‘But Climate Change…’ Wails EPA Official In Resignation Letter

Justin Sullivan / Getty

A top EPA official has resigned, supposedly in protest at the direction the Agency has taken under President Trump.
Or — as we climate realists prefer to put it — #winning.

Elizabeth “Betsy” Southerland had worked at the EPA for thirty years. But on Tuesday she resigned from her post as director of science and technology in the Office of Water, claiming “the environmental field is suffering from the temporary triumph of myth over truth.”

Just what incredibly good news Southerland’s departure is can be best be appreciated by reading her farewell letter.

It’s supposed to be her Parthian shot — a damning indictment of the decline of a once-great institution under the wicked Donald Trump and his sinister henchman, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

But, actually, it tells you rather more about the weird, reality-denying mindset which prevails among the inhabitants of the swamp which Trump is busily trying to drain.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

‘It’s Never Been Harder to Be a Climate Scientist’. Good.

Archive/Getty
“It’s never been harder to be a climate scientist,” claims a heartrending piece in New Republic.

Climate scientists working directly for the Trump administration are the most affected. A report published last week by the Union of Concerned Scientists describes a “culture of fear” as government scientists are gagged, sidelined, or fired, and funding cuts loom. “Some are afraid to utter the words ‘climate change,’” the report reads.

But wait. You haven’t got to the saddest part, yet.

“All action at the agency on climate has effectively stopped,” an EPA air quality scientist told The Guardian in June. And they’re being discouraged from interacting with other climate scientists. “There was a climate conference in Atlanta last month and EPA employees were told not to go,” the scientist said, “so even simple interactions are coming to an end.”

In sadness terms I would say that this is quite literally even sadder than a picture on the internet of a cute kitten with a bandaged paw.

Think about it. These EPA scientists work hard to spend your tax dollar. That trip to the climate conference in Atlanta would have afforded them a vital opportunity not just to rack up air miles but also to broaden their understanding of the challenges facing us. For example, by visiting the legendary Georgia Aquarium they would get to experience at first hand all the innocent sea creatures that are likely to be melted if ever ocean acidification actually becomes a thing.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

EPA’s Obama-Era Endangerment Finding a Disgrace to Science, Menace to Economy

Carolyn Kaster/AP

One of the most expensive, intrusive, and far-reaching pieces of legislation in recent U.S. history is a bad smell from the Obama era, motivated by a leftist, anti-capitalist agenda and based on the purest nonsense.

This is why two free market groups have petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reconsider its CO2 Endangerment Finding. It was introduced (on Pearl Harbor Day in 2009) for political, not scientific reasons under the Obama Administration and is being used by green activists to hold the U.S. economy for ransom:

Two groups — Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the Concerned Household Electricity Consumers Council (CHECC) — claim EPA’s 2009 “endangerment finding” should be updated with new evidence invalidating the agency’s previous claim greenhouse gases threatened public health.

Their concerns are understandable given that, as CHECC argues in its petition, the flimsy evidence on which EPA based its endangerment finding has now been proven false beyond all reasonable doubt.

The Endangerment Finding purported to find that human-generated greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide constitute a “danger” to human health and welfare because of their effect in warming the atmosphere.

But there is no real-world evidence to support this conclusion, which derives purely from discredited computer models which have increasingly diverged from observed data:

When EPA released its CO2 endangerment finding in 2009, it used three lines of evidence to bolster its argument that greenhouse gases threatened human health through global warming.The crux of EPA’s argument rested on the existence of a “tropical hotspot” where global warming would be most apparent. That is, there should be enhanced warming in the tropical troposphere — the “fingerprint” of global warming.

However, according to a report produced last year by three respected scientists — James P Wallace III, John Christy, and Joe D’Aleo — this Tropical Hotspot (THS) “simply does not exist in the real world.”

Read the rest at Breitbart.

PA’s Scott Pruitt Gets Eaten Alive by Fox

Fox News Sunday / Screenshot

I just watched Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, get eaten alive by Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace.

Not only was it an ugly and painful sight but it was also a very dispiriting one.

Here is the guy who was carefully selected to be in the vanguard of President Trump’s war on the Green Blob which, for decades, has been doing untold damage to liberty, the scientific method, and the economy.

