The Department of Energy (DOE) traces its roots to the energy crisis of 1973, which was made worse by misguided government policy. The Arab embargo of 1973 was short lived but it lead to a series of actions that distorted energy policy and created a bureaucracy that now, thanks to the oil and gas renaissance we are experiencing, is in search of a mission. In addition to the effects of the embargo and price and allocation controls, there was, at the time, a firm belief that the world was going to run out of oil by the end of the century.
Not only does the world have plenty of oil, but the United States is now a net exporter of natural gas–and would be exporting more if DOE was faster with its approvals.
When created in 1977, DOE was given the responsibility for “the design, constructing, and testing of nuclear weapons, and … a loosely knit amalgamation of energy-related programs scattered throughout the Federal Government.”
Prior to DOE, the federal government played a very limited role in energy policy and development. Presumed scarcity, excessive dependence on OPEC nations, distrust in markets, and the search for energy independence became the foundation for what is now a $32.5 billion bureaucracy in search for relevance. A series of energy policies have done little to contribute to the abundance of affordable energy that fuels a growing economy.
What DOE has done is squander money on the search for alternative energy sources. In the process, it enabled Bootlegger and Baptist schemes that enriched crony capitalists who are all too willing to support the flawed notion that government can pick winners and losers. For 2017, a large chunk of DOE spending–$12.6 billion, or 39 percent—is earmarked to “support the President’s strategy to combat climate change.” This is not a justifiable use of taxpayer dollars.
Over 36 years, DOE’s mission has morphed from energy security to industrial policy, disguised as advanced energy research and innovation. There is a long and failed history of industrial policy by the federal government. It has failed because it has attempted to decide what energy consumers and industry should want and use.
If the Trump administration and Congress can muster the courage of its convictions to end DOE, they would then have a basis for creating a new Hoover Commission to re-examine the justification for …
Pope Francis has, according to Reuters‘ interpretation, placed a shot across the bows of USS Trump when he “urged national leaders on Monday to implement global environmental agreements without delay.” The Pope did not mention the president-elect by name, but was speaking of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, which purports to be kind of a scientific treatise, but which is actually yet another in a long series of gestures from ambitious politicians to signal their eagerness to be put in charge of whichever organizations that are tasked to do the impossible, such stopping the earth’s climate from changing.
The Pope is concerned that the United States has not adopted the Paris Agreement. Marc Morano at Climate Depot is reporting that the Trump administration will not only ignore the Paris Agreement, but will rein in the worst excesses of the EPA.
President-elect Trump has long expressed his suspicion of the more dire claims of climate doomsayers. That Mr. Trump has hired Steve Bannon, ex-chief at Breitbart, is another indication the USA won’t bow to the United Nations’, and now the Pope’s, pressure on the subject. Bannon and Breitbart are well known for their realistic views towards climate claims.
After multiple decades of failed predictions, after repeatedly promising doom but failing to deliver, after years of mistaking theory for observation, should a scientific hypothesis, like runaway man-made global warming, that fails to make skillful forecasts, not be abandoned?
Yet the Holy Father will try and use his bully pulpit to influence the incoming administration. With the notable non-climate-scientist Stephen Hawking by his side, Francis said, “The ‘distraction’ or delay in implementing global agreements on the environment shows that politics has become submissive to a technology and economy which seek profit above all else.”
It is true that the USA eschewing the Paris Agreement will be terrific news for the world’s economy. Economist Bjorn Lomborg noted the Paris Agreement, if everywhere implemented, would “cost between $1 trillion and $2 trillion annually.” That’s trillion-with-a-T, friends. Most of that money would go into the hands of bureaucrats, politicians, and their cronies. So it’s perhaps not a surprise that most of the political class profess to be frightened beyond measure of a few tenths of a degree increase in temperature.
The Holy Father’s charge of putting
The problem with a giant con game like global warming hysteria is that the baseline dishonesty ends up corrupting other institutions. Academia is pre-eminent among the collateral corruptees, but even a Native American tribe in genuine peril is in on the game. Willis Eschenbach provides the ugly details at Watts Up With That?
He spotted news that a tribe on the seashore of Olympic Peninsula is being touted as the “first climate refugees.” He drily notes eight other separate claims of being the first climate refugees, so he dubs the Quinault Indian Nation the “ninth first climate refugees.”
But that is not the nub of the criticism. It is that the Quinaults are genuinely threatened by tsunamis and in all logic ought to evacuate their current settlement right on the shore, because a major fault is nearby and overdue.
NEW PAPER: CLIMATE SCEPTICISM IS A ‘PERVERSE’ EFFECT OF ‘ACTIVELY OPEN-MINDED THINKING’
Right-leaning subjects (Conservatives-Republicans) who have a better understanding of current science and math and/or can be characterized as having the personality trait of actively cultivating an open mind have less belief in the consensus version of climate change. A new research paper labels this finding a ‘perverse’ effect of ‘actively open-minded thinking’.
Dan M. Kahan and Jonathan C. Corbin, of the Cultural Cognition Project, have a new study titled “A note on the perverse effects of actively open-minded thinking on climate-change polarization” appears in the journal Research and Politics (October-December 2016) [link to full manuscript].
The study is summed up by the first two sentences of its abstract:
“This research note presents evidence that political polarization over the reality of human-caused climate change increases in tandem with individuals’ scores on a standard measure of actively open-minded thinking. This finding is at odds with the position that attributes political conflict over facts to a personality trait of closed-mindedness associated with political conservatism.”
Kahan and Corbin call this a “perverse” effect of “actively open-minded thinking”. One might wonder why.
Kahan has been a champion of the idea of Cultural Cognition which he defines as:
“Cultural cognition refers to the tendency of individuals to conform their beliefs about disputed matters of fact (e.g., whether global warming is a serious threat; whether the death penalty deters murder; whether gun control makes society more safe or less) to values that define their cultural identities.”
In a long series of studies he has found that Liberal-Progressive-Democrats (the left) generally support the scientific consensus on climate change and the better these individuals score on Kahan’s survey/test of “Ordinary Science Intelligence” – how well the individual understands basic current science and math – the more they would agree with these two basic questions about climate change:
“C. Acceptance of human-caused climate change
The outcome variable for acceptance of human-caused climate change was formed using these items, scoring “1” for the response sequence “Yes” and “a” and “0” otherwise:
- WARMER. From what you’ve read and heard, is there solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades, or not? [YES/NO]
- WHYWARMER [only if WARMER = YES]. Do you believe that the earth is getting warmer (a) mostly because of
In the article, Delingpole quotes information from a “Daily Mail” article showing a nearly one degree Celsius drop in temperatures based on satellitedata. The “Mail” article points to the swings and vacillations of El Nino and La Nina as primary factors, where the tropical Pacific Ocean can be warmer or colder than normal. This seesawing of oceanic cycles, part of ENSO, is what many scientists say have a greater effect on the climate than the trace gas carbon dioxide.
Global Temperatures Plunge. Icy Silence from Climate Alarmists
Land temperatures have plummeted by 1 degree – the biggest and steepest fall on record. But the news has been greeted with an eerie silence.
The Left revolts
While the tweet’s author is still unknown, it most likely came from the chair of the committee: Rep. Lamar Smith. Smith has long been a skeptic of man’s role in #Climate Change and has been a vocal critic of climate demagoguery. He led a charge to get the emails from NOAA scientists to see if temperature data tampering was occurring.
Sen. #Bernie Sanders, the Socialist-Independent from Vermont, was a bit irked by the tweet. He and other like-minded climate alarmists took to twitter and voiced their dismay about the House committee’s tweet. Sanders wrote: