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[VIDEO] Bill Whittle: ‘Bill Nye The Science Lie’


‘Smooth Transition’: Spiteful Obama Adds Another $6 Billion in ‘Midnight Regulations’

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Obama has already broken all past records on creating federal regulations and red tape, and his new adds will boost the overall price tag to over $1 trillion.

President Obama, who this week has issued a flurry of environmental rules, is planning to unleash another set of “midnight regulations” right before he leaves office that will cost Americans $6 billion.

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[MORE – at The Federalist]

Obama has already broken all past records on creating federal regulations and red tape, and his new adds will boost the overall price tag to over $1 trillion.

The new regulations, according to the watchdog group American Action Forum,include four from the Environmental Protection Agency and one from Interior.

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“These five measures alone could impose $5.1 billion in costs and more than 350,000 paperwork burden hours. In addition, three other rules in proposed form could add $898 million in burdens and 146,000 paperwork hours, for a cumulative total of nearly $6 billion in potential midnight costs and nearly 500,000 burden hours from the two agencies. Read the rest of this entry »


King Canute vs. the Climate Planners

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“Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings.”

Oh really?

This claim comes from French foreign minister Laurent Fabius as he banged his gavel at the close of the Paris climate summit. To the cheers of bureaucrats and cronies the world over, Fabius announced the deal that the press has been crowing about for days, the one in which “humanity” has united to stop increases in global temperature through the transfer of trillions of dollars from the rich to the poor, combined with the eventual (coercive) elimination of fossil fuels.

“The recognition of the insuperable limits to his knowledge ought indeed to teach the student of society a lesson of humility which should guard him against becoming an accomplice in men’s fatal striving to control society — a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization which no brain has designed but which has grown from the free efforts of millions of individuals.”

And thus did he bang his gavel. To his way of thinking, and that of the thousands gathered, that’s all you have to do to control the global climate, cause the world to stop relying on fossil fuels, and dramatically change the structure of all global industry, and do so with absolute conviction that benefits will outweigh the costs.

One bang of a gavel to dismantle industrial civilization by force, replace it with a vague and imagined new way of doing things, and have taxpayers pay for it.

Markets Yawn

Interestingly, the news on the Paris agreement had no notable impact on global markets at all. No prices rose or fell, no stocks soared or collapsed, and no futures responded with confidence that governments would win this one. The climate deal didn’t even make the business pages.

[Read the full story here, at Foundation for Economic Education]

Investors and speculators are perhaps acculturated to ignoring such grand pronouncements. “The Paris climate conference delivered more of the same — lots of promises and lots of issues still left unresolved,” the US Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. And maybe that’s the right way to think, given that the world is ever less controlled by pieces of paper issued by government.

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“Historians have challenged the point of the story. The only account we have of this incident, if it occurred at all, is from Henry of Huntingdon. He reports that after the sea rose despite his command, the King declared: ‘Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.’”

Still, breathless journalists wrote about the “historic agreement” and government officials paraded around as planet savers. Meanwhile, the oil price continues to fall even as demand rises, and the Energy Information Administration announced the discovery of more reserves than anyone believed possible. As for alternatives to fossil fuels, they are coming about through private sector innovation, not through government programs, and successful only when adopted voluntarily by consumers.

“He did and said this, say modern experts, to demonstrate to his courtiers and flatterers that he is not as wonderful and powerful as they were proclaiming him to be. Instead of subservience to his own person, he was urging all citizens to save their adoration for God.”

It’s a heck of a time to announce a new global central plan affecting the way 7 billion people use energy for the next century. Anyone schooled in the liberal tradition, or even slightly familiar with Hayek’s warning against the pretensions of the “scientific” government elites, shakes his or her head in knowing despair.

“His point was that power — even the absolute power of kings — has limits. During his rule, King Canute was enormously popular and evidently benefitted from the common tendency of people to credit authority for the achievements of the spontaneous evolution of the social order itself. His sea trick, if it happened at all, was designed to show people that he is not the man they thought he was.”

The entire scene looks like the apotheosis of the planning mentally — complete with five-year plans to monitor how well governments are doing in controlling the climate for the whole world and do so in a way that affects temperature 10-100 years from now.

King Canute?

The scene prompted many commentators to compare these people celebrating in Paris to King Canute, who ruled Denmark, England, and Norway a millennium ago. According to popular legend, as a way of demonstrating his awesome power, he rolled his throne up to the sea and commanded it to stop rising.capture

It didn’t work. Still, the image appears in many works of art. Even Lego offers a King Canute scene from its historical set.

[Read the full test here, at Foundation for Economic Education]

Historians have challenged the point of the story. The only account we have of this incident, if it occurred at all, is from Henry of Huntingdon. He reports that after the sea rose despite his command, the King declared: “Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.”

He did and said this, say modern experts, to demonstrate to his courtiers and flatterers that he is not as wonderful and powerful as they were proclaiming him to be. Instead of subservience to his own person, he was urging all citizens to save their adoration for God.

His point was that power — even the absolute power of kings — has limits. During his rule, King Canute was enormously popular and evidently benefitted from the common tendency of people to credit authority for the achievements of the spontaneous evolution of the social order itself. His sea trick, if it happened at all, was designed to show people that he is not the man they thought he was.

The Pretensions of the Planners

Lacking a Canute to give us a wake-up call, we might revisit the extraordinary speech F.A. Hayek gave when he received his Nobel Prize. He was speaking before scientists of the world, having been awarded one of the most prestigious awards on the planet. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Trumping Hair Tutorial 

This is a quick tutorial on trumping, or how to do Donald Trump’s hairstyle on long hair. It’s perfect for your Halloween costume!

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Mark Steyn’s Statement to the Sub-Committee on Space, Science and Competitiveness

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STATEMENT TO THE SUB-COMMITTEE ON SPACE, SCIENCE AND COMPETITIVENESS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE

Data or Dogma?

Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate over the Magnitude of Human Impact on Climate Change

December 8th 2015

My name is Mark Steyn. I am not a scientist. I am an author. My main interest in climate science is that Michael E Mann, the inventor of one of its most notorious artifacts, is suing me for “defamation of a Nobel Prize winner” – a crime that I was not aware existed, especially in his case, as according to the Nobel Institute he is not a Nobel Prize winner. So I recently edited a book about it called “A Disgrace to the Profession”: The World’s Scientists – in Their Own Words – On Michael E Mann, His Hockey Stick, and Their Damage to Science, Volume One – which I’m proud to say was Number One on the Climatology Hit Parade. I have been Number Four on the Amazon books chart, and Number Seven on the Amazon easy-listening chart, and earlier this very month the Number One Amazon jazz vocalist, but I had no idea there was also a climatological bestseller list. Still, I’m happy my book was credible enough to get to the top of it.

