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

Hillary speaking-circuit demands include private jet and … cone of silence?

Hillary mocked on TVHillary Clinton has come under fire this summer for her speaking fees, including some charged for events at universities and colleges where many students put themselves deep in debt to get their education. Clinton and her defenders insist that those fees get paid out by donors, not the schools themselves, and that some of those fees get donated to the Clintons’ charitable foundation rather than into her pocket. Those pockets get a pretty cushy ride back and forth to these events, though, as the contract for her UNLV speech uncovered by the Las Vegas Review-Journal details:

According to a May 31, 2013 email, Clinton’s standard contract usually includes:

■ Round-trip transportation on a chartered private jet “e.g., a Gulfstream 450 or larger jet,” plus round-trip business class travel for two advance staffers who will arrive up to three days in advance.

Climate Alarmists Get Ugly

protestersThe climate change debate rages, beginning with physical science and continuing with economic analysis and government policy.

The good news is that the balance of evidence continues to point toward modest warming scenarios, not catastrophic ones, from the human influence on global climate.

This would seem to be good news.

But now, some climate activists are going to extreme measures to attack our energy renaissance, analogizing that opposition to pricing carbon dioxide is akin to benefitting from slavery. “Burning fossil fuels is an ethical problem,” said former EPA official Wes Wilson. “Slavery had a lot of economic benefits, but it had an ethical problem.”

Global Warming Alarmists Switch Complaints From Water Levels to Rainfall

Great Lakes, satellite viewThe 96 years of measuring the water levels of the Great Lakes done by the Army Corps of Engineers represents a relative sliver of time compared to the thousands of years prior to 1918 when no one was keeping track of these levels. Nonetheless, in recent years global warming adherents were citing low water levels on the Great Lakes as evidence of global warming.

Now that Great Lakes levels are no longer low, they are seizing on the recent wet weather in southeast Michigan to advance their arguments.

The 4.7 inches of rain that swamped Detroit on Aug. 11 was the second highest daily rainfall for the city since the Army Corps of Engineers started keeping records in 1918. The highest daily rainfall on record for Detroit is 4.74 inches on July 31, 1925.

Sun's activity influences natural climate change

sunscape-fotolia-purchasedFrom the "It's the Sun, stupid" dept. Note the last line that says climate models don't incorporate the sun's influence on the climate, regional or otherwise. From EurekAlert! (bold added):

For the first time, a research team has been able to reconstruct the solar activity at the end of the last ice age, around 20,000-10,000 years ago, by analysing trace elements in ice cores in Greenland and cave formations from China. During the last glacial maximum, Sweden was covered in a thick ice sheet that stretched all the way down to northern Germany and sea levels were more than 100 metres lower than they are today, because the water was frozen in the extensive ice caps. The new study shows that the sun's variation influences the climate in a similar way regardless of whether the climate is extreme, as during the Ice Age, or as it is today.

Germany’s Green Energy Policy Beginning To Strangle Economy

MerkelChancellor Angela Merkel’s abrupt exit from nuclear energy after the Fukushima disaster in Japan and aggressive push into renewables has unnerved German industry. A recent overhaul of the country’s complex renewable energy law has done little to alleviate uncertainty over future policy or assuage fears about German energy competitiveness. “Energy intensive industries in particular have lost confidence in the future of Germany as a business location,” said Thomas Mayer, a former chief economist at Deutsche Bank. --Reuters, 16 August 2014

The Green Party has criticised Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, for cancelling her attendance at the UN Climate Summit on 23 September in New York and accused her of giving preference to lobby interests. "Instead of fighting for global climate protection on the international stage, she rather goes to speak to the lobby group of German industry which is not known to be a haven of climate change activism," said the party's parliamentary deputy Oliver Krischer.--Die Welt, 15 August 2014

Hopefully Dr. Michael E. Mann Doesn’t Sue Me for This Column

The infamous Hockey Stick GraphThe battle over climate-change science is heating up, so to speak, and it has moved to the courts. The defamation lawsuit brought by climatologist Dr. Michael E. Mann — one of the creators of the famed “hockey-stick graph” that shows a recent spike in world temperatures — has now moved to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the equivalent of a state supreme court for the district.

Mann alleges that a blog post by Rand Simberg on the blog of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), and subsequently quoted by Mark Steyn at National Review Online, was libelous. The Cato Institute, joined by the Reason Foundation, the Goldwater Institute, and the Individual Rights Foundation, has filed an amicus brief supporting the defendants, arguing that courts should not be called upon to referee scientific disputes.

Scientists shouldn't silence the skeptics

michael mannScience is a rough-and-tumble sport; underneath its genteel veneer of peer-reviewed articles and conferences, scientists challenge each other’s most basic assumptions and compete for glory with gusto and glee.

It’s been that way since Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz quarreled over who “invented” calculus. Late in his life, Newton explained his part in the controversy by writing to a friend, “I have never grasped at fame among foreign nations, but I am very desirous to preserve my character for honesty.”

Those are the motives claimed by modern scientist Michael Mann, who is suing a think tank, a magazine and some columnists, who he says libeled him by casting doubt on his global warming claims.

But the truth is that Mann and others simply want to silence skeptics.

Al Gore sues Al Jazeera for fraud after $500 million acquisition

goreAl Gore and Joel Hyatt, co-founders of Current TV, filed suit against Al Jazeera America claiming the news channel is withholding “tens of millions of dollars” that is past due to Current TV's shareholders after it bought Current TV for $500 million.

According to the fraud lawsuit filed in Delaware, Al Jazeera agreed in the acquisition contract to pay Current TV's shareholders the millions sitting in an escrow account, but the satellite network is now refusing to pay it.

“Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago,” Gore's lawyer David Boies said in a statement. “We are asking the court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current's former shareholders.”

A Climate Crusader's Comeuppance

Tom-Steyer-DNC-2012As political comedowns go, there may be few to compare to the humbling of Tom Steyer. Six months after the climate activist roared on the national political scene vowing $100 million to impose his agenda on this fall's midterms, it would appear that this billionaire don't hunt.

Remember the liberal huzzahs that greeted the February pledge? The New York Times gave Mr. Steyer the front page, heralding a coming "hard-edge campaign of attack ads" that would pressure officials to "enact climate change measures" and persuade voters to back a climate agenda. Democrats hailed him as their new power broker, crowing about a war chest that could rival the Koch brothers and even up the midterm election odds. Environmentalists welcomed a white knight who would finally align the party and public behind their priorities.

Tuvalu PM says Pacific Island Nations Sinking, Science Shows They Aren't

PM Enele SopoagaPM Enele SopoagaPrime Minister Enele Sopoaga of the supposedly sinking Pacific island nations is at it again, this time taking a page out of John "global warming is a weapon of mass destruction" Kerry's handbook of hysteria in his attempts to rabble rouse a "deal." From Rappler (bold added):

"We are caught in the middle, effectively, in Tuvalu. We are very, very worried," Sopoaga told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"We are already suffering. It's already like a weapon of mass destruction and the indications are all there... we only need to garner strong collective leadership to address this.

"The people of Tuvalu are going to underscore again (in New York) the message that we are dying."

Tuvalu, a scattering of nine coral atolls that is home to about 11,000 people, is one of several Pacific nations threatened by rising seas blamed on global warming.

A World In Chaos, And Kerry's Talking Climate Change

kerry john 2Great leadership isn't necessarily about intelligence, expertise or background. It's more about wisdom and judgment. Based on this, Americans should be very concerned about Secretary of State John Kerry.

As the world melts into chaos and threats to the U.S. homeland multiply, America's top foreign policy official seems bizarrely, even dangerously, fixated on ... global warming.

In remarks at the East-West Center in Honolulu on Wednesday, Kerry repeated his claim that climate change is "the biggest challenge ... we face right now."

To which we respond: Can he be serious?

Climate Science Does Not Support IPCC Conclusions

earth-space 2Since 2008, the Chicago-based, libertarian-leaning Heartland Institute has organized nine ICCCs (International Conferences on Climate Change). Norman Rogers (American Thinker, Aug 9, 2014) has given a general overview of ICCC-9 (at Las Vegas), which attracted an audience of well over 600 and featured speakers from 12 nations.  Here I present a more detailed and personalized account of the two main science issues that appear to be of general concern. The first has to do with future temperatures and the second has to do with future sea level rise (SLR).

When it comes to global average surface temperature (GAST), the concern seems to be to remain below 2O°C. It should be recognized that this limit is entirely arbitrary. There is no established scientific basis for assigning special significance to it; it just happens to be the “Goldilocks” number. Here is what I mean: If one were to choose 0.5O°C, people will say “we’ve already seen that and nothing has happened.”  However, if we were to choose 5O°C, people will say, “we’ll never see that much warming -- hence of no significance.” That is why 2O°C may have become the alarmists’ choice.