Leaf Blowers Banned (Take that, Greta)

Greta keeps repeating that nothing is being done to reduce emissions, blind to all the imposed policies and regulations.  So today good news out of California, the leader in fighting climate change.  From NBC San Diego Encinitas Leaf Blower Ban Goes Into Effect.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Businesses in Encinitas are no longer allowed to use gas powered leaf blowers as of Friday, Dec. 20.

The Encinitas City Council approved the leaf blower ordinance back in August. Then in September, the ordinance went into effect for city operations.

The goal of the city’s Climate Action Plan is to eventually ban all gas powered leaf blowers by January 20, 2020 in order to reduce the city’s carbon footprint. The next goal is to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030. The city estimates that this leaf blower ban will reduce local green house gas emissions by 128 metric tons of CO2 emissions by the end of 2020, and 142 metric tons by 2030.

Then on January 20, 2020, the ban will go into effect for residents as well.

But, the ordinance also states that electric or battery powered leaf blowers are allowed. So the city is now offering a city-funded rebate program, so that residents and business owners can buy a new electric or battery-powered leaf blower.

The ordinance also lays out a list of rules about the time of day people are allowed to use their leaf blowers.

Now, people in Encinitas are only permitted to use their electric or batter powered leaf blowers between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and between 12 noon and 5 p.m. on Sundays.

So calm down Greta and show some respect for all the nanny-state rules coming on.

Climate Crisis, No! Energy Poverty.

Energy and Poverty are obviously tied together.

Access to cleaner and affordable energy options is essential for improving the livelihoods of the poor in developing countries. The link between energy and poverty is demonstrated by the fact that the poor in developing countries constitute the bulk of an estimated 2.7 billion people relying on traditional biomass for cooking and the overwhelming majority of the 1.4 billion without access to grid electricity. Most of the people still reliant on traditional biomass live in Africa and South Asia.

The relationship is, in many respects, a vicious cycle in which people who lack access to cleaner and affordable energy are often trapped in a re-enforcing cycle of deprivation, lower incomes and the means to improve their living conditions while at the same time using significant amounts of their very limited income on expensive and unhealthy forms of energy that provide poor and/or unsafe services.” Source:  Energy, Poverty, and Development, Chapter 2 UN Global Energy Assessment

The moral of this is very clear. Where energy is scarce and expensive, people’s labor is cheap and they live in poverty. Where energy is reliable and cheap, people are paid well to work and they have a better life.

Katie Tahuahua writes at Real Clear Energy A Better Word of the Year for 2019: Energy Poverty.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

It’s that time of year. As New Year’s Eve approaches, we look back on 2019 seeking nuggets of wisdom from twelve more months of the human experience. Unfortunately, the Word of the Year selections from two top dictionaries reveal just how misplaced this year’s priorities were.

The Oxford English Dictionary selected “climate crisis” as the term that “reflects the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year.” Striking a similarly dismal note, Dictionary.com’s selection was “existential.”

A better word of the year for 2019? Energy poverty.

While wealthy world leaders take luxurious trips to Madrid for the U.N. Climate Conference, flying across oceans in crisp business suits, one billion human beings are living in abject poverty without access to electricity. Still more lack reliable electricity.

Environmental protection can and should be a priority—but those clamoring about the supposedly disastrous future effects of a mildly warming climate could better spend their time and attention on the very real, immediate impact of energy poverty.

A life without energy is a life of drudgery. Without the benefits of electricity such as clean water, modern health care, and home heating, communities are mired in sickness, hard physical labor, and limited opportunity.

Average life expectancies are as much as two decades shorter in countries without widespread electricity. While wealthy nations wring their hands and a generation of children is plagued with climate hysteria-induced anxiety, real men, women, and children are dying every day from such simple illnesses as diarrhea and the flu.

Even household chores pose a threat without energy. Nearly 4 million perish annually from preventable lung and heart disease caused by inhaling soot when cooking over an indoor fire. The natural gas or electric stoves we take for granted would literally save lives in developing countries.

And economic freedom is nearly unheard of in these nations, where most live in poor rural villages and women spend much of their day walking arduous journeys to collect water and firewood (or, worse, cow dung).

The easiest way to alleviate poverty around the world is creating access to affordable, reliable energy. With cheap, abundant electricity to cook, heat and light homes, and provide new economic opportunities, the third world could experience the same prosperity and opportunity as the Western world.

Some will argue that, as upsetting as energy poverty may be, we have to do something about climate change. This is wrong for two reasons.

First, despite ubiquitous headlines proclaiming our impending doom, there’s simply no scientific evidence to suggest that climate change will be anything other than mild and manageable. Thanks to scientific advances (ironically fueled by the very same fossil fuels so often vilified in the media), humans are more resilient than ever to our surroundings.

Second, no government program can ultimately have any meaningful effect on climate change. According to data models used by the United Nations, even the global Paris Climate Accord would reduce the planet’s average temperature by at most 0.17°C—if the United States was still participating and every signatory fulfilled its emission reduction pledges for the rest of the century. With the European Union recently admitting it won’t reach its 2030 carbon dioxide targets, the odds are increasingly slim.

Rather than expend massive sums of tax dollars on inefficient, unreliable renewable energy, the best path forward is to promote human health, prosperity, and continued private-sector innovation to address the many challenges we face.

Here’s hoping 2020 will see Western society cast off the heavy burden of climate alarmism and focus instead on eliminating energy poverty—providing light, warmth, and hope to suffering people.

ExxonKnew While NYAGsClueless

At Real Clear Energy is a good reflection on the collapsed climate legal crusade by three NYAGs Exxon and Evidence 101 by John S. Baker, Jr. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The problem for all these attorney generals is that states have no jurisdiction over climate change. Whatever one thinks about climate change, the climatic phenomena know no borders. If anything should be done about climate change, it is properly committed to the federal government.

Untroubled by these fundamental facts, current New York Attorney General Letitia James nevertheless charged ExxonMobil with fraud in misleading investors regarding the threat posed to the company by the costs allegedly associated with by climate change. New York State’s notoriously broad and vague Martin Act.

In the court of (elite) public opinion, ExxonMobil had already been found guilty. For three years prior to trial, the Attorney General’s office claimed that ExxonMobil was clearly engaged in fraud. The whole point of the “#Exxon Knew” media campaign was to convince the public that the fraud was unquestionable. The fraud claim was that, for decades, Exxon had knowingly and willingly mislead the public and that investors had relied on the allegedly false information.

Then, at trial, reality set in. After weeks of evidence, the States’ attorney suddenly and without explanation conceded during his closing argument –but only when pressed by the judge—that he had to drop the fraud claims. So, after screaming “fraud” for four years, the Attorney General’s office could produce absolutely no evidence of fraud.

That left two charges which were much less serious– but should have been much easier to prove — under the Martin Act. The two remaining charges did not require proof of any intentional act by ExxonMobil. Nevertheless, the State was unable to muster even this minimum level of proof.

Judge Ostrager wrote that regardless of ExxonMobil’s role with respect to climate change, this was a securities case– not a climate-change case. Indeed, the State’s attorney had insisted this was a securities case. The judge wrote that “the Attorney General failed to prove, a preponderance of the evidence, that ExxonMobil made any material misstatements or omissions about its practices and procedures that misled any reasonable investor.

The judge continued, saying that “the Attorney General produced no testimony either from any investor who claimed to have been misled by any disclosure, even though the Office of the Attorney General had previously represented it would call such individuals as trial witnesses.”

Of course, environmentalist groups are slamming the decision. They seem to think that because they disagree with a corporation’s policies and practices that their corporate opponents are evil and must be branded as criminals.

These critics include lawyers, at least some seem to think that the purity of their purpose justifies a finding of fraud against ExxonMobil despite the lack of evidence.

This verdict represents a devastating defeat for New York Attorney General James, as well as for the “#Exxon Knew” campaign. That media campaign may have energized Democratic officials; but in the courtroom, slogans cannot substitute for facts and the law.

It remains to be seen what effect the New York verdict will have on the Massachusetts case filed against ExxonMobil. The Massachusetts Attorney General is proceeding on a different theory, one focused on consumer protection. For environmental extremists, however, the end-game is the same. So, they are likely to redouble their public-opinion efforts in hopes of encouraging the Massachusetts Attorney General to go forward.

Nevertheless, trial lawyers in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office are likely taking a hard look at their evidence and the judge assigned to the case. They undoubtedly appreciate support from the environmental movement, but they surely also want to avoid the extreme embarrassment of a second devastating loss to ExxonMobil.

Misguided idealism, environmental or otherwise, can become impatient with the basic principles of the rule of law. When that impatience is teamed with incompetent and/or ruthless litigators, the courts can become a forum for tyranny. Thankfully, “old fashioned” trial judges still look at whether or not the evidence presented supports the charge filed.

Footnote:  Today’s social discourse is poisoned by people believing that accusations are proof without any need for evidence. The media is rife with empty climate claims, while Kavenaugh and now Trump have been smeared with rumors, hearsay and innuendo.  Substituting feelings for facts is not the path to find the truth.

See Also Activist-Legal Complex Perverts Science

CO2 Hysteria Impairs Thinking

An article by James Pero at Daily Mail confirms suspicions about muddled thinking regarding global warming/climate change.  Is carbon dioxide making it harder to THINK straight?   Excerpts in italics with my comments and images.

Rising CO2 levels may hinder cognitive function and could decrease decision-making efficiency by 50 PERCENT in 2100, study says. 

  • Carbon emissions may have a drastic impact on cognitive function
  • Researchers say that CO2 may decrease classroom decision making
  • It could reduce decision making by as much as 50 percent in 2100, they say

Rational thought may eventually become a victim of climate change according to a new study.

[Well, media announcements and studies like this one show rationality is already greatly compromised.]

Research presented by scientists at the annual American Geophysical Union and submitted to the journal GeoHealth suggests that increased CO2 may soon diminish humans’ capacity to think clearly.

The findings follow previous studies that show how indoor air pollution and poor ventilation can hinder people’s ability to perform mentally, including a study published last year from the University College London.

[Note the chart at the top showing that CO2 in the atmosphere is 410ppm (parts/per/million) , or 0.04%.  Note also that health and safety regulations for buildings expect no harmful effects below 5000 ppm, which would be 10 times the present amount.]

‘Human cognitive performance declines with an increase in CO2’, the researchers wrote in the paper.

‘Direct impacts of CO2 emissions on human cognitive performance may be unavoidable.’

Those studies concluded that circulating air and regulating the amount of CO2 trapped in a room can help mitigate the effects of too much CO2, but new research suggests ventilation in a climate change-addled future might just make matters worse.

[This diagram shows the ratio of human to natural carbon dioxide in the atmosphere equals the ratio of their inflows, independent of residence time.
The amount of CO2 flowing from humans into the atmosphere is miniscule (about 4%) compared to CO2 flowing from the oceans and biosphere (96%).  Thus the human component presently is 17ppm (or 0.002%).  Eliminating our emissions entirely would have no discernable impact on the total amount.  See Who to Blame for Rising CO2?]

It also used two different climate models – one that factors in reductions in CO2 and another that projects conditions if emissions continue unfettered.

In the model that factors in some emissions intervention, scientists say decision making in the classroom could decrease by 25 percent while a model without emissions mitigation could see a whopping 50 percent reduction.

Though previous studies have shown a correlation between brain function and CO2, not much is currently understood about why the gas affects our brains the way it does.

As noted by Gizmodo, a previous study on CO2’s correlation to brain function showed that an increase as little as 5 percent had reduces brain activity.

[Let’s see: A 5% increase in CO2 would be a leap from 0.041% to 0.043%, requiring some fine sensors to even detect it.  Doubtful that brains are that sensitive to the gas itself, but obviously there is huge sensitivity to the idea of rising CO2.

OTOH plants have sensed and appreciated the increased CO2 as shown in the greening of the planet since 1982]
No current research has studied the kind of long-term exposure that will would result from rampant climate change.

As noted by researchers, however, all of the adverse effects of CO2 on mental performance can still be averted by making a concerted effort to lower emissions and stave off climate change.

This is your brain on CO2 hysteria. Just say no!

 

Dutch Judges Dictate Energy Policy

From Fortune Climate Change Litigation Enters a New Era as Court Rules That Emissions Reduction Is a Human Right Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands in The Hague on Friday delivered what may be the most unequivocal legal statement so far that governments are responsible for acting to address climate change.

In a closely-watched case that could have wide ramifications for litigation worldwide, the court ruled that the Dutch government must reduce emissions by at least 25% by the end of 2020 compared to 1990 levels, going beyond the EU-wide objective of 20%.

The ruling denied the Dutch government’s appeal of an earlier ruling in favor of the Urgenda Foundation, an environmental group that first filed the case in 2013 on behalf of a group of Dutch citizens who wanted the government to move faster to reduce emissions. The government has argued that a legal obligation to meet a specific target would limit its flexibility in determining how to reduce emissions.

The Supreme Court said on Friday that it based its judgement on the UN Climate Convention and the obligations of the state under the European Convention on Human Rights.

“There is a great deal of consensus in science and the international community about the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent by developed countries by the end of 2020,” the court said in its summary, translated from the Dutch. “[The Netherlands] has not explained why a lower reduction can be considered justified and can still lead in time to the final goal accepted by the State.”

In a brief summary read in English, the judge presiding over the court noted that European Human Rights Convention Articles 2 and 8—the right to life and the right to respect for private and family life—indicate that action on climate change falls under the umbrella of human rights protection.

“These articles entail the positive obligation for the Dutch state to take reasonable and appropriate measures to protect the residents of the Netherlands from the serious risk of a dangerous climate change, that would threaten the lives and wellbeing of many people in the Netherlands,” he said.

That obligation to apply the provisions of the Convention trumped the state’s argument that politicians—not the courts—are responsible for determining emissions reductions, the Court said.

“This could have significant consequences for governments’ freedom to make climate policy and in other areas,” the government said. The statement noted that the state was still committed to lowering emissions by 25% by 2020.

In 2018, emissions in the country were down 14.5% from 1990 levels, according to Statistics Netherlands.

The Urgenda case has gotten the furthest of all international litigation regarding climate change, according to Michael Gerrard, founder and director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. Together with the law firm Arnold & Porter, the Center runs a database to track climate change litigation both internationally and in the U.S.

“There have been 1,442 climate change lawsuits worldwide. This is the strongest decision ever,” said Gerrard. “The Dutch Supreme Court has upheld the first court order anywhere directing a country to slash its greenhouse gas emissions. This decision may inspire even more cases in other countries.”

That was a sentiment that was echoed by Markus Gehring, an expert in sustainable development law at the University of Cambridge.

“The beauty is you only need one successful case,” he said. “There is [now] an expectation that climate litigation will multiply.”

See Also Judges Now Deciding US Energy Policy

Going Dutch: How Not to Cut Emissions

A primer for judges and others wanting to meddle with today’s energy system: Kelly’s Climate Clarity

CO2-Free Climate Change (101)

H/T to Ice Age Now for pointing to this brief and informative video of Bill Sellers explaining our planet’s climate cycles due to astronomical factors described by Milankovitch.

I just hope during her time-out Greta takes a look and learns something from this video.

Activist-Legal Complex Perverts Science

This article was published at the American Council on Science and Health Activist-Legal Complex Will Destroy American Science And Industry by Alex Berezow and Josh Bloom. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

American science and industry are under threat by this complex, known to be an unholy alliance of activists and trial lawyers who deploy various pseudoscientific tricks to score multibillion-dollar lawsuits against large companies. No industry is safe from these deceptions.

In his Farewell Address, President Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex, a partnership between the military and defense industry that was financially incentivized to promote war over peace. Today, we face a different threat – the “activist-legal complex,” which is responsible for scoring multibillion-dollar verdicts against some of America’s biggest companies.

One partner in this unholy alliance are activists who falsely claim that the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the products we use are all secretly killing us. They pervert scientific uncertainty to nefarious ends by magnifying hypothetical risks and downplaying relevant facts, such as level of exposure.

They exploit widespread misunderstanding of science and a general hatred of “corporations” – especially those that manufacture chemicals, drugs, or consumer products – to instill fear into the public.

The other partner is the legal industry, which relies on activist scaremongering to win jackpot verdicts. They identify sympathetic patients, often suffering from cancer or some other debilitating disease, and blame their maladies on a company with deep pockets. They buy television commercials to recruit more “victims” for the inevitable class-action lawsuit.

This formula works nearly every time, and the result is always the same: A giant bag of money. In this way, the activist-legal complex recently won a $4.7 billion lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder for causing ovarian cancer and a $2 billion lawsuit (subsequently reduced to merely $87 million) against Monsanto’s glyphosate for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

There is no credible scientific evidence in support of either verdict.

But the absence of genuine scientific evidence is typically irrelevant in trials of this type. With the aid of flawed or cherry-picked toxicological and epidemiological studies – often published by activists in low-quality journals – the activist-legal complex can subvert science using well-established pseudoscientific tricks.

The first involves undermining long-held truths about toxicity. Thanks to Paracelsus, it has been known since the 16th Century that “the dose makes the poison.” Yet, the activist-legal complex promotes an alternate theory, namely that the mere presence of a chemical is an indicator of its potential harm. It is not.

Given advances in analytical instrumentation, it is now possible to detect almost any chemical in your body or in the environment at levels as minute as “one part per trillion,” which is roughly equivalent to a drop in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. There are very few, if any, chemicals on Earth that pose a health risk at such a low concentration.

But using the activist-legal complex’s doctrine – that we are constantly swimming in a sea of harmful chemicals – it is easy for lawyers to argue that any exposure to a potential carcinogen could be responsible for a cancer that develops decades later. Usually, the chemicals that are blamed have been used for decades and have been present in our bodies in tiny amounts all along without causing health concerns.

The second trick is to play on society’s belief that regulators and activists are righteous, unbiased people with no conflicts of interest. For example, jurors in the Monsanto glyphosate trial heard that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a subsidiary of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. What they did not hear is that one of the key members of the IARC panel received £120,000 from trial lawyers who stood to benefit financially from the classification.

The third trick is to foment conspiracy theories, usually involving a few old, obscure documents or emails taken out of context. The activist-legal complex uses this tactic to convince jurors, already eager to “punish” Big Business, that the company was engaged in malfeasance.

Game, set, match. The only question left is how big the bag of money is going to be.

Where will the activist-legal complex strike next? It could be anywhere. Maybe there will be a class action lawsuit against Coca-Cola for obesity in America. Perhaps lawyers will go after Facebook for making its social media platform too addictive. Or maybe Apple’s iPhone will be blamed for causing car accidents due to distracted driving.

As long as a company has a sufficiently large bank account, quite literally anything is possible. No industry is safe from the activist-legal complex.

Postscript:

The article points to jackpot justice in general.  A number of posts here have discussed how the same dynamic is at work in Climate Litigation (link is to posts so tagged)

Nature Mag Favors Diversity Over Merit

Lubos Motl writes at his blog Reference Frame reviewing Nature Mag proclaiming top 10 Scientists for 2019.  His article is Nature’s shocking “top ten” scientists.  Excerpts below with my bolds.

