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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22 November, 2015

"If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live."

Greenies love that quote because it gives a veneer of profundity to their totally ignorant scares about fluctuating bee populations.  They even attribute the quote to Einsten, even though it in fact comes from the writings of Maurice Maeterlinck, who was a Belgian poet.  And Maeterlinck was wrong if honey bees were what he was talking about, which he probably was and which Greenies clearly are. Honey Bees Are Not Native to North America so how did the Indians get on before the white man introduced them?  Did they starve?  Hardly. Background article on that below.  More on the 20,000 species of bees here.  Something I didn't know but which seems obvious when you know it, is that bees are descended from wasps

Honey bees are among the most recognizable and beneficial of the insects that live in North America. But these insects are not even native to the Americas. Like most of the livestock associated with American farms, honey bees were imported by European settlers.

Prior to the arrival of the Old World settlers, honey bees were unknown to Native Americans. In fact, several early American writers, including Thomas Jefferson, reported that honey bees were called “white man's flies.” The name was recognition that the appearance of honey bees in America was associated with the arrival of the Europeans.

There was a close association between the westward migration of Europeans and the establishment of wild colonies of honey bees. Native Americans were said to have noticed that shortly after colonies of honey bees were discovered, white settlers would not be far behind.

So when did the first colonies of honey bees arrive in the New World? These bees probably came from England and arrived in Virginia in 1622. By 1639 colonies of honey bees were found throughout the woods in Massachusetts. Some of the colonists who arrived at Plymouth likely brought bees, as well as sheep, cows and chickens on the trip across the Atlantic.

Once the bees were introduced, they, like other insects, were able to increase their range by moving into new territory. Honey bees increase colony numbers by swarming. Swarms are able to fly several miles to establish a new colony.

Such migrating swarms brought honey bees to Connecticut and Pennsylvania by the mid 1650s. Honey bees had swarmed their way into Michigan by 1776 and Missouri, Indiana, Iowa and Illinois by 1800. In the next 20 years or so, bees had made their way to Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, as well as Wisconsin.

Further westward migration of the honey bee was slow. In 1843 it was reported that there were no honey bees beyond Kansas. However, Mormons arrived in Utah, and the first bees were taken there on the back of a wagon in 1848. So successful was this introduction, it was reported that a considerable amount of honey was being made in the southern counties of Utah. By 1852 the swarms had reached Nevada.

Bees were finally introduced into the Pacific Coast states by using a sea route along the East Coast and crossing Panama, before using the Pacific Ocean for the final part of the journey. It was in 1853 that botanist C. A. Shelton used this route to introduce the first honey bees into California. Only enough bees from 12 colonies survived to establish one colony, but it was enough to allow history to credit him with starting the honey bee industry in the golden state.

Transporting colonies of bees either by sea or land in the 1700s and 1800s was not easy. The sea voyage from England lasted six to eight weeks, and it was not easy to keep bees alive for that length of time while confined. Many of the attempts to transport bees were unsuccessful as many stories relate.

For once in our history, the introduction of a foreign insect has a happy ending. After all, honey bees are a very important part of agriculture in this country, and we really can't do without them. Even if they do sting us once in a while!


Congressman now threatens to subpoena commerce secretary over cover-up of global warming report

NOAAgate now has whistleblowers!  Just the coverup tells you all you need to know.  The fact that the paper was published in a Warmist journal is no reassurance at all

House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) opened another front in his war with federal climate researchers on Wednesday, saying a groundbreaking global warming study was “rushed to publication” over the objections of numerous scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In a second letter in less than a week to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Smith urged her to pressure NOAA to comply with his subpoena for internal communications. Smith says whistleblowers have come forward with new information on the climate study’s path to publication in June. The study refuted claims that global warming had “paused” or slowed over the past decade, undercutting a popular argument used by those who refute the scientific consensus that man-made pollution is behind global warming.

The research, considered a bombshell in the climate change debate, set off alarms among skeptics. Smith, a prominent congressional skeptic, claimed that scientists manipulated data to advance President Obama’s agenda and timed the study’s release to coincide with the administration’s new limits on emissions from coal plants.

He is seeking NOAA’s internal communications and e-mails among its researchers, and in October subpoenaed Administrator Kathryn Sullivan for the documents. But she has refused to turn them over, saying that deliberative communications between scientists should be protected.

Smith told Pritzker that the whistleblowers’ allegations make it more crucial that he be provided with the scientists’ internal e-mails and communications. If NOAA does not produce the e-mails he is seeking by Friday, the chairman said, “I will be forced to consider use of compulsory process,” a threat to subpoena the commerce secretary herself.

Whistleblowers have told the committee, according to Smith’s letter, that Thomas Karl — the director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, which led the study — “rushed” to publish the climate study “before all appropriate reviews of the underlying science and new methodologies” used in the climate data sets were conducted.

“NOAA employees raised concerns about the timing and integrity of the process but were ignored,” he wrote.

NOAA Communications Director Ciaran Clayton, one of the officials whose communications the committee has subpoenaed, said in an e-mail:

“The notion that this paper was rushed to publication is false. In December 2014, the co-authors of the study submitted their findings to Science — a leading scientific journal.  Following a rigorous peer review process, which included two rounds of revisions to ensure the credibility of the data and methodologies used, Science informed the authors that the paper would be published in June.

“The notion that NOAA is ‘hiding something’ is also false. We have been transparent and cooperative with the House Science Committee to help them better understand the research and underlying methodologies. … We stand behind our scientists who conduct their work in an objective manner.”

An aide to the Science Committee told The Post that the committee “has been in continual contact with whistleblowers for some time and received new information as recently as yesterday.”


Sen. Inhofe: Americans Won’t Agree to Pay $3B to UN’s Climate Change Fund

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said Wednesday that Americans  would not agree to pay the $3 billion President Obama has promised to contribute to the United Nations' Green Climate Fund.

The Green Climate Fund is the collective pool of money pledged by U.N. members to help underdeveloped countries launch projects to reduce their carbon emissions.

“When it comes to the financing, I know that a lot of people over there, the 192 countries, are going to assume that Americans are going to line up and joyfully pay $3 billion into this fund,” Inhofe said during a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which he chairs. “But that's not going to happen either.”

The committee met Wednesday to discuss COP 21, the upcoming international climate change talks sponsored by the U.N. that will begin Dec. 7 in Paris.

“[President Obama] did send information in that he's going to be reaching between a 26 and 28 percent reduction in emissions, but failed to say how he's going to do this,” Inhofe pointed out.

Inhofe said he believes Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials declined to attend the committee hearing because the agency is unable to detail how President Obama plans to meet his goal of reducing carbon emissions up to 28 percent by 2025.

“We... asked the EPA to attend, and they refused to attend,” Inhofe continued. “Now, this is the first time in my experience in the years that I've been here, eight years in the House and 20 years in the Senate, that the committee of jurisdiction making a request that someone appear and they don't appear.

“So I think there's a reason. Because they don't know how the calculation of 26 to 28 percent was working,” Inhofe said.

“President Obama cannot meet his goal of 26 to 28 percent reduction in CO2 emissions without the full implementation of this regulation [Clean Power Plan] , and we believe that it stands on shaky legal and political ground,” Capito said, noting widespread opposition to the stringent emissions rules at both the federal and state level.

“The Senate has now fully rejected these rules, and we expect the House to do the same, and then the President will have a chance to make his opinion known,” said Capito. “But over half our states, 27 to be precise, have now sued the EPA to block these rules.”

If the climate change agreement reached in Paris is legally binding on the United States, it must be submitted to the Senate as required by the Constitution, she stated.

But Inhofe said he expects the outcome of COP 21 will be similar to the outcomes of the 20 previous international climate change meetings. “Several of us on this panel up here have had different ideas about what is to be accomplished there. My idea is nothing,” he said.

The senator said he agreed with Secretary of State John Kerry’s statements to the Financial Times that no agreement reached between the countries attending COP 21 in the upcoming weeks will be legally binding.

Kerry’s remarks drew ire from French president Francois Hollande, who said: "If the agreement is not legally binding, there won’t be an agreement, because that would mean it would be impossible to verify or control the undertakings that are made."

Others, such as the prime minister of Australia, are also calling for a legally binding agreement.

“If major participants in the upcoming COP 21 negotiations cannot agree on the legal status of any forthcoming agreement, no wonder those of us here today have questions," Capito concluded.


State Department Predicted Cancelling XL Pipeline Would INCREASE  Greenhouse Gas Emissions

President Barack Obama formally rejected the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline earlier this month, citing its contribution to climate change, but a State Department report shows greenhouse gas emissions from the alternative method of rail delivery would actually increase.

“America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change,” Obama said in remarks from the White House. “And, frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership.”

According to the State Department’s January 2014 Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, greenhouse gas emissions will actually increase without the Keystone pipeline if the crude oil from Canada is alternatively transported by rail across the U.S.

“During operation of all No Action rail scenarios, the increased number of unit trains along the scenario routes would result in GHG emissions from both diesel fuel combustion and electricity generation to support rail terminal operations (as well as for pump station operations for the Rail/Pipeline Scenario),” the statement stated. “The total annual GHG emissions (direct and indirect) attributed to the No Action scenarios range from 28 to 42 percent greater than for the proposed Project.”


Time for Congress to defund "sue and settle"

In July, Representative Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) took on the little known radical environmentalist scam known as “sue and settle” where a green group acting in cahoots with the EPA or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sues the Agency demanding that they apply the law in a new, expanded way that increases the agency’s jurisdiction.

The agency, rather than defending the law, enters into a consent decree with the party who filed the original lawsuit. A judge signs the consent decree without review, since the two “disputing” parties are in agreement. Suddenly, the agency has new, expansive powers to wield against job creators. And then for the kicker, taxpayers have to foot the legal bills of the attorneys who filed the suit.

The Westmoreland defund amendment to the Interior Department appropriation bill would have rolled back this abuse of taxpayer funds by denying the payment of attorney fees in ‘sue and settle’ cases. This action is needed to stop this Obama Administration orchestrated expansion of executive power.

The amendment read: “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to pay legal fees pursuant to a settlement in any case, in which the Federal Government is a party, that arises under — (1) the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.); (2) the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.); or (3) the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).”

As Westmoreland noted in his July 7 floor speech, “Between 2009 and 2012, the EPA chose not to defend itself in over 60 of these lawsuits from special interest advocacy groups. Those 60 lawsuits resulted in settlement agreements and in the EPA’s publishing more than 100 new regulations.”

Westmoreland added, “Also included in these legally binding settlements are requirements that U.S. taxpayers must pay for the attorneys of the organization that initiated the action. According to a 2011 GAO report, between 1995 and 2010, three large environmental activist groups, like the Sierra Club, received almost $6 million in attorneys’ fees alone.”

A 2013 letter from Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy highlights such an example of sue and settle on a start-up, shutdown, and malfunction rule: “In November 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Sierra Club negotiated a settlement whereby EPA unilaterally agreed to respond to a petition filed by Sierra Club seeking the elimination of a longstanding Clean Air Act exemption for excess emissions during periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction. The EPA went out of its way further to deny the participation of the States, and other affected parties.

Oddly, it appears that, instead of defending EPA’s own regulations and the SSM provisions in the EPA-approved air programs of 39 states, EPA simply agreed to include an obligation to respond to the petition in the settlement of an entirely separate lawsuit. In other words, EPA went out of its way to resolve the startup, shutdown, and malfunction petition in a coordinated settlement with the Sierra Club.”

As a result, Vitter and Sessions wrote, “Notwithstanding 40 years of precedent to the contrary, EPA has now decided that the state implementation plans of 36 states are legally inadequate because of their startup, shutdown, and malfunction provisions.”

In a February 2015 statement preceding his introduction of legislation to combat this abusive practice, Senator Charles Grassley further emphasized the problems with sue and settle: “Sue and settle litigation allows federal agencies to short-circuit the controls that Congress has set in place to ensure transparency in the rulemaking process.  These tactics result in new federal regulations imposed on American businesses and ultimately, on American families, all without an adequate opportunity for the public to weigh in. Sue and settle litigation makes a mockery of the public accountability and transparency protections required by the Administrative Procedures Act.  It also limits the ability of the executive branch to engage in principled decision making.”

The abuse of the sue and settle provisions by the Obama Administration are just one of many examples of this Administration establishing law using backdoor channels without the consent of Congress or even the use of the normal Administrative Procedures Act that governs the regulatory process.

Ironically, the Westmoreland amendment never came up for a vote after the appropriations process ground to a halt as House Democrats created a phony Confederate flag dispute stopping this and other amendments from passing that would have road blocked Obama’s flouting of the law.

The upcoming Omnibus spending bill will set and prioritize spending for ten of the last thirteen months of the Obama Administration. It will either prevent Obama from cementing his legacy by using tactics like sue and settle to go around Congress to expand the size and scope of government or it won’t.  Congress has one chance to get it right, and they need to rein in Obama’s abuse of the sue and settle system or else the next Administration will spend much of its time trying to fight environmental lawsuits opposing changes to the Obama-made law.

It is time to shut the door on Obama’s sue and settle loophole.


Virginia Farmer Turned Property Rights Activist Presses Court Fight With Green Group, Realtors

Virginia environmentalists and big landowners have made a concerted effort to interfere with the business activities of an organic farmer, claims a new lawsuit describing harassment that comes close to stalking.

Martha Boneta, who owns and operates the 64-acre Liberty Farm at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Paris, Va., seeks damages in Fauquier County Circuit Court from Piedmont Environmental Council, a nonprofit land trust headquartered in Warrenton, Va.

Boneta also seeks damages from the husband-wife real estate team of Phillip and Patricia Thomas, who are members of Piedmont Environmental Council. Phillip Thomas owns Thomas & Talbot Real Estate, based in Middleburg, Va. Patricia Thomas is a lawyer admitted to the bar in Virginia.

“We are in shock at the magnitude of terrorizing harassment,” Boneta told The Daily Signal, adding:

The investigation uncovered volumes of letters, emails, meetings, and phone calls from realtors Patricia and Phillip Thomas making false allegations to government agencies and meddling in our private lives to damage and force us off our farm. No American should ever suffer years of being terrorized. The stress and hardship have been unbearable.

The real estate firm’s website identifies at least four other Thomas & Talbot realtors associated with the environmental council. Phillip and Patricia Thomas entered into a joint agreement with the land trust related to litigation involving Boneta’s Liberty Farm.

On Thursday at 5 p.m., The Heritage Foundation will host a screening of  the documentary “Farming in Fear,” which provides an overview of the Boneta case, followed by a panel discussion on the latest developments.

Boneta filed the new lawsuit in October on behalf of her company, Piedmont Agriculture Academy, after gathering what she calls more evidence against the Thomases and the environmental council through Freedom of Information Act requests and from citizen whistleblowers.

The latest complaint furnishes copies of written letters and email from the Thomases to bankers and government officials that Boneta claims show the couple worked to undermine her farming operations based on “false allegations.” Patricia Thomas frequently used her law firm letterhead in this correspondence.

As The Daily Signal previously reported, Boneta has produced evidence suggesting the environmental council and the Thomas couple lobbied a Fauquier County zoning administrator and members of the elected Fauquier County Board of Supervisors to issue zoning citations against Liberty Farm. The alleged collusion between environmentalists and government officials was at the heart of an earlier suit that remains active.

The updated complaint details how much real estate figures into the ongoing dispute, which has attracted nationwide attention to the privacy and property rights questions it raises. Phillip Thomas claims that because Liberty Farm is located close to his property in Paris, he has had difficulty selling it.

The Daily Signal has continued to email and call Thomas & Talbot Real Estate asking for comment from Phillip and Patricia Thomas but has not received a response. Reached briefly by phone Tuesday, Philip Thomas said he prefers not to comment.

Piedmont Environmental Council released public statements on its website about the history of related property easement issues and the legal disputes with Boneta.

The environmental council, like other environmental groups across the country, has become so well connected with government at all levels, and so well funded, that it marginalizes average citizens at the expense of property rights, the farmer has warned.

Boneta became instrumental in the movement to pass two property rights bills through the Virginia General Assembly. They were signed into law.

Phillip Thomas, a fifth-generation landowner, previously owned Liberty Farm, across the street from the 20-acre farm Liberty Hall. Thomas transferred ownership of Liberty Farm to Piedmont Environmental Council in December 2000. He maintained ownership of Liberty Hall.

Boneta purchased Liberty Farm, also known as Paris Farm, from the environmental council for $425,000 in June 2006, and a conservation easement was put in place simultaneously.

The idea behind conservation easements is for property owners to receive tax breaks in exchange for agreeing to restrict future development on a portion of their property. Boneta’s easement lists Piedmont Environmental Council and the Virginia Outdoors Foundation as co-holders.

In her current and previous litigation, Boneta claims that the environmental council overstepped its authority under the Virginia Conservation Act in monitoring and inspecting her property. She also says she never received any tax breaks through the easement.

In the past year, several major revelations came to light that raised serious questions about the validity and legal standing of the easement. In November 2014, the Virginia Outdoors Federation adopted a resolution that said it would be willing to assume full control of the easement from Piedmont Environmental Council.

However, as The Daily Signal previously reported, the foundation said it uncovered “a number of serious flaws” that require a “corrective amendment” to the easement.

Oddly, two versions of the easement exist. One was signed by Boneta and the environmental council’s representative. The second is an altered, unsigned document filed with the county by the environmental council without the knowledge or consent of Boneta and the Virginia Outdoors Federation.

In both the signed and filed versions, the environmental council claimed that Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, the storied Confederate general, camped on the Boneta property. In fact, historical records indicate that Jackson was elsewhere in and around Paris, Va.

Since Boneta became the owner of Liberty Farm, the environmental council has conducted periodic inspectors to ensure compliance with the easement. The inspections went well beyond what the law permitted, Boneta has argued.

Now that the easement appears to have been riddled with flaws from the beginning, Boneta says, it’s fair to ask whether the environmental council should have been permitted on her property at all.

Boneta’s suit contends that Phillip and Patricia Thomas sent letters to Southern National Bank (Sonabank), which holds the deed on Liberty Farm, in an effort to financially injure her Piedmont Agricultural Academy.

In correspondence with government officials, according to the suit, the Thomases made “false allegations of animal mistreatment and neglect,” which later were dismissed after a veterinarian inspected the animals.

Boneta’s suit says the Thomases submitted “false reports” about Piedmont Agriculture Academy with the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office regarding student volunteers working at the farm and contacted the Fauquier Commonwealth Attorney’s Office about bringing charges against her. It says the commonwealth attorney concluded that “no criminal prosecution is warranted.”

The suit also says the real estate agents made “false allegations” to the Virginia Department of Transportation, resulting in periodic closing of the farm’s entrance in 2009 and 2010.

“We have lived a nightmare caused by a creepy realtor and attorney couple partnering with PEC and a corrupt supervisor formerly on the board of directors of the same environmental group,” Boneta said in an interview with The Daily Signal. She added:

"The evidence demonstrates an obsessed web of harassment that is terrifying. My heart breaks knowing malicious individuals like this exist in the world that would use their positions to intentionally hurt and want to destroy hardworking people that just want to be left alone to farm in peace."

Why such a fixation with Boneta, her Piedmont Agriculture Academy, and Liberty Farm? What is the motivation?  Here, the updated lawsuit goes into previously undisclosed detail about the real estate intrigue:

Liberty Hall has been placed on the real estate market for sale and subsequently withdrawn from the real estate market on at least three occasions between 2009 and 2015.

The suit says the property remains advertised on the Thomas and Talbot Real Estate website but never has sold. Liberty Hall initially was advertised for sale for $1,950,000. The price later was dropped to $1,800,000. The suit adds:

Not only had Liberty Hall’s price dropped by $150,000, the Thomases had, by the third time Liberty Hall was listed for sale, added a $10,000 bonus to any agent representing a buyer or buyers who purchased Liberty Hall. …

Mr. Thomas believes and has stated that Liberty Hall’s proximity to Paris Farm [Liberty Farm] is the reason, or a significant reason, that none of the three of these instances upon which Liberty Hall was placed on the real estate market between 2009 and 2013 resulted in the sale of property. …

Mr. Thomas is experiencing seller’s remorse in that he wishes he or the Trust [Piedmont Environmental Council] still owned Paris Farm [Liberty Farm] and that he had not taken any action ultimately leading to PAA [Piedmont Agriculture Academy] owning Paris Farm.

Boneta’s lawsuit concludes that Phillip and Patricia Thomas made a deliberate effort to shut down the operations of her Piedmont Agriculture Academy:

"The Thomases’ willful and intentional conduct not only disregarded PAA’s right to conduct its business activities free of the Thomases’ unlawful interference, but was actually malicious, including because of the Thomases’ self-interested motivation that causing [the] business to fail would enable the Thomases to cause Liberty Hall to be sold at or near the price at which the Thomases wish to cause Liberty Hall to be sold."

The suit also calls out the environmental council for

"… abusing the conservation easement and repeatedly entering upon [Liberty Farm] property upon unreasonable and unfounded bases, and in an inappropriate and unlawful manner, caused Ms. Boneta to spend significant time dealing with [Piedmont Environmental Council] representatives that Ms. Boneta would have devoted to … business activities but was, necessarily, unable to devote to … business activities."

More legal drama is set to unfold in the case. Boneta has told The Daily Signal that her Piedmont Agriculture Academy will file more lawsuits in federal court based on new evidence. The suits, she said, will include new charges filed under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), with fraud among them.

Meanwhile, Virginia Outdoors Foundation is negotiating with Piedmont Environmental Council to let the foundation assume full control of the easement even as Boneta remains in active litigation against the Thomases, the environmental council, and the county government.

“The persecution of Martha Boneta is a reflection of the growing power of extragovernmental regulatory entities, of which land trusts are the most prominent,” Bonner Cohen, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, told The Daily Signal. Cohen added:

"Nearly 6 million acres of private land in the U.S. are under conservation easements, administered by over 1,200 land trusts, most of which are accountable to no one.  The temptation to collude with local governments and powerful real estate interests to the detriment of the landowner is almost irresistible, because they figure they can get away with it. This has become the modus operandi of elites once they determine to dispose of someone standing in their way. Martha Boneta fought back and exposed the cronyism for what it is, but until land trusts nationwide are subjected to oversight, the potential for abuse will persist."



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20 November, 2015

Bimbo gives scientific advice

Only problem:  It isn't scientific.  She has no idea of the regulatory hurdles businesses have to get over in order to release a new product.  And her usage "linked to" can mean anything.  Let me do some of it:  Christie Brinkley is a Communist. I have no idea if she is or not, but now I've said that other writers can accurately say: "Christie Brinkley has been linked to Communism".  Easy, isn't it?  How to prove nothing in one easy lesson

Supermodel Christie Brinkley is speaking up about Monsanto, genetically engineered foods, or GMOs, and the role these controversial crops play in our health.

The 61-year-old’s new book, Timeless Beauty, provides insights on living a healthy lifestyle. One topic she’s particularly concerned about is food and how Big Food impacts our lives.

“I think there are so many issues with our food industry that are blatantly disrespectful to our planet and us as individuals,” Brinkley told

Brinkley spoke of the threat of monocultures on the honey bee population, in which enormous tracts of a single type of GMO plant such as corn or soy appear to make it hard for pollinators to thrive.

“The bees are suffering right now and without the bees—well, Einstein said when the bees go, the next thing that goes are people,” Brinkley said.

In response to Brinkley’s statement, Monsanto told

“We were surprised to hear Ms. Brinkley’s comments. Honeybees are essential in agriculture. Monsanto’s own fruit, vegetable, canola and alfalfa seed businesses depend on healthy pollinators to be successful. We have made significant investments in collaborations and research for the betterment of honey bee health. All GMO crops are tested for potential impact on honey bees, as was glyphosate herbicide. These products, when used as intended, do not impact honey bee health.”

Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide, Roundup, kills every plant except for the genetically modified (“Roundup Ready“) plants that are designed to grow right through it. While neonicotinoids are usually pegged as a chief culprit to the country’s devastating honey bee decline, scientists have linked the monarch butterfly decline to the near eradication of the milkweed, a critical food source decimated by Monsanto’s flagship weedkiller.

Glyphosate formulations have also been linked to a slew of negative human health effects, including cancer. Monsanto denies these allegations.

During Brinkley’s interview with, she also made it clear that she’s an advocate of GMO-labeling, something that nearly 90 percent of Americans are in favor of.

“What I don’t like about GMOs is that we’re the guinea pigs. The testing—if there’s testing—we’re the ones doing the testing and that is not fair and furthermore it’s not labeled so we don’t know if we’re the ones eating them,” Brinkley said.

“All the time we’re finding various links and I want my food pure and it can be done,” Brinkley added. “Monsanto and these giant companies are just taking over and their disrespect for our health and our rights is really maddening.”

Brinkley, who is a vegetarian, eats organic food but recognizes that not everyone can afford it.

“The more we all join in and demand organic foods, the better off that we’re going to be because every day they’re linking the chemicals, insecticides, pesticides and herbicides to men becoming sterile and with women it could be linked to the breast cancer epidemic that we’re seeing,” Brinkley said.

Brinkley also suggested other ways we can learn more about what’s in our food. “One way that’s very easy to get involved is for people to Google Monsanto and read about what’s going on,” she said.

She urges people to sign online petitions and have discussions about GMO food labeling, and to “make yourself heard so we can clean up the food industry and know what we’re eating.”

Brinkley is not the only celebrity involved in the contentious GMO food fight. Musician Neil Young dedicated his entire last album to taking on big corporations like Monsanto.


Terrorism and a cold winter refugee crisis

A brutal cold spell could kill refugees. Paris COP21 delegates need to discuss this climate issue

Paul Driessen and Joe D’Aleo

Even after the latest Paris massacres – and previous radical Islamist atrocities in the USA, France, Britain, Canada, Spain, India, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and elsewhere – politicians absurdly say hypothetical manmade global warming is the greatest threat facing humanity. In reality, fossil fuel contributions to climate change pose few dangers to people or planet, and winters kill 20 times more people than hot weather.

After being assured snowy winters would soon be something only read about in history books, Europe was shaken by five brutally cold winters this past decade. Thousands died, because they were homeless, lived in drafty homes with poor heating systems, or could not afford adequate fuel.

It could happen again, with even worse consequences. “Millions of desperate people are on the march,” Walter Russell Mead recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “Sunni refugees driven out by the barbarity of the Assad regime in Syria, Christians and Yazidis fleeing the pornographic violence of Islamic State, millions more of all faiths and no faith fleeing poverty and oppression without end.”

Where are they heading? Mostly not into neighboring Arab countries, most of which have yanked their welcome mats. Instead, if they’re not staying in Turkey, they’re going north to Europe – into the path the extremely cold “Siberian Express” has increasingly taken. Germany alone could face the challenge of feeding and sheltering 800,000 to 1,000,000 freezing refugees this winter.

If a blast of frigid Siberian air should hit, temperatures in parts of eastern and northern Europe and the western Former Soviet Union could become 70 degrees F (39C) colder than cold spells in much of the Middle East. During the coldest Siberian outbreaks, it gets as lethally cold as -40F (-40C).

Northern and eastern Europeans are largely acclimated to such cold. However, for refugees from regions where winters average 20 to 30 degrees warmer, makeshift houses or tents will make their sojourn a bone-chilling experience. Europe’s exorbitant energy costs, resulting from its obeisance to climate chaos credos, could make this an even worse humanitarian crisis.

However, to listen to the UN, many world leaders, environmental NGOs, scientists from the climate alarm industry, and their sycophant media – especially on the eve of their Paris 2015 global warming summit – threats from cold weather are not supposed to happen. Just 15 years ago, the German paper Spiegel proclaimed, “Good-bye winter: In Germany bitter cold winters are now a thing of the past.” That same year, a British Climate Research Unit scientist said “children aren’t going to know what snow is.”

The media dutifully repeated similar claims each year, until unbelievably cold, snowy winters began hitting in 2008/09. In December 2010, England had its second-coldest December since 1659, amid the Little Ice Age. For five years, 2008-2013, snow paralyzed travel in England and northern and western Europe. Not surprisingly, the same media then blamed manmade global warming for the harsh winters.

In reality, natural Atlantic Ocean cycles lasting around 60 years control winter temperatures in Europe and Eastern North America. When the North Atlantic warms, “blocking high pressure systems” largely prevent warm Atlantic air from reaching Europe.

There is also a strong correlation between the sun’s geomagnetic activity and these blocking-induced cold winters in Europe. The five brutally cold winters ending in 2012/13 had the lowest level of solar geomagnetic activity in the entire record, dating back some 90 years.

When the North Atlantic is warm and the sun’s geomagnetic patterns are weak, these blocking patterns keep warmer Atlantic air out of Europe. Frigid air from off deep snows in Siberia can then more easily invade from the east, bringing sub-zero cold and heavy snows. That’s what happened from 2008 to 2013.

The ocean and solar factors eased in 2013, and the last two years have seen more Atlantic air and milder winters. However both solar and ocean patterns are starting to return to the situation where cold invasions are more likely. That could usher in nasty surprises for the Middle Eastern refugees.

Even this year’s early winter October cold brought news stories about Syrian children becoming sick amid exposure to colder weather than they were used to. In Austria, adults and children alike were already complaining about the weather and wishing they could go home.

In fact, cold weather kills 20 times more people than hot weather, according to a Lancet medical journal study that analyzed 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries. It should be required reading for the 40,000-plus bureaucrats, politicians, activists and promoters who will soon descend on Paris, to enjoy five-star hotels and restaurants while blathering endlessly about dire threats of global warming.

They should ponder the fact that the Lancet study reflects normal societies in peaceful countries. Even there, many more people die each year during the four winter months than in the eight non-winter months. Indeed, there even the United States experiences some 100,000 Excess Winter Deaths per year.

In the United Kingdom, the winter death rate is about twice as high as in the USA: excess winter deaths range up to 50,000 per year – due to the UK’s poorer home insulation and heating systems, and much higher energy costs caused by its climate and renewable energy policies.

The refugees’ excess winter death toll could well be even greater, due to the high cost of European energy and the migrants’ extreme poverty, poor nutrition, inadequate clothing and blankets, preexisting diseases, and makeshift housing: tents, trailers and other dwellings that have little or no insulation or central heat.

Systematic misinformation about the dangers of fossil fuels and hot versus cold weather has helped make this crisis much worse than needs be. Climate alarmists will thus bear the blame for thousands of avoidable deaths among refugees this winter, especially if the Siberian Express invades once again.

The Paris climate conferees need to focus on humanity’s real and immediate dangers: this rapidly growing refugee crisis, abysmal EU economies and job losses – and the billions worldwide who still lack the adequate, reliable, affordable energy required to end their crushing poverty, malnutrition, disease and early death, by ensuring clean water, proper sanitation, modern hospitals, lights, refrigerators and plentiful food. The climate conferees must address the following much more pressing questions.

How is climate change more important than safeguarding refugees who are already suffering from cold weather? Should conferees be focused on hypothetical future manmade climate chaos, while EU nations squabble over who will take how many refugees and potential terrorists, amid a possible winter crisis? What contingency plans do they have for another bout of frigid weather possibly invading the continent?

When a million refugees are freezing in squalid conditions with inadequate shelter, food, heat, clothing and medical care, and 1.3 billion people still do not have electricity – why would the world commit to spending billions on alleged future global warming catastrophes? As Bjorn Lomborg puts it, why would the world also want to give up nearly $1 trillion in GDP every year for the rest of this century, to avert a total hypothetical (computer modeled) temperature rise of just 0.306 degrees C (0.558 F) by 2100?

Where will the money come from to combat growing war and terrorism, aid the millions displaced by these horrors, rebuild devastated cities, put millions of people back to work, and bring electricity and better lives to billions of others – if we continue this obsession over global warming? Do humans really play a big enough roll in climate change to justify these incomprehensible price tags? Where is the actual evidence? Not computer models or press releases – the actual evidence?

It would be an unconscionable crime against humanity, if the nations gathering in Paris implement policies to protect our planet’s energy-deprived masses from hypothetical manmade climate disasters decades from now, by perpetuating poverty and disease that kill millions more people tomorrow.

These are the real reasons climate change is a critical moral issue. We need to we recognize that, and stop playing games with people’s lives. We must acknowledge that horrific computer model scenarios do not reflect planetary reality – and must not guide energy policy.

Via email

After Paris Attacks, Global Warming Activists May See Mass Events Canceled

Last Friday’s deadly terrorist attacks in Paris may force the cancelation of large public events linked to the upcoming U.N. climate conference – to the dismay of global warming activists who hoped to avoid that outcome.

On Monday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that public events surrounding the conference will not go ahead due to security considerations.

Speaking to the RTL radio station, Valls confirmed that the conference itself will happen, since not doing it would amount to “abdicating to terrorists.” But he also said that planned demonstrations, concerts and festivities will be canceled.

President Obama, other world leaders and tens of thousands of delegates are expected to descend on Le Bourget, 10 miles from the city center, from Nov. 30-Dec. 11 for what is known in U.N. jargon as COP21 (the 21st Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change).

Such gatherings have always been accompanied by large civil society events, including protests by green activists generally unhappy with the negotiations and outcome.

This year’s plans had included a November 28-29 “climate march” in the central city, which organizers predicted could draw up to 200,000 participants. The same day will see similar events in cities around the world.

Also planned for the day COP21 closes on December 12, were mass acts of “civil disobedience” including human chains and occupation of public spaces, both in Le Bourget and central Paris.

On Tuesday, a representative of Climate Coalition 21 that is organizing the march, said consultation with authorities was continuing in the hope that the event can go ahead, and “we will continue to ensure the security of all participants is guaranteed.”

Beatrice Héraud said while organizers had expressed solidarity with the victims and families of the terror attacks in Paris on Friday and Beirut on Thursday, the “struggle for climate justice does not stop.”

“We have a duty to stand up and continue to fight for a just and liveable planet for all,” she said.

“While taking into account the exceptional circumstances, we believe that COP21 cannot take place without the participation or without the mobilization of civil society in France,” Héraud said.

‘Determined disobedience’

The organizers of the civil disobedience actions on December 12 – dubbed the “climate games” – say they are “considering our options for mobilizations and actions in Paris” in the aftermath of the attacks.

Nicolas Haeringer, a campaigner with one of the organizing groups,, wrote in response to the terror attacks that the Paris climate conference is “in a sense, a peace summit – perhaps the most important peace summit that has ever been held.”

“We don’t yet know what Friday night’s events mean for our work in Paris. The coalition on the ground is committed to working with the French authorities to see if there is a way for the big planned march and other demonstrations to safely go forward. We fully share their concerns about public safety – just as we fully oppose unnecessary crackdowns on civil liberties and minority populations.”

Haeringer said whatever the case, the global climate marches on November 28-29 will go ahead.

Organizers earlier predicted “the largest mass civil disobedience climate justice action that we have ever seen in Europe.”

“Our win is to take the world stage during the COP21 to shift the focus away from the negotiators towards the movements,” organizers said in campaign materials.

“We will show that we are prepared to use determined disobedience and that this is a movement moving forward to escalate actions in 2016,” it added, in reference to tentative plans next May for “bold action targeted at fossil fuel projects that must be kept in the ground and lifting up the solutions we need to take their place.”

‘Offering our love and commitment to a sustainable world’

Meanwhile – despite Valls’ words – organizers of COP21-themed music concerts planned for Paris say they will go ahead.

The shows are by “Pathway to Paris,” which describes itself as “a collection of artists, activists, academics, musicians, politicians, innovators coming together to make our voices heard at the U.N. climate talks in Paris.”

“In light of the recent tragedies in Paris and Beirut, we would like to continue with the Pathway to Paris concerts and bring our voices together in solidarity, offering our love and commitment to a sustainable world,” it said in a statement.

The shows, scheduled for December 4 and 5, are to be held in a concert venue in central Paris – about two miles north-west of the theater where 89 of the 129 victims of last Friday’s attacks were killed.

The aim of COP21 is to achieve, for the first time in more than two decades of U.N. negotiations, “a legally binding and universal agreement on climate” in a bid to keep average temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

That’s the goal which world leaders several years ago decided was necessary to avoid what global warming advocates say will be potentially catastrophic effects on the planet.


When the CIA Worried About Climate Change ....

“Climate is now a critical factor,” the CIA wrote. “The politics of food will become the central issue of every government.” Over the past few years, the CIA saw geopolitical disruptions because of climate and its report, “A Study of Climatological Research as it pertains to Intelligence Problems,” set out to explore the issue. Crops around the world were failing. A flood in Pakistan blanketed 2.8 million acres. Food shortages led to the deposition of a politician in Russia. Rice shortages in Ecuador were destabilizing the country. The report feared that the prime time for growing crops was in the past and hungry countries would stop at nothing to feed.

It was 1974.

After a few hundred years of prime weather, the CIA worried the nation was slipping into the “neo-boreal time period” because the world was … getting colder. These days, the last thing on the U.S. government’s mind is the return of a little ice age because the science has changed, apparently. Still, the report asked the question, “Can the Agency depend on climatology as a science to accurately project the future?” Seeing how the Obama administration is gearing up to attend a Paris summit with world leaders in an attempt to cool the globe’s temperature, the answer is no.


Regulating America out of the oil shale fracking business

Prior to his reelection, President Barack Obama said that the U.S. is the “Saudi Arabia of natural gas.” Like so many things, the President has no problem publically taking credit for what his Administration privately disrupts. Earlier this year, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued controversial rules on hydraulic fracturing, the very genesis of the domestic energy revolution that is moving the United States toward energy independence. What does that mean for the prices we pay for oil and natural gas?

The BLM’s rules are meant to regulate fracking on federal lands and Indian reservations. However, the BLM controls 260 million acres of surface land, and 700 million acres of mineral rights beneath it, making the rules far-reaching and impactful. This amounts to 100,000 wells on federal land, which is 11 percent of U.S. production, and 5 percent of our total consumption. More than 90 percent of new land-based wells in the U.S. use fracking.

The new rules are currently in limbo after a series of court rulings, but would impose redundant storage and construction standards, which are already regulated by major producing states like Wyoming and Colorado. This, as well as the long permitting process, further obstruct producers from bringing oil and natural gas to market. The existing state processes take less than a week on average, where the federal process takes over eight months.

Compliance with the BLM’s rules would increase the cost $97,000 per well according to industry sources. That would be bad enough, but the rules will also force producers to publically disclose their proprietary processes to all; not just the regulators, but the environmental interests that are trying to sue them out of business. These rules open the door for a “death by a thousand cuts” strategy that their opponents would surely use to stop production.

This would be devastating to the United States economy that is inching closer to energy independence for the first time in years. The fracking boom has increased crude oil production substantially, accounting for 49 percent of American production. Fracking has nearly doubled oil and natural gas production overall, giving consumers relief in an otherwise troubled economy.

Before the rules make it out of court alive, there is an opportunity to kill them once and for all. Instead of allowing environmentalists to wage a war of attrition on one of America’s most promising industries, Congress can instead defund the rule in the coming omnibus spending bill for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2016, providing investors and producers the certainty the Obama administration would otherwise deny.

In fact, in the underlying House Interior and Environment appropriations bill, Section 439 would have defunded the rule altogether: “None of the funds made available by this or any other Act may be used to implement, administer, or enforce the final rule entitled ‘Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands’ as published in the Federal Register on March 26, 2015 and March 30, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 16127 and 16577, respectively).”

Now, House and Senate lawmakers need only carry it over to the next spending bill. Congress has the opportunity to assert their Article I prerogatives, and secure the energy future their constituents deserve, and leaving fracking regs to the states.

As Oklahoma Republican Senator James Lankford noted in a June statement, “the regulation of hydraulic fracturing should remain a state function. There is no need to grant more regulation of it to the federal government.”

The American people have paid enough for foreign energy, and for the President’s radical environmental policy. It is time that Congress return the favor.


Australia agrees to a long-term climate "goal"

"Strong language about the long-term ambition" has been agreed to. Surely a bit of a laugh.  It actually commits nobody to doing anything.  Just politician-speak, real hot air

The Turnbull government has quietly committed Australia to support decarbonising the world economy as one of the goals for this month's global climate summit in Paris, a move that has drawn applause.

With little fanfare, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull agreed on the sidelines of the G20 gathering with European leaders in Turkey this week that the language of the Paris agreement should agree on a long-term goal to ensure temperatures keep within an increase of 2 degrees on pre-industrial levels.

The terrorism attacks in Paris are also considered to be a reason Australia's shift was largely overlooked.

The Paris agreement "must establish a durable platform for limiting global temperature rise to below 2 degrees, including through a long-term goal, accountability and transparency of contributions, and allowing for strengthening of ambition over time", Mr Turnbull agreed in a statement issued with the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and the President of the European Council Donald Tusk on November 15.

The concession by Australia marks a significant advance on the country's position and stands in contrast to comments made just three weeks ago by Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop that Australia wouldn't back wording supporting a long-term goal being added to the Paris accord because the country does not have a domestic target to cut carbon emissions beyond 2030.

Erwin Jackson, deputy chief executive of The Climate Institute, said the Australian government had previously committed to examine a long-term goal as part of a 2017 review of its climate policies so the statement in Turkey with the EU represented a shift of position.

"This is the first time they have publicly and explicitly supported a long-term decarbonisation signal as a central objective for an outcome in Paris," Mr Jackson said.

"The combination of shorter-term targets and a longer-term goal can facilitate long-term decision making and investment," he said.

"Long-term investment signals are essential in order to ensure innovations and investment in the technologies required to reduce emissions across the global economy."

Sem Fabrizi, the EU's ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, welcomed the Australian position. "The EU wants to work with partners to create political conditions to conclude an effective deal in Paris," Mr Fabrizi said. "So we are extremely pleased to share so many similar objectives with Australia ahead of the Paris climate talks."

The official Australian delegation to Paris has now been given its final negotiating mandate, which is understood to have been agreed to by cabinet in recent weeks.  That mandate will give Australian negotiators a great deal of flexibility on the floor of the summit to sign up to a strong agreement.

That includes the ability to accept strong language about the long-term ambition of any new climate deal, such as a push towards decarbonisation, carbon neutrality or other versions of the theme that are being considered in the talks.

However, how the long-term ambition of the Paris agreement will be expressed in the text is still an open question in the negotiations.

Some major developing countries are understood to be pushing against some of the stronger language on ambition.

A similar debate is understood to have taken place over the wording of the official communiqué for the recent G20 leaders meeting in Antalya, Turkey. Reports suggested India and Saudi Arabia argued against the inclusion of the commonly agreed global goal to keep warming below 2 degrees in the G20 statement, but later backed down.

A spokeswoman for Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the government would take a "strong and ambitious target of reducing emissions by 26-28 per cent [on 2005 levels] by 2030 to Paris".

"The government has a long-standing commitment to working towards limiting global temperature increases to below 2 degrees," the spokeswoman said. "We are confident that a strong agreement will be reached in Paris."



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19 November, 2015

A hot October

If you believe the manipulated data put out by NASA, Yes.  The worldwide average for October 2015 was a fifth of one degree above the equivalent figure last year. No news on the satellite data yet, strangely!

Even the crooks at NASA have had to admit, however, that the El Nino oscillation is at least "partly" to blame for the uptick.  How do we know that it was not WHOLLY to blame?  We do not. There is no way of telling.  Given that the usual temperature rises churned out regularly by NASA are in the hundreths of one degree, it seems likely that El Nino was responsible for MOST of the rise.

 A suitably dramatic media report excerpted below, with a lot of irrelevant comparisons and a lot of pretty pictures. If you look closely at the pretty pictures you will see that, overall, global average surface temperatures have risen at a rate of only about 0.64°C per century, a figure that has been with us for a long time

It's looking almost certain that this year will be the warmest on record.  According to the latest figures from Nasa, October has been the hottest such month since 1880.

Global average surface temperatures last month were 1.04°C above the long-term average - the greatest increase of any month ever recorded.

October 2015 also marks the first time a monthly temperature anomaly exceeded 1°C in records dating back to 1880.

The previous largest change was 0.97°C from January 2007, according to a report in the Washington Post.

The global average temperature for the year so far gives 2015 a 99.9 per cent chance it will beat 2014 as the warmest year on record.

This is according to Gavin Schmidt, director of Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who keeps the temperature records.

'Probability that 2015 will be a record warm year now 99.9 per cent based on Jan-Oct GISTEMP data,' he said.

This year is also likely to finish with global temperatures at about 1°C above pre-industrial levels.

The is halfway past the international goal of limiting temperature rise to no more than 2°C from that baseline.

Scientists say the trend is down to increased greenhouses gases in the atmosphere, as well as a very strong El Niño.


CIA Director Cites ‘Impact of Climate Change’ as Deeper Cause of Global Instability

Since there has been no statistically significant annual climate change for 18 years we must therefore be in a period of exceptional global peace and harmony -- or am I missing something?

Speaking today at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan said that CIA analysts see “climate change” as a “deeper cause” of the instability seen in places like Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Yemen and Libya.

“Mankind’s relationship with the natural world is aggravating these problems and is a potential source of crisis itself,” Brennan said at one point in his speech. “Last year was the warmest on record, and this year is on track to be even warmer.”

“When CIA analysts look for deeper causes of this rising instability, they find nationalistic, sectarian, and technological factors that are eroding the structure of the international system,” he said in another part of his speech. “They also see socioeconomic trends, the impact of climate change, and other elements that are cause for concern.”

