Skeptical Climate Documentary Set to Rock UN Climate Summit in Paris

Sorbonne, Paris) – CFACT will hold the world premiere of its long-awaited Climate Hustle skeptical documentary film at an invitation-only red carpet event in Paris during the UN’s COP 21 international summit on climate change.

Featuring interviews and comments from more than 30 renowned scientists and climate experts, Climate Hustle lays out compelling evidence that devastates the global warming scare.  Film host Marc Morano, founder and publisher of CFACT’s award-winning Climate Depot news and information service, leads viewers on a fact-finding and often times hilarious journey through the propaganda-laced world of “climate change” claims.

The film is the first climate documentary to profile scientists who have reversed their views from supporting the so-called “consensus” position to a conversion to skepticism. The film also profiles politically left scientists who have now declared themselves skeptics of man-made global warming and United Nations scientists who have now turned against the UN for “distorting” climate science.

David Rothbard, CFACT president and executive producer of the film says, “Climate Hustle is the most important climate documentary since Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.  Gore’s film kicked off a decade of scaremongering junk science.  CFACT’s film debunks the scare and clears the way for a return to sound science and rational debate.”

Nationally syndicated columnist Cal Thomas calls Climate Hustle “tremendous” and says “anyone who still believes in ‘climate change’ after watching this film needs the type of reprogramming given to cult members.”

Noted climatologist Dr. Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology, who is featured in the film, adds “Climate Hustle is a refreshing and entertaining antidote to the sillier and alarming claims about climate change and its impacts that people regularly hear from politicians and the media.”

“Climate Hustle” will premiere at the Cinéma du Panthéon, beside the Sorbonne, on Monday, December 7. A red-carpet ceremony and champagne reception will take place at 7:30 p.m. prior to the screening. The film is planned for theatrical and home video release in 2016.

Because of very limited space, credentialed media that wish to attend the event should RSVP in advance to Christina Norman of CFACT (cwilson@cfact.org or phone (651) 724-4228).   Climate Hustle’s host, Marc Morano, along with key scientists from the film, will be available for a short time on the red carpet prior to the event at 7 p.m. and are also available for interviews and comments upon request.

Climate Hustle, a production of CFACT, was fully funded by the support of roughly 1,500 citizen supporters.   More information is available at www.ClimateHustle.com/press.

Related Links:

The Time Has Come: ‘Climate Hustle’ Set To Rock Climate Debate – Film Set for Paris Red Carpet Premier on Dec. 7 – www.ClimateHustle.com: CFACT is also announcing the world premiere of its groundbreaking new documentary in Paris, “Climate Hustle,” hosted by Morano. “Climate Hustle” assembles an impressive group of experts in climate science and policy, many of whom worked on the UN’s climate assessments, but left after the UN ignored overwhelming evidence that contradicts its position. The film is planned for U.S. release in 2016. “Climate Hustle” will premiere at an invitation-only event at the Cinéma du Panthéon, beside the Sorbonne, on Monday, December 7, at 7:30 PM.  There will be a red-carpet ceremony and champagne reception prior to the screening.   Credentialed media that RSVP may be able to attend, but seating is very limited.

Obama: Unity on climate change will be “powerful rebuke” to terrorists

Greasy Islamophobe that I am, I thought the only powerful rebuke to jihad terrorists would be killing them in large numbers. Good thing Obama is here to enlighten me and show that a bunch of politicians jawing over politically correct myths about the weather will actually stop the jihadis in their tracks.

Doubtless this climate change conference will have the Islamic State jihadis turning in their weapons and signing up for jobs programs forthwith; Obama better be ready to send several divisions of career counselors to Iraq and Syria.

Obama Powerful Rebuke Climate Change

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Muslim Led UN Agenda 2030: Sets New Sustainable Development Goals

Ms. Amina Mohammed, 54, has served as the top United Nations diplomat responsible for corralling countries to commit to a spectacularly ambitious set of global development goals, meant to save the planet and its most vulnerable people. Known as the Sustainable Development Goals, or Agenda 2030 after the deadline for meeting them.

This is something I want you to be aware of, and perhaps encourage one of you to delve deeper into—the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”—which has recently added migration to its core mission.

I think that stalling refugee resettlement to America may stall their global agenda, wouldn’t you agree?

This is all I know, the subject popped up in a tweet today so I followed the threads to this news from the International Organization for Migration which is the U.S. federal contractor that prepares refugees for their move to America:

On 25 September 2015, world leaders made history by adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in New York. This wide-ranging and ambitious agenda, which includes the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), marks the culmination of over two-years of negotiation and broad, inclusive consultations with stakeholders from across the world.  [I bet there was no taxpayer rights group among the “stakeholders.”—ed]

For the first time, the issue of migration has been included in the global development framework, representing a marked shift from the Millennium Development Goals and a timely recognition of the diverse interlinkages between migration and development.

It is now up to the international community as a whole to ensure that we achieve these global goals over the next fifteen years, making the world a better place for all, including migrants.