Fer137 has told us about an incredible list published at Nature Nature’s 10.which is supposed to enumerate the most influential people in science of the year. As Alex correctly said, Nature basically became a new brand of toilet paper. How will they compare to Presto!?

Well, there have been numerous indications of this “evolution of purpose” of that journal but now they have jumped the shark, indeed.

As Nature openly admits, Ricardo Galvão was chosen for his being a Latin American “Amazon” activist and for his frictions with Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, whom the leftists at Nature consider politically incorrect. He clearly didn’t do anything revolutionary in the science of forests or in biology in general. In fact, he is a physicist!

Victoria Kaspi was clearly chosen for her failure to be male in a field that is overwhelmingly advanced by males, astrophysics. You should look for “fast radio bursts” at Google Scholar to become sure that she isn’t really a leader of this subfield. Even if you add CHIME, the name of her key experiment, to the query, it doesn’t become better.

Nenad Šestan was chosen for the good old left-wing “atheist” reasons. This guy works on the fuzziness of “brain death” so he can take people from God, thus proving the ill-definedness of the religious concepts including death itself. This would be a preferred scientific topic of the leftists some 20 years ago but these days, it’s no longer too hot. And incidentally, Nature just copied the name from the New York Times, a left-wing daily, that promoted Šestan in the summer. At any rate, he is one of the 3 or so actual star scientists in the list.

Sandra Díaz is a hot Venezulean model. OK, they meant this Sandra Díaz which is somewhat less pretty. She is both female and associated with the “biodiversity” hysteria. Clearly, no important advances in the “science of biodiversity” took place in the recent year or several years and she wasn’t the key in those that took place earlier.

Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum is Congolese and a racially pure black. At least, he is an actual co-discoverer of Ebola, a disease he still fights against. How important was he in the discovery of Ebola? Well, in 1976 the disease first appeared in Sudan and then in Zaire. In Zaire, Muyembe-Tamfum was just in charge of the doctors who were supposed to respond. Among other obvious things, he sent blood samples to Peter Piot. Clearly Piot was far closer to the actual discoverer of Ebola: Muyembe-Tumfum’s role is similar to that of Rosalind Franklin (or perhaps even to the unknown miner-in-chief in Jáchymov, Bohemia who sent the radium samples to Marie Sklodowska). The situations really are analogous. I am not the only one who sees it in this way. Wikipedia mentions:

In 2012, Piot published a book entitled “No Time to Lose” [see the clickable image] which chronicles his professional work, including the discovery of the Ebolavirus. He mentions Muyembe in passing rather than as a co-discoverer.

But Piot is a white man so, according to the fanatical racists at Nature, he must be censored and destroyed, right? In fact, even Piot’s claim that a passing was a passing was a heresy because the passing was black. Why would someone confuse a true scientist with someone who sent blood samples by the USPS? It’s like Penny’s discovery of a comet.

Yohannes Haile-Selassie found an old skull somewhere – one of many old skulls – but he is Ethiopian so he must automatically make it to the top ten as well, right? At least he has done some real research into the African hominids.

Wendy Rogers is both female and an activist talking about organ transplants in China; I didn’t have enough motivation to see what she says or wants because I don’t believe it’s important. Also, I wasn’t able to add a Wikipedia link because I think that her page doesn’t even exist. You may find a Republican politician and an actress of the name much more easily than this organ transplant activist. One paper with her name and “organ” has 28 citations, others are below 10. In the field focused on “organs” where she was named a member of “top ten”, she’s technically an unknown scientist according to the high energy physics criteria.

Deng Hongkui is arguably a real HIV-focused Chinese immunologist with quite some results.

John Martins leads the Google’s “quantum supremacy” advances in quantum computing. He clearly deserves to be there. Nature probably failed to notice that he is a white supremacist according to another article in Nature.Greta Thunberg… doesn’t really surprise us. She is the role model for everything that is bad about the interactions between science and the general society in 2019. She is a whining spoiled brat who refuses to go to school and who is correspondingly scientifically illiterate because of that and who, with quite some success, persuades other people that her hateful hysterical outbursts may compensate for her laziness and caution. She is the exact opposite of a young person who is close to science. Every teenager who does at least 10% of the things that Greta does should be spanked for several hours so that he cannot sit on his bottom for a week.

Nature also adds a “list whom to watch in science in 2020” that starts with António Guterres, the boss of the United Nations who completely lost his mind and who has become a little puddy of Greta Thunberg’s. Even if he weren’t a Greta’s puddy, it would be shocking to claim that being such a politically appointed bureaucrat makes one a top scientist.

At any rate, it’s terribly disappointing to see that a journal that used to be good – although it has played no role in my interest in science whatsoever – chooses way over 50% of its “best scientists” according to some extremist political or identity politics criteria. The individuals at Nature who are responsible for this outrageous page are harmful agents and should be treated as harmful agents.

Coercive Environmentalism

Gus Van Horn writes at Real Clear Markets The Recycling Crowd Embraces Grade-School Juvenility.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The third-grade boy shamefully completed his apology, in front of first grade. I was luckier than I felt. Just that morning, I had been convinced that the way to win friends was to do what the popular kids did: Stomp on the first-grader’s coffee-can art project. I knew this was wrong but I immediately impressed the popular crowd — the wrong way. My swift punishment only reinforced what I already knew: A crowd was a poor substitute for my own judgment. This lesson has served me well throughout my life, yet I was surprised to find myself transported back to that classroom by a New York Times video — about recycling, of all things. A connection jolted me when I viewed “The Great Recycling Con:”

The captains of industry were making the same mistake I had but with a twist: They are stomping on their own cans.

I remember the early days of residential recycling as clearly as that hug. At first, only the neighborhood crank went through the trouble. But, after about a decade of shaming by celebrities and over-hyping of stories — like the long search of a garbage scow for a customer — governments got involved. Seemingly overnight, nearly everyone was being forced to recycle or taxed to support it. Companies had marching orders to label products so we could comply. The details of these orders were minute to the point of confusion. This point can be gleaned from the video, but get a load of this subtitle: “The greatest trick corporations ever played was making us think we could recycle their products.”

I’m disappointed that corporations had voiced so much support for recycling, but they hardly deserve the blame for labeling laws.

Reaction to proposed Vermont law requiring clear plastic trash bags.

But this has been the MO of the left since the industrial revolution. Regarding 1800’s railroads, Ayn Rand noted:

[W]hat could the railroads do, except try to “own whole legislatures,” if these legislatures held the power of life or death over them? What could the railroads do, except resort to bribery, if they wished to exist at all?

