Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

15 May 2016

Paul Driessen: Ben Rhodes spins climate change

“Climate refugee” claims reflect deliberate mendacity and belief that we and reporters are stupid 

Employing his college degree in fiction writing, White House communications strategist Ben Rhodes wrote deceitful talking points on the Benghazi attack and one-sided Iran nuclear deal – and later bragged about manipulating “clueless reporters.” Perhaps he’s also orchestrating administration climate spin.

Rising ocean tides will bring “waves of climate refugees” to America and Europe, President Obama has declared. “Environmental migrants” are already fleeing shrinking islands in the Pacific, and it is a “dereliction of duty” for military officers to “deny the reality” of dangerous manmade climate change.

Even if we act in accord with the Paris climate “accords” (none dare call it a treaty) and “can stem the increase” in global temperatures, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell insists, “very rapid” climate changes “are expected to force the relocation of hundreds of Alaskans from their homes.”

Manmade climate change is a “threat multiplier,” a Pentagon report asserts. It will “exacerbate” many of the challenges the United States faces today, including infectious diseases and terrorism, destructive extreme weather events, disputes over who has rights to dwindling land areas and basic resources like water and food, and intense disagreements over how to absorb millions of climate refugees.

Echo-chamber journalists disagree only over the identity of America’s first climate refugees: Alaskan Natives in Newtok being inundated by rising seas and melting ice and tundra – or 25 Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw families whose little island in the Mississippi Delta has been eroding away since 1950?

Not to be outdone, ultra-liberal radio talk show host Thom Hartmann told me, “You’ve got five million climate change refugees fleeing into Europe right now because of droughts in Syria.” When I called this nonsense and said they are trying to escape war and ISIS butchers who are beheading little children, for the tenth time in a ten-minute interview, he railed that I “should be in jail” as a “climate denier.”

Unfortunately for Rhodes & Company, inconvenient truths eviscerate manmade climate chaos claims.
Throughout Earth and human history, climate change has ranged from regional to hemispheric, from beneficial to harmful to destructive. It has included Roman and medieval warm periods, little ice ages, and five “mammoth” glacial epochs that buried continents under mile-high walls of ice. Natural climate change inflicted a Dust Bowl that sent millions of Americans scurrying in search of better lives, and decades- or centuries-long droughts that brought entire civilizations to their knees.

Roman, Mayan, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Chinese and other cities and cultures prospered in warm periods and collapsed in cold and drought eras, climate historian Dennis Avery observes. This happened “over and over, in a centuries-long rhythm of affluence followed by long success, followed by long and utter failure.” Entire cities in the eastern Mediterranean were abandoned for centuries.

Storm activity rose by 85% in the second half of the 16th century, during the Maunder Sunspot Minimum, while the incidence of severe storms increased four-fold, writes historian Brian Fagan. British Navy logbooks show more than twice as many major land-falling Caribbean hurricanes during the cold decades of the 1700’s as during the warm years of 1950–2000.

Little ice ages and extended droughts brought crop failures and mass starvation, Avery notes. Rome shrank from a million inhabitants in its heyday to barely 30,000 a century later. The Mayan civilization plunged from perhaps 15 million to one million, as its cities were abandoned in a century-long drought.

Climate mood swings in the past 50 years have been far less dramatic than in previous millennia. Few people will have to flee the tiny portion of future climate change that might be attributable to humans.
 
The Climate Crisis Consortium ignores these eons, millennia and centuries of natural climate change. It wants us to believe Earth’s climate was stable and benign until the Industrial Age – and humans can now control climate and weather merely by controlling carbon dioxide levels. It’s all Hollywood nonsense.

Oceans have risen 400 feet since the last ice age glaciers melted. Pacific islands rose with them, as corals expanded their habitats with every new inch of sea water. Seas are now rising at seven inches per century – and EPA’s anti-coal Clean Power Plan would prevent barely 0.01 inches of rise over the next 100 years.

Greenland’s icecap is shrinking because of subterranean magmatic activity – not global warming. Arctic regions have long experienced warming and cooling cycles, as recorded by Francis McClintock and other whalers and explorers, dating back some 300 years. Polar bear populations are at an all-time high: 25,000.

Antarctic ice masses continue to grow, and the continent’s average annual temperature of minus-55 F means it would have to warm by 88 degrees year-round for that ice to melt. Even Al Gore in his wildest rants doesn’t say that is likely. So his beachfront home is safe from the 20-foot sea rise he has predicted.
   
Meteorologist Anthony Watts concludes that the only reliable long-term surface record comes from 400 official US rural thermometer stations that were never corrupted by location changes, airport heat or urban growth. Those stations show no significant warming for the past 80 years. The “record warming” we keep hearing about comes from data that have been “adjusted” or “homogenized” (ie, manipulated) upward to conform to computer model projections, IPCC proclamations and White House press releases.

Other studies have concluded there has been no increase in the severity or frequency of thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes or winter blizzards for decades. Indeed, no Category 3-5 hurricane has struck the United States since October 2005 – a record lull that exceeds any hurricane hiatus since at least 1900.

Malaria was common in the USA, Europe and even Siberia until the 1950s, when window screens, DDT and better medical practices wiped it out. It has nothing to do with global warming or climate change. Its continued prevalence is due to incompetent health ministries that refuse to learn from past successes.

The notion that a warmer world with more atmospheric CO2 will bring crop failures and famines is sheer delusion. They are already “greening” the planet and making crops, forests and grasslands grow faster and better. New hybrid and biotech seeds, combined with modern fertilizers and farming practices, are yielding bigger harvests, even during droughts, as India is proving right now.

There is no manmade climate crisis. Solar, galactic and oceanic cycles rule – not carbon dioxide. The biggest threat to agriculture and humans would come from another little ice age, not moderate warming.

In reality, the enormous amounts of energy packed into coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear fuels create the wealth, and power the wondrous technologies, that give us the greatest advantages mankind has ever enjoyed – to survive, adapt to and deal with climate changes and weather events.

The worst thing we could do is lock up that reliable, affordable, compact energy – and switch to expensive, heavily subsidized, wildly unpredictable wind and solar energy … and to biofuels that require millions of acres of land and billions of gallons of precious water.

Those who control energy control lives, livelihoods and living standards. Allowing climate alarmists and anti-energy zealots to dictate what energy sources we can use, and how much each of us is “permitted” to have, would put all of us at the mercy of their unaccountable whims, ideologies and fraudulent science.

Their callous policies are already killing millions of people every year in impoverished nations, by depriving them of the energy and technologies that we take for granted. Shouldn’t we be helping the world’s poor take their rightful places among the healthy and prosperous? Do we want to be next?

The only “evidence” the alarmists have for a looming climate cataclysm are Al Gore movies, Mike Mann hockey sticks, garbage in-garbage out computer “scenarios” that bear no resemblance to Real World events, and more spin and scare stories from White House novelist Ben Rhodes.

We need a president who will send the Paris climate treaty to the US Senate, where it can be properly vetted and rejected … overturn EPA and other regulations that are based on manipulated data and falsified pseudo-science … and lead the world back from the precipice of climate lunacy.


Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death. © May 2016 


Charles Anderson Comments:

This posting has been made at the request of Paul Driessen.

There is one context in which the Obama administration has called the Paris Climate "Accords" a treaty.  The reply of the Obama State Department to the letter in which many Republican Senators objected to the violation of law when the Obama State Department supplied funds to the U. N. affiliated organization managing the Paris Climate Treaty, as the non-Obama world knows it.  The violation was because the Palestinian State has signed the treaty and the funding of U.N. organizations with Palestine as a member is specifically in violation of two laws actually passed by the Congress and signed by a President.  See my post 

It is Not a Tax, But Oh It is a Tax -- It is Not a Treaty, but Oh It is a Treaty

On 22 December 2009, I posted on the results of a high school science project by a father and his son which noted that while U.S. urban area temperatures had increased since 1900, rural area temperatures had not.  That post is here:


Rural US Sites Show No Temperature Increase Since 1900

It was really simple for two conscientious people with some time available to prove this.  They did so well before Anthony Watts did so.  While Anthony Watts has done plenty of good work, he is also an irascible, biased man who has inhibited the understanding of why the physics of the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis is wrong.




14 May 2016

The Severe Limits of Social Justice

The idea that the government should force every individual of our society to provide Social Justice is a central belief of Progressive Elitists.  The implementation of their Social Justice agenda is a massive injustice.  Let us examine the reasons that make this the case.

Justice has meaning in the relationships of individuals and meaning as an aim of government.  In the relationships of individuals, justice exists when an individual correctly identifies the value of another individual based on his character and actions.  This evaluation is clearly dependent upon one's ethical code.  Consequently, an individual will not correctly identify the value of another individual when his moral code is not correct or when he holds himself to no moral principles.

Suppose an individual has a correct moral code and is highly capable in applying that code to the complex problem of evaluating the worth of another individual on the objective assessment of observations of his character as witnessed by his actions in life.  This highly competent judge of value in other individuals will nonetheless not be able to form a valid opinion of the worth of all the other people he encounters in his life simply because he will not know enough about many of them to form an objective opinion.  He will only be able to do justice to those he knows sufficiently well.

