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ENVIRONMENT AND JUNK SCIENCE

The green empress has no clothes By Viv Forbes

During December 2017, Germany’s millions of solar panels received just 10 hours of sunshine, and when solar energy did filter through the clouds, most of the panels were covered in snow. Even committed Green Disciples with a huge Tesla battery in their garage soon found that their battery was flat and that there was no solar energy to recharge it.

The lights, heaters, trains, TVs, and phones ran on German coal power, French nuclear power, Russian gas, and Scandinavian hydro, plus unpredictable surges of electricity from those few wind turbines that were not iced up, locked down in a gale, or becalmed.

Germany has long supported two incompatible ideas: engineering excellence and green totalitarianism. Angela Merkel’s support of climate alarmism while preaching energy efficiency continues this discordant tradition.

But King Winter has exposed the weak underbelly of Germany’s energy policy. Empress Merkel now faces a hostile political climate with no clothes.

The green energy retreat has started in the green energy movement’s own heartland.

In Climate Science, Predictions Are Hard, Especially About The Future Francis Menton

You probably think that the classical reference in the title is to a saying originating from baseball humorist Yogi Berra. But Quote Investigator traces the origin of the saying back to an unnamed wag in the Danish parliament in the 1930s. Early users of the phrase included Danish atomic physicist Nils Bohr and movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn.

As hard as they may be to get right, predictions about the future are the core of the field that goes by the name of “climate science.” Because of predictions about the future by climate scientists, everybody knows that human burning of fossil fuels will cause world temperatures to increase by multiple degrees over the coming century, leading to a series of calamities ranging from sea level rise to droughts to floods to hurricane and tornadoes. After all, the climate scientists have sophisticated computer models! If you don’t believe the predictions of the models, you must be a “science denier.” The predictions of significantly rising temperatures are so certain that you are to be required by government coercion (unless President Trump can head it off) to dramatically reduce your use of fossil fuels and restrict your lifestyle.

You and I are not going to be around in 2100 to see if any of these predictions about the future have come true. But meanwhile the climate alarm crowd obliges us with shorter term predictions to help us get some handle on how reliable they are. Unfortunately, nobody seems to be doing a very good job of keeping track of these predictions and seeing how they are turning out. So once again it falls to the Manhattan Contrarian to do some leg work. On this subject, I am assisted today by some very useful work from my friend Benny Peiser and the Global Warming Policy Foundation in the UK.

For example, there was the prediction that our national weather bureaucracy (NOAA) came out with back in October as to the severity of the upcoming winter. How do they come up with that prediction? Eric Niler at Wired wrote a post on the prediction on October 29 that revealed that the seasonal predictions rely on models using the same theories of “heat trapping” greenhouse gases as they use for the longer-term models:

NOAA climate scientists incorporate heat-trapping carbon dioxide levels when they run the models that produce their seasonal climate predictions.

So what was the prediction?

Conservation, Not Environmentalism By Janet Levy

Much of the disagreement over the use of America’s natural resources stems from confusion over the difference between conservation and environmentalism. Conservation, a rational, conservative approach to protecting and preserving the environment, is an ethic of resource utilization. Conservationists view man as a natural, invested partner in the endeavor to preserve the environment to ensure its continued, sustainable use by humans.

Environmentalism began as a sincere conservationist movement but subscribes to a view of man as nature’s enemy. Nature itself is revered and intrinsically embodied with value. Environmentalists seek to limit human access to, rather than allow use of, nature to advance human life, health, and happiness. Environmentalists perceive man as an immoral, destructive interloper who can interact only negatively with his natural surroundings.

In his book, Smoking Them Out: The Theft of the Environment and How to Take It Back (American Tradition Institute, 2013), Greg Walcher focuses on these ideological differences as he examines the environmental movement.

Walcher begins with the history of the environmental movement. He demonstrates how the stewardship of our resources – water, forests, energy sources, other natural resources – has become less about real science and conservation and more about politics and achieving centralized control. This change in focus has created unintended consequences, far removed from the ideals of caring for the environment and, today, bordering on malfeasance.

Climate of Unaccountability Are foundations running state energy policy without transparency?

With President Trump putting economic growth above climate alarums, green activists are turning to progressive states to press their regulatory agenda. Governors from 15 states have formed the U.S. Climate Alliance, for example, to enforce the Paris Climate Agreement despite Mr. Trump’s withdrawal. Fair enough if it’s all above board, but records we’ve obtained suggest that foundations are steering policy behind the scenes without transparency or clear public accountability.
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A leading example is Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s office, which seems to have subcontracted some of its work and budget to two foundations pushing an activist climate agenda. An environmental nonprofit, the World Resources Institute, actually hired Washington’s state government as a contractor last July.

Under this remarkable arrangement, the state agreed to perform a “scope of work” for the nonprofit that includes “activities and deliverables” to advance a green agenda. The special-interest tail is officially wagging the democratic dog, given that the contract provides the job framework for Mr. Inslee’s senior policy adviser for climate and sustainability, Reed Schuler.

According to Mr. Schuler’s official job description, his duties include working to “identify policy ideas,” “draft policy proposals and briefs for communication to Policy Director and Governor’s executive team,” and “prepare letters, executive orders, and other directives for the Governor’s signature.” Beyond the executive branch, Mr. Schuler is also involved in “monitoring progress of clean energy legislation” and representing Washington “among multi-state and international efforts.”

In other words, he holds an influential policy position. And it’s funded through a grant from the World Resources Institute, which reimburses Washington for Mr. Schuler’s salary, benefits and expenses. Under its contract, Washington State sends progress reports alongside its $33,210 quarterly invoices to the nonprofit.

Drilling in Alaska Is Good for the Earth It’s greener than fracking and less risky than deep-water rigs. By Thomas Landstreet

It has been a good month for American energy development. The tax reform signed by President Trump contained a provision allowing for oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Last week the Interior Department proposed opening up wide swaths of territory offshore.

This is good policy for a lot of reasons, but the least obvious is that it will help the environment. Despite howls from the green lobby, the truth is that it’s less hazardous to drill for oil on land and in shallow waters using conventional rigs.

BP’s Deepwater Horizon was drilling in about 5,000 feet of water when it exploded in 2010. If the accident had occurred on land or in shallow seas, the spill could have been contained in three days instead of three months.

The company took the blame for the disaster, paying $19 billion, but I blame U.S. environmental policy for chasing oil producers further and further out on the risk curve. For more than 40 years, the U.S. government has had a moratorium on drilling in shallow water, putting nearly 100 billion barrels out of reach.

This overregulation has been neither prudent nor partisan. President George H.W. Bush, a former oilman, enacted a separate and redundant moratorium in 1990; Bill Clinton extended it in 1998. And approval rates for drilling permits on federal lands plummeted during the Obama administration.

The ANWR is thought to hold at least 10 billion barrels of crude oil, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The actual number is likely greater. The nearby Trans-Alaska Pipeline is ready to go, with the capacity to move ANWR oil 800 miles to the Port of Valdez. That pipeline operates at 25% of capacity and could use the extra flow for efficiency’s sake.

Drilling in the ANWR poses less risk to the environment than fracking. It would also be cheaper. Fracking was invented in response to drilling restrictions, as a way to produce oil from shale formations on private land, where government restrictions don’t apply.

But fracking is no walk in the park. A fracked well consumes an average of 4.2 million pounds of sand and between two million and nine million gallons of water. The sludge created as a byproduct requires careful handling and underground disposal. From an environmental standpoint, drilling in the ANWR ought to be attractive by comparison. CONTINUE AT SITE

EPA Staff to Get Cut in Half Daniel Greenfield

The EPA has probably cost as many American jobs as China. Not to mention driving up the prices of everything. Now it’s the EPA that’s shedding jobs for a change.

The EPA Tuesday provided to Secrets its first year staff results which show that the agency is below levels not seen since former President Reagan’s administration.

And if just those slated to retire by early 2021 leave, Administrator Scott Pruitt and his team will have reduced a staff of nearly 15,000, to below 8,000, or a reduction of 47 percent.

This doesn’t include the fake CIA Global Warming expert whose retirement is taxpayer funded, but is being routed through the penal system.

The EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change was sentenced to 32 months in federal prison Wednesday for lying to his bosses and saying he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan so he could avoid doing his real job.

He also said he used the time “trying to find ways to fine tune the capitalist system” to discourage companies from damaging the environment. “I spent a lot of time reading on that,” said Beale.

Of course the mass retirements aren’t a done deal yet, but it does look like one of the destroyers of American prosperity will have plenty of time to read about the evils of capitalism. And while it will be at taxpayer expense, EPA operatives will at least be doing less damage when they’re not working for the government.

Winter Weather Climate Spin Contradicts Science By Julie Kelly

Climate-change spinmeisters have been in overdrive since late December, hustling to explain how this spate of treacherous, winter weather is all due to global warming…just like they told us. (No doubt, the next thaw or blizzard will be mankind’s fault, too.) But their avowals mostly contradict scientific fact—including facts they have affirmed in reports they helped write themselves—not to mention current weather trends.

On January 4, as a “bomb cyclone” savaged the eastern seaboard, Al Gore tweeted this:

Al Gore
✔ @algore It’s bitter cold in parts of the US, but climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann explains that’s exactly what we should expect from the climate crisis. http://ow.ly/Gdm230hAFv4

Gore, who oddly didn’t include clips of massive snowstorms and record-breaking cold temperatures in his films or paid lectures about global warming, linked to an article written by Michael Mann, a Penn State University scientist, author of the infamous “hockey stick” graph, and the media’s favorite climate mouthpiece.

In his customary, humble fashion, Mann appropriates the two-week stretch of brutal weather as evidence of exactly what he’s been saying all along: “Listening to climate contrarians like President Donald Trump, you might think this constitutes the death knell for concern over human-caused climate change. Yet, what we were witnessing play out is in fact very much consistent with our expectations of the response of weather dynamics to human-caused climate change.” The professor then throws in some maps and graphs to purportedly boost his claim, and concludes with, “so, to the climate change doubters and deniers out there, the unusual weather we’re seeing this winter is in no way evidence against climate change. It is an example of precisely the sort of extreme winter weather we expect because of climate change.”

Trump’s Energy Policies and Macron’s Vanity Project How Trump is changing the global weather By Rupert Darwall

Republicans start 2018 with two big economic accomplishments under their belts. The first is passing the $1.5 trillion tax-reform package. The second is withdrawing from the Paris climate treaty and rolling back the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, in effect repealing an Obama tax hike that would have cost Americans $1.3 trillion over eight years.

Cutting taxes is what successful Republicans do. Every Republican president since 1980 who subsequently won reelection cut taxes in his first term. By contrast, President Trump’s pro-growth energy policies are very much his own idea. Perhaps others in the field of 17 primary contenders in 2016 would have acted similarly (such as Ted Cruz), but others would not (such as Jeb Bush), and it’s hard to imagine any of them appointing Scott Pruitt to head the EPA, who has turned out to be one of the stars of the Trump administration.

The potential economic gains are colossal. According to Heritage Foundation’s Kevin Dayaratna, over the next eight years ending the war on hydrocarbon energy will generate 900,000 jobs, add $1.9 trillion to the economy, and cut electricity prices and household energy bills with negligible effects on the climate and sea level. Fully taking advantage of fracking and America’s vast hydrocarbon reserves to 2035 would increase GDP by $3.7 trillion — equivalent to America’s adding two and a quarter Texas-size economies — and make an average family of four over $40,000 better off, all with a temperature change of less than three thousandths of a degree Celsius and a sea-level rise of less than one hundredth of an inch. Like all the best policies, in retrospect, Trump’s energy policies will appear obvious common sense.

While Trump is pushing hard on the gas pedal to accelerate the growth of the American economy, his opposite number in Paris is applying the brake. At President Macron’s behest, in December, the French parliament passed a law banning all production of oil and gas in France and its overseas territories from 2040. Casting himself as savior of the planet, a week earlier, Macron hosted a One Planet summit, ostensibly to commemorate the second anniversary of the Paris climate accord.

A sycophantic promotional video of the event shows the planetary hero planning the summit lunch as an Elysée Palace flunky serves coffee from a silver tray, then hugging guests on their arrival. Like millions of visitors to Paris before them, they board a Bateau Mouche and view the sights of Paris as they sail down the Seine. Everyone looks bored as Macron speaks, apart from the hero’s wife, Brigitte, and his lead supporters (“really good, really fantastic, congratulations,” Arnold Schwarzenegger tells him).

It all looks a bit stale. There’s a roundtable with former secretary of state John Kerry. Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson are given front-row seats. “We are in the middle of losing this battle,” Macron tells them. There are, he claims, five, ten, 15 heads of governments whose nations will disappear in 50 to 70 years’ time. It’s hardly an inspiring rallying cry.

Canada’s Carbon Taxes, Other Boondoggles Add Pain to Record Cold Winter By David Solway

I returned the other day from a shopping expedition — gas, groceries, pharmaceuticals — with an empty wallet and a troubled mind. Prices for everything had spiked almost overnight, it seemed, and in some cases had nearly doubled. What was formerly a $70 grocery bill was now $107. A standard $75 for a tank of gas now set me back $100. A $30 bill for various pharmaceutical items now topped $40.

On the same day, we had our monthly heating oil delivery, a partial fill-up leaving us $500 poorer, not counting the Hydro One electricity bill of $140. Prices in my overtaxed home province of Ontario were always stratospheric, with many people having to choose between heating their homes and stocking their larders, a condition called “energy poverty.” Industry has fled the province to avoid the crushing tax burden.

