“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
—Daniel J. Boorstin

US Shale Oil Keeps Booming Despite Low Prices - For Now

texasoil1There’s been plenty of hand-wringing in recent weeks as America’s oil rig count has dropped precipitously in the face of plunging crude prices. This has sparked worries that the shale boom’s best days are behind it. It seems reports of fracking’s death have been greatly exaggerated. --Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest, 18 February 2015

For oil output in Texas to more than double in the last three years, and increase so dramatically that the state now produces more than 37% of US oil, is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable energy success stories in US history. At the current pace of consistent annual increases of 25%, daily Texas oil production is on track to surpass the 4 million barrel milestone by as early as July of this year. With those projected increases in Texas oil output, the state could soon surpass Iraq and even Canada to move up in the international oil production rankings to become the world’s No. 5 oil producer this year. --Mark J. Perry, AEIdeas, 2 March 2015

Dems steadfast in ‘witch hunt’ of doomsday-denying climate scientists

RaulGrijalvaDemocrats may be flustered after a week of being accused of engineering an anti-science “witch hunt,” but they aren’t backing down from their investigations into the financial backing of climate-change researchers who challenge the movement’s doomsday scenarios.

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, told National Journal earlier this week that he may have been guilty of “overreach” even as he defended his probe into the funding sources of seven professors, now known as the “Grijalva seven.”

“I think that us asking for empirical, fact-based science is not trying to stop research,” Mr. Grijalva told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz on Monday night’s show. “Research can be done. If the Koch brothers or Exxon want to fund their research, fine. Just disclose that that’s who’s funding it so the American people can make their own decisions.”

And That’s the Way It Was: In 1972, Cronkite Warned of ‘New Ice Age’

cronkiteThe “brutal” winter is on the attack again, bringing sleet and heavy snow to the mid-Atlantic region. Previous storms targeted the deep south including Dallas, Texas, and several hammered New England. By March 4, Boston was just 2 inches away from hitting an all-time record for snow, Boston.com reported.

It’s a reality more in keeping with media warnings from the 1970s than today’s arguments about global warming.

NBC “Nightly News” reported Feb. 23, that Dallas was paralyzed “after an entire season’s worth of sleet and freezing rain, up to two inches, fell in a single day” causing massive traffic problems. Similar scenes happened in other southern states as the cold swept across the U.S. Single digit temperatures hit New York City and Newark N.J. saw temperatures as low as 8 degrees on Feb. 23, NOAA said.

EPA administrator races to finish landmark climate rules

mccarthyGina McCarthy is locked in a race against time to complete landmark climate change regulations before President Obama leaves office.

With just 22 months left in Obama’s presidency, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator and her team are burning the midnight oil to enshrine emissions regulations for power plants in federal law.

McCarthy says she’s “busier than [she’s] ever been” as the caretaker of what Obama hopes will be a legacy-defining achievement on climate change.

“One of the main focuses of the White House right now is to make sure that the administration is coordinated, so that the entire breadth of the climate action plan can be basically realized before the president leaves office,” McCarthy said during an exclusive sit-down interview in her office.

Head of the EPA can't tell Sen. Jeff Sessions if its climate models are correct

sessionsThere was a pretty heated exchange recently between Alabama's Sen. Jeff Sessions and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy during a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing.

During the hearing, Sessions said he hears a large number of complaints from constituents about the Environmental Protection Agency's "overreach." Sessions then questioned McCarthy on data about droughts, hurricanes and the figures used to show climate change.

On droughts, McCarthy said: "I don't know in what context (a scientist) is making statements like that..."

EPA chief: ‘Climate change is not a religion’

mccarthy2President Obama is guided solely by science when it comes to fighting global warming, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy told a Senate panel Wednesday, rejecting claims the administration is doing the bidding of left-wing environmental groups and urging Congress to approve a 6 percent budget increase to help fund the agency's ambitious climate change agenda.

In heated exchanges with Republicans on the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee — who have helped lead the charge against Mr. Obama's climate change policies — Ms. McCarthy defended her agency's request for a $8.6 billion discretionary budget for fiscal year 2016. Some of the funding increase, laid out in the president's broader budget proposal, would be dedicated to the White House's Clean Power Plan, a highly controversial initiative to limit carbon emissions from the nation's power plants.

