Saturday, February 28, 2015

Green Slander


 
By Alan Caruba

It is a sure sign that the advocates of the “global warming” and “climate change” hoaxes know that the public no longer believes that the former is occurring or that the latter represents an immediate, global threat.

Even though the “climate skeptics”, scientists who have produced research proving false methodology and the conclusions based on it are quite few in number, an effort to silence them by smearing their reputations and denying funding for their work has been launched and it is based entirely on a lie.

Scientists are supposed to be skeptical, not only of other scientist’s findings, but their own. Good science must be able to reproduce the results of published research. In the case of the many computer models cited as proof that global warming was occurring or would, the passing years have demonstrated that none were accurate.

As Joseph L. Bast, president of The Heartland Institute and Joseph A. Morris, an attorney who has fought in several countries to defend free speech, wrote in a February 24 commentary, “The Crucifixion of Dr. Wei-Hock Soon”, of an article co-authored with Christopher Monckton, Matt Briggs, and David Legates, and published in the Science Bulletin, a publication of the Chinese Academy of Sciences “The article reveals what appears to be an error in the computer models used to predict global warming that leads models to over-estimate future warming by a factor of three.” (Emphasis added) Their commentary has been downloaded more than 10,000 times!

“If the work of Soon et al is confirmed by other scientists, the ‘global warming crisis’ may need to be cancelled and we can all enjoy lower taxes, fewer regulations, and more personal freedom.” However, “having failed to refute the article, environmentalists turned to smearing the authors.”
 
Little wonder the “Warmists” are worried; the Earth has been in a cooling cycle since 1996. People are noticing just how cold this record-breaking and record-setting winter is. 

The attack on Dr. Soon began with a Greenpeace news release that was republished on the front page of The New York Times on February 22nd. Despite its august reputation, The Times' coverage of climate issues has been an utter disgrace for decades. As public interest waned, it eliminated its staff of reporters exclusively devoted to writing about the “environment.”

Myron Ebell, a climate change skeptic and director of Global Warming and International Environmental Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, noted on February 27th that the Greenpeace attack on Dr. Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics claimed they had secured $1.2 million in funding for his research over the past decade and that it came from energy corporations, electric utilities, and charitable foundations related to those companies.  The truth, however, is “that the grants were made not to Dr. Soon but to the Smithsonian, which never complained while taking its sizable cut off the top.”

Columnist Larry Bell who is also an endowed professor at the University of Houston, disputed the Greenpeace claim, saying, “First, let’s recognize that the supporting FOIA documents referred to an agreement between the Smithsonian (not Dr. Soon) and Southern Company Services, Inc., whereby 40 percent of that more than $1.2 million went directly to the Smithsonian” leaving “an average funding of $71,000 a year for the past eleven years to support the actual research activities.”

Focusing on Greenpeace and its Climate Investigations Center which describes itself as “a group funded by foundations seeking to limit the risks of climate change”, Bell asked “Do these activist organizations make their estimated $360,000,000 annual funding publicly available?” Bell said “Ad hominem assaults disparaging the integrity of this leading authority on relationships between solar phenomena and global climate are unconscionable.”

In his article, “Vilifying realist science—and scientists”, Paul Driessen, a policy advisor to the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), noted that in 2012 Greenpeace USA was the recipient of $32,791,149 and that this is true of other environmental pressure groups that in 2012 secured $111,915.138 for the Environmental Defense Fund, $98,701,707 for the Natural Resources Defense Council, $97,757,678 for the Sierra Club, and, for Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, $19,150,215.

“All told,” noted Driessen, “more than 16,000 American environmental groups collect(ed) total annual revenues of over $13.4 billion (2009 figures). Only a small part of that comes from membership dues and individual contributions.”  With that kind of money you can do a lot of damage to scientist’s reputation.

They fear that the public may actually learn the truth about “global warming” and the fear-mongering claims about “climate change” does not stop with just the environmental organizations. At the same time The New York Times was printing the Greenpeace lies, U.S. Senators Ed Market (D-Mass), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) joined together on February 25th to send letters to 107 companies, trade associations, and non-profit groups demanding comprehensive information about all funding of research on climate or related issues.

