GREENIE WATCH MIRROR

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



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

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2 September, 2014

Eating meat is causing 'dangerous climate change', claim scientists

Malthus lives again. Some historically unsophisticated prophecy from the University of Cambridge's department of ENGINEERING (!) below.  Just off the top of my head let me point out three large factors that they overlook: 

1). If we do get the warming they foresee, vast areas of Canada and Siberia (Siberia is 50% larger than CONUS and also covers a  range of latitudes) could be opened to grain production -- and grain is an important feed for both animals and humans.  If the Japanese can grow rice in icy Hokkaido (which they do) much must be possible with the Northern lands. 

2).  They assume that the population will grow or at least remain static.  But as affluence increases births tend to fall.  They are already well below replacement in the developed world.  So Population SHRINKAGE is the most likely scenario by 2050. 

3). The food production problem in the developed world has long been one of glut.  TOO MUCH food is the big problem -- leading to extensive efforts by almost all Western government to REDUCE food production.  Taking off those hobbles would see food production soar just from presently used land


Eating less meat is 'essential' to ensure future demand for food can be met and 'dangerous' climate change avoided, experts have warned.

A study by leading university researchers in Cambridge and Aberdeen found food production alone could exceed targets for greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 if current trends continue.

Population growth and the global shift towards 'meat-heavy Western diets' has meant increasing agricultural yields will not meet projected food demands for an expected 9.6 billion world population in 30 years, according to the researchers.

Increased deforestation, fertiliser use and livestock methane emissions are likely to cause greenhouse gas emissions from food production to rise by almost 80 per cent, experts from the University of Cambridge and University of Aberdeen found.

Lead researcher Bojana Bajzelj, from the University of Cambridge's department of engineering, said: 'Agricultural practices are not necessarily at fault here - but our choice of food is.

'It is imperative to find ways to achieve global food security without expanding crop or pastureland.  'Food production is a main driver of biodiversity loss and a large contributor to climate change and pollution, so our food choices matter.'

He added: 'Cutting food waste and moderating meat consumption in more balanced diets, are the essential 'no-regrets' options.'

According to the study in Nature Climate Change, current trends in food production will mean that by 2050 cropland will have expanded by 42 per cent and fertiliser use increased by 45 per cent over 2009 levels.

A further tenth of the world's pristine tropical forests would disappear over the next 35 years, it said.

The study's authors tested a scenario where all countries were assumed to have an 'average' balanced diet - without excessive consumption of sugars, fats, and meat products.

The average balanced diet used in the study was a 'relatively achievable goal', the researchers said, which included two 85-gram (0.2 pounds) portions of red meat and five eggs per week, as well as a portion of poultry a day.

'This significantly reduced the pressures on the environment even further,' they said.

Co-author Professor Pete Smith, from the University of Aberdeen, said: 'Unless we make some serious changes in food consumption trends, we would have to completely de-carbonise the energy and industry sectors to stay within emissions budgets that avoid dangerous climate change.

'That is practically impossible - so, as well as encouraging sustainable agriculture, we need to re-think what we eat.'

Cambridge co-author Prof Keith Richards said: 'This is not a radical vegetarian argument; it is an argument about eating meat in sensible amounts as part of healthy, balanced diets.

'Managing the demand better, for example by focusing on health education, would bring double benefits - maintaining healthy populations, and greatly reducing critical pressures on the environment.'

SOURCE  






Obama AWOL again – on energy terrorism

The president fails to prepare for anything, except vacation, golf and climate change

Paul Driessen

Four news stories in four days sum up the Obama presidency and help explain why the world and U.S. economy are in such a mess. President Obama just returned from his two-week beach and golf vacation at Martha’s Vineyard. It took him a month from the time special forces located journalist James Foley to approve a rescue mission – by which time Foley had been moved (and was subsequently beheaded).

Mr. Obama may pursue a sweeping international climate change deal that bypasses Congress. But on dealing with ISIS terrorist butchers months after they swept through Iraq, “We don’t have a strategy yet.”

President Obama has ordered limited air strikes to “contain” (but not defeat) Islamic State terrorists who have shot, crucified and beheaded thousands of men, women and children in Iraq and Syria. However, he still has no plans for protecting the United States from the energy terrorism that jihadists are planning.

The president’s failure to “connect the dots,” to see and prepare for potentially devastating attacks on U.S. and global citizens and energy supplies, is an inexcusable threat to our security. Preparations for massive energy terrorist attacks around the world are increasingly open and obvious. Now that Mr. Obama is back in the White House for a few days, hopefully to deal with real crises literally exploding around the world (from the Middle East to Afghanistan to Nigeria and beyond), let me connect some dots for him.

With Iraqi and other oil fields in jihadist hands, petroleum has become the mother’s milk of Islamic terrorism. Along with drug trafficking and bank robbery, it provides financing to arm, feed, train and pay terrorists on a scale that makes Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blood Diamond loot look like chump change. 

Islamic State butchers are raking in an estimated $2 million or more every day by selling oil on the black market, from wells they have seized in Iraq and Syria.  “This could fetch them more than $730 million a year, enough to sustain operations far beyond Iraq,” Iraq Energy Institute Director Luay al-Khatteeb told CNN in late August. More captured Syrian oil fields could raise ISIS oil revenue to $1.2 billion a year, says Theodore Karasik, research director at the think tank INEGMA in Dubai. Or worse.

ISIS conquest of Iraqi Kurdistan’s Kirkuk area could boost the terrorists’ oil production from 30,000 barrels a day now to as much as 1 million barrels a day: $11 billion a year, if they can peddle their oil at (say) a way-below-market $30 per barrel to countries that are naïve, support terror or ignore human rights.

That could buy unfathomable terrorism – on levels portended by a laptop computer that moderate Syrian forces found in an ISIS hideout. Amid some 34,000 files, it includes manuals on car theft, disguises and bomb making, documents on how to develop biological weapons and “weaponize” bubonic plague, and a radical Muslim cleric’s fatwa justifying weapons of mass destruction, “even if it wipes them and their descendants off the face of the Earth.” Detonate the bio-bombs in malls, air conditioning intakes and similar places, the manuals advise. With laboratories in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria now in ISIS hands, these neo-SS lunatics could well turn their caliphate dreams into Western World nightmares.

Even just a few such attacks would shut down commerce, the way 9/11 and the DC sniper did.

Should the Islamic State conquer the rest of Iraq and other Arab and Muslim lands, it could also cause major oil price increases that would cripple economies worldwide. By then vastly wealthier than Genghis Khan, such an empowered Islamic State could even decide to impose an oil embargo on the U.S. and other nations – as Arab oil exporters did for six months in 1973 and 1974, with devastating effects. 

Other terrorist groups are fighting to control oil and natural gas supplies elsewhere. And Qatar – whose oil and gas have made it the richest country in the world, on a per capita basis – is acting as the terrorists’ ATM, bankrolling their activities, while playing the “good-guy” host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

So what can America do to prepare? First, recognize the threat and develop a strategy – not just to contain ISIS, but to eliminate its threats. Mr. Obama has already missed several opportunities, but the U.S. has the necessary capabilities. He needs to use them, and find some leadership skills to rally and recruit allies.

Second, secure our southern border. A friendly border control agent chatted me up ten days ago about the $10 poster I was bringing back from Canada. His attentiveness to the Quebec-NY border was gratifying. But meanwhile thousands are still streaming across our Mexican border, with minimal safeguards, despite reports of Korans, prayer rugs and English-Arabic dictionaries being found on these “immigrant” trails. (As to offending Hispanics, they don’t want to get blown up or murdered with bubonic plague, either.)

Third, develop more U.S. oil and natural gas – and persuade Europe to start fracking. The United States consumed 18.6 million barrels of oil a day in 2013, the U.S. Energy Information Administration says. Better vehicle fuel mileage, other energy conservation efforts and the Obama economy have reduced oil imports from 12.6 million barrels per day in 2005 to 7.5 million this year. But even though America’s oil (and natural gas) production continues to climb, we still import about one-third of our oil.

