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

Refracking Ready To Rejuvenate Shale Revolution

shaleWells sunk as little as three years ago are being fracked again, the latest innovation in the technology-driven shale oil revolution. Thanks to the dual-deployment of horizontal well drilling and hydraulic fracturing, oil and gas firms have unlocked massive new reserves across the United States, completely transforming America’s energy fortunes in just a matter of years. It’s a common but very serious mistake to predict the future based on what holds true today. In this case, those who have predicted the demise of the shale revolution may soon be forced to eat their words. The pace of technological change is accelerating, redefining possibilities along the way. --Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest, 20 August 2014

Al Gore vs. Al-Jazeera

goreHow do you say “buyer’s remorse” in Arabic? The Qatari royal family likely feels the pangs of regret for paying the princely sum of $500 million to Al Gore and friends to give Al-Jazeera America a slot on satellite-TV and cable channels. Ratings for the news channel, now a year old, remain deep in the Dumpster. That’s hardly surprising. Nobody watched the channel when it was Mr. Gore’s Current TV, either.

Mr. Gore is laughing all the way to the bank — and crying all the way to Chancery Court in Wilmington, Del. He and Joel Hyatt, another former Current TV owner, sued Al-Jazeera on Friday, claiming the network stiffed them for $65 million of the purchase price. The lawsuit filed by David Boies, the lawyer who represented Mr. Gore in the long recount battle in 2000, accuses Al Jazeera American Holdings Inc. of fraud and breach of contract.

Emotional Storms Are No Response for Disasters

hurricaneNew Orleans is growing, but is New Orleans back?

Not entirely.

That’s the exchange we’ll all be hearing in the coming weeks as the city marks the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Interesting new businesses have sprung up. Many schools are better than they used to be. New Orleans has more bicycle paths. But the city can’t claim the population it had in July 2005. And poverty rates have increased from their level in the first hopeful years after the storm.

This outcome disappoints, and it also challenges received wisdom. Americans nurse their own very private and personal storm of emoto-thoughts when it comes to natural disasters. We want to do something, so we look for theories that support action. One such theory is that restoring old structures or hurricane and flood spending can so stimulate economic activity at a disaster site that the place will emerge better than it would have been prior to the misfortune. Our officials routinely buttress this thesis.

Climate Dodge Ball

cristDemocrat Charlie Crist wants to be governor of Florida. He says global warming/climate change is one of the most important issues facing the state and the nation. He promises drastic action to cut greenhouse gas emissions if he is elected in November. He’s wrong about this. The actions he wishes to take would be disastrous for the Florida economy and would do nothing to improve Florida’s environment.

Republican Rick Scott, who is Florida’s governor and would like to be re-elected to this post in November, just wishes the issue would go away. He inartfully ducks questions on the issue, often using the pathetic dodge that he “is not a scientist,” and therefore can’t be expected to have a view on whether the Earth is warming and that terrible things will follow if we don’t ensure that the planet stays at a more seemly temperature.

Declining Relative Humidity Is Defying Global Warming Models

moistureRelative humidity has substantially declined in recent decades, defying global warming computer models predicting higher amounts of atmospheric water vapor that will exacerbate global warming. The decline in relative humidity indicates global warming will be much more moderate than claimed by global warming activists.

Carbon dioxide’s impact on global temperatures is not in dispute. As a matter of physics, doubling atmospheric water vapor from pre-Industrial Age levels will directly cause approximately 1 degree Celsius of warming. From the dawn of the Industrial Revolution until today, atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen by merely 40 percent. Accordingly, carbon dioxide has directly caused approximately 0.4 degrees Celsius of warming. If global carbon dioxide emissions continue at their current pace, we can expect carbon dioxide emissions will directly cause perhaps another 0.6 degrees Celsius this century.

Wikipedia Page on Propaganda Techniques Uses 97% Meme

buy bondsOh, this is too rich.

I’ve blogged before on how global warming alarmists use all of the standard propaganda techniques to convince the not very super-sophisticated masses, using Al Gore’s own words.

Well, it turns out the “97% of all scientists agree” meme is being used as an example on the Wikipedia Propaganda Techniques page:

Bandwagon

Bandwagon and “inevitable-victory” appeals attempt to persuade the target audience to join in and take the course of action that “everyone else is taking.”