Memo To Global Warming Alarmists: Science Is Often Wrong

cartoonThe global warming debate often degenerates into one side — the alarmists — claiming the other side — skeptics — is anti-science. Believers wrap themselves in science as if it were an impenetrable and absolute defense.

But science is not perfect. As this headline in Wired says, "Scientists Are Wrong All The Time, and That's Fantastic."

According to author Marcus Woo, "When a researcher gets proved wrong, that means the scientific method is working. Scientists make progress by redoing each other's experiments — replicating them to see if they can get the same result. More often than not, they can't."

In the case of global warming — or climate change — scientists have replicated the results of each other's climate models. Almost all of them predict warming. The trouble for these scientists, though, is reality is not consistent with the modeling.

Claim: Syrian Civil War ‘Caused by Man-Made Global Warming

syriaIt’s already been blamed for a beer shortage, shrinking goats and the death of the Loch Ness Monster; now global warming has a new charge against it: that of causing the civil war in Syria. A new study has drawn a link between a multi-year drought in Syria and the de facto collapse of the Assad regime.

The researchers from Columbia University and the University of California Santa Barbara are quick to insist that they are not saying that climate change caused Syria’s civil war. But they also state that this is the “single clearest case” of climate change playing a significant role in a conflict because “you can really draw a blow-by-blow account with the numbers,” the Telegraph has reported.

At the heart of their case, inevitably, lies a computer model. Syria suffered a drought between 2007 and at least 2010, although the war beginning in 2011 made it difficult to record definitive data beyond that date. By using statistical and computer simulation analysis, the researchers concluded that the dry spells were two to three times more likely thanks to human carbon emissions than under normal circumstances.

The Climate “Witch Hunt” Backfires

McCarthy HearingsSenators Edward Markey, Barbara Boxer, and Sheldon Whitehouse sent letters to 100 business and think tanks – including The Heartland Institute – demanding that they divulge any funding they have provided to scientists skeptical of the left’s crazy opinions about the causes and consequences of climate change. Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva did them one better, sending letters to seven universities demanding information about funding for eight scientists who dare to question their fake “consensus.”

All this is because Greenpeace persuaded its friends at some major media outlets to recycle decade-old accusations that one innocent climate scientist, Dr. Willie Soon, failed to disclose grants his employer, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, solicited, vetted, and profited from to support his work on everything except climate change.

Go figure!

Scandalized climate change researcher defends himself

soonLast week, the name of scientists Wei Hock “Willie” Soon [pictured] became popular after a report revealed that his researches on climate change involved a funding of $1.3M from private interest groups such as Exxon Mobil and Koch Industries. Soon is one of the scientists who said that climate change has nothing to do with human activities and that it is inevitable part of the evolution process.

Soon is criticized for failing to declare any potential conflicts of interest in his papers after receiving money from oil companies.

Soon is a part-time researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

CO2 refrigerant gains in popularity as an ozone-friendly alternative

Commercial refrigeration unitCommercial refrigeration unitThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved additional hydrocarbon refrigerants to be used in everything from cars to industrial refrigeration that are considered safe for the environment and "ozone friendly." Meanwhile, carbon dioxide (CO2) is growing in popularity as an alternative refrigerant that is both natural, abundant, and inexpensive.

This final step of the EPA's ongoing Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) to approve alternative refrigerants that won't harm the ozone and have a low global warming potential includes four new substances. This is part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, spearheaded by the EPA's chief administrator Gina McCarthy.

Even with the addition of these new Earth-friendly refrigerants, the EPA still encourages manufacturers to choose carbon dioxide (CO2) when feasible due to it having an extremely low global warming potential, is non-combustible, and is ozone friendly.

Antarctic Sea Ice Did The Exact Opposite Of What Models Predicted

Climate models can be good tools for predicting future sea ice levels — unless, of course, they are completely wrong. In the case of Antarctica, the climate models were dead wrong, according to a new study by Chinese scientists published in the journal Cryosphere. The study found that most climate models predicted Antarctic sea ice coverage would shrink as the world warmed and greenhouse gas levels increased. The opposite happened. Most climate models analyzed in the study predicted Antarctica would shrink between 1979 and 2005, but instead south pole sea ice levels increased during that time. Going a step further, sea ice levels have only increased since 2006, hitting all-time highs for sea ice coverage in September of last year. --Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 2 March 2015

Antarctic