In defense of coal 1

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.

Posted under China, Commentary, Economics, Energy, Environmentalism, Germany, India, Leftism, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 7, 2015

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So only tyranny will save us from being burnt to a crisp? 3

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 article sums that up pretty nicely.

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?

Posted under Economics, Environmentalism, government, Leftism, Mysticism, Progressivism, Superstition, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, August 4, 2015

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Cries from a moral swamp 10

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.

Posted under Environmentalism, Leftism, liberalism, Progressivism, Race, Socialism, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, August 1, 2015

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The puritan Church of Sustainability 5

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.

We quote from an important article by Katherine Kersten at the Center of American Experiment. (We found it via PowerLine, where it is reproduced in full by Scott Johnson.)

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.

A clean, cool, beautiful, fertile planet – praised be mankind 12

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.

Roman red 1

The Catholic Church is now officially, doctrinally, the Universal Church of Jesus Marxist.

Or the Universal Church of Jesus and Karl.

Which name will it choose? It needs to choose one or the other, or something along the same lines, to describe itself accurately.

It has a Pope who embraces International Communism. Which requires world government. Perhaps Pope Francis sees the Vatican as the Communist capital of the world – rather than the UN, as other world-government campaigners do.

Although as yet he and his fellow performance artists, costumed in their gorgeous gowns and priceless bling, do not allow any of these labels, they are nevertheless accurate.

This is from PowerLine by John Hinderaker:

Pope Francis has become a deeply problematic figure, all the more so after his encyclical on global warming was leaked to an Italian publication. The letter, some 129 pages long, is directed to Catholic bishops, but Francis grandly says that it is intended for every person in the world. The letter has not yet been translated into English in its entirety, but portions of it have been run through Google Translator. Even from these bits, some conclusions are obvious.

First, the Pope has no idea what he is talking about. His letter is full of factual errors. For example:

Scientific consensus exists indicating firmly that we are in the presence of a worrisome warming of the climate system.

This is false. There has been no net global warming for something like 18 years, according to satellite data, the most reliable that we have.

In recent decades, that the heating was accompanied by the constant rise in the sea level….

Sea level has been rising for approximately 12,000 years, first dramatically as the Earth warmed rapidly at the end of the last Ice Age, and much more slowly in recent millennia. Currently, the rate of rise of sea level is not increasing.

…and is also hard not to relate it to the increase in extreme weather events, regardless of the fact that we can not attribute a cause scientifically determined to each particular phenomenon.

Wrong again. Extreme weather events are not increasing. This isn’t an opinion, it is a fact: there is no plausible empirical claim to the contrary. In fact, for what it is worth, the climate models that are the sole basis for warming hysteria predict fewer extreme weather events, not more, because the temperature differential between the equator and the poles will diminish.

It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanism, and the variations of the orbit of the Earth, the solar cycle), but numerous scientific studies indicate that most of the global warming of recent decades is due to the large concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other) issued mainly because of human activity.

Putting aside the fact that there hasn’t been any net warming during the last two decades, this is precisely the issue that is the subject of intense scientific debate–a debate that, it becomes increasingly clear, the realists are winning. For the Pope to wade into this controversy would be nearly inexplicable, absent some overriding motive.

That motive is, apparently, hostility toward free enterprise and the prosperity that it creates. Francis has manifested such hostility in previous statements, and it comes through again in his anti-global warming letter. Francis sounds like just another leftist: the solution to global warming is more state control to dictate how people live, and new international organizations to direct vast transfers of wealth and power.

The fact is that through human history, freedom has rarely been popular. That goes for the history of the papacy, too: John Paul II is the most notable exception in modern times. People offer various definitions of American exceptionalism. In my opinion, American exceptionalism resides chiefly in the fact that, for one brief shining moment, at least, a large majority of Americans really believed in freedom. I don’t think Pope Francis has much sympathy with that sentiment.

The Pope’s letter is full of concern for the poor, of course. But the poor would suffer most from any prohibition against efficient energy (i.e., fossil fuels). Francis’s suggestion that “rich” countries – that means us, how rich do you feel? – should subsidize the majority of the planet, apparently forever, is fatuous. … There is no prospect that leftist energy policies will help poor nations. The poor need, as much as anything, cheap energy, which frees resources for everything else. To deprive poor nations of cheap energy is to condemn them to long-lasting if not permanent poverty.

The Papal flag should be be changed to deepest red.

An unserious president in serious times 19

In this short video, Ezra Levant demonstrates how dangerously silly is this president of the United States.

