Saturday, October 3, 2015

Coal Industy Ugliness Exposed

Of course, climate change deniers are famous for making claims that defy logic. Among these are efforts to defend the coal industry. A common refrain I have heard repeatedly lately is that modern human civilization was made possible by coal. Of course, that is a false claim. Our modern society depends on energy, not specifically coal. It doesn't matter where that energy comes from.

Now, we have even more proof of how nasty the coal industry is, as if any reasonable person needed more. Patriot Coal Company filed for bankruptcy and in their reorganization papers they proposed taking $18 million from a $22 million fund for retired coal workers and spending it on legal fees. This money was supposed to be dedicated for the health benefits of the workers. Now, Patriot Coal has decided the health of these workers isn't important enough and is reneging on its promises to them.

To see just how nasty this is we need to take a look at the reported health problems of the workers. It is reported some suffer from black lung disease, while others are suffering from cancers they believe are linked to industrial waste dumps at Squaw Creek. No mention is made in the article of the health effects down stream of non-miners who may have been affected by that dumping.

But, even that isn't the end of it. The evidence strongly suggests this was a plot to unload pension liabilities and even have them disposed of in bankruptcy. It began when Alcoa and Peabody energy had a joint venture called Squaw Creek Coal Co.  In 2007, Peabody assigned the Squaw Creek health care liabilities for 208 workers to an offshoot called Heritage Coal, which was a subsidiary of Patriot Coal. Peabody also assigned 40% of its health care obligations, covering about 8400 former workers, to Patriot Coal.  Then, in 2008, Patriot purchased Magnum Coal and assumed the health care liabilities for another 2,300 retirees.

Lo and behold, this health care liability dumping was more than the mining could support and Patriot filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2011. Patriot emerged from bankruptcy that same year and part of the deal was to turn over the health care liabilities to the union, along with $310 million to help support the health care for about 11,000 retirees. 

Then, Patriot filed for bankruptcy again this year.

Since the Squaw Creek liabilities were supposed to be paid for by Alcoa under the original contract, it was a big surprise when the union and the retirees learned Alcoa had traded a $40 million obligation for a $22 million payment to Patriot. Then, as stated earlier, Patriot has decided only $4 million of that money is to go towards supporting the health care liabilities of the people who are suffering due to their work in the industry. In case you haven't been keeping count, that is 10 cents on the dollar of the original health care obligation. The rest of the money is being used to pay legal fees. The tragedy is that the Squaw Creek workers who are being abused by this procedure never worked for Patriot.

Hopefully, these workers will be covered by a government program assisting retired coal industry workers. Oh, by the way, that program is costing taxpayers nearly $500 million per year.

Remember this the next time some denier talks about how cheap and morally correct the coal industry is.

If that isn't enough, read about this hero of the coal industry, one we can all hope will be going to prison very soon.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Record Highs in Australia Increasing

I was reading a paper in Geophysical Research Letters on a study conducted on Australian hot records (high maximum and high minimum temperatures). If the climate is stable, the number of record highs should equal the number of record lows. However, during the period of 2000 - 2014 the number of record highs outnumbered the record lows by twelve to one on average.

One of the things I keep saying about regional temperatures is that we are discussing global warming, not xxx regional warming. That applies here, as well. The term is 'global' warming, not 'Australian' warming. However, when you combine many regional trends you get a global trend. And, in fact, the Australian trend is characteristic of the global trend (see the Climate Change Institute's Climate Reanalyzer for a global view).

It has been said that when we see the effects of climate change it will be too late. Hopefully, this is not true because we can certainly see the effects in Australia, as well as other parts of the world.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Reality Makes Lies Of Denier Economics

A common claim by many deniers is that global warming is good for us, or at least not as expensive as doing something about it. A couple of news stories from this past week puts the lie to those claims. And, this is just two.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) stated it will be doubling the amount of loans for climate change adaptation from $3 billion to $6 billion annually by 2020. This is just for the Pacific and Asian territories, not world-wide. That comes to about $100 billion in additional dollars by 2050 in this one bank in this one market.

Additionally, the head of the Bank of England stated climate change threatens a global financial crises and long-term declines in wealth. Just the cost to insurers from weather-related losses has increased five-fold since the 1980s to $50 billion per year. Assuming those losses don't increase any further (a completely invalid assumption), the additional costs will amount to $1.4 trillion by 2050. By the way, the insurance companies will merely pass those expenses on to their customers.

These two events by themselves amount to $1.5 trillion in the next 35 years. When you include everything else and then factor in how things are getting worse, it is easy to see the claims of the deniers are lies. Just imagine what we could do if we devoted $1.5 trillion to fixing this problem instead of paying the coal companies to poison our land, water, and air.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Can RICO Be Used Against the FFI?

There has been a lot of talk about bringing RICO charges against the fossil fuel industry. Read an interesting article on this topic here. This raises the question, is such a think even legally possible? Considering the success of the government in pursuing RICO charges against the tobacco industry, the answer certainly seems to be 'yes' on the face of it. But, let's look more closely.

The first issue we need to look at is the definition of 'racketeering'. After all, RICO stands for "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations," (18 US Code Chapter 96). Basically, racketeering is continued criminal activity to protect and advance an organized crime 'business'. There is a long list of specific activities under this definition. Originally intended to address activities of organized crime syndicates, it has been used against a number of non-mafia entities, including Michael Millikan, Major League Baseball, pro-life activists, the LAPD, FIFA, and, of course, the tobacco industry. Clearly, you don't have to be some kind of mafia for the RICO Act to apply. If you are engaged in a continuing criminal activity to further or protect an illegal business, you have engaged in racketeering.

But, that isn't enough to violate the RICO Act. Prohibited activity under the act is defined as:
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person who has received any income derived, directly or indirectly, from a pattern of racketeering activity or through collection of an unlawful debt in which such person has participated as a principal within the meaning of section 2, title 18, United States Code, to use or invest, directly or indirectly, any part of such income, or the proceeds of such income, in acquisition of any interest in, or the establishment or operation of, any enterprise which is engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce. A purchase of securities on the open market for purposes of investment, and without the intention of controlling or participating in the control of the issuer, or of assisting another to do so, shall not be unlawful under this subsection if the securities of the issuer held by the purchaser, the members of his immediate family, and his or their accomplices in any pattern or racketeering activity or the collection of an unlawful debt after such purchase do not amount in the aggregate to one percent of the outstanding securities of any one class, and do not confer, either in law or in fact, the power to elect one or more directors of the issuer.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person through a pattern of racketeering activity or through collection of an unlawful debt to acquire or maintain, directly or indirectly, any interest in or control of any enterprise which is engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce.

