Embattled solar cell company Solyndra is catching hell right about now. They’ve filed for bankruptcy, but if that’s not enough, they’re finding themselves drawing a lot of attention. That’s to be expected since President Obama highlighted a government loan to Solyndra as evidence that his green jobs program would jump start an industry that hasn’t been able to create profits for themselves.
So where is the mainstream media on this one? Well, ABC News has been on it, that’s for sure. They have obtained emails about how the White House monitored the loan made to Solyndra.
Newly uncovered emails show the White House closely monitored the Energy Department’s deliberations over a $535 million government loan to Solyndra, the politically-connected solar energy firm that recently went bankrupt and is now the subject of a criminal investigation.
The company’s solar panel factory was heralded as a centerpiece of the president’s green energy plan — billed as a way to jump start a promising new industry. And internal emails uncovered by investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee that were shared exclusively with ABC News show the Obama administration was keenly monitoring the progress of the loan, even as analysts were voicing serious concerns about the risk involved. “This deal is NOT ready for prime time,” one White House budget analyst wrote in a March 10, 2009 email, nine days before the administration formally announced the loan.
Climate change is always a touchy subject. I have been advocating the position that it’s real, but a natural cycle. Others argue that it’s man made. However, there’s another theory that hasn’t been getting much play,and it probably should. That theory is that climate change may be the result of subatomic particles hitting the Earth.
In April 1990, Al Gore published an open letter in the New York Times “To Skeptics on Global Warming” in which he compared them to medieval flat-Earthers. He soon became vice president and his conviction that climate change was dominated by man-made emissions went mainstream. Western governments embarked on a new era of anti-emission regulation and poured billions into research that might justify it. As far as the average Western politician was concerned, the debate was over.
But a few physicists weren’t worrying about Al Gore in the 1990s. They were theorizing about another possible factor in climate change: charged subatomic particles from outer space, or “cosmic rays,” whose atmospheric levels appear to rise and fall with the weakness or strength of solar winds that deflect them from the earth. These shifts might significantly impact the type and quantity of clouds covering the earth, providing a clue to one of the least-understood but most important questions about climate. Heavenly bodies might be driving long-term weather trends.
“I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous [global warming] is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.” – Al Gore
Oh look, Al Gore is back in the news again. It appears that on Friday, Gore gave an interview explaining that eating less meat would fight global warming:
Al Gore wants society to ditch meat-heavy diets and go organic to combat global warming.
“Industrial agriculture is a part of the problem,” Gore said Friday during an interview with FearLess Revolution founder Alex Bogusky. “The shift toward a more meat-intensive diet,” the clearing of forest areas in many parts of the world in order to raise more cattle and the reliance on synthetic nitrogen for fertilizer are also problems, he added.
Instead, Gore advocated organic farming and relying on “more productive, safer methods that put carbon back in the soil” to produce “safer and better food.”
Gore didn’t stop there. It once used to be the trend among global warming alarmists to compare skeptics to holocaust deniers. Some alarmists have gone as far to call for Nuremberg-style trails for climate skeptics. Christopher Horner documents this at length in his book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (and Environmentalism). It appears now that Gore now comparing us to racists. Classy:
The smugness of this administration is never ending:
President Obama today will announce new fuel efficiency standards that will save American businesses that operate and own commercial vehicles approximately $50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the program. These work trucks, buses, and other medium- and heavy duty vehicleswill be required to meet fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission standards for the first time ever beginning in 2014.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the standards in close coordination with the companies that met with the President today as well as other stakeholders, following requests from companies to develop this program.
“While we were working to improve the efficiency of cars and light-duty trucks, something interesting happened,” said President Obama. “We started getting letters asking that we do the same for medium and heavy-duty trucks. They were from the people who build, buy, and drive these trucks. And today, I’m proud to have the support of these companies as we announce the first-ever national policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas pollution from medium-and heavy-duty trucks.”
That liberals believe they know what’s best for everyone else is nothing new. What’s fascinating to me is seeing the Barack Obama, the President of the United States, purport that others harbor the same religious reverence for him that he has for himself. He claims that the very individuals that run private corporations have more faith in him to run their businesses than they have in themselves. Here Obama is painting the picturing of the economy bowing at his feat, begging “tell us what to do, oh mighty one!”
Climate change doomsayers have been saying for a while now that proof of global warming can be found in the Arctic sea ice levels. However, a new study indicates that sea ice levels have actually been lower than their current levels within the last 10,000 years. Unless that lower level was 1992 or something, that kind of kills some of the more prevalent arguments on climate change and Arctic sea ice.
Regarding the research results, [Svend] Funder says, “Our studies show that there have been large fluctuations in the amount of summer sea ice during the last 10,000 years. During the so-called Holocene Climate Optimum, from approximately 8000 to 5000 years ago, when the temperatures were somewhat warmer than today, there was significantly less sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, probably less than 50% of the summer 2007 coverage, which was absolutely lowest on record. Our studies also show that when the ice disappears in one area, it may accumulate in another. We have discovered this by comparing our results with observations from northern Canada. While the amount of sea ice decreased in northern Greenland, it increased in Canada. This is probably due to changes in the prevailing wind systems. This factor has not been sufficiently taken into account when forecasting the imminent disappearance of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.”
Of course, like most scientists today, Funder goes on to lament climate change as the end all boogeyman. Unlike many of his colleagues though, he does indicate something most of them miss, which is called “hope for the future”:
Climate change is always a touchy subject. It generates strong feelings one way or another in most political type folks. However, a new Rassmusen poll shows that a large chunk of the American people believe that scientists have fudged the numbers somewhere along the line. How many?
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 69% say it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs, including 40% who say this is Very Likely. Twenty-two percent (22%) don’t think it’s likely some scientists have falsified global warming data, including just six percent (6%) say it’s Not At All Likely. Another 10% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here .)
The number of adults who say it’s likely scientists have falsified data is up 10 points from December 2009 .
I don’t care who you are, that’s a lot of folks. However, I can already hear some on the left clamoring about how it’s because of Fox News or whoever the boogieman is today. I wouldn’t be so sure about that if I were them. After all, Rassmusen finds that 51% of Democrats think the same thing.
For years, we’ve been told that scientific models show an increase in the Earth’s temperature due to greenhouse gases. The incredible heat we’ve been experiencing in Southwest Georgia makes it kind of hard to argue with folks who can’t help but believe that the heat we’re experiencing is climate change made real. Unfortunately, science seems to disagree:
Study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite, reports that real-world data from NASA’s Terra satellite contradict multiple assumptions fed into alarmist computer models.
“The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release. “There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”
In addition to finding that far less heat is being trapped than alarmist computer models have predicted, the NASA satellite data show the atmosphere begins shedding heat into space long before United Nations computer models predicted.
The new findings are extremely important and should dramatically alter the global warming debate.
Indeed, it should.
Over at the Powerline blog, Steven Hayward has an interesting post about some of his experiences with the climate change movement. You see, he was invited to a climate change meeting in Denver some time back held by former Senator Tim Wirth. Wirth took off after the first day due to other concerns (I like Hayward’s quip about how the meeting was now “Wirthless” myself), but there was still plenty of fodder that later became this post.
What was particularly alarming to me was this quote Hayward attributes to Wirth today:
The mirthless Wirth comes back to mind with this news story about how Wirth thinks the climate campaign needs to “undertake an aggressive program to go after those who are among the deniers, who are putting out these mistruths, and really call them for what they’re doing and make a battle out of it. They’ve had pretty much of a free ride so far, and that time has got to stop.”
On Monday, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in an opinion written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that environmental policy is a matter that shouldn’t be worked out through the judicial system:
In the most significant global warming case to reach its front doors, the Supreme Court on Monday blocked a major lawsuit brought by states and environmental groups against five large power companies they accused of creating a public nuisance because of carbon dioxide emissions.
The court ruled 8-0 that the authority to set standards for reducing emissions lies with the Environmental Protection Agency, under air pollution rules established by the Clean Air Act. The court said just because the EPA hasn’t acted yet doesn’t mean that its authority is no longer valid.
The Clean Air Act “provides a means to seek limits on emissions of carbon dioxide from domestic power plants — the same relief the plaintiffs seek by invoking federal common law. We see no room for a parallel track,” reads the order written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“If EPA does not set emissions limits for a particular pollutant or source of pollution, states and private parties may petition for a rulemaking on the matter, and EPA’s response will be reviewable in federal court,” the decision continues.
The decision isn’t really anything to get overly excited about. The court did what it was supposed to do. Hopefully, Congress will find a way to prevent the EPA from implementing cap-and-trade through regulatory fiat.
Why won’t Jon Huntsman be the Republican nominee in 2012? This video posted by Verum Serum highlights many positions Huntsman has taken, including support for cap-and-trade and the stimulus, that aren’t going to jive well with the Republican base: