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

Al Gore sues Al Jazeera for fraud after $500 million acquisition

goreAl Gore and Joel Hyatt, co-founders of Current TV, filed suit against Al Jazeera America claiming the news channel is withholding “tens of millions of dollars” that is past due to Current TV's shareholders after it bought Current TV for $500 million.

According to the fraud lawsuit filed in Delaware, Al Jazeera agreed in the acquisition contract to pay Current TV's shareholders the millions sitting in an escrow account, but the satellite network is now refusing to pay it.

“Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago,” Gore's lawyer David Boies said in a statement. “We are asking the court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current's former shareholders.”

A Climate Crusader's Comeuppance

Tom-Steyer-DNC-2012As political comedowns go, there may be few to compare to the humbling of Tom Steyer. Six months after the climate activist roared on the national political scene vowing $100 million to impose his agenda on this fall's midterms, it would appear that this billionaire don't hunt.

Remember the liberal huzzahs that greeted the February pledge? The New York Times gave Mr. Steyer the front page, heralding a coming "hard-edge campaign of attack ads" that would pressure officials to "enact climate change measures" and persuade voters to back a climate agenda. Democrats hailed him as their new power broker, crowing about a war chest that could rival the Koch brothers and even up the midterm election odds. Environmentalists welcomed a white knight who would finally align the party and public behind their priorities.

Tuvalu PM says Pacific Island Nations Sinking, Science Shows They Aren't

PM Enele SopoagaPM Enele SopoagaPrime Minister Enele Sopoaga of the supposedly sinking Pacific island nations is at it again, this time taking a page out of John "global warming is a weapon of mass destruction" Kerry's handbook of hysteria in his attempts to rabble rouse a "deal." From Rappler (bold added):

"We are caught in the middle, effectively, in Tuvalu. We are very, very worried," Sopoaga told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"We are already suffering. It's already like a weapon of mass destruction and the indications are all there... we only need to garner strong collective leadership to address this.

"The people of Tuvalu are going to underscore again (in New York) the message that we are dying."

Tuvalu, a scattering of nine coral atolls that is home to about 11,000 people, is one of several Pacific nations threatened by rising seas blamed on global warming.

A World In Chaos, And Kerry's Talking Climate Change

kerry john 2Great leadership isn't necessarily about intelligence, expertise or background. It's more about wisdom and judgment. Based on this, Americans should be very concerned about Secretary of State John Kerry.

As the world melts into chaos and threats to the U.S. homeland multiply, America's top foreign policy official seems bizarrely, even dangerously, fixated on ... global warming.

In remarks at the East-West Center in Honolulu on Wednesday, Kerry repeated his claim that climate change is "the biggest challenge ... we face right now."

To which we respond: Can he be serious?

Climate Science Does Not Support IPCC Conclusions

earth-space 2Since 2008, the Chicago-based, libertarian-leaning Heartland Institute has organized nine ICCCs (International Conferences on Climate Change). Norman Rogers (American Thinker, Aug 9, 2014) has given a general overview of ICCC-9 (at Las Vegas), which attracted an audience of well over 600 and featured speakers from 12 nations.  Here I present a more detailed and personalized account of the two main science issues that appear to be of general concern. The first has to do with future temperatures and the second has to do with future sea level rise (SLR).

When it comes to global average surface temperature (GAST), the concern seems to be to remain below 2O°C. It should be recognized that this limit is entirely arbitrary. There is no established scientific basis for assigning special significance to it; it just happens to be the “Goldilocks” number. Here is what I mean: If one were to choose 0.5O°C, people will say “we’ve already seen that and nothing has happened.”  However, if we were to choose 5O°C, people will say, “we’ll never see that much warming -- hence of no significance.” That is why 2O°C may have become the alarmists’ choice. 

Climate scientist faces broad array of foes in suit vs. National Review

Getting mann-handled from both left and right media outlets.Mann getting Mann-Handled: Dozens of media outlets are backing the defendants' right to free speech.Penn State meteorology professor Michael Mann sounds like a pretty sympathetic character in the brief his lawyers filed last April at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Mann, who is widely credited with developing groundbreaking evidence of global warming, asked the appeals court to reject ongoing efforts by National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute to dismiss his libel and defamation case under the District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) law.

The defendants hadn’t just expressed their disagreement with his work on climate change, Mann said. They’d accused him of scientific fraud – “a statement of fact subject to objective verification and thus not protected ‘opinion,’” – Mann’s brief said. And they’d done so, according to Mann, even though the right-leaning magazine and think tank were well aware that he has been cleared in academic and regulatory inquiries about some troubling emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom that appeared to raise questions about the integrity of his research.