Reducing foreign oil dependence can be accomplished via continued energy conservation, switching to natural gas, building more nuclear and coal power to generate electricity for hybrid and electric cars, and brewing more ethanol and biodiesel (while ignoring their food, economic and environmental costs). But these will barely make a dent, compared to more drilling and fracking on onshore and offshore federal, state and private lands – and pipelining more oil from our stable neighbor and longtime ally, Canada.

Unfortunately, President Obama has thus far been loath to do any of this. Yes, domestic oil and gas production has risen under his watch. However, the increase has come from state and private lands, while production has fallen significantly on lands under federal government control.

President Obama and many Democrats in Congress and state governments continue to oppose drilling for oil off our East and West Coasts, and in Alaska and our Western states. They oppose construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which could safely transport 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada (plus Montana and North Dakota oil) to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, thereby reducing risks of more rail accidents. Many of these same Democrats also oppose hydraulic fracturing, which could greatly increase U.S. oil and gas production for many decades to come.

Tapping into our nation’s vast oil and natural gas supplies would even allow us to export oil, natural gas and refined products. That would help our allies and trading partners become less dependent on terror-sponsoring oil producers and Russian “oiligarch” blackmailers – until they can get their act together on fracking. Such sales would also reduce our trade deficit and create much-needed American jobs.

History shows that even today’s friendly oil producers can become tomorrow’s adversaries. We were importing 554,000 barrels of oil a day from Iran, at the peak in 1978, before Islamic extremists took the country over and held our diplomats hostage. Our imports from Persia have been zero ever since.

Too many “environmentalists” reflexively oppose all oil and natural gas production, all the time. They refuse to admit that we cannot slash our reliance on these two fuels from 64% today to zero in a few years – and cannot bring new oil and gas supplies online in just a few years, in the midst of a crisis.

Khalid A. Al-Falih, CEO of Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producing company, recently told an energy conference in Norway that even without terrorist threats the world will need to produce 40 million more barrels of oil a day within the next 20 years – just to replace what we are depleting. Finding enough to supply billions of people striving to rise up out of abject poverty will take far more than that.

Instead of waiting for an energy 9/11 to hit, President Obama and members of Congress are duty-bound to act now on all these steps, and more, to protect America’s national security. They must stop ignoring the imminent and growing threats of energy and energy-funded terrorism that America and the world face – before we run out of time to prepare for and prevent the potential onslaughts.

The president, Secretary of State John Kerry, EPA and too many politicians are too focused on overblown dangers from climate change. They need to wake up to the terrorist train that is raging toward us.

Via email





Vulnerable Dem slams Obama over UN climate change effort

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) says Obama's plans to get a "politically binding" international climate agreement endorsed by the United Nations next year is "fruitless" for a president whose popularity is lagging even at home.

"It is fruitless for this Administration — or any Administration — to negotiate agreements with the rest of the world when it cannot even muster the support of the American people," Rahall said Wednesday in a statement.

"This Administration's go it alone strategy is surely less about dysfunction in Congress than about the President's own unwillingness to listen to our coal miners, steelworkers, farmers, and working families," he added.

The Democrat, a 19-term House veteran, is distancing himself from Obama as he fights for his political career against Republican state Sen. Evan Jenkins in West Virginia, where the president's energy policy is deeply unpopular. The Cook Political Report, an online election handicapper, rates his race a "toss up."

As reported by The New York Times Wednesday, the Obama administration is working to expand an international accord to address climate change, which most scientists say is exacerbated by human activity.

The current gridlock in Congress would likely preclude the possibility that the Senate would ratify a new treaty. Officials, though, are planning to sidestep Congress by pushing for a "politically binding" deal, in lieu of a legally binding accord, the Times reported.

Republicans wasted no time hammering Obama over the news, saying it's another instance of the administration abusing its power.

"Unfortunately, this would be just another of many examples of the Obama administration’s tendency to abide by laws that it likes and to disregard laws it doesn’t like — and to ignore the elected representatives of the people when they don’t agree,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement.

Rahall agrees, and he's letting Obama — and West Virginia voters — know it.

"Whether it's the regulatory overreaches that would shut coal out of our energy mix, or this latest end-run around Congress on climate change, these actions cannot stand," he said. "I will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do everything we can to stop them."

Jen Psaki, a spokesperson for the State Department, said Wednesday that the criticisms are premature, and that the administration has not ruled out the possibility of seeking Senate approval.

"Not a word of the new climate agreement currently under discussion has been written, so it is entirely premature to say whether it will or won’t require Senate approval," Psaki said in a statement. "Our goal is to negotiate a successful and effective global climate agreement that can help address this pressing challenge.

"Anything that is eventually negotiated and that should go to the Senate will go to the Senate," she added. "We will continue to consult with Congress on this important issue."

SOURCE 







Six Threats Bigger Than Climate Change

The Obama administration talks global warming as the world burns.

Secretary of State John Kerry said during his January 2013 confirmation hearings that he would be a "passionate advocate" on climate-change issues, and he's living up to that promise. In a speech this month in Hawaii, Mr. Kerry called climate change "the biggest challenge of all that we face right now." Not 10, 20 or 100 years from now—right now.

If only Mr. Kerry were right. Unfortunately, America faces much bigger immediate challenges and threats than climate change. Our enemies around the world are intent on harming us—right now. America's secretary of state should worry more about them and less about the Earth's temperature decades from now.

US Secretary of State John Kerry Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Here's a list of a few challenges, all of which pose a greater threat to the world than climate change. It might help the president and his colleagues understand why Mr. Obama's foreign-policy approval rating is about 36%, according to an August poll by Gallup.

* Iraq is a greater challenge than climate change. While the president now likes to pretend that he didn't force a total withdrawal of U.S. troops, Americans remember his 2008 campaign promise to do exactly that. When the U.S. leaves a vacuum, others will fill it. The barbaric Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, is trying to build a base of operations in Iraq and Syria from which to attack the U.S. and its allies. The recent beheading of American journalist James Foley showed how serious ISIS is about "drowning" our nation in blood, as the group said in the video of the murder posted on YouTube.

* Afghanistan. The administration says it still intends to pull out the remaining 30,000 troops by the end of 2016. If it does, the country will quickly become a terrorist haven once again. As with Iraq, the timetable seems to be mostly about the political calendar. The Obama administration seems to have lost the will to win. The terrorists have not.

* Russia. President Obama was so intent on "resetting" U.S. relations with the Kremlin that he telegraphed a lack of resolve. President Vladimir Putin has only become more aggressive. That's led to Russian troops in Ukraine and Russian-supplied weapons shooting a passenger plane out of the sky.

* An Iranian nuclear weapon. America's enemies have shown they are content to stall for time, while President Obama gets distracted. That's what's happening as the president continues to negotiate indefinitely on Iran's illicit nuclear program. An Obama administration desperate to strike a deal is likely to strike a bad one. It could leave in place an enrichment program that would be a pathway to a nuclear-armed Iran.

* Syria. It has been more than three years since President Obama said the time had come for President Bashar Assad to step aside. The administration drew a "red line" on the use of chemical weapons, then did nothing when Assad crossed that line last summer. ISIS already has strongholds in Syria, while the Free Syrian Army desperately needs more U.S. assistance.

* North Korea. The North Koreans continue to test nuclear weapons. They have held multiple tests of missile technology designed to reach the continental U.S. President Obama has done nothing at all about this.

The White House has said its foreign policy rule is "don't do stupid stuff," but putting climate change ahead of global threats fails that simple test. The United Nations will hold yet another conference on climate change next month, while the world burns.

The greatest threat to Americans "right now" is not climate change. The greatest threat is people with the intent and capacity to do us harm—and the president's failure to lead the fight against them. Mr. Kerry's fixation on climate change is one reason America's friends no longer trust us and our enemies no longer fear us. The world is growing more dangerous as a result.

SOURCE 






Has the tide turned on polar bears as icons of global warming?

The CBC in Canada is pretty much a mirror image of the BBC in the UK, ABC in Australia and PBS in the US. So you might appreciate my shock at the almost unbelievable balance contained in the recently broadcasted CBC documentary, “The Politics of Polar Bears: Tracking the Celebrity Bear.”

The film is a profound change from the hype and pessimism that has dominated the polar bear issue in Canada and abroad, supported unchallenged by the CBC. Finally, TV viewers were given some decently balanced perspective on the status of polar bears in  Western Hudson Bay.

If the take-away message tipped towards reason and optimism rather than panic over the status of polar bears, it’s because the evidence was strongly in that direction.

Representatives of a range of views got their say in this film: gloom-and-doom conservation biologists, pragmatic polar bear scientists, on-the-ground conservation officers, polar bear attack victims, activist organizations, Churchill residents, Inuit hunters, the Canadian government, and the Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG).

True, the CBC did air it live only in Manitoba — and on Saturday night of the most popular get-away long weekend of the year in Canada (our last grasp at summer before winter sets in). So the audience for the live broadcast was likely quite small.

But they did post the video online, which was where I saw it last night.

If you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest you set aside the 45 minutes (no commercials), to view it with your morning coffee, lunch, or evening popcorn – I think you’ll find it as engrossing as I did.

The interview segments with polar bear biologist Mitch Taylor (Lakehead University) were especially compelling. The audience was left to decide for itself which scientist was the more credible: the guy (Taylor) who was kicked out of the PBSG after decades of service for daring to ask questions about alarmist polar bear population predictions and the veracity of sea ice models — or the guy in charge of the PBSG when Taylor was ousted (Andrew Derocher, University of Alberta), who insisted on camera that sea ice predictions are all that matter for polar bear conservation and stated, with a straight face: “scientifically, there is no debate” that polar bears are endangered.

I wasn’t interviewed for the program but I think you’ll see my influence – in fact, I think this broadcast makes it official that I’ve reached “s[he] who must not be named” status on the polar bear issue [see here and here, for background on how that phenomenon was applied to fellow Canadian Steve McIntyre's criticisms of certain aspects of global warming science].

In the film, Reg Sherren (without naming me or this blog), quoted the damning sentence from the email that was sent to me (and only to me) by the chairman of the PBSG on 22 May 2014 (which I reported here) regarding their intended footnote for their global polar bear population estimate:

“It is important to realize that this range never has been an estimate of total abundance in a scientific sense, but simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand.” [my bold]

[I noticed, by the way, that in the film Derocher quoted the “20,000-25,000” population estimate without any qualifiers whatsoever — see my follow-up on the PBSG's "sanitized" version of that footnote here.  Sherren did it for him.]

Oh, there were things that perhaps could have been included in the program that were left out – issues that I (and others) have raised over the years – but overall, it really was thing of beauty and certainly not what you’d expect from the CBC.

Maybe, just maybe, the tide is starting to change on the wave of hysteria that has overtaken polar bears.

However, I expect that truly transparent, unbiased science in the field of polar bear science is still a ways off.

SOURCE 






How The Green Energy Transition Is Destroying Germany’s Nature

Fritz Vahrenholt

Germany’s climate and energy policy is the main threat to bio-diversity. Politicians, however, have closed their eyes from the distructive effects of the rampant expansion of renewable energy.

Dankwart Guratzsch has convincingly described the destruction of the environment by the energy transition in these pages. The mayor of Tübingen, Boris Palmer (Green Party), responded in an article, saying: “Everything is not so bad. The impact of wind farms on nature is almost zero … The only relevant negative aspect of wind power is the optical … Many wind farms attract visitors, who do not find repulsive.”

What a devastating form of denial by the Green mayor. But he shares the fatal disregard for the destruction of nature with many greens who – helped by the WWF and Greenpeace – open up forests and premium areas of natural beauty for businesses and belittle the intrusion by wind turbines into nature.

More and more citizens are beginning to realise how the green energy transition is at odds with nature conservation and environmental protection in Germany. A grassroot protest movement has started with thousands of local citizens’ initiatives, barely connected with each other, who are against the planting of biofuels far and wide and which is destroying biodiversity, against the threats to indigenous birds by wind turbines built in forests, and against the devastation of unique cultural and landscape areas by photovoltaic excesses.

A biodiversity disaster

Of Germany’s 115 most common bird species, 51 have declined significantly in the last 20 years. The head of the biosphere reserve in Schorfheide, Martin Flade, speaks of a “biodiversity disaster” which is due to “the hectic climate, energy and agricultural policy: In the corn farmland birds have no chance – the field processing falls in the breeding season, and later they hardly find any insects to eat in these mono-cultures. Of the 30 most common species, there are just four that could hold their numbers, all the rest are declining since at least since 2007.”

The Lesser Spotted Eagle, also called Pomerania Eagle, became extinct in Saxony-Anhalt last year. Only 108 breeding pairs remain in Germany. It finds less and less food in the declining grassland and open meadow. The distances between breeding sites and food areas are getting longer and are also increasingly endangered by wind turbines.

Notably countries with Green Party ministers (North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Wurttemberg, Brandenburg and Hessen) have approved regulations which open the use of forests for wind turbines. To place a wind farm every 500 meters in the forest, six meter wide open lanes have to be cut through the forest in order to transport the 100-ton turbines and to maintain them later. Around each turbine, a five-acre open area must be created to lift the blades by giant cranes.

Wind farms in pristine forests

What a wind farm forest looks like can now be seen in many parts of Germany – for instance around Soonwaldsteig, a part of the Hunsrück, one of the last great, largely untouched forest areas in Rhineland-Palatinate with high biodiversity and the presence of numerous highly endangered species. There, the project developer Juwi has erected eight wind turbines in the middle of a forest – despite public protests – and then sold the park to an Austrian energy supplier. Faced with the images of demonstrating citizens, the Green minister Evelin Lemke could only come up with: “Without climate protection, there will be no more biodiversity here.”

But a policy that overestimates the dangers of climate change and that subordinates all other policy objectives, including nature conservation, whatever the cost, generates resistance. The Soonwaldsteig has become a nationwide focal point of citizens’ initiatives against the use of wind power in sensitive areas.

Today, 200,000 dead bats are found under wind turbines annually. The clever animals locate the rotors, fly through them and in the lee behind the turbines, where the air pressure decreases sharply, the bats’ lungs burst. Particularly affected are the noctule, the Serotine, the Small Noctule or the parti-colored bat. The female bat only gives birth to one or two young per year, thus these useful insectivores are endangered by a further uncontrolled construction of new wind turbines.

The red kite is acutely threatened

Following the review of the German Council for Bird Preservation (DRV) and the umbrella organization of German Avifaunists (DDA, 2012), the Red Kite is also in particular danger. After an investigation by the State Ornithological Institute of Brandenburg, the Red Kite is no longer safe in this state with its 3,200 wind turbines. About 300 Red Kites are killed annually in Brandenburg alone by wind turbines.

The decline of the red kites since 2005 in West Germany is striking, as Klaus Richarz, former head of the State Ornithological Institutes for Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, has warned. For him too, windmills built in the habitats of kites are fatal for the birds. The protection of the Red Kite is of special obligation for Germany, because a large percentage of the global population of the birds live in Germany. If you like, it is the real national bird of Germany.

In his hard-hitting article “From the energy transition to biodiversity disaster” Martin Flade, the recognized bird expert, describes climate protection and energy policy as a “major threat to biological diversity”. He concludes: “Overall, you have to draw the bitter conclusion that effects of climate change on biodiversity are hardly detectable; the effects of climate and energy policies, however, are dramatic.”

The problem with intermittent wind turbines

Tübingen’s mayor Boris Palmer demands: “We need to double the number of currently 25,000 wind turbines in order to supply Germany.” What a mistake!
Even 50,000 wind turbines only lead to massive surpluses if the wind blows. Wind turbines have on average around 2,500 full load hours per year, but the year has 8,760 hours. In times of no wind, no electricity is generated, even if one multiplies the number of facilities. Zero times x is zero. The intermittency of renewable energy such as wind and solar require either backup fossil power plants or energy storage capacities.

Storage technologies can only do this tasks with excessive costs. Without fossil power plants to balance the intermittency of renewable energy there will be no guaranteed power supply in Germany, with fatal consequences for the competitiveness of German industry and the manufacturing industry.

It should also be known to the Greens that the expansion of renewable energy due to Germany’s Renewable Energy Law is completely ineffective in terms of CO2 emissions in Europe. The CO2 emissions in Europe are determined solely by the capping of the emissions trading scheme. New wind and solar power, in fact, set more emission allowances free.

These certificates float through the stock exchanges to coal power plants in other EU countries where they allow further increase in CO2 emissions which amount to the same level as the reductions in Germany. Besides additional costs for citizens and the devastation of nature, any expansion of renewable energy will not achieve a single ton of CO2 reduction.

Assumptions of climate policy are flawed

Fossil fuel power plants are not an alternative for Boris Palmer and the Greens because they cause climate change, claiming that “some nature reserves, but also some urban areas cannot be saved from rising sea levels, drought and floods and devastating storms”.

But there are growing signs that the assumptions used for German and European climate policy are flawed. Surprisingly, no global temperature increase has occurred for about 15 years. However, computer models used by climate scientists had predicted a temperature rise of 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade.

In early 2013, 17 renowned climate scientists came to the conclusion that the climate sensitivity of greenhouse gases should be significantly reduced. Hans von Storch, researcher from the Helmholtz Centre in Geesthacht, admits: “First option: global warming is weaker because the greenhouse gases, especially CO2, have a lower impact than assumed. That does not mean that there is no man-made greenhouse effect, only that our influence on the climate system would not be as strong as expected. The other possibility: In our simulations we have underestimated how much the climate varies due to natural causes “.

In fact, there are good reasons for the global warming pause. Solar activity has reached a maximum in the second half of the last century. But since the last eleven-year solar cycle, solar activity has decreased dramatically, the solar maximum exited very quickly. The current solar cycle 24 is the weakest in 200 years.

Ocean currents shift into cold phase

Another crucial error by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was its failure to take into account the 60-year-old oceanic-atmospheric cycle of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). The ocean currents change in 30-year intervals between warm and cold phases. They are now moving into a cold phase in which they will remain until 2035. The natural temperature rise in the past was also blamed on CO2, and so scientists got the wrong predictions.

Yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas; it causes a warming of about 1.1 degrees Celsius per doubling of its concentration. But catastrophic global warming of three to six degrees Celsius this century, which justifies energy policies that threaten the existence of local wildlife, is not to be feared.

The sacrifice of German forests may do for wind energy what the battle against the Whyl nuclear power plant was for Germany’s nuclear energy. None of the political parties represented in the German parliament intends to end this attack on the environment. However, the Green Party would feel the impact most if the growing protest movement against the destruction of nature were to raise this threat onto the political agenda.

SOURCE 

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

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1 September, 2014

Warmists invent magic ice

It melts and gets thicker at the same time, apparently.  There are lots of findings that antarctic ice is increasing -- e.g. here but the galoots below say it has been increasingly melting

Sea levels around Antarctica have been rising a third faster than the global average, a clear sign of high meltwater runoff from the continent's icesheet, scientists said on Sunday.

Satellite data from 1992 to 2011 found the sea surface around Antarctica's coast rose by around eight centimetres (3.2 inches) in total compared to a rise of six cm for the average of the world's oceans, they said.

The local increase is accompanied by a fall in salinity at the sea surface, as detected by research ships.

These dramatic changes can only be explained by an influx of freshwater from melting ice, warned the study.  "Freshwater is less dense than salt water, and so in regions where an excess of freshwater has accumulated, we expect a localised rise in sea level," said Craig Rye from Britain's National Oceanography Centre, who led the probe.

The estimate of ice loss and the precise source of it are hard to pin down, though.  According to the team's computer model, around 350 billion tonnes a year of freshwater influx, plus or minus 100 billion tonnes, would explain the rise.

This estimate puts together freshwater from the ground-based icesheet and also from the thinning of ice shelves -- floating ice that is attached to the coast and created by glaciers disgorging from the icesheet.

Most of the meltwater is being discharged around the Antarctic peninsula -- the giant finger of land that juts towards South America -- and in the Amundsen Sea.

"Accelerating discharge from the Antarctic icesheet has had a pronounced and widespread impact on the adjacent subpolar seas over the past two decades," said the study.

The stability of the Antarctic ice sheet is one of the big factors in the global warming equation.  The biggest single source of freshwater in the world, it would drown many coastal cities if a large part of it were to melt.

Getting an accurate fix on this risk, though, is bedevilled by unknowns, partly because the icesheet is also gaining mass in some places through greater snowfall.

SOURCE




“Sustainable” and superficial

By Donald J. Boudreaux

The pervasive proclamations issued by government officials, college professors, U.N. bureaucrats and Hollywood entertainers in favor of “sustainability” sound nice. But slogans aren't solutions. Merely declaring support for a good result hardly amounts to a serious analysis of how to make that result a reality.

The “sustainability” movement is populated with too many people who commit the classic offense against good economics: They assume that nothing exists except that which is immediately visible to the untrained eye.

Consider a favorite cause of the sustainability movement: locavorism. Champions of “sustainability” assert that, because local foods don't have to be shipped very far to their final consumers, such foods are more “sustainable” than are foods grown and raised at great distances from where they are consumed.

This analysis appears sound to people who are blind to all but the resources used to transport foods from farms to dining tables. Yet transportation consumes only a small portion of the resources required to feed us. Labor, fuel, water, irrigation equipment, tractors and other farm tools, fertilizers, pesticides, packaging and (of course) land must also be used.

What effect would eating only locally grown foods have on the use of these other resources? Locavores seldom ask this question.

Fortunately, this question has been asked by sensible economists.In their splendid 2012 book, “The Locavore's Dilemma,” Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu conclude that the ecologically and economically best diet is one with foods from all across the globe. Among the most important reasons is that the amount of resources required to eat only locally grown foods would be stupendous.

Some lands and local environments are better suited than are other lands and local environments to growing particular kinds of crops. Obviously, South Florida is better suited to growing citrus than is Western Pennsylvania. This fact, however, doesn't mean that Pennsylvanians couldn't grow all of their own citrus. They could indeed do so if they were to build many huge hothouses.

Yet not only would such hothouses divert land in Pennsylvania from other valuable uses, these hothouses would have to be heated — a very energy-intensive procedure. We can be reasonably certain that the fuel costs of heating such hothouses are greater than the fuel costs of shipping oranges from Florida to Pennsylvania. The reason for our certainty is that if the transportation costs were greater than the costs of heating the hothouses, Pennsylvania farmers could earn profits by growing citrus in hothouses. These farmers would be able to sell their crops to Pennsylvania supermarkets at prices lower than the prices that those supermarkets now pay to stock their shelves with citrus fruits from Florida.

But in reality, no farmers in Pennsylvania grow citrus in hothouses — a pretty good sign that the amount of resources required to operate citrus hothouses there is greater than the amount of resources used to ship citrus to Pennsylvania from Florida.

What's true for citrus is true for wheat, peas, beef, pork, you name it. The lowest-cost place for producing any particular type of food is seldom close to home.

SOURCE 





British schools warned of solar panel fire risk: Fears over free green scheme after three mystery blazes

British Gas has launched an investigation into solar panels at dozens of schools and businesses after a series of mystery fires.

Some 92 schools that signed up for free panels have been told their equipment will need improvements before it is considered safe to use.

It comes after solar panel fires in three schools were confirmed by British Gas following a tip-off to The Mail on Sunday.

Although an investigation after the first two was ruled 'inconclusive', it is believed the energy giant was forced to carry out improvements when a third roof blaze damaged two classrooms at Sutton Bonington Primary School in Nottinghamshire.

More than 90 schools and 27 business fitted with the suspect equipment have been left without free solar energy since April. The news is likely to come as a blow to Energy Minister Greg Barker, who the same month unveiled plans to put solar panels on the roofs of 24,000 schools.

British Gas has stressed that 160 other schools fitted with earlier versions of the panels are unaffected and that household ones are safe. A spokesman for Nottinghamshire County Council said the panels had been installed as part of British Gas's Generation Green project, which gives schools free equipment in return for a Government green subsidy payment.

A British Gas spokesman would not reveal the cost of the shutdown, although sources say it could run 'well into six figures' once compensation – for the extra cost of mains electricity – is included.

Gab Barbaro, managing director of British Gas Business Services, said: 'Safety is our number one priority. Following an incident in April, we decided to turn off solar panels at certain non-domestic sites as a precaution while we undertook a full investigation.

No one was hurt and we have worked with independent experts to establish the cause. 'As a further precautionary step, we are upgrading part of the solar installations at these sites.'

Professor Stuart Irvine, director of Glyndwr University's Centre for Solar Energy Research, said panel fires were unusual. He added: 'The cause here may lie in wiring or junction boxes, where power is converted for the grid, rather than the panels themselves.

'There's an argument that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) needs to look at this. We must make sure there's adequate testing of components and sufficient protection for buyers.' A spokesman for the DECC said: 'As legal action is pending, it would not be appropriate to comment.'

SOURCE






Australia: The crazy world of Renewable Energy Targets

Nothing makes sense about Renewable Energy Targets, except at a “Bumper-Sticker” level. Today the AFR front page suggests* the federal government is shifting to remove the scheme (by closing it to new entrants) rather than just scaling it back. It can’t come a day too soon. Right now, the Greens who care about CO2 emissions should be cheering too. The scheme was designed to promote an  industry, not to cut CO2.

UPDATE: Mathias Cormann later says “that the government’s position was to “keep the renewable energy target in place” SMH.  Mixed messages indeed.

We’ve been sold the idea that if we subsidize “renewable” energy (which produces less CO2) we’d get a world with lower CO2 emissions. But it ain’t so. The fake “free” market in renewables does not remotely achieve what it was advertised to do — the perverse incentives make the RET good for increasing “renewables” but bad for reducing CO2, and, worse, the more wind power you have, the less CO2 you save. Coal fired electricity is so cheap that doing anything other than making it more efficient is a wildly expensive and inefficient way to reduce CO2. But the Greens hate coal more than they want to reduce carbon dioxide. The dilemma!

The RET scheme in Australian pays a subsidy to wind farms and solar installations. Below, Tom Quirk shows that this is effectively a carbon tax (but a lousy one), and it shifts supply — perversely taxing brown coal at $27/ton, black coal at $40/ton and gas at up to $100/ton. Because it’s applied to renewables rather than CO2 directly, it’s effectively a higher tax rate for the non-renewable but lower CO2 emitters.

Calculating the true cost of electricity is fiendishly difficult. “Levelized costs” is the simple idea that we can add up the entire lifecycle cost of each energy type, but it’s almost impossible to calculate meaningful numbers. Because wind power is fickle, yet electricity demand is most definitely not, the real cost of wind power is not just the construction, maintenance and final disposal, but also the cost of having a gas back-up or expensive battery (give-us-your-gold) storage. It’s just inefficient every which way. Coal and nuclear stations are cheaper when run constantly rather than in a stop-start fashion (just like your car is). So the cost of renewables also includes the cost of shifting these “base load” suppliers from efficient to inefficient use — and in the case of coal it means producing more CO2 for the same megawatts. South Australia is the most renewable-dependent state in mainland Australia, and it’s a basketcase (look at the cost stack below). Real costs only come with modeling, and we all know how difficult that is.

If the aim is really the research and development of renewables (and not “low CO2?) then I’ve long said that we should pay for the research and development directly, not pay companies to put up inefficient and fairly useless versions in the hope that companies might earn enough to pay for the research out of the profits. Tom Quirk points out that it’s all frightfully perverse again, because most innovations come from industry, not government funded research, but in Australia we hardly have any industry making parts used in power generation — we don’t have the teams of electrical engineers working on the problem anymore. I suppose the theory is that Chinese companies will profit from solar panels and do the R&D for us (keeping “our” patents too)? It would be cheaper just to gift them the money direct wouldn’t it — rather than pay an industry to produce and install a product that no one would buy, which doesn’t work, and hope that the “profits” translate into discoveries that will produce royalties and jobs for people overseas. I’m sure Chinese workers and entrepreneurs will be grateful. Yay.

Meanwhile, Green fans have suddenly discovered the idea of sovereign risk (where were they while the Rudd-Gillard team blitzed Australia’s reputation for stable, predictable policy?). According to the AFR, the government is scornful (and rightly so):

"The government source said the market was oversupplied with energy and there was no longer any cause for a mandated use of any specific type of power. The source said while there would be investment losses if the RET was abolished, or even scaled back, investors “would have to have been blind to know this wasn’t coming’’.

On Catalaxy files, Judith Sloan mocks the Fin for pushing a press release from a rent-seeking firm, and guesses the Abbott government will be too “gutless” to ditch this economic and environmental dog of a policy.

More HERE  (See the original for links)





Shaking, Quaking, and Freezing

By Alan Caruba

Have you noticed how much earthquake and volcanic activity has been occurring lately?

There was a major earthquake in Napa, California on Sunday, August 24th as well as considerable volcanic activity from Iceland to Papua, New Guinea. August was also a month that set records for colder U.S. temperatures.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there were some 1,097 “low max” temperature records broken in the U.S. between August 1 and August 23, meaning that the maximum temperature during that time period was the lowest it has ever been. NOAA reported that summer across much of the U.S. has been colder than normal.

Most of us, after decades of global warming predictions that became more and more absurd, rising sea levels drowning Manhattan and Miami, an upsurge in hurricanes, forest fires, and every other calamity, have concluded that none of these things have happened in the volume or intensity predicted. In the 70s we were told the Earth would get colder. In the 80’s and 90’s we were told it would get warmer.

A new book is advising us to prepare for a serious cold spell that is not only going to arrive in twenty to thirty years, but will likely stay around to become the next ice age. This time, though, the prediction is based on well-established climate cycles and the behavior of the Sun that was known as far back as Galileo’s day.

The new “normal” is colder weather and this is because the Sun’s sunspot activity has been in a cyclical decline since about 1998, producing the latest cooling cycle for the Earth.

In combination with the earthquakes and volcanic activity, says John L. Casey’s new book, “Dark Winter: How the Sun is Causing a 30-Year Cold Spell” ($24.95, Humanix Books, Boca Raton, FL) what we’re really looking at is a repeat of the Dalton Minimum, a solar sunspot minimum that occurred between 1793 and 1830. His earlier book, “Cold Sun” addressed this cyclical phenomenon.

Casey asks “Will we also experience volcanic activity that will add to the solar cooling?” and the answer, given the fifty active volcanoes around the world, is that “We should expect to deal with multiple geological disasters, including volcanoes and earthquakes, during the next solar hibernation.” We have in fact already entered that “hibernation.”

Casey is the president of the Space and Science Research Corporation. It specializes in independent research regarding the coming decades of cold weather. For thirty-five years Casey has been active in science and high tech industries. He has been a national space policy advisor to the White House and Congress, and a former space shuttle engineer, consultant to NASA headquarters.

Casey has formulated a “Bicentennial Cycle of 206 years correlated with near 100 percent accuracy to every major cold-temperature period of the past 1,200 years.” His Theory of “Relational Cycles of Solar Activity” accounts for its effects and those of other solar cycles.

He is not the first scientist to recognize the relationship of diminished sunspot activity and cooling cycles, but he is the first to have synthesized the earlier work of others who made comparable observations. His Relational Cycles theory, however, is more specific than preceding ones, pegging the arrival of significant global cold climate to begin as early as 2024 or as late as 2036. “My math says 2031” says Casey.

Casey’s book is a prediction of a coming ice age that will have devastating effects for all life on Earth, but my readers know I have been writing about this for several years based on Robert W. Felix’s book, “Not By Fire, But By Ice” ($15.95, Sugarhouse Publishing, Bellevue, WA). I have frequently referenced his website http://iceagenow.info, for its daily updates on cold weather events, records established and broken, and reports on volcanic and earthquake activity around the world.

Before I proceed, the reader should contemplate the fact that not one single child entering or returning to school this year has ever lived in a period of “global warming.” The cooling cycle began around 1997.

You do not need to be a meteorologist to know nothing humans do affects or alters the weather. The claim that “greenhouse gases” such as carbon dioxide are making the Earth warmer is false.

We have been experiencing this as the Earth has cooled, along with increased volcanic activity and earthquakes, and yet on September 23rd the United Nations will hold a “Climate Change Summit” that will be attended by more than a hundred of the world’s presidents and prime ministers. They will continue the greatest international scientific fraud ever perpetrated.

Despite the cooling cycle that is occurring and which will grow in intensity, the U.S. government has devoted billions to global warming research and, as Casey notes, “not one research dollar has been dedicated to the science and planning needed for the United Sates to be prepared for the only climate change that we can expect—a long and potentially dangerous cold climate!”

The U.S. is not taking the steps necessary for the cold that is coming. It has not only failed to encourage the use of our multi-generational reserves of coal, the Obama administration has declared “war” on it, putting several hundred plants out of business, reducing the amount of electricity the nation needs now and will require. Power plants and refineries cannot be built overnight and the lack of them will severely impact our lives and the economy.

Despite thousands of miles of pipelines that safely distribute oil and natural gas, Obama has refused to permit a new one, Keystone XL, for oil to be shipped to gulf state refineries from Canada. Railroad cars needed to transport food crops in a timely manner are being diverted to transport oil. No new nuclear plants are being built on a scale that will be needed. The “grid” that distributes electricity nationwide is in vital need of repair and expansion.

Cold weather will reduce the amount of crops needed to feed the nation’s human population and the stocks of cattle, pigs, sheep, and chickens upon which we depend. This will happen here and worldwide. Famine will be rampant. In countless ways ours and worldwide societies that depend on all manner of technology will be impacted.

Nations and people will fail to prepare for what is coming because (1) they have been deceived by the global warming hoax and (2) we will be leaving behind one of the longest climate cycles other than an ice age, the interglacial warm period. Casey notes that “For the past 11,000 years, we have been living in one of these rare interglacial periods, called the Holocene warm period.”

What we call civilization is the result of the Holocene warm period and, without it, civilization and a global population nearing or surpassing eight billion will be largely decimated as the next, entirely predictable, ice age occurs.

SOURCE





Brazil Presidential Candidate Silva Moots Price on Carbon

Brazilian presidential candidate Marina Silva plans to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions and implement a national carbon market if elected, according to policy proposals released on Friday.

In the document, the coalition behind Silva's candidacy said the measures would help Brazil rein in emissions, which are on the verge of rising again after years of successfully being cut.

Brazil had reduced its carbon emissions from 2.85 billion tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) in 1995 to 1.48 billion in 2012, mainly due to a sharp reduction in deforestation after the adoption of tougher legislation and a satellite-based system to monitor forest loss.

But large increases in thermal power generation and agricultural production have recently threatened to reverse the trend.

Besides carbon pricing and the carbon market, Silva's coalition plans to use tax tools to encourage the use of cleaner energy, enforce a halt on forest losses, and implement financial compensation for landowners who preserve biodiversity.

The Brazilian presidential race was upended by the late entry of Silva, a popular environmentalist, following the death of her party's previous candidate, Eduardo Campos, in a plane crash on Aug. 13.

Talking to journalists after the announcement of the proposals Friday, Silva said that she would deepen Brazil's commitment to reduce heat-trapping gases at the Paris round of climate talks, in 2015, when a new global deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol is expected to be clinched.

Brazil's current target is to reduce these gases by up to 39 percent against projected trends by 2020.

SOURCE

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

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


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This site is in favour of things that ARE good for the environment. That the usual Greenie causes are good for the environment is however disputed.

Context for the minute average temperature change recorded: At any given time surface air temperatures around the world range over about 100°C. Even in the same place they can vary by nearly that much seasonally and as much as 30°C or more in a day. A minute rise in average temperature in that context is trivial if it is not meaningless altogether. Warmism is a money-grubbing racket, not science.

By John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.), writing from Brisbane, Australia.





WISDOM:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Calvin Coolidge said, "If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you." He could have been talking about Warmists.

Some advice from long ago for Warmists: "If ifs and ans were pots and pans,there'd be no room for tinkers". It's a nursery rhyme harking back to Middle English times when "an" could mean "if". Tinkers were semi-skilled itinerant workers who fixed holes and handles in pots and pans -- which were valuable household items for most of our history. Warmists are very big on "ifs", mays", "might" etc. But all sorts of things "may" happen, including global cooling

Bertrand Russell knew about consensus: "The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”

There goes another beautiful theory about to be murdered by a brutal gang of facts. - Duc de La Rochefoucauld, French writer and moralist (1613-1680)

"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate" -- William of Occam

"In science, refuting an accepted belief is celebrated as an advance in knowledge; in religion it is condemned as heresy". (Bob Parks, Physics, U of Maryland). No prizes for guessing how global warming skepticism is normally responded to.

"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus

"The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin." -- Thomas H. Huxley

Time was, people warning the world "Repent - the end is nigh!" were snickered at as fruitcakes. Now they own the media and run the schools.

"One of the sources of the Fascist movement is the desire to avoid a too-rational and too-comfortable world" -- George Orwell, 1943 in Can Socialists Be Happy?

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts -- Bertrand Russell

“Affordable energy in ample quantities is the lifeblood of the industrial societies and a prerequisite for the economic development of the others.” -- John P. Holdren, Science Adviser to President Obama. Published in Science 9 February 2001

The closer science looks at the real world processes involved in climate regulation the more absurd the IPCC's computer driven fairy tale appears. Instead of blithely modeling climate based on hunches and suppositions, climate scientists would be better off abandoning their ivory towers and actually measuring what happens in the real world.' -- Doug L Hoffman

Something no Warmist could take on board: "Knuth once warned a correspondent, "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it." -- Prof. Donald Knuth, whom some regard as the world's smartest man

"To be green is to be irrational, misanthropic and morally defective. They are the barbarians at the gate we have to stand against" -- Rich Kozlovich


ABOUT:

This is one of TWO skeptical blogs that I update daily. During my research career as a social scientist, I was appalled at how much writing in my field was scientifically lacking -- and I often said so in detail in the many academic journal articles I had published in that field. I eventually gave up social science research, however, because no data ever seemed to change the views of its practitioners. I hoped that such obtuseness was confined to the social scientists but now that I have shifted my attention to health related science and climate related science, I find the same impermeability to facts and logic. Hence this blog and my FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC blog. I may add that I did not come to either health or environmental research entirely without credentials. I had several academic papers published in both fields during my social science research career

Update: After 8 years of confronting the frankly childish standard of reasoning that pervades the medical journals, I have given up. I have put the blog into hibernation. In extreme cases I may put up here some of the more egregious examples of medical "wisdom" that I encounter. Greenies and food freaks seem to be largely coterminous. My regular bacon & egg breakfasts would certainly offend both -- if only because of the resultant methane output

Since my academic background is in the social sciences, it is reasonable to ask what a social scientist is doing talking about global warming. My view is that my expertise is the most relevant of all. It seems clear to me from what you will see on this blog that belief in global warming is very poorly explained by history, chemistry, physics or statistics.

Warmism is prophecy, not science. Science cannot foretell the future. Science can make very accurate predictions based on known regularities in nature (e.g. predicting the orbits of the inner planets) but Warmism is the exact opposite of that. It predicts a DEPARTURE from the known regularities of nature. If we go by the regularities of nature, we are on the brink of an ice age.

And from a philosophy of science viewpoint, far from being "the science", Warmism is not even an attempt at a factual statement, let alone being science. It is not a meaningful statement about the world. Why? Because it is unfalsifiable -- making it a religious, not a scientific statement. To be a scientific statement, there would have to be some conceivable event that disproved it -- but there appears to be none. ANY event is hailed by Warmists as proving their contentions. Only if Warmists were able to specify some fact or event that would disprove their theory would it have any claim to being a scientific statement. So the explanation for Warmist beliefs has to be primarily a psychological and political one -- which makes it my field

And, after all, Al Gore's academic qualifications are in social science also -- albeit very pissant qualifications.

A "geriatric" revolt: The scientists who reject Warmism tend to be OLD! Your present blogger is one of those. There are tremendous pressures to conformity in academe and the generally Leftist orientation of academe tends to pressure everyone within it to agree to ideas that suit the Left. And Warmism is certainly one of those ideas. So old guys are the only ones who can AFFORD to declare the Warmists to be unclothed. They either have their careers well-established (with tenure) or have reached financial independence (retirement) and so can afford to call it like they see it. In general, seniors in society today are not remotely as helpful to younger people as they once were. But their opposition to the Warmist hysteria will one day show that seniors are not completely irrelevant after all. Experience does count (we have seen many such hysterias in the past and we have a broader base of knowledge to call on) and our independence is certainly an enormous strength. Some of us are already dead. (Reid Bryson and John Daly are particularly mourned) and some of us are very senior indeed (e.g. Bill Gray and Vince Gray) but the revolt we have fostered is ever growing so we have not labored in vain.


SOME POINTS TO PONDER:

Climate is just the sum of weather. So if you cannot forecast the weather a month in advance, you will not be able to forecast the climate 50 years in advance. And official meteorologists such as Britain's Met Office and Australia's BOM, are very poor forecasters of weather. The Met office has in fact given up on making seasonal forecasts because they have so often got such forecasts embarrassingly wrong. Their global-warming-powered "models" just did not deliver

Here's how that "97% consensus" figure was arrived at

A strange Green/Left conceit: They seem to think (e.g. here) that no-one should spend money opposing them and that conservative donors must not support the election campaigns of Congressmen they agree with

To Greenies, Genghis Khan was a good guy, believe it or not. They love that he killed so many people.

Greenie antisemitism

After three exceptionally cold winters in the Northern hemisphere, the Warmists are chanting: "Warming causes cold". Even if we give that a pass for logic, it still inspires the question: "Well, what are we worried about"? Cold is not going to melt the icecaps is it?"

It's a central (but unproven) assumption of the Warmist "models" that clouds cause warming. Odd that it seems to cool the temperature down when clouds appear overhead!

To make out that the essentially trivial warming of the last 150 years poses some sort of threat, Warmists postulate positive feedbacks that might cut in to make the warming accelerate in the near future. Amid their theories about feedbacks, however, they ignore the one feedback that is no theory: The reaction of plants to CO2. Plants gobble up CO2 and the more CO2 there is the more plants will flourish and hence gobble up yet more CO2. And the increasing crop yields of recent years show that plantlife is already flourishing more. The recent rise in CO2 will therefore soon be gobbled up and will no longer be around to bother anyone. Plants provide a huge NEGATIVE feedback in response to increases in atmospheric CO2

Every green plant around us is made out of carbon dioxide that the plant has grabbed out of the atmosphere. That the plant can get its carbon from such a trace gas is one of the miracles of life. It admittedly uses the huge power of the sun to accomplish such a vast filtrative task but the fact that a dumb plant can harness the power of the sun so effectively is also a wonder. We live on a rather improbable planet. If a science fiction writer elsewhere in the universe described a world like ours he might well be ridiculed for making up such an implausible tale.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "HEAT TRAPPING GAS". A gas can become warmer by contact with something warmer or by infrared radiation shining on it or by adiabatic (pressure) effects but it cannot trap anything. Air is a gas. Try trapping something with it!

Greenies are the sand in the gears of modern civilization -- and they intend to be.

The Greenie message is entirely emotional and devoid of all logic. They say that polar ice will melt and cause a big sea-level rise. Yet 91% of the world's glacial ice is in Antarctica, where the average temperature is around minus 40 degrees Celsius. The melting point of ice is zero degrees. So for the ice to melt on any scale the Antarctic temperature would need to rise by around 40 degrees, which NOBODY is predicting. The median Greenie prediction is about 4 degrees. So where is the huge sea level rise going to come from? Mars? And the North polar area is mostly sea ice and melting sea ice does not raise the sea level at all. Yet Warmists constantly hail any sign of Arctic melting. That the melting of floating ice does not raise the water level is known as Archimedes' principle. Archimedes demonstrated it around 2,500 years ago. That Warmists have not yet caught up with that must be just about the most inspissated ignorance imaginable. The whole Warmist scare defies the most basic physics. Yet at the opening of 2011 we find the following unashamed lying by James Hansen: "We will lose all the ice in the polar ice cap in a couple of decades". Sadly, what the Vulgate says in John 1:5 is still only very partially true: "Lux in tenebris lucet". There is still much darkness in the minds of men.

The repeated refusal of Warmist "scientists" to make their raw data available to critics is such a breach of scientific protocol that it amounts to a confession in itself. Note, for instance Phil Jones' Feb 21, 2005 response to Warwick Hughes' request for his raw climate data: "We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Looking for things that might be wrong with a given conclusion is of course central to science. But Warmism cannot survive such scrutiny. So even after "Climategate", the secrecy goes on.

Most Greenie causes are at best distractions from real environmental concerns (such as land degradation) and are more motivated by a hatred of people than by any care for the environment

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

‘Global warming’ has become the grand political narrative of the age, replacing Marxism as a dominant force for controlling liberty and human choices. -- Prof. P. Stott

Comparing climate alarmist Hansen to Cassandra is WRONG. Cassandra's (Greek mythology) dire prophecies were never believed but were always right. Hansen's dire prophecies are usually believed but are always wrong (Prof. Laurence Gould, U of Hartford, CT)

The modern environmental movement arose out of the wreckage of the New Left. They call themselves Green because they're too yellow to admit they're really Reds. So Lenin's birthday was chosen to be the date of Earth Day. Even a moderate politician like Al Gore has been clear as to what is needed. In "Earth in the Balance", he wrote that saving the planet would require a "wrenching transformation of society".

For centuries there was a scientific consensus which said that fire was explained by the release of an invisible element called phlogiston. That theory is universally ridiculed today. Global warming is the new phlogiston. Though, now that we know how deliberate the hoax has been, it might be more accurate to call global warming the New Piltdown Man. The Piltdown hoax took 40 years to unwind. I wonder....

Motives: Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Policies: The only underlying theme that makes sense of all Greenie policies is hatred of people. Hatred of other people has been a Greenie theme from way back. In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991, p. 104) published by the "Club of Rome", a Greenie panic outfit, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." See here for many more examples of prominent Greenies saying how much and how furiously they hate you.

The conventional wisdom of the day is often spectacularly wrong. The most popular and successful opera of all time is undoubtedly "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Yet it was much criticized when first performed and the unfortunate Bizet died believing that it was a flop. Similarly, when the most iconic piece of 20th century music was first performed in 1913-- Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- half the audience walked out. Those of us who defy the conventional wisdom about climate are actually better off than that. Unlike Bizet and Stravinsky in 1913, we KNOW that we will eventually be vindicated -- because all that supports Warmism is a crumbling edifice of guesswork ("models").

Al Gore won a political prize for an alleged work of science. That rather speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Jim Hansen and his twin

Getting rich and famous through alarmism: Al Gore is well-known but note also James Hansen. He has for decades been a senior, presumably well-paid, employee at NASA. In 2001 he was the recipient of a $250,000 Heinz Award. In 2007 Time magazine designated him a Hero of the Environment. That same year he pocketed one-third of a $1 million Dan David Prize. In 2008, the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented him with its Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award. In 2010 he landed a $100,000 Sophie Prize. He pulled in a total of $1.2 million in 2010. Not bad for a government bureaucrat.

See the original global Warmist in action here: "The icecaps are melting and all world is drowning to wash away the sin"

I am not a global warming skeptic nor am I a global warming denier. I am a global warming atheist. I don't believe one bit of it. That the earth's climate changes is undeniable. Only ignoramuses believe that climate stability is normal. But I see NO evidence to say that mankind has had anything to do with any of the changes observed -- and much evidence against that claim.

Seeing that we are all made of carbon, the time will come when people will look back on the carbon phobia of the early 21st century as too incredible to be believed

Meanwhile, however, let me venture a tentative prophecy. Prophecies are almost always wrong but here goes: Given the common hatred of carbon (Warmists) and salt (Food freaks) and given the fact that we are all made of carbon, salt, water and calcium (with a few additives), I am going to prophecy that at some time in the future a hatred of nitrogen will emerge. Why? Because most of the air that we breathe is nitrogen. We live at the bottom of a nitrogen sea. Logical to hate nitrogen? NO. But probable: Maybe. The Green/Left is mad enough. After all, nitrogen is a CHEMICAL -- and we can't have that!

UPDATE to the above: It seems that I am a true prophet

The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) must have foreseen Global Warmism. He said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

The Holy Grail for most scientists is not truth but research grants. And the global warming scare has produced a huge downpour of money for research. Any mystery why so many scientists claim some belief in global warming?

For many people, global warming seems to have taken the place of "The Jews" -- a convenient but false explanation for any disliked event. Prof. Brignell has some examples.

Global warming skeptics are real party-poopers. It's so wonderful to believe that you have a mission to save the world.

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

The claim that oil is a fossil fuel is another great myth and folly of the age. They are now finding oil at around seven MILES beneath the sea bed -- which is incomparably further down than any known fossil. The abiotic oil theory is not as yet well enough developed to generate useful predictions but that is also true of fossil fuel theory

Help keep the planet Green! Maximize your CO2 and CH4 output!

Global Warming=More Life; Global Cooling=More Death.

The inconvenient truth about biological effects of "Ocean Acidification"

Cook the crook who cooks the books

The great and fraudulent scare about lead

Green/Left denial of the facts explained: "Rejection lies in this, that when the light came into the world men preferred darkness to light; preferred it, because their doings were evil. Anyone who acts shamefully hates the light, will not come into the light, for fear that his doings will be found out. Whereas the man whose life is true comes to the light" John 3:19-21 (Knox)

Against the long history of huge temperature variation in the earth's climate (ice ages etc.), the .6 of one degree average rise reported by the U.N. "experts" for the entire 20th century (a rise so small that you would not be able to detect such a difference personally without instruments) shows, if anything, that the 20th century was a time of exceptional temperature stability.

Recent NASA figures tell us that there was NO warming trend in the USA during the 20th century. If global warming is occurring, how come it forgot the USA?

Warmists say that the revised NASA figures do not matter because they cover only the USA -- and the rest of the world is warming nicely. But it is not. There has NEVER been any evidence that the Southern hemisphere is warming. See here. So the warming pattern sure is looking moth-eaten.

The latest scare is the possible effect of extra CO2 on the world’s oceans, because more CO2 lowers the pH of seawater. While it is claimed that this makes the water more acidic, this is misleading. Since seawater has a pH around 8.1, it will take an awful lot of CO2 it to even make the water neutral (pH=7), let alone acidic (pH less than 7).

In fact, ocean acidification is a scientific impossibility. Henry's Law mandates that warming oceans will outgas CO2 to the atmosphere (as the UN's own documents predict it will), making the oceans less acid. Also, more CO2 would increase calcification rates. No comprehensive, reliable measurement of worldwide oceanic acid/base balance has ever been carried out: therefore, there is no observational basis for the computer models' guess that acidification of 0.1 pH units has occurred in recent decades.

The chaos theory people have told us for years that the air movement from a single butterfly's wing in Brazil can cause an unforeseen change in our weather here. Now we are told that climate experts can "model" the input of zillions of such incalculable variables over periods of decades to accurately forecast global warming 50 years hence. Give us all a break!

If you doubt the arrogance [of the global warming crowd, you haven't seen that Newsweek cover story that declared the global warming debate over. Consider: If Newton's laws of motion could, after 200 years of unfailing experimental and experiential confirmation, be overthrown, it requires religious fervor to believe that global warming -- infinitely more untested, complex and speculative -- is a closed issue

Scientists have politics too -- sometimes extreme politics. Read this: "This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism... I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child." -- Albert Einstein

The "precautionary principle" is a favourite Greenie idea -- but isn't that what George Bush was doing when he invaded Iraq? Wasn't that a precaution against Saddam getting or having any WMDs? So Greenies all agree with the Iraq intervention? If not, why not?

A classic example of how the sensationalist media distort science to create climate panic is here.

There is a very readable summary of the "Hockey Stick" fraud here

The Lockwood & Froehlich paper was designed to rebut Durkin's "Great Global Warming Swindle" film. It is a rather confused paper -- acknowledging yet failing to account fully for the damping effect of the oceans, for instance -- but it is nonetheless valuable to climate atheists. The concession from a Greenie source that fluctuations in the output of the sun have driven climate change for all but the last 20 years (See the first sentence of the paper) really is invaluable. And the basic fact presented in the paper -- that solar output has in general been on the downturn in recent years -- is also amusing to see. Surely even a crazed Greenie mind must see that the sun's influence has not stopped and that reduced solar output will soon start COOLING the earth! Unprecedented July 2007 cold weather throughout the Southern hemisphere might even have been the first sign that the cooling is happening. And the fact that warming plateaued in 1998 is also a good sign that we are moving into a cooling phase. As is so often the case, the Greenies have got the danger exactly backwards. See my post of 7.14.07 and very detailed critiques here and here and here for more on the Lockwood paper and its weaknesses.

As the Greenies are now learning, even strong statistical correlations may disappear if a longer time series is used. A remarkable example from Sociology: "The modern literature on hate crimes began with a remarkable 1933 book by Arthur Raper titled The Tragedy of Lynching. Raper assembled data on the number of lynchings each year in the South and on the price of an acre’s yield of cotton. He calculated the correla­tion coefficient between the two series at –0.532. In other words, when the economy was doing well, the number of lynchings was lower.... In 2001, Donald Green, Laurence McFalls, and Jennifer Smith published a paper that demolished the alleged connection between economic condi­tions and lynchings in Raper’s data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his anal­ysis in 1929. After the Great Depression hit, the price of cotton plummeted and economic condi­tions deteriorated, yet lynchings continued to fall. The correlation disappeared altogether when more years of data were added." So we must be sure to base our conclusions on ALL the data. In the Greenie case, the correlation between CO2 rise and global temperature rise stopped in 1998 -- but that could have been foreseen if measurements taken in the first half of the 20th century had been considered.

Relying on the popular wisdom can even hurt you personally: "The scientific consensus of a quarter-century ago turned into the arthritic nightmare of today."

Greenie-approved sources of electricity (windmills and solar cells) require heavy government subsidies to be competitive with normal electricity generators so a Dutch word for Greenie power seems graphic to me: "subsidieslurpers" (subsidy gobblers)




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