That said, at a hearing on “Data or Dogma?”, given the distinguished scientists here to address the data, I thought I should confine myself mostly to the dogma.

THE CLIMATE OF FEAR

In the three years that I have been ensnared in the dysfunctional court system of the District of Columbia, I have come to know well what I call the “climate of fear” within climate science. Professors Christy, Curry and Happer are sufficiently eminent that they can, just about, bear the assault the Big Climate enforcers mount on those who dissent from the dogma – although that assault is fierce and unrelenting. If you’re a professor emeritus, you’re told you’re senile. If you’re one of the few women in this very male field, you’re told you’re whoring for Big Oil: The aforementioned Michael Mann of Penn State, who is too cowardly to be here today and has instead sent his proxy, approvingly linked to an Internet post accusing Dr Curry of sleeping with me. This is how a supposedly distinguished climate scientist treats those who disagree with him. On May 13th last year I wrote:

It’s always fun in a legal battle to have something bigger at stake than a mere victory. In Canada, we put the ‘human rights’ system itself on trial, to the point where the disgusting and indefensible ‘hate speech’ law Section 13 was eventually repealed by Parliament. It seems to me that in this particular case the bigger issue is the climate of fear that Mann and his fellow ayatollahs of alarmism have succeeded in imposing on an important scientific field.1

The very next day the distinguished 79-year-old Swedish climatologist Lennart Bengtsson was forced to resign from a dissident climate group after the Big Climate enforcers took the hockey stick to him in the back alley. He had agreed to participate in a group headed by Nigel Lawson. Some of you may know Lord Lawson personally. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer in Mrs Thatcher’s ministry in the United Kingdom. He’s nobody’s idea of a fringe madman: He’s a

1 http://www.steynonline.com/6333/michael-e-mann-liar-cheat-falsifier-and-fraud 1

member of the House of Lords, a Privy Counselor; his daughter is a popular celebrity chef on America’s Food Network; his fellow trustees include a bishop of the Church of England, a former private secretary to the Queen, and an advisor to two Prime Ministers from the Labour Party. But they disagree with the tight little coterie of climate alarmists, and so Lennart Bengtsson could not be permitted to meet with them. As Professor Bengtsson wrote:

I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc. I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.2

Because it’s no longer about “meteorology”, it’s about saving the planet. Bengtsson was a former director of the Max Planck Institute of Meteorology, winner of the Descartes Prize and a WMO prize for groundbreaking research, and even a friend and collaborator of Mann’s at scientific conferences. But he made the mistake of, ah, seeking to expand his circle of climate acquaintances, and so Michael Mann now sneeringly dismisses him as “junk science”3. Nate Silver is the hipster statistician who correctly predicted the 2012 election and then set up his own “538” website dedicated to “data journalism” – just the data, the facts, the numbers, the analysis… But, when Mr Silver made the mistake of hiring Professor Roger Pielke Jr, then Michael Mann and Kevin Trenberth were obliged to explain to him that these considerations do not apply to climate science4. So Nate Silver fired Professor Pielke – who has now withdrawn from all climate research. When Professor Willie Soon co-authored a paper earlier this year on why the turn-of-the-century climate models all turned out wrong, the Big Climate heavies did not attempt to refute the paper, but instead embarked on a campaign to get him fired from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

For every Judith Curry or Willie Soon or Lennart Bengtsson, there are a thousand lesser names who see what happens to even the most distinguished people in their field and decide to keep their heads down. Professor Ivar Gievar recently spoke out against, among other things, the recent adjustment of figures by NASA – an agency overseen by this sub-committee – at the annual meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau. Professor Gievar is a Nobel Laureate. A real Nobel Laureate, I mean, not a fake one like Michael Mann, Kevin Trenberth and many other climate scientists who falsely claim to be Nobel Prize winners on the grounds that the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, and they once contributed to an IPCC report. Mann falsely claimed to be a Nobel Prize winner on his book jacket, on his website, in his court complaint about me – even though the Nobel Institute told him he wasn’t a Nobel Prize winner and he should cut it out. But this serial misrepresentation of credentials by Mann, Trenberth and others is also part of their intimidation technique. If you’re a real Nobel Laureate like Ivar Giaever, who won the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics, or if you’re older, tenured and sufficiently eminent, you can just about withstand the Big Climate enforcers jumping you in the parking lot and taking the hockey stick to you.

2 http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/lennart-bengtsson-leaves-advisory-board.html 3 https://twitter.com/MichaelEMann/status/467310861237760000
4 http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/20/nate-silvers-538-inconvenient-statistics/

But, if you’re a younger scientist, you know that, if you cross Mann and the other climate mullahs, there goes tenure, there goes funding, there goes your career. I’ve been stunned to learn of the very real fear of retribution that pervades the climate world.

When I look at what has happened to those who speak out, I recall the wise words of Stephen McIntyre:

As a general point, it seems to me that, if climate change is as serious a problem as the climate ‘community’ believes, then it will require large measures that need broadly based commitment from all walks of our society.5

Mr McIntyre is exactly right: If we take Big Climate at their word that the entire global economy needs massive re-orientation on a scale never before contemplated, it will require the largest societal consensus – left and right and center, in America, in Canada, in Britain, in Europe… Yet all Big Climate does is retreat ever deeper into its shrinking echo chamber and compile ever longer lists of people who are beyond the pale – Professor Curry, Professor Christy, Professor Bengtsson, Professor Pielke, Professor Soon, Lord Lawson, the Bishop of Chester, the winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics, the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physics… It might be quicker for Mann, Trenberth, Gavin Schmidt and the other climate enforcers to make a short list of those to whom they are prepared to grant a say in the future of the planet.

In shoring up this cartoon climatology, the alarmism industry is now calling on courts and legislatures to torment their opponents. I shall outline my own particular experience, and then the general climate.

MANN vs STEYN et al

On July 12th 2012 former FBI Director and special investigative counsel Louis Freeh issued a devastating report regarding the behavior of Pennsylvania State University and its most senior figures, as they ignored, abetted and covered up the systemic and brutal child sexual abuse conducted by Gerald A Sandusky, longtime football coach at the university.

