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

Petition to Silence ‘Climate Change Deniers’ Gains Over 3,000 Signatures

petitionA petition to ban “climate change denial” pages from Facebook has attracted over 3,300 signatures. The author of the petition is arguing that climate change denial must be banned on the social networking site because Facebook rules stipulate that pages must not contain false information. But the so-called ‘deniers’ have called the campaign “totalitarian.”

Climate change advocate and concerned citizen Laurent Cousineau has called on Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to “Stop the Climate Change Denial Facebook Pages!”. Citing the World Health Organisation’s assertion that over 100 million people will die because of climate change within 20 years, Mr Cousineau has insisted that Disinformation should not be allowed on Facebook especially if it is to deny the scientific consensus on climate change.

Pope Calls For Global Governance Of The Climate And Oceans

cartoon carbon creditsPope Francis’ encyclical on global warming calls for “enforceable international agreements” governing the climate and the world’s oceans to combat ecological challenges, like global warming.

“What is needed, in effect, is an agreement on systems of governance for the whole range of so-called ‘global commons,’” the pope wrote in his encyclical.

Francis released his final encyclical titled “Laudato Si” Thursday in which he lays out the theological case for combating global warming, pollution and general ecological collapse. The pope warns that human activity is warming the planet and harming the world’s poor.

To solve this, Francis calls for global governance over the world’s air and oceans because “the climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.”

The Pontiff Buys a Bridge

screencapIt’s more than a bit ironic that in the same week we celebrate the 800th anniversary of  Magna Carta, the document that took away arbitrary rule by a king, the pope should be announcing an arbitrary ruling on climate change. Worse, it seems the only voices Rome has heeded are those of climate alarmists, led by Hans Joachim (John) Schellnhuber, Alarmist-in-Chief of the notoriously alarmist Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

You might think Pope Francis would have more sense than to dabble in matters of physical science, given memories of that contretemps with Galileo.  You might also think that the Vatican would know a thing or two about spotting false prophets, not to mention having a keen ear for the bearing of false witness. Yet that wisdom seems to have been forgotten, despite some handy reminders:

…many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many. – Matthew 24:11

...there will be false teachers among you … Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. — 2 Peter 2:3

Environmentalist Shipwreck

sea evilTo the obsessed environmentalist landlubbers, the romance of the sea is a waste of energy and a source of carbon pollution.The prissy and pompous protectors of the Earth have, like bureaucratic pirates, infiltrated the decks and engine rooms of the world’s ships. These humorless empty suits wave not the Jolly Roger, but the flag of contrived pseudo science. No matter that the globe isn’t warming, they are busy creating hell on earth in the form of an inferno of regulations.

To the obsessed environmentalist landlubbers, the romance of the sea is a waste of energy and a source of carbon pollution.

The International Maritime Organization, the IMO, is an important United Nations body that greatly affects world trade and the shipping industry. Traditionally, the IMO concerned itself with such things as how many lifeboats a ship should have. Now the IMO, infiltrated by environmental extremism, has jumped on the global warming bandwagon and is regulating CO2 emissions of ships. The regulations will increasingly restrict the amount of CO2 ships can emit. The bureaucrats of the IMO and their advisors apparently think that politically fashionable global warming theories trump economic reality about how the shipping industry should be run and how ships should be built.

The Return of Catholic Anti-Modernism

pope selfieCommentators are sure to make the false claim that Pope Francis has aligned the Church with modern science. They’ll say this because he endorses climate change. But that’s a superficial reading of Laudato Si. In this encyclical, Francis expresses strikingly anti-scientific, anti-technological, and anti-progressive sentiments. In fact, this is perhaps the most anti-modern encyclical since the Syllabus of Errors, Pius IX’s haughty 1864 dismissal of the conceits of the modern era.

Francis describes the root of our problem as a failure to affirm God as Creator. Because we do not orient our freedom toward acknowledging God, the Father, we’re drawn into the technological project. We seek to subdue and master the world so that it can serve our needs and desires, thus treating “other living beings as mere objects subjected to arbitrary human domination.” By contrast, if we acknowledge God as Creator, we can receive creation as a gift and see that “the ultimate purpose of other creatures is not found in us.”

No, The Pope Has Not Got An Advanced Chemistry Degree – Not That It Matters Anyway

hs diplomaNo the Pope doesn’t have a Masters degree in Chemistry.

I only mention it because the usual suspects have been making such a big deal of Pope Francis’s scientific credentials, as part of their inevitable campaign to persuade us that his controversial encyclical on “climate change” is rooted in deep wisdom and knowledge.

When, for example, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum suggested on the radio earlier this month that the pope should leave science to the scientists, the greenie-lefties couldn’t contain their glee.

