"If you can't explain it simply,
you don't understand it well enough."

—Albert Einstein

Federal court upholds EPA rule retiring coal plants

coal-warA federal court has upheld an Environmental Protection Agency mercury emissions rule responsible for forcing hundreds of coal-fired power plants to retire across the country.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. upheld the EPA’s Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for coal and oil-fired power plants. The rule limits emissions of mercury and other air pollutants from such power plants, and the court victory has been hailed by environmentalists as a victory for public health.

“Today’s legal victory is another giant step forward on the road to cleaner, healthier air,” said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund. “The court recognized that mercury and other dangerous air toxins from coal-fired power plants are a threat to public health, and that we should all be protected from them.”

Harry Reid: The Desert Fox Of Corruption

cartoon-reid-moneyThe standoff in the Nevada desert wasn't about a desert tortoise or a rancher's failure to pay grazing fees. It was about the state's senior senator again enriching himself and his family at public expense.

Sunlight is said to be the best disinfectant, and the end, at least temporarily, to the Bureau of Land Management's armed standoff with Cliven Bundy may be due in part to the exposure given to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's role in the attempt to confiscate Bundy's cattle and shut down his ranch.

"A tortoise isn't the reason why BLM is harassing a 67-year-old rancher; they want his land," journalist and blogger Dana Loesch notes. "The tortoise wasn't of concern when Harry Reid worked with BLM to literally change the boundaries of the tortoise's habitat to accommodate the development of his top donor, Harvey Whittemore."

Years of Living Dangerously

Harrison Ford: Losing his religionHarrison Ford: Losing his religionUpdate, April 16th (blog post originally released on April 12th): Nielsen ratings concluded that the premiere of "Years of Living Dangerously" was only watched by 294,000 people (compare with 16+ million for The Big Bang Theory), confirming my 04/12 predictions below that the ratings would be poor. If you divide, you see that an average TV viewer (or those paying for the commercials) would have to pay over $68 for the TV series to become profitable.

By most quantitative criteria, James Cameron is the world's most successful film director and film producer. He has earned almost $1 billion just for himself and some of his works are blockbusters – like Titanic and The Terminator; let me not include Avatar here. He's also a deep-sea explorer. You can have some unusual hobbies if your worth approaches a billion.

Global Warming: A Convenient Fiction

cartoon-warming not a hoaxIn 2008 Al Gore prophesied that the North Pole would be ice free within 5 years because of man-made global warming. Interestingly, now 6 years later, the latest satellite data show that not only is there plenty of ice, but that the ice cover has actually expanded by 50%, compared to 2012 levels. At the same time, sea ice levels in Antarctica have expanded to record levels and the southern hemisphere now has 19.5 million square kilometers of ice cover, more than at any point since records were first kept in 1978. And back home 86% of the country experienced colder than normal temperatures this winter so it won't surprise most to learn that the earth's temperature has not risen in 17 years amidst the huge global warming hype.

As the evidence mounts that global warming is not advancing as predicted, many global warming propagators have changed course to say that instead of warming, carbon emissions will lead to more "climate change" and that this change will result in increased hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding.That may sound plausible, except that it too is not backed by the data.Even the liberally minded United Nations noted that current data shows "no robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricane counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin."

The Science And Politics Of Climate Change

Lennart Bengtsson, former UN IPCC scientistLennart Bengtsson,
former UN IPCC scientist
Since the end of the 19th century, we have known that the Earth’s climate is sensitive to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. At that time, the Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius showed that an increase in CO2 concentrations would lead to a warmer climate. However, Arrhenius harbored little hope that this would happen. Consequently, the Swedes would have to continue to suffer in a cold and miserable climate. Since then, much has changed. Annual CO2 emissions have now reached a level that is about 20 times higher than that of 1896. This has caused concern worldwide.

More CO2 in the atmosphere leads undoubtedly to a warming of the earth surface. However, the extent and speed of this warming are still uncertain, because we cannot yet separate well enough the greenhouse effect from other climate influences. Although the radiative forcing by greenhouse gases (including methane, nitrogen oxides and fluorocarbons) has increased by 2.5 watts per square meter since the mid-19th century, observations show only a moderate warming of 0.8 degrees Celsius. Thus, the warming is significantly smaller than predicted by most climate models. In addition, the warming in the last century was not uniform. Phases of manifest warming were followed by periods with no warming at all or even cooling.

How the Obama administration turned the latest IPCC report into meaningless gobbledegook

Even by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's own lamentable standards, its new report - by Working Group III of the Fifth Assessment Report - makes no sense whatsoever.

obamaPerhaps it never did but what definitely made it worse was the politicised meddling of the Obama administration.

Before the report's formal release, US officials - who had seen an earlier draft - wrote to the United Nations demanding it be amended.

"The discussion of the economic costs of mitigation is too narrow and does not incorporate co-benefits of action."

Loosely translated this means: "If we admit how much we're spending to such little purpose, the taxpaying public is going to kill us."

UN says the world needs cap-and-trade, carbon taxes

cartoon cry wolfA new United Nations report urges countries to tax carbon emissions to stem the rise of global temperatures.

In order to keep global temperatures from rising above two degrees Celsius by 2100, the world needs to lower its use of fossil fuels, like coal and oil, between 40 percent and 70 percent. This can be done by acting immediately and putting a global price on carbon dioxide emissions, either through a tax or cap-and-trade system, according to the UN.

The UN says that under such assumptions, the cost of mitigating global warming would only be 0.06 percent of annual global consumption growth. Without any immediate mitigation, the UN says that global consumption losses would be up to 37 percent higher between 2050 and 2100.

Cliven Bundy's Cattle Battle: Harry Reid, China and Agenda 21

BundyBundyA Chinese solar farm that fries birds is OK, as is redrawing tortoise habitat boundaries to benefit political donors. But an American rancher grazing his cattle brings feds with sniper rifles.

It appears Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has, at least temporarily, wonhis "range war" with the paramilitary wing of the Bureau of Land Management. Fearing another Waco, BLM has announced it will no longer enforce a court order and stop stealing Bundy's cows, called "trespass cattle" by the feds, accused of grazing free on part of the 84% of Nevada that is federal property.

If the forces deployed in and around the Nevadan's ranch had been deployed to Benghazi, it's likely Glen Doherty, Ty Woods, Sean Smith and Ambassador Christopher Stevens would be alive today. If illegal aliens were grazing on the disputed property, there would not have been federal snipers perched nearby with American citizens in their sights.

Give up meat, coal, oil, economic growth and national sovereignty - orders new IPCC climate report

frackattackThe United Nations (UN) has delivered its latest verdict on the measures necessary to save the world from global warming and the news is as grim as it is predictable and wearisomely familiar:

  • More regulation from "experts", technocrats and bureaucrats at supranational organisations, such as the one whose initials begin with U and end with N.
  • More taxpayer subsidies for expensive, inefficient renewable energy.
  • More nuclear power (with shale gas used as a transitional fuel to replace coal).
  • The abandonment of fossil fuels.
  • Less meat consumption.
  • A single, globally-regulated price for carbon dioxide.
  • More local-government-enforced walking, cycling and public transportation.
  • More back-door wealth redistribution from the West to the developing world in the name of "sustainability"
  • All at a cost to the global economy of up to 3.7 per cent of GDP by 2030, provided we act now.

These are the recommendations of Working Group III of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), due to be officially announced in Berlin on Monday.

Shale Gas Can Help To Tackle Climate Change – IPCC

cartoon-IPCC consensusShale gas can help the world to avoid dangerous climate change if it replaces coal in power stations, according to a United Nations report. The IPCC was silent, however, on how much investment there should be in each source of energy. It said it was up to each country to decide on the mix of energy sources it needed to meet its share of the global emissions target. --Ben Webster, The Times, 14 April 2014

The United Nations (UN) has delivered its latest verdict on the measures necessary to save the world from global warming and the news is as grim as it is predictable and wearisomely familiar. This action will set back economic growth, involve significant "behavioural change" and "devalue fossil fuel assets", the report admits. But only with "major institutional and technological changes" can the world avert an even greater threat. If no action is taken, it warns, temperatures may rise by as much as 4.8 degrees C by 2100. --James Delingpole, Breitbart London, 14 April 2014

Green Activists and Democratic Allies Call for More Money in Politics

Markey: We want you! Especially your money!Markey: We want you! Especially your money!Democrats who claim to revile money in politics are throwing their weight behind a new effort by a pair of leading environmentalist groups to pour special interest money into federal elections.

The Natural Resource Defense Council and the League of Conservation Voters announced a new effort called LeadingGreen on Monday.

The effort “will steer donations to federal candidates and enlist the help of major donors in lobbying elected officials,” the Washington Post reported.

Among the effort’s backers is Sen. Ed Markey (D., Mass.) who was elected last year on a platform that included staunch opposition to money in politics, despite extensive support for Markey among dark money groups.

NY Times' Friedman, a Jew, Uses the "Denier" label in CNN Interview

FriedmanFriedmanTom Friedman, a NY Times' columnist, is also Jewish. According to his Wiki-ography, he "attended Hebrew school five days a week until his Bar Mitzvah… He became enamored of Israel after a visit there in December 1968, and he spent all three of his high school summers living on Kibbutz Hahotrim, near Haifa. He has characterized his high school years as 'one big celebration of Israel's victory in the Six-Day War.' "

So it was a little surprising to hear Friedman call global-warming skeptics "climate deniers" in a recent interview with CNN's Fareed, in reference to the latest report by the UN's IPCC. Friedman says,

I was thinking, driving over here, what if the nightmare of the climate deniers came true and we really decided in America to take this seriously and act? What would we do? What is the nightmare that would happen?

Will Cherry Blossoms Get Sucked into the Polar Vortex?

BlossomsDC’s cherry trees hit their official peak blossom date last Thursday, April 10th.  That’s the latest in the year that the Capital has experienced peak blossoming in over two decades.  (For you botanical historians, the last time that peak blossoming occurred this late or later was in 1993, when the event fell on April 11.)

In 2013 the blossoms were almost as late, hitting their peak on April 9.  That was a pretty dramatic change from 2012, when the date fell on March 20. This change was most disconcerting to two groups: tourists trying to plan their trips to DC in advance, and global warming alarmists who trumpeted every earlier-than-expected cherry blossom as yet further proof of global warming.  In fact, in a sizzling multi-part blog post series last year, followed by dozens of readers, we charted peak blossom dates against global warming data.  We even had graphs.  (See Adam Sandberg, Peak Bloom Is Here – DC’s Global Warming Canary Lands with Frost on its Feet, April 15, 2013.)

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