My Favorite Part of the ‘National Climate Assessment’ So Far


This is from page 9 of the section called “Overview and Report Findings.”

If we don’t cut emissions from fossil-fuels, our fossil-fuel industry will be negatively affected:

Or, in other words, we need to switch to higher cost alternative energy to replace oil and gas production in order to save oil and gas production from rising sea levels.



White House Releases New ‘National Climate Assessment’


Or it’s the script for a reboot of Mad Max. I’m not sure which. CNN has a summary of the report:

Flooded rail lines. Bigger, more frequent droughts. A rash of wildfires.

Those are some of the alarming predictions in a White House climate change report released Tuesday, part of President Barack Obama’s broader second-term effort to help the nation prepare for the effects of higher temperatures, rising sea levels and more erratic weather.

“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” the National Climate Assessment says, adding that the evidence of man-made climate change “continues to strengthen” and that “impacts are increasing across the country.”

“Americans are noticing changes all around them,” the report says, echoing a draft version from last year. “Summers are longer and hotter. … Rain comes in heavier downpours.”

In a statement released to coincide with the report’s publication, the White House called for a rapid response.

“The findings in this National Climate Assessment underscore the need for urgent action to combat the threats from climate change, protect American citizens and communities today, and build a sustainable future for our kids and grandkids,” the White House said.

You can download the almost 1,000-page document here.





Think Progress Warns of Sea Level Rise 2000 Years from Today. Again.


You can’t criticize Think Progress for not recycling. Here’s some familiar-sounding alarmism:

East Antarctic Melting Could Raise Sea Levels By 10 To 13 Feet, Study Finds

A region of East Antarctica is more vulnerable than previously thought to a massive thaw that could result in world sea levels rising for thousands of years, a study found Sunday.

The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, looked at the 600-mile Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica, which, if it melted, has enough ice to raise sea levels by 10 to 13 feet. Researchers found that the region was vulnerable to melting because it’s held in place by a small “ice plug” that may melt over the next few centuries, meaning East Antarctica could “become a large contributor to future sea-level rise on timescales beyond a century,” according to the article.

“East Antarctica’s Wilkes Basin is like a bottle on a slant. Once uncorked, it empties out,” Matthias Mengel, lead author of the study, said in a statement.

Which is a lot like this from March:

Sea Level Rise Threatens The Statue Of Liberty And Hundreds Of Other Cultural Heritage Sites

Almost 200 cultural heritage sites, including the Statue of Liberty and the Sydney Opera House, could be compromised if global warming reaches 3 degrees above pre-industrial levels, a new report in Environmental Research Letters shows.

The research released Tuesday from Austria and Germany used both sea-level estimates for the next 2000 years and high-resolution topography data to compute which of the more than 700 listed UNESCO World Heritage sites would be affected by sea-level rise at different levels of sustained future warming. The report found that if warming reaches 3 degrees Celsius, sea level would rise six feet in the next 2,000 years, and 170 of those sites would be drowned.

Oh, and by the way, we’ll probably be more worried about an ice age 2,000 years from now than Antarctica’s melting ice. Via MIT’s Technology Review:

But even that warming will not stave off the eventual return of huge glaciers, because ice ages last for millennia and fossil fuels will not.In about 300 years, all available fossil fuels may well have been consumed.Over the following centuries, excess carbon dioxide will naturally dissolve into the oceans or get trapped by the formation of carbonate minerals. Such processes won’t be offset by the industrial emissions we see today, and atmospheric carbon dioxide will slowly decline toward preindustrial levels. In about 2,000 years, when the types of planetary motions that can induce polar cooling start to coincide again, the current warming trend will be a distant memory.

I guess in 2,000 years, after humans have moved to Mars to avoid the ice age, Think Progress will bitch about how anthropogenic factors are messing up the terraformed atmosphere.

Global Warming Renamed Again: Now It’s ‘Global Climate Disruption’


President Obama’s science adviser, John Holdren, thinks we should change the name of “climate change,” which was formerly known as “global warming,” to ”global climate disruption.” Via ScienceInsider:

First there was “global warming.” Then many researchers suggested “climate change” was a better term. Now, White House science adviser John Holdren is renewing his call for a new nomenclature to describe the end result of dumping vast quantities of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into Earth’s atmosphere: “global climate disruption.”

“I’ve always thought that the phrase ‘global warming’ was something of a misnomer because it suggests that the phenomenon is something that is uniform around the world, that it’s all about temperature, and that it’s gradual,” Holdren said yesterday at the annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy in Washington, D.C. (AAAS publishes ScienceInsider.) “What could be wrong with that?”

Instead, he said, “we should call it ‘global climate disruption.’ Although the rising average global surface temperature is an indicator of the degree of disruption that we have imposed on the global climate system, what’s actually happening involves changes in circulation patterns, changes in precipitation patterns, and changes in extremes. And those are very different in different places.”

Holdren has made similar calls before, apparently with limited effect on the public’s vocabulary. This time, the remarks came in the context of a brief preview Holdren gave of a new climate report that the Obama administration is scheduled to release next week. The document will, in part, spell out the potential disruptions the United States faces as a result of a changing climate, perhaps giving Holdren’s idea some currency.

Why not just defend “global warming?” In Holdren’s own definition of “global climate disruption” above, he cites “rising average global surface temperature.” Um, that’s called “global warming.” And the reason for the name change isn’t to clear up any “misnomers,” it’s an attempt to find language that will finally convince voters that the president’s environmental policies should be enacted. 

Well, to quote President Obama from 2008, “You know, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.”

Environmental loons can call warming hysteria and its associated apocalyptic predictions whatever they want. But it’s still a pig. 

Senator Schumer: Dems Support Fracking


But notice how he won’t criticize Gov. Cuomo over delays to bring fracking to New York state. Hat tip Energy in Depth:

I guess Senator Schumer spoke just a little too soon. A big win for the anti-fracking side in Colorado, led by Democratic Rep. Jared Polis:

Democrats fail to reach fracking deal

Democrats in the Colorado House of Representatives announced Monday they had failed to reach a deal to give local government more control over fracking.

The effort, which was spearheaded by Re. Su Ryden (D-Aurora) would have taken some steam out of the issue in this year’s elections.

A statewide-ballot question to allow local governments to ban fracking is being promoted (and funded in large part) by congressman Jared Polis (D-Colorado.)

The idea was to strike a deal to avoid the ballot question.

Politco warned two weeks ago that Rep. Polis’s anti-fracking ballot measure could “break Colorado Democrats.” Failure to reach a deal today make’s Politco’s warning that much more likely. 



Did Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Tell Chelsea Clinton to Forego Immunizations for Her Baby?


Earlier this week, Chelsea Clinton was honored by environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Riverkeeper foundation, receiving its prestigious distinguished esteemed silly-sounding “Big Fish” award:

Chelsea Clinton and the Clinton Foundation have worked to promote clean and safe drinking water for communities around the world that need it most. Here at home, Chelsea has been a leader in supporting the recovery of New York City communities impacted by Superstorm Sandy.

What’s notable about it is that the event paired Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the prestigious distinguished esteemed dictator-loving environmentalist with a long history of vaccine alrmism and associated conspiracy theories with the pro-immunization and pregnant Chelsea Clinton. The media loves a good anti-vaccination vs. vaccination story, yet not a single media outlet jumped on it. Why is that?

A little history is in order. . .

Kennedy’s vaccination alarmism became widely known in June/July 2005 when Salon (online) and Rolling Stone (in print) jointly published his piece, “Deadly Immunity,” that repeated the specious claim that the vaccine preservative thimerosal is linked with autism. Here’s the conspiracy-laden sub-headline from the Rolling Stone edition (and can be read in full can be read in full on Kennedy’s website):

When a study revealed that mercury in childhood vaccines may have caused autism in thousands of kids, the government rushed to conceal the data – and to prevent parents from suing drug companies for their role in the epidemic

Kennedy’s work came under immediate criticism and Salon, “in the days after running” the piece, was forced to amend “the story with five corrections.” In 2011, Salon ended up retracting the piece in full:

In 2005, Salon published online an exclusive story by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that offered an explosive premise: that the mercury-based thimerosal compound present in vaccines until 2001 was dangerous, and that he was “convinced that the link between thimerosal and the epidemic of childhood neurological disorders is real.”

