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

The Most Futile March Ever

capitalismStreet marches today are to real politics what street mime is to Shakespeare. This was an ersatz event: no laws will change, no political balance will tip, no UN delegate will have a change of heart. The world will roll on as if this march had never happened. And the marchers would have emitted less carbon and done more good for the world if they had all stayed home and studied books on economics, politics, science, religion and law. Marches like this create an illusion of politics and an illusion of meaningful activity to fill the void of postmodern life; the tribal ritual matters more than the political result. --Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest, 21 September 2014

Climatistas Can’t Keep Their Story Straight, Part 2

Or maybe I should call this series “Scenes from the 97 Percent.” Because settled science!

No sooner do I note that one expert writes in the New York Times yesterday that planting trees might be the wrong thing to do than a sharp-eyed Power Line reader points us to a feature in today’s Washington Post that “Trees Offer a Way to Delay the Consequences of Climate Change.” Didn’t the editorial desks get the memo: “97 Percent! Consensus!”

Here’s the Times had yesterday:

NYT Trees copy

Climate protesters pledge to risk arrest during Wall Street sit-in

SighHundreds of protesters plan to risk arrest on Monday during an unsanctioned blockade in New York City's financial district to call attention to what organizers say is Wall Street's contribution to climate change.

The Flood Wall Street demonstration comes on the heels of Sunday's international day of action that brought some 310,000 people to the streets of New York City in the largest single protest ever held on over climate change.

There were no arrests or incidents in Sunday's massive march, police said.

TheDCNF’s Definitive List Of Things Liberals Blame On Global Warming

gore 2You’ve heard it from scientists, environmentalists and even Secretary of State John Kerry: global warming is the greatest existential threat faced by humanity.

It’s no wonder that all bad weather, every conflict, disease outbreaks, you-name-it is blamed on increasing levels of carbon dioxide and temperatures.

But wait! There’s been a nearly 18-year pause in global warming, yet the existential threat continues. In honor of the left’s persistence in sounding the climate alarm, The Daily Caller News Foundation presents the top things liberals blame on global warming.

Prepare for a Deluge of Climate Change Hype

global ccDespite the several thousands who will participate in a Climate March and the world leaders who will do so in a UN Climate Summit this week, is there anyone who seriously believes that humans have any impact or control over the climate? Or even the weather? The answer, unfortunately, is yes.

In utter contempt for the intelligence of people here in the United States and around the world, a Climate Change Summit will be held on Tuesday, September 23rd, by the United Nations, the source of decades of lies about “global warming” and—since the Earth has not warmed in the past 19 years—the new name “climate change.”

Short Break - Open Topics & Discussion

MotorcycleGonna be on a short break from Thursday till next Monday (Sept. 22). Please feel free to post topics of interest, comments, or links to articles that are relevant.

Why a picture of a motorcycle? Gonna be taking an autumn ride throughout New England for the weekend. Much needed bit of relaxation coming my way (fingers crossed).

About Those 160 Eco Laureates

major eco awards1Yesterday, 160 people attached their names to a full page ad published in the international edition of the New York Times. The ad, which was organized by the European Environment Foundation and expresses concern about global warming, declares that these people are:

  • “winners of the world’s environmental prizes“

In an accompanying press release, the signatories are further described as

  • the “World’s top environmentalists” (in the headline)
  • “160 leading environmentalists” (in the first sentence)
  • “Environmental Laureates” (in the second sentence)
  • and as “all winners of major environmental awards” (also in the second sentence, bold added)

But these claims are bogus. While many of the signatories (see them here and here) have, indeed, received what reasonable people would consider a “major environmental award,” a significant number did not.

Duke research: fracking not to blame for groundwater contamination

frackingA favorite gimmick of the anti-fracking movement is to post a video of someone setting fire to the water coming out of a faucet. The sweeping conclusion is that hydraulic fracturing releases natural gas and/or methane into water aquifers, which ends up in water wells.

But new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences debunks the thesis of that claim.  Researchers at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment found that the process of forcing water and chemicals into gas-laden shale deposits thousands of feet below the surface does not cause groundwater contamination.

“(The) gas data appear to rule out gas contamination by upward migration from depth through overlying geological strata triggered by horizontal drilling or hydraulic fracturing,” the researchers conclude in their abstract.

Actor Ruffalo Wants Obama to Ban Fracking

hulkFracking bad. Grunt.Call me crazy, but shouldn't actors stick to acting and let people who know what they're doing actually call the shots? Using the part of his brain usually reserved for the Hulk, Ruffalo pleaded for Obama to stop fracking even though, contrary to his misled beliefs, new research shows fracking poses absolutely no danger to drinking water. From the Bilking it Dry Dept:

Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo called on US president Barack Obama to ban fracking and make the US the renewable energy capital of the world on Tuesday.

Ruffalo made the plea in a press call hosted by Food & Water Watch, which released a report on Tuesday tying the controversial practice of fracking to climate change. The report comes days ahead of next week’s UN climate summit in New York.

Get ready for Keystone II

pipelineIf you just can’t get enough of the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline, take note of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline proposal — which has the potential to become the Keystone of the East.

The $5 billion pipeline is a joint venture by Duke Energy, Dominion, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources (which owns Virginia Natural Gas). It would run from West Virginia to North Carolina. Unlike Keystone, which would ship oil from the Canadian tar sands, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would ship natural gas extracted from the Marcellus shale formation.

EPA Allows Groups More Time To Comment On Its 730-Page CO2 Plan

GinaMcCarthyBowing to pressure from a wide range of interest groups, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday it would be extending the time groups have to comment on its controversial “Clean Power Plan” (CPP) by 45 days.

The rule itself is 130 pages long and contains more than 600 pages of additional documents, making it a mountain for states and other stakeholders to claw through in just 120 days.

“Because of the strong amount of interest we’ve seen from stakeholders, we’re extending the public comment period for the rule by 45 days,” Janet McCabe, the acting head of the EPA’s air and radiation office, told reporters on a conference call. “We’re still working towards a June deadline to finish up the rule.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson and the Science of Smug Condescension

TysonI have to admit that I missed out on the ascendancy of Neil deGrasse Tyson. In my era, the nation’s beloved “scientific communicator” was Carl Sagan.

And he had many of the same flaws. As I’ve written about elsewhere, Sagan spoke eloquently about need to follow the evidence wherever it goes, without regard for your own preconceptions or ideological preferences. Then he bowed to his own preconceptions, declaring that industrial civilization must be destroying the earth, it’s just that we don’t know whether it’s going to bake the globe or freeze it. (This was back when the doomsayers were making their transition from global cooling to global warming.)

So we had an advocate of the method of science who adopted the worst intellectual model of all, the method of modern journalism: decide on the story first, then gather the facts.