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
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 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:
  • 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:
  • 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
  • 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:
  • 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:


Marco Rubio says human activity isn’t causing climate change
Protest Against the United Nations in Sarasota, Florida set for Thursday, June 5th
U.S. Government says it can’t predict earthquakes — Florida based group says “Yes, We Can”

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, 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?

Protest Against the United Nations in Sarasota, Florida set for Thursday, June 5th

Sarasota County is hosting the United Nations for World Environment Day. The Sarasota County website states, “Sarasota County has been selected by the United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Office for North America (UNEP RONA) as the official North American host community for World Environment Day (WED) 2014, to be held on June 5. More than just a single day of environmentally focused events, the WED celebration launches on Earth Day in April and bridges the globe—and the months—with programs and events that culminate on June 5.”

Sarasota residents are not happy that the United Nations is coming to town. These citizens are comparing the UN presence in Sarasota to the Bureau of Land Management standoff at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada. An email from Sarasota residents Eileen Green, and Mike Bolam state:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Forward this message in the hope you will attend this event and that you also know that there is more being done behind the scenes that can’t be shared now .

The presence of People at government meetings and events where elected servants are in attendance is significant to promoting our stand on an issue . Lately this point has been confirmed in multiple ways and is the most successful… e.g. Bundy ranch, Red River Texas/Oklahoma border .

The protest isn’t as important than the number of People that attend…. that in itself speaks the loudest. Is our Liberty of less value than a golf date, a day at work , a lunch date, a game or exercise appointment? When they don’t see you there the cause isn’t important to them either! Just as at Lexington and Concord when the Liberty bell rings we need to come a running!

Share this with your contacts even those in surrounding counties because we need lots of People to send the foreign powers (UN) packing!

The Republican Sarasota County Commission has over the years used taxpayer funds to buy “environmentally sensitive lands” and place them under government control. The Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program, “[I]s a voter-approved and taxpayer-funded program designed to acquire and protect natural lands. Priority sites within the county are ranked on environmental criteria including connectivity, water quality, habitat rarity, land quality and manageability. Acquired lands are being protected and managed. Most preserves have public access for nature-based recreation.” Approximately 30% of Sarasota County is owned by city, county, school board, state and federal agencies.

Coupled with the comprehensive Sarasota County 2050 Plan, adopted on July 10, 2002, the Sarasota County Commissioners are now in full alignment with the goals and objectives outlined in the 1992 UN Rio Earth Summit. The documents produced at the Rio Earth Summit include: Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the Statement of Forest Principles, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The followup mechanisms are: Commission on Sustainable Development; Inter-agency Committee on Sustainable Development; High-level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development.

The UN Earth Summit was and remains based upon the dis-proven scientific theory of man-made global warming.

The Rio Earth Summit’s message:

[T]hat nothing less than a transformation of our attitudes and behaviour would bring about the necessary changes… Governments recognized the need to redirect international and national plans and policies to ensure that all economic decisions fully took into account any environmental impact. And the message has produced results, making eco-efficiency a guiding principle for business and governments alike.” [Emphasis added]


June 5th
Be at Mote Marine
Laboratory and Aquarium
1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota , FL 34236
by 10:00 am
To Picket the United Nations 


Bring Signs!

No more EPA!

Eileen Green is the organizer  941-379-8796
EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of The Zach Morris Experience. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Do Terminally Ill Americans have the Unalienable “Right to Try”?

“States should enact ‘Right to Try‘ measures to protect the fundamental right of people to try to save their own lives. Designed by the Goldwater Institute, this initiative would allow terminal patients access to investigational drugs that have completed basic safety testing, thereby dramatically reducing paperwork, wait times and bureaucracy, and, most importantly, potentially saving lives,” according to the Goldwater Institute .

Christina Corieri in “Everyone Deserves the Right to Try: Empowering the Terminally Ill to Take Control of their Treatment” writes:

In 2002, Kianna Karnes, a 41-year-old mother of four children, was diagnosed with kidney cancer. She was treated with Interleukin-2, the only medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at the time to treat her disease. When that treatment failed, her father began researching investigational medications, learning in 2004 that both Pfizer and Bayer were conducting clinical trials for new investigational medications to treat kidney cancer. Karnes was ineligible for the clinical trial because her cancer had previously spread to her brain.