The piece was co-published with Rolling Stone magazine — they fact-checked it and published it in print; we posted it online. In the days after running “Deadly Immunity,” we amended the story with five corrections (which can still be found logged here) that went far in undermining Kennedy’s exposé. At the time, we felt that correcting the piece — and keeping it on the site, in the spirit of transparency — was the best way to operate. But subsequent critics, including most recently, Seth Mnookin in his book “The Panic Virus,” further eroded any faith we had in the story’s value. We’ve grown to believe the best reader service is to delete the piece entirely.

“I regret we didn’t move on this more quickly, as evidence continued to emerge debunking the vaccines and autism link,” says former Salon editor in chief Joan Walsh, now editor at large. “But continued revelations of the flaws and even fraud tainting the science behind the connection make taking down the story the right thing to do.” The story’s original URL now links to our autism topics page, which we believe now offers a strong record of clear thinking and skeptical coverage we’re proud of — including the critical pursuit of others who continue to propagate the debunked, and dangerous, autism-vaccine link.

In other words, the article was so bad that Salon decided to take it down entirely. 

Between 2005 when “Deadly Immunity” was written, and 2011 when it was retracted, the anti-vaccination movement was gaining momentum. In 2007 Jenny McCarthy became, arguably, the anti-vaccination movement’s public face when she wrote the parenting book Louder than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism that alleged a link between her son’s vaccinations and his autism diagnosis.

And in 2008, Kennedy appeared at a rally in D.C. hosted by “Green Our Vaccines” with Jenny McCarthy and actor/comedian Jim Carrey (remember him?):

WASHINGTON, June 4 /PRNewswire/ – Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey will lead the Green Our Vaccines march, rally and hold a press conference today, Wednesday June, 4th at the Capitol Building, West Capitol Grounds in Washington, DC. 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will be joining Carrey and McCarthy as the keynote speaker. 
“We have been inspired by Mr. Kennedy’s support of mothers’ positions on vaccines and his ground breaking article, “Deadly Immunity,” McCarthy says. “His continued efforts are greatly appreciated.” 

McCarthy might be the public face of the movement, but it was RFJ Jr. who gave her the gravitas in those early days — thanks, in large part, to Salon.

Fast forward to today and Salon continues to cover the anti-vaccine movement, but they omit Kennedy and their own own role as a publication, in the perpetuation of the vaccine-autism link.

If you’re a celebrity not named Kennedy, however, you’re fair game for the ire.

For example, Salon called Reese Witherspoon clueless” for her views on vaccines. A few weeks earlier, Salon declared Jenny McCarthy ”one of the most divisive and controversial media figures in America today.”  Salon played the bimbo card, calling Witherspoon and McCarthy the two “blondes who were famous in the ’90s and who now use their celebrity to spout dubious parenting advice.” In March, they went after ”anti-vaccine nut Kristin Cavallari,” who is blonde, too.

None of these stories mention Kennedy at all. And when Kennedy is mentioned in a Salon piece on vaccines, his inclusion with the anti-vaccine movement is covered without insult:

“It’s a little bit cool, it’s a little bit of a trend,” says Nina Shapiro, a professor at UCLA medical school and mother of two who wrote an Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times this weekend about her growing concern with the anti-vax movement.

It’s certainly true of the anti-vaccination’s most prominent voices, like actress Jenny McCarthy, who was just hired to a spot on “The View,” and environmentalist Robert Kennedy Jr.

“It’s that whole natural, BPA-free, hybrid car community that says ‘we’re not going to put chemicals in our children,’” Shapiro told Salon. “It’s that same idea: ‘I’m going to be pure and I want to keep my child pure.’”

Yes, it’s a trend. RFJ Jr. started the trend. On They should mention that.

