Heterogeneity: A Capital Idea! by Sandy Ikeda

When Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century was released in English earlier this year it sparked vigorous debate on the issue of wealth inequality. Despite the prominence of the word in the title, however, capital has not itself become a hot topic. Apparently none of his defenders have taken the opportunity to explore capital theory, and, with a few exceptions, neither have his critics.

To prepare to read Mr. Piketty’s book I’ve been studying Ludwig Lachmann’s Capital and Its Structure, which, along with Israel M. Kirzner’s Essay on Capital, is among the clearest expositions of Austrian capital theory around. A hundred years ago the “Austrian economists”—i.e. scholars such as Eugen von Boehm-Bawerk who worked in the tradition of Carl Menger—were renowned for their contributions to the theory of capital. Today capital theory is still an essential part of modern Austrian economics, but few others delve into its complexities. Why bother?

Capital is heterogeneous

Among the Austrians, Boehm-Bawerk viewed capital as “produced means of production” and for Ludwig von Mises “capital goods are intermediary steps on the way toward a definite goal.” (Israel Kirzner uses the metaphor of a “half-baked cake.”)  Lachmann then places capital goods in the context of a person’s plan: “production plans are the primary object of the theory of capital.” You can combine capital goods in only a limited number of ways within a particular plan. Capital goods then aren’t perfect substitutes for one another. Capital is heterogeneous.

Now, mainstream economics treats capital as a homogenous glob. For instance, both micro- and macroeconomists typically assume Output (Q) is a mathematical function of several factor inputs, e.g. Labor (L) and Capital (K) or

Q = f(L,K).

In this function, not only is output homogenous (whether we’re talking about ball-bearings produced by one firm or all the goods produced by all firms in an economy) but so are all labor inputs and all capital inputs used to produce them. In particular, any capital good can substitute perfectly for any other capital good in a firm or across all firms. A hammer can perfectly replace, say, a helicopter or even a harbor.

On the other hand, capital heterogeneity implies several things.

First, according to Mises, heterogeneity means that, “All capital goods have a more or less specific character.” A capital good can’t be used for just any purpose:  A hammer generally can’t be used as a harbor. Second, to make a capital good productive a person needs to combine it with other capital goods in ways that are complementary within her plan: Hammers and harbors could be used together to help repair a boat. And third, heterogeneity means that capital goods have no common unit of measurement, which poses a problem if you want to add up how much capital you have:  One tractor plus two computers plus three nails doesn’t give you “six units” of capital.

Isn’t “money capital” homogeneous? The monetary equivalent of one’s stock of capital, say $50,000, may be useful for accounting purposes, but that sum isn’t itself a combination of capital goods in a production process. If you want to buy $50,000 worth of capital you don’t go to the store and order “Six units of capital please!” Instead, you buy specific units of capital according to your business plan.

At first blush it might seem that labor is also heterogeneous. After all, you can’t substitute a chemical engineer for a pediatrician, can you? But in economics we differentiate between pure “labor” from the specific skills and know-how a person possesses. Take those away—what we call “human capital”—and then indeed one unit of labor could substitute for any other. The same goes for other inputs such as land. What prevents an input from substituting for another, other than distance in time and space, is precisely its capital character.

One more thing. We’re talking about the subjective not the objective properties of a capital good. That is, what makes an object a hammer and not something else is the use to which you put it. That means that physical heterogeneity is not the point, but rather heterogeneity in use. As Lachmann puts it, “Even in a building which consisted of stones completely alike these stones would have different functions.” Some stones serve as wall elements, others as foundation, etc. By the same token, physically dissimilar capital goods might be substitutes for each other. A chair might sometimes also make a good stepladder.

But, again, what practical difference does it make whether we treat capital as heterogeneous or homogenous? Here, briefly, are a few consequences.

Investment capital and income flows

When economists talk about “returns to capital” they often do so as if income “flows” automatically from an investment in capital goods. As Lachmann says:

In most of the theories currently in fashion economic progress is apparently regarded as the automatic outcome of capital investment, “autonomous” or otherwise. Perhaps we should not be surprised at this fact: mechanistic theories are bound to produce results that look automatic.

But if capital goods are heterogeneous, then whether or not you earn an income from them depends crucially on what kinds of capital goods you buy and exactly how you combine them, and in turn how that combination has to complement the combinations that others have put together. You build an office-cleaning business in the hopes that someone else has built an office to clean.

There’s nothing automatic about it; error is always a possibility. Which brings up another implication.

Entrepreneurship

Lachmann:

We are living in a world of unexpected change; hence capital combinations, and with them the capital structure, will be ever changing, will be dissolved and re-formed. In this activity we find the real function of the entrepreneur.

We don’t invest blindly. We combine capital goods using, among other things, the prices of inputs and outputs that we note from the past and the prices of those things we expect to see in the future. Again, it’s not automatic. It takes entrepreneurship, including awareness and vision. But in the real world—a world very different from the models of too many economists—unexpected change happens. And when it happens the entrepreneur has to adjust appropriately, otherwise the usefulness of her capital combinations evaporates. But that’s the strength of the market process.

A progressive economy is not an economy in which no capital is ever lost, but an economy which can afford to lose capital because the productive opportunities revealed by the loss are vigorously exploited.

In a dynamic economy, entrepreneurs are able to recombine capital goods to create value faster than it disappears.

Stimulus Spending

As the economist Roger Garrison notes, Keynes’s macroeconomics is based on labor, not capital. And when capital does enter his analysis Keynes regarded it the same way as mainstream economics: as a homogeneous glob.

Thus modern Keynesians, such as Paul Krugman, want to cure recessions by government “stimulus” spending, without much or any regard to what it is spent on, whether hammers or harbors. (Here is just one example.)  But the solution to a recession is not to indiscriminately increase overall spending. The solution is to enable people to use their local knowledge to invest in capital goods that complement existing capital combinations, within what Lachmann calls the capital structure, in a way that will satisfy actual demand. (That is why economist Robert Higgs emphasizes “real net private business investment” as an important indicator of economic activity.)  The government doesn’t know what those combinations are, only local entrepreneurs know, but its spending patterns certainly can and do prevent the right capital structures from emerging.

Finally, no one can usefully analyze the real world without abstracting from it. It’s a necessary tradeoff. For some purposes smoothing the heterogeneity out of capital may be helpful. Too often though the cost is just too high.

ABOUT SANDY IKEDA

Sandy Ikeda is an associate professor of economics at Purchase College, SUNY, and the author of The Dynamics of the Mixed Economy: Toward a Theory of Interventionism. He will be speaking at the FEE summer seminars “People Aren’t Pawns” and “Are Markets Just?

Homosexuals can choose to change their “sexual addiction”

No one is born a homosexual. It is a form a sexual attraction and that leads to a form of behavior that is unnatural and harmful to the individual, their family and the community. Watch this short video on homosexuals changing their behaviors to become normal partners in a traditional man/woman relationship. Change is good and many homosexuals are beginning to understand that.

Jeff Johnson in his column “Childhood Sexual Abuse and Male Homosexuality” reports:

For years, counselors, pastors and lay people who worked with men coming out of homosexuality noted that many of these men suffered from disproportionate rates of sexual abuse. They recognized that sexual abuse seemed to be one of the risk factors that might contribute to the development of same-sex attractions.

Rev. Perdue, for example, has worked in Christian ministry for more than 25 years. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Regeneration, a ministry that helps men and women overcome sexual and relational brokenness – including sexual abuse, sexual addiction and homosexuality. He says:

I have done a lot of counseling with men who struggle with same-sex attraction.  Some have been in the lifestyle, others have battled with lust and pornography.  I would estimate that in three-fourths of the cases, there was some sort of sexual abuse or misconduct that formed a powerful memory which contributed to the struggle.

Johnson goes on to note:

Dr. Dean Byrd has a Ph.D. in psychology, and postdoctorate degrees in Child and Family Psychology and Behavioral Medicine. Now in his fourth decade of teaching, research and practice, he has provided psychological care for at least 400 men who have been distressed by their unwanted homosexual attractions. He concurs that childhood sexual abuse is a significant issue for many men with same-sex attractions, and points to even more studies that demonstrate this connection. He also notes that the homosexually-identified men often report earlier ages for their first sexual experience, but often don’t consider this abuse:

There is indeed a clear disparity between homosexual men and heterosexual men and child sexual abuse.  Using a non-clinical population of 465, Tomeo et al. found that 46 percent of the gay men reported being sexually abused as children compared to 7 percent of the matched heterosexual men. What’s intriguing is that 68 percent of the homosexual men did not identify as homosexual until after the abuse. Earlier research by Johnson and Shrier concluded that boys who had been sexually abused are 7 times more likely to identify as homosexual or bisexual than their heterosexual counterparts.  Even more intriguing is that Friedman noted that the boys who later identified as heterosexual had a mean average of 15.7 as the time of their first sexual experience. For the boy who later identified as homosexual, the mean average was 12.7.

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WARNING: Dangerous Carbon Dioxide Shortage!

WARNING: The following column may awaken feelings of apprehension, fear, and panic if you believe there is a climate crisis approaching due to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

You’ve certainly heard from ABC, CBS and NBC that there is a developing crisis that is the most serious that the world has ever faced. Our Secretary of State, the Honorable John F. Kerry, likens it to the most terrible weapon of mass destruction. President Obama has vowed to make it the highest priority of the remaining two and one-half years of his administration. (Not the limping economy, not the Mullahs’ quest for The Bomb, not the Putinization of Europe.)