U.S. Democrats Embrace Shale Boom Ahead of Midterm Elections

productionThe US shale boom is shaping a new kind of Democrat in national politics, lawmakers who are giving greater support to the oil and gas industry even at the risk of alienating environmental groups, a core of the party's base. The trend comes as oil-and-gas production moves beyond America's traditionally energy-rich states, a development that also is increasing U.S. geopolitical influence abroad. It is a theme playing out ahead of November's midterm elections, with some Democrats trying to balance environmental groups' concerns about climate change and an industry they see as carrying economic benefits. --Amy Harder, The Wall Street Journal, 12 August 2014

In the run-up to this fall’s midterm elections, Democrats seem to be stifling some of their green sensibilities and embracing the recent U.S. energy revolution. Fracking has completely transformed the American energy landscape in just a few short years, and environmentalists, a key component of the Democratic base, aren’t happy. Fracking is opening up new oil and gas plays all across the country, and Democrats who previously might have vocally criticized fossil fuel production are finding plenty of reasons to hop on the shale bandwagon. Stay tuned; this is a narrative to watch during this year’s midterms. –-Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest, 12 August 2014

Hype about Mercury in the oceans

wildfire“A new paper by a group that includes researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Wright State University, Observatoire Midi-Pyréneés in France, and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research appears in this week’s edition of the journal Nature and provides the first direct calculation of mercury in the global ocean from pollution based on data obtained from 12 sampling cruises over the past 8 years. The work, which was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the European Research Council and led by WHOI marine chemist Carl Lamborg, also provides a look at the global distribution of mercury in the marine environment,” says the press release.

What made headlines in the press is this: “Analysis of their results showed rough agreement with the models used previously—that the ocean contains about 60,000 to 80,000 tons of pollution mercury. In addition, they found that ocean waters shallower than about 100 m (300 feet) have tripled in mercury concentration since the Industrial Revolution…..” “Tripled” is what the press picked up, but most sources did not print the rest of the sentence: …” and that the ocean as a whole has shown an increase of roughly 10 percent over pre-industrial mercury levels.”

The Gases of Life are NOT Pollutants

earth-from-spaceOur atmosphere contains the four gases of life – nitrogen, oxygen, water vapour and carbon dioxide.

Nitrogen is the most abundant gas-of-life in the atmosphere (78%). It is an essential building block of amino acids present in all proteins. It is a very stable unreactive gas, but micro-organisms in the soil and some plants are able to extract nitrogen from the atmosphere, making it available to growing plants. Lightning also manages to oxidise some atmospheric nitrogen.

Oxygen is the second most abundant gas-of-life in the atmosphere (21%). Every animal absorbs oxygen with every breath, using it to fuel bodily digestion of the foods they eat. This process builds bodies and provides the energy of muscles. In the great oxygen cycle, plants extract oxygen from carbon dioxide and exhale it to the atmosphere for animals to breathe.

RC: 20 million Russian black holes needed for methane emergency

One month ago, a very large crater was found on Yamal Peninsula in Siberia.

Where did the black hole come from? What was the cause? These questions were mysterious for us but now it seems that experts have reasons to say that there's lots of methane in the hole and the hole was a result of a methane bubble under the ground that found its way to the surface. Cool.

We’re ill-prepared if the iceman cometh

coolingWHAT if David Archibald’s book The Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short turns out to be right? What if the past 50 years of peace, cheap energy, abundant food, global economic growth and population explosion have been due to a temporary climate phenomenon?

What if the warmth the world has enjoyed for the past 50 years is the result of solar activity, not man-made CO2?

In a letter to the editor of Astronomy & Astrophysics, IG Usoskin et al produced the “first fully ­adjustment-free physical reconstruction of solar activity”. They found that during the past 3000 years the modern grand maxima, which occurred between 1959 and 2009, was a rare event both in magnitude and duration. This research adds to growing evidence that climate change is determined by the sun, not humans.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe Relies on Facts, Not Speculation, in Wolverine Endangerment Listing

wolverineIn what one person is calling a "travesty of science," Director Dan Ashe of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided not to add the wolverine to the U.S. Endangered Species List based on hysterics and ambiguous computer models, instead relying on facts, evidence, and observable science. From the AP:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said in an interview with The Associated Press that predictions about climate change's localized impacts remain ambiguous.

Rejecting the conclusions of most outside experts and some of the agency's own scientists, Ashe said the uncertainty made it impossible to determine whether less snow cover would put wolverines in danger of extinction in coming decades.

Most Americans Don’t Believe Climate ‘Consensus’, New Survey

Is Obama sweating the new poll? Poll, what poll?Is Obama sweating the new poll? Poll, what poll?Despite the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring and caused by human activity, a new survey conducted for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette demonstrates that many Americans remain uncertain about the impact of climate change and the need for government action to address it. Only 41 percent of Americans believe that ‘most scientists agree that climate change is happening now caused mainly by human activities.’ --James P. O'Toole, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10 August 2014

A year ago, U.S. President Barack Obama sought to mobilize the nation behind a grand plan: fight climate change by slashing carbon pollution at home, while prodding other countries to follow. A key part of that strategy was for the United States to stop using public money to finance the construction of most coal-fired power plants abroad, seen as one of the main causes of rising pollution from heat-trapping gases. But a year later, momentum has stalled on the Obama administration’s plan for a global “domino effect” that would choke off financing for coal projects from public lending institutions around the world. --Anna Yukhananov and Valerie Volcovici, Reuters, 12 August 2014

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