Cornwall Alliance http://cornwallalliance.org For the Stewardship of Creation Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:31:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 http://cornwallalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/cropped-fav2-80x80.png Cornwall Alliance http://cornwallalliance.org 32 32 You’re “Still In”? Too Bad for You. We’re Out http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/youre-still-in-too-bad-for-you-were-out/ http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/youre-still-in-too-bad-for-you-were-out/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:31:30 +0000 http://cornwallalliance.org/?p=7713  

Pure symbolism.

That’s what “We Are Still In” really is.

“We Are Still In” is the petulant response of

  • 9 states, 8 Blue (CA, CT, HI, NY, OR, RI, VA, WA) and 1 Red (NC), out of 50,
  • 202 cities and counties (mostly in Blue states) out of 3,144 (cities, counties, and county equivalents),
  • 308 institutions of higher learning out of 4,140,
  • and 1,530 “businesses and investors” out of 18.2 million businesses and about 160 million owners of stocks

to President Trump’s announcement that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.

In other words, 18% of states, 6% of cities and counties, 7% of institutions of higher learning, and 1% of businesses (if you count all the “Still In” investors as businesses) or 0.001% of businesses and investors (if you count all the “Still In” businesses as investors) are “Still In.”

The larger the entity, the higher the percentage that are “Still In.” Might that be because those decision makers that are closer to the people they represent are less likely to embrace Paris?

Since the 9 states that are “Still In” account for about 34% of the country’s gross domestic product, you might think their being “Still In” represents 34% of the American economy. But what makes those states “still in” is simply their governors’ signing on. None passed a referendum. None of their legislatures voted them “Still In.” And the fact that only about 1 in 100,000 businesses and investors have signed on suggests that the percentage of the American economy truly represented as “Still In” is actually minuscule.

Only 52% of all voters considered the environment “very important”—69% of Clinton voters and 32% of Trump voters. And climate change isn’t all there is to “environment.” Only 47% of all voters considered climate change very important—69% of Clinton’s voters and 32% of Trump’s.

So the “We Are Still In” website’s claim to represent “a sizeable percentage of the U.S. economy,” let alone a sizeable percentage of Americans, is baloney.

And what does it mean to be “Still In”? It means those states, counties, cities, colleges, businesses, and investors say they’ll “pursue ambitious climate goals.”

For the cities, the pledge is a repeat performance.

In 2005 Greg Nickels, mayor of Seattle, started the “Climate Protection Agreement,” pledging to cut carbon dioxide emissions to 7% below 1990 levels by 2012. Mayors of over 1,000 other cities joined.

How’d they do?

Todd Myers, writing in National Review, reports that he contacted the mayors of thirty of the cities in Washington that signed on to find out how they’d done. Two-thirds didn’t know what he was talking about—i.e., their cities had forgotten the pledge.

Seattle had remembered, though, and found that it had reduced to only 1% below 1990 emissions—1/7th of its goal.

New York, where then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg had pledged in 2007 to cut emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, will miss that target at the current rate. His successor, Bill de Blasio, pledged to reach 80% emission reductions by 2050, but “the city is already more than 4 percent behind and will need to reduce emissions at more than four times the current rate to have any hope of meeting [the] goal.”

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley pledged to push emissions to 25% below 1990 levels by 2020. Right now its emissions are 10% higher than needed to be on track for that goal, and its “Climate Action Plan” says the current trend will leave it at more than 1/5th above 1990 levels and 3/5ths above its target.

Myers is right to say, “The failure of these cities to achieve existing goals is a stark demonstration of the gap between environmental rhetoric and results from those who style themselves as environmental heroes.”

Such Green hypocrisy is par for the course.

Of course, even if those “Still In” manage to keep their pledges, the impact on global temperature will be indetectably small. Complete implementation of the Paris agreement by all 195 signing countries would cut only 0.3˚ from global temperature in 2100, at a cost of $23.3 to $46.6 trillion per tenth of a degree. No wonder the author of The Art of the Deal considered it a “bad deal”!

From all the rest of America to those who are “Still In”: You might be, but We’re Out, and gladly so.

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Yes, Prime Minister Gets it Right: Global Warming is a Sham Front for Political and Financial Ambitions http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/yes-prime-minister-gets-it-right-global-warming-is-a-sham-front-for-political-and-financial-ambitions/ http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/yes-prime-minister-gets-it-right-global-warming-is-a-sham-front-for-political-and-financial-ambitions/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:02:55 +0000 http://cornwallalliance.org/?p=7708

The BBC’s news side is utterly dedicated to spreading global warming alarmism and has even had a policy of refusing to interview fully qualified scientists who question it.

But its entertainment side isn’t quite on board with that. Two years ago the program Yes, Prime Minister aired a devastating critique of climate hysteria in one of its episodes. Here are two key excerpts.

 

Our friend Joseph Bast at the Heartland Institute calls these videos “simply astonishing, utterly accurate, and devastatingly honest about the politics of the issue.”

“I don’t know how anyone with a pulse can watch them and not laugh out loud at how ludicrous politicians, journalists, and some (not all) scientists appear to be when they pontificate on global warming,” Joe adds.

He’s absolutely right. These are simultaneously hilarious and intellectually brilliant, a stellar example of how ridicule ought to be done: targeting the truly ridiculous, and making it crystal clear exactly why it is so.

So enjoy the clips—but be sure you don’t have a drink in your mouth when you do!

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The Ice Is Melting! The Ice Is Melting! Run for Your Lives! http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/the-ice-is-melting-the-ice-is-melting-run-for-your-lives/ http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/the-ice-is-melting-the-ice-is-melting-run-for-your-lives/#comments Thu, 22 Jun 2017 18:20:07 +0000 http://cornwallalliance.org/?p=7703 Chicken Little never takes a vacation when it comes to environmental scares. A spring without birds, overpopulation, mass famines, resource exhaustion, rainforest destruction, mass extinctions, global cooling, acid rain, ozone depletion, global warming … the list could go on and on.

Just on the topic of global warming Chicken Little touts a new alarm pretty much every day.

Chris Mooney, a Chicken Little eco-alarmist if ever there was one, trumpeted another last week in the Washington Post: “Scientists stunned by Antarctic rainfall and a melt area bigger than Texas” began with this shriek:

Scientists have documented a recent, massive melt event on the surface of highly vulnerable West Antarctica that, they fear, could be a harbinger of future events as the planet continues to warm.

In the Antarctic summer of 2016, the surface of the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest floating ice platform on Earth, developed a sheet of meltwater that lasted for as long as 15 days in some places. The total area affected by melt was 300,000 square miles, or larger than the state of Texas, the scientists report.

That’s bad news because surface melting could work hand in hand with an already documented trend of ocean-driven melting to compromise West Antarctica, which contains over 10 feet of potential sea level rise.

The article goes on with equal terror.

But it’s same-old, same-old Chicken Littleism: big scares couched in language that makes them, unlike genuine science, impervious to empirical testing:

“… that, they fear, COULD be a harbinger of future events as the planet continues to warm ….” And then of course it might not be. And of course everything hings on whether the planet continues to warm, and at what rate, and for how long. But those qualifications go unstated.

“… surface melting COULD work hand in hand with ….” And then of course it might not, but we’ll mention only the possibility that supports our case, not the possibility that doesn’t.

“It provides us with a POSSIBLE glimpse of the future,” and then again the future might be very different.

“… In the future, we COULD see action at the surface ….” And then again we might not.

Similar statements abound.

Of course! Grant all the assumptions, and the conclusions follow!

This isn’t scientific reasoning, it’s speculative prognostication driven by a precommitment to fearsome scenarios.

Ah, but there were two concrete, unqualified, testable claims: the “sheet of meltwater … lasted for as long as 15 days in some places” and “The total area affected by melt was 300,000 square miles, or larger than the state of Texas ….”

I have no reason to doubt the truth of those claims. But as I pointed out a few years ago in a take-down of another hyped story about continental ice melt, “There are ways to deceive that don’t require outright lying. One is to present facts without enough context to make them meaningful. That’s a specialty of the Green movement: using facts without context to generate fears.”

That’s what Mooney—and the scientists whose article he reports on—do.

Wow! Fifteen whole days (in some places—maybe two or three in others?)! That’s 1/750th of the thirty-year period climate scientists say is long enough to justify claims about trends, and it’s 1/337,500th of the 13,500 years it would take the whole of Antarctica’s net annual contribution to sea-level rise (about 3/4 inch per century) to turn my home—17 miles inland and 8 feet above sea level in south Florida—into a beach house.

