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

A Message For Pope Francis

francisPope Francis plans to deliver an encyclical on climate change this summer. To pave the way and outline the Pope’s positions, the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences is holding a workshop on the topic, April 28 in Rome. The Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Heartland Institute will be there.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, director of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and an author of the draft encyclical, says the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has determined that “our planet is getting warmer.” Christians have a duty to help the poor, “irrespective of the causes of climate change,” and address what Pope Francis apparently believes is an imminent climate crisis. The encyclical will likely present global warming as “a critical moral issue” and set the stage for a new climate treaty.

Climate Scientists Head to Rome on Urgent Mission to Save The Pope From Clutches of ManBearPig

VaticanShould the Pope stick to God or is it about time he embraced the fashionable cause of Gaia-worship?

This is going to be the big question in Rome over the next couple of days as two rival groups – one comprising green activists, lefty economists and world government apparatchiks, the other containing one or two actual climate scientists – battle for the environmental soul of the Vatican.

On one side is a delegation led by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and economist Jeffrey Sachs, a warmist so fanatically unrestrained that last year he decided it wasn’t at all beneath his dignity to tweet “Climate liars like Rupert Murdoch & Koch Brothers have more & more blood on their hands as climate disasters claim lives across the world.”

Francis Is Out of His Element

francisEight years ago, I was deeply honored to be invited to participate in the first papal conference on climate change, the Pontifical Council on Climate Change and Development. To my great and lasting regret, I was unable to participate.

Now a new Pope is leading a new climate conference, and I’d like to humbly offer my thoughts about some factors he should consider as he leads the discussion.

Science is critical to understanding why and how our climate changes — an issue, contrary to popular belief, that’s still a matter of open debate. However, science provides no insight into how individuals or governments ought to respond to any particular threats or benefits possibly arising from climate change. These are normative matters.

The Calbuco eruption adds another layer to climate debate

calbuco eruptionThe eruption of Calbuco, one of Chile’s 500 active volcanoes, has captured the world’s attention with strikingly beautiful images and stories of hasty evacuations. However, the really important story behind this eruption is even subtler: it is a vivid illustration of Earth’s awesome natural geological forces. It’s a rare glimpse into the powers that can move mountains, rip continents apart, and more importantly, alter our climate.

The Calbuco eruption is a wake-up call for "consensus" global warming theory climate scientists; it shows that geologic forces eclipse man-made global warming, adding another layer to the climate debate.

It’s time for climate scientists to include the affects of these natural forces into computer models and climate pattern predictions. Calbuco is releasing massive amounts of particulate matter, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and sulfur dioxide into the upper and lower atmosphere, and in turn altering our climate. The degree to which this eruption changes earth’s climate will be seen in months to come. But make no mistake, it will alter our climate.

Inquiry Launched Into Global Temperature Data Integrity

chartThe London-based think-tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation is today launching a major inquiry into the integrity of the official global surface temperature records. Questions have been raised about the reliability of the surface temperature data and the extent to which apparent warming trends may be artefacts of adjustments made after the data are collected. The inquiry will review the technical challenges in accurately measuring surface temperature, and will assess the extent of adjustments to the data, their integrity and whether they tend to increase or decrease the warming trend. --Global Warming Policy Foundation, 26 April 2015

Obama and the environment: Clean power or power play?

power plantBy its plain language, the bill prohibits the EPA from regulating the power plantsRecently, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals heard one of the strangest cases ever argued in a federal appellate court – a seemingly esoteric controversy that, in any other context, might be relegated to obscurity.   But since winning this case is the linchpin President Obama needs to win the “War Against Coal,” the EPA has staked everything on pulling an oversized rabbit out of a very small hat.

Cue State of West Virginia v. EPA and Murray Energy v. EPA, two joined cases comprising the first challenge to the president’s recent efforts to cement his climate change legacy. Fifteen states, along with select coal companies, have sued for an “extraordinary writ” to prevent the EPA from promulgating new carbon regulations set to be finalized this summer.

