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

Aims of Donor Are Shadowed by Past in Coal

coal trainTo environmentalists across Australia, it is a baffling anachronism in an era of climate change: the construction of a 4,000-acre mine in New South Wales that will churn out carbon-laden coal for the next 30 years.

The mine’s groundbreaking, in a state forest this year, inspired a veteran to stand in front of a bulldozer and a music teacher to chain himself to a piece of excavation equipment.

But the project had an unlikely financial backer in the United States, whose infusion of cash helped set it in motion: Tom Steyer, the most influential environmentalist in American politics, who has vowed to spend $100 million this year to defeat candidates who oppose policies to combat climate change.

Mr. Steyer, a billionaire former hedge fund manager, emerged this election season as the green-minded answer to Charles G. and David H. Koch, the patrons of conservative Republican politics, after vowing that he would sell off his investments in companies that generate fossil fuels like coal.

The epic hypocrisy of Tom Steyer: NY Times edition

Tom SteyerThis past April, with the help of a knowledgeable reader, we took a deep dive into the fossil fuel investments of Democratic money man and environmental poseur Tom Steyer in “The epic hypocrisy of Tom Steyer.” Introducing our reader’s report, John wrote regarding Steyer: “Today, he is a bitter opponent of fossil fuels, especially coal. That fits with his current economic interests: banning coal-fired power plants will boost the value of his solar projects. But it was not always thus. In fact, Steyer owes his fortune in large part to the fact that he has been one of the world’s largest financers of coal projects. Tom Steyer was for coal before he was against it.”

You read it here first, and in something like a definitive form (taking account of Steyer’s current financial interests), but we now welcome Michael Barbaro and Coral Davenport reporting in the New York Times: “Aims of donor are shadowed by past in coal.” Barbaro and Davenport may induce serious cognitive dissonance among alert Times readers with this, at the top of page A1 today:

Why the fossil fuel divestment movement is a farce

protestingCollege campuses across the country have been abuzz with protests calling for the divestment of university endowments and public pension funds from fossil fuels. As a result of the pressure, Stanford University has begun to divest its $18.7 billion endowment from coal stocks. Union Theological Seminary in New York has begun a divestment process as well. Cities have born the brunt of protests as well, and a growing number of them are making decisions to stop investing city funds in dirty energy.


Conflicts of Interest

Further crippling the campaign is its questionable line of funding. According to a report from Inside Philanthropy and 350.org’s IRS filings, 350.org receives millions of dollars from billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer. It has also received at least $350,000 from Jeremy Grantham, a hedge fund manager who oversees more than $500 million in assets for public pension funds in Massachusetts. (The organization declined to state exactly how much money it has received from Steyer and Grantham.)

Holding Greenpeace accountable

greenpeaceFossil fuel and insurance company executives “could face personal liability for funding climate denialism and opposing policies to fight climate change,” Greenpeace recently warned several corporations. In a letter co-signed by WWF International and the Center for International Environmental Law, the Rainbow Warriors ($155 million in 2013 global income) suggested that legal action might be possible.

Meanwhile, the WWF ($927 million in 2013 global income) filed a formal complaint against Peabody Energy for “misleading readers” in advertisements that say coal-based electricity can improve lives in developing countries. The ads are not “decent, honest and veracious,” as required by Belgian law, the World Wildlife ethicists sniffed. Other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) make similar demands.

International Climate Skeptics Gather in Las Vegas

seasonsFrom July 7 to 9, the ninth International Conference on Climate Change will convene in Las Vegas in a dramatic demonstration that “global warming” was a huge hoax and the claims that “climate change” is responsible for everything are a continuation of that fraud.

As a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based free market think tank, I attended its first climate change conference held in New York in 2009 to dispute the “science” advancing global warming.  I have been writing about the hoax that gained momentum since James Edward Hansen testified before congressional committees in 1988. From 1981 to 2013 Hansen had been the head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

BBC Programme Criticised For Giving Platform To Climate Sceptic Lord Lawson

cartoon-bbc trustA complaint has been upheld against the news programme over a February edition in which Lord Lawson, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, appeared alongside the respected scientist Sir Brian Hoskins, director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College, London. During the programme Lord Lawson, the founder of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), repeatedly argued that “nobody knows” about the extent of climate change and that 2013 was “unusually quiet” for tropical storms. The finding follows a ruling earlier this week from the BBC Trust, which partly upheld a complaint against Radio 4’s The World at One for the platform it gave to the Australian climate change sceptic [Professor] Bob Carter in September. --Ian Burrell, The Independent, 3 July 2014

Data Deleted From UN Climate Report Highlight Controversies

A chart removed from the IPCC summary but published in Science shows that much of the growth in recent greenhouse gas emissions comes from Asia.A chart removed from the IPCC summary but published in Science shows that much of the growth in recent greenhouse gas emissions comes from Asia.When the United Nations' last major climate change report was released in April, it omitted some country-specific emissions data for political reasons, a trio of new papers argue, sounding a warning bell about the global politicization of climate science.

Written by thousands of science, policy, and economics experts from around the world, the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports represent a synthesis of existing climate research knowledge, focusing on the evidence of a warming climate ("virtually certain"), the global impacts, and the ways we might avert its most catastrophic effects. The Summary for Policy-makers draws on the detailed technical report and offers recommendations on cutting carbon emissions and preparing for climate change.

This 4th, Honor Our Founders' Vision Of Small Gov't

usflagPerhaps the most remarkable thing about the Declaration of Independence, which was approved on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress, is the mere fact that it exists.

Nowhere, ever, had a people offered to the world an open moral defense of their revolutionary, law-breaking intentions, at a moment when their actions on the battlefield appeared more suicidal than hopeful.

And nowhere, ever, before or after, has the cause of freedom been presented more perfectly, poetically or beautifully.

All the men who signed the Declaration knew they were possibly signing away their lives and everything else dear to them. What was "revolution" for them was treason from the English Crown's point of view, and the punishment if they were caught would be torture and death at the hands of English soldiers — the most lethal military in the world at that time.

‘Snowpiercer’ Review

snowpiercerIf you take away one message from Snowpiercer, let it be this: If we panic about global warming and rush forward with a half-thought-out solution, it’s only a matter of time before we’re all loaded onto a massive, world-circling locomotive and murdered by egg-delivering psychopaths on the orders of a mystery man in the thrall of a train engine.

That’s a short way of saying Bong Joon-ho’s latest film is chockfull of ideas. It has ideas coming out the wazoo: ideas about Malthusianism, ideas about global warming, ideas about structural inequality, ideas about filmmaking, and ideas about Omelas. The lack of answers wouldn’t be terribly problematic, were it not for the fact that the questions themselves are so all over the place.

Five Chances To Win One Hundred Trillion Dollars!

A physics professor has offered $30,000 for anyone who can disprove a straw man argument, which no one disagrees with.

Physics professor and climate change expert Dr. Christopher Keating is offering a $30,000 reward to anyone who can disprove that man-made climate change is real.

Physicist Offers $30,000 Reward To Anyone Who Can Disprove Climate Change « CBS DC

That straw man offer is worthless, but I am going to go way past Keating’s offer and give people the opportunity to win one hundred trillion dollars - by simply proving any one of these five statements made by actual climate authorities.

ScreenHunter_776 Jul. 03 21.00

Multi-meter sea level rise on the century time scale (is)  not only possible,  but almost dead certain.

- NASA’s James Hansen

Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,”

- David Viner  CRU 2000

Antarctica is likely to be the world’s only habitable continent by the end of this century if global warming remains unchecked, the Government’s chief scientist, Professor Sir David King, said last week.

- David King  (UK Chief scientist)

there is a 75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap during some of the summer months will be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years 

- Al Gore  Nobel laureate and climate expert 2009

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."

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