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

Gaia or God? Is the Pope making a bad mistake?

francisAny perception that it would prefer to thunder forth in condemnation of any opposition, rather than encouraging a genuine environmental debate, is not a good look for the Catholic Church. It brings back uncomfortable memories of days we expect long past. So when the Pope, widely respected as a good man, deeply concerned for the poor and needy worldwide, is perceived to be bypassing what many regard as his prime concern – in the shoes of St Peter – there is a degree of eyebrow raising, even consternation.

In the draft of his recent encyclical, the Pope states that there may be some natural reasons for global warming, but strongly chastises climate sceptics, “Their attitudes hindering the paths toward a solution, even amongst the believers, go from negating the problem to indifference, to an easy resignation, or to a blind faith in technical solutions,” he wrote.

Gov. Brown Wants Papal Climate Change Support–While Dumping Junipero Serra

brownCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown will take his utopian foreign policy to the Vatican to participate this week in an environmental summit hosted by Pope Francis. Despite California’s majority Democrats’ intention to banish celebrations of Catholic missionary Father Junipero Serra’s accomplishments, Brown will carry a state resolution supporting Pope Francis’ recent draft “Encyclical on Climate Change.”

Pope Francis last month called for a new global political authority tasked with “tackling…the reduction of pollution and the development of poor countries and regions.” Governor Brown has proposed that other countries join California in requiring an increase in the generation of electricity from renewable sources, boost energy efficiency in older buildings, and reduce by half the amount of gasoline used on state roads.

Take a bow for the new revolution

mccarthy ginaFrom the outset, President Obama directed his powerful government agencies and congressional allies to help him “fundamentally transform” the United States. Too many of them were eager to nationalize the nation’s healthcare system, ignore or rewrite inconvenient laws, control the internet and political speech, implement new regulations that imposed enormous costs for few or illusory benefits, and shut down oil, gas and coal in favor of expensive, unreliable, heavily subsidized wind, solar and biofuel energy.

We voters and citizens were supposed to “tip our hats to the new Constitution” and “take a bow for the new revolution,” as The Who put it in their classic song, “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

But now people seem less inclined to “smile and grin at the change all around.” They increasingly grasp the enormous costs of this ruling class totalitarian anarchy, refuse to get fooled again, and are telling Mr. Obama, “Your states and your citizens are beyond your command,” as Bob Dylan might say. Perhaps “the times are a-changing” once again, and “the losers now will be later to win” – in 2016 and beyond.

Pervasive signs certainly portend a newer revolution. Indeed, the reactions of some previous cheerleaders reflect anger at the disdain the president often seems to show for their jobs and well-being. The energy and environment arena is only part of the total picture, but it’s a vitally important one.

Climate Change: When Two Tribes Go To War

antarctic volcano(h/t Gator) Have you ever wondered why every climate change discussion ever held on earth in the past decade has turned pear-shaped and gone toxic? It seems you cannot get two antagonists alone together without one calling the other names within about three comments.

Why is that? Well, I think I know.

The climate change debate is not actually about the science, it’s about the culture wars. It’s about two tribes.

‘Crippling High Energy Costs’ Blamed For 720 UK Jobs Losses At Tata Steel

francisTata Steel blamed green taxes and cheap imports as it announced 720 job cuts at its speciality steel business in the UK. The steel maker said the business – which supplies sectors such as aerospace and construction – had been hit by the UK’s “cripplingly high electricity costs”, which are up to more than double those of its European rivals. --Amy Frizell, The Independent, 17 July 2015

The government has been slammed for failing to tackle “the UK's cripplingly high electricity costs,” which Tata Steel claim have left it no choice but to make 720 UK jobs redundant. Most of the jobs are being cut from its steel bar-making plant in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, which has been underperforming  because of electricity costs “which are more than double those of key European competitors”, it said today. --Catherine Neilan, City A.M. 17 July 2015

Using NOAA's cooked data, NASA says June tied as hottest month

weather satNASA announced on Wednesday that by using NOAA's recently altered temperature data, June 2015 was tied as the warmest June on record. As previously reported here, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reworked its climate data in order to eliminate the 18-year-and-counting pause in global warming. In early June, NOAA released a study saying that long-existing instrument biases have been masking rising sea surface temperatures. Once they "readjusted" the data, the current warming hiatus disappeared. Put simply, by cooling the past, NOAA made the the last two decades look warmer.

With the release of global temperature data for June, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has essentially changed how it analyses measurements by using the same sea surface dataset that was readjusted by NOAA. In using NOAA's highly controversial dataset, NASA can now say that global average temperatures last month tied June 2015 with June 1998 as the warmest on record. The global surface temperature anomaly for June was 0.78 degrees Celsius, which they say was driven by temperature inconsistencies in the Northern Hemisphere.

