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

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?

The Pope's Global Warming Encyclical: Don't Be Misled

cartoon pope heresyA draft of the pope's global warming encyclical has been leaked and, as expected, he is taking the Catholic Church to a place it has never gone before. That's a shame, because it's a place it should never go.

Italian magazine L'Espresso posted the message on its website Monday. The Vatican has asked the media to wait "for the official publication of the final text," but it's too late. By now, much of the world knows that across 192 pages, Pope Francis warns of the "unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem" before the end of this century, and expects humanity to make significant lifestyle changes.

Is this the job of the pope? Or is it a misuse of the authority of the Roman Catholic Church and the church at large? There's no question in our minds. This pope has misapplied his authority. He's also undermined his own credibility and that of the Catholic Church, as well.

Et Tu, Pontifex? Pope Francis Leaps Aboard ‘Global Warming’ Bandwagon

francis popeSo the Pope’s long-awaited encyclical on “global warming” has been released to the media four days in advance of its official launch.

A Vatican official has described this leak as “heinous,” but not as heinous, surely, as the damage this misbegotten document is going to do to the global economy, to the credibility of the Catholic church, and, perhaps worst of all as far as this caring, sharing pope ought to be concerned, the plight of the world’s poor.

If the draft of the encyclical leaked to the the Italian magazine l’Espresso is anywhere near like the finished version, then the auguries for this encyclical really aren’t good.

Meteorologists Dismantle Bill Nye’s Alarmist Global Warming Claims

nye sightedBill Nye the “Science Guy” is once again trying to blame global warming for a series of weather events happening around the U.S., but this time meteorologists aren’t having it.

Meteorologists criticized Nye’s claim that warm temperatures in Alaska and flooding in Texas are a product of man-made global warming.

As Tropical Storm Bill (no relation to Nye) was projected to make landfall in Texas, Nye tweeted:

Drowning In Oil: World Faces Longest Oil Glut In Three Decades

growthThe world is on the brink of the longest-lasting oil glut in at least three decades and OPEC’s quest for market share makes it almost unavoidable. --Grant Smith, Bloomberg, 16 June 2015

According to the BP Review, over the decade to the end of 2014, coal use grew by 968 million tonnes of oil equivalent. That is 4 times faster than renewables, 2.8 times faster than oil and 50 per cent faster than gas. That’s hardly justification for a requiem. --Brendan Pearson and Michael Roche, The Australian, 16 June 2015

It has become urgent and compelling to develop policies so that in the coming years the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases is reduced drastically, for instance by replacing fossil fuels and by developing renewable energy sources. --Leaked Papal Encyclical, 15 June 2015

PolitiFact: Claim of Scott Walker banning phrase climate change 'false'

Scottaway Screen ShotPolitiFact took a progressive group out to the woodshed today for creating a misleading website that says presidential hopeful Gov Scott Walker (R) has banned state employees from using the phrase 'climate change.' Forecast the Facts, a project of the liberal group Citizen Engagement Laboratory, says it developed the website called scottaway.com in response to the Walker administration's denial of climate change. But PolitiFact took a closer look at that claim and found it to be without merit.

The "scottaway the truth" website, which allows users to click a giant red button that swaps out 'climate change' with words like 'magic weather' and 'extended Popsicle season,' stated that "Governors Rick Scott (FL) and Scott Walker (WI) both run state governments that ban employees from talking about climate change." But when PolitiFact started snooping around, the site 'magically' swapped out its header to read (changes in bold): "Governors Rick Scott (FL) and Scott Walker (WI) both support state agencies that reportedly ban employees from talking about climate change."

EXCLUSIVE: ‘We’ll All Be Dead Before Climate Change Orgs Admit They’re Wrong’ Says MP

protestMember of Parliament David Davies has warned of the stubborn nature of organisations like Britain’s Royal Society – the oldest grouping of eminent scientists in the world – who have admitted that they will not accept any other thinking on global warming for at least “fifty years”, even if the data shows otherwise.

Attending a speech on climate change in the House of Lords, the Welsh Tory MP spoke about on his surreal experience meeting two men from the Royal Society whom he said had been sent to persuade him and fellow climate realists Peter Lilley MP and John Redwood MP to embrace the idea of man-made climate change. He said that representatives from the Society – often lauded as the most eminent grouping of scientists, founded in the 1600s – told him that they would not change their mind for at least fifty years, regardless of the evidence.

Papal Encyclical On Global Warming Gets Leaked Just Days Before Its Release

francis popeA draft of Pope Francis’ encyclical focusing on global warming has been leaked by an Italian news magazine just days ahead of its final publication. The draft has already set the Internet ablaze as newspapers say the document pushes for action to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

The Italian magazine L’Espresso leaked a draft copy of Francis’ encyclical “Be praised.” The Vatican has already come out saying this document was only an “intermediate” draft and the final text will be released Thursday.

For months, environmentalists and skeptics have waited for Francis to weigh in on global warming. If the leaked draft is any indication of what the pope will say in the final encyclical, it looks like the pope will be surging for action ahead of the United Nations climate summit in Paris set for later this year.

The Pause in the Stratosphere

stratosphereThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is awfully certain that solar activity doesn’t meaningfully impact climate. In fact, their 2014 Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers offers only one passing reference to solar activity in the entire document. On page 10, the report notes a curious caveat regarding predicted surface temperatures from 2016–2035: “This assumes that there will be no major volcanic eruptions …or unexpected changes in total solar irradiance.”

Other than that, solar variability is essentially dismissed in the IPCC worldview. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary driver of climate change, and that’s that.

Climate Doom Awards Profits and Prophets

Scared WitlessMy new book “Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom” exposes powerful players and agendas behind climate industry fearmongering.

Abundant evidence clearly reveals the politicization of science by some of the world’s most influential institutions to demonize CO2 as a planet-ravaging “pollutant,” greatly exaggerate capacities and sustainability benefits of “alternative” energy sources, and foster alarmist claims to support U.N. anti-capitalist global wealth redistribution purposes.

But don’t just take my word for such accusations. As U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) official Ottmar Edenhofer advised in 2010, "One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth.”

Even the U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres admitted that its goal is to destroy capitalism . . . not to save the world from ecological calamity.

Referring to a new international treaty that is likely to be adopted at November-December Paris conference, she said, “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”

UK Council Recommends Green Light For British Shale Revolution

Bickerton Hill in Cheshire in 2012. (click to see 'after' trees cut down)Bickerton Hill in Cheshire in 2012.
(Click to see Bickerton Hill today)
The Pope will take on global warming sceptics this week by blaming climate change and extreme weather on man. --Tom Kington, The Times, 15 June 2015

Shale gas firm Cuadrilla Resources received a boost in its plan to start fracking in north west England on Monday when local government recommended that its application to drill up to four exploration wells should be granted. The company’s project at Preston New Road near Blackpool could become Britain’s first shale gas production wells, and could lead a drive to develop the unconventional resource as Britain’s North Sea gas and oil production declines. --Reuters, 15 June 2015

Where have all our woods gone? Up in smoke – as the new trendy ‘green’ wood-burning stoves and boilers (funded by tax millions) are being fuelled by birches and oaks… leaving swathes of Britain barren. --David Rose, Mail on Sunday, 14 June 2015