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

How the EPA's empire-building got in the way of its science

hold your breathThe Environmental Protection Agency is completely bipartisan in only one respect: its uncontrollable rogue insistence on empire-building.

Democratic and Republican EPA administrators have been infected with that endemic disease of bureaucrats -- the irresistible urge to expand a department's size, budget and authority by asserting control over more and more key missions and initiatives.

It's an old problem of democracies: Pericles, charismatic general and leader of ancient Athens, outraged his Greek allies by sending officials to appropriate their joint military treasury so he could use their money to beautify his city with the Parthenon and other civic glories.

Greenpeace Campaigns Against LEGO For Partnering With Oil Company

Lego Color Bricks-wikimediaGreenpeace is attacking the beloved children’s toy company LEGO for partnering with the oil company Royal Dutch Shell to put their logo on the company’s plastic building blocks.

Greenpeace is targeting LEGO’s partnership with Shell as part of the group’s anti-Arctic drilling campaign. The multi-national environmental group says that Shell’s Arctic drilling operations are endangering the planet and that LEGO should end its partnership with the company. (RELATED: Greenpeace Loses Credibility In The Wake Of Huge Scandals)

“Climate change is an incredible threat facing all children around the world, but Shell is trying to hijack the magic of Lego to hide its role,” Ian Duff, Greenpeace’s Arctic campaign team leader, told the UK’s Guardian.

Problems with Risky Climate Projections

risky_business_project_coveBy now, most readers have heard of the Risky Business Project which describes itself as follows:

"Launched in October, 2013, the Risky Business Project focuses on quantifying and publicizing the economic risks from the impacts of a changing climate.

Risky Business Project co-chairs Michael R. Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer tasked the Rhodium Group, an economic research firm that specializes in analyzing disruptive global trends, with an independent assessment of the economic risks posed by a changing climate in the U.S. Rhodium convened a research team co-led by climate scientist Dr. Robert Kopp of Rutgers University and economist Dr. Solomon Hsiang of the University of California, Berkeley. Rhodium also partnered with Risk Management Solutions (RMS), the world's largest catastrophe-modeling company for insurance, reinsurance, and investment-management companies around the world. The team’s complete assessment, along with technical appendices, is available at Rhodium’s website, climateprospectus.rhg.com.

The Risky Business Project is a joint partnership of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Paulson Institute, and TomKat Charitable Trust. Additional support for this research was provided by the Skoll Global Threats Fund and the Rockefeller Family Fund. Staff support for the Risky Business Project is provided by Next Generation, an independent 501c3 organization."

For Too Many, It's a Very Unhappy Fourth of July

LibertyAs Americans pause to celebrate the 238th signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, this Fourth of July may well be one of the saddest in decades. The six and a half years of the Obama regime has failed to unleash the nation’s capacity to recover from the 2008 financial crisis and has left the nation saddled in debt and dependency.

This is not what freedom is about, nor did the Founding Fathers conceive of a President who ruled with “a pen and a phone.”

As The Wall Street Journal reported on January 13, “The year began with the news that “World economic freedom has reached record levels according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom released Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But after seven straight years of decline, the U.S. has dropped out of the top ten most economically free countries.” What this means is that “those losing freedom risk economic stagnation, high unemployment, and deteriorating social conditions.”

Breaking EPA’s climate science secrecy barriers

cartoon-epa-regulationsCan you imagine telling the IRS you don’t need to complete all their forms or provide records to back up your claim for a tax refund? Or saying your company’s assurances that its medical products are safe and effective should satisfy the FDA? Especially if some of your data don’t actually support your claims – or you “can’t find” key data, research and other records, because your hard drive conveniently crashed? But, you tell them, people you paid to review your information said it’s accurate, so there’s no problem.

Do you suppose the government would accept your assurance that there’s “not a smidgen” of corruption, error or doubt – perhaps because 97% of your close colleagues agree with you? Or that your actions affect only a small amount of tax money, or a small number of customers – so the agencies shouldn’t worry?

The Education Establishment’s Success

obama-gas-prices-new-wellsMany view America’s education as a failure, but in at least one important way, it’s been a success -- a success in dumbing down the nation so that we fall easy prey to charlatans, hustlers and quacks. You say, “Williams, that’s insulting! Explain yourself.” OK, let’s start with a question or two.

Are you for or against global warming, later renamed climate change and more recently renamed climate disruption? Environmentalists have renamed it because they don’t want to look silly in the face of cooling temperatures. About 650 million years ago, the Earth was frozen from pole to pole, a period scientists call Snowball Earth. The Earth is no longer frozen from pole to pole. There must have been global warming, and it cannot be blamed on humans. Throughout the Earth’s history, we’ve had both ice ages and higher temperatures when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today. There’s one immutable fact about climate. It changes, and mankind can’t do anything about it. Only idiocy would conclude that mankind’s capacity to change the climate is more powerful than the forces of nature.

India & Developing Nations Defeat Obama's Green Agenda

cartoonFresh from India’s “success” at the Nairobi environment conference, environment minister Prakash Javadekar said the country has decided to “reposition” its role in the global stage on climate change issues by intensely “lobbying” for a “good strategic relationship” with like-minded nations on the matter. He said India lobbied with Arab countries, G-77 plus China and BRICS to defeat the US position that Rio principles should not be made part of its final outcome document. “In negotiations, we were active this time. America was saying don’t refer to Kyoto Protocol, CBDR, Rio principles. We resisted that…we lobbied…all Arab countries, BRICS, G-77 plus China…all came together to oppose America’s position and ultimately Rio principles were part of the final outcome document,” he said. --Times of India, 30 June 2014

Emperor Penguins in Peril from --- Computer Models

JenouvrierJenouvrierIn another brazen attempt to add emperor penguins to the Endangered Species list, a new study published in Nature Climate Change shows dramatic declines in penguin populations by 2100 from too much or too little sea ice. The results are based on computer model projections, which in turn are based on secondary computer models.

Already on the "under consideration" list for inclusion in the US Endangered Species Act, the study concludes that emperor penguins may decline by up to eighty percent due to sea ice concentration (SIC). The study's lead author, Stephanie Jenouvrier, used computer model projections to reach these conclusions.

Satellite data has shown that sea ice around Antarctic has increased in size by twenty percent since imaging of the continent began in 1979. According to this study, though, too much ice requires the penguins to travel further to gather food for their chicks. Too little ice means less krill for the penguins to eat.

In either case, computer models imperil the penguin colonies if either situation occurs. Just as polar bears were added to the Endangered Species list based on computer model projections, this study is taking a page from that successful play-book to add emperor penguins to the list as well.

More Temperature Adjustments - Now In Alabama

From Paul Homewood's blog:

As I pointed out in an earlier post, USHCN have been adjusting current temperatures in Kansas up by about 0.5C, in addition to reducing temperatures in the 1930’s by a similar amount, making a net adjustment of about 1C.

According to NOAA,”the cumulative effect of all adjustments is approximately a one-half degree Fahrenheit warming in the annual time series over a 50-year period from the 1940′s until the last decade of the century”.

charthttp://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/ushcn.html

So, clearly the adjustments found in Kansas are much higher than declared by NOAA.

Krugman Ignores IPCC on Climate Economics

krugmanKrugmanOne of the recurring themes in my posts here at IER is that apologists for government intervention in the name of fighting climate change routinely ignore what the “consensus” says. Then these same people have the audacity to wag their fingers at the “deniers” out there who disagree with them.

Today’s example is a recent essay by Paul Krugman. As we’ll see, he confidently tells his readers “what we know” about the economics of climate change, even though he’s just making it up. The latest IPCC report repudiates Krugman’s statement.

What Do You Mean “We,” Krugman?

Krugman opens his column in his characteristically confident style:

There are three things we know about man-made global warming. First, the consequences will be terrible if we don’t take quick action to limit carbon emissions. Second, in pure economic terms the required action shouldn’t be hard to take: emission controls, done right, would probably slow economic growth, but not by much. Third, the politics of action are nonetheless very difficult.

We can stop right there, and safely disregard the rest of Krugman’s column. Why? Because his first two points don’t fit together. If Krugman thinks immediate action “done right” wouldn’t slow economic growth by much, then delaying such action will not “be terrible.”

“Global Warming, the Movie” Starring: Freezing

SnowpiercerA funny thing happens when Hollywood tries to portray the horrific negative consequences of global warming: they tend to end up showing an Earth that has frozen over.

I noticed this the first time in 2004′s The Day After Tomorrow, where global warming supposedly leads to a global atmospheric inversion that buries New York City under a mountain of snow. It was a striking image: a global warming movie whose poster features the hand of the Statue of Liberty poking out of the top of a glacier. The image was seemingly repeated from Stanley Kubrick’s A.I., when our future robotic progeny (I would apologize for the plot spoiler, but no one ever watches a Kubrick movie for its plot) unearth the film’s protagonist, who was last seen in a New York City swamped under rising oceans but is now at the bottom of a glacier.

Obama gas plan misfires

cartoon volcanic co2 emissionsYou only need to know one number about the Obama administration’s much-ballyhooed restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions: 1.8 percent.

That’s how much the restrictions will reduce global CO2 emissions: 1.8 percent.

That’s not nothing, but it’s not much. And it’s that number that we need to keep in the back of our minds as we consider the massive costs the president is asking you, me and every other American to bear if his proposed regulations are enacted.

That’s the number on the benefit side of the equation. But what about those costs?

The GHG regulation would result in a reduction in U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $51 billion on average every year through 2030, 224,000 fewer U.S. jobs on average every year through 2030 and an expected $289 billion increase in electricity costs through 2030.

Obama Continues his Attack on U.S. Energy

cartoonThe delay of the Keystone XL pipeline is a perfect example of the way President Obama and his administration has engaged in, not just a war on coal, but on all forms of energy the nation has and needs. Even his State Department admits there is no reason to refuse its construction and, as turmoil affects the Middle East, there is an increased need to tap our own oil and welcome Canada’s.

The latest news, however, is that Canada has just approved the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, a major pipeline to ship Canadian oil—to Asia.

The pure evil of the delay is compounded by the loss of the many jobs the pipeline—that will not require taxpayer funding—represents to help reduce the nation’s obscene rate of unemployment and to generate new revenue for the nation. That’s what oil, coal, and natural gas does.

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