December 18, 2009

As ClimateGate Goes Worldwide, AP’s Loven Grows Strangely Allergic to the ‘C-Word’

GlobalWarmingThe establishment press dispatches from Copenhagen have been remarkable exercises in unreality.

That’s because, as documented in two columns this week at Pajamas Media by Joseph D’Aleo (here and here) the ClimateGate scandal’s scope has gone worldwide. The subheadline at D’Aleo’s first column succinctly states the following (bold is mine):

The focus belongs not just on CRU (the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit), but on all of the organizations which gather temperature data. All now show evidence of fraud.

That’s right, “all.” As in, “every.” As in, “no exceptions.” There is apparently no clean data anywhere. And the raw data? As noted some time ago (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), that’s gone too.

Thus, there is no credible, scientific support for the assertion that the earth has been unusually warming, or for the contention that such warming if even occurring is human caused. None.

Other than to have fun and frolic in the unusual amounts of snow falling on the city, there is no reason for the climate conference in Copenhagen to even be taking place. Reporting from the event without mentioning ClimateGate, as almost no one is, is an exercise in denial.

The word choices of Jennifer Loven at the Associated Press in her latest reports seem to betray a bit of anxiety that globaloney’s house of cards is quickly collapsing.

On November 17, just a few days before ClimateGate broke, Loven, in an item about the President’s meeting with Chinese “President” Hu Zintao, used the word “carbon” four times:

But the United Nations and the European Union have called for a fund of at least $10 billion annually in the next three years to help poor countries draw up plans for moving to low-carbon economies ….

…. Worldwide carbon emissions jumped 2 percent last year, said the study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Geoscience, adding urgency to efforts to rein in pollution that traps the Earth’s heat.

…. The summit’s Danish hosts and other European leaders understood Obama’s comments on his Asian tour as a signal that he will deliver specific pledges of U.S. action on carbon emissions and financing in Copenhagen – even at the risk of moving faster than Congress would let him.

…. The administration hopes the U.S. position in Copenhagen will be fortified by evidence of some progress in Congress on climate, along other action the White House has taken to promote clean energy and rein in carbon dioxide emissions.

Remarkably, despite many obvious opportunities, neither of Loven’s two latest dispatches about President Obama’s visit to Copenhagen, as of 1:22 AM and 12:24 PM Eastern Time today (screen caps of most of each report are here and here the latter item will probably be updated frequently over the next 12-18 hours), contain the “C-word.” Instead, in her later report, she refers to “heat-trapping gasses” and “greenhouse gasses” (spelled differently from November’s “gases,” which is the usual usage). In her first item, she refers to “cuts in emissions growth” without even describing what kind of emissions.

Loven’s word choice would probably be much ado about nothing, except for two things.

First, Roger Ballentine, Loven’s husband (at least as of a few years ago), is an ardent and politically involved environmentalist. His bio at Green Strategies Inc. indicates experience inside the Clinton administration as “Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, where he focused on energy and environmental issues.” He is also a Senior Fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Ballentine was also an environmental spokesman for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, while the obviously conflicted-in-appearance Loven covered the Bush campaign and the Bush White House with such disgraceful bias that Powerline referred to her at the time as a “Democratic operative.”

Second, the gal has, along with her husband, been obsessing about carbon and carbon dioxide for many years.

As documented in a different 2004 Powerline post, Loven’s husband in 2002 openly criticized the Bush administration’s Clear Skies initiative because “the president’s proposal excludes …. CO2, the greenhouse gas predominantly responsible for global climate change.” In 2003, a Loven AP dispatch criticized Bush’s “so-called Clear Skies Initiative,” and echoed her husband by reporting that “Environmentalists said Bush’s proposal would actually weaken current law while doing nothing to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, blamed by many for global warming.” (I wonder which “environmentalists” she was referring to?)

A Google News Archive search on ["Jennifer Loven" carbon] (typed exactly as indicated) comes back with 59 results before considering duplicates, all between 1998 and November 2009. Considering that AP and its subscribers very often lock up their wire service content within a month or so, that’s a lot of hits, and probably only a percentage of all actual occurrences during that time frame.

Now, suddenly after all these years, up to and including last month, the “carbon” is gone from Loven’s reports from what is supposed to be the most important enviro conference in human history. Where did it go, Jen?

Could it be that Jennifer Loven has, perhaps with her husband’s grudging, abandon-the-ship help, figured out what a comprehensive hoax the whole global warming/climate change enterprise has been all these years, and is more than a little squeamish about reporting on the farce that is Copenhagen?

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Pajamas columnist D’Aleo is described as “Executive Director of http://icecap.us, a former professor of meteorology and climatology, the First Director of Meteorology at the Weather Channel, and a fellow of the American Meteorology Society.” Zheesh; what does he know? (/sarc)

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Lucid Links (121809, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:43 am

I see Howard Dean’s opposition to ObamaCare as an orchestrated attempt to get a bill passed and to make Obama come off as the moderate who at least got something done. Dean’s “I won’t vigorously support his re-election” double-down is not something a fellow party member would ordinarily say when his standard-bearer has over three years left on his term — unless he has another agenda, which I believe is the one just noted.

I hope it fails. Nothing that we’ve seen in past bills, and nothing that they’ve allowed the world to see or learn of the Senate’s attempt — which is very little, unless you’re Harry Reid or a precious few party insiders involved in writing and revising it — merits passage.

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In the midst of research for my Pittsburgh tuition tax column, I stumbled across this remarkable example from Newsweek of how a once proud and dynamic city has set its sights pathetically low:

Postindustrial cities, even relatively successful ones such as Pittsburgh, are trying to manage, rather than just reverse, population loss.

Successful? The city has faced bankruptcy at least twice, in late 2002 and early 2004. It’s on the brink again.

You can’t shrink your way to solvency if you keep chasing the productive people and companies you want to keep out of town.

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Despite how objectionable the tuition tax is, especially as it would be directly imposed on many impoverished students, a somewhat related contention that universities are getting free rides from the cities in which they are located is not without merit, as argued by Elizabeth Bryan and Nathan Benefield at the Philadelphia Bulletin:

Why do public and non-profit universities enjoy a tax-exempt status when proprietary colleges receive no such exemptions, even while offering the same services to students? Additionally, the community aspect of university education has lead many institutions to manage operations not directly associated with their educational mission – such as dormitories, food services, and recreation facilities. Competing restaurants, apartment buildings, and fitness centers do not enjoy the tax exemptions bestowed among public and many private colleges.

While students can ill afford a new tax on their tuition, they are also faced with unnecessary financial burden brought on by university leaders endlessly hiking tuition and fees to pay for non-instruction costs. Colleges, like cities, are bloated institutions, managing services that are more efficiently run by the private sector. Dr. Mary Hines, spokesperson for the PCHE explained, “We’re like little municipalities. We have our own police forces. We have our own contracts with city trash collectors. We do our own snow removal. We maintain our own fire systems and fire hydrants.” But should they?

By privatizing services unrelated to education, universities could both cut costs to students and erode the city’s “fair share” argument.

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Oh, puh-leeze — Greenspan Backs Deficit-Reduction Commission (bold is mine):

A tried-and-true Washington tactic for politicians to offload painful choices, the commission could make it easier for lawmakers to sign off on unpopular measures like trimming retirement spending or raising taxes.

The 18-member commission, comprised of eight lawmakers from each party, plus two from the Obama administration, would report its findings in the months after next year’s election, when lawmakers would presumably feel less political pressure.

If ever formed, it should officially be named the Cop-Out Commission.

This is just a way for politicians who don’t care one whit about solving the problem to get cover for their past profligate actions in the 2010 congressional elections by saying that they’ve “done something” about the problem by voting for this commission.

Horse. Manure.

Whatever this commission would propose wouldn’t take effect until the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2011, almost two years from now. The commission’s creation would be used as an excuse to otherwise stay on autopilot.

Autopilot is not acceptable:

DebtHeldByPublicProj1209

Based on the results of the first two months of this fiscal year, especially considering the continuing plunge in federal receipts (thus far December is also running about 10% behind last year), even the above likely underestimates the red ink bath.

I fear that those who hold our debt won’t give us anywhere near two years to get things back in line.

Update: USA Today’s Oval Blog mischaracterizes what Greenspan wants —

The notion that President Obama should appoint a special commission on ways to reduce the yawning budget deficit is getting a big-name boost: Alan Greenspan.

As J. Kevin Edwards notes, that’s very different from what is proposed above, which would be created by Congress. What USAT thinks Greenspan endorsed (and didn’t) is a commission created by an Obama Executive Order. It would not surprise anyone if an Obama commission came out with hand-wringing proposals for tax increases and little in the way of meaningful spending reductions or even controls on spending growth.

Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘A Tax You Can [Almost] Like’) Is Up

Filed under: Education,Soc. Sec. & Retirement,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:01 am

college_moneyTax_IncreaseIt’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog Sunday morning (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

It’s about the hidden benefits of a tuition tax such as the one being pushed in Pittsburgh (the latest is that a vote is scheduled for next week) — not that I would support its implementation. But imagine the eyes it would open, especially when you consider its intended use, which is to finance the cushy retirement benefits of Steel City, now becoming the Steal City, workers.

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UPDATE: Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl seems to be doing all he can to alienate students and the universities they attend. His name for the levy, which has been adopted by other proponents on Pittsburgh’s City Council: The “Fair Share Tax.”

UPDATE 2: The Mayor’s name for the tax is bad enough, but what is apparently the formal name, seen in Wednesday’s City Council minutes (one-page PDF), is even worse: The “Post-Secondary Education Privilege Tax.” Pittsburgh’s city government has a serious arrogance problem.

UPDATE 3: Kelly McParland at Canada’s National Post gets the intergenerational theft connection. She also excerpts a New York Times item noting that what Pittsburgh wants has been proposed in modified form in another city, while a third is actively seeking ways to extract more dollars from universities and their students:

Taxing the young to give to the old

You know all the predictions about the high cost of an aging population, and how boomers with health problems and pensions to collect will have to be supported by a dwindling population of younger workers?

Well, it’s here.

(From the Times)

As a town-gown clash, the issue pits local taxpayers against mostly out-of-state students. But it is also a struggle between the old Pittsburgh and the new, as the mayor tries to force the city’s youngest residents to support some of its oldest.

Other cities have considered going this route. This spring, for example, Mayor David N. Cicilline of Providence, R.I., proposed a $150-per-semester tax on students at the city’s four private colleges. The State Legislature, however, did not take it up.

And in Boston, Mayor Thomas M. Menino created a task force in January to explore increasing voluntary payments from the city’s universities and hospitals.

UPDATE 4: If such a tax ever were to take effect, you’d be amazed at how quickly the universities would move to start separately charging for items currently lumped into “tuition” to reduce the amount of tax they would have to collect from their students and pass on to the city. I would also expect the colleges to lobby to have the tax included as part of their Cost of Attendance, so that students could borrow from Uncle Sam to pay it.

Positivity: New Catholic radio station launches ‘channel of evangelization’ in Phoenix

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

Via the Catholic News Agency:

Dec 18, 2009 / 02:40 am

A new Catholic radio station launched in Phoenix on Thursday, becoming the 24th station of the Immaculate Heart Radio network in the western United States. The local bishop says it will be a “channel of evangelization.”

The new station, broadcast at KIHP 1310-AM, is the result of a five year effort to bring Catholic radio to the Phoenix market, the Phoenix Business Journal reports. The last three letters of its call sign stand for Immaculate Heart Phoenix.

Though the radio station used by KIHP was priced at four or five million dollars five years ago, it was purchased for only one million because the recession caused a lower asking price.

Doug Sherman, president and founder of the Sacramento-based Immaculate Heart Radio, said the purchase was funded by donors, the majority of whom were local.

“This is the first time a Catholic radio station has ever to come to Phoenix,” Sherman told the Phoenix Journal. “We know there’s a market here. Over 25 percent of the population is identified as Catholics.”

Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted told the Catholic Sun that the station would be a “channel of evangelization” for those with no faith or those who have fallen away from religious practice.

“Wherever stations have opened across our country, stories of conversion have soon followed,” he added.

Such stories include babies saved from abortion, Catholics growing deeper in their faith, strengthened families and instances of confirmed atheists bringing their family into the Church.

The station will also help reach the home-bound, those in nursing homes or with limited ability to be active in a parish. Commuters too will benefit, the bishop added. ….

Go here for the rest of the story.