American Elephants


“The Political Assault On Climate Skeptics” by The Elephant's Child

David Horowitz said to always remember that with Progressives, the issue is never the issue. In that light, consider the current Progressive campaign to attack climate science “deniers,” as they call us, on every front. So what’s happening?

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the UN’s intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has resigned from the IPCC, brought about by allegations of sexual harassment. Christopher Booker says “he should have resigned in 2012 when the IPCC report was shown to have been full of wildly unscientific errors emanating from green activists.

Then evidence appeared that NOAA has been tampering with climate data, adjusting it to show the “warming trend” that the Obama administration was claiming as evidence to support the veto of the Keystone Pipeline, the executive action closing the Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration, the millions going to Obama cronies for solar arrays and wind farms. A federal judge in Texas has held up Obama’s Amnesty, and noticed that White House lawyers neglected to mention that Obama had already given work permits to 100,000 illegals

Republicans are not only interfering in Obama’a Iran negotiations, but challenging them, and pointing out evidence that Obama’s strategy is not exactly what will create peace in the Middle East. Progressives need a distraction to point the media in the right direction. The issue is not the issue.

Democrats have launched a major campaign to discredit academics, politicians and climate scientists who are skeptical of man-made global warming. Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, has demanded that seven universities reveal the funding sources of affiliated scientists who are skeptical of man-made global warming. The information demanded is voluminous in quantity, (they want the e-mails too), and beyond annoying. Steven Hayward reveals the ignorance of the House Committee’s demands. As Hayward said, “Is the good congressman really telling us that he is incapable of assessing factual claims and judgments about the wisdom of policy on the merits alone?”Be interesting if we demanded the funding sources for Democrats who purvey discredited falsehoods about climate change.

Companies with a direct financial interest in climate and air-quality standards are funding environmental research that influences state and federal regulation and shapes public understanding of climate scientists,” Grijalva wrote to the presidents of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Pepperdine University, Arizona State University, the University of Alabama, University of Colorado and University of Delaware.

Scientists targeted are some of the most respected in the field, but they are skeptical, with good reason. MIT’s Dr. Richard Lindzen, Georgia Tech’s Dr. Judith Curry, Colorado’s Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., and the University of Alabama’s John Christy and Roy Spencer. Word has gone out from Organizing for Action, Obama’s campaign organization, to join in on targeting climate change deniers.

Christy and Spencer operate the Remote Sensing Systems satellite dataset, which since the weather stations have been shown to be undependable due to locations next to AC hot air vents, concrete walls reflecting heat, and trash burners, are the only reliable temperature data on a worldwide basis. That shows no significant warming trend for more than 18 years.

Dr. Pielke has presented research that shows that global warming is not making weather more extreme. “It is misleading and just plain incorrect to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the U.S. or globally.

Particularly attacked was Dr. Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. after a New York Times article claiming that Dr.Soon had received $1.25 million in  undisclosed money from fossil fuel companies. Corporate funding! As opposed to money from billionaire Tom Steyer or the secretive Democracy Alliance, for example?

Three Democratic senators (Barbara Boxer, Edward Markey and Sheldon Whitehouse) have asked more than 100 energy companies and trade groups to provide details on their research spending.

Their objective? To find out whether the organizations “are funding scientific studies designed to confuse the public and avoid taking action to cut carbon pollution, and whether the funded scientists fail to disclose the sources of their funding in scientific publications or in testimony to legislators.”

The witch hunt is particularly revealing, for none of the perpetrators actually know anything about climate science whatsoever. What they know is “the 97 percent,” the “majority of climate scientists,” cutting “carbon pollution.” As is common with progressives, they know talking points, without understanding that talking points are not science. They are just repeating political charges that have no basis in fact.

Here is MIT’s Dr. Richard Lindzen appearing on Fox News:

These guys think saying climate changes, saying it gets warmer or colder by a few tenths of a degree should be taken as evidence that the end of the world is coming. And it completely ignores the fact that until this hysteria, climate scientists used to refer to the warm periods in our history as optima.

Here is a reprint of Dr. Richard Lindzen’s article in the Wall Street Journal about “The political Assault on Climate Skeptics,” which is an excellent summary of the sheer stupidity of the useless Congressional attempt to discredit the top climate scientists.



