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

Wrong, Bill Maher - Reporting in '70s on Global Cooling Not Limited to Single Story in Newsweek

On his HBO show last night, comic Bill Maher made a dubious claim about the alleged lack of widespread reporting in the 1970s on global cooling, an assertion that even his core audience of confirmed stoners must have known was inaccurate.

Maher claimed that media accounts of the purported phenomenon were limited to a single story in a major news magazine for the entire decade -- which is true only if one ignores the scores of other stories across the spectrum of media during that period.

UN Chief Wants Action on $100 Billion Climate Fund

ban ki moonBan ki MoonMore than five years after President Obama and other leaders agreed on a 2020 goal of raising $100 billion each year from public and private sources to help developing countries deal with climate change, the United Nations wants to see action.

Ahead of Earth Day on Wednesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is pointing to a meeting next month in New York where he says he will be looking for clear indications from governments and investors as to how the ambitious goal will be reached.

“Climate change is the defining issue of our times,” he told a conference hosted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance last week. “It is also an enormous economic opportunity.”

On Saturday Ban again tackled the subject, at an International Monetary Fund event in Washington.

“We need a credible trajectory for realizing the $100 billion goal per year by 2020, as well as the operationalization of the Green Climate Fund,” he said.

China’s President In Pakistan To Cement Huge Coal Power Projects

eper14Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to unveil a $46 billion infrastructure spending plan in Pakistan that is a centerpiece of Beijing’s ambitions to open new trade and transport routes across Asia and challenge the U.S. as the dominant regional power. The largest part of the project would provide electricity to energy-starved Pakistan, based mostly on building new coal-fired power plants. —Jeremy Page, The Wall Street Journal, 19 Aril 2015

The US government has stepped up pressure on the World Bank not to fund coal-fired power plants in developing countries. In a letter sent to the World Bank United States Executive Director Whitney Debevoise said, "The Obama Administration believes that the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) have a potentially critical role to play in the future international framework for climate finance, and, in particular, to assist developing countries in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and strengthening their economies' resilience to climate risks." Following Debevoise's controversial guidelines, the axe has already fallen on Pakistan's Thar Coal and Energy Project on the grounds that "the limited financing available from the Bank should be directed toward investments that address energy supply shortfalls in an environmentally sustainable manner’'. —Swati Mather,  The Times of India, 24 January 2010

India To Overtake China As The World’s Biggest Coal Importer

india risingIndia is set to overtake China as the biggest importer of power-station coal. Indian thermal-coal imports will surpass China’s by 2017 or sooner, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts William Foiles and Andrew Cosgrove said in a report. China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, is cutting down on coal use to fight pollution. India and its regional peers including Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan and South Korea plan to increase their combined coal-fired generating capacity by more than 204 gigawatts, or 60%, through 2019, as per the report. --Bloomberg, 17 April 2015

India has announced that it will double its coal use by 2020, in the process overtaking the U.S. as the world’s second largest coal consumer after China. The International Energy Agency predicts that global coal demand, along with that of oil and gas, will still be rising in 2040, when fossil fuels will account for three-quarters of energy use. Asia in particular is destined for an enormous burst of coal investment. A great deal of the funding will likely come from the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB, an initiative promoted by China in the face of staunch U.S. opposition. The AIIB initiative – and its boost to coal-fired funding – leaves the U.S. president looking even more lonely on the geopolitical shore, a lame duck Canute vainly commanding the seas — and smokestacks — not to rise. --Peter Foster, Financial Post 17 April 2015

A Thank You to Rep. Raul Grijalva, Narrative Killer

facts vs ignorance(h/t Climate Depot) With this post I'd like to express a sincere Thanks to representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ). As most readers here will know, Rep. Grijalva is "investigating" me based on his belief that I do research and public service as a consequence of shadow payments from fossil fuel companies. Ridiculous, I know.

I'm thanking Rep. Grijalva not for the media exposure (e.g., NPR, NYT) or for the bump in sales of my books (e.g., THB, TCF, D&CC), and not even for the many bits of fan mail via email and Twitter from the fringes of the climate debate. Rather, I am thanking Rep. Grijalva for doing more than his part in helping to kill a narrative.

