French 'Yellow Vests' Are Rioting Because Taxes Have Consequences
Etienne De Malglaive/Getty Images
December 4, 2018
Over the past decade, we have been informed by members of the political Left that there are simply no costs to building a “green economy.” In March 2009, for example, President Obama stated:
Throughout our history, there's been a tension between those who've sought to conserve our natural resources for the benefit of future generations, and those who have sought to profit from these resources. But I'm here to tell you this is a false choice. With smart, sustainable policies, we can grow our economy today and preserve the environment for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.
Obama promoted the idea of environmental regulation and “green” investments as the future of a prosperous economy and a simultaneously cleaner world. But as France is currently proving, politics provides few situations in which trade-offs aren’t required. And environmentalist policies generally aren’t those situations.
Thus, this week, the French government announced that in the wake of widespread, damaging rioting throughout Paris, it would back off of its latest planned tax increases. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe explained that the tax increases put “the nation’s unity in danger…This anger, you’d have to be deaf or blind not to see it or hear it.” Why, exactly, are people rioting? Because France taxes unleaded fuel at 64% and diesel fuel 59%. This tax is regressive, and harms those at the lower end of the economic spectrum most. And France isn’t alone. Sweden taxes petrol at 64%; Netherlands at 68%; the UK at 63%; Finland at 64%. Not a single country in the EU taxes at below a 50% rate.
This is the dirty little secret that America’s democratic socialists don’t like to talk about: the income and consumption tax rates are insanely high across Europe. The top marginal income tax rate in Denmark is 60.4%; it’s 56.9% in Sweden; it’s only 39.0% in Norway thanks to the country’s massive sovereign wealth fund, powered by oil revenue. More importantly, those top tax rates apply at extraordinarily low incomes – the top tax rates hit people who earn 1.2 times the average income in Denmark (about $60,000 in the United States, if the rules were applied here). Similarly flat income tax rates apply in other social democracies. All of these countries also have value-added taxes, effectively a national sales tax. Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have VAT rates of 25%.
When people say the United States should look more like Europe, they should explain whether they believe such tax rates should apply here, too. They should also be asked whether they truly believe that economic growth and environmental overreach are compatible. Clearly, France’s riots show there are costs to such overreach. Economic policies have consequences.
How Do You Tell If The Earth's Climate System "Is Warming"?
August 09, 2018/ Francis Menton
The earth's climate system "is warming." True or false? The answer is that there is no definitive answer. And if someone tells you there is, then that person doesn't know what he or she is talking about.
A more precise answer to the question is that whether the earth's climate system "is warming" or "is cooling" entirely depends on who gets to pick the start date for the analysis. If you are the one who gets to pick the start date, then you can make it so that the system is either warming or cooling, whichever you would like for your purpose of the moment.
But of course, there are many people out there today with a lot invested in the proposition that the climate system "is warming." That proposition is a key tenet of global warming alarmism. To "prove" the point that the system "is warming," advocates use the simple trick of picking a start point to their liking, making for a presentation that appears to support their position. Have you been fooled by this simple trick? The advocates leave it up to you to figure out that if you picked a different start point, you could just as easily make an equally convincing presentation showing that the climate system "is cooling." A lot of seemingly intelligent people can't figure that out, and get taken in by the scam.
I raise this point today because it appears that, as part of the campaign to suppress disfavored political speech, Google has begun within the past few days adding a legend at the bottom of YouTube videos that express politically incorrect views in the field of climate science. For example, here is the legend that they have added to a video made for Prager University by eminent MIT atmospheric physicist and climate skeptic Richard Lindzen:
"Multiple lines of scientific evidence show that the climate system is warming."
The quote comes from the first two sentences of this Wikipedia entry with the title "Global warming." Well, Wikipedia says it, so I guess it must be true!
According to this post at BuzzFeed on August 7, others who have been subject to having the same legend affixed to their work include Tony Heller of the Deplorable Climate Science Blog, Mark Morano of Climate Depot, and the Heartland Institute. (So far, nothing comparable has happened to the Manhattan Contrarian; but then, I don't make YouTube videos.)
So let's investigate the question of whether the earth's "climate system" is or is not warming. You could, for example, look at the chart presented by Wikipedia in that entry. Here it is:
That looks rather dramatic. On the other hand, the whole vertical scale of the chart is only about 1.5 deg C; and they picked 1880 as their start date. (The slope here is also greatly accentuated by some very large and questionable "adjustments" that have made earlier years cooler and more recent years warmer. You can read my eighteen part series "The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time" for much more detail. But those details are not critical for understanding the current issue.)
Does your skeptical mind possibly think, when they use that phrase "century scale," is that just a bias-free description of the issue at hand, or is it instead a hand-wave to provide a fake justification for picking a preferred start date? Why do we need to go back 138 years when we are considering a question phrased in the present tense -- whether the climate "is"warming? Wouldn't the present tense normally be used to cover a much shorter period, like a year or two or three at most? So you ask, what has the climate system been doing during that time? For the answer, how about looking for temperature data to the far more accurate UAH satellite-based series which provides monthly data points going back to 1979. Here is the latest chart from that source:
This time, you get to pick the start date. To cover the last few years, how about picking early 2016? After all, these last couple of years should be a much better indicator of whether the climate "is" warming or cooling than the entire last 138 years. Really, what do temperatures more than 100 years ago, or even 30 or 40 years ago, have to do with the question of whether the earth's climate "is" warming? So we look at the UAH chart, and we find our answer: since early 2016 temperatures have fallen by more than 0.5 deg C. Thus, once we get to pick our preferred start time, it is obvious that the climate system "is cooling."
Or, you can pick a different start date to your liking. How about 1998? That will give you an entire 20 year run. It's hard to say that the verb "is" should cover a period of more than 20 years. On the UAH series you can see that temperatures have also fallen about 0.4 deg C since early 1998. Again, even on this substantially longer scale, the earth "is cooling." (Note, however, that there is a significant difference between the Wikipedia chart and the UAH satellite series as to what has happened since 1998. On the Wikipedia chart the latest reading (2017?) is up about 0.3 deg C from 1998; while on the UAH series, the latest reading (July 2018) is down about 0.4 deg C from the then-records set in 1998. That's those "adjustments" in the surface temperature record that I was talking about. I would say that there is no credible position that the heavily adjusted surface temperature record that Wikipedia relies on should be used for this purpose over the far more accurate and un-tampered UAH satellite record.)
But how about if we decide that there is something to this "century-scale" thing? Let's agree that we're going to go back many, many decades to determine if the earth "is warming." But if we're going to do that, where do we stop? If you want, you can go back a hundred million years; or even a billion. And if you follow this subject a little, you probably know that the 1700s and 1800s are a very suspect era to start a series like this, because those centuries are a known cold period sometimes referred to as the "Little Ice Age." Picking a date in the "Little Ice Age" as the start point to prove warming is what's called "cheating." Let's pick something more fair. How about going back a nice round millennium? Was that time warmer or cooler than now?
