GREENIE WATCH MIRROR ARCHIVE


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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25 November, 2013

Britain to be hit by entirely typical weather

TEMPERATURES in the UK are going to fall sharply over the coming weeks because that is what happens at this time of year, it has been claimed. During winter snow can often reach the ground

Meteorologists believe that winter, a spell of short, cold days commonly defined as a season, will be more or less exactly what you would expect.

Professor Henry Brubaker of the Institute for Studies said: “Household fuel costs will rise considerably as families try to increase the temperature of their homes.

“People on the verge of death may die.

“Ice and snow will create icy, snowy conditions.

“Your car will refuse to start.

“Because it’s winter.

“It’s really nothing to freak out about, unless you’re a pre-Neanderthal cave dweller who believes sunsets are caused by Gark, the angry moon god.”

He added: “There’s a high probability that this winter will be followed by another sudden, weather-related phenomenon known as spring.”

Housewife Nikki Hollis said: “The important thing is to stay inside, carry a flaming torch at all times and don’t be sentimental about eating your plumpest child.”

SOURCE






A Climate of Fear, Cash and Correctitude

Earth’s geological, archaeological and written histories are replete with climate changes: big and small, short and long, benign, beneficial, catastrophic and everything in between.

The Medieval Warm Period (950-1300 AD or CE) was a boon for agriculture, civilization and Viking settlers in Greenland. The Little Ice Age that followed (1300-1850) was calamitous, as were the Dust Bowl and the extended droughts that vanquished the Anasazi and Mayan cultures; cyclical droughts and floods in Africa, Asia and Australia; and periods of vicious hurricanes and tornadoes. Repeated Pleistocene Epoch ice ages covered much of North America, Europe and Asia under mile-thick ice sheets that denuded continents, stunted plant growth, and dropped ocean levels 400 feet for thousands of years.

Modern environmentalism, coupled with fears first of global cooling and then of global warming, persuaded politicians to launch the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Its original goal was to assess possible human influences on global warming and potential risks of human-induced warming. However, it wasn’t long before the Panel minimized, ignored and dismissed non-human factors to such a degree that its posture became the mantra that only humans are now affecting climate.

Over the last three decades, five IPCC “assessment reports,” dozens of computer models, scores of conferences and thousands of papers focused almost entirely on human fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide/greenhouse gas emissions, as being responsible for “dangerous” global warming, climate change, climate “disruption,” and almost every “extreme” weather or climate event. Tens of billions of dollars have supported these efforts, while only a few million have been devoted to analyses of all factors – natural and human – that affect and drive planetary climate change.

You would think researchers would welcome an opportunity to balance that vast library of one-sided research with an analysis of the natural causes of climate change – to enable them to evaluate the relative impact of human activities, more accurately predict future changes, and ensure that communities, states and nations can plan for, mitigate and adapt to those impacts. You would be wrong.

A few weeks ago, Nebraska lawmakers called for a wide-ranging study of “cyclical” climate change. Funded by the state, the $44,000 effort was to be limited to natural causes – not additional speculation about manmade effects. Amazingly, University of Nebraska scientists are not just refusing to participate in the study, unless it includes human influences. One climatologist at the university’s National Drought Mitigation Center actually said he would not be comfortable circulating a study proposal or asking other scientists to participate in it; in fact, he “would not send it out” to anyone. The director of the High Plains Climate Center sniffed, “If it’s only natural causes, we would not be interested.”

Their dismissive stance seems mystifying – until one examines climate change politics and financing.

None of these Nebraska scientists seems reluctant to accept far larger sums for “research” that focuses solely on human causes; nor do professors at Penn State, Virginia, George Mason or other academic or research institutions. They’re likewise not shy about connecting “dangerous manmade global warming” to dwindling frog populations, shrinking Italian pasta supplies, clownfish getting lost, cockroaches migrating, and scores of other remote to ridiculous assertions – if the claims bring in research grants.

American taxpayers alone are providing billions of dollars annually for such research, through the EPA and numerous other government agencies – and the colleges, universities and other institutions routinely take 40% or more off the top for “project management” and “overhead.” None of them wants to derail that gravy train, and all fear that accepting grants to study natural factors or climate cycles would imperil funding from sources that have ideological, political or crony corporatist reasons for making grants tied to manmade warming, renewable energy and related topics. Perhaps they would be tempted if the Nebraska legislators were offering $4 million or even $440,000. But a lousy $44,000?

Peer pressure, eco-activist harassment, politically correct posturing, and shared ideologies about fossil fuels, forced economic transformations and wealth redistribution via energy policies also play a major role, especially on campuses. Racial and sexual diversity is applauded, encouraged, even required, as is political diversity across the “entire” spectrum from communist to “progressive.” But diversity of opinion is restricted to 20x20-foot “free speech zones,” and would-be free speech practitioners are vilified, exiled to academic Siberia, dismissed or penalized – as “climate skeptics” from Delaware, Oregon, Virginia and other institutions can testify. Robust debate about energy and climate issues is denounced and obstructed.

As The Right Climate Stuff team points out, we cannot possibly model or distinguish human influences on climate change, without first understanding and modeling natural factors. But solar, cosmic ray, oceanic and other natural forces are dismissed in the corridors of alarmism. Even the adverse effects of climate change and renewable energy policies on jobs, economic growth, human health and welfare, and bird and bat populations receive little attention. Sadly, science has been subjected to such tyranny before.

When Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo found that science and observations did not support Ptolemy’s clever and complex model of the solar system, the totalitarian establishment of their day advised such heretics to recant – or be battered, banished or even burned at the stake. Today’s climate models are even more clever and complex, dependent on questionable assumptions and massaged data, unable to predict temperatures or climate events, and employed to justify costly energy and economic policies.

The modelers nevertheless continue to enjoy fame, fortune, power and academic glory – while those who question the garbage in-garbage out models are denounced and ostracized.

A particularly ugly example of junk science occurred in Stalin’s Soviet Union, where Trofim Lysenko rejected plant genetics and promoted the idea that traits were acquired by exposure to environmental influences. His delusions fit the regime’s utopian fantasies so well that a generation of scientists accepted them as fact, or at least said they did, so as to stay employed, and alive. Meanwhile, Lysenko’s crackpot ideas led to agricultural decline, crop failures, starvation, and finally the demise of the centrally planned Soviet economic system that perpetrated and perpetuated suffering for millions of people.

Skepticism and debate would have saved resources and lives. However, the Stalinist political machine would not tolerate dissent. Today’s scientific disease is less pernicious. However, politically driven science still frames critical public policies, because ideologically driven government has become the dominant financier of science. The disease has already crippled Europe’s industry and economy. It now threatens the vitality of the once powerful and innovative American system.

We’re all familiar with the Third World “democratic” process, where voters are “persuaded” by fear, fraud, deception, free meals and sham theatrics to give tin-pot dictators 97% of the “freely” cast votes.

Today we’re told 97% of climate scientists agree that the science is “settled” on climate change. Not only is this sham “consensus” based on a tiny percentage of scientists who bothered to respond to a carefully worded survey. It also ignores the 700 climate scientists, 31,000 American scientists and 48% of US meteorologists who say there is no evidence that humans are causing dangerous climate change.

More important, science is not a popularity contest or a matter of votes. As Galileo and Einstein demonstrated, one scientist who is right, and can prove it with evidence, trumps hundreds who have nothing but models, old paradigms, scary headlines and government cash to support their hypotheses.

Few scientists would say the Dust Bowl was caused by humans, even though poor farming practices clearly exacerbated it. Few would say cancer research should be limited to manmade chemicals, even though they may be responsible for some cancers.

Nebraskan (and other) researchers must end their hide-bound focus on human causes – and start working to understand all the complex, interrelated factors behind global climate changes and cycles. Government financiers and policy makers must do likewise. Our future well-being depends on it.

SOURCE






Worried About the Climate? End Subsidies

Ronald Bailey

At the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP-19) of the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), one of the better ideas for lowering the emissions of greenhouse gases is to eliminate consumer and producer fossil fuel consumption subsidies.

The International Energy Agency estimates that consumption subsidies amounted to $544 billion in 2012. Ending subsidies would encourage consumers and producers to cut back fossil fuel use, which in turn would reduce carbon dioxide emissions. And would save taxpayers a great deal of money.

On Thursday, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) held a session on reducing nitrous oxide emissions. Nitrous oxide is a long-lived gas that has a global warming potential of 310, meaning one molecule traps over 310 times more heat than a molecule of carbon dioxide. The amount of nitrous oxide put into the atmosphere is equivalent to about 3 gigatons of carbon dioxide, which approximates the emissions of half of the world’s entire vehicle fleet. In addition, nitrous oxide depletes the stratospheric ozone layer that shields the earth’s surface from damaging ultraviolet light. So preventing nitrous oxide emissions is a twofer—cutting it lowers the temperature and protects the ozone layer.

Nitrous oxide exists naturally in the atmosphere, but, as a result of human activities, its concentration has increased by 20 percent over pre-industrial levels, making it the third most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide and methane. The new UNEP report, Drawing Down N2O, outlines several ways to cut emissions.

Two-thirds of human emissions come from agricultural activities, e.g., using nitrogen fertilizer or livestock waste management. It is not an exaggeration to say that the invention of a process to synthesize nitrogen fertilizer made the modern world possible, as fertilizers boost crop yields as much as 50 percent. Nitrogen fertilizer that isn’t taken up by plants boosts input costs to farmers. However, farmers have to make tradeoffs between a number of different costs for fuel, equipment, seed, labor, fertilizer, and so forth in order to make a profit, and managing nitrogen fertilizer is usually not at the top of the list for improving the bottom line.

That being said, if it’s economic and ecological madness to subsidize the burning of fossil fuels, it’s just as barmy to subsidize agriculture in the amount of $300 billion annually. The World Bank reported in 2012 that fertilizer subsidies in India amounted to 2 percent of that country’s GDP. Agricultural subsidies clearly encourage farmers to overuse fertilizer, which in turn produces nitrous oxide emissions that harm the ozone layer and raise global temperature. The UNEP report notes that research and development can help improve nitrogen use efficiency. As it happens, private seed growers have already developed crop plants that use half of the nitrogen of conventional plants.

Another UNEP report reckons that, in order to remain on a path that keeps the average increase in global temperatures below 2 degrees centigrade of the pre-industrial level, the world must close a “gap” in what countries have pledged to cut under the UNFCCC by an additional 8 to 12 gigatons of greenhouse gases by 2020. The UNEP nitrous oxide report estimates that by 2020 it should be possible to cut those emissions corresponding to about 0.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide. Such a reduction would represent about 8 percent of the cuts needed to close the emissions gap and it would also help protect the ozone layer.

Finally, cutting back on the emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as refrigerants would help lower projected future increases in the mean global temperature. HFCs were introduced in the 1990s to replace chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants whose emissions were damaging the ozone layer. Under the Montreal Protocol in 1987 countries began a phase-out of CFCs, a project I agreed with, as explained in my book Eco-Scam: The False Prophets of Ecological Apocalypse. CFCs were also powerful greenhouse gases and eliminating them avoided emissions equivalent to 8 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year between 1990 and 2010. With respect to keeping the mean global temperature down, the effects of cuts in CFC emissions are calculated to have been four times greater than the carbon dioxide reductions achieved under the UNFCCC’s Kyoto Protocol.

While the HFCs that replaced CFCs do not harm the ozone layer, they do have very high global warming potentials. For example, a molecule of HFC 134a, which is often used in home refrigerators and car air conditioners, has a global warming potential that is 3400 times greater than a molecule of carbon dioxide. HFCs already represent about one percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The United States, Canada, and Mexico have been pushing to phase-out HFCs under the Montreal Protocol, which would lead to a 2.2 gigaton reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in 2020, with cuts eventually amounting to the equivalent of 100 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050.

Ironically, carbon dioxide is a cost-effective replacement for HFCs in large-scale refrigeration in grocery stores and warehouses. Amusingly, environmentalist proponents of using carbon dioxide as a coolant coyly refer to it as “natural” refrigerant. In other applications, Dupont and Honeywell have developed a new refrigerant, hydrofluoroolefin (HFO-1234yf), which is a near drop-in replacement for HFC refrigerants in automobile air conditioners. The new HFO refrigerant has a global warming potential of less than one. Of course, transitioning away from HFCs will not be costless, but if man-made global warming turns out to be a problem, reducing their emissions would likely be less costly than cutting the equivalent of carbon dioxide emissions.

SOURCE






Taxpayers Lose $139 Million After Energy Dept. Loan to Electric Car Maker is Sold

The Department of Energy sold part of its $192 million loan to electric carmaker Fisker Automotive on Friday to a Chinese investor. The sale represents yet another loss for American taxpayers over a stimulus-backed “green” initiative—this time to the tune of $139 million.

The Daily Caller has the details:

"Including the $25 million loan sale, the DOE has recovered only $53 million of the original $192 million disbursed — netting taxpayers a $139 million loss.

Fisker was awarded a $529 million loan guarantee by the Obama administration in 2009 to produce a luxury hybrid car, the Karma, which sold for a $103,000 per unit. However, failure to meet Energy Department benchmarks to receive funding resulted in the company losing its loan guarantee in 2011. The company drew down on $192 million before having its federal funding pulled. The Obama administration seized $21 million from the company in April to help repay taxpayers for its loan.

Earlier this year, reports came out that Fisker had violated its loan agreements multiple times before being cut off by the Obama administration in 2011. Bloomberg reported that Fisker’s technical defaults began in 2011 partly due to “lower-than-required earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and failing to meet a production milestone of at least 11,000 vehicles sold to dealers for an average of $87,500 by Sept. 30, 2011.”

Fisker's collapse closes yet another sad chapter in DOE's troubled portfolio. The jobs that were promised never materialized and, once again, taxpayers are on the hook for the administration’s reckless gamble,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Pa., and House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy, R-Pa., said in a joint statement.

The sale represents the biggest taxpayer loss on a green loan since the Solyndra collapse, which cost taxpayers $528 million.

"Once again, American taxpayers are losing out to foreign investors due to the Obama administration's failed green energy policies," Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said. "Time after time this administration has fumbled the ball with their attempts to pick winners and losers when it comes to American energy.

SOURCE





Green Energy: The Rotary Dial Phone of the Future

The whole idea of green energy—renewable resources—grew out of an energy reality that was much different from today’s. It was in the 1970s, following the OPEC Oil Embargo that solar panels began popping up on rooftops and “gasohol” subsidies were enacted. It was believed that green energy would move the U.S. off of foreign oil and prevent oil from being used as a weapon against us.

Today, that entire paradigm has been upended and OPEC’s power has been virtually neutered by increasing domestic oil production and decreasing gasoline consumption.

Jay Lehr, Heartland Institute science director, likens continuing “as though our new energy riches did not exist” to “ignoring our telecommunication revolution by supporting operator-assisted telephones with party lines.”

Instead of growing our gas, we need to be growing food that can feed a hungry world and balance out the U.S. trade deficit.

In a November 17 editorial, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) perfectly sums up the current renewable resource status: “After 35 years of exaggerations about the benefits of renewable fuels, the industry has lost credibility.” Similarly, on the same day, the Washington Post (WP) went a step further, stating that ethanol “has been exposed as an environmental and economic mistake.”

It seems that ethanol is an idea whose time has come—and gone.

Ethanol

Mandated for blending into America’s gasoline supply in 2007 through the Energy Security and Independence Act, ethanol now has an unlikely coalition of opponents—including car and small-engine manufacturers, oil companies and refiners, and food producers and environmental groups.

A national movement is growing and calling for the end of the ethanol mandates that, according to the WSJ, have “drained the Treasury of almost $40 billion” since the first gasohol subsides were enacted in 1978. Realize the word “Treasury,” used here, really means “taxpayer.”

“At the end of 2011, the ethanol industry lost a $6 billion per year tax-credit subsidy,” the WP points out. But the mandate for the American consumer to use ethanol remains through what Senator David Vitter (R-LA) calls: “a fundamentally flawed program that limps along year after year.”

Imagine the surprise, given that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy asserts: “Biofuels are a key part of the Obama Administration’s ‘all of the above’ energy strategy, helping to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, cut carbon pollution and create jobs,” when, on November 15, the EPA gave a nod toward market and technological realities and, for the first time, proposed a reduction in the renewable volume obligations—below 2012 and 2013 levels.

On a call with reporters, a senior administration official explained: “While under the law volumes of renewable fuel are set to increase each year this unanticipated reduction in fuel consumption brings us to a point where the realities of the fuel market must be addressed to properly implement the program.”

The WP describes the problem: “Mixing more and more ethanol into a fixed or shrinking pool of fuel would bump up against the capacity of existing engines to burn it, as well as the capacity of the existing distribution network to pump it.” It states: “The downward revision of roughly 3 billion gallons is the first such reduction since Congress enacted the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2007.”

The EPA’s decision is lauded by AAA President and CEO Bob Darbelnet: “The EPA has finally put consumers first.” He said the targets in the 2007 law “are unreachable without putting motorists and their vehicles at risk.”

The November 15 announcement has even received rare bipartisian support. In a joint statement, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and ranking member Henry Waxman (D-CA) praised EPA’s decision to cut into the biofuels mandate next year. “As our white papers and hearings made clear, the status quo is no longer workable,” Upton said. “Many of the issues raised by EPA, stakeholders, and consumer advocates are now reflected in the agency’s proposed rule.” Both suggested the committee would continue to examine possible legislative changes to the overall mandate.

The ethanol lobby is not so enthusiastic. “Despite a lack of demand,” states the WSJ, it “wants government to force a blend of E15 or higher on millions of consumers and force car makers to adapt their fleets to a fuel that offers less octane per mile traveled and no environmental benefit.”

Brooke Coleman, Advanced Ethanol Council executive director, expressed the industry’s disappointment: “While only a proposed rule at this point, this is the first time the Obama administration has shown any sign of wavering when it comes to implementing the RFS.”

Coleman added: “What we’re seeing is the oil industry taking one last run at trying to convince administrators of the RFS to relieve the legal obligation on them to blend more biofuel based on clever arguments meant to disguise the fact that oil companies just don’t want to blend more biofuel. The RFS is designed to bust the oil monopoly. It’s not going to be easy,” To which, Taylor Smith, Heartland Institute policy analyst, quipped: “The renewable fuel industry has reacted to EPA’s announcement as if something big has been taken away from them, when technically nothing has been taken away from them, just less will be given to them in the future. The oil industry’s heavy lobbying may be blamed for EPA’s announcement, but ethanol’s failure to lower CO2 emissions or reduce oil use or oil imports since the law was passed has just as much if not more to do with it.”

Ethanol is setback.

Solar

While the ethanol mandate hasn’t been eliminated, the administration has wavered and has given a nod toward “market and technological reality.” Likewise, those of us opposed to government mandates and subsidies were handed a small victory in Arizona when, on November 14, the commissioners tipped their hand by setting a new direction for solar energy policy. In a 3-2 vote, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) took a step and added a monthly fee onto the utility bills of new solar customers to make them pay for using the power grid.

While the ACC decision didn’t make national headlines, as the EPA decision did, it has huge national implications.

The issue is net-metering—a policy that allows customers with solar panels to receive full retail credit for power they deliver to the grid. Supporters of the current policy—including President Obama—believe that ending it “would kill their business.” Opponents believe it “unfairly shifts costs from solar homes to non-solar homes.”

The ACC vote kept the net-metering program, but added a small fee that solar supporters call “troubling.” Officials for SolarCity and SunRun—companies that install solar arrays—have reportedly said: “The new fees mean fewer customers will be able realize any savings.”

“What amounts to a $5 charge is a big hit to the solar industry,” said Bryan Miller, SunRunvice president for public policy and power markets. “In our experience, you need to show customers some savings.”

Considering that Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) wanted to cut the rate paid to customers with solar and wanted a much larger fee added, the ACC decision might not seem like a victory. In fact, the solar supporters called it a victory for their side, claiming “policymakers in Arizona stood up for its citizens, by rejecting an attempt from the state’s largest utility to squash rooftop solar.” But that’s not the full story.

The new fee passed 3-2—which might sound like a narrow margin. However, the two “no” votes, voted “no” because each believed the fee should be higher—meaning that all five commissioners wanted a fee added (four of the five had previously indicated that they were ready to add fees as high as $50 a month). Additionally, the fee is only in place until the next rate case that will be filed in June of 2015. Plus, a clause was added that allows the commission to adjust the charge annually. After December 31, solar customers will be presented with a document making it clear that the fees they pay the utility may increase.

James Montgomery, RenewableEnergyWorld.com associate editor, reported that the Alliance for Solar Choice representative, Hugh Hallman, acknowledged that there is a cost-shift that the solar sector needs to address. In the ACC case, it was the solar industry that proposed the fee—even thought it had “bitterly” fought any new fees. The Arizona Republic coverage of the vote states: “The solar industry offered the $5 compromise as it faced the reality that the commissioners appeared poised to enact even higher fees closer to what APS requested.” And adds: “The meeting appeared to be going against the solar industry.”

Commissioner Brenda Burns, who was one of the “no” votes because she wanted higher fees, called out the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association over a statement made in a letter claiming that solar customers used their own money to install solar at no cost to their neighbors. She noted: “Solar customers got up-front incentives to pay for their solar panels until they expired in October. Those incentives came from other customers and ran into the thousands of dollars for many solar users. APS ratepayers paid more than $170 million in cash incentives,” she said. “It is a fact, and we shouldn’t ignore the fact.”

The ACC’s process pointed out the customers’ savings that $170 million in cash incentives got them could be “largely or entirely wiped out” with a $5 fee. It solidified that there is cost-shifting taking place—which the industry has denied. And, it set up larger fees and potential credit adjustments in the near future.

Rhone Resch, Solar Industries Association president/CEO, called the ACC decision “precedent setting action.” There are a number of other state commissions currently reviewing net-metering policies.

Renewable energy has suffered a setback in both the EPA ethanol decision and the ACC solar decision. Will wind be next?

Wind

On November 14, fifty-two Congressmen signed a letter, organized by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), calling for the end of the wind production tax credit (PTC). In the letter addressed to Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, they point out that the PTC, which was scheduled to end on December 31, 2012, was extended “during the closing hours of the last Congress,” as a part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA). Not only was it extended, but it was enhanced by modifying the eligibility criteria. Originally, wind turbines needed to be “placed in service” by the end of the expiration of the PTC to qualify for the tax credit. Under the ATRA, they need only to be “under construction” to qualify.

The letter points out: “If a wind project developer merely places a 5% deposit on a project initiated in 2013, it will have at least until 2015 and possibly 2016 to place the project in service and obtain the PTC. That means that a wind project that ‘begins construction’ in 2013 could receive subsidies until 2026.”

Like ethanol and solar, “the growth in wind is driven not by market demand, but by a combination of state renewable portfolio standards and a tax credit that is now more valuable than the price of the electricity the plants actually generate.”

Earlier this month, more than 100 organizations—including the two for which I serve as executive director—sent a letter to Congress calling for them to allow the PTC to expire as scheduled. This letter states “after 20 years of preferential tax treatment,” wind energy “remains woefully dependent on this federal support” and calls for “energy solutions that make it on their own in the marketplace—not ones that need to be propped up by the government indefinitely.”

Both of these actions come at a time when wind energy is suffering some embarrassing setbacks of its own.

On November 20, the sixth GE 1.6 megawatt wind-turbine blade in 17 months broke off. Three “incidents” have taken place in Illinois (most recently on November 20), two in Michigan (November 12), and one in New York (November 17). The blades weigh about 20,000 pounds and are about 160 feet long. These six cases are called “rare” and “isolated” but there are hundreds of the same GE turbines in the same industrial wind parks where the blades broke off. One can’t help but wonder which turbine will “crash to the ground” tomorrow?

Reports indicate that so far, “no one was injured.” However, locals have reported shrapnel from the blade break has been found more than 1500 feet away.Setbacks for turbine installations are 511 feet from roads and only 700 feet from property lines, so the possibility of somebody getting killed is a real probability.

Note: The North American Wind Power story on the Michigan failures, states: “GE’s 1.6-100 is one of North America’s most sought-after turbines.” Woe to the person who has a different manufacturer’s turbine nearby if these are the “most sought after.”

While, to date, no one has been killed by a wind-turbine blade, plenty of birds—including federally protected birds, such as bald eagles—have been killed. On November 22, the first-ever criminal enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for unpermitted avian takings at wind projects was settled. Duke Energy agreed to pay fines, restitution, and community service totaling $1 million and was placed on probation for five years.

The EPA finally saw some sense when it announced the reduction in the amount of ethanol that refiners are required to blend into gasoline in 2014. The ACC signaled a change in ratepayer compensation for solar energy. Will Congress show similar wisdom and allow the wind tax credit to expire at the end of 2013?

These mandates and tax credits are remnants of an outdated energy policy that is akin to “ignoring our telecommunication revolution by supporting operator-assisted telephones with party lines.” America’s energy paradigm has changed and our energy policies need to keep up and be revised to fit our new reality.

SOURCE







AGREEMENT MAY END GERMANY’S GREEN ENERGY SHIFT

It is only one sentence in the coalition agreement, but it could mean the end of Germany’s green energy shift (Energiewende). The Christian Democrats (CDU) and Social Democrats (SPD) want to force the renewable industry to pay for conventional back-up energy generation.

Almost unnoticed by the public, Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) and North Rhine Westphalia’s Prime Minister Hannelore Kraft (SPD) have agreed upon on a passage in the Energy chapter of the draft coalition agreement that could ensure the end of the green energy transition and seal the fate of the renewable energy industry. “This is massive,” is the comment even in government circles. The decisive statement has allegedly been included in the draft contract under pressure from the bosses of RWE and E.on, Peter Terium and John Teyssen.

The renewable energy lobby has not even noticed the attack on its core business. The decisive statement can be found in line 259 of the 11 November draft agreement. It says: “We will examine whether large producers of electricity from renewable sources must guarantee a base load portion of their maximum feed in order to contribute to supply security.”

This refers to the cardinal problem of solar and wind energy, the intermittency of power generation that depends on the weather. The year has 8,760 hours; wind turbines, however, only produce for 1,530 hours at full power, photovoltaic systems even just for 980 hours. To make matters worse, no one knows in advance when green electricity is fed into the grid, and when it’s not available.

The proposal by Altmaier and Kraft boils down to a requirement for operators of wind and solar power to take out a form of insurance. In principle, they must guarantee the supply of the kilowatt hours usually provided by their systems, regardless of whether the wind blows or the sun is shining. However, this is only possible for wind and solar systems by guaranteed power of conventional power plants. This way, coal or gas power plants would be brought back into the business – and the green power producers would have to pay for it. They would be forced to do business with RWE and Co.

The business model of renewable energy operators would be destroyed. This is made clear by a simple calculation: the cost of conventional power plant capacity in Europe is typically estimated at 60 Euros per kilowatt. Since solar energy systems need the back-up only for about 1,000 hours per year, this would result in a kilowatt-hour price of approximately six cents for the insurance. An operator of solar power systems would have to pay this amount for every kilowatt hour generated by himself to the operators of a coal or gas power plant, so that they hold up the necessary safe plant capacity.

Part of the legally guaranteed EEG feed-in tariff, which has the objective to promote green electricity, would end up with the operators of conventional power plants in this way. It is such a big amount that one could no longer make any profit with green electricity. If they had to shoulder the burden, the development of renewable energies would come to an end – and so would the green energy transition.

Operators of onshore wind turbines would be charged for the usual hours at full load with less than four cents per kilowatt hour. The feed-in tariffs for new wind turbines is currently around nine cents. Take away four cents for back-up and the wind operator would be left with five cents per kilowatt hour. For this amount, however, nobody is building a wind turbine. The green energy transition would be killed instantly. Instead, RWE and Co. could breath again. It cannot be ruled out that their current search for a new corporate image would be undermined as a result.

Whether it will actually get that far is uncertain. After all, the formulation in the draft coalition agreement includes three vague concepts. Firstly, the matter should only be “examined”. Secondly, only “large” green power producers should be obliged, if at all. And thirdly, the back-up insurance should be organized only for a proportion of the base load. Disaster is looming but there is still hope.

The mere fact that the coalition partners are flirting with the idea of promoting old energy at the expense of new one is a revelation. It shows how much the CDU and the SPD are now distancing themselves from the green energy transition.

SOURCE

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

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


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24 November, 2013

House Votes on Energy Bills

The House passed three bills this week, largely along party lines, to ease restrictions on oil and gas drilling. The first bill aimed to streamline the permitting process by setting a 60-day deadline for drilling applications on federal lands. It passed 228-192 with 10 Democrats supporting the measure. The second, which passed 235-187 with a similar number of Democrats, would block the Interior Department from enforcing rules on hydraulic fracturing in states that already have their own regulations in place. The third bill, which passed with the help of 26 Democrats, would tighten the deadlines for rulings on natural gas pipeline projects.

These bills collectively seek to encourage an oil and gas boom that would boost the economy. As we noted Wednesday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) recently announced that by 2015, the U.S. will top Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world's leading oil producer and, in the next 20 years, will near energy independence.

But that all makes it a primary candidate for Barack Obama to oppose. Indeed, the White House issued a veto threat and the legislation stands little chance of reaching a Senate vote. Obama continues to hold fast to his claim that the federal government is helping the energy industry even though regulations continue to stymie any opportunities for effective development of America's natural resources.

SOURCE





Recent 10 Months U.S. Temperature trend/decade: – 1.1 F COOLER in 100 years

And the cooling continues. Sorry – I mean that Global Warming is really an imminent threat to humankind. Especially in Warsaw

So here are the recent 10 months (year to date, January- October) US temperature from a “historic” perspective. To see how the decade trends have evolved during the last 113 years.

Especially to see how the decade trends have evolved during the last 43 years. The period that according to the Global Warming Hysterics and computer models they worship should show a steady and accelerated increase in temperature.

I don’t know about you, but I consider a 10 month, a year by year consecutive trend 113 years long to be a “quite good” indicator.

And as I always point out:

Remember, these are the official figures. With the poor placement of stations (91 % of the stations are CRN 3 to 5 = bad to very poor); where they have purposely taken away the urban heat island effect, use huge smoothing radius, the historical “adjustment and tweaking” to cool the past etc.

Not to mention the great slaughter of GHCN stations 1990-1993 – roughly 63 % of all stations were “dropped”. Oddly enough many of them in cold places – Hmmm? Now the number of GHCN stations is back at the same numbers as in 1890.

Also remember that the US stations are now nearly a third of the all GHCN world stations.

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)





Met Office Global Warming Prediction Falls Flat

In 2007, a team of climate scientists from the UK Met Office led by Doug Smith wrote a paper “Improved Surface Temperature Prediction for the Coming Decade from a Global Climate Model”, published in the journal Science. Although published in 2007, the paper made predictions for the decade 2004-2014. (Presumably the work was started around 2004 and it took some time for the paper to be published). The paper made claims about the “skill” of the model, for example “Having established the predictive skill of DePreSys…”

The Smith et al paper made the following specific predictions:

* There would be 0.3°C warming over the decade 2004-2014

* At least half of the years after 2009 would be warmer than the record year of 1998.

Note that at that time, 2007, the warmest year was thought to be 1998; subsequent adjustments to the method made 2005 warmer than 1998.

The predictions were spread far and wide. They were included in a Met Office Press release, and a glossy brochure on “Informing Government policy into the future”, with the almost obligatory scaremongering background pictures of black clouds and people wearing facemasks. Vicky Pope gave a talk on these predictions, saying that “these are very strong statements about what will happen over the next 10 years.”

And of course the faithful media reported the story without questioning it.

These predictions have turned out to be wrong. We are almost into 2014 and there has been no warming at all since 2004. Of the years since 2009, none of them have broken the record of 1998 according to HADCRUT3 data. Using HADCRUT4, 2010 is warmer by a meaningless 0.01°C (that’s one tenth of the error estimate). 2011 and 2012 were cooler and it’s now clear that 2013 will be cooler also.

The warming prediction was for 0.30° ± 0.21°C [5 to 95% confidence interval (CI)], so unless we get some significant warming over the next few months it looks as though the observations will be outside the CI of the model.

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)





Heat 'not undermining Greenland's ice sheet'

SCIENTISTS have found that record melting is not undermining Greenland's massive ice sheet, reducing fears that it could literally slide into the ocean.

A study reported today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found the ice sheet moved more slowly than average in 2012, despite “unbelievably warm” temperatures that triggered the most extreme melting in 123 years.

The findings alleviate concerns that lubrication caused by meltwaters which sink to the base of the ice sheet could accelerate its flow into the ocean.

“It’s a bit like walking into a bathroom with a wet floor,” said co-author Matt King of the University of Tasmania. “All of a sudden you’re moving a lot faster than you intended to.”

He said the ice sheet flowed up to twice as quickly during warm summer periods such as July 12 last year, when 99 per cent of the ice sheet experienced some melting – the most widespread melt since 1889.

For the last decade scientists have speculated that this accelerated flow could exacerbate sea level rises caused by surface runoff and icebergs breaking away from the world’s second biggest ice sheet.

Professor King said 2012 was an ideal time to test the theory, because surface temperatures had reached levels considered likely to be commonplace by the end of the century. “It gave us a great opportunity to (see) how the ice sheet responds under those conditions,” he said.

The study used GPS to track the movement of poles sunk into a 120 kilometre strip of ice in south-western Greenland. It found that the total amount of ice flowing into the ocean in 2012 was 6 per cent less than in the “average” melt year of 2009.

The researchers reasoned that accelerated summer ice flows were “negated” by unusually slow flows during the winter, when the water at the base of the ice sheet could not build up enough pressure to maintain the momentum. “The summer isn’t the full story – you need to look at the whole year,” Professor King said.

He said the finding reinforced the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which found that the mechanism would only have a small effect on sea levels. “But they could only have medium confidence in that (prediction),” he said.

“We’re adding more weight of evidence to their decisions. It definitely doesn’t look like this is going to be a major player in the future.”

SOURCE






Does global warming WEAKEN tornadoes?

By Richard A. Muller, a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley

Yes, you read that correctly. Despite the recent spate of deadly twisters, including those that tore through the Midwest over the weekend, the scientific evidence shows that strong to violent tornadoes have actually been decreasing for the past 58 years, and it is possible that the explanation lies with global warming.

That is certainly not the popular impression. Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, commented in May on the powerful tornadoes that had just hit Oklahoma. “This is climate change,” she said, adding: “You’re going to have terrible storms. You’re going to have tornadoes.” Commenting around the same time, Michael E. Mann, a prominent climatologist, was only slightly more cautious. He said, “If you’re a betting person — or the insurance or reinsurance industry, for that matter — you’d probably go with a prediction of greater frequency and intensity of tornadoes as a result of human-caused climate change.”

But the evidence shows the opposite.

I am not talking about global warming per se, which I am convinced is real and caused by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases. But not everything attributed to global warming has a scientific basis.

Let’s begin by consulting the relevant data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. On its website, NOAA has a chart plotting the total number of tornadoes recorded in the United States from 1950 to 2011. At first glance, the increase looks dramatic: The number of tornadoes in 1950 was only 200, and by 2011 it had shot up to 1,700.

But the 200 number is ridiculously small. If it had truly been that low in the past, “The Wizard of Oz” never would have been written. And indeed NOAA accounts for those early small numbers by explaining that originally only the most violent tornadoes were recorded, leading to lower reported totals. By contrast, these days even little storms are logged; backyard dust devils are reported for insurance claims, and Doppler radar makes it hard for any tornado to escape notice.

What about in more recent decades? If you look at the numbers plotted on the NOAA chart for 1976, you’ll see that only about 800 tornadoes were recorded in the United States — around half of today’s numbers. This increase also looks dramatic.

But here, too, the increase is a function of enhanced reporting. The scientists at NOAA note explicitly that the rise in the numbers has come almost exclusively from the improved documentation of so-called category EF0 tornadoes — the ones that are so weak that their legacy consists only of broken branches and damaged billboards. As another NOAA website warns, “This can create a misleading appearance of an increasing trend in tornado frequency.”

Misleading indeed. If you count all tornadoes except the EF0 tornadoes, then the number has remained fairly steady from 1954 to now.

But enhanced reporting might be distorting more than just the numbers of the very weakest storms. So let’s consider only the most violent tornadoes, the ones in categories EF3 to EF5. A tornado of EF3 is “severe,” with winds of 136 to 165 miles per hour. Roofs of strong houses are ripped off; trains are overturned. EF4 and EF5 are worse, hurling cars and destroying even well-built homes. These devastating tornadoes are always reported.

The NOAA chart shows that the number of these storms has been significantly decreasing over the past 58 years, from over 50 per year in the first half to under 40 per year in the second. The statistical significance of this decrease is extremely high: well above 99 percent confidence.

How can this be? What about all the recent horrible tornadoes? What about the fact that a tornado in Oklahoma in May set a width record of 2.6 miles?

It is wise to be cautious about the panic that sets in when a storm kills a large number of people. People search for reasons to believe the storms are worse than in the past, even if the numbers contradict them. Victims naturally wish to explain why loved ones died and they look for a villain — and they can find one in global warming.

But global warming does not obviously lead to increased or more violent tornadoes. It is possible, for instance, that the increased energy brought by the higher temperatures of global warming is less significant than global warming’s reduction in the north-south temperature difference (the poles warm more than the Equator). The latter could reduce the kind of hot-cold weather fronts that generate severe storms. The current climate models are simply unable to make a clear prediction, and reduced tornadoes from global warming are just as plausible as increased ones.

One thing is clear, however: The number of severe tornadoes has gone down. That is not a scientific hypothesis, but a scientific conclusion based on observation. Regardless of the limitations of climate theory, we can take some comfort in that fact.

SOURCE







Australia: The Industry Department's new secretary gives warning to climate change employees: Labelled 'unusual'

Whether it's unusual or not, it's certainly realistic. The bureaucracy seems mostly to be comprised of people with heavily Green/Left views

Hundreds of public servants from the Industry and Climate Change departments have been told to quit their jobs if they do not want to implement the Abbott government's policies.

The warning was issued just days after the former Climate Change chief and Industry boss were sacked by the Coalition government on its first day in office and the opposition says the "extraordinary'' comments were part of a concerted effort to "intimidate" the public service.

The Industry Department's new secretary, Glenys Beauchamp, gathered about 1500 of her workers in Canberra on September 20 for a briefing and told them to reconsider their positions if they were not prepared to serve the government of the day.

The tough talk to the workers, many of whom had been moved from the abolished Climate Change Department, was leaked to former industry minister Kim Carr, leading to a grilling of Ms Beauchamp at an estimates committee hearing on Thursday in Canberra.

Under the questioning, Ms Beauchamp told the senator she had responded to a question from a worker about how they would administer climate change policy, with a reminder of their duties as public servants.

"I said a range of things, what a secretary of a new portfolio would be expected to say, there were questions from the floor," Ms Beauchamp told Senator Carr.

"There was a question around what I thought of some of the arrangements around the formation of the new portfolio and I responded in the way a professional public servant does, as in 'we are here to serve the government of the day and public servants, like any other employees have choices whether they would like to abide by code of conduct and APS values and continue the journey'."

Senator Carr said he was surprised the secretary had felt the need to make those remarks to a group of professional public servants.

"Whatever the secretary's intention, these were unusual comments to be making," Senator Carr said.

SOURCE

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

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


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22 November, 2013

British PM reportedly tells aides to 'get rid of the green c**p'

David Cameron has reportedly told ministers to scrap the “green c**p” driving up household energy bills.

The Prime Minister, who once promised to lead the “greenest government ever” is said to have privately ordered to find a way to ditch green commitments that are putting added financial pressure on consumers.

Mr Cameron has promised to “roll back” green levies which he says add around £112 a year to the average energy bill.

A senior source is reported to have said: “He’s telling everyone, ‘We’ve got to get rid of all this green c**p.’ He’s absolutely focused on it.” Downing Street denied the claims and said: “We do not recognise this at all.”

It is claimed that Downing Street has now abandoned Mr Cameron’s pre-election slogan, “vote blue, go green”. “It’s vote blue, get real, now – and woe betide anyone who doesn’t get the memo,” a source told The Daily Mail.

The reported comments are a far cry from Mr Cameron's previous image as a green Conservative. After becoming party leader, Mr Cameron travelled to the Arctic in a bid to prove his green credentials. He also put a windmill on his house.

According to Government figures, the green levies add £112 to a typical household bill. The money is then used to pay for loft insulation schemes and subsidies for renewable energy projects, under the Coalition’s rules.

Downing Street has said that, if there was no policy change, green levies could rise from the current £112 to £194 - or 14 per cent of the typical household bill - by 2020.

Labour has said that £67 of the £112 levies were accounted for by measures introduced by the coalition.

Tim Farron, the Lib Dem president, told The Sun: “The ‘green c**p’, as the Tories call it, are the funds that pay for insulating the homes of elderly people and which support thousands of British manufacturing jobs.

“This is depressingly cynical – only bothering about political spin, not in protecting our children’s future.”

SOURCE






GOOGLE private jets blow 100 million lbs CO2 into atmosphere with its government subsidized fuel

Google may tout itself as being a publicly responsible, green fingered, all-things-good company that touts green technology, but the companies chief executives are not setting a good example from on high.In fact, it would appear they're flying high whilst American taxpayers foot the bill.

Despite lobbying the federal government on environmental policy, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt have put 3.4 million miles on their private jets in recent years, polluting the atmosphere with 100 million pounds of carbon dioxide according to The Blaze.

Forget using Google Hangouts to conduct business, the execs prefer the old-fashioned method of face-to-face communication. Often, they'll take a trip on one of the enormous corporate fuel-guzzling 757 or 767 aircraft or the more exclusive Gulfstream V at a moments notice – and sometimes to the most exotic of vacation destinations.

Their trips have been analyzed and logged and show that despite trying to convince federal lawmakers to introduce stringent and restrictive environmental regulations, they happily jet off using gallons of polluting aviation fuel.

It might not be such a big deal if Google would practice what it preaches. The search engine powerhouse has been a leading proponent of encouraging the federal government to, as the company says, ‘put a price on carbon through cap-and-trade or a carbon tax.’

Through has introduced its own Google Green Initiative as well as a Clean Energy 2030 proposal to wean the U.S. off its reliance on fossil fuels.

Google wishes to transform the economy from one running on fossil fuels to one largely based on clean energy.

They’re happy to talk about building whole new industries and creating millions of new jobs along with cutting energy costs both at the gas pump and at home. Could it be that this is nothing more than hot-air in an effort to maintain its hip image?

The Blaze claim that when a company attempts to manipulate the government into using environmental policies to determine what types of cars Americans can drive, what kinds of jobs Americans can have and how taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars are spent, it should at least be unerring in its commitment to the environment.

Drew Johnson, a fellow at the Center for Individual Freedom has been looking through the hours and hours of flying time generated by Google’s Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt.

Google maintains a hangar of jets ready to take to the air at a moments’ notice.

In total, according to flight data that was analyzed, Google executives have flown more than 3.4 million miles, burning an average of 100,000 gallons of fuel every month in recent years.

Google’s planes burned through nearly 59 million barrels of crude since 2007, much of it on non-essential trips to adult playgrounds Nantucket, Aspen, Costa Rica, St. Maarten, Hawaii, Bermuda and Tahiti.

The supposedly environmentally conscious company’s jets have emitted more than 100 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the last four years alone.

It even appears that Google is hand-in-glove with the government. Google has snagged a few favors along the way and has been getting preferential rent when it comes to housing their collection of gigantic jets.

Since 2007, the private airplane fleet owned by Google execs has been housed in a hangar at NASA’s Ames Research Center just outside Google’s Mountain View, California HQ. The hangars are funded by the taxpayer and are supposed to be for aircraft conducting scientific research for NASA.

The government is even allowing Google to fill itself up with jet fuel at a cut price deal – again, thanks to U.S. taxpayers. The fuel was of course meant for NASA and Department of Defense aircraft, but why fly somewhere else to fill up when you have it on tap?

Mr Johnson estimates that Google officials spent $29 million on jet fuel – a saving of around $10 million. But what is $10 million to a company that has generated $60 billion in revenue over the past few years?

It should come as no surprise that as a result of Google’s involvement with the government and securing their cheap and exclusive parking space and fuel s for the company’s jets, Google also happens to be among the largest contributors to political campaigns in the United States.

Almost a million dollars was given to President Obama’s campaign in 2008 with a similar amount in 2012.

Mr Johnson claims that ‘by pushing strict ‘climate change’ policy on everyone else, while polluting up a storm themselves. ‘ Google reaches levels of hypocrisy not seen since I uncovered the inconvenient truth about frenzied environmentalist Al Gore, who devours about 20 times more electricity in his mansion than the average American family uses in their home over the course of a year.’ Incidentally, Mr Gore has been an company has had plenty of time to learn directly from the discredited environmental prophet, whom they have paid handsomely to serve as a ‘senior adviser‘ since 2001.’

As Google continues to extol the virtues of environmental purity and encourage the government to limit carbon emissions for the rest of the American economy, its own company VIPs are busy zooming around, polluting the skies as they go on travel subsidized by American taxpayers.

Perhaps Google should begin by Googling the word ‘Hypocrites’?

SOURCE





Fueling the American resurgence

In the modern world, where energy flows, commerce and prosperity follows. The growth of the United States’ economy is being stunted by the Obama administration’s activist energy policies which are bankrupting the producers of abundant, affordable energy.

The American way of life developed over the last century stands as history’s greatest example to date of what an economy and society can achieve through robust industrial growth and technological innovation. The last generation’s historic growth was fueled by the energy expansion through fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum that now sustain the foundation of the modern economy.

At the end of the fourth year following the 2009 recession, the United States economy (as measured by GDP) continues to experience anemic growth at less than three percent annually. To put that into perspective, three percent represents less than half the 7.26 percent average annual growth from 1972 to 2007 and would be the second slowest post-recession annual growth rate since 1960.

A second American economic ascension beyond the achievements of the last generation necessitates the growth of our current energy foundation as a springboard into the future.

Coal and petroleum are mainstays of the last century’s development and together offer a stable, long-term foundation for innovation and future competition in the energy market. Unless politically-driven government regulations render them unsustainable, there is enough of these resources alone to power the nation for hundreds of years.

Natural gas is a relatively recent addition as a primary energy producer in the United States. Fifty year old hydraulic fracturing technology has advanced quickly over the past decade almost exclusively through private sector funding and it is quickly becoming a primary producer for national energy needs. Similarly, nuclear energy shows great potential to operate with high efficiency. Natural gas and nuclear energy productions emit next to no emissions and together produce 49 percent of the nation’s electricity.

Today there are more options for energy production than at any time in history. Competition within the ever-evolving market creates a consistent demand for more abundant, inexpensive energy sources and dynamic innovation in developing new power-generation technologies.

The opportunity for growth into another American century of economic pre-eminence and prosperity is immediately available. Inexpensive domestic energy will allow manufacturing to thrive, transportation industries to grow, good jobs to be created, and a middle class that sees the wage stagnation of the past twenty years ended due to American ingenuity and the increased demand for the services of skilled workers.

The single greatest threat to this renewed American economy and the bright future it promises is the obstructionism from our federal agencies.

The nation must allow the development of our naturally abundant resources for inexpensive, domestically produced energy and in time, the market will achieve an economic renaissance beyond even the wildest promises of any politician.

However, if federal agencies like the EPA continue operating as political agents for leftist environmental organizations, that promise will be squelched and likely killed forever.

Instead, if the federal government focused on ensuring the safe production of energy, the resulting market stability will result in massive investment and even greater innovation.

The technological advances of the last hundred years could never have been presumed by the 1912 world. Similarly today, we have no idea what energy solutions the market will develop to meet the needs of the nation.

What we do know is that if regulatory policies like the ones championed by the current Administration become entrenched, these innovations will almost certainly be achieved outside of the United States where the free market is given room to thrive. It is up to each American whether they will choose to build for their posterity a greater future, or if America resigns itself to having seen its best days.

SOURCE






States Fight for Their Rights with the EPA

EPA regulations have been getting tougher, and now the states are fighting back to try and take back some of their power in this situation. The newest carbon emissions standards for existing power plants will be coming out in June and the states are looking to keep the EPA from destroying their abilities to make their own decisions.

The National Association of State Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) adopted a resolution today calling on the EPA to recognize the primacy of states to “lead the creation of emission performance systems that reflect the policies, energy needs, resource mix, economic conditions of each State and region.”

The NARUC also stated in their resolution that,

“[T]he guidelines should be flexible enough to allow States individually or regionally to take into account, when establishing standards of performance, the different makeup of existing power generation in each State and region.”

[T]he guidelines should provide sufficiently flexible compliance pathways or mechanisms that recognize State and regional variations to achieve the most cost-effective emissions reductions in each State,”

How many times does one need to explain that states always know what’s best for their citizens and their companies. The NARUC couldn’t have said it any better. The EPA needs to stop meddling in states’ rights and allow them to prosper, yet comply with new (absurd) regulations in their own ways.

SOURCE






UN aims for ‘complete transformation of the economic structure of the world’

The United Nations’ climate change meeting began on Nov. 11 in Warsaw, Poland, to discuss “global warming,” but when the globe stopped warming 16 years ago, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was forced to reveal its real agenda.

Last year in Doha, Qatar, the treaty’s Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres told the world that the purpose of the UNFCCC is a “complete transformation of the economic structure of the world.” The scheme is to use the eternally unpredictable weather that affects everyone to manipulate a transfer of wealth from rich to poor nations, which in turn degrades every nation’s standard of living.

Rather than serving as a warning to Americans, President Obama’s delegation in Warsaw is steadfastly supporting the development of funding mechanisms for the transfer of wealth scheme through the Green Climate Fund, although it is somewhat reluctant to support its proposed new mechanism for “loss and damages.” A new treaty to replace the redistributionist Kyoto Protocol is in the works and set for completion in 2015 in Paris, France, to go into affect in 2020.

Americans are paying for the rope to hang ourselves. We pay nearly $567 million a year while two dozen countries of the 193 UN members pay only about $1000 or less, yet have the same voting privileges as the U.S.

Worse than one nation, one vote is that voting rarely happens at the UN. Instead, consensus is the UN’s preferred process.

Consensus is unilaterally determined by a facilitator leading a meeting. It lacks transparency and allows the UN to manipulate for predetermined outcomes.

Former Prime Minister of the UK Margaret Thatcher defined consensus stating, “To me, consensus seems to be: the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that need to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner ‘I stand for consensus’?”

Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it. That is until the United Nations started talking about it. Their talks started with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. They have since convinced the world they can not only predict the weather but can control it. These talks continue in Warsaw, Poland for the next two weeks, November 11-22, 2013, as the Conference of the Parties COP19 meet with country delegates, non-government organizations NGO’s, and media to discuss not the weather but the climate. The climate is what you expect. The weather is what you get and the UN is certainly getting something much different than what they predicted.

The U.N. persists in its quest to convince the world that human activity is causing global warming and global warming will lead to the devastation of the earth. The earth has not warmed since 1998 but the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC continues to issue reports claiming global warming not only exists but is getting worse.

Their claims are based on pseudo science and totally unreliable computer models used to predict future weather patterns. The latest report issued just before COP19 claims that projected warming will likely raise temperatures 0.5 to 8.6 degrees Fahrenheit by the late 21st century if carbon emissions are not reduced. The report responds to the lack of warming since 1998 as probably linked to natural swings in the climate. In other words, they can’t explain why their computer models have been so wrong.

The talks are about blame. To blame is to make someone responsible for the supposed wrong doing and if someone has done wrong they should pay a penalty. The U.N. has made the case that developed nations such as the U.S. are to blame because we’ve enjoyed the fruits of the industrial revolution in our lifestyles. These lifestyles have polluted a finite atmosphere causing global warming. Having used up this finite atmosphere cheats developing nations from achieving similar lifestyles. This is referred to as “historical responsibility.” The penalty to be paid by developed nations, according to the U.N., is reparations (money) and technology.

Since global warming isn’t really occurring now, the IPCC claims it’s the cause of all the extreme weather patterns that have occurred in the past few years. The most recent tragic events of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has given the perfect fuel for developing nations at COP19. The tragedy the Philippine people have suffered is incomprehensible to most of us, but to think the human activity of developed nations caused the event should be beyond the realm of any intelligent person’s thinking. Not so at COP19.

The first day of the conference, the Climate Change Commissioner from the Philippines, Nadrev Sano, gave a speech in the main plenary blaming this on developed nations. He began crying and said he would, in solidarity with his people, voluntarily fast until the COP reaches a meaningful outcome and delivers on climate action. Translated this means “Let me see the money.”

In a press conference, another Philippine delegate made similar remarks, saying the tragedy was “an abomination which is not our doing” and “we have to get support from someone else’s pocket.” Yet nobody mentioned the U.S. Marines went in immediately to the worst hit areas bringing water, generators and other critical supplies. The U.S. military also offered aircraft and manpower for search and rescue. Private groups from the U. S. have sent in medicines, food, blankets, etc. U.S. AID sent 55 metric tons of food. So how much is enough?

This redistribution of wealth for the perceived “moral and ethical injustice” of climate change was first tried by the U.N. through Clean Development Mechanisms CDM’s. This was a way to get money and technology to developing nations through investments and loans for new infrastructure or just anything green. But as with most U. N. programs there was abuse. Most investments and loans went to China, India and Brazil and almost nothing went to the very small countries.

When CDM’s didn’t work, the Green Climate Fund GCF was introduced at COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009. It was proposed $30 billion be given by developed countries over three years until 2012 as fast-start funding. Then additionally, none other than Hillary Clinton proposed that developed countries collectively pledge $100 billion per year until 2020. This sounded good but the pledges have been far short of anything close to $100 billion. The U.S. claims to has given $32 billion from 2010-2012 and it is calculated, according to a U.S. delegate, the 2013 contribution will be $2.7 billion.

If the U.N. bureaucrats and the developing countries can’t get concrete funding for the GCF at COP19, then the next trick up their sleeves is something called a “loss and damage” mechanism. Loss and damage are insurance terms. Legally loss means “the value placed on injury or damages due to an accident caused by another’s negligence, a breach of contract or other wrongdoing.” Damage can mean “injury or harm impairing the function or condition of a person or thing.” Damages can also be ordered to be paid as compensation for injury or loss.

Defining and developing a loss and damage mechanism at COP19 is a top priority. Whatever form this mechanism takes, it can only be seen as having one function and that is developed countries being responsible for insuring developing countries against natural disasters. Again, the typhoon tragedy in the Philippines happened at an opportune time for COP19. This will be used as a driving force to get loss and damage pushed through.

One nation is taking issue with the consensus process by demanding that it be defined. Russia, not America, balked at the unilateral decision-making consensus process and is demanding transparency. The reason for the Russians demands is that at last year’s meeting in Doha, Qatar, the UN took away its greenhouse gas credits accrued before the fall of communism. That means that Russia would “supposedly” be on an even playing field in this proposed new economic order being built under the treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

The U.S. is a party to the UNFCCC, but not its Kyoto Protocol that was ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties. The U.S. declined to be one of the 37 nations to be legally bound to Kyoto’s emission limitation and reduction commitments. In Doha in 2012, a second commitment period was created for the Kyoto Protocol, with the U.S. remaining out. However, the U.S. is looking favorably at joining the 2015 treaty. More than 100 Heads of State of the 195 Parties to the treaty are scheduled to attend the high-level segment of the meeting, which concludes on November 22.

SOURCE






$4.5M Fed Study: 'Effects of Climate Change on Indoor Air

The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking non-profit organizations to conduct “research to improve understanding of the effects of climate change on indoor air quality and the resulting health effects.”

The total funding for the grants, announced on Oct. 25, is $4.5 million and applicants have until Jan. 23, 2014 to submit proposals.

In a 20-page explanation and guidelines for the “funding opportunities,” the synopsis of the project states: “EPA is interested in supporting research that will explore the anticipated effects of climate change on indoor air quality directly through a variety of mechanisms, and indirectly through adaptations in building use and design.”

The background portion of the document includes a list of ways (with related-studies notations) that “climate change has the potential to affect human health in indoor environments” as follows:

Changes in pesticide use and ventilation patterns in response to changes in seasonal survival and geographic distribution of disease vectors and indoor pests. These changes may lead to increased body burden for a variety of agents, and correspondingly diverse associated health effects.

Changes in VOC (volatile organic compounds) exposures resulting from increased thermal insulation potentially associated to health endpoints that remain poorly explored.

Changes in exposure to bioaerosols and VOCs resulting from decreased ventilation and increased relative humidity, manifesting in respiratory, neurological, or other morbidity.

Increases in radon exposure resulting from reduced ventilation when combustion-free (e.g. heat-pumps) or high-efficiency combustion equipment is installed in basements.

Changes in the proportion of time spent outdoors vs. indoors, for some age groups, or in the physical intensity of activities.

The project, part of EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is closely tied to the agency’s agenda to improve “public health.” The document states that the lack of research on indoor air and climate change “poses significant challenges to the development of guidelines for adaptations that would be broadly applicable to protect public health.”

CNSNews.com asked EPA a series of questions about the $4.5 million grant funding via e-mail. The agency’s responses to those questions follow:

CNSNews.com: What is the definition of climate change as it applies to this study -- is it strictly based on the United Nation's data?

EPA: As stated in the Indoor Air and Climate Change Request for Applications (RFA), the interaction of air quality, climate and energy, and their human health impacts has been designated as a high-priority research area by the agency. The general definition for climate change refers to any significant change in the measures of climate lasting for an extended period of time. This definition and additional information on climate change can be viewed at www.epa.gov/climatechange. Beyond the general meaning as used by the Agency, applicants are free to use the operational definition of climate change with the greatest merit in their own judgment when applying for Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants through RFAs.

CNSNews.com: How will the results of this project be used by the EPA, i.e. for regulatory or other purposes?

EPA: EPA-funded research allows our nation's scientist and engineers to provide critical information supporting the scientific basis for decisions on national environmental issues. For any research results or direct impacts from the STAR grants awarded under this RFA, view the annual reports that will be posted on EPA Extramural Research pages through the duration of the grants.

CNSNews.com: How is this grant funded?

EPA: Any grants awarded under this RFA will be awarded through the Agency’s Science To Achieve Results (STAR) program. Applications are evaluated on scientific merit by expert reviewers from outside the Agency. For more information on the Peer Review process, visit www.epa.gov/ncer/peerreview.

CNSNews.com: Can you explain what is meant by "development of guidelines for adaptations that would be broadly applicable to public health?" (page 3) The Indoor Air and Climate Change RFA states "development of guidelines for adaptations that would be broadly applicable to protect public health."

EPA: To counter any effects of climate change relevant to public health, such as extreme heat episodes, or deteriorating air quality, some adaptation measures can be developed. Those verified as effective can then be compiled into guidelines by a variety of organizations with public health protection objectives. However, some adaptations (as exemplified in the text) may be more likely than others to be adopted because of geographic, demographic, or socio-economic issue.

SOURCE

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

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


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21 November, 2013

LOL: 132 poor Countries Walk Out Of UN Climate Talks

Representatives of most of the world's poor countries have walked out of increasingly fractious climate negotiations after the EU, Australia, the US and other developed countries insisted that the question of who should pay compensation for extreme climate events be discussed only after 2015.

The orchestrated move by the G77 and China bloc of 132 countries came during talks about "loss and damage" – how countries should respond to climate impacts that are difficult or impossible to adapt to, such as typhoon Haiyan.

Saleemul Huq, the scientist whose work on loss and damage helped put the issue of recompense on the conference agenda, said: "Discussions were oing well in a spirit of co-operation, but at the end of the session on loss and damage Australia put everything agreed into brackets, so the whole debate went to waste."

Australia was accused of not taking the negotiations seriously. "They wore T-shirts and gorged on snacks throughout the negotiation. That gives some indication of the manner they are behaving in," said a spokeswoman for Climate Action Network.

Developing countries have demanded that a new UN institution be set up to oversee compensation but rich countries have been dismissive, blocking calls for a full debate in the climate talks.

"The EU understands that the issue is incredibly important for developing countries. But they should be careful about … creating a new institution. This is not [what] this process needs," said Connie Hedegaard, EU climate commissioner.

She ruled out their most important demand, insisting: "We cannot have a system where we have automatic compensation when severe events happen around the world. That is not feasible."

The G77 and China group, which is due to give a press conference on Wednesday to explain the walkout, has made progress on loss and damage, which it says is a "red line" issue. It claims to be unified with similar blocs including the Least Developed Countries, Alliance of Small Island States and the Africa Group of negotiators.

SOURCE






After Haiyan: how to act on scientific advice that's politically inconvenient?

In the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan, debates over extreme weather require us to think harder about the relationship between the evidence, politics and institutions of scientific advice

The proposal, advanced by the G77 plus China, that the US and other nations should pay tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars to poor countries that suffer disasters, is a central theme of the climate negotiations now taking place in Warsaw, Poland.

It's an idea that has been made more tangible by the tragic loss of life and devastation in the Philippines caused by super typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful observed storms of recent decades. This disaster in the Philippines is part of a long-term trend of increasing damage resulting from extreme weather events around the world.

The US has already provided $6bn to developing countries in "climate finance" over the past two years and has committed to spend more. In light of the demands for even more money in the form of climate reparations, last week a leaked US diplomatic cable expressed the Obama administration's concern that poor nations will be "seeking redress for climate damages from sea level rise, droughts, powerful storms and other adverse impacts".

In principle, this debate should be a short one. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently issued two major assessments on extreme weather. Its report issued last month found little evidence to support claims that tropical cyclones (that is, hurricanes and typhoons), floods, drought, winter storms or tornadoes had become more frequent or intense. In the Western Pacific, where Haiyan occurred, in addition to a decreasing number of landfalls, the strongest storms have actually become weaker in recent decades, according to a recent analysis.

More to the point, a 2012 IPCC special report focused on extreme events and concluded that "long-term trends in economic disaster losses adjusted for wealth and population increases have not been attributed to climate change, but a role for climate change has not been excluded". In other words, if changes in climate – whether due to human or other influences – are influencing the rising costs of disasters, we can't detect that influence in the data. Yet, despite the IPCC's findings, the issue of compensation for historic emissions has continued to gain traction in the international community.

The Obama administration is right to be concerned about this issue because it risks derailing discussions about energy policies, and wider actions to reduce vulnerabilities to disasters that might actually prove effective in the context of the very real threats posed by climate change.

Yet partial responsibility for the emergence of a debate on historical reparations lies squarely with President Obama. Despite the scientific evidence to the contrary, President Obama declared in his 2013 State of the Union Address that "Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods – all are now more frequent and more intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen, were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science." According to the IPCC, only one of these claims is correct – we have indeed seen more heat waves.

With the president implying US responsibility for weather disasters, it should be no surprise that developing nations are taking him at his word and are asking for compensation. And the Obama administration is not being helped by its supporters. For instance, Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Columbia Earth Institute, tweeted in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan that: "Climate liars like Rupert Murdoch & Koch Brothers have more & more blood on their hands as climate disasters claim lives across world." Similarly, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a thinktank influential with the White House, penned an op-ed in the Washington Post that claimed Haiyan shows that, "There is a theological prescription, in a classical sense, for what we must do: confession, repentance and change." Climate scientist Michael Mann of Penn State, in between campaigning for Terry McAullife in the Virginia governor race and lobbying the California governor to halt fracking for natural gas, found time to claim that "global warming likely put [Haiyan] on steroids".

More prominently, Sunday's New York Times included a 1,500-word, front page article on the issue of climate "compensation", citing Philippine and Indian typhoons, as well as African drought, as indicative of "possible consequences of climate change [that] have surged". It went on to suggest that "the current global turbulence, consistent with what scientists expect to happen as the climate changes, is already taking a toll".

None of these examples referenced the conclusions of the IPCC's recent reports on extreme events, and the incorrect claims of the New York Times were made without any supporting evidence or attribution.

That politicians, academics or journalists express outlier or even incorrect views is usually not problematic: both science and democracy are self-correcting, and challenging ideas helps to make them stronger. However, in cases where evidence matters in policy making, decision makers need a way to separate the reliable from the hyperbole.

The IPCC, despite the fact that it has made some missteps in the past, is exactly the sort of institution for providing scientific advice to help evaluate conflicting and uncertain empirical claims. In the case of loss and damage from extreme events, the evidence is extremely strong. There is at present no evidentiary basis to support demands for reparations. That may change in the future, but the IPCC's recent assessments are an accurate reflection of where the science is today.

Disasters are important because people die and economies are disrupted. Abandoning the conclusions of the institution that we depend upon to evaluate evidence in climate science for policy making in this context may be politically popular in some circles. However, ignoring that evidence is unlikely to help us arrive at solutions that will improve future outcomes related to disasters, which will only get worse as global population and wealth continue to grow, and will be exacerbated if climate extremes become more frequent or intense, as expected by the IPCC.

For the Obama administration, it is not too late to recover – "to restore science to its rightful place", as the phrase goes. But this means relying upon institutions of scientific advice for evidence, rather than on political campaigners or error-strewn media reports. It shouldn't be a difficult choice. For those interested in both scientific integrity and action on climate change, the issue of extreme weather provides a useful case for thinking about institutions of scientific advice. Are they only useful when the results are politically convenient?

SOURCE






Green Madness: EU To Spend Staggering €180 Billion To Fight Climate Change

20% of the EU’s budget will go towards fighting climate change, climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard announced in Warsaw today.

This equates to €180 billion on climate spending between 2014 and 2020, which will be used to reduce emissions domestically and help developing countries adapt to climate change—three times what was provided in the previous budget.

Much of this will be spent on domestic projects, helping with the development of climate-smart agriculture, energy efficiency and the transport sector.

Over the next seven years, €15 billion from the EU’s overseas development budget will be ringfenced for climate spending. This is separate from what is provided each year by individual member states. For instance, the UK will provide £3.87bn of international climate aid between 2011 and 2015.

Speaking at a press conference in Warsaw today, EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said that if the world is successfully going to tackle climate change “one of the things we need is to change is the whole economic paradigm, including the way we construct our budgets.” She added that Europe is the first region to construct its budget in this way.

Finance meeting

Dr Celine Herweijer, partner at consultancy firm PwC says that, with high-level discussions on climate finance taking place tomorrow, other countries may soon announce similar policies.

“The EU finance announcement will hopefully be followed by many others in the coming hours and days. Finance holds the key to unlocking the stalemate we are seeing on the post 2020 agreement,” said Herweijer.

But she added: “Whether we’ll get the scale of movement on finance we need is unlikely. Targets of $60bn-$70bn by 2016 have been mentioned by some of the developing country groupings. Getting there would be a huge outcome.”

This will be the first time that there has been a ministerial dialogue dedicated to climate finance. The purpose of the discussion is to find a way to scale up the finance promised by developed countries to the US$ 100bn they have promised to deliver annually from 2020 to be delivered through the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

It comes with high expectations. “Countries have known about this for a long while,” says Liz Gallagher, senior policy advisor at E3G. “I get a sense there’s going to be some announcements on a range of different issues associated with finance. Whether that will be enough to placate and temper some of the quite heightened frustration in these negotiations, I don’t know.”

Green Climate Fund

There has been some doubt over whether the GCF will be able to harness the level of funding that was promised at UN climate talks in Cancun in 2010. At a press conference today, UN chief Ban Ki-moon called the Fund an “empty shell” and urged developing nations to fulfill their promise to supply $100bn.

“We need a lot of resources and financial resources is the most important and quickest way [of addressing climate change],” he said.

But speaking today in Warsaw, Manfred Konukiewitz, co-chair of the GCF board, said that the fund was “on track”, and that there was a “good chance” that the fund would be capitalised in 2014.

But while he said that the “window is now open” for countries to make a success out of the GCF “it won’t stay open for an unlimited time.” He stressed that the credibility of the UN climate process depended on successful capitalisation of the fund.

“Looking at the entire year we have the opportunity to really bring the fund to the point where it can mobilise resources and where it can spend money,” he said. “If we miss that opportunity we have a problem because that will certainly not be good for the credibility of this whole process and we don’t know when the next such opportunity will arise.”

Hedegaard said that EU contributions to the GCF remained dependent on the eventual mechanisms contained within the fund, but said that once it was set up, many member states would be ready to contribute.

SOURCE





Climate talks: Polish environment minister sacked to accelerate shale gas operations

Poland's prime minister Donald Tusk dismissed environment minister Marcin Korolec on Wednesday as part of a government reshuffle, but said the latter would continue to represent the country in ongoing UN climate talks.

Korolec will be replaced by Maciej Grabowski, former deputy finance minister responsible for preparing shale gas taxation.

"It is about radical acceleration of shale gas operations. Mr Korolec will remain the government's plenipotentiary for the climate negotiations," Tusk told a news conference.

Warsaw is hosting this year's UN climate talks, at which almost 200 countries are trying to make progress on a global climate deal that should be agreed by 2015.

Korolec, as Poland's environment minister, assumed the presidency of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change process on November 11, the first day of the two-week conference, and was to hold it throughout 2014.

His dismissal raised questions over Poland's position in the negotiations.

Some delegates complained about the timing of the reshuffle, saying it indicated that Poland was not interested in ensuring tougher global action to combat global warming.

"This is nuts. Changing the minister leading the climate negotiations after a race to the bottom by parties of the convention shows Prime Minister Tusk is not sincere about the need for an ambitious climate deal," said Maciej Muskat, director of Greenpeace Poland.

"Furthermore, justifying the change of minister by the need to push the exploitation of another fossil fuel in Poland is beyond words," he said.

One delegate added: "Poland hosted a conference to promote coal earlier this week and now this. You have to question how serious they are."

The country, which generates 90% of its electricity from coal, has been one of the most reluctant European Union members to toughen the existing goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2020.

The environment ministry under Korolec was criticised for hampering work on new shale gas legislation, which, together with red tape and poor results, forced a number of global players to quit Poland.

SOURCE






New paper finds Pacific cyclone activity is at the lowest levels of the past 5,000 years

A new paper published in Quaternary Science Reviews reconstructs cyclones of the central Pacific and finds cyclone activity of the 21st century is at the lowest levels of the past 5,000 years. The paper also shows typhoons in Japan at the lowest levels of the past 3,500 years and that North Atlantic hurricanes were more frequent/severe than modern times during various intervals over the past 3,000 years.

The authors attribute the changes in Pacific cyclones to the El Nino Southern Oscillation [ENSO], which is also shown to be at the lowest levels of the past 5,000 years. In addition, the paper shows sea levels of the central Pacific were ~.5 meters [~1.6 feet] higher than modern times from ~1,700 to ~2,500 years ago. Contrary to the claims of climate alarmists, the paper demonstrates cyclone activity and the frequency of El Ninos are currently at very low levels relative to the past 5,000 years.

Reconstructing mid-late Holocene cyclone variability in the Central Pacific using sedimentary records from Tahaa, French Polynesia

By Michael R. Toomeya et al.

Abstract

We lack an understanding of the geographic and temporal controls on South Pacific cyclone activity. Overwash records from backbarrier salt marshes and coastal ponds have been used to reconstruct tropical cyclone strikes in the North Atlantic basin. However, these specific backbarrier environments are scarce in the South Pacific, with cyclone records limited primarily to the period of modern observation.This instrumental record suggests a correlation with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), but longer records are necessary to test this relationship over geologic timescales and explore other potential climate drivers of tropical cyclone variability. Deep lagoons behind coral reefs are widespread in the Pacific and provide an alternative setting for developing long-term sedimentary reconstructions of tropical cyclone occurrence. Coarse-grained event deposits within the sediments of a back-reef lagoon surrounding Tahaa reveal a 5000-year record of cyclone occurrences. Timing of recent high-energy deposits matches well with observed tropical cyclone strikes and indicates coarse deposits are storm derived.Longer records show tropical cyclone activity was higher from 5000 to 3800 and 2900 to 500 yrs BP. Comparison to records from the North Pacific (out-of-phase) and North Atlantic (in phase) suggests a coordinated pattern of storm activity across tropical cyclone basins over the mid-late Holocene. The changes in tropical cyclone activity we observe in the South Pacific and across other basins may be related to ENSO as well as precession driven changes in ocean-atmosphere thermal gradients.


SOURCE





Norwegian army goes vegetarian as it goes to war against climate change by cutting ‘ecologically unfriendly’ foods

The Norwegian army has announced it will feed soldiers a vegetarian diet once a week in an effort to cut down on ecologically unfriendly foods. 'Meatless Mondays' have been introduced at one of the country's main bases and will soon be rolled out to all units in a boycott of food whose production contributes heavily to global warming.

With livestock farming accounting for almost 20 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, the army's proposal has been welcomed by environmental groups.

'It's a step to protect our climate. The idea is to serve food that's respectful of the environment," a Norweigan army spokesman said.

Eystein Kvarving added: 'It's not about saving money. 'It's about being more concerned for our climate, more ecologically friendly and also healthier.'

Environmental group, The Future in Our Hands, praised the defence ministry for 'taking climate and environmental issues seriously,' reports The Local.

According to research carried out by the orgnisation, the average Norweigan adult eats more than 1,200 animals over the course of their life, including 1,147chickens, 22 sheep, six cattle and more than two deer.

The army estimates that its meat consumption will be cut by 150 tonnes per year by following the plan.

SOURCE

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

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


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20 November, 2013

A 2015 climate treaty? Don't bother, Congress says

As activists gathering this week for U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Poland, fuel hopes for a 2015 legally binding treaty, U.S. lawmakers already are throwing cold water on the prospects.

In interviews this week with members of Congress on the right and left, even the most ardent supporters of international efforts to curb global greenhouse gas emissions said chances of Senate approval for a treaty have not improved much since the Kyoto Protocol crashed and burned in Washington, D.C., in 1997.

"It will be difficult to get a treaty passed in 2015 in the U.S. Senate as it is presently constituted," said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who co-chairs the Senate Climate Change Clearinghouse, aimed at supporting legislation to cut carbon emissions.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) agreed: "I am for global action on climate change. I am a proud supporter and very anxious for the U.S. to participate globally." But, he added, "I think if you look at the current makeup of the U.S. Senate, it's very difficult."

The Obama administration and nearly 200 other governments have pledged to devise a new international pact to curb global emissions, expected to go into effect by 2020. Talks this week in Warsaw and over the next two years will hammer out the contours of that deal -- including whether it is a formal agreement under international law or something looser and more fluid.

The United States is pressing for a "flexible" agreement in which each country decides what level of cuts it is able to offer the world, and a combination of strict reporting and peer pressure from the international community helps ensure that collectively the efforts are enough to avert catastrophic warming.

Whether it will ultimately become a "protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force," as the tortured language of a 2-year-old U.N. agreement laying out the options for the 2015 deal offers, is unclear, and Obama officials have not formally stated a preference.

But U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern cautioned in a speech last month: "Keep our eyes on the prize of creating an ambitious, effective and durable agreement. Insisting that only one way can work, such as an agreement that is internationally binding in all respects, could put that prize out of reach."

If the deal winds up being a treaty, Republican opponents of climate action have said, it won't get far -- even if, as the Obama administration has insisted, it puts major economies like China on an equal legal standing with the United States.

"It's not going to go anywhere. It's dead on arrival," said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), who argued that new U.S. EPA authority imposing carbon dioxide emissions limits on new power plants is "hurting our economy on a daily basis."

And Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who maintained that "there is a lot of difference of opinion among very educated people on the science" of global warming, said he, too, does not believe a treaty would pass muster in the Senate.

"I kind of doubt it," he said. "There is still a legitimate question of science, and you can't brush that away."

Others say the political winds in Congress might shift enough in the next few years that support for a treaty might be possible by 2015.

Fresh from a Wednesday briefing of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change on a study that showed strong public support for federal climate action, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) yesterday said he saw "seismic shifts" in the political landscape.

"I think this is an issue that can flip very quickly," said Whitehouse, who chairs the task force with Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).

For one thing, he said, President Obama's Climate Action Plan, released in June, which includes the EPA regulations, will "put a lot of costs on polluters and cause them to rethink the wisdom of an economywide carbon fee." For another, the emergence of donors like billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer means industrial donors may not always have the upper hand when it comes to political spending over the climate debate.

"If we can organize the armies on our side, it's a rout," Whitehouse said. "We just haven't bothered to organize them."

He argued that if climate change is seen to have been an important issue in the 2014 midterm elections, Republicans competing for their party's presidential nod the following year might move away from a hard-line position against cutting carbon.

"So all that adds up to 2015 being a pretty good year," Whitehouse said. Climate change legislation might again be possible, and the United States might be better-positioned to support a U.N. climate change agreement, he said.

Waxman said he believes a global agreement on carbon dioxide emissions will be necessary.

"This problem is global, not just related to any one country or only one region," he said. "We need an international effort, and I think there's growing support for that in the United States."

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) said the United States needs to focus first on putting its EPA regulations into play and proving it is taking its domestic emissions seriously.

"We need to set a good example to the rest of the world," Carper said. "That way, when we call on China and India and other big emitters, we can say not only 'Do as I say,' but 'Do as I do.'"

Markey said, "Increasingly, the U.S. is being viewed as a leader. Especially if the administration takes action on coal-fired power plants, I think it will be very hard, then, for China and India to say the U.S. is not acting."

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who sponsored two cap-and-trade bills in the last decade, said he thinks "some kind of catastrophe" might be required to spur action on climate change.

"I think it's real, and I think that we should continue to explore our options to reduce the effects of it," McCain said, but he added he has not liked "anything I've seen lately" through the U.N. climate process to address the issue. Still, he said the United States should remain involved internationally.

"I don't think talking hurts," McCain said. "It probably helps."

SOURCE






Warmist nutcase thinks it helps if he stinks

Kevin Anderson, a professor of Energy and Climate Change at the University of Manchester and Deputy Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the UK, acknowledged in an interview at the UN climate summit in Warsaw that he has made personal hygiene changes in his life in order to help fight global warming.

Anderson was confronted with his 2012 comments that he was going to do his part to reduce emissions by reducing his amount of bathing and showering.

“I’ve cut back on washing and showering – but only to levels that were the norm just a few years back,” Anderson (kevin.anderson@manchester.ac.uk) wrote on October 1, 2012.

“I’ve done without a fridge for 12 years, but recently relented and joined the very small proportion of the world’s population that has a fridge – this I may have to reverse!”

Anderson added: “I haven’t flown for almost eight years – and that will have to continue. I have halved the distance I drive each year and have significantly changed how I drive.”

Anderson was confronted with questions about his personal bathing habits in a contentious interview with Climate Depot’s Marc Morano at the UN climate summit in Warsaw on November 19, following a press conference featuring global warming skeptics.

Anderson conceded that he has cut back on his personal hygiene after Morano read aloud to him his 2012 quotes. “That is why I smell, yes,” Anderson told Climate Depot.

Morano then asked Anderson: “And you really believe that [not bathing] is going to help people avoid typhoons? “I think you misunderstand the point, I do not believe it would help as an individual,” Anderson responded.

“So it’s symbolic?” Morano asked.

“Well, it’s symbolic, it catalyzes action,” Anderson replied. “That’s the point of that. It may not in that in that particular case, but if we don’t make some attempt I don’t think we can catalyze action elsewhere. I don’t think it’s up to actual individual to bring about the change. But it is up to individuals to stand up for the morals they believe in and the science that they believe in. You have your view and I have my views and you act accordingly.”

Morano then asked about Anderson’s advocacy of “planned recessions” to help reduce emissions and allegedly reduce man-made global warming. See: ‘Planned recession’ could avoid catastrophic climate change

Anderson responded: “First, it’s not ‘believe’. I concluded. And it’s related to some caveats that went with it.”

Anderson and his colleague Alice Bows wrote in 2008: “Unless economic growth can be reconciled with unprecedented rates of decarbonization (in excess of 6% per year15), it is difficult to envisage anything other than a planned economic recession being compatible with stabilization at or below 650?ppmv CO2e.”

Anderson and Bows explained that global warming was such an urgent problem that it “demands a radical reframing of both the climate change agenda, and the economic characterization of contemporary society.”

Morano concluded the interview with Anderson by stating: “So you don’t shower, you don’t bathe regularly. You believe in planned recessions.”

SOURCE







Poland recognizes the real global warming agenda

Decades of oppression make Poles wary of being subjugated in name of “climate protection”

David Rothbard, writing from Poland

A cabal of climate change alarmists landed in Warsaw, Poland last weekend, to hammer out terms and rally support for a new binding global agreement to “save the planet” from “dangerous global warming.”

Not so fast, tens of thousands of Poles responded. The facts support their position.

Average global temperatures have not risen in 16 years, even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased steadily, helping plants grow faster and better. Antarctic ice is at a record high, Arctic sea ice is back to normal, and at current rates Greenland would not melt for 13,000 years. A new research paper in Global and Planetary Change reveals that global sea level rise has decelerated by 44% since 2004, to barely 7 inches per century!

These realities were underscored during a climate policy conference in Warsaw, on the eve of the UN confab. The Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) keynoted the event, which was sponsored by Solidarity, the Institute for Globalization, and other Polish and European NGOs. Capping off the program, representatives from the United States, Italy, Sweden, Hungary and Poland formally signed the “Warsaw Declaration.”

The declaration calls on the United Nations to discontinue work on a new treaty until a genuine “scientific consensus is reached on the phenomenon of so-called global warming,” including both its natural and human causes.

The next day, more than 50,000 enthusiastic Poles gathered in downtown Warsaw to celebrate National Independence Day, which commemorates the restoration of Poland’s statehood in 1918, after 123 years of partition and occupation by Russia, Prussia and Austria.

As millions more watched on live television, I was honored to be invited to the stage, to deliver an address celebrating freedom and warning against the UN’s dangerous, oppressive climate agenda. It was undoubtedly the largest audiences ever to hear a speech denouncing UN global warming policies, and I was proud to stand next to a CFACT banner that read “No to UN Climate Hype” in Polish, and be surrounded by thousands of people wearing stickers bearing the same message.

It was clear that – after twelve decades of partition, six years of Nazi terror, and 44 years of Russian and Communist subjugation – few Poles are in any mood to have their lives, liberties and living standards dictated by the European Union and United Nations, under the guise of “protecting the planet” from the supposed “ravages” of “cataclysmic” global warming (or “climate change” or “climate disruption” or whatever the catch-phrase of the week might be).

This is “a new battle for freedom,” I emphasized, “against those who would use environmental and climate alarmism to steal away our liberties and give international bureaucrats control over our energy sources, our daily lives, our prosperity, and our national sovereignty.”

During last year’s climate meeting in Rio de Janeiro, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said that what the UN intends is “a complete economic transformation of the world.” In 2000, former French President Jacques Chirac called the Kyoto climate treaty “the first component of authentic global governance.” And last year IPCC Working Group III co-chair Ottmar Edenhofer said international climate policy is not about environmental policy; it is about “how we redistribute the world’s wealth.”

These attitudes and agendas are bad news for those of us who love freedom. UN climate policy is bad news for the people of Poland, I stressed. The good news is that my address was carried live on Polish national television, covered by many international media outlets, and heartily endorsed by the throngs of independence celebrants, who gave a rousing chant in support of my message, following my address.

My talk was certainly noticed by the UN climate alarmists, who were kicking off their COP-19 climate conference, power grab and wealth redistribution schemes just a few kilometers away.

“The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion,” I continued, quoting from the Book of Proverbs. That is why environmentalists and climate bureaucrats don’t want to debate these issues or show anyone the assumptions, massaged temperature data and secret codes that they use in their misleading global warming computer models. “They know they are deceiving the world.”

Those of us gathered in Warsaw that day, I concluded, “stand for freedom. We stand for opportunity. We stand for our families. We stand for a strong and prosperous future. Together let us be bold as a lion.”

The UN made a big mistake in choosing Poland to host this global warming treaty summit. The Poles see right through the global warming hype and propaganda. Having to endure generations of Nazi and Communist oppression, pollution and economic deprivation has left them with a deep distaste for bureaucratic control and further curbs on freedom, opportunity and growth. Having to live according to grim ideologies enforced by threats of jail, or worse, has made them angry about new codes of ecologically correct speech.

Poland deserves freedom and prosperity. It knows it cannot move forward without energy – the Master Resource, the lifeblood of modern industrialized societies. The brave Poles are not about to cede their sovereignty to UN control – not about to let phony climate Armageddon alarms dictate their lives, livelihoods, liberties, living standards and life spans. They will not let the EU or UN control virtually everything they make, grow, ship, eat, drive and do.

They are fully aware that Poland is blessed with some of the biggest coal and shale gas reserves in all of Europe. They know Japan has reversed course, and will now allow a 3% increase in greenhouse gas emissions above 1990 levels, instead of mandating a 25% cut. They realize that “rich nations” (or more accurately, formerly rich nations) have rejected demands that they fork over $30 billion immediately, followed by $100 billion annually – in “compensation,” “adaptation” and “mitigation” money, to pay for “damages” from more frequent, more intense climate changes that aren’t happening, but are supposedly caused by industrialized nations.

They also know Germany is expanding its coal use to generate affordable electricity, and reverse the skyrocketing energy prices and job destruction that are sending shock waves through the German economy. Poland too needs all the coal, oil and natural gas power it can muster, to build an economy that was held back for decades by war and Communist misrule.

CFACT has been an officially recognized NGO at United Nations conferences for nearly two decades. It will be in Warsaw throughout the two-week-long COP-19 confab, with a delegation headlined by Apollo VII astronaut Colonel Walter Cunningham, who is highly critical of UN climate pseudo-science.

We will steadfastly present the facts about natural and manmade climate change, and the absolute requirement that environmental policies must reflect genuine science and the needs of human beings.

We will also support Polish feelings about the UN climate treaty – which boil down to what Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher told the Soviet Union: “Let Poland be Poland!”

Via email






Germany To Open 10 New Coal-Fired Power Stations

Steag GmbH started Germany’s first new power plant fueled by hard coal in eight years, allowing the generator and energy trader to take advantage of near record-low coal prices that have widened profit margins.

The 725-megawatt Walsum-10 plant, located near Dortmund in the western part of the country, began electricity output today, the Essen-based company said in an e-mailed statement. It will probably start commercial operations later in the year after “optimization works and testing,” it said.

The plant is the first new hard-coal-fired generator in Europe’s biggest power market since 2005. It marks the start of Germany’s biggest new-build program for hard coal stations since its liberalization in 1998. Ten new hard-coal power stations, or 7,985 megawatts, are scheduled to start producing electricity in the next two years, according to information from German grid regulator Bundesnetzagentur and operators.

“Coal prices recently fell to their lowest price for over four years in October and carbon prices are half what they were two years ago, making coal-burn extremely attractive to generators in terms of profitability,” Gary Hornby, energy markets analyst at Inenco Group Ltd., said by e-mail today.

The price for coal used in thermal plants for delivery to Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Antwerp next year, dropped to a record low of $80.25 a metric ton on Oct. 14, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. The contract traded at $81.60 at 2:51 p.m. London time, broker data show.
Widest Gap

Generating electricity by burning coal currently makes a profit of 9.16 euros a megawatt hour, compared with a loss of 19.31 euros a megawatt hour from gas, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on next-year German power prices. This is the widest gap between the two fuels for at least four years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Gas power plants coming off line must be replaced with baseload generation, coal seems the logical solution,” said Hornby.



The 10 new units will boost German hard coal generation capacity by 33 percent to 32,432 megawatts from 24,447 megawatts as of Oct. 16, regulator data show.

Walsum-10 will probably operate 5,000 to 6,000 hours per year, Juergen Froehlich, a Steag spokesman, said Oct. 30 by e-mail.

Steag has sold 57 percent of the plant’s output to EVN AG, a utility based in Vienna, while EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG is buying 35 percent under a long-term contract.

SOURCE





Government Funded Tesla Is One Hot Ride

Elon Musk of Tesla got a U.S. federal government loan of $465 million to produce the upscale Tesla Model S electric car. At more than $70,000 the car is too expensive for most consumers and as Britain’s “Top Gear” found, the car ran far less between charges than Elon Musk claimed. Now other problems have emerged.

In recent months, three Tesla Model S cars caught on fire, the last two reportedly caused by road debris. The other fire occurred in Mexico when the car hit a wall. No injuries reported in the fires, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into the safety issue. As it happens, safety problems are not limited to the pricey Tesla Model S.

Recall that Fisker Automotive, Inc, got a federal loan of $529 million to produce its $100,000 Fisker Karma hybrid, built not in America by American workers but in Finland by Finnish workers. Before Fisker went bankrupt, 16 of its upscale vehicles caught fire and blew up during Hurricane Sandy.

In 2011 in Hangzhou, China, an electric Zotye Multipla taxi burst into flames for reasons. Chinese firefighters were unable to discern. Apparently it was an absolute “fireball” that firefighters could not control, and the second such fire that year. That’s not good for areas of high population density, though the passengers and drivers apparently escaped unharmed.

Electric vehicles could well be unsafe at any speed, but they have not attracted attention from alleged consumer watchdog Ralph Nader. Likewise, the safety problems have not caused the federal government to revise its stimulus policies. Those may be risky for taxpayers, but they certainly proved bountiful for Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk. The man whose luxury plug-ins are catching fire plunked down $17 million for a 20,248-square-foot Bel-Air mansion with a gym, seven bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, tennis court, motor court, and a swimming pool.

SOURCE




United States Considers Ethanol Blend Increase

The United States, the world's largest ethanol producer, is weighing options to boost domestic use of the controversial fuel, according to the country's new agriculture administrator.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recommends that a higher percentage of ethanol be blended into gasoline to support the nation's struggling biofuel industry. The United States currently allows gasoline to contain a maximum of 10.2 percent ethanol, most of which is produced from corn.

"My hope is that we get a blend rate that's higher than 10 percent," Vilsack said, according to Reuters. "That's going to create more opportunities for the ethanol industry."

Vilsack said he is discussing an increase in the blend target with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the department that controls the nation's biofuel standard. A higher blend rate would appease the ethanol industry by expanding the market, but environmentalists say it would further exacerbate climate change.

Ethanol demand has fallen since oil prices plunged following a peak last summer. Several ethanol producers have struggled ever since. An estimated 21 percent of U.S. ethanol production capacity is currently shut down, according to ethanol producer Archer Daniels Midland.

Industry groups suggest that the EPA respond by increasing blend rates to 15-20 percent, which they argue would guarantee greater demand.

"Just think - if the EPA would move the ethanol blend cap from 10 to 20 percent - that would open up an additional 15 billion gallons of potential demand," said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, at a conference last year.

The EPA and U.S. Department of Energy are studying how a higher blend rate would affect both vehicle handling and the environment. According to the auto industry, most cars are not designed to run on a higher ethanol blend. It also remains unclear how the higher blend ratio would affect air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

A coalition of environmentalists, meanwhile, is calling for the biofuel to be phased out altogether. The groups, which include the Clean Air Task Force, Environmental Working Group, and Friends of the Earth, say the U.S. ethanol standard should remain at current levels and then be lowered gradually - unless the fuels can be guaranteed to meet "minimum environment, health, and consumer protection standards."

Researchers have criticised corn-based ethanol for its varied environmental and economic impacts. In the United States, rising demand for corn has been associated with greater usage of fertilizers and pesticides, as well as the depletion and contamination of water resources. Converting the crop into a fuel source may have contributed to last summer's global rise in food prices. And several studies suggest that the life cycle of ethanol, from the field to the fuel tank, may release more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional gasoline, depending on the feedstock used and how this is grown.

"The notion that [corn-based] ethanol fuels are carbon neutral has been proven false," said Jonathan Lewis, an environmental lawyer with the Clean Air Task Force.

The United States is slated to increase its use of biofuels from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons by 2022, under a federal "Renewable Fuel Standard" [PDF]. While Vilsack recognizes the limitations of corn-based ethanol, he says the fuel will help the country transition to more-advanced "cellulosic" biofuels made from non-food crops or waste materials. Such biofuels are considered to be more environmentally friendly.

"There are a number of challenges to the way in which ethanol is being produced today, and we have to respond to those challenges," Vilsack said in his first press conference as agriculture secretary. "One way we respond is by accelerating significantly the research that will allow us to be more efficient with the feedstocks that we have today...at the same time, working on promoting second- and third-generation feedstocks that may be even more beneficial from a climate change perspective."

Craig Cox, Midwest vice president at the Environmental Working Group, said that government support for corn-based ethanol may prevent the industry from transitioning rapidly to advanced biofuels. Corn ethanol accounted for three-quarters of the tax benefits and two-thirds of all federal subsidies allotted for renewable energy sources in 2007, according to his organization's research.

"The financial and political capital invested in corn ethanol may be a barrier rather than a bridge to cellulosic ethanol," Cox said.

But the industry insists that ethanol efficiency is improving, and cellulosic ethanol is on its way to becoming cost efficient.

"It is intentionally misleading to deny the concrete strides American farmers and ethanol producers are making to improve our energy security, mitigate climate impacts...and create hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic opportunity," the Renewable Fuels Association said in a statement on Wednesday.

Environmentalists in the European Union have also called for their region's ethanol targets to be reduced, in part out of a concern about rising food prices. Biofuel supporters prevailed, however, and the EU in 2008 included a 10 percent mandate for renewable fuel in its region-wide plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020.

The United States produced almost 9 billion gallons of ethanol last year. It was followed by Brazil, which generated 6.5 billion gallons, primarily from sugar cane. The European Union and China rounded out the top four, producing a combined 1.2 billion gallons, according to commodity analyst F.O. Licht.

SOURCE

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

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19 November, 2013

A curious claim from the Warsaw climate conference

"There is no doubt that now another climate change takes place - during the last hundred years the average global temperature rose by 0.74°C[1], the sea level increased for the first time since the last ice age (over 20cm since 1870, and the pace of the increase is getting faster), glaciers melt and the snow cap of the Northern hemisphere decreases."

SOURCE

There has been a HUGE sea level rise since the last ice-age, most of it in prehistory





Antarctica, a land of ice and FIRE: Active volcano is discovered under continent - and it could speed up melting

Subsurface vulcanism has long been known in the Arctic so finding something similar in the Antarctic is no surprise. The surprise is how thoroughly Warmists manage to ignore it. It does of course make nonsense of their claims that melting ice CAN ONLY be caused by CO2 increase. The Gakkel ridge in the Arctic is big and quite active. It is the most likely source of Arctic ice variability. It would be interesting to put a volcano under the bottom of some Warmists and see how long they managed to say it did nothing

Forget global warming, the ice sheets of Antarctica face a different and a potentially more imminent threat in the form an active volcano buried deep beneath.

Researchers from Washington University discovered the volcano - which is yet to be named - by accident in the Marie Byrd Land region of West Antarctica.

Swarms of tremors were detected in January 2010 and February 2011 and ash found trapped in the ice suggest it has been active for around 8,000 years.

In January 2010, a team of scientists from the St. Louis-based university set up two crossing lines of seismographs across Marie Byrd Land in West Antarctica.

Doug Wiens, professor of earth and planetary science at Washington University, and his team wanted to weigh the ice sheet to help create a picture of Antarctica's climate history.

Like a giant CT machine, the seismograph array used disturbances created by distant earthquakes to make images of the ice and rock deep within the region.

The technology found two bursts of seismic events between January 2010 and March 2011, which Wiens' PhD student Amanda Lough believed were caused by a previously unseen volcano buried over half a mile (1 kilometre) beneath the ice sheet.

‘I started seeing events that kept occurring at the same location, which was odd,’ Lough said. ‘Then I realised they were close to some mountains - but not right on top of them.

‘My first thought was, "Okay, maybe it’s just coincidence." But then I looked more closely and realised that the mountains were actually volcanoes and there was an age progression to the range.

'The volcanoes closest to the seismic events were the youngest ones.’

The tremors were weak and very low frequency, which Lough said suggested they weren't caused by movements in tectonic plates, associated with earthquakes.

For example, low-magnitude seismic tremors caused by tectonic movement typically have frequencies of 10 to 20 cycles per second, continued Lough. The shaking she discovered was in frequencies of 2 to 4 cycles per second.

Lough then used a global computer model of seismic speeds to find exactly where the seismic events were taking place.

It is thought that the newly discovered volcano is near the Executive Committee Range of extinct volcanoes.

The researchers also found that almost all of the events happened between 25 to 40 kilometres below the surface.

Lough said this is ‘extraordinarily deep - deep enough to be near the boundary between the Earth's crust and mantle, called the Moho.’ This suggested to Lough that the tremors weren’t caused by shifting ice or glacial movement. It also further ruled out the tectonic theory. ‘A tectonic event might have a hypocentre 10 to 15 kilometres deep, but at 25 to 40 kilometres, these were way too deep,’ Lough said.

This led Lough and her colleague to conclude the tremors and the waveforms they created looked like Deep Long Period earthquakes, or DPLs, which occur in volcanic areas.

The seismologists also talked to Antarctica experts Duncan Young and Don Blankenship from the University of Texas.

‘Their best guess is that it came from Mount Waesche, an existing volcano near Mount Sidley. But that is also interesting because scientists had no idea when Mount Waesche was last active, and the ash layer sets the age of the eruption at 8,000 years ago.‘

‘Most mountains in Antarctica are not volcanic,’ Wiens said. ‘But most in this area are. Is it because East and West Antarctica are slowly drifting apart? We don't know exactly. But we think there is probably a hot spot in the mantle here producing magma far beneath the surface.’

‘People aren't really sure what causes DPLs,' Lough continued. ‘It seems to vary by volcanic complex, but most people think it's the movement of magma and other fluids that leads to pressure-induced vibrations in cracks within volcanic and hydrothermal systems.’

Lough added that the volcano will ‘definitely’ erupt in the future but can’t be sure when. Such a subglacial eruption would cause enough heat flow to melt a substantial part of ice sheet.

‘The volcano will create millions of gallons of water beneath the ice - many lakes full,’ said Wiens.
This water will cause surrounding streams and sea levels to rise.

Lough added, though, that only an enormous eruption - one that released a thousand times more energy than a typical eruption - would be strong enough to breach the ice above the volcano.

The findings are published in the Nature Geoscience journal.

SOURCE






Canadian govt. scientists censored

A large survey of science professionals in the federal public service has found that almost 25 per cent of respondents say they have been directly asked to exclude or alter information for "non-scientific reasons."

Some 71 per cent of those surveyed said political interference is compromising policy development based on scientific evidence, and almost half of those who took part said they were aware of cases in which their department or agency suppressed information.scientists protest

The study, entitled "The Big Chill," was commissioned by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, and paints a disturbing picture of government scientists who feel they are being muzzled.

More than 4,000 federal scientists -- out of more than 15,000 who were invited --responded to the union-commissioned, online survey handled by the polling firm Environics.

"A chill has settled on federal government science that is even greater than that suggested by the cases so far reported by the media," Gary Corbett, the president of PIPSC, said Monday.

Federal Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault is already conducting a study of how communications policy changes under the Harper government have clamped down on the sharing of government science with the public.

Legault was spurred to investigate the issue by a lengthy report from the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria and the ethics advocacy group Democracy Watch, which included a score of anecdotes from six different government departments or agencies.

The PIPSC survey, which was conducted June 5-19 and surveyed 4,069 of the union's 15,398 members, adds statistical heft to that anecdotal evidence.

The responses came from across more than 40 government departments and agencies and included 670 Environment Canada scientists, 651 from Health Canada, 427 Defence department employees, 343 from Fisheries and Oceans, 335 from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and almost 300 each from Agriculture Canada and Natural Resources Canada.

Greg Rickford, the Conservative minister of state for science and technology, said in an email that the Conservatives have made "record investments in science."

"Science can power commerce, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for all Canadians," said the junior minister's email.

Through his office, however, Rickford did not respond to questions about the issue at hand: the alleged muzzling of scientists and the suppression of science in policy development.

A government official, speaking on background, said Environment Canada scientists alone attended 300 conferences in 2011, published 600 articles and participated in some 1,200 interviews.

The exchange with Rickford's office may help to illustrate the vast chasm between the perspective of elected officials and public servants.

The Conservative government, it appears, believes communication needs are easily met with carefully scripted and vetted talking points, even if off topic. Federal scientists, on the other hand, may feel differently.

Fully 90 per cent of respondents, however, said they don't feel they're allowed to speak freely about their work in the media, and 86 per cent believe they would face retaliation if they went public with information about harm to public health, safety or the environment.

Corbett noted the 2006 Government of Canada communications policy states it must provide the public with "timely, accurate, clear, objective and complete information" about its policies, services and programs.

"Whether by implicit policy or explicit action, there has been silencing and it continues," Corbett said.

But the survey was equally damning in its assessment of the government's use of scientific research.

SOURCE






Salby in Edinburgh, Nov. 7

On a windswept evening in the heart of Scotland's capital an eager audience was left in no doubt about Salby's message. The Australian climate professor, fired by his university for daring to speak the unspeakable truth, admitted that the peer-reviewed historical data proves that global temperatures conclusively drive carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, not the reverse.

In short, the message from this principled researcher stands loud and clear for policymakers: the CO2-forcing 'greenhouse gas' hypothesis has 'cause and effect' back to front. But before we go deeper into Salby's presentation we can't overlook a most bizarre appearance (enter stage door left!) from the indefatigable (Lord) Christopher Monckton of Brenchley.

Obviously it was quite a surprise to all present when the self-styled former "science adviser" to Margaret Thatcher popped up out of the blue. Judging by the facial expression of Mike Haseler (the scottish sceptic who organised this event) it surprised Mike as much as the rest of us. That said, his lordship was quickly allowed a small speaking slot before Salby. Salby did look a little none plussed, but leaned in the doorway and warmed to the speech as Monckton did his usual excellent job (more on that later below).

Salby was able to demonstrate, by reference to such official data, that recent and short term CO2 levels do not directly follow temperature swings, but are induced by and dependent upon the time integration of the temperature changes. If Salby's analysis is correct, then all those expensive government computer models programmed to show CO2 and temperature correlation are completely wrong and the ‘decarbonisation’ crusade is all based on junk science.

Salby's assessment is in line with that of Principia Scientific International (PSI); there appears to be broad agreement that both the UN IPCC and its latest AR5 report are rendered increasingly irrelevant, while all government subsidies for renewables now look to be pointless, too, for having no credible scientific basis.

Moreover, green taxes, carbon trading, carbon capture and sequetration and all related legislation are likewise redundant. But even better for populations crying out for cheaper energy is the clear implication that we need not close any coal fired powered stations or restrict shale gas exploration. So perhaps cheaper energy for all?

But let's just pause for a moment and give thanks to Hassler - he deserves much praise for his organisational efforts. Feedback to Mike may be posted here at scottishsceptic.wordpress.com. However, an even bigger thanks should go to Principia Scientific International (PSI), who via the generous four-figure sum donated by Ken Coffman (Stairway Press), helped cover Salby's expenses.

Professor Salby’s presentation was especially interesting in regards to the C12 and C13 ratio, which is an often overlooked aspect of climate attribution, as addressed so eloquently by 'The Chiefio' in 'The Trouble with C12 C13 Ratios' (February, 2009).

Salby accepts the consensus figures, he displayed them to his audience, and then questioned them, using the consensus’s own logic. By this means he found the accepted interpretations are wrong, or at least not supported by the consensus’s own figures. The Aussie climatologist used the same method with the global energy budgets and showed the intrigued ensemble they only allow CO2 to change temperature, which he also showed to be not the case, again using the consensus’s own figures.

Neat, Simple, Understandable, Logical and Questioning

However, we know the consensus figures for the modern global CO2 atmospheric concentration (ie, MLO) are questionable, if not completely wrong, as per Beck (see: 'Ernst Georg Beck: A Major Contributor to Climate Science Effectively Sidelined by Climate Deceivers').

We know the proxy record for CO2 atmospheric concentration (ice cores in this case) are questionable, if not completely wrong, as per Drake. We know the method by which they were spliced together is also questionable. Indeed, temperature reconstructions from ice cores are questionable (for the same reasons as CO2 reconstructions), ocean temperatures are questionable, if not just wrong, etc.

Is there a single reliable, unquestionable global metric in climate science? Almost certainly not. Yet, Professor Salby produces plots with a scale of 0.1 parts per million for global CO2 atmospheric concentration, without error bars. I would suggest that the noise is far, far larger than the signal. So, although excellent, it probably proves nothing, except the consensus does not have any reliable figures.

Professor Salby's questioning of the global energy budgets does stand up though, in my opinion. He showed they must be wrong, and at a very basic level, again, only by using the consensus’s own logic and figures.

But towards a new theory of climate though? NOT without including realistic thermodynamics, and that Professor Salby did not need to cover, because the consensus does not, and neither do most others. Mores the pity. All in all, his presentation was brilliant and a correct way to go about matters. I take my hat off to the good climate professor. Thank you Murry Salby.

SOURCE






The secret, dirty cost of Obama's green energy push

The hills of southern Iowa bear the scars of America's push for green energy: The brown gashes where rain has washed away the soil. The polluted streams that dump fertilizer into the water supply.

Even the cemetery that disappeared like an apparition into a cornfield.

It wasn't supposed to be this way.

With the Iowa political caucuses on the horizon in 2007, presidential candidate Barack Obama made homegrown corn a centerpiece of his plan to slow global warming. And when President George W. Bush signed a law that year requiring oil companies to add billions of gallons of ethanol to their gasoline each year, Bush predicted it would make the country "stronger, cleaner and more secure."

But the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today.

As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies, an Associated Press investigation found.

Five million acres of land set aside for conservation - more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined - have vanished on Obama's watch.

Landowners filled in wetlands. They plowed into pristine prairies, releasing carbon dioxide that had been locked in the soil.

Sprayers pumped out billions of pounds of fertilizer, some of which seeped into drinking water, contaminated rivers and worsened the huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico where marine life can't survive.

The consequences are so severe that environmentalists and many scientists have now rejected corn-based ethanol as bad environmental policy. But the Obama administration stands by it, highlighting its benefits to the farming industry rather than any negative impact.

Farmers planted 15 million more acres of corn last year than before the ethanol boom, and the effects are visible in places like south central Iowa.

The hilly, once-grassy landscape is made up of fragile soil that, unlike the earth in the rest of the state, is poorly suited for corn. Nevertheless, it has yielded to America's demand for it.

"They're raping the land," said Bill Alley, a member of the board of supervisors in Wayne County, which now bears little resemblance to the rolling cow pastures shown in postcards sold at a Corydon pharmacy.

All energy comes at a cost. The environmental consequences of drilling for oil and natural gas are well documented and severe. But in the president's push to reduce greenhouse gases and curtail global warming, his administration has allowed so-called green energy to do not-so-green things.

In some cases, such as its decision to allow wind farms to kill eagles, the administration accepts environmental costs because they pale in comparison to the havoc it believes global warming could ultimately cause.

Ethanol is different.

The government's predictions of the benefits have proven so inaccurate that independent scientists question whether it will ever achieve its central environmental goal: reducing greenhouse gases. That makes the hidden costs even more significant.

"This is an ecological disaster," said Craig Cox with the Environmental Working Group, a natural ally of the president that, like others, now finds itself at odds with the White House.

But it's a cost the administration is willing to accept. It believes supporting corn ethanol is the best way to encourage the development of biofuels that will someday be cleaner and greener than today's. Pulling the plug on corn ethanol, officials fear, might mean killing any hope of these next-generation fuels.

"That is what you give up if you don't recognize that renewable fuels have some place here," EPA administrator Gina McCarthy said in a recent interview with AP. "All renewable fuels are not corn ethanol."

Still, corn supplies the overwhelming majority of ethanol in the United States, and the administration is loath to discuss the environmental consequences.

"It just caught us completely off guard," said Doug Davenport, a Department of Agriculture official who encourages southern Iowa farmers to use conservation practices on their land. Despite those efforts, Davenport said he was surprised at how much fragile, erodible land was turned into corn fields.

Shortly after Davenport spoke to The Associated Press, he got an email ordering him to stop talking.

"We just want to have a consistent message on the topic," an Agriculture Department spokesman in Iowa said.

That consistent message was laid out by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who spoke to ethanol lobbyists on Capitol Hill recently and said ethanol was good for business.

"We are committed to this industry because we understand its benefits," he said. "We understand it's about farm income. It's about stabilizing and maintaining farm income which is at record levels."

The numbers behind the ethanol mandate have become so unworkable that, for the first time, the EPA is soon expected to reduce the amount of ethanol required to be added to the gasoline supply. An unusual coalition of big oil companies, environmental groups and food companies is pushing the government to go even further and reconsider the entire ethanol program.

The ethanol industry is fighting hard against that effort. Industry spokesman Brooke Coleman dismissed this story as "propaganda on a page." An industry blog in Minnesota said the AP had succumbed "to Big Oil's deep pockets and powerful influence."

Much more HERE






Australian PM rejects climate change fund proposal

Canada too

Colombo, Sri Lanka: Prime Minister Tony Abbott has rejected a proposal from the 53-nation Commonwealth to establish a new fund to help poor and island countries to combat climate change.

As an extraordinary Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting concluded in Colombo, Mr Abbott joined with Canada in rejecting a decision by the summit to push for a Green Capital Fund to help vulnerable island states and poor African countries address the effects of rising sea levels, prolonged droughts, or catastrophic weather incidents, caused by climate change.

The proposal is for Commonwealth countries to work within the UN climate change network to build the fund for small and poor countries to access.

But the final agreement from the 53 members of the Anglosphere Commonwealth noted that “Australia and Canada… indicated they could not support a Green Capital Fund at this time”.

One of the key themes of the summit was the plight of low-lying, and poor states who are especially vulnerable to climate change, but don't have the money for adaptation.

Malta will host the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, offering to stage the event after Mauritius withdrew in protest over Sri Lanka hosting this year's forum.

Prime Minister of Mauritius Navin Ramgoolam did not attend the Colombo meeting in protest at Sri Lanka's human rights record, and said his country would not be prepared to present the next one.

The issue of human rights violations dominated the final day of CHOGM 2013. Under questioning from foreign journalists, and in response to spirited defences from local reporters, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse asked the international community to give his country time to reconcile after 30 years of civil war.

“This is not something you can do overnight. You must also respect our own views without trying to push us into a corner, so please be fair.”

Four years since the war's end, relations between Sri Lanka's Sinhalese, Tamil, and Muslim communities remain strained. But Mr Rajapakse said he felt responsible for the welfare of all citizens of the island nation.

“They are all my people, my citizens, I will look after them, it is my responsibility… I will do it.”

SOURCE

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

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


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18 November, 2013

IPCC ‘s Bogus Evidence for Global Warming

by S. Fred Singer

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was set up by the United Nations in 1988 and has been trying very hard to demonstrate the threat of a dangerous human influence on climate due to the emission of greenhouse gases. This is in line with their Charter, which directs the IPCC to assemble reports in support of the Global Climate Treaty – the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) of Rio de Janeiro.

It is interesting that IPCC “evidence” was based on peer-reviewed publications - but (reluctantly) abandoned only after protracted critiques from outside scientists. E-mails among members of the IPCC team, revealed in the 2009 ‘Climategate’ leak, describe their strenuous efforts to silence such critiques, often using unethical methods.

I will show here that the first three IPCC assessment reports contain erroneous scientific arguments, which have never been retracted or formally corrected, but at least have now been abandoned by the IPCC — while the last two reports, AR4 and AR5, use an argument that seems to be circular and does not support their conclusion. Australian Prof. “Bob” Carter, marine geologist and paleo-climatologist, refers to IPCC as using “hocus-pocus” science. He is a co-author of the latest (2013) NIPCC (Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change) report “Climate Change Reconsidered-II“. We also co-authored a critique of the 2013 IPCC-AR5 Summary.

1. IPCC-AR1 (1990)

This first report of the IPCC bases its entire claim for AGW on the fact that both CO2 and surface temperatures increased during the 20th century – although not in lock-step. They assign the major warming of 1910 to 1940 to a human influence — based on a peer-reviewed paper by BD Santer and TML Wigley, which uses a very strange statistical argument. But the basis of their statistics has been critiqued (by Tsonis and Swanson) — and I have demonstrated empirically elsewhere that their conclusion does not hold.

While this faulty paper has never been retracted, it is now no longer quoted as evidence by the IPCC — nor accepted by the overwhelming majority of IPCC scientists: Most if not all warming of the early 20th century is due to natural, not human causes.

2. IPCC AR2 (1996)

This report devotes a whole chapter, #8, to “Attribution and Detection.” Its main feature is what one might call the “invention” of the “Hotspot,” i.e. an enhanced warming trend in the tropical troposphere — never actually observed.

Unfortunately, the “evidence,” as presented by BD Santer, was published only after the IPCC report itself appeared; it contains two fundamental errors. The first error was to argue that the Hotspot is a “fingerprint” of human influence — and specifically, related to an increase in greenhouse gases. This is not true. The Hotspot, according to all model calculations, is simply an atmospheric amplification of a surface trend, a consequence of the physics of the tropical atmosphere.

[Technically speaking, it is caused by increased convective activity whereby cumulus clouds carry latent heat from the surface of the tropical ocean into the upper troposphere. In other words, the Hotspot is not human-caused, but arises from a "moist-adiabatic lapse rate" of the atmosphere. This effect is discussed in most meteorological textbooks and is widely accepted.]
How then did AR2 conclude that a Hotspot exists observationally? This is the second issue: The IPCC selected a short interval in the atmospheric temperature record that showed an increase — while the general trend was one of cooling. In other words, they cherry-picked their data to invent a Hotspot — as pointed out in a subsequent publication by PJ Michaels and PC Knappenberger [see graph below]

The matter of the existence of a Hotspot in the actual tropical troposphere has been the topic of lively debate ever since. On the one hand, DH Douglass, JR Christy, BD Pearson and SF Singer, demonstrated absence of a Hotspot empirically while Santer (and 17[!] IPCC coauthors), publishing in the same journal, argued the opposite. This issue now seems to have been finally settled, as discussed by Singer in two papers in Energy & Environment [2011 and 2013].

It is worth noting that a US government report [CCSP-SAP-1.1 (2006)] showed absence of a Hotspot in the tropics (Chapter 5, BD Santer, lead author). But the report’s Executive Summary managed to obfuscate this result by referring to global atmosphere rather than tropical.

It is also worth noting that while the IPCC-AR2 used the Hotspot invention to argue that the “balance of evidence suggest a human influence,” later IPCC reports no longer use the Hotspot argument.

Nevertheless, one consequence of this unfortunate phrase in AR2 has been the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. Even though Kyoto expired in 2012, it has managed to waste hundreds of billions of dollars so far — and continues to distort energy policies with uneconomic schemes in most industrialized nations.

3. IPCC AR3 (2001)

AR3 attributes global warming to human influences based on the “Hockey-Stick” graph, using published papers by Michael Mann, derived from his analysis of multi-proxy data. The hockeystick graph [bottom graph below] claims that the 20th century showed unusually rapid warming — and thus suggests a strong human influence. The graph also does away with the well-established Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age, which were shown in earlier IPCC reports [see top graph below].

It was soon found that the Hockeystick graph was in error and did not deserve continued reliance. Canadian statisticians Steven McIntyre and Ross McKitrick demonstrated errors in Mann’s statistical analysis and in the use of certain tree-ring data for calibration. In fact, they showed that Mann’s algorithm would generate a Hockeystick graph — even if the input data was pure noise. [I served as a reviewer for M&M's initial paper in Energy & Environment 2003.]

It is worth noting that the IPCC no longer uses the Hockeystick to support human-caused warming, even though AR3 still claims to be at least 66% certain that greenhouse-gas emissions are responsible for 20th century warming.

4. IPCC-AR4 (2007) and AR5 (2013)

Both reports use essentially the same faulty argument in their attempt to support their conclusion of human-caused global warming. Their first step is to construct a model that tries to match the reported 20th-century surface warming. This is not very difficult; it is essentially a ‘curve-fitting’ exercise: By selecting the right level of climate sensitivity and the right amount of aerosol forcing, they can match the reported temperature rise of the final decades of the 20th century, but not the initial decades — as becomes evident from a detailed graph in their Attribution chapter. This lack of agreement is due to the fact that their models ignore major forcings — both from variations of solar activity and from changes in ocean circulation.

They then use the following trick. They re-plot their model graph, but without an increase in greenhouse gases; this absence of forcing now generates a gap between the reported warming and unforced model. Then they turn around and argue that this gap must be due to an increase in greenhouse gases. It appears to me that this argument may be circular. Even if the reported late-20th-century surface warming really exists (it is absent from the satellite and radiosonde records), the IPCC argument is not convincing.

It is ironic, however, that IPCC claims increasing certainty (at 90% in AR4 and at least 95% in AR5) for an attribution to human causes, which appears to be contrived. Additionally, while AR4 calculates a Climate Sensitivity (for a doubling of CO2) of 2.0 – 4.5 degC, AR5 expands the uncertainty interval to 1.5 – 4.5 degC. So much for the claim of increased certainty in the IPCC-AR5 Summary.

Yet, while claiming increased certainty about manmade global warming, both reports essentially ignore the absence of any surface warming trend since about 1998. Of course, they also ignore absence of any significant warming in the troposphere, ocean record, and proxy data during the crucial preceding (1979-1997) interval.

Conclusion

In spite of much effort, the IPCC has never succeeded in demonstrating that climate change is significantly affected by human activities — and in particular, by the emission of greenhouse gases. Over the last 25 years, their supporting arguments have shifted drastically — and are shown to be worthless. It appears more than likely that climate change is controlled by variations in solar magnetic activity and by periodic changes in ocean circulation.

SOURCE





Science and Journalism Take a Vacation

A recent Times of London article claimed new “research” demonstrates that a “chemical onslaught is destroying Britain’s amphibians.” A “toxic cocktail,” it stated, is killing UK frogs, toads and newts.

Manmade chemicals “can affect animals’ immune systems – leaving them vulnerable to attack by fungi, bacteria and other infections,” it continued, citing statements by two scientists. Laboratory experiments show that pesticides have a “powerful effect on amphibian immune systems, even at low concentrations,” causing diseases that have been around for decades to “suddenly become much more deadly.”

And not just for amphibians, the story added. “Some fear the same effects could extend to humans, who are exposed to numerous manmade chemicals, in food, drinks and the air.”

It concluded by quoting Elizabeth Salter Green, director of CHEM Trust, which the Times said sponsored the so-called research. “There is mounting evidence that exposure to even tiny levels of these [agricultural pesticides and urban] chemicals can compromise the immune system. The European Union needs to take a lead on both identifying and controlling the risks,” she insisted.

The story certainly sounds plausible. However, as Baltimore journalist H. L. Mencken observed, “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem – neat, plausible, and wrong.” Indeed, there are ample reasons for skepticism. The Times “news story” underscores what happens when genuine science and objective journalism take a vacation, on chemicals, medicine, global warming and other topics.

CHEM Trust is financially supported by and promotes the work of Greenpeace, an organization that co-founder Patrick Moore says has become “anti-science, anti-technology and anti-human.” Greenpeace fabricated claims that Shell Oil’s Brent Spar production platform contained tons of oil, toxic wastes and radioactive materials, to attract donations and ensure that the platform was not sunk as an artificial reef.

The Rainbow Warriors spend tens of millions of dollars opposing pesticide spraying to prevent malaria that kills nearly a million people annually; Golden Rice, the genetically modified grain that contains a Vitamin A precursor that can save millions of developing world children from blindness and death; and fossil fuels that enhance and safeguard lives in countries everywhere. Canada refused to grant charitable status to Greenpeace, due to its repeated falsehoods, politicized activities and lack of “public benefit.”

Had CHEM Trust been an industry-funded organization, the Times would almost certainly have noted that affiliation, regardless of how scrupulous and transparent the research might have been. Author Jonathan Leake’s failure to mention the Greenpeace connection reflects his (and the Times) tendency to promote environmentalist views and assertions as straightforward, unimpeachable science.

The CHEM Trust paper wasn’t even research. It was an advocacy brief – a summary of research papers and conclusions carefully selected to support claims that chemicals pose unacceptable risks to wildlife and humans. As the document itself suggests, its ultimate purpose is to secure even more draconian changes in EU chemicals policy and legislation, which already reflect the “precautionary principle.”

That vague and arbitrary “principle” focuses on the risks of using chemicals – but never on the risks of not using them. It spotlights risks that a chemical might theoretically cause, but ignores the risks that it would clearly reduce or prevent. It is another potent weapon for anti-technology activists: Whatever they support complies with the precautionary principle; whatever they oppose violates it.

Just as bad, the Times article was apparently based on exclusive access to the embargoed report. This shabby willingness to be used as an activist mouthpiece is reminiscent of the now-infamous 2012 Seralini “study.” Giles-Eric Seralini is a well-known anti-biotechnology activist associated with a lobbying group that released a paper purporting to prove that genetically modified foods cause cancer in rats.

Accompanied by gruesome photographs of lab rats with massive tumors, the study was released under an “embargo” to selected journalists, who signed an agreement not to show the paper to outside scientists before the story hit the newspapers and airwaves. That meant the journalists could not seek unbiased comments or provide any balance or corrections to the activist storyline.

New York Times blogger Carl Zimmer called the episode “a rancid, corrupt way to report about science.” Nevertheless, many “mainstream” publications took Seralini up on his offer, including Agence France Presse and Reuters. Within 24 hours after the embargo was lifted, independent scientists piled on, exposing almost every aspect of the “study” as flawed, and even dishonest and fraudulent. One said the story was “designed to frighten” people, and the author and editors “should be ashamed.”

But Seralini got the headlines he wanted. So did Greenpeace and CHEM Trust.

Making this latest debasement of science and journalism even more disturbing is that fact that the “toxic cocktail” of agricultural and urban chemicals is merely the latest in a long line of “studies” that activists have offered as “proof positive” that modern technologies are destroying amphibians and nature. Previous alleged perpetrators have included pesticides alone, acid rain, ozone depletion and global warming – whatever was fashionable at the time, and whatever activist groups calculated would attract donations, expand their political power, and help enact punitive laws and regulations.

Some species develop resistance to pesticides, but meanwhile the real causes of disappearing amphibians receive insufficient study and attention, to address the problem in time to prevent more extinctions.

For example, a year ago the Washington Post ran a dramatic story about scientists in the Panamanian rainforest desperately trying to save dwindling frog species. “Where there once was a crazy cacophony of frog song,” its reporters wrote, there is now only “a spooky quiet. The streams have gone silent.” The golden frog, Panama’s animal mascot, has not been seen since 2009.

However, these rainforests are as pristine as habitats can get. There are virtually no pesticides or other chemical pollutants. Disease is the real culprit, in this case Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the “Bd fungus,” which has been decimating amphibians in Panama, the USA and elsewhere for years.

For several decades, African clawed frogs were imported into the United States and other countries as pets, for scientific research and as pregnancy tests (they ovulate when injected with a pregnant woman’s urine). Unfortunately, because these frogs are largely immune to the Bd fungus, they are effective carriers of this devastating non-native disease. (So are Pacific tree frogs.) As they escape or are released into the wild, and then migrate further, into other habitats, they spread the fungus; people hiking in those habitats pick the fungus up on their boots and shoes, spreading it even further. Clawed frogs have been implicated in the decline or extinction of some 200 frog species worldwide.

Native to eastern North America, American bullfrogs are raised as food and pets in factory farms in the US, China and other countries. They too are largely immune to Bd and other chytrid skin fungus diseases, which cause amphibians’ skins to thicken and lead to cardiac arrest, and thus have been major carriers.

In high enough concentrations, pesticides can kill amphibians, fish and other wildlife. It is also possible that lower concentrations of pesticides and other chemicals might reduce immunities to fungal and bacterial agents. But it’s dangerous to base conclusions on cherry-picked studies disseminated by CHEM Trust and Greenpeace. As to genetic deformities and other abnormalities, the same chemicals may be responsible – but so too might other ubiquitous chemicals that rarely get mentioned in activist press releases or media stories, because it wouldn’t be politically correct: namely, birth control medicines that are flushed down toilets or discharged in urine, especially around urban centers. The jury is still out.

Good science and journalism must make clear what is verifiable fact; what is simply hypothesis, conjecture or rank opinion; and what is outright, disingenuous activist advocacy. The Times of London writers were either snookered or willing dupes. Either way, its credibility has been seriously undermined.

SOURCE






Warmists can’t stop themselves

WALTER STARCK

Climate alarmists' tactics -- exaggeration, misrepresentation, smear and scorn -- have hurt the movement more than helped it. No surprise there. Cultists are always the last to recognise the folly of their ways

When the idea of dangerous anthropogenic global warming (AGW) from fossil fuel emissions arose it found strong resonance across a variety of important interests. For researchers it meant funding and recognition. With the media it was attention-grabbing drama. To activists it was the mother of all eco-threats. Business saw huge profits to be made, while bureaucrats recognised the potential for massive increases in power and control.

For politicians it was a no-brainer, with strong popularity on one side and only denigration on the other.

An impressive AGW bandwagon soon assembled and fired-up a luxurious hundred billion dollar gravy train. In late 2009 everything was on track for a glorious triumph by AGW forces at the Copenhagen Climate Summit, which was to have been the gateway to the clean, green new world promised by the eco-prophets.

Then came Climategate and the wheels started to come off.

In reality the whole vast AGW structure was built on a flimsy foundation of highly dubious prophesies by a small coterie of third-rate academics whose reputations and careers have been based almost entirely on dramatic claims about climate change which have proved to be either wrong, doubtful, or at best, yet to be verified. The description of their being “third rate” is used with due consideration. The attention-grabbing claims concerning AGW have been both fraught with uncertainty and subject to diverse unrefuted criticism. Well-founded credentials and reputations in research are not based on iffy speculation and un-verified predictions. Competent scientists avoid such speculation and take care to clearly qualify the limits and uncertainties involved in any opinions or predictions they may offer.

With rare exception, all of the leading scientific proponents of catastrophic AGW have been unknown academics until they climbed onto the climate change bandwagon and began to make dramatic predictions of imminent catastrophe. The few exceptions with established reputations outside of climate catastrophism seem to have been already committed to a catastrophist view of other environmental threats for which AGW is only the latest, greatest and most popular. It also has boasted the added attraction of being by far the most rewarding.

In addition, climatology was a little known, highly interdisciplinary area of study in which researchers from almost any field could participate and call themselves climatologists. Doing so and offering some dramatic claim about AGW virtually assured widespread news coverage with anointment by the media of status as an “expert”. Generous grants were sure to follow.

For an academic with only a meagre reputation to risk, the temptation would have been hard to resist — especially so for those suffering from that common academic malady, an inflated opinion of one’s own importance and intellectual ability. The opening of a shortcut to fame and fortune while bypassing the normal and tedious slog to recognised expertise was surely too right to have been just luck. It must have been meant to be and has accordingly been defended with all the ferocity of true believers.

In climate alarmism the perceived righteousness of the cause has led to a wholesale abandonment of what had previously been considered to be proper scientific practice. In climate research it has become widespread and accepted practice to refuse to reveal methods and materials, ignore opposing evidence, misrepresent findings, exaggerate confidence, suppress publication of conflicting findings and use personal denigration to discredit anyone who dares to raise questions about the latest and endless streams of claims and assertions. While such malpractice has become pervasive, it will usually involve just complex technical matter at a time, requiring a considerable level of background knowledge if arguments are to be fully understand.

However, the fundamental ethical issues are something everyone can understand and it is here where the alarmists have done the most to discredit themselves. Whenever clear evidence of dishonest behaviour by AGW proponents has been exposed, instead of simply condemning it they have followed a pattern of first trying to deny it then, when that fails, attempting to justify it. Finally, when mis-information has been thoroughly exposed, they seek to trivialise “mistakes” as being of no importance in any case. In doing this they have make it clear that any regard for truth is subordinate to the righteousness of their cause.

Before widespread systematic scientific misconduct began to be exposed in climate research, science enjoyed a high level of public trust. In abusing this trust, climate alarmists gained a short-lived advantage. However, the inevitable exposures have inflicted serious and long lived damage to both their own cause and to the reputation of science itself. This will be difficult to repair.

Now, it seems that all of the dire predictions about warming temperatures, species extinctions, extreme weather, melting glaciers, accelerating sea levels, epidemics, crop failures and sundry other climate catastrophes are starting to be seen as having failed. Having denied any possibility of natural variability in the modest rise in global temperature observed in the latter part of the 20th century, the alarmists are now finding it difficult to explain why their most certain hopes have not materialised. That they might have been wrong all along is, of course, unthinkable.

In the face of an ever increasing departure from unfolding reality their response has been to simply ratchet up the level of alarm and claim more certainty than ever. This seems a bizarre strategy, especially from a group which purports to be composed of scientists of the highest calibre. They must deem reality itself to be subordinate to a dubious theory ratified only by group consensus.

From the outside it looks like a retreat to the bunkers for a last stand by fanatical adherents of an extremist cult preparing for martyrdom in a final paroxysm of righteousness. Perhaps it’s the prophesied battle of Armageddon featuring the righteous hosts of postmodernism vs. the Satanic idea of an objective reality independent of anything one might choose to believe. Or could it just be that the constant misrepresentation of reality that is now the norm in climate research has become so ingrained that adherents have difficulty differentiating reality from fantasy, not unlike the condition psychiatrists used to call Pseudologia Fantastica?

