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

Settled Science Catches Up with Steyn

hiding in the deep blue seaThe journal Science, which is peer reviewed up the wazoo, has an interesting new study purporting to explain the 17-year "pause" in global warming, and, indeed, predicting how long it's likely to continue:

The "pause" in global warming may last another decade before surface temperatures start rising again, according to scientists.

Really? Why would that be? Well, the study suggests that there is a natural variability in the global climate that leads to three-decade warming periods followed by three-decade cooling periods:

The cycle naturally produces periods of roughly 30 years in which heat is stored near the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, leading to warmer temperatures, followed by roughly 30 years in which it is stored in the depths, causing cooler surface temperatures, it suggests...

The Continued Farce

Eastern Orthodox icon depicting the First Council of NicaeaEastern Orthodox icon depicting the First Council of NicaeaJust last week, the temperatures in Middle Georgia, where I write, were over 100 degrees. This week, they are struggling to get to 90. But, as say climate change advocates, that is called weather, not climate. Of course, this is the second year in a row Georgia has experienced a milder than normal summer.

The data shows, rather inconveniently, that there has not been a warming trend in 17 years. Climate change alarmists say that is wrong. Just a few months ago, the alarmists claimed the world is still warming. The Pacific Ocean, they claimed, is acting as a heat sink.

Last week, another group of scientists decided it is not the Pacific Ocean, but the Atlantic Ocean, that is pulling all the heat away from us. They know the world is still warming. They just cannot agree on where all the heat is going. But trust them.

In 1962, Rachel Carson helped kick off the rise of a new religion, environmentalism, and with it, the deaths of many in the Third World with her book "Silent Spring." In the book, Carson deplored the use of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. Public and academic outrage led to world governments banning DDT. Since then, millions of Africans have been wiped out by malaria while western governments pat themselves on the back for banning DDT. Billionaire Americans now console themselves by buying mosquito nets for the Third World instead of pesticide.

Democrats More Afraid of Global Warming Than ISIS

ISIS killing unarmed civiliansDemocrats are more afraid of global warming than the threat posed by the Islamic State terrorists, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

The poll shows that 68 percent of Democrats believe that global climate change is a major threat to the United States, compared to just 25 percent of Republicans.

In contrast, 65 percent of Democrats believe that ISIS is a major threat, three points less than climate change. Seventy-eight percent of Republicans cited ISIS as a major threat -+ a partisan difference of 13 points.

BBC R4: "Everything we know is wrong"

bbc r4BBC Radio 4 produced an amazing programme this week on the problems with scientific research. Everything that has been said by sceptics about climate science was here - they even describe a 'decline effect' - how delightfully ironic. Here is the programme blurb:

Every day the newspapers carry stories of new scientific findings. There are 15 million scientists worldwide all trying to get their research published. But a disturbing fact appears if you look closely: as time goes by, many scientific findings seem to become less true than we thought. It's called the "decline effect" - and some findings even dwindle away to zero.

A highly influential paper by Dr John Ioannidis at Stanford University called "Why most published research findings are false" argues that fewer than half of scientific papers can be believed, and that the hotter a scientific field (with more scientific teams involved), the less likely the research findings are to be true. He even showed that of the 49 most highly cited medical papers, only 34 had been retested and of them 41 per cent had been convincingly shown to be wrong. And yet they were still being cited.

Global-warming science a long con

earthEuripides was one of the great tragedians in the ancient Greek theater. He was perhaps best known for his employment of a plot device known as deus ex machina, which is translated from the Latin as “god from the machine.”

Merriam-Webster defines it as “a person or thing (as in fiction or drama) that appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty.”

That brings me to the article published last week in the journal Science that purports to explain why there has been a sudden and unexpected “global warming pause” since 1999.

Good-Bye, Treaty

ObamaScienceAdvisor‘I am speaking on behalf of the United States of America because my negotiators cannot,” Abigail Borah, a youth delegate to the 2011 Durban climate negotiations, yelled from the conference floor. “I am scared for my future,” she cried, silencing Todd Stern, the Obama administration’s chief climate negotiator. “We need an urgent path to a fair, ambitious, and legally binding treaty.”

