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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 06, 2018, 11:16:00 pm »

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June 6, 2018

A More Inclusive Climate Movement Is Bad, Says Kochy 🦕 Dark Money Director

Yesterday, the Kochs announced that brother David, due to health reasons, would be stepping down from Koch Industries and Americans for Prosperity. Unfortunately, that probably does not mean the vast network of Koch interests will stop trying to influence the public.

For example, an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal yesterday carried on the Koch’s message--but, of course, without any disclosure of the Koch money behind its author. The piece by Steven Hayward argued that “climate change is no longer a pre-eminent policy issue,” based on a handful of seemingly random reasons.

By way of introduction, Hayward seems like a ramblin’ man, having bounced around from Ashland University, Georgetown U, UC-Boulder, and Pepperdine. He is now a resident scholar at Berkeley where he co-teaches a course formerly taught by a grad student. While Hayward’s academic career has careened all over the place, he has been consistent in working with Koch affiliated groups. He was a fellow at the conspiracy theorist’s nightmare Mont Pelerin society, the Pacific Research Institute, Heritage, AEI,  and is currently treasurer and on the board of directors at the dark money group Donors Capital.

Of course the WSJ doesn’t disclose to its readers that Hayward is a career Kocher, instead only listing his position at Berkeley. But the content of his op-ed advances the Koch party line that the left politicized climate change and now no one cares about it.

Hayward’s argument is, from the start, dumb. He claims climate is “no longer a pre-eminent policy issue,” and that now only “boilerplate rhetoric from the political class, frivolous nuisance lawsuits, and bureaucratic mandates” supports renewables. But, uh, doesn’t the fact that politicians are talking about it so often it’s boilerplate, and introducing bureaucratic mandates to fight it, kind of indicate that climate and clean energy still an issue?

Not to mention how the various #StillIn coalitions are only gaining in momentum, and how corporations are so terrified of those supposedly frivolous lawsuits that they’re launching projects to push back on them.

Then Hawyard blows an alt-right dog whistle by claiming the Paris Agreement’s inclusion of gender equality and intergenerational equity is “a good indicator of why climate change as an issue is over.” His second supposed proof point is how U-Washington climate scientist Sarah Myhre said that climate change can’t be addressed without also addressing misogyny. Myhre’s had plenty of experience dealing with trolls like Hayward, so instead of dealing with his attacks, we’ll just point out that an issue becoming elevated and intertwined with other salient issues that are part of the larger social zeitgeist is hardly a sign that it’s fading away.

Hayward concludes that the left politicized the climate issue-- apparently because certain climate funders didn’t pour money down the sinkhole of nuclear power--so it deserves to “die by politics.”

But as we all know, it wasn’t the left that used the campaign contribution possibilities opened by Citizens United to primary out Republican Bob Inglis in the 2010 election cycle for talking about climate change.

That was the Kochs. Who, unsurprisingly, Hayward has spent a career serving. As he, and others, will likely continue to for years to come, living out the Koch’s shameful legacy.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 24, 2018, 08:16:39 pm »

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May 24, 2018

Climate Change Versus the Volcano

Fissures have been opening in Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano this month, forcing hundreds from their homes, spewing lava 300 feet into the air, and generating images straight out of a late-90s action movie. A few days ago, the Big Island’s most active volcano was the subject of a NBC MACH video entitled “What the Mt. Kilauea eruptions mean for climate change”.

Volcanic eruptions can have an impact on the global climate. For example, Mt. Pinatubo’s massive eruption in 2001, referenced in the NBC video, cooled average global temperatures by 1°F over 15 months. The eruption spewed 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere, which blocked solar radiation.

So what’s the issue with this video? ??? Well, as multiple scientists helpfully pointed out on Twitter, the science  ;) in the video is less solid than hot, molten lava. Though NBC quotes one volcanologist, the relationship between the volcanic impacts he cites and climate science are a bit fissured. ;D

First, the video says that volcanoes emit CFCs, which deplete the ozone layer and cause warming. It also claims that rapid global warming since 2014 could have been caused by the eruption of the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland (with no real explanation for this conclusion).

There are a bunch of issues here, which Gavin Schmidt breaks down in one tweet:

֍ - Neither Kilauea nor Bardarbunga are/were emitting any SO2 or HCl into the stratosphere

֍ - There are no CFCs involved at all

֍ - Neither had any impact on stratospheric ozone

֍ - Even if they had, the resulting ozone depletion would cause a slight *cooling*! 👀

Andrew Dessler puts it even more simply: “So much in that video piece was wrong. It would have been great if they'd done some basic fact checking before producing it.”

But since they didn’t, perhaps this video is best left unwatched, and instead flushed down the lava-tory.  ;D
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 23, 2018, 10:10:32 pm »

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May 23, 2018

Pruitt doing what he does. 🤬

ICYMI: Pruitt’s 👹 Pro-Smoking Policy Criticized, EV Attack Gets Context  , SLR Denial Gets Buried  ;D

“A lie can travel around the world and back again while the truth is lacing up its boots.” This old adage has never been more true than in 2018. The quote, often (potentially erroneously) attributed to Mark Twain, was inspired by Thomas Swift, who wrote in 1710 that “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it.”

We’d rather have laced up boots than be limping, but either way today we’re going to call out some recent rebuttals that were just a little too slow to be included in past denier roundups.

Plenty of folks have dragged Pruitt’s politically-driven, pro-smoking “secret science” policy since he announced it last month. Since the comment period is coming to a close, UCS recently ran a post and provided a helpful guide on how to make a public comment. Working with 500 Women Scientists, Earth Justice and the Public Comment Project, they want you to make sure your voice is heard during what they’ve (oh so succinctly) dubbed the National Week of Public Comments on EPA’s “Restricting Science” Policy.

If you’re thinking of writing a comment, you could perhaps point out that John Ioannidis, whose work on reproducibility has been weaponized by deniers, wrote a strong piece against the policy for PLOS One. Or that basically every single scientific organization opposes the policy, as do former EPA leaders (in part because it’s straight out of the tobacco industry’s playbook). Even Pruitt’s pro-polluter takeover of the Science Advisory Board hasn’t stopped it from standing up for science--the revamped Board wants to review his policy, too.

Speaking of questionable takes--did you catch the op-ed attacking electric vehicles in Politico last week? In a recent blog post, the Energy and Policy Institute provided a lot of important context--including the author’s past pro-pollution work, which Politico conveniently forgot to include. The Guardian’s Dana Nuccitelli also debunked the bad take in his most recent column.

In the same column, Nuccitelli also tackled last week’s absurd levels of sea level rise denial in the WSJ from Fred Singer. He was hardly the only one to do so:  Dr. Scott Denning wrote a basic “laws of physics” debunking of Singer’s piece for USCS. Singer’s outrageous claims  also got the Climate Feedback treatment. Our favorite quote from the Climate Feedback piece: one expert wrote that “If this were an essay in one of my undergraduate classes, [Singer] would fail.”

The Journal, to its credit, did run a letter to the editor Tuesday debunking the piece, from University of Florida sea level expert Andrea Sutton and all-around debunker Michael Mann (and a few others.) “Legitimate scientific conclusions are not reached in op-ed pieces,” Mann and Sutton write, “but through careful peer-reviewed research.”  We couldn’t agree more.

Somehow, Singer’s op-ed wasn’t the dumbest sea level rise denial last week. That honor went to Mo Brooks (R-AL) who went about as viral as a dumb science story can with his Cliffs of Dover defense.

The Washington Post’s Philip Bump gave the Dover quip a much more serious treatment than it warranted, and actually calculated just how big a rock would be needed to cause the sea level rise we’re seeing. To produce the amount of rise we’re experiencing, Bump estimates “we’d need to take the top five inches of the United States”--9.1 million square miles worth of land--and drop it into the ocean. Every year.

Given that such a mass would weigh 6.6 quadrillion pounds, perhaps the truth only limps along after the lies because it’s got such a heavy load to carry.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 22, 2018, 05:03:59 pm »

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May 21, 2018

This]network of like-minded fundersthen manufactured an entire ecosystem of pseudo-academics producing white papers and holding conferences and the like, with the intent to establish as a real theory and not just far-right daydreams the idea that the government is actually bad for people, because the public should be free to choose to get ripped off by corporations.[

To be fair to CEI, it would be nice if dishwashers could get the job done faster, and more efficiently. But instead of calling on manufacturers to improve their products through Good Old American Innovation, CEI would rather just have the government loosen the rules.

Because the right’s obsession with personal responsibility only applies to people, not corporations. And it’s not like corporations are people too, right?    

Absolutely brilliant summary, AG. Thanks.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 21, 2018, 09:56:35 pm »

Man Killed After Tesla Model S Crashes Into Pond
Tyler Durden

In the third fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S in just the last two weeks, after a "horrific" Ft. Lauderdale crash killed two teens who were trapped in the burning sarcophagus after the car's batteries exploded, and just days after another model S also burned to a crisp also tragically trapping its driver on a highway in Switzerland, a 34-year-old man was killed when his Tesla Model S drove into a San Francisco-area pond Sunday night and his body ended up being recovered early Monday morning; the fatal crash closed a portion of Crow Canyon Road in Castro Valley, according to the California Highway Patrol.

    CHP: Adult man was behind wheel of #Tesla Model S sedan when he lost control, broke through fence and landed in pond along Crow Canyon Road. No one else in car besides driver. No ID yet. #AlamedaCounty @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/DCm4YONxrX
    — Bob Redell (@BobNBC) May 21, 2018

    The driver of a Tesla broke through a white fence, went up an embankment, into the air, through a tall wooden sign and 65’ into a pond. Divers found his body overnight. #AlamedaCounty @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/8nH4ZC3Hzr
    — Bob Redell (@BobNBC) May 21, 2018

According to KTVU and NBC, Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly identified the driver as Keith Leung, 34, of Danville.

    Coroner has identified Tesla driver as Keith Leung, a 34 yo man from Danville. A business card found at the scene indicates he was a freelance musician who played bassoon. pic.twitter.com/VSnTTZceew
    — Bob Redell (@BobNBC) May 21, 2018

Based on preliminary evidence, the driver, who has been identified as Danville resident Keith Leung, appeared to veer from Crow Canyon Road just south of Bollinger Canyon Road, smash through a fence and crash into the pond, authorities said. Leung's body and the car were pulled from the water early Monday.

"The vehicle was severly damaged...This is something again that is very tragic," CHP Officer Daniel Jacowitz said according to NBC. "The driver really didn't stand a chance in a way on this. It's sad. It really is."

The pond, site of the deadly crash, is shown below:

A property owner heard the Tesla, driving northbound on Crow Canyon Road, just before 8 p.m. on Sunday, according to CHP Officer Daniel Jacowitz. He called 911 and when he came outside he saw damage to his fence and tire tracks leading up to the pond.

    One man is dead after he crashes his Tesla Model S through a fence off Crow Canyon Road and it submerged in a pond. No other vehicles suspected as being involved. - CHP Castro Valley. .@KTVU pic.twitter.com/udpgBio3D4
    — Leigh Martinez (@LeighMartinezTV) May 21, 2018

Nine members of the Alameda County Sheriff’s rescue team went into the pond about 10 p.m. and found the driver, still sitting upright in the driver's seat, Jacowitz said. He was pulled out and declared dead at the scene about 5:30 a.m. "It's really tragic," Jacowitz said.

