Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This case proves that climate alarmists and other liberals have no sense of humor!

Read one of CARE's favorites, Paul Driessen's take on a ridiculous libel lawsuit.

It’s libel – except when Mike does it

This Mann-made global warming lawsuit could backfire on the Penn State alarmist

Support science, energy and freedom – donate to Dr. Tim Ball’s legal defense fund

Paul Driessen

Lewis Carroll died too soon. Just imagine the fun he’d have with the cliquish clan of climate catastrophe researchers who seek to control science, debate and public policy on global warming and energy – and then get outraged when someone challenges their findings, methodologies or integrity.

On October 1, Dr. Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University and “hockey stick” fame published an angry riposte in Colorado’s obscure Vail Daily Voices (circulation 15,000), expressing his umbrage over an article that had appeared in the free coffee shop newspaper a day earlier.

“An individual named Martin Hertzberg did a grave disservice to your readers by making false and defamatory statements about me and my climate scientist colleagues in his recent commentary in your paper,” Mann began. (Hertzberg is a research scientist and former US Navy meteorologist.) The thin-skinned Penn State scientist then ranted:

“These are just lies, regurgitation of dishonest smears that have been manufactured by fossil fuel industry-funded climate change deniers, and those who do their bidding by lying to the public about the science.” [emphasis added]

Meanwhile, NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen, recipient of huge monetary awards for strident climate disaster claims, wants oil and coal company CEOs prosecuted for “crimes against humanity.”

So Mann and Hansen are honest scientists, trying to do their jobs. But Hertzberg and anyone else who questions the “imminent manmade climate change catastrophe” thesis are dishonest crooks, liars, Holocaust deniers, hired guns for fossil fuel interests, criminals threatening all humanity.

Hertzberg’s views were defamatory, but Mann’s and Hansen’s accusations are mild, rational and truthful.

(Readers can find Mann’s letters and lively discussions about them and Hansen on Dr. Anthony Watts’ WattsUpWithThat.com climate change website. Hertzberg’s letter appeared, mysteriously disappeared, then reappeared in the Vail Voices online archives as the controversy raged and ebbed.)

The bizarre saga gets even stranger when viewed alongside Dr. Mann’s kneejerk lawsuit against Dr. Tim Ball, a Canadian scientist, historical climatologist and retired professor who has frequently voiced his skepticism about claims that hydrocarbon use and carbon dioxide emissions are the primary cause of climate change and present an imminent risk of widespread planetary cataclysms. Dr. Ball has analyzed Canadian and global climate history, and does not regard computer models as much more than virtual reality scenarios that should never be the basis for real-world public policy.

Dr. Ball had poked fun at Dr. Mann, playing word games that suggest the computer guy should not be at Penn State, but in a similarly named state institution. Unfortunately, Mann is not easily amused, as Dr. Ball should have known from the PSU professor’s testy reaction to the “Hide the decline” animation and other spoofs that various AGW “deniers” posted online.

Mann insisted that Dr. Ball’s little joke was libelous and took him to court. Mann’s legal principal seems to be that libel is fine only when he and Hansen practice the craft, albeit with far less good humor than others display. More importantly, Dr. Ball does not live or work in the United States.

US libel cases are governed by the First Amendment, “public figure” rules and other safeguards that ensure open, robust debate, and make it difficult and expensive to sue people over slights, affronts, insults, disagreements and jokes.

Canada, unfortunately, has more limited free speech protections. So Dr. Mike sued Dr. Tim in Canada, assuming victory would be rapid and sweet. Surprise! Dr. Ball decided to slug it out.

In Canada, the principal defenses against libel claims are that the alleged defamation constitutes “fair comment” or was in fact “the truth.” Ball chose the latter defense.

Doing so means the penalty for losing could be higher than under “fair comment” rules. But arguing that his statement was based on truth allows Dr. Ball to seek “discovery” of evidence that Dr. Mann’s actions reflect a use of public funds to alter or falsify scientific data, present highly speculative results as solid facts, or otherwise engage in something that a reasonable person would conclude constitutes dishonest activity or criminal culpability, undertaken moreover through the use of taxpayer funds.

Proving that will not be easy, especially since Mann has steadfastly refused to provide such potential evidence to anyone, including Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. That evidence might include Climategate emails; computer codes and data used, misused or used selectively to generate global warming spikes in historical graphs; and questionable research or proposals used to secure additional government grants, misinform citizens or lawmakers, or promote costly or harmful public policies.

The US government alone spent an estimated $79 billion on climate, renewable energy and related research between 1989 and 2009 – and many billions more since then. Obviously, there is a lot at stake for scientists, universities, government agencies and other institutions engaged in trying to demonstrate a link between human greenhouse gas emissions and climate, weather, agricultural, sea level and other “disasters.” The reputations and credibility of researchers and their institutions are likewise at stake.

Keeping people alarmed, insisting that numerous disasters will soon result from carbon dioxide emissions and a few degrees of planetary warming – and silencing anyone who questions climate chaos claims – are essential if this money train is to be kept on the tracks.

Dr. Mann is likely aided by Penn State lawyers, largely paid for with climate research taxpayer dollars the university wants to safeguard, by preventing criticism or scientific disclosure and transparency.

A judge and jury will decide the Mann vs. Ball case, after carefully weighing all the evidence on whether Dr. Ball’s allegations and insinuations were factual, accurate and truthful.

Dr. Mann’s research was conducted primarily with public money. It is being presented as valid, peer-reviewed science. It is also being used to champion and justify major policy recommendations at state, national and international levels. And those recommendations call for carbon taxes and other penalties for using hydrocarbon energy; the replacement of affordable, dependable fossil fuel energy with expensive, unreliable wind and solar facilities; a roll-back of living standards in rich developed nations; and limited or minimal energy and economic development in poor countries.

Therefore, as I have argued previously, the public has a right to demand that Mann & Comrades show their work, not merely their answers and policy demands. Thus far, serious questions about Mann’s research remain unanswered. The public also has a right to require that Mann, Penn State & Company provide their source material, not just their results – along with anything else that may be relevant to gauging the validity, accuracy and honesty of the work and its conclusions and policy recommendations.

We the People have a further right, duty and obligation to protect free speech, robust debate, the integrity of the scientific method, our personal freedoms, and our access to the reliable, affordable energy that makes our jobs and living standards possible. One way you can do this is by supporting Dr. Tim Ball’s legal defense fund. Just click here or go to http://DrTimBall.com/


Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

As the following article by Diana Furchtgott-Roth points out,

the Department of Energy is hell-bent on spending taxpayer dollars on

not-yet-proven renewable energy technologies.

They are not only unproven, but their results in almost every case are

not cost-effective.

By spending more taxpayer dollars on these efforts, the DOE continues to heap debt on the heads of taxpayers. Kind of makes one wonder why!

The DOE Hasn't Learned Its Solyndra Lessons
By Diana Furchtgott-Roth

October 6, 2011.

Some might think the Energy Department learned from the September Solyndra bankruptcy, in which taxpayers have a $528 million exposure. Surely September would have been a good time to halt the Energy Department's loan guarantee program and understand why this program has become the poster child for crony capitalism.

But instead of pausing, the Energy Department recklessly issued another $8 billion of loan guarantees in September under the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Why last month's haste to put taxpayers at even more risk? No doubt, the administration was aware that the legal authority for the loan guarantee program was going to end on September 30. Rather than understand why the program was defective, the administration, ardently committed to promoting renewable energy, rushed ahead where a more angelic government might have feared to tread.

Twelve companies received loan guarantees last month, including First Solar ($2 billion), Sunpower Corporation ($1.2 billion), and Abengoa Solar (a second load for $1.2 billion, following a first loan for $1.4 billion in December). This brings to $16 billion the sum of guarantees issued by the government under the program since 2009, according to Energy Department spokesman Sonia Taylor.

Which one will be the next Solyndra?

Will it be 1366 Technologies, Inc, located in Lexington, Massachusetts, which received $150 million on September 8? The company's plan, as stated in an article by Katie Fehrenbacher in Gigaom.com in March 2011, is to break ground on its factory in March 2012 and start shipping silicon wafers in 2013.

Ms. Fehrenbacher, by the way, is the reporter who forecast the Solyndra failure back in 2010. Just like Solyndra, 1366's sales are two years in the future.

On its Web site, 1366 Technologies states, "The science is understood. The material is abundant. The products work. All that is left is to build the largest manufacturing industry in the history of mankind. This is what we intend to do."

Then why can't 1366 Technologies attract private financing? Perhaps because the schedule is unrealistic. Surely, the break ground date is pushed back since loan was only just now approved. So, how can wafers start shipping in December 2013?

It probably takes one year to build the plant. Then, three months to commence production. Of course, there is selling, delivery and finally collection of accounts receivable. That's bumping up against two years. The loan is interest-only for about two years. But 1366 still has to pay interest, so it will be under financial stress. This is very Solyndra-like.

Another Solyndra-type loan is POET LLC, in Emmetsburg, Iowa, which received $105 million to make cellulosic ethanol on September 23. Cellulosic ethanol, a fuel made from plant waste products, is still too costly to be commercially marketable.

Although cellulosic ethanol consumption is mandated by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (250 million gallons in 2011, 500 million in 2012, gradually increasing to 16 billion gallons in 2022) no one has yet worked out how to make it in large enough quantities to make it cheap enough to succeed as a commercial source of energy.

The Energy Department has obviously not learned from the example of Range Fuels, a cellulosic ethanol plant in Soperton, Georgia. It closed in January 2011 after receiving $156 million in federal grants and loans in 2007 and 2008 from the Bush Administration, $6 million in grants from the State of Georgia, and $100 million from private investors. POET's prospects are similar.

Why is the government, under pressure from voters and rating agencies to reduce the budget deficit, issuing these loan guarantees at all?

The answer, we repeatedly hear, is fear of China, the new Red Scare. In the 1950s we were afraid that the Soviet Union might get ahead of us. "We will bury you," threatened Nikita Khrushchev.

Now we are throwing billions of dollars at renewable energy, electric cars, and high speed rail, projects that are too weak to attract private funding, because we're concerned that China is getting ahead of us and stealing our jobs.

On Monday, in a TV interview with ABC, President Obama said, "And what we always understood was that not every single business is going to succeed in clean energy, but if we want to compete with China, which is pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into this space, if we want to compete with other countries that are heavily subsidizing the industries of the future, we've got to make sure that our guys here in the United States of America at least have a shot."

Similarly, Brookings scholars Mark Muro and Jonathan Rothwell conclude in an article that loan guarantees are necessary because America is battling China for technological advantage in renewable energy.

And Jonathan Silver, Executive Director of the Loan Programs Office at the Energy Department, testified at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on September 14, "But no country has been as aggressive as China, which last year, alone, provided more than $30 billion in credit to the country's solar manufacturers through the government-controlled China Development Bank."

Surely we have descended to great depths as a nation when we have lost confidence in our own reason and instead can think of nothing better to do than mimic the actions of a commercial rival.

Despite substantial government investment and industrial policy, the Soviet Union is no more, and Russia's economy is collapsing. In the 1970s and 1980s we were worried that Japan, whose government poured money into cars and shipbuilding and high-definition TVs, would race past us. But Japan's growth has been slow for the past two decades.

If we are afraid of China's growth, domestic industrial policy is not the answer. Rather, we should improve economic growth through more efficient tax and regulatory policies. China is more to be feared with government loan guarantee programs than without, because they slow our economy and make it less efficient. America is more likely to best China without government help.

America grows when it relies on the strength of market forces, rather than when our government attempts to pick winners and losers. Loan guarantees are not a sign of confidence in markets but the exact opposite, and make no sense in these economic times, when corporations are flush with cash.

The reason that these renewable energy projects need to turn to the government for loan guarantees is painfully obvious. Their prospects are weak, and private investors and lenders would not fund the project otherwise. China and other countries might want to invest in projects that have no business case, but the American taxpayer deserves better. Much better.

Solyndra came to the attention of the American public at the end of August. Since then, the Department of Energy worked overtime to sign more loan guarantees that private investors and lenders are unlikely to make.

Some of the new Energy Department loans may actually be repaid. But others may not. Perhaps the administration can make money by organizing bets on which of its loans will go bad. Call it the Solyndra Derby.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Does Obama ever really mean what he says? He asks for bipartisanship, but doesn't listen to anyone but Democrats.

Does Obama really want to create jobs? Mostly he seems to do everything he can to kill them.

Read on to find out what happens to Republican ideas.

Obama’s ‘Save My Job’ bill versus real jobs bills

By: Ron Arnold | 09/29/11 8:05 PM

By now, most of us have digested or discounted President Obama's jobs speech before a joint session of Congress three weeks ago: "You give me $447 billion more in taxpayer funds to spend on government subsidies and I'll give you a $240 billion payroll tax cut for employers and employees."

Even on that symbolic night, Obama's applause line, "Pass this bill," had degenerated by the 15th repetition into near-mania. It sounded more like, "Pass this Save My Job bill."

It still does. Obama's bumper sticker slogan has lived on in constant White House nagging at Congress, from speeches in Raleigh, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; and Cincinnati's decaying Brent Spence Bridge -- all in swing states he wants to win to get re-elected in 2012.

But Congress, even Harry Reid's Democrat-controlled Senate, is in no hurry to pass Obama's American Jobs Act -- October, maybe, once they figure out who's going to pay for all the pieces.

However, in his joint session speech, the president may have made a strategic blunder. After his all-drama-Obama histrionics, he closed by saying that he "would consider all good ideas."

Two Republicans took him up on it. Sen. John Barrasso (Wyoming) and Rep. Steve Pearce (N.M), respective chairmen of the Senate and Congressional Western Caucuses, gave him more than 40 good ideas.

They wrote a joint letter to the president and sent him their detailed "Jobs Frontiers" report with more than 40 bills "as a collection of ideas for your additional consideration."

The "Jobs Frontiers" bills weren't just ideas. They had already been introduced in one or both chambers of Congress with triggers for instant shovel-ready jobs, unlike Obama's bureaucrat-laden, grow-the-government, beyond-the-horizon loans and grants and hopes.

Barrasso and Pearce were determined that their good ideas would not dissolve into Obama's predictions of 13 million new jobs -- with two years of help from a Democrat-controlled House and Senate -- that instead lost 2.3 million jobs, and sent unemployment climbing from 7.8 percent to 9.1 percent.

The Jobs Frontier bills deliberately and defiantly cut bureaucratic red tape, proposed developing American energy on American soil, and sought right-now, boots-on jobs in the West and across the country.

Barrasso and Pearce gave Obama examples: "For instance, Mr. President, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act offered by Congressman Paul Gosar [R-Ariz.] would pave the way for a copper mine in Superior. Arizona, and immediately bring 1.400 new jobs to an area in desperate need. The San Joaquin Valley legislation offered by Congressman Devin Nunes [R-Calif.] would bring 25,000 to 30,000 jobs back to California."

The two caucus leaders patiently explained some of their other bills. "The three Outer-Continental Shelf bills offered by Congressman Hastings [R-Wash.] would create 250,000 short-term jobs and over 1.2 million jobs in the long term. The Domestic Jobs, Domestic Energy and Deficit Reduction Act offered by Senator David Vitter and Congressman Rob Bishop would create over 2 million jobs and $10 trillion in Gross Domestic Product at zero cost to the taxpayer."

The two lawmakers closed politely: "We take you at your word that you will consider all good proposals."

The letter and report appear to have submerged into the White House oblivion file.

It was predictable. The White House regularly takes action against specific industries with lots of jobs to kill: My tally of Obama targets and how many existing jobs need protecting: Oil and gas (9 million jobs); coal (550,000); hydropower (200-300,000); geothermal (13,000); meat production (6.2 million); forest products (900,000); hunting and fishing (1.1 million jobs).

My vote for worst Obama job killers goes to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson. I'm not pointing my finger at them, I'm just pointing to the door where they should march immediately, then out to the unemployment line with their countless victims.

Examiner Columnist Ron Arnold is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2011/09/obamas-save-my-job-bill-versus-real-jobs-bills#ixzz1ZYEByfLo