And then there’s the fact that most of Antarctica, unlike the small West Antarctic peninsula, is gaining ice, not losing it, as shown in this NASA chart. Neither Mooney nor the article on which he reports mentions that.

And “larger than the state of Texas”? That sounds big—till you calculate that it amounts to 0.15% of Earth’s surface.

I.e., what Mooney reports is an interesting fact about what was happening on less than 1/666th of the planet’s surface (And forget about the miles-thick atmosphere or the miles-deep oceans, which together dwarf the surface.) during 1/25th of a year, but it means NOTHING about GLOBAL climate.

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Freeman Dyson’s brief case against dangerous CO2-driven warming http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/freeman-dysons-brief-case-against-dangerous-co2-driven-warming/ http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/freeman-dysons-brief-case-against-dangerous-co2-driven-warming/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:16:45 +0000 http://cornwallalliance.org/?p=7697 At a lecture at Boston University a few years ago, Freeman Dyson, one of the world’s top physicists, who replaced Albert Einstein at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, put very simply one of the most basic arguments against the notion that CO2-driven global warming is likely to be disastrous:

In humid air, the effect of carbon dioxide on radiation transport is unimportant, because the transport of radiation is already blocked by the much larger greenhouse effect of water vapor. The effect of carbon dioxide is important where the air is dry, and air is usually dry only when it’s cold. Hot desert air may feel dry, but it often contains a lot of water vapor. The warming effect of carbon dioxide is strongest where the air is cold and dry, mainly in the Arctic rather than the tropics, mainly in winter rather than in summer, and mainly at night rather than in daytime. The warming is real, but it is mostly making cold places warmer, rather than making hot places hotter. To represent this local warming by a global average is grossly misleading.

The rest of the 15-minute talk in which he said that is compelling, including his explanation of why he rejects environmentalism as anti-humanism. You can view it here.

A quick explanation of this piece of the start of Dyson’s statement: “In humid air, the effect of carbon dioxide on radiation transport is unimportant, because the transport of radiation is already blocked by the much larger greenhouse effect of water vapor. The effect of carbon dioxide is important where the air is dry ….” Water vapor and carbon dioxide are both “infrared absorbing” gases—that is, their molecules absorb heat and then radiate it outward. Infrared radiation has various wavelengths, and each infrared absorbing gas absorbs certain wavelengths but not others. Water vapor and carbon dioxide absorb many of the same wavelengths, but water vapor absorbs more efficiently than carbon dioxide does. Consequently, there’s little infrared left to be absorbed by carbon dioxide in air in which there’s also much water vapor. That’s why carbon dioxide’s infrared absorption and re-radiation effect (i.e., warming effect) is low in more humid air and high in drier air. And since colder air is drier, the rest of what Dyson follows.

And why does Dyson conclude, “To represent this local warming by a global average is grossly misleading?” Partly for the simple reason that the warming isn’t spread all over the globe (or, where it does happen, all through the year). It is concentrated in polar regions, in their winters, and at night. But partly, too, because the very idea of averaging temperatures is irrational. For why that’s so, see Christopher Essex, Ross McKitrick, and Bjarne Andresen’s “Does a Global Temperature Exist,” published in the Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics. (Caveat: Though the basic explanation they give is reasonably clear, the full case involves some very high-level mathematics.)

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Global Temperature and CO2—Which Drives Which? http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/global-temperature-and-co2-which-drives-which/ http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/global-temperature-and-co2-which-drives-which/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 08:00:03 +0000 http://cornwallalliance.org/?p=7689

The climate alarmist crowd never tires of insisting that anthropogenic additions to atmospheric carbon dioxide—up by 45 percent, from 280 to about 407 parts per million, since before the Industrial Revolution—are driving historically unprecedented and likely-to-become catastrophic global warming, and that they’re exacerbated by increases in atmospheric methane (CH4) driven by the rising temperature, making methane a positive feedback. The claim rests on the notion that carbon dioxide level drives temperature rather than vice versa.

Long-term geological data show a pretty consistent correlation between CO2 and temperature, giving the claim its initial attractiveness.

But there’s a problem. Detailed analysis of the data shows that the time sequence is opposite what the claim requires.

