Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #165

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

A New Byrd-Hagel Resolution? As discussed in an article by Fred Singer, in 1997 the U.S. Senate passed by unanimous vote the Byrd-Hagel resolution against a climate protocol being considered by UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and by the Clinton-Gore Administration. The protocol in doubt became the unsuccessful Kyoto Protocol which extended the life of the UNFCCC and committed the parties to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). Although technically signed by the US government, the Clinton-Gore administration did not submit the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate for ratification, as required by the Constitution to be binding on the US, in light of the opposition expressed in the Byrd-Hagel resolution.

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Cargo Cult US Policy

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Melanesia includes island countries like Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. During World War II and other colonization eras, there developed what is called the Cargo Cult.

One main idea of the Cargo Cult was that it was the building of runways for airplanes which brought all the planes, which brought all the riches from the outside world. They believed that the cause of the planes coming was the existence of the landing strips.

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Arbitrage, Interest, & Exchange Rates

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Arbitrage is an unfamiliar term. However, our Economy depends on it for every transaction. The simplest explanation is buying cheap in one market and selling higher in another market.

Everyday, you sell your productive work time in exchange for the necessities, and luxuries, of life. You wouldn’t do it unless you believed that your time was of cheaper value – to you – than the things you exchange it for.

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Business Cycles and Government Decisions

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Economic conditions tend to run in cycles. Pressures build, official efforts are made to contain any perceived bad effects, and at some point, the pressures overwhelm all opposition. The cave-in frequently, but not always, sets pressures in motion in the opposite direction.

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Two Percent Inflation And The Fed’s Current Mandate

Ron Paul   By Ron Paul

Over the last 100 years the Fed has had many mandates and policy changes in its pursuit of becoming the chief central economic planner for the United States. Not only has it pursued this utopian dream of planning the US economy and financing every boondoggle conceivable in the welfare/warfare state, it has become the manipulator of the premier world reserve currency.

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Grandmaster Putin’s Gold Trap: Russia Is Selling Oil And Gas In Exchange For Physical Gold

Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com By Dmitry Kalinichenko

Accusations of the West towards Putin are traditionally based on the fact that he worked in the KGB and therefore he is a cruel and immoral person. Putin is blamed for everything. But nobody ever accused Putin of the lack of intelligence.

Any accusations against this man only emphasizes his ability for quick analytical thinking and making clear and balanced political and economic decisions.

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Stolen Retirement

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

I’ve been reading about retirement lately. One piece of the retirement planning puzzle is figuring out how much money you need.

Let’s make some assumptions, for the purpose of this discussion – your requirements likely will vary considerably. Your annual earnings over your work life average $60K (near the current median family income),

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Boston Snowstorm vs Global Warming

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

The weatherman is telling me that a blizzard is coming to my house, about 25 miles north of Boston. He’s forecasting 2-3 feet of “thunder” snow and winds approaching hurricane force.

Weather forecasts have improved greatly since I was a kid (ancient history), so I have to expect a winter storm. We’ll see just how bad it turns out to be.

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Will the West Defend Itself?

Re-Blogged From http://www.CapitalismMagazine.com

walter-williams-142x200   By Walter Williams

Leftists and progressives believe that the U.S. should become more like Europe. They praise Europe’s massive welfare state, socialized medicine and stifling economic regulation and accept its unwillingness to defend itself against barbarism. I wonder whether America’s leftists and progressives want to import some of Europe’s barbaric extremism associated with its Muslim population.

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Supreme Court Could Alter Obamacare & EPA

Re-Blogged From http://www.CFACT.org – By Larry Bell

Two high court rulings this year may potentially alter the paths of Obamacare and EPA regulatory authority in significant ways.

Early this year, most likely in March, the court will hear arguments on whether or not the Obama Administration has legal authority to grant tax subsidies through health insurance exchanges established by the federal government….

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Rand Paul’s SOU Rebuttal

Senator Rand Paul, a likely 2016 Presidential candidate, has given a rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union Address. It offers a real opposing viewpoint, with specific policy suggestions, rather than the usual platitudes that too often mark opposition party remarks. Whether you support what he says (as I do) or not, you should read (or watch below) what he has to say.  –Bob

Re-Blogged From http://www.Reason.com

The full text of Sen. Rand Paul’s response to the president’s State of the Union address is now available—in advance of him actually giving the speech. Here it is, via Breitbart:

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The Dollar in FOREX Markets

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

The paper currencies of all countries fluctuate in exchange rate for several reasons, mostly (but not always) due to government policies.

The exchange rate for the Euro (since 1999 when the Euro was introduced) vs the US Dollar, started around $1.18, dropped to $0.83 in 2001, jumped up to $1.60 in 2008, and now is back just below where it started, today at $1.1275 per Euro.

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The Business Cycle & Government

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Sometimes, people make stupid choices.

Wait! Let me be more kind. Sometimes, people make choices which don’t work out as well as they had hoped.

You may have a passion for reproductions of historic horse and buggy rigs, and you decide to invest your life savings to open a plant to produce buggy whips. My expectation (I certainly can be mistaken myself) is that your venture won’t meet your profit hopes.

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How Government-Funded Stadiums and Museums Harm Taxpayers

Re-Blogged From http://www.Reason.com – By A. Barton Hinkle

The meal you get at the take-out window usually doesn’t look much like the picture on the billboard. But advertisers know hungry motorists base their decisions on pretty pictures, not reality. Hence the adage “sell the sizzle, not the steak.” Falling for the sales pitch, though, is how you get burned.

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Markets Restrain Bank Fraud, But Central Banks Enable It

Re-Blogged From Silver-Phoenix500.com – By Frank Shostak

Originally, paper money was not regarded as money but merely as a representation of a commodity (namely, gold). Various paper certificates represented claims on gold stored with the banks. Holders of paper certificates could convert them into gold whenever they deemed necessary. Because people found it more convenient to use paper certificates to exchange for goods and services, these certificates came to be regarded as money.

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2014: Among the 3 percent Coldest Years in 10,000 Years

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

We were told in October, before 2014 was over, that it was heading toward being the warmest year on record (Figure 1). The visual link of Polar Bears underscored the message. In fact, 2014 was among the coldest 3 percent of years of the last 10,000, but that doesn’t suit the political agenda.

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Crowding Out

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Back in 1971-72, the Wall Street Journal ran a pair of editorials on how the government was crowding out the private sector. Back then, it was the “massive” official National Debt plus Unfunded Liabilities – together about $4 Trillion then compared to today approaching $250 Trillion.

The Wall Street Journal noted that all of that spending beyond Uncle Sam’s means (deficit spending) had to be financed through borrowing.

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Government vs Standard of Living

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Back in the days of the American Revolution, there was a Scottish economist by the name of Adam Smith, who wrote a book called The Wealth of Nations. In this classic, Smith uses the Pig Cycle to help explain why economies go through ups and downs, commonly referred to business cycles.

Pig farmers raise pigs to make a profit. Not just a profit, but the best profit available through the several choices they can invest in. If the

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The End of the Era of Central Banks

Re-Blogged From Silver-Phoenix500.com – By Andrew Hoffman

It’s Sunday afternoon, and I simply don’t know where to start; as each day, there are literally a half-dozen “horrible headlines” worthy of full-time discussion. To that end, even at the height of the 2008 crisis, things didn’t look as dire as today – with literally dozens of potential “black swans” on the horizon, in an environment where, sadly, such events aren’t even necessary to catalyze the inevitable collapse of history’s largest house of cards. Unquestionably, the majority of the global financial community realizes something is very, very wrong, though the vast majority haven’t

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How Money Vanishes

Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com – By Steve Saville

Changes in asset prices or any other prices do not cause changes in money supply, although many of the people who comment on the financial markets and economics believe otherwise. We were recently reminded of this mistaken belief when reading an analysis of oil’s large price decline that included the assertion that hundreds of billions of dollars had been eliminated from the economy as a result of this price change.

