2 months ago

Watch: Mo Brooks questions climate change experts on human effects of global warming

Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) questioned four members of a bipartisan panel of climate experts Thursday during a House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, which led to all members admitting that humans are not responsible for the Earth’s global warming that has occurred over the past 20,000 years.

A news release from Brooks’ office outlined three facts:

  • Average global temperatures were roughly 11 degrees Fahrenheit COLDER than they are today (per Zurich University of Applied Science). Stated differently, global temperatures have risen, on average, roughly 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit per century over the past 20,000 years.
  • Sea levels were roughly 410 feet LOWER 20,000 years ago than they are today (per the United States Geological Survey). Stated differently, sea levels have risen, on average, roughly two feet per century over the past 20,000 years (roughly double the global warming enthusiasts’ claimed average sea level rise rate of one foot per century since 1993).
  • Almost all of Canada, Northern Europe, and America (north of the Missouri and Ohio Rivers, east to New York City) was under glacial ice and uninhabitable.

According to Brooks’ statement, “The gist of the experts’ opinions is that the earth was too lightly populated by humans to make humanity responsible for the Earth’s global warming that began 20,000 years ago.”

Transcript of Brooks’ questioning of the panel, which included Dr. Robin E. Bell, Dr. Twila A. Moon, Dr. Gabriel J. Wolkon and Dr. W. Tad Pfeffer, as follows:

BROOKS: Thank you Madam Chairman. Is anyone on the panel not familiar with the Earth’s last glacial maximum roughly twenty thousand years ago? Okay everybody is, good. For those in the audience who are not, by way of background, during the last glacial maximum Northern Europe was under ice, roughly 90% of Canada and almost all of the continental United States of America north of the Missouri and Ohio Rivers and east of New York City were under ice. According to the United States Geological Survey, during the last glacial maximum – again 20,000 years ago – sea levels were roughly 410 feet lower than today. Stated differently, for 20,000 years sea levels have risen, on average, two feet per century versus the much less roughly one foot per century rising rate since 1993 that is reflected in Dr. Alley’s written testimony. Finally, per Zurich University of Applied Science, Earth’s average temperature 20,000 years ago was 48 degrees Fahrenheit versus 59 degrees Fahrenheit today. That’s an 11 degree increase in global temperature average over the last 20,000 year period. So, my question to each of you is – and we will start over here with Dr. Pfeffer and move from my right to left – did human beings cause the global warming that started 20,000 years ago and continues through today? Or, if not, what did?

PFEFFER: So, the examples from 20,000 years ago that Mr. Brooks gave us, are excellent examples of the kind of natural variability that the Earth experiences. There is no question that in the past there have been changes in temperature, and sea level rise and weather patterns and climate generally as dramatic or more dramatic than what you may be experiencing in the future and of course they weren’t human caused 20,000 years ago or the last million years. All of these variable events have been occurring throughout the Earth’s modern history.

BROOKS: Well my first question was, in your judgment, did human beings cause the global warming that began 20,000 years ago during the last glacial maximum?

PFEFFER: No. No. Absolutory not. It is an example of spontaneous natural variability— one of the many ways that this whole system was— whether you look at it in terms of sea levels rise, temperature, storms— can be varied.

BROOKS: Are you familiar with the phrase: snowball Earth, or slush ball Earth? Roughly 600 million years ago, when we were almost entirely ice or slush…

PFEFFER: Entirely natural variation.

BROOKS: …versus, the Paleocene and Eocene, thermal maximum of about 55-56 million years ago when the average temperature was roughly 73 degrees Fahrenheit which is 14 degrees warmer than what we are experiencing now? If you don’t mind, Dr. Wolkon lets go to you. Did human beings cause the global warming that began 20,000 years ago?

WOLKON: No, absolutely not. That was a product of natural variability in the climate system. Yeah.

BROOKS: Dr. Moon?

BROOKS: Humans weren’t around in nearly the numbers we are today, so we certainly were not available to be combusting fossil fuels at the rate we are today are putting emissions into the atmosphere. You can consider, we have built America in the last 243 years and we’re changing things at a much more rapid rate.

BROOKS: So, you also agree then that the global warming that has occurred over the last 20,000 years at 11 degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature, was not human caused, at least, when it began 20,000 years ago?

MOON: So, I would agree that when it began 20,000 years ago when we were coming out of the last glacial that was not caused by humans. The warming of the last 100 years, most certainly was.