OK, they didn't have networks of thermometers set up around the globe in the 11th century, let alone the highly accurate satellites that we have today. But scores of scientists have done hundreds of studies based on many sorts of "proxies" to determine at least whether it was warmer or cooler at that time than today. It turns out that the evidence is rather overwhelming that it was warmer. Actually, this is what is known as the "Medieval Warm Period." But picking a date in that period as your start date for deciding whether the earth "is warming" is no more fair or unfair than picking a date in the "Little Ice Age."
Here is a compilation of dozens of studies reaching the conclusion that the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than the present: "More than 700 scientists from 400 institutions in 40 countries have contributed peer-reviewed papers providing evidence that the Medieval Warm Period was real, global, & warmer than the present." Examples:
And by the way, if you want to keep going back farther and farther, you can keep finding time periods that were warmer than the present. Examples: the Roman Warm Period, from around 250 BC to 450 AD; and the Holocene Climate Optimum, about 5000 to 3000 BC.
So here's the real answer to the question of whether the earth's ciimate system "is warming":
It's hard to believe that the supposed geniuses at Google could be taken in by a scam so obvious and so transparent. But that's the world we live in.
What Cannabis Growers Know That Climate Scientists Don’t Know
Executive Director, Climate Science Coalition
On November 3, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released the “Fourth National Climate Assessment,” a 477-page document filled with concern about Earth’s changing climate. The study concluded that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) cause dangerous global warming. But marijuana growers know something that climate scientists apparently don’t know.
The Fourth Assessment is an alarming document that uses the word “extreme” more than 700 times to describe storms, floods, droughts, precipitation, snowfall, temperature and other weather variations. The Assessment concludes: “Reducing net emissions of CO2 is necessary to limit near-term climate change and long-term warming.” Essentially, the report concludes that CO2 emissions are dangerous.
While the Assessment doesn’t call CO2 “pollution,” other parties use the report to do so. The American Academy of Sciences states that the Assessment “reinforces that warming temperatures and extreme weather” are “the result of carbon pollution from human activities.” The Atlantic says that the Assessment confirms that “Climate Change is real. It’s caused by greenhouse gas pollution released by human industrial activity.”
But marijuana growers know that carbon dioxide isn’t pollution. It’s plant food! Any smart cannabis grower pumps carbon dioxide into the greenhouse to make the pot crop grow bigger and faster. Marijuana growers use canisters of CO2 gas and CO2 generators hang from greenhouse rafters to boost crop yields.
Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies show that plants grow bigger with higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. In 2011, Dr. Craig Idso, founder of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, compiled the results of more than 1,000 scientific papers reporting on CO2 enrichment experiments. He developed estimates of the mean crop growth rate in response to a 300-ppm increase in the level of atmospheric CO2. The data shows that all 92 of the world’s food crops grew larger with increased levels of carbon dioxide. The world’s seven largest food crops, corn, potato, rice, soybean, sugar beet, sugar cane, and wheat, grew between 21 and 66 percent larger in controlled experiments.
Plants get bigger fruits and vegetables, thicker stems, and larger root systems with higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Higher levels of CO2 also make plants more resistant to drought.
The recent rise in atmospheric CO2 that climate scientists fret about is actually greening the Earth. A 2013 study led by Dr. Randall Donahue of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization analyzed plant growth using satellite data. After accounting for changes in precipitation, the study found an eleven percent increase in global leaf area from 1982 to 2010. Most of this increase was attributed to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Rather than a negative, rising levels of atmospheric CO2 must be boosting global agricultural output. If there is one compound that humans can put into nature that is great for the biosphere, carbon dioxide is that compound. But today carbon dioxide is branded “pollution” and every company and every university foolishly tries to reduce CO2 emissions.
Steve Goreham is a speaker on the environment, business and public policy and author of the new book ‘Outside the Green Box: Rethinking Sustainable Development.’
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.
Climate Forecast vs. Energy Forecast: A Reason for Hope
November 3, 2017 by Vijay Jayaraj
Can the conventional energy sector redeem us from the doom and gloom of global warming?
The controversy surrounding climate change has been used to spread widespread hysteria about the future of our world. The alarmist perspective of climate change has largely revolved around the singular dimension of how temperature affects the environment around us.
It is true that economies depend highly on various environmental factors such as availability of water, land-use, and climatic conditions.
Scientific data suggests that most of the policies prescribed by climate alarmism enthusiasts are based on falsifiable temperature forecasts from faulty computer climate models.
The huge discrepancies between model forecasts and actual measured temperature levels were well documented in hundreds of scientific publications in the past two years. Prominent climate scientists testified this before the U.S. Congress, and the scientists who created those faulty models eventually acknowledged it.
Even if the exaggerated climate forecasts were true, this century will not be the first time modern civilization has experienced such warmth.
Both the Roman Warm Period and Medieval Warm Period were equally warm as today’s modern warm period. During both these previous cases, the impact on civilization was positive. The mini ice ages affected humanity adversely, but not the warm periods.
Not only are the climate forecasts wrong, the temperatures they predict are also not dangerous or unprecedented as popularly believed to be.
This renders much of the current climate change policies ineffective and practically irrelevant, as they call for an unnecessary reduction of global carbon dioxide emissions from conventional energy sources.
The mainstream media seldom address how climate alarmist policies have concealed the immense benefits that humanity is continuing to extract from the conventional energy sector.
A revamp of global climate change policy—one that frees economies from their carbon-dioxide-restrictive energy policies, is necessary if our economies are to advance.
Coal energy is the highest source of electricity globally—contributing a whopping 39 percent (2014) of all electricity produced.
The international energy agency (IEA) forecasts that electricity generated from coal will increase dramatically across the globe, with South East Asia accounting for most of it.
Unlike some old coal power plants in developing countries that emit highly polluted exhaust, the new coal-fired plants use high-efficiency supercritical or ultra-supercritical technologies that are clean.
Developing countries, whose energy sectors are yet to grow to their full capacity, are at an advantage because they can transition to these new technologies faster than currently developed nations did. That means fewer years of exposure to severe air pollution.
This should give us a reason to hope. A hope for stronger economies, better livelihoods and cleaner environments in developing countries that currently suffer from energy shortage that starves their power-hungry industries.
The climate change campaign pegs its hope on baseless theories that have been found wanting. Neither is there a need to rescue us from temperatures nor a reason to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions.
In contrast to the alarmist narrative, conventional energy sources like coal are the actual reason to hope for a better future.
Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), Research Associate for Developing Countries for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in New Delhi, India.__________________________
Australia Weather Bureau Caught Tampering With Climate Numbers
9:57 PM 07/31/2017
Australian scientists at the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) ordered a review of temperature recording instruments after the government agency was caught tampering with temperature logs in several locations.