However, CHP officers did acknowledge that this stretch of road is a problem area and they conduct enforcement there on a regular basis.  The speed limit ranges from 35 mph to 55 mph and officers say they have cited people for going as fast as 75 mph.

Neighbors have regularly complained that they can’t get out of their drive ways because vehicle are driving so fast.

Jacowitz added that Leung would have had to have been driving more than posted speed limit of 35 mph to have gone airborne and fly the distance it did.

“The vehicle was submerged...trees in the water made it difficult to tow it out,” said CHP Sgt. Michael Novosel.

Of course, Tesla did not respond to a request for comment by KTVU on Monday as the company will first issue a press release explaining just how safe the auto pilot makes its increasingly deadly crashes a thing of the past.

NHTSA said that  "gathering information" on the fatal pond crash "and will take action as appropriate."

    .@NHTSAgov says it is "gathering information" on fatal California Tesla crash into pond "and will take action as appropriate"
    — David Shepardson (@davidshepardson) May 21, 2018

It is not clear if alcohol or drugs played a role in the crash. It is also unclear if Leung was speeding or if autopilot features were engaged at the time of the crash. As the aerial photo of the crash site shows, there are no road markings on the right side of the road below, which is probably why the autopilot got confused, lost control and headed straight into the pond.

This is what happens when you go too fast in a car on a dangerous country road. The fact that it was an EV made by Tesla is irrelevant.

Agelbert NOTE: Any person with an elementary knowledge of physics can see that the Tesla in that crash was going too fast. Although the hysterical electric car haters are trying to blame it on the autopilot or whatever, it's really rather obvious that ANY car going very fast on that road (that you aren't supposed to go above 35 mph on) would crash into the pond. Considering the car had to travese the ramp up in soil before leaping into the air prior to hitting the pond, it is blatantly obvious that this vehicle was traveling at very high speed. If you blame Tesla instead of the driver, you are worthy of pity as well as requiring a course in elementary physics.  Eddie is right about disdaining stuffed shirt types who pretend they are the only one privy to extensive knowledge of science for the purpose of lecturing everyone else. 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 21, 2018, 09:19:48 pm »

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May 21, 2018

Trump 🦀 Trashes Climate Targets for Federal Agencies
The Trump administration has rescinded an Obama-era policy requiring federal agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. An executive order signed late last week that instructs agencies to prioritize energy efficiency and reduce waste and costs also rescinds a 2015 executive order, which set a goal of reducing the federal government's greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent over a decade. The 2015 order also tasked agencies with using clean energy as 25 percent of their energy needs and reduce building energy use by 2.5 percent per year. The new Trump executive order makes no mention of climate change, does not require agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and does not set specific energy efficiency goals.

EPA Undoes Safety Regulations For Chemical Plants 😡

EPA chief Scott Pruitt 👹 moved last week to rescind Obama-era chemical safety regulations intended to reduce the risk of disasters at chemical plants, saying the rules pose "unnecessary regulatory burdens" on industry. The Obama administration put together the Chemical Disaster Rule in response to a 2013 explosion at a chemical plant that killed 15, injured 260 and damaged 150 buildings in the small town of West, Texas. Groups like the American Chemistry Council and American Petroleum Institute aggressively lobbied the Trump administration to roll back the rule, prompting Pruitt to issue a stay on the rule's implementation last year. "With all due respect to Scott Pruitt, he’s never lost 15 firefighter friends," West's mayor Tommy Muska told the Austin American-Statesman. "I’m as pro-business as anyone, but some things are way, way, way more important than too much regulation, and that includes the safety of these chemical plants."

Investors Put on Pressure Ahead of Shareholder Votes

Dozens of global investors called on the oil and gas industry Friday to take more action to tackle climate change. In an open letter published in the Financial Times, 60 investors, who collectively oversee almost $10.5 trillion of the world's assets, called on the oil and gas industry to "be more transparent and take responsibility for all its emissions." The letter comes ahead of several annual shareholder meetings, including a Tuesday meeting where Royal Dutch Shell shareholders will vote on a resolution requiring the company to set specific emissions reductions targets.

CEI’s 🐉 Next Big Target is Apparently Big Dishwasher   

The industry-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute 😈 is out with a new campaign, urging its followers to submit public comments on an issue of vital importance to the national discourse.

CEI has set up a microsite making it easy to submit a form letter to the federal register, letting Rick Perry and the Department of Energy know about a grave injustice.

A blog post by CEI’s Devin Watkins directing readers to the site makes it clear that CEI is concerned with the issues that most impact real Americans: slow, energy-efficient dishwashers. Yes, dishwasherchoice.com is a real thing that actually exists.

For the cost of handing over your name, email, phone number and address for CEI to spam you with, you too can send a generic email as a public comment complaining that your energy-efficient dishwasher doesn’t use enough water or power.

Now, if Perry is anything like Zinke when it comes to public comments, he’ll probably ignore these responses anyway. But on the off chance he’s reading, CEI would like him to know that they have very serious concerns about dishwashers being too efficient, and would please like people to have higher energy bills and consume more water. 

Jokes aside, this is a prime example of how “choice” is used by conservatives 😈 as a rhetorical tool to cast inferior products as somehow preferable. In this case, CEI thinks consumers should be able to choose to buy less efficient dishwashers. In other cases, conservatives use “choice” as a way to insist the public should be subject to predatory loans, as in last year’s “Financial Choice Act.” 🦀 During the healthcare debate last year, conservatives floated a “Consumer Choice Act” to allow consumers to buy healthcare plans that didn’t meet ACA standards--plans they barely offered any coverage at all.

This rhetorical ruse--using choice as a code for letting companies rip people off--can be traced back to the “public choice theory” popularized by James Buchanan , a history richly retold in Nancy Maclean’s Democracy in Chains. It’s a story of how fringe economists supplied a convenient narrative for corporations (and racists) who wanted to roll back regulations on their products (and to fight federal desegregation efforts in schools.) The monied interests installed Buchanan and his contemporaries at universities using big donations to set up economic centers.

Which, if you’ve been paying attention to the Koch’s George Mason influence 🦖, should sound pretty familiar.

This network of like-minded funders 🦖 then manufactured an entire ecosystem of pseudo-academics, producing white papers and holding conferences and the like, with the intent to establish as a real theory and not just far-right daydreams the idea that the government is actually bad for people, because the public should be free to choose to get ripped off by corporations.

To be fair to CEI, it would be nice if dishwashers could get the job done faster, and more efficiently. But instead of calling on manufacturers to improve their products through Good Old American Innovation, CEI would rather just have the government loosen the rules.

Because the right’s obsession with personal responsibility only applies to people, not corporations. And it’s not like corporations are people too, right?    
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 16, 2018, 04:48:28 pm »

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May 16, 2018

Why Is It Only Fossil Fueled Pundits 
Criticize Electric Cars?

There seems to be no shortage of deceptive attacks on electric vehicles, whether from the GOP’s opposition research arm or the Koch brothers themselves. The latest attempt to malign EVs is a report released Monday, which claims increased adoption of EVs will actually increase air pollution. Multiple reports in the past have come to the opposite conclusion--so what makes this one different?

For starters, the “Short Circuit” report was published by the Koch (and Mercer , and Big Tobacco ) and Exxon-funded Manhattan institute, and authored by Jonathan Lesser  , an energy industry consultant with a history 😈 of doing utility and industry bidding and a long track record of anti-climate action writing. With these credentials, it’s not exactly surprising that the report advocates against EV subsidies.

What is surprising is that Politico gave Lesser space to promote the report--without any disclosure of his energy industry 🦖 clients or the Manhattan Institute’s fossil fuel funding. Instead, Lesser’s consultancy is described as “an economic and regulatory consulting firm 😇”   in his Politico byline. This sounds a lot more innocent than the blurb on his LinkedIn profile, which discloses that he provides “services to clients in he [sic] energy industry.”

Lesser’s 👹 full CV provides a little more detail on those energy industry clients 🐉🦕 🦖, which include Shell, Exelon, various state-based gas and utility companies, and the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, an anti-wind farm group with a Koch brother as its chairman.

As for the report itself, the topline findings are that people buying electric cars instead of new gas powered autos will actually increase particulate matter , sulfur and nitrous oxide pollution (the American Lung Association says otherwise), that EVs will only reduce CO2 emissions a little (not true), and that subsidies are unfair because only rich people can afford EVs. 

Please forgive us, then, for not wasting our time and yours by digging into the report to find just where and how Lesser has cooked the books to produce the counterintuitive click-bait headline that EV subsidies are bad. And it beggars belief that anyone would actually believe that the Manhattan Institute 👹, funded by conservative billionaires 🦀💵 🎩, actually cares about economic inequality, given that it 😈 has argued that “there is little evidence we should” even try to reduce economic inequality.

To sum up, this report is written by a man whose career is built on fossil fuel consulting, published by a group built with fossil fuel money, arguing cars that don’t use fossil fuels are bad. For some reason, Politico only thought that third part was relevant for its readers. 

But would you trust the findings of that report Lesser more than all the others showing the opposite?

The Fossil Fuelers 🦖 DID THE Clean Energy  Inventions suppressing, Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks 🦀, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 15, 2018, 09:11:25 pm »

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May 15,2018

With Congressional Funds as Paint, the Wash Examiner 🐉 Greenwashes Trump 🦀

The Washington Examiner is a DC-focused outlet owned by a conservative billionaire (who also happens to own the influential conservative opinion magazine Weekly Standard--which, judging by a recent editorial, seems to be as sick of Pruitt as we are). The Examiner tends to show its conservative hand in its coverage of climate, but also hasn’t given deniers the free rein that many of its counterparts in the right-wing media sphere have. And unlike the Wall Street Journal’s stark divide between fair reporting in its newsroom and denier-controlled hysteria on its editorial board, the Examiner’s opinion page is more balanced: it recently ran an editorial about California’s rooftop solar rule that’s a spitting image of the Journal’s, but also gave space to an op-ed by the Defenders of Wildlife criticizing Trump’s Arctic drilling plan.

But on Sunday, the Examiner went past its regular bias with a story claiming that “Trump is a lot greener than you think he is.” The piece uses a greenwashing framing one would expect Trump’s PR team to churn out, trumpeting Trump’s claims that he is “to a large extent, an environmentalist.” Unsurprisingly, the story fails to live up to its headline.

The focus of the piece is the flurry of research and development funding coming out of the Department of Energy. We’re apparently supposed to be impressed that unlike the Trump cabinet members who seek to entirely dismantle their agency and hand it over to the industry they’re supposed to regulate (Pruitt, DeVos, Zinke), Rick Perry is, by contrast, working to really advance energy innovation.

The greatest sin of the piece is one of omission. Nothing is said about all the ways Trump is hurting the environment, or how his administration chooses to ignore or suppress information about public health and the environment.

Instead, the Examiner piece argues, Trump should get green credit because DOE is giving out money for clean coal, nuclear, and yes renewables. One could weigh the potential merits of funding renewables while also keeping the fossil fuel industry alive, or whether or not carbon capture and sequestration, if successful, would actually make coal clean. But that’s not what the piece does, and really not even necessary for anyone paying attention.

