US: “Billionaires’ club” controls environmental movement and EPA

All the money goes to the alarmists

All the money goes to the alarmists

But, but, but… it’s the sceptics that are bankrolled by the rich, right? That’s the only way they could possibly outwit the billions spent by governments on propping up the consensus.

Well, er, no.

It appears that the environmental movement is the one benefiting from the wealthy’s largesse, with a report by the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee shedding light on the shady goings-on:

This report examines in detail the mechanisms and methods of a far-left environmental machine that has been erected around a small group of powerful and active millionaires and billionaires who exert tremendous sway over a colossal effort. Although startling in its findings, the report covers only a small fraction of the amount of money that is being secreted and moved around. It would be virtually impossible to examine this system completely given the enormity of this carefully coordinated effort and the lack of transparency surrounding it.

The failure to openly acknowledge this force and the silence of the media with whom they coordinate further emphasize the fact that until today, the Billionaire’s Club operated in relative obscurity hidden under the guise of “philanthropy.” The scheme to keep their efforts hidden and far removed from the political stage is deliberate, meticulous, and intended to mislead the public. While it is uncertain why they operate in the shadows and what they are hiding, what is clear is that these individuals and foundations go to tremendous lengths to avoid public association with the far-left environmental movement they so generously fund.

Some of the most valued services activists provide the Billionaire’s Club includes promulgation of propaganda, which creates an artificial echo chamber; appearance of a faux grassroots movement; access to nimble and transient groups under fiscal sponsorship arrangements; distance/anonymity between donations made by well-known donors and activities of risky activist groups; and above all – the ability to leverage tens of millions of dollars in questionable foreign funding.

Foundations finance research to justify desired predetermined policy outcome. The research is then reported on by a news outlet, oftentimes one that is also supported by the same foundation, in an effort to increase visibility. In one example, a story reporting on a Park Foundation-supported anti-fracking study was reproduced by a Park-funded news organization through a Park-funded media collaboration where it was then further disseminated on Twitter by the maker of Park-backed anti-fracking movies.

Another service provided to the Billionaire’s Club is the manufacturing of an artificial grassroots movement where it is not the citizen’s interest that drives the movement; rather, it is part of a well-funded national strategy … (link – PDF)

I’m sure we can all look forward to the imminent outrage from ‘the Cause’ about this highly distorting and politicised funding of alarmism and environmental extremism, can’t we? Er…


‘Mediacracy’ creates consensus

"Stop telling me what to think!"

“Stop telling me what to think!”

People don’t have to think for themselves any more, because the media does it for them.

The ABC, like the BBC in the UK and the majority of mainstream media outlets in the US, parrots the same liberal-left slant on every story, including the absolute belief in the alarmist position on climate change. Daniel Greenfield writes:

A nation where governments are elected by the people is most vulnerable at the interface between the politicians and the people. The interface is where the people learn what the politicians stand for and where the politicians learn what the people want. The bigger a country gets, the harder it is to pick up on that consensus by stopping by a coffee shop or an auto repair store. That’s where the Mediacracy steps in to control the consensus.

The media is no longer informative, it is conformative. It is not interested in broadcasting events unless it can also script them. It does not want to know what you think, it wants to tell you what to think. The consensus is the voice of the people and the Mediacrats are cutting its throat, dumping its body in a back alley and turning democracy into their own puppet show.

Media bias was over decades ago. The media isn’t biased anymore, it’s a player, its goal is turn its Fourth Estate into a fourth branch of government, the one that squats below the three branches and blocks their access to the people and blocks the people’s access to them. Under the Mediacracy there will still be elections, they will even be mostly free, they just won’t matter so long as its upper ranks determine the dialogue on both sides of the media wall.

The Mediacracy isn’t playing for peanuts anymore. It’s not out to skew a few stories, it’s out to take control of the country. In military empires, the military can act as a Praetorian Guard. In political empires, it’s the people who control the political conversation who also control the succession.

The remainder of the article looks at the US angle, but from an Aussie perspective, so much of this is applicable.

We have the ABC, a conservative-free zone, which never, EVER, reports any story about climate change which challenges the accepted consensus, and which demonises and ridicules those who do, supported by liberal-left academics who claim that any media outlet which does, or which criticises their politically correct opinions, is part of an evil “hate media” which should be muzzled by legislation.

For those of the population which rely on the ABC for their news, there is no doubt about climate change, just as Tony Abbott is as wicked as John Howard, and that Julia Gillard had nothing to do with a union slush fund which was allegedly defrauded by her ex-boyfriend.

Fortunately, however, the media cannot control the direct effects of their agenda on the population, such as losing one’s job or house because the economy has slumped, or losing one’s property rights because of crazy planning laws resulting from climate change alarmism, and people wake up to realise they have been duped.

We can see this happening in Australia, as more and more people are discovering just how much of a lefty echo-chamber the ABC has become. Despite all attempts by the ABC to derail Abbott and the Coalition at the election in September, the people weren’t fooled, and for that we should be grateful.

Early US tornadoes will 'become the norm as planet warms'


It was only ever a matter of time. Any unusual weather event occurs and there will be some rent-seeking climate scientist, aided and abetted by a willing journalist who will blame it on ‘global warming’.

This shameless opportunism does nothing to convince people of the need to ‘tackle climate change’, it merely makes the scientists and journalists look even more desperate and callous, especially given the tragic loss of life in these events (39 deaths as of today).

This time we have über-alarmist Sharon Begley and Kevin ‘Travesty’ Trenberth:

When at least 80 tornadoes rampaged across the United States, from the Midwest to the Gulf of Mexico, last Friday, it was more than is typically observed during the entire month of March, tracking firm reported on Monday.

According to some climate scientists, such earlier-than-normal outbreaks of tornadoes, which typically peak in the spring, will become the norm as the planet warms.

“As spring moves up a week or two, tornado season will start in February instead of waiting for April,” said climatologist Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. (source)

Once again, this shouldn’t come as any surprise. Climate change is the unfalsifiable hypothesis – nothing can disprove the alarmists claim that every weather event is being affected by it. It therefore helpfully relegates the theory of catastrophic AGW to the dustbin of astrology and pseudoscience.

On reading the rest of the article, however, the true picture is that scientists really don’t know what effect warming will have on these events. But that doesn’t make a very good headline, does it? And there isn’t really a story there at all, is there?

Activist website targets sceptical US TV weathermen

Forecast the propaganda

This says more about the website’s creators, seeking yet again to demonise and silence anyone who dares question the global warming consensus, than it does about the TV weathermen speaking their opinions. From the site,

Intense droughts, fierce storms, increased flooding. Scientists have been predicting for years that human-induced climate change would lead to a future of increasingly dangerous extreme weather events. That future is now upon us.

But when most Americans tune into their local weather report, they won’t hear a peep about climate change. Why? Because the majority of TV meteorologists don’t believe in it. That’s right: the professionals most responsible for informing the public about the weather are systematically missing the most important weather story of our lifetime.

With over 1,000 TV meteorologists across the country, the level of denial varies widely. Some TV meteorologists spout outright falsehoods on air–like the idea that the earth is actually cooling, or that global warming is caused by sunspots (not Co2 and other greenhouse gasses.) In other cases, they cover increasingly extreme weather events like droughts, wild fires, flooding, and winter storms, without ever mentioning the scientific consensus that climate change is making these events more likely and more intense. It’s the equivalent of a news anchor reporting on a string of murders without saying that there is a suspect in custody. (source)

LOL! Where’s the evidence that we’re seeing more extreme weather events again?

The front page splash asks:

“Do you believe there is solid evidence the earth is warming?” Yes or No

If yes, then you’re a goody two-shoes. If no, you’re a filthy denier. The question is ridiculous of course, because most climate rationalists, including myself, would answer yes when faced with such simplistic options. But that seems to be the puerile level of the whole exercise, setting up straw men to bravely blow them over. The site’s authors obviously have so little understanding of the real issues that they have demonstrated themselves, on the front page, incapable of even asking a vaguely sensible question about climate change.

One of the site’s partners is the extreme environmental advocacy group, which believes that there is a mythical level of CO2 below which the planet will be safe:

Three years ago, after leading climatologists observed rapid ice melt in the Arctic and other frightening signs of climate change, they issued a series of studies showing that the planet faced both human and natural disaster if atmospheric concentrations of CO2remained above 350 parts per million. Everyone from Al Gore to the U.N.’s top climate scientist [by which I guess they must mean railway engineer Pachauri – Ed] has now embraced this goal as necessary for stabilizing the planet and preventing complete disaster.

Don’t anyone tell them that there were floods, hurricanes, tornados and plenty of other weather-related disasters when CO2 was way below 350ppm. Any organisation associated with transparent nonsense like that has immediately lost any credibility it may have had. Furthermore, Watts Up With That claims to have found alleged shady funding links, and since Watts himself was once a TV weatherman, he lets rip at these cheap tactics (see more here).

And even the Washington Post is embarrassed by the schoolyard bully tactics:

“… a sincere effort to respectfully make science-based arguments and carry on a dialogue sure beats the tactic of denigrating those who disagree with you.” (source)

The warmist desperation grows apace. Maybe you’d like to send them a tip:

Early snow in US: global warming blamed in 3, 2, 1…

Flakes of global warming

From the Weather Isn’t Climate Department. As we all know, every weather phenomenon can be blamed on global warming – it’s an unfalsifiable hypothesis, the gift that keeps on giving! If it’s unseasonably hot: global warming. More rainfall: global warming. Drought: global warming. Less snow: global warming. More snow: global warming.

So it’s only a matter of time before some climate “scientist” breaks cover and says that this early snowfall in the US is “entirely consistent” with climate change projections. Because everything is “entirely consistent” with some climate model somewhere. Ask a climate scientist if any particular weather phenomenon could possibly disprove the theory of AGW and there will be a long, stony silence.

An unseasonable snowstorm has hit the US East Coast, threatening to bring up to 10in (25cm) of early snowfall.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter storm warning from Saturday into Sunday and says travel conditions may be hazardous.

Heavy snow has begun falling across parts of Pennsylvania. About 10,000 people there, as well as in Maryland and West Virginia, are without power.

In 1979, southern New England received a record 7.5in of snow in October.

A region of low pressure brewing off the mid-Atlantic coast is expected to produce heavy, wet snow as it moves north-east, the NWS said.

The Massachusetts Berkshires, north-western Connecticut and southern New Hampshire could see the most snow.

Big coastal cities are set to be hit, forecasters say, with New York expecting 4in (10cm) on Saturday, and Boston 3in. 

Winds along the coast could reach 45mph (72km/h), further damaging power lines, the NWS said. (BBC)

US: no link between floods and climate change

No link to CC

But, but, but… we all know climate change causes more “extreme weather” – Bob Brown said so, it must be true! Unfortunately, a new study in the US has found no link between climate change and floods:

A new study conducted by federal scientists found no evidence that climate change has caused more severe flooding in the United States during the last century.

But [there’s always a “but” – Ed] scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), who published their findings in the Hydrologic Sciences Journal Monday, said they will continue to examine the issue, noting that more research is necessary to better understand the relationship between climate change and flooding. [In other words they’ll keep torturing the data until it gives them the result they KNOW is right – Ed]

And where there is a link found, it’s in the wrong direction – oops:

[…] the study was able to identify a clear relationship between flooding and climate change in the southwestern portion of the United States. In that region, floods have become less severe as greenhouse gas emissions have increased, the study says.

It’s all meaningless – another classic case of correlation being interpreted as causation, as usual. And it should be noted that the study focussed on the link between flooding and concentrations of GHGs – meaning the whole thing is based on the flawed assumption that CO2 levels are a direct driver of “climate change”. Since CO2 may only be a very weak climate driver, it’s hardly surprising that there’s no link to flood severity.

US: Yet more bad science

Double standards

It is an ugly theme that runs through the consensus camp – proper scientific processes corrupted in order to get the right result.

You will recall that the US Environmental Protection Agency declared CO2 to be a “dangerous pollutant”, thereby enabling it to regulate emissions by the back door with no Congressional approval. Now it appears that one of the key scientific reports on which that conclusion was based was not subjected to those proper, rigorous processes and that “corners were cut” in order to rush it through.

Internal investigators at the Environmental Protection Agency said the agency failed to follow peer-review guidelines when developing a key scientific document that underpins its greenhouse-gas regulations.

The findings are likely to stoke Republican opposition to the EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gases and could arm industry groups that are fighting the regulations in court. One prominent Republican is already calling for congressional hearings on the issue.

EPA said it “disagree[s] strongly” with the findings. An EPA spokeswoman said the findings focus on “wonky” government processes and do nothing to cast doubt on the underlying science.

The document in question was developed by the EPA and used to support its 2009 “endangerment finding.” That finding concluded that greenhouse gases—including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide—pose a threat to public health. It paved the way for the EPA to begin developing greenhouse-gas standards for refiners, power plants and other large emitters.

In a report released Wednesday, the EPA’s inspector general said the agency didn’t follow federal guidelines for peer review when developing a 200-page scientific document to support its findings. While EPA had the document reviewed by a dozen federal climate-change scientists, the agency did not publicly report the results of the review, the inspector general says. (source)

But that’s OK isn’t it, because the consensus boys don’t have to bother with tedious inconveniences like proper peer-review. Just ask the IPCC. Anyway, they can rely on “pal-review” if they get stuck. And the hypocrisy of the EPA is breathtaking, casually brushing aside the criticisms as a trivial irrelevance. Can you imagine the outrage if this had been a sceptical report? Double standards exemplified.

US CO2 regulation on hold indefinitely

No action

You see? Australia IS slipping behind the rest of the world. Slipping behind in abandoning action on climate, that is. Only Julia Gillard, Greg Combet and the rest of the Labor no-hopers think that the world is still rushing ahead.

Europe’s economy is heading down the pan, and very soon they will be rueing the day when they set in stone ridiculous and unachievable emissions cuts and renewable energy targets, and that leaves just a few tiny contributors with emissions trading schemes, like New Zealand. The US is far too nervous about a possible GFC II to take any action that might damage its economy further, and as for China and India, well, apart from a few transparent gestures to keep the eco-tards happy, it’s business as usual thanks very much.

The Environmental Protection Agency is again delaying a plan to curb greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants, saying it needs more time to propose the rule. The move comes amid intense pushback from business groups and Republican lawmakers who complain a recent slate of EPA proposals are chilling business investment and hindering the economic recovery.

“I am very pleased by today’s announcement that one of EPA’s most economically damaging rules will be delayed,” Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe said in a statement, adding that Republicans would work to block other EPA rules from coming into effect. (source – subscription)

So, Julia and Greg, how long can you keep up the presence that the world is “moving forward” with climate action? Just until the carbon tax bill is passed, perhaps?

Sea change in America?

Sceptic's choice

The American people have discovered, rather late in the day, that Barack Obama did not possess the wisdom of King Cnut. The story of Cnut is often retold wrongly – that he was attempting to control the tides, and failed. In fact, he was demonstrating to his excessively worshipful people that he did not have the power of  a God to control natural phenomena like the tides.

Obama wasn’t so modest, and had no qualms about excessive worship. The Wall Street Journal asks “What happened to Obama?”:

In short, the spell that Mr. Obama once cast—a spell so powerful that instead of ridiculing him when he boasted that he would cause “the oceans to stop rising and the planet to heal,” all of liberaldom fell into a delirious swoon—has now been broken by its traumatic realization that he is neither the “god” Newsweek in all seriousness declared him to be nor even a messianic deliverer.

Humility isn’t usually a strong point with people suffering from a Messiah complex. And WSJ’s answer:

He is still the same anti-American leftist he was before becoming our president, and it is this rather than inexperience or incompetence or weakness or stupidity that accounts for the richly deserved failure both at home and abroad of the policies stemming from that reprehensible cast of mind. (source)

Now Rick Perry has entered the race for Republican nomination, and unlike Obama, he won’t be making any attempt to control the weather:

Perry calls global warming “all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight.” Unlike many of the other GOP presidential candidates, he hasn’t expressed concern about climate change in the past, so he won’t have to do any back-pedaling. Notorious climate denier realist [apologies, this is the Guardian, after all – Ed] Marc Morano is a big fan: “Based on climate views alone, anyone who is holding their nose voting for Mitt Romney because there’s no other viable candidate will now rejoice to have an option with Rick Perry.”

The Texas governor will announce his intentions in the early primary state of South Carolina on Saturday, then head to New Hampshire andIowa to rub elbows with all of the other aspiring commanders-in-chief. As a social and fiscal conservative, governor of a state that’s been adding jobs (even if they’re low-wage), and owner of a full head of lustrous hair, Perry is expected to swagger to the front of the pack in the contest for the Republican nomination.

Perry served as Al Gore’s Texas campaign chair in the 1988 presidential race, just before switching his party allegiance from Democrat to Republican, but conservatives don’t have to worry that Perry holds any residual affection for the former veep. “I’ve heard Al Gore talk about man-made global warming so much that I’m starting to think that his mouth is the leading source of all that supposedly deadly carbon dioxide,” Perry said in 2007. (source)

At least the American people will have the choice of a genuinely sceptical candidate in 2012. Hopefully, Australia will have the same in 2013 (or before).

US Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative collapsing

Climate sense

Whenever anyone urges caution regarding Labor’s reckless and one-eyed pursuit of a carbon price, Gillard or Combet or Wong will wheel out how many other countries have cap-and-trade schemes in place, and claim that the rest of the world is “moving towards” more carbon pricing. They usually trot out the European cap-and-trade system, which accounts for 25 or so of the 30-odd countries, and which is so mired in corruption that the majority of transactions are fraudulent, followed by the US Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-trade scheme with ten [er, nine – Ed] states. Even that is less than one fifth of the US.

It simply isn’t true. The world is pulling back from carbon pricing, as people realise it doesn’t work. Japan has abandoned plans for an ETS, the EU scheme is doing little to reduce emissions, but everything to cripple an already struggling economy, New Hampshire voted to leave the US RGGI, and now its the turn of New Jersey. Governor Chris Christie spells out the blindingly obvious:

New Jersey is dropping out of the nation’s largest regional effort to reduce greenhouse gases in a move announced by Governor Christie on Thursday that was praised by business groups and criticized by environmental advocates.

Christie called the 10-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative a “failure” and said it has been ineffective in battling global warming.

“RGGI has not changed behavior and it does not reduce emissions,” Christie said at a news conference in Trenton.

“RGGI does nothing more than tax electricity, tax our citizens, tax our businesses, with no discernable or measurable impact upon our environment,” he said.

Christie’s decision to withdraw by year’s end comes after similar efforts in New Hampshire, Maine and Delaware were met with resistance in recent weeks. New Jersey is the first state to opt out of the program, and some environmentalists fear Christie’s decision could provide momentum for other states to withdraw. (source)

Let’s hope so. Climate sense for once. Perhaps Gillard, Combet and Wong should follow New Jersey’s excellent example… How about a shot at Republican candidate in 2012, Mr Christie?

P.S. As at 2pm AEST, this news is missing in action from ABC, Fairfax, and News Corp. Only Sky have reported it so far…

(h/t WUWT)

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