Kennedy; on the other hand, he received a standing ovation a few years ago from the Society of Environmental Journalists after another of his typically demagogic speeches, proving that most environmental journalists are just green activists with bylines. This is why you can expect that no environmental organization or prominent journalist will criticize Kennedy, Klein, or their extremist line of thinking.

The last big march in New York City like this was the 1982 march in favor of a nuclear freeze. It drew more than twice as many people as last week’s climate march, and was equally irrelevant, if not in fact a hindrance, to genuine efforts to reduce the risk of nuclear war. This is what a political movement looks like when it cannot recognize reality: it descends into ever more radical fantasies and rage, and gives its voice over to its most extreme elements. Like anti-nuclear activism 30 years ago, climate change activism has decayed into irresponsible advocacy, and deserves the increasing scorn of the public. And like the nuclear freeze movement of 30 years ago, if catastrophic climate change is a real prospect decades from now, these are the last people who should be put in charge of developing responses.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

 Steven F Hayward is currently the Ronald Reagan Distinguished Visiting Professor at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Public Policy.

Vanishing Evidence for Climate Change

By Tom Harris and Bob Carter     •     The New York Post

global warning-catastrophic predictions-apocalypticIn the runup to the Sept. 23 UN Climate Summit in New York, Leonardo DiCaprio is releasing a series of films about the “climate crisis.”

The first is “Carbon,” which tells us the world is threatened by a “carbon monster.” Coal, oil, natural gas and other carbon-based forms of energy are causing dangerous climate change and must be turned off as soon as possible, DiCaprio says.

But he has identified the wrong monster. It is the climate scare itself that is the real threat to civilization.

DiCaprio is an actor, not a scientist; it’s no real surprise that his film is sensationalistic and error-riddled. Other climate-change fantasists, who do have a scientific background, have far less excuse. [Read more...]

Constitutional chutzpah

by Seth Lipsky     •     New York Post

barack_obamaThere are three ways something can become what the US Constitution calls the “supreme law of the land.” It can be made part of the Constitution by amendment, it can be passed by Congress as a law or it can be ratified by the Senate as a treaty.

President Obama can’t get his climate-change agreement made supreme law of the land by any of those constitutional routes. Not even close. The Republican House doesn’t want it. The Democratic Senate won’t act.

That’s because the people don’t want it. They’re no dummies. Even in drought-stricken California, the Hill newspaper reports, Democratic candidates for Congress avoid the climate-change issue.

This is driving Obama crazy. [Read more...]

A World in Chaos and Kerry’s Talking about Climate Change

Climate Change FairtalesInvestor’s Business Daily

Great leadership isn’t necessarily about intelligence, expertise or background. It’s more about wisdom and judgment. Based on this, Americans should be very concerned about Secretary of State John Kerry.

As the world melts into chaos and threats to the U.S. homeland multiply, America’s top foreign policy official seems bizarrely, even dangerously, fixated on … global warming.

In remarks at the East-West Center in Honolulu on Wednesday, Kerry repeated his claim that climate change is “the biggest challenge … we face right now.” To which we respond: Can he be serious? [Read more...]

So far, the Coolest Summer on Record in the US

The frequency of 90 degree days in the US has been plummeting for 80 years, and 2014 has had the lowest frequency of 90 degree days through July 23 on record. The only other year which came close was 1992, and that was due to dust in the atmosphere from Mt Pinatubo.

Coolest Summer Climate Change Global Warming

Coldest Antarctic June Ever Recorded

Polar Bears Ice Caps Climate Change Global Warmingby Anthony Watts

Antarctica continues to defy the global warming script, with a report from Meteo France, that June this year was the coldest Antarctic June ever recorded, at the French Antarctic Dumont d’Urville Station.

According to the press release, during June this year, the average temperature was -22.4c (-8.3F), 6.6c (11.9F) lower than normal. This is the coldest June ever recorded at the station, and almost the coldest monthly average ever – only September 1953 was colder, with a recorded average temperature of -23.5c (-10.3F). [Read more...]

Only 20% Think Debate About Global Warming Is Over

Gore Global Warming LiesVoters strongly believe the debate about global warming is not over yet and reject the decision by some news organizations to ban comments from those who deny that global warming is a problem.

Only 20% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the scientific debate about global warming is over, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Sixty-three percent (63%) disagree and say the debate about global warming is not over. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure. [Read more...]

The Mean Girls of Global Warming

by Robert Tracinski

Global-Climate-Change-environmentSomeone sent me a clip from John Oliver—a nebbishy British version of Jon Stewart—arguing that global warming skeptics don’t deserve a hearing because 97% of scientists supposedly back the claims of catastrophic man-made global warming.

This video actually demonstrates that lefties like Oliver and Stewart don’t deserve a hearing, at least not on any topic remotely related to science. And the way Oliver dramatized his point turns out to be very revealing about what actually drives the global warming hysteria.

To begin with, the 97% claim is bogus. It’s based on surveying the abstracts (preliminary summaries) of scientific papers related to the climate, and it has multiple problems. Some articles by skeptics are simply left out of the survey, a nice way of keeping down their count. [Read more...]

