Month: August 2019

It’s time to whack greenhouse gas Endangerment Finding

Carbon dioxide does not “endanger” our health – and it’s time EPA recognized that simply fact

Tom Harris and Dr. Jay Lehr

On August 6, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (Washington) that it be granted intervenor status concerning litigation launched by environmental groups against the Trump administration’s new Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule.

The case in question, American Lung Association v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 19-1140, concerns attempts by environmental groups to strike down the ACE rule and resurrect the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). The Chamber wants to be able to intervene in the case in defense of ACE.

The Chamber’s focus is on the legal aspects of ACE and CPP, and this will perhaps be valuable. However, it sidesteps the most important issue: both ACE and CPP are unnecessary since they rest on a faulty premise, namely, the misguided notion that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions must be reduced to avoid a climate crisis.

The appellants for the case, the American Lung Association and American Public Health Association, represented by attorneys from the so-called Clean Air Task Force, certainly pull no punches in their pronouncements. Their July 8 press release alleges that “EPA’s decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan and replace it with the ACE rule continues to disregard the vast health consequences of climate change and puts more lives at risk.”

That is nonsense, of course. But that didn’t stop other groups from taking a similar approach. Carter Roberts, President & CEO of the World Wildlife Fund, said, “This [ACE] rule enables dirty power plants to keep polluting – grounding federal energy policy firmly in the past and saddling future generations with the costs of unchecked climate change.” He too apparently wants people to believe the CO2 that we exhale and plants require for photosynthesis is a “dirty pollutant” and the primary factor in driving Earth’s climate – more important than the Sun and hundreds of other natural forces that do regulate climate.

Sierra Club director Michael Brune said, “This is an immoral and illegal attack on clean air, clean energy and the health of the public, and it shows just how heartless the Trump administration is when it comes to appeasing its polluter allies.”

Environmentalists, Democrats and some state attorneys general dubbed the regulation the “Dirty Power Plan,” and more lawsuits against ACE are apparently on the way.

As to clean energy and public health, the forced elimination of fossil fuels that provide over 80% of U.S. and global energy would be devastating to our economies, jobs, living standards, health and welfare. Any forced reduction in atmospheric CO2 levels would negate and roll back the tremendous plant growth that has been “greening” our planet for two decades.

Forcing America to install literally millions of wind turbines and tens of millions of solar panels, and plant tens of millions more acres in biofuel crops, would devastate wildlife habitats and countless species, while driving up electricity prices for families, factories, farms, businesses, schools and hospitals. The wind and sunlight may be free, clean and green. But the massive technologies required to harness those forces for human benefit certainly are not.

If Trump Administration advisors thought they could appease their opponents by implementing a rule focused on the useless and ultimately dangerous goal of limiting CO2 emissions, they were sorely mistaken. But as long as they did not contest the scientifically flawed idea that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant that must be controlled, they really had no choice but to replace the even worse Obama era rule with some form of CO2 reduction regulation.

Dr. Sterling Burnett, Senior Fellow of the Arlington Heights, IL-based Heartland Institute, explained recently on the internet “Think Radio” program Exploratory Journeys: The ACE rule was effectively “forced on the Trump administration because they didn’t, at the same time [they drafted the rule], say we are going to re-examine the Endangerment Finding” [EF] – the EPA’s 2009 finding that CO2 and other “greenhouse gases” (GHG) somehow endanger the health and welfare of Americans.

“As long as the Endangerment Finding exists,” said Burnett, “any administration, no matter how skeptical of the claims that humans are causing catastrophic climate change, … the courts will order them to come up with plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. So, it’s time to go back and examine that finding.”

It is hard to believe that attacks that would ensue against the current administration for opening the GHG Endangerment Finding to re-examination would be any more severe than what they are already being subjected to by enabling the ACE rule. So there is little, if any, political upside to bringing in a weaker version of Obama’s misguided Clean Power Plan.

If you are going to infuriate your opponents to the extent that they will take out lawsuits against you and publicly label you “the worst president in U.S. history for protecting the air and our climate,” as Brune did after Trump’s July 8 environment speech, you might as well do what you really wanted to do, instead of taking half measures.

Burnett explained that ACE has another serious downside that will limit the Trump EPA going forward.

“ACE is dangerous because it cements for a second time, this time by a Republican, supposedly skeptical administration, the idea that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that needs to be regulated,” said Burnett.

“This gives the Endangerment Finding the Trump administration’s stamp of public approval, which environmentalists will cite when they fight this in court saying, ‘even the Trump administration acknowledges carbon dioxide is damaging the U.S., but they are unwilling to take the steps necessary to truly fight carbon pollution.’” For even more reasons to reverse the EF, read this policy brief.

It’s time for the Trump administration, the Chamber, and indeed everyone who wants sensible environmental policy to call a spade a spade. Rather than merely engaging their enemies in legal arguments, while fighting activists on their own ground, they should clearly state that CO2 endangers no one and the EF should be reopened.

They should demand that alarmist scientists and advocacy groups prove clearly, with convincing data and evidence, and against vigorous counter evidence and cross examination, that the small manmade portion of atmospheric CO2 and far tinier manmade portions of other greenhouse gases: are dirty and poisonous; control Earth’s climate and weather; are doing so to a dangerous and unprecedented degree never experienced in prior Earth or human history; and can be manipulated by the United States and other nations so as to stabilize planetary climate and weather systems that have never been stable.

When the re-examination inevitably reveals that effectively classifying CO2 as a pollutant was a mistake, administration officials should not be quiet about it. They must follow Winston Churchill’s advice:

“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.”

Extremists in the climate change movement clearly hate fossil fuels and apparently humanity. Ridding the world of the inexpensive, life-enhancing fossil fuels would devastate society and especially hurt our working class and poor families, as our standard of living is reduced to that of third world nations. Moreover, the environmental devastation caused by their proposed “solutions” to the supposed climate crisis would be far worse than anything caused by any foreseeable human impact on climate.

It’s time to defuse the climate scare at its source. The greenhouse gas Endangerment Finding must be given a tremendous whack, and sent to the dustbin of history.

Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.  Dr. Jay Lehr is Senior Policy Analyst with ICSC.

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August 31, 2019 at 08:34PM

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“Here is an excellent article concerning the burning Amazon nonsense that media and climate catastrophists have been pushing,” says reader Ian Campbell.

“I thought the closing paragraph of this piece did the best job of putting AGW in perspective that I have seen:”

“The most fervent devotees of climate change don’t really want science, no matter how often they invoke the word; they want drama and memorable images, believing they will catalyze action in a way that a properly modulated account of the best research won’t.

If they have to blow their credibility, one faux emergency at a time, so be it.”

Earlier, the article explained pooh-poohed the entire fiasco:

“The fires aren’t an epochal event. According to the New York Times, the Brazilian agency tracking fires by satellite image reports that, at this point in the year, it’s the highest number of fires identified since 2010, which obviously isn’t thousands of years ago, indeed, not even a decade ago. In the 10 years prior to 2010, there were years when the number of fires was much higher.

“The fires aren’t the spontaneous result of global warming. The program director of the group Amazon Watch told CNN, “…the majority of these fires were set by farmers preparing Amazon-adjacent farmland for next year’s crops and pasture.

“Much of the land that is burning was not old-growth rain forest, but land that had already been cleared of trees and set for agricultural use.”

https://www.politico.eu/article/amazon-rainforest-fire-scam-g7/

Thanks to Ian Campbell for this link

The post appeared first on Ice Age Now.

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August 31, 2019 at 06:43PM

The “Bern” Vows to Prosecute Oil & Gas Industry: Laws? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Laws!

The “Bern” Vows to Prosecute Oil & Gas Industry: Laws? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Laws!

Guest “it’s time to go full-Chevron on these greenhadists”!

BERNIE SANDERS WANTS TO PROSECUTE OIL AND NATURAL GAS COMPANIES, BUT DOESN’T KNOW WHAT LAWS THEY VIOLATED
AUGUST 27, 2019 | WILLIAM ALLISON

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is out with yet another climate proposal, this time to prosecute fossil fuel executives for causing climate change.

[…]

The attack continues on his campaign website:

“Bernie promises to go further than any other presidential candidate in history to end the fossil fuel industry’s greed, including by making the industry pay for its pollution and prosecuting it for the damage it has caused.”

The problem? Sanders didn’t explain what laws these companies have broken. Spoiler alert: Providing affordable, reliable energy isn’t a crime anywhere, least of all in the United States.

But because Sanders personally doesn’t like what these companies do, he believes they should be taken to court.

[…]

Energy in Depth

What other nations on Earth prosecute people before identifying the laws that were broken?

“Bernie Sander’s ‘Economic Bill Of Rights’ Is A Near Duplicate Of Stalin’s 1936 Soviet Constitution” Washington Standard

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August 31, 2019 at 04:33PM

Google discriminates against conservatives and climate skeptics

Before you get into this article, let me say that I’m experiencing this sort of search engine discrimination myself.

Years ago when I would occasionally conduct a Google search for ‘ice age’, this website (iceagenow) would invariably show up on the first or second page of results. That was very heartening. 

But today it’s a far different story. I just conducted a Google search for ‘ice age’ about 10 minutes ago, and iceagenow.info did not show up until the 14th page of results.  This for a website that has garnered more than 42 million hits. This for a website that actually has ‘ice age’ as part of its name. If you were searching for something, would you keep trudging on for 14 pages? I doubt it.

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“David Wojick has written an important, perceptive article explaining how Google’s search engine algorithms so successfully exclude conservative, climate skeptic, and free market news and opinion from even specific inquiries,” writes Paul Driessen. “As David notes, during his test searches “Google never found a truly conservative (what it would call right wing) source” like Townhall or the Daily Caller. “It just doesn’t happen, and the algorithm clearly knows that, as does Google.”

“For a supposed research and educational tool that commands 92.2% of all online inquiries, this is not just reprehensible. It is downright dangerous for a free, functioning, modern democratic society and world. It is especially unacceptable when that “search engine” uses a public internet system that was built by government agencies, using taxpayer dollars, for the purpose of ensuring the free flow of information and open, robust discussion of vital policy issues.”
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Google discriminates against conservatives and climate skeptics

We must understand how Google does it, why it is wrong and how it hurts America

David Wojick

Several months ago, Google quietly released a 32-page white paper, “How Google Fights Disinformation.” That sound good. The problem is that Google not only controls a whopping 92.2% of all online searches. It is a decidedly left-wing outfit, which views things like skepticism of climate alarmism, and conservative views generally, as “disinformation.” The white paper explains how Google’s search and news algorithms operate, to suppress what Google considers disinformation and wants to keep out of educational and public discussions.

The algorithms clearly favor liberal content when displaying search results. Generally speaking, they rank and present search results based on the use of so-called “authoritative sources.” The problem is, these sources are mostly “mainstream” media, which are almost entirely liberal.

Google’s algorithmic definition of “authoritative” makes liberals the voice of authority. Bigger is better, and the liberals have the most and biggest news outlets. The algorithms are very complex, but the basic idea is that the more other websites link to you, the greater your authority.

It is like saying a newspaper with more subscribers is more trustworthy than one with fewer subscribers. This actually makes no sense, but that is how it works with the news and in other domains. Popularity is not authority, but the algorithm is designed to see it that way.

This explains why the first page of search results for breaking news almost always consists of links to liberal outlets. There is absolutely no balance with conservative news sources. Given that roughly half of Americans are conservatives, Google’s liberal news bias is truly reprehensible.

In the realm of public policies affecting our energy, economy, jobs, national security, living standards and other critical issues, the suppression of alternative or skeptical voices, evidence and perspectives becomes positively dangerous for our nation and world

Last year, I documented an extreme case of this bias the arena of “dangerous manmade global warming” alarmism. My individual searches on prominent skeptics of alarmist claims revealed that Google’s “authoritative source” was an obscure website called DeSmogBlog, whose claim to fame is posting nasty negative dossiers on skeptics, including me and several colleagues.

In each search, several things immediately happened. First, Google linked to DeSmogBlog’s dossier on the skeptic, even though it might be a decade old  and/or wildly inaccurate. Indeed, sometimes this was the first entry in the search results. Second, roughly half of the results were negative attacks – which should not be surprising, since the liberal press often attacks us skeptics.

Third, skeptics are often labeled as “funded by big oil,” whereas funding of alarmists by self-interested government agencies, renewable energy companies, far-left foundations or Tom Steyer (who became a billionaire by financing Asian coal mines) was generally ignored.

In stark contrast, searching for information about prominent climate alarmists yielded nothing but praise. This too is not surprising, since Google’s liberal “authoritative” sources love alarmists.

This algorithm’s bias against skeptics is breathtaking – and it extends to the climate change debate itself. Search results on nearly all climate issues are dominated by alarmist content.

In fact, climate change seems to get special algorithmic attention. Goggle’s special category of climate webpages, hyperbolically called “Your Money or Your Life,” requires even greater “authoritative” control in searches. No matter how well reasoned, articles questioning the dominance of human factors in climate change, the near-apocalyptic effects of predicted climate change, or the value and validity of climate models are routinely ignored by Google’s algorithms.

The algorithm also ignores the fact that our jobs, economy, financial wellbeing, living standards, and freedom to travel and heat or cool our homes would be severely and negatively affected by energy proposals justified in the name of preventing human-caused cataclysmic climate change. The monumental mining and raw material demands of wind turbines, solar panels, biofuels and batteries likewise merit little mention in Google searches. Ditto for the extensive impacts of these supposed “clean, green, renewable, sustainable” technologies on lands, habitats and wildlife.

It’s safe to say that climate change is now the world’s biggest single public policy issue. And yet Google simply downgrades and thus “shadow bans” any pages that contain “demonstrably inaccurate content or debunked conspiracy theories.” That is how alarmists describe skepticism about any climate alarm or renewable energy claims. Google does not explain how its algorithm makes these intrinsically subjective determinations as to whether an article is accurate, authoritative and thus posted – or incorrect, questionable and thus consigned to oblivion.

Google’s authority-based search algorithm is also rigged to favor liberal content over virtually all conservative content; it may be especially true for climate and energy topics. This deep liberal bias is fundamentally wrong and un-American, given Google’s central role in our lives.

Google’s creators get wealthy by controlling access to information – and thus thinking, debate, public policy decisions and our future – by using a public internet system that was built by defense and other government agencies, using taxpayer dollars, for the purpose of ensuring the free flow of information and open, robust discussion of vital policy issues. It was never meant to impose liberal-progressive-leftist police state restrictions on who gets to be heard.

According to its “How we fight disinformation” white paper, Google’s separate news search feature gets special algorithmic treatment – meaning that almost all links returned on the first page are to liberal news sources. This blatant bias stands out like a sore thumb in multiple tests. In no case involving the first ten links did I get more than one link to a conservative news source. Sometimes I got none.

For example, my news search on “Biden 2020” returned the following top ten search results, in this order: CNN, the New York Times, Vice, Politico, CNN again, Fortune, Vox, Fox News, The Hill and Politico. The only actual conservative source was Fox News, in eighth position.

Of course conservative content would not be friendly to Mr. Biden. But if Google can prominently post attacks on skeptics and conservatives, why can’t it do so for attacks on Democrats?

The highest conservative content I found was one link in eight or 12 percent. About a third of my sample cases had no conservative sources whatsoever. The average of around 7% measures Google’s dramatic bias in favor of liberal sources, greatly compounding its 92.2% dominance.

The lonely conservative sources are more middle of the road, like Fox News and the Washington Examiner. Google never found or highlighted a truly conservative (what it would call “right wing”) source, like Brietbart, Townhall or the Daily Caller. It just doesn’t happen, and the algorithm clearly knows that, as does Google. As do other information and social media sites.

Of course, I’m not alone in finding or encountering this blatant viewpoint discrimination.

When coupled with the nearly complete takeover of UN, IPCC, World Bank and other global governance institutions by environmentalist and socialist forces – and their near-total exclusion of manmade climate chaos skeptics, free market-oriented economists and anyone who questions the role or impact of renewable energy – the effect on discussion, debate, education and informed decision-making is dictatorial and devastating.

No free, prosperous, modern society can survive under such conditions and restrictions. It’s time for citizens, legislators, regulators and judges to rein in and break up this imperious monopoly.

David Wojick is an independent analyst specializing in science, logic and human rights in public policy, and author of numerous articles on these topics.

 

 

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August 31, 2019 at 03:13PM