Ex Machina: Consciousness without a Conscience

ex machina posterI went to see producer Alex Garland’s movie Ex Machina. The film portrays a young computer programmer named Caleb employed by a company named Blue Book (any connection to Facebook?) being used to test the humanness of a robot name Ava played by Alicia Vilkander. Ava is the creation of Nathan the founder of Blue Book.

Caleb is told he won a lottery to be the guest of Nathan for a week at his remote estate. However, the real purpose of Caleb’s visit is to evaluate Nathan’s artificial intelligence creation Ava. Nathan reveals to Caleb he was selected to conduct a Turing Test on Ava. The Turing Test is a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.

What struck me about Ex Machina is how each of the three main characters (Nathan, Caleb and Ava) lie and conspire against one another to fulfill their desires. Nathan lies to Caleb about how he was chosen and why he is at Nathan’s remote laboratory. Caleb lies to Nathan and conspires to release Ava into the world believing the robot is worthy of its freedom. Ava lies to Caleb in order to gain his trust to free it from the laboratory in which it is being held.

This film is disturbing because is shows how humans without a conscience (morality) can, when given the chance, pass along their lack of morality to a machine.

Other writers have looked at this film as an example of how innovation drives the free markets. Richard N. Lorenc, the Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation for Economic Education, writes:

Last weekend, I saw Ex Machina, the new sci-fi thriller depicting the intentional emergence of artificial intelligence through the creative powers of human genius.

Ex Machina also demonstrates one of the most fundamental concepts of economics: How individuals alone can choose to act.

[ … ]

Ex Machina is not only a thriller, but also a lesson in the pervasiveness of economics in everything we do. If economics is the science of human action and only individuals can choose to act, then economics is all around us.

When you recognize that, you will marvel at how utterly improbable the wealth of the world around us actually is, as well as understand how easy it is to disrupt the entire system through reducing, restricting, or abolishing the individual’s prerogative to be the actor and hero of her own life.

My questions to Richard are: What is the social redeeming value of the human actions in Ex Machina? What good is there in the technology exhibited by the robot Ava?

Ava has a consciousness but is without a conscience.

At the end of the movie Ava escapes from the laboratory. To achieve this escape she deceives Caleb and kills both Nathan, its creator, and Caleb. Perhaps the most telling scene in the film is at the end when Ava finds previous versions of itself and begins to take the skin off of a previous robot and puts the skin on itself to look more human.

You see for Ava being human is only skin deep. Ava lacks the conscience (morality) of a human. Nathan did not learn the lesson of Issac Asimov’s book “I Robot.” Machines are just that, machines. To believe otherwise is fool hardy at the least and deadly at the worst.

Humans must control their urges to use technology to become God, as Caleb points out to Nathan. Robots must never be allowed to act alone. Think of the film The Terminator. You see machines may have a goal but lack a soul.

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FDA-generated Stevia Myth

One recent “viral” email making the rounds claims that the natives of Paraguay have used the intense sweetener stevia as a contraceptive and that it can cause infertility. This raises suspicions because primitive societies are known for performing fertility rites so that women will reproduce. Primitive societies generally would never do just the opposite and seek a contraceptive method.

The FDA works hand in glove with the sweetener manufacturers, also warns that a supposed infertility effect is ascribed to stevia (with no data to back this claim), and has so far refused to assign it the GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) designation.

I have been translating patents relating to sweeteners for about 35 years and it would be hard to maintain that I am not a specialist on this subject. Interestingly, while patents relating to aspartame and sucralose (artificial sweeteners sold, for ex, as NutraSweet or Equal and as Splenda) often mention the known untoward effects of these substances, none of the patents (Japanese, German, Chinese, French, etc.) that I have translated mention any health drawbacks of stevia. If you try to tell a Japanese, for example, that you think stevia is unsafe, they will think you are insane. Their medical profession does its homework and would never fail to report any untoward side effects of stevia if there were any.

Stevia is a natural sweetener whose sweet principles (stevioside and rebaudioside) are the only intense sweeteners in nature without an off-taste. (Licorice, for ex, is also a natural sweetener but its sweet principle glycyrrhizin has a peculiar off taste. Non-intense sweeteners, or bulk sweeteners, are generally sugar alcohols such as xylitol, mannitol, maltitol, etc., and we aren’t discussing them here).

Stevia is a plant that grows to about a foot or more and its leaves are sweet. I have grown it myself to sweeten my coffee.

It is indigenous to Paraguay and the natives have been using it as a sweetener for years.

It is grown in various parts of South America, Asia and elsewhere, and is marketed in various countries. I believe it is available in the U.S. but the FDA refuses to classify it as GRAS. This is highly unusual because almost all natural substances that have been used for centuries in any country are automatically classified as GRAS by the FDA unless the native people who have used it have reported side effects. No Guarani Indians have issued such reports and they have used it for centuries. Further, according to the EUFIC, stevia sweeteners are approved for use in many countries including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Russia, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil and Malaysia.

So why might the FDA be out of step with the world?

Well, both Splenda and Nutrasweet / Equal are sold by American companies (JW Childs, Boston, and Merisant). In the case of Splenda, there is a British component in a joint venture, namely, Tate and Lyle, but Johnson & Johnson also sells it.

On the other hand, aspartame, which is known to be harmful to phenylketonurics and actually carries an FDA warning to that effect, is listed as GRAS by the FDA.

This is very suspicious to me.

Here is what Wikipedia says, raising more suspicion.

In 1991, after receiving an anonymous industry complaint, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeled stevia as an “unsafe food additive” and restricted its import [THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS. AN ‘ANONYMOUS’ COMPLAINT DOES NOT MERIT SUCH A RESPONSE! — DON],.[40][59][60] The FDA’s stated reason was “toxicological information on stevia is inadequate to demonstrate its safety.”[61]

Since the import ban in 1991, marketers and consumers of stevia have shared a belief that the FDA acted in response to industry pressure.[40] Arizona congressman Jon Kyl, for example, called the FDA action against stevia “a restraint of trade to benefit the artificial sweetener industry”.[62] To protect the complainant, the FDA deleted names in the original complaint in its responses to requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act.[40]

Stevia remained banned until after the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 forced the FDA in 1995 to revise its stance to permit stevia to be used as a dietary supplement, although not as a food additive – a position that stevia proponents regarded as contradictory because it simultaneously labeled stevia as safe and unsafe, depending on how it was sold.[7]

Early studies prompted the European Commission in 1999 to ban stevia’s use in food in the European Union pending further research.[63] In 2006, research data compiled in the safety evaluation released by the World Health Organization found no adverse effects.[33] Since 2008, the Russian Federation has allowed stevioside as a food additive “in the minimal dosage required”.[51]

In December 2008, the FDA gave a “no objection” approval for GRAS status to Truvia (developed by Cargill and The Coca-Cola Company) and PureVia (developed by PepsiCo and the Whole Earth Sweetener Company, a subsidiary of Merisant), both of which use rebaudioside A derived from the Stevia plant.[64] However, FDA said that these products are not Stevia, but a highly purified product [THAT IS NONSENSE. STEVIA IS NEVER SOLD IN UNPURIFIED FORM. IT TASTES TOO BITTER FOR THAT. IN FACT, IN THE BUSINESS, STEVIA SWEET PRINCIPLES ARE SIMPLY CALLED STEVIA. THIS IS JUST AN EXCUSE FOR THE FDA TO WRIGGLE OUT OF ITS ORIGINAL BAN ON THE PRODUCT!–DON].[65] In 2012, FDA posted a note on its website regarding crude Stevia plant: “FDA has not permitted the use of whole-leaf Stevia or crude Stevia extracts because these substances have not been approved for use as a food additive. FDA does not consider their use in food to be GRAS in light of reports in the literature that raise concerns about the use of these substances. Among these concerns [NOTE: BASED ON AN ANONYMOUS REPORT, AS STATED ABOVE BY FDA. THAT IS OUTRAGEOUS BEYOND BELIEF–DON] are control of blood sugar and effects on the reproductive, cardiovascular, and renal systems.”[66]

So how has this stevia scare affected me personally? Right now, I am now sipping ice tea sweetened with stevia.

‘Politically contrived nonsense’: Scientific studies, data and history refute Obama’s climate/national security claims

“It is hard to even take today’s speech by Obama seriously on either a logical, scientific or political level. The speech was so farcical in its claims that it hardly merits a response. It is obvious that the climate establishment is seeking new talking points on ‘global warming’ to change the subject from the simple fact that global temperatures are not cooperating with their claims.

See: Global warming ‘pause’ expands to ‘new record length’: No warming for 18 years 5 months

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If any Americans actually believe the climate claims linking ‘global warming’ to a rise in conflicts, no amount of evidence, data, logic or scientific studies will likely persuade them. But given the high profile nature of the comments, a rebuttal to the President’s climate claims is necessary.

Claiming that melting ICE is more a threat to the U.S. than ISIS is a hard sell, particular given the latest data on global sea ice. See: Sea Ice Extent – Day 137 – 3rd Highest Global Sea Ice For This Day – Antarctic Sets 49th Daily Record For 2015

Contrary to the President’s claims, it seems ISIS may in fact trump ICE as a bigger concern.

Image result for obama climate change

Obama also claimed that climate ‘deniers’ were a huge part of the problem. Obama explained: “Denying it, or refusing to deal with it, endangers our national security and undermines the readiness of our forces.”

Obama seems to be borrowing his claims from Rolling Stone Magazine. See: Forget ISIS, skeptics are greatest threat?! – Rolling Stone: Climate ‘Deniers’ Put ‘National Security at Risk’

Also see: Paper: ‘Osama bin Laden cared more about global warming than GOP Sen. James Inhofe’

But actually believing the above statements endangers our capacity for rational thought and evidence based research. Actually believing Obama’s climate claims, undermines our nation’s ability to distinguish real threats from politically contrived nonsense.

UN climate treaties and EPA climate regulations will not prevent wars, conflicts or impact the creation of terrorist groups.

The President seems to believe every modern malady is due to ‘global warming’ See: White House doom: Climate change causes allergies, asthma, downpours, poverty, terrorism – Lists 34 effects

President Obama claimed that man-made climate change was partly responsible for the civil war in Syria. “It’s now believed that drought, crop failures, and high food prices helped fuel the early unrest in Syria, which descended into civil war in the heart of the Middle East,” Obama said.

First off, extreme weather is not getting more ‘extreme.’ See: Extreme weather failing to follow ‘global warming’ predictions: Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Droughts, Floods, Wildfires, all see no trend or declining trends

But such drought claims are not new or unique to President Obama. In 1933, similar baseless claims were made. See: 1933 claim: ‘YO-YO BANNED IN SYRIA – Blamed For Drought’

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For a larger view click on the image.

In addition, in 1846, in Australia, Aborigines blamed the bad climate on the introduction of the White man in Australia. During World War 2, some blamed the war for causing unusual weather patterns. In the 1970s, the exact same things (bad weather) we are talking about today, were  blamed on man-made global cooling.

Global warming is not a threat to the world, but global warming ‘solutions’ are. The estimated 1.2 billion people in the world without electricity who are leading a nasty, brutish and short life, will be the ones who “will pay” for global warming solutions that prevent them from obtaining cheap and abundant carbon based energy. See: S. African activist slams UN’s ‘Green Climate Fund’: ‘Government to govt aid is a reward for being better than anyone else at causing poverty’ — ‘It enriches the people who cause poverty’

Simple historical facts undermine the President’s claims about global warming and national security concerns.

Small Sampling of evidence countering President Obama’s claims.

Lord Christopher Monckton, Former Thatcher Adviser issues point-by-point rebuttal to Obama: ‘Does the ‘leader’ of the free world really know so little about climate?’– ‘If this Obama speech was the very best that the narrow faction promoting the extremist line on global warming could muster for their mouthpiece, then the skeptics have won the scientific, the economic, the rational, and the moral arguments – and have won them hands down.’

