The Climate Con Goes On

Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Shutterstock.com  Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Shutterstock.com

Some 200 nations may sign a “modest” Kyoto II climate treaty, say December 2014 media reports from Lima, Peru. But will developing nations agree to stop using coal to generate electricity? No. Curtail economic growth? No. Cease emitting carbon dioxide? Maybe, but only a little, sometime in the future, when it is more convenient to do so, without binding commitments. Then why would they sign a treaty?

Primarily because they expect to get free energy technology transfers, and billions of dollars a year in climate “mitigation, adaptation, and reparation” money from Western nations that they blame (and which blame themselves) for the “dangerous climate change,” rising seas, and “extreme weather” that they claim are “unprecedented” and due to carbon dioxide emissions during the 150 years since the Industrial Revolution began. These FRCs (Formerly Rich Countries) have implemented low-carbon energy policies and penalties that have strangled their economies, dramatically increased energy prices, and killed millions of jobs. But now, poor developing countries demand that they also transfer $100 billion per year, for decades (with most of that probably going to their governing elites’ Swiss banks accounts).

Where is this likely taking us? President Obama has long promised to “fundamentally transform” the U.S. economy and ensure that electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket.” His edicts are doing precisely that. And now, Christiana Figueres, the UN’s chief climate change official, has declared that her unelected bureaucrats are undertaking “probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the [global] economic development model.” [emphasis added] Her incredible admission underscores what another high-ranking IPCC official said several years ago: “Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection. The next world climate summit is actually an economy summit, during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”

Why would any sane families or nations consign their fates to such insane, perverse arrangements? The arrangements are being imposed on them, through force, fabrication, and fraud.

Poor, middle, and working class families will get little but more layoffs, further reductions in living standards, and longer postponement of dreams. But meanwhile, Climate Chaos, Inc. (Big Green, Big Government, alarmist scientists, crony corporatist “green” energy companies, and allied universities and scientific groups) will become richer, gain more control over our lives and livelihoods, and rarely be held accountable for the damage they cause. Retracting their “dangerous manmade climate change” tautologies would endanger their money, power, and reputations.

That’s why their hypotheses, assertions, intentions, and computer models always trump reality. It’s why they are increasingly vicious and relentless in vilifying realist scientists like Willie Soon who challenge their “97% consensus” and “manmade climate catastrophe” mantras – and in demanding that the news media ignore experts and analyses that do not toe the Climate Chaos line. They denigrate realists as “climate deniers” (deliberately suggesting Holocaust denial) and “oil industry shills” (while hiding their own suspect ethics, data “adjustments,” and Big Green billion-dollar Russian and other funding sources).

Realists get precious little (or no) oil money and constantly underscore the role of climate change throughout Earth and human history. What we contest is the notion that climate and weather fluctuations today are manmade, unprecedented, and dangerous. Alarmists deny that Earth’s climate is often in flux, solar and other natural forces drive weather and climate, and atmospheric carbon dioxide plays only a minimal role. Real-world evidence demolishes virtually every alarmist claim.

The climate reality record is presented in a readable, thought-provoking new book, About Face: Why the world needs more CO2; The failed science of global warming, by late U.S. economist Arthur Hughes, Australian geologist Cliff Ollier, and Canadian meteorologist Madhav Khandekar. Sea level is rising at only 1.5 mm per year now (six inches per century), they note; and there is zero evidence that the rate is escalating or that coastal communities are at risk. Nor is “ocean acidification” a legitimate problem.

Alarmists use it to replace other disproven scares with a new panic. Earth’s oceans have never been acidic. They are mildly alkaline. Their enormous volumes of water cannot become acidic – that is, plummet from an 8.2 pH level 150 years ago and their current 8.1 pH into the acidic realm of 7.0 or lower, due to the tiny amount of atmospheric CO2 attributable to fossil fuel use, in less than five centuries, experts explain.

The tiny effect of rising CO2 levels on climate contrasts sharply with their enormous benefits to plant growth and agriculture. Not only is more CO2 “greening” deserts, forests, and grasslands; it is increasing grain and food yields worldwide, and helping people in developing nations live longer, healthier lives.

Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are not in danger of collapsing, the About Face authors demonstrate; in fact, they are growing. Similarly, contrary to another scare, extreme weather events are not increasing.

No Category 3-5 hurricane has struck the United States for a record nine years, and Earth’s temperature has not budged for 18 years. Claims that 2014 was “the hottest year on record” are based on airport and urban measurements that are higher than rural locations and are always “adjusted” upward, with year-to-year differences expressed in hundredths of a degree. Outside those areas, for most of the world – the 70% of Earth’s surface that is oceans and 85% of land area that is mountains, deserts, grasslands, tundra, and boreal or tropical rain forests – practically no data exist. So NASA and other alarmists falsely extrapolate from their manipulated urban data to fill in massive gaps for the other 95% of the Earth.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Northeast is suffering through record snows and its lowest winter temperatures in decades; and America’s East Coast air has been 25-30 degrees F below normal. England’s winter death rate is almost one-third higher than normal: nearly 29,000 deaths in a two-week period in January 2015, largely because people can no longer afford to heat their homes properly, due to UK climate policies.

What’s really going on? Our sun “has gone quiet again, during what is likely to be the weakest sunspot cycle in more than a century,” dating back to 1906, says Vencore weather analyst Paul Dorian.

Alarmists don’t want to talk about that – or about what is happening in Asia. BP’s Energy Outlook 2035 report forecasts that China’s oil, natural gas, and coal use will increase by some 50%–and its carbon dioxide emissions by 37% over the next 20 years. India’s energy production will soar 117% – with fossil fuels accounting for 87% of all demand in 2035. Its CO2 emissions will also skyrocket. So even if the USA and EU eliminated fossil fuels, atmospheric carbon dioxide would continue to climb.

Climate alarmists want the newspaper and television media to ignore this information and the “skeptics” who might present it. Bill Nye “the science guy” recently asked MSNBC to link all weather events to climate change. “Just say the words ‘climate change’ when you talk about this winter’s cold and snow,” he begged. A new study shows how widespread these repulsive practices have become.

Quoting one journalist, a George Mason University analysis found that U.S. media outlets “pretty much” agree that climate change “is real, it’s happening, and we’re responsible. That debate is over.” As a result, “critics are no longer being interviewed,” the study said. In the view of “mainstream” media outlets, seeking or presenting both sides on the climate issue is a “false balance.” At least one news organization now has an explicit editorial policy “discouraging reporters from quoting climate change deniers in environment or science coverage,” the Washington Examiner noted.

Media reputations are at stake. They’ve been in bed so long with the Climate Chaos complex that acknowledging the critical role of natural forces, the expertise of climate realists, the debate that still rages, or the Grand Canyon between climate crisis claims and real-world evidence would destroy what little credibility the media still has. It would also start the collapse of the Climate Chaos house of cards.

But the real stakes are much higher. They are the businesses, jobs, families, living standards, and liberties that will be increasingly threatened if President Obama, the EPA, Big Green, and the United Nations remain free to impose their climate and energy agenda. Responsible governors, state legislators, and members of Congress must get involved, block these actions, and roll back the destructive policies.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

I Come To Bury Ethanol Renewable Fuel Standards

shutterstock.com

They say politics makes strange bedfellows. In a perfect example, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) are cosponsoring the “Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act,” to abolish the corn ethanol Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires that increasing volumes of this biofuel be blended into gasoline. Let’s hope it passes, as an amendment or stand-alone bill.

The RFS was a mistake when enacted ten years ago. Since then, despite attempts to curtail it, the program has expanded and had more lives than Freddy Krueger. Perhaps the senators are now paraphrasing William Shakespeare and Marc Antony, saying “I come to bury the ethanol RFS, not to praise it.”

Renewable fuels advocates are predictably fighting back. They say ethanol is vital to agricultural sector jobs and revenues, “homegrown fuels” diversify our energy mix and reduce foreign imports, and biofuels help prevent “dangerous manmade climate change.” The claims do not withstand scrutiny.

Ethanol has already “hit the blend wall,” the senators point out. Even current ethanol production mandates result in more ethanol than can be used safely in gasoline. That and fewer miles driven of late means refinery “blend targets” have already been met for E10 (10% ethanol) gasoline. More ethanol would impair automotive engine systems and void warranties. All this results in surplus ethanol, increasing corn grower demands for E15 mandates or permits (15% ethanol), and worse market and ecological effects.

And still federal law requires that the ethanol mandate must keep rising, from 9 billion gallons of ethanol in 2008 to 14 billion now and 36 billion gallons by 2022. That would exacerbate all these problems.

America is already plowing an area larger than Iowa to grow corn for ethanol, and turning nearly 40% of all its corn into ethanol. The guaranteed income incentivizes farmers to take land out of wheat and rye, conservation easements, pasture land, and wildlife habitat – and grow corn instead. Converting these vast fields of corn into ethanol requires enormous amounts of irrigation water, fertilizers, pesticides, and gasoline or diesel fuel to grow, harvest, and ship the corn … and more gasoline, diesel, and natural gas to produce and transport the ethanol.

Corn growers make money, since they are protected by annual ethanol blend mandates that guarantee a demand, market, and high price for their output. But there is no comparable “renewable protein standard” to guarantee a market for statutorily mandated quantities of poultry, pork, beef, eggs, and fish.

Thus, U.S. corn prices skyrocketed from $1.96 per average bushel in 2005 to as much as $7.50 in autumn 2012 and $6.68 in June 2013, before dropping in 2014 due to record yields and lower demand for corn and ethanol. Since the RFS was implemented, feed costs for chicken, turkey, egg, and hog farmers have been nearly $100 billion higher than they would have been in the absence of the RFS, National Chicken Council president Mike Brown estimates.

These protein farmers have been compelled to subsidize corn farmers by almost $1.35 per gallon of ethanol; beef and dairy farmers have been forced to pay similar subsidies. All these costs have been passed on to American families. Since 2007, high and volatile feed costs forced many meat and poultry producers to cut back or cease production, file for bankruptcy, or sell their operations to other companies. Biofuel mandates also mean international aid agencies must pay more for corn and wheat, so more starving people remain malnourished longer.

Energy per acre of corn is minuscule compared to what we get from oil and gas drilling, conventional and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) alike. Moreover, corn-based ethanol requires 2,500 to 29,000 gallons of fresh water per million Btu of energy, the US Department of Energy calculates; biodiesel from soybeans consumes an unsustainable 14,000 to 75,000 gallons of water per million Btu. By comparison, fracking requires just 0.6 to 6.0 gallons of fresh or brackish water per million Btu of energy produced.

New seismic, deepwater drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and other technologies have led to discoveries of enormous new reserves of oil and natural gas – and enabled companies to extract far more petroleum from reservoirs once thought to have been depleted. All these newly abundant oil and gas supplies could easily replace ethanol and other biofuels, and slash U.S. oil imports even further.

This resurgence of hydrocarbons has obliterated the Club of Rome “peak oil” notion that we are rapidly exhausting the world’s petroleum, made Big Green environmentalists apoplectic, and caused resource depletion alarmists to make a 180-degree policy turn on natural gas. Just four years ago, the Sierra Club used $75 million from Aubrey McClendon and Michael Bloomberg to finance an anti-coal campaign which insisted that coal-fired power plants could be replaced with natural gas facilities.

Now, the Sierrans despise natural gas and want to totally ban the technology that created our newfound abundance of gas: hydraulic fracturing. They disregard the benefits of lower gas prices for families and factories, ignore the need for coal and natural gas-based electricity as backup power generation for wind and solar facilities, and concoct all kinds of fanciful “dangers” from fracking operations.

Meanwhile, the prominent environmental think tank World Resources Institute just issued a new report that concluded that turning plant matter into liquid fuel or electricity is so inefficient that it is unlikely to supply a substantial fraction of the world’s energy demand – ever. Perhaps worse, spending countless more billions on this misguided strategy will result in more millions of valuable, fertile acres being devoted to “growing energy” instead of helping to feed malnourished and starving people.

Adding to the reasons the RFS deserves an F on its report card, ethanol gets 30% less mileage than gasoline; so motorists pay the same or more per tank but can drive fewer miles. It collects water, gunks up fuel lines, corrodes engine parts, and wreaks havoc on lawn mowers and other small engines.

Ethanol production also kills marine life. Much of the nitrogen fertilizers needed to grow all that corn gets washed off the land into waterways that drain into the Gulf of Mexico, where they cause enormous summertime algae blooms. When the algae die, their decomposition consumes oxygen in the water – creating enormous low-oxygen and zero-oxygen regions that suffocate marine life that cannot swim away.

Regarding jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics defines “green jobs” as any that make a company “more environmentally friendly.” The BLS even includes people who drive pilot natural gas, biofuel, or hybrid buses. The Solar Energy Society includes accountants, lawyers, and landscapers involved even part time with making or installing solar panels. One suspects that even burger flippers could qualify as having green jobs, anytime they sell a meal to a truck driver who happens to be hauling corn to an ethanol plant.

That brings us to “climate chaos” as a last-resort rationale for costly Renewable Fuel Standards. However, Climategate and other IPCC scandals clearly demonstrate that the “science” behind climate disaster claims is conjectural, manipulated, and even fraudulent. And actual observations of temperatures, storms, droughts, sea levels, and Arctic ice have refused to cooperate with computer models and Hansen-Gore-EPA-IPCC disaster hype and scenarios. The catechism of climate cataclysm – what blogger Jim Guirard calls the Branch Carbonian Cult – can no longer be allowed to justify misguided standards and subsidies.

About the only thing “green” about the ethanol RFS is the billions of dollars it takes from taxpayers and consumers – and funnels to politicians, who dole the cash out to crony corporatists, who then return some of it as campaign contributions to get the politicians reelected to perpetuate the gravy train.

It’s time to bury the RFS – and stop forcing motorists to buy gasoline that refiners are compelled to blend into motor fuels. Crony capitalist arrangements benefit too few at the expense of too many.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Obama Administration Kicks The Oil-And-Gas Industry While It Is Down

Photo credit: commerce.gov

For the past six years, the oil and gas industry has served as a savior to the Obama presidency by providing the near-lone bright spot in economic growth. Increased U.S. oil-and-gas production has created millions of well-paying jobs and given us a new energy security.

So now that the economic powerhouse faces hard times, how does the Administration show its appreciation for the oil-and-gas industry that has been a boon to the economy?

By introducing a series of regulations—at least nine in total, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ)—that will put the brakes on the US energy boom through higher operating costs and fewer incentives to drill on public lands.

WSJ states: “Mr. Obama and his environmental backers say new regulations are needed to address the impacts of the surge in oil and gas drilling.”

U.S. oil production, according to the Financial Times, “caught Saudi Arabia by surprise.” The kingdom sees that US shale and Canadian oil-sand development “encroached on OPEC’s market share” and has responded with a challenge to high-cost sources of production by upping its output—adding to the global oil glut and, therefore, dropping prices.

Most oil-market watchers expect temporary low-priced oil, with prediction of an increase in the second half of 2015, and some saying 2016. However, Ibrahim al-Assaf, Saudi Arabia’s finance minister, recently said: “We have the ability to endure low oil prices over the medium term of up to five years, even if it means delving into fiscal reserves to cover a large deficit.”

Many oil companies are already re-evaluating exploration, reining in costs, and cutting jobs and/or wages. “In the low price circumstance like today,” Jean-Marie Guillermou, the Asian head of the French oil giant Total, explained, “you do the strict minimum required.”

In December, the WSJ reported: “Some North American companies have said they plan to cut their capital spending next year and dial back on exploring for new oil.” It quotes Tim Dove, President and COO for Pioneer Natural Resources Co.: “We are seeking cost reductions from all our suppliers.”

Last month, Enbridge Energy Partners said: “it has laid off some workers in the Houston area”—which the Houston Chronicle on December 12 called “the latest in a string of energy companies to announce cutbacks.”

I have previously warned the industry that while they have remained relatively unscathed by harsh regulations—such as those placed on electricity generation—their time would come. Now, it has arrived. The WSJ concurs: “In its first six years, the administration released very few regulations directly affecting the oil-and-gas industry and instead rolled out several significant rules aimed at cutting air pollution from the coal and electric-utility sectors.”

According to the WSJ: “Some of the rules have been in the works for months or even years.” But that doesn’t mean the administration should introduce them now when the industry is already down—after all, the administration delayed Obamacare mandates due to the negative impact on jobs and the economy.

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper gets it. Under pressure from the environmental lobby to increase regulations on the oil-and-gas industry, he, during a question session on the floor of the House of Commons in December, said: “Under the current circumstances of the oil and gas sector, it would be crazy—it would be crazy economic policy—to do unilateral penalties on that sector.”

Introducing the new rules now kick the industry while it is down and shows that President Obama either doesn’t get it, or he cares more about burnishing his environmental legacy than he does about American jobs and economic growth.

(A version of this content was originally published at Breitbart.com)

Photo credit: commerce.gov

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Mitch McConnell Wages War Against The EPA

Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service (Flickr)

In January, Democratic Senator Harry Reid will retire from being the Majority Leader – with Republican Mitch McConnell as his replacement.

McConnell is a consummate Washington insider. After graduating from the University of Louisville in 1964, he traveled to Washington, D.C. to become an intern for Senator John Sherman Cooper. Later, he worked for both the U.S. Senate as a staff member and was also a member of the Gerald Ford administration.

He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984, and has served in the Senate for over 30 years.