(c) It shall be unlawful for any person employed by or associated with any enterprise engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce, to conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of such enterprise’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity or collection of unlawful debt.

(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to conspire to violate any of the provisions of subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section.

The act specifically states there must be at least two violations, one that occurred after the act was passed and another one within ten years of the first violation.

I am not a legal mind, but let me play here. After all, it isn't up to me to bring charges so what's the harm?

The thing that immediately jumps out at me is the phrase, "the establishment or operation of, any enterprise which is engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce."

Whoa! If you are engaged in racketeering and it affects interstate or foreign commerce you are liable under the RICO Act. Well, there is no doubt the fossil fuel industry affects both interstate and foreign commerce. The only question then becomes, are they engaged in illegal activity for the purpose of protecting or advancing criminal business?

The big break in the tobacco case came when it was found corporate executives perjured themselves in front of Congress. They had colluded to deceived Congress for the purpose of protecting their business. And, it was found they were intentionally committing fraud by engaging in a conspiracy to deceive the government and the public on the dangers of smoking.

How does that compare to the FFI?

Well, we now know they have engaged in a conspiracy to confuse the public and Congress on the dangers associated with burning fossil fuels. I think that certainly qualifies as racketeering. But, is there a criminal business operation in progress that they were protecting or advancing? After all, simply using gasoline and coal is not, in and of themselves, a crime. They have a right to protect and advance legal activities, although they can't use illegal activities to do so. So far, as far as I can tell at this point, RICO does not apply, even if other criminal statutes do apply.

What needs to be shown is that they were engaged in a criminal business. I'm sure if we were to dig into their activities we would easily find that is exactly the case. They willingly and knowingly engaged in business activities fully aware it would bring harm to the public and the U.S. government. That, by itself, is sufficient. But, let's take a look at the "section 2, title 18, United States Code" referenced above:
(a) Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.

(b) Whoever willfully causes an act to be done which if directly performed by him or another would be an offense against the United States, is punishable as a principal.

18 U.S. Code, Section 2
The fossil fuel industry has testified before Congress, and has provided funds to individuals to testify, that the science was not correct and there is no danger from manmade climate change or that it does not exist. We now know the fossil fuel industry was fully aware this testimony was not truthful, making it perjury. This perjury was committed for the purpose of interfering with any actions the government might take to ameliorate the threat and would negatively impact the profits of the fossil fuel industry. Additionally, they have used the mail and wire systems in the commission of these acts. My understanding is that constitutes mail and wire fraud.

In other words, the fossil fuel industry has violated the RICO Act on a continuing basis and should be charged accordingly by the U.S. Department of Justice.

But, that isn't all. Take a look at the subparagraphs b through d. These subparagraphs specifically prohibit the actions of persons to further the interests of the organized criminal activity. And, in this case, that is a long list. In addition to the fossil fuel corporations, the US DoJ needs to charge the individual players in this activity, such as the Cato Institute, the Heartland Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute, the NIPCC, the International Climate Science Coalition, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, Christopher Monckton, and many others who are equally guilty of violating the act.

As I stated, I am not a lawyer and it is not up to me to charge anyone, but the evidence seems very clear from where I'm standing - a massive violation of the RICO Act has been committed and continues to be committed. It is time for the government to charge the perpetrators.

Will it happen? I'm not going to lose sleep while waiting for it. But, at the same time, I spend many years hoping the government would charge the tobacco industry with criminal activity and thinking it would never happen. And, we all know how that turned out.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

More Bad News For Coal

The U.K.'s Department of Energy and Climate Change released statistics showing, for the first time ever, the U.K. produced more energy via renewables than for coal during this past April - June time span. Not only did the percentage of energy coming from renewables increase from 16.7 to 25.3 percent, the percentage coming from coal dropped from 28.5 to 20.5 percent. Interestingly, the coal percentage dropped by 8 percentage points while the renewable percentage increased by 8.6 points. This means coal's loss was more than made up for by increases in renewables.

It is become increasingly difficult for coal to claim renewables are more expensive and bad for the economy. The writing is on the wall.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tom Harris Employs McCarthyism Scare Tactics

My favorite fossil fuel shill has stooped to a new low in a recent op/ed piece by comparing people who support business and science to Soviet sympathizers and calling them 'useful idiots.'

Here is the response I submitted:

Harris resorts to McCarthyism

Re: OP/Ed: The climate scare’s ‘useful idiots’, Sep 17

Tom Harris is sinking to a new low. It is a common tactic among those denying climate change to denigrate climate scientists and anyone accepting the science. Amazingly, anyone who promotes or accepts climate science is somehow a ‘liberal’ without any possible knowledge of the person’s political beliefs or affiliations. Now, anyone who is both pro-business and pro-science is a ‘useful idiot’ and is compared to Soviet sympathizers. You have to wonder what is Mr. Harris’ motive and objective here. We can’t be sure because Mr. Harris refuses to reveal any of his funding sources, but he has a long history of being affiliated with fossil fuel and tobacco and there is ample evidence ICSC is supported by the fossil fuel industry.

What is less amazing is how he then uses this McCarthyism scare tactic to introduce false claims. For instance, discussing the effects of the CPP on global warming, he states, “The Chamber correctly concludes, “it’s essentially undetectable.”” Of course, what they don’t want to tell you is how much of an increase there will be without the CPP.  We are already almost 1.5 degrees (.81 C) above the 20th century average and the global temperature is increasing rapidly. 2014 was the hottest year ever recorded. 2015 will smash that record.
Also, Mr. Harris fails to discuss the other effects of the CPP, as listed by the EPA (
·  Within this larger context, the Clean Power Plan itself is projected to contribute significant pollution reductions, resulting in important benefits, including:
  • Climate benefits of $20 billion
  • Health benefits of $14-$34 billion
  • Net benefits of $26-$45 billion
·  Because carbon pollution comes packaged with other dangerous air pollutants, the Clean Power Plan will also protect public health, avoiding each year:
  • 3,600 premature deaths
  • 1,700 heart attacks
  • 90,000 asthma attacks
  • 300,000 missed work days and school days
The fact is, the CPP and clean energy are good for the public and for the economy. What they are bad for is the fossil fuel industry, Mr. Harris’ customers. This explains the increasingly shrill rhetoric coming from his fossil fuel advocacy group.
I wonder, how many of the readers of his op/ed feel as though being pro-science somehow puts you in the same category as Soviet sympathizers. Do you feel that if you are both pro-business and pro-science you are a ‘useful idiot’? Why would Mr. Harris resort to those kinds of tactics? And, more importantly, why would you bother to listen to him? McCarthy got his power by creating fear with lies and smear tactics. He was defeated by ignoring him. The fossil fuel anti-science crowd is doing the same thing by spreading lies and using smear tactics. They need to be treated the same way as McCarthy. Ignore them.
Dr. Christopher Keating is a professor of physics and does research in climate change and planetary geophysics. He is the author of two books on climate change and writes the blog Dialogues on Global Warming. He also issued the $10,000 Global Warming Skeptic Challenge which ran through July 2014.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