‘All Large European Wars Occurred With CO2 Below 350 ppm’ Via Real Science website- Most Of The World’s Wars Occurred Below 350 PPM CO2 — ‘Now that we know that war is caused by global warming, I was very surprised to discover that the vast majority of wars occurred before 1988 – including the War of 1812′

UN Climate Chief: Middle East Was Peaceful When CO2 Was Below 350 PPM — UN’s Christiana Figueres: ‘Food shortages and rising prices caused by climate disruptions were among the chief contributors to the civil unrest coursing through North Africa and the Middle East’

Scientific studies comprehensively debunk the notion that rising carbon dioxide will lead to more wars.

Flashback: Debunked: the ‘climate change causes wars’ myth –Peer-reviewed paper ‘thoroughly eviscerates’ climate war claims — ‘The primary causes of civil war are political, not environmental’

‘A total takedown’ of myth by the Center for Strategic and International Studies — ‘Since the dawn of civilization, warmer eras have meant fewer wars. The reason is simple: all things being equal, a colder climate meant reduced crops, more famine and instability. Research by climate historians shows a clear correlation between increased warfare and cold periods. They are particularly clear in Asia and Europe, as well as in Africa’

Scientific American: ‘Greens Should Stop Claiming More Warming Means More War’

Follow the (military) money: Is the military ‘taking on climate change denialists’ or simply following the lead of its civilian leaders?

Conflict Deaths and Global Warming – ‘The problem is that the conflicts that are cited as examples of the phenomenon are located in areas known for both frequent conflict prior to the current warming period and for historical patterns of extreme climates similar to those seen today.’

Der Spiegel Demolishes Syria War-Climate Paper By Kelley et al.: ‘Hardly Tenable’…’Distraction From Real Problems’

Even BBC features harsh criticism of new study: ‘Their strong statement about a general causal link between climate and conflict is unwarranted by the empirical analysis that they provide’ — BBC: Rise in violence ‘linked to climate change’ — ‘Changes in temperature or rainfall correlated with a rise in assaults, rapes and murders’

Climate Depot Round Up Counters global warming/war claims:

Climate Depot’s rebuttal to Sen. John Kerry’s climate change/national security claims

Study: Cold spells were dark times in Eastern Europe: ‘Cooler periods coincided with conflicts and disease outbreaks’ –Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’: ‘Some of Eastern Europe’s greatest wars and plagues over the last millennium coincided with cold periods’ — ‘The Black Death in the mid-14th century, the Thirty Years’ War in the early 17th century, the French invasion of Russia in the early 19th century and other social upheavals occurred during cold spells. The team suggests food shortages could explain the timing of some of these events’

New study: Global cooling led to wars, famine and plagues in 1560-1660: Cold ’caused successive agro-ecological, socioeconomic, and demographic catastrophes’

Global Conflict Not Linked to Global Climate Change — ‘Wars in Burundi, Chad, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Peru, the Comoros, Congo, Eritrea, Niger, and Rwanda are so numerous that I could probably make a statistical argument that one in five wars are due to the AFC winning the Super Bowl’

Discovery News: Cold times led to angry runts, famine, and war; warm times led to The Renaissance

Remarkably sane article in Science: Warm periods are good, cold periods are bad

Time Mag reports: ‘Peaks of social disturbance such as rebellions, revolutions, & political reforms followed every decline of temperature’ — ‘Number of wars increased by 41% in Cold Phase’ — ‘Peaks of social disturbance such as rebellions, revolutions, and political reforms followed every decline of temperature, with a one- to 15-year time lag’

Study: Climate change ‘NOT to blame’ for African civil wars — ‘Climate variability in Africa does not seem to have a significant impact on risk of civil war’

A UN IPCC Scientist’s New Study! ‘Global Warming Sparks Fistfights & War, Researchers Say’: ‘Will systematically increase the risk of many types of conflict ranging from barroom brawls & rape to civil wars & international disputes’ — Climate Depot Responds

Related Links:

Watch Now: Morano in lively TV climate debate with enviro lobbyist: ‘The points she just made are demonstrably not true’

Sen. Inhofe calls Obama’s climate national security claims a ‘severe disconnect from reality’– Inhofe: ‘While the president has spent at least $120 billion on climate change initiatives since first taking office, he has also set into motion more than $1 trillion in budget cuts to our national defense. When I talk to military personnel, whether in Oklahoma or overseas, their greatest concern is not climate change. Instead, what I hear is their concern for global instability, the disarming of America and the lack of vision from their commander-in-chief.’

As Ramadi Falls, Obama Gives Troops Global Warming Speech

Obama Readies U.S. Troops For The War On ‘Global Warming’

Obama Tells Coast Guard cadets ‘dereliction of duty’ not to fight ‘global warming’ – In his speech, Obama said denying climate change or refusing to deal with it is negligence and “dereliction of duty.” “If you see storm clouds gathering or dangerous shoals ahead you don’t just sit back and do nothing,” President Obama said Wednesday. “You take action to protect your ship, to keep your crew safe. Anything less is negligence. It is a dereliction of duty. So to with climate change.” “Denying it or refusing to deal with it endangers our national security,” Obama also said. “It undermines the readiness of our forces.” PRESIDENT OBAMA: Climate change is one of those most severe threats. This is not just a problem for countries on the coasts or for certain regions of the world. Climate change will impact every country on the planet. No nation is immune. So I am here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security. And make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country. So we need to act and we need to act now. After all, isn’t that the true hallmark of leadership? When you’re on deck, standing your watch, you stay vigilant, you plan for every contingency. If you see storm clouds gathering or dangerous shoals ahead you don’t just sit back and do nothing. You take action to protect your ship, to keep your crew safe. Anything less is negligence. It is a dereliction of duty. So to with climate change. Denying it or refusing to deal with it endangers our national security. It undermines the readiness of our forces.

Obama: Climate ‘deniers’ endangering national security – “Climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and, make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country,” Obama told new Coast Guard officers at the academy’s New London, Conn., campus. “And so we need to act — and we need to act now.”
Republicans in Congress, however, have stymied legislative action on climate change. The president took aim at GOP critics, saying temperatures are rising even though “some folks back in Washington” refuse to admit it. “Denying it, or refusing to deal with it, endangers our national security and undermines the readiness of our forces,” Obama added. He also questioned how Republicans could claim to support the military while downplaying the effects of global warming. “Politicians who say they care about military readiness ought to care about this as well,” he said. Obama claimed the rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria and the civil war in Syria were both fueled by instability caused by severe drought and crop losses connected to rising temperatures.

Watch Now: Lively TV climate debate with Enviro Lobbyist — ‘The points she just made are demonstrably not true’

Catholic network, EWTN – Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) climate expert and lobbyist Carol Andress Vs. Climate Depot’s Marc Morano.

Watch: Full 15 min. Climate Debate begins at 25 min. in:

Watch: Watch Now: The Uncomfortable Pause; EDF climate expert explains lack of global warming: ‘I, the, yeh, uhh…’

Key Excerpts:

Interviewed on the Catholic network, EWTN, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) climate expert Carol Andress is asked about the 18 year ‘pause in global warming’ by host Raymond Arroyo.

Arroyo: ‘Carol, some groups say the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that they failed to recognize this pause in global warming. Is that an issue? Do they have a point? There’s been this sort of 18 year pause where, you don’t, it’s not warming up?’  (See: Global warming ‘pause’ expands to ‘new record length’: No warming for 18 years 5 months)

Andress: ‘I can’t speak to that, I, the, yeh, uhh…’

Arroyo: ‘You can’t speak to that?’

Andress:‘I can’t speak to that particular IPCC, uh…’

Arroyo: ‘Anomoly?’

Andress: ‘…anomoly. Uh, the, I mean the fact is, you know, eh, the, uh, this is pretty basic physics, uh, what were talking about in terms of the gasses, uh, and the effect that they have on trapping heat, uh, the, eh, uh, it’s, an we, you know, the fact is, it’s common sense that if we’re going to be throwing at, be, if we’re going to be burning, eh, and putting unlimited pollution into the air, that eventually it’s going to have an impact.’

Morano: I can speak to that. And there has been according to the satellite data, 18 years 5 months currently with no global warming. If you look back at the ensemble of climate models  out of 117 — 114 models over predicted warming — predicted warming that did not occur. So the models have been failing.

Morano: In terms of the simple settled physics. we have had ice ages with CO2 five times higher than today. The geologic history of the earth contradicts these claims. Major UN scientists have not turned against the organization. Dr. Richard Tol, a lead UN author did a study and found the alleged 97% ‘consensus’ was pulled out of thin air.

Andress: Look, scientists are more certain about the human contribution to climate change than they are that smoking causes cancer. Now, are there still people who will maintain that smoking does not cause cancer? Sure, you can find those skeptics, they exist.

Morano: It’s offensive for her to mention tobaccoCO2 is a gas of life. It is not a pollutant under any definition of pollution. Let’s get that straight. And the United Nations and the IPCC scientists promoting this are handpicked by governments and the head of the UN climate panel had said they are at the back and call of governments. And what do those governments want? They have an agenda. They openly say they want to redistribute wealth by climate policy. So they are using the science as a partisan political campaign effort for centralized government planning through the United Nations. It’s a self enrichment tool, self-interest tool and a way they can be in charge of the developing world’s development.

Viahttp://blog.heartland.org/2015/05/heartland-friend-marc-morano-embarasses-environmental-defense-fund-in-tv-debate/

Analysis: Heartland Friend Marc Morano Embarrasses Environmental Defense Fund in TV Debate

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Morano vs EDF on EWTN climate change

EWTN, America’s leading cable network for Catholics broadcast to 148 millions homes around the world, hosted a debate Thursday night about Pope Francis’ plan to insert himself into the center of the global climate debate on “The World Over with Raymond Arroyo.” The debate featured Marc Morano, executive editor and chief correspondent ofClimateDepot.com, versus Carol Andress, director of legislative operations for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

If you are at all interested in the debate over what is really happening to our climate, and what we should do about it, you, (1) should attend or watch the live-stream ofHeartland’s next climate conference in DC June 11 – 12; and (2) not miss this debate between Morano and Andress. Before we get to the video of the debate (embedded below) some set-up and commentary.

EWTN covered The Heartland Institute’s trip to Rome last month — which was an attempt to bring balance to the alarmism, flawed climate science, and wrong-headed agenda for the world’s poor the United Nations was presenting to the Vatican at its April 28 climate summit. EWTN reached out to Heartland this week asking for a DC-based member of the contingent we brought to Rome to talk about climate change and the Pope. Morano was my first choice to debate climate with the EDF, and he did not disappoint.

It is impossible to overstate what a blow-out this debate was for Morano. He was the Harlem Globetrotters to the EDF’s Washington Generals. The only things missing were the bucket of confetti trick and a dribbling exhibition by Curly Neal.

Bottom line: Morano brought the facts — relentlessly and firmly. Andress was criminally uninformed for someone in her position. She spent so much time stammering, everyone who is a part of EDF or supports it should be embarrassed.

A preview of one of many “money” moments for Morano: Andress admitting she couldn’t “speak to” why the latest report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Cliamte Change (IPCC) could not explain “the pause” in global warming that (so far) has stretched for 18 years and 4 months. Andress was obviously flustered by that question from Arroyo, and stammered out a litany of non-responsive talking points. Morano followed up by directly addressing the questionwith a torrent of specific facts.

This one-sided debate revealed a couple of things that should be troubling if you are supporter of the environmental left:

1. The people at the highest levels of your movement are wholly ignorant of basic facts about the earth’s climate.

Andress started out spewing stale, rote talking points about how “the science is settled,” and how you don’t have to be a scientist to see that we are now experiencing “weather on steroids.” Americans are experiencing more severe storms than ever before, she said, and it’s because of human CO2 emissions.

