GREENIE WATCH MIRROR

The CRU graph. Note that it is calibrated in tenths of a degree Celsius and that even that tiny amount of warming started long before the late 20th century. The horizontal line is totally arbitrary, just a visual trick. The whole graph would be a horizontal line if it were calibrated in whole degrees -- thus showing ZERO warming



There is an "ascetic instinct" (or perhaps a "survivalist instinct") in many people that causes them to delight in going without material comforts. Monasteries and nunneries were once full of such people -- with the Byzantine stylites perhaps the most striking example. Many Greenies (other than Al Gore and his Hollywood pals) have that instinct too but in the absence of strong orthodox religious committments they have to convince themselves that the world NEEDS them to live in an ascetic way. So their personal emotional needs lead them to press on us all a delusional belief that the planet needs "saving".

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24 October, 2014

Oreskes, merchant of smear



Fred Singer has decided not to sue over the grievous libel directed at him by Naomi Oreskes & Co. but he has suggested that his supporters reprint two articles from a few years back wherein both he and another writer have critiqued her work.  What she says now is more shrill than in the past but her accusations are basically now old ones so the effort of composing a new reply would be superfluous.  The two articles follow






Naomi Oreskes, Conspiracy Queen

By Norman Rogers

Naomi Oreskes is the environmentalist Noam Chomsky.  She thinks that anyone who questions environmentalist doctrine is evil.  Her crusade is to expose the presumed ulterior motives of the critics.   According to Oreskes, if you question the dubious studies concerning secondhand tobacco smoke, you must be in the pay of tobacco companies.  If you question global warming, you must be working for a fossil fuel company.  If you question the DDT ban, you must part of a right wing conspiracy to weaken faith in government regulators.

Oreskes is the author of one of the silliest articles ever to appear in the journal Science.  She claimed that she analyzed 928 peer-reviewed papers on global warming and 100% agreed with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concerning global warming.  If you go to the website of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) you can find hundreds of peer reviewed papers that disagree with the IPCC in one way or another.

Her latest book, with co-author Erik Conway, is Merchants of Doubt.  In this tedious book she treats us to the details of numerous disputes between those who subscribe to normative environmental theology and those who don't.  Normative environmental theology is the sort of theology that is preached by the Sierra Club or the Union of Concerned Scientists.  Oreskes is a professor and an important administrator at the University of California.  Like Chomsky, she cloaks her endless conspiracy theories in the machinery of scholarship.  Her 343 page book has 64 pages of notes.  A pig with lipstick is still a pig.

 Neither Oreskes nor her co-author have strong scientific educations and it shows.  From her book it is obvious that she enjoyed access to many scientists, but somehow none of her scientist friends found the time to proof read Merchants of Doubt.  This is not hard to understand.  Merchants of Doubt is a book of unsurpassed monotony.  Conspiracy theories get boring very quickly, especially when the conspiracies are all variations of a few crude plots.  A number of informed critiques of Merchants of Doubt can be seen in the 1-star Amazon reviews.

In the introduction to Merchants of Doubt the fact that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes the stratosphere to cool and the troposphere to warm is explained as follows:

But if the warming is caused by greenhouse gases emitted at the surface and largely trapped in the lower atmosphere, then we expect the troposphere to warm, but the stratosphere to cool.

It is a bit difficult to know what this sentence means but it is clear that Oreskes hasn't the faintest idea concerning radiation and the role of greenhouse gases.  Greenhouse gases (mostly CO2) are not trapped in the lower atmosphere but are well mixed up to and including the stratosphere.  CO2 causes the stratosphere to cool because CO2 is a good radiator of infrared radiation and thus improves the capability to exhaust stratospheric heat to space as radiation.  Cooling of the stratosphere is not evidence of global warming.  It is evidence of increased CO2 in the atmosphere.  The distinction is important.

The climategate emails are hundreds of emails among important scientists that show them to be perverting scientific protocols and practicing propaganda to promote global warming alarmism.  Ben Santer is a prominent player in the climategate emails.  He is most famous for saying this about the global warming skeptic scientist Patrick Michaels:

"Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I'll be tempted to beat  the crap out of him.  Very tempted."

Oreskes, apparently before the release of the climategate emails, said this about Ben Santer:

"He's thoroughly moderate...  soft-spoken, almost self-effacing ...  you might think he was an accountant..."[i]

Ben Santer, who may be Oreskes' favorite scientist, has been struggling for years with the skeptics concerning the relative heating of the upper troposphere.  He has resorted to publishing papers with as many of 24 co-authors, apparently in an attempt to make his arguments more credible by collecting a lot of scientists willing to support him. 

In Oreskes' milieu, it is apparently a bad thing to be anti-communist.  She attacks and psychoanalyzes the physicist Frederick Seitz for his "strident" and "unalloyed" anti-communism.  She puts thoughts in Seitz's head.  He thinks his colleagues are "ingrates" and he "has an uneasy time with the masses." He was "hawkish" and "superior." Another physicist, William Nierenberg, is also psychoanalyzed by Oreskes.   According to her Nierenberg "hated environmentalists" and was "overconfident."  Nierenberg's son Nicholas Nierenberg has been so upset by Oreskes' distortions of his father's work that he started a website to refute Oreskes.  The sin of these eminent physicists for Oreskes is that they were critics of environmental extremism and strong supporters of the United States in the Cold War.  Seitz and Nierenberg are both dead and thus cannot defend themselves.

Fred Singer is a scientist who has been in the forefront of defending science against junk science.  This is not an easy road to take.  Junk science is a basic tool for groups that are pushing ideological positions.  Subtle distinctions are not welcomed by the ideological groups.  If you acknowledge that smoking cigarettes causes cancer, but then you dare to say that the hazard presented by secondhand smoke is exaggerated, you are tagged as a supporter of cancer.  If you say that the case for man-caused global warming is full of holes you are tagged as an agent of fossil fuel companies.  Very few scientists are brave enough to take the heat and personal attacks the come from standing up to junk science.  Fred Singer has been doing it for a long time.  In his late 80's, he is still writing scientific papers and traveling the world giving lectures.  Oreskes is a promoter of junk science and for that reason cannot abide Fred Singer.  Singer is her favorite punching bag.  His name appears dozens of times in Merchants of Doubt.

Should we be surprised that Naomi Oreskes is a professor at the University of California and has been promoted to an administrative position?  After all Noam Chomsky was a professor at MIT.  But Chomsky was a professor because of his work in linguistics, not because he believes in crazy conspiracies.  It seems that Naomi Oreskes is successful not in spite of her love of conspiracy, but exactly because she promotes conspiracies.  This makes one wonder what has happened to the intellectual climate at the University of California.

The science establishment has fallen so low that it thinks it is a useful tactic to deal with its critics by accusing them of conspiracies financed by tobacco companies and oil companies.   For the last 50 years, starting with DDT, we have been subjected to junk science scares.  The scares were invariably false or exaggerated.  Most of these scares were not more than brief media sensations, but some scares have been disruptive, diverting attention from real problems.  The king of all scares is global warming.  Taken seriously, it requires revamping the entire world economy and making us all poorer.  The predictions of global warming disaster are deeply flawed junk science dressed up with an impressive "scientific" structure of panels, committees and organizations.  The global warming scare is rapidly collapsing.  Scientists outside of the global warming bubble are pointing out the flaws in the science and a coterie of well-informed bloggers is getting out the message by bypassing the establishment media where critics' voices are generally blocked.  Nature is helping because the earth and the oceans are failing to warm according to script.

That a conspiracist like Naomi Oreskes would be welcomed by the global warming scientific establishment and invited to speak at the December 2010 American Geophysical Union meeting is a symptom of increasing desperation.  The global warming advocates have dug themselves into a deep hole and they can't seem to stop digging.  Ironically Oreskes spoke at a meeting where Exxon Mobil was the biggest financial contributor[ii].  Apparently it's not a conspiracy if Exxon Mobil gives its money to the right people.

SOURCE






Science and Smear Merchants

By S. Fred Singer

Professor Naomi Oreskes, of the University of California in San Diego, claims to be a science historian.  One can readily demonstrate that she is neither a credible scientist nor a credible historian; the best evidence is right there in her recent book, "Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming," coauthored with Eric Conway.  Her science is faulty; her historical procedures are thoroughly unprofessional.  She is, however, an accomplished polemicist, who has found time for world lecture tours, promoting her book and her ideological views, while being paid by the citizens of California.  Her book tries to smear four senior physicists -- of whom I am the only surviving one.  I view it as my obligation to defend the reputations of my late colleagues and good friends against her libelous charges.

Oreskes is well-known from her 2004 article in Science that claimed a complete scientific consensus about manmade global warming; it launched her career as a polemicist.  Her claim was based on examining the abstracts of some 900 published papers.  Unfortunately, she missed more than 11,000 papers through an incorrect Internet search.  She published a discreet "Correction"; yet she has never retracted her ideologically based claim about consensus.  Al Gore still quotes her result, which has been contradicted by several, more competent studies (by Peiser, Schulte, Bray and von Storch; Lemonick in SciAm, etc).

Turning first to the her science, her book discusses acidification, as measured by the pH coefficient.  She states that a pH of 6.0 denotes neutrality (page 67, MoD).  Let's be charitable and chalk this off to sloppy proofreading.

Elsewhere in the book (page 29), she claims that beryllium is a "heavy metal" and tries to back this up with references.  I wonder if she knows that the atomic weight of beryllium is only 9, compared to, say, uranium, which is mostly 238.  A comparison of these two numbers should tell anyone which one is the heavy metal.

 Her understanding of the Greenhouse Effect is plain comical; she posits that CO2 is "trapped" in the troposphere -- and that's why the stratosphere is cooling.  Equally wrong is her understanding of what climate models are capable of; she actually believes that they can predict forest fires in Russia, floods in Pakistan and China -- nothing but calamities everywhere -- and tells climate scientists in a recent lecture: If the predictions of climate models have come true, then why don't people believe them [see this]?  Perhaps because people are not gullible.

But the most amazing science blunder in her book is her hypothesis about how cigarette-smoking causes cancer (page 28).  She blames it on oxygen-15, a radioactive isotope of the common oxygen-16.  I wonder if she knows that the half-life of O-15 is only 122 seconds.  Of course, she does not spell out how O-15 gets into cigarette smoke, whether it is in the paper or in the tobacco itself.  If the latter, does she believe that the O-15 is created by the burning of tobacco?  If so, this would be a fantastic discovery, worthy of an alchemist.  Perhaps someone should make her aware of the difference between radioactive and "reactive" oxygen; the two words do sound similar.

I am sure one would find more examples of scientific ignorance in a careful reading of the rest of the book.  But why bother?

Having demonstrated her scientific "expertise," let's turn to her historical expertise.  Any careful historian would use primary sources and would at least try to interview the scientists she proceeds to smear.  There is no trace of that in Oreskes' book.  She has never taken the trouble to interview Dr. Robert Jastrow, founder of the NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and later Director of the Mt. Wilson Astronomical Observatory and founding president of the renowned George C Marshall Institute in Washington, DC.  I can find no evidence that she ever interviewed Dr. William Nierenberg, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who actually lived in San Diego and was readily accessible.  And I doubt if she ever even met Dr. Frederick Seitz, the main target of her venom.

Seitz was the most distinguished of the group of physicists that are attacked in the book.  He had served as President of the US National Academy of Sciences and of the American Physical Society, and later as President of Rockefeller University.  He had been awarded numerous honorary degrees from universities here and abroad, as well as the prestigious National Medal of Science from the White House.

Instead of seeking firsthand information in the tradition of historical research, Oreskes relies on secondary or tertiary sources, quoting people who agree with her ideology.  A good example of this is her discussion of acid rain and of the White House panel (under Reagan, in 1982) chaired by Bill Nierenberg, on which I also served.  Here she relies on what she was told by Dr. Gene Likens, whose research funding depends on portraying acid rain as a very serious environmental problem.  It most definitely is not -- and indeed disappeared from view as soon as Congress passed legislation designed to reduce the effect.

An amazing discovery: I found that Oreskes gives me credit (or blames me) for inventing "cap-and-trade," the trading of emission rights under a fixed cap of total emissions (see pp. 91-93).  I had never claimed such a priority because I honestly don't know if this idea had been published anywhere.  It seemed like the natural thing to suggest in order to reduce total cost -- once an emission cap had been set. 

My example involved smelters that emit SO2 copiously versus electric utilities that burn coal containing some sulfur.  I even constructed what amounts to a "supply curve" in which the bulk of the emission control is borne initially by the lowest-cost units.  Of course, Likens and some others on the panel, antagonistic to coal-burning electric utilities, objected to having my discussion included in the panel report.  Nierenberg solved the problem neatly by putting my contribution into a signed Appendix, thereby satisfying some panel members who did not want be responsible for a proposal that might let some electric utilities off the hook. 

We have established so far that Oreskes is neither a scientist of any sort nor a careful professional historian.  She is, however, a "pop-psychologist."  It seems she has figured out what motivates the four senior physicists she libels in her book; it is "anti-communism."  Really!  This is not only stated explicitly but she also identifies them throughout as "Cold Warriors."

Well, now we know at least where Oreskes stands in the political spectrum.

SOURCE







Global warming and African religion

Does global warming affect African religion?  Of course it does!  Global warming affects everything!  I can't say I am strongly seized by the urgency of the "problem", however.  Maybe a devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ could as a result supplant African native religions, something I would applaud.  At any event the paper is rubbish.  It is just a series of assertions based on opinion rather than any quantified research

The Impact of Climate Change on African Traditional Religious Practices

By Christian NG

Abstract

Developing countries especially in the African continent are bearing the brunt of the impact of climate change. However, what have not been brought to the fore are the impacts of the phenomenon of climate change on African traditional religious practices. This paper, therefore attempts to critically evaluate the impact of climate change on African traditional religious practices. This study is based on two basic assumptions-first, the African traditional religion employs natural elements as mode of expression of its faith. Secondly, the African world is suffused with religion. Using a critical phenomenological method of analysis, it was found that African traditional religion has directly and indirectly been affected by the consequences of climate change in Africa. The paper, however, recommended among other things, a collective cum community adjustment approach to the realities of climate change.

J Earth Sci Clim Change 5:209. doi: 10.4172/2157-7617.1000209






Smoking Gun Of Massive Climate Fraud At NCDC And The EPA

The EPA has this graph on their website, based on the NCDC Climate Extremes Index



It shows that the area of the US with hot daily summer temperatures is at record levels.

The graph is completely fraudulent. In fact it is inverted. Prior to 1960, the area of the US which reached 100 degrees during summer was quite a bit higher, and in 1936 seventy-five percent of stations reached 100 degrees. The percentage of the US reaching 100 degrees every year is much lower now, with 2014 close to a record low.

The EPA graph shows 2012 as the hottest, when in fact it wasn’t even in the top ten. They show 1936 at 50%, when in fact it was 75%.



Next is the minimum temperature graph – again in sharp disagreement with the EPA graph.



This metric is not affected by TOBS or homogenization. Apparently the good people at NCDC are simply fabricating numbers, because I used their thermometer data in this analysis.

SOURCE






Fossil-Fueled Fiction

By weather forecaster Joe Bastardi

It’s been a heck of a week for hysteria in the so-called Climate War. Apparently, with all the other things going on in the world, the hysteria has to be whipped up so people actually pay attention to this trumped-up agenda.

Look at this, an inconvenient truth if hysteria is your agenda: “World Disasters Report for 2013 – lowest number of catastrophies and deaths in 10 years.”

That’s right. All this screaming and yelling about how bad it is, and we find that we are at a decade low in terms of catastrophes and deaths. Wait a minute – isn’t this extreme of non-extremes an extreme in itself? This lack of disasters is a disaster since it’s a sign there has to be more disasters. After all, how can there be any less? Don’t be surprised if that argument shows up. After all, only in the world of the AGW alarmists can a record-breaking amount of ice in the Southern Hemisphere and the third highest snow total for September in the Northern Hemisphere be a sign it’s getting warmer. Apparently, humans are also changing the freeze process. Perhaps water now freezes at higher temperatures and that’s the reason increases in snow and ice are a sign it’s warmer? (Sarcasm.)

And then we get this from the founder of the “#ClimateSilence” and “#DontFundEvil” campaigns, Brad Johnson, who calls himself “Climatebrad”: “Dangerous, Fossil-Fueled Hurricane Gonzalo Barrels Toward Bermuda.”

Is that so? Gonzalo went through the area we said in April would be primed for the strongest storms. We predicted one or two major hurricanes.

Guess what? Gonzalo was the second major hurricane of the year.

Apparently, this “fossil fuel” didn’t work too well. It weakened from Category 4 to Category 2 as it reached Bermuda – quite a bit different from the non-fossil fuel Hazel in October 1954 which hit the North Carolina coast as a Category 4 and caused hurricane force winds all the way into Canada.

Moreover, the hurricane season this year has gone almost exactly as our non-fossil fuel-based forecast said it would when we put it out in April! Look at the tracks of the storms, where we had the two prime regions for storm. All of the hurricanes had hit maximum intensity in our two main areas. We had little activity in the deep tropics. Over 80% of the total ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy) index this year is in the two shaded areas. If there is any criticism, it’s that the area of highest threat should have been centered east about 300 miles. But without any of this fossil fuel nonsense, this forecast from April targeted the season we have had. We are within one now of the total number and all the hurricanes (Dolly was tropical storm) have gone through our areas. If we get a late season development later this week, it reaches the low end of the total number. The forecast had one or two major hurricanes, and we’ve had two form. As of Sunday PM, we are near 75% of total ACE.

Or how about this for a headline: “Some cities try to stem the fossil-fueled flood in South Florida.”

There's the strategy! Every event is fossil-fueled now. This example is from someone who could not possibly have had the life he has had, or could do what he does (this applies to all of us) without fossil fuels. Which is one of the things that bugs me so much about the whole AGW movement. Here we are, all nice and warm with our marvelous technology, and the same people and industries that help so much make it that way are now demonized and destroyed. I believe the word to describe someone that does that is “ingrate.”

Just a reminder folks: The true"hockey sticks" of fossil fuel, given the fact there are tree ring studies such as Liu’s from China, are not with temperatures, but with world wide GDP and life expectancy.


Temperatures from 400BC -- no hockeystick


Wealth from 1500 AD.  A REAL hockeystick


Another real hockestick

Though showing you only a couple of examples, it’s obvious the strategy of the AGW alarmists is to simply blame everything on fossil fuels. Even in the year of a lack of extreme events, they are trumpeting all weather events as evidence they are right. In a way, they are playing an “Everybody Gets a Trophy” card (no matter what we say, we are right, give me my trophy) and a victim card (the evil fossil fuel people are destroying us; never mind we are far better off than we would have been if what we are pushing was enacted from the get-go).

I guess then it’s okay for me to call what they do what it is: FOSSIL-FUELED PROPAGANDA.  Why not? They claim everything else is.

SOURCE







No apologies to Bob Carter?

When Carter first drew attention to the cessation of global warming after 1998, he was roundly abused, condemned and told he was wrong. Now that even Warmists admit to what they call the "pause" in warming, is anybody apologizing to Carter and admitting that he was right after all? Certainly no Warmists are

It was an Australian scientist, Bob Carter, who first drew attention to the flattening trend in an article in Britain’s The Telegraph in April 2006. Carter reviewed the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia for the years 1998 to 2005 and asked: “Does something not strike you as odd?”

Carter’s reward for identifying the lack of global warming was to have his professional reputation trashed. When Carter repeated his suggestion in the Australian press a year later, the CSIRO felt obliged to respond. Carter had presented “an unethical misrepresentation of the facts”, wrote Andrew Ash, acting director of the CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship. “All scientists welcome honest criticism since it helps to sharpen our analyses and improve our understanding, but scepticism based on half-truths and misrepresentation of facts is not helpful.”

ABC online’s The Drum refused to run his commentary. ABC Radio National’s science broadcaster Robyn Williams gave an open microphone to Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change communications director Bob Ward, who accused Carter of “desperately seeking bits of information to back up a ­theory”.

Political scientist Robert Manne said the likes of Carter, award-winning geologist Ian Plimer and former head of the National Climate Centre at the Bureau of Meteorology William Kininmonth “have to be resisted and indeed denounced” along with the “anti-political correctness and anti-collectivist ideologues, the right-wing media and the fossil fuel corporations”.

As recently as two years ago, former finance minister Nick Minchin was mocked on the ABC’s Q&A for suggesting that temperatures had plateaued. “There is a major problem with the warmist argument because we have had rising CO2 but we haven’t had the commensurate rise in temperature that the IPCC predicted,” he said.

“That’s just not true Nick,” responded Anna Rose, chairwoman of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

The University of NSW’s Matthew England joined in. “What Nick just said is actually not true. The IPCC projections of 1990 have borne out very accurately the projections now 22 years old.”

As it happens, it was true. The 1990 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report predicted temperature rises of 0.3C each decade. In fact, according to the latest report global temperatures have risen only 0.14C per decade since 1978.

In September last year a draft version of the fifth assessment report of the IPCC’s working group 1 that assesses the physical science of climate finally acknowledged the gap between computer projections and observed surface temperatures between 1998 and 2012. The IPCC was not so bold as to admit that its previous reports were wrong. It did accept, however, that there had been a “global mean surface temperature trend hiatus”, which amounts to the same thing.

If science worked as purely as Francis Bacon suggested it should, by the application of induction and observation, climate science would have moved on by now. Experts, however, are only human. Too many professional reputations have been invested in a fixed idea for it to be simply abandoned.

The heating has not stopped, we are told, it has simply “paused”. The word bristles with presumption. Despite their appalling track record in the past 20 years, climate scientists still believe they can predict how temperatures will move in the future.

“The ocean is absorbing huge amounts of heat energy and then will toss it back on us further along,” Dr Karl told Delroy.

Nobody suggested that temperatures should rise in a straight line, he said. “It’s much more complicated than that … there are so many factors involved, El Nino, La Nina, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, etc, that suggests that you need a 17-year window to able to look past the noise.

“And here they are saying we’re looking at a nine-year window and it looks sort of not as uppity as before. Well that’s easy, it’s not a 17-year window.” [Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is ignoring facts that even Warmists now admit -- the "pause" has gone on for 18 years]

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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23 October, 2014

Do Italian chamois prove global warming?



In the Italian Alps there are records of the weight of animals shot by hunters -- and the carcasses of chamois goats are now quite a bit lighter than they used to be.  Why?

The Warmist researchers below discovered that betwen 1979 and 2010 temperatures in the study area rose substantially  -- by around 3 degrees.  And that is the first oddity.  Global temperatures over that time rose by only tenths of a degree.  So there were some LOCAL effects at work on temperatures in the area.  The results tell us nothing about GLOBAL warming.

But do they tell us anything about what might be if the whole world warmed by the same amount?

Probably not.  In best Warmist style they used models to analyse  their data,  thus introducing possibilities of arbitrariness.  And the result is that there is no clear test of whether temperature was the driver of the effects observed.  And there was another clear driver -- population density.  The population of animals in the study area rose during the time of the study. So if there are more goats competing for feed each goat is likely to be less well-fed.  And calorie deficiency is well know to shrink body mass.

So competent research would have used some type of regression analysis to remove the effect of density before temperature effects were looked for.  The authors did not do that.  They simply plugged in both density and temperature into their models -- leaving unanswered whether there was any statistically significant effect of temperature after the variations in density had been allowed for.  Very sloppy!



Goats are shrinking as a result of climate change, researchers have claimed.  They say Alpine goats now weigh about 25 per cent less than animals of the same age in the 1980s.  Researchers say it is a stark indication of how quickly climate change can affect animals.

They appear to be shrinking in size as they react to changes in climate, according to new research from Durham University.

The researchers studied the impacts of changes in temperature on the body size of Alpine Chamois, a species of mountain goat, over the past 30 years.  To their surprise, they discovered that young Chamois now weigh about 25 per cent less than animals of the same age in the 1980s.

In recent years, decreases in body size have been identified in a variety of animal species, and have frequently been linked to the changing climate.  However, the researchers say the decline in size of Chamois observed in this study is striking in its speed and magnitude.

The research, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council is published in the journal Frontiers in Zoology.

Lead author Dr Tom Mason, in the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, at Durham University, said: 'Body size declines attributed to climate change are widespread in the animal kingdom, with many fish, bird and mammal species getting smaller.

'However the decreases we observe here are astonishing. 'The impacts on Chamois weight could pose real problems for the survival of these populations.'

The team delved into long-term records of Chamois body weights provided by hunters in the Italian Alps.

They discovered that the declines were strongly linked to the warming climate in the study region, which became 3-4oC warmer during the 30 years of the study.

The team believes that higher temperatures are affecting how chamois behave.

'We know that Chamois cope with hot periods by resting more and spending less time searching for food, and this may be restricting their size more than the quality of the vegetation they eat,' said Co-author Dr Stephen Willis.

'If climate change results in similar behavioural and body mass changes in domestic livestock, this could have impacts on agricultural productivity in coming decades.'

SOURCE

Environmental change and long-term body mass declines in an alpine mammal

By Tom HE Mason et al.

Abstract

Introduction
Climate and environmental change have driven widespread changes in body size, particularly declines, across a range of taxonomic groups in recent decades. Size declines could substantially impact on the functioning of ecosystems. To date, most studies suggest that temporal trends in size have resulted indirectly from climate change modifying resource availability and quality, affecting the ability of individuals to acquire resources and grow.

Results
Here, we investigate striking long-term body mass declines in juvenile Alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), within three neighbouring populations in the Italian Alps. We find strong evidence that increasing population density and warming temperatures during spring and summer are linked to the mass declines. We find no evidence that the timing or productivity of resources have been altered during this period.

Conclusions
We conclude that it is unlikely that environmental change has driven body size change indirectly via effects on resource productivity or phenology [growth cycles]. Instead, we propose that environmental change has limited the ability of individuals to acquire resources. This could be due to increases in the intensity of competition and decreases in time spent foraging, owing to high temperatures. Our findings add weight to a growing body of evidence for long-term body size reductions and provide considerable insight into the potential drivers of such trends. Furthermore, we highlight the potential for appropriate management, for instance increases in harvest size, to counteract the impacts of climate change on body mass.

Frontiers in Zoology 2014, 11:69  doi:10.1186/s12983-014-0069-6







A New Documentary Profiles "Liars for Hire"

The story below -- based on a book by Naomi Oreskes --  calls distinguished climate scientist Fred Singer (a man who has made enormous contributions to atmospheric physics research) a liar and a snake-oil salesman.  It is as we constantly get from Warmists -- all abuse with not a single scientific datum mentioned.  Logicians refer to such discourse as the "argumentum ad hominem"  -- one of the classic informal fallacies of logic.  But who expects logic from Warmists?

So why the extreme abuse of a prominent and truth-telling scientist?  It is the old Leftist tactic of projection -- accusing others of what is true of yourself. As I have pointed out recently, it is Naomi Oreskes who is the fraud and a liar.  She published a claim that all the scientific journal abstracts she could find on global warming agreed with it.  Benny Peiser, however, tried to replicate her study but got radically different results.  Skepticas can PROVE who the fraud is

Fred Singer has been taking advice on whether he should sue over  the libels against him but there is no way he can match the deep pockets of the Greenies.  If Oreskes & Co.  appeal a verdict against them, the cost could run to well over a million and even if they lose the appeal Singer would still face a huge loss.  In America, unlike most other jurisdictions, costs are usually not awarded against the unsuccessful party.  Very few Americans can afford to contest a libel


The New York Film Festival, now in its fifty-second year, is unusual in that it combines big-money extravaganzas like Gone Girl and Birdman with small, worthy films whose publicity budgets would barely cover the cost of Ben Affleck’s body waxings. Given the presence of so much of the film world in one place, the festival allows these latter movies to vastly increase their ability to secure media attention without the tens of millions of dollars that the studios devote to their superheroes.

A new documentary shown twice at the festival, and scheduled to be released in March, got my attention. Merchants of Doubt is directed by Robert Kenner and based on the 2010 book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, two esteemed historians of science. The film, simultaneously entertaining, instructive and extremely important, traces the techniques through which profit-seeking corporations seek to undermine honest science in the public mind so that they might continue to make money poisoning our bodies and destroying our planet.

The argument can be condensed to one simple idea: the tactics perfected by the tobacco industry, which were designed to obfuscate the cancer-causing nature of its products back in the 1950s and ’60s, are now widespread throughout corporate America. When an internal Brown & Williamson memo declared decades ago, “Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the mind of the general public,” it created the template for countless oil, coal, chemical, agricultural, tobacco and manufacturing companies, as well as the front groups they fund and, more than occasionally, invent. By paying off members of Congress and exploiting the structural vulnerabilities of “objective” journalism, these companies have been able to fool the public and enrich themselves through a kind of slow-motion “murder for hire” operation.

The book is a first-rate piece of journalistic investigation and scientific inquiry. But we live in a culture in which the influence of books pales in comparison with that of cinema (to say nothing of television or even video games). Naomi Oreskes, who appears extensively in the film, told me that, yes, “the technical content is greatly simplified…. In the book, we had extensive but (hopefully) clear explanations of the science, including how and when scientists had come to understand the threats represented by acid rain, ozone depletion, climate change, etc. The film, however, has greater emotional impact. It’s less intellectual, but more visceral.”

The pioneers in the field are not only the liars for hire employed by the tobacco industry for so many decades, but also Cold War scientists like Robert Jastrow, Fred Seitz and William Nierenberg, who initially founded the George C. Marshall Institute to promote Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars boondoggle and then switched gears to lie about climate change—a task in which they’ve been joined by scientist/snake-oil salesman Fred Singer, who also cares more about opposing all forms of corporate regulation than he does about truth.

But the star of this show is the astonishingly charming rogue Marc Morano, a frequent cable-television guest who admits, “I’m not a scientist, but I do play one on TV.” Morano, the founder of ClimateDepot.com, not only spouts his nefarious nonsense about science everywhere he goes but is also in the business of ensuring the mau-mauing of genuine scientific researchers who have felt a responsibility to go public with the dangers we face. “We went after James Hansen and Michael Oppenheimer and had a lot of fun with it…we mocked and ridiculed,” Morano brags. He has also published their private e-mails, both as a means of harassment and as a warning to other scientists who might be considering doing the same thing.

Where are the media in all of this? As Oreskes explains, “It was an explicit part of the strategy of merchandising doubt to use the media to create the impression of controversy. If the media are not pulled in, the strategy fails. So a large part of the story is industry courting and, where necessary, pressuring the media to give ‘equal time’ to its views. Interestingly, what we found was that overt pressure was fairly rare. The media didn’t need to be pressured.”

SOURCE






Some wisdom from 1884



This New York Herald article of Friday, February 1, 1884 says that  climate change is not involved in the California drought of that era.  It points out the cyclicity of droughts in California.  So the present California drought has to be just part of a natural cycle too  -- particularly as there has been no global warming for the last 18 years







Climate change now 'irreversible' - claim

One wonders what drives the guy to make these unfounded prophecies. The only evidence he offers is the old theory that rising CO2 levels will have catastrophic effects -- despite the fact that markedly rising CO2 levels have had NO effect for the last 18 years.  He does say that CO2 for some reason takes 40 years to have an effect but that is a strange claim -- well outside the usual Warmist models.  It is however a safe claim: He may well not live long enough to see his theory disconfirmed.

He also thinks chemtrails are “geoengineering” the planet and that 9/11 was a controlled demolition.  He also lives in a straw house in the middle of the woods surrounded by animals.  A paranoid schzophrenic would be my guess




The climate change message is just depressing, no matter what way you look at it.  Best case scenario, we all have to change our lives dramatically, just to keep us vaguely on the right track.  Worst case scenario - were all doomed.

Unsurprisingly, that's a hard message for scientists to get us all to listen to, which might be why Professor emeritus Guy McPherson is a teacher of natural resources, ecology and evolutionary biology, but is also a grief counsellor on the side.

Prof McPherson taught and conducted research at the University of Arizona for 20 years before leaving the university in 2009.

He will be speaking about climate change in guest lectures in New Zealand from October 22 to November 1.

You can catch Prof McPherson at an event co-organised by AUT's School of Social Sciences and Public Policy and the Pacific Media Centre in Auckland on October 22 at 5.30pm.

Tonight on the Paul Henry Show, he explains that due to the arrogance of humans, the damage done is too far along and now irreversible.

Now, the only way to help planet Earth is to "terminate industrial civilisation".

SOURCE






Shale Boom Helping American Consumers as Never Before

Oil traders might see the 27 percent slide in global prices as a bear market. For U.S. consumers, it's more like an early holiday gift.

The drop in crude has pulled retail gasoline down more than 50 cents a gallon from the year's high in April. That means annual savings of $500 for the average U.S. household, which consumes about 1,000 gallons of fuel a year, according to data from the Federal Highway Administration and Energy Information Administration.

"That's like somebody putting dollars right in your pocket," David Hackett, the president of Stillwater Associates, an energy consultant in Irvine, California, said by phone on Oct. 14. "That sounds like Christmas presents, going out to dinner, being able to do something."

Gasoline's slide represents the biggest benefit that U.S. consumers have seen to date from a record boom in domestic oil production, a surge that's contributing to a global crude glut and helping reduce international prices. U.S. gasoline is being exported at record levels for this time of year.

More from Bloomberg.com: Monaco Murders Reveal Six Hidden Real Estate Billionaires

The average retail price fell 1.9 cents to $3.144 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based motoring group AAA said on its website. That's down from this year's peak of $3.696 in April and the lowest since February 2011. Futures have decreased 84 cents on the New York Mercantile Exchange over the same period, signaling there may be further declines at the pump.

Following Crude

Gasoline is following the larger drop in the oil market. Brent crude, the global benchmark, closed at $86.16 a barrel today on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange after slipping yesterday to $82.60, the lowest level since November 2010. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate settled at $82.75 today on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after trading below $80 yesterday for the first time since 2012.

Prices are falling with U.S. oil output at the highest level since 1985 and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries producing the most in more than a year. At the same time, the Paris-based International Energy Agency lowered its estimate for global demand growth for this year and next in an Oct. 14 report.

Americans are spending about $230 million a day less on gasoline than they were on July 4, based on prices and consumption, said Michael Green, a Washington-based spokesman for AAA, the country's biggest motoring group.

‘Free Money'

Most consumers are paying $5 to $15 less to fill their tanks than they were around the Fourth of July, according to Green. "This is free money that people can use for savings or other spending in time for holiday shopping," he said by e-mail on Oct. 15.

On top of sliding energy prices, food costs fell 0.7 percent in September, driven lower by eggs, baked goods and meat, IHS Inc., an Englewood, Colorado-based consultant, said in research note on Oct. 15. Combined, the drops stand to improve the holiday season both under the Christmas tree and on the dinner table, said Michael Montgomery, a U.S. economist at IHS.

"The two most observed prices by consumers are food and energy and they play the largest role in forming consumer opinions about inflation, providing a little more room for luxuries rather than facing a squeeze from necessities," he said in the report.

Retail sales over this holiday season, from November through December, are expected to be up 4.2 percent from last year, according to IHS. That excludes motor vehicles, gasoline and food purchases.

Holiday Season

"This holiday season -- with just about six weeks until Black Friday -- is expected to glitter in comparison to the last two years," Chris G. Christopher Jr., director of IHS's U.S. consumer economics group, said in a report on Oct. 15. "The recent news on the consumer front has been relatively favorable, especially as pump prices are falling."

Black Friday, the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, marks the start of the holiday shopping season. It falls on Nov. 28 this year.

Americans' expectations for the economy in October climbed to the highest level in almost two years. A measure tracking the economic outlook increased to 51 this month, the strongest since November 2012, from 41.5 in September, data from the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed yesterday.

Retail Sales

Retail sales slid 0.3 percent in September, following a 0.6 percent gain in August that was the biggest in four months, Commerce Department figures show.

"Reconciling consumer confidence with consumer spending continues to be a challenge," said Jack Kleinhenz, the chief economist at the National Retail Federation in Washington, who described last month's retail sales as "surprisingly weak."

While spending on gasoline accounts for less than 5 percent of the average person's disposable income, it has an "undue influence on consumer confidence" because of the way the fuel is sold and paid for, Christopher said Oct. 15 by phone from Lexington, Massachusetts.

"When you go over to that pump, and you squeeze that liquid into your car, you're seeing the amount going higher and higher, and that's an unusual way of consuming something," Christopher said. "It's the way we purchase it. It's immediate. Gasoline is different from almost any other consumer item."

SOURCE






Big dam building program in Australia

The Greenies will be livid

PLANS  for the biggest dam-building and irrigation program in decades will be unveiled today in a major policy blueprint for the ­future of the nation’s agricultural sector that identifies 27 water projects for potential commonwealth investment.

The agricultural competitiveness green paper will outline a ­nation-building agenda that contemplates dam expansions, infrastructure development and greater access to ports.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce will declare the government is moving to reinvigorate the dam-building agenda, arguing that it must recapture the vision and purpose of the post-war Snowy Mountains Scheme.

“Water is wealth and stored water is a bank,’’ Mr Joyce will say. “Sometimes the biggest impediment to our nation returning to the vision and purpose that built the Snowy Mountains Scheme is ourselves ably assisted by the ­caveats of sacred invertebrates, amphibians and molluscs.

“Chaffey Dam (in NSW) was almost stopped by the booroolong frog, Nathan Dam (in Queensland) was stopped by the boggo­moss snail, yet Lake Argyle (in Western Australia) created two RAMSAR wetlands that would prevent us getting rid of that dam, not that we want to.’’

The last major greenfields dam completed in Australia was the Wyarolong Dam in southeast Queensland, finished in 2011.

The pace of dam development has slowed significantly across the ­nation since the 1980s amid increasing opposition from envir­onmentalists to new projects.

The green paper identifies six irrigation projects in Tasmania and Victoria that could be considered for federal government ­investment within a year.

Five of these are Tasmanian ­irrigation projects — Southern Highlands, Scottsdale, Circular Head, Swan Valley and North Esk — and the sixth is the southern pipeline project in the Macalister irrigation district in Victoria’s Gippsland.

Four projects — the Emu Swamp dam on the Severn River near Stanthorpe in Queensland, an expansion of the Nathan Dam on the Dawson River in Queensland, the Wellington Dam ­Revival Project in Western Australia and the Lindenow Valley Water Security Project on the Mitchell River in Victoria — are identified as potential candidates for federal funding, pending further investigation.

Another 17 projects are flagged as likely to be suitable for further consideration for assistance to ­accelerate feasibility studies, cost-benefit analysis or design.

These include the water infrastructure components of stage three of the Ord irrigation scheme in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Four projects in NSW have been identified, including an ­enlargement of the Lostock Dam in NSW’s Hunter Valley, Apsley Dam at Walcha, the Mole River Dam in northern NSW and ­Needles Gap on the central ­tablelands.

A string of major water projects have been identified in north Queensland: the Burdekin Falls Dam expansion; the Fitzroy Agricultural Corridor; the Mitchell River system; Nullinga Dam near Cairns; and Urannah Dam near Collinsville.

Further study is slated for a north Queensland irrigated agriculture strategy around the Flinders and Gilbert river catchments. In South Australia, upgrades to dams in the Clare Valley and the use of waste water in the northern Adelaide plains are under consideration.

While emphasising not every project will get federal funding or go ahead, Mr Joyce says the government’s dams program has ­already started. “In the last month we have started the construction of the Chaffey Dam upgrade (in NSW) and allocated $15.9 million for the continuation of the piping and capping of the Great Artesian bores,” he says.

Mr Joyce will say the nation must drive down transport costs to make the rural sector more ­effective and leverage the mining sector’s common interest in requiring water and the movement of bulk commodities. He will highlight the government’s $300m to start the inland rail line between Melbourne and Brisbane and say he hopes it is later ­extended to Gladstone.

“We must work with the mining industry to see the transport capital and water capital built that is in both our interests as bulk commodity producers and users,’’ he will tell the National Farmers Federation congress in Canberra today.

The green paper will argue that improving access to reliable water supplies and better managing existing water resources is ­essential for the continued growth of the agricultural sector.

Water resources in northern Australia are less developed than in the south, meaning opportunities exist for strategic developments to support the development of water-dependent industries. About 65 per cent of Australia’s run-off occurs in far north Australia and coastal Queensland, and only 6.8 per cent in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Declaring farming and “primary and overwhelming ownership” of farms by Australians to be a national good, Mr Joyce will argue that if the nation wants to increase its agricultural output, it must motivate and send the right signals to make people want to do that.

This will involve cheaper and more effective ways of getting products to market.

The paper will argue that while a market solution is preferable, monopolies and oligopolies must be closely monitored and a fair return to the landholder is essential to the future of the industry.

The paper will back the controversial “effects test’’ supported by the chairman of the government’s competition review, Ian Harper.

Mr Harper, in his interim ­review, backed an effects test that would prohibit business and trading conduct that would have the effect of substantially lessening competition.

The 27 water projects listed in the green paper were identified after Mr Joyce chaired a ministerial working group to identity how investment in water infrastructure, such as dams and groundwater storage, could be ­accelerated and to identify priorities for investment. Tony Abbott put dam building on the national agenda prior to the last election, at the height of the Queensland floods in 2011.

The green paper will argue that government involvement in water infrastructure development should be directed to activities that are in the national interest, deliver net economic and social benefits, and broader public benefits. But given the states and territories have primary responsibility for water resources, strong state government support for a project is also a prerequisite.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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22 October, 2014

UK: Didcot fire raises risk of winter blackouts and soaring prices

One more unexpected interruption to power supplies could cause a "serious" shortage and soaring prices, expert warns.  "Green" Britain has shaved its safety margin to the bone in order to phase out "dirty" coal and gas power stations

The fire at Didcot power station has raised the risk of Britain facing blackouts and soaring prices this winter, a leading energy analyst has warned.

Just one or two more unexpected events - such as power plant closures - "could cause a serious security of supply event, and a probable surge in wholesale prices", Peter Atherton of Liberum Capital said.

The fire-affected half of Didcot B, a gas-fired power station in Oxfordshire, remains offline after a major blaze on Sunday night which damaged its cooling towers.

The plant has the capacity to supply about one million homes.

The closure of old coal and oil-fired power plants has eroded Britain's spare capacity margins - the safety buffer between maximum capacity and peak demand - over recent years.

A series of fires and safety incidents at other power plants had worsened the situation over recent months, leaving spare margins much tighter than expected this winter and leading National Grid to invoke emergency measures to stop blackouts.

“The loss of this plant would not normally be a cause for concern. But UK energy policy has managed to engineer historically low reserve margins as we head into winter,” Mr Atherton said.

He said that most other advanced economies would have enough spare capacity to cope with perhaps 10 unexpected events limiting supplies - but the UK's precarious situation meant it may be able to cope with just four.

"Unfortunately, the UK has now seen three unexpected events before the clock change. Another one or two could cause a serious security of supply event, and a probable surge in wholesale prices," he said.

Mr Atherton said the fire - which follows fires at Ironbridge and Ferrybridge in recent months - "may just be an unusual run of events, or it might suggest that the aging power station fleet is becoming more vulnerable to accidents".

“The odds are still that UK will escape a security of supply crunch this winter. But the mere fact that a security of supply crisis is a material possibility is in itself a sign of huge policy failure in our view.”

Didcot B is owned by Npower’s parent company RWE, which said the fire has not caused any disruption to energy supplies.

The company's other power station at the site, Didcot A, was closed last year.

“I’ve been reassured by National Grid that there is no risk to electricity supplies,” said Ed Davey, secretary of state for energy and climate change.

SOURCE






Farmer’s Harassment Claim Against Green Group to Get Airing

Martha Boneta says a regional conservation group has trespassed repeatedly on her small farm in Paris, Va., about an hour outside Washington, D.C.

Boneta says the group, the Piedmont Environmental Council, has attempted to drive her off the farm through overzealous zoning enforcement, unwarranted and overly invasive inspections and an IRS audit she says was instigated by one of its board members.

The group argues that it has done nothing more than perform its duty to enforce a legal agreement with Boneta and decries the failure “to see eye-to-eye” with Boneta on how to do so.

He Said, She Said, Court Said

The dispute has had this he-said, she-said quality to it for years. But recent events have  brought increased scrutiny of the actions of the Piedmont Environmental Council, which was founded in 1972 and bills itself as “one of the most effective community-based environmental groups in the country.”

Among them: A court ruling scaled back the organization’s inspection rights on Boneta’s 64-acre Liberty Farm. A judge sided with a winery owner in a similar dispute with the habitat preservation group Ducks Unlimited. And documents revealed that a member of the group’s board wanted to put spy cameras on Boneta’s property.

And now, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, listed as  a co-holder of the conservation easement at the center of the dispute, will afford 20 minutes each to Boneta and the Piedmont Environmental Council to explain the situation as part of its regular board meeting to be held Thursday, Nov. 6, in Richmond, Va.

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation is a public agency with a board of trustees that meets at least three times per year to take up easement enforcement and policy matters, help preserve open lands and solicit private donations for preservation purposes.

The foundation, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1966, has no power to constrain the actions of the Piedmont Environmental Council or other conservation organizations and no oversight role in state law.

But the fact that an agency with a stake in the easement at issue in the case of Boneta’s farm is holding a hearing to examine the actions of the other co-holder suggests a tipping point in the tussle.

Bonner Cohen, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C., a pro-property rights group that has studied the dispute, said the Virginia Outdoors Foundation has “good reason to be concerned” about the environmental council’s “abuse of its … authority.”

Cohen said:

There is nothing in the conservation easement that gives the PEC the power to harass and humiliate Martha Boneta, as the organization has repeatedly done over the years. The only way to put an end to this outrageous behavior is to sever the PEC from any responsibility for the easement.

The Piedmont Environmental Council declined comment for this story.

Courts and Courts of Public Opinion

Easements are agreements that landowners enter into with government, quasi-government or private conservation entities in which the landowners receive tax breaks or other benefits in exchange for foregoing development of their property. The easement on Boneta’s farm permits commercial, industrial, residential and agricultural uses.

Boneta bought her farm from the Piedmont Environmental Council in 2006 with the easement attached. According to county tax records, though, she never received tax breaks for it. She has spent most of the intervening years fighting the group in court.

In 2009, the group sued Boneta after an inspection for compliance with the easement compliance turned up agricultural tires and an expandable hose attachment used to wash the mud off visitors’ boots. The group claimed the hose and tires compromised the “viewshed” of the area.

The matter was settled out of court. But at the time, the Piedmont Environmental Council noted Boneta had made improvements to a barn complex and a blacksmith shop called “The Smithy.”

Although she is permitted under the easement to make these changes, the environmental group claimed she made them so she could install apartments and rent them as residential dwellings in violation of the easement.

That claim brought two more years of litigation, which resulted in a settlement agreement reached on Oct. 11, 2011. The environmental group had to stipulate Boneta didn’t have apartments on the property, and Boneta had to agree to allow four inspections a year to ensure she didn’t build any.

Last fall, Boneta filed a lawsuit in Fauquier County Circuit Court that said the environmental council and two of its members, the husband-and-wife real estate team of Phillip and Patricia Thomas, had taken another tack.

Her suit said the Thomases lobbied a zoning administrator and members of the elected Fauquier County Board of Supervisors to issue citations of zoning violations against her property. That suit has not gone to trial.

Zoning Changes Give Rise to ‘Boneta Bill’

Boneta has had better luck in the Virginia General Assembly. In 2013, she and others convinced lawmakers to pass legislation that came to be known as the Boneta Bill. The measure strengthens property rights and redefines what constitutes “farm activities” to prevent localities from imposing overly burdensome regulations on family farms throughout Virginia.

Boneta began to rally support for the legislation in August 2012, when Fauquier County fined her for having a children’s birthday party in her barn.

But the state’s protection of property rights hasn’t stopped the Piedmont Environmental Council from overzealous enforcement of the easement, Boneta says.

She has claimed, and those who have visited Liberty Farm during inspections agree, that the preservation group has looked through her personal belongings and gone far beyond what was needed to measure for the size of an apartment.

Boneta called the inspections “trespassing” and a “fishing expedition for which it has no basis” in her counterclaim to the group’s 2009 suit.

Brett C. Glymph, executive director of the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, told The Daily Signal the foundation doesn’t authorize or condone any of the Piedmont Environmental Council’s actions at Liberty Farm, but it can’t do much about them. Glymph said:

“The PEC is responsible for the building structures and the architecture, while the VOF has its own areas such as the Oak Road Forest and the land itself. We administer our part; they administer theirs.”

Security Cameras Turned Down

Although Glymph would not discuss the litigation between the environmental group and Boneta, she did say Boneta has caused no trouble for the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and that her organization turned down the environmental council’s entreaty to install surveillance cameras on the farm.

Memoranda uncovered by The Daily Signal revealed that Heather Richards, who serves both on the environmental group’s board and as its vice president of conservation and rural programs, suggested putting in the cameras to monitor Boneta’s activities. The foundation declined, and the project did not go forward.

“We have never thought that security cameras were necessary,” Glymph said. “Up until now, this is not something that has been in our toolkit, and I don’t think it’s something the VOF would employ.”

A similar dispute a few miles north of Boneta’s farm, in Loudoun County, Va., indicates momentum in the courts could be in her favor.

Ducks Unlimited, the waterfowl and wetlands conservation group, alleged 14 easement violations by the owner of Chrysalis Winery. A Loudoun County judge sided with the winery and ruled the easement provided ample room for “evolving” agricultural activities.

If the Nov. 6 hearing does reveal the Piedmont Environmental Council  has overstepped its bounds, friends of Boneta and property rights activists are poised to take action.

William Hurd, a former solicitor general—or chief legal defender—of Virginia, is among those who will testify on behalf of Boneta. “We are carefully reviewing the options,” Hurd said, adding:

Conservation easements can be wonderful things, but it is evident the PEC has abused its authority as an easement holder. The situation cries out for either a judicial or legislative solution.

Hurd said he hasn’t settled on a remedy. But Tom DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center, a Virginia group that champions free markets and property rights, has called for a congressional investigation of the environmental council.

DeWeese also proposed a change in state law to allow property owners to opt out of easement agreements after five years.

“Right now the easements exist in perpetuity, and this is a problem because there is no real oversight for how they are managed,” DeWeese said. “The PEC can move the easements around to the government and other land trusts. But the landowner is stuck forever with the easement.”

SOURCE





Even Squid Hate Greenpeace

I don’t usually side with the giant squid. Between all the tentacles, the beak and their bad breath, it’s hard to sympathize with them. But when giant squids take on Greenpeace, we all win.

A rare giant squid has been caught on video attacking a Greenpeace submarine in the Bering Sea.

The Greenpeace expedition is part of the organisation’s campaign to protect the sealife from industrial fishing, which Greenpeace claims is uprooting and crushing coral and sponge communities.

Greenpeace’s website says. “…We must take a precautionary approach and set aside representative portions of critical habitat – such as in the Bering Sea Canyons – as an insurance policy for our future.”

Or we could just dump all Greenpeace members there and let the giant squid take care of things.

But it also appears that Greenpeace doesn’t actually know anything about the creatures it wants to protect as it was not a giant squid. Considering the size of the sub, if it were a giant squid, the sub would have been a tic tac.

"And their attackers weren’t a squid of the giant variety, but a pair of Humboldt squids, nicknamed “jumbo squid” or “red devil” for their famed aggression and the red colour the squid turn when in hunting or attack mode.

Although these squid can get pretty big — up to 6.2 ft in mantle length and up to 100 lb in weight, these guys are relatively titchy — no longer than a few feet in length, maximum. Their size, however, is no indication of courage: colored a brilliant red, they have a brave go at the sub before swimming off in a puff of ink."

6 feet is not really big. Giant squid, whose existence is still somewhat controversial, are estimated to be in the 30 to 40 feet range and have been known to attack whales.

SOURCE






Don't Believe Desperate Wildlife Extinction Claims

Alan Caruba
   
One thing that those of us who have been longtime observers and debunkers of the lies surrounding global warming and/or climate change have noticed is that the “Warmists” have gotten increasingly desperate after more than eighteen years in which there has been no warming.

As what they call “a pause” continues, they are coming up with some of the most absurd “research” to make their case.  When you consider that not one single computer model produced by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or any of the other charlatans was accurate, one can imagine their sense of panic at this point.

The latest claims were made by the wildlife group, WWF, the Zoological Society of London, and other affiliated groups. On October 1st, it was reported that, based on “an analysis of thousands of vertebrate species,” populations had fallen 52% between 1970 and 2010. In 2012 the same group had claimed they had declined 28% over a similar period of time. So now we are expected to believe that within two years’ time a massive larger decline had been detected.

The claims are absurd. I won’t insult you by repeating them. Suffice to say they did not begin to cover the thousands of species that share planet Earth with humans, but you can be sure that it was humans that got blamed for the alleged declines, along with the usual recommendations that we give up the use of fossil fuels and other aspects of modern life to save some furry creature somewhere.

For years we have been hearing that polar bears have been in decline, but one of the leading authorities on this species, zoologist Dr. Susan Crockford, has a report, “Ten good reasons not to worry about polar bears”, posted on the website of the Global warming Policy Foundation, led by Dr. Benny Pieser, a longtime critic of those behind the global warming hoax.

Dr. Crockford called polar bears “a conservation success story. Their numbers have rebounded remarkably since 1973 and we can say for sure that there are more polar bears now than there were 40 years ago.

Over on CFACT’s Climate Depot.com website, similar claims about walruses were debunked by Dr. Crockford who noted that mass haulouts (areas where they congregate) of Pacific walrus and stampede deaths are not new, now due to low ice cover. “The attempts by WWF and others to link this event to global warming is self-serving nonsense,” said Dr. Crockford,, “that has nothing to do with science…this is blatant nonsense and those who support or encourage this interpretation are misinforming the public.”

“The Pacific walrus remains abundant, numbering at least 200,000 by some accounts, double the number in the 1950s.”

The same time I read the article about the wildlife extinction claims, an email arrived from the Sierra Club—the kind they send to thousands who support its agenda—saying “For a mother polar bear and her cubs, the ice is already melting around them. The last thing they need to contend with is an oil spill.”  The claim about ice is another lie because Arctic ice has been expanding, not melting, in the same fashion as ice in the Antarctic. The real reason for the email was to protest “two massive drilling leases” and prevent access to Alaskan oil.

