Science is a wonderful thing if one
does not have to earn one's living at it.

–Albert Einstein

The Green Enemies of Humanity, Science and the Truth

networklogosAmong the greatest liars on Earth today is the international organization called Friends of the Earth (FOE). It has engaged in the most scurrilous fear-mongering for decades, along with Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and the World Wildlife Fund, while all the time they pulled in billions in funding.

In May 2012, the Daily Caller noted that “The Congressional Research Service estimates that since 2008 the federal government has spent nearly $70 billion on ‘climate change activities.’” The leading critic in Congress, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) asked at the time, “Which would you rather have? Would you rather spend $4 billion on Air Force base solar panels, or would you rather have 28 new F-22s or 30 F-25s or modernized C-130s?”

A bee in their bonnet

beehiveChemophobic anti-pesticide groups are at it again. This time they’re attacking a widely used and safe new insecticide, but their assertions and real agendas are nothing new.

Radical environmentalism rose to ascendancy on opposition to pesticides, specifically DDT. “If the environmentalists win on DDT,” Environmental Defense Fund scientist Charles Wurster told the Seattle Times in 1969, “they will achieve a level of authority they have never had before.” Using Rachel Carson’s often inaccurate book Silent Spring to drive a nasty campaign, they succeeded in getting the Environmental Protection Agency to ban US production and use of DDT in 1972, leading to a de facto global ban even to combat malaria.

EU To Dial Back Global Warming Policies

climate-modelsThe European Union, which has spearheaded efforts to curb global warming, is set to adopt a change of focus in response to concerns over costs and the impact on companies in economically depressed Europe. Under the change, the European Union will prioritize the supply of energy at affordable prices over cutting greenhouse gas emissions which impose burdens on industries, in a turnaround of the region’s energy policy, an EU official said Saturday. EU leaders will decide on the shift in energy policy at a meeting Wednesday. The change reflects requests from businesses in the 27-member zone amid the prolonged economic slump triggered by the eurozone sovereign debt crisis, the official said. --Kyodo News International, 18 May 2013

“The European Commission is already in ‘do nothing’ mode on climate change, and it will obviously put off a decision on ambitious targets,” the official said on the European Union’s post-2020 goals. The change in policy comes as some European companies are moving to shift operations out of the region to avoid increasing costs to meet the emissions-cut goals, and amid a decline in emission trading launched in the region in 2005. --Kyodo News International, 18 May 2013

Gone With The Wind

Wind cash flow scrThe leader of the Scottish ­Government review of landownership yesterday pledged to examine ways of redistributing the cash wealthy lairds make from wind farms to benefit the less-advantaged. Alison Elliot, chair of the Land Reform Review Group (LRRG), said the issue would be investigated amid concerns that aristo­crats are benefiting from the renewables revolution while the poor grapple with fuel ­poverty. --Tom Peterkin, The Scotsman, 16 May 2013

Critics point out that landowners rent their land to renewable generators, whose wind farms are subsidised by extra levies on ordinary electricity consumers. Tory MEP Struan Stevenson’s estimates suggest that the Duke of Roxburghe could net £1.5 million a year from a wind farm on the Lammermuir Hills. The Earl of Moray is estimated to receive £2 million a year from a wind farm near Stirling. The Earl of Glasgow could be earning upwards of £300,000 a year from turbines on his Kelburn estate. --Tom Peterkin, The Scotsman, 16 May 2013

Vitter: EPA FOIA scandal 'no different than the IRS disaster'

Sen. David VitterA Republican senator says allegations that the Environmental Protection Agency has made it more difficult for conservative groups to obtain information is no different from the burgeoning scandal at the IRS.

Shortly after the IRS admitted to targeting conservative groups, it was reported that the EPA has routinely denied fee waiver requests from conservative groups seeking government records, while at the same time, approving such requests to environmental groups.

“We know the Obama EPA has completely mismanaged FOIA, but granting fee waivers for their friends in the far-left environmental community, while simultaneously blocking conservative leaning groups from gaining access to information; is really no different than the IRS disaster,” Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an emailed statement.

Cook's unreported finding

Stack of journalsCCD Editor's note: John Cook is the creator of the website Skeptical Science.

I really have been struggling to summon up much enthusiasm for the inanities of John Cook's paper, but Brandon Schollenberger has written an extraordinary analysis of the data, which really has to be seen to be believed. Readers are no doubt aware that the paper involves rating abstracts of a whole bunch of research papers to see where they stand on the global warming question.

