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

Democrats, Liberals Reap Massive Cash Advantage from Top Political Spenders

steyerWith less than 100 days until the November midterm elections, updated federal campaign finance records show Democrats and liberals are way ahead of their Republican counterparts in receiving donations from large organizations.That’s thanks in part to Citizens United, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that many on the political left say undermines democracy.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, 16 of the top 20 contributors thus far in the 2013-14 election cycle gave almost exclusively to Democratic candidates and to liberal groups that support them. The three Republican-leaning organizations landing in the top 20 amounted to less than half of the overall top ranked donor, ActBlue.

ActBlue, a political action committee, gave more than $30 million to left-of-center politicos at various levels of government. Founded in 2004, ActBlue has the distinction of being the largest single source of political funding in the United States. Since 2013, all but $33,175 went to Democrats and liberals groups.

“Climate-smart” policies for Africa are stupid and immoral

sub-Saharan-AfricaThe 2014 US-Africa Leaders Summit hosted by President Obama this past week brought together the largest-ever gathering of African government officials in Washington, DC. They discussed ways to bolster trade and investment by American companies on a continent where a billion people – including 200 million aged 15 to 24 – are becoming wealthier and better educated.

They have steadily rising expectations and recognize the pressing need to create jobs, improve security, reduce corruption, and control diseases like Ebola, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. They also understand that better roads and air transportation, improved agriculture and nutrition, and far more energy – especially electricity – are the sine qua non to achieving their aspirations. Indeed, nearly 700 million Africans still do not have electricity or get it only sporadically, a few hours a day or week.

Is Wildfire Severity Really Getting Worse?

wildfireIt might seem like fire season is as bad as it's ever been. But there's a group of researchers who question that prevailing wisdom.

The drumbeat about wildfires going from bad to worse reaches all the way to the White House. A few days ago, President Obama's science advisor John Holdren said, "Climate change has been making the fire season in the United States longer and, on average, more intense."

Now contrast that with three fresh science papers from separate institutions. Each makes the case that forest fires in the West today burn less than in historical times.

One of the co-authors is Dominick DellaSala, chief scientist at the Geos Institute in Ashland, Oregon.

Study shows that greenhouse gas induced warming decreased in last 14 years

earthNew measurements contradict main tenets of global warming alarmists. First some background.

A greenhouse structure (or an automobile parked in the sun) warms as follows. Short wave radiation from the sun penetrates the glass and warms the interior. The warm interior radiates heat as long-wave infrared radiation which cannot penetrate glass. The glass also prevents heat loss by convection. Therefore the interior warms.

In the atmosphere, so the theory goes, greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and water vapor allow short wave radiation from the sun to penetrate to the Earth’s surface which warms and radiates long-wave infra-red radiation into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gasses capture some of the long-wave radiation and re-radiate some of it to space and some of it back to Earth, further warming the Earth. The more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; the more radiation is sent back to Earth and warming increases. Note that the atmosphere does not have anything to prevent convective heat loss (which we call weather).

Climate Alarmist Warns: Fish Are the New Global Warming!

thanks for the fishThe Telegraph's resident enviro loon Geoffrey Lean has come up with some new terrifying evidence for the existence of "global warming."

No. Not surface air temperatures. They became totally irrelevant to the global warming debate when they stopped doing what they alarmists wanted them to do round about 1997.

As Geoff helpfully explains of the surface temperature record:

This is the most obvious indicator to humanity, since it records the conditions in which we live, but it is only one of several used by scientists – and not the most important of them.

Phew. Glad we sorted that one out. So what, er, is the new most important metric for global temperature rises, now that it's not measured global temperature rises, our Geoff?

Well, apparently, it's.....fish.

'Green' Initiatives Cripple Capitalism

Wirth now heads the UN Foundation which lobbies for hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to help underdeveloped countries fight climate change.Wirth now heads the UN Foundation which lobbies for hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to help underdeveloped countries fight climate change.Activist groups attending a Venezuela government-hosted, UN-backed environmental conference have made it clear that going green certainly isn’t about green market prosperity.

For that matter they don’t believe that it is about preserving green forests either, or about capping plant-nourishing carbon emissions for a greener planet in order to halt climate change.

Nope, the “Margarita Declaration” handed down by the 130 environmental ministers who attended the four-day July meeting called carbon markets a “false solution” to the problem of climate change and branded the UN’s forest conservation scheme “dangerous and unethical.”

Instead, the real solution is to cap and trade capitalism for socialism.

As agreed in a run-up to the UN’s main round of climate talks in Lima later this year, the blame was clear, “The structural causes of climate change are linked to the current hegemonic [capitalist] system ... To combat climate change it is necessary to change the system.”

While it remains unclear which organizations actually signed on, those represented in the discussions reportedly include the World Wildlife Fund, CAN International, Third World Network, and Christian Aid.

UN-sponsored and supported attributions of climate crisis and other environmental ills to capitalism are hardly something new. Dating back two decades ago to the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Climate Summit which codified the UN’s central theme for the famous (or infamous) Kyoto Protocol, its chairman Maurice Strong suggested, “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrialized civilization to collapse. Isn’t it our job to bring that about?”

From Taxes to Keystone: Fact-Checkers Label Billionaire Steyer’s Ads False

steyer-on-fireLiberal billionaire Tom Steyer has been increasing his ad buys promoting environmentalist causes and candidates. There’s just one problem: many of his ads are being fact-checked as misleading or even false.

Most recently, a Steyer-backed ad against Iowa Republican candidate for Senate Joni Ernst was rated “false” by the fact-checking site Politifact. Steyer’s group, NextGen Climate Action, put out an ad lambasting Ernst for signing a pledge not to raise taxes that was crafted by the group Americans for Tax Reform.

Republicans have been slammed by Democrats in the past for backing the no tax increase pledge, but the NextGen ad from July claimed the pledge “protects tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.” This, however, was declared to be false by Politifact.

Sony Scoops Up Doc Attacking Climate Change Skeptics

GoreSony Pictures Classics will bring a new documentary to theaters in the coming months that attacks those who scrutinize the latest global warming headlines.

Will film critics label the finished product "one-sided" or "propaganda" as they so often do with those rare right-of-center films?

Merchants of Doubt, according to Deadline.com, examines people "hired to cast doubt and delay action on climate change."

The film is inspired by the book from Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, which takes a satirical look at the heart of conjuring American spin. Kenner (Food Inc.) focuses on a secretive group of charismatic pundits-for-hire who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities – yet have the contrary aim of spreading maximum confusion about well-studied public threats ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change.

Is Global Warming Behind Hawaii's Sister Storms? No

hawaiiSeth Borenstein, the AP's foremost climate-change alarmist, goes on the hunt to find a link between global warming and the hurricane twins bearing down on Hawaii. Alas, hurricane experts say unequivocally 'global warming isn't a factor at all.' From the Ravalli Republic (emphasis added):

It's been nearly 22 years without a hurricane hitting Hawaii, and only three direct landfalls since 1950. Hurricane Iselle was aiming dead-on for the Big Island of the 50th state with another hurricane, Julio, right behind. Julio was more likely to be a glancing blow to Hawaii's northern islands, hurricane experts said.

EPA's Gina McCarthy broke the law by destroying official text messages and should resign

Gina McCarthyText messages sent on a private telephone between Maureen McDonnell, wife of Bob McDonnell, and businessman Johnnie Williams are key evidence in the corruption trial of the former Virginia governor, according to the Washington Post.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s aides also produced text messages in the “Bridgegate” investigation, again using private telephones.

Just like email, text messages can be preserved and produced. Federal employees are required to preserve text messages concerning official business.

Pot smokers sue San Diego, say long drives to dispensaries pollute air

plantsMedical marijuana smokers in San Diego say the city has forced their pot shops to locate in remote areas and that means the drives to and from will increase air pollution — and ultimately, harm their lungs.

The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients has filed a lawsuit, saying the city is violating the California Environmental Quality Act, United Press International reported.

The suit names as defendants the Coastal Commission and the city of San Diego and claims the zoning laws put in place for marijuana dispensaries means patients have to actually get in their cars to drive to the remote locations — and the additional drive times will only increase the city’s air pollution levels.

Confounded by Keystone XL’s continuing delay

heitkampU.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp uses popular culture to portray how she feels about TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

“It’s the Kim Kardashian of carbon,” the Democrat told the Grand Forks afternoon Rotary Club Tuesday afternoon. “I don’t know why we care.”

Kardashian, for those not in the know on such things, is a reality television star famous for, really, nothing. Heitkamp has used variations of that quote in the past to make the point that the Keystone XL really is famous for nothing, too. After all, numerous other pipelines already form a well-used grid in the United States, so why make such a big deal about it?

Global Warming Pause Puts 'Crisis' In Perspective

earth-from-spaceMuch has been written and argued, from all sides in the global warming debate, about the meaning of the asserted 17-year pause in global warming. Is a 17-year pause significant? Is a pause even occurring? Does the pause signal a longer-term halt to global warming or even a long-term cooling trend? Would a resumption of global warming to pre-pause rates end the global warming debate? A look at recent temperatures and their appropriate context provides helpful meaning to the much-discussed global warming pause.

Satellite instruments began uniformly measuring temperatures throughout the Earth’s lower atmosphere in 1979. Climate scientists overseeing these NASA satellite instruments produced the chart below showing the following temperature trends:

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