Pope calling on people to protect the global climate

The Conversation
Andy Hoffman, University of Michigan and Jenna White, University of Michigan

pope@2xThis summer, Pope Francis plans to release an encyclical letter in which he will address environmental issues, and very likely climate change.

His statement will have a profound impact on the public debate. For one, it will elevate the spiritual, moral and religious dimensions of the issue. Calling on people to protect the global climate because it is sacred, both for its own God-given value and for the life and dignity of all humankind, not just the affluent few, will create far more personal commitment than a government call for action on economic grounds or an activist’s call on environmental grounds. (more…)

2015-04-12T13:21:39+00:00April 11th, 2015|Articles, Climate Change, In Touch|

Reported Link Between Fracking and Radon Gas is Purely Hypothetical

radonIn the last few days dozens of articles have suggested a causal link between fracking and an increase in radon levels in homes in Pennsylvania.  Headlines range from conservative as USA Today’s article  – “Study suggests fracking could release radon from ground” and CBS News with a question “Is fracking causing a spike in radon levels?” to inflammatory headlines from liberal activists stating that a link between fracking and rising levels of radon gas in homes near fracking sites has been established based on a study published yesterday in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Radon is a chemical element with symbol Rn and atomic number 86. It is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless[2]noble gas, occurring naturally as an indirect decay product of uranium or thorium.

In fact no such link was found by the study.  The authors say they focused on Pennsylvania because it has one of highest residential radon levels in the country, and because the state has a huge, detailed database of home radon measures.  They found that levels in some sites had risen since 2004, which is the date they claim fracking started to increase, however there is no controlled analysis of claim. The authors state the study is a preliminary “first look” into a “possible connection” between fracking and radon. (more…)

2015-04-12T16:52:13+00:00April 11th, 2015|Fracking, News|

Media Confuses Climate Change with Wisconsin Work Ethics

Although climate change is a serious problem that needs to be addressed, it is not the function of every public agency. Many have a sole purpose defined and paid for by taxpayers.  Bloomberg Business and most of the media reports on the issue were jumping on this story and paraphrasing each other without any original thought.

Last Tuesday, the Wisconsin’s Board of Commissioners of Public Lands voted 2-to-1 to prohibit staff “from engaging in global warming or climate change work” while on the clock at the Board of Commissioners. According to the board, working on climate change, or even just talking about it while at work, is a waste of public funds. (more…)

2015-04-12T13:23:06+00:00April 10th, 2015|Climate Change, News|

Extensive New Study finds Fracking not related to Groundwater Contamination

es-2014-05775c_0006Previous studies using very small sample sets reported that there may be higher concentrations of methane dissolved in groundwater near wells using hydraulic fracking methods in northeastern Pennsylvania.1,2

The new peer reviewed study by Syracuse University published in Environmental Science and Technology used a database of over 11,000 sites, hundreds of times larger than the previous studies.  No statistically significant relationship was found between dissolved methane concentrations in groundwater from domestic water wells and proximity to pre-existing oil or gas wells. Previous analyses used small sample sets compared to the population of domestic wells available, which may explain the difference in prior findings compared to the new findings using over 10,000 data points.  (more…)

2015-04-12T16:34:46+00:00March 30th, 2015|Fracking, News|

Liberal media misrepresents Florida reprimand of employee about ‘climate change’

Why are some in the liberal media falsely inflaming this story? They do not need to. The banning of the term ‘climate change’ by Florida officials is clear by now. There is no reason to embellish it with misleading stories by letting ideology distort reality. The Huffington Post, ran a story called ‘Florida Environmental Staffer Says He Was Reprimanded For Talking About Climate Change’, The Guardian called it “Florida employee ‘punished for using phrase climate change'”, The Washington Post called it “Fla. official says he was punished for using ‘climate change’ in report”

According to his reprimand, (read it yourself) it was not for using the term ‘climate change’ but for falsifying the results of a meeting, and for advocating against the Keystone pipeline on official documents. Whether the pipeline causes global warming or not is a political view, even though global warming and climate change are facts, it is not scientific consensus that Keystone will cause increased fuel use, only a shift in fuel use. Our position is that it may by making oil easier to get. (more…)

2015-04-12T13:24:11+00:00March 20th, 2015|Climate Change, News|

We are Just Animated Stardust

bodyModern observations show that the universe appears to be expanding, and that about 13.7 billion years ago it was much smaller and hotter. As it expanded and cooled, hydrogen and helium condensed out of the initial soup up of high energy particles.  Massive clouds of hydrogen  compressed by gravity gave birth to and fueled the stars. All of the elements heavier than helium are produced in fusion reactions that power the stars. The heaviest elements that make up the Earth and other rocky planets are remnants of supernova explosions of hot white stars.

Life on Earth is dependent on the debris leftover from one or more of these supernovas that occurred more than 4 billion years ago. Our bodies are about 90% stardust, and 10% hydrogen left over from the origin of the universe.  Billions of years of evolution have resulted in biological organs, our brains, that have the ability to comprehend and appreciate their own existence. Our brains control a network of nerves that can animate our bodies, and experience the universe through our senses.  At some point in the evolution of life on Earth our universe became self aware via unique arrangement of primordial hydrogen and stardust. (more…)

2015-03-17T18:49:58+00:00March 17th, 2015|About, Articles, Big Bang|

Heartland Institute is Out of Touch with regard to scientific consensus on climate change


Joseph Bast, President of Heartland Institute

The media as a ‘manufacturer of doubt’ can have a negative impact on the belief by the public that there is a no scientific consensus when in fact there is one. A Wall Street Journal article “The Myth of Climate Change ‘97%'” challenges that there is a scientific consensus by manufacturing doubt with shady arguments. The opinion co-authored by Joseph Bast, President of the Heartland Institute[5], which is the “the primary American organization pushing climate change skepticism,” according to the New York Times.  They do not address whether climate change is real or not. Instead they focus on manufacturing doubt about scientific consensus. (more…)

‘Manufacturers of Doubt’ undermine public support for policies mitigating climate change

daf09a936076b46dac53bfa9ddd96669-origStrong scientific consensus will not generate public support for environmental policy, unless skeptical voices become almost silent.  Surveys have shown that perceptions of scientific dissent undermine public support for environmental policy[1]. Even a few vocal or organized scientific and media voices can cause a perception of uncertainty in the public, a tactic used by tobacco companies in the 50’s and 60’s to sway public opinion away from the dangers of smoking. A paper, since debunked as quackery, about vaccines and autism has led to 30% of the American public believing there is a connection according to PEW survey.[2] Likewise, organizations like the Heartland Institute[5] focus on manufacturing doubt about scientific consensus on climate change even though the scientific consensus on climate change approaches 97%.  (more…)

2015-04-12T13:47:02+00:00March 16th, 2015|Articles, Climate Change|

Friends of the Earth are Out of Touch because of their Ideologic Positioning


David Brower, founder Friends of the Earth

Opposition to Diablo Canyon started before it was constructed, by Friends of the Earth (FOE), a political action group founded by activist David Brower in 1969, over concerns about earthquake safety. Brower, who was against nuclear power in general, split with the Sierra Club over the Club’s position on the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. The Club helped block PG&E’s plan for a nuclear power plant at Bodega Bay over concerns of the earthquake danger from the nearby San Andreas Fault, and supported moving the site to Diablo Canyon.  Brower believed that nuclear power was a dangerous mistake at any location, and opposed Diablo Canyon, in defiance of the Club’s official policy. Browser’s ideology was opposition to nuclear power this has become an existential issue for them so they need to claim it is unsafe regardless of the science. They have ignored the recent seismic studies making them out of touch with reality on this issue.  (more…)

2015-03-16T18:48:43+00:00March 15th, 2015|Articles, Nuclear Power, Out of Touch with Reality|

Study Shows Diablo Canyon Safe From Earthquakes and Tsunamis

greeen nuclear

CGNP rally in support of Diablo Canyon in February 2015. LompocRecord.com

Diablo Canyon, California’s last nuclear power plant, can safely withstand earthquakes, tsunamis and flooding that could potentially occur in the region according to a new report released March 9, 2015 by PG&E.   Evaluations were performed at the direction of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

As part of its response to the Fukushima event in Japan in 2011, the NRC directed all U.S. commercial nuclear power plants to perform a reassessment of the potential seismic and flooding hazards to their facilities. The seismic hazard analysis at Diablo Canyon was performed using an NRC-mandated process known as the Senior Seismic Hazard Analysis Committee, or SSHAC. Under the SSHAC process, existing and new seismic information was peer-reviewed and publicly evaluated by third-party, independent seismic experts. (more…)

2015-04-12T15:52:00+00:00March 15th, 2015|News, Nuclear Power|

Big Bang

antiverseThe Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model for the earliest known periods of the universe and its subsequent large-scale evolution. It states that the Universe was in a very high density state and then expanded.  The Sillycats antiverse model is a version that explains the arrow of time, matter/antimatter asymmetry, and the conservation of energy in the origin of the big bang. (more…)

2015-03-16T18:51:40+00:00March 14th, 2015|Articles, Big Bang|

Stand up to junk science on fracking

America’s smart drilling revolution has bestowed numerous economic and environmental benefits. Innovative entrepreneurs who combined horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing have led to huge increases of domestic energy production, making the U.S. the number one oil and gas producer in the world. We did all this while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality.

It’s puzzling, then, that Lois Marie Gibbs would claim in an op-ed on this site that “the science and experiences of Americans” show that hydraulic fracturing poses “immense harm to people across the nation.”  The reality is exactly the opposite. Read more -> By Thomas Pyle, TheHill.com

2015-03-14T00:33:45+00:00March 14th, 2015|Articles, Fracking|

Hydraulic Fracking Controversy

Hydraulic fracturing is highly controversial; whereas its proponents advocate the economic benefits of more extensively accessible hydrocarbons, opponents argue that the environmental impactsof fracking include the risks of contaminating ground water, depleting fresh water, degrading air quality, potentially triggering earthquakes, noise pollution, surface pollution, and the consequential hazards to public health and the environment. The benefits of reducing green house gas by replacing coal with natural gas and addressing the very real problem of climate change far outweigh the risks of hypothetical problems that alarmists have raised.  (more…)

2015-03-14T00:34:22+00:00March 13th, 2015|Articles, Fracking|