Is The Swamp Swallowing The Washington Examiner’s Energy And Climate Reporting?


By James Taylor


A publication that has built a reputation for fair and non-biased reporting has lately been inserting leftist propaganda into its energy and environment coverage.

Energy, environment, and climate reporting at the usually solid Washington Examiner are increasingly taking on the left’s language and agenda. Why are the Examiner’s two lead energy and climate reporters advancing leftist politics rather than straight reporting, and why is the paper allowing this to happen?

In June 2017, the Examiner hired Josh Siegel to join John Siciliano covering energy, environment, and climate news. Siciliano had a solid track record of just-the-facts reporting and had worked as a reporter for The Daily Signal, the multimedia news organization of the conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation.

Two months after bringing Siegel on board, the Examiner launched Siegel and Siciliano’s “Daily on Energy” report, with each day’s edition containing several short write-ups of energy, environment, and climate issues. Lengthier versions of many of the short write-ups later appeared in the Examiner as stand-alone articles.

Shifting Toward Politicized Language

Since launching the report, Siegel and Siciliano have taken a significant turn toward the political left. Its substance, tone, word choice, and quoted sources consistently advance leftist messaging on energy, environment, and climate issues.

For example, in news articles regarding the Trump administration’s proposal to enhance energy grid reliability by crediting coal and nuclear power for being on-demand power sources with on-site fuel storage, Siegel and Siciliano consistently refer to the proposal as “the coal bailout.” While anti-coal activists can make a shaky argument that assigning monetary value to electric grid security is a “bailout” for the energy sources that provide that security, the argument is exactly that–a political argument.

Siegel and Siciliano refer to the proposal matter-of-factly as “the coal bailout,” as if such a label was factual and beyond dispute rather than a loaded political argument. Just as strikingly, Siegel and Siciliano never use the term “bailout” to describe wind and solar power or the many government programs, subsidies, and policies that benefit them, even though wind and solar power receive more subsidies than all conventional energy sources combined.

When reporting on Sen. Marco Rubio noting that sea level rise will continue, regardless of reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, Siegel and Siciliano cite the aggressively leftist Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in an attempt to rebut Rubio. Worse yet, they present the UCS as an objective arbiter of scientific disputes. The journalists claim, in their October 15 report, “What the science says about sea level rise: The Union of Concerned Scientists last week published a report…” (emphasis in the original).

Using Leftist Language To Talk About Climate Science

Siegel and Siciliano also use the left’s biased and loaded language when discussing global warming. In their October 10 report, they write that President Trump “has denied climate science.” Trump has never said there is no such thing as climate science, which would be the factual definition of “denying climate science.” Trump acknowledges climate science exists; he merely sides with the many thousands of scientists who are skeptical about predictions of an imminent crisis.

Moreover, the term “denier” was inserted into the global warming debate by environmental leftists who want a more loaded term than “skeptics” to vilify people who are skeptical of alarming global warming predictions. The term was reportedly chosen in an effort to equate skeptics of an imminent global warming crisis with contemptibly racist Holocaust deniers, which is historically the most common use of the term “denier” in the political context.

Siegel and Siciliano are likely familiar with the history of the term and the strong objection skeptics take to being unfairly besmirched by it. Yet they still used it to describe Trump.

On October 18, the two journalists released another biased and inaccurate criticism of Trump on climate issues. They wrote, “Trump on Tuesday continued to falsely assert that the science is unsettled on climate change and its causes…” Yet the causes of climate change are very unsettled.

For example, a 2016 survey of more than 4,000 American Meteorological Society meteorologists reveals 33 percent believe humans are not responsible for most or all of the earth’s recent warming. Even among the 67 percent, many undoubtedly believe a warming earth will not create the climate catastrophe the the environmental left predicts.

Moreover, every new publication by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contains different predictions than the previous publication, and each report explicitly states there is a degree of uncertainty in its predictions. In fact, IPCC predictions of future climate change have dropped significantly over the years, from a prediction in its initial report, in 1990, of 0.3 degrees Celsius warming per decade, to its current prediction of 0.2 degrees per decade.

Real world observations also show temperatures are rising closer to 0.15 degrees per decade, which defies the predictions in all of the IPCC reports. Yet Siegel and Siciano state that it is false to claim there is scientific uncertainty regarding global warming.

In their same October 18 report, Siegel and Siciliano launched a cheap personal attack on Trump, using a false global warming narrative as a hook. They write that, during a recent media interview, Trump “claimed he has a ‘natural instinct for science’ because his uncle worked as a professor at MIT.”

While Trump claimed a natural instinct for science, and noted earlier in the conversation that his uncle was a professor at MIT, Trump did not say he has a natural instinct because his uncle was a professor at MIT. Siegel and Siciliano’s inaccurate description, while subtle, tells a false narrative that clearly conveys ridicule for a person who he believes his uncle’s work at MIT automatically makes him an expert.

But that is not what Trump said at all. It is difficult to believe such an error, and one that appears designed to ridicule Trump, appeared accidentally.

Why So Biased?

Many more examples exist. Why have Siegel and Siciliano deviated from objective reporting and taken on the left’s language and agenda? People would be forgiven for expecting that from the New York Times or the Huffington Post, but the Washington Examiner? The paper, like the Wall Street Journal, has a conservative editorial board and has historically aimed its news reporting at the middle. But this kind of reporting is not the middle. It better reflects the typical media bias towards the left that the Examiner has built a reputation contrasting with fairer reporting.

Is there a hidden follow-the-money story here? Is there an editor pushing these reporters in a leftist direction? Is this an example of two reporters succumbing to the leftist ideology that is so pervasive inside the Beltway? Or is this just an example of the Washington, D.C. political swamp rearing its ugly head? I don’t know, but it is tragic and sad that the political left has subverted the energy, environment, and climate reporting of a respected newspaper.




James Taylor is senior fellow for environment policy and vice president for external relations at The Heartland Institute.

The True Purpose Behind Global Warming

by Allen Williams



Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are growing as a function of the industrialization of the world and particularly the United States.  The IPCC has issued its first report: "..the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a multinational scientific body organized under the auspices of the United Nations, published its first comprehensive report on the topic... the IPCC concluded that "emissions resulting from human activities are substantially increasing the atmospheric concentrations of ... greenhouse gases..."

Man is viewed as an 'eco-cancer' in the earth by globalists and other crackpot scientists who presume the masses are destroying the earth. Yet there is NO evidence of significant temperature increases across the globe despite CO2 releases many times larger than the earth's natural carbon dioxide content. WHY? Because plants metabolize CO2 at faster rates and more limestone is formed according to the concentration driving force governed by reaction Kinetics.

The  Normal Plant Animal Cycle diagram above depicts the carbon flow between plants and animals.

Limestone Formation:

Carbon dioxide is readily soluble in sea and fresh water forming metallic precipitates such as calcium or magnesium carbonate.

The gas readily dissolves in water sources in equilibrium with its liquid concentration just as in many popular soda beverages. CO2 increases in solubility as water temperatures decrease and atmospheric pressure increases.  Concentration is the driving force that causes greater amounts of CO2 to dissolve in water.  In solution, CO2 reacts with metallic ions in the water to form insoluble CaCO3 precipitates like calcite.

(M+) + CO2  + H2O à MCO3

Calcite is most often seen in caves as stalagmites or stalagmites. It is also the principal constituent of a sedimentary rock known as limestone. Many Invertebrate Sea animals take up calcite from seawater to construct their shells and are an important part of the animal plant environmental cycle. As carbonates are formed and settle out, more CO2 can be absorbed into the water.  This helps to ensure a stable atmospheric concentration of around 0.04 percent (400 ppm) consistent with the law of conservation of mass.

Plants increase their rate of growth in higher atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. "Trees respond to CO2 fertilization(1) more strongly than do most other plants, but all plants respond to some extent...plant response to CO2 fertilization is nearly linear with respect to CO2 concentration over the range from 300 to 600 ppm.."

Greenhouse gases

Atmospheric reactions must occur at ambient conditions of constant temperature and pressure either spontaneously or from activation energy available from solar radiation in open atmosphere.  In order for a reaction to be spontaneous, it must have a negative free energy (G) as defined by the requirements of the Gibbs free energy equation, i.e. G = H - TS.  A spontaneous change is probable whenever enthalpy, H is negative or entropy, S is positive, i.e. (H - TdS) <= 0.

This relationship may also be expressed in terms of the ratios of the forward and reverse rate constants for reactions k1 and k2, i.e. the equilibrium constant, K:

                                 K =  k1/k2 = edS/R e-dH/RT

Now, the probability of spontaneous reactions are favorable whenever K is a large positive number, i.e. K >>1. This criterion is a necessary condition for the chemical reaction(s) to proceed. 

So carbon monoxide and Nitrous oxide compounds oxidize over time to carbon dioxide and either Nitrogen oxide or Nitrogen dioxide. So atmospheric equilibrium is maintained and the law of Conservation of Mass is upheld.

The principle objection to NO2 in the atmosphere is the formation of acid rain but it is absolutely essential for natural nitration of the soil. 

Calculation Basis: 


From Appendix C Summary of Calculations

We see that the Incident Air Volume over the U.S. at 10 ft elevation is 1.056 x 1015 ft3 for our chart purposes. Since CO2 occurs naturally in the atmosphere at approximately 0.04% by volumeCO2now. org indicates the current atmospheric CO2 concentration at 400+ parts per million, normal variation within the 0.04% atmospheric concentration. So our atmospheric concentration over the mainland US per the chart is calculated as:

3,787,425 miles2  x   (5,280 ft)2 / 1 mile2  x  10 ft above grade  x  0.04% CO2 / ft3 of air  =  4.22 x 1013 ft3 of CO2 at a 10 ft elevation in our chosen atmospheric bottle.

Appendix D shows the most significant man made sources of greenhouse gases. Note that the single largest contributor to atmospheric greenhouse gas is the industrial use of natural gas followed closely by the automobile. The war on fossil fuel has accomplished nothing more than to increase natural gas consumption. Now you know the underlying motive behind the deindustrialization of America and shipping manufacturing jobs overseas.

Most importantly, note from the Human and Natural Sources of CO2 chart above that if both natural gas consumption and the automobile were totally eliminated, human breathing would be the dominant source of greenhouse gas. The real environmental problem seems to be human breathing accounting for nearly half of the natural CO2 in the atmosphere exclusive of natural gas consumption and the automobile.

But combined utility consumption and people breathing is the underlying impetus for globalists to force the world's population down to around 1/2 to 1 billion people by any and all means available.  ISIS Created by US & NATO Training & Recruiting Jihadists  is very likely one such means  

Killing off vast numbers of the world's population is former science Czar John Holdren's response to climate change in the 1977 book 'Ecoscience', co-authored by Holdren and colleagues Paul and Anne Ehrlich.

Natural News has noted that ".. we've already seen shocking statements from many scientists about their desire to use genetically engineered viral strains to accomplish global depopulation goals." 

