Hurricane Harvey — Devastating. Not unprecedented

Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas as a category four hurricane, ending America’s 4,324 day major hurricane drought.

Parts of Texas are in for a walloping.

The National Weather Service described the hurricane as “about as fierce as they come” … and they are right.

Hurricane Harvey is severe, entirely natural — and not unprecedented.

In 1900, America’s deadliest ever hurricane devastated Galveston, Texas.

Galveston after the September 8, 1900, hurricane. Texas State Library photo.

The practice of naming hurricanes was not yet in vogue, but this category four hurricane didn’t need a name to become a true human tragedy.

The storm brought 145 mile per hour winds and a 15 foot storm surge which flooded the city.

Estimates range from 6,000 to 12,000 dead. The loss of life was so extreme that Texans couldn’t cope with the sheer number of bodies. They were forced to resort to mass graves, barges for mass burials at sea, and mass funeral pyres on the beach. The loss of homes, life and property was staggering.

The City of Galveston rose again, but never fully regained its former prominence.

As can be expected, already climate campaigners are rushing to attribute Hurricane Harvey to global warming.

This is nonsense.

Exploiting the suffering in Texas for propaganda purposes is both shameless and insensitive; just as exploiting the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy was in the past.

In truth, America recently enjoyed a prolonged period during which no higher level hurricane made landfall. The last was Hurricane Wilma which struck Florida on October 24, 2005 – 12 years ago.

This has been very inconvenient for Al Gore and others anxious to hype natural weather tragedies as the product of man-made global warming.

Team warming’s climate simulations have not only failed to predict America’s prolonged hurricane drought, but also the full gamut of extreme weather events which have been on the whole historically benign.  They’d do better tossing coins.

The good news is that although there is heart-rending suffering and hardship ahead for Texas, we can be confident we will not see the kind of suffering the Great Galveston Hurricane caused 117 years ago.

The economic might and advanced technology we have at our disposal, thanks to our free markets (which the Greens despise), is there to provide warning in time for people to prepare and evacuate.  Today we are able to rush in help and resources enabling people to cope with the storm and recover.

Meteorology is also a far more advanced, solid discipline than flimsy climate science.  When meteorologists use short-term computer models, they are actually able to accurately project hurricane paths they save lives.

An yone telling you that Hurricane Harvey would have been meaningfully less ferocious in any way had we never had the industrial revolution, or harnessed energy to serve mankind, is selling something. Something you don’t want to buy.

In fact, the reverse is true. Hurricane Harvey is natural. The ability to cope with it is man-made.

The ability of free market capitalism to provide for people in need is unmatched.

The financial loss of a Hurricane like Harvey can today be greater than ever before. There’s a simple reason for that. It’s NOT because of the size or strength of the storm. It’s because the strength of our economy has dramatically increased the value of the property in the hurricane’s path. There goes the power of the free market again. There’s no economic force to match it.

Today our thoughts, prayers and assistance must be with those whom Harvey strikes.

And to anyone looking to exploit this hurricane to push global warming, Socialism, or to make their fortune from government subsidies, we say:

DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS!

Fact Checking Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’

Al Gore’s new movie, An Inconvenient Sequel, is riddled with junk science and hysterical alarmism.

Sadly, Gore plans to inflict his self-aggrandizing propaganda film on our kids.

Now you have a means to fight back!

Marc Morano posted a detailed review and fact check of Gore’s Hollywood-hyped ‘masterpiece’ over at CFACT’s Climate Depot.

Marc pulled from our detailed archives to provide facts, figures and graphs that dispel Gore’s horror stories.

No Al, whether its glaciers, ice, flooding, war, polar bears, you name it, it’s your film, not the planet, that’s full of hot air. And CFACT’s special report takes down your hype with hard facts!

Gore is particularly shameless about blaming extreme natural weather events on global warming — even though they would have occurred whether people walked the Earth or not.

Read our Climate Depot special report for yourself, and share it with your friends, family and neighbors.

Arm yourself with the facts today!

My talk at Google on the Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had spoken at Google on the moral case for fossil fuels. My talk just went up on their YouTube​ page! You can watch it here.

If you watch it and like it I hope you click thumbs up and make a comment. It would be really cool to get this video to ascend the ranks of the Google Author talks

Thanks again to Dan Hackney for getting me the invite.

Two Great Videos from Kansas Strong

Recently, I received the following note from Warren Martin, Executive Director of Kansas Strong, “a nonprofit organization voluntarily funded by oil and natural gas producers in Kansas” that “works to educate and inform people about the important role our industry plays in their live.”:

“As a philosophy graduate myself, I found Alex Epstein’s book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels very compelling and informative. His book and additional resources have played a major role in my efforts with Kansas Strong to promote the Kansas oil & gas industry. Alex’s perspective, initiatives and data have been a tremendous asset in our efforts to reframe the issue and emphasize the importance oil and natural gas have on our day to day lives. We have developed videos, articles, print campaigns and keynote presentations that delve into the everyday lives of everyday people to show how vital oil and natural gas is to how they live. It is far more than the price at the pump. It enables people to maximize their lives. Whether you look at life expectancy, infant birth rates, quality of life or numerous other data points, oil and natural gas have played a major role in improving our lives and enabling, as Alex says, ‘human flourishing.’ Alex’s work has proven to be an extraordinary resource for our efforts to engage the public in creative ways to begin conversations, facilitate education and challenge misconceptions about the industry!” -Warren Martin

Kansas Strong has done an outstanding job of putting these ideas into practice in two of their recent videos.

In this video, they take the moral high ground on environmental issues, pointing out that “the issue is not a choice between the environment and the industry. Nor is it about protecting the environment from the industry. The real issue we should be discussion is how is the oil and gas industry working to create the best environment for humanity?”

One of the tactics I use to get people to appreciate the vital importance of fossil fuels is I take them on an “oil walk,” where I go step-by-step through their day, pointing to all of the things in their lives made from petroleum. This video does a great job of visualizing the omnipresence of oil products, ending with the tagline “Petroleum. It’s Part of Everything We Do.”

I hope you watch both videos. This is the sort of impactful content that’s possible when you learn how to reframe the debate in pro-human, whole-picture terms. I’m excited to see much more of this kind of messaging from the industry in the future.

ALSO: Whenever you’re ready,here are 3 ways I can help your organization turn non-supporters into supporters and turn supporters into champions.

1. Hire me to speak at your next event.

If you have an upcoming board meeting, employee town hall, or association meeting, I have some new and updated speeches about the moral case for fossil fuels, winning hearts and minds, and communications strategy in the new political climate.

If you’d like to consider me for your event, just reply to this message and put “Event” in the subject line.

2. Hold a free Lunch-and-Learn (inside or outside the industry).

This program contains one of my favorite debates along with some “cheat sheets” to help you make the moral case for fossil fuels in your professional and personal life more easily than you thought possible. You can have access to the entire program right now. By the end of the session you and your team will:

  • gain a deeper sense of meaning from their work
  • be able to turn fossil fuel skeptics into fossil fuel supporters
  • learn the secrets to having constructive conversations about energy instead of frustrating fights

Click here to sign up for the free program.

3. Fill out the free Constructive Conversation Scorecard to assess where you are and where you want to be in your one-on-one communications.

Email it back to me and I’ll send you my step-by-step Constructive Conversation System that will enable you to talk to anyone about energy.

Education vs. Indoctrination

We can no longer trust our most fundamental institutions.

David Wojick, a brilliant mathematician and CFACT contributor, has posted an important series of articles at CFACT.org focusing on the shocking way government and educational institutions are indoctrinating students with unsound global warming talking points.

Dr. Wojick’s latest piece focuses on lesson plans from the National Academy of Sciences that reveal “NAS has clearly lost sight of its role as the trusted science advisor to the US Government.”

NAS has created a “webquest” for children that takes them on a journey into the realm of junk science.  As Dr. Wojick points out, the “quest” gives children no chance of encountering sound science.  It is all about indoctrination, not education.

In is column “The National Academy of Sciences teaches climate advocacy, not science” Dr. Wojick writes:

The prestigious US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is off the rails when it comes to teaching kids about climate change. They have an exhaustive lesson plan for middle and high school kids that teaches a great deal of alarmist advocacy and very little science. NAS has clearly lost sight of its role as the trusted science advisor to the US Government. Al Gore could have written this lesson.

The lesson plan is called Climate Change Webquest. As the name “Webquest” suggests, it is basically a framework that ties together a lot of alarmist websites, which the students go to, to find answers for specific questions. (Some of these sites are not suitable for middle schoolers, but then neither is the framework.)

The structure of the framework gives away the game. The Webquest is supposed to be undertaken by a group of five students, each of which plays a specific role. Here are the roles:

1. Climate Scientist
2. Policy Analyst (!)
3. Economist
4. Energy Expert
5. Urban Planner

Clearly this is about policy, not science. In fact the scientist’s primary role is merely to saythat CO2 emissions are creating dangerous climate change. Then the other four players try to redesign society in order to solve this bogus problem. Their product is a “strategy portfolio,” including proposed new laws.

Here’s the problem.

While those who value freedom master the ins and outs of science and policy, the Left masters procedure and institutional control.

To compete we need to become procedural experts ourselves and return our institutions to their genuine missions.