“We Need To Face Reality. There Is No Planet B.” by The Elephant's Child

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry speaks about the Ukraine crisis after his meetings with other foreign ministers in Paris

Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a haughty speech on climate change at the Atlantic Council in Washington on Thursday. He is upset that those Republican yokels don’t understand that climate change is happening and that humans are largely responsible, and those facts should be as universally accepted as the law of gravity.

Well, we yokels do accept the laws of gravity, not so much because Sir Isaac Newton said so, but because it is an observable truth. I would be most gratified if the dishes I drop would float for a while before falling, so I could catch them before they break, but gravity triumphs every time.

No one denies that climate change is happening. The climate is always changing, always will. It has been far warmer in the past, and far colder as well. We  have all heard of Ice Ages. What we are skeptical about is that the current warming phase occurs only in computer climate programs — not in the real world. In the real world, where accurate temperatures across the world are measured by satellites, there hasn’t been any warming for eighteen years. Mr. Kerry said:

Now folks, we literally do not have the time to waste debating whether we can say ‘climate change.’ We have to talk about how we solve climate change. Because no matter how much people want to bury their heads in the sand, it will not alter the fact that 97 percent of peer-reviewed climate studies confirm that climate change is happening and that human activity is largely responsible.”

Oh dear, the 97% “consensus” (2013) Cook et. al. has been refuted in scholarly peer-reviewed journals, major news media, public policy organizations and think tanks, credentialed scientists. 100 percent of the former say that warming has nearly stopped.

I’ll bet Mr. Kerry has never read any of the science, but only accepted what he believes to be the conventional wisdom.  He insisted that last year was the warmest of all, (it wasn’t even close ) and added that “I don’t mean to sound haughty” — when has he ever not? I’m not sure that you can be a skeptic and a member of the Obama administration.

He issued a passionate call for nations to forgo the short-term lure of “outdated” fossil fuels — “The bottom line is that we can’t only factor in the price of immediate energy needs. We have to factor in the cost of long-term carbon pollution. We have to factor in survival.”

“We need to face reality,” he added. “There is no ‘Planet B.’”

Joe Biden made a speech along exactly the same line. “Climate Change is as real as the law of gravity” so that is apparently the administration’s approved line of the day. It is a concerted Democratic assault on “deniers,”or those who do not follow the party line on climate change orthodoxy.  Why? Because as with all progressive campaigns, the issue is never the issue.

The computer climate simulations put in what information we knew about the climate for sure, which wasn’t much, some assumptions, some complete guesses, and unfortunately could not predict the climate of today—when we already knew the correct answer. There is a lot that remains unknown — especially the action of clouds, and if you are a cloud-watcher, that difficulty is easy to understand.

When new Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell first spoke to her department, she said  “I hope there aren’t any deniers here!” That orthodoxy is clearly expected in the Obama administration, and it is clearly expected in the Science departments of many universities.

Climate science, because of governmental interest — which includes grants, prestige, higher salaries. For the university more interest, more money, better equipment. Aside from government grants, there is money from NGOs and even some corporations. If the world is really heating up dangerously a lot of people want to know about it. Scientists in many different departments suddenly found that they could write a good grant proposal and suddenly they were climate scientists and in the money.

The list of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) dependent on global warming panic for their funding and livelihood is long, and you know the big ones. NRDC, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Wilderness Society, World Wildlife Fund, Nature Conservancy, National Audubon Society,Environmental Defense Fund—that’s just a few of the biggies. There are literally hundreds more.

They have depended on emotional appeals to raise money and entice activists to the cause — first, it was baby harp seals who were being clubbed to death, then the spotted owl, and finally the Greens latched on to the polar bears as their standard-bearer. Not enough ice, the bears were endangered, going to go extinct if you didn’t cough up enough funding. The bears were never endangered, though they did get them labeled “threatened, but better surveys certified that the bears were just fine, increasing in numbers, and Arctic ice melts in the summer and grows in the winter, and in recent winters of “polar vortexes” is more extensive than ever.

It seems, however, that Mr. Kerry’s speech and Mr. Biden’s speech are only the tip of a fairly massive iceberg floating along under the surface. More to come.

 



Hee-Hee. The EPA Embarrasses Itself Again! by The Elephant's Child

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy proved to be remarkably clueless in a Senate hearing on her request for $8.6 billion to help in the fight against the horrors of climate change.

