Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Climate Change’
September 26th, 2014 at 8:21 am
From Climate Summit Charades to Scorched-Earth Judicial Politics
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

CFIF’s Timothy Lee, Senior Vice President for Legal and Public Affairs, discusses this week’s United Nation’s summit on climate change, more inconvenient truths about global warming, and Harry Reid’s court packing efforts.

Listen to the interview here.

January 29th, 2014 at 2:04 pm
Podcast: Median Income Continues to Decline … and So Do Temperatures
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

CFIF Senior Vice President Timothy Lee discusses how the U.S. has fallen from the top ten most economically free nations in the world and how, in unrelated news, temperatures have fallen too despite the warnings from the global warming alarmists.

Listen to the interview here.

December 6th, 2013 at 4:07 pm
The Dark Side of the Environmental Movement
Posted by Troy Senik Print

In case you needed further proof of the slightly sadistic quality of the most wall-eyed environmental extremists, I provide you with documentary evidence from Greenpeace, which has produced this video to terrify children into hectoring their parents about global warming:

As James Taylor from the Heartland Institute notes, there’s one big problem with this (well, apart from the reimagining of Santa as Mephistopheles): polar sea ice is doing just fine. But you can understand Greenpeace’s dilemma: it’s hard to make a horror film out of that.

h/t: Jim Lakely

October 10th, 2013 at 12:23 pm
The Los Angeles Times Opinion Page Bars Opinions About Climate Change

In a chilling decision to silence discussion about climate change, the Los Angeles Times opinion page announced that letters to the editor that “deny global warming,” imply that “climate change is a hoax,” claim global warming is “a scheme by liberals to curtail personal freedom,” or dispute that “that human activity is indeed linked to climate change” are banned from its pages.

The choice by the hysterically hyper-environmentalist loons that run the LA Times opinion pages to restrict sincere debate and differences of opinion from a forum that is intended to challenge readers’ views is equal parts depressing, disgusting and alarming.

The LA Times opinion page points out that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently claimed “it was was 95 percent certain that we fossil-fuel-burning humans are driving global warming.” The problems with that statement are numerous. For one, that nagging 5 percent of doubt should be enough to keep the channels of discussion and debate open. Also, there remains a significant minority of members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change who disagree with the assertion that humans alter the Earth’s climate. Many others debate the extent to which human action is responsible for changes in the climate.  In the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s majority rule structure, their voices are powerless.

Even if there were indisputable proof that human actions directly cause climate change, there would be the question of “how much?.” Solar activity appears to play a much larger role in climate change than humans ever could – and we can’t do anything about that.

That means the real debate should be: “If humans play a minute role in climate change, what reactions are actually justified?”

If human activity causes temperatures to rise or fall a tiny fraction of a degree over some long period of time, should we prevent developing countries from rising out of poverty? Should we stand in the way of economic growth that would lead to greater global stability, improved health and educational outcomes, and increased longevity? Should the poorest people in the world be left without food, medicines and clean drinking water in the name of stopping them from producing CO2?

Those are serious questions that must be raised, considered and debated in years to come. Sadly, it appears the LA Times is more than happy to keep such discussions out of its pages.

October 4th, 2013 at 10:20 am
Video: Green Hysteria
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses the rhetoric and actions of global warming alarmists and how the actual facts contradict their ideological crusade.

September 19th, 2013 at 8:11 pm
The Unspooling Global Warming Narrative
Posted by Troy Senik Print

The more time passes, the more global warming’s apostles begin to look like members of a doomsday cult. You can only predict the end incorrectly so many times, after all, without losing your credibility amongst all but the true believers. After early leaks of the upcoming report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed that the (Nobel Prize-winning, mind you) IPCC had dramatically erred in calculating global temperature changes, a study in the journal Natural Climate Change found that:

Out of 117 predictions [made during the 1990s], three were roughly accurate and 114 overestimated the amount of warming. On average, the predictions forecasted two times more global warming than actually occurred.

More damning still is this news:

A peer-reviewed climate change study released Wednesday by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change finds the threat of man-made global warming to be not only greatly exaggerated but so small as to be “embedded within the background variability of the natural climate system” and not dangerous.

A more thorough summary is here.