The Sierra Club and other environmental organizations have been on the front lines to get the Obama administration to keep the Keystone XL oil pipeline from being constructed. It has been senselessly delayed for six years despite the jobs and energy independence it will provide. One wonders if the top brass at the Sierra Club actually drive cars or do they all just bike to work?

In a similar fashion, in May the Union of Concerned Scientists announced that, thanks to climate change, our national landmarks such as Ellis Island, the Everglades, and Cape Canaveral will be endangered, claiming that face a serious and uncertain future in a world of rising sea levels, frequent wildfires, flooding and other natural events. Only the sea levels are rising in millimeters, not inches or feet. There have been fewer forest fires and far fewer hurricanes of late. In short, this is just one more desperate Green claim.

If the Greens are so concerned for wildlife, why don’t they protest the wind power turbines that slaughter thousands of birds and bats, and are exempted from prohibitions on the killing of eagles and condors? Because they are hypocrites, that’s why.

Species extinction, like climate change, is a normal, natural aspect of life on Earth. It has nothing to do with human activities. There were no humans around to blame for the Great Permian Extinction when 90% of all life on Earth was destroyed. Global warming periods and abundant carbon dioxide have never been causes of mass extinctions.

Craig Rucker, president of CFACT, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, says the Warmists “actually want us to believe that global warming is responsible for the Ebola virus, the rise of ISIS, and for tens of thousands of walruses getting together to ‘haul out’ on a beach in Alaska. Attributing such things to global warming is among the most shameless tactics in the warming campaign’s playbook.”

SOURCE 





Virtuecrats

Although unannounced, there are three political parties in the United States: Democrats, Republicans and Virtuecrats. The latter is bipartisan. It includes independents and many political agnostics. What it doesn't include are skeptics. The Virtuecrats are true believers, sure that what they are doing and marching for is right.

Recently 400,000 of them paraded through the streets of New York in behalf of Global Warming, Saving the Earth, Climate Control or all of the above. They believe that the science behind global warming is settled. Hence there is nothing to debate.

What they are unwilling to consider is that the science to which they refer is anything but settled. If you think about it, doubt should emerge. Discerning a pattern from the past does not constitute knowledge of the future, especially if you are dealing with a variety of unpredictable and idiosyncratic events. Man-made carbon factors represent one variable in a complex equation that includes natural conditions such as volcanic eruptions and sun-spot theory. Therefore a straight line extrapolation from point A in the past to point B in the future is mere guesswork.

Surely there are sophisticated records of temperatures around the world. But the recording of global temperatures over time is no different from evaluating the purchasing power of the dollar over time. What you cannot predict are the imponderables associated with human behavior. That, in no small part, explains why models designed as predictors are flawed.

One might assume that the Leonardo DiCaprio's of the world would exercise caution in their claims, even open-minded skepticism. But such a stance would diminish their zealotry and zealotry is a reason for demonstrating. A Virtuecrat must be sure. He must feel good about himself for standing up against the skeptics and those who just don't get it. They know for sure that greedy capitalists are behind the plot to promote fossil fuels which ultimately pollute the atmosphere and promote global warming.

Now the capitalism which they abhor not only has produced an unprecedented standard of living that many in the world would like to emulate, it also has produced the leisure time for the demonstrations they engage in. Were it not for this "dirty capitalism" Mr. DiCaprio certainly could not afford to buy a $35 million dollar apartment in lower Manhattan.

Of course, there is another obvious point overlooked by the Virtuecrats: the two most populous nations on the globe, India and China, do not have any interest in pursuing fossil fuel reduction. It might well be asked of the Virtuecrats why they aren't marching on the streets of Beijing. After all, the Chinese are the world's worst offenders of environmental propriety. It might even be asked why they aren't marching in Bismark North Dakota where an oil boom has produced a bonanza of wealth for local residents.

The Virtuecrats are sure they get it, when in fact they don't. They are not scientific; they are not thoughtful and they are not tolerant. Why, then, do we tolerate them? The answer lies in the psychological condition of standing by a cause that is beneficial to mankind. When you march with celebrities, you are putting yourself on the line, challenging "the system." It feels good.

Unfortunately feel good propositions rarely translate into sound policy. H.L. Mencken once said "every complex idea has a simple solution, which is usually wrong." Alas, the Virtuecrats have it wrong, even if the cause makes them feel superior to everyone else.

SOURCE





Ed Miliband and Baroness Worthington, the most expensive man and woman in Britain’s history

Who are potentially the most expensive man and woman in Britain, due over the next 36 years to cost this country £1.3 trillion, equivalent to our entire, ever-swelling National Debt?

The man is Ed Miliband, who in 2008 pushed through the final version of the Climate Change Act. It made us the only country in the world legally committed between now and 2050 to cutting our emissions of CO2 by a staggering 80 per cent. Even then, the Government projected that this would cost us up to £734 billion. The latest figures from the EU and the International Energy Agency suggest that, for Britain to reach this target, it would now cost even more: £1,300 billion.

Less well known, however, is the extraordinary story of how this most expensive Act ever put on the statute book originated in the first place. Google “Bryony Worthington YouTube” and you will see the video of a young climate activist, now known as Baroness Worthington, describing how she first conceived the idea of such a policy when she was campaigns director on climate change for Friends of the Earth.

After David Cameron became Tory leader in 2005, bent on “remaking” his party, she put to him that he should adopt her proposal. She describes how, when David Miliband became environment secretary, desperate not to be “out-greened” by the Tories, he called on her to head a small team in his ministry tasked with urgently drafting such a Bill. When, in 2008, brother Ed took over as head of the new Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc), he raised the emissions-cut target from 60 to 80 per cent, at almost double the cost.

The Bill passed the Commons by 463 votes to three, after a debate in which not a single MP asked how such an ambitious target could in practice be achieved without destroying virtually our entire economy.

But this is what at last one senior politician, Owen Paterson, dared to question in his lecture last week to the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Thanks to advance coverage given to his speech in last week’s Sunday Telegraph, with its front-page headline “Let’s rip up the Climate Change Act”, Mr Paterson has at last set off a proper debate on our energy future – one that is years overdue.

As I wrote last week, Paterson was able, backed by a mountain of expert research, to show how Decc’s current policy, outlined in its “2050 Pathway Analysis” –and amplified by similar statements from the European Commission – is pure make-believe. It alone might merit front-page headlines: that, within 16 years, Decc seriously contemplates closing down all our existing energy supplies from the nasty, CO2-emitting fossil fuels that currently supply 70 per cent of our electricity. Out will go all cooking and central heating by gas. Almost everything, including our transport system, will have to be powered by electricity, for which we will, by 2050, need twice as much as we currently use. This will largely be supplied by 17 times as many wind turbines as we already have, and up to 12 more monster nuclear power plants like the one proposed in Somerset, which may not produce a watt of electricity within 10 years.

What has been striking about the outraged response from green zealots to Paterson’s speech is how they did not begin to understand his practical proposals for how an otherwise inevitable disaster can be averted.

There was, of course, a knee-jerk howl of derision from the likes of Lord Stern and Lord Deben, along with a blizzard of personal abuse across the Twittersphere. But the more thoughtful among them, such as the BBC’s Roger Harrabin, tried instead to ride with the punch, by claiming that Decc was already looking at all the parts of Paterson’s “Plan B” for keeping our lights on. So there was really nothing new about what he was saying, despite his devastating evidence showing how Decc’s current strategy, like the Climate Change Act itself, cannot possibly work.

The zealots simply cannot grasp how our energy future might be transformed by “combined heat and power”, ending the waste of almost half the energy we use to create electricity. Or how hundreds of small, wholly safe nuclear reactors could provide us with a huge new source of both electricity and heat within a decade or so. Or how sophisticated “demand management” technology could shave another huge chunk off our electricity needs, without us even noticing.

And all this could achieve a far greater cut in our carbon emissions (for what that is worth) than we can hope for under Decc’s unworkable policy.

When Mr Paterson’s radical proposals are properly examined, unblinkered by green make-believe, it will be seen that he has at last launched the properly informed national debate that alone might save our economy from a barely imaginable catastrophe.

SOURCE 

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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21 October, 2014

Climate change 'prophets, and projectors, and half-instructed meteorologists': the press found them amusing back in 1871?



THREE consecutive years of drought, while they have stimulated the inventive resources of practical agriculturalists, have had the natural effect of calling forth a plentiful crop of speculation from weather prophets, and projectors, and half-instructed meteorologists, and all the philosophic tribe of Laputa in general, to whom the periodical press now affords such fatal facilities. We have often noticed that in the tabular statements of those compilers of weather records who write to the Times, useful and welcome as their communications are, every season is sure to be “extraordinary”, almost every month one of the driest or wettest, or windiest, coldest or hottest, ever known. Much observation, which ought to correct a tendency to exaggerate, seems in some minds to have rather a tendency to increase it.

The cutting is from the THE BRISBANE COURIER, TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 1871.

Hat-tip: Steven Goddard.  Steven Goddard's blog Real Science is an excellent resource to find old press cuttings relevant to climate that would enhance many a school project by helping give the perspective which is so easily missed. 

The above example would grace any project quoting any of today's 'half-instructed meteorologists' such as James Hansen (an astro-physicist) or Gavin Schmidt (a computer programmer) or Al Gore (no qualifications to speak of) as they take pains to persuade us that we are seeing "extraordinary" weather thanks to their pet obsession, carbon dioxide.  The press today, and now of course the broadcast media, are sure to give them 'fatal facilities' and have done so for decades, without even the sardonic challenge of the above quote. 

Note also the calm assurance about the three consecutive years of drought.  Today, this would be amplified as a crisis, a a catastrophe, as a forerunner of doom to come.  Back in 1871, they merely noted that the drought would have 'stimulated the inventive resources of practical agriculturalists'.  Perhaps they were made of sterner stuff in those days.  Perhaps they were less readily panicked.  Perhaps we could learn from them.

SOURCE 





CO2 Contributes Less Than 2.5% Of The Greenhouse Effect

Contrary to all the BS being spewed by top climate scientists, their own models shows that CO2 has almost no impact on climate. The graph below shows the greenhouse effect during mid-latitude summer for three scenarios, calculated using RRTM – the model used by NCAR in their climate and weather models

Current atmosphere
No CO2
Double CO2



(Note the mid-troposphere hot spot)

At the surface during mid-latitude summers, the amount of downwelling longwave radiation due to CO2 is less than 3%. Doubling CO2 would only increase the greenhouse effect by one third of one percent. Yet climate scientists blame mid-latitude summer heatwaves on this.

We constantly hear BS from people like Gavin claiming  that the CO2 contributes 20-30% to the greenhouse effect, but their own models show this is complete nonsense.

Call this scam off – there is no science behind it.

The effect is higher during high latitude winters, where there is very little water vapor.

[UPDATED] I added high latitude winters at Tallbloke’s request. The proportional effect is larger there, because of a shortage of water vapor.



In the tropics, the CO2 proportion of the greenhouse effect is less than 1.5% – and  a doubling of CO2 has almost no effect.



SOURCE






The Climate Sensitivity Controversy

The concept of Climate Sensitivity (CS) is a useful way to describe the effects of carbon dioxide on the climate.  CS can be derived either from climate models or empirically – with the hope that the two results are concordant.   Let’s look at models first.

Some 30 years ago, the National Academy of Sciences set up a group under MIT meteorologist Jules Charney to study this problem.  Their report arrived at a CS value of 1.5 to 4.5 degC of global climate warming for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.  One immediately notices the huge uncertainty, a factor of 3.  Yet the climate forcing of CO2 is known much more precisely.

The explanation for this wide uncertainty range of CS lies in our imperfect knowledge of (1) feedback from clouds and from water vapor (WV is the most important atmospheric greenhouse gas) and (2) the radiative effects of aerosols in changing the albedo of the Earth atmosphere and thereby the amount of sunlight reaching the surface.

This range of 1.5 – 4.5 degC has become canonical by now.  In fact, the most recent report of the IPCC [2013] gives the same range for CS—even after 25 years and spending billions of dollars on the development of climate models.  As my colleague Kenneth Haapala points out, it’s been a poor return on investment.

Of course, the models have become much more sophisticated and complex. And the number of models has increased exponentially.  Every self-respecting nation nowadays wants to have its own climate model; the United States already has five major ones and is considering financing yet another.  But fundamentally, not much has changed.  The extent of the positive feedback from water vapor, which implicitly amplifies the forcing of CO2 in all of the models, is still uncertain and so are the detailed influences of cloudiness and of various kinds of aerosols.

It is well to point out that we refer here to the so-called “equilibrium climate sensitivity,” which is reached after the climate system has had time to adjust to the higher CO2 levels.  One should also point out that CS refers to a doubling of pre-industrial CO2 -- assuming a value of 280ppm.  Also, CO2 forcing increases only as the logarithm of CO2 concentration, although this fact is seldom explicitly recognized.

Of course, the proper way to determine Climate Sensitivity (CS) is empirically -- by using the climate data.  But at this point many problems arise. First, selection of the proper time interval.  It is generally recognized that there has been little if any warming in the last 18 years; so presumably, the climate sensitivity of the 21st century is effectively zero.  Analysts of CS have therefore concentrated their efforts on the “reported” warming of the Earth’s surface between 1975 and 2000 (which may not even be real).  These analysts have published a dozen or more “best numbers” -- generally near 1.5 degC, the lower end of the CS range of the models.

A dispute among skeptics

All these analyses are based on the warming of the last part of the 20th century -- from about 1978 to 2000 -- the so called “satellite era.”  But there is no reason at all to define climate sensitivity in terms of surface temperature.  Since the best global data we have come from weather satellites, it makes sense to use their atmospheric temperatures as the base for determining CS.

But the satellite data do not seem to show a warming trend -- although there is a dispute on this point even among so-called “climate skeptics.”  One can illustrate this dispute by looking at the graph below.  If one draws a best straight line through all of the satellite data from 1978 to 2013, one can discern a small positive (warming) trend.  But is this really the best way to describe the situation?  Another way is to draw a line of zero slope up to 1997, note a one-year spike in 1998 (caused by a Super El Nino), and then document a sudden increase (“jump”) around 2001 and zero trend thereafter.  Clearly, if the trend is zero between 1978 and 1997, then the climate sensitivity will be close to zero also.


Graph by Don Rapp, based on UAH-MSU data

I happen to disagree with both methods described in the graph.  I note that after the 1998 spike, temperature returns to its pre-1998 lower value -- between 1999 and 2000.  I would therefore put the “jump”, the step-like increase, at around 2001-2002.  We now have zero slopes both before 2000 and after 2002 -- and therefore corresponding values of CS which are close to zero.

The moral of the story is that the best empirical data we have show very little influence on global temperatures from rising CO2 levels.

Now there are still two puzzles:

First, why is there so little post-2002 warming from carbon dioxide -- which after all is a greenhouse gas and is increasing in the atmosphere?  The best answer I can think of is a negative feedback from water vapor -- not a positive feedback -- which counteracts the forcing produced by CO2.  Similarly, one could argue for a negative feedback from increased cloudiness.  However, it is necessary to demonstrate both of these feedback possibilities empirically by examining the appropriate data.

An additional possibility may exist, namely that the forcing increase of CO2 is close to zero at just about the value that exists in the atmosphere today.  Again this needs to be demonstrated by examining the appropriate data.

Finally, another puzzle: If indeed the climate sensitivity is close to zero from 1978-to 2000, and again from 2002 to present, why do surface thermometers indicate a warming trend only in the first interval, but not in the second interval?  What accounts for the reported warming during the period 1978-2000?

All of this requires a good deal of work to investigate various plausible hypotheses, which we’ll leave for another time.  Meanwhile, to quote Nobel laureate MIT professor Robert Solow: “Maybe that’s why God created graduate students.”

I should note that I am somewhat out of step here with my fellow skeptics.  Few of them would agree with me that the climate sensitivity (CS) is indeed close to zero.  I will have to publish the analyses to prove my point and try to convince them.  Of course, nothing, no set of facts, will ever convince the confirmed climate alarmists.

SOURCE






Oil price fall won't break shale industry's back

Competition from shale has forced traditional oil producers to accept lower prices.  But could prices go too low for shale to be viable?

The downward spiralling oil price has led to growing tensions between the powerful Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil cartel and the US shale industry, but analysts reckon prices need to fall even further to  hurt American producers.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil has slumped close to 20 per cent since June this year to $US83.18 per barrel, while Brent crude oil has spiralled more than 23 per cent lower to $US86.46 per barrel.

Many OPEC members, led by Saudi Arabia, refuse to curtail production for fear of losing market share to the growing US shale liquids industry.

"In the face of falling global and US crude oil prices, a key question becomes: how low would WTI prices have to go to meaningfully slow down US shale production growth?" Citi analyst Eric Lee said.

WTI oil prices at $US70 per barrel could begin to reduce new well production in the US, by up to 30 per cent if costs are at the high end of estimates, but by close to zero if costs are at the low end of estimates, Mr Lee said.

"To bring US shale production growth to zero – that is, to reduce new-well production to only just cover legacy well declines – might need prices ranging from $US40-60 per barrel," Mr Lee said.

There is a diverse range of breakeven prices across the US shale industry, even if fringe production output is cut, productivity gains could offset any price support.

"A 40 per cent reduction in rigs or more might be needed to completely flatten production growth but this is based on modelled reductions of average wells, not the least productive wells. Productivity gains can also offset this further. In any case, at $US70 WTI, this is a slowdown, not a halt, in production growth," Mr Lee said.

International Energy Agency executive director Maria van der Hoeven estimated 98 per cent of oil and condensates produced in the US had a breakeven price of less than $US80 a barrel, and 82 per cent has a breakeven price of $US60 or lower.

CLSA head of Asian oil and gas Simon Powell said that the recent correction in oil prices wasn't only related to North American liquid production.

Rather it was driven by a culmination of factors which also included extra production in the Middle East, Libya returning to the market and Iraq producing despite the insurgence threat there, as well as easing Asian demand creating a supply glut.

"The world is in oversupply right now. But, [northern hemisphere] winter is just around the corner. "

The Saudis and the rest of OPEC are likely to signal production cuts prior to their next meeting in late November, Mr Powell said.

"The Saudis saying that they wouldn't cut was just sending a message to the rest of OPEC saying 'why should we be the only ones who have to cut?'."

The market is also wrongly assuming that US shale production can "continue into the stratosphere" Mr Powell said.

"Production costs for shale liquids in America will rise because the nice and easy stuff has been got at. It'll still be good, but I think the rate of liquid production growth in the US will slow."

SOURCE





   
Britain needs political climate change to cut soaring energy bills

Targets for renewables are unattainable, futile – and will cost Britons trillions of pounds

Owen Paterson, the former environment secretary, has described the renewable energy targets as “the single most regressive policy we have seen in this country since the Sheriff of Nottingham”

It is surprisingly common for our main political parties and policy-makers to agree about something. When they do, they are usually wrong; the longer they agree, the wronger they get. Few important people dare challenge them.

Forty years ago, all three parties thought that you could control inflation only by having prices and incomes policies. The government, businesses and trade unions negotiated the levels of both. The guru economist JK Galbraith announced that such policies would “last forever”. Then Mrs Thatcher questioned them. By the turn of the century, no free country in the world had prices and incomes policies.

Some time in this century, we reached a similar state of clever-silly unanimity over green policies, especially carbon emission controls and renewables targets. All parties (except five brave Tories voting against) voted for the second reading of the Climate Change Act in 2008.

I have just re-read the environmental sections of the three main party manifestoes at the last general election. Although they lay in to one another (“Labour have said the right things about climate change, but these have proved little more than warm words”), they are comically interchangeable. They all want the same policy – answering 15 per cent of energy demand from renewables by 2020, and making the British economy “carbon-neutral” by 2050. The latter target is agreed by all EU states, but only Britain, in that Act, actually made it law.

In any subject involving “science”, we voters still respond more deferentially than we do to ordinary political discourse. So, for some years, we humoured the climate-change lobby, and nodded our heads gravely when experts told us we must help save the planet. But most of us behaved like churchgoers listening to boring sermons. We accepted what we were told, on the unspoken assumption that it wouldn’t make much difference to anything and because the vicar (originally the Rev T Blair) seemed quite a nice chap.

This began to change for at least two direct reasons – rising electricity bills and sprouting wind-farms. We started to wonder whether it was true, as environmentalists argue, that conventional energy costs must inevitably rise and so a green levy would miraculously cut our bills in the end. We began to notice that in the United States, thanks to the shale revolution, prices have fallen dramatically and so have carbon emissions. Today, we observe that coal, gas and oil prices are falling too.

As for wind farms, it seemed a bit strange that an innovation designed to save our beautiful world wreaked unique havoc on the best landscape. When we learnt that wind power needed vast amounts of conventional power back-up because of intermittency, we started to see it as the greatest physical folly in our island story.

Yet no mainstream political party engaged with this. You could tell that they were worried about the symptoms of their own policies – hence Ed Miliband’s call for an energy price freeze. But none wanted to discuss the causes. Owen Paterson, then the environment secretary, was the only minister who dared raise doubts. He annoyed what he calls the “green blob”. David Cameron duly sacked him this summer.

In the Global Warming Policy Foundation lecture on Wednesday, Mr Paterson said of wind farms that “this paltry supply of onshore wind, nowhere near enough to hit the 2050 targets, has devastated landscapes, blighted views, divided communities, killed eagles…” When this was quoted on the BBC News, he was saying no more than millions of ordinary people have been saying for years. Yet it was very striking to hear it in public, because no other elected person charged with these responsibilities had said anything like this before.

It would have been better still if the BBC had completed the Paterson sentence. He went on to say that wind turbines had devastated “the very wilderness that the 'green blob’ claims to love, with new access tracks cut deep into peat, boosted production of carbon-intensive cement, and driven up fuel poverty, while richly rewarding landowners”. This, Mr Paterson also said, is “the single most regressive policy we have seen in this country since the Sheriff of Nottingham”. He is right, and because his party, and the Liberal Democrats, and Labour, have all agreed to the sheriff’s extortions, they are letting Nigel Farage play Robin Hood. As the theme song of the TV version used to say, “He cleared up all the trouble on the English country scene, and still found plenty of time to sing”.

Mr Paterson’s argument is that there are much better ways to get cleaner energy. He talks about shale, Combined Heat And Power, “small modular nuclear” and the interesting things that NHS hospitals and others who have their own generators can do to “shave the peaks off demand”. Being no expert, I cannot tell whether he is right here, though these ideas seem to accord with his desire to bring common sense to the subject. He also raises a bigger point, which is that what we have set ourselves is unattainable.

The wind power needed for the EU to hit the 2050 targets would have to rise from the current 42,000 turbines to 500,000. For this you would need, Mr Paterson calculates, an area which would “wall-to-wall carpet Northern Ireland, Wales, Belgium, Holland and Portugal combined”. According to International Energy Agency figures broken down into national components, target fulfilment would cost Britain £1.3 trillion. That is roughly the size of our national debt.

So obviously Mr Paterson is right to say that we should invoke the clause in the Climate Change Act which allows for its suspension. But, despite his notable trenchancy, I would say he is being quite cautious about what is really happening. Even if Britain and the whole of the EU were to stick to our emissions targets (which we surely won’t), and to hit them (which, actually, we can’t), we would still not come anywhere close to what we are told is needed to save the planet. This is for a very simple reason: the rest of the world won’t do it.

Last year, carbon emissions per head in China exceeded those of Britain for the first time, and China has more than 20 times as many heads as we do. The EU is responsible for less than 10 per cent of global emissions, so when we set our targets we knew – and said – that we were in no position to stop global warming. The point was to set a lead which others would follow.

They haven’t. Since the debacle of the Copenhagen Summit of 2009 when the developed world failed to persuade the developing one to join our saintly masochism, this has been obvious. There is a “second commitment period” of the process started by the Kyoto Protocol. New Zealand has withdrawn from it. Canada has repudiated Kyoto altogether. The only two non-European countries still in the second period are Kazakhstan and Australia, and Australia is now reviewing its commitment. Europe’s gesture has proved futile, and is getting ever more expensive, in taxes, bills and jobs. Even the European Commission has spotted this, and is beginning to tiptoe away from the policy.

But not the British parties and policy elites. In August 1914, Sir Edward Grey famously said, “The lamps are going out all over Europe”. He was speaking of the war we had inflicted on ourselves. A century later, we are threatening to put them out again, with different motives, but equal folly. Everywhere else, the lamps are staying on.

Isn’t it rather extraordinary that no mainstream party has dared to point any of this out? Don’t they know there’s an election on? Is it surprising that voters think “They’re all the same”?

SOURCE 






GREENIE ROUNDUP FROM AUSTRALKIA

Three current articles below

‘Degrees in activism’ put brake on growth

AUSTRALIA’S largest resources companies have warned green activists campaigning for an end to fossil fuels are ­destroying jobs and fast becoming one of the greatest challenges to growth.

Andrew Smith, the chairman of the Australian arm of Anglo-Dutch company Shell, yesterday led the debate against what he ­labelled university students with “degrees in activism”, arguing that they were spreading misinformation and manipulating communities to slow the pace of development.

“Challenging decisions will face more effective campaigns of public outrage, some of it based on confected outrage whipped up by university graduates armed with degrees in activism,” Mr Smith said. “But we cannot allow these dynamics to halt Australian progress.”

Activism courses are being taught in legal, politics and ­humanities departments at several universities and are often ­focused on political theory and understanding the role of activism in democracy.

Aidan Ricketts, a law lecturer at Southern Cross University in Lismore, runs a course named Public Interest Advocacy. Its blurb says it provides “skills for successfully advocating for public interest concerns”.

Mr Ricketts described it as an “advanced form of citizenship education”. The lecturer, himself an activist against the use of coal-seam gas, said it was “nonsense” to suggest that universities were preparing students to confect outrage and manipulate information.

“That is a cheap swipe at other people’s opinion’s that Shell don’t agree with,” Mr Ricketts said.

Rio Tinto’s energy chief executive, Harry Kenyon-Slaney, knows the impact activists can have on projects, after his company’s expansion of its Warkworth coalmine in NSW was halted by opposition groups, putting 1300 jobs at risk.

“This is a mine that has been part of the Hunter Valley community for 30 years and provides work for 1300 people, but we’ve spent five years so far trying to ­secure its future in the face of ­opposition from activist groups such as The Australia Institute,” Mr Kenyon-Slaney said.

“People at the extreme end of the debate who would like to see all coal exports cease are willing not only to destroy jobs here in Australia, but also the social and economic development that cheap and abundant energy brings around the world.”

Whitehaven Coal has been a constant target of green activists determined to frustrate the development of its Maules Creek coalmine in NSW. Its chairman, Mark Vaile, former head of the Nationals party, said activists had zero accountability for their actions.

“The information the green ­activists put out is never tested,” Mr Vaile said.

The Australian National University has come under attack after its recent decision to divest its holdings in seven companies — including Santos, Newcrest Mining and Iluka Resources — because it said the companies had a poor record on environmental responsibility. “What is the next thing that the so-called ethical investors and university funds withdraw from?” Mr Vaile said. “Are they now, if they stick to their principles, going to withdraw from all investment in the agricultural industries in Australia, as they are also significant emitters of greenhouse gases?”

Mr Vaile, who recently returned from South Korea, said Australia was now viewed with concern as an investment destination because of the uncertainty in terms of the timing of projects.

“Prospective investors are looking at the fact that approved projects are being challenged in court by some organisation who are unaccountable,” he said.

“We have the government promoting Australia as an investment destination, negotiating FTAs, yet at a state level you have regulations that can be used and abused by green activists.”

Ahri Tallon, a former student of Mr Ricketts, said that in ­addition to legal skills the course had taught him how to organise meetings and demonstrations and engage with the media.

“Real Australian progress is an active and participatory democracy where decisions are transparent, accountable and debated,” he said.

SOURCE

ANU decision to sell fossil fuel company holdings not enough: students

An Australian National University (ANU) decision to sell off about $16 million worth of its investments in seven fossil fuel companies does not go far enough, a students' group says.

ANU said it would divesting itself of shares in Newcrest Mining, Iluka Resources, Oil Search and Santos, among other companies.

Vice-chancellor Professor Ian Young said it was important that the university did not invest in companies that are doing some form of social harm.

"Essentially the criteria which we look at looks at their environmental emissions and any social issues associated with them," he said.

"For instance it many look at their position on Indigenous affairs and also the governance."

It is wrong for ANU to continue to profit from these industries that are responsible for the wreckage of the planet.

But Louis Klee from the group ANU Fossil Free said while it was a big achievement for the university, the decision did not go far enough.

He said the ANU still had major holdings in BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Woodside Petroleum.

"It is wrong for ANU to continue to profit from these industries that are responsible for the wreckage of the planet," he said.

However, Professor Young, who us an environmental researcher, said there was nothing wrong with investing these companies.

"These are major Australian companies, they're resources companies," he said.

"Resources are a major part of the Australian economy that underpins our whole society.

"This is not a case of simply saying the university will not invest in resources companies. We do.

"In fact, it would be very difficult to structure a meaningful portfolio in Australia that didn't."

Professor Young said there should be an orderly transition from fossil fuels to alternative energies.

"The reality is that this is a process that is going to take decades to occur," he said.

The University introduced a socially responsible investment policy earlier this year.

SOURCE

Let them divest, but not with taxpayers cake

The response to the Australian National University's decision to divest itself of holdings in certain  [fossil fuel] companies has been way out of proportion to the importance of the decision - and both sides of the debate are long on rhetoric and short on facts.

The argument has focused on whether the industries represented by the companies being divested are important for Australia's economy, especially the contributions from Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs and the Treasurer.

This argument is overdone. The ANU holds about $16 million in shares in the seven companies (disclosure: the managing director of one of the seven, Iluka Resources, is on the board of the CIS). That $16 million is about 1% of the university's total investment holdings, and the revenue from the entire portfolio was barely 5% of the university's total revenue.

The ANU's holdings represent less than 0.05% of the combined market capitalisation of those companies which approaches $40 billion.

These investments are not financially significant for the university or the companies, so the impact on the economy as a whole will almost certainly be negligible. Which makes the overreaction from politicians, up to and including the Prime Minister, puzzling. At a time when the government is trying to encourage greater financial independence among universities, it seems very odd to try and micromanage their investment decisions.

Unless the ANU's new strategy mentions an exciting new investment in magic beans, if it's not imposing greater costs on the taxpayers then it really shouldn't be the business of government.

The government's interest here is limited to protecting taxpayers by ensuring the ANU exercises due diligence and care with taxpayers' funds. In the absence of evidence that this investment policy will materially impact ANU's revenue the government should be cautious about interfering.

Divestment can be an expression of free speech. In fact it is one of the more valuable aspects of speech because people are a lot more honest with their money than they are with their slogans (as the failure of 'buy Australian' industry policy continually demonstrates).

The problem is when supposed social responsibility transfers costs to taxpayers. Too many non-government organisations and other rent-seekers want to have their public funded cake and eat their private progressive values too.

By all means, use your free speech to criticise industries you don't like and divest any shares you hold, but don't think this entitles you to extra taxpayer money if it leaves you out of pocket.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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20 October, 2014

Eclipse of the solar farms: British Environment Secretary tells farmers 'no more handouts for ugly fields of glass...grow veg!'

Taxpayers’ handouts to massive ‘ugly’ solar farms which scar the countryside are to be axed by Environment Secretary Liz Truss. She will tell farmers tomorrow to stop pocketing public funds by carpeting large parts of the landscape with the black panels – and go back to growing fruit, vegetables and crops instead.

The move, to take effect from January, is the latest part of David Cameron’s attempt to move away from green politics.

Ms Truss said: ‘I want Britain to lead the world in food and farming and to do that we need enough productive agricultural land. ‘I’m very concerned that a lot of our land is being taken up with solar farms. We’ve already got 250 of them and we’ve got 10,000 football pitches worth of new solar farms in the pipeline.

‘They are ugly, a blight on the countryside, and villages are pushing production of meat and other traditional British produce overseas.  ‘Food and farming is our number one manufacturing industry, the whole food chain represents £100 billion in our economy, and it is a real problem if we are using productive agricultural land for solar farms.

‘I’m not against them per se – they’re fine on commercial roofs and school roofs – but it’s a big problem if we are using land that can be used to grow crops, fruit and vegetables. We import two-thirds of our apples, and using more land for solar panels makes it harder to improve that.’

The boom in solar farms in recent years has been fuelled by big grants from Whitehall and Brussels that have seen landowners pocket up to £50,000 a year. It has led to claims that they are becoming ‘the new onshore wind’ after growing criticism of giant wind turbines.

Ms Truss’s initiative comes amid claims by Tory officials that the party is to dump the colour green from its official leaflets. A green doodled oak tree logo replaced the Conservatives’ traditional torch in 2006, a year after Cameron became leader, in an attempt to give them an eco-friendly image.

However, the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm for ‘green power’ has dimmed with growing scepticism about the speed of climate change and a growing backlash against the appearance and energy efficiency of wind turbines and solar farms.

Mr Cameron, who once vowed to lead the ‘greenest government ever’, publicly promised to ‘roll back’ green taxes, which add more than £100 a year to average fuel bills.  And, to the horror of environmental campaigners, his message in private is said to have been more blunt. He reportedly told a colleague: ‘We’ve got to get rid of all this green c**p.’

The Tory mantra of the early days of Cameron’s leadership – ‘Vote blue, go green’ – has rarely been uttered by Ministers in recent months.

The solar power industry costs the taxpayer an estimated £600 million a year. Some of the subsidies are funded by channelling money from household fuel bills, prompting claims that ordinary families are bankrolling wealthy landowners.

Ms Truss is to end grants of £2 million a year available via her department from the European Union’s Common Agriculture Policy. The grants are worth up to £100 an acre.

Ministers at the Department of Energy and Climate Change announced earlier this year that solar- farm grants from their budget will also be slashed. There has been huge growth in large solar projects since 2012. Two years ago there were just 46, but the total has soared to about 200 this year, with another 200 awaiting planning permission.

The Tories have already promised not to subsidise any new onshore wind farms if they win next year’s Election with an outright majority.

SOURCE






Plastic Bag Ban Hurts California's Economy

Research demonstrates enormous direct and indirect costs to consumers

California just became the first state to ban plastic shopping bags at grocery stores, convenience stores and many other businesses when Gov. Jerry Brown signed the law this week. More than 100 cities and counties in the state had already passed their own bag bans.

Even if you don’t use the common, convenient, lightweight plastic grocery bag, you should be concerned about the state ban.

Proponents of the ban claim it will benefit the environment. But a comprehensive analysis recently undertaken by Reason Foundation, which looked at the impact of plastic bag bans on the environment, found these claims don’t stand up to scrutiny. Indeed, the ban is likely to do more harm than good both to the environment and to people’s pocketbooks.

Lightweight plastic bags constitute less than 1 percent of all visible litter, represent only 0.4 percent of all municipal solid waste and are not a major cause of blocked storm drains. Banning them has practically no impact on the amount of litter generated, the amount Californians pay for waste disposal, or the risk of flooding. In fact, when plastic bags were banned in San Francisco, the county’s own studies showed that litter actually increased.

Lightweight plastic bags have not caused a giant “garbage patch” in the North Pacific, nor are they a significant threat to marine animals or birds. Rather, the real culprit of untimely marine animal death is cast-off fishing gear. A bag ban might catch a school of red herrings but it won’t save any real marine life.

For our study, we calculated that an average consumer using only lightweight plastic bags would be responsible for consuming less energy and water and generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions than someone using alternative bags. The main proposed alternative is five times heavier than the current bag and is responsible for the consumption of far more resources, energy and water. Paper bags also consume more resources, including five times more water over their lifecycle than lightweight plastic bags.

Further, the Department of Public Health has warned, “During the warmer months, the increased temperatures can promote the growth of bacteria that may be present on [reusable] bags.”

They encourage users to wash their reusable bags “frequently.” This of course consumes water – and if the advice were followed rigorously, “reusable” bags would consume as much as 40 times more water than lightweight plastic bags.

Some dismiss this advice, bragging that they never wash their bags. In those cases, they are putting themselves and other consumers at risk as bacteria spreads easily in shopping carts and at checkout counters.

Additionally, our research demonstrated enormous direct and indirect costs on California’s consumers. If California’s 12.4 million households spend five minutes each week cleaning their shopping bags to get rid of germs and bacteria, the annual opportunity cost would be more than $1.5 billion.

The bag ban is likely to disproportionately burden the working poor and those households on a tight budget. A dollar spent on 10 paper bags is a dollar not available for other purchases. And while it’s easy to place all the blame on the Legislature, grocery chains sponsored the plastic bag bill and may reap hundreds of millions of dollars charging the consumer more for a paper bag than it cost them to procure them wholesale.

Opponents of the bag ban say they’ll try to gather enough signatures to give voters the chance to repeal the plastic bag law.

In the meantime, it’s clear leaders in Sacramento passed another feel-good measure that hurts working people and the state economy.

SOURCE







Hey, Defense Department: Focus on ISIS, not Climate Change

As world leaders remain locked in on the threat of ISIS, the U.S. Department of Defense laid out its plan to fight a different battle: ice caps.

In a new report, DOD argues that climate change poses “immediate risks to U.S. national security” because of warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, changing precipitation patterns and more frequent and intense storms. There are just two small problems with such an assertion. One, none of these climate challenges are actually occurring in amounts that would present an immediate risk. Two, the administration’s economy-crushing carbon regulations that would choke off affordable energy sources wouldn’t make a difference even if climate change did pose a threat.

Let’s go through them one by one. Accelerated warming? Not so much. October 2014 marks the 18th year that there’s been no trend in global warming during a time when global carbon emissions have increased and climate models predicted accelerated rates of warming. No immediate risk there.

Rising sea levels? That’s happening, but it comes nowhere near posing an immediate risk and in fact, has slowed in recent years. A recent paper published in Nature Climate Change found that “since the early 1990s, sea level rose at a mean rate of 3.1 millimeters per year. Over the last decade, this rate slowed by about 30 percent.

Indeed, the 3.1-millimeter-per-year increase is actually on par with the past century’s level of rising sea levels and it has since slowed down. Furthermore, climatologist Judith Curry says “It is clear that natural variability has dominated sea level rise during the 20th century, with changes in ocean heat content and changes in precipitation patterns.”

DOD warns us that “in places like the Hampton Roads region in Virginia, which houses the largest concentration of U.S. military sites in the world, we see recurrent flooding today, and we are beginning work to address a projected sea-level rise of 1.5 feet over the next 20 to 50 years.”

That’s 457.2 millimeters of sea level rise over the next 20 to 50 years. That’s an increase of either 22.86 millimeters per year for 20 years or 9.1 millimeters per year for 50. Neither projection is anywhere close to climate reality, which tends to be the theme of the DOD report.

How about more frequent and intense storms? DOD argues that with more hurricanes, floods and droughts, the Department of Defense will have to spend money and deploy resources differently. More frequent and intense storms could cause problems such as “increased dust generation during training activities” or “increased inundation, erosion and flooding damage. And there could be threats to food and water supplies and the need for more resources for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

That may sound reasonable if any trends actually existed for increased natural disasters. But even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which the Obama administration hails as the magnum opus, concludes these threats do not exist or are not immediate.

IPCC says, “Current data sets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century, and it remains uncertain whether any reported long-term increases in tropical cyclone frequency are robust, after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities.”

Droughts aren’t a problem, either, according to the IPCC: “In summary, the current assessment concludes that there is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century.” IPCC drew similar conclusions on floods: “In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.”

The climate is changing, and the extent to how much manmade emissions are contributing is highly debated. But what is clear is that climate change is not imposing the immediate risk that the DOD purports. Even more troubling, the regulations restricting America’s energy use to combat climate change will do nothing but reduce economic growth and resources available for either humanitarian efforts or to grow international economies.

Moreover, the DOD using resources to address non-problems reduces the department’s ability to address real national security threats such as ISIS or ebola. Additionally, the gradual occurrence of climate change will provide DOD plenty of time to adjust any changing conditions and humanitarian efforts.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel remarked that “Climate extremes in Australia are worrying leaders there.” Well, they apparently aren’t too worried because the Australian government, recognizing the economic hardship its carbon tax imposed on its families and businesses, decided to repeal it.

Military preparedness for changing climates and different circumstances that our armed forces must face is one thing. But to pose climate change as an immediate risk when evidence suggests otherwise is nothing short of fear-mongering, woeful ignorance and politicization.

SOURCE







Despite Administration’s Efforts, Voters Give Climate Change Low Priority in New Poll

 Despite the administration’s high-priority focus on climate change, the issue is at the bottom of a list of 13 concerns that are most pressing for registered U.S. voters in next month’s midterm election, according to a new Gallup poll.
Only 40 percent of respondents identified climate change as either “very important” or “extremely important” to their votes.

By contrast the list was topped by the economy (88 percent), followed by the availability of good jobs (86 percent), the way the federal government is working (81 percent), and Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria (78 percent).

Registered voters next viewed as very or extremely important to their vote the issues of equal pay for women (75 percent), the federal budget deficit (73 percent), foreign affairs (69 percent) and taxes (69 percent).

Further down in order of importance were immigration (65 percent), Obamacare (64 percent), income and wealth distribution in the U.S. (64 percent), abortion and access to contraception (50 percent) – and then climate change (40 percent).

Spearheaded by longtime global warming campaigner Secretary of State John Kerry, the administration has given significant attention to climate change, an issue Kerry said recently may be “the most serious challenge we face on the planet.”
President Obama unveiled his Climate Action Plan in June 2013, introducing limits on carbon emissions from new and existing power plants and measures to raise energy efficiency standards.

Kerry says he unfailingly brings up the topic with foreign counterparts in meetings at home and around the world, and on the sidelines of high-level U.N. meetings in New York last month he hosted the first ever meeting on the subject at a foreign minister-level.

High on the administration’s agenda is a U.N. megaconference planned in Paris, France late next year, where leaders are meant to adopt a new global agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The Gallup poll suggests that the administration faces an uphill battle in getting Americans to ascribe the level of urgency to the issue that it does.

The poll also examined which party stands to benefit from the respective levels of importance voters give to the 13 issues, asking respondents whether they think Republicans or Democrats in Congress would do a better job of dealing with each.

On five of the six issues viewed as most important, Gallup found that Republicans hold leads over Democrats ranging in size from significant to small – the federal budget deficit (a 20-point GOP advantage), Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria (19 points), the economy (11 points), how the federal government is working (8 points), and the availability of good jobs (1 point).

Further down the list of issues of importance, Republicans held the advantage over Democrats in foreign affairs (13 points), taxes (10 points) and immigration (5 points).

The area of greatest strength for Democrats in Congress, the pollsters found, was that of equal pay for women (a 38-point advantage). Democrats also scored well on the two issues which respondents indicated were least important to their vote in November – abortion and access to contraception (13 points), and climate change (20 points).

On the remaining two issues, income and wealth distribution and Obamacare, Democrats held advantages of 2 and 10 points respectively.

SOURCE







2 German Scientists Calling For Climate Modelling Moratorium: So Far Only “Failures, Flops And Fumbles”!

Two German scientists describe the history of what many western governments have been basing their energy and environmental policies on. It’s not pretty. What follows is *an excellent review* of climate modeling so far

What’s great about science is that one can think up really neat models and see creativity come alive. And because there are many scientists, and not only just one, there are lots of alternative models. And things only get bad when the day of reckoning arrives, i.e. when the work gets graded. This is when the prognoses are compared to the real, observed measurements. So who was on the right path, and who needs go back to the drawing board?

When models turn out to be completely off, then they are said to have been falsified and thus are considered to have no value. The validation of models is one of the fundamental principles of science, Richard Feynman once said in a legendary lecture

Failed hypotheses have been seen very often in science. A nice collection of the largest scientific flops is presented at WUWT. Unfortunately the climate sciences also belong to this category. Roy Spencer once compared an entire assortment of 73 climate models to the real observed temperature development, and they all ended up overshooting the target by far:

And already yet another model failure has appeared: In August 2009 Judith Lean and David Rind made a daring mid-term climate prognosis in the Geophysical Research Letters. They predicted a warming of 0.15° for the five-year period of 2009 to 2014. In truth it did not warm at all during the period. A bitter setback.

Over the last years it has started to dawn on scientists that perhaps something was missing in their models. The false prognoses stand out like a sore thumb. Not a single one of the once highly praised models saw the current 16-year stop in warming as possible.

In September 2011 in an article in the Journal of Geophysical Research Crook & Forster admitted that the superficial reproduction of the real temperature development in a climate model hardly meant the mechanisms were completely understood. The freely adjustable parameters are just too multifaceted, and as a rule they are selected in a way to fabricate agreement. And just because there is an agreement, it does not mean predictive power can be automatically derived. What follows is an excerpt from the abstract by Crook & Foster (2011):

"In this paper, we breakdown the temperature response of coupled ocean-atmosphere climate models into components due to radiative forcing, climate feedback, and heat storage and transport to understand how well climate models reproduce the observed 20th century temperature record. Despite large differences between models’ feedback strength, they generally reproduce the temperature response well but for different reasons in each model.”

In a member journal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Eos, Colin Schultz took a look at the article and did not mince any words:

"Climate model’s historical accuracy no guarantee of future success

To validate and rank the abilities of complex general circulation models (GCMs), emphasis has been placed on ensuring that they accurately reproduce the global climate of the past century. But because multiple paths can be taken to produce a given result, a model may get the right result but for the wrong reasons.”

Sobriety in the meantime has also spread over to IPCC-friendly blogs. On April 15, 2013, in a guest post at Real Climate Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, Francisco Doblas-Reyes, Sybren Drijfhout and Ed Hawkins made it clear that the models used in the 5th IPCC report were completely inadequate for regional climate prognoses:

"To conclude, climate models can and have been verified against observations in a property that is most important for many users: the regional trends. This verification shows that many large-scale features of climate change are being simulated correctly, but smaller-scale observed trends are in the tails of the ensemble more often than predicted by chance fluctuations. The CMIP5 multi-model ensemble can therefore not be used as a probability forecast for future climate. We have to present the useful climate information in climate model ensembles in other ways until these problems have been resolved.”

Also Christensen and Boberg (2012) were critical about the AR5 models in a paper appearing in the Geophysical Research Letters. The scientists presented their main results:

– GCMs suffer from temperature-dependent biases

– This leads to an overestimation of projections of regional temperatures

– We estimate that 10-20% of projected warming is due to model deficiencies”

In January 2013 in the Journal of Climate Matthew Newman reported in an article “An Empirical Benchmark for Decadal Forecasts of Global Surface Temperature Anomalies” on the notable limitations of the models:

"These results suggest that current coupled model decadal forecasts may not yet have much skill beyond that captured by multivariate red noise.”

In the prognosis time-frame of multiple decades, they do not perform better than noise. An embarrassment.

Also Frankignoul et al. 2013 expressed serious concerns in the Journal of Climate because of the unimpressive performance of the climate models. They graded the models plainly as “unrealistic” because they did not implement the role of ocean cycles correctly.

In July 2013 Ault et al. looked at a paper in the Geophysical Research Letters and at the models for the tropical Pacific region. They made an awful discovery: Not one of the current models is able to reproduce the climate history of the region during the past 850 years. Excerpts from the abstract:

"[…] time series of the model and the reconstruction do not agree with each other. […] These findings imply that the response of the tropical Pacific to future forcings may be even more uncertain than portrayed by state-of-the-art models because there are potentially important sources of century-scale variability that these models do not simulate.”

Also Lienert et al. (2011) found problems with the North Pacific. And in July 2014 in an article in Environmetrics, McKitrick & Vogelsang documented a significant overestimation of the warming in the climate models for the tropical region over the past 60 years.

In March 2014 Steinhaeuser & Tsonis reported in Climate Dynamics on a comparison of 23 different climate models and the extent to which they were able to reproduce temperature, air pressure and precipitation over the 19th and 20th centuries. The surprise was great when the scientists found that the model results deviated widely from each other and were unable to give a correct account of reality. A more detailed discussion is available at The Hockey Schtick.

In a press release from September 17, 2012, scientists of the University of Arizona complained that as a rule climate models failed when looking at periods of three decades and less. Also attempts at prognoses for regional levels were unsuccessful:

UA Climate Scientists put predictions to the test

"A new study has found that climate-prediction models are good at predicting long-term climate patterns on a global scale but lose their edge when applied to time frames shorter than three decades and on sub-continental scales.”

In October 2012 Klaus-Eckart Puls at EIKE warned that up to now the temperature prognoses of the climate models have been false for every atmospheric layer:

"For some decades now climate models have been projecting trends (“scenarios”) for temperature for different layers of the atmosphere: near surface layer, troposphere, and stratosphere. From the near surface layer all the way to the upper troposphere it was supposed to get warmer according to the AGW hypothesis, and colder in the stratosphere. However meteorological measurements taken from all atmospheric layers show the exact opposite!”

So what is wrong with the models?

For one they still have not found a way to implement the empricially confirmed systematic impact of the ocean cycles into the models. Another problem of course is that the sun is missing in the models as its important impact on climate development continues to be denied. It’s still going to take some time before the sun finally gets a role in the models. But there are growing calls for the taking the sun into account and recognition that something is awry. In August 2014 in the Journal of Atmospheric Sciences a paper by Timothy Cronin appeared. It criticized the treatment of solar irradiance in the models. See more on this at The Hockey Schtick.

The poor prognosis-capability of climate models is giving more and more political leaders cause for concern. Maybe they should not have relied on the model results and developed far-reaching plans to change society. To some extent they have already began to implement these plans. Suddenly the very credibility of the climate protection measures finds itself at stake.

The best would be a moratorium on models. Something needs to be done. It is becoming increasingly clear that the present wild modeling simply cannot continue. It’s time to re-evaluate. The climate models so far are hardly distinguishable from computer games on climate change where one sits comfortably on the couch and shoots as many CO2 molecules out of the atmosphere as he can and then reaps the reward of a free private jet flight with climate activist Leonardo di Caprio.

SOURCE 






Crop devastation update: Ideal weather brings bumper English apple harvest

On the 250-acre Broadwater farm, near West Malling in Kent, dense clusters of red Braeburn apples cling to the trees, like bunches of oversized grapes. Amid the fruit is farm manager Peter Checkley, who has been growing apples for decades and is reflecting on the end of the harvest. “I don’t ever remember having a better growing year,” he says. “We could have the best we ever had. But it’s been the same all over Europe, which is why they are worth next to nothing.”

The weather has been kind to apple growers this last year. A cold winter gave the trees a good rest, then plenty of rain – especially in August – helped plump up the fruit, and then a dry September allowed the picking to get started early. But the resulting apple bonanza has made the financial climate decidedly gloomy, along with the impact of supermarket price wars and the more exotic fruit that tempts British shoppers these days.

“I am prepared for a loss this year. It is inevitable with prices the way they are,” says Checkley. But producing a highest-ever crop only to be faced with rock-bottom prices does not frustrate him, he says: “You learn to live with it. All businesses go up and down and we are no different.”

The apple business has certainly been in flux. As recently as a decade ago, families could picnic between 45ft-tall trees, whilst pickers scaled ladders. “It has changed to almost factory-like production,” says Checkley, whose father was also a life-long apple grower in Kent. Now the trees are staked and wired to just over head-height and run in long straight rows. A crab apple is sited every 10 trees, to ensure good cross-pollination when the bee hives were brought in back in April and May.

But Checkley is not mourning a past age. “I don’t miss the old days – it was bloody hard work,” he says. “The mechanisation now makes it a damn sight easier. I am a great believer of moving with the times.” Moving times also means almost all the pickers are foreign – there are 18 different nationalities on Broadwater farm. Checkley says it is near-impossible to get locals for the minimum-wage job.

Over at nearby Hononton farm, James Simpson, is delighted with this year’s apple yield: “Walking into an orchard like this, I get quite a buzz, seeing a fantastic crop.” Simpson is managing director of Adrian Scripps Ltd, which owns Hononton and other farms and is one of the UK’s largest apple growers. “The Braeburn crop is the largest we’ve ever grown,” he says, as is the Gala crop.

“It’s not like it looks in the television cider ads, is it?” he says, surveying the long rows of staked-and-wired apple trees that are up to a kilometre long at Hononton and look pristine amid the short grass and irrigation hoses. “Orchard hygiene is a big thing for us,” says Simpson. “A lot of growers have had a lot of scab and canker [due to damp weather], but as you can see we have not had a problem.” The orchards are swept out four times a year, he says, so the fungal infections can’t bloom on fallen apples and leaves and then infect the fruit.

Hononton still uses seven to 10 pesticide sprays during the growing season. But is reducing use by deploying other substances, such as the pheromone of the female coddling moth, the pest that puts maggots on apples. “The males all end up trying to mate with other males,” he says.

Despite the bounty of his orchards, Simpson says prices for Gala, now the UK’s top variety, and Bramley cooking apples, are significantly down: “We are getting very close to only covering our costs.”

Simpson says a major pressure on English apple growers is the strength of the pound against the Euro, making imports cheaper. But he also says the UK is slowly losing its appetite for apples, as more exotic fruit crowds supermarket shelves. “Grapes have been phenomenal in the last few years,” says Simpson. “Producing both red and green seedless grapes was a huge step forward for them.”
    
SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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19 October, 2014

Are eco-friendly bulbs BAD for the environment? LEDs attract 50% more insects and could damage ecosystems

Blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have been receiving positive attention after its inventors were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics last week.

They use around 90 per cent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last for 100,000 hours compared with 1,000 hours for tungsten filament light bulbs.

But while they may be good for the environment, a new study claims that the discovery may a problem for insects, which are more strongly attracted to the LED spectrum of light.

The research, by New Zealand-based institute Scion, found traps placed near LEDs captured 48 per cent more insects than traps near sodium-vapour lights.

Sodium vapour bulbs, which emit yellow light, are commonly used in street lighting as they are more efficient than pre-LED lights.

Insects are attracted to both white and yellow light, but it seems they are even more attracted to blue light which is generated by LED bulbs.

Overall, the researchers caught and labelled more than 20,000 insects, with moths and flies were the most group of bugs.

They claim the attraction can be fatal, causing flies to be thrown off their usual path and into the jaws of predators, disrupting the food chain.

SOURCE 





You guessed it!  Ebola caused by climate change

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posted on its website an article that claims Ebola is a “direct consequence” of manmade climate change.

The article also stated that the virus specifically threatens conservation efforts focused on ape and monkey populations in Africa, including those in Guinea, one of the countries experiencing an Ebola outbreak and where the U.S.-run Chimpanzee Conservation Center is located.

