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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20 May, 2015

Big batteries are needed to back up wind and solar

A recent physics paper has looked at the problems caused when erratic wind and solar power is fed into a grid.  A stable supply can still be given to the consumer when such inputs are slight but, when they become a significant part of the system, brownouts and blackouts may result.  To prevent that, feeding the power through big batteries (accumulators) would be the best option.  The undoubtedly large costs of doing so are not mentioned.  Abstract and a few excerpts below

Impact of Low Rotational Inertia on Power System Stability and Operation

Andreas Ulbig et al.


Large-scale deployment of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) has led to significant generation shares of variable RES in power systems worldwide. RES units, notably inverter-connected wind turbines and photovoltaics (PV) that as such do not provide rotational inertia, are effectively displacing conventional generators and their rotating machinery. The traditional assumption that grid inertia is sufficiently high with only small variations over time is thus not valid for power systems with high RES shares. This has implications for frequency dynamics and power system stability and operation. Frequency dynamics are faster in power systems with low rotational inertia, making frequency control and power system operation more challenging. This paper investigates the impact of low rotational inertia on power system stability and operation, contributes new analysis insights and offers mitigation options for low inertia impacts.

As can also be seen in this simulation example (shown in green), one powerful mitigation option for low inertia levels and faster frequency dynamics is the deployment of a faster primary control scheme, e.g. fully activated within 5 s after a fault. Notably Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) are well-suited for providing a fast power response


The presented analyses show that high shares of inverter-connected power generation can have a significant impact on power system stability and power system operation. The new contributions of this paper are:

Rotational Inertia becomes heterogeneous. Instead of a global inertia constant H there are different Hi for the individual areas i as a function of how much converter-connected units versus conventional units are online in the different areas.

Rotational inertia constants become time-variant (Hi(t)). This is due to the variability of the power dispatch. Frequency dynamics become thus differently fast in the individual grid areas.

Grid frequency instability phenomena are amplified. Reduced rotational inertia leads to faster frequency dynamics and in turn causes larger frequency deviations and transient power exchanges over tie-lines in the event of a power fault. This may cause false errors and unexpected tripping of the tie-lines in question by automatic protection devices, in turn further aggravating an already critical situation.

Faster primary control emulates a time-variant damping effect (k(t)). This is critical for power system stability immediately after a fault event. Please note that the analysis results presented here have been obtained by using idealized primary and secondary frequency control loop dynamics. This is only a first step. Further analysis will, however, have to take into account more detailed, i.e. more realistic, frequency response characteristics of various unit types (i.e. including additional time-delays, inverse response behavior, etcetera).

Mitigation options for low rotational inertia and faster frequency dynamics are faster primary frequency control and the provision of synthetic rotational inertia, also known as inertia mimicking, provided either by wind&PV generation units and/or storage units; confer also to. BESS units are, due to their very fast response behavior, especially well-suited for providing either fast frequency (and voltage) control reserves or synthetic rotational inertia for power system operation.


Another Warmist who is big on righteousness and very low on facts and information

The "expert" is basically just a silly old lady.  Is that the best the Greenies can do?  Apparently

Interviewed on the Catholic network, EWTN, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) climate expert Carol Andress is asked about the 18 year ‘pause in global warming’ by host Raymond Arroyo.  Some excerpts:

Arroyo: ‘Carol, some groups say the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that they failed to recognize this pause in global warming. Is that an issue? Do they have a point? There’s been this sort of 18 year pause where, you don’t, it’s not warming up?’ 

Andress: ‘I can’t speak to that, I, the, yeh, uhh…’

Arroyo: ‘You can’t speak to that?’

Andress: ‘I can’t speak to that particular IPCC, uh…’

Arroyo: ‘Anomaly?’

Andress: ‘…Anomaly. Uh, the, I mean the fact is, you know, eh, the, uh, this is pretty basic physics, uh, what were talking about in terms of the gasses, uh, and the effect that they have on trapping heat, uh, the, eh, uh, it’s, an we, you know, the fact is, it’s common sense that if we’re going to be throwing at, be, if we’re going to be burning, eh, and putting unlimited pollution into the air, that eventually it’s going to have an impact.’ ....

Morano: I can speak to that. And there has been, according to the satellite data, 18 years 5 months currently with no global warming. If you look back at the ensemble of climate models  out of 117 — 114 models over predicted warming — predicted warming that did not occur. So the models have been failing.

Morano: In terms of the simple settled physics. we have had ice ages with CO2 five times higher than today. The geologic history of the earth contradicts these claims. Major UN scientists have not turned against the organization. Dr. Richard Tol, a lead UN author did a study and found the alleged 97% ‘consensus’ was pulled out of thin air.

Andress: Look, scientists are more certain about the human contribution to climate change than they are that smoking causes cancer. Now, are there still people who will maintain that smoking does not cause cancer? Sure, you can find those skeptics, they exist....

Morano: It’s offensive for her to mention tobacco. CO2 is a gas of life. It is not a pollutant under any definition of pollution. Let’s get that straight. And the United Nations and the IPCC scientists promoting this are handpicked by governments and the head of the UN climate panel had said they are at the back and call of governments.

And what do those governments want? They have an agenda. They openly say they want to redistribute wealth by climate policy. So they are using the science as a partisan political campaign effort for centralized government planning through the United Nations. It’s a self enrichment tool, self-interest tool and a way they can be in charge of the developing world’s development.


Big Brother Barges Into the Bathroom

When it comes to intrusive government, California is plunging to new depths, as Daniel Weintraub notes in the Sacramento Bee. “For Californians who fear big government, this might sound like the ultimate nightmare: An unelected board and its vast scientific bureaucracy is going to force us to pay more to wipe our butts.”

The “unelected board” is the California Air Resources Board (CARB) armed with the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which as Weintraub charitably puts it, “put a price on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions” to encourage industry and consumers “to use products that can be made with less harm to the environment.” Headed by unelected regulatory zealot Mary Nichols, CARB deploys onerous regulations that drive up the price of gasoline, a burden on the working poor and middle class. More recently, as Weintraub explains, “has studied the numbers on toilet paper’s contribution to climate change” and decided that the plant of Kimberly-Clark creates the fewest greenhouse gasses. Proctor & Gamble, the only other company that makes toilet paper in California, claimed that its product was better, so CARB attempted to recalculate its benchmark for “water absorbency.” But Kimberly-Clark cried foul and is trying to overturn the ruling.

Weintraub laments that simpler approaches such as a carbon tax or permit sale were not politically feasible. “So this is where we are today, with state officials sticking their noses in our bathrooms, studying the relative fluff and absorbency of toilet paper and assessing the damage each kind of tissue does to the environment.” This axis of bad legislation, unelected bureaucrats, and regulatory zealotry, as Weintraub says, will force us to pay more to wipe our butts.


Kerry Tells China: ‘Because of Climate Change in U.S. We Are Ending Any Funding’ of ‘Coal-Fired Power’

 At a joint press conference in Beijing yesterday with People’s Republic of China Foreign Minister Wang Yi, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the Obama administration intends to cooperate closely with the PRC leading into a U.N. climate conference in Paris in December and that the U.S. is “ending any funding” of coal-fired power projects.

President Barack Obama's fiscal 2016 budget proposal calls for increasing taxes on the coal industry by $4.252 billion from 2016-2025 while providing "refundable" tax credits to "renewable" energy projects such as solar and wind power facilities.

“There are three key meetings that we are all working on together to prepare for in order to build success,” said Kerry. “One is the Security and Economic Dialogue that will take place in June in Washington. Two is the summit between President Xi and President Obama to take place in September. And three is the global meeting that we are working on together regarding climate change in Paris in December.”

“The United States and China are also cooperating more closely than ever to address climate change, one of the greatest threats facing our planet today,” said Kerry. “Last fall, our respective presidents came together to announce our countries’ greenhouse gas commitments, the reductions, and we continue to call on other nations around the world to set their own ambitious targets. And we agreed this morning that as we get closer to the UN Climate Conference in Paris later this year, the United States and China, the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters, will elevate our cooperation and coordination so that we can reach the kind of global agreement that we will need to ultimately address this threat.”

“Because of climate change in the United States, we are ending any funding – public money – that funds coal-fired power projects because of their impact on the climate,” said Kerry. “And we encourage China and other countries to do the same.”

“We need to continue to strengthen our communication and coordination on climate change to jointly ensure the success of the upcoming climate conference in Paris later this year,” said the U.S. secretary of state. “Meanwhile, we need to also work together to advance our bilateral practical cooperation on climate change.”

The administration has announced number of initiatives in the past year to discourage the use of coal and the generation of electricity with coal.

Last June, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it was mandating that nationwide by 2030 carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants must be cut by 30 percent from 2005 levels.

In February, as reported by The Hill, the Obama administration announced that it was stopping a federally funded project called FutureGen 2.0 that was aimed at building a coal-fired power plant in Illinois that would capture its own carbon emissions and store them underground.

President Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget proposal calls for a $295 million tax increase on the coal industry next year, and $4.252 billion in higher taxes over the next ten years.

In a document published in February by the Treasury Department--"General Explanations of the Administration's Fiscal Year 2016 Revenue Proposals"--the administration argued that it is making these tax changes in pursuit of a “neutral” free market system.

“The president agreed at the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels. The oil, gas, and coal tax preferences the administration proposes to repeal distort markets by encouraging more investment in the fossil fuel sector than would occur under a neutral system,” said the summary.

However, the same document says the administration favors “refundable” tax “credits” for “renewable” electricity sources in order to change the energy market in a way the government deems desirable. A “refundable” tax credit allows the government to make a payment to a company that did not pay any taxes that year.

“Production of renewable electricity and investment in property qualifying for the investment tax credit for energy property furthers the administration’s policy of supporting a clean energy economy, reducing our reliance on oil, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” says the summary. “The extension of incentives for production and investment contributes to the continued success of that policy. In addition, many renewable developers have insufficient income tax liability to claim the renewable electricity production tax credits and must enter into joint ventures or other financing transactions with other firms to take advantage of them. Making the production tax credit refundable would reduce transaction costs, thereby increasing the incentives for firms to produce clean renewable energy. Extending this policy permanently will provide certainty for business planning.”

A table at the end of the the Treasury's explanation of the administration's "revenue proposals" estimates the amount of tax “revenue” the administration hopes to raise by changing the taxes that apply to the coal industry. The table says that by repealing the “expensing of exploration and development costs,” the “percentage depletion for hard mineral fossil fuels,” “capital gains treatment for royalties,” and the “domestic manufacturing deduction for the production of coal and other hard mineral fossil fuels,” the Treasury would bring in $4.252 billion in revenue.


Obama has learnt nothing

At a press conference at Camp David on Thursday evening, after meeting with representatives from Arab countries in the Persian Gulf, President Barack Obama said that the world needs to transition off of fossil fuels in order to stop climate change and that he is working toward this end.

“But keep in mind that my approach when it comes to fracking, drilling, U.S. energy production of oil or natural gas has remained consistent throughout:  I believe that we are going to have to transition off of fossil fuels as a planet in order to prevent climate change,” said Obama. “I am working internationally to reduce our carbon emissions and to replace over time fossil fuels with clean energies.

“Obviously, we start at home with all the work that we’ve done to, for example, double the use of clean energy,” said the president. “But I think that it is important also to recognize that that is going to be a transition process. In the meantime, we are going to continue to be using fossil fuels. And when it can be done safely and appropriately, U.S. production of oil and natural gas is important."


Australia:  Some more Green/Left dishonesty

The screed below by diehard socialist Marg Gleeson (her pic below) is the sort that amuses me.  It displays the crookedness and addled thinking of the Left very well.  Just a few points: 

She heads her article with the picture of  a mirror-driven solar furnace.  And what she says about it is true enough.  It's what she omits that is the killer.  The biggest such plant is the Ivanpah setup in California.  It fries birds at a great rate and is so inefficient and unprofitable that it asked last year for half a billion dollars grant from the Federal government in order to keep going. THAT is what Marg thinks is great!  More on Ivanpah here

And she says without embarrassment that "existing emissions have raised the global average surface temperature by less than 1°C." Such a rise is supposed to be bad?  I would have thought that it was trivial.  Her trick is that she does not say it took over a century to generate the rise concerned.  And there is no proof that the rise had anything to do with CO2.

Then she goes on to a bare-faced lie:  "This has already caused significant impacts: increases in frequency and intensity of weather events, such as fires, droughts, cyclones and floods."  Except that it hasn't.  If anything, extreme weather events have become LESS frequent in recent years.  No Category 3-5 hurricane has struck the United States for a record nine years, for instance.  She completely ignores all the statistics on that.  See here

Speaking of mines, she says: "This has brought much wealth to the Australian ruling class".  No mention that the biggest single destination for the money earned by the mines is the pockets of the workers who built and run the mines concerned. See here. Are they ruling class?  As a socialist, shouldn't she be celebrating the high pay earned by the mine-workers?

I could go on and fisk much more of this lying little article but, after looking at only the first four paragraphs, I think it is clear that there is nothing in it that anyone concerned with the facts should take notice of.  So I reproduce below only those paragraphs. The rest of the article can be accessed at the link for anyone who is curious but the quality does not improve in the rest of the article.  The old baggage is just another Leftist crook. She is good at regurgitating Green/Left boilerplate, nothing more.  Note that I give references for everything I say.  She gives none. I wonder why?

Government of dinosaurs will give Australia a 'fossilised economy'

The technology exists for Australia to immediately transition from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy, such as solar thermal

Following a recent meeting of federal and state ministers with the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figures, the federal government announced that it will publish by mid-year the emissions target it will take to the Paris Climate Summit in November.

However, even if all the world's governments agree to limit future emissions to what would cause the global average surface temperature to rise by no more than 2°C from before industrialisation, it will not be enough to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Already existing emissions have raised the global average surface temperature by less than 1°C. This has already caused significant impacts: increases in frequency and intensity of weather events, such as fires, droughts, cyclones and floods. A safe level is to limit emissions to zero.

The Australian economy is heavily dependent on resource exports, including fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. This has brought much wealth to the Australian ruling class and created a political culture where governments are beholden to the mineral and energy sectors.



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


19 May, 2015

The attention-seekers and people-haters never stop

Two Greenie organizations, the Foundation for Deep Ecology and Population Media Center have got together to commission and publish a set of magnificent color photos which display scenes said be of environmental degradation.  Needless to say, various newspapers and others have grabbed this free artwork and reprinted it.

But the text accompanying the pictures is systematically dishonest.  As usual, Greenies can only make their case by lying. I am not going to do a systematic fisking of such a large body of work but I will offer a few comments.  I will be referring to the pictures as reproduced by Britain's Daily Mail, a very widely accessed site.

As a preliminary comment, a lot of the unpleasant pictures come from Third World countries such as Indonesia and India.  Such scenes are not our fault and are certainly not the result of capitalism, market economies or modern industrial society.  They result primarily from a LACK of capitalism, market economies and  modern industrial society. They are the fruit of the low-energy economies that Greenies idolize.  A subset of the pictures could well be used to show the sad results of the lack of capitalism. So what the pictures show depends heavily on the text accompanying the pictures.

And the very first picture in the set is a case in point.  It shows an Indonesian surfer, surfing among trash. They had to go all the way to Indonesia to get that shot.  No distressing shots from neighboring Australia, with its thousands of miles of superb beach?  Australia has so much beach that you can find deserted and untouched ones with ease, just the sort that the people-haters want. Anyone who has taken the drive from Cairns to Mossman knows that.

The lesson to note is clearly that you can find bad examples of anything if you scour widely enough.  I think already at this point I have alerted readers to the essentially deceptive nature of the project but let me go on.

Next is a picture of power-station cooling towers in the UK.  The subtext reads: "Harder and harder to breathe: Air pollution, C02, and water vapor rise from that stacks at a coal-burning power plant in the United Kingdom".  That is an outright lie. With the scrubbers that modern power stations employ, the output of the towers is 99% pure steam --  and anything not caught by the scrubbers has certainly never been shown to hinder breathing! And do I need to point out that steam is just water?

The text beneath the next picture reads:  "Waterfall of melting ice: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway".  I have no doubt that the text is accurate but once again we encounter selective reporting and lack of any attempt at a balanced or comprehensive story.  I imagine the the picture and text are meant to assert that polar ice is in general melting.  It is not. 

There has indeed been some melting of Arctic ice and ice associated with the Antarctic peninsula but Antarctica overall has been gaining ice at a rate which more than makes up for losses elsewhere. Why the ice cover in the Arctic and Antarctic sometimes moves in opposite directions nobody knows.  The one thing we DO know is that there has been no overall ice melt.  But who cares about the full story when you can cherrypick?

Then there is the dead polar bear -- with the probably made-up story of why it died.  Did they do an autopsy?  It was probably just old.  The story that it starved because it could not find a ice floe to hunt from is just fiction.  Polar bears do perch on ice floes at times but they don't need to.   Polar bears are extremely strong swimmers and can swim for hundreds of miles in search of food.  A few years ago, one swam from Greenland to Iceland.  The Icelanders promptly shot it.  Polar bears are dangerous predators and Icelanders are a no-nonsense sort of people. But the big point is that polar bear populations are increasing overall.  So again:  No cause for alarm.

And then there is the clear-felled forest.  Clear felling is normally done to make way for pine plantations.  Pines grow  rapidly so are a RENEWABLE resource.  Aren't Greenies supposed to LIKE renewable resources?

I could go on but I have spent too much time on this nonsense already.  Selective reporting is just as deceptive as an outright lie.  But the Green/Left rely on lies and don't even seem much bothered when their lies are exposed.  No amount of effort to rebut the lies will ever stop the cascade of them, it seems --JR.

Whoops!  Was the war on dishwashers mistaken?

Greenies have been sniping at mechanical dishwashers for decades. Being elitists, they hate anything that normal people like.  Dishwashers use too much power and their detergents are poisonous to some creature or other apparently.  The Greenies have even got them regulated so that their cycles are shorter and their detergents are less effective.  Which mostly means that you have to run every wash twice -- thus using MORE power and more detergent.  But now we see that they save water! So they are off the sin list, apparently

Washing up is one of the country's most-hated chores. So it can only be good news that scientists have revealed we should never handwash our dishes again.  Instead households are being encouraged to use their dishwasher in a bid to save water.

Around 6,000 gallons of water per household per year - the equivalent of a whole month's worth - are wasted by washing up in the sink, research by Consumer Reports claimed.  This amount of water could cost the average household up to £95.

Dishes are also never cleaned properly by hand, the scientists said. The perfect temperature for cleaning crockery is 60C (140F) but this is too hot to handwash plates.  Instead using a dishwasher - and water around this temperature - ensures plates come out clean and glasses are left with no streaks or spots.

A kitchen sponge can also contain more germs than any other item in the house.

In fact it can be 200,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat with around 10million bacteria per square inch, a study in 2012 found.


Another Leftist crook

Fort Chipewyan, Alberta doctor John O'Connor became a progressive "green" hero after he claimed that a high number of cancer cases in his community were tied to the oil sands.

After he was fired recently, the media tried to link his dismissal to his role as a "whistleblower."  But I've got evidence, including a leaked document from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, that tells a very different story.

The fact is:

Dr. O'Connor hadn't shown up to work in the aboriginal community he claimed to care so much about for years.

He invoiced them $5000 a month to be "on call" but spent much of his time at anti-oil sands activities.

But what about the bigger picture?  Was he right about his claims that cancer was rampant in Fort Chip and was connected to the oil sands?

Well, O'Connor didn't want people to read a report the College Physicians and Surgeons put out after a two-year investigation into his claims -- but The Rebel got a copy of it.

According to this report, Dr. O'Connor lied about that alleged cancer cluster outbreak.

While the rest of the media is still pushing their "whistleblower" narrative, only The Rebel brings you this damning report by Dr. O'Connor's professional governing body.

More HERE 

Environmental Impacts of Industrial Silica Sand (Frac Sand) Mining

The rate of silica sand mining in the United States has increased in recent years, due in large part to the tremendous growth in hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas using horizontal drilling techniques. Some environmental activist groups and community organizers contend silica sand mining presents significant threats to human health and the environment. Scientific evidence strongly refutes such claims.

Silica sand mining has minimal environmental impact, involves virtually no public health risk, and is an important part of domestic energy production that has substantial economic benefits. Heartland Policy Study No. 137, “Environmental Impacts of Industrial Silica Sand (Frac Sand) Mining,” documents the following facts:

Studies conducted by regulatory bodies and research groups have conclusively shown silica sand mining operations do not increase the concentrations of silica sand particles in the ambient air downwind of such operations.

Water use data show silica sand mining operations consume a small fraction of state-wide water resources.

The existing local, state, and federal regulatory structure is designed to ensure silica sand mining – and myriad other industrial operations – is conducted in a manner that ensures compliance with air and water quality standards, and thus protects human health and the environment.

The increase in silica sand mining has had substantial economic and employment benefits in the states that have benefitted from the silica sand mining boom.

Silica sand mining is an important part of the larger, recent revolution in domestic energy production, by which the United States is producing ever-increasing amounts of affordable clean energy by tapping into a huge supply of heretofore untouched resources.

Authors Isaac Orr, a research fellow at The Heartland Institute, and Mark Krumenacher, is a principal and senior vice president of GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., write,

"For an informed discussion to take place, the public must have access to the best available information. Unfortunately, those raising fears of the effects of frac sand mining have taken advantage of the public’s limited understanding of the industrial sand mining process, limited recognition of the precautions taken to minimize potential environmental impacts, limited knowledge of geology, and lack of awareness of state and local regulations on silica sand production."

Orr and Krumenacher conclude silica sand mining can be done in a safe and environmentally responsible manner with the proper oversight and environmental protections. State and local governments have done a commendable job working with environmental and industry leaders to craft legislation that protects the environment while permitting industrial sand production to move forward. Regulations crafted to specifically regulate industrial sand mining would be duplicative, resulting in higher costs without tangibly increasing environmental protections.


Bee facts changed – green agendas did not

Activists and White House appear ready to present new  justifications for unjustified policies

Paul Driessen

The White House finally appears ready to announce conclusions and policy recommendations from the Pollinator Task Force it appointed a year ago. Environmentalist groups eagerly await the decision. After clamoring and campaigning for years for government action, they hope to get tough restrictions on using innovative new insecticides called neonicotinoids.

Agricultural interests await the decision with trepidation. A ban or broad restrictions would cost billions of dollars annually, force them to employ pesticides that are more difficult to use and more toxic for beneficial insects, and compel them to confront more secretive government “science” and faulty justifications for policies that are not supported by the evidence.

The deadline imposed by President Obama’s task force memo passed months ago, and yet the White House has been strangely silent on the issue of pesticides and honeybee health. What initially looked like an easy lame-duck giveaway to green groups has turned out to be factually complicated.

Long before the White House weighed in, anti-insecticide activists promoted claims that honeybees were headed for extinction because of pesticides, specifically neonics – unless the government banned them. Time magazine picked up their refrain, devoting a long cover story to the scary prospect of “a world without bees.” Other news stories uncritically repeated the end-of-bees assertions. One-third of the food we eat could disappear without bees to pollinate crops, they proclaimed. But there was a problem.

The narrative turned out to be false, extensive evidence now demonstrates – and inconvenient truths had gotten in the way of another slam-dunk Executive Branch edict.

Neonicotinoids are actually much less toxic for bees, other insects, humans and animals than alternative pesticides, in part because they are primarily used to coat seeds. The neonics become part of the plant’s tissue structure and defense system, affecting only pests that feed on the protected crops. Farmers can greatly reduce pesticide spraying, especially with older, more toxic chemicals.

Field studies have repeatedly shown that bees are unaffected by neonics at real-world exposure levels. In fact, bees thrive in canola (oilseed rape) fields and other crops grown with neonic-treated seeds, and the number of bees has been rising steadily worldwide the past few years, even as neonic usage peaked.

U.S. Department of Agriculture annual beekeeper surveys reveal that the number of honey-producing hives in the United States has held steady at about 2.5 million since 1995. Indeed, the numbers increased four of the last five years and are actually higher now than when neonics first came on the market in the mid 1990s. Most beehive problems now involve less experienced hobby beekeepers.

A similarly hyped issue, “colony collapse disorder,” turned out to be a cyclical problem going back centuries. Recent large-scale die-offs of domesticated bees appear to be caused primarily by Varroa mites (which feed on bees and can transmit bee viruses and diseases), parasitic phorid flies, Nosema intestinal fungi, and tobacco ringspot viruses. Beekeepers have accidentally killed entire hives trying to combat these problems.

Honeybee habitat loss from urban, suburban and even agricultural development has also taken a toll. Just removing fences, to improve agricultural efficiencies and let cattle roam and feed, reduces bee forage and nutrition, increasing bees’ susceptibility to mites, disease and stress, entomologist and professional beekeeper Randy Oliver told me.

But facts like these never stopped organizations like Beyond Pesticides and the Natural Resources Defense Council from claiming America and the world faced a “bee-pocalypse” – never because of a convergence of problems; always because of their newest bogeyman: neonicotinoids. The facts likewise never stopped the White House from telling the EPA to scrutinize neonics intently, in the name of protecting pollinators.

Eventually, though, the facts caught up with the fear-mongering. As journalists wrote articles exposing the environmentalist falsehoods, the “honeybee Armageddon” justification began falling apart.

The White House and Big Green pressure groups did not want egg on their face. What to do? The preferred tactic: postpone the task force report and stall for time to concoct a new fable. It had worked before on other issues. A compliant, allied media and gullible public should make it work again.

The anti-pesticide groups used the postponement to switch their rationale for restricting neonics. Instead of critical threats to managed honeybees, they now say it is native or wild bees that need help. The shift reflects a shrewd, cynical calculation.

Since there are far fewer studies on the status of wild bee populations, activists can make any claims they like. As the NRDC’s Jennifer Sass said in November 2014, environmentalist groups can only “presume” that wild bees are in decline. But they sure know how to get ample press coverage for their presumption.

They, the White House and EPA need to check their facts this time. U.S. Geological Survey wild bee specialist Sam Droege says scientists still don’t know which species are declining or flourishing, but he believes most are doing fine.  (There are some 4,000 native species of wild bees in North America.) Similarly, a 2013 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences analyzed U.S. native bee populations over a 140-year period and echoed that assessment. Of 187 native species analyzed, only three showed steep declines, and they were likely due to pathogens.

This may be why anti-pesticide activists are simultaneously employing another new tactic. By combining summer and winter bee losses, they can make it look like the honeybee crisis is worsening, as a May 14 Wall Street Journal article put it. This stratagem also benefits from the fact that summertime loss data go back only five years, so there is no way to look for historical trends or patterns.

The White House would do well to leave science to experts, rather than activists with an ax to grind. If bee numbers are increasing, it is much harder to justify restricting a pesticide that is needed by farmers – and that would be much better for honeybees, wild bees and other beneficial insects.

As Randy Oliver emphasizes, it is important to let science do its job, figure out and address what is really happening to bees, use all insecticides carefully and responsibly, and not stigmatize neonic seed treatments on ideological or junk science grounds.

Otherwise, bee problems are likely to get worse, while neonic bans cause crop losses and a return to spraying pesticides that really can cause significant environmental problems.

Via email

Is There Any Need for a Dike to Save Melbourne from the Rising Seas?

Independent scientist, Professor Albert Parker, explains that government estimates of a sea level rise of over 1 meter by 2100 is folly and building any such unecessary dam to cater for that would be a gross waste of public funds.  An extract of the paper, A. Parker, Is there any need for a dike to save Melbourne from the rising seas?, Journal of Geography, Environment and Earth Science International, 2015, Volume 2, Issue 3. DOI:10.9734/JGEESI/2015/17463 follows below


The Australian government is still basing policy on the concept that sea level will rise by 1.1 meters along the Australian coastline by 2100. The Department of the Environment has proposed a 10 billion dollar dike to save Melbourne from the hypothetical rising sea. In reality the tide gauges of Victoria are recording average relative rates of rise of less than 1 mm/year, in perfect agreement with the National average.

At this rate sea level will rise by only 8.5 cm by 2100 but even this estimate may be too high. The worldwide average sea level rise, based on only tide gauges of sufficient quality and length, is only about 0.25 mm/year, with zero acceleration over the last few decades.

Such a rise can be dealt with by local adaption, as in the last 100 years, and there is no need for any engineering structures, let alone the proposed 10’billion dollar scheme with its accompanying environmental and social problems

On the basis of the data presented here the average rise of sea level along the Victorian coastline is very likely less than 1 mm/year. The worldwide shows no acceleration in the rate of rise, so there is probably no acceleration in Victoria. This rise in sea level gives no cause for concern. The likelihood of a 1.1 meter sea level rise by 2100 is extremely improbable, in Melbourne and along the Australian coastline in general.  The department of the environment should not seek advice from the same discredited climate agencies that advised the previous Labor government and conclude there is in impending threat of huge sea level rise. Their proposed 10 billion dollar dike is not needed to save Melbourne from the rising seas.

The paper shows that there is not an urgent need to build a very expensive dam to protect Melbourne by sea level increase of more than one meter by 2100 as forecasted by the IPCC. The paper criticizes the IPCC and the local sea level monitoring projects and shows that sea level as measured by other longer and not investigated tide gauges is much less than 1 mm/year. So the proposed 10 billion dollar dike is not needed to save Melbourne from the rising seas.  The paper shows that the sea levels oscillate with up to a quasi-60 years’ periodicity detected, for which windows shorter than 60 years are misleading. On the other hand, the average of tide gauges of sufficient quality and length in the Permanent Service on Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) data base show a slow rise of relative sea level of 0.24 mm/year without any acceleration over the last few decades. The paper shows that the lack of trend in MSL was also confirmed by the GRACE experiment that is a satellite measuring system based on gravity rather altimetry.

The Australian Department of the Environment before basing policy on the concept that sea level will rise by 1.1 meters along the Australian coastline by 2100 should take into account the views expressed in this paper. 



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


18 May, 2015

No, Antarctica Is Not Experiencing Rapid Ice Melt

Antarctic sea ice is so expansive that researchers are exploring ways to avoid more embarrassing mishaps. Writing in The Daily Caller, Michael Bastasch says, “50 scientists have gathered in Tasmania to discuss more accurate ways to predict Antarctic sea ice levels so researchers don’t get stuck in ice pack when traveling southward.”

So it was richly ironic when CBS News reported this week that “Antarctica is melting from above and below.” The article, which documents a new alarming study on how global warming is supposedly eating away at the giant ice cap, begins with an outrageous claim — “It’s no secret that ice shelves in Antarctica are thinning” — and warns that “warming air temperatures and warmer ocean currents together could explain why the Antarctic Peninsula’s floating ice shelves are losing volume and becoming more vulnerable to collapse.”

The truth? As of Wednesday, sea ice extent was breaking the previous record high set just last year, according to data from the National Snow & Ice Data Center, and the trend for decades now has been a steady increase in areal ice coverage.

In fairness, the exception is the western portion of the continent, where ice is lagging behind the 1981-2010 average. But averages are based on the whole, not cherry-picked portions of the data. This is nothing more than selective outrage.

Addendum: Between 1981 and 2010, Arctic sea ice extent decreased by an average of 2.4 (+/- 0.6) percent per decade. Meanwhile, Antarctic ice increased by 4.1 (+/- 2.6) percent per decade. Source: NSIDC.


Lewandowsky and Oreskes: normal service resumed
For those who have been following the unfolding saga of the latest Lew paper, the said work of art has now been published at Global Environmental Change. There is little that will cause anyone any great surprise - it's all out of the standard Lewandowsky playbook: strawman following nonsense following outright falsehood. Take the case he outlines for why there is no pause:

Claims about a “pause” typically invoke a period commencing in 1998; the  top panel of the figure shows that that year saw particularly high  temperatures owing to an extreme El Niño event. When this single  outlying year is omitted (as illustrated in the bottom panel), the  purported pause in warming is no longer apparent. Statistically, what  one observes is a decrease in the rate of warming—a slowdown, if you  will—but this slowdown is at most modest: during the last 15 years  (1999–2013) the linear trend is .13 °C/decade, compared to the trend for  the overall period (1970–2013) which is .18 °C/decade. It is only when  1998 is arbitrarily used as the starting point to define the “pause”  that the recent rate of global warming has been appreciably lower  (.10 °C/decade) than the long-term trend....

Thus, arguments about a “hiatus” or “pause” can only be sustained by  ignoring the fact that the most recent trend is statistically nearly  identical to that of other decades unless a single particular year is  used as a starting point—in other words, only by cherry-picking.

I love the way the reviewers of the paper have turned a blind eye to Lew's failure to actually cite any examples of people picking 1998 as their start point, instead letting him set about this straw man with all of the rhetorical tools at his disposal, quickly beating him a pulp.

Then there are the outright falsehoods, for example this one:
Likewise, the positive fluctuation from the long-term trend leading up  to 2007 was not used to re-assess (transient) climate sensitivity, in  contrast to endeavours that have used the current departure from the  long-term trend for that purpose (e.g.,  Lewis, 2013, Lewis and Curry, 2014, Otto et al., 2013 and Stott et al., 2013).

That statement is so completely divorced from the truth that it's hard to know where to begin. The whole point of the Lewis studies, and Otto et al as well, was to consider the changing climate from preindustrial up to the present day. Here is an extract from Lewis and Curry 2014, the main results of which put TCR in the range 1.22-1.33. I've bolded two alternative sets of results presented by the authors, based on periods that exclude the pause:
Although final periods with end dates considerably before 2011 provide less well constrained
ECS and TCR estimates, it is worthwhile investigating to what extent the low increase in GMST in the 21st century affects ECS and TCR best estimates. Accordingly, we estimated ECS and TCR using final periods from 1987 and 1971 to each of 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003. As volcanic forcing is much higher than when 2011 is used as the end date, 1850–1900 is used as the best-matching base period. With a 1987 start date, the resulting ECS best estimates vary between 1.58 K and 1.70 K; those for TCR vary between 1.35 K and 1.37 K. With a 1971 start date, ECS best estimates vary between 1.45 K and 1.53 K; those for TCR vary between 1.20 K and 1.22 K. With a volcanic efficacy of 0.55 assumed, the ECS and TCR best estimates are all slightly lower.

Extending the final year to 2012, and estimating changes from 2011 in radiative forcings and in energy accumulation where necessary, has a negligible effect on ECS and TCR estimates.

So the Lewis and Curry results are  almost entirely impervious to short-term fluctuations in surface  temperatures. Yet here we have Lewandowsky and Oreskes and their motley band of co-authors telling their readers the exact opposite.

What kind of a journal lets this sort of thing get published?



EPA Looks to Hammer Nail Salons

May 12, 2015 Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy will take a trip to a San Francisco nail salon Wednesday—a visit intended to shine a spotlight on health risks posed by the industry.

McCarthy's West Coast trip arrives on the heels of a New York Times expose published last week that documented poor working conditions in New York City-area nail salons, detailing how workers are routinely underpaid and overworked. The article sparked public outcry and prompted Gov. Andrew Cuomo to call for an investigation into worker treatment at nail salons.

"We know more visibility needs to be raised for these issues and we're working hard to reach communities and to educate folks," McCarthy said Tuesday at the White House Summit on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Washington, where she announced her nail salon visit.

During her trip, McCarthy will meet with a local nail salon owner along with members of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, which is a coalition of salon workers, environmental groups, nonprofits, and government agencies.

Nail polish and other products found in salons contain an array of chemicals that may pose a threat to public health and the environment. Without proper handling, exposure to chemicals such as formaldehyde can lead to difficulty breathing, skin irritation and other health problems.

EPA already has put together a federal working group and doled out grants to organizations tackling the industry's public health and environmental impact created by the use of chemicals in nail salons, McCarthy noted.

"We've put together funding strategies, grants, that local communities and individual companies can access and we've put together a technical assistance team and all of this is done in a way that is multilingual so that we can reach the target audience, but there is so much more work to be done," McCarthy said.

McCarthy signaled optimism that headlines generated by The New York Times would raise awareness, but added that more needs to be done to shine a spotlight on the issue. "Not everybody—unbeknownst to The New York Times—reads The New York Times," she said.


NY fracking idiocy

Marian’s Pizza Shack sits 10 miles north of the Pennsylvania line, an invisible boundary that separates this small business from economic opportunity.

After 23 years in business, owner Marian Szarejko has decided to sell her pizza shack.

“There are no jobs here,” Szarejko said. “Business has gone down so much that I am dipping into my savings just to keep this afloat.”

Szarejko’s decision echoes a common theme that has plagued the southern tier of upstate New York for years—a lack of economic development.

“If I owned a place in Pennsylvania, I wouldn’t be thinking of closing. I would be thinking about expanding,” Szarejko said. “The difference is they did fracking.”

The issue of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking, has emerged as a contentious national debate. Communities and states are deciding whether to embrace or ban the new form of natural gas extraction.

But nowhere is the issue as real as it is for upstate New Yorkers who see the prosperity of neighboring communities in Pennsylvania.

New York and Pennsylvania are two of five states that sit above the nation’s largest natural gas field, the Marcellus Shale.

New York bans fracking. Pennsylvania allows it.

The Daily Signal traveled to the two states’ border to talk to residents about which policy has improved lives.

Since 2007, Pennsylvania has seen a rapid expansion of the natural gas industry though fracking, resulting in economic opportunity and growth.

This is a drastic contrast to communities just a few miles north in upstate New York, which have been under a statewide fracking moratorium since 2008.

Carolyn Price, town supervisor of Windsor, N.Y., says high taxes and regulations are holding back the southern tier of upstate New York, an area that has rich natural resources.

“Our town is blessed with natural resources, blue stone, timber, natural gas, and wonderful people,” Price said. “We are trying to make all of this come together, so this town can truly prosper.”

Price believes that accessing local natural resources could encourage new industries and economic development in this small rural town.

“I’ve said this from the very beginning, what would truly save this town and move economic development very fast would be the development of the Marcellus Shale,” Price said. “But, we wanted to make sure this is what the people want.”

Last fall, the town conducted a survey of property owners and residents asking them if they wanted the town to allow the extraction of natural gas and oil. Over 5,000 surveys were sent out, 3,000 returned, and 66 percent of the respondents said yes.

“We continue to try and met the needs of what the people want,” Price said.

On Dec. 17, 2014, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that his administration would permanently block the development of high-volume hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in New York State, because of environmental and health concerns.

“What can we do in these areas to generate jobs and generate wealth, for people who can’t pay their mortgage and can’t pay their taxes as an alternative to fracking?” Gov. Cuomo said at the time. “The point is they need jobs and they need incomes.”

The governor’s decision came on the same day that a proposed upstate casino was rejected by a state board. Both decisions left many in the southern tier worried about their economic future.