This objective moral evaluator will understand that when dealing with people who he does not know well enough, he should be careful not to do an injustice to them.  This is at least the case in the context of a society in which the initiated use of force by individuals is prohibited, as it is by legitimate governments.  A further requirement is that the government itself uses no more force than that needed to prevent the initiated use of force among individuals.  Once the use of force is minimized in a society, then an individual can afford to live by the principle that he should hold a benevolent assumption that others are not a threat to his life and he may assume that others are of significant value until they actually prove otherwise in actions he has had the opportunity to observe. Thus the rational individual in a free society acts on the principle that he should not do others the injustice of assuming them a threat to his life.  In voluntary associations with them, he can assume that they will trade values to their mutual benefit or they will be free not to have any association at all.

This benevolent assumption of value in others is conditional on a society in which our interactions with others are of a voluntary nature.  It assumes that when we trade values in our interactions, we are not being forced to do so.  A government which harms some individuals in order to provide favors to other individuals or groups, as our present government does on a major scale, is actively making some groups a threat to the lives of many individuals.  It undermines or even denies the basis under which one may make the benevolent assumption of value in others.  It can actually force individuals to do the injustice to others of having to assume that they are a threat to his life until and unless they prove that they are not a threat and actually are a value.  This is what has happened in many fascist and communistic societies.  Big Government or statist government is a basic threat to justice in this way.

Government can clearly be the means by which massive injustice comes to characterize a society. How can government be prevented from being the cause of injustice?  It is by forcing government to observe the rights of the individual.  The rights of the individual are determined by the nature of man and by a basic core morality.  As Ayn Rand said in her essay Man's Rights:
"Rights" are a moral concept -- the concept that provides a logical transition from the principles guiding an individual's actions to the principles guiding his relationship with others -- the concept that preserves and protects individual morality in a social context -- the link between the moral code of a man and the legal code of a society, between ethics and politics.  Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.
A "right" is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man's freedom of action in a social context.  There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man's right to his own life.  Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action -- which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.)
The concept of a "right" pertains only to action -- specifically, to freedom of action.  It means freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men.
Thus, for every individual, a right is the moral sanction of a positive -- of his freedom to act on his own judgment, for his own goals, by his own voluntary, uncoerced choice.  As to his neighbors, his rights impose no obligation except of a negative kind: to abstain from violating his rights.
The freedom to act on your own judgment implies the need for freedom of conscience and the exercise of voluntary choices within a society requires the freedom of association.  Freedom of speech does not exist unless one is allowed to advocate wrong ideas from the perspective of others or even with respect to reality.  Similarly, freedom of conscience does not exist if one is not allowed to have ideas, including moral ideas, that are wrong.  Freedom of association does not exist unless one is allowed to unjustly err in assessing the value of others.

While rights are a means of securing morality in the actions of government, those moral principles that government must recognize are the most basic and most core moral beliefs.  The government must not dictate more than the most basic of moral requirements on the individuals of the society it serves.  Government protection of the exercise of individual rights requires it to allow individuals to choose their own values and to manage their own lives in accordance with their own values.  The bare minimum of morality that forms the foundation of rights is the recognition that the individual must take actions to secure his life and to maintain it in a healthy state.  He has the right to pursue his own happiness. To take such actions effective in their purpose, he must be free to think and to pursue the information and develop the knowledge necessary to that effective action. Both freedom of thought and action for such purposes are critical values and he must have property rights to values he produces by his thought and actions.  But, he does not have the right to initiate the use of force against others, as they do not have that right against him.  No one has the right to use the force of government to do harm to others either, unless those others have first initiated the use of force.

Rights reside in the individual.  The individual is the sovereign rights-holder.  Rights are not a grant or a privilege from government.  Rights arise from the nature of man, not from the nature of the state. The state either protects the rights of the individual or it does not.  It either performs its legitimate function or it does not.

Man, whether singly or in numbers, is not omniscient.  The development of knowledge and the understanding of nature are difficult.  In attempting to understand our reality we all make mistakes and no one achieves a complete knowledge.  This is a critical part of our understanding of man's nature and of the complexity of the reality in which man lives.  This being the case, it is not reasonable to expect that all men will agree on most moral issues and most value judgments.  So how can we live in a society together even when we are not in complete agreement, or maybe even in considerable agreement, about moral decisions?  The practical answer to this is to have a government that only enforces a minimum of moral requirements.  The answer is a government that simply prohibits the initiated use of force and protects our individual rights.  We are then left the freedom to make our own value choices and to associate with others of our choice voluntarily in the private sector to pursue our common values and to trade with one another to our mutual advantage.  In this private sector we can all aim to achieve every one of our values and to gain values we want in every association and cooperative endeavor we have with others.  This is not the case in the government sector, once government expands beyond its legitimate purpose as the protector of individual rights.

The Progressive Elitists say no to this concept of individual rights.  They claim that rights are really only privileges granted those favored by government.  Those privileges may be changed at the whim of government, at least if that government is controlled by a democratic vote, whether fraudulent or not.  They say the purpose of government is not to secure and protect the rights of the individual, but to ensure Social Justice.

An individual cannot form a just assessment of the character of everyone he encounters, so he cannot offer everyone justice.  But, he can adopt the principle that he will do no one an actual injustice and he will most certainly not initiate the use of force against others.  How can a government do more than this?  A government does not have a moral assessment of every one of the individuals within the country.  The government is still composed of a number of individuals and that number of individuals will never come close to having adequate objective knowledge of the character of most individuals in the country to form a valid assessment of their individual worth.  The government can no more provide justice to everyone than can an individual.

How does a government embarked on the endeavor of Social Justice respond to this inadequacy?  It must simplify the problem.  Its response to insufficient knowledge is a classification scheme that simplifies individual differences by assigning individuals to categories.  Individuals are complex, so a given individual will be thrown into many categories, with his particular combination of characteristics largely lost to the process.  The individual may be characterized by many pixels of information, but the whole of the individual is eradicated.  For instance, one individual may be a count in each of the following categories:
  • Skin color or the area of the origin of his ancestors
  • Male or female or transgender
  • Age
  • Married or unmarried
  • Dependent children or not
  • Child care users or not
  • Home-owner or not
  • Income level
  • Wealth level
  • Veteran or not
  • Heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other flavors of sexuality
  • Employer or employee
  • Employed, seeking employment, or not seeking employment
  • Labor union member or not
  • Supporter of bigger government or not a supporter
  • Contributor to favored charities and non-profits or not
  • Healthy or unhealthy
  • Paid health insurance or not
  • Citizen, legal resident, or illegal alien
  • Supporter of green energy and catastrophic man-made global warming or not
  • Borrower or lender
  • Farmer or not
  • Exporter or not
  • Bank accounts abroad or not
On and on the classification counting goes, but Abigail Adams and Patrick Henry cannot be reconstructed from the many bits they have been parsed into.  The individual himself is totally eradicated.  But with this simplification, the government can now pretend to pursue Social Justice.

Now having partitioned the population into numerous categories, the government can indulge in legislation aimed at helping certain categories and hurting other categories.  When helping a category, the usual justification is a claim that Social Justice is being served.  If preferences in hiring to certain ancestral groups or to one gender are legislated, Social Justice is served.  If income or property is transferred from someone who has worked hard to become educated and worked hard in business to subsidize someone else who has spent endless hours watching TV sitcoms and horror movies and who partied and played instead of studying, then Social Justice is served.  If a person unhealthy due to tobacco smoking and overeating of junk food has difficulty affording health insurance, then force healthy and young people to pay much more for their insurance in order to subsidize unhealthy behaviors in the name of Social Justice.  If it is impolitic to make employees file their own payroll tax forms and send their own tax payments to the government, then in the name of Social Justice make the employer spend his time providing this unpaid service.  If the taxpayer wants to contribute to a non-profit organization supporting individual rights, do not allow that organization to become a tax-exempt organization or if it already is and he contributes $250 a year to it, take down his name as an enemy of Social Justice.  If an individual or organization notes that the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis is a proven failure, prosecute him as a racketeer under RICO in the name of Social Justice.

Social Justice can be used to justify every act of special interest favoritism.  It is used to justify every instance in which the government hurts some individuals or groupings of individuals to supposedly help another grouping.  Endless numbers of groups are pitted against one another for the favors of government or to at least avoid being the victim of government.  The result is a general breakdown of the voluntary interactions that make it possible for one individual to assume that another has value to his life prior to his actually having such an evaluation of the character of that other individual.  It becomes easy to determine if that individual is a threat to one's life in many cases.  If you are an employer, then employees are a threat, especially if they are members of a government-favored labor union.  If you are a so-called white male, than anyone who is not a white male is a threat due to government favoritism.  If you have a high income or are wealthy, then those with significantly lower incomes or wealth are a threat by virtue of their ability to provide larger numbers of votes for a politician.

Because of government favors rendered in the name of Social Justice and the battle to be designated a special interest, society is broken into numerous, nearly innumerable, groups at war with one another to control the use of government force for their advantage.  The separation of interests of each individual into many categories is a great aid to minimizing the opposition of individuals to the government taking control of many aspects of their lives.  Each enabling act of legislation or each bureaucratic regulation commonly helps a group under one category at the expense of a group in another category.  The group hurt is hurt in one aspect of their lives, but that group still has many reasons to be busy attending to the many other aspects of their lives.  They cannot afford to spend a great deal of time opposing the new act that is imposing upon their individual rights and depriving them of their values and freedom.  The government pursuing Social Justice counts on this to perpetrate its accumulation of more and more power over the life of every individual. 