We know that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees is picking most US-bound refugees.  By slowing third world migration to the U.S., you are helping to slow the United Nations’ goals for us!  That is enough incentive for me!

If you are up to doing some research, I’d be happy to post what you find!

Prominent Scientists Declare Climate Claims Ahead of UN Summit ‘Irrational’ – ‘Based On Nonsense’

AUSTIN, Texas – A team of prominent scientists gathered in Texas today at a climate summit to declare that fears of man-made global warming were “irrational” and “based on nonsense” that “had nothing to do with science.” They warned that “we are being led down a false path” by the upcoming UN climate summit in Paris.

The scientists appeared at a climate summit sponsored by the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The summit in Austin was titled: “At the Crossroads: Energy & Climate Policy Summit.”

climate scientists

From Left to Right: Dr. Will Happer, Dr. Richard Lindzen & Dr. Patrick Moore.

Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen, an emeritus Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT, derided what he termed climate “catastrophism.”

“Demonization of CO2 is irrational at best and even modest warming is mostly beneficial,” Lindzen said.

Lindzen cautioned: “The most important thing to keep in mind is – when you ask ‘is it warming, is it cooling’, etc.  — is that we are talking about something tiny (temperature changes) and that is the crucial point.”

 

Lindzen also challenged the oft-repeated UN IPCC claim that most of warming over past 50 years was due to mankind.

“People get excited over this. Is this statement alarming? No,” Lindzen stated.

“We are speaking of small changes 0.25 Celcius would be about 51% of the recent warming and that strongly suggests a low and inconsequential climate sensitivity – meaning no problem at all,” Lindzen explained.

“I urge you when looking at a graph, check the scales! The uncertainty here is tenths of a degree,” he noted.

“When someone points to this and says this is the warmest temperature on record. What are they talking about? It’s just nonsense. This is a very tiny change period. And they are arguing over hundredths of a degree when it is uncertain in tenths of a degree,” Lindzen said.

“And the proof that the uncertainty is tenths of a degree are the adjustments that are being made. If you can adjust temperatures to 2/10ths of a degree, it means it wasn’t certain to 2/10ths of a degree,” he said. (Also See: Scientists balk at ‘hottest year’ claims: Ignores Satellites showing 18 Year ‘Pause’ – ‘We are arguing over the significance of hundredths of a degree’ – The ‘Pause’ continues)

“The UN IPCC wisely avoided making the claim that 51% of a small change in temperature constitutes a problem. They left this to the politicians and anyone who took the bait,” he said.

Lindzen noted that National Academy of Sciences president Dr. Ralph Cicerone has even admitted that there is no evidence for a catastrophic claims of man-made global warming. See: Backing away from climate alarm? NAS Pres. Ralph Cicerone says ‘we don’t have that kind of evidence’ to claim we are ‘going to fry’ from AGW

Lindzen also featured 2006 quotes from Scientist Dr. Miike Hulme, Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, and Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, admitting that claims of a climate catastrophe were not the “language of science.”

“The discourse of catastrophe is a campaigning device,” Hulme wrote to the BBC in 2006. “The language of catastrophe is not the language of science. To state that climate change will be ‘catastrophic’ hides a cascade of value-laden assumptions which do not emerge from empirical or theoretical science,” Hulme wrote.

“Is any amount of climate change catastrophic? Catastrophic for whom, for where, and by when? What index is being used to measure the catastrophe?” Hulme continued.

Lindzen singled out Secretary of State John Kerry for his ‘ignorance’ on science.

“John Kerry stands alone,” Lindzen said. “Kerry expresses his ignorance of what science is,” he added.

Lindzen also criticized EPA Chief Gina McCarthy’s education: “I don’t want to be snobbish, but U Mass Boston is not a very good school,” he said to laughter.

Lindzen concluded his talk by saying: “Learn how to identify claims that have no alarming implications and free to say ‘So what?’”

Princeton Physicist Dr. Will Happer, who has authored over 200 peer-reviewed papers, called policies to reduce CO2 “based on nonsense.”

“Policies to slow CO2 emissions are really based on nonsense. They are all based on computer models that do not work. We are being led down a false path.

“Our breath is not that different from a power plant,” he continued.

“To call carbon dioxide a pollutant is really Orwellian. You are calling something a pollutant that we all produce. Where does that lead us eventually?” he asked.

“Coal, formed from ancient CO2, is a benefit to the world. Coal is CO2 from ancient atmospheres. We are simply returning CO2 to the atmosphere from which it came when you burn coal. And it’s a good thing since it is at very low levels in the atmosphere. We are in a CO2 famine. It is very, very low,” Happer explained.

Happer continued: “CO2 will be beneficial and crop yields will increase.” “More CO2 will be a very significant benefit to agriculture,” he added.

Happer then showed a picture of polluted air in China with the caption: “Real pollution in Shanghai.”

“If you can see it, it’s not CO2,” Happer said.

“If plants could vote, they would vote for coal,” Happer declared.

Happer also rebutted the alleged 97% consensus.

“97% of scientists have often been wrong on many things,” he said.

Ecologist and Greenpeace founding member Dr. Patrick Moore discussed the benefits of rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

“Let’s celebrate CO2!” Moore declared.

Embedded image permalink

“We know for absolute certain that carbon dioxide is the stuff of life, the foundation for life on earth,” Moore said.

“We are dealing with pure political propaganda that has nothing to do with science,” he continued.

“The deserts are greening from rising CO2,” he added.

“Co2 has provided the basis of life for at least 3.5 billion years,” Moore said.

Note: CFACT’s new skeptical documentary, Climate Hustle, is set to rock the UN climate summit with red carpet’world premiere in Paris. 

Climate activists: Islamic State Paris attack an attempt to kill UN climate treaty and raise oil prices

Climate activists are suggesting a conspiratorial plot in the aftermath of the Paris terror attack.

“Could the attacks and [the UN climate summit] COP21 possibly be related?,” asked Oliver Tickell, who edits The Ecologist, in an article on November 14.

Tickell’s article asked: “Is it a coincidence that the terrorist outrage in Paris was committed weeks before [the UN’s] COP21, the biggest climate conference since 2009? Perhaps. But failure to reach a strong climate agreement now looks more probable. And that’s an outcome that would suit ISIS – which makes $500m a year from oil sales – together with other oil producers.”

Tickell asked “ISIS Inc defending its corporate interests?”

“To answer that question we should first ask, what do the attacks mean for COP21?” he continued.

“So, assuming – as seems probable at this stage – that the Paris outrage was carried out by or for ISIS, was it in any way motivated by a desire to scupper a strong climate agreement at COP21? And so maintain high demand for oil long into the future, together with a high oil price? Let’s just say that it could have been a factor, one of several, in the choice of target and of their timing.”

Tickell seems to allege that the Paris Attacks were committed by some coalition of ISIS & OPEC to derail the UN climate treaty and raise oil prices.

“And of course ISIS was not necessarily acting entirely on its own. While not alleging direct collusion between ISIS and other oil producing nations and companies, it’s not hard to see a coincidence of interests,” Tickell wrote.

Reaction from climate skeptics was swift.

“Looney green tunes at @the_ecologist. A real OMG moment here folks. Completely and utterly bonkers,” wrote Andrew Montford at the blog Bishop Hill.

Montford ridiculed Tickell’s notion “that the Paris terrorist attacks were intended to disrupt the COP21 climate talks, driving up oil prices and putting petrodollars in the pockets of ISIS. Oh yes, and western oil interests were probably in on it too.”

Montford said of Tickell’s assertions, “Blimey, he’s so bonkers.”

Related Links:

‘All Large European Wars Occurred With CO2 Below 350 ppm’ Via Real Science website- Most Of The World’s Wars Occurred Below 350 PPM CO2

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

Flashback: ‘A total takedown’ of myth by the Center for Strategic and International Studies — ‘Since the dawn of civilization, warmer eras have meant fewer wars

Study: Cold spells were dark times in Eastern Europe: ‘Cooler periods coincided with conflicts and disease outbreaks’ –Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’:

EPA Chief: Ask any U.S. soldier and ‘they will tell you’ ‘climate change’ is major ‘national security’ threat

Will anyone now seriously claim Climate Change is the most urgent ‘national security threat’?

France Says It’s ‘Essential’ To Fight Global Warming In Wake Of Paris Terror Attacks

Brian Williams Asks About How Paris Attacks Will Affect Climate Summit Messaging

UN climate conference to go ahead despite terror attacks – Obama confirms attendance

Paris Massacre Heightens Security Fears For UN Climate Summit

Paris Attacks: Al Gore Cancels Eiffel Tower Climate Telethon After 5 Hours

Watch Gore’s live climate event in Paris

Al Gore hosting climate telethon from Paris’ Eiffel Tower

Brace for Terrorist Nuns and Bar Mitzvah Boy Bombers if Sanders’ Climate Claim Is Correct

President Obama’s Absurd Reasons for Rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline

President Obama tossed economics and science out the window and onto the White House lawn when he rejected the Keystone XL pipeline.

After leaving it in bureaucratic limbo for seven years, the president claimed the project–which would safely transport Canadian and American crude oil to Gulf Coast refineries–would have little economic effect and would hurt U.S. leadership in reducing carbon emissions.

Both claims are bunk, as the State Department’s analysis shows.

Let’s first take up President Obama’s economic argument.

“The pipeline would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy,” President Obama said at a White House event.

The State Department’s analysis disagrees:

  • 42,000 jobs would be created.
  • $3.4 billion would be added to the U.S. economy.
  • $405 million would be earned by workers building the pipeline in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska.
  • $55 million in property tax revenue would go to local communities.

Not only did President Obama tossed aside the Keystone XL pipeline’s economic benefits, he also ignored the science showing that the project’s environmental effects will be minimal.

“America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change,” President Obama said. “And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership.”

The only thing the Keystone XL pipeline would undercut it America’s reliance on oil from unfriendly countries. It certainly wouldn’t undercut efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

In fact, the State Department found that not building the pipeline would result in higher greenhouse gas emissions, increases ranging anywhere from 28%-42%.

Impacts of Keystone XL alternatives [table]

But as Phil Kerpen tweeted, the administration is more concerned about perception than real science.

The truth is, our president–a “science geek” according to his top science advisor–rejected science and instead chose to side with anti-energy opponents of the pipeline.

The reaction to President Obama’s decision was strong and swift.

“In rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama has put politics before the best interests of the country,” said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue. “Rejecting Keystone breaks two promises the president made—to put jobs and growth first and to seek bipartisan solutions.”

President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute Jack Gerard said: “This decision will cost thousands of jobs and is an assault to American workers. It’s politics at its worst.”

Labor union leaders were beyond disappointed.

Terry O’Sullivan, general president for Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), saidPresident Obama threw “hard-working, blue-collar workers under the bus.”

On a press call, Sean McGarvey, president of the North America’s Building Trades Unions, called the Keystone XL pipeline, “a victim of the radical environmental movement.” The jobs lost by President Obama’s decision “are real jobs for real people supporting real families.”

Before he flies off to Paris, President Obama should order Air Force One to head west. He himself should visit people living along the pipeline’s route and explain why they can’t have the jobs, the economic growth, and the local tax revenue that would come from the pipeline. As I wrote in 2014:

Bonnie Davidson of the Glasgow Courier said that local residents were scratching their head as to what the controversy is with the pipeline. She told me she hopes that if the Obama administration denies the permit someone should come to Glasgow and tell them why.

Those people deserve to be told why he took those opportunities away from them.

MORE ARTICLES ON: ENERGY

RELATED ARTICLE: New York Attorney General Tries to Criminalize Scientific Dissent on Climate Change

Drug Overdoses Killed More Americans Than Car Crashes or Guns

Susan Jones from CNS News reports:

“Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States, ahead of motor vehicle deaths and firearms (deaths),” the Drug Enforcement Agency announced on Wednesday.

In 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, 46,471 people in the United States died from drug overdoses, and more than half of those deaths were caused by prescription painkillers and heroin.

That compares with the 35,369 who died in motor vehicle crashes and 33,636 who died from firearms, as tallied by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Sadly this report confirms what we’ve known for some time: drug abuse is ending too many lives while destroying families and communities,” Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said as he released the 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment.

“We must stop drug abuse before it begins by teaching young people at an even earlier age about its many dangers and horrors.”

Read more.

Asia Will Build 500 Coal-Fired Power Plants This Year No Matter What the U.S. Does

Two stories about coal use in Asia highlight the futility of EPA’s efforts to reduce global carbon emissions by straightjacketing the U.S. economy with draconian carbon regulations.

First, there’s The New York Times story that China has been using more coal than anyone thought:

China, the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases from coal, has been burning up to 17 percent more coal a year than the government previously disclosed, according to newly released data. The finding could complicate the already difficult efforts to limit global warming.

Even for a country of China’s size, the scale of the correction is immense. The sharp upward revision in official figures means that China has released much more carbon dioxide — almost a billion more tons a year according to initial calculations — than previously estimated.

The increase alone is greater than the whole German economy emits annually from fossil fuels.

The new data, which appeared recently in an energy statistics yearbook published without fanfare by China’s statistical agency, show that coal consumption has been underestimated since 2000, and particularly in recent years. The revisions were based on a census of the economy in 2013 that exposed gaps in data collection, especially from small companies and factories.

Illustrating the scale of the revision, the new figures add about 600 million tons to China’s coal consumption in 2012 — an amount equivalent to more than 70 percent of the total coal used annually by the United States.

To borrow from the management mantra, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

China has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions from a peak level “around” 2030–assuming anyone knows how much is being produced by then.  However, this pledge isn’t anything exceptional. It’s “little more than business as usual,” writes the Institute for 21st Century Energy’s Stephen Eule. “In other words, the Chinese have committed to doing what they are doing already.”

The second story is that Asia’s appetite coal for it isn’t letting up [h/t GWPF]:

While much attention has been given to a potential peak in China’s coal demand and worries about emissions, in Asia alone this year power companies are building more than 500 coal-fired plants, with at least a thousand more on planning boards. Coal is not only cheaper than natural gas, it is often available locally and has no heavy import costs.

“Electricity is increasing its share in total energy consumption and coal is increasing its share in power generation,” said Laszlo Varro, head of the gas, coal and power markets division for the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Some of the biggest growth in coal use is in India, where it meets 45 percent of total energy demand, compared with just over 20 percent each for petroleum products and biomass/waste.

“We’re absolutely sure India’s coal demand will continue to grow,” Varro said.

Coal will continue to be used in developing countries because it’s a cheap source of electricity. To think U.S. negotiators at upcoming climate talks in Paris will be able to convince China and India to abstain from using cheap energy to better the lives of their citizens is living in a fantasy world.

These facts won’t stop the Obama administration from touting EPA’s Clean Power Plan as the United States’ key contribution to the Paris talks. For them it’s full speed ahead to push aside cheap and abundant coal as a source of electricity no matter the costs to our economy.

