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

Why my own Royal Society is wrong on climate change

Professor Michael KellyProfessor Michael KellyFive years ago, I was one of 43 Fellows of the Royal Society – the first and arguably still the most prestigious scientific organisation in the world – who wrote to our then-president about its approach to climate change. We warned that the Society was in danger of violating its founding principle, summed up in its famous motto ‘Nullius in verba’ – or ‘Don’t take another’s word for it; check it out for yourself’.

The reason for our warning was a Society document which stated breezily: ‘If you don’t believe in climate change you are using one of the following [eight] misleading arguments.’

The implication was clear: the Society seemed to be saying there was no longer room for meaningful debate about the claim that the world is warming dangerously because of human activity, because the science behind this was ‘settled’.

We hoped we would persuade the Society to rethink this position. That document was revised so that the uncertainty involved in trying to model the climate was admitted. But since then the Society has become more, not less dogmatic – despite the fact that since we sent that letter, it has become evident that there is even more uncertainty than previously thought. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have continued to rise, but since 1998 there has been no statistically significant rise in global temperatures at all.

Crony biofuel politics wag the dog

corn field 0Talk about the Norfolk terrier tail wagging the Great Dane. If they are to have any hope of winning their party’s nomination, Republican presidential hopefuls better support ethanol mandates, Hawkeye State politicos told potential candidates at the recent Iowa Agricultural Summit in Des Moines.

“Don’t mess with the RFS,” Republican Governor Terry Branstad warned, referring to Renewable Fuel Standards that require refiners to blend increasing amounts of ethanol into gasoline. “It is the Holy Grail, and I will defend it,” said Rep. Steve King, another Iowa Republican. It is vital for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and preventing dangerous climate change and weather extremes, said others.

Mainstream Global Warming Reporters Are Biased, Unteachable, Lazy, & Unethical

cartoon-media-gwThe left-wing Washington Post, stepping up its advocacy, issued a set of words yesterday teaching the global warming controversy and ignoring science. Typical.

The somehow aptly named E Wemple gave us “NPR attacks alleged ‘attacks’ on climate-change skeptic.”

Wemple begins “On the front page of its Sunday edition of Feb. 22, the New York Times pretty much blasted a hole in the climate-change denial movement.”

False. And childish. Blasted a hole? Pretty much? Climate-change denial movement? This is advocacy, as I said, and not reporting. It is also rotten writing, which is the greater sin.

WashPost Film Critic Applauds Film Charging Climate Deniers Just Like Tobacco Lobbyists

cigaretteLiberal Washington Post movie critic Ann Hornaday is a you-had-me-at-Hello date when it comes to “climate change” documentaries. The latest is called Merchants of Doubt, comparing global-warming denial to denying cigarettes are bad for you.

Merchants of Doubt, a documentary by Robert Kenner, takes up where the 2006 global warming tutorial An Inconvenient Truth left off, probing the dubious annals of climate-change denial and the unholy alliance between corporations, partisan politics, pseudo-science and marketing that has given it traction despite clear scientific evidence and consensus.

John Kerry lashes out at climate change skeptics, 'dirty energy'

JohnKerrySecretary of State John Kerry, speaking yesterday at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council, criticized Florida Governor Rick Scott's (R) administration for allegedly banning the term climate change from all communications. Scott has publicly denied claims that any phrases were forbidden by his administration.

Kerry said, "Now folks, we literally do not have the time to waste debating whether we can say ‘climate change.' Because no matter how much people want to bury their heads in the sand, it will not alter the fact that 97 percent of peer-reviewed climate studies confirm that climate change is happening and that human activity is largely responsible."

Electric Lemons

tesla roadsterFor years, the Obama administration has pumped billions into the development and subsidy of electric vehicles, but e-cars show little sign of catching on. Currently, just one in a thousand Americans own a plug-in electric car, and most of those reside in California, the epicenter of green energy boondoggles.

Now comes proof that many electric cars lose 70% of their value after just three years of ownership. According to a recent report, the resale value of the 2012 Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, the most popular plug-in electric cars, has fallen by 72% and 69%, respectively. Conventional vehicles do better. The resale value of the Chevy Cruze and Nissan Versa, similar sized, gasoline-powered cars, fall by an average of 54% and 50% after three years. Larger gasoline-powered cars hold even more of their value. After three years, the full-size 268-HP Toyota Avalon in good condition goes for $19,471, a loss of just 35%.