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2014: The Most Dishonest Year on Record

Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com By Anthony Watts

‘Warmest Year On Record’ Claims Falling Apart Under Scrutiny

The Nasa climate scientists who claimed 2014 set a new record for global warmth last night admitted they were only 38 per cent sure this was true.  Yesterday it emerged that GISS’s analysis – based on readings from more than 3,000 measuring stations worldwide – is subject to a margin of error. Nasa admits this means it is far from certain that 2014 set a record at all. –David Rose, Mail on Sunday, 18 January 2015

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People Have More Money. Let’s Tax It!

Re-Blogged From http://www.Mises.org By John P. Cochran

As highlighted by David Henderson and Peter Boettke, markets and competition are like weeds, not delicate flowers. Economies recover even from severe boom-bust episodes and despite growth-retarding regime uncertainty. Even burdensome regulation, per Pierre Lemieux, causes a “slow-motion collapse” or stagnation, not a crash. But one thing can be counted on, as innovation or recovery begin to deliver additional spending power to the productive class of the economy, the “unmet needs” crowd will just as quickly be out clamoring for a heightened government share of the ‘bounty’ for some imagined greater public good.

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Where Would Interest Rates Be If The FED Didn’t Exist?

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged from http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

On January 7th CNBC’s Rick Santelli and Steve Leisman engaged in a heated debate that posed an interesting question; is the free market at work keeping interest rates low, or is it the central banks’ put?  This made me consider the real question to ask which is: Where would rates be if central banks didn’t exist?

What would happen if the Fed liquidated its balance sheet and sold its $4.5 trillion

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cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

This afternoon I noticed that my SPAM folder had almost 200 items, which turned out largely to be your comments. I have read through all of them and either posted them on the web site or answered them directly by email.

Just about all of them were complimentary, for which I thank all of you. I’m glad that you find my posts to be of value – I certainly enjoy

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #164

The Week That Was: January 17, 2015

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org – Ken Haapala, President

NOAA – NASA Temperature Announcement: Perhaps few public statements exemplify the willingness of certain government agencies to mislead the public as clearly as this week’s joint announcement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The press release reads as if the announcement was considered more an opportunity for self-promotion than a scientific statement.

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Four Stories, Two Worlds

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

To start the four tales of the title, I noticed a couple of stories in the news lately about how critical inexpensive energy is for the poor. The first story said:

Wall Street may be growing anxious about the negative impact of falling oil prices on energy producers, but the steep declines of recent weeks are delivering substantial benefits to U.S. working-class families and retirees who have largely missed out on the fruits of the economic recovery.

Just last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that the typical U.S. household would save $750 because of lower gasoline prices this year, $200 more than government experts predicted a month ago. People who depend on home heating oil and propane to warm their homes, as millions do in the Northeast and Midwest, should enjoy an additional savings of about $750 this winter.

“It may not have a huge effect on the top 10 percent of households, but if you’re earning $30,000 or $40,000 a year and drive to work, this is a big deal,” said Guy Berger, U.S. economist at RBS. “Conceptually, this is the opposite of the stock market boom, which was concentrated at the top.”

Note that while the stock market boom has helped the top ten percent but not the poor, the drop in oil prices has helped the poor … I know which one I prefer.

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Creating 35 Million New Jobs

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the US has 156 million people 16 and over, who make up the civilian labor force – 8.7 million of these are out of work. If you add in those Americans who are working part time but want full time and those Americans who have given up hope of finding any job, there are closer to 35 million Americans either unemployed, work part time because they can’t find a full time job, or have given up hope of finding any job.

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The “Tactical” Nuclear Option(s)!

Bill Holter   Guest Post By Bill Holter

WOW! Two huge news stories within 24 hours. First, Russia decided to shut off the gas pipeline to southern Europe, next the Swiss dropped their 1.20 floor peg to the euro. The first story is absolutely huge but has been completely overshadowed by the Swiss. In my opinion, the Russian move is part of the “war” chess game, the move by the Swiss is your beginning to multiple resets leading into a complete economic and financial reset!

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The Swiss Franc Shock!

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Tiny Switzerland is an economic powerhouse of sorts. Swiss GDP is about 1/50th of US GDP, while GDP per capita is about 5% higher than in the US. Growth in the Swiss Economy is about in line with US numbers – except the US numbers are fudged with the lowball CPI figures. Swiss unemployment is lower than the US. The appeal of its banking system to worldwide customers is legendary.

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Moose and Global Warming

Guest essay by Jim Steele – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

The biggest threat to the integrity of environmental science is bad science, exaggeration and fear mongering. The recent hype about declining moose populations is just one more example of global warming advocates hijacking and denigrating ecological science. All organisms act locally, yet global warming advocates quickly characterize any local wildlife declines as the dastardly work of global warming.

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Subprime Delinquencies Rising In Autoland

David Stockman   By David Stockman – Re-Blogged From http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com

Yesterday’s WSJ article on rising auto loan delinquencies had a familiar ring. It focused on sub-prime borrowers who were missing payments within a few months of the vehicle purchase. Needless to say, that’s exactly the manner in which early signs of the subprime mortgage crisis appeared in late 2006 and early 2007.

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Climate Risk Map

Guest essay by Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

UK Climate experts have prepared a map of countries they think are most at risk of climate change. However their map could easily be mistaken for a geopolitical risk map – the most “endangered” countries are, with few exceptions, countries which are neutral to or even hostile to the USA and Western interests.

High on their risk are countries such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan, countries whose populations regularly express hostility towards the USA and Western values.

US allies such as Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and most of Europe score well on the risk map – they are listed as countries least likely to be severely impacted by climate change.

All of this poses an obvious question – if we accept the map at face value, why should we care about climate change?

Floating Ruble vs Currency Board

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

When the only tool in your kit is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. When the only tool in your kit is a currency board, then….

Over the last month or so, I’ve read several pieces calling for Russia to set up a currency board today, just as Keynes did for Russia 100 years ago. I do not agree with that prescription.

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555 TRILLION Reasons Why The Fed Won’t Let Rates Normalize

Guest Post By Graham Summers

The biggest question for investors today is that whether or not rates will rise in 2015.

The Fed may raise rates a token amount this year, but the move will be largely symbolic. With over $100 trillion in bonds and over $555 TRILLION in interest rate derivatives trading based on interest rates, the Fed will not be normalizing rates at any point in the future.

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Deflation & Central Bank Delusions

Re-Blogged from http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com By GE Christenson

Contradictions exist in our less than sane financial world.

Is it sensible to pay insolvent banks to hold your currency? Negative interest rates are now common.

Is it sensible to lend your savings to insolvent governments for 10 years at 2% interest or less when history shows us that the purchasing power of the currency will decrease far more than 2% per year?

Is it sensible that the time value of currency is effectively zero?  Zero or negative interest rates are not a sign of economic health.

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Which Way the US Economy?

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

There have been a lot of news items lately which will / could have an impact on the US Economy and the Jobs outlook. The US currently has about 140 million people working, a rise of 2 million over the last 7 years. At less than 24,000 rise per month, that doesn’t come close to satisfying the demand for jobs with roughly 120,000 Americans entering the job market each month. The US would have needed to create 10 million new jobs during the last 7 years to do that.

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Too Cold is More Deadly Than Too Hot

Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com By Anthony Watts

Australians are more likely to die during unseasonably cold winters than hotter than average summers, QUT research has found.

From the Queensland University of Technology

Across the country severe winters that are colder and drier than normal are a far bigger risk to health than sweltering summers that are hotter than average.

QUT Associate Professor Adrian Barnett, a statistician with the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation and the lead researcher of the study, said death rates in Australian cities were up to 30 per cent higher in winter than summer.

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Crude Oil Supply and Demand

Re-Blogged from http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com By Keith Weiner

We don’t normally analyze the crude oil market. However, there has been a huge price move (which may not be complete yet). With the endless rumors of deals that explain the move, we thought we would look at the spreads. The data shows a startling picture.

You should approach supply and demand in this market similarly to gold and silver. The difference is that there is very little inventory buffered in the system. Notwithstanding what you read about China “buying up” the oil to take advantage of “cheap” prices, oil requires specialized storage facilities. There is a significant cost to store it, and finite capacity too.