The guidelines for rating [the] abstracts show only the highest rating value blames the majority of global warming on humans. No other rating says how much humans contribute to global warming. The only time an abstract is rated as saying how much humans contribute to global warming is if it mentions:

that human activity is a dominant influence or has caused most of recent climate change (>50%).

If we use the system’s search feature for abstracts that meet this requirement, we get 65 results. That is 65, out of the 12,000+ examined abstracts. Not only is that value incredibly small, it is smaller than another value listed in the paper:

Reject AGW 0.7% (78)

U.S. appeals court upholds dismissal of suit alleging global warming caused hurricane

hurricanefromspaceThe Associated Press reported a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that emissions from power companies contributed to global warming and intensified Hurricane Katrina, causing property damage.

The lawsuit was filed by a group of Mississippi Gulf Coast resident and landowners against 32 different energy companies as well as the Tennessee Valley Authority, according to the report. The group had originally filed a lawsuit in 2007 in a case ultimately dismissed by the Fifth Circuit and denied a hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Where are Gore’s hurricanes?

hurricane envyWhere are the hurricanes?
On one of Gore's books
Remember how cynically Al Gore exploited Hurricane Katrina to flog his eco-propaganda, An Inconvenient Truth?

Now I’m going to show you, recently released, the actual ocean temperature. Of course when the oceans get warmer, that causes stronger storms.  We have seen in the last couple of years, a lot of big hurricanes. Hurricanes Jean, Francis and Ivan were among them. In the same year we had that string of big hurricanes; we also set an all time record for tornadoes in the United States… And then of course came Katrina. It is worth remembering that when it hit Florida it was a Category 1, but it killed a lot of people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage. And then, what happened? Before it hit New Orleans, it went over warmer water. As the water temperature increases, the wind velocity increases and the moisture content increases. And you’ll see Hurricane Katrina form over Florida. And then as it comes into the Gulf over warm water it becomes stronger and stronger and stronger. Look at that Hurricane’s eye. And of course the consequences were so horrendous; there are no words to describe it.

Remember how his film’s poster even used hurricane imagery to hype fears of catastrophic global warming and more hurricanes to come?

VIDEO: Has global warming stalled?

arcticOn Thursday 9 May, a measurement of the daily average atmospheric carbon dioxide exceeded 400 parts per million.

Last time CO2 was this high was three to five million years ago, when it was so hot that crocodiles roamed the Arctic.

Scientists thought that this rise would have an impact on climate change and temperatures would be driven steadily upwards by rising CO2, but figures show that they been at a standstill since 1998.

Tornadoes at record low since record keeping began

seymourtexastornadoFrom Houston Chronicle:

Today let’s look back a few years ago at U.S. tornado activity, when a record was set for most EF1 and stronger tornadoes in a 12-month period, from June 2010 to May 2011.

The website Think Progress wrote at the time:

In an email interview with ThinkProgress, Dr. Kevin Trenberth, one of the world’s top climate scientists, who has been exploring for years how greenhouse pollution influences extreme weather, said he believes that it is “irresponsible not to mention climate change” in the context of these extreme tornadoes.

Those who deny the threat of polluting our climate system are not to blame for its fury — but none of us can shirk our responsibility to end our interference with the weather.

Fast forward to today.

Could Supreme Court stall climate change regulations?

supreme courtWith a barrage of legal briefs, a coalition of business groups and Republican-leaning states are taking their fight against Obama administration climate change regulations to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other industry groups, along with states such as Texas and Virginia, have filed nine petitions in recent weeks asking the justices to review four U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations that are designed to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.

If the court were to take up any one of the petitions, it would be the biggest environmental case since Massachusetts v. EPA, the landmark 2007 decision in which the justices ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that could be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

Are Electric Cars Green? The External Cost of Lithium Batteries

electric cars chargingOne of the more fashionable concepts that one hears among people who regard themselves as environmentalists, is that the world would be much better off if only we could make the electric car mainstream. Without having engaged in any kind of systematic survey among serious thinkers on the environment, I certainly feel this is the case, although with a little digging, one can see that this is certainly not universally held to be the case, especially if one looks in the primary scientific literature.

A recent article in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, for example noted that China already has 100 million electric vehicles and that the health and climate benefits and deficits of these vehicles is decidedly mixed, particularly because of the high externalities associated with China's overwhelming dependence on coal power.

Environ. Sci. Technol., 2012, 46 (4), pp 2018–2024

The majority of these “vehicles” are, in fact, electric scooters, and their overall externalities are much lower than other electric cars, just as motorized scooters powered by gasoline have lower externalities than gasoline cars.