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

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.

NOAA: Record 117-Month Major Hurricane Drought Continues

Hurricane IkeIt has been 117 months since a major hurricane, defined as a Category 3 or above, has made landfall in the continental United States, according to 2015 data from the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

This is the longest span of time in which no major hurricane has struck the mainland U.S. in NOAA hurricane records going back to 1851.

The second longest time between major hurricane strikes was the eight years between 1860 and 1869—146 years ago.

A recent study published May 5 and co-authored by Tim Hall of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies entitled The Frequency and Duration of U.S. Hurricane Droughts also confirmed that the current "admittedly unusual" drought is “unprecedented in the historical record."

Scientists Discover ‘Surprisingly High’ Geothermal Heating Beneath West Antarctic Ice Sheet

antarctic volcanoGeothermal heating from within the Earth’s core – as opposed to the possibly warming air or sea – has been measured beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet for the first time ever. And, we are told, it is “surprisingly high.” Exactly what the new geothermal heating figures mean for the forecasts remains to be seen, but it is clear that the amount of geothermal heating is a good bit more than scientists had thought. Some of them are still hoping that it’s a fluke result. It’s all a very confusing picture, then, and to make it worse nobody until now has had any idea how much heat might be reaching the possibly-troubled West Antarctic sheet not from the somewhat warmer seas and atmosphere, but from the rock beneath it. --Lewis Page, The Register, 13 July 2015

British officials have drawn up plans to cut the funding for household energy efficiency in the autumn spending review as they seek savings from the energy department’s budget. Officials are also braced for job cuts in the autumn. --Jim Pickard and Elizabeth Rigby, Financial Times, 14 July 2015

The upcoming wave of misinformed journalists

cartoon gore wrong againThe other day I received an email from a budding journalist still in high school who is "currently attending the James Ansin/Peace Sullivan Workshop for Journalism and New Media at the University of Miami." He was writing an article on climate change and wanted to do a phone interview. Unfortunately, his email went into my spam folder and by the time I found it a few days later and responded, he replied that he was on a deadline and he had already finished the story. He also tweeted his request, which I did @respond only to hear the murmur of crickets.

Most journalists who contact me give me a timetable of when they need to go to press (or post online), but since he is a student I let it pass. Normally, I give journalists, aspiring or otherwise, the names of climate scientists that they can speak with because, after all, they are the experts in their chosen field. But I missed the chance. At least I thought I did. Yesterday I got this one-line email from our soon-to-be journalist:

"Is it possible that I may be able to interview a climate change denier over the phone?"

What those climate geniuses aren't telling you

antarcticaAs the average global temperature has remained steady for more than 15 years, climate-change alarmists have been found exchanging emails questioning where the warming has gone and strategizing how to shape their message in light of the facts.

Now another obstacle has surfaced with a report that European scientists have unveiled a new scientific model based on solar cycles that shows a “mini ice age” is on the way, due to decreased solar activity.

So, finally, can the dire predictions of life-destroying “climate change” and “global warming” be put to rest?

No, said Marc Morano of Climate Depot, a leading expert on the topic. Morano contends the “global warming” movement was never about the science behind the issue; it was always about creating a global system of controlling energy production and consumption.

Was Last Month’s ‘Papal Juggernaut’ All for Naught?

pope crowdThe Washington Post last month enthused that Pope Francis’s environmental encyclical was a “papal juggernaut” that had rolled over opponents of the global warming hypothesis. The “deniers” of climate change were defeated in this quite imaginative narrative.

But now, weeks later, the somewhat reasonable observer wonders whether the huge agitational propaganda effort by the secular Left was all for naught.

Over the weekend, for the second week in a row, at a Roman Catholic church in suburban Chicago, the local pastor chose to publish highlights of the Pope’s exegesis on the environment and Genesis 1, and man’s duty to the Earth, in the weekly church bulletin. The highlights were drawn from America, the Jesuit news outlet.

The Pope and the Hammer and Sickle

pope sickleLast week the Marxist quasi-dictator of Bolivia, Evo Morales, presented Pope Francis with a gift: a carved wooden hammer and sickle cross on which the figure of Christ is crucified. 

The Vatican announced that the pope had not been informed in advance about the gift. And some commentators said photos of the pope and Morales show that the pope was actually offended. That was a false — probably wishful — interpretation. The pope himself later announced that he was keeping the hammer and sickle crucifix and taking it home, saying, "I understand this work. For me it wasn't an offense."

And as reported by The Guardian, "Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said he personally wasn't offended by Morales' gift." 

A Better Way To Protect the Earth: Privatize Environmentalism

deers prairieEnvironmentalism is synonymous with leftist politics. Whatever the well-meaning intentions of its origins, that's just the way it is. Of course, this is why environmentalism's work is never done. There is always one more capitalist achievement that benefits mankind to knock off, one more free-market institution that generates profit to crush, one more of liberty's gains to reverse. The goal isn't to scrub Earth clean but to wield power.

Though a healthy environment is an obvious public good, the better alternative is to privatize environmentalism.

Most traditional environmentalism is grounded in government telling private citizens what they can and cannot do on and with their own property. In privatized environmentalism, private interests using private money buy land and conserve it.

Here Comes the Sun

sun blankRemember the climate catastrophe predicted by science savant Al Gore and 97 percent of his colleagues in climatology, meteorology, and alchemy? The world was warming, the seas were rising, and polar bears were packing up all their personal items, locking their tray tables, and putting their seats in the upright position.

Well, that rough landing, alarmist scenario is so last century, at this point. Literally, temperatures have not risen, visibly, annually, for going on 18 years now.

Thus, last week, another group of scientists came up with another, new hypothesis, based on computer models, rather than empirical evidence, like all “consensus science” should be. This time, the lads and lasses in the laboratory are convinced the world is heading for a cooling cycle, and there’s nothing former vice president Gore, and his friend President Barack Obama can do to stop the seas from rising, or whatever. Blame it all on the Sun.

Prominent Christians: Pope’s Climate Change Stance Harms Not Helps Poor

poorTwo prominent Christian peers have rejected the Pope’s recent encyclical on climate change as backwards and more likely to increase not reduce poverty. They accuse the Pope of falling foul of thinking on climate change that hankers for a time before the Industrial Revolution which campaigners paint as simpler and easier, but was in fact more brutal and painful.

The comments, by Peter Forster, the Bishop of Chester, and the Catholic Labour peer and former advisor to two Labour Prime Ministers, Bernard Donoughue, come in a paper published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation which lays out a “Christian response” to the Pope’s recent encyclical.