The fact of the matter is that the DOE has been dispersing funds--but it’s despite, not because, of Trump’s presidency. The Examiner piece is lengthy, but barely touches on the fact that Trump’s proposed budgets have absolutely gutted DOE’s renewable funding. Turns out Congress are the real heroes here, as they reinstated credits for renewables. Republicans, of course, aren’t going to turn down money for their districts--and clean energy rightly enjoys overwhelming bipartisan popularity across the country.

The Examiner piece praises the ARPA-E funding for clean energy, but Trump’s proposed budget zeroed out funding for ARPA-E. Despite the Examiner’s attempt at spin, the facts speak for themselves: overall, Trump’s 2019 proposed budget reduced clean energy and energy efficiency funding by 72 percent, while upping funding for fossil fuel programs.

Just like Trump’s 🦀 claims to be an environmentalist , the Examiner’s 😈 claim that he’s greener than we think turns an ugly, dirty brown after even the briefest examination.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 11, 2018, 02:32:38 pm »

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Fox News 😈 Slams California Rooftop Solar Initiative With Lies, Half-Truths, & Distortions

May 10th, 2018 by Steve Hanley

The California Energy Commission has mandated that most new residential structures — single family homes, condominium complexes, and apartment buildings — have rooftop solar systems beginning in 2020. While most people who care about the Earth are applauding the move, Fox News has greeted the decision with derision and scorn.

Amber Beck, a spokesperson for the California Energy Commission, says, “For residential homeowners, based on a 30-year mortgage, the Energy Commission estimates that the standards will add about $40 to an average monthly payment, but save consumers $80 on monthly heating, cooling, and lighting bills. On average, the 2019 standards will increase the cost of constructing a new home by about $9,500 but will save $19,000 in energy and maintenance costs over 30 years.”

It didn’t take Faux News long to find someone with a gloomier view. Brian Dahle, the Republican leader of the California Assembly, told the alleged news organization, “That’s just going to drive the cost up and make California, once again, not affordable to live.” Yup. You betcha. In a state where the average single-family home costs $479,000 and the typical monthly mortgage with principal and interest is $2,334, that extra $40 a month is going to be a deal breaker for most folks. (And the long-term savings don’t matter.)

Then Fox News dug up a quote from Bill Watt, a homebuilder and former president of the Orange County Building Industry Association. He tells The Orange County Register the added solar panel costs, in addition to other building mandates, will make home ownership out of reach for many buyers. “We’re not building enough housing already. Why not just pause for a little while, focus on the affordability and housing issues, then circle back?”

Robert Raymer, technical director of the California Building Industry Association, gave a tepid endorsement to the new policy. “[W]e would prefer that this had been put off for a few more years, but the fact is that the California Energy Commission has been working on this, with us, for the past 10 years. We know this is coming. We did everything we could to push down compliance costs and increase design flexibility.” In other words, they did everything they could to slow walk the process as much as possible, delaying the inevitable every step of the way, and increasing emissions in the process.

Brooke Singman , who purports to be a journalist, larded her Fox News story with this memorable line: “The solar panel decision is just the latest example of what critics see as the state’s ever-evolving nanny-state policies. California often is at the leading edge of government mandates and bans, having recently prohibited everything from plastic bags to foie gras – and even flirting with phasing out internal combustion engines.” Foie gras? Oh, the horror!

Then, as if to establish her bona fides, she dredged up the Solyndra debacle, an idea everyone was for before they were against it. “The mandate is the latest win for the solar industry, despite past controversies tied to companies’ use of taxpayer funds. The most notorious example was California company Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy in 2011. An Energy Department inspector general report in 2015 said the company misrepresented facts in order to secure a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government. Taxpayer lost most of that money in the deal.”

Conservatives Reactionaries have never met a handout to fossil fuel companies 🦖 or the military 🦍 they didn’t like.
Those taxpayer-funded gifts cost hundreds of billions of dollars each and every year. But money to jump start the US solar industry so America could begin to wean itself off oil? Hang the bastards! Tar and feather ’em! Have them drawn and quartered at sunrise and then keel-hauled around the fleet!

Having thoroughly poisoned the minds of her readers, Singman tosses out this throwaway line at the very bottom of her journalistic tour de farce: “The new California measure would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 700,000 metric tons over three years, according to the commission. The Energy Commission said this would be equivalent to taking 115,000 cars off the road.”

Oh. With such fairly unbalanced diatribes soaking into the brains of its readers and viewers every day, it is little wonder that Donald Trump is pushing the world to the brink of World War III with his unhinged policies while his “base” cheers. In a perfect world, Fox News would be declared a terrorist organization and its rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth adherents deported. Then America could truly begin the task of becoming great once again.

Hat tip to Dan Allard

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 10, 2018, 02:21:56 pm »

Union of Concerned Scientists

May 10, 2018

This Just In

Scientists React

Over the years, fossil fuel companies have poured their resources into lobbying politicians, attacking scientists, funding biased studies…and producing deceptive ad campaigns. These slick advertisements are piped into our living rooms to convince us that only fossil fuels can support our way of life, that oil is clean, and that it’s solely individuals like us and our lifestyles, not these companies and their well-funded efforts to block sensible policies, who are responsible for climate change. We asked UCS scientists Dr. Astrid Caldas and Dr. Gretchen Goldman to react to some recent oil industry advertisements—watch their reactions.

Who is ExxonMobil? 🦖 ExxonMobil is one of the largest producers of oil and gas. They also have the distinction of being one of the major players in efforts to fund and implement campaigns to deceive the public about climate change.

Let’s break down some of the claims in Exxon’s Energy Lives Here advertisement

“If we could see energy, what would we see?” ExxonMobil asks.
Great question! If the energy comes from fossil fuels—oil, coal, and natural gas—we would see air pollution harming our health, extreme heat, drought, sea-level rise, and other climate impacts caused by carbon pollution, and we would see the disproportionate impacts on communities of color, low-income communities, and tribal communities.

Let’s talk jobs.

The ad heralds jobs in the fossil fuel industry, when in fact more than 500,000 people work in solar, wind, hydro, bioenergy, and geothermal energy. The energy efficiency sector alone employs more than two million people—double the number of people directly employed in the oil, coal, and gas industries in 2016, according to the Department of Energy.

“Using energy responsibly has never been more important,” ExxonMobil states with earnest concern.
We couldn’t agree more. Yet ExxonMobil borrows tactics from the playbook of the tobacco industry—hardly a model of corporate responsibility. ExxonMobil’s own scientists warned about the risks of burning oil and gas in the late 1970s. Management chose to ignore those warnings and continued pursuing fossil fuel extraction unabated, while spreading climate science disinformation and downplaying the risks of fossil fuels. To this day, they still mislead the public about the harm of their product.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 30, 2018, 10:07:47 pm »

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April 30, 2018

Morano 👹 Thrilled His Book Is Apparently Outselling 50 Year-Old Book

CFACT’s Marc Morano is very proud of his book, “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change.” Last Thursday, he scored an 18 minute interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s Pat Robertson 😈 (who once suggested Disney World’s “Gay Days” could incite God to hit Orlando with hurricanes.) At the EPA’s scientific “transparency” policy announcement earlier this week, Morano gave a copy to Scott Pruitt (who, of course, needs no help being incorrect).

All this publicity among those who are looking for advice on how to be wrong about climate change is paying off. According to an email blast sent to CFACT’s subscribers last week, Morano’s book is currently outselling Rachel Carson’s seminal 1962 work, “Silent Spring”.

Carson’s series of New Yorker articles-turned-book on the impacts of widespread pesticide use is widely considered a catalyst for the rise of the modern environmental movement, and is credited as helping to bring environmental concerns into the mainstream. It’s also a book published 56 years ago. Last we checked, surpassing current sales of works published five decades ago isn’t exactly a major accomplishment.

Then, of course, there’s the matter of who’s actually buying Morano’s screed. After all, bulk purchasing is a tried and true method of gaming these sorts of lists, where marketers, book clubs or groups with an interest in a book’s topic buy in bulk then resell at a significant discount.

You may remember this from the 2015 pseudo-scandal in which the New York Times kept Ted Cruz’s book off its bestseller list because they found “the overwhelming preponderance of evidence was that sales were limited to strategic bulk purchases.” Campaign finance filings later revealed that Cruz’s campaign spent $122,000 on copies of his book. 

Though this sort of bulk purchasing is an all-too-common nonpartisan marketing ploy, this was hardly the first time conservatives bought in bulk (see right-wing talk show host Mark Levin’s 2014 book, which got a boost from a $400,000 purchase from the Republican Senate Conservatives Fund). We know climate deniers are undoubtedly well aware of the strategy of bulk buying and distribution: last year Heartland sent 25,000 science teachers its climate denial propaganda.

But the idea’s been around for years. Back in 2007, a group of conservative authors sued conservative printing house Regnery Publishing, alleging it was "selling their books at a steep discount to book clubs and other organizations owned by the same parent company.” And by donating the books or otherwise selling at a discount, Regnery was stiffing the authors out of their royalties. (Per their contract, the dispute was settled by arbitration, which found in Regnery’s favor.)

And who published Morano’s book?

Because there are no coincidences in climate denial: Regnery Publishing.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 09, 2018, 08:04:13 pm »

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April 9, 2018

Milloy 🦖 Tries to Defend Pruitt 🦀 by Attacking Dems

Deniers rushed to Scott Pruitt’s defense over the last week as scandals continued to emerge and members of Congress called for his resignation. But, unsurprisingly, none of their arguments made much sense.
One of these deniers was Steve Milloy, former director of the self-professed largest privately-owned coal producer in the United States. In his latest Junk Science piece, Milloy complains that it isn’t fair to criticize Pruitt more harshly than the three most recent Democratic EPA administrators, who broke public records laws.
Let’s unpack that.
Milloy points out that Carol Browner, EPA administrator under Clinton, had her hard drive erased on her last day in office. Upon closer googling, it turns out the drive was erased by a contractor, and government lawyers said it was part of the process of transitioning between administrations. Milloy completely fails to mention the reason the act was notable at all: the same day the drive was erased, a judge had ordered the EPA to preserve all records relating to a specific lawsuit filed the previous fall (some of which were presumably on the hard drive). The Washington Post reported that government lawyers believed “the erasure of her hard drive occurred before Lamberth's order was signed,” so it’s unclear whether Browner broke the law at all.
Milloy also reminds us that Lisa Jackson, the first EPA administrator under Obama, hid emails from FOIA requests by sending them under the fake name “Richard Windsor.” The New York Times reported that Jackson said she “used the second account because her public email address was widely known.” EPA Associate Administrator Arvin Ganesan confirmed, explaining that for “nearly two decades EPA administrators have managed the agency with two email accounts” because one is publicly available on the website. While we agree secret email addresses can cause quite a bit of trouble, there was an inquiry into this and nothing juicy was ever found.
Next, Milloy turns his attention to Gina McCarthy, who, he writes, “simply deleted 5,000 text messages rather than turn them over for public scrutiny.” Of course, Milloy doesn’t mention that when Lamar Smith 🦕 subpoenaed McCarthy for the texts, the Obama administration actually produced them — along with all her phone records dating back to her arrival at the agency in 2009.
Still hungry after all those nothing burgers?  ;D

Try as he might, Milloy fails to make Pruitt’s behavior seem excusable. Sorry Steve, but at this point, it just may not be possible to save the EPA administrator from himself.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 06, 2018, 02:31:50 pm »

With climate change, fake news is old news

For the last three decades the greatest disinformation campaign of our time convinced millions of Americans to reject the fairly basic science of greenhouse gas pollution. Like earlier tobacco campaigns, the simple purpose is protecting sales of industry products, in this case coal, oil and gas.

Increasingly, science and fact-based journalism show industry has long promoted a blend of fake news and biased reporting to undermine acceptance of climate science. Research last year from Harvard University analyzed over 180 climate-related documents published by ExxonMobil between 1977 and 2014. It showed the firm issued dozens of news-worthy statements dismissive of climate change while, simultaneously, company scientists quietly affirmed the threat. Engineers even began adapting drilling infrastructure for rising seas and other anticipated changes. The LA Times reported similar findings, sparking protests and the hashtag #Exxonknew.

But ExxonMobil is hardly alone. Increasingly, reports describe fossil fuel industry funding of conservative think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, and others known for peddling skepticism on climate science. Their custom-crafted messages enter news cycles via conservative politicians and sympathetic media outlets. Or in the case of the Heartland Institute, supported by Peabody Energy and other coal giants, by erecting billboards likening climate scientists to serial killer Ted Kaczynski.

Climate disinformation has been expertly served to the public. Consider the so-called “climate-gate” scandal, founded on selective reading of emails stolen from researchers. First surfacing in 2009, it was debunked by eight independent investigations. Yet for years, conservative news and commentary shows pushed the story, which Republican lawmakers cited to justify inaction on climate. Research from George Mason University showed the campaign increased public skepticism about climate change, especially among conservative voters.

Like ExxonMobil’s public statements, climate-gate reflects a decades-long effort to disrupt public discourse, especially at key moments. It intensified leading up to the first global climate initiative, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which the U.S .did not ratify. Climate-gate itself came as the U.S. joined 2009 global climate treaty talks in Copenhagen. In 2016, fossil fuel interests supported and advised President Trump campaign. Trump ultimately fulfilled promises to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord and appointed industry veterans to top government posts.

With homegrown meddling like this, who needs the Russians?

But while climate-gate is outright fakery, a more insidious concern is widespread underreporting and media bias against climate coverage. In an exhaustive examination of television news broadcasts, Media Matters found nearly 80 percent of 2017 climate change reporting focused on statements by Trump. Only minimal coverage discussed climate in connection to the year’s record-setting natural disasters, including epic Atlantic hurricanes and devastating California wildfires, which together destroyed infrastructure and tens of thousands of homes. Media Matters showed some networks even favored stories disputing connections between climate change and extreme weather. It corroborated earlier research by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Similar to Russian election interference, climate disinformation is a complex melding of forces. It entails industry money, social media algorithms, and political and cultural identity, especially within a modern conservative movement priding itself on distrust of science and journalism. The entwined results are that millions of Americans still reject climate change science, and fossil fuels maintain dominance over the energy sector.

Yet, resistance is growing. Shareholders, the Security and Exchange Commission, and several state attorneys general have launched investigations and lawsuits to determine whether ExxonMobil committed criminal deceit. And nine U.S. cities, including San Francisco and New York City, are suing dozens of fossil fuel companies. They seek billions of dollars in damages for urgently needed climate change adaptations, including new sea walls and storm-water controls.

The cases signal mounting anger among citizens stuck with high infrastructure costs tied to burning fossil fuels. Meanwhile, advances in science lend legal weight to the cases. Researchers are increasingly able to tally historical CO2 emissions and even approximate their contribution to specific meteorological events.

It is also worth noting efforts to improve K-12 media literacy education. Media Literacy Now and others offer models for state legislation, aimed at ensuring students learn to discern between news sources and recognize persuasion techniques. Several states have adopted the laws and others are considering bills, according to Media Literacy Now.

Media literacy skills will remain important. In December, the National Association of Manufacturers 👹 formed a new trade group to oppose climate change lawsuits, and last month automakers urged regulators to dismiss established climate science. They represent a continued industry commitment 😈 to public disinformation over an earnest debate about regulation and public health.

Tim Lydon works in federal lands management and is the author of “Passage to Alaska, Two Months Sea Kayaking the Inside Passage.”


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 02, 2018, 04:57:17 pm »

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April 2, 2018

Alex Jones 😈 Hops On Climate Change & Gun Control Brainwashing Bandwagon

Let’s start our week with two jokes: Alex Jones 😈 and Marc Morano 😈. Last week, Jones interviewed Morano for a segment that supposedly showed how the “global warming playbook” is apparently being used to brainwash children against guns. We watched the silly interview so you don’t have to. (Our brain is still hurting, please send pizza.)

Seems that Alex wanted to huff some Big Words and invent new ones, while Morano was out to promote his new book. In between, we got a segment that just about barely actually explained why they think kids are getting brainwashed.

It started with both of them praising Trump The Greatest Human To Walk This Planet, because he solved the gun shooting epidemic with his promise to maybe ban bump stocks. The discourse involved statements like “People are saying don’t criticize the gun marchers because they’re connected to Hitler.” (Don’t ask us. We don’t know. Who knows why coherent sentences were even invented in the first place.)

The crux of Jones and Morano’s “conversation” centered around how the gun control movement’s key motivation is a hatred of the Second Amendment, (of course, it has absolutely nothing to do with not wanting school children to die), and paralleled this to the supposed “real agenda” of climate activists: world domination (again, nothing to do with wanting to live safe and healthy lives and keeping the planet clean).

From the interview, it was hard to determine if there was actual argument (however fallacious) connecting gun control activism to climate action. But tying these two issues together could be an emerging new conservative talking point. Our regular readers may recall a similar post in the Federalist we discussed last week claiming the March for Our Lives shows how gun control groups “are seizing on” the climate change playbook to mobilize kids. The author argued that gun control “bullies” and climate “alarmists” exploit children by using celebrities and feeding them “steady news of gloom and doom.”

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen the shameful lengths some conservatives can go to serve the gun lobby. This new method to attack two birds with one stone is yet another way to attempt to deny the undeniable impact of young people rising up nationwide to fight for their rights. 

Incidentally, Nexus Media recently spoke to a few school kids on why they’re fighting for urgent climate action and preparing for a youth-led march this July. Plot twist: Through facts aided by emotion, they’re looking to brainwash the resistant adults into accepting the undeniable reality of human-caused climate change.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 28, 2018, 08:01:23 pm »

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Kids Believe In the Easter Bunny, But Even They’re Too Clever For Climate Denial 😈 and the NRA🔫

March 28, 2018

Back in 2013, Heartland 🐉 Senior Fellow Ben Domenech (who married Megan McCain last year) founded The Federalist 🦕 to add some hip young perspective  ;) to the conservative media environment. The site is famous for smart, original and youth-oriented pieces such as a recent tirade defending Roy Moore, a literal defense of dumpster fires that admitted it isn’t even an original idea. The site is also somewhat famous for its lack of funding transparency, with “Who 🦖 funds the federalist?” emerging on twitter as a meme.

It’s a worthwhile question, especially considering a post from Friday by “author”Julie Kelly 😈 which explains “How Successful Climate Pressure Tactics Paved The Way For Gun Control Bullying.” In a sense, we have to admire Kelly: it takes a brave pundit to attack children victimized by gun violence (and somehow also tie the same diatribe to climate). In her past writings, Kelly has demonstrated a commitment to similarly bold stances--she recently criticized AAAS for giving an award to Dr. Michael Mann, defended Pruitt’s red team attack in a post last summer, and lectured the Pope for his climate concern in November.

To criticize children for getting active in the political process while defending two of the richest special interest groups in the world without looking like a soulless monster would take nuanced thinking from a writer skilled in restraint and subtlety. Sadly, Kelly is not that kind of writer.

The crux of her argument is that gun control “bullies” are exploiting children for political gain--just like climate “alarmists.” These two groups, Kelly argues, use celebrities to spread their message and demonize the opposition as “industry shills, bought off by special interest groups.”

(To be fair, she’s not exactly wrong. Lifting up impacted voices with personal stories, tapping celebrities with wide social media reach and pointing out the rank corruption among opposition organizations funded by industry are all effective communications strategies. We just apparently happen to differ with Kelly on whether protecting children’s rights to a livable climate and to safety from guns is a good or bad thing.)

Kelly explains “children are weaponized” for climate issues, quoting our friend Marc Morano about how kids are fed “a steady diet of fear and doom” so that we can use “vulnerable children to promote climate fears.” Kelly, of course, fails to disclose Morano’s ties to industry-funded CFACT.

According to Kelly, the March for Our Lives shows how “gun control activists are now seizing on” the climate change strategy and “shamefully capitalizing off the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month.” That the kids organized and have led a large majority of the effort is written off simply because they’ve gotten fiscal support from rich people. Considering that they won’t tell anyone what rich people give their publication fiscal support, we think this is a particularly interesting angle for the Federalist’s editors to allow.

At the end of her piece, Kelly decries how “activists routinely post the amount of money politicians have accepted from the NRA or fossil fuel companies  and attempt to intimidate lawmakers into rejecting those blood-soaked contributions.”

It’s understandable that Kelly, who’s gotten called out for being a pro-GMO shill in the past, would be jumpy about the public holding industry shills accountable for their funding.

After all, it’s hard to believe that anyone who would attack children in service of the NRA and fossil fuel companies would do so out of a sense of journalistic integrity. Especially not at The Federalist .
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 26, 2018, 02:49:13 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 23, 2018, 07:38:51 pm »

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Pielke Jr. 🐍 Joins Red Team , Defends Trump, Critiques Mainstream Climate Report

Roger Pielke Jr. once wrote a book about being an “Honest Broker” in the science-policy debate. Pielke’s whole schtick is that he’s the moderate willing to criticize mainstream climate scientists, advocates and media, but is still part of the consensus and supports a carbon tax. He was not pleased, for example, when Foreign Policy included him in a guide to skeptics back in 2010. In his various blog posts, tweets and op-eds, Pielke takes care to present himself as a sensible, serious and unbiased voice in a discussion full of extremists.

This facade should no longer be entertained. In terms of Pruitt’s red team/blue team attack on science--at one point envisioned as the red team reviewing climate science reports--it’s clear Pielke belongs on the red team. In fact, Pielke’s 2013 and 2017 Congressional testimony was cited so heavily in Heartland’s “Task Force” to critique the 2017 Climate Science Special Report that they credited him as a contributor. (Worth noting that Pielke said he had nothing to do with Heartland’s critique, and that Heartland has since updated their report to remove him from “contributor” status--a mistake they’ve apparently made before.)

Heartland’s reliance on Pielke’s testimony makes it undeniable that his work is part of the effort to discredit mainstream science, whether he likes it or not. And if there was any doubt he fits in with the many fine people on the red team, he wrote an op-ed for the Guardian, published Wednesday, defending Trump’s science agenda, claiming “there is no systematic effort to undercut science and technology policy.”

Pielke’s piece, which defends Trump as indifferent as opposed to hostile to science, does acknowledge that Trump’s proposed budget would seriously cut funding for multiple scientific programs (apparently excusable because Congress didn’t enact it) and that Trump’s EPA is making “sweeping changes” to how it uses science. If we have Pielke’s thinking straight, Trump himself does nothing good on science, and Trump’s appointees are actively anti-science, but we shouldn’t consider Trump anti-science-- which seems pretty generous stance to take towards a president 🦀 with over 100 entries in something called the “Silencing Science” tracker.

Pielke also attacks the March for Science, writing “there is seemingly little energy in any follow-up or the building of a movement.” (This particular criticism was meet with a swift and energetic response that they have been “doing the less flashy but more impactful work of *organizing*”--exactly the sort of serious work an honest broker would be commending them for.) 

After all this build up about what everyone else gets wrong, Pielke’s sage advice is that instead of being outraged about Trump, a “more productive use of oppositional energy would be for the scientific community to develop well-considered approaches to science and technology policies.” 

This means nothing. Of course the scientific community should think through how it approaches policy! Is he suggesting that before now, they’ve only developed poorly-considered approaches? How does telling people to develop an approach provide any insight into how to address Trump’s, at best, avoidance of science? At what point in time would the community not be wise “to develop well-considered approaches” to policy? How does that banal and empty fortune-cookie-wisdom sort of suggestion compare to the seriousness of the situation at hand?

And Pielke’s specific suggestion for the scientific community? That the Office of Science and Technology Policy should put together “a shadow, bipartisan version” of an advisory panel it runs. This, of course, is exactly what is already happening with some advisory panels. 

In case anyone still had doubts, this op-ed is proof that Pielke can write paragraph after paragraph criticizing others, but has proven he has nothing new, unique or even well-informed to offer.

Which makes him perfect for the red 😈 team.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 22, 2018, 05:55:14 pm »

From: monsta666
Was reading the blog Our Finite World when I came across this comment Gail put up that made me think of you:

Gail Tverberg says:
March 14, 2018 at 9:07 am   

So let's move on to talking about a different issue. The silliness of talking about a transformation to renewables is beyond crazy.

Has this changed your stance on Gail? That particular comment was made towards another poster on her article titled: Our Latest Oil Predicament

If I understood correctly what she is saying in the above quote, she alleges that there is no way that Renewable Energy can TOTALLY EVER REPLACE fossil fuels AND MOCKS, by using the word, "silliness", those who advocate for a world powered exclusively by Renewable Energy. 

If I understood what she said incorrectly, and she was actually taking a position that we need to get off fossil fuels, like YESTERDAY, and DO the transition to Renewable Energy intead of "talking" about it, then I would be pleased and genuinely surprised that she finally is smelling the Catastrophic Climate Change coffee.

But I doubt that she has woken up to climate change reality yet, so I think she is engaging in typical Pro-polluting status quo propaganda.

Has this changed your stance on Gail?

No. Gail has always been a stalking horse for the Fossil Fuel Industry "business model" AND a staunch defender of Nuclear Power as well. The irony of coming up with a name like "This finite World" for her forum has never been lost on me. She must have studied Orwellian discourse.  Of course we will EVENTUALLY run out, but not anywhere close to the (rather convenient for fossil fuel profits) artificial scarcity timetable Gail and her fellow Pro-Fossil Fuel Propagandists wail and moan about. 

Since the beginning, her entire pitch has consisted of creating the impression that we are "running out" of fossil fuels for the express purpose of making them appear more valuable to readers. THAT IS, convincing we-the-people that we must pay MORE for that crap.

Of course she won't admit that is her greedy motive for harping on the "increasing scarcity" of fossil fuels. She claims she is just "telling us we are going to run out of our precious and prized 😇, high energy density oil and gas for our own good". 

Many posts I have made cover the fact that this is an old propaganda technique the fossil fuelers have used, not only in regard to the peak oil meme, but for the rather convenient price shocks during rather convenient wars, and other cheap excuses (hurricanes, oil spills, OPEC, etc. ad nauseum). It's all bullshit, but it has worked because so many governments work hand in glove with these greedy profit over people and planet bastards.

I have posted the following now and then. It happened nearly thirty years ago. Yet, the same crooked game continues to be played against us. Gail is an active participant in this very profitable, totally unjustified, "game"    the polluters play. She has ALWAYS defended fossil fuels as being the "cheapest and most efficient" energy option. That is bullshit. I have no respect for her at all.

I have been occasionally posting the following hard truths here and there since 2014:

Here's a little something to throw at the liars and prevaricators that defend fossil fuels as being the "cheapest and most efficient" energy option.

It's a historical (and peer reviewed) fact. This grand larceny on behalf of fossil fuels is STILL going on.

The DIRTY ENERGY SOURCES have a long history of profiting from our blood and treasure while they despoil the biosphere.

The following quote from a peer reviewed book is of extreme importance to all Americans:

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 399-400). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

"As suggested earlier, war, for example, which represents a cost for society, is a source of profit to capitalists. In this way we can partly understand e.g. the American military expenditures in the Persian Gulf area. Already before the first Gulf War, i.e. in 1985, the United States spent $47 billion projecting power into the region. If seen as being spent to obtain Gulf oil, It AMOUNTED TO $468 PER BARREL, or 18 TIMES the $27 or so that at that time was paid for the oil itself.

In fact, if Americans had spent as much to make buildings heat-tight as they spent in ONE YEAR at the end of the 1980s on the military forces meant to protect the Middle Eastern oil fields, THEY COULD HAVE ELIMINATED THE NEED TO IMPORT OIL from the Middle East.

So why have they not done so? Because, while the $468 per barrel may be seen as being a cost the American taxpayers had to bear, and a negative social effect those living in the Gulf area had to bear, it meant only profits for American capitalists. "

Note: I added the bold caps emphasis on the barrel of oil price, money spent in one year and the need to import oil from the Middle East.

This totally unjustified profit, never mind the needless lose of lives, then increases the power of the fossil fuel corporations to perpetuate a biosphere harming dirty fuel status quo. How? By "funding" politicians with rather large "donations" to keep renewable energy from competing with dirty energy.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 21, 2018, 09:11:10 pm »

Oil Change International

Mar. 19, 2018 12:43PM EST
Early April Fool's Joke? Statoil 🦕 Rebrands Itself as Equinor 😇

By Andy Rowell


First came BP, which went from British Petroleum to Beyond Petroleum. Then Denmark's Dong Energy changed its name to Orsted, to mark its departure from oil and gas. Then earlier this year Shell announced it was morphing from an oil company into an integrated energy company.

And now, the Norwegian company Statoil is proposing to change its name to "Equinor." The rebranding exercise—or what some may call greenwashing exercise—will cost as much as 250 million kroner or $32 million.



Statoil is just repeating history. Years ago, a book on countering corporate greenwash, edited by Eveline Lubbers, noted that BP's "rebranding was part of an effort to portray BP as an energy company, not just an oil company." Critics noted that the rebranding, which cost BP $200 million and was designed by Ogilvy & Mather, was a greenwashing exercise. Years later BP remains predominantly an oil and gas company.

Statoil's rebranding looks like greenwashing, too. Buried deep in the company's press release last week, Statoil stated that it "will develop long-term value on the Norwegian continental shelf, deepen in core areas and develop new growth options internationally …. Statoil is building a material industrial position within profitable renewable energy, and expects to invest 15-20% of total capex in new energy solutions by 2030." Put another way, in twelve year's time, some 80 percent of the company's capex will still be oil and gas.

Given the climate crisis and need to disinvest from oil and gas, this is hardly a revolutionary shift. So the company may be called "Equinor," but it will still essentially be Statoil to its core. So it really does look like an early April Fool's joke.

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 13, 2018, 10:37:41 pm »

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March 13, 2018

Lamar Smith 🐉 in Fox and Oren Cass 🦖 in WSJ: Not RickRolling, but Still Trolling

It’s already a weird month for climate op-eds. While powerful pieces like Alison Spodek Keimowitz’s reckoning with leukemia and climate change or 16-year-old climate activist Jamie Margolin’s story can find good homes in online outlets like Slate and Refinery29, some newspapers appear to be more concerned with driving hate clicks than thoughtful, original, and, most importantly, honest commentary.  :(

Some might say the trolls of the modern op-ed page are doing an amazing job, and getting recognized more and more. But as Virginia Heffernan describes in a recent piece in Wired, modern trolls’ approach is hardly new or unique: present a transparently ridiculous argument as though it’s being made in good faith, wait for people to get mad about it, then enjoy how little effort it took to trigger a much larger reaction.

Though Heffernan doesn’t mention climate, climate deniers are typical trolls. But instead of engaging just for laughs (“for the lulz”), like other bad-faith online actors, professional deniers 😈 go on the offensive to not only rile people up, but to push a viewpoint that benefits their fossil benefactors. Two recent op-eds make this clear.

On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal 🐍published an op-ed by Oren Cass that describes a new report he’s written for the Manhattan Institute. Given that the Manhattan Institute has been funded by the Kochs 🦕 (in addition to big tobacco) and has Rebekah Mercer 🦀 on its board, you can expect nothing but the best from Cass’s 🐲 report.

And of course, he delivers. The report is an “analysis” of a bunch of peer-reviewed and government reports on the relationship between the economic impacts of rising temperatures and the increase in deaths from rising temperatures. At fewer than 20 pages of actual material, the report is hardly a match for the peer-reviewed studies it seeks to rebut. The central thesis can be summed up as: warming won’t kill people or cost much money in the future because warming in the 20th century was mitigated by air conditioning. So we can just adapt to future warming the same way.

At least Cass provides a relatively new troll. At Fox News Rep. Lamar Smith 🐊 chose to dredge up some ancient trolls on Monday, including one particularly risibile and decades-since debunked distortion of a quote about the need for scientists to be both honest and effective. In his op-ed, Smith, who as Chair of the House Science, Space and Technology committee no doubt has the staff available to fact check and make sure he’s not lying, takes a quote from climatologist Dr. Stephen Schneider out of context, clips the conclusion, and reverses its meaning.

The full quote, of course, provides far more nuance and insight than Smith or other deniers care to convey. In a 1988 interview, Schneider originally spoke about the “double ethical blind” scientists face when communicating about climate change. Scientists, Schneider elaborated, need to stay honest to the science, with "all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts.” But, he cautioned, the media doesn’t tend to appreciate those types of quotes instead preferring “simplified, dramatic statements.” A climate scientist, Schneider concludes, “has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both."

Smith’s gross misrepresentation that Schneider advocated that scientists only “make little mention of any doubts we might have” is in no way new or unique. The Detroit News took the same approach in a 1989 editorial, which Schneider debunked. Julian Simon followed up in a similar fashion in 1996, which Schneider debunked, again. Various internet trolls in comment boards kept up the attack, which Schneider addressed again in 2009. We can’t say we’re surprised Smith chose to ignore nearly thirty years of Schneider correcting the misuse of his quote.

The rest of his op-ed is no better. Smith claims climate models overestimate warming we’ll see (this is false, and has been debunked). He downplays hurricane frequency and damages, which is a brave stance for a politician from Texas, which is looking at $180 billion in damages from Harvey in 2017. Smith downplays wildfires, despite 2017 breaking multiple records. And he cites MIT researchers to claim the impact of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement will be minimal. (Those researchers have debunked the misuse of their research and called that portrayal of their work “misleading.”)

None of these facts are hidden, complex, or hard to look up online. If Smith were even remotely interested in having a factual, honest, and good-faith debate, he wouldn’t be making any of these points.

But Smith is not interested in honesty: he’s interested in trolling. As long as the public is engaging with trolls, we’re not discussing the solutions that would hurt his fossil fuel benefactor’s bottom line.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 09, 2018, 07:01:11 pm »

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March 9, 2018

Viv Forbes 🦀 Fears a Grim Global Green Dictatorship. We're Not So Sure About It.

These days, we’re always keeping an eye on important denier-y things happening at the highest level of the federal government. For example we could spend some time diving into this recent op-ed in which Cass Sunstein describes a recent government report showing the billions of dollars in benefits from regulations.

But sometimes we miss being able to dumpster dive for the whacky gems of the lowest denier blogs. So when we came across this post on Heartland’s blog by long-time coal guy Viv Forbes, we had to share with you. Take a moment, if you would, to bask in this glory and reminisce about the days when deniers worked out of their home offices, not the Oval Office.

It’s hard to convey just how paranoid and delusional Forbes is here. The post is a rant about “greens,” his catchall name for environmentalists, the UN, politicians, NGOs, concerned citizens, and really anyone who doesn’t just love fossil fuels. Forbes appears to feel under siege by his own strawmen of environmentalists that, per his opening line, “hate individual freedom and private property.” This nuanced and subtle motif runs through the piece: Forbes claims that “greens hate miners,” along with farmers and fishermen and foresters and suburbs and reliable power and free markets. Per Forbes, they think that even “fun, frills or luxuries” have no place in our sustainable world.

Apparently, greens “plan to expel farmers and graziers from most land areas” and instead produce food in factory farms and feedlots. To be fair, we can’t count the number of times we’ve seen greens campaigning for more factory farms and concentrated animal agriculture. But that’s only because you can’t count to zero.

Forbes fears that greens are coming for his beloved suburbs, using the common conspiracy catchphrase that people will be “stacked-and-packed” in what he calls “high-rise cubic apartments.” Now, we’re not sure what sort of non-cubic apartments he might prefer (spherical apartments? Conical? Dodecahexagonal?) people in urban areas live in, but this is a dog whistle for Agenda 21 paranoia about people being forcibly removed from single family homes and relocated into sustainable urban communities.

Forbes goes further than most though, and is so hamfisted in his attempts to make environmentalists into monsters that in the list of things about suburbs that greens despise, he includes ponies. Yes, we apparently hate ponies. Sure, the other things he lists about suburbs (SUVs, lawns, pools, parks and golf courses) have their eco-enemies, but ponies? Come on, man! Even Lisa Simpson loves ponies!

Ponies aside, we’ll give Forbes the fact that we “think it is ‘sustainable’ to uglify scenic hills with whining wind towers... and to clutter pleasant estuaries and shallow seas with more bird-slicing turbines… [and] keep smothering sunny flatlands under solar panels.” That’s only because, you know, it is. If folks want those hills to stay scenic and not burnt in a wildfire or parched by drought or underwater, and wants those estuaries and seas to stay shallow and not made acidic by carbon dioxide, we’ll need renewable energy. Perhaps a lifetime in the coal industry has made Forbes more comfortable with blowing up mountains to get at the coal rather than installing some turbines.

But which green group is he referring to when he writes that “they also favour compulsory recycling of everything, no matter what that process costs in energy or resources.” Who says we should recycle even if it’s costly and polluting? Show us, Forbes! Show us those greens!

And it gets worse: Forbes predicts that this green-mandated counterproductive recycling will be enforced by “surveillance cameras [that] will keep watch on our ‘wasteful’ habits.” Makes sense--we all know how many pro-surveillance, anti-privacy green groups there are.

Finally, in a panicked sweat with constant paranoid glances over his shoulder, Forbes delivers the final blow: “The Despotic Green New World is coming. Climate alarm is the stalking horse, ‘sustainable development’ is the war cry, and global government is the goal.”

And they call us alarmists!
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 28, 2018, 01:29:03 pm »

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Replacing Coal, Renewables Reduced Emissions As Much As Nat Gas

A new study published last week in Energy Policy finds that from 2007 to 2013, CO2 emissions from energy production in the US fell by 10%, thanks in nearly equal measure to renewables and natural gas. As the study authors point out in an EDF blog post, conventional wisdom credits the switch from coal to gas as the primary driver of emissions reductions. But their analysis shows that renewables and energy demand reduction both played just as big a role as natural gas.

Key to this downward trend in production, of course, is the falling price of renewables, which when combined with batteries are increasingly cost-competitive with both coal and natural gas. In fact, when financial firm Lazard released its annual study on the full costs of energy last November, it found that building new renewable capacity is already cheaper than running existing coal and nuclear plants in many places across the country.

Though the Energy Policy study period ends at 2013, according to the latest Bloomberg New Energy Finance Sustainable Energy factbook, 2017 was the first year that renewables actually outshined natural gas in reducing emissions. Clearly this trend doesn’t look like it’s reversing any time soon.

Also not likely to change course any time soon? Fossil fuel fanatic Scott Pruitt . We all know how Pruitt likes to point to these CO2 reductions when asked about his slashing of emission reduction policies. He has a tendency to either vaguely or inaccurately cite innovation and technology in a nod to fracking and natural gas. And of course, Pruitt’s determined advocacy for the natural gas industry has taken him all the way to Morocco and back. Given the disturbingly close relationship Pruitt 🦀 cultivated with natural gas company Devon Energy 🦖 while he was still in Oklahoma, we don’t expect Pruitt to end his love affair with natural gas any time soon.

But as this study shows, gas has provided no greater benefit than renewables. What’s more,  renewable energy doesn’t emit methane, itself a powerful greenhouse gas, and one Pruitt supposedly cares about.

Renewables are still far from deniers’ minds when talking about natural gas--for them, it’s a fight between gas and coal. Last week, Heartland announced that it has started a campaign to defend coal plants in danger. Heartland has its eye on combating the success of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, which has convinced local leaders to take over 250 coal plants offline since 2010.

Yet James Taylor, president of the relatively newly-created energy and environment-focused freemarket group, Spark of Freedom Foundation and long-time Heartland senior fellow, throws coal under the bus in his new report promoting natural gas. Naturally, Taylor’s not concerned about climate. Instead, he makes the case that since natural gas plants are cheaper to build, conservatives should forget about coal.

Now, we’ll just have to wait and see how long it takes for Taylor to catch up to the fact that renewables are increasingly cost-competitive. And once he does, we’re sure he will maintain intellectual integrity and argue that fiscal conservatives should embrace renewables and let both natural gas and coal plants be cast aside by the invisible hand of the free market.

But wait--if Heartland senior fellow James Taylor recognizes that the free market is choosing cheaper gas over coal, then how does free-market think tank Heartland justify its apparent preference for more expensive coal plants?  

Weird. The discrepancy sort of makes it look like Heartland’s whole free-market advocacy thing is just a pretense for advancing industry 🐉🦕 🦖 interests
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 27, 2018, 08:13:13 pm »

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Deniers Losing their Favorite Journal, Energy and Environment 🦕, to SAGE Publishers

With a name so mundane it’s practically impossible to Google, the journal Energy and Environment has been the “journal of choice” for deniers who want to try and slip something into the peer-reviewed literature. The journal is held in exceptionally low regard by the academic community and considered heavily biased in favor of industry. (And to be clear, it’s entirely different from the energy and environment news outlet E&E.)

Pieces published at Energy and Environment seemed to lack a quality peer-review process, but hopefully that will change. Mat Hope at DeSmog UK broke the news on Friday that the journal has been acquired by peer-review-giant SAGE publishing. With this change in leadership, the journal has adopted a new “double-blind peer review policy for the journal” as well as an online submission system. 

After the transfer, denier Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen resigned from the journal’s editorial board. The new ownership and the vacuum of denier power at the top editorial levels means we can expect to see fewer denial papers published there.  ;D 

Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane to see the sort of content Energy and Environment is (hopefully) leaving behind.

When deniers compiled a list of journal articles in 2011 that bucked the climate consensus, Energy & Environment published more of the articles in the list than any other academic journal.

That same year, the publication sent a thinly-veiled threat to sue Real Climate after a post that claimed papers that fit with a particular political point of view sail through peer review, implying that deniers could get things published with ease.

In 2009, Boehmer-Christiansen was also responsible for soliciting and publishing a opinion piece by Oliver manuel in the journal, advancing what we’ll call a very creative idea that the Sun is actually made of iron.

In part of the pal-review scandal of 2003, a paper attacking Michael Mann’s 🕊 work was published in Climate Research. Its failures were so severe that half the journal’s board resigned in embarrassment and shame. Naturally, Energy and Environment  decided to publish an extended version of the faulty paper.

That study was co-authored by Willie Soon of fossil fuel 🦖 funding fame. Unsurprisingly, Soon 🐲 has published a bunch of other papers in Energy and Environment.

Best of luck to Energy and Environments new owners in improving the journal’s reputation. We have high hopes: if anyone can clear out the ghosts of denier papers past, it’s got to be the group named SAGE
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 22, 2018, 03:00:11 pm »


February 21, 2018

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Deniers 🦕 🦖 Rage
at Mann’s 🕊 AAAS Award for Public Engagement 🌟

Last week, climate scientist Dr. Michael E Mann🕊 was honored with the AAAS award for Public Engagement in Science.

Mann hardly needs an introduction here. Ever since the publication of his hockey stick study twenty years ago, Mann has been a central target of the denial machine. Deniers have attacked him with everything they’ve got: weaponized FOIAs, constant trolling, you name it. In 2010, as the FBI finished the investigation into anthrax-laced letters that killed five people in the early 2000s, someone sent Mann white powder in an envelope.

In his book on the Climate Wars, Mann describes how the denial apparatus singles out outspoken scientists and targets them for campaigns of harassment. Mann calls this the “Serengeti Strategy,” named for how pack hunters single out prey for an easy meal. But instead of gradually wearing down the subject until they give up, Mann has only gotten more attention from the press and more praise from his peers, all while continuing to publish regularly in the peer reviewed literature.

Instead of scaring Mann out of the public eye, deniers have only managed to elevate his profile.

It makes sense, then, that this award made deniers angry. They’re up in arms that Mann, who they’ve always tried to present as an outlier hated by his fellow scientists, is being thusly rewarded by his fellow scientists for exactly the behavior they’ve criticized.

Roger Pielke Jr. wrote that by awarding Mann this prize, AAAS sends a message that it’s okay to speak out about people like Pielke and his fellow “denier lites” like Bret Stephens, Rebekah Mercer, Megan McArdle and Judith Curry. Which is exactly what AAAS should be saying.

Scientists should feel not just comfortable, but obligated to correct those who use their platforms to continually make incorrect assertions about science, again and again. Scientists should correct the systematic distribution of misinformation and help inform the public of where, why and how that misinformation is being spread in the public discourse and relied on by politicians to enact anti-climate policies. Most importantly--and especially given the denial machine that attacks those who speak out on climate--academics should be supported in these education efforts by institutions like AAAS.

That, of course, is not how serial misinformers see things. Pielke’s post got tweeted by Bjorn Lomborg, excerpted by Delingpole at Breitbart and expanded on by The Federalist which was in turn reposted by Climate Depot, putting Pielke squarely in the center of the denial world’s feigned outrage machine.

To be fair, Pielke recognizes that human activity causes climate change, and even thinks a carbon tax would be the right policy to address it. But as former New York Times reporter turned New York Times columnist Justin Gillis tweeted, that’s just part of Pielke’s ploy for readership, which is why Gillis stopped quoting Pielke. “The schtick: Pretend to be part of the mainstream consensus about global warming, then draw attention to yourself by kneecapping other people,” Gillis explains. “It's an odious way to build personal brand. @BjornLomborg does it too.”

No surprise to see Lomborg 🦕 and Pielke 🦖 as two peas in a pod. And their response to Mann’s award continues to show that once you move beyond their token acceptance of mainstream climate science, their jealousy of Mann’s success will likely be as green as they ever go.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 15, 2018, 04:49:35 pm »

Unmoored from Facts, Will EIA Projections Become Reality?

February 13, 2018  |  By Jules Kortenhorst, Kieran Coleman

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA’s) most recent Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) should give anyone watching today’s energy markets a jolt of surprise. Not for projecting that U.S. energy demand will grow by an average of 0.4 percent per year after two decades of evidence to the contrary. Not for presenting major alternative scenarios only in the cases of cost and technology improvements in the oil and gas industries. But for exhibiting erroneous data about the costs of renewables, and for its simple and outdated outlook on how the market is changing and will in time transform.

The danger is that key decision makers will make decisions in accordance with an altogether different future than might otherwise result from current market activity. This risk stems from the agency’s opaque assumptions and modeling methodology, which have recently been the subject of significant criticism. In response, the EIA has sought to create a tenuous distinction between its “projections” and “forecasts” that requires mental acrobatics to accept—as do the annual outputs of its work.

Are We Looking at the Same Market?

In a two-part tragedy, incorrect initial positions go on to influence completely outdated expectations about the composition of the American energy landscape through 2050. To its credit, EIA analysts read the news (if selectively): the AEO projects that renewables will be among the fastest-growing segments in electricity generation markets. But the EIA assessment of generation costs across technology types in 2022 more closely resembles a copy-paste of renewables’ market data from back in 2015. It’s no wonder the EIA expects that policy will be the near-exclusive driver of renewables’ market growth, by way of state-enforced procurement requirements and federal tax credits.

EIA methodology is a key reason why the AEO’s citation of levelized costs (those upfront costs spread over an energy asset’s lifetime generation) seems so obsolete. Suffice to say that the EIA ignores the average results of recent tenders in the U.S. and elsewhere when compiling its forward-looking average price estimates. As a result, stagnating future prices—wind and solar are estimated to decline by only $3/MWh from 2019–2022, unsubsidized—underlie EIA’s projection that capacity installations over the same period will be only 60 percent of actual annual totals for the last two to three years.

In contrast, indicators over the past 18 months are regularly showing that large- and medium-scale solar and large-scale wind prices are far more competitive than marginal costs from traditional sources—especially when they are sited near to load, as most often only modular renewables can be. This, in turn, is enabling still-expensive storage to be coupled with renewables generation to firm supply for portions of the day and provide grid services in addition to those offered by renewables with smart inverters. Collectively, these trends indicate the rapid approach of widespread grid parity between traditional sources and less-intermittent clean energy generation.

International Markets Drive This Momentum

The EIA should look to real, current market dynamics to inform its initial positions. To start, the market is now global. Following leadership in early market development efforts by Europe and the U.S., countries like China, India, and Mexico have set their sights on securing sustainable economic development and near-term, cutting-edge jobs for their constituents. This motivates large-scale procurement of renewable energy that their domestic companies are simultaneously racing to manufacture and distribute, often with a boost in expertise and capital from established companies in developed markets.

Second, international markets are scaling—fast. As each large-scale procurement sees low bids from not one or two, but ten bidders, governments, companies, and communities are encouraged to go back to the market with more and larger tenders—even going so far as to free up capacity by canceling previously planned coal plants. Large, competitive procurements in LEDs, renewables, and now even electric vehicles ensure that buyers can leverage market forces and use existing expertise to innovate technology and delivery models that achieve step changes down the learning curve to reduce cost. Even though tenders may occasionally risk overestimating future cost declines, these are marginal in relation to their empowerment of cost reduction trends that are consistently more rapid than analysts expect.

Third, technology markets are converging to drive nonlinear deployment. Manufacturers of lithium-ion storage, for example, are serving multiple segments like electric vehicles and grid-scale storage; thus growth in any one segment will enable cost declines that support growth in others. Further, storage will support intermittent but predictable renewables generation, unlocking new customers’ interest and further deployment. As evidence of this trend, leading project developers in the U.S.—some of which are subsidiaries of traditional utilities hedging their bets—have merged traditionally separate teams to analyze, bid, and build integrated and technology-agnostic portfolios of cost-effective generation resources.

Together, market dynamics like these, missed by the EIA, tell us that the proverbial cat is out of the bag, and its claws inexorably stretch back into U.S. markets. In Colorado, Xcel’s all-source solicitation in late 2017 demonstrated just this, with one of the largest energy companies in the U.S. submitting a solar plus storage bid for $36/MWh based on the cost of components mostly built abroad. Attempts to wrestle it back in risk ceding the U.S. businesses’ cutting-edge innovation to foreign businesses in a global market estimated at $1 trillion per year by some of the world’s largest companies.


The EIA needs to start looking at current market offers and consistent patterns in actual deployment versus its historical forecasts. Only in this way will it start to come to grips with the real trends in the accelerating energy transition, and have the insight to be able to project or forecast the revolution that is coming. If not, it risks becoming totally irrelevant as a source of information and a poor guidance for business leaders and policy makers across the country.


Agelbert NOTE: The EIA is now a Trump TOOL of "alternative" facts.

Trump 🦀 EIA official 🦖 having some coffee:

Tomorrow is Yesterday...

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 12, 2018, 07:00:43 pm »

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The Fallacy of Ted Nordhaus’s 2C Delusion in Foreign Affairs

Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute 🦖 wrote an essay for Foreign Affairs published last week, headlined “The Two-Degree Delusion; The Dangers of an Unrealistic  ;) Climate Change Target.”

While Nordhaus and Breakthrough are not your typical climate science deniers, deniers often appreciate them. Both Nordhaus and his parent institute have long been described as hippie-punchers for their consistent attacks on the left as a way to position themselves as Very Serious Centrist Thinkers. For example, Nordhaus and colleagues wrote in Foreign Affairs last January that “the trajectory of emissions is unlikely to differ significantly under a Trump administration from what it would have been under a Hillary Clinton administration.” That kind of laughable both-siderism is par for Breakthrough’s course.

With that in mind, reading Nordhaus’s latest essay on the 2C target provides a lesson in applying the critical thinking and argument analysis skills we discussed last week.

The premise of the Foreign Affairs piece is threefold. Nordhaus’s first point is that adaptation and mitigation are either-or options. Secondly, he argues that developing countries will be more resilient as they grow more wealthy--wealth only achievable by fossil fuels, as renewables, he claims, can’t exceed 20% of a grid’s capacity. From there, Nordhaus concludes that meeting 2C would mean sacrificing developing nation’s ability to adapt to changes.

Take a moment to read those points again. Can you spot the disconnects between premise, reality, and conclusion?

That’s right! Adaptation and mitigation aren’t either-or decisions. Countries can reduce emissions while also fortifying infrastructure! (Particularly if there were some sort of policy to put a price on carbon emissions, and use that revenue to improve resilience…)

And of course, renewables are perfectly capable of replacing fossil fuels as developing countries electrify.

Nordhaus’s claim that renewables can’t provide more than a fifth of a grid’s power is disproven by several existing examples. Mexico is already at 21 percent, and aiming higher. Chile has doubled Nordhaus’s imagined limit, with 45 percent of its electricity coming from clean sources. Costa Rica ran for 300 days on 100% renewables last year. Denmark, the UK, Germany and Portugal have all briefly run entirely on renewables, albeit for short periods of time.

There’s a lot more you could say, but we’ll leave it up to you to find the fallacy in essentially  every paragraph of the piece that accuses the climate community of being delusional.

Because as the clean energy experiences of Mexico, Chile and others show, it’s Ted who appears delusional for thinking a high renewable threshold is impossible. We’ll just caution that people who live in glass Nordhauses  shouldn’t throw stones.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 10, 2018, 02:27:38 pm »

Former CIA Officer Will Teach You How to Spot a Lie
February 10, 2018 • 116,978 views

Story at-a-glance

֍ If a person is lying, they’ll commit a deceptive behavior within five seconds of being questioned, and commit two or more deceptive behaviors before they’re done responding

֍ Ignore a person’s truthful statements, which are often attempts at manipulation, and instead focus on their deceptions

֍ Deceptive behaviors include failing to deny the accusation, failing to answer the question and using “convincing statements” rather than conveying information

֍ Nonverbal cues that a person is lying include grooming gestures, hand-to-face motions, moving feet and clearing of the throat

By Dr. Mercola

A person lies an average of 10 times a day, according to Susan Carnicero — and she’s one to know. As a former CIA officer who spent more than 20 years interrogating, interviewing and polygraphing suspects, she’s learned a thing or two about how to spot a liar.

In fact, Carnicero has also developed behavioral screening programs used by the U.S. government and co-written the book “Spy the Lie,” which teaches you how to detect deception. She’s also a co-founder of QVerity, which is a provider of behavioral analysis and screening services for both the private and public sectors.

It may seem shocking that people lie on such a regular basis, but remember that not all lies are malicious. Little white lies are told more often than big important lies, according to research published in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology,1 and this includes innocent mentions like saying you’re fine when someone asks you how you’re doing — even if you’re actually not.

There’s a wide range of lies, Carnicero notes in the video above. At one end of the spectrum are lies meant to spare somebody’s feelings or keep a conversation from going in a direction you don’t want it to go. At the other end are big bold-faced “I didn’t do it” lies. It’s in the latter case where being able to spot a liar can definitely work in your favor, in more scenarios than you might initially imagine. For instance, if you’re hiring a new employee or thinking about investing in a financial venture, knowing the truth is certainly important.

Likewise, in your personal life, whether you’re confronting your partner about potential infidelity, your child about drug use or wondering whether your new flame is trustworthy. Even when you’re in the market for a new car or seeking a contractor for your home, cuing in on telltale signs of deceit can help you avoid an expensive mistake.

How to Spot a Lie: Analyze Versus Speculate

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to tell if a person is lying just by looking at them. This would be speculation. Instead, Carnicero stresses the importance of analyzing the situation. “What I want to look at is how a person is reacting to things,” she says, using the example of someone sitting with their arms folded — a “global behavior.” While this might at first appear to be a closed-off or deceptive posture, there are many reasons why someone might sit in this way, from being cold to just being a habit.

“We give way too much weight to global behaviors,” Carnicero says. “We want to do away with that. That’s speculation.” To pick out what’s relevant and what’s not, first identify the stimulus — the questions you’re asking — and then focus on the behaviors that are directly associated with the person’s response. Timing is key here; a major red flag is a deceptive behavior that occurs within the first five seconds after the question is asked.

“If they don’t show me a deceptive behavior within five seconds, they’re not lying to me,” she says, adding that paying attention to clusters is another key. “I want to see at least two or more behaviors [during their response] for that to be a deceptive answer.” In some cases, the first deceptive behavior may occur before you’ve even finished asking the question — and this is a red flag too — but just remember that the first one should occur within the first five seconds — and there should be two or more in total to signal a lie.

Managing Your Bias and Recognizing Evasiveness

Many people are taught that lying is wrong and to try to look for the good in people. But when trying to spot a liar, it’s important to ignore truthful behavior, which will only add to your bias and contribute to what Carnicero describes as the “halo effect.”  Deceptive people can give us truthful answers,” she says, and will try to manipulate you to believe them. In many cases, they may give you more information than you asked for in an attempt to make you think they’re a good person. According to Carnicero:

“The people that we know are already out to manage our perceptions … go way beyond what we’re asking for … the purpose of that again is to convince us that they’re good people, and what happens if I’m a novice is that I start to think that’s a good person. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy … and I’m going to start to think that that person’s good, and I’m going to miss the bad.”

So make a point to ignore truthful behavior, instead focusing on deceptive ones. Meanwhile, recognize tactics of evasiveness, which are major clues that a person is not being candid, such as:

Failure to provide information asked for — does the person go on at length but not answer the question you asked?

Failure to deny. “The most important thing to the honest person is giving you that answer, denying if they didn’t do something. The truth is their biggest ally,” Carnicero says.

Use of exclusionary qualifiers, such as saying “for the most part,” “fundamentally” or “not really.” These beg for a follow-up question to reveal what the person is leaving out.

Aggression Is Often a Sign of Lying, as Are ‘Convincing’ Statements

When evaluating a person’s trustworthiness, “some behaviors weigh more than others,” according to Carnicero. “Aggression is one of those.” If you question your child whether he’s taking drugs and his immediate response is one of anger, it’s a major red flag. Likewise, if you’ve had a theft at your company, and the employee you’re questioning attacks you for asking about the theft.

“If you have somebody who jumps down your throat because you ask them a question — I don’t even care if it’s your kid … you got a problem,” she says. They may also attack a third party, such as the company itself for not providing enough security to prevent thefts in the first place. Along these lines, demonstrating an inappropriate level of concern is another telltale sign that someone is not telling the truth.

For example, if they brush off an important question as inconsequential, smile at an inappropriate time or get angry for seemingly no reason, they’re likely lying. Carnicero also stresses the importance of differentiating between convincing statements and those intended to convey information — the former being a sign of lying. Let’s say you ask someone if they stole something.

If the person launches into a long response about their good employment history and trustworthiness, those are convincing statements that, while they sound true, signal a lie. Simply saying “no” is conveying information that is likely a truthful response. Carnicero says, “A convincing statement is the strongest arrow that any person is going to have in their quiver. Saying ‘I’m a good person,’ ‘I’m a good worker’ … when somebody’s trying to convince you of something” rather than convey information, it’s a strong sign of a lie.

Paying attention to small details can also reveal a lie — like saying “I wouldn’t do that” versus “I didn’t do that.” The former — “wouldn’t” — is often a lie. “We have to listen for didn’t,” Carnicero says. Invoking religion is another tactic liars often use to draw you in and manage your perceptions of them, saying things like “I swear on a stack of bibles.” Other subtle signs include “perception qualifiers” such as “honestly,” “to tell you the truth” and “quite frankly,” which are used to verbally “dress up a lie.” When combined with clusters of other deceptive behaviors, these can help you to spot a lie.

Nonverbal Signs of Deceit

A person’s nonverbal cues are also important to hone in on when evaluating whether or not they’re lying. Carnicero recommends paying attention to the following nonverbal cues:2

• Behavioral pause: If you ask a person a vague question, such as what were you doing on this date years ago, it’s reasonable to expect a pause before they respond. But if you ask, did you rob a bank 10 years ago to this day, they should respond immediately. In the latter case, a delay is a sign of lying.

• Verbal/nonverbal disconnect: If a person nods their head while saying no, or shakes their head “no” while saying yes, this disconnect is considered a deceptive behavior (except in certain cultures in which nodding doesn’t mean yes).

• Anchor point movements: Another sign of a lie is movement in an “anchor point,” such as feet on the floor, arms on a desk or even a dangling foot if a person’s legs are crossed.

• Grooming gestures: Straightening a tie or other piece of clothing, fixing hair, adjusting glasses or fiddling with shirt cuffs can be subconscious ways that people try to quell their anxiety and are often a sign of a lie. Clearing of the throat or swallowing prior to answering are also considered indicators of deceptiveness.

• Hand-to-face movements: If a person put their hand to their mouth, licks their lips, pulls on their ear or otherwise touches their face or head, it’s another deceptive behavior. Parade noted:3

“The reason goes back to simple high school science. You’ve asked a question, and the question creates a spike in anxiety because a truthful response would be incriminating.

That, in turn, triggers the autonomic nervous system to go to work to dissipate the anxiety, draining blood from the surfaces of the face, the ears, and the extremities — which can create a sensation of cold or itchiness. Without the person even realizing it, his hands are drawn to those areas, or there’s a wringing or rubbing of the hands.”

Spotting a Liar Isn’t an Exact Science

While it isn’t always easy to determine when you’re being lied to, following Carnicero’s guidelines can certainly help. You can find more details, including many anecdotes that show the guidelines in action, in Carnicero’s book “Spy the Lie: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception.” Being able to decipher the truth can be life changing when it comes to your professional and personal life, and you can even use it to save yourself money and avoid getting ripped off.

As for lying, if you’re on the giving rather than the receiving end, it’s worth noting that adopting an “honesty is the best policy” approach isn’t only good for those around you but also for yourself. 🕊People who told only the truth for five weeks had an average of seven fewer symptoms, such as sore throats, headaches, nausea and mental tension, than the control group,4 with researchers suggesting that lying may cause stress that dampens the immune system. *

In the case of lying, however, many people do it without even thinking about it, which means, in order to protect your health — and your reputation — you’ve got to recognize that you’re doing it — and change it — before those around you recognize it first.


* Agelbert NOTE: Psychopaths 🦖 like Trump 🦀 do NOT suffer immune system problems from serial mendacity; they actually benefit physically from this despicable behavior. The reason for this is that their brains have been "rewired" to equate pleasure with some type of perceived denigration, mockery (e.g. lying to make a fool of somebody trying to expose your crimes) or abuse, be it verbal or physical, of humans and/or animals around them.   They 🦀 also, deliberately and methodically, convincingly lie to gain a person's confidence and trust in order to subsequently scam said person later on. During this mens rea activity, the psychopath is every bit as charming and affable as he or she is cruel and denigrating when the victim (i.e. the mark or the target of the con) has been scammed and complains about the scam.

Pruitt doing his bought and paid for Fossil Fuel Industry thing.
The fossil fuel 🦖TOOL Pruitt 🦀, now busy trashing the EPA, is even more skilled at clever, disingenuous, innocent sounding mendacity than Trump is.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 09, 2018, 06:24:23 pm »


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Good Life Within Planetary Boundaries Study Misrepresented as Wealth Redistribution

A story this week in the conservative National Review claims that, based on a new study in Nature Sustainability, environmentalists want “to make the rich West much poorer so that the destitute can become richer.” Climate Depot gave the study the headline banner treatment and reposted it; given the Depot’s wide reach in Denierdom, we can probably expect to see more of this attack. The study fits perfectly with a common denier narrative that climate action is just a communist hoax to redistribute wealth from rich countries to poor, so it’s not surprising that deniers would want to shout it from the rooftops

But there are two big problems with this story. One, no one, environmentalist or otherwise, is trumpeting this study as justification for wealth redistribution. And two, the study says absolutely nothing about wealth redistribution.

What the study actually does is quantify resource use required for basic and improved standards of living, and compare this use with the constraints of our natural resources . The authors examined the use of several resources worldwide, including clean water, nitrogen and phosphorus for agriculture. They also included carbon emissions, and how much pollution the atmosphere can accommodate. They conclude that in order to raise quality of life around the world, we need to find more efficient ways to use our available resources.

Beyond technological advancements to increase how much we can physically extract from the earth, the most practical path would be economic reforms: by moving from the current standard of constant growth to meet needs to a system with sustainable lifestyles that don’t require constant consumption, the authors argue, everyone can live the good life without using up all our natural resources.

This question of how much of our natural capital we can spend on improving lives without breaking the bank gets twisted by the National Review’s 🦖 Wesley Smith  . In Smith’s piece, he repeatedly excerpts from the study, then disingenuously jumps to paranoid and hyperbolic conclusions. Smith writes the authors “prescribe an international technocratic tyranny;” also according to Smith, the way to a sustainable future where we aren’t consuming more than the Earth has to offer would mean “confiscation of wealth” and that we must “destroy the evil fossil fuel companies and redistribute, redistribute, redistribute!”  ::)

This hand-wringing is quite a leap, considering that the word “redistribute” appears exactly zero times in the study. There’s also the little fact that the study’s lead author Daniel O’Neill  told the LA Times that even if we could magically reallocate all the world’s resources, living the good life would mean “"we need to become two to six times more efficient” in how we use our resources to better human lives. The point of the study, then, is that even if we were to “redistribute, redistribute, redistribute,” we STILL would need to change things to avoid using up all of Earth’s materials that make modern life possible.

This study is all about how to raise the standard of living for those in poverty while simultaneously ensuring currently-wealthy countries don’t have to totally sacrifice our standard of living. Unfortunately, this major point seems to have eluded Smith 🦀. “The goal [of the study] clearly is a technocracy,” he writes in a panic, “that will undermine freedom, constrain opportunity, not truly benefit the poor, and materially harm societies that have moved beyond the struggle for survival.”

National Review titles Smith’s piece “Environmentalists Push Global Wealth Redistribution.” But the study hasn’t been pushed by any environmentalists, says nothing of redistribution, and focuses on our natural resources, not wealth.

Message to Smith : Amazing. Every single word you just said...is wrong.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 08, 2018, 03:06:18 pm »

Scott Pruitt 🦀 Asks if Global Warming 'Necessarily Is a Bad Thing'

By  Lorraine Chow

February 8, 2018

Scott Pruitt, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), suggested in an interview Tuesday that humans "flourished" during warm periods and climate change might not be so bad. 

Agelbert NOTE: The BULLSHIT by Fossil Fuel 🦖 TOOL Pruitt 🦀 is off the charts in the video below:

"We know that humans have most flourished during times of what? Warming trends," Pruitt told Nevada news station News 3. "So I think there's assumptions made that because the climate is warming that that necessarily is a bad thing."

Ironically, Pruitt's remarks were made after News 3 host Gerard Ramalho listed a slew of very real and very dangerous climate-related consequences to the EPA administrator—southern Nevada has felt one of its hottest summers and warmest winters ever, the polar ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, and hurricanes and tornadoes are intensifying.

Pruitt's gaffe is comparable to the time he said carbon dioxide is "not a primary contributor" to climate change. But it is. It just is, as the overwhelming majority of climate scientists have concluded.

"As the evidence becomes ever more compelling that climate change is real and human-caused, the forces of denial turn to other specious arguments, like 'it will be good for us,'" Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann told the Guardian, which first flagged the interview.

"There is no consistency at all to their various arguments other than that we should continue to burn fossil fuels ," Mann  added.

Pruitt, as well as his oval office boss, continue to ignore scientific fact as they roll back one environmental protection after another—including the Obama-era Clean Power Plan that slashes emissions from coal-power plants—to push for fossil fuels. 🦖

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 07, 2018, 01:50:19 pm »


A Six-Step Guide to Combat the Fossil Fuel 🦖 Industry's Climate Lies

By Jessica Corbett


After examining more than 40 common climate change myths pushed by those who are hell-bent on discrediting scientific conclusions about the global crisis, three researchers teamed up to create a six-step critical thinking tool that helps people combat misinformation by "neutralizing" the lies.

Full must read article:


The Fossil Fuelers 🦖 DID THE Clean Energy  Inventions suppressing, Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks 🦀, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   

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