The antidote to Al Gore

Al Gore’s propaganda-laden Inconvenient Sequel is now playing in theaters coast to coast.

It’s bombing – namely because Gore provided a miserable movie experience whether you’re left, right, or center.

But this is no implausible science-fiction film that will just fade away into obscurity.  This is an implausible science-fiction film that will be relentlessly pushed into theaters, classrooms, televisions, and devices of all makes and sizes.

Not because the movie is interesting or accurate, but because of the Green-Left’s desire to use the falsehoods it contains to influence the minds of the American people, and others all around the world.

Fortunately, CFACT has an antidote!

In addition to being available on DVD, Blu-ray, and streaming on our own movie website, we are excited to announce that CFACT’s groundbreaking Climate Hustle documentary is also now available on iTunesVimeoAmazonGoogle PlayYouTubeSteamChristian Cinema and more!

Climate Hustle Trailer:

Unlike Gore’s unscientific climate narrative, Climate Hustle is grounded in solid facts that expose the global warming con game like no movie before or since.

And unlike Gore’s joyless, boring work of self-promotion, nearly everyone who sees our film agrees Climate Hustle doesn’t just inform, but it’s also fun to watch! The film currently has an 81% Five-Star rating on Amazon!

Have you seen Climate Hustle yet?  Now’s the time!

Do you know someone who needs to be inoculated against Gore and Company’s attempt to infect them with junk science and weather scares?

Get them a copy … don’t let Gore hustle them!

Help spread the word that Climate Hustle is now easier than ever to see.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Don’t Believe the Hysteria Over Carbon Dioxide

Black Conservatives Say Al Gore ‘Made A Living Peddling Lies’ About Global Warming

‘Environmental Microaggressions’ Likely if Professors Assign Books by ‘White Cisgender’ Males

VIDEO: Might Atlas replace American workers?

A new version of  the Boston Dynamics robot Atlas is designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings.

It is specialized for mobile manipulation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain, help with navigation and manipulate objects.

This version of Atlas is about 5′ 9″ tall (about a head shorter than the DRC Atlas) and weighs 180 lbs.

EDITORS NOTE: The column with video is courtesy of Boston Dynamics.

Climate Depot takes on Gore, NYT and the Climate Hustlers

CFACT is on a roll over at Climate Depot.

Marc Morano has been so effective that he’s been marked for death!

I kid you not.

Climate campaigner John Gilkinson actually called for future international political trials at the Hague and for Marc to be executed along with a select few who are also skilled at correcting the record on climate.

Randy Olson, another member of the warming elite, lamented that Morano is “beating the hell out of the climate movement” and conceded that it is a “myth” that skeptics are better funded (it’s not even close).

When Al Gore’s sequel opened CFACT leapt into action; exposing the movie’s inaccuracies and outright lies.  When the movie bombed, Morano pounced and made sure everyone knew it.

For the record, Gore’s sequel came out at number 15.  When CFACT’s Climate Hustle hit theaters it came in at number one per screen and it was shown in over 400 theaters nationwide!

Then the New York Times put out a made up story that the Trump Administration was trying to hide a new government climate report which had to be leaked.  The truth was the report was online the entire time.  Marc pounced again and the din grew so loud the Times had to issue a correction.

The real story about this climate report is not whether it leaked or not (it didn’t), it’s that the report itself is a hustle.  It’s loaded with shrill warming rhetoric without hard science to back it up.  It’s propaganda.  Marc posted a full report that is a devastating take down of these government bureaucrats shoddy attempt to ramp up global warming alarm.

All of this reporting and more has been on the Drudge Report numerous times and Marc is in demand for media commentary.

CFACT’s Climate Depot is red hot right now.

This is prime time to visit the Depot and get the latest on all these stories and more.

Special report: ‘Pre-determined science’

Reaping What We’ve Sown: Reproductive Rights versus Male Fertility

Anne Hendershott looks at the decline in male fertility, due partly to the Pill. Clearly, it’s time to consider the sociology and science surrounding the culture of “reproductive rights.”

The recent research revelation that sperm counts for men living in the West have plunged by 60 percent since 1971 provides readers of P. D. James’s great dystopian novel, The Children of Men, with a prediction of an unsettling future for a society that can no longer reproduce.  Set in Britain in 2021, James’s frightening fiction described a world of mass infertility among males – a world in which no children have been born in more than twenty-five years. In the novel, the last baby to be born is now an adult, and the population is growing steadily older. And, like today’s reality, James’s scientists have failed to find a cure – or even a cause – for the sterility.

Publishing their most recent findings in the journal Human Reproduction Update, the researchers – from Israel, the United States, Denmark, Brazil, and Spain – concluded that the total sperm count had fallen by 59.3 percent between 1971 and 2011 in Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand.

