Posts Tagged ‘global warming’
September 24th, 2010 at 10:35 am
Brave New World? G.E. Closes Last U.S. Incandescent Light Bulb Factory
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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?

September 20th, 2010 at 12:33 pm
Economists’ Study: Cash for Clunkers a Failure, Not an “Overwhelming Success”
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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.

September 17th, 2010 at 12:06 pm
White House Retreats on ‘Climate Change’

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.

July 13th, 2010 at 12:09 pm
Obama’s Drilling Moratorium: Sending Jobs to Egypt
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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.

June 10th, 2010 at 9:46 pm
The Coming Carbon Wars
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Lest Freedom Line readers sink too far into despair over Jeff’s earlier post about the EPA’s transformation into a People’s Commissariat, it turns out there’s good news: it’s all to stave off the coming carbon wars. At least that’s the diagnosis of California’s taxpayer-financed parody of liberalism, Senator Barbara Boxer:

Here’s to hoping that Boxer’s opponent, Carly Fiorina, brings this up the next time she finds herself on an open mic.

May 17th, 2010 at 8:03 pm
California: No Fruits, Just Nuts

From California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s press conference unveiling his budget proposal amidst a $19.1 billion deficit:

“California no longer has low-hanging fruits – we don’t have any medium-hanging fruits, and we also don’t have any high-hanging fruits,” Schwarzenegger said, explaining the cuts Friday at a news conference in Sacramento. “We have to take the ladder from the tree and shake the whole tree.”

And no, he wasn’t making a Steve Miller Band reference.  (At least, I hope not.)

Though Sacramento’s spending commitments must be addressed, it’s interesting that the governor targeted eliminating the welfare-to-work program known as CALWorks, along with certain child care funding.  For their part, Democrats are wailing for a delay in scheduled corporate tax breaks.  As if further depleting business capital is the answer to balancing the state’s budget.

There are no easy, “comprehensive” answers for reforming California’s budget crisis.  But there is a better place to start the discussion: suspend AB 32, Schwarzenegger’s signature global warming bill.

In fact, that’s the name of a group making the case that since California is responsible for – at most – 1.4% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, AB 32’s severe, self-imposed restrictions amount to a jobs killer.  The group estimates that when fully implemented, AB 32 will cost the state 1.1 million jobs, the average family $3,857, and each small business $49,691.

The net result?  “Devastated budgets of California social services agencies through massive losses in tax revenue.”

Granted, suspending AB 32 would be largely symbolic, but if Schwarzenegger took the ax to his prized “green” bill, he could chalk it up to serious times calling for serious budgets.  When times are good, economies can afford to absorb major public investments on microscopic returns.  These are not those times.  Californians have needs and wants; it’s past time the state’s nutty politicians understood the difference.

April 15th, 2010 at 10:19 am
Global Warmists’ “Hockey Stick” Debunked As “Exaggerated”
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In order to substantiate their alarmism and political agenda, global warming activists must explain why current warming or cooling is any different than other warming or cooling periods throughout Earth’s history. The Ice Age, after all, receded long before moms began carting their kids to soccer practice in SUVs.  Similarly, today’s frozen areas were once swampy jungles.  The only constant throughout the world’s climate history has been change, illustrating the absurdity of the very term “climate change.”  After all, that’s what the climate does continually – it changes.

So what do global warming alarmists do?  They exaggerate historical temperature data to suggest that current trends are somehow more pronounced than previous periods of climate change.  Specifically, they concocted the “hockey stick” graph, which graphs climate data to show a sudden temperature jolt in the shape of a hockey stick.  Without it, they cannot distinguish one period of climate change from any other.

Unfortunately for them, Britain’s leading statistician has concluded that the “hockey stick” was “exaggerated” and was compiled using “inappropriate methods.”  Professor David Hand of the Royal Statistical Society issued his conclusion as part of a larger report on the “Climategate” scandal, which stated that, “it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians.”  Predictably, Professor Hand apologetically attempted to avoid hysterical blowback from the global warming crowd by adding that the data “show a clear warming signal.”  But climate realists don’t deny that the globe doesn’t periodically warm and cool.  Without the debunked “hockey stick,” though, environmental extremists’ claims are no different than their discredited “global cooling” claims of the 1970s.

More “inconvenient truths” for Al Gore and the synthetic global warming industry.

March 30th, 2010 at 2:38 pm
A New U.S. Commission to Oversee “Compliance with International Human Rights Treaties?”
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Imagine a new federal regulatory commission including lifetime appointees to investigate officials for alleged violation of “international human rights treaties,” including those  “related to the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina or to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.”

It’s not merely farce.  It’s proposed federal legislation supported by approximately 50 activist organizations to remake the United States Commission on Civil Rights, which was established in 1957 to combat illegal and unconstitutional discrimination within the U.S.  This proposed new commission, the brainchild of former Civil Rights Commission chair Mary Frances Berry and organizations calling themselves the “Campaign for a New Domestic Human Rights Agenda,” would also be empowered to “monitor U.S. compliance with international treaty obligations.”  Most ominously, though, this leftist boondoggle would “recommend new legislation and ‘encourage adoption’ of conventions to which the U.S. is not currently a party.”

It’s not bad enough that Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is attempting a backdoor implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and global warming agenda?  It’s not enough that so-called gun “control” activists seek to impose United Nations-style infringements upon our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms?  It’s not bad enough that the Obama Administration and its leftist cheerleaders advocated prosecution of Bush Administration officials who assisted our war against terrorism?

Not according to the left, apparently, in its continuing onslaught to control every minute aspect of our lives and eliminate whatever degree of American sovereignty and exceptionalism remains after Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid exhaust themselves.

March 11th, 2010 at 4:26 pm
Indian Minister Nails Global Warming Activists’ Arrogance
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Perhaps the most delicious recent indictment of the arrogance and hypocrisy of “Climate Change Cassandras” comes courtesy of Mary Kissel’s commentary in today’s Wall Street Journal regarding Indian Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh.

What seems to rankle Mr. Ramesh the most about these kinds of demands is the idea that India should sign themselves on to the rich world’s environmental fads at the expense of its own poor people.  Many Indians have long understood that the kind of climate interventions pushed by the likes of Mr. Gore – binding emissions targets, carbon taxes, cap-and-trade schemes and so on – all amount to giving up on cheap energy sources in exchange for sharply higher costs and economically unproven technologies. In India, that means consigning legions of the poor, many of whom don’t even yet have electricity or gas, to perpetual life in the slums.

It’s easy for Al Gore or Leo DiCaprio to feel as though they’re “sacrificing” to save Mother Earth by separating glass from plastic in kitchens larger than most Indians’ entire houses.  It’s also easy for such sanctimonious activists to command others to primitive lifestyles while they hypocritically consume tons of jet fuel gallivanting to the latest film festival.

But if such airheaded celebrities can’t even reduce their carbon footprints to the size of the average American’s, how can they in good conscience expect developing populations to consign themselves to poverty on behalf of “the rich world’s environmental fads?”

March 8th, 2010 at 5:12 pm
“The Meltdown of the Climate Campaign”
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Steven F. Hayward’s Weekly Standard Cover Story, “In Denial, the meltdown of the climate campaign,” is a must read for all who have been dismissed as flat earthers (or worse) for skepticism over global warming alarmism.

The accompanying Al Gore caricature is, as they say, “priceless.”

February 11th, 2010 at 5:21 pm
Arizona Withdraws from Misguided Carbon Cap-and-Tax Scheme
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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer got herself into hot water with conservatives last year by proposing tax increases to address state budget shortfalls soon after replacing Democrat Janet Napolitano.  Thankfully for Arizona residents hit particularly hard by the real estate downturn, however, Governor Brewer has corrected course by withdrawing from the regional Western Climate Initiative’s (WCI) plan to impose a carbon cap-and-tax scheme in 2012. The WCI’s misguided system would place arbitrary limits on the amount of carbon that businesses could produce in seven western states and four Canadian provinces, and allow sale and purchase of emission credits among businesses.

Former Governor Napolitano agreed to the plan in 2007 before joining the Obama Administration as Secretary of Homeland Security, where she embarrassed herself by claiming that the “system worked” after an al Qaeda terrorist nearly destroyed an airliner in the skies above Detroit.

Noting the economic basket case that next-door California has become by implementing precisely these sorts of regulations, Governor Brewer wisely said, “no, thanks.”  She stated in her executive order that Arizona simply would not participate in a plan that would raise costs for employers and consumers in this period of economic difficulty.  Among other things, the scheme would have increased costs for automobiles and other struggling industries.

The Sierra Club was predictably dismayed, but what’s bad for the environmental activist agenda tends to be good for everyday citizens.

February 5th, 2010 at 4:32 pm
Al Gore Could Make Millions Shoveling Snow in DC
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Is Al Gore in Washington, D.C. this weekend?

That would only be fitting, given Mother Nature’s gesture of laughter toward the global warming hysteria industry in the form of potentially record snowfall for the DC/Baltimore area.  Meteorologists are predicting between 20 and 30 inches of snowfall in Washington, which could surpass the record 28 inches the nation’s capital received in the 1928 “Knickerbocker Storm.”

Notably, this forecast doesn’t come in isolation.  Rather, it follows by approximately one month a similarly paralyzing December snowstorm whose rock-solid remnants hadn’t yet disappeared from DC landscapes.

All of this begs the question:  Where in the world is Al Gore this weekend?

It’s not merely the delicious thought of Gore snowed inside his house, either.  There he’d sit, pathetically gazing out his window at the frigid snowfall, unable to expand his already-gigantic carbon footprint by galavanting in his private jet or SUV convoy to his latest Chicken Little global warming speech.  It goes beyond that wonderful irony.

Believe it or not, this storm actually presents a novel fundraising opportunity for him and his increasingly-discredited movement.

Think about it…  Imagine the enormous number of dollars Gore could collect by agreeing to publicly shovel snow for amused “climate criminals” who dared question his ludicrous warming admonitions or fail to drive automobiles powered by vegetable oil.  Perhaps he could even drive a snowplow, sprinkle some salt on roads and walkways or build snowmen in the yards of climate realists.  All on camera for posterity, of course.

As a charitable gesture, we could even allow him and fellow liberals to claim the thousands of neighborhood kids shoveling snow for $20 per driveway as jobs “saved or created.”

Don’t think of it as a rebuke, Mr. Gore.  Think of it as a fun little opportunity that could erase memories of your “no controlling legal authority” fundraising embarrassment from the 1990s.

February 3rd, 2010 at 6:20 pm
As Goes California …
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…so go aslyums masquerading as state governments throughout the nation. Despite the fact that the Golden State is staring a $20 billion budget deficit in the face (and facing the prospect of cutting off much of the revenue they’ll need to get out of the hole thanks to a Byzantine global warming law), policy entreprenuership is alive and well in Sacramento. The latest big idea:

California is going to be first state in the nation to monitor cow gas emission. The state plans to install a network of computerized devices to measure methane gas emissions in places where there are lots of dairy ranches and landfills.

Sounds like the state’s bureaucrats are competing with the bovines to see who can produce the most … waste.

February 1st, 2010 at 2:32 pm
Climatologists “Puzzled” as “Unexplained” Stratospheric Cycles Cool Planet
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Talk about “inconvenient truths.”

The global warming cacophony has become even more dissonant in recent months, as global temperature data continues to confirm a decade-long temperature decline since 1998.  How could this happen, considering substantial increases in carbon output as China and India have rapidly industrialized, and the United States economy witnessed a decade of unprecedented growth?  On top of that, the “Climategate” scandal in recent months exposed the rotten infrastructure of lies, pettiness and data manipulation that constitutes the global warming community.

Now, along comes an unintentionally amusing report that climatologists are “puzzled” that the planet’s stratospheric cycles may have cooled the globe despite their claims that humans control our climate.

As reported by Gautam Naik of The Wall Street Journal, “climatologists have puzzled” over global cooling over the past decade, and “new research suggests that lower levels of water vapor in the stratosphere may partly explain the anomaly.” The report proceeds to discuss a Science magazine study showing that “concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere has dropped about 10% in the past decade, triggered by unexplained cooler temperatures at certain high altitudes above the tropics.”