Among the groups receiving the letter were two for whom I am a policy advisor, The Heartland Institute and CFACT, but others include the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and the American Energy Alliance.

Following The New York Times article, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, sent letters to the presidents of seven universities asking them to provide details about seven professors who are either prominent global warming skeptics.

As Rich Lowrey, editor of the National Review, pointed out on February 27th, that "Science as an enterprise usually doesn't need political enforcers. But proponents of a climate alarmism that demands immediate action to avert worldwide catastrophe won't and can't simply let the science speak for itself."

This is not fact-finding. It is an act of intimidation.
 
And it looks like a carefully organized effort to quash any research that might dispute “global warming” or “climate change” as defined by the Greens and by both the President and the Secretary of State as the greatest threat we and the rest of the world faces.

The greatest threat is the scores of environmental organizations that have been exaggerating and distorting their alleged “science” in order to thwart development here and around the world that would enhance everyone’s life. Now they are attacking real scientists, those who are skeptical of their claims, to silence them.

This is what fascists do.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Last Day of Donation Week

 
 
Been thinking about making a donation to Warning Signs this week? Today would be a good day (and any other day!) to share your enjoyment of my commentaries by sharing what you can to help support this blog. Yes, we do have bills to pay. Your help will be greatly appreciated.
 
THANKS!
 
 
 


Cartoon Round Up

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Word from Brazil


By Alan Caruba

The carnival in Rio de Janeiro from February 13 through the 17th was one heck of a party. It was celebrated by the locals, plus an estimated one million visitors, complete with fabulous parades, street parties and balls. Brazil is blessed with some great beaches, the most famous of which is Ipanema, thanks to the 1962 bossa nova classic “Girl from Ipanema”.

Brazil shares borders every other nation in South America except Ecuador and Chile, and has a range of geographic features from the Amazon rain forest to jungles, towering mountains, rivers and rolling plains. In 2016 Brazil will host the Summer Olympics.

I suspect that’s about the only knowledge of Brazil that most Americans have. Brazil is the largest nation in South America. Its most densely populated parts are in the south-central regions that include major cities like San Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The only Portuguese-speaking nation in both North and South America, it has enjoyed economic growth, but that has slowed.

A friend from Brazil shared news that was not likely to show up except on the business pages because U.S. media tend to ignore Brazil and South America unless its bad news. Brazil’s national oil company, Petrobras, has been caught up in a huge scandal that will lead to criminal proceedings. In early February, its CEO, Gracas Foster, and five other top executives resigned.

It’s a kickback scandal and what makes Brazil a place to watch is the fact that its president, Dilma Rousseff, served on Petrobras board of directors from 2003 to 2010 when the prosecutors allege that the kickbacks were occurring. Her political party is alleged to have received billions in money skimmed from the company.

In October 2014, she was reelected in what The Telegraph described as a “dramatic run-off and a tense campaign” which she won “by a whisker”, just 51.6% of the vote.  She was the candidate of the Worker’s Party. The months leading up to the election included mass protests, the corruption scandal, and a stalling economy, slipping back into recession for the first time in five years.

Petrobras is the perfect example of why a government-run enterprise, socialism, is never a good idea. Worth $310 billion in 2008 and valued as the world’s fifth-largest company, today it is worth just $48 billion. There is a definite sense of crisis in Brazil as its government is posting record budget deficits after a collapse in prices for the soy, oil, and iron that the country exports. Its currency, the real, has seen a drop in value for the past six months.

One observer suggests a possible military intervention to remove the president and others involved in the Petrobras scandal.

All that is bad news, but on top of it San Paulo, Brazil’s commercial capital, is running out of water as the reservoirs that supply the nearly twenty million people in the metropolitan area are close to running dry. The water literally goes off around 1 PM until the next day for a few hours but the state water utility denies it is rationing it. The water problem is estimated to last for four to five more years.

America has a long history of isolationism. Early Americans came here to get away from the problems in their home countries, but those problems have ways of affecting our lives as we have seen with the turmoil of Islamic fascism in the Middle East.

We would be well advised to keep an eye on Brazil (and Argentina and Venezuela) and hope it can resolve its current problems, but we can also give thanks that the U.S. is enjoying a boom in energy reserves, particularly oil and natural gas, that protects us against potential upheaval elsewhere in the world. 

If we replace the current U.S. administration with one that understands and supports the growth of our energy sector, we will be on our way to a brighter future.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Donation Week


 

We’re halfway through Warning Signs’ “Donation Week” and it has been encouraging that readers of my commentaries have been responding with donations, both large and small, to help underwrite the costs of maintaining this blog. I know you are asked by many others to give what you can, so the decision on your part is how much a part of your life are the commentaries that provide information, insight and analysis of what can be and is a very complex and often confusing world.

If the answer is that you find my commentaries of value, than I ask that you send a dollar in any amount you can afford to become part of Warning Signs.
Thank you!
Alan Caruba

 

The End of Freedom in America


By Alan Caruba

The America that has existed from the days of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, when its sovereignty was acknowledged by a treaty with England 1783, and its founding in 1788 with the ratification of the Constitution is no more. The America for which thousands fought and gave their lives is no more.

That America ends on February 26 when the Federal Communications Commission, under intense pressure from the Obama White House and with the votes of its Democratic Party commissioners asserts government control over the Internet with a 332-page set of regulations, dubbed “Net Neutrality.”

Writing in the Feb 22nd Wall Street Journal, columnist L. Gordon Crovitz summed up what will occur saying “Obamanet promises to fix an Internet that isn’t broken…The permissionless Internet which allows anyone to introduce a website, app, or device without government review, ends this week.”

“The big politicization came when President Obama in November demanded that the supposedly independent FCC apply agency’s most extreme regulation to the Internet.” Of course Obama wants the Internet regulated and of course the Democratic Party will support this move to control who gets to put up a website or blog and, more importantly, who gets to say anything critical of the President.


The Democratic Party has been in everything but name the Communist Party in the United States for several decades. Obama was raised and mentored to be a Marxist. What we are witnessing is nothing less than tyranny replacing democracy.

Crovitz warned that “This week Mr. Obama’s bureaucrats will give him the regulated Internet he demands. Unless Congress or the courts block Obamanet, it will be the end of the Internet as we know it.”

Earlier this week, as reported by Giuseppe Macri in The Daily Caller the FCC’s two Republican commissioners, Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly, asked Chairman Tom Wheeler “to delay the vote and release his proposal to the public. ‘We respectfully request that FCC leadership immediately release the 332-page Internet regulation plan publicly and allow the American people a reasonable period of not less than 30 days to carefully study it.’”

There is some evil at work here because, as the Republican commissioners point out, “the plan in front of us right now is so drastically different than the proposal the FCC adopted and put out for public comment last May.”

Shades of ObamaCare! Even the Democrats who voted that monstrosity into law had not read it. Now neither Congress, nor the rest of America is being permitted to see regulations that will determine what can and cannot be posted to the Internet, the greatest instrument of free speech ever invented since the printing press.

Commissioner Pai says that the FCC is “adopting a solution that won’t work to a problem that doesn’t exist using legal authority we don’t have.” He estimates that the regulations will add up to $11 billion in new taxes on Internet access.
 
In a commentary, “Neutralize Obama’s Hijacking of the Internet”, Judi McLeod, the editor of CanadaFreePress.com, said “Forget NSA, the FBI, the CIA, and all warnings sent by Edward Snowden. They’ve got nothing on how Net Neutrality will silence you.”

“Someday in the near future when you type in the words “Islamic terrorists” in an Internet post, you will be knocked off the Net and find it all but impossible to climb back on again.”

Do I think the Congress will exercise its oversight responsibilities and stop this tyrannical power grab? No. Do I think our court system will do anything other than bow to precedent set by earlier FCC regulations? Yes.

As a nation founded on and devoted to freedom of speech, I think February 26, 2015 will go down in the history books as the day when that freedom came to an end in America.

Thanks to a National Security Agency we no longer have any privacy regarding anything we say using telephones, the Internet or any other form of communication.

If the Democrat-controlled FCC has its way, the Internet will slow your access and could eliminate access countless sites that provide news and express opinions the federal government finds offensive. That's what tyrannies do.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Right to Say No


By Alan Caruba

Something very unpleasant is occurring in America. Those who have a strong religious faith are being denied the right to say “no” based on its teachings and values. This is particularly true these days as homosexuals, barely three percent of the population, demand that they be accommodated when their demand runs counter to thousands of years of what has been deemed moral behavior and, for many, still is.

When it comes to marriage. Gays insist they have a “right” to get married and call their union “marriage”, but there is absolutely nothing in the thousands of years of the Judeo-Christian ethic that defines same-sex unions as either moral or legal.

The most recent and egregious example of what can happen when someone obeys God rather than the state is Arlene’s Flowers, a small floral shop in Richland, Washington. Its owner, Barronelle Stuzman, declined to make flower arrangements for a gay couple’s wedding and, instead of finding a shop that would, they took their grievance to court. A judge ruled Ms. Stutzman violated the state’s anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws. 

I find it odd that one cannot refuse to render a service or sell a product if that decision is based on one’s religious beliefs. Isn’t that a form of discrimination against religion? Yes, it is.

Commenting on these increasing cases filed by homosexuals, the noted conservative writer, Selwyn Duke, said “It is a new front in the war on faith, legitimate freedom and private property rights. Many point out that it constitutes an unprecedented trampling of religious liberty and this is true.”

America is a nation based on its Founder’s beliefs that the rights of its citizens came from God, not the state. Something is very wrong when judges ignore that fundamental truth.

Anti-discrimination laws have the intent of ensuring the right of people to be treated equally. Not all such laws are the same. Some permit exemptions based on religion or gender. The reality that women are different from men has seen some nations such as ours exclude them from serving in a frontline combat role or aboard submarines. This is a concession to reality.

Ms. Stuzman’s new reality, after forty years in business, is the loss of her business due to the fines that have been assessed, along with the cost of legal fees. “They want my home, they want my business, they want my personal finances as an example for other people to be quiet,” said Ms. Stuzman. The gay couple may love each other, but they have demonstrated their belief in their right to marry permits them to inflict an enormous harm on a 70-year-old florist. There is something truly obscene about that.

In August of last year, a same-sex couple from Newark requested the use of the Liberty Ridge Farm for their wedding ceremony and was denied. In order to comply with a court order that they make their farm available despite their religious convictions, Cynthia and Robert Gifford, the owners of the farm near Albany, N.Y., have decided to no longer host any wedding or other ceremonies. 

It’s not like the New Testament isn’t quite clear regarding the issue of homosexuality:

Leviticus 18:22  "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination."

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our Go."

Romans 1:26-28  "For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

Under Islam, you can be put to death for homosexuality.
 
Here in America, it is not the homosexuals who are subject to restrictions. It is people of faith who are being told they must provide services and products to them in the context if they intend to marry or as a reflection of their gender preference.
 
Urloved Photography is a small business in Northern California specializing in wedding and event photograph. In response to a request from a gay couple, Urlove replied with an email that said “Thanks so much for contacting us and for your very kind words. We feel that photographing a gay wedding is not the best match for us, however we can refer you to a colleague who would make a great match. We wish you the very best!”  In California, however, one cannot reject business on the basis of sexual orientation.

Some states are trying to extend a measure of legal protection against the demands of homosexuals. In Kansas, its Federal and State Affairs committee has passed a bill aimed at protecting individuals, groups and businesses that refuse for religious reasons to recognize same-sex marriages or provide benefits to gay couples. Kansas law already protects employees from being sanctioned based on religious beliefs.

Federal judges have recently struck down bans on gay marriage in Oklahoma and Utah. In Indiana legislation to protect residents with strong religious beliefs from having to provide services and products to same-sex weddings is under consideration. In October, however, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Indiana’s gay marriage ban.

Our states are sovereign republics in their own right. That should be respected.

We are witnessing the arrogance of the homosexual community pitting itself against millennia of tradition and spiritual belief. Can’t find a photographer, florist or baker who wants to provide services for your same-sex wedding? Find someone who will.

Instead, states are caving into homosexual demands and asking their residents to abandon the reality that marriage is intended solely for a man and a woman.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Correction: It is my understanding that it was the state attorney general who brought the charges against the flower shop, not the gay couple.