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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12 July, 2016


Bigger graph here

Note that this is about global ice not Arctic ice.  A global theory should be supported by global data.  It isn't

Updated NASA data on the polar ice cap is showing results that are contrary to all who claim global warming is shrinking it. Reportedly, global warming (better known presently as climate change) has not caused any recession of polar ice.

According to a report by Forbes, a NASA satellite instrument revealed that the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since it began its measurements back in 1979. From what was shown in its data, total polar ice has generally remained above the post-1979 average, a finding that contradicts the most-frequently spoken claims by those who push global warming as the primary reason why the polar ice caps are receding.

Polar Ice Cap

To be fair though, the aforementioned information on the polar ice caps not receding is taken as a whole. What scientists who pushed the the global warming agenda kept concentrating on was the sea ice loss, often associated with huge chunks of the polar ice cap itself falling into the ocean. Beginning in 2005, said sea ice receded at a modest pace for several years and by 2012, it was approximately 10 percent from the 1979 measurement. This fact has many of the same scientists, who push the global warming or climate change agenda, screaming it is the reason why 10 percent of sea ice has receded. In the full scope of things, 10 percent is considered a poor number to utilize as “proof.”
Actually, an article written by Daily Mail back in 2013 reports the opposite of what all the global warming and climate change enthusiasts are pushing. According to their report, the polar ice caps were growing by 29 percent in a year, a result that has caused them to coin the term “global cooling.” As visual proof, the report provided NASA photographs of the Arctic Ocean’s polar ice cap in August of 2012 and August of 2013. By comparing the photographs, there is clearly an expansion of said ice cap from the previous year.

Sea Ice, Arctic Ocean, Polar Ice Cap

The Daily Mail provided a graphic of two NASA photographs of the Arctic Ocean’s polar ice cap in August of 2012 and August of 2013. Comparing the two pictures, it is shown said ice cap has increased.

Despite the aforementioned sources showing that the polar ice caps have generally not receded, many global warming and climate change enthusiasts are still crying wolf, pushing the agenda the polar ice caps are melting away. All anyone has to do is do a simple internet news search (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.) for “polar ice caps” and they will find numerous articles on the doom and gloom caused by global warming and climate change. What’s funny is that some of those articles even have fixed countdowns that have already passed, yet have not come true.

With that in mind, one person who should be shoving his foot in his mouth is former Vice President Al Gore. Back in 2007, while receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for campaigning global warming especially through An Inconvenient Truth, he predicted there would be no more polar ice caps by 2014. Seven years later, we had a polar ice cap that is thicker and covers 1.7 million square kilometers.


The Link between Extreme Environmentalism and Hard-Core Racism

In my reading and writing on the history of eugenics (here, here, and here), I’ve begun to discern a common trait between the people called environmentalists and racists from a century ago.

They share a common outlook that is illiberal to its core. They imagine that a wise and powerful state can better plan a future for both nature and man. Both groups were panicked about unplanned progress, assuming it could only resort in degeneration, mongrelization, and destruction. They dreamed of a future in which they and not the unwashed masses would be in charge of how resources are used and how the human race propagates itself.

Madison Grant Saves the Trees and the White Race

Thanks to Mother Jones, my suspicions have been confirmed. An essay that pleads with the progressive movement to deal forthrightly with its own grim history of racism discusses the life and work of Madison Grant (1865-1937). This bushy-lipped aristocrat was the hero of the environmentalists in the Progressive Era. He saved the redwoods of California from logging. He was the guru behind the creation of national parks. He undertook the most aggressive efforts ever to preserve species from extinction. He was handsome, urbane, ridiculously well educated and well connected, and “the greatest conservationist who ever lived.” 

Also, Grant wrote the book that Adolf Hitler described as “my Bible.” The book is the 1916 The Passing of the Great Race. A bestseller for many years, on the coffee tables in all the fashionable houses, it is quite possibly the crudest, crankiest, and most bloodthirsty racialist tract ever written; and there’s a lot of competition for that title. He championed segregation, exclusion, sterilization, immigration restrictions, a welfare state (to keep women from working), a high bar for professional employment (minimum wages), and aggressive central planning.

The Passing is a hard read actually. You will discover more than you ever want to about the inferiority of everyone but people like Grant himself. He sounded alarm bells about the coming “mongrelization” of the race, given the influx of Jews, Italians, Slavs, Africans, and every group other than the one that supposedly built civilization and made it great. Uncontrolled procreation is destined to ruin all things. Along the way, you find wicked ethnic caricatures covered by the gloss of science (the “Polish Jew, whose dwarf stature, peculiar mentality, and ruthless concentration on self interest are being engrafted upon the stock of the nation…”).

Racism Is an Ideology

Once you read this literature – it was almost impossible to avoid in the period between 1880 and 1935 or so – you begin to get the hang of it. The word racism – thrown around far too recklessly – exists as an accurate description of a special version of anti-liberal ideology. This isn’t about off-color jokes, prejudice, or even a preference for one’s own people. It’s a settled worldview that postulates race, far above any other concern, as the driving-force of history. It has a nightmare scenario of random race-mixing as a consequence of free-wheeling sexual association. And it has a utopia in mind: a great nation inhabited only by the purest stock. It is anti-capitalist, anti-individualist, and anti-liberal to the core, and it views government as savior.

From a scientific point of view, the racists are deeply confused. They find differences between people and posit irreconcilable conflict. If they grappled with what Carlyle called the “dismal science,” they would discover a more beautiful picture: the division of labor, the exchange economy, and free association lead people to find value and dignity in other human beings regardless of race, and to discover it is in everyone’s self interest to respect the equal freedom of others. For this reason, the historical trajectory of commercial society has always been toward integration, inclusion, equality, and liberalization. This is also why racism as an ideology ultimately turns against liberalism. 

Grant’s theory of government sums it all up:

Mankind emerged from savagery and barbarism under the leadership of selected individuals whose personal prowess, capacity, or wisdom gave them the right to lead and the power to compel obedience. Such leaders have always been a minute fraction of the whole, but as long as the tradition of their predominance persisted they were able to use the brute strength of the unthinking herd as part of their own force, and were able to direct at all the blind dynamic impulse of the slaves, peasants, or lower classes. Such a despot had an enormous power at his disposal which, if he were benevolent or even intelligent, could be used, and most frequently was used, for the general uplift of the race. Even those rulers who most abused this power put down with merciless rigor the antisocial elements, such as pirates, brigands, or anarchists, which impair the progress of a community, as disease or wounds cripple an individual.

This is a restatement of the views of Thomas Carlyle, the founding father of fascism, united with pseudoscience of racial uplift, resulting in a worldview that serves as a perfect foil to the liberal tradition of Thomas Jefferson through F.A. Hayek. Is the fabric of history woven by brilliant planners with power, or by the cooperative and decentralized choices of millions of individual actors? There’s no question where people like Carlyle, Grant, and the fascist tradition stand on this question. To their minds, a unplanned social order is chaos and decline in the making, and is saved only by strong men.

Redwoods and Nordics

Thanks to the profile in Mother Jones, I had the chance to read some of Grant’s work on the environment as well, which predates his race books and continued even after. What one finds here is the same spirit at work. There is a theory of environmental history during which the fittest of the fit survive (think of the majestic trees of the Redwood Parks) while the unfit are culled. What is going wrong? The demands of commercial society are prompting stupid people to destroy this evolution. There is an apocalyptic scenario of a coming doom if government doesn’t act. But there is also a solution: total government ownership and control under the firm hand of intelligent people like himself.

It’s truly bizarre. Replace the mighty redwoods with the white race and you have an identical paradigm unfolding here. The enemy is the same (too many inferior people doing random things in their own commercial interest). The fear-mongering is the same: we are doomed if this keeps up. The solution is the same: government needs to act with ferocity.

Mother Jones is to be commended for its conclusion: “it's worth remembering because the movement has always struggled with elitist and exclusionary elements in its ranks.”

But, listen, this isn’t about the grim intellectual personalities of some of these Progressive-Era monsters. This isn’t even a personal attack or exposé. This is a problem of a worldview that is anti-liberal at its core. Whether we are talking about environmental purity or racial hygiene, the loathing of freedom itself is the issue and the factor that unites greens, browns, and reds of all stripes.

Enemies of freedom come in many flavors. The deeper you look into this history, the more the flavors blend together. We tend to think of these varieties of authoritarianism as being opposed to each other. It is more correct to think of them as the inevitable splits within the same movement.


Analysis: Green Energy Is Growing 5 Times Slower Than Dems Demand

America isn’t even close to getting enough energy from wind and solar power to the levels Democrats say are required despite extremely lucrative subsidies, according to an analysis of 2014 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) conducted by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

A draft of the Democratic Party’s proposed platform for this year’s election would require every state get 50 percent of its electricity from “clean sources” by 2020 and 100 percent by 2050. Though the platform never defines what constitutes a “clean” source, wind and solar energy are the only “clean” sources that can significantly expand.

Wind and solar power provided 4.4 and 0.4 of all electricity produced in America in 2014 respectively, according to the EIA. Last year, wind and solar power only accounted for 4.7 and 0.6 percent of all electricity generated in America respectively, according to data from the EIA. Hydropower and biofuels account for six and 1.6 percent of all electricity generated last year, but both are increasingly targeted by the green movement, difficult to rapidly expand and dependent upon regional conditions.

This means that the percent of wind power provided substantially more electricity, but grew at a slow rate of less than 6.4 percent, while solar produced far less electricity, but grew at a much faster rate of 50 percent. If both wind and solar power continue growing at their present rates, they will only provide 6.41 and 4.56 percent of America’s electricity by the 2020 deadline.

That’s only one-fifth of the electricity called for by the proposed Democratic platform, even if the extremely high growth rates of wind and solar continue. Even if hydropower, biofuels and geothermal,which are either growing at much slower rates or cannot be expanded, are added in, that would still only account for less than 20 percent of American electricity by 2020. Claiming that America will get 50 percent of its electricity from “clean” power by 2020 is therefore exceedingly unrealistic, even with generous subsidies.

Green energy generation is concentrated in only a handful of states, making the situation much worse. The EIA doesn’t break down wind power use by the state level, but its does for solar in 2014, and the results show that there may be no good way of encouraging solar power to grow more rapidly.

Out of the 50 US states, only Hawaii, California, Arizona and Florida got more than 1 percent of energy from solar power. Each one of these states has noticeably favorable weather environments for solar power. Only California had a notably high number of pro-solar power state policies and a majority of US states got less than 0.1 percent of their energy from solar power in 2014.

Statistical regressions run by The DCNF found no statistically significant correlation between the number of policies and the percentage of solar power obtained by the state. The DCNF mapped and displayed the data to demonstrate this clear lack of correlation.

Objectively, Hawaii gets a higher portion of its electricity from solar than any other state, getting 3.66 percent of its energy from solar. However, Hawaii only has 29 policies supporting green energy, which is far fewer than the national average of 51 policies.

Minnesota gets a mere 0.031 percent of its energy from solar, even though it has 141 pro-green energy policies, making it the second most pro-solar regulatory environment in the nation. Other states like Colorado, Oregon, Texas, New York and Washington all had at least 90 pro-green energy policies, but all get less of their electricity from solar than the national average. Alaska, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming got so little energy from solar power that the EIA found that the amount was legally indistinguishable from zero.

A 2014 study by the left-leaning Brookings Institution found wind power is twice as expensive as the conventional power it replaces and that solar is three times as expensive.

Solar power gets 326 times more in subsidies than coal, oil, and natural gas per amount of energy generated, according to 2013 Department of Energy data collected by Forbes.

Solar power by itself receives more federal subsidies than all fossil fuel sources combined, according to the EIA. Green energy in the U.S. got $13 billion in subsidies during 2013, compared to $3.4 billion in subsidies for conventional sources and $1.7 billion for nuclear, according to EIA data. Solar companies simply cannot maintain their current high levels of growth without government support, but even more support likely won’t speed up that growth enough to meet the Democrat’s goals. .

Most solar subsidies go to residential installations and include a 30 percent federal tax credit, while wind is usually industrial scale and is thus somewhat more efficient per dollar spent. Solar-leasing companies install rooftop systems, which cost a minimum of $10,000, at no upfront cost to the consumer. Companies do this because the state and federal subsidies are so massive that such behavior is actually profitable.

The DCNF previously used statistical analysis to show that the more pro-green energy policies a state has, the less likely it was to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.


The Green/Left obsession with the oil industry

Looking back on the 20th century and the first sixteen years of the 21st, future historians may find an extraordinary thread running through left-wing politics in the developed world – the systematic and never-ending assault on oil companies.

The assault has been relentless. It began with the 1911 antitrust laws in the US that were used to break up the Standard Oil Company into Esso, Sohio, Mobil, Amoco and Chevron.

It was seriously believed by some that that both world wars (and all subsequent ones), were driven by the oil companies, and not by the politicians alone.

Then in the last 30-odd years, communists and socialists of every stripe agreed that the oil industry, virtually on its own, was responsible for destroying the planet by emitting carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide

It is now rare to find commentators in the major media prepared to challenge a theory that defies history and common sense, especially as the basis is the assumption that carbon dioxide, and recently it seems carbon of any kind – even trees if you follow the weird logic of some extremists – is a poison.

Whole industries, entire governments with their associated bureaucracies, the UN, the EU, churches and universities have all embraced the idea of carbon emissions poisoning the climate and causing an impending world disaster of Armageddon proportions.

Those few who dare to challenge this orthodoxy are subject to ad hominem attacks of extraordinary viciousness.

They are pilloried, chased out of employment; their motives questioned, scorned, ridiculed, ostracised and treated as Protestants once were in 16th century Europe.

Is all this rational? Are oil companies and their products uniformly bad for human health and the world itself? Are the oil companies engaged in some vast conspiracy that works behind the scenes to suppress truth?

Such thoughts used to be the stuff that mad people spouted on street corners. Now it is in the mainstream of political life, taking on a momentum of its own.

In the US, public prosecutors (who are politicians first and professionals second it seems) have now chosen to use legal means to silence critics of global warming theory, on the grounds that it is not a theory but a fact, and to say otherwise is fraud.

The prime target of this assault on free speech is the Exxon oil company, of course. It is the largest company in the oil industry. Destroying it will be a major triumph for the climate alarmists and their socialist hangers-on.

It will be a victory for those who believe in a central all-powerful sate that controls every aspect of the life of its citizens. That this assault on essential democratic freedoms that were wrenched from the superstition and intolerance that gripped Europe before the industrial revolution, is a major shift from reason to emotion and fear.

Now no less than 16 US public prosecutors have banded together to demand that Exxon-Mobil hand over e-mails, paper memos, documents of any kind that so much as use words like “climate change”, “global warming” or “carbon dioxide emissions”, as well as all communications with those who oppose climate alarmism.

These guardians of US law and the US constitution and Bill of Rights want to hunt through decades of company documents in a massive fishing expedition to find Exxon guilty of something.

Those who follow the climate change phenomenon and its political offshoots have long been suspicious, and even alarmed, by some of its manifestations, and the steady march towards greater intolerance of dissent from its orthodoxy.

Climate change

The latest to join the Exxon hunt is the Massachusetts attorney-general Maura Healey who has broadened the chase to include 40 years of Exxon communications with a handful of conservative organisations known colloquially as “think tanks”.

Allegedly involved in the antiglobal warming doctrine is the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, the Beacon Hill Institute and the Acton Institute.

Curiously, neither the Beacon Hill nor the Acton Institute has ever received funds from Exxon. Never mind, they are conservative organisations, so bring them in for a grilling; they are bound to be guilty of something.

Healey isn’t the first attorney-general to target conservative groups that disagree with most Democratic politicians on global warming policy. The Virgin Islands attorney-general in March gunned for Exxon, issuing a subpoena to Exxon for its communications with dozens of conservative think tanks, policy experts and scientists.

New York’s attorney-general launched an investigation into Exxon’s global warming stance in November, based on reporting by liberal journalists at Inside Climate News and Columbia University, that Exxon had been covering up climate science for decades while funding right-wing activist groups.

He led a conference in March, which announced that more prosecutors would probe Exxon and fight against Republican attacks on federal environmental regulations.

Former vice-president Al Gore attended the event, as did a group of environmental activists. He even suggested that global warming sceptics should be jailed, claiming that freedom of speech did not mean the right to commit fraud. It was a veiled attack on scientific inquiry.

Exxon has responded by filing a complaint against the New York attorney-general, supported by two Republican attorneys-general. It has also filed against the Massachusetts attorney-general, claiming she has attacked Exxon as a calculated political stunt, alleging that she announced the results of her investigation before she served her subpoena to the company.

It will be a great legal fight that Exxon has the resources to bear. It is ironic that a private company should now bear the banner of individual liberty to prove that it is not the enemy of democracy but by force majeure, its defender.


Global Warming Insurance Requires Reasonable Premiums

Global warming advocates are increasingly claiming carbon dioxide restrictions are a prudent and conservative insurance policy against severe global warming. Insurance policies, however, are only prudent and conservative when the price of the premiums is reasonable considering the likelihood and severity of the risk. Global warming insurance policies based on affordable natural gas, nuclear, and hydro power might make reasonable investments, but insurance policies based on unreliable and prohibitively expensive wind and solar power do not. If global warming advocates hope to forge a broad consensus for American policymakers to purchase insurance, they need to stop jacking up the premiums through expensive wind and solar power.

A mountain of scientific evidence, with some noteworthy examples found here, here, here, and here, strongly indicates (1) we are unlikely to experience rapid warming in the foreseeable future and (2) the consequences of any future warming are likely to be only modestly harmful, at worst. Many scientists, including highly credentialed scientists and policy experts at the CO2 Coalition, make a strong argument that the net impacts of our moderately warming planet are beneficial rather than harmful. Even so, the unlikely but plausible possibility that very harmful future warming will occur might justify reasonably priced global warming insurance.

Energy is the lifeblood of our economy. The price of energy directly impacts how much money people have left over for food, clothing, housing, health care, education, and consumer goods after paying electricity and fuel bills. The price of energy also factors into every good and service that is purchased and traded in our economy. When energy prices go up, it is like a tax increase – with the exception that people theoretically get something of value in return when they pay higher taxes to government. When energy prices go down, it is like a tax cut giving people more money to spread throughout the economy and improve the quality of their lives.

Carbon dioxide reductions can come in many forms. Some of the most prominent environmental activists insist on wind and solar power to achieve those reductions. However, nuclear and hydro power are also zero-emissions power sources. Nuclear and hydro power are much more dependable than variable wind and solar power, making them even more effective and reliable at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Also, natural gas cuts carbon dioxide emissions in half versus coal power.

These multiple options to reduce carbon dioxide emissions give us multiple means of purchasing global warming insurance. When purchasing life, home, health, or auto insurance, a prudent investor engages in comparison shopping to avoid overpaying. Policymakers considering purchasing global warming insurance must do the same thing.

Wind and solar power clearly impose expensive insurance premiums. A study by the left-of-center Brookings Institution found replacing conventional power with wind power increases electricity prices by 50 percent. The same study found replacing conventional power with solar power triples electricity prices. Even these price premiums don’t tell the full story, as the variable nature of wind and solar power poses additional costs and strains on electrical generation and distribution.

Fortunately for people seeking carbon dioxide reductions, natural gas, nuclear, and hydro power offer more affordable alternatives. Natural gas and hydro power are cost-competitive with coal. Nuclear power is somewhat more expensive, but still more affordable and reliable than wind and solar. Conservatives are wary of taking too much money out of consumers’ household budgets as “insurance” against unlikely global warming harms, but conservatives may well sign on to global warming insurance that entails adding more affordable energy sources to our power mix.

This leaves global warming advocates with a choice: continue insisting on expensive wind and solar power that lack public support and will slowly get implemented if at all, or immediately assure substantial reductions in carbon dioxide emissions by supporting natural gas, nuclear, and hydro power.


Greenie versus Greenie in Australia

Sadly, the realistic ones were defeated by the sentimentalists.  With few dingoes and no Aborigines to hunt them, kangaroo numbers have grown into pest proportions, which  endangers other, smaller animals.  But that is too cerebral for the sentimentalists

Bush Heritage Australia has forfeited the inheritance of a 350-acre property near Bega and lost numerous donors as they face backlash from a planned kangaroo cull at Scottsdale? Reserve, south of Canberra.

Regular supporters of the non-profit organisation have pulled donations following reports of a cull, with one referring to the organisation as "hopeless frauds".

Bush Heritage aims to "conserve biodiversity" at properties either purchased or donated across Australia.

However, the Australian Society for Kangaroos unveiled a practice of culling which has left supporters feeling lied to.

"I've cancelled my donation forever," one email read, in correspondence with ASK.

"If so-called saviours of the bush can't do it without this slaughter they shouldn't be doing it. Hopeless frauds."

Another person emailed ASK to say they would no longer be leaving their "precious" property to Bush Heritage in their Will.

"Following what seems to be a constant stream of horror stories [including] secretive native animal culling, we have now changed our Wills by omitting any reference to Bush Heritage," the email reads.

Bill Taylor, of Bywong, said he was a contributor to the non-profit for a number of years, before "pulling the plug" when the organisation didn't respond to questions about kangaroo culling he raised in reference to their annual report.

In response to the protests, Bush Heritage Australia has cancelled the kangaroo cull, which was approved by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

Science and research manager at Bush Heritage Australia, Jim Radford, said kangaroo culls had been undertaken at the Scottsdale Reserve in the past, however the planned cull was called off due to, in part, concerns for public safety.

He said one the main concerns was "unauthorised access onto the site". "We didn't have any direct evidence of that and we weren't approached directly but we considered there was a risk," he said.

He said Bush Heritage had a range of ways to manage the kangaroo population, but as a last resort they turned to culling the macropods. "Under certain circumstances we do need to reduce the pressure applied by an excessive number of kangaroos," he said.

The Scottsdale Reserve is home to a variety of flora and fauna classed as vulnerable or critically endangered, including the Rosenberg's monitor and Yellow-box grassy woodland.

Mr Radford said the kangaroo population in the grasslands at Scottsdale Reserve was at more than twice the recommended level for maintaining ecologically sustainable populations.

"I think there is a great misunderstanding out there," Dr Radford said. "In some landscapes there are hugely elevated and unsustainable numbers of roos.

"We aim to maintain a healthy, resilient kangaroo population but there comes a point where their a risk to their own welfare from starvation stress. But to be honest our primary concern is the other species that are potentially impacted."

He said there would not be a kangaroo cull undertaken in the "foreseeable future" at Scottsdale Reserve



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11 July, 2016

Now it's mangroves (persongroves?)

All bad things are caused by global warming.  That seems to be the orthodoxy. Evidence be damned. Warmists are like the people who see UFO's ..... every light in the sky is a UFO.  So coral bleaching in 2015 was due to global warming; kelp dieback was due to global warming and now dieback among some mangroves in Northern Australia is due to global warming.  And, as we all surely know, global warming is caused by increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.  As CO2 increases, so we get hotter.  So if all these diebacks were caused by a warming globe, CO2 levels should have been shooting up, right?

Fortunately the guy below can pinpoint the time when the mangroves died off.  He says it happened "in September-October 2015".  So CO2 levels should have shot up around that time, right?  In fact, 2015 was the one year in which CO2 levels stagnated. 2015 CO2 levels at Mauna Loa just fluctuated up and down from month to month around the 400ppm mark.  See the record below, a screen grab from Mauna Loa.

The 4th column is the actual average CO2 level in ppm. So, far from shooting up, CO2 was in stasis.  So any warming CANNOT be attributed to a CO2 rise. Dr Norm Duke is talking through his anus.  There WAS warming in 2015 but that was due to El Nino. It cannot have been due to a CO2 rise, because there wasn't any

Close to 10,000 hectares of mangroves have died across a stretch of coastline reaching from Queensland to the Northern Territory.

International mangroves expert Dr Norm Duke said he had no doubt the "dieback" was related to climate change.

"It's a world-first in terms of the scale of mangrove that have died," he told the ABC.

Dr Duke flew 200 kilometres between the mouths of the Roper and McArthur Rivers in the Northern Territory last month to survey the extent of the dieback.

He described the scene as the most "dramatic, pronounced extreme level of dieback that I've ever observed".

Dr Duke is a world expert in mangrove classification and ecosystems, based at James Cook University, and in May received photographs showing vast areas of dead mangroves in the Northern Territory section of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Until that time he and other scientists had been focused on mangrove dieback around Karmuba, Queensland, at the opposite end of the Gulf.

"The images were compelling. They were really dramatic, showing severe dieback of mangrove shoreline fringing — areas just extending off into infinity," Dr Duke said.