Of note, the link Salon provides — “environmentalist Robert Kennedy Jr.” — doesn’t even direct readers to their own Kennedy mea culpa, it links instead to a piece on Kennedy in Slate. 

Now for the most over-the-top headline from Salon:

Dear ABC: Putting Jenny McCarthy on “The View” will kill children

Again, no mention of RFK. Jr.’s views, but it’s totally cool to say McCarthy will kill kids.

Well, if Jenny McCarthy is a baby-killer, than so is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and I want to know why the media ignored Chelsea Clinton accepting an award from a baby-killer. 





New Study Blames Scientists For Confusing People About Global Warming


Funniest headline you’ll read today, made even better as it’s from the alarmist Mother Jones:

Study: It Is “Very Likely” That Scientists Are Confusing Us About Global Warming

The United Nations’ blockbuster climate reports are full of language that makes people doubt climate change.


Unions vs. Anti-Fracking Efforts in Carson, Calif.


It looks like the unions won. The Los Angeles Times reports:

An effort to extend a moratorium on all oil drilling in the city of Carson failed Tuesday night after the five-member City Council failed to reach the four-fifths supermajority needed to keep the ban in place.

The temporary ban, passed last month, was initially sought by the council to allow the city more time to study the potential effects of oil extraction techniques, such as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and acidization.

Those technologies have been at the center of a controversy over a massive proposed oil project by Occidental Petroleum, which is seeking to drill more than 200 wells near the Cal State Dominguez Hills campus.

Much of the contention was based upon fears that the company would employ those methods at the site, a claim it has repeatedly denied.

Unlike previous meetings, supporters of the drilling project — many of them union members with T-shirts and signs that read “Jobs for Carson” and “Oppose the Ban” — came out in force.

Many said they were Carson residents and argued that extending the ban would hurt jobs within the city.

“We want Carson to be safe,” said Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, “but let’s not pass a law that’s going to cut off this city from its economy. Together, we will fight to make Carson safe and prosperous for all residents.”

The rest here.

Unions vs. Anti-Fracking Efforts in Carson, Calif.


It looks like the unions won. The Los Angeles Times reports:

An effort to extend a moratorium on all oil drilling in the city of Carson failed Tuesday night after the five-member City Council failed to reach the four-fifths supermajority needed to keep the ban in place.

The temporary ban, passed last month, was initially sought by the council to allow the city more time to study the potential effects of oil extraction techniques, such as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and acidization.

Those technologies have been at the center of a controversy over a massive proposed oil project by Occidental Petroleum, which is seeking to drill more than 200 wells near the Cal State Dominguez Hills campus.

Much of the contention was based upon fears that the company would employ those methods at the site, a claim it has repeatedly denied.

Unlike previous meetings, supporters of the drilling project — many of them union members with T-shirts and signs that read “Jobs for Carson” and “Oppose the Ban” — came out in force.

Many said they were Carson residents and argued that extending the ban would hurt jobs within the city.

“We want Carson to be safe,” said Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, “but let’s not pass a law that’s going to cut off this city from its economy. Together, we will fight to make Carson safe and prosperous for all residents.”

The rest here.

Showtime’s Years of Living Dangerously Still Struggling to Attract Viewers


James Cameron’s celebrity-filled global-warming propaganda series is bombing in the ratings. Here are the Nielsen numbers from Sunday April 27:

At Showtime, NURSE JACKIE and CALIFORNICATION stayed at 0.2 (although the latter needed rounding up to get to that number), and YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY remained at a tiny 0.04 with 1 more episode to air.  

And here’s Cameron writing about the show:

For the first time since An Inconvenient Truth, we have a media vehicle with the potential to ignite a decisive conversation on climate. The combination of storytelling, star power, and masterful cinematography promises to empower those who are already concerned and engage those who aren’t. This isn’t just about landmark television but about growing a global movement. We can and must work together to find solutions. We sincerely hope you watch the show – the biggest story of our time – with your friends and family and take a stand.

A landmark failure more like it.

