The number of delegates to the upcoming climate-change “global warming” conference in Paris – called COP-21 – is estimated to be close to 40,000.
They want to control the climate of the earth. In the words of the old Irish song, “They might as well go chasing after moonbeams, or light a penny candle from a star.”
This is from Canada Free Press, by Dr. Klaus L. E. Kaiser.
(Brief bio of Dr. Kaiser: “After receiving his doctorate in chemistry from the Technical University Munich, he joined Environment Canada’s National Water Research Institute where he served as research scientist and project manager for several research groups. He represented the institute at a variety of national and international committees, gave numerous presentations at scientific conferences, was editorial board member and peer reviewer for several journals, adjunct professor and external reviewer of university theses, and was the Editor-in- Chief of the the Water Quality Research Journal of Canada for nearly ten years. Dr. Kaiser is an author of nearly 300 publications in scientific journals, government and national and international agency reports, books, trade magazines, and newspapers. He has been president of the Intl. Association for Great Lakes Research, and is a recipient of the Intl. QSAR Award. He is currently Director of Research of TerraBase Inc., and is a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada. Dr. Kaiser is widely recognized for his expertise in environmental chemistry.)
Rather than the polar ice caps having shrivelled to mere remnants by now, forecast for many years by all climate modelling enthusiasts, the polar ice shields have been growing by leaps and bounds. For example, according to a recent report by NASA scientists H. J. Zwally et al., the Antarctic ice shield has been growing for 15 years already, even at an alarming rate. Then we learn that near the earth’s opposite pole, in Greenland, the rate of ice accumulation is breaking new records too …. and, last not least, the seasonal growth of the sea ice extent in the Arctic is not far behind.
It must come as total consternation to all those people who have claimed for years now that “climate change” or “global warming” as it used to be termed is about ready to “incinerate” all life on earth. For example, “climate modellers” like S. Rahmstorf …have claimed for years that the polar regions would be most sensitive to any warming and that the polar ice masses were going to recede in a great hurry and that the ocean levels would rise fast. In reality, none of that is the case.
In fact, the polar ice masses continue to grow, some reaching new all-time records in both ice extent and accumulated mass. Also ocean levels are NOT rising as previously predicted. … The climate fear-mongering is nothing but an elaborate hoax. …
Rather than “global warming” a lengthy period of “global cooling” could be in the offing. For some time already, NASA scientists (and others) have predicted the arrival of prolonged periods of low sunspot activity. Their predictions seem to be coming true. With some exaggeration, one could say that “sunspots are nowhere to be seen.” The current 11-year cycle, termed SC-24, is certainly quite reminiscent of those prevalent in the “Maunder Minimum” that are widely thought to have caused the medieval “Little Ice Age” with its mass starvations and general misery throughout Europe.
Perhaps with such facts in mind, the Mathematical Calculation Society of France has recently published a lengthy review with the title “The battle against global warming: an absurd, costly and pointless crusade”. It is available also in English at their web site and, apart from the title, contains some other fascinating statements like, for example, the following excerpt in the chapter on “rising” sea levels:
The level of dishonesty is rising much faster than the sea level. It has totally swept scientific literature, where a good many writers endeavor to produce models showing something worrying. The press disregards all the others and its various organs vie to bring them to public attention.
… The number of delegates to the COP-21 event is likely to be well above 10,000; some reports even estimate the number to be near 40,000. Among the dignitaries [expected] to show up are Pope Francis, U.S. President Obama, and many other world leaders, together with their entourages, media reps and all others. One may actually wonder as to who will NOT be there?
At COP-21, the representatives of many developing nations and non-governmental organisations are hoping to get a binding agreement on massive climate “reparation” funds to flow to them from western societies. India alone appears to angle for $2,500,000,000,000 (over a few years). So far, however, the commitments (or promises) by “donor” nations are falling far short of the (initial) UN goal of $100 billion per year. “Carbon” taxes and other fiscal monstrosities are supposed to pay for all the shenanigans. … This UN “wealth redistribution scheme” may only benefit the ruling elites in poor countries and do next to nothing for the people who are in dire need of reliable, cheap, and plentiful energy.
Underlying all that effort to create a “new world order” is the claim that CO2 produces a runaway global warming. That hypothesis is the (faulty) lynchpin for the entire CO2-catastrophy story. Not only is that story easy to disprove, it is even easy to demonstrate that the opposite is the case.
