Archive for November, 2010

NYTimes lets facts intrude on alarmist narrative

November 26, 2010

A funny thing happened on the New York Times’ way to climate alarmism today — a paragraph of debunking facts.

In an above-the-fold, front-page story, the Times’ Leslie Kaufman tried to tell a sad tale about global warming-induced sea-level rise wreaking havoc in Norfolk, VA.

If the moon is going to be full the night before Hazel Peck needs her car, for example, she parks it on a parallel block, away from the river. The next morning, she walks through a neighbor’s backyard to avoid the two-to-three-foot-deep puddle that routinely accumulates on her street after high tides.

For Ms. Peck and her neighbors, it is the only way to live with the encroaching sea.

As sea levels rise, tidal flooding is increasingly disrupting life here and all along the East Coast, a development many climate scientists link to global warming.

And of course, what tale of global warming would be complete without an “expert”?

Many Norfolk residents hope their problems will serve as a warning.

“We are the front lines of climate change,” said Jim Schultz, a science and technology writer who lives on Richmond Crescent near Ms. Peck. “No one who has a house here is a skeptic.”

Kaufman’s tale of woe then ends with the “bitter reality” of global warming:

“The fact is that there is not enough engineering to go around to mitigate the rising sea,” he said. “For us, it is the bitter reality of trying to live in a world that is getting warmer and wetter.”

Unfortunately for the Times, Kaufman and Schultz, some editor (with an ironic sense of humor) inserted the following text into the middle of the story:

Like many other cities, Norfolk was built on filled-in marsh. Now that fill is settling and compacting. In addition, the city is in an area where significant natural sinking of land is occurring. The result is that Norfolk has experienced the highest relative increase in sea level on the East Coast — 14.5 inches since 1930, according to readings by the Sewells Point naval station here.

So climate alarmism and Norfolk have much in common. Both were built in on a faulty foundation. Not unexpectedly, both are now sinking.

What’s remarkable about the Times’ coverage of both is that facts — even when printed in plain English in the middle of the story — just don’t matter.

JunkScience to Al Gore: En garde!

November 23, 2010

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — JunkScience.com today launched the web site GoreFacts.com as a response to KochIndustriesFacts.com, Al Gore’s attack on Koch Industries for opposing climate alarmism.

“I think Al Gore may come to regret his desperate and juvenile attack on Koch Industries,” said JunkScience.com publisher Steve Milloy. “Gore has now inspired us to accumulate documented facts about Gore and to present them to the public in a single web site dedicated to spotlighting Gore’s habitual hypocrisy, dishonesty and creepiness.” Milloy added.

The Gore attack on Koch Industries is just the opening salvo in what Milloy expects to be an ugly campaign of personal attacks that Gore and other anti-fossil fuel activists and business interests seem likely to run over the next two years.

“Media reports indicate that environmental activists will be working to make political gains in the 2012 elections so that they can get their agenda back on track in 2013,” Milloy observed. “Between now and the 2012 elections, I expect that Al Gore and his allies will conduct a slash-and-burn attack campaign against their opponents,” said Milloy.

But as the defeat of cap-and-trade indicates, Milloy and his allies are up to the challenge.

“In early 2009, conventional wisdom was that cap-and-trade was a done deal,” said Milloy. “But hard work by skeptics, along with a lousy economy, the rise of tea parties and the Climategate expose, ultimately drove a stake through junk science-fueled and economy-killing cap-and-trade,” noted Milloy.

Surprisingly, Milloy credits environmentalists with helping to defeat their own agenda.

“Al Gore is one of the most polarizing personalities in American politics and it was always a mystery why the environmental movement allowed Gore to co-opt their Marxist-socialist movement so he could to advance his personal profiteering – but it made arguing the skeptics’ position much easier and we thank them for it,” Milloy added.

One of the facts on GoreFacts.com is Al Gore’s braggadocio that poets will be singing his praises 1,000 years from now.

“Meantime, the rest of us can look forward to the next two years of hilarious Gore gaffs. If the greens are lucky, maybe the they’ll get their agenda back on track in a thousand years,” Milloy concluded.

Steve Milloy is the publisher of JunkScience.com and author of Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them (Regnery 2009).

Al Gore cries crocodile tears over ethanol

November 22, 2010

Al Gore admitted today that corn ethanol was “not a good policy,” according to Reuters — but that’s not the end of the story.

Though he campaigned for ethanol in the past, Gore said,

“It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol… First generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small… It’s hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going… One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president… The size, the percentage of corn particularly, which is now being (used for) first generation ethanol definitely has an impact on food prices… The competition with food prices is real.”

Gore then went on to support so-called second generation technologies which do not compete with food, for example cellulosic technologies which use chemicals or enzymes to extract sugar from fiber in wood, waste or grass. He said,

“I do think second and third generation that don’t compete with food prices will play an increasing role, certainly with aviation fuels.”

Is this a genuine mea culpa on the part of Gore or crocodile tears?

If we turn to the investment portfolio of the venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers (KPCB) where Al Gore is a partner, we find that KPCB has invested in Mascoma Corporation, whose business is cellulosic ethanol. Here’s how KPCB’s web site describes Mascoma,

Leading in the development of bio and process technology for cost-effective production of cellulosic ethanol, an inexpensive and source of renewable energy. Cambridge, MA

In 2008, Mascoma received $61 million in financing from a group that included KPCB. In 2006, KPCB was part of a $30 million financing package for Mascoma.

And who knows what other cellulosic ethanol ventures KPCB and Gore have going?

The Reuters reporters didn’t ask Al Gore about his cellulosic ethanol business interests and, of course, Honest Al Gore didn’t volunteer those revealing tidbits either.

So while Al Gore appears to be lamenting bad policy that he supported, instead he is really just trashing corn ethanol in hopes of advancing cellulosic ethanol and his investment in Mascoma.

Lom-Gore-borg: Paint it white

November 17, 2010

I see a black road and I want it painted white.

In a Washington Post op-ed today, that “septical environmentalist,” Bjorn Lomborg, advocated whitewashing roof-tops and streets to reflect sunlight in hopes of reducing the alleged warming impacts of manmade greenhouse gas emissions.

In support of his proposal, Lomborg cited a recernt paper by Hashem Akbari estimating that every 100 square feet of black surface painted white would offset one ton of carbon dioxide emitted. Akbari estimates that if all urban roof-tops and streets were painted white, about 44 billion tons of CO2-equivalent would be offset. Akbari claims this would offset the effect of the growth in emissions rates for 11 years.

Akbari estimates that roof-tops and streets cover about 910 billion square meters of the Earth’s surface. Given the coverage of a gallon of paint (about 400 square feet or 37.2 square meters), it would only take about 27 billion cans of paint (allowing for 10 percent waste) to do the job. This would be great for the paint industry which only sells about 630 million gallons of paint annually in the U.S. And of course, once we finish painting the world white, it will be time for another coat. BTW, it costs about $8 per gallon to dispose of paint, about $20 billion for the amount of paint at issue.

Lomborg concludes his op-ed with,

Obviously, whether it involves dikes or buckets of white paint, adaptation is not a long-term solution to global warming. Rather, it will enable us to get by while we figure out the best way to address the root causes of man-made climate change. This may not seem like much, but at a time when fears of a supposedly imminent apocalypse threaten to swamp rational debate about climate policy, it’s worth noting that coping with climate change is something we know how to do.

So Lomborg apparently wants us to spend trillions of dollars continually whitewashing the world while “we” figure out how to address those “root causes of man-made climate change.” Of course, Lomborg has already decided what needs to be done:

Ultimately, we’re not going to solve any of these problems until we figure out a way to stop pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Meet the new Al Gore. Same as the old Al Gore.

The Junkman talks EPA and jobs on Fox Business

November 17, 2010

Bjorn Lomborg is Al Gore lite

November 15, 2010

Self-proclaimed “skeptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg is uttering untruths about genuine skeptics while promoting his new movie “Cool It.”

Appearing on Fox Business Channel last Friday, Lomborg was asked by host Stuart Varney whether humans were causing [catastrophic] global warming. “Is it us? Is human beings who are doing this?,” implored Varney.

The skeptical environmentalist replied,

I’m an economist. If you look, if you ask some of the smartest scientists, even very skeptical scientists like Dick Lindzen from MIT or Pat Michaels, they tell us global warming is happening and it is manmade. But the point is it’s not the end of the world as it’s been told.