Some scientists are claiming that “modern living” has caused serious damage to men’s health. Pesticides, pollution, diet, stress, smoking, and obesity have all been plausibly associated with the problem.  But far fewer men smoke cigarettes than ever before, and the pollution and pesticide controls that the government has implemented in the past forty years have alleviated many of these risks.

Besides, during the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, men faced much greater health risks from factory work during a time when there were no OSHA regulations on air quality. There were few fertility problems at that time as families were large – and no one worried about sperm counts.

Click here to read the rest of Professor Hendershott’s column . . . 

Anne Hendershott

Anne Hendershott is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. She is the author of The Politics of Deviance (Encounter Books).

Three years to save the Earth? [This time]

Former UN top climate official Christiana Figueres just told the world we only have “three years” to save the planet … and all it will cost is $1.5 trillion per year.

Gee, guess we should hurry and jump on that deal … not.

Call us suspicious, but this is the same Figueres who infamously in 2015 announced the UN’s intention to replace free-market capitalism with bureaucratic control saying:

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”

That Figueres would now make such a doomsday prediction and then ask for such large sums of money, especially in light of her ambitious stated goal to control and direct the economic path of the whole earth, should be enough to make anyone roll their eyes.

But not so with Fake News media. They eat this all up.

If they bothered to look, they’d see there’s a long history of these so-called climate “tipping points” made by alarmists – all of which harmlessly passed without incident.

For those of us old enough to remember, the UN announced a 10-year tipping point way back in 1982, and then did so again in 1989. In both cases, these dates passed without any of the predicted doom-and-gloom taking place.

In 2006 Al Gore told us in An Inconvenient Truth the Arctic would be ice-free by 2014. He gave the planet only 10 years to escape before what, as Jim Morrison of TheDoorsmight say, would be “The End.”

Not surprisingly, as CFACT’s undercover film review operative found out at the Sundance Film festival earlier this year, Al doesn’t like it much if you ask him today how we survived.

Of course there’s more.

In 2008, ABC’s Bob Woodruff hosted a program where scientists told us that agriculture would collapse by “2015,” that a carton of milk would be $12.99, a gallon of gas $9 and large portions of NYC would be underwater.

And in 2009, Prince Charles declared we only had 96 months to save the Earth.  That same year NASA’s James Hansen said we only had until the end of President Obama’s first term, though U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said we only had 50 days until the global warming apocalypse took place.

It goes on and on.

You’d think the embarrassment of potentially being labeled “false prophets” would make them, well, shut up. But no, the soothsaying doesn’t stop. It just gets more insane.

Marc Morano does a great job of keeping track of all the climate tipping points that came and went at CFACT’s Climate Depot.

Our advice: If warming campaigners want to keep doing this Nostradamus gig, perhaps they should at least wait until they get one of their prophecies right before demanding a $1.5 trillion ransom.

RELATED ARTICLE: Don’t Believe the Hysteria Over Carbon Dioxide

EDITORS NOTE: Read the facts at CFACT.org

Eco-Summit 2017: The future belongs to the ‘Skeptics’

In a recent interview, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” predicted climate science will advance once so-called “climate deniers” die out.

Nye may be convinced younger generations will grow up sold on alarmist lies, but the remarkable student leaders I met at CFACT’s 14th annual Eco-Summit last week beg to differ!

These collegiates from all across the country just finished attending CFACT’s “eco-summit” leadership conference in Baltimore, Maryland, and are now getting ready to return to their campuses fully equipped to battle radical Greens and climate alarmists.

“This was one of the most informative and engaging conferences I’ve ever been to,” said Marcus Swentkofske, a senior at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. “The global warming narrative is all about government control. It reminds me of The Road to Serfdom by Hayek.”

Hailing from California, Washington State, Nevada, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey, these young leaders are certain to have an incredible impact on their peers when they return to their campuses this fall.

The speakers they heard from at the Eco-Summit were impressive, and certainly gave them much ammunition.

Marc Morano addressed the long history of climate change hysteria, while CFACT policy expert Paul Driessen spoke about the harmful effects Green policies have on the developing world.

Property rights advocate Martha Boneta and leading scientist Dr. Kelvin Kemm from South Africa spoke respectively about protecting farmers and the benefits of the free market in animal conservation.

CFACT president David Rothbard also presented our organization’s vision to the students, notably highlighting the Committee’s “Adopt a Village” work in the developing world.

“I loved hearing about the mission of CFACT and how fighting climate alarmism fits into the goal of uplifting the poor,” said Maya Maley of Azusa Pacific University in California. “This is a message I can take back to my campus where many students care about helping the least fortunate around the world.”

The summit wasn’t all hard work though. Students attended a Baltimore Orioles game and went to dinner on the beautiful Inner Harbor in downtown Baltimore, giving them the opportunity to network and grow friendships that will last beyond the conference.

Christian Spears, a sophomore at Seattle University, was fired up to bring what he learned back to campus. “We’ve planned out our club agenda for the coming year and are really excited to work more with CFACT, especially after the summit!”

I was impressed by the questions, enthusiasm, and genuine interest that our student leaders exhibited at the Eco-Summit. These collegians are brave, sometimes risking their reputations and grades on “politically correct” campuses to publicly fight for the truth.

I know you will join me in applauding their tenacity and expectantly waiting to see what they can achieve on campus this coming academic year.

These College Students Lost Access to Legal Pot – And Started Getting Better Grades

The most rigorous study to date shows that college students in the Netherlands who are denied access to “cannabis cafes,” do better academically than their peers who are allowed to frequent them.

The Dutch have permitted marijuana to be sold and consumed in cafes that are strictly regulated, may not sell other drugs or advertise, and are swiftly shut down if they fail to comply with regulations.

The Dutch town of Maastricht, which is close to the borders of Germany, Belgium, France, and Luxembourg, experienced a problem with drug tourism. People from those countries came to Maastrict to buy marijuana legally; those from Luxembourg and France created most of the problems. So Maastrict authorities denied citizens from Luxembourg and France access to the cafes.

But students from all five nations attend Maastrict University. The town’s policy change gave researchers a natural experiment to determine whether legalization vs. prohibition in the same student body makes a difference in their academic performance.

In fact, it does. Students banned from the cafes, who were less likely to use marijuana and suffer cognitive deficits from its use, experienced a 5 percent increase in their odds of passing their courses. The beneficial effect was even more pronounced for students at risk of dropping out.

The authors conclude:

We have investigated how restricting cannabis access affects student achievements, finding that the performance of students who lose legal access to cannabis substantially improves. Our analysis of underlying channels suggests that the effects are specifically driven by an improvement in numerical skills, which existing literature has found to be particularly impaired by cannabis consumption. This article provides the first causal evidence that restricting legal access to cannabis affects college students’ short-term study performance. We believe that our findings also imply that individuals change their consumption behavior when the legal status of a drug changes.

Read Washington Post article here. Read research paper here.

American Society of Addiction Medicine Faults Study Purporting to Show Marijuana is an Effective Substitute for Pain-Relieving Opioids

As the assertion continues that marijuana is a safe and effective alternate to opioids for pain relief, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) takes issue with the scientific validity of a new study that intensifies the claim.

“Cannabis as a Substitute for Opioid-Based Pain Relief,” a new study, “demonstrates several distortions that can and do arise with the current enthusiasm for cannabis as a panacea,” says William Haning, MD, editor-in-chief of ASAM Weekly.

Dr. Haning notes that Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research “is an online open access periodical published by an enterprise that captures specialty niches.”

He continues, “The article and the accompanying polemical editorial which asserts ‘that cannabis is a safe, non-addictive product,’ suffer from the illusion of balanced scientific inquiry.”

He goes on from there. Read his ASAM Weekly editorial here. Read Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research study here.

Economy Needs Workers, but Drug Tests Take a Toll

In an oddly titled article, which appears to blame drug testing rather than drug use, the New York Times reports that the middle-class factory jobs President Trump promised to bring back from overseas are going begging because applicants can’t pass drug tests.

“Indeed, the opioid epidemic and, to some extent, wider marijuana use are hitting businesses and the economy in ways that are beginning to be acknowledged by policy makers and other experts,” notes the article.

One expert says the drug issue keeps workers who are trapped in low-paying jobs from securing better-paying, blue-collar positions and a toehold in the middle class.

The Times, whose editorial board called for full marijuana legalization a few years ago, observes that “workplace considerations – not social conservatism or imposition of traditional mores – make employee drug use an issue.”

The owner of a boiler-making factory in Youngstown, Ohio, explains why. “The lightest product we make is 1,500 pounds, and they go up to 250,000 pounds. If something goes wrong, it won’t hurt our workers. It’ll kill them.”

Maybe traditional mores like safety concerns have value after all.

Read New York Times article here.

How the Legalization of Marijuana Affects Employee Drug Testing

Medical marijuana laws vary greatly from state to state. A few require employers to accommodate workers’ medical marijuana use when possible. Most don’t.

This map demonstrates the current status of the differing requirements of state marijuana laws.

Read blog entry here (second story).

Pattern of Marijuana Use During Adolescence May Impact Psychosocial Outcomes in Adulthood

Escalating marijuana use in adolescence may lead to higher rates of depression and lower educational achievement in adulthood, a new study published in Addictionfinds.

