In advance of the "climate summit" this past month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon awarded the UN Messenger of Peace to Leonardo DiCaprio, who he has hailed as the world body's “new voice for climate advocacy.”
You see, even in America, a High School dropout like DiCaprio, who's scientific knowledge of climate science is what you'd expect from someone who never attended college (he got his GED in 1992), can have the U.N. slather attention on him for being a "global" movie star addressing a "global" problem.
Every age has its peculiar folly; some scheme, project, or phantasy into which it plunges, spurred on either by the love of gain, the necessity of excitement, or the mere force of imitation. Failing in these, it has some madness, to which it is goaded by political or religious causes, or both combined. --Charles MacKay, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, London 1852.
President Obama arrives [in Copenhagen] on Friday morning bent on applying a combination of muscle and personal charm to secure a climate change agreement involving nearly 200 countries. The world is looking to Mr. Obama to wrest some credible success from this process. The administration provided the talks with a palpable boost on Thursday when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton declared that the United States would contribute its share of $100 billion a year in long-term financing to help poor nations adapt to climate change. --The New York Times, 17 December 2009
Don’t believe me. I am not a scientist, as my correspondents have been quick to and forceful about pointing out.
But just as you don’t have to have played in the NFL to present an authoritative opinion about who has emerged as the best quarterback to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or have served in the White House to analyze responsibly what’s going on there, neither is an advanced degree in climate science necessary to ascertain that the verdict about humankind’s effect on global temperatures is far from settled.
If the headline above sounds confusing, then the article probably won't help either. From the San Jose Mercury News (emphasis added):
The stubborn high-pressure systems that block California rains are linked to the abundance of human-caused greenhouse gases that heat the oceans, according to a major paper released Monday by Stanford scientists.
But two other new studies disagree -- saying there's no evidence that warming ocean waters are to blame for our drought.
European Union nations want to impose tougher economic sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine and providing the missiles that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. However, they are worried about biting the hand that feeds them – with the natural gas that fuels much of its economy.
Russia is the world’s second-biggest natural gas producer and third-biggest oil producer, so it can inflict tremendous pressure and damage on its neighbors without firing a shot. The 28 EU nations as a whole depend on Russia for one-third of their oil and gas. However, Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania get 100% of their natural gas from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Six other European countries get more than half of their gas from the powerful Russian Bear: Czech Republic (57%), Poland (59%), Ukraine (60%), Hungary (80%), Slovakia (84%) and Bulgaria (89%).
It isn’t quite true to say that the science is settled–climate science is in its infancy, and we have only a poor understanding of the Earth’s climate. Just about every proposition is controversial. But we are very close to being able to say that, as to global warming alarmism, the debate is over and the alarmists have lost. (I mean, of course, the scientific debate, not the political one, which never had much to do with science in the first place.)
One fundamental question in the global warming debate is, what is the Earth’s equilibrium climate sensitivity? That is, how much will the Earth’s average surface temperature rise, ceteris paribus, on account of a doubling of the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? Global warming hysteria is predicated on the belief that average temperature will rise by up to 6 degrees C as a result of doubling atmospheric CO2. All of the scare headlines you see about polar bears, droughts, flooded cities, etc., rely on that assumption.
Thanks mainly to the shale revolution, oil production in the U.S. hit a 28-year high last month.Thanks mainly to the shale revolution, oil production in the U.S. hit a 28-year high last month while imports were at their lowest levels since 1995. Consequently, prices have fallen 15% since June, and Saudi Arabia has cut production by 400,000 barrels a day — providing further evidence that OPEC no longer has the power to set prices.
Against these developments, the current ban on exporting American oil is nonsensical.
Even the liberal Brookings Institution in a recent study concludes that it’s time to remove the ban, arguing that the more we export the greater the expected decline in gasoline prices, perhaps as much as 12 cents per gallon. “As counter-intuitive as it may seem, lifting the ban actually lowers gasoline prices by increasing the total amount of crude supply.”
(h/t to amirlach) Barack Obama attended last week's United Nations climate change conference. It would be odd if he didn't - it was hosted in New York this year.
But many world leaders didn't bother. China, India, Germany, Russia - some of the world's largest economies, and largest emitters of carbon dioxide - just couldn't be bothered.
Instead, celebrity spokesmodels took their place, actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo. They're probably more interesting to the media anyways.
Michael E Mann, the world's most un-exonerated man, and yours truly both happen to be in the British Isles this week. I, alas, am here for rather sad personal reasons, so I was unable to attend Dr Mann's lecture at Bristol University on Monday. Many eminent deniers did, however, show up, although you wouldn't have got that impression from the puffball lobbers the moderator chose for the q-&-a.
After his hashtag debacle of last week, Mann was doubtless grateful to be back in the insulated climate cocoon in which the only questions that slip through the net are from sappy rubes who support climate alarmism so they can feel like they're "saving the planet" without actually having to lift a finger. Nonetheless, I thought this vignette from Bishop Hill was rather poignant:
Owen PatersonMeasures to combat climate change may be causing more damage than current global warming, a former environment secretary has said. Owen Paterson, who was sacked in David Cameron’s reshuffle in July, attacked what he described as a “wicked green blob” of environmentalists for failing to explain the pause in global warming. --Matt Dathan, The Times, 28 September 2014
There has not been a temperature increase now for probably 18 years, some people say 26 years. So the pause is old enough to vote, the pause is old enough to join the army, the pause is old enough to pay its taxes. We were never told the pause was coming along, there are – as I understand it – about 30 different explanations for it and nobody explains why the pause is suddenly going to disappear and we’re going to get back on the track upwards. So I’m concerned that the measures being taken to counter projected dangers may actually be causing more damage now than those dangers. –Owen Paterson, The Times, 28 September 2014
High School dropout Leonardo Di CaprioOne of the great myths about our post-religious culture claims that once people stop believing in something, they will believe in anything.
After all, people who are no longer members of a Church aren't in danger of running off with the first cult they see proselytising on Grafton Street. But that doesn't mean they have shaken off the primal urge to belong to the one true faith.
The one true faith that brooks no opposition, stifles dissent and demands civil action against heretics is undoubtedly the climate change movement. So it would have been naive to the point of insanity to expect Enda Kenny to bring a much needed dose of reality to this week's Climate Change jamboree in New York.
A typically expensive extravaganza of hypocrisy and self-aggrandisement, featuring the fatuous and self-righteous nonsense we have come to expect from any UN shindig, the Taoiseach was just one of numerous world leaders and, even more impressively, actors to take to the stage and make promises he knows he can't deliver.
Sen Roger WickerOn September 19, 2008, TransCanada applied for a U.S. presidential permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline. The 1,179-mile-long project would ship more than 800,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to Gulf Coast refineries. Moreover, Canada’s oil output is projected to hit 6.4 million barrels per day by 2030 – almost double today’s levels.
What should have been a routine approval process with America’s ally and largest trading partner has instead been ensnarled for six years in political tactics by the Obama Administration. Radical environmental groups have put pressure on the President to reject the project entirely. In response, he has repeatedly delayed a final decision, sidestepping any backlash from voters in an election year.