Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

Trump dooms planet, women and minorities hit hardest

Posted by Richard on June 1, 2017

I spent way more time than I should have on Twitter today, marveling at the collective freak-out over the President’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. And thoroughly enjoying the rejoinders to the Chicken Littles from some of the folks I follow.

Leonardo DiCaprio was an obvious and easy target.

Justin Trudeau got a good smack-down.

Yes, Mitt Romney wrung his hands over the decision, and Steve Kruiser made the obvious comment.

A tenured chair at Harvard spewed forth an interesting take on history that elicited countless reactions like David Burge’s.

I could go on and on. There was “conservative” columnist Jennifer Rubin, who hated the Paris Accord until Trump dumped it; now she loves it and is dismayed. There was the ACLU denouncing it as “an assault on communities of color” because more blacks live near coal plants. Doubling down on that, some senile California attorney declared that Trump did it “just because it was signed by our first black POTUS – yes, he is that racist.!!!!”

There are a bunch more, including a funny rejoinder to Michael Moore, in my timeline. Both the Federalist and Ricochet have compilations of some of the most panicky, over-the-top reactions to the President’s decision. And Twitchy is just full of related stuff.

But one of the things that really struck me was this: many of the same people who insisted that withdrawing from the Paris Accord would flood coastal cities, kill children, destroy the planet, etc., also insisted that withdrawing was stupid because the accord didn’t obligate us to do anything. Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Polar vortex update

Posted by Richard on December 17, 2016

As of 11:23 AM, the temperature in Denver has risen to 0°, with a wind chill of only -11°. There’s a good 6-7″ of fresh snow in my yard.

The “climate experts” assure me that this is due to anthropogenic global warming. So I’m going to do my part and not drive anywhere for the rest of the weekend.

UPDATE, 10:30 PM: We topped out at 3° this afternoon, a new record low high. Earlier this evening, it dropped to -15°, a new record low. But recently the wind shifted from the north to the south, so it’s “warmed up” to -3°. So I guess the worst is over.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Obama administration to regulate gas fireplaces

Posted by Richard on January 31, 2015

The Daily Caller headline reads “Feds To Regulate Fake Fireplaces To Stop Global Warming.”

Better go out and buy a gas fireplace and stove soon before federal regulations make them more expensive. Federal officials are looking to regulate the energy usage of fake fireplaces as part of the Obama administration’s effort to fight global warming.

I think they missed an opportunity there. The headline should have read “Feds To Regulate Fake Fireplaces To Pretend to Stop Fake Global Warming.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Green energy insanity

Posted by Richard on April 22, 2014

If you asked a bunch of economists to name the dumbest green energy idea, most would probably say it’s the ethanol mandate. Half the US corn crop is now turned into ethanol and poured into our gas tanks, causing the price of corn to more than double. That in turn has driven up food prices. Beef and pork are up almost 10% in just the past year. Other foods have become more expensive as well, as more and more acreage has been diverted from other crops to the more profitable corn. And of course, as with all green energy programs, we’re paying more for the energy we use. The effect here in the US is that we’re all made a little poorer. The effect on the world’s truly poor is much worse.

The idea is so bad that even environmentalists have turned against it, since it’s now clear that growing corn, turning it into ethanol, and blending it with gasoline actually produces more CO2 than just using gasoline alone. The only people left who like the idea are the ruling class Republicans and Democrats in Washington — it’s a combination of corporate welfare, crony socialism, and bureaucratic control of the economy that appeals to their basest instincts.

But as bad as the ethanol mandate is, now there’s something even dumber. The Brits have come up with a green energy project that’s so crazy-stupid it’s hard to believe. They’re going to clear-cut forests in North Carolina, turn the hundred-year-old trees into wood pellets, and ship a million metric tons of these wood pellets per year across the Atlantic to a power plant in Yorkshire, England. Where they’ll be burned to produce electricity. In place of coal.

Does it need to be pointed out that this insane idea will significantly increase the amount of CO2 produced by the power plant (20% more than burning coal, twice as much as natural gas)? And that the electricity produced will be far, far more expensive?

Presumably, the coal being displaced comes from nearby, perhaps Wales. What will become of it? Well, either less coal will be mined, and thus fewer miners employed, or the coal that the Brits can’t bring themselves to use will be loaded aboard ships and sent to someplace where green energy mania has not yet reached such heights — or is it depths? North Carolinians, Britons, and the planet will all be worse off.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Professor wants to jail climate change “deniers”

Posted by Richard on March 18, 2014

Michael Schaus at Townhall Finance:

An assistant philosophy professor at Rochester Institute of Technology has proposed a bold plan to settle the debate on Global Warming. Lawrence Torcello wrote an essay suggesting that scientists who fail to fall in line with global warming alarmists should be charged with criminal negligence, and possibly even be thrown in jail. Nothing screams academic freedom like a little intellectual Fascism. Right?

RTWT.

The safety and efficacy of vaccines is considered “settled science” in the medical community. So maybe we should jail Jenny McCarthy.

And a scientific consensus now exists that the federal corn ethanol mandate is actually bad for the environment. So maybe we should jail all the members of Congress who voted for it.

Hmm … now that I think about it, the latter idea sounds rather tempting.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Global warming will increase murders and rapes

Posted by Richard on February 28, 2014

It’s getting harder and harder to distinguish real news stories from stories you might see in The Onion. Global warming has already been blamed for droughts, floods, record heat, record cold, more hurricanes, fewer hurricanes, and earthquakes. Now an environmental economist has released a study, with support from Harvard, purporting to prove that global warming will lead to more murders and rapes between now and 2099:

Should global warming (or climate change, or whatever they decide to call it by then) continue, crime will increase — specifically, violent crime. By how much?

“[A]n additional 22,000 murders, 180,000 cases of rape, 1.2 million aggravated assaults, 2.3 million simple assaults, 260,000 robberies, 1.3 million burglaries, 2.2 million cases of larceny, and 580,000 cases of vehicle theft in the U.S.,” the study said.

The mind boggles.

HT: Steven Hayward (who noted “I love the precision of this forecast, which matches the faux-precision of temperature forecasts 100 years out”)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Researchers discover climate change skeptics aren’t ignorant

Posted by Richard on June 4, 2012

Everyone knows — at least among the liberal elite — that the people who question or reject the “settled science” of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are ignorant yahoos, right? Well, no. Not according to Yale University researchers who examined the “science literacy” and “numeracy” of climate change skeptics and true believers. It turns out that climate change skeptics are pretty scientifically literate and able to understand quantitative information.

The published information doesn’t reveal just how skeptics and true believers compare in their knowledge of science and ability to reason with numbers (a telling omission), but it’s clear that the results don’t conform to the prejudices of the cognoscenti. And the statements of one of the researchers suggest that (oh, the horror!) the skeptics may be more scientifically literate than the true believers (emphasis added):

“The aim of the study was to test two hypotheses,” said Dan Kahan, Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School and a member of the study team. “The first attributes political controversy over climate change to the public’s limited ability to comprehend science, and the second, to opposing sets of cultural values. The findings supported the second hypothesis and not the first,” he said.

… The results of the study were consistent with previous studies that show that individuals with more egalitarian values disagree sharply with individuals who have more individualistic ones on the risks associated with nuclear power, gun possession, and the HPV vaccine for school girls.

“In effect,” Kahan said, “ordinary members of the public credit or dismiss scientific information on disputed issues based on whether the information strengthens or weakens their ties to others who share their values. At least among ordinary members of the public, individuals with higher science comprehension are even better at fitting the evidence to their group commitments.”

So does the same reasoning apply to the scientists who’ve created the “consensus” about AGW — could they also be “fitting the evidence to their group commitments”? Could that explain the faking of the hockey stick and the fudging of data revealed in the leaked Hadley CRU emails? Of course not:

Kahan said that the study supports no inferences about the reasoning of scientific experts in climate change.

As for us “ordinary members of the public,” the “consensus” scientists have an explanation for our troubling insistence on doubting the “scientific consensus” despite our scientific literacy and numeracy (emphasis added):

Researcher Ellen Peters of Ohio State University said that people who are higher in numeracy and science literacy usually make better decisions in complex technical situations, but the study clearly casts doubt on the notion that the more you understand science and math, the better decisions you’ll make in complex and technical situations. “What this study shows is that people with high science and math comprehension can think their way to conclusions that are better for them as individuals but are not necessarily better for society.”

So if you’re scientifically literate and numerate and you accept the “consensus” view of AGW, it’s because that’s what’s best for society. But if you’re scientifically literate and numerate and you reject the “consensus” view of AGW, it’s because you’re a selfish bastard.

Glad we got that straightened out. I thought I was just an ignorant yahoo.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ski season is here

Posted by Richard on October 8, 2011

Wolf Creek Ski Area is opening Saturday, after getting three feet of snow earlier this week. They may have another eight inches or so by the time they open, with more snow falling throughout Saturday. This will be their earliest opening ever — by 19 days!

Here in Denver, it's going to drop to the low 30s tonight, along with rain mixed with snow, and the foothills west of town (down to about 6000 ft.) will get accumulating snow. 

I'm sure this is another sign of global warming. Somebody call Al Gore. 🙂 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

A basic question of judgment

Posted by Richard on June 25, 2011

Walter Russell Meade's latest is entitled The Failure of Al Gore: Part One. Part One? Really? This calm, measured essay utterly destroys any credibility the Goracle had and leaves him a wretched, quivering mass of inconsequential protoplasm, something from which one quickly looks away. A Part Two strikes me as completely unnecessary. Although I look forward to it with pleasure; I can be somewhat mean-spirited at times, and besides, Meade's wordsmithing is simply a delight.

By all means, read the whole thing. Here's just a smidgeon to whet your appetite: 

A fawning establishment press spares the former vice president the vitriol and schadenfreude it pours over the preachers and priests whose personal conduct compromised the core tenets of their mission; Gore is not mocked as others have been.  This gentle treatment hurts both Gore and the greens; he does not know just how disabling, how crippling the gap between conduct and message truly is.  The greens do not know that his presence as the visible head of the movement helps ensure its political failure.

Consider how Gore looks to the skeptics.  The peril is imminent, he says.  It is desperate.  The hands of the clock point to twelve.  The seas rise, the coral dies, the fires burn and the great droughts have already begun.  The hounds of Hell have slipped the huntsman’s leash and even now they rush upon us, mouths agape and fangs afoam.

But grave as that danger is, Al Gore can consume more carbon than whole villages in the developing world.  He can consume more electricity than most African schools, incur more carbon debt with one trip in a private plane than most of the earth’s toiling billions will pile up in a lifetime — and he doesn’t worry.  A father of four, he can lecture the world on the perils of overpopulation.  Surely, skeptics reason, if the peril were as great as he says and he cares about it as much as he claims, Gore’s sense of civic duty would call him to set an example of conspicuous non-consumption.  This general sleeps in a mansion, and lectures the soldiers because they want tents.

Marvelous.

(HT: Instapundit)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cold killed dolphins

Posted by Richard on March 5, 2011

I remember the story on NBC Nightly News, preceded by a warning about "disturbing images": dead baby dolphins were washing ashore on the Gulf Coast in unusually high numbers. The report mentioned that researchers were performing autopsies to determine the cause of the deaths, but made it clear that there was no doubt that the BP oil spill was to blame.

Oops, wrong. It seems that a precipitous drop in Mobile Bay water temperatures — caused by cold-water runoff after nearly unprecedented cold weather and snowfalls in the area — was the most likely culprit.

But BP won't get off the hook that easily. It won't be long before some clever leftist points out that, thanks to Al Gore and his acolytes at the IPCC, NOAA, and Hadley CRU, "everyone knows" the unusual cold and snow were caused by — wait for it — global warming! And of course, global warming is caused by those evil capitalist oil companies! Ipso facto, QED. Renewables! Renewables!

(HT: Instapundit)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Everything is a symptom of global warming

Posted by Richard on February 3, 2011

The blogosphere is abuzz about Al Gore's claim that recent heavy snowstorms are a symptom of global warming. But this is nothing new. Gore made the same claim in a New York Times op-ed last February.

This time, Gore quoted noted scientist Clarence Paige: 

Last week on his show Bill O’Reilly asked, “Why has southern New York turned into the tundra?” and then said he had a call into me. I appreciate the question.

As it turns out, the scientific community has been addressing this particular question for some time now and they say that increased heavy snowfalls are completely consistent with what they have been predicting as a consequence of man-made global warming:

“In fact, scientists have been warning for at least two decades that global warming could make snowstorms more severe. Snow has two simple ingredients: cold and moisture. Warmer air collects moisture like a sponge until it hits a patch of cold air. When temperatures dip below freezing, a lot of moisture creates a lot of snow.”

“A rise in global temperature can create all sorts of havoc, ranging from hotter dry spells to colder winters, along with increasingly violent storms, flooding, forest fires and loss of endangered species.”

Eleven years ago, scientists at East Anglia's Hadley CRU (yes, the epicenter of ClimateGate) warned that global warming would make snowfalls a thing of the past

Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain's culture, as warmer winters – which scientists are attributing to global climate change – produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.

… According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event".

To the true believers in anthropogenic global warming, everything fits their theory: droughts or floods; warm, dry winters or cold, snowy ones; more hurricanes or fewer. As Paige put it, "all sorts of havoc" are consistent with global warming. Nothing that happens can ever cast doubt on their "settled science." Nothing can serve as evidence against their claims.

A claim that isn't falsifiable isn't science. It's religion.

UPDATE: More evidence of global warming. Instapundit wondered if it's time to "Party like it’s 1046?"

Last Thursday, Denver hit 70°. Since then, we've had a record low high of -1°, followed by a low of -17° and wind chills of -25° to -40°. Those cheap homes in Phoenix are starting to look more appealing.

Although, if another Little Ice Age is about to begin (and some people, including reputable scientists, think it is), Tucson might be a better bet. Or, better yet, Costa Rica or Belize. Maybe I should look into Rosetta Stone and learn some Español. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Great moments in environmentalism, part 1

Posted by Richard on January 28, 2011

Scientists at Carnegie's Department of Global Ecology and the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology claim their "research" shows that if you kill enough people over a long-enough period of time, it's good for the environment:

His empire lasted a century and a half and eventually covered nearly a quarter of the earth's surface. His murderous Mongol armies were responsible for the massacre of as many as 40 million people. Even today, his name remains a byword for brutality and terror. But boy, was Genghis green.

Genghis Khan, in fact, may have been not just the greatest warrior but the greatest eco-warrior of all time, according to a study by the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Energy. It has concluded that the 13th-century Mongol leader's bloody advance, laying waste to vast swaths of territory and wiping out entire civilisations en route, may have scrubbed 700m tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere – roughly the quantity of carbon dioxide generated in a year through global petrol consumption – by allowing previously populated and cultivated land to return to carbon-absorbing forest.

Apparently, the "research" was all done with today's favorite science toy, computer models. Why bother with all that tedious gathering of empirical data or messy experiments, when you can just write software that embodies your assumptions and cranks out conclusions? ("What are you going to believe, reality or my carefully constructed, elaborate, and expensive computer model?")

They had a lively and fun discussion in the comments at Mother Nature Network. The defenders of this "research" insisted that it was just a study, not advocacy, and everyone should calm down. But I can't help but think that the environmentalists who publish such dispassionate, objective studies are only one part of a green movement that includes many passionate advocates. And the eco-fascists of the green movement have a long history of expressing sentiments like these

We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion — guilt-free at last! — Stewart Brand

We advocate biodiversity for biodiversity’s sake. It may take our extinction to set things straight — David Foreman, Earth First!

If radical environmentalists were to invent a disease to bring human populations back to sanity, it would probably be something like AIDS — Earth First! Newsletter

Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, is not as important as a wild and healthy planets…Some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along. — David Graber, biologist, National Park Service

The collective needs of non-human species must take precedence over the needs and desires of humans. — Dr. Reed F. Noss, The Wildlands Project

If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels. — Prince Phillip, World Wildlife Fund

I wonder what these scientists are working on next — maybe a computer model to determine whether the ecological benefits of the Third Reich's population reduction efforts outweighed the harm done by the emissions from those ovens? 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Yet another climate scare

Posted by Richard on August 3, 2010

You've got to hand it to the True Believers in anthropogenic global warming — they just don't quit. Some of their leading lights were pretty thoroughly disgraced, and the laughable "investigations" that purported to clear them have been torn to shreds. But that doesn't stop them. They just crank up a new computer model, feed it a handful of dubious data, and it spits out a new prediction of the dire consequences of climate change.

Case in point: Princeton "environmental scientist" Michael Oppenheimer and some economist colleagues have come up with a computer model predicting that, by 2080 (!), as much as 10% of Mexico's adult population, or 6.7 million people, will migrate to the US due to climate change. Really.

The University of Colorado's Roger Pielke (who thinks "climate change is real and worthy of our attention") didn't mince words regarding the value of this study: 

To be blunt, the paper is guesswork piled on top of "what ifs" built on a foundation of tenuous assumptions. …

To use this paper as a prediction of anything would be a mistake. It is a tentative sensitivity study of the effects of one variable on another, where the relationship between the two is itself questionable but more importantly, dependent upon many other far more important factors. … It is almost as if the paper is written to be misinterpreted.

… The paper reflects a common pattern in the climate impacts literature of trying to pin negative outcomes on climate change using overly simplistic methods and ignoring those factors other than climate which have far more effect.

A commenter on Pielke's post pointed out that the math makes little sense:

"The silly PNAS paper makes three mistakes"

add another oops..

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mx.html

Total mexican labor forces 46.2 million
Percentage involved in agriculture 13.7%.