"Certainly nothing in my experience had prepared me to see images like that."

Dr Duke said he wanted to discover if the dieback in the two states was related. "We're talking about 700 kilometres of distance between incidences at that early time," he said.

The area the Northern Territory photos were taken in was so remote the only way to confirm the extent and timing of the mangrove dieback was with specialist satellite imagery.

With careful analysis the imagery confirmed the mangrove dieback in both states had happened in the space of a month late last year, coincident with coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.

"We're talking about 10,000 hectares of mangroves were lost across this whole 700 kilometre span," Dr Duke said.     "It's not only unprecedented, it's extensive, it's severe and it's noticeable.

"I have not seen such imagery anywhere before, from all over the world. I work in many places around the world and I look at damaged mangroves as part of my work all the time. These are the most shocking images of dieback I've ever seen."

Dr Duke flew to the Northern Territory in June to judge the physical extent of the mangroves' damage. With the support of the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission he flew in a helicopter between the mouths of the Roper and McArthur Rivers.
What is causing the 'dieback'?

Dr Duke said the cause of such extensive damage was not immediately evident.

"Like a large oil spill, like a cyclone or severe storm — none of those things had occurred in the region in recent times," he said.

"But in that mix of things that were going on at the same time we're starting to hear about coral bleaching ... [and] hot water on the east coast."

The coincident timing of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef and the dieback of mangroves in the north led Dr Duke to look at climatic factors.

"I started hearing that the wet season was missing from the Northern Territory over that time period," he said. "The wet season was only one-month-long in the year before. Usually the wet season in the Northern Territory in that area is three or four months long," Dr Duke said.

He said he was convinced unusually low rainfall in the 2014 wet season and elevated temperatures led to the massive mangrove dieback. He said a deadly lack of fresh water and increased water and atmospheric temperatures stressed the plants beyond their tolerance.

Satellite imagery pinpoints the damage to a period of around four weeks in September-October 2015.


Highland bog reveals global warming threat to peatlands

The article below is just another Greenie fraud.  As you will see from the appended journal abstract, the research neither used nor had any data on global warming.  All they showed is that sea-level rise exposes peat to more salt, which is bad for it.  Sea levels have of course been rising ever since the end of the little ice-age

Rising sea levels and increased pollution linked to global warming are posing a huge threat to the future of the world’s peatland areas, new research has concluded.

Geologists based their findings on a major study of Kentra Moss, in Lochaber, a blanket bog deemed a special conservation area. They found climate change is increasing salt levels in peatlands which makes it less able to store carbon.

Peat bogs cover 3 per cent of the Earth’s surface and play a crucial role in absorbing and storing carbon from the atmosphere.

Experts say that natural ecosystems are now under “considerable threat” around the world – and significantly in Scotland, where 20 per cent of the land is covered in peat, storing 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon.

Peatlands are also vital for providing natural filters for clean water, sustaining plants and wildlife, and providing some rural areas with fuel as well as the water used to give whisky its distinctive taste and colour.

Study leader Dr Angela Gallego-Salas, senior lecturer in physical geography at Exeter University, said: “The results were startling. Peatland areas are vital for our ecosystems. We need to act now to protect our peatlands. The effects of global warming are already being observed, but the longer we wait to act, the quicker changes to our environment, which would have a devastating impact on many regions around the world, will take place.”

Her team examined the impact salt found in seawater has on how successfully peatland ecosystems accumulate carbon from the atmosphere. They discovered that the rate at which peatland areas accumulated carbon was significantly impacted as the concentration of salt rose.

The results – which appeared in the scientific journal Scientific Reports – highlighted how sea levels linked to predicted climate change pose a serious threat to the future security of peatlands.


Vulnerability of the peatland carbon sink to sea-level rise

Alex Whittle & Angela V. Gallego-Sala


Freshwater peatlands are carbon accumulating ecosystems where primary production exceeds organic matter decomposition rates in the soil, and therefore perform an important sink function in global carbon cycling. Typical peatland plant and microbial communities are adapted to the waterlogged, often acidic and low nutrient conditions that characterise them.

Peatlands in coastal locations receive inputs of oceanic base cations that shift conditions from the environmental optimum of these communities altering the carbon balance. Blanket bogs are one such type of peatlands occurring in hyperoceanic regions.

Using a blanket bog to coastal marsh transect in Northwest Scotland we assess the impacts of salt intrusion on carbon accumulation rates. A threshold concentration of salt input, caused by inundation, exists corresponding to rapid acidophilic to halophilic plant community change and a carbon accumulation decline.

For the first time, we map areas of blanket bog vulnerable to sea-level rise, estimating that this equates to ~7.4% of the total extent and a 0.22?Tg yr?1 carbon sink. Globally, tropical peatlands face the proportionally greatest risk with ~61,000?km2 (~16.6% of total) lying ?5?m elevation. In total an estimated 20.2?±?2.5 GtC is stored in peatlands ?5?m above sea level, which are potentially vulnerable to inundation.

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 28758 (2016) doi:10.1038/srep28758

Fuel me or fool me

America has centuries of fossil fuels, but hydrocarbon deniers want to strangle our future

Paul Driessen

Fool me once, the adage says, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

The reality-based fossil fuel version states: Fuel me for 150 years, fuel me forever – or at least until creative, entrepreneurial spirits can devise reliable, affordable alternatives. The 2016 Democratic Party would change this adage to read: Fuel me for 150 years, fuel me never again.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton want to regulate drilling and fracking into oblivion, or ban them outright. Clinton also says she is “going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

The draft Democratic Party platform supports a “phase down” of fossil fuel production on public lands, turning those lands into “engines of the clean energy economy,” getting 50% of US electricity from “clean sources” by 2027, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 2005 levels by 2050.

This Big Green, Bigger Government, Democratic ideology represents destructive madness.

1) Oil, natural gas and coal replaced human and animal muscle, wood, waterwheels and whale oil. They provided the energy that lifted billions from abject poverty, disease, malnutrition and early death, to the amazing living standards and longevity we enjoy today. They still provide over 80% of America’s and the world’s energy, and the vast majority of nations are burning them in ever-increasing amounts to power their own health and economic transformations. Even wealthy developed countries are reexamining punitive climate and “renewable” energy policies, to embrace fossil fuels anew.

2) Fears that we will run out of oil and gas are unfounded. In 1945, the Institute for Energy Research (IER) reports, the USA had 20 billion barrels of oil reserves. Between 1945 and 2014 we consumed 177 billion barrels – and still had 40 billion barrels of proven reserves left in the ground. It’s the same story with iron, copper, aluminum, titanium and other vital raw materials. The more we use, the more we have – thanks to constantly improving exploration, production and other technologies, driven by rising demand and prices, conceived and built by mankind’s increasingly creative genius, our Ultimate Resource.

3) In fact, we are still blessed with centuries of fossil fuels. Oslo-based Rystad Energy consulting calculates that the United States has 264 billion barrels of technologically and economically recoverable oil: 8 billion more than Russia and 52 billion more than Saudi Arabia.

Based on current consumption rates, IER and EIA (Energy Information Administration) data show that US “proven reserves” (recoverable at today’s prices) total 5 years of oil, 13 years of natural gas and 319 years of coal. As prices rise and technologies improve, “technically recoverable” figures soar to 206 years for oil, 83 years for gas and 597 years for coal. “In-place total resource” estimates send these calculations to an astronomical 536, 510 and 12,849 years respectively!

4) According to the IER and economist Steve Moore, this amazing abundance could translate into 6 million new jobs and $1 trillion a year in energy exports. America’s non-environmentally sensitive western public lands could hold $50 trillion in energy resources – which new pipelines, refineries and liquefied natural gas terminals could bring to the world, unleashing incredible job and economic growth. However, Mrs. Clinton and Democrats oppose these facilities and want the resources locked up.

Those policies would be disastrous, especially for western states that would be turned into playgrounds for rich and famous elites, and for our manufacturing heartland. A University of Colorado Leeds School of Business study projects that eliminating 75-80% of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas in the Centennial State would cost it $11 billion per year and 62,000 jobs by 2030.

5) In the absence of government diktats, we will gradually and voluntarily make a transition to new energy sources that we cannot even imagine today, long before we run out of these fossil fuel bounties. We would do it without destroying jobs and economies – just as we did over these past 150 years. Who among us, just 100 years ago, could have predicted the coal, gas, hydroelectric and nuclear power plants that generate 93% of today’s electricity … or the cell phone, internet, medical, entertainment, manufacturing and other incredible technologies that are made possible by electricity?

Any coerced transition will destroy millions of jobs and send families, communities, states and nations into social and economic chaos – for no environmental or climate benefit.

6) Widespread wind and solar facilities would have monumental impacts. Industry data reveal that getting 50% of US electricity from wind would require some 465,000 turbines and 48,000 miles of new transmission lines, across croplands and wildlife habitats equal to North Dakota (45,000,000 acres) – and 675,000,000 tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and rare earth metals. They would impair human health and kill millions of birds and bats annually. This is unconscionable and unsustainable.

And to top it off, we would still need backup coal or gas generators – unless we are willing to have to only minimal, expensive, constantly interrupted electricity, when it is available, rather than sufficient, affordable, dependable power, when we need it for modern lives, livelihoods and living standards.

Ruling elites may be happy to impose that on “commoners.” They will never tolerate it for themselves.

7) Every one of these “clean,” “green,” “sustainable,” “renewable” energy edicts and fantasies is based on assertions that fossil fuels emit greenhouse gases that are causing “dangerous manmade climate change.”

However, as my Climate Hype Exposed book, my numerous articles, and studies and books by hundreds of climate scientists reveal, there is no convincing evidence that carbon dioxide and other GHG emissions have replaced the powerful, interconnected natural forces that have always driven climate change. Climate alarmists cannot show that recent or ongoing climate and weather fluctuations, cycles and events are significantly different from those of the last 50, 150 or 1,500 years.

Climate alarmists cannot separate human influences from natural causes for any recent changes. They do not know how much Earth will warm by 2100. They cannot say at what point further warming will be “dangerous” – or for which plant, wildlife or human populations. They admit that slashing America’s fossil fuel use will reduce global warming by only a few hundredths of one degree (assuming CO2 drives climate change), especially if most countries continue burning coal, oil and natural gas.

8) If we truly want to Make America great again, Help working class Americans, and Care about the poor – we will not “Keep it in the ground.” We will not squander our bounteous fossil fuel inheritance on the pagan altar of climate chaos. We will not sacrifice our children’s future for illusory ecological benefits.

The draft Democratic Party platform essentially says we must safeguard the assumed needs of future generations, even if it means ignoring or compromising the real needs of current generations – including the needs, aspirations and welfare of America’s and the world’s poorest people.

It says we must protect poor and working classes from alleged, exaggerated and imagined climate disasters decades from now – by imposing very real energy policy disasters that will adversely affect their jobs, living standards, health, wellbeing and life spans today.

That’s why the Obama EPA alone has issued more than 3,900 new tiny-print rules and regulations, totaling nearly 76,000 pages in the Federal Register, and costing us tens of billions of dollars a year.

Big Green Democrats think they can fool Americans again and again, and continue asserting their moral superiority, condescension and contempt for anyone who does not accept their ideologies and agendas. They believe it’s good policy to send America deeper into energy and economic decline.

Are they right? Or are voters finally waking up? The coming months will tell.

Via email

Lake Poopo again

The NYT has a podcast on this unpleasant-sounding lake.  Below is the promotional screed for the podcast.  I first commented on the lake last February. I might as well repeat what I said then:

What a lot of Poopo! Since there was no statistically significant terrestrial warming for over 18 years the lake was not affected by it. There may have been some local warming due to last year's El Nino but but diversion of water flowing into it will be the big culprit.  And it is shallow so does dry out periodically anyway

There used to be a lake in Bolivia. Lake Poopó. Then it disappeared — along with most of the villagers who depended on the lake, for generations.

The Andes bureau chief, Nicholas Casey, went with the Times photographer Josh Haner to Llapallapani, Bolivia, and wrote what is a cautionary tale about climate change and its consequences.

In this podcast, Mr. Casey and Mr. Haner talk about a world of pink flamingos and fish-rich seas that is no more. Mr. Casey describes the difficulty involved in explaining “flying cameras” — drone cameras — to village leaders. And Mr. Haner talks about the special challenges presented when he is tasked with documenting something — like Lake Poopó — that is no longer there.


MIT Study: No Scientific Consensus On Global Warming Crop Impact

Scientists disagree on the effects of global warming on American agriculture, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study published Friday.

The research used climate and agricultural computer models to conclude that global warming would have numerous positive impacts on US farming, including fewer frosts, a longer growing season and an earlier start of ?eld operations by the end of the century. However, the study also found that plants could potentially suffer from more heat stress and more dry days.

The study’s one firm conclusion was that farmers would likely be able to adapt to the potential challenges caused by global warming.

“The new study, and its approach to trying to better identify the type and character of future climate changes that may be best related to future agricultural productivity is useful, primarily, as the authors point out, in helping to drive adaptive strategies,” Chip Knappenberger, climate scientist at the libertarian Cato Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It is silly to think that U.S. farmers will not adapt to climate change—after all adaptive measures are at the heart of agriculture, as different crop varieties, different farming techniques, different technologies, etc., are what drives crop yields ever higher, even in the face climate change. This has happened in the past and will continue to happen in the future.”

The study rebukes previous claims that global warming could cause the total collapse of American and global agriculture.

“Projections of agricultural collapse (in the U.S. or abroad) as a result of human-caused global warming are naive at best, intentionally misleading at worst,” Knappenberger continued. “The new paper largely avoids such pitfalls as it recognizes that a) all climate change is not bad for U.S. agriculture, and b) more importantly, that the future of agricultural productivity depends on continuing adaptation—something that the authors of the new paper hope that their results aid in.”

The study was authored by a research team from MIT and the University of California at Davis and was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Environmental Research Letters. The new research is an enormous boost for scientists skeptical of global warming, as it indicates they were correct about a long running positive effect of rising CO2 emissions.

Previous studies have estimated that global warming is causing roughly half of Earth’s land-mass to demonstrate “significant greening” and that only 4 percent of the world saw a decrease in plant life. The increased vegetation growth caused by warmer temperatures is likely slowing global warming as well, since more trees and plants equates to more sequestered CO2.

Other research suggests that increasing global temperatures means the air has more capacity to hold moisture from the oceans, leading to more rains in arid regions of the world. This is even true in the Earth’s driest regions, such as the Sahara desert. The research concludes that arid areas and deserts in Australia, California, Central Asia, Sinai and Southwestern Africa can all expect more rain.

This is the latest scientific study to show that nature is considerably more resilient to global warming than scientists suspected and even United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now believes that the evidence linking global warming to extinctions is sparse.

Global warming will likely have many positive environmental impacts such as helping Canadian trees recover from a devastating insect infestation, creating more food for fish in the ocean, making life easier for Canadian moose, improving the environment better for bees and literally causing deserts to bloom with foliage.

Despite this growing consensus, environmental groups still believe that plants and animals aren’t capable of adapting to changing temperatures, leading to mass extinctions and agricultural disruptions caused by global warming.

“One-fourth of the Earth’s species could be headed for extinction by 2050 due to climate change,” The Nature Conservancy claims. “Rising temperatures are changing weather and vegetation patterns across the globe, forcing animal species to migrate to new, cooler areas in order to survive.”


The Climate Police Crack-Up

Those Exxon Mobil subpoenas? Never mind

Free-speech advocates have reason to cheer as two state attorneys general have walked back their subpoenas against Exxon Mobil Corp., tacitly admitting that their climate-change harassment lacks a legal basis.

Virgin Islands AG Claude Walker recently withdrew his subpoena of Exxon Mobil. He was a leader among the 17 AGs charging that the oil giant defrauded shareholders by hiding the truth about global warming. That’s hard to prove when the company’s climate-change research was published in peer-reviewed journals.

Mr. Walker also targeted some 90 think tanks and other groups in an attempt to punish climate dissent. These groups and others, including these columns, pushed back on First Amendment grounds, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute counter-sued Mr. Walker and demanded sanctions. He pulled his subpoena against CEI last month.

Mr. Walker claimed he is dropping his Exxon subpoena so the U.S. Justice Department can more easily pursue its racketeering charges against the company. But that’s glitter on a surrender document. The reason the state AGs chose to pursue Exxon for shareholder fraud is because anyone with legal knowledge knows how difficult it would be for the feds to bring a successful RICO case. To our knowledge, Justice doesn’t even have such an investigation underway.

Meantime, Massachusetts AG Maura Healey filed court documents declaring she won’t enforce her subpoena against Exxon until the oil giant’s countersuits against the AGs are settled. Exxon has sued Ms. Healey in Texas federal court to quash her subpoena as a violation of its First and Fourth Amendment rights. Mrs. Healey clearly sensed the political dangers of dragging her office on a long, anti-free-speech march and is putting the investigation to the side.

That leaves California’s Kamala Harris and New York’s Eric Schneiderman as the two remaining AGs with outstanding Exxon subpoenas. Mrs. Harris joined this escapade to burnish her progressive bone fides as she runs to replace retiring Senator Barbara Boxer, and her office has done little investigating. Mr. Schneiderman has the most prosecutorial leeway under his state’s egregious Martin Act, which doesn’t require proof of intent in civil cases. But he has also been on the political defensive for trying to punish policy disagreements.

The climate police would do more for their cause if they spent more time persuading the public on the merits of climate risks and policy. Their resort to abusive government power suggests that they think they have a weak case.



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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10 July, 2016

Spectacular 'forests of the sea' kelp fields which span thousands of kilometres and fund a $10 BILLION tourism and seafood industry wiped out by a marine heatwave

Greenies can't help themselves.  They can't resist tying any natural disaster to global warming.  The dieoff  described below happened in 2011, in the middle of a global temperature stasis that had lasted 12 years at that point.  Over that period, global temperatures had risen and fallen to the tune of only hundredths of one degree per annum.  It was as clear an era of NON-warming as one would ever be likely to find.  So global warming CANNOT be responsible for what happened to the kelp: There wasn't any such warming at that time

Hundreds of kilometres of a remarkable kelp forest off the western coast of Australia have been wiped out by marine heatwaves, a study has found.

These 'forests of the sea' make up 90 per cent of the north-western tip of the Great Southern Reef and underpin tourism and fishery industries that pump $10 billion into the Australian economy each year.

About 2,000 kilometres of the Western Australian coastline from Cape Leeuwin in the south to Ningaloo in the north of Western Australia was analysed in a study that spanned 14 years from 2001.

A heatwave in 2011 has been named the primary cause of loss, with 100 kilometres of kelp destroyed, which made up 43 per cent of the kelp in Western Australia.  Above-average ocean temperatures in 2012 and 2013 were said to 'compound' these effects.

The demise of the kelp forests is likely permanent researchers have said in a study published in the journal of Science on Thursday.

The forests that covered 70 per cent of shallow rocky reefs in mid-Western Australia have now become 'barren', researcher Dr Scott Bennett told ABC.

Dr Bennett who helped in the survey said he thought his team had initially made an error when they dived into the reefs off Kalbarri.

'We jumped into these waters at sites we've been going to for the past 10 years expecting to see large kelp forests and it was just a desert,' he said.

'We thought we'd made a mistake and got the location wrong. It is just heartbreaking to see such a complex, beautiful, vibrant ecosystem decimated.'

Turf algae had multiplied and tropical fish communities had increased which were preventing the regrowth of the kelp because they were being eaten before they managed to re-establish.

The extensive loss of kelp forests in Western Australia provides a strong warning of what the future might be like for Australia's temperate marine environments.

Climate change was creating more frequent heatwaves helping the southward movement of warmer waters and tropical species to increase in the region.

The survey also revealed that 2.5 degrees Celsius is the 'tipping point' for kelp forests.

Associate Professor Thomas Wernberg, from the University of Western Australia worked alongside Dr Bennett and described the kelp forests as the 'biological engine' of the reef system.

'They are as critical to the Great Southern Reef as corals are to the Great Barrier Reef,' he said.

'They are up to 16 times more productive than our most productive wheat fields and provide the foundations for the ecosystem.'

Species such as abalone and rock lobster thrive in these environments which are some of the most valuable species of marine life for fisheries in Australia.

'The impact has been particularly prominent at northern reefs, where kelp forests have disappeared completely,' Professor Wernberg said.

'Recovery is unlikely because of the large grazing pressure, continued warming and the likelihood of more heatwaves in the future.'


Climate change is already killing people (?)

Amusing that the only evidence put forward for the claim in the headline above is something that happened in just two cities way back in 2003.  Would the solution to this be to cut off their cheap power so that they cannot afford air conditioning?  Or perhaps impoverish them so much that they can't afford to install air-conditioning in the first place?

As we constantly strive to reduce our fossil fuel emission and our impact on the world, climate change can sometimes seem like a problem that is still a few years away from impacting our daily lives.

But a new study has revealed the dangers of climate change are already affecting us in a and man-made climate change led to the death of hundreds of people across Europe sixteen years ago.

A heatwave in 2003 killed 506 people in Paris and 315 in London, experts have said in a new study.

The study led by University of Oxford scientists said there were 315 heat-related deaths as Europe experienced its hottest summer on record.

But a fifth of those can be blamed on man-made pollution.

It found human-induced climate change increased the risk of heat-related deaths in central Paris by around 70 per cent and by 20 per cent in London.

No heatwave on record has ever had such a widespread effect on human health, as experienced during those months of 2003.

A fifth of those deaths can be blamed on man-made pollution.

The study led by University of Oxford scientists said there were 315 heat-related deaths in London as Europe experienced its hottest summer on record, out of which 64 were caused by climate change.

The study was the first to calculate the number of premature deaths and it's link to air pollution and warned heatwaves will become more common and more severe in the future.

From June, apart from a brief respite, the UK languished under sustained above average temperatures until the end of August.

Several weather records were broken including the UK's highest recorded temperature 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) at Faversham in Kent on 10 August and Scotland's highest temperature record with 32.9 °C (91.2 °F) recorded a day earlier in Greycrook in the Scottish borders.

France was hardest hit and in Paris, the hottest city in Europe, 506 out of 735 summer deaths were due to a heatwave made worse by man-made climate change.

The results were based on climate modelling and should help officials prepare for future heatwaves and protect the elderly who are most at risk.

It found human-induced climate change increased the risk of heat-related deaths in central Paris by around 70 per cent and by 20 per cent in London.

Researchers stressed the findings apply to just the two cities and the numbers affected by climate change across Europe will be higher.

'It is often difficult to understand the implications of a planet that is one degree warmer than preindustrial levels in the global average, but we are now at the stage where we can identify the cost to our health of man-made global warming,' Dr Daniel Mitchell, from Oxford's Environmental Change Institute said.

'This research reveals that in two cities alone hundreds of deaths can be attributed to much higher temperatures resulting from human-induced climate change.'

The study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters looked at the three months June to August.

It warned no heatwave on record has ever had such a widespread effect on human health, as experienced during those months of 2003.

Previous studies have attributed changes in heatwave frequency and severity to human-caused climate change, or demonstrated the effect of extreme heat on human mortality.

But the study was the first to attribute the number of premature deaths to climate change during extreme heat waves.

Co-author Dr Chris Huntingford, of Oxford's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, added: 'Traditionally, climate research has linked increasing levels of greenhouses gases simply to trends in weather, such as generally higher day-to-day temperatures.

'However, linking the impact of burning of fossil fuels right through to health implications enables much better planning to prepare for any further climatic changes.'

'By starkly showing we can measure the toll in human lives that climate change is already taking through worsening extreme heat, this study shines a spotlight on our responsibilities as a society for limiting further damage,' said co-author Dr Peter Frumhoff of the Union of Concerned Scientists in Cambridge, US.



The “Climate Protection Plan 2050? is supposed to make Germany’s economy more environmentally friendly. But it is stirring resistance among Christian Democratic leaders who fear the plan endangers Germany’s prosperity and social peace.

There is great discontent among the parliamentary Christian Democratic Party (CDU) about the “Climate Protection Plan 2050? presented by Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks (SPD). With her draft, which is currently under review at the Federal Chancellery and which should be decided in the autumn by the Cabinet, Hendricks is essentially “proscribing a command economy.” According to a report by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the accusation is being made by four deputy parliamentary leaders of the CDU and CSU in a letter to Chancellery minister Peter Altmaier (CDU).

