Tag: Climate Change

Rick Perry Is Right: CO2 Is Not the Control Knob of Climate

 

Energy Secretary Rick PerryTo listen to the corrupt, know-nothing mainstream media, Energy Secretary Rick Perry really stepped in it when he said human emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) is not the major driver of global warming. And, as usual with the MSM, it’s not true. The story is merely fodder for a false narrative about Perry, and the state of climate science.

On Monday, CNBC “Squawk Box” host Joe Kernen asked the secretary whether he believes carbon dioxide “is the primary control knob for the temperature of the Earth and for climate.” Perry’s answer:

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Trump’s Speech Should Have Been About Nuclear Power, Not the Paris Climate Agreement

 

Maybe the best reason, such as it is, to support American withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement has nothing to do with the climate. Under President Obama, the United States agreed to a de facto treaty without submitting it to the Senate for ratification. As the editors at National Review rightly note, “In a government of laws, process matters.” Government certainly doesn’t need more unilateralism by its chief executive.

Unfortunately, the actual reasons driving withdrawal had more to do with populist politics, nationalism, partisanship, and unreasonable disbelief in climate science than constitutional conservatism. Oh, and plenty of reflexive anti-Obamaism in there, too.

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Forget the Paris Accords

 

The Trump administration is currently facing a major decision—whether to withdraw the United States from the Paris Accords on climate change. The huge multi-national agreement was finalized in the closing weeks of the Obama administration, just days before Trump’s surprise victory in the presidential election. The key commitment made by the United States under the accords is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the next decade by about a quarter of their 2005 rate, with further reductions to come thereafter. But during his campaign, Donald Trump promised to pull out of the accords, and, at the recent meeting of the G-7, was the lone holdout against a ringing endorsement of the agreement. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been insisting that the United States stay the course, but it appears as if Trump is inclined to honor his campaign promise to pull out of the accords, a position in line with that of Scott Pruitt, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The President’s instincts are spot on here. He should withdraw the United States from the accords and be prepared to stoutly defend his decision on both political and scientific grounds. Ironically, the best reasons for getting out of the accords are the evident weaknesses in the reasons that a wide range of businesses and environmental groups offer for staying in.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy watching Hillary Clinton remain immersed in her state of denial, as Hillary takes responsibility for losing to Donald Trump but seems to blame everyone else. They also react to Pres. Trump tweeting about nuking the legislative filibuster and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying it’s not going to happen. And they’re almost speechless as the Democrat running for Congress in Montana invites skeptics of the liberal line on climate change to go into their garages and start their cars.

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Adjusting for Publication Bias Reveals True Climate Sensitivity

 

One of my good friends (who I’ve unsuccessfully been prodding to join Ricochet) writes the underappreciated blog “Grok in Fullness” under the pseudonym Jubal Harshaw. Since he’s refused my brow-beatings, I’m forced to regurgitate his brilliance here.

His most recent post references two articles on climate science. The thesis of his article is that there is statistical bias in prestigious journals with regards to climate science (“I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”). Both “Publication Bias in Measuring Climate Sensitivity” and the counter article “No evidence of publication bias in climate change science” actually conclude the same thing, titles notwithstanding. Please go there to see all the lovely details complete with “funnel plots” and intellectual rigor.

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Dear President-elect Trump: Don’t Listen to Ben Santer or Other Climate Alarmists

 
Ben Santer: Climate Alarmist

On December 22, Ben Santer – one of the climate scientists most responsible for politicizing and then corrupting climate science — wrote an open letter to Donald Trump once again pretending to speak on behalf of “science.” We can expect many such cries of despair and shouts begging for attention (and continued funding) in the future. In the Trump administration — whether it lasts four years or eight — such histrionics will be a growth industry.

Santer’s entire screed on CNBC’s website — titled “Dear President-elect Trump—Don’t listen to the ‘ignorant voices’ on climate change” — is riddled with alarmism and factual errors. I’m not going to excerpt and rebut it all, but suffice to say: (1) there is no money in skepticism of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), but there are endless government grants for alarmism; (2) climate-alarmist “scientists” who prey upon the uninformed have gotten the science wrong for decades; and (3) withdrawing from the non-binding and ineffectual Paris Climate Agreement will not make the US a “pariah,” but the leader that helped save billions of people in emerging economies from another generation of miserable poverty.

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Obsolete Climate Science on CO2

 

The incoming Trump administration has promised dramatic transformations on many vital domestic issues. The best gauge of this development is the fierce level of opposition his policies have generated from Democratic stalwarts. One representative screed is a New York Times Op-Ed by Professors Michael Greenstone and Cass Sunstein, who lecture the incoming president on climate change: “Donald Trump Should Know: This is What Climate Change Costs Us.”

Greenstone and Sunstein have a large stake in the game: During their years in the first Obama administration, they convened an interagency working group (IWG) drawn from various federal agencies that determined that the social cost of carbon (SCC)—or the marginal cost of the release of a ton of carbon into the atmosphere—should be estimated at about $36 per ton (as of 2015). Choose that number and there is much justification for taking major policy steps to curb the emission of carbon dioxide. Greenstone and Sunstein hoped that the working group process would draw on the “latest research in science and economics,” and establish the claimed costs by “accounting for the destruction of property from storms and floods, declining agricultural and labor productivity, elevated mortality rates and more.”

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Which Beliefs about Global Warming Are Legal?

 

It seems to me that there are about eight questions that you’d need to ask to learn someone’s full opinion about global warming:

  1. Is the planet currently warming?
  2. To what extent is anthropogenic carbon dioxide responsible for global warming?
  3. How bad will global warming get?
  4. How much time do we have to respond?
  5. When will our understanding of global warming be sufficient to allow us to deal with it effectively?
  6. When will technology be advanced enough to deal with global warming?
  7. How do we handle the economics of dealing with global warming?
  8. How do we handle the politics of dealing with global warming?

I made a list of what I thought were possible, reasonable answers to each of these questions, and came up with two answers for the first, four for the second, five for the third, and so on. Multiplying the number of possible answers for each question I got:

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Portland Public Schools Bans Any Dissent from Climate Dogma

 
Portland Public Schools Board
The Portland Public Schools Board.

The Portland Public Schools board this week voted unanimously to institute a ban on allowing any materials or discussion that express doubts that human activity is causing a catastrophic climate crisis. They might as well have just put out a resolution promoting homeschooling.

The story outlining this in the Portland Tribune is absolutely incredible. It is filled with so many layers of nonsense, ignorance, petty tyranny, and moral preening that it seems a bit much, even for hopelessly lefty Portland. I do wonder, however, if they will host a book-burning ceremony at the football stadium. It’s the logical next step, right? Because, apparently, their text books are infected with terms like “might,” “may,” and “could” in some passages that address climate change. We must make sure those doubts don’t accidentally infect the minds of the children they are charged with educating indoctrinating. So why not purge all the sin from the books by fire?

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When does Denial Become Fraud?

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 8.16.34 AMIn testimony before Congress, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Department of Justice “has discussed” bringing a civil RICO action against climate change “deniers” for fraud — similar to the Clinton Administration’s suits against the tobacco industry — and confirmed that it has issued a request for action to the FBI for consideration. Assuming that she really means it and isn’t just trying to threaten people into silence, what constitutes prosecutable denial? There are many levels of opposition to the belief that global warming is primarily caused by human activity and that this warming will be catastrophic. Here’s a list of beliefs in descending levels of dissent:

  • Global warming is a complete hoax;
  • The planet is warming, but due to natural causes;
  • Human activity contributes to global warming, but is not the primary driver;
  • Human activity contributes significantly to global warming, but the consequences are not catastrophic;
  • Human activity contributes significantly to global warming, but there is nothing we can do to stop it;
  • Human activity contributes significantly to global warming, but adaptation is more economical than trying to stop it;
  • Human activity contributes significantly to global warming and there may be something we can do to stop it, but we don’t yet know what that is; and
  • Human activity contributes significantly to global warming but, we don’t know yet how to stop it and, until we do know, we shouldn’t implement “solutions” that might only make things worse

Which of these statements constitutes the minimum standard for fraud?

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Where Are America’s Drowned Cities?

 

image1Global warming lengthens the growing season, and increases net rainfall worldwide. The enrichment of atmospheric carbon dioxide accelerates the rate of plant growth. These are all very positive developments, both for humanity and for wild nature. As a result of climate change, the Earth is becoming a more fertile planet. Nevertheless, representatives of the green movement call for the imposition of economically destructive — and highly regressive — carbon taxes, lest global warming result in catastrophic floods of coastal areas.

This assertion is problematic because global warming has been going on for four hundred years. We can know this with certainty, not from the doubtful claims of researchers who assert that they can measure average global temperatures to within a tenth of a degree, but from readily available historical accounts. Civil War buffs are familiar with the massive snowball fights engaged in by Confederate armies stationed as far south as Georgia, and everyone who has read Dickens encounters tales describing much more severe winter weather in mid-19th century London than anything we see today. If we read back further in time, we hear of a world that is much colder still, with the Thames freezing regularly, sometimes for months on end, during the 1600s.

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