The Social Justice pursuing government cannot allow anyone to disagree with its moral proclamations.  Disagreement implies a violation of justice within this framework.  It becomes policy for the government to become intolerant of different views of ethics and of different value judgments. If you disagree with affirmative action for the hiring of Black Americans, you are a racist and because you are wrong, you do not have the right to say that affirmative action is wrong.  But, note that if you do not have the right to be wrong, then you have no right to freedom of speech.  If you believe you have religious reasons for thinking gay marriage is wrong and will not produce a wedding cake for a gay marriage, you must be fined heavily enough to destroy your small bakery. You cannot be wrong about this moral issue, so you are not allowed freedom of conscience, freedom of association, or the freedom of free trade.  If government claims that some scientific theory implies that harm is being done to someone and you claim the science of that theory is wrong, you are proclaimed guilty of Social Injustice to those the theory claims will be harmed.  You do not then have the right of free inquiry, free speech, freedom of the press, and you do not have the right to develop scientific understanding because you are not serving Social Justice as determined by the government.

Governmental pursuit of Social Justice imposes much more highly elaborated moral theory on the people of a nation than does the legitimate government whose only purpose is to protect individual rights.  That theory will neither be consistent nor highly rational since the government is chosen by those who vote and they are notably not experts in ethical theory.  What is worse, because there is an enforced intolerance of differing moral beliefs, the People are denied the benefit of a free discussion of morality.  Moral ideas are never tested and improved in the free market for the development of knowledge.  

Even if the People were thoughtful about ethics, they might be wrong and the politicians they vote for might trade ethics for geld or power in their dealings with the myriad special interests vying for the great powers exerted by Social Justice-pursing government.  Such government must violate individual rights.  It must act largely in ignorance of the interests of many of the People.  It must act to hurt many people in the name of helping others.  It must use force much more often than will the individual rights protecting government.  It must minimize the voluntary and co-operative relationships found in the private sector and replace them with involuntary mandates and transfers of income and wealth, jobs, medical care, education, housing, and innumerable other values.  The harmony of the private sector must be replaced with the strife of the Big Government sector.  All of this is a necessary consequence of a government pursuing Social Justice as envisioned by the Progressive Elitists.  In reality, this is the ultimate Social Injustice.

The closest a society can come to maximizing Social Justice is to be a society that honors individuality and protects the rights of the individual to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.  The best a society can do is to protect these individual rights equally and to provide an environment in which the use of force is minimized by not allowing either individuals or the government to initiate the use of force.  The rational individual will understand his own life and his freedom to manage and secure his own life is his greatest value.  He understands that to do that he must be free to think and to act upon his thoughts, with only such limits as set by the requirement that he not deprive others of an equal right to think and to act upon their thoughts in the interest of their lives as well.

It is the private sector, not the force-wielding government sector, that provides us the opportunities of a good and healthy society for beneficial relationships with others to achieve our individual values in a manner consistent with a respect for individual lives and the individual minds that direct those lives. The role of a legitimate government is only to protect our individual rights. When government takes on the additional role of delivering goods and services to some at the expense of others, it is hurting some under the threat of force in a brutal manner that has no analog in the private sector.  It forces individuals into an unnecessary conflict of interest, whereas the private sector provides a wealth of individual choices for relationships, cooperation, trade of values, or the freedom to not pursue a relationship, cooperative endeavor, or a trade.  In comparison, the Big Government model, proclaiming itself to be pursuing Social Justice, is a shotgun wedding offering no possibility of divorce and a staid existence with ever-reduced choices.  Nothing more offends my sense of justice than this evermore totalitarian state.

07 May 2016

Donald Trump Again Proves He is Not Trustworthy

Donald Trump has stated that it is right for a businessman to do anything to make money that is not illegal.  Such an attitude is the basis for many claims that big government is justified to control unethical big businesses.  He has tried to steal the property of others by using eminent domain for his benefit.  He has long made most of his campaign contributions to Democrats to buy a position as one of their favored special interests.

Within two days of Senator Ted Cruz suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination for the presidential race in 2016, Trump has now
  • Stated that he will not follow through on his tax-cut plan.
  • Said that he would not oppose an increase in the minimum wage.
  • Will seek campaign contributions.
  • Appointed a former Goldman Sachs partner, George Soros hireling, and major Hillary Clinton donor to head up his campaign fund. 
Many more betrayals will be forthcoming from this most unethical man.  This is a man who holds the viewpoint that most people are incapable, readily hoodwinked, and like him are ethically challenged.  This is the viewpoint of the convinced Progressive Elitist.  But, Donald Trump is an actor and he has fooled many supporters, proving many people are indeed easily hoodwinked.  The Progressive Elitist and special interest control of the federal government will continue for another four years.

When Americans persist in not understanding the principles of legitimate and limited government, they will be ruled badly and arrogantly by special interests.

Hillary Clinton Makes 12 Million Illegal Aliens Citizens

Hillary Clinton, on the campaign trail, accused Donald Trump of wanting to deport 12 million Americans. He has said, though he is not consistent in this, that he wants to deport 12 million illegal aliens.  Hillary, being a Clinton, may well say that she is right because most of the illegal aliens, no undocumented persons, are from either North America (Mexico and Central American states) or from South America, so they are Americans.  But for political reasons, she is trying to create the impression that she is conferring legal status on all of the illegal aliens, whose votes she wants in the future for the Democrats and whose U.S. citizen relatives or countrymen she wants to vote for her now.  Democrats being Democrats, she is actually not at all fussy about whether her voters are really citizens of the U.S. or not.  This is only too evident in past elections and in the opposition to voter identification.

05 May 2016

Washington Post and Published Research Falsely Report Largest U.S. Reef Dissolving Due to Increased CO2

Chelsea Harvey reports in the Washington Post that the work of University of Miami and Florida International University researchers concludes that the Florida Keys Reef is dissolving and it is because of man's use of fossil fuels.  The research was published in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles and is based on surveys of the reef throughout the Florida Keys from 2009 to 2010.  The researchers analyzed the water from near the reef to determine whether the reef was dissolving or calcifying according to the Washington Post article.

The period of time in this study is short and its main conclusions were related to seasonal changes in the growth or loss of reef.  It is from these seasonal changes and their differences between the northern and the southern parts of the reef that the authors made conclusions about the long term health of the reef under assumed increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.

The abstract for the paper says that the northern portions of the reef had a net annual loss with the fall and winter being the seasons with losses.  The mid-reef section had losses in the fall and winter, but had a net annual gain.  The southern reefs gained in all seasons.

I have extracted key points in the argument presented in the Washington Post article for evaluation below:
The culprit appears to be ocean acidification, a chemical process that happens when carbon dioxide dissolves in the water and undergoes a reaction that lowers the ocean’s pH. When this happens, several consequences can occur, according to the new study’s lead author, Chris Langdon, chair of the University of Miami’s department of marine biology and ecology.
First, when water becomes more acidic, limestone — which is what makes up the hard, rocky skeletons secreted by corals — can start to dissolve, “just like you dropped a sugar cube in water,” Langdon said.
It’s still unclear why the scientists observed such a gradient in the Keys from north to south, with the northernmost corals getting the worst of the deal. According to Langdon, acidity is known to vary from north to south, since colder water is able to hold more dissolved carbon dioxide.
In 2014 and 2015, the reef experienced an unprecedented bleaching event and widespread disease outbreak, likely brought on by both the effects of climate change and 2015’s unusually severe El Nino event. 
“This is concerning because the 2016 summer is predicted to be as hot if not hotter on the reefs,” Walker said in an email to The Washington Post.
Now it is true that if the ocean were acidified by sulfuric acid, the acidity would increase the rate of dissolution of the limestone in the coral reefs.  But if the acid component in the alkaline water is carbonic acid, the weak acid that dissolved CO2 forms, one has actually decreased the chemical concentration gradient of CO2 between the water and the reef limestone materials.  This would have the effect of slowing the dissolution rate.  What is more, one has increased the supply of dissolved CO2 which is the source from which the reef coral organisms get the CO2 they need to produce CaCO3, which is calcium carbonate or limestone.  There may be more to think about here than that simple narrative that a less alkaline or basic ocean means there are smaller and fewer reefs.  Less alkaline is what they call "acidification."  In fact, in the geological record, there have been times warmer than the present and with higher atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations when reefs did very well.

It is interesting that when the reef organisms are most readily able to build the Florida Key reefs includes the spring and the summer, while dissolution or lower rates of growth occur in the fall and winter.  In fact, the average relative growth rates the study found for the entire Florida Keys by season were (measured in mmols/(sq. m)(day):

Spring, +62
Summer, +17
Fall, -33
Winter, -7

Consequently, if the acidification hypothesis were right, we would expect that the atmospheric CO2 concentration is the highest in the Fall and lowest in the Spring.  Yes, it is actually the CO2 concentration in the water that matters, but reefs are in shallow water that should come into equilibrium with the atmospheric CO2 concentrations quite quickly, especially in the Florida Keys. Let us look at the seasonal variation of atmospheric CO2:



The CO2 concentration is highest in May or the Spring and lowest in September and October, which puts the low value at the border between Summer and Fall, though edging more into Fall.  So the ocean should be less alkaline in the Spring when the atmospheric CO2 concentration is higher and most alkaline in early Fall when the CO2 concentration is low. There is actually a need to also make an adjustment for the seasonal changes in water temperature also.  Because the spring water is still cool after winter and the fall water, especially in early fall, is still warmer on the heels of summer, the spring water concentration of CO2 will be even greater compared to the fall CO2 concentration as shown in the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration cycle above.  The cooler Spring water will have a higher concentration of CO2 for a given atmospheric concentration than will the cooler Fall water at the same atmospheric concentration.