Researchers interviewed 159 boys and young men who were part of a longitudinal study of males at high risk for antisocial behaviors and other problems based on low income, family size, and gender.

At age 20, each participant reported whether and how much marijuana they used each year since they started. Their brains were also scanned.

The “boys who started occasionally using marijuana around 15 or 16 years old and had a dramatic increase in use by the time they were 19 had the greatest dysfunction in brain reward circuitry, the highest rates of depression, and the lowest educational achievements,” say the researchers.

“Though the results do not show a direct causal link,” they say, “it’s important to note that even though most people think marijuana isn’t harmful, it may have severe consequences for some people’s functioning, education, and mood.”

Read Science Daily article here. Read Addiction abstract here.

Marijuana and Vulnerability to Psychosis

Researchers at the University of Montreal, pictured above, find that going from occasional to weekly or daily marijuana use increases an adolescent’s risk of having recurrent, psychotic-like experiences by 159 percent.

Although marijuana causes many kinds of cognitive problems, “the development of inhibitory control was the only cognitive function negatively affected by an increase in marijuana use,” say the researchers.

“Our results show that while marijuana use is associated with a number of cognitive and mental health symptoms, only an increase in symptoms of depression — such as negative thoughts and low mood — could explain the relationship between marijuana use and increasing psychotic-like experiences in youth,” the lead researcher said.

Read Science Daily article here. Read Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatryabstract here.

Depression Among Young Teens Linked to Cannabis Use at 18

Young people (ages 12-15) with chronic or severe depression are at elevated risk of developing a marijuana-use disorder in later adolescence.

Researchers at the University of Washington, pictured above, collected data from 521 students recruited from four Seattle middle schools and conducted annual assessments of the students at ages 12-15 and then again at age 18.

The scientists found that a “one standard deviation increase” in cumulative depression during early adolescence produced a 50 percent higher likelihood of marijuana-use disorder at age 18.

They were surprised to see that the prevalence of both alcohol-use disorder and marijuana-use disorder were higher among their students than national averages. What effect marijuana legalization in Washington may have had on these outcomes is not clear.

They point out that a similar study in another state that has not legalized the drug would clarify the issue.

Read Science Daily article here. Read Addiction abstract here.

Note:

After publishing our story about Georgia Representative Allen Peake last week, we came across a video on Haleigh’s Hope Facebook page in which Rep. Peake explains how he is violating federal law by distributing a Schedule I drug throughout the state. We posted the video on The Marijuana Report’s Facebook page. You can see it here.

The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

SUBSCRIBE to The Marijuana Report.

SUBSCRIBE to Spanish edition of The Marijuana Report.

Al Gore’s sequel opens: It’s bunk

Al Gore’s new movie opens today.

Leading off the article in The Washington Times and at Fox:

“Nobody is more excited about Friday’s release of Al Gore’s sequel to An Inconvenient Truth than climate skeptic Marc Morano, which comes as an ill wind for the movement to stop global warming, not to mention Mr. Gore.

For months, Mr. Morano and his team have tracked the Democrat at advance screenings of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, ambushing him with stunts such as asking him about his prediction that without drastic measures, the planet would reach a ‘point of no return’ in a decade.

The former vice president made that claim 11 years ago in An Inconvenient Truth, the Oscar-winning documentary whose warnings of climate doom propelled Mr. Gore to the forefront of the movement against global warming — while turning him into something of a punchline.

‘Al Gore is the gift that keeps on giving,’ said Mr. Morano, who runs the skeptical Climate Depot website, a project of the free-market Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow.”

Read the full article at The Washington Times.

CFACT was at the Sundance Film Festival and attended the premiere.

We posted an “inconvenient review” at CFACT.org.

Gore’s new movie is a self-centered diatribe that’s riddled with inaccuracies.  It is an embarrassment.

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy did some serious damage, including flooding New York’s South Ferry subway station.  Gore cites this as evidence for the extreme claims he made in his first film, An Inconvenient Truth.

This is false. 

Hurricane Sandy was a product of nature, not man.  It would have struck just as hard whether we used energy or not  Its storm surge happened to coincide with high tide.  This was not a product of climate change, nor was it exacerbated by changes in sea levels which have not deviated meaningfully from the tiny one to three millimeters per year they have fluctuated since before the industrial revolution.

Gore’s exploitation of the pain inflicted by Hurricane Sandy to advance his agenda is shameless.  It is a prime example of the tricks and traps of the climate trade CFACT documents in our own film, Climate Hustle.

The Washington Times reports that many on the Left are embarrassed by Gore and his sequel.

They should be.