Further, “the study concludes that in the last decade the decline in water vapor slowed the rate of rising temperatures by about 25%, thus partly negating the heat-trapping effect of increasing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane.”

In other words, natural and unpredictable global cycles and solar activity far beyond human control overwhelm the alleged effects of human activity on the planet.

The only people “puzzled” by this are the global warming zealots who are at long last watching their claims to vanity evaporate in the face of reality.

January 29th, 2010 at 4:18 pm
“Climategate” Scientists Broke UK Law By Concealing Data
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Last month’s “Climategate” revelations exposed thousands of emails between global-warming activist scientists, who sought to conceal and distort climate data, blackball other climate scientists who rebutted their claims and discredit scientific journals.

Now, UK authorities have concluded that they also broke the law.

According to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the climate researchers at the center of Climategate were requested in 2007 and 2008 to submit data on which they based their global warming contentions.  Those contentions were in turn a basis on which the United Nations and global warming alarmists around the world issued their latest doomsday predictions.  The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also relied upon them in issuing their reckless carbon dioxide regulations.

Under the UK’s Freedom of Information Act, however, those researchers were required to disclose the data on which they claimed to rest their conclusions.  The Act also prohibits deliberate concealment of requested information, which these activist scientists did.  According to a statement issued by the ICO, the information requests were “not dealt with as they should have been under the legislation.”

Talk about understatement.

Phil Jones, who directed the unit at the center of the Climategate scandal, stepped down following the revelations.  Yet, bizarrely, he claims that the team’s efforts at distortion and concealment were “taken completely out of context.”

Not exactly the defense one would expect from a man with a clear conscience…

January 19th, 2010 at 5:05 pm
Another Climate Change Fraud Exposed
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Late last year, the “Climategate” scandal fell like a meteor from the sky, creating catastrophic damage for the worldwide fraud that is global warming alarmism.  That controversy centered upon the revelation that climate change activists had manipulated data, blacklisted scientists who opposed their agenda and targeted scientific journals.

The repercussions continue, but one fortunate trend is that most Americans have become skeptical toward environmental extremists and their deteriorating claims.

Now, the United Nations was forced this week to make yet another embarrassing admission.

Yesterday, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) admitted that its 2007 claim that Himalayan glaciers would completely disappear by 2035 was based on speculative assertions.

The UN’s erroneous 2007 claim was based upon a 2005 World Wildlife Fund study, which was itself based upon a 1999 study in New Scientist magazine, in which Indian glacial scientist Syed Hasnain was quoted as saying the glaciers would disappear “within forty years.”  Now, however, Dr. Hasnain admitted that his 1999 assertions were based upon “speculation” instead of sound science.

Along with the fact that global temperatures have fallen below their 1998 levels despite eleven years of rapid growth in China, India and the United States, these successive scandals within the global warming grievance industry have the movement well on its way to the same fate as the ultimately discredited 1970s “global cooling” movement.

The demise of this politically-based speculative movement can’t come soon enough.

January 4th, 2010 at 4:25 pm
E.J. Dionne’s Recommendation to Democrats: Commit Suicide
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When asked to identify a leftist counterpart to the wit and wisdom of conservative commentator George Will, liberals commonly cite The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne, Jr.

Frankly, that’s a bit like a D.C.-area baseball fan offering the Washington Nationals as a counterpart to the New York Yankees, as confirmed again by today’s commentary from Dionne.

In it, Dionne counsels a veritable suicide strategy for Democrats hoping to avoid a landslide defeat in November’s 2010 Congressional elections.  In the face of poll after poll demonstrating widespread public opposition to ObamaCare, Dionne advises Democrats to trumpet its virtues.  He apparently remains blissfully oblivious to the fact that the more people learn about ObamaCare, the less they like it.  Since Obama demanded legislation before the August Congressional recess, the public has swung from narrow approval to wide disapproval, yet he advises that Democrats tell them more?  Dionne subsequently argues, presumably with a straight face, that Democrats should utilize proposed carbon cap-and-tax legislation in their effort to gain electoral momentum.  As is the case with ObamaCare, however, Dionne’s recommendation flies in the face of public skepticism and opposition toward this costly bill that will raise utility costs for everyday consumers, cripple businesses struggling in a weak economy and surrender additional American sovereignty to United Nations-style climate regulation.

Those in the legal profession often advise against interrupting opposing attorneys who are dooming their own cases.  One suspects that Republicans are similarly in no hurry to interrupt Dionne’s advice to Democrats.

December 20th, 2009 at 12:47 am
The Fire Insurance Fallacy
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On yesterday’s “Hardball”, Democratic strategist (and promiscuous presidential campaign kamikaze) Bob Shrum got into an almost unwatchable scrimmage over global warming and the Copenhagen Conference with Pat Buchanan.  In a tag-team effort with host Chris Matthews, Shrum tried to side-step the epistemological questions surrounding climate change by invoking the analogy of carrying fire insurance.

This meme, which has started showing up in Democratic talking points lately, tries to get around climate uncertainty by invoking the “precautionary principle”: that it’s prudent to take decisive action proportional to a catastrophic threat even if the potential of that threat being realized is miniscule. This irrational doctrine has been part of the environmental left’s catechism for decades, but its appearance in the political sphere shows that liberals are becoming sensitive to the fallout over Climategate and trying to reframe their position as a common sense hedge against catastrophe.  Wrong.

The Precautionary Principle sounds good in a vacuum (who caucuses for increased risk, after all?), but is (ironically) non-empirical in its application. All of life is a matter of weighing probable rewards versus probable risks. Jettisoning this cost-benefit principle on a serious policy issue is dangerous — and the insurance analogy shows why.

Think about how fire insurance actually works. You pay a miniscule fee to hedge against the minute possibility of a catastrophic outcome. But that’s not how carbon abatement schemes work. First of all, there’s no pool to socialize risk within. As an inherently global “crisis”, everyone is supposedly effected — so it’s impossible to cross-subsidize in the way that insurance plans do. But more importantly, you wouldn’t buy fire insurance that costs exponentially more than the likely damage from a fire — and that’s what the economic disaster represented by cap and trade and other such schemes would mean.

Liberals can’t get their head around the fact that there’s only so much value swimming around in an economy (regardless of the money supply).  If you use some of it in one place, you can’t use it in another. And when government mandates its use, it’s almost always less efficient than the private sector. This is called an opportunity cost. It’s usually covered in the first few days of an elementary economics course. This is what happens when we elect people who cut that class for a Sierra Club meeting.

December 17th, 2009 at 11:33 am
Prosecutions Possible Amid Climategate Revelations

A hat tip to James Delingpole of The Daily Telegraph (UK) is in order for his continuing coverage of the metastasizing Climategate controversy. The Russians are now weighing in with charges that global warming alarmists used only 25% of data reported by Russian scientists; intentionally leaving out information showing no signs of warming. Much of this doctored research was in turn folded into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report, the definitive statement supporting the calls for international regulation of energy consumption. (For a counter-argument using all the available climate data, see this report published by the Heartland Institute.) With the Copenhagen climate conference degenerating into anarchy and finger-pointing soon there may be another appellation added to “discredited” and “fraudulent”: convicted.

As Lord Christopher Monkton explains in this interview, he and another climate skeptic are requesting prosecution of the researchers responsible for destroying information sought through Britain’s version of the Freedom of Information Act. Others are calling for investigations into whether there is a case for criminal fraud against scientists using government grants to produce misleading reports. Many of the people who’ve profited from this scurrilous research are present or arriving in Copenhagen. When looking back on the group photos a few years from now, one wonders how many of them will be behind bars, owing millions in damages, or drummed out of office. Most likely, not enough.

December 16th, 2009 at 3:50 pm
How You Too Can Cash In on Global Warming Alarmism

Cold weather got you down?  Is your child distraught and having trouble sleeping because of the government’s global warming scare tactics? 

Watch the clever video below, put together by our friends at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and learn how you too can cash in on global warming alarmism.