The Florida Key reefs actually grew much the most in the Spring when the CO2 was at its highest concentration and lost much the most mass in the Fall.  This does not correlate well with the "acidification" model.  Indeed, this is the exact opposite of the seasonal variation demanded by the "acidification" hypothesis.  The clear implication is that when the reef organisms have the maximal supply of dissolved CO2 in the ocean water, they can best produce the calcium carbonate they need for their reef-building activities.  This result should not come as a surprise.

It is also strange to explain the net loss of reef mass in the northern reefs as the result of global warming, aggravated by a warming due to an El Nino which does not require added CO2, when the warmer weather of the summer is a time of reef growth all along the north to south length of the reef.  Yes, they say the additions of atmospheric CO2 due to global warming allows more CO2 to be dissolved in the ocean in the cooler waters of the northern Florida Key water, so they claim there is more acidification there compared to the southern part of the reef.  The north-south change in temperature is much smaller than the seasonal change of temperature, so the temperature change is a secondary effect compared to the CO2 concentration in water effect.  Reef building is helped when the supply of CO2 is greater.

Such warming as is due to the El Nino actually decreases CO2 in the ocean because less will dissolve in water that is warmer.  El Nino makes the water more alkaline, not more acidic.  Consequently, they are not even consistent in combining these two warming causes for a common affect on the reefs. The warming due to an El Nino decreases the supply of CO2 in the water slightly, so it may be somewhat harmful to reef growth from that standpoint, but not due to acidification.

Still another problem with this argument is that the temperature difference between the northern and southern Florida Key reefs is not nearly as great as that between the Summer and Winter seasons for any stretch of the reef.  Yet in the warm summer, reef growth occurs everywhere and it occurs best in the southern reefs.  Warmer water appears to be good for the growth of the reefs, though not as good as is having a maximal supply of CO2.  So the argument that a warming of the ocean is a problem in itself for the reef is clearly unsupported by the evidence.  There are also reefs in more equatorial areas than the Florida Keys that are doing well.

In conclusion, while the study of the seasonal variations in the growth of the Florida Keys Reefs provides valuable information on those seasonal differences, all the wrong conclusions were drawn from those results in the peer-reviewed and published scientific paper and in the Washington Post article as well.  The researchers and the reviewers did a very poor job on this paper.  It should never have been published in the form it was published in.

The real conclusion of this paper should have been that the biggest factor affecting reef growth appears to be the amount of CO2 available to the coral organisms and more CO2 is much better than less CO2.

01 May 2016

Inside climate propaganda by Paul Driessen



Paul Diessen's article is a good lesson in how the socialists coordinate their activities to maximize their impact.  I am posting some of his articles here in an effort to partially counteract that conspiratorial effort.  I suggest that it would be a good idea to go to the movie Climate Hustle on Monday, 2 May, which may be the only night it will be shown in theaters.  In the theaters in my area, it has only one showing at 7 PM.


Inside climate propaganda

InsideClimate News excels at propagating environmentalist and Obama thinking and policies 

Paul Driessen

Have you ever wondered how the LA Times, Associated Press, Weather Channel and your local media always seem to present similar one-sided stories on climate change, fossil fuels, renewable energy and other environmental issues? How their assertions become “common knowledge,” like the following? 

Global temperatures are the hottest ever recorded. Melting ice caps are raising seas to dangerous levels. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts have never been more frequent or destructive. Planet Earth is at a tipping point because of carbon dioxide emissions. Fracking is poisoning our air, water and climate. 97% of scientists agree. A clean renewable energy future is just around the corner.
It’s as if a chain of command, carefully coordinated process or alliance of ideological compatriots was operating behind the scenes to propagate these fables. This time, conspiracy theorists have gotten it right.  

A major player in this process and alliance is one that most citizens and even businessmen and politicians have never heard of. InsideClimate News (ICN) has been called “highly influential,” a “pioneer of nonprofit advocacy journalism,” the recipient of “prestigious awards” for “high-impact investigative stories” on important environmental issues. 

The Washington Free Beacon, National Review and Energy in Depth offer detailed and far less charitable assessments. Less friendly observers, they note, call ICN a “mouthpiece” for extreme environmentalist groups, because it is run by and out of a deep-green public relations consultancy (Science First) and is funded almost exclusively by wealthy foundations that share its and the PR firm’s anti-fossil fuel, pro-renewable energy, Bigger Government agenda. ICN was founded by David Sasoon, a true believer in catastrophic manmade climate change who wants to do all he can “to usher in the clean energy economy.” 