The 'final solution' is to kill vast numbers of the population to effect a three-fold reduction in carbon dioxide because fewer people use less gasoline and natural gas which translates to less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


Scientific Manipulation & Fraud

Science has claimed that fat people are responsible for global warming, "warning that the increase in big eaters(2) means more food production - a major cause of CO2 gas emissions warming the planet.  Overweight people are also more likely to drive, adding to environmental damage. Each fat person is said to be responsible for emitting a tonne more of climate-warming (flatulence) carbon dioxide per year than a thin oneproviding extra grub for them to guzzle adds to carbon emissions that heat up the world, melting polar ice caps, raising sea levels and killing rain forests."

Data collected from satellite monitoring of the earth's surface temperatures do not support the assertion of global warming.  NOAA has been caught adjusting temperatures(3) upward to support warming predictions. In a shocking report, errors in a climate change paper(4)showing gains from global warming were retracted.

There is disturbing evidence that atmospheric data have been manipulated by governments and educational institutions in an attempt to demonstrate ecological damage to the environment from high levels of carbon dioxide.  First, the University of East Anglia was involved in a collusion to alter temperature data to support a global warming of earth theory.  The Wall Street Journal reports(5) "Climategate, as readers of these pages know, concerns some of the world's leading climate scientists working in tandem to block freedom of information requests, blackball dissenting scientists, manipulate the peer-review process, and obscure, destroy or massage inconvenient temperature data—facts that were laid bare by last week's disclosure of thousands of emails from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit, or CRU.

If we cannot predict weather reliably more than several hours into the future under most circumstances, why should the predictions of a government computer model be taken seriously? Yet, Time® magazine warns that we are likely to see a 6 oF increase in global temperatures by the year 2006(6) which unsurprisingly never occurred. Neither is there data to support the warnings(7) of "Earth in the Balance. "


References:

(1)  Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, Arthur B. Robinson, Noah E. Robinson, and Willie Soon,  http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm

(2)  Fatties Cause Global Warming, The SUN, April 20, 2009, http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2387203.ece  

(3)  NOAA Fiddles With Climate Data To Erase The 15-Year Global Warming ‘Hiatus’,  Daily Caller, http://dailycaller.com/2015/06/04/noaa-fiddles-with-climate-data-to-erase-the-15-year-global-warming-hiatus/#ixzz3vdeqymrD

(4)  Gremlins” caused errors in climate change paper showing gains from global warming, Retraction Watch, http://retractionwatch.com/2014/05/21/gremlins-caused-errors-in-climate-change-paper-showing-gains-from-global-warming/ 

(5)  Climategate: Follow the Money, The Wall Street Journal, Dec 1, 2009  http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703939404574566124250205490

(6)  Heading for Apocalypse, Time, Vol. 146, No. 14, 1995                    

(7)   Albert Gore Jr., Earth in the Balance, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1992












Trump, Educated by Heartland, Makes Bold Pitch for Climate Realism

President Trump has stood up more firmly for sound science and climate realism than any prior president.

President Donald Trump this week stood firm when subjected to a 60 Minutes interrogation on climate, making a bold pitch for climate realism. The Heartland Institute was happy to help the president in his successful efforts.

60 Minutes journalist Leslie Stahl began the interrogation by asking Trump if he thought climate change is a hoax. While declining to use the word “hoax,” Trump cast doubt on the notion that humans are creating a global warming crisis.

“Something’s changing and it’ll change back again…. But I don’t know that it’s manmade,” said Trump.

Trump referenced the economy-killing schemes proposed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as well as the $100-billion-annual wealth transfers to developing nations under the Paris climate agreement.

“I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs. I don’t want to be put at a disadvantage,” Trump explained.

When Stahl attempted to argue that scientists at NOAA and NASA make alarming global warming predictions, Trump immediately countered, “We have scientists that disagree with that.”

Scientists affiliated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA have joined scores of other scientists making the case for global warming skepticism at The Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change series. Thousands of other scientists have signed the Oregon Petition, expressing similar skepticism about global warming alarmism.

Trump also noted that climate change has been a natural occurrence for millions of years.

Trump followed up his schooling of Leslie Stahl with an interview this Tuesday with the Associated Press.

Responding to a challenge about hurricanes, Trump observed the many hurricanes 50 or more years ago that were as strong or stronger as recent hurricanes.

“We had worse hurricanes in 1890. We had a worse hurricane 50 years ago. We’ve gone through a period, actually, fairly recently, where we have very few,” said Trump.

“What I’m not willing to do is sacrifice the economic well-being of our country for something that nobody really knows,” Trump insisted. “And you have scientists on both sides of the issue. And I agree the climate changes, but it goes back and forth, back and forth. So we’ll see.”

When presented with a “scientists say” question, Trump quickly saw through the misleading generalization and corrected it.

“No, no. Some say that and some say differently,” Trump noted.

The Heartland Institute has been happy to help President Trump understand the truth about climate change, as well as see through the traps the media constantly tries to spring on climate realists. During the White House transition after Trump’s election in November 2016, The Heartland Institute – at the request of Trump’s top staff – put together a PowerPoint presentation on climate change for the president’s viewing. His bold and powerful messaging on the topic and citation of global warming facts closely reflects The Heartland Institute’s views and published information on the topic.

President Trump has stood up more firmly for sound science and climate realism than any prior president. We look forward to helping him do more of the same throughout his presidency.


A fuel-economy change that protect freedom and saves lives

by H. Sterling Burnett


If finalized the proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to freeze fuel-economy targets at 2020 levels through 2026 is good news for anyone concerned about consumer choice, vehicle affordability, and highway safety.

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s determination freezing fuel-economy standards would benefit the American people should surprise no one, because in April EPA announced it would revoke the Obama-era standards requiring cars and light trucks sold in the United States to achieve an average of more than 50 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2025.