Now the Obama administration is signaling that there will be not be a new climate treaty. According to a report in Wednesday’s New York Times, the path to a treaty has come to an end, 14 months before the Paris talks scheduled for next year. Instead, the best deal on offer is a non-binding accord. This is big news.

Environmentalists Try To Connect Ferguson And ‘Climate Crisis’

protestFrequently criticized for being insufficiently diverse, environmentalists are trying to draw parallels between the crisis erupting in Ferguson, Missouri and global warming.

“It was not hard for me to make the connection between the tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri, and the catalyst for my work to stop the climate crisis,” writes Deirdre Smith, strategic partnership coordinator for the environmental group 350.org.

Smith ties the “institutional neglect of vulnerable communities in crisis” into the environmental movement’s war against fossil fuels, which she claims hit minority communities the hardest.

Obama seeks to bypass Congress for U.N. climate change deal: report

obamaThe Obama administration is looking to reach “a sweeping international climate change agreement” that would not be a formal treaty that would require a two-thirds Senate approval — which almost certainly would never happen, The New York Times reported.

Diplomats are trying to reach a deal in time for a 2015 meeting in Paris, and U.S. negotiators are pushing for an approach that would commit every signatory nation to certain goals on reducing carbon dioxide emissions and on sending money to poorer countries to help them handle the effects of global warming.

But while the nations would be “obligated” to meet those goals, according to the Times, the only legally-binding consequence of not doing so would be periodic progress reports and politically embarrassing meetings designed to identify which countries did and did not meet their goals.

If only EPA stood for 'Enough Protection Already'

screencapThanks, Environmental Protection Agency! You’ve required sewage treatment plants, catalytic converters on cars and other things that made the world cleaner than the world in which I grew up. Good work.

Today, America’s waterways are so much cleaner that I swim in New York City’s once-filthy Hudson River -- right beside skyscrapers in which millions of people, uh, flush. The air we breathe is also cleaner than it’s been for 60 years.

In a rational world, environmental bureaucrats would now say, “Mission accomplished. We set tough standards, so we don’t need to keep doing more. Stick a fork in it! We’re done.”

Global Warming ‘Pause’ Could Last For 30 Years

graphIn popular science journalism the latest is always the best. With all the explanations for the “pause” in global surface temperatures since 1997 – there are now over 30 of them – it is always the most recently published one that is the “answer.” This time it’s the Atlantic Ocean that’s to blame. A paper published in Science says that a 30-year periodicity warms and cools the world by sequestering heat below the ocean’s surface and then releasing it. You don’t have to look very deeply at the science to realise that, despite the headlines, no one has come up with an answer to the “pause.” --David Whitehouse, The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 26 August 2014

If it quacks like a duck ... it must be a turtle

newyorkcitywinterwallpa“Why We’re Definitely Not Headed for Another Ice Age.”

When I saw that headline in Newsweek, I thought, do they know something that I don’t? But once I read the article, it left me wondering how in the world they came to that conclusion.

It reminds me of the great retort by paleontologist Robert Bakker to those who did not agree with his belief that many kinds of dinosaurs were birds.

“There are still a few of my colleagues who think if it walks like a duck, breathes like a duck and grows like a duck, it must be a turtle,” said Bakker.

Let’s see if this Newsweek article is a duck or a turtle.

Why EPA Rules Often Cost More Than They Are Worth

gina-on-tvEnvironmental policy may be divisive, yet Americans all want a clean environment. Nor is it contentious to ask that Washington accurately assess the economic costs of far-reaching environmental mandates.

After all, it would be an affront to the American people if powerful agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency acted without full knowledge of how its regulations affect the economy.

Apparently this is too much to ask.

The Government Accountability Office, an independent federal agency, has released an analysis of the EPA's regulatory review process. Turns out the agency doesn't primarily base its decisions on regulations' economic effects.

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