In honor of the passing of Davey Jones
February 2012 Archives
by Walter Starck, Doomed Palnet
Although climate alarmists have attempted to present the public release of the Heartland Institute documents as being a scandal for climate sceptics comparable to the one Climategate has been for AGW proponents, the comparison is spurious in several key respects:
- Heartland is a private advocacy group, whereas Climategate involved publicly funded scientific research.
- Climategate entailed a legal and ethical obligation to FOI. Heartland does not.
- The Heartland documents were obtained by criminal impersonation of a Heartland board member. It is unknown if the Climategate documents were obtained illegally or were released by a whistle blower.
- No malfeasance was revealed in the Heartland documents. The Climategate documents exposed multiple ongoing instances of scientific misconduct and conspiracy to illegally thwart FOI requests.
- The only Heartland document suggesting anything less than entirely ethical intent has been denounced as a fabrication and there is strong evidence to support this claim. The authenticity of the Climategate documents has never been denied by any of those involved.
- The very modest remuneration provided by Heartland to a few researchers for their assistance becomes a pathetic joke in contrast to the multiple orders of magnitude greater personal remuneration plus million dollar research grants received by leading climate alarmists.
Debt Has Reached 101% of our Gross Domestic Product.
By Ron Paul, Prisonplanet.com
Senator Jeff Sessions, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee has pointed out that our per capita government debt is already larger than Greece's. Per person, our government owes over $49,000 compared to $38,937 per Greek citizen. Our debt has just reached 101% of our Gross Domestic Product. Our creditors see this and have quietly slowed down or stopped their lending to us. As a result, the Federal Reserve has been outright monetizing debt as a way to patch things together and keep the economy on life support a little longer. There is rapidly shrinking demand for our debt, and confidence in the dollar is falling. This phenomenon is hidden only by the fact that confidence in all other fiat currencies is falling faster.
None of this seems to really alarm the administration, obviously, as they have just released a budget that accelerates spending and borrowing. The reason the debt and deficits plague the economy, according to this administration, is that the American economy is not taxed enough. Therefore, hidden in the fine print of the budget is a provision that ramps up the corporate dividends tax rate from its current 15% to 39.6%. In addition, certain deductions and exemptions will be phased out; an additional 3.8% Obamacare investment tax surcharge will be tacked on, bringing the effective dividend tax rate to 44.8% in 2013. Keep in mind, this is not just a tax on big business, this is a tax on anyone who depends on dividend income to live - retirees will be hit hard by these changes and dividend yielding stock prices will adjust downward rapidly to reflect their decreased value.
Bald eagles won an unexpected victory Thursday when Minnesota regulators delayed a wind farm near Red Wing for at least a year because the developer failed to produce an adequate plan to protect America's national symbol and other flying creatures.
Local residents who have been fighting the 48-turbine farm for years hugged each other and wiped away tears when the three-member Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted 2-1 to deny the plan. The PUC demanded that AWA Goodhue Wind, owned by Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, provide better research on how many eagles and bats fly through or near the site, which is prime hunting and nesting territory.
"I don't think that the American people are ready to watch Minnesota's nesting bald eagles be destroyed on behalf of a Texas millionaire," said Mary Hartman, a local resident.
Company officials declined to comment afterward. Neither did their local supporters, who rode together on a chartered bus.
The hearing reflected the emerging conflict between the demand for clean energy and a growing realization that wind farms can kill hundreds of thousands of birds and bats a year.
The small wind farm near Red Wing has drawn national attention from conservation groups concerned about the design and placement of wind farms.
Read the rest of the article here.
By Simon Carr, independent.co.uk
At a public meeting in the Commons, the climate scientist Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT made a number of declarations that unsettle the claim that global warming is backed by "settled science". They're not new, but some of them were new to me.
Over the last 150 years CO2 (or its equivalents) has doubled. This has been accompanied by a rise in temperature of seven or eight tenths of a degree centigrade.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change attributes half this increase to human activity.
Lindzen says: "Claims that the earth has been warming, that there is a Greenhouse Effect, and that man's activity have contributed to warming are trivially true but essentially meaningless."
He said our natural body temperature varies by eight tenths of a degree.
He showed a Boston newspaper weather graphic for a day - it had the actual temperature against a background of the highest and lowest recorded temperature for that day. The difference was as much as 60 degrees F.
When you double CO2 there's a two per cent change in the "radiation budget". Yet two billion years ago, the sun was 20 to 30 per cent dimmer - and the planet's temperature was about the same.
The Al Gore graph showing CO2 and temperature rising and falling in tandem showed that the release of CO2 from the oceans was prompted by warming, not vice versa.
He gave us a slide with a series of familiar alarms - melting ice caps, disappearing icebergs, receding glaciers, rising sea levels. It was published by the US Weather Bureau in 1922.
And one further element of the consensus: there's been no increase in temperature for 15 years.
Read the rest of the article here.
Speaking to supporters in Ohio on Monday, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum took up the issue of global warming, saying the issue was based more in politics than in science.
Mr. Santorum, who has surged to front of the Republican field, told voters in eastern Ohio on Monday that science is on the side of those who want to aggressively produce more oil and natural gas in America. He said the notion of global warming is not climate science but "political science."
The Pennsylvania Republican's comment follows an earlier criticism leveled by his campaign at the Obama administration over its energy policy.
Although Mr. Obama has disappointed many in the environmental movement, and has expressed support for the controversial practice of hydraulic fracking for oil in shale rock, Mr. Santorum has repeatedly said the Obama administration is led by "radical environmentalist."
Two days ago, Mr. Santorum was quoted as saying that Obama adheres to "some phony theology," remarks that were interpreted by some as an attack on the president's faith. Mr. Santorum has since explained that he was referring to Mr. Obama's views on the environment, which, he said, put more importance on the earth than on humanity.
Heartland Institute President Joe Bast on why global warming activist Peter Gleick stole and forged documents from his organization
When did it become received media wisdom that global warming skepticism was all the work of shadowy right-wing groups lavishly funded by oil companies? As best we can tell, it started with a 1995 Harper's magazine article claiming to expose this "high-powered engine of disinformation." Today anyone who raises a doubt about the causes of global warming is accused of fronting for, say, Exxon, whatever the facts.
Now comes a rare glimpse inside the allegedly antiscience behemoth, with the online publication last week of documents purloined from the conservative Heartland Institute. The files appear to contain detailed financial, donor and personnel information and outline the think-tank's projects. Chicago-based Heartland says one of the documents is fake and warns that others may have been altered.
Given the coverage the story has generated, you'd think some vast conspiracy had been uncovered. Heartland is, according to the Associated Press, "one of the loudest voices denying human-caused global warming, hosting the largest international scientific conference of skeptics on climate change." The Vancouver Sun reports that it is "heavily funded by right-wing industrialist Charles Koch," while the Virginian-Pilot dubs it "the ideological center of the denial movement."
So how flush is Heartland? The documents show the group is expecting revenues of $7.7 million this year, mostly from private donations and grants. Mr. Koch's "heavy" funding came to $25,000 in 2011, though the Heartland "Fundraising Plan" has it hoping for an increase in 2012. To put those numbers in not-for-profit perspective, last year the Natural Resources Defense Council reported $95.4 million in operating revenues, while the World Wildlife Fund took in $238.5 million.
Controversial Non-profit organization wants to ramp up Global Warming curriculum in the classroom.
That is a lie so big that, to quote from "Mein Kampf," it would be hard for most people to believe that anyone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously"...
NCSE has long focused upon defending and promoting the teaching of evolution and the nature of science. Why are we now adding climate change to this list?
Although both evolution and climate change are accepted by the scientific community, both topics remain controversial among the public. As a result, teachers trying to teach evolution and/or climate change too often face opposition in their communities. Such opposition is based on ideology, not science, although the ideologies differ: religious ideologies in the case of evolution, economic and political ideologies in the case of climate change. In both cases, the result is that teachers are pressured to downplay these topics, misrepresent them as scientifically controversial, and air supposedly scientifically credible alternatives to them.
There are parallels, then, in the ways these two scientific topics are viewed by the general public, in the reasons for the widespread rejection of them by a substantial portion of the public, and in what happens when teachers try, responsibly, to teach them. So we decided to do what we can to help.
By Elmer Beauregard
There are a lot of inconsistencies in the supposed "Leaked" memos put out by the Heartland Institute and posted on DeSmogBlog which points to one of them being faked.
As Wattsupwiththat points out there are a lot of differences between the other leaked memos and the "smoking gun" 2012 Climate Strategy memo. Most notably the text is rastorized or scanned and not live text like the other documents. Plus this paragraph is kind of silly.
His effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain - two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science.
But I noticed some other inconsistencies that are interesting.
The Date: The fake document has the date at on the top and it just says "January 2012". The other documents, if dated, say the complete date not just the month and it is centered in the document not flush left.
The Style is Different: The faked "2012 Climate Strategy" is in a completely different style than the other live text documents. They both use the Font "Times New Roman" and they are both 12pt but that is where the similarities end. The headlines and subheads on the real documents are 18 pt., the subheads are numbered and the paragraphs are indented. The fake document doesn't use any of these devices.
The Leading is Different: In all of the live text documents the leading is 14pt but on the fake memo its 16 pt. I overlayed the fake document (in gray) over the real one to show the difference.
If the Heartland Institute is so bad because they receive private donations, why does DeSmogBlog have a Donate button on its website?
By Daniel Harper, Weekly Standard
Earlier this week, White House economic adviser Gene Sperling announced his support for changes in the tax structure. "[W]e need a global minimum tax so that people have the assurance that nobody is escaping doing their fair share as part of a race to the bottom or having our tax code actually subsidized and facilitate people moving their funds to tax havens," Sperling said at an official White House meeting. He even indicated that President Obama "supports" this change.
But the White House pushed back the next day, telling Politico through an unnamed "official" that "[Sperling] was referring to our proposal in the Blueprint for an American Built to Last that removes tax incentives for companies that ship jobs overseas." The Politico article was titled, "No 'global tax,' W.H. says," though the article never actually quoted anyone--named or unnamed--denying the substance of Sperling's proposal (or even that it would in effect be a "global minimum tax").
Well today, in a speech the president is delivering in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Obama announced the thrust of what amounts to a "global minimum tax"--even if he avoided using the controversial phrase.
Read the rest of the article here.
As the Main Stream Media is beating the drums for war with Iran because of their Nuclear technolgoy, let's remember who gave them that technology in the first place, Bil Clintonm and the CIA.
Jim, Kouri, National Ledger
Last night, radio talk show host and former US Justice Department official Mark Levin shocked many listeners when he reported that President Bill Clinton gave nuclear technology to the Iranians in a harebrained scheme.
He said that the transfer of classified data to Iran was personally approved by then-President Clinton and that the CIA deliberately gave Iranian physicists blueprints for part of a nuclear bomb that likely helped Tehran advance its nuclear weapons development program.
The CIA, using a double-agent Russian scientist, handed a blueprint for a nuclear bomb to Iran, according to a new book "State of War" by James Risen, the New York Times reporter, who exposed the Bush administration's controversial NSA spying operation, claims the plans contained fatal flaws designed to derail Tehran's nuclear drive.
But the deliberate errors were so rudimentary they would have been easily fixed by sophisticated Russian nuclear scientists, the book said.
The operation, which took place during the Clinton administration in early 2000, was code named Operation Merlin and "may have been one of the most reckless operations in the modern history of the CIA," according to Risen.
It called for the unnamed scientist, a defector from the Soviet Union, to offer Iran the blueprint for a "firing set" -- the intricate mechanism which triggers the chain reaction needed for a nuclear explosion.
The Russian was told by CIA officers that the Iranians already had the technology detailed in the plans and that the ruse was simply an attempt by the agency to find out the full scope of Tehran's nuclear knowledge.
By Paul Chesser, nlpc.org
Among the objections about taxpayer subsidies for the high-profile Chevy Volt, manufactured by Government Motors, is that the many grants, loans and tax breaks that lowered the sticker price on the electric hybrid car facilitated its (paltry) sales for the benefit of wealthier individuals who were purchasing it - those with average annual salaries of $170,000. So can you imagine how happy the affluent customers (like Leonardo DiCaprio) of the heavily subsidized, $102,000 electric Fisker Karma are, to be able to purchase their gimmicky sports sedan at a discount, with a $7,500 tax credit to boot?
Undoubtedly they are much happier than the 65 poor souls that Fisker just laid off. Will there be more?
Passing it off as "a bump in the road," company spokesman Roger Ormisher chalked up the cutbacks to the difficulty in starting a new car company and what would appear to be trivial missed deadlines and sales targets. But Fisker, already the recipient of $193 million of a total $529 million loan from the Department of Energy - not to mention a reported $850 million in private investment - shows disconcerting signs of incompetence and poor stewardship with the resources it's been trusted with.
So far the $193 million has been allocated mostly for the production of the Karma - therefore it can be deduced that taxpayers have subsidized a six-figure status symbol for the wealthy. The car serves no practical purpose, but instead provides "wow-factor" fodder for discussion at cocktail parties. According to Fisker, the company had 650 people toiling away at its headquarters in California (before 40 or so were laid off), plus another 125 that were refurbishing a former General Motors plant in Delaware (where 26 were laid off).
Something seems askew with the numbers, however. Fisker has said "not a single dollar of the DOE loans has been, or will be, spent outside of America" - an assurance that PriceWaterhouseCoopers is allegedly tracking for DOE. But the Karma is assembled at Valmet Automotive in Finland, so if the $193 million has been mostly spent on that project (as Fisker said in an official statement put out on Monday), how could at least a significant portion of that money not have been spent overseas? And if it wasn't, then the evidence looks even worse. Consider:
Rick Santorum told Colorado Springs supporters Tuesday that Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich would be ineffective challengers to President Barack Obama in the general election because of their views on cap and trade.
"Let's go to cap and trade. Governor Romney proudly announced that they were the first state, Massachusetts, to put a cap on CO2 emissions in the state of Massachusetts," Santorum told more than 100 supporters here.
Santorum also dinged Gingrich for filming a climate change ad with Nancy Pelosi, something Gingrich - as recently as yesterday - has admitted was a mistake. Both Gingrich and Santorum appeared at a Colorado energy conference on Monday.
"Speaker Gingrich has supported cap and trade for more than a dozen years. Now, he wants business incentives to go along with cap and trade, but he supported cap and trade, and sat on the couch with Nancy Pelosi and said that global warming had to be addressed by Congress," Santorum said. "Who is he or who's Governor Romney to be able to go after President Obama? I've never supported even the hoax of global warming."
Romney and Gingrich, Santorum said, "bought into the science of man-made global warming, and they bought into the remedy, both of which are bogus."
The most recent unemployment number is a total lie, and that lie was repeated all over the mainstream media (MSM). Two sins were committed here, and I don't know which one is worse. The report was a sham, and the MSM reported that information without a single question about its accuracy. In a story carried across the MSM spectrum, the Associated Press said, "In a long-awaited surge of hiring, companies added 243,000 jobs in January - across the economy, up and down the pay scale and far more than just about anyone expected. Unemployment fell to 8.3 percent, the lowest in three years." The report went on to say, "At the same time, the proportion of the population working or looking for work is its lowest in almost three decades. The length and depth of the recession have discouraged millions of people from looking for jobs. The better news of the past couple months has not yet encouraged most of them to start searching again." (Click here for the complete AP story.)
Here's a headline for you. If it were not for accounting gimmicks and what the government calls "seasonal-adjustments," the unemployment rate would have gone up, not down! In his latest report, economist John Williams from Shadowstats.com said, "January's unadjusted unemployment rate rose to 8.8% . . . The only difference between those numbers and the headline 243,000 January jobs gain and 8.3% unemployment rate, is how the seasonal adjustments were applied. There are serious issues with the current quality of those adjustments, and extremely small distortions in those seasonals can make big differences in the resulting headline data."
As far as "discouraged" workers who are not looking for a job, that is total rubbish put out by the government. The real story is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) simply has stopped counting more than 1.2 million of the unemployed in its report Friday. Williams goes on to say, "The issues here suggest that the headline 8.3% unemployment for January has moved well outside the realm of common experience and credibility, into the arena of election-year political shenanigans." Williams is such a gentleman. Please take into consideration the government's "official" or "headline" number is only based on people being out of work for 6 months or less. If the unemployment rate was calculated the way BLS did it in 1994 and earlier, the unemployment and underemployment would be 22.5% (according to Shadowstats.com.)
The Earth's temperature hasn't increased significantly in about 15 years, which wouldn't be big news except global warming extremists had predicted temperatures would soar during that time because of manmade greenhouse-gas emissions
That forecast would be just another failed hypothesis, except governments around the world used the threatened overheating as an excuse to regulate, tax and subsidize in order to curb greenhouse gases and, of course, to save the Earth.
In 1989 the Miami Herald quoted a U.N. environment official who warned of a "10-year window of opportunity to solve" global warming, because "entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000." We know how that turned out.
There are new forecasts today. We're not much more confident about them, but considering how far down the costly road to combating global warming the world has gone, they are worth noting.
By Elmer Beauregard
What's the deal with Punxsutawney Phil? I swear, he always sees his shadow no matter what, even if its in the temps are in the 40's and the trees are budding. I have a Groundhog living in my shed (here we call them Woodchucks) and he surely did not see his shadow today. I predict an early spring!