Did manmade global warming cause the Syrian civil war and the rise of ISIS?
A new paper, Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought, PNAS, March 2, 2015, summarized its findings by saying, "the 2007-2010 drought contributed to the conflict in Syria. It was the worst drought in the instrumental record, causing widespread crop failure and a mass migration of farming families to urban centers."
It went on to say, "Century-long observed trends in precipitation, temperature, and sea-level pressure, supported by climate model results [emphasis added], strongly suggest that anthropogenic forcing has increased the probability of severe and persistent droughts in this region, and made the occurrence of a 3-year drought as severe as that of 2007-2010 2 to 3 times more likely than by natural variability alone." more >>
Earlier this week, I wrote about Dr. James Enstrom's successful settlement of his lawsuit against UCLA. Long a dissenter against environmentalist scare-mongering, Dr. Enstrom sued UCLA officials (full disclosure: my colleagues and I at ACLJ represented him) after they fired him shortly after Dr. Enstrom discovered that new California regulations of diesel emissions were based on junk science advanced by a scientist with a fraudulent degree — a doctorate purchased from the fictional "Thornhill University." Dr. Enstrom also discovered that the scientific review panel tasked with reviewing this science was stocked with ideologues who'd long overstayed mandatory term limits.
The case was hard-fought, with the university filing two motions to dismiss, followed by lengthy and grueling discovery. While the issues were largely constitutional (did the university fire Dr. Enstrom because of his constitutionally protected speech?), the constitutional dispute was motivated by a sharp "scientific" disagreement over the health danger of diesel particulate. I use the scare quotes because UCLA's actions hardly reflected scientific ideals. Here's an interesting excerpt from a deposition with Dr. Enstrom's dean at the time of his termination (the questioner is an ACLJ lawyer):
Q: Okay. Do you have a general knowledge with regard to Dr. Enstrom's research regarding diesel particulate matter? more >>
Recently some Members of Congress have accused scientists who question dangerous manmade global warming of conflict of interest because they allegedly accept funding from fossil fuel corporations.
Some do, some don't, but being funded by a given source, whether an individual, a corporation, or a government, doesn't necessarily mean the researcher will therefore dishonestly conform her conclusions to those favored by the funders. If it did, all scientific research would be untrustworthy, since it all has to be funded by somebody.
That consideration by itself makes it clear why the accusations are fallacious. more >>
HBO host Bill Maher has pointed out that Pope Francis has given his full backing for action on climate change that some claim would reduce the so-called negative human impact on the environment. The outspoken atheist has subsequently asked why former Pennsylvania Senator and GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, a Roman Catholic, has not followed suit.
In a blog post for his "Real Time" show, Maher said "we've got the pope on board," concerning climate change action.
"No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change."
So said President Barack Obama in his State of the Union message last week.
That he spent under 5% of the speech on the subject—about one-ninth as much as on the economy, one-fifth as much as on our need to overcome cynicism, and a little less even than on affordable college education—and tucked it away in a section about two-thirds of the way through suggests that the President doesn't really believe it himself. more >>
"The fossil fuel industry should be dismantled because it is as bad as human slavery."
That's exactly what Kathleen Henry, president of a non-profit environmental law firm argued in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She went on:
Continuing to use fossil fuels will, in fact, lead to economic collapse from the consequences of climate change. But people continue to listen to the harmful rhetoric of the fossil fuel industry... ...They must rise above this and actively support the dismantling of the fossil fuel industry just as our forebears dismantled the slavery industry. more >>