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

Is Global Warming Curing Droughts In North Africa?

drought africaA new study claims that global warming has actually benefited Africa’s arid Sahel region in the form of increased rainfall. After suffering devastating droughts in the 1970s and 80s, rainfall has significantly increased.

“Scientists often study how greenhouse gas levels in the future will influence the climate,” Rowan Sutton, the study’s lead author and science professor at the University of Reading, said in a statement.

Sutton’s study used supercomputer-simulated climate scenarios to study the factors that change rainfall in North Africa. Most studies have said Sahel rainfall is influenced by temperature changes over the Atlantic and Indian oceans, but Sutton and his colleagues conclude that the increased rainfall is caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA’s latest target has 18 wheels

tractor trailerWhether you watch the regulatory actions of the Environmental Protection Agency with support, amusement, disbelief or horror, it’s worth noting what’s coming next.

In this case, it’s the rumble of the tractor trailer that could be the next target of EPA’s chomp-chomp-chomp regulatory battle against global warming.

This week, EPA is likely to propose regulations cutting greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty trucks, reported Aaron M. Kessler and Coral Davenport in The New York Times.

It means the government will provide a steeper challenge for tractor-trailer fuel efficiency, seeking to raise the average from the current five to six miles a gallon of diesel up to nine miles a gallon by 2027.

Director of Science Museum Responds to Inaccurate Guardian Article

atmosphere exhibitI wanted to respond to a story in the Guardian in which a campaign group that opposes sponsorship by oil companies highlights the Science Museum’s relationship with Shell, with whom the museum has a long-standing partnership.

Shell was a major funder of Atmosphere, our climate science gallery which provides our visitors with accurate, up-to-date information on what is known, what is uncertain, and what is not known about this important subject. The gallery has been hugely popular since it opened four years ago and has now been visited by more than 3 million people.

U.N. climate deal in Paris may be graveyard for 2°C goal

climate talks DOAThe U.N.'s Paris climate conference, designed to reach a plan for curbing global warming, may instead become the graveyard for its defining goal: to stop temperatures rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Achieving the 2C (3.6 Fahrenheit) target has been the driving force for climate negotiators and scientists, who say it is the limit beyond which the world will suffer ever worsening floods, droughts, storms and rising seas.

But six months before world leaders convene in Paris, prospects are fading for a deal that would keep average temperatures below the ceiling. Greenhouse gas emissions have reached record highs in recent years.

Oxfam’s Pig Ignorant Support of ‘Decarbonisation’ Will Make the Poor Poorer

oxfam support of decarbonisation“Political institutions always put their own institutional survival first. If they are supposed to help poor people, they promote poverty, to ensure there is a steady supply of poor people who need their help”.

These were the words of my beloved uncle John, sadly now deceased, passing on wisdom learned under the gentle tutelage of Joseph Stalin. At the time I rejected his advice as being far too cynical – surely people join charities because they want to help. But the latest demand from Oxfam, which in my opinion amounts to a demand for more people to be impoverished, really makes me wonder if he was right all along.

The Liberal Gulag, Revisited

sheldon whitehouseSenator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, has a big idea: launching organized-crime investigations under RICO against people and institutions that disagree with him about global warming.

Some time ago, I wrote about Democrats’ calls to imprison people for holding the wrong views on global warming. The response at the time was predictable: “Oh, that’s just some nobody at Gawker – you can’t tar the Left and the Democrats with the loony opinions of that one guy!” And then it was Robert Kennedy Jr., speaking at a very large global-warming rally, purportedly the largest event of its kind ever. “Oh, that’s just daft old Robert Kennedy Jr., he has all kinds of weird views!” Etc.

Bonn U.N. Talks Seek To Avoid Deadlock Over Global Climate Agreement

climate paris talksGovernments will try on Monday to streamline an 89-page draft text of a U.N. deal to fight climate change due to be agreed in Paris in December, hoping to avoid the acrimony of the last failed attempt. The 190-nation talks among senior officials in Bonn, from June 1-11, will try to narrow down vastly differing options, ranging from promises to slash greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 to vague pledges to curb rising emissions. --Alister Doyle, Reuters, 31 May 2015

Efforts spearheaded by the United Nations to reach a global deal to fight climate change are "inadequate", a French minister said on Monday in a sign of growing frustration before Paris hosts a major meeting later this year. Environment Minister Segolene Royal blamed negotiators for past failures. "Bonn must obey the political instructions of heads of state and governments. Otherwise, the negotiators, who have been there for 15 years, if not 20 years, will just continue going through the motions," she said.  --Reuters, 1 June 2015

Curbing EPA abuses

gina mccarthyRussian President Vladimir Putin is outraged that the United States has indicted 14 FIFA soccer officials, accusing them of corruption, racketeering, fraud and conspiracy, involving bribes totaling over $150 million in kickbacks for awarding tournament rights. He says the US is meddling in Russian affairs and plotting to steal the 2018 World Cup from his country. What chutzpah.

This is the same Mr. Putin who annexed Crimea and parts of Ukraine, and whose close cronies have been secretly channeling millions of dollars to US and EU environmentalist groups to oppose both American oil drilling in the Arctic and hydraulic fracturing – the game-changing process that is producing so much oil and gas that it’s slashed energy prices … and Russian revenues.

The Justice Department indictments generated global applause. Now the DOJ needs to conduct an equally zealous investigation into corruption, fraud and collusion in the Obama Environmental Protection Agency. Of course, that will never happen – no matter how rampant or flagrant the abuses have been.

Gov. Walker to Obama: Clean Power Plan is 'riddled with inaccuracies'

Scott WalkerGov. Scott WalkerThe AP reported Thursday that presidential hopeful Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) told President Obama in a letter that his Clean Power Plan is simply "unworkable" and "riddled with inaccuracies." The letter, obtained by the AP and dated May 21, said Wisconsin would not comply with the president's plan without "significant and meaningful changes." The Clean Power Plan is designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that the EPA says is responsible for climate change.

A defiant Walker wrote that the proposed rule for coal-fired power plants made "questionable assumptions," making it untenable for his state. He also wrote that adherence to the new rules would cost Wisconsin nearly $13.4 billion, raise electricity rates by 29 percent, and that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had overstated its authority by "attempting to regulate the entire electric generating system."

Puddles, Potholes Under Government Control — Has EPA Gone Too Far?

ginaFirst it went after coal, now it's going after ... puddles. Is there anything the Environmental Protection Agency can't regulate if it wants to? Based on its recent actions, apparently not.

The EPA is perhaps the pre-eminent example of the "administrative state" — the quasi-permanent unelected federal bureaucracy made up of 77 agencies and departments that operate largely free of congressional interference and that write rules that have the power of enforceable law.

Now, fresh off declaring it can essentially regulate all industrial activity to get rid of CO2 in our atmosphere, the EPA in cahoots with the Army Corps of Engineers just unveiled what it calls the "clean water rule."

Environmental Journalism Has Become Ideological Warfare

moneyWhy do so many climate-related news reports sound like propaganda written by zealous, even fanatical, environmentalists who could never be called impartial or objective?

Why have reporters belonging to the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) abandoned the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics, which includes a pledge to support “open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant,” and instead promoted retaliation against scientists with whom they disagree, often calling for the censorship of climate-alarm skeptics?

Leaving the Church of Environmentalism

Environmentalism Gone MadIn March 2009 while the Environmental Protection Agency was rushing to fulfill a presidential campaign pledge to document that carbon dioxide (CO2) and five other greenhouse gases endangered public health and the environment, a longtime employee, Alan Carlin, put out a 93-page report challenging the science being cited and the drift of the agency from its initial role to one captured by fanatical activists and alarmists, treating environmentalism more as a religion than based in science.

At the time Carlin was a 72-year-old analyst and economist who, as The New York Times put it, “had labored in obscurity in a little-known office at the Environmental Protection Agency since the Nixon administration.” His EPA career would span 38 years.

The website for his new book, “Environmentalism Gone Mad” says, “Dr. Alan Carlin is an economist and physical scientist with degrees from Caltech and MIT and publications in both economics and climate/energy, who became actively involved in the Sierra Club in the 1960s as an activist and Chapter Chairman. This led to a career as a manager and senior analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency.”