Kangaroo courts called Human Rights Tribunals drain the public treasury of increasingly scarce resources while bankrupting unfairly accused defendants. Automobiles require special stickers at a hefty annual sum. Wind turbines rotate their blades lazily — that is, when there is any wind to speak of — defacing the landscape, slaughtering birds by the hecatombs, and producing little in the way of reliable power, albeit at enormous cost to businesses and homeowners. The situation may not be appreciably better in other parts of the Socialist Republic of Canada — Alberta, for example, has also been hard hit; nevertheless, when one factors cost and weather into the domestic equation, Ontario must be near the bottom of anyone’s habitation wish list.

Aside from near-unaffordable living expenses, the mercury has plunged dramatically. We are now in the midst of the coldest winter in living memory, with temperatures plus wind-chill hovering in the minus 40 area. The news channels warn us that merely two or three minutes outdoors without adequate protection — gloves, warm boots, balaclavas — can lead to frostbite.

Cars, trucks and rigs line the icy 401 autoroute at precarious angles. (Indeed, even parts of comparatively balmy British Columbia have endured huge traffic tie-ups and power loss owing to “weather events.”) At the same time the snowfall is relentless, heaping berms three feet high. There is no place remaining to shovel snow off our deck. We have had to hire diggers, snow plows and sanders to clear the steep entrance lane and driveway, adding another strain to the rapidly shrinking budget.

The two elements I’ve focused on of living costs and weather come together both practically and conceptually. Apart from a bevy of new taxes hitting doctors, farmers and small businesses, our pretty boy Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has, ostensibly to fight global warming, imposed an onerous carbon tax on the country, a tariff which has kicked in with a vengeance. This explains in large part why I came home with an empty wallet — prices reflect the new fiscal burden.

Tony Thomas Green from Instinct to Jackboots

That catastropharians consider themselves so much brighter and more insightful than the knuckle-dragging rest of us is not news, yet the vaulting arrogance of climate cultists can still surprise. Take the deep-green Forum for the Future, which cheerfully anticipates penal colonies for skeptics.

The Kerguelen islands are horridly cold and windy specks near the Antarctic, populated by a few score of French scientists and several thousand sheep. But to a leading British green group, Forum for the Future, it has enormous potential as an internationally-run penal colony for global warming sceptics.

The Forum’s founder-director is Jonathon Porritt 67, Eton- and Oxford-bred Chancellor of Keele University, adviser to Prince Charles, and Green Party activist. [1] The Forum’s fancy for Kerguelen can be found in its 76-page report “Climate Futures – Responses to Climate Change in 2030”, written in conjunction with Hewlett-Packard, a company which should know better. This scenario, one of five, involves the naughty world delaying the reduction of emissions, for which we must all suffer. The document even conjures a fictional climate criminal and imagines him being deported to Kerguelen in 2028. He is Jean-Claude Bertillon, leader of the No Climate Change Party in Canada, “convicted of denying the existence of climate change”.

The report actually fantasises three penal colonies for climate criminals. The other two are Britain’s frosty South Georgia[2] and the South Island of New Zealand. Written in 2008, the document attempts to show how CO2 emissions will wreck the planet within a couple of decades unless civilisation turns away from the sins of consumerism and economic growth. As we are now almost half-way to the 2030 forecast date it is possible to get a handle on how the Forum’s timeline is working out, and perhaps to gain an inkling of any substance to the report’s assertion that our descendants will look back on us with the same disgust we reserve for the slave-owners of yesteryear.

The authors — and Porritt himself — long for an eco-catastrophe that would eliminate all public doubts about climate doom. Their manifesto says,

“Because of a chilling lack of confidence in our leaders … our only hope would be for an isolated, serious pre-taste of climate change to happen soon enough for the political and behavioral response to have a useful impact.”

This is probably wishful thinking, as Porritt, founder director of Forum for the Future and chair of the UK’s Sustainable Development Commission, pointed out:

‘I have occasionally fantasised about a low mortality-count scenario where a Force Six hurricane takes out Miami, but with plenty of warning so the entire city is evacuated with zero loss of life. The insurance industry in America would collapse because this could be a $50-60 billion climate-related ‘natural’ disaster. The industry wouldn’t be able to cope with that. There would be knock-on pain throughout the global economy, massive, traumatic dislocation. This would act as enough of an injection of physical reality, coupled with financial consequences for leaders to say: ‘Ok, we’ve got it now. This isn’t just about some nasty effects on poor countries: this is devastating for our entire model of progress.’ The response to that would be a negotiated transition towards a very low-carbon global economy that builds increased prosperity for people in more equitable and sustainable ways.’”