This crisis is due to the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, presently 400 parts per million by volume (400 ppmv), or 0.04% of the atmosphere. This is dangerously low, far less than it has been for most of Earth’s existence, and both human policy and natural climate processes threaten to reduce it below an essential minimum. Nothing bad – certainly nothing catastrophic – happened in the golden eras while CO2 was at several thousand ppmv.

The same crackpots insist that the Earth is becoming much too warm. This is also untrue. The Earth is presently much colder than it has been for most of its history, and is likely to become even colder – eventually much colder. Like previous eras of abundant CO2, nothing bad happened when Earth was warmer. But, in cold eras, glaciers destroy whole countries, agriculture suffers, humans and wildlife die in cold and snow, and large parts of Earth become uninhabitable. A cold climate, such as we have now, makes life much harder for all.

As you see in the below diagram, CO2 content has usually been much higher than now, usually over 2000 ppmv, five times the current value. Food plants– the source of all food on this Earth – evolved in an environment of much higher CO2, and have had to deal with an ever more hostile environment, as CO2 has declined. As any nursery or garden store will tell you, they maintain a plant-friendly environment of 1,000 ppmv. Ever wonder why YOUR flowers don’t look as strong and beautiful as they did in the store? You’re starving them; they’re not getting enough of the food they need – CO2. Go breathe on them for five minutes a day; your exhalation is about 40,000 ppmv of CO2. That’s one hundred times as much CO2 as they get from the air in your home. They’ll love it. [Hat tip to Joe Bastardi for the diagram.]

2014-06-19-2361171c

For a larger view click on the chart.

In fact, plants are so unhappy in our present (last 25 million years) low-CO2 environment that a new, low-CO2 vegetation type has evolved, the C4 crops, such as maize and millet, which can conduct photosynthesis with less atmospheric CO2. Older forms of vegetation, the C3 crops, such as wheat, rice, barley, evolved when atmospheric CO2 was higher. Plants gather CO2 through stomata, openings in their leaves; however, they also lose water vapor (H2O) through those stomata, especially in a dry climate, so it’s a tradeoff. Getting food production underway with less need for carbon and less water loss is a great evolutionary advantage. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection works for vegetation too. It’s also good for humans, since every carbon atom in every human body came from a molecule of CO2 in the atmosphere. And, of course, every cell in your body is replaced every seven years. Do you really want to minimize atmospheric CO2?

Before Watt’s invention of the coal-burning steam engine, CO2 content is estimated to have been about 280 ppmv, or 0.028% of the atmosphere. The necessary minimum to sustain global photosynthesis is thought to be 200 ppmv. We weren’t far from a massive die-off of vegetation, and we may approach this dangerous level again. So far, we have reversed the disastrous decline of atmospheric CO2 by burning coal, the fuel richest in plant nutrient. Multispectral NOAA satellite data reveals the increase of vegetation since the 1970’s, due to our coal-based greening of the world. CO2 is good for humans and for the natural world.

One of the things Mr. Gore demonstrated in An Inconvenient Truth is that there’s a correlation between temperature and atmospheric CO2 content. He “forgot” to mention that it’s a lagged correlation; first the temperature goes down, then – 800 years later – atmospheric CO2 content goes down. Cold oceans absorb CO2 out of the atmosphere, to the detriment of plant growth – the growth we depend on for food. As you can see on the graph, we’re now both cold and low on CO2.

This is the most important lesson to learn from Gore’s movie, though it’s certainly not what Gore meant to teach: cooling oceans take out of the atmosphere the CO2 that is essential for the growth of our food. Of course, cooling also shortens the growing season. There’s a double whammy in declining temperatures.

On the geologic time scale, Earth has been in a very cold era for about 25 million years, after continental drift positioned a continent over the South Pole and a blocking ring of continents around the North Pole. Both are impediments to the free circulation of equatorial oceanic currents across the poles. On top of that handicap, we are subject to long-term glacial conditions (90,000 years), interrupted by brief (11,500) interglacial periods, the Milankovitch Cycle. All of human history – art, science, music, philosophy, civilization itself – is contained within the current inter-glacial: the last 11,500 years. We’re nearing the end of the present relatively warm inter-glacial.

Other processes beside cooling remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Precipitation is one; you’ve probably noticed your lawn is greener after natural rain than it is after watering from a sprinkler. Raindrops pick up CO2 in falling through the air, becoming carbonic acid. That mild acid, over geologic time, wears mountains away and washes them into the sea. In the process, the CO2 becomes combined with calcium, forming calcium carbonate (limestone). This is one of the reasons the alarmists’ claim that “carbon dioxide is turning the oceans to acid” is untrue. The oceans have been basic (pH = 8.2) for millions of years and will remain so; the ocean bottoms are covered with huge amounts of limestone, which acts as a buffer against acidification.

Of course, when warm temperature and high CO2 content coincide, as in the Cretaceous Period, Earth experiences a profusion of vegetative growth. We’re enjoying the benefits of that past growth now, in the coal and natural gas that makes civilization and prosperity possible. Obama and Kerry are focused on reducing atmospheric CO2, under the leadership of the UN and a new, “better” Kyoto Treaty. They will try to commit the USA to this act of suicide in November, 2015, in Paris.

This self-inflicted wound would be bad enough, but Nature is already heading toward cooling temperatures – due to the declining solar cycle – and our descent toward the next Milankovitch Glacial era. This cooling will send more of the essential CO2 into the oceans, where it does humanity no good.

Climate Bonehead of the Week

This is always a hotly contested race. John Kerry is usually a contender, and Obama could rest on his laurels and still be near the front. But let’s be sporting about this; let’s recognize a new contestant, one who has earned distinction in a field even more beset with failure, i.e., “the dismal science.” Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Henry W. “Hank” Paulson, writing in the New York Times:

“We are building up excesses (debt in 2008, greenhouse gas emissions that are trapping heat now). Our government policies are flawed (incentivizing us to borrow too much to finance homes then, and encouraging the overuse of carbon-based fuels now). Our experts (financial experts then, climate scientists now) try to understand what they see and to model possible futures. And the outsize risks have the potential to be tremendously damaging (to a globalized economy then, and the global climate now).”

Does anybody believe Hank Paulson and government economists are “experts”?

Dr. Duke Pesta on the Shocking K-12 Common Core Sexual Education Standards

dr duke pesta

Dr. Duke Pesta

If you have young children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, are an educator, are a therapist, are a religious leader, are an elected official of any party, or care about very young children getting an excellent education in grades K-12, you should take time to listen to the below videos by Dr. Duke Pesta.  Dr. Pesta’s discussion is about the indoctrination of students in the Common Core curriculum.  Common Core does not encourage students to read the greatest novels in history, it’s not about teaching students to think outside of the box, nor is it about teaching students to excel beyond the capability of their fellow students in their grade, and it is not about mentoring gifted students.

Common Core teaches students it is not fair for some students to highly achieve beyond the ability of their fellow students—it is about teaching students that everyone should achieve equally and collectively together, resulting in that students’ progress in learning at the lowest possible common denominator so no one is left behind.  Common Core is the plan by the federal government to take over the control of local school board’s education programs and what is taught in the local schools, it pushes an agenda controlled and tested by the Department of Health Education and Welfare and results in recording specific details on “each student’s” thinking, religious beliefs, patriotic beliefs, and family beliefs, in violation of privacy laws.

Common Core is much more than the new math. For quite some time, I seriously tried to understand the new math without success (my math skills are excellent, I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Operation Research, and an MBA in Finance).  All my grades in math were always straight “A” as I excelled in math in grammar school, in high school, in college, and in graduate school.  Common Core math is the worst thing that has ever happened to the math curriculum in grammar schools in the nation; that terrible debilitating math curriculum has now been in the public schools for 2 years, and parents do not know how to help their children with the new math.

David Zimba who was responsible for developing the new math curriculum in Common Core, said Common Core math “will not” prepare students for college.  Common Core math is not about the right answer, it is about making the student comfortable with this new math—the teachers do not teach math any longer; the new math is programed and tested by Washington bureaucrats.  Students “do not” know how to add and subtract in the 4th grade.  The students are taught that they “must” agree collectively on an answer with the students in their new teaching group (they must be in learning groups and even must sit together—no longer are there individual desks), even if it is the answer is wrong it must be agreed to.   For instance, because the analytical mathematical thinking in students is not developed in students in early grades with this debilitating new math, algebra has been pushed into 9th grade, while the student is China, India, Europe, etc. begin algebra in the 5th grade—the Common Core curriculum is forcing students in the United States to be left in the dust bin of history, far behind students in countries with much higher math and science achievement records.  Please watch this short video with Dr. Pesta:

This opposition to Common Core is not political, it is not Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or Conservative opposition; all members of the previous groups have been expressing very of serious opposition to Common Core, it is an American problem where we are all concerned about our young school children.  The most liberal teachers union in the nation, the NY States Teachers Union, and the most conservative organizations in Texas, Virginia, and in the nation oppose Common Core. None of the educators in any state, nor any of the famous educational organization, or varied groups of well-known educators who are experts in certain subjects being taught by Common Core, were involved in scientifically developing the curriculum, nor was the curriculum tested by trial and error to determine the best educational curriculums to be taught for grades K thru 12—only 5 people wrote the entire Common Core curriculum.

Common Core was developed by David Coleman, and four of his associates; the development was funded by Bill Gates who spent $2.5 billion to sell it.

