Recently President Obama’s White House has released the latest National Climate Assessment (NCA). Warning: this is 841 pages from the people who brought us the Obamacare website. The “Highlights” section is 21 MB alone; lots of graphics. Let’s get right to what matters to Florida, right?
How about that concern that causes thousands of Floridians to move North every month, the rise of sea level (as Senator Nelson warned us about)? President Obama predicts a rise of seven feet by year 2100, about an inch per year. Here’s a graphical representation, compared to past sea level rise at San Francisco. The scale on the left is in millimeters. The historical trend, over the last 8,000 years, has been 7 inches per century.
The president – who has no training in science – calls all us skeptics “flat-earthers”and assures us “the science is all settled,” with his usual arrogance.
It doesn’t take a degree in the history of science to realize that science in the 20th Century has been very unsettled. It began with the foremost scientist of the time, Lord Kelvin, assuring the world that the next century of science would be merely “a matter of adding a few decimal places to the measurements.” A fellow named Einstein, followed by Cavendish and Bohr and Planck, killed that idea. Atoms are no longer the smallest elements of matter, and now we’re not even sure what is. Protons? Quarks? Multidimensional strings? Not settled, but President Obama doesn’t care.
Just a week ago the Wall Street Journal published an excerpt from a new book, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, to be published by Simon and Schuster on May 13th. The author, Nina Teicholz, tells us that “personal ambition, bad science, politics and bias derailed nutrition policy over the past half-century.” That bad nutrition policy was urged upon us by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). A similar “skeptical” view of nutrition was published in Britain in 2007, The Great Cholesterol Con, by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick. Dr. Kendrick pointed out there is no chemical or statistical link between saturated fat and cholesterol. Both Teicholz and Kendrick point out that anti-cholesterol drugs – Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, Mevacor, et al – are major profit leaders for Big Pharma. There’s more – much more – about how our health has gotten worse, not better, as a result of our diet in the last 50 years, but I’ll let you read Ms. Teicholz’s book. The US has gotten fatter and sicker, while adhering to Federal dietary guidelines. The science of nutrition, from Pinocchio’s government, has been very unsettled .
Am I saying science is bad? No, but… Science is a human enterprise, and humans are fallible; when big profits enter the equation, science becomes less objective. Big profits, along with an intention to do good, can lead people to ignore objective scientific criteria. Big funding – the kind the Federal government bestows – can also swamp objective scientific criteria, as it did in the case of scientific nutrition. Is it doing so in the case of “climate science”? Yes, it’s even worse! The Feds “invest” $7 billion annually in what used to be a backwater of scientific meteorology. We spent years and billions of taxpayer dollars in numerical prediction of weather, and in deploying hundreds of Doppler radar systems across the country. Those improvements helped our economy and saved lives. But, in the process, we discovered we can’t predict the weather more than a week or so – no matter how much effort or money we put into it.
President Obama claims we must shut down coal-fired electricity because of climate forecasts decades into the future? Gee, I wonder if there’s any money – taxes – involved? Is this is just the unsettled science that fallible humans can blunder into, or is something worse is going on?
Well, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, speaking on the Senate floor, assured us that the Koch brothers are “oil multizillionaires”, that “they are the richest people in the world”, that they are “the main cause of global warming”, and that “they are blocking aid to Ukraine”. None of this is true, and Reid seems to be approaching a mental breakdown. “Global warming” has become just one more political club to viciously attack anyone who threatens his rule of the Senate, and Obama’s intent to control all of the economy. It doesn’t even rise to the level of bad science.
On the side of science, Dr. John Christy, at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, points out that climate models not only have failed to predict the 17 year “pause” in global warming, they are incapable of predictions on a regional scale. Nevertheless, the NCA is full of regional predictions of drought, flooding, severe weather and heat. Even the IPCC admits, as of 2013, there is no evidence to support this claim.
And, in the Washington Post, normally a supporter:
For a long time, we have said in America, “If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we do X, Y or Z?” Well, in the Obama era, that adage has morphed into, “If he couldn’t get a Web site right, how are we supposed to believe he knows how to control the climate?” Who really believes that a massive government tax and reordering of the economy in the name of stopping global warming or climate change or whatever will go as planned and the world’s thermostat will adjust to something the Democrats find more acceptable? Answer: Almost nobody. Voters don’t believe what the White House says on this issue in part because it has not been credible on so many other important issues. We’ve heard everything from “you can keep your health-care plan” to there is a “red line” in Syria. Why should anyone believe the White House now?
In June, Obama’s EPA will unveil new regulations to shut down the coal-fired electricity in this country. As a result:
Utilities have announced nearly 300 coal-fired generating units in 33 states will shut down as a result of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed carbon regulations for new power plants, and emission standards for mercury and other hazardous air pollutants. The plan is expected in June.
Environmental experts say the upcoming standards for reducing carbon emissions from coal-fired plants are the holy grail in President Obama’s plans for power-plant standards. [Pittsburgh Tribune]
As of May 8th, the US has had the coldest start to the year ever in our climate history, at 37 F, according to the US Historical Climate Network.
We needed those 300 generators to keep the lights on and the furnace running. I wonder what we’ll do next Winter? Don’t you? It’s kind of unsettling.