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The Inflation/Deflation Rollercoaster

Guest Post By Michael Pento

Politicians and central bankers are desperately trying to convince investors that the economy has returned to what they deem as a “pre-crisis normality”. But the truth is the global economy has never been in a more fragile condition. In an example of just how precarious the Fed-engineered asset bubbles have become, all of the 2014 U.S. equity market gains were wiped out by just a few really bad trading days in October.

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Climate Models vs Real World Data

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

The anti-energy policies of the greens, and by extension of the democrats, depend in large measure on the accuracy/validity of the various climate models. I have stated my opinion several times already that these models are crap.

If the models cannot be relied on to give realistic predictions of future global warming, then the politicians intent on outlawing CO2 through outlawing the use of fossil fuels rightly would be laughed at and voted out of office.

The only way to tell if the models have any validity is to compare the model output to real world observation – look at the data.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

The Week That Was: 2015-01-10

THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (www.SEPP.org )

Fooling Nature? Before the UN Climate Conference in Peru in December, several US government agencies, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (NASA-GISS), guessed at the average global temperatures for 2014, stating 2014 will be the hottest year on record. They guessed wrong.

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20 States Raise Minimum Wage

Re-Blogged from www.CEI.Org By Ryan Young

The minimum wage is one of the most popular policies for fighting poverty, and proposed increases to it usually poll very well. The $7.25 per hour federal minimum wage hasn’t increased since 2009, so now many states are enacting their own minimum wage hikes. Twenty states are inaugurating 2015 with new increases.

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Highway Federal Gas Tax

Another day, another news article supportive of raising the federal gas tax. This time it’s the Wall Street Journal. The article notes that there is strong public opposition to raising gas taxes, but then proceeds to give us the arguments in favor of it, but none against. So for the next reporter writing about raising the gas tax, here are some policy reasons against it.

Let me zero in on two points made by the Journal story.

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Vetoing Bipartisan Energy, Job, and Economic Growth

New Republican members were still being sworn in and expressing their desire for bipartisan initiatives, when President Obama said he would veto the Keystone pipeline, ObamaCare fixes, and other bills that run counter to his agenda. Washington’s new “common ground” will be a tricky, dangerous swamp.

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The Week That Was: 2015-01-03 (January 3, 2015)

Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project

By Ken Haapala

Quote of the Week: “politically correct climate change orthodoxy has completely destroyed our ability to think rationally about the environment.” Richard Tol, who withdrew his name from the IPCC AR5, economics section, because it was too alarmist, even though he was coordinating lead author


Number of the Week: Down 41%


The Pause or Plateau: Fred Singer provides an analysis of the explanations, largely expressed by global-warming promoters, why atmospheric temperatures have failed to rise for over a decade, and surface temperatures have failed to rise for about 18

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A New Ice Age?

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

While Global Warming Alarmists try to scare us into destroying our Economy by eliminating fossil fuels, the natural history of the last million years suggests we may be nearing another of the cyclical Ice Ages – perhaps “Little” but maybe not.

Even the 2-3 degree (Celsius) drop to a new Little Ice Age would be far more devastating than 2-3 more degrees of warming.

Here’s a video discussing past cold cycles and what could be in store.

Record Global Oil Demand: Even As The Price Of Oil Declined

Guest Post By SRSrocco From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

There is this notion put forth by the media that a decline in global oil demand caused the huge drop in the price of oil.  Ironically, global oil demand is higher than ever… that is, according to the IEA – International Energy Agency.

Not only did the world consume the most oil it had ever in the third quarter of 2014, it was 600,000 barrels per day more than it did in the same period last year.  In Q3

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The ‘Equality’ Racket

Thomas Sowell   Re-Blogged from Thomas Sowell at http://www.capitalismmagazine.com

Some time ago, burglars in England scrawled a message on the wall of a home they had looted: “RICH BASTARDS.”

Those two words captured the spirit of the politicized vision of equality — that it was a grievance when someone was better off than themselves.

That, of course, is not the only meaning of equality, but it is the predominant political meaning in practice, where economic “disparities” and “gaps” are automatically treated as “inequities.” If

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