As Eule writes:

What’s more of a mystery is why the administration is content to throw away the United States’ energy edge in favor of an agreement that will put us at a competitive disadvantage for no discernible environmental impact. In fact, when other nations choose not to impose carbon restrictions as stringent as those in the U.S., we will be likely to see “carbon leakage,” where emissions are not reduced at all, and instead simply moved (along with the jobs that come with them) to our global competitors.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of a coal-fired electric power plan in Datong, China. Photo credit: Stefen Chow/Bloomberg,

Honoring the Last American to Walk on the Moon

ross with captain cernan

The author with Captain Eugene Cernan U.S. Navy (Retired) on the right.

I had the distinct pleasure of eating dinner with Captain Eugene Cernan U.S. Navy (Retired), his wife and some of his closest friends (including a former intelligence officer) that gave Captain Cernan his targets during his time as a fighter pilot, also a friend of mine.

I then had the honor of escorting him and his wife into the screening room of his movie “The Last Man on the Moon” his producer Gareth told me the movie should be released to the public in January or February.

the last man on the moon posterAlmost everyone remembers the first man to walk on the moon but tonight I was invited to a screening of a movie that gives credit to the last man to walk on the moon, Captain Eugene Cernan U.S. Navy. Commander of Apollo 17.

It was a refreshing break to be with people that make the United States of America the greatest country in the world and to be around some NASA astronauts and test pilots, my hero’s of the 20th century.

Captain Cernan told me about some of his adventures as a kid and some of his screw ups in life but he wanted me to share with all of you that you can be what ever you want to be if you are willing to try. If you are doing your best that is all that matters he said even if you make mistakes.

In order for Neil Armstrong to walk on the moon Captain Cernan was the man that made the test run in Apollo 10 to see if it could be done. He told me nobody remembers Apollo 10 but without this mission nobody would walk on the moon. Captain Cernan flew to the moon in Apollo 10 and did all the things necessary to land on the moon except set the LAM down. He was the test pilot to make things nice and easy for Neil to complete his mission objective.

He told me to tell all if you ………never give up and never surrender no matter how tough things get. He and his wife sends their respects to you all.

He said he left his daughters initials on the moon. That my friends is a real man. I salute you Captain Cernan.

Phone Calls Are Perfect Now and Everyone Hates Them by Jeffrey A. Tucker

Apple just rolled out its high-definition voice protocol, and it’s amazing. It’s like the person is standing next to you. You can hear everything crystal clear, even slight breathing inflections.

That new technology gives it an edge over the competition. And there’s plenty of it. You can make voice calls on the Facebook app, on Google Plus, on Skype, and probably one hundred other applications. And get this: they are all free.

The last time I made a Facebook audio call from my phone, the person on the other end was shocked. “I didn’t know you could do this!” Well, it’s a button on the app, shaped like a ringing phone. You click it.

And so much for long distance charges. I can recall a time when you would be in some other city and use the chance to call Aunt Julia just because it didn’t cost anything. Now you can call all over the world, person to person, at no charge. It’s a service the providers are begging you to use.

I remember as a kid fighting over the phone in the house. To be holding the receiver was the most envied activity in the household. Then phones left the household and came to our pockets. Then everyone in the world had magic devices that allowed an instant connection to everyone else in the world.

The first cell phones were a dream come true. Now they are ubiquitous.

The audio phone seems perfect, finally. It can’t possibly be improved any more than it is, not that I can see.

Then there’s the video phone, the dream of the 1960s, finally having arrived, with no fanfare. The quality is stunning. It too is free, and all the providers — and there are so many — are just begging you to use their service.

It’s a utopia of phone communication.

And wouldn’t you know it, at this exact moment in history, people have turned against it.

I’ve suspected for a while that no one under the age of 30 wants any phone calls. Ever. Voice mails are considered to be so passé that they elicit eye rolls. “Let it go to voicemail” really means: “I’ll pretend this isn’t happening.”

Even I’ve felt it. The phone rings, and I see the name and think: this had better be life and death or else. Parents and loved ones can call, but no one else.

It took the magnificent and gradual evolution of technology working with markets, brought along through the efforts of countless millions and billions of users, over the course of the 150 years between the first phone call and the latest Facebook audio program that no one uses, to arrive at this new utopia.

Then humanity just walks away from it.

Just to check my sense, I searched around a bit and found this Quora question: “What’s behind many millennials’ aversion to speaking on the telephone?”

The answer is obvious, on reflection. When you are on the phone with person, both people have to want to do the same thing at the same time. You can’t choose. No multitasking. There has to be what economist call a “double coincidence of wants.”

Talking on the phone, then, is like barter: good exchanges for good, directly and simultaneously. Text or emailing or chatting, in contrast, holds out the possibility that the other person can answer at his or own convenience. It is the difference between direct and indirect exchange.

Calling a person isn’t direct coercion, but it can feel like it. “Stop whatever you are doing right now — no matter how important it is — and immediately turn your attention to me!”