August 16th, 2013 at 11:04 am
“Settled Science?” Only 2% of Climate Projections Were At or Below Actual Temperature Results
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Climate alarmists like Barack Obama typically – but falsely – claim that their agenda rests upon “settled science.”  Of course, that doesn’t explain why they’ve shifted their rhetoric from “global warming” to “climate change” after temperatures flattened over the past two decades despite continual increases in worldwide carbon output.

In that vein, Marlo Lewis over at the Competitive Enterprise Institute made an interesting observation regarding a new paper entitled “Can Climate Models Explain the Recent Stagnation in Global Warming?” from German meteorologist Hans von Storch.  Out of 62 global average temperature projections from climate models used in an upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, only 2% were as low or lower than the actual flat temperature trend over the past 15 years.

So the next time someone claims that anthropomorphic (man-caused) global warming is “settled science” among climatologists, calmly point out that only 2% of those within that herd of independent minds projected temperatures at or below the temperatures that actually occurred.

June 27th, 2013 at 2:13 pm
Puncturing Liberal Climate Change Pretension in a Single Tweet
Posted by Troy Senik Print

In my column this week, I take aim at President Obama’s announcement earlier this week that he’s unilaterally moving the EPA towards forcing carbon emission reductions on coal producers. Of course, this will impact the job prospects of precisely the sort of everymen that liberals claim to champion, an observation rendered beautifully concise by Rupert Darwall writing at the Prospect blog:

A brilliant tweet at the time of the Thatcher funeral encapsulates the left’s ideological confusion—being in favour of coal miners and against what they mined.

June 26th, 2013 at 12:36 am
Obama’s Climate Change Condescension
Posted by Troy Senik Print

If you missed President Obama’s big climate change speech at Georgetown University earlier today, count yourself lucky. At this point, one has to assume that the White House speechwriters are making his remarks this dreary as an intentional means of keeping the public away from the content (in this case, a huge push to regulate carbon emissions from coal plants — the nation’s cheapest and most widespread source of electricity).

Two things stood out from the remarks:

1. Obama is all in on executive power. In the same week that the Supreme Court announced that they’re going to take up the President’s patently unconstitutional recess appointments to the NLRB, here he was once again bypassing Congress and the public. Obama is proposing nothing less than a reordering of our energy economy (let’s not forget his 2008 campaign trail promise to bankrupt coal producers) — and he’s doing it all through executive directives to the EPA. Congress had the chance to pass cap and trade back in the first two years of this Administration and they couldn’t get it done despite the fact that Democrats controlled both houses. Part of the reason: there was a Treasury Department analysis at the time that said passage would be tantamount to a 15 percent income tax increase. The people and their elected representatives have spoken. The President has ignored them.

2. Obama’s condescension towards climate change skeptics (such as yours truly) is astonishing. While the left has a tendency to boast about their reverence for science, they don’t seem to have much respect for the process of critical inquiry that the process requires. Obama today referred to climate skeptics as “members of the flat earth society” (ah yes, the man who was going to heal our national wounds). Just once, I’d like to see someone on the left acknowledge the fact that you can’t get to the virtues of widespread carbon reduction without going through a series of increasingly specific propositions, all of which are subject to some measure of debate:

– Climate change is occurring

– Climate change will produce significant negative effects on humanity

– Climate change is, at least in part, caused by human activity

– There are actions we can take to reduce the prospect of climate change

– The benefits of those actions outweigh the costs

– There are not other policies available with a superior cost-benefit ratio

Perhaps the president has already answered these questions in his own head, but he’s been remarkably mum about them publicly. My guess is that the glib insult is a way of obscuring the fact that he has no real responses.

June 5th, 2012 at 1:23 pm
Will a Backdoor Cap and Trade Plan be One of Obama’s Last Acts in Office?
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Those who believe that it’s in the best interest of the nation for Barack Obama’s presidency to terminate next January have been feeling their oats a bit lately. As Jennifer Rubin noted yesterday at the Washington Post’s “Right Turn” blog:

Whatever you think is the cause of the economic doldrums, it has now dawned on the Democrats and the press that Obama could lose this thing.

Quite so. But even if one indulges in the most optimistic projections for November, there’s a danger in getting too comfortable. There could be mischief brewing for the lame duck congressional session following the presidential election. As Conn Carroll reports in the Washington Examiner:

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Wednesday, [Senator John] Kerry announced that he would not be submitting the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea [LOST] for a vote before the November election. Instead, Kerry intends to hold a series of hearings before the election, building the case for passage, before pushing the treaty in a lame-duck session. This is the exact same game plan Kerry executed to pass the New START treaty during the 2010 lame duck…

…If the Senate approves LOST this December, any country that believes itself harmed by global warming could force the U.S. into binding arbitration, most likely in front of the Annex VII Arbitral Tribunal, LOST’s default dispute resolution forum.

Any judgment from that tribunal would be final, unappealable, and immediately enforceable in U.S. federal court. In 1982, a similar arbitration body forced Canada to set hourly caps on their sulfur dioxide emissions, causing industry to spend millions on mitigation efforts. A LOST tribunal could set similar caps on U.S. carbon emissions, triggering trillions in economic damage.

Cap and trade, of course, was Obama’s other major first-term initiative besides Obamacare, but when the politics surrounding the former issue became toxic — and congressional Republicans hit back hard on the cap and trade plan — the administration backed off. But is anyone willing to bet that Obama’s sense of fair play will prevent him from backdooring through the policy in the dying days of his administration?

If so, you’d have to believe that a president who has no compunctions about stripping fundamental religious freedoms through administrative fiat, who’s already busy promising the Russian government that he’ll “have more flexibility” on missile defense when he doesn’t have to face the American electorate again, and who has already flirted with extralegal methods for enacting international carbon reduction would suddenly be stricken by conscience after facing the sting of rejection from the voters.

Those odds don’t look good. Which is why conservatives need to remain on guard until the day Obama departs for Chicago.

April 23rd, 2012 at 3:13 pm
Obama’s Energy Policies, or, How America Can Fail
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Free Market America, a new group operating in partnership with Americans for Limited Government, has a powerful new video out that makes an important point: if one was setting out to intentionally inflict harm on the American economy via energy policy, the resulting strategy would look a lot like what the Obama Administration is proposing.

The point here is not that Obama’s agenda is a covert plot to damage the nation — it’s not — but rather that its effects will be just as calamitous as if it was. Take a look for yourself:

 

 

January 30th, 2012 at 2:50 pm
Newest Tactic of Radical Environmentalists: Purging TV Weathermen
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Unbelievable. From the Daily Caller:

Concerned that too many “deniers” are in the meteorology business, global warming activists this month launched a campaign to recruit local weathermen to hop aboard the alarmism bandwagon and expose those who are not fully convinced that the world is facing man-made doom.

The Forecast the Facts campaign — led by 350.org, the League of Conservation Voters and the Citizen Engagement Lab — is pushing for more of a focus on global warming in weather forecasts, and is highlighting the many meteorologists who do not share their beliefs.

“Our goal is nothing short of changing how the entire profession of meteorology tackles the issue of climate change,” the group explains on their website. “We’ll empower everyday people to make sure meteorologists understand that their viewers are counting on them to get this story right, and that those who continue to shirk their professional responsibility will be held accountable.”

Remember that these are the self-styled defenders of objective science and sweet reason — and they’re promoting nothing short of an ideological purge. God save us from our betters.
December 7th, 2011 at 6:05 pm
Santorum, Huntsman, Trump, and Newt
Posted by Troy Senik Print

I’m not sure whether my title line sounds more like a disreputable law firm or an unpublished fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. Anyway …

There are a lot of good points flying around these discussions. Let me hit on a couple of things in Ashton’s post from earlier today.

He’s certainly right that Santorum may get an unexpected star turn during the NewsMax debate moderated by Donald Trump later this month. Like Ashton, I find the whole affair unsavory (a point I’ve been making over at Ricochet, though I’ve been getting significant pushback there), but I find Santorum’s decision to participate much more reasonable than Newt’s. The former is in such dire need of a Hail Mary pass that he can’t let quibbles with the format keep him from one last shot at a broad swath of the electorate. Newt, whose surge is continuing unabated, doesn’t need the exposure — and his participation is at odds with his repeated insistence that he’s the Serious candidate in the race.

One final note regarding Huntsman, whom Ashton mentioned in passing. As the anti-Newt campaign has developed legs in recent weeks (particularly with the Republican establishment in Washington), there has been yet another search for a conservative alternative, which has led some pundits (including the esteemed George Will) to posit that Huntsman deserves another look. Their rationale? That the former Utah governor has been the most consistently conservative candidate in the field — both in rhetoric and in record — on taxes, guns, and abortion.