BROOKS: Out of curiosity, why do you or how do you explain that the sea level rise average of the last 20,000 years has been 2 feet per century, yet we are down to 1 foot per century?

MOON: So, much of our rise in sea levels that you are talking about came earlier in that 20,000 years.

BROOKS: Over six or seven thousand years.

MOON: Over this last 10,000 years, we have been sitting with vary stable sea levels and those stable sea levels have allowed us to develop the coast of the world.

BROOKS: Okay, thank you Dr. Moon. And I only have about 30 seconds left for Dr. Bell. Dr. Bell, in your judgement, 20,000 years ago when it began was it caused by humans?

BELL: In my judgment, the variation that we were seeing 20,000 years ago was part of the pulse of the planet— it pulses at about 100,000 years, glacial or interglacial. When I started graduate school, we were expecting to go into the next glacial period, except that we as human beings in the last 100 years— and you can see the pick-up since we invented the steam engine— you can see the temperature moving up.

BROOKS: Alright, I’m out of time. Madam Chairman, I appreciate your indulgence. I just wish I had sufficient time to actually get into what the cause of the global warming that began 20,000 years ago was— if not— humans. Thank you.

CHAIRWOMAN EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON: Excuse me. Go ahead, doctor.

PFEFFER: I just wanted to respond a bit further to your question. The changes in the past, there are two significant differences between those events and the events today. One of them is that they were triggered by natural variations, not by human agency. Let me just give you an analogy of your house: your house might burn down— and it might burn down for entirely natural reasons, it might be struck by lightning— but it could also burn down if you are careless and you drop a cigarette in the crack of the sofa. Both of those are triggers that result in your house burning down. The presence of one of them does not really say much about the other except that they both lead to the same endpoint. The other thing is that while there were these very dramatic temperature changes and sea level rises in the past— which were entirely natural— we weren’t there to deal with them. The problem here is with people. How do we respond to an environmental change? The earth will take care of itself, it doesn’t really care what happens. It is what people do. And if this had happened, you know, a long time ago, when the population of the Earth was a few hundred million, it probably wouldn’t have mattered either because we could have just gotten out of the way. But as it is today— with the number of people that we have and the infrastructure — we are very sensitive to changes of this kind. We do not handle change very well. For example, suppose that the conditions for growing crops that exist today in California, picked up and moved to North Dakota for a couple of hundred years, they are variations like that in the fairly recent geologic past that occurred. How do we deal with them? It is an entirely different world than what we were not here to experience, but we know about 20,000 years ago. We’re much more sensitive. We don’t deal well with change and to deal with it we need to know a lot about it.

BROOKS: Dr. Pfeffer, thank you for that additional insight.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

8 mins ago

On this day in Alabama history: Alabama legislature ratified the 19th Amendment

Sept. 19, 1953

The fight for the right for women to vote officially ended in 1920 when Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In Alabama, there was an active suffragist movement, led by the Alabama Equal Suffrage Association, but opposition by some Alabama groups resulted in the Legislature not taking up the amendment, and after Tennessee signed on the issue was moot. Thirty-three years later, the Legislature decided to “record its approval of extending the right of suffrage to women” and officially ratified the 19th Amendment. Although the Alabama Equal Suffrage Association dissolved in 1920, many of its leaders and members joined the newly founded League of Women Voters, which remains active today in Alabama elections.

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47 mins ago

Canfield elected chair of Alabama Commission on Artificial Intelligence, Waggoner vice-chair

The Alabama Commission on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Associated Technologies recently held its inaugural meeting, at which commission members elected Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield as chairman and State Senator Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) as vice-chairman.

The commission plans to schedule additional meetings over the next seven months, with all meetings being open to the public.

The members will deliver a report in May to Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Legislature, recommending strategies and policies on how AI and other emerging technologies will be of benefit to the Yellowhammer State’s economy.

In a statement on Thursday, Canfield explained the importance of the commission’s work.

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“Artificial intelligence is a powerful, disruptive technology that has the potential to forever change the way we live our lives and how businesses across Alabama operate,” he emphasized.

“It’s critical that we understand how AI will bring about these sweeping changes, and this Commission will help us develop insights into what the future has in store for Alabama’s citizens and businesses,” Canfield concluded.

Waggoner spearheaded the legislative resolution that formed the commission. His leadership has been, and continues to be instrumental, in this process. The powerful chair of the Senate Rules Committee identified the goal of Alabama being on the cutting edge of AI research and job creation in the technology sector.

