Scott Pruitt Says No to CO2 and Social Justice at EPA

Pruitt
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out this page About EJ 2020.

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

Here’s a taste:

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest at Breitbart.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest at Breitbart.

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

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

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

Some cynics may accuse the woman of talking gibberish.

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

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

Find out why at Breitbart London

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Climategate 2.0: junk science 101 with Michael Mann

At last, I’ve arrived.

Michael Mann: isn’t he pretty?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of course they don’t!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s what he says in the letter:

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

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

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

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

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

According to Booker/North:

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

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

Lone bristlecone pines, anyone?

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

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

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

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

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