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August 30, 2017

Environmentalists Can Be Their Own Worst Enemies

  Investor's Business Daily

The biggest challenge facing the environmental movement is … environmentalists.  They can be their own worst enemies. They've succeeded in increasing public awareness of their dire warnings, and yet the public remains generally apathetic about taking action.

One reason is the public recognizes the disingenuousness, exaggerations, inconsistencies and hypocrisies coming from the movement — especially with respect to the use of fossil fuels.

Disingenuousness. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) just confirmed that 2016 was the hottest year on record.

Of course, the Earth has been on a slow warming trend since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago — one of many glacial periods in earth's history.  So the notion that temperatures are slowly increasing — assuming they are — shouldn't be news.

The problem is those "records" — NOAA scientists have been fudging the numbers.

In 2015, NOAA's Thomas Karl — trying to disprove evidence that global temperatures had plateaued for perhaps 15 years — released a report saying that the agency revisited past ground and sea-level temperature data.

According to the study authors, "Here we present an updated global surface temperature analysis that reveals that global trends are higher than reported by the IPCC, especially in recent decades." What they did was adjust both land- and sea-based temperature readings up to prove that temperatures had been rising all along.

Shortly after the report, a former NOAA climate scientist, John Bates, blew the whistle: "Gradually, in the months after (the report) came out, the evidence kept mounting that Tom Karl constantly had his 'thumb on the scale' — in the documentation, scientific choices, and release of data sets."

Temperatures may be rising, but how would we know when scientists change them to validate their predictions?

Exaggerations. Some of the most prominent environmentalists have made predictions that now sound silly.

In 2007, the BBC reported that Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that his modeling showed the Arctic would be ice-free in the summers in five or six years — that is, about four years ago.

Al Gore picked up on that claim and repeated it frequently.

Whether it's global warming, mass starvation, resource depletion or overpopulation, the environmental crowd's predictions seldom appear correct, and often seem hysterical, and the public has grown increasingly indifferent to them.

Inconsistencies. Environmentalists' biggest concern these days is the increase in carbon emissions — currently at 408 parts per million.

There was a time when environmentalists realized that clean energy sources could not meet the needs of a dynamic, industrial economy — at least not anytime soon. So they encouraged transitioning to more natural gas as a cleaner-burning "bridge fuel" until clean energy could replace it.

Were that still their mentality, they would applaud innovative drilling techniques such as fracking, which have allowed us to dramatically increase natural gas production and resulted in the U.S. gradually reducing its carbon emissions.

Instead, they condemn drilling, and especially fracking, while ignoring the environmental problems created by giant wind turbines and solar panels.

For example, the Audubon Society estimates that wind turbines kill an estimated 140,000 to 328,000 birds each year — and that's just in North America. President Obama even issued the turbine industry a special dispensation to kill thousands of eagles and other raptors.

And yet the environmental community winks at this destruction.

Hypocrisies. Some of the most prominent environmental spokespersons travel to conferences around the world in private jets, and upon landing are driven to their destinations in stretch limos so they can scold the rest of us about the need to reduce our fossil-fuel consumption.

The National Center for Public Policy Research just released a report on the amount of electricity Al Gore's 10,070 square-foot home consumes. According to NCPPR, "Gore guzzles more electricity in one year than the average American family uses in 21 years." And "From August 2016 through July 2017, Gore spent almost $22,000 on electricity bills."

Oh, and Gore used enough energy to power six average U.S. homes for a year just heating his pool.

At least there's a good chance natural gas is powering some of that electricity, and Gore would probably be paying more for it without fracking.

Americans want a clean and healthy environment. But until some of the most outspoken environmentalists abandon the inconsistencies and hypocrisies, the public is likely to continue tuning them out.


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