However it is characterised, the current tactics of climate alarmists in public debate are doing nothing to restore their credibility, serving only to make themselves look ever more foolish and untrustworthy.

If they are really as certain as they profess to be, the best thing they could do at this point would be to shut up. If they are right, reality should prove them so soon enough. And if the science is settled, as they claim, there is no need for more research anyway. Of course they won’t do anything of the sort. Shutting up would mean giving surrendering all that flattering attention and funding they have come to accept as their just due.

So, in all probability the show will continue, not as a debate but as a farce, with the lead characters making ever-bigger fools of themselves until the public tires of paying the bills and finds something better to do with its tax money.

SOURCE





Warmism is motivated cognition -- it serves needs for its believers

Christopher Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the author of Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed, said that some people’s belief in man-made global warming goes back to the same “long-proved human instinct” to assign blame that led to witch trials throughout history.

“Previously, when the crops failed, leading to famine, babies died…you’d blame the witch next door, throw her on the fire,” Horner said on The Glenn Beck Program. “Now, it’s when these catastrophes occur.”

The author told Stu Burguiere, who was filling in for Glenn Beck, that it is “tiresome” when such individuals “do this ritual in response to every blizzard or heat wave,” and “disgusting or sick” when man-made global warming is consistently blamed for natural catastrophes.

But Horner argued that there are different reasons people feel so strongly about the issue, and that for some, it simply comes down to “desperation.”

“Obviously when the spaceship that they either promised or were promised continues to not show up, or the comet continues to not come by, doomsday remains elusive, they’re grabbing anything that floats by,” he said.

But for others, Horner said that man-made global warming “affirms (their) worldview” that “modernity, whatever it is, wealth is horrible.”

The two also discussed the back-story behind the often-repeated line that “the science is settled,” and Horner said that in some cases, those climate change “experts” have included “hotel administrators, experts in ancient Chinese healing techniques, (and) gynecologists.”

The bottom line, the author argued, is if those who believe that man-made global warming had a real argument, “they’d make it, and…they’d stick with it.”

“They wouldn’t bounce between drought, rain, hot, cold, snow, no snow, warming, weather, climate, jobs, the French will like us (to prove their point),” Horner remarked. “They’d make their case.”

SOURCE






The Fracking Fight Goes Way Left

The fight against hydraulic fracturing has recently ratcheted up. On November 5, one town in Ohio and three in Colorado, passed ballot measures designed to ban or temporarily halt hydraulic fracturing—the brief (3-5 day) phase, often referred to as “fracking”—that is essential to the advanced oil-and-gas extraction processes that have given America the lead in global energy production. A fourth Colorado town awaits a recount. Initial election results showed the moratorium in Broomfield, Co—failed by 13 votes. However, on November 13, after all the overseas, military, provisional and other outstanding ballots were counted, it had passed by 17 votes. A margin of less than 0.5 percent triggers an automatic recount—leaving the final outcome currently unknown. In Bowling Green and Youngstown, Ohio, the opposite happened. Similar proposed bans against fracking were defeated.

Of the four votes in Colorado, Tisha Schuller, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) calls the Boulder and Lafayette votes merely “symbolic,” and noted that “Lafayette's last new well permit was in the early 1990s and Boulder's last oil and gas well was plugged in 1999.”

However, Fort Collins, CO, is near the promising production of the Niobrara shale. The Fort Collins city council passed a resolution encouraging voters to reject the proposed moratorium. And, in Broomfield, the city council, in August, entered into a memorandum of understanding that would allow energy company Sovereign to drill 21 wells—as long as stringent standards are met. In these cities, these five-year bans will bite.

In Ohio, the Oberlin ban is, likewise, “symbolic,” as Oberlin, a college town, has no drilling plans. Bowling Green, which rejected the ban, also has no drilling plans. However, in the Mahoning Valley where Youngstown is located, there is current oil-and-gas activity. In Youngstown, which is a depressed former steel town, residents have twice voted down a fracking ban. The Akron Beacon Journal reports: “the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 396 spent more than $74,000 trying to defeat the amendment. The union called it a job-killer.” Supporters of the ban claim “the loss can be explained by voters who are hard up for the jobs energy development brings.” (Note: “energy development” does bring jobs.)

Within the past year, Longmont, CO, became the first town in the state to ban fracking and Mora County, NM, became the first county in New Mexico to ban the “extraction of oil, natural gas, or other hydrocarbons.”

National Geographic states: “the wins provide momentum for the national movement to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.” Former Colorado State House Representative, B.J. Nikkel, is quoted as saying: “This is round one in a much longer match.” Mora County Commissioner, John Olivas, declared: “We’re ready for this fight.” Fracking opponent, Gretchen Goldman, an analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy, said: “The decision of whether or not hydraulic fracturing occurs in these Colorado communities may ultimately lie with the courts, where the city of Longmont is already being sued by COGA and the state of Colorado over its fracking ban.”

Because fracking is governed by the states, the bans put cities and counties at odds with state—and even federal—laws. According to a New York Times (NYT) article written at the time of Longmont’s fracking ban passage (November 2012), Colorado’s Democrat Governor, John W. Hickenlooper, warned residents of a lawsuit from the state and insisted that only the state has “the authority to regulate drilling.”

Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources also, according to RC 1509, has the “sole and exclusive authority to regulate the permitting, location, and spacing of oil and gas wells and production operations within the state …” A recent lawsuit in Ohio challenged the idea of “preemption.” The City of Munroe Falls argued “home-rule” authority to regulate gas-drilling operations and won the case in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, but was reversed by the Ninth District Court of Appeals in what has been described as a “knock-out punch.” The case will now go before the Ohio State Supreme Court with a decision expected this spring.

In July 2013, Hickenlooper’s administration joined COGA in a lawsuit seeking to overturn Longmont’s fracking ban.

Concerned about the lawsuits, Longmont’s Mayor Dennis L. Coombs said: “People really didn’t think through this too well.”

Stan Dempsey, President of the Colorado Petroleum Association, told me he “expects the Fort Collins and Broomfield bans will be fought in court.”

The NYT states that seven former mayors of Longmont fought the ban and cites Bill Swenson, who said the ban was “contrary to state laws.” Swenson believes, “We are, in effect, taking your property.”

In New Mexico, where a lawsuit was filed, on November 11, against the Mora County drilling ban, former State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons, agrees. Under his leadership, many tracts were leased for potential drilling in Mora County which he said “could be a big boon for the economy.” Lyons told me Mora’s drilling ban is a “private property takings.”

However, the lawsuit against Mora County, and its leaders, didn’t go the “takings” route. Instead, the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico, along with one individual and two New Mexico land owners, argue that Mora County’s ordinance violates their rights under the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, as well as corresponding rights under the New Mexico Constitution. The suit alleges that the Commission lacks authority to pass this unconstitutional ordinance that impacts property rights, due process and First Amendment rights.

In 1978, New Mexico passed the New Mexico Oil and Gas Act, which created the Oil Conservation Commission and Oil Conservation Division, which are vested with complete “jurisdiction, authority and control” regarding the development of oil or gas. The Division regulates oil-and-natural gas activity within the State so as to protect, among other things, fresh water, public health, safety and the environment, and issues rules for “safety procedures for drilling and production of oil and gas wells.”

Unlike the Colorado lawsuits, the suit against Mora Country, has not, to date, been joined by New Mexico government. Lyons believes New Mexico’s Land Commissioner, Ray Powell, “should be taking a strong stand for New Mexico’s children. He should be one of the lead participants in the fight for New Mexico.”

Lyons is referencing the fact that in New Mexico, revenues from oil-and-gas activity on state lands go directly into the Permanent Fund and each tract has a specific beneficiary assigned to it. Some of the beneficiaries that will be losing out of the millions of dollars that could be generated over the life of the Mora County leases include: NM School for the Visually Handicapped and NM School for hearing impaired; NM State Hospital and Carrie Tingley Hospital; the NM Boys School, NM Institute of Mining and Technology, and Eastern NM University; and K-12 schools throughout the state.

The New Mexico civil rights lawsuit was filed by the Mountain States Legal Foundation, whose President, William Perry Pendley, sent me the following statement:

“The lawlessness we have seen emanating from Washington, DC, has spread like a wildfire across the country. When elected politicians, senior administration officials, and career bureaucrats proudly proclaim that the Constitution is irrelevant and the law is whatever they say it is, it is little wonder that officials across the country follow their bad example. From coast-to-coast, isolated units of local government have declared that, regardless of what the federal and state constitutions or federal and state laws provide, they will bar their residents from using their property, creating jobs, and generating revenue and if the locals do not like it, then they can sue. I am proud that landowners in Mora County and the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico have the courage to demand adherence to constitutional liberties and the rule of law and have asked Mountain States Legal Foundation to represent them in that important battle.”

As Pendley indicates, all of these fracking and drilling bans and/or moratoriums are part of an attempted national movement led by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, which has drafted model legislation for communities—such as Mora County, NM; Oberlin, OH; and Lafayette, CO—known as the Community Bill of Rights.

The “symbolic” votes in communities with no oil-and-gas development are part of a strategy to target left-leaning constituencies where ordinances can be passed and momentum can be built. Addressing the approach, Nikkel observed: “As the debate moves from places like Boulder and Lafayette—which come with highly Democratic constituencies—to purple Colorado, you're going to see a different outcome.”

Because of efforts to ban fracking—which, along with horizontal drilling has just allowed the U.S. to pass a milestone in the march toward energy self-sufficiency—the House of Representatives has drafted the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act (H.R. 2728), which would keep states in charge of hydraulic fracturing as they have always done and keep the EPA out of it. H.R. 2728 is scheduled to come up for a vote as early as November 18. Please contact your Representative to encourage support of H.R. 2728.

“When we talk about banning fracking, we’re talking about outlawing a process that is absolutely critical to developing our vast energy resources and intentionally forfeiting billions in economic activity and tax revenue.” Addressing the election results, Jon Haubert, Communications Director for Coloradoans for Responsible Energy Development, adds: “The need for education about one of our state’s—and nation’s—most important topics clearly won’t be going away. In Colorado especially, there are high standards and model regulations in place to ensure that the health and safety of our communities come first. As we discovered in these elections, not enough know that.” Haubert places some of the blame “squarely on the oil and natural gas industry for not properly educating the public.”

Russell Mendell, statewide director for Frack Free Colorado, has declared: “This is the point in history where communities need to decide if they want to stay addicted to hydrocarbons and fossil fuels or move toward sustainable energy.” In response, many have proposed that if communities with potential oil-and-gas development choose to ban it, they should truly break their so-called hydrocarbon addiction and quit using oil and gas.

The outcome of the fracking fight will be fought in the court of public opinion, as much as it will be in state and federal courtrooms. Though environmental groups have declared victory in this round, the fight is far from over. Earlier this year, Democratic Governor, Jerry Brown of California, signed a law in September that specifically allows fracking. Across the country, people—from Youngstown, OH, to California’s Governor Brown—understand that “energy development” bring jobs and economic growth. They understand that energy makes America great.

SOURCE






Strange Doings on the Sun

The sun should be at the climax of its usual 11-year cycle of activity, but solar physicists are puzzled by its mellow solar maximum. WSJ's Robert Lee Hotz reports. Periods of low activity have in the past coincided with cold periods on earth

Something is up with the sun.

Scientists say that solar activity is stranger than in a century or more, with the sun producing barely half the number of sunspots as expected and its magnetic poles oddly out of sync.

The sun generates immense magnetic fields as it spins. Sunspots—often broader in diameter than Earth—mark areas of intense magnetic force that brew disruptive solar storms. These storms may abruptly lash their charged particles across millions of miles of space toward Earth, where they can short-circuit satellites, smother cellular signals or damage electrical systems.

Based on historical records, astronomers say the sun this fall ought to be nearing the explosive climax of its approximate 11-year cycle of activity—the so-called solar maximum. But this peak is "a total punk," said Jonathan Cirtain, who works at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as project scientist for the Japanese satellite Hinode, which maps solar magnetic fields.

"I would say it is the weakest in 200 years," said David Hathaway, head of the solar physics group at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Researchers are puzzled. They can't tell if the lull is temporary or the onset of a decades-long decline, which might ease global warming a bit by altering the sun's brightness or the wavelengths of its light.

"There is no scientist alive who has seen a solar cycle as weak as this one," said Andrés Munoz-Jaramillo, who studies the solar-magnetic cycle at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass.

To complicate the riddle, the sun also is undergoing one of its oddest magnetic reversals on record.

Normally, the sun's magnetic north and south poles change polarity every 11 years or so. During a magnetic-field reversal, the sun's polar magnetic fields weaken, drop to zero, and then emerge again with the opposite polarity. As far as scientists know, the magnetic shift is notable only because it signals the peak of the solar maximum, said Douglas Biesecker at NASA's Space Environment Center.

But in this cycle, the sun's magnetic poles are out of sync, solar scientists said. The sun's north magnetic pole reversed polarity more than a year ago, so it has the same polarity as the south pole.

"The delay between the two reversals is unusually long," said solar physicist Karel Schrijver at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, Calif.

Scientists said they are puzzled, but not concerned, by the unusual delay. They expect the sun's south pole to change polarity next month, based on current satellite measurements of its shifting magnetic fields.

At the same time, scientists can't explain the scarcity of sunspots. While still turbulent, the sun seems feeble compared with its peak power in previous decades. "It is not just that there are fewer sunspots, but they are less active sunspots," Dr. Schrijver said.

However, the sun isn't idle: After months of quiescence, it unleashed vast streams of charged particles into space five times in as many days last month, and flared again last week. Even so, these outbursts exhibited a fraction of the force of previous solar maximums.

By comparison, a Halloween solar storm in 2003, near the peak of the last solar maximum, was the largest of the Space Age. Even though it mostly bypassed Earth, the storm disabled a Japanese satellite, sent astronauts aboard the International Space Station scrambling for radiation shelter, disrupted drilling for oil and gas in Alaska, scrambled GPS navigation and forced the U.S. Defense Department to cancel military maneuvers.

As the solar cycle winds down in the years ahead as part of its normal cycle, blasts of charged particles should become even less frequent. Among other things, Earth's outer atmosphere will cool and contract, which can extend the life of satellites by lessening the drag on them.

"That makes the commercial satellite operators all happy," said Todd Hoeksema at Stanford University's Wilcox Solar Observatory. "And the astronauts are happy when there is no radiation."

Several solar scientists speculated that the sun may be returning to a more relaxed state after an era of unusually high activity that started in the 1940s.

"More than half of solar physicists would say we are returning to a norm," said physicist Mark Miesch at the High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, Colo., who studies the internal dynamics of stars. "We might be in for a longer state of suppressed activity."

If so, the decline in magnetic activity could ease global warming, the scientists said. But such a subtle change in the sun—lowering its luminosity by about 0.1%—wouldn't be enough to outweigh the build-up of greenhouse gases and soot that most researchers consider the main cause of rising world temperatures over the past century or so.

SOURCE

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

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


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17 November, 2013

Japan axes targets to cut greenhouse gases

Japan last night became the first major economy to abandon the greenhouse-gas promises made in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. In a setback for the UN talks on climate change this week in Warsaw, Tokyo announced it will let emissions rise 3 per cent above 1990 levels by 2020.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said Japan’s decision was ‘deeply disappointing’ and a ‘major step backwards’.

However some Tory MPs called for the UK to follow Tokyo’s lead. Japan, which hosted the Kyoto Protocol, had promised to cut emissions by 25 per cent.

But the fifth biggest producer of greenhouse gases said the original targets could not be met following the decision to mothball its nuclear plants after the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

The country’s chief government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said the 2020 target of a 25 per cent cut was ‘completely baseless’.

The loss of a quarter of its power production leaves Japan more reliant on high-polluting coal and gas.

It insists the change to the target is temporary, while it resolves its energy supply issues, and it still intends to halve emissions by 2050.

Britain, which derives about 20 per cent of its energy from nuclear, is on track to cut carbon emissions by 34 per cent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels. It has a legally binding target to cut them by 80 per cent by 2050.

Mr Davey said: ‘It is deeply disappointing that the Japanese government has taken this decision to significantly revise down its 2020 emissions target.

'This is inconsistent with the unequivocal message from the scientific evidence, which clearly underlines the urgency of addressing emissions reductions.’

Britain has committed to build a new generation of nuclear power stations, which will help cut emissions; the first deal was signed for a reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset last month.

But they will take years to produce power and Tory MPs are concerned that meeting climate targets with green taxes on homes and businesses, and building expensive wind farms, will harm economic growth.

Mr Cameron has already promised to ‘roll back’ green taxes on household bills this year - although they are expected to be put into general taxation instead.

Peter Lilley, a Tory MP and former trade minister who sits on the Commons energy and climate change committee, said: ‘This is part of a pattern. We have seen Canada resile from its climate targets, Australia abandoning green taxes, now Japan, and I think we will see something similar in Germany which is clearly going to be unable to reach its ambitions for the same reason as the Japanese.

'You cannot say it makes any sense for Britain... to continue trying to set an example by crippling our industry with high costs and our customers with unbearable bills. Unilateral energy disarmament can only handicap us.'

SOURCE






How the BBC turned a catastrophic crisis into a drama about global warming

Listeners to Radio 4's Today programme were given an unmistakable but totally bogus message last week: that catastrophic storms such as Typhoon Haiyan are linked to global warming – and are set to increase.

The same claim, which has no scientific basis, was echoed by David Cameron, who said there was 'growing evidence' that warming was responsible for storms.

Interviewing Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, presenter Evan Davis announced that climate change has made the Philippine islands 'one of the most fragile parts of the planet' and asked what would the world do if more frequent storms forced its population to abandon them.

'That's a great question,' Kim replied. In his view, rising seas caused by global warming would make not just islands but the Thai capital Bangkok uninhabitable 'within the next 20 to 30 years'.

'The predictions the scientists are making are that the severity and frequency of these extreme weather events are going to go up,' he said.

The response of Davis – with the full weight and authority of the BBC's morning news flagship behind him – was to muse: 'If we don't invest in the prevention of climate change, we'd better invest in border control.'

In fact, basic facts Davis and the Today programme's army of researchers failed – or refused – to raise with Jim Yong Kim include:

* A study based on data from the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre and the Japan Meteorological Agency shows the number of typhoons making landfall in the Philippines has declined since 1990.

* The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – hailed by greens as the ultimate arbiter – does not agree tropical storms have become more intense or frequent, but says the opposite. Their special report last year said: 'There is low confidence in any observed long-term (40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (ie intensity, frequency, duration).' Its authoritative Fifth Assessment Report added in September there have been 'no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century'.

* The reason Bangkok is suffering serious floods isn't rising sea levels but the fact the city is built on soft clay – the weight of its skyscrapers is causing subsidence of up to 2in a year. Local expert Anond Snidvongs says: 'The rise in sea level is not that great and climate change only plays a fairly small part – about one-fifth – in the current scenario.'

* There have been very few Category 5 storms like Haiyan in the Pacific since 1991. A study published this year by the American Meteorological Society states in the North Pacific 'overall tropical cyclone activity shows a significant decrease' since 1998.

* This year has been the quietest Atlantic hurricane season for decades. No Category 3 or stronger storm has made landfall in the US since Katrina in 2005 – the longest hurricane 'drought' on record.

* A new study published last week said the rate of sea level rise has diminished by 44 per cent since 2004, to just 1.8mm per year – 18cm (7in) per century. The reason is the 17-years-and-counting global warming 'pause', which was not predicted by computer models.

Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said both Mr Cameron and Today seemed 'totally unaware of both the science and changing international realities. Every scientist is adamant that the typhoon has nothing to do with global warming.'



SOURCE






If You Liked ObamaCare, You’ll Love ClimateCare

Wrecking both health care and energy as a presidential legacy

As Barack Obama’s signature health insurance program implodes, some observers are speculating that regulatory action on climate change could afford the beleaguered president a second chance at establishing an enduring policy legacy. Unfortunately, Obama’s climate policies, like his health care policies, highlight his fondness for centralized economic planning.

The president unveiled his “new national climate action plan” at Georgetown University last June. The plan aims to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 to 17 percent below their 2005 levels. In his speech, the president noted that he had urged Congress to adopt a “bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change.” But he also said he wasn’t going wait for Congress to act, so outlined what amounts to a kind of Climate Five-Year Plan, setting limits on greenhouse gas emissions at home while pursuing efforts abroad to reach “a new global agreement to reduce carbon pollution through concrete action.”

To get some idea of the kind of climate change legacy President Obama might yearn for, let’s take a look back at what his proposals were before the friction of actual governance stymied his plans. Back in 2008, then-candidate Obama offered up a “plan to combat climate change and create a green economy,” the goal of which was to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. At the center of his plan was a cap-and-trade system that would have required that 100 percent of permits covering all greenhouse emissions be auctioned off. What might the price for each ton of greenhouse gas have been, and how would it affect the way Americans live?

To get handle on this question, consider the calculations the administration did last May to compute the social cost of carbon—that is, the harms of climate change caused by the emissions of greenhouse gases, chiefly carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels. The Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Carbon reported various values for the social cost of carbon in 2015, ranging from $12 to $109 per ton. To get a rough idea of the total cost to the U.S. economy, let’s use the $58 per ton cost as a possible auction price.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. emitted the equivalent of 6.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2011. Auctioning off permits for that amount of emissions would yield about $388 billion in revenues per year. For comparison, federal individual income tax revenues in 2012 amounted to $1.1 trillion. The original Obama Climate Plan did not swap the carbon taxes out for other taxes, such as individual or corporate income taxes, but would instead used them to fund clean-energy and energy-efficiency projects and to help lower income Americans to pay for the resulting higher energy costs. While such a tax would reduce carbon dioxide emissions, simply piling it onto existing taxes would further distort markets and reduce overall economic efficiency and competitiveness.

Using figures derived from a May 2013 Congressional Budget Office report on the economic effects of a carbon tax, an auction price of nearly $60 per ton would boost the price of a gallon of gasoline by 60 cents per gallon and the average price of electricity by about 48 percent. The average household consumes just over 1,000 gallons of gasoline annually. Increasing the price of a gallon of gas from the current average of $3.20 to $3.80 would raise household gasoline expenditures by $600 per year. Similarly, average annual household electric bills more rise by more than $600.

Auctioning off emissions permits was not enough. The original Obama Climate Plan would have required that the United States obtain 25 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources—wind, solar, geothermal, and so on—by 2025. Nuclear and natural gas were not mentioned. As it happens, in 2012, solar, geothermal, and wind energy generated 0.11, 0.41, and 3.46 percent respectively of electric power in the United States. A recent Information Technology and Innovation Foundation study estimated that replacing all U.S. fossil fuel power by 2030 would cost each American household nearly $5,700 per year. Extrapolating from that, the earlier Obama electric power renewable fuel mandate would result in an increase in household electricity costs on the neighborhood of $570 per year.

In his Georgetown speech, the president scaled back his renewable energy mandate to doubling production by 2020, which would mean that solar, geothermal, and wind would produce 0.2, 0.8, and 7 percent respectively of America’s electric power by then.

An analysis by the market-oriented Manhattan Institute compared the price trends of electricity between coal-dependent states that have adopted renewable fuel mandates of the sort that the president favors and those that did not. The study found that between 2001 and 2010, residential electricity rates had increased by an average of 54.2 percent in the states with mandates, more than twice the increase seen in comparable states without a renewable fuel requirement.

The Georgetown speech also included a reference to the EPA’s new automobile fuel economy standards (CAFE): “We doubled the mileage our cars will get on a gallon of gas by the middle of the next decade.” Estimates by the National Automobile Dealers Association found that the new CAFE standards will boost the average price of a car by $3,000. Proponents correctly counter that that additional cost will be offset in extra fuel savings. On the other hand, a 2012 analysis by scholars at Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that setting automobile fuel economy standards is at least six to 14 times as costly to the economy as a gasoline tax that achieves the same cumulative carbon dioxide reduction. Technology mandates are a very expensive way to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

I say all this not to suggest that we should do nothing to address the possibility of a climate catastrophe. I say it because the Obamacare fiasco should be a warning to the president and other policymakers that a comparable ClimateCare program of top-down centralized planning will miscarry just as spectacularly. Wrecking both the health care and the energy sectors is hardly the kind of legacy a president should want to leave.

SOURCE






8 More Coal-Fired Power Plants Set to Close

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced earlier today that it will be closing 8 coal-fired power plants. The TVA is one the country’s 5 biggest users of coal for electricity, these 8 plants creating 3,300 megawatts of electricity.

This move is a decision made by executives to try and reduce coal to 20% of its total generating capacity. Two plants in Kentucky will be closed even though Senator Mitch McConnell tried to convince them not to do so in order to save jobs.

Of course the Sierra Club was at the forefront of the battle to get these plants closed. They had a lawyer involved in the negotiations with TVA from the beginning. Obviously it doesn’t help anything that the EPA keeps putting stricter rules and regulations on coal powered plants.

Deciding to close these plants not only puts many people out of work, but now this source of electricity is gone for many people in the areas around the plants. The plants set for closure include 6 in Alabama and 2 in Kentucky. It will be interesting to see the repercussions of their decision to close all of these plants in favor of gas-fired plants.

The energy war will continue on with the EPA in President Obama’s hands.

SOURCE






Rubbery Warmist "facts"

A leaked report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change depicts a crashing world, complete with impending wars and economic turmoil fostered by man-made greenhouse gases and overpopulation. We've all heard this before, but even as evidence mounts that the globe is reversing course, the IPCC continues to double down on catastrophic alarmism.

The Los Angeles Times writes, "The report describes a planet in peril as a result of the human-caused buildup of greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution, where glaciers are shrinking and plants and animals have shifted their ranges in response to rising temperatures. As global warming continues through the 21st century, many species will face greater risk of extinction, marine life will shift toward the poles and seawater will grow more acidic, the report says." Consequently, rising oceans will force millions near coastal waters from their homes, the global food supply will be severely suppressed, monumental heat waves will worsen (which, coupled with a growing population, will result in an increase in the number of deaths), extreme weather events will accelerate, and -- worst of all -- these effects will escalate the threat of regional wars. And that's not to mention sweaty underarms and burnt popcorn.

Meanwhile, the IPCC quietly corrected erroneous figures they cited in September. According to Reuters, "[T]he IPCC revised down the cumulative amount of carbon emitted since 1860-1881 to 515 billion tonnes from 531 billion given in September, and revised up the amount emitted since 1750 to 555 billion tonnes from 545 billion." Of course, they claim that the revision doesn't effect their climate prognostications. Recall in September when the panel was forced to address the unanticipated hiatus in global warming -- a development they attributed to unforeseen, natural factors that won't prevent long-term warming. In other words, their facts -- like their predictions -- are "evolving."

Such nonsense would be amusing if it weren't for the fact that economic stability and, yes, people's lives are being directly affected by policies based on scientific fallacies. Skeptics are continually chastised for questioning the legitimacy of the so-called scientific consensus that purports to know our future despite being continually and profoundly wrong. Ecofacists want to talk about what's moral? Then look in the mirror.

SOURCE





Local residents in Britain to get say on applications for wind farms in their area under new laws

Residents will have to be consulted over applications for wind farms in their area, under new laws set to come into force next month.

Currently only developers of a handful of the biggest wind farms have to discuss the implications of their projects with local people.

But new rules from the department of Communities Secretary Eric Pickles will mean even small developments of two or more turbines which are at least 50ft high will have to go through a similar process.

Officials said smaller developments can have a major impact on local areas and be widely opposed - but often the first time residents are aware of them is when an application is received by the council.

Under the new system, a consultation will have to be publicised before an application is made - either by email or letter or in a public meeting.

It will not guarantee more applications are rejected but will mean local residents get a greater say over the size and location from the start, when they have more opportunity to influence the process.

Mr Pickles, the communities secretary said: ‘We are making sure local people have a crystal clear voice in airing their opinions on wind turbines very early on. From day one communities should be centre stage in crafting plans that affect their lives instead of having them forced upon them.

‘Ensuring communities have a greater say at an early stage allows developers to consider much earlier whether to pursue a proposal and what changes they should consider before putting forward formal plans. Our changes allow people’s views and other impacts to be taken into consideration much earlier.’

There are already 4,000 onshore wind turbines in Britain and it is estimated 10,000 will be needed by the end of the decade to meet targets to cut carbon emissions.

But applications by developers, who stand to rake in tens of thousands of pounds in subsidies have angered local communities who think they blight the landscape and hit house prices.

Council planners already reject around half the applications they receive, but many are then approved on appeal by planning inspectors to champion green energy.

Mr Pickles announced this year that the drive to build wind farms would no longer automatically trump protecting the landscape.

In a major boost for anti-wind farm campaigners, their concerns about the visual and environmental impact must be taken into account, and that for six months his Whitehall department would centrally review some of the appeals to make sure residents get a say.

Wind farms are a running sore between the Liberal Democrats and the Tories. Over a hundred Conservative backbenchers, as well as some cabinet ministers, are opposed to onshore wind farms, which they say ruin the countryside and do not help mitigate climate change.

Tory energy minister Michael Fallon said: ‘These new rules will help ensure that in future people have a say earlier on in the process over where onshore turbines are sited. Wind is an important part of the UK’s energy mix, and both Government and industry agree that these proposals will ensure that new turbines are appropriately sited.’

SOURCE

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

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


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November 15, 2013

Pollster Krosnick: Another climate crook

Stanford University’s Jon Krosnick (Krosnick@Stanford.edu) has been receiving a huge splash of publicity with his allegedly surprising state-by-state poling showing ‘the vast majority of Americans in each of 40-plus states surveyed say global warming is real, serious and man-made’ (USA Today)

Jon Krosnick is the director of Stanford’s Political Psychology Research Group.

Krosnick’s polling results, complete with handy maps showing rising “belief” in man-made global warming, are a climate activists dream. According to Krosnick’s new poll: “Majorities of residents in every state surveyed said the government should limit greenhouse gas emissions by businesses and, in particular, by power plants. Majorities also favored a cap-and-trade system to limit emissions; tax breaks to encourage the production of energy from the sun, wind and water; carbon sequestration; and government regulations or tax breaks to require or encourage improvements in the energy efficiency of automobiles, appliances and buildings. No state had a majority of residents opposed to any of those policies.”

Could Krosnick be right? Is his poll a true shocker that shows the American public is now in lock step with Al Gore and the UN IPCC and the mainstream media?! Answer: Don’t bet on it.

Even fellow global warming activists like UN IPCC’s Princeton University Prof. Michael Oppenheimer acknowledged this week that Krosnick’s Stanford polls tend to skew to more “believers” in man-made global warming. Oppenheimer tweeted on November 12: “Interesting new poll; often more believers in Stanford polls.”

Krosnick’s polling flies in the face of recent polling showing a committed lack of belief and concern about man-made global warming from large segments of the U.S. public. See: 2013 Rasmussen Reports Poll: Most People Don’t Blame Humans for Global Warming Pew poll: ‘Americans are relatively unconcerned about global climate change’ — ‘Americans among the least concerned about this issue of the 39 publics surveyed’

Obama: ‘Dial testing’ of his State of the Union speech showed that the favorability ratings ‘plummeted’ when he vowed to act on climate change if Congress refused to do so – Wash Post excerpt: ‘Obama expressed concerns about the political pain involved, saying that ‘dial testing’ of his State of the Union speech showed that the favorability ratings ‘plummeted’ when he vowed to act on climate change if Congress refused to do so.’

2013 Pew Survey says only 42% say both that climate change is happening AND that it is mostly caused by human activity – ‘Not even Hurricane Sandy led to a lasting change in attitudes’

Washington Post Insiders: ‘Democrats’ lost momentum on climate change’ — ‘Climate change is probably leaving the stage as a political issue — just as Pres. Obama is trying to gather momentum for a major push’

Washington Post: ‘The public’s interest in climate change is waning’ – ‘A new Pew poll shows the percentage who say that global warming is a ‘very serious’ problem has slipped six points since October’

Cheers! Global Poll: ‘The perceived seriousness of climate change has fallen particularly sharply since unsuccessful UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen in Dec. 2009?

Krosnick Publicly Reprimanded for poor results and methods by both Gallup & Pew

Krosnick’s polling methods have been publicly reprimanded by both Gallup and Pew Center Survey for his faulty results and analyses. See: Warming propagandist Prof. Krosnick exposed: Pew research ‘says that Krosnick’s survey is marred by faulty methodology. …used words that encouraged a positive response’ - Pew: ‘This is known in the polling world as acquiescence bias…almost all (surveys), except Mr. Krosnick’s, show a significant decline in belief in climate change’

&

Polling propaganda Prof. Krosnick slapped down by Gallup Polling! Recent polling ‘shows demonstrable drops in Americans’ acknowledgment of and concern about global warming’ - Krosnick’s Op-Ed ‘could leave the impression that polls showing a decline in American concern about climate change should be ignored or are incorrect. This would be a mistake. A number of survey questions, conducted by several polling organizations — including Mr. Krosnick’s own recent survey — show demonstrable drops in Americans’ acknowledgment of and concern about global warming.”

Krosnick’s polling results on global warming have been challenged for years. See: Flashback 2008: Krosnick’s long history of climate propaganda: ‘Krosnick invents a consensus position: climate change is occurring. But this is a meaningless assertion, devoid of any scientific value the public can expect psychologists to be engaged in brainwashing them into accepting political propaganda’ – ‘Krosnick conducted a poll amongst the public, to see if their beliefs match those of the scientists, but neglected to poll scientists to establish their views’

Professor Krosnick’s polling has been seen as propaganda for years. One 2010 headline said it all: Krosnick’s Polling Con Job: ‘When you don’t like the poll numbers, make up your own poll’

Now, in November 2013, Krosnick is at it again. He claims his latest survey purportedly reveals “Majorities consistently said that the U.S. should take action regardless of what other countries do.” Krosnick also conveniently claimed his research “suggested members of Congress who question global warming or oppose EPA power plant rules may not have an accurate view of what their constituents want.”

In short, Krosnick’s own personal views of on climate change and what he would like to see happen with regard to energy policy are now projected onto the American public.

Krosnick Using 2006 Polling Public Opinion Data to Draw Conclusions in 2013

Krosnick’s media hyped state-by-state climate survey, relies on a mix of 21 existing surveys (mostly by Stanford) of recent polling data and some very old polling data going back to 2006! According to Stanford’s website, Krosnick relied on 21 surveys “primarily conducted between 2006 and 2013. Data from 19,751 respondents were analyzed.:

Krosnick would have us believe that 2006 polling data is somehow relevant to today’s global warming debate. Is 2006 data relevant to the UN climate summit or EPA regulations in 2013? But don’t worry, we are assured by Stanford University that Krosnick applied his special techniques to massage er — conduct a “secondary analysis” of the data to reach his obviously predetermined results.

More HERE




Early Northern winter -- global cooling?

One half of North America’s largest ski area will open this weekend, thirteen days ahead of schedule.

Whistler Mountain at Whistler Blackcomb will now open on Saturday, thanks to cold temperatures, intensive snowmaking and heavy snowfall.

Five lifts will be in operation and guests will have the option of uploading from the Whistler Village or Creekside gondolas, with three lifts running higher up the mountain. Blackcomb Mountain will open as scheduled on 28 November.

A statement from Whistler said: "Thanks to oodles of snow, Whistler Mountain will open 13 days early this season. Whistler is renowned, season upon season, for being the number one ski resort for guaranteed snow - lots of it - and this winter will be no exception."

A number of resorts are already open in North America and Europe, including Obergurgl in Austria, which opened today, and Cairngorm Mountain in Scotland which opened last weekend, its earliest start since 2008.

SOURCE




It's Not Just Winter, It's a New Ice Age

By Alan Caruba

When you consider that a bunch of global warming propagandists, the 19th Conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to reduce “greenhouse gas” emissions has been meeting in Warsaw this month are still claiming that we are in the midst of global warming, you have a demonstration of how great a hoax has been perpetrating on the peoples of the world. These people and the scientists who supplied the falsified and inaccurate climate models to support the global warming claims have committed a criminal fraud.

Bit by bit, the truth in the form of increasingly cold weather is causing people to wonder whether they are being duped. The media has either buried the stories of extraordinary cold events or continues to tip-toe around the truth.

An example is a recent Wall Street Journal article by Robert Lee Hotz,“Strange Doings on the Sun”, Hotz reported that “Researchers are puzzled. They can’t tell if the lull is temporary or the onset of a decades-long decline, which might ease global warming a bit by altering the sun’s brightness or the wavelengths of its light.”

After describing the fact that the Sun has entered a period of reduced sunspot activity, always a precursor to a cooling cycle and even an ice age, Dr. David Hathaway, head of the solar physics group at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, is quoted as saying “It may give us a brief respite from global warming, but it is not going to stop it.”

Plainly said, you cannot trust what government scientists have to say about global warming. The government’s policy since the late 1980s has been that global warming is real and poses a great threat to the Earth. What Dr. Hathaway and other “warmists” are desperately trying to ignore is the fact that the Earth entered a natural and predictable cooling cycle around 1997 or 1998. It has been cooling ever since!

In 1997 Robert W. Felix authored the definitive book on the coming ice age in his book, “Not by Fire, but by Ice.” It is still widely available. His website,IceAgeNow.info provides updated information on the many weather events around the world that demonstrate an ice age—whether it is a mini-ice age or a full-scale one—is occurring. Felix says that a major Ice Age, when it begins, will come on very swiftly.

One post on Felix’s website is about Victor Emanuel Velasco Herrera, a geophysicist at the University of Mexico, who predicts that the “Earth will enter a ‘Little Ice Age’ which will last from 60 to 80 years and may be caused by the decrease in solar activity.” You don’t have to be a geophysicist to figure out that less solar activity adds up to a colder Earth.

2014 is the year many scientists believe an ice age, “mini” or full-scale will begin. Herrera hedged his prediction saying that “with the mass production of current carbon dioxide (CO2) it is unlikely that we will see a major ice age like the one experienced 12,000 years ago.” Carbon Dioxide plays no role in warming the Earth. It is a very minor element of the Earth’s atmosphere.

The implications of an ice age, no matter how long or short, is its impact on the growing of crops to feed everyone. Dr. Tim Patterson of Canada’s Carleton University’s Department of Earth Sciences, in a May 18, 2007 article in the Calgary Times, wrote that satellite data “shows that by the year 2020 the next solar cycle is going to be solar cycle 25—the weakest one since the Little Ice Age (that started in the 13th century and ended around 1860)…should be a great strategic concern in Canada because nobody is farming north of us. In other words, Canada—the great breadbasket of the world—might not be able to grow grains in much of the prairies.” This prediction applies as well, of course, to the U.S. production of grains.

Other scientists have been sounding the alarm, predicting dramatic cooling to begin in the current decade. Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin, a Fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, has noted that “Earth has passed the peak of its warmer period and a fairly cold spell will set in quite soon, by 2012, real cold will come when solar activity reaches its minimum, by 2041, and will last for 50-60 years or even longer.” While the years cited by scientists may differ, they are in agreement that we are looking at decades of cold.

In the years since the late 1980s when “global warming” was unleashed on the world as the greatest hoax of the modern era, billions have come to believe the Earth was threatened by greater warming cause by man-made “greenhouse gases” resulting from industrial and all other uses of fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. While carbon dioxide has, indeed, increased in the atmosphere, the truth is that the Earth has entered a cooling cycle and that it is on the cusp of very cold weather for decades. We could even cross over into a full-fledged Ice Age because one is overdue at this point in time.

You cannot depend on what the mass media tells you. They are hardwired to continue the global warming hoax. You can, however, educate yourself with books such as Robert Felix’s. You can use Google to find out more about ice ages. You can and should prepare yourself for changes in the Earth’s climate that will have vast impacts on the global economy and on the ability to grow enough crops to feed the world’s population.

SOURCE




The 52% ‘consensus’

by Judith Curry

A comprehensive survey has been conducted of the American Meteorological Society membership to elicit their views on global warming.

The most interesting finding is this table:


Table 1. Meteorologists’ assessment of human-712 caused global warming by area and level of expertise. Figures are percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. Numbers in the bottom four rows represent percentage of respondents giving each possible response to the follow-up email question, including non-response to the email (labeled “insufficient evidence – unknown”). These responses together add to the same number as displayed in the insufficient evidence (total) row; some differences occur due to rounding. Similarly, columns total to 100% if all numbers except those in the bottom four rows are added, and differences from 100 are due to rounding. Although 1854 people completed some portion of the survey, this table only displays the results for 1821 respondents, since 33 (less than 2% of the sample) did not answer one or more of the questions on expertise and global warming causation.

Look at the views in column 1, then look at the % in the rightmost column: 52% state the the warming since 1850 is mostly anthropogenic. One common categorization would categorize the other 48% as ‘deniers’.

The table seeks to discriminate between those whose expertise is in climate science vs meteorology/atmospheric science. In the context of the AMS membership, I think this distinction is ambiguous. With regards to myself, I would have checked atmospheric science (most of my research is related to physical processes, not to climate change per se). I suspect that those focusing on climate impacts would check the box for climate expertise (note, only 222 checked the box for climate science). The distinction between publishing vs non publishing members probably is meaningful; only 52% of the respondents held Ph.Ds. Non Ph.D. members may be in the private sector or government employees.

JC comments:

This study is an important one, in spite of its methodological flaws and not-quite-adequate list of questions.

Members of the American Meteorological Society generally have better expertise for assessing issues related to climate change detection and attribution than the AGU (with substantial numbers of geophysicists, geochemists, etc), the AAAS, the APS, etc. And this is in spite of the fact that a substantial number of members do not have a Ph.D. We have discussed previously on the Joe Bastardi thread the value of the perspectives of forecast meteorologists, including those without Ph.D.s – they certainly understand limitations of forecasting and general circulation models.

More HERE




Funding Drought Threatens 2015 UN Climate Agreement

A major UN climate change summit opens in Poland today amid warnings talks could collapse because of a lack of financial support from rich nations.

Oxfam says developed countries are giving more to the fossil fuel industry than to projects in poorer regions focused on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and are way off meeting a collective promise to supply US$ 100 billion a year by 2020.

It calculates as little as US$ 7.6 billion may have been provided in 2013, with some wealthier countries such as Canada and Australia offering nothing at all. That’s around US$ 24 billion less than was delivered in the previous two years.

And the NGO says the ability of developing nations to build ‘green’ economies that can cope with projected impacts from global warming is being put at risk by this funding shortfall.

“Rich countries must make it clear to poor countries what money is available now and in the coming years to help them adapt to climate change and reduce their emissions,” said Oxfam’s Climate spokesperson, Kelly Dent.

“Uncertainty from one year to the next makes it impossible for vulnerable countries to take the action they need to protect their citizens. This murkiness will only heighten distrust around the negotiating table.”

The flow of finance between developed and developing nations is a running sore point between the two sides at UN talks.

After a brief peak between 2010-2012 when US$ 30bn was delivered to help climate-related initiatives in the Global South, contributions have fallen off sharply.

In 2012 the UK committed to doubling its climate finance levels up to 2015, while Germany and France have also offered increases up to 2014.

But elsewhere the picture appears bleak, with the USA’s chief climate diplomat Todd Stern admitting last month that the “hard reality” was funding was unlikely to rise soon.

“The fiscal reality of the United States and other developed countries is not going to allow it,” he said in a speech in London.

“This is not just a matter of the recent financial crisis; it is structural, based on the huge obligations we face from aging populations and other pressing needs for infrastructure, education, health care and the like.”

SOURCE




Australia: Climate tax, aid and fees off table as cabinet toughens stance

The federal cabinet has ruled that Australia will not sign up to any new contributions, taxes or charges at this week's global summit on climate change, in a significant toughening of its stance as it plans to move within days to repeal the carbon tax.

Cabinet ministers have decided to reject any measures of "socialism masquerading as environmentalism" after meeting last week to consider a submission on the position the government would take to the Warsaw conference.

A further document was produced after the meeting that outlines the government's position.

The Australian has seen part of the document and it declares that, while Australia will remain "a good international citizen" and remains "committed to achieving the 5 per cent reduction" by 2020 of the 2000 levels of emissions, it will not sign up to any new agreement that involves spending money or levying taxes.

This rules out Australia playing any role in a wealth transfer from rich countries to developing nations to pay them to decrease their carbon emissions.

The decision hardens the nation's approach to the UN's negotiations amid a renewed push from less-developed countries this week for $100 billion a year in finance to deal with climate change.

Cabinet decided that Australia would consider joining a new scheme after 2015, but only if all the major global economies did likewise.

Senior ministers believe there is absolutely no chance of that happening.

The Abbott government has explicitly decided that it will not agree to any payments or accept any liabilities as part of any carbon agreement.

The government's document also says that Australia "will not support any measures which are socialism masquerading as environmentalism".

The document's commitment that the government "will review its commitment in 2015 in light of the science and international developments" deliberately allows a range of policy outcomes.

In the unlikely event that all major economies move in a concerted way, Australia could join in. However, the language provides that if the science becomes more unclear, and if nations move away from their earlier enthusiasm for action, then Australia also could wind back its efforts.

This explicitly does not mean winding back on the 5 per cent reduction target for 2020, but does mean that after 2020 things are less clear.

The government's document also says Australia's efforts on greenhouse gases will be conditioned by "fiscal circumstances"....

Mr Abbott has been strongly critical of agreements in which Australian funds are used to buy permits that are meant to fund cuts to greenhouse gas reductions in other countries - a key mechanism in the global talks.

The Coalition based its criticism of Labor policy on official forecasts showing Australian emissions would rise over time and that the 5 per cent target was only reached by purchasing overseas permits at an eventual cost of $150bn a year in 2050.

"This is by far the biggest wealth transfer from Australians to foreigners that's ever been contemplated," Mr Abbott said of purchasing offshore carbon permits.

By formalising these concerns in official policy, federal cabinet is preparing to counter any move at the Warsaw talks to accelerate climate change financing deals meant to be worth $100bn a year.

On a per-capita basis, Australia's contribution to the $100bn in global climate change finance would be $2.4bn or more.

More HERE

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

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


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November 14, 2013

That pesky temperature stasis (referred to by Warmists as a "slowdown" now that they have eventually admitted it)

Since even Warmist figures show temperatures on a plateau for the last 17 years that is mighty embarrassing to Warmists. Something must be done! And, regrettably, the only thing that CAN really be done is to throw all the existing figures out the window! And a new paper by Cowtan and Wray (no relation) does just that. And their new method of juggling the figures shows warming!

Skeptics have of course been having a ball poking holes in it but I will simply reproduce below Judith Curry's evaluation of the paper. As a senior climate scientist, she knows where the skeletons are buried. After a thorough survey of the paper she concludes as follows:

Let’s take a look at the 3 methods they use to fill in missing data, primarily in Africa, Arctic, and Antarctic.

1. Kriging
2. UAH satellite analyses of surface air temperature
3. NCAR NCEP reanalysis

They state that most of the difference in their reconstructed global average comes from the Arctic, so I focus on the Arctic (which is where I have special expertise in any event).

First, Kriging. Kriging across land/ocean/sea ice boundaries makes no physical sense. While the paper cites Rigor et al. (2000) that shows ‘some’ correlation in winter between land and sea ice temps at up to 1000 km, I would expect no correlation in other seasons.

Second, UAH satellite analyses. Not useful at high latitudes in the presence of temperature inversions and not useful over sea ice (which has a very complex spatially varying microwave emission signature). Hopefully John Christy will chime in on this.

Third, re reanalyses in the Arctic. See Fig 1 from this paper, which gives you a sense of the magnitude of grid point errors for one point over an annual cycle. Some potential utility here, but reanalyses are not useful for trends owing to temporal inhomogeneities in the datasets that are assimilated.

So I don’t think Cowtan and Wray’s analysis adds anything to our understanding of the global surface temperature field and the ‘pause.’

The bottom line remains Ed Hawkins’ figure that compares climate model simulations for regions where the surface observations exist. This is the appropriate way to compare climate models to surface observations, and the outstanding issue is that the climate models and observations disagree.



SOURCE

That's a pretty swingeing dismissal of the paper. Note: Kriging is estimating a curve from a small number of data points: Educated guesswork, in short -- JR




Another puerile atempt to exploit the recent cyclone in the Philippines

We skeptics have blood on our hands according to Jeffrey Sachs, a prominent Warmist academic -- who claims that Typhoons and the like are increasing. Roger Pielke Jr., however, shows what the facts are: He Tweeted:

"Wrong @JeffDSachs Attached figure from paper you (mis)cite for WNP basin (where Haiyan hit) showing trends, see any?"



There is of course no trend. WNP = Western North Pacific -- one of the 7 basins where cyclones occur

More typhoons will happen unless liberal energy policies are adopted, and those who disagree have “blood on their hands” – at least according to climate alarmist Jeffrey Sachs.

Sachs, a friend of liberal billionaire George Soros and head of The Earth Institute at Columbia University and a favorite of the news media, appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Nov. 12 to discuss the recent tragedy caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

“What’s happening here, and this is the part that people have a hard time, you know, coming to grips with, is that we’re partly causing this,” Sachs said. “We’re causing this because there are more and more of these storms, because of the way that humanity is changing the world’s environment.”

Sach’s referenced an unnamed study that said that inclement weather was getting worse over time. “I brought along from 2008 a scientific study showing that the number of extreme storms or – not the frequency, but the power of them has been rising decade by decade, as the ocean water is warming And so this kind of event, we’re seeing more of it.”

Sachs’ claim was right out of the global warming activist playbook for any sort of natural disaster. However, he ignored the Atlantic hurricane season forecasts’ “bust” in 2013. In fact, so far 2013 has been only two storms away from going the entire season without a single hurricane.

Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons all fall in the category of tropical cyclones according to Time. Time’s Bryan Walsh in a piece advocating for reductions in greenhouse gase emissions admitted that the IPCC’s latest report had “low confidence” there would be more intense tropical cyclones in coming decades. He also wrote, “if existing climate change played a role in supercharging Haiyan, it’s likely tiny, as NASA climatologist Bill Patzert told the Pasadena Star-News: The fingerprint is very small, if at all. If the winds are 200 mph, global warming might have contributed 5 mph to that 200 mph.”

Despite what Sachs and the media have claimed about climate change not all scientists are of the same viewpoint. More than 1,000 scientists are on record dissenting in some way from the so-called "consensus." U.S. government atmospheric scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has said, "It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don't buy into anthropogenic [manmade] global warming." Other scientists disagree about the extent of man’s influence on climate or over how threatening that is to the planet.

According to Sachs, those who oppose changing the way our nation uses energy are to blame for these kinds of disasters. “This kind of event will happen more frequently unless we change the way we run our energy system. This is what humanity is doing. This is very, very hard to come to grips with,” Sachs said.

Sachs wasn’t just saying that energy policy has to be changed either. He thinks that people responsible for opposing “green” energy plans are guilty whenever someone dies from a natural disaster. Sachs tweeted on Nov. 10 that “Climate liars like Rupert Murdoch & Koch Brothers have more & more blood on their hands as climate disasters claim lives across the world.”

SOURCE





The theology of global warming (It's all theology anyway)

Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, M.Div., Ph.D., Professor of Theology and Immediate Past President of Chicago Theological Seminary, fills us in. She seems to think God is a Warmist. Maybe someone should thwaite her thistle. My theological pronouncement on the matter: "All Thistlethwaites and Gilfillans have icewater where blood should be"

Christian theology distinguishes between “natural evil,” that is, destruction and suffering that can be caused by natural phenomena like earthquakes or storms, and moral evil, the kind of evils that result from the interlocking effects of human sin.

Is the destructiveness of Typhoon Haiyan a tragedy of “natural evil,” the kind of horrible occurrence that occurs randomly in nature? Or, is it actually moral evil, traceable to human sin?

There is no doubt this storm is a massive evil. Haiyan, with its sustained wind speeds of 150 to 170 mph, is among the strongest storms on record and it has produced mass suffering and death, as well as widespread destruction.

The fact that we are having to invent new language to describe such massively destructive storms, like “Super Typhoon Haiyan” or “Superstorm Sandy” suggests we need to take a different look at such violent storms today and theologically assess the human responsibility for them.

These “superstorms” aren’t an “act of God,” but an act of willful disregard for God’s creation, and the neglect of the human responsibility to care for the planet.

There is a stronger and stronger case to be made that these “superstorms” and “supertyphoon” phenomena are product of abrupt climate changes due to global warming produced by the continued (and increasing) burning fossil fuels.

As these massively destructive storms capture our attention, our compassion, and hopefully our charity as well, they are also convincing many more Americans that human activity is the cause.

There is a theological prescription, in a classical sense, for what we must do: confession, repentance and change. In the case of what we are up against in terms of planetary destruction, those theological directives look like this:

Admit human caused, violently destructive climate change is happening. The harm to God’s creation is real, it is happening and human beings bear enormous responsibility for it.

Repent for what we have already lost by inaction. Those who talk about “reversing the effects of climate change” are also engaging in a form of denial. There is no reversing, but that does not mean the climate change is unstoppable at current levels. But action to stop what we have already done, and slow down future changes, is urgent.

Change personal practice and public policy. The World Health Organization has a good analysis of climate change policies that are needed. So do many other reputable organizations. Individuals need to take responsibility as well, both to move toward less of a carbon footprint, and to vote for those who will make positive policy changes.

SOURCE





Political rows over energy ‘will leave Britain debating in the dark’

Political rows over energy policy will leave Britain “having a debate in the dark” as investors are spooked from building new power plants, a leading investor has warned.

Wind farm developer Dong Energy said it was now extremely difficult” for the company to make investment decisions in the UK because energy was being treated as a “political football” and delays to policy reforms.

The chief executives of two other energy giants, Drax and E.On, echoed the warnings at an energy industry conference on Tuesday, saying the political climate was worrying and driving up the cost of capital.

Benj Sykes, UK country manager at Dong Energy, which has invested about £4bn in the UK over the past decade, said: “We are now living in the world of rhetoric and unfortunately rational debate is becoming an endangered species.”

The company was now looking back “wistfully” on the past few years’ broad consensus on energy, he said, adding: “My goodness what a difference a conference season can make.”

Since Ed Miliband announced plans at the Labour Party Conference for a retail energy price freeze, the Prime Minister has responded with an announcement of a review of "green levies". Some ministers have suggested this includes a review of levies to subsidise new power plants, despite denials from the Energy Department.

Mr Sykes said he was struggling to convince Dong’s board in Copenhagen that there was the political agreement and certainty needed to invest in the UK, warning: “We need to get back to agreeing on a few things otherwise we are all going to be sat here having a debate in the dark.”

Mr Sykes also criticised the slow pace of the Government’s energy policy reforms, which are supposed to encourage construction of new power plants. He complaining the process had been going on for three years and had “more than 4,000 pages of consultation and documentation” but still had “quite a bit to go, quite a lot of detail to be finalised”.

“For us that is starting to become a challenge. Our future round of investments – we are talking a few billion pounds worth of investments - they are not on the horizon, they are actually knocking on the door now. So we do need that certainty, and time is getting short,” he told the EnergyUK conference.

Dorothy Thompson, chief executive of Drax, which is in the process of converting the UKs largest coal-fired power station to burn biomass, also warned about the nature of the political debate. “I worry about what’s going on,” she said. “Rational behaviour starts to get set aside when things get too emotional. And there is a lot of emotion at the present.”

She said the industry wanted to find a solution to the basic challenge of balancing affordability, energy security and decarbonisation but warned:

“There is no obvious solution,” she added.

Tony Cocker, chief executive of E.On, said: “The perception of political risk has increased over the past few weeks.”

Mr Cocker has already written to Mr Miliband to warn that the cost of capital for investors – and therefore future energy prices - had been increased because of the “disproportionate and inappropriate” price freeze.

SOURCE



Warmists debate a "green dictatorship"

But the writer below concludes regretfully that it would be too hard to do

This diary was composed in response to a comment in my last diary to the effect that what the world needs is some sort of "green dictatorship" -- that if people are not going to do of their own free will what is necessary to mitigate the coming global warming catastrophe, then people need to be forced to quit accelerating the Earth's transformation into some sort of cooler version of Venus through runaway global warming. I can only assume that arguments of this sort are made out of a sort of realistic desperation, given the enormous scope of the problem and the general unwillingness of present-day human governments to do a whole lot about it....

As I understand them, dictatorships (and authoritarian governments in general) are mostly about process. Fundamentally, they are about two processes which can be queried as follows: 1) what does it take to become a dictator? and 2) what does it take to maintain a dictatorship? Generally dictatorships thrive on mechanisms of power: total surveillance, militarization of everyday life, persecution of dissidents, placation of the masses, ideological propaganda, and so on. We have plenty of that throughout the world even though it coexists with "democracy" quite well.

Consumer products are good things for a dictatorship, because the masses can be bribed with them. Accept our tyranny, the regime says, because most of you will get a cheap toaster oven. Capitalism is also good for authoritarian governance, because that way you can have "leaders" who take responsibility for official actions, and moneyed power behind the scenes directing everything with massive infusions of cash.

Voting is good for dictatorship maintenance. Voting is especially good when you have an oligarchic system, with two major parties. The dictators can switch positions now and then, and the electoral system can endlessly promote "voter choice" even when the outcomes are similar in many respects regardless of who wins. (The idea that "the Republicans are worse," although true, does not contradict this reality.) Dictatorship is not contradicted by voting; the Soviets voted. Real democracy is when the public will makes policy decisions -- it's not "American Fascism" or "inverted totalitarianism" or "no functioning democracy." Thus the word "democracy" -- "demos" = the people, "cratein" = to rule.

The masses are going to need some amount of hope, and global warming is not going to give them hope. So I don't see how the coming eco-dictatorship is going to supply people with hope. I suppose they could feed everyone a bunch of false hope while pursuing a green agenda, but who is going to buy into that? And where is the truth when everyone is lying? Apparently the Chinese want to pursue green energy to a much greater extent than they do, but they still keep burning enormous quantities of coal nonetheless, having thrown their lot in with the ideological hopes of capitalist growth. And even so, ecology appears to be on the side of rebellion in China, which has experienced no shortage of despairing anti-pollution protests in the past few decades (at least if you believe the economist Minqi Li).

Dictatorships typically arise on the crest of an ideological wave. The Nazis had Nazism, which was created before their takeover in 1933; Mussolini's autobiography boasts that he had parlayed the culture of the people into a position of power, and the Soviets combined Czarist brutality with a cultural communism which had already been part of Russian culture by the time 1917 rolled around. So why would green-thinking people want to trust a dictatorship to remold the world today?

Groupthink thrives in dictatorships. Even if our favored dictatorship's groupthink were the "right" groupthink -- for instance, you'd want everyone to agree that something needs to be done about global warming -- you'd still run into implementation problems. We'll need creative solutions to the food problem, for instance, as the global food transportation system is partially dismantled in favor of local food production/ consumption. Climate change is the sort of problem that requires creativity, and creativity is hindered when everyone is following orders or going along with official directives.

Wanting to remold society according to one's wishes is nice, pleasant wishful thinking. In reality, the means of remolding would take over if we could somehow amass the power to realize eco-fantasies of global transformation through dictatorship, and bring us the same crazy world we thought we were trying to transcend. If we are to change the world to survive global warming, we must have the patience, humility, and expertise of star teachers, and cultivate learning experiences in which the people find out how to direct their own, collective fates. It can happen democratically.

SOURCE




Australia: Vegetation clearing rules to be eased in fire-prone parts of NSW

The NSW government plans to loosen planning rules to give residents in bushfire-prone regions more freedom to clear vegetation around their homes without a permit.

The new rules, to be introduced next year in the next session of Parliament, would allow homeowners in designated areas to fell trees within 10 metres of their homes and clear shrubs and other vegetation out to 50 metres on their own land without requiring planning permission.

The proposal comes weeks after early-season bushfires in the Blue Mountains and elsewhere destroyed more than 200 homes and damaged 120 more.

"Residents in designated bushfire prone areas will not need to seek permission to sensibly clear vegetation from around their property that is posing a fire risk," Premier Barry O'Farrell said in a statement.

"This will need to be done in an environmentally responsible manner."

Homeowners will be encouraged to "responsibly manage fire risks on their own properties", Mr O'Farrell said.

"Our changes will ensure the rules regarding hazard reduction are based on protecting lives and property – and not satisfying a narrow Green agenda that seeks to put trees before people."

While the clearing rules won't go before the Parliament this year, the government will this week introduce laws giving the Rural Fire Service Commissioner the power to carry out hazard reduction burning on private land without consent of the owner if "reasonable attempts to contact the landowner have failed", the statement said.

The RFS Commissioner will also have the power to direct a Bush Fire Management Committee to amend its Bush Fire Risk Management Plan if it is considered to be inadequate, the statement said.

"We need to ensure the community is as prepared as it possibly can be for future bushfires and that authorities have the powers they need to conduct essential hazard reduction work," Mr O'Farrell said.

SOURCE

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

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

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November 13, 2013

Everything the Australian Green Party claims about this typhoon is wrong

Andrew Bolt

The Greens are despicable. They are enemies of reason, and the question is whether their sin is ignorance or deceit. Here is deputy Greens leader Adam Bandt today:

"Well, I think if the Prime Minister is out there referring to the Leader of the Opposition as ‘Electricity’ Bill, then he can be expected to be referred to as Typhoon Tony himself. The head in the sand approach to global warming in the face of the leaders of the Philippines themselves saying this is what we are in store for unless we get global warming under control makes Australia an international pariah and shows that really at the end of the day Tony Abbott does not believe the science."

Here is Greens leader Christine Milne yesterday:

"In our region Typhoon Haiyan and 10,000 people if not more dead in the Phillipines from a storm with such intensity there is now debate whether it is the strongest typhoon ever. Prof Steffen, one our leading scientists, is out saying that it is the warming of the oceans off the eastern Philippines that has led to the intensity of the typhoon."

Almost everything both Greens have said is false, baseless or misleading. Fact check:

* Was this typhoon the strongest ever? No. Typhoon Reming, which struck the Philippines seven years ago, was stronger, says the Philippine Met Agency.

* Was this typhoon the deadliest ever? No. The death toll, now estimated by the Philippines president at 2000 to 2500, is dwarfed by death tolls of 300,000 or even more from past typhoons and cyclones. The deadliest 35 cyclones in history all killed more than 12,000 people.

* Does data show we’re getting more or worse cyclones? No, says the latest IPCC report.

* Did this typhoon pass over seas made warmer than usual, thanks to global warming? No. Sea temperatures in the typhoon’s path were at the 30 year average.

* Have more cyclones struck the Philippines over recent decades? No, say experts.

This was an incredibly strong typhoon, and it has caused a terrible loss of life. But there is no global warming signal here. Nor would anything Tony Abbott did - or failed to do - make cyclones more or less likely.

Adam Bandt has ignored all the science and all reason to slur Abbott. He shames himself. This is ignorance posing as virtue.

UPDATE

The Greens have censored almost every sceptical comment from their thread on this topic:

Off-topic and abusive posts have been removed. Please do not allow conversation to be derailed by those people refusing to confront the scientific reality of climate change. The debate has been had, the science is in. Links to conspiracy theorists, deniers and the blog of News Limited’s highest-paid internet troll will be removed.

SOURCE






Typhoon Haiyan overshadows UN climate talks

The devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan cast a gloom over U.N. climate talks Monday as the envoy from the Philippines broke down in tears and announced he would fast until a "meaningful outcome is in sight."

Naderev "Yeb" Sano's emotional appeal was met with a standing ovation at the start of two-week talks in Warsaw where more than 190 countries will try to lay the groundwork for a new pact to fight global warming.

U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres also made reference to the "devastating impact" of the typhoon in her opening speech, and urged delegates to "go that extra mile" in their negotiations.

Scientists say single weather events cannot conclusively be linked to global warming. Also, the link between man-made warming and hurricane activity is unclear, though rising sea levels are expected to make low-lying nations more vulnerable to storm surges.

Nevertheless, extreme weather such as hurricanes often prompt calls for urgency at the U.N. talks.

Last year, Hurricane Sandy's assault on the U.S. East Coast and Typhoon Bopha's impact on the Philippines were mentioned as examples of disasters the world could see more of unless it reins in the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are warming the planet.

"We can fix this. We can stop this madness. Right now, right here," Sano told delegates in Warsaw.

Choking on his words, he said he was waiting in agony for news from relatives caught in the massive storm's path, though he was relieved to hear his brother had survived. "In the last two days he has been gathering bodies of the dead with his own two hands," Sano said.

"In solidarity with my countrymen who are struggling to find food back home ... I will now commence a voluntary fasting for the climate," he added. "This means I will voluntarily refrain from eating food during this (conference) until a meaningful outcome is in sight."

On the sidelines of the conference, climate activists called on developed countries to step up their emissions cuts and their pledges of financing to help poor countries adapt to rising seas and other impacts of climate change.

Tense discussions also are expected on a proposed "loss and damage" mechanism that would allow vulnerable countries to get compensation for climate impacts that it's already too late to adapt to.

Asked whether the U.S. had any plans to increase its emissions target in the international talks, U.S. negotiator Trigg Talley said the "focus for us now" is to meet the existing target, of cutting emissions by 17 percent between 2005 and 2020.

"I think that we are on the right track to achieve it," he said, noting President Barack Obama's plans to cut emissions from power plants, boost renewable energy and other measures.

Though no major decisions are expected at the conference in Warsaw's National Stadium, the level of progress could be an indicator of the world's chances of reaching a deal in 2015. That's the new watershed year in the U.N.-led process after a 2009 summit in Copenhagen ended in discord.

SOURCE




Green dreams following the kibbutz track to oblivion

Comment from Australia

SOMETIMES it pays to revisit significant cultural moments, even the small ones that slip by unnoticed. Back in March 2007, then presenter of ABC TV's The 7.30 Report, Kerry O'Brien, introduced a story about the kibbutz movement in Israel.

It was, said O'Brien, "a remarkable experiment in how humans can live together, but it's now facing the end of an era". O'Brien continued: "After almost 100 years, Israel's first kibbutz, the model for all that followed, has become a victim of market forces and has given up on the collectivist dream."

Around the country, members of the Left were surely shedding quiet tears as their utopian dream was exposed as just that: misplaced hopes by well-meaning people who refuse to face reality. Reporter David Hardaker picked up the story from Kibbutz Degania, explaining that "some on the kibbutz weren't as industrious as others. Money and reward for effort became a flashpoint."

He reported that market forces had "crushed the ideal, and young people have been deserting the kibbutz for the outside world where, the harder you work, the more you get". To its credit, the kibbutz movement managed to deceive itself about human nature and market forces for almost 100 years. But sooner or later, reality hit. As Hardaker reported, "By a vote of 85 per cent, (Kibbutz Degania) decided the individual could and should be paid according to effort."

And when reality does hit, it ought to be a reminder that there will always be another generation of dreamers. And sooner or later they, too, will discover that reality trumps sandcastles in the air.

O'Brien's lament about the end of the kibbutz movement came to mind when, earlier this month, German environmentalists sought to put ownership of power assets back in the hands of German people. Could there be another significant cultural moment around the corner, this time about the unreality of green dreams?

This time it will be a clash between reality and misplaced aspirations of environmentalists who believe they, unlike the farmers at a kibbutz, can actually beat market forces.

Will human nature and market forces once again be the ruination of utopian dreamers?

More than two decades after governments sold off power assets, the people of Hamburg last month voted to put them back in the hands of the people. There was a similar push in Berlin earlier this month where activists and green groups at the Energietisch (or Energy Table) tried to sell the dream that buying back power stations and electricity grids would bring down the skyrocketing price of energy and increase the use of renewable energy.

While the vote failed, that is unlikely to be the end of the story. European elites tend to keep putting their agendas to a vote until the lumpenproletariat follow their lead. The activists want nothing short of a green revolution - to raise renewable energy from its present one-quarter of Germany's electricity supply to 80 per cent by 2050.

The question is at what cost? And who will pay?

An article in Der Spiegel last month summed up the reasons Germany provides a critical lesson about a green energy utopia. Headlined "How Electricity Became a Luxury Good", it blows the whistle on the bogus nature of the green dream as Germans pay the highest electricity costs in Europe.

"The costs have reached levels comparable only to the eurozone bailouts," reports Der Spiegel. "This year, German consumers will be forced to pay €20 billion ($26bn) for electricity from solar, wind and biogas plants - electricity with a market price of just over €3bn.

"Even the figure of €20bn is disputable if you include all the unintended costs and collateral damage associated with the project. Solar panels and wind turbines at times generate huge amounts of electricity, and sometimes none at all. Depending on the weather and the time of day, the country can face absurd states of energy surplus or deficit."

And Germans are discovering that their warm embrace of green policies is leaving the most vulnerable citizens out in the cold - quite literally. Charities call it "energy poverty". Rising electricity bills, in large part due to Germany's renewable energy surcharges, have seen power cut off to more than 300,000 households a year because of unpaid bills.

As Stefan Becker from Catholic charity Caritas in Berlin told Der Spiegel, "People here have to decide between spending money on an expensive energy-saving bulb or a hot meal."

In other words, the fine-sounding push towards renewable energy - through subsidies to an expensive and haphazard renewable industry - redistributes money from a poor family living in a tiny apartment to a well-to-do family living in a house with roof-mounted solar panels.

And as Der Spiegel points out, the left-wing parties are most responsible for hurting the poor. The Social Democrats, "which sees itself as the party of the working class, long ignored this regressive aspect of the system. The Greens, the party of higher earners, continue to do so."

Former German environment minister Jurgen Tritten of the Green Party once said that Germany's switch to renewable energy would cost each German no more than the cost of a scoop of ice cream. In fact, rising electricity prices mean that the poor can barely pay for dinner, let alone dessert.

The same crunch is happening in Britain where Prime Minister David Cameron once declared his government would be the "greenest government ever". Cameron now admits that green levies for renewable energy are causing "energy poverty" for 2.4 million British households.

The lessons from Germany and Britain should be high in the minds of the Abbott government. Environment Minister Greg Hunt has made it clear that the fight is not over the science, it is about electricity prices. Last year the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal found that green schemes in Australia will add $316 to the average power bill, the carbon tax adding $168 and the renewable energy schemes another $148. The Productivity Commission and the Institute of Public Affairs have warned that renewable energy policies in Australia defy reality with increased electricity bills delivering no environment benefit.

After the Abbott government tables legislation to repeal the carbon tax today it should get to work to get rid of these other expensive green-led policies. Rather than mandate a 20 per cent renewable energy target by 2020, why not let the market decide? If renewable energy makes sense, it will thrive without mandates.

Sadly, there is a stubborn attachment by both sides of politics to expensive, inefficient and environmentally worthless renewable energy policies. But, sooner or later, surely these lazy, feel-good green dreams will go the same way as the kibbutz movement. When that happens, it will signal another important cultural moment, this time where reality trumps a green utopia.

SOURCE




Regulatory Commissars exploiting holes in Clean Water Act

Ronald Reagan once noted, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'” Under the Obama administration, the EPA is relentlessly proving Reagan's observation by attempting to regulate small water bodies as “wetlands” under the Clean Water Act. Naturally, leftist green pressure groups who mindlessly believe an ever more intrusive big government bureaucracy is the most effective environmental steward are cheering the agency's mission creep.

EPA's gambit to regulate these water bodies is based on its novel new interpretation of the Clean Water Act's applicability to its undefined phrase, “waters of the United States.” Judges and EPA regulators have struggled to interpret this phrase in the absence of legislative clarity. Now the agency is proposing a regulatory solution and conducting a politically tainted review to accumulate evidence to back up its interpretation of its shiny new rule. Lost in the politicizing fog is the common-sense notion that bodies of water can't all be wetlands – they're either water or land.

As with so many of the Obama agencies, EPA has run wild and must be reined in. Perhaps the 2014 election will bring conservatives to office who will do just that.

SOURCE





French-owned energy company holding British government's feet to the fire over Green levies

Energy giant EDF Energy was criticised for holding the Government to ransom today as it vowed to cap a winter gas and electricity price increase if Ministers cut "green" levies.

French-owned EDF announced plans to up prices by just 3.9 per cent for more than two million customers on January 3, the smallest increase of all the 'Big Six' so far.

But Vincent de Rivaz, EDF chief executive, warned that the company would review its plans if anticipated changes by Ministers to the way social and environmental charges are funded were not as dramatic as expected.

The threat came just weeks after EDF struck a huge deal with Ministers to build a new nuclear power station in Hinkley Point, Somerset, which guarantees almost £80 billion of revenues for the company and its partners over the next 35 years.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Mr de Rivaz insisted EDF was not holding a gun to the Government's head. But industry experts said EDF's statement was "astonishing".

Reg Platt, senior research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research think tank said: "EDF have in effect issued a threat to Government saying 'cut back your policies or we'll raise our prices further'.

"The policy they want to cut, Eco, provides households with insulation and efficient boilers to protect them against rising energy bills. David Cameron has said he wants to roll back so-called ' green levies'.

"If this means the Government is going to roll over to the energy companies and cut spending on energy efficiency policy if will be bill players to get hurt."

Andrew Warren, director at the Association for the Conservation of Energy, added: "It is absolutely disgraceful that a company that is majority owned by another Government should be seeking to blackmail the UK Government into changing its established policy.

"This concerted attack is predominantly a distraction technique to draw attention away from the price gouging they are practicing."

Currently, 'Eco' programmes such as free cavity wall insulation for vulnerable homeowners are funded through domestic bills, but the industry wants the burden shifted onto taxpayers, or the deadline to carry out the work to be extended.

Analysts said EDF's price increase would likely be more than 7 per cent if no action was taken on the green levies by Government in the Autumn Statement next month.

A rise of 3.9 per cent would push up dual fuel gas and electricity bills by around £50 a year to £1,384 and compares to hikes of 9.2 per cent at British Gas and 10.4 per cent at npower.

Mr De Rivaz refused to be drawn on what may happen to EDF's pricing if Ministers back down on plans to change green schemes.

But he insisted he was confident the Government would introduce the changes he expected, to "bear costs down".

He said: "My expectation is that something will be done. Through collaborative and constructive dialogue, between policymakers, industry, we will be able to find solutions."

He added the relatively low, 3.9 per cent increase was not a "quid, pro, quo" for the Hinkley Point deal. Mr de Rivaz said: "Our approach is very rational. 3.9 per cent is very different to our rivals, it's less than half the others. It's clear that the time to act is now.

"I am asking people 'Judge us on what we do'. My 15,000 employees are a force for good."

Details of EDF's price change came just hours after The Daily Telegraph revealed E.ON was planning to annouce a 6.6 per cent price rise later this month.

Separately, industry figures showed that almost all of the 'Big Six' risk missing 'Eco' targets for the current year. Npower is just 2 per cent of the way to a March 2014 target to install wall insulation in homes in deprived areas, with British Gas at 6 per cent.

Speaking at a conference organised by Energy UK, the trade association for the 'Big Six', energy secretary Ed Davey warned energy companies their reputations were as low as Fred Goodwin, the disgraced former head of Royal Bank of Scotland, and demanded they "open their books" to improve transparency.

Energy UK countered that Government policy could push up bills by as much as 50 per cent by 2020.

Mr de Rivaz said politicians should stop trying to "fan the flames". Anti-austerity campaigners are already planning "outrageous, creative and inclusive" protest outside the London office of one of the Big Six suppliers on November 26.

Mr de Rivaz said: "There is no need to fan the flames, we need to arrive at a solution together."

Richard Lloyd, executive director at consumer watchdog Which? said EDF's price announcement would be welcomed by its customers, and would make people "question why other major suppliers have hit their customers so much harder".

He added: "People want to hear more than just tough talk from the politicians – they want to see tough new action to fix our broken energy market, not tinkering at the edges while consumers grapple with the rising cost of living.

“With trust at rock bottom and record numbers very worried about rising energy costs, we’re calling on the Chancellor to stand up for consumers when he stands up in the House of Commons to deliver this year’s Autumn Statement.”

SOURCE





Australian Govt's tough message on carbon tax repeal

THE federal government has issued a blunt warning to Labor and the Australian Greens as it prepares to introduce its carbon tax repeal bills to parliament.

"Do not stand in the way of the will of the people," Environment Minister Greg Hunt told ABC radio on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will deliver a long-held promise to abolish the carbon tax, introduced by Labor in 2012, when he presents his government's first major piece of legislation shortly after 9am (AEDT).

After that Mr Hunt and Treasurer Joe Hockey will introduce seven more bills repealing other aspects of Labor's clean energy laws.

While the government has the numbers to pass the legislation through parliament's lower house, Labor and the Greens have the numbers in the Senate to block the bills.

Mr Hunt would not be drawn on whether the government will pursue a double-dissolution election if its legislation is blocked by parliament.

The alternative is to wait until July 2014 for a likely more favourable Senate to repeal the tax.

An alliance of industry groups says any delay will achieve nothing for the environment and hurt businesses.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Industry Group, the Business Council of Australia and the Minerals Council of Australia is urging parliament to approve the repeal bills.

Labor is not backing away from its position to oppose the repeal of the carbon tax without its replacement by an emissions trading scheme.

"We're going to the parliament to do exactly what we told the Australian people what we'd do," frontbencher Tony Burke told ABC radio.

He dismissed as "simply untrue" business claims that delaying repeal of the tax would damage the economy.

A Senate vote on the repeal bills is unlikely before twin upper house inquiries into the legislation and the government's direct action plan to reduce carbon emissions.

"If Tony Abbott is committed to throwing out the baby with the bath water on climate change, it is reasonable for the parliament and the community to expect a reasonable level of detail about their alternative climate change policy," opposition climate change spokesman Mark Butler said.

SOURCE

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November 12, 2013


Energy bills could fall by 7pc if Brit. Government cuts green tax

Leading members of the “Big Six” energy companies promise to cut prices if Government scraps or delays green tax scheme

Britain's energy giants are to offer to cut bills by up to 7pc if the Government agrees to remove the cost of multi-billion-pound green schemes.

In a move which could seize the initiative from critics of the rising cost of bills, leading members of the “Big Six” energy companies have laid out two options to the Government.

One would see the costs of the Energy Companies Obligation (known as the ECO scheme) removed entirely.

If that is agreed, energy leaders have said they could immediately reduce bills by between 6pc and 7pc.

The second option is to delay the implementation of the ECO scheme by 18 months and allow a wider range of energy efficiency measures which are not as expensive.

At present, the ECO scheme demands that houses should be provided with solid wall insulation, which can cost up to £10,000.

Delaying the scheme will lead to only a 3pc fall in bills, the energy sector has calculated.

It is not thought that such a small fall will be seen as sufficient by the Government, which wants consumers to notice a significant fall in bills.

A 7pc drop, even if it funded by some increases in taxes, could see the average bill of £1,300 pounds fall by £91 a year.

The Telegraph revealed in September that energy companies were in late-stage negotiations with the Government over the ECO scheme.

Companies face fines of up to 10pc of turnover if they do not hit the environmental targets and have said that the total cost of the scheme could be as high as £3.1bn, or £125 on the average bill.

Energy companies have assured the Government that if there is any deal – which now looks increasingly likely – they will announce immediately that they will pass on the savings.

The Chancellor could make an announcement on a deal as early as the Autumn Statement, which is scheduled for the first week of December. The Government is keen to act after the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, announced plans for an energy price freeze if he were to win the next election.

In a recent appearance before MPs, William Morris, SSE’s managing director, said the price cut could happen “in a matter of weeks” from taxes being taken off bills and suggested that the regulator Ofgem should oversee the process.

It is also believed that Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has given a personal assurance to the Prime Minister that the energy supplier will reduce bills straight away.

The proposals come as both Centrica and SSE are due to update the market this week on their financial performance. Centrica is expected to give details of Mr Laidlaw’s thinking on the possible ECO deal.

SSE is expected to announce that its household electricity and gas supply business fell to a £100m operating loss for the six months to the end of September, strengthening its arguments over the need for price rises which energy companies have blamed on rising commodity and environmental costs.

The company reports half-year results on Wednesday. It has already announced an 8.2pc price rise in bills, affecting about 4m customers, which comes into force on Friday.

Analysts at Exane BNP Paribas forecast that the SSE group’s adjusted, pre-tax profits will fall 19pc to £321m.

Despite the £100m operating loss forecast for the retail arm, SSE group is still expected to return operating profits of £504m – down 15pc on last year – thanks to its power generation and energy networks businesses, where profits have risen.

The company has previously pointed to the fact it expects its retail arm to be loss-making as justification for its price rise.

The company’s financial year-end of March means its profits are usually skewed much more heavily to the second half when customers use more gas to heat their homes in the winter months.

SOURCE




'Going Green' Costing US Greenbacks for Little Reward

President Barack Obama has shown that he is willing to ignore reason and logic time and time again in order to further to his philosophical agenda. This has been evident in the predictably failed rollout of healthcare reform, but it is also seen in the president’s inexplicable and constant support of so-called “green energy” – at the expense of consumers and without any evidence of success.

The Washington Examiner conducted an analysis of the tangible impact of LEED standards in New York City, asking the one question that matters: do LEED certified buildings use less energy on a relative basis than non-LEED certified buildings? The answer: No. The Examiner analysis found that buildings with LEED certifications use more energy per square foot than buildings without the certification.

LEED certification was developed and championed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) – which is not a government entity, but a private group – which profits from this faux certification boom and describes themselves as being "committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings."

In fact, I would have no problem with LEED standards if they were completely voluntary within the private sector – that is, if those builders that wanted LEED certifications were able to get them and those that didn't were not forced to comply.

But the USGBC managed a coup - somehow convincing (or bullying) the federal government, as well as more than 400 state and local communities that LEED standards were in the public's interest. Such is not the case. First, the National Research Council estimates that this green building mandate adds 8 percent to design and construction costs.

But, beyond strict costs, LEED standards have two main flaws: they are impractical and ineffective.

On the impractical front, LEED standards prevent buildings from using certain safety materials, including bulletproof glass, in courthouses, prisons and other government buildings. LEED standards don't account for the fact that government buildings are high-profile targets, and safety measures should be determined by public safety professionals not by environmental profiteers like those at the USGBC.

The USGBC also arbitrarily mandates that the wood used in LEED buildings be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a favorite standard of fringe environmental groups, including Greenpeace. Most American forests are certified using two other standards – the American Tree Farm System and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. May seem like semantics, but it is not. As a result of this deliberate decision, 90 percent of timber used is from foreign sources. In effect, LEED standards are shipping jobs overseas.

But these standards are also less effective. Some environmentalists are critical of the FSC - noting that the FSC is biased towards large conglomerates and that shipping timber from afar increases consumption of gasoline and emits more greenhouse gasses.

Fewer jobs alongside dubious results - these are not outcomes federal, state and local governments should mandate. Reversing strict adherence to LEED standards, in addition to other arbitrary “green energy” initiatives, will help leaders realize these programs are impractical and ineffective in their goal of reducing energy consumption, while the regulations also negatively impact thousands of workers and families in their area.

SOURCE





Study: Fracking Cuts Energy Costs, Raises Living Standards

The recovery of natural gas through smart drilling and hydraulic fracturing is cutting energy costs and raising living standards throughout the United States, a newly published study has found. Economists at IHS Inc. report hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, will likely raise average U.S. household income by $2,700 per year and create 1.2 million new jobs by 2020.

Hydraulic fracturing is the process of extracting oil and natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth. Engineers drill thousands of feet below the earth’s surface and then create cracks in the shale formations by injecting water, sand, and trace chemicals under high pressure. Although energy producers have utilized fracking since the middle of the last century, Americans are benefiting from a fracking revolution today thanks to recent technological advances and new oil and natural gas discoveries.

Widespread Economic Benefits

“A revolution is under way in the production of unconventional oil and natural gas that is transforming America’s energy future and strengthening its overall economy,” the study reports.

IHS economists report fracking, by increasing energy supplies and lowering energy prices, is creating extensive benefits in the U.S. manufacturing industry. By 2020, total manufacturing production will increase 3.5 percent over baseline levels thanks to the lower energy costs, the IHS study concluded.

The study also found the increase in manufacturing production will create a $51 billion increase in annual revenue for federal, state, and local governments by 2020.

The United States leads the world in shale oil and natural gas resources, and fracking is giving American entrepreneurs a new edge in global economic competition, the study observes.

“The unconventional [energy] revolution is also contributing to a shift in global competitiveness for the United States by unlocking new production cost advantages for U.S. industries benefitting from lower prices for raw materials and the energy they use,” according to the study.

Government Threats Loom

The only appreciable danger to this increase in production and revenue, the authors state, is government regulations or prohibitions. Although top EPA officials have repeatedly testified they have never found a single incident of the fracking process contaminating groundwater, environmental activists claim fracking endangers groundwater and seek to ban or severely restrict fracking.

Revenue Windfalls

Merrill Matthews, a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation, says both taxpayers and tax collectors benefit from fracking.

“Fracking has dramatically increased the supply of natural gas, which has, one, turned the U.S. into one of the top producers—if not the top producer—of natural gas in the world, and, two, reduced costs so much that natural gas has become cheap,” said Matthews.

“The energy boom has also been a windfall for states and the federal government. In 2012 the energy industry, gas and oil, paid $9.7 billion in federal royalties, rents, and bonuses. And in 2010 the energy industry paid $8.5 billion in federal income taxes. That's money that the federal government doesn't have to take from taxpayers or borrow,” he explained.

Environmental Benefits

Despite the huge economic windfall, environmental activists would like to smother the baby while it’s still in the crib, Matthews said.

“Ironically, it is the increased use of natural gas in power generation plants that has reduced our energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to near 1990 levels. While most countries that signed the Kyoto Protocol promising to dramatically reduce their CO2 levels have increased their emissions, the U.S. has been reducing its energy-related CO2 emissions—and the U.S. never signed the treaty,” Matthews explained. “Limiting fracking, which would reduce U.S. natural gas production, would likely have the effect of increasing CO2 emissions.”

Boon to Manufacturers

Josiah Neeley, a policy analyst at the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, says reliable energy is the lifeblood of businesses and manufacturing.

“If you manufacture or ship products and goods, you use electricity to produce and deliver them. There will be nationwide benefits from fracking due to resultant lower energy costs. Businesses will expand, and new plants will open. What this all means is there will be more jobs,” said Neeley.

International Security Benefits

Fracking also offers international and national security benefits, Neely observed.

“U.S. natural gas production and exports will undercut Russia’s role as a dominant natural gas producer. Accordingly, other nations will no longer be at Russia’s energy mercy. Also, by stabilizing the world’s energy reserves, America and other nations won’t have to do business with odious and unstable regimes,” he explained.

Politics Could Jeopardize Benefits

H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, says the United States could increase oil and gas production even more, and further reduce its need for foreign oil, if the federal government would remove barriers to increased production and forego new ones.

“The Obama administration is considering more stringent regulations, despite numerous studies showing fracking has few, if any, negative environmental consequences. Additionally, the EPA has already tried to halt a number of operations, but they’ve had to back down when challenged in the courts,” said Burnett.

SOURCE





SCOTUS Revisits EPA Regulation of CO2

On October 15, 2013, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) granted ‘Certiorari’ to Petitioners who have been suing the EPA over regulations to control CO2. In 2007, SCOTUS had ruled that CO2 may be considered a pollutant under the Clean Air Act (CAA), provided EPA could demonstrate that continued emission of CO2 would harm ‘human health and welfare.’ In 2009, EPA published the required Endangerment Finding, which was subsequently attacked on scientific grounds by a collection of plaintiffs. [Full disclosure: SEPP is one of the many plaintiffs involved in this lawsuit.]

However, in June 2012, the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled against plaintiffs, giving deference on the science to EPA. EPA had proceeded to institute emission limits for motor vehicles, essentially by setting mileage standards. EPA is now arguing that, having successfully set CO2 limits for motor vehicles in May 2010, the CAA requires that emission limits be set on all other emitters of CO2. Using their statutory authority to set New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), EPA has proposed stringent limits on new power plants that will make new coal plants virtually impossible to construct. The EPA also wants to limit emissions from existing coal plants, arguing that EPA can set guidelines which the states would have to follow in regulating emissions from existing plants.

In the coming case, plaintiffs are essentially appealing the decision of the DC Circuit Appeals Court and hope to prevail — even though SCOTUS is not likely to listen to scientific arguments — although publication of the authoritative NIPCC report “Climate Change Reconsidered-II” (Heartland, 2013) cannot be ignored. In fact, the Supreme Court has restricted its Cert to the single question: Is EPA permitted to extend its authority to regulate emissions from motor vehicles to stationary sources?

The EPA is likely to use a section of the Clean Air Act called Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD). They have a strong case; it will require considerable ingenuity for the plaintiffs’ lawyers to prevail over the EPA. One sees at least two possibilities.

A. NAAQS (National ambient air quality standards)

The CAA requires the setting of NAAQS. However, it is a fact that

1. EPA has not set a NAAQS for CO2

2. EPA does not know how to set a NAAQS for CO2. There is no scientific basis for doing so.

3. Even if EPA were to set a NAAQS, there is no way in which EPA can demonstrate that its regulations can achieve it; further, there is no way whereby EPA can enforce it — since CO2 is global and EPA cannot control emissions from other nations, like China.

4. But without a NAAQS as a goal, any effort to set emission limits must be judged to be ‘arbitrary and capricious.’ In other words, without a specific target, there is no rational way for setting emission limits for power plants or other emitters.

B. Tailoring Rule

In the regulation of ‘criteria pollutants’ (of which there are currently six) the arcane provisions of the CAA require EPA to regulate emissions from sources that emit more than either 100 or 250 tons per year.

These limits are ok for CO2 from individual small sources, motor vehicles and even big trucks. But when applied to stationary sources, there would be millions of them, including apartment and office buildings, hospitals, schools, prisons, etc.

Clearly, EPA is unable to muster an effort to issue controls for all such sources. They have therefore arbitrarily raised the lower limit to 75,000 to 100,000 tons per year — by issuing a so-called ‘Tailoring Rule.’ It would permit regulation of major sources, such as power plants, refineries, and other large industrial installations.

However, EPA cannot simply change the law to suit its convenience. This cannot be done by administrative action; it must be done by the author of the law — which is Congress. Again, EPA’s revised lower limit may be considered “arbitrary and capricious”

What to do?

The sensible course for EPA is to go back to Congress and suggest an amendment to the Clean Air Act to permit continuing without setting a NAAQS for CO2 and for allowing a ‘Tailoring Rule’ that makes CO2 regulation more manageable. But it is unlikely that EPA will choose to do this. Because once the matter goes back to Congress, it is no longer under the control of the executive branch of government.

Congress, in its wisdom, could decide to do away with the PSD (Prevention of Significant Deterioration) requirement for CO2 and thus not permit EPA to extend emission controls to power stations. Or, going even further, Congress may decide that CO2 is not to be considered as a criteria pollutant and cannot be regulated at all under the Clean Air Act. In other words, Congress may decide that CO2 is not a ‘pollutant’ — and thus overturn and make irrelevant the Supreme Court decision of 2007.

There is little doubt that the House, as currently constituted, would choose one of these routes. It is entirely possible that the US Senate will go along — even though it has a Democratic majority. But 16 Democratic senators are up for re-election in 2014 — with some from coal states in the Midwest. So there is a strong possibility that the Congress will consider CO2 to be a non-pollutant. Even if the White House were to apply a veto, there is a good chance that it will be overturned — which would constitute a big defeat for the Obama Administration.

But political futures are hard to predict. Much may ride on the outcome of Obamacare and other snafus that might affect public opinion about the White House and thereby the mood of Congress. One thing for sure: public policy should not be set by unelected bureaucrats.

SOURCE





The Cryosphere

One of the most common claims made by those who warn of an anthropogenic global warming crisis is that increases in temperature have led to unusual melting in mountain glaciers, Arctic sea ice, and polar icecaps. Known collectively as the cryosphere, these are areas on or near Earth’s surface so cold that water is present in solid form as snow or ice in glaciers, icecaps, and sea ice.

A report from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), an independent group of some 50 scientists from 15 countries, titled Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science, summarizes the large, significant body of research examining the effect of global warming on the cryosphere. The research shows changes in glacier and sea-ice extent occur in ways that frequently contradict and rarely concur with the claims of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the projections of its climate models.

Although the NIPCC report finds some melting of mountain glaciers, it notes melting is not occurring in other areas of the cryosphere. The current state of Arctic sea ice and polar icecaps is not “unnatural” and does not constitute evidence of a human impact on climate.

Information on the global ice budget collected from satellite and airborne resources, methods that are still in the early stages of development, suggest both the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Caps are close to balance. The global extent of sea-ice cover remains similar to what it was at the start of satellite observations in 1979, with ice shrinkage in the Arctic Ocean being offset by growth around Antarctica.

Contrary to claims by the IPCC, the research examined by NIPCC finds changes in the cryosphere occur in natural multidecadal, centennial, and millennial time-scale cycles independent of any human-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Historically, glaciers have been both considerably larger and substantially smaller than they are today; over the past 25,000 years, glaciers around the world have fluctuated widely in concert with changing climate, at times shrinking to positions and volumes smaller than today.

Although shrinking mountain glaciers make for popular propaganda videos, one mountain glacier is not indicative of the climate as a whole, and they do not respond to global temperature change in a simple, uniform way. Recent research indicates the observed changes in temperature, snowfall, ice flow speed, glacial extent, and iceberg calving in both Greenland and Antarctica lie within the limits of natural climate variation.

CCR-II concludes new research finds less melting of ice in the Arctic, Antarctic, and mountain glaciers than previously feared, and no melting at all that could be uniquely attributed to rising carbon dioxide levels.

More HERE (See the original for links)




Australia: Greens protest killed my father, man says

GREEN protesters will be subject to workplace safety laws after a Forestry NSW worker was killed while standing guard between demonstrators and a logging site.

John Creighton, 59, who worked in forestry for 39 years, was hit by a falling log while overseeing the work on private land in Whian Whian in the state's north.

His son Russell said while he didn't want to lay blame he knew work practices on the day were changed as a result of the protesters on the site. "He was standing where he was because of that," he said. "He was called into these areas because of his experience - because he followed the letter of the law. That impacts us as a family."

Initial investigations revealed Mr Creighton was standing between a group of protesters and the logging site when he was hit in the head by the log on October 9. He died two days later in hospital.

As a result, Finance and Services Minister Andrew Constance said he and Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson would move to make protesters subject to the workplace and safety laws of any site they enter.

"Enough is enough," Mr Constance said. "Forestry activists need to understand they are entering the worksites of one of the most risky industries that operate in NSW."

Mr Creighton Jr said, while his dad had spent the majority of his career in forestry, he understood the right of people to protest against it.

"He said the majority of people out there had good intentions - but then there's the radical element," he said.

He said he would support any law change that forced protesters to follow work safety rules: "If it was a union picket and blokes invaded a work site they would be hauled away by police and face fines."

Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser last week blamed the protesters for Mr Creighton's death and called them "ratbags".

"Mr Creighton should not have been there. However, because of work health and safety concerns it was deemed necessary for Mr Creighton to be there,'' Mr Fraser said.

"A family has lost their father because greens failed to comply with health and safety regulations."

SOURCE

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

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

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November 11, 2013



Lewandowski proves himself a liar and a cheat

He knew that his work was unethical so deceived his university to get past its ethical restrictions. Such dishonesty nullifies the work of any scientist. Are his research findings lies too? Lewandowski's findings about what skeptics think were always dodgy on sampling grounds alone. Now we have to ask if his oddly chosen interviewees even said what he claims they said.

The now-withdrawn Lewandowsky Fury paper (link) is possibly one of the egregious examples of ethically compromised research encountered. Delve into the paper, the first thing crossing one’s mind is: how did the university ethics committee approve this project? This was the study protocol - Lewandowsky’s associates would carry out real-time surveillance on people criticizing his paper, prod and provoke them, record their responses and perform ‘analysis’. How did they say yes?

Lewandowsky’s correspondence with University of Western Australia (UWA) officials has been released (link). Amidst a storm of emails on this previous work, he writes to the secretary of the ethics committee (10 Sep 2012) of his intention to start another project:

This is just to inform you of the fact that I will be writing a follow-up paper to the one that just caused this enormous stir. The follow-up paper will analyze the response to my first paper …

Lewandowsky states there will be no interaction with his subjects: none of the research “will involve experimentation, surveys, questionnaires or a direct approach of participants of any sort"

What would the research be? According to Lewandowsky, his team would “analyz[e] “Google trends” and other indicators of content that are already in the public domain (e.g. blog posts, newspapers, comments on blogs, that type of thing)”. The research would “basically just summarize and provide a timeline of the public’s response.”

The email is a remarkably misleading and limited description of the project he and his associates conducted.

The ethics office response is further divorced from reality. The approval was granted as a “follow-up” study to the ‘Moon’ paper. The ‘Moon Hoax’ paper was itself was approved under an application for “Understanding Statistical Trends”. As recounted here, “Understanding Statistical Trends” was a study where Lewandowsky’s associates showed a graph to shopping mall visitors and asked questions (link pdf). This application was modified to add the ‘Moon hoax’ questions on the day the original paper was accepted for publication. The same application was modified for the ‘Recursive Fury’ paper. Each modification introduced ethical considerations not present in the previous step. Nevertheless, three unrelated research projects were allowed to be stacked on to a single ethics approval by the university board. In this way, Lewandowsky was able to carry out covert observational activities on members of the general public, as they reacted to his own work, with no human research ethical oversight.

Lewandowsky pitches his study proposal as non-intrusive, observational and retrospective in design: there is “no human participation”, the “content is already in the public domain”, and “irrespective of whether we then summarize that activity”. What he implied was there was minimal concern for more elaborate safeguards and vetting usually put in place when working with human subjects.

Yet during the period of study, Lewandowsky was in direct conversation with his study subjects (even as he ostensibly observed them). On a posting spree, he wrote 9 articles at shapingtomorrowsworld.org between Sept 3 – 19, 2012. About half of these were written after he approached the ethics office on the 10th. All but two were written after he announced that he was already collecting data, to the university deputy vice chancellor on the 5th. Among individuals named in the paper as harboring conspiracist ideas, three posted detailed comments with multiple questions responding to these posts, on his website. The subjects wrote numerous posts at their own blogs on Lewandowsky’s actions in the same interval. The flow of comments, appearance and final content were influenced by the second author, John Cook. A team headed by Cook operated as moderators at shapingtomorrowsworld.org, deleting parts, or whole comments offered by the subjects in the same interval. The elicited comments and posts were harvested as data for the paper.

The study was thus not an examination of archived material on blogs. As the authors themselves describe, they recorded subject comments and blog-posts in “real-time”, responses occurring to events set in motion by themselves. It cannot be considered a observational study either as authors interacted with the purported subjects during the period of study.

In her reply, the ethics secretary directs Lewandowsky to the UWA Human Subjects research web page (link). The page contains a ‘risk assessment checklist’ to guide researchers to whether a planned study would need ethics approval. It has these questions:

Active concealment of information from participants and/or planned deception of participants

Will participants be quoted or be identifiable, either directly or indirectly, in reporting of the research?

Will data that can identify an individual (or be used to re-identify an individual) be obtained from databanks, databases, tissue banks or other similar data sources?

Might the research procedures cause participants psychological or emotional distress?

Does the research involve covert observation?

The answer is a ‘Yes’ to many of these questions. ’Participants’ declared to be conspiratorial by Lewandowsky are directly identified by name in the paper. The element of covert observation is undeniable.

The possibility of ethical breaches with internet-based research are well-understood. Clare Madge (2007) observed ethically questionable research could come to be carried out “under the radar screens of ethics committees” simply owing to the ease and speed of internet-based research resulting in ‘shoddy cowboy research’ and proliferation of ethical misconduct. The study design and conduct of the Lewandowsky et al 2013 ‘Recursive Fury’ contains numerous ethical failures. Lewandowsky’s email characterized his work in terms which turned out to be their opposite. There was no formal application and there was no review and consequently the prospective,non-observational nature of his project went unscrutinized.

SOURCE




So Much For Germany’s Green Economy (Welcome, Dirty Coal)

A new outbreak of irrationality in Germany. Has ecofascism replaced National Socialism? It would not be a big leap. The NSDAP was the first "Green" political party to win power

Not only do solar and wind raise costs, they also reduce stability. The rising and setting of the sun can be predicted to seconds, but the intensity of light and KWhrs of power are less reliable. Wind is even worse, leaving generating capacity idle during peak demand one day but contributing the next. Under such circumstances, most countries ensure a base load of supply by maintaining low-cost always-on power sources such as nuclear or coal.

The drive to renewables in Germany should run counter to maintaining a high dependency on coal, but (and some may say hypocritically) Germany has five new coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of around 4 GW going through their “first fire” trials this summer. Although generators are at pains to stress how very efficient these new plants are, much of Germany’s coal-fired power production uses lignite, the dirtiest form of coal. Overall, Germany’s coal-fired power plants (including lignite) contributed more than 50% to the nation’s electricity demand in the first half of this year, with more coal-fired capacity likely to be commissioned before the first nuclear plant is taken out of service in 2015, Platts tells us.

But if lowering total emissions is the objective of the government’s potentially ruinous investment in renewables, their decision in May 2011 to immediately shut down eight of the country’s 17 nuclear reactors, with the remainder to close before 2022, is bizarre. The decision was taken, so we are told, in response to the Fukushima tsunami, perhaps on the basis that Germany’s reactors could experience the same catastrophe.

Before the shutdown of the eight reactors is taken into account, Germany relies on nuclear power for 23% of its electricity generating capacity and 46% of its base-load electricity production. Coal will partially replace that nuclear base load– but at the cost of CO2 emissions, which can presumably only be countered by further renewable investment. According to another Platts article, power generation from natural gas fired plants actually decreased this year to under 10%.

So what does the future hold for Germany’s industrial model? Just as the US is benefiting from an era of low power costs, a promise that has already encouraged significant investment in the petrochemicals, steel, and fertilizers, Germany will be entering an era of ever higher power costs.

SOURCE





Renowned Warmist Scientist Peter Lemke: Antarctic Sea Ice “More Extensive, Thicker, And More Densely Packed” Than In 1992!

Polar scientist Dr. Peter Lemke of Germany’s renowned Alfred Wegener Institute was interviewed here about climate change, its affect on the Earth’s polar regions and about his recent winter expedition to Antarctica.

In the Arctic part of the interview, Lemke repeats the usual man-is-melting-the-Arctic narrative that you often hear from many state-funded alarmist climate scientists. No surprise here.

But as always, when it comes to sea ice, eventually warmist polar scientists get tripped up by Antarctica. And sure enough, Lemke trips and stumbles when Antarctic sea ice gets brought up. Before too long he is forced to concede he is stumped and has to admit that sea ice at the South Pole has grown and that he has no real explanation.

Peter Lemke has been on several expeditions to Antarctica: in 1989, 1992, 2006, and now 2013. And each time they collected data. Today, after comparing the preliminary results of the 2013 to those of 1992, here’s what Lemke says:

“…from our early results, it looks like that the sea ice mass around Antarctica has increased slightly. Our measurements showed that the sea ice was more extensive, thicker and more densely packed as compared to our 1992 expedition, which was on the same track during the same season.”

Increased slightly? In the following chart I’ve highlighted the winter of the years 1992 and 2013 to show what Lemke means by “increased slightly“:



It’s obvious that Lemke is attempting to seriously downplay the Antarctic sea ice growth that has occurred since 1992. Indeed the above chart shows that sea ice has grown by more than 1.5 million square kilometers. That’s not increasing “slightly”. We suppose that if the trend had been the other way around, we’d be hearing terms like considerable reduction or even possibly dramatic reduction.

What’s more, Lemke also confirms that this extra 1.5 million square kilometers is “thicker” and “more compact”, meaning there’s much more ice mass.

So why is the ice growing? This goes against all the claims of global warming. Here, typical of warmist scientists who are confronted with inconvenient data, Lemke acts like he has the answer…before admitting he really has no clue (my emphasis):

One explanation is that in the Southern Hemisphere the westerly winds are increasing, and through friction this drives the ice towards lower latitudes and the extent is getting a bit bigger. When the ice expands there is open water between ice floes, and it’s still cold enough in winter that ice freezes in the open patches.

There are other physical processes that may be involved, such as the heavy snow cover that blankets the Antarctic sea ice. Sometimes the heavy snow load submerges the ice floe underwater so that the interface of ice and snow is actually below sea level, and seawater drains into the snow and freezes. That may be one process, but there are others that are not really resolved yet.

We don’t yet have the answers to these questions, because there are very few measurements and you cannot deduce snow from satellite remote sensing data, yet. To find out, you have to go there and make measurements yourself. But winter expeditions are very rare. There are very few icebreakers that can actually go into the Antarctic winter into the sea ice.”

The science is settled, except for the majority that isn’t.

Never trust a climate scientist who acts like he’s sure. It’s a dead give away that he hasn’t got a clue about what’s really going on.

SOURCE




Scientists Blast Obama’s Global Warming Myth: You’re Basing Politics on Faulty Computer Models Rather than Science

On Friday, Obama signed an executive order that instructs federal agencies to work with state and local governments to boost preparations for the impact of global warming. Obama’s war on coal has threatened one sixth of America’s electrical output by placing 150 coal-burning power plants on the chopping block – all due to global warming. Citing global warming has already having an effect on communities and public health across the nation, Obama directed infrastructure projects to take into consideration future climate conditions which naturally could result in a higher price tag for new projects or repairs to already existing structures. However, new scientific evidence has surfaced that “the solar activity is decreasing at the fastest rate as anytime in the last 10,000 years”.

Environmentalist Lawrence Solomon wrote in the Financial Post, “Now an increasing number of scientists are swinging back to the thinking of the 1960s and 1970s. The global cooling hypothesis may have been right after all, they say Earth may be entering a new Little Ice Age.”

The Daily Caller reported:

Solomon adds that Columbia University’s George Kukla – who warned the US government about the dangers of global cooling in 1972 – postulated that “global warming always precedes an ice age … The warming we saw in the 1980s and 1990s, in other words, was expected all along, much as the calm before the storm.”

Recently, scientists have been looking to solar activity as a predictor of world climate. Low solar activity has been connected with cold periods in human history, while high levels of solar activity have been connected with warming periods, like the one from the 1950s to 1998.

The United Nation’s climate authority has tried to downplay the influence of solar activity on the Earth’s climate, but climate scientists have been more assertive that the sun plays a role in affecting global temperatures.

According to Dr. Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology, the public debate is moving away from the 15-17 year pause and toward the cooling since 2002.

Professor Cliff Ollier of the School of Earth and Environmental Studies at the University of Western Australia indicates a correlation between sunspots and climate change. Prof. Ollier postulated earlier this year that the sun was the major controller of the climate.

According to Ollier, “Solar cycles provide a basis for prediction. Solar Cycle 24 has started and we can expect serious cooling. Many think that political decisions about climate are based on scientific predictions, but what politicians get are projections based on computer models.”

Scientists from Russia and the UK are also positing global cooling based on Solar Cycle 24. Habibullo Abdussamatov of the Russian Academy of Science expects global cooling to begin as early as 2014 with another “Little Ice Age” in 2055. Professor Mike Lockwood of Reading University predicts a “Little Ice Age” for Northern Europe because of the decline in solar activity.
Prof. Lockwood bases his postulation on the examination of certain isotopes contained in ice core samples, indicating how active the sun has been over the last thousands of years. Lockwood believes the sun is declining in activity “more rapidly than at any time in the last 10,000 years.”

The last Little Ice Age occurred in the 1600s and coincided with an inactive sun, called the Maunder solar minimum. According to Don Easterbrook, professor emeritus of geology as Western Washington University, the earth has been thawing out for the last 400 years.Bogus

Easterbrook states, “So the warming we saw, which lasted only from 1978 to 1998, is something that is predictable and expectable. When the ocean changed temperatures, global cooling is almost a slam dunk. You can expect to find about 25 to 30 years yet ahead of us before it starts to warm up again. It might be even more than that.”

So, scientists studying solar activity and the sun along with isotopes from ice core samples have identified a cycle correlating warming and cooling periods of the earth with the solar cycle. These correlations are based on actual observation and study, not a computer model whose predictions are based on information supplied by scientists who cannot identify all variables to enter into the equation. The computer model information then becomes faulty, inaccurate and cannot satisfy the requirements for the scientific method. Model prediction versus observational, data gathering analysis is a no win scenario for model prediction.

Since Obama has declared “global warming/climate change” a dire threat to the US – a threat that must be acted on immediately – all other scientific data opposing the big myth of global warming is ignored. It is ignored because it does not meet the political agenda.

The identification of solar cycles leading to periods of warming and cooling flies in the face of Obama’s agenda to cripple the United States. If these postulations are correct, instead of destroying one sixth of America’s electrical output, measures should be taken to secure electrical output. America should sustain dependable energy sources instead of chasing the pipe dream of “renewable energy.” America should be working to increase its security from invasion, shore up its economy and stimulate job growth and independence of its people. This is not done by expanding federal government, but holding it to its constitutional limits with the possibility of dismantling unconstitutional agencies and declaring null and void strangling regulations based on controlling businesses and the citizenry.

This administration and Congress would rather cripple this nation’s resources, by stalling a pipeline project and destroying the coal industry, to make Americans more dependent on the government – the more people that are dependent on the government, the easier they are to control. If the government controls resources, such as water and electricity, an entire community could be deprived of resources to bring it in line with the government agenda. The theoretical myth of global warming accomplishes this whereas the cyclical climate trend of the earth caused by solar activity does not.

By ignoring these scientific facts on solar activity and ice core samples, Obama is demonstrating hard headed, stubborn, narcissistic and dictatorial behavior. He supports a lie instead of the truth. It isn’t a far stretch to see that last statement as fact. Every time he opens his mouth to speak, an entire repertoire of lies is forthcoming; Obama lives a lie. To him, a lie is truth as long as you can hide the facts, berate others who bring forth the facts, and hypnotize a population of low intellect individuals. A lie benefits an agenda to where the end justifies the means.

As I learned as a child, if you tell one lie, you have to tell another to prop it up; then, you have to keep telling lies to prop up all the previous ones. At that point, you have built a house of cards that comes tumbling down at the slightest of disturbances. Lies end up catching up to the liar as it is harder to remember what lies you have told than it is to tell the truth; truth does not change. The point eventually comes when there are no more lies to tell and the house of cards cannot stand; the lies then become the card that topples the house.

SOURCE




Hopes for strong 2015 climate deal fade

World governments are likely to recoil from plans for an ambitious 2015 climate change deal at talks next week, concern over economic growth at least partially eclipsing scientists' warnings of rising temperatures and water levels.

"We are in the eye of a storm," said Yvo de Boer, United Nations climate chief in 2009 when a summit in Copenhagen ended without agreement. After Copenhagen, nations targeted a 2015 deal to enter into force from 2020 with the goal of averting more floods, heatwaves, droughts and rising sea levels.

The outline of a more modest 2015 deal, to be discussed at annual U.N. climate talks in Warsaw on November11-22, is emerging that will not halt a creeping rise in temperatures but might be a guide for tougher measures in later years.

Since 2009, scientists' warnings have become more strident and new factors have emerged, sometimes dampening the impact of their message that human activity is driving warming.

The U.S. shale boom helped push U.S. carbon emissions to an 18-year low last year, for instance; but it also shifted cheap coal into Europe where it was used in power stations.

Despite repeated promises to tackle the problem, developed nations have been preoccupied with spurring sluggish growth. And recession has itself braked emissions from factories, power plants and cars, a phenomenon that may prove short-lived.

Emerging economies such as China and India, heavily reliant on cheap, high-polluting coal to end poverty, are reluctant to take the lead despite rising emissions and pollution that are choking cities.

"Our concern is urgency" in tackling climate change, said Marlene Moses of Nauru, chair of the Alliance of Small Island States whose members fear they will be swamped by rising sea levels. "Vague promises will no longer suffice."

She wants progress when senior officials and environment ministers from almost 200 nations meet in Warsaw to discuss the 2015 deal, as well as climate aid to poor nations and ways to compensate them for loss and damage from global warming.

Yet many governments, especially in Europe, are concerned that climate policies, such as generous support schemes for solar energy, push up consumer energy bills.

Some want to emulate the success of the United States in bringing down energy prices via shale gas - a fossil fuel that can help cut greenhouse emissions if it replaces coal but at the same time can divert investments from cleaner energy.

Many Warsaw delegates say the 2015 accord looks likely to be a patchwork of national pledges for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, anchored in domestic legislation, after Copenhagen failed to agree a sweeping treaty built on international law.

The less ambitious model is a shift from the existing Kyoto Protocol, agreed in 1997. That set a central target for emissions cuts by industrialized countries and then shared them out among about 40 nations.

But Kyoto has not worked well, partly because the United States did not join, objecting that the treaty would cost U.S. jobs and set no targets for big emerging nations. Russia, Canada and Japan have since dropped out.

A more flexible approach for 2015, championed by the United States, raises risks that many nations will simply set themselves weak goals, hoping others will take up the slack.

But it may have a better chance of ratification by national parliaments. The idea is that negotiators will find a way to compare the ambition of promises and develop a mechanism to ratchet the weak ones up in coming years.

SOURCE






Australia snubs global climate talks, as Environment Minister stays home to repeal carbon tax

AUSTRALIA will be represented by a diplomat rather than a senior minister at international climate talks in Poland next week aimed at securing an agreement to cut global carbon emissions.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt won't attend annual United Nations climate change talks in Warsaw, saying he'll be busy repealing the carbon tax in the first fortnight of parliament.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will also not attend. Neither her parliamentary secretary Brett Mason nor Mr Hunt's deputy, Simon Birmingham, have been delegated to attend.

Instead, Australia will be represented by Australia's Climate Change Ambassador Justin Lee, who is based in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Hunt said through a spokesman that he would be “fully engaged in repealing the carbon tax” while the conference was underway.

The Environment Minister, who'd been expected to attend the talks, yesterday cancelled scheduled briefings on the Warsaw talks with business representatives, lobby groups and foreign diplomats.

Asked about the decision, Mr Hunt's spokesman said the talks were a foreign affairs issue.

Australia's stance at the upcoming meeting was due to be considered by federal cabinet on Monday.

Lobby groups said other nations were anxious to see what role Australia would play in global climate change negotiations under a Coalition government.

Speaking to reporters this morning, Mr Hunt said Australian delegates to the UN climate summit in Poland will seek a “deep, strong international agreement”. “The first part of the delegation leaves today for Warsaw and I think there'll be plenty of engagement with business and community over the coming weeks,” he also told ABC radio.

But the government's move not to send a minister to Poland has raised eyebrows. “It's highly unusual,” the Climate Institute's John Connor said. “Australia's heft is significantly undermined by not having one of its senior elected representatives there.”

A government minister had attended the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks since Ian Campbell headed the delegation under John Howard's first government in 1997.

Labor sent climate change ministers Penny Wong and Greg Combet from 2007, except last year when the Gillard government's parliamentary secretary on climate change Mark Dreyfus stood in for Mr Combet.

Opposition climate spokesman Mark Butler said the move was unprecedented and sent a bad signal. “The political statement that's being made is all negative,” he told Sky News. “Other countries are going to read into it at best with confusion and at worst that the Abbott government is walking away from global action on climate change.”

While no major decisions will be made at Warsaw, it's expected the meeting will build momentum in the lead-up to major negotiations for a global agreement on cutting greenhouse gases in Paris in 2015.

Mr Connor said other countries were “nervous” about the direction the Australian government was heading on climate change, and they'd have to reinforce their commitment to global action.

Mr Hunt said Dr Lee's delegation would stand by Australia's target of at least a five per cent emissions cut by 2020 and seek a “deep, strong international agreement”.

“In my case, we've got parliament over the next two weeks and I'm dealing with the legislation for repeal of the carbon tax,” he told ABC radio.

SOURCE

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

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

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This site is in favour of things that ARE good for the environment. That the usual Greenie causes are good for the environment is however disputed.

Context for the minute average temperature change recorded: At any given time surface air temperatures around the world range over about 100°C. Even in the same place they can vary by nearly that much seasonally and as much as 30°C or more in a day. A minute rise in average temperature in that context is trivial if it is not meaningless altogether. Warmism is a money-grubbing racket, not science.

By John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.), writing from Brisbane, Australia.


WISDOM:

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" -- Karl Popper

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman

"The desire to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it" -- H L Mencken

'Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action' -- Goethe

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” -- Voltaire

Lord Salisbury: "No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe soldiers, nothing is safe."

Some advice from long ago for Warmists: "If ifs and ans were pots and pans,there'd be no room for tinkers". It's a nursery rhyme harking back to Middle English times when "an" could mean "if". Tinkers were semi-skilled itinerant workers who fixed holes and handles in pots and pans -- which were valuable household items for most of our history. Warmists are very big on "ifs", mays", "might" etc. But all sorts of things "may" happen, including global cooling

Bertrand Russell knew about consensus: "The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”

There goes another beautiful theory about to be murdered by a brutal gang of facts. - Duc de La Rochefoucauld, French writer and moralist (1613-1680)

"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate" -- William of Occam

"In science, refuting an accepted belief is celebrated as an advance in knowledge; in religion it is condemned as heresy". (Bob Parks, Physics, U of Maryland). No prizes for guessing how global warming skepticism is normally responded to.

"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus

"The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin." -- Thomas H. Huxley

Time was, people warning the world "Repent - the end is nigh!" were snickered at as fruitcakes. Now they own the media and run the schools.

"One of the sources of the Fascist movement is the desire to avoid a too-rational and too-comfortable world" -- George Orwell, 1943 in Can Socialists Be Happy?

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts -- Bertrand Russell

“Affordable energy in ample quantities is the lifeblood of the industrial societies and a prerequisite for the economic development of the others.” -- John P. Holdren, Science Adviser to President Obama. Published in Science 9 February 2001

The closer science looks at the real world processes involved in climate regulation the more absurd the IPCC's computer driven fairy tale appears. Instead of blithely modeling climate based on hunches and suppositions, climate scientists would be better off abandoning their ivory towers and actually measuring what happens in the real world.' -- Doug L Hoffman


ABOUT:

This is one of TWO skeptical blogs that I update daily. During my research career as a social scientist, I was appalled at how much writing in my field was scientifically lacking -- and I often said so in detail in the many academic journal articles I had published in that field. I eventually gave up social science research, however, because no data ever seemed to change the views of its practitioners. I hoped that such obtuseness was confined to the social scientists but now that I have shifted my attention to health related science and climate related science, I find the same impermeability to facts and logic. Hence this blog and my FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC blog. I may add that I did not come to either health or environmental research entirely without credentials. I had several academic papers published in both fields during my social science research career

Since my academic background is in the social sciences, it is reasonable to ask what a social scientist is doing talking about global warming. My view is that my expertise is the most relevant of all. It seems clear to me from what you will see on this blog that belief in global warming is very poorly explained by history, chemistry, physics or statistics.

Warmism is prophecy, not science. Science cannot foretell the future. Science can make very accurate predictions based on known regularities in nature (e.g. predicting the orbits of the inner planets) but Warmism is the exact opposite of that. It predicts a DEPARTURE from the known regularities of nature. If we go by the regularities of nature, we are on the brink of an ice age.

And from a philosophy of science viewpoint, far from being "the science", Warmism is not even an attempt at a factual statement, let alone being science. It is not a meaningful statement about the world. Why? Because it is unfalsifiable -- making it a religious, not a scientific statement. To be a scientific statement, there would have to be some conceivable event that disproved it -- but there appears to be none. ANY event is hailed by Warmists as proving their contentions. Only if Warmists were able to specify some fact or event that would disprove their theory would it have any claim to being a scientific statement. So the explanation for Warmist beliefs has to be primarily a psychological and political one -- which makes it my field

And, after all, Al Gore's academic qualifications are in social science also -- albeit very pissant qualifications.

A "geriatric" revolt: The scientists who reject Warmism tend to be OLD! Your present blogger is one of those. There are tremendous pressures to conformity in academe and the generally Leftist orientation of academe tends to pressure everyone within it to agree to ideas that suit the Left. And Warmism is certainly one of those ideas. So old guys are the only ones who can AFFORD to declare the Warmists to be unclothed. They either have their careers well-established (with tenure) or have reached financial independence (retirement) and so can afford to call it like they see it. In general, seniors in society today are not remotely as helpful to younger people as they once were. But their opposition to the Warmist hysteria will one day show that seniors are not completely irrelevant after all. Experience does count (we have seen many such hysterias in the past and we have a broader base of knowledge to call on) and our independence is certainly an enormous strength. Some of us are already dead. (Reid Bryson and John Daly are particularly mourned) and some of us are very senior indeed (e.g. Bill Gray and Vince Gray) but the revolt we have fostered is ever growing so we have not labored in vain.


SOME POINTS TO PONDER:

Climate is just the sum of weather. So if you cannot forecast the weather a month in advance, you will not be able to forecast the climate 50 years in advance. And official meteorologists such as Britain's Met Office and Australia's BOM, are very poor forecasters of weather. The Met office has in fact given up on making seasonal forecasts because they have so often got such forecasts embarrassingly wrong. Their global-warming-powered "models" just did not deliver

Here's how that "97% consensus" figure was arrived at

A strange Green/Left conceit: They seem to think (e.g. here) that no-one should spend money opposing them and that conservative donors must not support the election campaigns of Congressmen they agree with

To Greenies, Genghis Khan was a good guy, believe it or not. They love that he killed so many people.

Greenie antisemitism

After three exceptionally cold winters in the Northern hemisphere, the Warmists are chanting: "Warming causes cold". Even if we give that a pass for logic, it still inspires the question: "Well, what are we worried about"? Cold is not going to melt the icecaps is it?"

It's a central (but unproven) assumption of the Warmist "models" that clouds cause warming. Odd that it seems to cool the temperature down when clouds appear overhead!

To make out that the essentially trivial warming of the last 150 years poses some sort of threat, Warmists postulate positive feedbacks that might cut in to make the warming accelerate in the near future. Amid their theories about feedbacks, however, they ignore the one feedback that is no theory: The reaction of plants to CO2. Plants gobble up CO2 and the more CO2 there is the more plants will flourish and hence gobble up yet more CO2. And the increasing crop yields of recent years show that plantlife is already flourishing more. The recent rise in CO2 will therefore soon be gobbled up and will no longer be around to bother anyone. Plants provide a huge NEGATIVE feedback in response to increases in atmospheric CO2

Every green plant around us is made out of carbon dioxide that the plant has grabbed out of the atmosphere. That the plant can get its carbon from such a trace gas is one of the miracles of life. It admittedly uses the huge power of the sun to accomplish such a vast filtrative task but the fact that a dumb plant can harness the power of the sun so effectively is also a wonder. We live on a rather improbable planet. If a science fiction writer elsewhere in the universe described a world like ours he might well be ridiculed for making up such an implausible tale.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "HEAT TRAPPING GAS". A gas can become warmer by contact with something warmer or by infrared radiation shining on it or by adiabatic (pressure) effects but it cannot trap anything. Air is a gas. Try trapping something with it!

Greenies are the sand in the gears of modern civilization -- and they intend to be.

The Greenie message is entirely emotional and devoid of all logic. They say that polar ice will melt and cause a big sea-level rise. Yet 91% of the world's glacial ice is in Antarctica, where the average temperature is around minus 40 degrees Celsius. The melting point of ice is zero degrees. So for the ice to melt on any scale the Antarctic temperature would need to rise by around 40 degrees, which NOBODY is predicting. The median Greenie prediction is about 4 degrees. So where is the huge sea level rise going to come from? Mars? And the North polar area is mostly sea ice and melting sea ice does not raise the sea level at all. Yet Warmists constantly hail any sign of Arctic melting. That the melting of floating ice does not raise the water level is known as Archimedes' principle. Archimedes demonstrated it around 2,500 years ago. That Warmists have not yet caught up with that must be just about the most inspissated ignorance imaginable. The whole Warmist scare defies the most basic physics. Yet at the opening of 2011 we find the following unashamed lying by James Hansen: "We will lose all the ice in the polar ice cap in a couple of decades". Sadly, what the Vulgate says in John 1:5 is still only very partially true: "Lux in tenebris lucet". There is still much darkness in the minds of men.

The repeated refusal of Warmist "scientists" to make their raw data available to critics is such a breach of scientific protocol that it amounts to a confession in itself. Note, for instance Phil Jones' Feb 21, 2005 response to Warwick Hughes' request for his raw climate data: "We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Looking for things that might be wrong with a given conclusion is of course central to science. But Warmism cannot survive such scrutiny. So even after "Climategate", the secrecy goes on.

Most Greenie causes are at best distractions from real environmental concerns (such as land degradation) and are more motivated by a hatred of people than by any care for the environment

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

‘Global warming’ has become the grand political narrative of the age, replacing Marxism as a dominant force for controlling liberty and human choices. -- Prof. P. Stott

Comparing climate alarmist Hansen to Cassandra is WRONG. Cassandra's (Greek mythology) dire prophecies were never believed but were always right. Hansen's dire prophecies are usually believed but are always wrong (Prof. Laurence Gould, U of Hartford, CT)

The modern environmental movement arose out of the wreckage of the New Left. They call themselves Green because they're too yellow to admit they're really Reds. So Lenin's birthday was chosen to be the date of Earth Day. Even a moderate politician like Al Gore has been clear as to what is needed. In "Earth in the Balance", he wrote that saving the planet would require a "wrenching transformation of society".

For centuries there was a scientific consensus which said that fire was explained by the release of an invisible element called phlogiston. That theory is universally ridiculed today. Global warming is the new phlogiston. Though, now that we know how deliberate the hoax has been, it might be more accurate to call global warming the New Piltdown Man. The Piltdown hoax took 40 years to unwind. I wonder....

Motives: Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Policies: The only underlying theme that makes sense of all Greenie policies is hatred of people. Hatred of other people has been a Greenie theme from way back. In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991, p. 104) published by the "Club of Rome", a Greenie panic outfit, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." See here for many more examples of prominent Greenies saying how much and how furiously they hate you.

The conventional wisdom of the day is often spectacularly wrong. The most popular and successful opera of all time is undoubtedly "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Yet it was much criticized when first performed and the unfortunate Bizet died believing that it was a flop. Similarly, when the most iconic piece of 20th century music was first performed in 1913-- Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- half the audience walked out. Those of us who defy the conventional wisdom about climate are actually better off than that. Unlike Bizet and Stravinsky in 1913, we KNOW that we will eventually be vindicated -- because all that supports Warmism is a crumbling edifice of guesswork ("models").

Al Gore won a political prize for an alleged work of science. That rather speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Jim Hansen and his twin

Getting rich and famous through alarmism: Al Gore is well-known but note also James Hansen. He has for decades been a senior, presumably well-paid, employee at NASA. In 2001 he was the recipient of a $250,000 Heinz Award. In 2007 Time magazine designated him a Hero of the Environment. That same year he pocketed one-third of a $1 million Dan David Prize. In 2008, the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented him with its Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award. In 2010 he landed a $100,000 Sophie Prize. He pulled in a total of $1.2 million in 2010. Not bad for a government bureaucrat.

See the original global Warmist in action here: "The icecaps are melting and all world is drowning to wash away the sin"

I am not a global warming skeptic nor am I a global warming denier. I am a global warming atheist. I don't believe one bit of it. That the earth's climate changes is undeniable. Only ignoramuses believe that climate stability is normal. But I see NO evidence to say that mankind has had anything to do with any of the changes observed -- and much evidence against that claim.

Seeing that we are all made of carbon, the time will come when people will look back on the carbon phobia of the early 21st century as too incredible to be believed

Meanwhile, however, let me venture a tentative prophecy. Prophecies are almost always wrong but here goes: Given the common hatred of carbon (Warmists) and salt (Food freaks) and given the fact that we are all made of carbon, salt, water and calcium (with a few additives), I am going to prophecy that at some time in the future a hatred of nitrogen will emerge. Why? Because most of the air that we breathe is nitrogen. We live at the bottom of a nitrogen sea. Logical to hate nitrogen? NO. But probable: Maybe. The Green/Left is mad enough. After all, nitrogen is a CHEMICAL -- and we can't have that!

UPDATE to the above: It seems that I am a true prophet

The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) must have foreseen Global Warmism. He said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

The Holy Grail for most scientists is not truth but research grants. And the global warming scare has produced a huge downpour of money for research. Any mystery why so many scientists claim some belief in global warming?

For many people, global warming seems to have taken the place of "The Jews" -- a convenient but false explanation for any disliked event. Prof. Brignell has some examples.

Global warming skeptics are real party-poopers. It's so wonderful to believe that you have a mission to save the world.

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

The claim that oil is a fossil fuel is another great myth and folly of the age. They are now finding oil at around seven MILES beneath the sea bed -- which is incomparably further down than any known fossil. The abiotic oil theory is not as yet well enough developed to generate useful predictions but that is also true of fossil fuel theory

Help keep the planet Green! Maximize your CO2 and CH4 output!

Global Warming=More Life; Global Cooling=More Death.

The inconvenient truth about biological effects of "Ocean Acidification"

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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