“The larger conservation connection, however, is perhaps less obvious: Ebola appears to be a direct consequence of deforestation and human disturbance,” the article stated.

“Outbreaks are linked to long dry seasons (a consequence of deforestation and climate change), during which there is scarcity of food in the forest and all the animals, including fruit bats, feed on the same remaining fruit trees, usually fig trees,” it added.

“Human development, including logging and mining, road construction and agriculture, is increasingly cutting back on forest habitat and bringing animals and humans in closer contact, which can facilitate disease transfer,” the article stated.

“Some even speculate that the illegal trade in apes may be the actual culprit behind the current Ebola outbreak,” it stated.

The article also referred to apes and monkeys as “some of our oldest living relatives” and said protecting animals being hunted for food is a “major conservation concern.”

The article has a link to a blog written by Estelle Raballand, director of the Chimpanzee Center, that said while the Ebola virus may be protecting some monkeys and apes that were hunted for food before the latest outbreak, the virus is now threatening fish in the Niger River, and some people are killing monkeys and apes, because they are seen as having Ebola.

“While Ebola may protect some animal species from being hunted for bushmeat, illegal fishing is becoming in some areas a larger and more serious conservation issue. In some areas primates are also being targeted because they are perceived as carriers of Ebola,” Raballand wrote.

“As the director of the CCC, I hope that more education regarding Ebola both in Guinea and abroad will help to put an end to some of the false information that is leading to panic and unfounded fear in Europe and the United States, and to the targeting of primates in some regions of Africa.”

SOURCE 





NOAA Says Global Warming Not Linked to Extreme Weather

Contrary to claims often repeated by environmental radicals, global warming is not responsible for extreme weather events, according to a new report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Explaining Extremes of 2013 from a Climate Perspective, NOAA’s new report, examined claims global warming was behind various droughts, floods, unusually cold weather and blizzards, cyclones, etc. – and found no identifiable connection between them and rising greenhouse gas emissions.

In California, for example, a prolonged drought has been blamed by climate alarmists on global warming. The liberal Center for American Progress and media outlets including the Washington Post and Associated Press have published stories claiming global warming caused or worsened the California drought. NOAA’s scientists beg to differ, writing, “[F]or the California drought, which was investigated by three teams from the United States, human factors were found not to have influenced the lack of rainfall.”

It would seem President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, who regularly cite the California drought as evidence of man’s fiery influence on climate, need to follow the research more closely, since their own scientists disagree with their take on the matter.

Environmentalists follow their own talking points and not the science again when they claim global warming is responsible for extreme cold, surprising blizzards, or heavy snowfall. NOAA could find no evidence linking such events to global warming. NOAA reported, “Analysis of UK cold spring showed the probability of occurrence may have fallen 30-fold due to global warming.” In other words, global warming decreased the likelihood of extreme winter storm events.

This was true when looking at the tragic Colorado floods of September 2013, as well. The NOAA report found global warming may be making such tragic events less likely.

If anything is truly alarming in the discussion of global warming, it is the widening gap between what the science finds and what the media, backed by alarmists, report.

SOURCE






Must not mention Greenie money in politics

Billionaire Tom Steyer gives millions to Greenie causes

This is hilarious: Scott wrote here about a video contest sponsored by far-left MoveOn and MAYDAY.US. Announcing the contest, MoveOn urged applicants to “make a 30-second ad to wake up America to the crisis of big money in our politics.” The public could vote on the contest entries.

The conservative group American Commitment took MoveOn at its word. They made this terrific video about Tom Steyer, the biggest hypocrite on the current political scene, and entered it in the contest:



(www.youtube.com/embed/UG9H0o2Sr-8)

Then a funny thing happened: conservatives flocked to to the contest site and voted for American Commitment’s video. Sure enough, American Commitment’s video was winning the contest. So what did the leftists who are running the contest do? They changed the rules! They have, in effect, wiped out all of the votes cast so far, and they are starting the voting over, as of today. Phil Kerpen documents the change on Twitter. The contest originally was supposed to terminate on October 16, now it begins on October 16. Not only that, voting will last for only 24 hours:

Is that pathetic, or what? But it’s not too late. Voting continues, under the new rules, until tomorrow at 5 p.m., Eastern time. You can vote here for the American Commitment video. Of course, no matter how many votes it gets, MoveOn’s far left panel of “judges” will no doubt award the prize to someone else. But still, making the Tom Steyer video the number one vote-getter is worthwhile. We did it once, we can do it again!

UPDATE: A representative of American Commitment wrote us earlier today:

"American Commitment’s Tom Steyer ad about money and politics is absolutely trouncing the competition with 15 times more votes as its nearest competitor with only 4 hours remaining under the original contest rules…

The most amazing thing is how they are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to prevent a video about the country’s largest political donor by far from winning a contest about money in politics. Because he’s a liberal."

SOURCE 






A new one! Concrete's life span is shortened by global warming

I live in a warm part of the world and concrete lasts perfectly well here

Climate change may reduce concrete's durability, with long-term consequences for buildings, roads and bridges constructed with the common material, according to a recent study.

Matthew Eckelman and Mithun Saha of Northeastern University focused their research on how infrastructure in Boston will be affected by the most extreme climate change scenarios.

They predict about 60 percent of Boston's buildings will have some structural deterioration by 2050. Eckelman and Saha published their study results in the journal Urban Climate.

"Starting in 2025 is when [we expect] to see the concrete cover on buildings start to fail, assuming they were built to code," Eckelman said.

Concrete is considered one of the most solid structures humans have engineered. Modern concrete structures and roads are further reinforced with steel bars to make the material less brittle. However, over time both carbon dioxide and chloride ions seep into the concrete and corrode the steel bars, called rebar. This corrosion expands the concrete, destabilizing it. Eventually, the damage becomes visible when the facade of a building cracks or chunks of concrete break off.

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is expected to increase with climate change, and Boston in particular is vulnerable to chloride because of its proximity to salt water.

Under current building codes in the United States, buildings' concrete coverings have to be about an inch and a half thick for the structures to last three-quarters of a century. However, the researchers noted that these building codes don't take into account how climate is likely to change over that amount of time. When climate change is considered, buildings built today will likely last between 50 and 60 years, roughly 25 years less than if temperatures remained the same, the researchers said.

Eckelman and Saha said the biggest effect will likely be higher construction costs to reduce corrosion, like adding 3 to 12 millimeters of thickness to buildings' concrete cover. This could increase building costs by between 2 and 4 percent.

The buildings most at risk in the near term are those built in the 1950s and '60s because they are built with weaker concrete.

The American Concrete Institute, which provides guidelines for setting building codes, is going over its standards while taking into account global warming

SOURCE





The EPA is a major reason why Americans aren’t feeling Obama’s ‘vigorous recovery’

President Obama is trying, according to CNN, to “convince voters of a vigorous recovery that a majority still doubts.” Describing comments the president made on October 2 at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Chicago, CNN calls his attempt, the “political problem inherent in having to describe an economic recovery that many Americans still aren’t feeling.”

The coverage points to polling data that shows the public still sees that the economy is “poor” — with 56 percent disapproving of how Obama has handled the economy.

Perhaps people are beginning to sense what a new documentary makes clear. We may not officially be in a recession, as some numbers have ticked slightly up, but people, as CNN pointed out, aren’t feeling it.

What are they feeling? Higher electricity rates at home, plant closures, and jobs being sent overseas, while few new jobs are being created at home.

On a recent radio interview, a caller told me that companies shouldn’t be allowed to move their business — and the jobs previously held by Americans—overseas. He wanted laws passed that prevented closing an American plant and reopening in China, hiring the locals. I believe laws can be passed that would slow, what Ross Perot called, the “giant sucking sound”—the sound of jobs and economic growth being sucked from America to Mexico, China, or some other country that makes it easier to do business. Instead of controlling whether or not a company can do what is best for its bottom line, wouldn’t it be better to make America the best business environment?

Current government policy is actually the cause of that “giant sucking sound,” the reason people aren’t feeling a supposed economic recovery. These policies, in the form of regulations — especially those from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are keeping people from living the American dream and are even lowering the standard of living from that of our parents.

While we may not technically be in a recession, we are in a regcession — an economic decline caused by excessive regulations. The cost of complying with the regulations makes it virtually impossible to meet them and remain competitive or make a profit. The result of these regulations: Americans lose their jobs, as businesses close or move to more hospitable countries.

Released on October 7, a new documentary (on YouTube): “Regcession: The EPA is Destroying America” boldly posits that regulations are actually causing more world-wide pollution, destroying American jobs, and even putting America itself at risk.

Citing President Abraham Lincoln: “If America is to be destroyed, it will be from within,” Regcession makes a strong case illustrating Lincoln’s wisdom.

Regcession proclaims: “Instead of standing up to regulatory insanity, companies have taken the path of least resistance and sent jobs to China.”

Detroit is one such example. President Obama proudly claims the bailout of General Motors (GM) as one of his great successes. We taxpayers had no say in the $49.5 billion we funded to keep GM afloat—supposedly saving jobs and saving Detroit. Yet, as Obama-appointed GM CEO Dan Akerson (2010-2014) said during a 2011 visit to China’s Shanghai Auto Show: “Our commitment to working in China, with China, for China remains strong and focused on the future.” He called the eleven joint ventures with China “eleven keys to success” and bragged that seven out of ten cars GM makes are made outside the U.S. Only one-third of GM’s workers are in America.

We bailed out GM. China’s economy is booming, while Detroit became the largest municipal bankruptcy in history. GM sells more cars in China than in the U.S., while American’s can’t pay their mortgage — let alone buy a new car. Regcession points out that Americans are increasingly driving older cars.

“China’s unregulated industry and underpaid workers, combined with free trade policies make it impractical for American corporations to keep American jobs in America,” states Regcession.

The film features Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) saying: “This administration has generated nothing short of a mountain of red tape — hundreds of new regulations. Of these, at least 219 have been categorized as significant. What that means is that they will cost more than $100 million a year.” It shows TV host John Stossel, author of Give Me a Break and No they Can’t, surrounded by boxes — the 160 thousand pages of new regulations. Yet, the EPA keeps proposing more regulations.

“Anything that hurts the economy, hurts the American worker,” Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D., Principal Research Scientist, University of Alabama in Huntsville, states. “Environmental regulations in general, while originally well intended to try to protect the environment, end up going overboard and ultimately destroying jobs.”

Since the Clean Air Act was revised in 1990, demand for electricity in the U.S. — along with the American lifestyle — has dropped. Concurrently, China’s demand for electricity — and its lifestyle — has gone up. A growing economy requires more electricity, not less.

America used to manufacture goods that the world wanted. But manufacturing is messy and regulations sent industry away. We now send China, for example, our coal and our lumber. Due to regulations and free-trade laws, it is cheaper and easier for companies to use these American raw materials and manufacture products there and then ship the finished goods to the U.S. America loses the jobs, economic growth, increased property values, and the taxes that would have been generated through the entire process. China puts our cash in its pocket.

Using mitigating human-caused climate change as the excuse, EPA regulations increasingly ratchet down on American industry and electricity generation. Hundreds of billions of dollars have already been spent to remove sulfur, mercury, and particulates from emissions — only to have new regulations force those same factories and power plants to shut down over new carbon dioxide regulations. Jobs go overseas, electricity rates rise for the average American, global pollution goes up.

Don Blankenship, Regcession Executive Producer, explained to me, that with the debt trajectory, the U.S. will be broke — thanks to excessive regulations — long before the planet’s projected warming takes place. Yet, the business community is afraid to fight, as regulators have punitive power.

Industrial chemist Chris Skates, author of Going Green, explains it this way: “If we have an amalgam filling in our mouth for a cavity, there’s enough mercury vapor in the vapor of our breath to contaminate the sample. My question is, if the levels we are testing for are that low, who cares?”

Regcession concludes: “The American dream is being eroded by abusive overregulation, corporate greed, union misrepresentation, environmentalists, and a president whose priority is supposed to be protecting and improving lives of Americans, yet is instead hurting Americans.”

But all is not lost. Americans can end the regcession, by abandoning the doomsday-based regulations and instead have practical, meaningful regulations that give American workers a chance to compete. Dumping bad regulations would be an economic shot-in-the-arm, a true “vigorous recovery.”

President Reagan said we needed to do whatever it took to protect the last bastion of freedom that is America — it is too big, too important to fail. Let’s protect America, not change it.

Stand up for America. Stand up for American jobs. Stand up against over-regulation.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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17 October, 2014

Projected sea level shrinks

Al Gore warned of a 20ft  rise in sea level so the latest bit of Warmism is interesting.  The MAXIMUM estimated sea level rise is now down to 6ft.  It's all based on Warmist assumptions and modelling but it's some progress, I suppose.  I reproduce the journal abstract below.  Note the words I have highlighted.  Unusual humility!

Upper limit for sea level projections by 2100

By S Jevrejeva et al.

Abstract

We construct the probability density function of global sea level at 2100, estimating that sea level rises larger than 180 cm are less than 5% probable. An upper limit for global sea level rise of 190 cm is assembled by summing the highest estimates of individual sea level rise components simulated by process based models with the RCP8.5 scenario. The agreement between the methods may suggest more confidence than is warranted since large uncertainties remain due to the lack of scenario-dependent projections from ice sheet dynamical models, particularly for mass loss from marine-based fast flowing outlet glaciers in Antarctica. This leads to an intrinsically hard to quantify fat tail in the probability distribution for global mean sea level rise. Thus our low probability upper limit of sea level projections cannot be considered definitive. Nevertheless, our upper limit of 180 cm for sea level rise by 2100 is based on both expert opinion and process studies and hence indicates that other lines of evidence are needed to justify a larger sea level rise this century.

SOURCE






UK: Ex-minister attacks green obession at heart of Whitehall: Owen Paterson accuses ministers of raising energy prices for the poor

The former Environment Secretary attacked a so-called ‘green blob’ at the heart of Government yesterday – accusing Whitehall officials and ministers of raising energy prices for the poor.  Owen Paterson said their support for flawed wind and solar power cost billions and made electricity and gas needlessly expensive.

He said the ‘green blob’ included civil servants and quangos in thrall to the climate change and environmental lobby. He claimed it had blocked him from prioritising shale gas exploration as a more efficient way to secure energy for the future.

Mr Paterson, who was removed as Environment Secretary in July, said the only way to ‘keep the lights on’ was to scrap the Climate Change Act, which requires the UK to use more renewable energy and is backed by civil servants.

He warned claims of impending environmental disaster were ‘widely exaggerated’, and accused a series of energy secretaries – including the Lib Dem incumbent Ed Davey – of being ‘Sheriffs of Nottingham’ by taking from the poor.

He said: ‘It amazes me that our last three energy secretaries, Ed Miliband, Chris Huhne and Ed Davey, have merrily presided over the single most regressive policy we have seen in this country since the Sheriff of Nottingham: the coerced increase of electricity bills for people on low incomes to pay huge subsidies to wealthy landowners and rich investors.’

The former minister also said he was disgusted by rich film stars who fly to Africa to preach against the burning of fossil fuels there. His reference to the ‘green blob’ follows former Education Secretary Michael Gove’s description of the teaching establishment as the ‘blob’.

Speaking to the Global Warming Policy Foundation think tank, Mr Paterson claimed the effects of climate change had been ‘consistently and widely exaggerated’, and policies to encourage onshore wind farms will cost £1.3trillion by 2050.

He said wind turbines had ‘devastated landscapes, blighted views, divided communities, killed eagles, carpeted the countryside and the very wilderness that the “green blob” claims to love with new access tracks cut deep into peat, boosted production of carbon-intensive cement, and driven up fuel poverty – while richly rewarding landowners’.

Current energy policy, he said, was a ‘slave to flawed climate action’, adding: ‘It neither reduces emissions sufficiently nor provides the energy we need as a country.’

Offshore wind farms were ‘proving a failure’, hydro-electric power was ‘maxed out’ and solar power was an ‘expensive red herring’. He condemned solar farms as a ‘futile eyesore, and a waste of land that could be used for other activities’.

He urged greater investment in shale gas – pointing out that 40 per cent of Britain’s coal was from Russia and adding: ‘It is better to burn Lancashire shale gas than Putin’s coal.

‘We must be prepared to stand up to the bullies in the environmental movement and their subsidy-hungry allies.’

SOURCE 







Greenpeace condemned by its original founder as 'evil' and being guilty of 'losing its humanitarian roots'

Greenpeace is mainly a club for men who like messing around in boats.  They've even got their own submarine now!  -- JR

Greenpeace has been branded an 'evil organisation' which has 'lost concern for humans' in an astonishing attack by its own co-founder.

Ecologist Dr Patrick Moore, who quit Greenpeace in 1986, has launched a scathing criticism of the activist group, which he insisted has lost its humanitarian roots.

His attack on the organisation he helped create comes as former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson campaigns against the 'self-serving' and 'highly-paid' network of environmental pressure groups he calls the 'green blob'.

Dr Moore told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme: 'My problem with Greenpeace is they have lost any humanitarian roots they had. 'When we started Greenpeace it was to stop nuclear war and the destruction of human civilisation, that of course is the "peace" in Greenpeace.

'The "green" is the environment and that's good as well, but they lost the concerns for humans... They have turned, basically, into an evil organisation.'

He gave the example of so-called 'golden rice', a crop enriched with vitamin A which supporters say would help millions of the world's poorest people improve their diet.  Dr Moore said the fact that Greenpeace opposed the idea showed that they no longer care about people.

Dr Moore helped found Greenpeace in 1971 while PhD student in ecology, but he later left the group, claiming it had become more interested in politics than science.

He is now a proponent of nuclear energy and is sceptical about sole human responsibility for climate change.

Dr Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace, later shrugged of the criticisms made of his organisation.  He said: 'When we do campaigns, we look at influence, we look at impact and we are very, very mindful to incorporate social and economic issues into what we do, because otherwise campaigns won't work.

'There's not going to be some kind of green dictatorship which imposes these decisions on anybody.'

The row comes after Pascal Husting, Greenpeace International’s Programme Director, was exposed earlier this year as having commuted the 250 miles between Luxembourg and Amsterdam by plane since 2012.  Each trip is believed to have cost Greenpeace £200 and would have generated 142kg of carbon dioxide emissions, it was said.  Dr Parr said Mr Husting's behaviour was 'a mistake' and 'should never have happened'.

On the organisation's position of golden rice, he said: 'The thing about golden rice is it's a least-favourable option and it doesn't actually exist yet, it's been many years in proposal and... it doesn't work.  'The real solution to this is a proper, balanced diet like the home gardening initiatives in Bangladesh have achieved.'

SOURCE 






Prominent Canadian geologists wax skeptical

by Nick Eyles and Andrew D. Miall

What is patently obvious from reviewing Canada’s ancient history is that scientists still do not have an adequate understanding of Earth’s complex systems on which to base sound economic and environmental policy. From the upper reaches of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans onwards to the deep interior of the planet our knowledge of complex earth systems is still rather rudimentary. Huge areas of our planet are inaccessible and are little known scientifically. There is still also much to learn from reading the rock record of how our planet functioned in the past.

In so many areas, we simply don’t know enough of how our planet functions.

And yet……

Scarcely a day goes past without some group declaring the next global environmental crisis; we seemingly stagger from one widely proclaimed crisis to another each one (so we are told) with the potential to severely curtail or extinguish civilization as we know it. It’s an all too familiar story often told by scientists who cross over into advocacy and often with the scarcely-hidden sub-text that they are the only ones with the messianic foresight to see the problem and create a solution. Much of our science is what we would call ‘crisis-driven’ where funding, politics and the media are all intertwined and inseparable generating a corrupting and highly corrosive influence on the scientific method and its students. If it doesn’t bleed it doesn’t lead is the new yardstick with which to measure the overall significance of research.

Charles Darwin ushered in a new era of thinking where change was expected and necessary. Our species as are all others, is the product of ongoing environmental change and adaption to varying conditions; the constancy of change. In the last 15 years or so however, we have seemingly reverted to a pre-Darwinian mode of a fixed ‘immutable Earth’ where any change beyond some sort of ‘norm’ is seen in some quarters as unnatural, threatening and due to our activities, usually with the proviso of needing ‘to act now to save the planet.’ Honest scientific discourse and debate is often rendered impossible in the face of the ‘new catastrophism.’

Trained as geologists in the knowledge of Earth’s immensely long and complex history we appreciate that environmental change is normal. For example, rivers and coastlines are not static. Those coasts, in particular, that consist of sandy strand-plains and barrier-lagoon systems are continually evolving as sand is moved by the waves and tides. Cyclonic storms (hurricanes), a normal component of the weather in many parts of the world, are particularly likely to cause severe erosion. When recent events such as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy cause catastrophic damage, and spring storms cause massive flooding in Calgary or down the Mississippi valley, and droughts and wildfires affect large areas of the American SW these events are blamed on a supposed increase in the severity of extreme weather events brought about by climate change.

In fact, they just reflect the working of statistical probability and long term climate cyclicity. Such events have happened in the past as part of ongoing changes in climate but affected fewer people. That the costs of weather and climate-related damage today are far greater is not because of an increased frequency of severe weather but the result of humans insisting on congregating and living in places that, while attractive, such as floodplains, mountain sides and beautiful coastlines, are especially vulnerable to natural disasters. Promises of a more ‘stable future’ if we can only prevent climate change are hopelessly misguided and raise unnatural expectations by being willfully ignorant of the natural workings of the planet.

Climate change is the major issue for which more geological input dealing with the history of past climates would contribute to a deeper understanding of the nature of change and what we might expect in the future. The past climate record suggests in fact that for much of the Earth’s surface future cooling is the norm. Without natural climate change Canada would be buried under ice 3 km thick; that is it normal state for most of the last 2.5 million years with 100,000 years-long ice ages alternating with brief, short-lived interglacials such as the present which is close to its end.

It is self-evident to us that the public debate concerning environmental change largely lacks an understanding of natural variability. Since the last Ice Age ended, some 12,000 years ago, Earth has been through several periods lasting hundreds of years and possibly longer when it was either warmer or colder than at present. Several earth scientists have suggested that a study of natural variability over recent geologic time should be completed in order to provide a baseline against which anthropogenic change may be evaluated, but this important history has not been introduced fully into the public debate, and is a long way off.

It has to be said that the natural variability of the last few thousand years or hundreds of years or tens of years has formed almost no part in the ongoing discussion of climate change which in some circles assumes that any change since 1940 is largely man-made. This opinion is uninformed by geologic science.

The way forward, it strikes us, is for more scientific honesty and less politics, less grandstanding. ‘We don’t know’ is an honourable credo for scientists. In this regard, we need more science to be directed to the environment, particularly toward better planning of the world’s communities to make them more resilient in the face of change. And it is an increasingly urban face that our planet presents. The many large supercities of the rapidly-approaching future world will be absolutely massive consumers of resources and producers of wastes; they will be the biggest determinants of our global environmental footprint; and it is surely there that much of our effort should be spent.

Today, the rate of change of some parts of the world, especially in regard to urbanization and the ‘rush to the city’ is taxing our abilities simply to map and assess the environmental repercussions of transforming a natural environment to a built landscape. There is no simple technological fix either. Satellite and other monitoring data for example still has to be collected, interpreted, ground truthed, and acted on; steps available only to wealthier countries.

In large areas of the planet the lack of human and financial resources, equality and personal freedoms and political choices trump any global environmental concerns and hobble international co-operation. To these people our obsession with saving the environment must ring hollow. The onus here is on the wealthiest nations with the largest scientific academies to put forward credible notions of how our planet is changing and to discuss the possible origins in an intellectual environment where data gaps are fully acknowledged free of catastrophic overtones.

SOURCE 







Ecofascists Hijack EPA Ozone Regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency will release its new standards regulating ozone in December. Even while the old ozone standards have not been fully implemented and studied, environmental groups have hijacked the EPA to enact new regulations on the nation’s energy and manufacturing economy. And in the estimation of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), “This would be the most expensive regulation ever imposed on the American public.”

The Supreme Court recently declined to hear the case of Utility Air Regulatory Group, a conglomerate of coal companies, which argued the 2008 ozone rules were too strict. Even after six years, states like Connecticut, New Jersey, Texas and especially California did not reach the ozone production levels set in 2008.

While the EPA has not released the details of the new regulations – they’re waiting until after the election for that – the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee recommended to the agency in June to push the ozone standard from 75 parts per billion (ppb) down to 70ppb, or even as low as 60ppb. That level “would certainly offer more public health protection than levels of 70ppb or 65ppb and would provide an adequate margin of safety,” committee chair Dr. H. Christopher Frey wrote. Well heck, if we’re talking health protection here, 0ppb would be ideal, but also against the laws of nature.

Ozone, a.k.a. smog, can form naturally, but manufacturing and burning coal can also create ozone. So ecofascist groups like the Environmental Defense Fund label it a “harmful air pollutant” because it allegedly exacerbates respiratory conditions like asthma.

In July, the DC Circuit Court ruled the EPA violated the Clean Air Act when it did not pass tougher ozone standards in 2008 (under the Bush administration, the greenies like to point out).

The EPA stalled on passing stricter ozone regulations until 2011. But then, Barack Obama told then-EPA Director Lisa Jackson to withdraw the proposed rules, saying, “I have continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover.”

Surely stricter ozone regulations weren’t too tough even for Obama to stomach. Perhaps he wasn’t yet emboldened, as it was only his first term. However, the July regulation made environmentalists happy that they finally forced the Obama administration to act.

“Smog sickens and even kills some plants and trees, even in America’s national parks, which are supposed to have the cleanest air in the country,” said Mark Wenzler, vice president of conservation programs at the National Parks Conservation Association. “The Obama administration now has an opportunity to follow the Science™ and not play politics with protecting our national parks and forests from air pollution damage.”

The administration would never play politics.

Perhaps Wenzler meant a court-ordered opportunity. These new ozone rules go beyond executive fiat. These regulations were pushed forward by ecofascists with deep pockets and sharp lawyers. It’s rule by legal suit, baby.

And while the new regulations may make Sequoias and Redwoods happy, the rules would cut down American industry faster than a bald eagle going through a wind turbine. NAM released a study in July concluding new ozone rules “could cost $270 billion per year and place millions of jobs at risk.” That breaks down to costing households $1,570 per year, according to NAM. Furthermore, a 60ppb standard would make every state noncompliant with ozone regulations, with few exceptions – mostly swaths of Montana and North Dakota.

“Based on the way the EPA interprets the Clean Air Act,” the NAM report concludes, “it is virtually ensured that the agency will recommend a stricter standard every five years. Yet, ozone levels are getting so low that a rapidly growing share of even urban areas' ozone concentration now comes from either naturally occurring ozone or from ozone that has been transported from other states or countries. We have reached the point at which significant further reductions simply cannot be accomplished in any cost-effective manner. Absent recognition of this fact from the EPA, it is time for Congress to modernize the Clean Air Act.”

Right now, an act of Congress may be the only thing that will reform the EPA because the courts have weighed in. The bottom line is the environmentalists have won their court battles; America’s manufacturers and coal industry have lost theirs.

Meanwhile, every American has the right to petition the government, but environmentalist groups seem to have an extra-special right to petition the EPA. According to Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), newly revealed emails between Gina McCarthy, the current EPA administrator, and David Doniger, a policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, suggest collusion. Vitter said, “These emails clearly demonstrate their beyond-cozy relationship and force the question: Who is working for whom?”

The emails show McCarthy working with Doniger to craft the recently passed greenhouse gas regulations. In the emails, McCarthy tells Doniger in 2011, “I will never say no to a meeting with you.” How many coal companies have such a relationship? And in 2010, McCarthy tells him, “I appreciate your support and patience. … This success is yours as much as mine.”

This was the same woman in July who welcomed public comment on the greenhouse gas regulations and with the same breath described economic arguments against EPA regulation as “tired, false and worn out criticism.”

But that was greenhouse gas regulation. When the EPA deviated from the ecofascist line on ozone, the environmentalists' lawsuit reminded the EPA just who is in charge.

SOURCE 






Australia: Coal is 'good for humanity', says Tony Abbott at mine opening

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australia's coal industry has a "big future, as well as a big past" and predicted it will be the world's principal energy source for decades to come.

Mr Abbott also heaped praise on Japan in comments that come just days after China slapped harsh new tariffs on coal imports and will be noted in Beijing as negotiations on a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement move towards conclusion.

Industry has estimated the new tariffs could cost Australia's economy hundreds of millions of dollars annually, though it will be some time before exact estimates can be made.

"Let's have no demonisation of coal," Mr Abbott said on Monday. "Coal is good for humanity, coal is good for prosperity, coal is an essential part of our economic future, here in Australia, and right around the world."

The Prime Minister's comments, which angered the environmental movement, came at the opening of the $US3.4 billion ($3.9 billion) Caval Ridge Mine in Central Queensland, a joint venture between BHP and Mitsubishi. The mine will produce 5.5 million tonnes annually of metallurgical coal and employ about 500 people.

"This is a sign of hope and confidence in the future of the coal industry, it's a great industry, we've had a great partnership with Japan in the coal industry," Mr Abbott said. "Coal is essential for the prosperity of the world."  "Energy is what sustains our prosperity, and coal is the world's  principal energy source and it will be for many decades to come." 

The Coalition had affirmed its faith in the coal industry by abolishing the carbon tax and mining, Mr Abbott said, but if there was a change of government at the next election both of those taxes could come back.

"If you want to sustain the coal industry, if you want to sustain the jobs, if you want to sustain the towns that depend on the coal industry you have got to support the Coalition, because we support coal, we think that coal has a big future as well as a big past."

Mr Abbott's comments about coal having a bright future are in conflict with the United Nations' top climate official Christiana Figueres, who has warned most of the world's coal must be left in the ground to avoid catastrophic global warming.

Less than two weeks ago, a lead adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel lashed the Abbott government's championing of the coal industry as an economic "suicide strategy".

Climate Institute chief executive John Connor said the Prime Minister was "taking a higher and higher stakes gamble by putting all the chips on coal".

Earlier on Monday, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said that Australia risked being seen as the climate sceptic capital of the world ahead of the G20 meeting in November.

"We've got the G20 coming up. Most nations in the world at the G20 are dealing with climate change. Yet we're the climate sceptics capital of the world," he said.

"The rest of the world is moving towards taking real action on climate change, yet we've got a government who's slammed the nation into reverse gear and retreating away from action."

Over the weekend, Mr Shorten told Fairfax Media that Labor would take a carbon price - thought not a tax - as policy to the next election.

And he has previously left open the possibility of some form of resources tax, though he has promised to first consult with business over such an impost.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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16 October, 2014

Those moving goalposts again

Warmists are good at moving the goalposts. Catastrophe (runaway warming) was once slated to strike once atmospheric CO2 levels reached 400 ppm.  We are now there with NO change in the temperature.  So do they say "Sorry. We were wrong"?  No way.  They are just more vague about when warming will strike.  And there were LOTS of bad things that were supposed to happen by 2014 which have not happened.  Still no sign of penitence.  They just don't name dates much anymore.

So rather a lot of laughs in the report below.  The authors claim to have shown that sea levels suddenly started rising 150 years ago.  So is that evidence of man-made global warming?  It certainly runs counter to the usual Warmist claim that manmade global warming got going only in the second half of the 20th century.  So the finding must contradict Warmism, right?  It must show that sea-level was rising long before the industrial upsurge of the postwar era? 

Not on your Nelly!  We read below that 150 years ago was "the same time humanity began to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels".  The onset of manmade global warming has suddenly been shunted back by around 100 years!  VERY mobile goalposts!

And a small niggle.  In the journal abstract also reproduced below the number of readings they took is given as ~1,000.  Note the tilde (~), meaning "approximately".  Don't they know how many records they used?  Amazingly sloppy data processing if so.

But the whole enterprise is a nonsense.  Present-day readings of sea level are difficult enough without thinking you can do it accurately 6,000 years back.  See here where it shows that the sea level rise since 1970 has been 4.7 inches in Boston and 8.02 inches in Atlantic city.  The rise in Atlantic city has been double what it was in Boston!  So which is the true sea level? The obvious answer is that there is no such thing.  So what these authors measured was just one sampling of sea levels which may tell us nothing about any general sea-level over the last 6,000 years

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Melting glacial ice and ice sheets have driven seas to levels unmatched in the past 6,000 years, says a study out this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers studied examples of past sediments in Australia and Asia that dated back 35,000 years and found that overall, the planet's sea level was fairly stable for most of the past 6,000 years.

Things began to go haywire about 150 years ago, the same time humanity began to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels.

"There's something going on today that wasn't going on before," said Kurt Lambeck of the Australian National University, who was lead author of the study, in an interview with the Australia Broadcasting Corp. He said the sea level rise is affected by increasing temperatures.

As the Earth's temperature warms, so do the seas. Heat-trapping greenhouse gases cause more land ice (glaciers and ice sheets) to melt and water to expand.

Lambeck told the Guardian that the sea level increase of the past 100 years is "beyond dispute."

Sea level has risen nearly 8 inches worldwide since 1880, but it doesn't rise at the same level. In the past century or so, it has climbed about a foot or more in some U.S. cities such as Charleston, Norfolk and Galveston because of the added influence of ocean currents and land subsidence.

Global sea level will rise 1 to 3 feet around the world by the end of this century, according to this year's Fifth Assessment Report by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

SOURCE   

Sea level and global ice volumes from the Last Glacial Maximum to the Holocene

By Kurt Lambeck et al.

Significance

Several areas of earth science require knowledge of the fluctuations in sea level and ice volume through glacial cycles. These include understanding past ice sheets and providing boundary conditions for paleoclimate models, calibrating marine-sediment isotopic records, and providing the background signal for evaluating anthropogenic contributions to sea level. From ~1,000 observations of sea level, allowing for isostatic and tectonic contributions, we have quantified the rise and fall in global ocean and ice volumes for the past 35,000 years. Of particular note is that during the ~6,000 y up to the start of the recent rise ~100?150 y ago, there is no evidence for global oscillations in sea level on time scales exceeding ~200 y duration or 15?20 cm amplitude.

Abstract

Several areas of earth science require knowledge of the fluctuations in sea level and ice volume through glacial cycles. These include understanding past ice sheets and providing boundary conditions for paleoclimate models, calibrating marine-sediment isotopic records, and providing the background signal for evaluating anthropogenic contributions to sea level. From ~1,000 observations of sea level, allowing for isostatic and tectonic contributions, we have quantified the rise and fall in global ocean and ice volumes for the past 35,000 years. Of particular note is that during the ~6,000 y up to the start of the recent rise ~100?150 y ago, there is no evidence for global oscillations in sea level on time scales exceeding ~200 y duration or 15?20 cm amplitude.

SOURCE







The Global Warming Statistical Meltdown

Mounting evidence suggests that basic assumptions about climate change are mistaken: The numbers don’t add up

By Judith Curry (Curry is a "lukewarmer".  Probably for the sake of her standing among other academics, she accepts that CO2 can have a non-trivial effect on temperature.  I would think that the 18 year "pause" is evidence that it cannot.  But she at least gives a low estimate for the magnitude of its potential effect)

At the recent United Nations Climate Summit, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that “Without significant cuts in emissions by all countries, and in key sectors, the window of opportunity to stay within less than 2 degrees [of warming] will soon close forever.”

Actually, this window of opportunity may remain open for quite some time. A growing body of evidence suggests that the climate is less sensitive to increases in carbon-dioxide emissions than policy makers generally assume—and that the need for reductions in such emissions is less urgent.

According to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, preventing “dangerous human interference” with the climate is defined, rather arbitrarily, as limiting warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial temperatures. The Earth’s surface temperatures have already warmed about 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1850-1900. This leaves 1.2 degrees Celsius (about 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit) to go.

In its most optimistic projections, which assume a substantial decline in emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects that the “dangerous” level might never be reached. In its most extreme, pessimistic projections, which assume heavy use of coal and rapid population growth, the threshold could be exceeded as early as 2040. But these projections reflect the effects of rising emissions on temperatures simulated by climate models, which are being challenged by recent observations.

Human-caused warming depends not only on increases in greenhouse gases but also on how “sensitive” the climate is to these increases. Climate sensitivity is defined as the global surface warming that occurs when the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubles. If climate sensitivity is high, then we can expect substantial warming in the coming century as emissions continue to increase. If climate sensitivity is low, then future warming will be substantially lower, and it may be several generations before we reach what the U.N. considers a dangerous level, even with high emissions.

The IPCC’s latest report (published in 2013) concluded that the actual change in 70 years if carbon-dioxide concentrations double, called the transient climate response, is likely in the range of 1 to 2.5 degrees Celsius. Most climate models have transient climate response values exceeding 1.8 degrees Celsius. But the IPCC report notes the substantial discrepancy between recent observation-based estimates of climate sensitivity and estimates from climate models.

Nicholas Lewis and I have just published a study in Climate Dynamics that shows the best estimate for transient climate response is 1.33 degrees Celsius with a likely range of 1.05-1.80 degrees Celsius. Using an observation-based energy-balance approach, our calculations used the same data for the effects on the Earth’s energy balance of changes in greenhouse gases, aerosols and other drivers of climate change given by the IPCC’s latest report.

We also estimated what the long-term warming from a doubling of carbon-dioxide concentrations would be, once the deep ocean had warmed up. Our estimates of sensitivity, both over a 70-year time-frame and long term, are far lower than the average values of sensitivity determined from global climate models that are used for warming projections. Also our ranges are narrower, with far lower upper limits than reported by the IPCC’s latest report. Even our upper limits lie below the average values of climate models.

Our paper is not an outlier. More than a dozen other observation-based studies have found climate sensitivity values lower than those determined using global climate models, including recent papers published in Environmentrics (2012),Nature Geoscience (2013) and Earth Systems Dynamics (2014). These new climate sensitivity estimates add to the growing evidence that climate models are running “too hot.” Moreover, the estimates in these empirical studies are being borne out by the much-discussed “pause” or “hiatus” in global warming—the period since 1998 during which global average surface temperatures have not significantly increased.

This pause in warming is at odds with the 2007 IPCC report, which expected warming to increase at a rate of 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade in the early 21st century. The warming hiatus, combined with assessments that the climate-model sensitivities are too high, raises serious questions as to whether the climate-model projections of 21st-century temperatures are fit for making public-policy decisions.

The sensitivity of the climate to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide is a central question in the debate on the appropriate policy response to increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Climate sensitivity and estimates of its uncertainty are key inputs into the economic models that drive cost-benefit analyses and estimates of the social cost of carbon.

Continuing to rely on climate-model warming projections based on high, model-derived values of climate sensitivity skews the cost-benefit analyses and estimates of the social cost of carbon. This can bias policy decisions. The implications of the lower values of climate sensitivity in our paper, as well as similar other recent studies, is that human-caused warming near the end of the 21st century should be less than the 2-degrees-Celsius “danger” level for all but the IPCC’s most extreme emission scenario.

This slower rate of warming—relative to climate model projections—means there is less urgency to phase out greenhouse gas emissions now, and more time to find ways to decarbonize the economy affordably. It also allows us the flexibility to revise our policies as further information becomes available.

SOURCE






Comedy Gold: Coal plant protest deflated by miserable failure of renewable energy



(www.youtube.com/embed/2Fs5v6NHTHg)

Madison, Wisconsin: Demonstrators gathered outside the Public Service Commission to protest against a requested rate structure change by the local utility company, Madison Gas and Electric (MG&E). During the protest, they decried the use of "dirty coal" and called for more renewable energy. To make their point, they had a blow-up coal power plant that was running on a fan powered by wind and solar charged batteries. Before the protest was over, however, the batteries died and their solar panel could not produce enough energy to keep the power plant standing upright.

They couldn’t even get their renewable energy sources to keep their puny inflatable coal plant upright, but they don’t want coal to supply the power their city.  This is the “logic” that drives the anti-coal (frankly, anti-science) left.

I love how visibly embarrassed the inflatable operator was.  He should be. His “renewable energy” lasted a paltry 45 minutes.  Apparently he neither understands electricity nor economics.

SOURCE





Senator: Emails Reveal EPA, Green Group in ‘Beyond Cozy’ Relationship

Republican lawmakers say the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency enjoys a “beyond cozy” relationship with a liberal environmental action group that seeks to reshape national energy policies in a way that would hurt American businesses and families.

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., the top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, told The Daily Signal that the Natural Resources Defense Council played an “absolutely inappropriate” role in drafting the EPA’s new carbon emissions plan.

“The EPA has been one of the least transparent agencies I have ever seen, but it’s become apparent that their lack of transparency is to hide the influence that an organization so heavily focused on undermining U.S. businesses and families has at EPA,” Vitter said.

Vitter and House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., have directed staff to look into whether the EPA broke federal law in developing the carbon emissions regulations.

Newly released emails between the EPA and the green group, Vitter said, show that the agency didn’t push to  “consider all stakeholders’ opinions equally.” He added:

While both sides have denied NRDC’s improper influence over the EPA’s development of the carbon rule, these emails clearly demonstrate their beyond-cozy relationship and force the question: Who is working for whom?

Vitter was referring to the EPA’s rebuttal of allegations by GOP lawmakers that the Natural Resources Defense Council, a New York-based international environmental organization, had an outsized influence on the agency’s proposed rule to limit carbon emissions at existing power plants.

The emails surfaced after a joint request last month to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy by Vitter, Issa and four other Republican lawmakers.

Nick Loris, a Heritage Foundation economist who focuses on energy and the environment, calls the Obama administration’s new carbon rules “nothing short of an attack on affordable, reliable energy.”

Claiming 1.4 million members and online activists, the Natural Resources Defense Council lobbies and litigates for  “curbing global warming” and “creating the clean energy future,” among other issues.

The organization, founded in 1978, has received $1.9 million in EPA grants since January 2009.

Allegations of the environmental group’s undue influence arose July 6 when The New York Times reported on the EPA’s close relationship with three of the organization’s principals—lawyers David Doniger and David Hawkins and scientist Daniel Lashof.

“The three were as seasoned and well connected as Washington’s best-paid lobbyists because of their decades of experience and the relationships they formed in the capital,” reporter Coral Davenport wrote.

The trio’s 110-page proposal, focused on cutting carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants, was “widely viewed as innovative and audacious,” the article said, adding: “On June 2, President Obama proposed a new Environmental Protection Agency rule to curb power plant emissions that used as its blueprint the work of the three men and their team.”

In a July 10 email obtained by Politico, EPA chief McCarthy scoffs at the suggestion of an inappropriately close relationship with the green group.

On Sept. 4, two days after Vitter and Issa pressed their questions in their letter to McCarthy, the Natural Resources Defense Council denied in a blog post that it had influenced the actions of the EPA “outside of the normal regulatory process.”

But the emails between EPA chief McCarthy and Doniger, the green group’s policy director for climate and clean air, reveal close communications dating back to 2010.

McCarthy was assistant administrator at the EPA from 2009 to July 2013, when the Senate confirmed Obama’s nomination of McCarthy as administrator after a four-month confirmation battle in which Vitter posed more than 500 questions.

Of her agency’s announcement just before Christmas 2010 of amendments to the mandatory reporting of greenhouse gases, McCarthy emailed Doniger, “this success is yours as much mine.”

In 2011, email correspondence produced as the result of the congressional inquiry show at least five meetings between McCarthy and representatives of the green group regarding Section 111, which Loris describes as the “meat” of the Obama administration’s climate change regulations.

In June 2011, Doniger emailed McCarthy a copy of the organization’s “Technical and Legal Framework for Power Plant Carbon Emissions Standards Under Clean Air Act Section 111,” requesting a meeting on the environmental group’s proposal.

McCarthy’s response to Doniger includes the words:  “I would never say no to a meeting with you.”

In their Sept. 2  letter to McCarthy, six GOP lawmakers — including Vitter and Issa — demanded release of documents and information regarding the environmental group’s involvement in drafting the EPA’s proposed rules. They wrote:

"The fact that an ideological and partisan group drafted a rule that places a tremendous cost on everyday Americans through increased electricity prices is harmful and outrageous. … Accordingly, these practices must cease immediately."

Also signing the letter were Sen. Jim Inhofe R-Okla., Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.,  Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla.

Paul J. Larkin, a senior legal research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, said the emails don’t appear to show anything “unlawful” about the EPA’s relationship with the Natural Resources Defense Council, but stressed that the agency has a responsibility to independently assess outside recommendations. Larkin said:

"There is nothing inherently unusual or unlawful about a private organization, such as the NRDC, contacting a government agency, such as the EPA, in an attempt to influence public policy. In fact, the First Amendment expressly guarantees every person the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Nor is there anything inherently unusual or unlawful in the EPA’s willingness to listen to what an organization like the NRDC has to say.

At the same time, every government official, whether employed by the EPA or elsewhere, is obligated to use his or her best judgment to decide what policy best serves the public, not the interests of a private organization. That is where the rubber meets the road."

Citing the extent to which the EPA’s policies affect Americans across the country, Vitter called the environmental group’s influence “absolutely inappropriate.”

“When EPA’s policies affect the whole spectrum of American businesses and families, which they do, it is absolutely inappropriate for one outside organization to have excessive influence on those policies, and this is not how our federal government should be run,” the Louisiana Republican told The Daily Signal.

“In order to have a fair regulatory process, EPA should consider all stakeholders’ opinions equally. These emails show how that’s not the case,” he said.

Warning that the EPA’s carbon plan would increase the cost of energy and most goods for American families, Vitter called it the Obama administration’s attempt to impose in America the failed climate policies that have been a disaster in Europe:

"This carbon plan would mean a permanent stagnant economy with limited growth potential that will kill hundreds of thousands of jobs and projects all across the country. It will decrease electricity reliability the same as in Europe, and it will be a crushing blow to the poor and elderly as energy poverty becomes a new normal just like what we’re seeing in Europe."

The Daily Signal sought comment Oct. 10 from the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA replied hours later with a blog just posted by Associate Administrator Tom Reynolds, who heads the agency’s Office of Public Affairs.

Reynolds’ blog attacks Vitter, Issa and other Republican lawmakers for pushing a “flawed, cherry-picked narrative that simply ignores the well-documented and widely reported and recognized sweep and range of the agency’s engagement with the public, states and stakeholders over the past 14 months.”

Of the idea that the EPA “inappropriately” collaborated with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Reynolds writes:

"Our proposal, announced in June, was developed through extensive public outreach—one that reached tens of thousands of people across the country. EPA consulted with states, power companies, local communities, environmental groups, associations, labor groups, tribes, and many more. Before we put out the proposal, EPA met with more than 300 stakeholders, to gather their thoughts and ideas."

The agency’s public counterpunch appeared unlikely to impress Vitter.

“The difference between most organizations and NRDC is that most organizations are actually trying to create jobs and provide opportunity for their fellow Americans,” Vitter said, adding:

This particular organization has advocated relentlessly to harm our energy and manufacturing sector, and EPA providing this organization an outsized role in the regulatory process is incredibly unfair to American families that rely on a healthy economy to sustain their livelihoods.

SOURCE






Environmentalists Halt Obama Administration Plan to Cut Trees in Alaska

A family-owned timber firm that operates the last significant sawmill in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest has won a momentous U.S. Forest Service contract: the Big Thorne Project, which will allow the harvest of nearly 150 million board feet of wood.

The Obama administration’s decision marks the transition away from old-growth timber and toward a sustainable forest industry based on young growth. More than a quarter of the trees in the contract are regrowth on previously logged sites, to be nurtured for a sustainable future.

But winning bidder Viking Lumber Company can’t begin the transition because at least five environmental groups are suing to “stop this massive old-growth clear cutting on public lands.” For years, environmentalists have tried to stop logging in old-growth forests—lands that are economically valuable because they have been growing for over a century.

Kirk Dahlstrom, a Viking co-owner, told The Daily Signal he, his three brothers, and a partner moved to Alaska in 1994 “to escape old-growth lawsuits,” particularly the notorious Audubon Society spotted owl litigation.

Dahlstrom said, “The owl lawsuit took away the high-quality old growth we used for doors, framing and molding products” in their Hoquiam, Wash., sawmill.

Audubon’s lawsuit cost 22,654 logging and mill jobs in California, Oregon and Washington, according to final surveys. The Oregon Natural Resources Council’s Andy Kerr called the unemployed “collateral damage”—a despised underclass bloodied without consequence or conscience.

How “massive” is Viking’s Big Thorne contract? Tongass Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole gave The Daily Signal some perspective: “Big Thorne is a five-year project with a mix of 6,186 acres of old growth to help local businesses through the transition stage, and 2,299 acres of young growth.”

The young growth, Cole said, will be thinned to enhance wildlife habitat—mostly for deer—and to provide growing space for the best trees for tomorrow’s re-tooled young growth sawmills.

The Tongass is America’s largest national forest—at 17 million-acres, it is bigger than Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts combined. It spans 500 miles of scenic Pacific Coast Range mountains, 300 miles of it fringed with the Alexander Archipelago’s 1,100 islands that shelter the iconic Inside Passage. Forests cover 10 million Tongass acres, and its 5.7 million acres of untouchable wilderness are bigger than New Jersey and Delaware together.

The Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Audubon Society and others are blocking a sustainable future over Big Thorne’s “massive” 6,186 acres of old growth. (That’s about half the size of Washington’s Dulles International Airport.)

But this time they’re not attacking a marginalized minority.

The Obama administration itself ordered Big Thorne’s old-growth logging. In a July 2, 2013, memorandum, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack ordered the Forest Service “to supply sufficient old growth ‘bridge timber’ while the industry re-tools for processing young growth. The first step is the Big Thorne timber sale.”

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, a Republican, was furious at “irresponsible lawsuits by environmental groups to stop all logging,” and had the state file motions in federal court challenging them, saying, “We will help defend the sale against those who want to kill Alaska’s jobs and shut down our traditional timber communities.”

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, an Alaska Democrat facing a tough reelection, urged the Forest Service to monitor Viking’s wood supply “and take whatever steps are necessary to supply timber until such time as Big Thorne is available.”

Big Thorne, with its transitional mix of old growth and young growth, has become an incipient Beltway brawl. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s top Republican, David Vitter of Louisiana, has taken note and asked his committee staff to track the forest industry nationwide, with good reason.

The staff recently reported on a “Billionaire Club” systematically designing and funding large numbers of environmental group campaigns attacking many industries. For example, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund gives millions to shut down Canada’s oil sands; Gordon Moore’s Intel-rich private foundation pays an Alaska group to “permanently” stop Tongass logging and much more.

Vitter told The Daily Signal, “Instead of finding a middle ground that promotes responsible forestry and jobs, these litigation-happy organizations are solely focused on shutting down the forestry industry and completely disregard the potential environmental benefits.”

Perhaps this time the Billionaire Club’s hubris will be the collateral damage and a sustainable forest industry will emerge. Wisdom says keep your eye on the prize.

SOURCE







Australia: People Power Victoria - No Smart Meters Party Campaign Launch

People Power Victoria – No Smart Meters (PPV) campaign launch for the 2014 Victorian election will be held as follows:  Saturday 11th October, 3:00 pm sharp, Oakleigh Grammar Community Conference Centre, 77-81 Willesden Rd, Oakleigh (Hughesdale)

PPV will run in every Upper House seat and selected Lower House seats.

As a newly registered party, PPV has been formed in response to growing public unrest with how Victorians are being treated by essential service corporations and government departments, and in particular, disdain towards our right to cost-effective, safe, and privacy-protected services.

“The Party provides a focal point for voters who are frustrated by the lack of political action and feel strongly that much more needs to be done through our parliamentary system to protect the human and democratic rights of Victorians.  It is a party based on consumer rights and protection,” said Marc Florio, PPV spokesperson.

PPV is centred on opposing the mandated rollout of wireless smart meters for electricity, gas and water, and on the commitment to re-establish a healthy environment for Victorians.

“The community's experience with rising essential services’ costs and disregard of our rights and wellbeing is epitomised by the incompetent and aggressive rollout of the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (smart meters) program.”

“Many Victorians have already been adversely affected by the compulsory rollout, be it financially or via deteriorating health as a direct result of exposure to radiation from smart meters. Many also see it as a gross invasion of their privacy,” he said.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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15 October, 2014

The Myth of Carbon Pollution

On October 15, 2014, Dr. William Happer, Chairman of the George C. Marshall Institute, will discuss "The Myth of Carbon Pollution."   

"Carbon pollution" is a propaganda slogan for the campaign against carbon dioxide (CO2). It is not science. Atmospheric CO2 is not a pollutant but is essential for plant growth. Current CO2 levels are far below optimum for most plants, and far below norms of geological history, when CO2 concentrations averaged several times higher than present values.   A substantial fraction, about 15%, of current world food production is due to the higher levels of CO2 compared to preindustrial values.   Contrary to unambiguous computer predictions, there has been no statistically significant surface warming in at least 15 years. It is now clear that the warming potential of CO2 has been exaggerated by a large amount, and it is unlikely to be much more than 1oC for doubling of CO2. There is not the slightest evidence that more CO2 has caused more extreme weather or accelerated sea level rise. Nor is there the slightest support for the notion that government control of CO2  will "stop climate change."   Many real environmental issues need attention, smog, waste disposal, short-sighted suburban development, adequate clean water, public health, etc. These are being overshadowed by the phony issue of "carbon pollution."

Dr. William Happer is Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics (emeritus) at Princeton University, a long-term member of the JASON advisory group, and former director of the Department of Energy's Office of Science. In addition to being a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the recipient of numerous awards, including the Alfred P. Sloan fellowship, the Alexander von Humboldt award, the Herbert P. Broida Prize and the Thomas Alva Edison patent award.

Time: 1:00-2:30pm

Place: 2325 Rayburn House Office Building, Independence Ave. & South Capitol St., SW Washington, D.C.

Via email



Climate change is being slowed by plants far more than expected, researchers reveal

So much for "settled science".  But this is a report of CO2 effects, not climate change.  The two have been unrelated for at least 18 years and probably millennia

Plants are slowing the effects of climate change far more than expected, researchers have found.  They said the impact of rising CO2 levels on plant growth has been underestimated by 16 per cent, as they thrive with more of the gas in the atmosphere.

And as plants absorb CO2, this has led to overestimates of how much of the greenhouse gas is left in the atmosphere.

In a separate study, reported in the same journal, scientists artificially elevated CO2 levels in a US prairie grasslands ecosystem for eight years.

They found that the added carbon had increased the overall volume of the plants and promoted the ecosystem's stability by reducing the growth of normally dominant plant species.

The study was conducted by climate and earth scientists at the University of Texas at Austin and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

It says a 16 per cent 'correction' would be 'large enough to explain the persistent overestimation of growth rates of historical atmospheric CO2 by earth system models'.  'Our study will lead to improved understanding and modelling of carbon–climate feedbacks,' the paper says.

Lianhong Gu, from the Climate Change Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States, said most carbon-cycle models had over-predicted the growth rate.

Dr Gu said the growth rate of carbon levels had been over-predicted by 17 per cent over a 100-year period.

The study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences focusses on the slow diffusion of CO2 in plant leaves, with particular attention to the mesophyll or their inner tissue.

It concludes: 'Carbon cycle models that lack explicit understanding of mesophyll diffusion will underestimate historical and future terrestrial carbon uptake.

'Consequently, they will overestimate historical and future growth rates of atmospheric CO2 concentration due to fossil fuel emissions, with ramifications for predicted climate change.'

Professor  Peter Cox, Professor of Climate System Dynamics at the University of Exeter, said even if the study was correct, the effect will be 'relatively small' compared to uncertainties about how much carbon will be absorbed by plants and soil.

He said: 'Avoiding 2C of global warming is a huge challenge for humanity even if this effect is taken into account.'

Prof Richard Betts, Head of Climate Impacts Research at the Met Office and Chair in Climate Impacts at the University of Exeter, said:  'This is a very interesting paper adding to our understanding of plant physiology. 'The authors remark on the potential importance of their results for global carbon cycle modelling, and this is indeed relevant, but as a priority for improving carbon cycle modelling there are other processes which current models treat either very simplistically or not at all.

'Fire disturbance, for example, is not included in some of the models examined here – its inclusion could be more important than any improvements in modelling CO2 fertilization, as it seems likely to be an important feedback on climate change.

'Changes in global soil respiration at the global scale are also poorly understood.

'So while this is an interesting and useful contribution, it should be put into context with the bigger picture – disturbance mechanisms as well as physiological processes are important.'

SOURCE






'Absolutely ridiculous': Joe Hockey denies Australia is dirtiest greenhouse gas emitter in OECD

Australia is very large (3 million sq. miles)  so it has a large animal population (both wild and domestic) which emits various gases.  The human population is however small (22 million) so blaming all the animal emissions on people and their activities is absurd

Treasurer Joe Hockey has been bombarded with questions on climate change, the economy and Australia's relationship with China during an interview on the BBC World News airing at 2:30pm and 7.30pm on Tuesday.

Hockey has denied that Australia is the highest greenhouse gas emitting country in the OECD per capita, telling a British journalist the statement is "absolutely ridiculous".

He has also refused to explicitly back the democracy movement in Hong Kong, and says Australia's free trade negotiations with China will not be damaged by China's shock move last week to introduce new tariffs on imports of Australian coal.

On his first trip to London since becoming treasurer, Mr Hockey has also told an audience at the Institute of Economic Affairs that Australia's Reserve Bank has only a "limited capacity" to stimulate economic growth and Australia can no longer afford a "she'll be right" approach if it wants to avoid recession or high unemployment.

On the BBC's Hardtalk program recorded overnight, Mr Hockey faced tough questions about Prime Minister Tony Abbott's views on coal, Clive Palmer's recent explosive appearance on the ABC's Q&A during which he called the Chinese government "mongrels who shoot their own people," and Labor leader Bill Shorten's criticism that Australia is now seen as the climate change sceptic capital of the world.

He told BBC host Stephen Sackur that Europeans had a "fundamental misunderstanding" of Australia's economic ties with Asia, particularly China, and the view that Australia had a "massive reliance and dependence" on China for exports was a "complete misread".

He also laughed at the suggestion that Australia was "one of the dirtiest most greenhouse gas-emitting countries in OECD group of developed countries". "The comment you just made is absolutely ridiculous," Mr Hockey told Sackur.

"We've got a small population and very large land mass and we are an exporter of energy, so that measurement is a falsehood in a sense because it does not properly reflect exactly what our economy is," Mr Hockey said.

"Australia is a significant exporter of energy and, in fact, when it comes to coal we produce some of the cleanest coal, if that term can be used, the cleanest coal in the world."

His comments contradict the Garnaut Climate Change Review, which says Australia was the highest per capita emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the OECD, even without exports of energy.

"Australia's per capita greenhouse gas emissions are the highest of any OECD country and are among the highest in the world," the review says.  "Australia's per capita emissions are nearly twice the OECD average and more than four times the world average."

When asked on the BBC program, which will air in full on BBC World News on Tuesday evening, about China's surprise decision last week to introduce 3 per cent and 6 per cent tariffs on coal imports, Mr Hockey said Australia had no political problem with China at the moment.  But he would not say if negotiations with China on a free trade agreement would end if there was no agreement by the end of this year.

SOURCE






Just Say NO to a Carbon Tax

By S. Fred Singer

I am against instituting a carbon tax, but my reasons are rather different from the conventional ones.  I see three major problems with any proposed carbon tax:

It irrationally discriminates against some forms of energy and subsidizes others.

It ignores the considerable benefits of atmospheric carbon dioxide in promoting the growth of plants, advancing agriculture, and lowering the cost of food for a growing world population.

Focusing on a carbon tax emphasizes the idea that Carbon Dioxide is a pollutant -- a claim that is rapidly becoming scientifically unacceptable.

Assuming we can maintain a revenue-neutral tax stream, I favor an energy tax (BTU tax) over a carbon tax, and will explain why.

Consumption taxes

A carbon tax is of course a consumption tax that raises the price of all manufactured goods and their transportation.  Its burden falls most heavily on households in lower income brackets, which spend a larger fraction of their income on essential goods and services.  Yet many economists favor a consumption tax as a more effective way of financing government operations and promoting economic growth than other forms of taxation, like taxes on income or capital.

Many politicians have favored a consumption tax from time to time.  A good example was presidential candidate Herman Cain, who proposed a consumption tax when he ran for the Republican nomination in 2012.  Economists who favor such a tax often insist that it must be revenue-neutral, by reducing some other taxes so as to keep total revenue constant.  This means it is not superimposed on other taxes -- although in the current political environment there’s no guarantee this will happen.

But let’s first discuss the drawbacks of alternatives, such as a VAT (Value-Added Tax) or a Federal sales tax.  As is the case for all consumption taxes, these are all regressive; some adjustments will have to be made to protect low-income households.  Aside from that, we should compare the four methods in the matter of efficiency and the cost involved in running such a tax.

A VAT is the most invasive of all of these taxes, involves large amounts of bookkeeping, inspections, control, and other costs.  European experience with VAT has shown that it must be at least 15% of the value of goods to make any sense.

A Federal sales tax has some of the same problems as a VAT.  In addition, one can visualize a large amount of cheating going on -- especially if the tax is 10% or greater and provides incentives for such behavior.  And there are always the problems of defining exemptions for certain goods and for particular classes of users.

Collecting the Energy Tax

An energy tax is the simplest because it can be applied at a small number of choke points: at oil refineries and at electric power stations.  In other words, instead of being collected at millions of points like a VAT or a sales tax, collections take place at only several hundred points and can be just as effective.  We already have a Federal tax on gasoline -- so it will be only a matter of increasing its amount; a federal tax on electricity does not appear to present much of an administrative problem.

The major advantage of an energy tax over a tax on emitted carbon dioxide is that it does not discriminate against coal, our cheapest and most plentiful fuel for electric power.  Nor does it provide an implicit subsidy for hydro, nuclear, solar, and wind.  Once it is recognized that CO2 is not a pollutant (in the sense of having adverse effects on climate), it can be seen that an energy tax is much preferable to a CO2 tax.

Note:  We’ve had suggestions of an energy tax before; it was often known as a BTU tax.  It must be realized that there will be some forms of energy that will avoid being taxed under the proposed collection scheme.  It then becomes necessary to see if it is worthwhile to capture such a form of energy or whether to ignore it because it’s so small.

Neutrality of Tax Revenues

Returning to the main theme of revenue-neutrality, I’m sure that tax experts can figure out which tax to reduce to compensate for an energy tax.  Many would favor lowering the corporate income tax, as Herman Cain suggested in 2012.  (In a properly operating competitive market, corporate profits are really an indicator of increased efficiency of operation.)

There are a number of advantages to such a proposal.  It will make US corporations more competitive on the international market and avoid the problem of “leakage” of corporate headquarters to countries with lower tax rates.  In the final analysis, a corporate income tax is somewhat perverse; since a corporation is not a person, it does not consume goods.  It may transform them, but it does not consume them as a person would.  Instead, corporations should be encouraged to distribute their profits to their shareholders, who are now suffering from double taxation: first, when corporate profits are taxed, and later, when dividends are taxed as part of a shareholders’ personal income.

Motor-fuel tax and Environmental concerns

A quick word about the advantages of (what amounts to) an increase in the Federal tax on motor fuels; the last such increase was imposed during the Reagan Administration.  The various States would remain free to collect whatever their voters approve.  But with fuel efficiency of vehicles rising, revenues derived from current State and Federal taxes are woefully inadequate to maintain highways and repair bridges.  Also, a significant portion of federal and state gasoline taxes have been diverted to other uses such as local rail transit; according to a study by NCPA, only 60% of the federal fuel tax revenue goes to highways, bridges, etc. Raising the cost of driving will also reduce traffic accidents, air and noise pollution, as well as traffic congestion -- although road and bridge tolls may be the best way to fight congestion.

Last but not least, environmental activists have always campaigned for an increased tax on gasoline --considering cars and trucks as enemies of an equitable global climate.  Although evidence for any significant influence of CO2 on climate is rapidly evaporating, a tax on fuels (and reduced use of motor vehicles) is bound to gain the support of the Greens and the media -- and of a sizable fraction of the public.

Gradually also, it has become clear that increased levels of CO2 are not only not harmful, but positively benefit the growth of plants worldwide – contributing to global agricultural prosperity.  The publication of NIPCC’s (Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change) Climate Change Reconsidered, by the Heartland Institute in 2014, of a massive compendium of relevant biological research, underlines these beneficial effects.

So to sum up, a carbon tax NO; an energy tax, MAYBE.  A lowering of taxes overall, YES.

SOURCE






How donuts cause global warming

What they fail to mention is that food firms use palm oil because food freaks have demoninized first saturated fats and then trans fats.  Palm oil is what is left.  So it is the do-gooders who have created the demand for palm oil -- and the resultant cutting down of native trees to grow the trees that produce the palm oil.  So it is clear who is to blame for any adverse effects

McDonald's, Burger King, Yum Brands (Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut) and other members of the fast food industry are often the focus of negative attention for the effect on our heath, but did you know they are also having a big effect on our climate?

America's top fast food brands use palm oil, an ingredient linked to climate change and deforestation, in their products. As tropical forests are cleared to make way for palm oil plantations, carbon is released into the atmosphere, driving global warming and shrinking habitats for endangered species. Tropical deforestation currently accounts for about 10 percent of the world's heat-trapping emissions.

The good news is that two of the country's largest fast food chains, Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Brands (who owns both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins), just pledged to buy deforestation-free palm oil. The rest of the fast food industry should also set the bar high and make a firm commitment to use only deforestation-free palm oil.

SOURCE






Pentagon Declares War on Climate Change

Just speculation

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, in South America for a six-day trip leading up to the Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas in Arequipa, Peru, will talk about how climate change has become an increasingly urgent issue for the military and what it plans to do to address it.

Hagel spoke at a news conference in Santiago, Chile, Saturday, previewing the gist of his remarks, according to a Pentagon press release “Climate Change Can Effect Security Environment.”

At the news event, he said that rises in the sea level bring new potential security threats.  “When there is any natural disaster event that occurs, there always is some element of a security risk—law and order, individuals attempting to take advantage of those catastrophes, adjusting to shifts in security requirements,” said Hagel.

He also pointed to the increased competition for natural resources leading to conflict.

“We see an Arctic that is melting, meaning that most likely a new sea lane will emerge,” he said. “We know that there are significant minerals and natural deposits of oil and natural gas there. That means that nations will compete for those natural resources. That’s never been an issue before. You couldn’t get up there and get anything out of there. We have to manage through what those conditions and new realities are going to bring in the way of potential threats.”

According to the Pentagon, he will amplify on these remarks today, talking about how meeting military challenges need to be rethought in light of climate change.

It’s not the first time Hagel has spoken about the military challenges related to climate change. Last spring he met with defense ministers from southeast Asian countries to talk about meeting “non-traditional” security challenges created by climate change and natural disasters. He also addressed the issue at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia in November 2013.

“Climate change does not directly cause conflict, but it can add to the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict,” said Hagel at that event. “Food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, more severe natural disasters—all place additional burdens on economies, societies and institutions around the world.”

He pointed to efforts already being undertaken by the military, such as Afghan combat posts using tactical solar gear, keeping 20 millions gallons of fuel off battlefield, developing more efficient routes, and investments in renewable energy on military installations.

SOURCE






Britain needs to generate an energy revolution

After years of dithering, negotiations and reviews, it finally looks like a new nuclear power plant will be built in the UK – the first since Sizewell B on England’s east coast started generating power in 1995. But the news is cause for relief, not celebration.

The new plant, to be built on the site of two existing stations at Hinkley Point, will cost nearly £25 billion to build and won’t start generating power until well into the 2020s. The plant’s operators, EDF, have been guaranteed a price for electricity that is roughly double the current price, a guarantee that will last at least 35 years. Even now, having got the go-ahead from the EU, Hinkley Point C may be blocked by objections from other EU countries over excessive state aid. But even this much-delayed and wildly expensive power station is still a step forward. Maybe next time, the UK government will learn to negotiate a better deal. If it can’t, Hinkley Point could be the start and end of the nuclear revival.

The pressing need for new nuclear power stations was confirmed earlier this week, when it was reported that cracks had been found in two of the 3,000 graphite bricks in the core of one of the reactors at the Hunterston B nuclear power plant in Scotland. The news has led to suggestions that Britain’s ageing gas-cooled nuclear reactors, which have had as many career revivals as Bruce Forsyth, may not keep going as long as hoped, possibly exacerbating a supply crunch. But it’s the cracks in UK energy policy that we should really be worried about.

Britain is already facing an uncomfortable few years where peak energy demand will be only marginally smaller than peak energy supply. For the past few years, and for some time to come, Britain will be closing power stations rapidly. Some are nuclear power stations that are coming to the end of their lives, but others are fossil-fuel stations that are being closed because they don’t meet emissions standards. The EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) means coal- and oil-fired power stations must strict meet (non-carbon) pollution standards. Many of these plants could have been upgraded, but in any event, the UK has already committed to producing 15 per cent of all energy requirements from renewable sources by 2020 – which in effect means 30 per cent of electricity will need to come from renewables. The result is that many older coal and gas stations would be out of business even if what came from their chimneys was scrubbed clean.

One consequence of all these commitments and plant closures is that, this coming winter, the gap between peak demand and peak generation will be small. By next winter, the gap will be as little as four per cent. Given that currently four power stations are out of action, the risk of shortfalls is substantial. However, the lights are unlikely to go out in our homes thanks to a series of emergency measures, which include the ability to bring mothballed coal and gas plants back online, and paying companies to not use electricity – a facility for which National Grid will have to pay those firms fairly handsomely. Moreover, the UK government is investing in more connectors with continental Europe so that shortfalls can be made up with French nuclear power, for example.

The problem has been years of indecision on the part of politicians, combined with an excessive obsession with climate change. The three fundamental requirements of an energy system are that the power is reliable, abundant and as cheap as possible. However, environmental concerns have muddied the waters.

A simple way to square the circle on climate change would have been to push for a mix of energy supply including a new wave of nuclear power stations, combined with increased use of gas and renewables. But for years, building new nuclear stations was ruled out on environmental grounds. (In Scotland, the SNP government is still committed to blocking new nuclear plants.) Eventually, kicking and screaming, new nuclear stations like the one planned at Hinkley Point, have been approved – but given the weak negotiating position that the government has with energy companies, the government has, to recycle an old quote from postwar Labour politician Nye Bevan, ‘stuffed their mouths with gold’.

In all this, realism and ambition have been absent.

Realism, in the sense that the only way in which Britain could hope to cut greenhouse-gas emissions while maintaining security of supply was to generate a substantial proportion of power from nuclear. Renewables are too expensive and too unreliable, and require backup from gas-powered stations for those times when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

Ambition, because there seems to be little drive to produce energy cheaply and abundantly. For the economy to grow and for society to develop materially, we are going to need a lot more energy and at as low a cost as possible. Instead, planning for the future has been obsessed with producing only as much energy as necessary, with as few emissions as possible, while trying to force us to be as energy efficient as possible. While nuclear might finally be getting somewhere, the production of shale gas using fracking – which could be the simplest and cheapest way to get lower-carbon energy – is now being delayed by endless, mostly specious concerns from scaremongering protesters.

While solar and wind, in the right conditions, can and will make a useful contribution to energy supply in the future, they also have fundamental problems of unreliability that need to be solved. What we really need to do is to invest in researching technologies that could make really dramatic leaps forward in energy production. Yet the nearest thing to such an attempt right now – the ITER project to build a nuclear fusion power plant in France – has been bedevilled by delays, poor management and politicking.

Let’s put the holy trinity of cost, reliability and abundance back at the heart of energy policy, stop panicking about global warming (we can’t solve the problem overnight and we don’t need to) and start thinking long-term about revolutionising energy production – and the possibilities that could open up for society.

SOURCE

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14 October, 2014

The history of environmentalism starts in Germany

History shows that elitism has always been central to environmentalism -- and it also shows what that elitism leads to

Nietzsche belonged to a reactionary school of German thought which became known as the ‘Volk’ movement.  The historian Professor George Mosse wrote a brilliant account of Volkish thought in 1964 (The Crisis of German Ideology – Intellectual Origins of the Third Reich).  The movement acquired its name because its adherents were constantly harking back to a more authentic golden age when the German people were not just people who happened to live in Germany and speak German, but were, in a deeper, mystical sense, a ‘Volk’ (or‘Folk’).  

A famous (and typical) Volkish work was Land und Leute (Places and People), written in 1857 when the serfs had just won their freedom in Germany, and the feudal reactionaries were reeling from the great change. Its author, Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl (says Mosse), sought to turn back the clock and rebuild ‘the web of ancient custom, which once had determined every man’s place in society – and should do so again.  The respective positions of lord and peasant had been fixed by time-honoured customs as clearly as nature had divided field from forest.  Riehl viewed peasantry and nobility as the two estates which still lived according to the prescribed customs and which were furthermore, an integral part of the landscape out of whose soil they drew their living.’  

From the start, Volkish ideology had what we would recognise today as a Green tinge.  The Volkish writer Friedrich Ratzel, said, ‘As different from each other as plants, animals and human beings may be, they all stand and move on the same soil.  They came to life on the same soil … Life is always bound to the earth … and cannot, partially or as a whole, be separated from the earth and its soil.’

The ‘Volk’ (the people) had a deep, mystical, essential bond with each other and the earth. They said the true Volk society was connected with the soil (volksboden), it was organic and natural (organisirtes naturproduct), determined by nature (naturbedingtheit), shaped by earthly forces and conditions (bodenständigkeit), inseparable from the earth itself (erdgebundenheit).  The landscape had formed the people, and their culture was part of the landscape (kulturlandschaft).  The Volkists spoke of a healthy society’s ‘rootedness’ (verwurzelung).

In Nietzsche we find the usual Volkish green simpering about Nature:  ‘Remain faithful to the earth’ demands Zarathustra, we must ‘re-animalise man’ and ‘return to nature’. As Professor Mosse observes, ‘The word “rootedness” occurs constantly in their vocabulary.  They sought this in spiritual terms, through an inward correspondence between the individual, the native soil, the Volk and the universe … Rural rootedness served as a contrast to urban dislocation, or what was termed “uprootedness”.’   Volkish thinkers like Riehl, Paul de Lagarde, Heinrich von Treitschke and others, ‘looked back to the earlier Germans with nostalgia for their ordered social and economic life.  These olden days had been times of rootedness, when the nation, composed of craftsmen and nobles, warriors and tillers of the soil, enjoyed its labors and prospered under the benefits of a settled hierarchy.’

Of course it is no accident that this sudden enthusiasm for social ‘rootedness’ appears immediately after serfdom is abolished.  The yearning for ‘rootedness’ was nothing other than the desire to keep the peasants tied to the land.  ‘Rootedness’ was a perfect description of feudal society.  The nobles were rooted to the land … they even derived their names from their feudal domains:  the Baron or Earl of this, and Duke or Count of that.  And of course their serfs were legally tied to them, and to the land.  It was forbidden for serfs or their children to leave their lord’s land (or indeed to marry without the lord’s permission, and so on).  They were ‘rooted’ in a very real, (very unpleasant) way.  The serfs stayed serfs from generation to generation – it was in their ‘blood’ (keep your eye on that word ‘blood’).  Their status was inherited and legally enforced.  And the aristocrats stayed noble from one generation to the next, no matter how inept or imbecilic.  Their privileges were a blood-right.   A lord was as different to a peasant as a horse was to a dog.  The age-old social order seemed to them as natural as the trees.

The Volkist H. S. Chamberlain said that society, and our respective class positions within it, had evolved and were therefore natural: ‘nobody acquainted in detail with the results of animal breeding can doubt that the history of mankind before us and around us obeys the same law.’

Volkish anti-capitalism was not on the side of the masses. Quite the opposite. The Volkists saw capitalism (rightly) as the great liberator of the masses.  It was this liberation which was ‘unnatural’ to them.  As one of them put it, ‘Nature is a many-splendored thing, but one aspect will not be found in nature: equality.’

In his great work, The Destruction of Reason, written in 1952, the philosopher Georg Lukács pointed out that the idealisation of ‘nature’ and the ‘organic’ was, from the very beginning, political.  It was, he pointed out, an attempt to defend ‘naturally grown’ feudal privileges, ‘Biologism in philosophy and sociology has always been a basis for reactionary philosophical tendencies … it cannot permit of any essential change, let alone progress …. Oppression, inequality, exploitation and so forth were presented as “facts of nature” or “laws of nature” which, as such, could not be avoided or revoked.’

Society was ‘naturally’ hierarchical.  Nietzsche even insisted, ‘In the last resort there exists an order of rank of states of soul’ and there is no point of aspiring to achieve a higher rank because, ‘one has to be born or, expressed more clearly, bred for it.’  One is superior ‘by virtue of one’s origin; one’s ancestors, one’s blood.’  People in different classes had different ‘blood’.  They were indeed a different race.  For Volkish thinkers the terms ‘race’ and ‘class’ amount to the same thing. Nietzsche grieved over ‘Europe of today, the scene of a senselessly sudden attempt at radical class – and consequently race – mixture’.  He talked of the ‘semi-barbarism into which Europe has been plunged through the democratic mingling of classes and races.’

Professor Mosse says that for the Volkists, ‘Even within the race, the most promising stock was to be encouraged and the inferior left behind … Aryan nobles and warriors were to be formed, as they had always been, by selection and selective propagation.  Social division, a special class, indeed a caste system, was thus essential.’  Hitler said he aimed for ‘a racial quality fashioned on truly noble lines.’

As Lukács observes, ‘The ancient racial theory was extremely simple; indeed we can hardly call it a theory at all.  It proceeded from the thesis that anyone could tell an aristocrat.  For, as an aristocrat, he was of pure stock and descended from the superior race.’   It was, says Lukács, ‘a pseudo-biological defence of class privileges.’  The Volk movement turned the ‘class struggle into a racial struggle “ordained by nature”’ ...  It was out of these struggles that racial theory sprouted.’

The Volk movement viewed the advent of capitalism with dismay.  As serfs, the masses had been charming.  As ‘proletarians’ they were threatening.  The proletariat, says Mosse, was ‘the unfortunate product of modernisation, which itself entertained an anti-Volkish malevolence.’  He says, ‘The big city and the proletariat seemed to fuse into an ominous colossus which was endangering the realm of the Volk: “dominance of the big city will be equivalent to the dominance of the proletariat”.’

Because of capitalism, the serfs, instead of being “rooted” to the land, were now physically and socially mobile.  The money economy - market capitalism - had shaken lose the old feudal bonds, as it had done in England, and the great commercial centres – the cities - were seen as driving this change. As one Volkish writer put it, ‘Cities are the tombs of Germanism.’ Professor Mosse tells us, ‘the city came to symbolize the industrial progress and modernity that all adherents to the Volkish ideology rejected.  It was the very opposite of rootedness in nature and, therefore, antithetical to the spirit of the Volk.  Worse still, it represented the accomplishments of the proletariat; it was the concrete expression of proletarian restlessness. The fear of urban centers became synonymous with apprehension over the alarming rate at which the proletariat increased in numbers and asserted itself.’

If the proletariat was to be feared, said the Volkists, capitalism and the bourgeoisie was to be blamed.  ‘The bourgeoisie, by raising the cry of liberty, equality, fraternity,’ says Mosse, ‘had ignored the natural difference between the strong and weak, the clever and the stupid – in short, the “natural” contrast between master and servant.’  For Riehl, says Mosse, ‘the bourgeoisie was a disruptive element that had challenged the “genuine” estates … this new element was composed mainly of merchants and industrialists who had no close connection with nature.’  

And the people singled out for special culpability were the Jews.  For, as Professor Mosse, says, ‘the Jews were not a Volk, had no peasants, and owned no land, but were only traders and parasites.’   ‘The Jews were identified with modern industrial society’, they were ‘weaving a net of business and trade’ around innocent Germans, and they were essentially un-green: ‘the rootlessness of the Jew was contrasted with the rootedness of the Volk.’  So, ‘to oppose the Jews meant to struggle against the champions of the materialistic world view as well as the evils of modern society.’

We must make the point here that Volkish and Nazi hatred of Jewish people was not religious.  The Volkists and Nazis hated Christianity, at times almost as much as they despised Judaism, and they tried to establish a State pagan religion to replace it (see the laughable librettos of Wagner’s turgid operas for a list of rehabilitated gods).  No, the Jews were hated because they were visibly non-rural and capitalistic, and in particular they were pre-eminent in the world of finance (the greens have always hated bankers).  Of course the Jews had, historically, ended up in those roles precisely because they had been expelled from the land in much of Europe and had been forced to find occupations on the fringes of feudal society.  That abused group of people had been punished once, and now they would be punished again.

(We might mention here that one of the marked features of the declining feudal nobility in Europe was its tendency to get into debt and thereby lose control of its land.  Law after law was passed to stop feudal domains from slipping into private hands and entering the world of commodity exchange.  But such was the desire of lavish but useless aristocrats to have money, and such was their inability to make it, that they were constantly borrowing, and then selling land to repay the loans.  They nobles were prepared to entertain Jewish bankers when they needed the stuff, but loathed them with a passion when it came to paying it back).

As Professor Mosse describes, ‘Economic prejudices were always prevalent in anti-Semitism and they attained academic respectability with Werner Sombart’s Die Juden und des Wirtshaftsleben (Jews and Capitalism, 1910).  This eminent economic historian linked the growth of capitalism to the role played by the Jews.  As usurers in the Middle Ages and entrepreneurs in modern times, the Jews had been a vital force in building the capitalist system … The stock-exchange jobber, the corpulent banker, these were the stereotypes of the Jew that were widely accepted and disseminated through popular literature.  The stock exchange in particular became the symbol of the nightmarish capitalism that had been fostered on the Germans by the Jews.’

For Adolf Hitler, in Mein Kampf, it was the Jews who had dissolved the Volkish feudal bonds and brought capitalism to Germany.  It was ‘the Jew’ says Hitler, who ‘included landed property among his commercial wares and degraded the soil to the level of a market commodity.  Since he himself never cultivated the soil but considered it as an object to be exploited.’  It was the Jews, he said, who had brought to Germany all those devilish democratic modern ideas, ‘bubbling over with “enlightenment”, “progress”, “liberty”, “humanity”, etc.’

For the Volkish right-wing anti-capitalists, the ‘bourgeoisie’ and ‘proletariat’ merged into one urban, industrial, commercial enemy.  Mosse says that Volkish thinkers ‘feared that the “world bourgeoisie” and the “world proletariat” would recognize their mutual compatibility and exercise a suzerainty over a world in which all that was natural had been destroyed, especially the estates.’   The proletariat and the bourgeoisie was a common enemy.  They shared a world-view which was commercial and extended beyond borders.  (In this respect, Volkish right-wing anti-capitalism was a more accurate portrayal of reality than its Marxist offshoot).

Just as today’s greens idealise pre-capitalist society, so did the Volkists and the Nazis.  Their ‘blood and soil’ racism was wholly the product of this backward fantasy.   It was nothing more than the desire to cling onto the world as it was before.  As with the Nazi’s demonization of Jewish people, it was an expression of their fear and loathing of the physical and social mobility which came with capitalism.

Like Nietzsche and the Volkists, Hitler and the Nazis hated the Enlightenment.  They rejected its humanism just as they spurned the human-centered morality of the Judeo-Christian tradition.  They despised the moral restraints of civilisation, and embraced the romance of pagan savagery as more ‘authentic’.  They held bourgeois liberal tolerance and internationalism (or globalisation) in contempt.  These were all features of the despised new capitalist order.

The Volkist deep hatred of capitalism extended to all the trappings of industrial and urban development.  As Mosse says, ‘These sick individuals [the bourgeoisie and proletariat] had subsequently stamped their surroundings with diseased characteristics.  The result was an unhealthy, “degenerate” landscape marked by smoking factories, overcrowded cities and insatiable natural resource exploitation.’   The Volkists hated advertising billboards and hydro-electric dams and railway lines.  They hated modern farming techniques and the mass production of food.  They idealised peasant life.

In short, the Volkists and Nazis were green.  In 1934, a year after the Nazis took power, as Professor Thomas Lekan describes, they ‘declared that the Third Reich had ushered in a new era of environmental stewardship … They foresaw a new era of ‘organic’ land use planning that stressed long-term sustainability over short-term profitability.’  The leading Nazi Walther Schoenichen declared that the German countryside was to be purified of the ‘un-German spirit of commerce.’  The same year they passed a law ‘Concerning the Protection of the Racial purity of Forest Plants’, and the following year the wide-ranging Reichsnaturschutzgesetz (Reich Nature Protection Law).

Hitler appointed his most trusted general Herman Göring supreme commissioner for nature conservancy, and made him Reichforstmeister (Reich master of forestry) whose job it was to promote waldgesinnubg (forest-mindedness) and the close-to-nature ideals of the dauerwald (eternal forest).  Göring’s Reichsforstamt (Reich Forest Office) oversaw the Reichstelle für Naturschutz (Reich Nature Protection Office). He declared ‘The people are a living community, a great organic, eternal body’, which was echoed in the Nazi slogan, ‘Ask the trees, they will teach you how to become National Socialists!’  As Mosse says, ‘In Volkish thought the image of the tree was constantly used to symbolize the peasant strength of the Volk, with roots anchored in the past while the crown aspired to the cosmos and its spirit.’

Walter Darré, head of the SS Race and Settlement Office was made Reichsbauerführer  (Reich peasant leader).  He led the Nazi campaign described by one author as ‘the Nazification of the countryside’.  A new Nazi law attempted to re-impose feudal relations on peasant land, forbidding inherited land from being bought, sold or mortgaged.  Needless to say, this met with resistance from the peasants. The peasants also resented production quotas and other forms of state interference.  Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands of Polish peasants were reduced to serfdom once more.  The Nazis attempted (unsuccessfully) to re-establish a Volkish peasantry by distributing free plots of land to workers, and it was this that sent the German army into Poland, and beyond, in search of lebensraum (living space), made available by the mass slaughter of east Europeans.  It was Darré, who said he wanted to breed a new rural nobility, who coined the chilling slogan ‘blood and soil’ (blut und boden).

Of course the green policies of the Nazis, like the policies of the greens today, were riddled with contradictions.  They wanted organic, peasant farming, but discovered very quickly that it would not produce nearly enough food (though a special supply of organic food was secured for the SS).  Likewise, though they despised capitalism and industry and commerce, they also needed it.  The sprawling Nazi State bureaucracy was a ravenous parasite that needed a host (we will deal with Nazi economics in another article).  But the fact that the absurd green fantasies of the Nazis were impractical did not seem to disturb them, as indeed it seems not to disturb greens today.  Perhaps this was because every bit of green legislation justified and involved a further extension of planning and state intervention.  As Professor Lekan politely puts it, ‘The discourse of organic planning meshed well with Naziism’s corporatist approach to economic intervention.’

But is important to note that environmentalism and the appeal to Nature was at the heart of Nazi belief.  As Adolf Hitler insisted in Mein Kampf:  ‘Man’s effort to build up something that contradicts the iron logic of nature brings him into conflict with those principles to which he himself exclusively owes his existence.  By acting against the laws of nature he prepares the way that leads to ruin … Our planet has been moving through spaces of ether for millions and millions of years, uninhabited by men, and at some future date may easily begin to do so again – if men should forget that wherever they have reached a superior level of existence, it was not the result of following the ideas of crazy visionaries but by acknowledging and rigorously observing the iron laws of nature.’ As Dr. Mark Bassin says (in the useful book How Green Were the Nazis?), ‘The very appeal to the authority of organicist-ecological principles for guidance in interpreting society and political organization was seen as a fundamental aspect of what fascism was all about.’

There are those greens who insist that the environmental movement started in 1962 when Rachel Carson published her misguided rant against DDT, Silent Spring.  But this is clearly nonsense.  To emphasise our point, let us look at the writings of Martin Heidegger, the famous Nazi philosopher who still exerts a powerful influence on Western intellectuals.  Heidegger’s appointment to rector of his University of Freiburg was celebrated with Nazi flags and songs, his lectures were accompanied by Nazi salutes, he destroyed the careers of rival academics by reporting them to the Gestapo and he remained a member of the Nazi party to the end. (I will quote at length, lest I am accused of cherry-picking).

Heidegger contrasts wonderful peasant life, which involved ‘dwelling’, with horrid footloose capitalism which involves ‘homelessness’.  He says, ‘The Old High German word for building, bauen, means to dwell.  This means to remain, to stay in place … The old word bauen, which however, also means at the same time to cherish and protect, to preserve and care for. Specifically to till the soil and cultivate the vine.’

His feudal Eden has been destroyed by capitalism, ‘Bridges and hangars, stadiums and power stations are buildings but not dwellings; railway stations and highways, dams and market halls are built, but they are not dwelling places  …  The truck driver is at home on the highway, but he does not have his lodgings there; the working woman is at home in the spinning mill, but does not have her dwelling place there; the chief engineer is at home in the power station, but he does not dwell there.  These buildings house man.  He inhabits them but he does not dwell in them.’

Heidegger contrasts the crass modern machine-powered technology that disturbs nature with the healthy use of tools by handicraftsmen, which involves a ‘revealing and unconcealment’ of nature. Industrial capitalism, says Heidegger, ‘challenges’ nature in a way that primitive peasant society does not, “The work of the peasant does not challenge the soil of the field.  In sowing grain it places seed in the keeping of the forces of growth and watches over its increase. But even the cultivation of the field has come under the grip of another kind of setting-in-order, which sets upon nature … Agriculture is now the mechanized food industry.’ He says, ‘To save the earth is more than to exploit it or even wear it out.  Saving the earth does not master the earth and does not subjugate it, which is merely one step from boundless spoliation.’

Into Heidegger’s imagined rural idyll, the poison of market forces is seeping, ‘The forester who measures the felled timber in the woods and who to all appearances walks the forest path in the same way his grandfather did, is today ordered by the industry that produces commercial woods.’

Heidegger argues against the ‘monstrous’ building of hydroelectric dams on the Rhine and sings the praises of wind power: ‘modern technology is a challenging, which puts to nature the unreasonable demand that it supply energy which can be extracted and stored as such.  But does not this hold true for the old windmill as well?  No. Its sails do indeed turn in the wind; they are left entirely to the wind’s blowing. But the windmill does not unlock the energy from the air currents in order to store it.’

Heidegger lambasts production of ‘the maximum yield at minimum expense.’  He deplores the fact that “The coal has been hauled out of some mining district … it is on call, ready to deliver the sun’s warmth that is stored in it … to deliver steam whose pressure turns the wheels that keep a factory running.’

How can anyone read the Nazi Heidegger, or the writers of the Volk movement, or indeed Mein Kampf, and say, with a straight face, that environmentalism started with Rachel Carson? The Nazi Martin Heidegger is to the tips of his fingers, a romantic anti-capitalist.  He is, to the toes of his fascist jack-boots, an environmentalist.

Should we be at all worried about any of this?  After all, modern environmentalism, to many people, seems so innocent.  But in the words of Bruggemeier, Cioc and Zeller (editors of How Green Were the Nazis?), ‘The green policies of the Nazis were more than a mere episode or aberration in environmental history at large.  They point to larger meanings and demonstrate with brutal clarity that conservationism and environmentalism are not and have never been value-free or inherently benign enterprises.’  We should heed the warning of Lukács, that, ‘fascist demagogy and tyranny was only the ultimate culmination of a long process which initially had an “innocent” look’.

Green thinking was not a side-line for the Nazis.  The idealisation of nature and the organic, the nostalgia for the Middle Ages, the anti-capitalism, the hatred of bankers, the hatred of cities and industry, the idealisation of peasant life … all this defined their poisonous ideology.  It was the green attempt of the Nazis to recreate a peasant society which led them to invade Poland in search of ‘living space’. It was their green nostalgia for the Middle Ages which led to their ‘blood and soil’ racist ideology. It was their green anti-capitalism and loathing of bankers which led them to hate Jewish people.  It was their green rejection of the Judeo-Christian tradition and of the Enlightenment and its humanist values, and their green return to pagan animal-worship - their idealisation of pre-civilised barbarism as more ‘authentic’ - that led to them to treat humans as worthless creatures with no more claim on our sympathies than viruses and pests.  Green ideology was at the core of National Socialism.  When we wonder what diseased thinking could motivate people to turn on the gas taps at Auschwitz, this is where we must look.
 
More HERE





We need some regulatory patriotism!

President Obama condemns tax inversions, but pillages America with his regulatory agenda

Paul Driessen

It’s no mystery why American companies have stockpiled over $2 trillion of overseas earnings in foreign bank accounts. If they bring it to the United States, the IRS would grab 35% of it. That’s the US corporate tax rate – the highest in the developed world, double the average in EU nations.

Medtronic found a creative way to repatriate its cash, allowing it to bring money to the USA subject to just a 12.5% tax. The company acquired Covidien, another, smaller medical device firm in Ireland and will establish its formal headquarters in Dublin, thereby slashing its tax rate by two-thirds, and leaving it with far more cash for plants and equipment, innovation, hiring and keeping workers, and tapping new markets.

Pharmaceutical, biotechnology, healthcare and other companies have concluded or are pursuing similar “tax inversion” strategies. The actions have outraged the White House, “progressive” activists and many Democrats in Congress – except when President Obama’s BFF Warren Buffett engineered Burger King’s acquisition of Canada’s Tim Horton café and bakery chain.

The President says the practice is “unpatriotic” and “immoral,” calls the companies “corporate deserters,” and says businesses must start acting like “good corporate citizens.” Congressional Democrats have issued similar denunciations and want inversions prohibited or punished. They’re barking up the wrong tree.

The proper solution is comprehensive tax reform. However, Republicans want to address both corporate and individual tax issues, Democrats insist that only corporate taxes on the table, and Mr. Obama is typically not inclined to do the hard work of forging bipartisan compromises. Instead, he wants his IRS and Treasury Department to review “a broad range of authorities for possible administrative actions” and ways to “meaningfully reduce the tax benefits after inversions take place,” as one Treasury official put it.

Companies, workers and investors are bracing for the coming executive fiats. The diktats epitomize a huge problem that neither Congress nor the courts have been willing to address, but which continues to drag our nation’s economy and employment into the abyss: an out-of-control federal bureaucracy that is determined to control virtually every aspect of our business and personal lives – at great cost, for few benefits, and with little or no accountability for mistakes or even deliberate harm.

Of course we need taxes, laws and regulations, to set norms and guidelines, safeguard society, punish miscreants and pay for essential government programs. No one contests that. The question is, How much?

What we need right now is regulatory patriotism – and Executive Branch morality, citizenship, and fealty to our Constitution and laws. The federal behemoth today is destructive, and unpatriotic.

* The confiscatory 35% corporate tax rate is embedded in a Tax Code that’s 74,000 pages long, counting important cases and interpretations. It totals some 33 million words (compared to 788,280 in the King James Bible) and is loaded with crony corporatist provisions and complex, indecipherable language.

* A 906-page, 418,779-word (un)Affordable Care Act that has already metastasized into more than 10,000 pages of complex, often contradictory regulations, with more interpretations and clarifications to come.

* The 2,300-page Dodd-Frank law has already spawned over 14,000 pages of banking and financial rules.

* Over 175,000 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations are coupled with more than 1.4 million pages of tiny-type Federal Register proposed and final rules published just since 1993, at the rate of over 71,000 pages per year. Doctors, patients, insurers, businesses large and small – much less average citizens – cannot possibly read, comprehend or follow this onslaught.

* At least 4,450 federal crimes are embedded in those laws and regulations (with some 500 new crimes added per decade) – often for minor infractions like failing to complete or file precisely correct paperwork for selling orchids or importing wood for guitars. Neither inability to understand complex edicts, lack of knowledge that they could possibly exist, nor absence of intent to violate them is a defense, and the “crime” can bring military swat teams through doors, and land “violators” in prison for months or years.

* Production Tax Credits and other sweetheart “green” energy subsidies and grants total some $40 billion a year – for ethanol producers and folks like Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Mr. Tom Kiernan, who is both CEO of the American Wind Energy Association and treasurer of the League of Conservation Voters, which gives millions to mostly Democratic candidates to perpetuate the arrangements.

* American businesses and families must pay $1.9 trillion per year to comply with these mountains of regulations. That’s one-eighth of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product; it’s almost all the corporate money now held overseas: $5,937 a year for every American citizen – and far more than the $1.6 trillion in direct economic losses that re-insurer Munich Re blames on weather-related disasters between 1980 and 2011.

* $353 billion of these regulatory costs are inflicted by the Environmental Protection Agency alone, say Competitive Enterprise Institute experts who prepared the $1.9 trillion regulatory costs analysis for 2013.

Even worse, these criminal complexities and costs are being imposed by increasingly ideological, left-of-center, anti-business “public servants” who target conservatives and are intent on advancing President Obama’s agenda of “fundamentally transforming” the United States. They are determined to redistribute wealth, pit economic and ethnic groups against each other, close down coal-fired power plants, ensure that electricity prices “necessarily skyrocketing,” and stop drilling, mining, ranching, fracking and pipelines.

Poll after poll finds Americans focused on jobs and the economy, and on ISIL, terrorism and Ebola. Not so our federal government. Secretary of State John Kerry says climate change is “the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction,” posing “greater long-term consequences” than terrorism or Ebola. For EPA the biggest issues are global warming, “environmental justice” and “sustainable development.”

How is the US economy responding to these policies? Median household income is down $2,000 since Obama took office, while costs of living continue to rise. Despite the subsidies, electricity prices have soared 14-33% in states with the most wind power. Some 45 million Americans now live below the poverty line – a 50% increase over the 30 million in poverty on inauguration day 2009.

While the official unemployment rate is now under 6% for the first time in six years, University of Maryland economist Peter Morici puts the real jobless rate at closer to 20% – which includes the millions who have given up looking for work, those who want to work full-time but must settle for part-time, and students enrolled in graduate school because their employment prospects are so bleak.

The labor force participation rate now stands at 62.7 percent, the lowest level in 36 years, with over 92 million adults not working. Over the past six years, one million more Americans have dropped out of the labor force than have found a job.

Indeed, a hallmark of the Obama recovery is its unique ability to convert three full-time jobs with benefits into four part-time positions with no benefits – and then say unemployment is declining.

It’s hardly surprising that dozens of senators and congressmen who voted with Mr. Obama 90-99% of the time now want to be seen as “moderate independents” – and do not want to be seen with the President.

But as President Obama told Northwestern University students October 2, “Make no mistake, [my] policies are on the ballot, every single one of them.”

He’s absolutely right. So are his economic and employment records. Time will tell how many people remember that when they vote November 4.

Via email





Dumb, Dumber, and Banning Plastic Bags

California must have solved all the problems of its state government. On Tuesday, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags.

“This bill is a step in the right direction — it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself,” Brown said. “We’re the first to ban these bags, and we won’t be the last.”

Actually, the mandate harms the environment, conservative environmentalists contend.

“Consumers widely reuse plastic shopping bags for many different types of uses and recycle them at the end of their use,” said James M. Taylor, senior fellow for environmental policy at the Heartland Institute.

“The term ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ is a perfect description of how people use plastic shopping bags.

“Coercing people to use cloth shopping bags will subject people to unnecessary health risks caused by festering bacteria from prior food purchases contaminating newly bought food.

“The only way to avoid this is to wash the cloth bags after every use. The environmental consequences of this will be more water depletion in a largely arid state and more detergents polluting waterways.”

Plastic bags are safe, reusable and cheap. Banning them makes no sense, but then much of what state government in California does makes little sense.

SOURCE   







GAO Report Confirms: States Better Fracking Regulators than EPA
   
A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirms what many small-government environmentalists have been saying for years: States are more effective at regulating the disposal of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations than is the Environmental Protection Agency.

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” has led to a surge in oil and natural gas production in the United States. The process uses water, sand, and a few chemical additives to create fissures in oil- and gas-bearing rocks thousands of feet underground, allowing these resources to flow up to the surface.

Each hydraulically fractured well typically requires 2 to 4 million gallons of water, with 15 to 50 percent of this water flowing back to the surface after the process is complete. This water is typically briny, and it contains remnants of the sand and chemical compounds used to fracture the well.

This water must be disposed of or recycled. Disposal typically means injecting the wastewater into deep, underground wells regulated by EPA under the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program. GAO concluded EPA’s injection-well safeguards sufficiently protect drinking water: Few allegations of drinking water contamination, and fewer confirmed cases of groundwater contamination, have been reported.

However, GAO’s report stressed EPA has failed to be proactive regarding emerging challenges, such as induced seismicity (manmade earthquakes) and excessive pressurization of rock formations. GAO urged EPA to update its regulations to reflect state laws.

EPA cannot help enforce state regulations unless they are incorporated into federal rules, which is why GAO is urging EPA to update its rules to reflect the superior wastewater-injection protections adopted by states.

Amazingly, EPA responded by stating, “Incorporating changes into federal regulations, particularly through the rulemaking process, was burdensome and time-consuming.” This is the same EPA that is seeking to expand its authority (and therefore its control over your everyday life) by creating rules to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and micromanaging prairie potholes and the puddles that form in your driveway after a summer rain. Yet it considers its current duties “too burdensome.”

Claiming protection of the environment is “too burdensome” is not an option for state regulators, which is why they are more effective than federal regulators on these matters.

For example, Ohio passed regulations allowing the state’s chief of the Division of Oil and Gas to require a number of tests or evaluations to address potential induced seismic risks for companies seeking permits for brine injection wells in Ohio.

Other state regulations considered “too burdensome” for EPA adoption include on-site inspection for all injection wells to review the condition and operation of the wells. California, Colorado, and North Dakota require monthly reporting on injection pressure, injection volume, and the type of fluid being injected.

It makes little sense to entrust EPA to handle more responsibility when it has been incapable of fulfilling the responsibilities it already has. This is especially obvious when the responsibility involves essentially copying the example already implemented by state agencies.

EPA claims it does not have the resources to implement this program properly, but EPA’s budget request for 2014 was $8.153 billion, more than the entire annual budgets of 20 percent of states nationwide ... yet these states, which have fewer resources at their disposal, manage to get the job done just fine.

It is time to seriously consider replacing EPA with a Committee of the Whole of the 50 state environmental protection agencies, an idea suggested by Jay Lehr, science director and senior fellow at The Heartland Institute, where I serve as research fellow. According to the GAO, we might as well do so, since the states seem to be doing all the heavy lifting already.

SOURCE   






New paper finds global temperature data trend prior to 1950's "meaningless" & "artificially flattened"

A correspondence published today in Nature Climate Change is a damning indictment of the updated HADCRUT global temperature database, which is used as the basis of all of the other land-based temperature databases including GISS and BEST.

The correspondence demolishes the claim of Ji et al that "the global climate has been experiencing significant warming at an unprecedented pace in the past century" as well as the reliability of the HADCRU database to determine global temperature trends of the past 164 years. According to the authors, conclusions about global temperature change cannot be reliably determined prior to the 1950's due to the poor spatiotemporal coverage prior to the 1950's and trends determined from the early HADCRU data are "meaningless and "artificially flattened."

Likewise, all climate model "tuning" based on the "meaningless" global temperature trends prior to the 1950's are therefore "meaningless" GIGO as well. According to the authors:

    "Ji et al present a methodology to analyse global (excluding Antarctica) spatiotemporal patterns of temperature change, using mean monthly temperatures obtained from the updated Climate Research Unit (CRU) high-resolution gridded climate database. Their analysis fails to take into account several key characteristics of the CRU database, seriously compromising the conclusions regarding the spatiotemporal patterns of global warming during the twentieth century.

    Consequently, the temporal auto-correlation of such time series is artificially high, and the climatic variability they portray for the early decades of the record is meaningless. 

    "...strongly suggests the absence of a trend over the first half of the 20th century in many tropical and Arctic regions can be attributed to the lack of climatic information and the corresponding flattened time series..." 

    "...we suggest that it is very likely that the spatiotemporal temperature patterns described in Ji et al are strongly contaminated by the spatial and temporal heterogeneities of the CRU database."

    "...this problem affects the whole analysis."

    "artificially flattened trends in the early 20th century will reflect slower warming trends than observed trends in the latter 20th century." [i.e. imply false acceleration]

    "If the aim is global coverage, the optimal period should not start before the 1950's, although this would compromise the authors' aim to capture long-term trends."

Excerpts from the Nature Climate Change, followed by 2 posts from StevenGoddard.wordpress.com, which illustrate the problems the authors are referring to in the HADCRU record, such as Phil Jones' and HADCRU ridiculous extrapolation of a single thermometer in Tasmania at the beginning of the HADCRU record in 1850 as representing the entire Southern Hemisphere, and with one-thousandth of a degree precision!

More HERE  (See the original for links, graphics etc.)






Sens. Paul, Grassley challenge climate group’s spending on lobbying, alcohol and parties

The Washington Post reports that a climate research group got caught partying and boozing on taxpayer funds in a draft audit, but what’s worse, the National Science Foundation and Defense Department officials are under investigation because they signed off on it. A whistleblower leaked the sordid story, and now two US Senators are investigating. They warn that this may be a widespread practice because NSF documents show the foundation knew what the expenses were but still paid them.

Two senators are investigating whether the National Science Foundation and Defense Department auditors skirted federal laws by signing off on a nonprofit organization’s use of taxpayer money for “unallowable expenses,” including alcohol, lobbying and extravagant parties.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said the practice came to his attention earlier this year when a whistleblower provided him with a draft audit that showed a climate change group used federal funds to pay $112,000 for lobbying, $25,000 for an office Christmas party, and $11,000 for “premium coffee services” and an unspecific amount on French hotels.

The partiers were the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) — who received $90 million this year from the NSF.

On its Web site, NEON says it will collect data on the impacts of climate change, land use change and invasive species on natural resources from 106 sites across the nation over a 30-year period. The sites where scientists will collect their data are still largely under construction, and NEON says it will not be in full operation until 2017.

From 2009 to 2013, NEON classified all the expenses that Grassley and Paul are questioning as a “management fee.”

But it’s the cover up that is even uglier:

Internal documents show that the NSF was told by NEON that it was having a difficult time covering the costs because it had little in the way of private funds.

 Not once but twice:

According to Grassley’s staff, the auditor said two levels of supervisors signed off on his work. However, he told the senator’s staff that he said he believes the audit had stalled because DCAA management was concerned about spark a controversy for the high-profile program, the foundation, and the defense department.

Grassley’s staff said the auditor came forward because he believed the audit was going to be “whitewashed.”

SOURCE   

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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13 October, 2014

The documentary "Merchants of Doubt"

Below is a review of a Warmist film based on the work of an old hag named Naomi Oreskes -- who some years ago did a literature survey that showed 100% agreement in the academic journals on the reality of global warming.  The test of any scientific claim, however, is replication and when Benny Peiser attempted to repeat the Oreskes results using her methods, he found radically different results.  For instance:  "Of all 1117 abstracts, only 13 (or 0.1%) explicitly endorse the 'consensus view'".  Oreskes is just an ugly old lady seeking attention.  She is a fraud.  So anything based on her work is on very shaky ground.

Some excerpts from a review of the film below that will surprise no skeptic.  It's just the usual Warmist boilerplate.  Paragraph 3 below does however make the surprising claim that (unidentified) media pundits have made death threats against Warmists.  I am sure we would all like to hear details of that!  It would seem that the reviewer is as imaginative as Naomi

Note that the review is just the usual rage-filled smears one expects from those who have no chance of surviving a debate based on facts.  As usual, there is of course  no mention of a single climate datum or of arguments from the skeptic side

UPDATE:  Oreskes can actually be amusing. She is by training a geologist and has worked on scientific methods, in particular model validation in the Earth sciences.  So why have we not heard from her about the repeatedly invalidated models  used by Warmists?  Surprising answer.  She says: "Verification and validation of numerical models of natural systems is impossible...  Models can only be evaluated in relative terms, and their predictive value is  always open to question".  But no sign from her of climate skepticism, despite the total reliance on models by Warmists


"Merchants of Doubt," a new documentary which had its U.S. premiere Wednesday at the New York Film Festival, is a film that will likely sow despair in anyone who would like to believe that truth always wins in the end, or that the rational sides of peoples' (or even Congressional members') brains -- when choosing between the facts that will protect us and the misinformation intended to protect special interest -- will go with the facts every time.

Sadly, they don't. And certainly not in a world with 24 hours of cable news airtime filled with gladiatorial battles of sound bites and screaming Cassandras.

Directed by Robert Kenner (the Oscar-nominated 2008 documentary, "Food, Inc."),"Merchants of Doubt" is inspired by the 2010 book of the same name by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, which explored the plethora of media pundits consistently throwing sand in the gears of action on climate change. These pundits -- many with no scientific training or experience -- trumpeted the existence of scientific discord over climate change when there was none. They slandered climate scientists as socialists, and attacked them with death threats. They skewed the contents of leaked emails to suggest climate data number-crunchers were cooking the books. And even if they do bend to admit that climate change IS real (hard not to after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy), they dig their heels in by denying a causal relation to human industrial activity, and scare the populace with dire warnings of lost jobs and government overreach. To them, reducing coal and oil = Big Brother.

The film points to the origins of this pundit class in the late 1950s, within the PR efforts of the tobacco companies, whose secret documents (revealed by whistleblowers or as evidence in lawsuits) detailed the playbook that a company peddling a hazardous product should follow to avoid financial ruin: cast doubt upon medical research (or even produce studies of your own); warn against the economic impacts in terms of job losses; rail against regulations as government overreach impinging upon people's liberties (it doesn't hurt to liberally throw the terms "Socialist" or "Communist" around); and make the culprit in any public health issue the consumer, as a matter of "personal responsibility."

Fred Singer, of the Heartland institute (a libertarian think tank funded in part by Exxon), is a well-known climate change denier who for years has called scientific evidence of a warming planet a lie. He proudly displays the publications his group produces that mimic actual scientific publications but which are meant to confuse Congressmen.

Also interviewed is Marc Morano, a former producer for Rush Limbaugh and staffer for James Inhofe (a major climate change denier in the Senate), who specializes in spin. He proudly tells Kenner about his role in "creating chaos" through on-air debates with actual scientists; and he shows no remorse for the public attacks he launched against NOAA scientist James Hansen, who was among the first to warn of the dangers of CO2 pollution to irreversibly affect the Earth's climate. Morano laughs off having sent or encouraged threats of violence to Hansen, saying he's entertained by reading the threats he receives.

SOURCE 






Kentucky Democrat  Staff Caught on Hidden Camera: She’s Lying About Support for Coal Industry:  "It's a lying game"

U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is lying about her support for the state’s coal industry according to Kentucky Democrats, including members of her campaign team, who were captured on a hidden camera video.

The video, produced by conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe, shows five employees of the Grimes campaign and local Democratic Party affiliates speculating that the Democratic challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) is only professing her support for the industry out of political expediency.

“If we can get her elected do you think she is going to do the right thing and she’s gonna try to wipe out that coal industry and go for better resources?” asks an undercover videographer in one segment of the video.

“I absolutely think she is,” responds Fayette County Democratic Party operative Gina Bess.

The video’s release comes as Grimes works to salvage a campaign that has consistently trailed in public polling and which, according to Nate Silver’s election model, has just a 12 percent chance of victory in November.

“Let me set it straight for you Mitch McConnell. I am the pro-coal candidate in this race,” Grimes declared at a recent campaign event with former President Bill Clinton.

Grimes has used that type of rhetoric in attempts to distance herself from President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency, which has enacted regulations on coal-fired power plants that coal companies and supporters say are taking a heavy toll on the industry.

Support for such regulations is a political albatross in coal-heavy Kentucky, and Grimes campaign staffers featured in O’Keefe’s video recognize that fact.

“She’s saying something positive about coal because she wants to be elected,” said Ros Hines, a staffer in Grimes’ Lexington campaign office. “And in the state of Kentucky, if you are anti-coal, you will not get elected, period, end of conversation.”

Some Grimes supporters captured in the hidden-camera video likewise suggest that Grimes is lying about her support for the industry in order to get elected.

“She has to say that,” remarked Juanita Rodriguez of the Warren County Democratic Party. “But you know what? Politics is a game. You do what you have to do to get [elected]. … It’s a lying game unfortunately.”

Rodriguez speculated that Grimes does not in fact support the industry to the extent that she has declared publicly.

“I really don’t think her heart is 100 percent in backing coal. But she has to say she is because she will not get a high number of votes in this state if she doesn’t. But she’s got to get in there first and she’s gonna say whatever she has to say or do. And that’s the way the political game is played.”

Like Grimes, McConnell routinely criticizes the EPA’s attempts to crack down on the coal industry. McConnell has also introduced legislation to stymie those efforts. However, Senate Democrats have stymied McConnell’s efforts.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) blocked action this summer on a McConnell bill that would block EPA power plant regulations unless the agency certified that it would not eliminate jobs or increase electricity prices.

McConnell’s staff seized on O’Keefe’s video to blast Grimes’ purported dishonesty on the coal issue.

“It is absolutely shocking that Alison Lundergan Grimes’ own staff now admits that she has no intention of protecting the coal industry,” campaign spokeswomen Allison Moore wrote in an emailed statement. “The level of deception that Alison Grimes and her campaign engages in to appear pro-coal despite virulent opposition is both disturbing and dangerous.”

SOURCE





A lament from West Virginia

West Virginians pay, on average, $106 a month for electricity, according to Electricity Local, which tracks such things.

That reflects having the second-lowest electric rates in the nation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency. Only Washington state with its hydroelectric power stations has a lower average rate.

The national average rate is 39 percent higher than what West Virginians pay. Get ready to pay 39 percent more, if the Democratic Party gets its way. The party’s second in command, Vice President Joe Biden, told supporters in 2008 that an Obama administration would get rid of coal.

Reporters called it a gaffe.

Six years later, that is coming true. President Obama’s administration has targeted coal. From ripping up perfectly good permits to build coal mines to imposing unnecessary restrictions on coal-burning electric plants, Democrats have attacked coal. Then they stepped back and said it is market forces when Democratic rules force utilities to switch to natural gas.

It’s cynical and hypocritical.

And for what? Global warming? Everything the people pushing this junk science predicted has been wrong. And as Nobel laureate and physicist Richard Feynman said, “If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.“

For example, in testimony before Congress in 1988, James Hansen, then the global warming guru of NASA, forecast what to expect in 20 years.

“The West Side Highway (which runs along the Hudson River) will be under water,” Hansen said.

“And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds.

“And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change.

“There will be more police cars.”

Why?

“Well, you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up.”

But 26 years later, none of that is true. Crime actually fell by 42 percent. Global warming is what Feynman would call a cargo cult science. Weather is cyclical. The globe has warmed in general for 12,000 years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently admitted that global warming stopped 18 years ago; the IPCC calls it a pause.

Killing the coal industry will cause much pain with no gain.  Paying the national average for electricity would raise the average bill in West Virginia to $145 a month. We can either fork over $145 a month to Appalachian Power, or reduce our use.

Goodbye air conditioning.

Hello heat strokes.

Paying more for electricity might be OK if West Virginians earned the national average. But, for every dollar of income the average American enjoys, West Virginians get 77 cents, according to the Census Bureau.

After 80-plus years of Democratic Party control of the state, the state’s economy is in a shambles.

Paying unemployment benefits to strikers told employers all they needed to know about this state.

Decades of trial lawyer domination of the courts also helped run off the businesses that provide the jobs.

Democrats drove the post-coal economy away.

The chemical industry employed 15,000 people in the Kanawha Valley when I moved here 30 years ago.

Democrats helped reduce the industry. Companies did not modernize their plants or invest in new lines.

Coal is why we have an aluminum plant in Ravenswood. There is no aluminum-rich bauxite ore to mine here.

But the production of aluminum requires energy. Lots of it. Coal provides it cheap.

Now the Democratic Party wants to kill coal.

Natural gas is next. Democrats in New York state already banned hydraulic fracturing.

The average residential electric rate for New York is double that of West Virginia.

Enjoy.

SOURCE 







Oil & Gas surge

The American oil and gas industry has saved our collective bacon

On July 3, 2008, oil closed at $145.29 a barrel. Demand was strong. Inventories were low. And production was inelastic.

A few weeks ago, headlines screamed that U.S. and Gulf State aircraft had target Syrian oil installations under ISIS' control in an attempt to degrade its ability to fund its operations.

Did oil find a new high in the face of yet another round of Middle East jitters?

It did not.  In fact, oil closed yesterday at $87.75 per barrel and that was an increase of 44 cents from the day before.

What has changed? How have we gone from wildly swinging oil prices in the face of even a hint of a wind storm in Eastern Saudi Arabia to ho-hum over potentially major supply interruptions?

We're producing more oil right here in the good ole U.S. of A. That's how.

New York Times reporter Clifford Krauss wrote in Tuesday's editions about a tanker that "set sail with little fanfare from the port of Galveston, Tex., on July 30, loaded with crude oil destined for South Korea."

Krauss reported, that represented the first represented the first "unrestricted export of American oil to a country outside of North America in nearly 40 years. That would take us back to 1974.  Jimmy Carter. The Arab Oil Embargo. Gas lines.

According to the Energy Information Agency oil production in the U.S. hit its peak in 1970 at 9.6 million barrels per day.

By 2008 that number was about five million barrels a day.

We were using about the same amount (until the recession hit full blast) but out production had fallen by nearly half.

We were importing about 10 million barrels a day from OPEC and were paying a terrible price in U.S. treasure and blood to protect those supplies.

Domestic oil production is back up to 8.7 million barrels a day according to Krauss and "with domestic oil production growing month after month, many oil experts predict that the country's output will rise to as much as 12 million barrels a day over the next decade."

Since this renaissance of oil and gas production has hit the market, we have reduced our OPEC imports by about half.

The same thing has happened to oil production in the U.S. as happened to natural gas: New technologies were developed and improved to get oil and gas out of shale deposits in quantities and at costs that were previously unattainable.

"Fracking," it's called, even though that has become as pejorative a word on the Left as "compromise" is on the Right, hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have changed the nature of oil production, distribution, and utilization throughout the world.

The Enviro-Liberals hate fracking because it has done exactly the opposite of what they have been lobbying for: It has made oil (and gasoline) cheaper so we use more of it. Or, at least, we aren't flying into a blind rage every time we go to a gasoline pump.

Liberals want to Europeanize gasoline prices so we will drive smaller, more fuel-efficient cars until we can switch all 250 million cars and light trucks in the U.S. to battery power.

As of September 29, here was a representative sample of gasoline prices per gallon (in U.S. dollars):

US - 3.71
Belgium - 7.38
France - 7.15
Germany - 7.52
Italy - 8.28
Netherlands - 8.25
UK - 7.89

All is not rosy with even a small resumption of oil exports. There is an argument to be made that we should look for ways to utilize domestic oil right here at home. If we have the cheapest energy in the world, we should look for ways to bring manufacturing back on shore and utilize it.

For natural gas, as you've read for years, Boone Pickens wants to use it to fuel heavy trucks (that batteries can't move) instead of imported diesel to further reduce our need for OPEC oil.

For an industry that has been vilified, taxed, regulated, and reviled; oil and gas producers are exerting a powerful positive force on the U.S. economy.  They should stand up and take a bow.

SOURCE





Scrap the Climate Change Act to keep the lights on, says former British Environment Secretary

Britain will struggle to “keep the lights on” unless the Government changes its green energy policies, the former environment secretary will warn this week.

Owen Paterson will say that the Government’s plan to slash carbon emissions and rely more heavily on wind farms and other renewable energy sources is fatally flawed.

He will argue that the 2008 Climate Change Act, which ties Britain into stringent targets to reduce the use of fossil fuels, should be suspended until other countries agree to take similar measures. If they refuse, the legislation should be scrapped altogether, he will say.

The speech will be Mr Paterson’s first significant intervention in the green energy debate since he was sacked as environment secretary during this summer’s Cabinet reshuffle.

In his address, he will set out an alternative strategy that would see British homes serviced by dozens of small nuclear power stations.

He will also suggest that home owners should get used to temporary power cuts — cutting the electricity to appliances such as fridges for two hours at a time, for example — to conserve energy.

Mr Paterson will deliver the lecture at the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think tank set up by Lord Lawson of Blaby, a climate-change sceptic and former chancellor in Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet.

In the speech, entitled “Keeping the lights on”, he will say that Britain is the only country to have agreed to the legally binding target of cutting carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

Campaigners fear that this will bring a big increase in the number of wind farms.

They say that to hit the target Britain must build 2,500 wind turbines every year for 36 years.

Mr Paterson will say that the scale of the investment required to meet the 2050 target “is so great that it could not be achieved”. He will warn that Britain will end up worse off than if it adopted less ambitious but achievable targets. Mr Paterson voted for the 2008 Climate Change Act in opposition and loyally supported it when he was in power.

However, since he left office he has considered the effect of the legislation and has decided that Britain has to change course.

He will argue this week that ministers should exercise a clause in the Act that allows them to suspend the law without another vote of MPs.

In his speech, on Wednesday night, Mr Paterson will state that, without changes in its current policy, large-scale power cuts will plunge homes across the country into darkness.

“Blind adhesion to the 2050 targets will not reduce emissions and will fail to keep the lights on,” he will say. “The current energy policy is a slave to flawed climate action.

“It will cost £1,100?billion, fail to meet the very emissions targets it is designed to meet, and will not provide the UK’s energy requirements.

“In the short and medium term, costs to consumers will rise dramatically, but there can only be one ultimate consequence of this policy: the lights will go out at some time in the future.

“Not because of a temporary shortfall, but because of structural failures, from which we will find it extremely difficult and expensive to recover.”

He will say that the current “decarbonisation route” will end with the worst of all possible worlds.

The Government will have to build gas and coal power stations “in a screaming hurry”.

Britain’s energy needs are better met by investing in extracting shale gas through fracking and capturing the heat from nuclear reactors, Mr Paterson will argue.

He proposes a mix of energy generation based on smaller “modular” nuclear reactors and “rational” demand management. This would see dozens of small nuclear power stations, using reactors that are already fitted into submarines, being built around the country.

Home owners would also have to get used to timed power cuts using special switches that would cut electricity used by appliances.

“Let us hope we have an opportunity to put it into practice,” he will say. “We must be prepared to stand up to the bullies in the environmental movement and their subsidy-hungry allies.

“What I am proposing is that instead of investing huge sums in wind power, we should encourage investment in four possible common sense policies: shale gas, combined heat and power, small modular nuclear reactors and demand management.

“That would reduce emissions rapidly, without risking power cuts and would be affordable. What’s stopping this programme? Simply, the 2050 target is.”

Mr Paterson has spent the past few months visiting rural Tory seats — he visited six in the week after he was sacked by David Cameron in July.

He said he was appalled at the damage to the countryside from new pylons to take electricity from remote onshore wind farms.

This week’s speech will be Mr Paterson’s first intervention since he lost his job in the Cabinet reshuffle in the summer. He is to make another speech on Europe before Christmas as he seeks a more active role on the Right.

Mr Paterson has already set up a think tank called UK2020 to consider new policies on personal taxation, immigration and the economy.

However, his intervention was dismissed last night by Edward Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Secretary.

Mr Davey said: “Ripping up the Climate Change Act would be one of the most stupid economic decisions imaginable.

“The overwhelming majority of scientists agree that climate change exists while most leading British businesses and City investment funds agree with the Coalition that taking out an ‘insurance policy’ now will protect the UK against astronomical future costs caused by a changing climate.

“The majority of European countries are ready to implement proposals that would see [them] adopt targets similar to our Climate Change Act in a deal the Prime Minister should seal later this month.

“With the USA, China and India also now taking the climate change threat seriously, the global marketplace for green technology is increasingly strong.”

SOURCE 








Australia: Labor Party leader says Labor wants to 'tackle carbon pollution', but rules out return of carbon tax

Labor will not bring a carbon tax to the next election but a market mechanism is still the best way of dealing with emissions, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says.

While urging the government to address China's recently introduced tariff on Australian coal, Mr Shorten said the Australian people had spoken on the carbon tax at the last election, which saw Labor lose office.

"We will not have a carbon tax, the Australian people have spoken and Labor is not going to go back to that," Mr Shorten told reporters in Sydney on Saturday.

Fairfax Media earlier reported Mr Shorten had confirmed Labor would take a carbon price, although not a tax, to the election.

"Labor doesn't support a carbon tax, but in terms of real and effective action on climate change I do support a market-based system to set a price and that's where the rest of the world's going," Mr Shorten told Fairfax.

On Saturday he said it was "important we use the market ... to help set a priority in terms of tackling climate change.

"So we will have a sensible policy on climate change. We do want to tackle carbon pollution, but we won't be going back to what you saw in the past."

Mr Shorten also urged the government to "sort out" China's surprise decision during free trade talks to impose tariffs on Australian coal.  The decision is a blow to Australian producers dealing with China, the second biggest market for coal, and comes as free trade negotiations continue with an agreement expected later this year. 

"This is a new obstacle in the path of Australian coal," Mr Shorten said.  "I think the government looks silly when it talks about negotiating a free trade agreement with China, the very people it says it's making new progress in negotiations with. "The government needs to sort this issue out."

Mr Shorten praised the industry for making real efforts to remain competitive, but said mineral producers on the east coast of the country were doing it tough.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday described China's decision as a hiccup.  "This is the kind of hiccup in our biggest and most important trading relationship that we just don't want or need," the prime minister told reporters in Canberra on Friday.  "I think that we will work with the Chinese to get to the bottom of what seems to have happened overnight."

Environment minister Greg Hunt is expected to address Mr Shorten's comment's on the carbon tax at a press conference on Saturday afternoon.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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12 October, 2014

Dana Nuccitelli and The Guardian are at it again

Nuca is always the same. He gives lots of links in support of his assertions but if you follow those links back they always lead to dubious claims by fellow Warmists. 

Below is the first part of a hit-piece that he has just done in The Guardian on some prominent skeptics.  I have not reproduced his links but you can get them from the original.  Follow them through and you never get to any proof of anything -- just theories, models and speculation.  Warmists have nothing else. 

I have by the way seen an email from Fred Singer saying that most of what Nuca says about him is false

Nuca accuses a skeptic of a "Gish gallop".  There could be few better examples of one of those than the 50+ "explanations" offered by Warmists for the non-heating over the past 18 years. That there are so many of them indicates that they are all insubstantial and that nothing in fact has been established by them

The old "fossil fuels" accusation is an amusing one.  Big oil actually gives a lot more to environmental groups than to skeptics. So are Greenies "in the pay" of fossil fuel interests?  It would seem so by Nuca's logic


DeSmog UK has found that libertarian banker Lord Leach is a likely funder of the anti-climate political advocacy group Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). In May of 2009, Lord Leach gave a long speech in Parliament detailing his beliefs about global warming.

The speech was full of inaccuracies, myths, and misinformation. Known as a Gish Gallop, the sheer number of false claims in the speech would require tremendous effort to debunk. Most telling were the sources that Lord Leach relied upon to support his statements. For example,

Probably the best climatologist in the world is Professor Lindzen and another good one is Professor Singer.

While Richard Lindzen is a climate scientist, he’s also the climate scientist who’s been the wrongest, longest. Throughout his climate science career, Lindzen consistently took positions that were contrary to the climate science mainstream. For example, Lindzen claimed that global warming over the 20th century was minimal, that humans have an insignificant impact on global temperatures, and that water vapor will act to dampen global warming. All of these claims and many more have proven to be completely wrong. In another contrarian position, Lindzen has disputed the link between secondhand smoke and lung cancer.

So has the other source Lord Leach cited in the above quote, Fred Singer. Unlike Lindzen, Singer doesn’t conduct climate science research. Instead, Singer is essentially a professional contrarian. On behalf of various industries, Singer has disputed the links between ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer, between chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and ozone depletion, between passive smoking and lung cancer, and of course between human activity and global warming. As with Lindzen, Singer has been proven wrong on every point.

Political advocacy are another commonality between the two. Fred Singer is affiliated with numerous fossil fuel-funded political think tanks, including the Heartland Institute and Cato Institute. When he retired from academia last year, Richard Lindzen likewise joined the Cato Institute. Their lifelong contrarianism, history of being consistently wrong, and affiliation with political organizations should make anyone question their climate credibility, let alone relying on them exclusively or claiming they’re the world’s best climatologists.

More HERE





Happy To Oblige Australia's BOM



Neville Nichols says:

An independent inquiry into the Bureau of Meteorology? Bring it on

Maurice Newman, chair of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, has called for an independent review of the Bureau of Meteorology’s climate data, following a stream of recent articles in The Australian newspaper attacking the Bureau’s methods.

I support his call for an open and public inquiry into the Bureau’s climate data and the techniques that the Bureau’s scientists have used to reduce the influence of changes in instrumentation, exposure, and weather station location on its climate records.

I support it because I don’t think the Bureau gets enough opportunities to demonstrate to the public its scientific integrity, hard work, and valuable results.

An independent inquiry into the Bureau of Meteorology? Bring it on

I’m happy to bring it on.


Nicholls used the graph below, purporting to show that BOM surface data closely matches UAH satellite data. But he did a little nature trick – he expanded the scale of the satellite data (right side) to make it appear to match,the surface data! A realistic adjustment would be to do the opposite and shrink the satellite scale, because the troposphere should warm faster than the surface



Next, let’s compare the BOM data from Nicholls graph above to all 1,655 GHCN (Global Climatology Historical Network) stations in Australia. The GHCN data shows no net warming since 1880, but the BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) data shows a hockey stick since 1950, and hides all temperatures before 1910.


NOTE: 1880 temperature higher than 2014

This is not a perfect comparison, because the GHCN data skews towards temperatures in the populated areas near the coasts, and under counts temperatures in the interior. But at a  minimum, it shows that there has been little or no net warming over a large swath of Australia, and a strong disagreement with the BOM data.

The BOM anomalies were calculated relative to a 1940-1980 baseline, and the GHCN anomalies were calculated as the differences of each monthly average from the 1940-1980 baseline for that month.

SOURCE

What Nichols really means is that he thinks any enquiry can be nobbled.  And he has just shown one way how -- JR





Keystone Be Darned: Canada Finds Oil Route Around Obama

So you’re the Canadian oil industry and you do what you think is a great thing by developing a mother lode of heavy crude beneath the forests and muskeg of northern Alberta. The plan is to send it clear to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast via a pipeline called Keystone XL. Just a few years back, America desperately wanted that oil.

Then one day the politics get sticky. In Nebraska, farmers don’t want the pipeline running through their fields or over their water source. U.S. environmentalists invoke global warming in protesting the project. President Barack Obama keeps siding with them, delaying and delaying approval. From the Canadian perspective, Keystone has become a tractor mired in an interminably muddy field.

In this period of national gloom comes an idea -- a crazy-sounding notion, or maybe, actually, an epiphany. How about an all-Canadian route to liberate that oil sands crude from Alberta’s isolation and America’s fickleness? Canada’s own environmental and aboriginal politics are holding up a shorter and cheaper pipeline to the Pacific that would supply a shipping portal to oil-thirsty Asia.

Instead, go east, all the way to the Atlantic.

Thus was born Energy East, an improbable pipeline that its backers say has a high probability of being built. It will cost C$12 billion ($10.7 billion) and could be up and running by 2018. Its 4,600-kilometer (2,858-mile) path, taking advantage of a vast length of existing and underused natural gas pipeline, would wend through six provinces and four time zones. It would be Keystone on steroids, more than twice as long and carrying a third more crude.

Its end point, a refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, operated by a reclusive Canadian billionaire family, would give Canada’s oil-sands crude supertanker access to the same Louisiana and Texas refineries Keystone was meant to supply.

As well, Vladimir Putin’s provocations in Ukraine are spurring interest in that oil from Europe and, strange as it seems, Saint John provides among the fastest shipping times to India of any oil port in North America. Indian companies, having already sampled this crude, are interested in more. That means oil-sands production for the first time would trade in more than dribs and drabs on the international markets. With the U.S. virtually its only buyer, the captive Canadians are subject to price discounts of as much as $43 a barrel that cost Canada $20 billion a year.

And if you’re a fed-up Canadian, like Prime Minister Stephen Harper, there’s a bonus: Obama can’t do a single thing about it.

“The best way to get Keystone XL built is to make it irrelevant,” said Frank McKenna, who served three terms as premier of New Brunswick and was ambassador to the U.S. before becoming a banker.

So confident is TransCanada Corp., the chief backer of both Keystone and Energy East, of success that Alex Pourbaix, the executive in charge, spoke of the cross-Canada line as virtually a done deal.

“With one project,” Energy East will give Alberta’s oil sands not only an outlet to “eastern Canadian markets but to global markets,” said Pourbaix. “And we’ve done so at scale, with a 1.1 million barrel per day pipeline, which will go a long way to removing the specter of those big differentials for many years to come.”

The project still faces political hurdles. U.S. and international greens who hate Keystone may not like this any better. In Quebec, where most new construction will occur, a homegrown environmental movement is already asking tough questions.

Still, if this end run around the Keystone holdup comes to fruition, it would give a lift to Canadian oil and government interests who feel they’re being played by Obama as he sweeps aside a long understood “special relationship” between the world’s two biggest trading partners to score political points with environmental supporters at home.

This Canada-only idea surfaced in the days after Obama’s surprise Nov. 10, 2011, phone call informing Prime Minister Harper that Keystone was on hold. Harper, who had vowed to turn his nation into an energy superpower, responded with a two-track strategy: Get in Obama’s face on Keystone and identify other ways out for Canada’s land-locked oil sands, which, at 168 billion proven barrels, contain the third-largest reserves in the world.

Keystone remains bogged down, awaiting the outcome of litigation in Nebraska. Last year, Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University and said he wouldn’t approve Keystone if it would significantly exacerbate carbon dioxide emissions.

The pipeline to the Pacific, known as Northern Gateway, looks increasingly iffy due to opposition from aboriginal groups.

TransCanada is thus expected to file an application to build Energy East with Canada’s National Energy Board in the coming days, according to people familiar with the plan. Approval may come in early 2016. “This is almost certainly the most important project TransCanada has right now in our portfolio,” said Pourbaix.

While Republicans continue to make Keystone approval an issue of the mid-term congressional elections, its fate has become less fraught for Canadians. Make no mistake –- they still want it approved under the theory that oil sands reserves are so vast that it will require multiple large pipelines to develop them properly. In the interim, they have already begun to deploy alternatives to get Alberta oil to market, moving 160,000 barrels a day to the U.S. by rail.

Reflecting this new post-Keystone mood, Harper told a British business audience in September that the U.S. “is unlikely to be a fast-growing economy for many years to come” and after a hundred years of trying to maximize exports south, it’s time for “a real shift in the mindset of Canadian business culture.”

Which is what Energy East represents. Yet before it emerged as a standard bearer of this shift, it had to survive a rough gestation. Harper himself was slow to warm to it. Others declared it “stranger than science fiction.”

And then there were the mutual suspicions of the oil producers of the west and the refiners of the east to overcome. The inside story of how this developed into an unusually broad political consensus was put together after interviews with more than 50 industry and government executives who have been in and around the often tense negotiations.

SOURCE






Lost Electricity Generation Capacity 7X Higher Than EPA Estimates

 Power plants generating 72 gigawatts (GW) of electricity in 37 states have either closed or are scheduled to shut their doors to comply with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, according to the Institute for Energy Research (IER).
The loss of generating capacity is “over seven times the amount originally predicted by EPA modeling,” IER’s updated report, released October 7, noted.

“Originally, EPA calculated that only 9.5 GW of electrical generating capacity would close as a result of its MATS (Mercury and Air Toxics Standard) and CSAPR (Cross State Air Pollution Rule) rules,” the report stated.

“Before President Obama’s newly proposed [carbon dioxide] regulations on existing power plants even begin to take effect, however, it is clear that actual number will now be much higher,” the report continued, adding that the closures will take “enough electrical generation capacity to reliably power 44.7 million homes – or every home in every state west of the Mississippi, excluding Texas” off the grid.

Over 94 percent of the closures involve coal-fired power plants, which currently provide one-fifth of the nation’s electricity, even though coal was the only fuel that was able to keep up with the higher demand during last January's polar vortex.

The result will be higher utility prices and lower reliability, IER warned.

“This past winter demonstrated in real time the value of the existing coal fleet. During the winter of 2014, coal was the only fuel with the ability to meet demand increases for electricity, providing 92 percent of incremental electricity in January/February, 2014 versus the same months in 2013,” the IER report stated.

“Americans were harmed as the relentless cold indicated that prudent utility practices require large, baseload coal plants to stabilize the grid, keep society functioning, and maintain electricity availability.”

“An unprecedented amount of planned generation retirements driven largely by environmental regulations... places upward pressure on prices,” according to PJM’s 2015/16 power auction report, which noted that the wholesale cost of electricity will go up next year for its 61 million customers living in 13 Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states and the District of Columbia.

PJM Interconnection manages 62,566 miles of high-voltage transmission lines in “all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.”

Coal accounts for the majority (41 percent) of the fuel generated for PJM's section of the grid, followed by nuclear (18 percent), natural gas (16 percent), and oil (6 percent).

Last Tuesday, members of the United Mine Workers of America protested the EPA regulations at the agency’s headquarters in Washington because they said closure of the coal-powered power plants will decimate coalfield communities.

SOURCE





Kerry: 'Life as You Know It on Earth Ends' If Climate Skeptics Are Wrong

What a blowhard!

"Life as you know it on Earth ends" if climate change skeptics are wrong, Sec. of State John Kerry declared Thursday.

But, even if climate alarmists are wrong, nothing bad can come of enacting their taxes, restrictions and regulations, Kerry said in a speech at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center:

"I'd just say to all of you here that people need to feel the pressure from you. You all know what politics is about. I'm not in it now, but I'm dependent on it to help make the right decisions so that we move in the right direction. A clean energy future is not a fantasy. Changing course and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change is not a fantasy. And supporting healthier communities and ecosystems and driving economic growth and job creation - none of that is a fantasy.

"And for those people who still stand in the way, for those people who even still today want to try to question whether or not their science is effective or not, I'd just ask you - ask a simple question: If we're wrong about this future, what's the worst that could happen to us for making these choices?

"The worst that could happen to us is we create a whole lot of new jobs, we kick our economies into gear, we have healthier people, healthier children because we have cleaner air, we live up to our environmental responsibility, we become truly energy independent, and our security is stronger and greater and sustainable as a result. That's the worst that happens to us."

But, if skeptics are wrong and the temperature rises even seven degrees, life on Earth will end, Kerry claimed:

"What happens if they're wrong? If they're wrong - catastrophe. Life as you know it on Earth ends. Seven degrees increase Fahrenheit, and we can't sustain crops, water, life under those circumstances."

Editor's Add-On: Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) disputes Kerry's claim that only good can come from enacting environmentalists' climate agenda, telling MRCTV that it'll destroy millions of jobs and drive up energy costs.

SOURCE





Antarctic ice hits ALL TIME RECORD HIGH: We have more to learn, says boffin

Four standard deviations above average!

Climate scientists have confessed they are baffled – yet again – by another all-time record area of sea covered by ice around the Antarctic coasts.

"What we're learning is, we have more to learn," said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, announcing the latest annual sea ice maximum for the austral continent. According to the NSIDC:

"Sea ice surrounding the Antarctic continent reached its maximum extent on September 22 at 20.11 million square kilometers (7.76 million square miles). This is 1.54 million square kilometers (595,000 square miles) above the 1981 to 2010 average extent, which is nearly four standard deviations above average. Antarctic sea ice averaged 20.0 million square kilometers (7.72 million square miles) for the month of September. This new record extent follows consecutive record winter maximum extents in 2012 and 2013. The reasons for this recent rapid growth are not clear. Sea ice in Antarctica has remained at satellite-era record high daily levels for most of 2014."

Climate scientists have been puzzled by the behaviour of the southern ice for many years now. The most commonly used models say that its steady growth should not be happening in a warming world (though the warming of the world is also in doubt, as air temperatures have been steady for the last fifteen years or more - and it turns out that deep ocean temperatures are not increasing either, leaving the "mystery" of the apparent end of global warming "unsolved").

This failure of reality to match up with climate modelling has, as some eminent climate scientists have noted, had the effect of "limiting confidence in the predictions" of severe warming and associated disasters this century.

Meanwhile at the other end of the planet the Arctic sea ice has covered lesser areas in recent times. The lowest Arctic area seen in the era of satellite measurements was in 2012, but the three consecutive record-high Antarctic maxima of 2012, 2013 and now 2014 have resulted in global sea ice levels this year and last year coming out pretty much normal. ®

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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10 October, 2014

Conservatives ask: What would Milton Friedman do about warming?

Really? Friedman would put a price on carbon dioxide -- a harmless, odorless chemical that is essential for plant growth? Friedman spent most of his life defying the consensus so the present semi-consensus is unlikely to have impressed him.  But  Milt was a clever guy and good at making people think.  He might therefore have said that what they should do is what Ross McKitrick says - set the price of carbon based on the rate of warming.  i.e. $0.00

If the late free-market economist Milton Friedman were alive today, he'd probably support pricing carbon.

That was the argument made by two economists on a panel today at the University of Chicago, where Friedman taught for more than 30 years.

Steve Cicala of the university's Harris School of Public Policy and Michael Greenstone, a former adviser to President Obama who holds a chair named for Friedman, argued that the anti-regulatory economist would have supported government policies aimed at protecting and compensating victims of man-made warming. Friedman, who died in 2006, would have viewed climate change as a negative externality associated with burning fossil fuels and would have believed that society was entitled to recover its losses from those who emit carbon to advance their economic interests, they said.

While there is a market for the products that are associated with greenhouse gas emissions -- like electricity, fuel and steel -- there is no market for the pollution inflicted by their manufacturers on the public.

"It is theft," said Cicala. "That's a loaded term, but if someone else has a better term for taking something from someone without their consent and without compensating them, I'd be happy to hear it."

"We do have a climate policy, and it's just that it's fine to pollute," said Greenstone, who now directs the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.

The way to internalize greenhouse gas emissions is for the government to create a market for emissions and then get out of the way, he said. The cost to emit should track with a rigorous estimate of the social cost of carbon -- the incremental cost to society of each additional metric ton of CO2 emissions. The Obama administration's often-controversial figure is $37 per metric ton.

The panel was moderated by former Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.), whose stance on climate change contributed to his 2010 loss in the Republican primary. He now heads the Energy and Enterprise Initiative at George Mason University.

Inglis, who still describes himself as a conservative, argues that his colleagues on the right would be more receptive to the issue of climate change if there were a conservative policy model to address it. His initiative proposes a revenue-neutral carbon tax, which would return all the revenue from a levy on emissions to the public in the form of other tax cuts.

Inglis said any carbon tax that could garner support from conservatives like himself would have to include border protections to keep emissions from relocating overseas and would have to be revenue neutral.

Cicala said the key was to give high-emitting industries in other countries an incentive to reduce their emissions rather than just hitting them with a border adjustment cost that might spark a trade war.

While it may be difficult to persuade developing companies to tax their fossil fuels resources, he said, taxing consumption in wealthy countries will cover most emissions for the simple reason that rich countries consume more.

More HERE





The false prophet





Bay Area radio evangelist Harold Camping was properly excoriated throughout both the legacy media and the Blogosphere for his prediction that the world would end on May 21st, 2011. How many not-so-final countdowns are the gnostic high priests of climate allowed to issue before being similarly called out as false prophets?

SOURCE





Obama misleads students about climate and energy

Climate change actually has little to do with energy choices

Bob Carter and Tom Harris

In his October 2 address on the economy at Northwestern University, President Barack Obama told students, “If we keep investing in clean energy technology, we won’t just put people to work assembling, raising and pounding into place the zero-carbon components of a clean energy age. We’ll reduce our carbon emissions and prevent the worst costs of climate change down the road.”

But what does climate change have to do with energy supply? Almost nothing.

Climate change issues involve environmental hazards, whereas energy policy is concerned with supplying affordable, reliable electricity to industries and families. So where is the relationship to climate?

Until the 1980s, there was none. That one is now perceived testifies to the effectiveness of relentless lobbying by environmentalists and commercial special interests towards the idea that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from hydrocarbon-based power-generation will cause dangerous global warming.

So far, that has not happened. It has now been 18 years with no measurable planetary warming.

However, this warming disaster idea has become so entrenched that even prime ministers and presidents now misuse “carbon” as shorthand for “carbon dioxide,” and often call this plant-fertilizing gas a pollutant. For example, during his 13-minute address at the UN’s Climate Summit 2014 in New York City September 23, Mr. Obama referenced “carbon pollution” seven times and “carbon emissions” five times. That’s almost one misnomer per minute.

In reality, CO2 is environmentally beneficial. It is the elixir of life for most of our planetary ecosystems. Without it, life as we know it would end. No evidence exists that the amount humans have added to the atmosphere is producing dangerous warming or, indeed, any climate or weather events noticeably different in frequency, duration or intensity from human experience over the past couple of centuries.

Many negative consequences flow from wrongly connecting energy and global warming issues. Foremost among them has been a lemming-like rush by governments to generously subsidize what are otherwise uneconomic sources of energy, solar and wind power in particular.

The International Renewable Energy Agency reports that worldwide investment in renewables (not counting large hydropower) amounted to an incredible $214 billion in 2013 alone! IRENA insists that these expenditures need to more than double by 2030, to achieve the impossible goal of restricting average global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

However, results to date show that those investments have brought few benefits, and much harm. European studies have found that expensive, unreliable wind and solar power kills two to four jobs for each “renewable” energy job this heavily subsidized industry creates.

Mr. Obama paints alternative energy sources as environmentally virtuous, because they supposedly reduce CO2 emissions and provide renewable and clean sources of power. This too is highly misleading.

Wind and solar energy are certainly renewable – when the wind blows and the sun shines. But there is no power otherwise, so it’s tough luck if that’s when a hospital needs electricity for emergency surgery. Such intermittency also makes these sources entirely unsuitable as major contributors to national energy grids, to power factories, schools, businesses and families. The use of wind and solar power also increases the cost of electricity dramatically.

Moreover, these sources are assuredly not renewable when you consider the enormous amounts of land, mining, energy and raw materials required to build the wind and solar facilities, the extremely long transmission lines required to carry their electricity to urban centers, and the backup fossil-fuel generators needed the 80-90% of the time the renewable sources aren’t working.

Alternative energy sources are also far less environment-friendly than the President would have us believe. Wind turbines kill millions of birds and bats every year, and some rare species will undoubtedly be vulnerable to extinction if wind power continues to expand near important wildlife habitats. Massive solar installations have a disastrous effect on desert ecosystems and incinerate important bird species.

And yet the wind and solar generators are typically exempt from environmental laws that are used to block many other activities.

These problems are becoming apparent even to the European Union, once the world’s green energy leader. EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger recently said European energy policies must change, from being climate driven to being driven by the needs of industry, and job preservation. He could have included families, because millions of European households can no longer afford to heat their homes properly, due to soaring energy prices. 

All nations need to return to the historic separation that previously existed between energy policy and climate policy. They must analyze and plan for both, in accord with their own distinct requirements and resources, and based on defensible environmental, technological, and economic analyses.

This means abandoning Mr. Obama’s naïve mantra that our energy choices affect global climate.

Via email






Lizard defeated

“When the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (DSL) was being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), significant parts of the Texas economy were placed at risk,” Chris Bryan, agency spokesman for the Texas Comptroller, told me when I asked about the recent decision from a United States District Court that dismissed a lawsuit filed by environmental groups.

On September 30, District of Columbia District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras ruled against the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Defenders of Wildlife. The groups brought charges in the hopes of requiring the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to reverse its 2012 decision not to list the DSL as endangered.

The 2012 decision was the first time that community engagement successfully beat back a proposed ESA listing — a stinging defeat that environmental groups didn’t take kindly. (Writing and speaking about the DSL, I was an active part of that effort. My work earned me a nasty press release from the CBD.) The groups responded with the lawsuit, likely confident of success in the courts — after all, with more lawyers on staff than biologists, legal victories have been the benchmark.

In August 2013, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs was granted intervenor status in the case. In October, several regional and national oil-and-gas associations — including the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association and the Permian Basin Petroleum Association—joined Combs.

The DSL story is important because it represents a new chapter in ESA compliance — a successful chapter that allows conservation and human economic activity to coexist. Previously, presence of an ESA listed species would shut down activity with harsh consequences for landowners and communities.

The spotted owl history is the trophy of bad ESA policy. More than 20 years ago, the spotted owl was listed as an endangered species. As a result, virtually the entire logging industry in the Pacific Northwest has been shut down—leaving thousands unemployed and hundreds of communities decimated. Fifty percent of the nation’s forestry jobs lost from 1990 to 2009 were in just two states: Oregon and Washington. Yet, the listing did not stop the decline of the spotted owl. And, as a result of the listing, forest management in the West changed — leaving thousands of acres overgrown, unhealthy, and susceptible to the devastating wildfires we see today.

Texas decided to do it differently.

Aware that the DSL was an ESA target, conservation efforts started in 2008. About 46 percent of the DSL habitat is private land in the Permian Basin of West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico—an area that produces 15 percent of U.S. oil and 5 percent of the nation’s natural gas and is a prime ranching and farming region. The locals were very worried that if the DSL were listed, the regulations would seriously impact their operations and impose substantial costs. Bryan told me: “This listing had the potential to dramatically curtail economic activity in the Permian Basin—which accounts for approximately 57 percent of Texas’ total crude oil production and supports roughly 47,000 oil-and-gas-related jobs. The oil-and-gas industry has a very high economic ‘multiplier,’ stemming from the fact that companies buy tremendous amounts of equipment, material and services in Texas, in addition to the direct jobs they create in the oil patch itself.”

Historically, the ESA’s excessive legal and literal penalties have discouraged landowners from engaging in conservation efforts. In hope of keeping the regulatory authorities from showing up, the mantra when an endangered species is found on your property was: “shoot, shovel and shut up.”

Illustrating the devastating results of finding an ESA-listed species on your land, a new report on ESA reform from the Reason Foundation tells the story of Craig Schindler, a Missouri farmer, whose property includes caves containing the grotto sculpin — which just received ESA listing:

Based on an economic impact analysis carried out for Fish and Wildlife, the 18 acres Craig estimates he will have to sacrifice for the sculpin is worth some $90,000 and produces approximately $7,000 in crops annually.

“They’re cutting my living down,” Craig told the local Perryville News, “I have cattle and grow crops, but if you take 18 acres away from a guy, that’s quite a bit.”

Fish and Wildlife also proposed to place buffer zones around sinkholes that lead to caves with sculpins. Under the listing, Craig could face up to $100,000 and/or a year in jail for killing or injuring just one sculpin, or even harming its habitat. So, in addition to losing the use of 18 acres, he will have to spend thousands of dollars to fence the buffer zone in order to prevent livestock on the rest of his ranch from inadvertently harming the sculpin. “I’m going to have to pay for this fence out of my pocket, and lose the ground for cattle to graze on,” he said. But even that will not immunize him from prosecution under the ESA because local Fish and Wildlife personnel have the power to decide if his uses of other land, such as fertilizing crops and grazing livestock, harm the sculpin.

With the proposed listing of the grotto sculpin, Craig Schindler discovered the upside-down world of the ESA. In return for harboring rare wildlife, he was to be punished by having his property turned into a de facto federal wildlife refuge but paid no compensation.

To add insult to injury, if the grotto sculpin were to be listed under the ESA, Craig would still have to pay taxes on the land he would not be able to use.

Stories such as Schindler’s and histories like the spotted owl’s prompted the Texas State Legislature to pass a bill creating the Interagency Task Force on Economic Growth and Endangered Species to help municipalities and regional governmental bodies cope with the ESA through technical assistance; help formulating and implementing species-conservation initiatives and plans; assessing the economic impact of federal, state and local endangered-species regulations; and creating advisory committees to help the Task Force.

Additionally, the Comptroller’s Office provided funds to survey the DSL habitat — which revealed 28 more Texas DSL populations, in addition to the three known populations.

The 2011 surveys were possible because of a special provision the legislature passed in 2011 that allowed DSL population locations to remain confidential. Without the force of state law, landowners are resistant to cooperating in conservation efforts out of fear, that like Schindler, their property would be rendered unusable.

By being proactive, Texas was able to enact voluntary conservation programs that brought about the 2012 FWS decision not to list the DSL. Addressing the Texas approach, in a thorough review of the September 30 ruling, Brian Seasholes, director of the Endangered Species Project at the Reason Foundation, says: “the Texas Conservation Plan (TCP) for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard is based on a number of provisions, including a robust scientific process; beneficial and measurable conservation outcomes; participation by a wide range of stakeholders from the state and federal levels, the regulated community, and academia; effective monitoring and oversight by independent third parties; regular reporting on the plan’s progress and implementation; and a highly innovative habitat mitigation mechanism called the Recovery Credit System.” Seasholes sees that the Texas approach protects landowners from the ESA and the federal government, while finding a balance between economic activity and species conservation.

Comptroller Combs is elated with the court’s decision, especially considering the pushback she received when she took a risky stand and embarked on an experimental plan to forge an innovative, flexible and successful conservation plan for the DSL. Responding to the court ruling, Combs said: “It supports our basic belief that the TCP provides appropriate conservation for the lizard and reaffirms that the research conducted by Texas A&M University about the DSL helped to provide Fish and Wildlife the best scientific data available to make the decision not to list the species as endangered.”

New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce, who spearheaded much of the public education on the potential impacts the DSL listing would have on communities in his district, was, likewise, pleased with the court’s decision: “It is about time the courts stood up for private landowners over radical environmental groups that continually use sue-and-settle tactics to exploit taxpayer money to pay lawyers and fund themselves instead of recovering species. This decision ensures that sound conservation efforts are carried out in Eastern New Mexico without sacrificing the economic activity that the area depends on. The plan itself is a great example of how cooperative conservation efforts between private industry, state officials, landowners, and the federal government are more than adequate to protect species. This decision differs from the Fish and Wildlife’s listing of the lesser prairie chicken in March that severely hindered a successful cooperative conservation effort. I hope the Fish and Wildlife Service along with the courts continue to allow future efforts like this to succeed.”

Hopefully, now that they can see Texas’ proactive efforts — such as those engaged to protect the DSL — can withstand legal challenge, other states will take similar legislative and conservation actions that will prevent environmental groups (under the guise of conservation) from using lawsuits to block economic growth in the United States.

SOURCE






Environmental Researcher: Wind Industry Riddled with 'Absolute Corruption'

James Delingpole

A Mexican ecologist has blown the whistle on the corruption, lies and incompetence of the wind industry - and on the massive environmental damage it causes in the name of saving the planet.

Patricia Mora, a research professor in coastal ecology and fisheries science at the National Institute of Technology in Mexico, has been studying the impact of wind turbines in the Tehuantepec Isthmus in southern Mexico, an environmentally sensitive region which has the highest concentration of wind farms in Latin America.

The turbines, she says in an interview with Truthout, have had a disastrous effect on local flora and fauna:

    "When a project is installed, the first step is to "dismantle" the area, a process through which all surrounding vegetation is eliminated. This means the destruction of plants and sessilities - organisms that do not have stems or supporting mechanisms - and the slow displacement over time of reptiles, mammals, birds, amphibians, insects, arachnids, fungi, etc. Generally we perceive the macro scale only, that is to say, the large animals, without considering the small and even microscopic organisms...

    ....After the construction is finalized, the indirect impact continues in the sense that ecosystems are altered and fragmented. As a result, there is a larger probability of their disappearance, due to changes in the climate and the use of soil"

Then there is the damage caused by wind turbine noise:

    "There is abundant information about the harm caused by the sound waves produced by wind turbines. These sound waves are not perceptible to the human ear, which makes them all the more dangerous. They are also low frequency sound waves and act upon the pineal and nervous systems, causing anxiety, depression (there is a study from the United States that found an elevated suicide rate in regions with wind farms), migraines, dizziness and vomiting, among other symptoms."

But the wind turbine operators are able to get away with it because the system is so corrupt.

    "What happens is absolute corruption. I have to admit that generally there are "agreements" behind closed doors between the consultants or research centers and the government offices before the studies are conducted. They fill out forms with copied information (and sometimes badly copied), lies or half truths in order to divert attention from the real project while at the same time complying with requirements on paper. Unfortunately, consultants sometimes take advantage of high unemployment and hire inexperienced people or unemployed career professionals without proper titles. Sometimes the consultants even coerce them into modifying the data.

    Research centers, pressured by a lack of funding, accept these studies. It is well known that scientists recognized by CONACYT (National Counsel on Science and Technology) accept gifts from these companies, given that they need money to buy equipment for their laboratories and to fill their pocketbooks to maintain their lifestyles. This is the extent of the corruption. Upon reviewing these studies, it is clear that the findings are trash, sometimes even directly copied from other sources online. These studies tend to focus on the "benefits of the project" and do not include rigorous analysis.

    The Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) does follow-up to the studies, but everything can be negotiated. The bureaucrats have the last word."

Though Professor Mora is talking specifically about Mexico, what she says applies equally well to supposedly more transparent democracies such as Britain, Australia, the US, Canada and Denmark. The wind industry is necessarily one of the most corrupt enterprises on earth because it depends for its entire existence on government favours, backhanders, dishonest environmental impact assessments and on regulators turning a blind eye to the known health problems caused by wind turbine noise. Without crony capitalism, the wind industry simply would not exist.

Here are some links to a few of Breitbart's hits on the subject. As I can personally testify from a decade spent covering this scandal, there are few forms of life on the planet lower than those parasites who make their fortune out of bird-chomping, bat-slicing eco-crucifixes.

SOURCE





Greens fear loss of Senate firewall

Green groups are fearful of Republicans winning the Senate majority in November, predicting it could lead to a “whittling away” of environmental regulations at the hands of GOP leaders.

While environmental groups are spending millions of dollars trying to save the Senate for Democrats, they acknowledge the possibility that they could be forced to play defense against an all-Republican Congress in 2015.

“I think that the wholesale repeal of environmental legislation, repealing [Environmental Protection Agency] greenhouse gas authority, things like that, that’s unlikely to happen,” said Ben Schreiber, director of the climate program at Friends of the Earth.
“It is much more the painful whittling away [regulations] by attaching things to must-pass legislation,” he said, referring to policy riders that could be attached to legislation funding the government.

Republicans feel bullish about their chances of gaining the six seats they need to win Senate control. That outcome could elevate Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a staunch opponent of Obama’s environmental policies, to majority leader, provided he wins his own tough reelection race.

McConnell has begun to talk about the agenda that Republicans would pursue in the majority, placing a heavy emphasis on energy and environmental issues. He has promised to bring up a bill that would force the federal government to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, and vowed action on measures to overturn EPA pollution rules.

The GOP has done all it can to stop many of Obama’s environmental regulations, and the House has voted dozens of times to roll back his authority.

“Americans have seen a barrage of regulations and red tape from the president’s Environmental Protection Agency, strangling the coal industry, one of my home state’s most important sources of jobs and economic development,” McConnell said recently on the Senate floor.

“The regulations and lack of certainty in the coal industry that this administration has caused have contributed to a loss of 7,000 Kentucky jobs in that industry since the year President Obama took office,” he added.

Even if Republicans do triumph at the polls, they are not expected to come anywhere close to the 60-vote majority that would be needed to break filibusters by Democrats.

That means votes from centrists Democrats — many of whom hail from energy producing states — could be decisive in whether any of the GOP bills reach President Obama’s desk.

Daniel J. Weiss, who leads the campaign activities for the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), said he fears that Republicans would seek to block the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, which it has been able to do since a 2007 Supreme Court ruling.

“Mitch McConnell has made it clear that if he’s the majority leader, one of his top priorities is to block EPA from doing its job and forcing the Clean Air Act on cutting carbon — which is the biggest step the country has ever taken to cut pollution,” Weiss said.

“And he has made it clear, he’s suggested he’s willing to shut down the government to block EPA, and we want to make sure doesn't happen,” he said.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) predicted that a Republican-controlled Senate would be an “environmental nightmare.”

He said the GOP-led House has voted twice as many times to weaken environmental rules as it has to overturn ObamaCare.

“They’re a wholly-owned subsidiary right now of the polluting industries, and they’re going to do what they’re told,” he said. “The only limit on them is if the American public, I think, has really had it with that.”

Schreiber said the GOP House offers a good model of what a Republican Senate would do.

“We have an idea of what they’re going to do, because we’re seeing it in the House right now,” he said. “Drilling everywhere, anytime, any place. More subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. Attacks on renewable energy. Attacks on EPA.”

Schreiber said his worst fear would be if the Senate acted to remove the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. But that drastic of a move would be unlikely, he said.

Environmental advocates say they take comfort in the fact that President Obama will retain the veto pen no matter what happens in the election.

“It’s a challenge to pass any legislation, and certainly climate is in that same place,” said Alan Rowsome, a senior director of government affairs for the Wilderness Society. “But I think the president is going to continue to move forward and be a leader on that.”

The Wilderness Society focuses a large part of its advocacy on conservation, which Rowsome said gets more bipartisan support than climate change rules.

“These issues transcend the parties in many instances. There is a lot of support across the aisle for many conservation measures, and we’re going to focus on those opportunities to really find common ground,” he said.

Schreiber said his group would also work to find common ground with the GOP.

“All that we can do is educate the public about our issues, like we always have, and talk to members of Congress and educate them about our issues as well,” he said.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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9 October, 2014

Big woe! The heat's not in the oceans either

The deep ocean may not be hiding heat after all, raising new questions about why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years, said the US space agency on Monday.

Scientists have noticed that while greenhouse gases have continued to mount in the first part of the 21st century, global average surface air temperatures have stopped rising along with them, said Nasa.

Some studies have suggested that heat is being absorbed temporarily by the deep seas, and that this so-called global warming hiatus is a temporary trend.

But latest data from satellite and direct ocean temperature measurements from 2005 to 2013 "found the ocean abyss below 1 995m has not warmed measurably," Nasa said in a statement.

The findings present a new puzzle to scientists, but co-author Josh Willis of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said the reality of climate change is not being thrown into doubt.  "The sea level is still rising," said Willis.  "We're just trying to understand the nitty-gritty details."

A separate study in August in the journal Science said the apparent slowdown in the Earth's surface warming in the last 15 years could be due to that heat being trapped in the deep Atlantic and Southern Ocean.

But the Nasa researchers said their approach, described in the journal Nature Climate Change, is the first to test the idea using satellite observations, as well as direct temperature measurements of the upper ocean.

"The deep parts of the ocean are harder to measure," said researcher William Llovel of Nasa JPL.  "The combination of satellite and direct temperature data gives us a glimpse of how much sea level rise is due to deep warming. The answer is - not much."

SOURCE






Antarctic sea ice hits record levels as it reaches 20 MILLION square kilometers for first time since records began in 1979

But ice is caused by warming, as any Warmist will tell you -- in one of the amazing mental gymnastics that Leftists specialize in.  A bit of light fisking below
  
Sea ice surrounding Antarctica has reached a new record high.  Nasa says it now covers more of the southern oceans than it has since scientists began a long-term satellite record to map sea ice extent in the late 1970s.