“We want Alabama to be a leader in AI research, innovation, technology start-ups, and technology jobs,” Waggoner stated. We believe that we are competitive with other states.”

He continued, “The Commission will look at how Alabama is positioned and ready for the opportunities of tomorrow. Those are some of the issues and questions this Commission is going to answer. We will meet with key business groups and different industry sectors to understand the impact of AI and automation on their industries.”

According to Waggoner, the commission will also examine how schools and universities can develop AI-educational programs, and investigate what privacy safeguards might be needed to protect consumers.

“We want Alabama’s education system in a place where we can equip students with AI-relevant skills through engineering and technology classes and apprenticeship programs,” he added. “As we promote innovation and educational readiness, we must also protect the privacy rights of citizens, and examine whether existing state laws are effective in regulating these emerging technologies. There’s a lot of work ahead.”

The commission will be divided up into five sub-committees, focused on the following:

  • state regulations, government oversight, and potential legislative action;
  • education and workforce development;
  • healthcare and medical services;
  • future and evolving industries, economic development, and research;
  • ethics, privacy and security.

The subcommittees will begin their work in mid-October.

State Senator Dan Roberts (R-Mountain Brook) was appointed to the commission by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston). Roberts came away from the body’s initial meeting impressed at the experience and expertise of its membership.

“Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning are very complex subjects. Thankfully, I think we have some of the finest minds in our state working on this project. The sub committees that have been established will allow every person on the commission to hone in on their particular areas of expertise,” Roberts outlined.

The 25 members of the commission are as follows:

Greg Canfield – Secretary of Commerce (chairman)

Marty Redden – Acting secretary of the Alabama Office of Information Technology

Ivey’s appointees:

1. Dr. Hari Narayanan— Auburn

2. Dr. Gerry Dozier— Auburn

3. Dr. Jeff Carver – UA (Tuscaloosa)

4. Dr. Curt Carver – UAB

5. Dr. Alec Yasinac – USA

6. Dr. John Beck – UAH

7. Dr. James Cimino – UAB

8. Melvin Evans – Hand Arendall

9. Jim McLane – NaphCare

10. Jacob Kosoff – Regions Bank

Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth’s appointees:

Joshua Jones – StrategyWise

Dr. Vicki Karolewics – Wallace State Community College

Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon’s appointees:

Rep. Kirk Hatcher

Rep. Craig Lipscomb

Marsh’ appointees:

Sen. Jabo Waggoner (Vice-chair)

Sen. Dan Roberts

Non-Voting members appointed by the governor:

J. Michael Hardin – Provost & vice president at Samford University

John Brandt – Southern Company

Leonard Tillman – Balch & Bingham

Mike Rowell – Senior VP & CIO at ALFA Insurance

James Mizell – Senior account executive at Microsoft

Jason Asbury – NXTsoft

Dr. Syed Raza – Jefferson State Community College

An Alabama CEO, also a commission member, said artificial intelligence is on the cusp of transforming every industry.

“Artificial intelligence is rapidly changing every industry, and it is incredibly important for us as a state to think strategically about what that means to our economy,” advised Joshua Jones, CEO of Birmingham-based StrategyWise, an AI and data science consulting firm.

He concluded, “I applaud Senator Waggoner and Secretary Canfield for leading Alabama to be one of the first states to really address these opportunities and changing dynamics systematically. It sends a message to the rest of the U.S. that Alabama is serious about investing in our future, and we’re growing our tech-based ecosystem. For companies that want to leverage all that AI has to offer, we’re going to be prepared with a trained workforce, accommodating public policy, and a strong tech infrastructure.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 hour ago

Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling open to Tennessee River toll bridge — If that moves freight, freight companies, truckers ‘would just be thrilled to do it’

For decades, traffic headed west from Huntsville and other points toward the Shoals has relied upon the Captain William J. Hudson “Steamboat Bill” Memorial Bridges to cross the Tennessee River into Decatur. Once traffic crosses that bridge, it either heads south on U.S. Highway 31 toward Hartselle and Cullman, or it makes a hard-right 90-degree turn on to U.S. Highway Alternate 72 and heads toward Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia and Sheffield.

As the manufacturing base in northern Alabama expands, freight traffic is expected to increase at that intersection and make the turn west even more precarious for commuters and commercial traffic.

During an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN on Wednesday, Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling discussed that spot and possible solutions for the future, which could include a tolling component.