Who was to blame and who was “corrupt”–the businessmen who had to pay “protection money” for the right to remain in business–or the politicians who held the power to sell that right?

The railroads played a game they should have opposed — only to end up blamed for a situation they didn’t create. (To the degree they saw this as an acceptable way to win market share, they share the blame.) We see this today with companies bullied into removing harmless ingredients, such as nitrites from food, or parabens from cosmetics, under the perverse twin incentives of fashionable panic and fear of competition.

The worst case involves the fossil fuel industry, which is vital to our lives and prosperity – while under constant and intense pressure from environmentalists. Energy advocate Alex Epstein notes:

The industry never explained the value of energy and why fossil fuels are superior sources of energy. In fact, the industry is constantly out there saying, “We’re not against wind and solar, we’re for all of the above, we’re in the middle of an energy transition,” etc. That’s why I always stress when I talk to people (a) that low cost, reliable energy is indispensable to human flourishing and (b) that the fossil fuel industry is uniquely good at creating it. People need both of those points.

Epstein is right: Companies should stop fearing the cool media kids scaremongering and start reminding the people who count – their customers — of the full value they offer.

When I think about that day in school, I wish I could go back and tell that third-grader that real friends don’t tempt people to ignore their own judgment; and that he already had good friends, because he had a lot to offer. The same goes for countless productive individuals in whole industries that our media routinely paint as evil ahead of our politicians taking yet more control. Our industry captains have gone along with this for far too long. Rather than accepting these scurrilous attacks, they should view them as personal insults. A great way to begin to fight back is to remind people of the enormous good they and their employees create.

Who’s the bully? Who’s the victim?

Previous Post:  On Coercive Climatism: Writings of Bruce Pardy

Many people have heard of Jordan Peterson due to his battles against post modernism and progressive social justice warfare. Bruce Pardy is another outspoken Canadian professor, whose latest statement was posted at the National Post, H/T GWPF.

Let the Paris climate deal die. It was never good for anything, anyway
Opinion: Paris is a climate fairy tale. It has always been more about money and politics than the environment.  Excerpts below with my bolds.

Paris is more a movement than a legal framework. It imagines the world as a global community working in solidarity on a common problem, making sacrifices in the common good, reducing inequality and transcending the negative effects of market forces. In this fable, climate change is a catalyst for revolution. It is the monster created by capitalism that will turn on its creator and bring the market system to the end of its natural life. A new social order will emerge in which market value no longer determines economic decisions. Governments will exercise influence over economic behaviour by imposing “market-based mechanisms” such as carbon taxes and cap-and-trade systems. Enlightened leaders will direct energy use based upon social justice values and community needs. An international culture will unite peoples in a cause that transcends their national interests, giving way to the next stage of human society. Between the lines of the formal text, the Paris agreement reads like a socialist nightmare.

The regime attempts to establish an escalating global norm that requires continual updating, planning and negotiation. To adhere, governments are to supervise, regulate and tax the energy use and behaviour of their citizens (for example, the Trudeau government’s insistence that all provinces impose a carbon tax or the equivalent, to escalate over time.) Yet for all of the domestic action it legitimizes, Paris does not actually require it. Like the US$100-billion pledge, reduction targets are outside the formal Paris agreement. They are voluntary; neither binding nor enforceable. Other countries have condemned Trump’s withdrawal and reaffirmed their commitment to Paris but many of them, including Canada, are not on track to meet even their initial promises. Global emissions are rising again.

If human action is not causing the climate to change, Paris is irrelevant. If it is, then Paris is an obstacle to actual solutions. If there is a crisis, it will be solved when someone develops a low-carbon energy source as useful and cheap as fossil fuels. A transition will then occur without government interventions and international declarations. Until then, Paris will fix nothing. It serves interests that have little to do with atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. Will America’s repudiation result in its eventual demise? One can hope.

Bruce Pardy belongs to the Faculty of Law, Queen’s College, Kingston, Ontario. This post will provide excerpts from several of Pardy’s writings to give readers access to his worldview and its usefulness making sense of current socio-political actions.

In 2009 Pardy wrote Climate Change Charades: False Environmental Pretences of Statist Energy Governance
The Abstract:
Climate change is a poor justification for energy statism, which consists of centralized government administration of energy supplies, sources, prices, generating facilities, production and conservation. Statist energy governance produces climate change charades: government actions taken in the name of climate change that bear little relationship to the nature of the problem. Such actions include incremental, unilateral steps to reduce domestic carbon emissions to arbitrary levels, and attempts to choose winners and losers in future technology, using public money to subsidize ineffective investments. These proffered solutions are counter-productive. Governments abdicate their responsibility to govern energy in a manner that is consistent with domestic legal norms and competitive markets, and make the development of environmental solutions less likely rather than more so.

Pardy also spoke out in support of Peterson and against the Canadian government legislation proscribing private speech between individuals. His article in National Post was Meet the new ‘human rights’ — where you are forced by law to use ‘reasonable’ pronouns

Human rights were conceived to liberate. They protected people from an oppressive state. Their purpose was to prevent arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, and censorship, by placing restraints on government. The state’s capacity to accommodate these “negative rights” was unlimited, since they required only that people be left alone.

If only arm twisting were prohbited beyond the ring.

But freedom from interference is so 20th century. Modern human rights entitle. We are in the middle of a culture war, and human rights have become a weapon to normalize social justice values and to delegitimize competing beliefs. These rights are applied against other people to limit their liberties.

Freedom of expression is a traditional, negative human right. When the state manages expression, it threatens to control what we think. Forced speech is the most extreme infringement of free speech. It puts words in the mouths of citizens and threatens to punish them if they do not comply. When speech is merely restricted, you can at least keep your thoughts to yourself. Compelled speech makes people say things with which they disagree.

Some senators expressed the view that forcing the use of non-gendered pronouns was reasonable because calling someone by their preferred pronoun is a reasonable thing to do. That position reflects a profound misunderstanding of the role of expression in a free society. The question is not whether required speech is “reasonable” speech. If a statute required people to say “hello,” “please” and “thank you,” that statute would be tyrannical, not because “hello,” “please” and “thank you” aren’t reasonable things to say, but because the state has dictated the content of private conversation.

Traditional negative human rights give people the freedom to portray themselves as they wish without fearing violence or retribution from others. Everyone can exercise such rights without limiting the rights of others. Not so the new human rights. Did you expect to decide your own words and attitudes? If so, human rights are not your friend.