In their letter, the leaders call for early discussions about the basic thrust of the climate plan before the government takes any decisions. The CDU politicians Georg Nüßlein (CSU), Gitta Connemann (CDU), Michael Fuchs (CDU) and Arnold Vaatz (CDU) claim that the plan is “basically wrong”, that it would have “a massive impact on the future competitiveness of the business location Germany” and was likely to “jeopardise the economy, prosperity and social peace in our country.”

The Chancellery is currently examining Hendricks’ plan before it goes to further consultation in other ministries. The Cabinet is expected to decide the “plan” in the autumn. It is supposed to be a kind of road map for German climate policy in the coming decades and will be updated regularly.

According to the plan, Germany will essentially be completely decarbonised. It includes the progressive withdrew from coal, the full conversion of the transport system to electrical cars by 2030, the ban of central gas and oil heating systems for new buildings, the promotion of cycling and organic farming, the reducing of meat consumption by at least half by 2050 and a rise in taxes that take into consideration environmental issues.


Japan’s solar boom is beginning to falter

Until recently, the resource-poor nation has been one of the leading markets for photovoltaics, helping to prop up an industry hurt by falling prices for the technology and policy changes. But four years after the introduction of generous incentives to promote clean energy in the wake of the Fukushima atomic meltdown, data show the boom is losing steam.

The slowdown -- after several years of rapid growth -- threatens to undermine the government’s push to find a clean alternative to nuclear power and dims what has been a bright spot for the global photovoltaic industry.

“As the declining volume of PV module shipments shows, the market is shrinking,” said Takehiro Kawahara, an analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Repeated tariff cuts and difficulty securing land and grid connections are among some of the reasons that have led to a drop in new applications to develop solar, Kawahara said.

For Japanese panel makers such as Sharp Corp. and Kyocera Corp., “the shrinking domestic market forces them to lower costs to remain in competition with international players or consider exiting the segment,” he said.

More Bankruptcies

Solar power-related bankruptcies are increasing, according to Teikoku Databank Ltd. The number of companies that went bust rose to 36 in 2015, from 17 in 2013 and 21 in 2014. Bankruptcies continue to accelerate, with 17 seen in just the first five months of 2016, Teikoku said.

Some question what has Japan got for all the money spent on promoting clean energy. While more solar energy is being produced, it still comprises a fraction of the nation’s power generation mix.

Solar has grabbed the lion’s share of what’s known as feed-in tariffs -- above market rates awarded to producers of clean energy. With available land for solar in short supply and some utilities saying they can’t accept more intermittent solar power, that’s a worry for some. Moreover, only about a third of the solar projects awarded the preferred rates have actually begun producing power.

“Feed-in tariffs have proved there’s potential for 80 gigawatts of solar in Japan,” said Masaaki Kameda, secretary-general at the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association, the country’s solar lobby. “But to bring online this potential, various policies need to be applied continuously,” he said.

The government has tightened rules for projects that have been delayed and plans to introduce an auction system for large-scale solar next year.

“Now that we know that solar power generation systems can certainly supply energy, it is important to find out how we can make the most of the generated power,” Kameda said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has tried to play it both ways -- saying he’s a supporter of clean energy, while also backing a continued role for nuclear and a big role for coal.

Despite clouds over the nuclear industry and repeated failed attempts to get reactors back online, Japan’s latest policy pronouncements see nuclear accounting for as much as 22 percent of Japan’s power mix by 2030. Similarly, the government sees a bright future for coal at 26 percent.


‘Carbon markets in US, Europe & Asia are collapsing, with prices so low they’ve become virtually valueless’

Carbon markets, the free-enterprise solution to saving the world from global warming, are now in danger themselves.

The idea was simple enough: Set a cap on carbon emissions, issue enough permits to allow power plants, refineries and the like to stay within those limits and then shrink the cap over time to achieve reductions. The companies whose emissions fall fastest can sell their permits for a profit to slower responders — call it a reward for good behaviour.

The reality, though, is more complex. Undercut by a lack of political will on the size of caps and overtaken by costly new environmental mandates, carbon markets in the US, Europe and Asia are collapsing, with prices so low they’ve become virtually valueless. The credits auctioned in the US Northeast in June, for instance, sold for just US$4.53 (RM18.27) a short tonne, a 40 per cent drop from December.

“Climate policy has been muddled and messy,” said Michael Grubb, a professor at University College London’s Institute for Sustainable Resources who has advised the UK energy regulator. “Governments have set inadequate targets due to lobbying pressures and because they didn’t think carefully enough about overlapping efforts. That has destroyed investor confidence that carbon prices will rise.”

The idea of a carbon market originated 20 years ago with Richard Sandor, an economist who also pioneered interest-rate futures and derivatives at the Chicago Board of Trade. Today, there are 38 countries, cities, states and provinces using pricing systems in an attempt to put a lid on greenhouse gases, according to the World Bank.

The problem is that the permits are selling at a slower and slower rate. The surplus of allowances is becoming so large in systems run by Europe, California and Quebec — which together account for more than 90 per cent of global trading — that by 2022 it could cover the emissions spewing from every car on Earth for a full year, according to estimates by the London environmental group Sandbag Climate Campaign CIC and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

In California’s market, all 23 million allowances sold in an auction in 2014. In May, 7.3 million permits found buyers, only 11 per cent of what was put up for sale.

‘Extreme paranoia’

The markets are crumbling just as the UK’s vote to leave the European Union throws into question the future of the world’s largest market by threatening to shrink demand. Nor does the collapse bode well for China, as the world’s top greenhouse-gas emitter prepares to start its own next year.

Alex Rau, a principal at the carbon-trading advisory group Climate Wedge Ltd, chalks up the downfall largely to “an extreme paranoia” that the price of carbon will rise too high. So instead of strengthening caps unpopular among some oil companies, polluting factories and consumers who ultimately shoulder costs, politicians around the world have stitched together a patchwork of overlapping measures that are less vulnerable to lobbyists.

Take the US, where states including California run carbon markets but have also imposed other regulations that require gasoline suppliers to cut the carbon intensity of their fuel and utilities to buy increasing volumes of solar and wind power.

“When you put in place all these other mandates, there is little work left for carbon markets,” said Meredith Fowlie, an economist and research associate at the University of California at Berkeley department of agriculture and resource economics.

In California, the state Air Resources Board still has the authority to pull excess permits from circulation to avoid a glut, said Dave Clegern, a spokesman for the agency. “One auction tells us very little,” he said. “We’re in the long game here.”

Anna-Kaisa Itkonen, a spokeswoman for the European Commission in Brussels, noted that its emissions targets under a climate agreement hammered out by leaders in Paris last year were among the most ambitious in the world. EU carbon allowances fell as much as 3.1 per cent to €4.44 euros (RM19.81) a metric tonne on ICE Futures Europe in London today, the lowest since July 1. They’ve dropped 46 per cent in the year to date.

Germany, meanwhile, acknowledged that the system run by the EU is in need of an overhaul, especially in light of the Paris climate pact. “We will need to look at our ambition,” Michael Schroeren, a spokesman for Germany’s environment ministry, said in a statement. “After more than 10 years of emissions trading in Europe, we can look back on the lessons learned.”

China risks falling into the same trap as others. While regulators looking to establish a national market there appear to be trying to avoid an oversupply, prices are already plummeting in pilots they’re running, said Sophie Lu, an analyst in Beijing at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Just as carbon market history has repeated itself around the world, Lu said, China “may not be willing to pay the political and economic costs.” — Bloomberg



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

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


8 July, 2016

Global temperature back into the normal range

GISS have not yet updated for June but Roy Spencer has -- using the satellite data:

Second largest 2-month drop in global average satellite temperatures.

Largest 2-month drop in tropical average satellite temperatures.

NOTE: This is the fifteenth monthly update with our new Version 6.0 dataset. Differences versus the old Version 5.6 dataset are discussed here. Note we are now at “beta5” for Version 6, and the paper describing the methodology is still in peer review.

The Version 6.0 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for June, 2016 is +0.34 deg. C, down 0.21 deg. C from the May value of +0.55 deg. C

This gives a 2-month temperature fall of -0.37 deg. C, which is the second largest in the 37+ year satellite record…the largest was -0.43 deg. C in Feb. 1988.

In the tropics, there was a record fast 2-month cooling of -0.56 deg. C, just edging out -0.55 deg. C in June 1998 (also an El Nino weakening year).


Cosmo Blames Shark Attacks On Global Warming, Doesn’t Read Own Sources

The women’s magazine Cosmopolitan claimed Friday that global warming will cause a surge in shark attacks this year — but the article’s own sources contradict the claim.

Cosmo’s assertion is based on a National Geographic article from February that states more shark attacks occurred last year than in any other, as well as a study that says sharks are migrating farther north than before.

National Geographic’s explanation for the unusually high number of attacks is that warm El Nino weather encouraged people to go swimming more often. The magazine even quoted shark biologist Frank Schwartz of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill who “says there’s too much natural variability in weather cycles to blame the recent shark attacks on global warming.”

Shark experts support this position, saying “the number of shark-human interactions occurring in a given year is directly correlated with the amount of time humans spend in the sea,” according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

 Cosmo’s claim that sharks will soon start migrating into the waters of New York and New Jersey is countered by the fact that of the 98 total shark attacks worldwide last year, precisely 30 of them occurred in the state of Florida, while the biggest surge of attacks occurred in North Carolina.

Cosmo’s article also says that humans shouldn’t be afraid of sharks because scientists have captured “the first ever sonogram of a pregnant tiger shark, which is pretty cute.”

Other media outlets such as The Daily Mail, Investors Business Daily and CBS News also claimed that global warming should be blamed for any shark attacks this summer. They cited a single expert who told Reuters that rising temperatures might make swimming more popular, which could lead to more attacks.

Environmentalist media, such as EcoWatch, has a long history of linking shark attacks to global warming, but the existence of such a link is doubted by scientists.

There is less than one shark-attack death every two years in America, according to a 2005 study by National Geographic. Statistically speaking, cows are much more dangerous than sharks as they cause 20 deaths annually in the U.S.


Study: US Has More Oil Reserves Than Saudis And Russians

America has more oil reserves than both Saudi Arabia and Russia, according to a study published Monday by the Norwegian oil and gas consulting firm Rystad Energy.

The study estimates that America has 264 billion barrels of economically recoverable oil in existing fields, proven reserves and even in fields that haven’t been discovered yet. America’s reserves are larger than Saudi Arabia’s 212 billion and Russia’s 256 billion in oil reserves. The state of Texas alone has roughly 60 billion barrels of shale oil according to the study.

Rystad Energy estimates that there are 2,092 billion barrels in total global oil reserves, or 70 times the current production rate. For comparison, all the oil ever produced up until 2015 only amounts to 1,300 billion barrels.

“There is little potential for future surprises in many other countries, but in the US there is,” Per Magnus Nysveen, an analyst at Rystad Energy, told The Financial Times Monday. “Three years ago the US was behind Russia, Canada and Saudi Arabia.”

American oil and natural gas reserves are at their highest levels since 1972. American reserves of crude oil and natural gas have risen for six consecutive years despite the U.S. producing more oil and natural gas than any other country. Oil production last year was 80 percent higher than it was in 2008.

The massive expansion of America’s oil reserves is due to new drilling techniques like hydraulic fracturing, fracking, and horizontal drilling. The American frakcing boom was the driving factor behind the recent oil price collapse from a mid-2014 high of $115 a barrel to below $30 earlier this year.

These innovations have allowed America to increase its oil production faster than at any time in history. The process helped America surpass Russia as the world’s largest and fastest-growing producer of oil last year. American oil production in 2015 was 80 percent higher than it was in 2008. The U.S. produced an average of about 9.3 million barrels of crude oil per day in June.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that in 2000 America got roughly 2 percent of its oil, about 102,000 barrels per day, from fracking. America got 51 percent of its oil, about 4.3 million barrels per day, from fracking in 2015.

The study does not include oil shale, which excludes the fact that America controls the world’s largest untapped oil reserve, the Green River Formation in Colorado. This formation alone contains up to 3 trillion barrels of untapped oil shale, half of which may be recoverable. That’s five and a half times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia. This single geologic formation could contain more oil than the rest of the world’s proven reserves combined.


Eco-Terrorists May Have Spiked Logs To Cripple Lumber Mills

A lumber mill in Oregon is on the look out after learning environmentalists and conservationists may have jammed metal spikes in its logs in an effort to slow down or stop logging in the state.

A green group calling itself SAP claimed on environmental website “Earth First! Newswire” that it used the eco-terrorist tactic — which was popular in the 1990s as a way to seriously injure loggers — at the Swanson Brothers mill June 11 near Eugene, Ore.

Larry Konnie, the president of the mill, said his crew was operating as usual for two days prior to learning about SAP’s claim. “It makes me think they wanted to hurt somebody,” Konnie added.

No spikes have been found yet, according to Konnie.


African farming sacrificed to European green politics, blocking GMO innovation

The call, in a report made by the Members of European Parliament (MEPs) to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, not to support genetically modified (GM) crops in Africa is unfortunate and an attempt to institutionalize poverty on the continent.

The G7 group of nations’ joint initiative with the New Alliance—aimed at lifting 500 million people out of poverty by 2022 using 10 African countries as pilot studies—to start using genetically modified tools in agricultural production is being thrown out of the window.

The report recommended that intensive agriculture that made Europe, the Americas, and many parts of Asia food secure should not be applied in Africa, but that the continent remain with small-scale farming practices that have not been able to meet our food and nutrition needs. Despite the huge tonnage of GM cereals and legumes imported into Europe used as feedstuff, their cultivation is prohibited—to ‘protect’ the environment, to maintain the organic market and, more importantly, for ideological reasons.

This was nicely described as ‘cultivation forbidden, importation indispensable‘ by Giovanni Tagliabue in a 2016 paper (The EU Legislation on “GMOs”: Between Nonsense and Protectionism, a paper for the 20th ICABR Conference) in which the author gave the example of the genetically modified Amflora potato which, due to long delays, was not commercialized only to be produced through mutagenesis and commercialized with no fuss as it was politically a “non-GMO”.

This saga between Europe and America makes Africa suffer. It has been established that agricultural biotechnology is needs-based in Africa. Reports from other developing countries that adopted the technology speaks volume on benefits; the risk aspects being properly managed by their regulators. The African end users, farmers and consumers need to be given the opportunity to access and assess the technology themselves.

The African political leadership is aware of the responsibilities of adopting the technologies properly. This is the reason most African countries and the EU Member States are parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which states in Article 16 that the transfer of technology, including biotechnologies, is essential to the attainment of the goals of the Convention. The CBD further urges Parties in Article 19 to promote priority access to the benefits arising from biotechnologies, especially for developing countries. Furthermore, 44 out of the 54 African Union Member States have signed and ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

This call for Africa not to grow GMOs will be in contravention of the Convention on Biological Diversity. In addition to this, the African Union Commission together with its technical arm, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordinating Agency, developed a Biotechnology Strategy for Africa in 2007 and in 2008 established a unit to see to the safe and responsible application of the technologies called the African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE). The mandate is to build functional regulatory systems in Member States that would like to adopt the technologies. It is also to build capacity for African regulators in all aspects of agricultural biotechnology regulatory work and thereby build confidence in decision making.

Moreover, other biosafety service providers in Africa include the USAID Program for Biosafety System, the Biosafety Unit of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) and a number of biosafety civil society groups. This is intended to point out that regulatory systems are optimal especially in those Member States that have adopted or are in the process of adopting GM technologies in Africa. What we are striving to achieve in Africa is to embrace a science-based approach in the GMO policy decisions, with European Food Safety Authority as our excellent reference point although the MEPs have difficulties with some of its findings.

On trade, once Africa Member States are able to harmonize the regulatory frameworks properly within the regional economic communities (REC), intra-Africa trade is big enough to mop up GM products. Aside from this, the application of GM technologies focuses on African commodities that are of little or no significance in Europe except for Africans in diaspora and Europeans who have developed a taste for such commodities—as such, the level of trade for these purposes is minimal.

It is on these aforementioned opinions that the European Parliament should uphold its tenets of respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights by not opposing African Union’s efforts to make use of all available beneficial technologies.

It is surprising to note that this call is only for Africa but not to other developing countries in Latin America and Asia. The African farmer must have the right to decide whether to plant improved seeds and must have access to safe new products that will benefit the family farm, local communities and also contribute to improved livelihoods and socio-economic development.


Report: New Documents Confirm: ‘Climate RICO’ AGs Attempting to Write Themselves Out of Transparency Laws to Hide Abusive Campaign

New responses from state Attorneys General offices (OAGs) obtained by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) and the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FME Law) confirm that the coalition of Democratic Attorneys General using racketeering laws to investigate universities, climate scientists, free market think tanks and energy companies are hiding behind a contract with each other — also apparently with outside activists helping the campaign — to avoid releasing public records relating to their pursuit of political opponents.

This confirms suggestions in prior emails, obtained under state open records laws, that the AGs had entered what they are calling a Common Interest Agreement (CIA), with green activists and other AGs, and are using this contract of nondisclosure among themselves to keep public records regarding their RICO push from the public.

CIAs are common instruments, but what the AGs and green groups have attempted is not; nor is keeping the pact itself from the public normal.  To be legitimate, parties to a common interest agreement must have imminent litigation, a clear scope and clearly shared interests.  Instead, documents obtained to date show that these AGs and their green-group colleagues with inherently disparate interests have entered not a legitimate CIA, but a pact of secrecy, covering broad topics, not specific matters, simply to avoid scrutiny of otherwise public records relating to their extraordinarily controversial abuse of political opponents’ First Amendment rights.

“We have confirmed that the Democratic AGs are citing a Common Interest Agreement to avoid releasing crucial information to the public, as they continue their abuse of power”, said David W. Schnare, E&E Legal General Counsel. “The earlier draft we obtained showed the desire to exempt AGs’ correspondence, which are deemed public records by their legislatures, from open records laws if they related not just to defense of the Obama administration’s EPA rules, but to investigations and nearly anything else they might not want released involving “fossil fuels”, “renewable energy”, or “climate”.”  It appears these terms survived in a new agreement.

This pact of secrecy, written by New York’s Eric Schneiderman, promises to alert each party about, and force requesting parties to sue for satisfaction of, public (or media) records requests seeking information about this abuse of office in going after opponents of the “climate” agenda.

This revelation, and that these AGs think they can hide from the public even the names of outside activists with whom they have contracted a promise to stonewall FOIA requests, as well as the vow of secrecy itself, raises more questions about the scope and intentions behind the investigations.

“In short, these activist AGs are trying to write themselves out from freedom of information laws their legislatures have written them into,” said E&E Legal senior fellow Chris Horner.  Horner continued, “they are hiding behavior that seems to be precisely the sort of abuse lawmakers sought to expose to sunlight when deciding to cover their states’ chief law enforcement officers under FOIA laws, particularly their use of nearly limitless powers to chill opposition and damage political opponents.”

In March, E&E Legal obtained documents showing that NY Attorney General Schneiderman’s office circulated a CIA to a coalition of AGs participating in a press conference with Al Gore to announce their cooperation on a wide array of possible steps to protect the Obama administration’s “climate” agenda, from defending EPA rules to investigating “fossil fuel” companies. Staff from Vermont’s OAG raised concerns in an email, specifically their discomfort about contracting a default promise to make requesters of public records sue to obtain the information.

Vermont OAG clearly became more comfortable with this position after revelations of the first open records act release blew up in all their faces, now forcing E&E Legal to sue in an ongoing case to obtain further public records.

That first release also revealed a March 30, 2016 email from NY OAG indicating it would circulate a new agreement prior to their April 12 organizing call. Clearly it did so, and activist AGs signed on, possibly also with activist groups but regardless promising to keep their work with these “outside consultants” from the public and the media.

Late last week, in response to an E&E Legal appeal of withholding records relating to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office involvement in the RICO push,that office told E&E Legal that it was withholding the disclosure of certain records because “a common interest agreement (Agreement) was entered into by the Office of the Illinois Attorney General and the other affected stakeholders related to a number of the withheld records. Under the terms of that Agreement, particular categories of documents are to remain confidential.”

In an earlier email, Rhode Island OAG Special Assistant Attorney General Gregory Schultz emailed his agreement to sign an April 12, 2016 CIA, though by that time no office had yet acknowledged the existence of such a pact.  Indeed, the New York, Vermont and California OAGs denied public records requests by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) for any such contracts to secrecy.

Thus, the states have decided that they can not only write a contract making public records invisible to the citizenry, but prevent citizens from even taking a look at the contract itself.

Yesterday, Rhode Island offered further, facially absurd reasons for not providing the agreement itself, a wholly separate issue and even more facially abusive than claiming records are exempt from FOIA laws because one OAG promised another, and some green-group activists, that it wouldn’t release them.

What are these crusading AGs afraid of the public learning about their investigations?  Why are they invoking absurd claims to try and withhold documents — and writing themselves a blank check to self-exempt from the FOIA laws their legislators apparently thought those with the authority to exercise police powers had better be subject to?  Why are they making parties sue to obtain these public records, which even Vermont’s OAG acknowledged was improper?

The obvious answer to all of this is that they are afraid of the embarrassment they will suffer once people see what they hastily agreed to, which also subjects these offices to potential civil rights lawsuits and other countersuits by those they’ve targeted.

“E&E Legal expects to do whatever is necessary to get these public records before the public, to educate on this unprecedented abuse of power”, said E&E Legal’s Executive Director Craig Richardson. “All that we have found indicates that these AGs and their outside activist partners will make litigation necessary at every turn.”


UK Government Asserts Unlocking Shale Gas Won't Hurt Emission Goals

The UK government Thursday said developing the shale gas industry would not impact its ambition to lower carbon emissions and said there is a "clear need" to explore the resource to better understand the potential size and impact of the industry.

However, unlocking the onshore petroleum market will require the UK to lower carbon emissions elsewhere in the economy to facilitate the rise that would come from exploiting the potentially vast resource lying underneath the UK.

Current estimates from the British Geological Survey suggest there could be anywhere between 23.2 to 64.6 trillion cubic metres of gas lying within the Bowland-Hodder basin under Northern England alone - potentially equivalent to somewhere between 4.00 to 11.00 trillion barrels of oil.

However, it is not known how much of that potential resource would be extractable, either on a technical or economic basis, but the UK government is keen to open up the industry to strengthen the country's own energy supplies.

To put that potential resource into perspective, the UK currently consumes around 70.00 billion cubic feet of gas on annual basis, and the commodity accounts for around one third of the country's overall energy supply - but none of that comes from shale gas production at the moment.

The government's comments on Thursday were in response to the report conducted by the Committee on Climate Change that evaluated the onshore petroleum potential in the UK.

Natural gas is seen as the key to bridging the gap that is expected to emerge while coal generation is phased out and new renewable and nuclear energy comes online. The current aim is to have all coal plants closed by 2025 and although all of the current UK nuclear fleet will be decommissioned in the next two decades, at least six new sites are set to come online in the future.

Gas has an advantage as an energy supply, as it can be used not only to generate electricity but also directly for heating and cooking. Crude oil cannot be used in this way without processing.

The UK been importing gas from abroad since 2004 after the UK's main home for energy production, the North Sea, began to experience declining production rates. Although oil still flows offshore the UK, the area is mature and expensive to operate in, especially during the current oil market.

Around 45% of the UK's gas consumption in 2014 was imported, and estimates show this will continue to rise in the foreseeable future, placing further pressure on the government to find new sources of domestic energy.

Compared to 2014, the oil and gas sector in the UK is expected to have cut 120,000 jobs by the end of this year, but the government plans to transfer the skills currently being lost into the wider engineering sector - and the shale industry, if unlocked, could create around 64,000 new jobs.

In tandem, investment has also slowed in the UK oil and gas industry, but the government forecasts investment into the shale industry could reach GBP33.00 billion if pursued, including the boost it would give to associated markets such as construction and engineering.

One the main issues that was analysed by the Committee on Climate Change was the compatibility of opening up an onshore petroleum market in the UK with the country's climate change commitments and ambitions.

The UK signed off its fifth carbon budget last week that outlines the country's target to reduce emissions by 57% during the next period, part of the longer-term goal of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050. The reduction targets are based on emission levels in 1990.

Environmental groups have also been concerned by the potential implications of fracking, the popular method of extracting gas in the US which is highly controversial in the UK, slowing the industry's development over recent years.

Not all onshore projects require fracking. One of the most eagerly watched projects onshore the UK at the moment is the Horse Hill project near Gatwick Airport that is being developed by a number of London-listed companies and involves no fracking.

Under test conditions, one well at Horse Hill managed to produce 1,688 barrels of oil per day from three intervals. Notably, that well is only recovering a minor amount of the total oil that lies beneath the project, somewhere between 3.0% to 15% - demonstrating the uncertainty over estimates made about potential shale gas resources in the UK.

Importantly, Horse Hill lies over the Weald basin in the south of the country and is completely separate from the Bowland-Hodder basin in the North.

Both basins hold numerous onshore petroleum projects that are under development, with many being pursued by London-listed companies, mainly smaller exploration firms looking to benefit from an early mover advantage when, or if, things take off.

However, a local council earlier this year approved a plan to frack the first well in the UK for five years, and the market is hoping that means more operations will be given the green light going forward. The government said operations that require fracking will still need further consents compared to conventional projects that do not use the method, such as Horse Hill.

Importantly, the report has advised the government that a UK shale gas industry in production "is compatible with carbon budgets if certain conditions, set out in three 'tests', are met".

The first 'test' is to ensure the emissions released during well development, production and decommissioning are closely monitored to allow quick responses to any leaks or issues and the second is to ensure the country's gas consumption remains in line with carbon budgets.

The third requires the UK to facilitate and offset the guaranteed rise in emissions that would be caused by the shale gas industry by lowering emissions elsewhere in the UK economy.

"The government believes that the strong regulatory environment for shale gas development, plus the determined efforts of the UK to meet its carbon budgets, means that the three 'tests' put forward by the Committee on Climate Change will be met," said the government.



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


7 July, 2016

Are Federal Bans on Mining for the Birds?

With little time left on its clock, the Obama administration is rushing to place millions of acres of federal land off limits to commercial resource extraction. Although Lighthouse subscribers have read about regulatory obstacles to oil and gas development, a recent op-ed by Independent Institute Senior Fellow William F. Shughart II and Strata Research Director Megan E. Hansen emphasizes the harm that federal restrictions impose on the development of minerals and metals that could otherwise be used for making things like smart phones, electric car batteries, and computer memory chips.

“Mineral resources are plentiful within our borders, but the United States imported $41 billion worth of processed mineral materials in 2014 from foreign countries,” Shughart and Hansen write. “The production of rare earth metals, for example, is now dominated by China, even though the United States once was a leading rare earth elements producer. In fact, we have now become 100 percent dependent on imports of 19 key minerals.”

The Department of Interior is trying to create more obstacles. Last fall it proposed withdrawing 10 million acres of land from resource development—an amount equivalent of the size of Yellowstone National Park—ostensibly in order to protect the habitat of the greater sage grouse—a bird species that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services says is not at risk of extinction.

“Banning mining on federal lands will weaken Western state economies to protect a species that doesn’t seem to need protecting,” Shughart and Hansen continue. “Claiming that the ban will save the greater sage grouse is an absurdly deceptive justification for regulatory overreach.”


Environmentalists Blast TransCanada for Suing Obama Administration Over Rejection of Keystone XL Permit

TransCanada is suing the U.S. government for $15 billion over President Obama’s rejection of its permit application for the Keystone XL pipeline, a move environmental activists called “absurd” and “a bullying tactic” in a telephone press conference earlier this week

TransCanada filed the lawsuit under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), claiming that the Obama administration “discriminated against and significantly damaged” TransCanada and that the administration’s actions were "politically drivern,"and "breached U.S. obligations” under NAFTA.

The corporation’s complaint argues that Congress, rather than the president, has the power to “govern the development of oil pipelines and other infrastructure projects with significant domestic effects,” citing the Clean Water Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Endangered Species Act as precedents.

“[T]he prohibition on construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline directly interferes with foreign and domestic commerce, the regulation of which is textually committed to the Congress by the U.S. Constitution,” the complaint maintains

“Absent express statutory authority, the President simply does not have the power to regulate such domestic facilities based on asserted harms arising from greenhouse gas emissions,” TransCanada's lawsuit continued.

“Stated simply, the delay and the ultimate decision to deny the permit were politically-driven, directly contrary to the findings of the Administration’s own studies, and not based on the merits of Keystone’s application,” according to the corporaton's Notice of Intent to seek arbitration under NAFTA.

But environmentalist groups were quick to criticize the lawsuit.

“This lawsuit from TransCanada is both absurd and a perfect illustration of why people around the world feel that their elites are getting out of touch,” said Bill McKibben, founder of

“The rejection of the Keystone pipeline came out of one of the biggest exercises in democracy in recent American history. ... It was a vast, nationwide, continent-wide campaign. And everyone who was involved with it took the science extraordinarily seriously,” continued McKibben.

“This was a remarkable, remarkable battle. And the idea that after all those many, many, many millions of Americans and Canadians participated in this fight, it could somehow be negated by three guys sitting in a room that nobody’s ever heard of and nobody ever voted for, is all the proof that anyone would ever need as to why these kinds of arrangements like NAFTA are something we should be wary of to a huge degree,” he told reporters during the press call.

“TransCanada filed this lawsuit as a bullying tactic,” agreed Jill Kleeb, president of Bold Alliance. “Now TransCanada is trying to bully the American taxpayers and President Obama and any future president that they should not dare to mess with big oil.”

“President Obama did not make a political decision. President Obama made the right climate, water, and property decision on rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline,” continued Kleeb.

Anthony Swift, director of the Canadian division of the Natural Resources Defense Project, told reporters that the argument that the pipeline would not have had significant environmental impact "could not be farther from the truth."

However, in January 2014, the State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on Keystone XL concluded that not building the 875-mile pipeline could result in the release of “from 28 to 42 percent” more greenhouse gases into the environment due to the need to use alternate transportation modes -- such as railcars and diesel-fueled trucks -- to get the oil to market.

TransCanada applied to the State Department for a presidential permit to build Keystone XL in 2008. The pipeline would have brought crude oil from the tar sands of western Canada into the U.S., performing the same function as three already-existing pipelines, according to TransCanada.

President Obama denied the permit in November after seven years of delay. “The State Department has decided that the Keystone XL pipeline would not serve the national interests of the United States. I agree with that decision,” he said when he announced the rejection.

“For years, the Keystone pipeline has occupied what I frankly consider an overinflated role in our political discourse. It became a symbol too often used as a campaign cudgel by both parties rather than a serious policy matter,” Obama said.


Happy American Energy Independence Day

Every president since Richard Nixon has promised to make America energy independent, but  we still import nine million barrels of oil a day, with much of it coming from the Middle East and OPEC.  Now for the first time in a half century -- thanks to the shale oil and gas revolution -- the dream of American energy independence is not just a pipedream but easily achievable if the next president takes the right steps to make it happen.

This Made in America energy strategy means we could stop draining our economy of about $200 billion a year that could be used to rebuild our own country.  This isn't just about the economy.  We know from intelligence reports that as much as $500 million a year of petro-dollars find their way into the coffers of terrorist networks like ISIS.

To achieve American energy self-sufficiency I'm not talking about the left's strange infatuation with building more windmills (sorry Hillary). We only get about 5% of our energy from windmills and solar panels.

What I am talking about is about taking the strategic steps necessary to making the United States the energy dominant force on the planet within five to 10 years by using our super-abundance of fossil fuel resources.  Thanks to the amazing made-in-America technological breakthroughs of the last decade -- including horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to get at shale oil and gas reserves -- the U.S. now has at least 150 years of oil and natural gas resources on top of 500 years of coal.

Consider what has happened in less than a decade with oil production.  ?In 2008 the U.S. produced about 5 million barrels a day. We hit 8.7 million ?in 2014 and could double that by 2025.

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As we tap into the full potential of our tens of billions of shale oil and gas we can become the number one export nation on the planet. This could easily mean more than $1 trillion a year in oil, gas and also coal exports each year -- perhaps exceeding 5% of GDP.

Let's not forget about coal.  America was built on coal, and our nation has far more of it than any other nation. And we burn it cleanly and efficiently, unlike the Chinese and India who build hundreds of coal plants every year, but spew out dirty emissions.

I estimate that with five simple steps taken by the next president, America will gain its energy independence:

1. Allow drilling and mining permits on federal lands.  So far at least 90% of the shale gas and shale oil revolution has happened on private land.  But around half of all the land west of the Mississippi is government owned.  We estimate there are $50 trillion of energy resources stored underneath non-environmentally sensitive federal lands.  This is the biggest treasure chest in the world.

2. Build a national network of pipelines across the country by allowing the permitting for projects like Keystone XL and many others.  Right now the federal government is holding up as many as a dozen necessary pipelines to get the oil and gas across the country and then shipped across the world.

3. Build refineries and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in the United States. The Energy Information Agency says the latest refiner "began operating in 1977" – or almost 40 years ago even though the U.S. population has nearly doubled since the mid 1970s and our energy production has doubled as well.

4. Stop the Obama war on coal.  The environmentalists have tried to shutdown coal production, the next president should revive it.  This means putting a muzzle on the EPA to allow our energy resources to be harnessed and used in an environmentally responsible way.  Environmental rules have to be shown to be cost-effective, meaning that the cost to the economy of complying with the rules is justified on the basis of the environmental benefits -- and measured honestly.

5. End all subsidies for all forms of energy. The left complains about taxpayer subsidies for oil and gas. The best way to promote efficient energy is to let the free market work and remove government handouts – particularly to the green energy sector.

If we get this right, America can declare its independence from OPEC and Middle Eastern oil.  We can become the Saudi Arabia of the 21st century.


Pennsylvania Slashes Rooftop Solar Subsidies

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) just ended the solar subsidy called net metering, and the state legislature isn’t likely to overturn the decision.

The state commission found twice that net metering solar subsidies are not in the public interest, as they raise the price of electricity and transfer money from poor people without solar panels to rich people with them. The PUC is made up of both Republican and Democratic appointees and voted unanimously both times.

The only way to stop massive subsidy cuts is if the state legislature blocks the PUC’s plans within two weeks. But the legislature isn’t interested in doing so and will soon leave for a summer break.

“Basically, the moon and the stars have to align in a perfect order for this to be stopped,” Todd Stewart, a partner at a regulatory law firm in Pennsylvania, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Otherwise, if the commission intends to promulgate the regulations anyway over the double objection by IRRC, they can still do so.”

Net metering policies force utilities to buy electricity produced by rooftop solar panels at retail rates, which means companies can’t cover the fixed costs of operating the electrical grid. Rooftop solar companies such as SolarCity, have pushed these policies as a way to encourage solar power across the country.

The PUC found that forcing up the price of electricity via net metering hurts the poor and ethnic minorities the most, because poor people tend to spend a higher proportion of their incomes on basic needs like groceries, power bills, gasoline, etc. than wealthier people. As essential goods like electricity become more expensive, the cost of producing goods and services that use electricity increases, effectively raising the price of almost everything.

Policies like net metering hurt the poor 1.4 to four times more than they hurt the rich, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

A 2015 study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) concluded rooftop solar subsides are inefficient and costly, and that rooftop solar companies simply cannot compete without government support.

Even proponents of solar power and net metering recognize their reliance on subsidies. Without high net metering payments, rooftop solar “makes no financial sense for a consumer,” Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity, admitted to The New York Times in February.

Solar power receives 326 times more subsidies than conventional energy sources relative to the amount of energy produced, according to Department of Energy data. Green energy sources got $13 billion in subsidies during 2013, compared to $3.4 billion in subsidies for conventional sources and $1.7 billion for nuclear, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Despite the enormous subsidies, solar power only accounted for only 0.6 percent of electricity generated in the U.S. for 2015, according to the EIA.


Mississippi Clean Coal Plant Touted By Obama Admin Plagued With Inefficiency, Secrets

A ‘clean coal’ plant in Mississippi the Obama administration touted as an answer to global warming is now two years behind schedule, billions of dollars over its initial budget, and under a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation for allegations of fraud.

The Kemper coal plant in Mississippi was touted as the first commercial scale ‘clean coal‘ power plant in the United States, meaning it was capable of capturing and storing its own carbon dioxide emissions. A Tuesday article from The New York Times shows just how bad things have gotten at Kemper.

“It has nothing to do with the design, it has nothing to do with the technology, it just has to do with poor project management,” Landon Lunsford, a plant engineer said in a conversation with whistleblower, Brett Wingo last year. “As long as they can talk away the results as attributable to something else other than just poor performance, the other public service commissions can’t hold them over the fire as much.”

The problem has gotten so bad that the Securities and Exchange Commission has initiated an investigation into why a project that was slated to cost $2.9 billion now costs $6.7 billion and is still not operational. The company that runs the coal plant, Southern Company, is also being sued by Mississippi businesses who are concerned that the fact the project is so far over-budget may mean higher prices for its customers.

“The people of south Mississippi are struggling,” Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing the customers told the Wall Street Journal in a recent interview. “They can least afford to be saddled with this boondoggle.” The piece goes on to say how due to the cost overruns, Southern Company also recently saw its credit rating downgraded by Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service.

The plant has some backers still standing up for it though, federal energy officials claim that for a project of this size it is ‘inevitable’ that it run over-budget and past deadline, further claiming bad weather, labor shortages and design uncertainties are responsible for the delays.

Brett Wingo, an engineer for the Kemper plant, is a whistleblower who first exposed the issues. “I’ve reached a personal tipping point and feel a duty to act,” Wingo said in a email from 2014. Wingo was able to find other engineers from the Kemper plant who think the delays and cost overruns are directly related to ‘mismanagement or fraud’.

Wingo also sent a letter to Southern’s CEO telling the company that the publicized open date was ‘not realistic’, but nothing came of it. Wingo was eventually ordered to stay silent on the matter.


Australia's ABC suspends junk science reporter

The woman should have known better. There must have been some personal reason for the BS.  The effect of electromagnetic radiation on health has been a big boogeyman for many years but the contrary evidence is huge. A scare that a few alarmists are trying to keep alive is that the radiation from your mobile phone will give you brain cancer.  Yet from the early days of mobile phones until now there has been no upsurge in brain cancer.  Now that mobiles are very widely used, we should be swimming in brain cancer cases by now.  But we are not. High or low levels of mobile phone use and the resultant radiation makes no difference. It's all just attention-seekers big-noting themselves

Isn't she gorgeous?  I suspect that it is her looks rather than her scientific ability that has got her prestigious jobs.  It happens

A CONTROVERSIAL ABC program about the health effects of Wi-Fi has led to a presenter being suspended, after it breached impartiality standards.

ABC presenter Dr Maryanne Demasi from the popular science program Catalyst has been suspended until September this year, after a review of the episode titled “Wi-Fried” was conducted by the ABC’s independent Audience and Consumer Affairs (A&CA) Unit.

Adelaide-born Dr Demasi completed a doctorate in medical research at the University of Adelaide and worked for a decade as research scientist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

She has also worked as an adviser to the South Australian Government’s Minister for Science and Information Economy.

The “Wi-Fried” episode was broadcast in February this year and contained information about the safety of wireless devices such as mobile phones.

In a statement released by the ABC, the investigation was initiated after the ABC received complaints from viewers about the episode. The ABC informed readers of its findings after the show aired on Tuesday night.

The A&CA found the episode breached the ABC’s editorial policies standards on accuracy and impartiality. “The A&CA Report found several inaccuracies within the program that had favoured the unorthodox view that mobile phones and Wi-Fi caused health impacts including brain tumours,” the ABC’s statement said.

“ABC TV is reviewing the strategy and direction for Catalyst with a view to strengthening this very important and popular program.

“Further, ABC TV is addressing these issues directly with the program makers and has advised the reporter, Dr Maryanne Demasi, that her on-air editorial assignments will be on hold until the review is completed in September 2016.”

ABC Director of Television, Richard Finlayson said the investigation had been thorough.  “Catalyst is a highly successful and respected science program that explores issues of enormous interest to many Australians. There is no doubt the investigation of risks posed by widespread wireless devices is an important story but we believe greater care should have been taken in presenting complex and multiple points of view,” he said.

The finding comes just two years after a separate investigation was launched into a Catalyst program about the use of cholesterol-reducing medications.

“ABC TV takes responsibility for the broader decision-making process that resulted in the program going to air and acknowledges this is the second significant breach for the program in two years,” the ABC stated.

“The ABC accepts the findings and acknowledges that errors were made in the preparation and ultimate approval of the program.”

The “Wi-Fried” program will now be removed from the Catalyst website.

Information about A&CA’s findings will be added to the Catalyst website, and the A&CA’s investigation and findings are on the ABC Corrections page.



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

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


6 July, 2016

African agriculture and CO2

Below is a bit of total brainlessness.  Newsweek channelling Mother Jones in fact! Both warming and increased CO2 levels are GOOD for plants.  And warming also brings rain, which is best of all.  No doubt Africa is hungry in many places but climate is not the cause of that.  Climate change is one of the few things that could help Africa

Agriculture in Africa is one of the most important yet underreported stories about climate change today. It's a fascinating intersection of science, politics, technology, culture, and all the other things that make climate such a rich vein of reporting. At that intersection, the scale of the challenge posed by global warming is matched only by the scale of opportunity to innovate and adapt. There are countless stories waiting to be told, featuring a brilliant and diverse cast of scientists, entrepreneurs, politicians, farmers, families, and more.

East Africa is already the hungriest place on Earth: One in every three people live without sufficient access to nutritious food, according to the United Nations. Crop yields in the region are the lowest on the planet. African farms have one-tenth the productivity of Western farms on average, and sub-Saharan Africa is the only placeon the planet where per capita food production is actually falling.

Now, climate change threatens to compound those problems by raising temperatures and disrupting the seasonal rains on which many farmers depend. An index produced by the University of Notre Dame ranks 180 of the world's countries based on their vulnerability to climate change impacts (No. 1, New Zealand, is the least vulnerable; the United State is ranked No. 11). The best-ranked mainland African country is South Africa, down at No. 84; Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda rank at No. 147, No. 154, and No. 160, respectively. In other words, these are among the places that will be hit hardest by climate change. More often than not, the agricultural sector will experience some of the worst impacts. Emerging research indicates that climate change could drive down yields of staples such as rice, wheat, and maize 20 percent by 2050. Worsening and widespread drought could shorten the growing season in some places by up to 40 percent.

This isn't just a matter of putting food on the table. Agricultural productivity also lies at the root of broader economic development, since farming is Africa's No. 1 form of employment. So, even when hunger isn't an issue, per se, lost agricultural productivity can stymie rural communities' efforts to get the money they need for roads, schools, clinics, and other necessities. "We only produce enough to eat," lamented Amelia Tonito, a farmer I met recently in Mozambique. "We'd like to produce enough to eat and to sell." More food means more money in more pockets; the process of alleviating poverty starts on farms.

"We only produce enough to eat," lamented Amelia Tonito, a farmer I met recently in Mozambique. "We'd like to produce enough to eat and to sell."

More HERE 

New paper finds extreme storms "seem to coincide with the COLDEST periods in Europe"

Extreme storms during the last 6500 years from lagoonal sedimentary archives in the Mar Menor (SE Spain)

Laurent Dezileau et al.


Storms and tsunamis, which may seriously endanger human society, are amongst the most devastating marine catastrophes that can occur in coastal areas. Many such events are known and have been reported for the Mediterranean, a region where high-frequency occurrences of these extreme events coincides with some of the most densely populated coastal areas in the world. In a sediment core from the Mar Menor (SE Spain), we discovered eight coarse-grained layers which document marine incursions during periods of intense storm activity or tsunami events. Based on radiocarbon dating, these extreme events occurred around 5250, 4000, 3600, 3010, 2300, 1350, 650, and 80 years cal?BP. No comparable events have been observed during the 20th and 21st centuries.

The results indicate little likelihood of a tsunami origin for these coarse-grained layers, although historical tsunami events are recorded in this region. These periods of surge events seem to coincide with the coldest periods in Europe during the late Holocene, suggesting a control by a climatic mechanism for periods of increased storm activity. Spectral analyses performed on the sand percentage revealed four major periodicities of 1228?±?327, 732?±?80, 562?±?58, and 319?±?16 years. Amongst the well-known proxies that have revealed a millennial-scale climate variability during the Holocene, the ice-rafted debris (IRD) indices in the North Atlantic developed by Bond et al. (1997, 2001) present a cyclicity of 1470?±?500 years, which matches the 1228?±?327-year periodicity evidenced in the Mar Menor, considering the respective uncertainties in the periodicities.

Thus, an in-phase storm activity in the western Mediterranean is found with the coldest periods in Europe and with the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation. However, further investigations, such as additional coring and high-resolution coastal imagery, are needed to better constrain the main cause of these multiple events.

Clim. Past, 12, 1389-1400, 2016. doi:10.5194/cp-12-1389-2016

Arctic Update

Two months ago, climate "experts" told us that the Arctic would be ice-free this summer

Arctic sea ice volume is exactly normal, and close to 15 feet thick near the North Pole.

Temperatures near the pole have been persistently below normal for the entire melt season, which almost half over.

Robert Scribbler is the same fraudster who started the “jet stream crossing the equator” scam last week.

Democrats say that it is illegal to lie about the climate, which is their own standard operating procedure.


Foolish Climate power play by the AAAS et al.

Judith Curry

The AAAS and affiliated professional societies just shot themselves in the foot with the letter to U.S. policy makers.

Last week, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) issued a press release entitled Thirty-One Top Scientific Societies Speak With One Voice on Global Climate Change.  Punchline:

In a consensus letter to U.S. policymakers, a partnership of 31 leading nonpartisan scientific societies today reaffirmed the reality of human-caused climate change, noting that greenhouse gas emissions “must be substantially reduced” to minimize negative impacts on the global economy, natural resources, and human health.

This statement is a blatant misuse of scientific authority to advocate for specific socioeconomic policies.  National security and economics (specifically called out in the letter) is well outside the wheelhouse of all of these organizations.   Note the American Economics Association is not among the signatories; according to an email from Ross McKitrick, the constitution of the AEA forbids issuing such statements. In fact, climate science is well outside the wheelhouse of most of these organizations (what the heck is with the statisticians and mathematicians in signing this?)

The link between adverse impacts such as more wildfires, ecosystem changes, extreme weather events etc. and their mitigation by reducing greenhouse gas emissions hinges on detecting unusual events for at least the past century and then actually attributing them to human caused warming.  This is highly uncertain territory – even within the overconfident world of the IPCC.  And the majority of the signatories to this letter have no expertise in the detection and attribution of human caused climate change.

‘Scientists speaking with one voice’ on an issue as complex and poorly understood as climate change, its impacts and solutions is something that I find rather frightening.  Well, I am somewhat reassured that this is not the population of scientists speaking, but rather the leadership of the professional societies speaking.  How many members of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists have an educated opinion, or even care very much, about climate change?  And many of these society leaders (who were responsible for signing on behalf of their organization) are not scientists themselves, e.g. Chris McEntee, Executive Director of the AGU, whose background is in nursing (Masters in Health Administration).  She is quoted in the AAAS press release:

“Climate change is one of the most profound challenges facing our society. Consensus on this matter is evident in the diversity of organizations that have signed this letter. Science can be a powerful tool in our efforts to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, and we stand ready to work with policymakers as they deliberate various options for action.”


So, is this letter going to change the minds of ~50% of Congressional members who do not support President Obama’s climate change plan, either because they don’t like the proposed solutions, or don’t think climate change is dangerous, or don’t think humans are the dominant cause of recent climate change?

Those in Congress that disagree with Obama’s plan have clearly shown themselves not to be susceptible to pressures from scientist/advocates and their consensus enforcement.  Further, by broadening the list of signatories to include societies that have little or no expertise in the physics of climate, this whole exercise reinforces the public distrust of these scientific organizations.

It seems that the primary motivation of this is for the leaders of these professional societies to be called to the big table to engage in the Congressional policy deliberations about climate change.  So, if you are Lamar Smith or Ted Cruz, would you be calling any of these people to participate in Congressional hearings?

The AAAS and the affiliated professional societies blew it with that letter.  They claim the science is settled; in that case, they are no longer needed at the table. If they had written a letter instead that emphasized the complexities and uncertainties of both the problem and the solutions, they might have made a case for their participation in the deliberations.

Instead, by their dogmatic statements about climate change and their policy advocacy, they have become just another group of lobbyists, having ceded the privilege traditionally afforded to dispassionate scientific reasoning to political activists in the scientific professional societies.  With a major side effect of damaging the process and institutions of science, along with the public trust in science.

The AAAS et al. have shot themselves in the foot with this one.

More HERE 

The idea that we are edging up to a mass extinction is not just wrong – it’s a recipe for panic and paralysis

by Stewart Brand

The way the public hears about conservation issues is nearly always in the mode of ‘[Beloved Animal] Threatened With Extinction’. That makes for electrifying headlines, but it misdirects concern. The loss of whole species is not the leading problem in conservation. The leading problem is the decline in wild animal populations, sometimes to a radical degree, often diminishing the health of whole ecosystems.

Viewing every conservation issue through the lens of extinction threat is simplistic and usually irrelevant. Worse, it introduces an emotional charge that makes the problem seem cosmic and overwhelming rather than local and solvable. It’s as if the entire field of human medicine were treated solely as a matter of death prevention. Every session with a doctor would begin: ‘Well, you’re dying. Let’s see if we can do anything to slow that down a little.’

Medicine is about health. So is conservation. And as with medicine, the trends for conservation in this century are looking bright. We are re-enriching some ecosystems we once depleted and slowing the depletion of others. Before I explain how we are doing that, let me spell out how exaggerated the focus on extinction has become and how it distorts the public perception of conservation.

Many now assume that we are in the midst of a human-caused ‘Sixth Mass Extinction’ to rival the one that killed off the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. But we’re not. The five historic mass extinctions eliminated 70 per cent or more of all species in a relatively short time. That is not going on now. ‘If all currently threatened species were to go extinct in a few centuries and that rate continued,’ began a recent Nature magazine introduction to a survey of wildlife losses, ‘the sixth mass extinction could come in a couple of centuries or a few millennia.’

The range of dates in that statement reflects profound uncertainty about the current rate of extinction. Estimates vary a hundred-fold – from 0.01 per cent to 1 per cent of species being lost per decade. The phrase ‘all currently threatened species’ comes from the indispensable IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), which maintains the Red List of endangered species. Its most recent report shows that of the 1.5 million identified species, and 76,199 studied by IUCN scientists, some 23,214 are deemed threatened with extinction. So, if all of those went extinct in the next few centuries, and the rate of extinction that killed them kept right on for hundreds or thousands of years more, then we might be at the beginning of a human-caused Sixth Mass Extinction.

An all-too-standard case of extinction mislabeling occurred this January on the front page of The New York Times Magazine. ‘Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Shows,’ read the headline. But the article by Carl Zimmer described no such thing. Instead it was a relatively good-news piece pointing out that while much of sea life is in trouble, it is far less so than continental wildlife, and there is time to avoid the mistakes made on land. The article noted that, in the centuries since 1500, some 514 species have gone extinct on land but only 15 in the oceans, and none at all in the past 50 years. The Science paper on which Zimmer was reporting was titled ‘Marine Defaunation: Animal Loss in the Global Ocean’ by Douglas McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and colleagues. It stated: ‘Though humans have caused few global marine extinctions, we have profoundly affected marine wildlife, altering the functioning and provisioning of services in every ocean,’ and it went on to chronicle the causes of ‘the proliferation of ‘empty reefs’, ‘empty estuaries’, and ‘empty bays’, with an overall decline of marine fishes by 38 per cent.

Extinction is not a helpful way to think about threats to ocean animals because few go extinct there. The animals are highly mobile in a totally connected vast environment where there is almost always somewhere to hide, even from industrial-scale hunting. Atlantic cod used to be one of the world’s great fisheries before it collapsed in 1992 from decades of overfishing. According to Jesse Ausubel, one of the organisers of the recent international Census of Marine Life: ‘The total estimated kilos of cod off Cape Cod today probably weigh only about 3 per cent of all the cod in 1815.’ (Across the Atlantic in the North Sea, however, cod fishery is recovering, thanks to effective regulation.) No one really expects cod to go extinct, and yet the Red List describes them as threatened with extinction.

The best summation I have seen of the current situation comes from John C Briggs, biogeographer at the University of South Florida, in a letter to Science magazine last November:

"Most extinctions have occurred on oceanic islands or in restricted freshwater locations, with very few occurring on Earth’s continents or in the oceans. The world’s greatest conservation problem is not species extinction, but rather the precarious state of thousands of populations that are the remnants of once widespread and productive species"

Briggs’s point about oceanic islands is worth examining in detail. Compared with continents, the ecosystems of remote islands are so simple and restricted, a great deal of what we understand about ecology and evolution has come from studying them. (Australia is considered such an island despite its size, thanks to its long isolation.) Darwin’s revelation about the origins of speciation was inspired by his travels to Pacific islands such as the Galapagos. One of the core texts of ecology and conservation biology is The Theory of Island Biogeography (1967) by Edward O Wilson and Robert MacArthur.

Many new species readily emerge on ocean islands because of the isolation, but there are few other species to co-evolve with and thus they have no defence against invasive competitors and predators. The threat can be total. An endemic species under attack has nowhere to escape to. The island conservationist Josh Donlan estimates that islands, which are just 3 per cent of the Earth’s surface, have been the site of 95 per cent of all bird extinctions since 1600, 90 per cent of reptile extinctions, and 60 per cent of mammal extinctions. Those are horrifying numbers, but the losses are extremely local. They have no effect on the biodiversity and ecological health of the continents and oceans that make up 97 per cent of the Earth.

The frightening extinction statistics that we hear are largely an island story, and largely a story of the past, because most island species that were especially vulnerable to extinction are already gone.

The island ecosystems have not collapsed in their absence. Life becomes different, and it carries on. Since the majority of invasive species are relatively benign, they add to an island’s overall biodiversity. The ecologist Dov Sax at Brown University in Rhode Island points out that non-native plants have doubled the botanical biodiversity of New Zealand – there are 2,104 native plants in the wild, and 2,065 non-native plants. Ascension Island in the south Atlantic, once a barren rock deplored by Charles Darwin for its ‘naked hideousness’, now has a fully functioning cloud forest made entirely of plants and animals brought by humans in the past 200 years. (The Ascension Island story opens a new book by environmental journalist Fred Pearce, titled The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature’s Salvation.)

But the main news from ocean islands is that new methods have been found to protect the vulnerable endemic species from their worst threat, the invasive predators, thus dramatically lowering the extinction rate for the future. New Zealanders are the heroes of this story, beautifully told in Rat Island: Predators in Paradise and the World’s Greatest Wildlife Rescue (2011) by William Stolzenburg. Every ocean island in the world has been afflicted with intensely destructive alien predators brought by us – rats, mice, goats, pigs, burros, tree snakes (Guam), foxes (Aleutians), and many more. In the 1980s, New Zealand conservationists were driven to desperation by the vulnerability of beloved unique creatures such as a ground-dwelling parrot called the kakapo. They decided to do whatever it took to eliminate every single rat on the kakapo’s island refuge. It took many seasons of relentless poisoning and trapping, but when it was done, it was really done. The kakapos could finally reproduce in safety, and did. The technique was tried on other islands with other endangered species and other problem predators, and it worked there too.

More than 800 islands worldwide have now been cleansed of their worst extinction threat, with more coming. Some are pretty spectacular. Donlan, quoted above, was in the thick of the battle to get rid of all the goats that were destroying Santiago, Pinta and Isabela islands in the Galapagos archipelago. It took years of work with high-powered rifles, hunting dogs, helicopters and ‘Judas goats’ to kill every single one of the 160,000 goats on the islands, but when it was done, the cure was permanent. And now, according to Elizabeth Kolbert in The New Yorker this December, New Zealanders are stepping up to a much larger scale. An organisation called Predator Free New Zealand is co?ordinating a massive nationwide effort to eradicate every single invasive rat, stoat, weasel and cat, and thus make the whole country a refuge for its native kiwis, wetas (giant insect), kakapos, saddlebacks (bird), tuataras (bizarre lizard), and more.

More HERE 

Australia: The Green/Left panicked by new independent senator

Chronically angry Liz Conor is anyway.  And her elitism pops out quickly too.  She says below of Pauline Hanson:  "And why does Hanson even have an opinion on climate science?".  The obvious riposte:  "And why does Liz Conor have an opinion on climate science?" 

The rest of her rant is just one wild accusation after another.  I have noted some in the body of her text.  I actually wonder if she is serious.  I think she just enjoys being a dramatist.  But is she right in thinking that Pauline is bad for the Greenies? 

Her offsider in Queensland, Malcolm Roberts, is a ferociously well-informed climate skeptic so she will have real intellectual firepower behind her.  Nobody will be able to bluff her with phony statistics etc.  So it is highly probable that Greenie policies will come under heavy challenge from her.  And she is not alone in climate skepticism.  About half the Liberal party are closet climate skeptics so if she demands anti-Warmist measures as her price for supporting the conservatives in crucial votes, there will be a real willingness to give that to her

Fellow Austraiyans. If you are reading me now it means that I have become murderous. Murderously, apoplectically incensed.

Pauline Hanson appears to have picked up a spot in our Senate at the time of writing, possibly even two or more. She will represent Queensland in our House of Review, where our nation’s proposed laws are rejected or amended. And it’s not a three-year term. Unless Turnbull (potentially newly rolled into Prime Minister Morrison out of revenge for the LNP’s slashed majority) finds some other spurious reason to call a double dissolution, Hanson’s term is Six. Six. Six.

Hanson will make extravagant use of the Senate’s committee system, already proposing royal commissions into Islam and climate science. How in chrissname do you conduct an inquiry into one of the three major world religions? Imagine the terms of reference. Are there too many believers? Should they perform the pilgrimage to Mecca? Are Humans superior to Angels? Will the Australian Royal commission into erm, Islam require the seventh-century originals of its foundational documents be tendered – the Qur’an, hadith and tafsir?

And why does Hanson even have an opinion on climate science? Why are racists climate deniers? Does Hanson have doubts about enlightenment empiricism? Logical positivism? The verification of Authentic Knowledge? Or has she, like most climate deniers and obstructers, featherbedded her campaign with undeclared funds from fossil fuel conglomerates?

And this from the state where a few short weeks ago 69,000 jobs were unceremoniously scuppered from tourism on our ghostly white Great Barrier Reef. 5.2 billion in revenue sank without trace with the ‘jobs and growth’ shipwreck of LNP sloganeering. [That job loss was a Greenie prediction -- amid actual thriving of reef tourism]

The reef grief and reef rage many of us felt was bad enough. I mean it’s nice to banner hope for the unbleached 7 per cent and ‘recovering’ 65 per cent with a donate button but let’s be honest, the waters aren’t going to get cooler in the long-term, there will be more frequent El Niño events, worsening storms and Crown of Thorn starfish outbreaks. ["frequent El Niño events"?  They are reasonably predictable but they are not frequent]

The reef is terminal. [The head of the GBRMPA doesn't think so and it's his job to know] We have five years to save what little remains but instead the two parties that oversaw this catastrophe now hang in the balance, continuing to accept party donations of $3.7 million from the corporations responsible. While still in unfettered power the Libs demanded UNESCO whitewash any mention of the reef from its report into risks to world heritage sites and tourism.

So. Once you’ve taken out the largest living organism on the planet how precisely do you top that? It seems their ecocidal mania knows no bounds. Both parties can lay claim to the dubious distinction of perpetrating the only environmental catastrophe visible from space.

These people are not in jail where they belong. Instead they spent the last eight weeks fronting up to Australians asking to be entrusted again. We are not in safe hands.

As the Nemo who intercepted Turnbull might reasonably protest to humans, ‘I’m fed up with being told, this is our reef. Well, where the hell do I go? I draw the line when told I must pay and continue paying for something that happened over 20 years ago,’ namely early and credible warnings of global warming.

What kind of electoral dissonance are One Nation Voters suffering? As we of the Greens voting variety have been instructed, the workers of Australia have been so cowed by threats to Medicare they simply cannot spare a thought for refugees. Apparently the capacity for workers to run more than one thought process in their heads at any time is somewhat limited. Only the left commentariat can multitask, it seems.

But how can we fathom the thinking of One Nation voters, many of them jumping ship from the Palmer United Party.

I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Caucasians, tax evasions and Australasians. They have their own culture and religion, form ghettos, and do not assimilate.

We are bringing in people from Oxley at the moment. There was a huge amount coming to our polling booths, and they’ve got diseases, they’ve got BIAS.

Either Blind Freddy or Rip Van Winkel would have to vote for a candidate who did time for electoral fraud. Even if her conviction was overturned it shows a hair-raising lack of judgement in whom she entrusts the basics of organisational governance.

Where will Hanson-voters’ intolerance for Halal snackpacks take us? What other food allergies are they intending to force on the rest of us? Battered Islamophobia? Deep-fried homophobia? Queue-jumping dimsims?

Hanson will find a way to jumble racism with climate obstruction. As Naomi Klein presciently argues they already go hand in glove. She writes, “there is no way to confront the climate crisis as a technocratic problem, in isolation. It must be seen in the context of austerity and privatisation, of colonialism and militarism, and of the various systems of othering needed to sustain them all.”

But let’s give Pauline the last word on facing imminent destruction: “Do not let my passing distract you for even a moment … For the sake of our children and our children’s children, you must fight on.”

Thanks for the tip Pauline. You can bet we will.



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

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


5 July, 2016

Is the Tesla bubble about to burst?

How long can they keep running in the red?  They're nice cars but if you want one maybe you should buy one now -- while they last

Add yet another problem to the list at Tesla Motors: lackluster growth.

Tesla announced on Sunday that it delivered 14,370 vehicles in the second quarter. That is well below its own forecast of about 17,000, which it gave in May. Although sales of its Model X grew significantly from the first quarter, its signature Model S sedan actually saw sales fall sequentially by more than 22%. That is surprising since Tesla said in May that Model S orders were strong. The company has now missed its own deliveries guidance for two consecutive quarters.

The electric auto maker has delivered fewer than 30,000 cars in the first half of the year, putting its full year forecast of 80,000 to 100,000 in serious jeopardy. Tesla says it expects to deliver “about 50,000” cars in the next six months. That isn’t impossible, but Sunday’s news is disconcerting. Since Tesla can’t successfully forecast deliveries more than two months out, it stretches CEO Elon Musk’s bold forecast of 500,000 deliveries by 2018 from improbable to farcical.

For its part, Tesla cited an unusually high number of vehicles in transit for the shortfall. The company says more than five thousand cars are to be delivered soon, which would have helped them clear the bar. But Tesla, which carries a market value in excess of $30 billion and has designs on disrupting the entire automobile industry, should be far enough in its development to be able to accurately forecast delivery times to customers.

For shareholders, this is merely the latest in a series of worries. For starters, the company continues to burn cash at an alarming rate, to the tune of $2.1 billion in the last four quarters through March 31. This means Tesla requires ongoing access to capital markets to function. Tesla has issued shares or convertible debt in every year since 2010.

That isn’t the end of it. A proposed merger with SolarCity, the other public company in which Mr. Musk is the largest shareholder, would exacerbate that cash burn, cause further stock dilution and raises questions about the firm’s corporate governance. Tesla’s reported earnings are heavily inflated by adjustments that don’t conform with generally accepted accounting principles. New competition looms on the horizon. And now, federal regulators are looking into two potential safety issues in Tesla vehicles.

Despite the litany of worries piling up, the stock remains priced for explosive growth in the near future. It fetches over 130 times consensus forward earnings, according to FactSet. Tesla’s shares, clinging to such a lofty valuation even as doubts have piled up, have been more dazzling than its vehicles.

Now, though, the bull case is running on fumes


Bees not so "threatened" after all

To listen to the Warmists you would think that there is only one species of bee and would think that it is at risk of being burnt to death by global warming.  There are in fact around 20,000 species of bee and all have their ecological niche.  Populations of European honeybees have had some difficulties in recent years but other species are thriving.  Below is a report on an Australian bee species

Flinders Biological Sciences PhD student Rebecca Dew and Associate Professor Michael Schwarz, together with Professor Sandra Rehan of the University of New Hampshire in the US, have found a rapid increase in the population size of the small carpenter bee (Ceratina australensis) from 18,000 years ago, when the climate began warming up after the last Ice Age.

Their findings, published in the latest Journal of Hymenoptera Research, show future global warming could be a good sign for at least some bees, which are major pollinators and are critical for many plants, ecosystems and agricultural crops.

“Our findings also match those from two previous studies on bees from North America and Fiji,” Ms Dew says.

“It is really interesting that you see very similar patterns in bees around the world. Different climate, different environment, but the bees have responded in the same way at around the same time.”

The small carpenter bee is found in sub-tropical, coastal and desert areas of Australia. The researchers spent almost two years conducting field analysis near Warwick in south-east Queensland, Cowra in central New South Wales, Mildura in north-west Victoria and West Beach in Adelaide.

Global warming has other potential effects on environment and ecosystems.

In another recent collaborative study between the Flinders School of Biological Sciences team,  previous Flinders research students Dr Scott Groom and Ms Carmen da Silva, Dr Daniel Silva from Brazil and Associate Professor Mark Stevens, from the South Australian Museum, showed that a bee species accidentally introduced to Fiji has become widespread and will flourish with continued global warming, perhaps even spreading to Australia and New Zealand.

“This bee, Braunsapis puangensis, is resistant to honeybee diseases and could well become an important ‘fall-back’ crop pollinator if honeybee populations continue to decline, which has become a major worry in many parts of the world, including Australia,” Associated Professor Schwarz says.

The findings, however, may not all be positive for bees globally, with other studies showing that some rare and ancient tropical bees require a cool climate to survive and, as a result, are already restricted to the highest mountain peaks of Fiji. For these species, climate warming could spell their eventual extinction.

“We now know that climate change impacts bees in major ways, but the challenge will be to predict how those impacts play out. They are likely to be both positive and negative, and we need to know how this mix will unfold,” Ms Dew says.

Ms Dew, who was previously awarded the prestigious J.H. Comstock award from the Entomological Society of America, is now investigating the populations of another species of native bee (Exoneurella tridentata) in arid areas of Australia.


Democrats Adopt a Fascist Party Plank

The Democrat Party’s totalitarian impulses have been formalized. In the final draft of this year’s party platform, the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee unanimously adopted a provision "calling on the Department of Justice to investigate alleged corporate fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies who have reportedly misled shareholders and the public on the scientific reality of climate change." In short, the attempt to criminalize dissent is now an official party plank.

The committee was led by DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD). "As Democrats, we believe that our country’s greatest strength is its people, and we’re committed to the values of inclusion and opportunity for all," Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.

Apparently Wasserman Schultz is oblivious to her own hypocrisy. There is nothing remotely inclusive about such a "my way or the prosecutorial highway" take on science that is far from settled, despite all the orchestrated hysteria by Democrats and their media enablers. Yet if Democrats wish to prosecute fraud, perhaps they should start at the top of the so-called food chain, as in government entities, not corporate ones, who have pushed an agenda in lieu of scientific fact.

Take the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, for example. German Professor Dr. Friedrich Karl Ewert, a retired geologist and data computation expert, undertook a detailed study of NASA-GISS’s temperature data series, going all the way back to 1881 and involving 1,153 stations. He discovered NASA-GISS had tampered with raw temperature data to literally invent global warming. Between 2010 and 2012 NASA-GISS altered its own data sets to show a post-WWII warming that never existed. Moreover, apart from the continent of Australia, the planet has been on a cooling trend.

The agency is not an outlier. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has also cooked the books on more than one occasion, including on ocean temperatures to make the nearly two decade warming "hiatus" disappear.

Earlier this year, at a "hottest year ever" press briefing, NOAA presented a graph ostensibly showing a 58-year long temperature record compiled by "radiosondes," which are mini weather stations with radio transmitters attached to helium or hydrogen-filled balloons that lift them to altitudes exceeding 115,000 feet. Yet NOAA’s graph showed only the last 37 of those 58 years. The omitted data? It revealed as much pre-1979 global cooling as post-1979 warming.

It also revealed NOAA’s willingness to defraud the public in pursuit of the leftist agenda.

And that’s when leftists bother pursuing data at all. Speaking to the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee, climatologist Michael Mann de-emphasized the need for climate science because global warming has become too obvious to ignore. "What is disconcerting to me and so many of my colleagues," he lamented, "is that these tools that we’ve spent years developing increasingly are unnecessary because we can see climate change, the impacts of climate change, now, playing out in real time, on our television screens, in the 24-hour news cycle."

That Mann would de-emphasize science is not surprising. That’s because his own contribution to environmental radicalism includes the now infamous temperature graph known as the "hockey stick." First published in 1999, Mann’s effort was to reconstruct the average northern hemisphere temperature over the past 1,000 years. His graph showed relatively steady temperature until the last part of the 20th century, when they allegedly began to rise dramatically — creating what looked like a hockey stick. Unfortunately for Mann, Canadian scientists Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick found a fundamental mathematical flaw in the computer program used to produce the hockey stick. In short, data that accrued to the hockey stick was emphasized and data that didn’t was suppressed.

Just like the Democrat Party would suppress — and now officially attempt to prosecute — those who disagree with them.

Unfortunately for Democrats, the sun itself is not cooperating. On June 23, for the second time in just this month, the sun went completely spotless. The blank sun is a sign the next solar minimum is on its way, leading to an increasing number of spotless days, then weeks, then months reaching a solar minimum phase around 2019 or 2020. The last time the sun entered a long phase with no sun spots was between 1645 and 1715. The so-called "Maunder Minimum" coincided with the Little Ice Age that produced a series of extraordinarily cold winters in Earth’s northern hemisphere. Some scientists believe we will experience a similar scenario in the next few years.

Are they correct? More to the point, what gives them any less credibility than fascist-minded Democrats and their government collaborators at NASA and the NOAA, or the odious coalition of 16 Democrat attorneys general who are threatening legal action and huge fines against those who refuse to abide their version of so-called Settled Science™?

In a rare show of backbone, Republicans are fighting back. "If it is possible to minimize the risks of climate change, then the same goes for exaggeration," Republican AGs wrote in a letter to their Democrat counterparts. "If minimization is fraud, exaggeration is fraud."

Yet such fraud pales in comparison to a Democrat Party willing to formally embrace the prosecution of Americans' First Amendment protections. A Democrat Party that is clearly green on the outside, but red on the inside. "The draft platform we have produced in an open and transparent manner reflects our priorities as Democrats and demonstrates our vision for this nation," states Platform Drafting Committee Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD). Those would be the priorities of suppression and/or prosecution, and the vision of an authoritarian state. Democrats? Fascists is more like it.


Federal Government Says a Farmer Broke the Law by Plowing His Land

Earlier this month a federal court in California ruled that a farmer plowing his land without a permit from the federal government is breaking the law. In 2013, the Army Corps of Engineers, without any notice or due process, ordered the owners of Duarte Nursery to cease use of their land for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act (CWA). The violation: plowing. The California court agreed with the federal government’s action, despite the fact the CWA specifically exempts normal agricultural activities like plowing from regulation.

This overreaching assertion of federal power is not an isolated incident. For decades, the EPA and the Army Corps have aggressively sought to stretch the bounds of the CWA. When Congress passed the CWA, the federal government was given regulatory authority over “navigable waters,” which the statute additionally defines as “waters of the United States.” While the word navigable may seem to have an obvious meaning to most Americans as bodies of water that can be navigated by watercraft, federal bureaucrats have identified these terms as a license for a massive regulatory land grab.

Asserting ambiguity, the EPA has tried to use the CWA language to claim control over essentially any water which eventually might find its way into a navigable waterway. They have asserted jurisdiction not just over logical sources like large tributaries of navigable waters or wetlands immediately adjacent to rivers but have tried to reach their regulatory arms to isolated puddles or dry stream beds which only see running water during large rainstorms. This overreach has been repeatedly struck down by the Supreme Court, most recently in 2001 and 2006. But these repeated rebukes have not stopped the regulators.

In June of 2015, EPA finalized yet another rule seeking to broadly define “waters of the US” under the CWA. Like its previous attempts, this rule goes well beyond any reasonable definition of “navigable waters.” The rule would require federal permits even for ditches and puddles, almost any water within the boundaries of the United States. This sort of excessive permitting requirement would impose new costs on virtually every American: not just farmers, but anyone who owns land.

Thankfully, this new rule has been put on hold nationwide for the moment by federal courts while its legality and constitutionality is challenged, but the danger remains. The bureaucrats have made clear with their repeated attempts at overreach using the CWA that they will not be dissuaded by the courts, even if this newest attempt is also struck down by the Supreme Court.

This saga shows the folly of broad grants of power to regulatory agencies. The bureaucracy cannot be trusted to use its powers with restraint. When the power of the regulatory state grows, the liberty of the American people diminishes. Reining in the power of the regulatory state should be a priority of all American citizens.


DiCaprio flies his LA friends 6,000 miles around the world so they can listen to his speech on GLOBAL WARMING

When Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio hosts a reception for a string of A-list stars, supermodels and wealthy philanthropists later this month, he will make an impassioned plea for more action to be taken on global warming.

But instead of holding the event in Los Angeles, where most of his guests are based, they will fly halfway around the world to the glitzy French resort of St Tropez – at enormous cost to the environment.

Last night, green campaigners were quick to criticise 41-year-old DiCaprio, who in February used his Best Actor acceptance speech at the Oscars to warn about the dangers posed by climate change.

The reception – the grand-sounding Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Annual Gala To Fund Climate and Biodiversity Projects – will be held on July 20 at the Bertaud Belieu Vineyards on the French Riviera.

Celebrities including Kate Hudson, Charlize Theron, Cate Blanchett, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Robert De Niro, Scarlett Johansson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kevin Spacey are all expected to attend, along with a host of international rock and pop stars, supermodels and tycoons.

And while a table seating 12 people at the gala costs up to £125,000, the real price will be paid by the environment.

If just one guest among the 500 invitees chooses to fly the 12,000-mile round trip from LA to St Tropez by private jet – a notoriously environmentally unfriendly way to travel – they will produce 86 tons of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas.

Even those who use a scheduled flight will be responsible for releasing seven tons of CO2 – leading green campaigners to ask why the event could not have been held in Hollywood or in St Tropez during May’s Cannes Film Festival, when many of the guests would have been there anyway.

Robert Rapier, an environmental analyst, said: ‘DiCaprio demonstrates why our consumption of fossil fuels continues to grow. It’s because everyone loves the combination of cost and convenience they offer.

'He believes that no sacrifice is necessary; just Government policies that can provide him with a solar-powered yacht or jet, or that give individuals low-cost renewable energy on a broad scale.’

One guest who attended last year’s gala said: ‘It’s basically a big party for Leo and his showbusiness friends and models. The models, of course, do not pay for tickets, and neither do the VIP guests – they get to have a nice big free party.’

The Mail on Sunday has learned that guests opting for the Grand Earth Protector Package – ‘prime dinner seating for 12 guests’ at a table near to DiCaprio – costs £125,000. The more frugal Earth Protector Package – seating 12 at a slightly more distant table – costs £82,000, while those content with social Siberia can choose the Ocean Steward Package, at a mere £58,000 for 12 diners.

The Titanic star – whose love of private jets is well known – has long been dogged by accusations that he fails to practise the carbon footprint-aware lifestyle he preaches.

In May, he flew by private jet to New York from France, where he had been attending the Cannes Film Festival, to receive a ‘green’ award – before flying back the following day.

The 8,000-mile round-trip churned 55 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. In the previous five months, he travelled more than 91,000 miles by plane during 18 separate trips.

Where private jets are used, the carbon dioxide emitted goes up hugely – between seven and 20 times, depending on the plane.

It is estimated DiCaprio has potentially emitted up to 418 tons of CO2 this year alone because of his globe-trotting. In contrast, the average American produces just 19 tons on flights each year.

In 2014, emails hacked from film studio Sony revealed the actor took six private flights in just six weeks, costing £138,000, though a friend insists most of his journeys were commercial.

DiCaprio – who sits on the boards of two eco-pressure groups – has previously made much of his support for environmental causes, with his foundation recently pledging more than £10 million to green projects at this year’s World Economic Forum.

In 2008 he made his own environmental documentary, The 11th Hour, which inconveniently tanked at the box office.

A source close to DiCaprio said last night that he would be flying to St Tropez on a commercial airline and not a private jet.


UK: It might seem bad now, but wait until the lights go out!

In view of the shambles engulfing our politics in all directions, it might seem appropriate that last Thursday MPs should blithely have accepted that, within a few years, our lights will go out and our economy will grind to a halt. What they allowed to be nodded through was something called the "Fifth Carbon Budget", committing us to an energy policy so insanely unworkable that it can only result in Britain committing economic suicide.

As I predicted and explained in more detail on May 14, what the MPs tacitly agreed to was that, between 2028 and 2033, we should cut our emissions of CO2 by a far greater amount than any other country in the world. We will put an end to any use of gas for cooking and heating. Sixty per cent of all our transport will be powered not by fossil fuels but by electricity. And to achieve this, we will double the amount of electricity we need (two thirds of which still comes from those same hated "carbon emitting" fossil fuels).

Parliament has now set us firmly on course for a disaster beyond all imagining

Much of this electricity, the Government fondly imagines (on advice from the fantasists on Lord Deben’s Climate Change Committee), will come from tens of thousands more lavishly subsidised wind turbines, solar farms, new nuclear power stations unlikely ever to be built and woodchips imported at vast expense from forests in North America.

Not one of the MPs who accepted this could plausibly explain what is to happen to all those electric cookers, heating systems, cars, cashpoints etc, when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. Furthermore, none seemed to notice that key ingredients in that make-believe scenario dreamt up months ago by the Climate Change Committee are based on assuming that by 2030 we shall still be in the EU, whose own energy policy is now falling apart in all directions, as Germany, Poland and other countries rush to build new coal-fired power stations.

Apart from the Global Warming Policy Foundation and 15 Tory MPs, including three former Cabinet ministers, almost no one seems to have pointed out that, whatever happens to Brexit, Parliament has now set us firmly on course for a disaster beyond all imagining.



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4 July, 2016

Upper atmosphere cooling, CO2 and bluish sunsets

Global warming causes everything and is caused by everything.  That seems to be the dogma of the Warmists.  So we must not be surprised that global warming has been drafted in to explain noctilucent clouds, or more precisely, their greater incidence in recent decades.  Their story is excerpted below. 

The problem below lies with this statement: "While increasing carbon dioxide warms the surface of the Earth, those same molecules refrigerate the upper atmosphere".  It is a conventional explanation of the well known fact that atmospheric layers above the tropopause are indeed getting colder.

So how so?  What is the theory linking CO2 to upper atmosphere cooling?  It relies on an assumption, that heat rising off the earth is blocked by tropospheric CO2 and hence is not available to warm the mesosphere and the stratosphere generally. The mesosphere is the lower part of the stratosphere.

So the big underlying assumption is to conceive CO2 as forming some sort of blanket around the earth.  A blanket would indeed keep the heat in and deny it to the stratosphere.  But CO2 is NOT a blanket.  It is just lots of separate molecules jiggling away doing their own thing.  And ANY heated atmospheric molecule will emanate its radiation in ALL directions -- not just downward towards earth.  CO2 molecules  don't have little compasses in them telling them in which direction to focus their radiations. 

So CO2 is not a blanket at all.  It will be just as likely to radiate upwards as downwards.  It will be just as likely to warm the stratosphere as the troposphere. So once again Warmism is fundamentally flawed.  CO2 does NOT explain stratospheric or mesospheric cooling.

One could argue that upward radiation is blocked by that peculiar layer called the tropopause but if we argue that way, what do we need CO2 for?  Why do we need it to explain tropospheric warming? The tropopause already does the blocking job that CO2 is supposed to do.  CO2 blocking becomes a surplus explanation that is put to death by Occam's razor. I don't think Warmists would want to go there.

So what, then, does explain the cooling of the stratosphere?  I don't really think I need to go there. I don't have to have all the explanations.  I will leave that pathology to the Warmists.  I do however have some ideas centred around the fact that column ozone levels do differ in different parts of the world: 

The stratosphere is where most of the earth's ozone is located.  And incoming solar radiation breaks it up, producing warming. Where ozone levels are falling, there would be less warming and hence a cooling trend.  And ozone levels DO appear to be falling, at least in Antarctica.  The ozone hole there was at its largest late last year -- for all that the ozone hole warriors would have us think otherwise. I have dealt with their recent fantasy about that yesterday -- including their bizarre claim about how volcanoes work

So I can firmly say is that one part of the explanation for noctilucent clouds is faulty.  The mesosphere is indeed getting cooler but global warming has nothing to do with it.

The second part of the explanation -- that methane promotes PMCs by adding moisture to the mesosphere, because rising methane oxidizes into water -- I have no quarrel with

In the summer of 1885, sky watchers around northern Europe noticed something strange. Sunsets weren’t the same any more.  The red and orange colors they were used to seeing were still there—but those familiar colors were increasingly joined by rippling waves of luminous blue.

At first they chalked it up to Krakatoa, which had erupted just two years earlier. The explosion of the Indonesian super volcano hurled massive plumes of ash and dust into the atmosphere more than 50 miles high, coloring sunsets for years after the blast.

Eventually Krakatoa’s ash settled, yet the rippling waves of luminous blue didn’t go away.  Indeed, more than 100 years later, they are shining brighter than ever.

Today we call them, "noctilucent clouds" (NLCs). They appear with regularity in summer months, shining against the starry sky at the edge of twilight. Back in the 19th century you had to go to Arctic latitudes to see them. In recent years, however, they have been sighted from backyards as far south as Colorado and Kansas.

Noctilucent clouds are such a mystery that in 2007 NASA launched a spacecraft to study them. The Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere satellite (AIM) is equipped with sensors specifically designed to study the swarms of ice crystals that make up NLCs.  Researchers call these swarms "polar mesospheric clouds" (PMCs).

A new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research (doi:10.1002/2015JD024439) confirms what some researchers have long suspected:  PMCs in the northern hemisphere have become more frequent and brighter in recent decades—a development that may be related to climate change.

At altitudes where PMCs form, temperatures decreased by 0.5 ±0.2K per decade. At the same time, water vapor increased by 0.07±0.03 ppmv (~1%) per decade.

"These results settle the decades old question of whether or not the observed long-term change in PMCs is an indicator of changing temperature or humidity," says James Russell, AIM Principal Investigator. "It’s both."

These results are consistent with a simple model linking PMCs to two greenhouse gases. First, carbon dioxide promotes PMCs by making the mesosphere colder. (While increasing carbon dioxide warms the surface of the Earth, those same molecules refrigerate the upper atmosphere – a yin-yang relationship long known to climate scientists.) Second, methane promotes PMCs by adding moisture to the mesosphere, because rising methane oxidizes into water.


Leaders ignore climate change controversy at summit …..Political correctness trumps scientific realities (1)

The North America Leaders' Summit — or what the Investor’s Business Daily editorial board aptly calls the "‘Three Amigos’ summit" — began Wednesday in Ottawa, Canada, and it involves that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau along with Barack Obama and Mexico’s Pena Nieto. According to the White House website, the trio is unveiling "[a] historic goal to achieve 50% clean power across North America by 2025."

"The administration calls it ‘ambitious,’" says Investor’s. "We call it ‘ludicrous.’" Here’s why:

"Since the U.S. accounts for three-quarters of the total energy produced by these three countries, the responsibility of living up to any such agreement would fall most heavily on the U.S. … According to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, ‘clean energy’ — nuclear, hydroelectric, solar, wind, biomass, etc. — makes up less than one-fifth of U.S. energy production. … So the only way to get there would be to dramatically increase one or all of these sources in nine years."

And even then, IBD elucidates, the problem becomes fourfold: 1. Ecofascists are opposed to an energy infrastructure that relies heavily on hydroelectric and nuclear power. 2. Even if America did decide to broaden its reliance on nuclear energy — and there are no plans to do so — the process for developing the infrastructure would take far longer than the White House’s timeframe. 3. On the remaining options — wind, solar and biomass — "production levels from these sources would have to increase something like 470% in nine years for clean energy to account for half of the nation’s energy production." Even the optimists would agree that’s an unrealistic expectation. 4. A pledge may look great on paper, but will Canada and Mexico follow through? That’s the trillion-dollar question.

"For a guy who is desperately fishing around for something to claim as a legacy," IBD concludes, "President Obama’s running around making promises that he knows will never be kept is an odd way to go about things." In other words, when it comes to Obama fulfilling his pledges, don’t hold your breath. On second thought, maybe you should. You might just save the world — and his legacy.


Leaders ignore climate change controversy at summit …..Political correctness trumps scientific realities (2)

In Wednesday’s Leaders’ Statement on a North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership, President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and Mexican President Pena Nieto agreed, "to work together to implement the historic Paris Agreement, supporting our goal to limit temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees C."

Obama told Canada’s Parliament, "This is the only planet we’ve got, and this may be the last shot we’ve got to save it!"

Underlying such assertions is the unjustified belief that climate science is well understood. According to Obama, Trudeau, and Pena Nieto, a global warming catastrophe awaits if we do not reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by quickly moving away from fossil fuels.

Yet thousands of highly qualified, independent scientists do not share this opinion. Besides their scientific publications, they have made their views known through countless newspaper editorials and open letters. Perhaps the most straight-forward was the Climate Scientists Register of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC). In the space of only three days in 2010, 142 climate experts from 22 countries endorsed the following statement:

"We, the undersigned, having assessed the relevant scientific evidence, do not find convincing support for the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide are causing, or will in the foreseeable future cause, dangerous global warming."

Among the 64 signatories from the United States were Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Professor of Physics, Founding Director, International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska; Robert W. Durrenberger, former Arizona State Climatologist and President of the American Association of State Climatologists, Professor Emeritus of Geography, Arizona State University; William Happer, Professor of Physics, Princeton University; and Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Many scientists told ICSC that they agreed with the Register but feared reprisals from their employers or activists if they publicly endorsed the statement.

Such concerns are not unjustified. Two of ICSC’s scientists have had death threats and there have been cases of academic dismissal for espousing politically incorrect views on climate change. In recent months, we have seen attempts by state legislators in California and 16 state attorneys general to criminalize some forms of ‘climate change denial.’ On June 25, the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee unanimously agreed to call for the Department of Justice to investigate corporations who disagree with political correctness on climate science.

Despite such intimidation, debate rages in the scientific community about the causes and consequences of climate change. This is well revealed by the reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). Citing thousands of peer-reviewed references published in the world’s leading science journals, NIPCC reports demonstrate that today’s climate is not unusual, and the evidence for future climate calamity is weak. The NIPCC explains how the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has ignored much of the available scientific literature that does not conform to their position on climate change and so often comes to conclusions that do not match the facts.

Statements in support of dangerous anthropogenic global warming (DAGW) by national science academies are also tainted. Not a single one that officially supports the DAGW hypothesis has demonstrated that a majority of its scientist members agree with their academy’s position. Their statements are merely the opinions of the groups’ executives, or small committees appointed by the executives.

Yet last year, the White House tweeted: "97% of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous." A few days later, Secretary of State John Kerry proclaimed, "97% of the world’s scientists tell us this is urgent."

This is unsubstantiated. There has never been a reputable, worldwide poll of scientists who study the causes of climate change that demonstrates that a majority of them support the DAGW hypothesis.

Even if someday a survey does show a scientific consensus in support of the position held dear by Obama, Trudeau, and Pena Nieto, it would still prove nothing about nature. Scientific ideas are not proven right by a show of hands, political correctness or intimidation. Were it otherwise, we would still believe that witches cause bad weather, Earth is the centre of the universe, and hand-washing is unimportant in public health.

It is not surprising that all three leaders erred in this way. They are relying on the IPCC which often labels its climate science conclusions unequivocal, or statements that cannot be wrong. In support of their position, the UN body presents empirical data. But data is always subject to interpretation, so cannot be used to prove truth.

We are best served when our leaders encourage scientists to be fearless intellectual explorers, going wherever their research leads, independent of contemporary fashion. Wednesday’s leaders’ summit did the opposite, merely reinforcing a point of view many scientists consider foolish. Citizens of all three countries deserve better.


Virgin Islands AG Drops Exxon Subpoena

The attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands withdrew his subpoena of oil giant Exxon Mobil on Wednesday afternoon, dealing the first setback to a group of Democratic officials seeking racketeering charges against the company.

Exxon told a federal court that AG Claude Walker had agreed to walk away if the company would drop a related lawsuit alleging that the subpoena violated its constitutional rights and the laws of its home state of Texas.

Walker was the third state attorney general, after New York and Massachusetts, to subpoena Exxon Mobil over allegations that it committed fraud and racketeering by misleading customers and shareholders about the risks of climate change.

Walker is the first to walk back the effort against Exxon, but he is also in litigation in Washington, D.C., over a separate subpoena sent to a libertarian nonprofit that received donations from Exxon more than a decade ago.

Both subpoenas have triggered legal action. In a federal lawsuit filed three weeks after it was subpoenaed, Exxon alleged that Walker’s subpoena violated its "rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Texas Constitution, and Texas common law."

District Judge Ed Kinkeane ordered Exxon and Walker to meet no later than July 11 to discuss "the possibilities for a prompt resolution of the case." Exxon’s filing notified the court that they’d reached an agreement to withdraw both the subpoena and the resulting lawsuit.

Walker had asked for a massive number of internal Exxon documents, including documents pertaining to its internal deliberations and projections about climate change, but also requested communications with nearly a hundred nonprofit groups.

They included conservative and libertarian advocacy groups, but also more mundane organizations such as the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Arizona State University office of climatology, and Africa Fighting Malaria.

New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey asked for communications with many of the same research and advocacy groups, including the Heritage Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Cato Institute.

Schneiderman is the leader of a group of 20 state attorneys general that have seized on reports from news organizations funded by environmentalist groups that allege that Exxon misled the public about the risks its product poses.

Exxon and other critics say it is an unconstitutional effort to use state governments’ legal authority to shut down political speech and advocacy with which the attorneys general disagree.

The attorneys general, all Democrats, have been planning the legal campaign for more than a year. When a Schneiderman aide emailed a questionnaire to other attorneys general involved in the effort, Walker said he was "eager to hear what other attorneys general are doing and find concrete ways to work together on litigation to increase our leverage."

Though Walker has withdrawn his Exxon subpoena, he also subpoenaed the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian group that used to receive Exxon funding, seeking evidence in its investigation into the company.

Walker has dropped his effort to enforce that subpoena in D.C., where CEI is based, but has not actually withdrawn it. The group is now alleging that the effort violated a DC law against lawsuits designed to censor, harass, or intimidate a public critic. A federal judge heard arguments on that motion on Tuesday.

The larger campaign was orchestrated behind the scenes with leaders of prominent environmental groups and deep-pocketed foundations that fund them and the news organizations whose reporting ostensibly spurred the investigation.

According to internal documents detailing the effort, its goals are to "delegitimize [ExxonMobil] as a political actor," "force officials to disassociate themselves from Exxon," "drive divestment from Exxon," and "to drive Exxon & climate into center of 2016 election."

Democratic lawmakers have also pressed the Justice Department to bring civil racketeering charges against Exxon over the same allegations. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has said that she referred the case to the FBI, which is deciding whether to prosecute.


Brexit’s energy lesson for California, et al.

"California’s largest utility and environmental groups announced a deal Tuesday [June 21] to shutter the last nuclear power plant in the state." This statement from the Associated Press reporting about the announced closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant should startle you. The news about shutting down California’s last operating nuclear power plant, especially after Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) had sought a 20-year extension of the operating licenses for the two reactors, is disappointing — not startling. What should pique your ire is that the "negotiated proposal," as the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) called it, is between the utility company and environmental groups—with no mention of the regulators elected to insure that consumers have efficient, effective and economical electricity.

Who put the environmental groups in charge? Not the California voters. But unelected environmental groups — and their bureaucratic friends in various government agencies — have been dictating energy policy for the most of the past decade. Regarding the "negotiated proposal," WSJ points out: "The agreement wades deeply into intricate energy procurement, environmental and rate-setting matters that are normally the exclusive jurisdiction of state agencies."

California has a goal of generating half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and environmental groups are calling for the state officials to replace Diablo’s generating capacity with "renewable power sources." Realize that this one nuclear power plant provides twice as much electricity as all of California’s solar panels combined.

Bloomberg Intelligence analysts’ research concluded that PG&E "would need 10,500 megawatts of new solar installations to replace all of Diablo Canyon’s output" and that, without including potential costs of new transmission lines or back-up resources for solar, will cost $15 billion — with totals, including decommissioning, estimated at $20 billion.

The Bloomberg report states: "PG&E will ask that customers make up any shortfall."

Actual costs, Bloomberg says: "could be lower because the company expects to compensate for lower demand and replace only part of the production." Why will there be lower demand? The WSJ explains: "the plan calls for new power sources to furnish only a portion of the electricity that Diablo Canyon generates, assuming that greater energy efficiency in the future will also curb some power demand."

All of this is announced while California is experiencing, and expecting more, blackouts due to "a record demand for energy" and because "there just aren’t enough gas pipelines for what’s needed," according to CNN Money. "Southern California," reports WSJ, "is vulnerable to energy disruptions because it relies on a complex web of electric transmission lines, gas pipelines and gas storage facilities — all running like clockwork — to get enough electricity. If any piece is disabled, it can mean electricity shortages. Gas is the state’s chief fuel for power generation, not coal. But the pipelines can only bring in about 3 billion cubic feet of working gas a day into Southern California, below the daily demand, which gets as high as 5.7 billion cubic feet."

California’s Independent System Operator, which runs the state’s power grid, therefore, has warned of "significant risk" that there may not be enough natural gas which could result in "outages for as many as 14 summer days." CNN Money reports: "Natural gas has played a bigger role for California as the state has tried to phase out coal and nuclear power" — environmental groups oppose the use of all of these three power sources.

It is expected that Diablo Canyon’s generating capacity will, in part, be replaced with more natural gas —  which is good news for fracking. Eric Schmitt, vice president of operations for the California Independent System Operator, said: "California needs more flexibility in how it generates power so it can balance fluctuating output from wind and solar projects. Gas plants can be turned off and on quickly."

As coal-fueled electricity has been outlawed in California, and environmental groups have pushed to close nuclear power plants, and routinely block any new proposed natural gas pipelines, black outs will become frequent. California’s energy demand doesn’t match solar power’s production.

This dilemma makes "energy efficiency" a key component of the environmental groups’ decrees — which parallels the European Union’s (EU) policies that were a part of Britain’s "exit" decision (known as "Brexit").

When the EU’s energy efficiency standards for small appliances were first proposed, then German EU energy commissioner, Gunther Oettinger, according to the Telegraph, said: "All EU countries agree energy efficiency is the most effective method to reduce energy consumption and dependence on imports and to improve the climate. Therefore there needs to be mandatory consumption limits for small electrical appliances." In 2014, the EU, in the name of energy efficiency, sparked public outcry in Britain when it banned powerful vacuum cleaners with motors above 1600 watts. It then proposed to "ban high powered kettles and toasters" as part of the "Eco-design Directive" aimed at reducing the energy consumption of products.

The EU’s Eco-design Directive’s specific requirements are to be published as "Implementing Measures" — which, according to, are made "as European Law Commission Regulations." It explains that this process allows the directives to "enter into force in all the member states without requiring a transcription process in their National Law. Thus they can be issued much more quickly than the usual Directive Process."

When the EU’s high-powered toaster/tea-kettle ban was announced, it became "a lightning rod for public anger at perceived meddling by Brussels" — which was seen as "intruding too much into citizens’ daily lives." When the ban was announced, retailers reported a spike, as high as 95 percent, in toaster and electric tea-kettle sales. The European overreach became such ammunition in Britain’s Brexit referendum, that Brussels stalled the ban until after the election and engaged in a now-failed public relations exercise with "green campaigners" to speak out in favor of the toaster and tea-kettle regulations that were believed to have "considerable energy saving potential."

The Brits didn’t buy it. It is reported that top of the list for "leave" voters were "EU Rules and Regulations." Matthew Elliot, chief executive of the Vote Leave campaign said: "If we vote remain we will be powerless to prevent an avalanche of EU regulations that Brussels is delaying until after the referendum."

Brussels’ toaster and tea-kettle ban, which were perceived as an assault on the British staples, has been called "bonkers" and "too barmy to be true." Specifically addressing the ban, Elliot said: "The EU now interferes with so many aspects of our lives, from our breakfast to our borders." David Coburn, a UK Independence party MEP from Scotland, who recently bought a new toaster and tea kettle grumbled: "I think I must have bought a euro-toaster, I have to put bread in it five times and it’s still pale and pasty. Perhaps it’s powered by windmills. And the kettle? Watching a kettle boil has never been so boring."

While energy efficiency directives banning Keurig coffee makers would be more likely to draw similar ridicule from Californians, there is a lesson to be learned from the Brexit decision: too much regulation results in referendums to overturn them. It is widely believed that, with Brexit and new leadership, many of the EU’s environmental regulations, including the Paris Climate Agreement, will be adjusted or abandoned.

More and more Americans are reaching the same conclusion as our British cousins about the overreach of rules and regulations. As Coburn concluded: "What we want is to let the free market reign, not this diktat by bureaucrat."


Greenie scare fails in Australia

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef named the best place in the world to visit.  Throughout the bleaching scare, tourism operators have never had any difficulty taking people to unspoiled areas of the reef

IN a much-needed boost for the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living organism has been voted the best place in the world to visit by an influential US travel site.

US News and World Report’s World’s Best Places to Visit for 2016-17 ranked the Reef No.1 ahead of Paris and Bora Bora in French Polynesia.  Sydney also made the list — at 13th.

The site described the Reef as "holding a spot on every travellers’ bucket list".

"The Great Barrier Reef is a treasure trove of once-in-a-lifetime experiences," said the description.  "Whether you’re gazing at marine life through a scuba mask, letting the tropical breeze unfurl your sail, or in a plane gliding high above it all, the possibilities for exploration are nearly limitless."

It comes after a series of sinister reports about the Reef’s future following a major coral bleaching event found to have affected extensive areas.

Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Leanne Coddington said the Reef’s first placing on the list, was a vote of confidence in its worldwide tourism appeal.

"The Great Barrier Reef is a living treasure and a major tourism drawcard for visitors to Queensland," Ms Coddington said. "It is an unrivalled experience that tens of thousands of people are enjoying every day."

Other destinations to make the top ten included Florence in Italy; Tokyo, Japan; the archealogocial capital of the Americas — Cusco in Peru; London, Rome, New York and Maui.

Cape Town in South Africa and Barcelona in Spain finished ahead of Sydney, the only other Australian location on the list.

"Expert opinions, user votes and current trends" were used to compile this list.

Last year London was No.1, Bora Bora No.2 and Barcelona third — while Sydney was placed fifth.

Ms Coddington said this year’s result reaffirmed just how important the Reef was to Australia’s tourism economy.  "It’s ours to protect and share," she said.  "Experiences like the Great Barrier Reef help inspire visitors to experience Queensland, the best address on earth."



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

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


3 July, 2016

Is the ozone "hole" shrinking at last?

As I pointed out recently, the ozone levels at Mauna Loa seem to be just oscillating across an an unchanging range, indicating no trend.  And ozone is well mixed so at least that non-trend (if not absolute levels) should also apply over the Antarctic.  And that does seem to be so.  The "hole" too just oscillates, expanding and contracting in a random way. And in October 2015 the Antarctic ozone hole reached a record size.  No shrinking there!  Which is very frustrating to Greenies.

But they were determined to find something to support their thinking so pulled together all the data they could find on the hole and tortured it with statistics.  They did something that is totally illegitimate in statistics:  Data dredging.   If you look hard enough at any set if statistics you can generally find SOME trend or correlation somewhere.  The problem is that  extending the data base in some way usually wipes out the trend or correlation.  There is a classic example of that here in a study of lynching in the American South.

So what did the authors dredge out?  It would be funny if it were not so pathetic.  They found a trend line going through the data for September only.  In Septembers since 2000, the ozone has been behaving itself, too bad about the other months of the year. How you can draw any inferences from that -- let alone the sweeping inferences they do draw -- I do not know.

And why 2000?  There's no theoretical reason.  It's just more data dredging.  It's also one of the classic tricks of chartmanship. If you are allowed to pick your starting and end points in a trend line, you can "prove" almost anything.

At the risk of beating a dead horse I will have one more laugh at these galoots.  What do they say about the VERY embarrassing October 2015 ozone hole?  They say the reading then was influenced by a volcano:  "the Calbuco eruption" in Southern Chile.  Being a suspicious soul, I looked up exactly when Calbuco erupted:  April 2015!  Something that happened in April had no effect until 6 months later!  Pull the other one! One would expect a big effect immediately after the eruption, tapering off in subsequent months.  Instead these Warmists ask us to believe the opposite happened. It's not even clever lying. 

And, anyway, volcanoes are fairly common on a global scale and it is global ozone that is supposedly affected by wicked man-made chemicals -- so how come this eruption was so unusually significant?  Was it vast?  No.  It was just a level 4 event (out of 10). Clearly blaming Calbuco is a work of desperation.  The October 2015 ozone level was just another episode in the random walk that is the ozone "hole".  The Greenies bullied us out of our best refrigerant gases for nothing.

And their crookedness and deceptions never stop

Emergence of healing in the Antarctic ozone layer

Susan Solomon et al.


Industrial chlorofluorocarbons that cause ozone depletion have been phased out under the Montreal Protocol. A chemically-driven increase in polar ozone (or "healing") is expected in response to this historic agreement. Observations and model calculations taken together indicate that the onset of healing of Antarctic ozone loss has now emerged in September. Fingerprints of September healing since 2000 are identified through (i) increases in ozone column amounts, (ii) changes in the vertical profile of ozone concentration, and (iii) decreases in the areal extent of the ozone hole. Along with chemistry, dynamical and temperature changes contribute to the healing, but could represent feedbacks to chemistry. Volcanic eruptions episodically interfere with healing, particularly during 2015 (when a record October ozone hole occurred following the Calbuco eruption).

Science  30 Jun 2016: DOI: 10.1126/science.aae0061.  See here for another summary of their findings   

Greenland ice cover now tracking above average

Top: The total daily contribution to the surface mass balance from the entire ice sheet (blue line, Gt/day).
Bottom: The accumulated surface mass balance from September 1st to now (blue line, Gt) and the season 2011-12 (red) which had very high summer melt in Greenland. For comparison, the mean curve from the period 1990-2013 is shown (dark grey). The same calendar day in each of the 24 years (in the period 1990-2013) will have its own value. These differences from year to year are illustrated by the light grey band. For each calendar day, however, the lowest and highest values of the 24 years have been left out.


"Climate System Scientist" Claims Jet Stream Crossing the Equator is Unprecedented

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Paul Beckwith has a masters degree in laser optics, which he has somehow parlayed into being a "Climate System Scientist" to spread alarmism about the climate system.

But his post "Unprecedented, Jet Stream Crosses Equator" suggests he knows little of meteorology, let alone climate.

A "jet stream" in the usual sense of the word is caused by the thermal wind, which cannot exist at the equator because there is no Coriolis force. To the extent that there is cross-equator flow at jet stream levels, it is usually from air flowing out of deep convective rain systems. That outflow often enters the subtropical jet stream, which is part of the average Hadley Cell circulation.

There is frequently cross-equatorial flow at jet stream altitudes, and that flow can connect up with a subtropical jet stream. But it has always happened, and always will happen, with or without the help of humans. Sometimes the flows connect up with each other and make it look like a larger flow structure is causing the jet stream to flow from one hemisphere to the other, but it’s in no way unprecedented.

We’ve really only known about jet streams since around WWII…one of my professors, Reid Bryson, was one of the first to advise the U.S. military that bombers flying to Japan might encounter strong head winds. The idea that something we have been observing for only several decades on a routine basis (upper tropospheric winds in the tropics) would exhibit "unprecedented" behavior is rather silly.

I especially like this portion of Paul’s post: "We must declare a global climate emergency. Please consider a donation to support my work.."

Nice touch, Mr. Beckwith.


Mulch could slow global warming: UBCO study

Something else not in the climate models

Researchers at the local campus of the University of British Columbia have discovered mulch is much more than a landscape accessory.

Craig Nichol, senior instructor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at UBC Okanagan, found using mulch in agriculture can cut nitrous oxide emissions by up to 28 per cent.

In the two-year study, emissions-recording chambers were put on bare soil and on soil covered by mulch. This was part of a larger study with Melanie Jones and Louise Nelson, also UBC researchers.

Mulched areas had a 74 per cent reduction in soil nitrates and reduced levels of nitrous oxide emissions. Nitrates are the source material for nitrous oxide emissions and can seep into groundwater, according to a UBC media release.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says nitrous oxide from soil makes up one half of agriculture emissions that contribute to global warming. Emission levels are often higher in agricultural soil because of fertilizer and manure use.

"In addition to saving water, improving soil, combatting pests and stopping weeds, wood mulch actually reduces the release of a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide," Nichol says. "Provided you are not driving great distances to obtain the mulch, it would appear that mulch could be a powerful tool in helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly if used in these agricultural systems."


NOAA 1974 - Global Cooling Will Starve the World

"The poorest nations, already beset by man-made disasters, have been threatened by a natural one: the possibility of climatic changes ...perhaps throughout the world. The implications for global food and population policies are ominous..." - NOAA, 1974

In October 1974, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published an alarming article in their quarterly magazine stating that climatologists believed a recent global cooling trend would starve the world and send the planet into another ice age.

Most forecasts of worldwide food production have been based on the assumption that global weather will stay about the same as it has been in the recent past. But it has already begun to change.

In the Sahelian zone of Africa south of the Sahara, the countries of Chad, The Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Upper Volta are enduring a drought that in some areas has been going on for more than six years now, following some 40 previous years of abundant monsoon rainfall. And the drought is spreading—eastward into Ehtiopia and southward into Dahomey, Egypt, Guinea, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, Tanzania, and Zaire.

Many climatologists have associated this drought and other recent weather anomalies with a global cooling trend and changes in atmospheric circulation which, if prolonged, pose serious threats to major food-producing regions of the world.

Annual average temperatures over the Northern Hemisphere increased rather dramatically from about 1890 through 1940, but have been falling ever since. The total change has averaged about one-half degree Centigrade, with the greatest cooling in higher latitudes. A drop of only one or two degrees Centigrade in the annual average temperature at higher latitudes can shorten the growing season so that some crops have to be abandoned. [...]

...the average growing season in England is already two weeks shorter than it was before 1950. Since the late 1950's, Iceland's hay crop yield has dropped about 25 percent, while pack ice in waters around Iceland and Greenland ports is becoming the hazard to navigation it was during the 17th and 18th centuries. [...]

Some climatologists think that if the current cooling trend continues, drought will occur more frequently in India—indeed, through much of Asia, the world's hungriest continent. [...]

Some climatologists think that the present cooling trend may be the start of a slide into another period of major glaciation, popularly called an "ice age."

This is consistent with the documented media hysteria of the 1970s about global cooling and demonstrates, contrary to alarmist arguments - that many climatologists did agree with the media's representation of a coming ice age apocalypse.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Coal company warns of mass layoffs

Murray Energy Corp. says it might lay off up to 82 percent of its workforce in September, due in part to President Obama.

Murray Energy, owned by outspoken executive and Donald Trump supporter Bob Murray, said the potential layoffs would affect 4,400 employees in six states. Murray said this week that his company has 5,356 workers, according to SNL Financial.

"These workforce reductions are due to the ongoing destruction of the United States coal industry by President Barack Obama, and his supporters, and the increased utilization of natural gas to generate electricity," the company said in a Friday statement.
"Murray Energy hopes and expects to continue operating its mines, and will retain as many employees as practicable to ensure continued operation and to fulfill its obligations to its customers."

The warnings came three days after miners in the United Mine Workers of America rejected the latest proposal for a new contract from Murray Energy and other unionized coal companies.

The coal industry employs fewer than 60,000 people, compared with the more than 80,000 jobs in 2008.

Murray has been an outspoken critic of Obama and his policies that hurt coal, calling him "the greatest destroyer America has ever had." The company frequently files lawsuits against the Obama administration for its environmental regulations.

He predicted that Trump "will be the best president of our lifetimes."



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


1 July, 2016

Is the march of the penguins over? Researchers warn climate change could kill off 60% of global Adélie populations by the end of the century

This is all reliant on the usual global warming models, that have never got anything right yet

Adélie penguins have roamed across Antarctica for millions of years. However, climate change has finally reached a 'tipping point' that could decimate their numbers, researchers have warned.

They says 30 per cent of current colonies may be in decline by 2060, and approximately 60 per cent may be in decline by 2099.

In a paper published today (June 29) in Scientific Reports, the researchers project that approximately 30 percent of current Adélie colonies may be in decline by 2060 and approximately 60 percent may be in decline by 2099.

'It is only in recent decades that we know Adélie penguins population declines are associated with warming, which suggests that many regions of Antarctica have warmed too much and that further warming is no longer positive for the species,' said the paper's lead author Megan Cimino.

The current work used satellite data and global climate model projections to understand current and future population trends on a continental scale.

'Our study used massive amounts of data to run habitat suitability models. 'From other studies that used actual ground counts--people going and physically counting penguins-- and from high resolution satellite imagery, we have global estimates of Adélie penguin breeding locations, meaning where they are present and where they are absent, throughout the entire Southern Ocean.

'We also have estimates of population size and how their populations have changed over last few decades,' explained Cimino, now a postdoctoral scholar at Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

'When we combined this data with satellite information and future climate projections on sea surface temperature and sea ice, we can look at past and future changes in Adélie penguin habitat suitability,' Cimino said.

Funded through the NASA Biodiversity program, the study is based on satellite observations from 1981-2010 of sea surface temperature, sea ice and bare rock locations, and true presence-absence data of penguin population estimates from satellite imagery.

In particular, the researchers examined the number of years from 1981-2010 with novel or unusual climate during the Adélie penguin chick-rearing period from past satellite observations and used an ensemble of global climate models to make predictions about Adélie penguin habitat suitability from 2011-2099. The team validated the models with documented population trends.

The study results suggest that climate novelty, particularly warm sea surface temperature (SST), is detrimental to Adélie penguins.

While the specific mechanisms for this relationship remain unknown, the study focuses attention on areas where climate change is likely to create a high frequency of unsuitable conditions during the 21st century.

Lynch noted that 'One of the key advances over the last decade is our ability to find penguin colonies from space and, nearly as important, to determine which areas of Antarctica do not support penguin colonies.

'Having both true presence and absence across a species' global range is unique to this system, and opens up new avenues for modeling habitat suitability.'

According to Cimino, the southern WAP, associated islands and northern WAP regions, which are already experiencing population declines, are projected to experience the greatest frequency of novel climate this century due to warm SST.

This suggests that warm sea surface temperatures may cause a decrease in the suitability of chick-rearing habitats at northerly latitudes.

'Matt and I have worked extensively at Palmer Station and we know that penguin colonies near there have declined by at least 80 percent since the 1970s.'

By contrast, the study also suggests several refugia -- areas of relatively unaltered climate -- may exist in continental Antarctica beyond 2099, which would buffer a species-wide decline.

Understanding how these refugia operate is critical to understanding the future of this species.


Leaving EU will make it harder for UK to tackle climate change, says minister

Like how?  She doesn't say. This is just propaganda.  The British stockmarket is already back to where it was before the Brexit vote and most other things should soon be back to normal too.  Britain didn't need the EU to waste a fortune on windmills

Brexit will make it harder for Britain to play its role in tackling climate change, the UK energy and climate secretary has said.

But Amber Rudd said that the UK remained committed to action on global warming and Whitehall sources have told the Guardian that on Thursday she will approve a world-leading carbon target for 2032.

"While I think the UK’s role in dealing with a warming planet may have been made harder by the decision last Thursday, our commitment to dealing with it has not gone away," Rudd told an audience in London.

"Securing our energy supply, keeping bills low and building a low carbon energy infrastructure: the challenges remain the same. Our commitment also remains the same. As I said, I think the decision last week risks making it a harder road."

She said she agreed with chancellor, George Osborne, that the UK now faced a period of uncertainty. "The decision on Thursday raises a host of questions for the energy sector, of course it does. There have been significant advantages to us trading energy both within Europe and being an entry point into Europe from the rest of the world."

She added that the UK remained committed to new nuclear, including the planned £23bn expansion of Hinkley Point in Somerset, which some observers have said is likely to become a casualty of last week’s leave vote.

Rudd’s comments on Brexit having significant ramifcations for the energy sector were at odds with her energy minister, Andrea Leadsom, a prominent Leave campaigner during the referendum.

"In my view, for energy policy I don’t believe anything will change," she said on Wednesday when asked by MPs on the committee on energy and climate change what impact Brexit would have.

"The UK’s Climate Change Act is absolutely key to our climate change objectives, we continue to be absolutely committed to those.

"In terms of interconnectors, those are businesses, those are run on commercial terms and nothing will change. In terms of cooperation on climate change and decarbonisation our own commitment remains as strong, but we never only working with EU, we were working globally."

Industry, experts and green groups broadly welcomed Rudd’s speech today.

Nick Molho, executive director of the Aldersgate Group, which represents BT, Ikea, M&S and a group of businesses supporting sustainability, said: "Coming a few days after the outcome of the EU referendum, it is positive to hear Amber Rudd highlight the importance of continuing to tackle climate change."

The leading economist Lord Stern said: "The secretary of state’s speech has provided reassurance that the long-term direction of UK climate change policy under the current government has not changed."

Sam Barker, director of the Conservative Environment Network, said: "This is a welcome intervention from the energy and climate change secretary. Ministers across this Conservative government have delivered significant environmental improvements, from planning an ambitious coal phase-out to creating the world’s largest marine reserve."

Greenpeace said that Rudd and Leadsom’s commitment to the Climate Change Act was good but action was needed. "Soothing words are not good enough. Green investor confidence in the UK was shaky before Brexit because of the government’s ever changing and incoherent policies, which neither minister seem willing to get to grips with even now," said John Sauven, the group’s executive director.

On Wednesday, the wind power industry said that the uncertainty created by Brexit meant it was time the government reconsidered its stance on onshore wind power, for which Rudd cut subsidies last year.

RenewableUK’s chief executive, Hugh McNeal, said: "It is precisely now, at this moment which is so unpredictable and uncertain, that I believe we should reflect on what we can offer; cheap, homegrown electricity able to deliver hundreds of millions of pounds of capital investment for our economy over the next few years, helping companies all over Britain just at a time when we need it most."

Separately, politicians expressed shock that Mark Reckless, a Ukip Welsh assembly member had been appointed chair of the Welsh assembly’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee. Ukip has repeatedly cast doubt on climate change science and in the 2015 general election campaigned on a manifesto promise to repeal the Climate Change Act.


German climate alarmists are wavering

The solar slowdown has freaked them -- Schellnhuber, Rahmstorf et al.

The daily Berliner Kurier here writes today that solar physicists at the ultra-warmist Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are warning that Europe may be facing "a mini ice age" due to a possible protracted solar minimum.

The Berliner Kurier writes:

That’s the conclusion that solar physicists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research reached when looking at solar activity."

For an institute that over the past 20 years has steadfastly insisted that man has been almost the sole factor in climate change over the past century and that the sun no longer plays a role, this is quite remarkable.

The Berliner Kurier reports that the PIK scientists foresee a weakening of the sun’s activity over the coming years. "That means that conversely it is going to get colder. The scientists are speaking of a little ice age."

According to the PIK scientists, the reduced solar activity will, however, not be able to stop the global warming and only brake the warming up to 2100 by 0.3°C.

Given the extreme warnings of warming and sea level rise put out by the Potsdam Institute in the past, this still represents an extraordinary admission, one that has us suspecting a major climate turnaround may be ahead – despite all the efforts by the Potsdam Institute to play it all down. Here we see them possibly setting up a global warming postponement of a couple of decades. The sun plays a role after all.

The source of the Berliner Kurier report is the Austrian weather site here. The site writes that some solar physicists suspect the current solar inactivity may be "the start of a new grand minimum" like the one the planet saw in the 17th century and left Europe in an ice box.

Though most scientists agree that the Little Ice Age took place, many dispute its extent. Some insist it was localized over the North Atlantic region. But now there are dozens of studies that show it was in fact a global event. That should make us worry.


The $108 Million Science Swindle

The House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations shed light on more government-sanctioned junk science. Among the things covered in Thursday’s oversight hearing is a startling revelation concerning the Department of the Interior that gets to the crux of climate skeptics' dissent over the supposed effects of anthropogenic warming. According to the hearing memorandum:

    "[Office of Inspector General] found that the operator of a mass spectrometer device at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Energy Resources Programs Energy Geochemistry Laboratory in Lakewood, Colorado manipulated scientific results and data between 2008 and 2014. Committee staff later learned from the OIG that the individual was the second employee to do so, and that data manipulation in the lab began in the late 1990’s. Test results from the lab are used in the Energy Resource Program’s coal and water quality assessments. The OIG noted in its report transmittal letter that the full extent of the impacts of this manipulated data are not yet known, but that they will be serious and far ranging. According to the OIG audit, projects potentially affected by the falsified data between FY08 and FY16 had received $108 million in funding. USGS permanently closed the lab in February 2016 and the scientist in question resigned in the course of the investigation."

On Thursday, Rep. Bruce Westerman said, "It’s astounding that we spend $108 million on manipulated research and then the far-reaching effects that that would have. We know how research multiplies and affects different parts of our society and our economy and … if you’re working off of flawed data it definitely could be in a bad way."

What is it ecofascists are constantly crowing? Something about how the science of "climate change" is settled? It’s especially easy to make that argument — which is scientifically flawed in any case — when the evidence is rigged. And climate alarmists have been caught again doing just that. Last week’s hearing only affirms an inconvenient truth: In government, science is far likelier to be manipulated than it is truthful.


Ecofascists Target Differences of Opinion

Here in America, Land of the Free, it ought to take actual wrongdoing for government to act against individuals and organizations. And when those in positions of authority are properly serving the people, that’s the way it works.

Alas, that is not always so. It is growing more frequent to see malfeasance by public servants who, rather than seeking out criminal or civil misbehavior, use their offices for purposes outside their scope of responsibility. Apparently, the punishment for abdicating one’s sworn duty to honorably do his/her job is insufficient — or nonexistent — to discourage bad behavior.

Perhaps the best-known recent episode of such public dis-service was the IRS harassment of conservative organizations that filed for non-profit status, a function under the control of one Lois Lerner.

During a congressional hearing investigating the affair, Lerner refused to answer questions, hiding behind the Fifth Amendment’s protection from self-incrimination, later resigning her federal position and, having avoided criminal charges, lives peacefully on her government pension.

While Lerner used her IRS position against political adversaries, public servant misbehavior also creeps into the area of harassing ideological opponents. The environmental Left’s position that burning fossil fuels significantly harms the environment is based upon evidence so weak and heavily disputed that a substantial number of Americans — perhaps a majority — reject the idea. Unable to convince people through the strength of scientific evidence, leftists resort to using the power of government to force people into line.

This time the target is ExxonMobil and a dozen independent groups that are in the crosshairs of a state prosecutor because they do not accept the idea that fossil fuels significantly damage the environment, and have had the unmitigated gall to express their opinion publicly.

Earlier this month, ExxonMobil released a copy of an April 19 subpoena filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey demanding 40 years of communications regarding climate change from the company and the organizations. Exxon has filed a motion for injunction in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, accusing Healey of waging a politically motivated fishing expedition aimed at silencing oppositional opinion on climate change.

Did Exxon engage in legally actionable fraud as Healy claims? "Fossil fuel companies that deceived investors and consumers about the dangers of climate change should be, must be held accountable," she said. She also referred to what she called the "troubling disconnect between what Exxon knew, what industry folks knew and what the company and industry chose to share with investors and with the American public."

Healy’s statement suggests that someone can be held criminally liable for knowing the Left’s argument about climate change, and then failing to discard their own opinion in favor of that argument. Merely knowing that ecofascists think fossil fuel use is harming the environment makes you legally obligated to adopt that position, even if you do not agree and, more importantly, even if there is no actual proof that assumption is correct.

Healy and her fellow travelers seem to believe that their opinion becomes truth merely because they believe it — even if it has never been proven true or valid. And if you disagree you can face legal action. Free speech and the First Amendment apparently no longer apply where climate change is concerned.

Of this poorly thought through legal fiasco, Alex Epstein, whose Center for Industrial Progress is one of the dozen organizations targeted by Healy along with Exxon, had this to say: "What ExxonMobil is being prosecuted for is expressing an opinion about the evidence that the government disagrees with. … There is a fundamental distinction in civilized society between fraud and opinion."

In his excellent book, "The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels," Epstein advances the position that fossil fuel use has provided millions and millions of people wonderful advantages in terms of higher living standards, increased life expectancy and decreased infant and child mortality. He also references the manic climate change narrative that produced repeated predictions of doom that did not materialize.

A fundamental truth in the United States is that one may hold and espouse any opinion he or she chooses, without regard to whether that opinion is true or false; it is not a crime to disagree, even if the subject is climate change.

This effort to force acceptance of the weak theory of fossil fuels damaging the environment is an initiative of "AGs United for Clean Power." This perhaps signals a coming expanded effort to silence disagreement. But it has aroused the attention of 13 attorneys general, who signed a letter to their counterparts across the country that said: "We think this effort by our colleagues to police the global warming debate through the power of the subpoena is a grave mistake."

Whether that letter will help redirect AGs tempted to the dark side or not is unknown. But it is a step in the right direction.


Greenie scare fails

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef named the best place in the world to visit.  Throughout the bleaching scare, touriswm operators have never had any difficulty taking people to unspoiled areas of the reef

IN a much-needed boost for the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living organism has been voted the best place in the world to visit by an influential US travel site.

US News and World Report’s World’s Best Places to Visit for 2016-17 ranked the Reef No.1 ahead of Paris and Bora Bora in French Polynesia.  Sydney also made the list — at 13th.

The site described the Reef as "holding a spot on every travellers’ bucket list".

"The Great Barrier Reef is a treasure trove of once-in-a-lifetime experiences," said the description.  "Whether you’re gazing at marine life through a scuba mask, letting the tropical breeze unfurl your sail, or in a plane gliding high above it all, the possibilities for exploration are nearly limitless."

It comes after a series of sinister reports about the Reef’s future following a major coral bleaching event found to have affected extensive areas.

Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Leanne Coddington said the Reef’s first placing on the list, was a vote of confidence in its worldwide tourism appeal.

"The Great Barrier Reef is a living treasure and a major tourism drawcard for visitors to Queensland," Ms Coddington said. "It is an unrivalled experience that tens of thousands of people are enjoying every day."

Other destinations to make the top ten included Florence in Italy; Tokyo, Japan; the archealogocial capital of the Americas — Cusco in Peru; London, Rome, New York and Maui.

Cape Town in South Africa and Barcelona in Spain finished ahead of Sydney, the only other Australian location on the list.

"Expert opinions, user votes and current trends" were used to compile this list.

Last year London was No.1, Bora Bora No.2 and Barcelona third — while Sydney was placed fifth.

Ms Coddington said this year’s result reaffirmed just how important the Reef was to Australia’s tourism economy.  "It’s ours to protect and share," she said.  "Experiences like the Great Barrier Reef help inspire visitors to experience Queensland, the best address on earth."



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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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. Scientists are Warmists for the money it brings in, not because of the facts

This site is in favour of things that ARE good for the environment. That the usual Greenie causes are good for the environment is however disputed. Greenie policies can in fact be actively bad for the environment -- as with biofuels, for instance

This Blog by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.), writing from Brisbane, Australia.

I am the most complete atheist you can imagine. I don't believe in Karl Marx, Jesus Christ or global warming. And I also don't believe in the unhealthiness of salt, sugar and fat. How skeptical can you get? If sugar is bad we are all dead

And when it comes to "climate change", I know where the skeletons are buried

Antarctica is GAINING mass

Warmists depend heavily on ice cores for their figures about the atmosphere of the past. But measuring the deep past through ice cores is a very shaky enterprise, which almost certainly takes insufficient account of compression effects. The apparently stable CO2 level of 280ppm during the Holocene could in fact be entirely an artifact of compression at the deeper levels of the ice cores. . Perhaps the gas content of an ice layer approaches a low asymptote under pressure. Dr Zbigniew Jaworowski's criticisms of the assumed reliability of ice core measurements are of course well known. And he studied them for over 30 years.

The world's first "Green" party was the Nazi party -- and Greenies are just as Fascist today in their endeavours to dictate to us all and in their attempts to suppress dissent from their claims.

Was Pope Urban VIII the first Warmist? Below we see him refusing to look through Galileo's telescope. People tend to refuse to consider evidence— if what they might discover contradicts what they believe.

Warmism is a powerful religion that aims to control most of our lives. It is nearly as powerful as the Catholic Church once was

Believing in global warming has become a sign of virtue. Strange in a skeptical era. There is clearly a need for faith

Some advice from the Buddha that the Green/Left would do well to think about: "Three things cannot be long hidden: The Sun, The Moon and The Truth"

Leftists have faith that warming will come back some day. And they mock Christians for believing in the second coming of Christ! They obviously need religion

Global warming has in fact been a religious doctrine for over a century. Even Charles Taze Russell, the founder of Jehovah's Witnesses, believed in it

A rosary for the church of global warming (Formerly the Catholic church): "Hail warming, full of grace, blessed art thou among climates and blessed is the fruit of thy womb panic"

Pope Francis is to the Catholic church what Obama is to America -- a mistake, a fool and a wrecker

Global warming is the predominant Leftist lie of the 21st century. No other lie is so influential. The runner up lie is: "Islam is a religion of peace". Both are rankly absurd.

"When it comes to alarmism, we’re all deniers; when it comes to climate change, none of us are" -- Dick Lindzen

The EPA does everything it can get away with to shaft America and Americans

Cromwell's famous plea: "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken" was ignored by those to whom it was addressed -- to their great woe. Warmists too will not consider that they may be wrong ..... "Bowels" was a metaphor for compassion in those days

The plight of the bumblebee -- an egregious example of crooked "science"

Inorganic Origin of Petroleum: "The theory of Inorganic Origin of Petroleum (synonyms: abiogenic, abiotic, abyssal, endogenous, juvenile, mineral, primordial) states that petroleum and natural gas was formed by non-biological processes deep in the Earth, crust and mantle. This contradicts the traditional view that the oil would be a "fossil fuel" produced by remnants of ancient organisms. Oil is a hydrocarbon mixture in which a major constituent is methane CH4 (a molecule composed of one carbon atom bonded to four hydrogen atoms). Occurrence of methane is common in Earth's interior and in space. The inorganic theory contrasts with the ideas that posit exhaustion of oil (Peak Oil), which assumes that the oil would be formed from biological processes and thus would occur only in small quantities and sets, tending to exhaust. Some oil drilling now goes 7 miles down, miles below any fossil layers

As the Italian chemist Primo Levi reflected in Auschwitz, carbon is ‘the only element that can bind itself in long stable chains without a great expense of energy, and for life on Earth (the only one we know so far) precisely long chains are required. Therefore carbon is the key element of living substance.’ The chemistry of carbon (2) gives it a unique versatility, not just in the artificial world, but also, and above all, in the animal, vegetable and – speak it loud! – human kingdoms.

David Archibald: "The more carbon dioxide we can put into the atmosphere, the better life on Earth will be for human beings and all other living things."


"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." --- Richard P. Feynman. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough - Michael Crichton

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" -- Karl Popper

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman

"The desire to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it" -- H L Mencken

'Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action' -- Goethe

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” -- Voltaire

Lord Salisbury: "No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe soldiers, nothing is safe."

Calvin Coolidge said, "If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you." He could have been talking about Warmists.

Some advice from long ago for Warmists: "If ifs and ans were pots and pans,there'd be no room for tinkers". It's a nursery rhyme harking back to Middle English times when "an" could mean "if". Tinkers were semi-skilled itinerant workers who fixed holes and handles in pots and pans -- which were valuable household items for most of our history. Warmists are very big on "ifs", mays", "might" etc. But all sorts of things "may" happen, including global cooling

Bertrand Russell knew about consensus: "The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”

There goes another beautiful theory about to be murdered by a brutal gang of facts. - Duc de La Rochefoucauld, French writer and moralist (1613-1680)

"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate" -- William of Occam

Was Paracelsus a 16th century libertarian? His motto was: "Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest" which means "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself." He was certainly a rebel in his rejection of authority and his reliance on observable facts and is as such one of the founders of modern medicine

"In science, refuting an accepted belief is celebrated as an advance in knowledge; in religion it is condemned as heresy". (Bob Parks, Physics, U of Maryland). No prizes for guessing how global warming skepticism is normally responded to.

"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus

"The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin." -- Thomas H. Huxley

Time was, people warning the world "Repent - the end is nigh!" were snickered at as fruitcakes. Now they own the media and run the schools.

"One of the sources of the Fascist movement is the desire to avoid a too-rational and too-comfortable world" -- George Orwell, 1943 in Can Socialists Be Happy?

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts -- Bertrand Russell

“Affordable energy in ample quantities is the lifeblood of the industrial societies and a prerequisite for the economic development of the others.” -- John P. Holdren, Science Adviser to President Obama. Published in Science 9 February 2001

The closer science looks at the real world processes involved in climate regulation the more absurd the IPCC's computer driven fairy tale appears. Instead of blithely modeling climate based on hunches and suppositions, climate scientists would be better off abandoning their ivory towers and actually measuring what happens in the real world.' -- Doug L Hoffman

Something no Warmist could take on board: "Knuth once warned a correspondent, "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it." -- Prof. Donald Knuth, whom some regard as the world's smartest man

"To be green is to be irrational, misanthropic and morally defective. They are the barbarians at the gate we have to stand against" -- Rich Kozlovich

“We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.“ – Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation

“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Leftists generally and Warmists in particular very commonly ascribe disagreement with their ideas to their opponent being "in the pay" of someone else, usually "Big Oil", without troubling themselves to provide any proof of that assertion. They are so certain that they are right that that seems to be the only reasonable explanation for opposition to them. They thus reveal themselves as the ultimate bigots -- people with fixed and rigid ideas.


This is one of TWO skeptical blogs that I update daily. During my research career as a social scientist, I was appalled at how much writing in my field was scientifically lacking -- and I often said so in detail in the many academic journal articles I had published in that field. I eventually gave up social science research, however, because no data ever seemed to change the views of its practitioners. I hoped that such obtuseness was confined to the social scientists but now that I have shifted my attention to health related science and climate related science, I find the same impermeability to facts and logic. Hence this blog and my FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC blog. I may add that I did not come to either health or environmental research entirely without credentials. I had several academic papers published in both fields during my social science research career

Update: After 8 years of confronting the frankly childish standard of reasoning that pervades the medical journals, I have given up. I have put the blog into hibernation. In extreme cases I may put up here some of the more egregious examples of medical "wisdom" that I encounter. Greenies and food freaks seem to be largely coterminous. My regular bacon & egg breakfasts would certainly offend both -- if only because of the resultant methane output

Since my academic background is in the social sciences, it is reasonable to ask what a social scientist is doing talking about global warming. My view is that my expertise is the most relevant of all. It seems clear to me from what you will see on this blog that belief in global warming is very poorly explained by history, chemistry, physics or statistics.

Warmism is prophecy, not science. Science cannot foretell the future. Science can make very accurate predictions based on known regularities in nature (e.g. predicting the orbits of the inner planets) but Warmism is the exact opposite of that. It predicts a DEPARTURE from the known regularities of nature. If we go by the regularities of nature, we are on the brink of an ice age.

And from a philosophy of science viewpoint, far from being "the science", Warmism is not even an attempt at a factual statement, let alone being science. It is not a meaningful statement about the world. Why? Because it is unfalsifiable -- making it a religious, not a scientific statement. To be a scientific statement, there would have to be some conceivable event that disproved it -- but there appears to be none. ANY event is hailed by Warmists as proving their contentions. Only if Warmists were able to specify some fact or event that would disprove their theory would it have any claim to being a scientific statement. So the explanation for Warmist beliefs has to be primarily a psychological and political one -- which makes it my field

And, after all, Al Gore's academic qualifications are in social science also -- albeit very pissant qualifications.

A "geriatric" revolt: The scientists who reject Warmism tend to be OLD! Your present blogger is one of those. There are tremendous pressures to conformity in academe and the generally Leftist orientation of academe tends to pressure everyone within it to agree to ideas that suit the Left. And Warmism is certainly one of those ideas. So old guys are the only ones who can AFFORD to declare the Warmists to be unclothed. They either have their careers well-established (with tenure) or have reached financial independence (retirement) and so can afford to call it like they see it. In general, seniors in society today are not remotely as helpful to younger people as they once were. But their opposition to the Warmist hysteria will one day show that seniors are not completely irrelevant after all. Experience does count (we have seen many such hysterias in the past and we have a broader base of knowledge to call on) and our independence is certainly an enormous strength. Some of us are already dead. (Reid Bryson and John Daly are particularly mourned) and some of us are very senior indeed (e.g. Bill Gray and Vince Gray) but the revolt we have fostered is ever growing so we have not labored in vain.

A Warmist backs down: "No one knows exactly how far rising carbon concentrations affect temperatures" -- Stefan Rahmstorf, a scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Jimmy Carter Classic Quote from 1977: "Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of coal and permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power.


Today’s environmental movement is the current manifestation of the totalitarian impulse. It is ironic that the same people who condemn the black or brown shirts of the pre WW2 period are blind to the current manifestation simply because the shirts are green.

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

97% of scientists want to get another research grant

Hearing a Government Funded Scientist say let me tell you the truth, is like hearing a Used Car Salesman saying let me tell you the truth.

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

David Brower, founder Sierra Club: “Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license"

To Greenies, Genghis Khan was a good guy, believe it or not. They love that he killed so many people.

Greenie antisemitism

After three exceptionally cold winters in the Northern hemisphere, the Warmists are chanting: "Warming causes cold". Even if we give that a pass for logic, it still inspires the question: "Well, what are we worried about"? Cold is not going to melt the icecaps is it?"

It's a central (but unproven) assumption of the Warmist "models" that clouds cause warming. Odd that it seems to cool the temperature down when clouds appear overhead!

To make out that the essentially trivial warming of the last 150 years poses some sort of threat, Warmists postulate positive feedbacks that might cut in to make the warming accelerate in the near future. Amid their theories about feedbacks, however, they ignore the one feedback that is no theory: The reaction of plants to CO2. Plants gobble up CO2 and the more CO2 there is the more plants will flourish and hence gobble up yet more CO2. And the increasing crop yields of recent years show that plantlife is already flourishing more. The recent rise in CO2 will therefore soon be gobbled up and will no longer be around to bother anyone. Plants provide a huge NEGATIVE feedback in response to increases in atmospheric CO2

Every green plant around us is made out of carbon dioxide that the plant has grabbed out of the atmosphere. That the plant can get its carbon from such a trace gas is one of the miracles of life. It admittedly uses the huge power of the sun to accomplish such a vast filtrative task but the fact that a dumb plant can harness the power of the sun so effectively is also a wonder. We live on a rather improbable planet. If a science fiction writer elsewhere in the universe described a world like ours he might well be ridiculed for making up such an implausible tale.

Greenies are the sand in the gears of modern civilization -- and they intend to be.

The Greenie message is entirely emotional and devoid of all logic. They say that polar ice will melt and cause a big sea-level rise. Yet 91% of the world's glacial ice is in Antarctica, where the average temperature is around minus 40 degrees Celsius. The melting point of ice is zero degrees. So for the ice to melt on any scale the Antarctic temperature would need to rise by around 40 degrees, which NOBODY is predicting. The median Greenie prediction is about 4 degrees. So where is the huge sea level rise going to come from? Mars? And the North polar area is mostly sea ice and melting sea ice does not raise the sea level at all. Yet Warmists constantly hail any sign of Arctic melting. That the melting of floating ice does not raise the water level is known as Archimedes' principle. Archimedes demonstrated it around 2,500 years ago. That Warmists have not yet caught up with that must be just about the most inspissated ignorance imaginable. The whole Warmist scare defies the most basic physics. Yet at the opening of 2011 we find the following unashamed lying by James Hansen: "We will lose all the ice in the polar ice cap in a couple of decades". Sadly, what the Vulgate says in John 1:5 is still only very partially true: "Lux in tenebris lucet". There is still much darkness in the minds of men.

The repeated refusal of Warmist "scientists" to make their raw data available to critics is such a breach of scientific protocol that it amounts to a confession in itself. Note, for instance Phil Jones' Feb 21, 2005 response to Warwick Hughes' request for his raw climate data: "We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Looking for things that might be wrong with a given conclusion is of course central to science. But Warmism cannot survive such scrutiny. So even after "Climategate", the secrecy goes on.

Most Greenie causes are at best distractions from real environmental concerns (such as land degradation) and are more motivated by a hatred of people than by any care for the environment

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

‘Global warming’ has become the grand political narrative of the age, replacing Marxism as a dominant force for controlling liberty and human choices. -- Prof. P. Stott

Comparing climate alarmist Hansen to Cassandra is WRONG. Cassandra's (Greek mythology) dire prophecies were never believed but were always right. Hansen's dire prophecies are usually believed but are always wrong (Prof. Laurence Gould, U of Hartford, CT)

The modern environmental movement arose out of the wreckage of the New Left. They call themselves Green because they're too yellow to admit they're really Reds. So Lenin's birthday was chosen to be the date of Earth Day. Even a moderate politician like Al Gore has been clear as to what is needed. In "Earth in the Balance", he wrote that saving the planet would require a "wrenching transformation of society".

For centuries there was a scientific consensus which said that fire was explained by the release of an invisible element called phlogiston. That theory is universally ridiculed today. Global warming is the new phlogiston. Though, now that we know how deliberate the hoax has been, it might be more accurate to call global warming the New Piltdown Man. The Piltdown hoax took 40 years to unwind. I wonder....

Motives: Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Policies: The only underlying theme that makes sense of all Greenie policies is hatred of people. Hatred of other people has been a Greenie theme from way back. In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991, p. 104) published by the "Club of Rome", a Greenie panic outfit, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." See here for many more examples of prominent Greenies saying how much and how furiously they hate you.

After fighting a 70 year war to destroy red communism we face another life-or-death struggle in the 21st century against green communism.

The conventional wisdom of the day is often spectacularly wrong. The most popular and successful opera of all time is undoubtedly "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Yet it was much criticized when first performed and the unfortunate Bizet died believing that it was a flop. Similarly, when the most iconic piece of 20th century music was first performed in 1913-- Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- half the audience walked out. Those of us who defy the conventional wisdom about climate are actually better off than that. Unlike Bizet and Stravinsky in 1913, we KNOW that we will eventually be vindicated -- because all that supports Warmism is a crumbling edifice of guesswork ("models").

Al Gore won a political prize for an alleged work of science. That rather speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Jim Hansen and his twin

Getting rich and famous through alarmism: Al Gore is well-known but note also James Hansen. He has for decades been a senior, presumably well-paid, employee at NASA. In 2001 he was the recipient of a $250,000 Heinz Award. In 2007 Time magazine designated him a Hero of the Environment. That same year he pocketed one-third of a $1 million Dan David Prize. In 2008, the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented him with its Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award. In 2010 he landed a $100,000 Sophie Prize. He pulled in a total of $1.2 million in 2010. Not bad for a government bureaucrat.

See the original global Warmist in action here: "The icecaps are melting and all world is drowning to wash away the sin"

I am not a global warming skeptic nor am I a global warming denier. I am a global warming atheist. I don't believe one bit of it. That the earth's climate changes is undeniable. Only ignoramuses believe that climate stability is normal. But I see NO evidence to say that mankind has had anything to do with any of the changes observed -- and much evidence against that claim.

Seeing that we are all made of carbon, the time will come when people will look back on the carbon phobia of the early 21st century as too incredible to be believed

Meanwhile, however, let me venture a tentative prophecy. Prophecies are almost always wrong but here goes: Given the common hatred of carbon (Warmists) and salt (Food freaks) and given the fact that we are all made of carbon, salt, water and calcium (with a few additives), I am going to prophecy that at some time in the future a hatred of nitrogen will emerge. Why? Because most of the air that we breathe is nitrogen. We live at the bottom of a nitrogen sea. Logical to hate nitrogen? NO. But probable: Maybe. The Green/Left is mad enough. After all, nitrogen is a CHEMICAL -- and we can't have that!

UPDATE to the above: It seems that I am a true prophet

The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) must have foreseen Global Warmism. He said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

The Holy Grail for most scientists is not truth but research grants. And the global warming scare has produced a huge downpour of money for research. Any mystery why so many scientists claim some belief in global warming?

For many people, global warming seems to have taken the place of "The Jews" -- a convenient but false explanation for any disliked event. Prof. Brignell has some examples.

Global warming skeptics are real party-poopers. It's so wonderful to believe that you have a mission to save the world.

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

The claim that oil is a fossil fuel is another great myth and folly of the age. They are now finding oil at around seven MILES beneath the sea bed -- which is incomparably further down than any known fossil. The abiotic oil theory is not as yet well enough developed to generate useful predictions but that is also true of fossil fuel theory

Help keep the planet Green! Maximize your CO2 and CH4 output!

Global Warming=More Life; Global Cooling=More Death.

The inconvenient truth about biological effects of "Ocean Acidification"

Cook the crook who cooks the books

The great and fraudulent scare about lead

Green/Left denial of the facts explained: "Rejection lies in this, that when the light came into the world men preferred darkness to light; preferred it, because their doings were evil. Anyone who acts shamefully hates the light, will not come into the light, for fear that his doings will be found out. Whereas the man whose life is true comes to the light" John 3:19-21 (Knox)

Against the long history of huge temperature variation in the earth's climate (ice ages etc.), the .6 of one degree average rise reported by the U.N. "experts" for the entire 20th century (a rise so small that you would not be able to detect such a difference personally without instruments) shows, if anything, that the 20th century was a time of exceptional temperature stability.

Recent NASA figures tell us that there was NO warming trend in the USA during the 20th century. If global warming is occurring, how come it forgot the USA?

Warmists say that the revised NASA figures do not matter because they cover only the USA -- and the rest of the world is warming nicely. But it is not. There has NEVER been any evidence that the Southern hemisphere is warming. See here. So the warming pattern sure is looking moth-eaten.

The latest scare is the possible effect of extra CO2 on the world’s oceans, because more CO2 lowers the pH of seawater. While it is claimed that this makes the water more acidic, this is misleading. Since seawater has a pH around 8.1, it will take an awful lot of CO2 it to even make the water neutral (pH=7), let alone acidic (pH less than 7).

In fact, ocean acidification is a scientific impossibility. Henry's Law mandates that warming oceans will outgas CO2 to the atmosphere (as the UN's own documents predict it will), making the oceans less acid. Also, more CO2 would increase calcification rates. No comprehensive, reliable measurement of worldwide oceanic acid/base balance has ever been carried out: therefore, there is no observational basis for the computer models' guess that acidification of 0.1 pH units has occurred in recent decades.

The chaos theory people have told us for years that the air movement from a single butterfly's wing in Brazil can cause an unforeseen change in our weather here. Now we are told that climate experts can "model" the input of zillions of such incalculable variables over periods of decades to accurately forecast global warming 50 years hence. Give us all a break!

If you doubt the arrogance [of the global warming crowd, you haven't seen that Newsweek cover story that declared the global warming debate over. Consider: If Newton's laws of motion could, after 200 years of unfailing experimental and experiential confirmation, be overthrown, it requires religious fervor to believe that global warming -- infinitely more untested, complex and speculative -- is a closed issue

Scientists have politics too -- sometimes extreme politics. Read this: "This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism... I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child." -- Albert Einstein

The "precautionary principle" is a favourite Greenie idea -- but isn't that what George Bush was doing when he invaded Iraq? Wasn't that a precaution against Saddam getting or having any WMDs? So Greenies all agree with the Iraq intervention? If not, why not?

A classic example of how the sensationalist media distort science to create climate panic is here.

There is a very readable summary of the "Hockey Stick" fraud here

The Lockwood & Froehlich paper was designed to rebut Durkin's "Great Global Warming Swindle" film. It is a rather confused paper -- acknowledging yet failing to account fully for the damping effect of the oceans, for instance -- but it is nonetheless valuable to climate atheists. The concession from a Greenie source that fluctuations in the output of the sun have driven climate change for all but the last 20 years (See the first sentence of the paper) really is invaluable. And the basic fact presented in the paper -- that solar output has in general been on the downturn in recent years -- is also amusing to see. Surely even a crazed Greenie mind must see that the sun's influence has not stopped and that reduced solar output will soon start COOLING the earth! Unprecedented July 2007 cold weather throughout the Southern hemisphere might even have been the first sign that the cooling is happening. And the fact that warming plateaued in 1998 is also a good sign that we are moving into a cooling phase. As is so often the case, the Greenies have got the danger exactly backwards. See my post of 7.14.07 and very detailed critiques here and here and here for more on the Lockwood paper and its weaknesses.

As the Greenies are now learning, even strong statistical correlations may disappear if a longer time series is used. A remarkable example from Sociology: "The modern literature on hate crimes began with a remarkable 1933 book by Arthur Raper titled The Tragedy of Lynching. Raper assembled data on the number of lynchings each year in the South and on the price of an acre’s yield of cotton. He calculated the correla­tion coefficient between the two series at –0.532. In other words, when the economy was doing well, the number of lynchings was lower.... In 2001, Donald Green, Laurence McFalls, and Jennifer Smith published a paper that demolished the alleged connection between economic condi­tions and lynchings in Raper’s data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his anal­ysis in 1929. After the Great Depression hit, the price of cotton plummeted and economic condi­tions deteriorated, yet lynchings continued to fall. The correlation disappeared altogether when more years of data were added." So we must be sure to base our conclusions on ALL the data. In the Greenie case, the correlation between CO2 rise and global temperature rise stopped in 1998 -- but that could have been foreseen if measurements taken in the first half of the 20th century had been considered.

Relying on the popular wisdom can even hurt you personally: "The scientific consensus of a quarter-century ago turned into the arthritic nightmare of today."

Greenie-approved sources of electricity (windmills and solar cells) require heavy government subsidies to be competitive with normal electricity generators so a Dutch word for Greenie power seems graphic to me: "subsidieslurpers" (subsidy gobblers)

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