They say that even though Antarctic sea ice has been increasing, 'the planet as a whole is doing what was expected in terms of warming.'  [They lie.  There is no warming going on]

Since the late 1970s, the Arctic has lost an average of 20,800 square miles (53,900 square kilometers) of ice a year; the Antarctic has gained an average of 7,300 square miles (18,900 sq km).

On Sept. 19 this year, for the first time ever since 1979, Antarctic sea ice extent exceeded 7.72 million square miles (20 million square kilometers), according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. 

The single-day maximum extent this year was reached on Sept. 20, according to NSIDC data, when the sea ice covered 7.78 million square miles (20.14 million square kilometers).

The upward trend in the Antarctic, however, is only about a third of the magnitude of the rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.

The new Antarctic sea ice record reflects the diversity and complexity of Earth's environments, said NASA researchers.

Claire Parkinson, a senior scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, has referred to changes in sea ice coverage as a microcosm of global climate change.

Just as the temperatures in some regions of the planet are colder than average, even in our warming world, Antarctic sea ice has been increasing and bucking the overall trend of ice loss.

'The planet as a whole is doing what was expected in terms of warming.

'Sea ice as a whole is decreasing as expected, but just like with global warming, not every location with sea ice will have a downward trend in ice extent,' Parkinson said.

Since the late 1970s, the Arctic has lost an average of 20,800 square miles (53,900 square kilometers) of ice a year; the Antarctic has gained an average of 7,300 square miles (18,900 sq km).  [But sea ice extent in the Arctic was 1.65 million square kilometers (637,000 square miles) ABOVE the record low monthly average for September that occurred in 2012].

A warming climate changes weather patterns, said Walt Meier, a research scientist at Goddard. Sometimes those weather patterns will bring cooler air to some areas.

 And in the Antarctic, where sea ice circles the continent and covers such a large area, it doesn't take that much additional ice extent to set a new record.

'Part of it is just the geography and geometry. With no northern barrier around the whole perimeter of the ice, the ice can easily expand if conditions are favorable,' he said.

Researchers are investigating a number of other possible explanations as well.  One clue, Parkinson said, could be found around the Antarctic Peninsula – a finger of land stretching up toward South America.

There, the temperatures are warming, and in the Bellingshausen Sea just to the west of the peninsula the sea ice is shrinking. [Due to volcanic activity]

Beyond the Bellingshausen Sea and past the Amundsen Sea, lies the Ross Sea – where much of the sea ice growth is occurring.

That suggests that a low-pressure system centered in the Amundsen Sea could be intensifying or becoming more frequent in the area, she said – changing the wind patterns and circulating warm air over the peninsula, while sweeping cold air from the Antarctic continent over the Ross Sea.

This, and other wind and lower atmospheric pattern changes, could be influenced by the ozone hole higher up in the atmosphere – a possibility that has received scientific attention in the past several years, Parkinson said.

'The winds really play a big role,' Meier said.

Melting ice on the edges of the Antarctic continent could also be leading to more fresh, just-above-freezing water, which makes refreezing into sea ice easier, Parkinson said.

Or changes in water circulation patterns, bringing colder waters up to the surface around the landmass, could help grow more ice.

Snowfall could be a factor as well, Meier said.

Snow landing on thin ice can actually push the thin ice below the water, which then allows cold ocean water to seep up through the ice and flood the snow – leading to a slushy mixture that freezes in the cold atmosphere and adds to the thickness of the ice. This new, thicker ice would be more resilient to melting.

'There hasn't been one explanation yet that I'd say has become a consensus, where people say, 'We've nailed it, this is why it's happening,' Parkinson said. 

For Antarctica, key variables include the atmospheric and oceanic conditions, as well as the effects of an icy land surface, changing atmospheric chemistry, the ozone hole, months of darkness and more.

'Its really not surprising to people in the climate field that not every location on the face of Earth is acting as expected – it would be amazing if everything did,' Parkinson said.

'The Antarctic sea ice is one of those areas where things have not gone entirely as expected.  [Understatement] 'So it's natural for scientists to ask, 'OK, this isn't what we expected, now how can we explain it?'

SOURCE






UN temperature target is a poor guide - study

An amusing admission from a died-in-the-wool Warmist highlighted below

 A temperature goal set by almost 200 governments as the limit for global warming is a poor guide to the planet's health and should be ditched, a study said on Wednesday.

The world's environment ministers agreed in 2010 to cap a rise in average surface temperatures at 2°C above pre-industrial times as the yardstick to avoid more floods, heat waves, droughts and rising sea levels.

"Politically and scientifically, the 2°C goal is wrong-headed", David Victor and Charles Kennel, both professors at the University of California in San Diego, wrote in the Nature article entitled "Ditch the 2°C Warming Goal".

Among objections, they said the goal was "effectively unachievable" because of rising greenhouse gas emissions, led in recent years by China's strong economic growth.

And they said the target was out of line with recent trends. Temperatures have risen about 0.85°C since about 1900 but have been virtually flat since about 1998 despite higher emissions from factories, power plants and cars.

They said that blood pressure, heart rate or body mass were all vital signs of health for a person, not just temperature. "A similar strategy is now needed for the planet", they wrote.

The study urged a shift to other yardsticks to gauge the planet's health, such as concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere or changes in the heat content of the oceans.

Some other scientists said the 2°C target was still the best goal to guide UN talks on a deal to limit climate change, due to be agreed by governments in late 2015 at a summit in Paris.

"Their arguments don't hold water", said Stefan Rahmstorf, a scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

He said that a shift to tracking carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, for instance, would not help because no one knows exactly how far rising carbon concentrations affect temperatures.

And he said that 1998 was an exceptionally hot year, warmed by a powerful El Nino event in the Pacific Ocean. The period since then was not typical of long-term trends.

A German group of experts, climate analytics, also defended the 2°C goal. "Whilst no one is in doubt about the difficulty of limiting warming below 2°C, it is incorrect to claim that achieving this goal is infeasible", they wrote.

The UN's panel of climate experts said in March that it was still possible to keep temperatures below 2°C at a moderate annual cost of about 0.06 percent of economic output.

The panel says it is at least 95% probable that man-made greenhouse gas emissions, rather than natural swings in the climate system, are the main cause of global warming since 1950.

SOURCE






Greenie fraud was  powered by lies, bribes and deceit

How unsurprising

The Broadway critics are raving over “Love Letters,” starring Mia Farrow and Brian Dennehy — particularly over Farrow. The New York Times says her “remarkable performance . . . casts a heartbreaking spell.”

Several thousand miles away, however, people in Ecuador are raving about another Mia Farrow performance this year — one they found “heartbreaking,” but not in a good way.

And Farrow is trying desperately to ignore these reviews.

This Farrow role was billed as a trip to “show her support for indigenous people” in a massive lawsuit that accused the US oil company Chevron of polluting the jungle and poisoning locals.

The highlight of the dramatic visit featured Farrow reaching into the ground and, with world media present, holding up a dirty, oil-drenched hand.

The Farrow visit was part of a campaign centered on an Ecuadorian court ruling that found against Chevron and ordered it to pay more than $9 billion in compensation, the largest civil penalty in history.

But, as Farrow knows from her other performances, there is often a final twist that can turn the story on its head. And so it is with her Ecuadorian jaunt and the Chevron suit.

A few months ago, a New York court found the Chevron judgment was obtained by fraud and bribery — mostly masterminded by Manhattan-based attorney Steven Donziger. The fraud was so outrageous that the judge found the Ecuadorian lawsuit was the equivalent of organized crime extorting money from Chevron.

The RICO laws, normally used against organized crime, are now being applied to Donziger and his associates.

The case was so corrupt, it’s impossible to list here all the outrages.

Basically the court found that the plaintiffs had bribed everyone in Ecuador from “independent” experts to the judges, and also corrupted or lied to US lawyers and scientific groups. (You can read all the inglorious details in Paul Barrett’s recent book, “Law of the Jungle.”)

But none of this sleaze had rubbed off on Mia Farrow. At worst, she seemed a naïve pawn — an artist who’d been altruistically trying to help peasants against the rich and powerful.

That is, until news broke that the Ecuadorian government had secretly paid her $188,000 to go there and hype the case against Chevron. Her “oily hand seen around the world” may have been the most lucrative gig of her acting career.

The truth leaked after the US company that acted as the conduit for the payment was forced (under fear of prosecution) to disclose that it had been secretly working for the Ecuadorian state.

The average salary in Ecuador is around $300 a month; Farrow’s $188,000 payday is an absolute fortune there. So the response from journalists and citizens on social media has been excoriating.

SOURCE






Union Miners Rally At EPA To Protest New Emissions Standards

The United Mine Workers of America came to Washington on Tuesday with a message for the Obama administration: We will not be forgotten.

The union miners, who came by bus from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, held a rally outside the Environmental Protection Agency's headquarters in protest of new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that the agency proposed in June. The rules are part of the Obama administration's plan to curb the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing the planet to heat up.

Members of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers also attended the rally.

"We are fighting for our livelihood," James Gibbs, an at-large vice president at UMWA, told the crowd. "We have to let the president know, we need to let both parties know that we will support candidates that support us."

Organizers said about 700 people made it to Washington for the protest, and another 50 or so were on a bus that arrived late. They carried signs that read "EPA Rules Destroy Good Jobs" and "EPA Rules Put Seniors At Risk," and some wore shirts that said "Stop The War On Coal." UMWA leaders expressed frustration that the union had worked on behalf of progressive causes like improved labor laws and fair wages, and had committed money and manpower to elect Obama in 2008. (The group did not endorse either candidate in 2012.)

"We fought for those progressive causes, and there are people today in the progressive movement who have forgotten us," Daniel Kane, UMWA's secretary-treasurer, told the gathered crowd. "If you try to foist this devastation on Appalachia, on our brothers and sisters, we will remember."

UMWA President Cecil Roberts accused the EPA of essentially passing a new "law" without the approval of Congress. "What's going on now is the EPA is passing laws, and we all have to abide by them," said Roberts. "These rules could not pass a vote in the United States Congress."

"These are the best jobs in Appalachia," said Roberts. "No bureaucrat has the right to do this." He also argued that the U.S. should not go forward with emissions regulations while countries like China don't have similar limits in place.

Roberts is probably right that Congress, as it is currently constituted, could not pass a new law to deal specifically with greenhouse gas emissions. The House passed such a law in 2009, when Democrats were in control, but it never passed in the Senate.

Instead, the new rules were issued under the Clean Air Act of 1970 in response to a Supreme Court ruling in 2007 that determined that EPA had the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the existing law. Under the draft rules, the EPA would set an emissions limit for each state based on its energy mix, and each state would develop its own plan to meet those standards.

While the number of coal-mining jobs has declined steeply in recent decades, those trends were underway before the EPA drafted its new regulations. Mechanization of mining operations and the shift from underground to surface mining operations have been major factors, as has the lower price of natural gas. A recent report from the liberal Center for American Progress looked at the economic factors affecting coal jobs, beyond EPA's new rules.

But many of the miners at Tuesday's rally blamed the EPA rules for continued job losses. "They have too much power, that's what I think," Tom Powell, a 59-year-old retired underground miner from Crooksville, Ohio, told The Huffington Post.

Mike Mallernee, a 69-year-old retired miner from the UMWA's Local 1188 in Zanesville, Ohio, left home at 3 a.m. to attend the rally. He said he was there to support the union, and because he felt the EPA rules were "too strict." "If you shut down all the coal-fired power plants now, what would you use for electricity in the U.S.?" said Mallernee.

The EPA defended its new rules Tuesday, arguing that coal will not be eliminated from the U.S. electricity sector. "Coal will remain a critical part of America's energy mix for the foreseeable future. In 2030, it will represent a third of our nations' energy mix," said EPA press secretary Liz Purchia in a statement to HuffPost. "EPA's carbon pollution proposal provides each state with enormous flexibility in determining how to meet its pollution reduction goals, and does not mandate the retirement of any coal plants."

Purchia said that many retirements for coal-fired power plants are already happening, not because of the new rules, but "because of ongoing economics -- regardless of this plan, largely as a result of aging equipment and market forces, including greater energy efficiency and cheap natural gas." She added that the average U.S. coal plant is 42 years old, and plants have adapted to pollution limits in the past by finding "new ways to innovate."

The EPA said it has already received more than 1 million comments on the proposed rules, and recently pushed back the deadline for comments to Dec. 1 in order to give parties more time to weigh in.

SOURCE






“Greenhouse Gases” DO Have A Profound Effect On The Climate

The article below by Carl Brehmer is very comprehensive so is rather long.  Carl makes all his points very well however so I have reproduced it in full

“Greenhouse gases” have a profound effect on the climate as can be seen in every climate system that has a high concentration of water vapor (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2)—the two “most potent ‘greenhouse gases’”. Here are some photos:



The climate change that water vapor brings, far from being catastrophic, is quite the opposite. Water vapor brings an otherwise dead biosphere to life and makes it lush and green and, as we will see, even cools it down somewhat. What about carbon dioxide? Take a look:


 It is such a scientific certainty that higher concentrations of carbon dioxide promote robust plant growth that commercial gardeners pump carbon dioxide into their greenhouses up to levels > 3 times higher than is currently present in the open atmosphere.

“In general, carbon dioxide supplementation of 1,000 ppm during the day when vents are closed is recommended [to bring the total concentration up to 1,300.]”Carbon Dioxide In Greenhouses, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

If we were to look at pictures that compare the Arabian Desert to Bangladesh or the Nairobi Desert to the Congo the result would be the same. It is incontrovertible that water vapor and carbon dioxide bring life into a climate system as can be seen in the lush eco-systems of New Zealand, Bangladesh and the Congo compared to the deserts in Nevada, Saudi Arabia and Nairobi and it is no mystery as to why.

Water vapor in high enough concentrations condenses into clouds, which produce rain that drenches the soil. Plants, using the sun’s energy, pull carbon dioxide out of the air and water out of the soil to create carbohydrates and oxygen—the food that animals eat and the air that they breathe.

Photosynthesis:

6CO2 + 6H2O +(Sun)light energy -----> C6H12O6 + 6O2

Where: CO2 = carbon dioxide

H2O = water

C6H12O6 = carbohydrate

O2 = oxygen

The “carbo” in carbohydrate comes from the word “carbon”—the base element of the food chain. That is why the flora and fauna of the eco-system of which we are a part are called “carbon-based” life forms. In Mass. vs. EPA (2007) the US Supreme Court bizarrely decided to call carbon dioxide—the foundation of all organic life—a pollutant!

The fact is, what makes a desert devoid of abundant life is not its temperature; rather it is a lack of a sufficient quantity of water vapor—referred to by the IPCC in its AR5 report as “the primary greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere.” Without sufficient water vapor in the air clouds cannot form and without clouds there is no rain.

Here is a picture of the Raven Golf Course in Phoenix, Arizona. To compensate for the Arizona desert’s lack of the “greenhouse gas” called water vapor and the consequent inadequate rainfall, the golf course installed an elaborate sprinkler system. As you can see, with adequate water available the temperature becomes irrelevant and the desert comes alive.



Of course you already know all of this because you learned about photosynthesis in elementary school and you have experience the life-giving affect of humidity within your own climate system.

You already know that without sufficient water vapor and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere the entire land-based Eco-system of the Earth would die—without water vapor and carbon dioxide all plant life would die and without plant produced carbohydrates to eat and plant produced oxygen to breathe all animal life would die as well.

In the face of the incontrovertible truth that these two potent “greenhouse gases” bring profoundly beneficial changes to climate systems worldwide, one is puzzled by the conclusion drawn by the IPCC in its recent AR5 report.

On the IPCC web site there is a video called Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis and in this video Thomas Stocker, a climate modeler and Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I, makes this odd statement, “ . . . continued ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions cause further climate change . . . Therefore we conclude limiting climate change requires substantial and sustained reductions in “greenhouse gas” emissions.” Based on the actual “climate change” that water vapor and carbon dioxide cause in the real world what he is actually saying is, “ . . . continued ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions cause further [proliferation of plant and animal life] . . . Therefore we conclude limiting [this proliferation] requires substantial and sustained reductions in [the] emission [of the airborne plant fertilizer carbon dioxide in the hopes that this will reduce the amount of water vapor that is available for photosynthesis].”

Why on Earth would anyone want to limit the proliferation of plant and animal life? How can the IPCC on the one hand claim to be concerned about the Earth’s biosphere yet on the other hand intend to limit the concentration of the two gases that give it life, i.e., carbon dioxide and water vapor?

If you dig into the AR5 report you find that the premise upon which this life-destroying policy recommendation is based is the notion that these “greenhouse gases” threaten to cause catastrophic global warming of which 66-75% is projected to come from water vapor. “Water vapour is the primary greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. The contribution of water vapour to the natural greenhouse effect relative to that of carbon dioxide (CO2) depends on the accounting method, but can be considered to be approximately two to three times greater.” (AR5 chapter 8, FAQ 8.1)

There is simply no way around the fact that all of the IPCC’s prophecies of doom about the coming climate catastrophe are dependent upon the warming that they expect to happen because of an increase in global humidity, because of what they call “positive water vapor feedback”. So, when you hear a prediction that the Earth’s temperature might be 4 °C warmer by the end of the 21st century, know that 3 °C of that projected warming is expected to be the doing of humidity, i.e., water vapor. They are quite literally asserting that higher levels of global humidity will cause irreparable damage to the Earth’s ecosystems along with “substantial species extinction!” “Global climate change risks are high to very high . . . and include . . . substantial species extinction.” IPCC, AR5

Can one conceive of any notion that is more disconnected from reality than the idea that an increase in global humidity will cause “substantial species extinction” when one can see with ones own eyes that those climate systems that are the most humid are also the climate systems that have the most abundant and diverse life?

Let’s take a look at the effect that humidity actually has on the global climate systems:



 This is a picture of the correlation that exists between high humidity and abundant life within the various climate systems around the globe. Where ever the humidity is high life flourishes in abundant diversity. Wherever the humidity is low life struggles to exist. The IPCC would have you not believe your own eyes, but rather believe them when they tell you that higher global humidity levels, “the primary greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere,” threatens to kill almost everything unless we do what they say.

And what is it that they say we must do? Primarily abandon using fire as an energy source, i.e. stop “burning” hydrocarbons, because doing so produces the potent airborne plant fertilizer called carbon dioxide. They have issued this global command even though they acknowledge “there is a wide range of possible adverse side-effects . . . from climate policy that have not been well-quantified.” IPCC, AR5

Imagine that!

* Your impoverishment is just a “side-effect” of their climate policy.

* Your loss of dependable, low cost electricity is just a “side-effect” of their climate policy.

* Your loss of independent travel in a private vehicle is just a “side-effect” of their climate policy.

* Your loss of plentiful food to eat is just a “side-effect” of their climate policy (most agricultural production in the world today requires the use of hydrocarbon energy; beyond that enough food is currently being converted to biofuels to feed tens of millions of people each year.)

* Your inability to continue heating your home in the winter and air-conditioning it in the summer is just a “side-effect” of their climate policy.

* Your loss of dependable modern health care is just a “side-effect” of their climate policy (modern hospitals are dependant upon the stable electrical grid that burning hydrocarbons provide.)

* Therefore, the likelihood that you will die younger is just a “side-effect” of their climate policy.

This, of course, would be just all right with some of the leading advocates of the IPCC’s “climate policy”.

Ted Turner, ”There are too many people; that's why we have global warming.”

     David Rockefeller laments the 20th century drop in the infant mortality rate and the increase in life expectancy because these have resulted in “over population”. ”The negative impact of population growth on all of our planetary eco-systems is becoming appallingly evident.”

     David Attenborough, ”Today we are living in an era where the biggest threat to human well being, to other species and to the earth as we know it might well be ourselves . . . Human population density is [at the root] of every environmental problem that I have encountered [including] the relentless increase in atmospheric pollution [i.e., carbon dioxide].” 

    In the paper Too Many People: Earth’s Population Problem the group Population Matters wrote, ”At a 1990 per capita emission rate of about four tones of carbon dioxide per person per year, the world's theoretically environmentally optimum population level would not be much higher than two billion, living at an average 1990 lifestyle, in order to stabilize carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere.”  ”to reduce climate impacts it helps to reduce the number of climate changers.”

So there you have it.

In the eyes of the advocates of the IPCC’s “climate policy” your children and grandchildren are no longer “human beings”; they are just little “climate changers” and it would have been better for the Earth if they had not been born.  What is most unsettling is that your little “climate changers” only have less than a 30% chance of surviving the population reduction that needs to occur to ”stabilize carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere!”

The truly strange thing about the superstitious belief that water vapor causes global warming is that it is contrary to observed reality. Not only do higher levels of humidity bring more abundant and more diverse life to the biosphere, the mean temperature in very humid climates is predictably lower than it is in very arid climates along the same latitude. It is an observed phenomenon that when nature takes the moisture out of the air, either in a desert or during a drought, the mean air temperature goes up—not down! As such “heat waves” are most often associated with droughts rather than with periods of high humidity.

1) The Great North American heatwave of 1936 was brought on by the “Dust Bowl” drought that “came in three waves, 1934, 1936, and 1939–40, but some regions of the High Plains experienced drought conditions for as many as eight years.” “Drought: A Paleo Perspective – 20th Century Drought”, National Climatic Data Center

2) Marble Bar heatwave, 1923-24: “In the summer of 1923-1924 the monsoon stayed further north and no cyclones occurred anywhere in Australia that year, a truly unusual year. During its record-breaking heat wave only 79 mm of rain fell on Marble Bar in the form of 2 brief storms, and only 12 mm of rain fell before the next wet season began in December of 1924. The tropical section of Western Australia experienced a severe drought in 1924, with no cloud cover to relieve the seemingly endless days of extreme heat.” Australia: The Land Where Time Began

All that one has to do to observe this reality is to go outside and take a look at actual, real-world temperature vs. humidity readings:



All of the above graphs were produced by simply looking at publicly available temperature and humidity readings and as you can see the presence of water within a climate system cools it down via well-established and thoroughly studied processes such as latent heat transfer, increased albedo from the increased cloud cover, enhanced intra-atmospheric radiative heat transfer, the cooling affect of precipitation, a lowering of the lapse rate, etc.

For example, northern Arizona where I live has a dry season and a wet season. In June when the humidity is very low the temperature is very high. In July when the “Monsoons” come the humidity goes up sharply. Not only does this result in a marked drop in daily mean temperatures, it also causes the countryside to turn green—a welcome climate change indeed!

Let’s be clear, it is not that water vapor doesn’t cause as much warming of surface-level air temperatures as the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis predicts—it causes zero warming of surface level air temperatures and is actually associated with lower temperatures and quite literally causes deserts to bloom! Why on Earth would the IPCC want to demonize this “water of life” by suggesting that if global humidity levels rise irreparable damage will be done to the biosphere?

The fact is, the only places where water vapor causes a 22-25 °C temperature increase in the global surface-level air temperatures by causing a “greenhouse effect” is within the imagination of certain people, within computer models, within certain peer-reviewed scientific papers and within IPCC Assessment Reports.

In the real world, no such water vapor mediated warming exists (very high confidence).

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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8 October, 2014

Australia: The crooked BOM again

Canberra Thermometer Is Carefully Sited Next To A Huge Parking Lot



They are frantic Warmists at the Bureau of Meteorology so will do anything to pump the official temperature up.  This is a classic example of an urban heat island effect

I have heard that the station has finally been moved to a more reasonable location so it would be interesting to see what "adjustments" accompany that.  Adding a constant to the new measurements would be my guess but they are unlikely to tell us.  Like all Warmists they are secretive

SOURCE






Feminist/Warmist outs herself as an airhead



Author Naomi Wolf has been accused of being 'disrespectful' after suggesting footage of hostages being beheaded by ISIS militants isn't real.

The 51-year-old American writer made a series of controversial statements questioning the authenticity of the footage in a number of messages on her Facebook page.

The initial post in which the feminist activist questions where the terror group are 'getting all these folks from' was deleted.

In another post, she also said that the Obama administration was sending troops to West Africa to confront the Ebola outbreak so they could return with the deadly infection - justifying a military takeover of Africa. 

Social media users quickly rounded on her with some suggesting her theories were 'crazy' while others said her views were 'harmful' and had disrespected the victims' families.

A video released on Friday appeared to show British hostage Alan Henning being beheaded by Jihadi John.

He is the fourth person to have been brutally murdered at the hands of the extremists, and a fifth, former Army ranger Peter Kaggis, has been threatened as the next victim.

After making the controversial statements over the weekend, Wolf defended her actions saying she was criticizing the reporting of the story - suggesting the video had not been properly confirmed by two sources.

The post, that was later taken down, said: 'OK two of the hostages just happened to go from long careers into the military to... sudden humanitarian work (same was true of the latest British hostage). Where are they getting all these folks from?

'If someone is abducted there is a record with Amnesty and with Reporters without Borders. Can someone please confirm that these organizations have any record of this person having been abducted?

'The NYT (New York Times) yesterday ran a depressingly sloppy editorial claiming that all the ISIS beheading videos must be real because 'there are so many of them on youtube'.

'THAT's journalism? They also called ISIS 'evil' many times - which is not langauge of a news analysis, it is a theological category for some faiths and a Global War on Terror talking point... this may all be true but it takes five people to stage an event like this - two to be 'parents' - two to pose for the cameras... one in a ninja outfit... and one to contact the media that does not bother checking who ANY of these four other people are...'

During the social media backlash, Mark Boothroyd said: 'Don't insult these people who have given their lives for humanitarian work.

'The activities of all these people have been well documented over the years. They are known people with families and friends who have supported them. Stop spreading conspiracy theories.'

SOURCE 





Climate change lies exposed -- in 2010 report (below)

A high-level inquiry into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found there was “little evidence” for its claims about global warming.

It also said the panel had emphasised the negative impacts of climate change and made “substantive findings” based on little proof.

The review by the InterAcademy Council (IAC) was launched after the IPCC’s hugely embarrassing 2007 benchmark climate change report, which contained exaggerated and false claims that Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035.

The panel was forced to admit its key claim in support of global warming was lifted from a 1999 magazine article. The report was based on an interview with a little-known Indian scientist who has since said his views were “speculation” and not backed by research.

Independent climate scientist Peter Taylor said last night: “The IPCC’s credibility has been deeply dented and something has to be done. It can’t just be a matter of adjusting the practices. They have got to look at what are the consequences of having got it wrong in terms of what the public think is going on. Admitting that it needs to reform means something has gone wrong and they really do need to look at the science.”

Climate change sceptic David Holland, who challenged leading climate change scientists at the University of East Anglia to disclose their research, said: “The panel is definitely not fit for purpose. What the IAC has said is substantial changes need to be made.”

The IAC, which comprises the world’s top science academies including the UK’s Royal Society, made recommendations to the IPCC to “enhance its credibility and independence” after the Himalayan glaciers report, which severely damaged the reputation of climate science.

It condemned the panel – set up by the UN to ensure world leaders had the best scientific advice on climate change – for its “slow and inadequate response” after the damaging errors emerged.

Among the blunders in the 2007 report were claims that 55 per cent of the Netherlands was below sea level when the figure is 26 per cent.

It also claimed that water supplies for between 75 million and 250 million people in Africa will be at risk by 2020 due to climate change, but the real range is between 90 and 220 million.

The claim that glaciers would melt by 2035 was also rejected.

Professor Julian Dowdeswell of Cambridge University said: “The average glacier is 1,000ft thick so to melt one at 15ft a year would take 60 years. That is faster than anything we are seeing now so the idea of losing it all by 2035 is unrealistic.”

In yesterday’s report, the IAC said: “The IPCC needs to reform its management structure and strengthen its procedures to handle ever larger and increasingly complex climate assessments as well as the more intense public scrutiny coming from a world grappling with how to respond to climate change.”

The review also cast doubt on the future of IPCC chairman Dr Rajendra Pachauri.

Earlier this year, the Daily Express reported how he had no climate science qualifications but held a PhD in economics and was a former railway engineer.

Dr Pachauri has been accused of a conflict of interest, which he denies, after it emerged that he has business interests attracting millions of pounds in funding. One, the Energy Research Institute, is set to receive up to £10million in grants from taxpayers over the next five years.

Speaking after the review was released yesterday, Dr Pachauri said: “We have the highest confidence in the science behind our assessments.

“The scientific community agrees that climate change is real. Greenhouse gases have increased as a result of human activities and now far exceed pre-industrial values.”

SOURCE 






The Case for Recycling Nuclear Waste

Climate activists love to champion solar and wind power, but few have kind words for the most potent source of renewable energy: nuclear power. Although today’s critics point to calamities such as Fukushima and Chernobyl, opposition to nuclear power goes back decades earlier, even before the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 helped popularize the anti-nuke sentiment. One common criticism involves the problem of radioactive waste. But that problem is not wholly intractable—it’s largely caused by reversible choices that our political leaders have made, according to economist and Independent Institute Research Director William F. Shughart II.

Indeed, France and Great Britain are two countries that deal with nuclear waste in a manner diametrically opposite the path chosen by American politicians. Whereas U.S. law prohibits the recycling of nuclear waste—and thereby makes the disposal problem exclusively one of long-term storage—France and England permit nuclear waste to be recycled. France, for example, allows its 58 nuclear power plants to send spent fuel rods to a recycling facility on the Normandy coast, where after a three-year cooling period the waste is turned into mixed-oxide fuel.

Strangely, the Savannah River nuclear site in western South Carolina will be allowed to make the same mixed-oxide fuel from surplus plutonium of U.S. weapons stockpiles, but not from nuclear waste. This double standard makes no sense. If the U.S. government were to let nuclear power-plant operators recycle their waste, climate activists would get two of their wishes: the country could obtain more energy using less fossil fuel, and the storage-space needed for nuclear waste would fall—by more than 50 percent, according to Shughart. Moreover, fewer local political battles over where to put long-term storage sites would break out. “Instead of requiring a political consensus on multiple repository sites to store nuclear plant waste,” Shughart writes, “one facility would be sufficient, reducing disposal costs by billions of dollars.”

SOURCE 





Fracking Could Save the Planet

President Barack Obama raised a lot of eyebrows last week when he declared in his United Nations climate change speech: “Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution by more than any other nation on Earth.”

That’s absolutely true. And it’s remarkable because we as a nation didn’t ratify the Kyoto Treaty, pass a carbon tax, or enact Mr. Obama’s cap and trade agenda.

It’s all the more remarkable because Americans have been scolded nearly every day for being a major source of all these satanic gases that are allegedly burning up the planet. Instead, since 2005, our emissions are down by roughly 10 percent and almost twice that amount on a per capita basis. Not bad.

How did that happen? If you think the answer is that we’ve transitioned to green energy, you are completely wrong.

The game-changer for the U.S. has been the shale oil and gas revolution over the past six years brought about through new smart drilling technologies. The U.S. is now the largest natural gas producer in the world. And as America has produced more natural gas, we have shifted away from coal.

This, according to the Energy Information Administration, accounts for more than 60 percent of the carbon emission reductions in the United States. Mr. Obama never mentioned that.

Here’s the real stunner: if we want to reduce carbon emissions further, investing in natural gas is a far more efficient strategy than going all in for so-called “green renewable energy” sources.

Over the last seven years, the U.S. government has spent almost $70 billion in tax, regulatory, and spending subsidies to the renewable energy sector. But wind and solar energy after this avalanche of government support account for only about three percent of electricity production.

By contrast, the shale gas explosion has been almost entirely devoid of subsidies – yet its output has exploded.

That’s great news for the environment because natural gas emits only about half the carbon as coal, even though coal is much cleaner than it once was.

So one would think the climate change marchers who descended on Washington last week and all their green allies would be beating the drum for shale gas and hydraulic fracturing as an environmental godsend. No.

The one common theme of the green marchers these days is they hate fracking, even though it has done more to reduce greenhouse gases than all the government subsidies to wind and solar power combined.

The Sierra Club and other environmental groups which once saw natural gas as a valuable “bridge” fuel to the future, now denounce this wonder fuel. A new study making the rounds on the Internet says natural gas “won’t do much to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and might even raise them slightly.”

This is bad economic and environmental advice. Shale gas is a wonder fuel because it is clean-burning, abundant, domestically produced, and cheap. The price of natural gas has fallen by more than half over the last six years and we have at least 150 years of supply in the Marcellus Shale and elsewhere.

The Left’s unhinged objections to natural gas exposes their real aspirations. They aren’t fighting to stop global warming or the rise of the oceans; they’re fighting to stop growth itself.

Americans better wake up to that reality, before the greens actually succeed.

SOURCE 






Kill Australia's Kyoto Liabilities

The Kyoto Protocol was dreamed up by the Climate Jet-set in Kyoto, Japan in 1997.

One of the first decisions of born-again-green PM, Kevin Rudd, was to commit Australia to Kyoto Phase 1 in 2007.  This treaty required signatories to reduce production of carbon dioxide to 5% below 1990 levels by 2012.

As a late joiner, Australia got a lower target, involving no actual cuts.  And they achieved that easy target by robbing Australian landowners - they stole carbon credits from landowners by imposing tree clearing bans. That larcenous trick can’t be pulled twice.

Ironically, the death notice for the Kyoto misadventure was posted by Japan, the birthplace of Kyoto, when they announced at Cancun in 2010 that Japan would not agree to any further targets. Japan was shocked at the billions in liabilities they had accumulated by not meeting Kyoto 1 target cuts.

Undeterred by this warning, another ALP/Green government agreed to Kyoto 2 in 2012 – 5% below 2000 levels by 2020.

This target, agreed to without due diligence, is dreamland stuff for Australia. Once the growing population is taken into account, this target would require Australians in 2020 to maintain industries and create new jobs using 30% less hydro-carbon energy per capita than was used in 2000.

Mining and mineral processing, agriculture, manufacturing, transport, tourism, electricity generation, cement, forestry and fishing are the backbone industries of Australia.
Not one of these industries could maintain production while also significantly reducing their production of carbon dioxide, unless Australia embarks on a crash program of building new hydro and/or nuclear power stations. The chance that green regulators or politicians will allow either of these options any time soon is zero.

The use of carbon fuels, more than any other indicator, measures the growth and health of modern economies. The only way to kill carbon is to kill the economy – close industries or send them overseas. The Global Financial Crisis probably did more to reduce the use of hydro-carbon fuels than Kyoto will ever do.

Japan’s exit from Kyoto obligations was soon followed by Canada and Russia. USA never signed, nor did China, India, South Africa or Brazil.

Thus the four biggest economies in our region (USA, China, Japan and India) are not burdened by Kyoto. Nor are our big competitors - Brazil (iron and beef), Indonesia (coal), Chile (copper) and Canada (wheat). We only have the Kiwis and the faraway Europeans sharing the sinking Kyoto ship.

The Kyoto Agreement is a failure. Australia repealed the costly carbon dioxide tax. Next we should get rid of Kyoto liabilities.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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7 October, 2014

The time's up, boys

A lineup of global warming heavyweights said in 2011 that a 17 year period in the temperature record was needed to evaluate the theory.  That time has now passed with no warming -- so the theory is plainly wrong.  Journal abstract below

Separating signal and noise in atmospheric temperature changes: The importance of timescale

B. D. Santer, C. Mears, C. Doutriaux, P. Caldwell, P. J. Gleckler, T. M. L. Wigley, S. Solomon, N. P. Gillett, D. Ivanova, T. R. Karl, J. R. Lanzante, G. A. Meehl, P. A. Stott, K. E. Taylor, P. W. Thorne, M. F. Wehner, and F. J. Wentz

Abstract

We compare global-scale changes in satellite estimates of the temperature of the lower troposphere (TLT) with model simulations of forced and unforced TLT changes. While previous work has focused on a single period of record, we select analysis timescales ranging from 10 to 32 years, and then compare all possible observed TLT trends on each timescale with corresponding multi-model distributions of forced and unforced trends. We use observed estimates of the signal component of TLT changes and model estimates of climate noise to calculate timescale-dependent signal-to-noise ratios (S/N). These ratios are small (less than 1) on the 10?year timescale, increasing to more than 3.9 for 32?year trends. This large change in S/N is primarily due to a decrease in the amplitude of internally generated variability with increasing trend length. Because of the pronounced effect of interannual noise on decadal trends, a multi-model ensemble of anthropogenically-forced simulations displays many 10-year periods with little warming. A single decade of observational TLT data is therefore inadequate for identifying a slowly evolving anthropogenic warming signal. Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature.

Citation: Santer, B. D., et al. (2011), Separating signal and noise in atmospheric temperature changes: The importance of timescale, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D22105, doi:10.1029/2011JD016263.

SOURCE





Does CO2 "hurtle"?

Transcript below of the words of wisdom uttered by  Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) at the recent anti-capitalist march in NYC. He seems to think CO2 is a physical object rather than a gas.  If he had known what he was talking about he might have said "entering"

"We need to stop CO2 from hurtling into the atmosphere. We need do it, we need to work for climate change both globally and locally. Globally, the whole UN is here. Globally, all the leaders of the the world should get together and maybe begin raising consciousness and doing so. Locally, we have to act on our own. We can’t wait for the leaders of the world. Today Mayor DeBlasio did a very good thing by saying he’s going to greatly increase the efficiency of buildings. That’s important."

SOURCE





Green taxes DO harm the British economy, prominent Liberal admits

Vince Cable has launched an astonishing broadside against the party’s green agenda, saying that it imposes too high a cost on industry.

The Business Secretary said industries with high energy costs such as steel, are struggling against their international competitors because of soaring electricity costs.

Chancellor George Osborne has given £250million compensation to ‘energy intensive’ industries, but Mr Cable admitted this ‘doesn’t go the whole hog’.

It is a surprise admission from a Liberal Democrat, because the party is passionate about renewable energy which is funded by levies on households and businesses.

His party colleague, Energy Secretary Ed Davey, clashed with the Conservatives last year when they blocked his attempt to set an even more ambitious green energy target for 2030.

But Mr Cable told a conference fringe event last night: ‘We do have an issue which should concern us as Lib Dems because of our very strong environmental commitments.

Many of our manufacturing companies and exporters – particularly in areas like steel and cement and others which consume lots of electricity – are struggling against international competition because of the cost of energy.’

He said his party had to recognise that forcing businesses abroad would simply ‘export pollution’ to other countries and not benefit the environment.

Mr Cable was talking about why, despite the economic recovery, Britain’s exports have stalled.

He said the main reason is that half of UK exports go to the eurozone which is still emerging from the financial crisis. They have also been battered by the growing strength of the pound against the euro.

But another reason is green energy. ‘They [firms] argue that because we are trying to be green we are imposing costs on them which their competitors don’t have,’ he said.

‘Now of course a lot of that is unfair, and we have now introduced compensation schemes to offset some of those costs, but... it doesn’t go the whole hog by any means.

'There’s an issue here about the extent to which we are willing to tolerate the export of pollution because of our own system of taxing and charging industries which have a high energy content.’

Jeremy Nicholson, director of the Energy Intensive Users Group, representing heavy industry which directly employs 200,000 people and contributes £15billion a year to the economy, said: ‘The penny is dropping.’

Britain’s revenue from green taxes was £43billion in 2013 – the second highest in Europe.

SOURCE






A Rare Debate on the “Settled Science” of Climate Change

Steve Goreham

In 1997 during the Kyoto Protocol Treaty negotiations in Japan, Dr. Robert Watson, then Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was asked about scientists who challenge United Nations conclusions that global warming was man-made. He answered, “The science is settled…we’re not going to reopen it here.” Thus began one of the greatest propaganda lines in support of the theory of human-caused global warming.

On June 19 this year, the University of Northern Iowa held a debate on climate change titled, “Climate Instability: Interpretations of Scientific Evidence.” Dr. Jerry Schnoor of the University of Iowa presented an effective case for the theory of man-made warming and I presented the case for climate change driven by natural causes. The video contains 30 minutes of presentation by each side and then 30 minutes of questions and rebuttal, presented to a small audience of faculty and students.



(www.youtube.com/embed/EFYZ9dKAuNc)

Formal debates on the theory of human-caused warming are somewhat rare in our society today. Former Vice President Al Gore stated on the CBS Early Show on May 31, 2006:

    "…the debate among the scientists is over. There is no more debate. We face a planetary emergency. There is no more scientific debate among serious people who’ve looked at the science…Well, I guess in some quarters, there’s still a debate over whether the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona, or whether the earth is flat instead of round."

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson declared to Congress in 2010, “The science behind climate change is settled, and human activity is responsible for global warming.” Even President Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address said, “But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.”

The Los Angeles Times announced last year that they will not print opinions that challenge the concept that humans are the cause of climate change. The BBC has taken a similar position. Many of our universities will not allow an open debate on climate change. The Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San Jose State University posted an image last year of two professors holding a match to my book.

In contrast to the “no debate” positions of our political leaders, news media, and many universities, the event at the University of Northern Iowa was a breath of fresh air. Thanks to Dr. Catherine Zeman and the Center for Energy and Environmental Education at UNI for their sponsorship of an open debate on the “settled science” of climate change.

SOURCE






Children of the Global Warming Scare: coming of age with no global warming over their lifetimes

Children born 18 years ago have lived their lives without any of the 'global warming' with which some people have been intent on scaring them witless.

At school, they would have seen those graphs of relentless rising CO2 levels and rising temperatures in the last decades of the 20th century.  They might well have seen propagandists such as Al Gore up a stepladder declaiming how one caused the other.  They might have heard of a Dr Hansen who on a hot day in 1988 warned the world of those relentless rises.

They could well have seen the MBH hockey stick plot of temperatures published in 1998,  and widely promoted by campaigners including the IPCC for some years.  It was a contrivance of no scientific merit other than serving the PR needs of those intent on scaring politicians, as well as children, about how rising CO2 was dominating our climate.

Well, the CO2 has continued to rise - at rates well above some of the projections used by such as the aforementioned Dr Hansen.  But here's the thing, the global mean temperature, once so widely display in reports, textbooks, press conferences, leaflets, presentations and videos, has not risen along with it.



The temperature rise turned out to be not so relentless after all.    A cause of much rejoicing you might suppose?  Far from it.  Catastrophe-talk has been so advantageous for so many people jumping on the global warming bandwagon, that they will not give up on it so easily,  Merely being contradicted by the data is only something that decent scientists would be troubled by.  As Feynman for example has pointed out, when your theory is contradicted by the data, your theory is wrong.  But decent scientists are few, and self-serving followers of the climate catastrophe cult are many, and they don't really care about the science.

Here are some illustrations of that:

'We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing, in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.' - Timothy Wirth, former US senator

'No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits . . . Climate change provides the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.'  - Christine Stewart, former environment minister in Canada

Another key insight for eco-activists is this related one:
'It doesn't matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.'  - Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace

John Christy, one of the world's decent climate scientists has noted this disgraceful and unscientific view out there:  'there is still a strong belief system that greenhouse gases control the climate, and so if that is your belief system, then it doesn’t really matter what the evidence shows.'

It encourages this sort of thing:

'The Communist Party USA’s environmental program “presents a viable plan to carry out on the long march to socialism.”'  - Havel Wolf, Seattle Audubon Society

And this sort of thing:

'Are you interested in reducing your carbon footprint?  How about playing a part in the survival of a virgin rain forest and the numerous species found within? Are you interested in making extra income and helping OURF raise funds in the process? If so, you can get involved in the worldwide effort to combat global warming by participating in the global carbon credit market.'  -  Oppor Tunistic, a fundraiser typical of many.

And even this sort of thing:



I wonder what she will be angry about eight years from now?  Her parents?  Her lost childhood?  The harm and suffering caused by renewables?  The frequent powercuts?  Rotten teaching?  The nightmares she had about global warming?

Meanwhile, alarmers are busy promoting more satisfactory totems for their purposes now that global mean air temperature near the surface has so badly let them down.  Lubos looks more deeply into fatuous temperature targets. They are stupid targets but my goodness they served the alarmists well for decades by giving the impression we could decide on planetary temperatures merely by destroying our civilisation.  'Stupid' is too good a word for such people.  Children of the Warming Scare will have been harmed by them.  Perhaps as adults, they will be able to think more for themselves more, and begin to develop a calmer, more rational, and more optimistic view of their future.

SOURCE






Climate Change ‘Reforms’ Would Hurt People

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently designated actor Leonardo DiCaprio as a “U.N. Messenger of Peace” for climate change, touting him as a “credible voice in the environmental movement.”

Can a Hollywood actor be a credible source when it comes to something as complex as climate science? Perhaps. However, simply being a popular Hollywood actor does not, in and of itself, make one an expert on climate change. In fact, it should raise a lot of red flags when people start turning to Hollywood for credible information.

The truth is the dire predictions that were once made by climate change alarmists haven’t come to fruition. Data simply does not show that the climate has been getting warmer, wetter or wilder at the accelerating pace some predicted it would. All the climate summits in the world and all the marches and rallies may ironically increase the collective carbon footprint, but they won’t change reality.

However, drastic measures taken to combat climate change could harm economic growth. Increased environmental regulations, carbon taxes and cap-and-trade schemes all harm the economy.

Where is the indignation from Hollywood over the harm these policies and others like them inflict on people who struggle simply to afford electricity and other sources of needed energy? Increased economic activity is one of the ways to improve quality of life for people in America and across the globe, but there will be less access to jobs, hospitals, schools and businesses if excessive carbon emissions regulations and other such schemes are enacted.

Perhaps this is why the top leaders of countries such as China and India are skipping the summit. These countries have some of the largest populations, segments of which do not have reliable access to energy, and emit much of the world’s carbon. Their absence from this week’s Climate Summit is telling.

Instead of being a “Messenger of Peace,” DiCaprio should aim to be a Messenger of the Market. The free market can improve peoples’ lives, create opportunity and prosperity and simultaneously help with stewarding the environment. That idea probably wouldn’t mesh well with DiCaprio’s progressive inclinations, but it would actually help people live better lives.

SOURCE 

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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6 October, 2014

WHO should now declare a public health emergency (?)

The boilerplate article below by Fiona Godlee writing in the BMJ is no great surprise.  BMJ is only partly an academic medical journal and has long been Left-leaning.  And her "bold" call for a declaraton by WHO won't frighten the horses either. The WHO is often wrong and often ignored.  Godly FiFi is basically a twit.  Her tame and ill-informed declaration is a quite strange foundation for the claim by Warmists that Climate Change is a Bigger Health Emergency Than Ebola

When The BMJ started publishing articles on climate change, some readers told us to stick to our knitting. “What did this have to do with medicine?” they asked. And wasn’t climate change a myth, a result of natural climatic variation, nothing to do with human activity? There were surely more immediate challenges that The BMJ and its readers should be focusing on.

We listened politely but carried on, convinced of the threat to human health and survival. With others we set up the Climate and Health Council (climateandhealth.org). We published editorials and articles (thebmj.com/content/climate-change), co-hosted conferences and seminars, lobbied funders, talked to policy makers and politicians, and worked with the BMA, the royal colleges, and their equivalents in other countries, all the time worrying that this was not enough. Our hope was to encourage doctors and other health professionals to take a lead in tackling climate change.

Now we have gone a step further, with the publication of an article that contains no medicine or healthcare at all. “The science of anthropogenic climate change: what every doctor should know” is pure climate science.1 Why? Because if we doctors are to become effective advocates against climate change, a better understanding of the science will help us.

As most readers will know, the news is not good. With a high degree of certainty the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded in its fifth report that the world is getting hotter and that human activity is mainly to blame. Global average temperatures have risen by about 0.5°C in the past 50 years and by 0.8°C from pre-industrial times. The effect of these higher temperatures on weather systems is already being felt. The IPCC reports that it is highly likely that global warming is causing climate change, characterised by more frequent and intense temperature extremes, heavier rainfall events, and other extreme weather events. Sea levels are rising as a result of the thermal expansion of the oceans and the melting of polar icecaps and glaciers.

The headlines should come as no surprise, but the detail may prove instructive. Higher seas mean more frequent and extreme tidal surges, coastal flooding, and the salination of vital fresh water supplies. Warmer air carries more moisture, leading to more extreme rainfall events. But warmer air also reduces the amount of moisture in the soil, contributing to soil erosion and flash flooding.

As for the main underlying cause, the IPCC is clear: it is the accumulation of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Other gases and aerosols are also to blame, especially methane and nitrous oxide, and particulate black carbon. But carbon dioxide is long lived. Once released into the atmosphere it stays around for centuries. Deforestation makes this worse....

WHO has shown important leadership on climate change but has stopped short of declaring a global public health emergency. This may be understandable with Ebola raging. But it is what WHO should now do. Deaths from Ebola infection, tragic and frightening though they are, will pale into insignificance when compared with the mayhem we can expect for our children and grandchildren if the world does nothing to check its carbon emissions. And action is needed now.

More of the usual Warmist blah HERE.  FiFi  wouldn't know how to be original to save her life.






Studies fault warming in much of 2013 wild weather

The article below is just an example of people living inside a little bubble of belief and operating only on its assumptions.  How COULD global warming be responsible for wild weather when there has been NO global warming for many years?  Something that doesn't exist can't be responsible for anything, can it?

And the report is based on very limited data anyway.  I was amused by this:  "The influence on Australia's hottest year in more than a century is glaring".  That may be true of the limited time-frame they used but what if we go back over 200 years?  How do they explain the huge heat-wave in Australia of 1790? (Yes. 1790. not 1970).  There was NO fossil fuel being used in Australia at that time and there weren't even any sheep farting. 

And Steve Goddard draws our attention to the clipping below, with the question: "I wonder what caused the "wild weather" of 1927"?



Scientists looking at 16 cases of wild weather around the world last year see the fingerprints of man-made global warming on more than half of them.

Researchers found that climate change increased the odds of nine extremes: Heat waves in Australia, Europe, China, Japan and Korea, intense rain in parts of the United States and India, and severe droughts in California and New Zealand. The California drought, though, comes with an asterisk.

Scientists couldn't find a global warming link to an early South Dakota blizzard, freak storms in Germany and the Pyrenees, heavy rain in Colorado, southern and central Europe, and a cold British spring.

Organized by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, researchers on Monday published 22 studies on 2013 climate extremes in a special edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

"It's not ever a single factor that is responsible for the extremes that we see," said NOAA National Climatic Data Center director Tom Karl said. "Natural variability is always part of any extreme climate event."

For years, scientists said they could not attribute single weather events — like a drought, heat wave or storm — to man-made global warming. But with better computer models and new research, in some cases scientists can see how the odds of events increase — or not — because of climate change. Other researchers question the usefulness and accuracy of focusing on single extreme events.

The editors of the 108-page compilation of studies wrote that people and animals tend to be more affected by extreme weather than changes in averages, so they pay attention to it. The public often connects extreme events to climate change, sometimes wrongly, so scientific analysis like this "can help inform the public's understanding of our changing environment."

The report seeks to find how much and how man-made warming has influenced the weather, said NOAA research meteorologist Martin Hoerling, an editor of the report.

The influence on Australia's hottest year in more than a century is glaring, the report's editors said.

"It's almost impossible" to explain Australia's hot 2013 without climate change, said Peter Stott of the United Kingdom's meteorology office, another report editor.

The most complicated issue is the California drought, the only extreme that has continued into this year.

Three teams studied that state's record drought in different ways. Two teams couldn't find a link to global warming and water and air temperatures, but the third from Stanford University looked at high pressure patterns in the air and found a connection.

A high pressure system parks over the northern Pacific during California's winters, which is normally when it gets rain. Higher atmospheric pressure usually means less storms and rain. The pressure was so strong last year that study lead author Daniel Swain called it "a ridiculously resilient ridge."

The Stanford team ran computer models with and without man-made warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas. The warming from greenhouse gases showed that the rain-blocking ridge of high pressure was more than three times more likely with man-made factors than without, Swain said.

"There's definitely a climate change signal," Swain said.

Earlier peer-reviewed studies looking at atmospheric patterns have also connected California's drought to climate change. However, the editors of the journal's special edition said that with the studies in Monday's report that couldn't find a man-made signal in California and the indirect nature of the Swain report, it is unclear whether a global warming connection can be pinned on California's drought.

Hoerling said there were still questions about the Swain study. Other scientists said Swain's study was convincing.

"The report as a whole is a reflection that more and more future climate extremes around the globe will be attributed to human-caused climate change," said University of Arizona climate scientist Jonathan Overpeck, who wasn't part of the research.

In two extreme events — the British cold spring and the September northern Colorado rains — the report found global warming actually decreased their likelihoods and yet they happened.

SOURCE






Climate change could shrink chocolate production(?)

The article below is pure speculation and prophecy and it also omits something important.  Rising levels of CO2 are not affecting temperatures but they ARE affecting plant growth.  CO2 is plant food so higher levels of it  make all things green more vigorous, including the trees from which cocoa beans are obtained.  So it is no surprise that "Ivory Coast just posted a record harvest and the government increased its minimum price to farmers".  So rising CO2 is doing no harm but it is doing some good  -- probably including INCREASED availablity of chocolate

Scientists say climate change will eventually claim many victims -– including, according to a new report, chocolate.

As temperatures increase and weather trends change, the main growing regions for cocoa could shrink drastically, according to new research from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture.

Ghana and the Ivory Coast –- which produce more than half of the global cocoa supply –- could take a major hit by 2050.

Currently, the optimal locations to grow the crop are about 330 feet to 820 feet above sea level, with temperatures of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit to 77 degrees. That range will soar to 1,500 feet to 1,640 feet in four decades to compensate for hotter weather.

Cocoa production, which reached about $9 billion from 2008 to 2009 and accounts for 7.5% of the Ivory Coast’s gross domestic product and 3.4% of Ghana’s, could be in for a heavy slide.

Peter Gleick, a MacArthur fellow and chief executive of the Pacific Institute, bemoaned the potential decline of the sweet treat last week in an open letter to climate change skeptics in Forbes.

Many farmers will need to find alternative crops such as cashews and cotton. But researchers pointed out that as temperatures phase out some fields, others could become prime growing spots.

“Climate change brings not only bad news but also a lot of potential opportunities,” according to the report. “The winners will be those who are prepared for change and know how to adapt.”

SOURCE 






RFK Jr. as a Greenie priest driving out the Devil


I commented on the ludicrous Robert F. Kennedy Jr yeterday but statistician Briggs has some more good comments below on that unhappy man.  In case anybody is inclined to take seriously Kennedy's wild and unsubstantiated accusations of a vast oil-company-led conspiracy to shout down meek little Warmists, there is a comprehensive demolition of such claims here:

No, this isn’t a shooting-fish-in-a-barrel take-down of yet another bug-witted politician who has stayed long past his expiration date. We’re after something deeper today.