NSIDC Called It - We Passed Minimum Arctic Ice Extent

NSIDC declared on September 15th that the Arctic sea ice extent had passed the annual minimum. I was a little hesitant about this because, while the open water way to the north was freezing, there was still some melting going on along the edges. Now, the ice extent is growing even along the edges, so it is safe to say NSIDC was correct (no real surprise).

This year's Arctic sea ice extent was the fourth lowest ever recorded and was 4.413 million square kilometers (mskm) on September 13. The three lower extents occurred in 2012 (3.387 mskm), 2007 (4.154 mskm) and 2011 (4.344 mskm). In comparison, this was a 12.7% drop from 2013 (5.055 mskm) and a 12.3% drop from 2014 (5.036 mskm). 

The trend of declining sea ice is unmistakable. This year's sea ice extent passed the lowest minimum for the entire 1980s (6.426 mskm on 9/16/84) by August 8th. It had passed the lowest minimum for the entire 1990s  (5.757 mskm on 9/13/99) on by August 17th. With the exception of 2007, it passed the lowest minimum of every year of the 2000s (4.586 mskm on 9/20/2008) by September 2.

What was particularly disturbing about this year's minimum is that there were no major storms in the region to break up the ice. Long waves and heavy seas will break the ice up into smaller pieces, increasing the surface area exposed to the ocean water and increasing the melt rate. But, that didn't occur this year. This year's melting occurred principally as a combined exposure to a warmer atmosphere, resulting in melting from above, and a warmer ocean, resulting in melting from below. Hopefully, this is not an indicator of things to come, but I don't really see much chance of any alternative.

Here's a plot of this years minimum extent. (The light blue line marks the 1979-2000 average extent.):

Source: CCI

There are now places that use to see it ice over every year, but have not seen ice in as many as 30 years.

The ice volume is a little more difficult to measure. The Polar Portal showed this for the ice volume of the last few years.

Source: Polar Portal
Their models showed the ice volume to be significantly less than in either 2013 or 2014 and with only 2011 and 2012 being lower. Most notably, they show a minimum volume of about 6000 km^3. The Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) reports ice volume is decreasing at a rate of 3000 km^3 per decade. At that rate, we will have our first ice free Arctic summer within 20 years.

No matter what anyone says, the Arctic sea is is not experiencing a 'recovery.' 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

August Sets Another Temperature Record

August 2015 was the hottest August ever recorded with an average temperature .88 degrees C (1.58 F) above the 20th century average. It tied with January 2007 as the month with the third largest temperature departure ever recorded. August had the highest sea surface average temperature ever recorded.

August is the sixth month to break it's monthly record this year, including February, March, May, June, and July.

So far, 2015 has six hottest months, one second hottest months, and one third hottest month ever recorded, not to mention the hottest of all 1628 measured months. 2015 already has five of the ten largest temperature departures above the average. It is a mere formality to wait until January to declare 2015 as the hottest year ever recorded.

For the last 12 months, the tally is:

August 2015 was the hottest August ever recorded;

July 2015 was the hottest July (and hottest any month) ever recorded;

June 2015 was the hottest June ever recorded;

May 2015 was the hottest May ever recorded;

April 2015 was tied for the third hottest April ever recorded;

March 2015 was the hottest March ever recorded;

February 2015 was the hottest February ever recorded;

January 2015 was the second hottest January ever recorded;

December 2014 was the hottest December ever recorded;

November 2014 was the 7th hottest November ever recorded;

October 2014 was the hottest October ever recorded;

September 2014 was the hottest September ever recorded.

Adding up the score for the last 12 months gives us: one 7th hottest month, one 3rd hottest month, one 2nd hottest month, and nine hottest months ever.

Deaths From Air Pollution Increasing

A study by the World Health Organization has estimated outdoor air pollution caused 3.7 premature deaths worldwide in 2012. Some 88% of those premature deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries, and the greatest number in the WHO Western Pacific and South-East Asia regions.

In comparison, HIV and malaria kill about 2.8 million people combined.

Of these premature deaths, WHO estimates that some 80% of outdoor air pollution-related premature deaths were due to ischaemic heart disease and strokes, while 14% of deaths were due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or acute lower respiratory infections; and 6% of deaths were due to lung cancer. A 2013 assessment by WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that outdoor air pollution is carcinogenic to humans, with the particulate matter component of air pollution most closely associated with increased cancer incidence, especially cancer of the lung. An association also has been observed between outdoor air pollution and increase in cancer of the urinary tract/bladder. A new study in the journal Nature estimates the number of premature deaths could double by 2050.

In addition to outdoor air pollution, indoor smoke is a serious health risk for some 3 billion people who cook and heat their homes with biomass fuels and coal. Some 4.3 million premature deaths were attributable to household air pollution in 2012. Almost all of that burden was in low-middle-income countries as well.

A study of U.S. air quality recently published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives (affiliated with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services) concludes, 
Long-term exposure to PM2.5 air pollution was associated with an increased risk of total and CVD mortality, providing an independent test of the PM2.5 – mortality relationship in a new large U.S. prospective cohort experiencing lower post-2000 PM2.5 exposure levels.
PM2.5 is particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns. CVD is cardiovascular disease.
The principle sources of risk include particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. The outdoor sources of these pollutants include power generation, transportation, agriculture, and natural sources. Indoor pollution comes almost exclusively from cooking and heating the home with biomass fuels and coal.  

Once again, we find the claims by the deniers to be invalid. Next time you hear someone making claims about how wonderful coal is and how the poor will suffer the most if we stop burning it, point out how many people will get to live as a result.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Too Early Minimum Ice Proclamation?

