Kat Taylor—wife of billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer—has resigned from Harvard’s Board of Overseers in protest at the university’s ongoing refusal to divest itself of its fossil fuel investment holdings.
The Daily Callerreports:
Taylor had enough of Harvard University’s fossil fuel investments. She stepped down from her position as a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers on Tuesday. In her resignation letter, Taylor decried the school’s “failure” to “adopt ethical commitments,” according to the Harvard Crimson.
“We should and would be horrified to find out that Harvard investments are actually funding some of the pernicious activities against which our standout academic leadership rails,” her letter stated. “But that is where we still sit, vulnerable to the inevitable association with our investment targets that profiting from them demands.
Harvard has a total endowment of $37.1 billion, with some investments in fossil fuels. The prestigious university has long faced pressure to divest. Over 100 Harvard faculty penned an open letter in 2014 urging University President Drew Faust to do so. In 2015, 20 students stormed a university building and demanded divestment. In March 2017, members of the activist organization Divest Harvard made similar demands while blockading University Hall.
It’s possible, however, that Harvard’s Board of Overseers won’t feel the loss of Ms Taylor too keenly. Her resignation, highly principled and selfless though it surely was, reportedly came just one day before her six-year term was due to expire.
The great thing about puffin stories is that they give you the perfect excuse to run a jolly picture of a puffin at the top. Everyone loves puffins, some – if you’re Icelandic – because they’re a tasty delicacy, others because, with their distinctive stripy beaks they look so attractive and charming and cute.
I expect this is why the Telegraph sent its science reporter up to the Farne Islands in Northumbria to write up a story it dramatically headlined ‘UK puffins may go the way of the dodo with fears of extinction in 50 years.’
So far the news has been bleak. The puffins arrived four weeks later than usual and initial estimates suggest the number of breeding pairs has fallen by 12 per cent.
A combination of climate change, overfishing, plastic pollution and extreme weather has left the little seabirds struggling for survival.
This was followed up by BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and also by the Daily Mail.
But the story is #fakenews.
First, as one reader pointed out, puffin colony numbers go up and down all the time.
Progressives are worried about Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War. They think its villain Thanos, whose solution to the overpopulation problem is to wipe out half the planet, gives the wrong impression that environmentalists are evil.
By ascribing selfless motives to Thanos, AIW tacitly delivers this toxic message: environmentalism = mass murder.
Solitaire Townsend, co-founder of the environmental PR agency Futerra, also finds the movie’s message too close for comfort. At Forbes, she writes:
The Mad Titan sounds worryingly like some environmentalists. Over the years the need for ‘population control and reduction’ has been widely called for as the necessary solution to our resource and sustainability crisis. Thanos is the ultimate Malthusian. After he fulfills his purpose, crumbling half of life in the universe into dust, he retires to an idyll many environmentalists would enjoy – a simple rural hut set in sunlit dappled fields. He had promised “not suffering, but salvation,” and in the final shot a tiny smile is playing on his face after a job well done. Ouch.
For Svoboda, this is a horrible distortion of the essential goodness with which environmentalists are imbued.
“Is the political class’s obsession with global warming rotting their brains?” asks Christopher Booker in a must-read piece for the Daily Mail.
To which the answer, obviously, is “Duh.”
Booker focuses on the disastrous policies, introduced by successive UK governments, encouraging people to burn more wood.
Apparently – or so the fashionable theory briefly ran – this pre-industrial technology was much more eco-friendly than coal- or gas-fired power and would thus help save the planet from the global warming.
Except of course, it hasn’t:
Wood is ‘sustainable’, we were told. It gives off less CO2 than any other heating. It will help us save the planet and meet CO2 reduction targets under the Climate Change Act.
As a result of these persuasive arguments, about 1.5 million British homes have wood-burning stoves and 200,000 more are sold every year.
Now we learn that wood-burning is the single biggest source of tiny soot particles called PM2.5s — they are also emitted by burning coal and diesel — which go into our lungs and are said to be responsible for an estimated 37,800 premature deaths a year.
Given these horrific facts, why have governments in recent years made wood-burning such a core part of energy policy? For there is no doubt ministers have been desperate to encourage it.
Actually, those pollution death estimates should probably be taken with a pinch of salt. The far bigger problem, as Booker goes on to note, is just how outrageously uneconomical it all is.
A study of the future global economy has concluded that the standard worst-case scenario used by climate scientists is actually not the worst case.
Just in case any of you were worried about this, don’t be. As we learn further down this is based on a yet another study by parti-pris alarmists ramping up the climate change scare narrative using dodgy computer modeled projections of what might happen if all their parameters are correct (which they aren’t).
Results from this study suggest a greater than 35% probability that emissions concentrations will exceed those assumed in the most severe of the available climate change scenarios (RCP 8.5), illustrating particular importance for understanding extreme outcomes.
To which the only intelligent response is: so what?
Climate scientists are giving science a bad name, says a leading atmospheric physicist in an essay on the global warming debate.
Professor Garth Paltridge, formerly a chief scientist with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Division of Atmospheric Research, says that the behavior of certain members of the climate science establishment is “seriously threatening the public’s perception of the professionalism of scientists in general.”
Many climate scientists are much less sure about man-made global warming than they will admit in public, he says. But rather than reach out to skeptics in order to open up the debate and explore the uncertainties, they have instead closed ranks and rubbished anyone who disagrees with them:
Some of the more vocal of the establishment climate researchers have fallen into a mode of open denigration of climate sceptics (“deniers” is the offensive popular terminology of the day). They insist that only researchers directly within the climate-change community are capable of giving authoritative advice. They insist that one can find true and reputable science only in peer-reviewed climate literature. But most significantly, they seem to have evolved a policy of deliberately excluding sceptics from climate-change forums of one sort or another, and indeed of refusing to take part in any forum where sceptics may share the podium.
Their high-handedness, Paltridge says, is redolent of “medieval religion”:
It is still a matter of debate whether climate change will increase the number of hurricanes, but it is more and more clear that human-caused heating of the planet will boost their severity.
This is absolute rubbish. “Junk scientists weaponising weather”, as the great Paul Homewood puts it. But perhaps we could have guessed this, given that the paper’s lead author is none other than Kevin “Travesty” Trenberth.
Trenberth, a moustacheoed alarmist and IPCC lead author who works at the Climate Analysis Section at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, is powerfully invested in the great climate change scare story.
In 2009 he sent the infamous email – exposed during Climategate – lamenting the fact that global temperatures weren’t playing in accordance with the alarmists’ computer models:
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.
More disturbingly, in 2005 as an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Lead Author, he misrepresented the views of one of his contributing expert authors, Chris Landsea, in order to ramp up the scare story. Landsea, a hurricane expert, had said that recent hurricane activity had not been made more severe by “global warming.” Trenberth, not a hurricane expert, overruled Landsea and held a press conference declaring the opposite. As a result Landsea resigned from the IPCC. (For more details, see my previous article here)
Of course I can see why governments are keen to be seen responding to this terrible threat. If you’re as desperately useless as Theresa May’s UK government, for example, it makes perfect sense to try to distract everyone from your incompetence by launching bold anti-plastic initiatives which get you a big thumbs up from national treasures like Sir David Attenborough and which don’t cost the public purse much money.
But I wish they wouldn’t bother. As this article from Inside Sources demonstrates – and it really ought to be required reading for all those bansturbators out there working themselves into a righteous frenzy about just how Medieval they’re going to get on plastic’s ass – these plastic bans, in the West at any rate, are a complete waste of space.
Here he is on a video in 2014 declaring that “climate deniers have no place in public life.”
He was also one of the lead instigators of a scheme by liberal Attorneys General to use lawfare to harass fossil fuel companies such as Peabody Energy and Exxon Mobil. In 2016, he hosted 16 fellow Democrat AGs and former Vice President Al Gore to launch a coalition called AGs United for Clean Power.
“With gridlock and dysfunction gripping Washington, it is up to the states to lead on the generation-defining issue of climate change. We stand ready to defend the next president’s climate change agenda, and vow to fight any efforts to roll-back the meaningful progress we’ve made over the past eight years,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Our offices are seriously examining the potential of working together on high-impact, state-level initiatives, such as investigations into whether fossil fuel companies have misled investors about how climate change impacts their investments and business decisions.”
A proposal for bringing international environmental law under one legally binding treaty at the United Nations will be up for a preliminary vote later this week at the U.N. General Assembly. The United States U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley tells Fox News in a statement that the U.S. won’t support the measure.
The Global Pact for the environment has the backing of French President Emmanuel Macron and the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, and is being sponsored by France at the world body. It seeks to consolidate what it calls the “fragmented nature of environmental law,” and “codify” it, and make it accessible to all citizens.
In a statement to Fox News, Haley said that, “When international bodies attempt to force America into vague environmental commitments, it’s a sure sign that American citizens and businesses will get stuck paying a large bill without getting large benefits. The proposed global compact is not in our interests, and we oppose it.”
According to Marc Morano, bestselling author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change, the proposed treaty is far more dangerous than the Paris Climate Accord from which President Trump extricated the U.S. last year.