Inevitable victory: invites those not already on the bandwagon to join those already on the road to certain victory. Those already or at least partially on the bandwagon are reassured that staying aboard is their best course of action. (e.g., “The debate is over. 97% of scientist agree”)”

New Study: Increase In Reported UK Flooding Due To Population Growth, Not Global Warming

precipitationA rise in the number of reported floods in the UK over the past 129 years can mainly be explained by increased exposure, resulting from urban expansion and population growth, according to new research by the University of Southampton. In one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, scientists have discovered that although the number of reported floods has gone up during the 20th and 21st Century, this trend disappears when the figures are adjusted to reflect population growth and increased building numbers over the same period. --Phys.org, 19 August 2014

The increase in flooding in Britain is due to urban expansion and population growth rather than climate change, a study suggests. Derek Clarke, a lecturer in civil engineering at the University of Southampton and co-author of the study, ruled out a link between last winter’s devastating floods and climate change. However, the Met Office does not agree, and Dame Julia Slingo, its chief scientist, said “all the evidence suggests there is a link” with global warming. --Hannah Devlin, The Times, 19 August 2014

No Trend in Year-to-Date U.S. Climate Extremes Index Since Records Start

Over at Slate.com, Eric Holthaus kindly points us in the direction of the year-to-date U.S. climate extremes index (YTD-CEI).  Then he states the following:

The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (which is maintained by NOAA) says January-July 2014 was the seventh most extreme on record. That index factors in things like drought, extreme temperatures, and flooding. If you look at the chart, you can see the frequency and severity of extreme weather events have been steadily increasing for decades.

Here is the chart Holthaus is referring to:

192967

Can oil and sanctimony mix?

goreWhen Al-Jazeera bought Current TV for $500 million in January 2013, former Vice President Al Gore, who co-founded Current, praised the deal. Both Al-Jazeera, a network owned by Qatar's oil-rich royal family, and his far-left Current TV, Gore said, were founded “to give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling.”

Last week, Gore and Current TV shareholders sued Al-Jazeera for fraud because, Gore attorney David Boies told reporters, “Al-Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago.”

The dispute raises the question: Can oil and sanctimony mix?

Trampling on Coal Country families

coal 2Between 1989 and 2010, Congress rejected nearly 700 cap-tax-and-trade and similar bills that their proponents claimed would control Earth’s perpetually fickle climate and weather. So even as real world crises erupt, President Obama is using executive fiats and regulations to impose his anti-hydrocarbon agenda, slash America’s fossil fuel use, bankrupt coal and utility companies, make electricity prices skyrocket, and “fundamentally transform” our economic, social, legal and constitutional system.

Citing climate concerns, he has refused to permit construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and blocked or delayed Alaskan, western state and offshore oil and gas leasing and drilling. He’s proud that US oil production has climbed 58% and natural gas output has risen 21% since 2008. But he doesn’t mention that this is due to hydraulic fracturing on state and private lands; production has actually fallen in areas controlled by the federal government, and radical environmentalists oppose fracking all over the USA.

Hundred-Year Period Of Increased Solar Activity Coming To An End

At the moment, the space climate is undergoing an extremely interesting phase. Now a 100-year period of heightened solar activity is coming to an end. The reason behind the fluctuation in solar activity is not yet known. One hypothesis is that these long solar cycles are caused by the gravity forces of the planets in the solar system. However, the current knowledge does not support this hypothesis. --Juha Merimaa, Helsinki Times, 18 August 2014

Ahluwalia_fig1

An Unsettling Climate

oceansClimate-change science is “settled,” say proponents of anthropogenic (human-induced) global warming, or AGW: the earth is getting warmer, and human activities are the reason. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up by the United Nations in 1988, has issued five assessment reports since its founding. In its most recent, in 2013, the IPCC stated that it was now “95 to 100 percent certain” that human activities—especially fossil-fuel emissions—are the primary drivers of planetary warming. Frequent news reports—such as the story of the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, a process that some scientists say is irreversible—seemingly confirm these conclusions.

And yet, highly credentialed scientists, including Nobel Prize–winning physicist Ivar Giaever, reject what is often called the “climate consensus.” Giaever resigned from the American Physical Society in protest of the group’s statement that evidence of global warming was “incontrovertible” and that governments needed to move immediately to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. Sixteen distinguished scientists signed a 2012 Wall Street Journal article, in which they argued that taking drastic action to “decarbonize” the world’s economy—an effort that would have major effects on economic growth and quality of life, especially in the developing world—was not justified by observable scientific evidence. And, like Giaever, they objected to the notion of a climate consensus—and to the unscientific shutting down of inquiry and the marginalization of dissenters as “heretics.” Most recently, renowned climate scientist Lennart Bengtsson stepped down from his post at a climate-skeptic think tank after he received hundreds of angry e-mails from scientists. He called the pressure “virtually unbearable.”

Liberal Billionaire: 99.5% of Americans Are Not ‘Super Sophisticated’

steyerBillionaire hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer attempted to explain why there is still a sizable portion of Americans that do not buy in to global warming alarmism by, basically, generalizing virtually all of America as not “super sophisticated.”

Speaking at a climate conference hosted by the American Renewable Energy Institute, Steyer said:

“I think if you were to go around to most of the — what I would think of as super-sophisticated people who think about politics and policy more than five minutes a month — we are doing really well.”

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