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

The Pope, the Globe and the Facts

francisThe media and the secular left have a love-hate relationship with the Roman Catholic Church and its popes. When the pope takes positions with which they agree, they applaud him, but when he takes positions with which they disagree, they either ignore or criticize him.

Such is the case with Pope Francis' encyclical on “climate change.” The Washington Post gave it editorial praise, stating in a front-page headline that it “poses a dilemma for 2016 GOP hopefuls.” Since Francis included abortion along with “climate change” in his argument that the environment and life at all stages has value and is in need of protection, one might ask why the secular left and media don’t think that’s a problem for Democratic presidential hopefuls?

US Lawmakers Vote To Block Obama’s Climate Policy

capitalThe House of Representatives voted Wednesday to delay the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate rule for power plants and let state governors opt out of complying. The bill, passed 247-180, is a major blow to the main pillar of President Obama’s effort to reduce the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, although the White House has promised a veto to protect his legacy. The regulation’s enforcement would also be delayed until all court challenges are resolved. The GOP believes that the rule will not withstand judicial review, so the delay is designed to ensure that the regulation never takes effect. --Timothy Cama and Cristina Marcos, The Hill, 25 June 2015

Court tells Dutch government to cut emissions a further 8 percent

Roughly 26% of the Netherlands and 21% of its population are located below sea level.Roughly 26% of the Netherlands and 21% of its population are located below sea level. Wikimedia CommonsIn a ruling that appears more symbolic than enforceable, the Hague District Court said today that the government had a responsibility to protect its citizens from "looming" climate threats, and ordered them to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent by 2020. The Dutch government, however, said it already has policies in effect that will cut emissions by 17 percent by 2020, a difference of 8 percent. The ruling, read aloud by Presiding Judge Hans Hofhuis, was met by activist applause inside the courtroom.

The Dutch court agreed with the plaintiffs that the "government has a legal obligation to protect its people against looming dangers" because 26 percent of the Netherlands are below sea level. Using the precautionary principle as the basis for the suit, the plaintiffs argued that their country was unusually at risk from rising sea levels due to global warming.

Pope Worships The Creator, His Advisor Worships The Creation

Hans Schellnhuber - "HJS Ausschnitt Büro bw" by Foto Hollin (http://www.foto-hollin.de) - Wikipedia:Contact us/Photo submission. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HJS_Ausschnitt_B%C3%BCro_bw.jpg#/media/File:HJS_Ausschnitt_B%C3%BCro_bw.jpgHans Schellnhuber - "HJS Ausschnitt Büro bw" by Foto Hollin - Wikipedia:Contact us/Photo submission. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.The scientist who advised the pope on his climate change message is a godless man whose Almighty is the Earth. We keep trying to adjust our set because there is something very wrong with this picture.

Pope Francis issued an encyclical last week that brought a lot of fire and brimstone his way, and deservedly so. He wandered far outside his divine calling and lectured his church about man's role in global warming.

Anyone who wondered how he could do such a thing have their answer in Hans Schellnhuber, the microbiologist who advised Francis. Schellnhuber, The Stream reports, is a "self-professed atheist" who "appears to believe in a Mother Earth."

That makes Schellnhuber, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, a believer in Gaia, the name given to Earth as a mystical living system that some believe is deserving of worship.

Francis, we assume, does not worship the creation but instead the creator. His partnership with someone whose belief rests at almost the opposite end of the spectrum might make the faithful uncomfortable.

Met Office: Temperatures Could Plummet As Sun Enters Cooler Phase

solar imageBritain could be on the verge of a mini Ice Age as the Sun enters a cooler phase, the Met Office warned yesterday. The last big chill was felt hundreds of years ago when Frost Fairs were held on the frozen River Thames. However the Met Office said the new freeze will not be enough to cancel out the effects of global warming. Met Office’s Hadley Centre, which looks at long term forecasts, said there was a 15-20 per cent chance that we could match the temperatures last seen in 1645-1715 – sometimes called the Little Ice Age – when the River Thames froze over. --Colin Fernandez, Daily Mail, 24 June 2015

The sun is almost completely blank. The main driver of all weather and climate, the entity which occupies 99.86% of all of the mass in our solar system, the great ball of fire in the sky has gone quiet again during what is likely to be the weakest sunspot cycle in more than a century. Not since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906 has there been a solar cycle with fewer sunspots. --Paul Dorian, Vencore, Inc. 30 April 2015

The Pope's Beauty and Incoherence

pope francis environment encyclicalThere is a healthy discussion now underway within Catholic circles asking the improbable question: What is the message of Laudato Si, the pope's new encyclical on the environment? The political left feels not just vindicated but triumphant. Global warming is not just sound science; it is dogma. Conservative skeptics are therefore not just ignorant; they are immorally ignorant.

Last week, Rush Limbaugh argued that "what this papal encyclical is saying is that every Catholic should vote for the Democrat Party. ... That's what it is. How else do you interpret it when the pope comes out and sounds like Al Gore on global warming and climate change?"

UK Could Be Hit By A New Ice Age

River Thames FrozenJust as the weather starts to get slightly warmer in Britain, we’re hit with the news that the UK could be on the verge of a mini Ice Age. Typical.

That’s according to forecasters at the Met Office, who have confirmed that temperatures could plummet as chillingly low as 300 years ago – when it was so cold that the River Thames froze over.

When the ‘mini Ice-Age’ occurred during 1645 and 1715, it got so cold that a bed of ice formed on the River Thames, and it was thick enough to host a ‘frost fair’ on the river – so perhaps it’s not a bad thing after all.

The Station That Was Formerly Known As The Weather Channel

weather channel propagandaWant the weather report without a sermon? Just need to know if it's going to rain tomorrow and hope to find out without being hectored? Looking for a forecast, not a lecture? Then the Weather Channel is probably the place to avoid.

The Associated Press said Monday that the Weather Channel is taking an "active stance on climate change." It will feature "the voices of 25 prominent people talking about the need to take action on climate change."

Bipartisan distrust of Obama threatens trade deal, remainder of term

obama whcdGlobal warming has emerged as the newest battleground on trade, with opponents on both the right and the left trying to use the hot-button issue to sink President Obama’s quest for a legacy-building free trade deal.

Conservatives argue that Mr. Obama will use trade negotiating powers to write a binding climate deal into any agreement and say that alone is reason to deny the White House fast-track negotiating powers. Liberal opponents of a trade deal say they don’t think the agreement gives the president enough power to work on trade.

Global warming causing hot dogs to slip out of buns

hotdogWe know that global warming is a big threat. Oh, it may help us with our mummy problem, and be a boon for great tits, but it causes more problems than it solves – shrinking horses, causing seals to be oversexed, causing poison ivy to become even itchier, making trees less colorful, making trees more colorful, making reptiles walk uphill, destroying opium in Afghanistan, and even increasing cannibalism to unacceptable levels, with that last prediction courtesy of former CNN founder and exotic diner Ted Turner.

And now it turns out that global warming is causing a new problem: it is shrinking the size of our buns.

Two Degrees of Separation from Reality

cartoons by joshThe UN is calling on national leaders to back a global agreement on reducing human-produced CO2 emissions with the stated intention of limiting “global warming to 2C degrees above the pre-industrial level”. This pact is to be signed in Paris in December and Australia has agreed to participate. Thrashed out at the 2014 Lima conference, the process called upon individual nations ‘ready to do so’ to submit national pledges by the first quarter of 2015, with Australia saying it would take the pledge sometime around now.

Yet it remains unclear if the Australian government subscribes to the 2C target.The recently released issues paper, ‘Setting Australia’s post-2020 target for greenhouse gas emissions’, does not refer to this aim. I have sought clarification, unsuccessfully, from Environment Minister Greg Hunt and my local member, Dr Peter Hendy, a Liberal. The 2C limit is a very specific target, one that doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room.This is as it should be if one accepts the prognostications of catastrophe upon which the alleged need for this agreement is based.(Which, for the record, I don’t. But let us play the game anyway.)

UK Government Scraps 250 Wind Farms As Subsidies Are Axed

cartoon turbinesLarge swathes of the British countryside are to be spared the blight of windfarms by the axing of taxpayer subsidies, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has revealed. She said about 2,500 proposed turbines in 250 projects are now “unlikely to be built”. Ms Rudd said: “We are reaching the limits of what is affordable, and what the public is prepared to accept.” --John Ingham, Daily Express, 23 June 2015 

Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Forum, which argues that many anti-climate change measures are too costly, said: “This announcement is a move in the right direction but it is a bit schizophrenic. The Government is phasing out subsidies for onshore wind but they are still subsiding offshore turbines which are twice as expensive. This will not reduce the overall cost for renewables because that was agreed by the coalition Government a year ago. Under the Levy Control Framework subsidies for renewables will double from £4billion now to about £8billion in 2020.” --John Ingham, Daily Express, 23 June 2015