Agency officials admit that the problem with instruments recording low temperatures likely happened in several locations throughout Australia, but they refuse to admit to manipulating temperature readings. The BOM located missing logs in Goulburn and the Snow Mountains, both of which are in New South Wales.
Meteorologist Lance Pidgeon watched the 13 degrees Fahrenheit Goulburn recording from July 2 disappear from the bureau’s website. The temperature readings fluctuated briefly and then disappeared from the government’s website.
“The temperature dropped to minus 10 (13 degrees Fahrenheit), stayed there for some time and then it changed to minus 10.4 (14 degrees Fahrenheit) and then it disappeared,” Pidgeon said, adding that he notified scientist Jennifer Marohasy about the problem, who then brought the readings to the attention of the bureau.
The bureau would later restore the original 13 degrees Fahrenheit reading after a brief question and answer session with Marohasy.
“The bureau’s quality control system, designed to filter out spurious low or high values was set at minus 10 minimum for Goulburn which is why the record automatically adjusted,” a bureau spokeswoman told reporters Monday. BOM added that there are limits placed on how low temperatures could go in some very cold areas of the country.
Bureaus Chief Executive Andrew Johnson told Australian Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg that the failure to record the low temperatures at Goulburn in early July was due to faulty equipment. A similar failure wiped out a reading of 13 degrees Fahrenheit at Thredbo Top on July 16, even though temperatures at that station have been recorded as low as 5.54 degrees Fahrenheit.
Failure to observe the low temperatures had “been interpreted by a member of the community in such a way as to imply the bureau sought to manipulate the data record,” Johnson said, according to The Australian. “I categorically reject this implication.”
Marohasy, for her part, told reporters that Johnson’s claims are nearly impossible to believe given that there are screen shots that show the very low temperatures before being “quality assured” out. It could take several weeks before the equipment is eventually tested, reviewed and ready for service, Johnson said.
“I have taken steps to ensure that the hardware at this location is replaced immediately,” he added. “To ensure that I have full assurance on these matters, I have actioned an internal review of our AWS network and associated data quality control processes for temperature observations.”
BOM has been put under the microscope before for similar manipulations. The agency was accused in 2014 of tampering with the country’s temperature record to make it appear as if temperatures had warmed over the decades, according to reports in August 2014.
Marohasey claimed at the time that BOM’s adjusted temperature records are “propaganda” and not science. She analyzed raw temperature data from places across Australia, compared them to BOM data, and found the agency’s data created an artificial warming trend.
Marohasey said BOM adjustments changed Aussie temperature records from a slight cooling trend to one of “dramatic warming” over the past century.
Follow Chris White on Facebook and Twitter
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Excellent First Step
by Donn Dears
President Trump took an excellent first step when he withdrew the United States from the Paris Accord.
He cited the many economic reasons for why the Paris Accord was bad for Americans.
Now it’s time to take the second step, which is to withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) treaty was ratified by the United States Senate in 1992.
The treaty obligates the United States to adhere to many actions that are contrary to the interests of the United States.
One such requirement is for the United States to be subject to a The International Court or to a “conciliatory committee” composed of other countries, including those who are unfriendly towards the United States, such as Iran, when there are disagreements under the treaty. The book Clexit itemizes other provisions of the UNFCCC treaty that are not in the best interests of the United States.
As long as the United States remains a party to the UNFCCC treaty we will always be subject to complying with its terms, with the potential for any new administration to suck America back into agreements similar to the Kyoto Protocol or Paris Accord.
We will continue to have to attend Conference of the Parties (COP) meetings. COP21, for example, was where the Paris Accord was formulated and agreed to.
The United States has been vilified at earlier COP meetings when its delegation didn’t agree with proposals that were not in the best interests of the United States.
Already, preparations are being made for COP23 to be held in Bonn, Germany this coming November.
We must participate in COP23 because we are still bound by the UNFCCC treaty. There will likely be tens of thousands of activists at COP23 working to undermine the United States.
Withdrawing from the Paris Accord was an excellent first step, but we will never be free of our UNFCCC treaty obligations until we withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty.
CNN Host Crippled As Weather Channel Founder GRILLS Him For Climate Change Lie
POSTED BY: SAM DI GANGI 7 JUNE 2017
Recently, Teddy Stick covered how Al Gore and his whole global warming narrative is falling faster than anything but his credibility, and even the story of a man who faces heavy fines for tending to his own field in California. We are taxed, hounded, and told to watch our “carbon footprint” by those who circle the world in luxury jets.
Now fake news masters, CNN, got the facts (and something else) handed to them by the founder of the Weather Channel, John Coleman. When the host calls the founder a denier, he responds with “I resent you calling in a denier. That is a word mean to put me down.”
The host, knowing that he had angered the man listens as Coleman clarifies, “I’m a skeptic about climate change and I want to clear that Mr. Kennedy is not a scientist, I am.”
He also clears the air, saying that he is the founder, NOT the co-founder of the Weather Channel and when the host tries to smooth the road by claiming to be addicted to the channel, Coleman says, “stop talking, I’m not done.”
“CNN has taken a very strong position on global warming that it there is a consensus. Well there is no consensus in science, it isn’t a vote. Science is about facts,” he reminds the network.
“If you get don’t to the hard cold facts, ” he continues, “climate change is not happening. There is no significant man-made global warming now, there hasn’t been any in the past, there’s no reason to expect any in the future, there’s a whole lot of bologna, and yes, it is and has become a big political point for the Democratic party.”
He declares that he regrets that it is part of the Democratic platform and says the science is on his side.
When the host tries to say that the debate can not be decided on air, Coleman calls the fake news site out and says it is because they would never allow it to be!
He goes on to say that he is happy to even have gotten on to tell the facts to the viewers and says, “Hello everybody,” as if to mock the panicked anchor.
Coleman (pictured right) is willing to tell the truth to anyone who will listen.
“There is not global warming,” he says. “The government puts out about two and half billion dollars for climate research every year. It only gives that money to scientists who will produce scientific results which will support the global warming hypothesis of the Democrat party or position.”
“So they don’t have any choice,” says the founder. “If your gonna’ get the money, you’ve got to support their position. Therefore, 97% of the reports published support global warming. Why, because those are the one that the government pays for, that’s where the money is.”
Calling it “real simple,” Coleman says, “that doesn’t mean it’s right. That doesn’t make it true. That only makes it bought and paid for, the money goes in circles.”
When the host says that he is not a scientist, Coleman says, “Boy, that;s the truth” and says that he should stand back and let scientists talk. He says that the truth will “prevail in time,” also.
With that, the final nail has hit the coffin of the man made global warming lie. God bless you, Mr. Coleman.
Sources: CNN News (posted) – Teddy Stick
Clexit For a Brighter Future establishes why the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty, a climate treaty most Americans don’t know we ratified.
Clexit is a follow-up to Dears 2015 book, Nothing to Fear. Clexit explains why the United States should withdraw from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) treaty.