This is another example of the principle I keep coming back to as we discuss presidential candidates: having the right positions on paper is necessary, but not sufficient. Huntsman may be good on a handful of issues, but his campaign has been weighed down by the fact that he consistently picks fights with the conservative base, often over superfluous issues (did we really need another election year argument over evolution? Has there ever been a significant presidential decision that hinged on that debate?). He’s the guy who comes back from a stint as Ambassador to China to tell us how bad we look overseas. He’s the guy who tells the Republican Party how primitive it is. And the primary he’d most like to win is with the media.

Why hasn’t Huntsman taken off? Because the only time he communicates with conservatives is to tell them how ashamed of them he is.

September 12th, 2011 at 3:38 pm
What Al Gore and Karl Marx Have in Common
Posted by Troy Senik Print

It’s a little something called “false consciousness.” An essential aspect of Marxist thinking (though it was actually propagated by his partner, Friedrich Engels), false consciousness is a term that one uses to tell an ideological adversary, in essence, “You disagree with me not because of your reasoned conclusion, but because your ability to understand reality is so polluted as to prevent you from even discovering truth without the enlightened guidance of your betters.”

That seems to be the tact that former Vice President Gore is taking on — what else? — climate change skepticism. And his need for proselytization is now taking on a particularly bizarre form. According to Reuters:

“24 Hours of Reality” will broadcast a presentation by Al Gore every hour for 24 hours across 24 different time zones from Wednesday to Thursday, with the aim of convincing climate change deniers and driving action against global warming among households, schools and businesses.

The campaign also asks people to hand over control of their social networking accounts on Facebook and Twitter to it for 24 hours to deliver Gore’s message.

That last paragraph is particularly cultish. Tell the former VP to get his own damn Twitter account.

Gore and his ilk are accustomed to referring to their critics as “anti-science”. Yet they’re the ones engaged in something that sounds a lot more like televangelism than a climatology symposium.

Here’s an idea: if Gore really wants to be seen as a paragon of sweet reason — and really intends to convert the skeptics — why not have that hour of programming feature a debate between himself and one of the leading critics of his theories? Someone, perhaps, like Christopher Monckton of the British House of Lords, the former Thatcher advisor who has been challenging Gore to a scrimmage on global warming for years.

Of course, this format would put Gore on the spot. But when the science is ‘undeniable’ that should be an easy fight to win, no?

August 25th, 2011 at 6:44 pm
Will the Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up?
Posted by Troy Senik Print

If the real purpose of presidential debates was to clarify the views of the candidates, then the next GOP forum would be Mitt Romney debating himself. From a report by Justin Sink in The Hill:

Former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney seems to be shifting his stance on climate change as he grapples with insurgent newcomer Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who has raced to the top of GOP polls.

“Do I think the world’s getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that, but I think that it is,” Romney said in New Hampshire on Wednesday, according to Reuters. “I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans.”

But at an earlier event in June in New Hampshire the former Massachusetts governor seemed more convinced by the possibility of global warming.

“It’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors,” Romney said in June. “I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that.”

We can now add climate change to gun control, health care, abortion, campaign finance reform, social security reform, gay rights, immigration, stem cell research, and the capital gains tax as issues on which Governor Romney has “evolved” over the years (or, in this case, months).

On the upside, we finally have an answer to the persistent question of what Mitt Romney believes: everything.

July 21st, 2011 at 4:17 pm
BBC Sets Double Standard for Global Warming Skeptics
Posted by Troy Senik Print

The Daily Express reports from the U.K. today that the BBC is taking a new approach to climate change skeptics: ignoring them outright. Here’s how the paper has it:

THE BBC was criticised by climate change sceptics yesterday after it emerged that their views will get less coverage because they differ from mainline scientific opinion.

In a report by its governing body, the BBC Trust, the corporation was urged to focus less on opponents of the “majority consensus” in its programmes.

It said coverage should not be tailored to represent a “false balance” of opinion if one side came from a minority group.

… Although he found no evidence of bias in BBC output, he suggested where there is a “scientific consensus” it should not hunt out opponents purely to balance the story.

Needless to say, the BBC’s decision strikes at the heart of both scientific and journalistic integrity. These are two fields where it should be universally recognized that truth is not whatever the majority says it is. As long as the BBC is going to be playing this game, however, let’s make it a fair fight. 

Clearly, we should not expect to hear minority points of view on the following propositions, all of which are supported by the vast majority of economists: Free trade is beneficial, the minimum wage is a job-killer, and outsourcing is a positive good. Since the experts have weighed in, we’re confident that the BBC will now get to work suppressing dissenters as a matter of civic hygiene. We look forward to their objectivity.

 

May 13th, 2011 at 8:02 am
Podcast – Climate Change: An Issue for the Political Branches of Government or the Courts?
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Megan L. Brown, a partner at Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, D.C., discusses American Electric Power Co., Inc. v. Connecticut, a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Brown articulates why the High Court should reject the “public nuisance” climate change claim brought by a handful of states against some of the nation’s largest electric utility companies.

Listen to the interview here.

March 15th, 2011 at 10:42 am
In Memoriam: Owsley Stanley (1935-2011) – “King of LSD,” Grateful Dead Soundman and… Global Cooling Alarmist?
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Owsley Stanley, the famed 1960s “King of LSD” who helped pioneer the Grateful Dead’s trademark sound, has died following an auto accident in his adopted home country of Australia. So what led him to abandon America and flee to Australia, anyway?

It’s actually instructive regarding our current political climate.  Apparently, he became convinced during the 1970s that global cooling was about to trigger a new ice age, so he relocated to the southern hemisphere, which he considered less subject to that supposed oncoming disaster.  Mr. Stanley, of course, wasn’t alone in the global cooling hysteria.  Among others, Newsweek and The New York Times repeatedly sounded the alarm, and continuing climate alarmist Paul Ehrlich predicted massive crop failures and starvation.

Rest in peace, Owsley Stanley.  And thank you for the sobering lesson of the ephemeral nature of climate change alarmism amid the current fashion of global warming.

March 14th, 2011 at 12:53 pm
Unions, Environmentalists at War over EPA Regulations

Since at least the FDR era, the Democratic Party has served as an umbrella for a motley coalition of special interest groups that have only one thing in common: demanding action from government.  Most of the time, the competing priorities of the groups don’t come into direct conflict.  But when they do, it is a delight to sit back and watch each carve up the other.

Today’s example comes from the pages of the Wall Street Journal.  Apparently, businesses in the energy sector aren’t the only ones fighting the Obama Administration’s job-killing EPA regulations.  Labor unions like the Utility Workers Union of America and the United Mine Workers are demanding a ceasefire on cap-it-or-close-it regulations that could force companies to close 18% of the nation’s coal factories if they fail to comply with the EPA’s proposed climate change rules.

Unions recognize that without factories workers get fired.  Environmentalists don’t want to budge on what the Natural Resources Defense Council calls “the biggest public health achievement” of the Obama Administration.

Simple math is likely to break the stalemate.  Unions in coal states account for millions of campaign contributions and thousands of votes.  With Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin all flipping from Obama in 2008 to the Republicans in 2010, don’t count on the president to sacrifice his reelection chances on the altar of green jobs.

If he does, union voters – and their dollars – just might stay home in 2012.

January 17th, 2011 at 11:28 pm
Global Warming Extremist Hansen: America’s Problem is Democracy
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Dr. James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has been upping the ante for global warming hyperventilation for decades. After all, this is the man who said that global warming would leave parts of Manhattan underwater in 20 years — 22 years ago.

Yet Hansen, who enjoys mainstream respectability on the left, has trumped even his own debased standards for cluelessness with a recent round of remarks in China. Writing in the Washington Times, the Cato Institute’s Patrick J. Michaels has some of the gory details:

According to Mr. Hansen, compared to China, we are “the barbarians” with a “fossil-money- ‘democracy’ that now rules the roost,” making it impossible to legislate effectively on climate change. Unlike us, the Chinese are enlightened, unfettered by pesky elections.

Mr. Hansen has another idea to circumvent our democracy. Because Congress is not likely to pass any legislation making carbon-based energy prohibitively expensive, he proposed, in the South China Morning Post, that China lead a boycott of our economy:

“After agreement with other nations, e.g., the European Union, China and these nations could impose rising internal carbon fees. Existing rules of the World Trade Organization would allow collection of a rising border duty on products from all nations that do not have an equivalent internal carbon fee or tax.

“The United States then would be forced to make a choice. It could either address its fossil-fuel addiction … or … accept continual descent into second-rate and third-rate economic well-being.”

It may not be necessary for climate change alarmists to make common cause with authoritarian statists the world over. But how many times does it have to happen before we can assume that it’s a feature, rather than an accessory, of the environmental left’s worldview?