Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Friday signed a law blocking scheduled increases in the state’s renewable power mandates, punctuating a broader effort among the states to roll back the once-fashionable mandates. Just five years ago, proponents of renewable power mandates were aggressively playing offense in the state legislatures. Between 2004 and 2009, nearly half of all states enacted renewable power mandates, requiring a designated share of electricity delivery in the state to come from renewable sources. By 2009, 30 states had renewable power mandates, and renewable power proponents confidently talked of imposing mandates in all 50 states.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a technique to remove natural gas and oil from shale formations, has been under withering assault from environmental groups for much of the last decade. Fracking has been blamed for contamination of drinking water, air pollution, earthquakes, water shortages, global warming, radiation discharge, and even cancer. But it appears that environmentalists have lost the battle against fracking.
In a recent opinion piece in the New York Times (“Lessons from the Little Ice Age,” NYT, March 22, 2014), historian Geoffrey Parker—author of Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the 17th Century—suggests the desperate climate of the years 1600 to 1700 is a template for a collapse of civilization in the twenty-first century. But there’s one massive flaw in his theory: The past cultural collapses have almost all occurred during “little ice ages,” not during our many global warmings.
Several Hollywood elites were recently caught red-handed on videotape, agreeing to take money from a Middle Eastern oil sheikh for another anti-fracking movie. Their actions were shameful, but they felt no shame – only anger at the folks who caught them in the act. Indeed, the ironies are matched only by their hypocrisy and disdainful disregard for the consequences of their anti-fracking fervor.
Be scared, the experts tell us, be very scared. Well there is certainly cause for concern, but not about those “rising” temperatures, which refuse to confirm researchers’ computer models. A far bigger worry is the corruption that has turned ‘science’ into a synonym for shameless, cynical careerism.
On Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its “Clean Power Plan” proposal at the direction of President Barack Obama. The plan mandates a 30 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions[...]
Among its 645 pages of new red tape for power plants, the EPA states that its proposal “would result in significant reductions of GHG [Green House Gas] emissions that cause harmful climate change, while providing states with ample opportunity to design plans that use innovative, cost-effective strategies that take advantage of investments already being made in programs and measures that lower the carbon intensity of the power sector and reduce GHG emissions.”
In our world of laptops, iPads, flat-screen TVs, microwaves, and jet-skis, it is easy to forget that 1.3 billion people on this planet, nearly one in five overall, do not have access to electricity. Even fewer people have access to clean cooking areas, as 2.6 billion people (38 percent of the world’s population) use traditional biomass—such as wood and animal dung—or coal indoors to cook their meals. As a result, indoor air pollution prematurely claims 3.5 million lives every year, more than double the lives claimed by either malaria or HIV/AIDS. These people are victims of energy poverty.
Climate models help improve our conceptual understandings of climate systems and the forces that drive climate change. However, they are terrible at predicting Earth’s temperature and other components of its climate. They should never be used to set or justify policies, laws or regulations – such as what the Environmental Protection Agency is about to impose on CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants.
The melting of glaciers is often cited as evidence mankind is causing global warming through carbon dioxide emissions. A corollary of this is that melting glaciers raise sea levels, which will reach catastrophic levels unless CO2 emissions are reduced. Adding to the massive evidence already refuting these assertions, a recent paper provides more accurate reconstruction of two centuries of previous data “by using many more stations, particularly in the polar regions, and recently processed historic data series from isolated island stations.”
Before President Obama took office in 2009, the amount of electricity being produced by coal-fired utilities was approximately fifty percent of the total. Today it is approximately forty percent and, when the Environmental Protection Agency regulations take effect as of June 2, more such utilities are likely to close their doors. The basis for the regulations is utterly devoid of any scientific facts.
April seems to be the month in which the Supreme Court devotes itself to decisions that have no basis in real science and can do maximum damage to the economy. Invariably, the cases are brought against the Environmental Protection Agency and are decided in its favor.
On April 29, renowned climate scientist, Heartland Institute policy advisor, and external reviewer of the IPCC Madhav Khandekar appeared on “The Infectious Myth” show on the Progressive Radio Network. “The infectious Myth” focuses on addressing medical and scientific issues for which “the simple story we are told” is in fact untrue. Dr. Khandekar seeks to do just that for the issue of man-made climate change.
In a little “frontier” community in northern New Mexico, a national property rights battle is playing out with huge national implications and almost no one knows it is taking place. The outcome of two lawsuits that are pending against Mora County and its Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance have the potential to impact an individual’s ability to use and profit from his or her own land—not just in New Mexico, but from coast-to-coast.
California loves to be seen as the trendsetter on energy and environmental policies. But can we really afford to adopt their laws and regulations in the rest of America? Heck, can the once Golden State afford them itself? The path to hell is paved with good intentions, counter-productive policies – and hypocrisy.
Many readers will surely agree with me that Hotchkiss launched us into successful and fulfilling careers, mine as a scientist, physicist and engineer continues actively 60 years past graduation. Among my specialties has been the study of climate, present, past and future, ever since the 1970s when the popular press was warning of an advancing ice age, and on into the 90s when global warming took over with unsubstantiated anecdotal evidence and mathematical models.
All dictators and authoritarian regimes know that what is taught in their schools offers the greatest opportunity to maintain control over their societies.
That is what has been occurring since the introduction of the Common Core standards that the Obama regime has imposed on our national education system and the good news is that protests against it from concerned parents and others are beginning to increase and gain momentum.
Americans take electricity for granted. Electricity powers our lights, our computers, our offices, and our industries. But misguided environmental policies are eroding the reliability of our power system.
Built on a foundation of sand, the Leaning Tower of Pisa would have toppled over long ago, if not for ingenious engineering projects that keep it from tilting any further. The same thing is true of ethanol, automobile mileage, power plant pollution and many other environmental policies.