Each state was provided with millions of dollars for their state education department, long before the curriculum was written, they received with the funds under the condition that they must incorporate Common Core into their educational system.  This Common Core curriculum has come about and has been driven by the Obama administration, and the Department of Health Education and Welfare who also is now controlling Common Core testing for each state.  The education of students should be controlled at the state and local levels, not by Washington bureaucrats.  Four states have opted out of Common core with 12 states developing initiatives to get out of Common Core, including New York.  Please click on the below listed link to view and listed to a child psychologist who explains how students are reacting to Common Core and have been hurt mentally by the curriculum; they are also self-hurting their bodies:

Common Core has eliminated the US history students once were taught in grammar and high schools.  Students once learned about the Pilgrims and how they came to the new world to seek religious freedom.  Students were once taught how the Founding Fathers religious beliefs provided the foundation on which the Republic was founded on.  Students were once taught the value of US Constitution, the Bill of Rights & the value of each Amendment, and the value of the rights of individual, and the importance of religious freedom.   They are no longer taught why the Revolutionary War was fought, the reasons for the Civil War, how the US saved the world by mobilizing to fight in WWI & WWII, how the US saved the South Korean democracy from Communism, and how the United States preserved the freedom of the people in Kuwait from the dictator, Hussein Saddam.  The students were once taught to study the background of each of the US Presidents and their achievements.  They are not taught about the dangers of Communism and its demise, or how Socialism has never worked in any country it was ever tried in for the last 150 years, etc.  All those teachings were eliminated by the 5 peoples who developed the Common Core curriculum to the detriment of our Republic.  Those teachings must be reinstated without exception.

Common Core is not only the development of national standards for math, English, biology, and science it also includes teaching shocking sexual education courses for students in grades, kindergarten thru 12.  What is taught includes teaching inappropriate sexuality skills, that shouldn’t even be taught in college. According to child psychologists, the children are not mentally equipped to understand the detailed sexual indoctrination starting in kindergarten, they are indoctrinated in sexual practices that they should never be exposed to.  Students are tested on their understanding of sex issues every year for the 12 years they are school, and the views for each student on sex issues are being tested, recorded, and retained by Washington bureaucrats.

There is a heavy socio political content of sex throughout Common Core curriculum being taught in every grade and in every subject, the student is taught that there is a sameness of gender, there is no longer simply boys and girls according to Common Core.  The sexual content of Common Core crosses into every curriculum taught, from teaching sexuality skills in sex education courses by specially skilled and trained sex education teachers.  Sexual activities and content in included in every subject taught.  Sex is taught in the English curriculum, is included in the language curriculum, sex is woven into the science curriculum, in the math curriculum, in the social studies curriculum, and of course in biology.

Since sex practices are included in every subject taught, parents will no longer be able to opt out of sex education being taught to their children in city schools, and by opting out assuming that only they would be able to teach their children sex education at home, and  in accordance with their personal and religious beliefs.  Children are taught holding hands, hugging, kissing, is the same as every other deviate sex acts—they are taught there is a sameness to “all” sex—there is no such thing as normal sex in Common Core, wide open sex of every weird type is taught to be acceptable in Common Core.  Pornography is no longer looked down upon in the Common Core curriculum. Very young students can’t even comprehend those teachings and understand that if someone does something to their little bodies, that they were told about in the Common Core sex curriculum, that it is wrong and shouldn’t be done to them.

The Core Curriculum states the students must be taught cooperative and active sex, working together in lab sessions with each other. Students can’t opt out on their own, because sex crosses into all the Common Core courses and all the testing—if they opt out they would fail the testing.  They are being taught by specially sex skilled teachers, and the students are tested on sexual skills and concepts being taught.  Every imaginable inappropriate sexual skill is being taught to students in kindergarten thru grade 12.  These inappropriate sexual skills are being driven into the Common Core curriculum and are being tested by the Department of Health Education and Welfare.

Teachers and parents will lose the ability to mentor the thousands of gifted children, that the nation used to develops each year, because Common Core dumbs down all students to the lowest leaning denominator.  Common Core is not good for the nation, for families, for children, for religious teachings, for colleges, for graduates schools, for research, for science, for States Rights, for teachers unions, and for the foundation upon which the Founding Fathers established the Republic.   The single biggest enemies of the Common Core curriculum are the Judeo Christian teachings student are taught at home, in their houses of worship, and in religious books (the Old Testament, the Bible, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, etc.).  Please watch to the below listed video with Dr. Pesta, although it is long it is an extremely important tape that is designed to save countless generations of students and the Republic, and should be listened to if you care about the education of future generations of young people.  Please pass this E-mail on to all Americans who care about the future education of our youth.

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Obama Talks Climate Change While Iraq Implodes

Photo of armed Iraqi boy courtesy of  AFP and Atlas Shrugs.

It is depressing beyond words that we will have to endure two and a half more years of an endless stream of lies about climate change from President Obama.

On June 14 he gave a commencement speech to graduates of the University of California at Irvine, using it to tell Big Fat Lies, not the least of which was that the Earth’s temperatures were rising when in fact they have been falling for nearly eighteen years.

It is an endless source of wonder to me that no part of the mainstream media disputes him when he says things like this. For years now they have been reporting the evidence of increasingly cold weather worldwide.

On the same day the President was lying about warming, eight inches of snow fell in Rize, Turkey. It has fallen as well in South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia while closer to home snow fell on several cities in Idaho with cold freezes extending into Oregon. In June!

Cartoon - Climate Change Red LineObama used the speech to demand that politicians take steps to acknowledge climate change which used to be called global warming until it became undeniable to everyone except the charlatans lining their pockets with utterly bogus “research” that underwrites the source of the lies, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Obama continues to listen to his White House advisor, Dr. John Holdren, whose contempt for the human race is such he would happily see large parts of it disappear. In February, Holdren told reporters that all weather is impacted by climate change, but that is what climate change has done for 4.5 billion years. Not mentioned was that climate cycles are measured in centuries while weather is a short-term event. The most recent mini-ice age lasted from 1300 to 1850.

Holdren alluded to droughts affecting parts of the nation, claiming they were getting longer and drying. Two leading climate scientists, former NASA scientist Dr. Roy Spencer and University of Colorado climate scientists, Roger Pielke, Jr, called Holdren’s assertions “pseudo-science rambling.” “The idea that any of the weather we are seeing is in any significant way due to humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions verges on irrationality,” said Spencer. Pielke called Holdren’s assertions “zombie science.”

While Holdren is warning about droughts that could cause famines, James M. Taylor, the managing editor of the Heartland Institute’s monthly, Environment & Climate News, took aim at the IPCC claims, noting that U.S. and global crop production, especially the most important staple food crops, corn, rice, and wheat, “have more than tripled since 1970. During the past few years, the United States has set crop production records for alfalfa, cotton, beans, sugar beets, sweet potatoes, canola, corn, flaxseed, hops, rice sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, peanuts and wheat, to name just a few.”

The worst part of Obama’s lies about the so-called “greenhouse gases” that we’ve been told for decades are warming the Earth is the way those lies are translated into government policies. The Obama administration, via the Environmental Protection Agency, has launched a war on coal-fired plants that produce 40% of the nation’s electricity claiming that their emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing a warming that is not happening. What is happening is a deliberate effort to drive up the cost of electricity for everyone.

America runs on electricity and 68% of it is generated by fossil fuels, 20% by nuclear, and 7% by hydropower. So called “clean energy”, wind and solar, provides about 4% at far higher costs than the others and exists largely due to government subsidies and mandates.

Claims about increased severe storms, heat waves, and hurricanes simply have no basis in fact. In recent years there has been a record low in the numbers of tornadoes, hurricanes, no change in the rise of sea levels, but record gains in Arctic and Antarctic ice. None of this is reported by the mainstream media.

Yet Obama told graduates that rising temperatures and sea levels, as well as intensifying storm patterns represent “one of the most significant long-term challenges that our country and our planet face.” He said this even though his administration’s recent National Climate Assessment acknowledged that “There has been no universal trend in the overall extent of drought across the continental U.S. since 1900.” The report, however, is being used to justify carbon-related regulations.

While the world’s attention is on one of the greatest threats facing it, the takeover of northern Iraq by a barbaric Islamist group—one from which even al Qaeda disassociated itself—Obama is talking about non-existent climate threats to further policies that kill jobs in the U.S. and harm its struggling recovery of our economy.

While the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) seeks to expand its control of a major portion of the Middle East, Obama thought it was more important to lie about the climate to college graduates.

How much more damage Obama can inflict on the economy between now and the end of his second term in office is unknown, but what we do know is that his priorities, based on scare-mongering speeches about the climate will continue until he leaves office.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

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Florida Medical Marijuana Amendment 2: The Devil is in the Details

NoOn2.org is a grassroots campaign bringing the truth about Amendment 2 to the voters of Florida. The coalition includes members of law enforcement, business leaders, constitutional law attorneys, Doctors and other medical professionals, parents and Floridians from all walks of life.

Jessica Spencer Ed.D., CAP, CPP, Statewide Coalition Director for NoOn2.org states, “We know that Amendment 2 is simply a guise to legalize pot smoking in Florida and our goal is to point out the loopholes in the proposed Amendment.”

[youtube]http://youtu.be/fKS37A_S0MM[/youtube]

Quick Hits: Recent Developments in the Wild World of Climate Change

It’s becoming difficult to keep up with the insanity, fallacies and exaggerations of the climate ideologues – with President Obama and the EPA leading the pack. Here are some recent fallacies you have probably been exposed to, and a few of several responses from rational people on climate change.

epa logoEnvironmental Protection Agency:

Obama led the “Parade of Fallacies” on this topic, in a Saturday address from a Children’s Hospital, telling us it’s all “for the Children.” Fundamental to the lie is the deliberate mis-identification of carbon dioxide – invisible, odorless, and essential to life on this planet – with “carbon pollution” (soot). Because of the Clean Air Act, we don’t have a problem with soot in this country. China, the number 1 emitter of CO2 and soot, does. So an individual Chinese scientist, not a government official, put out a statement saying “That’s nice.” Expect to hear from the usual suspects that China is following our “good example.” Obama also promised the new regulations would prevent 2100 heart attacks and 100,000  asthma attacks annually. And EPA claims the new regulations will reduce costs for consumers, like ObamaCare reduced costs of health insurance.

On the Other Hand (OTOH):

It’s not the case that the Chinese government has made any decision. This is a suggestion from experts, because now they are exploring how emissions can be controlled in the 13th Five Year Plan…. This is a view of experts; that’s not saying it’s the government’s. I’m not a government official and I don’t represent the government.”( He Jiankun, Chinese scientist)

The US Chamber of Commerce estimates the price tag of the new EPA proposal – a 30% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030 – at $50 billion/year. This will have no effect on climate, since the rule applies to the USA’s 500 coal-fired electricity generators – while 1000 similar generators are under construction around the world.

Buried in the new rule (which regulates only harmless, essential CO2) is the admission from the EPA that the alleged health benefits are from a different rule that has been in effect since February 16, 2012, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule. According to the EPA, “The EPA is closely monitoring MATS compliance and finds that the industry is making substantial progress.” Thus, the new EPA regulations on CO2 will add nothing to the existing regulations on actual air pollutants that are already in place.

holdrenbiocJohn Holdren:

You may remember that President Obama’s Science Adviser, John Holdren, Chief of the Office of Scientific and Technology Policy (OSTP), released a two-minute video last January, explaining that incursions of Arctic air (usually rather cold) were due to stationary loops in the jet stream sucking the Polar Vortex down into Chicago. Holdren claimed that a “growing body of evidence suggests that the kind of extreme cold being experienced by much of the United States as we speak is a pattern that we can expect to see with increasing frequency as global warming continues.” In short, global warming was responsible for colder winters. The usual Media suspects broadcast this nonsense in prime time.

OTOH:

I never dreamed, but there is a Federal Law (the Data Quality Act, 2001) that requires Federal Offices to give us correct information! Who would have thought? So some enterprising folks at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) filed a lawsuit, on the basis of three recent peer-reviewed papers in the scientific literature (it’s grown to four now), claiming Holdren is full of beans and asking for a retraction and correction. You know how this turns out, right? We’re dealing with Obama and his ilk here.

This week, Holdren’s Office of Science and Technology Policy explained that Dr. Holdren was “expressing his personal opinion”, and NOT “a comprehensive review of the scientific literature”.

They used the OSTP resources and stature – such as it is – and taxpayer money to produce this turkey. Remember this the next time some member of the Obama Administration tells you that you can believe something – period. It might be just his personal opinion.

thwaitestongue-600x4231West Antarctic Ice Shelf (WAIS):

You probably remember recent Media alarms about the unstoppable collapse of the floating ice of a couple of Antarctic glaciers which drain into the Amundson Sea. Another 200 to 900 years or so and sea level will go up a meter – maybe. I never figured out how floating ice would cause a sea level rise if it melted; if ice in your cocktail melts, does your Manhattan overflow? (I’ll admit, my Manhattans never get the chance.)

OTOH:

Turns out, there’s a volcano under the Thwaites Glacier, which is melting it from below, according to the University of Texas:

“Austin, Texas — Thwaites Glacier, the large, rapidly changing outlet of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is not only being eroded by the ocean, it’s being melted from below by geothermal heat, researchers at the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas at Austin (UTIG) report in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The findings significantly change the understanding of conditions beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet where accurate information has previously been unobtainable.”

Yes, it’s still melting; in fact, it’s been melting for over 10,000 years. Get used to it!

rossiterDr. Caleb Rossiter:

Dr. Rossiter, a professor at American University and a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), published an article in the Wall Street Journal in May, 2014, titled “Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change,”calling man-made global warming an “unproved science” and advocating the expansion of carbon-based energy in Africa. I read it at the time and thought it made perfect sense; I criticized leaders of the Catholic Church last column for being on the wrong side of this issue.

OTOH:

The IPS terminated Dr. Rossiter’s 23-year Fellowship two days after the article. “I have tried to get [IPS] to discuss and explain their rejection of my analysis… “When I countered a claim of ‘rapidly accelerating’ temperature change with the [UN] IPCC’s own data’, showing the nearly 20-year temperature pause – the best response I ever got was ‘Caleb, I don’t have time for this.’”

Oh, Professor, what did you expect? I’ve written to a couple of Catholic theologians, offering the same argument: poor people need help against poverty more than they need protection from “climate change.” No answer.

Polar Bears (2)Polar Bears threatened – Really?:

You may remember polar bears were put on the “endangered” list a few years ago, at a time (2008) when Albert Gore predicted the Arctic Ocean would be ice-free by the Summer of 2013. Coca-Cola began issuing its product in cans with a polar bear image. Little children were taught that sweet, cuddly polar bears would be no more (regardless that polar bears are among the few predators that hunt humans).

OTOH:

“In proceedings, papers, and press availability, polar bear scientists have repeatedly referenced the 20,000+ number. But what was never made clear was that the PBSG [Polar Bear Study Group] has been assigning a zero value to the unstudied areas, territory that encompasses as much as half of the bears’ geographic range. A casual observer, even one who is fully invested in protecting polar bears, would be justifiably upset at discovering that the total count has been consistently under-estimated…”

“It has been frustrating,” acknowledges Ian Stirling, a Canadian Wildlife Service scientist who has worked on polar bears for more than 35 years. “But nothing that has been said or written changes anything. The science here is as solid as it can be.”

Love that “solid science.”  We not only don’t know the true population, we don’t know whether it’s increasing or decreasing. Solid as some people’s heads.

And, BTW, Arctic Ocean ice extent is back to within one standard deviation from normal, multi-year (very thick) ice has increased tremendously, and the Arctic Summer is remaining cold – like 2013.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

The scandal of fiddled global warming data: The US has actually been cooling since the Thirties, the hottest decade on record
24 Things the Media Claim Were Caused by ‘Global Warming’
Peer-Reviewed Survey Finds Majority Of Scientists Skeptical Of Global Warming Crisis – Forbes

Fired for ‘Diverging’ on Climate: Progressive Professor’s fellowship ‘terminated’ after WSJ OpEd calling global warming ‘unproved science’

Dr. Caleb Rossiter was “terminated” via email as an “Associate Fellow” from the progressive group Institute for Policy Studies(IPS), following his May 4th, 2014 Wall Street Journal OpEd titled “Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change,” in which he called man-made global warming an “unproved science.” Rossiter also championed the expansion of carbon based energy in Africa.  Dr.  Rossiter is an adjunct professor at American University. Rossiter holds a PhD in policy analysis and a masters degree in mathematics.

In an exclusive interview with Climate Depot, Dr. Rossiter explained: “If people ever say that fears of censorship for ‘climate change’ views are overblown, have them take a look at this: Just two days after I published a piece in the Wall Street Journal calling for Africa to be allowed the ‘all of the above’ energy strategy we have in the U.S., the Institute for Policy Studies terminated my 23-year relationship with them…because my analysis and theirs ‘diverge.’”

“I have tried to get [IPS] to discuss and explain their rejection of my analysis,’ Rossiter told Climate Depot. “When I countered a claim of ‘rapidly accelerating’ temperature change with the [UN] IPCC’s own data’, showing the nearly 20-year temperature pause— the best response I ever got was ‘Caleb, I don’t have time for this.’”

[Climate Depot Note: Intimidation of skeptical scientists has been well documented. Climate scientist Dr. Lennart Bengtsson — who converted from warmist to skeptic – resigns from skeptical group after ‘enormous group pressure’ from warmists – Now ‘worried about my health and safety’ – ‘Colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship’]

Image of Caleb S. Rossiter

Caleb Rossiter

Climate Depot has obtained a copy of a May 7, 2014 email that John Cavanagh, the director of IPS since 1998, sent to Rossiter with the subject “Ending IPS Associate Fellowship.”

“Dear Caleb, We would like to inform you that we are terminating your position as an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies,” Cavanagh wrote in the opening sentence of the email.

“Unfortunately, we now feel that your views on key issues, including climate science, climate justice, and many aspects of U.S. policy to Africa, diverge so significantly from ours that a productive working relationship is untenable. The other project directors of IPS feel the same,” Cavanagh explained.

“We thank you for that work and wish you the best in your future endeavors,” Cavanagh and his IPS associate Emira Woods added. [Full Text of IPS email is reproduced further below.]

Rosstier’s May 4, 2014 Wall Street Journal OpEd pulled no punches. Rossiter, who holds a masters in mathematics, wrote: “I started to suspect that the climate-change data were dubious a decade ago while teaching statistics. Computer models used by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to determine the cause of the six-tenths of one degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperature from 1980 to 2000 could not statistically separate fossil-fueled and natural trends.”

His Wall Street Journal OpEd continued: “The left wants to stop industrialization—even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false.” He added: “Western policies seem more interested in carbon-dioxide levels than in life expectancy.”

“Each American accounts for 20 times the emissions of each African. We are not rationing our electricity. Why should Africa, which needs electricity for the sort of income-producing enterprises and infrastructure that help improve life expectancy? The average in Africa is 59 years—in America it’s 79,” he explained.

“How terrible to think that so many people in the West would rather block such success stories in the name of unproved science,” he concluded his WSJ OpEd.

Rossiter’s and IPS seemed a natural fit, given Rossiter’s long history as an anti-war activist.  IPS describes itself as “a community of public scholars and organizers linking peace, justice, and the environment in the U.S. and globally. We work with social movements to promote true democracy and challenge concentrated wealth, corporate influence, and military power.

But Rosstier’s credentials as a long-time progressive could not trump his growing climate skepticism or his unabashed promotion of carbon based fuels for Africa.

Rossiter’s website describes himself as “a progressive activist who has spent four decades fighting against and writing about the U.S. foreign policy of supporting repressive governments in the formerly colonized countries.”

“I’ve spent my life on the foreign-policy left. I opposed the Vietnam War, U.S. intervention in Central America in the 1980s and our invasion of Iraq. I have headed a group trying to block U.S. arms and training for “friendly” dictators, and I have written books about how U.S. policy in the developing world is neocolonial,” Rossiter wrote in the Wall Street Journal on May 4.

Rossiter’s Wall Street Journal OpEd continued: “The left wants to stop industrialization—even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false. John Feffer, my colleague at the Institute for Policy Studies, wrote in the Dec. 8, 2009, Huffington Post that ‘even if the mercury weren’t rising’ we should bring ‘the developing world into the postindustrial age in a sustainable manner.’ He sees the ‘climate crisis [as] precisely the giant lever with which we can, following Archimedes, move the world in a greener, more equitable direction.”

“Then, as now, the computer models simply built in the assumption that fossil fuels are the culprit when temperatures rise, even though a similar warming took place from 1900 to 1940, before fossil fuels could have caused it. The IPCC also claims that the warming, whatever its cause, has slightly increased the length of droughts, the frequency of floods, the intensity of storms, and the rising of sea levels, projecting that these impacts will accelerate disastrously. Yet even the IPCC acknowledges that the average global temperature today remains unchanged since 2000, and did not rise one degree as the models predicted.

[ … ]

“But it is as an Africanist, rather than a statistician, that I object most strongly to ‘climate justice.’ Where is the justice for Africans when universities divest from energy companies and thus weaken their ability to explore for resources in Africa? Where is the justice when the U.S. discourages World Bank funding for electricity-generation projects in Africa that involve fossil fuels, and when the European Union places a ‘global warming’ tax on cargo flights importing perishable African goods?”

Full reprint of “termination” email from Institute for Policy Studies:

—–Forwarded Message—–
From: John Cavanagh
Sent: May 7, 2014 9:51 PM
To: Caleb Rossiter
Cc: Emira Woods, Joy Zarembka
Subject: Ending IPS Associate Fellowship

Dear Caleb,

We would like to inform you that we are terminating your position as an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. As you know, Associate Fellows at IPS are sponsored by an IPS project director or by the director. In your case, both of us sponsored your Fellowship. Unfortunately, we now feel that your views on key issues, including climate science, climate justice, and many aspects of U.S. policy to Africa, diverge so significantly from ours that a productive working relationship is untenable. The other project directors of IPS feel the same.

I (John) have worked with you on and off for two decades and I admire the project you did on Demilitarization and Democracy through IPS. I also admire the work you did on Capitol Hill with Rep. Delahunt. Both of us have worked with you in other capacities over the years with strong mutual respect. We thank you for that work and wish you the best in your future endeavors.

If you would like to meet with us in person, we are available. John will be in Berlin from Thursday afternoon through Monday evening, but could meet after that. Emira is here over the next week if you’d like to meet sooner.

Best regards,

John and Emira

End full reprint of IPS termination email.

Climate Depot’s Coverage of Rossiter’s WSJ article:

Caleb Rossiter: Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change: ‘Western policies seem more interested in carbon-dioxide levels than in life expectancy’ – The left wants to stop industrialization—even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false. John Feffer, my colleague at the Institute for Policy Studies, wrote in the Dec. 8, 2009, Huffington Post that “even if the mercury weren’t rising” we should bring “the developing world into the postindustrial age in a sustainable manner.” He sees the “climate crisis [as] precisely the giant lever with which we can, following Archimedes, move the world in a greener, more equitable direction.”

Dr. Rossiter’s full WSJ OpEd, reprinted with permission of Dr. Rossiter. 

Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change

Western Policies Seem More Interested in Carbon-dioxide Levels than in Life Expectancy

Caleb S. Rossiter

May 5, 2014, Wall Street Journal Editorial Page

Every year environmental groups celebrate a night when institutions in developed countries (including my own university) turn off their lights as a protest against fossil fuels. They say their goal is to get America and Europe to look from space like Africa: dark, because of minimal energy use.

But that is the opposite of what’s desired by Africans I know. They want Africa at night to look like the developed world, with lights in every little village and with healthy people, living longer lives, sitting by those lights. Real years added to real lives should trump the minimal impact that African carbon emissions could have on a theoretical catastrophe.

I’ve spent my life on the foreign-policy left. I opposed the Vietnam War, U.S. intervention in Central America in the 1980s and our invasion of Iraq. I have headed a group trying to block U.S. arms and training for “friendly” dictators, and I have written books about how U.S. policy in the developing world is neocolonial.

But I oppose my allies’ well-meaning campaign for “climate justice.” More than 230 organizations, including Africa Action and Oxfam, want industrialized countries to pay “reparations” to African governments for droughts, rising sea levels and other alleged results of what Ugandan strongman Yoweri Museveni calls “climate aggression.” And I oppose the campaign even more for trying to deny to Africans the reliable electricity–and thus the economic development and extended years of life–that fossil fuels can bring.

The left wants to stop industrialization–even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false. John Feffer, my colleague at the Institute for Policy Studies, wrote in the Dec. 8, 2009, Huffington Post that “even if the mercury weren’t rising” we should bring “the developing world into the postindustrial age in a sustainable manner.” He sees the “climate crisis [as] precisely the giant lever with which we can, following Archimedes, move the world in a greener, more equitable direction.”

I started to suspect that the climate-change data were dubious a decade ago while teaching statistics. Computer models used by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to determine the cause of the six-tenths of one degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperature from 1980 to 2000 could not statistically separate fossil-fueled and natural trends.

Then, as now, the computer models simply built in the assumption that fossil fuels are the culprit when temperatures rise, even though a similar warming took place from 1900 to 1940, before fossil fuels could have caused it. The IPCC also claims that the warming, whatever its cause, has slightly increased the length of droughts, the frequency of floods, the intensity of storms, and the rising of sea levels, projecting that these impacts will accelerate disastrously. Yet even the IPCC acknowledges that the average global temperature today remains unchanged since 2000, and did not rise one degree as the models predicted.

But it is as an Africanist, rather than a statistician, that I object most strongly to “climate justice.” Where is the justice for Africans when universities divest from energy companies and thus weaken their ability to explore for resources in Africa? Where is the justice when the U.S. discourages World Bank funding for electricity-generation projects in Africa that involve fossil fuels, and when the European Union places a “global warming” tax on cargo flights importing perishable African goods? Even if the wildest claims about the current impact of fossil fuels on the environment and the models predicting the future impact all prove true and accurate, Africa should be exempted from global restraints as it seeks to modernize.

With 15% of the world’s people, Africa produces less than 5% of carbon-dioxide emissions. With 4% of global population, America produces 25% of these emissions. In other words, each American accounts for 20 times the emissions of each African. We are not rationing our electricity. Why should Africa, which needs electricity for the sort of income-producing enterprises and infrastructure that help improve life expectancy? The average in Africa is 59 years–in America it’s 79. Increased access to electricity was crucial in China’s growth, which raised life expectancy to 75 today from 59 in 1968.

According to the World Bank, 24% of Africans have access to electricity and the typical business loses power for 56 days each year. Faced with unreliable power, businesses turn to diesel generators, which are three times as expensive as the electricity grid. Diesel also produces black soot, a respiratory health hazard. By comparison, bringing more-reliable electricity to more Africans would power the cleaning of water in villages, where much of the population still lives, and replace wood and dung fires as the source of heat and lighting in shacks and huts, removing major sources of disease and death. In the cities, reliable electricity would encourage businesses to invest and reinvest rather than send their profits abroad.

Mindful of the benefits, the Obama administration’s Power Africa proposal and the World Bank are trying to double African access to electricity. But they have been hamstrung by the opposition of their political base to fossil fuels–even though off-grid and renewable power from the sun, tides and wind is still too unreliable, too hard to transmit, and way too expensive for Africa to build and maintain as its primary source of power.

In 2010 the left tried to block a World Bank loan for a new coal-fired plant in South Africa. Fortunately, the loan was approved (with the U.S. abstaining). The drive to provide electricity for the poor has been perhaps the greatest achievement of South Africa’s post-apartheid governments.

Standing on the mountainside at night in Cape Town, overlooking the “Coloured” township of Mitchell’s Plain and the African township of Khayelitsha, you can now see a twinkling blanket of bulbs. How terrible to think that so many people in the West would rather block such success stories in the name of unproved science.

Rossiter directs the American Exceptionalism Media Project. He is an adjunct professor at American University and an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Climate Depot’s Related Links:

Coverage of Dr. Rossiter & IPS: ‘It’s climate apostasy again’: ‘Institute for Policy Studies terminates skeptic who cares about Africans more than climate modelers’

‘There are many issues swirling round here – the good intentions of the “progressives” and the evil that flows from it, their startling ability to turn a blind eye to the suffering of Africans, their inability to deal with dissent, their closed minds. What a depressing scene with which to start the day.’

As Obama EPA Regulations begin, more Scientists Reverse Belief in Global Warming

Climate Depot statement: “As President Obama is stepping up his “historic” effort to attempt to legislate weather and climate through EPA regulations, scientists from around the world continue to reassess the scientific claims of man-made global warming and are reversing themselves or are becoming more skeptical.” (The latest scientist is below. More scientists in the “related links” section.)

Prominent Scientist Dr. Daniel Botkin, who has studied climate change for 45 years, told the Committee in Q&A: 

‘I have been concerned about global warming since 1968 and in the 1980s, it looked like the weight of evidence lent towards human induced climate change, to a significant extant, and since then it’s moved against it.’

Later in the hearing, Botkin elaborated: ‘I was concerned that there was a human induced climate warning and I gave talks and TV interviews that said that, but since the middle of the 1990s, there is evidence that is running against that.

For example the temperature change is not tracking carbon dioxide very well. Then there is the information from the long term antarctic ice core and some from recent paper in the arctic,  that suggest that carbon dioxide does not lead temperature change,  it may actually lag it significantly or may not lead it at all, and if that is the case that is still an open but important scientific evidence.

So there are several lines of evidence that are suggesting that it (AGW) is a weaker case today, not a stronger case.’

Full Committee Hearing – Examining the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Process
2318 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 | May 29, 2014 11:00am
Examining the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Process
WRITTEN TESTIMONY TO THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, SPACE, AND TECHNOLOGY.
MAY 29, 2014

Dr. Daniel Botkin, Professor Emeritus, Department of  Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara (Full Bio here)

Selected Excerpts: (Full Testimony here)

Since 1968 I have published research on theoretical global warming, its potential ecological effects, and the implications for people and biodiversity. I have spent my career trying to help conserve our environment and its great diversity of species. In doing so I have always attempted to maintain an objective, intellectually honest, scientific approach in the best tradition of scientific endeavor. I have, accordingly, been dismayed and disappointed in recent years that this subject has been converted into a political and ideological debate.

Related Links: 

Climate Depot Note: Dr. Botkin joins many other scientists who recently publicly dissented from man-made climate fears.The global warming movement continues to lose scientists, many formerly with the UN IPCC.

Another Prominent Scientist Dissents: Environmental physicist Dr. Jean-Louis Pinault: ‘This is a very uneven debate, skeptics cannot enforce their arguments in scientific journals that are subject to censorship’ – Declares AGW has produced an ‘economic and political media frenzy unprecedented in the history of science’

Another Dissenter: Geoscientst & former UN Consultant Dr. David Kear declares warming fears ‘based on unfounded unscientific beliefs’ – An ‘innocent gas, CO2, has been demonized and criminalized’

Another Prominent Scientist Dissents! Fmr. NASA Scientist Dr. Les Woodcock ‘Laughs’ at Global Warming – ‘Global warming is nonsense’ Top Prof. Declares

Flashback: UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol admits no global warming for 17 years – Rips bias in IPCC – UN’s ‘inbuilt alarmism made me step down’ – ‘By the time the report was finished, however, it hadn’t warmed for 17 years’

Green Guru James Lovelock on Climate Change: ‘I don’t think anybody really knows what’s happening. They just guess’ – Lovelock Reverses Himself on Global Warming

More Than 1000 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims – Challenge UN IPCC & Gore

Top Swedish Climate Scientist Says Warming Not Noticeable: ‘The warming we have had last a 100 years is so small that if we didn’t have climatologists to measure it we wouldn’t have noticed it at all’ – Award-Winning Dr. Lennart Bengtsson, formerly of UN IPCC: ‘We Are Creating Great Anxiety Without It Being Justified’

‘High Priestess of Global Warming’ No More! Former Warmist Climate Scientist Judith Curry Admits To Being ‘Duped Into Supporting IPCC’ – ‘If the IPCC is dogma, then count me in as a heretic’

German Meteorologist reverses belief in man-made global warming: Now calls idea that CO2 Can Regulate Climate ‘Sheer Absurdity’ — ‘Ten years ago I simply parroted what the IPCC told us’

UN Scientists Who Have Turned on the UN IPCC & Man-Made Climate Fears — A Climate Depot Flashback Report – Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” – UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

‘Some of the most formidable opponents of climate hysteria include politically liberal physics Nobel laureate, Ivar Giaever; Freeman Dyson; father of the Gaia Hypothesis, James Lovelock — ‘Left-center chemist, Fritz Vahrenholt, one of the fathers of the German environmental movement’

Flashback: Left-wing Env. Scientist Bails Out Of Global Warming Movement: Declares it a ‘corrupt social phenomenon…strictly an imaginary problem of the 1st World middleclass’

Global Temperature Update: No global warming at all for 17 years 9 months

Congressional hearing links:

UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol Rips IPCC at Congressional Hearing: ‘The IPCC leadership has in the past been very adept at putting troublesome authors in positions where they cannot harm the cause. That practice must end’

UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol Rips 97% consensus claim: ‘The 97% is essentially pulled from thin air, it is not based on any credible research whatsoever’ – IPCC Lead Author Trashes 97% Consensus claims: UN IPCC Lead Author & University of Sussex economist Dr. Richard Tol: ‘Science is, of course, never settled.’
Tol: ‘The 97% estimate is bandied about by basically everybody.  I had a close look at what this study really did. as far as I can see, The estimate just crumbles when you touch it. None of the statements in the papers are supported by the data that’s in the paper. The 97% is essentially pulled from thin air, it is not based on any credible research whatsoever.

Flashback: UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol admits no global warming for 17 years – Rips bias in IPCC – UN’s ‘inbuilt alarmism made me step down’ – ‘By the time the report was finished, however, it hadn’t warmed for 17 years’

UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol: ‘One of the startling facts about climate change is that there are very few facts about climate change. Climate change is mainly something of the future so we are really talking about model projections’

Congressional hearing: Scientists say UN IPCC puts politics before science, needs reform – IPCC Lead Author Tol: ‘Competent people are excluded because their views do not match those of their government’

UN Lead Author Michael Oppenheimer Admits to Congress Climate Science Not ‘Settled’: ‘The question of exactly how warm the Earth will become as a result (of rising CO2), that’s not’ settled

Study: Canadian Oil Sands Aren’t Increasing U.S. Carbon Emissions

A mining truck carries oil sands in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Photographer: Jimmy Jeong/Bloomberg.

Keystone XL opponents say they’re fighting the project because they fear the carbon emissions that would be produced by developing Canada’s oil sands, but a new report undercuts that argument by finding that the oil sands development has resulted in only a fractional increase in them.

Bill McKibben, head of 350.org and the main face behind the anti-pipeline campaign declared in 2011 that Canada’s oil sands are “the earth’s second-largest pool of carbon, and hence the second-largest potential source of global warming gases after the oil fields of Saudi Arabia.”

However, a report by IHS finds that increased development of Canadian oil sands have not had an impact on U.S. carbon emissions. Canada’s National Post reports:

The report, based in part on a focus group meeting held last October in Washington, D.C., with Alberta’s Department of Energy and major oil sands producers, found that between 2005 and 2012, the carbon intensity of the average crude oil consumed in the U.S. “did not materially change,” decreasing by about 0.6%.

That is despite a 75% increase in U.S. imports of oil sands and other Canadian heavy crudes over the same period — to about 2.1 million barrels a day from 1.2 million barrels.

At the same time, U.S. imports of Mexican and Venezuelan heavy crude fell, while production of U.S. tight oil from North Dakota’s Bakken and the Eagle Ford shale in Texas climbed to 1.8 million barrels a day, up from virtually zero in 2005. That helped displace imports of similar crudes from Africa and elsewhere with relatively higher carbon footprints, the report says. U.S. imports from Nigeria fell 64% over the period, it said.

“A lot has changed since 2005,” said Kevin Birn, a director of IHS Energy and leader of the consultancy’s oil sands dialogue in Calgary.

“We’ve had heavy crudes push out heavy crudes that happen to be within the same GHG intensity range, and the same thing’s happened on the light oil side.”

Since we’re on the topic of the Keystone XL pipeline and greenhouse gas emissions, I’ll remind you that the State Department’s economic analysis of the pipeline found that alternative methods of moving oil sands crude—no serious observer thinks they won’t be developed–would result in higher greenhouse gas emissions than from the Keystone XL pipeline.

Remember these facts the next time pipeline protesters get arrested in the name of reducing carbon emissions.

Personal Liberty Digest Poll Results: Marco Rubio — Is Global Warming Fake?

The total number of people who voted in this poll: 18,134
1) Do you think climate change (global warming) is real or a hoax?
 9%  voted:  Real. Climate change is real as is seen in the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet and in extreme changes in temperature and weather patterns.
 88%  voted:  Hoax. Climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the green energy industry, there has been no real scientific proof.
 3%  voted:  I don’t know.
2) Do you believe human-caused greenhouse gases are to blame for extreme weather?
 4%  voted:  Yes, unregulated greenhouse gases caused by humans are causing global warming that is setting off an environmental chain reaction resulting in more extreme weather.
 95%  voted:  No, the climate is and has been historically cooling and warming throughout centuries and humans are not to blame.
 1%  voted:  I don’t know.
3) Do you, like Rubio, believe that global warming regulation and laws will do nothing but destroy the U.S. economy?
 95%  voted:  Yes, global warming laws will make everything more expensive as restrictions will change the way goods can be produced.
 4%  voted:  No, regulations and laws are absolutely necessary as we won’t have an economy if the environment is destroyed.
 1%  voted:  I don’t know.
4) Do you believe the United States should be the leader in solving the world’s climate issues?
 11%  voted:  Yes, the U.S. is the most powerful nation in the world and needs to lead by example.
 85%  voted:  No, the U.S. needs to look out for its own economy and interests.
 4%  voted:  I don’t know.
5) With which political party do you most closely align philosophically?
 2%  voted:  Democrat
 33%  voted:  Republican
 8%  voted:  Libertarian
 34%  voted:  Tea Party
 21%  voted:  Independent
 3%  voted:  Other

Thank you for your participation.

If you haven’t voted click here.