The U.S. Has Too Much Oil And Nowhere To Put It

oil 2As oil prices have crashed, from more than $100 a barrel last summer to below $50 now, big trading companies are storing their crude in hopes of selling it for higher prices down the road. With U.S. production continuing to expand, that’s led to the fastest increase in U.S. oil inventories on record. For most of this year, the U.S. has added almost 1 million barrels a day to its stash of crude supplies. As of March 11, nationwide stocks were at 449 million barrels, by far the most ever. Oil investors appear to be coming around to the notion that a lack of storage capacity could lead to another price crash. --Matthew Philips, Bloomberg, 12 March 2015

A recent rebound in oil prices is built on flimsy foundations, the International Energy Agency warned Friday, with another sharp fall possible and few signs that cheap fuel was giving growth a real boost. --AFP, 13 March 2015

President Obama's veto of Keystone XL pipeline only serves his political objectives

pipelinePresident Barack Obama vetoed legislation that would have greenlighted the Keystone XL pipeline, linking Canadian oil sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The Senate lacks the votes to override Obama’s veto. Yet Keystone isn’t dead. Both Democrats and Republicans have an interest in keeping this political football in play.

Someday, we hope, the pipeline will be built. But that day won’t come any time soon — and perhaps never during Obama’s dwindling presidency.

In his veto message, Obama asserted that he hasn’t decided whether Keystone should be built or not. Obama said he was using his veto pen — for only the third time — mainly to preserve the executive branch’s jurisdiction over cross-border projects such as Keystone.

ed Cruz Unhappy with NASA’s New Focus on Global Warming

shuttleAs chairman of the Senate Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee, Texas Republican Ted Cruz is on a mission — to get NASA back on course regarding it’s original focus, space, and less on what many view as pseudo-science: global warming research.

According to this National Journal report, “The Republican lawmaker argues that the Obama administration is wrongfully neglecting the country’s space exploration operations—like potential missions to Mars and beyond—in favor of global-warming research.”

Now, Cruz is asking NASA’s administrator, Charles Bolden, if he agrees.

“I’d like to start by asking a general question,” said Cruz on Thursday during a subcommittee hearing on the president’s $18.5 billion budget request for NASA for fiscal 2016, which allocates considerable funding for Earth- and ocean-science projects. “In your judgment, what is the core mission of NASA?”

Conflict Experts Dispute Impact Of Global Warming On National Security

cartoonGlobal conflict experts say the Obama administration’s recent focus on climate change as a national security threat may be misguided. “The link between global warming and national security needs is tenuous at best, though the Arctic might be an exception, if [Russian President Vladimir] Putin continues his revanchist ways,” Harvard psychology professor and best-selling author Steven Pinker said in a recent e-mail interview. “Most wars have nothing to do with climate, and vice versa.” --David O. Williams, Real Vail, 11 March 2015

One of Wall Street’s most successful hedge fund managers is once again wading into the climate change debate. His conclusion: It’s not as big of a problem as some suggest. --Stephen Gandel, Forbes, 11 March 2015 

ASU prof 'shocked' to be target of Dems' climate probe

ballingASU Prof Robert BallingAn Arizona State University scientist said he is "shocked" to be among seven researchers at the center of a probe by an Arizona congressman over funding for their climate-change research.

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., wrote letters to seven universities last month, saying he has concerns about issues of potential conflicts of interest and failure to disclose corporate funding sources related to climate research. The issues were raised in a New York Times article.

Grijalva is seeking records on external funding going to Robert Balling Jr., a professor in ASU's School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. The request also seeks drafts of any testimony Balling prepared for a government body or agency and correspondence surrounding his testimony and funding dating back to 2007.

I Deny I’m a Denier

sajak(h/t Climate Depot) I consider myself to be a skeptic in the matter of man-made global warming. I’m not a denier; I’m not smart enough to be that certain. But, as with a lot of things in life, I’m skeptical. (And see what they did there? By labeling skeptics as deniers, they equate us with Holocaust Deniers. Pretty clever, huh?) Every now and then, I’ll use my Twitter account to send out a tweet poking fun at climate alarmists (see what I did there?). And, while most Twitter users understand the humor, there are those who get very, very angry.

First, they pointedly remind me that I’m not a scientist. That’s very helpful, because sometimes I confuse being a TV game show host with being a scientist. (It’s always embarrassing when I show up for a taping in a white lab coat.) Actually, that’s not the first thing they do; the bulk of them usually start with obscene name-calling.