And he can’t even answer a few basic and obvious questions about why the job he is doing is necessary, important, and right.

Wallace asked him about the UN’s view that it was 95 percent likely that more than half the temperature increase since the mid-20th century is due to human activity.

Pruitt sweated, stuttered, and floundered.

Wallace asked him about NOAA’s claim that 2015 and 2016 are the hottest years on record.

Pruitt had no convincing comeback.

Wallace asked him the age-old question beloved by climate alarmists: “What if you’re wrong? What if CO2 is causing dramatic climate change and we as humans are responsible?”

Pruitt just didn’t know how to respond.

There should have been nothing complicated or unexpected about these questions. They are the kind of thing any half-way decent interviewer might have asked, be he a hostile one or a semi-friendly Fox News one playing devil’s advocate.

And if Scott Pruitt had had even the most cursory briefing and media training in his new role, he should have been prepared for them.

Not only should he have known the most effective answers to give; but he should have been so confident in the rightness and truth of his cause that he should have been able to seize the moment and make the points that really need to be made about President Trump’s environmental policy: that it is being enacted for the good of science, for the good of the economy and the core mission of Making America Great Again.

How could Scott Pruitt not do this?

Any one of us on the skeptical side of the argument could have pointed him to dozens of leading scientists — and hundreds if not thousands of papers and articles — that could easily have enabled Pruitt to say what needed to be said.

He could have noted the incompetence, corruption, and mendacity of the heavily politicized IPCC; the dishonest manipulation by organizations like NOAA — indeed especially NOAA — of the raw temperature data; the utter meaninglessness of the “hottest year evah” claims so often made in the liberal media.

And he could easily have batted off the “What if you’re wrong?” question by making perhaps the most important point of all that needs to be made about the “war” on “carbon”: that what it all comes down to is cost benefit analysis. To whit: the trillions of dollars being spent every year on the possibility that there might be a problem, a) could be spent much more usefully elsewhere and b) are doing more harm than good.

Pruitt was incapable of doing this though because, trained lawyer though he is, he is simply not on top of his brief.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

179 Million Reasons Why Trump Can Never Destroy The EPA

Valerie/Macon/AFP/Getty/AP

Today President Donald Trump visits the Environmental Protection Agency – the snake which he has scotched but which he is sadly a long way from killing.

On SiriusXM Breitbart News Daily this morning Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow asked me why this simple job is proving so difficult for Trump’s appointed EPA chief. Listen to our exchange below:

Well here are 179 million reasons why, courtesy of a Daily Caller investigation.

Six nonprofit groups that criticized President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts failed to mention the nearly $179 million in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants they’ve received since 2009, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group (TheDCNF) analysis of federal spending data.

The agency has funded thousands of such groups since former President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration, but TheDCNF focused only on six of the largest nonprofit recipients in its analysis of grant data compiled by the watchdog Open The Books.

But if you had to limit yourself to just one reason, I’d say simply: Jimmy Kimmel.

Which isn’t to say that the amiable liberal chat show host represents the Belly of the Beast of Green Evil. Merely that Kimmel is the perfect example of the kind of person who makes conservatives like Scott Pruitt feel uncomfortable about sounding too hardcore on environmental issues.

Earlier this year, for example, Kimmel sent out this ugly message to his eight million Twitter followers.

Who wants to be dissed by easy-going, likeable, not-aggressively-political Jimmy Kimmel?

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Scott Pruitt Is Failing to Drain the Swamp at the EPA

President Trump’s attempts to drain the swamp are being undermined by one of his key administrators.

Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is more interested in building his political career than he is taking on the Green Blob, insiders report.

Pruitt is also said to be behind attempts to remove at least one of the key phrases from the president’s long-awaited Executive Order on the environment.

It concerns a proposal to repeal the EPA’s Endangerment Finding on CO2 (the disastrous, unscientific, job-killing ruling introduced during the Obama Administration, which rebranded the harmless trace gas Carbon Dioxide as a dangerous substance).

If Pruitt is successful and this clause is removed from the Executive Order it will represent a major setback for President Trump’s war with the Climate Industrial Complex. It may also put into jeopardy the promises Trump made on the campaign trail to scrap “any regulation that is outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers, or contrary to the national interest.”