For more than a decade, leading elements of the science and media communities have advanced a narrative which said that conservatives were stupid and/or evil and were singularly responsible for pathologically politicizing science. Reality, as the saying goes, has a liberal bias. It turns out that concerns over the "politicization of science" were themselves subject to politicization.

India's Pachauri asks court for permission to travel

pachauriRajendra Pachauri, who stood down as head of the UN climate panel in February facing investigation for alleged sexual harassment, asked an Indian court Friday for permission to travel to Greece for a water conference.

The 74-year-old was barred from leaving the country pending a police investigation after a researcher at his New Delhi research institute accused him of sexual harassment -- an allegation he denies.

"He has moved the court because he wants the court s permission to travel abroad to attend a water conference in Greece," Pachauri s lawyer Ashish Bhan told AFP.

In Fraudulent Suit Against Chevron, One Honest Judge Makes A Difference

chevronAt first glance, it appeared that the poor and downtrodden had obtained justice against the rich and powerful:

New York attorney Steven Donziger, in Ecuador, obtained a $19 billion judgment against Chevron in favor of 47 indigenous people from Ecuador's backwoods to compensate them for oil exploration pollution.

But that supposed "justice" was discovered to be injustice, the result of lying, bribery and fraud. While an unbelievable story for a movie, it is the truth as found by a respected New York federal judge. Here is how it was uncovered.

Obama’s climate-change rules could kill nearly 300K jobs: report

solar panelsThe fate of President Obama's climate change plan now rests with three judges who heard oral arguments Thursday in a case that will decide whether the Environmental Protection Agency can move ahead with historic limits on power plant emissions.

The monumental case came before a federal appeals court on the same day new data was released showing the EPA regulations could lead directly to the loss of nearly 300,000 jobs — more fuel for critics who say Mr. Obama is pursuing a radical environmental agenda at the expense of jobs and affordable electricity rates.

Dumbing down 'climate change' results in confusion

boston snowGood Housekeeping is getting attention for its coverage of climate change. One critic thinks the article, while "short and sweet," dumbs down a complex issue to the point where it's misleading.

The magazine article says it's tempting to dismiss all the talk as hype, but experts say not to fall for misconceptions like "this is all a natural cycle" and "if global warming were an issue, blizzards would be on the wane."

Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger," assistant director at the Cato Institute's Center for the Study of Science, spoke with OneNewsNow about the article.

Obama Expected to Bind US to CO2 Reduction at Paris Climate Meeting This Year

sotuIn his State-of-the-Union address, president Obama again confirmed that “saving the climate” remains one of his top priorities. Yet an official December 2014 confab in Lima, Peru didn't really conclude anything -- certainly no binding Protocol to limit emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) -- but it "kicked the can down the road" to the next international gabfest in Paris, scheduled for 2015.

The world is looking forward to the 21st annual COP (conference of the parties to the global climate treaty), which will be held in Paris in December of 2015. It is hoped by many that Paris will end up with a climate protocol that will continue and even surpass the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, which expired in 2012 and achieved practically nothing except to waste hundreds of billions that might have been better spent addressing genuine world problems -- without accomplishing its main goal of reducing global emissions of the much-maligned greenhouse gas CO2. 

China And The Free West Unite Against Obama’s Green Tyranny

obamaThe other day a friend who works for a tiny arts charity employing two people in an office the size of a shoebox applied for a grant from the Arts Council, the taxpayer funded quango whose job it is to fund Britain’s theatres, galleries, museums etc.

After filling out reams of questionnaire, my friend discovered that the Arts Council was far less interested in his charity’s artistic merits than it was in its environmental policy.

“Well we don’t really have one, there’s only two of us and what we’re mainly about is, er, promoting literature,” explained my friend.

The new Inquisition

cartoon inquisitionHow long will this country remain free? Probably only as long as the American people value their freedom enough to defend it. But how many people today can stop looking at their electronic devices long enough to even think about such things?

Meanwhile, attempts to shut down people whose free speech interferes with other people’s political agendas go on, with remarkably little notice, much less outrage. The Internal Revenue Service’s targeting the tax-exempt status of conservative groups is just one of these attempts to fight political battles by shutting up the opposition rather than answering them.