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

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.”

No, 2014 Wasn't the 'Warmest Year in History'

Climate science is still in its infancy. Experts didn't foresee the global cooling that began in the 1940s and didn't anticipate the warming cycle that started in the late 1970s.Climate science is still in its infancy. Experts didn't foresee the global cooling that began in the 1940s and didn't anticipate the warming cycle that started in the late 1970s.Unless you’ve spent the last few weeks in solitary meditation on a remote island, you couldn’t miss the wave of media stories breathlessly proclaiming that 2014 was the hottest year in recorded history. As usual, the coverage was laced with alarm about the menace posed by climate change, and with disapproval of skeptics who decline to join in the general panic.

Among those seizing on the news to make a political point was President Obama, who used his State of the Union address to voice disdain for those who don’t share his view. “I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists,” he scoffed. “Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But… I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities.”

Well, I’m also not a scientist. But I do know that what NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center actually reported was rather less categorical than what the news accounts – or the White House – might lead you to believe. As both government agencies made clear in their briefing materials, the likelihood that 2014 was the planet’s warmest year is far from a slam-dunk. Indeed, the probability that 2014 set a record is not 99 percent or 95 percent, but less than 50 percent. NOAA’s number-crunchers put the probability at 48 percent; NASA’s analysis came in at 38 percent. The agencies rationalize their attention-getting headline on the grounds that the probabilities were even lower for other candidates for the label of “hottest year in history.”

Manufacturing Snow Alarmism at British Columbia's Ski Resorts

The last year has seen the climate alarmists highlight the potential threat of warming temperatures to ski resorts throughout the United States and Canada, with the hysteria being ratcheted up following the NY Times' infamous piece of warmism entitled "The End of Snow?"

The Globe and Mail newspaper -- Canada's equivalent to the NYT -- just published an article on "How B.C.'s [British Columbia's] ski resorts are coping with global warming's threat to their existence." Key to the piece is the following figure:


Palace Tensions As Charles Refuses To Be A Silent King

QueenPrince Charles has decided he will be an “activist” king who will remain outspoken on issues he cares about, according to a new biography, provoking “tensions” with Buckingham Palace about the royal succession. Senior figures around the Queen fear he intends to remain “an advocate” for his passionately held views. --Nicholas Hellen and Tim Shipman, The Sunday Times, 1 February 2015

The Queen fears that Britain may not be ready for the radical new style of monarchy envisaged by her eldest son, according to the new biography of the Prince of Wales. Catherine Mayer, the author, says that the prince intends to be a more campaigning kind of sovereign than his mother, but some courtiers at Buckingham Palace — as well as the Queen herself — feel that the country is not prepared for the “shock of the new”. Mayer also says that the Duke of Edinburgh is among his harshest critics and believes the prince to be guilty of “selfish behaviour” in putting his “cerebral passions” before his royal duties. --Valentine Low, The Times, 2 February 2015

Climate Models - Beautifully Inaccurate

climate modelsTo date, every single NOAA, NASA, and IPCC Climate Model has gotten it wrong.

To counter this now obvious flaw, climate science agencies adopted the following strategy: utilize flashy marketing techniques when selling new “updated” climate models, focus media attention on supposedly once in-a-lifetime weather phenomenon, and most importantly, convince the public to patiently wait for the inevitable rise in global temperatures.

The ridiculous nature of this strategy is satirically portrayed in the photo (right) with an associated implied message here paraphrased as… just keep dressing yourself in a swimsuit even though there is snow on the ground, snow in the trees, and its cold outside. Not to worry, because eventually your dress attire will suit the climate. Shockingly for eighteen years the public has dutifully followed this crazy climate science mandate.

Enough already!

Obama Administration To Advise Vatican On Climate Change Ahead Of Encyclical

cartoonThe Obama administration is seeking to hitch its climate change message onto that of the ever-popular Pope Francis, whose upcoming environmental encyclical has drawn more speculation than any papal document in recent memory. The head of the Environmental Protection Agency met Friday with senior Vatican officials who helped draft the document, which is expected to be released in June or July. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told reporters that her aim was to show how aligned President Obama and Francis are on climate change. She added: “It’s certainly not my place to dictate to the pope what he should be doing in an encyclical.” --Associated Press, 30 January 2015

Obama ad Nauseum

cartoonI made a promise to myself that I would not write about President Obama’s State of the Union speech because that would require me to watch him deliver it. Like many others I can barely watch him under any circumstance because, to my mind, that means having to watch a psychopathic liar. The problem with that is that he is the President for two more years.

And then I read an article on Politico.com, “Republicans outfox Democrats on climate votes” subtitled “The GOP accepts the notion of climate change, but not in the way the Democrats wanted them to.”

Don’t trust the global warming doomsters and their moral outrage

GoreAl Gore once suggested that since climate change is a “moral issue,” it is “beyond politics.” You must not question “settled” science or policy “consensus.” You must check your brain at the door, and obey the dictates of, er, politicians.

Moral issues are ultimately about how we treat each other. Those such as Mr. Gore who espouse grim Biblical projections of droughts, floods and plagues of insects, all caused by the malign hand of industrial capitalist man, claim that they are only “speaking up for” poor people both now and in the future. They stand against “intergenerational tyranny.”

Lull in Global Warming Now Blamed on ... Luck

rouletteSeems we have literally "lucked" out. An international team of researchers set out to find why the computer climate models keep getting it wrong. Over and over again. The results of their work were published in the Journal Nature. Turns out the 18-year-pause in global warming no one expected can be blamed on "chance."

We're not out of the woods yet, though. According to a lead researcher, if "massive climate policies" aren't undertaken now, global warming will have "reached a grave magnitude by the end of this century." Now does that sound like an unbiased researcher? From Deutsche Welle:

The research team has just published his results in the journal Nature. With the help of a multi-step calculation, Marotzke and Forster ruled out systematic errors in the models. Instead, the researchers now blamed serendipity for the current lull in global warming. On the basis of their calculations, they say there is no reason to doubt current forecasts detailing strong global warming.

Study: Solar Radiation Has Been Melting Siberian Ice For 7,000 Years

sunTurns out global warming is nothing new.

Solar radiation has been warming Siberian permafrost for the past 7,000 years, according to a new peer-reviewed study — long before human greenhouse gas emissions began to build up in the atmosphere.

Researchers with Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute looked at ice wedges found under the Siberian tundra to examine what the winter climate has been like in the region for thousands of years. What they found was that Siberian winters have been gradually warming during that time. Not only did they find a warming trend, but they found that increased intensity and duration of solar activity in the last 7,000 years has been causing winter temperatures in the region to rise.

Fire and Ice

Basal geothermal heat flow melts/collapses Hagafellsjokull Glacier IcelandBasal geothermal heat flow melts/collapses Hagafellsjökull Glacier in IcelandWest Antarctica, Greenland, the central Arctic Ocean Basin, Iceland, and now the Svalbard Island Chain have one thing in common: powerful and currently active geological forces—specifically geothermal heat flow and associated fluid release—are melting their glacial ice masses. This contention is supported by previous postings here, here, here, and here.

So where exactly is the Svalbard Island Chain, and of what importance is it? Thrust into prominence by recent reports of rapid ice melting in one specific continental glacier, these islands are located north of Iceland along the giant Mid-Atlantic / Arctic Mid-Ocean Rift Complex.

This broad geological region has been the focus of debate concerning the cause of what climate experts perceive as unnatural amounts of oceanic and continental glacial retreat due to man-made global warming. So how does the Svalbard Island Chain fit into this picture?

Another Snow Job

blizzardThe network meteorologists barely had time to come up for air while “forecasting” the latest snowstorm non-disaster. Politicians, fearing what might happen to their approval numbers if a blizzard hit, went on TV to announce they were taking proactive measures. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio shut down tunnels, bridges, even the subway to prepare for the worst. Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie announced road closings in New York and New Jersey.

When wide-scale devastation failed to materialize, though New England was hardest hit, those same forecasters explained that snow is “unpredictable” and began backtracking faster than a four-wheel drive pickup on an icy road.