“We are New Yorkers, we have been New Yorkers, we should not have to move into another state to access what is right in our state,” Szarejko said.

Gerald Urda, an organic fruit farmer in Windsor, N.Y., says the governor is ignoring the needs of the southern tier.

“I think our governor has forgotten about Broome County,” Urda said. “If he came here and looked at mainstreet, he could see that we would need some help. I think the help would have come from gas drilling.”

Doug McLinko, chairman of the Bradford County Board of Commissioners, has seen the impact natural gas has had in Pennsylvania and his county.

“We are the most drilled on county in the Marcellus Shale,” McLinko said. “We flow the most gas in the state. The last eight to ten years has been the most incredible boom of prosperity I have ever witnessed in my life.”

According to a 2014 report published by The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, Bradford County saw a 19 percent increase in taxable income from 2007 to 2010, providing additional revenue for investment in the county.

“We have seen 200 million dollars in market value go into our county,” McLinko said. “The ripple effects are we have cut taxes and eliminated out county debt.”

“When I look across the border to New York State, once again it is bad policy affecting awfully good people up there.”

Here’s Why Some New York Towns Want to Secede to Pennsylvania >>>

According to the Upstate New York Towns Association, small businesses in New York pay significantly more in payroll and property taxes than businesses just a few miles south in Pennsylvania.

“High taxes and high regulations are holding Windsor back,” Price said.

Szarejko worries about the the future of upstate New York.

“I want upstate New York to grow and thrive, that’s what I want to see for this community, Szarejko said. “If we continue the way we are going, on the road we are on right now, your kids are going to be gone, us older people are going to die, and there will be nothing left.”

Price is still holding out some hope.

“We have become the valley of missed opportunity,” Price said. “We are trying to restore hope and optimism in people that we can still do this.”


Make Sure Your Pollution Is Racially Fair

Readers of The Corner know that I don’t like the “disparate impact” approach to civil-rights enforcement, and while it’s a bad idea when used to challenge firefighter exams, criminal background checks, English proficiency, school discipline policies, policing, mortgage lending, and voter ID laws – to give just a few examples – I’ve always had a special place in my heart for its use by bureaucrats to challenge pollution that fails to strike the right racial balance. But, “[i]n recognition of Earth Day and Arbor Day,” the Obama administration today highlighted those efforts in this publication.

Now, I’m prepared to believe that the government needs to consider stepping in from time to time to stop pollution, but what I don’t understand is why racial considerations should ever be part of that consideration. That is, if the pollution is dangerous, then why should it be allowed — or not allowed — depending on the racial makeup of its victims? If a polluter’s activity will hurt those living nearby, why is it acceptable if that population is white or racially balanced, but not acceptable if those being hurt belong to a racial or ethnic minority group?

But this is exactly the approach the government overtly takes. To quote from an example proudly showcased in today’s publication, a violation was found “when the cities failed to assess the potential adverse disparate impacts stemming from relocation of a trolley maintenance facility to a historically Black neighborhood. As a direct result of [the federal government agency’s] involvement in the matter, city officials agreed to keep the facility near its current location.” That may be fine for the “historically Black neighborhood,” but what about the folks “near its current location”?

Too bad for them. The agency here insisted that those getting federal money “must consider and analyze alternatives [in location] to determine whether those alternatives would have less of a disparate impact on the basis of race, color, or national origin, and then implement the least discriminatory alternative.” In other words, the government insists that whether or not there is an environmental problem worthy of federal intervention depends in part on the skin color and ancestral origin of those put at risk.

Happy belated Earth and Arbor Days!


Warmists are wailing about the latest Australian budget

What the Warmist below says would make sense if there really were any climate danger but conservative politicians everywhere know it is a just another Leftist crock.  It would be dangerous for them to say so but deeds speak louder than words  -- we see some such deeds described below

As the Treasurer was finalising his Budget speech on Tuesday, the World Bank released a report on Decarbonising Development: Three Steps to a Zero Carbon Future and our Bureau of Meteorology announced that El Nino is back - a big problem for Australia as global warming puts our already extreme weather on steroids.

These are hardly 'radical' organisations. Yet the Treasurer's speech made no mention of policies to modernise and decarbonise our economy. There was no mention of climate costs and the physical impacts of climate change that CSIRO has now repeatedly warned are happening now, and will only grow. The Treasurer did laud the truly awesome power of our fossil fuel exports - sufficient to power Mumbai, Tokyo and Singapore apparently.

Last night's budget highlights a number of problems with the government's approach to climate and economic policy. The budget continued the assault on the institutions and policies that form the infrastructure necessary for decarbonisation and, in a new twist, for increasing climate resilience. It entrenched concerns about the ability of Australia to achieve even its minimum 2020 pollution reduction targets. It maintained the perversity of taxpayers rather than polluters taking responsibility for emissions reduction.

On the last point, Economist Frank Jotzo from ANU contrasts the around $400 million a year of taxpayers money being spent under the government's Emissions Reduction Fund with an estimated $2 billion of revenue per year from polluters under emissions trading. That's twice the recent foreign aid cut. Worth repeating - the budget could be $2.4 billion a year better off.

Perhaps more importantly, just the default declining pollution cap under the previous carbon laws would, with a high degree of certainty, have achieved pollution reduction of 15 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020.

Now it is highly unlikely that the government can meet the insufficient emissions reduction target it's aiming for - 5 per cent of 2000 levels by 2020.

As UNFCCC head Christiana Figueres reminded Lateline on Friday night, this is the minimum of the 5 to 25 per cent reduction range both parties have supported in the past. Stronger reductions were supposed to follow if the world was acting, which by all accounts it more than is. And let's not forget that the independent Climate Change Authority recommended at least 15 per cent reductions as our fair contribution to global action underway.

Another problem with the budget is its funding shortfall for the government's inefficient policies.

The first auction under the ERF just weeks ago priced carbon at $13.95 per tonne of emissions. If the around $1.6 billion forecast to be spent in the ERF's first five years ($75 million was to be spent this year) is spent at the $13.96 average carbon price, then 115 million tonnes of pollution reductions is achieved. The government recently estimated that it would require an extra 236 million tonnes reduction by 2020 to achieve the minimum reduction target of 5 per cent below 2000.

In other words, the government will need to buy as much reductions in the final year before its 2020 target as it achieved in the combined five years before it.

And that depends on broader pollution remaining in check, which is questionable with the sustained assault on renewable energy and the loophole ridden pollution safeguard mechanism that is supposed to stop pollution from rising.

The programs and institutions that track our emissions and are there to facilitate the required economic transition are under continued assault. While the Climate Change Authority is given a welcome lifeline of an extra year till end-2016, it remains on the chopping block longer term, along with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

All of these agencies provide significant value for taxpayers, credible independent advice and support for economic innovations crucial for a modern, smart and clean economy.

It is welcome that the budget makes some allowances for drought and disaster funding, especially in Australia's regional areas. But at the same time the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility was added to the list of climate and clean energy agencies to be wound up in 2017 - an organisation that highlights best practice in building greater resilience to climate impacts.

The gutting of agencies like these occurs just as leading global and domestic scientists, and the CSIRO, are telling us that we're experiencing rising climate impacts here and in our Asia-Pacific region. The unconscionable slashing of the overseas aid budget, and its threat to a viable foundation for financing greater resilience and cleaner development in our region, was yet another problematic aspect of last night's budget.

The risks to our future prosperity in a world focusing on a zero carbon global economy are not going away. This week's World Bank report is part of a growing realisation not only that we must decarbonise the economies if we are to avoid the goal of avoiding two-degree warming that was highlighted in the recent Intergenerational Report. It is part of a growing realisation that the benefits of action far outweigh the costs.

The benefits of our fossil fuel past are fast turning into the liabilities of the zero-carbon future.



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


17 May, 2015

"Forecast-the-facts" has no facts left — just demands that newspapers do inflammatory namecalling

How can you forecast facts?  What you forecast has not happened so it cannot be a fact

"Forecast the Facts" wants newspapers to label anyone who disagrees with them as mentally deficient deniers. Climate change is settled, beyond debate, and the evidence is overwhelming, but the the team with all that certainty seems awfullly scared that the public might listen to their critics.

Look at the first line of their defining statement Who We Are:  “Forecast the Facts is dedicated to ensuring that Americans hear the truth about climate change”.  In this case the truth is not about the planetary atmosphere so much as “facts” about newspaper word use, opinions of science pin-up personality, and a club with a long nerdy sounding name. The research they want to share is not about the troposphere, but about their “success” in silencing alternate views: can we cancel an ad campaign, or harrass an executive who is not toeing the line?

 Forecast the Facts is a grassroots human rights organization dedicated to ensuring that Americans hear the truth about climate change: that temperatures are increasing, human activity is largely responsible, and that our world is already experiencing the effects. We do this by empowering everyday people to speak out in the face of misinformation and hold accountable those who mislead the public.

Their human rights concern  is as deep as their science. They empower everyday people who agree with them, and want to shut the damn rest of the voices up. Lately their campaigns are titled “Condemn Climate Censorship”. Indeed.

Skeptics just want newspapers to use accurate English (please write to the editors to tell them). A “denier” must deny something, and in a science debate, it implies someone denies evidence. So what is it? I’ve been asking for specific climate evidence for five years. You’d think if the planet was at stake, perhaps someone could find it? Others say deniers deny the consensus, but a consensus is a vote, a poll an opinion, not science.  We don’t vote for the Laws of Motion.

Using standard English definitions, those who believe in phenomenon without evidence are gullible. Those who want evidence are rational.  If skeptics deny the need to obey opinion polls, it’s because they are  scientists. This is not the battle of denier versus scientist, it’s the battle of rational versus the gullible.

Skeptics want a scientific debate. Believers want editors to start namecalling instead.

The press release

“Deniers Are Not Skeptics”: New Research on Leading Papers Shows the Need for Greater Scrutiny in Reporting on Climate Denial

According to new research conducted by Media Matters in coordination with Forecast the Facts, the country’s leading newspapers have repeatedly used the inaccurate term “skeptic” to describe those who deny the basic scientific facts of climate change.

The study reviews published content from three leading newspapers from December 23, 2014 to March 23, 2015 that used a specific term to describe a person who denies that climate change is real and driven by human activity — both scientifically well-established facts. The three-month study revealed some disconcerting statistics:

The New York Times incorrectly used the term “skeptic” in 9 articles; The Washington Post in 6 articles; The Los Angeles Times in 4 articles.

An example of this incorrect usage of “skeptic” can be found in a November 10, 2014 article in The New York Times, in which Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) — who’s called climate change “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated” — was labeled a “skeptic.”

In December 2014, a large group of Fellows from the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), including Dr. Mark Boslough and Bill Nye, penned an open letter to the media, asking that they “please stop using the word ‘skeptic’ to describe deniers.” The CSI Fellows wrote as follows: “As scientific skeptics, we are well aware of political efforts to undermine climate science by those who deny reality but do not engage in scientific research or consider evidence that their deeply held opinions are wrong. The most appropriate word to describe the behavior of those individuals is ‘denial.’ Not all individuals who call themselves climate change skeptics are deniers. But virtually all deniers have falsely branded themselves as skeptics. By perpetrating this misnomer, journalists have granted undeserved credibility to those who reject science and scientific inquiry.”

Following the open letter from CSI fellows, Forecast the Facts launched a petition to support their call. More than 28,000 Forecast the Facts members have signed on so far.

On May 6, Forecast the Facts sent letters to executive and standards editors at these three publications and, in response, opened up dialogue with editors at both The Washington Post and The New York Times. New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan also wrote in the Public Editor’s Journal on May 7, “readers are right to watch these choices carefully. The difference between skeptic and denier…may seem minor, but it’s really not. Simply put, words matter.” The Los Angeles Times has not yet commented.

Forecast the Facts and its 170,000 members will continue to monitor climate coverage in leading newspapers for the incorrect usage of “skeptic” in regards to climate change. Forecast the Facts has also launched a petition to the Associated Press, asking that they add an entry to the AP StyleBook providing guidance on use of the term “skeptic” in the context of describing those who disavow well-established scientific facts.

Forecast the Facts ran the malicious campaign to use stolen and fake documents to intimidate donors to the Heartland Institute. See Heartlands response to Forecast the Facts. Is that Forecast the Fakes?


A vast Antarctic ice shelf a few years from disintegration, says Nasa

This prophecy concerns a small part of the Antarctic Peninsula, which is anomalous, apparently due to subsurface vulcanism. And if it is like other Warmist prophecies, it won't happen

The last intact section of one of Antarctica’s mammoth ice shelves is weakening fast and will likely disintegrate completely in the next few years, contributing further to rising sea levels, according to a Nasa study released on Thursday.

The research focused on a remnant of the so-called Larsen B Ice Shelf, which has existed for at least 10,000 years but partially collapsed in 2002. What is left covers about 625 sq miles (1,600 sq km), about half the size of Rhode Island.

Antarctica has dozens of ice shelves – massive, glacier-fed floating platforms of ice that hang over the sea at the edge of the continent’s coast line. The largest is roughly the size of France.

Larsen B is located in the Antarctic Peninsula, which extends toward the southern tip of South America and is one of two principal areas of the continent where scientists have documented the thinning of such ice formations.

“This study of the Antarctic Peninsula glaciers provides insights about how ice shelves farther south, which hold much more land ice, will react to a warming climate,” said Eric Rignot, co-author of the study and a glaciologist at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The study, published online in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters, was based on airborne surveys and radar data.

The study’s lead scientist, Ala Khazendar, said analysis of the data reveals that a widening rift in Larsen B will eventually break it apart completely, probably around the year 2020.

Once that happens, glaciers held in place by the ice shelf will slip into the ocean at a faster rate and contribute to rising sea levels, scientists say.

The study also found Leppard and Flask, two main tributary glaciers of the ice shelf, have thinned by between 65 and 72 feet (20 to 22 meters) in recent years, and the pace of their shrinking has accelerated since the immediate aftermath of the 2002 partial collapse of the ice shelf.


Measuring The Stupidity Of Democratic Lawmakers In Washington DC

Democratic lawmakers in Washington DC, like Barack Obama and Sheldon Whitehouse, believe that they are burning up. To get a feel for the level of stupidity on display by these two clowns, look at the stats for DC.

The Potomac was frozen solid in DC during March, for the first time on record.
B_f5taAU0AA_sD4 (2) March 7, 2015

In 1946, the cherry trees were already blooming by March 15.

Winter temperatures just west of DC have been plummeting for 25 years, with the last two being two of the four coldest on record.
ScreenHunter_9271 May. 15 07.27

Snowfall has been increasing, with two of the four snowiest years occurring since 2010
ScreenHunter_9272 May. 15 07.30

The past two years have both seen 7 record cold daily temperatures, the most in 110 years.
ScreenHunter_9270 May. 15 07.24

The frequency of 90 degree days has plummeted, peaking at one day out of four in 1911, and last year about one day out of thirty.
ScreenHunter_9275 May. 15 07.55

Summer temperatures have plummeted over the lat 80 years, with last summer being the second coolest on record. We didn’t have any really hot days last summer – it never even occurred to me to want to turn the air conditioner on.
ScreenHunter_9273 May. 15 07.51

By all measures, Washington DC is getting much cooler and snowier, yet Obama and Whitehouse continue to try to convince other lawmakers that they are burning up.
ScreenHunter_9276 May. 15 08.03

But Washington isn’t the world, we need to look at the total atmosphere. Since Obama’s first child was born, the Earth’s atmosphere hasn’t warmed even 0.01 degrees. Only a complete idiot would take on an imaginary problem as his primary legacy.
ScreenHunter_9277 May. 15 08.07


Papal encyclical Delayed, Possibly Downgraded To Lesser Form?

The encyclical might be downgraded to some lesser form of “statement.” This is the rumor as reported to me from “sources.” Given the excitement the encyclical generated on the left, look for some prime grade, sustained hissy fits if a downgrade happens.

A downgrade would be good news for the rest of us, however, given the premise that the content of the document was, rumor had it, deep green, and thus anti-science, and even, given green “solutions” to population control, anti-faith.

An encyclical, in the form of brief or bull, is something akin to military orders. It can’t be brushed aside, but must be engaged. This is not to say an encyclical is a recipe containing step-by-step directives, but it has words which must be hearkened to. To have an idea, peek at one which is perhaps best known to our generation, St John Paul II’s Fides et Ratio.

Here’s the story. The “green” encyclical was written and sent, as a matter of due course, to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith—the office then Cardinal “rottweiler” Ratzinger oversaw, and which is in charge of ensuring doctrinal fidelity of Church matters. German Cardinal Gerhard Müller heads it now and is, it is said, a traditionalist.

Now his Eminence’s team of canon lawyers and theologians, the press is reporting, took exception certain propositions in the document. Which, we don’t know.

According to Vaticanist Sandro Magister, Pope Francis has decided to postpone the publication of his long-awaited encyclical on the environment. The reason, according to Magister, is that the Pope realized that the document in its current state had no chance of receiving the approval of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith…
Magister, incidentally, is a well known and respected court watcher. Word is the encyclical was ghost written by Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández of Tiburnia, a native of Buenos Aires. Fernández, who once wrote a book on the theology of kissing. Yes, kissing. Sáname con tu boca. El arte de besar. Magister quotes from the book,

I explain that this book was written based on my personal experience as the lives of the people kissing. In these pages I want to summarize the popular sentiment, what people feel when they think of a kiss, what mortals feel when kissing…

Anyway, word of the rejection, if that’s what it was, filtered out to folks like Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, the force behind that latest Pontifical Academy meeting and whose writings are difficult to distinguish from Greenpeace broadsides. Maradiaga went on a rant and blamed “movements in the United States” for the push-back.

Meanwhile, one of the movements Maradiaga did not mean, was taking place. Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski and New Mexico Bishop Oscar Cantú met Wednesday behind closed doors Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island to prep for, the report says, the encyclical, which at that time was still thought to be on track.

With me so far? The tale grows necessarily murkier here. If the proposed encyclical was rejected as reported, it could of course be sent back for rewriting. Or it could be issued in some other form, with or without the Pope’s name attached. For instance, the Pontifical Academy for Science’s summary document of their recent meeting is, naturally, a Church-issued statement, but it doesn’t hold the force of doctrine nor did Pope Francis sign it. (And given the document is full of undefined terms like “sustainability”, thank God for that.)

Supposing the reports I have are true, and since they haven’t been widely reported in the media, there is still time for people to change their minds and save face. Bishop Fernández could redraft. But given the strong personalities involved, it’s a better bet we’ll see a downgrade.

How would the press and greenies react to a downgrade? I’m guessing with their customary petulance and with much whining about how dark capitalistic forces “made” the Pope suffer this ignominy. The left will juice up pity for the Pope and then treat the statement (in whatever lesser form it is) as if it were an encyclical. They’ll write headlines drawing from the document which say (we can guess) things like, “God doesn’t want global warming.”

They’ll say, “True Catholics must care for the environment”, where by “care for the environment” they mean Catholics must cede more control to government. Or use more birth control, or have more abortions. In other words, not much will change, though the two camps will become more divided.

Given the numerous collection of ifs, supposings, and rumor in this report, what’s your guess?


Two full seconds after I hit “publish”, I had this email, “Father Lombardi: Eco Encyclical on Track for Expected June Publication. Speaking to the Register, the Vatican spokesman dismissed a claim this week that doctrinal concerns about the encyclical’s draft text have derailed its publication.”

“…’rumors and fantasies,’ Father Lombardi said.”

Wheels withing wheels. But it wouldn’t be the first time something that vigorously, even vehemently, denied by Vatican officials, turned out true.


Will David Cameron Make Britain An Energy Powerhouse?

A lot of people think so

For years, political gridlock and environmentalist opposition have prevented natural gas drilling to move forward in the UK, but the massive conservative victory in the country’s recent election could make Britain a world energy player. Tory Prime Minister David Cameron and his new conservative government have made developing the UK’s vast shale gas reserves a major priority in their bid to create a “Northern Powerhouse” of the island nation. Chancellor George Osborne is a big supporter of the Northern Powerhouse plan, so shale could soon become a reality for the the British. --Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 14 May 2015

The news was welcomed by free market groups that favor energy production and more local control over economic affairs. “We welcome the government’s determination to develop shale gas as a key plank of their ‘Northern Powerhouse’ agenda,” Lord Nigel Lawson of Blaby, chairman of the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF), said in a statement. “The development of shale gas could in time create a whole new energy industry that would generate billions of much needed revenue,” Lawson said. --Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 14 May 2015

The UK’s reliance on gas for heating makes fracking a serious option for governments at both Holyrood and Westminster, according to a Church of Scotland report. In a detailed consideration of the contentious technology, the Kirk’s church and society council said it was inevitable that the country would soon be left with a choice of the development of fuel sources at home, such as shale gas, or a reliance on expensive imports. --Mike Wade, The Times, 12 May 2015

The appointment of Amber Rudd as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change under the new Conservative government marks a critical moment for UK shale developers. Lancashire County Council’s planning committee is due to decide on 30 June whether to give independent UK energy company Cuadrilla the go ahead for what would be the first drilled and fracked shale wells in the UK. “The decision… will be the first test of Rudd’s commitment – or not – to UK shale,” Alastair Fraser, chair in Petroleum Geoscience at Imperial College London, told Interfax. --Annemarie Botzki, Interfax, 13 May 2015

A study says fracking has the potential to unlock 140billion barrels of global oil supplies. The amount would be equivalent to Russia’s known reserves, according to analysis by IHS. According to the report, countries such as Iran, Mexico, China and Russia are likely to benefit most from exploiting techniques in the US shale revolution. It was also found that two thirds of the extra recoverable oil would come from the Middle East and Latin America. --Energy Voice, 14 May 2015

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), chaired by former Conservative chancellor Nigel Lawson, has recently launched an inquiry into the reliability of global surface temperature records, with a group of international "eminent climatologists, physicists and statisticians" set to probe current data. Dr Benny Peiser, director of the GWPF, has said he hopes the findings will address the lack of clarity and transparency he claims surrounds temperature records - while admitting his "growing concern" about the gathering of global warming statistics. --Levi Winchester, Daily Express, 15 May 2015


Tackling human biases in science

Judith Curry

Psychologist Brian Nosek of the University of Virginia says that the most common and problematic bias in science is “motivated reasoning”: We interpret observations to fit a particular idea.

Nautilus has published a very interesting article entitled The trouble with scientists:  How one psychologist is tackling human biases in sciences.  I thought this article would be a good antidote to the latest nonsense by Lewandowsky and Oreskes.  Excerpts:

"Sometimes it seems surprising that science functions at all. In 2005, medical science was shaken by a paper with the provocative title “Why most published research findings are false.” As Ioannidis concluded more recently, “many published research findings are false or exaggerated, and an estimated 85 percent of research resources are wasted.”

It’s likely that some researchers are consciously cherry-picking data to get their work published. And some of the problems surely lie with journal publication policies. But the problems of false findings often begin with researchers unwittingly fooling themselves: they fall prey to cognitive biases, common modes of thinking that lure us toward wrong but convenient or attractive conclusions.

Psychologist Brian Nosek of the University of Virginia says that the most common and problematic bias in science is “motivated reasoning”: We interpret observations to fit a particular idea. Psychologists have shown that “most of our reasoning is in fact rationalization,” he says. In other words, we have already made the decision about what to do or to think, and our “explanation” of our reasoning is really a justification for doing what we wanted to do—or to believe—anyway. Science is of course meant to be more objective and skeptical than everyday thought—but how much is it, really?

Whereas the falsification model of the scientific method championed by philosopher Karl Popper posits that the scientist looks for ways to test and falsify her theories—to ask “How am I wrong?”—Nosek says that scientists usually ask instead “How am I right?” (or equally, to ask “How are you wrong?”). When facts come up that suggest we might, in fact, not be right after all, we are inclined to dismiss them as irrelevant, if not indeed mistaken.

Statistics may seem to offer respite from bias through strength in numbers, but they are just as fraught. Chris Hartgerink of Tilburg University in the Netherlands works on the influence of “human factors” in the collection of statistics. He points out that researchers often attribute false certainty to contingent statistics. “Researchers, like people generally, are bad at thinking about probabilities,” he says. While some results are sure to be false negatives—that is, results that appear incorrectly to rule something out—Hartgerink says he has never read a paper that concludes as much about its findings. His recent research shows that as many as two in three psychology papers reporting non-significant results may be overlooking false negatives.

Given that science has uncovered a dizzying variety of cognitive biases, the relative neglect of their consequences within science itself is peculiar. A common response to this situation is to argue that, even if individual scientists might fool themselves, others have no hesitation in critiquing their ideas or their results, and so it all comes out in the wash: Science as a communal activity is self-correcting. Sometimes this is true—but it doesn’t necessarily happen as quickly or smoothly as we might like to believe.

Nosek thinks that peer review might sometimes actively hinder clear and swift testing of scientific claims. He points out that, when in 2011 a team of physicists in Italy reported evidence of neutrinos that apparently moved faster than light (in violation of Einstein’s theory of special relativity), this astonishing claim was made, examined, and refuted very quickly thanks to high-energy physicists’ efficient system of distributing preprints of papers through an open-access repository. If that testing had relied on the usual peer-reviewed channels, it could have taken years.

Medical reporter Ivan Oransky  believes that, while all of the incentives in science reinforce confirmation biases, the exigencies of publication are among the most problematic. “To get tenure, grants, and recognition, scientists need to publish frequently in major journals,” he says. “That encourages positive and ‘breakthrough’ findings, since the latter are what earn citations and impact factor. So it’s not terribly surprising that scientists fool themselves into seeing perfect groundbreaking results among their experimental findings.”

Nosek agrees, saying one of the strongest distorting influences is the reward systems that confer kudos, tenure, and funding.  “I could be patient, or get lucky—or I could take the easiest way, making often unconscious decisions about which data I select and how I analyze them, so that a clean story emerges. But in that case, I am sure to be biased in my reasoning.”

Not only can poor data and wrong ideas survive, but good ideas can be suppressed through motivated reasoning and career pressures. Skepticism about bold claims is always warranted, but looking back we can see that sometimes it comes more from an inability to escape the biases of the prevailing picture than from genuine doubts about the quality of the evidence. Science does self-correct when the weight of the evidence demands it, says Nosek, but “we don’t know about the examples in which a similar insight was made but was dismissed outright and never pursued.”

Surprisingly, Nosek thinks that one of the most effective solutions to cognitive bias in science could come from the discipline that has weathered some of the heaviest criticism recently for its error-prone and self-deluding ways: pharmacology. It is precisely because these problems are so manifest in the pharmaceutical industry that this community is, in Nosek’s view, way ahead of the rest of science in dealing with them.

Nosek has instituted a similar pre-registration scheme for research called the Open Science Framework (OSF).  The idea, says Nosek, is that researchers “write down in advance what their study is for and what they think will happen.” It sounds utterly elementary, like the kind of thing we teach children about how to do science. And indeed it is—but it is rarely what happens. Instead, as Fiedler testifies, the analysis gets made on the basis of all kinds of unstated and usually unconscious assumptions about what would or wouldn’t be seen. Nosek says that researchers who have used the OSF have often been amazed at how, by the time they come to look at their results, the project has diverged from the original aims they’d stated.

Ultimately, Nosek has his eyes on a “scientific utopia,” in which science becomes a much more efficient means of knowledge accumulation. As Oransky says, “One of the larger issues is getting scientists to stop fooling themselves. This requires elimination of motivated reasoning and confirmation bias, and I haven’t seen any good solutions for that.” So along with OSF, Nosek believes the necessary restructuring includes open-access publication, and open and continuous peer review. We can’t get rid of our biases, perhaps, but we can soften their siren call. As Nosek and his colleague, psychologist Yoav Bar-Anan of Ben-Gurion University in Israel, have said, “The critical barriers to change are not technical or financial; they are social. Although scientists guard the status quo, they also have the power to change it.”

JC reflections

There are a number of things that I like about this article.  I think that the studying cognitive biases in science is an important topic, that has unfortunately been perverted by Stephan Lewandowsky, with respect to climate science anyways.

Lets face it:  would you expect Soon and Monckton to write a paper on ‘Why climate models run cold’.   Or Jim Hansen to write a paper saying that human caused climate change is not dangerous. People that have a dog in the fight (reputational, financial, ideological, political) interpret observations to fit a particular idea, that supports their particular ‘dog.’  The term ‘motivated reasoning’ is usually reserved for political motivations, but preserving your reputation or funding is probably more likely to be a motivator among scientists.

As scientists, it is our job to fight against biases (and its not easy).  One of the ways that I fight against bias is to question basic assumptions, and see if challenges to these assumptions are legitimate.  The recent carbon mass balance thread is a good example.  Until Salby’s argument came along, it never even occurred to me to question the attribution of the recent CO2 increase – I had never looked at this closely, and assumed that the IPCC et al. knew what they were talking about. 

Once you start looking at the problem in some detail, it is clear that it is very complex with many uncertainties, and I have a nagging idea that we need to frame the analysis differently, in the context of dynamical systems.  So I threw this topic open to discussion, stimulated by Fred Haynie’s post.   I think that everyone who followed this lengthy and still ongoing discussion learned something (I know I did), although the discussants at both extremes haven’t come any closer to agreeing with each other.  But the process is key – to throw your assumptions open to challenge and see where it goes.  In this way we can fight our individual bias and the collective biases emerging from consensus building activities.



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


15 May, 2015

Cardinal blasts U.S. climate skeptics

Another South American Red priest

The pope’s closest adviser on Tuesday slammed climate-change skeptics, blaming capitalist motivations from “movements in the United States” for opposing the Catholic Church leader’s upcoming environmental letter.

“The ideology surrounding environmental issues is too tied to a capitalism that doesn’t want to stop ruining the environment because they don’t want to give up their profits,” said Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga at a news conference in Rome marking the start of Caritas Internationalis, an annual meeting of Catholic charitable groups, according to The Boston Globe.

Pope Francis is expected to issue his encyclical letter on the environment this year, and Rodríguez said many within and outside of the Catholic Church are looking forward to it “with hope.” The letter also comes ahead of the United Nations’ meeting on climate change in Paris this December.

“I have already heard criticism of the encyclical,” the Honduran cardinal said, calling it “absurd” for skeptics to reject a document that has not even yet been published. The letter is expected to be released in early summer, according to reports.

The Vatican co-hosted an environmental summit with the U.N. last month, during which the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based conservative think-tank, held another event in Rome featuring speakers challenging climate-change science.

“Though Pope Francis’s heart is surely in the right place, he would do his flock and the world a disservice by putting his moral authority behind the United Nations’ unscientific agenda on the climate,” said Joseph Bast, Heartland’s president, in a statement to The Guardian.


Fools who want to play God

John P. Holdren, Obama's chief science adviser, once predicted dismal consequences for the human race unless we curtail population growth and redistribute wealth.

In 1995, Holdren joined with Paul Ehrlich and Gretchen Daily of the Center for Conservation Studies at Stanford to author the opening chapter in a book — "Defining and Measuring Sustainability" — that was "Distributed for the United Nations University by the World Bank."

"We know for certain, for example that: No form of material growth (including population growth) other than asymptotic growth, is sustainable," wrote Holdren and his co-authors.

"At the sustainability limit, there will be a trade-off between population and energy-matter throughput per person, hence, ultimately, between economic activity per person and well-being per person," they said.

"This is enough to say quite a lot," they concluded, "about what needs to be faced up to eventually (a world of zero net physical growth), what should be done now (change unsustainable practices, reduce excessive material growth), and what the penalty will be for postponing attention to population limitation (lower well-being per person)."

In Human Ecology, a 1973 book he co-authored with Paul and Anne Ehrlich, Obama's future science adviser put his prescriptions in less clinical terms.

"Political pressure must be applied immediately to induce the United States government to assume its responsibility to halt the growth of the American population," Holdren and his co-authors said then.

"A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States," they wrote. "De-development means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with realities of ecology and the global resource situation."

"Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being," wrote Holdren and his co-authors.

"The situation," they wrote, "is best summarized in the statement: "Whatever your cause, it's a lost cause without population control."

But what if your cause were aiding in the achievement of eternal salvation for each of the net additional human lives God brought into being 20 minutes — or 20 years or 2,000 years — after Holdren and his co-authors wrote these words?

Would it have been better, as Obama's future science adviser argued, to halt such net additional human beings from coming into existence in the first place?

Did God truly fail to provide sufficient material resources for the human beings He created and to whom He gave sovereignty over the material world?

The answer to the second question is found in the stars above: We cannot count them all yet, let alone survey them, so we have no idea how vast are the material resources our Creator has put within our potential reach.

The answer to the former question is found by looking back across the extraordinary and sometimes unanticipated improvements in the material well-being of the human race that have occurred just since Obama's science adviser called for inducing "the United States government to assume its responsibility to halt the growth of the American population."

Which one of the inventors of our modern age should the government have halted from coming into being? Could government have picked out the next Einstein — and let him live — even if he was to be the 10th child born to a relatively poor family in a relatively crowded city?

Which life would the government deem less worthy than another?

The real threat to the human race is not in adding numbers to our population but in letting a few people in government play God.


An open letter to Dr. Ben Carson—and all presidential candidates—on energy policies

By Marita Noon

Congratulations on your decision to run for President of the United States. I was at home writing at the time of your announcement. As a professional speaker and someone who has spent more than thirty years training speakers, I felt your presentation was stellar — especially considering that you delivered it without a note. I even posted the following on my Facebook page: “I have work to do but am captivated listening to Ben Carson” — which garnered many “likes” and favorable comments.

I say that to emphasize that I like you. I am glad that you’ve joined the voices that will be utilizing the platforms afforded to them as candidates to educate the public as they expound on important issues facing America today. In fact, the libertarian leaning Reason Magazine applauded you for this exact reason: “To my happy surprise, he spent a good chunk of his announcement speech hinting at a Ross Perot-style crusade against the massive national debt and its drag on the economic growth.” Matt Welch, Reason’s editor in chief continues, “I would be happy if he made such talk the centerpiece of his campaign, particularly at a time when the new GOP congressional majority is already going wobbly on spending. If the guy’s gonna be sucking up oxygen in the race, he might as well be focusing monomaniacally on the giant sucking sound of debt service.”

I know you are not a politician and agree that is an asset for your candidacy. You speak, refreshingly, off the cuff and from the heart, rather than from a poll-tested script. As such, you’ll likely say a thing or two — especially in the early days of your campaign — for you which you’ll later have to apologize (at worst) or dial back on (at best).

I hope such is the case with your energy-themed comments during your first speech in Iowa since your declaration as a candidate, where you quoted President Obama’s deceptive “$4 billion a year in oil subsidies” line. It is disappointing to hear you parroting the president, but especially since it is essentially wrong.

When you use the term “subsidy,” the public automatically thinks a handout of government cash. President Obama chose to use it specifically to give his audience in New Hampshire a negative attitude toward “the oil industry.” Yet, as Forbes columnist Larry Bell found in his analysis of Obama’s attack on “fossil fuel subsidies,” the so-called subsidies are far from cash handouts and some of it doesn’t even go to the industry. I’ll explain.

Bell points out a broad definition for “subsidy” as used by Oil Change International: “any government action that lowers the cost of fossil fuel energy production, raises the price received by energy producers, or lowers the price paid by consumers.” Though different from public perception, this allows tax deductions — akin to those used by most industries — to be relabeled.

Three such tax deductions presently allowed by the IRS are: (The Heritage Foundation offers an excellent primer.)

Oil depletion allowance: Applied to small, independent producers (large integrated corporations haven’t been eligible for this since the mid-1970s), this deduction allows producers to pass depletion deductions (similar to benefits available to all mineral extraction, timber, etc.) on to individual investors.

Expensing drilling costs: Producers can write off expenses in the year occurred rather than capitalizing them and taking the deductions over several years.

Credit for taxes to foreign nations: Provides an offset for international companies that paid foreign taxes so that the companies are not taxed twice on the same income.

While oil-and-gas producers are allowed typical cost-of-doing-business tax deductions, they are singled out to receive fewer tax breaks than other industries. For example, Bell highlights Section 199 of the “American Job Creation Act of 2004” — which was intended “to provide a competitive advantage to domestic companies engaged in product manufacturing, sales, leasing or licensing, and production-related software activities.” Most businesses engaged in “qualified production activities” receive a 9 percent deduction from net income. Yet oil and gas can claim only 6 percent.

Using the broad definition of “subsidies,” there are some large dollar figures that warrant review. A summary of the data from a 2010 OECD-IEA report titled “Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Other Support,” concludes a total of $4.5 billion for oil-related subsidies in the U.S. in 2010 — which may be where the $4 billion talking point comes from. But that, too, is deceptive.

Energy analyst Robert Rapier broke down the data and found, as reported in Forbes:

“The single largest expenditure is just over $1 billion for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is designed to protect the U.S. from oil shortages. The second largest category is just under $1 billion in tax exemptions for farm fuel. The justification for that tax exemption is that fuel taxes pay for roads, and the farm equipment that benefits from the tax exemption is technically not supposed to be using the roads. The third largest category? $570 million for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. (This program is classified as a petroleum subsidy because it artificially reduces the price of fuel, which helps oil companies sell more of it). Those three programs account for $2.5 billion a year in ‘oil subsidies.’”

As you can see, understanding the whole fossil-fuel subsidy argument is complicated, but it is clearly not the cash give-away the anti-petroleum crowd wants people to believe. And I haven’t addressed all the tax and royalty revenue that comes in from the oil-and-gas industry.

I know you were in Iowa, and you must have felt that you needed to offer some nod to corn-based ethanol, but your suggestion that oil subsidies should, instead, be used to build ethanol-fueling stations, indicates that you are ill-informed on renewable energy as well.

We could take apart your comment about ethanol being 50-80 cents a gallon less than gasoline and being better for the environment — there is plenty to work with there. But for brevity, I am going to stick with the subsidy theme and expand it to include renewables.

Because energy subsidies are complicated, I think the easiest way to look at them is using an energy-received-for-dollar-spent model — which is a good indicator of how federal dollars are being used and the value the nation is getting from them.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA), at the request of Congress, recently updated a study it did in 2010 that evaluated the amount of subsidies the federal government provided energy producers for fiscal year 2013. In short, it found, as reported by the Institute for Energy Research (IER): “The largest increases in federal energy subsidies were in electricity-related renewable energy, which increased 54 percent over the 3-year period, from $8.6 billion to $13.2 billion. Total fossil fuel subsidies declined by 15 percent, from $4.0 billion to $3.4 billion.”

IER took the numbers from the EIA study and calculated the federal subsidies and support per unit of electricity produced. It concluded that “on a per dollar basis, government policies have led to solar generation being subsidized by over 345 times more than coal and oil and natural gas electricity production, and wind is being subsidized over 52 times more than the more conventional fossil fuels on a unit of production basis.”