Residents of Sarasota County, FL: Don’t be misled by the claims of self-appointed experts speaking at the UN-sponsored World Environmental Day

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has selected Sarasota County as the North American Host Community for World Environmental Day (WED) 2014.  The June 5th, 2014 WED Sarasota forum will focus on environmental challenges facing coastal communities and “climate change research.”

Among the topics to be addressed at the forum are sea level rise, climate change, developing a “sustainable” business platform for ecotourism in Southwest Florida, and “green” buildings.  Behind each one of these and related themes lies an political agenda that cynically uses trumped-up environmental fears to impose restrictions on homeowners and local businesses and redirects taxpayer money to politically favored “green” projects and products.

Here are a few facts to keep in mind:

  •  Sea Level Rise:  Attendees at the forum can expect to be told that coastal Sarasota is threatened by sea level rise resulting from man-made climate change. In truth, sea levels have been rising globally for millennia, or since the melting of giant ice sheets signaled the end of the last Ice Age.  During that time, sea levels have risen about 400 feet at a fairly constant rate of 7 inches a year.  The rate remained constant even during the Little Ice Age (1400-1850).  Sea level rise shows no association with man-made greenhouse-gas emissions.   See: www.americanthinker.com/2013/06/could-global-warming-slow-sea-level-rise.html
  • Climate Change:  The politically fashionable, but scientifically unproven, notion of human-induced climate change will receive plenty of attention at the WED forum.  Global temperatures have now failed to rise for 17 years despite what alarmists, including those at UNEP, confidently predicted. Severe weather events, including hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires etc, have not been increasing in frequency, but these facts have not kept alarmists, well represented at the WED Sarasota forum, from continuing to spread fear and advocate new restrictions and regulations on energy, transportation, land use, and countless other everyday activities.  See: http://www.climatedepot.com/2014/05/29/scientist-dr-daniel-botkin-tells-congress-why-he-reversed-his-belief-in-global-warming-to-become-a-skeptic-there-are-several-lines-of-evidence-suggesting-that-it-agw-is-a-weaker-case-today-not/
  • Sustainable Business Development:  Presenters at the forum will trumpet the virtues of sustainable business development when it comes to promoting ecotourism in Southwest Florida.  What they won’t tell their audience with any clarity is what they mean by “sustainable.”  Sustainable, it turns out, is the imposition of a top-down regulatory structure, in which appointed government bureaucrats determine what is and is not acceptable development.  See www.cfact.org/2012/02/27/sustainable-development-latest-tool-to-expand-epas-empire/
  • Green Building and Green Economy:  One of the speakers at the forum represents a powerful non-profit organization, the U.S. Green Building Council.  The council is best known for its green building certification system, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).   “Across the United States,” USA Today reported in October 2012, “ the U.S. Green Building Council has helped thousands of developers win tax breaks and grants, charge higher rents, exceed local building restrictions and get expedited permitting by certifying them as ‘green’ under a system that often rewards minor, low-cost steps that have little or no environmental benefit.”  USA Today also reported that the 13,000-member council is “run by architects, builders and building suppliers.  Many specialize in – and profit from – the type of design the council certifies and promotes.  The council collects up to $35,000 in fees for each LEED certification.”  In other words, the council’s members are self-dealers who feather their nests under the guise of protecting the environment. See: www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/10/24/green-building-green-certification/1650517/
  • United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP): Founded in 1972 and headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP is the UN agency behind the Sarasota WED forum.  In recent decades, UNEP has been at the forefront of those organizations spreading fears about man-made climate change, even though global temperatures have remained flat for 17 years.  UNEP favors the imposition of carbon taxes and the replacement of fossil fuels by unreliable and unaffordable renewable energy, such as taxpayer funded wind and solar.  Do Floridians really want their beaches marred by giant offshore wind farms, which, in addition to being unsightly and inefficient, pose a severe threat to sea birds?  UNEP’s nearly 1,300 full-time bureaucrats are elected by no one and are accountable to no one.  See: www.unep.org/climatechange/

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Teaching Our Children How to Deceive

There is a grand belief that the education system in the United States, from elementary school to college, is the best that can be and that our children are learning the truth from objective and well informed educators. While many educators are indeed ‘the best’ and worthy of praise (though few get it), the reality is that our system of education in this country is infected with a cancer of progressive thought that not only teaches our children an unbalanced view of the world, but actually teachers them to deceive.

This sad state of affairs has been the product of decades of creeping liberalism and progressive ideology that has taken deep root within the leadership of our education organizations, teachers unions and the current administration in Washington, D.C. The evidence of this affliction is found all around us; in our local and state classrooms and our esteemed, internationally recognized universities. As our children flow through these institutions they cannot but exit with a biased, one-sided understanding of how the world turns and why. This lamentable condition is best evidenced by a study of how we teach climate science.

Every classroom in the state of Florida teaches a version of climate science that derives its scientific basis from text books that in turn have been drafted by information whose source is the myth of man made climate change or in other words the greenhouse gas theory of climate change. This theory was disproved after it was first made famous by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. Yet for political, not scientific reasons, it persists. Future climate scenarios that many teachers have parroted in their lesson plans have come directly or indirectly from twenty years of highly questionable research by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN-IPCC). From a review of its most recent 2007 report which is based on the myth of man’s influence over the Earth’s climate by human CO2 emissions, we can now see that all of their predictions for what our climate should be in 2012 have been wrong. The greenhouse gas theory simply doesn’t work and never has! Yet this report and ones before it have been a primary source of the US education system’s science on the functioning of the Earth’s climate.

In a local Sarasota school, Pine View, this has taken on a disastrous character in teaching our students deception when is comes to the climate. According to an article by Dr. Rich Swier, one science teacher at Pine View not only does not have any formal science education whatsoever, which is indictment enough of the failings of our education system, yet his tool for teaching climate change is to play a DVD of “An Inconvenient Truth” by former VP Al Gore. Not only has this movie and the science behind it been thoroughly discredited, but here we have an excellent example of how we deceive our children through a politically polluted education curriculum. These children will in turn take this false information in their heads for the rest of their lives deceiving many others and later their own children. How tragic!

This is how it starts. If we permit our educators to put invalid and false information in our youngest most impressionable minds, the very nature of our country is changed decades ahead as these future adults cast votes and take up leadership positions or compete for elected office or themselves begin to teach other students.

Regrettably, this sickness within our education system nationally and here in Florida does not stop at the elementary or primary levels but continues through our colleges and universities where progressive teaching is even more entrenched.

My own experience says much about this area of how we teach our children to deceive.

Despite the clear failings of the greenhouse gas theory, it remains the dominant climate theory in Florida’s centers of higher education and in the many “green” science departments of our most prominent and largest institutions. My own credentials in the field of climate science are based on solid research and unlike the UN-IPCC reports, illuminated by proven results. As the father of the “Relational Cycle Theory of Climate Change, or RC Theory for short, I have accrued a track record of correctly made major climate change predictions that exceeds that of the UN, NASA, and NOAA. I have been a White House, Congressional and NASA headquarters adviser  head of a climate science research corporation which includes other recognized researchers, and author of an internationally acclaimed climate science book, “Cold Sun.”

Yet even with these credits I have been denied the opportunity to speak to students at three Florida universities or colleges.

In one case, the University of South Florida, I was at first invited in to speak, participated in setting up a schedule to speak to several classes along with a book signing and then unceremoniously told everything was called off for a reason which was nebulous at best. Apparently after they learned what I was going to talk about and that I was not a tenured PhD at another university, I was deemed not credible.

Though I have asked officials at the University of Central Florida, and Valencia Community College, two of the nation’s largest of their type, if they would like me to speak on the climate, the answer up front without much consideration was “No thanks.” I am convinced that if I were an expert on the greenhouse gas theory and had a copy of Inconvenient Truth to play for the students and willing to spout the politically correct, though scientifically incorrect version of climate change, they would have been begging for me to come on campus. The responses to my offers within the liberal education system here in Florida have been clear. Our best institutions of higher learning only want the deception of man made climate change to be taught and nothing else. It is after all the only kind of university climate research the leadership in Washington is willing to fund.

In the many presentations I have given throughout the state of Florida on the subject of climate change, the audiences have been enthusiastic in their approval. They are the parents and grandparents of the very same students that the Florida education system abuses with a corrupted version of climate science rather than teach what is really happening with the climate. They continue to deceive our children by telling them the Earth is getting warmer, when the truth is that global warming ended years ago. They are taught that sea levels will continue to rise and will swamp our coastal cities by 2100 when all the facts say the rate of sea level rise is rapidly dropping and we will soon see nothing but declining ocean levels as the world’s oceans continue their next natural cycle of cooling. They are unabashed in saying than man controls the climate by industrial CO2 emissions when the true amount of man’s CO2 contribution is insignificant compared to the amount of naturally produced CO2, over which we have zero control. The so-called experts in climate science in Florida’s education system tell their students that the Sun is overheating and threatening us with destructive solar flares when the truth is that the Sun has entered a rare state of “hibernation” or its own version of cooling, from which if history repeats, will bring to the planet decades of record cold climate. We routinely have our young children being told that polar bears are endangered by man’s greenhouse gas emissions – an utter falsehood! By official estimates polar bears have almost tripled in number since the 60’s, and especially in the 80’s and 90’s during the period of what we have called man made global warming!

This grand deception on what we teach our children about the climate is probably repeated in other subject areas. It all comes from an education system that long ago left the world of reality for the true goal of progressive indoctrination that unfortunately ends up teaching our children how to deceive themselves, those around them, and some day deceive their own children.

Predicting the Weather? The Climate? You’re Kidding, Right?

