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

Why We Should ALL Want the Keystone Pipeline

pipelineAfter six years of debate and despite Obama’s veto threat, the Keystone XL bill cleared the Senate hurdle on January 29, 2015 . . .

I, and everyone else who supports the building of the pipeline, see it as a critical infrastructure project.

Many opponents say it will have negative environmental and employment impacts, hence the strife.

But all the arguing in the world can’t change the reality that oil will come from Canada. The only question now is how . . .

It’s time for environmentalists to accept the facts and see the truth – the XL pipeline is the lesser of two evils.

The fatal flaw of global warming

ocean and cloudsMost climate scientists accept that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has some warming effect on Earth’s climate, but undisputed science shows that its direct effect is tiny and declines dramatically as carbon dioxide levels rise.

The climate models produce scary warming forecasts by assuming “positive feedbacks.”  This is the basis of their claims that man’s production of this harmless gas of life is pushing Earth toward an irreversible temperature tipping point.

Their main feedback assumption, expressed simply, goes like this: more carbon dioxide produces surface warming, which causes more evaporation from the oceans, which increases water vapor in the atmosphere, which increases greenhouse warming, which causes more evaporation, and so on and so on.

New Cold War: US, Russia Fight Over Europe’s Energy Future

coldAs the Obama administration escalates economic sanctions on Russia and weighs military support to Ukraine, it has revved up a less noticed but far broader campaign to wean Central and Eastern Europe off a deep reliance on Russian energy. It’s a Cold War reprise, but not for military supremacy, and the points on the map aren’t troop deployments, tank battalions and missile silos. Rather, pipelines, ports and power plants are the weapons of what could prove a generation-defining conflict between the U.S. and Russia over how Europe heats and electrifies its homes. --Bradley Klapper and Matthew Lee, Associated Press, 3 February 2015

EPA Targeting Oil & Gas Industry Even Though Emissions Down

methaneThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken yet another regulatory action to interfere with oil and gas production – long considered an activity with de minimus impact on air quality. The Agency now sets its sights on methane, which is the primary component of natural gas. Methane emissions from natural gas systems have fallen by 14.3% from 2008-2012. Any leaks from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells have fallen by 73% from 2011-2013.

In this same time frame, the U.S. has become the world’s leading producer of natural gas, nearly quadrupling production rates from those in 2008, as well as increasing natural gas pipelines by 30%. In spite of the steep decline of methane emissions and steady economic growth, the White House recently moved forward with the Climate Action Plan, directing the EPA to propose expansive rules by the summer of 2015. The new regulations aim to reduce methane emissions by 40-45% from 2012 levels by 2025 through a series of actions targeting the oil and gas industry.

How Obama Missed The EV Mark While Hydrogen-Power Sails Forward

MiraiToyota MiraiLeave it to the Obama administration to make book on the wrong technology. First it was solar, and now it's electric vehicles. Below are two stories, one on the unsuccessful, poorly realized potential of electric cars, and the second on the growing hydrogen-powered world being spearheaded by Toyota. As they say, you only have to look to the stars to find your answers. Emphasis added:

Obama Administration Horribly Miscalculated Electric Vehicles Potential (bidness etc):

At his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama predicted that US would have one million electric vehicles (EVs) on road by 2015. This bold prediction has failed to materialize.

Passion for climate change cools

BlizzardClimate change is becoming a hard sell. When the computer models get the next day's forecast wrong, it's hard to persuade anyone to pay attention to their predictions of what the Earth's climate will be a half-century from now. Saving the world from imaginative calamity and catastrophe is never easy, and President Obama came away from a global-warming sales pitch in India with an echo of what salesmen dread to hear, a slammed door.

The holy grail of environmental fanatics — and their friends in high places, like the White House — is a legally binding agreement among nations to limit greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, they blame for global warming (and never mind that carbon dioxide is essential for life and that the globe isn't actually warming). Since handshakes are more likely to mean something when palms are greased, enthusiasts for the pact are trying to shake down wealthy nations for $100 billion to distribute to developing nations for "green" projects. They hope to make a deal final at the United Nations annual climate summit late this year in Paris.

Global Warming Pause: Is the End Near?

Global Warming (GW) alarmists are in a pickle: no GW, in spite of rising CO2 levels. True believers are using quasi-religious slogans, like “The End [of the GW pause] is Near” and “Repent [Stop emitting CO2] Before It’s Too Late.”

The observed absence of a global-warming trend (often described as “pause” or “hiatus”), beginning around Yr 2000 (or perhaps even earlier) contradicts the results of every IPCC climate model – all of them driven by a steady increase in anthropogenic carbon dioxide; see figure. 

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This lack of model validation has obvious implications for model-based estimates of future climate. Until the cause of the pause is better understood and incorporated into existing models, all policies aiming to stabilize climate are useless and are nothing more than highly uncertain and hugely expensive exercises.

US Taxpayers To Subsidize India’s Solar Energy Boom

modi obamaGet ready to foot the bill for India’s electricity. The Obama administration has pledged billions of dollars to fund solar energy development to help India meet its goals to push green energy and fight global warming.

The funding announcement comes despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rejection of a proposed global warming deal between the two countries. Modi rejected calls to peak India’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, instead focusing on bringing power to the hundreds of millions of Indians that lack access to electricity.

“We very much support India’s ambitious goal for solar energy, and stand ready to speed this expansion with additional financing,” Obama said during his visit to India.

Believing in Six Impossible Things before Breakfast, and Climate Models

essexA talk by Dr Christopher Essex (pictured, right) - Chairman, Permanent Monitoring Panel on Climate, World Federation of Scientists, and Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Western Ontario, Canada

Has the scientific problem of climate been solved in terms of basic physics and mathematics? No, but you will  be forgiven if you thought otherwise. For decades, the most rigorous treatments of climate have been done through climate models. The clever model pioneers understood many of their inherent limitations, but tried to persevere nonetheless.

Today, few academics are even aware of what the pioneers understood, let alone what has been learned since about the full depth of modelling  difficulties. Meanwhile popular expressions of the scientific technicalities are largely superficial, defective, comically nonsensical, and virtually uncorrectable.

Climate Change Advocates Respond to Calls for Reasoned Debate By Mocking and Jeering

protest germanyDavid Rose is a journalist who sometimes writes about the grey areas within the climate change debate. As a result, he has already endured calls for his own children to murder him, been compared to Hitler despite being Jewish, and had his personal contact details published on Twitter.

But not content with those attacks, his detractors have now taken to Twitter to mock him for mentioning the slurs in a recent article. (h/t Bishop Hill blog)

This week, Rose penned an article for the Mail on Sunday essentially arguing for a balanced, reasoned debate on the true nature of climate change and the human response to it. Rose describes himself as a “lukewarmer” – someone who believes that global warming is taking place and is at least in part due to human activity, but who disagrees with the scale, and the responses. But, he says, reasoned debate cannot take place whilst there is so much hatred bandied about by ‘warmists’ – those who believe in man made climate change.

I come to bury Renewable Fuel Standards

corn field 0They say politics makes strange bedfellows. In a perfect example, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) are cosponsoring the “Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act,” to abolish the corn ethanol Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires that increasing volumes of this biofuel be blended into gasoline. Let’s hope it passes, as an amendment or stand-alone bill.

The RFS was a mistake when enacted ten years ago. Since then, despite attempts to curtail it, the program has expanded and had more lives than Freddy Krueger. Perhaps the senators are now paraphrasing William Shakespeare and Marc Antony, saying “I come to bury the ethanol RFS, not to praise it.”