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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8 August, 2014

The hidden “persuaders” of the environmentalist elite

We can scarcely imagine the countless ways the ultra-rich Big Green / Big Government movement acts in consort to control our lives – at the behest of the 0.01% of uber-elites ... and at the expense of the 99% of American taxpayers, consumers, workers and citizens. Even worse, just when we think we are beginning to grasp the enormity of the problem, another report emerges to demonstrate that we still don’t know the half of it, or even the fiftieth. In this article, Washington Examiner columnist and Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise executive vice president Ron Arnold exposes still more of the dirty little secrets these would-be global dictators strive so mightily to keep hidden

America’s Big Green environmental agenda is set by elite foundations that decide which activists get the money. They form “affinity groups” to collude with President Obama’s bureaucracy, which funnels tax dollars to Democratic advocates to enforce that agenda.

And they don’t just attempt to develop public policy and persuade Americans to adopt them. They find numerous ways to impose those policies on us – without our advice or consent, and despite the harm they inflict on our economy, national security, jobs, living standards or well-being.

Meet the conservation cash cartel of the uber-rich: the Environmental Grantmakers Association, a veteran organization (founded in 1985) of more than 200 ultra-wealthy foundations now caught in the spotlight of a new 92-page US Senate report exposing Big Green wealth eating away America’s industrial strength.

This is the same EGA that emerged as an issue during Senate confirmation hearings for Rhea Sun Suh, the Interior Department’s new head of national parks and the Fish and Wildlife Service – and a veteran EGA member who invited colleagues to come visit her at Interior any time.

Suh once worked for the Packard Foundation on programs to block oil and gas production in the western United States. Ironically, Packard’s investment portfolio – the profits from which the foundation pays its anti-oil and gas grants – holds more than $350,000 in ExxonMobil shares, and millions in dozens of other lesser-known fossil fuel securities.

Most of the EGA’s foundation members have similar million-dollar dirty little secrets. But of course their tax-exempt activist recipients are not morally conflicted by taking fossil fuel cash and keeping it a secret – as long as the loot furthers their corrosive goals of reducing America’s hydrocarbon use and economic power, and regardless of the impacts their policies inflict on the jobs, living standards, health and welfare of poor, elderly, blue-collar and minority families.

The classic unintentional self-parody displayed by Greenpeace, for example, is fascinating to watch, as it concocts convoluted “ethical” explanations for why its oil-soaked funding is purified by the “lofty” save-the-planet intent of its donors, whenever the funding is exposed.

The new report is titled “The Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA.” It was produced by the Republican staff of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, under the direction of Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, the committee’s ranking minority member.

Its executive summary states, “an elite group of left-wing millionaires and billionaires, which this report refers to as the ‘Billionaire’s Club,’ directs and controls the far-left environmental movement, which in turn controls major policy decisions and lobbies on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”

Having researched over $80 billion in green grants during the past few decades, I was impressed by the scope and detail of the oversight team’s work, and asked Vitter how he felt about it.

“This report really gets to the core of tracking the money and exposing the collusion,” Vitter told me. “The complicated, layered system is intended to create a lack of transparency. There is an unbelievable amount of money behind the environmental movement, and far too much collusion between far-left environmental groups and the Obama EPA.”

The collusion is like something out of a bad spy movie. For example, Vitter’s oversight team uncovered a June 2009 deal in which the Rockefeller Family Fund offered then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson money to pay for a plant inside the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, to “stake the EPA’s claim there,” and then slip the shill into a pre-arranged EPA job, giving the agency a White House insider on staff –while not coincidentally tightening the Rockefeller Fund’s power grip over the EPA.

Jackson wrote to her chief of staff Diane Thompson, “I think it’s a fine idea and can only help EPA in the long run.”Jackson then used her fake Richard Windsor email account to send the note, in an attempt to prevent exposure of her unethical shenanigans. Thompson replied, “My thoughts exactly. The more inside connections, the better.”

The Rockefeller shill was Shalini Vajjhala, who agreed to leave her minor position at the Washington think tank Resources for the Future for a two-month stint at the CEQ, holding the pretentious title of “deputy associate director for energy and climate.” The EPA then slipped her in as deputy assistant administrator of its Office of International & Tribal Affairs. Vajjhala remained there until her 2011 appointment as EPA’s special representative leading a presidential US-Brazil initiative.

After Vajjhala cycled through the White House and EPA, she got her personal reward in 2012: approval to found and manage a new investment portfolio supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. (This is the original 1913 John D. Rockefeller philanthropy, not the fourth generation’s Family Fund. There are many Rockefeller tentacles, which makes all of this even more confusing.) Vajjhala now contributes to the Huffington Post, funded in part by the wealthy Park Foundation.

EGA foundations are metastasizing into hundreds of far-left funds. The report drills into one of them, the Sea Change Foundation, “a private California foundation, which relies on funding from undisclosed donors and funnels tens of millions of dollars to other foundations and prominent environmental activists who strive to control both policy and politics.”

There is an incredible seedbed of Sea Change front groups. Bill Gates’ foundation gave Sea Change Capital Partners $2.5 million. eBay’s Omidyar Network Fund gave the same partners $2 million. David Rockefeller’s personal foundation gave loads of cash to the Center for Sea Change. Wal-Mart’s foundation gave $500,000 to Strategies for the Global Foundation Sea Change, an international tentacle into the White House.

But it’s not just the environment. The Crime Prevention Research Center, a nonprofit that tracks gun control activists, reported: “On January 8, 2013, the Obama Administration met with 23 large foundations to organize a push for national gun control. They included such organizations as the Open Society Institute, the McCormick Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation” and the MacArthur Foundation.

Foundations appear to be colluding with almost every Executive Branch department in the Obama administration. And it’s not just the Big Green donors. It’s all kinds of left-wing activists and bureaucrats who want to control our lives, liberties and living standards – with no accountability for mistakes they make, intentional harm and emotional distress they intentionally inflict, or damage they cause to millions of American businesses, families and communities.

It’s time for Congress to hear testimony from some of the manipulative foundation program directors and investment managers, as they try to explain their actions to those whose lives they have wrecked and destroyed.

Via email=





NETWORK COVERAGE OF ‘EXTREME WEATHER’ UP NEARLY 1,000 PERCENT

Use of the phrase “extreme weather” in news stories has exploded in recent years. Almost a decade ago, before former Vice President Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” was released, the broadcast news networks rarely used the term. Gore’s 2006 movie and book of the same name used the phrase “extreme weather” and linked the hurricanes, floods, drought and other natural disasters to global warming. The networks have lauded Gore and his film for years.

Between July 2004 and July 2005, a year before Gore’s movie, the three networks only used the phrase “extreme weather” in 18 stories on their morning and evening news shows in that entire year.

Now, it is a favorite phrase of the networks. In the past year (July 2013 through July 2014), the same network news shows talked about it 988 percent more: in a whopping 196 stories. That’s more than enough stories to see one every other day on average.

During that time, extreme weather was frequently used by the networks to describe heat waves, droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes and winter storms, and they often included the phrase in onscreen graphics or chyrons during weather stories. ABC even has an “extreme weather team” dedicated to covering such events. Some of those reports explicitly linked the events to climate change, but even when they didn’t the stories fueled the narrative of climate alarmism.

The networks have worked tirelessly to promote the idea that extreme weather events were more common than they actually have been. What used to just be called weather, is now extreme. On May 6, 2014, NBC White House Correspondent Peter Alexander told “Nightly News” viewers to “just think of all the extreme weather headlines in the last months. Floods, tornadoes, record cold and record droughts.”

ABC correspondent Dan Harris announced on Feb. 22, 2014, “Good Morning America” that “much of America [is] dealing with extreme weather right now. A really nasty mix of twisters, high winds and flooding rains.”

But even alarmist scientists who worried about the danger of global warming admitted connecting so-called “extreme weather” to climate change was “controversial” and lacks proof. The United Nations reduced its certainty regarding a connection between heat waves, droughts and tropical cyclones and climate change in 2013.

While discussing extreme weather, including simultaneous “extended periods of cold” and “unprecedented winter warmth,” climate alarmist Michael Mann of Penn State University said that connections to climate change were “a speculative and genuinely controversial area of the science.”

As for claims that storms are becoming more frequent, that hasn’t been the case with hurricanes. Climatologist Dr. John Christy who has looked back to the 1850s told the MRC in 2013 “there is no trend in hurricanes.” He said, “[I]f you look at the last seven years, there has not been single major hurricane hit the United States. This is the longest period of such a dearth of hurricanes in that entire record.”

In early 2014, when the networks hyped a drought in California as the “worst drought on record,” Dr. Martin Hoerling, a federal climate researcher, disagreed and told the MRC it was consistent with previous California droughts.

SOURCE 





Is It The Sun?

In 2008 William Livingston and Matthew Penn of the National Solar Observatory in Tucson, in a controversial paper that contradicted conventional wisdom and upset global warming theorists, predicted that sunspots could more or less disappear after 2015, possibly indicating the onset of another Little Ice Age. They stated, “The occurrence of prolonged periods with no sunspots is important to climate studies, since the Maunder Minimum was shown to correspond with the reduced average global temperatures on the Earth.” The Maunder Minimum lasted for approximately 70 years from about 1645 to 1715, and was marked by bitter cold, widespread crop failures, and severe human privation. (2)

There has been increasing evidence in recent years to support this supposition that global warming is linked with solar activity.

In 2011, three papers suggested the Earth could be heading for a ‘little ice age’ as solar activity drops once again. (3)

Other research also confirmed that solar effects could bring on little ice ages. Sarah Ineson and her colleagues report that changes in the Sun’s emissions of ultraviolet radiation coincided with observed cold winters over southern Europe and Canada between 2008 and 2011. (4)

And Katja Matthes and colleagues report that simulations with a climate model using new observations of solar vulnerability suggests a substantial influence of the Sun on the winter climate in the Northern Hemisphere. (5)

A 2014 paper by Chinese scientists reported the impact of carbon dioxide on climate change may have been overstated with solar activity giving a better explanation of changes in the Earth’s temperature. The paper found ‘a high correlation between solar activity and the Earth’s averaged surface temperature over centuries,’ suggesting that climate change is intimately linked with solar cycles rather than human activity. Indeed, the study says that the ‘modern maximum’ – a peak in solar activity that lasted much of the last century corresponds very well with an increase in global temperatures. (6)

Russian scientists foresee an even more dramatic situation. They predict that a little ice age will begin in 2014. (7)

In their book, The Neglected Sun, authors Fritz Vahrenholt and Sebastian Luning pose that temperatures could be two-tenths of a degree lower by 2030 as a result of an anemic sun, which would mean warming getting postponed far into the future.

Note that these reports are from researchers around the world.

Nick Hallet observes, “The research shows that the current warming models of the IPCC seem to underestimate the impact of natural factors on climate change, while overstating that of human activities. Solar activity is an important ingredient of natural driving forces of climate. Therefore, it is valuable to investigate the influence of solar variability on the Earth’s climate change on long time scales.” (6)

Add to all this a very recent paper that says the modern Grand maximum of the sun (which occurred during solar cycles 19-23, i. e., 1950-2009) was a ‘rare or even unique event in both magnitude and duration in the past 3,000 years.’(8)

Unfortunately, it was beyond the scope of this paper to address the potential impact of solar activity on climate. Yet the reconstruction leaves a very big question unanswered—What effect did the Grand maximum have on Earth’s climate? As a ‘unique’ and ‘rare’ event in terms of both magnitude and duration, one would think a lot more time and effort would be spent by IPCC and others in answering that question.

Instead, as noted earlier, IPCC scientists have conducted relatively few studies of the Sun’s influence on modern warming, assuming that the temperature influence of this rare and unique Grand maximum of solar activity, which has occurred only once in the past 3,000 years, is far inferior to the radiative power provided by the rising CO2 concentration of the Earth’s atmosphere. (9)

Lawrence Solomon sums this up well, “The upshot for scientists and world leaders should be clear, particularly since other scientists in recent years have published analyses that also indicate that global cooling could be on its way. Climate can and does change toward colder periods as well as warmer ones. Over the last 20 years, some $80 billion has been spent on research dominated by the assumption that global temperatures will rise. Very little research has investigated the consequences of the very live possibility that temperatures will plummet. Research into global cooling and its implications for the globe is long overdue.” (2)

SOURCE 





Grassroots to Congress: Stop the EPA Power Grab

This past week the Environmental Protection Agency held a series of regional hearings throughout the country—in Denver, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Washington. EPA representatives heard from the public about the job-killing rules on power plants it proposed in June, which would force states to impose draconian restrictions on carbon emissions by 2030.

Although the regional hearings drew many high-profile speakers including members of Congress and state governors, what was more remarkable was the high number of everyday Americans that testified. People at the grassroots level are increasingly concerned about what the new rules will mean for their wallets and their well-being. Hundreds of Americans for Prosperity activists and our coalition partners, together representing millions of Americans, rallied in the shadow of the Colorado state house in Denver and on the steps of the EPA building in Atlanta. Together, Americans called on President Obama's EPA to stop its power grab.

Many were coal miners, concerned that regulations will cause energy production — as well as the jobs that they support — to go overseas to countries like China that do not enforce these rules. Many miners drove long distances in order to weigh in, from states as far away as Wyoming and Arizona.

Others focused on how this rule would impact economic growth. A representative from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) talked about how small businesses are hard-pressed to shoulder higher energy costs during these lean times. Hotel owners also rallied, concerned that this proposed rule would reduce visitors to mining towns and hurt the local economy.

Federal overreach by the Obama administration is nothing new. But when it comes to the President’s EPA agenda, the President says he has no problem going around Congress and disregarding the will of the people to force greater burdens on the American middle class. In fact, the EPA would unilaterally decide which states will get hit hardest by the power plant rules.

We heard concerns from families, too. In Denver, a single mom took the podium. She said that the EPA’s proposal would mean bigger electricity bills and a tighter family budget – a simple concept, but one that politicians and bureaucrats seem to have difficulty comprehending. Everything from putting gas in the car to buying groceries could become harder.

Polling data among registered voters reflect this opposition at the grassroots level. A recent survey from the American Energy Alliance shows that the majority of American voters oppose EPA’s recently proposed power plant regulations after they learn about the sweeping impacts the rule would have on jobs and economic growth. Before receiving any information about the regulations, no less than 57 percent of voters in any state supported the regulations. But after listening to arguments both for and against the new rules, fewer than half of respondents in each state supported them. The survey looked at registered voters in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, and North Carolina.

What this poll shows is that the more people learn about the impacts of the new proposed rules on power plants, the more they turn against them. Folks may be initially open to the rules when they first hear the Obama administration’s vague claims about how this latest ream of top-down EPA red tape will improve the environment, but their support evaporates when they learn more about the rules and the harm they will do to the economy.

Given this growing grassroots opposition to the proposed rules and the harm they will inflict on fragile local economies, lawmakers should seek ways to push back on this federal takeover of the energy market. At the state and local level, too, elected officials should stand up against President Obama's EPA and protect American prosperity and access to affordable energy.

SOURCE 






EPA Regulation Supporters Defend Electric Bill Increase

On June 2nd, President Obama announced new EPA regulations that would impose significant restrictions on power plants.

Last week, environmental activists gathered in front of the EPA headquarters to show their support for the new regulations.  There was live music, toys for the kids and free ice cream provided by Ben & Jerry’s.

The new regulations are intended to cut down on carbon emissions which the activists insist are endangering life on planet Earth.  But imposing these regulations will come with a steep cost to American consumers who will have to cover the new costs imposed on the energy companies with higher utility bills.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates the regulations could put 224,000 Americans out of work annually and increase electricity costs by more than $289 billion.

Even the EPA itself estimates that the new regulations will cause electricity prices to increase dramatically over the next 6 years.

Americans don’t hear much about these new costs from environmental activists or the Obama Administration, so I decided to head down to the rally and ask them about it myself.

SOURCE 





Breakthrough in the Australian State of NSW: Government  go-ahead for fracking project

NSW is very fearful of unconventional gas, even though the neighboring State of Queensland is gung ho about it

AGL Energy has moved a step closer to developing a controversial coal-seam gas project in New South Wales after the state government allowed it to conduct fracking activities at four test wells.

The Gloucester project is significant because it could provide the state with 15 per cent of its natural-gas needs and power close to one million homes if it goes lives in 2016 as planned. Energy companies, including AGL, say the state is facing a supply squeeze, as three giant gas-export projects in neighbouring Queensland threaten to deplete domestic reserves when they start up next year.

Proposed developments in NSW, however, are facing stiff opposition from environmentalists and farmers concerned that drilling practices for extracting methane trapped in coal seams could contaminate underground water supplies.

AGL’s decision to invest in the project will partly rest on the results of the four-well pilot project, which will test the quality of the resource. To proceed with the tests, the company had been relying on state government approval for it to carry out hydraulic fracturing, a controversial drilling technique that cracks underground rocks using high-powered bursts of water, sand and chemicals.

“This will not be the only solution to our reliance on gas from interstate, but it is a significant and vital step in the right direction to improve supply for NSW,” state Energy Minister Anthony Roberts said today.

NSW currently provides only 5 per cent of its own natural gas, but this could rise to 20 per cent if the Gloucester project goes ahead, AGL chief executive Michael Fraser said.

None of the Gloucester project’s output would be exported overseas, he said.

NSW has some of the country’s toughest coal-seam gas rules, having banned wells within two kilometres of residential areas, and land containing vineyards and horse studs. The rules, which came into effect in October, forced AGL to write down the value of its proposed Camden and Hunter gas projects.

The Gloucester project is in a more remote area, so it isn’t exposed to the same regulatory impediments.

The project, however, is still likely to face opposition from environmentalists and some farmers and community groups that claim it is still too risky.

Credit Suisse last week said it has only attributed $88 million in value to the project out of a $347.5 million book value, due to delay risks.

The broker said AGL might have to guarantee land values in the areas to win the blessing of farmers.

“A coordinated campaign targeting AGL’s electricity and gas customers could result in customer loss,” it said.

The state government’s tough stance is in stark contrast to neighbouring Queensland, where companies including ConocoPhillips and Total SA are spending more than $60 billion combined to liquefy coal-seam gas for export to Asia.

SOURCE

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7 August, 2014

Brain-dead Warmist logic again

D'oh!  If the Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, then it is not warming at all:  The rest of the world is not warming and 2 multiplied by zero gives a sum of zero.  And if the Arctic is indeed warming while the rest of the world is not then the warming is clearly the product of local influences, not global ones.  Hence Arctic warming does not prove global warming


Scientists were baffled by the mysterious craters that appeared in northern Russia earlier this month. Researchers now believe these craters may have been created by a build-up of methane over centuries that then erupting out of the thawing ground.