Although her brain tumors had been removed, she was still disqualified from joining the clinical trial, so her father sought expanded access for his daughter. Months passed before he was able to secure access for his daughter. He contacted Congressman Dan Burton’s (R-IN) office for assistance, and drew media coverage of Karnes’ struggle in the Wall Street Journal. On March 24, 2005, the FDA notified the family that it had approved a single-patient IND for Karnes.

Tragically, it was too late—Kianna Karnes died the same day access was approved. Less than a year later, both drugs were given final FDA approval to treat advanced kidney cancer.

Speaking after his daughter’s death, her father said, “I don’t know that either of these drugs would have saved Kianna’s life, but wouldn’t it be nice to give her a chance?”

Read the proposed legislation by clicking here.

The Goldwater Institute notes, “It takes a decade and a billion dollars to bring a new medicine to market—that’s time our sickest loved ones don’t have to wait.”



Lorraine’s Story

Lorraine Heidke-McCartin loves to run. She is currently training to run a 5K with her daughters this spring. A 5K isn’t much for most runners, but for her it’s the finishing stretch on a marathon that began in 2006. That was the year she was first diagnosed as a Stage IV (the most lethal and final stage) of an aggressive strain of breast cancer, HER 2. She immediately began a regimen of treatment with her doctor, undergoing rounds of chemo that sapped her energy, took her hair and gave her a great deal of pain. As her treatments progressed, so did her disease, until she had finally exhausted all of her available treatment options. She and her husband, Philip, began looking for another way to save Lorraine’s life.

In 2009, their doctor returned from a conference where she had heard about an experimental treatment that could be a life saver for Lorraine, T-DM1. They reached out to the drug company conducting the trials for T-DM1 and found the closest trial to their home in Boston was in Fairfax, Va. Lorraine and Phil jumped on the opportunity and got to Virginia as soon as possible. Lorraine would end up making over 16 trips back and forth in the course of her treatment before finally being allowed by the FDA to take the drug in Boston, thanks in large part to her incredible recovery. She has been cancer free since December 2011, thanks to an experimental drug and her ability to make the regular trips to a distant trial site.


The Goldwater Institute asks those who care to “call state lawmakers and tell them everyone deserves the right to try.”

Learn more here.

U.S. Government says it can’t predict earthquakes — Florida based group says “Yes, We Can”

The U.S. government’s official position is that earthquakes cannot be predicted. It is also the U.S. government position that it can both predict and control the weather (i.e. global cooling, global warming, climate change, climate disruption). An inter-governmental oxymoron?

The U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey (USGS) website states, “There’s a 100 percent chance of an earthquake today. Though millions of persons may never experience an earthquake, they are very common occurrences on this planet. So today — somewhere — an earthquake will occur… It is estimated that about 700 shocks each year have this capability when centered in a populated area. But fortunately, most of these potentially destructive earthquakes center in unpopulated areas far from civilization… Stating that an earthquake is going to occur today is not really ‘predicting earthquakes’. To date, they cannot be predicted.” [Emphasis added]

However, an Orlando, FL based group says, “Yes, we can predict earthquakes.”

The International Earthquake and Volcano Prediction Center (IEVPC), announced that it has embarked on a wide ranging program to alert the global insurance industry of its capability to predict major earthquakes.

According to IEVPC Chairman/CEO Mr. John Casey, “Our initial test program success and more recent successful internal predictions demands that we continue to contact all those individuals and businesses most affected by these destructive geophysical events. Though we are not at a 100% accuracy level yet, the fact that we have a track record of predicting major earthquakes should be of serious interest to those whose lives and properties are at risk.”

The IEVPC Director of Research Dr. Dong Choi, in Canberra, Australia adds to this by saying, “The long held belief that earthquakes cannot be predicted has been dispelled by the demonstrated ability of the IEVPC to accurately predict major earthquake events in advance. Our new technology with our integrated system of multiple precursor analysis is a paradigm shift in earthquake prediction whose time has come.”

The IEVPC was formed in February 2012 after a group of some of the world’s most successful earthquake prediction experts approached Mr. Casey, a former White House space program adviser and recognized leader in climate research, and asked him to bring them together into a single firm. Since that time, the IEVPC has been attempting to spread the word of its capability through several different channels.