These positions derive from bedrock reasoning by Pardy on the foundations of law and legitimacy. An insight into his thinking is his rebuttal of a critic The Only Legitimate Rule: A Reply to MacLean’s Critique of Ecolawgic Dalhousie Law Journal, Spring 2017

Ecosystem as One model of Society

An ecosystem is not a thing. It does not exist as a concrete entity. “Ecosystem” is a label for the dynamics that result when organisms interact with each other and their environment. Those dynamics occur in infinite variation, but always reflect the same logic:
Competition for scarce resources leads to natural selection, where those organisms better adapted to ecosystem conditions survive and reproduce, leading to evolutionary change. All participants are equally subject to their forces; systems do not play favourites.

In ecosystems, the use of the word “autonomy” does not mean legally enforced liberty but the reverse: no externally imposed rules govern behaviour. In ecosystems unmanaged by people, organisms can succeed or fail, live or die, as their genetically determined physiology and behaviour allow. Every life feeds on the death of others, whether animal or plant, and those better adapted to their circumstances survive to reproduce. Organisms can do anything that their genes dictate, and their success or failure is the consequence that fuels evolution.

When an antelope is chased by a lion and plunges into a river to escape, that action allows the antelope to survive and thus to reproduce. The offspring may carry a genetic disposition to run into water when chased by predators. There are no committees of either antelopes or humans deciding how antelopes will behave. Autonomy in ecosystems is not a human creation. It is not based upon human history or culture and is not a human preference.

Market as a Different Model of Society

A market is not a thing either. Nor is it a place. Markets, like ecosystems, do not exist as concrete entities. “Market” is a label for the dynamics that result when people exchange with each other. Bargains may be commercial in nature, where things are bought and sold, but they also occur in other facets of life. For example, in Ecolawgic I suggested that marriage is a kind of exchange that is made when people perceive themselves better off to enter into the bargain than not to.

As I said in Ecolawgic, “Laws and governments can make markets more stable and efficient, such as by enforcing contracts and creating a supply of money, but they create neither the activity of trading nor the market dynamics that the transactions create.”  A market is not a place or a legal structure but the dynamics of a collection of transactions. It does not exist before or independently of the transactions within it. The transactions make the market. Transactions are not created by governments but by the parties who enter into them.

People transact whether they are facilitated by governments or not. The evidence is everywhere. If it were not so, human beings would not have bartered long before there were governments to create money and enforce contracts. During Prohibition, no alcohol would have been produced and sold. Citizens of the Soviet Union would not have exchanged goods. Today there would be no drug trade, no black market and no smuggling. Cigarettes would not be used as currency inside jails. People would not date, hold garage sales or trade hockey cards. There would be no Bitcoin or barter. Try prohibiting people from transacting and see that they will transact anyway. They will do so because they perceive themselves as better off. Sometimes the benefit is concrete and sometimes it is ethereal. The perception of benefit is personal and subjective.

Ecosystems are Coercive, Markets are Voluntary

Ecosystems and markets share many features but they differ in one important respect. Violence plays an important role in ecosystems but is not a part of voluntary market exchange. Ecosystems are arenas for mortal combat. Lions eat antelopes if they can catch them. Nothing prevents taking a dead antelope from a lion except the lion’s response. There are no restrictions on survival strategies, and organisms do not respect the interests, habitats or lives of other organisms.

Markets, in contrast, proceed upon the judgment of the transacting parties that they are better off to trade than to fight. The hunter did not shoot the woodworker to get chairs, and the woodworker traded for meat instead of stealing it. They chose to trade because it made them better off than fighting. The reasons are their own. Perhaps they were friends, colleagues or allies. Perhaps they believed that harming other people is wrong. Perhaps they hoped to have an ongoing trading relationship. Perhaps fighting carried risks that were too high and they feared injury or retribution. Perhaps trading was less work than fighting.

For whatever reason, they chose to trade. This choice is not universal. People have traded throughout human history, but they have also fought. I do not maintain that trading is any more “natural” or inbred than fighting, but neither is it is less so. When people choose to fight, they are no longer part of a market. Markets are like ecosystems with the violence removed.  They are the kinder, gentler version of ecosystems.

There are only two models for legal governance and only one legitimate rule.

The logic is as follows:
1. In the wild, organisms compete for scarce resources. Those organisms better adapted to conditions survive and reproduce. Their interactions constitute ecosystems. No legal rules govern behaviour and might is right.
2. Human beings trade spontaneously. Parties enter into transactions when they perceive themselves as better off to trade than to fight. Their transactions constitute markets.
3. Moral values and policy goals are preferences whose inherent validity cannot be established. They are turtles all the way down. Therefore laws based upon those preferences lack legitimacy.
4. When governments use might to impose laws and policies that are illegitimate, they unintentionally imitate ecosystems, where might is right. Political constituencies use whatever means necessary to impose their preferences, and their opponents use whatever means necessary to resist. They are “autonomous” in the ecosystem sense: there are no inherently valid restrictions on behaviour. The result is a social order of division and conflict.
5. The alternative is to model human governance on the other system that exists independently of state preference: markets. If the model for human governance is markets, interactions between people are voluntary. People are “autonomous” in the market sense: they may pursue their own interests without coercion. Instead of imposing illegitimate rules and policies, the state uses force only to prohibit people from imposing force on each other. A plethora of sub-rules follow as corollaries of the rule against coercion: property, consent, criminal offences that punish violence and so on.
6. There is no third choice. Coercion is not right or wrong depending upon the goals being pursued since those goals are merely preferences. Their advocates cannot establish that their goals have inherent validity to those who do not agree. Therefore, giving priority to those objectives is to assert that might is right. If might is right, we are back to ecosystems, where any and all actions are legitimate.
7. If might is right, anything goes, and the model is ecosystems. If might is not right, force is prohibited, and the model is markets. Choose one and all else follows.

When I claim that a prohibition on force is the only legitimate rule, I mean the only substantive rule to govern relations between competent adults. No doubt the administration of a legal system, even a minimalist one, would require other kinds of laws to function. Constitutional rules, court administration, the conduct of elections and procedures to bring legal proceedings are a few of the other categories that would be necessary in order to give effect to the general rule.

No Property, No Market

But the existence of property rights must follow from a general rule prohibiting coercion. If it does not, the general rule is not what it purports to be. When people trade, they recognize the property interest held by the other party. It is that interest that they wish to obtain. When the woodworker trades chairs for the hunter’s meat, she trades “her” chairs for “his” meat. The trade would not occur without a mutual understanding of the possession that both hold over their respective stuff.