President Obama signed off on the 50 mpg standards just before leaving office in December 2016, two years before the previous standards were scheduled to be reviewed. Studies show the 50 mpg standard would substantially increase the price of cars, change the composition of the nation’s automobile and light truck fleet, and put lives at risk.

The “Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks” is a culmination of EPA’s consultation with NHTSA to determine how fuel-economy standards can best balance consumers’ concerns about automobile affordability, vehicle safety, and fuel economy. 

“Our proposal aims to strike the right regulatory balance based on the most recent information and create a 50-state solution that will enable more Americans to afford newer, safer vehicles that pollute less,” Wheeler said. 

“There are compelling reasons for a new rulemaking on fuel economy standards for 2021-2026. More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to U.S. roads and we look forward to receiving input from the public,” stated Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

EPA calculates freezing fuel-economy standards at 2020 levels through 2026 will save more than 500 billion dollars in societal costs over the next 50 years and reduce highway fatalities by 12,700 lives. 

Fuel standard mandates began in 1975, when Congress established Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to reduce dependence on foreign oil following the 1973–74 Arab oil embargo. The law required car manufacturers to meet mandated fuel-economy targets or else pay a hefty tax on gas-guzzling sedans. What happened? Some people bought smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Others, however, started driving trucks, and new categories of vehicles were born: SUVs and minivans.

Over the years, compact cars have become less popular because of low fuel prices, underpowered engines, and lack of passenger and storage space. Most full-sized cars and trucks can seat five adults, and minivans and many SUVs can seat between seven and nine people. Numerous SUVs, trucks, and minivans offer ample cargo space and are capable of hauling a trailer or boat, which no subcompact can do safely. 

Ironically, the high popularity of trucks, SUVs, and minivans is at least partially a result of environmentalists’ efforts to reduce the appeal of large, powerful cars. EPA’s stringent fuel-economy standards didn’t apply to trucks, SUVs, or minivans, which didn’t then exist. So, to keep the features they liked, millions of people replaced the family sedan or station wagon with an SUV or truck. As fuel efficiency increased and driving became cheaper, people drove more miles — thereby negating the marginal gains of owning more-fuel-efficient vehicles.

CAFE standards did not reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil — it would take the fracking revolution to do that — but they did have deadly unintended consequences. To meet federal fuel-economy guidelines, carmakers reduced vehicle size, weight, and power. By doing so, manufacturers compromised cars’ safety, resulting in tens of thousands of unnecessary injuries and deaths in vehicle crashes. For every 100 pounds shaved off new cars to meet CAFE standards, between 440 and 780 additional people are killed in auto accidents, amounting to 2,200 to 3,900 lives lost per year, according to researchers at Harvard University and the Brookings Institution. As a result, CAFE has resulted in more deaths than all U.S. soldiers lost in the Vietnam War and every U.S. military engagement since then.

The laws of physics will never change. In a vehicle crash, larger and heavier is safer than lighter and smaller. EPA’s fuel-economy freeze will prevent unnecessary deaths while protecting consumer choice.

If fuel economy is the driving force behind your purchasing decisions, nothing changes under EPA’s decision to freeze current fuel-economy standards. You are free to continue buying the electric, hybrid, or clean diesel vehicle of your choice. If, however, comfort, power, vehicle safety, and the ability to haul a boat or ferry a little league team are your goals, EPA’s CAFE freeze ensures you can continue to make that choice as well. 

Ain’t freedom grand!



EPA’s Non-Politicized Science Benefits Americans

by H. Sterling Burnett


A direct challenge to the hardcore enviros who heretofore controlled and corrupted the agency.

President Donald Trump committed to fundamentally transforming the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from an agency producing politicized science to one instilling sound scientific standards for research. By doing so, Americans should expect improved environmental and health outcomes.

Currently, regulatory costs top $1.9 trillion annually, which amounts to $14,842 per U.S. household. That’s nearly $15,000 less for Americans to pay for health insurance, medical bills, education expenses, groceries, gasoline, or entertainment. Because the economic and social implications of regulations are profound, the science they are built upon must be impeccable.

Over the last few decades — under Republican and Democratic administrations — EPA formed a cozy relationship with radical environmental activists and liberal academic researchers. With the support of environmental lobbyists who despise capitalism (expressed by consumers’ free choices in the marketplace) EPA bureaucrats, in pursuit of more power and expanded budgets for the agency, funded researchers who, because they were largely dependent on government grants for the majority of their funding, were only too happy to produce results claiming industry was destroying the earth.

Of course, the only way to prevent environmental collapse was more government control of the economy. However, these reports were produced despite the fact poverty and hunger have steadily declined and people are living longer and more productive lives than ever before.

As Jay Lehr, a colleague and science director at the Heartland Institute told me once, “For decades, EPA has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the environmental left. Together, radical environmentalists and EPA bureaucrats, including the members of all their advisory panels, have used their considerable power to thwart American business at every turn.

Under Trump, EPA changed how it pursues science to pay greater fealty to the scientific method and remove temptations for scientific self-aggrandizement and corruption.

Not surprisingly, researchers, environmentalists, and bureaucrats, seeing their power curtailed and their gravy train ending, are crying foul saying the Trump administration is undermining science. However, in reality this is simply not true.

EPA’s scientific advisory panels are tasked with ensuring the research the agency uses to develop and justify regulations is rigorous, has integrity, and is based on the best available science.

To better ensure this, EPA ceased automatically renewing the terms of board members on various panels. EPA is now filling its scientific panels and boards on a competitive basis as each board member’s term expires.

This should improve the science EPA uses to inform its decisions, by expanding diversity — diversity of interests, diversity of scientific disciplines, and diversity of backgrounds — thus bringing in a wider array of viewpoints to EPA decision-making.

