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

Democratic Congressman Draws Backlash Over Climate Funding Probe

"It does come across as sort of heavy handed and overly aggressive,""It does come across as sort of heavy handed and overly aggressive," Mann told National Journal.A House Democrat looking for ties between climate skeptics at several universities and fossil fuel interests is facing allegations that his probe goes too far. And they're not just coming from his political opponents.

Following revelations that a prominent climate skeptic failed to disclose funding from Exxon, Southern Company, and other fossil fuel industry sources, Rep. Raul Grijalva, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, sent letters to seven schools demanding information about—and "communication regarding"—specific professors' funding sources and their preparation of testimony before Congress and other bodies.

Grijalva's effort marks a flipping of the script of sorts. In recent years, some of the highest-profile probes of climate scientists have been generated by Republicans and global warming skeptics, notably former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's campaign against the prominent researcher Michael Mann.

Lawmaker asks whether MIT climate researcher took oil money

Richard LindzenRichard LindzenA prominent Democratic congressman is probing MIT about funding for professor emeritus Richard S. Lindzen, who is known for his skepticism of what he calls climate change “alarmism.”

“My colleagues and I cannot perform our duties if research or testimony provided to us is influenced by undisclosed financial relationships,” wrote Rep. Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona, the ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, in a letter to President L. Rafael Reif.

Grijalva sent similar letters to six other universities on Tuesday. He is asking for detailed records about funding and other compensation for researchers who have testified before lawmakers and challenged the scientific consensus on global warming.

Putin Ready To Turn Off Europe’s Gas Supply

russia gasRussia threatened yesterday to disrupt gas supplies to Europe within days, opening a new front in the showdown over Ukraine. President Putin demanded immediate advance payments from Kiev to keep the gas taps on in the depths of winter. Cutting off gas would be likely to hit transit flows to Europe. His ultimatum came on the day that the EU announced ambitious plans for an “energy union” to end Russia’s energy stranglehold over the continent. --David Charter, The Times, 26 February 2015

In a setback to Europe’s nascent shale-gas industry, Chevron Corp. said Friday it is relinquishing its interests in shale-gas concessions in Romania, the U.S. oil giant’s last shale-gas project in Europe. It follows Chevron’s announcement last month that it was quitting shale-exploration activities in Poland. Last year Chevron terminated shale-gas agreements in Lithuania and Ukraine. Chevron’s pullback on European shale development will be disappointing to some European governments that have been eager to replicate the U.S. shale-gas boom, hoping to reduce reliance on imported gas supplies, in particular from Russia. --Selina Williams, The Wall Street Journal, 21 February 2015

The Vicious Politics of Global Warming Research

soon wHardened as I am to political correctness, I still cannot believe that the Chronicle of Higher Education would direct such a vicious and unwarranted attack against a scientist for being on the wrong side of the climate-change issue as it did this morning.

The Chronicle article by Paul Basken is dripping with arrogance and disdain for someone who doesn’t go along with government-paid “experts.” He writes: “Years of using a Harvard nameplate to flog his insistence that polar bears are doing fine, and that sunspots might explain planetary warming better than the Industrial Revolution does, may finally have caught up with Wei-Hock Soon.”

What did Dr. Soon do to receive this ugly sneer?

Dem ‘Witch Hunt’ Forces Scientist Out Of Global Warming Research

Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr.Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr.An investigation by Democratic lawmakers into the sources of funding for scientists who challenge details of the greater global warming narrative has already forced one scientist to call it quits.

University of Colorado climate scientist Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. has been targeted by Arizona Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking liberal on the House Natural Resources Committee, for his research challenging the claim that global warming is making weather more extreme.

This investigation, and other attacks, have forced Pielke to stop researching climate issues. He said the “incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues.”

Defying GOP, Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline bill

pipelineDefying the Republican-run Congress, President Barack Obama rejected a bill Tuesday to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, wielding his veto power for only the third time in his presidency.

Obama offered no indication of whether he'll eventually issue a permit for the pipeline, whose construction has become a flashpoint in the U.S. debate about environmental policy and climate change. Instead, Obama sought to reassert his authority to make the decision himself, rebuffing GOP lawmakers who will control both the House and Senate for the remainder of the president's term.

"The presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously," Obama said in a brief notice delivered to the Senate. "But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people."

Global Warming: Follow the Money

soonSoonCiting documents uncovered by the radical environmental group Greenpeace, a group of media outlets — including the New York Times and the Boston Globe — have attacked global-warming skeptic Wei-Hock (Willie) Soon for allegedly hiding $1.2 million in contributions from “fossil fuel companies.” The articles were the latest in an ongoing campaign by greens and their media allies to discredit opponents of the warming agenda.

But in allying themselves closely with activist groups with which they share ideological goals, reporters have fundamentally misled readers on the facts of global-warming funding.

GWPF Calls On Governments To Overhaul 'Missionary' IPCC

pachauriThe GWPF has, for a long time, warned policymakers and the public that the leadership of the IPCC has been losing its scientific objectivity and has been adopting environmentalism as a missionary cause. The astonishing letter of resignation released yesterday by its outgoing chairman, RK Pachauri, drops all pretence to the contrary and proves that our concerns were valid. In it he states:

"For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma."

The author of that statement has, for the past 13 years, been one of the world's most influential government advisers in the area of energy and climate policy, and one of the most visible spokespersons for climate science.

The Silence of the Scientists

earthInformed commentators are noticing that human-caused global warming is not the danger that it has been said to be, yet many inconsistently still call for “smart solutions” to address what is likely a non-issue.

Bjorn Lomborg, for example, argues that the overwrought pronouncements of climate doom that pervade the media are preventing the world from sinking ever more money into “green energy.”

For starters, we do not know with any confidence that dangerous warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions actually exists, and extra green energy cannot fix what is not broken.

It’s also confusing to conflate energy and environmental policy. Energy policy is concerned with diversity, security, and cheapness of supply; environmental policy with nurturing Earth’s natural environment.

Left Panics over Peer-Reviewed Climate Paper’s Threat to Global Warming Alarmism

protestersYou’ve heard it said that the science is settled. And it’s true. It is settled–settled beyond the possibility of any dispute. A fundamental, inescapable, indubitable bedrock scientific principle is that lousy theories make lousy predictions.

Climate forecasts are lousy, therefore it is settled science that they must necessarily be based on lousy theories. And lousy theories should not be trusted.

Put it this way. Climate forecasts, of the type relied upon by the IPCC and over governmental entities, stink. They are no good. They have been promising ever increasing temperatures for decades, but the observations have been more or less steady. This must mean–it is inescapable–that something is very badly wrong with the theory behind the models. What?

Global Warming: Some Sunlight

sunWe got a lot of grief for our recent post mocking the latest global warming conspiracy theory (which holds that eating meat is bad for the environment).

It isn’t … but try telling that to the bureaucratic enviro-Nazis desperate to keep the “climate change” ruse going at all costs.  Actually … on second thought … don’t try telling them that.  As we’ve noted previously, you can’t argue with supporters of global warming because all they see – everywhere, in everything – is validation of their theory.

Hot summer?  Global warming.  Cold winter?  Global warming.  Cool summer?  Global warming.  Mild winter?  Yeah … you’re getting it.

Anyway …

EU ‘Backtracks’ On CO2 Targets In UN Accounting Fudge

frameworkEurope’s proposed new climate goals could be weaker than previously announced due to its method of accounting for changes in land use. Last October the bloc agreed to target greenhouse gas cuts of 40% on 1990 levels by 2030, a rise on its 20% goal for 2020. But in a leaked document outlining the European Commission’s plans for curbing carbon pollution, the 40% goal now includes land use, land use change and forestry accounting. This means the growth of existing forests could be used towards EU targets, which analysts say could mean the 40% drops to 35% in reality. --Ed King, Responding to Climate Change 24 February 2015

Given that heads of states agreed to “at least” 40%, including the land use sector would not be in line with the political decision that has already been taken. It would also be seen as ‘backsliding’ from the originally presented 40% target and would set the EU off on a bad start towards agreeing an ambitious international climate treaty in Paris in December 2015. -- Eva Filzmoser, Responding to Climate Change 24 February 2015