As Mr. Casey explains, “The use of US and foreign government channels has shown that it will take too long to change long standing beliefs about earthquake prediction. We cannot afford to leave people and businesses at risk waiting for what would probably take many years of expensive, time consuming effort to turn these large entrenched entities around to new advances in earthquake prediction. In the meantime, we are faced with the prospect of dealing with the damaging effects of current earthquake threats knowing some could be predicted in advance. If nothing else, this new initiative is needed simply from a humanitarian perspective.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Author Says Earthquakes Are Predictable « CBS Pittsburgh

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo of road damage from the August 1959 Hebgen Lake (Montana-Yellowstone) earthquake. Highway 287, near Hebgen Lake, Montana is courtesy of the USGS.

Public Education: Two Lies do not make one Truth

A LIE is defined as a false statement to a person or group made by another person or group who knows it is not the whole truth, intentionally.

As a teacher I watched as new texts moved away from history and fact into emotion and fiction. History altered in texts, were forced upon unsuspecting students. Today little resembles the American experiment full of pride, patriotism and self confidence.  The words, “think outside the box are no longer uttered in halls and classrooms.” Today students are taught to be common while legislators refuse to listen to Americans scream, stop experimenting on my child. Their career, their wallet is more important than being a statesman protecting the people.

Instead, legislators protect special interest with one goal, screw the people and steal their land. They use environmental lies to promote this goal while unsuspecting true environmentalists become useful idiots incapable common sense relying only on the lies they learned in school.

In 1989, Shirley McCune of the McREL Foundation under George Bush 41 as President and Bill Clinton as president of the Governors Association changed the face of education. Shirley proclaimed:

Students are HUMAN CAPITAL Education’s purpose is to train students to work.

The purpose of education is to teach people how to think not what to think. Training is not education

Purpose of Education was to Transform Society from individualism to collectivism

Individualism is the core of American exceptionalism. The concept of America is that exceptional people working together will create exceptional things which we did until now.

Fact Based Education is no longer the primary focus of education

Today we have a government based on lies and deception as these students have graduated and work in unconstitutional government agencies all knowing that truth is no longer important.

In the 1930’s Communists, evil people following Lucifer – as noted by Saul Alinsky, fled Hitler’s Germany and fled to Russia and  America. Under Operation Paper Clip they were given new identities and placed in our science programs, universities and now government. They did not stop their ideology and embrace American values.  Instead they set out to transform American into their utopia by continuing their experiments using the environment as their crisis.

When the people screamed and exposed these lies, there were demonized.  To shut people up programs like:

  • Political correctness – self censorship
  • Do not talk about Politics and Religion – most important to our founders who believed the PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER but only if they are involved in the government process. A republic can only work when the people are moral.
  • Being part of the silent majority – not speaking out affirms the lies

While parents were told to be silent, books like Rescue Mission Planet Earth were being used in school – The child’s edition of UN Agenda 21 promoting sustainability by demonizing groups and humans.


Passages like those on page 73, ” Agenda 21 says: Funds could be raised by reallocating resources now committed to the military” were drummed into the heads of the youth who are today’s legislators while turning these legislators into “useful idiots” necessary to transform Americans from individualism into communism as Shirley stated.  Today Representative Joe Garcia said, “Communism works.”

Cradle to grave indoctrination is being called for in programs demanding all students must go to college just so they will incur debt.  People in debt are slaves and will never own anything.

  • School is to replace family
  • Government is to replace God and morality
  • The UN is to replace the US in programs

Programs like free trade, sustainability, conservation, man made global warming are used to divide people and promote poverty not success.

“Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.” – Professor Maurice King

Students are indoctrinated into believing they are at fault:

“The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.” – Club of Rome, premier environmental think-tank, consultants to the United Nations

While lies are promoted as the truth….”No matter if the science of global warming is all phony…climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” – Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment

In the last few weeks I exposed the lies of John Beale and his lying wife Nancy Ketes who are largely responsible for creating the heinous deception of the EPA.

With Americans no longer taught the US constitution in school, they do not know that Article IV Section 4: “The United States shall guarantee to every State (Person) in this Union a Republican (representative – you vote for the people to carry your voice) Form of Government…

Marbury vs Madison decision:  Any unconstitutional law is void.

Rules and statutes are not laws and should not be followed.

  • The EPA is not elected.
  • The EPA is unconstitutional.
  • The EPA is void.

Lack of that knowledge has forced phony laws/rules based on lies to dictate the future of America.

  • Not preparing for the real weather – controlled by the sun, in hibernation, getting colder in a 206 year mini ice age –
  • Forcing GMO – experimental food control with genetically modified food – Monsanto Seeds of Death, Food safety Act – which no one read giving government power to confiscate your food.
  • Creating phony droughts to create phony food shortages-
  • Lying about fossil fuels- oil and coal a cheap source of energy giving wealth and power to individual business owners enabling them to keep costs of goods and services down while providing American jobs like fracking and Keystone,
  • Using the Clean Air Act to deem a puddle navigable water. Putting meters on private wells, taxing rain water, creating phony conservation, wetlands
  • Conducting experiments on students and seniors (just like their ancestors in the 30’s),
  • Using food for fuel creating famines and high food prices. Ethanol a phony science designed to redistribute wealth through subsidies while damaging cars and engines while driving prices higher.
  • Forcing people off their land in conservation schemes.
  • Working with the UN to create phony models eliminating farming, fishing in order to control food.
  • Working with Sierra Club and other environmental liars creating phony law suits in order to create phony legislation aimed and destruction of the middle class by eliminating private industry and private property.

The EPA and other unelected bureaucratic departments have one goal, destruction of middle America.  These unconstitutional regional groups must be closed and the liars must be prosecuted.

The first step is to defund.  Your Representative will tell you – but we do not have the Senate to stop funding.  If they tell you that FIRED THEM.  They did not read the constitution.

Funding begins and ends in the HOUSE of Representatives.  Article I Section 7.  All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the HOUSE of Representatives; but the Senate may  (not must, shall or will – remember the NDAA, the President may pick up Americans w/o due process. Same idea) propose or concur with Amendments as on other bills.

When I taught the Constitution I taught:

The House controls the purse and does not need the Senate to vote on any funding bill.

The Senate ratifies all appointments and treaties and does not need the House to approve.

When the constitution is not taught people do not know their rights.

Get involved.  Your job for today… Demand defunding of the lying cheating, stealing, unconstitutional EPA or soon you will be deciding whether to drive to work or buy food.  Contact your HOUSE member.

America’s Highest Ranked Climate Charlatans: Obama and Kerry

John Kerry, our Secretary of State, continues to provide reasons to believe he is either too stupid to hold such a high position or too willing to tell lies to keep pace with President Obama.

Their views on “climate change” are so lacking in scientific fact that they are telling people we’re all doomed if we don’t abandon vast traditional U.S. energy resources and continue to throw more billions at “renewable energy” that provides a very costly three percent of the nation’s huge energy needs. Meanwhile, nations in Europe, China, India and elsewhere are abandoning solar and wind, and building coal-fired plants.

At a Boston College commencement speech on May 19, Kerry outdid himself talking about climate change. “If we make the necessary efforts to address this challenge—and supposing I’m wrong or scientists are wrong, 97 percent of them all wrong—supposing they are, what’s the worst that can happen?” The worst is more wasted billions spent on something mankind can do nothing about and the administration’s continued efforts to control every inch of land in the U.S. and all of its waters.

In the May 27 edition of The Wall Street Journal, Joe Bast, the president of the free-market think tank, the Heartland Institute, and Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama, teamed out to write about “The Myth of the Climate Change 97%.” While demolishing this Big Lie, they noted that “Surveys of meteorologists repeatedly find a majority oppose the alleged consensus. Only 39.5% of 1,854 American Meteorological Society members who responded to a survey in 2012 said man-made global warming is dangerous.”

Cartoon - Climate Disruption

Obama’s and Kerry’s problem, along with all the other climate change charlatans, is that is the Earth is now into its 17th year of a natural cooling cycle based on lower radiation from the Sun, itself in a natural cycle. It is the Sun, not mankind that determines the climate of the Earth.

The Petition Project in which 31,073 U.S. scientists, over 9,000 of whom have a Ph.D. in a scientific field, participated says “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will in the foreseeable future cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

“The purpose of the Petition Project is to demonstrate that the claim of ‘settled science’ and an overwhelming ‘consensus’ in favor of the hypothesis of human-caused global warming and consequent climatological damage is wrong. No such consensus or settled science exists.”