46.2 * 13.7% = 6.3 million agricultural workers.

Projecting more then 100% of the Mexican Agricultural labor force emigrating due to 'tough times on the farm' seems somewhat unrealistic.

Tom Nelson noted that, according to a 2007 NewsBusters post, Michael Oppenheimer is a "science adviser" to the radical Environmental Defense Fund who helped NBC News smear "global warming deniers." 

I can't wait to see what the next climate scare will be. I'm surprised, really, that someone hasn't come up with a computer model blaming climate change for all the foreclosures, the persistent unemployment, and the failure of the economy to recover during "Recovery Summer." After all, that "blame Bush" mantra is getting pretty stale. 

UPDATE: It occurs to me that, as I was writing the above, I forgot that this stupid study projects migration through 2080 — I suppose because that's such a ludicrously long period of time that it didn't really sink in. That means that both Oppenheimer's claim that the total migration amounts to 10% of the current adult Mexican population and the observation of the commenter I quoted that it represents more than 100% of the current agricultural labor force are pointless and meaningless.

Over the 70 years covered by the computer model's projection, most of the current population of Mexico will have died and been replaced by succeeding generations (and total population will have grown). How the total number of migrants over such a long period compares with the current population doesn't matter. How does the annual rate compare with the current rate? The study claims up to 6.7 million will migrate over 70 years. OK, that's a maximum of not quite 100,000 per year.

In 2008, FAIR (an anti-illegal-immigration organization) claimed the annual rate of illegal immigration was 500,000, and they cited an INS figure of 350,000. So the Oppenheimer study's claim of what amounts to less than 100,000 is far less than the current level. Are they saying the current rate will increase by that amount? That's not what the news stories about the study suggest. They suggest that the 6.7 million number is absolute, not relative. If so, their computer model predicts a significant decline in illegal immigration due to "climate change."

If the study suggests an incremental increase by that amount — well, they should say so. And it's fairly modest as such things go — I'll bet the rate varies by more than 20% depending on economic conditions on both sides of the border. 

Either way, this study is garbage, and the way they present it is misleading, mendacious fear-mongering. Typical of global warming "science." 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bonfires and inanities

Posted by Richard on June 10, 2008

For the second time in four years, Seattle Parks and Recreation tried last week to ban beach bonfires (they’re already restricted to a handful of fire rings and require a permit). Why? To save the planet, of course:

According to a memo to the park board from the staff released Thursday, “The overall policy question for the Board is whether it is good policy for Seattle Parks to continue public beach fires when the carbon … emissions produced by thousands of beach fires per year contributes to global warming.”

Apparently, they’ve again backed down — at least for now. But this is yet another illustration of how immune to reason, logic, and reality the AGW true believers are. Banning bonfires to prevent global warming is only slightly less inane and absurd than banning pictures of guns on T-shirts to prevent plane hijackings.

Meanwhile in California, development is grinding to a halt and the Governator has declared an official statewide drought because of a water supply crisis. What caused this crisis? The New York Times story doesn’t mention the precipitating event until paragraph 18 (emphasis added):

Even more significant, a judge in federal district court last year issued a curtailment in pumping from the California Delta — where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers meet and provide water to roughly 25 million Californians — to protect a species of endangered smelt that were becoming trapped in the pumps. Those reductions, from December to June, cut back the state’s water reserves this winter by about one third, according to a consortium of state water boards.

So 25 million of California’s 38 million residents have their water supply threatened in order to prevent a two-inch fish from meeting its demise in a water pump instead of in the mouth of a larger fish. Unbelievable.

These Gaia-worshipping eco-nuts are at base profoundly anti-human. When a lightning-caused wildfire consumes thousands of acres of forest, they say it should be allowed to burn because that’s “nature’s way.” But when humans harvest trees, they say that’s raping the land — and an infinitesimally smaller bonfire on a beach threatens the planet. When beavers dam a creek and flood a mountain valley, they say it’s natural and beautiful. But when humans do the same thing, they call it despoliation. No one gives a moment’s thought to the farts of bears, bison, or wildebeest. But the farts of our livestock are a cause for grave concern.

To the environmentalist true believers, every species of plant, animal, fungus, and microbe on Earth is entitled to live in the manner to which it’s suited — except human beings. They look upon their own species as alien interlopers who threaten the pristine perfection that would exist if we all just went away. It’s the Bambi and Peaceable Kingdom myths commingled with a deep-seated self-loathing, and it’s disgusting.

(HT: Skeptics Global Warming)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »