Category: Environment

July 24th, 2017 by Staff Writer

For nearly 30 years, some scientists and many liberal activists have been alleging that the world is on the verge of collapse because of humans’ use of fossil fuels, which they say have been causing global warming.

For example, the San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) reported on June 30, 1989: “A senior environmental official at the United Nations, Noel Brown, says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of ‘eco-refugees,’ threatening political chaos, said Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program. He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human [control.]”

But despite the constant cries from the left proclaiming the “science is settled” and that there’s a “scientific consensus,” there are many reasons to reject these assumptions. Here are six of the most important ones:

1. Climate alarmists’ temperature-predicting track record is abysmal.

Most people don’t know anything about climate science, and with all that’s going on in the world, who can blame them? Instead of studying the issue for themselves, people rely on the media and the scientists the media has promoted to provide them with scientific conclusions. In other words, to the extent the public believes in the theory humans are responsible for global warming, it’s because they trust the scientists and media outlets they hear from most often on this issue, but should they? Based on climate-alarmist scientists’ track record, the answer is clearly “no.”

Over the past three decades, many climate scientists have repeatedly made a number of significant and alarming predictions about global warming, and the vast majority of the time, they’ve been wrong—really, really wrong. As Roy Spencer—who earned his Ph.D. in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin in 1981 and previously served as the senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center—wrote in 2014, greater than 95 percent of the climate models through 2013 “over-forecast the warming trend since 1979.”

2. Climate alarmists’ predictions about extreme weather and other crises have also failed.

It’s common for climate alarmists to argue that global warming has caused and will continue to cause a significant increase in extreme weather events, including hurricanes, and that sea levels will eventually rise to the point that massive cities will someday be flooded and uninhabitable, but the available data say otherwise.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., a research fellow specializing in environment and climate issues for The Heartland Institute, where I work as executive editor, wrote in January for Red State, “For instance, climate models predicted more intense hurricanes, but for nearly a decade, the United States has experienced far fewer hurricanes making landfall than the historic average, and those hurricanes that have made landfall have been no more powerful than previously experienced.”

“Additionally,” Burnett continued, “while scientists have claimed anthropogenic warming should cause sea levels to rise at increasing rates—because of melting ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica and the thermal expansion of water molecules under warmer conditions—sea-level rise has slowed. Sea levels have always risen between ice ages or during interglacial periods. Indeed, sea levels have risen more than 400 feet since the end of the last interglacial period. However, the rate of sea-level rise since 1961 (approximately one-eighth of an inch per year) is far lower than the historic average (since the end of the previous ice age), and sea-level rise has not increased appreciably over the past century compared to previous centuries.”

3. There are many unexplainable problems with the theory rising carbon-dioxide levels have caused global temperature to increase.

One of the most common misconceptions in the climate-change debate is that skeptics reject the claim global temperatures have risen in recent decades. Virtually everyone agrees temperatures have increased, the primary issue is the reason or reasons for those increases. Climate-change alarmists say humans are to blame, and skeptics believe, to varying degrees, humans’ responsibility is relatively minimal or nonexistent. One of the reasons, but not the only reason, many skeptics have rejected the assertion carbon-dioxide and temperature are linked is that there have been periods during the past two centuries in which global temperature has dropped or paused.

For instance, from the 1940s to the 1970s, Earth experienced a global cooling period, even while carbon-dioxide levels continuously rose. In the early 21st century, global temperature “paused” for 18 years, again during a period in which carbon-dioxide levels increased.

4. It’s not clear the most widely used climate data are accurate.

For many years, climate skeptics, concerned by numerous leaked documents showing climate data had been unscientifically altered to make it appear as though warming had been more significant than it actually was, have argued many of the climate datasets advanced by prominent organizations, including NASA, are not accurate. A new peer-reviewed study by prominent researchers James P. Wallace III, Joseph S. D’Aleo and Craig Idso seems to support that belief.

In their study, titled “On the Validity of NOAA, NASA and Hadley CRU Global Average Surface Temperature Data and the Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding,” the researchers “sought to validate the current estimates of GAST [global average surface temperature] using the best available relevant data,” the authors wrote. “This included the best documented and understood data sets from the U.S. and elsewhere as well as global data from satellites that provide far more extensive global coverage and are not contaminated by bad siting and urbanization impacts.”

They concluded—by comparing trusted raw climate data with the widely used altered datasets, which have been adjusted to account for numerous problems, such as contamination from heat in urban areas—the datasets used by NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Met Office in the United Kingdom “are not a valid representation of reality.”

“In fact, the magnitude of their historical data adjustments, that removed their cyclical temperature patterns, are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data,” the researchers wrote. “Thus, it is impossible to conclude from the three published GAST data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever — despite current claims of record setting warming.”

5. Even if humans are creating a slightly warmer climate, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The underlying assumption that virtually all climate alarmists operate under is that the warming Earth is experiencing now is harmful, destructive and dangerous, but there is much evidence to suggest that moderate warming benefits most plants, animals and humans. We know, for instance, that plants grow significantly better with higher carbon-dioxide concentrations, which is why many greenhouses pump additional CO2 into their buildings.

It’s also been confirmed by multiple studies that greening has increased in recent decades — and likely because of higher carbon-dioxide concentrations. According to a study by Martin Brandt et al., published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution in May, 36 percent of the continent of Africa became greener over the 20-year period from 1992 to 2011, while only 11 percent became “less green.” Interestingly, the researchers found the increased greening was likely “driven” by higher carbon-dioxide levels and precipitation, and the decreased greening was largely a result of humans cutting down vegetation.

A greener planet means there is more food for humans and animals to consume, but a cooler global climate has historically been associated with significant food shortages and, in extreme cases, starvation. An article in the influential journal The Lancet, published in 2015, examined health data from 13 countries, accounting for more than 74 million deaths. The authors concluded cold weather, directly or indirectly, kills 1,700 percent more people than hot weather.

6. There’s no reason to believe humans won’t develop cheap, energy alternatives during the next century.

Let’s assume the climate is warming because of human action and will eventually become problematic. The most serious problems are still a century or more away, even under some of the most dire, scientifically unsupported models. That means the world has at least a half-century to come up with alternate energy sources and determine once and for all whether fossil-fuels are truly causing the problem.

A century ago, civilized nations were still fighting each other on horseback and traveling using steam engines. Fifty years ago, cellphones were the stuff of science fiction. Thirty years ago, the average American household didn’t have a computer. Today, people fly across the world in a few hours on planes equipped with WIFI, allowing them to access a nearly endless supply of news, information, and entertainment using pocket-sized super computers. Does anyone really think energy won’t change over the next century as well?

Being a climate-change skeptic doesn’t mean you deny Earth’s climate has warmed or scientific findings. It simply means that you let facts, not speculation and fear-mongering, guide how you view the debate. If that sounds reasonable, then you’re probably a climate-change skeptic too.

Justin Haskins is executive editor and a research fellow at The Heartland Institute.

Posted in Climate Change, Commentary, Environment, Global Warming

July 16th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Radical environmental group Negative Population Growth awarded three college students with cash prizes for promoting ideas NPG says are necessary to combat environmental concerns such as global warming.

On Tuesday, NPG announced three college students had won the organization’s national essay contest: Joseph Wagner, a student at Gonzaga University, Caitlin Stock, a student at Brigham Young University, and Grant Kleiman, who attends Southwest Minnesota State University. Wagner received a cash prize of $2,000 and Stock and Kleiman received $1,000 each.

According to NPG, “thousands” of essays were submitted by high school seniors and college students in the contest, which asked students “to provide NPG with a three- to five-point plan to educate these freshmen legislators about the sources of U.S. population growth, as well as policy suggestions to slow, halt, and eventually reverse our growth in order to preserve America’s environment, economy, natural resources, and quality of life.”

The winning essays offer a glimpse into radical environmentalists’ plans to control population, some of which are rather disturbing.

Wagner suggests, among other things, the United States implement a “family-focused incentivized tax policy” that rewards people for having fewer children and punishes large families.

“Instead of rewarding families per child as the current tax system does, we must reward smaller families that have two children or fewer,” Wagner wrote. “This will more accurately equate the effect of having children on the health of our planet and our country’s finite resources.”

Wagner also calls for securing the U.S. border to stop population growth in the United States and revising the U.S. education system “so that it teaches reproductive education alongside environmental classes that … focus on the impacts a new human life has on the Earth.”

Stock also advocates for stricter immigration enforcement, including “streamlined” deportations, greater border security, ending immigrants’ ability to appeal a court’s deportation order, and preventing babies born to illegal immigrants from attaining citizenship.

Stock says increased funding for “family planning” programs is essential and that “the two-child family size must be advocated.”

“Families that have more than two children should not receive tax benefits or government assistance for the third child, the fourth child, and so on,” Stock wrote. “Government assistance programs should reorganize their focus to prioritize small families over large families.”

Kleiman argues for essentially the same policies as Wagner and Stock and emphasizes the importance of reducing illegal immigration “to near zero.”

“We’re at a crossroads that will determine the future of our nation,” Kleiman wrote. “One path leads to more people, more crowded cities, roads and schools, and more demands on resources, including food, water and energy. The other path leads to reducing population growth, protecting resources from overuse and creating a sustainable place to call home for generations to come.”

Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Environmentalist, Global Warming, Immigration, population control

July 10th, 2017 by Staff Writer

A new peer-reviewed study by scientists and a statistician claims to reveal that “nearly all” of the warming shown in current temperature datasets from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Met Office in the United Kingdom are the result of adjustments made to the datasets after temperatures were recorded, calling into question just how much warming is real and how much is pure fantasy.

In the report, titled “On the Validity of NOAA, NASA and Hadley CRU Global Average Surface Temperature Data and the Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding,” authors James P. Wallace III, Joseph S. D’Aleo and Craig Idso examine the accuracy of global average surface temperature data.

“The objective of this research was to test the hypothesis that Global Average Surface Temperature (GAST) data, produced by NOAA, NASA, and HADLEY, are sufficiently credible estimates of global average temperatures such that they can be relied upon for climate modeling and policy analysis purposes,” the authors wrote.

Many people misunderstand how global temperature is calculated. As the authors of the study note, GAST data is not simply the raw temperature recordings. Rather, the data is adjusted after it is recorded to account for various problems, such as “contamination by urbanization.” Because many temperature recordings come from urban areas, where numerous factors affect temperature readings, they need to be adjusted to more accurately reflect the true temperature.

Critics of the most widely used global average surface temperature datasets have said they think these adjustments have been exaggerated to favor the view humans are causing climate change.

To test the validity of the GAST data adjustments, the researchers examined other historical data and known cyclical patterns to determine whether the adjustments were appropriate.

“As a result, this research sought to validate the current estimates of GAST using the best available relevant data,” the authors wrote. “This included the best documented and understood data sets from the U.S. and elsewhere as well as global data from satellites that provide far more extensive global coverage and are not contaminated by bad siting and urbanization impacts.”

The researchers concluded based on their study that “the three GAST data sets are not a valid representation of reality.”

“The conclusive findings of this research are that the three GAST data sets are not a valid representation of reality,” the authors wrote. “In fact, the magnitude of their historical data adjustments, that removed their cyclical temperature patterns, are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data. Thus, it is impossible to conclude from the three published GAST data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever — despite current claims of record setting warming.”

“Nearly all of the warming they are now showing are in the adjustments,” meteorologist Joe D’Aleo, who co-authored the study, said to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Each dataset pushed down the 1940s warming and pushed up the current warming.”

“You would think that when you make adjustments you’d sometimes get warming and sometimes get cooling. That’s almost never happened,” D’Aleo said.

The noted climate-skeptic website Watts Up With That? called the study a “bombshell.”

If the researchers’ findings are accurate, it would mean that the global temperature data most often used to show increasing temperatures are potentially not accurate and that the true global temperature is likely lower than is currently reported, further undermining climate-change alarmists’ claims.

Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Global Warming

June 26th, 2017 by Staff Writer

World-famous physicist Stephen Hawking is claiming Earth is on an unstoppable downward trajectory and that humans need to make plans to leave this planet for another inhabitable place if they want to survive.

During a speech at the Norwegian Starmus event, a festival celebrating science and art, Hawking said Earth’s rapidly depleting resources and climate change will make the planet hostile to human life in the future.

“Our physical resources are being drained at an alarming rate,” Hawking said, according to a report by the Evening Express (United Kingdom). “We have given our planet the disastrous gift of climate change. Rising temperatures, reduction of the polar ice caps, deforestation, and decimation of animal species. We can be an ignorant, unthinking lot.”

Hawking also said the people of Earth are “running out of space” and need to find other worlds to “save us from ourselves.”

“We are running out of space and the only places to go to are other worlds,” Hawking said. “It is time to explore other solar systems. Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves. I am convinced that humans need to leave Earth.”

This isn’t the first time Hawking has spoken about his belief humans must flee Earth. According to Newsweek, in May, Hawking said, “I strongly believe we should start seeking alternative planets for possible habitation. We are running out of space on Earth and we need to break through the technological limitations preventing us from living elsewhere in the universe.”

Many of Hawking’s arguments have been disputed by other top scientists in the past.

According to data provided by the Columbia University Earth Institute in 2005, only 3 percent of Earth’s land is occupied by areas considered to be “urban.” The vast majority of land remains without significant human settlements.

Hawking’s urgent warning about climate change has also been widely discounted by many influential scientists, including the highly respected Princeton physicist William Happer, who has called climate-change alarmism a “cult” and suggested there are many benefits to increased carbon-dioxide levels, which Hawking and others say are causing the climate to warm.

“There’s a whole area of climate so-called science that is really more like a cult,” Happer told the Guardian (United Kingdom) in February. “It’s like Hare Krishna or something like that. They’re glassy-eyed and they chant. It will potentially harm the image of all science.”

Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Global Warming, Outer Space, Stephen Hawking

June 19th, 2017 by Staff Writer

It’s not an exaggeration to say many global warming alarmists act as though rising carbon-dioxide levels will destroy the world and virtually every living creature on it. It seems not a week goes by without another “dire warning” about one species or another that will someday be on the verge of collapse because of slightly higher temperatures predicted to exist 100 years from now. This week’s doomed furry friend is the emperor penguin, who researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution say could be nearly wiped out by 2100 because of climate change.

According to the researchers, “Scientists report that dispersal may help sustain global Emperor penguin populations for a limited time, but, as sea ice conditions continue to deteriorate, the 54 colonies that exist today will face devastating declines by the end of this century. They say the Emperor penguin should be listed as an endangered species.”

The Daily Mail (United Kingdom) reported, “While some species are able to adapt to climate change, melting Antarctic ice will strip emperor penguins of their breeding and feeding grounds, putting their numbers at risk. New research predicts that by the end of the century, emperor penguin populations could decline by up to 99 per cent.” [sic]

The theory is based on mathematical models that predict as sea ice in the Antarctic continues to melt, the penguins’ breeding and feeding grounds will shrink to unsustainable levels.

However, there are several massive problems with this theory. For starters, the modern penguin, including the emperor penguin, is believed to have been around for millions of years and has undoubtedly faced significant temperature variations over the course of its existence — and yet, it’s still here.

Second, as prominent climate skeptic Anthony Watts noted in a recent article on the subject, researchers, including the researcher involved in the present study, have made or relied upon significant errors in estimating penguin populations in the past. In 2012, Peter Fretwell of the British Antarctic Survey published research that found the number of emperor penguins had been dramatically undercounted. Instead of the 270,000 to 350,000 believed to exist, Fretwell found a much better estimate is 595,000.

How can people incapable of counting penguins be capable of predicting their populations 100 years in the future?

Third, all this assumes humans are causing climate change by increasing their carbon-dioxide levels; global temperature will continue to rise for the next 100 years, even though the climate models produced by climate alarmists have been almost completely wrong over the past 20 years; some other natural force, such as the Sun, won’t cause global cooling over the next 100 years; and that humans won’t create technology over the next century that significantly reduces our carbon-dioxide production.

Call me a hopeless optimist, but I suspect penguins, who have been around for millions of years, will survive in the slightly warmer world that’s projected for 2100.

Posted in Animals, Climate Change, Environment, Global Warming

June 18th, 2017 by Staff Writer

A new study by researchers at Ohio State University claims existing research shows climate change will cause increased food scarcity and violence and their new study reveals the best way to stop these “food riots” is to have strong, “capable governments” to ensure stability. However, despite these dire warnings, numerous studies and reports show warmer temperatures aren’t nearly as dangerous as so many seem to believe.

According to Ohio State professor and study co-author Bear Braumoeller, “We’ve already started to see climate change as an issue that won’t just put the coasts under water, but as something that could cause food riots in some parts of the world.”

“Climate-induced food scarcity is going to become an increasingly big issue and we wanted to understand which countries are most threatened by it,” Braumoeller said in a press release about the study.

Braumoeller and his co-authors sought to determine which countries would be most vulnerable to food-scarcity-related uprisings caused by climate change by examining violent uprisings in Africa from 1991 to 2011.

“We found that the most vulnerable countries are those that have weak political institutions, are relatively poor and rely more on agriculture,” Braumoeller said.

There’s nothing groundbreaking about saying there’s less likely to be uprisings of any kind when more-stable governments are present, but the narrative Braumoeller and his team is perpetuating through their study — that climate change is causing significant social unrest — is one that is being repeated with greater frequency by leading proponents of the theory humans are primarily responsible for causing global warming. If humans don’t stop producing carbon-dioxide emissions in significant amounts, they argue, the world will burst into chaos because of warmer temperatures.

Such a claim might help alarmists’ political agenda and researchers to obtain more funds, but it’s simply not supported by science.

For starters, Earth’s climate is never perfectly stable. In one part of the world or another, there are always going to be food shortages, political unrest, and problems related to agriculture. In the United States, long before the presence of “global warming,” Americans faced significant hardship in large part because of the severe droughts of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, a major contributor to the Great Depression.

Alarmists would counter by saying these problems are more likely to occur with a warmer climate, but research shows the presence of additional carbon dioxide has actually led to better plant growth and crop yields throughout much of the world, including in Africa.

In April, The Blaze reported a study published in the journal Nature showed “the sum of all plant photosynthesis on Earth grew by 30 percent” during the 19th and 20th centuries, periods of significant warming, with the “leading candidates” of the increased plant growth being “rising atmospheric CO2 levels, a result of emissions from human activities; longer growing seasons, a result of climate change caused by CO2 emissions; and nitrogen pollution, another result of fossil fuel combustion and agriculture.”

“The rising CO2 level stimulates crops yields,” said lead researcher of the Nature study Elliott Campbell, a professor at the University of California at Merced.

In May, leading climate researcher Patrick Michaels, director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, wrote in an article he hypothesizes the reason one recent study showed substantial amounts of forest cover in global drylands had gone uncounted in previous studies on the subject is because significant growth has occurred in recent years due to higher amounts of carbon dioxide.

Further, a 2016 study by researcher Zaichan Zhu and 31 coauthors revealed — based on “a remarkable analysis of global vegetation change since satellite sensors became operational in the late 1970s” — that the “vast majority of the globe’s vegetated area shows greening, with 25-50% of that area showing a statistically significant change, while only 4% of the vegetated area is significantly browning,” according to Michaels.

All this research and more suggests the opposite of what the Ohio State researchers argued in their study: Rather than cause significant problems, a warmer global climate appears to be causing significant greening, better plant growth, and stronger crop yields, all of which should be good news for people concerned about food riots.

(H/T: Watts Up With That?)

Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Global Warming

June 5th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Does President Donald Trump believe in human-caused climate change? That’s the question everyone is asking after CNN aired a “State of the Union” interview with U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley that seems to suggest Haley believes Trump does support the theory humans are causing global warming.

In the CNN interview, host Jake Tapper asked Haley whether she would be willing to agree that a 2012 tweet by Trump calling global warming a conspiracy “created by and for the Chinese … to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive” is “nonsense.”

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012

Haley responded by saying the Paris Agreement’s terms have disadvantaged U.S. companies and caused economic problems.

“The regulations from the Paris Agreement were disadvantaging our companies,” Haley said. “I knew that as a governor. The jobs were not attainable as long as we had to live under those regulations. It was not possible to meet the goals, had we attempted to do that.”

Tapper later asked Haley again to comment on Trump’s 2012 tweet, calling the post “a big box of crazy.”

“President Trump believes the climate is changing and he believes pollutants are part of the equation,” Haley responded. “So, that is the fact. That is where we are. That’s where it stands. He knows that it’s changing and that the U.S. has to be responsible for it, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Haley’s comments have been the subject of much conversation, with many writers alleging the statements indicate Trump supports the theory of man-caused climate change. The Washington Examiner, for instance, included in its title of a story on the subject, “Trump believes in climate change.” The Daily Mail (U.K.) published an article with a title that read in part, “Nikki Haley claims Trump DOES believe in climate change.” The first part of the first paragraph in a CNN article promoting the interview reads, “President Donald Trump does believe in climate change and that humans have a role in it, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told CNN’s Jake Tapper.”

Trump has in the past repeatedly referred to the theory as a “hoax,” so some media outlets are treating Haley’s comments as though they are revelatory. They aren’t.

The numerous news stories about Haley’s comments undoubtedly prove one thing: Most Americans, especially on the left, don’t understand what climate-change skeptics actually believe, despite countless books, studies, lectures, speeches, and conferences on the topic.

When I’m not writing for The Blaze, I work as an executive editor for The Heartland Institute, perhaps the world’s best-known climate-skeptic organization. I’ve read literally hundreds of articles on the subject, heard numerous speeches, and know personally some of the leading voices in the debate. It should be clear to anyone who has spent any time at all researching this subject that the overwhelming majority of climate-change skeptics believe Earth’s climate has been warming for more than a century. Many also believe humans have had some impact, although skeptical scientists hold a wide array of views on that particular topic, and virtually all of them say the impact is much more limited than what someone like Al Gore would claim.

It is not in any way surprising to hear that the president believes humans are contributing in some form to higher temperatures. The more important questions in the debate have always been related to how much impact humans are having and whether warming is even a bad thing or can be stopped using the measures suggested by climate-change alarmists.

Almost everyone agrees Earth’s climate is warming and that Earth’s climate has warmed and cooled many times in the past. Nothing in Haley’s response denies the skeptics’ position on the theory of human-caused climate change, but it does reveal just how ignorant many people are about the debate.

Posted in Climate Change, CNN, Donald Trump, Environment, Global Warming, Jake Tapper, Nikki Haley

June 4th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Some environmentalists are saying wind turbines pose a threat to whales after a family of minke whales were found dead in the United Kingdom.

According to reports by the Times (London) and Daily Caller, a young minke whale was found dead in the United Kingdom on May 20. Its mother was found dead on a nearby beach the same day, and a third whale washed ashore on May 21. It’s believed the three whales were part of the same family.

According to marine wildlife experts, the whales were likely disoriented by nearby wind turbines, which can affect the sonar whales use to navigate.

“My personal opinion is that could be a consequence of wind farms and the amount of sand in the water,” said John Cresswell, chairman of the Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Rescue Service, according to the Times. “If you stop the boat off the coast you can feel the vibrations and hear the noise.”

“There are studies that show that the sounds created by the operational noise of the turbines create vibrations under that may in fact disorient marine mammals like whales,” Bonnie Brady, director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, told the Daily Caller.

Writing for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow in March 2016, CFACT Senior Policy Advisor Paul Driessen and Mark Duchamp, the president of Save the Eagles International, said in addition to being dangerous to whales and other marine animals, offshore wind turbines can cause problems for human vessels and aircraft.

“In addition, having forests of these enormous turbines off our coasts will greatly increase the risk of collisions for surface vessels, especially in storms or dense fog, as well as for submarines,” Driessen and Duchamp wrote. “It will also impair radar and sonar detection of hostile ships and low-flying aircraft, including potential terrorists, and make coastal waters more dangerous for Coast Guard helicopters and other rescue operations.”

“The offshore wind industry makes no sense from an economic, environmental, defense or shipping perspective,” Driessen and Duchamp wrote. “To exempt these enormous installations from endangered species and other laws that are applied with a heavy hand to all other industries—and even to the U.S. and Royal Navy—is irresponsible, and even criminal.”

Posted in Animal Rights, Animals, Environment, renewable energy, wind turbines

June 3rd, 2017 by Staff Writer

Fox News host Tucker Carlson slammed leftists on Thursday night and denounced their “cult-like” following of climate change as well as their response to President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Accord.

“Shut up and believe,” Carlson mocked of those skeptical of Trump’s decision to withdraw from the climate accord, and noted that the “essence of science” isn’t accepting something as fact without question, it is “skepticism.”

Later in the segment, Carlson played a montage of news anchors and pundits decrying Trump’s decision to pull out from the Paris Accord.

One such anchor featured was CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, who said the day Trump withdrew from the Paris Accord was “the day the United States resigned as the leader of the free world.”

MSNBC host Donny Deutsch said that he had such “rage and sadness” over watching a “dangerous little man give a very, very scary speech.”

After the montage aired, Carlson fired back at liberal pundits attempting to punish the president for his lack of faith in the necessity of the accord.

“We’re not talking about science here, what you’re watching is a priesthood defending its faith,” Carlson said. “The essence of science is skepticism, mostly testing what you think you know to make sure you actually know it.”

“Pressed for explanations as to what you’re talking about you’re attacked as a ‘denier,’ the matter is settled, every word in mutable and holy, questions equal apostasy, shut up and believe,” Carlson added.

Concluding the segment on the accord, Carlson said, “The irony is, almost none of the religious figures you saw sermonizing on television today know much about the Paris agreement beyond the bullet points they’d been handed by their producers 10 minutes before … Before today most of the people you just saw spend far more time yammering about transgender bathrooms than about climate accords.”

See Carlson’s full remarks in the video below.

Posted in Climate Agreement, Climate Change, climate change scientists, Environment, Paris Accord, Paris Agreement, President Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson

May 28th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Patrick Michaels, a climate expert and director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, says combining the findings of two important studies could reveal “a remarkable hypothesis” about the benefits of increased carbon-dioxide levels and global warming.

In a recent article published on the Cato Institute’s blog, Michaels describes the results of a recent study published in Science, a highly influential journal, that examined global drylands and found global forest cover had been undercounted by “at least 9%” in previous studies.

Michaels then recounts the findings produced by researcher Zaichan Zhu and 31 coauthors in 2016, which revealed—based on “a remarkable analysis of global vegetation change since satellite sensors became operational in the late 1970s”—that the “vast majority of the globe’s vegetated area shows greening, with 25-50% of that area showing a statistically significant change, while only 4% of the vegetated area is significantly browning,” according to Michaels.

As Michaels quotes in his post, the researchers found, “Factorial simulations with multiple global ecosystem models show that CO2 fertilization effects explain 70% of the observed greening trend …”

“And the other greening driver that stood out from the statistical noise was—you guessed it—climate change,” Michaels added to the researchers’ quote.

By combining the two studies’ findings together, Michaels says a “remarkable hypothesis” emerges: “This may lead to a remarkable hypothesis—that one of the reasons the forested regions were undercounted in previous surveys (among other reasons) is that there wasn’t enough vegetation present to meet Bastin’s criterion for ‘forest,’ which is greater than 10% tree cover, and carbon dioxide and global warming changed that.”

Put simply, Michaels is suggesting it’s possible one of the primary reasons forest cover had previously been undercounted is because significant greening linked to carbon-dioxide emissions and higher temperatures has occurred in recent decades. If a direct link could be proven, this would be a very important revelation, because it would add to the mounting evidence that shows the benefits of a warmer global climate outweigh any drawbacks.

Contrary to the arguments often made by climate alarmists, higher temperatures are much less dangerous than global cooling would be, and climate scientists cannot guarantee that global cooling won’t occur at some point in the relatively near future. In fact, some scientists believe global cooling could be just around the corner.

In 2016, Professor Valentina Zharkova at Northumbria University and a team of researchers found future solar cycles could produce much lower temperatures.

“We will see it from 2020 to 2053, when the three next cycles will be very reduced magnetic field of the sun,” Zharkova said, according to a report by Anthony Watts at Watts Up With That? “Whatever we do to the planet, if everything is done only by the sun, then the temperature should drop similar like it was in the Maunder Minimum. At least in the Northern hemisphere, where this temperature is well protocoled and written. We didn’t have many measurements in the Southern hemisphere, we don’t know what will happen with that, but in the Northern hemisphere, we know it’s very well protocoled. The rivers are frozen. There are winters and no summers, and so on.”

Watts points out “because things are not the same as they were in the 17th century,” it’s not clear whether the cooling will actually occur, but he said, “it will be interesting to see how the terrestrial and the solar influences play out.”

Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Global Warming

May 15th, 2017 by Staff Writer

On Monday, France elected former Socialist Party member Emmanuel Macron to be the nation’s next president, pushing Macron’s past promise to offer a home to all climate change scientists in America to the forefront of the ongoing debate over global warming.

Macron, who has been described by many European and American news outlets as a “centrist,” is a noted believer in the theory humans are primarily responsible for climate change. In February, Macron posted a video on his Facebook page in which he invited all U.S. climate researchers to France to escape the Trump administration.

“I do know how your new president now has decided to jeopardize your budget, your initiatives, as he is extremely skeptical of climate change,” Macron said in the video. “I have no doubt about climate change, and how committed we have to be regarding this issue.”

Macron said to U.S. scientists France will be their “new homeland.”

“I want all those who today embody innovation and excellence in the United States to hear what we say: From now on, from next May, you will have a new homeland, France,” Macron said.

Since Macron’s victory, the video has received massive attention. As of Sunday morning, it had been viewed more than 19.4 million times and shared more than 200,000 times.

Many climate change scientists have expressed their displeasure at President Donald Trump’s plans to roll back climate-change-related regulations and policies imposed by the Obama administration.

In April, thousands of protesters gathered in Washington, D.C., and in cities across the United States in opposition to Trump’s skepticism about man-caused climate change. One of the primary leaders of the march, pop scientist Bill Nye, who is not a climate expert, repeatedly called out politicians and Trump for rejecting what he believes to be settled science.

“Today, we have a great many lawmakers, not just here, but around the world, deliberately ignoring and actively surpassing science,” Nye said. “Their inclination is misguided, and in no one’s best interest.”

Some climate change skeptics are hoping Nye and other climate alarmists take up Macron on his offer to allow climate change researchers to move to France. In an article for the popular climate change website Watts Up With That?, Eric Worrall wrote, “Speculation is mounting about whether President Macron will keep his promise to take all our climate scientists, and offer them a new home in France. … President Macron, please take them. Take them all.”

“But be warned,” Worrall added, “they will expect you to feed them; don’t expect us to pay for their upkeep.”

In their first telephone call together following Macron’s victory, Macron and Trump reportedly discussed climate change.

“Usually in these phone calls, it’s a lot of congratulations, Macron raised the issue of climate change because the Americans are thinking about staying or leaving the Paris agreement,” said Gerard Araud, the French ambassador to the United States, according to a report by the Trend News Agency.

Posted in Climate, Climate Change, Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron, Environment

May 8th, 2017 by Staff Writer

You can’t make this stuff up.

Eric Worrall at Watts Up With That? highlighted in a recent post a study suggesting people consume more insects as a way to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, which some scientists believe are responsible for causing higher temperatures and all the alleged “harms” resulting from warmer climates.

The study, titled “Could Consumption of Insects, Cultured Meat or Imitation Meat Reduce Global Agricultural Land Use?,” was published on April 22 in the journal Global Food Security. The researchers, all of whom come from Europe or Australia, wrote in their abstract, “Animal products, i.e. meat, milk and eggs, provide an important component in global diets, but livestock dominate agricultural land use by area and are a major source of greenhouse gases. Cultural and personal associations with animal product consumption create barriers to moderating consumption, and hence reduced environmental impacts.”

The researchers wrote one of their goals was to determine a way to reduce animals’ land use and greenhouse-gas emissions by examining nutritious alternatives to eating animals, such as cows.

“The results suggest that imitation meat and insects have the highest land use efficiency, but the land use requirements are only slightly greater for eggs and poultry meat,” wrote the researchers. “The efficiency of insects and their ability to convert agricultural by-products and food waste into food, suggests further research into insect production is warranted. …”

“We conclude that although a diet with lower rates of animal product consumption is likely to create the greatest reduction in agricultural land, a mix of smaller changes in consumer behaviour , such as replacing beef with chicken, reducing food waste and potentially introducing insects more commonly into diets, would also achieve land savings and a more sustainable food system.”

In its report of the researchers’ findings, an unnamed writer at wrote, “Replacing half of the meat eaten worldwide with crickets and mealworms would cut farmland use by a third, substantially reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, researchers say.”

Cows have long been a target of global warming alarmists, who say they are one of the greatest contributors to climate change. According to a United Nations report in 2011, livestock methane emissions (yes, that’s a scientific way of saying “animal farts”) accounted for 39 percent of all greenhouse-gas emissions from agriculture, which itself made up a large chunk of the total emissions.

Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Global Warming

May 7th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as “fracking,” has been the target of numerous environmental groups and climate change alarmists since becoming a significant part of the U.S. economy. Fracking has allowed companies to extract oil and natural gas from the ground in areas that were once thought to be impossible to get to, which means in the minds of environmental extremists, it’s helping to contribute to man-caused global warming.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, if fracking were banned, as many environmentalists have suggested, there would be 14.8 million fewer jobs by 2022 and the price of gasoline and electricity would double compared to what they would otherwise be.

Because fracking has provided incredible economic benefits, especially in many states in the Midwest and West, environmentalists have attempted to argue it should be banned based on other potential risks. One of the most cited “problems” fracking allegedly causes is the contamination of drinking water. Environmentalists have long claimed the fracking process causes dangerous chemicals and other damage to natural water sources, and in some areas, as a result, environmentalists have been successful in convincing lawmakers to pass bans.

Well-crafted studies, however, have shown these fears are completely overblown and unnecessary, and a new study by researchers at Duke University confirms these findings. According to the researchers, hydraulic fracturing processes do not pose a systemic impact on groundwater.

Incredibly, the study was funded in part by the far-left Natural Resources Defense Council, an organization that has historically been an adamant opponent of fracking.

On its website, the NRDC wrote, “While the exact mixtures of chemicals used for fracking are often withheld as trade secrets, we do know that many of them have been associated with a whole host of health issues, including cancer. Moreover, fracking can cause some severe environmental impacts and public health threats.”

“Even on good days, a fracking operation does not make for a great neighbor,” NRDC also said. “Drilling and fracturing cause loud noises and require bright lights. … On bad days, things get even worse. Chemical-laced wastewater can spill and pollute drinking water as well as cause earthquakes when massive amounts of it are disposed. Fracking is also not immune to mishaps like dangerous and climate change–aggravating methane leaks and even explosions.”

Tim Benson, a policy analyst at The Heartland Institute, where I also work as an editor, wrote earlier in May, “The existing peer-reviewed evidence shows hydraulic fracturing processes do not pose a systemic impact on groundwater. Since 2010, at least 18 of these studies have been produced, including ones by the Bureau of Economic Geology at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas-Austin, the Department of Geology at the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, the California Council on Science and Technology and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, and Germany’s Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources.”

Perhaps the NRDC and other environmental groups will reexamine their positions on fracking in light of the mounting evidence showing fracking is, generally speaking, a safe and effective way of extracting oil and gas.

Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Fracking, Global Warming

May 1st, 2017 by Staff Writer

Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula has long been touted by supporters of the theory man is destroying the planet by using fossil fuels as proof of the dangers of global warming. Al Gore, the face of the world-is-going-to-end climate movement, has visited Antarctica on at least two occasions to highlight the alleged problem.

“This prediction has proven true,” Gore wrote about the claim Antarctica would warm faster than the global average. “Today, the West Antarctic Peninsula is warming about four times faster than the global average.”

Alarmists say the melting of ice sheets in Antarctica will cause massive problems for the rest of the world. For example, left-wing website ThinkProgress wrote in 2012, “Although the vast ice sheets of the frozen continent are remote from almost all of human civilization, their warming has drastic implications for billions of people. With the melting of those almost inconceivable reserves of ice, the planet’s sea levels are rising. Scientists now expect 21st-century sea level rise — on the scale of three to six feet or more — will be dominated by the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps.”

Climate realists have rightfully pointed out the evidence shows total ice accumulation on Antarctica has outweighed losses, a claim bolstered by a 2015 NASA study, which found, “An increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.” But even many climate change skeptics have accepted some significant parts of Antarctica are warming.

All that is about to change.

A study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment in February is now getting the attention of prominent climate change skeptics. The study claims the Antarctic Peninsula is cooling and that the previous warming in the second half of the 21st century is “an extreme case.” The researchers also found the recent cooling trend, which they say began in 1998-99, has already had a significant impact on the Antarctic Peninsula’s cryosphere, slowing down “glacier recession.”

According to the authors’ abstract:

“The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is often described as a region with one of the largest warming trends on Earth since the 1950s, based on the temperature trend … recorded at Faraday/Vernadsky station. Accordingly, most works describing the evolution of the natural systems in the AP region cite this extreme trend as the underlying cause of their observed changes. However, a recent analysis (Turner et al., 2016) has shown that the regionally stacked temperature record for the last three decades has shifted from a warming trend of 0.32 °C/decade during 1979–1997 to a cooling trend of − 0.47 °C/decade during 1999–2014. … We show that Faraday/Vernadsky warming trend is an extreme case, circa twice those of the long-term records from other parts of the northern AP. Our results also indicate that the cooling initiated in 1998/1999 has been most significant in the N and NE of the AP and the South Shetland Islands (> 0.5 °C between the two last decades), modest in the Orkney Islands, and absent in the SW of the AP. This recent cooling has already impacted the cryosphere in the northern AP, including slow-down of glacier recession, a shift to surface mass gains of the peripheral glacier and a thinning of the active layer of permafrost in northern AP islands.”

(H/T: Watts Up With That?)

Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Global Warming

April 24th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Climate-change alarmists know most Americans don’t take seriously their constant dire warnings about the impending doom caused by man-created global warming, so climate-alarmist researchers are now working to find a way to motivate you to “go green,” and the strategy that’s emerging is disturbing.

In an article written by Andy Murdock of the University of California for Vox, a left-wing website, Murdock asks, “how do you get people to adopt new behaviors to begin with?”

“In terms of behavioral change, we need two things,” said Magali Delmas in the Vox article, in response to Murdock’s question. Delmas is a professor at the Institute of Environment and Sustainability at the University of California at Los Angeles and the Anderson School of Management. “We need first to increase awareness, and then second, we need to find the right motivations for people to change their behavior.”

A study, titled “Nonprice Incentives and Energy Conservation” and co-authored by Delmas, is featured in the Vox article. It seeks to determine how climate-change believers can convince the rest of society to take action.

In the study’s abstract, Delmas and her co-author Omar Asensio write under the heading “Significance,” “We investigate the effectiveness of nonprice incentives to motivate conservation behavior. … In a randomized controlled trial with real-time appliance-level energy metering over 8 mo, we find that environment and health-based information strategies outperform monetary savings information to drive energy conservation. Environment and health-based messages, which communicate the environmental and public health externalities of electricity production—such as pounds of pollutants, childhood asthma, and cancer—motivated 8% energy savings versus control. … However, we do not study the persistence of these behavioral changes after the conclusion of the study.”

In other words, “the right motivations for people to change their behavior” Delmas discussed with Vox is, according to her study, to scare people by telling them “electricity production” hurts kids with asthma and causes cancer.

“This strategy was particularly effective on families with children, who achieved 19% energy savings,” found Delmas and Asensio.

Fear isn’t a new a tactic for climate alarmists, but this study shows, using scientific data, fear actually works.

(H/T: Watts Up With That?)

Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Global Warming, University of California

April 23rd, 2017 by Staff Writer

President Donald Trump delivered a common-sense appeal on Earth Day, telling his followers on Twitter on Saturday afternoon, “Today on Earth Day, we celebrate our beautiful forests, lakes and land. We stand committed to preserving the natural beauty of our nation.”

Today on Earth Day, we celebrate our beautiful forests, lakes and land. We stand committed to preserving the natural beauty of our nation.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2017

Three hours later, Trump added, “I am committed to keeping our air and water clean but always remember that economic growth enhances environmental protection. Jobs matter!”

I am committed to keeping our air and water clean but always remember that economic growth enhances environmental protection. Jobs matter!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2017

Trump’s Earth Day messages come as thousands of protesters across the country have taken to the streets to “defend” science against what they claim are anti-science policies and proposals from the White House.

Critics of Trump’s energy policies seized on the opportunity to criticize the president for his Earth Day message.

Roland Scahill from New York wrote, “If you could, you would transform every inch of nature into a Trump golf course. You have no love or admiration for nature.”

@realDonaldTrump If you could, you would transform every inch of nature into a Trump golf course. You have no love or admiration for nature.

— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) April 22, 2017

Public radio show host Al Letson wrote, “How will you preserve the natural beauty of the land, if you dismantle the @EPA?”

@realDonaldTrump How will you preserve the natural beauty of the land, if you dismantle the @EPA?

— Al Letson (@Al_Letson) April 22, 2017

Nathan Bernard from Brooklyn, New York, replied on Twitter, “You say, ‘Happy #EarthDay’ as you prepare to literally blow up the entire earth.”

@realDonaldTrump You say, “Happy #EarthDay” as you prepare to literally blow up the entire earth.

— Nathan Bernard (@nathanTbernard) April 22, 2017

“Then start taking action on global warming and quit calling it ‘fake news,’” said self-described “feminist” and “human rights activist” Cole Ledford to Trump.

@realDonaldTrump Then start taking action on global warming and quit calling it “fake news”

— Cole Ledford (@ColeLedford11) April 22, 2017

One of the biggest complaints from protesters is Trump has proposed cutting $54 billion from numerous federal government agencies, including a cut to the Environmental Protection Agency that tops 30 percent.

Trump has also issued climate- and energy-related executive orders, the most substantial of which was signed at the end of March. In that order, which is titled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” Trump pulled back from the Obama-era Clean Power Plan and lifted a 14-month moratorium on new coal leases issued to developers seeking to mine on federal lands.

According to a report by Fox News, the order also “chips away at other regulations, including scrapping language on the ‘social cost’ of greenhouse gases. It initiates a review of efforts to reduce the emission of methane in oil and natural gas production as well as a Bureau of Land Management hydraulic fracturing rule, to determine whether those reflect the president’s policy priorities. It also rescinds Obama-era executive orders and memoranda, including one that addressed climate change and national security and one that sought to prepare the country for the impacts of climate change.”

Trump maintains that his policies will both protect the environment and help spur job growth.

“We’re going to have safety, we’re going to have clean water, we’re going to have clean air, but so many [regulations] are unnecessary, so many are job-killing,” Trump said in March.

Posted in Donald Trump, Earth Day, Environment, Fox News

April 23rd, 2017 by Staff Writer

Thousands of protestors across the country have taken to the streets to celebrate Earth Day and criticize President Donald Trump’s plan to substantially cut government funding for climate-change programs. But while alarmists have been participating in their “March for Science” to “defend” science, which they claim is under attack, conservatives on social media have been busy pointing out the incredible hypocrisy of the radical-environmentalist movement.

“Happy #EarthDay from the United States Environmental Protection Agency,” wrote Lauren from Indiana, who included a picture of the EPA’s disastrous Gold King Mine spill.

Happy #EarthDay from the United States Environmental Protection Agency

— lauren (@LilMissRightie) April 22, 2017

Elizabeth Harrington, a writer for the Washington Free Beacon, wrote, “Your annual reminder #EarthDay” and included a link to the story of Ira Einhorn, one of Earth Day’s co-founders. Einhorn murdered his girlfriend and composted her inside a trunk in his closet in Philadelphia.

According to NBC News’ report of the murder, “And so on Sept. 9, 1977, [Einhorn’s girlfriend] went back to the apartment that she and Einhorn had shared in Philadelphia to collect her things, and was never seen again. When Philadelphia police questioned Einhorn about her mysterious disappearance several weeks later, he claimed that she had gone out to the neighborhood co-op to buy some tofu and sprouts and never returned.”

Your annual reminder #EarthDay

— Elizabeth Harrington (@LizWFB) April 22, 2017

One America News Network host Liz Wheeler pointed out the science is settled on abortion, but no one at the March on Science seems too concerned about that.

“But really… WHO in our country actually denies scientific fact? Abortion advocates? NOAA scientists who falsify data?” wrote Wheeler.

But really… WHO in our country actually denies scientific fact? Abortion advocates? NOAA scientists who falsify data?#MarchForScience

— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) April 22, 2017

“REAL scientists don’t want to prosecute people who question man made climate change. Lookin [sic] at you, @BillNye. #MarchForScience,” Wheeler also said, pointing to Nye’s suggestion in 2016 that it’s “appropriate” to prosecute people who actively say humans are not causing climate change.

REAL scientists don’t want to prosecute people who question man made climate change. Lookin at you, @BillNye. #MarchForScience

— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) April 22, 2017

Louder with Crowder host Steven Crowder pointed to liberals’ “science” hypocrisy as well.

Dear March For Science drones: when does life begin?

— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) April 22, 2017

“Happy #earthday from the EPA,” Julie wrote on Twitter, also pointing to EPA’s disastrous spill.

Happy #earthday from the EPA.

— ✨Julie (@GOP_Contessa) April 22, 2017

Posted in Donald Trump, Earth Day, Environment, March for Science, Steven Crowder

April 23rd, 2017 by Staff Writer

Bill Nye, known for his 1990’s science kid’s show who has since become an outspoken advocate on “climate change,” accused CNN of doing a “disservice” to its audience on Saturday by having a real scientist on their network to discuss climate change.

The CNN “New Day Saturday” panel, which included Nye and William Happer, a physicist at Princeton University,” became heated after Happer said the climate change that Nye talks about is a “myth.”

“There’s this myth that’s developed around carbon dioxide that it’s a pollutant, but you and I both exhale carbon dioxide with every breath. Each of us emits about two pounds of carbon dioxide a day, so are we polluting the planet?” Happer, who has advised President Donald Trump on climate issues, said.

“Carbon dioxide is a perfectly natural gas, it’s just like water vapor, it’s something that plants love. They grow better with more carbon dioxide, and you can see the greening of the earth already from the additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” he explained.

Nye hit back and said Happer didn’t understand the “rate,” or speed at which carbon dioxide is entering the atmosphere. Then he ripped CNN for not having only climate change alarmists on their network.

“And I will say, much as I love the CNN, you’re doing a disservice by having one climate change skeptic and not 97 or 98 scientists or engineers concerned about climate change,” Nye said.

When asked why he’s a skeptic, Happer — a real scientist — explained that climate change alarmism is built on a dishonest foundation.

“Let me point out that science is not like passing a law,” he said. “You don’t have a vote to say how many are for the law of gravity and how many are against — it’s based on observations. And if you observe what’s happening to, for example, the temperature, the temperature is not rising nearly as fast as the alarmist computer models predicted. It’s much, much less — factors of two or three less. So the whole basis for the alarmism is not true, it’s based on flawed computer modeling.”

Nye, who is not a real scientist, immediately shot back at Happer.

“That’s completely wrong,” Nye shot back. “He’s cherry picking a certain model. The heat ended up in the ocean. This is not controversial in mainstream science, everybody.”

Bill Nye has contentious exchange with a physicist about the legitimacy of climate change on CNN. (Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
(Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Nye added that he “encourages” everyone to look at the facts. For years, climate change alarmists said the polar ice caps would melt completely by the mid-2010’s causing the sea levels to rise by meters, which would then put low-lying coastal areas across the world under water. None of these things ever happened. In fact, ocean waters have not warmed on an overall average basis, despite claims made by people like Nye and former Vice President Al Gore.

Not only that, but a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the government agency that monitors the climate, whistleblower said the agency for years manipulated climate data for political reasons — meaning to show that climate change is happening when it really isn’t.

Still, Nye spouted his talking points and lectured Happer for being a “climate change denier.”

He said:

I encourage you to cut this out so we can move forward and make the United States a world leader in technology. We want advanced wind turbines…advanced concentrated energy plants. If we were to do that, we would have at least 3 million new jobs in the United States that could not be outsourced. We would not need to have our military on the other of the world defending what people call “our oil.” We could move forward and we could export this technology. We could be world leaders in this instead of wringing our hands and cherry picking data and pretending that this problem that’s obvious to the scientific community but it is somehow not obvious to you.

Later in the interview, Happer said the Trump administration should back out of the 2016 Paris Agreement, a global agreement made last year on greenhouse gas emissions. Happer compared the agreement to former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasements of Germany dictator Adolf Hitler in 1938, known as the Munich Agreement.

That agreement allowed Hitler to take over territory in what was then Czechoslovakia known as the “Sudetenland.” Hitler said he wanted the territory because it was occupied mainly by Germans and Austrians. We now know, however, that it was just one more step in Hitler’s plan to begin conquering Europe.

The comparison Happer made stunned Nye and the CNN hosts, who demanded that Happer explain his comparison.

“It is an appropriate comparison because it was a treaty that was not going to do any good,” Happer explained. “This treaty also will not do any good. Anyone who looks at the results of doing what the treaty says can see that the effect on the earth’s climate is — even if you take the alarmist computer models trivial — it will not make any difference and yet it will cause enormous harm to many people.”

The contentious exchange came on “Earth Day 2017,” also the same day that people across the world were marching “for science.”

Watch the exchange below:

Posted in Bill Nye, Climate, Climate Change, CNN, Environment, watch

April 17th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Malibu, home to world-famous beaches, has long been home to some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Historically, these millionaire celebrities and those who want to be close to them have spent fortunes to live close to the area’s gorgeous coastline, but fears over global warming are now transforming this important real estate market—one of the nation’s highest-priced—according to a new report by the Hollywood Reporter.

“The whole ‘being on the beach’ thing has started to fade away in Malibu because of global warming and climate change,” said Anthony Paradise, an international agent for Sotheby’s, to the Hollywood Reporter. “Some people will buy on the land side because they’re fearful that ocean-side homes may disappear.”

Santiago Arana, a managing partner at The Agency real estate firm, said climate change fears are driving some housing prices higher than they would otherwise be.

“The smaller the beach gets at Broad Beach, the bigger the numbers are going to get here [in Malibu Park],” Arana said. “Right now, prices are starting to move into the $15 million to $20 million range. Some of that has to do with the fact that in the last five years, people have started looking at beachfront differently.”

Hollywood’s decision to run for the hills shouldn’t come as a surprise. Actors and actresses have been sounding the global-warming alarm for years, with many giving away small fortunes and jet-setting around the world (in their fossil-fuel-emitting private planes) to help stop humans from destroying the planet.

According to the far-left publication Earth Talk, some of the biggest global-warming alarmists in Hollywood are Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Pierce Brosnan, Charlize Theron, Matt Damon, Will Ferrell and Tom Hanks.

(H/T: Watts Up With That?)

Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Global Warming, Hollywood

April 9th, 2017 by Staff Writer

During an October 2016 campaign stop, Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore repeated a common claim made by climate alarmists about the alleged link between increased global temperatures and hurricanes—one that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is now saying has yet to be proven.

“Hurricane Matthew was likely more destructive because of climate change,” Clinton said, according to a report by the Washington Post. “Right now, the ocean is at or near record high temperatures, and that contributed to the torrential rainfall and the flash flooding that we saw in the Carolinas. Sea levels have already risen about a foot, one foot, in much of the southeast, which means that Matthew’s storm surge was higher, and the flooding was more severe.”

Gore expanded on Clinton’s argument.

“It spun up from a tropical storm into a category 5 hurricane in just 36 hours,” Gore said. “That’s extremely unusual.”

Although these and similar claims suggesting hurricanes have worsened or increased in frequency as a result of global warming have been used often and with certainty by climate alarmists, the NOAA is now saying there is no definitive evidence that proves the alleged link. The NOAA is a federal government agency in the Department of Commerce that argued in favor of the theory man is primarily responsible for rising global temperatures under President Barack Obama.

According to a new report by the NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory reviewing existing evidence, “It is premature to conclude that human activities–and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity.”

NOAA said despite the fact that there currently is no evidence to support the claim, it believes there will be at some point in the future (sort of).

According to the alarmist NOAA, “Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause tropical cyclones globally to be more intense on average (by 2 to 11% according to model projections for an IPCC A1B scenario). This change would imply an even larger percentage increase in the destructive potential per storm, assuming no reduction in storm size.”

They also said the odds are “better than even” (how scientific of them!) “anthropogenic warming over the next century will lead to an increase in the occurrence of very intense tropical cyclone in some basins–an increase that would be substantially larger in percentage terms than the 2-11% increase in the average storm intensity.”

However, NOAA’s report also says, “This increase in intense storm occurrence is projected despite a likely decrease (or little change) in the global numbers of all tropical cyclones.”

Put simply, NOAA says there is no evidence hurricanes are more intense or have increased in frequency because of global warming, but it believes hurricanes could become more intense (by 2-11 percent) by 2100, even though there will likely be less total tropical cyclones.

(H/T: Watts Up With That)

Posted in Al Gore, Climate Change, Environment, Global Warming, Hillary Clinton, Hurricane Matthew, noaa

April 3rd, 2017 by Staff Writer

Proponents of the theory humans are primarily responsible for rising global temperatures long claimed wildlife are harmed significantly by global warming, and that unless mankind stops producing significant amounts of carbon-dioxide emissions, the world’s animals will not be able to thrive.

While rising temperatures have certainly put a strain on species in some parts of the world, a new study by researchers at the University of Southern Denmark suggests animals in the Arctic region are thriving as because of higher global temperatures.

According to a press release touting the study’s new findings, warmer conditions have produced a larger number of life-sustaining “melt ponds” in Arctic waters.

“Melt ponds provide more light and heat for the ice and the underlying water, but now it turns out that they may also have a more direct and potentially important influence on life in the Arctic waters,” stated the press release.

“Mats of algae and bacteria can evolve in the melt ponds, which can provide food for marine creatures. This is the conclusion of researchers in the periodical, Polar Biology,” the press release said.

The researchers said nutrients are able to reach sea creatures in the Arctic more easily because of the melt ponds.

“Climate change is accompanies by more storms and more precipitation, and we must expect that more nutrients will be released from the surroundings into the melt ponds,” said Professor Ronnie Glud of the Department of Biology at SDU. “These conditions, plus the fact that the distribution of areas of melt ponds is increasing, can contribute to increased productivity in plant and animal life in the Arctic seas.”

Recent data released by scientists at NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center reveals sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are at their lowest recorded point since 1979, when satellite data first started estimating sea ice.

About 2 million square km of Arctic sea ice are estimated to have been lost since 1979. Current data suggest about 14.28 million square km of sea ice remain.

USA Today recently declared the loss of sea ice “terrifying,” but global warming skeptics have long suggested these claims are overblown when put into perspective.

As reported by Anthony Watts on his influential climate-change website Watts Up With That, the president of the Royal Society in London reported in 1817 significant reductions to arctic sea ice.

“It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated. … this affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations.”

(H/T: Watts Up With That)

Posted in Animals, Climate, Climate Change, Environment, Global Warming

March 30th, 2017 by Staff Writer

On Wednesday, in a 228-194 vote, the Republican controlled House passed a bill that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from crafting regulation based off of scientific data that has not been seen by the public.

The Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act, or HONEST Act, will force the EPA to use data that is publicly available when crafting regulations, potentially leaving out medical findings that are kept hidden from the public to protect patient privacy. Provisions have been set aside within the bill to redact personal information, however.

“This legislation ensures that sound science is the basis for EPA decisions and regulatory actions,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the Science Committee, and author of the bill.

“The days of ‘trust-me’ science are over. In our modern information age, federal regulations should be based only on data that is available for every American to see and that can be subjected to independent review,” he continued. “That’s called the scientific method.”

Smith discussed how during the previous administration, the EPA would craft and enforce regulation that would be based off of data that hidden from the general public. The Texas congressman says that he too cares about the environment, but transparency is needed in order for the science being used to impose regulation to be legitimate.

“We all care about the environment,” he said. “But if policies are not based on legitimate science, regulations will result in economic hardship with little or no environmental benefit. In other words, the regulations would be all pain and no gain.”

Democrats, however, are claiming that Smith’s bill will essentially cripple the EPA, and endanger everyone. In a memo from Democratic Staff of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, they argued that it “would prevent EPA from functioning effectively and using the most relevant scientific data,” and that end result would be that the “EPA’s work grinds to a halt and the health of Americans and the environment are put at risk,”

The EPA may be taking even more hits in the future, as President Donald Trump’s budget plan for 2018 has the government organization taking a 30 percent reduction in funding.

Posted in Environment, EPA, Government, Republican

March 27th, 2017 by Staff Writer

A new report published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, an academic medical publication, claims there is a clear connection between rising global temperatures and type-2 diabetes, but skeptics say this is just another example of climate alarmism.

According to the report, titled “Diabetes incidence and glucose intolerance prevalence increase with higher outdoor temperature,” for every 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature, there is an age-adjusted diabetes incidence increase of 0.314 per 1,000 people.

The report’s authors state in their conclusion, “Our findings indicate that the diabetes incidence rate in the USA and prevalence of glucose intolerance worldwide increase with higher outdoor temperature.”

In a report published by the Huffington Post, one of the co-authors of the studies reportedly said the connection may be caused by higher temperatures’ effect on brown fat or climate-related links between exercise patterns, diets and higher temperatures.

Lisanne Blauw, one of the co-authors of the report, which was authored by a team of seven Dutch researchers, said their results add something important to the global warming conversation.

“When it gets warmer, there is higher incidence of diabetes,” Blauw told the Huffington Post. “It’s important to realize global warming has further effects on our health, not only on the climate.”

Writing at Watts Up With That, an influential website questioning the theory of manmade global warming, Eric Worrall said the Dutch researchers’ data “seems quite noisy” and contains some puzzling contradictions.

“The state of South Carolina (average annual temperature 63F) shows a strong correlation between diabetes and temperature, but the state of Louisiana (average annual temperature 69F) shows a strong negative correlation,” wrote Worrall. “Arizona (average annual temperature 75F) also shows a negative correlation.”

Worrall says factors other than higher temperatures offer better explanations.

“In addition, the impact of the factors the study attempted to adjust for is likely significantly larger than the impact demonstrated by the study,” wrote Worrall.

“For example, the following, from a 2007 study of body mass index vs diabetes, shows a strong relationship between body mass and diabetes, ranging from below 5% for skinny people to around 25% for very fat people – a far more pronounced effect than the small difference claimed by the climate study above,” Worrall wrote.

Worrall concludes by acknowledging there could be some minor association between temperature and diabetes, but that it’s far more likely other causes explain rising diabetes rates.

“I’m not saying the authors are necessarily wrong, they appear to have made a credible attempt to tease out a small effect from a noisy data set,” wrote Worrall. “But even if they are right, factors other than temperature are far more significant predictors of whether someone is likely to suffer from diabetes.”

Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Global Warming, Health

March 26th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Despite grim warnings issued by climate change alarmists over the past few years, California’s drought appears to be ending in spectacular fashion, with the state having experienced relatively high amounts of precipitation during the most recent winter.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a federal government agency, “For the first time since 2011, California’s drought is significantly weakening—a result of one of the wettest winters on record. California has experienced record levels of precipitation this winter, and unlike last winter, cooler temperatures over the 2016–2017 winter season have enabled the precipitation to build up snowpack (the total accumulated snow and ice on the ground).”

The EIA reported some of the biggest changes have occurred in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

“Snowpack levels have increased significantly from the near-zero levels measured in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in April 2015,” said EIA’s report. “As of March 21, 2017, the California Department of Water Resources reported that statewide snowpack was 158% of normal for that date. A more important metric when considering snowpack is the snow water equivalent (SWE)—the total amount of water contained within the snowpack. California’s SWE levels have noticeably increased this year, and as of March 21, the California Department of Water Resources reported that the statewide snow water equivalent was also 158% of average for that date.”

In 2015, climate change researchers at the University of Arizona claimed their findings revealed the “extreme character” of the Sierra Nevada snowpack and the changing nature of California winters.

“Our study really points to the extreme character of the 2014-15 winter,” said Valerie Trouet, a professor at the University of Arizona’s Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research. “This is not just unprecedented over 80 years—it’s unprecedented over 500 years.”

“We should be prepared for this type of snow drought to occur much more frequently because of rising temperatures,” Trouet said. “Anthropogenic warming is making the drought more severe.”

Earlier in March, researchers at UCLA released a study predicting the end of snow in California by the year 2100, a problem it says will be caused by “human-induced climate change.”

According to a press release issued by the university: “The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which provides 60 percent of the state’s water via a vast network of dams and reservoirs, has already been diminished by human-induced climate change and if emissions levels aren’t reduced, the snowpack could largely disappear during droughts, according to findings in the study published today in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.”

(H/T: Watts Up With That?)

Posted in California, Climate Change, Environment, University of California

January 19th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Evolutionary biologist Dr Vazrick Nazari has discovered a new tiny moth that he took the liberty of naming after President-elect Donald Trump, calling it Neopalpa donaldtrumpi. 

Nazari made the announcement on Twitter, and adding his hopes that the incoming president will pay attention to the environment saying “Maybe now he’ll make conservation of fragile US ecosystems a priority?”

So I named a species after @realDonaldTrump. Maybe now he’ll make conservation of fragile US ecosystems a priority?

— Vazrick Nazari (@vazrick) January 17, 2017

He further elaborated in a statement according to

“By naming this species after the 45th President of the United States, I hope to bring some public attention to, and interest in, the importance of alpha-taxonomy in better understanding the neglected micro-fauna component of the North American biodiversity.”

This moth makes its home right where Trump plans to build the wall in the Arizona and California areas, thus prompting Nazari’s comment.

But the reason this moth was given Trump’s name has much to do with its appearance. For one, this moth seems to have a blond patch of scales that swoop back over its head that looks strikingly like Trump’s hair, especially from the side. However, this micro-moth seems to have a micro-problem in the unmentionables.

Nazari describes it in his report posted in Zookeys.

Male genitalia. Characterized by elongate shape, long parallel-sided tegumen and slender, well-rounded uncus; gnathos a short spine; culcitula weakly developed; valva sigmoid, parallel sided with a bifurcating antler-shaped tip; sacculus parabasally located, short and cone shaped; vincular processes variously developed; saccus elongate, nearly as long as tegumen; phallus elongate with a subovate caecum and a distinct subterminal spine.

Translation: It has small genitals.

Nazari even mentions it in his notes, saying the moth’s genitalia is “comparatively smaller than for N. neonata”, which is the moth’s closest relative in the moth kingdom. 

If Nazari was hoping Trump would ease up on his wall idea in order to save this moth, then chances seem smaller than this it’s sacculus parabasally.

Posted in Donald Trump, Environment, Science

January 14th, 2017 by Staff Writer

According to a solicitation from the Department of Defense, the U.S. military is looking for a company to get to work on creating ammunition that is not only biodegradable, but also contains seeds.

The problem they’re looking to overcome is how regular bullets can become pollutants. Casings and sabot petals can be come lodged in the ground, or left behind causing the chemicals to damage the soil and nearby water sources. Furthermore, when farmers or construction crews work the soil they can sometimes come across them in dangerous ways, causing injury due to a machine kicking them up.

So, the answer lies in creating ammo that biodegrade naturally.

The solution sought by this topic is naturally occurring biodegradable material to replace the current training round materials, eliminating environmental hazards. This SBIR will prove out the technology and replace current training round components with biodegradable parts. The biodegradable materials identified can be utilized by private industry to manufacture biodegradable water bottles, plastic containers, or any other composite or plastic product(s) on the market today.

But they wish to go a step further. Once it degrades, it leaves behind a bioengineered seed that will grow into a plant after a few months. This plant’s entire purpose is to eat up any pollutants left behind by the round.

The US Army Corps of Engineers’ Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) has demonstrated bioengineered seeds that can be embedded into the biodegradable composites and that will not germinate until they have been in the ground for several months. This SBIR effort will make use of seeds to grow environmentally friendly plants that remove soil contaminants and consume the biodegradable components developed under this project. Animals should be able to consume the plants without any ill effects.

It should be noted that this project is limited to training rounds used in allied areas, as the military is not interested in messing with actual ammunition used on our enemies.

Posted in Defense Department, Environment, Government, Military, Military Technology

January 4th, 2017 by Staff Writer

A French tourist in Thailand is recovering from a crocodile bite after her attempt at taking a selfie with the croc went horribly wrong.

The 41 year old French woman was visiting Khao Yai National Park with her husband, and after walking off the path and discovering the crocodiles, the woman decided she wanted to get close enough to the crocodile to take a picture with it. As she squatted down next to it, it turned toward her and bit her in the leg while she posed for the picture.

Employees of the park came to her aid before she was taken to a nearby hospital. Her current condition is unknown.

There are reportedly many signs placed all around the park warning tourists to stay on the paths only.

Posted in crocodile, Environment, Thailand

December 19th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C., isn’t the only national park to conduct a deer management program in an attempt to maintain the vegetation of their urban park. But it may be the only park in the nation to provide the haul to area homeless shelters to help feed the indigent.

According to Rock Creek Park Public Affairs Specialist Emily Linroth, the deer management program at Rock Creek Park has partnered with area homeless shelters to provide venison they take in — after it’s tested and determined to be safe for consumption — to help feed the homeless men and women living in Washington, D.C.

“In 2013, we donated about 6000 lbs of venison, primarily to DC Central Kitchen,” Linroth said. “First we test it for chronic wasting disease and when it comes back clean, we donate it to local food banks.”

Linroth notes that hunting is not allowed in Rock Creek Park, and so they commissioned the help of Department of Agriculture-trained marksmen and firearms experts — who also happen to be biologists.

The program starts in late Fall and continues through early Spring, all after dark. Signage has already gone up warning park-goers not to venture through the park after night falls.

“There are several thousands of acres just in the core of Rock Creek Park, so we have staff rangers stationed to warn anyone that doesn’t heed the signs that the program is being conducted,” Linroth says. She also says the hunter-biologists use infrared devices that can tell them by the heat signature what kind of animal they’re seeing — even a human one.

Linroth said the program has only been in effect for the last three years, but already they’ve removed over 200 deer. And they chose D.C. Central Kitchen because it’s not just a homeless shelter, but it has developed what they call “school ventures” designed to put people to work to fight poverty.

Linroth said the program is necessary to maintain the vegetation in the park so the other animals and humans can enjoy the park and its fauna. “The deer really love to eat the seedlings,” she notes. “And so we adjust the amount of deer.”

She says the hunter-biologists have a saying: “It’s not that we have too  many deer. It’s that we have too few trees,” she said. The reduction in the number of deer helps them monitor the vegetation. And provide food for those who may not otherwise have it over a cold Northeast coastal winter. Sounds like a win-win.

Posted in Environment, Washington D.C.

November 22nd, 2016 by Staff Writer

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is collecting data on fire safety by setting fires in space.

In their second round of experiments, NASA is igniting nine different samples aboard their spacecraft, the Cygnus cargo vehicle, as it orbits Earth. The samples include a cotton-fiberglass blend called Nomex, which is the same acrylic glass used for spacecraft windows.

The experiment, called Saffire-II, launched in October 2016 and NASA says the mission will help “develop deep space habitation capabilities,” as well as “validate important habitation-related systems and operations in low-Earth orbit.”

Saffire-II is the second of a three-part experiment and aims to build on the data collected during the previous fire safety experiment, Saffire-I.  NASA partnered with the European Space agency and began igniting test samples on Monday around 7:15 pm Eastern Time.

Saffire-I investigated “large-scale flame spread and material flammability limits in long duration microgravity,” according to NASA’s website. Before this experiment, the largest fire experiment ever conducted in space was about the size of an index card.

NASA is providing live updates on the mission on their website.

Posted in Environment, NASA

October 28th, 2016 by Staff Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheBlaze/AP) — The leaders of an armed group who seized a national wildlife refuge in rural Oregon were acquitted Thursday in the 41-day standoff that brought new attention to a long-running dispute over control of federal lands in the U.S. West.

Tumult erupted in the courtroom after the verdicts were read when an attorney for group leader Ammon Bundy demanded his client be immediately released, repeatedly yelling at the judge. U.S. marshals tackled attorney Marcus Mumford to the ground, used a stun gun on him several times and arrested him.

Best quality available) In this composite with handout images provided by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, suspects (Top L) Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Ryan Waylen Payne, Brian Cavalier, (Bottom L) Peter Santilli, Joseph Donald OShaughnessy , and Shawna Cox pose for a mugshot photo after being arrested by U.S. Marshalls January 26, 2016 in Oregon. Ammon Bundy and seven others were arrested in a traffic stop along Highway 395 outside Burns, Oregon. One person was killed in the confrontation. Bundy led a group of armed followers, adopting the name Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, and occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Multnomah County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images)

In this composite with handout images provided by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, suspects Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Ryan Waylen Payne, Brian Cavalier, Peter Santilli, Joseph Donald OShaughnessy , and Shawna Cox pose for a mugshot photo after being arrested by U.S. Marshalls Jan. 26, 2016, in Oregon. (Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images)

U.S. District Judge Anna Brown said she could not release Bundy because he still faces charges in Nevada stemming from an armed standoff at his father Cliven Bundy’s ranch two years ago.

The jury found Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy and several others not guilty of possessing a firearm in a federal facility and conspiring to impede federal workers from their jobs at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, 300 miles southeast of Portland where the trial took place.

“Stunning,” defense lawyer Lisa Ludwig, who was standby counsel for Ryan Bundy, told The Oregonian of the jury’s surprising decision.

The Bundys were expected to stand trial in Nevada early next year. Authorities rounded up cattle at their father’s ranch in 2014 because of unpaid grazing fees but released the animals as they faced armed protesters.

The brothers are part of a ranching family embroiled in a lengthy fight over the use of public range, and their occupation in Oregon drew an international spotlight to a uniquely American West dispute: federal restrictions on ranching, mining and logging to protect the environment. The government, which controls much of the land in the U.S. West, says it tries to balance industry, recreation and wildlife concerns to benefit all.

The armed occupiers were allowed to come and go for several weeks as authorities tried to avoid bloodshed seen in past standoffs.

The confrontations reignited clashes dating to the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion of the late 1970s, when Western states such as Nevada tried to win more control of vast federal land holdings.

The group took over the bird sanctuary in remote southeastern Oregon on Jan. 2. They objected to prison sentences handed down to Dwight and Steven Hammond, two local ranchers convicted of setting fires. They demanded the government free the father and son and relinquish control of public lands to local officials.

Ammon Bundy gave frequent news conferences and the group used social media in a mostly unsuccessful effort to get others to join them.

The Bundys and other key figures were arrested in a Jan. 26 traffic stop outside the refuge that ended with police fatally shooting Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, an occupation spokesman. Most occupiers left after his death, but four holdouts remained until Feb. 11, when they surrendered after a lengthy negotiation.

At trial, the case was seemingly open-and-shut. There was no dispute the group seized the refuge, established armed patrols and vetted those who visited.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this case is not a whodunit,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight said in his closing argument, arguing that the group decided to take over a federal workplace that didn’t belong to them.

On technical grounds, the defendants said they never discussed stopping individual workers from accessing their offices but merely wanted the land and the buildings. On emotional grounds, Ammon Bundy and other defendants argued that the takeover was an act of civil disobedience against an out-of-control federal government that has crippled the rural West.

Federal prosecutors took two weeks to present their case, finishing with a display of more than 30 guns seized after the standoff. An FBI agent testified that 16,636 live rounds and nearly 1,700 spent casings were found.

Bundy testified in his defense, spending three days amplifying his belief that government overreach is destroying Western communities that rely on the land.

He said the plan was to take ownership of the refuge by occupying it for a period of time and then turn it over to local officials to use as they saw fit.

Bundy also testified that the occupiers carried guns because they would have been arrested immediately otherwise and to protect themselves against possible government attack.

Ryan Bundy, who acted his own attorney, did not testify.

Authorities had charged 26 occupiers with conspiracy. Eleven pleaded guilty, and another had the charge dropped. Seven defendants chose not to be tried at this time. Their trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 14.

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Posted in Cliven Bundy, Environment, Oregon Standoff

September 7th, 2016 by Staff Writer

HONOLULU (AP) — Federal authorities took most humpback whales off the endangered species list Tuesday, saying their numbers have recovered through international efforts to protect the giant mammals.

Humpback whale numbers have steadily grown since a global ban on commercial whaling started nearly 50 years ago. The whaling moratorium remains in effect, despite the new classification.

AP Photo/Reed Saxon, file

AP Photo/Reed Saxon, file

The National Marine Fisheries Service said it first had evidence to indicate there were 14 distinct populations of humpback whales around the world. It then said nine of these populations have recovered to the point where they no longer need Endangered Species Act Protections. These include whales that winter in Hawaii, the West Indies and Australia.

Before, the agency classified all humpback whales as one population. They had been listed as endangered since 1970.

“Today’s news is a true ecological success story,” Eileen Sobeck, assistant administrator for fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said in a statement.

The whales will continue to be protected under other federal laws, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Vessels will continue to have to stay a specific distance away from humpback whales in Hawaii and Alaska waters.

A Hawaii fishermen’s group that petitioned for delisting three years ago said it was happy with the decision.

“We just saw a lot of whales. So we thought this is a success in ocean management and we wanted to point that out to the world — that things are good with whales in Hawaii,” said Phil Fernandez, president of the Hawaii Fishermen’s Alliance for Conservation and Tradition.

An estimated 11,000 humpback whales breed in Hawaii waters each winter and migrate to Alaska to feed during the summer, the fisheries service said.

But an environmentalist group said the protections should stay in place.

“These whales face several significant and growing threats, including entanglement in fishing gear, so ending protections now is a step in the wrong direction,” Kristen Monsell, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement.

Humpbacks that breed in Central America in the winter and feed off California and the Pacific Northwest in the summer are among those that will remain on the endangered list.

Marta Nammack, the fisheries service’s Endangered Species Act listing coordinator, said that’s because the population is estimated at only about 400 whales. These whales also face threats from vessel collisions and getting entangled in fishing gear, she said.

Whales that breed off Mexico and feed off California, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska will be listed as threatened. There are about 3,200 of the whales in this group, which is only about half of what scientists previously thought, Nammack said. The whales also face fishing gear entanglement threats.

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Posted in Environment

September 4th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Following news of the Oklahoma earthquake early Saturday, progressives took to Twitter to push their environmental agenda.

The 5.6 magnitude quake was centered near Pawnee, Oklahoma, a small town in the north central part of the Sooner State. The trembler tied the record for the largest earthquake ever recorded in Oklahoma, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The epicenter is located in what the U.S. Geological Survey labels a medium-hazard earthquake zone.

Image source: USGS

Image source: USGS

But progressives on social media seemingly ignored that part, instead suggesting the quake was the direct result of fracking, an issue the far-left has fought to ban. While states like New York have banned fracking, others like Oklahoma still allow it, although some do impose certain regulations.

Here are a few of the tweets issued just hours after the quake struck:

#Oklahoma’s #Fracking Industry Just Caused The Largest Manmade Earthquake in US History

— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) September 3, 2016

2015: Scientists predict Oklahoma could soon see a larger, more damaging #earthquake of 5.0 or higher #fracking

— Richard Hine (@richardhine) September 3, 2016

How to predict earthquakes:

1. Find a place where fracking is happening.

2. Wait.

— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) September 3, 2016

Fracking has turned Oklahoma into America’s #earthquake capital:
GOP solution: more fracking

— Richard Hine (@richardhine) September 3, 2016

Could fracking be causing Oklahoma’s earthquakes?

— NYer | Elements (@elements) September 3, 2016

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein weighed in also, calling for a “clean” energy grid by 2030 in addition to banning fracking.

Mother Earth doesn’t like fracking. Me neither. The #GreenNewDeal transforms our energy system to create clean energy by 2030. #BanFracking

— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) September 3, 2016

At least 37 disposal wells, which are used by frackers, were ordered to be shut down Saturday.

Gov. Mary Fallin said in a statement that no one was seriously injured and that damage was “limited.”

“Information on the earthquake is still being collected and will be reviewed by my coordinating council on seismic activity chaired by Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague, as we continue to move forward to make our state safe,” Fallin said.

The Republican governor has declared a state of emergency for the county affected by the trembler.

I have declared a state of emergency for Pawnee County due to the magnitude 5.6 earthquake that occurred today. .

— Governor Mary Fallin (@GovMaryFallin) September 3, 2016

Follow the author of this story on Twitter and Facebook:

Follow @jonstreet

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Posted in Environment, Fracking, Government Regulation, Oklahoma, Progressives, US

June 30th, 2016 by Staff Writer

A number of military-style United Nations vehicles were spotted on Interstate 81, near Lexington, Virginia, earlier this week, sparking some conspiracy theories to surface.

The presence of the large white vehicles caused one observer to suggest they are “being to use against Americans,” but the truth was much less controversial.

Image source: Jeff Stern/Facebook

Image source: Jeff Stern/Facebook

The U.N., an international organization that does not have authorities in the United States, was simply having their trucks manufactured in Virginia at Alpine Armoring, Inc, an international supplier and manufacturer of armored vehicles.

A representative from Alpine confirmed to TheBlaze that the vehicles were, in fact, purchased by the U.N. and were being delivered to a nearby port for use outside the United States.

When the photos first made headlines, one person who commented on a post by Facebook user Jeff Stern, who shared the images, said, “These are manufactured in Danville. Thats why you saw them in VA. They were being delivered.”

As it turns out, that was exactly why the U.N. vehicles were in the Old Dominion.

Follow the author of this story on Twitter:
Follow @tregp

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Posted in Environment, United Nations, Video, watch, World

May 16th, 2016 by Staff Writer

A 23-year-old Florida woman was taken to the hospital Sunday afternoon because of a shark bite. But, according to the Boca Raton Fire Rescue, the nurse shark was still attached to her arm.

“I have never seen anything like it. Never even heard of anything like this,” Ocean Rescue Capt. Clint Tracy, who saw the woman and the shark as they were transferred to an ambulance at Red Reef Park, said, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Overall, Tracy said the woman remained calm, adding that there was only a little bit of blood. A splint board was used to support the woman’s arm and the shark as she lay on the ambulance stretcher, he said.

The woman, whose name was not released, was taken to the Boca Regional Hospital by Boca Raton Fire Rescue and she is in stable condition, according to spokesman Robert Lemons.

The shark was dead before emergency responders arrived at the scene, “but was still attached to her arm,” Lemons said. Tracy praised the life guard who helped the woman, saying, “The guard responded calmly, called for backup, and the lieutenant called fire rescue.”

Several beachgoers said they saw the woman and her friends antagonizing the shark. According to Nate Pachter, 11, said he and his cousin were snorkeling when they saw the group “holding the shark by its tail. They were messing with it.”

“Sharks are like the most humane thing ever,” Patcher said. “So it wouldn’t bite them if they hadn’t been messing with it.”

Nurse sharks are extremely common in offshore Florida and can grow up to 14 feet in length. The creatures are able to remain totally still as they breathe by pumping water through their mouths and out of their gills. In fact, according to researchers, the small sharks are sometimes seen stationary on the ocean floor.

Nurse sharks are known for having strong jaws and thousands of tiny teeth.

“Knowingly or not, people swim near nurse sharks every day without incident,” according to the National Park Service. “Attacks on humans are rare, but not unknown, and a clamping bite typically results from a diver or fisherman antagonizing the shark with hook, spear, net or hand.”

“The bite reflex is such that it may be some minutes before a quietly re-immersed nurse shark will relax and release its tormentor,” they added. “The small teeth seldom penetrate deeply but are razor sharp.”

Holding still reduces the damage for both shark and human, according to the NPS, adding that leaving sharks alone “is the best tactic.”

Follow the author of this story on Twitter:
Follow @tregp

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Posted in Environment, Florida, Sharks, US

December 15th, 2015 by Staff Writer

Paris Climate Agreement

Benefits solar company First Solar


The Paris Climate Agreement was reached over the weekend. An economic leader in the agreement has been identified by the White House, but it is a solar company with a shaky past.
Because of the Agreement, First Solar has received $1.46 billion in federal loan guarantees from the Department of Energy and Export-Import Bank Loans.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said, “Let me give you one other example. There is a company called First Solar. This is an American company that is developing, constructing and operating solar projects around the world, many of them the largest or among the largest in their regions, including Latin America, the Middle East, Australia.”Paris Climate AgreementAP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The company First Solar, then, could benefit the most from emission reductions that were talked about in the climate meeting in France.


Earnest also said,

“As we see additional countries deciding how precisely they are going to meet these commitments, they will turn to investments in solar energy and that is going to create tremendous opportunities for American companies that are already leading the way in these kinds of innovations. We will see in the years ahead that there is a powerful economic incentive in the United States for us to follow through on our commitments and to make sure other countries are doing the same, because that will create a tremendous opportunity for American businesses.”


Posted in Barack Obama, Climate Change, Environment, Government, Government Waste, Green Energy, Josh Earnest, Paris, World

November 6th, 2015 by Staff Writer

President Barack Obama announced Friday that the administration was officially rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline extension from Canada.

“The State Department determined the Keystone pipeline would not serve the national interest of the United States and I agree with that decision,” Obama at the White House Friday.

President Barack Obama speaks on the Keystone XL pipeline, announcing his rejection of the Canada-US Keystone pipeline on November 6, 2015 in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC. President Obama on Friday blocked the construction of a controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline between Canada and the United States, ending years of bitter and politically charged debate.AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama speaks on the Keystone XL pipeline, announcing his rejection of the Canada-U.S. Keystone pipeline Nov. 6, 2015, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Obama blocked the construction of a controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline between Canada and the United States, ending years of bitter and politically charged debate. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

The announcement comes after a seven-year review by the State Department.

“Shipping more dirty crude oil into our country will not increase our energy security,” Obama said.

While discussing the upcoming climate talks in Paris, he added, ”If we want to keep this plant from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable, we need to keep some fossil fuel in the ground.”

Obama also insisted the pipeline would not reduce gas prices.

Proponents of the pipeline argued that it could have created hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs directly and indirectly. Opponents in the environmental lobby expressed concern that it would harm the environment. Obama said that both prospects were overstated.

“If Congress is serious about creating jobs, this is not the way to do it,” Obama said.

Congress passed a bill, which Obama vetoed in February, that would have extended the pipeline.

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Posted in Barack Obama, Energy, Environment, Government, John Kerry, Keystone Pipeline, World

October 23rd, 2015 by Staff Writer

A new study has found that large-scale solar power, in its current state, in California might have some unintended operational consequences because it’s not necessarily in the right location.

Researchers from the Universities of California, Riverside and Berkeley, and Stanford University found that less than 15 percent of the state’s utility-scale solar energy operations are located in “compatible” areas.

“Our study, which focuses on California, shows that utility-scale solar energy development can be a driver of land-use and land-cover change, which is a source of greenhouse gas emissions itself,” Rebecca Hernandez, lead researcher on the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said in a statement. “We see this happening if solar energy power plants are sited in natural habitats, in lieu of areas already impacted by humans — such as on commercial rooftops or over parking lots.”

24 MW DC Cascade Solar Plant Constructed by SunEdison located in California Desert, Largest plant interconnected to date under California RAM program. Financing provided by Wells Fargo, SDG&E to purchase electricity generated.  (PRNewsFoto/SunEdison, Inc.)

24 MW DC Cascade Solar Plant Constructed by SunEdison located in California Desert, Largest plant interconnected to date under California RAM program. Financing provided by Wells Fargo, SDG&E to purchase electricity generated. (PRNewsFoto/SunEdison, Inc.)

The researchers reviewed 161 USSE installations that were planned, in the works or already operating, detailing the land cover types where they were located.

While only a few were located in truly compatible areas, the majority were in what the study deemed “potentially compatible” areas and 19 percent were in “incompatible” areas.

Location of these installations is important for considering the impact on the local habitat and also transmissions to existing infrastructure.

“[W]e were observing extensive environmental damage, without understanding that simple, prudent siting of utility-scale solar energy installations could alleviate that damage,” Michael Allen, the director of the Center for Conservation Biology, said in a statement.

SunEdison and TerraForm Power&Regulus solar facility in Kern County, California, operational and generating clean energy (PRNewsFoto/SunEdison, Inc.)

SunEdison and TerraForm Power&Regulus solar facility in Kern County, California, operational and generating clean energy (PRNewsFoto/SunEdison, Inc.)

The researchers found the USSE installations were, on average, at most 7 and 5 kilometers from protected areas (these measurements being for photovoltaic solar power and concentrating solar power, respectively).

“Our study of California reveals that USSE development is a source of land cover change and, based on its proximity to protected areas, may exacerbate habitat fragmentation, resulting in direct and indirect ecological consequences,” the study authors wrote. “These impacts may include increased isolation and nonnative species invasions, and compromised movement potential of species tracking habitat shifts in response to environmental disturbances, such as climate change.”

Being located far from existing transmission infrastructure poses a problem as well.

“New transmission extensions are expensive, difficult to site due to social and environmental concerns, and require many years of planning and construction. Such transmission-related siting incompatibilities not only necessitate additional land cover change but also stand in the way of cost-efficient and rapid renewable energy deployment,” the study authors stated in the research published this week.

Another interesting find, the researchers found, was that 30 percent of the installations were in croplands and pastures, suggesting a shift by landowners from farming to energy production.

Hernandez said that situating solar installations in developed areas, like contaminated land, parking lots or on rooftops, would be a good environmental decision.

“Instead, we see that ‘big solar’ is competing for space with natural areas. Knowing this is vital for understanding and creating predictions of a rapidly changing global energy landscape,” she said in a statement.

(H/T: IEEE Spectrum)

Front page image via Shutterstock.

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Posted in Climate Change, Environment

October 8th, 2015 by Staff Writer

Ready to do some Thanksgiving shopping? Though the holiday is still 46 days away, experts are saying if you wish to have homemade pumpkin pie, you might want to grab a can or two of the pureed stuff ahead of time just to be safe.

Photo credit: Warren Price Photography/

Photo credit: Warren Price Photography/

“I would not wait until Nov. 20,” University of Illinois professor Mohammad Babadoost said, referencing the week before the Nov. 27 Thanksgiving holiday. “I’d buy it whenever it comes to the store.”

That’s because Illinois, the producer of 90 percent of U.S. pumpkins, experienced a record amount of rainfall in June, washing out the crop.

Jane Moran, who owns Moran’s Orchard in Neoga, Illinois, said they replanted washed out pumpkin crops and then it rained more so they’re buying pumpkins at auction twice a week.

Libby’s, which manufactures cans of pure pumpkin as well as pumpkin pie mix, believes its harvest could be down as much as 50 percent.

“We’re disappointed that the yields this year are less than we anticipated. This is due to the heavy rain that occurred during the critical growing months for our Libby’s pumpkin,” Roz O’Hearn, corporate and brand affairs director for Nestle, which owns Libby said in a statement to TheBlaze.

O’Hearn said Libby’s originally reported that its yield could be off by as much as a third, “but updated crop reports indicate yields will be reduced by half this year,” she said in a statement. “Harvest began in late August and will finish early this year (this week) due to the poor yields.”

Still O’Hearn said she believes the company will have enough canned pumpkin to get through the fall holidays. It’s in 2016 where pumpkin lovers might need to worry.

“We’re carefully managing our distribution across the country and to our retailers through allocation. However, we won’t have much ‘reserve’ stock — if any at all —to carry us into the new year,” O’Hearn said. “Once we ship the remainder of the 2015 harvest (most likely by mid-November), we’ll have no Libby’s pumpkin to sell until Harvest of 2016.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Front page image via Shutterstock.

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