Without CO2 in the air, there wouldn’t be any plants on earth; none at all, period. All land would be barren and inhospitable places … Without nature’s steady effort to supply the atmosphere with sufficient CO2 from volcanoes and other fissures in the earth’s crust to sustain all life on earth, we would not even exist. Though highly unlikely, a sudden cessation of nature’s CO2 emissions would lead to a rapid decline in the atmospheric CO2 from the current 0.04% to about 0.02% or less. At that level, all plant growth on earth would be slowing to a crawl. Food production would dwindle with mass starvations to quickly follow. Trying as hard as it might then, mankind’s contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere could not make up for nature’s shortfall.
In any event, regardless of who agrees to what at COP-21 in Paris, nature doesn’t care, the polar ice sheets will be waxing and waning as per her dictate alone.
One of the most dangerous lunacies of the Left is its paranoid obsession with “global warming”. The attempts to stop civilization in order to “save the planet” would be funny if they weren’t so threatening.
If the climate lunatics – such as Obama – get their way, our lives will be (as Thomas Hobbes put it) “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”.
From Investor’s Business Daily:
Activists are warning that the upcoming United Nations climate conference is the last chance to save the world. Fair enough. So if no deal is reached at the meeting, can we please stop hearing about global warming?
The 21st session of the Conference of Parties to the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change starts Nov. 30 and will ponderously drag on until Dec. 11. Call it the “Last Chance in Paris”, because that’s what the fearmongers, from the Vatican to Prince Charles, believe it is.
Of course we’ve heard all this before.
It seems as if every time there’s a U.N. climate conference, we hear the warnings: It’s the final opportunity to save Earth, the “last chance”.
- In 2001, Time magazine said the U.N.’s Bonn conference was “a global warming treaty’s last chance“.
- Four years later, activist Mark Lynas wrote in an open letter that the Montreal climate summit represented “a last chance for action“.
- Before the 2007 meeting in Bali, Tony Juniper of Friends of the Earth declared that the conference “could be the last chance to avoid the worst effect of global warming“.
- Australian environmental scientist Tim Flannery said in 2008 that the Poland “round of negotiations is likely to be our last chance as a species to deal with the problem“.
- Then before Copenhagen in 2009, European Union Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said that conference was “the world’s last chance to stop climate change before it passes the point of no return“.
We could go on. The warnings have continued every year since without fail. So it’s unlikely we’ve heard the last of the “last chance” warnings, even if no agreement is reached in Paris.
But we should have.
There’s a growing stack of evidence that contradicts the alarmists’ warnings and refutes the scientific “consensus” that man is overheating his planet with carbon-dioxide emissions.
Start with NASA’s recent finding that Antarctica is actually gaining ice, not losing it, and the fact that the North Pole has not been ice-free in any summer although climate extremist Al Gore claimed it would be by now.
Then move on to the global warming models used to predict climate calamity. They have been about as accurate as wild guesses.
Why has this happened? Maybe because, as Australian electrical engineer David Evans discovered through mathematical calculation, CO2 is not as strong a greenhouse gas as the U.N. says it is. Evans found that it’s about “a fifth or 10th” of what activists claim it is …
Related to the flawed models is the measured reality that Earth hasn’t warmed in 16 to 18 years.
Other events and circumstances that hurt the warming narrative include: doctored data used by alarmists; admissions by former activists that they either overestimated temperature increases or were simply altogether wrong; and the work of credible scientists that goes hard against the warming claims. [Eg. see here.]
None of these counter-examples will move the activists from their position. They will continue to agitate for government-enforced limits on CO2 emissions and lecture us about how we live.
Their last chance should have come long ago, but now it looks as if they will never run out of them.
An expert in applied mathematics has found a flaw in “the basic climate model which underpins all climate science”.
Here’s the report by Karl Denninger:
A mathematical discovery by Perth-based electrical engineer Dr David Evans may change everything about the climate debate, on the eve of the UN climate change conference in Paris next month.
A former climate modeller for the Government’s Australian Greenhouse Office, with six degrees in applied mathematics, Dr Evans has unpacked the architecture of the basic climate model which underpins all climate science.
He has found that, while the underlying physics of the model is correct, it had been applied incorrectly.
He has fixed two errors and the new corrected model finds the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide (CO2) is much lower than was thought.
It turns out the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has over-estimated future global warming by as much as 10 times, he says. …
When the IPCC models are re-run with this clear error repaired the lack of correlation with the prediction and actual results disappears. …
So, the new improved climate model shows CO2 is not the culprit in recent global warming. But what is?
Dr Evans has a theory: solar activity. What he calls “albedo modulation”, the waxing and waning of reflected radiation from the Sun, is the likely cause of global warming.
Yes … global temperatures had a very high correlation with observed solar activity which we have a very good record of going back hundreds of years because it was very easy to observe without modern scientific equipment. … They correlate, with a fairly deterministic (that is, fixed) lag time, to global temperatures.
CO2 does not, which means you need to postulate a model that does not square with what we know about the physical properties of carbon dioxide.
Will this finding make any delegates to the Paris gathering of hell’s minions change their opinion that human-generated CO2 is the cause of “global warming”?
It should do, but the “climate change” fanatics are very unlikely to take notice of it. They want to use an absurd threat – that the earth will become too hot to live on if we don’t stop doing what we like and do exactly as they tell us – to destroy market economies, individual freedom, and the autonomous nation state. And establish world Communist government.
Truth has no place in the future they plan for the sad remnant of the human race that might survive their colossal shipwreck of civilization.
(Hat-tip to our highly valued commenter, liz)
Pope Francis compulsively consumes the fashionable drivel that passes for thought among the reactionaries who call themselves “progresssives”, preaches it to the world, and hopes to persuade us all to return to the brutish ways by which our ancestors sustained their brief lives in the Middle Ages.
George Will writes at the Washington Post:
Pope Francis embodies sanctity but comes trailing clouds of sanctimony. With a convert’s indiscriminate zeal, he embraces ideas impeccably fashionable, demonstrably false and deeply reactionary.
They would devastate the poor on whose behalf he purports to speak — if his policy prescriptions were not as implausible as his social diagnoses are shrill.
Supporters of Francis have bought newspaper and broadcast advertisements to disseminate some of his woolly sentiments that have the intellectual tone of fortune cookies. One example: “People occasionally forgive, but nature never does.” The Vatican’s majesty does not disguise the vacuity of this. Is Francis intimating that environmental damage is irreversible? He neglects what technology has accomplished regarding London’s air (see Page 1 of Dickens’s “Bleak House”) and other matters.
And the Earth is becoming “an immense pile of filth”? Hyperbole is a predictable precursor of yet another U.N. Climate Change Conference — the 21st since 1995. Fortunately, rhetorical exhibitionism increases as its effectiveness diminishes. In his June encyclical and elsewhere, Francis lectures about our responsibilities, but neglects the duty to be as intelligent as one can be.This man who says “the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions” proceeds as though everything about which he declaims is settled, from imperiled plankton to air conditioning being among humanity’s “harmful habits”. The church that thought it was settled science that Galileo was heretical should be attentive to all evidence.
Francis deplores “compulsive consumerism”, a sin to which the 1.3 billion persons without even electricity can only aspire.
He leaves the Vatican to jet around praising subsistence farming, a romance best enjoyed from 30,000 feet above the realities that such farmers yearn to escape.
The saint who is Francis’s namesake supposedly lived in sweet harmony with nature. -
The son of a rich merchant, St. Francis of Assisi was an early prototype of the middle-class New Left rebel who goes off to live the “simple life” – root vegetables, moral hubris and all – in the name of his religion: Catholic Christianity then, Environmentalism now – the better to annoy his family. No surprise that this Pope chose to reign under his name.
- For most of mankind, however, nature has been, and remains, scarcity, disease and natural — note the adjective — disasters. Our flourishing requires affordable, abundant energy for the production of everything from food to pharmaceuticals. Poverty has probably decreased more in the past two centuries than in the preceding three millennia because of industrialization powered by fossil fuels. Only economic growth has ever produced broad amelioration of poverty, and since growth began in the late 18th century, it has depended on such fuels.
Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, notes that coal supplanting wood fuel reversed deforestation, and that “fertilizer manufactured with gas halved the amount of land needed to produce a given amount of food”. The capitalist commerce that Francis disdains is the reason the portion of the planet’s population living in “absolute poverty” ($1.25 a day) declined from 53 percent to 17 percent in three decades after 1981. Even in low-income countries, writes economist Indur Goklany, life expectancy increased from between 25 to 30 years in 1900 to 62 years today. Sixty-three percent of fibers are synthetic and derived from fossil fuels; of the rest, 79 percent come from cotton, which requires synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. “Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides derived from fossil fuels,” he says, “are responsible for at least 60 percent of today’s global food supply.” Without fossil fuels, he says, global cropland would have to increase at least 150 percent — equal to the combined land areas of South America and the European Union — to meet current food demands.
Francis grew up around the rancid political culture of Peronist populism, the sterile redistributionism that has reduced his Argentina from the world’s 14th highest per-capita gross domestic product in 1900 to 63rd today. Francis’s agenda for the planet — “global regulatory norms” — would globalize Argentina’s downward mobility.
As the world spurns his church’s teachings about abortion, contraception, divorce, same-sex marriage and other matters, Francis jauntily makes his church congruent with the secular religion of “sustainability”. Because this is hostile to growth, it fits Francis’s seeming sympathy for medieval stasis, when his church ruled the roost, economic growth was essentially nonexistent and life expectancy was around 30. …
He stands against modernity, rationality, science and, ultimately, the spontaneous creativity of open societies in which people and their desires are not problems but precious resources.
Americans cannot simultaneously honor him and celebrate their nation’s premises.
But when was logical consistency ever a bar to any faith they keep?
Here is a very informative, very gratifying video of a great physicist demonstrating that there is no global warming, no unusual climate change, no extreme weather …
Norwegian Nobel Laureate Ivar Giaever’s speech at a Nobel Laureates Meeting, July 1, 2015:
(Hat-tip to our Facebook commenter, Patrick Pulley.)
Obama’s “war on coal” is actually, of course, his “war on capitalism”.
Stephen Moore writes at Investor’s Business Daily:
At the very moment President Obama has decided to shutter America’s coal industry in favor of much more expensive and less efficient “renewable energy”, coal use is surging across the globe.
A new study by the prestigious National Academy of Sciences detects an unmistakable “coal renaissance” under way that shows this mineral of fossilized carbon has again become “the most important source of energy-related emissions on the global scale“.
Coal is expanding rapidly “not only in China and India but also across a broad range of developing countries — especially poor, fast-growing countries mainly in Asia”, the study finds.
Why is coal such a popular energy source now? The NAS study explains that many nations are attracted to “(relatively) low coal prices … to satisfy their energy needs”. It also finds “the share of coal in the energy mix indeed has grown faster for countries with higher economic growth”.
In sum, using coal is a stepping stone to prosperity. So much for it being a satanic energy source.
Hardly a day passes without evidence that coal is making a major comeback:
- Some 1,200 coal plants are planned across 59 countries, with about three-quarters in China and India, according to the World Resources Institute.
- Coal use around the world has grown about four times faster than renewables, according to the global energy monitoring publication BP Review of World Energy 2015.
- German coal “will remain a major, and probably the largest, fuel source for power generation for another decade and perhaps longer”, the Financial Times concludes.
- “The U.S. is dropping coal plants at an unprecedented rate, but still nowhere near as quickly as India is adding them,” Bloomberg Business reckons.
“By the end of this year, some 7.5% of the U.S. coal fleet will have disappeared … . But by 2020 India may have built about 2.5 times as much capacity as the U.S. is about to lose.”
Then, of course, there’s the world’s biggest coal addict by far — the People’s Republic of China. According to a 2014 report from Eric Lawson of Princeton University, a leading climate change apocalyptic on the left:
“The reality is that fossil fuels dominate China’s energy landscape, as they do in virtually every other country. And the focus on renewables also hides the fact that China’s reliance upon coal is predicted to keep growing.”
Lawson’s calculations of how coal use is growing in China are jaw-dropping. “From 2010 through 2013, (China) added half the coal generation of the entire U.S. At the peak, from 2005 through 2011, China added roughly two 600-megawatt coal plants a week for seven straight years. And according to U.S. government projections, China will add yet another U.S. worth of coal plants over the next 10 years, or the equivalent of a new 600-megawatt plant every 10 days for 10 years.”
All this underscores the foolishness and futility of the Obama climate-change regulations designed to drastically reduce coal production in the U.S.
The great excuse for the Left’s “war on coal” is that it’s burning adds CO2 to the atmosphere. And the Left has spread the dogma that CO2, the food of all green plants, is a pollutant, a “green house gas” which “causes global warming”.
But even assuming that to be true, as Stephen Moore apparently does …
As we use less [coal] and the rest of the world uses more, the impact on global temperatures will be very close to zero.
Coal production in the U.S. is much safer and less carbon-intensive (clean coal technologies have reduced pollutants by 30%) than coal from other nations. So Obama’s war on coal may make global warming worse.
Some might say this gesture by the Obama administration to cut off coal production in the U.S. is a useful first step to save the planet. Except this isn’t just a cheap sign of goodwill.
It’s a tremendously expensive gesture that will cost America hundreds of thousands of jobs, raise utility prices by as much as $1,000 per family and reduce GDP by as much half a percentage point a year when we are already barely growing. The poor will be hurt most.
What makes the Obama administration regulations doubly destructive is that the U.S. has more coal than any other nation.
With at least 300 years of supply at a value of trillions of dollars, we are truly the Saudi Arabia of coal.
To leave it in the ground would be like Obama telling Nebraska to stop growing corn, Idaho to stop growing potatoes and Silicon Valley to give up on the digital age.
Ironically, the president justifies his war on coal by arguing, “We must lead so that others will follow.” But outside of dreamland, the rest of the world has no intention of following Mr. Obama’s act of economic masochism.
Most nations value getting richer over getting greener — as well they should.
Given the sad state of our economy today, so should we.
As the president reveals his plan to reduce greenhouse gases to save us from an apocalyptic atmosphere, I wish to remind people of three things …
So Joe Bastardi, chief forecaster at WeatherBELL Analytics, a meteorological consulting firm, writes at The Right Opinion.
1.) The true hockey stick of the fossil fuel era: Global progress in total population, personal wealth and life expectancy.
This is truly amazing. To show how fossil fuels played a roll in expanding the global pie, there are many more people alive today living longer and enjoying a higher GDP. One has to wonder if someone against fossil fuels is simply anti-progress. Ironic since many in the camp of anthropogenic global warming like to label themselves “progressive”. They’re certainly anti-statistic given something like this staring them in the face.
2.) The geological time scale of temperatures versus CO2.
As much as I struggle, I can’t see the linkage. …
3.) EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy admitted that the steps being taken would only prevent .01 degrees Celsius of warming, but it was the example that counted for the rest of the world.
This in addition to the fact that, in 2011, she admitted she did not know how much CO2 was in the atmosphere. And its lines of evidence for this are provably false!
Given the facts, I can’t help but wonder: Did policymakers ever take Economics 101, or a course in how to read a chart?
And the writer asks:
All this for .01 degrees Celsius?
Of course we acknowledge that there is sometimes a good reason why a human pregnancy should be terminated even though it means the ending of a child’s life.
But we cannot lightly accept that more than 58,000,000 human lives have been legally ended in their earliest stage, in the United States, between January 22, 1973 – the date when the Roe v. Wade decision of the Supreme Court legalized abortion in all fifty states at any stage of a pregnancy and for any reason throughout pregnancy – and July 2015. In this year, 2015, there have already been over 637,000 in the US, and one is added every few seconds. See the running clocks here.
It takes a sociological mind, a collectivist mind, to be at ease with mass murder. Individualists, such as ourselves, ask: How much enrichment of the nation have we lost? How many inventors, scientists, physicians, mathematicians, musicians, writers, athletes, wits, visionaries, explorers, discoverers … have we lost among the 58,000,000? And among the children they might have had? (And sure there would also have been criminals and fools and lunatics.)
The collectivists – which is to say the Left – do not like the human race. In their Environmentalist expression, they demand reduction of the world’s population. Some “Greens”, and accusers of Man as a Polluter and Heater of the earth, even demand the total elimination of humanity so as to have a nice clean planet. To them human life has no value. They do not understand that in a universe without human beings, nothing has value.
In support of our own opinion, we quote the whole of an article by George Will at the Washington Post – where it is in opposition to editorial opinion:
Executives of Planned Parenthood’s federally subsidized meat markets — your tax dollars at work — lack the courage of their convictions. They should drop the pretense of conducting a complex moral calculus about the organs they harvest from the babies they kill.
First came the video showing a salad-nibbling, wine-sipping Planned Parenthood official explaining how “I’m going to basically crush below, I’m going to crush above” whatever organ (“heart, lung, liver”) is being harvested. Then the president of a Planned Parenthood chapter explained the happy side of harvesting: “For a lot of the women participating in the fetal tissue donation program, they’re having a procedure that may be a very difficult decision for them and this is a way for them to feel that something positive is coming from . . . a very difficult time.” “Having a procedure” — stopping the beating of a human heart — can indeed be a difficult decision for the woman involved. But it never is difficult for Planned Parenthood’s abortionists administering the “procedure.”
The abortion industry’s premise is: At no point in the gestation of a human infant does this living being have a trace of personhood that must be respected. Never does it have a moral standing superior to a tumor or a hamburger in the mother’s stomach.
In 1973, the Supreme Court, simultaneously frivolous and arrogant, discovered constitutional significance in the fact that the number nine is divisible by three. It decreed that the status of pre-born human life changes with pregnancy’s trimesters. (What would abortion law be if the number of months of gestation were a prime number — seven or 11?) The court followed this preposterous assertion with faux humility, insisting it could not say when life begins. Then, swerving back to breathtaking vanity, it declared when “meaningful” life begins — “viability,” when the fetus is “potentially able” to survive outside the womb.
When life begins is a scientific, not a philosophic or theological, question: Life begins when the chromosomes of the sperm fuse with those of the ovum, forming a distinctive DNA complex that controls the new organism’s growth. This growth process continues unless a natural accident interrupts it or it is ended by the sort of deliberate violence Planned Parenthood sells.
Another video shows the craftsmanship of Planned Parenthood’s abortionists — tiny limbs and hands from dismembered babies. To the craftsmen, however, these fragments are considered mere organic stuff. People who proclaim themselves both pro-choice and appalled by the videos are flinching from the logic of their extremism.
Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood’s president, apologizes for the “tone” of her operatives’ chatter about crushing babies. But the tone flows from Planned Parenthood’s premise: Why be solemn about meat?
Even partial-birth abortion is — must be — a sacrament in the Church of “Choice”. This sect knows that its entire edifice depends on not yielding an inch on its insistence that what an abortion kills never possesses a scintilla of moral significance.
In partial-birth abortion, a near-term baby is pulled by the legs almost out of the birth canal, until the base of the skull is exposed so the abortionist can suck out its contents. During Senate debates on this procedure, three Democrats were asked: Suppose a baby’s head slips out of the birth canal — the baby is born — before the abortionist can kill it. Does the baby then have a right to live? Two of the Democrats refused to answer. The third said the baby acquires a right to life when it leaves the hospital.
The nonnegotiable tenet in today’s Democratic Party catechism is not opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline or support for a $15 minimum wage. These are evanescent fevers. As the decades roll by, the single unshakable commitment is opposition to any restriction on the right to inflict violence on pre-born babies. So today there is a limitless right to kill, and distribute fragments of, babies that intrauterine medicine can increasingly treat as patients.
We are wallowing in this moral swamp because the Supreme Court accelerated the desensitization of the nation by using words and categories about abortion the way infants use knives and forks — with gusto, but sloppily. Because Planned Parenthood’s snout is deep in the federal trough, decent taxpayers find themselves complicit in the organization’s vileness.
What kind of a government disdains the deepest convictions of citizens by forcing them to finance what they see in videos — Planned Parenthood operatives chattering about bloody human fragments? “Taxes,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., “are what we pay for civilized society.” Today they finance barbarism.
In higher education today, sustainability is an ideology — not a proposition to be discussed, but a baseline assumption to be taken on authority. Dissent is harshly suppressed. Scientists who question climate change, for example, are branded 21st-century heretics. In the classroom, this doctrinaire approach undermines open inquiry and rational debate — the heart of liberal education’s mission.
Campus Sustainability: Going Green is Just Part of the Plot
It’s the new religion, and it’s the new home of the entire liberal agenda.
Sustainability now permeates campuses from the classroom to the dorm, dining hall, faculty lounge, physical plant and alumni office. …
Sustainability, it turns out, is the new battle cry in an old war. It’s a wraparound concept that links the old, familiar liberal causes of environmental activism, animosity toward free markets, and a progressive take on “social justice”.
But it repackages them and lends them urgency by maintaining that embrace of its ideological agenda is imperative to avoid a looming ecological and social catastrophe. …
The campus sustainability movement’s mission is to transform our fundamental social, economic and political institutions, and to do so by manipulating, cajoling and browbeating a generation of college students into accepting the movement’s worldview and cultural norms. …
Sustainability is not an academic discipline but an ideological “lens” through which to view all of life, as the report makes clear. Today, 475 colleges in 65 states or Canadian provinces offer a total of 1,436 degree or certificate programs in sustainability, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. In addition, there are countless elective classes. Cornell University offers more than 400, ranging from “The Ethics of Eating” (“defend” or change your eating habits) to “Magnifying Small Spaces Studio,” where students learn to make do living in tiny spaces.
Beyond the classroom, students are pressured — often by paid student “eco-reps” — to conform the smallest details of their daily lives to the movement’s norms. This can mean tray-less cafeteria dining; shorter showers; “Meatless Mondays”; lectures on fossil fuel divestment; and films like “Food, Inc.” or “The Story of Bottled Water”, which depict the American economy as a tool of greedy, ruthless capitalists.
How is the sustainability movement playing out on Minnesota campuses? St. John’s University in Collegeville offers an example. SJU is committed to “incorporating the goals of sustainability into every aspect of life” and focusing students’ attention on the “triple bottom line: equity, economy and the environment.”
The university — which boasts of becoming “carbon-neutral” by 2035 by conserving, changing energy sources, and investing in alternative energy and carbon offsets — offers courses like “Food, Gender and Environment”; has two “eco-houses” for student living; distributes the “SJU Green Guide,” and employs 10 full-time equivalents for diversity and equity coordination.
SJU’s sustainability push begins at freshman orientation, where students use “corn utensils and recyclable plates” during meals. All freshmen and seniors take a Sustainability Literacy Assessment, so the school can measure how effectively its saturation campaign is changing students’ beliefs and attitudes. …
The University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus also bombards students with preachy exhortations on the gospel of sustainability. These include politically correct invocations about biking, transit, recycling and composting, and a “Welcome Week” during which every student has “the chance to engage with … hands-on learning activities and … to win prizes all while learning about sustainability.”
The U earns special “points” from a national sustainability rating organization because it provides “gender neutral housing” for “transgender and transitioning students” … as well as single-race housing for black men, Hmong students and other minorities.
The university’s Sustainability Studies office emphasizes the “heavy intersection” between “the issues of race relations and sustainability”. During last year’s riots in Ferguson, Mo., the office posted online resources demonstrating how “white folk can show support against police brutality,” and encouraged students to donate to “The Organization for Black Struggle” — fighting “the racist police state in Ferguson” — to help protesters with “basic needs, including food, water, gas masks and school supplies.” …
“Sustainability” is a doctrine – apodictic, unquestionable, like the doctrines of all religions:
In teaching and scientific research, it “shuts out certain questions and locks in certain answers”, as the NAS puts it. In decisionmaking about energy use and physical plant, it discourages honest analysis of costs and benefits.
In at least one university, devotees have to swear allegiance to the church and its teaching:
The movement’s “salute-and-shut-up” mind-set is reflected in the sustainability oath that students and employees at the University of Virginia are asked to take on matriculation and at graduation:
“I pledge to consider the social, economic and environmental impacts of my habits and to explore ways to foster a sustainable environment during my time here at U.Va. and beyond.”
The authoritarian impulse is also evident in the movement’s public-policy agenda. Its leaders call for vastly increasing state control over people and resources, and conferring power on government planners to distribute wealth and opportunity on the basis of skin color and socioeconomic status.
This sacrifice of individual economic, political and intellectual liberty is regarded as “the price that must be paid now to ensure the welfare of future generations”, as the NAS [National Association of Scholars] observes.
Why are students attracted to the sustainability movement?
Answer: Romanticism: the fear of reality that sustains religious faith and all utopian dreams of transforming the world nearer to the dreamer’s desire:
Its appeal springs, in large measure, from its quasi-religious nature and message. In our increasingly secular age, a focus on transcendent meaning has largely vanished from campus. Sustainability can fill the resulting vacuum by offering young people a sense of purpose and meaning.
“Like its predecessor movements that excited student passions,” sustainability “invokes moralistic duties to repair and restructure the Earth”, explains the NAS. It “rewards its followers with a sense of belonging to a community of the enlightened few, and endows the smallest actions with meaning and significance”. Recycling a plastic cup, for example, becomes “a noble sacrifice rewarded with laurels” that “contributes inexorably” toward saving the planet.
The Church of Sustainability derives many of its major themes from Judeo-Christianity. It teaches that the Earth — once a pristine Eden — is now fallen and polluted because of human sinfulness, and that an apocalyptic Judgment Day looms unless mankind repents. Absolution and salvation are possible if humans heed the enlightened saints and prophets who warn us of impending doom.
It is a fast growing religion:
As sustainability spreads beyond the campus, we increasingly see it touted in coffee shops, celebrated by major corporations and embraced by urban planners. For example, it’s the ideology driving “Thrive MSP 2040″, the Metropolitan Council’s new 30-year plan for development in the Twin Cities region, with its pervasive themes of top-down planning and rule by “experts”.
“Experts” are the new priesthood.
It’s ironic that college campuses are home base for the sustainability movement. For higher education is among the least sustainable of our contemporary institutions. Colleges and universities are caught in a death spiral of rising costs and declining benefits. Nevertheless, they obsess about recyclable napkins, solar panels and fossil-fuel divestment, and pour $3.2 billion annually — frequently without assessing effectiveness — into achieving their dreams of sustainability, according to the NAS.
Today, colleges and universities are charging students huge, unsustainable sums — often upward of $50,000 a year — for the privilege of (among other things) living out an elite, politically correct fad. Many emerge with a crushing load of debt, at a time when, as the NAS points out, more than 50 percent of recent graduates are either unemployed or underemployed.
For these young people, there’s no better guarantee of an unsustainable future.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentinian Communist and Pope, is telling whoppers.
Fortunately, Christopher S. Carson puts him right with a wonderfully cheerful story. It comes from Front Page. We slightly abbreviate it:
Last week, Pope Francis released his controversial environmental Encyclical, Praised Be, to the public. It is not simply a matter of global warming endangering the planet, he writes. The Pope has a comprehensively dark vision of the world. He writes that
The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth … beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish … Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years.
In other words, the Industrial Revolution is to blame for covering the planet in rubbish. But if it’s covered in trash, it’s a strange kind of trash that has caused global crop yields to increase by 160 percent since 1961 and deaths from droughts to be reduced by 99.8 percent since the 1920s.
It’s an odd kind of “mistreatment” of the planet over the life of the Industrial Revolution that’s resulted in the global life expectancy rising from 26 years in 1750 to 69 years in 2009. This is in spite of the fact that Earth’s population increased from 760 million to 6.8 billion and incomes (in real dollars) rose from $640 to $7,300 during the same period. …
If the globe were truly turning into a great heap of exploited waste, you would expect natural resources to become more expensive as the cost of extracting rises and scarcity becomes the norm. But natural commodities are cheaper today than ever. The real price of almost all natural resources – from iron to salt to coal – is cheaper today in than 50 or 500 years ago. In Britain, artificial light is 20,000 times cheaper per man hour worked than it was in 1300.
On a global scale, with only a few exceptions like China, air and water is cleaner than ever. Since the late 1970s, pollutants in the air have plunged. In advanced countries, lead pollution declined by almost 100 percent, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide by more than 50 percent; ozone and nitrogen dioxide declined as well.
A car today emits less pollution cruising at full speed than a parked car did in 1970.
In the America of 1900, about 25% of all deaths were from contaminated drinking water. Today, hardly anyone here dies from this scourge. The Pope seems oblivious to the fact that the richer the nation is, the cleaner its environment.
Despite the masses wading around in the Pope’s seas of “filth,” and despite a world population of 7.3 billion, the poorer countries’ incomes have surged since 1975; since 1981, the number of Earth’s people in extreme poverty fell by an amazing 1 billion, even as the population increased by more than 1.5 billion.
But if there is one environmental issue that most exercises the Supreme Pontiff, it is global warming. “A very solid scientific consensus,” he writes, “indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events.”
Well, the warming over “recent decades” apparently does not include the last two decades, because over the past 18 years no net increase in global temperature has been recorded, despite the atmosphere’s CO2 content rising by 8 percent. Both the Arctic Ocean and Antarctica have this year posted record high ice packs.
The Pope’s letter seems quite concerned about the poor of Africa experiencing crop failures as a result of global CO2 emissions. But the opposite appears to be true: CO2 is plant food, and the rising CO2 levels are helping to water and green the continent.
According to a 2007 study in the science journal Geology, Africa is currently “experiencing an unusually prolonged period of stable, wet conditions in comparison to previous centuries of the past millennium. … The patterns and variability of 20th century rainfall in central Africa have been unusually conducive to human welfare in the context of the past 1400 years.”
If the trends of higher CO2 concentrations continue, and political strife abates, Africa, far from being a ruined land of desiccated drought, could well become the breadbasket of the world. All it needs from the West is fertilizer and genetically hardened crop strains that resist insect damage.
“Praised be” … Mankind, which has so rapidly improved his lot and that of his Earthly home.