I was a bit surprised yesterday when I saw NSIDC has declared the minimum Arctic sea ice extent for this year. The extent remained constant for a few days before increasing slightly over the following few days, so I am pretty sure they are right. However, I still have a very small amount of lingering doubt. There are some indications the extent may still be decreasing. In any event, the minimum this year will be in the range of the third or fourth smallest extent ever measured. It was not as bad as the 2012 catastrophic break-up, but in some ways, it was even worse.

I'm going to continue to monitor the extent for a few days and will be making a detailed posting on the subject once I'm convinced it has truly reached a minimum.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Possibly Good News For Climate

The anti-science Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been turned out of office by his own party. Abbott has marked his time in office by denying climate science and dismantling Australian measures to address the problem. Abbott was replaced by Malcolm Turnbull, who is known to be less conservative than Abbott. But, that really isn't saying much.

Does this mean there might be a more enlightened leadership in Sydney? We'll have to wait and see, but the early indicators are not encouraging. This is a quote from Fox News:
Turnbull split his coalition and lost the party leadership in 2009 over his support for a then-Labor Party government's proposal to make industrial polluters pay for the carbon gas emissions that they produced through an emissions permit trading scheme.

A coalition government under Abbott last year repealed a 2-year-old carbon tax and replaced it with a policy of paying industrial polluters 2.55 billion Australian dollars ($1.8 billion) in taxpayer-funded incentives to operate more cleanly. The policy imposes no financial penalty for polluting and critics say it won't be enough to reduce Australia's heavy reliance on abundant reserves of cheap coal to generate electricity.

In his first news conference since he was elected party leader, Turnbull foreshadowed no changes to climate policy.

"Policies are reviewed and adapted all the time," he said. "But the climate policy is one that I think has been very well designed. That was a very, very good piece of work."

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Surprise! Anti-Science Attorney Horner Funded By Coal Industry

Christopher Horner is an attorney famous for his harassment campaign against climate scientists. He is the one who coined the term 'Climategate' when the hacked East Anglia emails were released. He has pursued FOIA campaigns against universities and scientists with demands for their data that apparently have been designed to interfere with their work. He has demanded access to emails and, when denied that access, filed litigation to force compliance. He has also been a promoter of the tin-hat conspiracy theory that climate science is a plot to enact a world government and has called climate scientists 'communists.'

Now, we find out he is funded, at least in part, by the coal industry. Alpha Natural Resources, a coal company, recently went bankrupt. In it's filings it listed Horner as a recipient of funds at both his home address and work address.

We now have proof the coal industry is funding an attack campaign on science. And note, this is not just about working to win the public's mind, this was a coordinated effort to sabotage the scientific process. This was pure anti-science and it was funded by the fossil fuel industry.

Truthfully, is anyone surprised?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

El Nino Turning Into Major Event

The current El Nino continues to grow. The Oceanic Nino Index was 1.0 at the end of July, making it a moderate event. At the end of August it was reported to be 1.2, increasing but still moderate. But, the monthly diagnostic report released September 10 stated it is currently at 2.0. This is not only a major increase, it makes this a strong El Nino (the ONI threshold for 'strong' is +1.5). And, it is still getting stronger. It is already one of the three strongest El Nino's ever recorded. The ENSO team gave a 95% chance it will continue through the northern winter and gradually weakening through the spring.

This is significant and we can expect to see some major weather events associated with this. One of the forecasts is for more rain across southern California and the Southwest U.S. While we all want to see the drought end in California, this will likely do more harm than good. One year of above average rain will not relieve the drought. If the rain comes in torrents it will cause flooding and mudslides and then runoff into the ocean. What California needs is large snowpacks, but with the warming climate, less and less of the precipitation is coming as snow. What use to be snow a few years ago is now routinely rain.

Additional impacts for the U.S. include major winter storms for the northeast. Brace yourself for more ignorant comments about 'where's the global warming?' Another effect is to kill hurricanes in the Atlantic. High level winds chop off the top of tropical cyclones and prevent from getting stronger. We have already seen exactly this happen to several storms in the Atlantic this season.

The good news is while we are not very good at predicting when an El Nino event will occur, once they do happen, we're good at predicting the effects.

Keep an eye open for long-range forecasts resulting from this event.

This Is How Deniers Sound

Nothing like a little comedy to put things into perspective.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fact Checking Monckton's Claims

As I said before, Christopher Monckton has decided to attack me in the press. I did a posting showing how little credibility he has (i.e., none at all). His response was to threaten me with a libel lawsuit unless I withdrew the posting an made a public apology (not going to happen). Now let's address the particulars of his claims and do our fact checking of the deceptive Lord Denier.

Monckton states, “Keating says coal is the chief source of sulfur and nitrogen compounds, radioactive particles and soot in the air and arsenic in the water. He does not say that modern coal-fired power stations produce negligible quantities of these trace pollutants. Nor does he say that coal, the cheapest source of reliable, base-load power, has done more to lift Man from poverty, disease and death than anything else. A true scientist weighs both sides.”

This paragraph is a completely false argument. Monckton is claiming it is okay to pollute air, water, and land because the amount of pollution today is less than it used to be. So what? They made progress, but coal-fired plants are still enormous sources of pollution in the world today. This is particularly bad considering there are energy sources that are so much cleaner and even more affordable. His claim that coal has done more to “lift Man” is totally false. It isn’t coal that lifted civilization, it’s energy. The source is irrelevant. If we can replace coal with a cleaner source it would improve the world even more. Then, factor in these alternative sources are even cheaper and the deal gets even better. Monckton's claim is like claiming someone should be excused for murder because they are also a philanthropist. And, considering the number of dead resulting from the pollution of coal-fired power plants, the analogy is apt. As Monckton said, weigh both sides.

He goes on to say, “The true reason for the campaign against coal-owners is that they were once among the biggest supporters of the Republican party. Keating claims, however, that coal is damaging the climate by emitting carbon dioxide, but is careful not to put that claim into scientific perspective. Despite almost a third of a millennium of industry, to the nearest tenth of one per cent there is no CO2 in the air at all. Therefore, mainstream climate science leads us to expect just 0.5 C° global warming by 2100.”

Again, all false arguments, one of the deniers favorite tools. The interesting thing about his first statement is that the coal industry and coal workers have been long-time supporters of the Democratic Party and many Democratic politicians. Hmmm. And, I wonder if Monckton would be willing to drink a glass of water with the same percentage of cyanide poison in it. I'm betting not. (Please don't try that at home - it will kill you.) The amount isn't as important as what it does. Even a small percentage of your body weight in alcohol will make you drunk. By the way, if you get arrested for drunk driving, try telling the arresting officer that, to the nearest tenth of a percent of your body weight, there is no alcohol in your system and see what happens. (Note: .08% blood alcohol is less than .004% of your body weight, or less than current levels of carbon dioxide in the air.)

As for putting the CO2 emissions into scientific perspective, let’s do that. The amount of CO2 in the air today is the greatest it has been in over 800,000 years and is causing significant change to the climate. His claim of 0.5 Co warming is already proven false. We have already experienced .81 Co of warming compared to the 20th century average. Mainstream climate science is saying we have already passed the point where we can limit the warming to 2 Co. More likely, we will experience over 3 Co. If Monckton would know this if he were the expert he claims to be. That indicates he is either lying about the warming or about his expertise. Take your pick. I chose to believe he’s lying about both.

One of Monckton’s continued lies is that there has been no warming for xxx years (insert the time span of your choice). He stated in his editorial “the least-squares linear-regression trends on the UAH and RSS satellite records show no global warming for 18 years 5 months and 18 years 7 months respectively.” I have covered this in depth. The irony is when you examine his claim it actually shows the warming continued. See my postings on this:

WUWT? and Monckton Caught Lying

The Great "Warming Pause" Lie Revealed

He continues with the statement, “According to the global Accumulated Cyclone Energy Index compiled by Dr Ryan Maue at Florida State University, the combined frequency, intensity and duration of all hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons has been at or close to a satellite-era low for five years.” Pretty specific. Let’s check it out.

In fact, Dr. Maue states, “Therefore, it is expected that there will be a large variation in the total ACE from year to year. This will make it difficult to make definitive conclusions about trends.” This site here states, “There is no evidence of a systematic increasing or decreasing trend in ACE for the years 1970-2012.” Hmmm. It doesn’t look good for Monckton.

Next up. “In fact, the linear trend on the tornado series, too, has been downward in recent years. As with typhoons, so with tornadoes, Keating cherry-picks by taking individual years or regions rather than doing what real climate scientists do: calculating least-squares trends on global data.” Again, we see the typical false argument. Monckton wants to cherry pick ‘recent years’ and ignore the total data base. I cited the years of high activity to highlight his cherry picking. He purposefully selected the years that would support his claims while ignoring the rest of the data. If his claims are true, how does he explain the data he skipped? In fact, recent studies have shown the total number of tornadoes remains about the same from year to year, but a recent study has shown a possible change in the pattern of formation. While the total number remains roughly the same, they are occurring on fewer days and arriving in larger clusters.

There is a curious thing about these claims by Monckton and others. Monckton claims there are changes in the tropical cyclones (record lows) and tornadoes (record lows) and then claims there is no change in the climate. What? Did I read that correctly? His proof the climate isn’t changing is that the climate is changing. Does he even bother to read his own claims?

Then, he goes into land ice. I’ve covered this in depth with these posts:

Meanwhile, In Greenland

But, What About Antarctica?

Clearly, the evidence shows Monckton was deceptive in his statements.

One more false argument, “95% of land-based ice is in Antarctica and Greenland, which show minuscule percentage declines in ice volume.” He reveals himself with this statement. He admits the land ice is decreasing, proving his claims of no warming to be false. The only way the ice can be melting is if the climate is warming. At the same time, he reveals his methods of deceit. No one is claiming the amount of annual melting in Antarctica and Greenland is a large percentage. Fortunately, it is a small percentage of the total or we would be inundated. The problem is the amount of melting is not only large enough to drown the coastal areas (and already is), but the rate is accelerating.
As for his claim of the Himalayas, that is only partly true and is a totally false argument. Warming ice melts only when its temperature gets above freezing. Ice that warms from twenty below zero to ten below is warming, but won’t melt. The high levels of the Himalayas, though warming, are still below freezing. However, the lower levels are retreating. This is a very deceptive claim on his part. But, as we have seen, this is par for Monckton.

He can’t let it go with all of that deceit, he has to throw in one more. “The overwhelming majority of the authorities in the peer-reviewed journals of economics conclude that, even at the exaggerated warming rates predicted by the failed computer models of climate, it is many times costlier to attempt to prevent global warming today than to let it happen.”

Every study I have read has shown the cost of climate change is much higher than doing nothing. Take a look here, here ("The most expensive thing we can do is nothing."), and here. And, if it is more expensive to address the problem, why is the insurance industry encouraging governments worldwide to address it? In other words, Monckton is lying one more time.

But, as we have seen, we already knew that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Lord Denier Threatens Libel Suit

Christopher Monckton has taken umbrage with my posting on him. I received a letter from him (copied below) saying I must remove the posting and post an apology or he will file a libel suit. He has my permission to file his claim in an American court.

Here is his letter:

Mr Christopher Keating
Lord Monckton’s attention has been drawn to a blog posting (of which a copy is annexed hereto), with you as the purported author, which was downloaded this day from

The posting falsely alleges that Lord Monckton is “lying” et separatim telling “outright lies” et separatim a “flagrant liar” et separatim “a liar of the highest order” et separatim a “well-known liar” who “makes up” facts; falsely alleges that His Lordship has made postings at your website under a pseudonym; falsely alleges that His Lordship has published several “personal attacks” on you; falsely describes His Lordship’s assertion that he was an Expert Reviewer for the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report as “misleading” when the Report lists him as such; falsely alleges that His Lordship is no more expert on climate than the man in the street; falsely alleges not only in the text but also in the headline that His Lordship is a “denier”, implying pejoratively and repellently a connection with Holocaust denial; falsely alleges that His Lordship’s monthly temperature report is “lying” in that it indicates that there has been no global warming for almost two decades and thereby, so you say, conceals what you assert to be the fact that global warming is continuing; falsely alleges that His Lordship is “a deceiver” et separatim “deceptive” et separatim guilty of “deceptions”; and falsely alleges that His Lordship’s intention is to furnish “evidence that climate change isn’t real”.

These characteristically malevolent and baseless allegations constitute singly and by mutual reinforcement a grave and wilful libel of His Lordship, who by these presents reserves all his rights and pleas in law and may without further notice take such steps as may be necessary to protect his reputation, including without limitation the lodgement of libel proceedings at the Court of Session, unless within seven days the offending material shall have been removed and replaced with an unreserved apology, retraction and undertaking of non-repetition in terms acceptable to His Lordship.

This letter, which is confidential, is neither to be published nor founded upon in any proceedings to follow hereupon save with His Lordship’s prior consent in writing, which is at present withheld.

Yours faithfully,
James Rowlatt
Clerk to His Lordship

Monday, September 7, 2015

Christopher Monckton: Lord Denier

Christopher Monckton is one of the most flagrant of liars and deceivers in the denialist lobby. It is with great interest that I see I have become one of his targets. He has posted several editorials attacking me personally and it appears he has been trolling this blog as FallacySwat (since blacklisted). As is common with him, he employs outright lies, deceptions and false arguments. This is the common thread in nearly everything he does.

As an example, Monckton begins his editorial by calling me "the lavishly taxpayer-funded Christopher Keating" while referring to the paid shills Tom Harris and Tim Ball as "my scarcely-funded friends." Unless Monckton is referring to my military retirement benefits, I don't receive any funds from the taxpayers at all. But, how would Monckton know that? And, that is precisely the point - he doesn't. And, more to the point, he doesn't care. Monckton doesn't just cherry pick his facts, he makes up what he can't find. 

For instance, he claims he was an "expert reviewer" for the latest IPCC report. The truth is, Monckton registered on a webpage open to everyone. There was no appointment and he was not an 'expert' anymore than the next person walking down the street. So, why did he say that? To mislead the reader into believing he is something he isn't - credible. And that is the key part of his strategy because his deceptions only work if you think he's credible. But, he isn't.

I could go on all day long about how deceptive this man is. But, I don't need to because it has already been done. Check out these links on our good Lord Denier:

Here is another one: Lord Monckton's Rap Sheet.

And, what do real climate scientists say about Monckton's claims? See what the scientists at RealClimate say here and here.

And, see what DeSmogBlog has to say here and here.
Monckton is also the originator of the claim there has been no warming for xxx (pick the number of your choice) years. I have covered this claim and the interesting thing is, when you examine his claim closely, it actually proves warming has been continuing. Monckton is lying every time he claims there has been no warming. You can see the details here and here.

The gist of all of this is Christopher Monckton is a liar of the highest order.

As for the 'scarcely funded' Tom Harris and Tim Ball, they are hardly even close to that.

I've discussed Tom Harris several times. Take a look at these postings for more information on him:

1100 Dead Proves Tom Harris is Wrong 

Tom Harris - Paid Shill

Tom Harris Lies About the Temperature Record

More Scientists Comment on Tom Harris' Deception

The basic line is that Tom Harris is a long-time paid lobbyist of the fossil fuel industry with strong links to the tobacco industry. 

And, what about his buddy, Tim Ball? He has declared he has worked as aclimate scientist for 35 years. But, he hasn't. The truth is, Tim Ball is a geographer and spent 8 years in the geography department at  the University of Winnipeg. Take a look at this video to see more about Tim Ball. The comedy starts about the 7:50 mark. You can read about his long history of links to the fossil fuel industry here, including the Friends of Science.

So, what we have is a well known liar defending two well know paid shills. And, somehow, this is supposed to be evidence that climate change isn't real.



Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Obama on Climate Change

One of the great ironies of comments I receive from deniers is how they accuse me of being a liberal and a supporter of Obama because I accept the science. The truth is I'm actually quite conservative on many issues (especially fiscal and defense matters). And, I've never made a secret of my dislike of Obama as POTUS. Claiming I must be a liberal because I accept the science is one more example of the flawed logic of deniers. I can be conservative without hating science. Oh, by the way, I am liberal on some other issues, such as education, equal rights, and the environment, to name a few.

So, I was quite surprised to see Obama's speech on climate change and found it very informed and right on the spot. If Obama will continue on this path of fighting climate change he will salvage part of his legacy. Well, maybe.

See his speech here.

Dutch Government to Appeal

This last June, a court in the Netherlands ruled the Dutch government was not doing enough to protect its citizenry from the effects of climate change. The government has now announced it will appeal that decision. It will be interesting to see how the Dutch government rationalizes how it should not be held responsible for protecting its own people.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

More Lies From Tom Harris

Tom Harris has posted another of his lies, this time comparing the coal industry to someone falsely accused of a crime. You can read it here. I have submitted the following at a rebuttal to his false claims.


This is in response to “Coal industry leaders betraying workers,” written by Tom Harris and Tim Ball and published August 29.

Misters Harris and Ball use a highly deceptive analogy in an attempt to make the coal industry appear as an innocent person unjustly accused of committing crimes. The truth is, coal is a very dirty industry. There is nothing innocent about the business and it knows it. A much better analogy would be to compare coal to the tobacco industry executives who testified before Congress that nicotine is not addictive, even though they knew otherwise (
Misters Harris and Ball state, “You would expect coal leaders to proclaim their industry’s innocence of the crime of which they stand accused, pointing out, for example, that:
–       Global warming stopped 18 years ago despite a 10% rise in CO2 levels,
–       Hurricane activity is at a record low,
–       Medium to strong tornadoes have become less frequent,
–       Antarctic sea ice cover has been increasing at about 1 to 2% per decade,
Let’s take a look at these claims. First, global warming has not stopped and the claim it stopped 18 years ago has been so completely debunked you immediately have to question the credibility of anyone making that false statement. This claim is based on the fact that you can find an average of any database. Fossil fuel industry supporters take that average and draw a straight line, claiming this shows there is no warming. What is interesting is this claim actually proves global warming is continuing. If you look at their claim over time, the only way you can explain their results is by concluding the planet is getting warmer. Read more about this lie at:

What about hurricane activity? It is true the United States is in a low-level period of hurricane activity. The lie is to characterize this as worldwide low. In fact, the western Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean have seen an increase in tropical cyclone activity. Why didn’t Misters Harris and Ball mention that? This is what is known as ‘cherry picking’ and consists of using only the data that supports your claim and ignoring all else.

What about the tornadoes? It is true the number of tornadoes from 2012-2014 was very low. In fact, 2014 was one of the quietest years ever recorded. But, again, Misters Harris and Ball have cherry picked the data. The year 2004 tied the all-time record number of tornadoes. Likewise, the years 2008 and 2011 were significantly higher than the average. Why wasn’t this revealed?

And, let’s discuss the Antarctic sea ice. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the maximum sea ice extent (occurring in September) around Antarctica has been growing at 1.3% per decade. So, was the statement truthful? Of course, not. What they failed to mention is how the amount of land ice on Antarctica is decreasing at an alarming, and increasing, rates. They also failed to mention the sea ice extent this year is dramatically below the average, currently running at more than 10% lower than last year. All of this also ignores how land ice around the world and sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing. This is the lie of omission. They didn’t want you to know about this, so they left it out of the conversation and provided only what they wanted you to know.

And, there is another lie of omission in their letter. What they didn’t tell you is these two men are both supported by the fossil fuel industry. Mr. Harris, in particular, has a long track record as a fossil fuel lobbyists and is closely associated with the Heartland Institute which is supported by the fossil fuel and tobacco industries. Take a look here for more information on Mr. Harris:

Unfortunately for Misters Harris and Ball and their employers, the science about manmade climate change is settled. In fact, there is no scientific evidence to the contrary. There is no reproducible scientific evidence to provide any alternative explanation. Read about what happens when scientists attempt to reproduce contrarian claims (spoiler alert: they are unable to reproduce them). The only valid scientific conclusion is that manmade emissions are changing the climate.

In short, coal is the number one source of compounds sulfur and nitrogen pollution in the atmosphere; it is the number one source of mercury in the food chain (our food chain!); it is the number one source of manmade radioactive material in the air; it produces particulate pollution responsible for a number of respiratory and pulmonary health problems; it is the number one source of poisonous arsenic in the water system. And, oh yeah, it produces billions of tons of carbon dioxide leading to climate change.

Tom Harris and Tim Ball are paid by the fossil fuel industry to deceive the public on the facts. But, their lies do not change the facts: The crisis is real and we need to act.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Contrarian Papers Debunked

What if the contrarian scientists are right? What if that 3 percent of scientists claiming manmade climate change is real are correct and the 97% are wrong? A team of scientists decided to put this to the test via the scientific method. They took contrarian papers, assumed they were correct, and tried to replicate the results. I'm sure you can guess the results. You can find their paper here.

What I found most interesting is the reason they said most of the research failed - cherry picking. That's right, the most common false argument among deniers is used by denier scientists to falsify their research. Another cause? They simply ignored any laws of physics that didn't fit their hypothesis. Really. Is anyone surprised by that finding?

The researchers do throw a bone to the contrarian scientists, they say the errors may not be malicious. They concede it is possible the errors were honest mistakes by new scientists.

I love the conclusion:
“Science is never settled, and both the scientific consensus and alternative hypotheses should be subject to ongoing questioning, especially in the presence of new evidence and insights,” the study concluded.
This is the exact wording deniers use in an attempt to discredit real science. Karma is a bitch. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

More Scientists Comment On Tom Harris' Deceptions

Turns out I'm not the only one stepping up to comment on Tom Harris' silly editorial on global temperature. Take a look here. The facts are in - Harris continues to have zero credibility.

Clear Demonstration of Denier Logic Failure

One of the most common false arguments I hear about climate change is that it isn't real because the models don't work. This is not only a false argument, it is a false statement. I wrote a posting about it last year that is still valid.

But, there is more to the story. Models improve with time. Deniers want models to be perfect right away and, if they aren't, then the science is invalid and should be abandoned. But, what if that were applied to weather models? Then, the models we use for daily weather and things like hurricane forecasts would never improve. Take a look at the improvement made in hurricane forecast models:

Source: NOAA

Now, ask the deniers if they would rather not have improved hurricane forecast models. When they answer, ask them why the wouldn't want improved climate models?

I'm betting they won't be able to give you a logical answer.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Effort Underway to Block Tom Harris

Tom Harris is a paid shill of the fossil fuel industry and part of his job is to publish false claims in newspapers and blogs where ever he can. See more about him at these websites:

Now, an effort is being made to encourage newspapers to stop printing his lies. Here is an article about Tom Harris printed in the Daily Kos.

And, it turns out Millennials have little patience for people like Harris and his employers. Forty-one percent of them believe climate change denialism disqualifies the candidate. Maybe the papers need to pay attention and stop publishing pieces by Tom Harris. He has disqualified himself.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tom Harris' Lies About The Temperature Record

Fossil fuel-supported deniers are selling the story that the temperature record is false and there is no global warming. This is particularly interesting considering the number of paid shills who keep insisting the warming is all natural, or the warming is good for us. How could warming be natural if there is none? How could warming be good for us if there is none? This is merely one simple, shining example of how the paid deniers are liars with the goal of deceiving people. Now, there is another, a editorial written by Tom Harris.

Tom Harris is a paid shill of the fossil fuel industry. He also has strong ties to the tobacco industry. These are both industries with track records of falsifying the scientific record in order to prevent any government or public actions that might be damaging to them. These links include a strong affiliation with the Heartland Institute, which receives considerable funding from the fossil fuel and tobacco industries. (Heartland, by the way, is a major player in the fight to convince people that second-hand smoke is harmless.) Mr. Harris denies his link to these industries, but the evidence is conclusive. Take a look at these postings on Mr. Harris and his affiliations.

Part of Mr. Harris’ job, possibly his entire job, is to put false claims in editorials and letters to the editor anywhere he can. In this way, he can promulgate any lie he wants without worrying about being held accountable. After all, he’s entitled to his opinion, even if it is a lie. Mr. Harris has a long record of making false statements. Take a look at his comments from 2006 on Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth documentary.

A recent posting of his concerns the temperature record and is filled with falsehoods and false arguments. You can see his entire posting here:

Let’s take a look and see exactly how he goes about lying.

Mr. Harris states, “But government spokespeople rarely mention the inconvenient fact that these records are being set by less than the uncertainty in the statistics.” The uncertainty, he claims, makes the data ‘meaningless.’ This, of course, is nonsense and is a clear demonstration of his intent to deceive. Let’s take a closer look.

The NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (  did an analysis of the temperature record for 2014. Taking into account the uncertainty and assuming all years (1880-2014) in the time series are independent, they found the chance of 2014 being
  • Warmest year on record: 48.0%
  • One of the five warmest years: 90.4%
  • One of the 10 warmest years: 99.2%
  • One of the 20 warmest years: 100.0%
  • Warmer than the 20th century average: 100.0%
  • Warmer than the 1981-2010 average: 100.0%
Wait! There is ‘only’ a 48% chance 2014 actually was the hottest year on record. That sounds like Tom Harris is right. And, there is the lie. It’s the lie of omission. If 2014 wasn’t the hottest, then some other year must be. Take a look at the rest of the data. The chance of 2014 being one of the top ten hottest years is 99.2% (virtually certain) and it is 100% likely it is in the top 20. It is also 100% certain 2014 was hotter than the 20th century average of the 1981-2010 average. Every year of the 21st century is in the top sixteen hottest years.

These are facts Tom Harris and other paid deniers fail to mention. The important point is not that 2014 (and soon, 2015) is the hottest year on record, what is important is that every single hottest year ever recorded has occurred since 1997, and they are consistently getting hotter. The data fluctuates from year to year, but the trend is what is important and is unmistakable. Take a look here:

Tell us, Mr. Harris, if July 2015 wasn’t the hottest month ever recorded, why didn’t you discuss the trend? But, it gets worse. Mr. Harris in no way demonstrated July 2015 was not the hottest month on record. In fact, he made a clear-cut argument it is bad and could be much worse than claimed. The reason for this is deniers always take the margin of error the way they want and it doesn’t work that way. Taking the data you want is known as ‘cherry picking’ and is one of the biggest and most common lies deniers use.

The margin of error is a plus-or-minus. When they say the data is ± .14 degrees, that means the range, with great probability, is between .14 degrees less and .14 degrees greater. So, in fact, if there is a chance the temperature was less, there is an equal chance it was greater. In other words, there is a reasonable chance July 2015 was even hotter than reported. The data is conclusive – the temperature trend is upward and the planet is getting hotter. This is true even if July 2015 isn’t the hottest month ever. Funny how Mr. Harris didn’t mention that. Was that because he doesn’t want you to know? I mean, he wouldn’t be doing his job if you end up thinking for yourself. By the way, the temperature rise over the 20th century average is many times the size of the margin of error. Strange, Mr. Harris didn’t mention that either. Another lie of omission on his part.

He then tries to make his case by personal attacks on the climate scientists. “Such misrepresentations are now commonplace...,” and “Scientists within the agencies know that this is dishonest.” These are the kind of statements you can expect from paid shills and have no value in the discussion. First, these are not ‘misrepresentations’ and they are in no way ‘dishonest.’ The most proper way to report the data is to provide the most likely value along with the amount of uncertainty. Mr. Harris proved himself they actually do this by quoting the data. Please Mr. Harris, show us how reporting the data with appropriate uncertainties is in any way ‘dishonest’ or a ‘misrepresentation.’

His deception continues when he states, “After all, there is very little data for the 70 percent of Earth’s surface that is ocean. There is also little data for mountainous and desert regions, not to mention the Antarctic. Much of the coverage is so sparse that NASA is forced to make the ridiculous claim that regions are adequately covered if there is a temperature-sensing station within nearly 750 miles.”
Why is this a deception? Again, Mr. Harris is engaging in the lie of omission, one of his favorite tactics. What Mr. Harris doesn’t want you to know is that the entire planet is measured every day by satellite instruments. That data is in addition to the ground stations he mentions which provide ground-truthing. This satellite data allows us to obtain the temperature at various levels of the atmosphere as well as the land and ocean surface. His claims about the distance between data points is entirely false. Why didn’t he mention the satellite data?

Mr. Harris then writes a peculiar paragraph, beginning with “In their award winning book…” I can find no reference that says Taken By Storm has won any awards. In fact, the only reviews I found soundly blasted it. Take a look at this one example (there’s plenty more):

Maybe they got an award from the Heartland Institute. That would be a true statement of its credibility (i.e., none). In any event, Mr. Harris goes on with a definition of temperature. Yeah. So, what? Temperature measures the amount of energy contained in something. I’m not sure what point he’s trying to make and I don’t think he does, either. That’s usually the case when deniers show and try to fool people into thinking they know something about science.

Then, he continues the lies, stating, “Even if enough accurate surface temperature measurements existed to ensure reasonable planetary coverage (it doesn’t).” We already covered this one. Yes, Mr. Harris, there are accurate enough records. But, he doesn’t stop there and continues with complaints about how the data processing methods aren’t known. First, the specific method isn’t as important as ensuring you use the same method on the entire data base. What we want to see is the trend over time. Again, Mr. Harris has committed the lie of omission. The truth is four agencies around the world and the Berkeley Earth Project all use different methodologies (and even different data bases), but come up with essentially the same results. Again, the lie of omission.

Mr. Harris then makes one of the most egregious statements I have ever seen him make and he has a record of whoppers. He states,

“Even if you could calculate some sort of meaningful global temperature statistic, the figure would be unimportant. No one and nothing would experience it directly since we all live in regions, not the globe. There is no super-sized being straddling the planet, feeling global averages in temperature. Global warming does not matter.” 

Wow! I had to read this several times to make sure I wasn’t misreading it. So, Mr. Harris, we don’t need to worry about all of those silly little things that happen on the other side of the planet because we don’t straddle the planet? Things like massive droughts, war, famine, ISIS, etc. I mean, no one is a ‘super-sized being straddling the planet.’ Of course, when those effects of global warming hit us directly we don’t need to worry about it because it’s just us and there is no ‘super-sized being straddling the planet.’ You know, effects such as mass extinctions, food shortages, hotter summers, more severe winter storms, more extreme weather, higher utility bills, loss of jobs, more flooding, coastal erosion due to sea level rise, and don’t forget the $44 trillion that climate change is expected to cost us.

Also, notice how Mr. Harris went from saying there is no global warming to saying it doesn’t matter. Which is it? No global warming or it doesn’t matter? You can’t have both.

Once again, the lie of omission. And, this was a huge lie.

Mr. Harris then states, “Future generations are bound to ask why America closed its coal-fueled generating stations, its cheapest, most plentiful source of electric power, and wasted billions of dollars trying to stop insignificant changes in imaginary phenomena.”

No, Mr. Harris, future generations are going to wonder why we debated for so long before acting. They are going to wonder why we didn’t immediately close the fossil fuel plants when we learned their emissions were destroying the ozone layer, causing acid rain, providing the number one source of mercury in the food chain (our food chain), poisoning the air with cancer-causing radioactive debris, poisoning our bodies with particulate matter, and poisoning our water supply with arsenic. And, oh yeah, destroying the world’s environment by causing climate change. They will see we had cheaper, safer energy sources. They will see the science was settled and the world’s scientists were in nearly unanimous agreement on the dangers. Then, they will wonder why we allowed paid shills to lie and deceive without holding them accountable.

The sad part is I don’t know how to answer that. Maybe the time is coming when we will hold them accountable.