Friday, March 25, 2016

The Battle For Free Speech In Science Has Begun

Europe’s Renewables Industry Falls Into Rapid Decline

Galileo Galilei was tried in 1633 for spreading the heretical view that the Earth orbits the sun, convicted by the Roman Catholic Inquisition, and remained under house arrest until his death. Today’s inquisitors seek their quarry’s imprisonment and financial ruin. As the scientific case for a climate-change catastrophe wanes, proponents of big-ticket climate policies are increasingly focused on punishing dissent from an asserted “consensus” view. Intimidation is the point of these efforts. Defending First Amendment rights in these circumstances requires the resources to take on the government and win—no matter the cost or how long it takes. It also requires taking on the Climate Inquisition directly. That is why we are establishing the Free Speech in Science Project to defend the kind of open inquiry and debate that are central to scientific advancement and understanding. --David B. Rivkin Jr. and Andrew M. Grossman, The Wall Street Journal, 23 March 2016

Europe’s once world-beating clean technology industry has fallen into a rapid decline, with investment in low-carbon energy last year plummeting to its lowest level in a decade. After peaking at $132bn in 2011, investment in the EU plunged by more than half, to 18% of the global total, or $58bn, in 2015. Michael Liebreich, chairman of the BNEF board, pointed to mistakes made by policymakers in member states, which he said had created a “boom-bust” cycle by initially showing strong support for renewables then rapidly rowing back as they feared the expense of successful subsidies. --Fiona Harvey,
The Guardian, 23 March 2016

As country after country abandons, curtails or reneges on once-generous support for renewable energy, Europe is beginning to realise that its green energy strategy is dying on the vine. Green dreams are giving way to hard economic realities. The result of a fear-driven gamble with the Continent’s industrial future is a costly shambles that threatens to undercut Europe’s economic and political position in a world that is sensibly refusing to follow its lead. Australians would be well advised to watch this green train wreck very closely if they wish to avoid a repeat of the fiasco that is unfolding in Europe. --Benny Peiser,
The Australian, 9 August 2013

Journalism, especially science journalism, can be either descriptive or analytical. Recently those articles covering climate change have been concentrating on the former to the detriment of understanding the story. --David Whitehouse,
Global Warming Policy Forum, 24 March 2016

One wonders why NOAA’s scientists were “astonished” or consider the  uptick “staggering” and “astronomical” when the 2015/16 El Niño has been compared in strength to the 1997/98 El Niño for many months. It only takes a quick comparison to show that there were comparable responses in global surface temperatures to both strong El Niños. What many readers are likely finding “astonishing” and “staggering” is that NOAA’s scientists weren’t aware that global surface temperatures were going to respond as they have, given that there was a similar uptick in global surface temperatures in response to the similarly sized 1997/98 El Niño. --Bob Tisdale,
Climate Observations, 22 March 2016

One of the most eye-catching climate studies of 2015 has been finalised after mixed reviews from experts. The draft by James Hansen and 18 other scientists last July outlined an alarming scenario of multi-metre sea level rise this century. In the final version published on Tuesday, the headline changed from “2C global warming is highly dangerous” to “2C global warming could be dangerous”. Otherwise, the conclusions are largely the same. Critics accuse prominent climate scientist of unprofessional behaviour and alarmism, in debate over risk of rapid ice sheet melting. --Megan Darby,
Climate Home, 22 March 2016


Democrats routinely accuse Republicans of being “anti-science” because they tend to be skeptical about claims made by climate scientists — whether it’s about how much man has contributed to global warming, how much warming has actually taken place, or scary predictions of future environmental catastrophes. There’s a scientific consensus, we’re told, and anyone who doesn’t toe the line is “denier.”  Yet even as deniers get chastised, evidence continues to emerge that pokes holes in some of the basic tenets of climate change. It is certainly possible then, that today’s climate change paradigm — and all the fear and loathing about CO2 emissions — could one day end up looking as quaint as Ptolemy’s theory of the solar system or Galen’s theory of anatomy. It’s possible. And anyone who believes in science has to admit that. --John Merline, Investor's Business Daily, 22 March 2016

Brought to you by Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Forum

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