Sometimes those interests are recognized and protected by the law, which according to Bentham created the property. However, since markets arise even where no property is legally recognized, the notion of property must be prior to the law. Above I gave examples of markets that have arisen where no legal regime has protected property rights: prehistorical trade, alcohol sales during Prohibition, black markets in the Soviet Union, the modern day drug trade, smuggling of illicit goods, and the internal markets of prisons. Since trading occurs even in the absence of an approving legal regime, the notion of property must exist independently as well.

No Consent, No Market

Autonomy in the market sense means to be able to pursue your own interests and control your own choices without coercion. Consent is part and parcel of autonomy. Without the ability to consent, no trades can be made. Without trades, no markets exist. If one cannot consent to be touched, to give up property, to make bargains, to mate, to arm wrestle, to trade chairs for meat, to sell labour for money, and so on, then one is not autonomous.

If force is prohibited, then corollaries are laws that protect people from having force imposed upon them. Laws apply the force of the state to prevent or punish the application of force. A criminal law that prohibits assault is an extension of the general rule. A tax to finance the police department is legitimate if its purpose is to investigate and prosecute violent crimes. Traffic laws prevent people from running each other over.  Civil liability compensates for physical injuries caused by the force of others.

Illegitimate Laws, No Market

Illegitimate laws use state coercion to seek other ends such as enforcing moral standards, pursuing social goals or saving people from themselves. A criminal law that prohibits the use of drugs uses state force to prevent an activity in which there is no coercion. A tax to fund the armed forces to protect the peace may be legitimate, but one to take wealth from Peter to give to Paul is not. The legal regimes of modern administrative states consist largely of instrumentalist laws and policies that are inconsistent with the general rule, including tax laws, economic development programs, bankruptcy, patent regimes, mandatory government-run pension plans and MacLean’s version of environmental regulation, in which each decision turns on a political determination of the values to be applied.

It is either ecosystems or markets. Either might is right or it is not. If it is, then human society is subject to the law of the jungle where people are at liberty to fight like animals if they choose to do so. If it is not, then human society is a marketplace where people may enter into transactions voluntarily and the state may justifiably use force only to prevent or punish the application of force.

There is no third choice. Some might insist that coercion is not categorically wrong but that it can be right or wrong depending upon the other goals to be pursued. Those goals are merely preferences. They are turtles all the way down. I do not maintain that other rules will not be passed and enforced using the established machinery of government but only that they have no claim to legitimacy, any more than other rules that might have been chosen instead. If force is used to pursue those preferences, why would others not use force to resist? Such a choice results in a free-for-all. If state force is right only because it cannot be resisted, that means that might is right. The administrative welfare state prevails not because it is justified morally or socially but because it has managed to secure a monopoly on violence. The imposition of government preferences is an invitation to those opposed to an arbitrary policy agenda to take up force against it.

Summary

In  a way, Pardy is warning us not to take for granted the free market social democracies to which we were accustomed.  Post modern progressive social justice warriors have decided that society is essentially an endless power struggle, that one group’s rights are gained only at the expense of another group.  In other words, it’s a dog-eat-dog, might makes right ecosystem.  Pardy says there is another way, which has been the basis for the rise of civilization, but can be reversed by governance that destroys the free market of ideas and efforts by imposing values favored by the rich and powerful.

Footnote about Turtles.  Pardy explains the metaphor:

In Rapanos v. United States, Justice Antonin Scalia offered a version of the traditional tale of how the Earth is carried on the backs of animals. In this version of the story, an Eastern guru affirms that the earth is supported on the back of a tiger.  When asked what supports the tiger, he says it stands upon an elephant; and when asked what supports the elephant he says it is a giant turtle.  When asked, finally, what supports the giant turtle, he is briefly taken aback, but quickly replies “Ah, after that it is turtles all the way down.”

2019 Ocean pH Spin

The ocean “acidification” scare is again rearing its head in efforts to sway public opinion on the Paris accord. The latest study is from NOAA Research News Tiny shells reveal waters off California are acidifying twice as fast as the global ocean.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The Claim:  

In first-of-its-kind research, NOAA scientists and academic partners used 100 years of microscopic shells to show that the coastal waters off California are acidifying twice as fast as the global ocean average — with the seafood supply in the crosshairs.

California coastal waters contain some of our nation’s more economically valuable fisheries, including salmon, crabs and shellfish. Yet, these fisheries are also some of the most vulnerable to the potential harmful effects of ocean acidification on marine life. That increase in acidity is caused by the ocean absorbing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The Science:

From Autonomous seawater pCO2 and pH time series from 40 surface buoys and the emergence of anthropogenic trends published at Earth System Science Data.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Conclusions

This product provides a unique data set for a range of users including providing a more accessible format for non-carbon chemists interested in surface ocean pCO2 and pH time series data. These 40 time series locations represent a range of ocean, coastal, and coral reef regimes that exhibit a broad spectrum of daily to interannual variability. These time series can be used as a tool for estimating climatologies, assessing natural variability, and constraining models to improve predictions of trends in these regions.

However, at this time, only two time series data sets (WHOTS and Stratus) are long enough to estimate long-term anthropogenic trends. ToE estimates show that at all but these two sites, an anthropogenic signal cannot be discerned at a statistically significant level from the natural variability of surface seawater pCO2 and pH. If and when that date of trend detection is attained, it is essential to seasonally detrend data prior to any trend analyses.

Even though the ToE provided are conservative estimates, data users should still use caution in interpreting that an anthropogenic trend is distinct from decadal-scale ocean forcing that is not well characterized. Future work should be directed at improving upon these ToE estimates in regions where other data, proxies, or knowledge about decadal forcing are more complete.

Background from previous post: Basics of Ocean Acidification

Updates added below June 20 and 24, 2015

Update below July 2, 2015: Ocean pH is actually trending alkaline

Update below September 15, 2015: Extensive discussion of ocean chemistry

If surface temperatures don’t skyrocket soon, expect to hear a lot in the coming months about “ocean acidification.”  This sounds scary, and that is the point of emphasizing it to build support for Paris COP.

So here’s the basic chemistry of CO2 and H20:

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That seems straight forward,  So what is the problem?

That looks fairly serious.  So what does the IPCC have to say about this issue?

What does it say in the SPM (Summary for Policy Makers)?

For this issue, I looked at the topic of ocean acidification and fish productivity. The SPM asserts on Page 17 that fish habitats and production will fall and that ocean acidification threatens marine ecosystems.