In addition, to reduce opportunities for corruption, EPA ceased allowing members of its federal advisory committees to apply for EPA research grants and instituted policies to ensure advisory panel members and grant recipients have no other conflicts of interest. It was always a foolish practice to allow those recommending, often determining, who gets EPA grants to also be in the running for those grants. However, this was business as usual at EPA, where grant makers awarded themselves, research teams they were members of, or their friends billions of taxpayer dollars over the years.

In April, then EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt declared “The era of secret science at EPA is coming to an end.” Pruitt proposed requiring the data underlying scientific studies used by EPA to craft regulations be available for public inspection, criticism, and independent verification.

For years, EPA bureaucrats have used the results of studies by researchers who would not disclose the data underlying their results to be examined and retested for confirmation or falsification. Fortunately, EPA is finally ending this unjustifiable practice.

Many scientists have objected to EPA’s new secret science policy because they claim the studies EPA uses have undergone “peer review.” However, the peer review process is often nothing more than other researchers, often hand-picked by the scientists whose research is being reviewed, sitting around in their ivory towers reading the reports and saying, “this looks okay or reasonable to me.”


Unless the reviewers are able examine the underlying data and assumptions, and attempt to replicate the results, peer review is unable to ensure the validity of studies used to underpin regulations. Absent transparency and replicability, peer review is hollow.

Another long overdue EPA regulatory reform was the decision to end exclusive use of the “Linearity No Threshold” (LNT) model when assessing the dangers of radiation, carcinogens, and other toxic substances in the environment. Going forward, EPA will incorporate uncertainty into its risk assessments using a variety of other, more realistic models.

The LNT model assumes there is no safe dose of ionizing radiation or exposure to various other chemicals or toxins. Relying on flawed studies from the effect of ionizing radiation on fruit flies from the 1950s, EPA and other regulatory agencies have used LNT as a basis for regulation of environmental clean-ups, setting safety standards for nuclear plants, and limiting low dose radiation treatments for medical patients, a policy that has cost lives and billions of taxpayer dollars.

Although science has progressed phenomenally since the 1950s, with copious amounts of research showing the LNT model is seriously flawed, EPA and other agencies never questioned the LNT standard. That is, until now.

In fact, adverse effects from low dose exposures to radiation and most other chemicals and potential toxins are often non-existent. Indeed, substances that may be harmful in large quantities can be beneficial in small amounts, a process known as hormesis.

In the commonly paraphrased words of Swiss physician and astronomer Paracelsus, “the dose makes the poison.” Vitamins, which are valuable in small quantities, and even water, which is literally necessary for life, can become deadly if too much of either is taken over a short period of time. Or consider sun exposure. While exposure to too much sunlight can contribute to skin cancer, sunlight is required to catalyze the final synthesis of Vitamin D, which strengthens the bones, helping prevent osteoporosis and rickets. There is also ample evidence sunlight can help fight depression and several skin and inflammatory ailments.

Replacing reliance on the untenable LNT model with other models of exposure and response will result in better safety and health protocols, potentially saving billions of dollars and thousands of lives each year.

In service of the American people and the pursuit of continued American greatness, science practices at EPA are improving under President Trump. One can only hope equivalent changes are adopted at other executive agencies so the regulations they produce are grounded in the best available science, free of political corruption and bureaucratic incentives for agency mission creep and growth.




The article first appeared here.

Climate Alarmists Get Two Strikes In Court — They Should Be Out

by  H. Sterling Burnett


In July, federal Judge John F. Keenan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed New York City's lawsuit against five major oil companies. The lawsuit sought to force the oil companies to help pay NYC's alleged costs associated with climate change.

Keenan's ruling was the second victory against municipal governments seeking to use the judiciary to address problems purportedly caused by climate change. The first triumph came in June, when Judge William H. Alsup of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco threw out a similar lawsuit against the same five companies — BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell — in a case brought by Oakland and San Francisco.

In the 23-page decision dismissing New York City's lawsuit, Keenan wrote climate change must be addressed by the executive branch and Congress, not by the courts. Although climate change "is a fact of life," Keenan wrote, "the serious problems caused thereby are not for the judiciary to ameliorate. Global warming and solutions thereto must be addressed by the two other branches of government."

Keenan ruled New York's state and federal common law claims were prohibited under the Clean Air Act. He stated it would be "illogical" and would violate U.S. Supreme Court precedent to allow the claims under state common law "when courts have found that these matters are areas of federal concern that have been delegated to the executive branch as they require a uniform, national solution … (and) the Clean Air Act displaces the City's claims seeking damages for past and future domestic greenhouse gas emissions brought under federal common law."

In addition, Keenan determined NYC's lawsuit is unjustified because the city contributed carbon dioxide emissions and benefited from fossil-fuel use.

"(I)t is not clear that Defendants' fossil fuel production and the emissions created therefrom have been an 'unlawful invasion' in New York City, as the City benefits from and participates in the use of fossil fuels as a source of power, and has done so for many decades," wrote Keenan.

Climate policy is solely within the domain of the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, as two federal judges have amply demonstrated in their written decisions.

However, states and cities seem intent on banging their heads up against this legal brick wall.

On July 2, just a week after Alsup threw out a climate lawsuit brought by Oakland and San Francisco, Rhode Island filed a lawsuit against oil companies to recover the costs from supposed climate change. On July 20, just a day after Keenan dismissed NYC's lawsuit, Baltimore sued oil companies for climate change expenses in Maryland. Furthermore, New York City, Oakland, and San Francisco plan to appeal their cases' dismissals.

Climate Change Lawsuits: A Waste

Apparently, these cities and states have no serious problems — such as crime, budget shortfalls, and education woes — for which the resources devoted to these lawsuits might be better used, or their leaders just don't care if they waste taxpayers' money on frivolous lawsuits. It seems as though the several attorneys general pursuing these pointless lawsuits are so caught up in the grip of climate mania, they just can't let go, the law be damned.