Surprised to hear that the ranks of the skeptics had been thinned of two of its stars, I checked wth Lindzen and Michaels.

Lindzen told me,

My statement has always been that there has probably been some increase in global mean temperature anomaly and that man’s activities make some contribution to this. From what I’ve seen, Lomborg probably doesn’t understand that this is profoundly different from what he claims I am saying.

Michaels told me that while he has always believed that manmade greenhouse gas emissions have some effect on global climate, that effect is not great or even necessarily harmful.

Being an economist, as Lomborg claims, does not excuse him from culpability for such a flagrant misstatement.

The reality about Lomborg is that he is more like Al Gore in relevant part than not. Gore believes that manmade CO2 emissions are a problem and need to be reduced/eliminated. So does Lomborg. Gore says untrue things about skeptics. So does Lomborg. Lomborg says that alarmists should stop scaring children about global warming. Accordingly, in “Cool It,” he seems to have produced little more than “An Inconvenient Truth (Children’s Edition)”.

Here’s how I distinguish Gore from Lomborg. Gore is a scowling, straight, fat carnivore with dark hair. Lomborg is not.

Lomborg’s schtick is glibly surfing the global warming alarmist wave as a T-shirted, Scandanavian Greenpeace-turncoat-cum-skeptic-poseur. So far, only genuine skeptics have clued into to his scam, but no longer. As Hearst movie reviewer Amy Biancolli put it,

But it’s also hard to shake the sense that Lomborg is promoting more than just a different perspective on climate debate. He’s promoting his book – and himself.

You can watch Varney’s interview with Lomborg below:

Memo to House GOP: Get a grip on the EPA

November 15, 2010

by Steve Milloy
November 15, 2010, Human Events

Getting a grip on the Environmental Protection Agency must be at the top of the upcoming Republican-controlled House’s “To Do” list.

Of immediate concern are the EPA rules for regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Unless stopped by a federal court, the Obama EPA will implement on Jan. 2 a flagrantly illegal scheme to regulate emissions from power plants and other large emitters. This enactment will kill jobs and raise the prices of energy, and thus of all good and services.

The Obama administration originally designed the scheme as a regulatory sword of Damocles to pressure Congress and industry into agreeing on a cap-and-trade framework.

But cap-and-trade reached its high-water mark in June 2009 when the House barely passed the controversial Waxman-Markey bill. Cap-and-trade’s prospects then deteriorated quite rapidly, placing the Obama administration in the position of having to make good on its threat to unleash the EPA’s carbon dogs on America.

The Obama EPA bootstrapped itself into the carbon regulation business with its December 2009 “endangerment finding,” decreeing that GHG emissions threaten the public welfare. The EPA based its finding on a 2007 report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—a report that, while always controversial, came under even more fire as a result of the November 2009 Climategate scandal.

Already on shaky legal ground, the EPA ventured clearly into law-breaking territory with its June 2010 “tailoring rule.” Under the Clean Air Act, if the EPA regulates a “pollutant,” it must regulate all sources that emit as little as 100 tons per year.

Implementing this requirement for GHGs would put the EPA in the impossible position of having to regulate virtually every small business and multi-family residential complex—a total of more than 6.1 million sources nationwide. The EPA estimated it would require 1.4 billion work hours costing $63 billion over three years to accomplish that task.

Rather than comply with the law, the habitually rogue EPA went totally outlaw in unilaterally deciding to raise the permitting threshold to sources emitting 75,000 tons per year, cutting the number of regulated sources to a more manageable 20,000.
Congressional Democrats have so far blocked efforts to rein in the EPA. Last June, Senate Democrats narrowly defeated the so-called Murkowski resolution to block the EPA from regulating GHGs. Though Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D–WV) proposed to delay EPA regulation for two years, there is no indication his effort will advance during the lame duck session.

Congressional failure has left enforcement of the law to private parties and to states such as Alabama, Texas, and Virginia, which have filed a number of lawsuits against the EPA. And while it is possible that some federal judge may enjoin the EPA from acting before Jan. 2, we shouldn’t hold our breaths waiting.

