Were I the editor of the morning paper, I would’ve been sorely tempted to insert a “refer” in the 4A story about Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calling for nearly half a trillion dollars in subsidies to replace internal combustion engine vehicles with electric ones.
No, not that kind. In the newspaper biz a “refer” is a reference to another section or page on a related topic — like the one on today’s front page directing readers to a story inside related to the one about the dental board.
The Schumer news story simply cried out for a reference to today’s lede editorial about the futility of trying to reduce carbon emissions by coercing and bribing more people into electric cars.
The news story by the AP quotes Schumer as saying the “proposal to bring clean cars to all of America” would be a key part of climate legislation by Senate Democrats that “could position the U.S. to lead the world in clean auto manufacturing.”
The editorial on the other hand points out the huge carbon footprint created by the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries and the fact the electric cars are charged largely by fossil-fuel-burning power plants.
The editorial correctly explains the error of the Senate Democrats’ ways:
The lithium batteries that power electric cars have to come from somewhere. China produces 60 percent of the world’s supply, notwithstanding Northern Nevada’s Tesla plant. To produce a battery able to store as much energy as is contained in a barrel of oil, it requires the equivalent of 100 barrels of oil. That’s according to Manhattan Institute senior fellow Mark P. Mills.
“Importing batteries manufactured on Asia’s coal-heavy grid means that consumers are just exporting carbon-dioxide emissions,” Mr. Mills wrote recently in City Journal.
The Wall Street Journal reported in April on a German study finding that, given the country’s energy makeup, “the carbon emissions of battery-electric vehicles there, are, in the best case, ‘slightly higher than those of a diesel engine.’ ”
The carbon emissions don’t stop once the car is produced. Electric cars are charged on the grid. Coal and natural gas — both fossil fuels — produced 63 percent of that power in 2018. Almost 20 percent comes from nuclear power and 7 percent is from hydropower. Despite decades of hype and subsidies, wind and solar produced just a bit more than 8 percent. Solar and wind generation will likely increase in the coming decades, but absent an embrace of nuclear power, fossil fuels will be necessary to balance out the grid.
The factual opinion piece concludes by pointing out that electric cars merely exchange carbon emissions you can see for those you can’t — something the climate alarmists fail to grasp.
But since news and opinion are to be kept at arm’s length, I probably would have resisted inserting the “refer,” though it would’ve been a service to the reader and hardly madness.
Electric vehicle being charged. Photo accompanies R-J editorial online. (R-J file pix)
A Labor Day weekend editorial in the L.A. Times informs us that climate change is going to make wildfires worse, but that thinning forests can help.
But the writers just may have — perhaps inadvertently? — put their finger on something other than the usual suspects — cars and power plants — for so-called climate change.
While the newspaper informs its readers that a recent climate study warns large fires are likely to increase 50 percent by the end of the century and acreage burned each year could double or even quadruple due to warming temperatures, it also makes the observation that fire is not necessarily bad for forests.
“California used to burn with regularity, and low-intensity fires are vital in some ecosystems to clear excess brush and small trees from the landscape. But there’s been a change in fire behavior over the last century, as the state and federal government began dousing the blazes,” the editorial notes. “Decades of fire suppression have allowed forests to grow dense with trees. Combined with drought, insect infestations and the stress of a warming climate, those management practices have led to more intense and destructive fires that are more dangerous to people living near the forests and more damaging to air quality.”
As for the source of some of those greenhouse gases said to be causing the projected temperature spike, it is reported that fires are a contributor as well as a result. “The U.S. Forest Service estimated that the Rim Fire near Yosemite in 2013 emitted as much greenhouse gas as more than 2 million cars driven over a year,” the editorial explains.
Of course, on this Labor Day weekend the paper could not pass up the chance to dismiss the benefits of commercial logging that creates jobs. “There is a real concern that, in the name of fire prevention, the Trump administration will relax environmental laws to allow more commercial logging in the national forests,” the paper warns. “Commercial loggers typically want the larger, healthier trees that are more fire resistant; they can’t make a profit cutting the younger trees and brush that are the biggest wildfire risk.”