Wicked people causing climate change, 1437-2015 47

From A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, by Andrew D. White, 1896, pages 350-361:

Few errors have ever cost so much shedding of innocent blood over such a wide territory and during so many generations [as the theory of] evil agency in atmospheric phenomena … the belief that certain men, women, and children may secure infernal aid to produce whirlwinds, hail, frosts, floods and the like. …

In 1437, Pope Eugene IV, by virtue of the teaching power conferred on him by the Almighty, and under the divine guarantee against any possible error in the exercise of it, issued a bull exhorting the inquisitors of heresy and witchcraft to use greater diligence against the human agents of the Prince of Darkness, and especially against those who have the power to produce bad weather. … [And] on the 7th of December, 1484, Pope Innocent VIII sent forth his bull Summis Desiderantes. Of all documents ever issued from Rome, imperial or papal, this has doubtless, first and last, cost the greatest shredding of innocent blood. … Inspired by the scriptural commandment, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live,” Pope Innocent exhorted the clergy of Germany to leave no means untried to detect sorcerers, and especially those who by evil weather destroy vineyards, gardens, meadows, and growing crops. … [W]itch-finding inquisitors were authorized by the Pope to scour Europe, especially Germany, and a manual was prepared for their use – the Witch-Hammer, Malleus Meleficarum … revered for centuries, both in Catholic and Protestant countries …

With the application of torture to thousands of women, in accordance with the precept laid down in the Malleus, it was not difficult to extract masses of proof for this sacred theory of meteorology. The poor creatures, writhing on the rack, anxious only for death to relieve them of their sufferings, confessed to anything and everything that would satisfy the inquisitors and judges. All that was needed was that the inquisitors should ask leading questions and suggest satisfactory answers: the prisoners, to shorten the torture, were sooner or later to give the answer required, even though they knew this would send them to the stake or scaffold. …

Pathetic, indeed, are the records; and none more so than the confessions of these poor creatures, chiefly women and children, during hundreds of years, as to their manner of raising hailstorms and tempests. Such confessions, by tens of thousands, are still to be found in the judicial records of Germany, and indeed of all Europe. …

Throughout the later Middle Ages the Dominicans had been the main agents in extorting and promulgating these revelations, but in the centuries following the Reformation the Jesuits devoted themselves with even more keenness and vigour to the same task. … It was mooted among the orthodox authorities whether the damage done by storms should not be assessed upon the property of convicted witches. The theologians inclined decidedly to the affirmative; the jurists, on the whole, to the negative.

In spite of these tortures, lightning and tempests continued, and great men arose in the Church throughout Europe in every generation to point out new cruelties for this discovery of “weather-makers”, and new methods for bringing their machinations to naught. …

But here and there, as early as the sixteenth century, we begin to see thinkers endeavouring to modify or oppose these methods. … As to argument, these efforts were met especially by Jean Bodin in his famous book, Démonomanie des Sorciers, published in 1580. It was a work of great power by a man justly considered to be the leading thinker in France, and perhaps in Europe. All the learning of the time, divine and human, he marshaled in support of the prevailing theory. With inexorable logic he showed that both the veracity of sacred Scripture and the infallibility of a long line of pope and councils of the Church were pledged to it … In the last years of the sixteenth century the persecution for witchcraft and magic were therefore especially cruel …

Protestantism fell into the superstition as fully as Catholicism. … The Reformation had, indeed, deepened the superstition; the new Church being anxious to show itself equally orthodox and zealous with the old. …

Typical as to the attitude of both Scotch and English Protestants were the theory and practice of King James I, himself the author of a book on Demonology, and nothing if not a theologian. … [H]e applied his own knowledge to investigating the causes of the tempests which beset his bride on her voyage from Denmark. Skilful use of unlimited torture soon brought these causes to light. A Dr. Fian, while his legs were crushed in the “boots”, and wedges were driven under his finger nails, confessed that several hundred witches had gone to sea in a sieve from the port of Leith, and had raised storms and tempests to drive back the princess. …

With the coming in of the Puritans the persecution was even more largely, systematically, and cruelly developed. …

Torture was used far more freely [in Scotland] than in England, both in detecting witches and in punishing them. The natural argument developed in hundreds of pulpits was this: If the All-wise God punishes his creatures with tortures infinite in cruelty and duration, who should not his ministers, as far as they can, imitate him?

From the Daily Caller, March 17, 2014:

An assistant philosophy professor at Rochester Institute of Technology wants to send people who disagree with him about global warming to jail.