The following day Rand Simberg posted an article on the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s website entitled “The Other Scandal in Happy Valley”, which suggested that, in light of the revelations regarding the “rotten and corrupt culture” at Penn State under the presidency of Graham Spanier, it might be worth revisiting the other sham “investigation” on Spanier’s watch – of Dr Michael E Mann, creator of the famous global-warming “hockey stick”.

The very same day The Chronicle of Higher Education also tied together the sham

Sandusky and Mann investigations in a piece titled “Culture of Evasion”6. As you know, after the Freeh Report was published, criminal charges were filed against Penn State President Graham Spanier and other senior administrators. Spanier is currently under indictment for grand- jury perjury, obstruction of justice, child endangerment, conspiracy and failure to report child abuse.

Two days later, I wrote a 270-word blog post for the opinion page of National Review Online7 referencing the Freeh Report and Mr Simberg’s piece. That post appears below in its entirety:

In the wake of Louis Freeh’s report on Penn State’s complicity in serial rape, Rand Simberg writes of Unhappy Valley’s other scandal:

‘I’m referring to another cover up and whitewash that occurred there two years ago, before we learned how rotten and corrupt the culture at the university was. But now that we know how bad it was, perhaps it’s time that we revisit the Michael Mann affair, particularly given how much we’ve also learned about his and others’ hockey- stick deceptions since. Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.’

Not sure I’d have extended that metaphor all the way into the locker-room showers with quite the zeal Mr Simberg does, but he has a point. Michael Mann was the man behind the fraudulent climate-change ‘hockey-stick’ graph, the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus. And, when the East Anglia emails came out, Penn State felt obliged to “investigate” Professor Mann. Graham Spanier, the Penn State president forced to resign over Sandusky, was the same cove who investigated Mann. And, as with Sandusky and Paterno, the college declined to find one of its star names guilty of any wrongdoing. If an institution is prepared to cover up systemic statutory rape of minors, what won’t it cover up? Whether or not he’s ‘the Jerry Sandusky of climate change’, he remains the Michael Mann of climate change, in part because his ‘investigation’ by a deeply corrupt administration was a joke.

I asked what I thought was quite an obvous question: If an institution is prepared to cover up the systemic ongoing rape of minors, what won’t it cover up?

It’s a legitimate question for an institution that receives taxpayer funding, a certain portion of which falls under the oversight of this committee. Penn State has a representative here today, and perhaps he will address some of these questions about his institution and its integrity.

Graham Spanier, the now disgraced president of Penn State who presided over the joke investigations of both Sandusky and Mann, remains the President Emeritus of Penn State, and a professor of family studies. His absolution of Michael Mann was widely regarded at the time as a total joke even by many who are by no means “climate deniers” – for example, the venerable American institution The Atlantic Monthly:

The Penn State inquiry exonerating Michael Mann — the paleoclimatologist who came up with ’the hockey stick’ — would be difficult to parody.

Professor Harold Lewis, one of the most distinguished members of the American Physical Society, resigned from the organization over the whitewashing of Mann, writing:

When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise.

7 http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/309442/football-and-hockey-mark-steyn
8 http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/07/climategate-and-the-big-green-lie/59709/

In other words, Spanier’s depraved regime at Penn State turned a blind eye to Mann for the same reason it turned a blind eye to the Sandusky rape epidemic: they couldn’t afford to take the financial hit.

Read the rest of this entry »


Father of ‘Climate Change Awareness’ Has a Special Insight About The Paris Talks

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Mere mention of the Paris climate talks is enough to make James Hansen grumpy. The former Nasa scientist, considered the father of global awareness of climate change, is a soft-spoken, almost diffident Iowan. But when he talks about the gathering of nearly 200 nations, his demeanor changes.

“It’s a fraud really, a fake. It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’”

“It’s a fraud really, a fake,” he says, rubbing his head. “It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.”

“It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.”

The talks, intended to reach a new global deal on cutting carbon emissions beyond 2020, have spent much time and energy on two major issues: whether the world should aim to contain the temperature rise to 1.5C or 2C above preindustrial levels, and how much funding should be doled out by wealthy countries to developing nations that risk being swamped by rising seas and bashed by escalating extreme weather events.

A February protest against a liquified natural gas export facility in Maryland. Susan Yin/Chesapeake Climate Action Network

A February protest against a liquified natural gas export facility in Maryland. Susan Yin/Chesapeake Climate Action Network

But, according to Hansen, the international jamboree is pointless unless greenhouse gas emissions aren’t taxed across the board. He argues that only this will force down emissions quickly enough to avoid the worst ravages of climate change.

Hansen, 74, has just returned from Paris where he again called for a price to be placed on each tonne of carbon from major emitters (he’s suggested a “fee” – because “taxes scare people off” – of $15 a tonne that would rise $10 a year and bring in $600bn in the US alone). There aren’t many takers, even among “big green” as Hansen labels environment groups.

Hansen has been a nagging yet respected voice on climate change since he shot to prominence in the summer of 1988. The Nasa scientists, who had been analyzing changes in the Earth’s climate since the 1970s, told a congressional committee that something called the “greenhouse effect” where heat-trapped gases are released into the atmosphere was causing global warming with a 99% certainty.

A New York Times report of the 1988 testimony includes the radical suggestion that there should be a “sharp reduction in the burning of coal, oil and other fossil fuels that release carbon dioxide”, a plea familiar to those who have watched politicians who have traipsed up to the lectern or interviewer’s microphone in Paris over the past two weeks.

A man rides his bicycle on yellow paint poured on the street during a protest by activists from environmental group Greenpeace on the Champs-Elysee in Paris, ON Friday.

A man rides his bicycle on yellow paint poured on the street during a protest by activists from environmental group Greenpeace on the Champs-Elysee in Paris. Photograph: Christophe Ena/AP

After that, things started to get a little difficult for Hansen. He claims the White House altered subsequent testimony, given in 1989, and that Nasa appointed a media overseer who vetted what he said to the press. They held practice press conferences where any suggestion that fossil fuels be reduced was considered political and unscientific, and therefore should not be uttered. Read the rest of this entry »


The Only Six Things You Need to Know About the Paris Climate Catastrophe

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Biggest Waste of Time and Money in History.

James Delingpole reports: Sometime round about now the negotiators at the Paris COP21 climate conference will be thrashing out the final details agreement which will make no measurable difference to “climate change” but will definitely cost all of us a great deal of money.

Here is what you need to know.

1. All that stuff you’ve read and heard about “time running out”, “deadlock” , “last minute deals” — it’s all a charade; everything was pre-ordained.

Every COP conference there has ever been has run on exactly the same lines. Whatever comes out of this one, it will be a fudge and a compromise whose only certain achievement will be to ensure that there are more such conferences next year (in sunny Marrakech, Morocco) and the one after and the one after that…

[Read the full story here, at Breitbart]

In truth, COP is not really about saving the planet. Rather, it’s a massive jobs fair for activists, shyster politicians, bureaucrats, corporate scamsters, and people with otherwise worthless degrees in “sustainability”, “conservation biology”, “ecology”, etc.

2. No serious person in the world believes in man-made climate change any more. They just don’t.

When did the edifice finally collapse? Well there are lots of competing candidates. But if you haven’t seen the testimony presented by John Christy, Judith Curry, or William Happer at the hearings in Congress earlier this week, that’s a good place to start. Then, in a league of his own, is Mark Steyn — who doesn’t mince his words…

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3. If you live by fairies you will die by fairies.

So if no serious person in the world believes in man-made climate change any more, who does? Only people like US Secretary of State John Kerry — who, as we know, has staked the reputation of the Obama presidency on how well it deals with this non-existent problem.

In order to do this, of course, he must somehow engineer a global agreement on carbon dioxide emissions reductions. But for that to happen everyone — not just the Western delegations — must pretend to believe in climate fairies. And unfortunately, the non-Western delegations, led by China and India, just aren’t playing ball. Hence Kerry’s reported frustration and threatened walk-out.

The night saw an ugly brawl as US Secretary Of State John Kerry threatened that developed countries would walk out of the agreement if they were asked to commit to differentiation or financial obligations. “You can take the US out of this. Take the developed world out of this. Remember, the Earth has a problem. What will you do with the problem on your own?” he told ministers from other countries during a closed-door negotiation on the second revised draft of the Paris agreement.

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“We can’t afford in the hours we are left with to nit-pick every single word and to believe there is an effort here that separates developed countries from developing countries. That’s not where we are in 2015. Don’t think this agreement reflects that kind of differentiation,” he added. Making a veiled threat that the agreement could fail if the US was pushed for financial obligations, Kerry said, “At this late hour, hope we don’t load this with differentiation… I would love to have a legally binding agreement. But the situation in the US is such that legally binding with respect to finance is a killer for the agreement.”

The problem here is very simple. Kerry has become a victim of his own fantasy game. Read the rest of this entry »


#SanBernardino Suspect Motive Revealed

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Obama Increases Sense Of Urgency By Riding Last White Rhino On Earth Through Climate Talk

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[VIDEO] REWIND 2013: Maxine Waters Confirms ‘Big Brother’ Database 

“The President has put in place an organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life. That’s going to be very, very powerful.”

Representative Maxine Waters told Roland Martin on Monday.

“That database will have information about everything on every individual on ways that it’s never been done before and whoever runs for President on the Democratic ticket has to deal with that. They’re going to go down with that database and the concerns of those people because they can’t get around it.”

“…And he’s [President Obama] been very smart. It’s very powerful what he’s leaving in place.”


Bernie Sanders Drops Bomb at Dem Debate: ‘Terrorists Cause Climate Change’


Energy Department Identifies New Global Threat: Pumpkins Cause Climate Change

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How scary are your jack-o’-lanterns? Scarier than you think, according to the Energy Department, which is claiming the holiday squash is responsible for unleashing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere…(read more)

Source: Washington Times


‘Steve Jobs’ Bombs at Box Office: ‘What Went Wrong’, the Industry Version

Brent Lang writes: When Amy Pascal allowed “Steve Jobs” to leave Sony for Universal, the studio chief fretted that she had let a modern day “Citizen Kane” slip through her fingers.

“There was an over-inflated sense of how well this film could do. Its only chance now is to gain awards traction.”

— Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations

The strikingly literate biopic about the Apple co-founder was brilliant she noted, but after Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale passed on the title role, it lacked a major star, limiting its commercial prospects. In the end, Pascal, whose job was already threatened by a string of flops like  “After Earth” and “White House Down,” couldn’t justify the risk.

Fast-forward nearly a year. Pascal is out of a job, “Steve Jobs” has debuted to rapturous reviews, and the film is a strong Oscar contender. It’s every bit as good as Pascal thought it would be, but the then Sony chief’s wariness also appears to have been entirely justified.

Steve Jobs” was too brainy, too cold, and too expensive to make it a success. Moreover, Michael Fassbender, the electrifying Irish actor who replaced Bale as Jobs, lacks the drawing power to open the picture.

Too ‘brainy, too cold, too expensive’ to make it a success? Oh, please. I prefer John Nolte’s analysis:

Everything other than the father-daughter story is subplot, and this wouldn’t be terribly interesting even if it were true.  But it’s not true. Sorkin made it all up. Also fabricated is the central conflict between Jobs and Wozniak. Missing is Jobs’ legendary ability to inspire greatness from those around him. Jobs was no angel, few successful people are, but this still feels like a smear job.

Basically, Sorkin used the name Steve Jobs and the historical beats of the man’s life to tell a fictional story about a bunch of rich white people, their personal problems and eccentricities and hang-ups….(read more)

Brietbart.com

After racking up the year’s best per-screen average  in its opening weekend and doing strong business in limited expansion, “Steve Jobs” hit a stumbling block in its national release. It debuted to a measly $7.3 million, only a little more than the $6.7 million that “Jobs,” a critically derided film about the iPhone father with Ashton Kutcher, made in its initial weekend. Going into the weekend, some tracking suggested that the picture would do as much as $19 million.

So what went wrong?

Universal believes that the picture can recover. Studio executives note that it is popular in major urban markets like San Francisco and New York, and argue that the film’s A minus CinemaScore means word-of-mouth will be strong. If it can stay in theaters until Golden Globe and Oscar nominations are announced, they believe it can rebound.

“We are going to continue to support the film in the markets where it is showing strength and we’re going to continue to do it aggressively and proactively,” said Nick Carpou, Universal’s domestic distribution chief. “The critics are there for it and the buzz in these markets is strong.”

It’s still hard to see how the film turns a profit. Read the rest of this entry »


A Liberal’s Ten Commandments 

Victor Davis Hanson writes: The best way for liberals to advance their various causes would be to take a pledge to live the rather progressive lives that they advocate. Here are a modest Ten Commandments to lend them credibility in the eyes of the American people.

1. Climate Change. Perhaps the greatest carbon emission sin is jet travel. On an average London-to-New York flight each passenger emits well over 1 ton of C02 emissions, an indulgence that can nullify a year of recycling of other less-privileged Americans. All supporters of government-mandated reductions in fossil-fuel emissions could at least take the following pledge. “I will fly across the Atlantic no more than once every five years.” Private jet travel — the worstliberal-huh of the mortal carbon sins — of course would be banned, at least until we can transition into solar and wind aviation. Al Gore in the middle seat of Row 44, fighting to put his oversized carry-on into the overhead compartment, would be a symbolic act worth far more than all his heated and well-paid rhetoric.

[Read the full Ten Commandments here, at PJMedia.com]

2. Schools. Most liberals oppose charter schools, support teachers’ unions, and encourage generous immigration, legal and illegal. To further diversity in the schools, create easier integration, and to nullify the insidiousness of white privilege, each liberal should pledge, “I will put at least one of my children in an inner-city public school, or in a school where the white enrollment is in a minority.” What better way to acculturate a young elite to the new world around him? Could not the Obama children attend a D.C. public school?

3. Guns. Gun control is an iconic liberal issue, specifically limitations on handguns and concealed weapons. Too many guns in too many places supposedly encourage violent crime. Again, what better way to make a statement than by having all liberal celebrities, business people, and politicians take the following pledge: “I will pledge that no one in my security detail will ever carry a concealed firearm of any sort”? Surely the pope, of all people, did not need armed guards, with lethal concealed weapons, surrounding his pope-mobile? Read the rest of this entry »


John Steele Gordon: The Unsettling, Anti-Science Certitude on Global Warming

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Climate-change ‘deniers’ are accused of heresy by true believers. That doesn’t sound like science to me.

John Steele Gordon writes: Are there any phrases in today’s political lexicon more obnoxious than “the science is settled” and “climate-change deniers”?

“The essence of scientific inquiry is the assumption that there is always more to learn.”

The first is an oxymoron. By definition, science is never settled. It is always subject to change in the light of new evidence. The second phrase is nothing but an ad hominem attack, meant to evoke “Holocaust deniers,” those people who maintain that the Nazi Holocaust is a fiction, ignoring the overwhelming, incontestable evidence that it is a historical fact. Hillary Clinton’s speech about climate change on Monday in Des Moines, Iowa, included an attack on “deniers.”

Climate science today is a veritable cornucopia of unanswered questions. Photo: Corbis

Climate science today is a veritable cornucopia of unanswered questions. Photo: Corbis

The phrases are in no way applicable to the science of Earth’s climate. The climate is an enormously complex system, with a very large number of inputs and outputs, many of which we don’t fully understand—and some we may well not even know about yet. To note this, and to observe that there is much contradictory evidence for assertions of a coming global-warming catastrophe, isn’t to “deny” anything; it is to state a fact. In other 41YWepQbs+L._SL250_words, the science is unsettled—to say that we have it all wrapped up is itself a form of denial. The essence of scientific inquiry is the assumption that there is always more to learn.

[Order John Steele Gordon‘s book “Washington’s Monument: And the Fascinating History of the Obelisk” from Amazon.com]

Science takes time, and climatology is only about 170 years old. Consider something as simple as the question of whether the sun revolves around the Earth or vice versa.

The Greek philosopher Aristarchus suggested a heliocentric model of the solar system as early as the third century B.C. But it was Ptolemy’s geocentric model from the second century A.D. that predominated. It took until the mid-19th century to solve the puzzle definitively.

Assuming that “the science is settled” can only impede science. For example, there has never been so settled a branch of science as Newtonian physics. But in the 1840s, as telescopes improved, it was noticed that Mercury’s orbit stubbornly failed to behave as Newtonian equations said that it should.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

It seems not to have occurred to anyone to question Newton, so the only explanation was that Mercury must be being perturbed by a planet still closer to the sun. The French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier had triumphed in 1846 when he had predicted, within one degree, the location of a planet (later named Neptune) that was perturbing Uranus’s orbit. Read the rest of this entry »


Entertainment News: Celebrity President Talks Smack About Race In Garage with Comedian


Catastrophe: Disney Could Lose $140 Million over George Clooney’s ‘Tomorrowland’

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The film also failed to catch on in China, the world’s second largest market, and debuted to just $13.8 million

Disney could lose up to $140 million on the Brad Bird-directed George Clooney dystopian fantasy dud Tomorrowland.

Kipp Jones reports: According to the Hollywood Reporter, in addition to spending $180 million to produce Tomorrowland, Disney shelled out an astonishing $150 million to market the film.

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“Sources tell THR it is now expected to lose between $120 million and $140 million, which would make Tomorrowland Disney’s biggest flop since Johnny Depp’s 2013 film The Lone Ranger, which lost somewhere between $160 million and $190 million.”

Despite leading the U.S. box office during its extended Memorial Day weekend opening, the climate change fantasy only brought in $41.7 million across 3,972 theaters, less than the $50 million projected over the slow holiday weekend.

The film also failed to catch on in China, the world’s second largest market, and debuted to just $13.8 million, earlier this month.

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“When a guy like that comes to you with an original idea, and Clooney is part of the package, you’ll take the swing.”

After its disastrous release, Disney’s distribution chief Dave Hollis told the industry news outlet Variety the film would benefit from being the only family release until Pixar’s Inside Out hits theaters June 19.

“It’s going to take more time for word-of-mouth to build,” he told the site.

Two weeks later, things haven’t improved. Read the rest of this entry »


Why The Left Needs Climate Change

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Steven F. HaywardSteven F. Hayward writes: Try this out as a thought experiment: what would happen if, tomorrow morning, we had definitive proof that catastrophic climate change was impossible, wasn’t happening, and would never happen. Would Al Gore breathe a big sigh of relief and say—“Well good; now we can go back to worrying about smoking, or bad inner city schools, or other persistent, immediate problems.”

“As an ageing warrior, he grew breathless in pursuit of smaller and smaller dragons—for the big dragons were now harder to come by.”

Of course not. The general reaction from environmentalists and the left would be a combination of outrage and despair. The need to believe in oneself as part of the agency of human salvation runs deep for leftists and environmentalists who have made their obsessions a secular religion.

[Read the full text here, at Forbes]
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And humanity doesn’t need salvation if thereis no sin in the first place. Hence human must be sinners—somehow—in need of redemption from the left.

[Order Kenneth Minogue’s book “The Liberal Mind” from Amazon.com]

I got to thinking about this when reading a short passage from an old book by Canadian philosopher George Grant, Philosophy in the Mass Age:

“During the excitement over Sputnik, it was suggested that the Americans were deeply depressed by Russian success. I thought this was a wrong interpretation. Rather, there was a great sigh of relief from the American elites, for now there was an immediate practical objective to be achieved, a new frontier to be conquered—outer space.”

This tracks closely with Kenneth Minogue’s diagnosis of liberalism in his classic The Liberal Mind.  Minogue compared liberals to medieval dragon hunters, who sought after dragons to slay even after it was clear they didn’t exist. The liberal, like the dragon hunter, “needed his dragons. He could only live by fighting for causes—the people, the poor, the exploited, the colonially oppressed, the underprivileged and the underdeveloped. As an ageing mass-agewarrior, he grew breathless in pursuit of smaller and smaller dragons—for the big dragons were now harder to come by.”

[Order George Grant‘s book “Philosophy in the Mass Age” (Philosophy and Theology) from Amazon.com]

Hence on college campuses today the liberal mind is relentlessly hunting after “microaggressions,” which is pretty pathetic as dragons of injustice go. Environmentalists are still after the fire-breathing dragon of climate change, now that previous dragons like the population bomb have disappeared into the medieval mists—so much so that even the New York Times recently declared the population bomb to have been completely wrongheaded.

“Hence on college campuses today the liberal mind is relentlessly hunting after ‘micro aggressions,’ which is pretty pathetic as dragons of injustice go.”

Or perhaps a better metaphor for true-believing environmentalism is drug addiction: the addictive need for another rush of euphoria, followed by the crash or pains of withdrawal, and the diminishing returns of the next fix. For there’s always a next fix for environmentalists: fracking, bee colony collapse disorder, de-forestation, drought, floods, plastic bags . . . the list is endless. Read the rest of this entry »


WHITE HOUSE: DISQUALIFIED! Only Climate Alarmists Need Apply

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New York Residents Talk Secession in Regards to Big Fracking Upset

A woman holds an anti-fracking sign as a group of demonstrators gather for a rally for a Global Climate Treaty December 10, 2014 near the United Nations in New York. New Yorkers gathered to demand that world governments address the serious threat global warming poses to human rights. This event coincides with a UN meeting in Lima, Peru, a part of the 2014-15 negotiations for a global climate treaty. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT/Getty

A woman holds an anti-fracking sign as a group of demonstrators gather for a rally for a Global Climate Treaty December 10, 2014 near the United Nations in New York. New Yorkers gathered to demand that world governments address the serious threat global warming poses to human rights. This event coincides with a UN meeting in Lima, Peru, a part of the 2014-15 negotiations for a global climate treaty. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT/Getty

TIME

One could argue America was conceived from intense frustration that ultimately led to separation. Fed up with what they perceived as excessive control by the Crown, colonists to the “New England,” in essence, seceded in 1776, and thus the United States was born.

Now, there is a renewed and growing secession conversation brewing in the New England region, this time fueled by a commodity: Natural gas. Infuriated by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s December decision to permanently instill a ban against hydraulic fracture stimulation, or fracking, residents in 15 communities in the Southern Tier of New York are discussing the possibility of redrawing the border between New York and Pennsylvania.

Most affected are communities that lie along the east-west line between the Empire and Keystone states. Dairy farms dot the landscape, and in Pennsylvania, where fracking is encouraged, farmers are building new barns, buying new equipment and communities are adding schools and…

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Pope Francis Blesses Golden Rice

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ASPB NEWS | VOLUME 41, NUMBER 1

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Tyrone Spady, ASPB’s Legislative and Public Affairs Director, writes:

On November 7, 2013, Pope Francis gave his personal blessing to Golden Rice (GR). Why is this significant? Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is responsible for 500,000 cases of irreversible blindness and up to 2 million deaths each year. Particularly susceptible are pregnant women and children. Across the globe, an estimated 19 million pregnant women and 190 million children suffer from the condition. The good news, however, is that dietary supplementation of vitamin A can eliminate VAD. One way that holds particular promise is the administration via GR, which had been engineered to produce large amounts of vitamin A. A 2012 study by Tang et al published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that 100-150 g of cooked GR provided 60% of the Chinese Recommended Intake of vitamin A. Estimates suggest that supplementing GR for 20% of the diet of children and 10% for pregnant women and mothers will be enough to combat the effects of VAD.

Orange

Unfortunately, public misconceptions about genetically modified (GM) organisms have prevented GR from being available to the countries most affected by VAD. One such country is the Philippines, where more than 80% of the population identifies as Roman Catholic and field trials of GR are nearing completion. An official blessing of the church, therefore, could do a great deal to build support, allowing the Philippines to serve as a model for many of its neighbors on the potential health impacts of widespread availability and consumption of the golden grain.

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Regrettably, the church did not provide an official endorsement. It turns out that there is quite a distinction between the pope’s personal blessing and an official statement of support from the Vatican. To understand the nature of that distinction, we turned to the person who elicited the blessing, GR coinventor and ASPB member Ingo Potrykus. At the time of the blessing, Ingo, a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, had been attending a meeting at the Vatican on the interaction of nutrition and brain development.

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At the end of the meeting, he was able to meet Pope Francis and took the opportunity to share a packet of GR. In response, the pope offered his personal blessing. (If an official blessing of the Holy See was given, it would come from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.) From Ingo’s perspective, the pope is concerned that genetic modification technology primarily benefits big business and not the poor. Read the rest of this entry »


‘It’s Called Weather’

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MIT Climate Scientist: Global Warming Believers a ‘Cult’

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Howie Carr reports: An MIT professor of meteorology is dismissing global-warming alarmists as a discredited “cult” whose members are becoming more hysterical as emerging evidence continues to contradict their beliefs.