But strange, unexplained holes are just the beginning of what could be a series of mysterious happenings on the planet – all caused by melting Arctic ice, scientists believe.

According to a report by David Biello in Scientific American, temperatures across the Arctic are warming roughly twice as fast as the rest of the globe.

‘At some point, we might get into a state of permafrost that is not comparable to what we know for 100 years or so, some new processes that never happened before,’ geologist Guido Grosse of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research told Mr Biello.

A similar process is taking place in the melting regions of the Arctic where lakes, known as thermokarsts, which are lakes that break down plant material into methane.

This methane can then escape out of the lake or the ground, and once lit, could set ice on fire.

Permafrost is also leading to ‘drunken trees’ as the firm soil slowly transforms into mud causing the plants that grow in them to lean to one side.

Nasa claims that arctic permafrost soils have accumulated vast stores of organic carbon - an estimated 1,400 to 1,850 billion tonnes of it.

That's about half of all the estimated organic carbon stored in Earth's soils. In comparison, about 350 billion tonnes of carbon have been emitted from all fossil-fuel combustion and human activities.

Most of the Arctic’s sequestered carbon is located in thaw-vulnerable topsoils within 3 meters of the surface.

'Permafrost soils are warming even faster than Arctic air temperatures - as much as 1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius in just the past 30 years,' said Nasa's Charles Miller.

'As heat from Earth's surface penetrates into permafrost, it threatens to mobilise these organic carbon reservoirs and release them into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and methane, upsetting the Arctic's carbon balance and greatly exacerbating global warming.'

But separate research earlier this week suggested that some Arctic lakes store more greenhouse gases than they emit into the atmosphere.  This counters a widely-held scientific view that thawing permafrost accelerates atmospheric warming.

The study shows that permafrost rich in organic material will see the growth of mosses and other plants flourish, leading to greater amounts of carbon absorption.

Supported by the National Science Foundation, the study was published this week in the journal Nature and focused on thermokarst lakes.

SOURCE






EPA Power Grab Has Huge Economic Consequences

Barack Obama’s checkered history – his string of scandals, his divisive demeanor as chief executive, his unconstitutional executive fiats and his damaging foreign policy – causes many people to wonder whether he even cares about the U.S. or her people and wants to punish us simply for being America.

Case in point: The EPA rules for coal plants. In 2008, Barack Obama promised that “[u]nder my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Coal-powered plants … [and] natural gas, they would have to retrofit their operations.”

Rep. John Dingle (D-MI) pointed out, “People don’t realize this is a tax, and a great big one.” This is one promise Obama intends to keep.

After having his pet project denied by Congress, Obama decided to create an alternative system for reducing carbon emissions. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy recently introduced the Clean Power Plan proposal, a mess of regulations that would deal a huge blow to the power industry and the entire economy if enacted. Even though over 80% of the nation’s electricity is produced by power plants burning fossil fuels, the EPA would require them all to lower carbon emissions enormously.

“Even before we put pen to paper,” said McCarthy, “we … held 11 public listening sessions nationwide. We heard from thousands of people through phone calls, emails, meetings, and more.”

She added, “Starting June 2 … we officially entered the public comment period … We expect great feedback at these sessions. [W]e also expect a healthy dose of the same tired, false and worn out criticism that commonsense EPA action is bad for the economy.” So the EPA expects the debate to be over before it even begins.

McCarthy claimed that by 2030, the EPA would shrink electricity bills roughly eight percent. Right.

For a bit of perspective, average electricity prices more than doubled between 1984 and 2014. Prices reached a record high in June, but annual per capita production peaked in 2007. Meanwhile, the Census Bureau says that between 2007 and 2014 the population increased 6%. So while there’s an increasing demand for electricity, production is being cut to Obama’s target levels for carbon output. The Congressional Budget Office estimates Obama’s witch hunt against coal will cost the average family an additional $1,600 per year.

The EPA’s regulations treat old and new coal-burning plants differently. Those for the new plants are so harsh that any further construction would almost certainly be canceled.

Those for existing plants vary according to the state where they’re located, but the EPA’s formula would still result in plant closures. Those who manage to retrofit and stay profitable would have to raise prices astronomically. Many plants already operating wouldn’t make the cut. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) predicts Mississippi’s entire coal industry would be shut down. Of course, any business that uses electricity would be seriously affected as well.

As usual, Obama hits people hardest who can least afford it. People who’ve lost jobs and families living paycheck to paycheck face the impossible – choosing between heating their homes in the winter and feeding their families. This is how the NeoComs add to their underclass. Obama’s senseless policy will devastate the American middle class.

Some activist groups are angry. One NAACP representative writes, “[T]he race to a cleaner energy future is … like a bad game of dodge ball with communities of color on the losing side.” Historic loyalty to the Democrat party among blacks is beginning to slip.

Obama acknowledged the biggest challenge is making voters understand the necessity of the changes. But his efforts at converting them are failing. In a recent Pew study, 55% of the public doesn’t believe in man-made global warming. Hence he simply acts against the people’s will.

Two rays of hope could foil Obama’s designs. First, states have been directed only to develop plans by 2016 for executing the changes, allowing Obama to dodge responsibility once the rules are implemented. A Republican president and congressional majority in 2016 could rescind the entire plan before it gets off the ground.

Second, a study conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Rhodium Group concluded that while Obama’s plan would cut demand for coal, it would simultaneously stimulate the already rapidly growing demand for natural gas. Several states sit atop fields of enough natural gas that over time could make us energy independent, create thousands of good-paying jobs and powerfully stimulate the economy.

The short-term news isn’t good. But if enough of the American people refuse to go along such as Gov. Rick Perry, who has previously defied EPA regulations in Texas, the U.S. economy could yet survive Obama.

SOURCE






EPA's Gina McCarthy Broke the Law by Destroying Official Text Messages and Should Resign

Text messages sent on a private telephone between Maureen McDonnell, wife of Bob McDonnell, and businessman Johnnie Williams are key evidence in the corruption trial of the former Virginia governor, according to the Washington Post.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s aides also produced text messages in the “Bridgegate” investigation, again using private telephones.

Just like email, text messages can be preserved and produced. Federal employees are required to preserve text messages concerning official business.

But it appears they often aren't. Will there be any consequences for this systematic lawbreaking?

As we recently learned in the IRS affair, federal agencies are destroying their text messages.

Coincidentally, political appointees and political activists in career civil service positions in the federal government are increasingly turning to texting just as the watchdogs using the Freedom of Information Act and congressional investigators are more frequently exposing improper activity against the taxpayer.

It was in this context that I recently received a Friday afternoon document production under a FOIA lawsuit I and colleagues at the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed seeking nothing but text messages.

Our first such suit was for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy’s texts generated while leading President Obama’s “war on coal.”

After EPA claimed none existed, McCarthy admitted through the Department of Justice that she had in fact deleted each and every one of her many thousands of texts on her EPA-provided phone.

She claimed they were all “personal,” even after we proved her correspondents indeed included multiple members of her EPA team.

So we sought the texts of senior EPA aides with whom McCarthy corresponded, according to metadata we obtained.

This led to Friday’s production of 76 pages of text messages. None that remained were to or from McCarthy. All that did remain were mundane. Their content isn’t the point. Their existence is.

From years of working with FOIA and inquiring of other watchdog attorneys and congressional investigators, it is my understanding that EPA has never before produced text or instant messages.

This is despite the fact that many, possibly even most, FOIA and congressional oversight requests cover them (e.g., seeking "records" or "electronic records" on particular subjects or to/from certain officials).

At least with Obama’s EPA and the IRS, it appears we now know why — they are destroying them, illegally. This isn't a "gaping open-records loophole," it is wanton lawbreaking because the law is quite clear.

The texts EPA produced on Friday prove that EPA's IT system does not automatically delete text messages; that is, for messages not to be there now, they had to be deleted from the system.

These texts also show that not everyone destroyed all of their messages, as McCarthy has admitted she did. Her behavior was deliberate, serial and flagrant.

That she permitted and even engaged in this behavior as the official designated with responsibility for ensuring her and her office’s texts were properly maintained should send her packing, as happened with her predecessor, Lisa Jackson, after exposure of Jackson’s false-identity email account in the name of “Richard Windsor.”

There is, however, an even more important aspect to this behavior, and it extends beyond EPA to every federal agency where we find such lawlessness.

The messages McCarthy admitted to destroying were all from her tenure leading President Obama’s “war on coal.”

As I and colleagues at another group, the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, have informed the EPA, the administrative record underlying its war on coal is inherently incomplete as a result of this behavior.

EPA’s rules should be suspended, or withdrawn, until it recreates the discussions it moved over to an alternative to email with no backup, then destroyed.

It is unimaginable that a court, presented with an agency admission of having destroyed each and every one of another class of legally identical records — email — would shrug and permit the regulators to continue unimpeded with radical regulatory changes.

There is therefore no reason why EPA should be permitted to continue with its “war on coal,” which each and every one of the officials we have now caught destroying records was materially involved in executing, unless and until it recreates the deleted correspondence which we know from agency documents number in the many thousands.

The Federal Records Act requires this. That this is the result not of incidental loss but serial and deliberate destruction only compounds the matter.

We have sued EPA seeking this. Their answer called it an “intrusive” attempt to make them comply with record-keeping laws that no one can make them obey.

Congress to date has been powerless or simply uninterested in offering the response that EPA’s regulatory assault demands.

While not a reassuring prospect, it is now up to the courts to do what obviously must be done, at least as far as making EPA try to reconstruct what its senior officials destroyed.

So far, EPA and Obama’s Department of Justice have fought us every step of the way.

SOURCE





It's about the Money, Not the Climate

By Alan Caruba

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), the Irish poet and dramatist, wrote “Pray don't talk to me about the weather. Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else.”

These days, when some world leader or politician speaks of the climate—the weather is what is happening right now wherever you are—they are not talking about sunshine or rain. They are talking about a devilishly obscene way of raising money by claiming that it is humans that are threatening the climate with everything they do, from turning on the lights to driving anywhere.

That’s why “global warming” was invented in the late 1980s as an immense threat to the Earth and to mankind. Never mind that Earth has routinely passed through warmer and cooler cycles for billions of years; much of which occurred before mankind emerged. And never mind that the Earth has been a distinct cooling cycle for the past seventeen years and likely to stay in it for a while. If the history of ice ages is any guide, we could literally be on the cusp of a new one.

If, however, a government can tax the use of energy, it stands to make a lot of money. That is why carbon taxes have been introduced in some nations and why the nearly useless “clean energy” options of wind and solar have been introduced even though they both require the backup of traditional coal, natural gas and nuclear energy plants because they cannot produce electricity if the wind isn’t blowing and the sun is obscured by clouds.

Taxing energy use means taxing “greenhouse gas” emissions; primarily carbon dioxide (C02) so that every ton of it added to the atmosphere by a power plant and any other commercial activity becomes a source of income for the nation. The Australians went through this and rapidly discovered it drove up their cost of electricity and negatively affected their economy so much that they rid themselves of a prime minister and the tax within the past year.

Fortunately, every effort to introduce a carbon tax has been defeated by the U.S. Congress, but that it has shelled out billions for “climate research” over the years. That doesn’t mean, however, that 41 demented Democrats in the House of Representatives haven’t gotten together in a “Safe Climate Caucus” led by Rep. Henry A. Waxman. The Washington Post reported that when it was launched in February 2013, the members promised to talk every day on the House floor about “the urgent need to address climate change.”

Check out the caucus and, if your Representative is a member, vote to replace him or her with someone less idiotic.

When you hear the President or a member of Congress talk about the climate, they are really talking about the scheme to generate revenue from it through taxation or to raise money from those who will personally benefit from any scheme related to the climate such as “clean energy.”

The need of governments to frighten their citizens about the climate in order to raise money is international in scope. A United States that has a $17 trillion debt is a prime example, much of it due to a government grown so large it wastes taxpayer’s money in the millions with every passing day whether it is sunny or rainy, warm or cold.

In late July, Reuters reported that Christine Lagarde, the chair of the International Monetary Fund, (IMF) opined in her new book that “energy taxes in much of the world are far below what they should be to reflect the harmful environmental and health impact of fossil fuels use.”

Please pay no attention to the billions of dollars that coal, oil and natural gas already generate for the nations in which they are found. Nations such as India and China are building coal-fired plants as fast as possible to provide the electricity every modern nation needs to expand its economy, provide more employment, and improve their citizen’s lives in every way imaginable.


“For the first time,” Reuters reported, “the IMF laid out exactly what it views as appropriate taxes on coal, natural gas, gasoline, and diesel in 156 countries to factor in the fuel’s overall costs, which include carbon dioxide emissions, air pollution, congestion and traffic accidents.” The problem with this is that the costs cited are bogus.

“Nations," said Lagarde, "are now working on a United Nations deal for late 2015 to rein in greenhouse gas emissions that have hit repeated highs this century, but progress has been slow as nations fret about the impact any measures may have on economic growth.” As in bad impacts!

Ignore the claims that carbon dioxide affects the climate. Its role is so small it can barely be measured because CO2 represents 380 parts per million. When our primate ancestors began to climb down out of the trees, CO2 levels were about 1,000 parts per million. More CO2 means more crops, healthy growing forests, and all the other benefits that every form of vegetation provides. The breath we humans exhale contains about 4% of CO2.

The fact is that the United States and other nations are being run by politicians who are incapable of reducing spending or borrowing more in order to spend more. Venezuela just defaulted again on the payment of bonds it issued to raise money. They did this in 2001 and one must wonder why any financial institution purchases them.

There are eleven other nations whose credit ratings are flirting with big trouble. They include Greece, Ukraine, Pakistan, Cypress, and in the Americas Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador and Belize. Borrowing by such nations is very expensive. A U.S. Treasury Note pays an annual coupon of just 2.5%, but the yields on 10-year bonds issue by Greece reached 29% in early 2012, just before it defaulted.

Adding to problems in the U.S. is the Obama agenda being acted upon by the Environmental Protection Agency whose “war on coal” has shuttered several hundred plants that produce the electricity needed to maintain the economy. In coal producing states this is playing havoc and it is driving up the cost of electricity in others.

The growth of oil and natural gas production in the U.S. is almost entirely on privately owned land as opposed to that controlled by the government. Supporting the attack on energy are the multi-million dollar environmental organizations like Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club.

There is no “global warming” and the climate is determined by the Sun, the oceans, clouds, and volcanic activity. Nothing any government does, here and worldwide, has any impact on it, but if nations can demonize the use of energy and tax the CO2 it produces, they can generate more money to spend and waste.

The lies that governments, the United Nations, and the International Monetary Fund tell about the climate are about the money they can extract from citizens who must be kept frightened enough to pay taxes on their use of energy.

SOURCE






Global warming’s public relations gambit

By Rick Manning

Get ready America, many of the world’s largest public relations firms are creating a climate change litmus test by asserting that they will not work for companies or organizations that don’t buy the global warming mantra that is being used to destroy the free market system.

What these PR geniuses apparently fail to realize is that by taking this action, any company or group that they currently represent has to be assumed to hold the same global warming position that they so lovingly cling to, making them prime economic boycott targets by those who oppose the climate change agenda.

One wonders if they have already gone to their clients in the energy field and informed them that they will no longer represent them unless they sign a note certifying that they corporately bow to the PR firm’s political beliefs?

Will they drop representing a company’s interests on real estate matters, because the company supports free market groups that oppose the global warming mantra?

Will they refuse to represent investment groups that have holdings of energy companies that are fighting against the global warming agenda?

Will they force all their employees to sign an oath of fealty to the global climate change gods?

To enforce their edict they would have to do all of these things, but none of them matter.  The market system allows people and companies to make choices about whom they hire to provide public relations advice, and it would be counter to a company’s interest to hire a public relations firm that opposes their core, underlying business.  If corporate decision makers act rationally, they will seek out public relations firms that message to as broad of a group of people as possible rather than limiting themselves to those who mindlessly bleat to the same hype.

What’s more, public relations firms don’t really create anything other than ideas on how to convey a position to targeted audiences usually with the goal of selling a product, or presenting a client in a positive light.

These firms have to understand market segments and how to speak with them in order to effectively do their job.  Raising the obvious question, why would anyone hire a firm that does not have a single person on staff who can admit that they relate to the more than 40 percent of Americans who Gallup has found believe that man-made global warming is overstated?

Would any truck company hire a PR firm that not only despises their product, but also looks down upon their potential customers?

And that is why this grand announcement will fall flat into meaninglessness.  In the end, it is about getting the business.  There are many public relations firms that provide essentially the same services. Potential clients have lots of choices.

This decision opens the door for a new group of public relations firms who aren’t hamstrung by global warming dogma, and the corporate behemoths that currently dominate the landscape will either collapse of their own self-important weight or quietly change their policy.

Being very smart at analyzing downstream impacts of their actions, these public relations behemoths certainly know the ramifications of their global warmist only pledge.  A pledge that leads to one of two conclusions:  either this is just standard PR puffery signifying nothing, or they mean it, revealing a market myopia unsuitable for anyone in their business.

Either way, the free market will decide the wisdom of their politics, and many large corporate accounts will now be available to young, hungry entrepreneurs as a result.

SOURCE





Rich Kozlovich debunks yet another Greenie claim about GMOs

"Resistance" to herbicides will develop whether it is sprayed on or bred in

The Health Ranger’s fifth complaint against these products is that, “GMO agriculture is breeding a new generation of chemical-resistant superweeds”, saying:

“The rise of chemical-resistant superweeds is a horrible problem for modern farmers. In the same way that deadly superbugs have arisen from the abuse of antibiotics in hospitals, "Frankenweeds" have arisen from the continued growing of GMOs and the routine application of glyphosate to crop fields.

Glyphosate-resistant superweeds have become such a problem that the very industry which once claimed GMOs would require "fewer chemicals" to grow food is now recommending fields be treated with a triple or quadruple layer of multiple chemicals to attack the superweeds with different chemicals.

That's why agriculture experts are right now sounding the alarm over glyphosate, GMOs and superweeds, calling for an end to the unsustainable GMO farming practices that seriously threaten the sustainability of agriculture.”

Crops such as cotton, corn, soybeans, alfalfa and sugar beets have been genetically altered to tolerate glyphosate in order to increase yields and avoid the costly and time consuming weed control processes of the past.  This has been so successful eco-activists claim farmers have adopted an over reliance on GMO’s (which increased production by more than 98 billion dollars over the last twenty plus years and saving from having to use hundreds of millions of kilograms of pesticides from being sprayed) resulting in “overuse” of glyphosate creating “superweeds”, such as Palmer amaranth. And it would appear weeds are showing up in fields all over the world that have become resistant to the herbicide glyphosate.

Palmer amaranth is particularly insidious because it out competes cotton – and other crops - for all the things necessary for productive harvests – moisture, light and nutrients.  So, are these now “superweeds”?

Before we answer that question we have to understand what exactly “resistance” is.   Often times I will see commentaries claiming an evolutionary spurt is causing resistance.  Nonsense!  Evolution has nothing to do with these changes in plants or insects, bacteria or virus’ for that matter.  I’m going to address this from an insect control perspective because it’s easy to explain and the pattern is universal. 

Resistance is a genetic phenomenon where-in a percentage of the target pests are naturally resistant to some compound.  Hence each successive generation will pass that trait to some of their offspring thus having more resistant numbers in the population.  Eventually the resistant members become the dominant gene pool.  However they’re not “super-roaches”, “super-rats”, or super anything else for that matter.     Whether its cockroaches, weeds, or pathogens – resistance is the pattern in nature!  Something we only fully realized after insect pests developed resistance to DDT, including bed bugs.  We didn’t know we were following nature’s patterns and cycles.  We know that now and can adapt.

While hyperventilating one writer claimed “Chemicals Are Creating Frightening New Superweeds.” Then disparagingly asked, The 'Solution'? More Chemicals.

Yes - that is the solution!

Eco-activists state that this has to stop because these “superweeds” have found their way into organic fields.  Let’s understand this correctly.  This is another logical fallacy that’s a lie of omission.  Whether it’s these resistant varieties of weeds or the non resistant varieties these organic farmers are going to be devastated without the use of herbicides, so making this claim is nothing more than a red herring fallacy, since they're not allowed to use synthetic herbicides anyway and still be 'organic'.  As for those farmers who are not 'organic' farmers, but still aren't using transgenics - they're would still have to face the problem of resistance eventually.  Transgenics didn't create the resistance problem, but transgenics will be the solution!

Companies such as Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences and other biotech companies didn’t stop researching new and innovative approaches to transgenics when the current products went on the market.  They clearly understand the “resistance” factor in pesticides and have been working of herbicide resistant crops which will become available. Will these new products eventually become ineffective? Of course!  But that’s no reason to abandon chemistry that works – especially when there’s no alternative, and it’s more environmentally friendly than plowing and tilling.

If there is no alternative there is no problem!

Ah, but there is – according to eco-activists – an alternative.  Heirloom varieties!  These are varieties that have been grown for hundreds of years and breed true year after year.  In other words, “organic” farming, which I addressed in a previous post!

Heirlooms are hardy, but as is the case with all these old hardy varieties - they aren’t that productive.  And they’re still left with the problem of weeds and insect pests because even these varieties come under attack from something, and then there are all the other negative issues surrounding “organic” farming.

They claim we can only thrive by obeying nature’s rules.  I couldn’t agree more.  And what’s nature’s rule regarding plant pests?  Plants can’t run away when attacked, they don’t have claws, they don’t have teeth, they don’t have heavy fur coats to protect themselves – so what do they do?  They make their own pesticides to sicken, kill or repel pests.  The vast majority of pesticides we consume are naturally occurring in the food we eat, and most of them test carcinogenic.  So I subscribe to nature’s pattern.  Build a better pesticide, and create more GMO’s to tolerate them.

Eco-activists demand perfection - from everyone else.  A perfection they're incapable of delivering.  They demand utopia, claiming they can deliver it if we just listen to them, but when you consider their policies have killed more people over the last 60 years, (probably more than the socialist monsters of twentieth century like Stalin, Hitler and Mao combined) we must believe the facts of history.  They only deliver dystopia - squalor, misery, poverty, disease, suffering and early death.  The legacy of the left!

Those who are rational recognize that history and sanity forces upon us the conclusion the best we can hope for is the most acceptable imperfection. And as imperfect as these modern agricultural marvels are - they've saved more lives than any advancement in all of humanity's previous history.

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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6 August, 2014

The Warmists really think you're dumb

The graph below was provided with the article below.  Yet the graph clearly shows a DECLINING trend, exactly the opposite of what they are claiming!  And if you look at the statistics for the number of fires between 1960 and 2013 all the big numbers occur in the '60s and '70s -- again the opposite of what they are claiming!



The administration released a video  Tuesday aimed at clarifying the link between climate change and one of the most tangible products of climate change: wildfires. Wildfires have been an an increasing topic of conversation on Capitol Hill, thanks both to the record wildfire years we've had this decade and to a strain on funding to fight them.

If you want to make the case that we need to act on climate change, linking warming to the destructive power of more wildfires makes a nice impetus. And so, John Holdren, Obama's science adviser, sat down in front of the camera.

"Climate change," he says, "has been making the fire season in the United States longer and more intense." This isn't only because temperatures are higher and the soil contains less moisture, he says; it's also because the changing climate is "bringing us more dead trees -- kindling, in effect -- killed by a combination of heat stress, water stress, and attacks by pests and pathogens that multiply faster in a warmer world." And that trend, which is affecting the Southeast even more than the Western U.S., is expected to continue and grow.

The documentation for this is at the government's National Climate Assessment, a document released  this year that combines governmental and external research into the likely effects of the warming climate. These fires, the White House is saying explicitly, are what warming looks like. The ongoing California drought, which is likely worsened by a warming Atlantic Ocean and prompting strict water rationing across the state, is affecting more people right now. But a burning house and a soot-blackened firefighter are much more compelling visuals in what is a mostly political fight.

The administration has stumbled upon another bit of bad luck in making the case on climate change. While 2014 has given the world its hottest May and June on record, and while California has had the hottest first half of the year in its known history, North America has actually been colder than normal. People are more likely to accept climate change after it has been warmer, according to a study. And 2014 has been less warm than, say, 2012 -- the warmest year in recorded U.S. history.

SOURCE






Colorado to Pull Anti-fracking Initiatives

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has persuaded anti-fracking groups to scrap two ballot initiatives that would have curtailed oil and gas drilling, and news of the agreement on Monday lifted share prices of oil producers.

Hickenlooper, in a televised news conference, said he had instead put together a task force with representatives from industry, environmental groups and local communities to set standards for the state's growing petroleum industry.

This "will provide an alternative to ballot initiatives that, if successful, would have regulated the oil and gas industry through the rigidity of constitutional amendments and posed a significant threat to Colorado's economy," he said in a broadcast by Denver's CBS station.

The compromise was seen as a positive for energy companies with big operations in Colorado like Noble Energy Inc and Anadarko Petroleum Corp, sending their share prices up more than 5 percent.

Several municipalities in Colorado worried about environmental issues have sought to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which uses a mix of pressurized water, sand and chemicals to unlock hydrocarbons from rocks.

But those efforts have faced challenges, with lawyers and courts saying their legality would depend on the state's own laws for fracking.

SOURCE






Coal country sues EPA over climate rule

A dozen states representing America’s coal country are suing the Environmental Protection Agency to block forthcoming regulations imposing new limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

The lawsuit, filed late last week in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, accuses the agency of overstepping its authority under the Clean Air Act.

West Virginia, Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wyoming and Indiana are named as plaintiffs in the case.

“Congress has already rejected legislation that would put limits on carbon dioxide emissions, and a law of this significance should be passed by the legislative branch,” said Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), a former member of Congress who served in the House Republican leadership, about the legal challenge.

At issue is the EPA’s move to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants via new standards to be imposed under the Clean Air Act. The regulation, a centerpiece of President Obama’s climate initiative, aims to cut carbon pollution from plants by 30 percent by 2030.

The states contend that the Clean Air Act prohibits the EPA from regulating emissions from existing sources. The EPA offered the regulation under Section 111(d) of the statute. But the states argue that plants are already regulated under Section 112, so the EPA has no authority to regulate power plants under Section 111(d).

The lawsuit comes a month after most of the states joined a lawsuit filed by the coal company Murray Energy, which made the same legal argument against the rule.

SOURCE





Feds Will Spend $450K to Help Native Americans Adapt to 'Climate Change’

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to spend up to $450,000 in taxpayer dollars to teach Native American tribes in the Great Basin region ”climate adaptation plans” for their hunting, fishing and gathering activities.

“Due to climate change, the natural landscapes are becoming impacted,” and the “traditional practices for hunting, fishing, and gathering for ceremonial purposes” can potentially create further impacts,” according to BLM’s Cooperative Agreement announcement.

“It is important to educate those who are engaging in these gathering activities to reduce impacts on public lands. If tribes are able to develop adaptation plans for their gathering activities, they would have a process to follow that could reduce negative impacts on the landscape,” the Request for Applications (RFA) explains. (See RFA Template MLR (1).doc)

The applicant “will focus on climate change impacts in the Great Basin region,[and] target tribes from the region to attend,” the grant application stated. “The course is intended for tribal environmental and natural resource professionals who expect to be involved in climate change adaptation planning.”

The Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GBLCC), is one of 22 LCCs nationwide established by the Department of the Interior (DOI) in 2010 to “better integrate science and management to address climate change and related issues.”  The Great Basin area covers parts of Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and California.

The Duckwater Shoshone Tribe, the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, the Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation, and the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation all have representatives on the GBLCC.

Todd Hopkins, GBLCC's science coordinator, told CNSNews.com that the trainings will focus on “actions that the tribes can take in response to changing climatic conditions.”

Hopkins said that GLBCC collaborated on a similar three-day training course with the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) last fall, which was funded through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and titled “Climate Adaptation Training for Tribes.”

The RFA says the proposed training “will build on existing collaborations” from that earlier course.

Hopkins said that the upcoming trainings will work off of ITEP’s Climate Change Adaptation Planning curriculum.

As part of last year’s training, Dr. Kurt Johnson, national climate scientist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, created a guide which provides an introduction to “climate change vulnerability assessment” and provides a chart categorizing local species’ potential vulnerability to climate change.

Hopkins said that the climate change adaptation training is focused on Great Basin tribes because they are “place-based and their gathering is very much traditional in a sense that they use certain traditional foods and resources at certain times of the year, and because of climate shifts they are more impacted than other folks who may, say, go hunt in another place.”

“We making a special effort to reach out to tribes and provide training on climate adaptation so that they can decide how best to sustain and secure their culture for future generations,” he added.

In July, President Obama announced the Tribal Climate Resilience Program to “help tribes prepare for climate change.” As part of this initiative, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will “dedicate $10 million in funding for tribes and tribal organizations to develop tools to enable adaptive resource management, as well as the ability to plan for climate resilience.”

“Tribes are at the forefront of many climate issues, so we are excited to work in a more cross-cutting way to help address tribal climate needs,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in the White House statement announcing the program. “We’ve heard from tribal leaders loud and clear: when the federal family combines its efforts, we get better results - and nowhere are these results needed more than in the fight against climate change.”

BLM estimates that the training for Great Basin tribes, which is not part of Obama's $10 million initiative, will cost $450,000 over the next five years, with an award ceiling of $90,000 for the first year. The grant was announced on July 22 and will remain open for applications until August 8.

SOURCE




Rich Kozlovich knocks another GMO scare on the head

The Health Ranger’s ninth complaint is that; “GMOs may be harming pollinators”. He goes on to say:

“Although the evidence on this isn't yet conclusive, GMOs may be contributing to the harming of all-important pollinators, without which we would all starve from lack of food crops.

Honeybee pollinators are dying in record numbers across North America, and many scientists fear we may be witnessing a catastrophic collapse of pollinator populations. Evidence is already emerging that neonicotinoids -- a class of pesticide chemicals -- may be responsible for the collapse, but there's also evidence that GMOs may be worsening the population decline.

Were GMOs ever tested for their long-term impact on pollinators in the wild? Of course not. That would cost too much money, and the promotion of GMOs is all about making money; the environment be damned.”

"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man." - Albert Einstein"

Well, let’s take that last part first. Although this Einstein quote is spouted over and over again, it’s not clear that Albert Einstein ever said any such thing. And if he did it proves beyond any shadow of a doubt he may have been a great physicist, but he stunk as an entomologist.

Secondly – and there he goes again – claiming GMO’s “may” be harming pollinators. Another weasel word claim based in the Precautionary Principle. Criticism in the form of a question without one iota of evidence. As for his question; “Were GMOs ever tested for their long-term impact on pollinators in the wild? Of course not. That would cost too much money, and the promotion of GMOs is all about making money; the environment be damned.”

Testing the long term impact in the wild (what does that mean?) isn’t too expensive – it’s impossible. How do you define “in the wild”? What tests should be conducted? What should be tested? Where should it be tested? However, the decades of continued use of GMO’s has demonstrated no harm in the wild, whatever “in the wild” means. Once again – the real world is the final testing ground for every new product. The question he needs to answer is this. What “in the wild” harm can anyone point to? None of that can be properly defined, which is a common tactic among the eco-activists, that way they can keep asking the same questions without being specific. Specifics are what pin them down and they avoid that like the plague because when they do they enter the world of facts and science, where they consistently lose, because they’re fighting a battle of emotion, and always have.

We need to get this. They win the battle of emotions. We win the battle of facts. To win the war we need to start winning both the battle of emotions and facts.

As for GMO’s having a detrimental impact on pollinators, the article Let's deal with the idea there really is a any problem with pollinators in the first place. Let’s start with European honey bees and whether their numbers are declining – and what are the real facts about what would happen if every bee on the planet died tomorrow.

On January of 2012 I pointed out in my article, Colony Collapse Disorder: Cause – All Natural:

“First, it is not true that there has been a mysterious worldwide collapse in honey bee populations. In fact managed hives (which contain the bees which do the vast majority of our pollinating) have increased by a remarkable 45 per cent over the last five years. Lawrence D. Harder from the department of biology at the University of Calgary and Marcelo Aizen from Buenos Aires set about pinning down a couple of myths…….The bee disaster scenario is dependent upon data which is far too regional to take seriously and ‘not representative of global trends’. The truth is that there are more bees in the world than ever. They go on to say; ‘It is a myth that humanity would starve without bees.’ While some 70 per cent of our most productive crops are animal-pollinated (by bees, hoverflies and the like), very few indeed rely on animal pollination completely. Furthermore, most staple foods — wheat, rice and corn — do not depend on animal pollination at all. They are wind-pollinated, or self-pollinating. If all the bees in the world dropped dead tomorrow afternoon, it would reduce our food production by only between 4 and 6 per cent.....‘Overall we must conclude that claims of a global crisis in agricultural production are untrue.’"

President Obama signed an executive order this past June to all Cabinet secretaries and agency heads requiring “the federal government to develop a plan for protecting pollinators such as honey bees, butterflies, birds and bats in response to mounting concerns about the impact of dwindling populations on American crops.” The President claimed,“the problem is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment".

Blatant nonsense! On Saturday, June 21, 2014 I posted the article, Presidential PollinatorProtection: More Activity as Substitute for Accomplishment, dealing with each pollinator the President addressed. I went on to say:

Let's now deal with the slaughter of bats - which are all protected - and birds - many of which are protected or endangered. It's the green movement that must take responsibility for their slaughter through their promotion of wind energy. Bats are killed extensively by the “low-pressure air pockets created around the swirling blades of the turbines cause bats' lungs to implode, instantly killing them”.

This is a direct result of following the same idiotic green energy production ideas that failed under Jimmy Carter, and another lack of consistent thinking that should concern everyone. These Cuisinarts are causing massive slaughters worldwide of protected birds and bats; massively larger than environmentalists claimed was being caused by DDT (which was a lie and doesn’t kill bats at all) and the government has given them a pass!

As I pointed out in my article, "Green Power and Precautionary Double Standards”;We absolutely know these monsters are killing at least 573,000 birds every year, including some 83,000 eagles, hawks and other raptors - in clear violation of US laws. Other estimates put the toll at closer to 13,000,000 birds and bats annually. Why are the "precautionary" activists stone-cold silent about that? Why? Because “unintentional kills are to be expected”! If you killed a bald eagle in an “unintentional” accident would you get the same kind of pass? No! Because this double standard is deliberate.

(Editor's Note: Since this article was published some have finally stepped up, but they also fail in consistent thinking because they're willing to accept kills in smaller numbers.)

What about butterfly protection? That is nothing more than a direct attack on genetically modified crops. In reality there’s no real evidence GMO’s impact butterflies negatively, except for a Cornell study in 1999, and even the author, Professor John Losey, noted the study was a "laboratory study” and not to be taken too seriously against real world activity. The butterflies in the study were forced to feed on corn pollen, which proved something entomologists already knew – Bt enhanced corn pollen can kill Monarchs. Apparently he doesn’t believe this study lays ground work for any real concern saying; "our study was conducted in the laboratory and, while it raises an important issue, it would be inappropriate to draw any conclusions about the risk to Monarch populations in the field based solely on these initial results."

In the real world Monarch butterflies don’t like, and generally don’t eat corn pollen, or anything corn pollen rests on if given other options. As for Bt enhanced corn pollen landing on other plants such as milkweed - it had better be right next to the corn field since corn pollen is heavy and doesn’t travel far, and there is very little milkweed around corn fields. Also the study did not display how much Monarchs would have to eat to be harmed or how much exposure there would have to be to Bt in the real world.

Steve Milloy notes other scientist who’ve weighed in on this subject saying:

"Warren Douglas Stevens, senior curator of the Missouri Botanical Garden, suspects that in a natural setting butterflies, which apparently don't like corn pollen, would avoid eating it if they encountered it on their food source.

Tom Turpin, professor of entomology at Purdue University, believes there is little threat to Monarch butterflies encountering Bt pollen on milkweed because there is very little milkweed in and around cornfields. Preliminary studies have shown that corn pollen, which is fairly heavy, does not travel very far.

John Foster, professor of entomology at the University of Nebraska, believes automobiles pose a greater risk to Monarchs than Bt corn."

However this Cornel study provoked a very real effort to discover what impact Bt enhanced corn pollen would have on Monarchs and answer the questions regarding dose and exposure by a “large informal group of scientists who came together in workshops held by ARS to discuss the questions" of dose and exposure. Their work demonstrated that:

“monarch caterpillars have to be exposed to pollen levels greater than 1,000 grains/cm to show toxic effects.

Caterpillars were found to be present on milkweed during the one to two weeks that pollen is shed by corn, but corn pollen levels on milkweed leaves were found to average only about 170 pollen grains/cm in corn fields.