Major Earthquakes Predicted Months in Advance

The International Earthquake and Volcano Prediction Center (IEVPC) announces today that it has once again, successfully predicted catastrophic earthquakes months in advance.

Based on its unique methodology and a set of precursors for earthquake prediction, the IEVPC posted quake warnings months ago for New Zealand and the Kamchatka peninsula, off Siberia. In each case, the IEVPC correctly predicted both earthquakes with near 100% accuracy, in terms of the four critical parameters of time frame, location or epicenter, depth, and magnitude.

The first warning was for an earthquake just off the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russian Siberia, and was posted January 25, 2017. The quake was expected to be at a magnitude of >M7.0 at less than 40 km depth, offshore of Kamchatka during 2017. The actual quake occurred on July 17, 2017 at a depth of 15km and magnitude of M7.7 off shore of Kamchatka.

The second earthquake warning was for one along the Alpine Fault of New Zealand. The original earthquake warning was extended thru July 2017 because of continuing strong precursor signals until it struck on July 17, 2017. The quake hit the Alpine fault near New Zealand’s Auckland Islands. At a magnitude of M 6.6 it was within the predicted range of M7.0 +/- 0.5 and had a depth of 10km where the predicted depth range was 10-30 km.

The IEVPC is made up of seismology experts from around the world and has as its mission, the saving of lives through advanced notification of catastrophic earthquakes. Since its formation in February 2012, the IEVPC has conducted two long duration test programs and is now in a regular period of quake signal observation. As a result of numerous correctly predicted catastrophic earthquakes, the IEVPC has contacted the US government, the insurance industry, and other science organizations in an attempt to end the longstanding myth that earthquakes cannot be predicted.

According to Dr. Dong Choi, Director of Research at the IEVPC, “We have shown repeatedly over the last five years that major earthquakes can be predicted well in advance of their occurrence. It is still surprising that so many of the world’s leaders, especially in the United States, are still following the obviously false belief that earthquakes cannot be predicted. Many people will pay with their lives for this outdated belief.”

ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL EARTHQUAKE AND VOLCANO PREDICTION CENTER

The International Earthquake and Volcano Prediction Center (IEVPC) was founded in February 2012 by a team of scientists and other experts with established track records for excellence in science research, especially tectonics, volcanism, seismic research, management, and other skills necessary for achieving the Mission and Objectives of the IEVPC. This team originated after its founders realized that there were strong correlations between the occurrences of earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, solar activity, and precursor geophysical events.

These precursors have been studied for many years by the IEVPC founders, staff scientists and researchers who represent the primary body of expertise in understanding these early signals that catastrophic geophysical events (CGE) are about to strike.

In other words, they determined that through an understanding of events leading up to these geological hazards, that they could gteatly improve the predictive capability for earthquakes. Further, it has been shown that a combination of the leading-edge technology employed by the IEVPC science team can lead to a substantial improvement in the lead time from precursor signal detection to the actual CGE event transpiring.

In December 2012 the IEVPC concluded its highly successful initial earthquake prediction test program during which it validated its process for improving detection of major earthquakes for multiple types of quakes in various locations.

In July 2015, completed it’s second highly successful earthquake prediction test program.

On Technically Enhanced Man by James V. Schall, S.J.

James V. Schall, S.J. on the “progress” towards the integration of machines into humans. This seems very much a case of something we can do but shouldn’t.

Whether a technically enhanced Schall would be an improvement over the original version is probably something that I, though admittedly equipped with battery-powered hearing aids, do not have to worry about. But most other folks do. A nephew sent me a list of “The 50 Smartest Companies.” I did not quite know what to make of it.

So I sent a query to a friend who is up to speed on these things. He noted that a remarkable number of these “smartest” companies work on the human condition itself. The human “instrument” that is man’s body and mind can be radically improved.

Death of the automaton Talos, c. 350 B.C. National Archaeological Museum, Puglia, Italy.

Here is my friend’s summation:

“I think the big trend relative to tech innovation is technology as intertwined with human beings. And I don’t mean humans using technology. I refer to having technology inserted into our bodies – and brains – and even being directly connected with computers.”

People already have heart-pacers that need recharging every so often. Doctors today deftly perform operation with hand-extending robot devices. Presumably if a baby in the womb is diagnosed with a low IQ, some chip can be inserted into the little tyke to get him into Harvard when the time comes. We have watches that tell us how many miles we walk, calories we eat, and the vagaries of our blood pressure.

Computer mechanisms have become so small that they can be inserted anywhere from the brain to the big toe silently to perform the function for which they were designed. Soon, we can recharge our batteries by walking near an outlet. Batteries will last for decades. I had a watch battery that lasted five years.

Descartes thought that, while we could know nothing of reality outside of ourselves, we could construct even the human body so that we could not tell the difference between the real one and the one that was his own manufacture. How could he compare what he did not know with what he made?

Click here to read the rest of Father Schall’s column . . .

James V. Schall, S.J.

James V. Schall, S.J., who served as a professor at Georgetown University for thirty-five years, is one of the most prolific Catholic writers in America. Among his recent books are The Mind That Is Catholic, The Modern Age, Political Philosophy and Revelation: A Catholic Reading, Reasonable Pleasures, and, new from St. Augustine’s Press, Docilitas: On Teaching and Being Taught.

“Trump Hasn’t Done Anything!” Is False. Here’s the Truth

“Trump and Republicans haven’t done anything!”

We see that refrain constantly on our Facebook and Twitter feeds, and it is driven by a hostile media that hyper-focuses on Russia largely to the exclusion of other real stories regarding the Trump administration. It doesn’t help that Congress seems incapable of doing with Obamacare what they did for six years — vote to repeal it — or that Trump helps the media stay distracted with his Twitter feed.

But it is a false narrative, falsely promoted.

This is not a Trump apologist article. He’s made his mistakes, and undoubtedly will make more. But this is an attempt to honestly lay out context, with basic facts and some data points, that show what Trump is actually doing in the office of President.

And it’s not at all what you would expect based on media coverage. In fact, it turns out that Trump is right in line regarding signed legislation with modern presidents and actually a little ahead of President Obama and well ahead of President Bush — with the caveat that there are not as many major pieces of legislation as Obama’s first six months.

Of course the problem with this kind of purposely unbalanced coverage is that it drives Trump’s poll numbers into the toilet. Frankly, it’s astonishing they are as good as they are — and they’re not good — when you look at not only what is being reported, but what isn’t.

So let’s take a look at what has been given short shrift.

Trump Twitter forces an admission

As is fairly common, Trump’s Twitter account drives a lot of news cycles. A recent Trump tweet claimed he’d passed the most legislation in history. Well the media fell all over themselves to point out that this was not true, because this was not true and easily proven.

However, most Democrats and many in the media continually say that he is in trouble with his base because he’s not getting anything done — which is different. Of course, they’re actually hoping he is in trouble with his base, but he’s probably not. His base is looking at Congress and the media as the problem.

The Boston Globe, like hundreds of other newspapers, wrote a big story to knock down the Trump Twitter claim. And even in that endeavor, they were forced to write:

“Among recent presidents, both the total number of bills he signed and the legislation’s substance make Trump about average.”

Not what your average Democrat, or maybe even many other Americans, think. Good for the Globe for including it.

So in the big picture, Trump is actually not outside the norm in getting things done when compared to other modern presidents at this point in their presidencies. He doesn’t have many big legislative accomplishments — specifically not ridding the healthcare system of the poison of Obamacare — but has done a lot of smaller things that will have strong impacts.

Plenty of accomplishments in six months

Here’s a topical breakdown of what Trump has accomplished in his first six months:

  • Energy:  Approving the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines and pulling out of Paris Climate Accords were both good for working Americans. These will combine to reduce energy costs for all Americans and provide tens of thousands of above-average American jobs.
  • Military:  Beginning the long and arduous task of rebuilding our military, which his predecessor used and abused by dramatically underfunding. Obviously the American military is crucial to American security, and Trump’s budget added $54 billion to the budget. It’s not enough, but it’s a start.
  • Foreign:  Re-establishing defenses for our allies in Eastern Europe against Russian threats and bullying; increasing military pressure on ISIS, which is in full retreat; re-establishing trust with our strongest allies in Great Britain and Israel.
  • Courts:  Installing Justice Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and nominating dozens of great judges to federal court positions, which obstructionist Democrats are blocking in their entirety. The courts are exerting an outsized influence on American laws now and so this is a critically important area.
  • Border:  Ending the ridiculous catch-and-release policy for people caught illegally crossing the border; starting on building the wall; increasing illegal immigration arrests by 38 percent and reducing illegal border crossings by 73 percent; signing Kate’s Law to increase penalties on previously deported criminals.
  • Government:  Firing 500 people in the malfunctioning and just gosh-awful Department of Veterans Affairs; Eliminating burdensome regulations that smother businesses, particularly through the EPA that makes everything more expensive for Americans; re-starting NASA with its first budget in six years at $19.5 billion; repopulating Gitmo with our most dangerous enemies, rather than releasing enemy terrorists to go back into the field against us.

There is a long, long ways to go for President Trump and his promises. But despite the dysfunction in Washington, D.C., including the lopsided media coverage, Trump is doing a far better job so far in keeping his promises than most Americans realize.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.