“Oh, it would be great!” You have all these people, the Gores and so on, making hundreds of millions of dollars on this, Exxon Mobil giving $100 million to Stanford for people who are working on promoting this hysteria. The notion that the fossil-fuel industry cares – they don’t. As long as they can pass the costs on to you, it’s a new profit center.”

During an appearance on this writer’s radio show Monday, MIT Professor emeritus Richard Lindzen discussed the religious nature of the movement.EndIsNearcliamte-change

“As with any cult, once the mythology of the cult begins falling apart, instead of saying, oh, we were wrong, they get more and more fanatical. I think that’s what’s happening here. Think about it…”

Lindzen, 74, has issued calm dismissals of warmist apocalypse, reducing his critics to sputtering rage.

Last week, government agencies including NASA announced that 2014 was the “hottest year” in “recorded history,” as The New York Times put it in an early edition. Last year has since been demoted by the Times to the hottest “since record-keeping global_warming_hoaxbegan in 1880.”

“…You’ve led an unpleasant life, you haven’t led a very virtuous life, but now you’re told, you get absolution if you watch your carbon footprint. It’s salvation!”

But that may not be true. Now the same agencies have acknowledged that there’s only a 38 percent chance that 2014 was the hottest year on record. And even if it was, it was only by two-100ths of a degree. Read the rest of this entry »


The Golden Age Is Now

For all the world’s problems, human beings have never had it better

20140523-yfFor City Journal, Yevgeniy Feyman writes:  Bjørn Lomborg is well-known as a climate “skeptic.” He has frequently voiced concerns that money spent battling climate change could shift scarce resources away from more urgent global problems, such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. But the most recent book by the self-proclaimed “skeptical environmentalist” does more than just voice concern; it attempts to evaluate the damage caused by a variety of problems—from climate change to malnutrition to war—and project future costs related to these same issues. In How Much Have Global Problems Cost the World?, Lomborg and a group of economists conclude that, with a few exceptions, the world is richer, freer, healthier, and smarter than it’s ever been. These gains have coincided with the near-universal rejection of statism and the flourishing of capitalist principles. At a time when political figures such as New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and religious leaders such as Pope Francis frequently remind us about the evils of unfettered capitalism, this is a worthwhile message.51u6XmYkS-L._SL110_

[Order the book How Much have Global Problems Cost the World?: A Scorecard from 1900 to 2050″ edited by Bjørn Lomborg (Cambridge University Press) from Amazon.com

The doubling of human life expectancy is one of the most remarkable achievements of the past century. Consider, Lomborg writes, that “the twentieth century saw life expectancy rise by about 3 months for every calendar year.” The average child in 1900 could expect to live to just 32 years old; now that same child should make it to 70. This increase came during a century when worldwide economic output, driven by the spread of capitalism and freedom, grew by more than 4,000 percent. These gains occurred in developed and developing countries alike; among men and women; and even in a sense among children, as child mortality plummeted. Read the rest of this entry »


Climate McCarthyism: The Scandal Grows

mouthFor Breitbart.com,  reports: Professor Lennart Bengtsson – the scientist at the heart of the “Climate McCarthyism” row – has hit back at his critics by accusing them of suppressing one of his studies for political reasons.

The paper, which Prof Bengtsson wrote with four co-authors, suggested that climate is probably less sensitive to greenhouse gases than is admitted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and that more research needs to be done to “reduce the underlying uncertainty”. However, when submitted for publication in the leading journal Environmental Research Letters, the paper failed the peer-review process and was rejected.

“It has the potential to do as much harm to climate science as did the Climategate emails.”

— Judith Curry

One of the peer-reviewers reportedly wrote:

‘It is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of “errors” and worse from the climate sceptics media side.’

This, Prof Bengtsson told the Times, was “utterly unacceptable” and “an indication of how science is gradually being influenced by political views.” Read the rest of this entry »


The Sociology of Science

 “Scientists are not saints in white laboratory smocks — they’ve got interests like everybody else.”

— George Will, on Tuesday’s Special Report.

He also took issue with climate-change believers, such as the New Yorker, claiming such reports are “the last word” on the issue:

“Try that phrase — ‘the last word’ — on microbiology, quantum mechanics, physics, chemistry. Since when does science come to the end?”

National Review Online


Reality-Based World to Tim Cook: ‘Screw You’

Tim Cook: Guzzling the climate-alarmist Kool Aid

Influenced by board member Al Gore? Apple CEO Tim Cook:  Guzzling the climate-alarmist Kool Aid

“If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”

As Glenn Reynolds says “Duly noted”

At Apple shareholder’s meeting, Tim Cook tells off ‘climate change deniers’ | Ars Technica


Liberals are Destroying the Planet

LiberalsDestroyEarth

Ed Rogers writes  …some very interesting analysis from Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. The YPCCC, which “conducts research on public climate knowledge” has grouped Americans’ sentiments about global warming into six categories, ranging from “The Alarmed” to “The Dismissives.” Even though I am properly suspicious of anything Yale has to say about global warming, I think Mr. Leiserowitz makes some interesting points. His analysis puts into vivid relief that one group is missing from the spectrum of debate on climate change. There should be an additional category called something like “The Prudent Rationals.” There should be, but there is not — and it is the liberals’ fault.

The Democrats’ global-warming “solutions” fit a little too nicely into their tiresome political agenda of class warfare, anti-business regulations and the big government controls they want to force on us.

“The Prudent Rationals” would be comprised of those whose attitudes comport with something like the following: They are generally respectful of the scientific community and are eager to listen to mainstream scientists and researchers. They want to hear from legitimate experts who acknowledge the variables, the uncertainties and, importantly, the mistakes and errors of climate science so far. This group could support a prudent plan to produce measurable benefits, but only if the plan were truly global in scope and the cost seemed to be proportional to the outcome. The “Prudent Rationals” believe it is reasonable to accept that there are consequences for continually pumping gases into the atmosphere. And it seems right that one generation should leave the planet better than they found it for the next generation. But we need to be realistic about technical science and political science. If we can’t act globally to limit these gases, we should be focusing on local pollution, not on plans that unilaterally wreck our economy and impoverish millions – if not billions – for nothing.

Read the rest of this entry »


Climate Scientists Slam Obama Science Czar’s Incoherent Ramblings on Global Warming

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The Daily Caller‘s Michael Bastasch reports:  The night before President Barack Obama was set to address Californians stricken by a prolonged drought, White House science czar Dr. John Holdren told reporters that virtually all weather is being impacted by climate change and that droughts were getting “more frequent, they’re getting longer and they’re getting dryer.”