The Independent Petroleum Association of America did a similar analysis based on the EIA’s 2008 numbers. At the time, it found that “on this basis, the highest figure by far is for ethanol and biofuels, at $5.72 per million BTU for 2007, with oil and gas coming in at just 3 cents per million BTU.”

Dr. Carson, while supporting renewable energy, like ethanol, may seem in vogue, because you are running for the highest office in the land, I encourage you — and all presidential candidates — to learn from the recent elections in the UK.

Consider this: Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey became the first cabinet minister to lose a seat in almost twenty years. Davey, according to the UK’s Mirror, “claimed credit for leading the bid to secure a ‘massive increase’ in renewable electricity in the UK and …he led negotiations for the UK on the world stage at UN climate talks in Qatar, Poland and Peru.” By comparison, Prime Minister David Cameron, who while campaigning in Montgomeryshire, promised if he was re-elected, “We’ll scrap funds for wind farms.” Regarding the unpopular project, Cameron said, “I will seek a further careful consideration of this wind farms/power lines project. It’s financial and environmental madness. It should be abandoned.” Though not predicted, Cameron won “the sweetest victory,” while “Labour was virtually wiped out in Scotland and the Liberal Democrat vote collapsed,” reported The Daily Telegraph.

Dr. Carson, I know you are smart, very smart, but you know medicine. You need very smart people to advise you on energy policy now, before you address the topic any further. I have a cadre of energy experts that I could make available to you — and any candidate who wants smart energy policy.

Call me, maybe?


Wind energy myths spun by lobbyists and salesmen

Industrial wind is a net loser: economically, environmentally, technologically and civilly

Mary Kay Barton

A recent letter in my local paper by American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) representative Tom Vinson is typical of wind industry sales propaganda. It deserves correction.

This is the reality:  Industrial wind energy is NET LOSER – economically, environmentally, technically and civilly. Let’s examine how.

Economically. New York State (NYS) has some of the highest electricity rates in the United States – a whopping 53% above the national average. This is due in large part to throwing hundreds of billions of our taxpayer and ratepayer dollars into the wind. High electricity costs drive people and businesses out of the state, and ultimately hurt poor families the most.

A NYS resident using 6,500 kWh of electricity annually will pay about $400 per year more for their electricity than if our electricity prices were at the national average. That’s over $3.2 BILLION dollars annually that will not be spent in the rest of the state economy.

Why destroy entire towns, when just one single 450-MW gas-fired combined-cycle generating unit located near New York City (NYC) – where the power is needed – operating at only 60% of its capacity, would provide more electricity than all of NYS’s wind factories combined.

Furthermore, that one 450 MW gas-fired unit would only require about one-fourth of the capital costs – and would not bring all the negative civil, economic, environmental, human health and property value impacts that are caused by the sprawling industrial wind factories. Nor would it require all the additional transmission lines to NYC.

The Institute for Energy Research tallied the numbers and found that each wind job costs $11.45 million and costs more than four jobs that are lost elsewhere in the economy, because of all the subsidies and the resulting “skyrocketing” cost of electricity. In fact, on a unit of production basis, wind is subsidized over 52 times more than conventional fossil fuels.

In the United Kingdom, David Cameron has finally awakened to the folly of wasting billions on the failed technology of wind. He recently declared, “We will scrap funds for wind farms.”

Environmentally. According to the AWEA, the USA has some 45,100 Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs). Remotely sited IWTs are located far from urban centers where the power is needed. This requires a spider web of new transmission lines (at ratepayers’ expense), which exponentially adds to the needless bird and bat deaths caused by IWTs themselves.

Additionally, sprawling industrial wind factories cause massive habitat fragmentation, which is cited as one of the main reasons for species decline worldwide.

Studies show MILLIONS of birds and bats are being slaughtered annually by these giant “Cuisinarts of the sky,” as a Sierra official dubbed IWTs in a rare moment of candor.

Governor Cuomo’s environmental hypocrisy is also worth noting. Cuomo is supporting “dimming the lights” in New York City to help stop migrating birds from becoming disoriented and crashing into buildings. Yet simultaneously, Cuomo is pushing for many more giant bird-chopping wind turbines – with 600-foot-high blinking red lights, along the shores of Lake Ontario (a major migratory bird flyway), and across rural New York State.

Technically. Because wind provides NO capacity value, or firm capacity (specified amounts of power on demand), wind requires constant “shadow capacity” from our reliable, dispatchable baseload generators to cover for wind’s inherent volatile, skittering flux on the grid.  Therefore, wind cannot replace those conventional generation sources.  Instead, wind locks us into dependence on fossil fuels – and represents a redundancy (two duplicate sources of electricity), which Big Wind CEO Patrick Jenevein admitted “turns ratepayers and taxpayers into double-payers for the same product.”

The list of accidents, blade failures (throwing debris over a half mile), fires (ten times more than the wind industry previously admitted) and other problems is updated quarterly at a website in the UK. This lengthy and growing list is evidence of why giant, moving machines do NOT belong anywhere near where people live.

Even the AWEA admits that the life of a typical wind turbine is only 10 to13 years (January 2006: North American Wind Power). This is substantiated by studies on these short-lived lemons.

Adding insult to injury, the actual output of all of New York State’s wind factories combined has been averaging a pathetic 23 percent.  If IWTs were cars, they would have been correctly dubbed ‘lemons’ and relegated to the junkyard a long time ago.

Civilly. The only thing that has ever been reliably generated by industrial wind is complete and utter civil discord. Neighbor is pitted against neighbor, and even family member against family member. Sprawling industrial wind factories have totally divided communities, which is already apparent in towns across NYS and the country.  It is the job of good government to foresee and prevent this kind of civil discord – not to promote it.

Regarding human health, NYS officials admitted at a 2009 NYSERDA meeting on wind that they knew “infrasound” from wind turbines was a problem worldwide. The growing list of problems globally highlights that these problems are only getting worse.

At the NYSERDA meeting, a former noise control engineer for the New York State Public Service Commission, Dr. Dan Driscoll, testified that ‘infrasound’ (sounds below 20 Hz) are sounds you can’t hear, but the body can feel.

Dr. Driscoll said that ‘infrasound’ is NOT blocked by walls, and it can very negatively affect the human body – especially after prolonged, continuous exposure.  He said symptoms include headache, nausea, sleeplessness, dizziness, ringing in the ears and other maladies.

NYS Department of Health official Dr. Jan Storm testified that, despite knowing the global nature of the “infrasound” problem, NYS still had not done any health studies (despite having federal money available to do so). Here we are six years later, and indefensibly, NYS officials still have not called for any independent studies to assure the protection of New York State citizens.

“The Golden Rule,” as espoused by Rotary International’s excellent ‘Four-Way Test’ of the things we think, say and do, should be the moral and ethical standard our public servants aspire to uphold.  The test asks:

1.      Is it the truth?

2.      Is it fair to all concerned?

3.      Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

4.      Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

When applied to the industrial wind issue, the answers are a resounding, “NO!”

Via email

NC House votes to freeze renewables standards and scale back corporate welfare subisidies

Everybody that pays a light bill got a break from the Republican led NC House today (5-6-15), assuming the Senate and Governor go along. The House passed HB 760, effectively freezing the state's renewable energy standards and scaled back corporate welfare to select businesses who had to have subsidies to make solar energy work, for themselves. Rep. Mike Hager, one of the key leaders in the issue said: "The winners in this issue are the consumers of North Carolina. What folks (power porducers) need to do int his state is learn to compete."

Americans For Prosperity issued the following statement after the House action:

State Director Donald Bryson of Americans for Prosperity North Carolina released a statement praising the passage of H.B. 760 Regulatory Reform Act of 2015 on its final reading in the N.C. House of Representatives:

"Today's pro-consumer vote by the N.C. House put a dent in state government's culture of corporate favoritism. Lawmakers put their constituents' 'kitchen table' concerns first by stopping a monthly energy fee on residential customers from tripling under the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)."

"This compromise measure provides relief to families who pay their utility bills and work hard to grow the economy without taxpayer support or government favors. We're excited that House lawmakers removed a burden on family budgets rather than pad the pockets of another special interest in Raleigh."

"Removing state government's stranglehold on North Carolina's energy supply lets our private sector create real jobs in a fair, free market that is based on supply, demand and affordability. Bureaucratic control of our economy's engine failed to deliver a net jobs or environmental benefit to the state, but it did slow commercial growth, reduce wages and kill tens of thousands of jobs."

"Finally, this compromise initiates a critical legislative study of the RPS' impact on consumers, to provide state lawmakers a comprehensive understanding of the energy mandate that helps chart a path toward prosperity. We look forward to working with the N.C. Senate on an energy policy that puts people first, fosters innovation and focuses on competitive, cost-effective sources of power."

John Droz, who as a citizen activist is in large measure responsible for this victory, issued the following statement:
Thanks to your support, we have a major NC SUCCESS to report.

The original authors might have been well-intentioned, but Senate Bill 3 (2007) has resulted in eight years of harmful consequences to NC citizens, businesses, military and its environment. Yes, a few people also benefited, but the NET consequences appear to be negative.

Yesterday, despite ferocious opposition by those with their hand in the public trough, the NC House passed a bill (H760) that goes a long way towards stopping some harms caused by SB-3.


Is Australia's Great Barrier Reef  'In Danger'?

If I have the time I do sometimes read Australia's far-Left "New Matilda".  I would like to start a blog that regularly demolished their articles -- perhaps to be called "Walzing New Matilda" -- but I have weightier matters to spend my time on. Anyway, the article below is up to its usual standard of presenting only half of the story.  Balance is the Devil incarnate to Leftists. 

Some scientists do say that the GBR has shrunk by 50% but the interesting question is why there has been any shrinkage at all.  The Warmist below knows why, of course.  It's because of global warming.  Pesky that there has been no global warming for 18 years though.  Can something that does not exist cause anything?  They also seem to think that Richard Branson is a climate scientist.  Enough said on that.

The key point, however, is that the reef does get heavily impacted by natural events such as the many cyclones that have hit North Queensland in recent years.  Cyclones are very destructive of coral.  HOWEVER, when we look at that storm destruction, we also  find that corals grow back rapidly.  While that happens, the GBR is in no "danger". Any changes are temporary. See here and here, for instance.

Warmists will say that the cyclones were caused by global warming but again I ask: Can something that does not exist cause anything?  

Billionaire Richard Branson has urged the United Nations to list the World Heritage value of the Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’ after being approached by advocacy group 1Million Women.

While admitting the campaign may seem “counter intuitive”, Branson argues it is an effective way to “stop further irreversible damage” to the reef “and to protect it for generations to come”.

“Saying the Great Barrier Reef is ‘in danger’ could be just what it needs,” Branson wrote in a blog post yesterday.

The United Nations World Heritage Committee is set to make a decision on whether to change the listing of the reef at a meeting in Bonn, Germany, in June this year.

Like Branson, the UN has expressed concern that port developments and coal ships set to service Australia’s largest ever coal mine, which the federal government approved last year, will further damage the reef.

The Great Barrier Reef has already lost half of its coral cover in the last three decades, and it faces further threats from the Crown of Thorns Starfish and increased agriculture run-off.

In 2013, a federal government report noted that 24 out of 41 attributes which make up the ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ of the reef under the World Heritage Convention are deteriorating.

But the greatest threat to the reef, according to government scientists, is climate change.  “The reef’s plight, like many others, is unbearably sad,” Branson said. “It is being totally overwhelmed by climate change impacts through a destructive combination of heat-driven coral bleaching, ocean acidification and tropical storms.”

Despite climate change being the greatest threat to the reef, a recent Australian Government plan designed to guide conservation efforts for the next 35 years and address UN concerns made next to no mention of the risk to the reef from rising emissions.

On Thursday, the United Nations warned that for the first time in millions of years the concentration of carbon dioxide in the earths atmosphere exceeded 400 parts per million.

The Greens environment spokesperson, Larissa Waters, said on Wednesday that she doesn’t “think the government has done enough policy-wise to avert the threat of a world heritage in danger listing for the Great Barrier Reef”.

“Which is an absolute tragedy,” she said, “because we’re talking about one of the seven wonders of the world.”

“The foremost World Heritage Committee has for the past four years now said to Australia ‘slow down, you’re on this path of industrialisation, we’re worried about the future of the reef, your own scientists are worried about the future of your reef, what are you going to do about it?”

“And the government has consistently thumbed its nose at the key recommendations, and it’s made some changes around the edges.”

Waters said she hopes the reef is not listed as ‘in danger’, despite the fact it is “in serious jeopardy”.

Yesterday, The World Wildlife Fund has released a ‘to do’ list, lobbying the government to do more than is proposed in its ‘Reef 2050’ plan.

At least one federal MP is likely to be unimpressed with these recent developments.

George Christensen MP, whose electorate of Dawson takes in part of the Great Barrier Reef, is standing by the government’s “exemplary document”.

The outspoken backbencher recently voiced his outrage at “eco-traitors” who are committing the “treason” of advocating for an ‘in danger’ listing.

“These extreme greens act like Wormtongue from The Lord of the Rings, flying overseas and whispering in the ears of the decision-makers and diplomats who have anything to do with UNESCO and the World Heritage Committee, poisoning their minds on the state of the reef,” Christensen said.

“They belong to groups such as Greenpeace, the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Friends of the Earth, Get Up, and the Environmental Defenders Office.”



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


14 May, 2015

Greenies hitting those who can least afford it again

For a totally theoretical reason.  Asthma is a very draining ailment, including financially draining.  But the inexpensive inhalers that asthmatics used to use to relieve their symptoms have now vanished from the martket, leaving only expensive ones available. Why?  Because of a FDA ban designed to protect the ozone layer -- an old Greenie scare that has amounted to nothing, as is usual with Greenie scares.  The hole in the ozone layer waxes and wanes as it has always done, despite the ban on simple refrigerant chemicals


State of the Planet: Better Than Ever

Think about this: There is no time in the history of mankind that would be a better time to be alive than today.

Although most people resist this message, and perhaps it is natural to have a yearning for the simpler times of yesteryear, nearly every objective measure of the state of the planet and the state of human progress shows vast improvement over time. You can find proof of this in about 30 seconds on your iPhone, which has about as much computing power than every computer used by all the nations of World War II.

Why is there so much pessimism about the state of our planet? I recently watched the Earth Day speeches on the Washington Mall and they were drenched with Chicken Little tales of a coming apocalypse.

Here is the way CNN explained what we have to look forward to: “Think super droughts, rising seas, mass extinctions, and acidifying oceans.” Then it warned: “Disappearing coasts,” and “bye bye, animals.”

President Barack Obama sounded the alarm when he warned of climate change: “This is not a problem for another generation. Not anymore. This is a problem now. It has serious implications for the way we live right now. Stronger storms. Deeper droughts. Longer wildfire seasons.”

He claims it is already happening. It reminds me of those campy 1970s buttons: “Stop the planet, I want to get off.”

Forty five years ago when the first Earth Day was held, the catastrophe that awaited us was mass starvation, lost farmland, overpopulation, our supplies of oil and gas running on empty, early death, nuclear winter, and believe it or not, a coming second ice age.

Every single one of those predictions was not just wrong, but spectacularly wrong. The opposite occurred. But the doomsday machine rolls on. The declinism on the state of our planet and the well-being of our species, permeates our schools, our churches, our malls, radio, TV, the Internet and our whole culture.

In sum, our planet is in a miserable state, we’re told over and over.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the single greatest misinformation campaign in world history. The state of our planet and the state of humanity has never been stronger. Nature has never been more bountiful.

I recently wrote of the following six statistics which go a long way to proving how well we are doing. The response from the greens was vitriol and even threats to my physical safety for writing these truths. But no one refuted the facts, because, well facts are facts.

Here they are:

1.) Natural resources are more abundant and affordable today than ever before in history. Short term volatility aside, the price of almost all natural resources — from cocoa to cotton to coal — is cheaper today in real terms than 50, 100, or 500 years ago. This has happened even as the world’s population has nearly tripled. Technology has far outpaced depletion of the earth’s resources.

2.) Energy resources are growing. Energy is the master resource; and it is super abundant. Remember when people like Paul Ehrlich nearly 50 years ago and Barack Obama just three years ago warned that we were running out of oil and gas? Today, in the new age of oil and gas thanks to fracking, the United States has hundreds of years of petroleum and an estimated 300 years of coal. We’re not running out of energy, we are running into it.

3.) Air and water is cleaner than ever. Since the late 1970s, pollutants in the air have plunged. Lead pollution plunged by more than 90 percent, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide by more than 50 percent, with ozone and nitrogen dioxide declining as well. By nearly every standard measure it is much, much, much cleaner today in the United States than 50 and 100 years ago. The air is so clean now that the EPA worries about carbon dioxide, which isn’t even a pollutant. (And, by the way, carbon emissions are falling too, thanks to fracking). One hundred years ago, about one in four deaths in America was due to contaminants in drinking water. But from 1971-2002, fewer than three people per year in the United States were documented to have died from water contamination.

4.) There is no Malthusian nightmare of overpopulation. Birth rates have fallen by about one-half around the world over the last 50 years. Developed countries are having fewer kids, not too many. Even with a population of 7.3 billion people, average incomes, especially in poor countries, have surged over the last 40 years. The number of people in abject poverty fell by 1 billion between 1981 and 2011, even as global population increased by more than 1.5 billion. That’s just short of a miracle.

5.) Global per capita food production is 40 percent higher today than as recently as 1950. In most nations the nutrition problem today is obesity — too many calories consumed — not hunger. The number of famines and related deaths over the last 100 years has fallen in half. More than 12 million lives on average were lost each decade from the 1920s-1960s to famine. Since then, fewer than 4 million lives on average per decade were lost. When famine does happen, it’s primarily a result of political corruption or malice, not nature growing too little food. Furthermore, the price of food has fallen steadily in the United States - and most other nations steadily for 200 years.

6.) The rate of death and physical destruction from natural disasters or severe weather changes has plummeted over the last century. Loss of life from hurricanes, floods, hurricanes, heat, droughts, and so on is at or near record lows. This is because we have much better advance warning systems, our infrastructure is much more durable, and we have things like air conditioning to adapt to weather changes. We are constantly discovering new ways to harness and even tame nature.

Again, these are just standard facts — though not very well known. But you could look them up. The point is that human advance and growth of the economy leads to a steadily improving and bountiful planet.

And the growth comes as a result of free enterprise. The environmentalists have declared free-market capitalism a near-treasonous pursuit. In reality, free markets with reasonable and sane regulation, will save the planet from extinction. Meanwhile, the socialists, the communists, the Sandinistas, the Stalinists, are the ones who did the greatest damage to the planet - with such avoidable catastrophes as the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

The environmentalists still believe that command and control rules and regulations — on how much water can be flushed from our toilets, what kind of light bulbs we can use, the temperature setting of our thermostats, the amount of solar and wind energy we must use, the type of energy efficiency we get from our household appliances, the amount of water we can use to water our lawns (as in California), even limits on how many kids we can have (as in China) — will save the planet.

They won’t. Freedom will.

This is very good news for those who believe that one of our primary missions as human beings is to make life better over time and to leave our planet better off for future generations. That’s just what we are doing.


The Death of the Green Energy Movement

The green energy movement in America is dead. May it rest in peace. No, a majority of American energy over the next 20 years is not going to come from windmills and solar panels. One important lesson to be learned from the green energy fad’s rapid and expensive demise is that central planning doesn’t work.

What crushed green energy was the boom in shale oil and gas along with the steep decline in the price of fossil fuel that few saw coming just a few years ago.

A new International Energy Agency report concedes that green energy is in fast retreat and is getting crushed by “the recent drop in fossil fuel prices.” It finds that the huge price advantage for oil and natural gas means “fossil plants still dominate recent (electric power) capacity additions.”

This wasn’t supposed to happen.

Most of the government experts — and many private investors too — bought into the “peak oil” nonsense and the forecasts of fuel prices continuing to rise as we depleted the oil from the Earth’s crust. Oil was expected to stay way over $100 a barrel and potentially soon hit $200 a barrel. National Geographic infamously advertised on its cover in 2004 “The End of Cheap Oil.”

Barack Obama told voters that green energy was necessary because oil is a “finite resource” and we would eventually run out. Apparently, Obama never read “The Ultimate Resource” by Julian Simon which teaches us that human ingenuity in finding new resources outpaces resource depletion.

When fracking and horizontal drilling technologies burst onto the scene, U.S. oil and gas reserves nearly doubled almost overnight. Oil production from 2007-2014 grew by more than 70 percent and natural gas production by nearly 30 percent.

The shale revolution is a classic disruptive technology advance that has priced the green movement out of the competitive market. Natural gas isn’t $13, but is now close to $3, an 80 percent decline. Oil prices have fallen by nearly half.

Green energy can’t possibly compete with that. Marketing windpower in an environment of $3 natural gas is like trying to sell sand in the Sahara. Instead of letting the green energy fad die a merciful death, the Obama administration only lavished more subsidies on the Solyndras of the world.

Washington suffered from what F.A. Hayek called the “fatal conceit.” Like the 1950s central planners in the Politburo, Congress and the White House thought they knew where the future was headed. According to a 2015 report by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, over the past 5 years, the U.S. government spent $150 billion on “solar power and other renewable energy projects.” Even with fracking changing the energy world, these blindfolded sages stuck with their wild green-eyed fantasy that wind turbines were the future.

Meanwhile, the return of $2.50 a gallon gasoline at the pump is flattening the battery car market. A recent report from the trade publication Fusion notes: “electric vehicle purchases in the U.S. have stagnated.” According to auto analysts at, “only 45 percent of this year’s hybrid and EV trade-ins have gone toward the purchase of another alternative fuel vehicle. That’s down from just over 60 percent in 2012.” says that “never before have loyalty rates for alt-fuel vehicles fallen below 50 percent” and it speculated that “many hybrid and EV owners are driven more by financial motives rather than a responsibility to the environment.” That’s what happens when the world is awash in cheap fossil fuels.

This isn’t the first time American taxpayers have been fleeced by false green energy dreams. In the late 1970s the Carter administration spent billions of dollars on the Synthetic Fuels Corporation which was going to produce fuel economically and competitively. Solar and wind power were also brief flashes in the pan. It all crash landed by 1983 when oil prices crashed to as low as $20 a barrel after Reagan deregulated energy. The Synthetic Fuels Corporation was one of the great corporate welfare boondoggles in American history.

A lesson should have been learned there — but Washington went all in again under Presidents Bush and Obama.

At least private sector investors have lost their own money in these foolish bets on bringing back energy sources from the Middle Ages — like wind turbines. The tragedy of government as venture capitalist is that the politicians lose our money. These government-backed technologies divert private capital away from potentially more promising innovations.

Harold Hamm, president of Continental Resources, and one of the discoverers of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota tells the story of meeting with Barack Obama at the White House in 2010 to tell him of the fracking revolution. Obama arrogantly responded that electric cars would soon replace fossil fuels. Was he ever wrong.

We don’t know if renewables will ever play a significant role in America’s energy mix. But if it does ever happen, it will be a result of market forces, not central planning.


CO2 Hits 'Milestone.' So What?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced this week that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere set a new record high. Angela Fritz of The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang reports, “For the first time since we began to track the greenhouse gas in our planet’s atmosphere, carbon dioxide surpassed 400 parts per million in March — a concentration that scientists consider a significant milestone for Earth’s climate and our ability to reverse the trend.” Climate Central’s Brian Kahn says that “CO2 emissions are the main driver of climate change and have risen more than 120 ppm since pre-industrial times.” He adds, “The planet has warmed 1.6°F over that period as well.”

But that claim has come under increased scrutiny in recent years. NOAA says 2014 was the hottest year yet, and this year is on pace to be even warmer. However, satellites — a superior method utilized for temperature recordings — reveal absolutely no global warming in nearly 18 and a half years. So even though CO2 is rising, temperature are not, despite assertions to the contrary. Moreover, as climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer reminds us, it’s been nearly “3,500 days since the last time a major hurricane (Cat 3 or stronger) struck the U.S., which was Hurricane Wilma in 2005.” Why aren’t we celebrating that record? He also notes, “Most people aren’t aware that the atmospheric concentration would have gone up twice as fast if not for the fact that nature loves the stuff. No matter how fast we produce it with our cars and planes and power plants, nature sucks up half of it, like a starving dog that has just been fed dinner. In fact, without CO2 life as we know it on Earth would not exist.” By burning fossil fuels, you could say we’re doing our part to green the planet.


Parental environment mediates impacts of increased carbon dioxide on a coral reef fish

Fish adapt rapidly to climate change  -- within one generation

Gabrielle M. Miller et al.

Carbon dioxide concentrations in the surface ocean are increasing owing to rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere1. Higher CO2 levels are predicted to affect essential physiological processes of many aquatic organisms2, 3, leading to widespread impacts on marine diversity and ecosystem function, especially when combined with the effects of global warming4, 5, 6. Yet the ability for marine species to adjust to increasing CO2 levels over many generations is an unresolved issue. Here we show that ocean conditions projected for the end of the century (approximately 1,000??atm CO2 and a temperature rise of 1.5–3.0?°C) cause an increase in metabolic rate and decreases in length, weight, condition and survival of juvenile fish. However, these effects are absent or reversed when parents also experience high CO2 concentrations. Our results show that non-genetic parental effects can dramatically alter the response of marine organisms to increasing CO2 and demonstrate that some species have more capacity to acclimate to ocean acidification than previously thought.

Nature Climate Change 2, 858–861 (2012) doi:10.1038/nclimate1599

Some basic climate background from successful forecaster Bill Gray

I am appalled that scientific objectivity has been so blatantly disregarded by our government and the world’s environmentalists who would use erroneous climate model results to justify their faulty AGW pronouncement which are injurious to humanity.

Gray’s View on AGW.  We AGW skeptics need to be able to offer two basic plausible physical explanations in order to negate the AGW hypothesis.

1.    Why projected CO2 increases over the next 50-100 years will only be able to bring about very small amounts (0.2-0.4°C) of global mean temperature rise.

2.    Why there is natural climate change unrelated to CO2 variations?  We need a believable physical explanation for the global climate changes over the last few thousand years (Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period, etc.) and in particular the apparent quite modest global warming of the last century.  We also need an explanation of the shorter time-scale multi-decadal global warming periods (1910-1940, 1975-1999) and of the global cooling or neutral periods (1880-1910, 1940-1974, and 1999-2015).

Explanation #1 can be understood as a result of CO2 increases causing more global precipitation and associated increase in the globe’s deep cumulonimbus (Cb) convective clouds.  These CO2 induced precipitation increases bring about upper tropospheric drying which allows more infrared (IR) flux to space – a negative water-vapor feedback.  This extra rainfall enhances surface evaporation cooling which acts to balance out most of the expected global warming resulting from CO2’s increasing blockage of IR to space (3.7 Wm-2 for a CO2 doubling).  This prevents CO2 increases from bringing about any significant global warming.  Only minimal warming (0.2-0.4°C) is going to occur with a doubling of CO2.  The main effect of CO2 increases will be an enhancement of global average precipitation of about 3 percent.  This enhanced global rainfall will occur in regions where it is already raining and should be hardly noticed.

Explanation #2 can be explained by the multi-decadal and multi-century variations in the globe’s deep ocean circulations (or Meridional Overturning Circulation – MOC) which are primarily driven by space and time variations of oceanic salinity.  Salinity changes occur in ocean areas where there are long period differences in surface evaporation minus precipitation.  This is especially the situation of the Atlantic where ocean evaporation is 10-20 percent greater than precipitation.  Salinity driven ocean changes bring about alterations in the strength of the Atlantic Ocean Thermohaline Circulation (THC), and through Pacific basin upwelling response variations to variation in the Pacific multi-decadal oscillation (PDO) as well.  There is also salinity driven ocean subsidence around the Antarctic continent.  All these factors influence the strength of the MOC.

Most of the globe’s last century weak global warming has, in my view, been a consequence of a modest slowdown of the global oceans MOC.  This last century long MOC slowdown is also detected in an associated weak increase (in milliseconds) in the earth’s rate of rotation.

Lack of Ability of Other Suggested Non-ocean Climate Change Mechanisms to Rival or be Superior to Coming CO2 Influences.  The many other non-ocean proposed physical ideas for climate change (where orbital parameters do not play a role) such as

1.    Solar variability

2.    Sun-spot changes

3.    Cosmic ray variability

4.    Aerosol changes

5.    Human land use changes

6.    Volcanic activity

may each play a minor role in some aspects of the globe’s climate alteration.  But the individual physical influence of each of these suggested mechanisms is too small to be used as a dominant physical argument against the CO2 change hypothesis.

None of the above proposed climate change mechanisms well match the observed past changes in global temperature.  In addition, the magnitude of potential energy change from these above non-ocean physical mechanisms does not have the power to come close to producing the climate changes which the variations of the deep ocean circulations are capable of bringing about.

We AGW skeptics who have proposed non-ocean climate change mechanisms as an alternate to CO2 induced climate changes will continue to have difficulty in rebutting the CO2 advocates.  These alternate physical hypothesizes do not have enough supporting observational evidence to allow any one of them or a combination of them to be judged to be more dominant than the changes which future CO2 increases will be able to bring about.

We critics of the AGW CO2 warming hypothesis need a more dominant alternate physical hypothesis which is stronger and which better conforms in time with the global observations.  Changes in the ocean’s deep circulation currents appears to be, by far, the best physical explanation for the observed global surface temperature changes (see Gray 2009, 2011, 2012, 2012).  It seems ridiculous to me for both the AGW advocates and us skeptics to so closely monitor current weather and short-time climate change as indication of CO2’s influence on our climate.  This assumes that the much more dominant natural climate changes that have always occurred are no longer in operation or have relevance.

Cumulus Convection Influences.  Most cumulus convection is organized in meso-scale cloud clusters containing 10 to 20 individual Cb convective elements which are typically concentrated in areas of 200-500 km wide.  The individual deep Cb convective cells within these cloud-cluster systems are often arranged in lines and new convective elements are continuously being formed and dissipated.  Each new Cb convective element goes through a typical lifecycles of an hour or so.  The strong downdrafts from the late stages of these dying Cb elements typically contribute to the low-level mass forcing needed for the initiating of other new adjacent Cb clouds.  This is why multiple Cb clouds tend to cluster together.

Cb clouds penetrate well into the middle and upper troposphere.  The excess mass within the weakening upper-level Cb elements diverge and spread out as cirrus clouds.  This higher level extra mass and cirrus cloudiness then begins to undergo sinking so as to make space and satisfy mass balance for the new emerging upper tropospheric Cb penetrating elements.

Subsidence Drying.  Cumulonimbus updraft elements have very high rainfall efficiency as they weaken and die in the very cold upper troposphere.  The very cold air at these upper tropospheric levels can hold (even at saturation) very little water-vapor (only about 1% of the low-level moisture content by mass and 0.1 of 1% by volume) compared to the middle and lower tropospheric moisture contents.  This very low water-vapor content air from the upper Cb outflow then sinks, evaporates its cloud particles, and arrives at lower levels where the saturated water-vapor contents are much higher.  The original upper-level dry air then mixes with the lower level air.  This mixture of air at the lower level becomes drier than the air at this level was before any of the upper-level air mixed into it.

A saturated air parcel from a dying Cb cloud which sinks from the 200 mb (12 km height) level to the lower pressure height of 300 mb (10 km ht.) will arrive at this lower-level with a RH of only 10-12 percent of the lower level air.  These unusually large upper-level subsidence drying amounts are a consequence of the very large gradient of saturated vapor pressure in the upper troposphere.  Vertical gradients of saturated vapor pressure at middle and lower tropospheric levels are, percentage wise, much smaller.

An increase in global deep convective (Cb) activity as a result of CO2 increases will thus bring drying (not moistening) to the upper troposphere, just the opposite of the climate models projections.  This upper tropospheric drying acts to lower the infrared (IR) radiation emission level (EL) to a lower height and a warmer temperature where larger amounts of IR energy (?T4) are able to be fluxed to space.  Increases in net global Cb convective activity results in higher amounts of IR energy being fluxed to space, not lower amounts as all the climate modelers and their fellow AGW advocates believe.

Our extensive analysis of the ISCCP data well shows the degree to which the broad upper-level sinking air from the global rain areas have had their RH reduced when an enhancement of the global rainfall rate (and accompanied increase in Cb convection) occurs.  Please see the attached short write-up “Crux of AGWs Flawed Science” for more detailed discussion and clarifying figures and tables.

How Global Temperature Will Change as CO2 Increases.  The rise of CO2 gas occurs very slowly.  By contrast, the troposphere’s hydrologic cycle and its energy dissipation cycle operate on a time-scale of only around 10 days.  Any CO2 radiational induced warming will be quickly felt by the earth’s surface and will immediately act to enhance surface evaporation.  The more surface evaporation, the less the surface will warm.

A doubling of CO2 gas in the atmosphere will cause an alteration of our global climate but not in the same way as envisioned by the climate modelers or by the majority of scientists studying this topic.  Most researchers concentrate only on the direct radiation influences which CO2 increases bring about.  They tend not to consider the other related feedback mechanisms which will be simultaneously activated as CO2 amounts increase.  The increased global evaporation from CO2 increase will extract energy from the earth’s surface and enhance surface cooling.  This will act to reduce the pure radiation assumed 1°C warming through both enhanced IR energy flux to space and enhanced surface evaporation.  The more evaporation from a doubling of CO2 will act to further reduce the 1°C direct radiation only temperature response.  As the CO2’s induced speed-up of the globe’s hydrologic cycle continues the cooling influences of the enhanced surface evaporation-precipitation will greatly suppress any pure radiation assumed rise of 1°C.  Doubling CO2 will thus be able to bring about only a quite modest global warming.  The main influence of a doubling of CO2 will be to increase average global precipitation.  

Basic Flaw of the AGW Hypothesis.  It is the climate models parameterization schemes for cumulus convection (particularly the deep cumulonimbus (Cb) convection) which are grossly unrealistic and which completely negates the global modeler’s projections of 2-5°C warming for a doubling of CO2.  This does not mean that the globe won’t be measurably influenced from CO2 doubling.  But this CO2 influence will occur primarily as an enhancement of the global hydrologic cycle (precipitation) and only minimally from a rise in global surface temperature.

The AGW hypothesis that warming from increased CO2 will enhance global rainfall is correct.  But the assumption that this added rainfall and added tropospheric condensation warming will greatly increase upper tropospheric temperature and water-vapor (through the assumption of constancy of relative humidity) is not at all valid.   The opposite occurs.  Increased deep Cb convection causes dryness to the upper troposphere.  The climate modeler’s large increase in upper tropospheric water-vapor and temperature from added CO2 does not agree with the physics of how real-world deep Cb convection functions.  And the additional positive feedback doubling of the upper troposphere warming and moistening which they add to the direct CO2 radiation blockage is completely bogus.  This additional feedback assumption greatly increases the divergence of their model simulations from reality.    

Summary.  The global climate modelers assumed that CO2 enhanced global rainfall will bring about large upper-tropospheric water-vapor and temperature increases.  These upper-level water-vapor increases are then projected to bring about even larger temperature increases and additional water-vapor (positive water-vapor feedback) amounts which add twice as much additional blockage of infrared (IR) energy to space than the initial influence of the CO2 blockage alone.  Such large water-vapor and temperature increases are not at all realistic.  This is the Achilles-heel of the whole AGW theory.

Comment.  None of the global climate modelers or other AGW advocates seem to know that the globe’s deep cumulonimbus (Cb) convection processes act, not to increase upper level water-vapor, but in an opposite sense to reduce the globe’s upper tropospheric water-vapor content.  The global climate modelers live in a very isolated Ivory Tower world.  Their positive water-vapor feedback schemes in their doubling of CO2 simulations shows that they know next to nothing about how the atmosphere’s cumulus convective and moisture processes really function.

Gray Research Project.  I and my Colorado State University (CSU) research project have a long background in studying cumulus convection, and particularly deep and intense cumulonimbus (Cb) convection of the tropics associated with meso-scale rain systems and tropical cyclones.  We have published a lot of material on this subject over many years.  These convective studies appear to provide crucial background information fundamental to establishing the invalidity of the AGW hypothesis.  My CSU project’s over 50 years of tropical meteorology research has, by necessity, had to make the study of cumulus cloud convection a priority item for the understanding of tropical circulations and tropical cyclones.  Our information has been gained from my project’s extensive involvement in many field experiments and from rawinsonde compositing activities over many years and recently through extensive analysis of ISCCP and NOAA Reanalysis data.  To my knowledge, none of the AGW proponents have ever referred to any of my project’s many published papers and project reports.   

Any scientist having advanced and detailed knowledge and working level experience of the globe’s deep cumulus convection process can completely negate the scientific validity of the AGW hypothesis.  This could have been done decades ago if there had been an open and honest debate and further research on how changes in cumulus convective dynamics are related to CO2 increase.  This greatly needed open and objective debate on cumulus convection process began and was taking place during the late 1960s and 1970s.  But these studies were discontinued during the 1980s-1990s when the global models began to show useful results which the politicians, environmentalists, and the world government advocates could use to back up their desired AGW hypothesis.  They did not want any further tampering with the models and the earlier momentum build-up for cumulus-moist process research did not go forward.  The AGW advocates needed to utilize the unrealistic CO2 doubling climate model warming results as a scare mechanism to advance their agendas.  And the CO2 global climate modeling community was quite happy to provide this justification and be well rewarded for their efforts.

Via email


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


13 May, 2015

They're still trying to get that sea-level to rise more

The latest manipulations of the data seem well enough conceived but I think you have to read between the lines at times.  Reducing the estimated overall sea-level rise for the last 20 years is certainly reasonable (conclusion 1 below) but conclusion 2 is a bit more hairy. Hard to see how it gells with conclusion 1.  But, whatever it means, conclusion 2 may not matter. The conclusion 2 change is said only to be "of opposite sign" to previous findings, indicating that it was probably not statistically significant

Unabated global mean sea-level rise over the satellite altimeter era

Christopher S. Watson et al.

The rate of global mean sea-level (GMSL) rise has been suggested to be lower for the past decade compared with the preceding decade as a result of natural variability1, with an average rate of rise since 1993 of +3.2 ± 0.4 mm yr?1 (refs 2, 3).

However, satellite-based GMSL estimates do not include an allowance for potential instrumental drifts (bias drift4, 5). Here, we report improved bias drift estimates for individual altimeter missions from a refined estimation approach that incorporates new Global Positioning System (GPS) estimates of vertical land movement (VLM).

In contrast to previous results (for example, refs 6, 7), we identify significant non-zero systematic drifts that are satellite-specific, most notably affecting the first 6 years of the GMSL record.

Applying the bias drift corrections has two implications. First, the GMSL rate (1993 to mid-2014) is systematically reduced to between +2.6 ± 0.4 mm yr?1 and +2.9 ± 0.4 mm yr?1, depending on the choice of VLM applied. These rates are in closer agreement with the rate derived from the sum of the observed contributions2, GMSL estimated from a comprehensive network of tide gauges with GPS-based VLM applied (updated from ref. 8) and reprocessed ERS-2/Envisat altimetry9.

Second, in contrast to the previously reported slowing in the rate during the past two decades1, our corrected GMSL data set indicates an acceleration in sea-level rise (independent of the VLM used), which is of opposite sign to previous estimates and comparable to the accelerated loss of ice from Greenland and to recent projections2, 10, and larger than the twentieth-century acceleration2, 8, 10.


How Can So Many World Leaders Be So Wrong?

By Alan Caruba

In a recent Daily Caller article, Michael Bastach took note of “25 Years of predicting The Global Warming ‘Tipping Point’.” This is the message that the Earth is warming rapidly and, if we don’t abandon the use of fossil fuels for power, it will arrive to wreak destruction on the human race and all life on the planet.

It is astounding how many past and present world leaders are telling everyone this despite the total lack of any real science, nor any actual warming—the Earth has been in a natural cooling cycle since 1997!

At the heart of the global warming—now called climate change—“crisis” has been the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that has been issuing apocalyptic predictions since its inception in 1988. None of its predictions have come true. How could they, based as they are on the false science of computer models, not that based on observable climate events and trends?

To this day our own government through its meteorological agencies has been caught manipulating the data gathered over the years to conform with the “warming” scenario. The worst has been the Environmental Protection Agency which is engaged in an effort to shut down coal-fired utilities and access to every other energy source on which we depend to power the nation.

Despite this national and international effort, mostly likely based on the liberal ideology that there are too many humans on the plant and dramatic ways must be found to reduce that number. In the past these anti-humanity advocates could depend on famine, disease and wars to kill off millions, but in the modern world that has become less of a threat.

One libertarian think tank, the Heartland Institute, has been leading the battle against the global warming/climate change hoax for a decade. As a Heartland policy advisor I have had a front row seat. In June, Heartland will sponsor the Tenth International Conference on Climate Change bringing together some of the world’s leading scientists to recommend that it is time for Congress to “take a fresh look at climate science”, “explore better science-based policies for energy and the environment”, and, bluntly stated, to “start over on the question of global warming?”

It did not surprise me to learn that Heartland had dispatched staff to Rome when the Pope announced he too was joining the “climate change” advocates despite its lack of any basis in science. The group garnered tons of international media coverage by simply presenting the truth. You can find out more about them here,  It didn’t take long for Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University professor and ‘special advisor” to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, to write a commentary condemning global warming “deniers” that appeared on a Catholic website called Pewsitter.

Sachs took particular aim at The Heartland Institute and, despite not attending its Rome press conference or any of the presentations the experts provided, did not hesitate to identify Heartland as having been supported for years by the Koch brothers, known for the support of conservative groups and causes.

Joseph Bast, Heartland president, does not let such cheap shots pass by. “The Heartland Instituter has received just $25,000 from a single organization, a charitable foundation affiliated with the Koch brothers during the past 15 years. Our annual budget is approximately $7 million. Even that small gift was earmarked for our work on health care reform, not global warming. Why does Sachs mention the ‘Koch brothers’ unless his intention is to smear an independent organization by falsely implying a much larger or somehow Improper  level of support from some singularly unpopular billionaires?”

Bast got to the heart of the war being perpetrated by the either misinformed or deliberately lying world leaders of the climate change hoax. “The dishonesty of Sachs’ reference to The Heartland Institute would be startling, coming from a person of Sachs’ stature, if this sort of misrepresentation of facts weren’t so common in the debate over climate change. President Obama sets the tone. Comparing global warming realists to members of the ‘flat earth society’ and rather ominously calling on his supporters to ‘hold climate change denier’s feet to the fire.’”

“Sachs has had a long and distinguished career as an academic and in various government agencies,” said Bast, “but on this issue he is letter his liberal ideology cloud his judgement. His short essay reveals a disturbing lack of knowledge about climate science and compassion toward the billions of people in the world who will be harmed by the UN’s plans to make energy more expensive and less reliable.”

“Sachs ends his essay with a call on people of all faiths to ‘fulfill our moral responsibilities to humanity nd the future of Earth.’ That responsibility starts with truth-telling. Sachs and his colleagues on the left haven’t reach the starting line yet.”

It doesn’t matter if it is the Pope, the President of the United States, or the UN Secretary General if the assertion that the Earth is warming when it is not or that coal, oil and natural gas must be abandoned to “save the Earth.” Whether from ignorance or a dark hidden agenda, the whole of the global warming/climate change is aimed at harming billions, many of whom need the power that this hoax would deny to everyone.


Energy: Private Sector Progress & Public Sector Failure

If there is an opportunity to be made our “free market system” will allow our entrepreneurs to do it. So why aren’t we driving electric cars, or cars that run on biofuel. It may be possible that these ideas are simply unsustainable without a government subsidy. If there is a breakthrough in energy it will happen in the private sector and without government assistance or oversight. This has happened with fracking.

The government has a long list of green energy investments, the most noted one being Solyndra a company trying to make a go at solar. Solyndra costs the tax payers around $500million. It seems like the politicians doling out these subsidies may not be interested in real energy progress, but instead interested in pushing there green energy agenda. Public investments in the myth of green energy are really a waste of our money.

Real progress has been made in fracking (extracting natural gas from rock beneath the earth). Private companies have decided to invest their own money in the development & advancement of this technology and it has payed off big time. Everyone benefits from the this technology. These companies drill for natural gas, employ people in real jobs, and provide a clean source of energy. The more natural gas they extract the more the price of energy declines. That is assuming the current administration doesn’t tax the natural gas to high heaven to pay for green energy failures.fracking

For those people that oppose fracking for gas, the “no drill, no spill” people. I only ask that they stop complaining about the price of energy if they become unreliant on fossil fuels.


Not seeing it as Suzuki sees it

Behind his benign visage, Canada's David Suzuki is arguably the most hysterical Warmist of all

An obstacle to rational decision making in climate policy is the confusion between carbon dioxide (CO2) and air pollution.

Real air pollution, such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and soot, is important to control and we have done a good job in most of Canada reducing the concentration of these substances.

But CO2, an odourless, colourless gas that is an essential to plant photosynthesis, is not pollution. The poor air quality in China’s cities has nothing to do with CO2.

So why would David Suzuki bring up climate change and Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in his article about air pollution in China? It is because of his concern that GHG emissions, primarily CO2 from human activities, will result in climate problems.

After 18 years with no global warming while CO2 levels have risen 10%, GHG-caused climate concerns are becoming an increasingly difficult sell. So Suzuki and many politicians piggyback debatable climate change concerns on top of genuine pollution worries, apparently hoping they can sell the former by associating it with the latter.

While this tactic might succeed for a while from a public relations perspective, it makes no sense scientifically.  It is akin to promoting the building of an asteroid defense system, an expensive endeavour of highly uncertain value, by associating it with vitally important cancer research.

Suzuki must help society distinguish between unrelated issues, not confuse us with red herrings.


The Iceman Cometh?

Could a quiescent sun portend a new little ice age: a chilly era for humanity and agriculture?

Paul Driessen

President Obama, Al Gore and other alarmists continue to prophesy manmade global warming crises, brought on by our “unsustainable” reliance on fossil fuels. Modelers like Mike Mann and Gavin Schmidt conjure up illusory crisis “scenarios” based on the assumption that carbon dioxide emissions now drive climate change. A trillion-dollar Climate Crisis industry self-servingly echoes their claims.

But what if these merchants of fear are wrong? What if the sun refuses to cooperate with the alarmists?

“The sun is almost completely blank,” meteorologist Paul Dorian notes. Virtually no sunspots darken the blinding yellow orb. “The main driver of all weather and climate … has gone quiet again during what is likely to be the weakest sunspot cycle in more than a century. Not since February 1906 has there been a solar cycle with fewer sunspots.”

“Going back to 1755, there have been only a few solar cycles that have had a lower number of sunspots during their maximum phase,” Dorian continues. This continued downward trend in solar sunspot cycles began over 20 years ago, when Earth stopped warming. If it continues for a couple more cycles, Earth could be entering another “grand minimum,” an extended period of low solar activity.

That would mean less incoming solar radiation, which could have a marked cooling effect – as happened during previous decades-long episodes of low solar activity. The “Maunder Minimum” lasted 70 years (1645-1715), the “Dalton Minimum” 40 years (1790-1830); they brought even colder global temperatures to the “Little Ice Age.”

Solar activity is in free fall, Reading University (UK) space physicist Mike Lockwood confirms, perhaps “faster than at any time in the last 9,300 years.” He raised the likelihood of another grand minimum to 25% (from 10% three years previously). However, he claims a new little ice age is unlikely.

“Human-induced global warming is already a more important force in global temperatures than even major solar cycles,” Professor Lockwood insists. That warmist mantra may keep him from getting excoriated for even mentioning solar influences. But it ignores Earth’s long history of climate change.

And what if Lockwood is wrong about human influences and the extent of a coming cold era? Habibullo Abdussamatov, director of Russia’s space research laboratory and its global warming research team, is convinced another little ice age is on its way. (See pages 18-21 of this report.) That would be LIA #19.

A couple degrees warmer, with more carbon dioxide in the air, would be good for humanity and planet. Crops, forests and grasslands would grow faster and better, longer growing seasons over larger areas of land would support more habitats, wildlife, agriculture and people – especially if everyone has access to ample, reliable, affordable energy, especially electricity, and modern farming technologies. Most people, including the elderly, can easily handle such warmth, especially if they have air conditioning.

But a couple degrees colder would bring serious adverse consequences for habitats, wildlife, agriculture and humanity. Though geologists say we are overdue for one, this does not mean another Pleistocene ice age – with glaciers obliterating forests and cities under mile-thick walls of ice across North America, Europe, Asia and beyond. Maybe Lockwood is right, and it won’t be a full-blown Little Ice Age déjà vu.

However, Antarctic sea ice just set a new April record. Ice conditions are back to normal in the Arctic. Winters have become longer, colder and snowier. With less meltwater, sea levels are barely rising.

Moreover, a 2-degree drop in average global temperatures would shrink growing seasons, cropland and wildlife habitats. Agriculture would be curtailed across Canada, northern Europe and Russia, putting greater pressure on remaining land to feed hungry families without turning more habitats into cropland. Governments might even have to stop mandating corn for ethanol and devote the land to food crops.

Our ability to feed Earth’s growing population would be seriously impaired, especially since the same factions that wail about fossil fuels, fracking and “dangerous manmade climate change” also despise the chemical fertilizers, insecticides, biotechnology and mechanized farming that would enable us to get far more food per acre under colder conditions, even if crops are starved for plant-fertilizing CO2.

Generally colder conditions can also bring more unpredictable storms and cold snaps during shortened growing seasons. That happened frequently during the last Little Ice Age (1350-1850), resulting in frequent crop failures and bouts of hunger, malnutrition, starvation and disease in much of Europe.

Worst of all, cold kills. Modern homes and buildings with affordable heat make it easy to survive even brutal winters in comfort. However, carbon taxes, restrictions on coal and natural gas, renewable energy mandates and other ill-conceived programs have sent electricity and home heating prices soaring.

When energy is rationed, expensive and unpredictable, businesses lay people off or close their doors. Forced to go on welfare, people’s health and well-being suffer. The elderly are especially susceptible. In Britain, many pensioners now ride buses or sit in libraries all day to stay warm, while others burn used books in stoves (they are cheaper than coal or wood). Thousands die of hypothermia, because they can no longer afford proper heat.

In Germany, Greece and other countries, rising energy costs have caused a surge in illegal tree cutting, as desperate families try to stay warm. Hungry, unemployed families are also poaching wildlife. Meanwhile, forests of wind turbines generate minimal expensive electricity but do slaughter millions of birds and bats every year, leaving crops to be eaten by hordes of insects, across Europe and the United States.

These realities portend what will likely happen on a far larger scale, if we do enter another prolonged cold era under anti-fossil fuel rules imposed in response to global warming hysteria. The specter of widespread turmoil, rising death tolls and climate refugees by the millions could become reality.

And still alarmists say, even if temperatures aren’t rising, we should force developed nations to curtail their energy use and living standards – and modernize developing countries in a “sustainable” manner. We should use the “climate crisis” to “move the world in a greener, more equitable direction.”

As though wind, solar and biofuel energy and widespread organic farming are sustainable, under any objective standard. As though government elites have a right to tell poor countries what level of development, what energy technologies, what farming methods they will be “permitted” to have – and what level of poverty, disease, malnutrition and early death they must continue to suffer.

Ending this insanity must begin with the climate scientists and modelers. They are taking our tax dollars and promoting constant scare stories. They owe it to us to be objective, transparent and willing to discuss and debate these issues with those who question human influences on climate change. They owe it to us to get the predictions right, so that we can be properly prepared, especially if the iceman cometh again.

That means basing their models on all the forces that determine global temperature and climate fluctuations: the sun, cosmic rays, deep ocean currents, volcanoes and other natural forces, as well as the 0.04% of Earth’s atmosphere that is carbon dioxide. It means comparing predictions with actual (non-averaged, non-manipulated) real-world observations and data. If the improved models still do not predict accurately, it means revising hypotheses and methodologies yet again, until they square with reality.

Meanwhile, our politicians owe it to us to start basing energy and environmental policies on reality: on how Earth’s climate and weather actually behave – and on how their policies, laws and regulations affect job creation and preservation, economic growth and opportunities, and human health and welfare, especially for poor and minority families, and even more so for the poorest people on our planet.

Via email

Australia:  It’s black and white - this Green’s got to go

FORMER Greens leader Christine Milne’s decision to quit the senate at the next election was greeted by a chorus of blindingly hypocritical hyperbolically overly polite humbug. The political class was doing what it does best, protecting its own.

The real monument to Milne, and her predecessor Bob Brown, is the economically wrecked island state of Tasmania, the putrid petri  dish of the failed Green experiment. According to the ABS figures released yesterday, seasonal unemployment in Tassie last month was 7.3 per cent, more than a full percentage point higher than the national average. That, in large part, is due to the lunacy of the Green leadership in the state and nationally.

With the willing assistance of former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke and his political fixer, former environment minister Graham Richardson, the Tasmanian economy was effectively torpedoed when the Greens (still in their formative years) launched their first successful major anti-dam campaign, around the Franklin River.
The dam, which would have supplied the island state with cheap, non-fossil fuel-based hydro-electric power, was killed to please left-wing voters living in inner-urban Labor seats on the mainland.

The campaign cost Labor support in Tasmania but the emergent Greens knew that it was electorally more pragmatic to save a Tasmanian river than Tasmanian jobs.

There were echoes of those early Tasmanian campaigns in the recent NSW state election where the tree-hugging Greens won seats campaigning against the safe extraction of natural gas in areas where there was no CSG extraction.

In areas where gas extraction or forestry provides actual employment — that is, in areas where workers do more than turn on a power-hungry computer — the Greens don’t fare too well.

Milne’s political career was launched with another employment-destroying campaign, the blocking of the Wesley Vale pulp mill, a mill designed to meet standards more stringent than any other similar project in the world.

Tasmania’s quaint Hare-Clark electoral system delivered her a seat in its house of assembly in 1989. She went to the senate in 2004.

Throughout the dysfunctional Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government she distinguished herself with wild claims on climate change and was rewarded with billions of dollars’ worth of unproductive alternate energy projects which taxpayers will be bankrolling for generations.

Though no reputable scientific organisation in the world has linked a specific weather event to climate change, the former schoolteacher (English, history and social science) has never failed to drag extreme weather events into her unreal vision of an impending apocalyptic warmist fantasy.

“Global warming is driving extreme weather events around the world and the debate needs to be on the impacts of global warming,” she told a press conference after a typhoon devastated the Philippines in November 2013.

“Tony Abbott has created a phony debate in Australia. He never is prepared to talk about the connection between extreme weather events and global warming because he knows that tugs at people’s heartstrings,” she said.  “He knows ... that the Australian people will start joining the dots.”

If people did actually join the dots, they would have realised long ago that Milne was just plain dotty.

“Do you want death or do you want coal?” she asked late last year.

“Coal is bad for humanity and Tony Abbott is bad for Australia.”

Coal actually remains the cheapest source of energy in the world and has been responsible for markedly lowering the gap between the richest and poorest people in the world in recent decades.

Wacky Milne never knew when to stop, and harboured an overwhelming obsession with Abbott, even issuing a press release about the highly dubious claim that he had sought to unilaterally engage 3500 Australian troops in a ground offensive.  Though it was later proven to be false, Milne still found it a “frightening insight into a leader whose solution to everything is more aggression”.

The hope is that the new Green leader, Richard Di Natale, is a little more grounded.

Reading his maundering maiden speech, there is little to believe he will offer anything more than any other textbook inner-city sandalista, despite donning a three-piece suit for his first press conference.

When he faces his first test of realpolitik, will he support the increase in the fuel excise, which the Greens have so far stupidly rejected? Will he cling to the notion that people must be forced on to public transport at the expense of much-needed super highways?

Will he oppose the building of Sydney’s exciting new airport and support the closure of the existing under-utilised and curfew-burdened Kingsford Smith Airport — because it is too close to the Green heartlands of Ultimo and Newtown?

Given that Di Natale embraced his new role without any consultation with the party’s membership (how does that fit with their libertarian ideals?) and basks in the unreal and undeserved sense of moral superiority that Greens claim for themselves, little is likely to change with the switch in leaders.



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


12 May, 2015

Warmism as the folly of the intellectuals

That scientists working in climate-related fields embrace Warmism is no surprise.  The scare has produced a downpour of research grants into their grateful hands. And everybody likes $$$$.   So that needs no further explanation.  In law one often asks cui bono? (to whose beneft?) in deciding guilt or innocence so the same enquiry suggests why climate scientists nearly all have something good to say about Warmism.  It would be rather amazing if they had anything bad to say about it.

What DOES need explaining, however, is that academics and  intellectuals almost ALL support global warming.  It's not just climate scientists.  We saw that recently in the uproar that resulted when Bjorn Lomborg was invited to set up a think-tank at the University of Western Australia. Almost EVERYBODY at the university seemed to be against Lomborg and, as a result, the university backed down and withdrew the invitation to Lomborg.

So what is it that makes so many smart and highly educated people into Warmists?  Being smart is the key.  As we shall see, being smart tends to make you authoritarian and that leads down a short road to Warmism. 

The Bolsheviks were all middle class intellectuals and, although it is common these days to call Mussolini a buffoon, he read poetry and philosophy voraciously, including Socrates and Plato. He spoke several foreign languages, was always interested in discussing political and philosophical ideas with almost anyone, had considerable acceptance in his early days as a leading Marxist theoretician, wrote over 40 books, and was a tree-lover and environmentalist 50 years before Greenies were thought of.

And what is authoritarianism?  The Bolsheviks and Mussolini were undoubtedly both authoritarian and socialist, so is it socialism that makes you authoritarian?

Leftism is fundamentally authoritarian. Whether by revolution or by legislation, Leftists aim to change what people can and must do. When in 2008 Obama said that he wanted to "fundamentally transform" America, he was not talking about America's geography or topography but rather about American people. He wanted them to stop doing things that they wanted to do and make them do things that they did not want to do. Can you get a better definition of authoritarianism than that?

That Leftism is intrinsically authoritarian is not a new insight. It was well understood by none other than Friedrich Engels (Yes. THAT Engels). His excellent short essay On Authority was written as a reproof to the dreamy Anarchist Left of his day. It concludes: "A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means"

And Warmism divides politics quite sharply.  Almost all Leftists accept it and almost all conservatives reject it. It is as good a hallmark of Leftism as any and better than most.  And another major marker for Leftism is academic status.  Teachers in the universities and colleges are overwhelmingly Leftist.  Conservatives are a small and oppressed minority there.  As a former academic myself, I have seen it close up.  So why would academics be elitist and authoritarian?

 The answer is really quite simple.  If your life had made you feel superior to most people wouldn't you want to be treated in a superior way too?  More importantly, wouldn't you feel that your inferiors should be got out of your way and told what to do?  Wouldn't you feel that they should be herded onto public transport and thus leave the roads free for you to drive where you want without being held up by traffic jams?  That is EXACTLY how elite Leftists think.  Only they cannot say that out loud of course.  To say it out loud would not only be obnoxious but it would also achieve nothing.   So our elites are smarter than that.  They know they have to cloak their oppression  in the mantle of a claim that "It's all for your own good".  And knowing how  rich, clever and well-organized they themselves are, they are confident that they will be able to escape the limits and confines that they put on other people.  Even high taxes are no worry to them when they already have most things that money can buy.  So regulate, regulate, regulate is their cry.  And regulating and controlling others is what Leftists have always got 1,001 reasons for  -- with the most extreme form of control being exercised in Communist regimes.

And a very large percentage of the "knowledge class" generally is directly hired or subsidized by the government.  As Peter Berger notes:  "it thus has an interest in the expansion of those public functions that furnish it with employment and subsidies, and also with power and status. The "knowledge class," therefore, is favorable toward the reinforcement of public programs. It shouldn't be a surprise, then, that its constitutive interests push it toward leftist politics.... there is a clash between those whose principal interest is production and those whose principal interest is redistribution"

(From "A Far Glory. The Quest for Faith in an Age of Credulity", New York, The Free Press, 1992)

And as this writer notes:
"The Democrats are the party of the elite. Consider Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. In a 1948 student poll Thomas E. Dewey [R] beat Harry Truman [D] by 2 to 1. In 2000 Al Gore [D] beat Bush [R], an Andover alumnus, by nearly the same margin, reflecting the Democrats' historic capture in 2000 of "professionals," a group well-represented among the parents of Andover students. Next to African-Americans, the most reliable Democrats in the electorate are women with post-graduate degrees".

And there is another reason why teachers -- particularly at the university and college level -- are overwhelmingly Leftist and authoritarian.  It is pretty simple.  Whether or not they are very good at it, Leftists would like to be dominant and to boss other people around -- and that is very much the teacher's role.  It is an elite role.  Even a social misfit can get to rule the roost in teaching (and I don't think many people who know the universities well will have any trouble naming a lot of oddballs and misfits there).  So teaching will tend to attract Leftists and elitists in the first place.  As this writer put it:
"As I said, liberalism is a psychology, not an ideology. And as such, it's unreasonable to expect it to be limited to a person's politics; it should show through to many different aspects of a person's life, and it does. Liberals tend to dominate fields like academia, the news and entertainment media, and the legal professions, and they populate the elite social circles, all because they're so concerned with their egos.

In academia, teachers and professors are revered as wise and accomplished, and they exercise almost absolute power over dozens to hundreds of students. People in the media are famous and seen as powerful, intelligent, charismatic, and accomplished. Lawyers have enormous power over people's lives, and like celebrities are seen as intelligent, charismatic, and accomplished, and are also generally seen as moral people (by people who substitute law for morality). Judges are esteemed and seen as a source of wisdom and knowledge, and they too hold enormous power over people's lives and are seen as moral in the same way lawyers are."

So I think we now have a good explanation of why intellectuals, particularly in the colleges and universities, are overwhelmingly Warmist.  By proclaiming a planetary emergency that can only be solved by regulating most aspects of people's lives, they get to gain the sort of power over the population that they and all Leftists dream of. 

Warmism is the folly of the intellectuals because it serves their Leftist authoritarianism.  And, sadly, because of the respect which is normally accorded to knowledge and those who possess it, the Warmist tale gets far more respect than it deserves.  It survives solely because of the prestige of those who proclaim it.  And, in turn, that is why almost all defenses of Warmism consist solely of an appeal to authority -- academic authority. Any defense of it based on the facts fails very rapidly under informed scrutiny.  Given the fact that a heated molecule will radiate its heat in all directions, it is not even a good theory.

So for dishonorable reasons most intellectuals espouse a falsehood.  They will all be laughed at by posterity and we climate skeptics will be creditably remembered. Their children and grandchildren (if any) will one day be ashamed of them for failing as scientists and whoring for a false god.   They undoubtedly enjoy more "lurks and perks" than most skeptics do so one hopes they enjoy their 30 pieces of silver. All frauds implode eventually so who knows how long they will enjoy their silver. Judas did not enjoy his silver for long.

Christians might like to reflect on the words of Jesus concerning the intellectuals of his day -- the Pharisees.  In Matthew chapter 6 Jesus said repeatedly of them "They have their reward" in the here and now but he also said that the ultimate reward goes to those who do NOT do as the Pharisees do -- JR

UK: "Eco-homes" could be deadly

Insulation used to keep buildings warm in the winter traps TOO MUCH heat in summer --potentially putting residents at risk

Eco-homes risk roasting residents by overheating in summer, researchers warned yesterday.  The low energy homes – billed as a solution to rising fuel costs – can heat up to more than 25C (77F) for days at a time.

Researchers from Coventry University tracked temperatures inside eco-homes over three summers and found 72 per cent failed their design criteria.  The study was conducted at a housing association in the city, where flats were fitted to German Passivhaus – or ‘passive house’ – standards, meaning they have very low energy consumption.

It found heat built up inside the homes faster than ventilation could remove it, leaving residents facing uncomfortable temperatures.

One of them, Emma Taylor, 33, told the Sunday Times: ‘Last summer was a nightmare. I was pregnant and the flat was red hot.’

Passive homes can cut heating bills by up to 90 per cent, but there have been repeated warnings about the dangers of overheating.

They have proven so efficient that even the heat from a plasma television can affect temperatures inside.

A separate study by Cardiff University found temperatures inside such houses would exceed 25C for five to ten per cent of the year in London – and could exceed 28C (82F) from 2050 if our climate warms up as predicted.

Britain has relatively few eco-homes, but building regulations mean all new homes must meet tough energy consumption standards from 2020.

Architect Lynne Sullivan, a member of the Passivhaus Trust, said: ‘There is a danger of overheating in all homes built to the new regulations, particularly flats, and we have been warning the Government.’

Peter Warm, one of Britain’s three accredited Passivhaus certifiers, said: ‘When you do low-carbon housing with a lot of insulation, you can solve the warmth problem only to get overheating in summer.  'The challenge is to get the right balance.’

The Building Research Establishment said it had launched a project to examine overheating in urban developments.


Reality strikes: Forecasting Antarctic sea ice has to account for INCREASING ice

THE size and power of ships needed to break through Antarctica's increasing sea ice levels is a worry for the global research community

IN recent years countries including Australia have battled to reach their stations on the frozen continent, making resupply missions time consuming and expensive, Australian Antarctic Division spokesman Rod Wooding said.  "We're noticing that the sea ice situation is becoming more difficult," he told reporters on Monday.

The sea ice through the Southern Ocean and around Australia's Mawson Station usually breaks up for a couple of months a year allowing ships to enter the bay but that did not happen in 2013-14.

"We had to get fuel in by helicopter which is inadequate for the long-term sustainability of the station," Dr Wooding said.
"Other national programs have had similar problems: the French in particular, Japanese also."

The problem has been the main driver for a meeting of more than 50 international experts, convening in Hobart until Wednesday, to try and nut out a plan to accurately forecast sea ice levels.  Meteorologists along with ice and Antarctic experts will take part in a series of workshops, looking at trends in satellite imagery and the environment.

"One of the things that Antarctic programs will need to understand going forward is what sort of ice breaking capability we're going to need to get through the ice in these areas," Dr Wooding said.
"Australia is currently in a tender process for a new ice breaker ... and it's important in understanding what sort of ice breaker we might need ... to have a good understanding of likely sea ice conditions."

There is no single reason why sea ice levels are increasing but Hobart-based expert Tony Worby said it tends to gather around icebergs and wind patterns also play a part.  "We know sea ice extent is increasing, there was a record maximum in September 2014," Prof Worby said.

"It's quite hard to forecast but whatever effort we put in to improving our ability to forecast sea ice will ultimately pay dividends in terms of savings for national programs."


Helping People Today Should Be Vatican’s Priority

Reasons why the projected encyclical should probably be dropped

Of all the senior ecclesiastical Christian leaders in the world today, one you would expect to thoroughly understand the problems faced by the poor of Africa would be Ghanaian cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson. Born into a poor family in Western Ghana, Cardinal Turkson was the fourth among ten children of a carpenter father and a mother who sold vegetables in the open market.

Although Ghana’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the world today, the country has less than one-tenth the GDP per capita of the United States. Life expectancy at birth in Ghana is 20 years less than that in developed countries. This is largely because about 40% of its citizens lack electricity. A 2013 World Bank report explained that Ghana’s energy sector risks becoming “a drag on the economy” if large investments in power generation are not soon made.

Happily, a 1,200 MW coal-fired electricity generating station is being developed to come on line in Ghana by 2018. This will help pull millions of people out of poverty.

Given his native country’s opportunities and the severe problems it faces, one would expect Cardinal Turkson to use the opportunity of his opening address at the Vatican’s April 28 climate change conference to remind delegates that fulfilling the critical needs of today’s people should be their paramount objective. After all, the purpose of the event was to examine “The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Humanity” so as to provide support for the first ever encyclical letter from a pope devoted entirely to the environment, expected to be released in June.

As President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, a group particularly concerned with social development, Turkson should have warned delegates that, in their zeal cut back on the use of hydrocarbon fuels, they must do nothing that would interfere with providing inexpensive electricity to countries such as Ghana.

Given the Council’s interest on social justice, you would also expect Turkson to focus strongly on the importance of helping vulnerable people adapt to climate change, whatever the cause. He should have condemned the fact that, of the $1 billion spent every day on climate finance across the world, only 6% of it goes to adaptation, the rest being squandered trying to stop climate change that might someday happen.

Sadly, Turkson said nothing about energy and little about adaptation in his address. Instead he reinforced the reasons many at the conference want to block further development of inexpensive coal-fired power plants, asserting, “Today, the ever-accelerating burning of fossil fuels that powers our economic engine is disrupting the earth’s delicate ecological balance on almost-unfathomable scale.”

The Ghanaian cardinal even cited Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s claim that it is a sin “for humans to degrade the integrity of Earth by causing changes in its climate.”

Turkson then listed “the increasing prevalence of extreme weather events” as a consequence of climate change, a connection that has been soundly refuted by leading scientists across the world. Blaming developed nations for the climate problems faced by poor nations, he encouraged the conference to “think of the positive message it would send for churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples all over the world to become carbon neutral.”

Turkson thereby helped set the stage for the conference’s final “Declaration of Religious Leaders, Political Leaders, Business Leaders, Scientists and Development Practitioners,” a document University of Western Ontario climate model expert Professor Chris Essex labels “gibberish.” The declaration included the nonsensical ‘King Canute clause’ about keeping global warming below 2 degrees C as if we possessed a global thermostat. It totally ignored the dire energy needs of the world’s poorest people, said little about adaptation, and instead promoted a dangerous “rapid world transformation to a world powered by renewable and other low-carbon energy.”

Calling for “brave and determined” guidance from religious leaders, Turkson told delegates that actions on climate change “must be grounded in morality, oriented by morality and measured in terms of human flourishing and well-being.” If June’s encyclical letter on the environment is to encourage this objective, then Pope Francis must have the courage to ignore the politically correct but irresponsible advice of his advisors, and simply tell the truth: climate will continue to change no matter what we do.

So let’s help the world’s poor to the degree we can afford by providing them with reliable, inexpensive electricity and stop pretending we have a crystal ball to future climate states.


Don’t try to play god with the climate

By Tom Harris (an engineer who works in thermo-fluid sciences)

The mistaken belief that science is sufficiently advanced that we can make reliable climate forecasts and even control future climate states is resulting in tragedies far greater than the possibility of any realistically foreseeable human-caused global warming.

Of the $1 billion spent every day across the world on climate finance, only about 1/20th of it goes to assisting people adapt to the very real climate change they are experiencing today. The remaining 94 percent, according to the Climate Policy Initiative, is wasted trying to stop climate change that might or might not someday happen.

This misappropriation is largely because groups like Joseph Robertson’s Citizens Climate Lobby have convinced politicians that humans control our planet’s climate as if we had a thermostat (“Climate lobbyist to speak at UMD,” April 27). All we need do is reduce our emissions of carbon dioxide, they say.

Reports such as those of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change ( demonstrate that this is ridiculous.

Let’s help people in today’s world to the degree we can afford and forget about playing god with the climate.


Three Simple Facts that Scuttle the Global Warming Paradigm

Cutting through the fog: a primer for the layman

The putative climate “debate” that has been raging for the last thirty years or so has now reached the point of duncical irrationality. (I put “debate” in scare quotes since what we are observing is not so much a debate as an ideological crusade that brooks no resistance; in effect, a political jihad against those who oppose the Warmist orthodoxy.) The upcoming Paris COP (climate treaty conference) slated for December of this year, which Obama is expected to ratify, renders the situation increasingly urgent.

The world’s leading politicians, abetted by the dubious claims of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), are plainly eager to sign an accord which, if implemented, would lead to record levels of poverty and unemployment in both the developed and Third worlds. In the words of Director of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) Tom Harris, “in formulating public policy on climate change, our leaders gloss over the uncertainties and close the door to evidence that does not fit the alarmist agenda.” There is little any concerned citizen can do but register his skepticism, doubts and defiance — that is, his resolute and fact-based denial, despite the social and professional stigma associated with being a “denier” and the threat of various forms of punitive action, especially in the academy. (See, for example, the “Statement on Climate Change”  professing allegiance to the IPCC signed by the faculty of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A & M University. Skeptics, regardless of their credentials, would never be hired in such a restrictive milieu.) By marshalling the reasons justifying such denial and disseminating them to the public, one hopes against hope to mitigate the disaster — not the so-called meteorological “disaster” of global warming but the economic disaster of uncertain science and crippling legislation — before it becomes irreversible.

The claim that we have heard bandied about for years is that the “science is settled” — a malapropism if ever there was one since the central principle of scientific thinking is that science by its very nature is never settled. There is always more to learn, always something to revise, correct and expand, always the possibility of a paradigm shift, as Thomas Kuhn famously explained in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. The issue at hand is one of making decisions predicated on the best evidence available — the essential proviso being that the evidence is solid, authentic and comprehensive. This has manifestly not been the case in what has now become the global warming boondoggle, as we shall note shortly.

Amidst the blizzard of details, theories and confident assertions animating the global warming gospel, one can simplify the counter-argument by listing three attested facts that should settle, if not the science, certainly the furor that clouds our judgment. The matter is really not that complicated. These three facts, which no responsible scientist can deny, are the following:

1. There has been no global warming for the last eighteen years and counting. Warmists like to call this quiescent period of zero net warming a “Pause,” but there is no evidence to suggest a double-digit hiatus in process. The word “Pause” is a palpable evasion intended to maintain an unproven contention. What we do know is that during the years in which apocalyptic claims of imminent catastrophe have been indefatigably circulated, the temperature has remained stable. There is no getting around the thermometer.

2. The grounds of testimony advancing the global warming dogma are brazenly suspect and, in many instances, spurious. To cite only a few, well-known examples, there is the discredited computer models pre-programmed to advance the cause of global warming or “climate change.” Warmist researchers tend to omit important variables from their computer models, such as atmospheric humidity, sea-level pressure and long-range cycle activity. As adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute Steven Milloy writes, deploring the temptation of these researchers to guestimate the future, “Because we do not fully understand the climate system and do not know how to represent such important functions as cloud formation…many of Earth’s climate processes are parameterized (i.e., faked) in models.” According to mathematician and former carbon consultant to the Australian government David Evans, the IPCC models are wrong and the mathematics show that the human signature in the atmosphere is missing. Jonathan Newman, an environmental biologist at the University of Guelph, has also confirmed such skeptical conclusions. Newman and his colleagues reveal that the 31 computer climate models used by the IPCC produce different results: “this shows that…predicting the biological impacts of climate change can vary depending on which climate model is being used.” The beat goes on.

As I wrote in Global Warning, “Climate modeling is notoriously capricious, which may explain why many of its forecasts are conveniently projected a century into the future when they cannot be refuted by opponents of the theory….Climate modeling is really climate meddling.” The literature critically examining the defectiveness and unreliability of climate computer modeling is extensive and readily accessible.

Then there is the debunking of Michael Mann’s notorious “hockey stick” graph that served as the basis for analytical projections. Refusing to disclose his “hockey stick” metadata in judicial proceedings that he himself initiated against his critics, Tim Ball and Mark Steyn, Mann is now facing massive damage suits. When the plinth corrodes, the statue tumbles.

Which bring us to the Hadley “Climategate” scam, divulged in a cache of hacked emails, which revealed the extent of data-suppression and revisionist hijinks embraced by the movement’s proponents and leading “experts.” This outrage should have put paid to the entire controversy. A second bundle of “hide the decline” email dumps, known as Climategate 2.0, has confirmed that “climate science” has been cooked. The lead researcher at the East Anglia CRU (Climate Research Unit), Phil Jones, had gone so far as to recommend deleting all incriminating emails and/or changing the wording of others. A.W. Montford’s Hiding the Decline is a definitive exposé of the great deception known as global warming, as is Tim Ball’s The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science,which also discloses the vast wealth-transfer scheme the lurks behind the political and “scientific” camouflage.

Then there are the emission-belching lifestyles of some of the movement’s chief advocates — e.g. Obama and his family, Nancy Pelosi and others in the Democrat administration, jetting about indiscriminately on personal business. Al Gore enjoying a lifestyle which uses twenty times the national average of electric power, apart from other kinds of energy consumption. Richard Branson, described by Norman Rogers of the Heartland Institute, as “the owner of an airline that gulps jet fuel by the tanker load [and who] whines about global warming.” Coupled with such wildly conspicuous energy consumption,  the message of retrenchment and carbon chastity we are supposed to internalize is irremediably tarnished. (Ironically, the danger we are facing appears to be the onset of a period of global cooling as the Holocene Interglacial we are currently experiencing may soon come to an end. John and Katherine Imbrie’s Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery offers an authoritative account of glacial cycles.)

3. As undeniably respectable scientists like Nobel laureate Fred Singer, co-author with Dennis Avery of Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years, and Robert Zubrin have pointed out, CO2, a natural fertilizer, is a positive benefit to human and animal life on the planet. Zubrin has decisively shown in The Merchants of Despair that there exists robust scientific proof derived from ice core data and isotopic ratios in marine organism remains that CO2 emissions create surplus plant growth that in turn absorbs atmospheric carbon dioxide, thus restoring climate equilibrium over the long haul, and that under conditions of cyclical global warming agricultural productivity naturally increases and human life improves immensely. This is a fact that has been thoroughly misunderstood as people have been brainwashed by politicians and their cronies who have invested in “green energy,” by a cadre of compromised scientists dependent on government research grants and now constrained to defend their reputations, and by a compliant media consortium.

As one enters into the science and pseudo-science dealing with climate change, it becomes obvious that the discipline is enormously complex, as is the subject studied, and that the intricacy of analysis and argument transcends the compass of any short paper or article. Nonetheless, when it comes to assessing the truth claims of the Warmist constituency, the three facts cited here, all easily accessible, are sufficient to clarify the scope and nature of the climate hoax that has been foisted upon us. Indeed, it is not necessary for the layman to come to grips with the myriad conclusions stemming from empirical and theoretical practice, which he has not been trained to evaluate with mathematical rigor. For those who have neither the time nor the expertise to negotiate the convolutions of the “debate” or weigh the import of figures, graphs, interpretation of data and the like, the question devolves into one of trust. And one cannot trust shysters, incompetents, hypocrites and operators who are embedded in the Warmist ingroup. It is enough to remark their discrepancies, sophistries, extenuations and disreputable behaviors to see that their deposition lacks credibility. It is, on the contrary, the members of the climate outgroup who are acting responsibly, both in their research and comportment.

In light of the above, no sensible and reasonably informed person can continue to support or allow himself to be influenced by what augurs to be the greatest scandal of the modern era.



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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11 May, 2015

Meet Reverend Billy, preacher of the climate apocalypse

A chronic attention-seeker if ever there was one.  It's a motive that drives a lot of those on the Green/Left

“The place where the crucial issues are discussed with the drama they deserve is on the streets.”

Reverend Billy Talen is talking about Tahrir Square. He is talking about #blacklivesmatter. He is talking about climate change.

With the zeal of a televangelist and the Broadway-infused backing of his Stop Shopping Choir, Talen certainly brings the drama.

A performer and activist rather than an ordained minister, he is in London touring the show “Faster! Monsanto Die! Die!” with a 3-piece band and a dozen singers.

Talen meets RTCC in a Camden café to explain how he is reclaiming climate change from the technocrats with his unique brand of apocalyptic preaching.

He took to the soapbox around 15 years ago in a reaction against consumer culture.

“I was overwhelmed by TV and advertising and sports,” he says. “I didn’t want to tear off my clothes and run into the middle of the forest – I’m a city person, I’m a New Yorker. I started shouting about it.”

Talen became known for his theatrical protests in public places, casting “demons” out of cash registers in Asda and Walmart.

“Our complaint about consumerism is it makes us stupid, it makes us do the wrong things, it makes us lead dull lives.

“Consumerism is a key ingredient to the recipe of the end of the world. Consumption based on fossil fuel is eating the planet alive.”

Globally, the dominant climate narrative is of green growth: shaped by the New Climate Economy project, it holds that countries do not need to choose between economic growth and climate action.

This is seen as critical to get emerging economies like China and Brazil on board with emissions cuts – as well as challenging sceptics in developed countries like the US.

At the same time a more radical left-wing movement, always present in the debate, has gained fresh impetus with the growth of fossil fuel divestment.

Spearheaded by the likes of Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben, this segment is suspicious of the willingness of profit-driven companies to cut emissions.

It makes a moral case for action through grassroots networks, particularly from the richer parts of the world.

Talen falls firmly within this camp. Most of his clothes are from thrift stores and he admits anti-consumerism can be “a difficult message for the striving middle classes”.

But with their vibrant creativity, his band of activists aim to show a low carbon lifestyle is not all self-denial: “We believe that sustainable living can be comfortable living.”


Dressed in a white suit, black shirt and dog collar, Talen adopts a televangelist persona.

He even has a book, melodramatically entitled “THE END OF THE WORLD” and available – like his concert tickets – for a donation. RTCC gets a free copy, signed with “Earthalujah!”

It contains sermons, poems and colourful descriptions of actions, like the time 80 activists – led by Talen’s partner Savitri D – stripped naked, wept and smeared themselves with coal in Deutsche Bank to protest mountaintop removal.

In London, the group teams up with BP or not BP for an impromptu performance at the British Museum, in protest at oil company sponsorship.

It is a feature of their tours that they stay with local activists and lend their vocal talents to diverse causes.

While non-violent, this confrontational mode of expression has got Talen arrested “50 or 60 times”.


Jeffrey Sachs address to the Party of European Socialists

Jeffrey Sachs does a good line in ad hominem abuse of climate skeptics.  See here. So perhaps we should talk about him too.  Dennis Ambler writes as follows

In 2009, Sachs addressed the annual conference of the Party of European Socialists:

He described the “profound honour “ of addressing the Party of European Socialists and said they were heirs and leaders of the most successful economic and political system in the world, Social Democracy. Social equity, environmental sustainability and fiscal re-distribution were the successful elements, in marked contrast to the US whose taxes were too low and where the poor were ignored.

He asked for PES leadership “for the sake of the world” on social principles, financial regulation and solidarity with the poor. In advance of Copenhagen, he claimed that millions were suffering because of drought caused by western induced climate change and a carbon levy was needed.

He singled out the US as the biggest emitter of CO2 per capita and said it must spend more to save the planet. He promoted the UN Millennium Development Goals and the global target of 0.7% of GDP to fund development. He wants a carbon tax and a financial transactions tax, a global health fund, a global education fund and a global climate fund.

In fact he wants everything that the UN, the OECD, Socialist International, George Soros, Rajendra Pachauri, Lord Nicholas Stern, Barack Obama, environmental NGO’s, the Democrats and some Republicans want. Members of the external advisory board include George Soros and Rajendra Pachauri.

He asked the PES to make common cause with Progressives in the US and let them share their wisdom and thanked them for their leadership.

Via email

UNISYS pulls down map showing dramatic ocean cooling

More fudging needed.  Must keep the story straight.  Dissent not allowed

As some have jested in the climate blogosphere, UNISYS’ recent SST anomaly map looked like the onset of an ice age. UNISYS has pulled the product down for the time being, citing data processing issues.

Many around the climate blogosphere have noted that UNISYS’ recent sea surface temperature anomalies were showing radically different values from various NOAA products.

I decided to reach out to UNISYS directly to find out what might be behind the discrepancies, mentioning that it was confusing that UNISYS was showing Hudson Bay cold, water off the East Coast of Russia frigid, and most of the Northern Hemisphere dramatically cooler than 6 weeks ago, when NOAA was showing nothing of the kind.

UNISYS’ weather program manager, Brian Hughes, sent along the following response:

After further thought and additional analysis, I’ve asked that the images be taken down temporarily.

What originally appeared to be a simple color bar/enhancement table issue looks to be an issue with our anomaly product itself. I took more looks at areas where our product is indicating cooler than normal, the corresponding NOAA product appears to show warmer. That tells me something is off with our processing.

In July, we had to switch to the higher resolution RTG-SST product as the input because we had been using a legacy SST product from NOAAPort that NWS discontinued in June. The SST anomaly product may be suffering from amplified cooling as we transition into NH winter, an error not originally seen when we first switched in the summer.

The dataset used to process and create the anomaly appears to also be an issue, perhaps our software is not calculating the correct temp since the switch to the RTG-SST hires.

We are going to evaluate this and work on a solution.


The BBC on global warming is beyond a joke

Green activists, aided by the state broadcaster, are whipping up support for a new climate treaty

The BBC’s relentless efforts to promote the need for that treaty to “decarbonise” the world’s economies they so desperately want to see agreed in December are getting way beyond a joke. On Monday’s Today programme, for instance, they yet again wheeled on that joke figure Lord Stern to tell us that renewable energy now enjoys “very little subsidy or none at all” (don’t tell the owners of offshore wind farms, who imagine they are getting subsidies of more than 200 per cent). Most energy from fossil fuels, Stern went on, is “heavily subsidised”, to the tune of “$500 billion a year”. Even John Humphrys sounded faintly disbelieving when Stern explained that most of this “subsidy” was the taxation not imposed on fossil-fuel companies for “polluting” the planet.

An hour later, we had the BBC’s science editor, David Shukman, telling us how he had gone up to the Arctic (presumably with the aid of fossil fuels), to join a bunch of Norwegian scientists (also presumably there with the aid of fossil fuels), who were discovering that the ice had got thinner than ever, and that this was causing irreparable damage to the “biodiversity” of the poor little creatures which live under that vanishing ice.

Not a shred of scientific evidence was offered to support this scare story, let alone the latest data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, which show that the thickness of multi-year ice across the Arctic has been making a dramatic recovery from its low point seven years ago (for details see Paul Homewood’s Notalotofpeopleknowthat blog),

All this drearily make-believe propaganda is designed to whip up support for a treaty which, as the Indian government yet again confirmed last week, is never going to happen, because India and China – still building enough coal-fired stations to add more CO2 to the air every year than the total emitted by the UK – are simply giving two fingers to a treaty they regard as an even bigger joke than Lord Stern.


Update from the Gelbspan files

Russell Cook (the good Cook) is a real terrier going after Warmist lies.  What he writes below is instructive.  Heaps of links at the original

Me as a Henchman or Murderer

If folks are attaching those kinds of labels to me, it means they probably interpret what little they read of my work on dissecting the smear of skeptics as something to shout down, the ol’ fingers in ears “la-la-la-la…” bit.

All I’ve ever done from the beginning of my foray into the climate change issue is ask questions, as I detailed back in a 2011 Competitive Enterprise Institute piece. Regarding global warming in particular, I first asked why skeptic climate scientists’ assessments were being largely ignored, and when told such skeptics were industry shills, I asked myself if I could independently corroborate the accusation. Surely, this is something any believer of catastrophic man-caused global warming could also undertake in order to be above reproach when asked what proof there is to back up the accusation.

Having accumulated a wealth of references showing that the accusation is utterly baseless, that particular devil’s advocate element became a hobby pursuit of mine years back, where I would ask at online comment sections if global warming believers posed such questions on their own, or if they were certain their talking points on the accusation could survive tough cross examination in a courtroom hearing. Knowing what I know on specific details of the accusation, it didn’t surprise me when global warming believers ducked my questions and lashed out at me instead, or in the case of blog site owners, deleted my comments after brief appearances or prevented them from being seen in the first place. Hardly an endorsement of the validity of the accusation when a person feels compelled to flee from challenges to prove it they know how to back it up.

One day I’ll have to find the time to count up all my web site comment links I’ve saved, it could number into the thousands over the last seven or so years, and I’ve had comments deleted or barred from appearing by a whole spectrum of people. Among my favorites is an ordinary enviro-activist blogger who used an IP address recognition trick to prevent me from commenting further at her site. I wrote an entire article at RedState because of the way Hewlett-Packard people deleted my comments from their site. Bill Moyers’ people not only deleted my comments, they blocked me from further placement. Another more recent favorite was a blog site commenter complaining about ‘brainwashed industry trolls paid to misinform’ – my comment about the opportunity to destroy such trolls was permitted for a short time, but as one can see from their current iteration, neither that one nor my other comments are seen. Give it a moment, one of my comment links goes directly to a “This comment was deleted” message.

Particularly amusing for me last year was how I landed at another global warming believer’s blog (I forget how, most likely from daily Google email alert I get on stories about global warming that I created in 2008), and after a series of comment placements, the blogger declared in a new blog post that I must be “the Gestapo of the Heartland Institute with the job of hunting down dissenting opinions and persecuting those responsible” (full text here). Tortuous as it might be to read through all of the multi-blog post commentary between us, it becomes obvious he never supported his claim of ‘industry-corrupted skeptics’, but instead sidestepped every challenge from me to do so.

My comments must leave marks on some folks. Around two weeks ago, I was alerted to a Boston University web page by an email blast alert from the Heartland Institute, about comment attacks on the University’s decision to include “sketchy scholarship and specious reasoning” Heartland material, as the first commenter noted. Apparently my comment reply irritated someone at Boston U so much that an alert was relayed to ThinkProgress about the situation, causing Emily Atkin to write about my Heartland tie – however irrelevant it is – prominently in her 5/5 “Climate Deniers Insert Themselves Into Boston University’s Divestment Debate” piece. Long story very short, in my dozen+ email exchange with her, she eventually admitted that had there been no way to tie me to Heartland, she wouldn’t have mentioned me.

She’s gone out of her way to claim her piece was not a guilt-by-association hit piece, but considering her above admission, it’s hard not to see that appearance in the piece. Not helping her position in the least was her error of claiming I edit “a site dedicated to proving that climate denying scientists are not funded by the fossil fuel industry” – now you see the error, now you don’t. I prompted her to fix that, but apparently one of the commenters at the piece couldn’t comprehend the meaning of the error, not only repeating it, but also embellishing it in embarrassing fashion. Funny thing about that specific wacko notion of my mission being to ‘disprove’ illicit industry funding of skeptic climate scientists, it was hurled at me late last year by a different clueless commenter at the Desmogblog UK site who obviously never read a word of what’s here at GelbspanFiles. No joke, click the image below to enlarge it.

But now onto the “murderer” label. Via another email alert days ago, I landed at an obscure blogger’s page which specifically labeled me and 24 others murderers of a pair of lost Arctic explorers who, according to a story she linked to, had stripped to near nakedness due to the hot temperatures up there prior to whatever situation imperiled them. The comment I placed there was the first one questioning her, pointing out several items she could have checked herself before jumping off an accusation cliff. It lasted there for two days at least, but she has predictably deleted it, while letting others remain. It is fully intact in the archive version of her blog post. I attempted to place another comment there later that same day pointing out a few inconvenient truths. That comment never made it online at all, nor did another one where I suggested serious introspection for that blogger. She now blocks me from viewing her Twitter page.

See the pattern? Delete, delete, delete… and kill the messenger. Don’t even bother to address the messenger’s core point, do everything you can to distract people from it ever giving it serious consideration. My own experience is just a microcosm for the larger situation surrounding the truly importing players in the issue, skeptic climate scientists. With that kind of defense surrounding the notion that we need to stop catastrophic global warming, how can the issue not be headed toward certain collapse?


Australian government seeks legal advice on University's axing of controversial Lomborg research centre

Both academic freedom and freedom of speech have died at the University of Western Australia

THE federal government is seeking legal advice on the University of Western Australia’s decision not to host a controversial taxpayer-funded research centre.

The university ditched a $4 million contract for climate change sceptic Bjorn Lomborg’s Australian Consensus Centre, amid strong backlash from staff, students and the public.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne is disappointed and remains committed to opening the centre.

“It is surprising that individuals at an institution of higher learning claiming to embrace the notion of academic and intellectual freedom would display intolerance and shout down a voice in the debate they simply don’t agree with,” a spokesman told AAP on Saturday.

The government believes the investment would enable the “best economic thinkers” in the world to contribute to Australia’s policy debates.

Dr Lomborg blamed the university’s decision on “toxic politics, ad hominem attacks and premature judgment” and said the centre had been used as a “political football”.

He rejected suggestions he was a climate change heretic and said the centre would have put the university at the forefront of global research efforts to improve the use of aid spending.

“This is far too important to let fall victim to toxic politics,” he said.

Yesterday, UWA announced passionate protests had forced it to scrap the think tank, which was designed to undertake economic cost benefit analysis in poverty, social justice and food sustainability.

“I have stated many times that it is not a centre to study climate change, that the University was not providing any direct funding to the centre, and that Bjorn Lomborg would not be involved in its day-to-day operations,” vice chancellor Paul Johnson said in a statement on Friday.

But he also acknowledged the centre required co-operation among people across a wide range of fields. “(So) it is with great regret and disappointment that I have formed the view that the events of the past few weeks places the centre in an untenable position as it lacks the support needed,” he said.

The UWA Student Guild said the decision was a huge victory for the hundreds of people who got involved to save the university’s reputation.

“Students, staff and graduates are the key stakeholders at this institution, and it is so important that they are being heard. It is reassuring to know that when decisions cause this kind of public response, we will be taken seriously,” president Lizzy O’Shea said in a statement.



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


10 May, 2015

Warmist Nimrods did NOT die in the Arctic because of thin ice

Two Arctic ice researchers presumed drowned after unseasonably high temperatures

That's what Amy Westervelt, in The Guardian of Saturday 2 May said.  To quote:

“Police have called off the search for two Dutch scientists. Unusually thin ice likely played a role in their presumed death in the Canadian Arctic this week.

Researchers Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo are presumed drowned after they appear to have broken through the ice while on a scientific expedition.

In a voicemail on Tuesday, Dutch researcher Marc Cornelissen, founder of Cold Facts, an organization supporting scientific research in Polar Regions, laughed at his predicament. He explained that unexpectedly warm weather had forced him and fellow explorer Philip de Roo to complete that afternoon’s skiing in the Canadian Arctic in their underwear.”


George Land ( points out below that there was no thin ice for the Nimrods to fall through. They died of carelessness and ineptitude:

The nearest weather station to the accident site is 200 km to the south at the airport in Resolute, Nunavut Territory. The temperature there on Tuesday the 28th April rose to a high of -9°C (16°F) the low was -12°C (10.4°F), light snow fell throughout the day. There were light winds out of the east. The previous day was very sunny with a high of -8°C (17.6°F) and a low of -13°C (10.4°F).  The airport is in a sheltered cove on the south end of Cornwallis Island. The skiers were 200 km (124 mi.) to the north on the open ice (of Penny Strait?).

Currently the ice thickness in the Strait varies from 2 meters (6 feet) to 5 meters (16 feet). The nearest “open” water is a tiny patch in the Mackenzie delta about 1100 kilometers away. Open ocean is over 2,000 km away near Nuuk, southern Greenland. There is still minor ice cover on Lake Superior 3,300 km to the south. Total global sea ice cover at the time was about 1 million square km. above the mean.

All land expeditions to the Bathurst Island area are carried out in April, after the sun reappears but before spring makes ice travel hazardous. Spring arrives in early July. The ice is perfectly safe in April except for occasional leads (cracks) caused by winds, tides and currents. These three elements are amplified in narrow straits.

“Shore leads” form between the drift ice and a shoreline. “Flaw leads” form between fast ice (frozen onto the seafloor or shore) and the drift ice.  Leads form and heal throughout the year, temperature is not a factor.  It is likely that the skiers experienced overheating while pulling sledges on Monday afternoon in bright sunshine and a “mild” temperature of -8°C. There was a fresh breeze in the hamlet of Resolute most of that day; such a breeze can shift ice, which could open a lead, and then cover it with snow.

The skiers were pulling sledges from the front and may not have been tied together. To defend their needless deaths while performing a grossly negligent publicity stunt, they have been described as scientists or experienced polar explorers and “researchers”.

One cannot fall into a lead on the beaches of Antarctica. A tourist trip to Antarctica hardly qualifies someone to travel over sea ice on the opposite pole. The so-called Cold Facts support team lodged in a warm hotel room in Resolute attempted to send a rescue flight but it was grounded for days by a blizzard.

They opted for a ground attempt by snowmobile. Did they believe they were rushing out onto a melting ice sheet? Did the government plane refuse to land at the accident site because of “poor ice conditions”, or did the blizzard and numerous pressure ridges or the possibility of a hidden lead discourage them? Did they even have skis?

Take a look at Resolute (or any other Arctic village) on Google earth. The tank farms for diesel and gasoline storage are huge, almost as big as the town sites.  Petroleum makes it possible for people like the Cold Facts team to live comfortably in the arctic. Perhaps next year they can go in their underwear and go solar due to global warming.

The Guardian story says that the thin ice and open water was encountered 200 km south of Bathurst Island.  That puts the “drowning” site in the middle of Prince of Wales Island.

More and more frequently neophytes from outside this country are coming here to sail the Northwest Passage or photograph the last polar bear or make a phony claim to have rowed to the pole. They get stuck in the ice or eaten by an extinct bear or they drag a rowboat over ice to where the magnetic pole used to be in 1996.

All of this nonsense by these nimrods costs money.  The territorial Government has a tax base of perhaps 15,000 people. The search and rescue costs are too much for the locals and their semi?autonomous status.  Rich, over?privileged, misinformed kids from suburban Amsterdam or London are imposing unnecessary costs on a struggling regional economy for political grandstanding. This is the Arctic equivalent of defacing ancient artifacts on the Nazca Plateau. It’s all lies all the way down. 

Just last month the Guardian had displayed supreme hypocrisy in claiming that David Rose, a writer for the Mail on Sunday, “is known for his inaccurate and misleading climate change coverage.” The Guardian regularly publishes hatchet jobs on Dr. Willie Soon, implying he is not a serious scientist. “Cold Facts” is probably a front for the WWF and possibly underwritten by the Guardian as well. Now its founder is dead.

These unfortunate bumpkins were neither scientists nor researchers; they were cannon fodder in a disgustingly corrupt political stunt. Instead of effusive praise and a fictional hagiography, the Guardian should pay for a recovery effort so the families can take them home.

Via email

Hollywood's Climate Hypocrites

Hollywood and global-warming panic have always been a natural match. After all, who can tell you better to cut back on your wasteful ways better than a high-flying multimillionaire movie star with the carbon footprint of a Tyrannosaurus rex?

It’s never mattered that the stars have all the scientific expertise of Pee-wee Herman. They’re just so good-looking and famous, who cares? PBS broadcast a 10-hour series in 1990 entitled “Race to Save the Planet.” The show’s host was Meryl Streep, who proclaimed: “By the year 2000 … the Earth’s climate will be warmer than it’s been in over 100,000 years. If we don’t do something, there will be enormous calamities in a very short time.”


It’s bad enough that they don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s worse that they’re sheer hypocrites while preaching their nonsense. A private jet burns as much fuel in an hour as a car does in a year. The 48,000-pound Gulfstream G550, which can fly from Chicago to Rome with 15 passengers, burns through more than 400 gallons of fuel per hour.

Exhibit A is Leonardo DiCaprio, who lectures, “If we don’t act together, we will surely perish.” Radar Online reported in April that DiCaprio boarded a private jet six different times within six weeks last year. But the charade continues. A partnership between DiCaprio and Netflix was announced in March to create yet another series of propagandist environmental documentaries.

The Media Research Center has a new report on “Climate Hypocrites and the Media That Love Them.” Take Julia Roberts, who recently made a video for Conservation International playing a big role: “Some call me nature. Others call me Mother Nature. I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years. 22,500 times longer than you. I don’t really need people, but people need me. Yes, your future depends on me. When I thrive, you thrive. When I falter, you falter. Or worse. But I’ve been here for eons. I have fed species greater than you, and I have starved species greater than you.”

The loathing of the human race is a constant green theme. But it’s not hard to find photos of Roberts climbing in and out of private jets. In fact, for a while she even co-owned a private jet.

Woody Harrelson is such a tree-hugger that he told CBC News in Canada that he’d “like to see it get to the point where we never use trees to make paper because to me it’s just a barbaric way to make it. … It’d be nice to just stop using the forest.” But at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008, when Harrelson realized that he had left his vegan belt and shoes behind, he had them flown to France from California.

At least John Travolta offers self-awareness, that when he said global warming is a “very valid” issue, he added “"I’m probably not the best candidate to ask about global warming because I fly jets.” Travolta owns five jets and has flown tens of thousands of miles in the air. He thinks the answer may be “other planets,” a natural suggestion for a Scientologist.

These celebrities don’t take tough questions well. When asked about DiCaprio’s hypocrisy, actor Mark Ruffalo shot back: “Oh, brother, that is a question you shouldn’t be asking here today because that defies the spirit of what this is about.” He added that anyone who attacks DiCaprio is “a coward or an ideologue” because “Leonardo DiCaprio’s voice carries farther than any one of those politicians, even the president.”

If that’s true, blame a star-dazzled media elite that never cares one whit about hypocrisy.


Heartland Replies to Jeffrey Sachs

Joe Bast

On May 3, Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University professor and “special adviser” to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, wrote a commentary condemning global warming “deniers” that appeared on a Catholic website called Pewsitter. Since he takes aim specifically at The Heartland Institute, a reply seems to be in order.

Sachs wrote about an event convened by Pope Francis on global warming and sustainability at the Vatican in Rome the prior week. Observing that only alarmists and advocates of population control – most notably, Jeffrey Sachs – were on the program, I decided Heartland should send some real scientists and other experts to Rome to provide a different opinion.

We created a webpage at where we posted news releases and opinion-editorials expressing our concern that the pope was being misinformed and offering links to more reliable scientific research and commentary on Christian views toward the environment. Following the event and safe return home of our delegation, we posted all the presentations and video from the event on the website.

Our presence generated extensive worldwide press attention. We were able to reach millions of people with our simple message that “climate change is not a crisis.”

The Vatican and United Nations seemed shocked that anyone would criticize their bias or the lack of scientific credentials of their speakers. Peter Raven, a speaker at the summit, devoted several minutes of his remarks to commenting on our presence, and now Sachs’ essay appears to be part of the UN’s effort at damage control.

Sachs did not attend our press conference or any of the presentations our experts made the following day. To our knowledge, none of the persons scheduled to speak at the “summit” chose to attend our public events. Nevertheless, Sachs writes: “the libertarian Heartland Institute, supported over the years by the Koch brothers, mounted a fruitless protest outside of St Peter’s Square.”

The Heartland Institute has received just $25,000 from a single organization, a charitable foundation, affiliated with “the Koch brothers” during the past 15 years. Our annual budget is approximately $7 million. Even that small gift was earmarked for our work on health care reform, not global warming. Why does Sachs mention “the Koch brothers” unless his intention is to smear an independent organization by falsely implying a much larger or somehow improper level of support from some singularly unpopular billionaires?

Our press conference and seminar were not a “protest.” We weren’t on the street waving signs or shouting slogans. Our speakers were highly qualified and their writing and speaking relating to the pope and the Catholic Church were respectful and focused narrowly on the science, economics, and politics of climate change.

The dishonesty in Sachs’ reference to The Heartland Institute would be startling, coming from a person of Sachs’ stature, if this sort of misrepresentation of facts weren’t so common in the debate over climate change. President Barack Obama sets the tone, comparing global warming realists to members of the “flat earth society” and rather ominously calling on his supporters to “hold climate change deniers’ feet to the fire.”

In fact, those who say global warming is a man-made crisis gave up arguing the science and economics behind their campaign long ago. They now rely only on exaggeration, lies, and ad hominem attacks on anyone who disagrees with them.

Sachs is correct about one thing: The Heartland Institute is indeed a libertarian organization. We are devoted to discovering, developing, and promoting free-market solutions to social and economic issues. We make it very clear on our website and in interviews that it was this perspective that led us to examine the science behind the global warming scare. That examination led us to become (in the words of The Economist) “the world’s most prominent think tank supporting skepticism of man-made climate change.”

Sachs says some “free-market conservatives … have followed their ideology to the point of denying well-established science.” He seems blind to the possibilities that the science is not “well-established” or that his fellow socialists and “progressives” have themselves fallen prey to this malady. What else explains their refusal to admit there has been no warming for more than 18 years, that real data show no increase in extreme weather events, and that the benefits of using fossil fuels outweigh the costs, by orders of magnitude, even including the vastly inflated costs attributed to climate change that might occur centuries from now?

Sachs has had a long and distinguished career as an academic and in various government agencies, but on this issue he is letting his liberal ideology cloud his judgment. His short essay reveals a disturbing lack of knowledge about climate science and compassion toward the billions of people in the world who will be harmed by the UN’s plans to make energy more expensive and less reliable.

Sachs ends his essay with a call to people of all faiths to “fulfill our moral responsibilities to humanity and to the future of Earth.” That responsibility starts with truth-telling. Sachs and his colleagues on the left haven’t reached the starting line yet.


Shining a Light on the Darker Side of Solar

In today's edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Managing Editor of Environment & Climate News H. Sterling Burnett speaks with Michi Iljazi. Iljazi is the communications and policy manager for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance. The Taxpayers Alliance has a subsidiary called which is dedicated, in their words, to "shining a light on the darker side of solar power."

Iljazi points out that the U.S. benefited immensely from the creativity, innovation and prosperity-generating power of the free enterprise system. Yet corporate welfare and corporate cronyism are eclipsing genuine capitalism and threatening innovation and prosperity -- and the solar industry is right in the center of the corporate handouts.

The Taxpayer Alliance's new study, “A House of Cards:  Solar Energy’s Subsidy-Based Business Model,” in particular shines light on how much the solar industry has received in subsidies over the past five years and how much money it is losing every year. In addition it exposes the sleazy business practices of one company in particular, SolarCity?

SOURCE. (Podcast at link)

Iowa Should Embrace Frac Sand Mining

Lansing, Ia., is located near sizeable deposits of the highly specialized sand used for hydraulic fracturing. The growing demand for this sand, commonly referred to as "frac sand," has spurred a mining boom that has created thousands of high-paying jobs throughout Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Unfortunately, Lansing and other northeastern Iowa communities have largely missed out on the sand mining boom because local governments, citing environmental concerns, have enacted restrictive ordinances and moratoria severely limiting the growth of the industry. The scientific evidence suggests local officials should embrace, not prohibit, sand mining.

Sand mining has fewer environmental impacts than other types of mining. This is a key reason why Bob Lima, the state geologist for Iowa, recently told Winneshiek County supervisors, "If you just come in and dig sand out, there is very little risk to the water," noting there would be more impact from processing sand. Lima suggested trout fishing would not be harmed by sand mining because the St. Peter sandstone layer is not a big supplier of water to trout streams.

Allamakee County enacted an impossibly restrictive ordinance on sand mining, which for all intents and purposes prohibits sand mining in the county. Less onerous regulations would have allowed sand to be mined in an environmentally responsible way.

In addition to environmental concerns, the Allamakee County ordinance cites concerns the tourism industry in the area could be threatened by increased traffic caused by mining. In places like Lansing, however, tourism jobs are generally low-paying, seasonal jobs providing only part-time work for full-time residents.

Until all the storefronts in Lansing and other northeastern Iowa cities no longer have signs that say "Space Available," local governments should reconsider their unscientific opposition to sand mining.


Australian Greens leader leaves behind a team in turmoil

A move away from extreme Leftism coming?

FORMER GP Richard Di Natale was elected unopposed as the new leader of the Greens on Wednesday - but don't be fooled.  The obscure senator won thanks to a secret plot that will actually leave the party even more divided.

That plot - and that division - is part of the troubled legacy of Christine Milne, who quit on Wednesday as leader after only three years.

Forget the media praise for Milne, whose resignation surprised even party founder Bob Brown.  She actually cemented the Greens' reputation as zealots incapable of compromise, blind to the terrible price of their pure politics.

Milne refused to use her party's huge power over the Gillard Labor government to change the border policies that lured 1200 boat people to their deaths.

She helped to extract from the Gillard government a $10 billion clean energy fund that won't actually change the world's temperature.

Since the Abbott Government's election, Milne also helped Labor to block spending cuts in the Senate, claiming "we won't have a bar of the nonsense around the whole Budget repair story", despite government now spending nearly $1 billion a week more than it collects.

With Milne it was all about seeming, not achieving.

She became so obsessed with the alleged wickedness of Prime Minister Tony Abbott that she even helped the Senate to block the Government's planned rise in the petrol excise levy, even though Greens' policy calls for taxes on fossil fuels. The result: Milne's Greens appealed to a permanent minority of Australians who get high on moral outrage - but they frightened off the rest.

Indeed, Milne was hammered in her one election as leader, in 2013. The Greens' Senate vote fell from 13.1 per cent to only 8.65, with just four senators added to the six elected in 2010. In the Lower House the Greens only retained Adam Bandt's seat of Melbourne.

The polls suggest some recovery since, but nothing in Milne's leadership showed the party would go anywhere fast, despite the unwavering support of the ABC and many academics.

Now it is up to Di Natale to find a way out of Milne's dead end. He has advantages. He's more reassuring and more pragmatic than Milne.  "I am not an ideologue," he insisted on Wednesday. "I follow the evidence."

He even hinted he would change Milne's irrational opposition to the petrol excise increase and broaden the Greens' appeal. He said his interests weren't just global warming and the environment, but Medicare, healthcare, multiculturalism and "social justice".

But can he bring his team with him?

Di Natale's first problem is his low profile. Half the Greens MPs are better known.

In fact, the ambitious Bandt is the party's best media performer, yet was on Wednesday humiliatingly replaced as deputy leader by Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters.

Bandt later implied he'd just wanted to prepare for the arrival of his baby, but he seems instead to have been knifed.

Milne refused to comment on claims by angry Bandt supporters that she'd given Di Natale and Ludlam advanced warning of her resignation so they had time to stitch up a leadership deal that froze out the unsuspecting Bandt.

Di Natale also wouldn't comment, yet gave the game away when a journalist asked if he'd discussed standing for leader with his family.  "I had a long chat with my partner, Lucy, and the impact it is going to have on my life," he blurted, before realising his mistake and adding: "I was talking to Lucy six months ago."

He then admitted "someone may have been disappointed by the outcome" before Milne hastily terminated their press conference.

His deal with Ludlam may have given Di Natale the leadership, but it's also created a powerful rival and brake. Ludlam in return wasn't just made co-deputy but chairman of the parliamentary party.

Nor do the divisions end there. Milne and Brown long fought to contain the rise of "watermelon greens" - Greens MPs who are actually socialists.

The ultimate watermelon is Lee Rhiannon, a former communist trained in the Soviet Union who backs a boycott of Israel and fights to protect the CFMEU, a construction union accused of corruption by the royal commission into trade unions.

Sure enough, Rhiannon on Wednesday tweeted her objection to the way Di Natale was chosen.  "Members should have a vote," she protested, knowing a ballot of members would favour radical candidates like her.

Does this seem a happy team of big huggers - one able to negotiate out of Milne's cul de sac and deliver Kumbayah at last?



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


8 May, 2015

Murdered by climate change deniers (?)

I suppose I should join a lot of my fellow skeptics by having a laugh at dear little "Schatzie" (Yiddish for little treasure) who wrote the hymn below.  It passionately celebrates faith -- faith in global warming.  No knowledge of actual climate facts or interest in climate data is evident. 

Her logic is a bit hard to follow but she seems to be saying that Arctic explorers would not have to explore so hard if everybody accepted the global warming gospel. So when Arctic explorers die, that is the responsibility of climate skeptics, who undermine faith in global warming. 

I am of course sad to hear of the missing Dutchmen but no evidence that they were motivated by a desire to refute climate skeptics is offered.  And the possibility that explorers explore because they like to explore is also not mentioned.

She has certainly not considered the possibility that the big money showered on climate research as a result of the warming scare might have been responsible for the upsurge in climate "research" generally, and the research being done by the dead Dutchmen in particular.

And as far as loss of human lives is concerned, has she considered the number of people who died because they have been denied access to reliable, affordable electricity and other modern technologies?  –- thanks largely to the Big Green factions Schatzie extols.  That loss of life would be far greater by many orders of magnitude than what even she could possibly attribute to us wicked skeptics.

She is actually a good example of an old axiom in logic which says that if your premises are faulty your conclusions are likely to be absurd.  Her unquestioning faith in the tenets of global warming has certainly led to an absurd conclusion in this case.  Talking facts to her would clearly be pissing into the wind

Jo Nova has also had a laugh at this sad little lady

Two Dutch Arctic ice researchers, Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo, have disappeared and are presumed drowned. They were last heard from on Thursday, when Cornelissen, who is the founder of Cold Facts, jokingly left a voicemail on his organizations answering machine lamenting the fact that the unexpectedly warm weather where they were located (200 km south of Bathurst Island in the Canadian Arctic) had forced the pair to ski in their underwear.

Cornelissen and de Roo were on a months long mission planning to measure the thinning Arctic ice as part of the Last Ice Survey.

So, you may be wondering, how were the pair murdered by climate change deniers? Scientists, and I mean REAL scientists, not the Willie Soon crooked bunch of characters, are risking lives and limbs every day to not only try and figure out how all the known, and unknown, feedback loops interact and are impacted by climate change, but they are forced to defend their every move by buffoons such as Senator James Inhofe, et al, who lazily park their fat asses in their comfy office chairs, cashing in fossil fuel dollars, while shooting spit balls at the scientific community.

This obfuscation utterly squanders the efforts of scientists and researchers who must constantly work up against the walls erected around them by deniers instead of actually working towards reversing out of the planetary death spiral we are all on.

Moreover, as scientists around the world go to extreme and heroic lengths to document and prove their point, the fossil fuel industry, aided and abetted by the US government and other western leaders, work around the clock to JUST MAKE IT WORSE by green lighting every lunatic idea (such as Shell trying to drill for oil again in the melting Arctic) the fossil fuel industry puts forth. It’s like the drunkest EVER bar patron asking to be hooked up to a never-ending supply of bourbon, and then, right before he’s going to pass out, handing him keys to a Ferrari (and expecting benign results).

Think about this for a moment: we KNOW what is causing the Earth to heat up to the point of inhabitability: burning fossil fuels. We know how to stop making it worse: stop burning fossil fuels. Are we going to end up in caves, living like the Flintstones when we stop burning fossil fuels? No, because we have 100% technologically advanced renewable energy sources ready to fill that gap. SO, where is the logjam preventing us from beginning to heal the horrific insults we have inflicted upon our planet? Climate deniers, who make the work of scientists all the more difficult and s-l-o-w down the demise of the fossil fuel industry.

Deniers, who keep the public thinking that there is still some sort of DOUBT about the validity of global warming (there is NOT) continue to pour money into the politicians and other sell-outs who keep the fossil fuel industry profitable. Ergo, climate change deniers and their ilk have viciously killed these young men. They are entirely responsible for their deaths. And you can bet that if they were charged with causing these deaths, and penalized in a real way (not the bogus monetary fines imposed on the biggest polluters), they’d think twice before building that next oil well.


Obama's carbon plan could save 3,500 lives annually

And pork might become airborne.  Just modelling again.  Who needs evidence when you've got models?

The Obama Administration's hotly debated plan to reduce heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the nation's power plants will save about 3,500 lives a year by cutting back on other types of pollution as well, a new independent study concludes.

A study from Harvard and Syracuse University calculates the decline in heart attacks and lung disease when soot and smog are reduced - an anticipated byproduct of the president's proposed power plant rule, which aims to fight global warming by limiting carbon dioxide emissions.

Past studies have found that between 20,000 and 30,000 Americans die each year because of health problems from power plant air pollution, study authors and outside experts say. The study was published Monday in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Climate Change.

The proposed EPA rule, which is not yet finalized, is complex and tailored to different states. It aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Study authors said their research, while not hewing to the Obama plan exactly, is quite close and comparable. The study also finds about the same number of deaths prevented by reducing soot and smog that the administration claimed when the plan was rolled out more than a year ago.

Some in Congress have been trying to block the regulation from going into effect, calling the plan a job-killer and an example of government overreach.

The study finds that the rule would eliminate an average of 3,500 deaths a year - a range of lives saved from 780 to 6,100 - with more than 1,000 of the lives saved in just four states that get lots of pollution from coal power plants: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas and Illinois. The new regulation would reduce hospitalizations by 1,000 a year and heart attacks by 220 a year, the study says.

Cleaning the air as part of reducing carbon dioxide has immediate and noticeable benefits, the authors said.

"There could be lives saved associated with the way we implement the policy," said study lead author Charles Driscoll, an environmental engineering professor at Syracuse. "Why not kill two birds with one stone if you can?"

Lab studies on animals show how soot and smog harm the cardiovascular and respiratory systems and epidemiological studies link tens of thousands of deaths each year to soot and smog pollution, said study co-author Joel Schwartz, a Harvard environmental epidemiologist. The study's authors examined 2,417 power plants and used computer models to project and track their emissions.

The study was praised by outside academics, the Environmental Protection Agency and environmental advocacy groups. But officials in the energy industry called it costly and flawed.

"This is more than just an academic exercise to the tens of millions of Americans who depend on affordable, reliable electricity to power their homes and places of work every day," said Laura Sheehan, senior vice president for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. "For them, this is about their livelihoods. Coal provides nearly 40 percent of the nation's electricity and its use is becoming cleaner all the time. And while these academics are hypothesizing about unprovable consequences, what's known is that families are struggling to pay their monthly bills and companies are struggling to stay in business - and any increase in energy costs will unnecessarily burden them. "

EPA, in a statement, said the study confirms their earlier research, which shows that for every dollar spent complying with the regulation, "Americans will see up to $7 in health benefits."

Three top science officials in the George W. Bush Administration who are now outside academics - George Gray at George Washington University, John D. Graham at Indiana University and Howard Frumkin at the University of Washington - praised the study to various degrees.

"This analysis is both sound and useful," Gray, former EPA science chief and now director of risk science and public health, wrote in an email. "The cool thing is the question they ask: What public health effects might occur due to changes in air pollutants as we act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?"


Now Seismic Upheavals Are Humans’ Fault?

Joe Bastardi notes the inconvenient linkage between earthquakes and volcanoes

Basically, no matter what happens, it’s used as a reason to fuel hysteria. This latest volley claims that a warming planet is going to cause an increase in seismic activity. (Strange since objective measurements show no warming for 18 years, and even a suggestion of cooling the last 10, and there is no apparent linkage between CO2 and temperatures)

I am sometimes amazed at the logic used by the alarmist crowd, but, given the lack of intellectual curiosity by those that buy it, they get away with it. They assume that no one will a) question them on what they are saying or b) examine the folly of their assumptions. So they use it. First of all, my approach to the whole climate problem can be likened to playing chess. I love to simplify the board, trade down and then be left with a battle over basic endgame positioning. In science, two ideas on this come to mind.

1.) Occam’s Razor.

The principle states that among competing hypotheses that predict equally well the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Other, more complicated solutions may ultimately prove to provide better predictions, but in the absence of differences in predictive ability the fewer assumptions that are made, the better.

Given the track record of the warming hysteria the past 20 years, the idea of the climate being cyclical not only is predicting equally well but is far superior to the modeling!

2.) Le Chatelier’s Principle.

When a system at equilibrium is subjected to change in concentration, temperature, volume or pressure, then the system readjusts itself to (partially) counteract the effect of the applied change and a new equilibrium is established.

I will use it in a devil’s advocate way.

Suppose I concede that the so-called warming is leading to more seismic activity. This would also imply that there is an increase in volcanic activity, a known linkage to earthquake activity. Increased volcanic activity is linked with cooling. Therefore it is logical to assume that, even if the premise put forward here is right, nature will simply correct to the opposite conclusion of what the hysteria-based article is concluding!

In other words, if the author is right in the shorter term, he is wrong in the long run because the increase he fears, and it’s part of something I have been pushing for years as one of the legs of climate, would lead to cooling in the end.

So, being the nice guy I am, I will give him his due. Let’s assume he’s right. Then you have to agree with me — that such an increase would lead to the response, and if we simplify to the logical conclusion nature adjusts!

Not only is this intuitive, but Le Chatelier’s Principle would argue for it. Unless of course he seeks to simply throw it out, which we see happen quite often to data that does not seem to fit the missive being pushed.

This is not to say I accept his premise. It is to say that if he wants to play that game he has to then play mine. It’s pay me now, or pay me later.


A Winter to Remember: In the Northeast USA January through March was Harshest since 1717

If it's unusually hot somewhere, Warmists seize on that as "proof" of global warming.  So we do well to note when other places are unusually cold

By Joseph D'Aleo

No one who has lived in many parts of the Northeast into Canada experienced a six-week and calendar month as extreme for the combination of cold and snow as we have this late winter. From this writer’s viewpoint in southern New Hampshire, February 2015 was the coldest month ever recorded in nearby Nashua with an average temperature of 12.2 degrees Fahrenheit. It beat out January 1888, which had averaged 12.9F. A record 18 days had low temperatures at or below zero (as cold as 14F below). 25 days remained freezing or below, also a record.

Not far away in Boston, where temperature records began in 1872, February 2015 was exceeded only by February 1934, which brought Boston its all-time record of -18F. Temperatures never rose out of the 30s this year in February in Boston, though it topped 40 four times in 1934.

The cold in February 2015 was not confined to the Boston-Nashua area. It was the coldest month ever in Worcester, Hartford and Portland. It was the coldest February in Chicago and Cleveland, third coldest in New York City and fifth coldest ever in Detroit and Baltimore, both with records back into the early 1870s.

Boston set a record for monthly snow with 64.6 inches in February and 100.4 inches in the 39 days following January 24th. The 110.6 inches for the entire season exceeded the 107.6 inch record from 1995/96. The snow that year was spread out over six months with thaws, not concentrated so much in less than six weeks. The snow blitz and the intense cold is why the snow piles were so high this year. College students were shown on local television jumping out second story windows onto huge snowbanks in their bathing suit.


Looking back through accounts of big snows in New England by the late weather historian David Ludlum, it appears for the eastern areas this winter’s snow blitz may have delivered the most snow since perhaps 1717.

That year, snows had reached five feet in December with drifts of 25 feet in January before one great last assault in late February into early March of 40 to 60 more inches. The snow was so deep that people could only leave their houses from the second floor, implying actual snow depths of as much as eight feet or more.  The New England Historical Society’s account indicated New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut were hardest hit, a lot like 2015 in what was known as the year of the great snows.

“Entire houses were covered over, identifiable only by a thin curl of smoke coming out of a hole in the snow. In Hampton, N.H., search parties went out after the storms hunting for elderly people at risk of freezing to death… Sometimes they were found burning their furniture because they couldn’t get to the woodshed. People maintained tunnels and paths through the snow from house to house.”

You may hear or read that increased snow is consistent with global warming because warmer air holds more moisture. In actual fact, 93% of the years with more than 60 inches of snow in Boston were colder than normal.

During the 40 days of snowy weather this winter, we averaged over 11F below normal, and moisture content of the air in the snow region was well below the long-term average. Cooling, not warming, increases snowfall. Indeed, winter temperatures have cooled over the last two decades in the Northeast and the 10-year running mean of Boston area snowfall has skyrocketed to the highest level since snow records were first kept.

The cold continued in March here in New England. The month averaged 5.1F below in Boston and 5.8F below normal in Nashua. There were only four 50F days in March after no 40F days in February in Boston. This compares with seventeen 50F days, eleven 60F days, seven 70F days and one 80F day in March 2012.


Oil Production Is Up 53% Since 2010, But It’s Declining on Federal Lands. Here’s Why

Thanks to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling methods perfected at the end of last decade, production of crude oil in the United States has skyrocketed.

U.S. oil production is up 53 percent since 2010, but the increase has occurred almost entirely on non-federal lands. Production on federal lands has not seen a similar liftoff, and is actually down overall.

The reasons federal area drilling has lagged is not because of lack of oil.  Proved oil reserves under federal areas account for about 26 percent of all proved crude oil reserves. (Proved oil reserves are amounts accessible under current policy, prices and technology). If the new methods for extracting oil increase production on private lands, they can also on federal lands.

The main difference between drilling for oil on non-federal and in drilling on federal lands is whether or not the driller has to navigate the complex regulatory obstacles required by the federal government.

President Obama has said, “As Democrats, we believe in reducing our dependence on foreign oil and protecting our planet. Today, America is number one in oil; number one in gas; number one in wind power.”

But if America is number one in oil and gas, it is certainly not because the federal government is making it easy to drill. During the Obama administration:

* Fewer federal leases are being offered than in previous years.

* Federal permits to drill have taken longer to be approved than during previous years, and

* According to the Congressional Research Service, the permitting process is complex and cumbersome.

In fact, the Bureau of Land Management took 227 days on average to process an application for permission to drill in 2014. State agencies sometimes approve permits in 10 days, and leave many surface management issues to be negotiated between the oil producer and the private land owner. For obvious reasons, an oil producer would rather deal with one farmer than be ordered around by a complex and multi-faced federal government.

Now the Obama administration is seeking to raise royalty fees for oil and gas leases on federal lands. That’s a shame, since more complex rules and higher costs will result in less production, not more; all bragging rights aside.


NZ: Dr Vincent Gray's Letter to Sir Peter Gluckman

Dear Sir Peter,

I would like to comment on the speech "Trusting the Scientist", a summary of which you delivered to the recent seminar "Scientists Speak Out" organised by the New Zealand Association of Scientists. 

You begin with the following statement:

"It is instructive here to consider what the public role of science has been until now. For much of history beyond the classical period, the answer is a simple one: little or none.  Or so it was, at least up until the modern inter-war period, and even then it was rather limited until perhaps the late 1980s. Before then the scientist with a media profile was, too often, looked upon with suspicion by his or her colleagues."

Surely science has always had a vital public role if you interpret science to mean the discoveries which are the basis for the many technologies which have led to the progress of human race. You seem to accept the existence and importance of the early science which culminated in ancient Greece and was the main influence throughout the Middle Ages, Modern science is regarded as beginning well before the 1980's with Copernicus, Kepler Galileo and Newton.

Early astronomy had always been professional  In Britain King Charles the Second, who founded the Greenwich Observatory in 1675, appointed the first Astronomer Royal John Flamsteed.

The King had already founded the Royal Society of London in 1663. In 1714 the British Government offered a prize for a simple practical method for determining longitude. Isaac Newton was one of the administering Committee. The story has been told in the book by Dava Sobel. The winner, John Harrison, competed with the Astronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne. One of Harrison's chronometers  was used by Captain Cook on his second voyage in 1772.

The French Revolution set up a committee which led to the metric system in 1799. A shame they did not do a better jpb on the calendar.

Weather Forecasting has a long history. The British Government set up its Meteorological Office in 1854 with Admiral Robert Fitzroy, former Governor of New Zealand. Its first gale warning for ships was made in 1859. Fitzroy was a mathematician and cartographer who believed in scientific measurements. He even designed a barometer.

You might note that the New Zealand Weather Service is by far the most popular scientific TV programme. It presents the climate of the entire earth every night and it enjoys the trust of everybody who consults it.

Scientists had a positive media profile when I grew up. Ernest Rutherford attracted crowds to his lectures. My school took us regularly to the lectures at the Royal Institution where we were introduced to the wonders of science.

I recently bumped in to a former colleague in the DSIR Chemistry Division who made a comment on how the public rang up the DSIR on any subject and had absolute trust in the reply. Hamish Campbell at the Seminar showed how he helped people with geological questions today.

So we now have to get down to what was the elephant in the room at the NZAS Seminar. Why is it that some scientists today are not trusted?

Everybody there knew the answer to this, but nobody dared to mention it.

The truth is that many people are beginning to believe that some of the statements from scientists who are involved with climate change are deliberate lies. I will give you some examples.

Some weeks ago the Dominion Post had a front page spread with a map showing how Wellington will soon be overwhelmed with a rise in sea level. This was inspired by climate scientists.

Now there are no science journalists nowadays, so it did not occur to the presenter to enquire whether there is any evidence for this coming disaster. He did not know, for example that there is a tide gauge in Wellington harbour which has shown a fall in the sea level for the past ten years, and there are similar measurements all over New Zealand which provide no reason for imminent action.

Most people probably fell for the scare as their knowledge of science was insufficient to find out the facts.

But there are many local residents on our coasts whose experience has shown them that sea level is not rising, so they have been disturbed by demands from local Councils that they must immediately upgrade their coastal defences or vacate their properties because of the advice of climate scientists to the Council that urgent action is needed. Some have succeeded  in reversing this nonsense, But their opinions of scientists have taken a dive.

The same thing has happened in the Pacific Islands. The Australian Government established in 1991 an elaborate programme for monitoring sea level in 12 Pacific Islands using state of the art equipment called Seaframe. There has been little or no change in sea level in any island since then, particularly after GPS levelling was introduced in 2000.

Yet everybody believes the islands are about to fall into the sea. This belief suits the Island Prime Ministers since it attracts aid and ease of emigration. But why does the New Zealand Government endorse this lie?

Then. we continue to be drenched with stories claiming the continued effects of global warming. Yet the preferred technique for assessing this properly, the Mean Annual Global Surface Temperature Anomaly Record (which has been used to claim global warming in all previous IPCC Reports) has now been practically constant with little change for over 18 years. The excuses they give are pitiful.

The change is decadal, when we already have nearly two decades. Then it is natural variability when they have previously assumed that this was not involved the temperature rise. Only now it matters.

The Climate Models which are supposed to give projections and not predictions consistently fail to agree with current global or lower atmosphere temperature measurements.

Your own climate paper features the claim that the Arctic ice is melting: when it is largely influenced by ocean currents, but you do not mention the Antarctic continent which now has record amounts of ice.

The UK Met Office which has been taken over by Climate Change people has consistently predicted warm winters when there are record cold ones. The recent US snowstorm led to protests by people wondering where the global warming had gone.

Your speech showed no sign that you would do anything about its subject except to encourage the rogue scientists to promote their lies, on the Dr Goebbels Principle that maybe people will believe them if they are repeated enough.



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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7 May, 2015

New paper on Antarctic sea ice melt misses the mark

I have been pointing to subsurface polar vulcanism for years -- nice to see others taking it up lately -- JR

According to a new paper in the journal 'Science Magazine,' the Antarctic Ice Sheet is melting at an accelerated rate, which the authors attribute to a warming climate. There's only one problem: According to the National Space Science & Technology Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH), atmospheric temperatures across Antarctica haven't moved up or down since 1979 (See graph 1). uah temp anomaly

Paul Homewood, of the popular site Not A Lot Of People Know That, writes that "the [temperature] trend is a statistically insignificant 0.02°C/decade." He also notes that "sea surface temperatures have been plunging in the last decade," and not rising. According to this paper, the sea ice that is supposedly melting sits on this ocean water, ruling that out as a factor. (See graph 2)

"Even if we only look at summer temperatures, when logically most of the ice melt would occur, there is very little trend. Six of the last summers have actually been below average," Homewood writes. "The only notable summer was 2012/13, when December and January were 1.29 and 1.27C warmer than average. Although unusually warm, such weather was not unprecedented in summer, as December 1989 was 1.36C warmer than average." (See graph 3)

Since 1980, sea ice concentration has also increased considerably around Antarctica according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The report also focuses on the Amundsen and Bellingshausen sea regions (See map), which are part of West Antarctica, saying they have lost up to 18% of their thickness in less than two decades. Homewood doesn't believe we have "the accuracy of measurements, particularly back in the 1990s, to come to any statistically significant conclusions about sea ice volumes over such a short period of time."

As previously reported here, it is common knowledge among geologists that West Antarctica is heavily influenced by underground volcanic activity and is one of the "largest zones of continental extension on Earth." Hidden beneath West Antarctica's thick glacial ice cover is a myriad of currently active volcanoes and dormant but not extinct volcanoes which are all located along an active Rift Systems. (See map)

After contacting geologist James Kamis about this study, he notes this active rift system directly affects Antarctica’s thick glacial ice cover by emitting very hot chemically charged fluid beneath the ice. This acts to melt the ice in localized areas close to the rift system. "Where the rift system cuts across Antarctica’s land mass," he said, "the hot, chemically charged fluids are in direct contact with the base of the ice sheet. Where the rift system extends into the ocean and Antarctica’s ice sheet is floating on seawater, the hot chemically charged fluids heat the overlying ocean, which then melts the base of the ice sheet."

This rift system ice melting process would account for what the authors claim is a 70 percent loss in the past decade in West Antarctica sea ice, and has entirely nothing to do with non-existent atmospheric warming. As is often the case in climate science, factors completely unrelated to man are often the cause of any observed changes to our planet.


UK: Greenpeace fracking advert that claimed drilling for shale gas 'won't cut energy bills' is banned by watchdog

Lies are not protected speech.  Shale has already slashed American oil and gas prices dramatically

A Greenpeace advert claiming that allowing fracking in UK ‘won’t cut energy bills’ has been banned in a victory for David Cameron and other supporters of the technology.

The campaigning group argued fracking for gas under Britain would threaten the climate, the countryside and the water supply.

Significantly, it attempted to appeal to the nation’s purses and wallets by stressing: ‘Experts agree – it won’t cut our energy bills.’

However, a complaint from the pro-fracking Labour peer Lord Lipsey said it was wrong and misleading to state that access to a new source of gas from shale rocks will not cut prices.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has agreed and banned Greenpeace from making the claim in its anti-fracking advertising campaigns.

The promise that fracking will provide cheaper gas to heat the nation’s homes and fuel electricity power stations could well win over consumers sceptical about the impact of fracking.

David Cameron has said he is ‘going all out’ for the rapid development of shale gas on the basis it can increase energy security, help reduce carbon emissions if gas replaces coal and boost the economy.

In 2013, the Prime Minister, said: ‘If we don’t back this technology, we will miss a massive opportunity to help families with their bills … fracking has real potential to drive energy bills down.’

This is rejected by Greenpeace which produced quotes from 22 energy experts, including academics, to support its case that bills will not fall.

The group cited comments from the Lib-Dem energy secretary, Ed Davey, who in March described the idea that fracking would massively reduce prices and transform the economy as ‘ridiculous’.

However, the ASA rules today that given the disagreements, Greenpeace was wrong to state as fact that the introduction of fracking in this country will not cut energy bills.

The watchdog pointed to the comments made by Mr Cameron as evidence there is no consensus on the impact on bills.

It said: ‘While we acknowledged that Greenpeace had provided quotes from 22 people, groups or organisations, demonstrating support for the view that fracking would not reduce energy prices, we understood that there was a significant division of informed opinion on the issue.

‘While we understood the claim was made in the context of a public debate on fracking, we considered the claim was absolute in nature and, therefore, implied the statement was accepted among informed opinion, which we understood was not the case. Because of that, we concluded that the ad was misleading.’

Greenpeace dismissed the decision and questioned the impartiality of the ASA.

It said the ASA chairman is the former Labour Environment Secretary, Chris Smith, who has a second job as head of the Shale Task Force, a group funded by fracking firms including Cuadrilla, Centrica and Total.

At the same time, the complainant, Lord Lipsey, is a former member of the ASA council and sits on the House of Lords economic affairs committee, which published a report last year calling for fracking to be made a national priority.

Greenpeace’s UK energy and climate campaigner, Louise Hutchins, said: ‘An authority led by a fracking advocate has ruled in favour of a pro-fracking Lord merely on the basis of the opinion of an avowedly pro-fracking prime minister.

‘This decision is baseless, biased, and frankly bonkers. We quoted 22 different expert opinions to back up our statement that fracking won’t bring down bills. The ASA could only find shale enthusiast David Cameron to defend the opposite view.

‘This ruling also sets a very dangerous precedent. The same perverse logic could be used to ban statements about evolution or climate change on the basis that someone somewhere disagrees with the mainstream view. We can’t allow the ASA to be used as a kangaroo court to muzzle dissenting voices on controversial issues like fracking.’


Historical record of CO2 levels ignored

The historical record of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, claimed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as the justification for greenhouse gas reduction, is a fraud. atmospheric co2 Research by a Freiburg, Germany professor, Ernst-Georg Beck of the Merian-Schule, shows that the IPCC construed and concocted the pre-1957 CO2 record from measurements on recently drilled ice cores, ignoring more than 90,000 direct measurements by chemical methods from 1857 to 1957. [fn. 1]

The IPCC’s hoked-up record attempts to prove that CO2 concentrations have been steadily increasing with the progress of human industrial civilization. Beck’s work confirms a wealth of previous investigations which demonstrate that the IPCC cherrypicked its data in an attempt to prove that we must stop industrial development and return to the horse-and-buggy age, or face oppressive heat and melting of the polar ice caps.

It shows that the Kyoto Treaty on reduction of greenhouse gases was based on a scientific fraud which violates the laws of the universe, denying the well-established determination of climate by cyclical variations in the EarthSun orbital relationship and in the Sun’s heat output.

In a thorough review of 175 scientific papers, Professor Beck found that the founders of modern greenhouse theory, Guy Stewart Callendar and Charles David Keeling (a special idol of Al Gore’s), had completely ignored careful and systematic measurements by some of the most famous names of physical chemistry, among them several Nobel prize winners.

Measurements by these chemists showed that today’s atmospheric CO2 concentration of about 380 parts per million (ppm) have been exceeded in the past, including a period from 1936 to 1944, when the CO2 levels varied from 393.0 to 454.7 ppm.

There were also measurements, accurate to within 3%, of 375.00 ppm in 1885 (Hempel in Dresden), 390.0 in 1866 (Gorup, Erlangen), and 416.0 in 1857 and 1858 (von Gilm, Innsbruck). Ironically, although the 1940s increase correlated with a period of average atmospheric warming, Beck and others have shown that the warming preceded the increase in CO2 concentrations.

The data reviewed by Beck came mainly from the northern hemisphere, geographically spread from Alaska over Europe to Poona, India, nearly all taken from rural areas or the periphery of towns without contamination by industry, at a measuring height of approximately 2 meters above ground. Evaluation of chemical methods revealed a maximum error of 3% down to 1% in the best cases.

By contrast, the measurements hoked up from ice cores, show a rather steady increase in CO2 levels, conveniently corresponding to the preconceived idea that increasing industrial activity has produced a steady CO2 increase. As Beck’s collaborator, Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, former senior adviser to the Polish radiation monitoring service and a veteran mountaineer who has excavated ice from 17 glaciers on six continents, has shown, the gaseous inclusions in ice cores have no validity as historical proxies for atmospheric concentrations.

The continual freezing, refreezing, and pressurization of ice columns drastically alters the original atmospheric concentrations of the gas bubbles. [fn. 2]

According to the greenhouse warming theory, the increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration caused by human activity, such as burning of fossil fuels, acts like the glass in a greenhouse to prevent the re-radiation of solar heat from near the Earth’s surface. Although such an effect exists, carbon dioxide is low on the list of greenhouse gases, accounting for at most 2 or 3 percent of the greenhouse effect. By far the most important greenhouse gas is water vapor. However, water in the form of clouds can reflect back solar radiation, causing temperature reduction.

There are so many interrelated effects, that correlating global temperature to CO2 concentration is like attempting to predict the value of a hedge fund by the phases of the Moon.

To concoct a convincing case of such correlation requires ample, sophisticated lying, and the greenhouse theorists have been caught at it. By a delightful historical irony, it could be said that it is the founder of modern science, Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464), who has caught them. Our modern understanding of photosynthesis began when the Flemish researcher Jan Baptist van Helmont took up Cusa’s challenge (stated in the “De Staticis” section of his Idiota de mente, The Layman: About Mind) to weigh a plant and its soil before and after growth.

Van Helmont discovered (circa 1620) that the soil supporting a willow tree, which had grown to 169 pounds in five years, had changed weight by less than a few ounces. Whence did the solid mass of the tree derive?

Ironically, Van Helmont, who had introduced the word “gas” to science, mistakenly concluded that the plant’s mass had come solely from the water applied.

It took almost two more centuries to uncover the astounding fact that much of the mass of the plant, and all of its structural backbone, derives from the invisible and apparently weightless air, most especially the carbon dioxide component of it.

That was the achievement of the revolution in chemistry launched by Lavoisier, and pushed forward by Gay-Lussac, Avogadro, Gerhardt, and others at the beginning of the 19th Century. The ability to place two invisible gases in a balance and compare their weights, proved to be the secret to the determination of atomic weights, and from that the unlocking of the secrets of both the atom and the cell.

Unfortunately for the liars at the IPCC, the measurement of atmospheric CO2 concentration had been a special focus of chemists since that early 19th Century elaboration of the process of photosynthesis, and their carefully recorded measurements remain with us.


Heat Resistance in Reef-Building Corals

Discussing:  Bay, R.A. and Palumbi, S.R. 2014. "Multi-locus adaptation associated with heat resistance in reef-building corals". Current Biology 24: 252-2956.

Introducing their informative study, Bay and Palumbi (2014) write that "physiology and gene expression patterns have shown that corals living in naturally high-temperature microclimates are more resistant to bleaching because of both acclimation and fixed effects, including adaptation," citing in this regard the slightly earlier work of Palumbi et al. (2014). And in further searching for potential genetic correlates of these fixed effects, they go on to describe how they "genotyped 15,399 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 23 individual table top corals, Acropora hyacinthus, within a natural temperature mosaic in backreef lagoons on Ofu Island, American Samoa."

This effort led to the two researchers identifying 114 highly divergent SNPs that appeared to be good candidates for environmental selection, as a result of multiple stringent outlier tests they conducted, as well as the corals' evident correlations with temperature. More specifically, they report that "corals from the warmest reef location had higher minor allele frequencies across these candidate SNPs, a pattern not seen for non-candidate loci." In addition, they discovered that "within backreef pools, colonies in the warmest microclimates had a higher number and frequency of alternative alleles at candidate loci."

In discussing the significance of their findings, Bay and Palumbi say they imply a "mild selection for alternate alleles at many loci in these corals during high heat episodes and possible maintenance of extensive polymorphism through multi-locus balancing selection in a heterogeneous environment," which leads them to their ultimate conclusion that a natural population of these corals "harbors a reservoir of alleles preadapted to high temperatures, suggesting potential for future evolutionary response to climate change."


4000 Years of Climate Change Based on Taiwan Bog and Lake Data

Discussing:  Liew, P.-M., Wu, M.-H., Lee, C.-Y., Chang, C.-L. and Lee, T.-Q. 2014. "Recent 4000 years of climatic trends based on pollen records from lakes and a bog in Taiwan". Quaternary International 349: 105-112.

Very briefly, Liew et al. (2014) begin their recent report on the climatic history of Taiwan by describing how high-resolution pollen records from four lakes and a bog - which they recovered from both high and low altitudes in northern and southern Taiwan - were used together with radiocarbon dating to develop a 4000-year temperature history of the subtropical mountain island.

The result of this effort was a temperature history that compares well with trends that previously had been developed for China and Europe. And again, very briefly, it revealed the occurrence of a relatively long cold period from approximately 1920 BC to 30 AD, which was followed by the Roman Warm Period (about 30-360 AD), which was followed by the Dark Ages Cold Period (about 360-760 AD), which was followed by the Medieval Warm Period (about 760-1300 AD), which was followed by the Little Ice Age (about 1300-1850 AD). Then, last of all, the record depicts the gradual development of the Current Warm Period, which at this point in time appears to be at its peak, having not risen further than where it is now over the past couple of decades.

Therefore, in light of these and other well-documented findings that are reported and analyzed in the Medieval Warm Period Project portion of the Data section of our website ( - which can readily be accessed here - it can clearly be seen that there is nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about the current state of earth's warmth, which was clearly eclipsed by the Medieval Warm Period at various locations around the globe.


Britain's Green party -- in its Brighton stronghold

The writer Keith Waterhouse famously said, “Brighton looks like a town that is helping the police with their enquiries.”

Actually, it’s better understood as a town populated by people looking the other way. After living here on and off for about five years, I’d say that you can probably do anything, be anything, sleep with anything and smoke anything here and no one will judge you for it. Yet despite that reputation for left-wing libertinism, the three seats that comprise the area are more hotly contested than you might imagine.

This stretch of the Sussex coast used to be solid blue. The seats of Hove and Brighton Pavilion voted Tory in every election from their creation in 1950 until 1997; Kempton returned a Labour member from 1964 to 1970 but was otherwise equally conservative. In 1997, all three seats embraced New Labour with gusto – but rejected the party across the board in 2010. Today, Hove and Kemptown are narrowly Conservative, while Pavilion is Green. The current prediction is Pavilion to stay Green, while Hove and Kemptown will go red. The national significance of which I’ll come on to later.

I suspect that the key to understanding the Green Party’s success in Brighton Pavilion is the area’s growing affluence. Incumbent MP Caroline Lucas ought to be on the way out. “The Green council is dreadful,” said a woman with a pram. “That’s all anyone says about them.” Their record certainly is divisive: a bin strike that led to rubbish piling up in the streets, a controversial redevelopment on the seafront, an attempt to pass a massive tax hike and – irony of ironies for an eco-council – a terrible recycling programme that has actually seen recycling get worse.

And yet, says the lady with the pram, “Lucas isn’t bad as an MP.” On the contrary, I sense some pride at having an independent-minded woman who in some way captures the individualist spirit of the seat.

Moreover, Pavilion has changed a lot since I first came here to teach at the university a few years ago. As in a lot of university seats (Cambridge, Oxford East), it’s become the fashion for the students to stay living here after they finish their studies – adding to the left-wing vote. Also, Brighton has blossomed into a satellite town for London, bringing to our shores lots of TV execs, lawyers, doctors and other representatives of the metropolitan elite.

The northern, working-class council estates are probably still solidly Labour. But down by the wealthier seaside, where house prices and rents are ticking upwards, Green signs are everywhere. Eventually, poorer Labour voters will be priced out altogether as gentrification marches on. The kind of socialism that Lucas pushes is most appealing to those that can afford it.



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


6 May, 2015

Greenpeace will be remembered in history as monsters

Irrational opposition to "Golden" rice

Heartland Daily Podcast – Hal Doiron: Retired NASA Scientist, The Right Climate Stuff

In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Managing Editor of Environment and Climate News H. Sterling Burnett speaks with retired NASA scientist Hal Doiron. Doiron, fresh back from his trip to the Pope’s climate conference in Rome, joins Burnett to discuss his time at NASA and how his views on the climate change debate took shape.

Doiron has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Houston. As a young scientist Doiron joined NASA, developing the software for the Apollo Lunar landing module. He also worked on the Skylab Program and the mars rover “curiosity.” In 2012, his experience with complex systems dynamic simulation models used for safety-critical applications, led him to organize The Right Climate Stuff (TRCS) Research Team of more than 25 NASA Apollo Program veterans, in an independent, objective review of the global warming issue. Doiron discusses why his team of space scientists disagree with the claim that humans are causing dangerous climate change. Their work finds that any influence on temperature from human CO2 emissions will be minimal. He also discusses his disappointment that climate realists were not included as advisors to the Pope at the Vatican conference. He called it a dog and pony show with a predetermined alarmist conclusion.

SOURCE (Podcast at link)

Who would have guessed it? Green studies indoctrinate not educate

I would have loved to be there when Brown University environmental studies student Jaqueline Ho suddenly realised that the course she had (presumably) forked out oodles of cash for was not actually an education at all. It turned out to be just a very expensive brainwashing exercise. Can you imagine the look on her face?

"At Brown, ideas first planted by [Bill] McKibben were reinforced in courses where she read classics by Aldo Leopold and Garrett Hardin, along with recent books by Van Jones and Elizabeth Kolbert.

With these authors anchoring her understanding, it was easy for Ho to believe about climate change “that fossil fuel corporations were to blame, that we had a suite of low-carbon technologies we could deploy immediately, and that grassroots solutions held promise,” she recalls.

Yet only after taking an upper-level political science course on renewable energy and completing a summer fellowship with the Breakthrough Institute, an environmental think tank, was Ho introduced to alternative ways of thinking about climate change as a social problem and the possible solutions."

There are other ways of thinking about a problem! Who would have thought it?! Really though, you have to feel sorry for children who are indoctrinated throughout their school and university careers and only once they get into the wide world do they start to realise what has been done to them. Ms Ho's response to this horrible realisation has been admirable:

"Motivated by her experience, in [a] recent study, Ho and Eric Kennedy (a doctoral student at Arizona State University) analyzed 22 syllabi from introductory environmental studies courses taught at top-ranked North American research universities and liberal arts colleges. They recorded course descriptions, objectives, activities, and readings according to specific themes, topics, and perspectives.

Of the 22 syllabi assessed, less than half explicitly mentioned the importance of critical thinking or exposing students to competing perspectives. Only 10 made any reference to the fact that even among those advocating for action to address a problem like climate change, there are competing narratives about the major societal challenges, the possible technological solutions, and the political strategies needed.

Instead, in most cases, diverging views on climate change were defined relatively simplistically in terms of the clash between mainstream scientists and the false claims of climate “deniers.”"

Yes indeed. You wonder whether the students could sue the universities for fraud.


Government Deploys Bogus Science to Quash Business

Back in December of 2012 we noted federal government efforts, headed by then Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, to eliminate a longstanding oyster farm on the California coast, even though the small operation caused no environmental damage and kept 30 people employed. The Sierra Club and California Senator Barbara Boxer applauded Salazar’s move, but Senator Dianne Feinstein decried a flawed review process that advanced “false and misleading science.” As Michael Bastach observed in the Daily Caller, the government continued to deploy false science for the same destructive purpose.

The federal National Park Service charged that the Drakes Bay Oyster Company, which had operated in the Point Reyes National Seashore for decades, was to blame for an 80 percent decline in the local population of harbor seals. Park Service bosses also blamed the farm, operated by Ken Lunny and his family, for upsetting the ecological balance of Drakes Estero. These charges turned out to be completely false, but the agency continued to make false claims. It used data from a sixty-year-old study from the Sea of Japan, and substituted jet-ski noise from New Jersey for the impact of Lunny’s small outboard motors.

Mr. Lunny told the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations that the National Park Service “engaged in a taxpayer-funded enterprise of corruption to run our small business out of Point Reyes.” It falsified data, but “no one has apologized” for doing so. Lunny appealed to higher-ups at the agency and finally took the matter to the Secretary of the Interior.

“No one, at any level, was willing to admit that false science was being used against us,” he testified.

The inspector general of the Interior Department found misconduct, but as Bastach notes, the IG “was powerless to stop Parks Service officials from attacking Lunny’s business.” An axis of false science and regulatory zealotry forced the family to shut down.

This “unconscionable” action, as Mr. Lunny called it, confirms that the federal government is too big, too abusive, and far too unaccountable.


£5,000 green car grant could go after British Government says it will review subsidy

A £5,000 subsidy for motorists wanting to go 'green' with an electric car could be phased out imminently, according to motoring groups.

The Government has said it will be reviewing the level of grants for ultra-low-emission vehicles over the coming months to avoid 'exhausting the budget too quickly'.

It is likely to spark a rush of orders for plug-in cars before any changes from the shake-up come into effect, according to the RAC Foundation. Over 25,000 claims have been made since the grant was introduced four years ago in a bid to spark a boom in emission-free cars. 

The latest electric car grant eligilbiity guidance from the Government's 'Office for Low Emissions Vehicles' spells out: 'In May 2015 we will commence a review of plug in grant levels. 'Following this review, new levels of grant will be available per category. We will communicate the changes as soon as they are agreed.'

The Government said: 'We will announce the new grant levels following our market review, which we will start in May.  'We will be observing the market over the next few months so we can set the grants at a level that will support the market as effectively as possible without exhausting the budget too quickly.

For customers ordering an electric or ulta-low emissions vehicle during the 'transition period', the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles says: ' The date that the dealership enters the claim onto our online claim system determines whether the terms of the current scheme or the new scheme will apply.'

Ministers first hinted at a phasing out of the subsidies back in September 2013 but insisted that support in some form would continue until 2020.

But a scathing report by the Commons Transport Select Committee in 2012 said the £5,000 subsidies were doing little more than 'subsidising second cars for affluent households.'

Explaining the reasons for the latest changes, the Government' s new report says: 'Since the plug-in car grant scheme began in 2011, over 25,000 claims have been made and there are now a wide range of vehicles eligible for the grant. In April 2013, we committed to retain the £5,000 grant until 50,000 claims had been made.'

It said £200 million has been made available to continue the plug-in car grant from 2015 to 2020, but stressed: 'We are keen to ensure that the funding is effectively targeted towards supporting the ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV) market.

'The technology in the vehicles, and number of models available, has developed considerably since the technical requirements for the scheme were set, almost 5 years ago.'

Therefore it noted From 1 April 2015 it is introducing three grant categories for cars, differentiating between ULEVs on the basis of their CO2 emissions and their zero emission range.

The Government says: ' The cap will remain at £5,000 for all cars, regardless of which category they are in, until further notice.'

However, that is likely to change after the review, say motoring groups.  The RAC Foundation said: 'Just as the plug-in car grant is becoming successful, government is thinking of pulling the plug or at least changing the rules, with a review taking place this month.'

Its director Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: 'Millions of drivers will be utterly confused as to what car to buy next. Diesels are in the doghouse because of the air quality issue and now those thinking of going ultra-green are faced with the possibility of paying more than they bargained for unless they move quickly.'


Sydney without an airport — welcome to the fantasy world of the Australian Greens

By Anthony Albanese, Labor Party spokesman for infrastructure, transport, cities and tourism

One of the advantages of representing a minor political party is that because you aren’t trying to win government, you never have to deliver on your promises.

But that fact should not excuse politicians from minor parties from offering genuine, workable solutions to policy challenges facing the community.

Increasingly, minor parties in this country and overseas are crafting opportunist and negative election positions rather than proposing solutions.

So it is with the Greens and their approach to the commonwealth’s plan to build a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek. The NSW Greens oppose the development of the Badgerys Creek airport, but they also want to close the existing Kingsford Smith airport and build a new airport at an imaginary, unnamed site outside the Sydney basin, which they would connect to the city by high-speed rail. If this were put in place, Sydney would be the only global city without an airport. It’s the stuff of fantasy. It has no place in the world of serious policy debate. Yet this has been Greens policy for the whole of this century.

One on one, realistic Greens party members acknowledge this is not practical. Yet the policy remains and enables the party to campaign for zero impact of aviation activity anywhere, despite the fact modern aviation is a driver of economic activity.

The community has the right to expect that serious parties come to the table with ideas capable of implementation, not just complaints.

Regrettably, the Greens have given up serious participation in the decades-long debate about Sydney’s aviation needs.

They have not been prepared to step back from the local political ­angles, to consider the bigger picture and the broader economic and strategic national interest.

The Badgerys Creek airport will create thousands of jobs for the people of western Sydney. It will provide a huge boost not only for the economy of NSW but for the entire nation. The issues involved require ­serious consideration from ­politicians.

Before the Abbott government’s decision to proceed with construction of the Badgerys Creek airport, the former Labor government examined whether there were other options. The research identified the only possible alternative airport site at Wilton, but it was a higher cost and an inferior site to Badgerys Creek, where the Hawke Labor government had already purchased the land and put in place strict environmental controls.

The Greens opposed Wilton, too. In the light of this, their proposal to banish Sydney’s airport to an unnamed site and to link it to the city with a high-speed rail line cannot be taken seriously.

The comprehensive study into the plan to build a high-speed rail line from Brisbane to Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra found that 67km of tunnelling in Sydney would be necessary for it to operate. It’s a serious project worthy of support. But, like any major infrastructure project, high-speed rail would affect communities along the route. Tunnels require ­exhausts. Construction creates ­inconvenience.

Delivering high-speed rail, just like building the Badgerys Creek airport, will require explanation of the benefits and broad support across the political spectrum.

Indeed, it is likely that the challenges of high-speed rail construction will create issues over a far wider area than the second airport.

In short, it will require political representatives to act on principle rather than seek to exploit local communities’ fear of change for political gain. Given the Greens’ record on opposing a second Sydney airport, opposing the Moorebank Intermodal, which will take freight off trucks and on to rail, as well as ­opposing safety upgrades to the Pacific Highway, it would be remarkable if they did not confect reasons to oppose high-speed rail in practice.

When it comes to economic infrastructure, the Greens are political opportunists.



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


5 May, 2015

You knew it! Nepal earthquake caused by global warming

The basic story below is that tectonic instability is caused by rainfall variations and that global warming has caused rainfall instability.  The first assertion is most implausible but, be that as it may, the theory -- and it is only a theory -- runs up against the fact that there has been no global warming for 18 years.  So global warming did not cause the rainfall variations.  Something that does not exist cannot cause anything.  Rainfall is highly variable naturally so Occams Razor tells us that there was no need to invoke global warming anyway

The untold - and terrifying - story behind the earthquake that devastated Nepal last Saturday morning begins with something that sounds quite benign. It's the ebb and flow of rainwater in the great river deltas of India and Bangladesh, and the pressure that puts on the grinding plates that make up the surface of the planet.

Recently discovered, that causal factor is seen by a growing body of scientists as further proof that climate change can affect the underlying structure of the Earth.

Because of this understanding, a series of life-threatening "extreme geological events" - earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis - is predicted by a group of eminent geologists and geophysicists including University College London's Bill McGuire, professor emeritus of Geophysical and Climate Hazards.

"Climate change may play a critical role in triggering certain faults in certain places where they could kill a hell of a lot of people," says Professor McGuire. Some of his colleagues suspect the process may already have started.

It sounds like a pitch for a Hollywood apocalypse-fest - indeed the movie 2012 featured the Earth's crust collapsing after a rapid heating of the Earth's core. The mechanism here is rather more mundane, though potentially no less devastating.

Evidence from the end of the last Ice Age has already shown that the planet's uneasy web of seismic faults - cracks in the crust like the one that runs along the Himalayas - are very sensitive to the small pressure changes brought by change in the climate. And a sensitive volcano or seismic faultline is a very dangerous one.

The disappearing ice, sea-level rise and floods already forecast for the 21st century are inevitable as the earth warms and weather patterns change - and they will shift the weight on the planet. Professor McGuire calls this process "waking the giant" - something that can be done with just a few gigatonnes of water in the right - or wrong - place.

"These stress or strain variations - just the pressure of a handshake in geological terms - are perfectly capable of triggering a quake if that fault is ready to go," he tells Newsweek.

Any schoolchild geographer knows the underlying cause of earthquakes like that in Nepal: it is the uneasy grinding of the continent-sized plates that float over the Earth's molten core. This process that went into overdrive when the ice sheets started withdrawing 20,000 years ago, destablising the "mantle". The latest event in that endless process came just before midday local time on the 25 April, when the section that holds up India slipped under the Eurasian plate.

The effects were immediate and horrific - buildings collapsed over the region, leaving nearly 4,000 dead and many more injured. As Newsweek went to press, huge aftershocks were causing more chaos.

But the quake was widely predicted. The Himalayas themselves are the collateral damage of the endless shoving match between the two parts of the Asian continent. Earthquakes in Nepal have been charted for at least 700 years, and this one was an almost exact repeat of a 1934 event that killed 16,000 people in Nepal and northern India. Mahatma Gandhi, after visiting the stricken communities, said it was a providential punishment on Indians for failing to do away with the caste system.

What neither Gandhi nor 1930s scientists knew was that the rain that fills the huge rivers that rise in the Himalayas and run down to the Sea of Bengal is a crucial part of this process. Dr Pierre Bettinelli was the scientist who in 2007 first showed how this vast flush of rainwater, second only to that of the Amazon basin, affects earthquakes in the Himalayas. He spoke to Newsweek from a base in the Algerian desert where he is researching the effects of oil-well drilling - another man-made cause of earthquake.

"Imagine a piece of wood on water - that's the Indian plate - push down on it with your foot and you create compression, disturbance, in the water beside it. That you see in the increased number of seismic events at the edge of the plate."

The Himalayas bordering Nepal are the result of an endless shoving match between the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates, a natural phenomenon which can have devastating consequences.Newsweek Europe
With this insight - which has been generally accepted by scientists in the field - Bettinelli explained the seasonal differences in occurrence of earthquakes in the Himalayas. Quite simply, the coming and going of the weight of the monsoon rains was causing energy to build up at the edge of the plate.

"This effect could certainly have made the Nepal earthquake come sooner," says Professor Roland Burgmann, of the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Meanwhile, of course, climate change has been shown to be causing enormous and disturbing changes in the size and shape of the South Asian monsoon, while human tampering has played a part in floods.


Pacific Ocean far warmer than normal – NOT our fault

Volcanoes at work?

By Robert W. Felix

Record heat on the West Coast, record cold and snow on the East Coast, fish swimming into new waters, and hungry seals washing up on California beaches.

All of this and more can be blamed on a huge ‘blob’ of warm water off the West Coast, about 1 to 4 degrees Celsius (2 to 7 F) above normal, says a University of Washington news release.

According to climate scientist Nick Bond at the University of Washington, the “warm anomaly” is behind California’s ongoing warm and dry winters.

The warm blob earlier this week squished up against the U.S. West Coast. Scale in degrees Celsius (each increment is 1.8 F). NOAA National Climate Data Center

Discovered in the fall of 2013, the area of super-heated water is roughly 1,000 miles in each direction, about 300 feet deep, and is about 3øC (5øF) warmer normal for that part of the Pacific ocean, according to Bond.

Bond, who coined the term "the blob" last June in his monthly newsletter as Washington state climatologist, said as air passes over the huge patch of warm water it brings more heat and less snow to coastal areas, which helped cause drought conditions in California, Oregon and Washington.

Brings very cold, wet air to the central and eastern states

The blob’s influence may reach much farther inland- possibly including the last two brutal winters in the eastern U.S.

A separate study by UW professor of atmospheric sciences Dennis Hartmann explores the relationship between the warm anomaly and the cold 2013-14 winter in the central and eastern United States.

Hartmann found a decadal-scale pattern in the tropical Pacific Ocean and North Pacific that brings warm and dry air to the West Coast and very cold, wet air to the central and eastern states.

In a blog post last month, Hartmann focused on the winter of 2014-15 and argued that, once again, the root cause was surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific.

Second only to El Ni¤o

That pattern seems to have become stronger since about 1980, and lately become second only to El Ni¤o in its influence on global weather patterns, says Hartmann.

Today, the blob is still out there, “squished up against the coast and extending about 1,000 miles offshore from Mexico up through Alaska, with water about 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than normal.”

Not exactly a small “blob”

The media may call it a “blob,” but please note that the “warm anomaly” is not only 1,000 miles wide, it is also 1,000 miles long.

Multiply 1,000 by 1,000, and you come to the startling realization that this monster patch of warmer-than-normal water covers one-million square miles.

Enabling “warmest year on record” pronouncements

I think NASA is using this huge area of super-heated water to bolster its deceptive “warmest year on record” pronouncements.

Remember if you will, NASA’s claim that 2014 was the warmest year on record.  Now, NOAA claims that we just endured  the warmest March on record.

How did NASA and NOAA come up with those claims? Because both of these politically motivated entities use globally averaged temperature taken over both the land and the oceans.  Yes, both the land and the oceans.

Look at a globe. The world’s oceans cover almost 71% of our planet. No wonder the numbers are skewed.

Parts of the oceans now warmest on record -- and again, it is NOT caused by humans

But it gets worse. Not only are large portions of the oceans much warmer than normal, they are the warmest on record, according this map from NOAA. (The areas in bright red are the warmest on record, says NOAA.)

March 2015 Blended Land & Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in øC.

Bond, along with co-authors Meghan Cronin, Nate Mantua and Howard Freeland, believe the warm anomaly was created when a high-pressure system got stuck over the blob’s location, allowing the ocean water to stay calmer and warmer.


But I’m more inclined to agree with geologist James Kamis, who thinks the blob has all the characteristics of a megaplume. Megaplumes are massive underwater vents – underwater volcanoes, in other words – that spew vast amounts of heat into the ocean.

Kamis thinks the giant cell of warm water, heated by submarine volcanoes, is altering normal California climate patterns and inducing a long term drought.

Generation of deep-ocean megaplume
Generation of deep-ocean megaplume

Not only do I agree with Kamis, but I take it one step further. I fear that this super-heated cell of warm water could lead us into the next ice age.  And that is exactly what I say in Not by Fire but by Ice.

As underwater volcanoes heat the seas, ever more moisture rises into the skies. If those skies have been cooled by above-water volcanoes – presto! – you have the recipe for a new ice-age.   Warmer seas and colder skies . . . a deadly combination.


Interesting admission from Scripps Institution of Oceanography:  Arctic Sea Ice Loss Likely To Be Reversible

Scenarios of a sea ice tipping point leading to a permanently ice-free Arctic Ocean were based on oversimplified arguments

New research by Till Wagner and Ian Eisenman, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, resolves a long-running debate over irreversible Arctic sea ice loss.

Ever since the striking record minimum Arctic sea ice extent in 2007, the ominous scenario of a sea ice tipping point has been a fixture in the public debate surrounding man-made climate change and a contingency for which Arctic-bordering countries have prepared.

For decades, scientists have been concerned about such a point of no return, beyond which sea ice loss is irreversible. This concern was supported by mathematical models of the key physical processes (known as process models) that were believed to drive sea ice changes. The process models forecasted that increased global warming would push the Arctic into an unstoppable cascade of melting that ceases only when the ocean becomes ice-free.

Implications of a permanently ice-free Arctic for the environment and for national and economic security are significant, driving deep interest in predictive capabilities in the region.

Wagner and Eisenman's research was co-funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and by the National Science Foundation. It supports the goals of the Navy's U.S. Arctic Roadmap, which calls for an assessment of changes in the Arctic Ocean to clarify the national security challenges for future naval operations as this strategic region becomes increasingly accessible.

"The Navy has broad interest in the evolution of the Arctic," said the ONR's Frank Herr. "Sea ice dynamics are a critical component of the changing environmental picture. Our physical models lack important details on the processes controlling ice formation and melting, thus ONR is conducting a series of experimental efforts on sea ice, open water processes, acoustics, and circulation."

During the past several years, scientists using global climate models (GCMs) that are more complex than process models found sea ice loss in response to rising greenhouse gases in their computer simulations is actually reversible when greenhouse levels are reduced.

"It wasn't clear whether the simpler process models were missing an essential element, or whether GCMs were getting something wrong," said Wagner, the lead author of the study. "And as a result, it wasn't clear whether or not a tipping point was a real threat."

Wagner and Eisenman resolve this discrepancy in the study in an upcoming Journal of Climate article,  "How Climate Model Complexity Influences Sea Ice Stability."

They created a model that bridged the gap between the process models and the GCMs, and they used it to determine what caused sea ice tipping points to occur in some models but not in others.

"We found that two key physical processes, which were often overlooked in previous process models, were actually essential for accurately describing whether sea ice loss is reversible," said Eisenman, a professor of climate dynamics at Scripps Oceanography. "One relates to how heat moves from the tropics to the poles and the other is associated with the seasonal cycle. None of the relevant previous process modeling studies had included both of these factors, which led them to spuriously identify a tipping point that did not correspond to the real world."

"Our results show that the basis for a sea ice tipping point doesn't hold up when these additional processes are considered," said Wagner. "In other words, no tipping point is likely to devour what's left of the Arctic summer sea ice. So if global warming does soon melt all the Arctic sea ice, at least we can expect to get it back if we somehow manage to cool the planet back down again."


Global Warming? The Pope is Wrong

By Alan Caruba

I have devoted the better part of more than two and a half decades speaking out against the charlatans that have created and maintained the greatest hoax ever imposed on modern man. At the heart of this hoax has been the United Nations environmental program and at the heart of that program is an agenda to initiate a massive redistribution of wealth from industrialized, successful nations to those who have suffered, as often as not, from being ruled by despots of one description or another.

It is with profound sorrow and disappointment that I must now speak out against Pope Francis, the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics, whom observers have noted has "a green agenda." He has become an outspoken advocate on environmental issues, saying that taking action is "essential to faith" and calling the destruction of nature a modern sin.

Before proceeding, let me note that I am not Catholic. My thoughts regarding the Pope are rooted in my knowledge of the long record of lies, false predictions, and claims by various environmentalists over the years.

When the Vatican announced it would hold a conference on April 28 called "Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development", I wondered why the Vatican is not holding a conference to organize the protection of Christians-particularly in the Middle East-against the wholesale genocide that is occurring. The Pope is not alone in this. There appears to be little urgency in addressing a threat comparable to the Holocaust of the last century that consigned six million Jews to death for being Jews.

I frankly do not know what is meant by "the moral dimensions of climate change." Climate change is something that was occurring long before there was a human population on planet Earth. It is the measurement of the previous global cycles through which the Earth has passed for billions of years. It is profoundly natural. Applying a moral dimension to it makes no sense whatever.

As for "sustainable development", that is a term that environmentalists use to deny any development that benefits the human population.

Environmentalism is deeply opposed to the use of any energy resource, coal, oil, natural gas, as well as other elements of the Earth we use to enhance and improve our lives with habitat of every description from a hut to a skyscraper. Over the last five thousand years we have gone from being largely dependent on wood to the use of fossil fuel energy that keeps us safe against nature-blizzards, floods, hurricanes, forest fires, et cetera.

At the heart of environmentalism, however, is a deep disdain and antagonism to the human race. From its earliest advocates, one can find allusions to humanity as "a cancer" on the Earth. The Catholic Church has been an advocate for the human race, most notably opposing abortion that kills humans in the womb. Its charitable work is legendary.

To grasp how far the  conference is from the most basic beliefs of Catholicism, one need only take note of the persons scheduled to speak. They include the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, the leader of the institution in which the hoax of global warming was created and advanced. Another is Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, another voice for global warming

The Green's response to the voices of those scientists who courageously spoke out to debunk their lies has been to denounce and try to silence them. There is no science to support the global warming hoax.

Is there a religious or spiritual aspect to opposing the forthcoming conference and encyclical? One need look no further than Genesis. In a Wall Street Journal commentary, William McGurn drew the lesson that it offers "a reminder that God's creation is meant to serve man-not man the environment.

Quoting Genesis 2:15: "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it" concluding that "the Earth is to be worked and that this work and the fruit it bears are also blessed." The spiritual truth to be drawn from this is that man is the steward of the Earth. That does not mean its resources should be abandoned because of bogus claims that the Earth is doomed.

McGurn reminds us that "it is the have-nots who pay the highest price for the statist interventions so beloved the Church of St. Green." There are more than a billion on Earth who do not have any access to electricity which, in addition to hydropower, is generated by coal, oil and natural gas. Lacking the means to deter the impact of insects and weeds on agriculture, much of the Earth's annual crops are lost. Lacking access to the beneficial chemicals that protect humans from the diseases transmitted by insects, millions die needlessly.

The Heartland Institute, a free market think tank is leading the effort to alert people to the dangerous message of the Vatican conference because "many people of faith who are familiar with the science and economics of climate change are worried this event will become a platform for alarmism over a controversial scientific issue" noting that "there is no scientific `consensus' on whether there is any need to reduce mankind's use of fossil fuels."

The conference agenda is "profoundly anti-poor and anti-life" says the Institute. Plainly said, the Vatican conference incomprehensibly would advocate policies whose only result would be the reduction of human life in order to "sustain" the Earth.

"These unnecessary policies would cause the suffering and even death of billions of people. All people of faith should rise up in opposition to such policies."

 Says Morano, 'Instead of entering into an invalid marriage with climate fear promoters-a marriage that is destined for an annulment-Pope Francis should administer last rites to the promotion of man-made climate fears and their so-called solutions.


A 4000-Year History of Climate Change in North Xinjiang, China

Discussing: Zhang, H., Zhang, Y., Kong, Z., Yang, Z., Li, Y. and Tarasov, P.E. 2015. "Late Holocene climate change and anthropogenic activities in north Xinjiang: Evidence from a peatland archive, the Caotanhu wetland". The Holocene 25: 323-332.

Using multi-proxy records -- including data on pollen, charcoal, phytoliths, total nitrogen, total organic carbon and loss-on-ignition from a 268-cm-long sediment core extracted from the Caotanhu wetlands of Xinjiang, China, in August of 2007 -- Zhang et al. (2015) reconstructed a temperature history stretching some four millennia back in time, as indicated by radiocarbon dating of sequential segments of the sediment profile. And what did they thereby find?

The six scientists report that one of what they call the "significant climate events during this period" was the Medieval Warm Period, which held sway from approximately AD 700-1200, and which they say "was also revealed at some other sites in Xinjiang," citing Zhang et al. (2009), as well as Nakai (1972) and Wang and Ji (1995), who had identified "a moderate climate around 700 a BP," which was close to the time of peak temperature in their own reconstruction, which was about 1.3°C higher than what had been the case at any other time over the past 3,000 years (see figure below).

Reconstructed annual temperature of Xinjiang, China. Adapted from Zhang et al. (2015)

In addition, it is worth remembering that at the time of the peak temperature implied by the data of Zhang et al. (2015), the atmosphere's CO2 concentration was only about 280 ppm, whereas that of today is approximately 400 ppm, which is over 40% greater than it was back in the days of the Medieval Warm Period, when it was significantly warmer than it is today (see our Medieval Warm Period Project), which facts clearly demonstrate that none of the level of warmth currently being experienced by the Earth need be attributed to any of the CO2 released to the atmosphere since the dawning of the industrial era.


Note that the Minoan Warm Period (about 3500 years ago) also occurs in this data

Australia: Rogue union on the side of the Warmists

Collusion between two lots of crooks.  ETU members get to install a lot of the "sustainable" crap

Thousands of Australian jobs in the renewable energy sector are at risk due to the ongoing failure of the Federal Government to adopt a reasonable renewable energy target, Electrical Trades Union assistant national secretary David Mier has warned.

"The Abbott Government has already destroyed jobs, trashed Australia's renewable energy sector, destabilised the industry and damaged its international reputation with its ideological crusade against renewable energy," Mr Mier said.

"It is time for the Federal Government to pull its finger out and come to the negotiating table on this vitally important matter, before further damage is done.

 "We've waited for well over 12 months for Abbott and co to get it together on renewable energy, and they're still quibbling over a matter of 1000 gigawatt-hours. In the interests of industry, workers and the country, they need to make a deal."

Mr Mier said that the Labor Opposition had led the way on the target, maintaining their pre-election promise of a decent renewable energy target and working with industry to form a plan for the future.

"This morning on ABC radio we saw Mr Shorten indicate the ALP was willing to consider accepting 33000 gigawatt-hours if that's what it takes to resolve the impasse, 500 less than what was offered for bi-partisan support last month," he said.

"Labor's offer to take a bipartisan approach to the renewable energy target, in line with the recommendations of the industry, puts the ball firmly in the Federal Government's court.

"The Government can't blame the Senate cross-bench for causing uncertainty, because there is now a clear offer on the table that could pass through the parliament that also  comes with industry backing."

Mr Mier said that it was vital for Australia to adopt a progressive and ambitious renewable energy target, in order to take its place among the world's leaders in the sector.

"Let me be clear -the original RET target was appropriate and it has only been the Government's intransigence and incompetence that has led to this point. We need to forge ahead on this issue," he said.

"A deal needs to be done, and it needs to be done now. But then it needs to be improved on, and quickly. "Our jobs, our businesses, and our nation's energy future depends on it."

Press release


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


4 May, 2015

Those good ol' hundredths of a degree again!

Being by far the longest instrumental temperature record available, the Central England record (CET) is always of interest, even if it has little generalizability to other places.

The latest statistics that have been dragged screaming from it by Warmists are given below.  In case it is not obvious, let me mention that most of what they did ignored the whole record.  They used only the data after 1900.  Interesting?  You can of course prove all sorts of dubious things by carefully choosing your starting point from a longer record.  It's one of the classic ways of lying with statistics.

The one use they did make of the whole record was to assert that 2014 was the hottest year ever.  But, like all such claims so far, it is based on temperature differences of hundredths of one degree Celsius, which even Warmists in their saner moments concede is not statistically significant -- and hence not significant in any other way either. We read in the body of the journal article

"The annual CET value for 2014 was 10.93 °C, the highest in the 356 year series. However, it is worth noting that, at approximately 0.06 °C above the previous 2006 record, we cannot be entirely certain that 2014 was the warmest on record. Parker and Horton (2005) state that for annual mean CET values to be deemed significantly different a 0.25 °C [a quarter of a degree] difference is required."

Note that "0.06".  In plain English, six hundredths of one degree! They've sure got some impressive results there!  They couldn't even squeeze a quarter of a degree out of it.

The rest of the research was games with models, models of the sort which have repeatedly been shown to have no predictive skill.  What a waste of time!

Last year was the hottest since records began for central England and new research predicts the country is going to get even warmer.

A study found that there was 'significant and substantial increase' in the likelihood that the UK will experience another record-breaking year because of man-made climate change.

Findings suggest that summers today are 22 times more likely to be hot compared to the climate of a century ago.

Detailed analysis of the Central England Temperature (CET) charts - the world's longest instrumental temperature record dating back to 1659 - showed human activities have a large influence on heatwaves across the country, scientists have found.

Published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the discovery is all the more remarkable given it is such a small area of the world.

His team used climate simulations to calculate the likelihood of very warm years when there is just natural forces on the climate and no human influence, such as burning fossil fuels, and then when there is both these and human influence.

The change in the likelihood of warm years due to human influences on the climate was then calculated.

The researchers then observed the CET and picked out the warmest years from the record since 1900, plotting these onto a graph to calculate the odds of warm years happening now and a hundred years ago.

The model based method suggested at least a 13 fold increase due to human influences on the climate, whilst this rose to 22 times using the observation approach.

Attribution of the record high Central England temperature of 2014 to anthropogenic influences

Andrew D King et al.


In 2014, Central England experienced its warmest year in a record extending back to 1659. Using both state-of-the-art climate models and empirical techniques, our analysis shows a substantial and significant increase in the likelihood of record-breaking warm years, such as 2014, due to human influences on climate. With 90% confidence we find that anthropogenic forcings on the climate have increased the chances of record warm years in Central England by at least 13-fold. This study points to a large influence of human activities on extreme warm years despite the small region of study and the variable climate of Central England. Our analysis shows that climate change is clearly visible on the local-scale in this case.


Environmental groups want to make soil a red hot climate change issue

This is just the usual Warmist practice of making mountains out of pinheads.  If you look at the change in CO2 composition of the atmosphere since 1977 (the only time that CO2 can have been a factor), the total change in atmospheric CO2 has been 0.009%!!  Do these idiots really believe that soil is going to notice such a miniscule increase?

2015 is shaping up to be a big year for soil — in addition to being Global Soil Week’s third year running, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has declared it the International Year of Soil. José Graziano da Silva, director of the FAO, has called soil a “nearly forgotten resource,” and has implemented more than 120 soil-related projects around the world to mark the International Year of Soil. Farming First, a global agriculture coalition with more than 150 support organizations, has also called for soil health to be a top priority in the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals.

“If you look at the global carbon created in nature under land-based systems, soil and trees are the two dominant reservoirs where carbon is,” Rattan Lal, director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at Ohio State University, told ThinkProgress.

Soils — and the microbes that live within them — store three times as much carbon as is in the atmosphere, and four and a half times as much as in all plants and animals. “If the soil carbon reserve is not managed properly,” Lal said, “it can easily overwhelm the atmosphere.”

Climate change can stimulate the release of carbon from soil in a few different ways. Normally, carbon is bonded to minerals in the soil, which helps keep carbon locked in the soil and out of the atmosphere. A recent report by scientists at Oregon State University, however, found that when chemicals emitted by plant roots interact with minerals in soil, it can cause carbon to break free. This exposes the carbon to decomposition by microbes in the soil, which pass it into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. As the climate warms, the scientists found, more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will stimulate the growth of plants, which will in turn stimulate the production of the root compounds that breakdown carbon and soil minerals.

“We thought for many many years if you just increase plant productivity, soil carbon will just go up,” Kate Lajtha, professor of biogeochemistry at Oregon State University, told ThinkProgress. “What more and more *models* are seeing now is that the opposite is true.”

The microbes that break down stored carbon are also likely to become more active in a warmer world, according to a 2014 study published in Nature. The study looked at microbes in 22 different kinds of soil from along a climatic gradient, testing samples of soil from the Arctic to the Amazon. They found that as temperature increased, the respiratory activity of the microbes in the soil also increased, releasing more carbon dioxide — and that effect was most pronounced in northern soils, which tend to store more carbon than soils at other latitudes.


Anger the best way to address climate issues?

Professional Warmist JOE ROMM, below, seems to think so.  He praises Obama highly below for conveying anger about the climate controversy.  No comment that a lucid discussion of the facts  might have been in better.  But Leftism basically IS anger so I think we could chalk this down as a good proof of that

President Barack Obama just gave pitch-perfect delivery to one of the most brilliant pieces of writing on climate change you are ever going to see. At the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner Saturday night in DC, Obama used devastating humor to express rare passion and anger over climate science denial.

Obama is famously low key. That’s why on the hit Comedy Central show “Key & Peele,” Keegan-Michael Key plays “Luther, President Obama’s anger translator.”

In a hilarious admission that he has been too low key to convey the moral outrage justified by humanity’s myopic march toward self-destruction — and by the brazen denial of climate science by many conservatives — Obama brought out “Luther” to express that outrage. And then, in an ingenious twist, Obama became so outraged that he didn’t need Luther and in fact Luther himself couldn’t take the genuinely angry Obama, who says of denial, “What kind of stupid, shortsighted, irresponsible, bull–”


Silencing skeptics, conservatives and free speech

Congressional Democrats and Vatican join White House and Leftist assaults on basic rights

Paul Driessen

Our scientific method and traditions of free speech and open debate are under assault as never before, by intolerant inquisitors in our media, universities, government agencies, and even Congress and the Vatican.

They threaten our most basic rights and freedoms, our political and scientific processes – and ultimately our continued innovation and invention, energy reliability and affordability, job creation and economic growth, and modern living standards, health and welfare.

Congressman Grijalva and Senators Markey, Boxer and Whitehouse sent letters to universities, think tanks and companies, demanding detailed information on skeptics’ funding and activities – in an attempt to destroy their funding, reputations and careers, while advancing “crony climate alarm science.” Equally intolerable, Democrats and the White House are blocking efforts to ensure that environmental regulations are based on honest, unbiased, transparent, replicable science that accurately reflects real-world evidence.

The Secret Science Reform Act (S. 544) and its House counterpart would require that the Environmental Protection Agency develop its regulations and the science behind them in the open, and allow experts and other interested parties to examine data, evidence and studies that supposedly support EPA standards and mandates that could cost billions of dollars and millions of jobs. This should not be controversial.

But Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee wanted Chairman James Inhofe to drop the bill from a planned markup. He refused, the bill passed on a party-line vote, and a Senate vote will be set soon. President Obama says he will veto the legislation. Why this opposition?

Obama said his would be the most transparent administration in history. But transparency quickly took a back seat to his radical climate change, renewable energy and other plans to “fundamentally transform” the United States. EPA practices epitomize what goes on throughout his Executive Branch, why our economy is growing at 0.2% and what congressional Democrats are apparently determined to perpetuate.

The problem is not only EPA’s private email accounts and deleted emails, á la Hillary Clinton. It’s illegal experiments on humans – with test results ignored when they don’t support EPA’s agenda of removing the last vestige of soot from coal-fired power plants. It’s rules for 0.5% of the mercury in U.S. air, justified with claims that they would bring a 0.00209 point improvement in IQ scores; economy and job-killing climate regulations that would reduce warming by 0.03 degrees by 2100, assuming carbon dioxide actually does drive climate change; and equally bogus health and environmental benefits of every description that ignore adverse human health and welfare impacts of the EPA regulations themselves.

The President and Democrats claim the “secret science” bill would “unduly burden” regulators. Baloney. The rules would simply require that promulgators of government edicts live according to the same rules they impose on us: Be honest and transparent. Show us your data, calculations and analyses. Demonstrate that you have examined all relevant studies – not just what supports your agenda, while you ignore everything else. Back up your analyses and decisions with actual evidence. Answer our questions. Recognize that collusion, deceit and fraud have no place in public policy, and will no longer be tolerated.

What can possibly be wrong with those guidelines – unless the regulators have a lot to hide?

And now the Vatican is adopting the same secretive, agenda-driven, inquisition tactics.

Its Pontifical Academy of Sciences recently held a workshop on climate change and sustainability. But only religious leaders, scientists, bureaucrats and regulators who support alarmist perspectives on these issues were invited. Those with contrary views were neither invited, welcomed nor tolerated.

However, a dozen climate, health and theological experts skeptical of “dangerous manmade climate change” allegations hosted a press event the day before the workshop. Three of them managed to get into the Vatican event. But when Climate Depot director Marc Morano tried to ask the UN Secretary General to advise Pope Francis that many Catholics and other Christians believe the papal position on global warming is ill-advised, a security guard took Morano’s microphone away and told him, “control yourself, or you will be escorted out of here.” Apostates have no rights at climate confabs, Vatican or otherwise.

Apparently, in the Vatican’s view, there is nothing to discuss – only anti-fossil fuel laws and treaties to implement. Computer model predictions and other assertions of looming disaster are all the Pope and workshop attendees seem to need to support this agenda – even though they are consistently and completely contradicted by real-world observations. Instead of protecting Earth’s poorest people from energy deprivation, disease, poverty and death imposed in the name of preventing global warming, Pope Francis seems more devoted to newly green Liberation Theology concepts of “fairness” and “justice.”

As IPCC leaders have explained, the climate change agenda is no longer about the environment. It is now about “intentionally transforming” the global economy and negotiating the redistribution of the world’s wealth and natural resources, in the name of “social justice” and equal distribution of misery.

These developments are far too typical. Left-Liberal thought police refuse to debate their failed ideas and policies, because they have no answers to inconvenient questions and cannot stomach dissenting views.

On campuses, free expression is limited to boxing-ring-sized “free speech zones.” Conservative speakers are banned from university events, or shouted down if they do appear. The Universities of Michigan and Maryland tried to ban “American Sniper” because a couple hundred students out of 27,000 objected. Oberlin and Georgetown students railed that Christina Hoff Sommers’ mere presence required “trigger warnings,” caused them “distress” and “discomfort,” and “constituted violence” against women.

Brandeis disinvited Ayan Hirsi Ali, because her views on women’s rights might offend some Muslim men. Scripps revoked its invitation to conservative political analyst George Will, who later observed:

“Free speech has never been … more comprehensively, aggressively and dangerously threatened than it is now. Today’s attack is … an attack on the theory of freedom of speech … on the desirability of free speech and indeed … on the very possibility of free speech….

“The Democratic Party’s leading and prohibitively favored frontrunner candidate for the presidential nomination … said she wants to change the First Amendment in order to further empower the political class to regulate the quantity, content and timing of political speech about the political class – and so far as I can tell there’s not a ripple of commentary about this on the stagnant waters of the American journalistic community.”

Meanwhile, NYU happily hosted delegates from Iran, which hangs people for the crime of being gay. President Obama’s Internal Revenue Service harasses conservative donors and organizations, keeps groups out of the political process, stonewalls investigators and lies with impunity. His Federal Communications Commission plans to micromanage internet access, content and operations. At the behest of hyper-partisan Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm, police swat teams burst into homes belonging to Governor Scott Walker supporters, ransacked them, took computers, and told families “Don’t call a lawyer – or else.”

The abuses and intolerance are becoming broader, deeper, more frightening by the day: from Christendom to Islam and Climate Orthodoxy; from universities to the Congress, Vatican, EU and United Nations.

Good people everywhere need to rise up, speak out and fight back, if they still believe in individual rights, freedom of thought and expression, and honest, transparent, trustworthy, accountable government and religious institutions. Otherwise, these fundamental values will disappear – and with them will go modern society and living standards, and efforts to improve the lives of billions of people who still lack the lifesaving energy and technologies so many of us take for granted.

Via email

This EcoNonsense Has To Stop

Roy Spencer

I was watching a Ford commercial last night that highlighted their “EcoBoost” engine technology, which mostly involves turbocharging (nothing new) which allows higher efficiency, and thus greater power output with smaller engine displacements.

That “ecoboost” term sounded familiar, so I went and looked on my washing machine, and found an "ecoboost" switch.

I have no idea what the setting does. I’m pretty sure my washer isn’t turbocharged. And it can’t mean “less water” because the washer already fails to wash my clothes as it is.

I have to wonder how many marketing meetings are now dominated by discussion of how to work “eco” into new (or existing) products. Everyone wants to Save The Earth™, so if we can do that while we are buying more stuff, so much the better.

So, where did all this ecobabble come from? Well, as I recall the first ecoword was “ecology”, which from the Greek root words means “the study of annoying stuff”.

We now have eco-friendly eco-schools with eco-learning for eco-kids. Eco-cars, eco-news, eco-warriors, eco-awards. The list goes on eco nauseum.

The eco-trend does not seem to be nearing its eco-end, either. According to Google Trends, the term “eco” has been at an eco-high for several eco-years now.

The annoying part is that little if any eco-good is done with any eco-product, I suspect. History has shown that if we become less wasteful of some commodity, we will find a way to use more of it. As car engines become more fuel-efficient, we buy cars with bigger engines or we take longer drives.

Money we save on one thing ends up getting spent on something else, which inevitably uses more resources.

British company EasyJet has unveiled a new ecoJet technology to improve the energy efficiency of jet travel. I suppose if rocket engines become sufficiently efficient, we will all be taking eco-tourism trips into low Earth orbit.

Just think of how much energy we will be saving then!


New Cold Climate to Devastate Global Agriculture within Ten Years

Press Release below from Space and Science Research Corporation, commercial forecasters

The Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC) announces today that the predicted new cold climate will soon begin to end the historic era of growth in US and global agricultural output that began after the end of World War II. Specifically, as a result of recent events on the Sun and changes in the Earth's climate, the SSRC again warns that record crop yields and volume in the US and Canadian corn, wheat, and soybean belts are about to end. The SSRC expects the first substantial damage could be observed at any time but certainly within the next ten years.

This new announcement is based on a well researched set of new climate trends of oceanic and atmospheric temperatures, and solar activity.

The SSRC believes as long as the Sun continues its solar hibernation (a once every 206 year cold climate event) that we are on the precipice of a long term drop in global temperatures. It is entirely possible that the decades-long period of record global agricultural output that our world has enjoyed will soon be over, perhaps for many decades.

This ominous prediction is accentuated by the fact that governments worldwide and their agricultural corporations, systems, and farmers, are preparing for more global warming and doing nothing to adapt to the ongoing transition to a new potentially dangerous cold climate.

According to SSRC President Mr. John L. Casey, "The era of bumper crops that the US and Canadian breadbasket has been delivering for decades, is about to come to an end. The production levels seen in recent years are unsustainable in view of the dramatic decline in temperatures we are expected to see. Unfortunately, the world's agricultural industry and our fellow citizens are totally unprepared for the new cold climate."

The rationale for the SSRC prediction of devastation to global agriculture within ten years is available for download from the link.



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


3 May, 2015

A foolish Pope?

Excerpt from a report below on a projected Papal encyclical on global warming.  If expectations are correct it will make old Frank a very foolish Pope indeed.  From encyclicals De rerum novarum to Centesimus Annus (and, Yes, I have read both of them) Popes have always trod a middle way between Left and Right.  Even Brennender Sorge can be read that way. And for a church that claims universality, that is the only prudent path. Times change and hitching your wagon to ANY current enthusiasm is likely to make you look ridiculous in the long run. Redemption is the only proper enthusiasm for the church.

An encyclical is clearly an occasion when a Pope speaks
ex-cathedra on a matter of faith and morals so it gives the seal of Papal infallibility to whatever the encyclical says.  It commits all his successors to his assertions.  Endorsing any particular secular gospel would therefore be exceedingly unwise.

The Pope does however have many conservative advisers.  Perhaps he will learn from the carefully-worded waffle of his predecessor, a predecessor who is still alive and nearby to advise him.  Benedict basically said:  "Yes the environment is super important and we should all do something about it".  Which committed him to precisely nothing.  So, despite present appearances, the new encyclical could well be as cautiously worded, with emollient words for everybody but no explicit committment to anything.

Frank is a strange Jesuit.  Jesuits are supposed to be scholarly but I have seen no sign of that in him. He is just a typical South  American priest under considerable influence from liberation theology as far as I can see.  Liberation theology is all heart and no head.  But Frank is undoubtably a man of great personal holiness so being influenced more by emotion than by reason is in keeping. He is a good man, whatever else he is

Perhaps I should take back my claim that he is no intellectual.  He does after all tweet in Latin, which must help to keep Latin alive.  And as an old traditionalist and a very amateur Latinist, that seems somehow important to me.  His latest tweet at the time of writing was
"Tot rebus, interdum gravissimis, afflicti, spem ne neglegamus in misericordia Dei infinita ponere".  Since at the time of writing I could see no translation into English online, perhaps I should have a go at translating it: "Concerning afflictions, even the most grave, we must never lose hope in the infinite mercy of God."

The tweet appeared to be a response to the disaster in Nepal.  It is appropriately holy but whether the Hindu Nepalese were in any way comforted by it we may never know. Nepali and Latin are related languages but the relationship is not close

The encyclical on the environment from Pope Francis is stimulating a great deal of discussion and hope in academia and the environmental movement. The encyclical is expected in June or July.

The pope wants to make the environment one of the signature issues of his papacy. As he explained to reporters three days after his election, one of the reasons he took the name Francis was because St. Francis of Assisi is “the man who loves and protects creation.” He went on to say, “These days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we?”

Conservationists are hoping that the encyclical’s attitude toward animals, especially wildlife, will reflect the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, according to Lonnie Ellis, associate director of Catholic Climate Covenant.

The encyclical is widely expected to give support to those who attribute climate change to human activity since the pope has already said he accepts this scientific conclusion. Although popes are clearly not infallible when it comes to science, Francis is the first pope to have a modern scientific training: He was educated as a chemist and worked as one in Argentina before he entered the seminary.

Christiana Peppard of Fordham University said she hopes the encyclical will affirm that “contemporary science is a marvelous way of knowing the world and that it represents a collective, collaborative way of discerning important realities about the Earth that we share, and thus that there is zero justification for skepticism of climate change among Catholics.”


Updated Satellite Data Puts a Chill on Global Warming

More bad news for climate scaremongers. Remote Sensing Systems recordings, which more accurately reflect global temperatures, have perplexed many scientists ever since they revealed a global warming hiatus that’s now lasted for more than 18 years. In response, alarmists have trashed RSS findings in favor of NOAA’s complicated and flawed method. Three University of Alabama climatologists, Roy Spencer, John Christy and William Braswell, just concluded additional research on UAH Version 6, an alternative system used to study global temperatures. Not only did the new research cast further doubt on the claims of climate alarmists, but the adjustments revealed similar results to that of RSS.

The Daily Caller’s Michael Bastasch explains, “Version 6 of the satellite data shows faster warming in the early part of the satellite record, which stretches from Dec. 1978 to March 2015, but shows reduced, or even eliminated, warming in the latter part of the record, wrote climatologists Roy Spencer, John Christy and William Braswell. UAH Version 6 satellite data now shows a decreased warming trend of 0.114 degrees Celsius per decade, compared to Version 5.6’s 0.140 degree trend.”

Dr. Spencer notes, “Even though our approach to that adjustment … is empirical, it is interesting to see that it gives similar results to the RSS approach, which is based upon climate model calculations of the diurnal cycle in temperature.”

You can read more about why revisions are necessary and, notably, how these revisions are different than NOAA’s alleged tampering with historical data. To summarize, UAH’s newest finding is another inconvenient truth for envirofascists — which is exactly why they’ll ignore it.


Time to End the Production Tax Credit Once and For All

If we want to build a healthier American economy, Congress must stop supporting special interests at the expense of our nation’s economic potential. The Production Tax Credit is a prime example of just how much this self-destructive pattern hurts competition, enables waste and works against the middle class.

Created in 1992 as a temporary provision to encourage investment in nascent forms of energy, the PTC has ballooned from a short term boost to aid innovation into a massive handout for the now multibillion-dollar wind industry. Since the PTC’s inception, wind energy production has surged from 2.8 million to 167.6 million megawatt-hours. That’s an increase of nearly 6,000 percent. Meanwhile, according to the Department of Energy, the cost of a wind turbine has come down by as much as 40 percent since 2008. The wind industry is also producing on a regular basis more energy than the market demands.

Common sense says that a mature and self-sufficient wind industry should no longer be paid for by the American taxpayer. But, common sense is a rare commodity in Washington and it becomes even scarcer when the special interest spigot has been opened.

The wind industry is now larger than ever and so is its influence on Capitol Hill. And with the growth in the wind industry’s lobbying have come perpetual increases in the PTC’s price tag. Last year, the PTC cost taxpayers $1.5 billion. This year it’s projected to cost $2.8 billion. Next year – $3.5 billion.

The PTC also fosters vast market distortion and even puts the environment at risk. The credit pays out per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy produced. That means the more energy you generate, the more money you make – regardless of actual demand. Wind power generators looking to milk the credit for all it’s worth are going to generate as much wind energy as possible. They then sell at artificially low prices and sometimes even engage in negative pricing, where they pay grid operators to take the load off their hands.

All of this puts immense pressure on non-PTC eligible clean energy producers, such as natural gas and nuclear, that are forced to compete on the skewed playing field of price-warping subsidies. In fact, all things considered, wind power in 2010 received 18-times the subsidies of nuclear power and 88-times those of natural gas per kWh. Ironically, because of this dynamic, the PTC can foster greater dependence on baseload energy resources that are worse for the environment.

Over its long life, the PTC has expired and been renewed nine times. In theory, the PTC is expired right now. In reality, the PTC is more like a walking-dead credit because it pays eligible claimants for ten years of energy produced. Facilities that met vague “beginning of construction” standards just before the PTC “expired” on Dec. 31, 2014 will receive credits until 2025 or beyond. That assumes special interests do not succeed in getting PTC extended yet again. Just a one-year extension comes with an estimated 10-year cost of $6.4 billion. If made permanent, as President Obama requested in his 2016 budget, taxpayers would be hit with a $35 billion bill to pay.

The wind industry has greatly matured since PTC’s inception, and it should not be spoon-fed by taxpayers any longer. Even the American Wind Energy Association recognized this back in 2012 when it publically supported a future phase-out of the PTC.

By beginning to take on such wasteful, counter-productive subsidies, Congress can show how serious we are in tackling true tax reform. This is why we introduced the PTC Elimination Act. Our legislation significantly scales back PTC handouts to those who remain eligible and completely dismantles the credit’s statutory framework. Similar proposals have been estimated to save taxpayers $9.6 billion.

But the PTC Elimination Act doesn’t stop there. It uses the savings to lower the U.S. corporate tax rate, which, being the highest in the world, is a major handicap for American businesses. Even President Obama agrees that the corporate rate has to come down if we want to keep U.S. businesses competitive.

Let’s put the American people first, bring new life to the U.S. economy, and eliminate the PTC once and for all.


Money and climate politics

Despite studies highlighting the economic benefits and safety record of fracking and other innovative drilling techniques, government officials at different levels have worked to block such practices.

Denton, Texas, in the very heart of oil country, has outlawed extraction within its limits in recent weeks. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, banned fracking in his state last December. And in March, the Obama administration announced it was moving forward with new federal regulations on fracking through the Interior Department.

On to Pennsylvania

The results of these policies can be seen the length and breadth of the Marcellus Shale region, which cuts across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions of New York, northern and western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, western Maryland, and much of West Virginia.

With New York off limits for fracking, the action has moved to Pennsylvania, where a proposed pipeline would help Pennsylvania producers sell the natural gas they harvest from the Marcellus Shale. The 114-mile PennEast Pipeline would carry the gas from Dallas, Pa., in the Poconos, to Mercer County, N.J.

One study, from the Concentric Energy Advisors, shows it’s a good deal for ratepayers—it’s enough low-cost gas to heat 4.7 million homes and would have saved New Jersey consumers almost $900 million if it had been in place by winter 2013-2014.

Despite those potential benefits, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, a non-profit based in Bristol, Pa., that enjoys substantial financial support from the William Penn Foundation, is pushing back against the pipeline.

It has built its arguments against the pipeline around allegations that it would lead to environmental degradation.

The conclusion of the pipeline debate may provide another example of how outside money shapes policy positions.


UN Backs Coal Power for the Poor

The United Nations is breaking with the World Bank and environmental non-governmental organizations, agreeing to continue coal-fired power plants in developing countries.

At the behest of the Obama administration and with the support of international environmental non-governmental organizations, the world bank began to reduce funding  coal-fired power plants in the developing world in 2011 and in 2013 it adopted a new policy curtailing such loans even further, “provid[ing] financial support for greenfield coal power generation projects only in rare circumstances,” such as where there are “no feasible alternatives to coal.”

By contrast, he United Nation (UN) green climate fund (GCF) refused an explicit ban on fossil fuel projects at March meeting in Songdo, South Korea, according to a report in Power Engineering International (3/30/15).

‘Clean-coal reduces carbon-dioxide emissions’

In supporting coal-fired power plants for developing countries, the UN reasoned that these countries should and would develop using coal as a source of electricity. Therefore, the GCF would provide funding to ensure the coal-fired power plants built are the most advanced, cleanest, coal plants available. Otherwise, the UN feared, poor nations would adopt the cheapest, if dirtiest, coal technologies available.

Japan, China and Saudi Arabia favored the UN's position. Speaking for the Japanese government, Takako Ito, a foreign ministry spokeswoman told the Associated Press, “Japan is of the view that the promotion of high-efficiency coal-fired power plants is one of the realistic, pragmatic and effective approaches to cope with the issue of climate change." Japan backed its words with more than $1.6 billion in loans for coal plants in Bangladesh, India and Indonesia.

IEA on board

The International Energy Agency Clean Coal Center (CCC) also welcomed the UN's decision to fund coal power in developing countries. Dr Andrew Minchener of the CCC told Power Engineering International, "I am very pleased to see a further rejection of the World Bank and others blanket ban on support for clean coal technology. The provision of financial support for high-efficiency low emissions coal-fired power plants is an effective means to reduce the overall carbon intensity of the world’s coal power fleet, while also helping many people in developing countries to escape poverty."

The IEA CCC’s Head of Communications, Debo Adams echoed Minchener’s view, stating "At this stage, the options are not clean coal or 100 per cent renewables, they are largely dirty coal without much help, or clean coal if support is given to cover the higher installation costs of more efficient plants with pollution control technologies."


Are you now or have you ever been a climate contrarian?

The fury over Bjorn Lomborg in Australia confirms the intolerance of Greens.  It's not enough to agree with their beliefs;  You must agree with their policies too

Once, it was Communists who were harassed on Western campuses. Now it’s contrarians. Specifically ‘climate contrarians’. The massive stink over Bjorn Lomborg being given Australian government funding to set up a climate-change centre at the University of Western Australia (UWA) shows that the spirit of McCarthyism lives on. Only now, its targets aren’t Reds, but anti-greens: anyone who dares to criticise either the science — sorry, The Science — or the politics of climate change.

Lomborg is the Danish-born author of the bestselling book The Skeptical Environmentalist (2001). He’s the rattler of greens across the globe with his claims that climate change is not the biggest problem facing humanity, and to the extent that it is a problem we should develop our way out of it rather than cutting back on fossil-fuel use and forcing everyone to live ‘sustainable lives’, which is only fancy code for eco-friendly poverty. So it was inevitable, given green hostility to any criticism of their creed, that Lomborg’s appointment at UWA would start a stir. But even by the standards of denier-denouncing environmentalists, the fury over Lomborg heading Down Under has been intense — and revealing.

Lomborg is being given $4million, apparently on the say so of Australian PM Tony Abbott himself, to set up and oversee the Australia Consensus Centre. It will be the new arm of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, the US-based think-tank Lomborg runs. No sooner had it been announced that Lomborg and his centre would be setting up shop at UWA than Aussie (and international) academics were spitting blood, and the liberal media Down Under were churning out pieces asking why the hell university space and cash were being given to someone who — horror of horrors — ‘downgrades climate change’. (Not denies it, you’ll note — just ‘downgrades’ it. It seems that even saying ‘I don’t think climate change is the most pressing issue in the world’ is now a sin that will earn you stinging demonisation.)

The Australia Guardian questions the fitness of Lomborg for university life. Green-leaning writers demand the Oz government ‘pull the plug’ on the Lomborg centre, outraged that it might argue that climate change should be ‘placed well down [the] list of global priorities’. At the UWA itself, academics and students held a meeting that one described as being ‘like a Rolling Stones concert’ (it was packed and heated), at which there was ‘riotous applause’ when staff called for UWA to ‘end [its] deal with the climate-change contrarian’. Rolling Stones gig, or mob? The UWA Student Guild joined with their professors to demand that UWA refuse to ‘engage controversial climate contrarian Bjorn Lomborg’, on the basis that having him on campus would ‘harm UWA’s world-class reputation’. An online petition demands that, ‘In the name of science’, Lomborg should be rejected by UWA; it has more than 6,000 signatures.

Reading these very public denunciations of a man who has committed the sin of ‘contrarianism’ and who thus must be denied the oxygen of a university position, you get a sense of what it must have been like on some American campuses in the 1950s. Then, academics were asked ‘Are you now or have you even been a Communist?’; now gangs of raging professors, journalists and finger-jabbing students demand of them: ‘Are you now or have you ever been a climate-change contrarian?’ Much of the commentary on Lomborg’s appointment obsesses over funding his think-tank has received in the past, including from foundations ‘with links to’ various ‘vulture capitalists’. They’re painting a demented picture of Lomborg being a front, a mole, for a vast and sinister network of climate deniers, invading a prestigious university with his ‘dangerous views’ — just as surely as McCarthyites once presented very left-wing academics as the possibly Soviet-foisted corrupters of American campuses.

There’s also a palpable religious feel to the denunciations. That student-started petition calling for Lomborg to be kept off campus demands that this be done ‘In the name of science’. Once we had ‘In the name of the Lord’, now we have ‘In the name of science’. The terminology used to denounce those who question climate change, particularly ‘DENIER’, brings to mind dark, intolerant episodes from history when anyone who called into question the truth of the Bible or the authority of the Church was likewise hounded out of universities (think John Wycliffe, expelled from Oxford in 1382 for riling church elders).

The most striking thing about the Lomborg scandal in Australia is the invention of a new term of abuse: ‘climate contrarian’. This is how Lomborg is being referred to by all the metaphorical pitchfork-wielders. Why? Because he isn’t a climate-change denier. He has said repeatedly that he thinks climate change is real and needs to be tackled, just not in the way mainstream greens think it should. So here, explicitly, we can see that someone is being demonised not for being ‘anti-science’ — the usual, unconvincing justification for shutting down criticism of the politics of climate change — but simply for holding the allegedly wrong political and moral views, for daring to put forward an alternative policy vision for environmental problems. As the UWA Student Guild said, ‘While Dr Lomborg doesn’t refute climate change itself’, he does have a ‘controversial track record [as a] climate contrarian’. And we can’t have controversy on a campus, can we?

This scandal exposes the true intolerance of the eco-lobby, their real censorious urge — which is not merely to ringfence science from ridicule, which is bad enough, but to prevent the expression of contrarian ideas. For years, greens have presented themselves as merely the rational, reasoned defenders of science against gangs of charlatans, when in truth they were all about protecting an ideology: the ideology of no-growth, of anti-development, of anti-progress, of population control, of modern-day misanthropy, fortified with bits of science but really expressing an underlying, elitist, growing contempt for humanity and its achievements.

Now, in their assaults on Lomborg, their nakedly political censorship, their moral policing, their desire to deflect any criticism of their miserabilist, illiberal moral outlook, has been brilliantly exposed: they want to shut this man down, not because he denies scientific facts, but because he thinks differently to them. It is undiluted intolerance, and at a university too. Proof that the Western academy in the 21st century is giving the old heresy-hunting Church a run for its money in the bigotry-and-dogma stakes.



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 May, 2015

Surprise admission on CBS: Earth 'Not As Warm...As the Climate Models Predicted'

On Friday's CBS Evening News, a NASA scientist made a surprising admission about climate change during a report about an erupting volcano in South America. Correspondent Michelle Miller turned to Dr. Allegra LeGrande, who detailed how the gases from a volcanic eruption can lead to a reduction in the amount of sunlight that reaches the Earth. Le Grande added that "this is a small component of why we're not as warm today as the climate models predicted we would be seven years ago." [video below]

All three broadcast network evening newscasts aired full reports on the back-to-back eruptions from the Calbuco volcano in Chile. However, only CBS Evening News mentioned the possible impact on the climate. Miguel Almaguer zeroed in on the disruption of airliner traffic on NBC Nightly News. On ABC's World News Tonight, Matt Gutman spotlighted how the ash fall is impacting the region's inhabitants.

Weeks earlier, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts all hyped NASA and NOAA's reports that 2014 was the warmest year on record. As the MRC's Julia Seymour pointed out, this was "despite scientists who showed it was 'statistically meaningless.'...there was only a 48 percent chance 2014 was actually the warmest on record, based on NOAA's own data. NASA's probability was even less: just 38 percent."


Vatican Burns with Global Warming Enthusiasm

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences had its one-day global warming conference yesterday. Not unlike a certain synod, it ended with the issuing of an anticlimactic pre-prepared climatic document “Climate Change and The Common Good: A Statement Of The Problem And The Demand For Transformative Solutions.”

Gist: we are soon doomed unless we “do something.”

More on that in a moment. First, the Big Question. Why? Why is the Catholic Church entering into the fray of doubtful global warming science? Why now and why with such shrill apocalyptic exaggerated rhetoric?  Why strident calls for supranational government control at the same time the actual evidence for doom grows weaker and weaker?

Consider this. Used to be in the West when the Catholic Church spoke, people listened. Reporters and politicians would come calling before writing articles or making decisions and ask, “What say you, Mr. Bishop?”  And the people, when they heard what the Church had to say, listened. They considered. Sure, they sometimes rejected, perhaps even more often than they heeded. But the Church was an influence. And it liked being one.

Not so now. The West has these past fifty or so years assumed an adversarial stance towards our ancient and venerable institution. The press, politicians, and people no longer care what the clergy has to say on designer babies (i.e. eugenics), abortion, homosexual acts, same-sex “marriage”, you name it. Not when a recalcitrant Church disallows female priests, divorce, and every other thing the secular salivate over.

This volte-face must sting, particularly for the old timers who lived during the Good Old Days of deference. The longing they feel probably accounts for why certain of our more mature clergy (and their recruits) work vigorously to steer the Church towards political shoals and away from deep spiritual water (who doesn’t love nautical metaphors?).

Now to the global warming conference. The reader should understand Yours Truly is a certified expert in these areas, a genuine climate scientist, with a specialty in the goodness and usefulness of models, the very kinds of models which predict our doom.

The models are wrong. And have been for decades.

How do I know this? Here’s a sentence from an open letter skeptics presented to the PAS (to hand to Pope Francis) at its conference (I am a signer of this letter):

"There has been a growing divergence between real-world temperature observations and model simulations. On average, models simulate more than twice the observed warming over the relevant period. Over 95% of the models simulate greater warming than has been observed, and only a tiny percentage come tolerably close."

It is a logical truth, and a fact once known to all scientists, that models which make consistently lousy predictions imply the theories underlying them are false. Since the models make lousy forecasts, we know the theories upon which the models are based are wrong. And since these theories are wrong, they should not be believed. And since they should not be believed, we should not base decisions on them.

Now you’d think these happy deductions would be welcome news to our political and spiritual betters. But they aren’t, because why? Because if there is no problem, there is no problem to solve. And if there is no problem to solve, there is no need to seek political power to solve the nonexistent problem.

But some in the Church and most politicians want something to solve. We’re reached the point where politics dictate science. This explains why Senator Barbara Boxer recently attacked scientists like Yours Truly for (her words) disseminating research designed to “confuse the public.”

Finally to the PAS document itself. There is scarcely anything in it that is scientifically accurate. Everywhere, it assumes what it seeks to prove, and uses model-based predictions of doom as proof the models are correct. The document is a dismal exercise in special pleading and is painful to read. It would take a small book to detail every mistake, so we’ll have to stick to the most curious.

The opening sentences of its “Declaration”:

"Unsustainable consumption coupled with a record human population and the uses of inappropriate technologies are causally linked with the destruction of the world’s sustainability and resilience. Widening inequalities of wealth and income, the world-wide disruption of the physical climate system and the loss of millions of species that sustain life are the grossest manifestations of unsustainability."

Causally linked are powerful words in science. It means we know why things happen. But we do not. If we did, our models would make good predictions. Wealth and income are growing more inequitable, but is that caused by blundering governments or a “world-wide disruption of the physical climate system”?  Answer: there is no disruption. The claim that millions of species will turn in their dinner pails doesn’t even border on scientific malfeasance. It crosses over and enters into the sorrowful land of Deliberate Exaggeration.

It is a well trodden realm. PAS says “Global warming is already having major impacts on extreme weather and climate events.” This is false. Unless by “impact” they mean the observed diminution of extreme events? “Collectively, this warming and the extreme events it has brought in its wake, such as heat waves, intense storms, and forest fires….” Ah. They do not. What else can I tell you except that this statement is demonstrably false? The document contains many of its brothers.

Twenty years ago we were told there was still time, but only just. Action had to happen now, else the tipping point would be breached. We survived. But the PAS again says there is still time. If we act now. The call for action is proof of the theory bruited above: “The Catholic church, working with the leadership of other religions, can take a decisive role by mobilizing public opinion and public funds….”

How? By “reorient[ing] our attitude toward nature and, thereby, toward ourselves” and by recognizing “religious institutions are in a special position to promote” sustainability. As I wrote elsewhere, if you think global warming’s bad, wait till you meet sustainability. Sustainability is the fundamentalism that will replace all other environmental causes.  Global warming made itself vulnerable by exposing itself to verification. Sustainability is immune to testing. It is taken on faith.

As I wrote, “True Sustainability is a goal ever disappearing into the distance, one which can never be reached, but which must be pursued with ever increasing vigor.” The PAS document is suffused with sustainability; the word or its variants appears dozens of times. They say we are engaged in “unsustainable consumption,” that climate change will “seriously threaten global sustainability,” that we must “save as much of the sustainable fabric of the world as possible,” that we must celebrate “living together in comfort and sustainably,” that we must “develop a sustainable relationship with our planet.”

And what is the Pontifical Academy’s definition of sustainable?  You guessed it. They never give one.


It is a bad time to be in the renewable energy industry

By Marita Noon

windmill kit2015 may go down in the books as the year support for renewable energy died — and we are only a few months in. Policy adjustments — whether for electricity generation or transportation fuels — are in the works on both the state and federal levels.

While the public is generally positive about the idea of renewable energy, the reality of years-long policy implementation that offers it special favors has changed public opinions. An October 2014 report in Oklahoma’s Enid News titled: “Wind worries?: A decade after welcoming wind farms, states reconsider,” offers this insightful summary:

“A decade ago, states offered wind-energy developers an open-armed embrace, envisioning a bright future for an industry that would offer cheap electricity, new jobs and steady income for large landowners, especially in rural areas with few other economic prospects. To ensure the opportunity didn’t slip away, lawmakers promised little or no regulation and generous tax breaks. But now that wind turbines stand tall across many parts of the nation’s windy heartland, some leaders in Oklahoma and other states fear their efforts succeeded too well, attracting an industry that gobbles up huge subsidies, draws frequent complaints and uses its powerful lobby to resist any reforms.”

But, it isn’t just wind energy that has fallen from favor. 2015 state and federal legislation reflects the “reconsider” prediction. Likewise “powerful” lobbyists are resisting the proposed reforms.

Oklahoma is just one state in what has become a new trend.

About a decade ago, when more than half of the states enacted strict Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), Oklahoma, and a few other states, agreed to voluntary targets. Now, nearly one-third of those states are reconsidering the legislation that sounded so good in a different energy era. Back then, it was widely believed that there was an energy shortage and “dealing with global warming” was a higher public priority.

“Roughly 30 bills relating to the Oklahoma wind industry have been filed in the state legislature in the 2015 session, including at least one targeting the tax breaks and others attempting to alter regulatory policies,” reports Fox News. On April 16, the Oklahoma House voted, 78-3, to eliminate the wind energy tax credit. The measure now moves to the Senate, which will review a companion bill introduced by Senator Mike Mazzei — it is expected to pass and will likely be headed to Governor Mary Fallin soon.

Oklahoma isn’t the first state to reconsider its renewable energy policies. That distinction goes to Ohio, which in May 2014, passed legislation that paused the state’s RPS for two years. Governor Kasich signed it in June. Meanwhile, according to Eli Miller, the Ohio State Director for Americans for Prosperity, “The economic well-being of our working families and businesses can be factored in before moving forward.” The International Business Times projects that the two years a commission has to study will lead to a “permanent reduction.”

Earlier this year, West Virginia became the first state to repeal its RPS. With unanimous support in the Senate and a 95-4 vote in the House, renewable energy supporters are dismayed. Calling it “pure political theater and probably a flop,” Nick Lawton, Staff Attorney at the Green Energy Institute dismisses the move: “West Virginia’s withdrawal of its weak renewable energy policy is unlikely to significantly change that state’s energy markets.” Nancy Guthrie, one of the four Democrats who voted “no,” did so because she believes “we are running out of coal, it’s that simple” — which is, of course, totally incorrect.

Last month the Texas Senate voted to end its RPS and another program that, according to the Star Telegram, “helped fuel the state’s years-long surge in wind energy production.” The bill now moves to the House State Affairs Committee. It is expected to pass the House and be signed by Governor Greg Abbott. While Texas is known for its leadership in wind energy, the termination of the RPS will impact the solar industry as well. Charlie Hemmeline, executive director of the Texas Solar Power Association, states, “Increasing uncertainty for our industry raises the cost of doing business in the state.”

Coming up, Kansas, North Carolina, and Michigan have legislation that revisits the states’ favorable renewable energy policies.

New Mexico and Colorado had bills to repeal or revise the RPS that passed in one chamber, but not in the other.

While Louisiana doesn’t have an RPS, it does have generous tax credits for solar panel installations that have exploded the cost to the state’s taxpayers. The credits were originally expected to cost the state $500,000 a year. In 2014, the payouts ballooned to $63.5 million according to the Baton Rouge Advocate. Repealing or revising the policy is a key priority in the current legislative session.

“Taxpayer support for wind energy is also losing momentum in Congress,” says Fox News. It points out: “Capitol Hill lawmakers at the end of last year did not extend the Federal Production Tax Credit (PTC). And in March, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), failed to rally support behind an amendment that would have put a five-year extension on the PTC.”

It is not just wind energy that has lost favor in Congress. The ethanol mandates — known as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) — are being re-examined, too.

On January 16, 2015, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced the “Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015.”

More recently, a “former Obama economic adviser” issued a report that calls for changes to the 10-year-old RFS. Harvard University Professor Jim Stock served on the Council of Economic Advisers in 2013 and 2014. The Hill states, “His report comes at a time of growing angst among lawmakers, regulators and the industry over the future of the RFS, which mandates fuel refiners blend a certain volume of ethanol and biodiesel into their traditional gasoline and diesel supplies.” The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) supports the sentiment calling Stock’s report “a key voice to a growing chorus of people who say the policy isn’t working.” It continues, “The report adds to a growing body of politicians and experts who are questioning the law’s effectiveness amid regulatory uncertainty and lower prices.”

Hawaii, uniquely, has its own ethanol mandate, but it, too, is coming under attack. KHON states, “Nine years after a major change at the gas pump was forced on Hawaii drivers, many are now calling it a failed experiment and want it gone.”

In both the case of Hawaii and the federal government, lawmakers are looking toward advanced biofuels that don’t raise food costs. However, the Environmental Protection Agency — tasked with implementing the RFS — has repeatedly waived or reduced the cellulosic biofuel requirements because, despite more than $126 billion invested since 2003, the industry has yet to produce commercially-viable quantities of fuel.

Addressing dwindling investment in biofuels and growing skepticism, The Economist, on April 18, says, “Campaigners generally find it easier to fulminate against those which damage the environment or food security than to explain exactly how they ought to be grown.” It concludes, “Whether such bright ideas can be commercialised at scale is a different question. Some companies, indeed, are starting to give up. Several algae-to-fuel ventures in America are switching to the manufacture of high-value chemicals instead. Sunlight is a great source of energy. Biology may not be the best way of storing it.”

And this doesn’t include the public’s failure to embrace higher-priced electric cars — even with tens of thousands of dollars of subsidies and tax credits.

Looking at all the policy reviews, the trend is clear. As, in a report titled “Why repealing the renewable energy mandates is good for the economy” concludes, “The best policy for the states is to leave energy consumption decisions to consumers in the market rather than legislate them.”


‘Denier’ Delingpole Immortalised on Climate Change Wall of Infamy

by James Delingpole

I’m proud to announce that I have won a major art competition.  Oh all right. (Modesty, James. Modesty!). I am one of several climate change sceptics to have been celebrated and immortalised in an exciting new, prizewinning art installation at Anglia Ruskin, one of Britain’s largest universities. (h/t Liam Deacon)

It comprises a faux-stone slab (made out of plywood) engraved with my own name and that of five other British climate sceptics – Christopher Booker, Nigel Lawson, Christopher Monckton, Melanie Phillips, Owen Paterson – beneath the legend “Lest We Forget Those Who Denied.” The sculpture has been described as an “oil painting with a difference” because a continuous stream of engine oil drools symbolically over the “deniers'” names, like tragic sea otters after an Exxon spill.

The piece, which won the university’s 2015 Sustainability Art Prize, was the creation of third year fine art student Ian Wolter.

Wolter has explained his meisterwerk thus:  “With this work I envisage a time when the deliberate denial of climate change will be seen as a crime because it hinders progress towards a low carbon future.”

The prize – £250 and a certificate – was presented to him by the head of the university’s art department.

Among those who have praised the work is the director of the university’s Global Sustainability Institute, Dr Aled Jones.

Dr Jones told me:  “It’s a very impressive installation, complex and very political.”

I quite agree and am hugely proud to find myself in the distinguished company of some of Britain’s finest journalists and most brave and outspoken politicians, including a former Chancellor of the Exchequer and the former Secretary of State for the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Jolly well done, young Ian! And thank you for caring.


Sec. Vilsack: ‘We Have To Get Ahead’ of Climate Change by Reducing CO2

“In order to address climate change, we have to get ahead of it,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday during a speech at Michigan State University in East Lansing – where the late-April temperature averaged a chilly 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
Vilsack was in Michigan to announce a “voluntary strategy” between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and America’s farmers and ranchers to address climate change by reducing agricultural carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 120 million metric tons over the next decade.

“This strategy accomplishes three major goals,” Vilsack said. “First, it recognizes and rewards what farmers, ranchers and foresters are already doing. It gives them access to the resources and assistance they need to do even more to adapt to climate change, increase carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Second, through these voluntary actions by the agriculture and forestry sectors, we expect to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions and enhance carbon sequestration by over 120 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year by the year 2025," the agriculture secretary said.

”Third, it further positions the United States and our producers as global leaders in climate smart agriculture and forestry. It demonstrates to the world these sectors can provide solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously boosting productivity to meet growing demands for food and fiber.”

Vilsacks’ targeted goal of 120 million metric tons of CO2 is equivalent to “about 2% of economy-wide net greenhouse emissions,” according to a fact sheet issued by the USDA.

The strategy includes “10 building blocks ranging from improving soil health and nutrient management, to enhancing stewardship of federal forests, to working with utilities to improve energy efficiency in rural America,” Vilsack noted.

Other goals include increasing the number of “no-till” acres from 67 million to over 100 million by 2025, and providing financial incentives for farmers and ranchers to invest in 500 new anaerobic digesters that convert methane from cow and pig manure into heat and electricity.

The USDA also plans to encourage the planting of 9,000 trees per year in urban areas to “reduce energy costs, storm water runoff, and urban heat island effects while increasing carbon sequestration, curb appeal and property values.”

Vilsack was joined at the nation’s oldest agricultural college by senior White House Advisor Brian Deese and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), who said in a statement that “as our climate changes, (farmers, ranchers and foresters’) ability to produce our food, timber and fiber will become increasingly strained and uncertain. That’s why it’s important we begin to address the issues of climate change in a serious way.”

However, the widely-held belief that atmospheric CO2, which plants utilize during photosynthesis, is the main driver of global warming has been challenged by a number of scientific papers in recent years.

“The observational evidence strongly suggest that climate models display too much sensitivity to carbon dioxide concentrations and in almost all cases exaggerate the likely path of global warming,” independent UK climate scientist Nic Lewis and Danish science writer Marcel Crok noted in a 2014 report.

Both authors were expert reviewers of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report warning that rising CO2 emissions were the main cause of potentially catastrophic global warming.

According to another UN report, worldwide crop production is at record levels despite a 14 percent increase in atmospheric CO2 between 1982 and 2010.

A June 2013 study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a peer-reviewed journal, also stated that the CO2 “fertilization effect is now a significant land surface process” that has created “a greening of the globe over recent decades.”


How the Sierra Club’s Lexus Liberals’ Agenda Hurts Poor Americans

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and the whole gang of Democratic leaders claim that one of their highest priorities is to lift up the middle class and reduce the income gap between rich and poor.

That goal collides with what they admit is their very highest priority: stopping climate change. Their agenda is driven by the millionaire and billionaire Democratic donors who make the party possible. But the agenda also involves making energy, home heating, transportation and just about everything else less efficient and more expensive to the middle class and poor. The people who lose their jobs when the climate-change Stalinists prevail are the people at the bottom and the middle of the income ladder.

The billionaire club members don’t seem to mind this collateral damage. Last week billionaire Tom Steyer convened the uber-rich liberal donor base at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle — nice — to pontificate about how much they care about polar bears, the Arctic ice caps and rising sea levels.

As Politico reported earlier this week, Steyer had “his fingerprints are all over this week’s spring meeting of the Democracy Alliance — an indication that the influential coalition of liberal donors intends to spend big to elevate climate change, and that Steyer plans to be at the forefront.”

All of the major action items will hurt unions, reduce wages, drive up unemployment, and make the poor poorer. Steyer may as well be saying of America’s working class: Let them eat cake.

For several years now, the environmental conferences in posh places like Aspen, Sun Valley and Rio become parking lots for private jets. Hillary Clinton requires a private plane when she gives her $200,000 speeches. She and her jolly green friends then opine about why the poor should do their part to help save the planet by giving up coal mining, trucking, welding, construction, pipe-fitting, drilling and other jobs that are vital to their very livelihoods.

Farmers in California have to watch the browning of their state and the loss of their property to save salmon and trout. Some 42,000 fewer Americans have jobs thanks to Obama’s decision at the behest of the Environmental Defense Fund to kill the Keystone XL pipeline.

What humanitarians these people are. I had much more respect for this crowd when they were bleeding hearts. Though their policy ideas were often misguided, at least they cared about the less fortunate. Now they are willing to nail the poor to a cross of green.

Steyer and his pals like President Obama have been running around the country telling Americans that the greatest crisis in America today is global warming. But working-class people universally reject that notion. Nearly every poll of voters over the last several years consistently finds Americans rank jobs, incomes, terrorism, the national debt, schools and other such daily concerns at the top of the list of policy priorities. Global warming almost always ranks last or very near the bottom — which is amazing, given the billions that have been spent on this propaganda campaign.

A Gallup poll found in March 2015 that only 2 percent of Americans perceive the “environment/pollution” as the nation’s “most important problem.” And a Bloomberg poll last year specifically listing climate as a candidate for “most important issue” found only 5 percent of Americans concurring.

Polls also show the richer Democrats are, the more they care about climate change. Maybe that’s because green policies hurt the poor and working class — starting most obviously with opposition to modern drilling techniques such as fracking, and with blocking infrastructure projects that would create tens of thousands of high-paying union jobs.

A recent Brookings study entitled “Welfare and Distributional Implications of Shale Gas,” finds that the 47 percent decline in natural gas prices due to the shale gas “fracking revolution” has meant the “residential consumer gas bills have dropped $13 billion per year from 2007-2013.” This has saved gas-consuming middle-class families an average of $200 per year, with some families saving nearly $500 a year.

Another study by John Harpole, president of Mercator Energy in Colorado, finds that because the poor spend far more on utility bills than do the rich as a share of their incomes, “the poor benefit far more than the rich from the shale oil and gas boom.” The savings to the poor have been multiple times larger than the value of the $1 billion a year the feds throw at the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Last month Obama pledged to cut America’s carbon dioxide emissions up to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050. Paul Driessen of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow calculates this would end up “taking us back to Civil War-era emission levels, 150 years ago.” He adds: “Poor, minority and blue-collar families will have to find thousands of dollars a year for soaring electricity, vehicle and appliance costs. Small businesses will have to find tens of thousands of dollars to keep the heat and lights on. Factories, malls, school districts, hospitals and cities will have to pay millions more.”

Remember that when Democrats start playing the class warfare card. No one on the left, least of all the donors who are funding the climate change scare campaign, seem to care about how the poor will cope with slow growth and higher costs. The Sierra Club’s Lexus liberals can afford a future with less growth, fewer jobs and higher costs for everything. The middle class can’t. Democrats have abandoned the financial interests of these Americans. Republicans really are the stupid party if they can’t win these disenchanted voters.



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



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. Greenie policies can in fact be actively bad for the environment -- as with biofuels, for instance

Context for the minute average temperature change recorded in the header to this blog: 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.

Leftists have faith that warming will come back some day. And they mock Christians for believing in the second coming of Christ! They obviously need religion

Global warming has in fact been a religious doctrine for over a century. Even Charles Taze Russell, the founder of Jehovah's Witnesses, believed in it

By John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.), writing from Brisbane, Australia.

I am the most complete atheist you can imagine. I don't believe in Karl Marx, Jesus Christ or global warming. And I also don't believe in the unhealthiness of salt, sugar and fat. How skeptical can you get? If sugar is bad we are all dead

Inorganic Origin of Petroleum: "The theory of Inorganic Origin of Petroleum (synonyms: abiogenic, abiotic, abyssal, endogenous, juvenile, mineral, primordial) states that petroleum and natural gas was formed by non-biological processes deep in the Earth, crust and mantle. This contradicts the traditional view that the oil would be a "fossil fuel" produced by remnants of ancient organisms. Oil is a hydrocarbon mixture in which a major constituent is methane CH4 (a molecule composed of one carbon atom bonded to four hydrogen atoms). Occurrence of methane is common in Earth's interior and in space. The inorganic theory contrasts with the ideas that posit exhaustion of oil (Peak Oil), which assumes that the oil would be formed from biological processes and thus would occur only in small quantities and sets, tending to exhaust. Some oil drilling now goes 7 miles down, miles below any fossil layers

As the Italian chemist Primo Levi reflected in Auschwitz, carbon is ‘the only element that can bind itself in long stable chains without a great expense of energy, and for life on Earth (the only one we know so far) precisely long chains are required. Therefore carbon is the key element of living substance.’ The chemistry of carbon (2) gives it a unique versatility, not just in the artificial world, but also, and above all, in the animal, vegetable and – speak it loud! – human kingdoms.

David Archibald: "The more carbon dioxide we can put into the atmosphere, the better life on Earth will be for human beings and all other living things."


Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough - Michael Crichton

"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

Was Paracelsus a 16th century libertarian? His motto was: "Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest" which means "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself." He was certainly a rebel in his rejection of authority and his reliance on observable facts and is as such one of the founders of modern medicine

"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


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.

A Warmist backs down: "No one knows exactly how far rising carbon concentrations affect temperatures" -- Stefan Rahmstorf, a scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Jimmy Carter Classic Quote from 1977: "Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of coal and permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power.


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.

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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