That’s been shown by a variety of studies in the past, including Cornwall Alliance Senior Fellow David Legates’s review article “Carbon Dioxide and Air Temperature: Who Leads and Who Follows?” Two-and-a-half years ago geologist Euan Mearns contributed “The Vostok Ice Core: Temperature, CO2, and CH4.”

Now Mearns has followed up with “The Vostok Ice Core and the 14,000 Year CO2 Time Lag,” which makes the case more strongly than ever. Here’s his lead:

A detailed analysis of temperature, CO2 and methane variations from the Vostok ice core is presented for the time interval 137,383 to 102,052 years ago. This captures the termination of the glaciation that preceded the Eemian interglacial and the inception of the last great glaciation that succeeded the Eemian. At the termination, CO2 follows dT exactly, but at the inception CO2 does not follow temperature down for 14,218 years. Full glacial conditions came into being without falling CO2 providing any of the climate forcing. This falsifies the traditional narrative that dCO2 amplified weak orbital forcing effects. It is quite clear from the data that CO2 follows temperature with highly variable time lags depending upon whether the climate is warming or cooling.

Methane on the other hand lags temperature by about 2,000 years at the termination but follows temperature down exactly at the inception. It therefore follows that methane and CO2 are not coupled. Each responds in their own time to changing climate. The absence of coupling may be explained by the different bio-geochemical pathways these gasses have in the biosphere – ocean – atmosphere system.

Ken Haapala, President of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, writing in SEPP’s latest newsletter, summarizes the lessons from Mearns’s lengthy piece:

CO2 and Ice Ages: Geologist Euan Mearns takes a close look at the data on temperatures, carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4) found in the Vostok Ice Core of Antarctica. Many in the climate establishment will not like what he sees. He focuses on the Eemian warm period between 130,000 and 115,000 years ago. This warm period was the last warm period before the current warm period, the Holocene. In her 2008 graphs showing the relationship between CO2 and temperatures from the Vostok Ice Core covering the entire record, Jo Nova stated the average lag was about 800 years, with temperatures rising (falling) about 800 years before CO2 rising (falling). This lag indicates that CO2 could not be the cause of rise or fall of temperatures. In the data, the largest lag was in the Eemian, particularly with falling temperatures.

Mears examines, in detail, the period of cooling from 128,300 years ago to 114,082 years ago, a period of over 14,000 years. During this period, CO2 concentrations varied around 270 ppm (parts per million), between 260 and 280 ppm. Yet, temperatures steadily dropped over 7 degrees K while CO2 concentrations remained roughly constant.

This analysis clearly showed that the earth cools independently of CO2 concentrations. The argument advanced by members of NASA-GISS, and others, that CO2 is the control knob of the earth’s temperatures is directly contradicted by the evidence. There is a loose relationship between rising temperatures and rising CO2, but not between falling temperatures and falling CO2. Ice Ages occur despite relatively high concentrations of CO2. (Note: laboratory experiments show the relationship between CO2 and temperatures are highly logarithmic, and increasing concentrations of CO2 from about 270 ppm to levels found today of about 400 ppm have a minor effect on increasing temperatures.)

Mearns performs a similar analysis on the relationship between temperature and methane (CH4). He found that as the temperatures rose into the Eemian interglacial, methane concentrations lagged behind, by a few thousand years. But, when temperatures fell, going into the next ice age, methane concentrations closely followed.

His findings for the Eemian can be summarized as follows: When temperatures rise, CO2 closely follows; when temperatures fall, CO2 separates. When temperatures rise, CH4 lags behind; when temperatures fall, CH4 closely follows.

Mearns speculates on the varying lags. When temperatures rise, oceans rapidly release CO2. When temperatures fall, plant growth produced by higher temperatures and CO2 release the CO2 slowly. The oceans slowly absorb this release of CO2. For CH4, when temperatures rise, bacteria producing the methane react slowly; but when temperatures fall, they freeze rapidly.

Then, what causes the fall (and increase) in temperatures if the Milankovitch cycles are too weak to explain them alone as the climate establishment claims? Mearns suggests it may be variation in the thermohaline circulation of the oceans. This has been suggested by others such as the late Bill Gray. Some scientists suggest it was the closing of Caribbean seaway about 5 million years ago that set up the thermohaline circulation resulting in current period of ice ages starting about 3.5 million years ago.

