Posts filed under ‘historical perspective’

Skepticism Used to be a Scientific Virtue

20 years ago, scientific superstar Carl Sagan urged us to use our brains – to be actively skeptical.

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Continue Reading February 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm

A Historical Perspective on Hysterical Rhetoric

From 1948 to the present, environmental activists have declared that the sky is falling.

Continue Reading February 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Warmth: Another Word for Well-Being

Rather than bringing pine logs to the poor, 21st-century energy policies do the exact opposite. More children now shiver in the cold.

Continue Reading December 24, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Doubt is Not a Sin

When did “Question Authority” stop being applicable?

Continue Reading December 18, 2013 at 9:37 am

Distressed Planet, 1990 – 2013

Back in 1990, the head of the UN said our planet was ailing. Fast forward a quarter of a century, and a Worldwatch Institute press release issued today continues the ‘planet in distress’ meme.

Continue Reading July 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm

The Earth League: Self-Important, Self-Appointed Busybodies

Once again, people described as “leading scientists” turn out to be economists, UN officials, and those with links to activist organizations.

Continue Reading July 9, 2013 at 12:25 pm

More on Stephen Emmott, Author of ‘Ten Billion’

A new book appears to be a rehash of 40-year-old environmental scaremongering endorsed by that era’s men of science.

Continue Reading July 3, 2013 at 12:56 pm

The Coming Hellhole – Exhibit #7 of the Drama Queen Files

Emergency! Catastrophe! Earth is turning into an unprecedented hellhole – according to an Oxford professor and Microsoft official.

Continue Reading July 2, 2013 at 11:40 am

Dumb Energy vs Smart Energy

Supplying electricity to a typical family for 12 hours requires the pedal power of 80 elite cyclists. The same amount of electricity can be purchased from the grid for under $5.

Continue Reading June 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Have We Run Out of Time Yet?

It isn’t your imagination. You’ve been hearing that the world is “running out of time” for years.

Continue Reading June 16, 2013 at 2:12 pm

The Open Letter to American Universities

Eminent individuals are urging US educators to encourage a genuine campus debate about fossil fuels.

Continue Reading June 11, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Why Fossil Fuels Improve the Planet

A free, shortish book defends – and celebrates – oil and coal.

Continue Reading June 6, 2013 at 5:42 pm

So You Want to Live in Harmony with Nature?

The WWF thinks we should all “live in harmony with nature.” Sounds great – except for the flies, wasps, venomous snakes, storms, and floods.

Continue Reading June 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm

The Scare Story of 1881

Back in the 19th century, newspapers declared that something had “gone wrong” with the climate. The public was told that the telegraph system might cause the destruction of the human race.

Continue Reading May 10, 2013 at 11:43 am

The Male-Dominated Green Landscape

Why are female leaders rarer than rubies in green organizations?

Continue Reading May 9, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Earth Day an Oil Industry Scam?

According to 1960s radicals, the environmental movement has been funded and orchestrated by fossil fuel interests.

Continue Reading April 23, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Earth Day 1970 (The Drama Queen Files, Exhibit #4)

The language being used in 1970, the year Earth Day was born, hasn’t changed much: Crisis. Catastrophe. Endangered. Extinction.

Continue Reading April 22, 2013 at 9:28 am

Speaking of the Children

Half of children perish in pre-industrial societies. Take your pick: a bucolic, green fantasy world – or one that’s safe for kids.

Continue Reading March 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm

It’s Always Something (the 1924 edition)

Drama queen scientists have been around for at least 89 years.

Continue Reading March 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm 1 comment

Recent Decades: An Amazing Global Success Story

Far fewer human beings perish before their fifth birthday than ever before. More of us live longer. This is worth celebrating.

Continue Reading February 23, 2013 at 9:01 am

Deja Vu All Over again…1991′s ‘World on Fire’

Before there was Al Gore, there was George Mitchell. Politicians have been casting themselves as environmental crusaders, saving the planet, for two decades.

Continue Reading October 11, 2012 at 8:51 pm 3 comments

How Science (Really) Works

A new report argues that alternative perspectives are vital to the scientific process. Expecting dispassion from individual researchers is probably a lost cause.

Continue Reading October 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Another False Alarm – ‘The Dying of the Trees’

A 17-year-old book about the state of America’s forests is similar to current books about climate change. Its analysis and predictions were wrong, wrong, wrong.

Continue Reading October 4, 2012 at 9:00 am

Energy Rocks Our World

Affordable, reliable energy – a big reason most children now make it to adulthood.

Continue Reading June 17, 2012 at 9:27 am

Rio’s Anti-Democracy Summit

According to the head of the United Nations, only one vision of the future is acceptable.

Continue Reading June 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Der Spiegel Skewers the World Wildlife Fund

A splendid and disturbing investigative feature in Der Spiegel explains why the WWF doesn’t deserve your charitable donations.

Continue Reading May 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm

The UN’s Environmental ‘Holocausts’

Since the 1970s UN officials have tried to frighten us. Repeatedly, their predictions have failed. Repeatedly, their time frames have been preposterously inaccurate.

Continue Reading April 30, 2012 at 7:54 am

Mother Mexico & the Jackals

How are green groups different from yesterday’s colonial powers? Their global agenda is paramount, their lack of empathy for ordinary people breathtaking.

Continue Reading April 21, 2012 at 9:04 am

Eco Narcissists & Their Last Chances

For half a century green activists have insisted that their historical moment – and a particular generation – are the planet’s last hope.

Continue Reading April 14, 2012 at 8:45 am

Earth Hour: Corporations Preaching Morality

When you dim your lights for Earth Hour, you’re protesting in a manner approved by multinational corporations. You’re allowing banks and insurance companies to tell you how to spend your Saturday night.

Continue Reading March 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Pachauri Pushes Emissions Reduction – Again

The IPCC is supposed to be “policy-neutral, never policy-prescriptive.” How can it be OK for its chairman to lobby for one policy in particular?

Continue Reading February 2, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Pachauri: It’s Too Late to Fight Climate Change

Back in 2007 IPCC chairman Pachauri made a prediction regarding the year 2012.

Continue Reading January 1, 2012 at 10:51 am

The World’s Slowest Learners

UN bureaucrats say climate change is a planetary emergency and that time is running out. So when US senators unanimously rejected the Kyoto Protocol where was Plan B?

Continue Reading December 31, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Over-the-Top Climate Rhetoric

Emotional, over-the-top language doesn’t come from real leaders in a time of real crisis. Rather, it’s a sign that someone’s trying to stampede public opinion.

Continue Reading December 13, 2011 at 1:40 pm

UN Climate Warnings Are So 1989

22 years ago the UN said we had only 10 years to take global warming action. Otherwise, entire nations would drown due to rising sea levels by the year 2000.

Continue Reading November 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Al Gore’s Money-Grubbing

Al Gore says climate change is a planetary emergency. But he’ll only tell a campus audience about it if the cheque is big enough.

Continue Reading September 12, 2011 at 11:19 am

The Y2K Scare, the Media & Climate Change

Media coverage of climate change has a great deal in common with how the press covered the Y2K scare. There’s little evidence that news outlets learned much from that embarrassing episode.

Continue Reading August 9, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Greenpeace’s Fear Machine

17 years ago a Greenpeace report titled The Climate Time Bomb tried to frighten us with lurid images and dire predictions that have since failed.

Continue Reading August 2, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Two Population Predictions

40 years ago scientists said radical change was necessary if humanity was to survive. Along the way they endorsed a population prediction that now seems foolish.

Continue Reading June 19, 2011 at 11:57 am

David Suzuki is a Drama Queen

While the rest of us approach challenges with determination, optimism, and faith in ourselves as problem solvers, drama queens see only worst-case scenarios. They exaggerate. They emotionalize.

Continue Reading June 3, 2011 at 6:59 pm

The Case of Michael Oppenheimer

Perhaps the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change doesn’t regard activist scientists as damaged goods because neither the National Academy of Sciences nor the American Association for the Advancement of Science does, either.

Continue Reading May 1, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Three Cheers for New Tech

When people in affluent counties embrace new technologies we’re helping to make the entire world a better place. Really.

Continue Reading April 30, 2011 at 10:30 am

When the Lights Go Out

Having just spent 17 hours without electricity, I’m feeling especially keen on a stable energy supply.

Continue Reading April 29, 2011 at 9:29 am

The State of the IPCC’s Leadership

Rajendra Pachauri, as chairman of what is supposed to be a respectable science body, has – with deliberation and forethought – publicly linked that body to left-wing political analysis and activism.

Continue Reading April 9, 2011 at 8:22 am

Pachauri’s Pal – the Worldwatch Institute

Before the IPCC was even founded, the Worldwatch Institute had already declared that global warming was caused by fossil fuels. Surely that makes the IPCC chairman’s decision to fraternize with this activist organization a bit awkward.

Continue Reading April 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Why is Humanity Always the Fall Guy?

Museums acknowledge that, historically, Mother Nature killed off fish and caused glaciers to retreat. So why do these same institutions imply that similar events in the here-and-now are solely the fault of humans?

Continue Reading March 31, 2011 at 4:24 pm

The Horse Manure Problem

In the late 1800s cities were drowning in smelly, dirty, disease-spreading horse manure. The private automobile was a huge step forward, environmentally-speaking.

Continue Reading March 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Earth to Scientists

Half a century ago, a science journalist discovered that anything less than reverential reporting was interpreted by scientists as hostility. It would seem that climate scientists who label critics ‘anti-science’ come from a long tradition.

Continue Reading March 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Was the Fix In Before the IPCC Existed?

In 1970s and ’80s some scientists already believed human CO2 emissions would cause global warming. How do we know the IPCC’s 2007 conclusions weren’t preordained?

Continue Reading March 13, 2011 at 3:10 pm

An IPCC History Lesson

A full 13 years before the IPCC was born its first chairman seems to have already decided that fossil fuels affected the climate so adversely their use would need to be curtailed.

Continue Reading February 15, 2011 at 6:38 pm

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