Here in a piece (“What States’ Attorneys General Can Do About Climate Deniers”) under his name at the ultra-left Huffington Post (running a curiously old picture of the man), is Kennedy’s opening:

"Hysterics at the right-wing think tanks and their acolytes at The Washington Times, talk radio and the blogosphere, are foaming in apoplexy because I supposedly suggested that “all climate deniers should be jailed.”…Of course, I never said that. I support the First Amendment which makes room for any citizen to, even knowingly, spew far more vile lies without legal consequence."

Well, technically he’s right. He never said “all”, but here is a link to a video which has him (at the People’s Climate March) calling for the invention of new laws, and prosecution under old ones, including “treason”, of so-called deniers. Depends on all the meanings of all, I suppose.  He continues:

"I do, however, believe that corporations which deliberately, purposefully, maliciously and systematically sponsor climate lies should be given the death penalty. This can be accomplished through an existing legal proceeding known as “charter revocation.” State Attorneys General can invoke this remedy whenever corporations put their profit-making before the “public welfare.”

He slips in “death penalty”, allowing his dimmer readers (this is the Huffington Post) to infer he means it in its literal, cut-their-throats sense. Only later does he reveal it’s a euphemism for some obscure law which has the power to unincorporate corporations. So not real death, but slow asphyxiation by the removal of the means of livelihood. After this legalese is forgotten, he slips in at the end with, “The notion that a State Attorney General might actually execute one of these villains is not a pipe dream.”

His charge:

"For over a decade, petroleum industry behemoths led by Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, have waged a successful multi-million dollar propaganda blitz to mislead the public about global warming using the same techniques honed by Big Tobacco in its campaign to hoodwink the public about smoking."

It never does any good to tell people that you get nothing or next to nothing for your work in skeptical climate science (my total, from all sources, is fast reaching double digits). They don’t believe it. No, it’s worse than that. It’s like telling a UFO hunter that the government isn’t engaged in a secret cover-up. Of course you would deny the cover-up! That means there’s a cover-up!

Next week, in a review of Alex Epstein’s forthcoming The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, we’ll learn the opposite of Kennedy’s charge is true: that oil companies have done everything except abandon oil in order to conform publicly to Kennedy’s religion.

And how much money does Big Green—Greenpeace, Sierra Club, the federal government through the EPA, USDA, etc.—pump into the system? I’ve seen many estimates, but by any count the amount dwarfs what skeptics receive.

Kennedy mentions some “culprits”, like Cato and Heartland, and says:

"Like the Tobacco Institute and CTR, these front groups are snake pits for sociopaths. Run by venomous carbon industry toadies, they stable a craven menagerie of propaganda wizards, slick biostitutes, tobacco scientists, snake oil hucksters, voodoo economists and other so-called “experts” employed to publish beguiling studies, appear on TV and radio, and write deceptive articles critiquing the “flawed science” predicting climate change."

I have to admit liking that last sentence, though I haven’t any idea what a “biostitutes” is. We have seen time and again that “believers” like Kennedy have almost no understanding of climatology. They couldn’t define, say, a sigma coordinate system to save their lunches, let alone their lives. There is complete mystification over what convective available potential energy could mean. To them, the satellite inverse problem sounds like a vague oxymoron.

But it doesn’t matter. Belief is all they are after, and belief is what they get. Their belief is raw, primal. We’ve seen enough to know that environmentalism is pure religion, based on the false and ridiculous idea that Nature somewhere exists in its pristine, non-human state.

This is why questions are heresy, why Kennedy can foolishly call for his enemies to be jailed or executed. This deluded man isn’t the only one. Here is an abbreviated list of enviro-worshippers full of bloodlust: here, here, here, here.

Nature—a living god—must be appeased.

So the real question for discussion is, not the state of Kennedy’s sanity, but how this religion will progress. Ideas?

SOURCE 






Scientists to 'fast-track' evidence linking extreme weather to climate change in sign of panic that they're losing PR battle to the sceptics

Since there hasn't been any climate change for a long time, they're going to have a job linking it to ANYTHING.  How can you  link to something that doesn't exist?

Environmental scientists want to introduce a new system to prove that adverse weather events are directly linked to climate change to counter global warming sceptics.

Under the new plan, a heatwave or major storm will be linked scientifically to man made climate change immediately after the event to prevent critics from blaming it on natural variations in the weather.

Scientists want to be able to provide proof of whether an event was caused by climate change within three day rather than the current system which can take up to a year.

Experts claim that such a long wait for proof means that the general public have broadly forgotten the event and are no longer interested with it.

Dr Friederike Otto of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University said: 'We want to clear up the huge amounts of confusion around how climate change is influencing the weather, in both directions. For example the typhoon in the Philippines that dominated the UN climate change talks in Warsaw last November and that many people put down to climate change - it turned out it had no detectable evidence. And the same goes for Hurricane Sandy.'

Dr Otto told The Independent there were many cases where scientists have proved that events have either been triggered or exacerbated  by climate change.  She said last year's heatwave in Australia and record flooding in Britain earlier this year.

Dr Heidi Cullen, chief scientist with Climate Central at Princeton.

She said:'It's very much like the kinds of risks we see in the health sector, with different levels of confidence  in the role played by climate change depending on the situation.

'It's like a weather autopsy. We know from rigorous scientific testing that smoking increase the likelihood of cancer and work out the conditional probability accordingly.'

The group of scientists hope to have their new system operational within the next twelve months. [Should be fun]

SOURCE 





Martini Meltdown

Leaky Jonathan is still at it

By Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser

The Sunday Times has reached a new height of incoherence with its science editor’s, (Jonathan Leake) column on Arctic ice cap in ‘death spiral.’ 

Nothing could be further from the truth. The ice cover in the Antarctic has recently reached a new all-(recorded)-time extent and the ice cover in the Arctic appears to be on a similar path. No wonder as the frost-free days in the Arctic, above 80 N have been fewer in the last two summers and the last winter in North America was brutally cold and long.

Danish Records

The best records of temperature in the Arctic are those by the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) in Copenhagen. That’s not surprising as Greenland belongs to Denmark and they have a vital interest in knowing the facts about temperature and ice there. You can find their daily records, open and free at ocean.dmi.dk.

Of particular interest are their daily records of the temperature at the latitude above 80 N, from 1958 onwards and their sea ice extent with a 30% minimum coverage and excluding coastal zones. Especially the latter clearly shows that the Arctic sea ice extent is anything but dwindling.

See for yourself in the plot below (the thick black line refers to 2014): Arctic sea ice extent



Clearly, that graph shows rather an average to high ice extent, not a “polar ice meltdown.” Perhaps the Sunday Times’ science editor was reminiscing about the ice cubes in his martini when he penned that column rather than sea-ice in the Arctic. That ice ain’t melting and the polar bears are thriving.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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5 October, 2014

RFK Jr. has a new target for his boiling hate

And see below how it boils! Now he wants companies banned.  Even if someone took up his idea, they would be unlikely to succeed before the courts.  Meanwhile his accusation that skeptical groups are "snake pits for sociopaths" sounds actionable to me.  A big damages award against a Kennedy would be fun. The Koch Bros. would have standing to sue

Hysterics at the right-wing think tanks and their acolytes at The Washington Times, talk radio and the blogosphere, are foaming in apoplexy because I supposedly suggested that "all climate deniers should be jailed." Last week, that canard leapt from the wingnut echo chamber into New York magazine, which reported, under Jonathan Chait's byline, that "Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. shares the opinion that climate denial should be criminalized." Chait was quoting the National Review's Kevin Williamson who made that outlandish claim at one of Heritage Foundation's annual "Conference for Kooks." Of course, I never said that. I support the First Amendment which makes room for any citizen to, even knowingly, spew far more vile lies without legal consequence.

I do, however, believe that corporations which deliberately, purposefully, maliciously and systematically sponsor climate lies should be given the death penalty. This can be accomplished through an existing legal proceeding known as "charter revocation." State Attorneys General can invoke this remedy whenever corporations put their profit-making before the "public welfare."

In 1998, New York State's Republican Attorney General Dennis Vacco successfully invoked the "corporate death penalty" to revoke the charters of two non-profit tax-exempt tobacco industry front groups, The Tobacco Institute and The Council for Tobacco Research (CTR). The two groups Vacco annulled were creatures of a decade long campaign funded principally by tobacco giant, Brown & Williamson to avoid costly health regulations that would diminish the profit margins of an industry that was killing one out of five of its customers. "Doubt is our Product," explained B&W's notorious 1969 memo outlining the reptilian communications strategy that hatched its front groups.

Vacco complained that these companies were "[feeding] the public a pack of lies in an underhanded effort to promote smoking so as to addict America's kids." Attorney General Vacco seized their assets and distributed them to public institutions.

Laws in every state maintain that companies that fail to comply with prescribed standards of corporate behavior may be either dissolved or, in the case of foreign corporations, lose their rights to operate within that state's borders. These rules can be quite expansive and, in contrast to the U.S. Supreme Court's recent rulings on campaign finance law, companies, under state laws, enjoy far less protection than human beings. New York, for example, prescribes corporate death whenever a company fails to "serve the common good" and "to cause no harm."

Just as Big Tobacco funded the now moribund C.T.R. and the Tobacco Institute to systematically deceive the public about the perils of cigarettes, the carbon cronies, with far larger profits at stake, have funded an army of front groups to persuade the public that global warming is a hoax.

For over a decade, petroleum industry behemoths led by Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, have waged a successful multi-million dollar propaganda blitz to mislead the public about global warming using the same techniques honed by Big Tobacco in its campaign to hoodwink the public about smoking.

In their efforts to impede state, national and international efforts to protect humans from the destructive climate chaos, both companies have engaged in massive spending sprees purchasing phony "junk" science devised to undermine the overwhelming scientific consensus on global warming. Between 1997 and 2013, ExxonMobil, pumped over 29.9 million dollars into an elaborate network of over 75 front groups to manufacture skepticism about the oncoming climate catastrophe. At the same time, Koch Industries has piped at least $67,042,064 to over fifty groups that play central roles in the Koch-funded offensive against climate science.

Two decades after Brown & Williamson's notorious "Doubt is our Product" memo, the oil industry launched its own anti-science juggernaut replicating Big Tobacco's and utilizing many of the same corrupt scientists and PR firms. Two secret memos dictated the blueprint for Big Carbon's anti-science offensive. The American Petroleum Institute -- lobbyist for ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell and ConocoPhillips -- was the spear tip of a multi-million dollar campaign to confound American citizens about climate science by manipulating the media. On April 3, 1998, API laid out its "Global Climate Science Communications Action Plan," the detailed blueprint of "tactics and strategies" for deceiving the American people and press by sewing doubts about climate science. The API team would create front groups and "educate" editorial boards and corporate CEOs to challenge "prevailing scientific wisdom." Under "recruiting and training," API outlines its plan for tapping neophyte -- "read malleable" -- scientists and tame journalists ( "e.g. John Stossel," the memo suggests) to bamboozle the public. "Victory will be achieved," API promises, "when average citizens and the media recognize uncertainties in climate science; recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the 'conventional wisdom.'"

Four years later in 2002, conservative pollster Frank Luntz in an influential memo to President George Bush and oil patch lawmakers, applauded the industry for the success of the API campaign. "Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community." Nevertheless, he warned Big Carbon's indentured servants on Capitol Hill "the science [is closing against us] but is not yet closed." He advised, "therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate."

Over the next dozen years, a string of front groups conducted the deceptive anti-science campaign outlined in the API's 1998 plan and Luntz's 2002 memo and funded primarily by ExxonMobil and Koch.

Among the groups that have received millions from Exxon and Koch Industries are The Cato Institute, The Heritage Foundation, the Cooler Heads Coalition, the Global Climate Coalition, The American Enterprise Institute (ALEC), Americans for Prosperity, Heartland Institute, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), George C. Marshall Institute, the State Policy Network, The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Like the Tobacco Institute and CTR, these front groups are snake pits for sociopaths. Run by venomous carbon industry toadies, they stable a craven menagerie of propaganda wizards, slick biostitutes, tobacco scientists, snake oil hucksters, voodoo economists and other so-called "experts" employed to publish beguiling studies, appear on TV and radio, and write deceptive articles critiquing the "flawed science" predicting climate change. They broadcast zany theories to bolster policies that encourage increased energy consumption, torpedo renewable energy, attack pollution rules, maintain Big Carbon's obscene government subsidies, and, in general provide the philosophical underpinnings for a system of cushy socialism for the "dirty energy" tycoons and bitter, savage capitalism for the rest of mankind.

For example, CEI, which describes itself as being "a leader in the fight against the global warming scare," spent years denying that warming was real, and then, as the tsunami of evidence made that position untenable, pivoted to the more defensible posture that human beings are not causing it. CEI has more recently beat its final retreat to the terminal default position that global warming is great because it will "create a milder, greener, more prosperous world." The floods, fires, drought, rising oceans, disappearing ice caps, melting glaciers, drowned cities and refugees have not exactly been "mild." But things have been prosperous and "green" -- if one means greenbacks -- for the Koch Brothers and ExxonMobil, who are enjoying the biggest profits in world history. "You're Welcome, Planet Earth!"

AEI, one of the richest and most influential think tanks in the United States -- and the high priest of climate denial -- offered a $10,000 bounty in 2006 to any scientist or economist who could produce an article undermining the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ("IPCC") Report. The IPCC report was the most comprehensive review yet of climate change science representing the scientific consensus among thousands of climate scientists comprising the leading and most prestigious and scientific stars from over 130 participating nations.

Any State Attorney General with the will, resolve and viscera to stand to up to the dangerous and duplicitous corporate propagandists, has authority to annul the charters of each of these mercenary merchants of deceit. An Attorney General with particularly potent glands could revoke the charters not just oil industry surrogates like AEI and CEI, he or she could also withdraw state operating authority from the soulless, nation-less oil companies that have sponsored "Big Lie" campaigns and force them to sell their in-state assets to more responsible competitors.

Koch Industries and ExxonMobil have particularly distinguished themselves as candidates for corporate death. No other companies have worked harder or spent more money to impede the government from taking action on global warming to safeguard public welfare. Both companies have employed artifice on a massive scale and spent tens of millions of dollars to purchase fraudulent junk science. The greedy, immoral, anti-social pathology behind ExxonMobil and Koch's mendacious crusade is even starker given the open acknowledgment since 2007 by the other major oil companies including Shell, Chevron and BP, that burning oil is causing climate change.

Though they like to invoke patriotic themes and drape themselves in the flag, the oil barons have persistently demonstrated their enthusiasm for putting corporate profits ahead of the public welfare.

"I'm not a US company," Exxon's legendary former CEO, Lee Raymond told his board, "and I don't make decisions on what is good for the US." These companies are not friends to America. They are enemies of mankind.

The notion that a State Attorney General might actually execute one of these villains is not a pipe dream. State Attorneys General have historically shown a willingness to stand up to American democracy's biggest corporate bullies including, Wall Street, Big Tobacco, coal-burning utilities and the oil titans even in eras, like the present, when corporate money has subverted our democracy and extracted the spinal cords from most politicians. It was 46 courageous State Attorneys Generals who brought down the cigarette companies. It was nine northeastern State Attorneys General who sued the coal-burning utilities for damages to their citizens from airborne pollutants. And it was State Attorneys General in New York, Ohio and Texas who, during the Gilded Age, dismantled the Standard Oil octopus, and restored economic democracy to America. That deadly Frankenstein monster, now reassembled and resurrected as ExxonMobil, poses an even greater threat today to our historical values and quality of life.

Let's all hope for and vote for a home state Attorney General candidate who promises to stand up against carbon's duplicitous proxies and fight for truth, justice and democracy and to provide our children with safe, healthy, dignified and wholesome communities and the prosperity that should not be exclusive to the Koch Brothers and ExxonMobil.

SOURCE






The churches bear some responsibility too -- for failing to speak out about the genocidal Green religion

Compassion is a hollow pretence for the Green/Left.  Mass deaths have never bothered them

I posed some simple questions a number of articles back and I’d like to begin this piece by asking them again, because they’re fundamental.

Don’t they know how many of our own poor can no longer afford to heat their homes? Don’t they know how many millions die in the developing world from malaria because we won’t allow them access to DDT? Don’t they know that a million children a year die or are simply blinded for life by withholding the distribution golden rice? Don’t they know how many lives could be saved by supplying the poor with drought and disease resistant GM seeds? Don’t they know that switching from growing food staples to growing biofuel crops for cars only the rich can afford has more than doubled prices of basic foods? Don’t they know about the people killed in the food riots? Do they actually know anything? Do they care anyway?

There’s no oily sophistry about those questions, no sophistication, no tricky debating traps, no guile, no hidden agenda but always an essential inhumanity to the silence or uneasy evasiveness with which they’re met. I’ve raised an impolite subject. The truth is people are not dying, they’re being killed and we’re the ones through inaction doing the killing. I make no apology for being so blunt because they’re needed questions, simple questions, brutal even, and yet there’s always that awkward silence in response to them.

There really isn’t a party line on the moral dilemmas which are at the very heart of those questions, because morality is no longer about people or ones behaviour towards them, but simply about what’s good for the Earth or not. All else is subordinate to that consideration. In a deeper sense though, any wider altruistic morality is now about nothing more than projecting a good image of oneself rather than any notion of common humanity.

What we’re talking about are the lives of the most vulnerable being needlessly sacrificed atop a green altar, because of an almost automatic obeisance to a new and terrible earth goddess called Gaia.

You might think those questions were addressed at the real climate fanatics, those who’re absolutely determined to save the Earth even if that means over the megadeath, rigour-mortised and stacked-high burning corpses of humanity, but you’d be wrong because as must be obvious by now, those zealots simply don’t care about such collateral damage. After all, a smaller, more “sustainable” number of people on the Earth is one of their oft expressed aspirations. Humanity is a plague on the Earth, to quote David Attenborough.

Those questions were originally directed at the religious bodies of our rich developed world but with the sure and certain expectation of nothing in reply, not only because they were rhetorical but because the churches are by now in denial or wilfully blind to the moral issues presented by those questions.

They’ve fallen so far down into the abyss of the governing elite’s unquestioned dogma, which puts the Earth before the human cost of protecting it, that they now effectively worship a graven but green image in their desert of moral desolation. They’ve lost touch with that most basic imperative of all religions – the duty of care we all have towards the poor and vulnerable. Common decency, if you will.

Those questions, like this article, are now being addressed to the footsoldier clergy of those churches; the priests and the pastors, the imams and the rabbis, the holy men, the human beings representing their respective faiths and trying to make a difference in the lives of their local congregations.

This issue is not about science, since climate science has long ago allowed itself to become a compliant and willing harlot to politics. Like the great whore of Babylon, it sucks greedily on the teat of notoriety and all integrity has long since fled. Political sentiment can be changed because it’s driven by the fickle beast of popular opinion, which you still have a measure of influence over.

What can’t be changed is that this is at heart a basic moral issue and morality is an invariant which should never be subject to the passing vicissitudes of fashion or alarmed public opinion.

The killing of the innocents is wrong, standing idly by when that’s done for nothing better than a mistaken idea grown into a well-intentioned but homicidal monster or for a quick buck, is wrong. Don’t delude yourself, the moneylenders are busy at work in your temples, doing brisk business under the righteous cloak of that false goddess Gaia but in reality serving nothing other than their own god Mammon. Your silence is helping them.

I’ll pose some new questions just for you, but I’m going to help you out by giving you the answers to them.

Will you ever read this article? Probably not. Will you ever read past the first page of Google’s reassuring results from various well-heeled green NGOs about any of the above questions? No. Will you ever stop to wonder how we eradicated malaria in the developed world using DDT and still have plenty of birds and the bees? No.

Will you ever try to calculate how many lives have been saved by us being malaria-free for over half a century? No. Will you think about why we’ve spent 800 billion dollars to fight global warming when the Earth’s temperature hasn’t risen in nearly two decades? No. Will you consider the effect that amount of money could have had on poverty relief around the world? No.

Will you at least admit that standing idly by and not speaking out means there’s some blood on your hands? Just a touch, a smidgen even? No.

You are this very day in the midst of a silent ongoing genocide, a slowmo invisible annihilation, a new shoah of such dimensions as to put the Nazis to shame and yet you will not acknowledge it or speak out about it. You do nothing. Nothing, nada, nada and nada every time. It’s Hemingway’s prayer and that’s the prayer of those who not only believe they’ve been abandoned by God, but have ceased to believe there can even be such an entity.

“Our nada who art in nada, nada be thy name thy kingdom nada thy will be nada in nada as it is in nada. Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada. Hail nothing full of nothing, nothing is with thee.”

Can there actually be a god? What sort of god could countenance such needless cruelty, suffering and callous waste of innocent lives? Deus irae? An angry god? Is there a reason? Do you have a reason? An excuse? Anything?

All those millions of preventable deaths are the direct result of political policies driven by nothing more than fashionable ideas about what our relationship with the Earth should be. In the midst of it all, you ignore the pressing issues, preferring instead to hotly debate schismatic irrelevances like female or gay priests.

It’s no wonder that whole sections of churches in the developing word are considering decoupling themselves from what they consider to be out of touch mother churches in the developed nations, who simply won’t engage with real problems.

You plant saplings in your leafy suburbs doing your bit to save the Earth while the poor in the developing countries are running out of shrubs to burn to keep themselves alive. You talk about living in harmony with God’s good green Earth to your plump congregations while the world’s poor can do nothing more than lay damp towels over their dying children and hope for the fucking best. Tell me, who exactly needs your God’s forgiveness there? All my tears outside the walls of Babylon have long ago been wept; there’s nothing left in me now but an abiding anger towards you.

You are a part of the problem when you should by any decent notion of religious conviction be a major part of fixing it.

I am nothing and nobody, a small man with a small voice who long ago despaired of any faith in some sort of god. And yet I beseech you in the name of whatever god you follow to do something, or at least speak out. Like the Nazarene, you will not be rewarded for telling the simple truth.

Don’t tell me why god allows such things because there can be no reason, don’t bother debating god’s existence with me or his mysterious ways, just tell me why as a human being and a supposed man of god with some influence, you aren’t standing in your pulpit at every opportunity, raging and thundering to your congregation against such an obscene and preventable waste of human life and worse still, allowing that inhumanity to grind on day after pitiless day without doing a single thing about it.

SOURCE






Greenpeace crying censorship? Please…

A censorship row has erupted between Greenpeace and the Indian government after Ben Hargreaves, a Greenpeace representative, was turned away by immigration officials at Delhi airport and sent back the UK despite having a valid visa.

Hargreaves’ deportation follows the Indian government’s ban in June on donations from Greenpeace International being transferred to Greenpeace India. This, in turn, came after a leaked Indian intelligence report earmarked Greenpeace as ‘a threat to national economic security’, arguing that the campaign group’s protests against nuclear and coal plants were causing an annual reduction in India’s GDP of as much as three per cent.

Greenpeace officials are furious at what they are calling a ‘systematic clampdown’ on their activities in India. Samit Aich, executive director of Greenpeace India, told the Guardian: ‘We have seen for the past couple of months a definite move to scuttle Greenpeace’s work in India by various ways and means.’

While a government clamping down on groups they disagree with should be of concern of anyone who values free speech, Greenpeace hardly has a great track record in that regard. It has long been known for its allergy to debate and its preference for silencing and discrediting its own critics rather than engaging with them. In February 2014, Greenpeace launched a petition calling on UK prime minister David Cameron to oust his then environment minister Owen Paterson, because he happened to query some climate-change claims. In July, Greenpeace was one of eight NGOs who called on president-elect of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to scrap the role of chief scientific adviser to the president of the commission because the incumbent, Anne Glover, was a supporter of GM crops.

It’s hard not to have some sympathy for the Indian government’s position on Greenpeace. Not only does the NGO work to stymie the sort of industrial progress that is helping lift India out of poverty, but it also remains an unelected institution that still holds a fair amount of influence in world affairs. Nevertheless, censorship is never the answer to political problems. And this is a lesson Greenpeace, as well as the Indian government, should learn.

SOURCE





More Bad News for Some Californians: Mayor Wants to Introduce Yet More Climate Regulations

Nicolas Loris, an economist, focuses on energy, environmental and regulatory issues as the Herbert and Joyce Morgan fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Read his research.
You stay green, San Diego. But it’s going to cost you.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has introduced what would be a costly, aggressive climate plan in a state that already has some of the most egregious climate regulations on the books.

Faulconer’s plan consists largely of forcing expensive and intermittent renewable energy sources on Californians, using taxpayer dollars to promote alternative forms of energy and transportation and taking choices away from families by forcing them to reduce their energy and water consumption.

Faulconer’s climate plan aims to cut the city’s greenhouse gas emissions from 2010 (when the economy was slumping and emissions were already low) in half by 2035. Specifically, the plan would set a 100 percent renewable power generation goal and ambitious targets to increase the amount of people that walk, bike or use mass transit to commute. Also included in Faulconer’s plan are aggressive energy efficiency targets to reduce “electricity consumption in apartments and condominiums by 50 percent, by 53 percent in commercial properties and by 40 percent in city buildings” as well as cutting water use down by 9 gallons per capita per day.

To give you an understanding of the line of thinking here, one of the earlier versions of the plan even included a mandate that required property owners to make energy efficiency improvements on their homes before they could sell it. And the plan broadly would “give the city a backbone of sorts when future development controversies arise. In the past, the city has quickly caved to neighborhood concerns over new housing or transit projects – if the plan becomes law, the city could argue it’s legally required to support environmentally friendly urban growth principles.”

Now maybe that doesn’t sound that bad. Walking’s good for you, reducing energy and water could save you some bucks and increased renewable energy generation sounds okay. And in a free market where individuals made those choices about commuting habits and energy consumption and producers invested in renewable energy because they saw an opportunity, those decisions are fine.

There is nothing wrong with more renewable energy or alternative fuels replacing conventional resources of energy, but if that shift occurs, it should be driven by market forces, not dictated through government policy.

But Faulconer’s climate plan is a bureaucratic, centrally-planned re-engineering of San Diego’s energy economy that’s going to force pricier electricity on ratepayers and force residents into consuming the amount of energy their government wants them to consume. Billed as an environmental jobs plan, Faulconer’s climate agenda is neither.

Sure, the government can spend money on politically preferable sources of energy generation and “create” jobs in those sectors. But government expenditures are not free. Instead, they merely shift resources from one sector to another and they use labor and capital much less efficiently than the private sector To make matters worse, the increases in energy prices would disproportionately eat into the income of the poorest American families.

The climate benefits of the plan should be called into question as well. Even if the United States as a whole reduced its greenhouse gas emissions 83 percent below 2005 levels by 2050, it would only reduce global temperatures by two-tenths of a degree Celsius by the end of the century because of the contributions of warming from developing countries. And that’s assuming the climate models accurately project carbon dioxides contribution to warming, which has proven not to be the case. One city’s costly climate plan would avert even less warming.

Much like the administration’s climate action plan, Faulconer’s proposal is all economic pain for no climate benefit.

SOURCE






Australia:  Brainless sea-level report fails to take account of local factors

There is no uniform sea-level

Summary

In July 2014, Whitehead & Associates Environmental Consultants, in consultation with Coastal Environment and with funding from the NSW Government, produced a report for Eurobodalla Shire Council and Shoalhaven City Council titled “South Coast Regional Sea Level Rise Policy and Planning Framework, Exhibition Draft.” The conclusion of the following commentary and analysis is that this report does not provide reliable guidance to the complicated issues of measuring, forecasting, and responding to sea-level rise.

The image below presents the unmistakeable pattern of wide variations in rates of tectonic uplift (points above the red zero baseline) and subsidence (points below) in different locations around the world at particular times. In such circumstances, no effective coastal management plan can rest upon speculative computer projections regarding an idealised future global sea-level, such as those provided by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Coastal management must instead rest upon accurate knowledge of local geological, meteorological and oceanographical conditions, including, amongst other things, changes in local relative sea level.

For the central and southern New South Wales (NSW) coast of Australia, this requires basing management policies on the range of long-term rates of sea-level rise of 0.63-0.94 mm/yr that have been measured at the nearby Sydney (Fort Denison) tidal gauge.

The implied 6.3-9.4 cm of rise in the next hundred years is similar to the rise which occurred during the preceding hundred years. This did not require, nor receive, any policy formulation over and above the application of historic 20th century coastal planning regulations.

SOURCE






The question of accountability



By Prof. Don Aitkin, writing from Australia

A correspondent has informed me that the ACT Government has awarded Aspen Island Theatre Company $18,793, to assist with costs of the creative development of a new theatre work, ‘Kill Climate Deniers’. Since in some quarters I am thought to carry the marker of ‘climate denier’ (one of the stupidest epithets of our time) I was naturally alert, and alarmed as well. Perhaps the play is to be a comedy. Who knows. Maybe I’ll wear a disguise and go to see it.

But it raised for me once again the question of accountability. There is a lot of dire warning of ‘climate change’ about, and a lot of abuse of sceptics. In what sense are the Cassandras and abusers accountable for their actions? David Suzuki has asserted that politicians who don’t ‘take action’ on climate change should be jailed. Robert Kennedy Jnr has described such people as committing ‘treason’. The doom-laden utterances of Professor Flannery are familiar to all of a sceptical bent.

What if they’re wrong — quite wrong? If people have acted in particular ways because of what these people have said, and it all proves nugatory — and expensive — what then? Suppose, just suppose, that we are in for a long cooling spell. After all, the Antarctic ice sheet is now at the largest level ever witnessed (though that’s only thirty years or so). Do any of us have redress?

Anthony Watts’ website has run a thoughtful piece on accountability by Tim Ball, whose work I have mentioned before. Ball points out that engineers, in order to practice, must belong to a professional organisation, and that they are responsible for the quality of what they do and produce. So do lawyers and doctors. But not scientists, and especially not climateers.

Vaclav Klaus, the former President of the Czech Republic, and the only outspokenly sceptical national leader there has been in the past fifty years, wrote in his book, Blue Planet in Green Shackles:

"Environmentalism is a political movement that originally began with the intent to protect the environment – a humble and perhaps even legitimate goal – but which has gradually transformed itself into an ideology that has almost nothing to do with nature.

This ideological stream has recently become a dominant alternative to those ideologies that are consistently and primarily oriented towards freedom. Environmentalism is a movement that intends to change the world radically regardless of the consequences (at the cost of human lives and severe restrictions on individual freedom). It intends to change humankind, human behavior, the structure of society, the system of values – simply everything."

The great assertion of the climateers is that humans have caused a problem that threatens the whole planetary eco-system. It is a belief for which the evidence is tenuous and ambiguous, but those who believe it do so passionately. Who decided that humans are the cause of the ‘problem’? Ball says that the climateers did, using scientific methods that are clearly wrong because the predictions are wrong. It is a classic circular argument.

"There are leading environmentalists in every country who practice political abuse of environmentalism, as Klaus defined it. These individuals and their organizations have done great social and economic damage with environmental misinformation and false claims, for a political agenda of total government control under the guise of saving the planet. They are effectively a green fifth-column, the enemy within. Sadly, their exploitation and misuse of environmentalism is putting the entire paradigm in jeopardy, as people stop believing anything they’re told."

Worse, many of these organisations bare defined as charities, and are thus exempt from income taxation. And the big ones seem to be very wealthy indeed. I know that I’ve said all this before. But this time I want to raise the question of redress. What if they are all completely wrong, both about warming, and about the human contribution to it? How can they be held to  account?

Dr Ball devotes much of his essay to the question of salmon fishing and farming in British Columbia, where once again the David Suzuki Foundation has been an aggressive foe of the industry, making (according to Ball) completely false statements about, for example, sea lice, climate, global warming and the rest. David Suzuki himself referred to farmed salmon as ‘poison’.

We seem to be in a repetitive cycle. A small minority makes a great fuss about something, and call on ‘science’ as its witness. Pressure grows in the media for the government to ‘do something’. Something is done, but there is little interest in the broad consequences. In the case of climate action in Australia, one outcome was the carbon tax, which cost most people a good deal of money, and had no effect whatever on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, let alone on global temperature.

Yes, the Abbott Government has now repealed the tax, and a smidgin of money is being returned to us by energy companies. But who is to be held accountable for the mess in the first place? There is no enquiry, as with pink batts. And the doomsayers keep preaching disaster.

It’s a hard one, because so much of the doom is about what will happen at the end of the century, when few of us will be around. Oliver Wendell Holmes, speaking about  the right of free speech, pointed out that no one had the right to call out ‘fire!’ in a crowded theatre: there needed to be also a sense of responsibility to go with the right.

Most days it is clear to me that the climateers see the notion of personal responsibility as almost laughable. They are SURE, and we must BELIEVE. It is so like the evangelist Christian revivalists of my youth,  Canon Bryan Green, Billy Graham, and that ilk.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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3 October, 2014

Did climate change cause ebola?

Some nitwit had to make that link but it's a monumentally stupid thing to claim.  Since there has been no climate change for 18  years, it cannot have caused ebola.  Something that does not exist cannot cause anything

In a report on a mysterious virus causing paralysis in children that aired on “CBS This Morning” earlier this week, Dr. David Agus, a medical contributor for CBS News and a University of Southern California medical professor, discussed a so-called enterovirus that is believed to behind paralysis and muscle weakness in nine Colorado children.

The virus, known as Enterovirus D68, had spread throughout the country. Agus urged parents that suspect their child may be infected with this virus to keep their children home from school. However, “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Charlie Rose asked how that particular virus, in addition to the Ebola virus, have been able to spread in recent weeks.

“Well, the world is flat,” Agus explained. “Right now, anybody can get on a plane and end up anywhere in this country and spread these viruses. And we have to be aware of it. We don't know exactly why there was a dramatic spread this year. But something is happening now. We have multiple viruses. And together with global climate change, things are changing in the virus world and we have to pay attention.”

SOURCE






Satellite Data: No Global Warming For Past 18 Years

 The Earth’s temperature has “plateaued” and there has been no global warming for at least the last 18 years, says Dr. John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at the University of Alabama/Huntsville.

“That’s basically a fact. There’s not much to comment on,” Christy said when CNSNews.com asked him to remark on the lack of global warming for nearly two decades as of October 1st.

The "plateau" is evident in the climate record Christy and former NASA scientist Roy Spencer compiled using actual raw temperature data collected from 14 instruments aboard various weather satellites.

CNSNews.com asked Christy why the United Nations’ climate models, which all predicted steeply rising temperatures over the past two decades, were all proven wrong.

“You’re going back to a fundamental question of science that when you understand a system, you are able to predict its behavior. The fact that no one predicted what’s happened in the past 18 years indicates we have a long way to go to understand the climate system,” Christy replied.

“And that the way the predictions were wrong were all to one direction, which means the predictions or the science is biased in one direction, toward overcooking the atmosphere.”

Christy added that basing government policy affecting millions of Americans on “very poor” climate models that have been shown to be inaccurate is “a fool’s errand.”

“Our ignorance is simply enormous when it comes to the climate system, and our understanding is certainly not strong and solid enough to make policy about climate because we don’t even know what it’s going to do, so how can we make a policy that says ‘I want to make the climate do something' when we don’t know what makes the climate do what it does?” he asked.

“A policy is supposed to have a goal. Well, if you don’t know how the system works, that means you don’t know how to make it go toward that goal. And that’s certainly the case now, since none of the climate models are able to tell us what the future is going to be. They’ve certainly failed in the past. And so the policy is really a fool’s errand at this point.”

However, he noted that “there is still a strong belief system that greenhouse gases control the climate, and so if that is your belief system, then it doesn’t really matter what the evidence shows.”

Christy said he has “no idea” if the Earth’s temperature will go up again in the future.  “I’m a climatologist, which means I’m driving the car and looking in the rearview mirror, not out the front windshield, so I don’t try to forecast,” he told CNSNews.com.

But earlier predictions that the El Nino will drive up temperatures this year were off the mark, he says.

“There was a big pulse in what was a precursor to the El Nino back in May, and so it looked like it was going to be a very strong El Nino, but that pulse of warm water in the ocean – the heat content, actually – just faded away, basically. And so this wasn’t going to be a 1997/98 El Nino again. I don’t think they’re going to see the big spike in temperature” that was originally predicted.

“But you know, El Ninos come and go, and they shouldn’t be factored in what the overall temperature does over decades.”

Christy countered claims by some climatologists that the satellite data doesn’t show an increase in surface temperature because the "missing heat" was absorbed by the oceans.

“That would require a change in wind speeds. It also means the climate models don’t have the oceans right,” he pointed out. “The other alternative is that the heat never was stored in the climate system, and that it escaped into space. That is just as plausible.”

"I predicted this in 1999," Dr. Don Easterbrook, a climate scientist and glacier expert from Washington State, said of the 18-year period with no global warming. "My prediction has now happened."

"The same year the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) models were predicting that the Earth would warm by one degree per decade, I was predicting that the Earth would cool for the next three decades," he noted. "They were way off the mark, while my prediction is still on target."

Easterbrook added that with the sun entering a period known as a Grand Minimum, "it's a sure thing it's going to get cooler. It's just difficult to tell how much. It looks like it may get one degree cooler and maybe more," he said. "That may not seem like a lot, but it only warmed up one degree during the entire last century."

SOURCE






Walrus panic a lot of bunkum

The October 1, 2014 Associated Press article linking the walrus gathering to melting sea ice, lacks historical perspective and contains serious spin that would lead readers to erroneous conclusions about walruses and the climate.

[Update: Zoologist Dr. Susan Crockford weighs in: "Mass haulouts of Pacific walrus and stampede deaths are not new, not due to low ice cover - 'The attempts by WWF and others to link this event to global warming is self-serving nonsense that has nothing to do with science...this is blatant nonsense and those who support or encourage this interpretation are misinforming the public." ]

First off, walruses are not endangered. According to the New York Times, “the Pacific walrus remains abundant, numbering at least 200,000 by some accounts, double the number in the 1950s.”

The AP article titled, “35,000 walrus come ashore in northwest Alaska”, claims “the gathering of walrus on shore is a phenomenon that has accompanied the loss of summer sea ice as the climate has warmed.” The AP even includes the environmental group World Wildlife Fund, to ramp up climate hype. “It’s another remarkable sign of the dramatic environmental conditions changing as the result of sea ice loss,” said Margaret Williams, managing director of the group’s Arctic program, by phone from Washington, D.C.

The media and green groups are implying that walrus hanging out by the tens of thousands is a new phenomenon and due to melting Arctic ice. But dating back to at least the 1604, there have been reports of large walrus gatherings or haulouts.

Excerpt: “Walruses became only really known in Europe after the 1604 expedition to the Kola Peninsula of the ship “Speed” of Muscovy Company, commanded by Stephen Bennet. On the way back to England the Speed reached what some years before a Dutch expedition had named “Bear Island”. The crew of the Speed discovered a haulout numbering about a thousand walruses on the island’s northern coast.”

According to a National Geographic article in 2007, walrus populations were not endangered. See: “While scientists lack a firm population estimate for the species, researchers have encountered herds as large as 100,000 in recent years”

Even the green activists group, the WWF, admits walrus ‘hangouts’ of tens of thousands are not unprecedented.  A 2009 WWF blog report noted: “WWF Polar Bear coordinator Geoff York returned on 17 September from a trip along the Russian coast and saw a haul out there with an estimated 20,000 walruses near Ryrkaipiy (on the Chukchi Peninsula).”

Are 35,000 walruses gathering in “haulouts” on the shoreline with many be stampeded to death really that unusual? The answer is No!
The AP reported on 40,000 walruses in a haulout just 7 years ago in a single location. See: AP 12/14/2007: “40,000 in one spot” – “As a result, walruses came ashore earlier and stayed longer, congregating in extremely high numbers, with herds as big as 40,000 at Point Shmidt, a spot that had not been used by walruses as a “haulout” place for a century, scientists said.”

Walrus stampede deaths drop dramatically from 3000 to 50?  The October 1, 2014 AP article notes with obvious concern for the walrus species: “Observers last week saw about 50 carcasses on the beach from animals that may have been killed in a stampede…”  Fifty walrus carcasses? That number is a significant improvement from 2007 when there were a reported 3000 dead walruses discovered from the late summer and fall on the Russian side of the Arctic, according to the AP’s own earlier reporting. See: 2007: ‘3,000 walruses die in stampedes tied to Climate’

Are walrus stampede deaths declining in recent years? It is difficult to say based on reports, but a high of 3000 deaths in 2007 (for a whole season) to a low of 50 deaths in 2014 for a single location, but it does not  appear to be an alarming trend.

Why does the AP fail to put any historical perspective on their climate scare stories, especially when the AP’s own reporting from 7 years ago calls into question their claims?

The next issue is whether or not sea ice extent is critical to walruses in late summer and fall. According to this report, ice extent is not critical. As Nelson noted in 2007: “When I read this in the (2007) ‘walrus’ Wikipedia entry, I’m also not convinced that lack of summer ice is necessarily a big deal.”

2007 Wikipedia entry: “In the non-reproductive season (late summer and fall) walruses tend to migrate away from the ice and form massive aggregations of tens of thousands of individuals on rocky beaches or outcrops.” [Note: This line has been omitted from the Wikipedia entry in 2014]

Walrus stampede deaths benefit polar bears

In addition, a 2007 WWF post inadvertently noted that the carcasses of stampeded walruses may actually be a great benefit to polar bears.

“Last fall some 20,000-30,000 animals were piled up there. No one has actually counted them all, but the Vankarem residents are certain the number is growing…In early winter, when the ice is re-forming and walruses leave the beach, up to 100 carcasses remain behind. These blubbery animals offer a perfect meal for wandering and hungry polar bears…In mid-November, a truck driver alerted the patrol to bear tracks on the beach. The wave had begun. For the next three weeks, bears making their way along the coast stopped to graze on the carcasses at this so-called “feeding point” instead of proceeding to the village. At one time alone, Sergey and his team counted 96 bears feeding on the walrus. In total they estimated that 185 bears had been circulating with a six mile radius around the village.”

The stampeded remains of 100 walruses fed up to 185 polar bears!
But despite the easily accessible historical data on walruses, the WWF and the AP and other media in 2014, continue to spin the haulouts as evidence of “climate change.”

SOURCE






Could living near a wind farm make you DEAF? Low frequency 'hum' could damage the inner ear, experts warn

Wind farms could cause people living nearby to go deaf, a new study claims.

The barely audible low frequency hum emitted by turbines harms ‘the exquisite mechanics of our inner ears’, scientists say.

A study of 21 healthy young men and women who were exposed to such sound, revealed that most experienced changes in cells in the cochlear - a spiral shaped cavity essential for hearing and balance.

Researchers measured the changes by analysing Spontaneous Otoacoustic Emissions (SOAEs), which are the faint sounds produced in the ear that can detect changes to its physiology.

Dr Marcus Drexel, of the University of Munich, said man-made sources of low frequency noise have spread dramatically in recent years and are also generated by thermal power stations, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

‘The dogma of “what you can’t hear, won’t hurt you” is deeply rooted in society and governs the current health and safety regulations,’ he said.

‘However, while even loud low frequency sounds are not perceived as obtrusive, our findings show such sounds affect the exquisite mechanics of our inner ears in a significant manner.

‘Our study identifies a mechanism in our hearing system, which can contribute to explain conditions associated with low-frequency sound emissions.’

Scientists found that most of the healthy adults who they exposed to the sound - a low frequency wavelength of 30Hz - experienced changes in cells in the cochlea.

In the study, the participants were exposed to a low frequency wavelength of 30Hz for 90 seconds, to mimic the noise generated a wind turbine.

The noise was well below health and safety regulations, according to the paper, which was published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

Humans can have a hearing range of between 20 and 20,000Hz.

Dr Drexel said: ‘Most interestingly, 17 of the 21 subjects revealed an overall of 56 new SOAEs, which had not been measurable before low frequency stimulation.’

For decades, experts thought that sound lower than 250Hz largely bypassed the inner ear even at intense levels, because thresholds are relatively high. But this could be incorrect.

Dr Drexel said: ‘The current data show in humans, active cochlear mechanics, as assessed by SOAE measurements, are significantly affected by low frequency stimulation.

‘To the best of our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study focusing on the effect of low frequency sound on level and frequency of human SOAEs.’

Wind farms have also been linked with a greater risk of heart disease, panic attacks and migraines.

The farms are said to cause ‘wind turbine syndrome’, the symptoms of which include tinnitus, vertigo and sleep deprivation.

It is thought that thousands of people are super sensitive to low frequency sounds which are produced by factory machinery and transport as well as household items such as fridges and boilers.

The wind industry has been accused of ignoring the damaging impact of the intermittent noise from turbines for 25 years.  A 1987 research paper for the US Department of Energy showed the ‘annoyance’ caused by them to nearby residents was ‘real not imaginary’.

SOURCE






EPA: Hurting poor families most

News for low-income households facing another brutal winter in New England is again bleak. One of the largest energy providers in the region announced recently that energy costs for a typical household could top $150 a month this winter — a 37 percent increase over just last year.

For many poorer families, that $40 per month increase will force a choice between purchasing enough food to feed a cold family or warming the bedrooms they return to — malnourished, or suffering otherwise from a lack of household resources to fund Obama’s jihad on affordable energy.

Yet not a sentence of concern has been uttered from the environmental alarmists in the Obama administration and its radical  EPA as the poor disproportionately carry the burden of “green energy.”

“Green energy,” named for invoking images of green in nature, is defined by the EPA as energy “whose generation has zero/negligible environmental impacts.” But the human toll for the “zero/ negligible environmental impacts” of this energy is yet uncharacterized. Perhaps images of the inefficient energy options that force blue-lipped children to sleep in unheated bedrooms would be more aptly labeled “blue energy.”

EPA head — and, ironically enough, Massachusetts native — Gina McCarthy has presided over the Obama administration’s assault on New England’s poor.

Under McCarthy, regulations have killed the future of affordable coal-fired energy, inexpensive natural gas development is at risk, and once-alternative options are now more limited than ever before in recent memory — highlighted by the 80 percent of traditional wood stoves (as in, burning wood for heat … if it gets more “green” than that, let me know) now banned by the EPA from production and sale in the United States.

I write this as a transplanted New England native, who grew up three miles down a dirt road in a log home with a wood stove (that’s now illegal to manufacture) to supplement home heating expenses. The neighbors who already struggle through the winter months to make ends meet now face the unnecessary, expensive consequences of Obama’s policies.

It is on the backs of these New England families the EPA is pursuing its radical mission to kill efficient energy production, masked by the unproven, abstract goal of clean air and cool temperatures — both things New Englanders actually possesses in excess.

But, realistically, who actually cares? New Englanders vote reliably with the party of environmental radicalism and the poor families suffering most couldn’t afford to scratch a check to a Super PAC or take a Saturday to campaign if they wanted to.

If energy prices are ever to stop increasing year over year, the people of New England and the rest of the American people must decide if they’re willing to make abundantly clear to those holding elected office that the well-being of families comes before any political agenda — and that statement must start now.

Martha Coakley and Mike Michaud, the Democrat candidates for Governor in Massachusetts and Maine respectively, each hold long, uncompromised records supporting Obama’s “blue energy” agenda, along with dozens of candidates from each state. If the people of New England and the United States want to send a message about the well-being of themselves and their neighbors to Washington and state capitols like Boston and Augusta, the loudest megaphone opens at 7:00 a.m. on November 4.

SOURCE






California drought and climate warming: Studies find no clear link

Global warming contributed to extreme heat waves in many parts of the world last year, but cannot be definitively linked to the California drought, according to a report released Monday.

The third annual analysis of extreme weather events underscored the continuing difficulty of teasing out the influence of human-caused climate change on precipitation patterns.

One of three studies examining the California drought in 2013 found that the kind of high-pressure systems that blocked winter storms last year have increased with global warming.

But another study concluded that a long-term rise in sea surface temperatures in the western Pacific did not contribute substantially to the drought. And researchers noted that California precipitation since 1895 has "exhibited no appreciable downward trend."

Overall, the report editors concluded that the papers didn't demonstrate that global warming clearly influenced the drought, which is one of the worst in the state record.

In the report, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 20 research teams explored the causes of 16 extreme weather events recorded in 2013, including torrential downpours in Colorado, heat waves in Korea and Australia and a blizzard in South Dakota.

The studies overwhelmingly showed that human-caused climate change played a role in the heat waves, in some cases making them 10 times more likely.

But the report editors wrote that "natural variability likely played a much larger role in the extreme precipitation events," whether it was flooding in India, deep snow in the Spanish Pyrenees Mountains or the California drought.

Last year's exceedingly dry winter in California was largely the result of a stubborn high pressure system parked over the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Nicknamed the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, by Stanford University researcher Daniel Swain, the system shunted winter storms far to the north, off their normal path to California.

Those sorts of high-pressure systems "are considerably more likely to occur” with global warming, said Swain, lead author of one of the three California papers. “It suggests an increased likelihood of the kinds of large-scale atmospheric conditions that are conducive to drought in California,” he added.

But Marty Hoerling, co-editor of the climate report and a research meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, noted that high-pressure systems have increased everywhere. What drives storms is the difference in atmospheric pressure over the north and south Pacific, he said, and that was not examined in the Swain paper.


Researchers concluded in a third paper that while long-term warming contributes to storm-diverting high-pressure systems over the northeast Pacific, that is countered by an increase in atmospheric humidity that can promote wetter weather in California.

Comparing the periods of 1871-1970 with 1980-2013, the authors wrote that there was "no appreciable long-term change in the risk for dry climate extremes over California since the late 19th century."

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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2 October, 2014

The persistent perchlorate panic

The Greenies have been struggling for some time to produce evidence of harm from the ingestion of small quantities of perchlorate.  But various official enquiries have found nothing convincing.  Below however we have a new study which does indeed show a strong effect.  But it is not a study of normal people.  It is a study of people who already have serious thyroid dysfunction.  How that generalizes to normal people is therefore anyone's guess.  As the authors of the original journal article themselves conclude: "These results require replication in additional studies, including in the euthyroid population".  Where the "euthyroid population" is normal people

A chemical used in rocket fuel that is found in some regions' drinking water has been linked to significantly lower IQ's in the children of mothers exposed while they were pregnant, a new study has found.

Perchlorate, which is also found in fireworks, explosives and is a byproduct of using fertilizers, may cause this by disrupting the thyroid's normal hormone production.

'Our report highlights a pressing need for larger studies of perchlorate levels from the general pregnant population and those with undetected hypothyroidism,' the authors wrote.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, identified pregnant women in Cardiff, Wales and Turin, Italy who had iodine deficiency and thyroid dysfunction.

Researches then tested their perchlorate levels. Three years later they tested their children's IQ.  They found that women with the highest 10 percent of perchlorate levels were over three times more likely to have children with an IQ score in the lowest 10 percent.

Perchlorate is found in around 4 percent of the U.S. public drinking water, according to Scientific American. That affects 5 to 17 million people.  Perchlorate is most prevalent in the Western U.S., specifically near Las Vegas and Southern California.

A Canadian survey released in May reported that all samples of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products and infant formulae analyzed for perchlorate were safe for consumption.

The CFIA tested a total of 611 samples, including 433 fresh fruit and vegetable, 89 dairy product , and 89 infant formula samples, collected from Canadian retail stores.

The 2010-2011 study found that 65 percent of fresh fruit and vegetable, 87 percent of dairy product, and 63 percent of infant formula samples analyzed were found to contain very low levels of perchlorate, in the range of 2 to 540 parts per billion.

EPA officials have long gone back and forth as to whether to cap the amount of perchlorate allowable in drinking water.

In 2002, an EPA draft risk assessment found that 1 part per billion should be considered safe. Six years later, the Bush administration decided not to regulate the chemical, instead recommending that concentrations not exceed 15 parts per billion.

At the time, federal scientists estimated that 16.6 million Americans could be exposed to unsafe levels through their drinking water.

California and Massachusetts in the meantime have set state-level drinking water standards.

Currently, the EPA plans to unveil new standards for perchlorate in water in summer 2015.

SOURCE

Maternal perchlorate levels in women with borderline thyroid function during pregnancy and the cognitive development of their offspring; Data from the Controlled Antenatal Thyroid Study

Peter N Taylor et al.

Abstract

Objective:
Thyroid dysfunction is associated with impaired cognitive development. Perchlorate decreases thyroidal iodine uptake, potentially reducing thyroid hormone production. It is unclear whether perchlorate exposure in early life affects neurodevelopment.

Design:
Historical cohort analysis.
Patients:
During 2002–2006, 21,846 women at gestational age less than 16 weeks recruited from antenatal clinics in Cardiff, UK and Turin, Italy were enrolled in the Controlled Antenatal Thyroid Screening Study (CATS). We undertook a retrospective analysis of 487 mother-child pairs in mothers who were hypothyroid/hypothyroxinemic during pregnancy and analyzed whether first trimester maternal perchlorate levels in the highest 10% of the study population were associated with increased odds of offspring IQ being in the lowest 10% at age 3 years.

Main Outcome Measures:
Maternal urinary perchlorate, offspring IQ.

Results:
Urine perchlorate was detectable in all women (median 2.58?g/liter); iodine levels were low (median 72?g/liter). Maternal perchlorate levels in the highest 10% of the population increased the odds of offspring IQ being in the lowest 10% OR=3.14 (95%CI 1.38, 7.13) p=0.006 with a greater negative impact observed on verbal OR=3.14 (95%CI 1.42, 6.90) p=0.005 than performance IQ. Maternal levothyroxine therapy did not reduce the negative impact of perchlorate on offspring IQ.

Conclusions:
This is the first study using individual-level patient data to study maternal perchlorate exposure and offspring neurodevelopment and suggests that high-end maternal perchlorate levels in hypothyroid/hypothyroxinemic pregnant women have an adverse effect on offspring cognitive development, not affected by maternal levothyroxine therapy. These results require replication in additional studies, including in the euthyroid population.

SOURCE







Is global warming weakening Earth’s gravity? Satellite finds variations where ice is melting fastest in Antarctica

"Exact figures of the shift in gravity are miniscule".  Typical of Warmist data.  If the figures mean anything, they mean that an ice mass contributes to the gravity above it, which is not much of a surprise.  And the correlation discovered is just a correlation.  And correlation is not causation

An Esa satellite has found an unusual consequence of the melting of ice in Antarctica.

While rising sea levels and changing global temperatures are already known to be a consequence of alleged manmade climate change, the GOCE satellite - which was not intended to study the effects of a warming climate - has found that gravity is weakening where ice is melting the fastest.

The results show that the thinning ice sheet from November 2009 to June 2012 caused local variations in gravity, measured by the satellite.

The GOCE satellite burned up in Earth’s atmosphere as planned in November 2013 after four years in orbit.

During its mission it measured Earth’s gravity in unprecedented detail, detailing where it was weakest and strongest on the surface.

But recently, the high-resolution measurements from GOCE over Antarctica between November 2009 and June 2012 were analysed by scientists from the German Geodetic Research Institute, Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and the Technical University of Munich in Germany.

Scientists found that the decrease in the mass of ice during this period was mirrored in GOCE’s measurements of gravity, even though the mission was not designed to detect changes over time.

The findings were made by combining GOCE’s high-resolution measurements with information from the Nasa-German Grace satellite, designed to measure change in ice mass.

The fluctuations observed are minute, however, and not enough for a living organism to sense.

The measurements from GOCE correlate with the Grace satellite and show how much ice is being lost each year.

While exact figures of the shift in gravity are miniscule, the results show how some parts of the West Antarctic ice sheet are losing up to 67 gigatones of ice per year.

This is contributing to a 0.51 mm per year sea level rise in the Amundsen Sea Sector.

And they found that that the loss of ice from West Antarctica between 2009 and 2012 caused the dip in the gravity field over the region.

In addition, GOCE data could be used to help validate satellite altimetry measurements for an even clearer understanding of ice-sheet and sea-level change in the future.

The high-resolution measurements from the satellite are further evidence of how manmade climate change will affect the planet in unknown ways.

SOURCE






California Becomes First State to Ban Plastic Bags

Thus igniting a war on trees, as paper bags replace plastic ones.  Greenies are no tree-huggers

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday that makes the state the first in the country to ban single-use plastic bags.

The ban will go into effect in July 2015, prohibiting large grocery stores from using the material that often ends up as litter in the state’s waterways. Smaller businesses, like liquor and convenience stores, will need to follow suit in 2016. More than 100 municipalities in the state already have similar laws, including Los Angeles and San Francisco. The new law will allow the stores nixing plastic bags to charge 10 cents for a paper or reusable bag instead. The law also provides funds to plastic-bag manufacturers, an attempt to soften the blow as lawmakers push the shift toward producing reusable bags.

San Francisco became the first major American city to ban plastic bags in 2007, but the statewide ban may be a more powerful precedent as advocates in other states look to follow suit. The law’s enactment Tuesday marked an end to a long battle between lobbyists for the plastic bag industry and those worried about the bags’ effect on the environment.

California State Senator Kevin de Le?n, a co-author of the bill, called the new law “a win-win for the environment and for California workers.”

“We are doing away with the scourge of single-use plastic bags and closing the loop on the plastic waste stream, all while maintaining—and growing—California jobs,” he said.

SOURCE






Hershey Bars, Global Warming and Deforestation: a Sweet New Policy

Below is a sermon by a Warmist in praise of the Hershey company.  And if the Hershey company are indeed going to  reduce the clearing of tropical forest, I will praise them too.  Greenies, with their love of paper bags etc., are the big motivators behind trees being cut down.  And that is true in this case too.  Palm oil is widely used in food products now because Greenies and their ilk demonized saturated fat -- which is now known to be harmless.  It is the demand for palm oil created by Greenie and food-freak pressure that led to the removal of native forest and its replacement by palm oil plantations.  And the claim that palm oil plantations increase global warming is amusing.  If that is so, how come that there has in fact been no global warming for 17 years?

As I rode on the train back to Washington today, The Hershey Company announced its strengthened commitment to zero deforestation for all the palm oil it uses. This is another of the welcome corporate statements, over the last several months and indeed the last few days, that have recognized business’ responsibilities to reduce the damage that they cause to the climate. I’m particularly glad to see this one, for several reasons: because it’s a strong policy by almost every criterion; because UCS has been working with The Hershey Company for nearly a year, urging energetic and scientifically rigorous action; and because I’ve liked their chocolate bars for an awfully long time.

The policy that The Hershey Company announced puts it among the leaders in the industry in terms of eliminating deforestation, peat clearing and other kinds of climate damage from its supply chain. It applies to all its products in all its markets worldwide. It includes a commitment to tracing its raw materials back to their sources. It uses the High Carbon Stock (HCS) terminology, which clearly differentiates degraded land from forests that need to be preserved. It provides for monitoring of its progress by TFT, an independent third-party verifier. And it has specific target dates, in the relatively short term, for achieving these goals.

UCS—particular our Palm Oil Outreach Coordinator, Miriam Swaffer—has been talking with The Hershey Company for nearly a full year about this policy. We urged them to follow the science and the lead of the most advanced consumer goods companies, including competitors of theirs like Nestle and Unilever. And they have.

This has been another exciting week of important commitments by companies to end deforestation and protect the climate, including zero deforestation commitments from two major fast food brands, Dunkin and Krispy Kreme. Forty corporations (as well as UCS) are among the 150 signatories of yesterday’s New York Declaration on Forests, committing to cutting deforestation in half by 2020 and ending it by 2030.

With 10% of global warming pollution coming from tropical deforestation, decoupling the production of commodities like palm oil from tropical forest destruction is one of the most efficient ways to address climate change. We’ve said before that the tide is turning against deforestation in corporate supply chains, and today that’s even more evident.

The Hershey Company can still improve its policy by committing to tracing all its palm oil, from all its suppliers, to the plantation where it was grown (the current statement goes most of the way there, tracing palm oil considered most at risk to this level). But it has taken an important step forward, leading consumer goods companies toward a new relationship with our climate. Now it’s time for companies that are still lagging—for example, McDonald’s, Burger King and Yum! Brands—to move quickly to catch up. Tell McDonald’s, that for the sake of our atmosphere, tropical forests and endangered species – the time to act is now.

SOURCE 






Latest Climate Idiocy: Global Warming Created ISIS

In recent weeks the Obama administration has blamed President Bush and/or the intelligence community for the creation of ISIS, others have blamed President Obama and his reluctance to get involved in another Middle East conflict, but apparently both positions are wrong. According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, the reason why ISIS was able to form and grow so fast was global warming (note: do not check your calendar it's September not April fools day. They really believe this).

The authors of the piece; Charles B. Strozier Professor of History, The City University of New York; and Kelly A. Berkell Attorney and research associate, Center on Terrorism at John Jay College of Criminal Justice believe that ISIS formed because of a severe drought in Syria from 2006-2010 and that drought happened because of---you guessed it---Climate Change.

    "As the Obama administration undertakes a highly public, multilateral campaign to degrade and destroy the militant jihadists known as ISIS, ISIL and the Islamic State, many in the West remain unaware that climate played a significant role in the rise of Syria's extremists. A historic drought afflicted the country from 2006 through 2010, setting off a dire humanitarian crisis for millions of Syrians. Yet the four-year drought evoked little response from Bashar al-Assad's government. Rage at the regime's callousness boiled over in 2011, helping to fuel the popular uprising. In the ensuing chaos, ISIS stole onto the scene, proclaimed a caliphate in late June and accelerated its rampage of atrocities including the recent beheadings of three Western civilians.

    While ISIS threatens brutal violence against all who dissent from its harsh ideology, climate change menaces communities (less maliciously) with increasingly extreme weather.

    The drought that preceded the current conflict in Syria fits into a pattern of increased dryness in the Mediterranean and Middle East, for which scientists hold climate change partly responsible. Affecting 60 percent of Syria's land, drought ravaged the country's northeastern breadbasket region; devastated the livelihoods of 800,000 farmers and herders; and knocked two to three million people into extreme poverty. Many became climate refugees, abandoning their homes and migrating to already overcrowded cities. They forged temporary settlements on the outskirts of areas like Aleppo, Damascus, Hama and Homs. Some of the displaced settled in Daraa, where protests in early 2011 fanned out and eventually ignited a full-fledged war."

Although I am not a climate scientist (actually neither are the authors) it is easy to strike down their theory, both from a political and a scientific point of view:

    ISIS did not form in Syria it formed in Iraq. In fact one of the reasons each party has been able to blame the other for the rise of the terrorist group is that ISIS used to be al Qaeda in Iraq. They were thrown out of the Bin Laden group because the ISIS leaders did not play nice with the al Qaeda leaders. 

    Perhaps the single most important factor in ISIS' recent resurgence is the conflict between Iraqi Shias and Iraqi Sunnis. ISIS fighters themselves are Sunnis, and the tension between the two groups is a powerful recruiting tool for ISIS. The Shia government of Iraq refused to share power with the Sunnis (who held power under Saddam Hussein). The Shia/Sunni fight began as a fight over who got to take power after the Prophet Muhammad's death and has been going on for almost 1400 years--way before ISIS.

    Most observers believe ISIS was able to grow because American troops pulled out of Iraq too early and didn't help out in Syria until it was too late.  Unless the drought happened in Washington DC, it couldn't have had any influence on the President's decision.

     Droughts? science  states there has been no increase in droughts world-wide. In other words if you believe the world is going to hell in a hand basket due to global warming, that climate change is not increasing the number of droughts in in the world.

    "It is misleading and just plain incorrect to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally,” Professor Roger Pielke Jr. said in his testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

    In May of 2014 Professor Pielke  published a graph that shows the intensity of the planet's droughts from 1982 to 2012. The graph shows that neither droughts nor their intensity have seen a growth trend during that 30-year period.

    It's not getting warmer. Its incredible that almost every day the global warming hoaxers come up with another example of how the earth is being destroyed due to their hypothesis like the one being explored here. The truth is as of Sept. 1 the Earth hasn't warmed in the last 17 years and 11 months (new numbers, through October 1 will be out in a few days). Another way to look at it is the warming stopped approximately ten years before the drought in Syria...making it difficult for there to be a connection.

It is interesting that the authors contend "ISIS threatens brutal violence against all who dissent from its harsh ideology" which is true, ISIS not only threaten violence but they follow through with their threats. Also true is that the climate change proponents threaten violence. Thankfully they do not follow through with it, but they do attack people who question their unproven hypothesis as science haters and deniers of truth. Perhaps if they examined the facts instead of desperately trying to prove their hypothesis true climate change enthusiasts would realize the holes in their arguments.

Climate change helping to create ISIS is now #49 on the "official list," of stupid things global warming enthusiasts have blamed on their failed theory

SOURCE






Wind farms 'kill confused bats': New study

Endangered bats are being killed by wind turbine blades because the air currents are similar to those near tall trees, a study shows.

It’s feared the legally protected mammals are dying while hunting insects that are attracted by the heat generated by the spinning blades.

Thousands of bats have been killed by wind turbines causing a population decline that could cost the farming industry billions each year.

The nocturnal creatures are welcomed by farmers across the world as they eat large numbers of insects that usually damage crops.

This reduces the amount that farmers have to spend on pesticides and saves millions of new plants that could be obliterated by the creepy crawlies.

Over 600,000 bats were killed by wind turbines across the U.S. in 2O12 alone and in the UK the number of bats in areas where they are put up have fallen by 54 per cent.

The researchers say tree-roosting bats suffer higher fatality rates at the sites than other species and peak during low wind conditions.

They used thermal surveillance cameras situated on the ground, near-infrared video, acoustic detectors and radar to monitor bat behaviour at a wind farm in Indiana over several months.

During periods of low wind more bats were sighted near turbines than during gales. The frequency with which they approached from a downwind direction increased with increasing wind speeds - but only when the blades turned slower than normal.

When the blades moved freely the bats approached less frequently from a downwind direction as wind speeds increased.

The results published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggest bats orient toward turbines by sensing air currents.

Around three quarters of British bat species are known to roost in trees. The remaining species tend to favour human-made structures because of a lack of suitable and available tree habitat.

Trees provide shelter and attract a diverse range of insect species for bats to feed on. Since bats are not able to bore holes or make nests they use whatever gaps are available.

The researchers believe tree-roosting bats are attracted to turbines because air currents are similar to those around tall trees that harbour insects on their downwind sides or provide sheltered roosting sites.

The findings could explain why they are more vulnerable to wind farms than non-tree-roosting species.

Dr Paul Cryan, of Fort Collins Science Centre in Colorado, and colleagies said: 'Bats are dying in unprecedented numbers at wind turbines but causes of their susceptibility are unknown.

'Fatalities peak during low-wind conditions in late summer and autumn and primarily involve species that evolved to roost in trees.'

He added: 'We discovered previously undescribed patterns in the ways bats approach and interact with turbines suggesting behaviours that evolved at tall trees might be the reason why many bats die at wind turbines.'

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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1 October, 2014

Fascism Is Efficient, Says Andres Duany, Leading Proponent of “Sustainable Development”

At last a Greenie admits where he is coming from.  Fascism is of course NOT efficient, but it does suit those who want to control others

It goes by many names: “sustainable development,” “smart growth,” “transit-oriented development,” to name a few. But development projects built under the banner of “sustainability” share the same elements: high-density residential housing and high-intensity commercial space (so-called mixed use) clustered near capital-intensive mass transit lines surrounded by government-owned “open space” and, increasingly, government-imposed “urban growth boundaries.” Regardless of where a sustainable-development project is located in the world, each tends to apply these elements.

There is nothing wrong with high-density housing or non-automobile mobility per se. The problem is that sustainability advocates use government to force their vision of tomorrow on others and, equally important, use government to restrict or eliminate alternative visions from being adopted. Individual private-property rights and local decision making give way to the priorities of international, national, state, and regional governmental bodies influenced by urban planners who believe their vision of the next 50 to 100 years is the correct vision and the only vision worth pursuing. Anyone who thinks differently, according to the planners, is wrong, selfish, wasteful, or all three, and must be silenced.

If you think this description is exaggerated, watch this chilling video of Andres Duany speaking to the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council on why it should support his Seven50 plan. Mr. Duany is the chief architect of Seven50, the proposed 50-year regional development plan for seven counties in Southeast Florida, including Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Mr. Duany is a leading urban planner, author of The Smart Growth Manual, and a founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism, which seeks to end suburban sprawl. After watching this video ask yourself: Do I want to support the so-called “smart-growth” approach and empower Andres Duany and people like him to rule over me and my community using government force? Or do I want to strengthen my private property rights and ensure local control over housing, land use, and transportation issues?



(www.youtube.com/embed/O3rGwpyNwnY)

SOURCE







Global Warming Zealot McCarthy Of EPA Plays Race Card

You can't argue with global warming zealots: Whatever the thermometer reads, they're right and you're wrong. Whatever the short-term, intermediate or long-term data suggest, all these eco-radicals see is additional proof of their distorted worldview.

Hot summers? Mild winters? That's global warming. Mild summers? Frigid winters? That's global warming, too.

You see, if you're a disciple of climate change, it all makes perfect sense — every measurement is further validation, and every validation is an excuse to impose costlier obligations on taxpayers (and more onerous restrictions on what's left of our free market).

Responding to an unseasonably cool summer in New England (and predictions of a colder-than-usual winter), columnist Tom Keane of the Boston Globe assured his liberal readers that "climate change proceeds apace."

"We're like a guy with his head in the refrigerator while his house is burning down, thinking nothing's wrong," Keane wrote.

Never mind that satellite data released this spring by NASA showed no statistical change in the Earth's temperature over the past 17-1/2 years.

Trapped In Ice

Or that a leaked report to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year revealed that Earth was headed for a period of sustained cooling over the next few decades.

Or that as of last fall, the Antarctic sea ice extent was at record-high levels.

In fact, the research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy  — which was dispatched to the South Pole last December ostensibly to document melting polar ice caps — instead found itself trapped in frozen seas.

And yes, the boat's top researcher blamed his crew's ironic predicament on "global warming."

"We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said, insisting climate change caused ice up to 10 feet thick to envelop his fossil fuel-powered boat, making it impossible for fossil fuel-powered ice breakers to get within 10 miles of the ship (forcing the crew to be rescued by a fossil fuel-powered Chinese helicopter).

If you missed that story, you're not alone: Most mainstream media outlets refused to cover it.

Of course, when the head of Barack Obama's Environmental Protection Agency — avowed eco-radical Gina McCarthy — played the race card in an effort to pressure lawmakers into adopting harsher anti-free market regulations, her pronouncements were broadly disseminated and treated as gospel.

"Carbon pollution standards are an issue of justice," McCarthy said recently. "If we want to protect communities of color, we need to protect them from climate change."

SOURCE





It’s Time to Stop the Climate Scare Stories

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi sensibly refuses to attend yet another climate summit – this one called by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in New York for September 23, under the auspices of the United Nations, which profits handsomely from the much-exaggerated climate scare.

Environmentalists have complained at Mr. Modi’s decision not to attend. They say rising atmospheric CO2 will cause droughts, melt Himalayan ice and poison lakes and waterways in the Indian subcontinent.

However, the UN’s climate panel, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has already had to backtrack on an earlier assertion that all the ice in the Himalayas would be gone within 25 years, and the most comprehensive review of drought trends worldwide shows the global land area under drought has fallen throughout the past 30 years.

Mr. Modi, a spiritual man and thus down-to-earth, knows that a quarter of India’s people still have no electricity. His priority is to turn on the lights all over India. In Bihar, four homes in five are lit by kerosene.

Electric power is the quickest, surest, cheapest way to lift people out of poverty and so to stabilize India’s population, which may soon overtake China’s.

The Indian-born Nobel laureate in economics, Professor Amartya Sen, recently lamented: “There would appear to be an insufficient recognition in global discussion of the need for increased power in the poorer countries. In India, for example, about a third of the people do not have any power connection at all. Making it easier to produce energy with better environmental correlates (and greater efficiency of energy use) may be a contribution not just to environmental planning, but also to making it possible for a great many people to lead a fuller and free life.”

The world’s governing elite, however, no longer cares about poverty. Climate change is its new and questionable focus.

In late August the Asian Development Bank, for instance, based on UN IPCC rising carbon dioxide (CO2) scenarios, predicted that warmer weather would cut rice production, rising seas would engulf Mumbai and other coastal megacities, and rainfall would decline by 10-40% in many Indian provinces.

Droughts and floods have occurred throughout India’s history. In the widespread famine caused by the drought of 1595-1598, “Men ate their own kind. The streets and roads were blocked with corpses, but no assistance can be given for their removal,” a chronicler in Akbar’s court reported.

Every Indian knows that too much (or too little) monsoon rainfall can bring death. That is why the latest computer-generated doom-and-gloom scenario by the Asian Development Bank is not merely unwelcome – it is repugnant. Garbage in, gospel out.

In truth, rice production has risen steadily, sea level is barely rising and even the UN’s climate panel has twice been compelled to admit that there is no evidence of a worldwide change in rainfall.

Subtropical India will not warm by much: advection would take most additional heat poleward. Besides, globally there has been little or no warming for almost two decades. The models did not predict that. The UN’s climate panel, on our advice, has recently all but halved its central estimate of near-term warming.

Sea level is rising no faster than for 150 years. From 2004-2012 the Envisat satellite reported a rise of a tenth of an inch. From 2003-2009 gravity satellites actually showed sea level falling. Results like these have not hitherto been reported in the mainstream news media.

More than 2 centuries of scientific research have failed to make the duration or magnitude of monsoons predictable. Monsoons depend on sea and surface temperature and wind conditions in the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans, timing of El Niños in the equatorial Pacific, variations in Eurasian and Himalayan winter snow cover, even wind direction in the equatorial stratosphere.

Earlier this year, the Indian Meteorological Department predicted a 1 in 4 chance that the 2014 monsoon rainfall would be below the long-term average, leading to a year of drought

The prediction was wrong. Widespread floods in northwestern India and Pakistan have killed several hundred people. Many environmentalists and governmental officials are now insisting that rising atmospheric CO2 is the culprit. Yet the one cause of the recent floods that can be altogether ruled out is global warming, for the good and sufficient reason that for 18 years there has not been any warming.

Worse still for CO2 alarmists: 20th and 21st century warming did not occur in the western Himalayas, and paleo-temperature records from for the last millennium confirm no exceptional recent warming in this region, although the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today almost everywhere else.

Regardless of the numerous political manipulations of fact and reality, the scientific problems of forecasting monsoon self-evidently remain unsolved.

In 1906 the forecasts depended on 28 unknowns. By 2007 scientists from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology were using 73. So insisting that just one variable – CO2 concentration – will drive future monsoons is unscientific.

Professor Nandakumar Sarma, vice-chancellor of Manipur University, recently confirmed that “even supercomputers cannot predict what will happen due to climate change within 10-20 years, since there are millions of variable parameters.”

Models said monsoons would become more intense. Instead, they have weakened for 50 years.

As for the floods in the north-west, a study of three major rivers floods in Gujarat by Dr. Alpa Sridhar confirmed that past floods were at least 8 to 10 times worse than recent floods such as that of 1973. CO2-based climate models have been unable to “hindcast” or recreate those floods.

Models also fail to replicate the 60-yr and 200-yr cycles in monsoon rainfall linked to solar cycles detected by studies of ocean sediments from the Arabian Sea.

A new study led by Professor K.M. Hiremath of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics shows the strong, possibly causative correlation between variations in solar activity (red curve) and in monsoon rainfall (blue curve) in Figure 1.

The red curve is actually the result of a simulation of the Indian monsoon rainfall for the past 120 years using solar activity as a forcing variable. The sun is visibly a far more likely influence on monsoon patterns than changes in CO2 concentration.

Governments also overlook a key conclusion from the world’s modelers, led by Dr. Fred Kucharski of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics: “The increase of greenhouse gases in the twentieth century has not significantly contributed to the observed decadal Indian monsoonal rainfall variability.”

Not one climate model predicted the severe Indian drought of 2009, followed by the prolonged rains the next year – up by 40% in most regions. These natural variations are not new. They have happened for tens of thousands of years.

A paper for Climate Dynamics co-authored by Professor Goswami, recently-retired director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, shows why the models relied upon by the UN’s climate panel’s recent assessments predict monsoons inaccurately.

All 16 models examined had the same fatal flaw: they made rain too easily by artificially elevating air and water masses in the atmosphere.

Models are not ready to predict the climate. Misusing computers to spew out multiple “what-if” scenarios is unscientific.

Most fundamental problems in our immature understanding of climate have remained unresolved for decades. Some cannot be resolved at all. The UN’s climate panel admitted in 2001 what has been known for 50 years: because the climate is a “coupled, non-linear, chaotic object,” reliable long-term climate prediction is impossible.

Misuse of climate models as false prophets is costly in lives as well as treasure.

To condemn the poorest of India’s poor to continuing poverty is to condemn many to an untimely death. Mr. Modi is right to have no more to do with such murderous nonsense. It is time to put an end to climate summits. On the evidence, they are not needed.

SOURCE






Earth-Friendly Energy Is Anything But

Environmentalists worship solar energy and wind power as Earth-friendly answers to their ecological prayers. Tortoises, bats, butterflies, and bald eagles beg to differ.

Perhaps because solar panels and industrial wind farms lack emissions, they seem "clean." Despite their pristine appearance, however, these "green" electricity sources hammer Mother Nature - often fatally.

Consider the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in southern California's Mojave Desert. As Carolyn Lochhead wrote on September 7 in the San Francisco Chronicle, Ivanpah occupies 3,500 previously untouched federal acres. It features 300,000 mirrors that focus sunlight on three 40-story towers of power. Inside, 900-degree temperatures yield steam, propel turbines, and generate electricity for140,000 homes.

Ivanpah's environmental toll is stunning:

    BrightSource Energy, the project's owner, could have rehabilitated a brownfield, an abandoned commercial site, or a decommissioned military base. Instead, BrightSource developed 5.5 square miles of virgin desert.
   
Lochhead reports that "scientists now say desert soils contain vast stores of carbon that are unleashed by construction of solar facilities."
   
Tortoises native to that area became refugees once BrightSource relocated them en masse.
   
Kit-fox dens were flattened during construction.
   
Monarch butterflies and birds should avoid Ivanpah at all costs. Those who traverse its highly concentrated sunbeams oftenignite. Center for Biological Diversity ecologist K. Shawn Smallwoodtoldthe California Energy Commission last July that Ivanpah will roast an estimated 28,380 birds annually.

Ivanpah cost $2.2 billion, including a $1.6 billion federal loan. For its next trick, BrightSource envisions a bigger installation near Joshua Tree National Park - within a migratory path for protected peregrine falcons, golden eagles, and some 100 other bird species.

Meanwhile, environmentalists call wind power as benign as a summer breeze. In fact, wind farms have become avian killing fields. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reports that "wind turbines may kill a half a million birds a year." Wind blows away another 600,000 bats annually, primarily through lung hemorrhaging. While these "flying vampires" look scary, most are insectivores and vegetarians. Bats actually serve mankind by pollinating crops and devouring mosquitoes. Fewer bats mean more mosquitoes. Swell.

USF&WS explains also that "eagles appear to be particularly susceptible. Large numbers of golden eagles have been killed by wind turbines in the western states," as have smaller numbers of bald eagles. Team Obama - which could not care less about America's beautiful, majestic national symbol - almost never prosecuteswind companies for violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Even worse, Obama is granting wind-farm operators 30-year federal eagle-killing permits, to continue their mayhem - all in the name of "clean" energy. On this matter, Obama's unvarnished callousness is staggering.

Long before windmills are installed - which itself consumes open fields - they abuse the Earth.

To evaluate any energy technology, "we must remember that it's a process, starting with mining the materials necessary for the machines," Alex Epstein notes in his forthcoming Penguin book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. Epstein observes that manufacturing wind turbines requires "hazardous substances like hydrofluoric acid in order to get usable rare earth elements."

The Daily Mail's Simon Parry toured Baotou, China, a source of neodymium, the main ingredient in wind turbines' electromagnets. He discovered "a five-mile wide ‘tailing' lake. It has killed farmland for miles around, made thousands of people ill, and put one of China's key waterways in jeopardy."

Parry added:

    "This vast, hissing cauldron of chemicals is the dumping ground for seven million tons a year of mined rare earth after it has been doused in acid and chemicals and processed through red-hot furnaces to extract its components.

    The lake instantly assaults your senses. Stand on the black crust for just seconds and your eyes water and a powerful, acrid stench fills your lungs.

    For hours after our visit, my stomach lurched and my head throbbed. We were there for only one hour, but those who live in Mr. Yan's village of Dalahai, and other villages around, breathe in the same poison every day."

Environmentalists should stop hallucinating about "sustainable" power sources that unleash puppies and rainbows at no cost to air, water, habitat, and wildlife. "Clean energy" hurts nature. Those who believe otherwise live in Fantasyland.

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Why the Buzz About a Bee-pocalypse Is a Honey Trap

Populations of the pollinators are not declining and a ban on neonic pesticides would devastate U.S. agriculture

On June 20 the White House issued a presidential memorandum creating a Pollinator Health Task Force and ordering the Environmental Protection Agency to "assess the effect of pesticides, including neonicotinoids, on bee and other pollinator health and take action, as appropriate."

Why the fuss over bees? Is the U.S. in the midst of a bee-pocalypse? The science says no. Bee populations in the U.S. and Europe remain at healthy levels for reproduction and the critical pollination of food crops and trees. But during much of the past decade we have seen higher-than-average overwinter bee-colony losses in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as cases of bees abruptly abandoning their hives, a phenomenon known as "colony collapse disorder."

Citing this disorder, antipesticide activists and some voluble beekeepers want to ban the most widely used pesticides in modern agriculture—neonicotinoids ("neonics" for short)—that account for 20% of pesticide sales world-wide. This would have disastrous effects on modern farming and food prices.

What are neonics? Crafted to target pests that destroy crops, while minimizing toxicity to other species, neonics are much safer for humans and other vertebrates than previous pesticides. But citing supposed threats to honeybee populations, the European Union imposed a two-year ban in December 2013, and activists are trying to convince regulators in Canada and the U.S. to follow suit.

Yet there is only circumstantial or flawed experimental evidence of harm to bees by neonics. Often-cited experiments include one conducted by Chensheng Lu of the Harvard School of Public Health that exposed the insects to 30-100 times their usual exposure in the field. That does poison bees, but it doesn't replicate real-world colony collapse disorder, which in any case seems now to be declining. According to University of Maryland entomologist Dennis vanEngelsdorp, no cases have been reported from the field in three years.

The reality is that honeybee populations are not declining. According to U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization statistics, the world's honeybee population rose to 80 million colonies in 2011 from 50 million in 1960. In the U.S. and Europe, honeybee populations have been stable—or slightly rising in the last couple of years—during the two decades since neonics were introduced, U.N. and USDA data show. Statistics Canada reports an increase to 672,000 honeybee colonies in Canada, up from 501,000, over the same two decades.

In February, the Australian government issued a report on bee health from the only continent unaffected by the Varroa destructor mite, a pathogen of bees. It found that, "Australian honeybee populations are not in decline, despite the increased use of [neonicotinoids] in agriculture and horticulture since the mid-1990s."

In April the EU released the first Continent-wide epidemiological study of bee health in Europe, covering 2012-13 (before the EU's neonic ban went into effect). Seventy-five percent of the EU's bee population (located in 11 of the countries surveyed) experienced overwinter losses of 15% a year or less—levels considered normal in the U.S. Only 5% of the EU's bee population (located in six northern countries) experienced losses over 20%, after a long, severe winter.

A ban on neonics would not benefit bees, because they are not the chief source of bee health problems today. Varroa mites are, along with the lethal viruses they vector into bee colonies. If neonics were dangerous, how to explain that in Canada, Saskatchewan's $19 billion canola industry depends on neonics to prevent predation by the ravenous flea beetle—and those neonic-treated canola fields support such thriving honeybee populations that they've been dubbed the "pastures for pollinators."

A neonic ban would, however, devastate North American agriculture and the communities that depend on it. Neonics are the last line of defense for Florida's citrus industry against the Asian citrus psyllid, an insect that spreads a devastating disease of citrus trees called huanglongbing, or HLB. They're also the first line of defense in Texas and California, where HLB is beginning. Without neonic protection, tomatoes in Florida and vegetable crops in Arizona, California and the Pacific Northwest would be imperiled. If whitefly infestations weren't kept in check with neonics, much of the U.S. winter vegetable production would be lost.

Grape-growing in California and the Pacific Northwest could be devastated by the viral scourges of leaf-roll and red blotch without neonic pesticides to control the leafhoppers that spread them. Without neonic protection against thrips in cotton, water weevil in rice and grape colaspis in soybeans, yields in the mid-South could be so damaged that farmers would either go out of business or turn to already abundant crops like corn.

The knock-on effect wouldn't stop there. The production of citrus and tomatoes in Florida and rice and cotton in the mid-South and elsewhere is tied to processing plants, refrigerated warehouses, packing houses, cotton gins, rice mills, and a transportation and shipping infrastructure that supports agriculture. If the crops processed by these support industries were to become economically nonviable without crop protection, rural counties across the southeastern U.S. would be decimated.

All this would be painful for consumers, who would see their food costs rise significantly. And by making farm exports more expensive and less competitive, it would damage the U.S. economy. All reasons to worry about unleashing the EPA in a fight in which activists who have the ear of regulators constantly misrepresent the science.

SOURCE







The elusive Michael Mann

More than six months have elapsed since climate science data-fraudster Michael Mann’s multi-million dollar legal team bullishly announced the climate science trial of the century would be underway “shortly.” Oh, how the internet makes liars of them. What has transpired since?  Answer: Nothing.

In February the world’s only truly independent science association dedicated to exposing government-funded junk research (Principia Scientific International) broke the news that the former golden boy of global warming “science” is down and out in a courtroom battle not seen since the famous Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925.

As our story went viral Mann’s legal team, led by top Canadian libel expert, Roger McConchie, swiftly counter-punched issuing their own press release retorting:

“The Mann lawsuit is currently in the discovery phase, with further examinations for discovery (depositions) of the defendants to be scheduled shortly, following which I will either set the action for trial by jury in the usual manner, or bring a summary trial application.”

We foretold Mann would either face bankruptcy upon Dr. Ball’s stunning victory, or his deep-pocketed backers (including David Suzuki) would be liable for costs in the millions. But weasel words from McConchie proclaimed:

"The review of Tim Ball’s new book by Hans Schreuder and John O’Sullivan makes preposterous statements..."

Our "preposterous statements" are backed by the shocking revelations in Dr. Ball's astonishing publication, ‘The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science’ exposing the science fraud of the century. Literally hundreds of climate science papers are based on Mann's fraudulent work. When Ball wins, all alarmist climate science loses. Game over.

But as we move deeper into the fourth year of this shameful attempt to misuse the courts to stifle public debate - while there has been no further global warming for 17 years despite relentless rises in atmospheric CO2 - the public sees clearly what “climate science” is really all about.

These are tough times for the beleagured climate alarmists in the United Nations, self-serving governments and their "scientists." All have failed in their bid to dupe the world's citizenry that man-made global warming poses a real threat to life on Earth. It hurt them badly that our report that Mann’s once trumpeted libel suit against popular skeptic climatologist, Dr Tim Ball, had withered and Mann had lost his mojo. It all really began to unravel badly for Mann in 2009 when those leaked 'Climategate' emails first exposed him as an egotistical bully boy trashing any scientists who disagreed with him.

For example, upset that Harvard University researchers were successfully arguing that solar variance rather than carbon dioxide emissions are the most likely primary cause of recent global temperature fluctuations, Mann sent out an email seeking to coordinate action to pressure Harvard to rebuke or discipline the researchers. “If someone has close ties w/ any individuals there [at Harvard] who might be in a position to actually get some action taken on this, I’d highly encourage pursuing this,” writes Mann to fellow scientist-activists.

Now Mann is further shamed as the bully/coward shying away from the Vancouver courtroom he once brazenly chose as his battleground.

You see, Mann simply won’t permit courtroom examination of his withheld calculations (those damning r2 regression numbers) of his infamous ‘hockey stick’ graph made an iconic image of the UN and climate alarmists worldwide since 1999. And secret science is not science you or I can trust.

So with the last vestige of Mann’s credibility (and his lawyer's) in the toilet we thought it apposite to now publicly prod them once more over their shameless abuse of the court system.  As we all know, last week the world’s media was busy hyping the latest climate protests hullaballoo in New York and London.  We had the obligatory wealthy Hollywood stars, Leonardo DiCaprio (the new "UN Climate Change Envoy") and Emma Thompson (‘Nanny McFee’) out and about shilling for the cause. Thompson told the London rally that climate change is the human rights issue of our time and that:

"No more are we the grungy hippies sitting in trees. We are the voice of the future - if there is to be a future."

And revelations suggested that "grungy hippies" at the New York event were being paid $50 a head.

But science isn’t showbiz and theatrics. It is about empirical evidence – proving your case openly to the public and the wider scientific community. And that is something Michael Mann cannot do without exposing the extraordinarily corrupt basis of the widest and most coordinated scientific fraud known.

Again, if it still needs repeating – Michael Mann is a crook, his "science" is fraudulent and the cause promoted by DiCaprio and Thompson and other useful idiots is anti-science and anti-truth and the sooner Mann and other climate cronies face criminal prosecutions the better!

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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This site is in favour of things that ARE good for the environment. That the usual Greenie causes are good for the environment is however disputed.

Context for the minute average temperature change recorded: At any given time surface air temperatures around the world range over about 100°C. Even in the same place they can vary by nearly that much seasonally and as much as 30°C or more in a day. A minute rise in average temperature in that context is trivial if it is not meaningless altogether. Warmism is a money-grubbing racket, not science.

By John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.), writing from Brisbane, Australia.





WISDOM:

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" -- Karl Popper

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman

"The desire to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it" -- H L Mencken

'Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action' -- Goethe

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” -- Voltaire

Lord Salisbury: "No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe soldiers, nothing is safe."

Calvin Coolidge said, "If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you." He could have been talking about Warmists.

Some advice from long ago for Warmists: "If ifs and ans were pots and pans,there'd be no room for tinkers". It's a nursery rhyme harking back to Middle English times when "an" could mean "if". Tinkers were semi-skilled itinerant workers who fixed holes and handles in pots and pans -- which were valuable household items for most of our history. Warmists are very big on "ifs", mays", "might" etc. But all sorts of things "may" happen, including global cooling

Bertrand Russell knew about consensus: "The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”

There goes another beautiful theory about to be murdered by a brutal gang of facts. - Duc de La Rochefoucauld, French writer and moralist (1613-1680)

"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate" -- William of Occam

"In science, refuting an accepted belief is celebrated as an advance in knowledge; in religion it is condemned as heresy". (Bob Parks, Physics, U of Maryland). No prizes for guessing how global warming skepticism is normally responded to.

"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus

"The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin." -- Thomas H. Huxley

Time was, people warning the world "Repent - the end is nigh!" were snickered at as fruitcakes. Now they own the media and run the schools.

"One of the sources of the Fascist movement is the desire to avoid a too-rational and too-comfortable world" -- George Orwell, 1943 in Can Socialists Be Happy?

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts -- Bertrand Russell

“Affordable energy in ample quantities is the lifeblood of the industrial societies and a prerequisite for the economic development of the others.” -- John P. Holdren, Science Adviser to President Obama. Published in Science 9 February 2001

The closer science looks at the real world processes involved in climate regulation the more absurd the IPCC's computer driven fairy tale appears. Instead of blithely modeling climate based on hunches and suppositions, climate scientists would be better off abandoning their ivory towers and actually measuring what happens in the real world.' -- Doug L Hoffman

Something no Warmist could take on board: "Knuth once warned a correspondent, "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it." -- Prof. Donald Knuth, whom some regard as the world's smartest man

"To be green is to be irrational, misanthropic and morally defective. They are the barbarians at the gate we have to stand against" -- Rich Kozlovich


ABOUT:

This is one of TWO skeptical blogs that I update daily. During my research career as a social scientist, I was appalled at how much writing in my field was scientifically lacking -- and I often said so in detail in the many academic journal articles I had published in that field. I eventually gave up social science research, however, because no data ever seemed to change the views of its practitioners. I hoped that such obtuseness was confined to the social scientists but now that I have shifted my attention to health related science and climate related science, I find the same impermeability to facts and logic. Hence this blog and my FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC blog. I may add that I did not come to either health or environmental research entirely without credentials. I had several academic papers published in both fields during my social science research career

Update: After 8 years of confronting the frankly childish standard of reasoning that pervades the medical journals, I have given up. I have put the blog into hibernation. In extreme cases I may put up here some of the more egregious examples of medical "wisdom" that I encounter. Greenies and food freaks seem to be largely coterminous. My regular bacon & egg breakfasts would certainly offend both -- if only because of the resultant methane output

Since my academic background is in the social sciences, it is reasonable to ask what a social scientist is doing talking about global warming. My view is that my expertise is the most relevant of all. It seems clear to me from what you will see on this blog that belief in global warming is very poorly explained by history, chemistry, physics or statistics.

Warmism is prophecy, not science. Science cannot foretell the future. Science can make very accurate predictions based on known regularities in nature (e.g. predicting the orbits of the inner planets) but Warmism is the exact opposite of that. It predicts a DEPARTURE from the known regularities of nature. If we go by the regularities of nature, we are on the brink of an ice age.

And from a philosophy of science viewpoint, far from being "the science", Warmism is not even an attempt at a factual statement, let alone being science. It is not a meaningful statement about the world. Why? Because it is unfalsifiable -- making it a religious, not a scientific statement. To be a scientific statement, there would have to be some conceivable event that disproved it -- but there appears to be none. ANY event is hailed by Warmists as proving their contentions. Only if Warmists were able to specify some fact or event that would disprove their theory would it have any claim to being a scientific statement. So the explanation for Warmist beliefs has to be primarily a psychological and political one -- which makes it my field

And, after all, Al Gore's academic qualifications are in social science also -- albeit very pissant qualifications.

A "geriatric" revolt: The scientists who reject Warmism tend to be OLD! Your present blogger is one of those. There are tremendous pressures to conformity in academe and the generally Leftist orientation of academe tends to pressure everyone within it to agree to ideas that suit the Left. And Warmism is certainly one of those ideas. So old guys are the only ones who can AFFORD to declare the Warmists to be unclothed. They either have their careers well-established (with tenure) or have reached financial independence (retirement) and so can afford to call it like they see it. In general, seniors in society today are not remotely as helpful to younger people as they once were. But their opposition to the Warmist hysteria will one day show that seniors are not completely irrelevant after all. Experience does count (we have seen many such hysterias in the past and we have a broader base of knowledge to call on) and our independence is certainly an enormous strength. Some of us are already dead. (Reid Bryson and John Daly are particularly mourned) and some of us are very senior indeed (e.g. Bill Gray and Vince Gray) but the revolt we have fostered is ever growing so we have not labored in vain.


SOME POINTS TO PONDER:

Climate is just the sum of weather. So if you cannot forecast the weather a month in advance, you will not be able to forecast the climate 50 years in advance. And official meteorologists such as Britain's Met Office and Australia's BOM, are very poor forecasters of weather. The Met office has in fact given up on making seasonal forecasts because they have so often got such forecasts embarrassingly wrong. Their global-warming-powered "models" just did not deliver

Here's how that "97% consensus" figure was arrived at

A strange Green/Left conceit: They seem to think (e.g. here) that no-one should spend money opposing them and that conservative donors must not support the election campaigns of Congressmen they agree with

To Greenies, Genghis Khan was a good guy, believe it or not. They love that he killed so many people.

Greenie antisemitism

After three exceptionally cold winters in the Northern hemisphere, the Warmists are chanting: "Warming causes cold". Even if we give that a pass for logic, it still inspires the question: "Well, what are we worried about"? Cold is not going to melt the icecaps is it?"

It's a central (but unproven) assumption of the Warmist "models" that clouds cause warming. Odd that it seems to cool the temperature down when clouds appear overhead!

To make out that the essentially trivial warming of the last 150 years poses some sort of threat, Warmists postulate positive feedbacks that might cut in to make the warming accelerate in the near future. Amid their theories about feedbacks, however, they ignore the one feedback that is no theory: The reaction of plants to CO2. Plants gobble up CO2 and the more CO2 there is the more plants will flourish and hence gobble up yet more CO2. And the increasing crop yields of recent years show that plantlife is already flourishing more. The recent rise in CO2 will therefore soon be gobbled up and will no longer be around to bother anyone. Plants provide a huge NEGATIVE feedback in response to increases in atmospheric CO2

Every green plant around us is made out of carbon dioxide that the plant has grabbed out of the atmosphere. That the plant can get its carbon from such a trace gas is one of the miracles of life. It admittedly uses the huge power of the sun to accomplish such a vast filtrative task but the fact that a dumb plant can harness the power of the sun so effectively is also a wonder. We live on a rather improbable planet. If a science fiction writer elsewhere in the universe described a world like ours he might well be ridiculed for making up such an implausible tale.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "HEAT TRAPPING GAS". A gas can become warmer by contact with something warmer or by infrared radiation shining on it or by adiabatic (pressure) effects but it cannot trap anything. Air is a gas. Try trapping something with it!

Greenies are the sand in the gears of modern civilization -- and they intend to be.

The Greenie message is entirely emotional and devoid of all logic. They say that polar ice will melt and cause a big sea-level rise. Yet 91% of the world's glacial ice is in Antarctica, where the average temperature is around minus 40 degrees Celsius. The melting point of ice is zero degrees. So for the ice to melt on any scale the Antarctic temperature would need to rise by around 40 degrees, which NOBODY is predicting. The median Greenie prediction is about 4 degrees. So where is the huge sea level rise going to come from? Mars? And the North polar area is mostly sea ice and melting sea ice does not raise the sea level at all. Yet Warmists constantly hail any sign of Arctic melting. That the melting of floating ice does not raise the water level is known as Archimedes' principle. Archimedes demonstrated it around 2,500 years ago. That Warmists have not yet caught up with that must be just about the most inspissated ignorance imaginable. The whole Warmist scare defies the most basic physics. Yet at the opening of 2011 we find the following unashamed lying by James Hansen: "We will lose all the ice in the polar ice cap in a couple of decades". Sadly, what the Vulgate says in John 1:5 is still only very partially true: "Lux in tenebris lucet". There is still much darkness in the minds of men.

The repeated refusal of Warmist "scientists" to make their raw data available to critics is such a breach of scientific protocol that it amounts to a confession in itself. Note, for instance Phil Jones' Feb 21, 2005 response to Warwick Hughes' request for his raw climate data: "We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Looking for things that might be wrong with a given conclusion is of course central to science. But Warmism cannot survive such scrutiny. So even after "Climategate", the secrecy goes on.

Most Greenie causes are at best distractions from real environmental concerns (such as land degradation) and are more motivated by a hatred of people than by any care for the environment

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

‘Global warming’ has become the grand political narrative of the age, replacing Marxism as a dominant force for controlling liberty and human choices. -- Prof. P. Stott

Comparing climate alarmist Hansen to Cassandra is WRONG. Cassandra's (Greek mythology) dire prophecies were never believed but were always right. Hansen's dire prophecies are usually believed but are always wrong (Prof. Laurence Gould, U of Hartford, CT)

The modern environmental movement arose out of the wreckage of the New Left. They call themselves Green because they're too yellow to admit they're really Reds. So Lenin's birthday was chosen to be the date of Earth Day. Even a moderate politician like Al Gore has been clear as to what is needed. In "Earth in the Balance", he wrote that saving the planet would require a "wrenching transformation of society".

For centuries there was a scientific consensus which said that fire was explained by the release of an invisible element called phlogiston. That theory is universally ridiculed today. Global warming is the new phlogiston. Though, now that we know how deliberate the hoax has been, it might be more accurate to call global warming the New Piltdown Man. The Piltdown hoax took 40 years to unwind. I wonder....

Motives: Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Policies: The only underlying theme that makes sense of all Greenie policies is hatred of people. Hatred of other people has been a Greenie theme from way back. In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991, p. 104) published by the "Club of Rome", a Greenie panic outfit, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." See here for many more examples of prominent Greenies saying how much and how furiously they hate you.

The conventional wisdom of the day is often spectacularly wrong. The most popular and successful opera of all time is undoubtedly "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Yet it was much criticized when first performed and the unfortunate Bizet died believing that it was a flop. Similarly, when the most iconic piece of 20th century music was first performed in 1913-- Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- half the audience walked out. Those of us who defy the conventional wisdom about climate are actually better off than that. Unlike Bizet and Stravinsky in 1913, we KNOW that we will eventually be vindicated -- because all that supports Warmism is a crumbling edifice of guesswork ("models").

Al Gore won a political prize for an alleged work of science. That rather speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Jim Hansen and his twin

Getting rich and famous through alarmism: Al Gore is well-known but note also James Hansen. He has for decades been a senior, presumably well-paid, employee at NASA. In 2001 he was the recipient of a $250,000 Heinz Award. In 2007 Time magazine designated him a Hero of the Environment. That same year he pocketed one-third of a $1 million Dan David Prize. In 2008, the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented him with its Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award. In 2010 he landed a $100,000 Sophie Prize. He pulled in a total of $1.2 million in 2010. Not bad for a government bureaucrat.

See the original global Warmist in action here: "The icecaps are melting and all world is drowning to wash away the sin"

I am not a global warming skeptic nor am I a global warming denier. I am a global warming atheist. I don't believe one bit of it. That the earth's climate changes is undeniable. Only ignoramuses believe that climate stability is normal. But I see NO evidence to say that mankind has had anything to do with any of the changes observed -- and much evidence against that claim.

Seeing that we are all made of carbon, the time will come when people will look back on the carbon phobia of the early 21st century as too incredible to be believed

Meanwhile, however, let me venture a tentative prophecy. Prophecies are almost always wrong but here goes: Given the common hatred of carbon (Warmists) and salt (Food freaks) and given the fact that we are all made of carbon, salt, water and calcium (with a few additives), I am going to prophecy that at some time in the future a hatred of nitrogen will emerge. Why? Because most of the air that we breathe is nitrogen. We live at the bottom of a nitrogen sea. Logical to hate nitrogen? NO. But probable: Maybe. The Green/Left is mad enough. After all, nitrogen is a CHEMICAL -- and we can't have that!

UPDATE to the above: It seems that I am a true prophet

The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) must have foreseen Global Warmism. He said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

The Holy Grail for most scientists is not truth but research grants. And the global warming scare has produced a huge downpour of money for research. Any mystery why so many scientists claim some belief in global warming?

For many people, global warming seems to have taken the place of "The Jews" -- a convenient but false explanation for any disliked event. Prof. Brignell has some examples.

Global warming skeptics are real party-poopers. It's so wonderful to believe that you have a mission to save the world.

There is an "ascetic instinct" (or perhaps a "survivalist instinct") in many people that causes them to delight in going without material comforts. Monasteries and nunneries were once full of such people -- with the Byzantine stylites perhaps the most striking example. Many Greenies (other than Al Gore and his Hollywood pals) have that instinct too but in the absence of strong orthodox religious committments they have to convince themselves that the world NEEDS them to live in an ascetic way. So their personal emotional needs lead them to press on us all a delusional belief that the planet needs "saving".

The claim that oil is a fossil fuel is another great myth and folly of the age. They are now finding oil at around seven MILES beneath the sea bed -- which is incomparably further down than any known fossil. The abiotic oil theory is not as yet well enough developed to generate useful predictions but that is also true of fossil fuel theory

Help keep the planet Green! Maximize your CO2 and CH4 output!

Global Warming=More Life; Global Cooling=More Death.

The inconvenient truth about biological effects of "Ocean Acidification"

Cook the crook who cooks the books

The great and fraudulent scare about lead

Green/Left denial of the facts explained: "Rejection lies in this, that when the light came into the world men preferred darkness to light; preferred it, because their doings were evil. Anyone who acts shamefully hates the light, will not come into the light, for fear that his doings will be found out. Whereas the man whose life is true comes to the light" John 3:19-21 (Knox)

Against the long history of huge temperature variation in the earth's climate (ice ages etc.), the .6 of one degree average rise reported by the U.N. "experts" for the entire 20th century (a rise so small that you would not be able to detect such a difference personally without instruments) shows, if anything, that the 20th century was a time of exceptional temperature stability.

Recent NASA figures tell us that there was NO warming trend in the USA during the 20th century. If global warming is occurring, how come it forgot the USA?

Warmists say that the revised NASA figures do not matter because they cover only the USA -- and the rest of the world is warming nicely. But it is not. There has NEVER been any evidence that the Southern hemisphere is warming. See here. So the warming pattern sure is looking moth-eaten.

The latest scare is the possible effect of extra CO2 on the world’s oceans, because more CO2 lowers the pH of seawater. While it is claimed that this makes the water more acidic, this is misleading. Since seawater has a pH around 8.1, it will take an awful lot of CO2 it to even make the water neutral (pH=7), let alone acidic (pH less than 7).

In fact, ocean acidification is a scientific impossibility. Henry's Law mandates that warming oceans will outgas CO2 to the atmosphere (as the UN's own documents predict it will), making the oceans less acid. Also, more CO2 would increase calcification rates. No comprehensive, reliable measurement of worldwide oceanic acid/base balance has ever been carried out: therefore, there is no observational basis for the computer models' guess that acidification of 0.1 pH units has occurred in recent decades.

The chaos theory people have told us for years that the air movement from a single butterfly's wing in Brazil can cause an unforeseen change in our weather here. Now we are told that climate experts can "model" the input of zillions of such incalculable variables over periods of decades to accurately forecast global warming 50 years hence. Give us all a break!

If you doubt the arrogance [of the global warming crowd, you haven't seen that Newsweek cover story that declared the global warming debate over. Consider: If Newton's laws of motion could, after 200 years of unfailing experimental and experiential confirmation, be overthrown, it requires religious fervor to believe that global warming -- infinitely more untested, complex and speculative -- is a closed issue

Scientists have politics too -- sometimes extreme politics. Read this: "This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism... I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child." -- Albert Einstein

The "precautionary principle" is a favourite Greenie idea -- but isn't that what George Bush was doing when he invaded Iraq? Wasn't that a precaution against Saddam getting or having any WMDs? So Greenies all agree with the Iraq intervention? If not, why not?

A classic example of how the sensationalist media distort science to create climate panic is here.

There is a very readable summary of the "Hockey Stick" fraud here

The Lockwood & Froehlich paper was designed to rebut Durkin's "Great Global Warming Swindle" film. It is a rather confused paper -- acknowledging yet failing to account fully for the damping effect of the oceans, for instance -- but it is nonetheless valuable to climate atheists. The concession from a Greenie source that fluctuations in the output of the sun have driven climate change for all but the last 20 years (See the first sentence of the paper) really is invaluable. And the basic fact presented in the paper -- that solar output has in general been on the downturn in recent years -- is also amusing to see. Surely even a crazed Greenie mind must see that the sun's influence has not stopped and that reduced solar output will soon start COOLING the earth! Unprecedented July 2007 cold weather throughout the Southern hemisphere might even have been the first sign that the cooling is happening. And the fact that warming plateaued in 1998 is also a good sign that we are moving into a cooling phase. As is so often the case, the Greenies have got the danger exactly backwards. See my post of 7.14.07 and very detailed critiques here and here and here for more on the Lockwood paper and its weaknesses.

As the Greenies are now learning, even strong statistical correlations may disappear if a longer time series is used. A remarkable example from Sociology: "The modern literature on hate crimes began with a remarkable 1933 book by Arthur Raper titled The Tragedy of Lynching. Raper assembled data on the number of lynchings each year in the South and on the price of an acre’s yield of cotton. He calculated the correla­tion coefficient between the two series at –0.532. In other words, when the economy was doing well, the number of lynchings was lower.... In 2001, Donald Green, Laurence McFalls, and Jennifer Smith published a paper that demolished the alleged connection between economic condi­tions and lynchings in Raper’s data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his anal­ysis in 1929. After the Great Depression hit, the price of cotton plummeted and economic condi­tions deteriorated, yet lynchings continued to fall. The correlation disappeared altogether when more years of data were added." So we must be sure to base our conclusions on ALL the data. In the Greenie case, the correlation between CO2 rise and global temperature rise stopped in 1998 -- but that could have been foreseen if measurements taken in the first half of the 20th century had been considered.

Relying on the popular wisdom can even hurt you personally: "The scientific consensus of a quarter-century ago turned into the arthritic nightmare of today."

Greenie-approved sources of electricity (windmills and solar cells) require heavy government subsidies to be competitive with normal electricity generators so a Dutch word for Greenie power seems graphic to me: "subsidieslurpers" (subsidy gobblers)




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