Another nail in the coffin of climate alarmism—and all the more reason for the demise of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its offspring, the Paris climate accord. The Trump Administration should be listening.

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Heidegger, Fascism, Evergreen State College, and the Environmental Movement http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/heidegger-fascism-evergreen-state-college-and-the-environmental-movement/ http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/heidegger-fascism-evergreen-state-college-and-the-environmental-movement/#respond Mon, 19 Jun 2017 13:59:06 +0000 http://cornwallalliance.org/?p=7683

There’s a lot more behind modern environmentalism than enjoyment of furry animals and beautiful landscapes. Existentialism and Postmodernism have made significant contributions, and they, in turn, have their own deep roots.

Rev. Mark Musser, an expert on German Romanticism, Idealism, and Existentialism, has written at length in his book Nazi Oaks: The Green Sacrifice of the Judeo-Christian Worldview in the Holocaust, on the roles they played in shaping Nazism and later Postmodernism.

Surprising to many will be the role all of those, in turn, played in recent events at the quintessentially liberal Evergreen State College in Musser’s home town of Olympia, Washington, where a white Jewish professor is being persecuted for declining to absent himself from campus on a day when Blacks had determined there should be no Whites on campus—a connection Musser makes in a recent article in The American Thinker. Here’s one brief excerpt:

After the war, Heidegger’s writings became more opaque, which managed to disguise his Nazism. In so doing, Heidegger’s racism and anti-Semitism were replaced with anti-humanism, which should by no means be understood as any kind of progress, but a deepening of all the problems connected to his existentialism. Thanks to Heidegger, much of postmodern Western philosophy is deeply committed to various forms of anti-humanism, particularly with regard to the misanthropy of environmentalism. By overvaluing all of life, whether that be nature itself, or even by overemphasizing the willpower, passions, and instincts of human behavior rather than a thoughtful morality, Romanticism and Existentialism invariably opened the door to amoral anti-humanism where the laws of the jungle ultimately prevail — as was particularly the case with regard to National Socialism.

Closely related, it was Arendt who gave to the Western world the “banality of evil” thesis concerning the Holocaust while writing on Nazi SS official Adolf Eichmann’s (1906-1962) trial for The New Yorker. Published in February of 1963, Arendt used Raul Hilberg’s detailed historical account, which focused on the German bureaucracy that administratively carried out the destruction of the Jews step by step. However, Arendt added her own existentialist kink to Holocaust interpretation by accentuating the bureaucratic everydayness of Eichmann’s evil. According to Arendt, Eichmann was a “cog” in a vast bureaucratic machine in which monstrous evil become monotonously “banal.” Thus, crimes without conscience became an existential routine during the war.

The phrase “the banality of evil” has become a common observation in today’s Postmodern world, and it sounds sophisticated, but it is a symptom of calloused conscience. Evil is never banal, but contemporary society, in an effort to assuage a guilty conscience, tries to pretend it is. There is hardly a better explanation of the ease with with environmentalists justify policies that trap billions in poverty and early deaths for the sake of “saving the planet.”

The debate over environmentalism isn’t just about science or economics or the two coupled together. It’s a debate about fundamental worldviews and their implications of ethics. Musser’s work is an important contribution to it.

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Solar: The Little Engine that Couldn’t http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/solar-the-little-engine-that-couldnt/ http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/solar-the-little-engine-that-couldnt/#respond Sat, 17 Jun 2017 09:00:37 +0000 http://cornwallalliance.org/?p=7677

There are lots of dirty little secrets (though they’re increasingly widely known!) about wind and solar power, the two darlings of “Green energy” lovers:

  • high cost for low output,
  • intermittency,
  • production far below nameplate capacity,
  • heavy dependence on subsidies,
  • tendency for installations to lose efficient productive capacity long before they pay for themselves,
  • chopped or incinerated birds,
  • enormous waste of land,
  • eyesores.

But here’s one about solar power I hadn’t known before. Irina Slav reports at OilPrice.com that solar energy can’t reproduce itself. That is, it can’t yield the power necessary to produce its own most basic ingredient:

This is a fact that few of those active in the advancement of renewable energy would be willing to acknowledge or even consider, yet a fact it is: the [fourth industrial] revolution [characterized by artificial intelligence and robots] needs energy, and at the moment, renewable sources are simply incapable of supplying energy in amounts sufficient to run all the power plants and smelters that produce the electricity to power servers around the world, and the heat to produce the materials that wind turbines, cars, and solar panels are made of. And that’s without even mentioning batteries.

Let’s take solar power. Silicon is the core element of a solar panel. First, it has to be mined. Then it has to be processed at temperatures between 1,500 and 2,000 degrees Celsius. That’s dandy, but this kind of heat can for now, only be produced from coal, oil, or gas—not from solar thermal installations. The highest temperatures that solar thermal installations can generate, according to the Energy Information Administration, is 1,380 degrees F, or 749 degrees Celsius.

One more reason why fossil fuels are going to continue to provide the vast majority of the energy humanity needs for the industrial economies that make prosperity—and health and long life—possible.

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How Did America Become the World’s #1 Energy Producer? http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/how-did-america-become-the-worlds-1-energy-producer/ http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/how-did-america-become-the-worlds-1-energy-producer/#respond Fri, 16 Jun 2017 21:12:07 +0000 http://cornwallalliance.org/?p=7672 The United States has been the world’s #1 producer of natural gas for eight years now, and of oil for three—realities that are only slowly dawning on the broad public that still tends to think in terms of the olden days when Russia dominated the former and Saudi Arabia the latter.

The result? Lower prices for Americans, yes. But also for people around the world.

And less income for nasty regimes like the Saudis’ Islamic fundamentalists (women can’t drive or vote, thieves’ hands are cut off, lots of oil revenue goes to jihadists) and Russia’s former KGB Lt.-Col. Vladimir Putin (assassination of journalists who don’t toe the line, invasion of Kuwait, support of Syrian butcher Assad). Dwindling revenues not only because of falling prices but also because of shrinking market share to the mostly bad-boy members of OPEC is good news.

Wall Street Journal tells the amazing story of how America took the lead in natural gas and oil in an editorial that begins: “Sometimes politics changes so rapidly that few seem to notice. Remember the “energy independence” preoccupation of not so long ago? The U.S. is now emerging as the world’s energy superpower and U.S. oil and gas exports are rebalancing global markets.”

So far so good. The one really surprising thing, granted the source, is the next sentence: “More remarkable still, this dominance was achieved by private U.S. investment, innovation and trade—not Washington central planning.”

What would really have been remarkable is if “Washington central planning” had managed to bring about such salutary results. A minor faux pas, one assumes, for the Journal.

Nonetheless, good news for America, good news for the world. Increasingly free market-oriented policies liberated American ingenuity and investment for this grand achievement.

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Chasing Climate Change Politics At The EPA http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/chasing-climate-change-politics-at-the-epa/ http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/chasing-climate-change-politics-at-the-epa/#comments Fri, 16 Jun 2017 13:31:44 +0000 http://cornwallalliance.org/?p=7664

Pulling out of the faulty Paris climate accord, which was steeped in political and scientific gyrations, was necessary for the U.S.

Meanwhile, at the nation’s capital, former and current top level Environmental Protection Agency officials are stressed out about politics influencing scientific practice at the EPA.

In Washington, D.C. earlier in May, at a conference of the Health Effects Institute–an organization funded by the EPA and motor vehicle industry–a former Obama EPA science policy adviser, along with a senior EPA research staffer, both defended the EPA’s present climate research program.  Both rightly regard politics as being a threat to scientific practice; both were seemingly anxious about the incoming Administration’s lack of faith in consensus climate science.

Stress over presidential politics’ lean on climate science is not new.  Several years ago, Dr. Alan Carlin, now a retired EPA senior analyst, concerned about politically-influenced science, had publicly challenged the Obama EPA’s bias on climate change.  The difference is that Carlin was resisting the politically correct Obama administration.

Carlin, with an undergraduate degree in physics from Caltech bolstered by a doctorate in economics from MIT, had been at the EPA almost from its inception in 1970.  In early 2009, after submitting serious negative comments on the EPA’s draft technical support document for the endangerment finding on the adverse effects of rising levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases, Carlin had been maligned by the EPA powers-that-be for challenging the Obama administration’s poor economics and science represented in these findings.

In his 2015 book, Environmentalism Gone Mad: How a Sierra Club Activist and Senior EPA Analyst Discovered a Radical Green Energy Fantasy (Stairway Press), Carlin asserts that even if EPA’s current effort to control carbon-dioxide emissions are successful, “it will not change the climate or extreme weather in any measurable way even though Obama has proclaimed it will.  It will simply increase the rates paid for less reliable energy, with lower-income Americans bearing most of the burden along with the slow recovery of the U.S. economy.”

No surprise that Carlin is not a big fan of consensus climate science.  Alternatively, it seems that one of the Obama administration’s tactics for enforcing “consensus” opinion on climate change was to establish a post at the EPA for a Scientific Integrity Official.  The former president ostensibly created that position as part of his effort to “restore science to its rightful place”.

Continue reading on The Daily Caller.

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A Global Warming Red Team Warning: Do NOT Strive for Consensus with the Blue Team http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/a-global-warming-red-team-warning-do-not-strive-for-consensus-with-the-blue-team/ http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/a-global-warming-red-team-warning-do-not-strive-for-consensus-with-the-blue-team/#respond Wed, 14 Jun 2017 15:27:41 +0000 http://cornwallalliance.org/?p=7658

Now that the idea of a global warming Red Team approach to help determine what our energy policy should be is gaining traction, it is important that we understand what that means to some of us who have been advocating it for over 10 years — and also what it doesn’t mean.

The Red Team approach has been used for many years in private industry, DoD, and the intelligence community to examine very costly decisions and programs in a purposely adversarial way…to ask, what if we are wrong about a certain program or policy change? What might the unintended consequences be?

In such a discussion we must make sure that we do not conflate the consensus on a scientific theory with the need to change energy policy, as is often done. (Just because we know that car wrecks in the U.S. cause 40,000 deaths a year doesn’t mean we should outlaw cars; and I doubt human-caused climate change has ever killed anyone).

While science can help guide policy, it certainly does not dictate it.

In the case of global warming and the role of our carbon dioxide emissions, the debate has too long been dominated by a myopic view that asserts the following 5 general points as indisputable. I have ordered them generally from scientific to economic.

1) global warming is occurring, will continue to occur, and will have dangerous consequences

2) the warming is mostly, if not totally, caused by our CO2 emissions

3) there are no benefits to our CO2 emissions, either direct (biological) or indirect (economic)

4) we can reduce our CO2 emissions to a level that we avoid a substantial amount of the expected damage

5) the cost of reducing CO2 emissions is low enough to make it worthwhile (e.g. mandating much more wind, solar, etc.)

ALL of these 5 points must be essentially true for things like the Paris Agreement (which President Trump has now withdrawn us from…for the time being) to make much sense.

But I would argue that each of the five points can be challenged, and not just with “fake science”. There is peer-reviewed and published analysis in science and economics that would allow one to contest each one of the five claims.

The Red Team Approach: It’s NOT a Redo of the Blue Team

John Christy and I are concerned that the Red Team approach, if applied to global warming, will simply be a review of the U.N. IPCC science on global warming. We are worried that it will only address the first two points (warming will continue, and it is mostly caused by CO2). Heck, even *I* believe we will continue to see modest warming, and that it might well be at least 50% due to CO2.

But a Red Team reaffirming those points does NOT mean we should “do something” about global warming.

To fully address whether we should, say, have regulations to reduce CO2 emissions, the Red Team must address all 5 of the “consensus” claims listed above, because that is the only way to determine if we should change energy policy in a direction different from that which the free market would carry it naturally.

The Red Team MUST address the benefits of more CO2 to global agriculture, “global greening” etc.

The Red Team MUST address whether forced reductions in CO2 emissions will cause even a measurable effect on global temperatures.

The Red Team MUST address whether the reduction in prosperity and increase in energy poverty are permissible consequences of forced emissions reductions to achieve (potentially unmeasurable) results.

The membership of the Red Team will basically determine the Team’s conclusions. It must be made up of adversaries to the Blue Team “consensus”, which has basically been the U.N. IPCC. If it is not adversarial in membership and in mission, it will not be a real Red Team.

As a result, the Red Team must not be allowed to be controlled by the usual IPCC-affiliated participants.

Only then can its report can be considered to be an independent, adversarial analysis to be considered along with the IPCC report (and other non-IPCC reports) to help guide U.S. energy policy.

Originally published at DrRoySpencer.com.

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