With some of the most sophisticated computers and satellites at its disposal, the U.S. Weather Service cannot tell you with any certainty what the weather will be in your area two weeks from now. It’s not that they don’t give forecasts beyond that a good try, but when you have to work with computers that cannot determine cloud formation and cover, significant factors, you have to just make your best guess.

Since the 1980s, following a decade in which an ice age was being predicted, the global warming charlatans operating out of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change began to generate predictions of an eminent and threatening period of warming for the Earth and, of course, former Vice President Al Gore became the Predictor-in-Chief for that while also becoming a multi-millionaire doing so.

Then, about seventeen years ago, the Earth began to cool, entering a perfectly natural weather cycle that put an end to the global warming hoax. So the IPCC and the rest of the environmental crowd began to talk about “climate change” instead.

They continued to blame carbon dioxide (CO2)—which they call “carbon pollution”—and the Environmental Protection Agency keeps flogging this lie because it is the basis for its criminal agenda to destroy the economy with hundreds of thousands of regulations over every inch of land and every drop of water in the nation. This week it embarks on its effort to shut down every coal-fired plant in America that provides electricity.

Writing recently in his “blogosphere” at IceCap.us, Joe D’Aleo, a widely respected climatologist, pointed out that “First of all, carbon pollution is ‘soot’ which we don’t have a problem with—the EPA’s own data shows in fact it is well below EPA standards, declining 50% since 1999”

“CO2 which is conflated with soot is a harmless (actually beneficial) gas and every breathe (that) every human emits (contains) 100 times as much CO2 as is in the ambient air. CO2 is critical for plant life and we are at the low end of the scale of CO2 for the earth’s history, just above the survival level needed for plants which require it for photosynthesis—around 280 parts per million.”

So, who are you going to believe? A leading climatologist or a former community organizer, Barack Obama?

It appears that Obama has decided to tell a lot of lies about the climate for the remainder of his second term in office. Having failed to resuscitate the nation’s economy and unable to have any effect on global events as his administration’s scandals mount, Obama has seized upon the IPCC’s lies about the climate to divert our attention from our real problems. They have become the basis for official U.S. policy and behavior.

As the hurricane season from June through November begins, Obama can be found predicting a rise in these storms in the months ahead, but as June arrived, it marked 3,142 days since the U.S. last was hit by a major hurricane. This “drought” of hurricanes is truly unprecedented, dating back to 1900!

Be assured that Obama will be supported by reports from U.S. agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Hurricane Center whose budgets depend on his support. What they won’t tell you is that, thirty years ago, Dr. William Gray, a distinguished meteorologist at Colorado State University found and documented the relationship between the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), commonly just called El Nino that suppresses hurricane activity.

Forecasters are anticipating a strong El Nino this year. It is a phenomenon determined by the ocean and atmosphere in and over the tropical Pacific Ocean. How powerful is it? Its effects are felt around the world, including the Atlantic Ocean where most of the hurricanes that hit the U.S. occur. Its counterpart, La Nina, a cool phase enhances hurricane activity, but that is not going to happen in the months ahead because El Ninos usually last at least 27 months.

If the U.S. Weather Service cannot predict the weather two weeks to a month from now, any predictions regarding the climate—measured in centuries—should be viewed with a very high degree of doubt. It should be noted, however, that the interglacial period between ice ages is about 11,000 to 11,500 years and the current period is reaching its end.

A President using the weather to scare Americans should be viewed with considerable cynicism. Note that Obama keeps referring to the last big storm to hit the East Coast, Sandy, but it was a tropical storm, not a hurricane

The National Center for Public Policy Research has set forth the “Top Ten Reasons Washington Should Not Impose New Global Warming Laws or Regulations.”

There will be dramatic weather events in the months ahead because there are always such events, droughts, storms, tornadoes, floods, forest fires, et cetera. This is how Mother Earth operates and always has.

It comes down to this. If your weatherman tells you it is going to rain tomorrow or in a day or two, bring an umbrella with you. Beyond that, just enjoy the summer.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

What would Jesus do about Global Warming?

The road to Hell, as we all know, is paved with good intentions. The latest example is the people, many of them religious leaders, who are going to help the poor. How? They’re going to save them from global warming.

For a specific case, consider the current campaign to convince Florida Governor Rick Scott – a previously documented skeptic during the 2010 campaign – to create a plan for dealing with climate change. The campaign is led by Rev. Mitch Hescox, leader of the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN). There’s a petition there to be delivered to Gov. Scott.

Archbishop Thomas G Wenski

Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski, Miami, FL.

Within my own faith, there’s the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which just released a letter to Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator, praising the new standards on carbon dioxide emissions to be released on June 2. It’s signed by Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski, Archbishop of Miami, who is Chairman of the  Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. The opening paragraph goes as follows:

“I write on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to address the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to develop standards to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants and thereby mitigate climate change. The USCCB recognizes the importance  of finding means to reduce carbon pollution. These standards should protect the health and welfare of all people, especially children, the elderly, as well as poor and vulnerable communities, from harmful pollution emitted from power plants and from the impacts of climate change.”

All the dangerous Shibboleths are here – “carbon pollution”, “climate change”, “poor and vulnerable”. It goes on to say:

“As bishops and people of faith, we do not speak as experts on carbon pollution or on the technical remedies to address climate change.”

This is the archtypical Liberal good-intentions approach to public policy. One would think the Catholic bishops, having been double-crossed by Obama on healthcare and the contraception mandate, would be a little cautious in believing his extravagant claims about the havoc being wreaked on us by “severe weather.” Nope.

Or, while admitting a total lack of expertise on this scientific topic, they abjure any responsibility to learn more. Just for the record – in case this comes to Archbishop Wenski’s notice – there has been no increase in severe weather worldwide or in the US, and there’s been no global warming for 16+ years. There have been several US House Science and Technology Committee hearings on this topic; there was one just a few days ago. The four scientists who spoke all agreed the “science is unsettled” and we are unable to forecast the climate. (We can’t even forecast the weather beyond a week.)

In the very different world of faith-based ignorance, the Vatican this month hosted a conference on Sustainability. Apparently Pope Francis plans to release an Encyclical Letter on climate change to the Church in the next year. Expect the message to be:

Climate change has the greatest effect on the poor; As Christians, we have an obligation to help the poor; We can help the poor by stopping climate change.

The first two items are correct. Think of Hurricane Katrina, people who had money and/or automobiles flew or drove out of New Orleans before Katrina hit. The most terrible example was in Bangladesh in 1972, where hundreds of thousands (no, I’m NOT exaggerating) drowned in the 20 foot storm surge from a tropical cyclone.

Item two is the essence of Chapter 25:40 of Matthew’s Gospel:

“[W]hatever you have done for these, the least of my brethren, you have done for me.”

Pretty fundamental Christianity. So why am I concerned? There are two reasons.

First, anyone who thinks we humans can stop climate change by minimizing or eliminating our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is delusional. Recorded climate has changed throughout history, long before industrial CO2 emissions. But even if one believes CO2 is the climate control knob, China is burning more coal than the rest of the world combined (according to the New York Times), and India is following close behind. American CO2 emissions are dwarfed by Third World countries trying to raise their people out of poverty. The CEO of Peabody Coal notes coal has been the fastest-growing major fuel of the past decade and is set to surpass oil as the world’s largest fuel in coming years.

Consider the irony: pagan India and atheistic China are lifting their poor out of poverty by giving them cheap on-grid electricity. First World Christians advocate helping the poor by denying them cheap on-grid electricity, to reduce emissions.

Second, the poor are best helped by lifting them out of poverty – as China, India, and most countries of Latin America are doing. That’s history; that’s what happened in America, Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, Iceland, Israel – the First World. With resources, especially energy, you can mitigate climate change – but not stop it.

But the World Bank won’t fund construction of coal-fired electricity generating plants in sub-Saharan Africa. Worse yet, the Catholic Climate Covenant and other interfaith environmentalists encourage colleges and universities to divest their endowments of fossil fuel assets. In April, America Magazine, a publication of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), carried an article titled Getting Out of Oil. This was followed by a webinar, Catholic Perspectives on Divestment and Reinvestment, led by Doug Demeo, the author of the AmericaMagazine article, and two Catholic theologians, Dr. Erin Lothes and Dr. Richard Miller. In her presentation, Dr. Lothes asks what “a world beyond fossil fuels would look like?”

I can tell Dr. Lothes what “a world beyond fossil fuels would look like” – it would look like the world of 1000 years ago, when it was being rapidly stripped of trees to burn as fuel. You can find a review of the webinar at the National Catholic Reporter.

Reading the smug assurances of Lothes, Miller, and Demeo makes me want to scream with frustration. What makes these intelligent, well-educated people so scientifically naive? I can only conclude that religious faith predisposes one to uncritical acceptance of authority, especially if it’s religious authority. Demeo, Lothes, Miller and other writers on this topic – saving the poor from global warming – accept the premise of human control of climate without demur. Sometimes a Doubting Thomas is a useful member of the congregation.

Aristotle, a pretty smart man, claimed heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones. For more than 2000 years, no one (that we know of) bothered to challenge that claim by experiment. Galileo claimed to have done so, from Pisa’s Leaning Tower. Aristotle’s logic was correct, but his assumptions were faulty. As the historian Daniel Boorstein wrote, “The opposite of knowledge is not ignorance; it’s false knowledge.”

The Scientific Method has several principles; the first is to not accept claims about natural philosophy (as it was originally called) without data, experimental results that can be verified by repetition. “The science is all settled” is an oxymoron, though I don’t include Obama and Gore in the ranks of theologians – or even honest men. The 17-year “pause” in the IPCC’s unanimously-predicted warming demonstrates the hypothesis is flawed.

Where is Galileo when we need him?