“This is the president’s one shot at winning this battle,” an ally in the EPA camp warns. “It’s like the French heavy cavalry at Agincourt: lose momentum and he’s going to get stuck in the mud being shot to pieces by the English longbows.”

To understand the background to this story, you need to know who Scott Pruitt is and how he landed such a key job. The dismantling of the EPA, after all, is a core part of Trump’s swamp-draining program — so clearly it mattered greatly that the Administrator’s position should go to a capable, determined figure.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Scott Pruitt Says No to CO2 and Social Justice at EPA

Pruitt
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Two pieces of excellent news from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that incoming administrator Scott Pruitt is doing the Lord’s work.

First, he has come clean and said what he should have ‘fessed up to a while back: he doesn’t believe in the Carbon Fairy.

Asked his views on the role of carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping gas produced by burning fossil fuels, in increasing global warming, Mr. Pruitt said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so, no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”

That phrase, “the heat-trapping gas produced by burning fossil fuels,” is just a bit of New York Times editorializing, by the way. No serious person thinks that man-made carbon dioxide poses any kind of major climate threat because there’s just no evidence to support that theory. It’s just one of those cherished left-liberal myths that goes next to other fantasy concepts like “equality,” “sustainability,” and “social justice.”

Speaking of which, the second piece of good news is that the Environmental Protection Agency has just lost its head of Environmental Justice.

Probably you didn’t know that the EPA had a head of Environmental Justice, but you should because you’ve been paying his salary since the George H.W. Bush era. His name is Mustafa Ali, and, according to a tearful requiem in Inside Climate, he has resigned in protest at EPA budget cuts, which will see the agency lose 20 percent of its 15,000 staff and $2 billion from its $8 billion.

“Jumped before he was pushed” is the phrase that comes to mind, for it is likely that Ali’s department will be dismantled altogether.

Ali has written a resignation letter to Scott Pruitt saying what a mistake this would be.

But if you go to the EPA’s website and see what the Environmental Justice Department has been doing for the last few years, you may disagree with this assessment.

Check out this page About EJ 2020.

By the end, you’ll have no more idea what the Environmental Justice Department does than you did at the beginning.

Here’s a taste:

Through EJ 2020, EPA will advance our environmental justice efforts to a new level in improving the health and environment of overburdened communities. By 2020, we will:

  • Improve on-the-ground results for overburdened communities through reduced impacts and enhanced benefits
  • Institutionalize environmental justice integration in EPA decision-making
  • Build robust partnerships with states, tribes and local governments
  • Strengthen our ability to take action on environmental justice and cumulative impacts
  • Better address complex national environmental justice issues.

Our vision of how EPA will make a difference in the environmental and public health landscape over the next five years is detailed on the key results page of the plan.

It is, as I think you’ll agree, pure gibberish. How do you measure this department’s success in advancing the cause of “environmental justice”? Well, of course, you don’t. You can’t because “environmental justice” is a nebulous concept, which can mean pretty much anything you want it to mean.

Reading between the lines, though, what you can guess is that it’s basically another race-guilt make-work scheme. It’s based on the (spurious, identity-politics-driven) notion that environmental problems are felt more keenly by people of color because they live in poorer areas more vulnerable to pollution.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

President Trump Must Not Wobble on Climate Change – Whatever Ivanka Says…

If she wants a pony and bats her eyelashes at me, I’ll be off in a trice to buy her a herd. Baby unicorn ponies, if that’s what she prefers. With jewels inlaid in their spiral horns and maybe some magical attachment that plays the collected works of Taylor Swift while she rides.

So I totally get where President Trump is coming from when I read reports that, under the influence of Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, he has toned the phrasing of an Executive Order so that it no longer includes derogatory comments about the utterly useless and pointless climate deal signed in Paris in 2015 by Barack Obama.

Kushner and Ivanka “intervened to strike language about the climate deal from an earlier draft of the executive order,” sources familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

Ivanka and her husband “have been considered a moderating influence on the White House’s position on climate change and environmental issues,” WSJ reports. Now, the executive order will have no mention of the so-called Paris agreement.

If it’s just a case of casual daughter-pleasing, fine. But if he actually means it than we should all start to worry.

I’ve said it before but it’s worth saying again: if President Trump proves to be as radical on energy and climate as he promised to be on the campaign trail, then this, even if he achieves nothing else, will more than qualify him for a place next to the greats on Mt Rushmore.

He will go down in history as the hero who slew ManBearPig: the president who, unlike his pusillanimous, career-safe, Establishment predecessors from Clinton and the Bushes to the ultimate horror that was Obama, finally had the courage, integrity and honesty to point out that the Climate Emperor is wearing no clothes; the guy who brought to the end the greatest scientific scandal ever; who saved Western Industrial Civilisation from the Watermelons.

But it’s all very well having good instincts and good intentions. The hard part will be dealing with all the obstacles thrown in his way by the monstrously large group of special interests sometimes known as the Green Blob and sometimes as the Climate Industrial Complex.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Six Reasons Why ‘Climate Science’ Should Definitely Be on the School Curriculum

The head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Gina McCarthy has said in an interview that she believes “climate science” ought to be included in the school curriculum.

“Very much so,” she says. “I think part of the challenge of explaining climate change is that it requires a level of science and a level of forward thinking and you’ve got to teach that to kids.

Some cynics may accuse the woman of talking gibberish.

In what way, exactly, does uglifying your school roof with a bunch of expensive and probably pointless solar panels comprise a “hands-on” experience which will “change the entire dynamic” of a child’s education?

And are we really sure that schools are suffering from a shortage of teaching on climate change? Isn’t the problem – from Britain to the US – exactly the opposite: that kids are being brainwashed by ignorant, politically motivated teachers into believing that there’s a serious, man-made “global warming” problem, when in fact there’s no evidence to support this increasingly discredited thesis?

Find out why at Breitbart London

Related posts:

  1. Green MP Caroline Lucas tries to keep science out of climate science
  2. ‘Post-normal science’ is perfect for climate demagogues — it isn’t science at all
  3. Jamie’s Nightmare School
  4. ‘BBC’s biased climate science reporting isn’t biased enough’ claims report

 

Climategate 2.0: junk science 101 with Michael Mann

At last, I’ve arrived.

Michael Mann: isn’t he pretty?

Michael Mann, inventor of the Hockey Stick, has written to the Wall Street Journal branding me a “denier” and a “contrarian” and “silly.” These are badges of honour I shall wear with pride.

The letter is interesting for lots of reasons, not least its grotesque hypocrisy. “In recent years”, he writes, “attacks on climate science have become personal” – as if somehow the real victims of all this are not the innocent taxpayers being screwed to pay for the great green boondoggle, but ordinary decent climate scientists like Mann and his Hockey Team just trying to get on and do their job.

Every snowflake is unique, but attacks on climate science all seem the same. I should know. I’ve been one of the climate contrarians’ preferred targets for years.

Has Mann actually read any of the Climategate and Climategate 2.0 emails, I wonder? A lot of them have his name on them, so he must have done at one time or another. But perhaps with all that data-fudging and decline-hiding his brain has been overtaxed of late. So let us gently jog his memory with some examples.

Here’s one from New Zealand. (H/T WUWT) It’s 2003 and a Kiwi scientist called Chris de Freitas has published in a journal called Climate Research a meta-analysis by some Harvard astronomers Soon & Baliunas of all the papers that have been written on the Medieval Warming Period (MWP). The conclusion of Soon & Baliunas? That the vast majority of published, peer-reviewed papers on the MWP conclude that it was both geographically widespread (not, as Warmists and their amen corner in Wikipedia like to pretend, a little local anomaly confined to Northern Europe) and significantly warmer than now.

This irritates Michael Mann and his Hockey Team no end, for it contradicts their view that late 20th century warming is both unprecedented and catastrophic. So how do they respond? Do they counter it with new, learned papers demonstrating in closely illustrated detail just where Soon & Baliunas have got it wrong?

Of course they don’t!

Instead, what they do is gang up to shoot the messenger. They conspire to have Climate Research closed down; to have Chris de Freitas sacked; then, they write to the head of his university in Auckland to see if they can’t get de Freitas deprived of his living too. Nice!

Dr Pat Michaels has another good example of this delightful behaviour by members of Mann’s “Team.”

In Forbes magazine, he writes an open letter to the director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, describing how one of his “most prestigious employees” Dr Tom Wigley sought to have Michaels deprived of his PhD.

Dr Wigley’s evidence for this potentially libellous claim, widely circulated to a large number of his fellow climate “scientists”? None whatsoever.

But hey, as Mann has taught us many times over the years, who needs evidence or facts when you can go straight in for good old character assassination instead.

This, though, is wearisomely familiar stuff to anyone who has been following the Climategate story. What’s perhaps more interesting about Mann’s WSJ letter is his citation of the lead-in-petrol example from a few years back to try to bolster the credibility of his own brand of climate junk science. As we’ll see, he may have cause to regret this.

Here’s what he says in the letter:

Climate scientists can also find kinship with Dr. Herbert Needleman, who identified a link between lead contamination and impaired childhood brain development in the 1970s. The lead industry accused him of misconduct. Later, the National Institutes of Health exonerated him.

Hmm. The Needleman affair is covered very thoroughly in Christopher Booker’s and Richard North’s Scared To Death (Continuum). It does not reflect at all well on the junk science scare industry.

Dr Herbert Needleman was a US child psychologist who generated headlines in 1979 with his research paper showing that lead poisoning was dramatically affecting children’s IQs. This “evidence” became a vital plank in the case of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations from 1986 onwards to have almost all lead removed from petrol. Just one problem: Needleman’s study was about as reliable as Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick.

In the Needleman affair, the McIntyre/McKitrick role was played by another academic child psychologist Dr Claire Ernhart, who worked in the same field as Needleman. She noted that Needleman’s research was based on serious methodological flaws. In particular, she claimed that he had not sufficiently allowed for “confounding variables” that might have explained the difference in IQ scores such as poor schools or parental neglect.

When an expert panel from the EPA tried looking into this, however, Needleman proved as reluctant to reveal the basis of his research as Mann did with raw data underpinning his Hockey Stick.

According to Booker/North:

“When in 1983 the panel visited Needleman’s laboratory to look at his data, he handed over six books of computer printouts, but said that only two panel members could examine them, and only for two hours.”

“Even during this cursory study, the panel found enough evidence to arouse profound doubts about Needleman’s research. Although starting with 3,329 children, he had winnowed out so many, often for apparently arbitrary reasons, that he had ended up basing his conclusions first on 270 subjects, then on just 158. ‘Exclusion of large numbers of eligible participants’ the panel concluded, ‘could have resulted in systematic bias’. In other words, it looked to the panel as though he might have selected his evidence to give the results he wanted.”

Lone bristlecone pines, anyone?

The expert panel concluded that Needleman’s studies “neither support nor refute the hypothesis that low or moderate levels of Pb (lead) exposure lead to cognitive or other behavioural impairments in children.” In other words, that his researches were valueless.

But hey, guess what happened then. Pressure was applied. The expert panel – for reasons which were never satisfactorily explained – completely reversed its decision. And the head of the EPA William Ruckelshaus (the same man responsible for the DDT ban which effectively condemned millions in the third world to die of malaria) was able to use Needleman’s study as the basis for doing what the EPA and environmental campaigners had been wanting to do anyway: ban lead from petrol.

Unsurprisingly, the EU soon eagerly followed suit. As even the Eu Commission admitted, the new rules would cost consumers an additional £4.8 billion a year, raise the average cost of a car by up to £600 a year and force oil companies into £70 billion-worth of new investment. Oh, and also, EU studies estimated, the switch to unleaded (it being less efficient than leaded) would also result in the creation of 15-17 million tonnes a year more greenhouse gas emissions.

But hey, as Michael Mann and his Team could surely tell us, when you’re trying to save the world from non-existent threat no price is too great to pay.

Related posts:

  1. Climategate: sack ‘no longer credible’ Michael Mann from IPCC urges climatologist
  2. Michael Mann as innocent as OJ – possibly more so – finds internal Penn State investigation
  3. Inventor of Mann-made global warming feels the heat
  4. Climategate: how the MSM reported the greatest scandal in modern science