For the generation that grew up with the Internet and texting, with its endlessly flexible options on reading and answering, indirect communication seems more polite and humane.

Thus does the cycle end. After all these years of perfecting the phone, the whole of humanity decides to revert to a technology that has more in common with the dots and dashes of Morse Code and a delivery system that avoids real-time communication as much as a telegram from Western Union.

The lesson here: never think you can outwit the crowd-sourced wisdom of the masses of humanity. You think something is wonderful and desired by all, and you are shocked to discover that, even after a century and a half of improvement and being wildly popular the whole time, it is not desired at all anymore. And curses on that Alexander Graham Bell guy!

There might also be an interesting meta-issue here: Maybe there is something in us that needs to believe that that something is not quite right, that something can be improved, if only so that our minds and imaginations can dream up better things. When a technology becomes flawless and universal, the contrarian in all of us rises up and says: nah, never wanted that anyway.

By the way, Apple’s new phone technology really is wonderful. I urged you to try it, even while knowing you won’t.

Jeffrey A. Tucker
Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE, CLO of the startup Liberty.me, and editor at Laissez Faire Books. Author of five books, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.  Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook.

Social Science and the Nuclear Family by Steven Horwitz

The question of the importance of family structure, specifically marriage, is back in the limelight. Conservatives are promoting three papers that provide some strong evidence that children raised by married parents do better along a number of dimensions than those raised in other household forms.

For many commentators, this makes for a strong case against those who appear to claim that family structure has either a minimal effect or doesn’t matter at all. As someone who might well fall into that group, or at least appear to, I think there are several responses to these new studies, all of which can acknowledge the empirical evidence that being raised by two loving parents is better for kids than alternative family structures.

One side note: conservatives might wish to not use the term “family structure denialists” as Wilcox does in the link above.

Comparing a legitimate disagreement over empirical evidence and public policy to those who would deny the overwhelming evidence of the Holocaust is an unacceptable rhetorical move whether it comes from leftists speaking of “climate change deniers” or conservatives speaking of “family structure deniers.” The disagreements in both case are legitimate objects of intellectual discussion and the language of “denier” indicates a refusal to engage in good faith debate.

On the substance of this issue, the conservatives cheering these recent studies don’t always note that there are differences among single-parent households formed through: 1) the choice to have and raise a child by oneself; 2) death of a spouse; and 3) divorce. Each of these presents a different set of circumstances and tradeoffs that we might wish to consider when we think about the role of family structure.

The conservative defenders of the superiority of the two-parent family (and it’s presumably not just “two parents” but two parents of the opposite sex, which raises a whole other set of questions), might wish to disentangle the multiple reasons such a family structure might not be present. For example, the children of widows do better than those of women who choose not to marry the fathers of their children, and the children of widows have outcomes that look more like those of kids from two-parent families.

The empirical evidence under discussion has to be understood with an “all else equal” condition. A healthy marriage will indeed produce better outcomes than, say, single motherhood. But there is equally strong social scientific evidence about the harm done to children who are raised in high-conflict households. Those children may well be better off if their parents get divorced and they are raised in two single-parent households with less conflict.

When parents in high-conflict marriages split up, the reduction in their stress levels, especially for women, leads to improved relationships with their children and better outcomes for the kids. In general, comparisons of different types of family structures must avoid the “Nirvana Fallacy” by not comparing an idealized vision of married parenthood with a more realistic perspective on single parenthood. The choices facing couples in the real world are always about comparing imperfect alternatives.

In addition, to say that married parents create “better” outcomes for kids does not mean that other family forms don’t produce “acceptable” outcomes for kids. It’s not as if every child raised by a single mother, whether through divorce, widowhood, or simply not marrying the father, is condemned to poverty or a life of crime.

Averages are averages. Though these three recent studies do continue to confirm the existing literature’s consensus that marriage is “better” for kids, there is still much debate over how much better those outcomes are, and especially whether other family structures are or are not sufficient to raise functional adults.

And this leads to the next point, which is that parents matter too.

The focus of the “family structure matters” crowd is almost exclusively on the outcomes for kids. That parents matter too is most obvious with divorce, where leaving a bad marriage may be extremely valuable for mom and/or dad, even if it leads to worse outcomes for the kids. The evidence from Stevenson and Wolfers that no-fault divorce has led to a decline in intimate partner violence, as well as suicides of married women, makes the importance of this point clear.

We can acknowledge that higher divorce rates have not been good for kids, but we can’t do single-entry moral bookkeeping. We have to include the effects of divorce on the married couple, because adults matter too. When we add this to the idea that conflict in marriage is bad for kids, the increased ease with which adults can get out of marriages, and the resulting single parenthood, is not so clearly a net problem when we consider the well-being of both children and adults.

These calculations are complicated and idiosyncratic, which seems to suggest that they should be left to those with the best knowledge of the situation and not artificially encouraged or discouraged by public policy.

This last point raises the final question, which is what do these studies mean for public policy?