The longevity of his career makes him an expert on how the U.S. Senate works… And according to him, his first duty of business is to restore Kentucky coal to the top of America’s energy mountain.

But will he win the fight, and how else will he use his newfound power?

Righting the EPA’s Defunct Policy

Since taking office, Barack Obama has waged an unceasing war on coal. His U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has been attempting to use the regulatory power it has to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30%.

But to achieve these goals, they’re forcing the closure of coal power plants nationwide.

McConnell calls this policy “a true outrage.”

But he didn’t stop there. He told The Courier-Journal, “So [Obama] has a war on coal – and, honestly, I’m going to go to war with him over coal.” He concluded his interview by saying that the U.S. Senate under his leadership would attempt to stop the administration “in any way that we can.”

The Obama administration hasn’t taken the threat lightly. Head of the EPA Gina McCarthy has been fighting back. She recently defended herself and her agency, saying, “I feel very confident that the American people understand the value of the EPA.”

Meanwhile, McConnell hasn’t hesitated to shoot back. He recently told The Associated Press, “Look, my first obligation is to protect my people, who are hurting as the result of what this administration is doing.”

Tossing more fuel on the fire… he called the Obama administration’s global warming deal with China a “phony deal,” adding that “coal is booming elsewhere. Our country, going down this path all by ourselves, is going to have about as much impact as dropping a pebble in the ocean.”

From a Clear Coal Fight to a Murky Future

It’s clear McConnell will fight for coal. McConnell concluded a recent interview by giving confirmation: “So for the president to pursue his crusade at the expense of the people of my state is completely unacceptable, and I’m going to do any and everything I can to stop it.”

But aside from his clear stance on coal and a few other things – like the Keystone XL pipeline (for which he’s pledged to pass legislation) – he’s mum about his agenda beyond that…

Will he fight the Obama amnesty for illegal immigrants? (McConnell is non-committal.)

Will he fight Obama’s foreign policy adventures in Syria? (It looks unlikely.)

Whether McConnell will go down in history as a great Majority Leader will depend on how well he navigates the difficult relations with our recalcitrant president. Especially since Obama has declared his intention to ignore both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House… and pursue his own agenda via executive action.

It’s a hard call at the moment, but January will be here soon enough.

 

This commentary originally appeared at WallStreetDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission. 

Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service (Flickr)

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Look Which Influential World Figure Just Said He Would Issue A “Call To Arms” On Climate Change

Pope climate change

In ancient times, his predecessors helped to spread Christianity through the world. Now the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church is planning to spread a warning about climate change and the dangers it supposedly presents to the planet, especially to those living in poorer countries.

Through a series of speeches, summit meetings, and a rare call to arms for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, Pope Francis in 2015 will reportedly try to influence the ongoing debate over whether man-made climate change is a threat to mankind.

220px-Pope_Francis_Korea_Haemi_Castle_19_(cropped)

Apparently, the Pontiff has made up his mind on the subject, indicating that his New Year’s resolution is to issue a lengthy plea to the faithful, give an address to the UN General Assembly, and call a summit of the world’s main religions to discuss how religious leaders can impact the ongoing controversy.

As reported at theguardian.com, Pope Francis wants to directly influence next year’s crucial UN climate meeting in Paris, when participating countries will try to agree upon a universal commitment to reduce carbon emissions.

An article in The Independent quotes the Vatican’s chief scientist, Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, the Chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, warning of “catastrophic consequences” if decisive action is not taken to combat climate change. “Just as humanity confronted revolutionary change in the 19th century at the time of industrialization, today we have changed the natural environment so much,” he told a London meeting of Cafod, the Catholic development agency. “If current trends continue, the century will witness unprecedented climate change and destruction of the ecosystem with tragic consequences.”

But even as the Pope plans to launch a major offensive to sway more than a billion Catholics, there’s no universal agreement at the Vatican that climate change is a global threat. There are reportedly a number of high-level non-believers:

…including Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s treasurer, who once claimed “plants would love” a doubling of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The Pope’s upcoming climate change “crusade” will include what’s known as a “papal encyclical,” a directive to bishops and priests throughout the church who will be asked to pass along the Pope’s message to their flocks.

As the Director of the Catholic Climate Covenant observes:

“A papal encyclical is rare. It is among the highest levels of a pope’s authority. It will be 50 to 60 pages long; it’s a big deal.

“But there is a contingent of Catholics here who say he should not be getting involved in political issues, that he is outside his expertise.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom