Environment Archives

End-of-Year Link Wrap-up

A longer list this time.  I took a vacation from blogging during — if you’ll forgive the expression — Christmas vacation, and this video comes out.  Nina Totenberg apologizes for using the term "Christmas party".  Is this really a taboo among liberals?  Or are liberals in the press really this out of touch with the rest of America?

Here are six good reasons why embryonic stem cells will never make it out of the lab and into the bodies of sick people.  But money will still pour into it because, hey, it’s money!

Palestinians fired a Qassam rocket at a kindergarten, hurting one teen passing by.  I didn’t watch much news over vacation, but I’m sure this was all over it.  Right?  I mean, it would have been if Israel had done it, so I’m just supposing.

It’s amazing how stark the double standards are regarding leaks.  Julian Assange didn’t mind dumping data that is life-or-death to some of our Afghani informers, but hated it when leaks about his own legal troubles came out.  Really?  And there are other news reporter groups that hate it when they get leaked. 

Iran is shipping missiles to Venezuela.  Hey Hollywood, this is just fine, right?  (Chavez blames all the failures of socialism on others, and so this paranoia is bound to give him cause to use such weapons.  So, no, it’s not al right.)

No, the polar bear is not endangered.  So says the Obama administration.  Really.  And Bruce McQuain notes that, really, endangered status is more about power than it is about the environment.

The (Democrat-controlled) Congress blocked the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the US.  I guess Obama has no one to blame for this other than … Bush.

Twenty years ago, and continuing as recently as 2009, it was predicted that global warming would bring much milder winters with less snow because of the temperatures.  Ski slopes would be barren and snow would vanish from places as far north as Scotland. Now, however, they’re saying that all that snow we got, even in the deep south, is because of global warming.  The link has a good round-up of weather vs predictions.

More power to this guy, who quit his job, got some legal education, and started suing e-mail spammers.

Why do atheists whine about not being invited to a prayer event?  Hey, you don’t like an inauguration that includes a prayer service?  Go out and win an election, and run your inauguration any way you want.

Climate Change’s Moral Authority

As much as I was upset with the espionage perpetrated by WikiLeaks, there has been some interesting information that has come out from it.  In addition to the revelation (to some) that the Palestinian situation isn’t the topmost priority for Arab states in the Middle East, and that they recognize sanctions don’t work with Iran, there is also some peek inside climate change horse trading.  The Evangelical Ecologist highlights items from Anthony Watts and the Guardian showing that it’s not really all that much about climate. Watts concludes:

What really strikes us is the fact that all this Copenhagen/Cancun stuff has nothing to do with the Climate, or saving the World. It’s about political positioning, money, and plain old fascism cult promotion. But as referred before, this is only the tip of the iceberg. More is to come, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re going to be answered about who is behind Climategate, or Al Gore’s Nobel nomination, or the facts behind all the IPCC mess. Stay tuned…

The EE also notes headlines from The Guardian:

WikiLeaks cables reveal how US manipulated climate accord

Embassy dispatches show America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for Copenhagen accord

Go to his page to get these links.  The EE is a good read.  And then we get his conclusion about all this.

Why am I so thoroughly disgusted about this?  Because so many thousands of hardworking folks are out there actually managing habitats and caring for critters and cutting pollution and encouraging creation care, and we who have been following or leading this movement in the Christian Church the past half-decade or so have allowed ourselves to be sidetracked by such a collosal [sic] hoax. And I imagine how many people could have heard the Gospel during this same time if we had put as much time, energy and money into saving souls as we did getting people to cut their "carbon footprint."


The Battery Saga (Part One)

My primary car that I drive (our family has two) is a 2000 Honda Insight which I purchased used a few years back. Mid summer after some heavy rainfall I drove through some deep water and tore a plastic panel off the underside of the car. Two months ago the “IMA” and “Check Engine” lights came on. IMA is the term for the Honda hybrid system, the acronym IMA means Integrated Motor Assist. Thus begins the battery saga.

So … I took the car to the Honda dealer with which I had previously been taking the car for checkups and tuneups. They informed me that the panel could be replaced but that three units related to the IMA system cause the IMA light to trigger. They said the MCM, BCM, and the big NiMH battery pack all needed replacing and that would come to about $6.8k. The two control modules would came to about $4.4 and $2.2k for the battery pack in the cost breakdown. I had them replace the panel and told them I’d “think about” the other repairs.  Read the rest of this entry

Rusty Nails (SCO v. 16)

Global Warming – a scam? (HT: Ron’s Bloviating) From Harold Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara,

It [Global Warming] is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.


Yahoo! Yoga Mohler, Yoga, and Yahoo! together.


So… where’s Checkpoint Charlie? Rep. Loretta “The Vietnamese are trying to take away our seat!” Sanchez thinks a U.S. / Mexico border fence is the same as the Berlin Wall.


Hope (as in, “we can certainly hope this will happen”)

Friday Link Wrap-up

Venezuelans are getting tired of the food shortages, the electricity shortages, the soaring crime, the deep recession (i.e. everything that comes part and parcel with socialism) and have started taking back the country, starting with last weekend’s elections.  American voters are poised to do the same in November.

The "humanitarian crisis" in Gaza is apparently mostly about symbolism, false narratives and propaganda.  Flotillas are required to keep up the narratives.

The United Nations will appoint an Earth contact for aliens.  No, really.  "Mazlan Othman, the head of the UN’s little-known Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa), is to describe her potential new role next week at a scientific conference at the Royal Society’s Kavli conference centre in Buckinghamshire."  Doesn’t it strike anyone as unintentionally humorous that "Unoosa" sounds like some alien specie you’d see on "Star Trek"?

When the Bilderbergers met last June (cue paranoid music), one of the topics they discussed was Global Cooling.  No, really.  (Al Gore was apparently not invited.)  But indeed, global cooling, were it happening, would be worse than global warming.  Crops, for starters, kinda’ like the heat.

Tea Partiers uncover rampant voter fraud in Houston.  Would it surprise you if I said that most of this was related to a former SEIU employee’s voter registration group?  Yeah, me neither.

"Scientists have invented an efficient way to produce apparently safe alternatives to human embryonic stem cells without destroying embryos…."  They start with ordinary skin cells.  As Glenn Reynolds would say, "Faster, please."

And finally, from Mike Lester, two views of the Constitution.  (Click for a larger image.)

Mike Lester

Rusty Nails (SCO v. 12)

Oil-eating bacteria had a feast on the BP Deep-Sea oil spill At Reasons to Believe, on the August 25th podcast, they discussed how ocean bacteria ate up a whole lot of the oil from the BP spill. It is very interesting that this phenomenon was unexpected, considering how much we know about the earth. What? We don’t know everything? Oh… maybe we need to be wary of dire predictions due to Global Warming Climate Change.


Oops Maybe the bacteria ate mostly gas and not oil. Hmmm… what was that you said about hot summers?


More guns… Yes, less crime.


Oops 2 Kind of reminds me of the misteaks I made at skool.


Bush stumbled over his speeches But did we really think we could listen to great speeches for 4 years? Like Matthews says – get rid of the teleprompter!


Maybe a bit premature Yet people are frustrated.


Imagine a white Republican making similar statements Just remember that it came from the party of tolerance.

He Must Be a Right-Winger; He Used "Immigration" In a Sentence

He was a rabid environmentalist.  He considered babies "parasitic human infants", and wanted all "pro-birth" programs to push "stopping human birth".  He was extremely anti-war, and equated having more humans with more war.  He considered civilization "filth", and its religious roots "disgusting".

And ThinkProgress, an extremely popular liberal blog, calls out the Right over this guy, James Jay Lee, who took hostages at the Discovery Channel, because one of his eleven points refers to immigration. 

Really?  Is this what passes for intellectual honesty on the Left these days?  A guy who said Al Gore’s "An Inconvenient Truth" woke him up is a product of the Right?

None other than President of the United States Bill Clinton blamed conservative talk radio for Timothy McVeigh, and recently brought that back up in light of the Tea Party.  Conservatives against the "Ground Zero Mosque" were blamed for the stabbing of a Muslim cabbie (until it was found that it was a GZM supporter who stabbed the cabbie who was against the Mosque).  And Caleb Howe reminds us:

Lee acted irrationally. His environmental extremism was likely a function of his derangement, rather than the source of it. He latched on. He took it to the extreme, to say the least. Lee was not, by any measure that I would choose, a sane man. The story told by his brother-in-law – one of temper, erratic behavior, and irrational views – recalls Jerry Kane.

Jerry Kane, and his son Joe, killed two police officers and were killed themselves, in a shoot-out precipitated by a simple traffic stop. Jerry Kane, too, was an unstable man. His hometown mayor said of him that “You were always looking over your shoulder to make sure he wasn’t there. You never knew what he was going to do. I always thought he was an unstable individual.” Like Lee, the aftermath anecdotes painted a picture of paranoia and fear. But that didn’t stop liberal sites like Crooks and Liars from laying him at the feet of the conservative movement. Or Joseph Stack. Or Richard Poplawski. Or Byron Williams. It didn’t stop them from suggesting that Erick [Erickson] was responsible for a census worker slaying.

In fact, every time someone is shot in a lone gunman scenario, the right, and the tea parties and talk radio in particular, are virtually instantaneously blamed by the left at large for “violent” rhetoric and instigation.

Stop me, again, if you’ve heard THAT one before.

We never stop hearing from the MSNBC left how the Fox News right is stirring up violence. But when someone clearly basing his murderous intent on the idea that humans are going to destroy the world, and soon, acts on the dire prophecies of Al Gore … well suddenly you can’t blame rhetoric for crazy people.

Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz will simply not take responsibility for this guy.  I don’t think they should, but they should then not require the Right to take responsibility for the acts of other nuts.

But they will, as will Bill Clinton.  This is what passes for intellectual honesty on the Left.

Seven of the most interesting stories on Mon. morning: climate collapse, Moore on Beck, Jim Wallis apologizes, and more

1.    Crisis in the Environmental Community: The climate lobby has declined dramatically from its days of high confidence after the 2008 election and it is scrambling to determine the next steps:  

A year ago, these groups seemed to be at the peak of their influence, needing only the Senate’s approval for a landmark climate-change bill. But they lost that fight, done in by the sluggish economy and opposition from business and fossil-fuel interests.

2.    God, the Gospel, and Glenn Beck:  Southern Seminary’s Russ Moore writes about relying on populist God-and-country sloganeering and outrage-generating talking heads.

It’s taken us a long time to get here, in this plummet from Francis Schaeffer to Glenn Beck. In order to be this gullible, American Christians have had to endure years of vacuous talk about undefined “revival” and “turning America back to God” that was less about anything uniquely Christian than about, at best, a generically theistic civil religion and, at worst, some partisan political movement.

3.    Advertising Parasites: Ads that follow you from site to site.

“For days or weeks, every site I went to seemed to be showing me ads for those shoes,” said Ms. Matlin, a mother of two from Montreal. “It is a pretty clever marketing tool. But it’s a little creepy, especially if you don’t know what’s going on.”

4.    Jim Wallis Apologizes: Sojourners’ Jim Wallis apologizes to World’s Marvin Olasky.

“I was wrong, out of anger at the insinuation about the dependence on these foundations, I was wrong to imply that like Beck, Marvin lies for a living,” Wallis said. “Glenn Beck does lie for a living. Marvin Olasky doesn’t lie for a living; that’s not something I should say about a brother in Christ.”


5.    Crooked Afghan Partner?: Another Diem? Karazi fires his corruption fighter.

“What he was doing was very important,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said of Mr. Faqiryar. “Those charged with pursuing corruption need to continue their work without political interference. It’s something we are watching to make sure the Afghan government lives up to the pledges it has made in battling corruption.”

6.    America’s Creativity Crisis?:  For the first time, research shows American creativity declining.

What’s driving the drop? According to Newsweek, technology and education are particularly nefarious culprits. At home, kids are spending more time watching television and playing video games; at school, our educational system is evaporating the creative juices. Neither of these criticisms is particularly new, but they are informative within the context of the creativity discussion.

7.    Baseball Replay Confirms Walk-off Homer:  For the first time, the limited replay rule is used on a play that ends game.

McCann capped a stunning comeback with a replay-assisted homer that gave Atlanta a 7-6 victory over the Marlins on Sunday – the first time a game ended on a call using video. Without it, McCann might have only gotten credit for a double and the game would have continued on. Instead, he was jumping into the arms of his teammates after the umps took a second look, taking advantage of a limited replay rule that went into effect two years earlier almost to the day – Aug. 28, 2008 – to make sure they got these sort of calls right.

Friday Link Wrap-up

Yes, it’s that time of the week again, where I toss out a bunch of links that I was too lazy to do a full blog post on.

Turns out the Iraq war didn’t break the bank.  It’s understandable that you might think that, but that only indicates a need to get your news from more sources.  The MSM loves to parrot DNC talking points.

(Liberal) feminism is dead.  Long live (conservative) feminism!

Jim Wallis said that Marvin Olasky (World magazine editor) “lies for a living” when Olasky noted that Wallis got $200,000 from George Soros.  When it was pointed out that he, in fact, did, then came the abject apology in sackcloth and ashes, “Well, it was so small I forgot.”  UPDATE: Wallis has issued a formal apology.

Three months ago, James Cameron was ready to “call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads”, speaking of those who dispute anthropogenic global warming.  At the very last minute, after changing his demands over and over for how a debate was to be run, he cancelled.  Now that takes guts.  Or something.

In England, teachers are dropping history lessons on the Holocaust and the Crusades, for fear of offending Muslims who are taught Holocaust denial and a different view of the Crusades at local mosques.  They’re afraid of challenging “anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils”.  So much for academia being the standard bearer of truth and free speech.

A back door repeal of the First Amendment by … social workers?  Well, when liberal ideologues get ahold of professional organizations, nuttiness does ensue.  Look at most unions.

And finally, a US district judge put a temporary halt to embryonic stem cell research.  Some believe this will devastate scientific research, but  Steve Breen puts it in perspective.  (Click for a larger image.)

Rusty Nails (SCO v. 9)

So… where’s the oil now? Either Obama really is the Messiah he was portrayed as, and it was his mere presence alone that healed our earth; or, maybe, we aren’t quite up to predicting global effects of non-globally sized events? A couple of months ago, it wasn’t difficult to find commentaries declaring that we were were on the brink of planetary destruction, that the Gulf of Mexico would never recover, that oil spill was a foretaste of the effects of Global Warming Climate Change, that God was allowing this disaster as punishment for our sins on Mother Earth. Yet now we see that Obama really has the power to heal the Earth – scratch that – Yet now we see how inadequate we might be in our attempts at extrapolating data, on a global scale, over extended time periods – well – even short time periods. Common sense should tell us that our efforts would be better served by addressing known issues that we currently face, as opposed to potential issues we might face. (also see Joe Carter’s post)


Illegal aliens allowed to get a New Mexico drivers license… so, why not allow them to purchase firearms as well (why should that “right” be infringed upon?). The argument for giving illegal aliens drivers licenses is that it provides for better enforcement of insurance, etc. If that were so, then why not allow illegal aliens to purchase firearms, thereby giving them direct access to the right of self defense?


Well, at least they weren’t burning the books (but a pragmatist would have donated them to a local library). Or have a used-book sale or something to recoup some money?


When in doubt, ask someone who has actually followed the rules. Gabriella, a naturalized U.S. citizen, educates a Tucson City Council member on why the City of Tucson should not sue the State of Arizona over SB1070.


Two exo-solar planets transiting the same star… geekfest time.j


The Ghosts of World War II. Have not confirmed the validity of these images but, if true, an interesting use of Photoshop linking the past with the present.

Hockey Stick Graph Taken Out For a Penalty

Anthony Watts calls attention to a new study on the famed/infamous "hockey stick" graph purporting to show a huge uptick in global temperatures in the 20th century.

There is a new and important study on temperature proxy reconstructions (McShane and Wyner 2010) submitted into the Annals of Applied Statistics and is listed to be published in the next issue. According to Steve McIntyre, this is one of the “top statistical journals”. This paper is a direct and serious rebuttal to the proxy reconstructions of Mann.

Proxies are things like tree rings and ice core measurements, rather than actual thermometer readings.  From the paper’s abstract:

We find that the proxies do not predict temperature significantly better than random series generated independently of temperature. Furthermore, various model specifications that perform similarly at predicting temperature produce extremely different historical backcasts. Finally, the proxies seem unable to forecast the high levels of and sharp run-up in temperature in the 1990s either in-sample or from contiguous holdout blocks, thus casting doubt on their ability to predict such phenomena if in fact they occurred several hundred years ago.

The first sentence says essentially that proxy data does not predict future temperatures any better than picking temperature numbers at random. 


I imagine this study will get a good looking-over by those on both sides of the issue, but if it stands scrutiny it would be a huge blow to the anthropogenic global warming theory.  Stay tuned.

Dogs and Cats Living Together

When TIME magazine is defending Rush Limbaugh, you gotta’ wonder if the Apocalypse can be close behind.  Regarding the BP oil spill, and the potentially exaggerated predictions of what was to come, TIME’s Michael Grunwald writes:

The obnoxious anti-environmentalist Rush Limbaugh has been a rare voice arguing that the spill — he calls it "the leak" — is anything less than an ecological calamity, scoffing at the avalanche of end-is-nigh eco-hype.

Well, Limbaugh has a point. The Deepwater Horizon explosion was an awful tragedy for the 11 workers who died on the rig, and it’s no leak; it’s the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. It’s also inflicting serious economic and psychological damage on coastal communities that depend on tourism, fishing and drilling. But so far — while it’s important to acknowledge that the long-term potential danger is simply unknowable for an underwater event that took place just three months ago — it does not seem to be inflicting severe environmental damage. "The impacts have been much, much less than everyone feared," says geochemist Jacqueline Michel, a federal contractor who is coordinating shoreline assessments in Louisiana.

Yes, the spill killed birds — but so far, less than 1% of the number killed by the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska 21 years ago. Yes, we’ve heard horror stories about oiled dolphins — but so far, wildlife-response teams have collected only three visibly oiled carcasses of mammals. Yes, the spill prompted harsh restrictions on fishing and shrimping, but so far, the region’s fish and shrimp have tested clean, and the restrictions are gradually being lifted. And yes, scientists have warned that the oil could accelerate the destruction of Louisiana’s disintegrating coastal marshes — a real slow-motion ecological calamity — but so far, assessment teams have found only about 350 acres of oiled marshes, when Louisiana was already losing about 15,000 acres of wetlands every year.

There’s a bunch more; it’s quite an interesting read. 

Obligatory disclaimer:  This is not to say that the ecological problems that did occur weren’t bad, nor that more should be done to prevent spills.  I’m just pointing out that the "Cry Wolf" type of ecological disaster pronouncements get a lot of play in the press up front.  Even though when it’s over we finally get a tiny bit more sober, what’s I’m betting will be remembered in future years are the initial claims, and not so much the reality. 

Friday Link Wrap-Up

They check immigration status at traffic stops.  This can only be referring to those racists in … Rhode Island.  Do you think we’re likely to see a lawsuit from the Justice Department there?  Yea, me neither.  In fact, it’s already been upheld by the First Circuit Court of Appeals when a private citizen sued.  Yet the government is going after Arizona for this.  Can’t have anything to do with who each state voted for in the last election, right?

A federal district court judge in Boston today struck down the 1996 federal law that defines marriage as a union exclusively between a man and a woman.”  I’ve read portions of the ruling, and I can actually see the judge’s point.  However, I think the 10th Amendment’s “equal protection” clause is being misused a bit to now refer to things like health benefits, which doesn’t really strike me as “protection” from a government’s viewpoint.  And Jack Balkin, a supporter of same-sex marriage incidentally, wonders (among other things) if liberals really want to go down this path with the 10th Amendment.  “As much as liberals might applaud the result, they should be aware that the logic of his arguments, taken seriously, would undermine the constitutionality of wide swaths of federal regulatory programs and seriously constrict federal regulatory power.”

The “biggest revolution in the NHS [Britain’s National Health System] for 60 years” is … giving doctors responsibility for overseeing patient care!  Yes folks, it took 60 years of socialized medicine for them to realize that.  Do you want to lose those 60 years of common sense here?

Much of the media is saying that the report that was commissioned by the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia to investigate the ClimateGate document dump exonerated the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia.  Except there’s the issue of the biggest thing critics have been harping on; the “hide the decline” suggestion that inconvenient data has been reworked to be consistent with the conclusion already drawn.  Buried in the report is this gem:

On the allegation that the references in a specific e-mail to a “trick” and to “hide the decline” in respect of a 1999 WMO report figure show evidence of intent to paint a misleading picture, we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the IPCC Third Assessment Report), the figure supplied for the WMO Report was Misleading.

Terry Miller explains:

The researchers were not trying to hide evidence of a decline in global temperatures over the last decade—we have plenty of actual thermometer readings to show temperatures in recent years. What they were trying to hide was the discrepancy between actual temperature readings and the temperatures suggested by tree ring data. They have relied on tree ring data to show that the earth was cooler in the past. If the tree ring data is not reliable (as the discrepancy in recent years would suggest), then maybe the earth was actually hotter in the past than these researchers would have us believe—and perhaps the hot temperatures of recent years do not represent unprecedented global warming but just natural variation in climate.

So the big issue that critics latched on to is, indeed, still a big issue.

50 leaders of the evangelical generation: #37 Richard Cizik. Renegade

 [I am working on a project that may become a book on the most influential evangelicals leaders of our generation, since 1976, and the impact they’ve had on the church and their times. I will introduce them briefly on this blog from time to time. Who should be on this list?]

37.  Richard Cizik. Renegade  b.1951 

After nearly five years of tweaking conservative evangelical leadership on a variety of issues, but most pointedly global warming, from his post as the vice president and chief Washington lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals, Richard Cizik finally accomplished what his persistent Christian adversaries could not. He self-destructed on a national radio program, stepping beyond NAE dogma not on an environmental issue, but on same-sex unions. After a run as one of the most-quoted evangelicals, occasionally taken to the woodshed by his NAE bosses but frequently glorified in mainstream media, Rich Cizik was fired by the association and found himself in the evangelical wilderness, with invitations and job offers only from his secular admirers and the most progressive evangelical allies.

 Cizik has been an honest and valuable voice for evangelicals for nearly 30 years, twisting the arms of politicians on issues important to the movement, such as abortion, pornography, religious freedom, AIDS, and—more recently— human trafficking, global poverty, climate change, and torture. The issues that gripped him broadened over the years, and while he remained theologically conservative and pro-life, the matters that began to stir his passions shifted from the historic issues of the culture wars to the causes usually championed by the evangelical left and progressives generally. 

 Cizik is described as one of the “new breed of evangelicals,” a label made popular by the New York Times[1] to give sashay to evangelicals who began to add their voices to those of progressives on topics such as the environment. He was on the point for this new part of the movement, but he outran his cover and left himself vulnerable to his adversarial brethren. Although evangelicals have been embracing many new missions, they aren’t moving as fast as Cizik or as far to the left.

 I’ve seen all of this happening while working at Rich’s side in the evangelical environmental movement, and as our public relations firm, Rooftop, represented him and the NAE government affairs office in the final years of his tenure. I have found Rich to be devout, earnest, ambitious, and slightly reckless.

 Cizik can easily be seen as one strand of a thread extending from the generation’s beginnings, in the tradition of Francis Schaeffer and Carl Henry–evangelicals who were strictly orthodox, but advocated a broad engagement with the world. “I’m not some upstart who’s trying to conjure up a new vision,” Cizik said. “This goes back a long way.”[2] His errors are tactical rather than theological.

More than anything, Cizik has been driven by this moral necessity for Christians to fight climate change.

He thought little about climate change until 2002, when he attended a conference on the subject and heard a leading British climate scientist, Sir John Houghton, a prominent evangelical. “Sir John made clear that you could believe in the science and remain a faithful biblical Christian. All I can say is that my heart was changed. For years I’d thought, ‘Well, one side says this, the other side says that. There’s no reason to get involved.’ But the science has become too compelling. I could no longer sit on the sidelines. I didn’t want to be like the evangelicals who avoided getting involved during the civil rights movement and in the process discredited the gospel and themselves.

“As a biblical Christian,” Cizik said, “I agree with St. Francis that every square inch on Earth belongs to Christ. If we don’t pay attention to global climate change, it’s pretty obvious that tens and or even hundreds of millions of people are going to die. If you have a major sea-level rise, then Bangladesh becomes uninhabitable. Where do you put its 100 million people? Do you put them in India? In China? They’d have no place to go.”[3]

In 2006, Cizik was part of a group that organized the Evangelical Climate Initiative[4], a major statement from 86 key evangelical leaders that described climate change as an urgent moral issue for Christians and called for the government to act on it. Cizik was part of the group of four people who planned ECI and made waves with its launch. (I was part of that group and served as campaign director for two years.) The real mastermind of the initiative, though, was Jim Ball, who for the last 15 years has been the progressive, intellectual glue for environmental work among evangelicals (now climate director for the Evangelical Environmental Network). It is Ball who mentored Cizik and taught him most of what he knows about both the science and the biblical basis for climate work. Ball, however, is a far more cautious operator, and while cheering Cizik’s progress on environmental issues, constantly counseled him to be more careful about his public statements on climate change as an NAE spokesman.

That counsel, as well as similar advice he received from Rooftop and others, went unheeded. 

It is a shame that Cizik is currently too toxic to have influence among mainstream evangelicals, for his instincts and convictions are important among a profusion of concerns. That may change as he continues to work within his new organization: The New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, and as the disagreements on some issues begin to lose their edge. Also, while some of Cizik’s most virulent critics are in the final years of active ministry, he is a relatively youthful 58.

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/03/us/03evangelical.html


[2] Newsweek. January 28, 2010  http://www.newsweek.com/id/232669

[3] http://www.grist.org/article/2010-04-27-jesus-climate-change-journey-of-evangelical-leader-rich-cizik/

[4] http://christiansandclimate.org/

Stupid Presidential Tricks

Seven men have been selected by the President to head a “drilling commission” to investigate and recommend for the future of off-shore drilling. This article piqued my interest. It makes two claims, that these individuals have little to no engineering (scientific?) expertise regarding offshore drilling and that they have a definite bias against drilling, i.e., that the fix is already in by loading it with politicians and environmental activists. Go ahead, skim the linked article. I’ll wait. …. now that you’re back, here’s what I can find on the web so far about these individuals. It might be also noted that the President called this a “bi-partisan” commission. We’ll see how that plays out.

The Two chairmen:

  • Mr William Reilly (wiki) — Not a scientist nor engineer, he has a BA in history and a Harvard law degree. Was the head of the EPA under Democratic administrations and President of the World Wildlife Fund. Mr Reilly is a Democrat.
  • Mr Bob Graham (wiki) — Not a scientist nor engineer, he has a political science degree from U of Florida and a LLB (bachelors of Law) from Harvard. Was governor of Florida for a term and unsuccessfully ran in in the 2004 primary Presidential bid. He is a lifelong Democrat.

Our five members announced last week.

  • Frances G. Beinecke (no wiki entry, mukety relationships) — Has an MA from Yale in “environmental studies” (and yes the scare quotes shows my bias as a physicist). Has been on the NRDC for 35 years. She is an anti-nuclear activist. He inherited much wealth from her family ties. I’m guessing Democrat as the profile does not indicate.
  • Donald Boesch (no wiki, here is his auto-bio) — His publication list, Mr Boesch is a Professor at U of Maryland heading their Center for Environmental Studies. Political affiliation is not given. Wanna guess, uhm, Democrat.
  • Terry Garcia (no wiki, auto-bio) — VP of National Geographic, Mr Garcia has a BA in international studies from American University and a law degree from George Washington U. Google shows him on a list of contributors to Mr Obama’s campaign, uhm, so a likely Democrat again.
  • Cherry A. Murray (wiki) — is the first person on the list with any (real) engineering credentials, alas not in mechanical engineering but instead in optical data storage.  No political affiliation given. Wanna bet?
  • Frances Ulmer (wiki) — BA from U of Wisconsin (Madison) in … (wait for it) … economics and political science. She is a career politician as a (suprise!) Democrat.
Now those who say Mr Obama is not a bald-faced liar will recall that he called this a “bi-partisan” commission who will serve as our experts in deep water drilling and engineering. How much more bald-faced does one have to get to get the title?
I had begun this enterprise willing to entertain the notion that the WSJ editorial piece was a little dishonest, painting its picture too strongly. Yet looking into what I can find, the opposite is true. If anything it was too balanced and shy to call a spade a spade.  Mr Obama’s commission is nothing but a complete farce. There is one person only on the commission who might have some real hard unimpeachable scientific background (Ms Murray). Furthermore, his claims this is bi-partisan is a utter and shameful distortion to call this highly partisan committee with at least three lifelong Democratic career politicians, no Republicans as bi-partisan. It is not even an expert field for there is not one person with a shred of mining or drilling background not tp speak of even some mechanical engineering. Only Ms Murray is likely to have have taken any math beyond calculus and the only one to have used any applied or pure maths in the last 2 decades.
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