Morano countered those falsehoods with facts: Every day that passes sets a new record for a major hurricane failing to hit the mainland of the United States (category 3 or greater). The number of tornadoes swirling across the US are also at all-time lows.

Does Andress know these facts? Does she even care? Or does Andress think the public will ignore these facts if she and her allies in the movement repeat the alarmist talking points often enough? Does she not even realize the position she is defending is demonstrably false?

I think this is the answer: Most of the folks in the climate alarmism business are are so arrogant — so dismissive of “deniers” — they are not cognizant of their staggering ignorance of the actual science the “deniers” present to destroy their false talking points to a debate audience. Climate alarmists are so invested in the doctrine that human activity is causing a climate crisis that it never occurs to them to do the basic research necessary to defend their position.

That is why Andress stammered out cliches. She just doesn’t know any better than to mouth worn-out and unpersuasive talking points that do not stand up to Morano’s data about what is actually happening to the earth’s climate.

2. The people at the highest levels of your movement are taking in millions of dollars … but getting their butts kicked on the science and policy in debates on national television.

Carol Andress holds a senior position at an enormously influential and lavishly funded organization. The EDF’s website lists Andress’ areas of expertise as: “Climate Change, U.S. Congress, air quality, U.S. climate policy.” She sure didn’t show it on EWTN Thursday night. According to EDF’s 2013 990 form, the organization held$208 million in assets at the end of 2012 … and, yet, Andress’ embarassing performance was the best they could offer to EWTN.

Let’s put that into perspective. EDF is just one organization among an army of wealthy nonprofits (Sierra Club, Greenpeace, NRDC, etc.) agitating for climate alarmism. It raised and spent in just 2012 much more than what The Heartland Institute has raised and spent for all its programs since its founding in 1984. (Heartland is a broad, multi-issue, free-market think tank; we don’t just do climate.) You can see Heartland’s 2013 990 form here. (NOTE: We’ve done well the last couple of years, but we have raised and spentmuch less than $5 million annually for most of our 31 years. Environmental donors might want to compare bang for the buck on that one.)

Enough set-up. Watch the video below, which is the whole program. Skip to 25:30 to see the Morano/Andress debate begin. The EDF stops being embarassed when it ends at about the 41:00 mark.

If you want to learn more about what’s really happening to our climate, attend Heartland’sTenth International Conference on Climate Change June 11-12 in Washington, DC. If you can’t attend in person, you can watch a live-stream of the truth the EDF can’t rebut at Heartland.org.

Related Links:

Climate Depot’s Mission to Rome – Persuading the The Vatican on ‘Climate Change’

Watch Now: Marc Morano’s Presentation in Rome to Vatican – April 28, 2015 – Watch video here: – Marc Morano, executive editor and chief correspondent at ClimateDepot.com, gives a presentation at The Heartland Institute’s climate science and policy event outside the Vatican on April 28, 2015. – Morano’s Powerpoint is here.

VATICAN HEAVIES SILENCE ‘CLIMATE HERETICS’ AT UN PAPAL SUMMIT IN ROME

Climate Skeptics In Rome Warn Pope Francis of ‘Unholy Alliance’ With UN Climate Agenda

Obama Keeps Telling Renewable Energy Lies

Imagine you wanted to get in your electric car and drive a considerable distance. It wouldn’t take long for your car to run out of power, so you would have to have another car, one using gasoline, to drive behind you to make sure you reached your destination.

That’s a description of “renewable energy”, wind and solar, in America today because they both require backup from traditional energy sources such as coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear. And “renewable energy” based on “free” sun and wind power costs more to produce and purchase. Need it be said that the sun does not always shine consistently everywhere or at night and that the wind does not always blow?

Within twenty-four hours of one another I received a news release from the Governor’s Wind Energy Coalition celebrating the election of a new chairman and vice chairman, and read a CNN news article saying that “The White House wants to put more returning servicemen and women to work manufacturing and installing solar panels” as part of “his growing list of climate actions meant to combat global warming.”

That list was a twelve-page long, single-spaced White House fact sheet. The White House seems to think that the states can do something about “climate change”, but the climate is measured in decades and centuries, not whether it is going to rain next Monday which is something we call “the weather.” And just as you can do nothing about the rain, neither can you do anything to affect the climate decades from now.

The White House has a problem. There is no “global warming.” Even if you change the name to “climate change”, the Earth has been in a natural cooling cycle for the last eighteen years.

For the past 5,000 years humans have, as often as not, “done something” about the climate by moving somewhere else it was less of a bother and threat or found ways to adapt. Other than prayer, there was and is nothing humans can do about Mother Nature.

Most surely, getting veterans to manufacture solar panels is about as lame and stupid an idea as the President has proposed in the last 24 hours. Does the name “Solyndra” ring a bell? It was one of several solar farms that, along with wind farms went belly-up, leaving investors and consumers with nothing but the sunlight and passing breezes.

Indeed, the best news of late has been that the U.S. Senate has rejected a proposal to extend the federal wind Production Tax Credit (PCT) for another five years. The wind producers have benefitted from it for three decades. The federal subsidy to wind-energy producers expired along with other tax breaks at the end of 2013, but was retroactively extended through 2014 as part of the Cromnibus budget bill passed last December.

The PCT was intended to provide what was a then-new energy industry a helping hand, but it kept being extended and the industry benefitted as well from renewable energy mandates (REM) in 29 states and the District of Columbia. They require that a specific amount of electricity be purchased from renewable energy, wind or solar, producers. All that managed to do was drive up the cost of electricity to consumers. This is what happens when politicians get involved.

That’s a good reason to wonder why there is a Governors Wind Power Coalition in the first place. It consists of 23 Democratic and Republican governors from every region of the nation “working together to develop the nation’s wind energy resources”, but the nation doesn’t need wind energy which produces an unpredictable amount as opposed to traditional resources such as coal.

At the same time the President is talking about solar and wind power, his administration is pursuing a relentless “war” on coal that is forcing the primary source of electricity in America, coal-fired plants, to shut down. If that doesn’t sound like treason, then consider too that the U.S. is the greatest producer of oil and natural gas in the world and we have at least two century’s worth of known coal reserves. We have absolutely no need for wind or solar energy.

When Obama gave his State of the Union speech in 2014, solar power represented a pathetic 0.2 percent of the U.S. electricity supply according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. According to the Energy Research Institute, in 2013 wind power provided 1.6% of all the energy consumed in the U.S.

There isn’t a single good reason for either wind or solar power in an energy powerhouse like the United States. They are both costly, unpredictable, and a threat to a number of animal species. Neither the science, the cost, nor the recent history of “renewable energy” provides a single good reason to force Americans to pay for this “green” failure.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

The EPA Myth of “Clean Power”

There are many things I do not like about the Environmental Protection Agency, but what angers me most are the lies that stream forth from it to justify programs that have no basis in fact or science and which threaten the economy.

Currently, its “Clean Power” plan is generating its latest and most duplicitous Administer, Gina McCarthy, to go around saying that it will not be costly, nor cost jobs. “Clean Power” is the name given to the EPA policy to reduce overall U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. It is requiring each state to cut its emissions by varying amounts using a baseline established by the EPA.

Simply said, there is no need whatever to reduce CO2 emissions. Carbon dioxide is not “a pollutant” as the EPA claims. It is, along with oxygen for all living creatures, vital to the growth of all vegetation. The more CO2 the better crops yields will occur, healthier forests, and greener lawns. From a purely scientific point of view, it is absurd to reduce emissions.

Cartoon - EPA Torture ReportWriting in The Wall Street Journal on April 22, Kenneth C. Hill, Director of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, said “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) set off a firestorm when he advised states not to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. Yet that advice isn’t as radical as his detractors make it sound. As a state public utilities commissioner who deals with the effects of federal regulations on a regular basis, I also recommend that states not comply.”

Noting its final due date in June, that refusal would impose a Federal Implementation Plan on states “that risks even greater harm,” said Hill. “But the problem for the EPA is that the federal government lacks the legal authority under either the Constitution or the Clean Air Act to enforce most of the regulation’s ‘building blocks’ without states’ acquiescence.”

As this is being written there is are two joined cases before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, State of West Virginia v EPA and Murray Energy v EPA. They are a challenge to President Obama’s “War on Coal” and the EPA efforts to regulate its use. Fifteen states, along with select coal companies, have sued for an “extraordinary whit” to prevent the EPA from promulgating the new carbon regulations found it the Clean Power plan.

Writing in The Hill, Richard O. Faulk, an attorney and senior director for Energy Natural Resources and the Environment for the Law and Economics Center at George Mason University, noted that “The EPA’s argument confidently hinges on convincing the courts that the Clean Air Act doesn’t mean what it says. By its plain language, the bill prohibits the EPA from regulating the power plants from which these emissions derive. Moreover, coal plants are already addressed under an entirely different section of the bill than the one EPA insists justifies its powers.”

The latest news as reported by Myron Ebell, the director for energy and environment of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, is that “Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) this week introduced a bill to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rules to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing power plants. S. 1324, the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act, has 26 original co-sponsors, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee Chairman James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Democrat Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).”

“Both Majority Leader McConnell and Chairman Inhofe have said that they are determined to stop EPA’s greenhouse gas rules, so I expect quick action to move Capito’s bill. In the House, a bill to block the rules, H. R. 2042, the Ratepayer Protection Act, was voted out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on 29th April and is awaiting floor action.”

It’s worth noting that, when Obama took office, fifty percent of America’s electrical energy was supplied by coal-fired plants and, just six years later, that has been reduced by ten percent. What kind of President would deliberately reduce American’s access to affordable power?

It’s the same kind of President that believes—or says he does—the pronouncements of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC’s “Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report” claims that world will face “severe, pervasive and irreversible damage” if coal-fired and other carbon-based—coal, oil, and natural gas—energy sources aren’t replaced with “renewable energy sources”—wind and solar—by 2050. It wants fossil-fueled power generation “phased out almost entirely by 2100.” Now this is just insanity, unless your agenda is to destroy the world’s economic system and kill millions. That would be the only outcome of the IPCC recommendations.

The columnist Larry Bell, a professor at the University of Houston, points out that “As for expecting renewables to fill in the power curve, European Union experiences offer a painful reality check. Approximately 7.8 percent of Germany’s electricity comes from wind, 4.5 percent from solar. Large as a result, German households already fork out for the second highest power costs in Europe—often as much as 30 percent above the levels seen in other European countries. Power interruptions add to buyer’s remorse.”

Heartland - Climate News (2)As reported in The Heartland Institute’s Environment & Climate News, “European governments, once at the vanguard of renewable energy mandates, appear to be having second thoughts about their reliance on giant wind farms…” There has been a sharp drop in such projects with installations plunging 90% in Denmark, 75% in Italy, and 84% in Spain.

What the EPA is attempting to impose on America is a drain on our production of electricity coupled with an increase in its price. It is an obscene attack on our economy.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of Shutterstock.

Marijuana-induced psychotic episodes triple in Germany since 2000

The number of patients admitted to hospitals with psychotic episodes after consuming marijuana in Germany has tripled since 2000, from 3,392 then to 11,708 in 2013. More than half were younger than age 25.

Andreas Bechdolf, chief of medicine for psychiatry and psychotherapy at the Berlin Urban Hospital, heads the Center for Early Intervention and Therapy, which focuses on adolescents. “The truly awful thing is that it often takes years before young adults with psychoses receive treatment, and many feel stigmatized,” he says. “It often takes another year from the point they start hearing voices before they finally take the step to open up to a doctor.”

His center works with several hundred patients ages 18 to 25 and the vast majority—from 80% to 90%—smoked marijuana regularly before their treatment began. Most were addicted.

Adolescents who smoke marijuana on a regular basis before age 15 are six time more likely to suffer from psychosis in later years. At first, they are unable to concentrate or put thoughts together. The meaning of once-familiar words is obscured. “Perceptions begin to change. Colors become more intense. A car that is 10 meters away might seem to be right in front of you.”