In his State of the Union speech, Obama said “climate change is a fact.” Well, yes, if you keep in mind that climate change is measured in centuries, not decades or years. Claiming that every hurricane or tornado is evidence of climate change ignores this. His claim that climate change is “settled science” is just one more lie.

The Obama administration recently released a Climate Assessment report that was nothing more than a repeat of the lies the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been telling since 1983. They have all been based on computer models rigged to produce a global warming outcome. This process continues in several U.S. government agencies.

Following the last mini-ice age that lasted from 1300 to 1850, the Earth quite naturally warmed, most of which occurred prior to 1945. Meanwhile, the ice sheets of both the Arctic and Antarctica have been growing, particularly at the South Pole. The rise of oceans is measured in mere centimeters, posing no threat to polar bears or the island of Manhattan.

To Kerry’s question, “What’s the worst that can happen?” a recent Wall Street Journal opinion said that answer is “we spend trillions of dollars trying to solve a problem that we can’t do anything to stop: that we misallocate scarce resources in a way that slows economic growth; that slower growth leads to less economic opportunity for Boston College grads and especially the world’s poor; and that America and the world become much less wealthy and technologically advanced than we would otherwise. All of which would make the world less able to cope with the costs of climate change if Mr. Kerry is right.”

Mr. Kerry isn’t right and that makes him and President Obama a national and a global problem.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Drug Addicts As Rational Actors by Cathy Reisenwitz

Rethinking the science of addiction.

How do you justify taking away someone’s agency? The easiest way is to claim they didn’t have it in the first place.

For a long time, both popular media and information sources on the subject have depicted drug addicts as zombies incapable of making rational choices. describes drug addiction as causing “changes in your brain,” which “interfere with your ability to think clearly, exercise good judgment, [and] control your behavior.”

Drug use and addiction are a lot more complicated than what we get in most policy debates. These debates are more often driven by political incentives and personal biases than actual evidence. We’ll return to this evidence in a moment. Right now, let’s unpack this “national conversation” a little more.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Although the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, the brain changes that occur over time challenge an addicted person’s self-control and hamper his or her ability to resist intense impulses to take drugs.”

This view is fairly representative. The focus of this accepted wisdom is often about how the brains of addicts are different from those of non-addicts, which gives rise to the idea that if you alter the addict’s brain with substances, you alter his or her behavior.

  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse claims “drugs change the brain in ways that foster compulsive drug abuse.” Its website describes addiction as “a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use.”
  • This view is shared by the Drug Enforcement Administration. According to its Drugs of Abuse 2011 resource guide, “Addiction is defined as compulsive drug-seeking behavior where acquiring and using a drug becomes the most important activity in the user’s life. This definition implies a loss of control regarding drug use, and the addict will continue to use a drug despite serious medical and/or social consequences.”

And all these statements seem uncontroversial until you get to the fundamental question: Do drug addicts lose their agency—that is, their ability to make rational choices?

The prevailing view is that addicts simply lack free will.

But as ubiquitous as the view might be, it’s actually a pretty recent development in thinking about addiction. “Historically speaking, the idea of addiction as a brain disease is a very new one,” according to the University of Utah’s Health Sciences department. “People once saw addiction as a personality flaw and a sign of weakness. This stigma persists in society today and is a major challenge for addicts and the people who treat them.” Is it a challenge? Could there be some wisdom in the idea that one is able to find the strength to make better decisions?

In many ways, viewing addicts as victims who need help has improved outcomes and led to better addiction treatment options. However, the view that addicts lack free will no doubt contributes to wrongheaded ideas on the right and left. For those on the right, it is morally permissible to lock up drug offenders; on the left, it’s fashionable to think of addiction as a blanket public health problem requiring more State resources for more clinics and more social workers.

But what if addiction didn’t mean addicts have no choice? Maybe it really means something closer to this: The addict chooses to use drugs when others wouldn’t. In other words, that decision-making process varies from user to user and from addict to addict in nuanced ways. But it’s still a decision-making process.

For years, Dr. Carl Hart has been bringing drug addicts into the lab and giving them choices. Would you rather have some crack now or $20 later? It’s like a grimier version of the marshmallow tests for kids. And he’s been continually surprised at how rational those choices are. Addicts will often give up more doses of crack for $5 in cash or a voucher. Every meth and crack addict took $20 when offered.