Here are key excerpts from Brennan’s speech:

“The impression one might get from the daily headlines is that the world has become more unstable. And indeed, the historical record supports that judgment.

“In the past three years, there have been more outbreaks of instability than at any time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, matching the rate we saw during decolonization in the 1960s. This has not just been a period of protests and government change, but of violent insurgency and, in particular, of breakdowns in many states’ ability to govern.

“Ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Yemen, Libya, and parts of Africa are clear examples. The human toll is reflected in the UN’s recent announcement that the number of refugees and internally displaced persons in the world is the highest it has been since World War II. And of course, all this localized strife gives rise to the persistent threat of international terrorism.

“When CIA analysts look for deeper causes of this rising instability, they find nationalistic, sectarian, and technological factors that are eroding the structure of the international system. They also see socioeconomic trends, the impact of climate change, and other elements that are cause for concern. ….

“In many developing societies, growing pessimism about the prospects for economic advancement is fueling instability. Regions with burgeoning youth populations, such as the Arab world, have been unable to achieve the growth needed to reduce high unemployment rates. Perceptions of growing inequality have resulted in more assertive street politics and populism. At the same time, slower growth has left these nations with fewer resources to devote to economic, humanitarian, and peacekeeping assistance to address these challenges.

“Mankind’s relationship with the natural world is aggravating these problems and is a potential source of crisis itself. Last year was the warmest on record, and this year is on track to be even warmer.

“Extreme weather, along with public policies affecting food and water supplies, can worsen or create humanitarian crises. Of most immediate concern, sharply reduced crop yields in multiple places simultaneously could trigger a shock in food prices with devastating effect, especially in already fragile regions such as Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. Compromised access to food and water greatly increases the prospect for famine and deadly epidemics.


On climate change, Catholic leaders must believe in miracles

For the first time, “Catholic leaders representing all regional and national bishops conferences” have come together in a “joint appeal.” According to reporting in the New York Times, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, India, called the October 26 meeting at the Vatican an “historic occasion.”

What brought all these Catholic leaders together for the first time? Not the refugee crisis in Europe. Not the plight of Christians in the Middle East. Not to meet over the church’s current scandalous finances. Not a prayer meeting or a Bible study. It was climate change and the climate aid funds, which take from the rich countries to give to the poor, promoting renewable energy.

Regarding climate change, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich, and one of the signatories to the “joint appeal,” said: “The church can learn from the world” — even though biblical teaching admonishes believers to be “not of the world.”

Maybe the laity gets it better than the clergy. Polls indicate that fewer than half of Catholics believe climate change is caused by human activity.

Together, Marx and his fellow leaders drafted a ten-point specific policy proposal for, as the document says: “those negotiating the COP 21 [United Nations climate conference] in Paris,” November 30–December 11. Saying they are looking out for “the poorest and most vulnerable,” these church leaders want “a fair, legally binding and truly transformational climate agreement.” They call for “a drastic reduction on the emissions of carbon dioxide.”

Within the ten points of the “joint appeal,” number four demands a goal of “complete decarbonisation by mid-century.”

Point five addresses bringing people out of poverty and calls for putting “an end to the fossil fuel era, phasing out fossil fuel emissions, including emissions from military aviation and shipping and providing affordable, reliable and safe renewable energy access for all.”

Calling climate change a “moral issue,” Thomas G. Wenski, archbishop of Miami, acknowledged: “We’re pastors and we’re not scientists.”

So, what do actual scientists say about their proposal to phase out fossil fuel emissions and provide affordable renewable energy access for all?

With a similar goal, Google launched a project in 2007 known as RE
In the 2014 article chronicling their four-year project, the scientists conceded: “By 2011, it was clear that RE
More recently, Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, made a similar acknowledgement. In an interview with The Atlantic magazine, he talked about how wind has “grown super-fast, on a very subsidized basis” and solar “has been growing even faster — again on a highly subsidized basis,” yet solar photovoltaics are “still not economical.” Gates admitted: “we need energy 24 hours a day” but “the primary new zero-CO2 sources are intermittent.” He says that due to “the self-defeating claims of some clean-energy enthusiasts” that are often “misleadingly meaningless,” the public underestimates how difficult moving beyond fossil fuels really is — which he says will take an “energy miracle.”

Surely the Catholic leaders really do care about “the poorest and most vulnerable.” If they do, rather than calling for the unrealistic “end of the fossil fuel era,” they’d call for the “climate aid” to be spent on “improved public health, education and economic development,” as recommended by noted economist Bjørn Lomborg.

Lomborg, in the Wall Street Journal, states: “In a world in which malnourishment continues to claim at least 1.4 million children’s lives each year, 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty, and 2.6 billion lack clean drinking water and sanitation, this growing emphasis on climate aid is immoral.” Yet, the Catholic leaders call climate change “a moral issue.”

Citing a U.N. survey of more than eight million people, Lomborg says, “respondents from the world’s poorest countries” who were asked “what matters most to you?” ranked “action taken on climate change” dead last. Their top priorities included “a good education” and “better health care.” In response, Lomborg states: “Providing the world’s most deprived countries with solar panels instead of better health care or education is inexcusable self-indulgence. Green energy sources may be good to keep on a single light or to charge a cellphone. But they are largely useless for tackling the main power challenges for the world’s poor.” He calls the emphasis on climate aid “terrible news” and says it “effectively means telling the world’s worst-off people, suffering from tuberculosis, malaria or malnutrition, that what they really need isn’t medicine, mosquito nets or micronutrients, but a solar panel.”

In addition to switching the focus from “decarbonisation” to priorities that will really help the world’s poor, Lomborg emphasizes: “The people need access to affordable, reliable electricity today.”

Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, who advised Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, has said: “Real change only comes from dialogue.” Yet, time and time again, climate alarmists refuse dialogue with scientists and other experts whose views disagree with theirs and instead try to silence them with threats and legal action.

The bishops want to protect the poor from climate risks, but the risks from poverty are much greater and more immediate than those from climate change, and the global treaty the bishops want would slow, stop, or reverse economic growth, destroy jobs, and raise energy costs, harming everyone — especially the poor and elderly. And, by depriving developing nations of the abundant, affordable, reliable energy they need to rise and stay out of poverty, they are condemning them to more generations of poverty, disease, suffering, and death.

Those who agree that “this growing emphasis on climate aid is immoral” might want to sign the “Forget ‘Climate Change’, Energy Empowers the Poor!” petition, which urges President Obama and the U.S. Senate to refrain from embracing any global agreement to limit carbon dioxide emissions to fight global warming.

Turkson says the church’s influence on public policy should be “grounded in realities, not ideas” — yet clearly what the church leaders are calling for will require not reality, but a miracle.


Coastal Commission Power Surge

The California Coastal Commission (CCC) is an unelected body that overrides the elected governments of coastal counties and cities on issues of land use and property rights. As we recently noted, the powerful CCC is moving into animal management, trying to leverage SeaWorld into killing off its orca shows. As Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee observes, this is hardly the CCC’s only power surge.

San Diego County is attempting to establish a landfill in Gregory Canyon. The inland project is not in CCC jurisdiction but that does not disturb the unelected commissioners. They claim that since the landfill could affect the San Luis Rey River, which flows to the sea, the CCC should play a role in the permitting process. If the CCC can pull this off, Walters says, “its authority could expand to almost the entire state.” Since everything west of the Sierra flows into the sea, “the expansion of a ski resort 7,000 feet high in the mountains could theoretically affect the flow and quality of water in the coastal zone, so its opponents could ask the Coastal Commission to intervene under its jurisdictional theory in the Gregory Canyon case.”

Known for zealotry and Mafia-style corruption – commissioner Mark Nathanson served five years for bribery – the CCC shows how government progressively becomes more intrusive, more expensive, and less responsive to the people. A responsible, accountable government would eliminate the Coastal Commission at the first opportunity. The voters, taxpayers and duly elected governments of coastal counties and cities are entirely capable of overseeing land-use and environmental concerns. The city of San Diego and San Diego County are fully capable of dealing with SeaWorld expansion and the Gregory Canyon landfill.


Too Many Americans Are OK With Punishing Climate Skeptics

A Nov. 12 article by Rasmussen says there’s “Little Support for Punishing Global Warming Foes” — an idea that sparked public outcry after a group of researchers suggested climate dissenters should be imprisoned under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. But that title wasn’t our takeaway after rummaging the data. In fact, we’re more than just a little concerned about what the survey suggests.

According to Rasmussen, 68% of polled voters say the government should refrain from punishing climate skeptics. By definition, that’s an overwhelming majority, but it’s nevertheless alarmingly low considering what’s at stake. Specifically, the survey found, “Just over one-in-four Democrats (27%) … favor prosecuting those who don’t agree with global warming. Only 11% of Republicans and 12% of voters not affiliated with either major party agree.” Yes, you read that right. Twenty-seven percent of Democrats are fine with prosecuting climate skeptics, but so are 11% of Republicans. For a party that’s about defending liberty, including freedom of speech, that’s a harrowing discovery.


Australian government compromises on coal stand-off

This concerns government funding for coal-fired generators, not private lending by banks.  It will however undoubtedly reduce the availability of electricity to some extent.  China finances its own generators so will not be affected. India too will probably skate around the restrictions on the grounds that it is a poor country.  Australian negotiators  insisted on exceptions for poor countries.  Most new generators in the Western world are gas-fired anyway, largely thanks to fracking

Australia has backed down from a climate change stand-off with the US and Japan, agreeing to a deal to cut funding for dirty coal-fired electricity by billions of dollars a year.

The agreement, backed by 34 wealthy countries, is expected to give a boost to the United Nations climate summit starting in Paris in 12 days.

The compromise deal was reached at a meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in the terror-ravaged French capital overnight on Tuesday.

A senior White House administration official said it was a "landmark" – the first deal to include standards to reduce public financing for the dirtiest coal-fired power plants. "If you look at plants ... funded in the last 10 years, this agreement would make 80 per cent of them ineligible," the official said.

"And if you look at the forward pipeline of coal plants on the drawing board today globally, we estimate that this agreement will render more than 85 per cent of those plants ineligible."

Rich countries' export credit agencies have funded about $35 billion worth of coal over the past seven years.

Leaked documents seen by Fairfax Media last week showed Australia had opposed a US-Japan deal that effectively would have limited public financing of coal plants by OECD countries to only the "cleanest" available – mostly those classed as "ultra-supercritical" generators.

The US and Japan also wanted a clause that a coal plant could win public funding only if cleaner alternatives, such as renewables, were not viable.

Australia wanted the deal to still allow the funding of large "supercritical" coal plants, which have higher emissions, and to avoid the requirement that cleaner alternatives be considered.

The US official said under the compromise deal large plants can be funded only if they were ultra-supercritical – that is, if they have the latest technology and the lowest emissions possible.

Dirtier plants could be funded only if they were small and in the poorest countries.

All plants would need to be assessed on whether they were the cleanest alternative available, and if they were consistent with the country's climate change plan before winning funding. The deal will take effect in 2017.

"This is a big step forward," the official said. "It puts clean energy technology, like renewable energy, on a stronger footing."

The deal addressed concerns that cutting emissions would prevent people in the poorest countries getting access to electricity by still allowing small plants using older coal technology to be built in those cases, he said.

The deal includes an Australian proposal that eight countries in which fewer than 90 per cent of people have access to electricity still be allowed to build older coal technology if cleaner alternatives were not available.

The US official said it did not consider this clause significant, estimating it would affect less than 1 per cent of planned coal plants.

Based on Australian Treasury modelling, it is likely Australia's coal exports will fare better than those from competitor countries as the market tightens. Australia's coal is generally considered to be of better quality, and more suitable for use in lower-emission power plants.

Jake Schmidt, of the US-based Natural Resources Defence Council, said Australia had watered the deal down, but it would still send "a powerful signal to the private sector that unfettered public financing of overseas coal power plants is coming to an end".

?Julien Vincent, of campaign group Market Forces, said the agreement was a "huge relief", but expressed concern about Australia's positioning in the negotiations.

"Prime Minister [Malcolm] Turnbull said just a few weeks ago that we need to take the ideology out of the climate change debate. For Australia to take a modest proposal ... and only agree to it after kicking holes in it is a sign that we haven't yet shaken off the 'climate change is absolute crap' ideology of Tony Abbott," he said.

Japan backed the deal despite being responsible for more than half of OECD export credit financing of coal. South Korea had also opposed the US-Japan deal, but agreed to the compromise.

The deal covers coal plants funded by public export credit agencies only. Australia's export credit agency, the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, does not fund coal.



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

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


18 November, 2015

Obama: Terrorism Now on G20 Agenda, But So Are 'Other Critical Issues Like Climate Change'

There is clearly nothing that will blast him out of his ideological bunker.  He is a fanatic

The terror attacks in Paris have steered the G20 Summit in unforeseen directions, but "we still had time to discuss some of the other critical issues like climate change," President Obama said in Turkey on Sunday.

Obama appeared at the microphone with President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey after their bilateral meeting.

"Traditionally, the G20 has been a forum primarily to discuss important economic issues facing the globe," Obama said. "But as President Erdogan noted, the skies have been darkened by the horrific attacks that took place in Paris just a day and a half ago."

The president called the murderous rampage "an attack on the civilized world," and he described Turkey as a "strong partner" in the anti-ISIL coalition.

"As a NATO ally, we have worked together to bring about pressure on ISIL (Daesh), even as we also try to bring about a political transition inside of Syria that can relieve the suffering of so many people and eliminate the environment in which ISIL can operate.

"So the discussion we had today, I think, was very helpful in helping to continue to coordinate the work that we're doing together to help to fortify the borders between Syria and Turkey that allow Daesh to operate."

Obama also mentioned refugees, on the same day it was reported that one of the Paris bombers came into France with refugees from Syria.

"We also had an opportunity to discuss the burden of refugees that Turkey has been bearing. And the United States, as the largest provider of humanitarian assistance to displaced persons and refugees, stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Turkey, Europe, and others in trying to help those who need help right now, even as we hope to reduce the flow of migrants because of the situation inside of Syria."

The Obama administration insists the refugees can be thoroughly vetted before they are admitted, but many people, including Rep. Peter King, disagree.

Obama ended his remarks in Turkey with the following reassurance:

"And we still had time to discuss some of the other critical issues like climate change, including development and growth, and other topics that are of great importance to all the G20 countries."

Earlier this month, when he rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama hailed the United States as "a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change."

And this is one fight for which he shows true enthusiasm:

"Today, we’re continuing to lead by example," Obama said on Nov. 6.  "Because ultimately, if we’re going to prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them and release more dangerous pollution into the sky.

"As long as I’m President of the United States, America is going to hold ourselves to the same high standards to which we hold the rest of the world...If we want to prevent the worst effects of climate change before it’s too late, the time to act is now.  Not later.  Not someday.  Right here, right now. 

"And I’m optimistic about what we can accomplish together.  I’m optimistic because our own country proves, every day -- one step at a time -- that not only do we have the power to combat this threat, we can do it while creating new jobs, while growing our economy, while saving money, while helping consumers, and most of all, leaving our kids a cleaner, safer planet at the same time."

He promised that America will "show the rest of the world the way forward."

President Obama plans to attend the upcoming climate talks in Paris that are still scheduled to begin on Nov. 20.


What Does Bernie Sanders Think Our Biggest National Security Threat Is?

Just one night after the horrific events in Paris that left over 120 people dead, the Democrats had a debate. You might not have known about it, because the DNC scheduled it at 9pm on a Saturday night, as part of Debbie Wasserman Schultz's not so covert campaign to suppress any and all challenges to Hillary Clinton.

Anyway, it happened. And questions were asked about foreign policy, and answers were given. And they were...interesting. Particularly those offered by Bernie Sanders. The wild haired former Flower Child who honeymooned in Moscow and once cut a spoken word album of 60s protest songs was asked what the greatest threat to America's national security was, and his answer suggested that he might not have put the peace pipe down after Woodstock:

    "Bernie Sanders opened Saturday night's Democratic debate by vowing to rid the world of ISIS, the terrorist organization that claimed responsibility for killing more than 100 people in Paris Friday. In a follow-up question, moderator John Dickerson pointed out that during a debate last month, Sanders had identified "climate change" as the greatest threat to national security. "Do you still believe that?" asked Dickerson.

    "Absolutely," replied Sanders. He added that "of course international terrorism is a major issue that we have got to address today," but argued that "climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism." Sanders warned that global warming could cause international conflicts "over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to…grow crops."

Does Sanders have a point? It is certainly true that Middle Eastern nations have their share of problems, and that the nations arid climate makes it difficult to grow things. But perhaps there's more to it. I would ask Senator Sanders to perhaps put aside his Malthusian doomsaying and just consider that milennia old, sectarian religious tensions, autocratic rule, and an aversion to the Enlightenment might have played a role.

He probably won't. You see, Bernie Sanders has spent the greater part of his life blaming America and showing, at the very least, compassion for its enemies. He's made a career by outrightly rejecting the principles of the founding, crying "hypocrite" when America fails to meet their lofty standards, all the while giving a free pass to the radical leftist regimes who sacrifice their own people in pursuit of unattainable equality at all costs. That sort of long term cognitive dissonance probably has a traumaitc effect on the brain. It's the sort of thing that can lead a guy to believe that a lack of oral sex causes cervical cancer.

It's quite possible that at age 74, decades of Soviet Era denialism, acid flashbacks, and deeply embedded bong resin has profoundly damaged Bernie's brain. There's simply no other way to explain a guy thinking the Koch Brothers are a greater danger to American security than the Islamic State.


Bill Gates On Climate Policy: More Hot Air

For years he was hated for his success, so he now courts popularity at any cost

Bill Gates is so worried about the prospect of global warming that he has pledged $2 billion of his own fortune to spur research and development (R&D) projects to, according to The Atlantic, “invent [our] way out of the coming collision with planetary climate change.”

He wants other billionaires to join the effort by ponying up some of their own wealth, but he also wants governments to impose taxes on carbon substantial enough to wean humankind off coal and natural gas. Mr. Gates thinks that the private sector is so “inept” that it cannot or will not rise to the challenge for two reasons.

For one, “there’s no fortune to be made” by investing in alternative energy sources. Second, most of the companies in which private venture capitalists invest “go poorly,” whereas “since World War II, U.S. government R&D has defined the state of the art in almost every area.”

That last statement is breathtaking and, by the accounts of many economists who have studied the wellsprings of innovation, simply wrong. Even a blind squirrel eventually finds an acorn, so it is not surprising that throwing tons of money at government-sponsored research projects sometimes pays off. But the public sector is too distant from markets and too much influenced by special interests to innovate routinely. History is littered with failed public investments in search of the next new thing. Remember President Carter’s taxpayer-financed push to develop a synthetic fuel to replace gasoline?

It is of course true that most startups financed by venture capitalists bomb, as do most privately funded R&D projects. Experimentation and disappointment are the hallmarks of a vibrant, market economy. Only by learning what doesn’t work can entrepreneurs learn what does. Freedom to fail is as key to innovation and progress as is the freedom to succeed. The pace may be slow, as Mr. Gates opines; it takes time, money and effort to figure out what investments ultimately will be profitable because no one person, especially so a politician or bureaucrat, possesses that knowledge at the outset.

Moreover, as documented in Matt Ridley’s new book, The Evolution of Everything, echoing Terence Kealey’s earlier The Economic Laws of Scientific Research, most of the major inventions of the past 150 years have originated not from scientific advances or from taxpayer-financed R&D, but from the private sector’s engineering departments and shop floors as people on the ground encountered and solved practical production problems. The steam engine, for example, preceded the discovery of the second law of thermodynamics, not vice versa.

According to the Energy Information Administration, although total annual carbon emissions in the United States rose somewhat in intervening years, they are now approaching levels not seen since 1990. And if one looks only at the CO2 produced by burning coal, emissions in 2012 are close to what they were in the early 1980s. That is a consequence of utilities responding to environment concerns and, perhaps more so, because the shale gas revolution made switching from coal to natural gas a rational (profitable) economic calculation.

Improvements in environmental quality track economic growth in every nation on Earth, once annual incomes per capita reach and then exceed about $8,000. The best recipe for clean air and clean water is market-driven economic progress, not government intervention.

Although Mr. Gates deserves applause for putting his own money where his mouth is, he is mendacious in maligning the economic system that made him the richest man on the planet. He is properly concerned that action against global warming will come to naught unless joined by China, India and other developing nations. That is unlikely, at least until they have become rich enough to worry about their own environments.

Climate change is not “settled science” – no science ever is. Even if we assume that global temperatures are climbing and that rising temperatures are caused primarily by the burning of fossil fuels, people like eminent physicist Freeman Dyson are correct to point out that the “consensus” ignores the benefits of CO2 emissions for, among other things, global food production.

Market forces triggered by changes in relative prices explain why coal is being replaced by natural gas in generating electricity. Such Schumpeterian “creative destruction” and the incentives thus unleashed are far more reliable than rule by climate change “experts” and the unholy alliances between the private and public sectors (“crony capitalism”) to which government intervention always gives rise.


Jerry Brown’s Costly Symbolism for Climate Activism

As we’ve been saying since June, when we published California Dreaming by Independent Institute Senior Fellow Lawrence J. McQuillan, the Golden State is facing a massive public-pension shortfall that will be covered with higher taxes and painful cutbacks in public services. Despite the fiscal disaster, Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 185, a bill requiring state public pension funds to dump all their holdings of coal stocks—resulting in huge capital losses for the funds.

“Political correctness on so-called climate change thus imposes a cost on current and future public employees and taxpayers,” writes Independent Institute Research Director William F. Shughart II in an op-ed published in the San Jose Mercury News and elsewhere. “California’s symbolic action will have little or no impact on coal companies themselves, though, because other investors will buy the stocks CalPERS and CalSTRS dump at fire-sale prices.”

Activists prize the symbolism of divestment, but California’s public pension plans have paid a heavy price for it over the years. One estimate puts the total capital loss from various politically correct divestments at $4 billion to $8 billion. Shughart writes: “That estimate, if accurate, should drive angry pensioners and taxpayers into the street demanding that state officials rescind their precipitous action on SB 185, which adds to the total loss.”


Senate Undermines UN Climate Change Treaty

Just as Barack Obama is packing his bags to attend the United Nations' summit on climate change (held in Paris, which we hear is lovely right about now), the Senate will consider three proposals that, if passed, would undermine his standing at the international meeting.

Two resolutions, which only need simple majorities to pass because they are “resolutions of disapproval,” would nullify the Obama administration’s emissions regulations over operating power plants and roll back the regulations that essentially ban the creation of new coal plants.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced a third piece of legislation that does the opposite of the bill introduced by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) that gave Obama the ability to ram the Iran nuclear deal through the Senate. Lee’s bill would require Barack Obama to get approval from the Senate for any climate change agreement he reached in Paris. “Pursuing a deal in Paris as an executive agreement, instead of as a treaty,” Lee said, “would not only violate the plain meaning of the United Nations convention, it would also defy the historical understanding of the constitutional limits that the president is subject to in connection with foreign affairs.”

Sure, Obama has his veto pen, but the resolutions would show Obama’s “international community” that he is not backed by America’s lawmakers. In other words, the Senate just, in the words of Mark Alexander, could frustrate Obama’s “political strategy to subjugate free enterprise under statist regulation — de facto socialism under the aegis of ‘saving us from ourselves.’”


EPA spent $1 million to put sex offenders on administrative leave

There are many reasons why an employer might sever ties with one of its employees, but apparently at the Environmental Protection Agency, breaking the law is not one of them.

In fact, drug and child-sex offenders received paid administrative leave in two cases of the agency’s use of administrative leave, which an audit called “unacceptable” and cost taxpayers over $1 million.

“Our analysis shows that the EPA’s use of administrative leave appears disproportionate when compared to U.S. Office of Personnel Management guidance related to unacceptable performance and misconduct,” the EPA’s inspector general wrote in an audit released Monday.

Auditors reviewed eight cases where employees received extended amounts of paid leave since 2010. The employees charged 20,926 hours of leave totaling $1,096,868. The cases were first identified by a Government Accountability Office investigation last year.

Investigators blasted the EPA for abusing administrative leave and giving employees paid time off for lengthy periods.

“According to Office of Personnel Management guidance, administrative leave should generally be limited to situations involving brief absences and not be used for an extended period of time. The cases reviewed involved administrative leave of 4 months or more for all but one of the employees included in the audit,” investigators wrote in the report.

“We do not consider 4 months or more to be a brief absence,” investigators wrote.

The report is also raising eyebrows among spending watchdogs who are fed up with the EPA’s abuse of taxpayer dollars.

“The EPA routinely shuts down productive businesses that create jobs. Now we come to find out that they spend $1 million on vacations for sexual predators and potheads working for them. They are out of control,” said Ryan Ellis, tax policy director at Americans for Tax Reform.

For using Americans’ tax dollars to pay for extended vacations for convicted criminals and other misbehaving employees who would have otherwise been fired, the EPA wins this week’s Golden Hammer, a weekly distinction awarded by The Washington Times highlighting the most egregious examples of federal waste, fraud and abuse.

“Once again, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has demonstrated a complete disregard for the rules, and the taxpayers are footing the bill by stretching the administrative leave rules beyond recognition,” said Richard Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government.

One of the employees examined in the audit confessed to “knowingly and intentionally engaging in sexual conduct with a child younger than 17 years,” in the 1990s. The same employee in August 2013 received paid administrative leave after being arrested on a probation violation.

The employee was put on 300 hours of paid leave before being removed from the agency five months later. The worker was then rehired from September 2014 to January 2015, with “no documentation” in their disciplinary action file, according to the report.

Another employee was placed on administrative leave for seven months after being arrested for marijuana possession. The EPA had proposed an indefinite suspension for that employee but ultimately signed a separation agreement and kept that employee on the payroll through November 2014. Once the leave period ended, the employee resigned.

“In the Obama administration’s EPA, a clear message has been sent that if you get in trouble with the law, you will continue getting paid your salary without the bother of showing up to earn it due to this abuse of the administrative leave system,” Mr. Manning said. “Given that this type of personnel issue continues to plague McCarthy, it is clear that she is not up to the basic managerial tasks of her position and should be replaced.”



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

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


17 November, 2015

New studies flip climate-change notions upside down

The sun will go into "hibernation" mode around 2030, and it has already started to get sleepy. At the Royal Astronomical Society's annual meeting in July, Professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University in the UK confirmed it - the sun will begin its Maunder Minimum (Grand Solar Minimum) in 15 years. Other scientists had suggested years ago that this change was imminent, but Zharkova's model is said to have near-perfect accuracy.

So what is a "solar minimum"?

Our sun doesn't maintain a constant intensity. Instead, it cycles in spans of approximately 11 years. When it's at its maximum, it has the highest number of sunspots on its surface in that particular cycle. When it's at its minimum, it has almost none. When there are more sunspots, the sun is brighter. When there are fewer, the sun radiates less heat toward Earth.

But that's not the only cooling effect of a solar minimum. A dim sun doesn't deflect cosmic rays away from Earth as efficiently as a bright sun. So, when these rays enter our atmosphere, they seed clouds, which in turn cool our planet even more and increase precipitation in the form of rain, snow and hail.

Solar cycles

Since the early 1800s we have enjoyed healthy solar cycles and the rich agriculture and mild northern temperatures that they guarantee. During the Middle Ages, however, Earth felt the impact of four solar minimums over the course of 400 years.

The last Maunder Minimum and its accompanying mini-Ice Age saw the most consistent cold, continuing into the early 1800s.

The last time we became concerned about cooler temperatures - possibly dangerously cooler - was in the 1970s. Global temperatures have declined since the 1940s, as measured by Pacific Decadal Oscillation. The PDO Index is a recurring pattern of ocean-atmosphere climate variability centred over the Pacific Ocean. Determined by deep currents, it is said to shift between warm and cool modes. Some scientists worried that it might stay cool and drag down the Atlantic Decadal Oscillation with it, spurring a new Ice Age. The fear was exacerbated by the fact that Earth has been in the current inter-glacial period for 10,000 years (depending on how the starting point is gauged).

If Earth were to enter the next Ice Age too quickly, glaciers could advance much further south, rainforests could turn into savannah, and sea levels could drop dramatically, causing havoc.

The BBC, all three major American TV networks, Time magazine and the New York Times all ran feature stories highlighting the scare. Fortunately, by 1978 the PDO Index shifted back to warm and the fear abated.

Climate science vs the sceptics

By the 1990s the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had formed the "97 per cent consensus". The consensus was that Earth was warming more than it should, not just due to natural causes but also human activity. This was termed Anthropogenic Global Warming. The culprit was identified as carbon dioxide generated from the burning of fossil fuels.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas and its increase in the atmosphere could be dangerous, the panel claimed. Some of these scientists, particularly those working at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Britain's Meteorological Office, have gone so far as to declare CO2 as the primary driver of climate on Earth. This modern "climate science" has stirred unprecedented controversy in the field. Sceptics, clinging to more traditional approaches, say the science has been corrupted by the billions of dollars in government funding for climate-change research and agencies and industries that claim to be "fighting climate change". The counter-argument is that the sceptics are backed by the oil, gas and coal industries or are affiliated with conservative political groups.

The biggest bone of contention between the two groups is how the data are assessed. In the United States, the recorded temperature data go back to 1880, and elsewhere not even that far. Those data have to be "stapled on" to the ice-core data used to determine temperatures in earlier times. This has led to controversial representations, such as the infamous "hockey stick" graph released by the IPCC that gave the impression the world is hotter now than ever. Many scientists slammed the graph as wholly unrealistic, insisting that previous eras, such as the medieval warm period and the Holocene maximum were warmer than today.

Another issue is the urban "heat island" effect. Black asphalt roads and concrete structures absorb heat from the sun. Roy Spencer, a climatologist at the University of Alabama and former IPCC alumnus, charged in 2013 that the NOAA was "warming up" readings at rural temperature stations to match the urban ones rather than the reverse. A spokesman for the NOAA responded but stopped short of denying it.

In the 2009 "climategate scandal", e-mails and documents from IPCC-affiliated scientists were leaked that indicated they had manipulated data and reports to jibe with the AGW theory. References were made to "hiding the decline" through the use of "tricks". Then in 2012 Anthony Watts, a meteorologist and self-described whistle-blower, caught the NOAA changing temperature data from the 1930s to make the decade appear colder than it had been. Another whistle-blower, blogger Tony Heller, although clearly aligned with conservative groups like the Heartland Institute, has amassed impressive data. He claims that, since 1997, the world has actually been getting colder and Goddard and the NOAA are committing "climate fraud". The NOAA has declined to respond.

Global cooling?

Around 2000, the PDO Index started to blow cold again, possibly causing global warming to "pause", as the mainstream scientists describe it. IPCC-affiliated scientists as well as Nasa and the NOAA attribute the pause to other factors. This is when the plot thickens.

Solar cycle 24 - two cycles prior the cycle that's expected to bottom out into a Maunder Minimum - was weak. In 2013-14 it reached its maximum far below average. Meanwhile extreme cold-weather anomalies have occurred around the world. Last year "polar vortices" slammed into the central US and Siberia as a third hovered over the Atlantic. All 50 US states, including Hawaii, had temperatures below freezing for the first time in recorded history. Snowfall records were broken in cities in the US, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and elsewhere. Southern American states and central Mexico, where snow is rare, got heavy snow, as did the Middle East.

This past summer the cold didn't let up, with more temperature records across the US and rare summer snows seen in Canada, the US and China. Birds have migrated early in the last two years. Antarctic sea ice set a new record in 2013 and it was broken again in 2014.

Not even Thailand was immune. In 2014 Bangkok hit its coldest low in 30 years, while 63 lives were lost in the North.

Scientists at the Climate and Environmental Physics and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Berne in Switzerland have recently backed up theories that support the sun's importance in determining the climate on Earth. A paper published last year by the American Meteorological Society contradicts claims by IPCC scientists that the sun couldn't be responsible for major shifts in climate.

Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, rejected IPCC assertions that solar variations don't matter. Among the many studies and authorities she cited was the National Research Council's recent report "The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth's Climate".

Other researchers and organisations are also predicting global cooling - the Russian Academy of Science, the Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Scientists, the Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism Russia, Victor Manuel Velesco Herrera at the National University of Mexico, the Bulgarian Institute of Astronomy, Dr Tim Patterson at Carleton University in Canada, Drs Lin Zhen at Nanjing University in China, just to name a few.

For now nevertheless, the IPCC and other authoritative agencies are sticking to their CO2-dominant climate-forcing theory. They attribute the cold spells to a disruption in the jet stream caused by Anthropogenic Global Warming. Some of their theories have heads being scratched, for instance the "pause" in global warming they attribute to heat being absorbed deep into the oceans. When Antarctic ice reached record levels in 2013, scientists were "baffled" because the water beneath the ice was warm, they claimed. In climate science old and new, nothing is certain.


Great news: carbon dioxide rose less than 2 parts per million in 2014!

Is two millionths of ANYTHING likely to be important?

A new report released this week by the U.N.-funded WMO said that the levels of the three most potent 'greenhouse gases' in our atmosphere reached new levels in 2014. The good news is that CO2 rose less than 2 ppm, with the other two gases barely climbing at all. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said carbon dioxide (CO2) levels increased only to 397.7 parts per million (PPM), up 1.9 PPM from 2013.

They also said methane levels measured 1,833 parts per billion (PPB) in 2014, and were up only 9 PPB from 2013. The globally averaged level of nitrous oxide in 2014 grew to 327.1 PPB, which is 1.1 PPB above the previous year. The largest greenhouse gas in our atmosphere is water vapor, which makes up 95% of all so-called greenhouse gases. All of which may be bad news if you've instituted economy-crippling policies ahead of a UN-sponsored climate treaty.

But if you've ever wondered what the greenhouse gas/effect means, this may help: A greenhouse is a glass-covered enclosure that is pumped with higher amounts of CO2 (usually around 1,800 PPM) to promote plant growth. As the sun's visible and ultraviolet light passes through the glass ceiling and walls, it gets absorbed by the floor, ground, and greenhouse contents. This heat then radiates off the items in the greenhouse and, because it's in an enclosed structure (the glass), is unable to escape into the cooler air around the structure.

Think of it like your car in the hot sun. It's not filled with CO2, but the heat has no way to escape because of the glass and steel enclosure. Scientists believe that gases like water vapor and CO2 act like the glass and steel, preventing the heat from escaping into space, giving you an Earth-sized greenhouse. Hence the term "greenhouse effect" and "greenhouse gases."

The theory of global warming involves a lot of assumptions. First it states that, with all things being equal, the Earth "maintains a constant average temperature averaged out over the course of a year." As sunlight comes in, it heats the air and Earth, some gets absorbed, some gets emitted back into outer space, and what's left maintains a relatively moderate temperature for the planet. Remember, energy can't be destroyed. So what comes in has to either be converted into something else, absorbed, or reflected back into outer space.

How fast this energy is radiated back into outer space depends on how much of a particular gas is in the atmosphere, like water vapor, clouds, carbon dioxide, and methane. The more of a particular gas we have in the atmosphere, the less energy can get bounced back out into space.

This causes the lower atmosphere to stay warmer (near the surface), but also warms the upper atmosphere (remember, energy can't be destroyed). Water vapor is the most potent shield for keeping this energy from escaping the Earth. For a more in-depth tutorial and examples, go here.

Global warming theory also says that increased levels of carbon dioxide and certain other gases are causing an increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere. It predicts that the upper atmosphere will warm from trapped heat, just like in a greenhouse. The surface of the Earth warms later to reach equilibrium. Except since 1979, we've had orbiting satellites measuring the atmosphere and it shows the upper atmosphere is warming much less than expected by this theory.

Because nature abhors imbalances, global warming theory also says that the lower atmosphere must then respond to this upper atmospheric heat by increasing in temperature until the energy coming in equals the energy going out. To do this, the Earth's temperature at the surface goes up to meet the temperature of the upper atmosphere and balance is restored. But as noted above that isn't happening. That fact alone should put the global warming theory into the coffin.

But there is far too much money involved in the global-warming cottage industry and, as less hysterical climate scientists keep trying to say, the planet is not as sensitive to imbalances as some people would have you believe. In fact, the Earth is quite adept at keeping up with changes as it has done so for the last 4.5 billion years.

The largest CO2 sponge on the planet are the oceans around us. The largest emitter of CO2 on the planet are microbes that produce CO2 as they consumer decaying organic matter. What man contributes, while significant, barely registers when compared to natural, ongoing processes (including, but not limited to, volcanic activity beneath the oceans).

Regardless of all this, the 2014 CO2 level is actually a 12-month average as CO2 in the atmosphere fluctuates throughout the year, and is lower when the Northern Hemisphere is in full bloom (plants absorb CO2) and higher in the winter (when more ocean is covered in ice and fewer plants are in bloom).

To put this in context, CO2 levels went up on such an infinitesimal scale as to be unquantifiable. Methane, which is considered to have 21-23 times the heat trapping power of CO2, rose to 1,833 PPB in 2014. That's up 9 parts per billion (with a B). Mix 9 red marbles into a billion white marbles, and you begin to understand the silliness that ensues every time one of these reports come out.

Which always seem to happen right before a UN-sponsored climate conference like the one coming up in December.


American Meteorological Society: Investigating NOAA’s Dodgy Scientists Is ‘Intimidation’

The American Meteorological Society has weighed into the debate on the climate fraud allegedly committed by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

It thinks that NOAA’s dodgy, data-fudging, parti-pris scientists should be allowed to go on spending taxpayers’ money on green propaganda unimpeded by the scrutiny of pesky skeptics like Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)

Here’s how the AMS’s executive director, Keith L Seitter, puts it in an open letter to the congressman:

    "Singling out specific research studies, and implicitly questioning the integrity of the researchers conducting those studies, can be viewed as a form of intimidation that could deter scientists from freely carrying out research on important national challenges."

The reason for this, he goes on to “explain”, is that scientists who work for public institutions such as NOAA are a bit like a cross between Einstein, St Francis of Assisi and Joan of Arc, only, obviously more brilliant, saintly, self-sacrificial and nobly dedicated to the furtherance of human knowledge. As he puts it:

    "NOAA and other Federal agencies employ world-class scientists who seek knowledge and understanding with commitment and dedication".

Also, Seitter goes on further to “explain”, climate change is an area of science so politically sensitive and so incredibly important to the future of mankind that it deserves special exemption from the normal codes of rigor, transparency, open enquiry, not making stuff up, and so on to which scientists are usually subject.

    "Earth sciences and their applications have growing implications for public health and safety, economic development, protection of the environment and ecosystems, and national security. Thus, scientists, policy makers, and their supporting institutions share a special responsibility at this time for guarding and promoting the freedom of responsible scientific expression."

I do hope Rep Lamar Smith feels properly chastened by this letter. The “facts” about global warming are far too important to be left to ordinary taxpayers who have to pay for all this vital research.


Climate change will 'SHRINK sharks and make them less deadly'

This might be good news if it were true.  But this is just a study of fish in a tank.  Not a report of what is naturally happening in the oceans

If temperatures and CO2 levels rise in the way climate experts expect, by the end of the century sharks will be considerably smaller and less aggressive than they are today.

Experts from Australia have discovered that warmer waters and ocean acidification can stunt the growth of the predators and affect their sense of smell used for hunting.

To cope with higher CO2 levels, the sharks studied had to use more energy, and this reduced how effectively they metabolised the food they could find.

During lab experiments, researchers from the University of Adelaide studied Port Jackson sharks in large tanks with natural habitat and prey.

When the water temperature was increased, the team noticed that embryos developed much faster.

However, the combination of warmer water and higher CO2 increased the sharks' energy requirement, reduced metabolic efficiency and removed their ability to locate food through olfaction, or smelling.

These effects led to significant reductions in the growth rates of these sharks.

'In warmer water, sharks are hungrier but with increased CO2 they won't be able to find their food,' said leader Associate Professor Ivan Nagelkerken.

'With a reduced ability to hunt, sharks will no longer be able to exert the same top-down control over the marine food

The Port Jackson shark is a bottom-feeding shark that primarily relies on its ability to smell to find food.

It is found around southern Australia and is a migratory species that travels south in the summer and returns to the north during winter to breed.

Adults can grow up to 5.5ft long (1.67 metres) and the shark is part of the bullhead family.   

Under higher CO2, the sharks in the study took much longer to find their food, or didn't even bother trying, resulting in considerably smaller sharks.

Marine ecologist Professor Sean Connell said the results of the latest study provide strong support for the call to prevent global overfishing of sharks.

'One-third of shark and ray species are already threatened worldwide because of overfishing,' he said.

'Climate change and ocean acidification are going to add another layer of stress and accelerate those extinction rates.'


Climate Change Predictions 2030

Climate scientist/activist and blogger Michael Tobis just republished his predictions for what climate change will bring us by 2030. He originally made his predictions in 2010.

His predictions are pretty vanilla, which is as it should be, as even dedicated activists understand that the climate isn’t going to fall apart any time soon. The IPCC thinks we won’t really see much in the way of effects until the second half of the century and even that’s with a pessimistic view of atmospheric sensitivity.

Truth be told, most of Tobis’ predictions have little to do with climate change, being more philosophical observations about the nature of life. He thinks we will all be eating farmed seafood instead of fresh caught fish–he doesn’t relate that to climate change (nor should he). He thinks life will be more hectic. Okay. Amazingly, he thinks that politicians will still be practicing politics.

But he does say that CO2 concentrations will not only continue to rise, but will accelerate. That’s a prediction worth watching. He also predicts there will be demands for geoengineering, something that has not yet materialized.

For me, five years out is what I feel most comfortable predicting, far too short a timescale for climate change and its impacts. Instead I’ll provide some data context for some of what Tobis has predicted.

Regarding CO2 concentrations, they have increased at an accelerating pace since the 1960s. In the 1950s, CO2 concentrations increased at about 0.75 ppm annually. In the past 15 years, the concentrations have increased at about 2.25 ppm per year. We’re emitting more CO2, more of it sticks around. Pretty simple.

Whether it will continue to accelerate or not will only be proven by time. It is almost certain that emissions will continue to increase. Global population continues to rise.

The developing world is getting richer. They’re using some of that money to buy things that use energy.

The only counterbalance to that that we have seen is increasing vegetative cover on the planet, having risen perhaps as much as 12-17% over the past 30 years. If that goes on, those plants will eat some of that pesky CO2 and spit out the oxygen that we prefer in our lungs. But it’s doubtful that that will be enough.

The other prediction Tobis made in 2010 that I want to comment on is this one:

“As climate deterioration continues, the initial impact will fall, unfortunately but inevitably, largely on less-developed subtropical regions. This year’s events in Pakistan will be marked as the harbinger. This will greatly exacerbate the already absurd tensions between the Islamic world and everybody else. The west will not be able to motivate any useful intervention. Low-grade guerilla war will persist. We will find ourselves turning into Israelis.”

Of course this might be true. But there isn’t any sign of it as yet. Two days ago there was a horrible terrorist attack in Paris. But globally, violence is down. Wars are fewer in number, whether they are civil wars or wars between states and fewer lives are being lost as a result.

Climate deterioration, if it ever existed, does not appear to be continuing. Global drought has decreased over the past century. Heatwaves in the U.S. show no trend, according to the EPA.

Sea level rise is happening at pretty much the same rate today that it was when Tobis made his predictions. Storms and tornadoes have not increased in either strength or frequency. And although the number of refugees and migrants has increased, it is apparently due primarily to bitter conflict in the Middle East, not climate change.

As for the Pakistani flood in 2010, it had nothing to do with climate change and everything to do with the huge population increase in the country that saw flood zones see too many people move into harm’s way.

We’ll see if Tobis’ predictions for 2030 come true or not. I confess I would have more confidence in his crystal ball if he had been able to predict the past.

SOURCE  (See the original for links and graphics)

In Defense of Exxon Mobil, Oil, and a Poor, Connecting World

Last year, the world sold 88,000,000 oil-based vehicles and just 320,000 of them ran on electricity (read those numbers again). And rest assured Mr. Gore: there’s so much more to come. India and China have just 40 and 75 cars per 1,000 people respectively, compared to 850 for the U.S.

But, perhaps the most ridiculous push against oil is the most obvious: replacing jet fuel refined from crude oil is impossible because of sheer energy density. And the world, of course, is becoming more connected, not less. Considering that this year, 92% of Americans will take a domestic flight and 67% will take an international flight, all Americans must realize that it’s now “the world’s turn to fly.”

There are now over 36 million flights carrying over 3 billion people per year. And rising incomes in the undeveloped world will have passenger traffic expanding at 5% per year over the next 30 years. Just take China, where the rate is 0.2 flights per person per year, versus 2 trips for Americans.

And remember: any agreement in the approaching “Paris climate conference,” where once again rich energy users will catastrophically demote poverty and energy deprivation to an afterthought, will be….NON-LEGALLY binding. Importantly, this means that anything out of Paris WILL NOT be a treaty. And more importantly, even the legally binding treaty of The Kyoto Protocol among the developed nations, where incremental energy demand was clearly limited, has been statistically documented as a failure.

Rich people that devour energy, yet for whatever reason seek to block that energy from poor people are NOT “environmentalists.”

