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

Is Climate Change Hysteria the New 'Population Bomb'?

protest germanyA recent article in the New York Times revisits the generalized pandemonium in the 1970s over fears of a global population explosion, due in large part to Paul R. Ehrlich’s 1968 doomsday bestseller: The Population Bomb. The article inadvertently ties Ehrlich’s apocalyptic thesis—and the widespread willingness to believe it—to the current climate change hysteria that has swept a large part of the planet.

Ehrlich sold the world the idea that mankind stood on the brink of Armageddon because there was simply no way to feed the exponentially increasing world population. The opening line set the tone for the whole book: “The battle to feed all of humanity is over.”

NOAA advisory: Persistent El Niño may impact U.S. winter weather

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released an advisory yesterday that there is a 90 percent chance or higher that an El Niño will persist throughout the fall of 2015. They are also 85 percent confident it will continue throughout the 2015-2016 winter, influencing the U.S. weather. El Niños form when a "three-month average warming of at least 0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9°F) in a specific area of the east-central tropical Pacific Ocean" occurs. Using satellite data, the El Niño event looks like a long, jagged ribbon of warm water spreading across the central and east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean (see Figure 1).

figure1

Side effects of a long-running El Niño event are "warmer and drier winters in the Northwest, northern Midwest, and upper Northeast United States" and "significantly wetter winters" for drought-stricken central and southern California. Other climate events associated with El Niño years are above-normal tropical cyclones forming east of the dateline, less-then-robust tropical Pacific fishing, and flooding along the coasts of northern Peru and Ecuador.

Two Weeks Of UN Climate Talks Leave Core Issues Unresolved

Bonn climateTwo weeks of U.N. climate talks ended Thursday with negotiators trimming a draft global climate pact but leaving core sticking points to be untangled later, before a December summit in Paris where the landmark agreement is to be adopted. Frustrated by the slow pace of the climate talks, some negotiators and observers called the Bonn meeting a squandered opportunity. --Associated Press, 11 June 2015

The Korean government said Thursday it will lower its carbon emissions reduction goals. The Ministry of Environment announced four proposals for greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for 2030 and all emission amounts are higher than the targets set for 2020. Yvo de Boer, the director general of the Global Green Growth Institute, expressed his disappointment. "The purpose of the Paris agreement is to reduce emissions, not increase them.” --Kim Se-jeong, The Korea Times, 12 June 2015

Where is All the CO2 Going?

coral reef wikimediaWhen fossil fuels -- coal, oil and natural gas -- burn, the major combustion products are carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor. Water doesn’t matter since it is already everywhere and adding a little bit more to the Earth won’t tip any balances. CO2, on the other hand is considered to be a great evil by those who believe in catastrophic global warming.

It’s perfectly reasonable that adding CO2 to the atmosphere could cause some warming, probably minor. This perfectly reasonably supposition was turned into unreasonable dogma by certain scientific disciplines that sensed an opportunity. They realized that if CO2 were inflated into the great Satan, it would be very beneficial for their careers. Backwater scientists in the obscure specialty of atmospheric science became well-traveled celebrities by promoting the doomsday theory of global warming.

ICCC-10, First Day was Amazing, Informative

Sen. James InhofeThe first day of the Heartland Institute’s 10th International Climate Change Conference has come and gone, and, though as a member of The Heartland Institute I may be a bit biased, it was amazing.

The day opened with a rousing breakfast keynote address by the inspirational leader of the climate realists on Capitol Hill, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Inhofe was awarded Heartland’s 2015 Political Leadership on Climate Change Award, sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and in exchange treated the assembled attendees a rousing discussion of the highs and lows of his experience fighting for a rational assessment of climate science and climate policy in his tenure as a Senator.

With that as a warm up, the true meat of the conference began with morning breakout sessions on topics including, Climate Science, Climate Science and Accurate Data (at which I was honored to serve as a moderator), Energy Realities and Energy Policy.