Climate Change Alarmists Appear Immunized Against Reality

hand earsSo Ars Technica sent a young man who bills himself as an “educator” and hydrologist to the 10th International Conference on Climate Change sponsored by the Heartland Institute, that was held last month in Washington DC. This educator, Scott K. Johnson, gazed about himself in wonder and came to believe he had fallen into an “echo chamber of outrage.”

Kids these days.

I’m sure young Scott won’t mind me calling him a kid, he being a novice to the field and because he takes criticisms of his cherished beliefs rather too seriously, as the young are apt. So worked up was this fellow that he tells us, “On the first night of the conference, one of the presenters actually invaded my dreams.” Dude. We’d rather not know about your nocturnal entrancements.

Corn growers rally over EPA's rule to cut ethanol production

corn field 0Yesterday, roughly 300 corn growers from across the country rallied in Washington D.C. to protest the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to cut corn-based ethanol production. Ken Hartman, president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association, said they are taking their frustrations straight to Capital Hill and letting lawmakers know just how important corn-based ethanol is to farmers. "Our potential corn crop isn't looking as good as it was a few months ago," Hartman admits. "But we are still going to have corn to move and it is unfair of the EPA to lower what was legislated."

As reported here in June, this is all part of the ongoing war between the EPA and corn growers from across the country, many of whom rely on ethanol sales for continued growth even as demand outpaces supply. The EPA is proposing that the amount of ethanol being produced under the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program be drastically cut, by about 4 billion gallons this year, and nearly 5 billion gallons next year.

Al Gore, Hurricane Hunter, Huddles By The Trash Can Fire

cartoon gore record coldWhen the New York area was hit in 2012 by the misnamed Sandy — it was only a Category 2 hurricane when it made landfall in the U.S. and it became known as a "superstorm" for political reasons — we were told that climate change was going to cause more intense and more frequent hurricanes. Since those alarms were sounded, the U.S. has not been hit by a single major hurricane.

In fact, we are experiencing the quietest major hurricane period on record. It has been 117 months since a Category 3 or higher storm made landfall in the U.S., says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This is the longest gap since the government began keeping track in 1851.

Britain Faces Multi-Billion Black Hole In Renewables Subsidies

Guardian screencapThe Government is facing a multi-billion pound black hole in its budget to pay for new clean energy supplies, which could result in rising household electricity bills unless there is a dramatic decline in investment in renewable technologies. Senior Whitehall sources have told The Independent that the Department of Energy and Climate Change has already overspent its budget by £1.5bn to support renewable energy projects over the next five years. Unless more money can be found, key projects such as carbon capture and storage, as well as the future of new offshore wind farms, could be placed in jeopardy. --Oliver Wright, The Independent, 16 July 2015

Industry: EPA is pulling the plug on new biofuels

ethanol refineryThe advanced biofuel lobby is raising concerns that the Environmental Protection Agency, the supposed defender of clean-burning fuels, could be setting up the industry for a devastating fall if new regulations are enacted.

The defenders of the second-generation fuels, derived from agriculture waste and other feedstock, say EPA's recently proposed Renewable Fuel Standard only appears to boost demand for biofuels, while in reality it gives the agency the power to reduce production forever.

Brent Erickson, vice president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, a prime defender of the emerging advanced biofuel industry, framed the new proposal as a "cynical" attempt to appease the refinery and oil industries. The proposed rules would trigger the EPA under the Clean Air Act to rewrite the standards at much lower levels beginning next year.

Labor leaker has brains to expose insanity of Bill Shorten’s new carbon tax plans

Bill ShortenBill ShortenTHANK God at least one person in Bill Shorten’s team knows Labor has gone mad with global warming and must be stopped.

That’s obvious from that anonymous person’s decision to leak Labor’s plans for a new carbon tax to the Herald Sun.

This paper was never likely to treat the plans gently and indeed ran them on Wednesday with an illustration of Shorten, the Opposition Leader, as a zombie crawling from the grave of Labor’s last carbon tax.

The leaker’s aim was plain: to either destroy the embattled Shorten or to embarrass Labor into dropping a tax that will cost it any change of winning next year’s election.

An Apostate Pope?

cartoon pope climate changePope Francis is playing with fire. It seems that the converging crises engulfing the Catholic Church and the need to cultivate a supportive global constituency based on the Third World may have pushed the Pope to both ignore the free-market basis of functioning economic systems and desert the fundamental principles of Christianity.

Caught in a perfect storm of scandal and relevance, Francis appears prepared to capitulate to the neo-Marxist paganism that underlies the Deep Green ideology of the global environmental movement and assume a vanguard role in constructing a global welfare state, established to mitigate the alleged effects of climate change. This capitulation has two dimensions: economic and theological, as will be discussed below.