Video of the marshmallow test for kids:

Besides the implications this finding has for how to treat addiction, it also raises questions about the ethical implications and underpinnings of incarcerating addicts and casual users alike.

No doubt the view of addiction as reducing rational actors to agency-less drug-craving automata opens up several ways to evade the questions surrounding whether or not it’s ethical to lock someone for ingesting a certain substance. Put another way, the evasion comes precisely in pegging social costs like crime to that purported lack of agency. So, in some quarters, the rationale goes: They have to be locked up because they’ll just do anything to get their drugs.

On the other hand, a similar premise can justify requesting expanded budgets to finance less punitive public health measures. And neither of these justifications is always and in every case wrong. Certainly,some addicts make poor life choices, engage in criminal activity, and impose social costs due in great part to their addictions. But Hart’s work demonstrates that conventional wisdom and popular media tropes get the zombie premise wrong: People are still agents.

In addition, the no-agency view has helped policymakers sidestep the issues of how genetic, environmental, and societal factors can all influence addictive and drug-seeking behaviors. Remember the infamous studies showing drug-addicted rats pushing the button for drugs until they literally starved themselves to death? Dr. Hart’s research is exposing the full picture of that study, too, along with some startling implications for humans if said rats are suitable analogs.

“The rats that keep pressing the lever for cocaine are the ones who are stressed out because they’ve been raised in solitary conditions and have no other options,” Dr. Hart said. “But when you enrich their environment, and give them access to sweets and let them play with other rats, they stop pressing the lever.”

“The key factor is the environment, whether you’re talking about humans or rats,” he said.

If drug-addicted humans and rats have more agency than we realized, are cages and clinical complexes the most ethical response? Treating people as agents again could change the way we think about controlling the social costs of addiction.

RELATED RESOURCE: Rehab for Teens: Your Best Options


Cathy Reisenwitz is an associate at Young Voices and editor-in-chief of Sex and the State. She will be speaking at the FEE summer seminar “Are Markets Just? Exploring the Social Significance of a Free Economy.”

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

Are “free thinking” Hollywood Liberals turning on the Obama Administration?

Recently Mel Brooks in an interview with criticized political correctness in Hollywood. On the 40th anniversary of his movie “Blazing Saddles” Brooks said, “They can’t make that movie today because everybody’s so politically correct. You know, the NAACP would stop a great movie that would do such a great service to black people because of the N-word. You’ve got to really examine these things and see what’s right and what’s wrong. Politically correct is absolutely wrong. Because it inhibits the freedom of thought. I’m so lucky that they weren’t so strong then and that the people that let things happen on the screen weren’t so powerful then. I was very lucky.”


Photo courtesy of

Breitbart’s John Nolte did a column on “Blazing Saddles”, a movie classic. Nolte wrote:

I caught all kinds of entertaining hell (Kos is especially perturbed) for my review of the new 40th Anniversary Bluray of “Blazing Saddles” and for a follow-up piece, both of which stated the obvious: That today’s Left has become a bunch of  insufferable, joy-killing, censorious, fascist Church Ladies who would never allow “Blazing Saddles” to be made today and that they will someday try to have the film banned.

It looks as though Mr. Brooks agrees with my first point. That’s because Mel Brooks is a free-thinking liberal, not a freedom-stifling, controlling, free speech-hating leftist.

The difference between a liberal and a leftist is not the how they vote. Liberals don’t use phrases like “the debate is over,” “the science is settled,” “ban bossy” or “ban anything that might offend anyone who isn’t a white Christian male.” Fascist leftists do.

But things may be changing in Hollywood. The free thinking liberals in Hollywood may be making a comeback.

Sonny Bunch in a Washington Times column writes, “If it’s summer movie season, that means it’s time for me to make some counter intuitive claims about the blockbusters in our midst. Last year, I made the case that Star Trek: Into Darkness was accidentally a pro-drone-strike parable and that Matt Damon’s Elysium was actually an anti-Obamacare warning. Let’s get things going this year by suggesting that Godzilla, which looks like it will open to a big box office debut, is actually a message to humanity to chill out about global warming, everything’s going to be okay.”