Pointing out the state plans to spend $1 billion over the next five years to thin forest by cutting and burning, the conclusion is that the private section must also contribute but for environmental and public safety reasons, and not just for sordid greedy profit motives.
The paper admits that poor forest management, in other words fire suppression, has contributed to the problem of massive wildfires, but balks at a solution that benefits both the economy and the environment. Typical.
Firefighters battle a California fire a month ago. (AP pix via L.A. Times)
Obama on Wednesday during a televised interview linked climate change to the rise of dangerous ideologies.
“What we know is that — as human beings are placed under strain, then bad things happen,” the president said. “And, you know, if you look at world history, whenever people are desperate, when people start lacking food, when people — are not able to make a living or take care of their families — that’s when ideologies arise that are dangerous.”
Though the cause was economic collapse and not climate change, desperate people lacking food and jobs is what gave us the New Deal and 85 years of progressive erosion of federalism.
Poor pumpkin patch output? Blame climate change. (Bloomberg photo via Washington Post)
People used to blame things on gnomes, trolls and leprechauns, but no more. Anything that goes afoul of your wishes or expectations, you can blame climate change — your all-purpose go-to for attribution and accusation.
Why just today, the Las Vegas newspaper has a front page story heralding — without tongue anywhere near the cheek — that the poor Thanksgiving season pumpkin crop can be blamed on climate change. This is because of wet weather in the Midwest caused by, of course, climate change.
“Numerous studies have warned that the effects of climate change, including changes in temperature and precipitation and more frequent and intense severe weather events, droughts, fires, floods and other natural disasters, could have major impacts on agriculture all over the world,” the freelance writer for The Washington Post recounts faithfully from the dogma of climate change bible.
You see climate change causes droughts and rainfall.
That’s why the nut crops in California are poor due the drought caused by climate change.
Poor nut crops due to climate change caused drought.
Pay no attention that outmoded and now replaced Bible that spoke of seven years of lean followed by seven years of fat, nor the research that found levels of the Nile River recorded from AD 622 through 1922 that found a seven-year cycle of high and low river levels.
Wildfires in the West, blame it on climate change. Harry Reid does. “We have climate change. It’s here. You can’t deny it,” Reid told the Las Vegas newspaper. “Why do you think we are having all these fires?”
Syrian civil war? Blame climate change. Prince Charles does. “He told Sky News that ‘one of the major reasons for this horror in Syria’ is a years-long drought which meant that ‘huge numbers of people’ had to leave. He said climate change had a ‘huge impact’ on conflict and extremism,” according to the New York Post.
National security threatened? It is climate change that causes that. “I am here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and, make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country,” Obama told graduates of the Coast Guard Academy. “And so we need to act, and we need to act now” — before we run out of pumpkins.
Low birth rate in the U.S.? Blame climate change. Too hot to cuddle. “The data showed that on average between 1931 through 2010, each hot day resulted in 1,165 fewer baby births across the United States some nine months later,” Reuters reported with an apparently straight face.
Got a poor report card? Pull out the all-purpose, all-occasion, go-to troll and blame climate change. Too hot to study. That’s the ticket.
It seems entirely appropriate that a man whose life’s preoccupation is a matter of faith would go before Congress and preach about the need to combat climate change.
“I call for a courageous and responsible effort to ‘redirect our steps,’ and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States — and this Congress — have an important role to play,” Pope Francis said in his prepared speech.
“Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a culture of care and an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature,” the pope said.
Pay no attention to the fact that all the global warming models have been wrong for 20 years, have faith and believe. Oh yes, and tithe. Above all tithe — with higher power bills, a weaker economy and fewer jobs. This will affect especially the poor, who Obama and the pope claim to care about.
“The tremendous reduction in absolute poverty since 1990 — from about 50% to under 20% of the human race — has been driven in large part by increasing access to abundant, affordable, reliable energy derived mostly from fossil fuels,” said Cornwall Alliance Founder and National Spokesman Dr. E. Calvin Beisner. “It would be a great tragedy to slow, stop, or reverse that trend in the name of fighting global warming, a phenomenon that is turning out to be much smaller than earlier thought.”
