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

Peer Review Is Not What It's Cracked Up To Be

journalsMuch is made of the peer-review of scientific papers; it is frequently held up as the gold standard that assures the quality of scientific publishing. People often ask whether some work has undergone peer-review and are then ready to accept it -- confident this makes it kosher. I wish this were really true. 

Its proper functioning depends on the integrity of the editor, who chooses two or more anonymous reviewers, at his discretion, and supposedly bases acceptance for publication on their disinterested advice.

But this ideal system is easily misused. If the editor has a bias -- as often happens in a controversial area like climate change -- then all bets are off. The editor simply selects the reviewers who will give him the opinions he wants. Even if the author objects to particular points in the review, the editor always has the final word -- and the paper is rejected. 

Higher Energy Costs Will Lower Disposable Income by $1.8 Billion

earth stratosphereOn Monday, the federal Environmental Protection Agency finalized a new set of rules - known as the Clean Power Plan - that would aim to cut carbon emissions by 32 percent over the next 15 years.

The new rules are part of President Obama's effort to combat global warming, but are only anticipated to reduce global temperatures by .018 degrees by the year 2100.

According to a joint report by The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy and The Beacon Hill

The Push Becomes a Shove

obama wh.govIt was always going to be an uphill fight for the Left to achieve a consensus for not just the acceptance of their theory of global warming but their prescriptions to fight it, and Monday’s announcement of draconian EPA rules assaulting the electric power industry is proof that they realize the battle for public opinion is lost.

To have won on global warming, which obviously would have entailed our discussing the theory by its former name rather than its current formulation as “climate change” (does that not happen four times a year?), Barack Obama and his predecessors atop the effort to convince us to give up our modern consumerist lifestyle would have had to secure agreement on four bases crucial to the theory.

On none of the four have they managed to succeed.

Going Rogue, Part XI: The EPA will break the law to do what is right

mccarthyismThe Environmental Protection Agency, long behaving as a narrowly focused ideological organization instead of as a servant of the people, may finally have messed up sufficiently to bring itself down, or at the very least to have earned a significant degree of restriction to its slash-and-burn approach to fossil fuel energy production.

Causing misery to thousands of honest, hard-working people who have lost jobs and businesses, suffered downturns in their business and/or paid heavy fines because of the agency’s dogmatic focus on imposing unwarranted restrictions on behaviors the agency dislikes, the EPA has been caught in an incestuous relationship with organizations that advocate the same ideology as agency bureaucrats.

WSJ: States Should Refuse to Comply with Obama’s ‘Lawless’ Climate Change Ruse

obama whcdAn opinion piece in today’s edition of The Wall Street Journal online suggests that states refuse to comply with President Obama’s regulatory regime on climate change – and embrace a strategy known as “nullification” in Constitutional law parlance.

Headlined, Climate Change Putsch, the WSJ piece notes that the President has not even sounded public opinion on the matter, which, increasingly, is skeptical of claims of man-made climate change.

“Mr. Obama is using his last 18 months to dictate U.S. energy choices for the next 20 or 30 years. This abuse of power is regulation without representation,” the paper’s opinion page notes in its Review & Outlook feature. “The so-called Clean Power Plan commands states to cut carbon emissions by 32% (from 2005 levels) by 2030. This final mandate is 9% steeper than the draft the Environmental Protection Agency issued in June 2014. The damage to growth, consumer incomes and U.S. competitiveness will be immense—assuming the rule isn’t tossed by the courts or rescinded by the next Administration.”

The IMF's Absurd Calculations Of Fossil Fuel Subsidies: It's Really Not $2,200 For Every American

cartoonYou can tell when there’s one of these climate change conference things coming up. Every organisation in the world starts to come out with the most absurd estimations of how much climate change will cost us, how much we’re subsidising those nasties over in the fossilFOSL -6.25% fuel industry and so on and on and on.

And yes, at the end of this year all those climate campaigners get to fly off to Paris (lovely city, great place to hold a conference!) to try to tell us all how we must live our lives. As part of this process we’ve now got the IMF telling us that actually, we’re all subsidising the use of fossil fuels by some vast amount and really, this just must stop. Yet their calculations are absurd. We must therefore put them over in the box marked “political propaganda” rather than that much more useful box marked “economic evidence for public policy”.

Global Warming Hysteria About Power, Not Planet

sydney snowGlobal warming alarmists must be shaking their heads in disbelief. Just when they felt they had the stars aligned to push their anti-free enterprise/capitalism agenda on the international stage and claim the power they crave, the climate and scientists have begun to turn against them.

Sidney, Australia has snow for the first time since 1836. To put this in perspective, in 1836,  Andrew Jackson was President of the United States, Victoria was a year away from being crowned Queen of England upon her 18th birthday, and Davey Crockett met his heroic end at the Alamo.

Needless to say, it has been a long time since Sidney, Australia has seen snow.

EPA's Hiring Binge Shows Why It Should Be Cut

epa bldgAs businesses struggle to stay open and lay off workers, the Environmental Protection Agency is preparing one of the biggest hiring binges in America outside of Google. Good news? Hardly.

Barack Obama's EPA has announced it will try to hire 800 new regulators over the next several months. The goal, reports the newsletter Energy & Environment, is for the EPA to "add eight new hires a day for three months." It just goes to show there's no jobs recession in Washington, D.C.

The EPA says this new hiring is in part to make up for early retirements and normal attrition. The EPA's human resources chief, Karl Brooks, said that "the agency hasn't been in this position to bring so many people on board in well over a decade."

Factbox: Obama's Clean Power Plan faces tough legal scrutiny

gavelThe final version of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, which aims to curb carbon emissions from power plants, is scheduled for release on Monday. The long-term fate of the measure depends on its ability to withstand the inevitable legal challenges from states and industries opposed to it.

Here are some questions and answers about how the legal fight could unfold:

Q: Challengers are first expected to ask a federal appeals court in Washington to block the regulation from taking effect until litigation is complete. Is a stay likely?

Obama's Pen Strikes Again

gina hillWeren't we told that this guy would bring us together?

We heard that President Obama will go after American industry one more time:

"President Barack Obama will impose even steeper cuts on greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants than previously expected, senior administration officials said Sunday, in what the president called the most significant step the U.S. has ever taken to fight global warming.

A year after proposing unprecedented carbon dioxide limits, the Obama administration was poised to finalize the rule at a White House event on Monday.

White House takes on climate change

obamaAiming to jolt the rest of the world to action, President Barack Obama moved ahead Sunday with even tougher greenhouse gas cuts on American power plants, setting up a certain confrontation in the courts with energy producers and Republican-led states.

In finalizing the unprecedented pollution controls, Obama was installing the core of his ambitious and controversial plan to drastically reduce overall U.S. emissions, as he works to secure a legacy on fighting global warming. Yet it will be up to Obama's successor to implement his plan, amid steep Republican opposition that has reverberated from Capitol Hill to the 2016 presidential campaign trail.

New Study: Majority of Climate Scientists Don’t Agree with ‘Consensus’

climate tipping point aheadNearly six in ten climate scientists don’t adhere to the so-called “consensus” on man-made climate change, a new study by the Dutch government has found. The results contradict the oft-cited claim that there is a 97 percent consensus amongst climate scientists that humans are responsible for global warming.

The study, by the PBL Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency, a government body, invited 6550 scientists working in climate related fields, including climate physics, climate impact, and mitigation, to take part in a survey on their views of climate science.

Of the 1868 who responded, just 43 percent agreed with the IPCC that “It is extremely likely {95%+ certainty} that more than half of [global warming] from 1951 to 2010 was caused by [human activity]”. Even with the “don’t knows” removed that figure increases only to 47 percent, still leaving a majority of climate scientists who do not subscribe to the IPCC’s statement.

Congressman: EPA Sexual Predator ‘Fed A Steady Diet Of Interns’

Rep ChaffetzUtah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz had some harsh words for EPA Chief Administrator Gina McCarthy during a hearing Wednesday regarding the agency’s handling of an employee who repeatedly sexually harassed interns.

For the past couple of years, Republican lawmakers have been investigating reports of misconduct at the EPA, from employees watching porn everyday while on the job to an agency employee who sexually harassed interns and was not reported to the authorities and continued to work at the agency for years.