SCOTUS Rules For the EPA on Power-Plan Emissions


National Journal:  

EPA is on a legal winning streak.

The Supreme Court has a reinstated a major rule to curb soot- and smog-forming power-plant pollution that damages air quality in the eastern United States.

Tuesday’s 6-2 ruling arrives two weeks after an Appeals Court upheld a separate rule to cut mercury and other air toxics from power plants.

The high court’s decision Tuesday revives the cross-state air-pollution rule, overturning a 2012 Appeals Court decision that sided with industry groups and states that challenged the regulation.

Both power-plant rules are major pillars of President Obama’s first-term air-quality agenda.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the cross-state rule, when phased in, will prevent up to 34,000 premature deaths, 15,000 nonfatal heart attacks, 19,000 cases of acute bronchitis, and 400,000 cases of aggravated asthma annually.

The rule requires states in the eastern half of the U.S. to cut emissions from power plants that blow across state lines.

The decision rejects the Appellate Court finding that EPA took an overly expansive view of its power to force emission cuts under the Clean Air Act’s “good neighbor” provision.

“EPA’s cost-effective allocation of emission reductions among upwind States is a permissible, workable, and equitable interpretation of the Good Neighbor Provision,” states the ruling authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and supported by Chief Justice John Roberts, as well as Justices Anthony Kennedy, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer.

The rest here.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Finally Converted a Global-Warming Denier


The convert is Republican Congressman Michael Grimm, representing New York’s 11th congressional district.

Unfortunately for Hayes and his genocidal  fossil-fuel abolitionist movement, Grimm was just indicted on federal fraud and tax charges

Before the indictment, the 501(c)(4) formerly known as President Obama’s re-election campaign, was pretty excited about Grimm’s conversion as well:

Of course, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is excited about Representative Grimm as well, but they’re focused on his legal troubles rather than his new attitude on global warming.

If Grimm thought his last-minute conversion before the indictment would win him any Democratic friends, he was sorely mistaken. 



‘U.S. Electricity Prices May Be Going Up For Good’


Candidate Obama did say “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket” if he was elected president. Why didn’t anybody believe him? 

Los Angeles Times:

As temperatures plunged to 16 below zero in Chicago in early January and set record lows across the eastern U.S., electrical system managers implored the public to turn off stoves, dryers and even lights or risk blackouts.

A fifth of all power-generating capacity in a grid serving 60 million people went suddenly offline, as coal piles froze, sensitive electrical equipment went haywire and utility operators had trouble finding enough natural gas to keep power plants running. The wholesale price of electricity skyrocketed to nearly $2 per kilowatt hour, more than 40 times the normal rate. The price hikes cascaded quickly down to consumers. Robert Thompson, who lives in the suburbs of Allentown, Pa., got a $1,250 bill for January.

“I thought, how am I going to pay this?” he recalled. “This was going to put us in the poorhouse.”

The bill was reduced to about $750 after Thompson complained, but Susan Martucci, a part-time administrative assistant in Allentown, got no relief on her $654 charge. “It was ridiculous,” she said.

The electrical system’s duress was a direct result of the polar vortex, the cold air mass that settled over the nation. But it exposed a more fundamental problem. There is a growing fragility in the U.S. electricity system, experts warn, the result of the shutdown of coal-fired plants, reductions in nuclear power, a shift to more expensive renewable energy and natural gas pipeline constraints. The result is likely to be future price shocks. And they may not be temporary.

One recent study predicts the cost of electricity in California alone could jump 47% over the next 16 years, in part because of the state’s shift toward more expensive renewable energy.

“We are now in an era of rising electricity prices,” said Philip Moeller, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, who said the steady reduction in generating capacity across the nation means that prices are headed up. “If you take enough supply out of the system, the price is going to increase.”

In fact, the price of electricity has already been rising over the last decade, jumping by double digits in many states, even after accounting for inflation. In California, residential electricity prices shot up 30% between 2006 and 2012, adjusted for inflation, according to Energy Department figures. Experts in the state’s energy markets project the price could jump an additional 47% over the next 15 years.