If two-parent families are better than the alternatives, what does this imply? Are conservatives suggesting that we subsidize couples who have kids? Should that apply to only biological parents and not adoptive ones? Isn’t this a case for same-sex marriage? Should we make divorce more difficult, and if so, what about the probable result that doing so would reduce the number of marriages by increasing the cost of exit?

I would certainly agree that we should stop subsidizing single-parenthood through various government programs, but I’d make the same argument about two-parent families as well. In any case, what’s not clear is what the conservatives trumpeting these studies think they mean for public policy.

Perhaps, though, they think the solutions are cultural. If conservatives wish to argue that these studies mean that we should use moral suasion and intermediary institutions such as houses of worship to encourage people to marry and stay married if they wish to have kids, or that we should encourage young people to use contraception and think more carefully about when and with whom they have sex, that’s fine. And in fact, teen pregnancies are down.

But if intermediary institutions can do all of that, then they can also play a key role in helping single parents who make the difficult decision to divorce or continue a pregnancy in the complicated circumstances of their lives. Such institutions will also likely do that more effectively than can the state.

So if we are genuinely concerned about single parenthood, we should be asking what are the best ways to deal with it. Libertarians like me might well agree with such conservatives if they think the solutions are cultural or should rest in the hands of such intermediate institutions. But if they think there are public policy solutions, particularly ones that limit or penalize the choices facing couples, I wish they would spell them out explicitly in the context of their discussions of these studies.

One last thought: It ill-serves libertarians to deny the results of good science and social science, whether it’s climate change from the left or family structure from the right. We should, of course, critically interrogate that work to make sure that it is, in fact, good. But if it is good, we should welcome it as we should first be concerned with the truth and not our ideological priors.

The next questions we should ask, however, are about the implications. In the case of these recent studies on family structure, it is incumbent upon us to assess both the quality of the work and its implications, and we should pay particular attention to what is not being seen and what questions are not being asked.

Just because one family structure is better for children all else equal means neither that other family structures aren’t good enough for kids, nor that all else is always equal, nor that we shouldn’t consider the well-being of adults when we discuss the consequences of alternative family structures.

This post first appeared at the excellent philosophy blog Bleeding Heart Libertarians.

Steven Horwitz
Steven Horwitz

Steven Horwitz is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics at St. Lawrence University and the author of Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective, now in paperback.

Catholic bishops call for ‘complete decarbonization’ by 2050, silent on Muslim slaughter of Christians

Complete decarbonization? You first, fellas. No more jetting to Rome to cause trouble for everyone by canonizing hard-Left Democratic Party policies. And let’s see you portly prelates start bicycling from parish to parish — no more driving for you, McManus. That wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.

While the bishops call for this destruction of the global economy, they continue to ignore a genuine and growing threat from the global jihad.  Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III Younan recently appealed to the West “not to forget the Christians in the Middle East.” And he is not the only one. “Why, we ask the western world, why not raise one’s voice over so much ferocity and injustice?” asked Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the head of the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI). The Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III has also said: “I do not understand why the world does not raise its voice against such acts of brutality.”

I do. It’s because the bishops in the West believe that the spurious and self-defeating “dialogue” they’re conducting requires them to be silent about Muslim persecution of Christians: “Talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.” — Robert McManus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, February 8, 2013

That’s why bishops such as McManus, Kevin Farrell of Dallas, Jaime Soto of Sacramento and others move actively to silence and demonize voices that tell the truth about this persecution. Meanwhile, their “dialogue” hasn’t persuaded a single jihadi to lay down his arms. Nor has it prevented a single Christian from being murdered by Muslims in pursuit of that jihad. Nor has it kept a single church from destruction at the hands of those jihadis.

The Church could have and should have been a voice for a genuinely charitable response to the jihad threat, and a robust defense of the value of Judeo-Christian civilization. Instead, it parrots Leftist talking points about climate change.

“Global bishops call for ‘complete decarbonisation’ by 2050,” AFP, October 26, 2015:

Bishops launched a global appeal Monday for a break-through at upcoming Paris climate talks, including a “complete decarbonisation” of the world’s economy and more help for poor countries battling the effects of climate change.

The bishops said any agreement “should limit global temperature increases to avoid catastrophic climatic impacts, especially on the most vulnerable communities”.

From across five continents they called “not only for ‘drastic reduction in the emission of carbon dioxide and other toxic gasses’, but also for ending the fossil fuel era”.

The goal should be “complete decarbonisation by mid-century, in order to protect frontline communities suffering from the impacts of climate change, such as those in the Pacific Islands and in coastal regions”.

The November 30-December 11 conference in Paris will be the culmination of six years of work since the ill-fated 2009 Copenhagen climate summit, which failed to lock down significant agreements.

The bishops urged those taking part to “keep in mind not only the technical but particularly the ethical and moral dimensions of climate change” as laid out in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“Those responsible for climate change have responsibilities to assist the most vulnerable in adapting and managing loss and damage and to share the necessary technology and knowhow,” they said in a statement….

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Four Fallacies that Fracktivists Use to Scare You

To make intelligent decisions about the future of energy, we need to think big-picture—to look carefully at the benefits and costs to human life of every course of action. Unfortunately, in today’s energy debate we are taught, with politically incorrect forms of energy such as fossil fuels, to only look at the negative picture—often highly exaggerated or taken out of context.

How do we identify and counter this cultural bias against fossil fuels? That’s the topic of my latest Forbes column:

There are at least four common fallacies used to discourage big-picture thinking and breed opposition to fossil fuels. These are things to be on the lookout for when you follow the cultural debate; they are everywhere, and all four are used to attack what might be the most important technology of our generation: shale energy aka “fracking.”

The largest fossil fuel controversy today, besides the broader climate change issue, is fracking—shorthand for hydraulic fracturing—one of several key technologies for getting oil and gas out of dense shale rock, resources that exist in enormous quantities but had previously been inaccessible at low cost.

Fracking has gotten attention, not primarily because of the productivity revolution it has created, but because of concerns about groundwater contamination. The leading source of this view is celebrity filmmaker Josh Fox’s Gasland (so-called) documentaries on HBO. Looking at how these movies have affected public opinion is an instructive exercise.

France’s Leading Meteorologist Denies Reality of Climate Change [+Video]

Philippe Verdier

Philippe Verdier

France’s top meteorologist Mr  Philippe Verdier has been fired claims in his new book Climat Investigation (Climate Investigation) that leading climatologists and political leaders have “taken the world hostage” with misleading data.

“Every night I address five million French people to talk to you about the wind, the clouds and the sun. And yet there is something important, very important that I haven’t been able to tell you, because it’s neither the time nor the place to do so,” he said in a promotional video.

He added: “We are hostage to a planetary scandal over climate change – a war machine whose aim is to keep us in fear.”

The outspoken views led France 2 to take him off the air this past Monday. “I received a letter telling me not to come. I’m in shock,” he told RTL radio reporters. “This is a direct extension of what I say in my book, namely that any contrary views must be eliminated.”

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ABOUT GENE KAPROWSKI

Gene Koprowski is the director of marketing at The Heartland Institute. Koprowski is the author of two books, co-author of another two books, and has been a journalist covering science and health policy since the 1980s. He has been a regular, contributing writer to The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, and Entrepreneur magazine, a staff writer for Forbes ASAP, and a columnist for United Press International (UPI). He earned an Emmy Award nomination for his work for Foxnews.com in 2008 from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Chicago) and an investigative reporting award from the Associated Press Editors in 1988. Overall, he has published under his byline nearly 4,000 reports, op/eds, and features during his extensive journalism career. He served as a health policy adviser to the governor of Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell, from 2010-2014. He’s pictured here with his daughter, Katherine, outside the governor’s mansion in Richmond, Virginia. He is a former U.S. Naval Reserve officer and served in the Supreme Allied Command/Atlantic Headquarters and NATO. He holds degrees from The University of Chicago, and Northwestern University, and completed fellowships at the University of London, King’s College, Institute of Psychiatry, and at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He earned a professional degree in medicine with honors. Koprowski also completed a fellowship at the Institute of Psychoanalysis.

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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Somewhat Reasonable.

Could Americans Face Nuclear Attack Because of Syria?

TUCSON, Ariz. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — U.S. and Russian aircraft could literally be on a collision course in Syria, as the two countries have not agreed on flight safety rules in Syrian airspace. U.S. pilots are under orders to change their flight path if a Russian plane is within 20 nautical miles, according to a CNN report.

Americans who lived through the Cold War may recall the novel Alas, Babylon, in which a worldwide nuclear conflagration resulted from an accident caused by a low-level military officer. At that time, people were knowledgeable about nuclear weapons effects, and the U.S. had a civil defense program, notes Physicians for Civil Defense president Jane M. Orient, M.D. Today, there would be millions of avoidable casualties.

What will happen if there is an accident in Syria? During the decades of Mutual Assured Destruction, nuclear-armed states were cautious about provocations, confining their interference and bombing to nonnuclear states. But now, the U.S. and Russia are at odds in Syria. Both claim to be fighting ISIS; however, aggressive Russian air attacks, plus missile attacks from warships in the Caspian Sea, are also claimed to be directed against U.S. supported “moderates” who are trying to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia supports Assad.

Russia is apparently seeking to replace the U.S. as the dominant force in the Middle East. And tensions are also growing outside Syria. Russian president Putin states that Moscow may boost its western forces in response to NATO’s moving troops and storing heavy equipment along the Russian border. He announced thatRussia will be deploying more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles in 2015.

These are very dangerous times, Orient states. Yet the presidential candidates are mostly ignoring the strategic circumstances.

GOP candidate Ben Carson emphasized the importance of understanding the geopolitical situation. That is complex and obscure to most Americans. However, the state of the vulnerability of American civilians, Orient emphasizes, is simple and undeniable. As threats grow and proliferate, the only civil defense in today’s America is self-help.

Probably the most important measure is to drop to the ground and take the best available cover if you see a bright flash. This and other information on a 60-second training card could save millions.

Physicians for Civil Defense distributes information to help to save lives in the event of war or other disaster.