The professor is Lawrence Torcello. Last week, he published a 900-word-plus essay at an academic website called The Conversation.

His main complaint is his belief that certain nefarious, unidentified individuals have organized a “campaign funding misinformation”. Such a campaign, he argues, “ought to be considered criminally negligent”.

Torcello, who has a Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo, explains that there are times when criminal negligence and “science misinformation” must be linked. The threat of climate change, he says, is one of those times.

Throughout the piece, he refers to the bizarre political aftermath of an earthquake in L’Aquila, Italy, which saw six scientists imprisoned for six years each because they failed to “clearly communicate risks to the public” about living in an earthquake zone.

“Consider cases in which science communication is intentionally undermined for political and financial gain,” the assistant professor urges.

“Imagine if in L’Aquila, scientists themselves had made every effort to communicate the risks of living in an earthquake zone,” Torcello argues, but evil “financiers” of a “denialist campaign funded and organized a campaign to discredit the consensus findings of seismology, and for that reason no preparations were made”.

“I submit that this is just what is happening with the current, well documented funding of global warming denialism,” Torcello asserts.

From the Washington Post, April 30, 2015:

[At the Vatican], the center of global Catholicism, church leaders joined with politicians, scientists and economists to draft a statement declaring not only that climate change is a “scientific reality” but also that there’s a moral and religious responsibility to do something about it. And an even more powerful statement is expected soon from Pope Francis himself, who is slated to release a major papal encyclical on the environment this summer.

All of this is enough to make environmentalists, members of a traditionally secular movement, nearly rhapsodic. After a history of being rather too technocratic and wonky, there seems to be a growing realization in green circles about the importance of an alliance with the world of faith.

This has been a long time coming. The effort to mobilize religious believers to worry about climate as part of a broader, biblically grounded “creation care” mandate has a long history (though it has traditionally focused more on evangelicals than Catholics). …

The reason … is that it makes the climate debate moral, not scientific or technocratic. And when issues are moralized, people feel before they think and refuse to compromise. It may not be what we strictly call “rational,” but it is politically powerful… The moral emotion that is probably most relevant to the environment is … what many of us would simply call compassion or empathy. Recent research suggests that this emotion drives people toward environmental causes. There seems to be a deep connection between caring about other humans and then extending that to nature.

Yup. We need to know history so we can repeat its mistakes.

Climate, population, resources: the failure of prophecy 7

Has anything the global-warming alarmists prophesied would happen actually happened?

Not that we’ve noticed.

We were all supposed to be so afraid we’d freeze or burn, or starve, or drown, that we would put ourselves in the hands of the prophets and their government sponsors and do whatever – and only whatever – they told us to do.

Lucky we didn’t!

We quote from a recent (April 24, 2015) article by Robert Tracinski at The Federalist. The whole thing is worth reading. The writer supplies impressive charts which confirm his contentions.

It has been 45 years now since the first Earth Day. You would think that in this time frame, given the urgency with which we were told we had to confront the supposed threats to the environment — Harvard biologist George Wald told us, “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken” — at least one of the big environmental disasters should have come to fruition.

Fifteen years ago, an article in Reason took a look at claims like this from the first Earth Day in 1970. The specific quotations have been helpfully excerpted here and have been bounced around a lot on the Internet and on conservative talk radio for the last few days. It is a comical litany of forecasting gone wrong. …

In the 1970s global cooling [was predicted] and a descent into a new ice age. We were causing the ice age and bringing the glaciers down on our own heads. …

As late as 1980, Carl Sagan was still presenting global cooling as one of two possible doomsday scenarios we could choose from. When global temperatures began to rise, the alarmists switched to the other scenario. The one thing they didn’t change was the assumption that industrial civilization must somehow be destroying the whole planet.

When environmentalists said that we were destroying the Earth, they meant it directly and literally. The biggest problem was the very existence of humans, the fact that there were just too darned many of us. We were going to keep growing unchecked, and we were going to swarm the surface of the Earth like locusts, destroying everything in our path until we eventually used it all up.

There were going to be an inconceivable seven billion people on Earth by the year 2000, and there was just no way we could support them all.

Well.

First of all, present trends did not continue … So it took us a bit longer, until 2012, to reach a global population of seven billion — who are better off than the population of Earth has ever been. … Starting from 1820, the early years of the Industrial Revolution, what we see is the growth of production and wealth far outstripping the growth of population, over a period of two centuries. …

To fully grasp how badly the “population bomb” predictions failed, you have to realize that the biggest demographic challenge today is declining population. Japan faces a demographic death spiral in which declining population and fewer workers leads to economic stagnation, which discourages people from having kids, which makes the problem worse. After decades of a “one child” policy, China’s working age population is also starting to decline, and it is conventional wisdom that the country is going to “grow old before it grows rich”.

It’s quite possible that the demographic implosion won’t come or won’t be as bad as feared. We’ve seen a lot of cases so far where current trends do not continue. But it is important to grasp the actual consequences of the failed predictions about “overpopulation”.  Countries that took these claims seriously, and especially those who enforced population control at the point of a gun, like China, are going to suffer real consequences from listening to the failed theories of Western alarmists.

Predictions of global famine were part of the population growth hysteria …

[But] let’s just take India, where the famines were supposed to start. In 2013, India became the world’s “seventh-largest exporter of agricultural products”.

China is prosperous and relatively well-fed — much better than under Mao’s disastrous experiments.

Most Latin American countries, which were supposed to be starving fifteen years ago, are also net exporters of grain, fruit, meat, and so on. …

In addition to running out of food, we were also supposed to run out of natural resources, such as nickel and copper, and above all we were running out of oil. …

None of these predictions came true. … the theory was that we would eventually reach a peak in global oil production, after which we would be doomed to make do with an ever-dwindling supply. It’s a theory that has been shattered by the fracking revolution, which revived US oil supplies after decades of decline and promises to do so across the world. The cause was a series of innovations in drilling and extraction that made it possible to access huge new reserves of oil in shale formations, where it could not be tapped before.

That’s the answer to all of the overpopulation, mass starvation, and resource depletion hysteria: the human power of innovation is able to overcome any obstacle. …

The human mind is the ultimate resource, and a rising population simply means more brains that are able to solve more problems. …

After a multi-decade plateau in global temperatures, they are now at or below the low end of the range for all of the computer models that predicted global warming.

If we go full circle, back to the failed prediction of global cooling, we can see the wider trend. After two or three decades of cooling temperatures, from the 1940s to 1970, environmentalists project a cooling trend — only to have the climate change on them. After a few decades of warmer temperatures, from the 1970s to the late 1990s, they all jumped onto the bandwagon of projecting a continued warming trend — and the darned climate changed again, staying roughly flat since about 1998.

No wonder all of these environmental hysterias seem to begin with the phrase, “if current trends continue”. But current trends don’t continue. Global temperatures go down, then up, then stay flat. Population growth tapers off, while agricultural yields increase at even higher rates. We don’t just sit around using up our currently available oil reserves; we go out and find new reserves of oil and new ways to extract it.

And that’s the real issue. The environmental doomsayers don’t just extrapolate blindly from current trends. They extrapolate only from the trends that fit their apocalyptic vision while ignoring trends that don’t fit. They project forward the current rate at which we’re using up our resources, but ignore the history of our ability to innovate and create. They get all excited by 20 years of rising temperature or rising oil prices — but ignore two centuries of rising wealth and longevity.

It’s almost as if they started with a preconceived conclusion and cast about for evidence to support it. …

[Here are] the major outlines of an environmental hysteria. The steps are: a) start with assumption that man is “ravaging the Earth”, b) latch onto an unproven scientific hypothesis that fits this preconception, c) extrapolate wildly from half-formed theories and short-term trends to predict a future apocalypse, d) pressure a bunch of people with “Ph.D.” after their names to endorse it so you can say it’s a consensus of experts, e) get the press to broadcast it with even less nuance and get a bunch of Hollywood celebrities who failed Freshman biology to adopt it as their pet cause, then finally f) quietly drop the whole thing when it doesn’t pan out — and move on with undiminished enthusiasm to the next environmental doomsday scenario.

When men fail as entirely as they have — well, I’m not going to ask them to fall on their swords. But we might ask them to understand why, when they assure us their newest doomsday predictions are really, really true this time, we’re not inclined to believe a single word they say.

 

(Hat-tip for the link to our Facebook commenter Nadir H. Khan)

What needs to be known about the Clintons’ charities 3

The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation is nominally a charitable institution.

We listed some of the “charities” it supports or has supported in our post The great good works and wonky dilemmas of William J. Clinton (April 18, 2015). The list includes a grant to China for its electricity grid, and a few to Ulrainian politicians to “modernize Ukraine”.

Apparently 15% of the hundreds of million that pour into the Foundation are dispersed to such good causes.

According to Wikipedia (see the entry on the Clinton Foundation):

Between 2009 and 2012, the Clinton Foundation raised more than $500 million dollars according to its IRS filings. 15% of that, or $75 million, was spent on charitable activities. More than $25 million was spent on travel expenses. Nearly $110 million went toward employee salaries and benefits.

Investigative reporting on who sends in the money and in return for what favors has been begun, astonishingly, by Left-biased media, The  New York Times, The Washington Post, Reuters.

Now a report is needed on what is done with that money.

We don’t have the resources to find out. But even the sort of superficial research that’s within our capability turns up information that cries out for deeper, wider, professional exploration.

The very easily accessed Wikipedia entry on the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative is a window-display of curiosities.

We select a few of them.:

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)  is a non-partisan organization that convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

Each year, CGI hosts an Annual Meeting in September, scheduled to coincide with the U.N. General Assembly.

At the Annual Meeting, CGI members discuss major global issues, share ideas and knowledge about effective solutions, and form partnerships that enable them to enhance their work.

Each CGI member develops a Commitment to Action – a plan to take specific action to make the world a better place.

What work?

Commitments generally fit within one of CGI’s nine tracks:

The Built Environment

Education & Workforce Development

Energy

Solar and wind?

Environmental Stewardship

Girls & Women

Global Health

By “Global Health” is meant what? The health of the globe, or the health of all the people on the globe?

Market-Based Approaches

A “commitment” to “approaches”?

Response & Resilience

Response to what? Whose resilience?

Technology

Commitments must be new, specific, and measurable, but beyond those three criteria, members have wide latitude to determine which actions to take. CGI then monitors the progress and success of these commitments throughout the year.

So there should be lots of reports on the progress and success of the “commitments”.

Funding pledged through commitments does not come through CGI, and is not donated to CGI. Rather, organizations commit to raise and distribute money on their own.

Since 2005, CGI members have made more than 2,300 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 400 million people in more than 180 countries.

Throughout the year, CGI helps its members – primarily corporations, NGOs, and government leaders – maximize their efforts to create positive change. CGI is not a grant-making organization. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. As of 2013, CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which have improved the lives of over 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion.

So the CGI makes no grants. It does not itself disperse funds. It is for influence peddling. What it does is get powerful and/or celebrated people together once a year to “make commitments”. At the same time they make themselves more powerful and/or more celebrated. For which they reward Bill Clinton by making lavish donations to his Foundation?

In addition,it “helps” those people, “throughout the year”, to “maximize their efforts to create positive change”. When funded and implemented by others – not the Clinton Global Initiative – these “commitments” will be valued at $73.5 billion. Indeed, 2,300 such commitments have already “improved the lives of over 400 million people in more than 180 countries”.

Who are the 400 million people? How have their lives been improved? How do the improvements stem from the “commitments” made at the annual convention organized by the Clinton Global Initiative? .

On June 13 and 14 of 2013, President Clinton hosted the third meeting of CGI America in Chicago, an annual event focused on finding solutions that promote economic recovery in the United States. This working meeting purportedly brought together leaders from the business, foundation, NGO, and government sectors to develop solutions to increase employment, advance access to education and skills development, strengthen energy security, and promote an environment for business growth and innovation.

Were the effects noticed by the people of the United States? Were they noticeable at all?

Responding to increasing interest among business and governments around the world, President Clinton launched CGI International to supplement the Annual Meeting in New York with additional meetings in various regions of the globe.

In December 2008, President Clinton convened the first CGI International meeting in Hong Kong to address local, regional, and global challenges. The focus of the CGI meeting in Asia was on three main areas: education, energy and climate change, and public health. The two-day meeting attracted over 3,000 accredited delegates, a record number for a nongovernmental organization gathering in Asia.

One thing is certain. Bill Clinton is having a whale of a time being important at vast gatherings in many places round the world.

Prominent participants included … thought leaders such as … Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN.

We await the Little Red Book of the Thoughts of Ban Ki-moon.

Remember, all this costs the Clintons, the Clinton Foundation, and its Global Initiative nothing. How much the meetings gather in for the Clintons it would be interesting to know.

The CGI does give awards. To whom do they go? For what?

The Clinton Global Citizen Awards are a set of awards which have been given by the Clinton Global Initiative every year since 2007. The awards are given to individuals who, in the opinion of the Clinton Foundation, are “outstanding individuals who exemplify global citizenship through their vision and leadership“.  

Past recipients of the award include Mexican business magnate and philanthropist Carlos Slim …

.. who is said to be the richest man in the world …

 Moroccan entrepreneur Mohammad Abbad Andaloussi, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Afghan women’s rights activist Suraya Pakzad, and Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernández.[35]

What did they do? Of what did the award consist? If money, how much? And does that money come from CGI itself, or from whom?

As you might expect, struggling against an alleged threat of “climate change” is central to this enormous, planet-wide, big-power enterprise presided over by Bill Clinton, the most important person in the world.

Building on his long term commitment to preserving the environment, President Clinton launched the Clinton Foundation’s Climate Initiative (CCI) in August 2006, with the mission of applying the Foundation’s business-oriented approach to fight against climate change in practical, measurable, and significant ways.”

Recognizing the opportunity to fight climate change in the world’s cities, CCI is working with 40 of the world’s largest cities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through a variety of large-scale programs, a purchasing alliance, and measurement tools to track progress and share best practices.

What best practices? We are told that part of this scheme to “help some large cities cut greenhouse gas emissions” is being carried out by “facilitating retrofitting of existing buildings”.

Insulating them against heat loss? Putting solar panels on their roofs? Who is paying?

Five large banks committed $1 billion each to help cities and building owners make energy-saving improvements aimed at lowering energy use and energy costs.

And what was the quid pro quo for the banks? We’d very much like to know.

And to be one of those lucky building owners – do you have to be a friend of the Clintons? Are you obliged to give a large donation to their Foundation?

At the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative, President Clinton announced the 1Sky campaign to accelerate bold federal policy on global warming. The 1Sky campaign supports at least an 80% reduction in climate pollution levels by 2050.

The CGI is going to “accelerate federal policy”? How? Is it perhaps relying on Hillary Clinton being president in 2017 for that?

On May 19, 2009, CCI announced the global Climate Positive Development Program where it will work with the U.S. Green Building Council to promote “climate positive” city growth.

Ah, the Clintons have their fingers in many pies and cookie jars. And they stir many pots.

Now we come to what may be an actual “good cause”, for which yet another initiative – the  Clinton Development Initiative (CDI) - has been launched …

… to target the root causes of poverty in Africa and promote sustainable economic growth.

The initiative will invest $100 million over the next 10 years in projects that will improve food security, clean water and sanitation, and quality health care. Right now, these programs are focused in Rwanda and Malawi, but can potentially be expanded to other countries in the future.

What is the Clinton role in this?

Together with the governments of these two countries, CDI has had such successes as helping farmers access fertilizer, disease-resistant seeds, irrigation systems, advanced planting techniques and micro-credit. This assistance has led to a record harvest in eastern Rwanda. CDI has also helped Partners in Health build new health care facilities in Neno, Malawi. In 2007 and 2008, CHDI assisted in the training of thousands of farmers on advanced planting techniques, helped to strengthen the organization, operations and sales of Rwandan coffee manufacturers and Malawian cotton farmers and partnered with local governments in large-scale developments including irrigation, hospital and school projects.

Excellent work. But as far as we can make out, not a cent of Clinton money has been spent on it.

There are many more Initiatives. There are conferences, strategies, the convening of “national thought leaders” to “discuss ways in which individuals, communities, and corporations can contribute to the health of others“. Aims include, f0r instance, getting American children to consume fewer calories; “increasing  the access of unbanked populations to starter bank accounts”; establishing a bus system in Rio de Janeiro whereby “four express corridors for articulated buses will connect the whole city”.

Who supplies the buses? Is the company that gets the contract duly grateful? Does it send a check to the Clinton Foundation to prove its gratitude? Or rather, of course, to suppport some good cause?

Still not a cent of Clinton money is said to have been given. We are assured, however, that 15% of $500 million has been spent on “charitable activities”.

If only someone would tell us how much on which.

What the Clintons want us to understand is that without them there are commitments that would not be made, advice that would not be given, thoughts that would not be thought, promotions that would not be promoted, strategies that would not be devised, buses that would not connect parts of cities, farmers that would not use advanced planting techniques. 

All that must surely make us feel how small and petty are our efforts to expose the Clintons’ corruption and malfeasance – as petty and pointless as shooting peas at a monument. The Clintons are too big to fail.

For pity’s sake, stop fooling about and elect Hillary Clinton to the presidency so that the Clintons, re-installed in the White House with the furniture and china they stole from it when they had to leave it for a while, can get even richer, be as powerful as anyone could possible get, and do even more good to mankind.

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