Why discrediting controversial academics such as Bjørn Lomborg damages science

LomborgAlice Dreger’s new book, Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science, tells the stories of various academics whose work is perceived to be politically threatening to one group or another and then as a consequence experience vicious personal and professional attacks. In each of the cases, when Dreger explored the controversy, she found that the claims made to impeach the researchers – such as that their research was fabricated or that they had engaged in academic misconduct – did not stand up to scrutiny.

Obama's Legacy: 70 Percent of Americans Dissatisfied With Our Country's Direction

obamaAnyone looking for signs that Barack Obama's presidency is running out of gas got a glimmer of hope this week from his daily schedule.

He traveled to Florida Wednesday for a tour along the swampy Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park to talk about "climate change" or, as it is called by his friends, "Global Warming."

The last time I checked the top 10 issues the American people worry about most, climate change wasn't one of them.

I guess Obama didn't have anything on his schedule to occupy his day, so he flew down to Florida to grudgingly admit, "Yes, this winter was cold in some parts of the country." But, he insisted, storms, droughts and "longer wildfire seasons" showed that global warming was still very real.

Eco-echo Chamber Amplifies “Corrupt Skeptics” Myth

merchants movieIn Merchants of Smear, a September 2014 Heartland Institute Policy Brief by investigative journalist Russell Cook, the origin of the idea skeptical scientists have been paid by industry to lie about climate change is finally revealed.

Cook demonstrates the strategy to “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” originated from instructions to public relations professionals working with an industry coalition responding to former Vice President Al Gore’s climate activism. Contrary to popular opinion, it was “not a top-down directive ordering scientists to fabricate doubt,” Cook says.

‘Easy-to-Remember’ Reporting Points

Cook explains the mainstream media’s approach to reporting climate change can be boiled down to “Three Easy-to-Remember Points” that are in fact not true:

Indian ex-climate chief denied permission to attend summit after sexual harassment complaint

pachauriAn Indian court on Thursday refused Rajendra Pachauri permission to attend an international water conference after the leading global voice on climate change was accused of sexual harassment by a female colleague.

Pachauri, 74, quit as chair of the United Nations panel of climate scientists in February after a 29-year-old researcher at his Delhi-based think tank made the accusation against him. Pachauri has denied the allegation.

The Indian scientist, who has been granted protection from arrest, had asked the Delhi High Court for permission to travel to Greece to attend the Global Water Summit on April 27-28.

New Report Details The Staggering Corruption Of Science Behind NY’s Fracking Ban

protestNew York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo shocked the media last year by declaring that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, was too dangerous for the Empire State. He based his decision on a 184-page report that relied on misinformation peddled by researchers with ties to environmental activists, according to a new report.

“[T]he Cuomo administration’s report relies on highly questionable sources, including research papers with strong ties to the fringe activists who helped hasten the ban in New York,” according to a new report by the oil industry-backed group Energy In Depth (EID).

“Yet these same sources were misrepresented as purveyors and curators of ‘bona fide’ science by Cuomo officials,” EID reports.

Obama Puts Heat On India Over Climate Commitments

lifestyleContrary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent observation that India was under “no pressure” for climate commitments, a US envoy said on Monday that India is being “closely watched” for its contribution to climate change. US envoy Richard Verma said the country was being “closely watched” for its intended contribution towards the global response to climate change. “I don’t think it’s an understatement to say the world is watching very closely what India will do,” he said. --The Times of India, 20 April 2015

The developed world would have to "walk the talk" on climate change and provide a green climate fund to the developing world, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has said, ahead of a crucial UN meet on the issue in Paris later this year. "Prime Minster (Narendra Modi) has put up an ambitious target of generating 175,000 megawatts of renewable energy. That is a huge contribution of India, because it will save 350 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year and would require 150 billion of investment. So the developed world would also have to put their best foot forward,” he said. --Press Trust of India, 20 April 2015