Though the climate models predicted a warming of 0.3 degrees Celsius over the past 17 years, there has been none, even though the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere rose 8 percent during that time — which represents 34 percent of all extra CO2 added to the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution.
But I’m sure Harry Reid, John Kerry and Al Gore were in amen corner applauding the pope’s every word. Never let the facts get in the way of the other guy’s need to sacrifice for your cause.
“We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind.”
Hillary Clinton speaks in Des Moines about solar panels. (AP photo)
Hillary Clinton is in a corral with a charging bull but worries there might be a mouse on the loose.
In a speech in Des Moines, the text of which was emailed to supporters, Clinton called climate change “one of the most urgent threats of our time, and we have no choice but to rise and meet it.” To do this she proposed putting solar panels on every house in the country. “Not some homes. Not most homes. Every home in America.”
This trillion-dollar expenditure of our money is intended to stop the planet from warming 1 or 2 degrees over the next century.
Meanwhile, there is a little issue that has not been recognized by any presidential candidate and darned few lawmakers — the threat of electromagnetic pulse or EMP, which could be caused by a solar flare or a high-altitude nuclear detonation.
Former Central Intelligence Agency Director R. James Woolsey recently testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, warning that EMP is “a clear and present danger and that something must be done to protect the electric grid and other life sustaining critical infrastructures — immediately.”
While Clinton’s solar panels would cost trillions, hardening the grid to protect against EMP would cost only a couple of billion.
Woolsey, now the chairman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, testified:
“Continued inaction by Washington will make inevitable a natural or manmade EMP catastrophe that, as the Congressional EMP Commission warned, could kill up to 90 percent of the national population through starvation, disease, and societal collapse. Indeed, some actions taken by the Congress, the White House and the federal bureaucracy are impeding solutions, making the nation more vulnerable, and helping the arrival of an EMP catastrophe.”
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is prattling on about how she will: “Transform our grid to give Americans more control over the energy they produce and consume.”
If there is a grid to transform, she would make it far more difficult to maintain, because solar power is intermittent and fluctuates with every passing cloud, much less nightfall.
But it would certainly line the pockets of some here biggest supporters. According to the Washington Examiner, some of the largest solar contractors in the country — First Solar, NRG Energy and SolarCity, to name a few — have financial ties to the Clintons.
Clinton also pointed out one of the biggest problems with her solar panel proposal, and that is other countries are not cutting their carbon outputs and are in fact increasing the use of cheaper coal.
“We also have to mobilize an unprecedented global commitment to reduce carbon emissions around the world,” she said. “And I know firsthand from my time as Secretary of State that America’s ability to lead the world on this issue hinges on our commitment to act ourselves. No country will fall in line just because we tell them to. They need to see us taking significant steps of our own.”
Atop the White House web page today is a link to an 840-page report on how climate change is affecting us all right here and now by damaging the economy.
In the portion on the Southwest, the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment warns that agriculture will be harmed by continued drought “and more rapid changes in the seasonal timing of crop development due to projected warming and extreme events,” ignoring the fact that crops are being decimated now, not by climate change, but because hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of fresh water have been dumped into the Pacific Ocean in a futile gesture to preserve the habitat of some rare minnow.
Parched Southwest as shown in White House propaganda document
The report goes on to say, “The decade 2001-2010 was the warmest in the 110-year instrumental record, with temperatures almost 2°F higher than historic averages, with fewer cold air outbreaks and more heat waves.” A century does not a climate make.
“The Southwest is prone to drought,” the report shockingly informs us. “Southwest paleoclimate records show severe mega-droughts at least 50 years long. Future droughts are projected to be substantially hotter, and for major river basins such as the Colorado River Basin, drought is projected to become more frequent, intense, and longer lasting than in the historical record.”
It does not mention that the 21st century was probably the wettest on record and what we are calling a drought may well be the normal climate for this region.
The problem with the water supply is, as I’ve long argued, is that the supply is treated like a communal commodity instead of something to be sold in an open market where price can dictate supply to the highest and best use. Today the few remaining editorialists at the Review-Journal agreed.
The report further notes the potential for increased wildfires, without a passing mention of the fact the wildfires have increased dramatically due not to drought but to mismanagement of public land by federal agencies that have let grass and brush grow unchecked by reducing grazing by cattle and sheep. Each major wildfire kills thousands of the very animals the federal agencies claim they want to protect.
But just to have it both ways so they can say I told you so no matter what happens, the report forecasts, “An increase in winter flood hazard risk in rivers is projected due to increases in flows of atmospheric moisture into California’s coastal ranges and the Sierra Nevada. These ‘atmospheric rivers’ have contributed to the largest floods in California history and can penetrate inland as far as Utah and New Mexico.”
The researchers at Heritage picked out a few of the claims in the huge report for specific refutation:
NCA Quote: “the frequency and intensity of some extreme weather events are increasing”
Reality: The latest report on the science from The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and analysis provided by the adminstration’s own National Climatic Data Center conclude that there isn’t a case for extreme weather increases – no significant trends for floods, droughts, hurricanes or tornadoes.
NCA Quote: “In Arctic Alaska, the summer sea ice that once protected the coasts has receded”
Reality: Global warming is supposedly global. Global sea ice (Arctic and Antarctic) is above average and, for this time of year, it is at its highest level in 30 years, which is the third-highest on record.
The authors apparently do not think anybody is checking their statements or they couldn’t possibly think they would get away with this one:
NCA Quote: “It is notable that as these data records have grown longer and climate models have become more comprehensive, earlier predictions have largely been confirmed.”
Reality: The past 15 years have seen the climate model predictions stray farther and farther from actual temperatures (here and here). Last year, prominent climatologist, Hans von Storch, said, “If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models.” Maybe Professor von Storch needs four more years to be sure the models are wrong, but there are no grounds on which the models can be declared “confirmed.” Instead, the predictions are getting worse and worse.
As the editorialists at Investor’s Business Daily point out, the whole thing is a propaganda ploy. It is not science, merely politics and a distraction from real problems with the economy and global politics.
It is another excuse to shred the Constitution. “Obama’s top political adviser, John Podesta, has made it clear what the White House is doing.” IBD noted. “The president plans to issue executive orders under the Clean Air Act to cap carbon dioxide emissions — and use them to control the entire economy.”
Of course Harry Reid, who has long been pushing green energy alternatives supplied by his campaign contributors, immediately jumped into the fray this morning and blamed everything on his favorite whipping boys:
And this illustrates Harry’s problem using his own favorite analogy provided by his wife Landra:
A Democratic staff member wheels graphs into the Senate chamber before an all-night session on climate change. (New York Times photo)
Noted climate scientist Harry Reid took to the floor of the Senate during that gab-a-thon in which he and a gaggle of other like-minded senators spent Monday night and Tuesday morning telling everyone who has any doubts whatsoever about the doom and gloom urgency of global warming, climate change or extreme weather or whatever they are calling it this week, since the facts keep getting in the way of their theories, to basically sit down and shut up.
In his prepared remarks, from which he strayed repeatedly with pointless asides and feigned astonishment, Reid preached:
“And I am grateful to Senator Schatz, Senator Whitehouse and Senator Boxer – and many other Senators who will join this climate change debate tonight – for standing up to the deniers. It’s time to stop acting like those who ignore this crisis – the oil baron Koch brothers and their allies in Congress – have a valid point of view.
“In the last few years alone, the Midwest has experienced the most punishing drought since the Great Depression, wildfires have ravaged the west and the mighty Mississippi River nearly ran dry. While record drought afflicted some parts of the United States, torrential rains and extreme thunderstorms struck others. Temperatures topped 60 degrees in Alaska in January, but February brought a blanket of snow and ice to Atlanta, Georgia.
“In other parts of the world glaciers and ice sheets that have been frozen for tens of thousands of years are melting. Fires have consumed vast forests and monsoons and super-floods have left millions homeless. And since the New Year, the United Kingdom has had its wettest winter since the 1800’s, Tokyo was blanketed with four years’ worth of snow and Australia experienced its hottest summer on record.
“Scientists say this is just the beginning. Dozens of reports from scientists around the globe link extreme weather to climate change. And the more extreme climate change gets, the more extreme the weather will get.”
On the other hand, a real climate scientist, Madhav Khandekar — a former research scientist from Environment Canada and was an Expert Reviewer for the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 2007 climate change documents — has a somewhat different take on whether we are experiencing extreme weather.
Khandekar notes there has been a warming pause for 16 years and asks how recent extreme weather events could be attributed to warming of the Earth’s climate when it hasn’t happened?
• Many climate scientists and environmentalists have attributed recent extreme weather events to the warming of the Earth’s climate. However, this attribution is not substantiated at this point in time. A careful assessment of many well-publicized extreme weather events of the last ten years suggests that they are due to natural climate variability.
• Hurricanes and tropical storms do not show increasing trends in frequency or in intensity.
• When closely examined there appears to be no increase in extreme weather events in recent years compared to the period 1945–77, when the Earth’s mean temperature was declining. …
• Cold weather extremes have definitely increased in recent years; for example, the severe winters in Europe (2012/13, 2011/12, 2009/10) and North America (2012/13, 2007/08). There have also been colder winters in parts of Asia (2012/13, 2002/03) and South America (2007, 2010 and 2013).
• The Earth’s climate may witness cold as well as warm weather extremes in future (between now and 2025). …
A final comment: global warming and extreme weather pose no threat to humanity, either at present or in the next ten to twenty-five years.
But Reid says the debate over, done with, fini. “Climate change is real. It’s here,” Reid said, adding that it was time to stop acting as if those who ignore it “have a valid point of view. They don’t.”
Tell that to the The Right Climate Stuff research team, more than 25 retired NASA Apollo Program veterans who have been studying scientific claims of significant Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).
Among their conclusions:
“It is scientifically embarrassing that the EPA has declared CO2 to be a pollutant that must be regulated, since it is a naturally occurring substance required to sustain human, animal and plant life, and for which there is no substitute.
“We have concluded that the IPCC climate models are seriously flawed because they don’t agree very closely with measured empirical data. After a 35 year simulation the models over-predicted actual measured temperatures by factors of 200% to 750%. One could hardly expect them to predict with better accuracy 300 years into the future required for use in regulatory decisions. …
“There is no convincing evidence that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) will produce catastrophic climate changes. AGW can only produce modest amounts of global warming that will likely be beneficial when the substantial benefits to crop production from more CO2 in the atmosphere are considered.”
May I remind the senior senator from Nevada of what John Stuart Mill wrote in “On Liberty” in 1859:
“If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. Were an opinion a personal possession of no value except to the owner; if to be obstructed in the enjoyment of it were simply a private injury, it would make some difference whether the injury was inflicted only on a few persons or on many. But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
“It is necessary to consider separately these two hypotheses, each of which has a distinct branch of the argument corresponding to it. We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.”
Evil, Harry, evil.
But none of that will stop Harry’s attempts to shutdown the debate and funnel more money to his green energy cronies:
It is so reassuring to read that the L.A. Times has risen above the muck and mire of mere print journalism and declared itself to be the “News Bible” — containing only infallible, inerrant and unerring truths — especially when it comes to the gospel according to St. Gore.
In an Oct. 8 screed under the headline “On letters from climate-change denier,” letters editor of the Times Paul Thornton declares, “Simply put, I do my best to keep errors of fact off the letters page; when one does run, a correction is published. Saying ‘there’s no sign humans have caused climate change’ is not stating an opinion, it’s asserting a factual inaccuracy.”
