Video: Putting Global Warming on Ice
In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino uses data and facts to cool the heated rhetoric of global warming alarmists.
In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino uses data and facts to cool the heated rhetoric of global warming alarmists.
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.
Meditate on this excerpt from an op-ed by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:
“An inclusive party would welcome the party’s most conservative activists right alongside its most liberal activists,” the actor-turned-politician said. “There is room for those whose views, I think, make them sound like cavemen. And there is also room for us in the center, with views the traditionalists probably think make us sound like progressive softies.”
As usual, Schwarzenegger is being too soft on himself. After promising to “blow up the boxes” in Sacramento and get tough on a legislature full of “girly men,” Schwarzenegger passed seven laughably unbalanced budgets that everyone acknowledged were premised on accounting gimmicks that are illegal in the private sector. He signed into law AB 32, the global warming regulatory scheme that burdens California’s economy without making a single degree of difference in the global temperature. He supported a multi-billion dollar bond initiative to fund embryonic stem cell research despite the industry’s pivot toward adult stem cells as an ethically better, more scientifically promising avenue for treatment.
Ignoring the laws of fiscal gravity? Cursing the sun while your neighbors grow their economies? Defying science to serve a political ideology? Who’s the real caveman in all this Mr. Schwarzenegger?
H/T: Catalina Camia at USA Today
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:
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.”
Don’t bother me with the facts; we’re trying to save the world here!
That’s essentially what Patrick Michaels of the CATO Institute says the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did when it decided that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases endanger the environment and must be regulated.
The problem for EPA is that its own Inspector General recently stated that the process EPA used to justify its decision violated both federal law and scientific integrity. According to Michaels, federal law requires any endangerment finding that is “highly influential” to be rigorously peer-reviewed to ensure that economy-altering regulations are based on the best science available.
EPA violated that standard when it based its endangerment finding on a facially biased United Nations report favorably reviewed by at least one federal climatologist who worked for EPA – a clear conflict of interest.
The stakes are high. EPA’s endangerment finding is the legal basis for the agency to dictate energy regulations down to the kind of light bulb Americans can use in their homes. By cooking the books that authority rests on, EPA has destroyed any credibility it may have had.
Let the legal challenges begin (again).
The Los Angeles Times reports that California’s unemployment is now 12.1 percent statewide, 25 percent higher than the national average, and second only to Nevada’s 13.4 percent.
For decades, California politicians have prided themselves on being “first in the nation” on numerous job-killing efforts such as fanciful global warming regulations, onerous land use regulations, and stupefying bans on products like Mylar balloons and plastic bags at grocery stores.
Recently, Troy wrote a painfully insightful piece on yet another attempt to wage war on business by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (higher taxes on commercial property).
California’s political class cannot resist the siren song of being the first to put the screws to the engines of economic growth. If Villaraigosa’s plan becomes reality, perhaps the Golden State will finally be first in a category no one should want: unemployment.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Newt versus The Wall Street Journal editorial board – the unofficial 2012 Republican campaign is off to a very lively start.
On January 22, the Journal ran a commentary entitled “Amber Waves of Ethanol” in which it criticized federal ethanol subsidies. It noted that, “Four of every 10 rows of corn now go to produce fuel for American cars or trucks, not food or feed,” which does nothing to improve the environment or our reliance on foreign oil, but wastes billions in taxpayer dollars and drives food price inflation. Likely 2012 candidate Newt Gingrich responded in Iowa last Tuesday, repeatedly referring to himself “as an historian” and accusing the Journal as part of a sinister cabal, saying, “Obviously big urban newspapers want to kill it because it’s working, and you wonder, ‘What are their values?’”
This morning, the Journal responds in its lead commentary entitled “Professor Cornpone.” This dispute, it says, symbolizes the larger fight “between the House Republicans now trying to rationalize the federal fisc and the kind of corporate welfare that President Obama advanced in his State of the Union”:
Given that Mr. Gingrich aspires to be President, his ethanol lobbying raises larger questions about his convictions and judgment. The Georgian has been campaigning in the Tea Party age as a fierce critic of spending and government, but his record on that score is, well, mixed… Now Republicans have another chance to reform government, and a limited window of opportunity in which to do it… So along comes Mr. Gingrich to offer his support for Mr. Obama’s brand of green-energy welfare, undermining House Republicans in the process.”
Regardless of one’s views toward Mr. Gingrich as a potential candidate, the fact that the race is already lively with substantive policy debate is a healthy sign.
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?
Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.
View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.
March 2000: Charles Onians of Britain’s The Independent penned a global-warming doomsday warning entitled “Snowfalls Are Now Just a Thing of the Past”:
Britain’s winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives… According to Dr. David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become ‘a very rare and exciting event.’ ‘Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,’ he said.”
Does “the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia” ring a bell? It was at the center of last year’s “Climategate” scandal in which global warming alarmists were shown to have manipulated their research and plotted against scientists whose views differed from their own.
Fast forward ten years, to December 2010, and a report from Britain’s Mail Online entitled “Coldest December Since Records Began as Temperatures Plummet to Minus 10 C Bringing Travel Chaos Across Britain”:
Swathes of Britain skidded to a halt today as the big freeze returned – grounding flights, closing rail links and leaving traffic at a standstill. And tonight the nation was braced for another 10 inches of snow and yet more sub-zero temperatures – with no letup in the bitterly cold weather for at least a month, forecasters have warned. The Arctic conditions are set to last through the Christmas and New Year bank holidays and beyond as temperatures plummeted to -10 C (14 F). The Met Office said this December was ‘almost certain’ to become the coldest since records began in 1910.”