She claimed that the increased frequency of droughts due to warming, was due to mankind’s increased production of greenhouse gasses, notably carbon dioxide which the EPA seems to think is a pollutant.  CO² is a natural fertilizer for plant growth, essential to life on earth through the photosynthesis process, and since we exhale it with every breath—not likely a dangerous pollutant.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) told Ms. McCarthy that Dr.Bjorn Lomberg from the Copenhagen Institute and Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado had both written that we have had fewer droughts in recent years, and asked “Do you dispute that?”

Ms. McCarthy responded that she “didn’t know in what context he was making statements like that.” Context?

Dr. Pielke, a professor of Climate Science, told the Senate environment48.6 billion and public works subcommittee in July 2013, that droughts have “for the most part have become shorter, less frequent and cover a smaller portion of the US over the last century. “Globally, there has been little change in drought over the last 60 years. (There goes the theory that climate change is the reason for the rise of ISIS. Yes really, they were claiming that).

Sen. Sessions then asked Ms. McCarthy if we have had more or fewer hurricanes in the last decade? She responded that she could not answer because “it’s a very complicated issue.” Only if basic math is complicated. The last hurricane to hit America as strong as a category 3 or higher was Wilma, which hit Florida in October of 2005. Superstorm Sandy was barely Category 1. The damage came from a storm surge, not the hurricane winds.

The senator inquired about the increase in global temperatures. There has been very little if any increase in temperatures in the last 18 years—90% below what the computerized climate models predicted that temperatures would increase.  Ms. McCarthy replied that she didn’t know “what the models actually are predicting that  you are referring to.”

From the Administrator of the EPA, attempting to justify a request for $8.6 billion, that ill-informed knowledge of basic and widely circulated facts about climate change are pretty stunning, but not all that surprising.  For the zealots, global warming is a religion — a war that must be fought to save the earth and bring about that ‘better world’ that zealots are so sure is out there — somewhere.



The EPA Gets Slapped Down By the Federal Court Once Again by The Elephant's Child

McCarthy testifies before a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on her nomination to be administrator of the Environmental Protection AgencyFederal Judge Royce C. Lamberth  today warned the EPA not to discriminate against conservative groups in how it responds to open records requests. He said the agency may have lied to the court and showed “apathy and carelessness” in carrying out the law.

He said he could not prove that officials intentionally destroyed documents, but he described as an “absurdity” the way the EPA handled a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Landmark Legal Foundation and the court case stemming from it—including late last week admitting that it misled the court about how it went about  “searching for documents.”

In a scorching 25-page opinion, the judge accused the agency of insulting him by first claiming it had conducted a full search for records, then years later retracted that claim in a footnote to another document without giving any explanation for how it erred.

“The recurrent instances of disregard that EPA employees display for FOIA obligations should not be tolerated by the agency,” the judge said. “This court would implore the executive branch to take greater responsibility in ensuring that all EPA FOIA requests — regardless of the political affiliation of the requester — are treated with equal respect and conscientiousness.”

This particular ruling can also be seen as a rebuke to President Obama who vowed to run the “most transparent administration in history” but has received constant challenges over how that vow has been carried out. Judge Lamberth made a point of the EPA delay of follow through on Landmark’s request until after the 2012 elections, and said explanations by EPA officials for why they failed to live up to the law “defied reason.”

Mark Levin, Landmark’s president, said it is up to the president to decide how to respond, but people should be fired. Nena Shaw and Eric Wachter, Judge Lamberth said, either lied to the court or showed utter indifference to the law.

Is it proper to send roses to a federal court? Probably not, but this arrogant agency certainly deserves a legal slap-down.



Snow in the Northeast. February, 2015. by The Elephant's Child

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If you want to see pictures of the biting cold and burgeoning snow in the Northeast, where do you go? To the British papers of course! The UK’s The Telegraph has “Snowmageddon: 17 amazing photos of record-breaking U.S. snow”, thanks to camera phones, with some pretty funny comments as well. Seems like it was only yesterday that they were talking about the end of snow, and how children would never get to experience it.