Bunch notes, “As the film progresses, the intellectual center of the picture is revealed to be Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe), who takes an almost zen-like approach to the MUTOs [mutants]. He believes that Godzilla, who he has been searching for his entire adult life, is not a threat to humanity but a part of Earth’s natural biosphere. The giant lizard exists to ‘restore balance.’ Serizawa also laments the ‘arrogance of man’ for thinking he can control nature; the good doctor believes that the only way to stop the rampaging MUTOs is to let Godzilla fight them and kill them, to let nature run its course. The leaders of men disagree, opting to try and gather all three of the giant creatures into the same area off America’s west coast, where they will be destroyed by a thermonuclear warhead. This plan backfires, leading to a nuke threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of San Franciscans.”

Others are not so sure that Godzilla is anti-global warming.

In his column “The New ‘Godzilla’ Is Science Fiction — and Climate Fiction“, Scott Blakeman writes:

A genre of film is emerging in the movie industry: climate fiction, or, “cli-fi” for short. It plays on fears and anxieties (and myths, quite frankly) about drastic climate change caused primarily by humans. The “Godzilla” remake that opens in theaters today should give people a sense of what cli-fi is all about: climate change hyperbole designed to make a buck at the box office.

A.O. Scott wrote a review of “Godzilla” for The New York Times explaining that in the film, the “focus of global anxiety has shifted from nuclear annihilation to climate change and related problems.” Scott notes that there’s a certain overtone throughout the movie that “we’ve made a big mess of things with our missiles and our power plants, but Godzilla is nature’s way of restoring balance.”

Great. Cli-fi is a purveyor of climate change propaganda. However, the sweet irony in the cinematic genre of cli-fi is that the name reveals an underlying truth: The sensationalism surrounding climate change is simply fiction.

I recently watched Elysium and took away the impression that it was about the elites (e.g. Congress, unions and those with money) having access to first rate medical care while the masses suffered. There are two ways to view this, one as a populist film, the other as a film against the growing centralization of power over the lives of the masses via government programs like Obamacare.

I guess cinematic beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.


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World Environment Day and the Three Fundamental Truths about the Climate

There are three fundamental truths about the climate: 1.) The climate changes, 2.) The changes are cyclical, and 3.) There is nothing mankind can do about it except prepare for the changes.

Sarasota County, Florida has been selected by the United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Office for North America (UNEP RONA) as the official North American host community for World Environment Day (WED) 2014.

According to the Sarasota County website:

More than just a single day of environmentally focused events, the WED celebration launches on Earth Day in April and bridges the globe—and the months—with programs and events that culminate on June 5. This year’s launch was held at Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey, during its 25th annual Earth Day celebration on April 27. The events will culminate with a Community Forum and International Children’s Painting Competition Exhibit on June 5. Dozens of nature walks, classes, workshops and volunteer events are also planned between these two dates. Find more information about all these events on the WED Events page and listed in the WED Calendar.

This year’s WED theme focuses on the small island developing states, places particularly threatened by environmental changes. Sarasota County was chosen to host this year’s WED events because it is a coastal community facing similar challenges, and also because of its positive and proactive environmental track record, according to UNEP RONA.

Since its inception in 1972, WED has grown into a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in more than 100 countries. It also serves as grassroots inspiration for individuals and groups to do something positive for the environment, galvanizing creative individual actions into a collective power that has the potential to generate an exponential positive impact around the world.


Dr. Michael P. Crosby

A forum will be held as part of WED. The forum will be moderated by Dr. Michael P. Crosby, President and CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory. Forum topics will include:

  • Identifying emerging environmental issues from the perspective of the Small Island Developing States — United Nations Environment Programme representative.
  • The Economic Value of Sarasota Bay — Sara Kane, Public Outreach Manager, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
  • Sea Level Rise — Barbara Lausche, Director, Marine Policy Institute at Mote
  • Eco-Tourism — Jennifer Shafer, Executive Director, Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida
  • Green Building and the Green Economy — Tony Stefan, U.S. Green Building Council, Myakka River Branch

The forum will be from 10:30 a.m. to Noon, on Thursday, June 5, 2014 at the Mote Marine Laboratory’s New Pass Room, on the 3rd Floor of the Keating Marine Education Center, 1599 Ken Thompson Parkway, City Island, Sarasota.

Protests are planned.


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