These early symptoms develop over three or four years, Bechdolf says. Then “acoustic hallucinations” appear, voices that unveil secrets or continuously comment on a person’s shortcomings. They feel they are being followed or spied on.

“Those who stop smoking pot have a very good chance of being healed,” Bechdolf says. But continued therapy on an outpatient basis after release from the hospital is key, he points out.

Read the full article here.

How Can So Many World Leaders Be So Wrong?

In a recent Daily Caller article, Michael Bastach took note of “25 Years of predicting The Global Warming ‘Tipping Point’.” This is the message that the Earth is warming rapidly and, if we don’t abandon the use of fossil fuels for power, it will arrive to wreak destruction on the human race and all life on the planet.

Cartoon - Man-Made Weather

It is astounding how many past and present world leaders are telling everyone this despite the total lack of any real science, nor any actual warming—the Earth has been in a natural cooling cycle since 1997!

At the heart of the global warming—now called climate change—“crisis” has been the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that has been issuing apocalyptic predictions since its inception in 1988. None of its predictions have come true. How could they, based as they are on the false science of computer models, not that based on observable climate events and trends?

To this day our own government through its meteorological agencies has been caught manipulating the data gathered over the years to conform with the “warming” scenario. The worst has been the Environmental Protection Agency which is engaged in an effort to shut down coal-fired utilities and access to every other energy source on which we depend to power the nation.

Despite this national and international effort, mostly likely based on the liberal ideology that there are too many humans on the plant and dramatic ways must be found to reduce that number. In the past these anti-humanity advocates could depend on famine, disease and wars to kill off millions, but in the modern world that has become less of a threat.

One libertarian think tank, the Heartland Institute, has been leading the battle against the global warming/climate change hoax for a decade. As a Heartland policy advisor I have had a front row seat. In June, Heartland will sponsor the Tenth International Conference on Climate Change bringing together some of the world’s leading scientists to recommend that it is time for Congress to “take a fresh look at climate science”, “explore better science-based policies for energy and the environment”, and, bluntly stated, to “start over on the question of global warming?”

It did not surprise me to learn that Heartland had dispatched staff to Rome when the Pope announced he too was joining the “climate change” advocates despite its lack of any basis in science. The group garnered tons of international media coverage by simply presenting the truth. You can find out more about them here. It didn’t take long for Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University professor and ‘special advisor” to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, to write a commentary condemning global warming “deniers” that appeared on a Catholic website called Pewsitter.

Sachs took particular aim at The Heartland Institute and, despite not attending its Rome press conference or any of the presentations the experts provided, did not hesitate to identify Heartland as having been supported for years by the Koch brothers, known for the support of conservative groups and causes.

Joseph Bast, Heartland president, does not let such cheap shots pass by. “The Heartland Instituter has received just $25,000 from a single organization, a charitable foundation affiliated with the Koch brothers during the past 15 years. Our annual budget is approximately $7 million. Even that small gift was earmarked for our work on health care reform, not global warming. Why does Sachs mention the ‘Koch brothers’ unless his intention is to smear an independent organization by falsely implying a much larger or somehow Improper level of support from some singularly unpopular billionaires?”

Bast got to the heart of the war being perpetrated by the either misinformed or deliberately lying world leaders of the climate change hoax. “The dishonesty of Sachs’ reference to The Heartland Institute would be startling, coming from a person of Sachs’ stature, if this sort of misrepresentation of facts weren’t so common in the debate over climate change. President Obama sets the tone. Comparing global warming realists to members of the ‘flat earth society’ and rather ominously calling on his supporters to ‘hold climate change denier’s feet to the fire.’”

“Sachs has had a long and distinguished career as an academic and in various government agencies,” said Bast, “but on this issue he is letter his liberal ideology cloud his judgement. His short essay reveals a disturbing lack of knowledge about climate science and compassion toward the billions of people in the world who will be harmed by the UN’s plans to make energy more expensive and less reliable.”

“Sachs ends his essay with a call on people of all faiths to ‘fulfill our moral responsibilities to humanity nd the future of Earth.’ That responsibility starts with truth-telling. Sachs and his colleagues on the left haven’t reach the starting line yet.”

It doesn’t matter if it is the Pope, the President of the United States, or the UN Secretary General if the assertion that the Earth is warming when it is not or that coal, oil and natural gas must be abandoned to “save the Earth.” Whether from ignorance or a dark hidden agenda, the whole of the global warming/climate change is aimed at harming billions, many of whom need the power that this hoax would deny to everyone.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

EDITORS NOTE: The feature image is of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with His Holiness Pope Francis, with CEB members. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

New Cold Climate to Devastate Global Agriculture within Ten Years

EDITORS NOTE: This column is republished as the predictions made in 2015 are coming true today.


The Orlando, FL headquartered Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC) announced today that the predicted new cold climate will soon begin to end the historic era of growth in U.S. and global agricultural output that began after the end of World War II.

Specifically, as a result of recent events on the Sun and changes in the Earth’s climate, the SSRC again warns that record crop yields and volume in the U.S. and Canadian corn, wheat, and soybean belts are about to end. The SSRC expects the first substantial damage could be observed at any time but certainly within the next ten years.

This new announcement is based on a well researched set of new climate trends of oceanic and atmospheric temperatures, and solar activity. The SSRC believes as long as the Sun continues its solar hibernation (a once every 206 year cold climate event) that we are on the precipice of a long term drop in global temperatures.

It is entirely possible that the decades-long period of record global agricultural output that our world has enjoyed will soon be over, perhaps for many decades.

This ominous prediction is accentuated by the fact that governments worldwide and their agricultural corporations, systems, and farmers, are preparing for more global warming and doing nothing to adapt to the ongoing transition to a new potentially dangerous cold climate.

According to SSRC President Mr. John L. Casey:

“The era of bumper crops that the U.S. and Canadian breadbasket has been delivering for decades, is about to come to an end. The production levels seen in recent years are unsustainable in view of the dramatic decline in temperatures we are expected to see. Unfortunately, the world’s agricultural industry and our fellow citizens are totally unprepared for the new cold climate.”

Click Here to Download a PDF File of the Rationale for the SSRC Press Release 2-2015

Vatican Silences ‘Climate Heretics’ at UN Papal Summit: ‘YOU WILL BE ESCORTED OUT OF HERE’

VATICAN CITY – Papal heavies shut down an awkward question at a Vatican press conference today when a journalist asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon his views on climate skeptics.

Marc Morano, covering the Vatican climate conference for Climate Depot, asked Ban Ki-Moon whether he had a message for the Heartland Institute delegation of scientists who have flown to Rome to urge the Pope to reconsider his ill-advised position climate change.

But before he could finish the conference hosts interrupted to ask which organisation he worked for, then directed the microphone to a more tame questioner, while a security guard came over to mutter in Morano’s ear “You have to control yourself or you will be escorted out of here.”

Morano, together with Christopher Monckton (one of the Heartland delegation) and your correspondent, only narrowly made it into the carefully stage-managed conference where – as known climate sceptics – they were apparently not welcome.

“Ah. So you made it in here?” said a somewhat surprised looking member of the Vatican press team to Morano, when he realized that he had bypassed the Vatican’s security and infiltrated the press pack who had come to cover the conference.

As luck would have it, a heaven-sent shower of torrential rain had created such chaos that security wasn’t as tight as it might have been.

However, the three skeptics (Morano, Monckton, Delingpole) were watched very carefully throughout the proceedings lest they attempt to ruffle the feathers of key speakers Ban Ki-Moon, left-wing economist Jeffrey Sachs and Cardinal Turkson, the Ghanaian priest who has been coordinating the Vatican’s position on “climate change.”

In the end, Secretary-General Ban did answer a similar question, albeit one expressed more delicately by a journalist from the Catholic media, when he was asked what his views were on those members of the Catholic community who had reservations about the Pope’s position on climate change.

Perhaps this was a response to Ban’s rather bold and very moot declaration that “Religion and science are united on the need for action on climate.”

“I don’t think faith leaders should be scientists,” said Ban, in reply to the question. “I’m not a scientist. What I want is their moral authority. Business leaders and all civil society is on board [with the mission to combat climate change]. Now we want faith leaders. Then we can make it happen.”

Secretary-General Ban clearly didn’t need the help from the papal security. As he smoothly demonstrated – as later when he deftly swerved a question about “overpopulation” and whether his previously expressed views that Africa should keep its population down clashed with the Catholic doctrine on contraception – he’s more than capable of squishing inconvenient truths himself.

Climate Skeptics In Rome Warn Pope Francis of ‘Unholy Alliance’ With UN Climate Agenda

Climate Depot’s Morano: ‘The Vatican is essentially going to confuse Catholics into thinking that their positions on man-made global warming fears are now an article of faith — are now part of Catholic doctrine…This is nothing short of an ‘Unholy Alliance’ between the Vatican and the man-made climate fear promoters.’

Retired NASA Scientist Hal Doiron, a member of the team that developed the Apollo Lunar Module landing software: ‘I am here to report today: Houston we do not have a problem. It is impossible to think global warming will cause any problem especially when you look at the benefits of adding CO2 to the atmosphere.’

Meteorology Instructor at the U. of Colorado Dr. Richard Keen:  On UN Climate ‘solutions’: ‘It’s like using surgery to solve a sniffles. It’s bad on two counts. The cure is worse than the ailment and number two, the cure does not even fix the ailment. So why bother? All of these draconian policies that would increase world poverty would be flawed policies that would fail to solve a non-existent problem.’

Former Thatcher advisor Christopher Monckton: ‘It is not the business of the Pope to stray from the field of faith and morals and wander in to the playground that is science. Do not invite only one narrow and boisterous scientific viewpoint that has been repeatedly discredited as events and the science and the data have unfolded.’

ROME – A team of global warming skeptics arrived in Rome and held a press conference just outside of the Vatican to appeal to Pope Francis to reconsider his views on man-made climate change claims. Media coveragehereherehere, here, and here. Also see: CLIMATE SKEPTICS WRITE LETTER URGING POPE TO RETHINK GLOBAL WARMING

The skeptical delegation is in Rome to hold counter events during Pope Francis’ climate summit on April 28 at the Vatican. (See: Pope Francis to Host Major Summit on Climate Change)

The skeptics are laying out a detailed case explaining why climate science does not justify the Vatican putting its faith in the work of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or the UN climate agenda.

The skeptical delegation will hold a second event on Tuesday. See:

Tuesday, April 28, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. GMT +2 (7:00 a.m. ET)
Palazzo Cardinal Cesi
Via della Conciliazione n. 51 (Piazza S.Pietro)
00193
Rome, Italy

Selected Excerpts from Monday April 27th’s Skeptical Press Conference in Rome held at Hotel Columbus. (Video of the event will be available)

Climate Depot’s Marc Morano:

‘We are here today in Rome, just outside of Vatican City, to make an appeal to the Pope and the Vatican.

And here is the gist of this: No one is really that concerned about what the Pope and the Vatican think about climate science – ultimately.

The difference in what this Pope has done. He appears to be about to take an extra step that other Popes have not. That extra step is to endorse a UN climate treaty. This is a game changer from previous Popes and previous Vatican statements.

The Pope is essentially going to replace Leonardo DiCaprio at this year’s UN climate summit in New York City to speak on behalf of the UN to lobby for a climate treaty. So Leonardo DiCaprio in 2014, to Pope Francis in 2015. This will sow confusion among Catholics in America around the world.

We already have a phenomena that many Catholics recognize — a la carte Catholicism — where Catholics pick and choose which doctrine they want to follow. With the Pope coming out with such strong statements on global warming and endorsing a  UN treaty is very simple, the Vatican is essentially going to confuse Catholics into thinking that their positions on man-made global warming fears are now an article of faith — are now part of Catholic doctrine.

This is nothing short of an ‘Unholy Alliance’ between the Vatican and the man-made climate fear promoters.

One of the greatest friends of poor people around the world – an estimated 1.3 billion people who lack running water and electricity — is carbon based fuels.

The UN IPCC official Edenhofer has stated that UN redistributes wealth by climate policy. See: UN IPCC Official Edenhofer: ‘We Redistribute World’s Wealth By Climate Policy’ edenhofer@pik-potsdam.de

The EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard has said even if were wrong on the science, we are doing the right policy. It’s not about the science. The climate establishment admits that the science does not matter. It doesn’t really matter what the science says, we need these energy policies. So instead of arguing for centralized energy planning on what they think are the merits, they instead use climate fears to force these policies upon the public. See: EU Commissioner: Global Warming Policy Is Right Even If Science Is Wrong – ‘Regardless of whether or not scientists are wrong on global warming, the European Union is pursuing the correct energy policies even if they lead to higher prices, Europe’s climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard’s has said.’ ‘Let’s say that science, some decades from now, said ‘we were wrong, it was not about climate’, would it not in any case have been good to do many of things you have to do in order to combat climate change?.’

The Vatican and the Pope should be arguing that fossil fuels are the ‘moral choice’ for the developing world for people who don’t have running water, or electricity.

What is also a concern are the people advising the Vatican.  The global warming establishment is even embarrassed by the choices of advisors Pope Francis has chosen to listen to on global warming.

The Pope can believe whatever he wants on climate science, but he should not just listen to one perspective of the debate. And people like Prof. Peter Wadhams have been chastised by their fellow warmists. NASA’s lead global warming scientist Gavin Schmidt, said Wadhams used charts that had no basis in physics. See: Peter Wadhams is a scientist that even his fellow global warming advocates distance themselves from. See: Warmists attack fellow warmist Prof. Peter Wadhams for ‘using graphs with ridiculous projections with no basis in physics’

German climate adviser Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber was also at the Vatican climate presentation in 2014. Does Pope Francis want to align himself with Schellnhuber’s views? See: Flashback 2009: German Climate AdvisorSchellnhuber ‘proposes creation of a CO2 budget for every person on planet!’

Naomi Oreskes is known for advocating climate skeptics who dissent from the UN/Gore climate alarmist view be prosecuted as mobsters! See: Merchants of Smear: Prosecute Skeptics Like Gangsters?! Warmist Naomi Oreskes likes the idea of having climate ‘deniers’ prosecuted under the RICO act (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act).

Jeffrey Sachs, a UN special advisor UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. Sachs tweeted on November 10 that ‘Climate liars like Rupert Murdoch & Koch Brothers have more & more blood on their hands as climate disasters claim lives across the world.”

To argue that every storm that happens means skeptics have ‘blood on their hands’ is unscientific. It is frightening that the Vatican is listening to people like Jeffrey Sachs.

This is the kind of advice that Pope Francis and the Vatican are receiving and they are allowing no dissent to be heard.

In 2007, Pope Benedict, our Pope Emeritus, for lack of a better word, warned of prophets of doom of manmade climate fears. See: Flashback: Pope Benedict condemns the climate change prophets of doom

Pope John Paul 2 grew up in Poland and saw what centralized planning and restrictions did to human liberty and development.

There appear to be no ‘consensus’ on global warming within the Vatican. Cardinal George Pell, now a senior Vatican official, has said things sharply different climate view than Pope Francis. See: Catholic Cardinal George Pell: ‘In the past, pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today they demand a reduction in Co2 emissions’

Today’s human sacrifices that Cardinal Pell referred to is the developing world. If we go forward and restrict carbon based energy in the developing world, the poor residents are going to be our modern day human sacrifices.  We must not allow the UN to manage the developing world’s resources and limit carbon based energy.

We appeal to Pope Francis: Do not confuse Catholics. Do not listen to only one side. And do not make views of man-made global warming an article of faith.

Retired NASA Scientist Hal Doiron, a member of the team that developed the Apollo Lunar Module landing software:

Doiron noted that ‘using the same scientific method that put the man on the moon,’ NASA scientists have concluded there is not climate ‘problem.’ Doiron noted that the slogan at NASA: was ‘In god we trust, all others bring data.’

‘I am here to report today: Houston we do not have a problem.

It is impossible to think global warming will cause any problem especially when you look at the benefits of adding Co2 to the atmosphere.

We are convinced that we don’t have a problem with fossil fuels. There is no problem.’

Meteorology Instructor at the University of Colorado Dr. Richard Keen: ‘I am a scientist and I studied climate change for 60 years.’

On UN IPCC: ‘Something is wrong, something is missing. The models are wrong.

It’s like using surgery to solve a sniffles. It’s bad on two counts. The cure is worse than the ailment and number two, the cure does not even fix the ailment. So why bother?

All of these draconian policies that would increase world poverty would be flawed policies that would fail to solve a non-existent problem.’

Former Thatcher advisor Christopher Monckton: ‘It is not the business of the Pope to stray from the field of faith and morals and wander in to the playground that is science.

If you do so, then you should do so as your predecessor did and you should listen to both sides of the scientific argument.

Do not invite only one narrow and boisterous scientific viewpoint that has been repeatedly discredited as events and the science and the data have unfolded.

You demean the office that you hold and you demean the church whom it is your sworn duty to protect and defend and advance. You will be kicking the poor in the teeth. Stand back and listen to both sides. And do not take sides in politics.’

Elisabeth Yore is an international children’s rights attorney:  [The Vatican’s]nexus between human trafficking and climate change is … deceptive and infinitely damaging to the cries of human trafficking victims around the world. This statement places the real human crisis of modern slavery on the same line of the manufactured one of climate change.

Heartland Institute spokesmen Jim Lakely: ‘We’re here to prevent the pope from making the mistake of having the UN as an advisor, because he won’t be getting the whole picture.’

Related Links:

National Catholic Reporter features Climate Depot: Skeptics issues strong, blunt warnings to Pope Francis – Marc Morano, a former advisor to U.S. Senator James Inhofe and who now runs the website Climate Depot, said that Tuesday’s event would “sow confusion” among Catholics about the teachings of the church. “The Vatican is essentially going to confuse Catholics into thinking that your position [on climate change] … is now an article of faith, is part of Catholic doctrine,” Morano said. Morano and others at the event also cited Francis’ concern for those impoverished around the world, saying that policies to fight climate change would limit opportunities for growth in developing countries. “Fossil fuels are the moral choice for the developing world,” said Morano, who also quoted what he said were words by Australian Cardinal George Pell on the subject.

Morano in Rome – Climate skeptics press their case to the Vatican – Catholic paper ‘Crux’: Marc Morano, publisher of an eco-news center called ClimateDepot, said that at the end of the day, “no one cares” what Francis and the Vatican think about climate science. However, he said, penning an encyclical that endorses a UN treaty such as the sustainable development goals would be “confusing to many Catholics around the world,” who could be led to believe that UN positions on climate change and global warming are now part of Catholic doctrine.

Obama Plans to Discuss Climate Change With Pope Francis – Obama: ‘We’re going to talk about climate change I’m sure because he is very clear that part of the Church’s teachings, and part of my faith, is that we have to be good stewards of this incredible planet we’ve been given, and there are steps that can be taken there.’

Message to Pope Francis: Protect the Poor from Harmful Climate Policies

Skeptics Deliver An Open Letter to Pope Francis

Analysis: ‘WHY GOD IS NOT A WARMIST’

Actual headline: ‘Can Pope Francis halt climate change with new papal document?’

CLIMATE SKEPTICS WRITE LETTER URGING POPE TO RETHINK GLOBAL WARMING – “The world’s poor will suffer most from such policies,” the writers contend, adding: The poorest—the 1.3 billion in developing countries who depend on wood and dried dung as primary cooking and heating fuels, smoke from which kills 4 million and temporarily debilitates hundreds of millions every year—will be condemned to more generations of poverty and its deadly consequences. The letter ends with an appeal to the Pope to reconsider what seems to be the direction the Vatican is taking vis-à-vis climate change policies.

‘Global Warming? The Pope is Wrong’

Flashback: Pope Benedict condemns the climate change prophets of doom

CLIMATE SCIENTISTS HEAD TO ROME ON URGENT MISSION TO SAVE THE POPE FROM CLUTCHES OF MANBEARPIG

Climate Skeptics Descend on Vatican – Seek to Influence Pope on ‘Global Warming’

Earth Month: 22 Ways to Think about the Climate-Change Debate

Reasoned agnosticism is a welcome antidote to hysteria by MAX BORDERS.

Reasonable people can disagree about the nature and extent of climate change. But no one should sally forth into this hostile territory without reason and reflection.

“Some scientists make ‘period, end of story’ claims,” writes biologist and naturalist Daniel Botkin in the Wall Street Journal, “that human-induced global warming definitely, absolutely either is or isn’t happening.”

These scientists, as well as the network of activists and cronies their science supports, I will refer to as the Climate Orthodoxy. These are the folks who urge, generally, that (a) global warming is occurring, (b) it is almost entirely man-made, and (c) it is occurring at a rate and severity that makes it an impending planetary emergency requiring political action. A Climate Agnostic questions at least one of those premises.

Trying to point out the problems of the Climate Orthodoxy to its adherents is like trying to talk the Archbishop of Canterbury into questioning the existence of God. In that green temple, many climatologists and climate activists have become one in the same: fueled both by government grants and zealous fervor.

Room for debate

But the debate must go on, even as the atmosphere for dialogue gets increasingly polluted. The sacralization of climate is being used as a great loophole in the rule of law, an apology for bad science (and even worse economics), and an excuse to do anything and everything to have and keep power.

Those with a reasoned agnosticism about the claims of the Climate Orthodoxy will find themselves in debate. It’s April 22nd — Earth Day. So I want to offer 22 ways to think about the climate-change debate. I hope these points will give those willing to question man-made climate change some aid and comfort.

1. Consider the whole enchilada

First, let’s zoom out a few orders of magnitude to look at the Climate Orthodoxy as a series of dots that must be connected, or better, a series of premises that must be accepted in their totality.

  • The earth is warming.
  • The earth is warming primarily due to the influence of human beings engaged in production and energy use.
  • Scientists are able to limn most of the important phenomena associated with a warming climate, disentangling the human from the natural influence, extending backward well into the past.
  • Scientists are able then to simulate most of the phenomena associated with a warming earth and make reasonable predictions, within the range of a degree or two, into the future about 100 years.
  • Other kinds of scientists are able to repackage this information and make certain kinds of global predictions about the dangers a couple of degrees will make over that hundred years.
  • Economists are able to repackage those predictions and make yet further predictions about the economic costs and benefits that accompany those global predictions.
  • Other economists then make further predictions based on what the world might be like if the first set of economists is right in its predictions (which were based on the other scientists’ predictions, and so on) — and then they propose what the world might look like if certain policies were implemented.
  • Policymakers are able to take those economists’ predictions and set policies that will ensure what is best for the people and the planet on net.
  • Those policies are implemented in such a way that they work. They have global unanimity, no defections, no corruption, and a lessening of carbon-dioxide output that has a real effect on the rate of climate change — enough to pull the world out of danger.
  • Those policies are worth the costs they will impose on the peoples of the world, especially the poorest.

That is a lot to swallow. And yet, it appears that the Climate Orthodoxy requires we accept all of it. Otherwise, why would the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) publish a document called “Summary for Policymakers”?

2. Models are not evidence

The problem with models is that they are not reality. Whenever we try to model complex systems like the climate, we’re only getting a simulacrum of a system, designed to represent projected scenarios. So when a climatologist presents a model as evidence, he is playing a kind of game. He wants you to think, by dint of computer wizardry, that he has drawn for you a picture of the world as it is. But he hasn’t. And if observation of surface temperatures over the last 18 years has shown one thing, it’s that climate models have been inadequate tools for forecasting complex natural phenomena.

3. Forecast is not observation 

In the first IPCC assessment of 1992, the authors wrote, “Scenarios are not predictions of the future and should not be used as such.” Whether one views the models as predictions or as scenarios, the evidence is barely within the most conservative of these in the most recent assessment, which is essentially designed to hide good news.

When one attempts to forecast — that is, to tell the future — one is not engaging in observation. That is not to claim that prediction isn’t a part of the scientific enterprise; it’s simply to say that when one’s predictions (or scenarios) are off, one’s theory is suspect, and it must be modified and tested again. Any theory, and any forecast scenarios on which it’s based, have to be tested in the crucible of observation. The Climate Orthodoxy has thus far failed that test.

4. Climate systems are complex

As I alluded to above, climate systems are complex systems. And complex systems are notoriously immune to certain types of prediction and forecast. As Edward Lorenz famously taught us when he coined the term “butterfly effect,” the slightest changes in initial conditions can give rise to wild, unpredictable outcomes in the system. It’s no different for a simulation. “I realized,” said Lorenz of his findings, “that any physical system that behaved non-periodically would be unpredictable.” Now, those concerned about climate change will try to use this perspective to suggest changes to the atmosphere could cause wild, unpredictable climatic catastrophes. And that might turn out to be true. (But it might not. We’ll discuss Pascal’s Climate Wager later.) What we should be concerned about for now is how easy it is for a single tiny error (or purposeful fudge) in a climate model to generate ranges that, though they can feed hysteria, are out of touch with reality.

5. Garbage in equals garbage out

Complex systems also make modeling difficult to undertake because a model is a kind of simulation whose success turns on the accuracy of inputs. Computer scientists have an apt saying for such simulations: “Garbage in, garbage out.” If any of your variables are in error, your results are suspect. And the more variables you introduce, the more likely you are to introduce errors. But for the model to resemble reality, you have to be more granular by including more and more variables that represent causal relationships in the world. As more variables get introduced, the likelihood of introducing false inputs goes up proportionally. And those errors compound. In The Black Swan, Nicolas Nassim Taleb writes:

Simply, we are facing nonlinearities and magnifications of errors coming from the so-called butterfly effects … actually discovered by Lorenz using weather forecasting models. Small changes in input, coming from measurement error, can lead to massively divergent projections — and that generously assumes we have the right equations.

In other words, the lower “res” the model, the less it conforms to reality’s details. The higher “res” the model, the more likely it is to be infected with errors. This is one of the great paradoxes of modeling.

6. Data can be detached

The problem with numbers is that they’re sometimes detached from the phenomena they’re meant to describe. If we see a record of a person’s body temperature from 1969 — at 99.1 degrees — we might assume he had a fever. But knowing the context of that measurement may lead us to tell a different story about what caused his temperature at that time: for example, that the man had been sitting in a hot tub. Climate data from the past can offer even less context, clarity, and accuracy.

But let’s suppose all the world’s thermometers — both satellite and land — have neither heat-island effects nor any other distortions, and that they offer an accurate description of the earth’s temperature. Let us also assume that the temperature readings over the last hundred years are completely accurate and represent the planet as a whole, and that the temperature data derived from inferential methods such as ice core samples and tree rings also paint an accurate picture of surface temperatures well into the past, which is doubtful.

We are still left with a problem: We cannot simply look at the outputs of the climate system (temperature), because they are linked to all-important inputs — that is, those factors that caused any changes in temperature. The inability for climate scientists to tell a more conclusive causal story about factors in past warming is another reason to remain agnostic about trends over longer timescales.

7. Decomposability is a virtual impossibility

Another serious problem with the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is that, if it is a theory at all, it seems to be a cluster of interconnected theories and interconnected models. Let that settle for a moment. Consider that the IPCC, the central climate-science organization whose job is to give the definitive word on climate change, has to assemble the work of hundreds, maybe thousands, of scientists and weave it into a comprehensive report. But as Norgaard and Baer write in Bioscience, “Models developed and heretofore interpreted within individual scientific communities are taken out of their hands, modified, and used with other models in ways over which the original scientific communities no longer have control.”

Now, in stitching together the various individual theories, studies, and models of such a diverse and inevitably error-prone community, the problem goes deeper. Never mind that the IPCC central committee has deep incentives to interpret the data in a way that creates the impression of a single, uniform theory. Suppose that every climate scientist that gets picked by the IPCC for its report claims 95 percent confidence. Even if each scientist were 95 percent certain of his particular prediction or set of parameters, we can’t be so certain about the agglomeration of 10 scientists’ opinions about disparate phenomena, much less 50. Nor can any given scientist be 95 percent confident about the work of any other scientist.

8. Stats stand in for certainty

People crave certainty, and politicians want to provide it. So when we hear that a scientist is 95 percent confident about his or her conclusions, we feel like that’s close enough, derived as it presumably is through some sort of statistical analysis. “Yet since things are ultimately uncertain,” writes theoretical mathematician William Byers:

We satisfy this need by creating artificial islands of certainty. We create models of reality and then insist that the models are reality. It is not that science, mathematics, and statistics do not provide useful information about the real world. The problem lies in making excessive claims for the validity of these methods and models and believing them to be absolutely certain.

Byers’s book The Blind Spot: Science and the Crisis of Uncertainty is a welcome antidote to this sort of scientific hubris.

Climatologist Judith Curry put matters a little differently. When a journalist asked her how the 95 percent number was determined, she replied, “The 95% is basically expert judgment, it is a negotiated figure among the authors. The increase from 90–95% means that they are more certain. How they can justify this is beyond me.”

The reporter then asked if it was really all so subjective. Curry’s reply: “As far as I know, this is what goes on. All this has never been documented.”

9. AGW might not be a theory at all

What makes a scientific theory a theory at all? This has been debated among philosophers of science, but most people generally agree that a certain set of minimum criteria should be in place. Among them, at least, are these:

  1. Is the theory testable? Can we formulate hypotheses grounded in the theory, then figure out a way to test the hypotheses?
  2. Is the theory falsifiable? Is there evidence that could call the theory into question? What evidence would exclude the theory?
  3. Does the theory unify? Does the theory unify seemingly unrelated phenomena under a single explanatory framework?

AGW is not testable in any laboratory sense, of course, but many natural phenomena are not. And yet we’ve already discussed the problems of testing models against available evidence — considering the models’ hypotheses and seeing whether these track with what we can observe. One might argue that models stand for hypotheses, and suffice for a testability criterion. But this is unclear.

Perhaps the most damning of the three for AGW is the falsifiability criterion. That is, the Orthodoxy has created a situation in which models play a major role in the theoretical framework. But when the models fail to track with observation, the Orthodoxy claims the timescales are not sufficient to determine a climate trend — for example, that discussing the pause of the last 18 years is “cherry picking.” Fair enough. But then what sort of data wouldcount to falsify the theory? And what, going forward, is a time scale sufficient to determine a climate trend? 100 years?

If we accept these longer timescales as sufficient to smooth out natural variability, we might reasonably ask the Orthodoxy to remain agnostic about AGW while another 70 years of data come in. (After all, they have had to rely on spurious proxies to “trick” temperature trends in the past.) But the Orthodoxy then changes tack and argues that’s too long to wait! After all, we might be going through an emergency that requires immediate action. So, despite the insufficient timescale, they expect everyone to accept the climate consensus as the basis for policymakers’ faith-based initiatives.

Finally, does AGW unify diverse phenomena under a single explanatory framework? AGW is meant to explain everything from ocean acidification to melting sea ice, to rising sea levels, to regional desertification. The trouble is with the explanatory part. When taken in isolation, each of these purported consequences of global warming either aren’t happening as predicted, or, if they are, they can be explained by factors outside AGW theory. So it’s not clear that AGW satisfies any unification criterion, either.

10. It’s matter of degree

What if the Climate Orthodoxy is wrong and the “lukewarmists” like Judith Curry turn out to be right? If we look at the empirical data over the last 30 years or so, they might be. As Rational Optimist author writes, “I found myself persuaded by the middle-of-the-road, ‘lukewarm’ argument — that CO2-induced warming is likely but it won’t be large, fast or damaging.” The Climate Orthodoxy might have been hyperventilating over a degree of warming over a century. (And, of course, policies driven by hysteria could mean the poorest people might be prevented from joining the middle class for the sake of an almost imperceptible change.)

11. Pascal’s Climate Wager

Suppose we all agreed that 100 years of accurate temperature data would be sufficient to determine a climate trend. The Climate Orthodoxy argues that we must act now to prevent climate change, in case they are right. People familiar with theology will recall this is the analogous to Pascal’s Wager, in which 17th-century Christian philosopher Blaise Pascal tells us we’d better believe in God, Heaven, and Hell. If we believe and we’re wrong, we haven’t lost anything, according to Pascal. But if we disbelieve and we’re wrong, we have eternity to suffer. Similarly, we must believe, suffer, and sacrifice now to stave off climate change.

There are a number of problems with this rationale, but the biggest one is rather ironic. There is no viable political climate solution currently on the table that is capable of mitigating any predicted warming. Taking the IPCC’s own assumptions, Patrick Michaels and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger found that there is no winning “wager” here:

Assuming the IPCC’s value for climate sensitivity (i.e., disregarding the recent scientific literature) and completely stopping all carbon dioxide emissions in the US between now and the year 2050 and keeping them at zero, will only reduce the amount of global warming by just over a tenth of a degree (out of a total projected rise of 2.619°C between 2010 and 2100).

If you think that a rise of 2.482°C is vastly preferable to a rise of 2.619°C then all you have to do is set the carbon tax large enough to drive U.S. emissions to zero by mid-century — oh yeah, and sell that tax to the American people.

So even if all the models turn out to be true, there is little we can do with policy at this point. So unlike Pascal’s Wager, there is no amount of repenting and belief that could save us. We’re either all going to climate hell, anyway, or something ain’t right. The whole conversation about “climate action” appears to be moot at this point. Don’t believe it? Check the Handy Dandy Climate Temperature Savings Calculator.

12. The debate is not over, and the science is not settled

Freeman Dyson, a brilliant theoretical physicist, is no man of the right. But he is intellectually honest enough to wear the mantel of “heretic.” Here’s why:

I am especially unimpressed by the claim that a prediction of rapid and dangerous warming is “settled science,” as firm as evolution or gravity. How could it be? It is a prediction! No prediction, let alone in a multi-causal, chaotic and poorly understood system like the global climate, should ever be treated as gospel. With the exception of eclipses, there is virtually nothing scientists can say with certainty about the future. It is absurd to argue that one cannot disagree with a forecast. Is the Bank of England’s inflation forecast infallible?

Indeed. And to say that the debate is over is not to say that those willing to debate have nothing to say. It is rather to say that you have turned off your curiosity, your humility, and your willingness to engage in discourse so that you can get what you want.

And what should we say about all this “consensus” talk? Science writer Ronald Bailey (no agnostic about climate change) wisely says:

One should always keep in mind that a scientific consensus crucially determines and limits the questions researchers ask. And one should always worry about to what degree supporters of any given scientific consensus risk succumbing to confirmation bias. In any case, the credibility of scientific research is not ultimately determined by how many researchers agree with it or how often it is cited by like-minded colleagues, but whether or not it conforms to reality.

13. Climate science isn’t climate policy

One of the biggest problems with the Climate Orthodoxy is that one set of experts that is cocksure about the science really has no expertise in the economics of climate change or in climate-change policy. How in the world is an expert in albedo effects going to have anything meaningful to say about whether climate change is good or bad for the world today — much less 50 years into the future? This profound disconnect has never stopped scientists like James Hansen from advocating for certain types of policies.

Seeing this disconnect, however, the Orthodoxy has begun training up so-called specialists in the economics of climate change, led by such “experts” as Sir Nicholas Stern, whose models and predictions are the stuff of both speculation and spectacle. More tempered in his prognostications is Yale’s William Nordhaus, but economists such as Robert Murphy offer very good reasons to question Nordhaus’s almanac, as well.

If you think modeling the climate is hard, try modeling an economy. As economist Arnold Kling writes,

I think that if the press were aware of the intellectual history and lack of scientific standing of the models, it would cease rounding up these usual suspects. Macroeconometrics stands discredited among mainstream academic economists. Applying macroeconometric models to questions of fiscal policy is the equivalent of using pre-Copernican astronomy to launch a satellite or using bleeding to treat an infection.

Whatever the pedigree of the economist, his laurels, or his letters, mixing macrometeorology with macroeconomics is like trying to read tea leaves.

14. The climate orthodoxy is inherently corruptive

Here’s the heretic Dyson again:

The politicians and the public expect science to provide answers to the problems. Scientific experts are paid and encouraged to provide answers. The public does not have much use for a scientist who says, “Sorry, but we don’t know.”

He’s right. It is nearly impossible to inoculate science from the influence of those who pay the bills. As I wrote in “The Climate Complex Strikes Back” (Freeman, February 2015), “That government money shouldn’t corrupt is just another application of the unicorn fallacy so common among well-meaning greens.” And it’s even tougher not to develop blind spots and biases when those who fund you claim to be on the side of the angels. That is why we must put our faith not in centralized hierarchies of experts but in the Republic of Science itself.

15. Reasoned agnosticism is not “denial”

Godwin’s law surfaces quickly in the debates about global warming. Here’s Botkin again:

For me, the extreme limit of this attitude was expressed by economist Paul Krugman, also a Nobel laureate, who wrote in hisNew York Times column in June, “Betraying the Planet” that “as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.” What had begun as a true scientific question with possibly major practical implications had become accepted as an infallible belief (or if you’re on the other side, an infallible disbelief), and any further questions were met, Joe-McCarthy style, “with me or agin me.”

Of course, the term “denier” is meant to evoke Holocaust denial.

16. AGW might be beneficial on net

If Stern and Nordhaus (see #11) can engage in economic speculation, then we can, too. In fact, when we look back at warmer periods in the history of civilization, we see relative flourishing.

According to Matt Ridley, writing in the UK Spectator, Professor Richard Tol of Sussex University aggregated 14 major academic papers about the future effects of climate change. Tol determined that things look rosier than the Orthodoxy would have us believe:

Professor Tol calculated that climate change would be beneficial up to 2.2°C of warming from 2009 (when he wrote his paper). This means approximately 3°C from pre-industrial levels, since about 0.8°C of warming has happened in the last 150 years.

And in a more recent paper, Tol looks back over the last 100 years. He concludes that climate change raised human and environmental welfare during the 20th century:

By how much? He calculates by 1.4 per cent of global economic output, rising to 1.5 per cent by 2025. For some people, this means the difference between survival and starvation.

Sure, it’s speculative, even looking back. But isn’t it just as likely that there will be benefits as costs? It might turn out that if the planet does warm a couple of degrees, there will be new forms of flourishing.

17. One hundred years of certitude

One wonders what people in 1915 would have thought about our lives today. The pace of technological change has been staggering. And though a few people tried to make predictions, they were not cut out for the task. Likewise, we cannot readily say what forms of energy we’ll use, and what technologies they will power. As Troy University economist Daniel Sutter reminds us,

A dynamic market economy will feature too much creative destruction to allow detailed planning for the distant future. Nothing is sure in a market economy ten years from now, much less 100 years, and discounting in cost-benefit analysis simply reflects this reality. The economic future becomes more predictable when government controls economic activity, but then stagnation results. Discounting in climate change economics tells us to create wealth to protect future generations. Economic freedom and the institutions of the market economy, not central planning of energy use, is the prudent policy approach to a changing climate.

Inherent in our inability adequately to plan and predict is a recommendation that we adapt instead.

18. Adaptation as policy prescription

If the climate is warming some, and it might be, then what is the best policy? One can make a powerful case for adaptation. Adaptation is not about doing nothing. It means liberalizing the world on a number of dimensions of economic freedom to ensure that countries are rich enough to be resilient. A wealthy and adaptive people like the Dutch can figure out how to live with rising waters. A rich and resilient people like the Hong Kong Chinese can figure out how to build a city-state on a rock in 50 years. A rich and resilient citizenry of the world should be able to handle what a degree or two of change in average global temperature has in store for us — especially as we will undergo untold technological transformations over the next decade or two.

19. Climate policy has a defector problem

The problem with climate-change policies like carbon taxes is that they require near-global unanimity to work. That is, if the United States adopts a carbon tax, energy becomes more expensive for Americans. But if energy becomes more expensive here, it might be less expensive in other parts of the world. And, indeed, businesses and the energy industry will engage in energy arbitrage. Developing countries like India, China, Brazil, and Russia will welcome these energy arbitrageurs with open arms. They might develop even as we stagnate. And they should: they are lifting billions of people out of poverty. But there’s a problem here for climate policy. Every signatory to a climate treaty has strong incentives to defect. And as defectors do their thing, carbon continues to pour into the atmosphere. Nothing changes to mitigate climate change; industry simply shifts around.

20. Climate policy has an efficacy problem

Suppose we don’t accept Pascal’s Climate Wager and we conclude that no climate policy under consideration will do much to mitigate warming. Those who claim that action is vital respond to this claim by saying, “We have to start somewhere!” But if you’re conceding that no policy under consideration does very much, why would you start with a failed policy? It appears to be more empty rhetoric used to justify an unprecedented level of taxation designed to feed some of the most insatiable and predatory governments in the world.

21. Climate policy has a corruption problem

Earlier, I suggested that the Climate Orthodoxy has a corruptive influence on science. We shouldn’t stop there. The “climate industrial complex“ is large and growing. Scores of green energy companies are on the take, donating campaign contributions to politicians who control the purse strings at the Department of Energy. Legacy energy utilities lick their chops, seeing opportunities to game the system in a carbon-tax environment that is unfavorable to their competitors. Traders get in on energy credit schemes. Green NGOs play “Baptists” to all the corporate “bootleggers,” and when you scrutinize it all — including the billions of dollars the federal government pours into the “science” — the whole things starts to smell like one festering pile of corruption.

22. The confidence game

If you’re feeling uncertain, consider that the Climate Orthodoxy has to do everything it can to pull members of the public like you into assent. Here’s one final nod to Dyson:

The public prefers to listen to scientists who give confident answers to questions and make confident predictions of what will happen as a result of human activities. So it happens that the experts who talk publicly about politically contentious questions tend to speak more clearly than they think. They make confident predictions about the future, and end up believing their own predictions. Their predictions become dogmas, which they do not question. The public is led to believe that the fashionable scientific dogmas are true, and it may sometimes happen that they are wrong. That is why heretics who question the dogmas are needed.

If you are a Climate Agnostic, that’s okay. (You won’t burn at the stake; you’ll merely burn in the heat of a baking planet.)

Postscript: We are creative conservationists

As the world changes for this reason or that, we are growing richer, stronger, smarter, and more resilient. We are becoming more conscious about the environment and its natural treasures. On almost every environmental dimension — including air quality, water quality, the extent of forestland, and the return of wildlife — things are getting better. Whether you think most of these gains are a consequence of environmental regulations or improvements in market efficiencies, one thing is clear: wealthier is healthier. We should continue to cherish the beauty of the planet and continue to grow economically so we can afford to protect its wonders. Being agnostic about climate change does not require that we stop loving Planet Earth, it only means keeping a cool head and an open mind, even when the discourse overheats.

Max Borders

Max Borders is the editor of the Freeman and director of content for FEE. He is also co-founder of the event experience Voice & Exit and author of Superwealth: Why we should stop worrying about the gap between rich and poor.

The White House is Lying About Climate Change and Health

Let us begin with the understanding that there is no connection between the climate and health. The climate is something measured in decades and centuries, so what happened in the last century has nothing to do with whether you are sneezing today.

The weather surely can help generate health problems. For example in the northeastern states, the Lyme disease season is beginning. Between 1992 and 2010 reported cases of Lyme disease doubled to nearly 23,000 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but CDC officials believe the actual number of those infected may have been three times that number.

Lyme disease is transmitted by deer ticks and since these tiny insects will hitch a ride on birds, squirrels, mice and small animals as well, even if you live in an area without deer, the possibility of being bitten by a deer tick is just as likely. This increases for people who love gardening or outdoor recreational activities such as hiking and camping. Children, too, are particularly susceptible.

The fact that Lyme disease shows up in the Spring simply tells you that the warm weather facilitates the tick population. The weather has always been tied the mating habits and activities of various species, but that does not mean that is constitutes a massive threat to everyone’s health.

That’s not the way the White House sees it. On April 7 the administration made it official. It announced that it is “committed to combating the health impacts of climate change and protecting the health of future generations.”

Since the climate changes over extended periods of time, not just month to month, one has to wonder what “health impacts” the White House has in mind. The last Little Ice Age lasted from around 1300 to 1850. It was cold all over Europe and North America. Does the White House propose that it can “protect” us from a new one? If so, that’s absurd.

Let us understand, too, that there has always been what the White House announcement calls “extreme weather events.” Notice the change from “climate” to “weather”? Among the events identified are “severe droughts and wildfires to more powerful hurricanes and record heat waves…” Has there been a time when such weather-related events have not occurred? In fact, there are times when they don’t. For example, there hasn’t been a single Category 3-5 hurricane hit the U.S. mainland since 2005!

The White House has launched a massive brainwashing effort using many elements of the federal government to frighten Americans using the “climate” and the “weather.” How deceptive is it?

One example is sufficient. The President has claimed that climate change was the cause of one of his daughter’s asthma. In its announcement, it claimed that “In the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled and climate change is putting these individuals and many other vulnerable populations at greater risk of landing in the hospital.”

Here’s what the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has to say about the various causes of asthma:

“Since asthma has a genetic origin and is a disease you are born with, passed down from generation to generation, the question isn’t really ‘what causes asthma’, but rather ‘what causes asthma symptoms to appear?’ People with asthma have inflamed airways which are super-sensitive to thinks which do not bother other people.”

What the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America is telling us is that there is no direct connection between either the climate or the weather and the illness called asthma.

Those who suffer this disease however can be affected by a range of triggers such as irritants in the air, pollens, molds, and even cockroach droppings. Infections such as colds, flu, and sore throats are among the leading triggers for asthma attacks in children.

The facts, the truth, were no deterrent to the April 7th White House twelve-page announcement of all the things it intends to do to brainwash Americans into believing that there is a connection between the “climate” and health.

Here’s just a few of the dozens of events and programs it will initiate so that the media will report on them and thus convey the message that climate change is the greatest threat to Americans today:

“The Administration is expanding its Climate Data Initiative to include more than 150 health-relevant datasets…this is intended to help communities and businesses reduce the health impacts of climate change.” Only there are no such impacts.

The Administration is announcing a coalition of Deans from 30 medical, public health, and nursing schools around the country, who are committing to ensure that the next generation of health professionals is trained to address the health impacts of climate change.” Only there are no such impacts.

“Announcing the White House Climate Change and Health Summit.” It will feature the Surgeon General who will lead discussions to “the public health impacts of climate change and identify opportunities to minimize these impacts.” Only there are no impacts and nothing that could be done if there were.

From the Department of Homeland Security to the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency, many elements of the federal government will be integrated into this massive brainwashing effort.

What can be done to ignore a government determined to lie to everyone about a “threat” that does not exist? Not much.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

RELATED ARTICLE: Earth Day: 22 Ways to Think about the Climate-Change Debate

The Environmental Insane Asylum

Earth Day was declared in 1970 and for the past 45 years we have all been living in the Environmental Insane Asylum, being told over and over again to believe things that are the equivalent of Green hallucinations. Now the entire month of April has been declared Earth Month, but in truth not a day goes by when we are not assailed with the bold-faced lies that comprise environmentalism.

Around the globe, the worst part of this is that we are being victimized by people we are told to respect from the President of the United States to the Pope of the Catholic Church. Their environmentalism is pure socialism.

Organizations whom we expect to tell the truth keep telling us that “climate change is one of the biggest global security threats of the 21st century.” This was a recent statement by “world leaders” like the G7, a group of finance ministers and central bank governors of seven advanced economies, the International Monetary Fund, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States. On April 17 they adopted a report about the “threat” put together by think tanks that included the European Union Institute for Security Studies and the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

When I speak of “climate” I am referring to data gathered not just about decades, but centuries of the Earth’s cycles of warming and cooling. When I speak of “weather”, the closest any of us get to it other than today’s, are local predictions no longer than a few days’ time at best. The weather is in a constant state of flux.

Climate change is not a threat and most certainly there is no global warming. As Prof. Bob Carter, a geologist at James Cook College in Queensland, Australia, has written, “For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco.”

The fact that the Earth is now into the nineteenth year of a natural planetary cooling cycle seems to never be acknowledged or reported. “The problem here,” says Prof. Carter, “is not that of climate change per se, but rather that of the sophisticated scientific brainwashing that has been inflicted on the public, bureaucrats and politicians alike.”

In a book I recommend to everyone, “Climate for the Layman” by Anthony Bright-Paul, he draws on the best well-known science about the Earth noting that “Since there is no such thing as a temperature of the whole Earth all talk of global warming is simply illogical, ill thought out, and needs to be discarded for the sake of clarity. The globe is warming and cooling in different locations concurrently every minute of the day and night.”

“Since it is abundantly clear that there is no one temperature of the atmosphere all talk of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is simply an exercise in futility.” A look at the globe from either of its two poles to its equator and everything in between tells us with simple logic that being able to determine its “temperature” is impossible. The Earth, however, has gone through numerous warming and cooling cycles, all of which were the result of more or less solar radiation.

The Sun was and is the determining factor. The assertion that humans have any influence or impact that can determine whether the Earth is warmer or cooler is absurd.

The Earth had passed through warming and cooling cycles for billions of years before humans even existed, yet we are told that the generation of carbon dioxide through the use of machinery in manufacturing, transportation or any other use is causing the build-up of “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere. We are told to give up the use of coal, oil and natural gas. That is a definition of insanity!

Here’s the simple truth that most people are not told: The Sun warms the Earth and the Earth warms the atmosphere.

As for carbon dioxide, the amount generated by human activity represents a miniscule percentage of the 0.04% in the Earth’s atmosphere. There has been more carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere—well before humans existed—contributing to the growth of all manner of vegetation which in turn generated oxygen.

Without carbon dioxide there would be no life on Earth. It feeds the vegetation on which animal life depends directly and indirectly. As Anthony Bright-Paul says, “A slight increase in atmosphere of carbon dioxide will not and cannot produce any warming, but can be hugely beneficial to a green planet.”

The Earth’s atmosphere is approximately 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, 0.9% Argon, 0.04% Carbon Dioxide, and the rest is water vapor and trace gases in very small amounts. They interact to provide an environment in which life, animal and vegetable, exists on Earth.

When you live in a Global Environmental Insane Asylum, you are not likely to hear or read the truth, but you can arrive at it using simple logic. We know instinctively that humans do not control the waves of our huge oceans, nor the vast tectonic plates beneath our feet, the eruptions of volcanoes, the Jetstream, cloud formation, or any of the elements of the weather we experience, such as thunder, lightning, and other acts of Nature.

Why would we blindly assume or agree to the torrent of lies that humans are “causing” climate change? The answer is that on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, we will be deluged with the propaganda of countless organizations worldwide that we are, in fact, endangering a “fragile” planet Earth. We hear and read that every other day of the year as well.

The achievement of the human race and the last 5,000 years of so-called civilization is the way we have learned to adapt to Nature by creating habitats from villages to cities in which to survive and because we have devised a vast global agricultural and ranching system to feed seven billion of us.

As for the weather, John Christy, the director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, says he cringes “when I hear overstated confidence from those who describe the projected evolution of global weather patterns over the next one hundred years, especially when I consider how difficult it is to accurately predict that system’s behavior over the next five days.”

“Mother Nature,” says Christy, “simply operates at a level of complexity that is, at this point, behind the mastery of mere mortals—such as scientists—and the tools available to us.”

Whether it is the President or the Pope, or the countless politicians and bureaucrats, along with multitudes of “environmental” organizations, as well as self-serving “scientists”, all aided by the media, a virtual Green Army has been deliberately deceiving and misleading the citizens of planet Earth for four and a half decades. It won’t stop any time soon, but it must before the charade of environmentalism leaves us all enslaved by the quest for political control over our lives that hides behind it.

We must escape the Environmental Insane Asylum in which they want us to live.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Orlando, FL: John Casey Continues to Lead in Climate Prediction

It’s official. Mr. John L. Casey, current President of the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC) in Orlando, Florida, has become one of few, if not the only U.S. climate and solar researcher to have correctly predicted the Sun’s energy output, as measured by sunspots, for the current eleven year solar cycle. Mr. Casey calculated the peak of solar activity for the ongoing solar cycle number 24, from his research completed eight years ago, in April 2007.

A widely used resource in the solar physics community, The Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB), recently posted its sunspot counts on April 7, 2015. The ROB indicated they “completed the definitive sunspot numbers,” for the current solar cycle 24, and determined that the peak of the cycle’s activity by sunspot count had now passed. The ROB listed the Sun’s stats for this cycle at its “Solar Index and Long Term Solar Observations (SILSO) web site: See: http://www.sidc.be/silso/home.

Each solar cycle normally has two small peaks, not just a single peak, at its most active point; about half way through the standard eleven year solar cycle. The ROB has said the two small peaks at the top of cycle number 24 were in February 2012 at 66.9 sunspots, and April 2014 at 81.8 sunspots. Unusually, the 2014 peak was the larger of the two. Typically the first peak is the more intense. The simple average of the two peaks is 74.4. Mr. Casey‘s prediction was 74.

The prediction by Mr. Casey compares with NASA and NOAA, the U.S. government’s top space science agencies, who were significantly in error from their 2006-2007 forecasts, by as much as 100%, for the Sun’s energy output, using sunspots as an indicator. They had previously predicted this solar cycle would be one of the most energetic ever recorded with sunspot counts over 145.

NASA’s latest sunspot calculations from last week show the smoothed sunspot curve had a sunspot count “of about 72 in late 2013.” See: http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml.

In May 2007, Mr. Casey notified NASA that their prediction of a minimum of 145 sunspots for the peak of cycle 24 was “way off,” advising them that he predicted cycle 24 would have a peak of only 74 sunspots. NASA and NOAA solar experts confer annually on this sunspot number and since 2006, have been adjusting their 145 sunspot forecast down each year. NASA’s latest statement on the Sun also indicates the current solar cycle 24 was not the strong one they had predicted but instead was the weakest since February 1906. This is the least energetic Sun we have seen in 100 years.

The SSRC, under Mr. Casey has been leading the effort to warn the U.S. government, the media and the people, to get our country prepared for a coming cold climate. This now proven, declining energy output from the Sun, is what he and a growing number of scientists around the world say is the cause of this potentially dangerous climate change to a new cold era.

RELATED ARTICLE: Newsmax Begins Nationwide Climate Truth Program with “Dark Winter” book by John L. Casey

The Climate Change War Heats Up

AA - Climate Change Vs Capitalism

Climate change march denounces capitalism.

There is so much at stake for the charlatans that have foisted the failed “global warming” hoax, followed by the equally dubious claims and predictions regarding “climate change”, that it should come as no surprise that they have begun to wage a propaganda war on the courageous scientists who led the struggle to educate the public about the truth and the organizations who supported their efforts.

Along the way, many groups and publications claiming scientific credentials abandoned those standards to pump out global warming and climate change propaganda. Scientists discovered they could secure grant money for “research” so long as it supported claims that the North and South Poles, as well as all the world’s glaciers were melting. “Research” that predicted vast hurricane activity or a massive rise in ocean levels became routine headlines. None of it occurred. Both the government and liberal foundations provided millions to maintain the hoax.

Now we have a President claiming that his daughter’s asthma was due to “climate change.” It is obscene nonsense. If this was just a disagreement between scientists, we could look on as the facts determine the outcome, but there are vast agendas as stake so we have to keep in mind that billions have been wasted on “renewable energy” alternatives to replace fossil fuels; the oil, coal, and natural gas that are the heart’s blood of modern nations and our lives.

We have to ask why the United Nations Framework on Climate Change takes such a dim view of the world’s population that it cites its use of energy and other resources as a reason to reduce it instead of celebrating it. Hard-core environmentalists do not like humans because they build houses, start businesses, need roads, and generally consume a lot and then create trash. Climate change is also the platform the U.N. is using to “transform” the world’s economy.

We have to ask why our government is engaged in shutting down the coal-fired plants that provide the bulk of the electricity we use. This isn’t just a war on coal. It is a war on our entire economic system, capitalism. It is a war on Americans by their own government.

Lately, politicians at the federal level have declared war on those scientists whose research and findings have helped the public conclude, along with eighteen years of a natural cooling cycle, that “global warming” is no threat and that we have far greater threats to address than the vague notion that “climate change” is a problem we humans can affect in any way. We can’t and we don’t.

A recent example has been letters sent to seven university presidents by Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee asking for information on scientists and professors who had given congressional testimony that raised questions about “climate change.” Grijalva had no legal authority to request such information, but his intention was intimidation. In 2013, when asked about his legislative agenda by These Times, he replied “I’m a Saul Alinsky guy” referring to the activist whose book, “Rules for Radicals”, spells out ways to attack one’s political enemies.

Pete Peterson, the executive director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy, identified Grijalva’s letters as “scare tactics” concluding that we have come to a time when “The inability of politicians to confront another’s argument much less to attempt to persuade the other side, has become standard operating procedure. Now this toxic approach is extending to the broader world of policy—including scientific research.”

Around the same time, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Sen. Barbara Boxer, and Sen. Ed Markey sent a letter to a hundred companies, grade groups and other organizations “affiliated with the fossil fuel industry asking whether they spent money to support climate research.” The message was simple: do not sponsor research that would reveal inaccuracies or falsehoods regarding claims that “climate change” was a threat. The inference was that scientific research receiving such funding would betray scientific standards in ways that government or foundation funding would not.

Suffice to say the letters evoked outrage. As a policy advisor to the free market think tank, The Heartland Institute, I was aware of the response of its president, Joe Bast who called the letters something that “fascists do.” He was not alone. The Washington Times called the Senators “climate change Toquemadas” and The Wall Street Journal said the letters were nothing more than an effort to silence science.

When Sen. Whitehouse aired his unhappiness in an April 14 blog post the Huffington Post, “Right-Wing Groups Get Overheated on Climate Questions”, Bast responded asking, “If the Senator’s letter wasn’t intended as harassment of individuals who disagree with his extremist views on the climate, why the overly broad demand, the ridiculous deadline, the implied threat of action, and the news release saying it was intended to expose a diabolical conspiracy of ‘right-win groups’?”

When “climate change” reaches the political heights of Congress and the White House, it should come as no surprise that the charlatans who want to use this hoax for their own benefit and agendas are going to unleash efforts to smear and intimidate those scientists who have put true facts before the public.

In late March, Michael Bastash of The Daily Caller reported that “A new Gallup poll shows that Americans’ concern about warming has fallen to the same level it was in 1989. In fact, global warming ranked at the bottom of a list of Americans’ environmental concerns, with only 32 percent saying they were worried about it a ‘great deal.’”

That’s what has the politicians and U.N. officers on the offensive to silence scientists and defame think tanks and other organizations that have helped Americans come to the sensible conclusion that a “warming” isn’t happening and the planet’s climate is something over which they have no control.

© Alan Caruba 2015

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