Photo accompanying piece declaring no letters to editor questioning climate change will be printed in the L.A. Times. (Getty Images)
He doesn’t say what he would do if he got a letter saying mankind has surely had some impact on the planet’s atmosphere but we’re still awaiting scientific evidence that the United States alone can return the climate to “normal” — whatever that is — by crippling the economy with carbon taxes and saddling businesses and residences with higher power bills due to the outrageous cost of wind turbines and solar panels.
No, Thornton will take his cue from the acolytes of the Church of Green.
“I’m no expert when it comes to our planet’s complex climate processes or any scientific field. Consequently, when deciding which letters should run among hundreds on such weighty matters as climate change, I must rely on the experts — in other words, those scientists with advanced degrees who undertake tedious research and rigorous peer review,” Thornton writes.
“And those scientists have provided ample evidence that human activity is indeed linked to climate change. Just last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — a body made up of the world’s top climate scientists — said it was 95% certain that we fossil-fuel-burning humans are driving global warming. The debate right now isn’t whether this evidence exists (clearly, it does) but what this evidence means for us.”
How about allowing a letter writer to point out that none of the infallible climate change models predicted that, despite huge increases in carbon output, that there would be no appreciable increase in global temperatures for 15 years? Would that be a heresy? Or a factual inaccuracy? Just asking.
Nothing to debate here. Move along now. The priests of global warming have spoken and let none utter blasphemy from the back pews. Besides, it is only those infidel conservatives who deign to question the divinely inspired scriptures according to St. Gore.
Nevada’s junior senator, Dean Heller, took to the floor of the Senate earlier this month to berate the sweeping abuses and arrogance of federal bureaucrats in general and specifically the federal satraps who tried to bankrupt the Hage family ranch near Tonopah — as well as the IRS targeting groups for their political views and the NSA confiscating mass amounts of private data.
Dean Heller talks about how federal land agencies abuse property rights. (R-J photo)
His remarks were in stark contrast to those Nevada’s senior senator, Harry Reid, who ignored the mismanagement of federal public lands in Nevada and instead blamed recent wildfires solely on global warming, as reported in this week’s newspaper column, available online at The Ely Times and the Elko Daily Free Press.
In a scathing 104-page opinion a Nevada federal judge lambasted the BLM and the Forest Service for behavior that “shocks the conscience” of the court, accusing federal officials of attempting to bankrupt the Hage family ranch by entering into “a literal, intentional conspiracy to deprive the Hages not only of their permits but also of their vested water rights.”
Heller said of that court ruling: “The court found that for more than two decades, federal officials entrusted with responsibly managing public lands actively conspired to deprive Wayne Hage, and his father’s estate, of their grazing permits and their water rights. In its decision, the court ruled that ‘the government had abused its discretion through a series of actions designed to strip the estate of its grazing permits, and of the ability to use water rights.’”
Meanwhile, Reid, while talking to reporters about the wildfires that swept vast swaths of Nevada from Clark to Elko counties, said, “Why are we having them? Because we have climate change. Things are different. The forests are drier, the winters are shorter, and we have these terrible fires all over the West. … We have climate change. It’s here. You can’t deny it. Why do you think we are having all these fires?”
Harry Reid blames climate change for wildfires. (AP photo)
Pay no heed to the fact that in 1968 the Interior and Agriculture departments largely ended the decades long practice of prescribed burns to reduce the underbrush and other flammable contributors to fires or that since then the annual acreage burned in wildfires has grown exponentially.
Before 1980, less than 25,000 acres of Nevada burned in wildfires each year. The acreage has now increased to more than 600,000 acres each year. The carbon output of Western fires has increased from 9 million tons a year in the 1980s to more than 22 million.
Pay no attention to the fact there has been no appreciable global warming in 15 years despite a dramatic increase in carbon output from all sources — a phenomenon none of the global warming models can explain.
Taxpayers are paying to fight fires that should have been prevented by federal land agencies.
At least one Nevada senator is capable of correctly assessing blame.
Read the entire column at the Ely or Elko websites.
Smoke billows from fire near Mount Charleston. (R-J photo)