Greetings From Jerry Brown's Planet California

Gov BrownCalifornia has a major water crisis the way 1990s New York once had an urban blight crisis. But don't look for a Rudy Giuliani to the rescue. The state's governor, Jerry Brown, has morphed into a full-blown space cadet.

In most parts of the world, when a leader starts talking wildly as a crisis builds — think Ecuador during the presidency of Abdala "El Loco" Bucaram or Russia during the heyday of ex-communist parliamentarian Vladimir Zhirinovsky — attention focuses on the lunacy coming from the top.

Antarctic Ice Refuses to Melt

antarcticaAren't those polar ice caps a rotten lot? As politicians are busily trying to save them from melting, they've gone and stopped disappearing all on their own. Despite the best efforts of climate change fanatics at producing a lot of hot air, NASA have quietly noted that Antarctic sea ice reached a new maximum extent last year. That wasn't supposed to happen. As everyone knows the ice is melting because of all the carbon we're emitting, so how do we explain that it actually isn't?

It isn't actually that difficult to explain, but it would involve making the crucial admission that we don't actually know why the ice is doing what it's doing. We have absolutely no idea, and a terrible record at predicting it. Al Gore thought it would all be gone by 2014.

Obama takes aim at large truck industry with new CO2 regulations

tractor trailer truckThe Wall Street Journal is reporting today that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be issuing new carbon dioxide-reduction rules next week, putting an expensive bullseye on the large truck industry. With roughly 19 months left in office, Obama's far-reaching climate plan is coming to fruition and he's not letting congress get in his way. The new rules targeting large trucks, like tractor trailers, buses, and delivery trucks, are part of a an "ambitious climate agenda" that Obama hopes will cement his environmental legacy.

EPA Clean Power Plan Will Hit Blacks And Hispanics Hardest

south bronxThe Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and environmental activists frequently claim that climate change will disproportionately affect poor and minority communities.

This, they argue, justifies unprecedented environmental regulations like the EPA's soon-to-be-finalized "Clean Power Plan" to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.

But what effect will the regulation itself have on minority communities? A new study commissioned by my organization, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, answers this question.

Networks Punt on EPA Announcing Plans to Regulate Airplane Emissions

epa fox newsFor the third time in just under three weeks, the major broadcast networks ignored news related to the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the latest news coming on Wednesday that the agency has announced its goal to regulate aircraft emissions in a similar fashion that it does for automobiles and powerplants.

While the networks skipped a story that stands to impact multiple sectors of the economy, the Fox News Channel (FNC) program Special Report and the PBS NewsHour found time to inform their viewers of the agency’s latest foray into the economy.

Climate Change: Where is the Science?

cartoon climate change causes everythingIs it twice as likely that the Earth is cooling than that it is warming? That humans and fossil fuels have nothing, or everything to do with it, or somewhere in between? Or is it over 99% certain that anthropogenic carbon burning-induced warming is sweeping us to the apocalypse, with all other possibilities combined being less than one percent probable?

The only way to find out is through the most rigorous and critical application of the scientific method, from laboratory practice to public discourse. Anything less than that increases the risk that the 'solution' could be more catastrophic to humans than the results of climate change itself.

Let us examine what the climate change alarm community has done and how they have done it, and see if it qualifies as the rigorous and unimpeachable science that its proponents claim it is. We'll walk it back from results to first principles.

Obama Moves To Regulate CO2 From Airplanes

airplaneFirst tailpipes, then power plants and now airplanes. The Obama administration announced another major effort to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from airplanes after the Environmental Protection Agency linked airliners to global warming.

The EPA issued a proposal Wednesday declaring that CO2 from airliners threatens public health because it contributes to global warming. The agency says it’s doing this in conjunction with an international effort to bring the airline industry under global carbon dioxide standards for commercial jets.

Republicans have already vowed to challenge the EPA’s proposal to regulate airline emissions, saying new federal regulations would increase travel costs and fuel prices.