City snow is much more troublesome than country snow. Icy streets, questionable transportation, worries about power outages. And people don’t seem to know that they should start shoveling early, keep their sidewalks clean, and shovel roofs when needed. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re having a mild winter. Terrible winter for the ski resorts — not much snow. It’s 56° here.



Ban The EPA: A Crooked Agency Intent Only On Power! by The Elephant's Child

Maps of the cold in Illinois today show temperatures ranging well below a minus 20°. I can assure you, from personal experience, that -20° is getting into the uncomfortable range. All the little hairs in your nose freeze, but with the proper insulation and a scarf across your face, not that bad.

Last week, in his interview with the Vox website, President Obama claimed that the media “overstated” the risk of terrorism as compared to the real problem of global warming. Slate sums that up—a 2012 DARA International report  claims that climate change causes an average of 400,000 deaths each year, a total that could grow to more than 600,000 by 2030. Oh, please!

250 million “face the pressures of sea-level rise” which is drowning thousands at a rise of 3.2 ±0.4mm a year? 30 million are affected by more extreme weather.(Climate is worldwide temperature—not weather) nor flooding. 25 million people are affected by permafrost thawing (define ‘affected’). The global Terrorism Index says there were nearly 18,000 deaths from terrorism in 2013. They’ve moved along from polar bears because research shows that public-health is more likely to elicit emotional reactions than a traditional environmental frame or even one on national security.

Far more people die from cold exposure than are ever harmed by a few degrees more of heat. (I lived in Phoenix for a while). So naturally the EPA has recently banned the production and sale of 80 percent of America’s current wood-burning stoves, the oldest heating method known to man.

A large percentage of rural homes, and many of the country’s poorest residents depend on wood stoves for heat and even for cooking, for rural homes that have power don’t necessarily have reliable power. And America still has plenty off-the-grid homes. According to the 2011 Census 2.4 million American housing units burned wood as their primary heating fuel, compared with 7% that depended on fuel oil.

The EPA bases this all on their supposed studies of fine particulates, which are made-up figures that have not been peer-reviewed nor is there any evidence that the limits they propose can be achieved using available technology. This is supposedly based on theoretical computer model-based warnings. You will have court cases and evidence, and the EPA will likely get slapped down again by the courts.

The EPA has operated more and more from made-up evidence and false statistics in their relentless search for more power. The best evidence that the air is essentially as clean as nature will allow is the EPA attempt to regulate “fine particles” and wood smoke.

The people of the United States who have wood stoves will ignore the whole thing. Keeping warm in a cooling Earth trumps ‘fine particles’ every time. The Earth has been cooling for over 18 years, and the sun—which is responsible for the warming and cooling of a naturally changing climate —is remarkably quiet. Today’s sun:

latest_solar_image



Another Train Derailment: Thanks Green Activists! by The Elephant's Child

derailment  - credit Bob Aaron-WCHS(photo by Bob Aaron-WCHS)

A CSX train composed largely of tanker cars derailed this afternoon in Mount Carbon, West Virginia. Adena village, a neighborhood close to the derailment, was evacuated after one residence caught fire when a tanker car slammed into  a house and burst into flames.

One tanker car went into the Kanawha River, and some cars exploded. All but two of the 109 cars were tankers loaded with Bakken crude from North Dakota, headed to Yorktown, Virginia. At least 14 tank cars were reported to be on fire, and there is burning oil on the Kanawha. Some cars have exploded, and at least one sent a fireball at least 300 feet in the air.

Two water treatment plants have been shut down to prevent oil from getting into the water supply. Residents will continue to have water for the next 6 to 8 hours due to an emergency reserve supply.

Proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline keep reminding the environmental activists that oil trains have a record of derailing, sometimes with considerable lost lives,  and that a pipeline is immeasurably safer, but it doesn’t sink in. The oil will go to market, whether by pipeline, train or truck. We have many pipelines crossing the Midwest because they are safer and thriftier.

Our economy runs on oil, coal, natural gas and in some places—hydropower and nuclear energy. If we want an economy, and goods to supply the economy, we must have energy. Solar arrays and wind farms produce little energy, and must have 24/7 full-time backup from a conventional power plant. Sounded nice to depend on the sun and the wind, but it was always hooey, and a scheme to enrich favored cronies with government subsidies.

It was not known at the time of this report if anyone was injured or killed.




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