Pope Delivers Powerful Message on Climate Change in Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’

laudato siIn his much-awaited encyclical on the environment, Pope Francis said that global warming could cause “unprecedented” environmental destruction, is mainly caused by human activity and presents an “urgent” need to lower carbon emissions through reduced use of fossil fuels.

The pontiff also denounced in bold and uncompromising terms what he described as the sinful plundering of the earth by powerful political and economic interests at the expense of the poor and future generations.

The Vatican published the document, entitled “Laudato Si” (“Be praised”), on Thursday. The official release came three days after the online publication of a leaked version by an Italian magazine.

The tragedy of California's bureaucrat-made drought

Drought Now rolling into its fourth year like a lazy tumbleweed, California's drought has reached such terrifying proportions that federal disaster monitors now consider 95 percent — fully 55 of the state's 58 counties — in a state of emergency. And if a band of restless local regulators get their way, it'll be only a matter of time until the entire state suffers this bone-dry fate.

Before you tune out, understand this isn't simply a California problem — it's a national one.

The state produces roughly half of all the nuts, fruits and vegetables consumed by the rest of the country. According to the number crunchers, these are the farms from where America grows 99 percent of its walnuts, 97 percent of its plums, 95 percent of its garlic, 89 percent of its cauliflower, 71 percent of its spinach and nearly 90 percent of leaf lettuce.

The ironies of Pope Francis’s climate-change cure

pope crowdIt is heartening and not at all surprising that Pope Francis stresses throughout his new encyclical—or at least the draft leaked earlier this week—how important it is to avoid harming the world’s poor, indeed, to facilitate their rising out of poverty instead. His recognition of the goodness of the physical creation rightly brings joy to everyone who appreciates, and wants to enhance, its beauty, fruitfulness, and safety. There are many things to applaud in this encyclical.

The encyclical’s treatment of climate change, however, is markedly different, and there are, before we even get to the substance, two textual clues to this.

Alan Caruba begins new adventure after 77 years

carubaI learned of Alan Caruba's untimely passing today after a reader sent me an email. My inbox had been eerily quiet as I hadn't heard from Alan since last week and he was due to drop an article any day now. With the frenzy around the pope, the upcoming climate talks, Obama and the EPA completely off their respective rails, I was waiting for a blistering but carefully worded column on government waste, religion, and plutocracies. What I didn't expect in my inbox was the news that an endearing man to me—and so many other people—had left this world after 77 years. Alan Caruba died on June 15 (details here).

Alan first came to my attention when I started this blog way back in 2010 (the site was under another name then) and he gave me permission to cross-post his articles. Then he began sending me his articles directly to share. He liked the graphics I would always pick out for his stories and started doing the same on his site. All told, I think Alan wrote an article each day on different topics (global warming, Obama, congressional nincompoops, Agenda 21, the U.N.), except maybe Christmas and Easter. He was the master of his keyboard and he used it judiciously and precisely.

A Warning To The Pope: Rising Green Energy Taxes To Hit Poorest Hardest

cartoon gas billRising green levies on energy bills risk causing a public backlash that will undermine efforts to tackle climate change, a leading left-wing think tank has warned. Subsidies to fund green electricity projects such as wind and solar farms are paid for through levies on consumer energy bills. Joss Garman, associate director of the IPPR think tank, said: “The government’s plan to hike up green levies on energy bills risks causing a public backlash against action to address climate change, especially because they hit the poorest households hardest.” --Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 17 June 2015

Government policies intended to reduce carbon dioxide are directly harming the poor in both the developing and developed world, according to a report released by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). Energy sources that are not based on fossil fuels are making both power and food more expensive, the report argues. While the affluent remain relatively unaffected, the poor are bearing the brunt of rising prices. The report, entitled Climate Policy and the Poor, was the written by Professor Anthony Kelly, who died on Tuesday. Kelly, who was widely regarded as the father of composite materials in the UK, points to two major ways government policy is harming the poor in the UK and overseas. --Guy Bentley, City A.M. 6 June 2014

Against ‘consensus’ messaging

cartoon settled scienceA decades’ experience shows that “Consensus messaging” doesn’t work. – Dan Kahan

Two weeks ago, Bristol University hosted a debate between Stefan Lewandowsky and Dan Kahan [link].

What is the best way to communicate the risks from climate change to the public? Dan Kahan has been championing the idea that risk perception depends on one’s culture or “worldview”, with people on the political right being more likely to downplay the risks from climate change than people on the political left. Stephan Lewandowsky has also found support for this notion in his own research, but he additionally finds that knowledge of the pervasive scientific consensus about global warming is a “gateway belief” that shapes people’s acceptance of the science and their willingness to support mitigation policies. So what are the implications of those two positions? Do they permit synergy or are they locked in opposition? Is there a third way to communicate science?