Dears describes the impossibility of cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions enough to slow or stop climate change. Since the UNFCCC s purpose is to achieve, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, and since achieving that purpose is impossible, the United States should withdraw. Dears explains why participating in, and funding, a failed treaty is immoral.
Available on Amazon
Exiting the Paris Climate Agreement is an Essential Step in Protecting America
by KEVIN D. FREEMAN
on JUNE 1, 2017
Today, President Trump announced that his Administration is pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord. This is a big victory for those who want to see our nation better positioned in the global economic war already underway. It is also a promise that Donald Trump made when campaigning and kept early in his Presidency.
There are many points of explanation we could share as to why this was the right decision, but here are a few:
First, the Accord as written would undermine American jobs and competitiveness.
According to researchers at MIT, if all member nations met their obligations, the impact on the climate would be negligible. The impacts have been estimated to be likely to reduce global temperature rise by less than .2 degrees Celsius in 2100. In reality, American shale development does more for the climate than any agreement ever negotiated.
The bottom line is that staying in the Paris Accord would have placed us at a massive competitive disadvantage. Many global agreements have been designed to transfer wealth from rich countries to poor and this one was no exception. This isn’t conjecture. In fact it was admitted in advance by Cass Sunstein (the former administrator of the Obama White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs) in a Bloomberg News Article.
We congratulate President Trump on keeping his word and putting America first. This is an essential step.
Obama Headed To Italy To Organize Plan To Sell Known Lie To The American & European Masses
POSTED BY: SAM DI GANGI
8 MAY 2017
The fact that Climategate proved that scientists were in on the take regarding the fake man-driven climate change nonsense has not stopped the progressives from standing by the lie. NASA has shown that there has not been a bit of warming in 19 years yet they stand by the cultic dogma of global warming, too.
The Democrats used the “El’ Nino” weather pattern this past winter (which has happened for centuries) to suggest that the warm season in the upper East of the U.S.A. is a sign of their warming hoax and now Obama is further seeking ways to sell the lie to the masses in Italy.
He plans to speak on “food security and climate change,” according to Hill, two topics that share no link except in the minds of liberals and their bought and paid for scientists from Climategate.
Obama is headed to Milan and then on Monday, he is to meet former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and eat a private dinner at the Institute for International Political Studies.
The real data on climate change shows no warming unless skewed.
He is thought to be the keynote speaking for the Seeds and Chips Global Food Innovation Summit.
The theme is as false and pretentious as the speaker and “science” involved, being called “The Impact of Technology and Innovation on Climate Change and Food Availability Around the World.”
That’s right, he is trying to save the world, just like America’s favorite Hollywood action heroes. Too bad that man-made global warming is a lie and he is just trying to pick gullible pockets.
The truth is that the planet has always known shifts in temperature, often caused by high sun activity such as we are seeing now. California, for instance, has historically (we know this from geological data) been a terrible place to grow food or to live due to unforgiving heat.
It has only been a fluke of nature that it was as we know it to be in modern times, and now that the Cali’ is going back to its normal state, there is money to be made by selling a lie.
Even if one has to go to Italy to do it.
Vatican Conference on Biological Extinction: Humans Are the Problem – Get Rid of the Problem
BY RICH MATRISCIANO
ON MARCH 8, 2017
For three days, ending on Ash Wednesday, the Vatican held a Climate Change Conference titled, Biological Extinction.
The attendees discussed the extinction of species caused by climate change and how to address the crisis. In his May 24, 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’, Pope Francis made it known that he believes humans have caused the problem. Since only those who agree with the pope participated in the conference, the root causes they identified mirrored those of the pontiff – economic disparity and overpopulation. Rehashing the same old doomsday predictions that haven’t come true for decades, their proposed solutions were no surprise:
The earth’s resources must be more equitably distributed. Rich nations must drastically reduce their use of the earth’s resources, allowing poor nations to improve their standard of living. The Vatican sees the United Nations as the intermediary to achieve this goal. The UN, through its Agenda 21 initiative, has the structure in place to accomplish this, primarily through a global Carbon Tax. The UN would determine how much each rich nation should pay, tax them that amount, then transfer funds and technology to poorer nations.
Does anyone see a problem here?
On a national scale this is what our government has done for five decades; tax the wealthy to improve the lives of the poor. But, the only result this transfer of wealth has achieved is making politicians and bureaucrats rich while the poor stay poor. Does Pope Francis really believe the UN can do a better job on a global scale? Making such an approach even more problematic is the fact that most aid going to these poor nations never gets to the people due to corrupt governments and dictators.
Once again, the Vatican sees the UN as the intermediary. But, do they have the same values and morals as the Catholic Church? Through Agenda 21 the UN has structured a plan to save the earth, reduce the number of humans through forced contraception, forced sterilization and forced abortion. These evils are aimed at the poorest nations where the most pregnancies occur.
I’m sure Pope Francis does not promote these evils, but he invites so-called experts who do promote them to his conference on biological extinction.
University of Cambridge Professor of Economics, Partha Dasgupta and Stanford University Professor of Population Studies, Paul Ehrlich co-authored a paper titled, “Why We’re In The Sixth Great Extinction And What It Means To Humanity.” Both men were invited to the Vatican conference and their paper on population control was a topic of conversation over its three days. It is important to note both men are strong proponents of global forced abortion and mass sterilization.
Ehrlich goes so far as to propose reducing earth’s population from its present 7.4 billion to 1 billion. Prior to attending the conference, he interviewed with the British publication, Guardian saying such a reduction actually has a pro-life effect. So, who gets to play God and choose who gets eliminated?
In May 2015, writing about Ehrlich’s 1968 book, “Population Bomb,” the New York Timessaid, “[Ehrlich] … opened with the statement ‘The battle to feed all of humanity is over.’ … hundreds of millions would starve to death in the 1970s, 65 million of them would be Americans … India was essentially doomed … England will not exist in the year 2000 … sometime in the next 15 years, [there will be]an utter breakdown of the capacity of the planet to support humanity.”
None of Ehrlich or any of his contemporary’s predictions have come true, which is par for the course with the doomsday crowd. Last I looked India and England were still there and 65 million Americans had not died of starvation.
HOWEVER, 60 MILLION AMERICANS HAVE DIED FROM ABORTION.
In Laudato Si’ the pope laments, “Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know … because they have been lost forever. The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity. Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence.”
This statement could very well be describing the extinction of human life through abortion.
Many Catholics, me included, have grave concerns about the direction Pope Francis is taking the Church. Just six months into his papacy, the pontiff said the church had grown “obsessed” with abortion and other sins called intrinsic evils. Now he is “obsessed” with climate change. While caring for our planet should be a concern of everyone, isn’t how we sustain it even more important?
Why would Pope Francis partner with Dasgupta, Ehrlich and others who believe eliminating humans is the way to a sustainable planet?
Why would he partner with the UN, a corrupt organization that believes forced abortion, contraception and sterilization is the way to a sustainable planet?
Pope Francis owes us an explanation.
The Curious Case of a Climate Denier and a Utilities Conference
Are some utilities managers, even in pro-climate New England, so far behind the science that they would invite a speaker arguing fossil fuels don't warm the planet?
BY ZAHRA HIRJI
SEP 9, 2016 The Northeast Public Power Association's annual conference last month featured a climate denialist as the speaker in its only session on climate change, raising questions and concerns among some members. Credit: The Everett Power Plant in Massachusetts/Todd Van Hoosear via flickr
At the Northeast Public Power Association's annual conference in Lake Placid, N.Y. last month, what was billed as a "common sense" discussion on climate change was actually a talk by Steve Goreham, an author of books that deny that burning fossil fuels causes global warming.
His appearance was sharply criticized by a few among the public power managers, directors and board members gathered there, while others viewed it as just another event in a conference packed with energy policy and technology discussions, networking and golf.
Giving Goreham a significant forum among power managers, however, raises serious questions about their role in responding to global warming and their understanding of climate science. The episode also illustrates how the climate misinformation camp has exploited opportunities to influence climate policy, by targeting those with a direct stake in the policy debate.
NEPPA represents about 80 not-for-profit, publicly owned utilities from across New England. It coordinates a sharing of resources among members, offers safety and other trainings and does some lobbying.
New England would not figure to be a welcome mat for climate denial. Rather, it is a region with bold plans to reduce greenhouse emissions and increase reliance on renewable energy sources. About half of NEPPA utility member companies are in Massachusetts, a state that seeks an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and where lawmakers recently passed the nation's most ambitious offshore wind energy target.
As the idea of a dramatic transition to a clean energy economy in the coming decades takes hold in the Northeast particularly, how does such a speaker get invited to address a group that environmentalists, politicians and regulators expect to help drive this shift? And why did his talk generate only minimal controversy?
Surprisingly, there appears to be a general lack of awareness about climate science among some high-level officials in the public power industry in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Credit: Steve Goreham via SteveGoreham.com
Goreham has authored two books on climate change, but has not published in the peer-reviewed science press. He makes his money not just from book sales, but by giving talks on climate change at conferences across the country largely for various trade groups, from electricity to oil and gas to plastics. Goreham is scheduled to speak this monthat conferences for the North Carolina Propane Gas Association and the Nebraska Trucking Association.
He's also a policy adviser to The Heartland Institute, a Chicago area conservative think tank known for spreading misinformation about climate change. In addition he runs a self-described "non-political" group dedicated to "informing Americans about the realities of climate science and energy economics," called Climate Science Coalition of America (CSCA). In an email to InsideClimate News, Goreham said his Heartland Institute and CSCA work is unpaid.
Goreham told InsideClimate News that he reached out to NEPPA to give a talk to the group and was subsequently invited to speak at the conference. "They were interested in my points of view on energy, electricity and public policy," Goreham wrote in an email.
Goreham's session was summarized in the NEPPA conference materialas offering "a discussion about energy, electricity and modern society, with common sense about climate change, public policy, and implications for the power industry."
His talk consisted of the usual top climate denier talking points, according to several people who attended. (InsideClimate News did not attend the conference.)
Goreham's framing of the issue is that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are increasing and so are global temperatures, but these changes to the climate are largely due to natural causes and not a cause for alarm. He makes similar points in his latest book, published in 2012, "The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania."
InsideClimate News repeatedly called and emailed NEPPA's board members. Six of them responded. One was part of the speaker selection process but did not provide specifics, two declined to speak about it, and three said they didn't have any involvement in the process. Some of them praised the group's decision to expose members to people on all sides of an issue. (The conference only had one dedicated speaker on climate change, and it was Goreham.)
In an email to InsideClimate News before the conference, NEPPA executive director David White wrote: "With regards to the selection of speakers, we have an internal committee that selects speakers for our conferences. I do not know how Mr. Goreham came to our attention, so I cannot comment on that aspect. Given the interactions that our members have with the general public, I am sure that the committee saw value in hearing what those who question climate change are likely to say."
At least one NEPPA member raised concerns about Goreham's talk in the days before the conference, which was held in late August. The conference agenda, however, gave little clue about the talk's true content.
According to the program, "speaker, author, and environmental researcher" Steve Goreham was scheduled to give a one-hour talk called "Energy, Climate Change, and Public Policy."
What was not mentioned was that Goreham does not have an education in climate science, nor has he published any peer-reviewed articles on the topic. Instead, Goreham has an MBA from the University of Chicago and a masters degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, according to his website biography. Also not explained was Goreham's ties to The Heartland Institute. (A few of the glowing reviews of Goreham's books on Amazon were written by people affiliated with The Heartland Institute.)
In Goreham's 2012 book, he wrote, "There is no direct scientific evidence that man-made greenhouse gases are causing catastrophic global warming. Instead, the world has been captured by the ideology of Climatism—the belief that man-made greenhouse gases are destroying the Earth's climate."
When speaking about the buildup of carbon dioxide and other gases in the Earth's atmosphere, Goreham correctly told NEPPA members that greenhouse emissions only make up a small fraction of the atmosphere, but wrongfully deduced that this means they could not have any significant impact on the planet.
These views have been vigorously disputed by an overwhelming consensus of the world's top climate scientists. The threat of continued climate change is so urgent, more than 170 world leaders have signed the Paris climate agreement to dramatically cut their greenhouse gas emissions in the future and transition towards a clean energy economy. The United States and China recently took the next step and formally ratified the agreement this month.
Reactions to Goreham's talk at Lake Placid were split between people "who didn't believe a word [Goreham] said" and people who hadn't made their mind up on whether man-made climate change was real, said former NEPPA president Calvin Ames. Ames, the superintendent of Madison Electric Works in Maine, said he thought Goreham raised some interesting points and that he wanted to do more research on the topic.
David Talbot, a commissioner for the Reading Municipal Light Department in Massachusetts, found NEPPA's decision to hire Goreham infuriating. Talbot both criticized Goreham during his talk and repeatedly raised his disapproval of the group's hiring of Goreham with NEPPA leadership.
"NEPPA may have made a mistake," Talbot told InsideClimate News. "I'm not sure what vetting was done, if any. It's a small organization having limited scope." Talbot said he hopes NEPPA will "now correct the record and provide real, credible facts to this community."
Other NEPPA members including board member Patty Richards also spoke out at the end of Goreham's talk. "The talk was mostly opinion-based, not fact-based," said Richards, general manager of the Washington Electric Co-op, a Vermont utility that runs entirely on clean energy sources.
Although Richards disagreed with many of Goreham's positions, she said it provided an opportunity for NEPPA members like herself that understand and believe the scientific consensus on manmade climate change to speak out.