Reports from several field studies show concentrations much lower than that even within the cornfield. In Maryland, the highest level of pollen deposition was inside and at the edge of the corn field, where pollen was found at about 50 grains/cm2. In the Nebraska study, pollen deposition ranged from 6 grains/cm2 at the field edge to less than 1 grain/cm2 beyond 10 meters. Samples collected from fields in Ontario immediately following the period of peak pollen shed showed pollen concentrations averaged 78 grains at the field edge.

In the Nebraska study, pollen deposition ranged from 6 grains at the field edge to less than 1 grain/cm beyond 10 meters. Samples collected from fields in Ontario immediately following the period of peak pollen shed showed pollen concentrations averaged 78 grains at the field edge.”

The conclusion arrived at by this group of scientists? "There is no significant risk to monarch butterflies from environmental exposure to Bt corn."

The claim that we don’t know if GMO’s have an impact on pollinators is a red herring that has no basis in reality, and we need to understand that!

SOURCE





Australia: Moree Solar Farm Puts Big Solar in Big Sky Country

PM Abbott plans to scrap the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The sooner he gets it done the better

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today announced $101.7 million of support for Moree Solar Farm, which upon completion will be one of the largest solar plants in Australia.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht congratulated renewable energy company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) who are set to begin construction on the project shortly.

"Moree Solar Farm will be the first large-scale solar plant in Australia to use a single-axis horizontal tracking system, where panels follow the sun across the sky to capture sunlight and maximise power output," Mr Frischknecht said. "The 56MWac (70MWp) farm will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of 15,000 average New South Wales homes."

Mr Frischknecht said the Moree community would benefit from the project and had been keen supporters, along with the Moree Plains Shire Council, for several years. "The $164 million Moree Solar Farm will benefit the local economy and will also deliver an estimated 130 local jobs during the construction phase over 2014-2016.

"More than 50 locations around Australia were investigated before the developers selected the site 10 kilometres out of Moree in NSW's northern wheat belt, an area known as 'big sky country'. The location benefits from high levels of solar radiation and also allows the solar farm to connect to the national electricity grid."

Mr Frischknecht said the project, which is also being supported by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, would aim to demonstrate that large-scale solar power plants can be constructed and operated within Australia's major electricity grids.

"ARENA will work with FRV to share the valuable knowledge gained in delivering the Moree Solar Farm with the rest of the industry," Mr Frischknecht said. "We recognise reducing early mover disadvantage and supporting the transfer of information will help advance development of more utility scale solar plants in Australia."

Moree Solar Farm is a solar flagship project ARENA inherited when it was established in July 2012. Last week another former flagship project supported by ARENA reached a major milestone when the first of approximately 1.35 million panels were installed at AGL's large-scale solar plant in Nyngan, NSW.

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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5 August, 2014

Persecution of a skeptic

John Droz reports on more ruthless Leftism

Dr. Henrik Møller, is an world-renowned expert on infra-sound, and has published several high-quality studies on low-frequency acoustics (like here, here, here, and here). More recently, some of these have dealt with industrial wind energy noise (e.g. here — which was peer-reviewed).

He has been praised as Denmark's "leading noise researcher." What’s even more important is that he has been courageous enough to have publicly spoken out against poor government policies, as well as the misinformation disseminated from the wind energy cartel.

In Denmark there have been several newspaper reports about this surprising firing, but I'm sending this to the AWED list as such an event should have much wider coverage. Here are English translations of a few Danish articles (I have the originals as well). It seems to me that some of the key points made in them are:

— Dr. Møller has had thirty eight (38) years of distinguished service for Aalborg University.

— Ironically, this institution publicly prides itself as looking out for its professors: “At Aalborg University we focus intensively on staff welfare and job satisfaction.”

— He was the only one of 200± researchers at the Department of Electronic Systems in Aalborg who was let go...

— The purported reason for his firing, is that the professor is no longer “financially lucrative" for the university...

— Despite claiming that the termination was due to a shortage of funds, the university had recently hired two additional people in the same department...

— Dr. Møller's reasoned responses were:

1) During the last year he may not have produced that much income, but in many other years his work resulted in substantial profit to the university.

2) Statistically, approximately half of the faculty would be operating at a loss — so why single him out?

3) In his prior 38 years of employment, and reviews, he was never informed that his job was solely dependent on outside funding.

4) Additionally, prior to the sacking, he had not been informed that his income production was a problem that need to be addressed — giving him a chance to do so.

— The Danish Society of Engineers, and the Danish Association of Masters and PhDs, have gone on record stating that it is unreasonable to dismiss researchers due to a lack of grants. Furthermore they reportedly said such a policy is contrary to the Danish University Act, which specifies that the purpose of research is to promote education, not to be a profit-making venture...

— The VP of the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations stated that it's rare that a Danish professor is fired.

— It has been reported that the wind industry has frequently complained about Dr. Møller to his boss (Dean Eskild Holm Nielsen)...

— Consider this: the same Dean Nielsen was a keynote speaker at the Wind Industry Association’s meeting, the day after he fired Dr. Møller!

— As one article explains, this termination might have also come from the fact that the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has a very close association with the wind industry, and that Dr. Møller's scientific research had resulted in embarrassing revelations.

— The same article states that with Dr. Møller out of the picture, wind industry friendly DTU will now take over responsibility for assessing acoustical impacts of industrial wind turbines on Danish citizens. (I wonder what conclusions they will reach?)

As one report accurately stated: it takes courage for academics to focus on scientific research, instead of pursuing outside funding.

Please consider writing a short, polite email to Dr. Møller's boss (the person who fired him), Dean Nielsen (dekan-teknat@adm.aau.dk), objecting to this shameful termination.
[It would be helpful to cc a reporter at an important Danish newspaper: Axel Pihl-Andersen (axel.andersen@jp.dk), and bcc Dr. Møller (henrikmoeller2@gmail.com).]

Via email





Big rethink on the Arctic

That terrifying methane-filled permafrost is not so terrifying after all

Research suggests that some Arctic lakes store more greenhouse gases than they emit into the atmosphere.

This counters a widely-held scientific view that thawing permafrost accelerates atmospheric warming.

The study shows that permafrost rich in organic material will see the growth of mosses and other plants flourish, leading to greater amounts of carbon absorption.

Supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the study was published this week in the journal Nature and focused on thermokarst lakes.

These occur when permafrost thaws and create surface depressions that fill with melted fresh water, converting what was previously frozen land into lakes.

The research suggests that Arctic thermokarst lakes are 'net climate coolers' when observed over longer time scales, namely several thousand years, although they initially warm the climate.

'Until now, we've only thought of thermokarst lakes as positive contributors to climate warming,' said lead researcher Dr Katey Walter Anthony, associate research professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Northern Engineering.

'It is true that they do warm climate by strong methane emissions when they first form, but on a longer-term scale, they switch to become climate coolers because they ultimately soak up more carbon from the atmosphere than they ever release.'

The researchers observed that roughly 5,000 years ago, thermokarst lakes in ice-rich regions of North Siberia and Alaska began cooling, instead of warming the atmosphere.

'While methane and carbon dioxide emissions following thaw lead to immediate radiative warming, carbon uptake in peat-rich sediments occurs over millennial time scales,' the authors write. 

They found that high rates of carbon absorption in lake sediments were stimulated by several factors including erosion and nutrient release from thawing permafrost.

'These lakes are being fertilised by thawing yedoma permafrost,' explained co-author Dr Miriam Jones, a research geologist for the US Geological Survey.

Yedoma is a type of permafrost that is rich in organic material, which means mosses and other plants flourish in the lakes.

This leads to increased carbon uptake rates that are among the highest in the world. 

The study also revealed another major factor of this process: when the lakes drain, previously thawed organic-rich lake sediments re-freeze.

The new permafrost formation then stores a large amount of carbon processed in and under thermokarst lakes, as well as the peat that formed after lake drainage.

Researchers note that the new carbon storage is not forever, since future warming will likely start re-thawing some of the permafrost and release some of the carbon in it via microbial decomposition.

As roughly 30 per cent of global permafrost carbon is concentrated within 7 per cent of the permafrost region in Alaska, Canada and Siberia, this study's findings also renew scientific interest in how carbon uptake by thermokarst lakes offsets greenhouse gas emissions.

SOURCE





The News Media Now Reports All Weather as "Extreme"

By Alan Caruba



In a desperate effort to keep the global warming hoax alive even though it is now called “climate change”, the meteorologically challenged print and broadcast media is now declaring all weather “extreme” these days.

The Media Research Institute recently analyzed broadcast network transcripts between July 1, 2004 and July 1, 2005, along with those between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014. What it discovered was the network coverage of “extreme weather” had increased nearly one thousand percent!

As Sean Long reported, “during that time, extreme weather was frequently used by the networks to describe heat waves, droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, and winter storms, and they often included the phrase in onscreen graphics or chyrons during weather stories.”

Thanks to Al Gore who continues to lie about global warming despite the fact that the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for seventeen years, the news media, print and broadcast, now substitutes its latest reincarnation, “climate change”, when reporting the weather. It’s worth noting that the weather is what is outside right now wherever you are and climate is something that is measured in decades and centuries.

The one thing you need to keep in mind is that every form of weather has been around for much of the Earth’s 4.5 billion years. Long before humans were blamed for causing it, they developed ways to adapt and survive, but tornadoes, hurricanes and floods, among other events, still kill humans with the same indifference to them that Mother Nature has always demonstrated.

Gore became a multi-millionaire based on the global warming scam and, along the way; the U.S. wasted an estimated $50 billion on alleged “research” whose sole purpose was to give credence to it. Too many scientists lined their pockets with taxpayer dollars and many government agencies increased their budgets while falsifying their findings.

The entertainment media got into the act by producing films such as Showtime’s “documentary series” called “Years of Living Dangerously.”  It has received two nominations for “Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series and Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming.” Its executive producer, Joel Bach, said “Every day, more Americans are experiencing the devastating impacts of a warming world and we had to tell their story.” Except that the world is NOT warming.

The Showtime series featured those noted climatologists and meteorologists, Harrison Ford, Jessica Alba, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Matt Damon among others. The final episode featured President Obama whose climate lies rival Al Gore’s. “Science is science”, said the President. “And there is no doubt that if we burned all the fossil fuel that’s in the ground right now, that the planet’s going to get too hot and the consequences could be dire.”

The real dire consequences people around the world are encountering include frostbite and freezing to death.

In a June article in Forbes magazine, James Taylor, editor of The Heartland Institute's Environmental & Climate News, noted that “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s most accurate, up-to-date temperature data confirm the United States has been cooling for at least a decade. The NOAA temperature data are driving a stake through the heart of alarmists claiming accelerating global warming.” The latest data support the longer cooling cycle that began around 1997.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) recently announced that “The growing consequences of climate change are putting many of the country’s most iconic and historic sites at risk”, citing Ellis Island, the Everglades, Cape Canaveral and California’s Cesar Chavez National Monument. The UCS said that “we must work to minimize these risks in the future by reducing the carbon emissions that are causing climate change…” This is utter rubbish.

Called a “pollutant” by the Environmental Protection Agency, carbon dioxide is, along with oxygen, a natural gas that is vital to all life on Earth as the “food” on which all vegetation depends.

William Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Bracket Professor of Physics at Princeton University, told the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that “Our exhaled breath contains about 4% CO2. That is 40,000 parts per million or about 100 times the current atmospheric concentration. Our own primate ancestors evolved when the levels of atmospheric CO2 were about 1000 parts per million, a level that we will probably not reach by burning fossil fuels, and far above our current level of about 380 parts per million.”

The Earth would benefit from more, not less, CO2.

How concerned is the public? Not very. In May, a Gallup poll noted that Americans consider unemployment/jobs, government corruption, and the economy as the three “most important” problems facing the nation. “Just 3% of those surveyed listed the environment/pollution as America’s most important problem. From a list of thirteen problems, it was number twelve.

The news media will continue to misrepresent the weather and/or climate and those determined to keep us from accessing and using the USA’s vast reserves of coal, oil and natural gas will continue to lie about it. The good news is that a growing portion of the public no longer believes the three decades of lies.

SOURCE






Sheer speculation about GMOs

Another one of Rich Kozlovich's systematic replies to a Greenie loon

Mike Adams, who publishes Natural News and styles himself as the Health Ranger recently posted an article entitled, The Agricultural Holocaust explained: the 10 worst ways GMOs threaten humanity and our natural world on July 27, 2014.

The Health Ranger’s sixth complaint is that, “GMOs may have long-term unintended consequences on the environment”.  His logic is as follows:

"What happens when genetically engineered plants cross-pollinate with non-GMO plants and are then subjected to the random mutations of plant evolution?

No one knows because it's never been tested in the open world. Or, I should say, it's being tested right now on us all, in the world's largest genetic experiment ever conducted (without our consent, no less).

The problem in all this is that Mother Nature has a way of bringing about unintended consequences, even from well-meaning scientists. Is it possible that an artificial, genetically engineered trait could dominate future plant generations but begin to show a completely unintended physiological trait that scientists never intended? You bet it is. From Thalidomide to Fukushima, the world is full of examples of catastrophic consequences that scientists once swore could never happen."

First of all I’m not aware of any “random mutations” caused by GMO’s, and apparently neither is the Health Ranger since he didn’t list any.  Another lie of omission and another logical fallacy! He says this hasn’t been tested in the open world, and then states the world is an ongoing testing lab.  Did he really say that?  It can’t be both ways!

However, I can tell you absolutely what will happen to any of these plants if they were subjected to “random mutations”, or mutations of any kind.  First of all, if this was an issue of plant evolution as he speculates, it would be meaningless because evolutionary theory requires millions of years and an untold number of mutations before any meaningful change would take place.  However, in the real world versus the theoretical world, 99 out of 100 mutations are harmful, and about 20 out of the 99 are lethal.  Ergo, those that survived would not last long in the real world and thus have no impact on anything, because only those things that survive and thrive affect their surrounding environment.  And why exactly is that bad?

I often see ec0-activists claiming that DDT “destroyed whole ecosystems”.  I have yet to see anyone tell me which ecosystem was destroyed.  I have yet to see anyone who can actually define an ecosystem.  Let’s try and understand that these so-called ecosystems can’t be destroyed.  Ecosystems change, that’s not destruction.  Too little water, too much water, too much heat, too much cold, and the plants and animals that populated that are will cease existance in an area and will be replaced with different animals and plants.  That’s not destruction - that’s change - and that’s gone on throughout Earth’s history.

As for defining an ecosystem; the only legitimate ecosystem is the planet itself, and the environmental variations are extreme.  Everything else is a temporary environment that’s subject to change to the detriment of some species and the benefit of others.

When products are released for use to the public - that is the final testing ground for every new product there is.  Whether it’s paint, cars, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, shampoo or baby formula!  Since GMO's have been used extensively for decades we can definitively state - GMO’s have been seriously tested worldwide and none of his speculations have any foundation in reality.

So what is foundational logic for the views expressed by eco-activists?  As is always the case they make unwarranted claims via speculative questions, spew out logical fallacies, lies of omission, lies of commission and freely make use of weasel words such as – “this may occur”, or “is it possible”, or “could dominate” which is purely speculatory, but raises concerns in people’s minds.  All of which is an appeal to the Precautionary Principle, an irrational concept that demands we “must” prove something is safe before it can be used. If the world had adopted the Precautionary Principle in 1850 we wouldn’t have electricity – because we know electricity isn’t safe.

Since there is no foundational evidence for their claims for harm, which is presented in the form of questions.   This is an attempt to put the ball in someone else’s court for answers they know can't be supplied because – as I have said before, and it gets a bit tiring saying it – they’re demanding someone prove a negative.  Can’t be done.

Are there unintended or even undesirable consequences with technology old and new?  Of course! We live in a risk versus benefit world.  Every new advancement will have negative potentials - which eco-activists harp on constantly - but they never evaluate the consequences of not adopting new technology. 

Perhaps they're needing help to achieve clarity? Well then, here it is!

All these amazing modern technological agricultural advancements of the twentieth and twenty first centuries have benefitted humanity far beyond anything medieval mankind ever dreamed of, including average life spans of 70 and even 80 years in some areas of the world.   Admittedly, medical science has made amazing progress during that same time frame, but there's two things the most amazing medical wonders ever devised can't cure - malnutrition and starvation!  That falls under the purview of pesticides and GMO's and those who utilize that technology.

SOURCE





Wind Turbines & White Elephants

Following the story about the Welsh Govt’s £48K wind turbine in Aberystwyth, which has only produced £5 worth of electricity in the last five years, readers have sent me some more examples of wasted money.

1) Dover

Dover Express report:

THE much-trumpeted £90,000 wind turbine installed outside the council offices has generated just a tenth of the energy it should have done, the Express can reveal.

"The 17-metre machine, erected outside the Dover District Council headquarters in Whitfield, was supposed to generate 45,000 kW hours per year, producing 7 per cent of the electricity used in the offices.

But the Express can reveal that just 22,080 kWhrs has been generated in total since November 2007 – less than 4,500 kWhrs per year.

Critics have called the project a "white elephant", but the authority has defended the scheme and said it has "raised the profile" of renewable energy by educating people across the district."

At 15 pence/KWh, the value of electricity produced is just £675 pa. Assuming (very generously!) no maintenance or interest charges, the payback is 133 years!

Interestingly, the paper reports:

"Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request about costs and savings six months after the grant-funded turbine was installed, DDC said at the time: "It should save 45,000 kWhrs per year, producing 7 per cent of the electricity used in the offices."

But, this week, it appeared to backtrack from the numbers, saying the 45,000 kWhrs figure was the upper limit it could generate and was only achievable with constantly favourable wind speeds and direction.

A spokesman said: "The 45,000 kWhrs quoted is the optimum generation – in order to achieve this, the wind speed would always need to be at the maximum speed that the turbine could operate safely in, and the wind direction would always have to be favourable"

Confusion between capacity and output is commonplace. Did the council get its sums wrong in the first place? Or did they knowingly waste £90K of ratepayers money, just to “raise the profile of renewable energy?

2) Derby

We then have the story from the Derby Telegraph of two turbines owned by Severn Trent Water, which have yet to produce any power, despite being ready last December.

The reason? They interfere with the radar at nearby East Midlands Airport.

They are now waiting for the airport to install new radar equipment to “ensure that the airport can operate safely”. I wonder who will pay for that?

3) Milton Keynes

It gets worse, as the Milton Keynes Citizen reports!

"Three costly wind turbines built in the grounds of a school are now to be dismantled – after allegedly generating just £3.67 worth of electricity in NINE years.

Milton Keynes Council paid £170,000 for the giant turbines at Oakgrove School at Middleton .

But shortly after the school opened in 2005, the structures were switched off for health and safety reasons due to a manufacturing defect.

A source told the Citizen: “It all seems to be an extraordinary waste of money. None of it is the fault of the school itself – they’ve just been stuck with these huge things that have proved useless.”

The turbines were provided by a German company which has since gone into liquidation, leaving the council unable to get compensation

4) Hinckley

The Hinckley Times have the story of the £40K turbine at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, which has used more electricity than it has generated.

"An eco-friendly wind turbine installed to save energy at a Hinckley college has been labelled a “disaster” after revelations it has expended more power than it has produced.

In its three year lifespan the 31.5ft turbine – thought to have a price tag of around £40,000 – has turned only 8% of the time and has not created electricity but used enough to run an energy hungry household for two years.

When installed on the roof of the new North Warwickshire and Hinckley college campus on Lower Bond Street in September 2011, education chiefs lauded it as part of their commitment to embed sustainability across all college activities and a weapon in the fight to cut carbon emissions by 35% within four years.

But since its set up the vertical axis blades of the turbine have only been spinning for 8% of the time and only been working for 38% – during the remaining 62% of the time, because of its settings, conditions have been ‘unsuitable’ – ie the wind at 5m/s, a fresh breeze – has been deemed too strong and it switches off.

This means the device has used 497 kHw more than it has made – enough to run a fridge for a year, a microwave daily for half-an-hour for two years and a tumble drier daily for six months."

Figures from the college show (based on the average price of a kHw at 17p) the turbine has used £1,730 worth of electricity, twice the annual bill of a high energy usage household.

But what the hell? As was the case in Dover, it is apparently OK to waste taxpayers’ money, just to promote “sustainability”.

Andy Crowter, group director of facilities and estates at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, said:

”The turbine is not there primarily to create income but to promote sustainability – one of the most important challenges facing the UK. The turbine is a symbol of the college’s awareness of its environmental responsibilities, an icon of good practice to its students and recognition of the college’s award winning Carbon Reduction Plan. “

5) Canada

And it’s not just in Britain, as the National Post report:

"Several Prince Edward Island rinks that were convinced to make the expensive conversion to wind power, but never saw the promised savings, are now trying to get rid of the trouble-plagued turbines and win compensation for their troubles.

“We went into debt to purchase this windmill on the promise that it would make us money and it would help us with our power costs,” said Tom Albrecht, vice-president of the South Shore Actiplex in Crapaud, P.E.I., which spent $70,000 and received another $230,000 from the federal and provincial governments to install a turbine.

“The bottom line is buy us out and give us our money back.”

Last week, the Wind Energy Institute of Canada apparently decided to shut down turbines at at least some of the rinks, as it worked through technical problems, according to Darin Craig, past president of the South Shore Actiplex board.

More HERE  (See the original for links)






Australia: Self-righteous Greens must obey law

"IF you are going to steal," they say in America, "steal big." Jonathan Moylan did just that: by issuing a fraudulent ANZ press release claiming the bank had withdrawn its support from the Maules Creek mining project, he knocked $300 million off the market capitalisation of Whitehaven Coal.

But far from imposing the maximum penalty for market ­manipulation of 10 years in jail, the NSW Supreme Court has now let him off with a gentle slap on the wrist, releasing him from a sentence of 20 months’ imprisonment in exchange for $1000 and a two-year good behaviour period.

Moylan, you see, is a green; and although “the market was manipulated, vast amounts of shares were unnecessarily traded and some investors lost their investment entirely”, the court concluded leniency was warranted, as the anti-coal activist, who has a long string of trespass offences to his name, did not act for or obtain a personal financial gain.

No, Moylan wasn’t motivated by a thirst for yachts, fast cars and the company of starlets. He gets his kicks dreaming of a world without coal.

But if fanaticism excuses crime, are jihadists now entitled to issue misleading financial information about Jewish-owned companies in their quest for the global ­caliphate?

Or is there one law for the zealots of Gaia and another for everyone else?

Moylan was hardly unaware that he was committing a crime. On the contrary, immediately before issuing the fraudulent press release, he downloaded the relevant legislation, which specifies that the maximum penalty for the offence of market manipulation was doubled in 2010, reflecting the harm fraud does to investors and to public confidence in the financial system.

But Moylan was convinced that “change doesn’t happen without people taking risks”; so he methodically prepared his crime, creating a false web address with the ANZ’s name, analysing previous ANZ market announcements, illegally copying the ANZ logo, and identifying the names and phone numbers of the ANZ officers listed on press releases of investor information.

He also studied the impact that market developments had had on Whitehaven’s share price, found its share price to be “volatile” and concluded that Whitehaven’s “current profit margin is paper thin”. It must have been obvious to him that his false press release could cause chaos.

And indeed it did. On the day of his fraud, trading in Whitehaven shares was three times greater than it had typically been, as panic-stricken small investors and managed funds liquidated their holdings, taking heavy losses.

Nor did Moylan try to prevent the chaos once it started to unfold. Masquerading as an employee of the ANZ to a journalist who phoned the number he had given, his first reaction was to try to bluff his way through. It was only when it became clear that the press ­release was a hoax that he fronted up, and even then he continued to lie, including to callers from the ANZ itself.

Yes, once he was uncovered, Moylan confessed; but the evidence against him was overwhelming. It is also true that he subsequently apologised to the ­investors he harmed. But as the court found, until sentencing loomed, “many of the earlier expressions of remorse were somewhat qualified”, and he has never expressed regret for the damage to the ANZ’s reputation and to Whitehaven Coal itself. Instead, he blamed the media for not spotting the fraud more quickly and submitted that “the journalists more than the offender ought to be held to account for the ultimate effect on the market”.

Moreover, Moylan is no Nelson Mandela: lacking the moral courage to take responsibility for his actions, he “chose not to give evidence at the sentencing proceedings”, preventing “his understanding and expectations” of how the market works from being ­tested.

This was, in short, “offending attended with a considerable degree of planning and premeditation”, whose consequence in terms of “actual damage was considerable”, undertaken in full knowledge of the penalties by a well-educated man who “has been prepared to break the law on a number of occasions”.

Sure, he sought “to further the causes in which he believes”. And he is, no doubt, full of “passion and concern for social justice”. But he committed the serious crime of fraud, using “thorough planning so that at least in the short term the recipients of the false media release would believe the truth of what was contained within it”.

The leniency therefore not only adds insult to the injury Moylan’s victims suffered; it also suggests an abhorrent double standard, in which the self-­appointed guardians of the planet are shielded from the law’s full force.

Yet it would be wrong to blame the court alone. Rather, its decision reflects an environment in which, day after day, the Greens, led by Christine Milne, paint mining coal as a crime, thus legitimising those who, having failed to convince voters of their cause, descend into illegality to prevent mining occurring. And it is merely the latest incident in which the greens and their fellow-travellers celebrate actions, such as those of the Sea Shepard, which flaunt a disregard for legalities.

But to have one law for the greens and another for everyone else is to have no law at all. If that is where we are, then our clocks, like Baudelaire’s, should have their hands removed and bear the legend “it is too late”. Too late for thought; but not too late for stupidity so grievous as to slow the rotation of the earth. Too late for honesty; but not too late for the shrill arrogance of the self-righteous. And worst of all, too late for justice, which, no longer blind, has been struck deaf and dumb.

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


*****************************************



4 August, 2014

Trade, the Precautionary Principle, and Post-Modern Regulatory Process: Regulatory Convergence in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Abstract:     

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (“TTIP”) has been hailed as an opportunity for the world’s two largest consumer markets to expand inter-regional trade, investment and jobs, and to secure greater regulatory convergence that could considerably reduce costly and market-distorting extra-territorial non-tariff regulatory trade barriers. This opportunity notwithstanding, Europe’s precautionary principle (“PP”) has been identified as a potential obstacle to a successful TTIP outcome. In our view, the TTIP presents a significant opportunity for creating a process for regulatory cooperation, harmonization, and convergence.

In this article, we focus on the PP and related differences in regulatory procedures. Specifically, we discuss the PP’s relation to post-modernism, and its influence on EU regulatory procedure and science, highlighting the paradoxes inherent in the PP. To put these issues into perspective, we also review the ‘reality of precaution.’ In light of this analysis, we assess the effectiveness of the trading partners’ attempts to reduce the regulatory divide, and explore what the EU and US can learn from each other. We then proceed to present some recommendations on how they should proceed in the TTIP negotiations.

SOURCE






A further reply to an anti-GMO liar

By Rich Kozlovich

Mike Adams, who publishes Natural News and styles himself as the Health Ranger recently posted an article entitled, The Agricultural Holocaust explained: the 10 worst ways GMOs threaten humanity and our natural worldon July 27, 2014.

He claims that, “GMOs collapse biodiversity”, saying;

"In an effort to monopolize the global seed supply, GMO companies are buying up smaller seed companies and shutting them down, collapsing their seed supplies. The following chart shows some of the seed consolidation activity that's concentrating ownership over seeds into the hands of a very small number of powerful, unethical corporations:"

(Editor’s Note: He provides a chart in the article. However, there’s no citation or link as to its origin. I can’t confirm anything the chart shows, except there seem to be an awful lot of seed companies - and based on everything else he’s said in this article – I have to wonder if he doesn’t want anyone to know its origin.)

"This consolidation of seed companies has caused an alarming collapse in seed diversity over the last decade, placing humanity at increased risk for catastrophic crop failures due to a loss of genetic diversity.

That's the problem with genetic conformity: it makes the crops far more susceptible to systemic diseases that can cause catastrophic crop failures. Precisely this scenario is happening right now with banana crops, as most commercial banana trees are genetically identical clones.

As a result, a fungus has attacked banana cropsand is causing devastating destruction across the banana industry. The industry is responding by -- guess what? -- foolishly turning to genetically engineered bananas which will suffer from the exact same weakness of genetic conformity, practically guaranteeing a future disease epidemic.”

Before I go on, let me state from the outset that the worst lies start with the truth. But once the truthful statements have been twisted with lies of omission and logical fallacies it’s perverted to generate erroneous conclusions. It’s a lot like snake oil salesmen and a fast hustle. It’s true that genetic diversity is important to continued health in seeds, but everything he says after that is seriously flawed.

Let’s start with this business of loss of genetic diversity he claims is being caused by “unethical” companies deliberately causing a “collapse” (what does that mean?) in the seed market. That’s a load of horsepucky! When I first read his claims I have to admit it took me by surprise because not once could I remember seeing any commentaries about this, and there was nothing in my files. So I sent out a request for information to my net hoping someone out there could provide some information on this. People started responding back about what he portrays as a deliberate and nefarious effort to destroy biodiversity.

We have to understand that, just as in any industry, there are natural ebbs and flows. There is a constant ebb and flow regarding seed stock involving GMO’s, non-GMO’s, hybrids, self pollinators, and cross pollinating plants. Just as there is in any business. Recently there’s a resurgence in non-GMO breeding efforts because it appears we’re in a growers market. This makes sense as the ASTA -American Seed TradeAssociation states on its web site – “everything starts with the seed”.

One of my correspondents, who works for a large international trade association involved in Agriculture, stated the entire seed industry is very “robust….big and small companies alike”. All these so-called consolidations have actually strengthened the mid-sized and small companies because they’re more agile than the larger companies and can move more quickly into profitable situations.

As for these companies deliberately trying to “collapse” the seed market – I keep asking - what does that mean? Does he imply these companies are buying up smaller seed companies and destroying their seed stock? It seems to me that’s what he’s trying to convey – but he won’t dare say it because he knows it’s a lie. No company would deliberately destroy seed stock because these large science based companies know better than anyone how science is constantly moving forward and tomorrow they may suddenly discover a new tool to unlock some “genetic assets in a seed line”. “Self interest alone would compel companies to preserve genetic resources.”

Is he trying to say these large companies are buying up all the small companies and hiding seed stock? Well, that’s loony. They’re buying seed stock to utilize it in some fashion, and they’re not ever going to eliminate the small and mid-size companies, and I doubt if they want to. It wouldn’t be worth the cost and it wouldn't prevent new companies from forming. GMO companies are not causing a loss in genetic diversity, they’re preserving genetic diversity and enhancing the genetic diversity that already exists.

About twenty five years ago Waste Management Incorporated decided the pest control industry was a good fit for their corporation because they felt they had corporate expertise in the legislative and regulatory arena that was compatible with the pest control and lawn care industries. So they went around the country and bought up a large number of quality regional pest control companies. Overnight they became the number three company in the nation.

A lot of prominent people in the pest control industry started covering themselves in sackcloth and ashes, wringing their hands, believing this was the end of the small pest control companies – the conglomerates were taking over – “it’s the end of the pest control industry as we know it!” A few old hands just chuckled, shook their heads and said – that will never happen – and they were right, and the conglomerate “consolidation” scare ended.

Are bigger companies still buying smaller companies? Of course! That’s the nature of business! Are small companies still coming into existence? Of course! That’s the nature of business! Everything else is horsepucky!

There’s one more thing about his claim that large companies are deliberately “collapsing” (what does that mean?) the seed market that bothered me from the start. He provides not one piece of evidence other than a chart without a source link - not one link to a commentary explaining the information on the chart - not one commentary from anyone in the seed market, including any small companies warning us of these alleged abuses - not one quote from an honest broker of information and not one news story! Why?

He then asks us to take a leap of faith and believe that GMO’s are destroying the banana crops in the world. He now issues another really big lie of omission, claiming;

“This consolidation of seed companies has caused an alarming collapse in seed diversity. As a result, a fungus has attacked banana crops and is causing devastating destruction across the banana industry. The industry is responding by -- guess what? -- foolishly turning to genetically engineered bananas which will suffer from the exact same weakness of genetic conformity, practically guaranteeing a future disease epidemic.”

There’s a real problem with this Jeremiad in that he fails to include in his statement. The lack of bio-diversity is common in bananas because bananas are self pollinating. Bananas are not suffering from a lack of diversity due to GMO’s. There are wild species that are pollinated by bats, but those used in food production aren’t. I don’t know about anyone else, but somehow I think that’s an important piece of information. Don’t you?

Currently the banana we’re most familiar with the a variety called the Cavendish, and it is under attack from something called the Black Sigatoka fungus, which is becoming resistant to fungicides. Did any kind of genetic engineering have anything to do with this. NO!

The variety that preceded the Cavendish was called the Gros Michal, also a self fertilizing banana. It became commercially “unviable” in the 1950’s due to the Panama Disease, which is caused by a fungus to which the Cavendish is immune. However, the Gros Michel isn’t extinct and can be used where the Panama disease isn’t found. But let’s understand this. The Gros Michel variety became commercially interesting in the 1820’s and it took about 130 years before this naturally occurring problem struck. All that happened long before GMO's.

Within the next 10 to 20 years is seems likely the Cavendish, which like almost all bananas lacks genetic diversity, will suffer attacks that can’t be thwarted with fungicides. This will have a serious impact on large commercial and small farm agriculture. However there are a very large number of varieties of bananas out there we’re not familiar with which could produce one or more replacements, although they would be substantially different than  what we’re used to. But no matter what direction agriculture goes in this matter we must come to realize that this problem is a naturally occurring one that can’t be blamed on GMO’s. In fact it seems rational that GMO’s will be the answer!

Scientists have made announcements about the complete sequencing of the banana genome, and by utilizing genes from wild species that reproduce via seeds they could potentially develop a non-seed variety that would be immune to fungi and even pathogens. Resistant genes from onions and dahlias were introduced into plantains –a member of the banana family used in cooking - which are demonstrating resistance to a greenhouse fungus. Will they make it in the real world? The only rational answer is yes - eventually! Will this lead to high tasty high yield bananas at some point. The only rational answer must be a resounding YES, eventually! But only if we abandon all this scare mongering about GMO’s. GMO’s will save commercial banana production and will end the need to make so many applications of fungicides, which is a very real financial burden for small farmers. That's why American Farmers Just Love Their GMOs and You Should Too.

SOURCE







Roger Pielke Jr. on FiveThirtyEight and his Climate Critics

By Keith Kloor

Earlier in the year, Roger Pielke Jr. was named as a contributing writer for Nate Silver’s newly re-launched FiveThirtyEight site. Shortly after that, Pielke, a climate policy scholar and political scientist at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, published an article at FiveThirtyEight headlined, “Disasters Cost More Than Ever–But Not Because of Climate Change.”

Critics pounced immediately in blogs and on Twitter. That harsh reaction was then reported and commented on at Salon, Huffington Post, Slate, the Columbia Journalism Review, and elsewhere.

I recently conducted a Q & A with Pielke about this episode and the aftermath. The links in my questions are from me. I asked Pielke to provide his own links.

KK: It’s been noted on Twitter that you are not listed on the main contributors page for FiveThirthyEight. Does this mean you no longer write for the site? If so, can you explain what happened?

RPJR: That is correct, I no longer write for 538. Last month, after 538 showed some reluctance in continuing to publish my work, I called up Mike Wilson, the lead editor there, and told him that it was probably best that we part ways. I wished them well in their endeavor going forward. I remain a fan. Since then I have joined up with SportingIntelligence, a UK-based website that focuses on analyses of economic and other quantitative aspects of sport. It’s a great fit. And of course, I continue to publish in places like USA Today and the Financial Times on a wide range of subjects

KK: What do you make of the uproar your FiveThirtyEight piece generated? I know it quickly degenerated into an ugly pile-on, which I and some other journalists found unseemly. But did critics have any legitimate points you want to acknowledge?

RPJR: Well, that first piece was written on a subject that I have written on many times before (and perhaps as much as anyone) – disasters and climate change. The short essay was perfectly consistent with the recent assessments of the IPCC. The fact that some folks didn’t like it was not surprising — most anything on climate change is met with derision by somebody. What was a surprise was the degree to which the negative response to the piece was coordinated among some activist scientists, journalists and social media aficionados. I think that took everyone by surprise. I learned some new things about certain colleagues and journalists — both really good things and some really pathetic things. Seeing a campaign organized to have me fired from 538 also taught me a lesson about the importance of academic tenure.

KK: If you could write the piece over again, what would you do differently, if anything?

RPJR: Looking back, probably the main thing I would do differently would be to simply not write about climate change at 538. When I was originally hired there was actually zero discussion about me focusing on climate or even science, but rather covering a wide range of topics. I made clear to Nate and Mike that I was looking to at least partially escape from the climate change wars by focusing on other issues.  The climate change piece was an obvious place to start even so because the IPCC reports had just been released and the topic is also covered so thoroughly in the peer reviewed literature. Clearly, that judgment was wrong!

KK: Have you and Nate Silver talked about this ordeal? What was his reaction?

RPJR: I have not spoken with or corresponded with Nate since that first piece. Of course, I do wish that 538 had shown a bit more editorial backbone, but hey, it is his operation.  If a widely published academic cannot publish on a subject which he has dozens of peer-reviewed papers and 1000s of citations to his work, what can he write on?  Clearly Nate is a smart guy, and I suspect that he knows very well where the evidence lies on this topic. For me, if the price of playing in the DC-NYC data journalism world is self-censorship for fear of being unpopular, then it is clearly not a good fit for any academic policy scholar.

KK: The condemnation of your 538 piece quickly spiraled into ugly personal broadsides painting you (incorrectly) as a climate skeptic. This happened in various high profile venues, such as Slate. How did you feel when this happened?

RPJR: If you are engaged in public debates on issues that people care passionately about, then you will be called names and worse. It goes with the territory. It is not pleasant of course, but at the same time, it is a pretty strong indication that (a) your arguments matter and (b) people have a hard time countering them on their merits. Even so, it is remarkable to see people like Paul Krugman and John Holdren brazenly make completely false claims in public about my work and my views. That they make such false claims with apparently no consequences says something about the nature of debate surrounding climate.

More HERE  (See the original for links)





No Evidence That Climate Change Is Increasing Disaster Losses

Roger Pielke Jr.

A new paper appeared in Climatic Change this week by Visser et al. which looks at disasters and climate change (open access here).  Like other studies and the IPCC assessment, Visser et al. find no trends in normalized disaster loses, looking at several metrics of economic and human losses.

They conclude:

"The absence of trends in normalized disaster burden indicators appears to be largely consistent with the absence of trends in extreme weather events. This conclusion is more qualitative for the number of people killed. As a consequence, vulnerability is also largely stable over the period of analysis."

The top line conclusion here is not surprising, though it is interesting because it uses independent methods on largely independent data. It is consistent with previous data and analyses (e.g., Bouwer 2011, Neumayer and Bartel 2011, Mohleji and Pielke 2014) as well as with the conclusions of the recent IPCC assessments (SREX and AR5).

What is perhaps most interesting about this new paper is their discussion of vulnerability. Some have argued that our methodological inability to fully account for possible changes in vulnerability to losses over time may mask a climate change signal in the data. (It's gotta be there somewhere!) This line of argument has always been suspect, because there are not relevant trends in phenomena such as floods and hurricanes which would lead to an expectation of increasing normalized losses.

Visser et al. take this issue on and offer several explanations as to why vulnerability does not mask any hidden signals:

"Firstly, global disaster management initiatives have only recently been put in place. The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) was adopted by 168 Member States of the United Nations in 2005 to take action to reduce vulnerabilities and risks to disasters (UNISDR, 2011). Although these highly important efforts will certainly pay off in the near future, it is unclear whether they are reflected in the sample period chosen for this study. Similar conclusions are drawn in IPCC (2014). . .

Secondly, it is unclear to what extent adaptation measures work in practice. Heffernan (2012) argues that many countries, and even the richest, are ill-prepared for weather extremes. As an example, he names Hurricane Sandy, which wreaked a loss of 50 billion USD along the northeast coast of the US in 2012. As for early warning systems, Heffernan states that not all systems are functioning well. For example, in 2000, Mozambique was hit by a flood worse than any in its history, and the event was not at all anticipated. Warnings of above-average rainfall came too late and failed to convey the magnitude of the coming flood.

Thirdly, a positive trend in vulnerability may be offset by the increasing number of people moving from rural to urban environments, often situated in at-risk areas (UN 2012). Since many large cities lie along coastlines, these movements will make people more vulnerable to land-falling hurricanes (Pielke et al. 2008), coastal flooding and heatwaves (due the urban heat island effect). With regard to economic losses, Hallegatte (2011) argues that these migration movements may have caused disaster losses to grow faster than wealth.

Fourthly, it is unclear how political tensions and violent conflicts have evolved over large regional scales since 1980. On the one hand, Theisen et al. (2013) show that the number of armed conflicts and the number of battle deaths have decreased slightly at the global scale since 1980. On the other hand, these methods are rather crude as far as covering all aspects of political tensions are concerned (Leaning and Guha-Sapir et al. 2013).

We conclude that quantitative information on time-varying vulnerability patterns is lacking. More qualitatively, we judge that a stable vulnerability V t, as derived in this study, is not in contrast with estimates in the literature."

In short, those who claim that a signal of human caused-climate change is somehow hidden in the disaster loss record are engaging in a bit of unjustified wishful thinking. The data and evidence says otherwise.

The bottom line? Once again, we see further reinforcement for the conclusion that there is no detectable evidence of a role for human-caused climate change in increasing disaster losses. In plain English: Disaster losses have been increasing, but it is not due to climate change.

SOURCE







Gina McCarthy's strange conception of "investment"

In the laguage of the Left, government spending is called "investment" but the head of the EPA goes even further off the rails in the matter

I don’t think Gina McCarthy had thought this through. McCarthy to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee:

“And the great thing about this proposal is it really is an investment opportunity. This is not about pollution control. It’s about increased efficiency at our plants…It’s about investments in renewables and clean energy. It’s about investments in people’s ability to lower their electricity bills by getting good, clean, efficient appliances, homes, rental units,”
“This is an investment strategy that will really not just reduce carbon pollution but will position the United States to continue to grow economically in every state, based on their own design,” McCarthy added.

She is discussing something called the Clean Power Plan. Mark this day. She goes on to find the perpetual motion machine of economics:

"Sir, what I know about this rule is that I know it will leave the United States in 2030 with a more efficient and cleaner energy supply system — and more jobs in clean energy, which are the jobs of the future,” McCarthy responded.

The EPA doesn’t just have a landline to God. They are God. They can use less energy to generate more wealth, more employment, and global peace.

But she said she doesn’t expect any adverse impact from this rule — “other than to have jobs grow, the economy to grow, the U.S. to become more stable, the U.S. to take advantage of new technology, innovation and investments that will make us stronger over time.”

Asked to explain what consumers can expect from the new rule, McCarthy said EPA expects people to see lower energy bills “because we’re getting waste out of the system.” In other words, if electricity costs more, people will use less of it.

The whole supply-demand idea of economics is obviously wrong. By making electricity cost more and shifting people off electricity to other forms of energy, demand will fall for electricity. OK. At the same time increasing demand for other energy will make that cheaper instead of more expensive. Somehow technological advance only works on EPA approved topics.

We should have done this years ago. If we had stopped using coal, oil and gas in 1970, we could have been so rich now.

SOURCE






UK: Proposals to fight climate change will trigger 'astronomical costs', campaigners warn

The Climate Change Committee said Britain needs to "strengthen" its policies and do more to boost renewable energy such as windfarms.

It said that without tougher action Britain will miss its 31 per cent target of cutting emissions by 2025 and may only manage a 21 per cent reduction.

That will hinder it meetings its commitment to cut emissions by 80 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050.

The CCC called for more progress on insulating homes, promoting the uptake of ground source and air source heat pumps, and investment in support for electric vehicles.

The CCC also urged the Government to end the "high degree of uncertainty" about its support for renewable energy.

It urged ministers to provide funding to deliver  strategies for commercialising offshore wind.

Critics warned that households which already pay an average £1,264 for electricity and gas would face higher bills if the Government follows the CCC's advice.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change already forecasts that green levies will account for 5 per cent of  gas and 11 per cent of electricity bills by 2020.

But Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation said: "UK households and consumers already face a cumulative £50 billion bill for renewable energy subsidies by 2020 in the form of the green Levy Control Framework.

"If the CCC's post-2023 proposal were to succeed, the additional costs would be astronomical. This is politically unsustainable."

Dr Peiser also pointed to Chancellor George Osborne's scepticism about green policies and his pledge not to make Britain uncompetitive in the global market.

He said: "George Osborne has repeatedly made clear that the government will not cut UK CO2 emissions faster and deeper than other countries in Europe."

Dr Lee Moroney of the Renewable Energy Foundation, a think-tank which opposes energy subsidies, said: "In spite of the Chancellor’s sensible promise in 2011 not to cut emissions faster than our competitors, the Climate Change Committee is recommending faster, deeper cuts than the EU.

"The Committee’s proposal is an enormous and very risky gamble on the future price of fossil fuels with the costs falling on consumers and taxpayers already groaning under the burden of ever-increasing energy costs."

But the CCC said that action now offers "significant cost savings" compared to delaying.

It argued that reducing emissions can be achieved "at affordable cost".

Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, said: “Climate Change demands urgent action.

SOURCE

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

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


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3 August, 2014

Kidney Stoned and Global Warming?

You can correlate an increasing trend of one phenomenon to an increasing trend for any other thing and ... Eureka! ... someone stupid enough will attribute causation.

First of all, observations are affected by observation tools.  A year ago, my wife went to the ER in terrible abdominal pain.  They gave her two shots of morphine and antibiotics for a urinary tract infection.  When she continued to have pains in the following days, she saw a specialist who did an ultrasound scan and found a bulging in her kidney tract cause by a large stone that had recently passed.  The point being that there is a strong likelihood that better analysis reveals more incidents.

That said, there are many dietary factors that can increase the possibility of kidney stones, including higher protein consumption.  Strangely, my wife went on a low-carb, high protein, high fat diet several years ago.  But, no, it was global warming.

Anything to get published.

Above comment received from a reader





Senate Committee Report Details Environmentalists' Inner Workings

None dare call it a conspiracy

Over the past fifty years, America’s environmental movement has grown from college kids adorning flowers to a billion dollar industry. With huge budgets to employ lobbyists, lawyers, and public relations professionals, many of America’s leading environmental non-profits are unrecognizable from their modest beginnings. What may seem like an organic, disparate movement is actually a well oiled machine that receives its funding from a handful of super rich liberal donors operating behind the anonymity of foundations and charities, according to a new report out today by the Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW).

The EPW report titled The Chain of Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA meticulously details how the “Billionaires’ Club” funds nearly all of the major environmental non-government organizations (NGO), many media outlets, and supposed grassroots activists. The Billionaire Report continues by describing the cozy relationship many environmental groups have with the executive branch and the revolving door that makes this possible.

The most striking aspect of the Billionaire Report is the sheer amount of money that is in play. In 2011 alone, ten foundations donated upwards of half a billion dollars to environmental causes. Many of these foundations, whose assets are valued in the billions, meet and coordinate under the framework provided by the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA). Described as the “funding epicenter of the environmental movement,” EGA members doled out $1.13 billion to environmental causes in 2011. EGA’s membership is not public but its clout is self-evident given the amount of money its members direct to recognizable environmental NGOs.

Often times, EGA members will elect to indirectly fund organizations that are the face of the environmental movement. For example, instead of directly cutting a check to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) or the Sierra Club, the Hewlett Foundation or the Packard Foundation will contribute to the Energy Foundation. The Billionaire Report describes the Energy Foundation as “a pass through charity utilized by the most powerful EGA members to create the appearance of a more diversified base of support, to shield them from accountability, and to leverage limited resources by hiring dedicated energy/environment staff to handle strategic giving.”

Not all of this money is being used to write white papers about how wind is going to power our country or how the EPA should implement this or that regulation. In fact, millions of dollars from the Energy Foundation find their way into political spending. The Billionaire Report illuminates this process by showing how the Green Tech Action Fund is financed:

Between 2010 and 2012, both foundations [Hewlett Foundation and Packard Foundation] donated hundreds of millions of dollars to ClimateWorks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) foundation. ClimateWorks then gave nearly $170 million to the Energy Foundation. Hewlett and Packard gave directly to the Energy Foundation. The Energy Foundation then gave $5,676,000 to Green Tech, and ClimateWorks gave it $1,520,000. The Energy Foundation was incredibly brief, broad and vague in describing the purpose of its 2011 and 2012 grants of $1 million, respectively, to Green Tech. The 2011 description states: “To support clean energy policies,” while in 2012 the purpose is listed as: “To advance clean technology markets, especially energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.”

Green Tech, in turn, donated heavily to at least three 501(c)(4) far-left environmental activist organizations during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles.

In addition to playing in national politics through the Energy Foundation, New York and California based foundations use a handful of other charities to prop-up local activist groups. The Billionaire Report looks at the efforts in New York and Colorado to prohibit and hamstring hydraulic fracturing:

A pseudo-grassroots effort to attack hydraulic fracturing has germinated from massive amounts of funding by three foundations: Schmidt Family Foundation, Tides Foundation and Park Foundation…In typical secretive billionaire donor fashion, the foundations’ funding was funneled through fiscal sponsors. Funding through these intermediary organizations, such as the Sustainable Markets Foundation (SMF) and Food & Water Watch, create distance between the wealthy foundations and alleged community-based outfits….

One scheme, led by the New York-based Park Foundation and California-based Schmidt Family Foundation, provides numerous grants to the New York-based SMF, which serves as the fiscal sponsor for multiple New York groups engaged in this effort, including Water Defense, Frack Action and Artists Against Fracking. During 2011, SMF gave $147,750 to Water Defense. The following year, SMF funneled a $150,000 grant “to support Water Defense” from Schmidt. Notably, Water Defense was founded in 2010 by actor Mark Ruffalo, who has an estimated net worth of $20 million and was listed on Time Magazines’ 2011 “People Who Mattered” for his anti-fracking efforts. In 2011, SMF gave Frack Action $324,198, with $150,000 stemming from Schmidt grants to SMF. Ironically, one of the Schmidt grants specified that $100,000 go “to support Frack Action’s grassroots campaign fighting for a ban on horizontal hydraulic fracturing” (emphasis added).

However, the mere funding from the California-based Schmidt demonstrates Frack Action’s campaign is anything but grassroots. In 2012, SMF received $185,000 for Frack Action through grants from Park and Schmidt. While the amount of money funneled to Yoko Ono’s Artists Against Fracking cannot be identified, as SMF’s 2012 IRS Form-990 is unavailable, Artists Against Fracking’s now-removed website directs donations to SMF.

While even passive political observers are aware of environmentalists’ political activities – who could forget American Lung Association’s coughing baby? – few people fully appreciate how interconnected the environmental movement is with the current White House and its regulatory agencies. For evidence of the environmental movement’s influence, look no further than the EPA’s recent GHG regulation for existing plants. This regulation, hailed by its supporters as the crowning achievement of the Obama Administration, drew heavily from a Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) model regulation. The New York Times wrote that the EPA used NRDC’s regulation as its “blueprint.” NRDC’s clout within Democrat circles is well known and inspired the 2009 Greenwire article “NRDC Mafia Finding Homes on Hill, in EPA .”

But NRDC is by no means the only activist group with alumni in key executive branch positions. The Billionaire’s Report calls attention to Deputy Administrator for the EPA Bob Perciasepe was the former Chief Operating Officer of the National Audubon Society. The EPA’s Region 9 Administrator used to work for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund as well as the NRDC. Acting Administrator/Deputy Administrator for the Office of Water Nancy Stoner was Co-Director and Senior Attorney for NRDC’s Water Program. EPA’s Region 2 Administrator was previously the Executive Director of the Environmental Advocates of New York.

While former hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer may be grabbing headlines over his pledge to spend $100 million dollars this election cycle, it is clear that the modern environmental movement is already well funded and organized. Totaling more than 90 pages and containing over 400 citations, the Billionaire Report will begin an important conversation about who really funds the environmental left and what they really represent.

SOURCE






Updated list of 29 excuses for the 18 year 'pause' in global warming

"If you can't explain the 'pause', you can't explain the cause"


RSS satellite data showing the 18 year 'pause' of global warming

An updated list of at least 29 excuses for the 18 year 'pause' in global warming, including recent scientific papers, media quotes, blogs, and related debunkings:

1) Low solar activity

2) Oceans ate the global warming [debunked] [debunked] [debunked]

3) Chinese coal use [debunked]

4) Montreal Protocol

5) What ‘pause’? [debunked] [debunked] [debunked] [debunked]

6) Volcanic aerosols [debunked]

7) Stratospheric Water Vapor

8) Faster Pacific trade winds [debunked]

9) Stadium Waves

10) ‘Coincidence!’

11) Pine aerosols

12) It's "not so unusual" and "no more than natural variability"

 13) "Scientists looking at the wrong 'lousy' data"

 14) Cold nights getting colder in Northern Hemisphere

15) We forgot to cherry-pick models in tune with natural variability [debunked]

16) Negative phase of Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation

17) AMOC ocean oscillation

18) "Global brightening" has stopped

19) "Ahistorical media"

20) "It's the hottest decade ever" Decadal averages used to hide the 'pause' [debunked]

21) Few El Ninos since 1999

22) Temperature variations fall "roughly in the middle of the AR4 model results"

23) "Not scientifically relevant"

24) The wrong type of El Ninos

25) Slower trade winds [debunked]

26) The climate is less sensitive to CO2 than previously thought [see also]

27) PDO and AMO natural cycles and here

28) ENSO

29) Solar cycle driven ocean temperature variations

SOURCE  (See the original for links)






The Environmental Corruption Agency

By Michelle Malkin

The lofty motto of the Environmental Protection Agency is "protecting people and the environment." In practice, however, EPA bureaucrats faithfully protect their own people and preserve the government's cesspool of manipulation, cover-ups and cronyism.

Just last week, Mark Levin and his vigilant Landmark Legal Foundation went to court to ask federal district judge Royce Lamberth to sanction the EPA "for destroying or failing to preserve emails and text messages that may have helped document suspected agency efforts to influence the 2012 presidential election." The motion is part of a larger Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit to force EPA to release emails and related records from former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and others "who may have delayed the release dates for hot-button environmental regulations until after the Nov. 6, 2012, presidential election."

Thanks to Levin and Landmark, Jackson and other EPA officials admitted in depositions that they used personal, nongovernmental email accounts to hide communications about official EPA business sent and received on their government-issued BlackBerries and smart phones. The agency has continued to drag its feet for two years in response to Landmark's FOIA requests.

Levin minced no words: "The EPA is a toxic waste dump for lawlessness and disdain for the Constitution." Not to mention disdain for the public's right to know. As Levin added: "When any federal agency receives a FOIA request, the statute says it must preserve every significant repository of records, both paper and electronic, that may contain materials that could be responsive to that request."

The agency is legally obliged to notify all involved in the suit to preserve everything in their possession that could be discoverable in the litigation. But the feds have bent over backward to delay and deny. "(T)he people at the EPA, from the administrator on down, think they're above the law, that no one has the right to question what or how they do their jobs," Levin blasted. "Well, they're wrong. The laws apply to everyone, even federal bureaucrats."

That's a bedrock principle the EPA has defied over and over again. As I first reported 13 corruption-stained years ago in 2001, former EPA head Carol Browner oversaw the destruction of her computer files on her last day in office under the Clinton administration — in clear violation of a judge's order requiring the agency to preserve its records. Browner ordered a computer technician: "I would like my files deleted. I want you to delete my files." In 2003, the agency was held in contempt and fined more than $300,000 in connection with another email destruction incident under Browner's watch.

It was Levin's Landmark Legal Foundation — upheld by Judge Lamberth — that held the corruptocrats accountable then, as they are now.

As President Obama's energy czar, Browner went on to bully auto execs "to put nothing in writing, ever" regarding secret negotiations she orchestrated on a deal to increase federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. She was also singled out by Obama's own independent oil-spill commission for repeatedly misrepresenting scientists' findings and doctoring data to justify the administration's draconian drilling moratorium.

Browner previously had been caught by a congressional subcommittee using taxpayer funds to create and send out illegal lobbying material to more than 100 left-wing environmental organizations. She abused her office to orchestrate a political campaign by liberal groups, who turned around and attacked Republican lawmakers for supporting regulatory reform.

The names may change, but the politicized rot stays the same. The GOP staff of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee issued a detailed report this week on the secretive "Billionaire's Club" behind EPA. The analysis exposed how a massive network of left-wing foundations, activists and wealthy donors exploits IRS-approved "charitable" status and tax-deductible donations to lobby illegally on behalf of the EPA and operate a "green revolving door" between government and far-left groups.

Among the key players: the Environmental Grantmakers Association, which coordinates green grants and refuses to divulge its membership list to Congress, and Democracy Alliance, the dark-money outfit led by Philip Gara LaMarche that does not disclose its members or donor-recipients.

"These entities propagate the false notion that they are independent citizen-funded groups working altruistically," according to the report. "In reality, they work in tandem with wealthy donors to maximize the value of the donors' tax-deductible donations and leverage their combined resources to influence elections and policy outcomes, with a focus on the EPA."

Saving the planet? Ha. The leftist-controlled Environmental Corruption Agency is only in business to serve its pals and subvert its political enemies, while endangering resource security and sabotaging the deliberative process. Real environmental protection starts with draining this fetid swamp.

SOURCE






British anti-fracking 'expert' and question marks over his credentials: Ex punk rocker 'lied and peddled pseudo science'

Anti-fracking campaigners describe him as ‘a world-class star of geological research’, but David Smythe was accused today of being less than totally honest about his credentials as a shale gas expert.

The retired geologist and former punk rock guitarist has been prominent in highlighting the dangers of fracking and last week helped to persuade a county council to reject an application to drill an exploratory shale well.

But a professor at his old university now accuses him of ‘pseudo-scientific scaremongering’.

The Geological Society has also written to Mr Smythe – who has the title ‘Emeritus Professor of Geophysics, University of Glasgow’ – demanding that he stops claiming to be a chartered geologist.

Glasgow University, where he last worked in 1998, has told him he must not suggest that its academics share his views.

And Prof Paul Younger, Glasgow’s professor of energy engineering, said Mr Smythe – who played bass guitar in the 70s punk band The Rezillos – was unqualified to give expert evidence on fracking, having retired 16 years ago.

’He has published nothing on (shale gas) in any proper scientific forum – no doubt because he knows he would never get past peer review with his pseudo-scientific scaremongering.’

But Mr Smythe, 67, who now lives in the South of France, hit back saying he could find no publications on fracking by Professor Younger, adding: ‘So you could say he is no more an expert than me.’

In recent months Mr Smythe – who was head of Geophysics at Glasgow from 1988 until the department was closed in 1998 – has warned of the potentially serious environmental damage that fracking poses, including a huge risk of water contamination.

Last week he helped to persuade West Sussex County Council to reject an application by Celtique Energie to explore for shale oil, describing its application as ‘incomplete, incompetent and disingenuous.

He has also given evidence on behalf of campaigners against a subterranean methane project involving drilling 22 bore holes 800 metres deep into the Falkirk countryside.

Mr Smythe suggested the process of removing the gas could result in earthquakes becoming more likely in the area and potential contamination of streams and rivers, posing a threat to human health.

In a recent newspaper interview Professor Younger said: ’He falsely claims to be a chartered geologist. That’s fraudulent. It’s wilful untruth.

‘I am concerned about the damage to the reputation of the university by someone who never fails to use his university affiliation.’

Professor David Manning, president of the Geological Society, wrote last month to Mr Smythe telling him not to use the title ‘chartered geologist.’

David Smythe has given evidence on behalf of anti-fracking campaigns and claims to have done extensive research into unconventional energy extraction

Mr Smythe, who believes he may be an illegitimate descendant of Prince Albert, admitted that he should not have claimed to be a chartered geologist but said that it was a ‘completely trivial matter’ because he had been one once but had stopped paying his subscription in 1996.

But a spokeswoman for the Geological Society said that the title required proof of ‘continuous professional development’, not just payment of a subscription.

Mr Smythe, who lives in the Languedoc and rents out a self-catering apartment in his mansion overlooking the Canal du Midi, insists he had done extensive research into unconventional energy extraction.

He said Professor Younger sent him a ‘very abusive email’ after he appeared on a recent radio programme in Scotland ‘ accusing me of arm-waving and talking nonsense.’

Mr Smythe, whose 1970s punk band had its biggest success with a cover version of the Fleetwood Mac song ‘Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight’ added: ’You could say it is sour grapes.’

The University of Glasgow confirmed Mr Smythe has right to use the title ‘emeritus professor’ and the retired scientist said he had never suggested that his views were shared by the university.

‘A lot of British academics have in effect been bought off by the oil industry. They depend on grants from that industry so they dare not speak out critically,’ he said.

‘I write reports [on fracking] for public inquiries to a very high standard because my aim is that I’m providing all the evidence if any such inquiry decision were to go to judicial review.’

Mr Smythe is advising Frack Free Fernhurst, a group opposing fracking in the South Downs national park.

SOURCE






Lunacy on sea: As Ministers agree to the world's biggest wind farm off Brighton, has Britain ever succumbed to a more catastrophic folly?

By Christopher Booker

What should be our reaction to daft stories like the one recently reported in the Daily Mail about the 60ft wind turbine put up by the Welsh government outside its offices in Aberystwyth to proclaim to the world just how ‘green’ it is?

Erected at a cost of £50,000 to the taxpayer, it turned out that this turbine was so absurdly inefficient it was providing only £5 worth of electricity a month. It would take more than 750 years to make the money back.

In recent years, we have seen plenty of little tales like this, showing how often those who build these mini-turbines just to promote the wonders of wind power seem to get horribly caught out.

There was, for instance, the windmill put up next to a school in Portland, Dorset, which had to be switched off because it was killing so many seagulls that the headmaster had to come in early every morning to remove their corpses, so the children wouldn’t be upset.

There were the turbines built next to the playgrounds of 16 schools in the north of Scotland, which had be shut down for ‘health and safety’ reasons after the blades of one flew off in a mere 40 mph wind - when, fortunately, no children were in range.

Then, of course, there was that babyish little windmill David Cameron wanted to put on the roof of his £2.7million Notting Hill home in West London. It would have provided enough current to power four low-energy light bulbs - but, fortunately, it provoked such protests from his neighbours that it was never heard of again.

On one level, we may find stories like this darkly comical. But it is time we stood back to take a more grown-up look at the very much larger and more serious picture of just where we are being taken by this infatuation with wind turbines, which lie at the very centre of our national energy policy.

Today, we already have more than 5,000 giant turbines, with 25,000 smaller versions.

They are proliferating so fast that from Cornwall to Caithness, East Anglia to Cumbria, hundreds of local protest groups have sprung up to say ‘enough is enough’.

But the crucial objection to this obsession with wind farms is not just that they disfigure our beautiful countryside or kill shocking numbers of bird and bats.

In purely practical terms, the real issue must surely be that they are so astonishingly useless at achieving what they are supposed to do. Put all those 5,000 giant turbines together and their combined output still averages less than that of our single largest coal-fired power station.

The obvious reason for this - though our politicians will never admit it - is that the wind is the most inefficient means of producing electricity ever devised, because it blows so variably and unpredictably.

In fact, the whole case for wind farms is based on a central, endlessly repeated lie.

This is the way in which its propagandists invariably talk about them only in terms of their ‘capacity’, by which they mean the amount of electricity they could produce if the wind was blowing at optimal speed 24 hours a day.

We are told about ‘capacity’ all the time - by the wind industry, politicians such as Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey, the BBC and even the pages of Wikipedia.

But the truth is that, thanks to the wind’s unreliability, they will produce on average only between a quarter and a third of their ‘capacity’.

Often, indeed, when we need electricity the most, on freezing, windless days in mid-winter, they produce virtually no electricity at all.

Furthermore, far from providing us, as we’re told, with unlimited clean, green, free, planet-saving energy, wind farms are not just inefficient. They are also so ludicrously impractical that if we weren’t all forced to subsidise them to the tune of billions of pounds through our electricity bills, no one would ever dream of building them.

A cursory glance at the economics of the ‘smaller’ 100 ft-plus windmills and the giant turbines in massive wind farms illustrates my point.

When I looked at one of these smaller ones the other day, near where I live in Somerset, I was astonished to discover that, though it is 120 ft and would have cost at least £250,000 to install, it only has the ‘capacity’ to generate a maximum of 50 kilowatts at any given moment.

But allowing for the vagaries of the wind, its actual output will average a mere 13 kilowatts - barely enough to boil four kettles - at any one time.

Yet, for this, the owners can expect to receive £24,000 a year, of which a staggering £17,500 will be subsidy, paid for by all of us through our electricity bills.

The sums for giant turbines are just as shocking. Earlier this month, Mr Davey gave the go-ahead to his latest monster project, to build the largest wind farm in the world just off the Sussex coast, right opposite Brighton.

Davey gave the German energy firm E.on the green light to spend £2 billion on building 100 or more colossal turbines up to 700 ft tall, nearly 200 ft higher than the Blackpool Tower.

The ‘Rampion’ wind farm (so named, in yet another propaganda exercise, by the children of a Sussex primary school) will cover more than 60 square miles of the English Channel.

As even its developers say on their website, it will be visible all the way from Beachy Head to the Isle of Wight.

This mighty forest of turbines, we are told, will supply to the national grid ‘700 megawatts’ of power, enough to heat and light ‘450,000 homes’.

Yet, in truth, thanks to the vagaries of the wind, their actual output - as E.on’s own website admits in very small print - will be lucky to reach 240 megawatts, a third of that figure.

Even for this, E.on can hope to earn £325 million a year. Yet, shockingly, more than two-thirds of that sum, £220 million a year, will be paid by all of us in subsidies.

To see just how crazy this is in money terms, we can compare E.on’s wind farm with our latest large gas-fired power station, opened two years ago by another German firm, RWE, at Pembroke in south Wales.

Its capital cost was £1billion, half that of the wind farm. But, in return for that, the gas-fired plant can be relied on to generate nearly ten times as much electricity, 2000 megawatts, 24 hours of every day.

For that constantly available supply of power, even taking into account the price of gas compared with wind power which is free, the cost is £50 per megawatt hour. While for the wildly unreliable supply we shall get from Mr Davey’s monster wind farm, it is £155 per megawatt hour, more than three times as much.

This is the kind of mad mathematics I come across all the time when taking a hard look at the price we are increasingly having to pay for what I have called the great wind scam.

It’s this weird delusion that we can base more and more of our national electricity supply on subsidising ever more grotesquely expensive wind farms.

It is a course we first seriously embarked on in 2003 under Tony Blair. In 2008, Gordon Brown boasted that he wanted us to spend £100billion on wind farms.

It was a claim echoed by Chris Huhne, Davey’s Coalition predecessor as Energy secretary, who talked of how we would need to build as many as 30,000 turbines to achieve a government target, six times as many as we have now.

The reason why all our politicians feel they must aim for such recklessly ambitious targets is that, in 2007, Tony Blair agreed with his EU colleagues that Britain would, by 2020, be producing 15 per cent of our energy from ‘renewables’, such as wind power.

But Blair was so technically illiterate in making this pledge that he did not realise what he was letting us in for.

Because much of our energy, such as the gas we use to cook and heat our buildings, cannot be sourced from renewables, he was committing us to produce nearly a third of our electricity - 32 per cent - from renewables. And most of it had to come from wind power.

This was a far greater jump than that required from other EU members, which were already producing much more of their power from renewables such as hydro-electric schemes.

In practice, there is no conceivable way we could hope to achieve Huhne’s plan for 30,000 turbines. It would mean building 11 giant ones every day for the next six years, which is completely out of the question.

But that has not prevented Mr Davey and his colleagues from trying. And, in doing so, they are offering the mainly foreign-owned firms that build those wind farms subsidies which are higher than those available anywhere else in the world.

For onshore turbines, Davey is prepared to give wind farm owners a subsidy of nearly 100 per cent on top of the market rate for electricity.

However, subsidies for electricity provided by offshore wind farms is now more than twice as much - which is why firms from Germany, France, Sweden and other countries have been rushing to cash in on Britain’s unique subsidy bonanza.

But all this creates yet another huge practical problem that Mr Davey does his best to keep from public view. This is the fact that the more wind farms those subsidies call into being, the more we must look to conventional power stations to provide back-up for whenever the wind speed varies.

At the moment, by far the cheapest source of electricity is coal, still providing more than a third of our power and costing six times less than what we get from Mr Davey’s subsidised offshore wind farms.

But Mr Davey and his predecessors have been steadily closing down what they see as those dreadful, polluting, CO2-emitting coal-fired power stations - and the ones that remain are not flexible enough to provide the instant back-up needed to keep our lights on whenever the wind drops.

The more wind farms we build, the more we will need gas-fired power stations to provide that instantly available back-up, not just to keep our lights on but to keep our computer-dependent economy running at all.

And guess who is going to have to pay to keep those gas-fired plants permanently and expensively running on stand-by for when they are needed, chucking out more of Mr Davey’s hated CO2 than is saved by all his wind farms? We are, of course, through our electricity bills.

We are looking here at the makings of a national catastrophe: one that will not just push our electricity bills through the roof, but could well lead to major power cuts and blackouts.

This will be the price we pay for a bout of collective insanity over renewable energy, for which it is hard to think of any historical parallel. It truly is time we woke up to the reality of where this crazed obsession with wind turbines is leading us.

Rather like the mammoth new Rampion offshore wind farm, when it comes to our policy on wind farms, Britain really is all at sea.

SOURCE







Australia: Green Army ready to march (but it's not work for the dole)

Australia's alternative to the carbon tax is to plant trees etc.

The government's $525 million Green Army conservation initiative was rolled out on Saturday.

Launching the project at Carss Bush Park in Sydney's south, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Environment Minister Greg Hunt said it would be the largest environmental workforce the country had mobilised. About 2500 young people were expected to join up this year to work on 250 projects around Australia.

"It's six months of good work and good comradeship that you can come back and look at in the years ahead and say, 'I did that for my country'," Mr Abbott said.

"This is not a work for the dole project, I want to stress this. It's an environmental traineeship."

The workers would be paid between $10 to $16 an hour while engaged in the project, less than minimum wage but higher than the Newstart or Youth Allowance rate.

Mr Hunt said he didn't anticipate the hourly rate would discourage young Australians from signing up.

"They not only earn the funds, but most significantly the work skills, and hopefully they'll come out of it with certificates and occupational health and safety training and first aid training," he said.

The number of participants was expected to rise to 15,000 by 2018.

The Green Army, one of a range of proposals put forward by the federal government as an alternative to the repealed carbon tax, will recruit young Australians to engage in restoration and heritage protection projects.

The project will include pest animal management and the monitoring of threatened local animal species.

Workers will be able to obtain certificate I and II qualifications in various environmental fields for their efforts.

SOURCE

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1 August, 2014

'Chill out about GM food': We've been modifying crops for thousands of years, claims scientist

Supporters of genetically modified food claim they it help feed the world and eradicate disease, while their opponents believe they could contaminate natural food and even harm people.

Now, American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who presents the TV documentary Cosmos, has defended controversial genetically modified organisms (GMOs), saying that people should just ‘chill out’.

He claims that practically every type for food for sale is genetically modified in some way already and that there are few ‘wild’ crops and animals left.

The scientist, who has already spoken out against critics of evolution and climate change, gaves his opinion in a video first spotted by Mother Jones.

He can be seen answering a question about his views on GM food, to which he replied: ‘I'm amazed at just how much objection genetically modified foods are receiving.

'It smacks of the fear factor that exists at every new emergent science, where people don't fully understand it or don't fully know or embrace its consequences and are therefore rejecting it.

‘What most people don't know, but should, is that practically every food you buy in a store for consumption by humans is genetically modified food.

‘There are no wild seedless watermelons; there's no wild cows…You list all the fruit, and all the vegetables, and ask yourself: “Is there a wild counterpart to this?” If there is, it's not as large, it's not as sweet, it's not as juicy, and it has way more seeds in it.

‘We have systematically genetically modified all the foods, the vegetables and animals that we have eaten ever since we cultivated them. It's called artificial selection. That's how we genetically modify them. So now that we can do it in a lab, all of a sudden you're going to complain?’

He suggests that opponents to GM food should eat apples that grow in the wild that are small and sour, unlike the sweeter and larger types that are sold in supermarkets.

‘We are creating and modifying the biology of the world to serve our needs. I don't have a problem with that, because we've been doing that for tens of thousands of years. So chill out,’ he said.

It is not clear from the video at which event the scientist made his remarks and when it took place.

While government organisations and other top scientists may have stopped short of telling protestors to ‘chill out,’ many institutions, including the National Academy of Sciences and the European Commission say that GM food is not unsafe.

Some people question the wisdom of tampering with nature, but a number of prominent scientists believe that GM crops are the key to feeding the world's rapidly expanding population.

By manipulating the genes in wheat and potatoes, experts have managed to make them resistant to fungal infections, which leads to food shortages.

'Super bananas' laced with vitamin A could be on sale in 2020 in a bid to tackle deficiency in Africa, while scientists believe that GM mosquitoes could be the secret to wiping out dengue fever.

SOURCE






Testimony on EPA’s proposed rules for existing power plants — Atlanta, Georgia

Marita Noon

Today, I have come to address the EPA’s proposed rule regarding carbon emissions from existing power plants. I speak on behalf of myself and my personal views.

I also represent the Washington DC based group: Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and its 60,000 supporters. Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow has been working on issues of environment and development for more than twenty-five years with a board consisting of more than fifty scientists and academic advisors from leading universities, think tanks, and laboratories from around the world. I serve as a policy analyst for Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow.

I was here yesterday and earlier today. I’ve listened to the well intentioned pleas from many who have begged you, the EPA, to take even stronger action than this plan proposes. One even dramatically claimed; “You are the Environmental Protection Agency. You are our only hope. If you don’t protect us no one will.”

I heard a teary-eyed, young woman tell a tale about a man she knows who is dying of cancer, supposedly, because he grew up near a coal-fired power plant—he couldn’t be here, so she told his story. She also said: “I am fortunate enough to have not been around in the 1960s when there was real smog.” Her father has told her about it.

Another addressed how she gets headaches from emissions. She told how lung tissue can be burned. And, how particulates are why people can no longer see the mountain in her region.

An attorney’s testimony told about seeing “carbon pollution” every day from his 36th floor office “a few blocks from here” from where he looks “out over a smog covered city.”

The passion of these commenters supersedes their knowledge as none of the issues I’ve mentioned here, and there are many more, are something caused by carbon dioxide—a clear, colorless gas that each of us breathe out and plants breathe in.

Carbon dioxide is a natural, and essential, part of the environment—with massive, unknown, quantities of carbon dioxide emitted each year from natural sources such as volcanoes. Were you able to eliminate carbon dioxide from every industrial source in the United States, it will have virtually no impact on global carbon dioxide emissions.

I understand the concerns over true smog and pollution. I grew up in southern California—graduating from high school in 1976. At that time, we had made a mess of our environment. We had polluted the air and water. Cleaning up our collective act was an important public policy issue. San Bernardino, California, where my family lived, was in a valley, surrounded by mountains. If was not uncommon for a family to move into the area in the summer, when the smog was the worst, and not even know the beautiful mountains existed. In the fall when the winds came in and blew the smog out to sea, newcomers where amazed to discover the mountains.

But that pollution, that smog, has largely been cleaned up. Utilities have spent hundreds of billion dollars on scrubbers, and other highly technical equipment, to, successfully, remove the vast majority of the particulates. People often see a billowing white cloud coming from the stacks at a coal-fueled power plant and confuse it with pollution when it is really H2O—water in the form of steam. Depending on the time of year, or the time of day, it may be more or less visible. The weather conditions may make it settle like fog until the sun burns it off. And this, I believe, is mistaken for pollution.

If you haven’t seen Randy Scott Slavin’s Bird’s-Eye-View of New York City, I encourage you to check it out as it shows an amazingly clean city—despite the more than 800 million people living in those compact 469 square miles. New York City is one of the most populated places on the planet, yet its air is sparkling.

This rule is not about pollution. It is about shutting down coal-fueled power plants and killing jobs and raising electricity rates—both of which punish people who can least afford it. But plenty of others have addressed the economic impact so I won’t take more of my time on that topic.

But, I do want to address the constitutionality of the proposed plan as it does exactly what the Supreme Court admonished the EPA about on June 23. Justice Antonin Scalia, for the majority, wrote this about the Tailoring Rule decision: “Were we to recognize the authority claimed by EPA in the Tailoring Rule, we would deal a severe blow to the Constitution’s separation of powers… The power of executing laws…does not include a power to revise clear statutory terms that turn out not to work in practice.” Yet, this is exactly what this proposed plan will do.

Later in the decision, Scalia says: “When an agency claims to discover in a long-extant statute an unheralded power to regulate “a significant portion of the American economy” . . . we typically greet its announcement with a measure of skepticism. We expect Congress to speak clearly if it wishes to assign an agency decisions of vast “economic and political significance.”

I believe on these grounds, this plan must not go forward.

I fear that if it does, America will pay a dear price. This hearing was scheduled to take place down the street at the Sam Nunn Federal Center. However, it was moved due to a power outage. Note: business cannot be done without power. You were able to move this hearing. In a reduced-power environment businesses will move to places where they have access to energy that is effective, efficient, and economical. They will move, as many have already done, to places with far-looser environmental policies and the perceived gain will be lost.

Thinking that what we do in the United States will have a serious impact on global carbon dioxide emissions is like thinking that declaring a “no pee” sectionin the swimming pool will keep the water urine free.

I’ll end with a quote from the smog-viewing attorney who closed with: “I am hopeful that my new grandchildren. Who will live into the 22nd century, will enjoy a world that my grandparents, born in the 19th century, would recognize.” If this plan is passed, he may get his wish. His grandparents’ world contained of none of the energy-based modern conveniences or medical miracles we consider standard and essential today—let alone those yet to be developed or discovered by the 22nd century.

Remember, the countries with the best human health and the most material wealth are those with the highest energy consumption. America needs energy that is abundant, available and affordable.

SOURCE





Carbon Rebates: Better than Carbon Regulations?

The New York Times is running today an op/ed, "The Carbon Dividend," by University of Massachusetts economist James Boyce touting a new bill by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) that would set up a cap-and-dividend program that aims to limit U.S. emissions of globe-warming carbon dioxide. Boyce explains that the plan...

    "...would require coal, oil and natural gas companies to buy a permit for each ton of carbon in the fuels they sell. Permits would be auctioned, and 100 percent of the proceeds would be returned straight to the American people as equal dividends for every woman, man and child...

    The number of permits initially would be capped at the level of our 2005 carbon dioxide emissions. This cap would gradually ratchet down to 80 percent below that level by 2050. Prices of fossil fuels would rise as the cap tightened, spurring private investment in energy efficiency and clean energy. Energy companies would pass the cost of permits to consumers in the form of higher fuel prices. But for most families, the gain in carbon dividends would be greater than the pain. In fact, my calculations show that more than 80 percent of American households would come out ahead financially—and that doesn’t even count the benefits of cleaner air and a cooler planet.

    As the cap tightened, prices of fossil fuels would rise faster than quantity would fall, so total revenues would rise. The tighter the cap, the bigger the dividend. Voters not only would want to keep the policy in place for the duration of the clean energy transition, they would want to strengthen it.

    The net effect on any household would depend on its carbon footprint—how much it spent, directly and indirectly, on fossil fuels. The less carbon it consumed, the bigger its net benefit. But why would a vast majority emerge as winners?

    There are two reasons. First, among final consumers, households account for about two-thirds of fossil fuel use in the United States. Most of the remainder is consumed by government. In Mr. Van Hollen’s bill, households would receive these other carbon dollars, too.

    Republicans should welcome this feature, since over the years it would return billions of dollars from the government to the people. Unlike a carbon tax, which brings in more revenue for the government, Mr. Van Hollen’s bill is, in effect, a tax cut."

Boyce likens the proposal to the popular Alaska permanent fund that divvies up oil and gas royalties to each Alaskan citizen. (To get a better idea how the Alaska fund works, see my colleague Jesse Walker's "One State Already Has A Basic Income Plan.")"

Given that the bastards in Washington and various statehouses are going to "do something" about climate, this proposal could be thought of as a least bad policy alternative policy. After all, our policymakers have already screwed up the economy with ethanol mandates, EPA coal regulations, CAFE standards, feed-in tariffs, renewable portfolio standards, tax credits for solar, wind, and electric cars, and on and on and on. So what about a deal? Get rid of all of those regulations, mandates and requirements in exchange for this straigtforward carbon dividend plan.

SOURCE






Obama Invited to Meet Coal Miners Losing Their Jobs Because of EPA Regulations

As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) holds public meetings this week on its latest round of proposed regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s fossil-fuel-fired power plants, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) said President Barack Obama should trade a trip to the golf course for a visit with coal miners across America who are losing their jobs.

“I’ve got an invitation here. This is a letter I sent to the president of the United States,” Kelly said on Wednesday at a press conference outside of the Capitol. “And this is an invitation for him to come to the coal nation.

“I want him to get off of the back nine and come into the mines,” Kelly said. “I want to get his golf cap off and get his hard hat on.”

On June 2, the EPA announced its Clean Power Plan “to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants.”

"Climate change, fueled by carbon pollution, supercharges risks to our health, our economy, and our way of life,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in the press release announcing the plan. “EPA is delivering on a vital piece of President Obama's Climate Action Plan by proposing a Clean Power Plan that will cut harmful carbon pollution from our largest source – power plants.

"By leveraging cleaner energy sources and cutting energy waste, this plan will clean the air we breathe while helping slow climate change so we can leave a safe and healthy future for our kids,” McCarthy said.

On Monday, EPA announced a series of public meetings on the proposed rule, with the comment period before it becomes finalized ending on Oct. 16.

The executive summary of the rule states: “This rule, as proposed, would continue progress already underway to lower the carbon intensity of power generation in the United States (U.S.). Lower carbon intensity means fewer emissions of CO 2, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. This proposal is a significant step forward in the EPA and states partnering to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in the U.S.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) opened the Wednesday’s press conference by saying the EPA’s rules have already hurt people in his state.

“In Eastern Kentucky we’ve lost 7,000 coal mining jobs during the Obama years,” McConnell said. “It hasn’t always been that way – we actually gained over 3,000 during the Bush years.”

Then McConnell introduced Jimmy Rose, a finalist on season eight of the television series “America’s Got Talent,” who sang his hit song “Coal Keeps the Lights On.”

“They went plumb down crazy in Washington.

They're talking about closing the mines.

They're gonna bleed us all dry from the inside out.

They don't care that much about the little man or the calloused hands.

It's a way of life 'round, just like it's always been.

Coal keeps the lights on.

My hometown keeps food on the spoon in my youngin's mouth.

Tires on the truck and a sundress on my baby girl.

Coal keeps the bills paid, the clothes on the backs,

and shoes on the feet in the high school halls of the Mountain Lions

and the Bill County Bobcats on the hill.”

Rose, who is also a military veteran, got a rousing response to his song from both lawmakers and others at the press conference.

Then Kelly echoed Rose’s sentiments in his song by saying that coal is vital not only to coal miners and their families, but the U.S. economy.

“This is coal’s day in court,” Kelly said. “This is our chance to stand up and say what we believe in, what we know is right and what we know is true.

“And we know what is truly American about this,” Kelly said. “The workhorse of this nation’s economy has always been coal.”

Both McConnell and another Kentucky lawmaker - Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) – spoke at the press conference about the EPA’s unilateral actions on U.S. energy policy.

McConnell said even if coal production is increasing at rapid rates and without regulation in places like China and India, the United States is suffering under EPA rules.

“And yet here we are in our native country suffering from the policies of this administration and this EPA that’s out of control – as the federal courts have said – and leaving our people in desperate straits,” McConnell said. “It’s time for that to stop.”

Paul said Obama needs “to understand that in our country the legislature passes laws.

“The greenhouse law or regulation won’t pass Congress so he’s going around Congress,” Paul said.

“I say to the president, Come to our state and see the despair,” he added. “But also read the Constitution – this isn’t the way that it should be.”

SOURCE





The Carbon TAX Scam

By Alan Caruba

In a recent appearance before a congressional committee, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told them that the agency’s proposed sweeping carbon-regulation plan was “really an investment opportunity. This is not about pollution control.”

If the plan isn’t about pollution, the primary reason for the EPA’s existence, why bother with yet more regulation of something that is not a pollutant—carbon dioxide—despite the Supreme Court’s idiotic decision that it is. Yes, even the Court gets things wrong.

Carbon Tax

What the Greens want most of all is a carbon tax; that is to say, a tax on CO2 emissions. It is one of the most baseless, destructive taxes that could be imposed on Americans and we should take a lesson from the recent experience that Australians had when, after being told by a former prime minister, Julia Gillard, that she would not impose the tax, she did. They get rid of her andthen got rid of the tax!

As Daniel Simmons, the vice president of policy at the American Energy Alliance, wrote in Roll Call “Australia is now the first country to eliminate its carbon tax. In doing so, it struck a blow in favor of sound public policy.”  Initiated in 2012, the tax had imposed a $21.50 charge (in U.S. dollars), increasing annually, on each ton of carbon dioxide emitted by the country’s power plants.” At the time President Obama called it “good for the world”, but Australians quickly found it was not good for them or their economy.

Favored by several Democratic Senators that include New Hampshire’s Jeanne Shaheen, Alaska’s Mark Begich, and North Carolina’s Kay Hagan, the Heritage Foundation, based on data provided by the Energy Information Administration, took a look at the impact that a proposed U.S. carbon tax would have and calculated that it “would cut a family of four’s income by nearly $2,000 a year while increasing its electricity bills by more than $500 per year. It would increase gas prices by 50 cents per gallon. It could eliminate more than a million jobs in the first few years.”

Simmons noted that “It only took (Australians) two years of higher prices, fewer jobs, and no environmental benefits before they abandoned their carbon tax.”

We don’t need, as Gina McCarthy told the congressional committee, “investments in renewables and clean energy” because billions were wasted by Obama’s “stimulus” and by the grants and other credits extended to wind and solar energy in America. They are the most expensive, least productive, and most unpredictable forms of energy imaginable, given that neither the wind nor the sun is available full-time in the way fossil fuel generated energy is. Both require backup from coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy plants.

In addition to all the other White House efforts to saddle Americans with higher costs, it has now launched a major effort to push its “climate change” agenda with a carbon tax high on its list. A July 29 article in The Hill reported that “Obama is poised to sidestep Congress with a new set of executive actions on climate change.”

If we don’t jump-start our economy by tapping into the jobs and revenue our vast energy reserves represent, secure our southern border, and elect a Congress that will rein in the President, the U.S. risks becoming a lawless banana republic. Carbon taxes are one more nail in the national coffin.

SOURCE






Hostages to a renewable ruse

Comment from Australia

IF there is a sound more pitiable than the whine of a pious environmental activist, it is the wail of a ­financier about to do his dough.

The mournful chorus now wafting from Greg Hunt’s waiting room is the sound of the two in unison, pleading with the Environment Minister to save the life of their misshapen bastard child, the renewable energy target.

You have to hand it to Hunt, who either has nerves of steel or is stone deaf, for he has retained both his cool and his fortitude.

The RET review by Dick Warburton on the government’s behalf has brought the rent-seekers out in force, for billions of dollars of corporate welfare is resting on its outcome.

As it stands, the RET will produce a bounteous return for a small group of investors shrewd enough to get into the windmill game while the rest of us are slapped with four-figure power bills.

Wind farms may be ugly but they are certainly not cheap, nor is the electricity that trickles from them. No one in their right minds would buy one if they had to sell power for $30 to $40 a megawatt hour, the going rate for conventional producers.

But since the retailers are forced to buy a proportion of renewable power, the windmill mafia can charge two to three times that price, a practice that in any other market would be known as price gouging.

As if a $60 premium were not reward enough, the transaction is further sweetened with a renewable energy certificate that they can sell to energy producers who insist on generating power in a more disreputable manner.

The going rate of $40 a megawatt hour means the total income per megawatt for wind farms is three to five times that of conventional power, and unless the government changes the scheme that return is only going to get better.

In an act of rent-seeking genius, the renewable lobby managed to persuade the Rudd government to set the 2020 target as a quantity — 41 terawatt hours — rather than 20 per cent of overall power as originally proposed.

Since the target was set, the energy generation forecast for 2020 has fallen substantially, meaning the locked-in renewable target is now more like 28 per cent.

That will send conventional producers scrambling for certificates, pushing up their price beyond $100. It’s a mouth-watering prospect for the merchant bankers and venture capitalists who were smart enough to jump on board, and brilliant news for Mercedes dealerships on the lower north shore, but of little or any benefit to the planet.

The cost of this speculative ­financial picnic will be about $17 billion by 2030 or thereabouts, ­according to Deloitte, which produced a report on the messy business last week.

Since the extra cost will be added to electricity bills, the RET is a carbon tax by another name, a regressive impost that will fall most heavily on those with limited incomes, such as pensioners.

The lowest income households already spend 7 per cent of their disposable incomes on energy, according to the Australian Council of Social Service. Energy takes just 2.6 per cent of the budget of those on high incomes.

Thus under the cover of responding to climate change — “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time” — billions of dollars are taken from the poor and given to the rich investors in the unsightly industrial turbines that are blighting the lives of rural communities and stripping value from the properties of people who just wish to be left to live in peace.

If the anti-Abbott budget bashers who are squealing about a minor adjustment to pension indexation were serious, they would demand the end of the RET’s iniquitous transfer of wealth.

Yet ironically they find themselves on the side of crafty merchant bankers in the romantic expectation that this complex ­financial ruse is doing something to assist the planet.

To speak up in opposition to this social injustice is to find oneself condemned as a climate change denier, right-wing ideologue, apologist for the coal industry or, worse still, to be ignored altogether, as the ABC’s Four Corners managed to do in its renewable energy special last month.

The corporation flew reporter Stephen Long to California to tell us how wonderful the renewable energy bonanza is going to be and how foolish Tony Abbott’s government is to even question the proposition that too many windmills are barely enough.

“This government has an ideological agenda,” insisted John Grimes, chief executive of the Australian Solar Council.

“They want to carve out the impact of renewable energy on the network and they want to stop renewals in their tracks.”

Jeremy Rifkin, author of a book called The Third Industrial Revolution, told Long: “Australia’s the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy. There’s so much sun; there’s so much wind off the coast, and so it makes absolutely no sense when you have an abundance of renewable energy, why would you rely on a depleting supply of fossil fuels with all of the attendant ­consequences to society and the planet?”

Fatuous arguments of this kind are rarely challenged on the ABC, nor are the purveyors of renewable energy subjected to the degree of scepticism that others with corporate vested interests can expect. Instead they find themselves in the company of a cheer squad.

“The new developments with renewable energy and storage seem to have passed the Prime Minister by,” Long editorialised halfway through his dispiriting ­report.

Finally, however, as Long was about to run out of time and throw back to Kerry O’Brien, he let slip the awkward truth he had managed so far to avoid.  “Yes, it costs money to create the infrastructure for renewable energy,” he says. “A lot of money.”

Indeed it does, and if the arbitrary, inefficient and regressive mechanism of the RET is all that is left to overcome that hurdle, we may as well give up.

It is through this complicated method that the consumers are forced to pay a subsidy to wind farms without the need for a ­carbon tax.

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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