The problems confronting the electricity system are the result of a wide range of forces: new federal regulations on toxic emissions, rules on greenhouse gases, state mandates for renewable power, technical problems at nuclear power plants and unpredictable price trends for natural gas. Even cheap hydro power is declining in some areas, particularly California, owing to the long-lasting drought.

“Everywhere you turn, there are proposals and regulations to make prices go higher,” said Daniel Kish, senior vice president at the Institute for Energy Research. “The trend line is up, up, up. We are going into uncharted territory.”

The rest here.

How Many Agencies Supply Water in California?


Good question. If you find out, please tell California the answer, because they don’t have a clue.


In the middle of one of the worst droughts in California’s history, no one knows exactly how many agencies supply the state with water.

While state regulators supervise three companies that provide gas and electricity for most of California, drinking water is delivered through a vast network of agencies which collectively do billions of dollars of business, setting rates and handing out contracts with scant oversight.

There are so many agencies, in fact, that the California Department of Water Resource, which is responsible for managing and protecting the state’s water, concedes that it does not even know the exact number.

“We think the total number is about 3,000 but there is no definitive resting place for those numbers,” a department spokesman said.

Some state officials and water experts are calling for change, arguing that the process of providing water should be as clear as the product, especially in the middle of a drought. As one of the nation’s agricultural leaders and a trendsetter in environmental regulation, California’s actions could be felt beyond its borders.

Wes Strickland, an attorney who specializes in water law, says most of these water agencies do a good job. Cities and towns like controlling their own resources, and most of the agencies are elected, assuring a level of accountability.

But, Strickland says, good and bad, most operate “under the radar”, with little public scrutiny. “These agencies are at the forefront of the drought response,” he added.

And. . .

“The lack of transparency provides a breeding ground for unchecked spending, corruption, and fiscal mismanagement,” said Chiang, who in October warned nine cities and 117 special districts, some of which were public entities solely responsible for managing and supplying water, that they were delinquent in filing financial records.

Just 138 utilities – those owned by investors – are regulated by an outside body, the California Public Utilities Commission, Strickland says. The rest are governed by small boards of locally-elected officials.

The whole thing here.

Rachel Maddow on Big Oil’s Influence over U.S. Policy in Russia


Maddow has an op-ed in today’s Washington Post where she asks, “Will U.S. energy companies disrupt Obama’s Russia policy?”

Wait, we have a policy on Russia? If we do, she doesn’t explain it in her piece.

Anyway, her basic argument is that U.S. and international energy companies with huge investments in Russia will stand in the way of President Obama if he decides to sanction Russia’s energy industry. Her conclusion:

Now, in Russia, the world’s energy giants already have their capable hands all over Russia’s vast supplies of both oil and gas. As such, the energy industry’s acute economic interest is in a Russia that is not so at odds with the world that it can’t freely trade its oil and gas. What role will the industry play in achieving that end?

So far, the companies are acting as a counterweight against U.S. and European diplomatic pressure. Exxon’s new geophysical surveys of the eastern Arctic with Rosneft were announced three days after NATO said it was suspending “all practical civilian and military cooperation” with Russia and three days before thinly disguised Russian forces started taking over government buildings in eastern Ukraine. Why would Putin fear U.S. threats of economic isolation while the biggest U.S. oil company is jumping into his lap?

If Europe and the United States decide to pressure Russia with sanctions targeting the energy sector, which accounts for more than 50 percent of the Russian economy, will the big American and Western oil companies stand in the way? As Putin increasingly acts out his dreams of grandeur — his ridiculous Eurasian Union idea, his fantasies of restoring czarist “novorossiya” or the U.S.S.R. — he is testing the edges of his power. He wants to be seen as too big to fail. Big Oil siding with him could make those dreams come true.

Demanding that other countries choose to be “with us or against us” was one of the Bush administration’s many regrettable failures after Sept. 11. But if we asked the big Western oil companies the same question now, how would they answer?

A couple of things. One, the president has been necessarily vague on what future sanctions will look like, but is there any indication that he’d target Russia’s energy sector? I haven’t heard that threat. Maddow can blame “big oil” standing in the way of such yet-to-be-issued-or-discussed sanctions if she cares to, but in the end it’s President Obama who has to make that decision. If the president caves to Maddow’s “big oil,” her beef should be with Obama and not the energy companies.

And two, maybe she should think about apologizing to Mitt Romney for his 2012 remarks on Russia as America’s No. 1 geopolitical foe. Here’s what Maddow wrote back then:

For another, calling Russia the nation’s “number one geopolitical foe” has renewed a debate over whether Romney understands these issues as well as he thinks he does.

The Democratic National Committee, for example, distributed this statement from former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig:

“Governor Romney offered his judgment today that Russia is our nation’s number one geopolitical foe. This conclusion, as outdated as his ideas on the economy, energy needs, and social issues, is left over from the last century. Does Governor Romney believe that a Cold War foreign policy is the right course in the twenty-first century? Does he believe that Russia is a bigger threat to the U.S. today than terrorism, or cyberwarfare, or a nuclear-armed and erratic North Korea?

“Oddly, before calling Russia our number one foe, he issued a foreign policy white paper that only got around to Russia after sections on China, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Middle East, Iran, North Korea, and Latin America. His most recent statement is yet another revelation that Mitt Romney repeatedly speaks inconsistently and in ways that are disconnected from twenty-first century realities.”

The twenty-first-century reality is the one Romney described and the Left has yet to admit they were wrong. 

WaPo Editors to Obama: Approve Keystone XL


Do read their entire editorial, but here are some of the highlights:

  • “IF FOOT-DRAGGING were a competitive sport, President Obama and his administration would be world champions for their performance in delaying the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.”
  • “We would rather see Canadian crude traveling a well-built, well-regulated pipeline in the United States than on the rail cars, barges and ocean tankers that will move it until cheaper options inevitably come online.

That does not mean we like burning dirty oil sands crude. But symbolic gestures will have no impact on climate change.”

  • “As for the pipeline’s routing, planners and regulators have already considered all sorts of options through Nebraska, and they already shifted the route once. Neither route posed environmental concerns of a sort that would justify concluding that Keystone XL is outside the national interest. It is bizarre to imagine that a new route from an even more careful process in Nebraska would significantly increase environmental concerns.”

And the conclusion:

  • “The administration’s latest decision is not responsible; it is embarrassing. The United States continues to insult its Canadian allies by holding up what should have been a routine permitting decision amid a funhouse-mirror environmental debate that got way out of hand. The president should end this national psychodrama now, bow to reason, approve the pipeline and go do something more productive for the climate.”


Climate Change Discussion Dominated by Men


Why do climate alarmists hate women?

Via Media Matters:

REPORT: Eighty-Five Percent Of Climate Change Guests Are Men

Two Media Matters analyses suggest that over 85 percent of those quoted in the media about climate change are men. Several top women in the field denounced this disparity, noting that women will be disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change.

A review of a recent Media Matters analysis of print and television coverage of the U.N. climate reports found that women made up less than 15 percent of interviewees. A look back at our analysis of broadcast coverage of climate change unearthed the same stark disparity: less than 14 percent of those quoted on the nightly news shows and Sunday shows in 2013 were women.

Years of Living Dangerously Silent on Palm Oil’s Use As a Biofuel


Last night was the second episode of the global-warming-alarmist propaganda, James Cameron–produced Years of Living Dangerously.

One of the storylines from last night, which continued over from episode one, was Harrison Ford taking on the palm oil industry in Indonesia. Ford and the documentary focused on the use of palm oil in food while ignoring the use of palm oil as a green, environmentally approved biodiesel fuel. Ford does take discuss corruption in Indonesia, but by ignoring “green” biodiesel and it’s growing importance to Indonesia’s economy, he misleads viewers. It’s the demand for biodiesel that analysts now say is the driving force in the palm oil market:

As much as 3.4 million tons of palm will be used for biodiesel this year in Indonesia, Hasan said on Feb. 24, after Southeast Asia’s biggest economy increased the blending rate to reduce import costs and narrow the current-account deficit.

Indonesia boosted in September the amount of biodiesel blended with fuel to 10 percent from 7.5 percent and power plants had to blend 20 percent from January. PT Pertamina has already secured 2.4 million kiloliters of biodiesel, 45 percent of the 5.3 million kiloliters it’s seeking for this year and next, the state oil and gas company said Feb. 16. Pertamina will hold more auctions to buy the remainder.

Malaysia is extending its B5 biodiesel program in the country which will result in consumption of 500,000 tons of palm methyl ester annually, according to the government.

“The demand side of the equation has been overtaken by biodiesel,” Dorab Mistry, director of Godrej International Ltd., said by e-mail. “It remains to be seen how much of the Indonesian mandate is actually fulfilled.”

Andy Revkin of the New York Times noticed the omission, too:

Planet Gore has already covered how the demand for palm oil as a fuel is causing environmental havoc, especially with orangutans:

How ‘Green’ Palm Oil Is Killing Orangutans

Now Showtime, Ford, Cameron, et al. have no problem using heartwarming shots at an orangutan nursery to help sell it’s anti-palm-oil message . . .

. . .but they won’t tell “the inconvenient truth” that it’s the environmental movement itself that shares significant blame for Indonesia’s deforestation crisis.

At some point we need to stop using food for gasoline. Years of Living Dangerously had a chance to advance this message and didn’t, out of what looks to be a desire to protect the environmental movement as a whole and to make the complex story of global warming as simple as possible. 


Settled Science: Corn Ethanol Worse for Global Warming than Gasoline



Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows, challenging the Obama administration’s conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change.

A $500,000 study paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7 percent more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline.

While biofuels are better in the long run, the study says they won’t meet a standard set in a 2007 energy law to qualify as renewable fuel.

The conclusions deal a blow to what are known as cellulosic biofuels, which have received more than a billion dollars in federal support but have struggled to meet volume targets mandated by law. About half of the initial market in cellulosics is expected to be derived from corn residue.

The rest here.

Switchgate: Tort toadies seeding fear


Americans can be excused if they are getting whiplash from the Democratic party’s sudden about face on General Motors. For the last five years, Government Motors was key to Democratic electoral success as President Obama bailed out the company to preserve the gravy train of UAW contributions to Democrats — and to ensure reelection for key politicians (including himself) in crucial swing states like Michigan and Ohio. As recently as this January, Obama invited GM CEO Mary Barra to the State of the Union address to celebrate Democrats’ close ties to GM.

That was then, this is now.

In the wake of revelations that a defective ignition switch in Chevy Cobalt, Saturn Ions, and other vehicles may have played a part in 13 deaths, the party’s tort lobby has taken over the driver’s seat from the UAW. Follow the money.

With the prospect of millions at stake in tort fees, trail-lawyer-fed Democrats are taking the lead in roasting GM (the government’s ownership conveniently ended a month before the Switchgate revelations emerged last year). On Tuesday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) grandstanded before the cameras that CEO Barra (No kind words for the first female CEO, senator? Are you a combatant in the War on Women?) must disclose when dealers will have replacement ignitions for recalled cars. Blumenthal – a veteran of the tobacco shakedown (as Connecticut AG) and global-warming hysteria – counts the legal lobby as his #1 campaign contributor.

GM has said it may be October before it has enough ignition parts to fix 2.6 million vehicles worldwide. In the meantime, the company is reassuring owners that the cars are safe to drive if only a key is on the keychain (a fact I confirmed in test-driving a 2006 Cobalt this week).

But rather than join the public service announcement, Blumenthal is panicking customers by declaring GM cars death traps.

“I have repeatedly called on GM to tell customers that recalled vehicles are unsafe to drive until they can be repaired,” he says.

That’s contrary to GM’s experts. And it would inconvenience thousands of low-income Cobalt owners who need their vehicles to get to work. But like his fellow tort toadies, Senators Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) Blumenthal would rather seed fear.


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