Two prominent climate scientists disagree. Former NASA scientist Dr. Roy Spencer and University of Colorado climate scientist Roger Pielke, Jr. slammed Holdren for his “pseudo-science rambling.”

“The idea that any of the weather we are seeing is in any significant way due to humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions verges on irrationality,” Spencer wrote in his blog.

Pielke took to Twitter on Friday to slam Holdren for “zombie science” in the White House.

Obama headed out west to California on Friday to announce his plan to create a $1 billion “Climate Resilience Fund” to help localities deal with the impacts of global warming. In a press call the night before, Holdren warned reporters of the impacts global warming has had on weather.

Read the rest of this entry »


On a Mission: Drudge has a Grudge

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Is it just me? Or is Matt Drudge losing perspective? Or is it just a slow news week? While I admire his obsession with tweaking the climate changers, exposing their agenda (a borderline religious cult, really) I keep wondering how many days in a row he can carry on with this mission, before introducing a new headline theme. Until then, we can expect more of the same:  indulging monomaniacal glee on a singular headline topic.

 

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Report: Global warming alarmism can cause depression

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Ever wonder what’s bothering Al Gore? Worrying too much about catastrophic global warming is not good for your mental health, according to new research from Germany.

Because global warming is a global issue that requires international cooperation, it can leave the individual activist with a sense of powerlessness, leading to a condition called “doomer-depression.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Settled-Science Fiction: Liberal Denial on Climate Change and Energy

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A new poll reveals conservatives are the open-minded ones.

Jeremy Carl writes:  According to the Hoover Institution’s recently completed Golden State Poll, conducted in partnership with the nationally respected polling firm YouGov, many Democrats and liberals are in denial when it comes to reality on energy and climate policy, endorsing both science and political fiction.

This is, of course, the opposite of the narrative we hear in much of the media, with its constant paeans to “settled science” and its derision of anyone who opposes liberal climate-policy proposals as a “denier.” (This is certainly not true in the case of this author, who thinks that climate change is both real and worth addressing while strenuously opposing the scaremongering tactics that are unfortunately common among liberals.)

While politics affects both parties’ prescriptions for energy and the environment, a look at the data suggests that Democrats and liberals are far more likely to have their ideological blinders on. In our poll of 1,000 Californians, Democrats and liberals were more likely to give incorrect, highly unlikely, or intensely ideological responses to a set of basic questions about energy and environmental policy than were independents, conservatives, and Republicans.

Such a result should not be entirely surprising. Read the rest of this entry »


Governments Tried to Suppress Data Damaging to Global Warming Narrative

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Mary Chastain writes: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release a report on September 27 that scales back the severity of the global warming threat. Emails leaked to the Associated Press show some governments, including the United States, tried to make the IPCC change their report to downplay the slowdown in warming. Read the rest of this entry »


Government Bureaucrats Arrogant, Anti-Scientific on Climate Change

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell’s declaration that there will be no “climate change deniers” in her department is not totalitarian, but it is arrogant and anti-scientific, Dr. Charles Krauthammer said on Special Report.

“The entire idea of science is that you are open to contrary evidence—it’s the definition of a scientific theory,” Krauthammer said, and he declared the fact that government bureaucrats and “political hacks” are calling climate change a settled science “scandalous.”

via Krauthammers Take:  National Review Online.

 


The science of global warming is weak, but the idea is strong.

Our Climate-Change Cathedral

By  Andrew Stuttaford

English: Alchemist

A 19th-century Scottish journalist, songwriter, and poet is not an obvious guide to a 21st-century intellectual and political phenomenon, but when it comes to making sense of climate-change zealotry, there are worse choices than Charles Mackay (1812–89), the author of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841), an acerbic, often drily amusing study of the frenzies — from witch mania to the tulip bubble — that regularly possess our supposedly sophisticated species.

“In reading the history of nations,” wrote Mackay, “we find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion and run after it.” One recurrent fantasy, he jeered, was that the last trumpet is ready to sound: “An epidemic terror of the end of the world has several times spread.”

This is not — exactly — to categorize alarm over the impact of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) as just another of these prophecies of doom. The notion that a sharp, man-made increase in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could have a significant effect on the climate is infinitely more soundly based than, say, the dodgy math of a Mayan apocalypse, but that — by itself — is not enough to explain why global warming has so evidently turned out to be the right fear at the right time. To learn more about that, The Age of Global Warming: A History, an intriguing new book (released in the U.K. in March) by the British writer Rupert Darwall (full disclosure: an old friend), is a good place to turn, but read some Mackay first.

To Darwall, “the science [of global warming] is weak, but the idea is strong.” He duly discusses some of the scientific controversies that have arisen, but the underlying objection to today’s scientific consensus on AGW set out in his book is more fundamental. Like Karl Popper, perhaps the last century’s most able philosopher of science, Darwall believes that the essence of a properly scientific theory is that it is falsifiable: “It should be capable of being tested against nature and therefore [potentially] refuted by evidence. . . . The more a theory states that certain things cannot happen, the stronger the theory is.” Put another way: What would it take to persuade believers in AGW or, more important, those concerned by what it could lead to, that they are mistaken? The answer is — let’s be polite — unclear.

Read the rest of this entry »


The New Climate Deniers

By Rich Lowry
There are few things sadder than the “climate denier.” He ignores the data and neglects the latest science. His rhetoric and policy proposals are dangerously disconnected from reality. He can’t recalibrate to take account of the latest evidence because, well, he’s a denier.

The new climate deniers are the liberals who, despite their obsession with climate change, have managed to miss the biggest story in climate science, which is that there hasn’t been any global warming for about a decade and a half.

“Over the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar,” The Economist writes. “The world added roughly 100 billion tons of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. That is about a quarter of all the CO2 put there by humanity since 1750.” Yet, no more warming.

The Economist has been decidedly alarmist on global warming through the years, so it deserves credit for pausing to consider why the warming trend it expected to continue has mysteriously stalled out.

The deniers feel no such compunction. They speak as if it is still the late 1990s, when measurements of global temperature had been rising for two decades. In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said that “we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science and act before it’s too late.” In a passage devoted to global warming, though, he didn’t mention the latest trend in global warming…

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