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

Billionaire Steyer spends $15M pushing low priority climate change message in FL

steyerIn an effort to oust Gov. Rick Scott, billionaire activist Tom Steyer has underwritten a nearly $15 million campaign focusing on climate change, an issue one poll says few Florida voters care about.

Steyer’s advocacy group, NextGen Climate Action, set up shop in Miami this year, targeting Scott as oblivious to global warming disasters, a partner of eco-threatening big business and alleging that “2.4 million people… are vulnerable to sea level rise,” as NextGen’s website says.

It’s no accident Steyer chose Florida as Scott is ripe for the taking. Scott’s poll numbers have been mostly underwater since the first-time public officeholder and career businessman barely squeaked by his Democratic opponent in 2010, amid a tea party-driven wave election.

Climate Predictions and Wishful Thinking

cartoon-consensusApparently, long-range climate predictions are more about politics and wishful thinking than science. And regardless of how the mid-term elections turn out, climate-change confusion by the general public and the potential benefits it can reap will loom large on the horizon of ruling-class opportunists.

Right now, a big concern in the atmospheric science community is the fact of a global warming “hiatus.” For more than 15 years, average global temperatures have remained rather steady, despite confident climate predictions to the contrary.  Sophisticated climate models developed and run by the most expert researchers in the field spewed forth reams of details on a future warmer world. Yet, in reality, what transpired was a statistical flat-line, nada, a no-show on a terrestrial heatwave.

‘I am sceptical humans are causing global warming’: Buzz Aldrin says more research - and less politics - is needed

aldrinThe second man on the moon has revealed his thoughts on climate change, one-way missions to Mars and the current state of space exploration.

He says he is ‘sceptical about the claims that human produced carbon dioxide is the direct contributor to global warming.’

And following up on comments made the other day, he also says the first Martian explorers should be sent there for the rest of their days - so that they might be the first colonists in a permanent settlement.

In recent years Dr Aldrin, who holds a doctorate of science in Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, has been outspoken on a wide range of issues.

Wind turbines blowing Ontario taxpayers' money: Report

wind-turbines-offshore(h/t amirlach) Wind turbines are sucking money out of Ontarians' wallets, a new report says.

What Goes Up, a Fraser Institute report by Ross McKitrick and Tom Adams to be released Thursday, makes a number of controversial recommendations to ease the upward pressure on electricity bills.

The Ontario government should announce an immediate moratorium on new wind and solar power facilities, and revisit existing contracts that commit Ontarians to paying well above market rates for renewable electricity, the authors conclude.

Rhode Island flooding not West Virginia’s fault

WhitehouseIt must have taken the patience of Job for West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin to participate in Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s climate change tour of the Ocean State on October 10. Whitehouse promised Manchin that he would go to West Virginia to learn about the coal industry if Manchin would come to Rhode Island to view the supposed effects of global warming on sea-level.

It is important to put the concerns of the two senators in perspective.

On the one hand, Manchin is fighting for the survival of West Virginia’s coal sector, his state’s most important industry, the source of 95% of its electricity, and the foundation for thousands of jobs in dozens of communities. The state’s use of abundant, domestically mined coal gives West Virginia the 7th lowest electricity costs in America – at about one-half the price in California, New York, Rhode Island and several other states.

But West Virginia’s coal sector is under siege from increasingly damaging Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules. Those rules have meant total coal production in West Virginia declined 9% between 2012 and 2013, a period during which 17% of the Mountain State’s coal mines closed, and coal employment decreased 6.4% for a loss of 3,457 jobs already. Even before the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan regulations, which Whitehouse promotes, come into force, the EPA and Obama Administration’s “war on coal” has already cost West Virginia billions of dollars.

US Midterm Elections: Will Shale Revolution Sink Obama’s Green Party?

cartoonThe Obama administration and congressional Democrats have struggled to identify themselves with the success of the shale revolution, given the party’s reputation as anti-fossil fuels. If the Democratic Party loses its control of the U.S. Senate following the mid-term elections, a small but significant part of the reason will be because it has found itself on the wrong side of the energy revolution. --John Kemp, Reuters, 27 October 2014

Environmental groups are on track to spend more than $85 million on key races this year, more than ever before, according to an internal memo. The record spending comes as green groups are worried about the fate of the Senate and the future of President Obama’s climate agenda. “The era of climate science denial will soon come to a close, and voters will demand leadership from their elected officials on this pressing threat,” the document states. Whatever the outcome [of the elections] on November 4th, all of the momentum is on the side of climate groups and candidates who want to act. --Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, 27 October 2014

Gallup Shows Democrats' Pet Issues Irrelevant To Voters

protesters-climate-stopA recent Gallup poll which asked Americans to name "the most important problem" facing our country shows that pet Democrat issues, such as gun control, rank near the very bottom of the list.

Moreover, issues like global warming and the "war on women" didn't even make the list.

According to Gallup, the "economy in general" was the greatest concern at 17 percent, followed closely by "dissatisfaction with government" (16 percent) and "unemployment/jobs" (10 percent). These are problems for the Democrats because these things predominate under our current Democratic President.

GOP majority would target EPA water rule

drainageA Republican-led Congress in 2015 would target for elimination a proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulation that would expand the federal government’s authority over the nation’s streams and wetlands.

Republicans, six seats away from winning the Senate, have been eager to introduce legislation that would stop the EPA from implementing new “Waters of the United States” guidelines that would further define which bodies of water the government can regulate.

But their efforts have been blocked by the Democratic majority.

Billionaires’ Club using Greens to Undermine U.S. Energy Security

FrackSBShouldn’t be we fighting a war on terrorism not on fossil fuels?

“You are responsible for President Obama’s re-election,” I told 150 folks from the oil and gas industry —most of whom were conservative Republicans. I spoke to them on October 15 in San Angelo, Texas. A reporter covering the event wrote that I “stunned the crowd by telling them they were largely responsible for getting the President re-elected, and asking them if they knew how they had helped.” He continued: “The room was very quiet for several moments as Noon waited to see if anyone would volunteer an answer.”

NOAA's Climate Teachers' Guide: 'Alarming Students' Causes Them to 'Succumb to Denial'

classroomIf educators scare students too much about the threat of climate change, they may "succumb to denial," a teachers' guide by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warns. In its guide, "Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness," NOAA presents seven "essential principles":

  1. Sun is primary energy
  2. Climate is complex
  3. Life affects climate; climate affects life
  4. Climate is variable
  5. Our understanding of climate
  6. Humans affect climate
  7. Climate change has consequences

Principle 7 - "Climate Change Will Have Consequences for the Earth System and Human Lives" - warns educators that scaring students can cause them to succumb to denial:

Scrap Unilateral Emissions Targets, UK Climate Rebels Demand

WiddecombeWiddecombeLaws forcing Britain to cut carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 must be revoked to protect householders and businesses from rising energy costs, say the five MPs who defied an overwhelming majority to oppose the legislation. Only five Conservative MPs voted against the Climate Change Bill in 2008 even though it required Britain to meet the world’s toughest emissions targets. Since then, only Finland and Mexico have adopted similar targets. The Times, 29 October 2014

Climate Is Changing, And Some Parks Are Endangered, But Humans Aren't The Cause

parkFor those of us who love our national parks and are confronted daily with media, politicians, and pundits warning us of a coming global-warming disaster, it’s only natural to ask what that warming will mean for our national parks. This is exactly what the well-known Union of Concerned Scientists discuss in their recent report, National Landmarks at Risk: How Rising Seas, Floods, and Wildfires Are Threatening the United States’ Most Cherished Historic Sites.