Even praise from its supporters underscores the dark side of this “influential” force in eco-journalism. Its approach is “advocacy,” not fairness, accuracy or balance. Its goal is to drive a monolithic, hard-line, environmentalist narrative and political agenda, with little suggestion that other perspectives even exist. 

Some of its awards come from an organization that has itself become politicized and too closely allied with Big Green views and organizations: the Society of Environmental Journalists. They increasingly operate too much as mutual admiration societies and support groups, say outside observers. 

ICN and its Science First alter ego received their 2007 startup grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, where Sasoon once served as a consultant. They now derive the bulk of their funding from the RBF, NEO Philanthropy (aka, Public Interest Projects), Marlisa Foundation and Park Foundation. These and other sugar daddies are covered in a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee staff report, which describes a “Billionaire’s Club” of “left-wing millionaires and billionaires [which] directs and controls the far-left [US] environmental movement.” 

The same foundations also give major tax-exempt donations to the Sierra Club, Earthworks, NRDC, EarthJustice, the climate crisis coalition 350.org, and many other anti-coal, anti-drilling, anti-fracking, anti-Keystone pressure groups that together form the $10-billion-a-year US environmentalist industry. 

ICN has active partnerships with the LA Times, Associated Press, Weather Channel, Bloomberg News and other media organizations that help coordinate and disperse stories. The Times promotes the “dangerous manmade climate change” meme and refuses to print letters that reflect skeptical views.
The Associated Press has likewise become a reliable purveyor of manmade climate chaos stories. The Weather Channel and ICN teamed up in 2014 on a series of “investigative reports” that claimed hydraulic fracturing was causing serious environmental and human health problems in Texas.

The partners team up and coordinate to “have one group write on an issue, another quote them or link to them, and so on,” Media Research Center VP Dan Gainor explains. “It keeps going until they create this perception that there’s real concern over an issue, and it bubbles up to top liberal sites like Huffington Post, and from there into the traditional media,” which itself is too predisposed to the green narrative. 

The foundations “have incorporated ostensibly dispassionate news outlets into their grant-making portfolios,” says the Free Beacon’s Lachlan Markay, “creating what some describe as self-sustaining environmentalist echo chambers.” 

They make it look like widespread public concern and spontaneous grassroots action – when in reality it is loud but small Astroturf activism, orchestrated by the ICN brigade and the foundations behind it. 

InsideClimate News now brags about its involvement in the extensive collusion among the leftist foundations, environmental pressure groups and state attorneys general that are devising, coordinating and advancing AG prosecutions of ExxonMobil, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and other groups for alleged “racketeering” and “fraud,” to hold them “legally accountable for climate change denial.” 

The efforts “stretch back at least to 2012,” ICN notes, when a meeting was held in California to develop legal strategies. In late 2015, letters from several Democrat members of Congress called for investigating and prosecuting climate skeptics; the letters cited independent journalism “investigations by the Los Angeles Times and InsideClimate News” to back up their request. 

However, the intrepid Times and ICN investigators had conducted no investigation. They simply parroted and amplified “research” from a group of activist professors and students at the Columbia School of Journalism – without disclosing who had funded the CSJ studies. Transparency for thee, but not for me. 

It was George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, along with the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rockefeller Family Foundation, Energy Foundation, Lorana Sullivan Foundation and Tellus Mater Foundation – all of which virulently oppose hydrocarbon production and actively promote climate change alarmism. 

Emails subpoenaed by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute later revealed that many of the same environmentalist groups and lawyers met again in January 2016 at a secret meeting in the Rockefeller Family Fund’s Manhattan offices. Yet another secret meeting was held in March 2016, between climate activists and state attorneys general – hours before the AGs announced that they were launching RICO and other prosecutions of “climate skeptic” companies and think tanks.

The success of this campaign thus far, says ICN, has persuaded the activists to “step up efforts to pressure more attorneys general to investigate [more climate crisis skeptics] and sway public opinion, using op-eds, social media and rope-line questioning of [Republican] presidential candidates at campaign stops.” 

This collusion among activists, foundations and attorneys general seeks to silence, bankrupt and defund organizations that challenge their catechism of climate cataclysm. These conspirators want to deprive us of our constitutional rights to speak out on the exaggerated and fabricated science, the coordinated echo- chamber news stories, and the pressure group-driven policies that impair our livelihoods, living standards, health, welfare and environmental quality. We will not be intimidated or silenced. 
 As CFACT’s new Climate Hustle film notes, manmade plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide has not replaced the powerful natural forces that have always driven Earth’s temperature, climate and weather.
The problem is not climate change. It is policies imposed in the name of preventing climate change.
That’s why Climate Crisis, Inc. wants to silence and jail us. Just imagine how much more they’ll be foaming at the mouth after throngs go to ClimateHustle.com and buy tickets for its May 2 one-night-only showing in hundreds of theaters across the United States.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.