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“If you were to go now and sit in the Doubletree Hotel, which is where you’re talking about there where you make that turn to go to the Shoals, and just look at the amount of freight that comes in out of Memphis — Memphis is the distribution hub for America,” Bowling said on Wednesday’s broadcast of “The Jeff Poor Show.” “And that freight that comes out of Memphis, straight down [U.S. Highway Alternate] 72, and then it makes its way across our bridge and goes various routes from there — into Huntsville, Madison, Athens, gets on [Interstate] 65, has different directions it can go from there. But whenever we start producing a thousand cars a day, we have 4,000 employees plus the tiered suppliers who will be there. The amount of freight that will come in to take care of that I believe is going to double.”

Bowling noted the situation at the Hyundai facility near Montgomery as a sign of what is to come and commended Gov. Kay Ivey for the commitment to widen the existing Interstate 565 that connects Decatur and Huntsville.

“We visited the Hyundai facility manufacturing a thousand cars a day just south of Montgomery — just-in-time deliveries: batteries, tires, things of that nature — they receive a truck a minute,” he continued. “You think widening [Interstate] 565 is important? Heck yeah, it’s important. We’re thankful Gov. Ivey is going to get that done for us in the Spring of 2020.”

The Decatur mayor said the completion of a nearby overpass for Alabama Highway 20 remains his current top priority.  Once that is completed, Bowling said exploring the possibility of an alternate route over the Tennessee River would be appropriate.

“We’re working on an overpass on [Alabama] Highway 20 where Apple Lane Farms is,” he said. “That’s Decatur, and that’s a build grant that we received for $14 million from the Federal Highway Department. We’re very thankful for that. A lot of people made that happen. Once that project gets going, then we’ll start working on the other. But we want to be sure we do everything to make sure that project gets going first.”

As for the possibility of using tolls to finance a new bridge, Bowling said he expected that those moving freight would be “thrilled” if it expedited transit and that if it would improve commuter traffic on existing structures, it could be a possibility.

“If that moves freight, I would believe that the freight companies, the truckers would just be thrilled to do it,” Bowling explained. “If we were to take the trucks off of the [U.S.] Highway 31 bridges, I believe that our commuter traffic — it would be a lot easier to make that commute. And so, we’ll see what we can do. We’ll come up with a traffic plan. We’ll do traffic counts. Things to prove it out.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 hours ago

Patriot Flag to be displayed in Mobile on Thursday to honor fallen American heroes

The Patriot Flag will be displayed at the USS Alabama in Mobile on Thursday, September 19.

According to WALA Fox 10, the flag is currently on a national tour intended to honor and thank fallen American men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation’s freedom and safety.

Measuring 28 by 60.5 feet and weighing 50 pounds, the Patriot Flag’s nationwide journey began on the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 when the flag was displayed at all three locations that were attacked by radical Islamic terrorists. The tour will end in 2021, on the 20th anniversary of the attacks.

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On Thursday, the flag will be unfurled at 3:00 p.m. at Battleship Memorial Park. Mobile Fire-Rescue firefighters will assist.

You can read more about the tour and see photos from previous stops here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

3 hours ago

Byrne applauds Trump administration for rescinding WOTUS rule; Says Mobile Baykeeper ‘absolutely wrong’ about environmental threat

Last week, the Trump administration rescinded the Obama-era “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule, which broadened the scope of “waters” protected by the Clean Water Act.

The rule faced numerous legal challenges and was decried by farmers as an overreach.

During an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN on Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2020, applauded the Trump administration’s decision.

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“There was a power grab by the Obama administration,” Byrne said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “They wanted to take the traditional understanding about what is the water under the Clean Water Act that the EPA can regulate it and expand it to the point where if a farmer has two or three inches of standing water in their fields, all of a sudden the EPA tells them they can or can’t plant. That’s nonsense.”

“We actually had some legislation previously on it, but the Trump administration has just rescinded that rule,” he continued. “So we have gone back to a more common-sense understanding. I mean, a small pond in your yard is not something that should be regulated by the EPA. Some standing water in a big field is not something that should be regulated by the EPA.”

Byrne cited an AL(dot)com story quoting Mobile Baykeeper’s Casi Callaway decrying the move by the Trump administration and warning the impact that revoking the rule could have on the environment.

“Casi is a friend, but she is absolutely wrong about that,” Byrne remarked. “This is just a common-sense change going back to the way it has been for decades. It has worked fine for decades. I really appreciate the Trump administration making this change. And I understand why farmers and other people in other rural parts of Alabama felt so strongly about it.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.