Or perhaps the lawsuits are simply an attempted shakedown of an industry with deep pockets. These cities and states desperately hope oil companies will ultimately settle out of court, agreeing to pay billions of dollars and promising not to fight climate change legislation in the future.

Furthermore, these out-of-touch environmental zealots want to force oil companies to shift their investments from fossil fuels to politically connected, highly subsidized green-energy power sources. Oil companies have not succumbed to these outrageous demands yet, and it seems unlikely they will any time soon, with their continued profitability and their very existence at stake — as well as two legal wins under their belt.

It is long past time to end this game of legal whack-a-mole. Alsup and Keenan should require cities to pay the court costs, attorney fees, and other expenses incurred by oil companies thus warning municipal and state climate zealots seeking big paydays there is a price to pay for wasting courts' time.



Burnett, Ph.D. is a senior fellow on energy and the environment at The Heartland Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

What You Need to Know About EPA’s New Boss Andrew Wheeler

by H Sterling Burnett


Former Administrator Scott Pruitt’s resignation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) marked the end of a productive but tumultuous period for the agency. The good news? Pruitt’s replacement, Andrew Wheeler, will likely continue the needed reforms Pruitt began. In the immortal words of The Who, “Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss.”

However history judges Pruitt’s tenure at EPA, critics and supporters can agree he initiated a series of efforts to fundamentally transform the antiquated agency. He ended sue-and-settle agreements; reshaped its science advisory committees; reduced graft; and rolled back myriad regulatory actions, including the Clean Power Plan, the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, the massive increase in the Corporate Fuel Economy Standard (CAFE), and various energy efficiency mandates for appliances. Thanks to Pruitt, EPA is finally changing how it conducts business.

You might be concerned that Pruitt’s absence could result in a complete change in course, but fear not! President Donald Trump’s energy and environment agenda will not substantively change with Wheeler’s ascension to the agency’s top post.

Sadly, and not surprisingly, environmental zealots treated Wheeler’s appointment as though it is the end of the world. A Huffington Post headline stated, “Scott Pruitt’s Replacement Is Even Worse.” In the article, Frank O’Donnell, president of the left-wing group Clean Air Watch, stated, “This is like rearranging deck chairs on the environmental Titanic.”

The Left’s histrionic response to Wheeler mirrors its response to Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as associate justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. Regardless of an appointee’s qualifications, anyone Trump nominates to lead the EPA will inevitably be tarred and feathered by the Left and braded a climate-change-denying polluter. 

Environmentalists dread Wheeler for the same reason small-government advocates applaud him: Wheeler could be even more effective than Pruitt at rolling back onerous regulations. EPA’s new chief has significant experience working within and outside of the agency. In fact, Wheeler won awards for his work at the agency between 1991 through 1995. Subsequently, Wheeler worked as majority staff director and chief counsel at the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, with EPA oversight. Wheeler will be more than capable to rein in EPA overreach.

The regulatory rollback at EPA started under Pruitt is expected to increase with Wheeler at the helm. EPA is currently working on overhauling CPP, WOTUS, and CAFE to improve transparency and ease compliance with commonsense guidelines.

In his short time as the agency’s acting administrator, there has been no shortage of statements supporting Wheeler as a more disciplined, less scandal prone replacement for Pruitt.

“We have full confidence in Andrew both from his past experience and the job he has done at EPA,” Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at Competitive Enterprise Institute, told the Washington Examiner. “We think he will carry on the Trump reform agenda in a really competent way.”

“For the top people at the EPA, the various Pruitt accusations have been a real challenge and a distraction,” Ebell continued. “Once Pruitt is gone, and Andrew is in charge, people will get back to doing their jobs everyday rather than accusations.”

“With Andy Wheeler stepping in to replace Pruitt, I think we’ll see a change in style but not in substance,” Jeff Holmstead, a former deputy administrator of the EPA in the George W. Bush administration, told the Washington Examiner. “Andy probably is the ideal person to lead EPA at this point.

“Pruitt got a lot of regulatory reforms started, but he’s never worked a regulatory agency and didn’t fully understand the administrative process and what it would take to get them finalized. Andy certainly does,” Holmstead said. “He’s worked on these issues for years and may actually be more effective than Pruitt when it comes to carrying out the reforms that Pruitt started.”

No one knows exactly what Wheeler’s tenure might mean for EPA climate policy. Driven by the endangerment finding, EPA has begun the process of drafting a replacement of CPP. However, if Wheeler’s past statements are any indication of EPA’s future actions, it seems like sound science will replace climate alarmism.

The Huffington Post notes in 2010, while working for the Senate, Wheeler “accused the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of blurring ‘the lines between science and advocacy’ and functioning ‘more as a political body than a scientific body,’ suggesting EPA could ‘reconsider its endangerment finding without almost exclusively relying upon the IPCC.’”

All Trump administration officials operate under an intense (and biased) media spotlight. It is difficult, if not impossible, for any Trump appointee to stay below the radar, but if anyone can remain effective and ethical, Andrew Wheeler certainly can. With his knowledge of the inner-workings of EPA’s regulatory processes and his low-key, non-confrontational style, Wheeler can complete the job Pruitt started and restore the EPA back to its mission:protect human health and the environment.



Trackside - Why the Incadescent Bulb Ban Amounts to Nothing

   by J.  D'Aloia


Elected officials often introduce laws for the sole purpose of having a piñata to bash for the cameras and the folks back home. Congressman Poe in the linked video is certainly making such use of the law banning incandescent light bulbs - I did not research to find out how he voted, but it matters not - he is making the most of it for his time in front of the camera.

My cynical side says the law was applauded by the environmental Luddites not because compact fluorescent light bulbs were reducing the dreaded greenhouse gases, but because the law was a means to further control society. Such is their goal. Demand changes in what society uses and how they use it to satisfy some environmental talking point. When the change has been ordained by a sycophantic legislative body, then raise a new issue and demand that new laws placing further control over society be enacted to counter the threats now spotlighted. More rules, more government, more taxes, less freedom.

Another cynical wonderment - why all the fuss about broken CFLs? Why has it not all played out for fluorescent tubes? They too have mercury in similar amounts. There has not been an avalanche of reports of people suffering from mercury poisoning from broken fluorescent tubes or moon-suited technicians cleaning up the family room after a tube was broken. Could it be that within the grand strategy, the timing was not right to play the poison card? And with LED light bulbs coming on the market, with an even greater energy efficiency (and much higher cost than CFLs), will CFLs be banned next? 

‘Tis a tempest in a teapot. CFLs do have a place in the grand scheme of things, especially for those lights the replacement of which is an all-day project, or if the spectrum you want cannot be obtained with an Edison special, or if your lighting demands are such that the cost vs. energy saved equation comes out to your benefit. Prudent respect for the dangers mitigates the dangers.

Tacitus nailed it in the First Century AD: "Corruptissima republicae, plurimae leges" - The worse the state, the more laws it has.

See you Trackside.


AGW Believers Replace Scientific Method With Dogma Pt. 2: Suppressing Dissent

by H. Sterling Burnett

 

People caught in the grips of the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), the idea that human activities, primarily fossil fuel use, are causing catastrophic change in the world’s climate, seem to live with blinders on, unable to admit evidence to the contrary. 

I don’t begrudge the opinion of scientists who believe their own research shows, or who believe the dominant number of peer-reviewed papers indicates, humans are causing dangerous climate change. But I do disagree with many of the assumptions made by proponents of AGW. So far, evidence shows most of their projections concerning temperatures, ice, hurricanes, species extinction, etc. have failed. As a result, their projections of future climate conditions are not nearly trustworthy enough to make the kind of fundamental, wrenching, and costly changes to our economy and systems of government AGW proponents have proposed to fight climate change. I don’t think climate scientists can foretell the future any better than the average palm reader.

Making matters worse, AGW proponents discount, or ignore entirely, powerful studies that seem to undermine many of their assumptions and refute most of their conclusions.

Admittedly, I start with a position of skepticism, and indeed suspicion, when well-known researchers release a new study purporting to reinforce or provide further evidence AGW is true. This isn’t because I don’t want to hear what those who disagree with my assessment have to say. Rather, it’s based on my understanding of the lengths to which AGW true believers have gone to manipulate temperature data and try to shoehorn or force this and other data to match their dire projections.  It is reasonable, and even expected, for educated people to disagree with one another on this issue. This back-and-forth exchange of points and counterpoints shows the scientific method functioning as it should.

Many AGW believers, however, have seemingly abandoned the scientific method.

Progress is made in science by proposing a hypothesis, and developing a theory, to explain or understand certain phenomena, and then testing the hypothesis against reality. A particular hypothesis is considered superior to others when, through testing, it is shown to have more explanatory power than competing theories or hypotheses and when other scientists running the same testing regime can reproduce the results of the original test. Every theory or hypothesis must be disconfirmable in principle, such that if the theory predicts ‘A’ will occur under certain conditions, but instead sometimes ‘B’ or ‘C’ results, then the theory has problems. The more a hypothesis’ predictions prove inconsistent with results that occur during testing or real-world data, the less likely the hypothesis is to be correct.

AGW theory does not work this way. No matter what the climate phenomenon, if it can in some way be presented as being unusual by AGW proponents, it is argued to be “further evidence of global warming,” even if it contradicts earlier phenomena pointed to by the same people as evidence of global warming. {The same technique evolutionists use to defend their theory. A Theory so inaccurate the courts rule ex cathedra in favor of it - ED}  

What effects AGW will have seem to depend on which scientist one consults and which model they use. In realm of climate change research, different models looking at the same phenomenon applying the same laws of physics with the same inputs produce dramatically varied results.

Another indication AGW advocates have thrown over the scientific method is how they revert to various logical fallacies to manipulate peoples’ emotions in order to have the public dismiss climate realists’ arguments and research. AGW advocates commit the fallacy of ad hominem when they call researchers who disagree with their assessment of the strength of the case for AGW “deniers”—an obvious attempt to link them in the public’s mind with despicable Holocaust deniers. That is not science, it’s rhetoric. I know of no one who denies the fact climate changes, but there are significant uncertainties and legitimate disagreements regarding the extent of humanity’s role in recent climate changes and whether these will be disastrous. Those who refuse to acknowledge highly regarded scientists disagree with AGW are the real “deniers,” and they should suffer the opprobrium rightfully attached to that label.

AGW proponents commit the fallacy of appeal to numbers when they say the case for dangerous human-caused climate change is settled because some high percentage of a subset of scholars agrees humans are causing dangerous climate change. Consensus is a political, not a scientific, term. People once thought Earth was flat. Galileo disagreed, saying he believed it was round—and he was persecuted for saying so. And you know what? Galileo was right, and the consensus of the time was wrong. At one time, people, including the intellectual elite, believed Earth was the center of the universe and the Sun revolved around it. Copernicus said just the opposite. He was right, and everyone else was wrong.

Knowledge acquisition succeeds not through bowing to some purported consensus in thought and opinion, but through questioning previously received wisdom and continuously testing scientific theories against data. “Because the vast majority of us said so,” is not a legitimate scientific response to research raising questions about all or some part of AGW.

AGW researchers commit the fallacy of appeal to motive when they say a particular study or the work of a particular scientist or group of scientists should not be taken seriously because of who funded them. Both sides commit this fallacy, with climate skeptics often arguing AGW research is biased based on the fact it was funded by government, which history shows is predisposed toward finding reasons grow and exert ever more control over people.

Research should be judged based on the validity of its assumptions, whether its premises are true, and whether its conclusions follow from its premises, not on who funded the research. Data, evidence, and logic are the hallmarks of science, not motives.

Beyond the routine data manipulation and logical fallacies, AGW advocates’ own e-mails show they have tried to suppress the publication of research skeptical toward AGW. And they have routinely attempted to interfere with the career advancement of scholars who refuse to completely toe the AGW line, even stooping on occasion to try to get scholars fired for producing research undermining AGW.

AGW fanatics also try to suppress the teaching of a balanced, accurate understanding of the current state of climate science, with all its uncertainties, in the nation’s schools. This is the tool of the propagandist, not the scientist seeking the truth.

All these reflections came to a head in recent years, as AGW true believers have fought in court to prevent the release of the data underpinning their own research, attempted to suppress free speech by accusing those with whom they disagree of committing libel, and even on occasion called for the prosecution and incarceration of climate skeptics for daring to question AGW orthodoxy. Some AGW proponents have openly admired various authoritarian regimes for their ability to “get things done” without the interference of democratic institutions. Real scientists know truths do not bloom under authoritarianism.

When a theory does not comport with the facts, data, and evidence, it is the theory that should be questioned, not the data or the motives of those bringing such evidence to the world’s attention. Consider this my plea for AGW true believers to embrace, once again, the scientific method, to follow the evidence in the field of climate research where it leads even if it proves inconvenient or inconsistent with their earlier beliefs. To the extent I myself have failed to live up to this ideal, I will try and do the same, approaching AGW arguments with an open mind.


Trackside - Malaria cases increase with Ban of DDT

by John D'Aloia


What would you call an action, knowingly taken, that resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of people, people who lived in a certain part of the world? Does the word "genocide" come to mind? Consider these grim statistics - 50 million killed since 1972; almost 90 percent of the victims are in sub-Saharan Africa.

The perpetrators are the ecofascists who in 1972 convinced the federal government to ban DDT, a known eradicator of mosquitos, the malaria vector. The unindicted co-conspirators are the American people who, bowing to the ecofascists, have allowed the ban to remain in place in spite of the medical and scientific data that has shown that DDT "used according to the label directions" is not a danger to the environment or humans. (A DDT data synopsis is posted at https://junkscience.com/1999/07/100-things-you-should-know-about-ddt/.)


Socialists are enamored with environmentalism. It provides a rationale for a one-world government - we need a one-world government to be able to control population so as to be able to protect the environment. Think it far-fetched? As cited in "The Creature From Jekyll Island" by G. Edward Griffin, Bertrand Russell expressed it thus: "I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing…A scientific world society cannot be stable unless there is world government…" In the same book, Jacques Cousteau, interviewed by the United Nations UNESCO Courier in November of 1991, is cited to have said of death by cancer: "Should we eliminate suffering diseases? The idea is beautiful, but perhaps not a benefit in the long term. We should not allow our dread of diseases to endanger the future of our species. This is a terrible thing to say. In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day."


With this mindset, malaria is a useful tool - the millions of deaths resulting from the ban on DDT produces the desired result. The death toll has raised up a new foe for the ecofascists, the civil rights organization Congress for Racial Equality. In a May 2003 press release, announcing a protest against a Greenpeace fund raiser, CORE stated: "Across Africa, malaria kills 2 million people every year, half of them children. Over 250 million more get this horrible disease and are unable to work for weeks or months on end, costing their countries $12 billion annually. Malaria also threatens Asia and Latin America. DDT and other pesticides, used in tiny amounts, can slash malaria rates and deaths by 80% or more. But Greenpeace absolutely opposes this and pressures the European Union to ban fish and agricultural exports (including tobacco!) from any African nation that uses DDT. Even the liberal New York Times says ‘wealthy nations should be helping poor countries with all available means – including DDT.’ But the callous eco-radicals refuse to budge."


CORE’s anti-Greenpeace protest was not a one-shot deal. A petition, in the form of a letter with as many signatories as CORE can muster was prepared to present to President Bush. The letter’s first two sentences set the tone: "There is no more important human right than the right to live. Without life, all other human rights are irrelevant." CORE went on to ask the President to take four actions: ask congressional leadership to schedule hearings and to ensure that taxpayer money funds the use of DDT and other measures that work; abolish the ineffective USAID’s malaria program; instruct government agencies to promote and fund the use of DDT when requested by officials in developing countries; and reduce or eliminate funding of any agency, U.S. or foreign, that obstructs or fails to support the use of DDT or other pesticides. CORE closes by stating "On behalf of hundreds of millions of parents and children in countries where malaria continues to take a terrible, unnecessary and intolerable toll, we thank you for taking a leadership role in helping to make this a humanitarian effort that transcends religious, racial, or political affiliations."


The ban on DDT not your problem? Think again. Malaria is found in the U.S. - and think West Nile, another disease transmitted by mosquitos. (Kansas had 731 confirmed cases of West Nile in 2003, with seven deaths.) These disease agents, and others, exist in this country - and so do the carriers, the zillions of little buzzing critters. A bit of DDT goes a long way towards the drastic reduction of the diseases they carry at a cost that compares not with the death and misery they cause.


See you Trackside.





Republished from the old Eponym site in honor of former Editor John D'Aloia.