This Time Science Won

Background: Junk science, engineered to support job killing, far left legislation that places draconian rules on the use of diesel. A respected university that loads a panel with ideologues like Roosevelt packing the Supreme Court with leftist New Deal supporters. One scientist that didn’t toe the line:

As the environmentalist Left pushed new, job-killing regulations in the interests of “public health,” Dr. Enstrom took his own look at the data and determined that the health threat from diesel emissions was being wildly overstated. As he looked further, he discovered that the lead researcher pushing the new regulations actually possessed a fraudulent degree, purchased from “Thornhill University,” a shady, long-distance diploma mill. Moreover, members of the state’s “scientific review panel” tasked with evaluating the science had in some cases overstayed term limits by decades. At least one was a known ideological radical. (He was a member of the infamous “Chicago Seven.”)

Dr. Enstrom did what a scientist should do. He exposed public corruption, called out fake scientific credentials, and worked to save California from onerous and unnecessary regulations.

So UCLA fired him. After more than 30 years on the job.

It took two and a half years, but with help from the ACLJ, Dr. Enstrom sued UCLA and won:

In 2012, the ACLJ filed suit on behalf of Dr. Enstrom alleging that UCLA officials unlawfully terminated his appointment as a Researcher in violation of his First Amendment rights and mishandled tens of thousands of dollars of his funding. Following multiple unsuccessful attempts to have the lawsuit dismissed and an extensive discovery process, which included the depositions of several key UCLA officials, the UC Regents agreed to a settlement of the case on terms extremely favorable to Dr. Enstrom. Not only did the Regents agree to pay Dr. Enstrom $140,000, but they also have effectively rescinded the termination, agreeing to Dr. Enstrom’s use of the title “Retired Researcher” (as opposed to acknowledgment as a non-titled terminated employee) and his continued access to UCLA resources he previously enjoyed during his appointment.

The university’s justification for firing Dr. Enstrom in the first place?

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) refused to reappoint an environmental health sciences professor, stating that his controversial research failed to accord with the department’s “mission.”

He dared to put forth a view that did not fit with the view of his employers. Politics over science, in the tradition of the Church’s persecution of Galileo. Shame!

Posted March 10th, 2015 Filed in Environment, Liberal Brainwashing

Carbon Tax Hallucinations

Policy adviser Paul Driessen warns that not only will carbon taxes hurt job and economic growth, but will not result in raising much in the way of tax revenues.

Average planetary temperatures haven’t budged in 16 years. Hurricanes and strong tornadoes are at or near their lowest ebb in decades. Global sea ice is back to normal, Arctic ice is nearly normal, and the Antarctic icepack continues to grow. The rate of sea level rise remains what it was in 1900. …

As the liberal lobby Think Progress put it, people “overwhelmingly” prefer a carbon tax on “big polluters” versus cuts in favorite programs “like education, Social Security, Medicare and environmental protection.” …

Employing Energy Information Administration data, a recent Heritage Foundation study by economists David Kreutzer and Nicolas Loris found that a tax starting at $25-per-ton of CO2 emitted and increasing by 5% per year would cut a family of four’s income by $1,400 annually, raise their utility bills by $500 a year, and increase gasoline fill-ups by up to 50 cents per gallon. …

Hydrocarbons provide over 83% of all the energy that powers America. A carbon tax would put a hefty surcharge on everything we make, grow, ship, eat and do. It would put the federal government in control of, not just one-sixth of our economy as under Obamacare, but 100% of our economy and lives. It would make the United States increasingly less productive, less competitive globally, less able to provide opportunities for our children.

But it gets worse, because this tax on America’s energy and productivity is not being promoted in a vacuum. It would be imposed on top of countless other job and economy strangling actions.


Posted February 23rd, 2013 Filed in Energy, Environment, Taxes and the IRS

GM Suspends Chevy Volt Production

No matter how hard liberal government types push, “green” transportation isn’t going to make it until the free market determines that the technology is ready for prime time:

GM to suspend Volt production. General Motors (GM) is reportedly set to halt the manufacturing of the Chevrolet Volt, at least temporarily, following disappointing sales. The plant that manufactures the hybrid sedan is slated to stop production for about four weeks in September and October. Sales of the Volt haven’t met management expectations, reaching just over 10,000 in the U.S. versus expectations of 45,000 through the year-end.

Posted August 28th, 2012 Filed in Environment

It’s Possible to be “Too Green”

The Washington Examiner points to the massive waste incurred by some communities in their pursuit of unreasonable recycling targets.

But some national recycling experts have begun calling for government restraint in trash recycling, which can be more costly and environmentally damaging than dumping. …

Porter argues that while some recycling is desirable, and both economically and environmentally viable, many local governments are going too far.
“If it doesn’t really help the environment or save energy, or if it isn’t dangerous, a lot of things would just as well rest peacefully in a landfill,” Porter said. He said landfills have become much cleaner and safer during the last two decades, and are plentiful for much of the country.

Kenneth Green, an environmental scientist and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said that while recycling some materials — notably aluminum and white office paper — is almost always worthwhile, many other materials are often neither environmentally nor economically justifiable.

“Recycling glass is an environmental net loser,” Green said, pointing out that ground glass is essentially sand and not inherently harmful in a landfill.

“By collecting it in separate trucks and storing it and everything else, you’re probably adding emissions to the environment,” he said.

But once again, taxpayer dollars are being wasted because it makes people feel good. And programs that make people feel good — even when they shouldn’t — are vote getters.

Vote the science, not the feeling.

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Posted April 28th, 2010 Filed in Environment

Energy Concerns Trump Environmentalism

According to a Gallup poll, Americans prioritize energy over the environment for the first time “in this question’s 10-year history.”

If you want to quit talking about eliminating our dependence on oil-producing, terrorist training countries then energy is your issue. Drill here, drill now. Build nuclear power plants. Create jobs by rebuilding America’s power distribution system (but not through government contracts, but through tax breaks for private firms).

As for anyone who points to The Chosen One Fallen One blessing the vision of nuclear power, let me say this: saying we should build nuclear power plants is a far, far cry from creating the legislation and (de)regulation that will make it actually happen.

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Posted April 6th, 2010 Filed in Energy, Environment

Air Quality Improved Drastically: MSM Mum

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) notes that the EPA released their annual air quality report that is just stock full of good news. Mainly that the population has increased over the past 20 years and we have seen a corresponding increase in energy consumption and vehicle miles traveled, yet aggregate emissions have steadily declined, which is clearly communicated in this graphic:

IER notes:

Air quality in the United States has dramatically improved and, according to all indicators, it will continue to improve. . . .

GDP, vehicle miles traveled, population, and energy consumption have all increased since 1990. But despite the fact that more people are using more energy to produce more goods and services, air pollution emissions have decreased.

HT to Hot Air, who posts a second, 40-year graph and offers up a further analysis (emphasis added):

A few points to note here.  First, I grew up in Southern California, when smog alerts were commonplace and it sometimes got so bad that it hurt to breathe.  That would have been at the front end of the 40-year trend graph, and emissions have dropped over 60% during that time.  . . . Most intriguingly, travel has gone up much faster than population growth while emissions declined.

The carbon emissions data is also instructive.  In both graphs, its linkage to population growth is so close that the actual percentage has to be moved off of the right border of the graph.  It also parallels energy consumption, which has grown at a slightly lower rate than population, especially over the last couple of years of the report (which may have more to do with the recession).  Either way, carbon emissions are not out of control — and attempts to lower them will require an effort much different than the attempt to eliminate pollutant emissions.

Personally, I remember the days of air traffic being diverted from LAX due to smog banks, as well as rivers catching on fire. Anyone who doesn’t believe things have gotten better must be too young to know better. But that doesn’t explain why the media ignores facts like these.

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Posted March 19th, 2010 Filed in Environment

Decade’s “Coldest Winter” May be This Year

A forecaster at the Commodity Weather Group is warning that the coldest winter in a decade may be visiting the U.S. Northeast this year, all because of a weak El Ninos:

“About 70 percent to 75 percent of the time a weak El Nino will deliver the goods in terms of above-normal heating demand and cold weather. It’s pretty good odds.”

Geez, will somebody please go hit Al Gore over the head will a frozen tuna?

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Posted September 28th, 2009 Filed in Environment, Global Warming

Scientist: Ice Age Coming

Phil Chapman is a geophysicist and astronautical engineer who became the first Australian to become a NASA astronaut. He pens a comprehensive article in today’s Australian about the danger of the coming ice age:

All four agencies that track Earth’s temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007. This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record and it puts us back where we were in 1930. If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over.

Chapman admits that one year of cooling does not a trend make, but then he turns to sunspot activity. According to SOHO, the latest cycle of sunspots (No. 24) failed to begin on schedule (sometime shortly after March of last year).

The first sunspot appeared in January this year and lasted only two days. A tiny spot appeared last Monday but vanished within 24 hours. Another little spot appeared this Monday. Pray that there will be many more, and soon.

The reason this matters is that there is a close correlation between variations in the sunspot cycle and Earth’s climate. The previous time a cycle was delayed like this was in the Dalton Minimum, an especially cold period that lasted several decades from 1790.

Northern winters became ferocious: in particular, the rout of Napoleon’s Grand Army during the retreat from Moscow in 1812 was at least partly due to the lack of sunspots.

Again, Chapman admits that there may not be a causal connection between last year’s precipitous temperature drop and No. 24’s late start. But given the grim consequences of another mini-ice age, he warns us to start planning now. Lack of action could prove fatal:

The interglacial we have enjoyed throughout recorded human history, called the Holocene, began 11,000 years ago, so the ice is overdue. We also know that glaciation can occur quickly: the required decline in global temperature is about 12C and it can happen in 20 years.

The next descent into an ice age is inevitable but may not happen for another 1000 years. On the other hand, it must be noted that the cooling in 2007 was even faster than in typical glacial transitions. If it continued for 20 years, the temperature would be 14C cooler in 2027.

By then, most of the advanced nations would have ceased to exist, vanishing under the ice, and the rest of the world would be faced with a catastrophe beyond imagining.

Australia may escape total annihilation but would surely be overrun by millions of refugees. Once the glaciation starts, it will last 1000 centuries, an incomprehensible stretch of time.

Global warming we could deal with. In fact, it would open up more farm land and expand the habitable area on the Earth.

But an ice age is another thing altogether.

So please, for the future of humanity, everyone go out and buy a huge (non-hybrid) SUV and fire up the smudge pots. In the meantime, I think I’ll invest in some acreage on the equator. Hmm, I wonder what a small plantation in the Brazilian rain forest goes for these days.

Posted April 23rd, 2008 Filed in Environment, Global Warming

UK Gov Backs Flawed Science

Last month, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that supermarkets will be given a year to end their reliance on "single use" plastic bags. After that they face a fine of 5p or more for each plastic bag they give to customers.

Further, in an effort to force retailers to "go green", if the shop charges customers for plastic bags they will be required to publish how they use the proceeds. This measure is designed to put public pressure on the retailers to use the money for environmental causes.

Brown, of course, is from the Labour Party which occupies the point to the left of what passes for the middle of the political spectrum outside of the US. In other words, he would be perfectly happy cozying up to the Pelosis and Nadars of the US.

Conservatives responded to Brown’s announcement by showcasing Labour’s hypocrisy: over the last 2 years the government has purchased almost 1.3 million plastic bags emblazoned with departmental logos at a cost of over 91 million pounds. Eric Pickles, shadow communities and local government secretary, said:

“While Gordon Brown lectures the public on the environment, his own ministers are fuelling Britain’s throw-away culture.”

But it actually much worse than mere hypocrisy. Please read on.

Sea Turtle swimming with plastic bagThe campaign to "ban the bag" was recently fueled by photographs in the UK Daily Mail. One showed a sea turtle swimming along side some plastic bags which the article claims:

Cut to the haunting image of a sea turtle, thousands of miles away, struggling through the deep ocean waters as discarded plastic bags wrap themselves around its flippers and body.

The turtle hardly seems entangled, but such is the rhetoric associated with this campaign. Worse, a second photograph shows a turtle apparently eating a bag.

Sea Turtle Munching Plastic BagThese majestic animals are dying in alarming numbers because they mistake the flimsy translucent bags – which could in theory come from British supermarkets – for jellyfish, a key element of their diet.

The article had more photos, and even more inflammatory rhetoric. In response, environmental groups and publicity-seeking celebrities have flocked to embrace the campaign.

But what is the truth behind these claims?

First, Brown has long called plastic bags "one of the most visible symbols of environmental waste." Yet UK’s DEFRA (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) website unequivocally contradicts this "fact" with real facts:

  • Plastic bags account for approximately:
    • 0.1-1% of visible litter in the UK
    • 2% of total litter on UK beaches
    • 0.3% of the domestic waste stream
    • 3.5-5.3% of total plastic packaging used in the UK

Second is the "single use" component of the war on plastic retail bags. The aforementioned DEFRA site states that "80% of UK consumers currently re-use their plastic bags at least once for a variety of purposes – such as bin liners, nappy sacks or lunch bags." Confirming this is the experience in Ireland: when a tax was placed on plastic bags in Ireland there was a massive increase of 300 to 500% in the sale of plastic refuse bags and bin liners! Note that these bags are thicker and heavier than plastic retail bags (see the next point below) and therefor the "green footprint" is much heavier. [Note to politicians: ever hear of the law of unintended consequences?]

Third, there are a whole lot of reasons to continue using plastic bags at grocery stores, from reducing energy to fighting shoplifting. And did you know that today’s plastic bags use 70% less plastic than they did 20 years ago, yet are just as strong?

Fourth, the "science" used to support the fight against plastic is really the result of a a misrepresentation of a scientific study. That is, a boldfaced lie:

The central claim of campaigners is that the bags kill more than 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds every year. However, this figure is based on a misinterpretation of a 1987 Canadian study in Newfoundland, which found that, between 1981 and 1984, more than 100,000 marine mammals, including birds, were killed by discarded nets. The Canadian study did not mention plastic bags.

Fifteen years later in 2002, when the Australian Government commissioned a report into the effects of plastic bags, its authors misquoted the Newfoundland study, mistakenly attributing the deaths to “plastic bags”.

The figure was latched on to by conservationists as proof that the bags were killers. For four years the “typo” remained uncorrected. It was only in 2006 that the authors altered the report, replacing “plastic bags” with “plastic debris”. But they admitted: “The actual numbers of animals killed annually by plastic bag litter is nearly impossible to determine.”

In a postscript to the correction they admitted that the original Canadian study had referred to fishing tackle, not plastic debris, as the threat to the marine environment.

Regardless, the erroneous claim has become the keystone of a widening campaign to demonise plastic bags.

That’s right, there is no scientific evidence to support the outrageous claims of the granola-chomping, mantra-chanting, tree-sitting crowd (and a lot to discount it), yet the British government has embraced the plastic bag myth. As a result British taxpayer dollars pounds will be wasted and retail prices will rise, all for nothing.

Sounds a lot like the governmental embrace of global warming, doesn’t it?

Posted March 9th, 2008 Filed in Britain and the UK, Environment

Fear-Mongering at the UN

From IBD, Waving The Flag Of Fear:

One day after the United Nations issued a doomsday report on global warming, it admits it has grossly exaggerated the seriousness of the AIDS problem. The cycle of fear-mongering at the U.N. continues. . . .

Remember the 1980s, when we were told that AIDS was a nondiscriminatory disease destined to wipe out large segments of the population and bring untold ruin to humanity?

When Life magazine declared on its cover in 1985 that "Now No One Is Safe From AIDS"? When the new Black Plague, worse than the first, was upon us? Who could forget Oprah Winfrey’s dire warning that a fifth of heterosexuals would be dead by 1990? . . .

Global warming fear-mongering is likely to fall by the wayside in the next decade or so when it becomes obvious that the charlatans have been wrong. That won’t be the end, however; global warming will be replaced by a wild exaggeration that sounds even more threatening.

Read it all, remembering ZPG from the 70’s because the Earth would be overrun with people if we didn’t stop having babies, the "we’ll be out of oil by the year 2000" from the 60’s, and every other crackpot idea you’ve heard from the alarmists.

Posted November 21st, 2007 Filed in Environment, Global Warming, United Nations