“Open-ocean net primary production is projected to redistribute and, by 2100, fall globally under all RCP scenarios. Climate change adds to the threats of over-fishing and other non-climatic stressors, thus complicating marine management regimes (high confidence).” Pg 17 SPM

“For medium- to high-emission scenarios (RCP4.5, 6.0, and 8.5), ocean acidification poses substantial risks to marine ecosystems, especially polar ecosystems and coral reefs, associated with impacts on the physiology, behavior, and population dynamics of individual species from phytoplankton to animals (medium to high confidence).” Pg 17 SPM

So, the IPCC agrees that ocean acidification is a serious problem due to rising CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels.

What does it say in the Working Group Reports?

But wait a minute.  Let’s see what is in the working group reports that are written by scientists, not politicians.

WGII Report, Chapter 6 covers Ocean Systems. There we find a different story with more nuance and objectivity:

“Few field observations conducted in the last decade demonstrate biotic responses attributable to anthropogenic ocean acidification” pg 4

“Due to contradictory observations there is currently uncertainty about the future trends of major upwelling systems and how their drivers (enhanced productivity, acidification, and hypoxia) will shape ecosystem characteristics (low confidence).” Pg 5

“Both acclimatization and adaptation will shift sensitivity thresholds but the capacity and limits of species to acclimatize or adapt remain largely unknown” Pg 23

“Production, growth, and recruitment of most but not all non-calcifying
seaweeds also increased at CO2 levels from 700 to 900 µatm Pg 25

“Contributions of anthropogenic ocean acidification to climate-induced alterations in the field have rarely been established and are limited to observations in individual species” Pg. 27

“To date, very few ecosystem-level changes in the field have been attributed to anthropogenic or local ocean acidification.” Pg 39

Ocean Chemistry on the Record

Contrast the IPCC headlines with the the Senate Testimony of John T. Everett, in which he said:

“There is no reliable observational evidence of negative trends that can be traced definitively to lowered pH of the water. . . Papers that herald findings that show negative impacts need to be dismissed if they used acids rather than CO2 to reduce alkalinity, if they simulated CO2 values beyond triple those of today, while not reporting results at concentrations of half, present, double and triple, or as pointed out in several studies, they did not investigate adaptations over many generations.”

“In the oceans, major climate warming and cooling and pH (ocean pH about 8.1) changes are a fact of life, whether it is over a few years as in an El Niño, over decades as in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or the North Atlantic Oscillation, or over a few hours as a burst of upwelling (pH about 7.59-7.8) appears or a storm brings acidic rainwater (pH about 4-6) into an estuary.”
http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=db302137-13f6-40cc-8968-3c9aac133b16

Many organisms benefit from less alkaline water.

(Added in thanks to David A.’s comment below)

In addition, IPCC has ignored extensive research showing positive impacts on marine life from lower pH. These studies are catalogued at CO2 Science with this summary:

There are numerous observations of improvement in calcification of disparate marine life in realistic rates of PH change due to increased CO2.

“In the final graphical representations of the information contained in our Ocean Acidification Database, we have plotted the averages of all responses to seawater acidification (produced by additions of both HCl and CO2) for all five of the life characteristics of the various marine organisms that we have analyzed over the five pH reduction ranges that we discuss in our Description of the Ocean Acidification Database Tables, which pH ranges we illustrate in the figure below.”

“The most striking feature of Figure 11 is the great preponderance of data located in positive territory, which suggests that, on the whole, marine organisms likely will not be harmed to any significant degree by the expected decline in oceanic pH. If anything, in fact, the results suggest that the world’s marine life may actually slightly benefit from the pH decline, which latter possibility is further borne out by the scatter plot of all the experimental data pertaining to all life characteristic categories over the same pH decline range, as shown below in Figure 12.”

At PH decline from control of .125, calcification, metabolism, fertility, growth and survival all moved into positive territory.

http://www.co2science.org/data/acidification/acidification.php

Summary

The oceans are buffered by extensive mineral deposits and will never become acidic. Marine life is well-adapted to the fluctuations in pH that occur all the time.

This is another example of climate fear-mongering:  It never happened before, it’s not happening now, but it surely will happen if we don’t DO SOMETHING!.

Conclusion

Many know of the Latin phrase “caveat emptor,” meaning “Let the buyer beware”.

When it comes to climate science, remember also “caveat lector”–”Let the reader beware”.

Update added June 20, 2015

For additional commentary on ocean acidification:

http://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/ocean-acidification-global-warming-quotes-debate/2015/05/06/id/642876/

Update added June 24, 2015

Patrick Moore also provides a thorough debunking here:

“It is a fact that people who have saltwater aquariums sometimes add CO2 to the water in order to increase coral growth and to increase plant growth. The truth is CO2 is the most important food for all life on Earth, including marine life. It is the main food for photosynthetic plankton (algae), which in turn is the food for the entire food chain in the sea.”

http://news.heartland.org/editorial/2015/05/27/why-coral-reefs-and-shellfish-will-not-die-ocean-acidification

Update added July 2, 2015

Scientists have had pH meters and measurements of the oceans for one hundred years. But experts decided that computer simulations in 2014 were better at measuring the pH in 1910 than the pH meters were. The red line (below) is the models recreation of ocean pH. The blue stars are the data points — the empirical evidence.

What we have here is one of the basic foundations of the climate change scare, that is falling ocean pH levels with increased atmospheric CO2 content, being completely dismissed by the empirical ocean pH data the alarmist climate scientists didn’t want to show anyone because it contradicted their ‘increasing ocean acidity’ narrative.

http://joannenova.com.au/2015/01/oceans-not-acidifying-scientists-hid-80-years-of-ph-data/

Update added September 15, 2015

In summary, recent research publications are using a term (OA) that is technically incorrect, misleading, and pejorative; it could not be found in the oceanography literature before about 15 years ago. . .

The claim that the surface-water of the oceans has declined in pH from 8.2 to 8.1, since the industrial revolution, is based on sparse, contradictory evidence, at least some of which is problematic computer modeling. Some areas of the oceans, not subject to algal blooms or upwelling, may be experiencing slightly lower pH values than were common before the industrial revolution. However, forecasts for ‘average’ future pH values are likely exaggerated and of debatable consequences. The effects of alkaline buffering and stabilizing biological feedback loops seem to be underappreciated by those who carelessly throw around the inaccurate term “ocean acidification.”

Are the Oceans Becoming More Acidic?