Indeed, undeveloped nations are in much better position to know the undeniable truth that we once knew: the world has no higher goal than reducing poverty, and that begins with the fundamental reality of more energy, lots more energy, being required. We must support oil companies: the International Energy Agency is now “Worried About Low Energy Prices And The Risk Of Investment Falling Short.”

And as publicly traded companies, our oil companies are owned by the everyday Americans that own pension funds, IRAs, and mutual funds. Overall, Exxon Mobil had a direct $62 billion contribution to the U.S. economy in 2014.

Exxon Mobil is just 2% of the massive 94 million b/d global oil market, while OPEC and the Former Soviet Union produce 60%. And Exxon Mobil actually doesn’t make as much money as people think. Exxon Mobil’s profit margins, the real indication of how “rich” a company is, are a very average 5-11%, compared to 17-28% for Pfizer and 20-27% for Apple.

Moreover, Exxon Mobil is increasingly focused on natural gas, the fastest growing major fuel in the developing economies and the flexible backup required for intermittent wind and solar power. Without gas, there’s little realistic chance for these renewables to penetrate the U.S. electricity portfolio beyond a few percentage points. And with Russia being easily the largest natural gas exporter, and seeking friends in an increasingly global gas market, the U.S. needs to be producing (and exporting when possible) as much gas as possible.

And finally my fellow American consumer, know the most basic fact: it’s you and me that are responsible for the emissions that oil and gas companies are getting blamed for. And we emit because we consume these fuels that are highly beneficial, where their “positive externalities” far outweigh their “negative externalities” Mr. Musk and have given us among the best living standards in the world. In short, oil companies work for us.

So, go ahead and cheer with Mr. McKibben when problems arise for Exxon Mobil and the other domestic oil companies…but I implore you to be smart…use your head…and know the truth. From food to clothes to flights to re-fueling your car, they inevitably just mean higher prices for us and more power for Mr. Putin and OPEC.



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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16 November, 2015

NOAA: Deaths Caused by Severe Weather Hit 22-Year Low in 2014

Strange new honesty from NOAA.  NASA came clean with the Zwally article and now NOAA is following suit.  Is this a sign of a new skepticism?

Severe weather caused 333 deaths in the United States in 2014, according to the National Weather Service's Summary of Natural Hazard Statistics for 2014.  That was the fewest in 22 years.

"Fortunately, the United States was again spared any major land falling tropical storms. There were no U.S. tropical storm related deaths in 2014," according to the report.

The last time there were fewer "fatalities caused by severe weather" was in 1992, when 308 such deaths were recorded, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"For the third consecutive year, weather-related deaths dropped significantly," said the NOAA summary. NOAA reported 446 fatalities caused by severe weather in 2013 and 528 in 2012.

The 2014 number was also "below the 10-year average of 638 deaths," the summary stated.

Twice as many males (67 percent) as females (30 percent) died from extreme weather conditions last year, according to NOAA.

Rip-currents caused the most severe weather-related fatalities (57) in 2014, followed by wind (54), tornadoes (47), cold (43), winter (41), lightning (26), heat (20), and hurricanes (zero).

A spokeswoman for NOAA told that the fatality figures are a compilation of "weather-related deaths when we have weather warnings in place," noting that they do not include all weather-related fatalities in the U.S.

NOAA data on deaths caused by lightning, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes go back to 1940. The agency added heat- and winter-related fatalities in 1986, and cold-related fatalities in 1988.

Two additional categories were added later: wind fatalities in 1996 and rip-current fatalities in 2002. However, even with the addition of these two categories, the 333 deaths in 2014 were still the fewest since 1992.

These 333 deaths cause by severe weather included 20 excessive-heat-related fatalities, including 12 in Nevada. That was down from 92 excessive-heat-related fatalities in 2013.

There were 43 cold-related and 41 winter-related deaths in 2014. These included those caused by winter storms, ice and avalanches. IIllinois had with the highest cold-related death toll (21).

The NOAA spokeswoman said that 48 percent of the winter-related fatalities involved vehicular accidents caused by ice and winter storms.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issues excessive heat warnings “when the maximum heat index is expected to be 105 degrees or higher for at least two days and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75 degrees.”

Extreme cold warnings are based on the windchill index, defined as “a combination of ambient temperatures at or below 40 F and wind speeds greater than or equal to 3 mph that can lead to dangerous hypothermia and/or frostbite conditions.”

The 20 heat-related fatalities in 2014 were far below their 10-year average of 124. The number of deaths in 2014 from other weather-related causes such as tornadoes, floods and hurricanes were also all below their 10-year averages.

However, the number of cold- and winter-related fatalities exceeded their 10-year averages of 29 and 27 respectively.

Since 1986, when NOAA began keeping temperature-related fatality statistics, there were a total of 3,839 heat-related deaths, compared to 1,940 cold- and winter-related fatalities.

The highest number of heat-related fatalities during the past 29 years occurred in 1995, when 1,021 people died, according to NOAA.

"1995 was a disastrous year for heat-related fatalities," the agency noted.  Many of the deaths that year occurred in Chicago during a record July heat wave.

"The July 1995 heat wave at Chicago and Milwaukee was a highly rare, and in some respects, unprecedented disaster," the agency noted.

In 2014, 20 people died as a result of extreme heat, down dramatically from the 2013 total of 92 fatalities and even more dramatically from the 2012 total of 155. This number is well below the 10-year average for heat-related fatalities (124).

2004 tied with 1989 for the lowest number of heat-related deaths during the past three decades, with six reported in each of those years.

1989 also had the highest number of cold- and winter-related fatalities, which totaled 164 that year.

According to the NOAA data, weather-related incidents in 2014 caused $7.6 billion in crop and property damage, down from $12.7 billion in 2013.


You knew it!  The terrorist attacks in Paris were all about global warming

A Greenie explains below.  Just another conspiracy theory

Is it a coincidence that the terrorist outrage in Paris was committed weeks before COP21, the biggest climate conference since 2009? Perhaps, writes Oliver Tickell. But failure to reach a strong climate agreement now looks more probable. And that's an outcome that would suit ISIS - which makes $500m a year from oil sales - together with other oil producers.

Yes, it's still about the climate, very much so. But there are also compelling reasons of national and global security to reduce the world's dependence on fossil fuels, oil in particular.
The first thing to be said about the terrorist attacks on Paris yesterday is that they are a dreadful crime that deserves only the most fervent condemnation.

The attackers showed a total contempt for human life and chose soft, civilian targets where their victims were unable to put up any defence against military grade weaponry.

But we must also ask: Why Paris? And why now?

Yes, France has been especially active in its air strikes against ISIS in Syria. And yes, there there is a huge reservoir of discontent among the socially excluded youth of the banlieue, the concrete jungle of impoverished outer suburbs that surround Paris and other big cities - where ISIS can perhaps find willing recruits to its ranks.

But is that all? In just a few weeks time, the COP21 climate conference will take place, in Paris, the biggest such event since COP15 in Copenhagen six years ago. The event offers the world a desperately needed opportunity to reduce its carbon emissions and limit global warming to 2C.

And that's surely something the attackers, or at least their (presumably) ISIS commanders, must know all about.

Could the attacks and COP21 possibly be related?

To answer that question we should first ask, what do the attacks mean for COP21?

For a start, the negotiations taking place at the conference centre at Le Bourget will surely be even more isolated from Paris itself, and civil society, than they were already going to be. Le Bourget is home to one of Paris's main international airports - perfect for VIPs to fly in and out without ever leaving the airport and conference complex.

Undoubtedly France already had a high level of security planned for Le Bourget. But now, whatever those plans are, they will be redoubled. Expect a ring of steel and concrete to go up.

Expect it to be far harder for accredited journalists, campaigners, activists, even businessmen to gain access to the conference, with stringent searches, long queues, and arbitrary refusals to people who may have travelled thousands of miles to be there.

Expect leaders, politicians, negotiators present at the conference to remain more firmly ensconced in their secure surroundings at Le Bourget - instead of travelling into central Paris to enjoy the city's many charms.

And as for civil society ...

It's estimated that ten thousand or more climate activists from around the world may be planning to stay in Paris for the duration of the conference, both to demand a strong and effective agreement, and to develop their own agenda, alliances and plans for climate action.

There is certain to be a far larger and more repressive security presence around them than previously planned - not just at Le Bourget but in central Paris where most of the events, conferences and demonstrations are due to take place.

Police surely fear the presence of terrorists taking shelter among the climate activists - and in many a policeman's world view, there may be no huge difference between murderous terrorists and (generally) peaceful demonstrators anyway. Both are likely to be seen as the 'enemy'.

Meanwhile the activists could reasonably fear terrorism themselves. What yesterday's attacks tell us is that any target will do. Climate campaigners have no reason to feel any safer than anyone else. And a demonstration of tens of thousands densely packed on the streets of Paris would offer a highly vulnerable target.

So the effect of the attacks on COP21 is likely to be a chilling one. Faced with a combination of terrorist threat, and likely heavy-handed policing, their numbers - and their political impact - are likely to fall.

Eyes off the climate ball?

Another outcome that will surely be felt at the highest levels in the conference itself is a loss of focus on the climate, and a refocussing among world leaders present in Paris on terrorism and security.

Yes, negotiators will still be arguing over square brackets in texts as they always do. But the potential of important 'big picture' climate deals cemented between presidents and prime ministers now look less likely than before - for the simple reason that world leaders are likely to take the opportunity of COP21 to talk about more immediately pressing security matters.

So with world leaders distracted from questions of climate, the prospects of serious inter-governmental agreement on the key issues at stake in the talks - from climate finance to the legal status of any agreement reached - have just receded.

Of course, this may all be accidental. Maybe Paris was just hit because of French attacks on ISIS. And maybe the now more likely failure of COP21 to achieve its aims is mere collateral damage in the increasingly savage 'great game' of global power politics.

ISIS Inc defending its corporate interests?

But it may not be. As the FT put it last week in an article titled 'Isis Inc: how oil fuels the jihadi terrorists', "Oil is the black gold that funds Isis' black flag - it fuels its war machine, provides electricity and gives the fanatical jihadis critical leverage against their neighbours ...

"Estimates by local traders and engineers put crude production in Isis-held territory at about 34,000-40,000 bpd. The oil is sold at the wellhead for between $20 and $45 a barrel, earning the militants an average of $1.5m a day ...

"While al-Qaeda, the global terrorist network, depended on donations from wealthy foreign sponsors, Isis has derived its financial strength from its status as monopoly producer of an essential commodity consumed in vast quantities throughout the area it controls. Even without being able to export, it can thrive because it has a huge captive market in Syria and Iraq."

But ISIS's ambitions surely don't stop there. Its aim is to consolidate its hold of the regions it already occupies, extend its empire to new regions and countries, and establish a Caliphate whose power and income will largely derive from oil. So the last thing it needs is a global climate agreement that will, over time, limit global consumption of fossil fuels.

Oil prices are low at around $50 per barrel. The IEA estimates that OPEC states have lost half a trillion dollars a year in revenues since the oil price fell from over $100 a barrel in 2011-2014 to current levels. And this is causing deep tensions among OPEC members - due to meet on 4th December in Vienna to thrash out solutions.

The main problem is that Saudi Arabia is over-producing oil in order to suppress investment in and production of high cost oil in the the US, Canada, UK and other countries - and so capture the lion's share of an oil market it thinks will keep on growing for decades to come.

Thus OPEC scenarios foresee oil demand increasing from 111 to 132 million barrels per day (mb/d) by 2040. However the International Energy Agency thinks that even modest carbon constraints will see demand for oil slump to around 100 mb/d by 2040 - and considerably lower with tough climate policies.

And that is surely an outcome that not just ISIS but all major oil exporters fear and wish to avoid.

Was it or wasn't it?

So, assuming - as seems probable at this stage - that the Paris outrage was carried out by or for ISIS, was it in any way motivated by a desire to scupper a strong climate agreement at COP21? And so maintain high demand for oil long into the future, together with a high oil price?

Let's just say that it could have been a factor, one of several, in the choice of target and of their timing. And of course ISIS was not necessarily acting entirely on its own. While not alleging direct collusion between ISIS and other oil producing nations and companies, it's not hard to see a coincidence of interests.

So if that is the case, or even if might be the case, there's an important message in it for us all. The effort to shrink the importance of fossil fuels in the global energy landscape - and oil in particular - just took on a whole new dimension.

Yes, it's still about the climate, very much so. But there are also immediate and compelling reasons of national and global security to reduce the world's demand for oil even faster than the IEA's projections.

And an important part of achieving that is to reach a strong agreement in Paris next month, sending a clear message to energy corporations and investors that oil and other fossil fuels are no longer a smart investment - and instead to put their resources into the clean, green, renewable energy technologies of the future.

So as well as standing with France in at this time of horror, we must also take a poweful resolve - and communicate it it ceaselessly to our leaders - for a strong, effective climate agreement: the Paris Treaty.


Green Tech – the climate crisis syndicate

Manufactured climate crisis fears and renewable energy schemes create gold mine for the rich

Paul Driessen

Renewable Portfolio Standard advocates recently held their 2015 National Summit. The draft RPS agenda suggests it was quite an event – populated by bureaucrats, scientists and consultants who have jumped on the climate and “green energy” bandwagon, to follow the money.

Indeed, they are no longer content with 10% corn ethanol in gasoline, or some wind and solar power in the electricity mix. Now they want to convert the entire electrical grid from fossil-fuels to renewable sources and, if Catholic bishops get their way, totally eliminate hydrocarbons by 2050, despite the horrendous impacts that would have on workers, families and the world’s poorest people.

There’s certainly a lot of money to be made. The green revolution is estimated at $1.5 trillion per year, which means potentially huge profits for those with political connections. Many who are making big bets on green technologies are ultra-wealthy people who say they are protecting the planet, when they really seem to be “protecting their wealth for future generations” of family members and cronies.

One is Ward McNally, great-great-great grandson of the founder of Rand McNally maps. He and 11 other billionaire families created the Green Tech Syndicate in 2010. So far they have invested $1.4 billion in green schemes – for a greener environment, but mostly to put still more green in their bank accounts.

Wags might suggest that “syndicate” is a perfect name, as it recalls Capone, Cosa Nostra, yazukas and tongs. But what they are doing seems perfectly legal, if not always in the public interest. And the “climate crisis” foundation of this vast enterprise seems increasingly based on exaggerated, manipulated, even fabricated science, data, computer scenarios and official reports – and on silencing CAGW skeptics.

President Obama is the piper leading the nation and world to a green Shangri La. As he continues to impose policies that move the US economy away from fossil fuels and toward pseudo-alternatives, he is calling for public and private investments. The Clean Energy Investment Initiative, for example, seeks investors who will plow $2 billion into wind, solar and other infrastructure projects – all of them augmented with money from taxpayers and consumers who have no voice in the decisions.

There’s another problem: Fossil fuels remain more affordable than renewable energy, a better value for consumers and generally better for the environment. For green investors and the Administration, this means coal, oil and natural gas must be made more costly, so that renewables can compete. What to do?

As a 2014 Senate Environment and Public Works Committee staff investigation revealed, a cabal of billionaires, millionaires, foundations and “charitable” organizations are colluding to smear fossil fuels and scare Americans about fracking and climate change. They funnel millions of dollars into far-left environmentalist groups, which launch campaigns and create phony grassroots groups that hold protests and spread more anti-fossil fuel propaganda, to kill projects and jobs and reduce living standards.

Using an Amazon-sized river of cash, these 0.1 Percenters buy the services of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, American Lung Association and many similar groups, to stir up fear, loathing and opposition among the 99 Percenters. They want to make the electorate feel guilty about pseudo-problems: the plight of polar bears, rising asthma rates, and “environmental injustice” – the claim that minorities are disproportionately affected by fossil fuels and “dangerous manmade climate change.”

Their “charitable” contributions fund and its battles against fossil fuels. Founder Bill McKibben has called the organization “a scruffy little outfit” with “almost no money.” But between 2011 and 2014 it received multiple six-figure grants from outfits like the Park Foundation, Marisla Foundation, Tides Foundation, Climate Works Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Foundation and Rockefeller Family Foundation – with much of the money passed through the Sustainable Markets Foundation.

The Senate report says such pass-throughs allow secretive donors to remain anonymous and get tax deductions for contributing to a supposed charity. Last year, spent more than $8.3 million on anti-fossil fuel activities around the globe.

But pales in comparison to the Energy Foundation (EF), the “quintessential example of a pass through.” The report says EF receives huge sums from the Sea Change Foundation, which gets money from Vlad Putin cronies and whose other “major donors are heavily invested in renewable technologies.”

Sadly, this is not the first time a greedy few have elevated their interests over the needs of working-class consumers. A prime example is the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). With its ethanol mandate, the RFS was pitched to the public as a way to wean America off foreign oil, which fracking does much better. But one of its primary goals was to “incentivize” the U.S. ethanol industry. It certainly did that.

Corn farmers and ethanol producers grew fat, while American families footed the bill. Forcing ethanol into motor fuels caused food prices to climb, vehicle engines to be damaged, and motorists to get fewer miles-per-gallon. Ohio motorists alone paid $440 million more in additional fuel costs during 2014.

Since the RFS was passed ten years ago, the clever racket that gives influential 0.1 Percenters sway over environmental and energy policy has become increasingly sophisticated and less transparent. The RFS was negotiated openly, but today’s policies appear to be generated by a group of insiders who put profits over honesty and fairness, and rabid environmentalism over the well-being of our nation and citizens.

Indeed, EPA justifies the ethanol mandate by claiming it reduces greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). However, even the Environmental Working Group says ethanol puts more carbon dioxide into the air, not less. In October, the EPA Inspector General said it would investigate ethanol’s impact on GHGs.

Unfortunately, most Americans do not comprehend the huge self-interest behind the green movement, nor its harmful effects and minimal benefits. EPA’s anti-coal Clean Power Plan, for example, will sharply hike electricity rates and lower household incomes by $2,000 a year – but reduce global temperatures by only 0.02 degrees C (0.03F) over the next 85 years, assuming CO2 actually drives climate change!

In reality, global temperatures haven’t warmed in 19 years, no category 3-5 hurricane has hit the United States in ten years, Antarctic sea ice is expanding, and seas are rising at just seven inches a century. But anyone who questions climate chaos mantras faces vilification, and worse. Famed French meteorologist Philippe Verdier was fired from his TV job after calling climate change hype a “global scandal.” A Paris journalist says Verdier was the victim of an “outrageous, unjust, ridiculous” climate “fatwa.”

But these critically important facts get short shrift in the radical world of climate cataclysm. They will certainly be ignored at the upcoming UN climate gabfest in Paris. Legions of bureaucrats and activists will gather there to plot global governance, energy restrictions and wealth redistribution – while crushing debate and free speech, to prevent the world from learning the truth about climate chaos deception.

Returning to the RPS conference, its agenda notes that Day Two was closed to the public and open only to selected federal and state officials. That’s because a major discussion topic was the scheduled reduction in federal solar tax credits, from 30% to 10% at the end of 2016. Green investors are up in arms, have launched a TV ad blitz, and wanted to lobby officials privately for expanded government largess.

Wake up, America. The ruling class and rich elites are picking your pockets. Don’t get snookered by the president’s claim that climate change is the biggest threat to future generations. Don’t blithely assume the government is working in your best interests. (That’ll be the day.) Don’t buy claims that the enemy is corporate greed. That ancient diversionary tactic is designed to make you look the other way, while the Green Cabal, Climate Crisis, Inc. and renewable opportunists enrich themselves at your expense.

Above all, pay attention to next year’s elections. Your own and your children’s futures are at stake.

Via email

Leave fossil fuels in the ground? That’s madness

The campaign against fossil fuels will ruin more than Big Oil

‘I don’t think the debate about divestment is a debate about whether we should keep fossil fuels in the ground. It seems to me that the debate about keeping fossil fuels in the ground is well and truly sealed. We know that 80 per cent of those reserves need to stay in the ground if we are to have a habitable planet by the time my children grow up.’

So said climate campaigner Danni Paffard during a recent Battle of Ideas debate about the fossil-fuels-divestment controversy. For Paffard, dealing with climate change was an ‘existential threat’ to the fossil-fuel industry, and ‘therein lies a lot of the problems that we’re coming up against’. In other words, if it weren’t for the malevolent actions of Big Oil, Coal and Gas, we would be well on the way to reducing carbon emissions, rolling out renewable energy on a grand scale, and saving the world for our children. Her answer is divestment – withdrawing funds from fossil-fuel companies in order to show they have lost their ‘social and political licence to operate’.

It came as something of a shock to her, then, when I politely suggested that the debate was far from over. The continuing popularity of fossil fuels has little or nothing to do with the lobbying of Exxon, Shell, BP and the rest. Indeed, the rapid decarbonisation of the global economy would be both disastrous and extremely unlikely.

Climate change is a mere trifle next to the disaster that would be a world without the kind of cheap, reliable and abundant energy that fossil fuels provide. Droughts would kill millions because the world market in food that we currently enjoy would not be possible without fossil fuels to power machinery, create fertilisers and other agri-chemicals, and transport crops. So if food suddenly stopped growing where you happen to live, you wouldn’t be able to get hold of more, even if we could feed the world without industrialised agriculture. Extreme weather events would kill because getting aid to those afflicted would be impossible without fossil-fuelled transport. In fact, the kind of economic development that has cut extreme-weather deaths by 98 per cent since the 1930s wouldn’t be possible at all. Everyone’s life would be harder because the cost of doing pretty much anything, from heating, cooling and lighting our homes to making new products, would be more expensive if we had to rely on low-carbon energy.

That doesn’t mean we will always need fossil fuels. Devoting research resources to superseding fossil-fuel energy would be a good idea, and not just to counter climate change in the future. We should constantly be searching for new ways to create abundant, cheap energy – we’re going to need a hell of a lot of it if we are to have any hope of dragging the majority of the world’s population up to the living standards of the developed world, which should be the bare minimum of our ambitions in the medium term.

But at present, the options for low-carbon energy are too expensive and unreliable. For renewables to succeed, we would need to build them on an enormous scale, create huge power grids and massive storage facilities that might just be able to cope with the fluctuations. If it is ‘green’ to cover the landscape in windfarms and solar-panel arrays, at enormous cost, then that’s a very odd attitude to the environment. Nuclear is safe and more reliable than renewables and could be considerably cheaper than the current plans for plants in the UK. But it isn’t as flexible as gas-fired power stations, for example, and it still requires enormous expertise, which even the UK has in short supply today. And we wouldn’t just have to replace our current electricity production; we would also need to replace all current vehicles with electric or hydrogen-powered versions, and that will demand enormous amounts of energy, too.

I don’t think it is any accident, therefore, that developing countries are using fossil fuels to try to provide the energy needed for their development. By 2040, according to the International Energy Agency, the world’s energy needs will be met in four parts: a quarter each for oil, gas, coal and low-carbon sources, including renewables, nuclear, hydro and biomass – and even that depends on adopting policies that do much to promote low-carbon energy. The US Energy Information Administration notes that developing-world greenhouse-gas emissions are today already 38 per cent higher than those in the developing world in 2010. By 2040, they will be 127 per cent higher.

Given the worries about climate change, if low-carbon sources of energy were able to provide plenty of reliable and flexible energy at a price even close to that of fossil fuels, we’d be using them much more than we are right now. We’re not using them because they’re not up to the job. Maybe at some point in the medium to long term they will be, but not any time soon.

There’s another problem with the divestment campaign: it sidelines the public. Unable to convince voters of the merits of the policies they espouse, campaigners have decided to bypass democracy in favour of badgering individual foundations and, ultimately, companies into falling into line with their views. At present, they have been able to convince a number of institutions with relatively small investments to ditch fossil fuels. But the aim is to stigmatise fossil fuels and persuade the political elite to regulate against them. We’ve seen the dangers of this already in the UK Climate Change Act, where a bidding war went on in parliament about who would vote for the biggest emissions cuts (we ended up with a target of 80 per cent cuts by 2050). Never mind that none of the politicians who voted for that will be around in 2050 or has the first clue about how such cuts might be achieved. Never mind the electorate had no say in the matter. None of the parties likely to form a government has talked seriously about watering down those targets even slightly. An indication of how little interest there is in such policies can be seen in the relatively small numbers of votes that green parties attract. The UK Green Party, for example, won just 3.8 per cent of the vote in this year’s General Election.

As Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates noted in an interview with the Atlantic recently, divestment is a ‘false solution’ that uses up the idealism and energy of people who want to make the world a better place. In the short term, we should be devoted to solving the problems we have right now. There are plenty of them – malnutrition, disease, lack of access to electricity and clean water, and much more. Access to fossil fuels will be crucial to doing that, which is why we’ll carry on using more and more of them.

We should devote more energy to the problem of energy. We’re spending, in relative terms, peanuts on that kind of research when we should be searching for the cheap, abundant and reliable energy that could go a long way to liberating humanity. Just as the ‘green revolution’ of the Sixties and Seventies transformed our ability to grow food, so we need a global, intensive effort to transform our ability to generate energy.


Union Leader on Keystone: Obama’s ‘Disdain for Working People is Evident,’ He’s ‘A Pompous, Pandering Job Killer’

In reaction to President Barack Obama’s decision to not allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built, Terry O’Sullivan, the president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA!), said Obama had “once again” thrown “hard-working, blue-collar workers under the bus” while “doing little or nothing to make a real difference in global climate change.”

“His actions are shameful,” said O’Sullivan in a press release. “The president may be celebrated by environmental extremists, but with this act, President Obama has also solidified a legacy as a pompous, pandering job killer.”

Last week, President Obama announced his decision to kill the pipeline proposal because Secretary of State John Kerry and the State Department had informed him that Keystone XL “would not serve the national interest of the United States.”

Obama also stressed the necessity for America to “transition” to a “clean energy economy,” and added, “America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change.  And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership.  And that’s the biggest risk we face -- not acting.”

LiUNA’s President Terry O’Suillivan said, “President Obama today [Nov. 6] demonstrated that he cares more about kowtowing to green-collar elitists than he does about creating desperately needed, family-supporting, blue-collar jobs.  After a seven-year circus of cowardly delay, the President’s decision to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline is just one more indication of an utter disdain and disregard for salt-of-the-earth, middle-class working Americans.”

“We are dismayed and disgusted that the president has once again thrown the members of LIUNA, and other hard-working, blue-collar workers under the bus of his vaunted ‘legacy,’ while doing little or nothing to make a real difference in global climate change,” said O’Sullivan.  “His actions are shameful.”

O’Sullivan also criticized Obama’s remarks about Keystone XL that the construction jobs it would create are “temporary, and added, “Ironically, the very temporary nature of the president’s own job seems to be fueling a legacy of doing permanent harm to middle- and working class families.”

“From this decision on the Keystone XL, to the attack on quality healthcare through the so-called ‘Cadillac Tax,’ to his efforts to ship good jobs overseas through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Barack Obama’s disdain for working people is evident,” said LiUNA’s O’Sullivan.

“The President may be celebrated by environmental extremists, but with this act, President Obama has also solidified a legacy as a pompous, pandering job killer,” said O’Sullivan.

The Keystone XL pipeline would have run from Canada down through the Midwest United States to refineries in Texas and Illinois, and to a distribution center in Oklahoma.

According to the American Petroleum Institute, construction of the Keystone XL pipeline “could support 42,000 jobs and put $2 billion in workers’ pockets.”

LiUNA, the Laborers’ International Union of North America, was founded in 1903 and currently has 557,999 members. It is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. Terry O’Sullivan has been president of LiUNA since 2000.


Now, let’s set a few things straight on climate change

Chris Kenny comments from Australia

AT the risk of getting lost in a maze of mirrors where columnists respond to columnists responding to columnists, let me talk about colleague Laine Anderson’s climate-change column last week.

She was responding to Andrew Bolt, who can look after himself, but personalising an issue as important as climate change is to miss the point.

This is not science versus Bolt, public opinion versus Bolt or facts versus Bolt. In fact, his contributions to the debate — whether you agree with him or not — are replete with facts and detailed arguments.

Whereas Anderson trotted out the sort of emotive nonsense that shows exactly what is wrong with the climate debate.

Apart from telling us she disagrees with Bolt’s climate scepticism and that she believes global warming is a problem, Anderson did little to address the facts.  And she finished off with a fact-free, emotional catch-all.

“The way I look at it is this: any action today means a cleaner world tomorrow,” she wrote.  “Man-made climate change or no, isn’t that the world you want for your kids and grandkids?”

Clean world versus dirty world. Good citizens versus bad.

These false binaries avoid all the details and complicated arguments, reducing debate to a morality play. Using these tactics, climate alarmists often seek to render some views worthy and try to silence others.

Such lazy thinking permeates too many debates but none more so than climate. So let’s expose some of the silliness.

To start with, characterising carbon dioxide as pollution is an Orwellian twist that overlooks the critical role this gas plays in our natural cycles.  Plants thrive on CO2, turning it into foliage and emitting oxygen; this is why planting trees abates CO2.

Whatever your views on global warming, to talk about carbon dioxide pollution is emotive and to suggest it’s about clean air is also misleading.

China’s terrible air pollution, for instance, is due to particulate pollution (which experts say actually helps reduce global warming) rather than CO2.

Air pollution is a real problem in some parts of the world and needs to be tackled but this is a separate argument to global warming.

Scientists have found that one of the reasons we saw global temperatures rise in the past two decades of last century was because western countries reduced sulphur dioxide pollution.

This is not an argument in favour of pollution but a demonstration of the complexities.  And it is nonsense to suggest people who take a contrarian view on global warming are comfortable with pollution.

Many argue we should be putting more resources into tackling more pressing or pragmatic pollution challenges such as water, air and land degradation, rather than obsessing on CO2.

No matter what any activists or scientists say about climate forecasts everyone is stuck with the same reality that there has been no discernible increase in global average temperature for 17 years.

Yes, temperatures have remained high. Yes they could rise again soon. Yes, other factors are at play. But we can’t ignore how all the modelling favoured by the IPCC and others, so far, has proven incorrect.

That is not my view. That is just the reality of empirical measurements versus theory.

Explaining this divergence has been the critical debate in climate science over the past four or five years (as the Climategate emails revealed).

Again, whether you are a climate alarmist or agnostic, these are just the realities of the debate.

Also, if you argue, like Anderson, that the threat is serious and requires action, you need to define that action.

Going to a candles-only Earth Hour dinner won’t cut it. No matter whether you favour the government’s Direct Action policy or Labor’s carbon price policy, you have to deal with the reality that reductions in Australia’s carbon emission can have little if any impact on the planet.

Our emissions make up 1.3 per cent of the global total — a reduction of 5 per cent of 1.3 per cent is what a scientist might call diddly-squat.

And even if Australia delivers these cuts the current growth of emissions in China alone would more than make up for them within a few months.

No matter what Australia does — even if we were to shut down our nation — global emissions will rise over the next decade. So those arguing for action have to explain what and why.

Are we spending money and adding to our costs just to make climate activists feel good?

If we really believe this is serious, shouldn’t we spend the money on adapting to the warming climate?

Should we also plan to take advantage of the benefits of a warmer climate in some places?

Or if we think the global economy really can change the planet’s climate patterns, shouldn’t we at least wait until China, India and America join an international trading scheme (if it ever happens)?

Instead of these discussions, we tend to read and hear about catastrophic scenarios — oceans rising six metres and the like — and if you reject the alarmism you are anti-science.

How, decidedly unscientific.



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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14 November, 2015

EU "refugee" influx all due to global warming

This claim had to come of course. But since there has been no global warming for over 18 years it CANNOT be true.  Things that don't exist don't cause ANYTHING

The satellites are the only way of obtaining a truly global temperature reading and for the last 18 years they just show random fluctuations around a constant mean. Here's the graph:

And even the terrestrial datasets show no statistically significant global temperature change over the last 18 years.

Global temperatures are anything but uniform, however, and there may have been some local warming in some places which was offset by cooling in other places.  But local warming is not global warming, to be reluctantly tautologous

Climate change can affect agricultural productivity and the incentives of people to remain in rural areas. This column looks at the effects of warming trends on rural-urban and international migration. In middle-income economies, higher temperatures increased emigration rates to urban areas and to other countries. In very poor countries, however, higher temperatures reduced the probability of emigration to cities or to other countries, consistent with the presence of liquidity constraints.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), which is the most comprehensive and relevant analysis of climate change, concludes that hundreds of millions of people will be affected by climate change. Its consequences will be felt directly and indirectly via resource availability and population movements, spreading consequences across the globe.

For this reason, the EU’s foreign and security policies, as well as official publications and strategies, have devoted increasing attention to climate-related factors. For instance, the joint report by Javier Solana and the European Commission defines climate change as a ‘threat’ multiplier, as it could be responsible for political and security risks affecting European interests (European Council 2008). Environmentally induced migration is quoted among the various threats identified in the report. According to the Council Conclusions on EU Climate Diplomacy, adopted in June 2011, climate change is a global environmental and development challenge with significant implications related to security and migratory pressures (European Council 2011).

The idea that climate-related migration could generate repercussions for European security is related to the possibility of large inflows of people from the areas adversely affected by climate change. Predictions of these flows, however, are extremely imprecise and based on a very wide range of hypotheses. The number of predicted migrants range wildly from 25 million to one billion over the next 40 years (IOM 2009). Vulnerability to climate change in poor countries, while certainly increasing the incentive to migrate, does not necessarily imply that migration will occur. Climate change, by decreasing the available resources, may constrain the ability to emigrate, and some vulnerable individuals may find themselves less mobile and less likely to migrate (Barrett 2008, Cattaneo and Massetti 2015, Gray and Mueller 2012, Foresight 2011).

New research

In a recent paper (Cattaneo and Peri 2015), we tackle the connection between increasing temperatures and migration by analysing the effect of differential warming trends across countries on the probability of migrating out of the country or migrating from rural to urban areas. A crucial insight is that by impoverishing rural populations and worsening their income perspectives, long-term warming affects migration in different ways, depending on the initial income of those rural populations. A decline in agricultural productivity, causing a decline in rural income, seems to have a depressing effect on the possibility of emigrating in extremely poor countries where individuals live on subsistence income. Lower income worsens their liquidity constraint, implying that potential migrants have a reduced ability to pay for migration costs and to afford travel and relocation costs. In this case, global warming may trap rural populations in local poverty. In contrast, in countries where individuals are not extremely poor, a decline in agricultural income strengthens the incentives to migrate to cities or abroad. Decreasing agricultural productivity may encourage a mechanism that ultimately leads to economic success of migrants, benefitting their country of origin and shifting people out of agriculture into urban environments.

Using decade changes between 1960 and 2000 for 116 countries, ranging from very poor to middle income, we perform a regression analysis that controls for country effects, decade effects, and several other geographic variables and allows for a different impact of temperature on emigration and urbanisation rates in poor and middle-income countries.

We find that increasing temperatures are associated with lower emigration and urbanisation rates in very poor countries.
In contrast, in middle-income countries they are associated with positive changes in emigration and urbanisation rates.

The incentive effect driven by lower agricultural productivity prevails in middle-income countries, and rural population is driven to cities, speeding the country's structural transformation and ultimately increasing income per person. In poor countries, the worsening of the liquidity constraint due to lower agricultural productivity prevails, and urbanisation and emigration are slowed.

Urbanisation and industrialisation are crucial mechanisms for GDP growth. For countries with intermediate levels of income per person, warming can push towards these gains. However, for countries where agricultural productivity is so low as to trap rural populations at subsistence levels, warming may instead slow economic transformation. These effects could contribute to divergence of income between poor and middle-income countries.

Where do people migrate to in response to warming?

Does warming produce large scale movements of individuals from middle-income countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to rich countries in Europe and North America? Or does it produce more local migrations in the regions?

We find that growing temperatures are mainly associated with emigration to non-OECD destinations that are close to the countries of origin (especially those within a 1,000km radius). 
Emigration to OECD (i.e. rich) countries does not seem affected.
This result is consistent with the idea that climate-driven emigration is associated with a worsening of local opportunities and migrants move where they have better chances of finding a job given their current constraints. This ‘push’ factor (decreased rural income) increases migration to similar economies rather than to OECD economies. On the other hand, the migration-reducing effect for poor countries (due to worsening opportunities) affects both types of destination, as potential emigrants become less likely to leave the country altogether. Combining the effect on poor and middle-income countries, it appears that increases in average temperatures may actually decrease overall emigration to OECD countries. Middle-income countries are not more likely to experience emigration towards those destinations, while poor countries experience a reduction in emigration rates altogether. These findings suggest that climate change is unlikely to be the driver of large migrations to Europe as the impact on poor countries seems negative and climate-related migrations seem more local. 

Migration and natural disasters

Climate change is also expected to bring an intensification of extreme weather events. For this reason, we tested whether temperature anomalies and natural disasters such as droughts, floods, and storms influence emigration rates in middle-income and poor countries. We find that long-run emigration rates in poor or middle income countries are not significantly affected by the occurrence of these events. It is likely that natural disasters drive different types of migration, more akin to local mobility and temporary. Given their relatively rare occurrence and temporary nature in the considered period, extreme weather episodes did not affect significantly long-run rural-urban and international migration.


In this column we have focused on the potential impact of growing average temperatures on rural-urban and international migration. We found that in very poor countries, warming implies less emigration. Rural populations may be stuck in deeper poverty with fewer resources to migrate. In contrast, in countries where income is not as low, lower agricultural productivity increases the incentives to migrate, producing higher emigration rates. Through these different responses temperature changes may contribute to a divergence of income and opportunities between very poor and middle-income countries. Finally, a future of increased migrations to Europe or to the US driven by global warming is not a scenario supported by our analysis.


Global warming bad for turtles

It's a good thing we are not having any, then.  They show below that different temperatures affect turtle reproduction but they have NO data on global warming

Marine turtles deposit their eggs in underground nests where they develop unattended and without parental care. Incubation temperature varies with environmental conditions, including rainfall, sun, shade and sand type, and affects developmental rates, hatch and emergence success, and embryonic sex. Although the loggerhead turtle has been around for more than 60 million years, drought, heavy rainfalls and climatic changes are impacting hatchling sex ratios and influencing future reproduction. Because sea turtles don’t have an X or Y chromosome, their sex is defined during development by the incubation environment. Warmer conditions produce females and cooler conditions produce males.

Researchers from Florida Atlantic University have just published the results of a four-year study in the journal Endangered Species Research, on the effects of turtle nest temperatures and sand temperatures and on hatchling sex. “The shift in our climate is shifting turtles as well, because as the temperature of their nests change so do their reproduction patterns,” said Jeanette Wyneken, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. “The nesting beaches along Florida’s coast are important, because they produce the majority of the loggerhead hatchlings entering the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.”

Loggerhead turtles are already fighting an uphill battle since roughly one in 2,500 to 7,000 sea turtles make it to adulthood. The typical loggerhead produces about 105 eggs per nesting season and would have to nest for more than 10 nesting seasons over the span of 20 to 30 years just to replace herself and possibly one mate. And, if enough males aren’t produced because of climate changes, then this will result in a dire problem for this species. “If climatic changes continue to force the sex ratio bias of loggerheads to even greater extremes, we are going to lose the diversity of sea turtles as well as their overall ability to reproduce effectively. Sex ratios are already strongly female biased,” said Wyneken. “That’s why it’s critical to understand how environmental factors, specifically temperature and rainfall, influence hatchling sex ratios.”

Wyneken and her team documented rainfall and sand temperature relationships as well as rainfall, nest temperatures and hatchling sex ratios at a loggerhead turtle nesting beach in Boca Raton, located in southeast Florida. Nesting season, which runs from April through October, were sampled across 2010 and 2013. The researchers used temperature dataloggers in the sand at three locations and buried them at three different depths to create temperature profiles of the sand column above the level that would directly influence eggs. The rainfall data were graphed in temporal synchrony with sand temperature for each depth. Nest temperatures were recorded throughout incubation. Rainfall data collected concurrently with sand temperatures at different depths showed that light rainfall affected only the surface sand; effects of the heaviest rainfall events tended to lower sand temperatures, however, the temperature fluctuations were very small once the moisture reached upper nest depths.

Nest temperature profiles were synchronized with rainfall data from weather services to identify relationships with hatchling sex ratios. The sex of each turtle was verified laparoscopically to provide empirical measures of sex ratios for the nest and the nesting beach. “The majority of hatchlings in the sampling were female, suggesting that across the four seasons most nest temperatures were not sufficiently cool to produce males,” said Wyneken. “However, in the early portion of the nesting and in wet years, nest temperatures were cooler, and significantly more males hatched.”


Germans pay heaps for electricity they DON'T use!

Online daily Die Welt here reports on how German consumers are being forced to pay huge sums of money to wind park and solar plant operators who are ordered to stop feeding electricity into the grid, but yet get paid anyway!

As volatile green electricity increasingly gets fed into an ever more unstable German power grid, wind parks and solar energy producers are being asked ever more frequently to switch off their plants to prevent grid overloads. Yet, they still receive money for the power they would have produced. It’s one of the nutty peculiarities of Germany’s wacky green energy feed-in act.

Die Welt calls this never-produced power “phantom electricity”. But it is costing consumers real cash.

One reason wind parks are unable to feed into the power grid at times is because the transmission lines needed to carry away the excess power are too inadequate to handle the frequent overloads, or they just don’t exist. Die Welt reports:

Because power lines are missing, wind parks have to be switched off more and more often. Yet wind entrepreneurs get paid for not producing. The costs for this are rising rapidly.”

Making money (and doing so with absolutely no risk) has never been easier!

Naturally this is causing electricity bills for German consumers to jump yet again. Die Welt reports that just the green electricity feed-in surcharge levied on consumers will reach “a record value of 6.35 cents per kilowatt-hour” next year. Now consumers will also have to pay even more money for power that never gets produced.

Already this year it is expected that a quarter billion euros will be added to electricity bills for the green kilowatt-hours which were never produced.”

This, Die Welt writes, is based on calculations by the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur). The reason the estimated 1580 gigawatt-hours of electricity were never produced (but still paid for): “…because there was not enough powerline capacity to deliver the power to consumers.”

Consequently: green power producers and investors get off scot-free; consumers get the shaft.

The quarter-billion-euro amount is three times higher than the 82.6 million euros from a year earlier.
Die Welt reports that this warped market situation will only worsen in the future. As more volatile wind and solar energy come online, Germany tries to unload the excess power from it’s overloaded grid by dumping it into neighboring foreign markets such as in Poland or the Czech Republic, sometimes even at negative prices.

However these eastern neighbors are refusing to allow all the excess electricity to flood into their national grids unhindered. Die Welt reports: “Beginning next year Poland and the Czech Republic want to prevent German green power from coming into neighboring countries by employing power blockers at their borders, so-called phase shifters.”

So, on windy and sunny days, excess German green power will have no place to go, and thus this will necessitate the shutting down of even more wind parks and solar plants. That means the tab for the never-produced (phantom) electricity will continue it’s upward spiral. The result: even more money flooding up from the poor to the coffers of the rich.

No wonder the German model has become an export hit to countries with greedy green energy developers and investors! Making money has never been easier.


Antarctic Ice is Growing, Even Hit a 'Record,' But Evening News Shows Hype Melting Arctic Instead

Like the nag of a dripping faucet, the liberal news media spent years warning about melting glaciers and ice caps because of global warming.

Media outlets predicted an “ice-free” Arctic time and again, and so far have been wrong. But with all the panic about melting glaciers, or sea ice, or ice at the poles the media have reported, one would imagine good news about increasing ice would at least get some attention.

Not from the broadcast networks anyway. In the past year, they’ve ignored data showing increasing ice in Antarctica, presumably because it did not fit perfectly with their climate agenda, instead choosing to hype melting Arctic ice repeatedly.

Between October 2014 and November 2015, NASA released two separate studies, both showing that ice in Antarctica is growing faster than it is melting. In May 2015, Antarctic ice was at a record high level. Yet between Nov. 4, 2014 and Nov. 11, 2015, the broadcast network’s evening news shows never mentioned either study.

During that same time however, the broadcast network’s evening news shows specifically mentioned melting ice in the Arctic 12 different times. All of those were on CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News. But additional stories on all three evening shows implied that melting was occurring in polar regions because of global warming or climate change.

Jim Axelrod, the CBS national correspondent, included a frightening report in the July 21, 2015, Evening News, saying, “ever warming oceans melting polar ice could raise sea levels fifteen feet in the next fifty to a hundred years, NASA’s former climate chief now says. Five times higher than previous predictions.”

Axelrod then showed dire graphics of Miami, Seattle and New York City, all being flooded as a result of melting ice.

“The melting ice would cool ocean surfaces at the poles even more, while the overall climate continues to warm. The temperature difference would fuel even more volatile weather,” he warned.

In August, all three networks also turned to President Barack Obama to help draw attention to polar melting. On Aug. 3, ABC and NBC both aired Obama’s “personal plea” to cut emissions.

Obama said, “I don’t want my grandkids not to be able to swim in Hawaii or not to be able to climb a mountain and see a glacier because we didn’t do something about it.”

Not to be outdone, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley hyped the climate change focus of Obama’s trip to Alaska on Aug. 31, saying, “Tonight as the president visits Alaska, we’ll take you to the Portage Glacier to show you the dramatic effects of climate change.”

The next night Pelley continued the same refrain saying, “The president hiked today to Alaska’s Exit Glacier, which is melting. A sign marks where it stood in 1951. It shrunk a quarter of a mile. Proof, according to the president, that time is running out to reverse climate change.”

Pelley’s bias on the subject has been evident for years. He famously defended his decision not to include climate skeptics saying in 2006, “If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier.”

NBC has devoted significant resources to show climate change. On Sept. 15, 2015, Nightly News host Lester Holt said, “NBC News has spent the past four months traveling to the Arctic” to cover melting ice.

Holt cited a NASA study released that day that claimed that the Arctic “has recently seen the most sea ice melting since NASA began keeping track in 1978.”

Pelley highlighted the same story the next night saying, “Scientists say that the ice cap shrank to the fourth smallest area on record. The ice was measured by satellite in 1979, and since then it has decreased 38 percent.”

Although Nightly News and Evening News eagerly and quickly reported those NASA claims, less than one month later they refused to cover another NASA study showing ice grown happening in Antarctica.

That Oct. 30, 2015 report from NASA showed that snowfall accumulation in Antarctica had been “adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.”

“The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice,” NASA said.

CNN published the story online on Nov. 3, reporting, “Antarctica is gaining more ice than it has lost.”

In May 2015, Antarctic sea ice was at record levels, but the networks also ignored that. The very liberal Guardian (UK) newspaper reported that ice was growing so much that it was “making it harder to resupply and refuel research stations” that were hosting sea ice forecasting workshops. Yet the networks refused to cover it.

Even earlier, NASA reported in October 2014 that Antarctic sea ice growth was at a “record high extent this year, covering more of the southern oceans than it has since scientists began a long-term satellite record to map sea ice extent in the late 1970s.”

“On Sept. 19, 2014, the five-day average of Antarctic sea ice extent exceeded 20 million square kilometers for the first time since 1979,” NASA said.

All that Antarctic ice growth stalled a research expedition to Antarctica full of scientists looking for proof of global warming In December 2013. The expedition became stranded when the sea ice froze so thick around their ship that a chinese rescue vessel couldn’t break through to reach them.

Methodology: MRC Business searched ABC, NBC, and CBS evening news show transcripts between Nov. 4, 2014 and Nov. 11, 2015 for the terms ice, glacier, polar, Arctic, Antarctic, and/or Antarctica. Within those stories, MRC Business evaluated all reports which focused on the long term growth or melting of ice in the polar regions. Reports discussing “Arctic blasts” or freezing lakes and rivers due to winter weather were not included.


Investors Urge Exxon to Take Moral Responsibility for Global Warming. So it's not coal that is the villain?

A few nuts have bought shares in Exxon, which enable them to create scenes at Exxon's AGM.  And what exactly is "moral" responsibility?  Does it mean "I didn't do it but I'll say I did"?

ExxonMobil stockholders are turning up the heat on management over the oil giant's history of resisting action to confront climate change with a first-ever request asking the company to accept moral responsibility for global warming.

The proposal by the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment calls on Exxon to take urgent climate action on moral grounds by agreeing to limit temperature rise to the globally accepted 2 degrees Celsius target. Tri-State represents nearly 40 Roman Catholic shareholder organizations with pension funds invested in the oil giant.

"ExxonMobil claims that its energy production responds to a 'moral imperative' to meet growing energy demand and eradicate poverty, but this does not offset the necessity to mitigate climate change or the moral imperative to limit warming to 2°C," according to the resolution.

A second proposal by the Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order of friars asks stockholders to vote on naming someone with climate change expertise to the board for the second year in a row.

How Exxon responds to resolutions proposed for the company's annual meeting next May could add to scrutiny of the company, as New York State prosecutors probe what Exxon knew about global warming and what it told investors and the public. Meanwhile, lawmakers, presidential candidates, climate scientists and environmentalists increasingly are calling for federal investigations of Exxon under racketeering and securities fraud statutes.

"There is no doubt there is more interest in Exxon's conduct than ever before," said the Rev. Michael Crosby, who represents the friars and has called on the company to address climate change for more than a decade. "Exxon has dismissed calls to take responsible action on the climate for so long, and now maybe there will be a feeling that what we’ve been calling for was right all along."

The suggested resolutions, which still must be cleared by the Securities and Exchange Commission, are part of a 25-year campaign by corporate responsibility advocates to get Exxon and other fossil fuel producers to limit emissions of harmful greenhouse gases. Exxon has rejected all the resolutions, including a widely endorsed climate policy in corporate America—to set company-wide goals to lower its emissions.

The moral-responsibility proposal is "a different strategy," said Mary Beth Gallagher, acting director of New Jersey-based Tri-State. "Our hope is that it sends a signal that a company's shareholders care about how it generates profit, not just that it generates profits."

Exxon spokesman Scott J. Silvestri declined to address questions about the Tri-State resolution, saying the company will respond next year before the shareholder meeting. The company last week denied "allegations that ExxonMobil suppressed climate change research" after the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a subpoena for documents spanning almost four decades. The subpoena follows an InsideClimate News investigative series showing that Exxon knew decades ago of the climate effects of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.

Because shareholder requests at publicly traded companies are purely advisory, Exxon has no legal reason to heed shareholder demands on climate change. But there is a growing argument—most notably by Pope Francis in his encyclical on the climate and his speech to the U.S. Congress—that dealing with climate change is a moral obligation, said Tim Smith, senior vice president of Boston-based Walden Asset Management, which promotes environmental, social and corporate responsibility on behalf of investors.

"From a moral point of view, they could have been part of the early warning system," he said. "They chose another path. Now they have the opportunity to evolve and become more in line with the consensus on climate change."

But Exxon may have legal reasons not to accept the Tri-State resolution, according to Michael Gerrard, a professor of environmental law at Columbia University.

"It seems the resolution asks Exxon to admit certain things that Exxon may not want to admit," Gerrard said. "I could imagine any admission of this sort playing into some of the new theories of liability being considered."

Those include prosecuting Exxon under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO, Gerrard said. The federal statute was originally enacted to fight organized crime but was successfully employed against the tobacco industry in the 1990s.

Shareholder Resolutions

The Tri-State proposal is among the first 2016 Exxon shareholder resolutions to be filed addressing climate change. Investors have until Dec. 16 to submit resolutions for annual meetings next year.

Exxon can challenge the Tri-State resolution before the SEC to keep it off the shareholder meeting agenda. If the SEC clears the proposal, the company can urge shareholders to vote against it. Managements often argue that such resolutions would tie executives' hands and interfere with profit-making. A Tri-State resolution asking Exxon to adopt clear goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its products and operations received the support of just 9.6 percent of the company's stock in 2015.

Unlike previous resolutions, the moral-responsibility proposal doesn't ask Exxon to consider the potential financial risk to share values posed by tough climate policies.

"We believe that ExxonMobil should assert moral leadership with respect to climate change," a supporting statement to the resolution states. "This policy would supplement ExxonMobil’s existing positions on climate policy."

The introduction of the resolution cites Pope Francis' encyclical letter earlier this year that "the climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all."

By tapping into heightened awareness of climate change triggered by the pope's message and the recent revelations that Exxon's own scientists were worried about it as early as 1977, Tri-State's Gallagher said she hopes the company will be forced to re-examine its position.

Using data cited in Exxon's 2014 report prepared in response to shareholders questions, Energy and Carbon – Managing the Risks, Tri-State calculated that the increase in global temperature by 2040 will be 2.4 degrees, a significantly higher and more threatening level than 2 degrees.

In the report, Exxon told shareholders it believed greenhouse gas emissions would plateau and begin slowly declining over the next 25 years. It assured shareholders that it takes climate issues seriously, even though it would not adopt a climate policy, and said the company would continue to develop its hydrocarbon reserves.


VHEMT movement says humans need to die out to save planet

I am all for this mob.  May they practice what they preach and persuade lots of their fellow Greenies to do likewise

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement believes there is only one way to save the planet — and that is to stop reproducing and allow our species to die out.

While most of us think advocating the demise of humankind is a little dark, VHEMT says “returning Earth to its natural splendour and ending needless suffering of humanity are happy thoughts — no sense moping around in gloom and doom”.

VHEMT says it wasn’t created by just one person — it has been an awareness that has been around throughout history. However one man called Les Knight coined the movement’s name. They say Les, spurred by love and logic, came to the conclusion that Gaia — the idea that Earth is actually one large self-regulating organism — would be better off without humans.

So the obvious next question is do they really think this will catch on?

Surprisingly they say they are realistic about the prospects of no humans being left on the planet. They understand they will probably never see that day (I thought that was the point).

But believe if just one person chooses a life of no children then they think this is success.

“Even if our chances of succeeding were only one in a hundred, we would have to try,” VHEMT says on its website. “Giving up and allowing humanity to take its course is unconscionable. There is far too much at stake. The movement may be considered a success each time one more of us volunteers to breed no more. We are being the change we want to see in the world.”

So why wait if they are keen to see the end of humanity? Why not introduce a virus or orchestrate all out war to ensure the destruction of humans?



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

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


13 November, 2015

Former Obama Sustainability Officer: Climate Change is ‘Mother of All Risks’

Sheer assertion.  Not a shred of evidence offered

Climate change is the “mother” of all national security risks, said former Obama administration sustainability officer Jon Powers, warning that “without a global agreement in Paris, the world—including the U.S.—is headed toward potentially catastrophic climate impacts.”

Leaders of over 190 countries are scheduled to meet in Paris from November 30 to December 11 to craft a legally binding global agreement on climate change.

“In the security world, decisions are made by a careful evaluation of risk. And climate change is the mother of all risks,” Powers, the former chief sustainability officer and special advisor on energy to the U.S. Army, wrote in a Time Magazine op-ed on Friday.

Powers claimed that climate change worsens security threats in unstable regions, suggesting that the U.S. should act on climate change with the same urgency it acts on intelligence affecting national security.

“To the military, climate change acts as a threat multiplier, exacerbating threats in already unstable regions of the world,” Powers asserted. “Just as we act aggressively on information from the national security intelligence community, we must also act on the scientific evidence from our nation’s best climate scientists.”

“It’s clear that no country can avoid the impacts of climate change, and no country can meet this challenge alone,” he warned.

“The U.S. must replicate this leadership and seize the opportunity when countries meet this December in Paris to finalize a global deal on climate change.

"A strong global climate agreement in Paris would usher in a clean energy economy while building a safer, stronger America," Powers stated.


Obama Pushing for a farcical New UN Climate Agreement

The United Nations has scheduled a meeting in Paris to discuss climate change, with a new international global warming agreement involving more than 190 countries as its goal. The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, starting Nov. 30 and running to Dec. 11, will be the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

The objective is to create a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, and the Obama administration has submitted a plan for a new deal consisting of national contributions to curb emissions that would alter the 20-year-old Kyoto Protocol distinctions between the obligations of rich and poor nations.

The U.S. plan depends on individual countries enforcing their own emissions reductions, and the countries that agree to the plan would be required to set new targets to lower their carbon emissions after 2020. And rich nations like the U.S. and Japan will be held to the same legal requirements as China, India and other fast-developing nations.

This all sounds wonderful if you believe in manmade global warming/climate change; one-world government; the U.S. making more reductions before China and India — the really big polluters — do; and the Easter Bunny.

Why would China or India voluntarily reduce their emissions when doing so would stop their development or severely hamper it? And, can the world trust both countries to honestly report their emissions? Just recently, we learned that China has already been deceiving the world on its coal burning carbon emissions, even before this new agreement is finalized.

At a meeting in Bonn last month to discuss a draft agreement, a bitter fight developed over the degree to which countries of the world should cut their greenhouse gas emissions, how much time they will have to complete those cuts, and who will pay for the transition.

Some provisions of the draft require the complete de-carbonization of the global economy by 2050, as well as that rich countries like the U.S. get to pay more than $100 billion per year after 2020. The latter provision is intended to compensate poor countries for supposed climate change damages and help them adopt non-carbon producing energy sources.

The basis for this stepped up attack on fossil fuel use is the old story that human activities cause climate change, and global warming is responsible for so much harm. That would be harm like Al Gore’s shrinking Arctic ice cap that was supposed to disappear by 2014 (the Arctic still has a large ice cap and the Antarctic cap has grown), rising global temperatures (that haven’t risen since 1998), too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (which makes plants grow and produce oxygen for us to breathe) and the rest of the more than 700 things attributed to global warming, as compiled by the British-based science watchdog, Number Watch.

California Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee and several other Democrats believe that if substantial reductions in CO2 emissions aren’t made soon then droughts and reduced agricultural output may force women to turn to “transactional sex” (once known as “prostitution”) to survive. Seriously.

On the other hand, though, global warming is ruining sex lives.

A consortium of environmental activist organizations released a report titled “Fair Shares,” which concludes with the real climate agenda: “Nothing less than a systemic transformation of our societies and our economies will suffice to solve the climate crisis.”

Since Barack Obama is totally on board with this concept he has already implemented his own “climate action plan.” Thus, the theory goes, the U.S. would not need congressional approval to implement the UN agreement, since it’s already being done through executive orders.

Which, of course, means that Obama intends to ignore the constitutional role of Congress. Again.

“So this is just the latest example of President Obama’s contempt for obeying the Constitution and our laws,” says Myron Ebell, director of the Center of Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). “In the past,” he noted, “rulers who act as if the law does not apply to them were called tyrants.”

The U.S. Constitution says that the president “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate” to make treaties with other countries. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol had to be ratified by Congress, but it never was, even though the Clinton administration signed onto it. This agreement, too, should be considered a treaty requiring Senate approval.

“CEI has warned for several years that the Obama Administration would follow advice from environmental pressure groups and try to sign a new UN agreement that ignores the Senate’s constitutional role,” Ebell said.

Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee called the plan ambitious and cynical because it “is an attempt to enshrine in an international agreement President Obama’s unilateral environmental regulatory regime, which remains deeply unpopular among the American people.”

Opponents also point out that this agreement will not take effect until after Obama leaves office, so he won’t have to deal with the damage it causes. However, if it does not receive ratification by the Senate, it is only an agreement, and therefore can easily be cancelled by the next president.


Paris pledges ‘wishful thinking, not optimism’: Bjorn Lomborg

The effects of pre-Paris climate commitments

Full implementation of all carbon-dioxide savings pledges made at the Paris climate change conference would reduce global temperature increases less than 0.05C by 2030, analysis by policy researcher Bjorn Lomborg has found. Even if the promised actions were continued for the following 70 years and there was no “CO2 leakage” to noncommitted nations, the reduction in temperature increases since before the industrial age would be just 0.17C by 2100, the peer-reviewed paper says.

Dr Lomborg’s findings are at odds with official statements and comments by UN climate chief Christiana Figueres that a Paris agreement could lead to a 2.7C rise instead of a 4C or 5C increase by 2100.

Dr Lomborg said Ms Figueres had “entirely misrepresented the world’s options”.

He said adopting pledges made before this month’s Paris conference by countries representing the vast majority of global greenhouse gas emissions would do little to stabilise the climate and any benefits would be undetectable for many decades.

Using accepted modelling and methodology, the Lomborg paper, to be published today, rates individual pledges made by major emissions nations China, the US and EU and the world combined.

Published in the journal Global Policy, the Lomborg paper said the best-case scenario for President Barack Obama’s pledges for the US, if continued for a century, was a reduction in temperature increases of 0.031C.

For China, it was 0.048C and for the EU it was 0.053C.

Australia is included in the “rest of the world” where combined policies had a maximum potential of reducing global ­temperature increases 0.036C by 2100.

The paper concluded: “If we want to reduce climate impacts significantly we will have to find better ways than the ones currently proposed.”

Dr Lomborg has been a controversial figure in the climate change debate despite accepting that rising levels of CO2 from human sources will have an ­impact on global temperatures.

Academic protests have blocked attempts to open a res­earch centre in Australia, either in Perth or Adelaide, with backing from the federal government.

Rather than rejecting climate science, Dr Lomborg’s core position has been that greater attention needs to be paid to the economics of combating climate change.

Releasing his new paper, he said negotiators in Paris were trying to tackle global warming in the same way that had failed for 30 years.

He said this included making prom­ises that were individually expensive, that would have little impact even in 100 years and that many governments would try to avoid.

“This didn’t work in Kyoto, it didn’t work in Copenhagen, it hasn’t worked in the 18 other ­climate conferences or countless more international gatherings,” Dr Lomborg said.

“The suggestion that it will make a large difference in Paris is wishful thinking.”

He said a Copenhagen Consensus on Climate project involving 27 of the world’s top climate economists and three Nobel Laureates found the best strategy would be to invest in green research and development.

“Instead of trying to make fossil fuels so expensive that no one wants them, which will never work, we should make green energy so cheap everybody will shift to it,” Dr Lomborg said.

Climate change negotiators have said the Paris pledges are a starting point.

The conference will convene on November 30.

In a statement, COP21 president Laurent Fabius, France’s Foreign Minister, said national contributions could make a difference and help avoid the worst-case scenario of global warming of 4C-5C or more.

“It confirms that it is possible to achieve a trajectory where warming is kept below 1.5C-2C by the end of the century, but this will ­require additional efforts over time,” Mr Fabius said.

“Some estimates put us on a trajectory of a 2.7C-3C increase by the end of the century.

“This confirms the importance of reaching an agreement at COP21 in Paris that will lay down the rules for periodically ­revising the national contributions upwards.”

Ms Figueres, the executive ­secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said a Paris agreement could lead to a 2.7C rise instead of 4C or 5C increase.

Dr Lomborg said Ms Figueres had “entirely misrepresented the world’s options”.

“The 2.7C comes from the International Energy Agency and essentially assumes that if governments do little in Paris and then right after 2030 embark on incredibly ambitious climate reductions, we could get to 2.7C,” Dr Lomborg said.

“Figueres’s own organisation estimates the Paris promises will reduce emissions by 33Gt CO2 in total. To limit rises to 2.7C, about 3000Gt CO2 would need to be ­reduced — or about 100 times more than the Paris commitments. That is not optimism, it is wishful thinking.”

The latest Lomborg paper uses the MAGICC climate model, which has been used across all five IPCC reports and was co-funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Dr Lomborg said it had been run with standard parameters, and sensitivity analysis had shown that different assumptions of climate sensitivity, carbon cycle model or scenario did not substantially change the outcome.

Dr Lomborg said the paper had used the same basic methodology of climate scientist, Tom Wigley, who analysed the Kyoto Protocol in a much-cited paper in 1998.


John Kerry admits Paris Climate Deal Will Not Be Legally Binding

John Kerry, US secretary of state, has warned that December’s Paris climate change talks will not deliver a “treaty” that legally requires countries to cut their carbon emissions, exposing international divisions over how to enforce a deal.

The EU and other countries have long argued that the accord due to be reached next month should be an “international treaty” with legally binding measures to cut emissions. But in an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Kerry insisted the agreement was “definitively not going to be a treaty”.

He said it would contain measures that would drive a “significant amount of investment” towards a low-carbon global economy. But he stressed there were “not going to be legally binding reduction targets like Kyoto”, a reference to the 1997 Kyoto protocol, a UN climate treaty that had targets for cutting emissions that countries ratifying it were legally obliged to meet.

Delegates from 195 countries are due to finalise a new global climate accord in Paris that will replace the Kyoto treaty, which failed to stop emissions rising. The US signed but failed to ratify that treaty, largely because it did not cover China, now the world’s largest carbon polluter.

The Paris deal is supposed to cover all countries, but Mr Kerry’s comments underline the differences between the US and other nations over how to ensure it is robust enough to shift billions of dollars of investment away from fossil fuels and towards greener energy sources.

A European Commission spokeswoman on Wednesday said the commission and many nations “would like the Paris agreement to be in the form of a protocol or a treaty” which would represent “the strongest expression of political will and also for the future it provides predictability and durability”.


Cancer Scare and Global Warming

Researchers recently concluded that bacon and other meats increase your chances of getting cancer. But what if it’s just more junk science conveniently timed to support the climate alarmist narrative? Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Julie Kelly and Jeff Stier make a compelling argument:

    "With United Nations climate talks beginning in a few weeks in Paris, the cancer warning seems particularly well timed. Environmental activists have long sought to tie food to the fight against global warming. Now the doomsayers who want to take on modern agriculture, a considerable source of greenhouse-gas emissions, can employ an additional scare tactic: Meat production sickens the planet; meat consumption sickens people."

Late last month, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) — part of the World Health Organization, an arm of the U.N. — concluded that red meat, like beef and pork, is “probably carcinogenic” to humans, and that processed meat is an even greater cancer threat. …

Despite the researchers' insufficient evidence, the claim is now considered by many settled science — just like man-made global warming.

    "Now we get to the connection between climate alarmism and the meat-is-bad movement. In advance of the Paris climate talks, the World Health Organization released a lengthy report about climate pollutants and global health risks. The section on agriculture discusses the need to direct consumers away from foods whose production emits high levels of greenhouse gases: “A key action with large potential climate and health benefits is to facilitate a shift away from high-GHG foods—many of which are of animal origin — and towards healthy, low-GHG (often plant-based) alternatives.”

Something tells us this is more than just a coincidence. No wonder Bill Nye wants “toxic” skeptics “out of our discourse.”


The WHO research is rubbish anyway.  See my previous comments on it here -- JR


Three current articles below

Australia urged to choke off financing for new coal mines

Pressure is mounting on the Australian government to toe the line on fossil fuel subsidy reform, as reports emerge that support is mounting for a robust deal to phase out incentives for new coal plant development.

The deal, brokered between the US and Japan, would rein in export credit agency financing for coal, a leading source of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

The credit agency proposal – which has been years in the making – will be debated at a meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in in Paris next week, which represents 34 mainly rich countries, including Australia.

But the OECD will also look at overall fossil fuel subsidies, which amount to more than $70 billion a year in the OECD alone. A new report due tomorrow will put Australia’s share of those subsidies at more than $US5 billion, although the Australian government denies that this exists.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that European Union negotiators at the talks were expected to push hard for the deal which, according to another source, could make the “vast majority” of about 1,000 planned coal plants ineligible for export credit agency backing.

But this may be easier said that done, with Australia named as one of the plan’s key opponents, after it joined forces with South Korea to produce an alternative plan that would not go as far as the US-Japan deal.

The Australia-South Korea effort has been slammed by environment campaigners in Australia and abroad, who say it could scuttle negotiations hosted by the OECD, and cast a shadow over Paris.

“Behind window-dressing rhetoric, they clearly want to sabotage the OECD deal,” said Sebastien Godinot, an economist at WWF.

Jake Schmidt from US green group Natural Resources Defense Council described the Canberra/Seoul proposal as “a terrible sign” from countries that claim they want to deal with climate change.

“They are trying to stop the simplest way to deal with this problem, which is to minimise the public finance going to coal power plants,” he said.

And as Reuters puts it, “the difficulty of agreeing that rich nations should stop allowing governments to fund coal is seen as a foretaste of the challenge of negotiating a new global pact on climate change.”

Locally, the focus is on Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, and whether or not he will pass what many consider to be his first big test on climate.

“This is where the rubber hits the road on (the climate change) debate,” said Julien Vincent, lead campaigner at Market Forces. “We have a modest, proposal that would cut off finance to the dirtiest proposed coal power plants.”

Even the federal opposition has weighed in, taking the opportunity to sink the boot, despite the fact that – as we have reported before – Labor appears to be no more enlightened on the subject of digging up and burning coal than the Coalition.


Who’s Killing Our Climate Scientists?

Tony Thomas

Well nobody, actually, unless you count a smattering of sometimes rude emails as representing credible threats to warmists' lives and safety. As with climate change itself, our purportedly un-settled scientists refuse to share their evidence of bloodthirsty sceptics on the warpath

cyber skullWhy is the Australian Academy of Science going off the deep end claiming “reprehensible vilification” of warmist scientists? It’s now saying they’re being so threatened and harassed that their ability to do science is in jeopardy. Academy President Andrew Holmes, addressing a greenhouse conference in Hobart on October 27, claimed

The costs to individuals can be high. It is therefore critical that as scientists and experts we stand together. The ability of scientists to conduct their work, free of fear or hindrance, is vital to the future wellbeing of our community, and the Academy will continue to advocate for academic freedom… 

“As the International Council for Science proclaims, the free and responsible practice of science is fundamental to scientific advancement and human and environmental well-being.

I thought at first he was chastising the academics at University of Western Australia over their successful witchhunt against non-sceptic Bjorn Lomborg, or that he was chastising academics at University of Melbourne for wanting punitive fines to drive sceptics out of the media. Or maybe rebuking US academic peers who wanted sceptic corporations to be prosecuted under the Racketeering and Corrupting Influences Act (that exercise backfired spectacularly). But I erred, Holmes’ victimology includes only orthodox climate scientists as its purported casualties.

Those climateers make unlikely victims. There were hordes of them at the Hobart greenhouse conference. My estimate: I’d say 95% are on government or academic payrolls, plus expenses. The evening after Holmes spoke, they went tooling across the harbor “by luxury catamaran” for dinner “at the world-renowned Peppermint Bay, where’ll we’ll enjoy a delicious three-course meal set against a backdrop of the lush rolling hills of the Huon region, with commanding views across the d’Entrecasteaux Channel and north to Mt Wellington.” Saving the planet is not work for the faint-hearted, n’est ce pas?

Holmes’ victimology statement comes about a month before the great climate confab in Paris, which warmists hope will raise the price of fossil-fuelled power for the Third World’s billions of abject poor, who are desperate for electricity’s benefits and not-so-worried about CO2 emissions.

The previous victimology  statement by the Academy, on June 10, 2011, coincided with key Parliamentary debates on the Gillard carbon dioxide tax and a 200-strong deputation  of semi-scientists at Parliament House to urge MPs to crush ‘disinformation’ about climate change. The 2011 Academy statement was not just by then-President Sue Cory but by the Academy’s executive committee of council, indicating its seriousness. It reads quite similarly to the current Holmes’ text, with a cry to “defend intellectual freedom”.

Academy President Professor Suzanne Cory said the Academy is deeply concerned about the threats being made to scientists.

“Today the Academy’s Executive Committee of Council issued a public statement defending the right of researchers to do their work free from abuse, acts of intimidation and threats of violence,” Professor Cory said.

“We call on leaders across the community to make the same defence of intellectual freedom.”

The statement endorsed by the Executive Committee reads: "The Australian Academy of Science is firmly of the view that the interests of the community and the advancement of knowledge is best served by an environment where researchers can put forward views and present data for discussion and scrutiny free from threats of personal or professional harm.

The more controversial the area …the more important that any researcher should feel free to argue a case based on evidence without fear of reprisal. We know of examples where prominent researchers have been personally and professionally threatened by individuals and organisations that disagree with their findings and conclusions.

We reiterate our common defence of the principles of academic freedom: any researcher has the right and duty to argue a case based on evidence, because only public discourse and experimental challenge can advance understanding."

So what’s behind this Academy angst? We’ll start with the 2011 Council statement and work up to its 2015 variant.

In May, 2010, John Coochey, a retired public servant, was chatting at a climate seminar dinner in Canberra with the ACT Environment Commissioner Maxine Cooper about the annual ACT kangarroo culls and eating game meat. He remarked that he had his cull permit, which he added are issued only to reliable marksmen, and he assured Cooper that she need have no concerns about cruelty to roos.

Someone excitable overheard some of this chat and relayed a garbled version to the ANU’s climate czar, Will Steffen. Alarmed, Steffen sent an email to his group of ANU correspondents on June 2 saying they were now under serious threat from “a sniper”. About half a year earlier, someone had visited the ANU unit’s premises twice and. according to Steffen, displayed an aggressive demeanour.  This supposedly led to security upgrades, although the only actual step was the introduction of new, broadly issued entry swipe cards.

A year or so later, on June 4, 2011, an enthusiastic environmental reporter on the Canberra Times, Rosslyn Beeby, ran with a story, “Climate of Fear”, about death threats or abuse to ANU and other climate scientists and abusive emails. This story caused an international sensation and the Academy weighed in with its statement barely six days later.

On June 20, a staffer for the science lobby group FASTS (and earlier, for Labor ministers) reported receipt of a death threat email, which turned out to be from a serial pest in Seattle who cut and pasted nasty text into emails to lots of people globally. Blogger Simon Turnill of then FOI’d the ANU for the abusive/threatening emails. The ANU dug in its heels and refused for a year, until forced to come clean by the Privacy Commissioner Tim Pilgrim.

Well, well, well! There proved to be 11 emails to six climate people in the relevant six months of 2011, and the only one claiming a “death threat” was Steffen’s hyper-reaction to the garbled roo-cull conversation. The other 10 ranged from querulous complaints by citizens about waste of tax dollars on climate science (“Please be truthful in future,” one said),  to a few rich in four-letter words and insults.

Now scrabbling for credibility, the climate scientist community beat the bushes nationally for nasty emails — and it emerged that random nutters had indeed sent some sexist, abusive, threatening notes, a deplorable practice. The only actual violence cited involved someone throwing eggs at someone’s house and no-one thought of complaining to police.

To sum up, the Academy went into Full Outrage Mode over ANU claims of death threat-type emails, even though the “death threat” was rolled-gold hokum. The other ANU “abuse” emails work out at an average of two per climate academic during a six month period, of which one email, on average, involved nothing more sinister than members of the public griping about climate alarmism. After the Academy statement, details emerged of 30 or so other nasty, sexist emails nationally.

Keep in mind that un-elected alarmist climate scientists are advocating a total societal transformation to costly renewable energy involving massive government controls and big drops in living standards. Yet these brave climate warriors dissolve into puddles of jelly if a rude email hits their in-box.

I promised to fill you in on the Academy’s “evidence” for its latest victimology by President Holmes last month.  Sadly, the Academy refuses to provide any. Indeed it refuses to respond to Quadrant’s queries at all, on the ground that our article may not be flattering. Quadrant’s invitation to redact all identifying names failed to change the Academy’s stance.

All we can be sure about is that some climate scientists have complained to the Academy about hate mail, harassment and threats,   But whether those were just the 2010-12 complaints or new ones, the Academy declines to say. Other questions getting no answer were:

    To what extent are these accounts from Australian sources, as distinct from overseas sources?

    To your knowledge, did the providers of the accounts seek any police investigation of the  threats?

    What is meant by the term ‘harassment’? Does that refer to allegedly excessive volumes of FOI requests (which have been publicly complained of by people like East Anglia Climatic Research Unit’s Phil Jones)? If not, can you clarify pls.

The Academy’s non-response rather undercuts President Holmes’ nice words at Hobart:

"We can lead through small actions and words, such as…engaging in conversation with someone who lacks a scientific understanding of serious issues, instead of dismissing them."

Taking a tip from someone near the Molonglo, Quadrant decided to google “climate scientist abuse or threat 2015” . The  only thing relevant in the first few pages  was Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann, self-proclaimed Nobel Prize Winner, running a “poor victim me!” line. Other stuff just referred back to the ANU 2010-12 farce, although there was also one bad person urging the children of sceptic-minded UK journalist David Rose to kill him.

Inputting “2014” instead of 2015 produced a similar result, but with the interesting addition of climate scientist Lennart Bengtsson[ii], who wrote:

"I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that life has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc.

I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years."

The back story there is that Bengtsson, of Sweden, had accepted an invitation to join the academic council of the UK’s non-alarmist Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) two weeks earlier, but pulled out because of the above-described hostility of the warmist climate team.

It’s all very unsatisfactory. Climate alarmists, far from being victims and underdogs, as the Academy would have it, are in fact calling the shots on anti-CO2 investment of well over $US1b per day.  A tiny fraction of that sum could make huge inroads into here-and-now Third World issues, such as infant mortality, malaria, education, clean water and sanitation, and cheap fossil-fueled electricity. For alarmists, the high moral ground can be a bit slippery.


Has-been politician slams a Prince of the Church over global warming

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has unleashed an excoriating attack on George Pell, accusing Australia's most senior Catholic of being a "radical climate sceptic" and saying the cardinal's "inflated rhetoric" can no longer go unchallenged on the role of the Church in the climate change debate.

In a blistering lecture called "Faith, Ethics and Climate Change," Mr Rudd said he might have called a double-dissolution election on an emissions trading scheme had he not been robbed of the Labor leadership in 2010. And he said he stood by his claim that "climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our time" and predicted those words would stand the test of time. 

The former Labor prime minister said George Pell needed an "ecological conversion" and noted the cardinal's denial of climate change science matched the views of former prime minister Tony Abbott, to whom Cardinal Pell is close.

"Cardinal Pell has in the past accused me of inflated rhetoric," Mr Rudd told the Rowan Williams Lecture at Trinity College in Melbourne.  "Such rhetoric, it seems, is not the exclusive province of prime ministers. Princes of the Church are apparently not entirely immune," Mr Rudd said.

Mr Rudd said the Cardinal's view that the Church should butt out of politics and climate change policy was deeply at odds with the ethical imperative to protect the environment as well contradictory of Pope Francis' views.

"The Pope says the science on climate change is sufficiently clear. Cardinal Pell says it is not and further that the purported science is without foundation," he said.

Cardinal Pell has publicly criticised Pope Francis and told the Financial Times that the Church has "no particular expertise in science" and "no mandate from the Lord to pronounce on scientific matters".

Mr Rudd said Cardinal Pell's comments were illogical. "To contend that a necessary prerequisite for engagement in these ethical debates in the public square is to be a professionally qualified climate scientist … would render his own contribution to these debates null and void, as Cardinal Pell is qualified in none," he said.

Mr Rudd said Christians should not be prevented from forming ethical views on public policy just because they don't have a science degree.

Cardinal Pell's comments were in response to a Papal encyclical Pope Francis released in June this year in which he called for humanity to save itself from the threat of climate change.

The Pope took aim at "committed and prayerful" Christians who "ridicule expressions of concern for the environment" using "realism and pragmatism" as an excuse. "What they all need is an "ecological conversion," the Pope said.

"Perhaps the Pope had Cardinal Pell in mind when this paragraph was written," Mr Rudd suggested on Tuesday.



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

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


12 November, 2015

The Cozy Relationship Between Big Business and Climate Change Activists

Polls bear it out: When it comes to climate change, the world isn’t much interested in taking action. Most folks, it seems, are reluctant to embrace expensive, lifestyle-changing, ineffective “solutions” to a non-evident problem.

But some big companies are gung-ho about “fighting” climate change. Well, at least they’ve jumped on the Obama administration’s climate-treaty bandwagon, backing an as yet unwritten pact to be hammered out next month in Paris.

Big Business knows that when the deal’s going down, you’ve got to grab a seat at the table to protect your interests. That’s especially true when you know the deal will impose job-killing, growth-stunting regulations: sitting at the table, you can make sure they’re crafted in a way that will damage your competitors—domestic and international—at least as much as they wound you.

Market share matters to Big Business, but most people aren’t interested in absorbing damage in the name of climate change. And that holds true for people in the developing world who, the Obama administration constantly claims, will be hurt most by climate change.

The United Nations “My World” survey asks people around the world to identify the issue that matters most to them. More than 8.58 million people responded to the latest survey, and “action taken on climate change” came in dead last—both overall and among those countries ranked lowest on the Human Development Index.

In the United States, the level of concern is similar. Earlier this year, a Pew Research Poll found that action on climate change ranked twenty-second out of twenty-three on the list of public policy priorities. Only global trade ranked lower.

The lack of urgency is understandable. Though the climate has changed, it always has. And the threat does not appear to be as clear, present, and catastrophic as the federal government makes it out to be. Observed data have proved that the climate models the government relies on to justify regulations restricting the use of coal, oil, and natural gas run too hot, predicting more warming than has actually occurred.

More problematic, the proposed “solutions” will do little, if anything, to mitigate global warming. The far more profound effect will be to raise energy costs, reduce economic output, and lower levels of prosperity in both developed and developing countries.

So why are some big companies—outfits like Walmart, Apple, Google, Costco, Bank of America, Best Buy, and Coca-Cola—lining up in support of the administration’s efforts to reach an international agreement to cap and cut greenhouse gas emissions? Several reasons present themselves, none of them good for American households.

Because conventional fuels produce the overwhelming majority of power for the world, a treaty forcing cuts in carbon emission will inevitably raise energy prices and the cost of doing business. If an international agreement imposes these restrictions on other countries, businesses will see it as “leveling the playing field.” They will also claim that it provides them with certainty.

But the only certainty here is that those higher costs will be passed on to consumers. The real bottom line is that everything we pay for, whether it’s made here or abroad, will cost more.

The best way to level the playing field and create business certainty is for policymakers to reject climate regulations altogether. If businesses want to be climate-conscious, invest in renewable energy, or invest in more energy-efficient technologies, they should do so on their own, not be forced into it.

Another reason Big Business may support domestic and international climate regulations is that it disproportionately hurts smaller businesses. Climate regulations are one of many problematic policies harming small business growth and entrepreneurship in the United States. Big businesses that have a seat at the table can negotiate for exemptions and exclusions and can more easily manage higher energy bills.

On the other hand, small businesses are largely left out of this special interest game. Instead, they face the same higher prices for energy and other products as homeowners. This makes it harder and harder for Main Street businesses to compete against the mega-corporations.

President Obama’s climate regulation push has won support from some of the big boys, but small businesses and American families are the ones that will be left out in the cold. That’s a typical result when Big Business and Big Government collude. And when it’s Big International Business and Big International Government cutting the deal, the damage can be even worse.


Some Questions for Bill Nye Six Years After Our 'O’Reilly Factor' Debate

By Joe Bastardi

This article caught my eye, since during the last El Niño I was on “The O'Reilly Factor” debating Bill Nye (Feb. 2010):  "Bill Nye demolishes climate deniers: “The single most important thing we can do now is talk about climate change.”

A quick aside: There are numerous rebuttals to Bill, an example here by Dr. Roy Spencer, who happens to have a PhD in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

At the end of our debate, I challenged Bill to a grand experiment, something a man of science like him should love. I put forth an idea on where the temperature would go by 2030. I opined it would return to the level, as measured by the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), it was in the late 1970s when we began recording real-time temperatures.

You may have noticed over the years Bill Nye’s increasingly shrill tones on this matter. I haven’t followed his career all that much, though I knew before I debated him that he and I did not share the same opinion on global warming. My kids, then 14 and 11, pointedly told me I was in essence debating a man as beloved as Santa Clause and that I should be “nice.”

I want you to read the whole article above. Here is a man who never responded to my challenge now saying this, from the article:

    “Part of the solution to this problem or this set of problems associated with climate change is getting the deniers out of our discourse. You know, we can’t have these people — they’re absolutely toxic.”

Is this the way of man of science speaks? Labels people who disagree with him as toxic? Then again, in spite of a degree in engineering from Cornell, the fact is he is not a man of science. He is an actor. That is his profession. We shared the same math and physics classes as a foundation for the core of our majors, but the big difference is that I have worked almost forty years in meteorology and made knowing what happened before a foundation to my forecasting methodology, while he has become an actor. A person with science as his driving motive does not refer to people who disagree with him — such as these 30,000 degreed scientists, over 9,000 of whom have PhDs — as “toxic.” Only a man with other motives would seek to isolate, demonize and destroy those who disagree with him — something you see out of the book Rules for Radicals, which I have read and can be summed up nicely here.

Please read Saul Alinsky’s rules and ask yourself: Is that not what is being used and personified by Bill Nye?

This year another El Niño is spiking global temperatures, so I will challenge Bill to confront three simple facts.

1.) Please explain the lack of linkage between CO2 levels and temperatures in the established geological record of the earth. It’s easy to not see the linkage here.

2.) Since the debate, NCEP real-time temperatures reveal that, following the last El Niño spike, temperatures fell, just like they did after the previous El Niño in 2006-2007.

3.) As stated, we are in another spiking period. Since Bill won’t take part in the grand experiment I suggested, perhaps he can tell us where global temperatures, as measured by NCEP data, will be one, three or five years from now.

To help him out, I have it warmer next year at this time than now, colder than 2016 in 2017 and temperatures in 2018 and/or 2019 at or below their lowest point in 2012.

Now if Bill concedes my point and actually makes a forecast, rather than calling people like me toxic for challenging him, then he will be saying that the 14-year period ending in 2019 would have no temperature rise and even a fall! That would mark over 20 years with no rise dating back to the late 1990s. Given the increase of CO2 of 1.8 ppm a year, that would mean we increased carbon dioxide levels close to 10% since the late ‘90s, but with no increase in temperatures. 

If he says they will be warmer, then finally we’ll have him on record — even though temperatures fell without him participating in the challenge in 2010 — and we can see who is right and wrong, as I have to do every day in my job. Apparently, no such standard exists for actors playing scientists. If he challenges the scale, then he challenges NCEP. By doing so, he implies that its system for measuring temperatures — something essential for model initialization — is wrong. If so, then Congress, instead of investigating climate skeptics under RICO statutes, should investigate NCEP for all the money it has spent developing models that, according to Bill Nye, are wrong. (Note the sarcasm. NCEP temperatures, the gold standard of real time temperatures in my opinion, are just fine.)

So to reiterate these three simple points:

1. Explain why there’s no linkage in the entire known CO2-temperature history of the planet.

2. Explain the lack of warming in real-time temperature data, and why so far I have been right.

3. Make your forecast. You claim to be a leader yet refuse to take a stand. Instead you sit in the stands and never allow what you are saying to be verified. What kind of science is that?

No need for another debate, though, for as Bill so eloquently says in his article, "Part of the solution to this problem or this set of problems associated with climate change is getting the deniers out of our discourse.“

Real nice, huh? Let’s silence free speech and thought while we are at it!

I am not looking for another debate, since he has not answered the challenge I put to him in the first one. I want his forecast! Put up or shut up.

I don’t think any of this is toxic, except to someone who refuses to confront simple realities and instead makes statements much more in line with an agenda-driven zealot than a man of science who’s in pursuit of the correct answer no matter where it leads him.


EPA Smog Rule: 40x Estimated Cost?

Last month, the EPA released its smog rule after a four-year delay. While not as stringent as many ecofascists had hoped it would be, the regulations will nonetheless be expensive for the energy industry. And not just expensive, but perhaps as much as 40 times more expensive than the agency predicted. The EPA estimated the cost would be around $1.4 billion a year, which isn’t exactly chump change. But according to the American Action Forum, “Observed nonattainment counties experienced losses of $56.5 billion in total wage earnings, $690 in pay per worker, and 242,000 jobs between 2008 and 2013.”

Not only that, AAF says, but “EPA’s ozone standards affect a broad array of industries, and due to the nature of how ozone actually forms, nonattainment areas can have difficulty meeting standards quickly. California, for example, will have nearly a generation to reach the new standards.”

Well, environmentalists say, saving the planet and our health is worth the cost. But what are we getting in exchange for this gargantuan bill? Reducing ozone levels from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion.

The EPA claims this will bring all sorts of amazing benefits like preventing 325,000 cases of childhood asthma and 1,440 premature deaths — though it’s awfully hard to say someone lived five years longer solely because of this rule. Never mind the constitutional objections, we in our humble shop just don’t think this sounds like a good deal.


When Colleges Divest, Who Wins?

The National Association of Scholars (NAS) released today the first comprehensive account of the campaign to get colleges to sell off their investments in coal, oil, and natural gas companies.

Inside Divestment: The Illiberal Movement to Turn a Generation Against Fossil Fuels finds that the campus fossil fuel divestment campaign undermines intellectual freedom, democratic self-government, and responsible stewardship of natural resources. The report presents a wealth of original research and concludes with new essays by writers including Bill McKibben, the national leader of the divestment campaign, and Willie Soon, the Harvard Smithsonian physicist who is a prominent critic of the global warming “consensus.”

More Political Than Practical

Issued less than a month before the Paris climate talks in which President Obama is expected to repeat his vow to move America off fossil fuels to combat global warming, the NAS report shows that divestment is more of a political rallying cry than a practical step to improve the environment.

Peter Wood, president of the NAS, explained, “Divestment divides the political left.  The campus activists often criticize President Obama for not going far enough in his ‘war on coal’ and his opposition to the Keystone Pipeline.  Their campaign is meant to pressure him to take even more radical steps.”

As the study details, most divestments are empty political promises with little financial effect on fossil fuel companies. The leaders of the movement see the sham divestment decisions as part of the strategy. “The divestment campaign is designed to fail,” said Rachelle Peterson, director of research projects at NAS and author of Inside Divestment. “The organizers’ goal is not to cause colleges to divest, but to anger students at the refusal of colleges to divest fully and to turn their frustration into long-term antipathy toward the modern fossil fuel-based economy.”

Wood explained, “The movement pretends to change the way we generate energy, but its actual aim is to generate resentment, which is fuel for political demagoguery.  The ultimate beneficiaries are rich people whose investments in ‘green energy’ will prosper only if they can trick the public to strand our reserves of coal, oil, and gas underground. They favor high-priced, inefficient technologies that happen to require massive government subsidies coupled with sweeping new government powers.  Students drawn by ‘save the world’ rhetoric and prevented from ever hearing arguments on the other side have become willing pawns for a movement that, rightly understood, is profoundly anti-democratic and that will also consign much of humanity to perpetual poverty.”

Students as Pawns

Divestment campaigns, now on more than 1,000 American colleges and universities, have adopted tactics that violate the free speech of others.  The activists increasingly obstruct fair and open debate by smearing opponents and by bullying other students. The NAS study documents these tactics with case studies of several colleges, including the birthplace of the divestment movement, Swarthmore College.

Wood explained, “The divestment campaigns have been organized by professional activists.  Our report peels back the image the campaign projects of an organic student-led movement.  In fact, it is a nationally orchestrated campaign with top-down directives.”, the organization that brought the campaign to national prominence, pays and trains students for activism and schedules campus protests. “The divestment movement is astroturf,” said Peterson.

Peterson also shows that some of the activists’ key claims are hollow. “We found that colleges and universities that claim to divest overwhelmingly choose to retain large portions of their fossil fuel investments.” On average, divestment decisions affect only about 1 percent of the college endowment and leave approximately 50 percent of fossil fuel investments in place. The study lists four “DINOs,” or divestments in name only; these are universities, including Oxford, whose divestment decisions resulted in selling no investments at all.

Download "Inside Divestment" (pdf)

Via email

Australia makes a small concession on global warming

Agreed to talk about refrigerant gases. But Warmists overjoyed by even that small validation for their beliefs

Australia has been applauded by delegates at climate change ministerial talks in Paris for returning to active climate diplomacy.

With the major UN climate summit set to begin at the end of this month, some 60 countries have sent ministers to Paris for advance talks.

Climate activists have praised Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt's work for achieving a breakthrough in a six-year-old deadlock on a side protocol, delivering a bonus cut equal to two years' total global carbon emissions.

And Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has negotiated for Australia to become one of two co-chairs of the UN's Green Climate Fund, a  body that Tony Abbott once derided as a "Bob Brown bank".

"We bring a new energy and a new commitment to these processes," Mr Hunt told Fairfax Media.

"At the first plenary session in the ministerial meeting, of all the countries that spoke only two countries received strong applause – Australia and Canada," in response to their opening statements, Mr Hunt said. The session was closed to the media.

A prominent Australian activist, the Climate Institute's John Connor, said: "There's an audible sigh of relief around the world when everyone realised that two countries with formidable diplomatic corps are not going to be ridden on mandates to be difficult."

Both countries have recently replaced conservative prime ministers with more centrist ones.

The Paris meeting is not expected to meet the international commitment to restrain global temperatures to 2 degrees above the pre-industrial average.

Hopes of achieving this by the end of the century now depend on a follow-up process that the Paris meeting is to design.

"Paris will produce an outcome of about 2.7 degrees but everybody is committed to the Paris process to review national targets," said Mr Hunt.

"The only figure being talked about is five years  - we will probably come back every five years, in 2020, 2025 and 2030, for subsidiary rounds of new pledges" for the pledging period to 2030.

"The Paris meeting won't deliver 2 degrees, but the Paris process will," he said.

Last week Mr Hunt led a breakthrough in a deadlocked effort to cut greenhouse emissions through the Montreal Protocol.

Set up 30 years ago to cut ozone-depleting gases, the international Montreal Protocol was hailed as a success. The looming ozone problem was averted.

But the replacement gases that were embraced, hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs, have become a new problem because they add to the greenhouse effect of global warming.

Countries have been trying to phase these gases out through the Montreal Protocol but have been stymied by a negotiating standoff.

Mr Hunt brokered an agreement at a meeting of 197 countries in Dubai last week. That has started the process of planning the phase-out of HFCs.

The process is expected to take over a decade. But it is expected to eliminate the equivalent of at least 90 billion tonnes of carbon emissions, equal to two years of total global carbon output.

The Climate Institute's Mr Connor said: "We think it's a really important move and the Australian government played a good role. For too long it's been shoved around. India was a blockage."


Canada’s New Minister of Climate Change: 'The Science is Indisputable’

But she doesn't say what it is.  She mentions no climate fact at all

Catherine McKenna was sworn in last week as Canada’s first Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

The newly renamed position in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet has already departed for Paris ahead of the United Nations climate change conference, according to CBC News.

McKenna says the new Liberal government is committed at looking at Canada’s role in finding solutions to climate change.

“If Canada actually shows that it’s serious, that it’s back -that we understand that the science behind climate change is real, that we need to be taking action, that we need to be looking at what measures we can take to reduce emissions.  I think that will send a extraordinarily strong signal,” McKenna told CBC News.

In May, Canada submitted emission reduction targets to the UN, aiming to reduce emissions by 30 per cent from 2005 levels by the 2030.

CBC reports that new targets will not be drawn up until well after the summit is over.

"We're going to be having a price on carbon and we're going to be reducing our emissions," McKenna said.



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


11 November, 2015

World Bank foresees global warming as hurting the poor

It probably would not, though Warmism certainly will.  It would open up large parts of Siberia and Northern Canada to farming and thus increase world food supply.  And on past form, food surpluses tend to be given away to needy nations. In the days of the Soviet Union, Europe used to give its food surpluses to Russia! And even if the food is not given away, its price would fall, thus making it easier for poor nations such as Egypt to buy it.

And a warmer ocean would give off more evaporation, thus leading to more precipitation -- i.e. rain and snow. And erratic rainfall is the big bugbear for farmers rich and poor alike.  So poor farmers would in fact find it EASIER to grow their own crops, thus making them richer in real terms.  So I can't see how global warming would hurt the poor. It would probably make them richer.

But some poor farmers live in low-lying areas -- notably the multiply unfortunate Bangladeshis -- so would they not get flooded off their land altogether by rising sea levels?  Probably not.

To revisit for a moment what I wrote yesterday: The feared 2 degree temperature rise might not melt glaciers at all. And no melting glaciers means no sea-level rise. The principal influence on glacial mass is precipitation.  More precipitation leads to greater glacial mass. So polar and other glaciers could grow rather than shrink and might in doing so cause sea levels to FALL!

Be that as it may, in past warm periods a lot of polar ice did not melt.  How much would 2 degrees melt?  Given that temperatures at the poles are MANY degrees below the melting point of ice, NO polar ice at all might melt.  And it's the poles that matter.  Antarctica alone has 91% of earth's glacial mass.

But what about disease?  Warmists are always going on about how tropical diseases will become more prevalent and poor people have fewer resources for dealing with illness. At the risk of being nauseatingly repetitious, I come from the tropics so I have seen and probably experienced Ross River virus and Dengue fever up close. They are rarely fatal and are mostly experienced as a bad bout of the 'flu.

And the real issue is surely in any case total mortality, rather than individual ilnesses. And the seasons tell us about that.  Winter is when most people die so it is cooling rather than warming that has most effect on total mortality.  A warmer climate would be healthier overall for every one -- rich and poor alike

The one thing that will undoubtedly hurt the poor is Warmism.  Warmists are constantly trying to stop poor countries from building hydro-electric dams and they obstruct economic development in poor countries generally.  If poor countries get rich they will indeed use more resources and emit more CO2, so it is needful to keep them poor, in the ethical desert that is Warmism.

Things left out of a scientific or scholarly discussion are often politely referred to as "lacunae".  I think I have demonstrated that the World Bank could aptly be renamed the "Lacuna Bank".

Climate change could push more than 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030 by disrupting agriculture and fueling the spread of malaria and other diseases, the World Bank said in a report Sunday.

Released just weeks ahead of a UN climate summit in Paris, the report highlighted how the impact of global warming is borne unevenly, with the poor woefully unprepared to deal with climate shocks such as rising seas or severe droughts.

‘‘They have fewer resources and receive less support from family, community, the financial system, and even social safety nets to prevent, cope, and adapt,’’ the Washington-based World Bank said.

How to help poor countries — and poor communities within countries — deal with climate is one of the crunch issues in talks on a global climate accord that’s supposed to be adopted next month in Paris.

Those who say rich countries aren’t doing enough to help the poor said the report added emphasis to demands for billions of dollars in so-called climate finance to developing countries. ‘‘The statistics in the World Bank report are suitably shocking and I hope they force world leaders to sit up and take notice,’’ said Mohamed Adow of Christian Aid.

Separately on Sunday, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of France said more than 100 world leaders will attend the upcoming UN climate conference in Paris, including President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Fabius said Putin will be among speakers on the first day, with President Obama and leaders of India and China. Organizers expect 40,000 to attend the Nov. 30-Dec. 11 conference, plus thousands of activists from environmental, rights, and other groups.

Despite pledges to rein in emissions of carbon dioxide and other global warming gases, climate change isn’t likely to stop anytime soon.

But efforts to protect the poor, such as generally improving access to health care and social safety nets, and targeted measures to upgrade flood defenses and deploy more heat-tolerant crops could prevent most of the negative consequences of climate change on poverty, the World Bank said.


GAO: Climate Change Could Cause More: Cardiovascular Disease in Northwest, Allergies on Great Plains, Drownings in Midwest

This may all be true but warmer weather also has benefits and the fact that most deaths occur in winter testifies that the benefits outweigh the harms.  It's cooling that kills most people, not warming.  So bring on more warming!

Climate-related risks to public health in the United States could include a rise in cardiovascular disease in the Northwest, more allergies in Great Plains states, and an increase in drownings in the Midwest, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Other potential impacts of climate change include a disruption of community water supplies in Alaska, more cases of dengue fever in Hawaii and West Nile virus in the Northeast, higher incidents of heat stress in the Southwest and increased fish poisoning in the Southeast.

Citing the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s (USGCRP) third National Climate Assessment (NCA), GAO warned that “climate change is expected to impact human health in the United States by exacerbating some existing health threats and by posing new risks.”

Besides “heat-related illnesses and deaths,” and “an increase in the length of pollen season,” climate change “may contribute to the spread of vector-borne diseases.”

Extreme weather events, "which are expected to become more common with climate change, are linked with increases in injuries, deaths, and mental health problems, such as anxieity and post-traumatic stress disorder," the report added.

“The magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades depends primarily on the amount of heat-trapping gasses emitted globally, and how sensitive the Earth’s climate is to those emissions."

GAO notes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires state and local public health departments participating in its $3.6 million Climate Ready States and Cities Initiative to “take steps to raise public awareness about the risks that climate change poses to public health.”

The initiative is “the only HHS financial resource that has been offered to state and local public health departments that directly targets these risks,” GAO pointed out.

Cities and states are also using CDC’s $22.6 million National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, which includes “indicators on climate change, among other environmental hazards, related to extreme heat exposure” and its $611.1 million Public Health Emergency Preparedness program to support their climate change activities.

But local public health officials who have used the federal money to hire “dedicated staff within their departments to work on this issue,” are reporting difficulty in communicating the warning message to the public.

Difficulties include “challenges in identifying potential health risks of climate change as a result of research gaps” and “insufficient data on health impacts,” according to the performance audit, which GAO conducted between June 2014 and September 2015.

State and local health officials told GAO that “it is difficult to develop messages about climate change impacts on health because of uncertainties inherent in climate change projections…[and] because some of the potential effects have not yet been observed in their jurisdictions.”

“State and local officials find it difficult to communicate and bring attention to long-term issues, such as climate change, when there are immediate public health concerns drawing attention, such as the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak.”

As a result, "only about one-quarter of all states have incorporated public health considerations into their statewide climate adaptation plans," according to the report.

"A federally-led public awareness campaign… could help and provide legitimacy to the work of public health officials in addressing and planning for these risks… and increase climate literacy,” GAO recommended.


New York Attorney General Tries to Criminalize Scientific Dissent on Climate Change

Everyone reading this should do the attorney general of New York, Eric T. Schneiderman, a big favor: buy a copy of the U.S. Constitution, highlight the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights with a bright yellow or orange Sharpie, and mail him a copy.

Schneiderman obviously needs a remedial lesson in the fact that the government is banned from censoring or restricting speech, and certainly has no business “investigating” Americans, including corporations, for their views on – of all things – a contentious scientific theory.

The New York Times is reporting that Schneiderman has subpoenaed extensive financial records, emails and other documents of Exxon Mobil to investigate whether the company “lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risk might hurt the oil business.”  In addition to ignoring the First Amendment, Schneiderman is apparently unaware that the claim that the world is endangered by a warming climate is a scientific theory, not a proven fact. There is dissention in the scientific community about this theory, and robust debate about both the temperature evidence and computer models on which the theory is based.

In fact, as the Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris points out, “flaws discovered in the scientific assessment of climate change have shown that the scientific consensus is not as settled as the public had been led to believe.” Leaked emails and documents from various universities and researchers have “revealed conspiracy, exaggerated warming data, possibly illegal destruction and manipulation of data, and attempts to freeze out dissenting scientists from publishing their work in reputable journals.”

Furthermore, the “gaffes” that have been exposed in the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports “have only increased skepticism” about the credibility of this scientific theory.

Yet the attorney general of New York is investigating one of our largest oil and natural gas companies because it might disagree with a scientific theory.  What is worse, the New York Times article reports that the attorney general has been engaged in a similar, secret investigation of Peabody Energy, the nation’s largest coal producer, for the past two years.  Unfortunately, Peabody has apparently been cooperating in the investigation that violates the company’s fundamental First Amendment rights.

One wonders whether General Schneiderman realizes that he seems to be following the Soviet technique of having the government interfere in science and prosecute anyone who doesn’t agree with the theory most in vogue with politicians and the state. 

Joseph Stalin was infamous for his direct involvement in academic disputes in areas ranging from linguistics to physics.  According to “Stalin and the Soviet Science Wars,” a 2006 book published by the Princeton University Press, he only “called off an effort to purge Soviet physics of ‘bourgeois’ quantum mechanics and relativity” as the Soviets were developing their first atomic bomb.   Aleksandr Solzhenistsyn’s book, “In the First Circle,” was all about the Soviet government’s suppression of scientists and engineers with the wrong scientific views.

Besides the dangers of criminal or civil charges being lodged against these companies, the other obvious result of such investigations, which may be their intent, is to chill the speech and advocacy of any “bourgeois” who disagrees with the so-called “consensus” that the climate change theory is real and that it is human activity that is the main cause of the world warming up by a miniscule amount.  Exxon Mobil already may have been deterred since its spokesman said that it stopped funding any groups doing research on climate change in the middle of the past decade “who were making the uncertainty of the science their focal point.”

Science About Climate Change Still Far From Settled

But then, the science is still uncertain and unproven.  But saying that may be a crime according to Schneiderman.  Since the federal government won’t fund anyone who disagrees with the climate theory, drying up any private research funding that might raise questions is obviously the next step for those who want to stop all scientific dissent.

Criminal and civil investigations of individuals and other entities over disputed scientific theories are not just legally unjustified, they are immoral and plain un-American.  This is politicized law enforcement of the worst kind.    The fact that this is going on in the United States is not just embarrassing, it is shocking.

The New York Times article cites Wall Street analysts who say “this is not good news for Exxon Mobil or Exxon Mobil shareholders” and that they are “uncertain” whether the case will inflict long-term damage on the company.  What is certain is that such politicized law enforcement and government suppression of dissent is not good news for Americans in general and the liberty, freedom, and economic opportunity protected by the First Amendment and the Constitution.

This type of grotesque prosecutorial abuse will inflict long-term damage on our industrial capacity and energy production.  And it may severely damage our ability to conduct the type of research and development in science and engineering that has made us a world leader and driven the economic engine of our high quality of life.


Understanding the Climate Science Boom

Like an economy, a scientific discipline can undergo periods of boom and bust. Is climate science experiencing an unsustainable boom? Certainly its growth has been astounding. Over the past 20 years, the number of scientific papers related to “anthropogenic climate change” has increased twelve-fold, according to a search using Google Scholar. But whether or not climate science will ultimately suffer a bust may depend on the causes of its surge. While several factors have contributed, the role of Big Players—namely, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and various government agencies that dole out huge sums as research grants—has been critical. It also raises a red flag.

One reason is that a change in the priorities, funding, or prestige of Big Players can turn a boom into a bust. But another reason may yield greater cause for concern, William N. Butos and Thomas J. McQuade explain in the Fall 2015 issue of The Independent Review. Although large organizations that set the direction for scientific inquiry or business activity can conceivably accelerate progress, their tremendous size and influence—and the way they interact with social phenomena such as opportunism and ideology—distort the feedback loops that otherwise help make science and markets self-correcting processes.

Climate science may or may not be experiencing a bubble that will burst in the foreseeable future. But this uncertainty is beside the point. The major lesson, Butos and McQuade write, “is that in science, as in the economy, Big Players of any sort distort normal systemic activity, render the emergent outcomes unstable and unreliable, and create an ideal breeding ground for incentives that motivate ideologically biased people to circumvent normal constraints in the name of pursing a ‘greater good.’”


Polar bear hocus-pocus again

You may or may not have noticed that even though Chukchi Sea ice coverage has been way below average this melt season, there has been no hue-and-cry about poor suffering Chukchi polar bears. That’s because polar bear biologist’s own research has shown that the health and survival of these bears has not been negatively impacted by low summer sea ice. There may be threats from poaching in Russia, but not lack of summer sea ice.

As of this date, developing sea ice is only just approaching Wrangel Island, a major polar bear denning region in the Chukchi Sea

Yet, polar bear specialists insist that neighbouring Beaufort Sea bears – who endure a much shorter open-water season – are in peril of extinction because of scarce summer sea ice.

NISDC’s Masie sea ice data graphs for Arctic regions (see below) show the Beaufort Sea is maxed out for ice coverage while Chukchi Sea is the lowest it has been in the last five years.

Here is how that sea ice looks on the landscape (as of 8 November 2015): the Beaufort Sea totally ice-covered, the Chukchi Sea still open water.

Although the Chukchi Sea polar bear subpopulation has been deemed “data deficient” due to lack of recent population counts, recent research showed Chukchi bears were in excellent condition and reproducing well (good indicators of a thriving population) despite recent extended open-water seasons (Rode and Regehr 2010; Rode et al. 2013, 2014).

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

Australia: Greenies do something useful

The navy should be looking after this

Conservation activist group Sea Shepherd will head to Antarctic waters to target illegal fishing of Patagonian toothfish for a second season after a "successful" 2014-15 operation.

The campaign will be similar to the previous voyage, even baring the same name, Operation Icefish.

The operation's first incarnation lasted five months and culminated in the scuttling of the ship Thunder, an alleged poaching vessel, after a 110-day pursuit by Sea Shepherd's ship Bob Barker.

Sea Shepherd Australia chairman Peter Hammarsteadt said last year's operation was regarded as very successful.

He said the operation's primary objective was to stop the "Bandit Six poaching vessels" that he said had operated in the Southern Ocean for more than a decade.

"Out of the original Bandit Six one is at the bottom of the ocean, another three are detained ... but two remain at large."

Mr Hammarsteadt said the fishing vessel Kunlun, which was boarded by Australian Customs officials in February, escaped detention in Thailand one month ago with a cargo of about 128 tonnes of toothfish aboard.

He said this year's operation would target the two ships that got away.  "[We will] once again intercept them in the southern ocean, shut down their illegal activities and to drag them back into the halls of justice," he said.

Mr Hammarsteadt skippered the Bob Barker in 2014-15 and watched the ship Thunder sink.

"On December 17 2014 my vessel the Bob Barker encountered the most notorious of the Bandit Six, the fishing vessel Thunder, a vessel wanted by Interpol, a vessel Interpol believed had made a profit of over $60 million in the 12 years that it was operating in the Southern Ocean," he said. "That action sparked the largest longest pursuit of a poaching vessel in history.

"For over 110 days the Sea Shepherd vessels Bob Barker and Sam Simon pursued the fishing vessel Thunder across three oceans and over 11,000 [nautical] miles until the poaching vessel finally sank off the coast of Sao Tom‚ and Pr¡ncipe.

"The captain of the vessel tried to sink his vessel in order to try to destroy evidence and just one month ago the captain and two of his officers were convicted in a court of law in Sao Tom‚ and Pr¡ncipe on evidence provided by Sea Shepherd.

"They were sentenced to terms of imprisonment of up to three years as well as a fine of 15 million Euros [$23 million]."

Sea Shepherd Australia managing director Steve Hanson said Hobart would again be an important port for Sea Shepherd with "Steve Irwin" likely to dock in the Tasmanian capital next month.

"Hobart really is the gateway to Antarctica and Sea Shepherd has launched many campaigns from here from saving whales to saving Patagonian toothfish."



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10 November, 2015

A study that assumes what it needs to prove

It is all assumptions and wrong assumptions lead to wrong conclusions.  The article below simply assumes the boilerplate Warmist story. It certainly could be that a temperature rise of 2 degrees would have bad effects but we do not know by how much. In past warm periods a lot of polar ice did not melt.  How much would 2 degrees melt?  Given that temperatures at the poles are MANY degrees below the melting point of ice, NO polar ice at all might melt.  And it's the poles that matter.  Antarctica alone has 91% of earth's glacial mass.

And a warmer ocean would give off more evaporation, thus leading to more precipitation.  But the principal influence on glacial mass is precipitation.  More precipitation leads to greater glacial mass. So polar and other glaciers could grow rather than shrink and might in doing so cause sea levels to FALL!

How pesky it is when you think things right through rather than make simplistic assumptions!

And the degree of influence that CO2 has on temperature is also unknown.  On both theory and the evidence so far it could be negligible.  But none of those thoughts bother the simpleton writing below

Large swathes of Shanghai, Mumbai, New York and other cities will slip under the waves even if an upcoming climate summit limits global warming to two degrees Celsius, scientists reported on Sunday.

A 2 C (3.6 Fahrenheit) spike in Earth's temperature would submerge land currently occupied by 280 million people, while an increase of 4 C (7.2 F) - humanity's current trajectory - would cover areas lived on by more than 600 million, the study said.

"Two degrees Celsius warming will pose a long-term, existential danger to many great coastal cities and regions," said lead author Ben Strauss, vice president for sea level and climate impacts at Climate Central, a US-based research group.

Sea level rises corresponding to these 2 C or 4 C scenarios could unfold in two hundred years, but would more likely happen over many centuries, perhaps as long as 2,000 years, according to the research, published by Climate Central.

Capping the rise in Earth's temperatures to 2 C above pre-industrial levels is the core goal of the 195-nation UN climate summit in Paris from November 30 to December 11.

The most effective way to slow global warming is to slash the output of the greenhouse gases which drive it.

But even if emissions reduction pledges - many of them conditioned on financial aid - submitted by 150 nations ahead of the Paris summit are fulfilled, it would still put us on a pathway for a 3 C (4.8 F) world, the United Nations has warned.

Mr Strauss and colleagues apply on a global scale the same methodology they used for a recent study that focused on temperature-linked sea level rise in the United States, published in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

That study concluded that both Miami and New Orleans are doomed to crippling impacts.  In the new report, the country hit hardest by sea level rise under a 4 C scenario is China.

Today, some 145 million people live in Chinese cities and coastal areas that would eventually become ocean were temperatures to climb that high.

Four of the 10 most devastated megacities would be Chinese: land occupied today by 44 million people in Shanghai, Tianjin, Hong Kong and Taizhou would be underwater.

India, Vietnam and Bangladesh do not fare much better. All told, Asia is home to 75 per cent of the populations that today reside in zones that would no longer be classified as land in a climate-altered future.

Thirty-four million people in Japan, 25 million the United States, 20 million in the Philippines, 19 million Egypt and 16 million in Brazil are also in future 4 C seascapes.

While the 2 C scenario is also grim, limiting warming to that extent would spare China and other nations much misery, said Strauss.

"There is a world of difference between 2 C and 4 C, which threatens more than double the damage," he told AFP. "We have a very large choice ahead of us."

The sea level rise corresponding to 2 C would eventually be 4.7 metres, and for 4 C almost double that, the study found.

The projections are based on climate models taking into account the expansion of ocean water as it warms, the melting of glaciers, and the decay of both the Greenland and West Antarctic icesheets.

Timing is harder to predict, Strauss said: "It is easier to estimate how much ice will eventually melt from a certain amount of warming than how quickly it will melt."

Normally a study of this nature would be published by a peer-reviewed journal, as was the earlier research on the US. In this case, however, Strauss felt that the new results should be taken into account ahead of the crucial climate summit in Paris.


Amusing:  The Green/Left is trying to put money into the hands of bloated capitalists

They don't think they are doing that but that just shows how stupid they are.  It is a chronic mental disease for the Left not to think things through and the nonsense below is is a prime example of it.

Let's say that they do get some people to "divest" from shares that Greenies have demonized.  What will that do to the company concerned?  Nothing.  It is generally a matter of indifference to a public company who holds its shares.

And what do the Greens think happens to the shares?  They get bought by someone else, by some bloated capitalist in all likelihood.  But if the Greenies have a stunning success with their campaign and a big lot of the shares concerned come onto the market, what will happen? The price will fall:  Good ol' supply and demand.  So the bloated capitalist who buys the shares will get them cheap. He will acquire a desirable asset at a bargain price.  Will he thank the Greenies for that?  He should but he is more likely to snigger at what dummies they are

And note also below the ethical desert that is the Green/Left.  They are condemning the accused before a trial -- a fundamental breach of natural justice.  Let me put it so plainly that even a Greenie might understand: "Under investigation" does not mean "guilty"

A leading environmental group has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ditch his investments in ExxonMobil, a company that's under investigation by the New York Attorney General for allegedly covering up the truth about climate change for decades.

On Friday it emerged that Exxon had received a subpoena requesting documents relating to internal studies from the late 1970s on, which allegedly revealed the extent of the damage done to Earth's atmosphere by products like those the oil giant peddles.

Climate advocacy group was the first to realise Turnbull is a beneficiary of the alleged cover-up, which internationally renowned environmentalist Bill McKibbon has branded an "unparalleled evil".

The Prime Minister's pecuniary interests register reveals that Turnbull invests in the SPDR S&P 500 fund which, in turn, lists ExxonMobil as its second largest holding.

Exxon's annual report for 2014 claims the company has paid out $128 billion to shareholders over the past five years, but it's not clear how much of that money has made it into Malcolm Turnbull's pocket.

On Friday the Australian Campaigns Director at, Charlie Wood, called on Turnbull to put his money where his mouth is ahead of key United Nations negotiations to be held in December.

"In a few weeks, world leaders will meet in Paris to come up with a plan to tackle the devastating climate impacts that Exxon has fuelled," Wood said. "Australia won't be taken seriously in Paris if our Prime Minister turns up with investments in a company that has worked for decades to make meetings like Paris fail."

The Prime Minister's office has not responded to requests for comment from Friday morning, but given his outspoken stance over a number of years on the need for climate action and "the importance of [accurate]science," the multi-millionaire is likely to face questions from other quarters too.


Note:  I use the Leftist term "bloated capitalist" above just as mockery of the Left

Megadroughts in past 2000 years worse, longer, than current droughts

A new atlas shows droughts of the past were worse than those today — and they cannot have been caused by man-made CO2. Despite the claims of “unprecedented” droughts, the worst droughts in Europe and the US were a thousand years ago. Cook et al 2015[1] put together an old world drought atlas from tree rings data as a proxy for summer wetness and dryness across Europe. They compare the severity and timing of European droughts with the North American Drought Atlas (NADA) released in 2004. Yes, it’s a tree ring study with all the caveats about how trees are responding to several factors at once etc etc. But at least the modern era is measured with the same proxy as used in the old eras.

Something else is causing droughts, something modern models don’t include:

“megadroughts reconstructed over north-central Europe in the 11th and mid-15th centuries reinforce other evidence from North America and Asia that droughts were more severe, extensive, and prolonged over Northern Hemisphere land areas before the 20th century, with an inadequate understanding of their causes.”

The worst megadrought in the California and Nevada regions was from 832 to 1074 CE (golly, 242 years). The worst drought in  north-central Europe was from 1437 to 1473 CE, lasting 37 years.

Climate models don’t predict any of the droughts below, and all of them occurred before 99% of our emissions were released.

Authors compare results from the new atlas and its counterparts across three time spans: the generally warm Medieval Climate Anomaly (1000-1200); the Little Ice Age (1550-1750); and the modern period (1850-2012).

The atlases together show persistently drier-than-average conditions across north-central Europe over the past 1,000 years, and a history of megadroughts in the Northern Hemisphere that lasted longer during the Medieval Climate Anomaly than they did during the 20th century. But there is little understanding as to why, the authors write. Climate models have had difficulty reproducing megadroughts of the past, indicating something may be missing in their representation of the climate system, Cook said.

Droughts, Rainfall, Europe, Last Millenia, 1000AD - 2000AD, Atlas.
Figure 3A Maps from a new 2,000-year drought atlas show rainfall conditions over the whole continent, and much of the Mediterranean. A chart for 1741 shows severe drought (brown areas) running from Ireland into central Europe and beyond. A chart for the year 1315 shows the opposite problem—too much rain (dark green areas), which made farming almost impossible. (Cook et al., Science Advances, 2015)

A large part of the Northern Hemisphere is included in the study.

The worst droughts:

Besides the MCA, Fig. 3B also reveals the occurrence of a mid–15th-century megadrought in north-central Europe. The most intense drought phase lasted for 37 years from 1437 to 1473 CE (?1.84 ± 0.20), with only two isolated years of positive scPDSI. The timing of this megadrought is similar to that of the worst drought reconstructed to have occurred over the past 1000 years in the southeastern United States (27). This suggests the existence of some common hydroclimate forcing across the North Atlantic, perhaps related to Atlantic Ocean sea surface temperature variations and/or the North Atlantic Oscillation (31, 32).

Finally, a third megadrought occurred from 1779 to 1827 (?1.34 ± 0.16). This period has a subperiod of “major long-duration drought” (33) from 1798 to 1808 (?1.89 ± 0.38) in England and Wales identified from early instrumental and historical climate information. It is also the driest period within the longer epoch (1779–1827) of persistently drier-than-average conditions over north-central Europe.

More generally, Fig. 3B reveals the existence of large-amplitude decadal to centennial hydroclimate variability over Europe and shows that, like North America, megadroughts in the Old World were not restricted to just the MCA period. In comparison, hydroclimate variability over the 20th century, although large, does not appear unprecedented in amplitude or trend. Isolating signals of recent GHG-induced hydroclimate change from this complex record of natural variability will be challenging.

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

Government-style “fairness” for the 1%

Obama cronies get abundant favors – at the expense of working class Americans

Paul Driessen

Liberals love to extol their deep compassion for the poor, whom conservatives allegedly don’t give a fig about. Thus our Community-Organizer-in-Chief pontificates endlessly about income inequality, to justify his determination to “fundamentally transform” our nation, so that “everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

Those would be the same rules that let the IRS target conservatives, the VA make veterans wait months for treatment, and the EPA violate every standard of scientific integrity – with no repercussions. It’s clearly not corporations or most citizens who don’t play by the rules. It’s Obama bureaucrats, supporters and sycophants, who manipulate government powers to their financial and political advantage.

As to “fairness,” Mr. Obama’s politically-loaded definition is designed to inspire more class and racial warfare, especially among those who angrily assert that they are being abused by Big Oil, too-big-to-fail banks, callous healthcare insurers and other large corporations.

It’s also intended to distract from massive failures of so many liberal programs, such as Great Society welfare programs that have spent some $22 trillion to date and devastated black families and communities – and the Affordable Care Act, which has ensured that millions don’t get to keep their doctors but will get to pay another 20% in average premium increases for 2016, plus still higher deductibles.

But big-money donors, Hollywood actors and environmentalists increasingly call the shots on “fairness” issues in the energy and environmental policy arena. With the president calling climate change “the worst threat to future generations,” and more than 21,000 new regulations imposed since he took office, it’s clear that the 1 Percenters take priority over the 99 Percenters. Electric vehicles are a prime example.

At a starting price of $33,170 for a 2016 Chevy Volt to more than $101,000 for an electric Tesla Roadster (the cheapest model), these so-called “green” cars are far beyond the reach of most American families. In fact, most workers have less money today than 40 years ago: average American wages have fallen from $53,294 in 1973 to $50,383 in 2014, using constant 2014 numbers.

And yet, all levels of government have instigated numerous rules that favor electric and hybrid vehicles at the expense of American families, who continue to see costs rise for nearly every essential commodity, thanks to regulations, special tax treatments and executive actions. Only gasoline, diesel fuel and natural gas prices have fallen – thanks to the fracking revolution that has unleashed US oil and gas production.

Electric and hybrid car buyers get substantial government subsidies, including tax credits of $2,500 to $7,500 (depending on the car’s battery size). Electric utilities in several states also provide a special rate for plug-in vehicles, to reduce the cost of charging electric and hybrid cars. Some states even offer credits for the purchase of charging equipment. And it’s largely justified by global warming horror stories.

Many insurance companies, including Farmers, also support plug-in vehicle purchases via discounted auto insurance policies for electric and hybrid cars in Maryland and other states. Several states also offer free parking and free electric charging at government-operated, taxpayer-funded charging stations.

California also provides rebates to people who buy or lease green vehicles or buy specialized charging equipment to install in their homes. Sony Pictures Entertainment offers a $5,000 incentive to its wealthy Hollywood employees who purchase electric or hybrid cars.

In several jurisdictions, green car drivers can also avoid traffic morasses that the rest of us must endure.  Special stickers give them access to HOV lanes (High Occupancy Vehicles) that drivers of gasoline-powered vehicles cannot enter without one or more passengers in the car.

In the District of Columbia, green car owners pay less on registration fees and get an exemption from the excise tax on their original certificate of title. Montana and several other states offer substantial tax credits and other benefits for electric car conversions. New Jersey gives a 10% discount on off-peak tolls for the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. Warren, Rhode Island gives residents with plug-in cars an excise tax exemption up to $100.

Who pays for all of these benefits (and many more that I haven’t listed)?  We all do. Who benefits? Actor Leonardo DiCaprio for one – and others who share his lavish 0.01-percent lifestyle, while proudly driving their Teslas and flouting their sensitivity to ecological and climate “crises.”

These wealthy motorists also contribute less to transportation infrastructure. Drivers of gasoline and diesel-fueled vehicles pay a user fee each time they fill up: 18.4 cents per gallon in federal taxes for gasoline and 24.4 cents a gallon for diesel, to help pay for bridge and road construction and repairs. Electric and hybrid vehicle owners use the same roads and bridges – but pay zero to minimal fuel taxes.

Georgia, Washington and a few other states assess user fees on electric and hybrid vehicles to cover road projects, but politically connected green drivers strongly oppose them. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (who chaired a failed electric car company) repealed Virginia’s $64-a-year tax after he was elected.

According to a recent Experian Automotive study, owners of battery-powered cars are more than twice as wealthy as average Americans. They also tend to be richer and younger than those who buy hybrids. Of those who purchased electric cars in 2013, 21% had annual incomes of $175,000 or more.

Not surprisingly, seven of the top ten cities for green car shoppers are in California. This year’s top seller (a measly 17,000 sold through September) is the Tesla S, with an MSRP starting at $106,200. (The ten most popular “regular folks” vehicles sold 295,000 to 527,000 units apiece in 2014.)

Of course, the hefty sticker price does not include the multiple freebies Tesla owners receive: subsidies, rebates, tax forgiveness, and the other benefits that average Americans pay for but don’t enjoy. In the meantime, the Obama Administration continues inflicting financial pain on poor, minority and working class families through regulations and executive orders that raise costs and stop job creation in its tracks.

The worst of the lot is the new ground-level ozone standard, which has been called the most costly regulation in U.S. history. This rule alone threatens to destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs, curtail funding for highway improvements in national parks and other “nonattainment areas,” and prevent the expansion of businesses unless other similar businesses close down.

The deceptively named Clean Power Plan will sharply raise electricity costs for average ratepayers, while doing nothing to clean our air. New rules governing methane emissions will likely impair drilling and put upward pressure on oil and gas prices – the one bright spot that is helping working-class Americans save about $100 a month via lower fuel costs. The Obama EPA and Interior Department are also doing all they can to make more US onshore and offshore energy supplies off limits, wage war on all fossil fuels, and lock the United States into a punitive new climate treaty.

It is a litany of rules that only elitists with plenty of disposable income could love.

That is not fairness. It is an intentional way to enrich and empower the wealthy, while stealing from everyone else, by pushing through policies that penalize blue-collar workers and families but do little to improve health or environmental quality. What the president calls “fair” is legalized or dictatorial theft, perpetrated on the poor, to get Tom Steyer and Terry McAuliffe to raise more campaign funds for members of the president’s party.

Of course, President Obama isn’t the only one who uses the word “fair” in political remarks. In her first major speech on the economy, Hillary Clinton called for more lib-style “growth and fairness,” saying it would be “my mission from the first day I’m president to the last.” We can hardly wait.

This kind of crony-corporatist “compassion” has become the hallmark of environmentalism and climate change politics.

Via email

Warmists armed with windmills are the REAL threat to Britain

By Peter Hitchens

As we squeak and gibber about the distant danger of terrorism, this country stands on the brink of a real threat to its economy, its daily life and its order.

It is a threat we have brought on ourselves by embracing an obsessive, pseudo-scientific dogma, a dogma that is also destroying irreplaceable industries and jobs week by week.

Last week we came within inches of major power blackouts, though official spokesmen claim unconvincingly that all was well.

Experts on the grid have for some time predicted a crisis of this sort, but had not expected it anything like so soon, or in such warm weather conditions. It is the fact that they were taken by surprise that warns us there may be worse to come.

Though Wednesday was mild for the time of year, the National Grid had to resort to emergency measures to keep Britain’s lights on. These included paying industries to reduce their power consumption and giving electricity generators up to 50 times the normal wholesale price to produce additional supplies – plainly emergency measures.

Forests of hideous, useless, vastly subsidised windmills predictably failed to help – because there was no wind. Acres of hideous, useless, vastly subsidised solar panels predictably failed to help, because it was dark.

Several perfectly good coal-fired power stations failed to help because we recently shut them down and blew them up. We did this in obedience to European Union regulations that prevent Britain from generating power from coal.

Meanwhile, China builds a new coal-fired power station every few weeks and fills the atmosphere with soot and carbon dioxide. If man-made CO2 really does cause global warming, then this policy of destroying Britain’s coal-fired power stations is not affecting that. Even on its own terms, the action is mad.

Craziest fact of all: if things get really desperate, the Grid will resort to banks of back-up diesel generators, perhaps the least green form of energy there is. And if they can’t cope, a country almost wholly dependent on electrically powered computers will go dark and silent, as our competitors laugh.

You will not be comforted to know that two more perfectly good coal-fired British power stations are already doomed by Euro-decree. They will be shut and irrevocably destroyed in the next six months.

And our last deep coal mine, at Kellingley, sitting on a huge reserve of high-quality coal, is to be shut for ever.

The UK’s exceptionally high electricity prices, forced up by green taxes to pay for useless windmills and solar panels, are destroying manufacturing industry. Having closed much of what remains of our steel industry, high power charges last week claimed their latest victim, the Michelin tyre plant in Ballymena, Northern Ireland.

As I have pointed out here in the past, the world has seen this sort of madness before, when dogma has been allowed to veto common sense.

This is what happened to the Soviet Union, which destroyed its economy and its society by trying to create Utopia. As usual, the result was hell.

The inflexible, intolerant cause of Warmism is not as bad as Leninism. There is no Gulag, only a lot of self-righteous spite for any who dare to dissent. And who cannot sympathise with those who genuinely think they are saving the planet? But they aren’t.

Do they really think, once the free Western countries sink into decay thanks to their policies, that a mighty China will pay any attention to their cries of protest?

They are just hustling us into the Third World, while saving nothing at all.


Green Climate Fund Must Fight Corruption Before It Can Beat Global Warming

 The U.N.-created Green Climate Fund is a $100 billion-a-year plan to help combat the effects of climate change, but it has only raised $10 billion so far and has been accused of promoting corruption.

Over the past five years, wealthy countries have been contributing billions of dollars to a fund designed to rescue the poorest countries from the effects of climate change. It’s like a complicated, politically charged Kickstarter campaign in which the reward is saving the planet. In that sense, it’s already the biggest crowdfunding effort of all time: The Green Climate Fund wields more than $10 billion in promised funding.

President Barack Obama has pledged $3 billion (though Congress must still approve the decision). Japan pledged $1.5 billion, and the United Kingdom pledged $1.2 billion. As of late September, even China is on board, kind of. It pledged $3.1 billion to a separate fund, part of which will help developing countries build capacity to receive GCF money. Now the question is what to do with all that cash.

The project is entering a field made up of a scattershot array of existing efforts. Some of these are exemplary. In Ghana, for example, a $787,000 grant helped farmers increase their salaries 400 percent by using irrigation and by growing more marketable crops. And in Kenya, a $2.6 million project installed solar-powered water purification and solar-powered lighting in schools and health centers. For many of the 300,000 people who benefit, it’s the first reliable energy source they’ve ever had.

But other projects demonstrate just how creatively people can misuse public funds. In 2011, Bangladesh set aside $3.1 million to build “climate-resilient housing” in the country’s coastal southwest after Cyclone Aila gutted it. When researchers from Transparency International Bangladesh visited the site, they discovered homes built without walls. “I don’t know whether it is built for human beings or not,” said Khadija Begum about her house.

It turns out the structures had been built exactly to Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief-approved specifications. According to Transparency International Bangladesh, the government halved the cost to construct each house so it could take credit for building more houses. (The disaster management ministry could not be reached by Newsweek.)

“The longer the chain of accountability gets—and it can be very long—then the chain can become murky,” says Lisa Elges, head of climate policy at Transparency International headquarters in Berlin. The GCF could safeguard against deceit by submitting to outside scrutiny and building accountability protocols. But so far, leaders of the fund have talked about its commitment to transparency while remaining opaque in practice. The board has weighed major decisions behind closed doors and, in a draft version of its information disclosure policy, even suggested that tape recording certain meetings should not be allowed.

This secretive tendency has already caused scandal. In July, the GCF announced that its board had just accredited 13 new partners, including banks and nonprofits, that will help channel money. The decisions, made entirely in private, were based “on [the partners’] abilities to meet fiduciary, environmental, social and gender requirements,” according to the GCF. But activists were furious to learn that Deutsche Bank was on the list—the German banking and financial services company is the 10th biggest worldwide investor in coal, the dirtiest energy source there is.

After meeting deep into the early morning of November 6, the board approved $168 million in spending for eight project proposals culled from 37 applications, despite grumblings from some board members that the projects brought to the table were forced on them too quickly. The GCF is under pressure to demonstrate ahead of the COP21 climate conference in Paris this month that money is on the move—even though independent monitoring units and other important accountability policies are not yet in place.

The GCF would not comment for this article, but it has broadly outlined a variety of accountability safeguards. To encourage diversity, the 24-member board comprises as many representatives of developing countries as developed ones. Countries receiving funds will designate an agency with veto power over projects. And anyone touching money goes through what they say is a rigorous accreditation process.

There are proposed protocols to prevent corruption, but watchdog groups want the GCF to go further by offering protection to whistleblowers and explaining who pays if money is misused or pilfered. As it stands now, “once the money’s lost, the money’s lost,” Elges says.



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


9 November, 2015

Folksy old Bill Nye, the non-science guy is getting himself into the limelight again

His academic background is in mechanical engineering so his claim to be a science guy is thin to start with -- and his ignoring of climate facts reduces him to the status of a prophet rather than a scientist.  And prophets love attention.  And that is pretty clearly what drives Bill.  He is a narcissist.  He feeds off attention.  Science is optional.

The heading of his most recent article in the pseudo-intellectual "Salon" is "Bill Nye demolishes climate deniers: “The single most important thing we can do now is talk about climate change.” But the article in fact demolishes nobody and nothing.  It is simply a parade of Nye's unsupported opnions.

His Fascism is however in clear view.  He says:  "Part of the solution to this problem or this set of problems associated with climate change is getting the deniers out of our discourse. You know, we can’t have these people – they’re absolutely toxic. And so part of the message in this book is to get the deniers out of the picture"

He does not say how he intends to accomplish that but another socialist of around 70 years ago used gas ovens so would the apple fall far from the tree if circumstances enabled it?  Be that as it may, scientific debate is clearly not on the agenda of "scientist" Nye. He is a prophet in a thin disguise of scientific clothes.

The article is such a lightweight load of tosh that I am not inclined to reproduce it but you can find it here if you have nothing better to do.

Wow!  Statistician Briggs really goes to town on the Warmists

I reproduce his excellent recent post below.  He does however miss an important point.  He is almost certainly aware of the point but wisely has decided to fight one battle at a time.  I however am the maverick who keeps mentioning that hugely important but hugely "incorrect" matter, something that influences almost everything in human behaviour but which the Left have declared  unmentionable:  IQ

The two areas in the diagram that show greatest belief in global warming -- Africa and Latin America -- are also regions with low average IQ -- according to Lynn's survey of the test statistics.  So I am a bit more sanguine than Briggs.  I think the data show that it is mainly dummies who believe in global warming.  There!  I've said it.  In their stereotyped and juvenile way the Left can now call me a racist.  Evidence does not matter to Leftists.  Only their hate of others matters

Before we start, you can and must combat propaganda by saying global warming. Do not say climate change. This admonition cannot be repeated enough. Please pass it on.

To say climate change is to concede a fallacy. A lie. To say climate change is to admit complete and utter defeat. We were promised global warming, not climate change. Make them stick to their promise.

Now if the globe warms, the climate has changed. But the climate also changes if the globe cools. The climate changes if it becomes wetter or again if it becomes drier. It changes if there are more storms or fewer. It changes if there are thicker or thinner clouds. It changes if the first day of frost is earlier or later. In short, the climate always changes. Absolutely always. No power on earth can stop it.

To say “climate change” is to concede the tacit argument that anything that happens does so because of mankind. This is preposterous and will lead to devilry on the part of our beneficent leaders. The new Pew study is proof of this.

Incidentally, if you’re quoting an author who has mistakenly said “climate change” when he meant “global warming”, use the literary device of swapping the error with brackets. Thus “Are you a climate change denier?” becomes “Are you a [global warming] denier?”

The answer is, incidentally, Reality Herself is a global warming denier.

Tom Richard from the Examiner emailed me yesterday for comments on the new Pew survey on [global warming] beliefs. I was out and by the time I had returned I missed his deadline, so I’m commenting now. Read Richard’s piece “Pew Research: Most Americans don’t think global warming a serious problem.” Note that Richard wisely says global warming.

The picture at the top is lifted from the survey and is proof global warming propaganda works. Just look! Some 77% of Latin Americans have been duped and agree that “[Global warming] is harming people now.” This is false. It is not true. It is absurd. Yet three-quarters of the folks down below believe it. And so do two out of every five norteamericanos.

Is it really 77% of all adult Latin Americans, given the immensity and diversity of that continent? I mean, can we rely on the precision of this number? No, probably not. And the same is true for the other areas surveyed. Pew reports a theoretical uncertainty bound, but it’s safe to at least double, perhaps even triple, this. So it might not be 77%, but anywhere from (I’m guessing) 60%-90%.

It doesn’t matter. The correct answer is 0%. Global warming is not harming people now. The temperature has bounced around these past two decades, but it hasn’t warmed in any real sense. Since global warming hasn’t happened, it can’t have harmed any person.

Real actual climate change can, it is true, cause harm. Earlier frosts mean smaller crops. But real actual climate change can, it is just as true, cause benefits. Later frosts mean larger crops. Notice that Pew never asked anybody if real actual climate change is helping people now.

The presumption is that any change in the weather (yes, weather) is caused, perhaps not wholly but surely predominately, by man. This is asinine and false—and dangerous. Politicians and activists who want to accumulate power and money want you to believe it, though. They lie, they insinuate, they hint, they cajole, they spew weasel words to get you to believe what is false.

And it works! Dammit, it works beautifully.

Their immoral actions are paying off. Half the globe has swallowed the lie. Want more proof? Look at the difference in answers between “[Global warming] is harming people now” and “Very concerned that [global warming] will harm me personally.” Fewer people think they personally will suffer if the temperature soars a fraction of a degree (Celsius) averaged globally. Stated another way, more people think they’ll be okay, but it’s the other guy who’s in danger.

But this can’t be so. It’s just one planet, right? The discrepancy is proof again that propaganda inculcates a vague indefinable fear and a strong desire that something need be done. You yourself might be okay, because after all a slight warming is harmless, but they other guy, well, he needs government intervention.

This harmful desire is proved later in the survey when scads and scads of otherwise sane adults agree that “Our country should limit greenhouse gas emissions as part of an international agreement.” This is translated as, “Since the climate always changes, please make this permanent and ineradicable crisis a priority with the government for all time.”

And that’s translated to, in its simplest form, “Please make slaves of us.”

Addendum We know we do not know how the atmosphere works to any important degree because climate models do not make skillful predictions, which they would if we did understand the atmosphere. Thus it is a lie, an outright whopper, to claim knowledge where we have proof of its absence.


The obsession with global warming will put the lights out all over Britain

We are destroying our sources of secure energy as windless Wednesday showed this week

Charles Moore

I spent much of Wednesday in fields in southern England. It was very warm for the time of year. I noticed there was almost no wind. Usually, even on calm days, one can see the autumn leaves trembling slightly on the branch, but there the stillness was absolute.

"Is the Western policy elites’ obsession with global warming itself a threat to civilised life on the planet?"

The following morning, it was reported – though not as widely as it should have been – that, for the first time, the National Grid had been so worried by a possible shortage of power when people got home from work on Wednesday that it had appealed to industry to reduce power consumption. Energy markets went wild. At one point, the Financial Times said, the grid was paying Severn Power £2,500 per megawatt hour: the usual going rate is £60.

The day before the potential outage, I had appeared on the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2 to talk about Lady Thatcher’s clothes. I was preceded by the fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood. She spoke good sense about how our first woman prime minister’s couture should find a home in the V&A ; but she prefaced her remarks by stating that she detested Margaret Thatcher. By encouraging “capitalism”, Dame Vivienne alleged, the Iron Lady had caused climate change.

I had a comparably surreal encounter with the singer Charlotte Church on BBC Question Time a few weeks earlier. Charlotte insisted that the war in Syria was the result of climate change. Every ill is blamed on global warming. No doubt it also causes the obesity epidemic, female genital mutilation and TV licence evasion.

But now we have reached the point when, on a warm day in early November, the country can run short of electricity, it is time to turn the question round. Is the Western policy elites’ obsession with global warming itself a threat to civilised life on the planet?

Commenting on wobbly Wednesday, the distinguished energy expert Professor Dieter Helm said: “We are now sailing very close to the wind.” I am not sure whether he was playing with that metaphor, but he is right. Of electricity generated in Britain in 2014, 19 per cent came from renewables, the majority of that being wind. So if there ain’t no wind, there’s much less power. And without wind, there has to be a non-intermittent “despatchable” source of energy, such as gas or dirty energy from emergency diesel generators, to plug the gap. And if you have to buy emergency energy, you – or rather we, the consumers – have to pay emergency prices.

The problems of emergency are only the most visible tip of it. Because, for green, EU-driven reasons, the Government hastens the closure of coal-fired power stations (still 30 per cent of our electricity generation) and prevents the construction of new ones, it needs other sorts of power stations. But when it held its “capacity auction” last December, no new gas-fired power stations resulted. The potentially interested companies feared the political risk which now infects the subject and the knowledge that, if green policies continue, the demand for non-green power will sink lower.

So now we have coal-fired power stations closing down, no new gas-fired power stations coming on stream and – even after the friendly words exchanged between David Cameron and the President of China in London last month – no actual, definite money to ensure we get the promised nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. The energy “safety cushion” has lost its stuffing. All we know is that the current renewables subsidies of £4 billion will rise to £8.5 billion by 2020: we’ll be getting lots more offshore wind-farms (there being fewer angry voters in the sea than on land).

On Thursday, I attended the glittering ceremony at the Savoy Hotel in which Mr Cameron was made Parliamentarian of the Year by The Spectator. In his acceptance speech, he emphasised that “security” was one of the chief concerns of his second term. He was speaking about defence and terrorism, but what about the security of our energy supply? The former is menaced by actual enemies; the danger to the latter is entirely self-inflicted. If successive governments had not, in the name of saving the planet, set about destroying the reasonably well-functioning post-privatisation market, we would not now be in danger of plunging ourselves into darkness.

A few weeks ago, the Financial Times reported an authoritative calculation that, in 2016-17, Britain will need a capacity of 56 gigawatts, but will actually have only 53 gigawatts. Just as we are reducing our financial deficit, we are creating an energy one. Just as the supply of fossil fuels such as oil and shale gas vastly increases (thus reducing the cost), so ever-higher electricity costs caused by renewables subsidy are wiping out our steel industry.

Obviously we must not forget that there are only 30 days left to save the world. In early December, in Paris, “COP 21”, the latest UN climate conference, will take place. Religious authorities like the Pope, the Dalai Lama and Roger Harrabin of the BBC all insist that global agreement on emissions reduction must be reached there if catastrophe is to be averted. Indeed there can be little doubt that a document will be signed. But a couple of qualifications should be borne in mind.

The first is that it is quietly admitted that there will be no legally binding agreement. The developing countries will not submit themselves, by law, to the hairshirt which Western powers love wearing. They will promise to cut emissions, and we know that they won’t. We shall promise to pay them $100 billion a year to assist greener energy, and they know that we won’t. The objective, rather than the rhetorical effect, will therefore be to make the idea of legally binding targets die. If the EU, including Britain, tries to persist with them alone, we shall turn our continent into a retirement home and leave the rest of world history to others.

The second qualification is disclosed in another news story this week. The New York Times revealed that China has been burning 17 per cent more coal per year than it previously thought. Since the whole edifice of global climate change reduction depends on what the Bali conference of 2007 called “measurable, reportable, verifiable” figures for emissions, the fact that a quantity larger than the entire annual fossil fuel consumption of Germany could previously have been missed suggests that the figures are nearly meaningless.

Like most people – possibly everyone – who takes part in the global-warming debate, I do not know what will happen to the temperature of the Earth in a century’s time. What I do know, because it is plainly visible, is that the attempt to run the world as if we can control our eco-fate 100 years hence is statistically fantastical, politically impossible, economically ruinous and morally bogus. “The lights are going out all over Europe,” lamented Sir Edward Grey in 1914. That was because of a war. Now we are doing our best to put them out all over again, in the name of the common good.


Obama Leads But No One Follows In Climate Change Fight

The president wants to decarbonize the planet by killing fossil-fuel production and its high-paying jobs. Almost no other nation is following his lead despite the promises that will be made at the Paris climate summit.

Last week we learned in a Reuters report that Asia will build 500 coal-burning electric generation plants this year alone. An additional 1,000 are planned in China, India, Japan, Indonesia and other countries. The latest projections are that 40% of the added power generation in Southeast Asia by 2040 will be coal-fired.

Does this sound like a continent that’s taking the alarm bells of catastrophic global warming seriously? So America shuts down its coal plants, while the rest of the world builds them.

If that isn’t bad enough news for the climate change lobby, the Times of London reports the world can “nearly double the available supplies of oil and gas in the next 35 years.” And oil giant BP has issued a report that concludes: “This impending glut of hydrocarbons has demolished fears that the world is running out of oil.”

The world’s reserves of oil are going up and are now just shy of 3 trillion barrels. The well is not running dry, in other words, and countries are going to burn more fossil fuel in the years to come.

Meanwhile, negotiators in Paris are trying to keep their game faces on and pretend they’re making great progress in reducing emissions.

Are they living in the twilight zone?

Here in America, Obama has put a regulatory straitjacket on American producers of oil, gas and coal. But just the expected increase in coal production over the next decade in China and India could surpass the total the U.S. consumes each year.

Globally, carbon emissions are likely to rise way above treaty pledges because coal is becoming cheaper to produce. Then there’s fracking, which produces massive quantities of clean-burning and cheap natural gas that competes directly with coal.

Why won’t the climate lobby rally behind fracking and natural gas as a planet saver?

What’s clear is that Asia’s priority right now is growth — and rightfully so. Nations there hope to soon move nearly 1 billion more of their citizens into a Western middle-class living standard. That requires cheap energy, not expensive and unreliable green energy.

When the Paris meetings end, expect happy talk from the leaders of the world that nations have made iron-clad commitments to move away from fossil fuels.

Alas, the only person on the planet who’s still naive enough to believe the fantasy is Barack Obama.

And he calls us deniers!


Sen. Mike Lee: Preempt Bid by ‘Smug’ Obama to Bypass Congress on Global Climate Deal

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is calling on Congress to make it clear to the Obama administration and foreign governments “that in America it’s the Congress, and not the president acting alone, that writes the checks.”

Lee was talking about President Obama’s attempt to circumvent the Senate’s advise-and-consent role ahead of a major U.N. conference seeking a new global climate agreement.

Lawmakers in both chambers and both parties have the duty “to assert with one voice that Congress will not send a dime of taxpayer money to the implementation of any agreement to which the Senate has not provided its advice and consent,” Lee said in a speech at the Heritage Foundation on Wednesday.

Along with Congress wielding “its most powerful tool – the power of the purse,” he called for a joint resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the agreement envisaged by the administration for the conference in Paris should be submitted to the Senate for ratification.

Lee recalled that the Senate had passed such a bipartisan measure – in a 95-0 vote – in 1997 when the Clinton administration was negotiating the Kyoto Protocol. Even then-Sen. John Kerry – an ardent global warming advocate who as secretary of state is at the forefront of the administration’s current climate drive – voted for it

(The Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1998 but never ratified, and President George W. Bush withdrew in 2001.)

Lee said the level of support for the 1997 resolution proved that it was possible “to assemble a bipartisan coalition, not to debate the merits of the president’s climate change policies – though that is in fairness a debate that we also need to have – but to assert the right of the American people to consent to their laws.”

Even as recently as 2009, ahead of a U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen, then-Sen. Kerry said – during Hillary Clinton’s confirmation hearing as secretary of state – that he and his Senate Foreign Relations Committee colleagues would be “deeply involved in crafting a solution that the world can agree to and that the Senate can ratify.”

Lee said that statement had not been especially remarkable at the time. But “today this consensus appears quite tragically no longer to exist.”

He quoted White House press secretary Josh Earnest as saying last March – when asked whether Congress has the right to approve a new climate agreement – “I think it’s hard to take seriously from some members of Congress who deny the fact that climate change exists that they should have some opportunity to render judgment about a climate change agreement.”

“That’s actually what he said – those are his words,” Lee said. “In other words he’s saying, ‘unless you share the White House view about climate change – both about the science behind it and about what we do about it – unless you share that view, you’re going to be disqualified from having anything to say about it, even if you’re a United States senator, and notwithstanding the fact the Constitution requires Senate ratification of an agreement like that.”

“In the span of just six years, what was once respect has been turned into contempt,” Lee said.

“[T]oday, with just one year remaining in office, in the White House – and with the smug satisfaction of someone who believes the policy of climate change is just as settled as the science supposedly is – President Obama knows that compulsion, not persuasion, is the only way to fundamentally transform a nation, as least transform it in the way he wants to transform it.”

‘Targets and timetables’

The conference in Paris is, in the U.N.’s jargon, the 21st “Conference of the Parties” to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a legally-binding treaty which the U.S. Senate ratified in 1992.

Unlike the later-negotiated Kyoto Protocol, the UNFCCC did not set targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

When the George H.W. Bush administration was seeking Senate ratification for the UNFCCC, it “represented that any protocol or amendment to the UNFCCC creating binding GHG emissions targets would be submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent,” according to a 2010 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s subsequent report during that ratification process stated that any “decision by the Conference of the Parties to adopt targets and timetables would have to be submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent before the United States could deposit its instruments of ratification for such an agreement.”

Critics of the administration’s climate policies argue therefore that any new international climate agreement containing “targets and timetables” should be treated as a treaty, and require Senate advice and consent.

But the New York Times reported in August last year that Obama was working on reaching an agreement in Paris in a way that would enable him to sidestep the hurdle of Senate ratification – a “hybrid” agreement that would combine new voluntary GHG emission-reduction goals with legally-binding procedural aspects of the UNFCCC.

A year ago, Obama announced ambitious plans for Paris – a reduction of GHG emissions in the U.S. by 26-28 percent by 2025, compared with 2005 levels.

The State Department said Thursday the administration’s special envoy for climate change, Todd Stern, will join climate ministers from around the world in Paris for a week of talks beginning Friday, for multilateral discussions ahead of the conference and bilateral meetings in support of “efforts to secure an ambitious, durable, and transparent global climate agreement.”


If the Planet's Warming, Why Is McCarthy Going After AC?

The 27th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, which began on Sunday, came to a close Thursday in Dubai. The United States was represented by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who urged an amendment to the Montreal Protocol that would require a global reduction in hydrofluorocarbons. In an op-ed for The Guardian, she wrote, “Our planet’s fragile ozone layer is on a path toward full restoration by about 2050. But there’s a hitch: the success has hinged largely on replacing ozone-depleting substances with hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs) — chemicals we now know are highly damaging to the environment.” Consequently, McCarthy now advocates a universal policy curbing HFCs in equipment and material like air conditioners, refrigerators and insulation. She continues:

“It was the 1987 Montreal Protocol, one of the most successful environmental treaties in history, which led to HFCs replacing ozone-destroying pollutants. On 1 November, at the international meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Dubai, the United States will make a powerful case for better management of HFC pollution worldwide. Because of the importance of taking aggressive action on these chemicals to achieve global climate goals, I will be leading the United States delegation at that meeting. … Solutions are here, and it’s time to amend the Montreal Protocol to reflect that.”

Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw quips, “Maybe it’s just me, but the same moment you’re telling everyone how much warmer it’s getting might not be the best time to take away their air conditioner.” Besides, researchers just informed us that rising global temperatures are ruining Americans' sex lives. Moreover, they hypothesize that the population is bigger today because of air conditioning. And now they want to take that away? Liberal logic — it’s why we can’t have nice things.



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

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


8 November, 2015

Blackout fears as factories are paid NOT to use electricity in last resort bid to keep lights on across UK

National Grid was yesterday forced to use new ‘last resort’ measures to keep the lights on in homes across the country. Major industries were for the first time asked to down their tools to protect energy supplies.

The problem was blamed on a combination of unexpectedly high demand, power plant breakdowns and very low wind power output. At one point yesterday, wind farms were meeting only 0.5 per cent of the nation’s electricity demand against the average 10 per cent.

Under the emergency measure, announced by National Grid last year, businesses are paid to cut their power usage between 4pm and 8pm. A secondary measure – firing up mothballed power plants – was not required.

National Grid said last month that both schemes would be used only ‘as a last resort’ where demand outstripped supply. Short-term electricity prices spiked to £2,500 a megawatt-hour – 50 times the average.

National Grid said: ‘This is part of our standard toolkit for balancing supply and demand and is not an indication there is an immediate risk of disruption to supply or blackouts. It indicates that we would like our power held in reserve to be higher.’

The company insists there is no immediate risk to households even though it is the first time it has asked the power industry for extra supply since February 2012.

The problems stem from the fact that EU diktats have forced the closure of coal-fired power stations for environmental reasons.

The UK has also been slow to build replacements for nuclear power stations scheduled to close over the next few years.

Green alternatives, such as wind, solar and wave, are unable to fill the gap, particularly if the wind is not blowing.

Brian Strutton, national officer of the GMB union, said: ‘It is less than a month ago since we warned that the Government and National Grid were far too complacent about the risks of widespread blackouts.

‘There can be eight to ten days per month when there is not a lot of output from wind capacity. ‘We now have the bonkers position where National Grid is using consumers’ money to pay firms to stop work in order to avoid blackouts.’

Despite the problems, more wind farms are on the way because Britain has committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

In a bid to counter the unpredictability of supply, the Government has come up with a series of schemes to ensure there is enough reserve power to meet demand. These include the much-criticised ‘capacity market’ policy of paying old power stations to remain on standby.

Lisa Nandy, Labour’s energy spokesman, said: ‘The chopping and changing of energy policy under this Government is creating an energy security crisis. It is preventing investment we now urgently need to keep the lights on and it could cause household bills to rise. ‘David Cameron should step in and end the policy vacuum to get new power stations built as quickly as possible.’


The man who failed to become the first climate change refugee

He was really trying to escape an impoverished lifestyle

Ioane Teitiota says his family's lives are in danger in Kiribati

With waves breaking at his feet, Ioane Teitiota holds his hand more than a metre above his sea wall to demonstrate how high the water gets during a king tide.

The wall seems hopelessly inadequate even when it's not full of holes. When he returned to Kiribati from New Zealand, he had to fix it in three places. And he expects to trudge out after almost every high tide to patch it up again.

The threat of sea-level rise was the basis of his four year battle to become the world's first recognised climate refugee.

But courts in New Zealand rejected his claim, and he was deported in September for overstaying his visa. He says that decision has put him in danger.

"I'm the same as people who are fleeing war. Those who are afraid of dying, it's the same as me," he says.

Like many in Kiribati, he's worried the ocean will swallow the entire country like some latter day Atlantis.

Kiribati consists almost entirely of tiny strips of land which barely peek out above a vast and relentless Pacific Ocean.

Tarawa, the main island where Mr Teitiota now lives, is 3m (9.8ft) above sea level at its highest point. It's obvious why people here are worried about sea level rise.

Experts who study atolls point out that as erosion happens on one side of an atoll, sand often accumulates on the other. The sea might not win a complete victory, because atolls shift and change and even rise with the tide.

But the shore line is likely to move, so Mr Teitiota and others who live by the water worry that their sea walls or houses might wash away.

Mr Teitiota, his wife and three children are staying at his brother-in-law's house. It's a basic cinder block box with no chairs and virtually no modern conveniences.

He has two penned pigs in his yard and a pack of stray dogs scratch themselves under the palm trees. He warns me about the brown dog. That's the dangerous one. And he doesn't like it being so close to his kids.

The family relies on rainwater for drinking. The tank is too small, so they struggle to get enough. It's a bitter irony in a place that's constantly threatened with inundation.

They pump water from the ground too, but it's filthy. The groundwater here is just below the surface, which makes it vulnerable to contamination from humans and animals above.

They only use groundwater for washing, but it's making his children sick. All of them have skin problems. Hopefully, it's just an annoyance.

But childhood illness is a real concern here. Infant mortality is higher in Kiribati than in Bangladesh, and the water is a contributing factor.

While there are solutions to some of these problems, they cost money, and Mr Teitiota hasn't worked since he returned. The prospects aren't bright in a country where unemployment tops 30%.

Mr Teitiota's lawyer, Michael Kidd, is still outraged that he was deported.

"I'm amazed that the New Zealand government seems to think it's okay to send people back to those conditions," he says.

Mr Teitiota's current situation shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who heard his case. In fact, it's exactly what he told them would happen. And the various tribunals and courts that considered his case accepted he was telling the truth.

What they didn't accept was that the dangers were imminent, or that they were due to "reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion," as the refugee convention requires.

Mr Kidd sees politics in the mix. There are potentially hundreds of millions of people in low-lying areas that could be affected by sea level rises. He wonders if wealthy countries fear that cases like Mr Teitiota's could turn climate migration from a trickle to a raging torrent.

But there hasn't been a dramatic exodus just yet. The New Zealand immigration department sets aside 75 places a year in a lottery for migrants from Kiribati, and at the moment it can't fill them.

President Anote Tong suggests that is because things aren't desperate enough yet.

"It's not a critical issue yet. I think if there are people who migrate now, I hope they would do it out of choice. But as to the question, is it so critical that people would be regarded as refugees? My answer would be no, not at this point in time."


ICSC statement about the Keystone XL cancellation

Tom Harris, Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition, released the following statement concerning President Barack Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline project:

"It was a serious strategic mistake for the petroleum industry and the Canadian and Albertan governments to think that they could support the idea that we can control the world’s climate by regulating carbon dioxide emissions yet still have the Keystone XL pipeline approved.

"The fact that even the State Department demonstrated that the pipeline would have had an inconsequential impact on climate made no difference.

In their bid to ‘decarbonize’ our economies, climate campaigners drew a line in the sand with Keystone XL. It became a symbol of the movement.

"The only way to have defeated such symbolism would have been for
industry and government to tell the truth about climate: The impact of  human emissions is almost certainly very small in comparison with that  of nature. But they were too frightened to do this and so now the Keystone XL project is the latest casualty of the climate scare."


Stephen Schneider, a narcissist and a fraud

Schneider died a few years ago so is hopefully now experiencing some real warming.  But he is a lasting lesson in what drives Warmism.  It certainly is not the facts, reason, truth or honesty

"To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest." - Leading greenhouse advocate, Dr Stephen Schneider (in interview for "Discover" magagzine, Oct 1989)

Dr Stephen Schneider is perhaps the most media-exposed Greenhouse expert, having developed a charismatic speaking style, complemented by his 1970s good looks, and penchant for extravagant claims about impending environmental disaster.

For example, in a TV interview in 1990 to Britain's Channel 4, he remarked -

"The rate of change is so fast that I don't hesitate to call it
potentially catastrophic for ecosystems."

Such a comment was quite wrong, climatically speaking, and blatantly alarmist.

He is also a fully qualified climatologist, closely identified with climate modeling at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, Colorado, USA. He has written numerous papers and articles on the subject and is invariably sought out by the media for the latest horror predictions about Greenhouse, due to both his willingness to cast scientific caution aside in making such predictions, and his natural articulate and charismatic appeal to the general public.

He can truly be described as a Superstar of Greenhouse.

It would be fair to say that Schneider bears a large part of the responsibility for making Greenhouse the hysterical public issue it has become today. He even once joked that since Greenhouse had hit the public arena, he had become more of a politician than a scientist. (`Many a true word is spoken in jest')

That Greenhouse had moved from being an esoteric scientific issue to being a political one was certainly true, and Schneider was in the vanguard of the political push to get Greenhouse firmly implanted in the public consciousness.

But what kind of person, what kind of scientist, is Dr Stephen Schneider?

Firstly, Schneider was not always promoting the idea of Global warming. Up to about 1978, Schneider was warning the world of an impending Global Cooling, leading to the next Ice Age !

Before Global Warming became the politically correct scientific fashion of the 1990s, the reverse situation existed in the 1970s, where it had become a scientific article of faith that the Ice Age was about to happen. Even the US National Academy of Sciences adopted this view.

"There is a finite possibility that a serious worldwide cooling
could befall the Earth within the next 100 years."

Prof Patrick Michaels, now a prominent critic of the Greenhouse scare, was justifiably sceptical then, just as he is now.

"When I was going to graduate school, it was gospel that the Ice Age was about to start. I had trouble warming up to that one too.
This (greenhouse) is not the first climate apocalypse, but it's certainly the loudest"
Just as with Global Warming, we find Schneider in the vanguard of the Global Cooling doomsayers during the 1970s.

It was only when global temperatures took an upward turn around 1980 that Schneider and others quickly made a career change and became passionate advocates of impending catastrophe, only this time from warming, not cooling. But then, opportunism is a trait of politicians rather than scientists.

During the Ice Age Scare of the 1970s, Schneider was one of it's foremost advocates. He published a book titled "The Genesis Strategy" at this time, warning of the coming glaciation, and wrote glowing a testimonial on the back cover of a popular `Ice Age' book of the time - (Ponte, Lowell. "The Cooling", Prentice Hall, N.J., USA, 1976), in which the author claimed that the climatic cooling from 1940 to the 1970s was but the precursor to the main event - the coming Ice Age.

Schneider was one of the first in the scientific community to warn of the impending Ice Age with this paper -

Schneider S. & Rasool S., "Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols - Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate", Science, vol.173, 9 July 1971, p.138-141

Here are the opening paragraphs of that paper -

ATMOSPHERIC CARBON DIOXIDE AND AEROSOLS: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate.


Effects on the global temperature of large increases in carbon dioxide and aerosol densities in the atmosphere of Earth have been computed. It is found that, although the addition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does increase the surface temperature, the rate of temperature increase diminishes with increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For aerosols, however, the net effect of increase in density is to reduce the surface temperature of Earth. Becuase of the exponential dependence of the backscattering, the rate of temperature decrease is augmented with increasing aerosol content. An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5 deg.K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.

The rate at which human activities may be inadvertently modifying the climate of Earth has become a problem of serious concern 1 . In the last few decades the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere appears to have increased by 7 percent 2 . During the same period, the aerosol content of the lower atmosphere may have been augmented by as much as 100 percent 3 .

How have these changes in the composition of the atmosphere affected the climate of the globe? More importantly, is it possible that a continued increase in the CO2 and dust content of the atmosphere at the present rate will produce such large-scale effects on the global temperature that the process may run away, with the planet Earth eventually becoming as hot as Venus (700 deg. K.) or as cold as Mars (230 deg. K.)?

We report here on the first results of a calculation in which separate estimates were made of the effects on global temperature of large increases in the amount of CO2 and dust in the atmosphere. It is found that even an increase by a factor of 8 in the amount of CO2, which is highly unlikely in the next several thousand years, will produce an increase in the surface temperature of less than 2 deg. K.

However, the effect on surface temperature of an increase in the aerosol content of the atmosphere is found to be quite significant. An increase by a factor of 4 in the equilibrium dust concentration in the global atmosphere, which cannot be ruled out as a possibility within the next century, could decrease the mean surface temperature by as much as 3.5 deg. K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease could be sufficient to trigger an ice age!


The last chancers

Activists are warning that the upcoming United Nations climate conference is the last chance to save the world. Fair enough. So if no deal is reached at the meeting, can we please stop hearing about global warming?

The 21st session of the Conference of Parties to the U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change starts Nov. 30 and will ponderously drag on until Dec. 11. Call it the "Last Chance in Paris," because that's what the fearmongers, from the Vatican to Prince Charles, believe it is.

Of course we've heard all this before.

It seems as if every time there's a U.N. climate conference, we hear the warnings: It's the final opportunity to save Earth, the "last chance." Consider these caveats:

* In 2001, Time magazine said the U.N.'s Bonn conference was "a global warming treaty's last chance."

* Four years later, activist Mark Lynas wrote in an open letter that the Montreal climate summit represented "a last chance for action."

* Before the 2007 meeting in Bali, Tony Juniper of Friends of the Earth declared that the conference "could be the last chance to avoid the worst effect of global warming."

* Australian environmental scientist Tim Flannery said in 2008 that the Poland "round of negotiations is likely to be our last chance as a species to deal with the problem."

* Then before Copenhagen in 2009, European Union Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said that conference was "the world's last chance to stop climate change before it passes the point of no return."

We could go on. The warnings have continued every year since without fail. So it's unlikely we've heard the last of the "last chance" warnings, even if no agreement is reached in Paris.

But we should have.

There's a growing stack of evidence that contradicts the alarmists' warnings and refutes the scientific "consensus" that man is overheating his planet with carbon-dioxide emissions.

Start with NASA's recent finding that Antarctica is actually gaining ice, not losing it, and the fact that the North Pole has not been ice-free in any summer although climate extremist Al Gore claimed it would be by now.

Then move on to the global warming models used to predict climate calamity. They have been about as accurate as wild guesses.

Why has this happened? Maybe because, as Australian electrical engineer David Evans discovered through mathematical calculation, CO2 is not as strong of a greenhouse gas as the U.N. says it is.

Evans found that it's about "a fifth or 10th" of what activists claim it is, having "caused less than 20% of global warming in the last few decades."

Related to the flawed models is the measured reality that Earth hasn't warmed in 16 to 18 years.

Other events and circumstances that hurt the warming narrative include: doctored data used by alarmists; admissions by former activists that they either overestimated temperature increases or were simply altogether wrong; and the work of credible scientists that goes hard against the warming claims.

None of these counter-examples will move the activists from their position. They will continue to agitate for government-enforced limits on CO2 emissions and lecture us about how we live.

Their last chance should have come long ago, but now it looks as if they will never run out of them.


ExxonMobil Denies Lying about Global Warming

A spokesman for the oil giant rejected the basis of the New York Attorney General’s investigation

Exxon Mobil Corp. insisted yesterday that it has not lied to its shareholders about the risks of climate change as it reacted to news that New York’s attorney general is investigating the company’s climate statements to investors.

“Exxon Mobil recognizes that climate risks are real and responsible actions are warranted,” said Ken Cohen, the company’s vice president of public and government affairs, during a press call (E&ENews PM, Nov. 5).

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) has issued a “broad” subpoena dealing with “our assessment of climate change,” Cohen said.

The New York Times reported yesterday that Schneiderman’s office has requested extensive financial records, emails and other documents going back more than a decade, to a time when the Kyoto Protocol, the current climate treaty, was being discussed.

Exxon allegedly funded groups at the time to undermine climate science, according to a Greenpeace investigation.

“We were active in discussions about whether the Kyoto Protocol was an appropriate policy response,” Cohen said. “Our position, [which] continues to this day, [was] that an approach that would exclude the majority of the world’s emitters was not going to be an effective policy response to a global risk.”
see also:

Exxon began informing investors about climate risks in 2007 in regulatory filings and corporate citizenship reports. The company also began including a price on carbon in its internal business planning in 2007, which has ranged from $60 to $80 per ton, according to Yale Environment 360.

Exxon told Congress the same year that it had stopped funding climate change deniers, such as Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, an astrophysicist with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. But records obtained by the Climate Investigations Center show that Soon received funding from the company until 2010 (ClimateWire, March 23).

Cohen drew a distinction between the company’s policy stance and its research into climate science. The company’s scientists have published numerous studies since the 1970s and have collaborated with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since its inception, he said.

Schneiderman has reportedly been investigating Exxon for a year. His office is also investigating Peabody Energy, a large coal company, according to news reports. Beginning in September,InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times have published a series of articles finding that Exxon has a long history of climate research, which contradicts its stance on climate policy



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

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


6 November, 2015

"Wired" is still holding fast to the Warmist faith

Zwally (who is a Warmist but apparently an honest one) has stirred up a hornet's nest with his latest paper on Antarctic ice. Warmists are coming out of the woodwork all over to cry that ice gain in Antarctica does not mean the end of their hoped-for catastrophe.  The article below from "Wired" seems typical so I thought I might insert some comments into it.

PERHAPS YOU’VE HEARD about the death of climate change. “Antarctica is actually gaining ice,” says NASA. “Is global warming over?” asks one headline writer. Not quite, goes the inevitable hedge.

Well…yes. But no. Climate change is depressingly robust. The new study—published October 30 in the Journal of Glaciology—offers no evidence that the planet’s temperature has returned to pre-1860s levels

[Why should it?  There was some slight warming during C20 which stopped around the beginning of C21 but whether that warming will return is the question and nobody knows the answer to that]

Atmospheric carbon dioxide has not dropped below 250 parts per million

[So what? CO2 levels and temperature have been uncorrelated for a long time now].

Sea levels have not receded

[But their rate of growth has not increased, which global warming theory predicts.  Sea levels were increasing long before the alleged anthropogenic global warming].

What has happened is that some parts of Antarctica are (maybe) freezing faster than other parts are melting.

About which, hooray! If the study is correct in its assessment of Antarctica’s freeze, that is. Some climate scientists say the study itself might be flawed.

Antarctica is losing ice, mostly from its western ice sheets

[You'd warm up if you had a volcano under you too].

This new study says that accumulation in the continent’s interior is offsetting that progressive sloughing, for a net gain of about 100 billion tons of ice per year (though it has been slowing in recent years). “The other point is that the gain of ice is taking out about a quarter of a millimeter per year from sea level rise,” says Jay Zwally, chief cryospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and lead author of the study.

That’s fine, but it doesn’t mean the climate isn’t changing. Zwally himself points out that if Antarctica is gaining more ice, then somewhere else in the world is melting faster—because scientists have pretty good data showing that sea levels have been rising at a rate of about three millimeters a year for the past 100 years.

[There is a lot of dispute about that.  Sea level expert Nils-Axel Mörner points out that the raw satellite data shows barely any rise] ....

Right or wrong, Zwally’s study says little about climate change as a whole. 

[Are you sure?  Antarctica contains 91% of the earth's glacial mass. What happens in Antarctica governs the whole 

In fact, equating Antarctic ice gain to the death of global warming is about as accurate as saying that racism in America ended the day Barack Obama took office.


Update: There's another, much longer and more deeply aggrieved article on the Zwally study here.  To give you the flavor of it, I reproduce an early sentence from it:  "The study stated that ice losses in West Antarctica have been outweighed by East Antarctica's ice increases, but that this trend may reverse itself in only a few decades.".  Just faith-based prophecy as usual.

Global warming could harm birth rates as hot temperatures 'make people less likely to have sex'

The effect produced by very hot weather may not be the same as the effect produced by a slightly warmer climate.  People adapt.  And the adaptation may be the opposite of what the authors below assume.  Looking at the effect of climate as distinct from weather suggests that it is COOLER climates that reduce reproduction.  The climates in Australia vary over a large range, with Tasmania being the coolest.  So are they reproducing like rabbits in Tasmania? Far from it:   "In Tasmania, there was a 4 per cent rise in the number of births in the same period, the smallest increase of any state or territory." Pesky!

Research suggests that, as temperatures increase, people may feel less inclined to have sex. Or, as the report from the National Bureau of Economic Research more delicately puts it, their “coital frequency” could diminish.

The research reveals that nine months after a particularly hot day the birth rate tails off significantly, coming in 0.7 per cent lower than it would following a cooler day. This indicates that rising temperatures either reduce fertility, decrease appetite for intercourse or, quite possibly, both.

“Extreme heat leads to a sizeable fall in births,” the researchers said. “Temperature extremes could affect coital frequency. It could affect hormone levels and sex drives. Alternatively, high temperatures may adversely affect reproductive health or semen quality on the male side, or ovulation on the female side.”


The Next Climate Scandal?

House Republicans hunt for evidence that temperature records are politicized

Lamar Smith, the Texas GOPer who runs the House science and technology committee, has been seeking, voluntarily and then not so voluntarily, emails and other internal communications related to a study released earlier this year by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The study, by adjusting upward temperature readings from certain ocean buoys to match shipboard measurements, eliminated the “pause” in global warming seen in most temperature studies over the past 15 years.

Let’s just say, without prejudging the case, gut instinct has always indicated that, if there’s a major global warming scandal to be discovered anywhere, it will be found in the temperature record simply because the records are subject to so much opaque statistical manipulation. But even if no scandal is found, it’s past time for politicians and the public to understand the nature of these records and the conditions under which they are manufactured.

This is where those who confuse science with religion, and scientists with priests, take umbrage. Unfortunately, NOAA has proved itself pliable to the propagandizing urge. Witness its steady stream of press releases pronouncing the latest month or year the “warmest on record.” It always falls to outsiders to point out that these claims often rest on differences many times smaller than NOAA’s own cited margin of error. Case in point: When President Obama declared in January that 2014 was the warmest year on record, it had only a 38% chance of being hotter (by an infinitesimal margin) than other hottest-year candidates 2010, 2005 and 1998.

It doesn’t help that NOAA’s sleight of hand here seems designed precisely to conceal the alleged “pause.” The inconvenient hiatus in global warming showed up just as temperature measurement became more rigorous and consistent; just as China overtook the U.S. as champion emitter; just as 30% of all greenhouse gases released since the start of the industrial revolution were hitting the atmosphere.

Presumably the hunt will now be on among House Republicans for evidence that NOAA scientists selected only those rejiggerings that would make the pause disappear. Good luck with that. Not only are the adjustments, corrections and interpolations eye-glazing—ground temperatures must be tweaked to offset growing urbanization, polar temperatures for the fact that we don’t have measurement data for long periods of history, etc. Past records must be assembled from measurements not under control of today’s researchers, using an uncertain mix of devices and practices. Where records don’t exist or are deemed inadequate, scientists incorporate what they call proxies.

Researchers will surely be prepared to justify each and every tweak, but it seems all but impossible to bias-proof the choice of which adjustments to make or not make. By the count of researcher Marcia Wyatt in a widely circulated presentation, the U.S. government’s published temperature data for the years 1880 to 2010 has been tinkered with 16 times in the past three years.

And, when all is said and done, it’s still not clear that assigning an “average” temperature for the planet for a year is a meaningful way to capture climate change. Or that claims to detect differences from one year to the next of 2/100ths of a degree are anything but exercises in false precision.

It would be astonishing if human activities were not having some impact on climate, but the question has always been how and how much. Evidence of climate change, of course, is not evidence of what’s causing climate change. Yet three certainties emerge from the murk: Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas; atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased significantly due to fossil-fuel burning; and the reward system in climate science is heavily tilted toward forecasts and estimates that see a large human effect.

Unfortunately, it’s also true that many of us cannot tolerate making up our minds under conditions of uncertainty. Uncertainty is especially the enemy of passion. That’s why so many who proclaim themselves “passionate” about global warming cannot string together two sentences indicating any understanding of the subject.

But let us end on an optimistic note. Progress comes from unexpected directions. In a new paper, Australian psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky, Harvard historian Naomi Oreskes and three co-authors chide climate scientists for adopting the term “pause” or “hiatus” in relation to global warming, saying it indicates a psychological susceptibility to the “seepage” of “memes” into their thinking.

As we are not the first to note, if the Oreskes et al. paper means climate activists are now prepared to acknowledge that climate scientists are subject to social pressures, this is perhaps the first breakthrough in decades.


U.S Residents Scoff at Scientists Worried About Global Warming

Americans are hot but not too bothered by global warming

Most Americans know the climate is changing, but they say they are just not that worried about it, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. And that is keeping the American public from demanding and getting the changes that are necessary to prevent global warming from reaching a crisis, according to climate and social scientists.

As top-level international negotiations to try to limit greenhouse gas emissions start later this month in Paris, the AP-NORC poll taken in mid-October shows about two out of three Americans accept global warming and the vast majority of those say human activities are at least part of the cause.

However, fewer than one in four Americans are extremely or very worried about it, according the poll of 1,058 people. About one out of three Americans are moderately worried and the highest percentage of those polled – 38 percent _ were not too worried or not at all worried.

Despite high profile preaching by Pope Francis, only 36 percent of Americans see global warming as a moral issue and only a quarter of those asked see it as a fairness issue, according to the poll which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

“The big deal is that climate has not been a voting issue of the American population,” said Dana Fisher, director of the Program for Society and the Environment at the University of Maryland.”If the American population were left to lead on the issue of climate, it’s just not going to happen.”

Linda Gebel, a 64-year-old retired bookkeeper who lives north of Minneapolis, has read up on global warming.

“Everybody’s life would be totally disrupted,” Gebel said. “It will cause famines and wars, huge problems. I don’t know why people wouldn’t be worried about it.”

And yet because she lives in the middle of the country – joking that she’ll be “the last one who will be submerged” – Gebel added she doesn’t “feel worried personally. I’m not sure this is going to happen in my lifetime, but I worry about my children. I worry about my grandchildren.”

The “lukewarm” feeling and lack of worry has been consistent in polling over the years, even as temperatures have risen, said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

“The issue hasn’t quite boiled up enough so that people have put it on the top of things they want to focus on,” Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer said.

One issue is how big, yet distant the problem seems and how abstract it can be, Fisher said. It can cause people to put off worrying about it.

Renata Schram, a 43-year-old customer service representative in Sturgis, Michigan, says she believes global warming is real and is mostly caused by people, but she is only moderately worried.

“On my list of things that worry me today, global warming is kind of low,” she said. The world’s violence is a far more pressing issue, she says.

“Usually when we hear about global warming everything seems so distant,” she said. “The sea levels are going to rise but I find it difficult to find a prediction that tells you how many years exactly.”

White House science adviser John Holdren said climate contrarians emphasize how large the problem is, essentially telling people “the result (of warming) is too scary, so let’s not believe it.” He said these groups have been “incredibly effective in sowing doubt” about global warming.

For his part, Myron Ebell, a policy expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said the elites on the coast may be concerned about global warming but people in the heartland who dig stuff up, grow stuff or make stuff are used to the vagaries of extreme weather. “They don’t see it as much of a problem” because it isn’t, he said.


Researcher targeted by hate campaign, death threats for finding near zero risk in North America from Fukushima

The doomsday cult known as environmentalism may have already surpassed the Judeo-Christian tradition as the most powerful religion in the advanced countries of the West.  Almost certainly, its followers are the most politically powerful – witness the trillions of dollars devoted to the “paused” global warming Armageddon supposedly soon to threaten human survival.  And these followers are also the most fanatical, reaching Islamic levels of fury when their orthodoxy is challenged.

Dr. Jay Cullen might as well have caricatured Mohammed, for all the organized religious hate he is receiving  You see, Cullen is a Canadian researcher who set about the measure the impact of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown on the Northwest coast of North America.  Mark Hume reports in the Globe and Mail:

Dr. Cullen started a radionuclide-monitoring program in 2014.

The Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring project (or InFORM, as he optimistically called it) worked with a broad network of scientists to gather the latest research and distribute it to the public.

“The goal and motivation … was that people were asking me, family and friends and the public at large, what the impact of the disaster was on B.C. on the North Pacific and on Canada,” he said. “I started looking for quality monitoring information so I could answer those questions as honestly and accurately as I could.”

Dr. Cullen thought the public would appreciate knowing what the scientists knew.

Boy, was he wrong!  His prediction was as faulty as the warmists’ contention that snow and the polar ice caps would disappear by now.  Doomsday cultists, whether warmists or anti-nukists, have a theological commitment to the imminence of our tragic fate – unless we heed their call to don the green equivalent of sackcloth and ashes.  Thus, poor Dr. Cullen’s scientific data brought him these consequences:

Shortly after he began blogging about the findings, which showed just about zero risk to the environment and to the public in North America, he became the target of a hate campaign. The attacks went far beyond fair criticism. He was not only called a “shill for the nuclear industry” and a “sham scientist” but he was told he and other researchers who were reporting that the Fukushima radiation wasn’t a threat deserved to be executed.


Dr. Cullen’s findings should be providing comfort:

The research by Dr. Cullen and many other scientists has shown that despite the high levels of contamination in Japan, the levels across the Pacific are so low they are difficult to detect. Even in Japan, he says, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation have determined the doses of ionizing radiation “are low enough that there will be no discernible increased incidence of radiation-related illness in them or their descendants.”

This is telling the doomsday cultists that their religion is a false one.

Of course this does not fit the narrative of those who think the Fukushima accident has poisoned the Pacific and is responsible for a wave of cancer deaths across North America.

Dr. Cullen said he frequently hears from people that his science simply can’t be right because the Pacific Ocean is dying. It is adrift with tsunami debris and plastic waste and its stocks have been overfished, but it has not been killed by nuclear radiation.

The next time you hear greenies talking about “settled science,” tell them about Dr. Cullen.


Here We Go Again: Scientist Refutes Gov. Brown Assertion

Last week California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency after severe drought conditions and parched trees created what he calls “the worst epidemic of tree mortality in [the state’s] modern history.” The announcement, posted on the governor’s website, states, “Four years of drought have made trees in many regions of California susceptible to infestation by native bark beetles, which are normally constrained by the defense mechanisms of healthy trees. …

The tree die-off is of such a scale that it significantly worsens wildfire risk in many areas of the state and presents life safety risks from falling trees to Californians living in rural, forested communities.” The state of emergency implores federal assistance to help mitigate those risks through the removal of dead debris.

Just one problem: At least one scientist takes direct issue with Brown’s allegations. According to the Associated Press, “Brian Nowicki of the Center for Biological Diversity said Mr. Brown was conflating dead trees with wildfire risk when there is not a clear connection. He said maintaining forests for wildlife habitat was crucial in dealing with the effects of climate change.”

This isn’t the first time Gov. Brown went out on a limb only to crash and burn. He recently claimed fossil fuels exacerbated the behemoth Lake County wildfire, which was immediately rebuked by climate scientists. Leftists always have a narrative, and they’ll do whatever it takes to cram the facts into it.



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

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


5 November, 2015

Old allies fall out:  Warmists now at odds with NASA

It has long been known that sea-ice around Antarctica has been increasing but to hear that a new study using more accurate measures found an increase in glacial ice as well has really upset the applecart

A number of experts are disputing the conclusion of a recent NASA study that says more ice is accumulating in Antarctica than is being lost due to climate change. They argue that the study contradicts more than a decade of other scientific measurements — including previous NASA studies.

The NASA report issued last week, “Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses,” argued that snow accumulation in East Antarctica has added enough ice to the continent to outweigh the losses from the continent’s thinning glaciers, especially those in West Antarctica. These ice gains, the report noted, would likely not last more 20 to 30 years due to the speed with which ice is melting due to climate change.

But previous NASA studies, including data released last year, have warned that melting in West Antarctica is “unstoppable.” Researchers have also said melting ice could add as much as four feet to long-term sea level rise predictions, which warn of a three-foot rise by 2100.

Last week’s study — which challenged a 2013 report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) saying Antarctica was losing ice overall — has triggered heated debate.

“Please don’t publicize this study,” said Theodore A. Scambos, a senior research scientist at the National Snow & Ice Data Center, a polar research center at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Other critics said the study contradicts 13 years of satellite measurements of Antarctica’s ice by NASA’s GRACE mission.

“There is no quality data to support the claims made by the authors of [ice] growth in East Antarctica,” said Eric Rignot, principle scientist for the Radar Science and Engineering Section at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

But the lead author of the contested report, Jay Zwally, a glaciologist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told Al Jazeera his data are based on improved models that weren’t applied to previous measurements. If the same model were applied to other data, it would match his own “more accurate” determination of the state of Antarctica’s ice sheets, Zwally said.

Zwally’s model focuses on the movement of the bedrock deep under Antarctica’s ice. Earth’s mantle rises when relieved of the burden of ice sheets and glaciers. The same phenomenon occurred in Antarctica, Zwally said, but it hasn’t been accurately included in the old models of bedrock movement. That, he said, may be behind the difference between his measurements and those of the rest of the scientific community.

The old models “didn’t take into account the slow growth (in ice) at the center. So we estimated that that unaccounted-for growth is about a centimeter (0.39 inch) or two a year over 10,000 years. That’s … meters on top of the other ice. And instead of the Earth coming up because the ice went away, it’s going down because of that,” Zwally said.

Benjamin Smith, of the University of Washington’s applied physics lab, said he didn’t think there was inaccurate data in Zwally's study. The differences in conclusion with other studies, he said, were largely based on the interpretation of that data. It was possible, Smith said, that Zwally’s measurements were correct and previous data were wrong.

“There’s an interpretation step that needs to go into this. The GRACE measurements and his are both influenced by what rock is doing underneath the ice sheet,” Smith said. “You have to understand what’s happening with the rock motion to understand what the signal from GRACE means.”

Smith said the issue may be laid to rest soon. There are plans underway, he said, to send teams to Antarctica to take measurements of the ice's altitude that way rather than using satellite data.

If Zwally’s study is correct, it raises another question: Where did the sea level rise attributed to Antarctic ice melt originate?

In recent decades, the world’s oceans have risen an average of 2.8 millimeters (0.11 inch) per year, according to a 2013 report by the IPCC. That rise is attributed to Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets melting, to disappearing glaciers and to thermal expansion — when heat from climate change causes the ocean to expand, therefore causing a sea level rise.

“The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 mm per year away,” Zwally said last week in a press release.

“But this is also bad news,” he said. “If the 0.27 mm per year of sea level rise attributed to Antarctica in the IPCC report is not really coming from Antarctica, there must be some other contribution to sea level rise that is not accounted for.”


Abstract of the hated article below:

Mass gains of the Antarctic ice sheet exceed losses

Authors: Zwally, H. et al.


Mass changes of the Antarctic ice sheet impact sea-level rise as climate changes, but recent rates have been uncertain. Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) data (2003–08) show mass gains from snow accumulation exceeded discharge losses by 82?±?25?Gt?a–1, reducing global sea-level rise by 0.23?mm?a–1. European Remote-sensing Satellite (ERS) data (1992–2001) give a similar gain of 112?±?61?Gt?a–1. Gains of 136?Gt?a–1 in East Antarctica (EA) and 72?Gt?a–1 in four drainage systems (WA2) in West Antarctic (WA) exceed losses of 97?Gt?a–1 from three coastal drainage systems (WA1) and 29?Gt?a–1 from the Antarctic Peninsula (AP). EA dynamic thickening of 147?Gt?a–1 is a continuing response to increased accumulation (>50%) since the early Holocene. Recent accumulation loss of 11?Gt?a–1 in EA indicates thickening is not from contemporaneous snowfall increases. Similarly, the WA2 gain is mainly (60?Gt?a–1) dynamic thickening. In WA1 and the AP, increased losses of 66?±?16?Gt?a–1 from increased dynamic thinning from accelerating glaciers are 50% offset by greater WA snowfall. The decadal increase in dynamic thinning in WA1 and the AP is approximately one-third of the long-term dynamic thickening in EA and WA2, which should buffer additional dynamic thinning for decades.

Journal of Glaciology

But wait:  There's more -- as the salesman said

Now even West Antarctica is letting the Warmists down.  In the last few years there has been some melting of ice in coastal West Antarctica, probably due to known subsurface vulcanism. 

This has warmed Warmist hearts. The Green/Left is good at ignoring things so they had no trouble ignoring those volcanoes and attributing the melting to "climate change".  Why the ice wasn't melting in other parts of Antarctica was hard to explain but too bad about that.

Now we see that the climate was not at fault at all. In fact, snowfall on the West Antarctic has been unusually heavy in recent years.  A long-term picture of West Antarctic snowfall has now been derived from ice cores and they show a huge INCREASE in snowfall. So if W. Antarctica is melting despite all that extra snow falling on it, it must be really toasty underneath it all

Excerpt from the latest GRL article below:

Twentieth century increase in snowfall in coastal West Antarctica

E. R. Thomas et al


The Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic ice sheet has been losing mass in recent decades; however, long records of snow accumulation are needed to place the recent changes in context. Here we present 300?year records of snow accumulation from two ice cores drilled in Ellsworth Land, West Antarctica. The records show a dramatic increase in snow accumulation during the twentieth century, linked to a deepening of the Amundsen Sea Low (ASL), tropical sea surface temperatures, and large-scale atmospheric circulation. The observed increase in snow accumulation and interannual variability during the late twentieth century is unprecedented in the context of the past 300?years and evidence that the recent deepening of the ASL is part of a longer trend.

3 Results and Discussion

3.1 Twentieth Century Trends

Prior to 1900 the annual average snow accumulation at Ferrigno and Bryan Coast remained fairly constant at 33?cm?yr?1 and 40?cm?yr?1, while after 1900 the snow accumulation increased at a rate of 0.13?cm?yr?1 and 0.15?cm?yr?1, respectively. Snow accumulation during the most recent decade (2000–2009) is 27% higher at Ferrigno and 31% higher at Bryan coast than the baseline values determined from 1712 to 1899. This twentieth century increase is consistent with the Gomez ice core record from the southwestern Antarctic Peninsula (Figure 1a (black)) which revealed a doubling of snow accumulation since 1854 with an increasing trend that began in the ~1930s and accelerated in the mid-1970s [Thomas et al., 2008]. Determining the onset of the trend is heavily dependent on the statistical approach used; however, the Ellsworth Land ice cores appear to corroborate the onset of this snow accumulation increase. There is significant correlation between the two Ellsworth Land records and the Gomez record from the southern Antarctic Peninsula (r2?>?0.75, decadal), suggesting that these records are capturing local and regional (>350?km longitudinally) accumulation variability. Spatially averaging the records together reduces the amount of small-scale noise, resulting from local wind redistribution and sublimation. Thus, a combined Ellsworth Land record was produced by averaging the normalized Ferrigno and Bryan Coast records (1712–2010), and a regional Ellsworth Land record was produced in the same way but includes the Gomez record (1854–2006). Using the combined Ellsworth Land record and selecting the period 1712–1899 as the baseline, we observe that after 1919 the running decadal mean exceeds the baseline average (Figure 2a) and remains above it for the remainder of the twentieth century. The increase in snow accumulation accelerates in recent decades with the running decadal mean since 1995 consistently exceeding two standard deviations (2?) above the baseline average. [Two SDs is a LOT]

Geophysical Research Letters. 3 NOV 2015. DOI: 10.1002/2015GL065750

Nations and peoples should fear the Paris coup

Lord Monckton exposes U.N. 'agreement' to establish world government

Be afraid. Be very afraid. I have now read the late-October draft of the “agreement” that the U.N. will bounce all nations into ratifying at the climate conference in Paris at the end of this month. It is nothing less than a coup d’etat by the global governing elite. It is a charter for punishing prosperity, destroying democracy, finishing freedom and wasting the West.

It is not only the freedom of the people (in those countries that still retain it) that is now under direct and grievous threat. The freedom of all governments to govern as independent, sovereign powers in the interest of their peoples is about to be taken away forever.

The Paris “agreement” should be regarded by governments with at least as much caution as if it were called a “treaty.” The frank intent of the latest draft, now in my hands, is that the “agreement” should be at least as binding on the parties as a treaty.

The provisions for enforcement of the will of the new global governing authority over Western nations that the “agreement” brings into being are severe and potentially costly, damaging and even fatal to the very notion of independent, elected, national government.

The global-government ambition of the U.N., supported by most totalitarian regimes (who smell power at the expense of the Western hegemony) and by almost all Third-World countries (who smell Western money) is to establish a world government using the climate as the pretext.

The word “government,” in the sense of a global governing power with real authority to impose laws and regulations, to collect pre-emptive taxes and fines, and to supervise and enforce compliance, appeared twice in the failed Copenhagen treaty draft of 2009.

The phrase “governing body,” which appeared in the February 2015 first draft of the Paris “agreement,” has been quietly dropped in favor of the cloaking acronym “CMA,” standing for “Conference of the parties serving as the Meeting of the parties to this Agreement.” In practice, this means the permanent secretariat, to which the “agreement” gives real global governing power in all but name.

The New World Order will enforce its will by a multitude of outrageous mechanisms that no democratic nation should endorse for a single instant. Not the least of these is the proposal to establish an international climate change court, craftily renamed a “tribunal” to make it seem less powerful than it will actually be. The text makes it plain that this “tribunal” will have powers against Western nations only. And they will be real powers, backed by what the draft agreement delicately calls “facilitation.” In plain English, this means enforcement.

The notion of a climate court was originally proposed in the Durban climate agreement four years ago, but, though not one of the 2,000 journalists present at the conference bothered to report that or any other provision in the text, I publicized it, and there was such an international outcry that that proposal, along with two-thirds of the entire negotiating text, had to be abandoned at 24 hours’ notice once the daylight was let in on it. Now it is back.

Every flea-bitten fly-speck of an island state gets the same vote as the United States. The Third-World countries that smell power and money – Western power and money – will drive this nonsense through, because the U.N. voting system tilts the decision-making heavily in their favor.

Mr. Obama, with his scientifically illiterate and viscerally anti-American administration, will stand alongside the Third World as it uses the climate treaty to knife the West. So will the vapid Trudeau Jr. in Canada, the profiteering Turbull in Australia, and of course all the countries of the dismal European tyranny-by-clerk, which has already succeeded in taking away democracy from all its satrapy states, including Britain. The U.N. wants globally the power the E.U. wields regionally. And, this time, it is going to get it.

After more than two decades of negotiation in various exotic locations (throughout which there has been no statistically significant global warming, and none whatever for almost 19 years), the word “option” appears no less than 259 times in the current Paris draft. “Option 1,” “Option 2,” etc., appear all the way through.

On past experience, this is a sign that the secretariat has been maneuvering to prevent agreement being reached on anything other than a decision to transfer executive and decision-making authority on all matters marked “option” to the secretariat.

It is an old dodge. After the statutory all-night-session, the negotiators, after due softening-up, will emerge with stubbly chins (and the men, too) to announce that they have agreed to transfer all power of decision-making on the “difficult” question of climate to the faceless, full-time secretariat.

Throughout the draft, a dangerous ratchet mechanism has been built in, by which the Western parties commit themselves to pay more and more and more of their taxpayers’ money to the secretariat. On past experience of the U.N., practically none of that money will ever reach any Third-World country. It will be trousered by the fat-cat bureaucrats.

All parties other than China, to which Mr. Obama unilaterally gave an exemption last December to prevent them from blowing the Paris treaty out of the water as they blew away the Copenhagen treaty in 2009, will be required to submit to humiliating “verification” of the extent of their compliance with their obligations to pay the secretariat vast sums, and to destroy their economies by an eventual total ban on burning coal, oil and gas.

To consent to this chilling document, which reinstates at a stroke the totalitarianism we all hoped had been destroyed when the Berlin Wall came down, and this time makes it global and hence inescapable, would be sheer lunacy. How can governments be so stupid as to encompass their own destruction as well as the destruction of their national economies and of their people’s freedom?

In parallel with my reading of the 50 pages of small print that are the blueprint for global totalitarian dictatorship, I have been looking very closely at the “science” that is the pretext for this coup d’etat by the classe politique. I have identified the central, ingenious, carefully concealed fraud underlying the false claim that there will be major global warming by the end of this century.

I shall be going to Paris. There, I shall describe the fraud, provide all necessary evidence of it, and leave it to lovers of freedom everywhere to take that evidence, complain to their national investigating and prosecuting authorities, and have the small clique of malevolent, hard-left, profiteering scientists behind the scare rounded up and put on trial.

One or two fraud prosecutions will be enough. All of the rest will rapidly scuttle for cover, and the climate scare will implode overnight.

For freedom cannot and will not be destroyed. The creatures who now sense absolute power within their grasp will find – yet again – that we, the people, are more powerful than they know.


China Underreported Yearly Carbon Emissions by Billion Tons

China's co-operation with the Warmists is all "smoke and mirrors", as it were

After years of breakneck, environment-be-damned economic growth in China, the game appeared to have changed: last year, China agreed, with the U.S., to curb its emissions and earlier this year decided to try out a cap-and-trade program to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to dethrone itself as the world’s biggest polluter. That may be slightly tougher than expected, the world found out on Tuesday. The New York Times reports that while much has changed in China, the government's habit of smog-like transparency remains. New Chinese government data shows that the country is, in fact, burning 17 percent more coal yearly than previously reported. What does that mean for its emissions? 

“Even for a country of China’s size and opacity, the scale of the correction is immense,” the Times notes. “By some initial estimates, that could translate to almost a billion more tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere annually in recent years, more than all of Germany emits from fossil fuels.” Or, put another way, the 600 million ton revision to China’s 2012 coal consumption is, by itself, more than 70 percent of what the U.S. burns as country in an entire year.

Here’s more on how the error came to be from the Times:

"The new data, which appeared recently in an energy statistics yearbook published without fanfare by China’s statistical agency, show that coal consumption has been underestimated since 2000, and particularly in recent years. The revisions were based on a census of the economy in 2013 that exposed gaps in data collection, especially from small companies and factories."

The Chinese government has not yet commented on the correction, which will complicate efforts to meet climate negotiation goals later this month at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris. “China’s emissions — 4.2 billion metric tons in 2013, according to the new data — now far exceed those of any other country, including the United States, the second-largest emitter,” according to the Times.


Australia: Behold a silly little lady who has drunk the Kool-Aid

The article below appeared in "New Matilda" under the heading: "Coal Moratoriums As A ‘Radical War On The Poor’. They’re Only Half Right".  It was written by a piece of furniture named Hilary Bambrick, who is allegedly "Chair" of Population Health at the School of Medicine at Western Sydney University, Australia.  Professor Bambrick was one of a group denounced by "The Australian" newspaper after she signed an open letter calling for no more coalmines. The original letter was signed by 61 people and it appears that the criticism of their ideas abashed 60 of them. Hilary is still standing, however so I am pleased to give you her attempt at scholarship below.

It is a curious thing:  100% assertion.  No proof or evidence offered. No links; no references.  She has faith and expects all others to share it.  And she feels no need to address obvious criticisms.  Winter is when most people die but she says it is warming that is bad for your health. She ignores total mortality in judging the effects of warming! 

And she attributes recent bad weather events to global warming when even Warmist climate scientits shrink from doing that.  And the events CANNOT in fact be due to global warming -- because there has been no global warming for 18 years.  The satellites are the only way of obtaining a truly global temperature reading and for the last 18 years they just show random fluctuations around a constant mean. Here's the graph:

And even the terrestrial datasets show no statistically significant global temperature change over the last 18 years. That KoolAid must have tasted great!

She should become a Jehovah's Witness.  You have to have a strong faith to be a JW and her faith is Herculean.  One quails before the thought of her as a medical researcher, however.  Though she would not be the only medical researcher who believes that correlation is causation.

Isn't she a cute-ums?

On Tuesday last week an open letter called for a global moratorium on new coal mines. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hurriedly dismissed the call as ineffective in reducing emissions, and The Australian accused those who signed the letter of waging war on poor people. This could not be further from the truth.

The letter was signed by 61 people, or ‘coal haters’ as The Australian called us. I am one of them, and here is why.

The planet has warmed nearly 1°C and we’re already seeing the effects. We’re heading into a ‘Godzilla’ El Nino; California is suffering unprecedented drought; Mexico just had a narrow escape from the world’s strongest ever hurricane, and the Pacific has had many more super typhoons than is fair.

We’re now having to construct new scales for measuring and reporting the weather because what we are seeing is outside previous human experience. We’ve added a ‘Catastrophic’ level to bushfire danger ratings, and a new colour to weather maps to depict regions over 50°C. And that’s only at 1°C warming – nowhere near the 4°C we are currently on track for by the end of this century.

As humans we’re not isolated from our environment. Through its effects on water, food, and air, climate change alters the relationship between us and our life-support system.

The health consequences of climate change are many, for example: Deaths and injury from heatwaves, flooding and bushfires; mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue; or those arising from food insecurity and conflict.

In Australia, we’re relatively well resourced to deal with climate change. We’re healthy, we have robust emergency response and health systems and we can add a tax levy to rebuild after major flooding, for example.

But climate change is not fair, and other countries are not so lucky. Poverty, poor health, ecosystem degradation, and limited infrastructure and services render some populations extremely vulnerable and diminishes their capacity to adapt.

The worst consequences of climate change fall disproportionately on the world’s poor. Already marginal regions will become decreasingly hospitable, and those living there are least able to adapt.

Climate change acts against economic development, and will keep vulnerable people in poverty and exacerbate existing health and economic inequalities.

The health consequences that are easiest to measure, such as deaths from the recent Middle East ‘heat dome’ or even Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, are not the biggest impacts in terms of numbers of people affected. The biggest impacts will be those that are least direct, and more complex, such as:

Repeated crop failures triggering famine

Sea level rise contaminating water supplies, and even consuming whole countries

Wars and civil unrest over increasingly scarce resources

Forced migration and deaths at sea

As with public health more generally, prevention is far simpler and cheaper than cure. We’ve known for decades what’s causing the earth to warm, and we’ve known for decades what we should do about it.

There is no ‘moral case’ for continuing to dig up, use and export coal, as Australia’s Federal Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg would have you believe. But there is a very strong moral case against it: Coal kills people.

We have healthy energy alternatives, and we don’t have to wait years to reap the benefits. Quitting coal this morning means cleaner air and better health this afternoon. It’s as simple as that.

These are exciting times. There’s real momentum for change. New polling shows six out of 10 voters in Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate support a moratorium on new coal mines. The divestment movement shows us that, ultimately, market forces will prevail and coal and gas will become untenable. But we can’t afford to wait. Some nudging is required now to get investment in renewables happening sooner, to promote faster returns and drive technological development.

Australia is very well placed to lead clean energy technology, but we risk missing the boat on innovation. Instead we seem hell bent on propping up a withering coal industry, de-funding clean energy technology and running interference with endless reviews into wind farms.

Rather than continuing to subsidise the problem, let’s subsidise the solution.

If politicians worried about the health and livelihoods of the people they govern as much as they worry about the ‘health’ of the economy in the coming financial quarter, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

The signatories to the letter have been labelled as radicals, and perhaps that is true. Certainly the decision to place the value of human health and wellbeing – and that of the planet on which we depend – above short-term economic growth requires heretical thinking. But most of all it requires politicians with the vision to lead this great transition.

Coal is so last century. It’s high time we quit.


‘Tis the season for all that global warming folly

By Janet Albrechtsen, writing from Australia

With the UN climate summit in Paris due to start later this month, the global warming silly season is well under way.

This week France’s popular weatherman Philippe Verdier was sacked by a French TV station for writing a book that challenges some scientists for inflating the effects of global warming. The UN gabfest, or COP21, is aimed at securing agreement from countries with vastly different levels of development, from the prosperous West to fast-growing economies in China and India, to less developed in Africa, to restrict global temperature rises to 2C. It’s a big ask, which may explain why the madness started even before Verdier was sacked by France 2.

Addressing a September conference in London on climate change and international law, Philippe Sands QC called for a ruling from the International Court of Justice to “scotch” claims by “scientifically qualified, know­ledgeable and influential individuals” who challenge the “consensus” on man-made global warming.

Are we re-entering the Middle Ages where you were treated as a traitor if you mentioned that the king might be dying — even if he was?

More recently, the future king of England, Prince Charles, repeated his favourite claim that the Paris conference was our “last chance” to draw up a “Magna Carta for the Earth”. Charles is no King John. But, equally, Charles seems to have scant understanding of the real Magna Carta, a document that aimed to curb the powers of the king. Charles and his global warming enthusiasts now want a treaty that will deny countries such as China and India the ability to do what rich nations have done — use readily accessible and cheap carbon energy to build prosperous economies.

Here in Australia, just as the Prime Minister turned 61, 61 so-called “eminent” people signed an open letter calling on Malcolm Turnbull to put a moratorium on coalmining and new mines. That went nowhere. It was easily demolished when Turnbull said shutting down our coal industry would make zero difference to ­global emissions.

And if every silly season has a Santa, [Leftist leader] Shorten is  it. More and more, the Opposition Leader resembles a second-rate actor who has assiduously studied a set of lines but hasn’t managed to inject any conviction into the role. This week Shorten has been on “a fact-finding mission” to the Pacific ­Islands. Translation: the Opposition Leader thinks he can use global warming to dent Turnbull’s popularity.

Shorten’s core problem begins with his role in past policy. Shorten rode the Kevin ’07 wave into office when Labor’s position was that global warming was the great moral challenge of our time and required an emissions trading system. As a senior minister, he then backed Rudd’s change of heart to dump the ETS. Shorten was a critical backer of Julia Gillard, when Labor’s new position was “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead”. He was there too when Labor signed a deal with the Greens to legislate a carbon tax.

Shorten’s shadow boxing was evident as soon as Turnbull became PM. Labor’s attacks on Turnbull’s wealth served only to remind voters we have a PM who was highly successful before he entered politics and understands business. It makes a refreshing change from the career politicians who have never worked in the real world.

With the COP21 summit fast approaching, Shorten is now desperate to make climate change a positive for Labor. But, once again, his problem is one of believability. No one can question that Turnbull genuinely believes in the human drivers of global warming. It drives his critics mad and weakens the knees of his admirers.

Shorten’s history, on the other hand, is replete with stark episodes of him making statements thrust into his hands by spin doctors and pollsters. There’s no detail on the Opposition Leader’s uncosted “aspirational” 50 per cent renewable energy target. Nor has Shorten told us what Labor’s emissions target would be if he were the PM heading to Paris. A four-day visit to our Pacific neighbours does nothing to build Shorten and Labor’s credentials.

The hyperbole around global warming, Magna Cartas, last chances and moratoriums on coal will only ratchet up over the next few weeks. But the hyperbole won’t alter Turnbull’s commitment to take the Abbott government’s policy of a 26 to 28 per cent emissions reduction target on 2005 levels by 2030 to Paris.

None of it will alter the fact, while China and India will happily extract money from the West’s promised $US100bn Green Climate Fund, they won’t agree to a deal that curbs their emissions, and therefore their economic growth. China is building a new coal plant every seven to 10 days and has plans to boost its coal power by 50 per cent by 2040; India is intent on doubling its coal production by 2020.

In other words, none of the hype will deliver a meaningful treaty at the Paris gabfest that is legally binding, enforceable and verifiable. Unless you believe in Santa.



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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4 November, 2015

The ENTIRE West Antarctic ice sheet could collapse and raise global sea levels by 10ft, claim researchers

LOL.  But will the second coming of Christ occur before then?  One might as well say so.  Both prophecies are equally well-founded -- i.e. founded in faith alone.  It's just another fantasy from Schellnberger's absurd Potsdam Institute, which ignores the fact that the Antarctic ice is in fact GROWING.  Even NASA says so.  That may not last but what will happen in the distant future is unknown
Last year, scientists claimed that glaciers in the Amundsen Sea of West Antarctica had reached a point of 'unstoppable' retreat.

They said these glaciers were locked in a thaw linked to global warming that may push up sea levels for centuries.

Now, a new study has add fresh urgency to the issue, after suggesting melting of the Amundsen sea's glaciers would lead to the collapse of all of West Antarctica.

A small amount of melting in the next 60 years, could destabilise the entire ice sheet and the rise of global sea levels by 9.8ft (3 meters), according to the Potsdam Institute in Germany.

The results could be catastrophic. A full discharge of ice into the ocean could lead to a 3 metre (9.8ft) rise in sea-levels, scientists have warned.

Currently, more than 150 million people globally live within just 1 meter of the sea. In the US, a 3 meter rise in sea levels would swallow cities such as New York and Miami.

The research, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used an advanced climate model to study what will happen if these glaciers collapsed.

The Amundsen Sea has long been thought to be the weakest ice sheet in the West Antarctic. But this study is the first to look specifically at how losses in the Amundsen Sea could affect the entire ice sheet in the long term.

According to the computer simulations, a few decades of ocean warming can start an ice loss that continues for centuries or even millennia. At current melting rates, the ice sheet will hit a critical point in about 60 years, it said.

'What we call the eternal ice of Antarctica unfortunately turns out not to be eternal at all,' says Johannes Feldmann, lead author of the study at the Potsdam Institute. 'Once the ice masses get perturbed, which is what is happening today, they respond in a non-linear way. 'There is a relatively sudden breakdown of stability after a long period during which little change can be found.'

'A few decades can kick-start change going on for millennia.'

A recent Nasa study found that the Antarctic ice sheet is adding more ice than it's losing, but this won't be the case in the long-term.

Ocean warming is slowly melting the ice shelves from beneath, those floating extensions of the land ice.

Large portions of the West Antarctic ice sheet are grounded on bedrock below sea level and generally slope downwards in an inland direction. Ice loss can make the grounding line retreat.

Scientists say the early stages of collapse have already begun and there's nothing we can do to stop it.

Antarctica is gaining more ice than it loses from its glaciers, new research by Nasa claims.  It says Antarctica's ice sheet is currently thickening enough to outweigh increased losses caused by melting glaciers, which is attributed to global warming.

The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is losing land ice overall.  But it also warns that losses could offset the gains in years to come.

The increase in Antarctic snow began 10,000 years ago and continues in East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica by an average of 0.7 inches (1.7cm) per year, according to the space agency.

Researchers analysed satellite data to demonstrate the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

'We're essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica,' said Jay Zwally, a glaciologist with Nasa Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland and lead author of the study published in the Journal of Glaciology.

'Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica – there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas.'

This exposes more ice to the slightly warmer ocean water - further accelerating the retreat.

'In our simulations 60 years of melting at the presently observed rate are enough to launch a process which is then unstoppable and goes on for thousands of years,' Feldmann says.

This would eventually yield at least 3 meters of sea-level rise.

'This certainly is a long process,' Feldmann says. 'But it's likely starting right now.'

'So far we lack sufficient evidence to tell whether or not the Amundsen ice destabilisation is due to greenhouse gases and the resulting global warming,' added co-author and IPCC sea-level expert Anders Levermann, also from the Potsdam Institute.

'But it is clear that further greenhouse-gas emission will heighten the risk of an ice collapse in West Antarctica and more unstoppable sea-level rise.'

'That is not something we have to be afraid of, because it develops slowly,' he said.

'But it might be something to worry about, because it would destroy our future heritage by consuming the cities we live in - unless we reduce carbon emission quickly.


Two Reasons to Reject Obama’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ for Climate Change

It is difficult to see how a U.S. envoy to Paris for the climate deal will convince the United Nations that Americans support President Obama’s promise to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

The cornerstone of Obama’s promise to the U.N. is called the “Clean Power Plan.” Developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the plan is a set of regulations on new and existing power plants that, realistically, would eliminate the use of coal-powered electricity and force states to meet targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions set by the agency.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in both the Senate and House of Representatives took leadership on the issue and put forth resolutions of disapproval of the Clean Power Plan.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is set to vote this week on that chamber’s measures. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., chairman of the energy and power subcommittee, said:

    "These resolutions serve to halt EPA’s unauthorized actions and ultimately are about protecting ratepayers across the country from increased electricity prices, reliability threats, and jobs".

Obama surely will veto any revocation of the Clean Power Plan that makes it to his desk. However, the votes in Congress hardly represent a wasted effort.

The votes will send a clear message to Americans—as well as the nations meeting next month for the the U.N. climate summit known as the Paris Protocol—that the Obama administration’s unilateral attempt to fundamentally change our economy and energy sector isn’t acceptable.

Here are two simple but compelling reasons to reject the Clean Power Plan, even if some in Congress believe that a need exists to address climate change:

1. The Clean Power Plan does next to nothing to reduce global temperatures. Obama hasn’t given Americans, or the world, an answer to perhaps the most important question: What kind of impact will the agency’s plan to counter global warming have? Models created by the EPA itself show that the climate impact of the Clean Power Plan is less than 0.02 degrees Celsius in warming avoided over the next 85 years.

It’s enlightening when the EPA and another of the loudest advocates for action on climate change say as much.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy testified before Congress that the Clean Power Plan isn’t about reducing global temperatures, but about “an investment opportunity” and “the tone and tenor” of the Paris climate negotiations.

Jim Hansen, a professor at Columbia University who used to head NASA’s climate arm at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, called the Clean Power Plan “practically worthless,” even though it is the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s climate agenda. Hansen is far from what Obama calls global warming or climate change “deniers.”

2. The Clean Power Plan attempts to address global warming in a destructive way. Those on both sides of the aisle and of opposite convictions about global warming or climate change have opposed the plan for the simple, immensely important reason of how the Obama administration is attempting to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Rather than go through the legislative process, the administration has pushed the Clean Power Plan through regulation from the EPA. This fact alone should strike observers as rather odd, given that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the agency tasked with regulating the electric grid, along with the nonprofit North American Electric Reliability Corp., barely were consulted as the EPA drafted the rules.

The Clean Power Plan has many legal problems. Nicolas Loris, the Herbert and Joyce Morgan fellow at The Heritage Foundation, writes that the plan exceeds the EPA’s statutory authority, violates federalism, unconstitutionally coerces states, and doubly regulates existing power plants against the express will of Congress.

Although the EPA repeatedly has claimed that the Clean Power Plan gives states “flexibility,” it is hard to see how there is room for flexibility in federal targets that must be met with a federally approved plan.

An Obama ally and mentor agrees. Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor, put it eloquently in saying that representative government, not the pros and cons of addressing climate change, is at issue:

    "At its core, the issue the Clean Power Plan presents is whether EPA is bound by the rule of law and must operate within the framework established by the United States Constitution. … Accordingly, EPA’s gambit would mean citizens surrendering their right to be represented by an accountable and responsive government that accords with the postulates of federalism".

Regardless of political party or position on climate change or global warming, Congress should be commended for standing up to unelected bureaucrats who are attempting to re-engineer America’s energy economy and drive up prices for households and businesses with little to no climate benefit in return.


Top French Weatherman Fired For Denying Global Warming

Top French weatherman Philippe Verdier was fired Saturday for publishing a book critical of the climate change narrative.

Verdier’s story first gained traction in early October following reports that he was forced to take a vacation after his new book Climate Investigation published. In the book, Verdier accuses global warming scientists of misleading the public and using scare tactics to force conformity on the issue, reports France 24. He specifically goes after the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), alleging that they have “politicized” climate change and intentionally published false data.

“I am being punished for exercising my freedom of expression,” said Verdier. He was reportedly summoned two weeks ago to a meeting with top executives from French news channel France Televisions and received his official notice of termination on Saturday.

Verdier said he was inspired to write the book following a meeting he had with the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Fabius met with the country’s top meteorologists to tell them to start pushing the global warming narrative by highlighting stories about the impact of climate change, according to France 24.

“I was horrified by this speech,” said Verdier, who then set out to rebuke the climate change status quo by exposing the corruption within the movement. Verdier says there is a lot of pressure within the system to silence any dissent on this issue, especially with the upcoming COP21 climate summit in Paris this December.

“I put myself in the path of COP21, which is a bulldozer, and this is the result,” said Verdier. He also notes that there could be many positive effects of global warming for France including a boost in tourism, cheaper energy prices and better health.


GMOs as a solution to global warming?

A sincere Greenie discovers both a problem and a likely solution.  But he knows he is pissing into the wind

Rice is the single most important grain worldwide for human nutrition.  Rice accounts for one- fifth of all calories consumed.

As a hippie child I learned the macro-biotic diet was the healthiest way to eat; as a result I hated brown rice and veggies for a long time.  At middle age I now prefer brown rice and struggle to eat a mostly plant-based diet. I have watched most of the food documentaries about how meat and dairy are causing multiple environmental and health problems. 

Great, a diet of rice and veggies is the answer. As a vegan eating a plant-based diet I will not harm the environment.  But after researching causes of global warming I discovered I was WRONG.

Rice causes over 10% of anthropogenic (human-made) methane production, or 1.5% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas.  Methane is 20 times worse for the environment than carbon-dioxide. 

Global rice production uses about one-third of the earth’s fresh water.  Surprised?  So was I.

So what can be done and why isn’t anyone talking about this?   Eliminating rice is the not the answer.  Living in China, I have seen that a huge part of the population eats rice three times per day.  This must continue or people will starve.  China and India account for almost half of global rice production.  China has cut methane production by 70% since the mid- ’80s by draining the rice paddies in the middle of the growing season.  This practice has increased rice yields and saves water—a win-win for the farmers and the environment and a viable solution to rice methane production.

But an even more effective solution to the problem is “Brice” (my word for rice that has been genetically modified by adding a barley gene).  Researchers in China have inserted a barley gene into rice, creating a GMO hybrid that decreases methane production by up to 97% and increases the rice production by 43%.  Imagine the implications.  Land use and water use for rice could be cut by over 40% and methane emissions almost eliminated using this GMO Brice at current rice production levels.  Problem solved?

GMOs are called “Frankenstein Food” by some.  The consensus on the science supports the idea that GMOs are not harmful to humans or animals used for food.  This science is debated by proponents of organic food, some of whom financially benefit from increased organic food sales just as some GMO proponents benefit financially from the increased sales of GMOs.  Much of the opposition to GMOs is centered on pesticide- and herbicide-resistant strains of corn and soybeans.  Brice is not that type of GMO.

Traditional hybrids, which have been around for centuries, are GMOs; the genes of corn plants have been greatly “modified” from the ancient native maize.  If a GMO like Brice can reduce human made global warming emissions by over 1%, reduce water and land use, then I am all for it.

The solutions to global warming are out there but we all need to talk rationally about the problems and the many causes of global warming.  This should not be a polarizing political issue.  The fact is that rice is responsible for 1.5% of human-made greenhouse gas emissions.  While we are debating whether or not global warming exists we are wasting time that could be spent in finding and implementing real solutions.  Global warming is a human-made problem with human-made solutions. Brice is a real solution, and one we could adapt today.


The Calcification of Climate Science

According to Lord Christopher Monckton, Thomas R. Karl’s much-feted paper refuting “the Pause,” the inexplicable 19-year standstill in the earth’s average global surface temperature, has a small problem: To disappear the warming hiatus as Karl and his co-authors purport to do, you have to repeal the laws of thermodynamics. (Not even the current president can do that.)

Karl and his colleagues, whose work appeared in the June issue of Science, “updated” previous data sets used to assess changes in surface temperatures, which supporters maintain is merely Science being self-critical and Scientific. Others — a lot of others — say different. E. Calvin Beisner rounds up criticisms at the website Watts Up With That, and quotes with approval the verdict of Georgia Tech climate scientist Judith Curry:

"This short paper in Science is not adequate to explain and explore the very large changes that have been made to the NOAA data set. . . ."

 So while I’m sure this latest analysis from NOAA will be regarded as politically useful for the Obama administration, I don’t regard it as a particularly useful contribution to our scientific understanding of what is going on.

This would be an in-the-weeds scientific scuffle were it not that Karl is director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Center for Environmental Information and the study was the work of his outfit.

Since even the apocalypse-minded Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has acknowledged the hiatus, NOAA’s startling findings caught the eye of Lamar Smith, chairman of the House’s Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, the job of which is to oversee the work of NOAA and other federal scientific bodies.

In mid July, the committee requested that NOAA pass along a host of data related to the study, noting in its letter to NOAA administrator Kathryn D. Sullivan, “The conclusions brought forth in this new study have lasting impacts and provide the basis for further action through regulations. With such broad implications, it is imperative that the underlying data and the analysis are made publicly available to ensure that the conclusions found and methods used are of the highest quality.”

NOAA cooperated — until it didn’t. After partially fulfilling the committee’s request (for “documents and information related to NOAA’s new updated global datasets, as well as the communications referring or relating to corrections to sea temperature data from ships and buoys”) in August, NOAA let pass two extended deadlines for the missing information, prompting a subpoena.

This week, though, NOAA announced that it has no plans to comply with the subpoena. The agency cited “confidentiality concerns and the integrity of the scientific process,” according to The Hill.

Protestations about “the integrity of the scientific process” would be more credible were NOAA not a prominent funder of Jagadish Shukla, a George Mason University climatologist who, besides being the lead signatory of a letter recommending that the federal government use RICO laws to prosecute skeptics of anthropogenic climate change, has pocketed $5.6 million in taxpayer dollars since 2001 as head of the Institute of Global Environment Society — an almost entirely government-funded venture, the staff of which constitutes Shukla, his wife, his daughter, and one other scientist.

Earlier this month, Smith’s committee opened a separate investigation into Shukla and IGES.

Democrats are decrying Republican “intimidation tactics.” The ranking member of the committee, Texas Democrat Eddie Bernice Johnson, has said that the inquiry “seems more designed to harass climate scientists than to further any legitimate legislative purpose.”

But that presumes that climate scientists are devoted, first and foremost, to science. In his classic book Against Method, Paul Feyerabend railed against the ossification of scientific conscience, chastising scientists who, among other malpractices, mindlessly accepted “the consistency condition which demands that new hypotheses agree with accepted theories.” “Science,” he wrote, “is an essentially anarchic enterprise.”

Occasionally, science even becomes so institutionally crabbed as to require the intervention of outside forces. “This is,” he wrote, “an important point. It often happens that parts of science become hardened and intolerant so that proliferation must be enforced from the outside, and by political means.

Of course, success cannot be guaranteed — see the Lysenko affair. But this does not remove the need for non-scientific controls on science.”

Early Caution on Global Warming Climate science has grown diamond-hard. When scientists are not tweaking data to reach more-desirable results, they are shaming and expelling dissenters.

Climate scientists like Shukla have turned their research into lucrative Gambino-style operations, while scientists in remote fields have realized that by putting “climate change” in their grant proposals (“What impact will climate change have on the sperm count of three-legged African hedgehogs?”), they can pull in more-generous government sums.

Pursuing hypotheses that question the prevailing consensus has become nearly impossible. Feyerabend called for “theoretical anarchism” among scientists. It should betray the calcified state of climate science that it may require the U.S. Congress to make that possible again.


Harold Black: ‘Global warming' is not exactly ‘settled science'

I am a global warming skeptic.

This skepticism has probably generated more negative responses from readers than I have received on all other issues combined. It is as though I attacked someone's religion.

But of course I did, because like religion, no conflicting evidence can change its adherents' minds.

As an academic, I became skeptical when global warming was proclaimed as "settled science" by its proponents. Of course, there is no such thing as "settled science."

New discoveries happen all the time that make scientists question their existing hypotheses. New medical studies invalidate previous studies. Is coffee good or bad for you? Is exercise good or bad? Is wheat germ good or bad? Is alcohol good or bad? The answer is "Yes."

So those who proclaim "settled science" are either ignorant or are doing so in order to stifle inquiry and criticism. This is illustrated by the claim championed by the president that "97 percent of scientists agree: climate change is real, man-made and dangerous."

However, that well-worn claim has been soundly rejected (except of course by true believers). Even a casual Internet search would reveal that there is no scientific unanimity on global warming.

Also, anyone who knows any scientist is hard pressed to find two who agree on anything. (How many economists does it take to reach a conclusion?)

Now, the global warmers have reached a new low in their attempt to shut up the other side when Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island advocated prosecuting global warming skeptics under RICO (the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act).

After checking the senator's website, it was confirmed that this was not an April Fool's joke. He stated that "Fossil fuel companies and their allies are funding a massive and sophisticated campaign to mislead the American people about the environmental harm caused by carbon pollution," and as such should be prosecuted under RICO.

Instead of being laughed out of the Senate and roundly ridiculed, the senator was actually supported by a letter from 20 academics sent to Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Thus, not only does a U.S. senator not support the First Amendment protecting freedom of speech, neither do these academics.

Now, I am sure that these professors have pure intentions and were not influenced by the billions the government has spent on climate change funding. But as a professor, I loved a spirited exchange of ideas. Isn't that what the university is for?

Of course, in reality too many universities stifle speech deemed as being not politically correct. I was reminded of the "Rocky and his Friends" episode when the bad guy, Boris Badenov, sought to incapacitate America by spraying its leaders with goof gas.

First, he tested it on a college campus and turned genius professors into babbling idiots. Then, he got to Washington and heard a debate on the Senate floor. He looked to his colleague Natasha Fatale and said, "Someone beat us to it."

Indeed, someone again has seemingly sprayed the senator and 20 professors with goof gas.

Lastly, How many climate scientists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Just one. But all the rest will write a research proposal seeking funding to study its environmental impact."



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

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


3 November, 2015

RIP Sen. Fred Thompson: Great man and global warming skeptic

I was a Fred fan when he was running for the GOP Presidential nomination.  But I don't think Fred's heart was in it.  He felt  too old.  I think it was his young and attractive wife, Jeri Kehn, who wanted him to run.  More about Fred here -- JR

Here’s what Fred had to say about the dreaded global warming:

Fred & Jeri.  It's not that Jeri was short.  Fred was 6'6"

Remember When Climate Models Predicted U.S. East Coast Warming Oceans?

Hurricane Joaquin developed on September 27 in the Atlantic Ocean but, despite panic,  did NOT hit the USA.  It did however sink the cargo ship "El Faro".  HuffPo admitted that the hurricane defied theory:  "The Super Hurricane Joaquin defied all logic of hurricanes by wobbling aimlessly, feeding off the warm tropical waters between Crooked Island and Long Island for almost 39 hours."

The climate doomsday-cult promoters at the Huffington Post and Climate Nexus did their usual thing, trying to convince the American public that Hurricane Joaquin was the result of global warming.

Of course, when the alarmists uttered these claims, they were based on the hurricane computer models that forecast Joaquin's path would strike the East Coast of the U.S. Fortunately for the coastal residents, the climate change doomsters were wrong, spectacularly.

And speaking of spectacularly wrong, the expert climate-change computer models predicted rapidly warming waters that the hurricane's path would traverse.

A forecast nine hundredths of a degree warming over the years  1940 to 2015 was replaced by an actual one hundredth of a degree cooling

Instead, as the adjacent chart clearly documents, those ocean waters have cooled since 1940, not warmed as predicted. Another case of 'those stubborn facts'.

In summary, the empirical evidence again confirms that climate simulations and computer models are very suspect regarding their capabilities at both short and long-term predictions/forecasts. Governing elites, bureaucrats and the public should absolutely not base any expensive policy-making decisions on these research tools.


Leadership at the Paris climate treaty?

We should lead from behind – instead of with brains in our behinds – on this new Treaty of Paris

Paul Driessen

What an unpalatable irony. The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War and created the United States. The 2015 Treaty of Paris could end what’s left of our democratic USA – and complete the “fundamental transformation” that the Obama Administration intends to impose by executive fiat.

Meanwhile, as a prelude to Paris, October 24 marked a full ten years since a category 3-5 hurricane last hit the United States.  (Hurricane Wilma in 2005; Sandy hit as a Category 2.) That’s a record dating back at least to 1900. It’s also the first time since 1914 that no hurricanes formed anywhere in the Western Atlantic, Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico through September 22 of any calendar year.

Global temperatures haven’t risen in 18 years and are more out of sync with computer model predictions with every passing year. Seas are rising at barely seven inches a century. Droughts and other “extreme weather events” are less frequent, severe and long-lasting than during the twentieth century. “Vanishing” Arctic and Greenland ice is freezing at historical rates, and growing at a record pace in Antarctica.

But President Obama still insists that dangerous climate change is happening now, and it is a “dereliction of duty” for military officers to deny that climate change “is an immediate risk to our national security.”

Meanwhile, the Washington Post intones: “Republicans’ most potent argument against acting on climate change – that other nations won’t cut emissions, so US efforts are useless – is crumbling. The European Union has had overlapping climate policies in place for years. China, the world’s largest emitter, continues to fill in details about how it will meet the landmark climate targets it announced a year ago. World negotiators are set to convene in Paris in November to bundle commitments from dozens of nations into a single agreement that should set the world on a path toward lower emissions.”

Right. A path toward less plant fertilizing carbon dioxide, to prevent “unprecedented disasters” that aren’t happening (except in SimPlanet computer models), by stabilizing a perpetually changing climate that is driven by powerful natural forces over which humans have no control – under a 2015 Paris treaty that will inflict global governance by unelected activists and bureaucrats, bring lower living standards to billions, and initiate wealth redistribution of at least $100 billion a year to ruling elites in poor countries.

For once, President Obama wants America to play a leadership role, through a war on carbon-based energy that his own EPA admits will reduce hypothetical global warming by an undetectable 0.02 degrees 85 years from now. If we slash our fossil fuel use, he insists, the rest of the world will follow. It’s delusional.

For once, we should lead from behind – instead of with brains in our behinds. A brief recap of what other nations are actually doing underscores how absurd and deceitful the White House, EPA and Post are.

European nations and the European Union have long claimed bragging rights for “leading the world” on “climate stabilization,” by replacing hydrocarbon fuels with renewable energy. Their efforts have done little to persuade poor nations to follow suit – but have sent EU energy prices skyrocketing, cost millions of Euro jobs and made the EU increasingly uncompetitive globally. Now Europe says it will make an additional 40% emissions reduction by 2030, but only if a new Paris agreement is legally binding on all countries.

However, two months ago, China, India and Russia refused to sign a nonbinding US-sponsored statement calling for greater international cooperation to combat hypothetical warming and climate change. And virtually all developing countries oppose any agreement that calls for binding emission targets or even “obligatory review mechanisms” of their voluntary efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What they do want is a treaty that guarantees $100 billion per year for climate change “mitigation, adaptation and compensation,” plus modern energy technologies given to them at no cost. And that appears to be only the opening ante. India environment minister Prakash Javadekar recently said “the bill for climate action for the world is not just $100 billion. It is in trillions of dollars per year.” Developed nations are “historically responsible” for climate change, he argues, and must ensure “justice” for developing countries by fully funding the Green Climate Fund. India alone must receive $2.5 trillion!

So far, pledges to the fund total just $700 million – and Prime Minister David Cameron has said Britain would provide a one-time contribution of only $9 million. He has called renewable energy “green crap” and plans to end all “green” subsidies by 2025, to reduce electricity prices that have sent millions of families into energy poverty and caused the loss of thousands of jobs in the UK steelmaking sector.

Germany’s reliance on coal continues to rise; it now generates 44% of its electricity from the black rock – more than any other EU nation. In Poland, Prime Minister Eva Kopacz says nuclear energy is no longer a priority, and her country’s energy security will instead focus increasingly on coal.

But it is in Asia where coal use and CO2 emissions will soar the most – underscoring how completely detached from reality the White House, EPA and Washington Post are.

China now gets some 75% of its electricity from coal. Its coal consumption declined slightly in 2014, as the Middle Kingdom turned slightly to natural gas and solar, for PR and to reduce serious air quality problems. However, it plans to build 363 new coal-fired power plants, with many plants likely outfitted or retrofitted with scrubbers and other equipment to reduce emissions of real, health-impairing pollution.

India will focus on “energy efficiency” and reduce its CO2 “emission intensity” (per unit of growth), but not its overall emissions. It will also boost its reliance on wind and solar power, mostly for remote areas that will not be connected to the subcontinent’s growing electrical grid anytime soon. However, it plans to open a new coal mine every month and double its coal production and use by 2020.

Pakistan is taking a similar path – as are Vietnam, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations. Even Japan plans to build 41 new coal-fired units over the next decade. Overall, says the International Energy Agency, Southeast Asia’s energy demand will soar 80% by 2040, and fossil fuels will provide some 80% of the region’s total energy mix by that date.

Africa will pursue a similar route to lifting its people out of poverty. No more solar panels on huts. The continent has abundant oil, coal and natural gas – and it intends to utilize those fuels, while it demands its “fair share” of free technology, “capacity building,” and climate “reparation” money.

During the 2011 UN climate conference in Durban, all nations agreed that the next treaty would have legally binding emission targets and mandatory reviews of emission reduction progress. They also set up the Green Climate Fund wealth redistribution scheme. Now those CO2-reduction pledges are in history’s dustbin, because developing nations believe they have the upper hand in any climate negotiations.

They’re probably right. President Obama told 60 Minutes his definition of leadership is “leading on climate change,” and he desperately wants a legacy beyond his Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia, Ukraine, Bowe Bergdahl and economic disasters. Moreover, Western nations have created a climate monster and Climate Crisis Industry, which must be appeased with perpetual sacrifices: expensive, unreliable energy, fewer jobs, lower living standards and more dead people. No wonder Asian and African countries expect to get trillions of dollars, free energy technology, and a free pass from any binding commitments.

Voters, consumers, elected officials and courts must wake up and take action. House Speaker Paul Ryan, members of Congress, governors, business leaders and presidential candidates need to learn the facts, communicate forcefully, repudiate destructive energy and climate policies – and let the world know the Senate will reject any Obama treaty that binds the USA to slashing emissions and transferring its wealth.

Above all, they must debunk, defund and demolish the mountains of anti-fossil fuel, anti-job, anti-growth, anti-family regulations that Obama & Co. have imposed – or plan to impose before they leave office – in the name of preventing a climate crisis that exists only in their minds and models.

Via email

Congressional Review Act Resolutions Signify an Important Stand Against EPA Overreach

Earlier this week, Republicans in both the House and the Senate filed resolutions under the Congressional Review Act aimed at the EPA’s greenhouse gas rules for new and existing power plants. These resolutions, if successful, would block President Obama and the EPA’s executive actions, and would only need the majority votes to do so. Although the measures would still be vulnerable to an essentially guaranteed presidential veto, they still send an important message to the President and the EPA on behalf of many states, industries, and businesses.

Both of the EPA rules in question would impose draconian changes on the U.S. energy sector. In addition to enforcing excessive regulatory cap-and-trade requirements and renewable energy mandates on existing power plants, these rules would also set unreasonable CO2 standards for new coal-fired power plants; standards which even existing plants wouldn’t be able to properly comply with. As a result, they would virtually act as a ban on the construction of new coal-fired plants, because there would be no commercial or economic viability to building them.

In fact, the economic impacts of these new EPA rules would be extremely destructive. In addition to causing massive increases in energy prices, the EPA has estimated that the rules alone will levy $8.4 billion in costs on the American economy, and the American Action Forum has found that they will result in the elimination of as many as 125,800 jobs across the nation. The economic pitfalls of these rules are simply unacceptable, considering that the rule itself is not projected to have any tangible impact on temperatures across the globe.

Although the resolutions are not likely to attract support from a veto-overriding majority in either the House or the Senate, the efforts to halt the EPA and the president from imposing such harsh regulations are certainly commendable. As Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has recently stated, “[These regulations] make it clearer than ever that the president and his administration have gone too far – and that Congress should act to stop this regulatory assault.”


The history of climate modelling

Independent British climate researcher, Derek Alker herein provides a fresh and readily-understandable re-analysis of the identifiable five-step history of climate modelling with his new paper, The Modelling History of Climatology.

Alker guides the reader from the slide-rule and pencil era of Vilhelm Bjerknes (1904) to the computer age of Charney (1979) and Hansen (1988) and beyond. This welcome new research discredits the greenhouse gas 'theory' - the diseased heart of climate models – and refuted relentlessly by scientists at Principia Scientific International (PSI) since 2009.

But most crucially, Alker provides a most unorthodox conclusion from this study. He finds that:

“To the best of my knowledge I am the first to suggest that the atmosphere is a cold trap for liquid water at earth's surface and that THAT changes everything (most notably surface heat capacity [the oceans] currently ignored by climatology) for the basis of current, and the future basis of climate science.”

The Modelling History of Climatology shows we have been living in a misguided era of carbon dioxide (CO2) demonization that began in earnest with Charney (1979). For over a generation an over-simplified steady state climate model with constant solar input has dominated academic reasoning. Charney et al's 'greenhouse science' version of planet earth was fixed as a crude two parallel plane barren and inorganic model. Climate modelers chose this flawed mathematical solution absent key thermodynamic elements in denial of the reality of our wet, three-dimensional living and breathing organic planet.

Compounding the demonization of CO2 is the well-known history, 'The Discovery of Global Warming' provided by Spencer Weart. Alker suggests, "It is worth drawing a direct comparison to Spencer Weart's version and asking the reader to decide which is the spun version, who is doing the spinning and why?"

Was such crass incompetence also spiced with fraud? “Climategate” (2009) revealed that vast swathes of climate data and scientific calculations entrusted into the safekeeping of government scientists has been withheld, lost or destroyed preventing independent analysis. In Britain climate modelers at the world-leading Climatic Research Unit (CRU), University of East Anglia narrowly evaded criminal prosecution thanks only to a delay by prosecutors in detecting wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, in Canadian courts former PSI chairman, Dr Tim Ball, is battling former UN IPCC's lead climate modeler, Professor Andrew Weaver who withholds data key to what may be a wider academic conspiracy.

What has emerged is a stark battle between unprincipled 'post-normal' government scientists seeking to subvert the traditional scientific method of openness, verifiability and accountability enshrined since Sir Isaac Newton's time.

The Modelling History of Climatology is currently subject to open peer review here at Principia Scientific International (PSI) and feedback is  welcomed


Debunking Gasland (Again)

A study has confirmed what many of us already knew: The movie Gasland got it wrong.

Gasland was many Americans’ first exposure to hydraulic fracturing, and the film sparked anti-fracking organizations around the country. These activist groups used the film in efforts to convince people that fracking is responsible for a whole host of environmental problems, including contaminated water supplies, overuse of water, and even earthquakes.

Despite the theatrics employed in the film — the famous flaming faucet, for example, was caused by naturally occurring methane and had nothing to do with fracking — science has proved that fracking poses no greater risk to the environment than traditional oil and natural-gas development. In some respects, fracking is actually better for the environment than conventional drilling, and people with good sense should challenge anti-fracking activists when they say otherwise.

The flaming faucet convinced many people that fracking contaminates groundwater by fracturing the rock that separates water supplies from oil and gas wells. Scientific research, however, has found it is not “physically plausible” for chemicals to migrate upward to drinking water, there being simply too much rock (thousands of feet of it) protecting the water supplies.

Confirming this, an analysis released this year — an authoritative five-year study conducted by EPA —found no evidence of widespread or systemic impacts on drinking-water resources. Impacts are in fact rare.

In terms of water consumption, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that, on average, it takes about 4 to 5 million gallons of water to fracture the rock for a well. Although this may sound like a lot, it’s less than ten minutes’ worth of water consumption for New York City, and fracking uses far less of the nation’s water than crop irrigation does. In drought-stricken California, irrigation uses approximately 80 percent of the water, whereas fracking consumes 0.00062 percent.

Earthquakes have become one of the general public’s largest concerns about fracking. Science should help allay that concern. USGS reports hydraulic fracturing has been used in more than one million wells since 1947, yet there have been only three instances in which fracking was directly responsible for tremors large enough to be felt at the surface. This has led scientists to conclude hydraulic fracturing is not a mechanism for causing perceptible earthquakes.

But what about Oklahoma’s dramatic increase in earthquakes? Those quakes are caused by the disposal of oil and gas wastewater into underground injection wells, not the process of fracking itself, an important distinction. An average fracked well does produce between 800,000 and 1 million gallons of wastewater that must be disposed of in underground injection wells. However, fracking wastewater accounts for only a small portion (5 to 10 percent) of total wastewater disposal in the state. Most of the wastewater comes from oil production, which uses no hydraulic fracturing.

This isn’t to say hydraulic fracturing has zero environmental impact; in fact, all human activity affects the environment. But the environmental risks of fracking are manageable and vastly outweighed by the economic benefits.



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


2 November, 2015

Thou shalt bow the knee to Holy Mother Global Warming at all times

The article excerpted below was headed "Climate change hurting N.E. cod population, study says".  But that's just a token bow -- an assertion for which there is no evidence.  Cod populations do fluctuate.  There's been a big bounceback in the North Sea (near England) cod population recently and the article below mentioned that they almost vanished from Grand Banks off Newfoundland in the early 1990s.  So there is every reason to think that the current situation is part of a natural cycle.

It does appear that the temperature in the Gulf of Maine has risen 4 degrees in the last 10 years and that probably is disliked by the cod.  But is that temperature rise part of global warming?  We also read that "the rise in temperatures in the Gulf of Maine exceeded those found in 99 percent of the world's other large bodies of saltwater" 

So it's NOT global, is it?  It is a local phenomenon of unknown cause but probably due to fluctuations in ocean currents.  But those recent changes in ocean currents are due to global warming we are told -- on the basis of no evidence.  But in fact the changes CANNOT be due to global warming -- because there has been no global warming for 18 years.  The satellites are the only way of obtaining a truly global temperature reading and for the last 18 years they just show random fluctuations around a constant mean.

So a desperate attempt to link a local problem to global warming is an abject failure on all counts.  Warmists really are disgusting in their constant obeisances to their false god

The rapid warming of the waters off New England has contributed to the historic collapse of the region's cod population and has hampered its ability to rebound, according to a study that for the first time links climate change to the iconic species' plummeting numbers.

Between 2004 and 2013, the mean surface temperature of the Gulf of Maine - extending from Cape Cod to Cape Sable in Nova Scotia - rose a remarkable 4 degrees, which the researchers attributed to shifts in the ocean currents caused by global warming.

The study, which was released Thursday by the journal Science, offers the latest evidence of climate change - this time, affecting a species once so plentiful that fishermen used to joke that they could walk across the Atlantic on the backs of cod.

Fisheries management officials have sharply limited cod fishing in hopes of protecting the species, but they estimate the number of cod remain at as little as 3 percent of what would sustain a healthy population. The limits, in turn, have hurt fishermen.
"Managers [of the fishery] kept reducing quotas, but the cod population kept declining," said Andrew Pershing, the study's lead author and chief scientific officer of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland. "It turns out that warming waters were making the Gulf of Maine less hospitable for cod, and the management response was too slow to keep up with the changes."

Maine, the state with the highest percentage of forested land, is uniquely vulnerable to climate change, scientists say.

How does the government count the fish?

The institute had reported last year that the rise in temperatures in the Gulf of Maine exceeded those found in 99 percent of the world's other large bodies of saltwater. The authors of Thursday's study link the rapid warming to a northward shift in the Gulf Stream and changes to other major currents in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

They say the warmer water coursing into the Gulf of Maine has reduced the number of new cod and led to fewer fish surviving into adulthood. Cod prefer cold water, which is why they have thrived for centuries off New England.

The precise causes for the reduced spawning are unclear, the researchers said, but they're likely to include a decline in the availability of food for young cod, increased stress, and more hospitable conditions for predators.

Cod larvae are eaten by many species, including dogfish and herring; larger cod are preyed upon by seals, whose numbers have increased markedly in the region.

The researchers also suggest that federal officials have miscalculated the number of cod in the Gulf of Maine. The faulty models, they said, led the officials to allow overfishing, enough that the region's cod catch has fallen 90 percent over the past three decades.

The authors of the study said federal officials should use temperature and climate forecasts "to provide a more realistic picture of the potential size of fish stocks."

Federal officials said they weren't surprised by the findings.
"People have said that fish stocks are impacted by global warming for a long, long time," said John Bullard, regional administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which works with regional officials to set quotas.

The authors of the study said it's possible that the past two winters, which were unusually cold, may have provided a boost to cod. But they said the numbers remain significantly lower than the historical average and the stocks are likely to continue to struggle as the gulf warms.

They noted that cod are often easier to catch as their numbers drop, because they tend to aggregate near their spawning areas when their population declines.

Pershing said that's what happened along the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, where cod vanished in the early 1990s after environmental advocates raised concerns for years about their declining numbers.


National Pledges Could Restrain Global Warming

LOL.  How would they know?  Warming has already stopped.  It stopped over 18 years ago according to the satellites. So how will anything else stop it?  Can you stop a thing that has already stopped?  Or will they just see at last that there has been no warming and say: "We won!"  "We did it!"  I wouldn't be surprised if they did say that

Countries’ collective pledges toward a new international climate change agreement put the goal of averting catastrophic warming within sight, a sweeping new U.N. report out today finds.

If all nations fully implement their targets, about 4 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions will be eliminated from the atmosphere by 2030, according to the report. The level of emissions produced by every person on Earth will also dip about 9 percent by that year.

And while the pledges are not enough to keep global temperatures from rising above the scientifically agreed-upon threshold of 2 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels, leaders said the efforts significantly improve the chances of getting there.

“We are moving in the direction of bringing the temperature down toward the final defense line that governments have established of staying under 2 degrees,” said U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

Speaking from Berlin, where the synthesis report was released, Figueres cited International Energy Agency findings that if the targets were fully implemented, average temperatures would rise 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100. Without any new action, levels could rise as high as 5 degrees.

“It is a very good step. It is actually a remarkable step. But it is not enough,” Figueres said of the targets, known as intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs). Still, she argued, the pledges from 156 countries large and small, wealthy and poor, show the world is “truly, incontrovertibly and very decisively moving down the transition toward a low-carbon economy.”

The INDCs will make up the core of the new accord expected to be signed in Paris in December. Just how, though, remains unclear. Currently the targets are listed on the United Nations’ website but won’t have legal standing until they become embedded in a new international agreement.

Environmental activists said they are heartened by the number of countries that are moved to action but said pressure must remain on nations to both improve their targets and build a way in the Paris deal to regularly review and ratchet up carbon-cutting commitments.

“The Paris agreement has not yet been sealed, but is already raising our sights about what’s possible,” Jennifer Morgan, global director of the World Resources Institute’s climate change program, said in a statement.

“Countries must accelerate their efforts after the Paris summit in order to stave off climate change. The global climate agreement should include a clear mandate for countries to ramp up their commitments and set a long-term signal to phase out emissions as soon as possible,” she said.


Russia’s Putin Says Global Warming Is ‘A Fraud’

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes global warming is a “fraud” — a plot to keep Russia from using its vast oil and natural gas reserves.

Putin believes “there is no global warming, that this is a fraud to restrain the industrial development of several countries, including Russia,” Stanislav Belkovsky, a political analyst and Putin critic, told The New York Times.

“That is why this subject is not topical for the majority of the Russian mass media and society in general,” Belkovsky said.

Putin has been casting doubt on man-made global warming since the early 2000s, according to the Times. In 2003, Putin told an international climate conference warming would allow Russians to “spend less on fur coats,” adding that “agricultural specialists say our grain production will increase, and thank God for that.”

Putin’s comments likely came after his staff “did very, very extensive work trying to understand all sides of the climate debate,” according to Andrey Illarionov, Putin’s former senior economic adviser, who’s now a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute.

“We found that, while climate change does exist, it is cyclical, and the anthropogenic role is very limited,” Illarionov said. “It became clear that the climate is a complicated system and that, so far, the evidence presented for the need to ‘fight’ global warming was rather unfounded.”

The New York Times published an article on how the Russian media’s skepticism of global warming is being driven by Putin’s laissez faire attitude on the issue. The Times bashed the Russian autocrat for offering “only vague and modest pledges of emissions cuts ahead of December’s U.N. climate summit in Paris.”

Russia’s largely state-run media has spent little to no time covering global warming despite huge fires raging across Siberia. Instead of blaming the fires on warming, Russian news outlets tended to focus on “locals who routinely but carelessly burn off tall grasses every year, and the sometimes incompetent crews struggling to put the fires out.”

Such reasoning wasn’t good enough for the Times, which argued that “Russian media continue to pay little attention to an issue that animates so much of the world.”

Russian media leaders argue it’s not just the tone being set by Putin, but a weak economy and unemployment woes are a top concern of the Russian public — they don’t seem to care much about the weather.

“It is difficult to spend editorial resources on things that are now a low priority in the midst of the economic crisis,” Galina Timchenko, who runs a news site, told the Times. “Unfortunately climate change is not very interesting to the public.”


Skeptical Climate Scientists Fire Back at RICO 20 Colleagues: Demand Investigations Against Their Warmist Accusers

Scientists who dissent from the man-made global warming fears fired back at their warmist colleagues who want to see RICO investigations into skeptical claims.

“I would like to see RICO investigations for people on the other side of this,” demanded Climatologist and former NASA scientist Dr. Roy Spencer, at a CATO Institute climate forum in DC today.  Spencer is the leader of a climate research group at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

“People have been pushing for energy policies for people that we know will kill them. And they know that, and yet they have hidden that information from the public and from politicians for the purposes of advancing an agenda,” Spencer said.

“They should be careful what they ask” Spencer added, warning that the investigations “could be going the other direction in spades.”
Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry, the former Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, spoke about the new climate of intolerance.  “I am very concerned by scientists calling to stifle dissent, disagreement,” Curry explained.

“The last three or four months have made it clear to me that I could be spending time in court. If it’s not just for RICO kind of activities but all of these lawsuits,” she said.

“It looks like climate scientists are going to be spending more time in courts. This never occurred to me until three or four months ago,” Curry lamented.

Curry also challenged other climate claims and spoke of her evolving scientific views on climate change. “There is so much flouting over mythical 97% consensus…This is stifling debate. I fell into that (consensus trap) and after 2009 with Climategate, I said no more!” Curry explained. “There is enormous pressure for scientists to fall in line behind the consensus,” she added.

Meteorologist Dr. Ryan Maue of WeatherBELL Analytics said: “I have personal experience with two of the RICO 20” professors. Ryan warned that such efforts to silence scientific dissent will have a chilling effect on young scientists.

“The question would be for a graduate student — if you have a professor who is signing petitions calling for a RICO investigation based upon climate science — do you have to wonder if what you’re researching, is this going to be met with the approval of your professor? This is a sort of slippery slope in terms of research.”

“I find it rather appalling,” Maue concluded.


UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol Mocks UN Climate Treaty Process As ‘Futile Effort’ Where Countries ‘Pretend To Reduce Emissions’

UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol slammed the upcoming Paris climate negotiation as a “futile effort.”

President Obama is determined to sign a new agreement in December in Paris and commit the U.S. to the UN’s climate agenda of emission reductions.

But UN Lead Author Tol was skeptical of the entire UN climate treaty process. Tol predicted that the UN climate summit will “ultimately proven to be a futile effort” and achieve nothing more than “sending people to Paris for no apparent reason other than to keep these people well-travelled.”

Tol, an economist and statistician, is the Professor of the Economics of Climate Change at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam and he is ranked among the “top 50 most-cited climate scholars”. He has well over 200 publications in academic journals.

“I don’t know what will happen in Paris, and I don’t quite know what all those 50,000 people will do,” he explained. “International negotiations on binding targets and timetables have failed since 1995,” Tol said at a CATO Institute climate forum in DC today.

Tol continued:  “The discussion is now about money. How much do rich countries need to pay poor countries to pretend to reduce emissions?”

According to Tol: “Climate policy has been about rewarding allies with rents and subsides rather than emission reduction.”
“Twenty five years of climate policy has made most a little bit poorer and some a whole lot richer and it has not reduced emissions much.”

“International climate policy is shifting from a hopeless focus on binding emission targets to a more realistic pledge and review,” Tol added.


NOAA Attempts To Hide The Pause In Global Warming: The Most Disgraceful Cover-Up Since Climategate

James Delingpole

The US government’s main climate research agency has refused a request by House Republicans to release key documents concerning the controversial issue of whether or not there has been a “pause” in global warming.

Despite being a public, taxpayer-funded institution, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) insists that it is under no obligation to provide the research papers, as demanded in a subpoena by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)

Gosh. What vital information of national secrecy importance could NOAA possibly have to hide?

That question is entirely rhetorical, by the way. The answer is obvious – well known to every one within the climate change research community. And the whole business stinks. When these documents are released, as eventually they surely must be, what will become evident is that this represents the most disgraceful official cover-up by the politicized science establishment since the release of the Climategate emails.

At the root of the issue is the inconvenient truth that there has been no “global warming” since January 1997.

This is clearly shown by the most reliable global temperature dataset – the RSS satellite records – and was even grudgingly acknowledged in the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment report. While still insisting that there has been a slight warming – an increase, since 1998, of around 0.05 degrees C per decade – the IPCC had in all honesty to admit that this is smaller than the 0.1 degrees C error range for thermometer readings, and consequently statistically insignificant.

But if there has been no “global warming” for nearly 19 years how can alarmist proselytisers like President Obama and John Kerry possibly hope to convince an increasingly skeptical public that this apparently non-existent problem yet remains the most pressing concern of our age?”

Step forward the Obama administration’s helpful friends at NOAA. It’s not supposed to be a politicized institution: its job is to do science, not propaganda. But the memo must have been missed by NOAA scientists Thomas Karl and Thomas Peterson who, in May this year, published a “study” so favourable to the alarmist cause it might just as well have been scripted by Al Gore and Greenpeace, with a royal foreword by the Prince of Wales, and a blessing from Pope Francis.

“Data show no slowdown in recent global warming” declared NOAA’s press release. “The Pause”, in other words, was just the construct of a few warped deniers’ twisted imaginations.

Naturally this new “evidence” was seized on with alacrity by the usual media suspects.

    “No Pause in global warming” crowed Scientific American.

    “Global warming hasn’t paused, study finds” echoed the Guardian.

But as I reported at the time – in a piece titled “‘Hide the Hiatus!’ How the Climate Alarmists Eliminated the Inconvenient ‘Pause’ in Global Warming” – there was precious little hard science in this swiftly-debunked “study”.

Rather, it was a case of “getting your excuses in early before the UN climate conference in Paris in December.” Or, as Judy Curry of Georgia Tech put it:

    “This short paper is not adequate to explain the very large changes that have been made to the NOAA data set… while I’m sure this latest analysis from NOAA will be regarded as politically useful for the Obama administration [which is currently bent on using executive action to set unilateral emissions limits against the will of Congress], I don’t regard it as a particularly useful contribution to our scientific understanding of what is going on.”

Which is the real reason, of course, that NOAA is so reluctant to respond to Rep Lamar Smith’s subpoena. As will almost certainly become clear, NOAA’s study was a nakedly political artefact not a scientific one.

Alarmist sympathizers such as Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) may claim that the subpoena constitutes harassment:

    “By issuing this subpoena, you have instigated a constitutional conflict with an inquiry that seems more designed to harass climate scientists than to further any legitimate legislative purpose,” she wrote last week. “This is a serious misuse of congressional oversight powers.”

But this is a standard trick in the climate alarmist playbook. The same excuse was trotted out by Michael Mann when Steve McIntyre tried – unsuccessfully – to ask him to share the raw data he had used to create his infamous “Hockey Stick”; it was also employed by another notorious figure from the Climategate emails – Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia – as part of a campaign to present himself as an innocent victim of harassment rather than an FOI-breaching, data-fudging, grant-troughing conspirator in the great global warming scam.

As I revealed in my book Watermelons: How Environmentalists Are Killing The Planet, Destroying The Economy And Stealing Your Children’s Future, the climate change scam has only been able to keep going for so long because of the complicity of the politicized activist-scientists who have hijacked every one of the world’s leading scientific institutions from NASA GISS, NOAA, and the National Academy of Sciences in the US to the Royal Society and the CRU in Britain to CSIRO in Australia. They endorse one another’s scientifically dubious papers (not so much “peer-review” as “pal review”), they recommend one another for awards, they big one another up at fancy all-expenses-paid climate “science” junkets all around the globe.

This has nothing to do with science. This is pure political activism. Rep Lamar Smith is quite right to investigate this grotesque abuse of taxpayers’ money and this flagrant corruption of the scientific method at NOAA. I think we can safely bet, however, that NOAA will find a way of staving off his investigation until after the UN Paris talks are over and that the Obama administration will do everything in its power to support its stonewalling.

“The Pause”, as most alarmists are painfully aware, represents the last nail in the coffin of man-made global warming theory. That’s why they’ll go on fighting so hard to pretend it doesn’t exist.



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

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


1 November, 2015

Global warming could make Hajj impossible later this century?

This is a typical bit of brainlessness from the Warmists.  They assume a very high global temperature rise (4 degrees) and calculate from that a wet-bulb temperature in the Gulf states of 35 degrees, which they say would make life impossible in the Gulf.  They then inform us that Gulf temperatures already run as high as 34.6.  But these things all operate on a continuum so if 35 is fatal, 34.6 should be extremely stressful too and more vulnerable people should start dying off at that point.  Yet there is no claim of that.  Half the Hajjis were not wiped out this year.

Clearly the 35 figure is just a theoretical one divorced from reality.  And I know from my own early life in the tropics that heat-adaptation does occur in humans.  The wet-bulb temperatures I experienced in Cairns would have been close to those recorded in the Gulf but we all just went about our business pretty much as usual.  We just took it a bit easy and drank a lot of beer. A cold beer on a hot day is one of life's great pleasures.  But our heat adaptation betrays us when we move away from the tropics.  A temperature that a Scot would experience as a pleasant summer's day becomes to us quite chilly

Parts of the Middle East, including the Gulf states and Muslim holy places around Mecca, could become uninhabitable even for the young and fit before the century is out, according to a new climate modelling study. The rituals of the Hajj, during which up to 2 million Muslims pray outdoors from dawn to dusk, would be impossible in summer.

Elfatih Eltahir of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Jeremy Pal of Loyala Marymount University, Los Angeles, used standard global climate models to show likely future temperatures in the Gulf, assuming global warming of 4 °C, which is possible later this century.

Crucially, they then made predictions of future humidity in order to assess likely “wet-bulb” temperatures, as measured by thermometers whose bulbs are kept damp.

Close to body temperature

The wet-bulb temperature is the best measure of our ability to tolerate high temperatures, because it reflects the ability of the body to cool off by sweating. When wet-bulb temperatures reach 35 °C, which is approaching body temperature, “the human body can no longer get rid of heat”, says Eltahir.

Wet-bulb temperatures are lower than dry-bulb temperatures, but the difference is greater in dry air and less in humid air, reflecting the common experience that dry heat is easier to endure than muggy heat.

“It is often assumed that humans would be able to adapt to any possible warming,” says Matthew Huber of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. “But any wet-bulb temperature over 35 °C for extended periods should induce hyperthermia, as dissipation of metabolic heat becomes impossible.”

Currently, wet-bulb temperatures rarely exceed 31 °C anywhere in the world, say Pal and Eltahir.

But the Gulf states are getting closest to the 35 °C threshold. This is because high temperatures are combined with the high humidity of air moistened by the exceptionally warm waters of the Gulf.

At the end of July this year, when dry-bulb temperatures in the Gulf exceeded 50 °C at times, wet-bulb temperatures peaked at 34.6 °C, Christoph Schär of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich writes in an accompanying article in Nature Climate Change.

Dead workers

This is the first study to have predicted that populated regions could suffer conditions during this century that “may be fatal to everybody affected, even young and fit individuals under shaded and well-ventilated outdoor conditions”, says Schär. Coastal urban centres such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha are most at risk.

While many Gulf citizens live their lives largely inside air conditioned buildings, there are exceptions. One is Muslims from round the world attending the rituals of the Hajj. A second is foreign workers on construction sites. Qatar has been accused of allowing South Asian workers building stadiums for the World Cup in 2022 to die from heatstroke.

In August, Islamic leaders called on Muslims around the world, including oil-producing states, “to lead the way in phasing out greenhouse-gas emissions.”

But so far the governments of Gulf states – which include some of the world’s major producers of planet-warming oil and gas supplies – have made no promises to the forthcoming Paris conference to limit their greenhouse gas emissions.


New NASA data shows Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses

So is sucking up water rather than releasing it.  Super pesky!  But it might not last, they warn predictably.  What else could they say?  Note that Antactica contains 91% of Earth's glacial ice so it is Antactica that matters.  All the rest is small change

A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed   to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

“We’re essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica,” said Jay Zwally, a glaciologist with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the study, which was published on Oct. 30 in the Journal of Glaciology. “Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica – there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas.”  Zwally added that his team “measured small height changes over large areas, as well as the large changes observed over smaller areas.”

Scientists calculate how much the ice sheet is growing or shrinking from the changes in surface height that are measured by the satellite altimeters. In locations where the amount of new snowfall accumulating on an ice sheet is not equal to the ice flow downward and outward to the ocean, the surface height changes and the ice-sheet mass grows or shrinks.

But it might only take a few decades for Antarctica’s growth to reverse, according to Zwally. “If the losses of the Antarctic Peninsula and parts of West Antarctica continue to increase at the same rate they’ve been increasing for the last two decades, the losses will catch up with the long-term gain in East Antarctica in 20 or 30 years -- I don’t think there will be enough snowfall increase to offset these losses.”

The study analyzed changes in the surface height of the Antarctic ice sheet measured by radar altimeters on two European Space Agency European Remote Sensing (ERS) satellites, spanning from 1992 to 2001, and by the laser altimeter on NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) from 2003 to 2008.

Zwally said that while other scientists have assumed that the gains in elevation seen in East Antarctica are due to recent increases in snow accumulation, his team used meteorological data beginning in 1979 to show that the snowfall in East Antarctica actually decreased by 11 billion tons per year during both the ERS and ICESat periods. They also used information on snow accumulation for tens of thousands of years, derived by other scientists from ice cores, to conclude that East Antarctica has been thickening for a very long time.

“At the end of the last Ice Age, the air became warmer and carried more moisture across the continent, doubling the amount of snow dropped on the ice sheet,” Zwally said.

The extra snowfall that began 10,000 years ago has been slowly accumulating on the ice sheet and compacting into solid ice over millennia, thickening the ice in East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica by an average of 0.7 inches (1.7 centimeters) per year. This small thickening, sustained over thousands of years and spread over the vast expanse of these sectors of Antarctica, corresponds to a very large gain of ice – enough to outweigh the losses from fast-flowing glaciers in other parts of the continent and reduce global sea level rise. 

Zwally’s team calculated that the mass gain from the thickening of East Antarctica remained steady from 1992 to 2008 at 200 billion tons per year, while the ice losses from the coastal regions of West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula increased by 65 billion tons per year.

“The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away,” Zwally said. “But this is also bad news. If the 0.27 millimeters per year of sea level rise attributed to Antarctica in the IPCC report is not really coming from Antarctica, there must be some other contribution to sea level rise that is not accounted for.” [There are many issues and disputes in the measurement of sea level, starting from the fact that the sea never sits still.  So any inconsisency can readily be ascribed to measurement error -- JR]

“The new study highlights the difficulties of measuring the small changes in ice height happening in East Antarctica,” said Ben Smith, a glaciologist with the University of Washington in Seattle who was not involved in Zwally’s study.

"Doing altimetry accurately for very large areas is extraordinarily difficult, and there are measurements of snow accumulation that need to be done independently to understand what’s happening in these places,” Smith said.

To help accurately measure changes in Antarctica, NASA is developing the successor to the ICESat mission, ICESat-2, which is scheduled to launch in 2018. “ICESat-2 will measure changes in the ice sheet within the thickness of a No. 2 pencil,” said Tom Neumann, a glaciologist at Goddard and deputy project scientist for ICESat-2. “It will contribute to solving the problem of Antarctica’s mass balance by providing a long-term record of elevation changes.”


Study Sees Ecological Risks as Solar Expands

Solar power development is big business in sunny California, fueled by low solar panel prices and the drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change. Some biologists, however, are growing concerned that the placement of new large-scale solar power plants in the Mojave Desert may harm the biological diversity found there.

A study published Monday shows that solar power developers in California have been using mostly undeveloped desert lands with sensitive wildlife habitat as sites for new solar power installations rather than building on less sensitive, previously developed open lands.

The study, by the Carnegie Institution for Science and Stanford University, shows the ecological footprint of solar power development could grow to more than 27,500 square miles — roughly the land area of South Carolina — if the U.S. were to adopt a more ambitious climate goal. When thousands of solar panels are built in undeveloped natural areas, the panels crowd out wildlife and destroy their habitat.

“Solar takes out a lot of territory, right? It obliterates everything,” University of California-Santa Cruz ecologist Barry Sinervo, who is unaffiliated with the study, said. “There is as much plant biodiversity in the Mojave as there is in a redwood forest. The key part of this is, do we want to tile out the last largest wilderness area that we have, which is the Western desert?”

The Carnegie study found that of the 161 planned or operating utility-scale solar power developments in California, more than half have been or will be built on natural shrub and scrublands totaling about 145 square miles of land, roughly the land area of the city of Bakersfield, Calif. About 28 percent have been built on agricultural land and 15 percent have been built in developed areas.

Areas that have already been developed and have little wildlife habitat would be better suited for solar development from an ecological standpoint, said study lead author Rebecca Hernandez, a postdoctoral fellow at University of California, Berkeley, and a former ecologist at the Carnegie Institution.

Hernandez said she was surprised to find that nearly a third of solar development is occurring on former cropland, perhaps because farmers are shifting from growing crops to using their land to generate electricity. California’s devastating drought may be responsible for farmers’ shift to solar, something one of the study’s co-authors is researching in more depth.

“We see that ‘big solar’ is competing for space with natural areas,” she said. “We were surprised to find that solar energy development is a potential driver of the loss of California’s natural ecosystems and reductions in the integrity of our state and national park system.”


The "uncertainty loop" haunting our climate models

1).    To begin with: How will human economic activity this century translate into greenhouse gas emissions? How much will we emit? To answer that, we need to know how much population will grow, how much the global economy will grow, what per capita emissions will look like in 2050, 2080, etc.

2).    Which leads to: How will a rise in greenhouse gases translate into a rise in global average temperature? How sensitive is climate to greenhouse gases? (In the biz, "climate sensitivity" refers to the rise in temperature that would result from a doubling in global greenhouses gases from pre-industrial levels.)

3).    Which leads to: How will a rise in global average temperature translate into climate impacts (rising sea levels, etc.)? How do systems like ocean and air currents respond to temperature? What kinds of responses will be seen in different subclimates and latitudes?

4).    Which leads to: How will the impacts of climate change translate into impacts on human lives and economies? In other words, how much will climate impacts hurt us? How much GDP growth will they thwart (or reverse)? Will future people be richer and better able to adapt, or poorer because of climate change itself?

The really funny thing? The answer to 4 depends on the answer to 3, which depends on the answer to 2, which depends on the answer to 1, which depends on ... the answer to 4.

It's a loop. An uncertainty loop!

Basically, it's difficult to predict anything, especially regarding sprawling systems like the global economy and atmosphere, because everything depends on everything else. There's no fixed point of reference.

Grappling with this kind of uncertainty turns out to be absolutely core to climate policymaking. Climate nerds have attempted to create models that include, at least in rudimentary form, all of these interacting economic and atmospheric systems. They call these integrated assessment models, or IAMs, and they are the primary tool used by governments and international bodies to gauge the threat of climate change. IAMs are how policies are compared and costs are estimated.

So it's worth asking: Do IAMs adequately account for uncertainty? Do they clearly communicate uncertainty to policymakers?

The answer to those questions is almost certainly "no." But exactly why IAMs fail at this, and what should be done about it, is the subject of much debate.

On one hand, there are people who believe that making climate policy without models and scenarios to guide us is hopeless. They think IAMs can be improved, both in their accuracy and in the way they frame and express degrees of uncertainty.

On the other hand, you have people who believe that the entire exercise is futile, that the faux precision of these models only misleads policymakers, and that the attempt to predict the far future should be abandoned in favor of a more values-based, heuristic approach.


How Environmentalist Nut Jobs Are Trying To Ruin Your Halloween

Nut-jobs or attention seekers?

Halloween is the one time of year where Americans of all political stripes cut loose. There's something for kids and adults. We dress up, we eat candy, we carve pumpkins, and we...destroy the environment? From Townhall:

    Did you carve pumpkins into Jack-o'-lanterns with your children, friends or family? Well, you should be ashamed of yourself. Don't you know that pumpkins cause global warming when they decay by emitting methane (the same thing emitted from the bowls of cows), which is a far more dangerous "greenhouse gas" than carbon dioxide? The government is here to warn you.

    From the Department of Energy website:

    "At landfills, MSW [pumpkin] decomposes and eventually turns into methane—a harmful greenhouse gas that plays a part in climate change, with more than 20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide (CO2). However, when MSW is used to harness bioenergy—rather than simply being thrown away—the end result benefits the environment and helps our nation become less dependent on carbon-based fuel. Harnessing the potential of bioenergy allows the United States to generate its own supply of clean energy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. It also limits stress on landfills by reducing waste and could ultimately create jobs for manufacturing, installing, and maintaining energy systems".

This is the liberal notion of Halloween themed fun. An organization tasked with overseeing American energy policy, that has lavished billions in taxpayer dollars on politically connected energy companies that went belly up- is taking the time to lecture everyday Americans looking for a weekend diversion from their low paying jobs and mountains of student debt- about EXCESS!

Take a deep breath, eat some candy, and as they say in New York- fuhgeddaboutit!


What's NOAA Hiding? Agency Leaves Congress in the Dark

First there was ClimateGate, the scandal that broke in 2009 when a hacker exposed extensive data belonging to the UK’s University of East Anglia. That data, which unveiled scandalous email correspondence and a fallacious methodology dubbed the “fudge factor,” revealed a concerted effort by some of the world’s most influential climate scientists to keep evidence of global cooling in a shroud of secrecy. As we noted at the time, it was the biggest scandal to rock the scientific world in quite some time. After all, environmental policy is based on what the measurements depict — that’s the claim, at least — but those measurements were manipulated and exploited by the purveyors of climate alarmism. That malfeasance, however, appears to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Skeptical scientists have long rejected climate hyperbole. One reason is that satellite temperature measurements continue to depict a warming hiatus, which now stands at 18 years 8 months. Faced with growing pressure to address the chatter, a group of warmists tried to quash those claims in a study published in June. According to the authors, NOAA’s own findings “do not support the notion of a ‘slowdown’ in the increase of global surface temperature.” The researchers even rejected the IPCC’s recent conclusion that a slowdown indeed did happen. Fine, so let’s see all the evidence. Oh, wait, we can’t, because the authors would rather keep some of it a secret.

According to the journal Nature, “Representative Lamar Smith, the Texas Republican who leads the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, asked NOAA in July for the data used in the study and for any internal communications related to it. NOAA has provided the committee with the publicly available data and has briefed committee staff on the research, but the agency has not turned over the communications.” Nor does it plan to. “Although NOAA’s latest response to the committee skirted the issue, the agency suggests in a 27 October statement to Nature that it has no intention of handing over documents that reveal its internal deliberations.” Nothing to see here, right?

Smith contends, “NOAA needs to come clean about why they altered the data to get the results they needed to advance this administration’s extreme climate change agenda.” The Investor’s Business Daily editorial board observed, “What’s strange is that major temperature revisions by NOAA and others in recent years have always been up — never down — a clear sign of possible bias.” The agency can put these allegations to rest with a little transparency. But it won’t, which leads us to just one conclusion: The ClimateGate fraud is bigger and more malicious than anyone realizes.



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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough - Michael Crichton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Was Paracelsus a 16th century libertarian? His motto was: "Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest" which means "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself." He was certainly a rebel in his rejection of authority and his reliance on observable facts and is as such one of the founders of modern medicine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Warmist backs down: "No one knows exactly how far rising carbon concentrations affect temperatures" -- Stefan Rahmstorf, a scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Jimmy Carter Classic Quote from 1977: "Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of coal and permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power.


Today’s environmental movement is the current manifestation of the totalitarian impulse. It is ironic that the same people who condemn the black or brown shirts of the pre WW2 period are blind to the current manifestation simply because the shirts are green.

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

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

97% of scientists want to get another research grant

Hearing a Government Funded Scientist say let me tell you the truth, is like hearing a Used Car Salesman saying let me tell you the truth.

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

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

Greenie antisemitism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After fighting a 70 year war to destroy red communism we face another life-or-death struggle in the 21st century against green communism.

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

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

Jim Hansen and his twin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The inconvenient truth about biological effects of "Ocean Acidification"

Cook the crook who cooks the books

The great and fraudulent scare about lead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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