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

NOAA's estimate of coral bleaching likely two times too high

coral bleachNOAA sounded the alarm yesterday that coral reefs are dying off at an unprecedented rate, even though a recent paper shows that these statements may be more alarmist than accurate. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said multi-year warm ocean temperatures are creating conditions that are causing corals to die off and turn white (bleached), and they believe that global warming is the culprit. But a new paper, published in Marine Biology in April 2015, shows that even though some corals appear bleached, it doesn't mean they are dead, as conventional tracking methods can't distinguish between white and bleached (dead) colonies.

The paper, by Cruz et al, says that "although bleaching leaves the coral skeleton visible under its transparent tissue, not all white coral colonies display this feature," which "raises the question as to whether all 'white'-shaded colonies are indeed bleached." To answer that question of whether bleached coral is actually dead, Cruz et al studied different colored specimens of the coral M. cavernosa sampled off the east coast of Brazil, and found that white corals exhibited the same lifelike features as their multi-colored cousins.

BBC Cranks Up Climate Propaganda Ahead of Paris Summit

coral reef noaaThe BBC has long been a champion of the alarmist view of climate change. Now, with the UN summit in Paris just months away, it has taken the opportunity to crank up its climate propaganda wing. But according to the Bishop Hill blog, the corporation appears to have crossed the line from merely refusing dissenters a platform to misreporting in order to create scare stories.

Bishop Hill has noted a couple of examples of everyday bias at play over the last few days: “A couple of nights ago we had Kirsty Wark fawning all over Chris Rapley on Newsnight and wondering why good people like him weren’t making the policy decisions. Today we have Roger Harrabin on ocean acidification.”

'Green' Energy Threatens Amazon’s Wildlife & China's Rivers

friedman quoteAs countries build more hydropower projects, new research warns that massive dams pose an extinction threat to mammals, birds, and tortoises—at least in the Amazon. “We’re watching extinction unfold right in front of us,” says co-author Carlos Peres, a Brazilian professor at the university’s School of Environmental Sciences. “We uncovered astounding local extinction rates,” he says, even in areas that belong to a biological reserve and are protected from hunting. --Wendy Koch, National Geographic, 1 July 2015

Ever more evidence is piling in these days to show how one of the oddest anomalies of our time is the astonishing extent to which the dream of “renewable, carbon-free” energy is creating one environmental disaster after another. Like so many of the great crimes of history, this one is being perpetrated by people who imagine they are doing something praiseworthy. In fact [they are] doing as much as anyone to destroy the very things they kid themselves they are trying to save. --Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph, 5 July 2015

Center for American Progress Helped Craft EPA Press Strategy

bustedA prominent left-wing group helped formulate Environmental Protection Agency talking points designed to sell a controversial regulatory scheme to skeptical journalists, internal emails show.

The emails show Joseph Goffman, the senior counsel of EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, circulating talking points from Center for American Progress climate strategy director Daniel Weiss among EPA colleagues attempting to sell the agency’s controversial power plant regulations to a New York Times reporter.

Weiss emailed Goffman in September 2013 with a series of suggestions for convincing the Times’ Matt Wald of the commercial viability of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology, a vital component of the agency’s stringent power plant emissions regulations.

Pope Francis’ Dr. Strangelove Craves One World Government Run by “Experts”

"HJS Ausschnitt Büro bw" by Foto Hollin (http://www.foto-hollin.de) - Wikipedia:Contact us/Photo submission. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HJS_Ausschnitt_B%C3%BCro_bw.jpg#/media/File:HJS_Ausschnitt_B%C3%BCro_bw.jpgHJS Ausschnitt Büro bw by Foto Hollin - Wikipedia:Contact us/Photo submission. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.Who’s up for a one-world government run by radical ecologists? Herr Professor Doktor Hans Joachim, a.k.a. John, Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact ResearchCommander of the British Empire, prophet of doom, avowed atheist, and the most prominent advisor to Pope Francis and the Vatican on global warming, is hot for it. And he has a “master plan” to bring it about.

Schellnhuber is a quantum physicist who apparently believes the earth is a self-aware, self-regulating, cognizant organism. He sees mankind as an infection which causes Mother Earth to develop planetary syndromes like global warming, which, Schellnhuber says, might soon kill billions. And he has the ear of the Vatican. Or, rather, as a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, he plugs the ear of the Vatican. Schellnhuber has openly boasted of denying access to Vatican events to scientists who disagree with him about global warming. Schellnhuber is a courtier who will allow no good news to reach the sovereign.

Anyway, global government can’t come soon enough, Schellnhuber says, because the current benighted political system will “tear this cultivated world and its breathing inhabitants apart.” Schellnhuber would be the world’s tutor — and the cure for its ills.

Obama’s Clean Power Plan could push millions of minority Americans into poverty

mccarthy ginaEPA head McCarthy: Say what?This summer the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will finalize its carbon-dioxide emission regulations under President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The EPA’s own data projects the regulations will reduce global carbon by less than 1 percent and sea level rise by one one-hundredth of an inch. The price Americans will pay for these “benefits” is layoffs and increased energy rates. Yet for the nation’s most vulnerable, the impacts will be far worse, pushing millions into poverty.

Proposed in June 2014, the Clean Power Plan imposes emission reduction targets on each state, with some facing targets as high as 50 percent and 70 percent. The problem is such aggressive targets are simply unattainable. This will force states to close power plants and use inefficient energy sources, causing hundreds of thousands of layoffs and double-digit rate increases in more than 40 states.

Junk science = garbage policy

protest climateThis spring, Dr. Johannes Bohannon and a team of German scientists discovered that people on low-carbohydrate diets could lose weight faster if they used one weird trick: Eat a bar of chocolate every day.

Newsrooms around the world responded eagerly to Bohannon's findings.

"Excellent News: Chocolate Can Help You Lose Weight!" Huffington Post India declared in a report.

The U.K.'s Daily Mail blared in a headline, "Pass the Easter Egg! New study reveals that eating chocolate doesn't affect your Body Mass Index...and can even help you LOSE weight!"

UK Chancellor To Abolish Coalition’s Green Tax Target

George Osborne, the UK Chancellor, will give his first Tory Budget this weekGeorge Osborne, the UK Chancellor, will give his first Tory Budget this weekThe cost of subsidising new wind farms is spiralling out of control, government sources have privately warned. Officials admitted that so-called “green” energy schemes will require a staggering £9 billion a year in subsidies – paid for by customers – by 2020. The Chancellor believes the figures demonstrate the need to rein in the cost of policies to tackle climate change. As a first step, he will use this week’s summer Budget to announce that he is abandoning targets set under the coalition to increase the level of environmental taxes in a move he hopes will save customers and businesses billions of pounds. --Tim Ross, The Sunday Telegraph, 5 July 2015

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) could be facing a 90 per cent cut in staff over the next few years, an environmental think tank has warned. The prediction has prompted politicians and academics to issue dire forecasts for Britain’s economic future, but the right-wing campaign group the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has offered an alternate solution to DECC’s impending staffing crisis: they suggest that the department be scrapped and its responsibilities handed over to another government department, saving £billions each year. --Donna Rachel Edmunds, Breitbart News, 3 July 2015

Obama’s Renewable-Energy Fantasy

solar farm desertOn June 30, one day after the Supreme Court struck down the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of mercury emissions from power plants, President Obama committed the United States to the goal of generating 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This would nearly triple the amount of wind- and solar-generated electricity on the national grid.

The EPA ran afoul of the law by failing to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before it acted to reduce mercury emissions from coal-power plants. There is no objective cost-benefit analysis that could justify the president’s target for renewable energy.

Fourth of July Open Topics Weekend

4th of JulyHere in the states it's our Fourth of July holiday weekend, so we'll be taking a short break until Monday. Now's your chance to post links and comments to your favorite stories and news items or whatever you think is relevant.

Keep it civil and report all spam / inappropriate comments.

Pursuit of Climate Truth Comes at High Cost

legatesDavid Legates, Ph.D., is a climatologist at the University of Delaware. He served as Delaware State Climatologist from 2005 to 2011. Legates has published more than 125 articles in refereed scientific journals, conference proceedings, and monograph series. Environment & Climate News Managing Editor H. Sterling Burnett interviewed Legates, who was honored at the Tenth International Conference on Climate Change in June 2015.

Burnett: You were the state climatologist for Delaware, but no longer are. What cost you this position? 

Legates: Following the firing of state climatologists in Oregon and Virginia and the associate state climatologist in Washington, the Wilmington (DE) NewsJournal suggested the governor fire me because my views were not in line with hers. As a response, Gov. Ruth Ann Minner (D) wrote a polite letter explaining “recent media coverage of events … has generated some confusion about the role of the State Climatologist” and asserting that “I understand that you have not provided your opinions as [though you’re representing the governor’s office].”

China’s Climate Pledges In Doubt As Carbon Markets Flop

china mapBeijing has made a lot of headlines recently for its eco-friendly target setting, and central to many of these plans has been the implementation of regional carbon markets, and eventually the creation of a national system. So far things are not going exactly according to plan. Prices in five of China’s carbon markets have fallen sharply. Permits in the biggest pilot exchange in Guangdong have dropped 73 percent. --The American Interest, 1 July 2015

Regulatory uncertainty and a lack of transparency have left trade on China's seven pilot carbon exchanges in the doldrums, which could undermine efforts to cut the nation's greenhouse gas emissions. China told the United Nations on Tuesday it would cap its emissions by 2030, and promised to cut carbon intensity - the amount produced per unit of economic growth - by 60-65 percent from 2005 levels by then as well. But traders said the transition to a national carbon trading system is already causing problems. Prices in five of the markets have fallen sharply. Permits in the biggest pilot exchange in Guangdong have dropped 73 percent. --Kathy Chen and David Stanway, Reuters, 1 July 2015