Fiddled Global Warming Data

The US has actually been cooling since the Thirties, the hottest decade on record

Polar Bears Ice Caps Climate Change Global Warmingby Christopher Booker

When future generations try to understand how the world got carried away around the end of the 20th century by the panic over global warming, few things will amaze them more than the part played in stoking up the scare by the fiddling of official temperature data. There was already much evidence of this seven years ago, when I was writing my history of the scare, The Real Global Warming Disaster. But now another damning example has been uncovered by Steven Goddard’s US blog Real Science, showing how shamelessly manipulated has been one of the world’s most influential climate records, the graph of US surface temperature records published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). [Read more...]

Trampling Democracy to Fight Climate Change

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Obama Global WarmingRepublicans are calling President Barack Obama’s new coal-plant regulations a “power grab.” The truth is more complicated, and ominous, than that.

This isn’t a case where the executive branch has simply gone beyond its authority. It’s a case where officials in all three branches of government have found a way to achieve their policy goals while shielding themselves from accountability.

Congress sends bills to the president and the president signs them: That’s how major policy changes are supposed to work. But Congress has never passed large-scale regulations to combat global warming. It has never even voted to authorize such regulations. [Read more...]

Climate Cultists

Has the desperate global warming crusade reached its Waterloo?

global-warming-climate-meltdownby Steven F. Hayward

The climate change crusaders, who have been at it for a quarter-century, appear to be going clinically mad. Start with the rhetorical monotony and worship of authority (“97 percent of all scientists agree!”), add the Salem witch trial-style intimidation and persecution of dissenters, and the categorical demand that debate about science or policy is over because the matter is settled, and you have the profile of a cult-like sectarianism that has descended into paranoia and reflexive bullying. Never mind the scattered and not fully suppressed findings of climate scientists that the narrative of catastrophic global warming is overstated, like nearly every previous predicted environmental apocalypse. It matters not. The recent crescendo of scary government climate reports and dutiful media alarm has paved the way for the Obama administration to throw its weight around in ways that would make Woodrow Wilson blush. [Read more...]

The Myth of the Climate Change ’97%’

What is the origin of the false belief—constantly repeated—that almost all scientists agree about global warming?

Obama Global Warmingby Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer

Last week Secretary of State John Kerry warned graduating students at Boston College of the “crippling consequences” of climate change. “Ninety-seven percent of the world’s scientists,” he added, “tell us this is urgent.”

Where did Mr. Kerry get the 97% figure? Perhaps from his boss, President Obama, who tweeted on May 16 that “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” Or maybe from NASA, which posted (in more measured language) on its website, “Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.”

Yet the assertion that 97% of scientists believe that climate change is a man-made, urgent problem is a fiction. The so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research. [Read more...]

The Hard Sell on Climate Change

Gore Ice WarmingMedia outlets continue to push a crisis scenario, but the public isn’t buying.

by John Fund

Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN, was very forthright about his media priorities at a Society of Professional Journalists dinner in New York City on Monday.

He told Bill Carter of the New York Times: “Climate change is one of those stories that deserves more attention, that we all talk about. But we haven’t figured out how to engage the audience in that story in a meaningful way. When we do do those stories, there does tend to be a tremendous amount of lack of interest on the audience’s part.” [Read more...]

The Silencing of Global Warming Critics

The rigid tone, blind appeal to authority and constant use of the terms “denier” and “settled debate” do not reflect true scientific thought or serve the public well.

Polar Bears Ice Caps Climate Change Global Warmingby Cory Franklin

President Barack Obama recently warned the country about climate change, referencing the recently released National Climate Assessment, mandated by Congress and published every four years as a guide to policymakers. In doing so, he called out skeptics: “Unfortunately, inside of Washington, we’ve still got some climate deniers who shout loud, but they’re wasting everybody’s time on a settled debate. … Climate change is a fact. … Rising sea levels, drought, more wildfires, more severe storms — those are bad for the economy. … Climate change is not some far-off problem in the future. It’s happening now.”

Global warming and its dire consequences may very well come to pass. But with due respect to the president, his experts and everyone complaining about wasted time: The rigid tone, blind appeal to authority and constant use of the terms “denier” and “settled debate” do not reflect true scientific thought or serve the public well.

Science is about explaining nature. The scientist’s role is not to tell the public what to believe. It is to clarify ideas, as efficiently as possible, so the public can understand the questions at hand. [Read more...]

Scientific Authoritarians

The case for skepticism about climate scientists.

Climate Change Fairtalesby James Taranto

Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio came under attack this week for refusing to submit to scientific authority. “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it,” he said in an interview with Jonathan Karl.

Nonscientist Ruth Marcus, writing for the Washington Post, declared that Rubio’s words “undermine his other assertion,” namely “that he is prepared to be president.” Juliet Lapidos, also lacking in scientific expertise, went so far as to assert, in a New York Times blog post, that Rubio had “disqualified himself” from the presidency.

Of all the silly things written on the subject of global warming, Marcus’s and Lapidos’s offerings are surely among the most recent. Apart from that they’re entirely typical of the genre of global-warmist opinion journalism, in which ignorant journalists taunt politicians for their ignorance but have no argument beyond an appeal to authority. Lapidos: “Does Mr. Rubio think scientists are lying? Or that they don’t know what they’re talking about? Either way, what leads him to believe that the ‘portrait’ of climate change offered by scientists is inaccurate?” [Read more...]