Thanks to Al Gore’s amazing Internet, which provides us a record to test the amazingly ludicrous assurances that he and his fellow climate change alarmists have made.
Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CST to 6:00 p.m. CST (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her show “Your Turn.” Today’s star guest lineup includes:
4:00 p.m. CST/5:00 p.m. EST: Bruce Herschensohn, Foreign Policy Expert - North Korea
4:30 p.m. CST/5:30 p.m. EST: Pete Sepp, National Taxpayers’ Union (NTU) - Bush Tax Cuts, Obama’s Federal Salary Freeze
5:00 p.m. CST/6:00 p.m. EST: Ashton Ellis, CFIF - Wikileaks, Janet Naplitano/Eric Holder/Charles Schumer
5:30 p.m. CST/6:30 p.m. EST: Steve Milloy, Junkscience.com - U.N. Global Warming Conference
Please share your comments, thoughts and questions at (850) 623-1330, or listen via the Internet by clicking here. You won’t want to miss it today!
Few things represent American ingenuity more than the incandescent light bulb. Painstakingly created by Thomas Edison in the late 19th century, it also represents the more universal concepts of hard work, persistence, creativity and the life-improving contributions of private entrepreneurs.
But Edison’s marvel is being relegated to anachronism status in our brave new world of hyper-regulatory big government.
This week in Winchester, Virginia, General Electric ceased operations at its last incandescent lightbulb factory. Under new nanny-state energy regulations, incandescent lightbulbs will be prohibited and replaced by compact florescent bulbs whose unflattering light makes for an ugly, sinister symbol of the nitpicking green movement. Most of those florescent bulbs are manufactured overseas, by the way, but that’s also of little concern to righteous green crusaders.
Question: Anyone else get that sneaking suspicion that famed energy hypocrite Al Gore is hastily stockpiling incandescent bulbs at his various compounds as we speak?
Over and over again, President Obama and other defenders of trickle-up stimulus labeled 2009’s “Cash for Clunkers” a positive example of federal spending and market manipulation. Obama himself eagerly called it an “overwhelming success,” and Nancy Pelosi curiously professed that it “has been successful beyond our wildest dreams.”
Economists’ verdict? Not so much.
Writing for the National Bureau of Economic Research, economists Amir Sufi from the University of Chicago and Atif Mian of the University of California Berkeley report that Cash for Clunkers had no substantive net positive effect:
A key rationale for fiscal stimulus is to boost consumption when aggregate demand is perceived to be inefficiently low. We examine the ability of the government to increase consumption by evaluating the impact of the 2009 “Cash for Clunkers” program on short and medium run auto purchases. Our empirical strategy exploits variation across U.S. cities in ex-ante exposure to the program as measured by the number of “clunkers” in the city as of the summer of 2008. We find that the program induced the purchase of an additional 360,000 cars in July and August of 2009. However, almost all of the additional purchases under the program were pulled forward from the very near future; the effect of the program on auto purchases is almost completely reversed by as early as March 2010 – only seven months after the program ended. The effect of the program on auto purchases was significantly more short-lived than previously suggested. We also find no evidence of an effect on employment, house prices, or household default rates in cities with higher exposure to the program.”
This is Obamanomics and “stimulus” policy in a nutshell: Billions in spending, but no positive effect. Future generations forced to pay for it will not be retrospectively amused.
But that doesn’t mean it’s changed its position. Escalating the war on words that began by replacing ‘Global War on Terror’ with ‘Overseas Contingency Operation’ and ‘acts of terror’ with ‘man-made disasters,’ President Barack Obama’s advisors are once again going Orwellian. Now, instead of ‘Global Warming’ or ‘Climate Change’ the president’s top climate czar John Holdren wants Americans to start saying ‘Global Climate Disruption.’
Not everyone is convinced the re-branding scheme will work:
“They’re trying to come up with more politically palatable ways to sell some of this stuff,” said Republican pollster Adam Geller, noting that Democrats also rolled out a new logo and now refer to the Bush tax cuts as “middle-class tax cuts.”
He said the climate change change-up likely derives from flagging public support for their bill to regulate emissions. He said the term “global warming” makes the cause easy to ridicule whenever there’s a snowstorm.
“Every time we’re digging our cars out — what global warming?” he said. “(Global climate disruption is) more of a sort of generic blanket term, I guess, that can apply in all weather conditions.”
Ostensibly, the name change is designed to make people take climate change more seriously. More likely, it’ll have the opposite effect.
In response to the uncertainty created by the Obama Administration’s foolish drilling moratorium, which has now been overturned by two separate courts, Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. announced that it will shift its Ocean Endeavor operation to Egypt. As The Wall Street Journal noted, “when it comes to a showdown between jobs and ideology, the Obama Administration never fails to choose the latter.”
The Ocean Endeavor contract was worth $100 million, and its loss will cost “a great deal” of American jobs. Even Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana found herself forced to break with the Obama Administration, noting that the offshore drilling industry safely operates approximately 42,000 other wells and employs innumerable Gulf citizens both directly and indirectly. Sadly, Obama once again seems to be stimulating the far-left activist community, but not the American economy or job climate.