The federal judiciary is politicized, unpredictable, and not necessarily tethered to traditional notions of law and fact. Current federal law and existing Supreme Court decisions make it difficult to challenge the EPA successfully. And while the lawyers for the parties suing the EPA no doubt know the law as well as the opposing counsel does, there is a question of motivation to consider.

The Obama administration lawyers are ideologically motivated, backed by the force of an aggressive government, have nothing to lose, and, consequently, are out to win at all costs. They will be facing off against plaintiffs’ lawyers who represent firms that are squishy, politically-sensitive, and bipartisan, as well as trade associations with a variety of agendas, a fear of angering the government or of upsetting the Democrats’ hierarchical chain of command. It would be a shock to see these lawyers break any china to on behalf of their clients.

While our hearts should be with those who are suing the EPA, our money should be on the likelihood of seeing lousy lawyering and worse judging involved in addressing their cause.

This sad finding brings us to our last best chance for getting the EPA under control: the Republican-dominated House. From denying the EPA funding for its programs, particularly the agency’s air and enforcement offices, to oversight investigations of the White House and the EPA, the House can throw much-needed monkey wrenches into the Obama administration’s jihad against GHG emissions and our economy.

With its mandate to end government profligacy and abuses of power, and to revive our economy, the House GOP needs to be fully engaged in the battle against the EPA, starting promptly on Jan. 2.

Mr. Milloy is the founder and publisher of JunkScience.com. His columns and op-ed pieces have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Financial Times, and Los Angeles Times. He is the author of “Green Hell,” a new book from Regnery Publishing.

Memo to Issa: Channel Joe McCarthy

November 10, 2010

By Steve Milloy
November 10, 2010, Washington Times

If California’s Republican Rep. Darrell Issa plans on investigating the Obama administration, he needs to read and digest M. Stanton Evans’ gripping book “Blacklisted by History: The True Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies” (Crown Forum, 2007).

The left is already trying to liken Rep. Issa to McCarthy – a Mother Jones headline from this week was “The GOP’s Coming Climate Witch Hunt” and the New York Times’ Dot Earth blog bemoaned the coming McCarthyism.

No doubt the left has good cause for worry, given a White House that hired a director of Socialist International to be energy and environment czar (Carol Browner), an acknowledged communist as the “green jobs” czar (Van Jones), and an admirer of Chairman Mao as communications director (Anita Dunn).

So Mr. Issa may as well learn, embrace and benefit from the truth about McCarthy, since he will be investigating people of the same stripe that McCarthy brought to account.

The common McCarthy caricature is one of a raving lunatic, throwing mud at hapless innocents, recklessly ruining lives and careers, and launching a national paranoia about an imagined “red scare.”

But as Mr. Evans points out with the help of FBI, State Department, congressional and other unimpeachable records, the federal government was, in fact, chock-full of Soviet agents who not only committed copious espionage, but, more importantly, steered U.S. policy to the detriment of America, Eastern Europe and China.

If you’re interested in the shocking back story to the losses of Eastern Europe and China to communists, the North’s invasion of South Korea and more, Mr. Evans’ book is for you. Ann Coulter has rightly described “Blacklisted by History” as “the greatest book since the Bible.”

While McCarthy did make some mistakes – most notably confusing Gen. George Marshall’s implementation of bad policies as complicity rather than cluelessness – most of his errors were pretty innocuous and didn’t detract in the slightest from his larger thesis.

So how is all this relevant to Mr. Issa’s upcoming investigations as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee?

The most valuable lesson from “Blacklisted by History” is that the epithet of so-called “McCarthyism” is not what McCarthy did to others; it was what was done to him.

Congressional Democrats and the Truman and Eisenhower administrations did not even really try defending themselves against McCarthy’s charges by proving them wrong. Rather, they attacked McCarthy personally with the intent of destroying him.

From the outset, congressional Democrats responded to McCarthy’s charges by entirely ignoring them and, instead, falsely accusing him of lying about what he said in his February 1950 maiden speech on communists in the government. Bootstrapping themselves with that distraction, congressional Democrats then spent far more time investigating McCarthy than they did considering his well-documented accusations.

They did everything possible to thwart McCarthy, including refusing to make State Department records available in a meaningful way to congressional investigators, hiding records at the White House under a claim of executive privilege, fabricating exculpatory statements from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, playing fast and loose with congressional records and, ultimately, destroying McCarthy personally with a bogus Senate censure.

Like few in history – and none admirable – the left tagged McCarthy with his own “-ism” that is ignorantly and flagrantly used by the left-leaning lamestream media and a misled public.

As Mr. Evans points out, though, McCarthy gave better than he got. Sacrificing himself, he exposed and rousted many communists from the government and alerted America to a problem that had caused grievous harm to national security.

Even before Mr. Issa takes his seat as committee chairman, he is being attacked. It will get worse. The left will try to savage him. Truth won’t matter. Once he assumes his chairmanship, he can rest assured that he will be lied to and about.

Mr. Issa will need much personal fortitude and persistence. He’ll need a staff of steel to conduct the much-needed investigations that he envisions. He’ll need the stuff of which Joe McCarthy was made.

Steve Milloy is publisher of JunkScience.com and is author of “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plant to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them” (Regnery, 2009).

Must-see video: I’m a denier…

November 9, 2010

… from our friends at Minnesotans for Global Warming (M4GW.com).

Pelosi Channels Stalin to Retain Leadership Post

November 6, 2010

House Democrats may have missed their golden opportunity to rid themselves of the pathologically narcissistic leader that has nearly destroyed them – just like the Soviets missed their best chance in late-June 1941.

After having purged his army generals via show trials in 1937 and after having utterly ignored numerous intelligence reports that the Nazis were going to invade the Soviet Union, Joe Stalin was terrified when the Nazis actually did invade on June 22, 1941.

But he wasn’t scared because the Germans were slaughtering his armies or gaining vast swaths of territory (largely because he refused to give orders to counterattack), he was scared because he reasonably believed that he was going to be deposed (and worse) for his disastrous miscalculation in trusting Hitler.

In the immediate aftermath of the invasion, Stalin vanished from Moscow, absconding to his dacha where he hid, trembling. When prime minister Vyacheslav Molotov finally got a hold of him after about a week or so, Stalin imagined that the Politburo was coming for him.

But shockingly, the Politburo wasn’t angry with Stalin. Instead, the sycophantic group was desperate for his leadership. The much-relieved Stalin got a grip on himself and resumed active leadership of the nation and its armies.

Thus, the Soviets thus lost the opportunity to rid themselves of a most destructive and vulnerable leader.

Fast forward to November 2, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blithely told the media on election day that she was confident of Democrats maintaining control over the House of Representatives — arrogantly ignoring every shred of information to the contrary.

Then in the immediate aftermath of the 60-seat wipeout — a destruction that was courtesy of her forcing House Democrats into becoming kamikazes for an extreme legislative agenda — Pelosi laid low for the next couple days, probably uncertain of what to do or say.

Later in the week, House Democrat survivor Heath Shuler (NC) indicated that he might challenge Pelosi. But other Democrats remained mostly silent. No chorus of Democrats called for Pelosi’s ouster.

Apparently sensing that House Democrats were too shell-shocked and too afraid to rightly direct their frustration at her, Pelosi relocated her cojones and announced on November 5 that she would seek to retain her House leadership role. Thus Democrats probably lost their opportunity to rid themselves of perhaps the worst political leader their party has ever had.

The self-resurrections of Stalin and Pelosi have two key elements in common – an absence of conscience (no guilt over the havoc they wrought) and the bully’s situational awareness for coward exploitation (”Wow, these pusillanimous wimps really don’t have the brains and/or courage to get rid of me, so I can still be queen bee.”)

Some may view these self-resurrections as heroic manifestations of courage and steadfastness. But in the context of the circumstances and other relevant facts, a more apt characterization of this behavior involves pathological narcissism.

Of course, it’s not too late for Democrats to save their party from a leader with harmful psychological issues. But they will have to realize that Nancy Pelosi is just another vain and power-crazed bully, not the winged goddess of victory-in-2012.

But like skeptics were most pleased that the greens selected the polarizing and truth-and-lifestyle-impaired Al Gore to be the face of global warming alarmism, House Republicans are no doubt licking their chops at the prospect of the nationally unpopular and publicly rebuked Nancy Pelosi being the face of House Democrats again.

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