Reginald Beliveau, a NEPPA board member who also works at the Vermont-based Swanton Village Public Works, didn't attend Goreham's talk but said he heard about it at the conference. There was "a lot of good dialogue among NEPPA members" on the issue of climate change after the talk, he said.
"It's good to hear two sides of the story," Beliveau added. "We've always heard about global warming and climate change...To hear another perspective, it will either reinforce your belief or make you ask more questions and do research."
That some in the New England public power industry still think there's a debate on climate, was reason for concern to others. Conservation Law Foundation's Greg Cunningham said: "That's distressing." (Cunningham did not attend the NEPPA conference.)
"Municipal power companies have a fiduciary duty to make energy decisions that are in its best interests of their residents [and] citizens. It is not possible to uphold that fiduciary duty while failing to consider, let alone, mitigate against climate change and its associated costs to the economy and environment," said Cunningham, who heads CLF's clean energy and climate change program. CLF is a New England-focused environmental advocacy organization.
At the conference, there were also at least two sessions on renewable energy including a round-table discussion on battery storage and a talk on developing utility-scale solar farms. Some NEPPA members already get or are planning to get a significant amount of their power from renewable sources. Ames' utility, for example, has commissioned Maine's biggest solar farm. The motivating factor to go solar was "all price," he said.
Goreham received an honorarium for speaking at the NEPPA conference, but declined to say for how much. "If you are concerned about funding for climate change, please consider [how much] funding [is] on the side of the theory of man-made climate change," he said.
Wednesday, 20 July 2016
Philippines Rejects “Stupid” UN Climate Deal; Globalists Freak
Written by Alex Newman
Internationalists and climate alarmists are freaking out after the new president of the Philippines, firebrand Rodrigo Duterte (shown), blasted the controversial United Nations “climate” regime and vowed to ignore its restrictions on his nation. Now there is a full-blown global campaign to beat him into submission. Duterte's explosive statements this week vowing not to honor what he called the UN's “stupid” emissions demands, which he said were designed to “stifle us,” sparked major concerns among pro-UN types around the world that other governments might follow the island nation's lead. Those concerns about a mass “Clexit” — national exits from the UN “climate” scheme — are probably justified.
Indeed, Duterte's comments follow similar statements from GOP presidential contender Donald Trump, another anti-establishment political leader who promised to “cancel” the UN deal upon taking office. According to even notoriously unreliable polls, Trump, who has previously referred to the global-warming theory as a “hoax,” is basically tied with pro-UN Democrat Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House. America should never give “foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use,” the GOP contender declared, promising to eliminate all U.S. taxpayer funding for UN “global warming” schemes and the “draconian” climate rules. Trump's comments sounded very similar those made by Duterte.
Ironically, perhaps, federal law now officially prohibits the U.S. government from funding the UN bureaucracy in charge of overseeing the “climate” regime and its international wealth redistribution schemes. So even under a potential President Hillary Clinton, unless Congress changes the law, there will be no legal way to funnel U.S. taxpayer wealth into the UN regime — essentially killing the agreement, which was contingent on huge bribes offered by Obama to Third World governments. And even without a President Trump, the chance that two thirds of the U.S. Senate will vote to ratify the economy-crippling, sovereignty-smashing UN agreement is close to zero, according to high-ranking senators who have also called the global-warming theory a “hoax.”
Speaking on July 18 at the Malacanang Palace, Duterte said the government of the Philippines would not ratify the UN pseudo-treaty despite his predecessors signature on the scheme. The previous government had agreed to slash emissions of CO2 — also known to scientists as the gas of life — by 70 percent from 2000 levels by the year 2030. In exchange for the economy-retarding restrictions on energy use, the government in Manila was supposed to receive massive amounts of funding extracted from middle-class Western taxpayers. But now, Duterte, who took office last month, has blown it all up.
“I will not honor that,” he said.
Formally known as the “Paris Agreement,” the deal, negotiated last year, purports to mandate massive cuts in CO2 emissions to be determined by national governments, along with draconian powers for international and regional institutions to allocate carbon dioxide rations to humanity. The UN scheme is also dependent on trillions in wealth redistribution, with globalist-controlled Western governments promising governments of poorer nations huge bribes if they signed on. However, the Paris Agreement appears to be imploding even before it comes into force, with the Duterte's pledge and the Brexit vote representing only the most recent devastating blows to the UN plan.
Pointing at the 800-pound gorilla in the room that everybody sees but nobody wants to talk about, Duterte also argued that those pushing the UN “climate” regime were trying to control and stifle poorer nations. Governments of industrialized nations are “dictating the destiny” of developing nations by trying to bribe and bludgeon them into slashing the CO2 emissions of those they rule. While developed nations enjoyed a “booming” economy and got “rich because of coal and industrialization, we are being asked to cut emission and limit our activities,” he said. "That is stupid.”
Now that developing countries are starting to develop, the UN and other governments want to stop it by limiting poorer nations' prospects, the president argued. “We have not reached the age of industrialization. We are going into it. But you are trying to [cite the UN] agreement that will impose limitations on us. We maintain the present emissions,” he declared, calling the globalist effort to shackle poor nations “stupid” and “absurd.” “Now that we are about to develop, you will set limits... So that is how very constricted our lives are now. It’s being controlled by the world. It’s being imposed upon us by the industrialized countries. They think that they can dictate the destiny of the rest of the nations.”
When an ambassador told the Filipino president that the previous government had agreed to the UN regime, Duterte recalled speaking unambiguously. “That was not my signature,” he pointed out. “Somebody else's, not mine.” Indeed, the leader had harsh words for the official. “I’m mad at this ambassador,” he said, blasting as “nonsense” the UN-demanded limits on CO2 emissions for his country. “I want to kick him.” Duterte, who is hardly diplomatic in his criticism, previously accused the UN of being “hypocrites” for trying to limit energy production and consumption by poorer nations. More recently, he blasted richer governments as “oligarchs” trying to oppress others and live at their expense.
Globalists and climate alarmists were not amused, and promptly scrambled to put pressure on Duterte to reconsider his position. Either way though, in the Philippines, Congress must vote to ratify the deal, something that media outlets reported was uncertain — especially in light of Duterte's pledge to ignore it. Indeed, even in dictatorships, the “legislatures” are mostly required to approve the deal, despite Obama's outlandish claim that in the United States the pseudo-treaty does not need to be ratified by the Senate, as required for all treaties by the U.S. Constitution. News reports have suggested Obama is planning to issue an “executive order” in place of actual ratification.
The day after Duterte's comments, which sparked headlines around the world, UN boss Ban Ki Moon called for a “special event” at which governments and dictators worldwide would formally approve the shackling of their peoples to the UN's “climate” regime. “I urge you to accelerate your country’s domestic process for ratification of the Agreement this year,” said Ban, who has started referring to the dictators club he leads as the “Parliament of Humanity.” Globalists are claiming that if enough governments and dictators “ratify” the scheme, it will be impossible to stop. That is, of course, ridiculous, despite the claims of tax-funded “green” groups, UN bosses, and bureaucrats.
While globalists were freaking out, opponents of the UN's scheming and of “climate” alarmism celebrated the news. Prominent climate realist Marc Morano, for example, who produced the movie Climate Hustle, was quoted in media reports saying that some countries were waking up to the fact that the UN scheme was not in their best interests. “More and more nations are realizing that the UN climate treaty is nothing more than an effort to empower the UN and attack national sovereignty while doing absolutely nothing for the climate,” he said, adding that the “time has come for a U.S.-led ‘Clexit’ from ... the climate treaty.”
Indeed, with the UN global-warming regime threatening to empower internationalist extremists over every aspect of life, it is urgent that Americans get to work. Fortunately, though, the entire foundation of the scheme is built on quicksand: The global-warming theory underpinning the effort is now a global laughingstock, the deal will not be ratified by the U.S. Senate, federal law bars U.S. funding of the scheme, and even if the discredited theory were true (it's not), the UN deal would do practically nothing to stop “climate change.” Crushing the dangerous UN “climate” regime can and must be done. Americans can thank Duterte for helping lead the way.
Photo of President Rodrigo Duterte: AP Images
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, was at the UN climate summit in Paris. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.
Published on Apr 20, 2016Ben Davidson explains how the sun can trigger the #1 risk to earth, based on severity and likelihood, and the current state of earth’s magnetic reversal, including how our protection from solar energy is weakening with it. In the second half of 2015 several minor solar upticks (100x weaker than ‘big’ ones) caused geomagnetic events we would expect from the only the largest flares every decade or so. This trend is expected to continue and it is not a pretty picture for the coming decades.
Ben is the Director and Founder of Space Weather News, The Mobile Observatory Project, The Disaster Prediction App, SpaceWeatherNews.com, Suspicious0bservers.org, MagneticReversal.org, QuakeWatch.net, ObservatoryProject.com, and the Suspicious0bservers YouTube Channel, with more than 260,000 minds alert to what the mainstream deems ‘unimportant’.
Ben is the Director and Founder of Space Weather News, The Mobile Observatory Project, The Disaster Prediction App, SpaceWeatherNews.com, Suspicious0bservers.org, MagneticReversal.org, QuakeWatch.net, ObservatoryProject.com, and the Suspicious0bservers YouTube Channel, with more than 260,000 minds alert to what the mainstream deems ‘unimportant’.
Victim of AGs’ Climate Change Inquisition Fights Back
Hans von Spakovsky / @HvonSpakovsky / April 22, 2016
AGs United for Clean Power press conference on March 29 in New York. (Photo: Andrew Schwartz/Newscom)
Hans von Spakovsky@HvonSpakovsky
Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. Read his research.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has launched a fierce counter-attack against Claude Walker, the attorney general for the Virgin Islands, who recently served a subpoena on CEI demanding documents related to CEI’s research on global “climate change.”
On April 20, CEI’s attorney, Andrew Grossman, filed a long and extensive objection to the subpoena and made it clear that CEI will not comply with it. Grossman, a lawyer at BakerHostetler and co-founder of the Free Speech in Science Project, told Walker in his cover letter that the attorney general’s legal action targeting CEI is “a blatant attempt to intimidate and harass an organization for advancing views that you oppose.”
The only reason to try to force CEI to turn over its internal research and documents on this issue is “to punish [CEI] for its public policy views, chill its associations, and silence its advocacy.”
Grossman cites Walker’s own statements at the press conference held by AGs United for Clean Power on March 29 to show that Walker launched this investigation to achieve political ends, not “carry out any law enforcement duty.”
Walker said his investigation was intended to “make it clear to our residents as well as the American people that we have to do something transformational” about climate change, stop “rely[ing] on fossil fuels,” and “look at reliable energy.” As Grossman says, Walker is entitled to his opinions on public policy, but Walker doesn’t have a right to wield his “power as a prosecutor to advance a policy agenda by persecuting those who disagree with” Walker.
The objection filed by Grossman on behalf of CEI not only points out the constitutional problems with Walker’s investigation, but some crucial procedural mistakes made by Walker. For example, Walker didn’t actually get a court in the Virgin Islands to issue the subpoena; he simply issued it himself.
Subpoenas that are not issued by a “court of record” and that are not part of a “pending judicial action” cannot be domesticated in another jurisdiction like the District of Columbia where CEI is located and was served with the subpoena. This is the type of basic error that one might expect from a young law firm associate, not the attorney general of a U.S. protectorate.
But more fundamentally, CEI is objecting on First Amendment grounds, citing to court cases prohibiting the compelled disclosure of the type of information and documents that Walker is trying to obtain. Grossman claims that the subpoena “violates the First Amendment because it constitutes an attempt to silence and intimidate, as well as retaliate against, speech espousing a particular viewpoint with which the Attorney General disagrees.”
CEI asserts that the subpoena is also “invalid because the underlying investigation is pretextual, is being undertaken in bad faith, is intended as a fishing expedition, and is in support of an investigation of charges that have no likelihood of success.”
In what may be a sign of the involvement of the plaintiffs’ bar in pushing these climate change persecutions in the same way it helped instigate the massive tobacco industry litigation, CEI says the subpoena is invalid and violates the Fifth and 14th Amendments because Walker has delegated “investigative and prosecutorial authority to private parties.”
CEI is referring to the fact that Walker’s subpoena was handled by a private law firm in Washington, D.C., Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, which has been called one of the “most feared plaintiffs’ firms” in the country. The firm itself brags about being the “most effective law firm in the United States for lawsuits with a strong social and political component” (emphasis added).
CEI says that Walker’s investigation “could result in penalties available only to government prosecutors.” Thus, delegating “investigative and prosecutorial authority to a private attorney, Ms. Linda Singer, and a private law firm, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, that are most likely being compensated on a contingency-fee basis, violates due process of law.”
That raises a very interesting question about “AGs United for Clean Power”—are they hiring private firms like Cohen Milstein on a contingency basis to target climate change deniers?
CEI’s objection also claims that Walker, Singer, and the Cohen Milstein firm may be subject to sanctions for violating a local court rule in the District of Columbia that required them to “take reasonable steps to avoid imposing undue burden or expense” on CEI, and that this broad, burdensome subpoena “plainly violates that duty given its facial invalidity, astonishing overbreadth, and evident purpose of imposing unwarranted and illegitimate burdens on CEI and CEI’s exercise of its constitutional rights.”
CEI says that Walker, Singer, and the firm “violated their ethical obligations” under a D.C. Bar Rule that prohibits an attorney from “knowingly us[ing] methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of” a third party.
CEI’s attorney concludes his letter to Walker by calling him (and all of the other attorneys general involved in this climate change cartel) out in very plain spoken terms:
Your demand on CEI is offensive, it is un-American, it is unlawful, and it will not stand.
He gives Walker a warning and a choice: “You can either withdraw [the subpoena] or expect to fight … the law does not allow government officials to violate Americans’ civil rights with impunity.”
What They Haven't Told You about Climate Change
Published on Jul 27, 2015
Since time immemorial, our climate has been and will always be changing. Patrick Moore explains why “climate change,” far from being a recent human-caused disaster, is, for a myriad of complex reasons, a fact of life on Planet Earth.
Science Agency Eyes Climate Change Professor’s Use of Millions From Taxpayers
Kevin Mooney / @KevinMooneyDC / March 23, 2016
Polar bears check out the submarine USS Honolulu while surfaced in October 2003, 280 miles from the North Pole. The Honolulu was collecting data and water samples as part of an agreement with the National Science Foundation, the federal agency that funds climate change research such as that of Jagadish Shukla, who is under congressional scrutiny. (Photo: Alphonso Braggs/Zuma Press/Newscom)
A federal science agency is “seriously” interested in reviewing tens of millions in taxpayer-funded grants awarded to a university professor who wants President Obama to prosecute those who don’t share the administration’s view that mankind is changing the world’s climate.
The National Science Foundation’s inspector general appears poised to look into Jagadish Shukla’s management of federal grant money, much of it from the science agency itself.
The science agency has its own rules and guidelines governing grants, which would be applicable to the millions Shukla, 71, received from the agency.
“The longstanding cozy relationship between [government] grant-makers and grantees makes them blind to even the most obvious conflict of interest,” Bonner Cohen, a scholar with a free-market think tank in Washington, told The Daily Signal.
Shukla, a professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., led the charge by 20 college professors to urge a federal investigation aimed at scientific skeptics who differ with their views on climate change.
At the same time, Shukla, his wife, and his research center were awash in taxpayers’ money, according to an internal audit by the university on which The Daily Signal previously reported.
A House panel looking into Shukla’s activities sent related information to Allison Lerner, inspector general for the National Science Foundation.
Susan Carohan, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Inspector General, said the agency is “unable to comment publicly” on the Shukla case, citing “privacy requirements.”
“As with any correspondence from a congressional committee, we take the concerns expressed very seriously,” Carohan said in an email.
>>> Audit Details Climate Change Researcher’s ‘Double Dipping’
Cohen, senior fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, told The Daily Signal that lax enforcement of existing rules has bedeviled the U.S. government for some time:
The federal government is awash in guidelines governing the conduct of recipients of the billions of dollars in grants doled out by Washington every year. But these regulations are loosely enforced, both by government bureaucrats and by the institutions receiving the money.
The National Science Foundation, an independent federal agency, was created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; [and] to secure the national defense,” among other goals.
The agency’s website notes that its annual budget of $7.5 billion includes funding for nearly a quarter of all basic research that federal taxpayers make possible at America’s colleges and universities.
Shukla’s name appears first among 20 signers of a letter to Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking them to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, to investigate corporations and other groups skeptical of man-made global warming, also known as climate change.
The audit by Shukla’s employer, George Mason University, suggests that the professor misused tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer funding by “double dipping” in federal and state funds in violation of university policy.
The Daily Signal has made repeated attempts through George Mason University to reach Shukla for comment, but he has not responded. The last attempt was Monday.
Observers critical of Shukla, some of whom consider him an alarmist, say Virginia taxpayers who don’t agree with Shukla’s policy stance on climate change were forced to fund his political activism.
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, began making inquiries into the professor’s finances last fall in response to reports that he had received taxpayer-funded grants well beyond his publicly funded salary.
Shukla, who specializes in atmospheric, oceanic, and earth studies at George Mason University, is also the founder and president of the Rockville, Md.-based Institute of Global Environment and Society, or IGES, a nonprofit outfit that is now a focus of scrutiny by Smith’s committee.
An environmental institute run by Jagadish Shukla is the beneficiary of more than $60 million in taxpayer funds. (Photo: Evan Cantwell/George Mason University)
‘An Excessive Amount’
As previously reported by The Daily Signal, in a March 2 letter to Lerner, the National Science Foundation’s inspector general, Smith details key findings of the university’s audit and offers to assist her office in “any review” she may “deem appropriate.”
The committee chairman also asks that Lerner keep his committee “apprised of any work” her office pursues with regard to Shukla’s finances.
Above all, Smith calls attention to the substantial funds Shukla received from the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies. He writes of Shukla’s research center:
IGES has apparently received $63 million from taxpayer-funded grants since 2001, comprising over 98 percent of its total revenue. These grants were awarded by the [National Science Foundation], the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Since 2001, as president of IGES, Dr. Shukla appears to have paid himself and his wife a total of $5.6 million in compensation–an excessive amount for a nonprofit relying on taxpayer money. This information raises serious questions about Dr. Shukla’s financial management of IGES.
>>> State Lawmakers Urged to Question Taxpayer-Subsidized Climate ‘Alarmists’
The Daily Signal asked Lerner’s office whether the inspector general intended to move forward with her own investigation and whether she would comment on Smith’s letter.
Carohan, her spokeswoman, replied in an email:
As with any correspondence from a congressional committee, we take the concerns expressed very seriously. However, in this instance, we are unable to comment publicly on the matters noted in the letter due to privacy requirements.
The National Science Foundation’s policies set limits on the amount of grant money that may be awarded to individuals earning a salary from a college or university during an academic year.
Grants may be awarded during summer months based on the “two-ninths rule.” This rule means that “proposal budgets submitted should not request, and NSF-approved budgets will not include, funding for an individual investigator which exceeds two-ninths of the academic year salary. This limit includes summer salary received from all NSF-funded grants.”
Cohen, the scholar at the National Center for Public Policy Research, said:
The longstanding cozy relationship between grant-makers and grantees makes them blind to even the most obvious conflict of interest or incidence of double dipping. And when the government is driving the scientific research to reach a predetermined conclusion, as is the case with climate change, then no one is going to rock the boat.
Agencies such as NOAA, NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the science agency itself, he said, “get the ‘findings’ they want, and the universities and nonprofits get the money they want.”
Cohen added: “The system is thoroughly corrupt.”
The relationship between Shukla’s research center in Maryland and his role in the “RICO 20” letter to Obama and Lynch is a point of concern, Smith wrote to to the professor in October. Media reports said his center, IGES, initially was responsible for circulating the letter urging criminal prosecution of climate skeptics, Smith pointed out.
Although the letter to the president and the attorney general was scrubbed from the IGES website, it is available elsewhere.
This letter raises serious concerns because IGES appears to be almost fully funded by taxpayer money while simultaneously participating in partisan political activity by requesting a RICO investigation of companies and organizations that disagree with the Obama administration on climate.
Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.
>>> Panel Probes Academic Who Wants Obama to Prosecute Climate Skeptics