GREENIE WATCH MIRROR ARCHIVE

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



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

The blogspot version of this blog is HERE. The Blogroll. My Home Page. Email John Ray here. Other mirror sites: Dissecting Leftism. For a list of backups viewable at times when the main blog is "down", see here. (Click "Refresh" on your browser if background colour is missing) See here or here for the archives of this site
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May 31, 2013

A very strange French Warmist

His impotent fury makes one wonder if he is real

Hate speech against "deniers" is stock in trade for Warmists.  It must be annoying to have your profitable racket exposed.  But one Warmist appears to be pushing the envelope.  A French Warmist scientist, Dr. Jean-Luc EGM Melice [Email: jlmelice@locean-ipsl.upmc.fr], left racist abuse on Marc Morano's site.  The comment read:   "Still waiting for the hate mails from Morano, the greasy, fat, mafiosi-type, Italian immigrant asshole."  I think a lot of Italians would be immediately  incensed by such a deliberate attempt to offend but Marc so far has simply circulated the content to those on his mailing list, which includes me.

One of the people on the mailing list said of the Warmist:  "He sure acts like a climate scientist"

Dr Luc Melice appears to be an employee of a French Oceanographic laboratory.  He's on their staff list here but may be working in South Africa

The EU has fairly strict laws about hate speech so I think we may hear more about this.

I imagine that he might claim that someone stole his identity in making the comment so we might have to wait and see about that.

Incidentally, Morano was born and bred in the USA, not Italy.  Not that being Italian is any disgrace,  Two of the months of our year are named after Italians:  July and August.

UPDATE:

I sent a brief email to his official address above, simply asking what he thought of Marc Morano, and got a reply from his hotmail address.  It's a lot of fun.  I reproduce it below:

"Hi there,

I have first to know who you are...

Are you part  of that asshole Morano team?

I am going to write you in french. Please remember that french is the language of every educated gentleman.

Please also remember that your country would not exist without the help of the French. Just remember La Fayette...

Je suis français et spécialiste en modélisation du climat et des océans, êtes-vous capable de comprendre ce que j'écris?

Morano is a fat, asshole mafiosi-type italian immigrant, he has no scientific degree, he knows nothing about climate dynamics.

He gets a lot  money from the oil industry to say that global warming is a hoax...

To bad, you are now in the USA, in a sacry climate change situation. We know, for instance,  that you wiil have an awful drought this summer.

I hope that you will be clever enough to get rid of that Morano asshole, and that you will be able to wake-up...

Hard to educate mugs!!!

Cheers,

Dr. Jean-Luc EGM Melice

jlmelice@locean-ipls.upmc.fr

ps. it is easy to check my scientific peer-reviewed papers  by typing "JL Melice" in google scholar.

It is also easy to check that Morano and his friends/team, like the all climate deniers, have no scientific background....

We are still waiting for hate e-mails from asshole Morano... he is an expert in that..."

FURTHER THOUGHTS:

I haven't reproduced above the whole of what he originally aimed at Marc Morano but there is in fact another odd thing about what our frantic Frog said.  He said:

"I am also waiting for you peer-reviewed papers, asshole.

Please find one of mine:

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0442(2001)014%3C1043%3AAAFMOT%3E2.0.CO%3B2

It will take you about 1000 years to undertand it, asshole"

The amusing thing is that it is a rather good paper and seems not hard to undertand.  The abstract of the paper follows:

"The variability of the earth’s obliquity is a result of the deviation of the obliquity from its main component at 41 kyr and is generated by amplitude and frequency modulation. For the last million years, the amplitude modulation of the obliquity explains 8% of the obliquity’s total variance and the frequency modulation explains 10.3%. The spectra of both the amplitude and frequency modulations display significant power at 171 and 97 kyr. The contribution of these two modulations to the variance of the insolation is evaluated. At 65°N in June, the amplitude modulation of the obliquity explains 1.3% of the variance of the insolation and the frequency modulation explains 1.6%. It is shown that the obliquity’s frequency modulation is physically questionable and could only be meaningful for its components at 41, 54, and 29 kyr taken separately"

So the paper says that nearly 3% in total of the variation in radiation received from the sun is due to variations in the earth's obliquity.  In other words, he is pointing to the sun as a cause of variations in the earth's temperature, not CO2.  He's actually on the side of the skeptics.

So is all the abuse an attempt to draw our attention to his paper?  It was published in the year 2000 so he could be peeved that it has been overlooked.

I guess we will have to await developments.





A pesky question from Tom Nelson

A Serious "settled science" question for Marshall Shepherd

I watched your entire TEDxAtlanta speech and blogged about it here.

I noted that you said that temperatures "went through the roof, relatively speaking" starting in 1850, when you said that we figured out how to burn fossil fuels.

But in 1989, well-known warmist Stephen Schneider wrote: "I strongly suspect that by the year 2000 increasing numbers of people will point to the 1980s as the time the global warming signal emerged from the natural background of climatic noise".

My question to you is:  How do you reconcile these two very different statements?  If the alleged human-induced warming signal emerged from the noise in 1850, why did Schneider suggest that the signal didn't emerge until 130+ years later?

A follow-up question would be this one: How do we know that the two warming periods starting around 1850 and 1980 weren't caused by something other than trace amounts of carbon dioxide?

SOURCE



Pesky finding:  New paper finds rainforests prospered & increased diversity during extreme global warming in the past

A new paper published in the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science finds South American rainforests thrived during three extreme global warming events in the past, each with temperatures much warmer than the present. "According to the fossil record, rainforests prospered under these hothouse conditions and diversity increased." "When carbon dioxide concentrations double, trees use much less water, which is further evidence that tropical forests may prove resilient to climate change."

Rainforests Take the Heat, Paleontologists Show

May 30, 2013 — South American rainforests thrived during three extreme global warming events in the past, say paleontologists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in a new report published in the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science.

No tropical forests in South America currently experience average yearly temperatures of more than 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius). But by the end of this century, average global temperatures are likely to rise by another 1 F (0.6 C), leading some scientists to predict the demise of the world's most diverse terrestrial ecosystem.

Carlos Jaramillo, Cofrin Chair in Palynology, and Andrés Cárdenas, post-doctoral fellow, at the Smithsonian in Panama reviewed almost 6,000 published measurements of ancient temperatures to provide a deep-time perspective for the debate.

"To take the temperature of the past we rely on indirect evidence like oxygen isotope ratios in the fossil shells of marine organisms or from bacteria biomarkers," said Jaramillo.

When intense volcanic activity produced huge quantities of carbon dioxide 120 million years ago in the mid-Cretaceous period, yearly temperatures in the South American tropics rose 9 F (5 C). During the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, 55 million years ago, tropical temperatures rose by 5 F (3 C) in less than 10,000 years.

About 53 million years ago, temperatures soared again.

According to the fossil record, rainforests prospered under these hothouse conditions. Diversity increased.

Because larger areas of forest generally sustain higher diversity than smaller areas do, higher diversity during warming events could be explained by the expansion of tropical forests into temperate areas. "But to our surprise, rainforests never extended much beyond the modern tropical belt, so something other than temperature must have determined where they were growing," said Jaramillo.

Jaramillo and Cárdenas' report also refers to findings by Smithsonian plant physiologist Klaus Winter that leaves of some tropical trees tolerate short-term exposure to temperatures up to 122 F (5 C). When carbon dioxide concentrations double, trees use much less water, which is further evidence that tropical forests may prove resilient to climate change.

SOURCE



A vote for permanent poverty

Late last month, the elected officials of a small, rural New Mexico county became the first in the nation to vote for permanent poverty. Mora County’s unemployment is double that of most of the country and nearly 500% greater than that of some other parts of the state where oil and gas development is taking place, and 23.8% of Mora County’s residents live in poverty.

With that in mind, you’d think that the Mora County Commissioners would welcome the jobs that are boosting the economy in the southeastern part of the state. Instead, they voted, 2-1—in a session that may violate the Open Meetings Act as the notice did not contain the date, time, and place of the meeting—to pass an ordinance that permanently bans oil and gas drilling.

Defending his vote, Chairman John Olivas, an employee of New Mexico Wilderness Alliance with no political experience, explained: “We need to create other jobs. First, sustainable agriculture; second, business development; and third, eco-tourism to keep people on the land."

Frank Trambley, the Mora County GOP chairman, disagrees: “In our economic climate, we simply cannot afford to needlessly throw the possibility for jobs down the drain.”

Currently, Mora County has no oil and gas activity—and now it looks like it never will (though the outcome of potential lawsuits could change that). But there is reason to believe that the potential for development and jobs is there. Shell Oil has 100,000 acres leased for development—not to mention private interest—in Mora County, and there are more than 120 leases on state lands within the county.

In adjacent Colfax County, there are 950 natural gas wells. There the Commissioners don’t seem too troubled by the activity. The Colfax Country Commissioners are looking at drafting an ordinance that would “allow oil and gas drilling to continue while setting standards and regulations to give county officials control over aspects of the industry’s work that affect landowners and other citizens.”

But this story is bigger than the sparsely populated—less than 5000 and declining—northeastern New Mexico County. Following the passage of their “ban” ordinance, the two “yes” vote commissioners sent a letter to all the county commissioners in the state: “We’re sending you this letter to urge you to consider adopting a similar law. In Mora, we decided that ‘fracking,’ along with other forms of oil and gas drilling are not compatible with Mora farming, forestry, and our quality of life.” Apparently unemployment and poverty are “compatible” with the Mora “quality of life.”

How did Mora come to believe that it might become the little county that could “force” change aimed at “restoring democratic control of our communities”? They had the help of an out-of-state environmental group: the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF)—which helped draft Mora’s “Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance.” Thomas Linzey, executive director of CELDF explained: “This is the fight that people have been too chicken to pick over the last 10 years.” The CELDF press release on the ban states: “Mora is joining a growing people’s movement for community and nature’s rights” and brags about CELDF’s involvement in other communities across the country....

While this is a New Mexico story, beware. CELDF has its sights set on a national movement. Emboldened by its success in Mora County, they may be coming to a community near you. You may find that your local leadership voted for permanent poverty.

More here





Illinois should embrace fracking

Sandra Steingraber’s op-ed Thursday was disingenuous on many fronts.

First, she stated that hydraulic fracturing, as currently practiced, is too risky for Illinois to utilize. According to the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission, a multistate government agency, 30,000 to 50,000 wells have been hydraulically fractured in Illinois since the 1950s without a single recorded case of groundwater contamination.

Hydraulic fracturing has since advanced, and it’s from those advancements that fracking is now able to allow the same amount of energy to be produced from fewer wells, minimizing its impact on the environment while revolutionizing the United States’ energy outlook. No state or federal regulator from anywhere where hydraulic fracturing is currently utilized has been able to cite a single case of contamination from the hydraulic fracturing process.

Over the past 15 years, people have been leaving Illinois at a rate of one resident every 10 minutes, according to the Illinois Policy Institute, and Steingraber states in her column that she too, once made the decision to leave. With the latest labor statistics showing Illinois unemployment having recently jumped to the second highest in the nation, things aren’t likely to get better on their own.

We need to take proactive measures to responsibly harness our economic resources and not get left behind the energy revolution sweeping the nation.

SOURCE





Britain's  coldest spring for half a century!

For those still donning jumpers and switching on the central heating, it will hardly come as surprise news.  The spring of 2013 has officially been the coldest for more than 50 years.

Following a harsh winter, March, April and May have all been chillier than normal.

The average spring temperature has been almost two degrees lower than average at just 6C (43F), the Met Office says.  That makes it the coldest spring since 1962 and the fifth coldest on record.

However, the last day of spring today will buck that trend, as parts of Britain could enjoy their hottest day of the year so far.

‘Today is going to be pretty warm, with many places seeing temperatures in excess of 20C (68F), particularly in the south,’ said Met Office forecaster Dan Williams.

‘There is even a chance we may see the warmest day of the year, with the potential for temperatures to reach 23C (73.5F) in London.

This spring bucked a recent trend that saw eight of the past ten warmer than the 7.7C (46F) long-term average.

An exceptionally chilly March – the second coldest on record – was followed by a slightly cooler than normal April and May.

Although May has been wetter than average – and saw snow as far south as Devon – spring as a whole was drier than normal, with 8 per cent less rain.  But it was not as dry as the springs of 2010 and 2011, which contributed to drought fears in early 2012 – only for floods later in the year.

The Met Office said cold air being drawn to the UK from the Arctic and northern Europe was mostly to blame for the chilly spring.

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics:  Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility.  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 and here

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May 30, 2013

Warmists slowly backing away from alarm

They describe their figures below as "highly uncertain" but still think action must be taken!

Dramatic new research has claimed that the effects of global warming may be less than first predicted.

Australian scientists have narrowed the predicted range of global warming through groundbreaking new research.

However, the team behind it said the smaller rise could still have major effects - and warned we cannot wait for more exact figures before acting.

The paper, published in Nature Climate Change today, found that exceeding 6 degrees warming was now unlikely while exceeding 2 degrees is very likely for business-as-usual emissions.

Dr Roger Bodman from Victoria University and Professors David Karoly and Peter Rayner from the University of Melbourne have generated what they say are more reliable projections of global warming estimates at 2100.

This was achieved through a new method combining observations of carbon dioxide and global temperature variations with simple climate model simulations to project future global warming.

Team leader Dr Bodman said while continuing to narrow the range even further was possible, significant uncertainty in warming predictions would always remain due to the complexity of climate change drivers.

'This study ultimately shows why waiting for certainty will fail as a strategy,' he said. 'Some uncertainty will always remain, meaning that we need to manage the risks of warming with the knowledge we have.'

The study found 63% of uncertainty in projected warming was due to single sources – such as climate sensitivity, followed by future behaviour of the carbon cycle and the cooling effect of aerosols – while 37% of uncertainty came from the combination of these sources.

'This means that if any single uncertainty is reduced – even the most important, climate sensitivity – significant uncertainty will remain,' Dr Bodman said.

SOURCE

The journal article (excerpt)

Uncertainty in temperature projections reduced using carbon cycle and climate observations

Roger W. Bodman, Peter J. Rayner & David J. Karoly

The future behaviour of the carbon cycle is a major contributor to uncertainty in temperature projections for the twenty-first century1, 2. Using a simplified climate model3, we show that, for a given emission scenario, it is the second most important contributor to this uncertainty after climate sensitivity, followed by aerosol impacts.

Historical measurements of carbon dioxide concentrations4 have been used along with global temperature observations5 to help reduce this uncertainty. This results in an increased probability of exceeding a 2 °C global–mean temperature increase by 2100 while reducing the probability of surpassing a 6 °C threshold for non-mitigation scenarios such as the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios A1B and A1FI scenarios6, as compared with projections from the Fourth Assessment Report7 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Climate sensitivity, the response of the carbon cycle and aerosol effects remain highly uncertain but historical observations of temperature and carbon dioxide imply a trade–off between them so that temperature projections are more certain than they would be considering each factor in isolation.

As well as pointing out the promise from the formal use of observational constraints in climate projection, this also highlights the need for an holistic view of uncertainty.

SOURCE





Children of the ice ages

by Dr. Jack Wheeler

Wilhelmena Bay, Antarctica. This is a land of ice caps, gigantic glaciers, and frozen earth. The waters of the bay are filled with icebergs, chunks of glaciers calved off and fallen into the sea. In a month or two, the bay will be frozen over with pack ice, but now at the end of the austral summer, it is teeming with life.

It is a world that seems alien, remote, and exotic to us. Yet it is in this world that our species emerged from evolutionary history. Human beings are children of the Ice Ages – and we make a grave mistake to think we are no longer.

The retreat of the Ice Ages to the earth’s polar regions is only temporary. There is no reason whatever to believe that this current round of Ice Ages, known as the Pleistocene, is over. Which is why there is no better place than here in Antarctica to reflect upon the ridiculous secular religion of Warmism.

To start, the Pleistocene is but the latest in a series of Ice Ages that go back three billion years. The earliest, as far as geologists can determine, is the Archean, which lasted for about 100 million years (3.0 to 2.9bya, billion years ago).

After the Permo-Carboniferous Ice Age ended some 260mya, the earth steadily warmed up – so much so that by 55mya, Ellesmere Island, the northernmost island in Canada only 600 miles from the North Pole, had a climate like Florida’s today, with ferns and palm trees, and turtles and crocodiles in numerous lakes and rivers.

Ever since 55mya, however, there has been a persistent decrease in ocean temperatures (as measured by oxygen isotope ratios in shells found in oceanographic sediment cores), including a series of sharp decreases starting at the onset of the Pleistocene Ice Age. In other words, the Earth has been progressively cooling for over the last 50+ million years.

As the last glacial maximum ended 20,000 years ago, we are currently living in a Pleistocene Interglacial – which is already longer than any previous interglacial in the ice core record.
To put it another way: the last time the Earth was as warm as it is today was 120,000 years ago.

By the time of the last glacial maximum 20kya (thousand years ago), 3% of the present volume of all our oceans had been transferred to the land by evaporation, with the water vapor condensing as snow over North America, Europe, and Asia, accumulating into continent wide massive ice sheets miles thick. The oceans then were 400 feet lower than today.

Mankind not only survived the Pleistocene Ice Ages, he thrived. Indeed, they made him human. The hominids of East Africa, such as Australopithecus, had remained stable for several million years until the onset of the Pleistocene. Then, as it got colder and drier, and the forests became grasslands, our hominid predecessors’ brains got bigger. By 1.8mya, Homo erectus was making tools and fire, while the Australopitheci were extinct.

By the time we were Homo sapiens, acquired language, and made our break Out of Africa around 60kya, it was in the teeth of the last Pleistocene Ice Age – and we, as Cro-Magnon people in Europe flourished. When the Ice Age ended and the glaciers across Europe retreated about 15kya, people began settling in villages and gathering, if not growing, grains. Then disaster struck.

12,800 years ago, the global climate suddenly changed for the worse. Within a few decades, one person’s lifetime, global temperatures dropped up to 12F. All the villages and sedentary life vanished, as people retreated into southern Europe. Suddenly, 1,200 years later, the cold ended as abruptly as it began, within a person’s lifetime, 11,600 years ago.

Paleontologists call this 12 centuries of cold the “Younger Dryas,” and don’t know what caused it. We were poised to create agriculture-based civilization and the Younger Dryas stopped us in our tracks. It would take a couple of millennia to begin to recover, with settlements, growing crops and raising animals emerging 9,000 years ago in what is now southwestern Turkey at the top of what was to become the Fertile Crescent.

It would take 2 more millennia for the first city to emerge – Eridu on the lower Euphrates near its confluence with the Tigris in southern Mesopotamia around 5,000 BC, and the first civilization to emerge, that of Sumer.

We call the time after the fall of Rome the Dark Ages, which most folks think ended with the Renaissance in the mid-1400s. The Dark Ages actually ended and the Renaissance begun hundreds of years earlier, thanks to three centuries of exceptionally benign weather known as the Medieval Warm Period (1000-1300 AD).

Vinyards flourished in England, infuriating the French who thought they had a monopoly on wine. Greenland was so green around the edges that the Vikings established large settlements. Crops were abundant, peasants rarely went hungry, there was so much prosperity that kings could afford Crusades to recapture Christianity’s Holy Land from Moslems who had stolen it. Wealthy patrons could finance the construction of the most magnificent and expensive buildings the world had ever seen – Gothic Cathedrals such as in Chartres or Rheims that leave us awestruck to this day.

Suddenly, right around the year 1300, this all came to a halt as temperatures fell off a cliff. Crops failed, people and livestock succumbed to hunger and disease, kingdoms succumbed to anarchy. By the 1320s, countless villages throughout Europe had been abandoned. Constant storms wiped out so much agricultural land that in many places in Europe, the population was cut in half.

When the Black Death of bubonic plague hit in 1380, millions of people, weakened by hunger and crowded into towns begging for food, died. England and France fought so endlessly the struggle was called the 100 Years’ War (actually, it lasted from 1337-1453).

This climate disaster has since been dubbed the Little Ice Age. It lasted 550 years – 1300 to 1850 – almost half as long as the Younger Dryas. Like previous times, it was interspersed with periods of warm weather that never lasted long and would start and stop suddenly. The coldest period was between 1600 and 1800, during which there were times that glaciers in Switzerland were advancing daily as far as one could fire a musket shot.

Yet the Little Ice Age did not prevent the Renaissance – it only postponed it. Just like Cro-Magnons created mankind’s first culture – the artistic genius of cave art at e.g., Altamira, Lascaux, and Chauvet – in the teeth of the Pleistocene Ice Age, so the greatest artistic genius in human history – e.g., Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Raphael – bloomed in the Little Ice Age.

The Little Ice Age witnessed the Age of Exploration, with the indomitable courage of men like Da Gama, Columbus, and Cortez spreading Western Civilization across the globe. It witnessed the Age of Science, with men like Newton explaining the creation of Providence through immutable physical laws. It witnessed the greatest act of political genius in history, the creation of America by Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and their Founder colleagues.

There is so much more that was achieved during the Little Ice Age – the Industrial Revolution, for example – that it stands as a stunning triumph of the human spirit, of what we are capable of in the face of adversity.

We need to recall this spirit more than ever today. With unmatched venality and vicious hatred, Zero [Obama] is determined to plunge America into a political ice age. With unmatched corruption and stupidity, scientists are determined to discredit the supreme achievement of Science by selling their souls for a government grant that “proves” Warmism.

Warmism – the crackpot cult of kooks and scam-artists that has ripped taxpayers off for tens of billions in the greatest racket in history – promotes a fear than is the precise opposite of reality. That reality is that the Earth is still in the Pleistocene Ice Ages.

They haven’t ended. We are merely in one of its many interglacials – and at the tail end of one at that. 75% of all the fresh water on our planet is locked up today in glaciers. Our fear should not be that the earth could burn up, but that it could freeze – and fast. As we have seen and the geological record shows repeatedly, pleasantly benign warm spells like the one we are enjoying now can end virtually overnight.

Be assured that our current interglacial will end and The Cold will return – the only question is when. There is no way, with our current technology, to prevent this*. There is, however, a way to postpone it: burn lots of fossil fuels, pump as much CO2 and methane into the atmosphere as we possibly can.

Beyond that, we all need to grasp that we humans are children of the Ice Ages. We were created during them, created to conquer their adversity. The challenges our predecessors faced tens of thousands of years ago make ours, such as those of Zero, utterly trivial by comparison.

We are a heroic species. Providence does not expect us to forget this. There will always be challenges, and we are expected to overcome them. If we live up to ourselves, as Americans and as human beings, we shall.

* The causes of ice ages, or of global cold snaps like the Little Ice Age, are astronomical and do not lie here on earth. Centuries-long cold snaps are caused by the lack of the Sun’s magnetic activity – see Solar Warming. Millennia-long ice ages are triggered by certain alignments of Milankovitch Cycles (after Milutin Milankovitch, 1879-1958, the Serbia mathematician who identified them). The cycles are that of 1) the 100,000-year cycle of maximum eccentricity in the earth’s orbit when it is most elliptical; 2) the 41,000-year cycle of change in the tilt of the earth’s rotation axis; 3) the 26,000-year cycle of the wobble of the earth’s rotation axis. These are caused by gravitational tugs upon the earth by the sun, the moon, and Jupiter and other planets.

SOURCE



Gasoline Myths

John Stossel

Plan to drive more this summer? Annoyed by the price of gas? Complaining that oil companies rip you off?

I say, shut up. Even if gas costs $4 per gallon, we should thank Big Oil. Think what they have to do to bring us gas.

Oil must be sucked out of the ground, sometimes from war zones or deep beneath oceans. The drills now bend and dig sideways through as much as 7 miles of earth. What they discover must be pumped through billion-dollar pipelines and often put in monstrously expensive tankers to ship across the ocean.

Then it's refined into several types of gasoline, transported in trucks that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Finally, your local gas station must spend a fortune on safety devices to make sure we don't blow ourselves up while filling the tank.

And it still costs less per ounce than the bottled water sold at gas stations. If government sold gas, it would cost $40 per gallon. And there would be shortages!

Another myth: Big Oil makes "excess" profit. Nonsense. The oil business is fiercely competitive. If one company charges a penny too much, other companies steal its business. Apple's profit margin is about 24 percent. McDonald's makes 20 percent. Oil companies make half that.

Per gallon, ExxonMobil makes about 7 cents. Governments, by contrast, grab about 27 cents per gallon. That's the average gas tax. If anyone takes too much, it's government.

President Obama says, "Gas costs too much." So he announced: "We've put in place the toughest fuel economy standards in history. Over the life of a new car, the average family will save more than $8,000 at the pump."

Sounds good. But the magic of fuel economy standards is another myth.

Susan Dudley, who runs the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University, points out that many car buyers care more about safety, style, power, etc. than mileage.

"The problem with the government's rule is that they ignore all those other preferences ... assuming that the only thing we value is fuel economy."

Fuel economy sounds appealing when it's presented as something created at no cost. But car dealers say it will make cars cost $3,000 more.

Also, as James Taylor, an energy expert at the Heartland Institute, pointed out to me, fuel-economy regulations kill.

"In order to make cars more fuel-efficient, auto manufacturers make them smaller -- using lighter materials, they're less crash-worthy ... We're seeing thousands of people dying on the roads that shouldn't be."

You'd think automakers would strongly oppose these regulations -- but if so, why, when President Obama unveiled the regulations, did the heads of 13 car companies shake Obama's hand and smile?

"Even if it is a $60 billion cost to them," says Dudley, "if everyone has to do it, they can pass it on to consumers."

In other words, normally companies compete to do things more efficiently than rivals, in order to charge lower prices and get the lion's share of customers. But there's no need to worry about jacking up your prices when your rivals must do so, too. Regulation makes companies lazier, not more efficient.

Republicans at least talk about deregulation. But the "regulation-killing Republican" is another myth. Despite being labeled a deregulator, George W. Bush hired 90,000 new regulators. Dudley, who was their overseer, now says, "The pressure to regulate is intense."

Almost no one seems to speak up for a true free market in energy, with competition, innovation and unfettered consumer choice. People say regulation is needed to counter industry "greed."

But if anyone's greedy here, it's government -- and unlike oil companies, government doesn't have to work hard and compete to give you good service at the lowest possible price. Government just sits there, telling companies to charge less, telling car companies to make smaller and more dangerous cars, mandating and subsidizing alternative fuels like ethanol -- and then telling us that we benefit from the politicians' efforts.

The truth: We rarely benefit.

SOURCE





Tim Yeo: humans may not be to blame for global warming

Humans may not be responsible for global warming, according to Tim Yeo, the MP who oversees British government policy on climate change.

The chairman of the Commons Energy and Climate Change committee said he accepts the earth’s temperature is increasing but said “natural phases” may be to blame.

Such a suggestion sits at odds with the scientific consensus. One recent survey of 12,000 academic papers on climate change found 97 per cent agree human activities are causing the planet to warm.

Mr Yeo, an environment minister under John Major, is one of the Conservative Party’s strongest advocates of radical action to cut carbon emissions. His comments are significant as he was one of the first senior figures to urge the party to take the issue of environmental change seriously.

He insisted such action is “prudent” given the threat climate change poses to living standards worldwide. But, he said, human action is merely a “possible cause”.

Asked on Tuesday night whether it was better to take action to mitigate the effects of climate change than to prevent it in the first place, he said: “The first thing to say is it does not represent any threat to the survival of the planet. None at all. The planet has survived much bigger changes than any climate change that is happening now.

He went on: “Although I think the evidence that the climate is changing is now overwhelming, the causes are not absolutely clear. There could be natural causes, natural phases that are taking place.”

“But there is at least a risk that the increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is a possible cause. We’ve just gone through the 400 parts per million [a measure of the atmospheric concentration of CO2] this year. I think a prudent policy would say if we can do things about that which are no-regrets polices like being efficient in the use of energy, looking at none-fossil fuel sources, I think that’s prudent to do so."

Mr Yeo has previously spoken with great certainty about the science of climate change. He said in 2009: "A significant number of core Conservative voters – mostly among older people – are reluctant to accept the evidence. I don’t think they [doubting Tory MPs] will be a significant influence in the next parliament and will gradually diminish in the population.

"The dying gasps of the deniers will be put to bed. In five years time, no one will argue about a man-made contribution to climate change.”

Mr Yeo, who was speaking to an audience of energy industry representatives and diplomats at the Westminster Russia Forum, renewed his call for the Government to build a third runway at Heathrow. He said waiting for Sir Howard Davies’ report on aviation capacity which is due after the next election was a “ludicrous response to a clear national need.”

He said without better air links to east Asia, Europe risks becoming a “sort of third world backwater quite quickly.”

Asked about the comments this afternoon, Mr Yeo said: "It is possible there are natural causes as well, but my view has always been that – for twenty years – I have thought the scientific evidence has been very convincing. The strong probability is that it is man-made causes contributing to greenhouse gas concentrations."

SOURCE




Britain's families face more green tax pain as power stations carry on polluting: £300 a year bill for renewable energy by 2020

Britain’s power stations are still pumping out increasing amounts of greenhouse gases while families face a rise in taxes designed to cut emissions.

The escalation in pollution levels comes as the average household is being forced to contribute £112 in green taxes each year.

By the end of the decade, families will have to pay almost £300 a year to fund renewable energy, such as wind and nuclear, as well as insulating older homes. Both policies are being heavily promoted by the Government in a bid to cut the nation’s carbon dioxide gas emissions in order to meet stringent international targets.

But last year, the levels of the gas pumped out by Britain’s energy companies increased by 4 per cent compared to 2011, as the amount of coal burnt for power leapt up by a quarter. For each unit of energy, coal produces double the amount of carbon dioxide than gas or oil.

The UK is one of only four European countries that have increased pollution from power production, with only Malta doing worse. The other 23 EU nations managed to reduce emissions from power companies.

Carbon dioxide accounts for more than 80 per cent of Britain’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

With 40 per cent of emissions coming from the energy sector and only 15 per cent produced by households, critics say targeting families while increasing output from power stations is pointless.

Dr Lee Moroney of the Renewable Energy Foundation, which publishes energy data, said: ‘It is unreasonable that hard-pressed householders are being made to fund increasingly expensive and diverse energy policies which these latest figures show are clearly not working.’

The latest estimated emission figures were produced by Eurostat, the European Commission’s statistical arm, which found that across the EU, carbon dioxide output for energy use had gone down by 2.1 per cent.

A Eurostat spokesman said: ‘At the moment, the global price for hard coal is down and we see in the UK a huge increase in its use – 27 per cent compared to the previous year – while gas and oil use has fallen.’

Since 1990, there has been an overall decrease in UK carbon dioxide emissions of around 19 per cent.

In 2011, Britain delivered the biggest emissions cuts in the EU, reducing total greenhouse gas output by 40 million tons, a fall of 7 per cent.

Earlier this week, Energy Secretary Ed Davey said he will push for the EU to adopt the most stringent green targets in the world.

He said he would seek a legally binding target to cut collective greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 50 per cent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: ‘Cheaper coal relative to gas has resulted in a short-term increase in the amount of carbon emissions from UK power stations.

The amount of coal generation is expected to decline rapidly by 2020 as a result of our move to a low carbon economy.

‘Global gas prices have primarily been pushing up household energy bills – not green subsidies.

‘Investing in home-grown alternatives is the only sure-fire way of insulating our economy and bill-payers from international energy price volatility.

‘Our household energy-efficiency policies are more than offsetting the costs of clean energy investment. By 2020 the average household bill will be £166 lower than it would be if we were doing nothing.’

SOURCE





Australia: Solar has increased electricity prices, says Qld. government

Solar power users and green schemes have been singled out by the state government as responsible for driving up the state's electricity prices.

Energy minister Mark McArdle said advice from the Queensland Competition Authority had shown the Commonwealth's Renewable Energy Target Scheme added $102 to the average electricity bill, while the Solar Bonus Scheme cost $67.

"When you add $190 for the carbon tax this means 18.9 per cent of an average $1900 annual electricity bill is made up of green schemes," Mr McArdle said in a statement.

"By 2015-16 the solar bonus scheme will increase to $276 on an average bill, which could see the price of green schemes reach $621 on average per year if the carbon tax is not repealed."

Solar Citizens, an advocacy group supported by ‘‘a number of community and industry organisations’’, has dismissed Mr McArdle’s statement as ‘‘unfair and misleading’’.

“The primary driver of rising energy bills in QLD is increasing network costs,” Solar Citizens’ campaign manager Dr Geoff Evans said.

“In fact, the Queensland Competition Authority recently released data that shows that solar users only amount to 7 per cent of a family’s electricity cost — with nearly 70 per cent of an electricity bill going to network and retail costs.’’

Mr McArdle issued the statement ahead of the QCA announcing on Friday an anticipated 21 to 22 per cent increase in the retail price for electricity.

When releasing its draft determination in February, the QCA laid some of the blame for the massive price hike at the state government's feet, claiming its decision to freeze the tariff 11 last year had forced the authority to play catch up.

"So low-use customers have not been paying enough to cover the costs of their supply and high-use customers have been paying more than the cost of their supply," the QCA said at the time.

"This is changing, so that customers' bills better reflect the costs of their electricity use.

"As a result, low consumption customers will see a high percentage increase in their bill as the fixed service fee is increased."

But Mr McArdle blamed green schemes, saying the state government was "looking at ways" it could reduce their impact on households.

"The overly generous solar bonus scheme gave significant cash windfalls to those customers who installed solar PV [Photovoltaic panels] on domestic roofs, but the scheme did not pass on the real costs to the electricity network, to support solar PV," he said.

"It is not right that the 80 per cent of customers who do not have solar are expected to pay the full price of the 20 per cent who have solar.

"Some customers with solar are getting a very generous $0.44 feed-in tariff (FiT) and should make a fair contribution towards the upgrade of the electricity network needed to support their solar PV."

But Mr McArdle said the government would not be changing the solar feed-in tariff that was legislated by the former government until 2028.

Mr McArdle said it would "cost other electricity consumers almost $3 billion to support".

Instead he said the government would consider "a range of other options" to make the "system more equitable".

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here

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May 29, 2013

Global Cooling on the way back

Around 1250 A.D., historical records show, ice packs began showing up farther south in the North Atlantic. Glaciers also began expanding on Greenland, soon to threaten Norse settlements on the island. From 1275 to 1300 A.D., glaciers began expanding more broadly, according to radiocarbon dating of plants killed by the glacier growth. The period known today as the Little Ice Age was just starting to poke through.

Summers began cooling in Northern Europe after 1300 A.D., negatively impacting growing seasons, as reflected in the Great Famine of 1315 to 1317. Expanding glaciers and ice cover spreading across Greenland began driving the Norse settlers out. The last, surviving, written records of the Norse Greenland settlements, which had persisted for centuries, concern a marriage in 1408 A.D. in the church of Hvalsey, today the best preserved Norse ruin.

Colder winters began regularly freezing rivers and canals in Great Britain, the Netherlands and Northern France, with both the Thames in London and the Seine in Paris frozen solid annually. The first River Thames Frost Fair was held in 1607. In 1607-1608, early European settlers in North America reported ice persisting on Lake Superior until June. In January, 1658, a Swedish army marched across the ice to invade Copenhagen. By the end of the 17th century, famines had spread from northern France, across Norway and Sweden, to Finland and Estonia.

Reflecting its global scope, evidence of the Little Ice Age appears in the Southern Hemisphere as well. Sediment cores from Lake Malawi in southern Africa show colder weather from 1570 to 1820. A 3,000 year temperature reconstruction based on varying rates of stalagmite growth in a cave in South Africa also indicates a colder period from 1500 to 1800. A 1997 study comparing West Antarctic ice cores with the results of the Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two (GISP2) indicate a global Little Ice Age affecting the two ice sheets in tandem.

The Siple Dome, an ice dome roughly 100 km long and 100 km wide, about 100 km east of the Siple Coast of Antartica, also reflects effects of the Little Ice Age synchronously with the GISP2 record, as do sediment cores from the Bransfield Basin of the Antarctic Peninsula. Oxygen/isotope analysis from the Pacific Islands indicates a 1.5 degree Celsius temperature decline between 1270 and 1475 A.D.

The Franz Josef glacier on the west side of the Southern Alps of New Zealand advanced sharply during the period of the Little Ice Age, actually invading a rain forest at its maximum extent in the early 1700s. The Mueller glacier on the east side of New Zealand’s Southern Alps expanded to its maximum extent at roughly the same time.

Ice cores from the Andeas mountains in South America show a colder period from 1600 to 1800. Tree ring data from Patagonia in South America show cold periods from 1270 to 1380 and from 1520 to 1670. Spanish explorers noted the expansion of the San Rafael Glacier in Chile from 1675 to 1766, which continued into the 19th century.

The height of the Little Ice Age is generally dated as 1650 to 1850 A.D. The American Revolutionary Army under General George Washington shivered at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-78, and New York harbor was frozen in the winter of 1780. Historic snowstorms struck Lisbon, Portugal in 1665, 1744 and 1886. Glaciers in Glacier National Park in Montana advanced until the late 18th or early 19th centuries. The last River Thames Frost Fair was held in 1814. The Little Ice Age phased out during the middle to late 19th century.

The Little Ice Age, following the historically warm temperatures of the Medieval Warm Period, which lasted from about AD 950 to 1250, has been attributed to natural cycles in solar activity, particularly sunspots. A period of sharply lower sunspot activity known as the Wolf Minimum began in 1280 and persisted for 70 years until 1350. That was followed by a period of even lower sunspot activity that lasted 90 years from 1460 to 1550 known as the Sporer Minimum. During the period 1645 to 1715, the low point of the Little Ice Age, the number of sunspots declined to zero for the entire time. This is known as the Maunder Minimum, named after English astronomer Walter Maunder. That was followed by the Dalton Minimum from 1790 to 1830, another period of well below normal sunspot activity.

The increase in global temperatures since the late 19th century just reflects the end of the Little Ice Age. The global temperature trends since then have followed not rising CO2 trends but the ocean temperature cycles of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Every 20 to 30 years, the much colder water near the bottom of the oceans cycles up to the top, where it has a slight cooling effect on global temperatures until the sun warms that water. That warmed water then contributes to slightly warmer global temperatures, until the next churning cycle.

Those ocean temperature cycles, and the continued recovery from the Little Ice Age, are primarily why global temperatures rose from 1915 until 1945, when CO2 emissions were much lower than in recent years. The change to a cold ocean temperature cycle, primarily the PDO, is the main reason that global temperatures declined from 1945 until the late 1970s, despite the soaring CO2 emissions during that time from the postwar industrialization spreading across the globe.

The 20 to 30 year ocean temperature cycles turned back to warm from the late 1970s until the late 1990s, which is the primary reason that global temperatures warmed during this period. But that warming ended 15 years ago, and global temperatures have stopped increasing since then, if not actually cooled, even though global CO2 emissions have soared over this period. As The Economist magazine reported in March, “The world added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. That is about a quarter of all the CO2 put there by humanity since 1750.” Yet, still no warming during that time. That is because the CO2 greenhouse effect is weak and marginal compared to natural causes of global temperature changes.

At first the current stall out of global warming was due to the ocean cycles turning back to cold. But something much more ominous has developed over this period. Sunspots run in 11 year short term cycles, with longer cyclical trends of 90 and even 200 years. The number of sunspots declined substantially in the last 11 year cycle, after flattening out over the previous 20 years. But in the current cycle, sunspot activity has collapsed. NASA’s Science News report for January 8, 2013 states,

“Indeed, the sun could be on the threshold of a mini-Maunder event right now. Ongoing Solar Cycle 24 [the current short term 11 year cycle] is the weakest in more than 50 years. Moreover, there is (controversial) evidence of a long-term weakening trend in the magnetic field strength of sunspots. Matt Penn and William Livingston of the National Solar Observatory predict that by the time Solar Cycle 25 arrives, magnetic fields on the sun will be so weak that few if any sunspots will be formed. Independent lines of research involving helioseismology and surface polar fields tend to support their conclusion.”

That is even more significant because NASA’s climate science has been controlled for years by global warming hysteric James Hansen, who recently announced his retirement.

But this same concern is increasingly being echoed worldwide. The Voice of Russia reported on April 22, 2013:

“Global warming which has been the subject of so many discussions in recent years, may give way to global cooling. According to scientists from the Pulkovo Observatory in St.Petersburg, solar activity is waning, so the average yearly temperature will begin to decline as well. Scientists from Britain and the US chime in saying that forecasts for global cooling are far from groundless.”

That report quoted Yuri Nagovitsyn of the Pulkovo Observatory saying, “Evidently, solar activity is on the decrease. The 11-year cycle doesn’t bring about considerable climate change – only 1-2%. The impact of the 200-year cycle is greater – up to 50%. In this respect, we could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years.” In other words, another Little Ice Age.

The German Herald reported on March 31, 2013:

“German meteorologists say that the start of 2013 is now the coldest in 208 years – and now German media has quoted Russian scientist Dr Habibullo Abdussamatov from the St. Petersburg Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory [saying this] is proof as he said earlier that we are heading for a “Mini Ice Age.” Talking to German media the scientist who first made his prediction in 2005 said that after studying sunspots and their relationship with climate change on Earth, we are now on an ‘unavoidable advance towards a deep temperature drop.’”

Faith in Global Warming is collapsing in formerly staunch Europe following increasingly severe winters which have now started continuing into spring. Christopher Booker explained in The Sunday Telegraph on April 27, 2013:

“Here in Britain, where we had our fifth freezing winter in a row, the Central England Temperature record – according to an expert analysis on the US science blog Watts Up With That – shows that in this century, average winter temperatures have dropped by 1.45C, more than twice as much as their rise between 1850 and 1999, and twice as much as the entire net rise in global temperatures recorded in the 20th century.”

A news report from India (The Hindu April 22, 2013) stated, “March in Russia saw the harshest frosts in 50 years, with temperatures dropping to –25° Celsius in central parts of the country and –45° in the north. It was the coldest spring month in Moscow in half a century….Weathermen say spring is a full month behind schedule in Russia.” The news report summarized,

“Russia is famous for its biting frosts but this year, abnormally icy weather also hit much of Europe, the United States, China and India. Record snowfalls brought Kiev, capital of Ukraine, to a standstill for several days in late March, closed roads across many parts of Britain, buried thousands of sheep beneath six-metre deep snowdrifts in Northern Ireland, and left more than 1,000,000 homes without electricity in Poland. British authorities said March was the second coldest in its records dating back to 1910. China experienced the severest winter weather in 30 years and New Delhi in January recorded the lowest temperature in 44 years.”

Booker adds, “Last week it was reported that 3,318 places in the USA had recorded their lowest temperatures for this time of year since records began. Similar record cold was experienced by places in every province of Canada. So cold has the Russian winter been that Moscow had its deepest snowfall in 134 years of observations.”

Britain’s Met Office, an international cheerleading headquarters for global warming hysteria, did concede last December that there would be no further warming at least through 2017, which would make 20 years with no global warming. That reflects grudging recognition of the newly developing trends. But that reflects as well growing divergence between the reality of real world temperatures and the projections of the climate models at the foundation of the global warming alarmism of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Since those models have never been validated, they are not science at this point, but just made up fantasies. That is why, “In the 12 years to 2011, 11 out of 12 [global temperature]forecasts [of the Met Office] were too high — and… none were colder than [resulted],” as BBC climate correspondent Paul Hudson wrote in January.

Global warming was never going to be the problem that the Lysenkoists who have brought down western science made it out to be. Human emissions of CO2 are only 4 to 5% of total global emissions, counting natural causes. Much was made of the total atmospheric concentration of CO2 exceeding 400 parts per million. But if you asked the daffy NBC correspondent who hysterically reported on that what portion of the atmosphere 400 parts per million is, she transparently wouldn’t be able to tell you. One percent of the atmosphere would be 10,000 parts per million. The atmospheric concentrations of CO2 deep in the geologic past were much, much greater than today, yet life survived, and we have no record of any of the catastrophes the hysterics have claimed. Maybe that is because the temperature impact of increased concentrations of CO2 declines logarithmically. That means there is a natural limit to how much increased CO2 can effectively warm the planet, which would be well before any of the supposed climate catastrophes the warming hysterics have tried to use to shut down capitalist prosperity.

Yet, just last week, there was Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson telling us, by way of attempting to tutor Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, “For the record, and for the umpteenth time, there is no ‘great amount of uncertainty’ about whether the planet is warming and why.” If you can read, and you have gotten this far in my column, you know why Robinson’s ignorance is just another Washington Post abuse of the First Amendment. Mr. Robinson, let me introduce you to the British Met Office, stalwart of Global Warming “science,” such as it is, which has already publicly confessed that we are already three quarters through 20 years of No Global Warming!

Booker could have been writing about Robinson when he concluded his Sunday Telegraph commentary by writing, “Has there ever in history been such an almighty disconnect between observable reality and the delusions of a political class that is quite impervious to any rational discussion?”

But there is a fundamental problem with the temperature records from this contentious period, when climate science crashed into political science. The land based records, which have been under the control of global warming alarmists at the British Met Office and the Hadley Centre Climate Research Unit, and at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the U.S., show much more warming during this period than the incorruptible satellite atmosphere temperature records. Those satellite records have been further confirmed by atmospheric weather balloons. But the land based records can be subject to tampering and falsification.

SOURCE





Italy is furious with Britain after UK blocks its bid to ban plastic shopping bags across Europe

Britain's decision not to back a European law banning plastic bags has caused friction with Italy and stunned environmental campaigners.

Italy's Environment Minister has criticised Britain's lack of support for the law, describing it as 'astounding' particularly for a seafaring nation.

Environmental campaigners have also been left flabbergasted by Britain's move earlier this month, especially given the Coalition government's support for reducing the environmental impact of bags on the landscape and wildlife.

However, a Government spokesperson said in a statement to the Mail Online: 'While we are determined to tackle the blight caused by discarded carrier bags, the proposed Italian scheme is illegal under EU packaging law.'

Andrea Orlando, Italy's environment minister, pointed out the risks to the environment of adopting Britain's position.

Quoted in The Daily Telegraph, he said: 'The bags are a serious problem, above all at sea, and it is astounding that Britain, which is serious about the environment and has a seafaring tradition going back centuries, does not want to defend the seas from plastic pollution which suffocates and kills many marine animals.'

Three years ago, Italy's coastline had one of the worst records for plastic bag pollution; Italians consumed one quarter of all Europe’s single-use plastic shopping bags. A study showed that plastic bags accounted for 72 per cent of the waste washed up on its coasts.

But since 2011, Italy has introduced a ban on supply of the carrier bags; supermarkets and shops are only allowed to provide biodegradable plastic bags or thicker reusable ones.

The Mediterranean country now wants to go one step further; to be able to impose fines on shops that fail to comply with the rules. To do this, it needs an EU law to rubber stamp the ban.

This month a report by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) revealed that for every mile of Britain's coastline, there are on average 72 disposable shopping bags washed up. The problem is also getting worse.

To tackle the growing problem, Scotland has pledged to introduce charges and Wales and Northern Ireland have already imposed fees resulting in bag use dropping by up to 96 per cent in some supermarkets.

But England has fallen short of imposing a ban.

Environmental charity Friends of the Earth has campaigned for years for plastic bags to be banned as long as alternatives are adequately highlighted, people and shopkeepers have enough time to prepare, and it does not have a 'disproportionate impact on the poor'.

British ex-pat and waste expert David Newman, who lives in Rome called the British position 'astonishing'. Mr Newman, head of the Italian Composting Association, told the Telegraph: 'The UK has been called to order on this at home yet it is opposing it in Brussels – it’s paradoxical.'

SOURCE




EPA's back-room 'sue and settle' deals require reform

Imagine the outcry if the nation woke up this morning to New York Times and Washington Post headlines reporting that in order to settle a lawsuit against Charles and David Koch, officials with the Environmental Protection Agency had met behind closed doors with them to iron out a deal that effectively allowed the brothers to rewrite regulations as they pleased. Imagine, also, that the EPA and the Kochs then got a federal court to issue a decree ratifying the deal and giving it the force of law? The sun would not likely set on a peaceful America until the EPA/Koch deal was utterly repudiated and those in government responsible for it frog-marched to jail after being charged with multiple violations of the Administrative Procedures Act.

So where were the outraged headlines for any of the 34 times since 2009 that the EPA did similar closed-door deals, but with the Sierra Club rather than the Kochs? Or the 20 times the agency accepted closed-door deals with another environmental activist group, the WildEarth Guardians? Why no headlines for the nine deals EPA accepted with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the six with the Center for Biologial Diversity or the five with the Environmental Defense Fund? In fact, none of the 71 closed-door deals EPA has accepted since 2009 with private parties involved in environmental advocacy and activism got front-page headlines.

All of these deals are unintended consequences of the "sue and settle" process included in major environmental laws adopted since 1970. Here's how the process works: First, the private environmental group sues the EPA in federal court seeking to force it to issue new regulations by a date certain. Then agency and group officials meet behind closed doors to hammer out a deal. Typically in the deal, the government agrees to do whatever the activists want. The last step occurs when the judge issues a consent decree that makes the deal the law of the land. No messy congressional hearings. No public comment period. No opportunity for anybody outside the privileged few to know how government regulatory policy is being shaped until it's too late.

That's how sue and settle works, so it's understandable that, as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce notes in a comprehensive new report on the process, "several environmental advocacy groups have made the Sue and Settle process a significant part of their legal strategy." It's also a significant funding tool for them because in most of the cases (65 percent, or 49 of the 71 cases involving the EPA) the suing group's legal fees are paid by taxpayers. (Incredibly, the Government Accountability Office found two years ago that it could not determine how much the government spent on such legal fees).

There are multiple reasons to repeal sue and settle but the two most important are its inherently anti-democratic character and the mockery it makes of transparency and accountability in government. Congress passed the Administrative Procedures Act in 1946 to ensure public participation in the rule-making process. In the decades since, there have been countless occasions in which public comments forced agencies to modify or withdraw deeply flawed regulatory proposals. But sue and settle cuts the public entirely out of the rule-making process. That must be changed and necessary reforms will be the focus tomorrow in this space.

SOURCE





Bureaucratic honesty for a change

On Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a draft document called a "biological opinion" — more powerful than the nice name implies — that commercial fishing posed "no jeopardy" to the endangered sturgeon in seven key Atlantic Coast areas.

Why is that worth headlines? Because it's extraordinary: Ultrapoliticized NOAA officials rarely fail to bludgeon commercial fishermen out of business with "jeopardy" findings based on virtually no information.

In that way, they are like discredited and departed Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator Al Armendariz, whose philosophy was to groundlessly "crucify" resource companies "as an example to others."

It's really extraordinary: Big Green's Natural Resources Defense Council and others filed petitions in 2009 to list the sturgeon under the Endangered Species Act, claiming the iconic fish's population was critically low.

So, when the biological study was proposed to conduct a scientific count (in a "Section 7 Consultation" required under the act), NRDC lobbyists bristled at the idea of meddling researchers possibly finding abundant sturgeon to upset their fundraising cart.

What happened next is really extraordinary: NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service meddled anyway (although it took a little prodding from key congressmen to ensure that NOAA and NMFS didn't cave in to Big Green lobbyists).

So they incorporated the new research data into NOAA's policymaking process on the sturgeon issue. It showed vastly more sturgeon alive and well than the doomsayers claimed, and that produced the "no jeopardy" finding.

It's miraculous: This "no jeopardy" finding shifts Atlantic fisheries out of Endangered Species Act crisis mode and confirms that the four-year cooperative research program designed as a team effort in that Section 7 Consultation was worth the time and money.

Much more, it gave us hope that collaboration, real scientific understanding, and mutual respect can prevail among commercial fishermen, biological researchers and involved resource managers. Better miracles are considerably above the government's pay grade.

Kevin Wark, captain of the Dana Christine, a 42-foot gillnetter out of Barnegat Light in New Jersey, has been working on the project since it began.

He and crewman Mike Lohr took 4,000 yards of mesh nets and temporarily relocated to Dewey Beach, Del., never running more than 10 miles from the Indian River Inlet.

Three years into the project, over a total of 68 days of sampling, Wark and Lohr caught and released 324 Atlantic sturgeon, some more than 7 feet long, and recaptured not a single fish from the previous year. That was nearly as many as the whole previously estimated population.

The researchers on board implanted the captured sturgeon with long-life tracking radios to identify individuals and locate migratory and spawning areas, and collected DNA samples to identify subspecies correctly.

Wark said, "Professor Dewayne Fox and grad student Matt Breece from Delaware State University, Jim Armstrong from the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, and the other researchers handled themselves on board like fishermen. They pitched in and were more than willing to get their hands dirty helping out."

The scientists acknowledge that the capture and release of so many large sturgeon would not have been possible without the knowledge and skill of Wark and Lohr designing and building the gear, finding and catching the sturgeon, then getting the fish back in the water in good shape.

I spoke with Greg DiDomenico, executive director of Garden State Seafood Association, who has worked this issue since the 2009 petitions. He spreads the credit around to the fishermen who realized the importance of sturgeon conservation, and the fisheries agencies and managers of most of the East Coast states who backed the study.

This little headline is for all these people seeking scientific truth rather than giving in to Big Green ideology: Thank you for the human decency.

SOURCE




Mindless “Green” Indoctrination of Children

Paul Driessen

“We’re from the Earth Guardians group, and we’re working on fracking and how it’s going to affect our future and our health. So we wrote this song for all the gas companies that are putting their profits ahead of our future.”

With that prelude, 12-year-old Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and his 9-year-old brother Itzcuauhtli launched into an anti-fracking rap song for Evergreen Middle School students whose teacher had invited them to journey 40 miles from their home in “the People’s Republic of Boulder,” Colorado. The song was well rehearsed, spirited, clever – and no doubt assisted by their mother, the founder and executive director of Earth Guardians, and maybe even by Boulder’s former mayor, an EG advisor.

The boys have been inculcated in Aztec and Hard Green ideology from birth. As EG members, they’re dedicated to “educating” other children about “sustainability,” “dangerous climate change” and “earth-friendly” renewable energy. In an era when too many babies are having babies, it’s not surprising that children are indoctrinating children. Not surprising, but not beneficial either.

Moreover, the teacher had failed to follow school policy, get permission to bring in outside propagandists, or present other perspectives. Unhappy parents raised a stink with Principal Kris Schuh, and the school district promised to distribute “pro-oil and gas literature” to secure some balance.

Fracking, of course, is horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, a revolutionary technology that definitely will affect our future and our health – for the better.

Although fracking has been used for 60 years, in combination with deep horizontal drilling it has sent US oil and gas production sharply upward for the first time in decades, turned “imminent depletion” into another century of affordable petroleum, generated millions of jobs and billions of dollars in government revenues, kept home heating and electricity prices from skyrocketing in the face of EPA’s war on coal, brought a resurgence in US petrochemical and other industries, and (in conjunction with our still weak economy and high unemployment) helped reduce CO2 emissions. It’s meant fewer oil imports, improved balance of trade, and more opportunities to lift more people out of poverty worldwide.

In fact, a recent IHS Global Insight report concludes that, in the United States alone, fracking has already created 1.7 million new direct and indirect jobs, with the total likely to rise to 3 million jobs over the next eight years. It’s added $62 billion to federal and state treasuries, with that total expected to rise to $111 billion by 2020. And by 2035, it could inject over $5 trillion in cumulative capital expenditures into the economy, while generating over $2.5 trillion in cumulative additional government revenues.

By contrast, $26 billion taken from taxpayers and given to wind, solar and biofuel energy projects via Department of Energy subsidies and loan guarantees since 2009 created only 2,298 permanent jobs, at a cost of $11.45 million per job, the Institute for Energy Research calculates, using DOE data.

If more of this new natural gas were devoted to generating electricity – instead of just backing up 40,000 US wind turbines – millions of birds and bats would not be slaughtered every year, and vital species would not be driven to the brink of extinction in wildlife habitats that have been blanketed by turbines.

The Earth Guardians ignore all of this, and claim hydraulic fracturing is poisoning our air and water.

The facts say otherwise. As the film FrackNation and numerous articles and reports have documented, there has never been a confirmed case of groundwater contamination due to fracking, despite numerous investigations by state agencies and the US Environmental Protection Agency. There is no evidence of air or people being poisoned, and companies continue to improve their technologies, to reduce methane leakage and employ more biodegradable and “kitchen cabinet” chemicals.

And still the Earth Guardians deliver outright falsehoods about fracking, by children to children, in public schools funded by taxpayer dollars. Perhaps this goes on because teachers and school administrators fail to recognize the potential harm, or are themselves devoted to promoting extreme environmentalist ideologies. Certainly they failed to exercise their responsibility and authority as educators to provide a balanced curriculum. They failed to see how they were being used by groups with political agendas, to inculcate a distorted dogma into a new generation of Americans.

Why is it that the Earth Guardians, Sierra Club and similar groups detest fracking? Maybe because this technology demolishes their Club of Rome claims that mankind is about to run out of petroleum – or because it means fossil fuels are again on the ascendency, making wind and solar even less viable and further demonstrating that wind energy is a far less sustainable energy resource that petroleum.

How vulnerable are America’s youth to this brainwashing? With young people spending 7.5 hours a day viewing television, music and social media like Facebook, they’re almost ready-made targets for political groups that use these communications trends to promote narrow views. Without facts and data to counter the often entertaining messages – especially when they are delivered in schools – children tend to accept what authority figures put in front of them.

Even older students are vulnerable to being spoon-fed incorrect information. And student voters who are reluctant or too disinterested to seek truthful information can have a profound impact on U.S. elections and national policy.

In 2011 college professors Josipa Roksa and Richard Arum surveyed 925 college students two years after graduation about their transitions into the labor force. In addition to discovering that only slightly more than half had found full-time jobs, Roska and Arum found that the students’ “lack of awareness of current events … was startling.” Thirty-two percent reported “that they read a newspaper only monthly or never.” It makes you wonder whether colleges are doing their most fundamental job: teaching students to think, rather than merely to parrot politically correct mantras – whether they are preparing students to become intelligent, informed, active members in a functioning democratic society.

Roska and Arum wrote, “This lack of engagement is as troubling as their financial difficulties – it can hardly be a good sign for a democratic society when many of its citizens, including highly educated ones, are not aware of or engaged with what is going on in the nation and world.”

Yet, as we learned in the 2008 election, young voters have the power to select a president. If their political choices are based on a lack of knowledge – or even worse, on propaganda – the nation will suffer.

It’s time for all our schools, K through graduate school, to make sure our students are presented with and taught to ponder and debate all sides of these important and complex questions. Our future depends on it.

SOURCE




GREENIE ROUNDUP FROM AUSTRALIA

Four current articles below

Greenie regulations on Qld. coal mines eased

A LOSS of about $750 million in royalties through the flooding of central Queensland coal mines over the past three years has pushed the Government into allowing more mines in the Fitzroy River basin to release water.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the plan will be put in place next wet season after a trial among four mines found no long-term impacts on water quality.

"The pilot program carried out over the last wet season shows that this legacy mine water can be released when there are sufficient river flows, while maintaining water quality," Mr Seeney said.

Mr Seeney said Central Queensland coal mines still have an estimated 250 billion litres of excess water as a result of the recent wet seasons.

"The government will undertake detailed discussions with coal mine operators in coming months to identify the optimal solutions that may be available for each mine," he said.

"Any amendments will need to be finalised well before the next wet season, to allow coal mines to be well prepared and for the supporting monitoring programs to be up and running.

More than 30 mines in central Queensland have been flooded in the past three years and unable to release that water until heavy rains can dilute the pollutants like salt.

Only two have been able to reduce any significant amount of water hampering production at most mines.

Only about 26 billion litres was released into creek and river systems during heavy rain in January.

He said the Government would look for more options to release the water, but any amendments will need to be finalised well before the next wet season, to allow coal mines to be well prepared and for the supporting monitoring programs to be up and running.

Environment Minister Andrew Powell said an independent assessment of the pilot had proved that the measures put in place ensured water quality for drinking, agriculture and the environment was protected.

"The data shows that adequate measures are in place to ensure water quality standards have been met and I am confident that we will continue to see that in the future," Mr Powell said.

SOURCE

Green funding rush fires loans row as $800M push defies Tony Abbott

THE Clean Energy Finance Corporation is planning to write up to $800 million in green loans before the election, defying the Coalition's call for the agency not to sign contracts before September 14 because Tony Abbott has vowed to scrap it.

The CEFC has revealed it is in "active discussions" with 50 projects seeking $2 billion and that an additional 119 project proponents have presented proposals that are seeking finance worth $3.3bn. The figures are contained in an email from the CEFC to the opposition pleading its case not to be scrapped if the Coalition wins the election.

The CEFC was established as part of the Gillard government's Clean Energy Future package to provide finance to clean energy projects that might not otherwise be able to raise funds through the commercial banking system. It receives an allocation of $2bn a year for five years which has been locked into the government's budget through legislation.

The scale of discussions under way between the CEFC and clean energy project proponents puts it on a collision course with the Coalition, which in February wrote to the CEFC asking it not to write any loans between July 1 and the election.

Opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb said the Coalition was "deeply troubled by the indecent haste to start risking many billions of dollars of borrowed money".

"There is simply no valid reason for agreements to be struck, contracts to be signed or for funds to be meted out this side of the election," Mr Robb said. "It is unconscionable. We have been crystal clear in our opposition to the CEFC and in our resolve to abolish it. We will do whatever we can to prevent $10bn of borrowed money from being wasted."

CEFC chief executive Oliver Yates last night said the agency, which can begin writing loans from July 1, would do so in an orderly way and was planning to write about $1bn worth of loans every six months.

Asked what the CEFC could write between its start date of July 1 and August 12, when the pre-election caretaker period begins, Mr Yates said he would be happy if the CEFC could write between $600m and $800m. However, all agreements would be subject to extensive due diligence.

The CEFC has revealed the full value of the 50 projects in "active discussions" is put at $4.6bn and the 119 extra projects for which submissions have been received are worth more than $6bn.

In the email to the opposition, Mr Yates said there had been a "resounding positive response to date from the market, demonstrating the significant role which the CEFC can play".

He revealed the CEFC was working on a dozen projects in Victoria that would deliver jobs and growth "but all are now in question". "These projects have a total expected size of nearly $2.5bn," he said.

The letter also revealed the CEFC had tightened its lending criteria and it had removed an assumption that it would grant or lose 7.5 per cent of the investment portfolio.

"We determined that to operate commercially the CEFC would not make grants or what was termed 'immediately impaired loans'," Mr Yates wrote. "The making of such are inconsistent with the approach of being self-sustaining and commercial."

Mr Yates argued that the difference between the CEFC and a traditional financial institution was that "we don't seek maximum profits but seek to cover operating and funding costs, and use the potential to make higher profits to secure public policy benefits and reduce the cost of moving to a lower-carbon economy".

"We will participate alongside traditional financiers and may from time to time rub shoulders as we build our market presence and financial self-sufficiency," he said. "That said, the net effect of our participation in the market will be to increase available funding opportunities for the private sector, not reduce them."

Mr Yates said the CEFC was focused on being a sustainable institution and, where a loan was written below the bond rate for a public policy purpose, another might be written at a commercial rate to ensure the business was sustainable.

In his budget reply speech this month, the Opposition Leader repeated his vow to "scrap Labor's green-loans scheme for projects that the banks won't touch".

The corporation's chairwoman and Reserve Bank board member Jillian Broadbent has previously said there was "significant appetite" for funds and has signalled that the CEFC would seek to act according to its mandate to write loans, despite the opposition's request not to do so.

SOURCE

Mining industry releases report stating resistance to coal seam gas projects will end expansion and sacrifice many jobs

COMMUNITY activists fighting CSG projects with "myths" are putting at risk a potential $150 billion investment bonanza, a mining industry report to be released this week warns.

And the industry is pressing the Coalition to pledge tougher workplace laws and slashed regulation before the September 14 election.

Mining company executives are pointing to an opportunity to capitalise on growing liquified natural gas (LNG) markets which could be lost to gas producers in Africa and North America.

Seven of the 13 LNG plants being built around the world are under construction in Australia but further expansion opportunities could be lost. LNG now supplies nine per cent of the world's energy and this could rise to 15 per cent by 2020, with lower carbon emissions than from coal power.

LNG demand in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to rise from 160 million tonnes a year now to 320 million tonnes by 2025, the McKinsey study found.

"The window of opportunity for LNG projects is open for about 18 months. We have momentum on projects, and want to get through that window," the outgoing Australian chair of Shell Ann Pickard told reporters in Brisbane Sunday.

Liquified Natural Gas producers increasingly are turning to coal seam gas as conventional supplies run down or prove too expensive to mine.

But in some parts of Queensland and in NSW they are being fought by an unusual combination of Greens, farmers, and broadcaster Alan Jones, a group Mr Byers said was well organised and very well funded.

The Lock the Gates Alliance representing the resistance has accused mining companies of "riding roughshod over our governments and local communities".

Mr Byers said: "Call it for what it is: it is a campaign which is based on some ideological objections to having kore gas into our energy supply system as distinct to going for more renewables."

He said the research presented on CSG was being rejected by groups claiming it would harm water supplies and wreck productive pastures.

The miners also are pointing in particular to the significantly lower labour costs in North America.

Another industry executive said Australian labor costs were not only high against those of developing nations, they were greater than those of the US and Canada in similar work.

State and federal governments both Liberal and Labor are threatening mine expansions which could see an extra $13 billion in taxes and royalties paid by 2020, according to the report commissioned the the Australian Petroleum Production Exploration Association (APPEA).

"We do have some very big hurdles in front of us in order to keep this investment wave going," said the APPEA's chief executive David Byers on Sunday.

Mr Byers said in an election year there was "a lot of people who are looking to win friends and votes by raising the hurdles that we face even higher".

"And here I'm not just talking about the Greens," Mr Byers told reporters in Brisbane.

"In recent time we've seen government of both political persuasions at both federal and state levels prone to flip flopping on gas regulation."

SOURCE

Brisbane City Council to relax tree and vegetation protection laws

RESIDENTS will be able to trim street trees for the first time in almost 20 years and protected growths will become easier to remove from properties under sweeping changes to Brisbane's vegetation protection rules.

In a move likely to anger some community and environmental groups, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk will today announce the proposed amendments aimed at "ensuring people's lives and homes aren't put in unnecessary danger".

The changes to the Natural Assets Local Law will affect more than 60,000 Brisbane properties housing protected trees and could have implications for about 600,000 city street trees, including Moreton Bay figs, jacarandas, red gums and hoop pines.

Anybody wishing to trim or remove protected trees from their land will still have to apply to Brisbane City Council.

However, rather than just consider the tree's health, council will place more emphasis on risks to life or property and "nuisance issues".

Residents will also no longer have to commission an arborist report before starting work.

The council is also planning to lift a 20-year ban on residents pruning street trees affecting their properties.

Currently residents must call on council to request officers carry out even the most minor trimming of street trees.

Property owners will still have to flag the pruning work with council before getting to work but can gain approval on grounds including "safety, nuisance or presentation". Cr Quirk said the changes were a "reaction to growing community concern" about protected trees being put before the rights of residents.

"There will undoubtedly be opponents to these changes, but the January storms reminded us all how easily seemingly healthy trees can cause serious harm and common sense needs to prevail," he said.

Cr Quirk said the council would continue to maintain park and street trees and carry out major work but did not want to stand in the way of residents wishing to carry out minor work on public trees affecting their properties.

On-the-spot fines of up to $550 will also be introduced for offences including unauthorised interference with a protected tree.

Key tree species covered by the Natural Assets Local Law:

* Hoop Pine (Araucaria cunninghamii). Attains heights over 25m.

* Forest Red Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis). Attains heights over 25m. Known for dropping large branches without warning.

* Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia). Grows to 15m high x 12m wide.

* Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla). Grows, on average, 30 to 35 metres tall and 40 metres wide. The same species that famously fell over in New Farm Park.

* Leopard Tree (a common council street tree). Leopard Trees drop seed pods causing a slip hazard to pedestrians, aren't native and council no longer actively plants them.

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here

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May 28, 2013

The new Lysenkoism

Trofim Lysenko became the Director of the Soviet Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences in the 1930s under Josef Stalin. He was an advocate of the theory that characteristics acquired by plants during their lives could be inherited by later generations stemming from the changed plants, which sharply contradicted Mendelian genetics. As a result, Lysenko became a fierce critic of theories of the then rising modern genetics.

Under Lysenko’s view, for example, grafting branches of one plant species onto another could create new plant hybrids that would be perpetuated by the descendants of the grafted plant. Or modifications made to seeds would be inherited by later generations stemming from that seed. Or that plucking all the leaves off of a plant would cause descendants of the plant to be leafless.

Lysenkoism was “politically correct” (a term invented by Lenin) because it was consistent with certain broader Marxist doctrines. Marxists wanted to believe that heredity had a limited role even among humans, and that human characteristics changed by living under socialism would be inherited by subsequent generations of humans. Thus would be created the selfless new Soviet man.

Also Lysenko himself arose from a peasant background and developed his theories from practical applications rather than controlled scientific experiments. This fit the Marxist propaganda of the time holding that brilliant industrial innovations would arise from the working classes through practical applications. Lysenko’s theories also seemed to address in a quick and timely manner the widespread Soviet famines of the time arising from the forced collectivization of agriculture, rather than the much slower changes from scientific experimentation and genetic heredity.

Lysenko was consequently embraced and lionized by the Soviet media propaganda machine. Scientists who promoted Lysenkoism with faked data and destroyed counterevidence were favored with government funding and official recognition and award. Lysenko and his followers and media acolytes responded to critics by impugning their motives, and denouncing them as bourgeois fascists resisting the advance of the new modern Marxism.

The V.I. Lenin Academy of Agricultural Sciences announced on August 7, 1948 that thenceforth Lysenkoism would be taught as the only correct theory. All Soviet scientists were required to denounce any work that contradicted Lysenkoism. Ultimately, Soviet geneticists resisting Lysenkoism were imprisoned and even executed. Lysenkoism was abandoned for the correct modern science of Mendelian genetics only as late as 1964.

The Theory of Man Caused Catastrophic Global Warming

This same practice of Lysenkoism has long been under way in western science in regard to the politically correct theory of man caused, catastrophic, global warming. That theory serves the political fashions of the day in promoting vastly increased government powers and control over the private economy. Advocates of the theory are lionized in the dominant Democrat party controlled media in the U.S., and in leftist controlled media in other countries. Critics of the theory are denounced as “deniers,” and even still bourgeois fascists, with their motives impugned.

Those who promote the theory are favored with billions from government grants and neo-Marxist environmentalist largesse, and official recognition and award. Faked and tampered data and evidence has arisen in favor of the politically correct theory. Is not man-caused, catastrophic global warming now the only theory allowed to be taught in schools in the West?

Those in positions of scientific authority in the West who have collaborated with this new Lysenkoism because they felt they must be politically correct, and/or because of the money, publicity, and recognition to be gained, have disgraced themselves and the integrity of their institutions, organizations and publications.

The United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is supposed to represent the best science of the U.S. government on the issue of global warming. In January, the USGCRP released the draft of its Third National Climate Assessment Report. The first duty of the government scientists at the USGCRP is to produce a complete picture of the science of the issue of global warming, which is what the taxpayers are paying them for. But it didn’t take long for the Cato Institute to do the job of the USGCRP with a devastating line by line rebuttal, The Missing Science from the Draft National Assessment on Climate Change, Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute, Washington, DC, 2012, by Patrick J. Michaels, Paul C. Knappenberger, Robert C. Balling, Mary J. Hutzler & Craig D. Idso.

Check it out for yourself if you dare. Both publications are written to be accessible by intelligent laymen. See which one involves climate science and which one involves political science.

All the climate alarmist organizations simply rubber stamp the irregular Assessment Reports of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). None of them do any original science on the theory of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming. But the United Nations is a proven, corrupt, power grabbing institution. The science of their Assessment Reports has been thoroughly rebutted by the hundreds of pages of science in Climate Change Reconsidered, and Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim Report, both written by dozens of scientists with the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, and published by the Heartland Institute, the international headquarters of the skeptics of the theory of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming.

Again, check it out for yourself. You don’t have to read every one of the well over a thousand pages of careful science in both volumes to see at least that there is a real scientific debate.

The editors of the once respected journals of Science and Nature have abandoned science for Lysenkoism on this issue as well. They have become as political as the editorial pages of the New York Times. They claim their published papers are peer reviewed, but those reviews are conducted on the friends and family plan when it comes to the subject of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming. There can be no peer review at all when authors refuse to release their data and computer codes for public inspection and attempted reconstruction of reported results by other scientists. They have been forced to backtrack on recent publications relying on novel, dubious, statistical methodologies not in accordance with established methodologies of complex statistical analysis.

Formerly respected scientific bodies in the U.S. and other western countries have been commandeered by political activist Lysenkoists seizing leadership positions. They then proceed with politically correct pronouncements on the issue of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming heedless of the views of the membership of actual scientists. Most of what you see and hear from alarmists regarding global warming can be most accurately described as play acting on the meme of settled science. The above noted publications demonstrate beyond the point where reasonable people can differ that no actual scientist can claim that the science of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming has been settled or that there is a settled “consensus” that rules out reasonable dissent.

Indeed, 31,487 U.S. scientists (including 9,000 Ph.Ds) with degrees in atmospheric Earth sciences, physics, chemistry, biology and computer science have signed a statement that reads: “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.” See here. Some consensus.

Real science, of course, is not a matter of “consensus,” but of reason, with skepticism at its core.

The alarmist claims of the UN’s IPCC are ultimately based not on scientific observations, but on unvalidated climate models and their projections of future global temperatures on assumptions of continued increases in carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the burning and use of fossil fuels. The alarmists are increasingly in panic because the past projections of the models are increasingly divergent from the accumulating actual temperature records. Those models are not real science, but made up science. And no way we are abandoning the industrial revolution as the Sierra Club is hoping based on model fantasies and fairy tales.

The Economist magazine, formerly in lockstep with the Lysenkoists, shocked them with a skeptical article in March that began with this lede:

“OVER the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar. The world added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. That is about a quarter of all the CO2 put there by humanity since 1750. And yet, as James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, observes, ‘the five-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade. . . .’”

Reality is not complying with the alarmism of the UN’s global warming models, just as it refused to do for Trofim Lysenko. Remember all that hysteria about melting polar ice caps and the disappearing ice floes for the cute polar bears? As of the end of March, the Antarctic ice cap was nearly one fourth larger than the average for the last 30 years. The Arctic ice cap had grown back to within 3% of its 30 year average. (The formerly declining Arctic ice was due to cyclically warm ocean currents). Global sea ice was greater than in March, 1980, more than 30 years ago, and also above the average since then.

Remember the alarm about the rising sea level? Yeah, that has been rising, as it has been since the end of the last ice age more than 10,000 years ago. Just exactly as it has been, at the same rate. And anyone you know that has been scared by this alarmist propaganda has been successfully played by whatever media the fool has been relying on.

Murderous recent winters in Europe are killing as well belief in alarmist global warming on the continent. University of Oklahoma Professor and geophysicist David Deming reported in a recent column,

“The United Kingdom had the coldest March weather in 50 years, and there were more than a thousand record low temperatures in the United States. The Irish meteorological office reported that March “temperatures were the lowest on record nearly everywhere.” Spring snowfall in Europe was also high. In Moscow, the snow depth was the highest in 134 years of observation. In Kiev, authorities had to bring in military vehicles to clear snow from the streets.”

In the Northern Hemisphere, Deming adds, “Snow cover last December was the greatest since satellite monitoring began in 1966.” That reflects similarly bitter cold winters in North America as well. Despite claims by global warming Lysenkoists that soon children “won’t know what snow is,” on February 6, 2010, a blizzard covered the northeastern U.S. with 20 to 35 inches of snow. Three days later another 10 to 20 inches were added.

The historical proxy record shows CO2 concentrations in the distant history of the earth much, much greater than today. Yet life survived, and flourished. Moreover, the basic science of global warming is that the temperature increasing effect of increased CO2 concentrations declines as those concentrations increase. So stop worrying and enjoy the agricultural abundance in your grocery store.

A tip off regarding reality should have been apparent from the dodgy propaganda involved in changing the labeling of the problem from “global warming” to “climate change.” Of course, Earth has been experiencing climate change since the first sunrise on the planet. We are not going to abandon the workers’ paradise of capitalism because climate change will continue.

Another tip off should have been the effective admission by global warming alarmists that they cannot defend their position in public debate. The day the theory of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming died can be dated from the time that one leading alarmist was foolish enough to debate James Taylor of the Heartland Institute, a video of which can be found on the Heartland website at Heartland.org.

Still another tip off should have been the practice of the alarmist new Lysenkoists to respond to dissenting science with ad hominem attacks. That apparently reflects poor public schooling that never taught that an ad hominem attack is a logical fallacy, as Aristotle taught more than 2,000 years ago. My how western science has fallen.

The basic science shows that global temperatures are just not very sensitive to CO2 itself. Even alarmists will concede that. Where they get their alarm is with the modeling assumption that the CO2 induced temperature increases will produce positive feedbacks that will sharply increase the overall resulting warming. The better recent science indicates, however, that instead of positive feedbacks, the naturally stable Earth would enjoy negative feedbacks restoring long term equilibrium and stability to global temperatures.

Then there is the man caused, global warming, fingerprint that the U.N.’s models all showed would result in a hot spot of particularly large temperature increases in the upper troposphere above the tropics. But the incorruptible, satellite monitored, atmospheric temperature record shows no hot spot. That is further confirmed by modern weather balloons measuring atmospheric temperatures above the tropics. No hotspot. No fingerprint. No catastrophic, man caused global warming. QED.

The revival of western science requires that the new Lysenkoism be discredited. That is going to require quite some work, given the extent of the infestation.

SOURCE





Climate Change: we really don't need to waste all this money

By James Delingpole

"Don't just do something: stand there!" Ronald Reagan was fond of telling overactive functionaries. The same rules apply to the climate change industry: trillions of dollars squandered, vast forces mobilised, public anxieties worked up to fever pitch – all to no useful purpose whatsoever.

That's why – belatedly: there really isn't much time left – I'm urging you to support this hugely worthwhile new film project being organised by Lord Monckton. The aim of the 50 to 1 project is to raise enough money to collate a series of interviews with the likes of Jo Nova, Anthony Watts, David Evans, Fred Singer and Vaclav Klaus, which will then be edited into a short, punchy film. It will demonstrate that no matter where you stand on the "science" of climate change the measures currently being used to deal with the "problem" are hugely expensive and counterproductive.

Even if the IPCC is right, and even if climate change IS happening and it IS caused by man, we are STILL better off adapting to it as it happens than we are trying to 'stop' it. 'Action' is 50 times more expensive than 'adaptation', and that's a conclusion which is derived directly from the IPCC's own predictions and formulae!

There's so much rubbish out there on the internet produced by lavishly funded Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and WWF activists, junk scientists, rent-seeking corporatists and EU- and UN-funded environmental bodies.

Time we hit back with the thing these eco-loons hate most: cold hard facts.

SOURCE




Science proves alarmist global warming claims nothing but hot air

By Chris de Freitas

Several aspects of Jim Salinger's op-ed "Climate hurtling towards a hothouse Earth" (Herald 24/5/13) are quite misleading.

It is true most climate scientists would agree that rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to fossil fuel use could affect global climate. The basic physics is there to support this view. But there is no evidence that the putative change would be large or damaging. Output from computer models is not evidence unless model performance has been validated. So far, it has not.

The so-called evidence of minor human-caused climatic change can also be attributed to causes or processes other than those related to the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

What is rarely mentioned by climate alarmists is the incontrovertible fact that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere has an ever-decreasing effect on global temperature. To illustrate this, compare covering a glass window with very thin paint. The first coat of paint cuts out some light, the second some more; but each subsequent coat has an ever decreasing effect on light shining through.

It is true, the warming effect of increasing carbon dioxide concentrations never reaches zero (saturation); but, for significant global warming to occur, increased concentrations must set in motion positive (or destabilising) feedback processes.

Such processes would cause temperatures to rise by some other mechanism. One such mechanism is increased evaporation caused by higher temperatures leading to rising water vapour concentration, which is by far the most important greenhouse gas. This would increase retention of energy from the Sun and lead to further warming, and so on.

To date, scientific evidence suggests that negative (stabilising) feedback processes prevail; possibly due to the cooling effect of increased cloudiness from water vapour increase. If true, this means it is unlikely higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will greatly influence global climate.

Negative feedback processes are played down by climate alarmists who assume climate is governed by positive feedback processes which they claim will lead to runaway global warming. Four billion years of global climate history shows that negative feedbacks prevail.

Climate warming does not confirm that carbon dioxide is causing it. The evidence would have to distinguish between human-caused warming and natural warming. This has not been done.

Climate is always warming or cooling. There are natural variability theories of warming. Much of the talk of "increasing evidence for global warming" is actually evidence of climate variability.

Whatever the cause of the current warm phase, its occurrence is not unprecedented. Global warming happened from 1850 to 1940, then cooling to 1979. During the Medieval Warm Period from 900 to 1200AD, the Vikings sailed in arctic waters that are now covered with sea ice, and farmed Greenland soil that is now too cold for agriculture.

From the results of research to date, it appears the influence of increasing carbon dioxide on global warming is almost indiscernible. Future warming could occur, but there is no evidence to suggest it will amount to much.

SOURCE





Over-population: Another non-problem

Lord Monckton

Dan Brown’s just-published pot-boiler, “Inferno,” assumes that because the world’s population has doubled over the past half-century its recent exponential increase will continue until the very survival of humanity is at risk.

Like everything else Brown over-writes, this is fiction. Fashionable, but fiction.

His hero, a tiresomely inept professor of symbology, galumphs through the tourist guidebooks of Florence, Venice and Istanbul unsuccessfully trying to halt the release of a mutant virus designed by a suicidal mad scientist to Save The Planet by rendering a third of humanity infertile.

That’s it. Save yourself the monstrous price of this trashy book and buy an ounce of silver instead.

Let us knock the “population explosion” myth on the head. The totalitarian types are as wrong about the supposed danger of too many children as they were about global warming, breathing other people’s tobacco smoke, eating too much salt, or catching bird flu.

There has been no global warming for two decades; the risk of lung cancer from passive smoking is statistically indistinguishable from that of breathing fresh air; if you eat too much salt the body excretes it harmlessly through the kidneys; and bird flu is for the birds.

This is the Age of Scares. To the racketeering governing class, Scares are profitable. One can spot a Scare by three nannying catch-phrases: the lazy “scientists say,” the propagandizing “raise awareness” and the bossy “we must.”

When the three catch-phrases are combined – “scientists raising awareness of [insert Scare du jour] say we must [end freedom and spend trillions on more taxes and still more regulations]” – that is the moment to hold your pocket-book tightly and run for cover.

Little more than a decade ago, awareness-raising scientists used to say there would be 16 billion people on Earth by 2050, compared with 7 billion today. The U.N. even celebrated the millennium by building a World Population Clock to raise awareness of how much scientists said we must spend.

Shortly before midnight on the last day of the old millennium, the World Population Clock broke down – as well it might. For scientists now say global population will peak not at the 16 billion to which that silliest of propaganda gadgets pointed, but at just 9-10 billion by 2050. It will plummet thereafter.

Not that you will find the startling fact of this drastic downward revision mentioned anywhere in Brown’s oeuvre. He was very careful not to raise awareness of it.

What did the mad scientists and the profiteering U.N. get wrong? They failed to study the real-world demographic statistics going back 150 years. Population figures from all nations reveal one crucial but very seldom stated fact.

The richer you are, the slower you breed.

In the world’s most prosperous nations, such as the United States, the indigenous population is declining. Only net immigration and breeding by recent immigrants is keeping the population trend up. In the Third World, by contrast, populations tend to double every 25 years.

It is now established beyond reasonable doubt that the only reliable way to stabilize the world’s population is to lift the standard of living of everyone on Earth above the poverty line.

Even India, whose program of enforced sterilization failed two generations back, and China, whose cruel one-child policy has likewise failed today, have now come to realize that freedom from poverty is also freedom from over-population.

Despite the malevolent efforts of power-mad totalitarians, mad environmentalists and authors of pot-boilers everywhere, the world’s population is getting richer. As we get richer, we have fewer children.

The reasons why richer populations have fewer children than poorer are well understood. They have little or nothing to do with profitable boondoggles such as “women’s education” or the widespread availability of abortifacient contraception.

Consider a village without electricity. Now add electricity. Suddenly, there are other things to do at nighttime than breed.

Consider a subsistence farmer. If he has many children, they will provide for him in his old age. Now add modern agricultural methods. Suddenly, he can make enough to provide for himself in his old age.

Consider Africa, the most infection-prone continent on Earth. Now add proper medical treatment. Suddenly, the pressure to over-breed to ensure racial survival vanishes.

In one respect, and in one respect only, over-population remains a dangerous possibility. If the crazed environmentalists succeed in their demands that the poor should not be lifted out of poverty, and that the rich nations should once again descend into the poverty from which they have lifted themselves, then the world’s population will continue to grow.

Brown’s dismal, half-baked thesis is that the Black Death, the rat-borne plague that killed a third of Europe’s population in the early Middle Ages, led directly to the Renaissance by making the survivors richer.

Yet the Renaissance happened despite the plague, not because of it. It happened because in Italy, and eventually throughout Europe, the governing class came to value the use of reason and learning.

Today, the world’s governing elites are less well educated – and accordingly more prejudiced – than at any time since the Renaissance. It is precisely because they know so little of what is true that they believe so much that is false.

Scientists say we must raise awareness that our leaders’ belief that over-population is a problem arises not because it is a problem but because those in power are as fashionably, profitably ignorant as Dan Brown.

SOURCE




Revealed: The EU's great green U-turn on policy that is sending energy bills soaring across the continent

The European Union is quietly taking steps to shred the ‘green agenda’ responsible for rocketing energy bills across the continent.

It is now urging members to restore Europe’s competitiveness by ‘fracking’ for cheap natural gas from shale, instead of pushing ‘renewable’ energy subsidies which cost consumers billions of pounds.

The policy shift was unveiled last week at a Brussels summit attended by David Cameron.

It comes as MPs prepare to debate the final stages of the Energy Bill when Parliament returns after its Whitsun recess.

In its current form, the Bill will see subsidies for windfarms and solar panels triple to £7.6 billion a year – thus increasing the cost of ‘green’ levies and taxes which already add £100 a year to the average household fuel bill.

But Tory MP Tim Yeo, who was paid a total of £245,000 in the last two financial years by green energy and transport companies, has moved an amendment which would increase this burden still further.

It would force the UK to set a binding target of cutting the carbon dioxide emitted by generating electricity by 90 per cent by 2030 – a goal many experts regard as impossible. But Labour and at least 16 Tories and Liberal Democrats have pledged to support it, and it may well become law.

The EU’s about-turn has been prompted by news that electricity prices in Europe have risen by 40 per cent since 2005, while those in the US have fallen by 10 per cent.

The main reason for America’s cheap energy is its booming shale gas industry.

Many EU nations – including Britain – have their own vast reserves of shale gas, but fierce opposition from green activists has stalled efforts to extract it.

But after last week’s summit, EU leaders issued a statement saying ‘the supply of affordable and sustainable energy to our economies is crucial’.

They added that the EU would support ‘systematic recourse to on-shore and off-shore indigenous resources’ – a reference to shale.

Brussels observers say the summit reflected a shift away from policies aimed primarily at cutting emissions, and towards a drive for cheaper energy.

German MEP Holger Krahmer said: ‘The EU is starting to realise we achieve very little by setting targets for ourselves when the rest of the world won’t, while rising bills are plunging families into poverty.’

Ironically, Energy Secretary Ed Davey will tomorrow urge his European counterparts to cut emissions by 50 per cent by 2030.

SOURCE




Renewable energy, a land guzzler

Surprisingly, this article is written by a researcher at The Energy and Resources Institute, TERI, which is the body led by the IPCC chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri. Land availability is a big issue in India

Shilpi Kapur Bakshi

India is blessed with a variety of these clean renewable energy alternatives – biomass, solar energy, wind energy and hydro power. This has encouraged the Government of India to set ambitious targets for renewable energy.

However, India’s interest and efforts in promoting renewable energy may soon create newer sustainability concerns. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy appears to have overlooked the growing conflict between renewable energy and land.

Scarce resource

Land is an already scarce resource in India, with demand from farmers to industrial houses to service institutions and the Government. To this list another claimant has been added; many forms of green energy, especially solar, wind and biomass, rely on huge tracts of land in order to be viable. Setting up renewable energy plants can lead to both direct land transformation that comes with the setting up of the project, and land degradation created by pollutants from fuel and material cycles associated with running these plants.

The increased demand of land is met in many cases through the diversion of land from agriculture and the forestry sector. Indian farmers engulfed in poverty are forced to engage in distress sales or those who have been short-sighted have made it easy for private companies to acquire agricultural land for setting up renewable energy projects. The support extended by Government has also been a common cause.

In Himachal Pradesh, for instance, the hillside forests have been bearing the brunt of the desire to increase the potential of renewable energy.

In the last three decades, more than 6,000 hectares of forests have been destroyed for hydro power projects or for laying power transmission lines.

Land diversion

To put all this in perspective, for solar energy alone, India’s ambitious target is to produce 20GW of power by 2022. The aim was not just to provide an alternate renewable energy option but also to utilise large tracts of wasteland in hot sunny areas.

However, some of JNSM’s initial projects have shown that State governments have helped private companies acquire productive agriculture land to set up solar thermal and photovoltaic units. The dedication of land area near substations for solar cell installations might edge out other necessities that require land.

For example, the generation of electricity from photovoltaic solar panels or the solar tower requires vast amounts of land, and these panels must be built in specific regions in order to achieve maximum efficiency. Typically, a coal power plant requires 2023 sq. m of land per MW for plant installation, whereas the land area required per MW of installed solar power is around 20,234 sq. m.

Most of the wasteland, which could have been utilised to set up solar energy plants, is not connected with roads, and providing connectivity means huge infrastructure costs which inhibit companies from setting up plants there.

In context of bioenergy, the National Biofuel Policy in India has set an indicative target of 20 per cent ethanol and biodiesel in transportation fuel by 2017. The Planning Commission’s ‘Vision 2020’ report called for the plantation of non-edible oil-yielding plants in large areas of waste and degraded land.

Although the Government says no agricultural land or food crops will be diverted for production of biofuel, businesses often target productive farmland.

Instances of farmland, particularly that belonging to small farmers, being diverted for production of biofuel crops like jatropha are not uncommon. This and the possibility of increasing the use of oilseeds and other foodgrains for biofuel, could impact other goals like food security as productive tracts move away from foodgrains production to biofuel generation.

Policy required

For these reasons, there should be clearly defined policy and mandatory usage of Geographical Information System (GIS) for land use, land cover analysis and identification of wasteland for projects while mapping the renewable energy potential over different regions. The Government could also take into consideration renewable energy resource availability as well as land and water uses. This could further be integrated with other concerns on land acquisition.

As more land per square metre is required for every watt of solar and wind energy produced compared to fossil fuel energy, a policy mandating the dual use of land for such projects should be studied.

Indian Government agencies could draw from their own experiences and those of various other nations that have gone through these stages in their quest for non-fossil fuel-based energy.

At the same time, it is essential to prevent the misuse of the Urgency Clause in the Land Acquisition Act, restricting its application to exceptional cases.

The setting up of an independent and representative regulatory authority at the State level to ensure strict compliance of land use norms could be explored. Regulation could also be used not only to mitigate negative impacts and maximise opportunities, but also to strengthen property rights and greater community consultation.

Economic instruments like a tax on land being bought or claimed for renewable energy, similar to a carbon tax, could be applied. This tax could be calculated on the basis of loss of biodiversity, and possibly other factors, and would create an economic disincentive for increased land use.

Although this might have the effect of severely limiting the expansion of some forms of renewable energy such as biomass, it would also force companies to focus their efforts on discovering more land-friendly forms of biomass energy.

Subsidies on purchase of wasteland for setting up renewable energy plants may further incentivise the use of wastelands and lessen the diversion of land from agriculture and forestry.

No coal is all very well, but solar power should not take up productive land.

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here

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May 27, 2013

Why I think we're wasting billions on global warming, by top British climate scientist

The MoS has campaigned tirelessly against the folly of Britain’s eco-obsessed energy policy. Now comes a game-changing intervention... from an expert respected by the green fanatics themselves

By Professor Myles Allen

Last week, I was part of a group of academics who published a paper saying that the faster, more alarming, projections of the rate at which the globe is warming look less likely than previously thought.

That may mean we can afford to reduce carbon dioxide emissions slightly slower than some previously feared – but as almost everyone agrees, they still have to come down.

So the time has come to focus on something just as important: that 90 per cent of the measures adopted in Britain and elsewhere since the 1997 Kyoto agreement to cut global emissions are a waste of time and money – including windfarms in Scotland, carbon taxes and Byzantine carbon trading systems.

Do I think we’re doomed to disastrous warming? Absolutely not. But do I think we are doomed if we persist in our current approach to climate policy?

I’m afraid the answer is yes. Subsidising wind turbines and cutting down on your own carbon footprint might mean we burn through the vast quantity of carbon contained in the planet’s fossil fuels a little slower. But it won’t make any difference if we burn it in the end.

We need to rethink. For instance, if you suppose that the annual UN climate talks will save us, forget it. I met a delegate at the last talks in Doha in December who told me he had just watched a two-hour debate that culminated in placing square brackets around a semi-colon.

Since Kyoto, world emissions haven’t fallen – they’ve risen by 40 per cent. And these vast jamborees – some involving more than 10,000 people – haven’t even started to discuss how we are going to limit the total amount of carbon we dump in the atmosphere, which is what we actually need to do to avoid dangerous climate change.

While failing to delay CO2 levels rising through the 400 parts per million level, Kyoto and the policies which stem from it have achieved the loss of jobs from countries such as Britain – where we have at least managed a small reduction in the emissions we produce – to others whose factories are far more carbon-intensive.

As my Oxford colleague, the economist Dieter Helm, noted in his book The Carbon Crunch, we may have cut the CO2 actually emitted here, but our reliance on imports means the total emissions attributable to British economic activity have increased by 19 per cent since 1992.

Where Dieter and I disagree is that carbon taxes are the answer. A carbon tax will not stop fossil fuel carbon being burnt. While a modest tax would be good for turbine-builders and the Treasury, in the short-term it will not promote the technology we need to solve the problem.

There’s been a lot of talk about ‘unburnable carbon’ – the carbon we shouldn’t burn if we are to keep global temperature rises below 2C. A catchy phrase, but can we really tell the citizens of India of 2080 not to touch their coal?

And to those on the other side who think that solar and nuclear will someday become so cheap we will choose to leave that coal alone, I’m afraid you have some basic physics working against you.
Let’s get down to some numbers.

Our new research paper gives a revised estimate of the ‘Transient Climate Response’ – a term which measures how much the world will warm in the medium term as carbon dioxide levels double.

We found a range of 1C to 2C, slightly down on the 1C to 2.5C range previously suggested by climate models.

But much more important is another, bigger number: four trillion tonnes. That’s roughly the total amount of fossil carbon locked underground before the Industrial Revolution.

So far, we’ve emitted about half a trillion tonnes as carbon dioxide, and are set to emit the next half-trillion by the early 2040s.

The Transient Climate Response also happens to be a good measure of the warming we get for every trillion tonnes of carbon dumped into the atmosphere. If we emit the lot, we’re looking at well over 4C of warming, which everyone agrees would be pretty tough.

Fortunately, there is a solution. It is perfectly possible to burn fossil carbon and not release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere: you have to filter it out of the flue gases, pressurise it, and re-inject, or ‘sequester’, it back underground.

If you’re using fossil carbon to drive a car or fly a plane, you just have to pay someone else to bury CO2 for you.

The only thing that actually matters for climate policy is whether, before we release too much, we get to the point of burying carbon at the same rate that we dig it up.

Nothing else matters – not for climate, anyway. Not efficiency targets, nor even population growth, provided we meet this goal. Unfortunately, turbines, fancy taxes and carbon trading schemes aren’t going to help us do so.

How much is too much? Well, if the Transient Climate Response is 1C-2C, we’ll need to limit future emissions to around a trillion tonnes of carbon to avoid more than 2C of warming.

It could be a lot less or it could be a bit more, but since this is the middle of the range that everyone agrees on, let’s get on with it and revisit the total when temperatures reach 1.5C. That’s when we’ll have more of an idea of where we’re going.

So with a trillion tonnes to go, we need to increase the fraction we bury at an average rate of one per cent for every 10 billion tonnes of global emissions.

That’s not a policy – that’s a fact. For every 10 billion tonnes we emit without increasing this sequestered fraction by one per cent, we will just have to bury more later in order to catch up.

If this is what needs to be done, why not just make it a condition of licensing to extract or import fossil fuels? In forestry, if you fell trees, the law obliges you to replant.

We must use the same principle: a law to compel a slowly rising percentage of carbon dioxide emissions to be sequestered and stored.

Fossil fuel industrialists will need a few years to gear up, but they won’t need taxpayer-funded subsidies.

They’ll simply need to do this to stay in business. All past evidence suggests that when industry is faced with technical challenges it needs to overcome, it’s ingenious at finding ways of doing so.

For our part, all we need to decide is that we want them to start now, rather than letting them carry on as they are – and let them claim in 20 years’ time that it’s too late, and that they need massive subsidies for carbon burial because they’re too big to fail.

You might argue that this would need a cumbersome agreement. Not so. All the countries who take this seriously have to do is make it clear we won’t import goods from China unless they have been made using fossil carbon treated in the same way.

If Apple makes its laptops there, it won’t want them singled out as causing dangerous climate change.

Of course, there will be a cost, passed on to the long-suffering consumer. But making carbon capture mandatory would trigger a headlong race to find the cheapest sources of carbon dioxide and places to bury it.

Frankly, I’d rather pay an engineer in Poland to actually dispose of carbon dioxide than some Brussels eco-yuppie to trade it around.

Even on relatively pessimistic estimates, if the sequestered fraction rises at one per cent per 10 billion tonnes, it would be getting on for 20 years before the cost of carbon capture would exceed the £100 per year and rising that the average UK household already pays in assorted windfarm subsidies.

The impact on petrol prices is even less dramatic: 50 per cent carbon capture, which we might reach by the 2040s, might add 10p to the cost of a litre of petrol. That’s well under what we already pay in fuel taxes which, we are told, are supposed to help stop climate change.

We might eventually decide to build more windfarms, or drive electric cars, or just to reduce our dependence on Russian oil and gas.

But if we enforce carbon capture, these will become economic and energy-security decisions, and nothing to do with climate change.

So there you have it: one policy, that everyone can agree on, which would actually solve the problem without Brussels bureaucrats dictating what kind of light-bulbs we can buy. Sound good to you?

Climate physics nerds may protest that it can’t be that simple, because each tonne of carbon in the atmosphere has slightly less impact than the last. But then carbon cycle nerds would point out that for each tonne of carbon we burn, a slightly higher fraction remains in the atmosphere as other carbon pools fill up. And as so often happens in science, if we bring these two sets of nerds together they annihilate each other in a brief burst of powerpoint, and we end up with the relationship we first thought of: 1-2 degrees per trillion tonnes of carbon.

SOURCE





Global warming is 'fairly flat', admits Lord Stern

Lord Stern, who originally warned the Government about climate change, has admitted that global warming has been “fairly flat” for the last decade.

The peer, who first warned the Government of the cost of climate change in his 2006 Stern Report, said that for the last decade global warming has remained stable.

“I note this last decade or so has been fairly flat,” he told the Telegraph Hay Festival audience.

He said the reasons were because of quieter solar activity, aerosol pollution in certain parts of the world blocking sunshine and heat being absorbed by the deep oceans.

Lord Stern pointed out that all these effects run in cycles or are random so warming could accelerate again soon.

“In the next five to ten years it is likely we will see the acceleration because these things go in cycles,” he warned.

He also pointed out that 1998 was an extremely hot year because of the El Nino weather pattern and that this decade is still hotter relatively than previous decades.

Lord Stern said that carbon emissions are rising faster than ever and that global temperatures are more likely to rise by 4C over the long term than 2C, meaning floods and droughts.

He said it was an “illusion” to claim that the short term flat line in global warming means that global warming is no longer a threat.

“It is a dangerous extrapolation of the short term phenomenon into a long term trend when the underlying responses for long term trends in terms of rising greenhouse gases are well understood and clear.”

Lord Stern also said he has written to the Prime Minister urging him to introduce a target to decarbonise electricity by 2030 as part of the Energy Bill, currently going through Parliament.

He said investors need the policy clarity in order to build the infrastructure Britain needs in future.

He also said green electricity will be a key part of meeting emissions targets by running cars, heating and other power generation instead of fossil fuels.

"We desperately need clarity. People making big investments need as much clarity as possible. Government induced policy risk deters investment.”

His comments come as Ed Davey, the Climate Change Secretary, said Europe should commit to a tough new target to halve emissions by 2030.

He wants Brussels to set an emissions reduction target of 50 per cent on 1990 levels by 2030 within an international deal, or go it alone with a 40 per cent goal if an agreement cannot be struck.

This will mean the UK making its own contribution by cutting emissions by 50 per cent by 2025.

But Mr Davey said each country should be able to cut their own emissions how they choose, for example nuclear, rather than having to do it all through switching to renewables.

As a consequence he was against a European Union wide renewable energy target because it is "inflexible and unnecessary," he added.

“We want to maintain flexibility for member states in how they meet this ambitious emissions target. There are a variety of options to decarbonise any country's economy.

"In the UK, our approach is technology neutral and our reforms will rely on the market and competition to determine the low carbon electricity mix. We will therefore oppose a renewable energy target at an EU level as inflexible and unnecessary."

SOURCE



Secret donors behind a Green/Left think-tanks

Washington institutions esteemed for their independent scholarship don’t disclose donations from corporations and foreign governments. Secrecy seems to be essential to the Green/Left

Ken Silverstein

The Center for American Progress, Washington’s leading liberal think tank, has been a big backer of the Energy Department’s $25 billion loan guarantee program for renewable energy projects. CAP has specifically praised First Solar, a firm that received $3.73 billion under the program, and its Antelope Valley project in California.

Last year, when First Solar was taking a beating from congressional Republicans and in the press over job layoffs and alleged political cronyism, CAP’s Richard Caperton praised Antelope Valley in his testimony to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, saying it headed up his list of “innovative projects” receiving loan guarantees. Earlier, Caperton and Steve Spinner— a top Obama fundraiser who left his job at the Energy Department monitoring the issuance of loan guarantees and became a CAP senior fellow—had written an article cross-posted on CAP’s website and its Think Progress blog, stating that Antelope Valley represented “the cutting edge of the clean energy economy.”

Though the think tank didn’t disclose it, First Solar belonged to CAP’s Business Alliance, a secret group of corporate donors, according to internal lists obtained by The Nation. Meanwhile, José Villarreal—a consultant at the power-house law and lobbying firm Akin Gump, who “provides strategic counseling on a range of legal and policy issues” for corporations— was on First Solar’s board until April 2012 while also sitting on the board of CAP, where he remains a member, according to the group’s latest tax filing.

CAP is a strong proponent of alternative energy, so there’s no reason to doubt the sincerity of its advocacy. But the fact that CAP has received financial support from First Solar while touting its virtues to Washington policy-makers points to a conflict of interest that, critics argue, ought to be disclosed to the public. CAP’s promotion of the company’s interests has supplemented First Solar’s aggressive Washington lobbying efforts, on which it spent more than $800,000 during 2011 and 2012.

“The only thing more damaging than disclosing your donors and having questions raised about the independence of your work is not disclosing them and have the information come to light and undermine your work,” says Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics. “The best practice, whether required by the IRS or not, is to disclose contributions.”

Nowadays, many Washington think tanks effectively serve as unregistered lobbyists for corporate donors, and companies strategically contribute to them just as they hire a PR or lobby shop or make campaign donations. And unlike lobbyists and elected officials, think tanks are not subject to financial disclosure requirements, so they reveal their donors only if they choose to.

That makes it impossible for the public and lawmakers to know if a think tank is putting out an impartial study or one that’s been shaped by a donor’s political agenda. “If you’re a lobbyist, whatever you say is heavily discounted,” says Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University and an expert on political ethics. “If a think tank is saying it, it obviously sounds a lot better. Maybe think tanks aren’t aware of how useful that makes them to private interests. On the other hand, maybe it’s part of their revenue model.”

Most think tanks are nonprofit organizations, so a donor can even get a nice tax break for contributing. But it’s their reputation for impartiality and their web of contacts that makes them especially useful as policy advocates. “Think tanks can always draw a big audience to your event, including government folks,” a Washington lobbyist who has worked with several told me. “And people generally don’t think they would twist anything, or wonder about where they get their money.”

While think tanks portray themselves as altruistic scholarly institutions, they emphasize their political influence when courting donors. “If you have a particular area of policy interest, you can support a specific research effort under way,” the Brookings Institution says in one pitch for cash. Those interested in ”a deeper engagement” —read: ready to fork over especially large sums of money— get personal briefings from resident experts and can work directly with senior Brookings officials to draw up a research agenda that will “maximize impact on policymaking.”

The Center for Strategic and International Studies advertises itself as being “in the unique position to bring together leaders of both the public and private sectors in small, often off-the-record meetings to build consensus around important policy issues.” It allows top-tier donors to directly sponsor reports, events and speaker series.

Because most think tanks don’t fully disclose their donors, it’s not always easy to see what sort of benefits money can buy. But during Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearings, the Atlantic Council, where he’d been chairman before moving to the Pentagon, released a list of its foreign donors. One of them turned out to be the oil-rich government of Kazakhstan, headed by dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev. Last year, the council hosted a conference on Kazakhstan that was paid for by the Nazarbayev regime and Chevron, which has vast oil interests in the country and is also a major donor to the council. Keynote speakers included Kazakhstan’s former ambassador to the United States and Kenneth Derr, a former Chevron CEO and now Kazakhstan’s honorary consul in San Francisco.

John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and the head of Obama’s first transition team, founded the Center for American Progress in 2003. Last year, Podesta stepped down as CAP’s president—he remains its chair and counselor—and was replaced by Neera Tanden, who served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations. Former Virginia Congressman Tom Perriello heads the CAP Action Fund, an advocacy unit, which operates out of the same offices and shares personnel.

CAP has emerged as perhaps the most influential of all think tanks during the Obama era, and there’s been a rapidly revolving door between it and the administration. CAP is also among the most secretive of all think tanks concerning its donors. Most major think tanks prepare an annual report containing at least some financial and donor information and make it available on their websites. According to CAP spokeswoman Andrea Purse, the center doesn’t even publish one.

Purse told me that CAP “follows all financial disclosure requirements with regard to donors…. We don’t use corporate funds to pay for research or reports.” But she flatly refused to discuss specific donors or to provide an on-the-record explanation for why CAP won’t disclose them.

After growing rapidly in its first few years, tax records show, CAP’s total assets fell in 2006 for the first time, from $23.6 million to $20.4 million. Assets started growing again in 2007 when CAP founded the Business Alliance, a membership rewards program for corporate contributors, and then exploded when Obama was elected in 2008. According to its most recent nonprofit tax filing, CAP’s total assets now top $44 million, and its Action Fund treasury holds $6 million more.

Several CAP insiders, who asked to speak off the record, told me that when Podesta left, there was a fear that contributions would dry up. Raising money had always been important, they said, but Tanden ratcheted up the efforts to openly court donors, which has impacted CAP’s work. Staffers were very clearly instructed to check with the think tank’s development team before writing anything that might upset contributors, I was told.

More HERE




Greenie pesticide freakery

By Rich Kozlovich

All that you know about pesticides is based on lies. Either lies of commission or lies of omission, but lies none-the-less, because in the end, their statements and claims are deliberately worded to encourage people draw false conclusions. Every negative health claim made by them is blatantly false, which has been the pattern since Rachel Carson made that tactic so popular in her book Silent Spring with her claims regarding DDT and cancer.

“We don’t need pesticides”! How many times have I heard this? I always ask the same questions. First of all; it currently costs around 300 million dollars to bring a pesticide to market. Initially, the costs for testing were substantially less, but it still comes down to this. Why in the world would any company spend a dime to produce a product no one needs? Then I ask; what would make the most frugal people (frugal doesn’t mean cheap. It means they don’t waste) on the planet – farmers - buy a product they don’t need?

Picture this. Farmers are quietly sitting on the porch at the end of the day and a sales representative from Dow, or Monsanto, or Bayer, or whomever…..take your pick….comes up to them and says; “I know you don’t have a need for the chemicals I’m selling, but my boss told me I will lose my job if I don’t start selling them. Can I count on you to buy about $100,000 worth today?” And of course the farmers (Remember…the most frugal people on the planet!) say….. “Why sure, let me write a check right now!” Don’t bet your life on that! Farmers buy pesticides because they’re needed and needed desperately in order to feed the world’s hungry mouths.

But pesticides aren't only used in agriculture. Pesticides are used extensively in businesses and homes in order to protect the buildings, the people and their property. Termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, cockroaches, rats, mice ….and…. bed bugs all infest structures. Why have bed bugs become a national plague? We didn’t’ have them before did we? Yes….actually we did…..all through human history bed bugs have plagued humanity until the advent of DDT. That truly was the beginning of modern effective pest control.

When the boys came back from WWII bed bugs were ubiquitous. Why? Because they were there when they left! But now something changed. They came back with DDT and stories of its effectiveness against insect pests. In 1946 the answer to bed bugs was easy to use, effective, inexpensive chemistry that was readily available to the general public. The result? It was the first time in human history any society could rid themselves of this plague!

The greenies are fond of pointing out how bed bugs became resistant to DDT….kind of a snarky …..see, I told you so! My answer is always the same - so what? Resistance is the nature of nature, whether it is in plants, animals – including insects, or microorganisms. That is why new research for chemistry is needed continually. That’s like saying we shouldn’t use antibiotics because bacteria become resistant when used too frequently. So then, should we just die instead? However, as they became resistant to DDT we shifted to two other chemical classifications known as carbamates and organophosphates; both effective even to this day. So, if they are so effective why do we have bed bugs? Because we no longer have them in our arsenal of tools needed to protect the public, thanks U.S. Environmental Protection Agency!

We need pesticides, and we need chemical companies to develop new pesticides continually. Resistance is the nature of nature. What we didn’t know in 1946 was that we fell into the pattern of all living things regarding resistance. Whether it's pesticides or antibiotics, resistance in part and parcel of all living things, including plants, animals, insects and microorganisms. As a result human survival is dependent on research for new products continually. But that is the crux of the matter isn’t it? If “radical” thinking supports things that are detrimental to humanity, whether it is about pesticides, agriculture, vaccinations or energy production why would we wish to adopt that as “mainstream” thinking?

The idea of “radical” thinking becoming “mainstream” thinking is frightening, and yet we are willingly going down that road when we in the pest control industry adopt such practices as Integrated Pest Management (IPM) or Green Pest Control. Neither of which exists in structural pest control. IPM is an agricultural concept based on threshold limits. What is it based on in structural pest control? There is no logical foundation for it in structural pest control. If there is no logical foundation it doesn’t exist....except the government says it exists....and so it exists illogically. As for 'green' pest control; that is pretty much whatever anyone wants it to be, because ‘green’ pest control has no universally accepted definition; there is no consensus as to its range; its ideological origins, or the modalities of action which characterize it.

This lack of clarity extends to every philosophical flavor of the day presented by radicals. They claim what they do is 'for the children'. Yet when you look around the world it isn't what they do for the children that should stike us, its more like what they do 'to the children', that should get our attention. We need to start paying attention to the facts, and not the speculative lies and the emotional appeal of the moment presented by these radicals. Lives are dependent on it.

SOURCE




Tornados caused by cold air colliding with warm air, not carbon emissions

Within hours of a catastrophic tornado hitting Oklahoma, resulting in at least 24 deaths, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) took to the floor of the Senate to blame “Republicans run[ning] off the climate cliff like a bunch of proverbial lemmings.” He claimed “cyclones in Oklahoma” were caused by supposed man-made climate change driven by carbon emissions.

There’s only one problem. Tornadoes are caused by cold air colliding with warm air, not by carbon emissions, writes Dr. Roy Spencer, climatologist and U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Writing on his blog, Spencer noted that “If there is one weather phenomenon global warming theory does not predict more of, it would be severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.”

Spencer explained, “Instead, tornadoes require strong wind shear (wind speed and direction changing rapidly with height in the lower atmosphere), the kind which develops when cold and warm air masses ‘collide’. Of course, other elements must be present, such as an unstable airmass and sufficient low-level humidity, but wind shear is the key. Strong warm advection (warm air riding up and over the cooler air mass, which is also what causes the strong wind shear) in advance of a low pressure area riding along the boundary between the two air masses is where these storms form.”

He added, “contrasting air mass temperatures is the key. Active tornado seasons in the U.S. are almost always due to unusually cool air persisting over the Midwest and Ohio Valley longer than it normally does as we transition into spring.” Reading that, Sen. Whitehouse?

If anything, an uptick in tornado activity in the U.S. is because of cooler air, not warmer air predicted by the rise of carbon emissions. That means, even if increased carbon emissions was dramatically affecting temperature increases, it would have little effect on tornado activity in the U.S. To underscore this point, Spencer wrote, “More tornadoes due to ‘global warming’, if such a thing happened, would be more tornadoes in Canada, where they don’t usually occur. Not in Alabama.” Which, we would note, would necessarily mean fewer tornados in the U.S. as the tornado “belt” moved north.

But it’s not happening. Primarily, because we cannot control the weather. Cold and warm air masses have been colliding for millions of years, regardless of the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is just a basic function of weather and climate. Tornados are not something new.

All of which makes Sen. Whitehouse’s unscientific claims that Republicans and carbon emitters like power plants are those who drive cars nothing more than pure demagoguery. As Spencer put it, “Anyone who claims more tornadoes are caused by global warming is either misinformed, pandering, or delusional.”

SOURCE





Heartland Institute Responds to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

By Joe Bast

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) apparently has been delivering weekly speeches on global warming (alias “climate change”) to an empty Senate chamber for quite some time. Who knew?

His speech on May 20 contained some good news. He reported the “default Republican position is that climate change is a hoax. It’s been said right on this floor, and in committees, and I haven’t seen a single Republican senator stand up afterwards in this chamber to say, ‘Wait a minute, that’s actually not the case.’”

The senator went on to say, “Yet not one Republican has ever gotten back to me, even quietly on the side, to say, ‘You know what? This is really getting serious. Let’s see if we can work on this.’”

This is great news. It means Republicans understand the real science and economics of global warming better than some of us on the skeptical side of the global warming debate could have hoped.

Recently, there have been rumors that a carbon tax – the left’s second choice of ways, after EPA regulations that ban the use of fossil fuels, to shut down manufacturing in the U.S. – might be part of a deficit reduction or debt ceiling agreement being secretly negotiated by Obama and Republican leaders. Thank you, Sen. Whitehouse, for putting those rumors to rest.

Amid the many erroneous claims made by the senator about the science and economics of global warming debate appear ad hominem attacks against global warming skeptics, standard issue for the environmental extremists who dominate this debate. The senator claims, without citing a source, that “more than 95 percent of climate scientists are convinced that human carbon pollution is causing massive and unprecedented change to our atmosphere and oceans.” This is untrue, as anyone familiar with the debate knows. I’ve discussed the myth of consensus here and here.

The senator claims “a lot of those five-percenters [skeptics] are on the payroll of the polluters. You know that. It’s public knowledge. Some of those ‘payroll scientists’ are the same people who denied acid rain, or the dangers of tobacco.” This is shameful. Tens of thousands of scientists, probably most scientists, don’t believe man-made global warming is a crisis or even a problem. Vanishingly few are on the “payroll of polluters,” indeed far fewer than the number of true believers who are on the payrolls of corporations and government agencies that pay them to believe in global warming.

Later in his speech the senator correctly refers to “The Heartland Institute, and the Institute for Energy Research, and the American Enterprise Institute, and the American Legislative Exchange Council, and The Heritage Foundation” as organizations that support the skeptical view. But he then slanders these groups by alleging they are all “front organizations … all just part of the same cheesy vaudeville show put on by the big polluters.”

Speaking only for my organization, The Heartland Institute, I can report that less than 5 percent of our income last year came from companies that either produce energy or have emissions that might qualify them for the title of “big polluters.” This is almost certainly less than the Center for American Progress, the biggest liberal think thank, raises. And unlike CAP, donors don’t dictate what our researchers say. I’m quite sure the same is true of the other organizations Sen. Whitehouse names.

The senator is simply repeating a phony charge against individuals and organizations that disagree with him. He should know better, do his homework, and then apologize to the people he’s defamed.

Sen. Whitehouse reminds us why it’s a good thing there are Republicans in Congress who understand, and not naively and wrongly believe in, global warming.

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here

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May 26, 2013

Global Chill Already Cometh?

This last winter has been exceptionally cold for most of the Northern Hemisphere, with records broken as to bitter cold temps and massive snowfalls across Europe, Asia and Alaska.

For example:

Cold Wave hits China, coldest in 30 years.
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2012/12/22/Bitter-cold-snap-grips-China/UPI-40031356187955/
An internet search on "China Bitter Cold 2013" will bring up more of the same, indicating this was not just a one-time episode.

Moscow Cold, Snow, 50 year records broken.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/9711789/Heavy-snow-in-Moscow-and-the-first-snowfall-of-the-season-in-Europe.html
An internet search on "Moscow cold snow records broken 2013" or "Russia..." will show more of the same. Here's a few reports from April 2013:
http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_04_01/Moscow-struggles-with-record-snowfall/
http://iceagenow.info/2013/04/record-snowfall-moscow/

Alaska longest snow season on record, breaking a 30 year past record.
http://www.today.com/id/51929453/ns/local_news-anchorage_ak/t/anchorage-sets-record-longest-snow-season/

Europe also hit by record cold, snows:
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2012/16feb_deepfreeze/

Darkest Winter (lack of sun due to incessant clouds, snow, rain) for Germany in 43 years.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-weathers-darkest-winter-in-43-years-a-885608.html
Very nice blue-glowing clouds picture at this website, reproduced above.

Ooops we must correct that, it is the Darkest Winter ever recorded for Germany:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/winter-weather-plagues-germany-as-spring-begins-a-890166.html

OK, having said all that, it is true that "weather is not climate", even though climate is produced by the averaged aggregate of measured weather data. So what are the averages saying?

Finally the more scientifically inclined members of the "warming" community are admitting that something is not correct with their theories. As documented here:

Has Global Warming Come to a Halt?
http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/climatechange/has-global-warming-come-to-a-h-1/61445
Note the trends on this website: From 1950 to 1975 approx., no basic change in global temps. From 1980 to 1998, a warming trend. Then from 1998 to today, global temperatures have leveled off. Note the graph of El-Nino/La-Niña events, and how the peaks give rise to global changes. Likewise the small volcanic symbols, indicating sun-blocking dusts in the upper atmosphere. This particular website takes the "warmist" view, so even this begrudging admission is remarkable. Some of the weblinks on this page are rather outrageous in unscientific claim-making, rather like cheer-leaders for a football team, as if scientific conclusions needed cheer-leading to "win" -- of course this is cheerleading for Billions in grant money, for "their side". Whatever happened to old-fashioned scientific investigation, and allowing the truth to fall where it may?

Here's more, the British met office being a bit more reliable than the American NOAA or the cherry-picked "consensus" community of "scientists" whomever that is supposed to be. The last time the IPCC made such surveys, they included all kinds of leftist political hacks and "activists" from neo-Marxist environmental groups. "Climate Deniers" were of course excluded from such surveys.

Global Warming stopped 16 years ago, Met Office.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2261577/Global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago-Met-Office-report-reveals-MoS-got-right-warming--deniers-now.html
16 years ago was what? 1997-1998 The worst El Nino on record, highest global temps from that, but not from CO2 emissions.

Even the die-hard Leftist BBC finally admits, sort of, that well, maybe, POSSIBLY, their theory on warming isn't panning out as it should:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22567023

Then of course, the major radical-left politicians weigh in on the issue:

Team Obama calls global warming doubters 'crazy'
http://washingtonexaminer.com/team-obama-calls-global-warming-doubters-crazy/article/2529291
Mygod, are we now supposed to bow to the King's Hat? (If you don't know what that means, then you really have been under-educated. Look it up.) Yeah, it is the global warming critics who are the untrustworthy people, not the political hacks in Washington DC.
http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/20/democratic-senator-goes-on-anti-gop-rant-over-climate-change-as-tornadoes-hit-oklahoma/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

And just in case you think the recent disastrous tornado outbreak has something to do with global warming, just go back a few decades and the same mainstreamers today pushing the "warming" scenario as the cause of weather catastrophes were then blaming "global cooling":

1975 : Tornado Outbreaks Blamed On Global Cooling
http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/1975-tornado-outbreaks-blamed-on-global-cooling/

In fact, the Little Ice Age was a time of many weather disasters, globally failed crops, famines and epidemic diseases, wars and government collapse. Definitely not so good as the Medieval Warm Period, which was still warmer on average than anything we have experienced in the last 1000 years! The MWP was a time of excellent crops, economic boom, abundance and plenty, fewer wars, with extra money to finance voyages of exploration, massive architectural projects, works of art, and so on.

This modern "climate change" fascism would have you believe otherwise, and this means, well, just ignore all those reports given above. Erase them from your memory, even if you experienced such bitter cold.

What disasters will be necessary to put an end to the intensive planning for increased warming, when in fact we should be putting more attention to the cold side of things.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/9959856/Its-the-cold-not-global-warming-that-we-should-be-worried-about.html

We have yet another cold blast of winter headed into the Pacific Northwest just as I write this, in the latter part of May. Maybe a chilly brush, or a big dump of snow. Who can say? No clear idea what lays ahead, except that it won't be like what is predicted out of Washington DC. Prepare accordingly.

SOURCE





IEA warns Germany on soaring green dream costs

Germany's push for wind and solar and its retreat from nuclear power is driving electricity costs to untenable levels and destroying support for the green agenda, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned.

“The fact that German electricity prices are among the highest in Europe, must serve as a warning signal,” said the IEA. “The transition to low-carbon energy requires public acceptance, and therefore retail electricity prices to remain at an affordable level.”

Germany’s so called “Energiewende” aims to raise the share of electricity from renewables to 50pc by 2030 and 80pc by the midcentury, a huge challenge for a country with an energy-hungry industrial base.

Environment minister Peter Altmaier says costs could reach €1 trillion by 2039, though this could be trimmed to €700bn by slashing feed-in tariffs. The vast sums have begun to alarm German taxpayers while industry fears that heavy reliance on wind power in the North Sea could prove exorbitant and risk an energy crunch.

“The German power system is structurally broken,” said a report by Macquarie. “There are not enough cables to bring the electricity to the main industrial centres in the Ruhr and Rhine regions, and the patchwork grid cannot cope."

Electricity costs rose 11pc last year, in part to fund subsidies for wind and solar. This is doing little to create jobs at home since China’s solar upstarts have swept the market while Germany’s solar pioneers go bust.

The IEA said the reserve margins for generators would erode after 2015, implying blackouts. Germany’s decision to close eight nuclear plants has also led to surge in high-CO2 coal imports.

SOURCE




Collapse of bee colonies is latest target for anti-pesticide groups

By Paul Driessen

Beekeeping is big business, and everyone loves honey and foods made possible by pollination. But “colony collapse disorder” threatens bees and crop pollination in many areas.

CCD and other bee die-offs are nothing new.

What we now call colony collapse was first reported in 1869, and many outbreaks since then have sent scientists scurrying for explanations and solutions. Fungi, varroa mites and other possible suspects have been implicated, but no definitive answer has yet been found.

That’s created a perfect environment for anti-pesticide groups. They want the U.S. and EU to ban a widely used class of safe “neonicotinoid” pesticides, by blaming them for bee population declines in various countries.

Their scary assertions are pure conjecture, but that hasn’t stopped activists — or news outlets — from promoting scary stories implicating the chemicals.

Derived from naturally-occurring nicotine plant compounds, “neonics” have been hailed as a low-toxicity pest treatment.

They are often applied to seeds or on soils during planting, become part of the plants’ physiology, and work by giving treated plants internal defenses against invading pests.

That means neonics are toxic only to insects that feed on crops — dramatically reducing the need to spray entire fields with other pesticides, and curtailing risks to farm workers and beneficial insects.

Claims that these insecticides could kill bees appear plausible at first blush, and lab studies have shown that high doses can affect bees.

However, the doses that bees receive in lab studies “are far above what a realistic field dose exposure would be,” says Dr. Cynthia Scott-Dupree, environmental biology professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

Scott-Dupree helped coordinate a Canadian field study that compared hives exposed to neonics to those that weren’t exposed — and found no difference in colony health between the two groups. Another study by Britain’s Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs reached the same conclusion.

A DEFRA evaluation of studies purporting to link neonics to bee harm found the lab work was conducted under extreme scenarios that wouldn’t occur under real-world conditions.

“Risk to bee populations from neonicotinoids, as they are currently used, is low,” it concluded.

That’s hardly surprising. Plant tissues contain only tiny amounts of neonics, bees are not feeding on the plants, and pollen contains barely detectable neonic levels.

Various neonicotinoids are widely used in Canada to protect its vast canola fields, and Canadian bee populations are thriving, notes science writer Jon Entine.

Australia is likewise one of the world’s prime users of these pesticides, and its bee colonies are among the planet’s healthiest.

Nevertheless, four beekeepers and five activist groups (Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety, Pesticide Action Network of North America, Sierra Club and Center for Environmental Health) have sued the Environmental Protection Agency, demanding that the EPA immediately ban all neonicotinoids.

The lawsuit is not merely ill-advised. By blaming pesticides, activists are ignore— and deflect attention from — a real, serious threat to bees: a parasitic mite aptly named “Varroa destructor.” Varroa threatens honeybees directly, while spreading and activating previously dormant or harmless bee viruses, which then become dangerous. It is not easy to destroy.

“You can imagine how hard it is to kill a bug on a bug,” says John Miller, president of the California State Beekeepers Association, and sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. Treating varroa requires an insecticide that can be toxic to bees at levels high enough to work. Well-intentioned apiarists fighting varroa can accidentally overdose hives with miticides.

Multiple studies point to other factors that explain why bees are struggling. They include bees developing resistance to antibiotics, funguses like Nosema, multiple bee viruses and parasites, bacterial infections like foulbrood, exposure to commonly used organophosphates, bee habitat loss, and even long-term bee inbreeding and resultant lack of genetic diversity.

Activists aren’t asking for investigation into these problems — which calls their science, sincerity and integrity into question.

Right now, no one knows why bees aren’t thriving. Studies show that neonicotinoids are innocent, and reflexive bans will harm farmers, whose crop yields will fall; consumers, whose food bills will rise and food safety will fall; and environmental values, as older, more toxic insecticides will have to be reintroduced to protect crops.

The prudent, precautionary approach would be to avoid eliminating vital, low-toxicity neonicotinoids, while continuing to study their potential effects on bees and the causes of die-offs and colony collapses.

Sound, replicable science must underpin all pesticide policies, or the unintended consequences will be serious, far-reaching and most harmful to poor families.

We need answers, not scapegoats.

SOURCE




Israeli electric car firm failing too

Is the end nigh for Better Place? Within the next few days, a meeting will take place at Israel Corporation (TASE: ILCO), Better Place's main investor, on the electric car venture's future, and whether or not it will continue will depend upon its ability to continue raising cash.

In that regard, Idan Ofer, who controls Israel Corp., recently approached potential investors.

Better Place said in response to the report, "In the past few months Better Place has continued its many efforts to maintain its activity. No other decision has yet been reached on the matter."

Market sources estimated recently that Better Place would need at least another four years, and investment of another $500 million, to reach operating breakeven. This estimate is based upon annual investment of some $120 million in the venture, which recently underwent a streamlining program including layoffs and shutting down of activities.

As far as is known, it has enough cash to last until August 2013, and it seeks creative solutions for raising capital. Sources inform "Globes" that it has again examined the possibility of raising equity from Israeli institutions.

From its founding in 2007 up until the end of 2012, Better Place ran up a loss of $812 million.

SOURCE






Greenie food freakery

By Rich Kozlovich

Recently Jeff Stier and Henry I. Miller wrote an article titled; How Much Of Food Activism Is New Age, Airy-Fairy Nonsense. I have followed their work for years, and both have done yeoman like work defeating the junk science that has become so common place. The article deals with food and how it is prepared; how activist want it prepared; and whether or not it matters. The title of this article is from this line in the article; “The campaign to demonize the food industry is at the same time both radical and mainstream, a recipe for trouble.” I thought this was a great foundation to justify exploring the whole concept of how the radicals became mainstream in so many arenas.

Since this started as a food issue we can start there with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) and farming as a whole.

The ‘green’ movement insists that modern techniques used in agriculture are unnecessary and the world should turn to ‘organic’ methods exclusively. That means not using pesticides - although organic farmers use pesticides. It means using organic fertilizers such as manure and never using synthetic fertilizers – although this is the cause of most of the e-coli scares and recalls. And it means never using Genetically Modified plants – in spite of the fact that these plants require less pesticides and have greater growing capacity and production, including those that can be used in soil that is unfit for plants that have not been modified.

The thing that intrigues me is this; are any of these activists farmers? Are any of these people responsible for feeding the undernourished millions in the third world? If so, where were they when Norman Borlaug, who may have been the greatest man to live in the 20th century, was developing the Green Revolution; a system of agriculture which saved untold hundreds of millions of lives; a system which required the use of high yield plants, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. He also believed that GMO’s were an important advancement in food production.

Even to the most casual observer there should be some obvious questions that should jump right out to everyone such as:

* What system were they using before?

* Was it an “all natural” or “organic system”?

* If organic is so great why is it that every poor society abandoned it as soon as they could for modern tools of food production?

* Finally; why is it that Borlaug and his supporters worked in the dirt and demonstrated how to do it allowing them to voluntarily choose for themselves to abandon ‘organic’ for modern practices, but the activist attempt to force everyone to adopt ‘organic’ via regulations and vile false claims about these life saving products? Is it because ‘organic’ is a failure and will not be accepted ‘naturally’?

* And finally and most importantly; if ‘organic’ is as great as they claim why don’t they just go out and do it and show everyone up?

I can answer the last question. They don’t because they can’t. Organic will never meet the needs of a hungry world. We hear this claptrap that ‘organic’ can do it, it is sustainable, it is better for the land and for humanity, and it is the future constantly from the media and many in society has accepted these radicals as mainstreamers. Is that dangerous? Are they dangerous? You had better believe it.

The “moderate” radicals of the environmental movement “only” want to reduce the world’s population by four or five billion people. The “really” radical, which is a large minority, think that mankind is a virus that should be eradicated. I have been criticized for saying this in the past by those who say that the “really” radical group is not representative of environmentalism’s thinking. My response has always been the same; who amongst the green leadership has openly criticized and chastised them, and why is it that these people are applauded publicly when they spout this insanity if they are not representative of environmentalism? If this radical mentality about agriculture ever becomes mainstream to the point that it is allowed to be imposed on the world then I can tell you absolutely what will happen. The “moderates” of the green movement will be a long on their way to eliminating billions of people.

They scoff at claims that the environmental movement is ‘conspiring’ to starve million to death, but what they do is far more persuasive than what they say. In 2002 fourteen million people faced starvation in southern Africa due to a terrible drought. The U.S. offered tons of GMO food to save their lives, but it was rejected because European Union officials bullied African leaders into doing so because the EU is against GMO’s, and were threatened with a boycott of their agricultural products, and since the E.U is essential to their export trade they acquiesced.

Twenty six thousand tons …..tons….. of grain was shipped to Zambia where it sat in storage, unused by a population that was down to one small meal a day. The president of the country - whose family wasn’t down to one meal a day I would be willing to bet - said, “We would rather starve than get something toxic”. Yet the U.S. had been consuming those food stuffs for decades without harm of any kind. And the ‘radicals’ who promoted lies to African leaders had to know that. They spent 500 million dollars on their propaganda against GMO’s to the Third World when 175 million would have feed millions for months. They claim they’re not conspiring to starve millions to death, but if starvation is the outcome of their actions does it matter whether they are conspiring or not? It is the outcome of their ‘radical’ thinking that counts. They are identified by what they do!

Radicals always promise utopia, yet dystopia follows these radicals like Sancho Panza followed Don Quixote – a madman. When 'radical' becomes 'mainstream' people die. Who will answer for those lives?

SOURCE





GREENIE ROUNDUP FROM AUSTRALIA

Three current reports below

Many conservative Federal politicians opposed to windfarms

Outspoken Liberal [Party] MPs plan to defy publicly the official party line by attending a Tea Party-style anti-wind-farm rally at Parliament House, widening the rift in Coalition ranks over renewable energy targets.

The Canberra rally on June 18 is being promoted through a clandestine group using a website called stopthesethings.com, which conceals the identity of many of its supporters.

Broadcaster Alan Jones is named on the site as master of ceremonies for the event, which is being touted as the "Wind Power Fraud" rally.

NSW Liberal MPs Craig Kelly and Alby Schultz are among the line-up of speakers, as is West Australian Liberal senator Chris Bach. The Coalition's star candidate to replace the retiring Mr Schultz in the seat of Hume Angus Taylor has also been recruited.

The boldness of the Liberal wind-farm opponents is raising suggestions the Coalition is about to backflip on the renewable energy target, a bipartisan commitment to source a fifth of Australia's power from renewables by 2020.

The shadow environment minister Greg Hunt recently confirmed the party's commitment to the target and chose not to chastise the MPs who had begun speaking out against it.

"The Coalition is aware of the community concerns regarding wind farms," Mr Hunt said. "We have committed to a full medical research into the potential impact if elected. It is important that MPs listen to their communities … there is no change to our support for the 20 per cent target."

During a post-budget interview with Mr Jones, shadow treasurer Joe Hockey would not be drawn on the issue, saying only that he would have to consult with his colleagues.

The rally's organisers are goading Mr Hockey to "come clean" over renewable energy.

Victorian senator John Madigan (Democratic Labor) and independent South Australian senator Nick Xenophon will also speak. The pair has co-sponsored of an excessive noise bill in relation to wind farms.

Senator Xenophon said he was invited through Senator Madigan's office and didn't really know who was behind the rally.

"I don't look at all my invitations that closely," he said. "But I am happy to talk at the event and I will say that, while I do believe something should be done about climate change, the economics of wind farms don't stack up and neither do the environmental benefits."

Senator Madigan's office confirmed he was scheduled to address the gathering.

Environmental groups did not wish to comment, but it's understood plans are being considered to stage a Canberra event in support of renewable energy on the same day.

SOURCE

Wildlife guru is a people hater

It figures, I guess. The USA has 300 million people. Australia has 22 million. The USA and Australia are about the same size geographically. It takes a Greenie to see no room for expansion in Australia's population

ONE of the world’s leading naturalists, Sir David Attenborough, has cautioned Australia against pursuing further population growth, labelling an unlimited expansion a kind of madness.

Speaking to the Sunday Canberra Times ahead of a national tour of Australia in June, Sir David questioned why the country still found itself from time to time actively debating whether it needed to grow its population.

“Why would you want to do that? I don’t understand that. The notion that you could continue to expand and increase and grow in an infinite way on a planet which is finite, is a kind of lunacy. You can see how mad that is by the expression that you can’t believe that you can grow infinitely in a finite place – unless of course you’re an economist.”

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia’s population is estimated to grow to between 30.9 million and 42.5 million people by 2056.

The first Sustainable Australia report released earlier this month said the nation’s population was growing at 1.7 per cent, one of the fastest rates in the developed world.

In 2009 former prime minister Kevin Rudd called for a ‘Big Australia’, but his successor Julia Gillard has rejected that notion and called instead for sustainable growth.

Sir David said his tour next month was to discuss highlights of his six decades of nature filmmaking, not to speak out on environmental issues. “I’m not on a proselytising tour. On occasions I speak on these issues where it’s appropriate and where the subject has come up,” he said.

While he did not believe bureaucrats should meddle in a family’s right to have children, he said had China not introduced its controversial one-child policy in 1979 the consequences for the planet would have been catastrophic.

“One thing you can say is that in those places where women are in charge of their bodies, where they have the vote, where they are allowed to dictate what they do and what they want, whether it’s proper medical facilities for birth control, the birth rate falls,” he said.

SOURCE

Solar price rise to end power divide

"Investors" in government promises to lose their dividends. LOL

AUSTRALIA'S one million rooftop solar households could be forced to pay new fixed charges to help recover billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies and make electricity prices fairer for all consumers.

A series of electricity industry reports has highlighted the inequity in existing power pricing where customers without solar panels are unfairly subsidising those with them.

Queensland Energy Minister Mark McArdle has warned that existing rooftop solar contracts will cost the state more than $2.8 billion over the next 15 years and is preparing a major submission to cabinet within a month recommending more user-pays charges. Electricity tariffs could be changed to include a higher network access charge and lower unit prices per kilowatt hour, a move that would increase the cost for rooftop solar users.

A national meeting of electricity executives in Sydney this week discussed a potential "death spiral" for the industry as high electricity prices force more people off the grid, increasing costs further for those who remained.

Mr McArdle said the number of households with rooftop solar had continued to grow despite a cutback in government subsidies and the gap between the haves and have-nots in electricity widening.

"If one group of consumers enjoys a benefit in excess of the true savings they make, other electricity customers have to pay the price of those excess benefits or lower prices," he said.

"When those doing the paying are likely those least able to afford it, and those enjoying the benefits are those likely to be most able to afford to meet their true costs, then something is truly wrong."

The problem was compounded because power companies were forced to buy high-priced electricity from rooftop solar when there was no demand for electricity from customers.

And baseload power generators were forced to run inefficiently to be ready for when "intermittent" solar power was not available.

Renewable industry lobby groups have rejected calls for a new fixed charge.

Clean Energy Council deputy chief executive Kane Thornton said: "It would be like telling early adopters of email that they need to chip in to pay for stamps."

The Greens said yesterday they would spend $405 million a year on a new federal government agency to cut spending on electricity infrastructure, improve energy efficiency, and set higher prices for renewable energy produced by households which generate solar power.

Leader Christine Milne said the Greens were the only party with innovative ideas to help Australians live a fairer, cheaper and cleaner future.

The cost of the new agency would not include the higher charges paid by electricity companies from rooftop solar under the Greens scheme. An investigation by the Queensland Productivity Commission found that, by 2015-16, most Queenslanders would be paying $276 a year or 17 per cent of their annual power bill to subsidise other residents having solar power on their roofs.

Mr McArdle said this did not include the cost of upgrading the electricity network to cope with widespread power flowing back into the grid.

A report by consultancy ACIL Tasman for the Electricity Supply Association of Australia said solar customers were overcompensated when they generated electricity and used it on site because they were not making a contribution to the cost of providing network services.

There were also issues of equity and fairness, as some customers were unable to install rooftop solar systems because they were renters or lived in an apartment.

Fairness was an issue because one customer's choice to install rooftop solar forced other customers to pay more for network service.

"The distortion could give rise to a 'price spiral' where the rising cost of electricity, driven by the ongoing reallocation of network costs, made solar increasingly attractive to customers," ACIL Tasman said.

The ESAA discussion paper, Who Pays for Solar Energy, said more than one in 10 households were generating electricity from solar panels on their roof.

"Subsidies for solar systems have to be paid for somehow," the paper said. "Basically, households who don't have solar help pay the power bills of households who do. "The cost of these transfers from non-solar to solar households now runs to many millions of dollars per year."

Like Queensland, all state governments have cut back their generous feed-in tariff schemes, but are likely to seriously consider the ESAA reports to move towards a fixed network access charge. Solar has posed significant problems for electricity companies in Western Australia and NSW.

The discussion paper said a new way was needed to charge consumers for the cost of the networks to make sure everybody paid their fair share. "We have to find a more equitable way for charging for electricity that does not unfairly benefit some households because they can afford the latest technology," the discussion paper said. "Electricity consumers should pay their fair share of network costs.

"One way to make the way we pay for electricity more equitable is to change network tariffs so they better reflect underlying costs."

This could include a higher proportion of fixed network charges and a lower percentage based on the amount of electricity consumed.

Mr Thornton said calls for higher fixed charges for households with solar panels were "ridiculous".

"Similar claims that solar drives up bills because network upgrades are required to accommodate the extra electricity fed into the grid are also incorrect," he said. "All new solar systems in Queensland are required to go through an assessment process with the distribution business to ensure they do not adversely impact on the grid."

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here

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24 May, 2013

Warmist is a female Jim Jones

She sure is a Kool-Aid fan

You've probably heard the appalling news that, for the first time in human history, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has just passed 400 parts per million. (Eh? Scientific America's explanation here). It's been 2.5 million years since CO2 was last at this level - at which point, temperatures were 2 to 3 degrees C higher, the Arctic was ice-free, global weather patterns were completely different, sea levels were up to 40 metres higher and humans did not live on the planet.

So what the hell are we all going to do now?

-> Should we stockpile cyanide? You think I'm exaggerating, but a close friend of mine, who has four children, said she plans to kill herself and them when it comes to it.

I am extremely interested to know what everyone is thinking and whether anyone sees any positive ways forward... Please add a comment below.

Yours in despair, Franny

More HERE






A different salvation message

Anglican churches worldwide no longer seem to believe in salvation through Christ so salvation through the environment fills the hole. They are taking the Lord's name in vain

The Episcopal Church in Massachusetts seems to be a "church of many colors".

Today the "green" bishop Bud Cederholm, who has campaigned together with the likes of Bill McKibben, will bless the taxpayer subsidized, more or less useless solar panels installed on a church Dover, MA:

At 10 a.m. on Sunday May 19, St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church will conduct a service to bless the solar panels they installed in April. The blessing will be conducted by the Episcopal Diocese's "Green Bishop," the Right Rev. Bud Cederholm, assisted by St. Dunstan's rector, the Rev. Mark McKone-Sweet.

"Using solar energy decreases our use of fossil fuels, and thus our contribution to global warming," said McKone-Sweet. "It is a way to live our faith by caring for those who will be affected by the extreme weather global warming causes."

But moneywise the "green" bishop Cederholm's global warming scare campaign has been rather successful - there are quite a few people in the "liberal" state who are an easy prey for global warming hoaxters:

"This kind of falling in love with creation and responding with passion has generated more than $320,000 for green grants to some 50 congregations these past two years, with even more getting on board this year. And our Creation Care Season itself has been an awakening in many congregations to the many resources available for worship, education, formation and contemplation in nature, and advocacy that shapes public policy.

Numerous churches and homeowners have reduced their carbon footprint. Acts of justice have addressed the poisoning of the environment that causes death and extinction of species."

SOURCE





Disgraceful politicizing of the Okla. Tornado

Despite no evidence that devastating tornadoes have increased in frequency or intensity due to fossil fuel use, another warm-monger blames the Moore, Okla., disaster on GOP "polluters and deniers."

Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., thought the devastation of Moore was a crisis that should not be wasted as he took to the Senate floor Monday to rail against his Republican colleagues for denying the theory of anthropogenic (man-caused) global warming (known by its acronym, AGW).

Other Democratic leaders like Al Gore, who profited handsomely off the manufactured hysteria, and President Obama, who promised the sea level would stop rising and the planet would begin to heal upon his election, have exploited every natural disaster, such as Superstorm Sandy, as proof that fossil-fuel pollution is leading us to planetary doom.

Whitehouse's rant was epic. "So, you may have a question for me," Whitehouse said. "Why do you care? Why do you, Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, care if we Republicans run off the climate cliff like a bunch of proverbial lemmings and disgrace ourselves? I'll tell you why. We're stuck in this together. We are stuck in this together. When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us, the rest of the country, for billions of dollars to recover. And the damage that your polluters and deniers are doing doesn't just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas."

Whitehouse went on to blame AGW for floods, storms, dying forests and acidified sea, stopping just this side of plagues of locusts.

We do have a question for him: Why are you, Sen. Whitehouse, politicizing this tragedy without one shred of scientific evidence to back you up?

The fact is, we have just left a tornado drought. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), "The 12-month period from May 2012 to April 2013 was remarkable for the absence of tornado activity and tornado impacts in the United States."

NOAA tornado expert Harold Brooks notes that during that period there were just 197 tornadoes rated EF1 or stronger, the fewest since at least 1954.

It's also a fact that tornado frequency and intensity vary over time like, well, what we used to call weather before every storm was attributed to climate change.

As we've said before, whether it's too hot or too cold, too wet or too dry, too stormy or too quiet, it's always blamed on climate change.

So 2011, when an F5 tornado tore through Joplin, Mo., was a particularly bad year for tornado damage. But so were 1853, 1865 and 1974.

During 1953, 519 people died and more than 5,000 were injured. Three tornadoes killed a total of 320 people in Waco, Texas; Flint, Mich. and Worcester, Mass., during May and June of that year.

In 1965, 301 people were killed by tornadoes, 260 of those on April 11, Palm Sunday.

Like the 1965 Palm Sunday outbreak, the largest outbreak in 1974 occurred on one day, Wednesday, April 3. For 1974 in total, 348 people perished.

When President Obama linked Superstorm Sandy to climate change, Roger Pielke Jr., professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder, wrote: "The U.S. is currently experiencing the longest-ever recorded period with no strikes of a Category 3 or stronger hurricane."

As for tornadoes, Pielke reports : "Over the past six decades, tornado damage has declined after accounting for development that has put more property into harm's way".

As renowned meteorologist Joe Bastardi notes, storm cycles are heavily, and perhaps mainly, influenced by natural ocean phenomena known scientifically as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. When the Atlantic is warming and the Pacific is cooling, as they are now,we tend to see more tornadoes and hurricanes.

Unfortunately, we also see more demagogues exploiting tragedy for political and ideological purposes.

SOURCE





Latest figures: The USA continues to cool

Very late again, the official April temperature figures are out. Last year the temperature anomaly was 3.66 F and this year it is - 1.35 F.

As a complement to my previous post Recent 3 Months U.S. Temperature trend/decade: - 4.1 F COOLER in 100 years, I thought it also would be interesting to look at the recent 4 months (year to date, January- April) US temperature from a "historic" perspective. To see how the decade trends have evolved during the last 113 years.

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

I don't know about you, but I consider a 4 month, a year by year consecutive trend 113 years long to be a "quite good" indicator.

And as I always point out:

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

So here are the trends:

US temperature recent 4 months (Jan- Apr) 1900-2013

The trend for 1900 to 2013 is 0.17 F / Decade

US temperature recent 4 months (Jan- Apr) 1970-2013

The trend for 1970 to 2013 is 0.63 F / Decade

US temperature recent 4 months (Jan- Apr) 1980-2013

The trend for 1980 to 2013 is 0.38 F / Decade

US temperature recent 4 months (Jan- Apr) 1990-2013

The trend for 1990 to 2013 is - 0.07 F / Decade

US temperature recent 4 months (Jan- Apr) 2000-2013

The trend for 2000 to 2013 is - 0.54 F / Decade

So the "warming trend" 2000-2013 for Jan- Apr is exactly - 0.54 F degrees a decade. That is - 5.4 F COOLER in 100 years. That's what I call "warming"!

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





High energy costs may drive German firms to US

Soaring German energy costs in the wake of the country's transition to renewable energy have seen more and more firms thinking abut relocating their operations. The US looks like a sound alternative, associations claim.

German industry lobby associations on Wednesday sent a warning shot towards the government in Berlin, saying that rising energy costs in the country would drive away more and more German companies.

Risky Business: The fracking controversy

"If we don't get on top of the country's energy transition to renewables and are not able to rein in energy costs in the process, German industry's competitiveness stands to suffer," the chief of the Federation of German Industry (BDI), Ulrich Grillo, told the business newspaper "Handelsblatt."

He said that while Germans are embroiled in a debate about the right energy mix, the US was getting more and more attractive as a business location for German firms, thanks not least to President Barack Obama's support for the fracking technology resulting in much cheaper energy prices.

Time to act

"That means that German companies are bound to invest a lot more in the US," Grillo commented. Energy-intensive firms like Wacker and BASF speak of clear competitive advantages in the US, with the first already building a production facility in Tennessee.

The Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) said its own surveys had shown German companies' increasing willingness to move parts of their operations to the US rather than to fellow European nations in search of more favorable framework conditions.

"The US has become much more attractive to companies than Europe," DIHK chief Martin Wansleben told the "Handelsblatt". "Germany is in the process of getting sandwiched between eastern Europe with its low labor costs and the US with low energy costs," Wansleben claimed.

SOURCE





EU Summit: Climate Protection Is Not That Important Anymore

Europe's heads of State and government want to promote shale gas and to reduce energy prices. They would rather promote competition than stop global warming.

EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy wanted to hear answers to three questions, from the assembled heads of state and government at the EU summit on Wednesday: How can we further accelerate energy saving at European level? How can energy policy be made so reliable as to attract the necessary investments in grid networks? And how can domestic resources be better utilized? The last question in his letter of invitation which alludes to controversial shale gas fracking carries much political dynamite.

But there is need for action.

"For European companies, rising energy prices have become a competitive disadvantage," said Martin Schulz (Social Democrats, Germany), President of the European Parliament. "If we do nothing, the energy prices will continue to rise, and our reliance on third countries for energy supply will continue to increase." Without a change in course, energy imports will have to cover 80 percent of demand in 2035, according to the European Commission.

To consume less energy would be a way. However, energy efficiency is not given much space in the final declaration of the summit. The EU Commission is encouraged to propose strict efficiency standards for energy-consuming appliances by next year. In addition, the implementation of the already adopted directives is called for. Thus, the Irish presidency suggests that improving the insulation of buildings "could give a great boost to the struggling European construction sector". Electricity prices could be held in check at least by some degree by completion of the European internal energy market by next year. The leaders insist on this too.

What is new foremost is that EU leaders "are viewing energy policy not through the lens of climate change, but through the lens of competitiveness for the first time" an EU diplomat said. The summit still espouses new climate goals when it demands "a predictable climate and energy policy framework for the period after 2020?. The necessity of a "well-functioning emissions trading" also emerges briefly in the text of the summit, but the question how this can be achieved is not answered.

So is it true when German liberal MEP Holger Krahmer (Free Democrats) is delighted that "the EU summit heralds the end of climate hysteria" and that a "new realism" is now in place? His conservative colleague Herbert Reul (Christian Democrats), head of the parliamentary CDU in the European Parliament, openly calls for a "U-turn in energy policy. It can no longer be preferentially aligned to climate change ". Accordingly, the Green Party leader Rebecca Harms warns of a "roll back into the energy past." It was still important, she adds, to "make us less dependent on climate-damaging fossil fuels."

However, it may be taken as evidence to the contrary that the summit expressly approved the approach by the EU Commission to develop a framework for the "safe and sustainable exploitation of indigenous energy sources", such as shale gas, this year. In German government circles there is talk about "an important contribution to the enhancement of objectivity of the debate". German Chancellor Angela Merkel, however, does not want to see it as a "change of course". She agrees that the shale gas revolution in the United States has created "a completely changed global situation". "But just because you pronounce such a truth, you do not turn away from climate protection."

"In an optimistic scenario," a paper of the European Commission says "unconventional gas could limit the dependence on imports to about 60 percent". But this does not mean a radical change of course insists Energy Commissioner Gnther Oettinger: "I do not seek a U-turn. I want a balance between climate policy and a solution of the economic problems in Europe."

The costs of climate protection, however, Oettinger does want to contain. Later this year, his agency will propose a claw back of subsidies for solar and wind power. "We cannot expand renewable energy sources at any price forever," said his party colleague Reul. At the same time, subsidies for new power plants should be avoided. In order to eliminate bottlenecks, the European Commission favours contracts with neighbours, according to sources close to Oettinger. "In Baden-Wrttemberg, it is better to talk with Austria and France instead of building new gas-fired plants."

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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23 May, 2013

Odd! Global warming seems to have missed out my neck of the woods

Is Brisbane off the planet? I rather hope so. It's nice to live in a pleasant medium-sized modern city with every facility but also be far away from the dangerous passions of the Northern hemisphere. I don't think anyone is aiming missiles at us

BRISBANE shivered through its coldest May day in 33 years yesterday. The good news is that it will be warmer today

While city-slickers reached for their winter woollies the drought-hit west rejoiced as rain finally fell.

Trinidad, a property between Windorah and Charleville, recorded 44mm and Thargomindah had 43mm.

Brisbane recorded a maximum of just 17.6C, the coldest May day since 1980 and almost 7C below average.

Weather Bureau forecaster Matthew Bass said it was the city's coldest day since June 27 last year.

It was the coldest May day on record at Coolangatta, which recorded a high of just 16.5C.

"We had a clear night, then cloud moved over so that prevented any major heating," Mr Bass said. "Then that combined with rain and a little evaporation cooled things down a bit."

Mr Bass said temperatures would remain 5C to 6C below average in the interior into the weekend.

Brisbane is expected to reach 23C today, 1C below average.

Isolated showers are expected over the southeast and southern interior tomorrow. It will be fine and mostly sunny elsewhere.

Cool to cold conditions should continue for most of Queensland into next week.

SOURCE





To a Warmist anybody who disagrees with him must have ulterior motives

From Revkin in the NYT:

"Some climate scientists see compelling arguments for accumulating heat and added water vapor fueling the kinds of turbulent storms that spawn tornadoes. But a half century of observations in the United States show no change in tornado frequency and a declining frequency of strong tornadoes.

Does any of this mean global warming is not a serious problem? No.

It just means assertions that all weird bad weather is, in essence, our fault are not grounded in science and, as a result, end up empowering those [Revkin links to Marc Morano's Climate Depot here] whose prime interest appears to to be sustaining the fossil fuel era as long as possible. I was glad to see the green blog Grist acknowledge as much."

SOURCE

No thought is given to the facts and arguments that Morano and other skeptics point out. Such things must not be discussed. Instead weird motives are invented for skeptics. The modern-day "scientific" preachers of hellfire are just as dogmatic as the revivalists of old





We Are the Idiots

Walter E. Williams

Dr. Henry Miller, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Gregory Conko, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in their Forbes article "Rachel Carson's Deadly Fantasies" (9/5/2012), wrote that her 1962 book, Silent Spring, led to a world ban on DDT use. The DDT ban was responsible for the loss of "tens of millions of human lives -- mostly children in poor, tropical countries -- have been traded for the possibility of slightly improved fertility in raptors (birds). This remains one of the monumental human tragedies of the last century." DDT presents no harm to humans and, when used properly, poses no environmental threat. In 1970, a committee of the National Academy of Sciences wrote: "To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT. ... In a little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million human deaths, due to malaria, that otherwise would have been inevitable." Prior to the DDT ban, malaria was on the verge of extinction in some countries.

The World Health Organization estimates that malaria infects at least 200 million people, of which more than a half-million die, each year. Most malaria victims are African children. People who support the DDT ban are complicit in the deaths of tens of millions of Africans and Southeast Asians. Philanthropist Bill Gates is raising money for millions of mosquito nets, but to keep his environmentalist credentials, the last thing that he'd advocate is DDT use. Remarkably, black congressmen share his vision.

Wackoism didn't end with Carson's death. Dr. Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist, in his 1968 best-selling book, The Population Bomb, predicted major food shortages in the United States and that "in the 1970s ... hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death." Ehrlich saw England in more desperate straits, saying, "If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000." On the first Earth Day, in 1970, Ehrlich warned: "In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish." Ehrlich continues to be a media and academic favorite.

Then there are governmental wacko teachings. In 1914, the U.S. Bureau of Mines predicted our oil reserves would last 10 years. In 1939, the U.S. Department of the Interior revised the estimate, saying that American oil would last 13 years. In 1972, the Club of Rome's report "Limits to Growth" said total world oil reserves totaled 550 billion barrels. With that report in hand, then-President Jimmy Carter said, "We could use up all proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade." He added, "The oil and natural gas we rely on for 75 percent of our energy are running out." As for Carter's running-out-of-oil prediction, a recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office and private industry experts estimate that if even half of the oil bound up in the Green River formation in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado is recovered, it would be "equal to the entire world's proven oil reserves." That's an estimated 3 trillion barrels, more than what OPEC has in reserve. Fret not. Carter, like Ehrlich, is still brought before the media for his opinion.

Our continued acceptance of environmentalist manipulation, lies and fear-mongering has led Congress to establish deadly public policies in the name of saving energy -- such as Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, which downsize autos and cause unnecessary highway fatalities. That's on top of the stupid 1970s 55 mph laws. The next time an environmentalist warns us of a pending disaster or that we are running out of something, we ought to ask: When was the last time a prediction of yours was right? Some people are inclined to call these people idiots. That's wrong. They have been successful in their agenda. It's we who are the idiots for listening to them and allowing Congress to let them have their way.

SOURCE






The ride of the undead goes on

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is in trouble, and climate alarmists are hoping the much-ballyhooed report by Australian activist John Cook, released last week, will convince the public to be very afraid of global warming.

The last few years have not been kind to the global-warming alarmists. In the 17th century, François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld is credited with famously quipping, “There goes another beautiful theory about to be murdered by a brutal gang of facts.”

Unfortunately, for the climate catastrophists, their pet theory (though hardly beautiful) has been slaughtered many times over by a brutal and relentless onslaught of facts. Unfortunately, for the rest of us, however, the global-warming alarmists keep coming back like the undead in a B-grade horror flick. The fanatical proponents of anthropogenic (human caused) global warming, or AGW, have powerful supporters with deep pockets who keep resuscitating them. They have a massive institutional base among Big Government, Big Media, Big Foundations, Big Business, and Big Green, all of which have huge incentives to perpetuate AGW alarmism. No matter how many times the AGW fearmongers’ predictions are shot down, they are resurrected and sent back to frighten more voters/taxpayers into submission to global policies, taxes, and controls. Utilizing brute power and deception, they intend to reverse de La Rochefoucauld’s prediction and see the facts murdered by their own triumphant theory.

As we have reported ("Global Warming 'Consensus': Cooking the Books") AGW activist John Cook has been the recipient of a media promotion bonanza for his recent study claiming that 97 percent of climate scientists endorse the global-warming alarmist position. President Obama and Big Media turned it into a claim that 97 percent of all scientists endorse the AGW position. Both claims are wrong. Stung by numerous setbacks, the AGW lobby is desperately attempting to regain ground through a giant bluff, hoping that their false claim of the near unanimity of all scientists will convince politicians and the public to give them the global power and funding they crave.

Among the many fatal blows the climate alarmists have sustained along the way and managed to bounce back from are: Climategate (see here, here, here, and here), Climategate 2, Glaciergate, Polar beargate (see here and here), Himalayagate, Amazongate, Sea levelgate, Hockey stickgate, and more than 120 additional scandals that have repeatedly exposed the discredited premises, fraudulent research, and faulty computer models on which the AGW fright-peddling empire has been built.

The Next Big IPCC Propaganda Push

Now the United Nations’ IPCC is getting set to release the first of three installments of its latest Assessment Report. And the powers that be are obviously concerned that they do not have sufficient public support in the United States to get Congress to enact the type of trillion-dollar transfers and the “complete transformation of the world” envisioned. The IPCC is scheduled to release its Working Group I (WGI) report on the physical science basis of its latest Assessment in September, and they are desperate to gain support for it.

In addition to the main stumbling block of American public resistance, they are also running into problems with European countries that once appeared to be locked in as supporters, but which are now revolting due to the crushing costs of alternative “green energy” and their own mounting debt and fiscal problems. Many of these countries are jumping ship and now want to switch to the more affordable natural gas that is flooding the global market, thanks to new “fracking” technology. This has the UN and the globalists in a dither. Last September, Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the UN’s International Energy Agency, warned that “governments are feeling more and more uncomfortable to put money in renewables especially in the days of austerity, and some governments are cutting their support."

"The availability of cheap or lower gas prices are putting additional pressure on renewable energies," Birol said. This is a bad thing, said the UN economist. Reuters gave this report on Birol’s apocalyptic warning regarding these developments:

Birol said that any reduction in investment in renewable energy would increase the risk of an increase in global temperatures by 6 degree Celsius this century, describing the current trend as "catastrophic."

"If there are no urgent and bold policies put in place the door to a 2 degrees trajectory, the door to a normal life for us and for our children, will be closed and will be closed forever," he said.

The “increase in global temperatures by 6 degree Celsius this century” is one of the many absurd — and persistent — claims made by AGW fanatics. Dr. William Happer, one of America’s preeminent physicists and a professor of physics at Princeton University, explains here why the six-degree increase bogeyman is ridiculous and completely without foundation in science. (A less technical layman’s version of the Happer article is available here.)

Many of the world’s leading authorities in climatology, meteorology, atmospheric physics, paleo-geology, and many other disciplines (see below) have been weighing in on the skeptical/realist side over the past few years and taking the position that it is beyond irresponsible for scientists and politicians to burden humanity with enormous and unprecedented tax and regulatory burdens based merely on frightening computer model scenarios that cannot sustain critical scientific examination.

One of the biggest lies of the AGW alarmist camp has been that virtually all scientists of any stature and expertise support the claims of AGW activists. Only old dinosaurs unfamiliar with modern climate research or corrupt scientists bought off by the fossil fuel industry disagree, goes their argument.

The truth is strikingly at odds with this claim. As we noted last year (“'Climate Science' in Shambles: Real Scientists Battle UN Agenda") two of the most important AGW scientist activists have jumped ship and now battle against the cause they once supported: James Lovelock (photo above), the British inventor, NASA scientist, author, and originator of the Gaia Hypothesis; and Professor Fritz Vahrenholt, a founding father of Germany’s environmental movement and a director of one of Europe’s largest alternative energy companies.

But that dynamic duo comprises only a minute fraction of the thousands of distinguished scientists who take issue with the AGW activists. In the same article last year, we noted that some of the IPCC’s severest critics are scientists who have served as lead authors and expert reviewers of IPCC reports and have witnessed from the inside the blatant bias and politics masquerading as science

More HERE (See the original for links)




LOL. Benny Peiser has called the Royal Society's bluff

London, 22 May: In response to a suggestion by Sir Paul Nurse, the President of the Royal Society, the Global Warming Policy Foundation has invited five climate scientists and Fellows of the Royal Society to discuss the current state of climate science and its wider implications.

In a letter to Lord Lawson, the GWPF chairman, Sir Paul stated that the Royal Society “would be happy to put the GWPF in touch with people who can offer the Foundation informed scientific advice.”

Sir Paul suggested that the GWPF should contact five of their Fellows: Sir Brian Hoskins; Prof John Mitchell; Prof Tim Palmer; Prof John Shepherd and Prof Eric Wolff.

The GWPF has now invited the five climate scientists to a meeting with a team of members of the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council and independent scientists and has proposed a two-part agenda:

1. The science of global warming, with special reference to (a) the climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide and (b) the extent of natural variability;

2. The conduct and professional standards of those involved in the relevant scientific inquiry and official advisory process.

“I hope the Fellows of the Royal Society will be happy to meet with our team of scientists so that something positive can come out of Sir Paul’s recommendation,” said Dr Benny Peiser, the Director of the GWPF.

Press release from GWPF





New coal mine in New Zealand: Horrors!

Yes. Even New Zealand has lots of coal

Conservation group Forest & Bird and the Greens have slammed the government's decision to allow an Australian company to develop a new open-cast coal mine on conservation land near Westport in exchange for $22 million.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith, who went to the Denniston Plateau on Thursday to announce the deal, says it is the largest ever compensation package negotiated by his department.

It will fund pest and predator control over 4500 hectares around Denniston and 25,000 hectares of the nearby Heaphy River catchment, around 80 kilometres to the north.

Bathurst Resources says the 106ha mine on the 2026ha plateau will provide 225 jobs and contribute $1 billion to the economy.

The Escarpment mine is a stone's throw from the Stockton coal mine, run by struggling state-owned Solid Energy, whose future is in doubt.

Forest & Bird's Debs Martin said she was stunned by the decision.

She questioned the timing of the announcement - which comes before the Environment Court has made a final decision on whether the mine can go ahead.

"What makes the minister's decision all the more baffling is the conservation values of the plateau and where the mine would go are absolutely extraordinary."

The decision was about politics, not conservation, and the minister should not be taking economic considerations into account, she said.

Dr Smith acknowledged the area had conservation value, but said it was not a National Park and had the lowest legal status of protection for conservation land.

It had also already been disturbed by previous mining activity and he was satisfied the agreement conditions would minimise the mine's damage.

"I wish to see some of the high value areas reserved and put into permanent protection."

The Greens described it as a "dark day for conservation".

The decision was made the day before changes to the Crown Minerals Act came into effect which would have meant the mine would require public consultation, mining spokeswoman Catherine Delahunty said.

"The government knows that New Zealanders want to protect this treasured place so they have denied the public an opportunity to have a say."

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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22 May, 2013

Viscount Ridley: Earth To Met Office: Check Your Climate Facts



The latest science suggests that our policy on global warming is hopelessly misguided

There is little doubt that the damage being done by climate-change policies currently exceeds the damage being done by climate change, and will for several decades yet. Hunger, rainforest destruction, excess cold-weather deaths and reduced economic growth are all exacerbated by the rush to biomass and wind. These dwarf any possible effects of worse weather, for which there is still no actual evidence anyway: recent droughts, floods and storms are within historic variability.

The harm done by policy falls disproportionately on the poor. Climate worriers claim that at some point this will reverse and the disease will become worse than the cure. An acceleration in temperature rise, they say, is overdue. The snag is, the best science now says otherwise. Whereas the politicians, activists and businessmen who make the most noise about — and money from — this issue are sticking to their guns, key scientists are backing away from predictions of rapid warming.

Yesterday saw the publication of a paper in a prestigious journal,Nature Geoscience, from a high-profile international team led by Oxford scientists. The contributors include 14 lead authors of the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientific report; two are lead authors of the crucial chapter 10: professors Myles Allen and Gabriele Hegerl.

So this study is about as authoritative as you can get. It uses the most robust method, of analysing the Earth’s heat budget over the past hundred years or so, to estimate a “transient climate response” — the amount of warming that, with rising emissions, the world is likely to experience by the time carbon dioxide levels have doubled since pre-industrial times.

The most likely estimate is 1.3C. Even if we reach doubled carbon dioxide in just 50 years, we can expect the world to be about two-thirds of a degree warmer than it is now, maybe a bit more if other greenhouse gases increase too. That is to say, up until my teenage children reach retirement age, they will have experienced further warming at about the same rate as I have experienced since I was at school.

At this rate, it will be the last decades of this century before global warming does net harm. As the economist Bjørn Lomborg recently summarised the economic consensus: “Economic models show that the overall impact of a moderate warming (1-2C) will be beneficial [so] global warming is a net benefit now and will likely stay so till about 2070.”

Now contrast the new result with the Met Office’s flagship climate model, the one that ministers and their advisers place most faith in. Called HadGEM2-ES, it expects a transient climate response of 2.5C, or almost double the best estimate that the Oxford team has just published. Indeed, the latter’s study concludes that it is more than 95 per cent certain that the response is below 2C, considerably short of the Met Office model’s estimate.

Why trust the new results rather than the Met Office model? The new study not only uses the most robust method, but joins several other observationally based studies from the past year that also find lower climate sensitivity than complex climate models exhibit.

Notice that this new understanding is consistent with what we have actually experienced: about 0.1C per decade over the past 50 years. The most remarkable thing about the recent milestone of 0.04 per cent carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (400 parts per million) is that it comes after 15 years of no net warming at all.

The new paper also fits the known physics of the greenhouse effect, which predicts a warming of 1.1C for a doubling of carbon dioxide. Only unverified assumptions by modellers about the added effects of water vapour and clouds have allowed politicians and activists to claim that a much higher number fits the laws of physics. Only now-disproven claims about how much the sulphur pollution in the air was masking the warming enabled them to reconcile their claims with the actual data.

It is true that the “transient climate response” is not the end of the story and that the gradual warming of the oceans means that there would be more warming in the pipeline even if we stopped increasing carbon dioxide levels after doubling them. But given the advance of nuclear and solar technology, there is now a good chance we will have decarbonised the economy before any net harm has been done.

In an insightful new book, The Age of Global Warming, Rupert Darwall makes the point that “in believing scientists and politicians can solve the problems of a far distant future, the tangible needs of the present are neglected”. The strong possibility that climate change will be slow and harmless must be taken seriously before we damage more lives, landscapes and livelihoods in its name.

SOURCE






New paper finds sea level rise has greatly DEcelerated over past 10,000 years

A paper published today in the Journal of Quaternary Science reconstructs sea level rise in New Jersey, USA over the past 10,000 years and "concludes that relative sea levels rose at an average rate of 4?mm per year from 10,000-6,000 years ago, 2?mm per year from 6,000 to 2,000 years ago, and 1.3?mm per year from 2,000 years ago to AD 1900." Thus, the paper finds a large deceleration in sea level rise over the past 10,000 years, to a rate in 1900 essentially the same as during the past seven years. According to the 2012 NOAA Sea Level Budget, global sea levels rose at only 1.1 - 1.3 mm/year from 2005-2012, which is less than half of the rate claimed by the IPCC [3.1 mm/yr] and is equivalent to less than 5 inches per century. Contrary to alarmist claims, sea level rise decelerated over the 20th century, has also decelerated since 2005, and there is no evidence of any human influence on sea levels.
Influence of tidal-range change and sediment compaction on Holocene relative sea-level change in New Jersey, USA

BENJAMIN P. HORTON et al

ABSTRACT:

We investigated the effect of tidal-range change and sediment compaction on reconstructions of Holocene relative sea level (RSL) in New Jersey, USA. We updated a published sea-level database to generate 50 sea-level index points and ten limiting dates that define continuously rising RSL in New Jersey during the Holocene. There is scatter among the index points, particularly those older than 7 ka. A numerical model estimated that paleotidal range was relatively constant during the mid and late Holocene, but rapidly increased between 9 and 8 ka, leading to an underestimation of RSL by ?0.5?m. We adjusted the sea-level index points using the paleotidal model prior to assessing the influence of compaction on organic samples with clastic deposits above and below (an intercalated sea-level index point). We found a significant relationship (p?=?0.01) with the thickness of the overburden (r?=?0.85). We altered the altitude of intercalated index points using this simple stratigraphic relationship, which reduced vertical scatter in sea-level reconstructions. We conclude that RSL rose at an average rate of 4?mm a?1 from 10 ka to 6 ka, 2?mm a?1 from 6 ka to 2 ka, and 1.3?mm a?1 from 2 ka to AD 1900.


SOURCE





Global Warming “Consensus”: A Cook Cooks the Books

“Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree:#climate change is real, man-made and dangerous,” President Barack Obama tweeted last Thursday, May 16.

The president was cheering on the media-drawn bandwagon for the latest round of global warming “consensus” puffery. John Cook, an Australian blogger/global warming activist, has President Obama and all the usual climate alarmists in academia, the media, and the Big Green NGOs twitterpated over his latest “research,” which purports to prove that the scientific world is virtually unanimous in declaring that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) — that is, human-caused global warming — is a dire and imminent existential threat.

Certainly “97% of scientists” is an impressive-sounding claim. But is it accurate? As we shall see, this supposed near unanimity of science evaporates like H2O over a Bunsen burner as soon as it is subjected to scrutiny.

“Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature” by John Cook and his team at the Global Change Institute, was published in Environmental Research Letters. Many of the headlines pointing to this study in newspapers, television news broadcasts, and Internet websites led with the same 97 percent claim, same as President Obama. Some of them were a bit more careful than others to qualify that figure based on what the study said, but it would still take a careful reader to recognize that they weren’t saying the same thing as the occupant of the White House.

The story by Rik Myslewski of the British newspaper The Register is a typical example. The Register’s main headline read: “Climate scientists agree: Humans cause global warming.” But sub-headline immediately beneath says: “Of those who have an opinion, over 97% say we're to blame.”

The crucial point here is the qualifying clause, “of those who have an opinion.” In other words, even the highly questionable Cook study doesn’t actually claim, as President Obama does, that “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree.” In fact, when examined closely, one finds that the study says only one-third of the authors of the published research papers they examined expressed an opinion that the Cook team interpreted as either an implicit or explicit endorsement of AGW.

So now its 97 percent of one-third of selected scientists in a sampling of research papers. That’s a far cry from the 97 percent of all scientists claimed by President Obama and many of the media stories. And, as we will show below, even this admitted dramatically lower consensus claimed by the study is fraught with problems and falls apart further under examination.

The Consensus Con Game

The Cook study has already been taken apart and refuted in a number of blogs and articles. One of the critical scientists to take an early look at Cook’s suspicious claims was Dutch chemist and science journalist Marcel Crok, who points out many of the problems — here — concerning the Cook study’s misleading selection, categorizations, and descriptions of alleged endorsers of AGW.

A major reason for the supposed importance of the Cook study is that it claims to be based on surveying abstracts of “over 12,000 peer-reviewed climate science papers,” published in the period 1991-2011, which would be an impressive sampling. But it turns out not to be so striking after all. Firstly, even most of the climate catastrophe skeptics readily concede that human production of CO2, along with other human activities, may have some impact on global temperatures. The question is how significant is the human contribution.

Only 65 (!) Abstracts in Cook Study of 12,000 Strongly Endorse AGW!

On that question there is a wide divergence of opinion in the realist/skeptic community — just as there is also a similarly wide divergence among the AGW believer scientists. Blogger Brandon Shollenberger appears to have been the first to have uncovered the Big Secret of the Cook charade: When stripped down to the bare truth, the actual number of studies in the Cook sampling that can be said to endorse the position that human activity is responsible for most of the experienced global warming is — get ready for this (drum roll …) — sixty-five. Yes, 65, or around half a percent, not 97 percent! And this miniscule number of strong endorsers is actually less than the number of skeptical scientific papers included in the Cook study.

More HERE





CONSERVATIVES SAY EPA FAVORS GREENS IN FEE DISPUTE

Conservatives are hoping to throw another piece of kindling on the scandals currently burning the Obama administration by asserting that the EPA denies requests to waive fees for conservative groups while routinely waiving the costs for liberal groups like the Sierra Club.

The evidence so far relies solely on EPA’s denial of 14 of 15 of a Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow’s fee-waiver requests for documents.

In contrast, groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and Earthjustice had fees waived in 75 out of 82 cases, according to GOP lawmakers. The trend, lawmakers said, showed nearly all waiver requests by state and local governments were also denied since January 2012. EPA denies any unfair treatment.

SOURCE





Mother Nature's Message to Mankind? in Oklahoma

By Alan Caruba

After a tornado tore through Moore, Oklahoma in 1999, people returned and rebuilt their homes and other structures destroyed by it.

Many of the homes, instead of including a basement, were rebuilt on concrete slabs that offer no protection when high winds tear them loose. The elementary school was believed to be strong enough to protect students, but it wasn’t. No lessons were learned from that tornado, although meteorological systems have been put in place to provide some warning.

I did not have to wait for the usual pronouncements from various environmental organizations and individual “experts” that the tornadoes that struck Oklahoma were the result of “global warming” or “climate change”, but tornadoes are a product of weather systems all around the world and have occurred for the millennia of Earth’s existence.

Typical of the way Greens exploit every dramatic weather event, Solon.com, a liberal website, posted an article by David Sirota repeating all the usual environmental lies. “Was the severe weather system culminating in yesterday’s Oklahoma City intensified—or even created—by climate change? That question will almost certainly be batted back and forth in the media over the next few days. After all, there is plenty of scientific evidence that climate change intensifies weather in general, but there remain legitimate questions about how—and even if—it intensifies tornadoes in specific.” This is the worst kind of balderdash; utterly without merit.

Sirota then went on to blame “sequestration” for increasing the impact, citing “an 8.2 percent cut to the National Weather Service”, claiming falsely that there was no way it “could maintain around-the-clock operations at its 122 forecasting offices” and saying it means that its employees “are going to be overworked, they’re going to be tired, they’re going to miss warnings.”

This is the naked politicization of a human tragedy. Sequestration had nothing more to do with the deaths of some twenty children in Moore than the insane killing of children at Sandy Hook school in Connecticut that led to immediate calls for more gun control laws. This is typical of liberals for whom everything is about politics and power.

Sequestration, an idea put forth by President Obama and adopted by Congress as a process so idiotic and drastic that it was believed it would never be allowed to occur. It cuts the rate of federal spending, but not the amount of spending. As with the air controllers and meat inspectors, there have not been, nor will be, massive government employee layoffs. As Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) points out, one result was the curtailment of White House tours, but shortly after it was initiated, the Obama administration was still able to find millions to send to Egypt on top of the two billion it sends annually.

The government has responded to tornadoes and other weather-related events with an alphabet soup of agencies, from NASA and NOAA to FEMA. The National Weather Service (NWS) does its best to track and warn against tornadoes. According to Tuesday's The Wall Street Journal, “The National Weather Service estimates that 80% of tornadoes are ‘weak’—EF1 or less—and less than 1% are violent, meaning EF5 or higher.” Such tornadoes are rare. “If the storm is upgraded, it would be only the 59th EF5 since 1950—and the second in Moore…”

On a page from NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory offering “Tornado Basics”, it asks and answers the question “How do tornadoes form?” It answers by saying “The truth is that we don’t fully understand. The most destructive and deadly tornadoes occur from supercells, which are rotating thunderstorms with a well-defined radar circulation call a mesocyclone.”

Greens love computer models to justify their absurd claims, but the Severe Storms Laboratory says that tornado development “is related to the temperature differences across the edge of downdraft air wrapping around the mesocyclone. Mathematical modeling studies of tornado formation also indicate that it can happen without such temperature patterns, and, in fact, very little temperature variation was observed near some of the most destructive tornadoes in history.” Computer modeling is a poor substitute for Mother Nature.

What is known is that about 1,200 tornadoes annually and they generally occur in a stretch of the Midwest known as “tornado alley.” The worst of them do tremendous physical damage and kill people; which begs the question of why people moved back to Moore and rebuilt despite the 1999 tornado.

The real question is why people believe that humans have anything to do with the weather or the climate? Why does anyone believe that carbon dioxide (CO2) has anything to do with weather events or trends? The answer is that Al Gore, James Hensen, and a raft of other climate charlatans, along with countless Green organizations, have been lying to Americans and others around the world.

Since founding The National Anxiety Center in 1990 as a clearinghouse for information about Green fear-mongering, I have been a guest on countless radio shows. I tell listeners that Mother Nature has a message for mankind. It is “Get out of the way. Here comes a tornado, a flood, a hurricane, a blizzard, a wild fire.”

After the dead are totaled and a cost is estimated, there will still be tornadoes in Oklahoma and the rest of tornado alley. The primary lesson to be learned is that Mother Nature is infinitely more powerful than anything humans are alleged to do to affect it in any way because we have zero effect on it.

The other lesson is that America and other nations have wasted billions of dollars on idiotic “renewable energy” such as solar and wind projects that provide unreliable, costly alternatives to the energy on which a nation’s prosperity depends.

The opposition to “fossil fuels” and nuclear energy that Green organizations generate is an attack on human activity, along with their opposition to beneficial chemicals that can, for example, eliminate malaria and other diseases that afflict mankind demonstrates their core belief that it is humans that are responsible for harming the Earth. They are not.

To be Green is to seek to control and reduce humankind through an extensive matrix of lies.

Tornadoes are a “force majeure.” As Wikipedia explains, is “a common clause in contracts that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as war, strike, riot, crime, or an event described by the legal term, ‘act of God.”

The Moore, Oklahoma tornado was a force majeure.

SOURCE




Australia: Vegetation clearing restrictions eased in Qld. One in the eye for Greenies

CONTROVERSIAL vegetation clearing laws which passed in parliament last night are bound to increase the rate of clearing, conservationists warn.

The Bill also included emergency amendments to allow drought-stricken cattle to graze in suitable National Parks by the end of this week.

It comes after Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke opposed the State's plans to temporarily open up the parks to graziers.

The amendments, winding back the previous Labor government's laws, marked a sad day for conservationists but were lauded by farmers.

A small group of protesters gathered outside Parliament House yesterday.

WWF director Nick Heath said it was disgraceful that Premier Campbell Newman would go back on a pre-election promise. "'This is one of the most damaging environmental rollbacks in Australia's history," Mr Heath said.

"These amendments have stripped away protections for up to 2 million ha of bushland which is home to vulnerable native plants and animals, including koalas, cassowaries and quolls," he said.

"The green light for bulldozing of bushland will lead to an increased extinction risk for wildlife, cause soil erosion, water pollution and release millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide.

But Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps denied the changes would lead to widescale clearing, saying it would allow farmers who had been "punished" by the former government through layers of red tape.

"It is very concerning for land owners to be told when they have made such an investment that their plans have been thrown into disarray by a government for political reasons," he said.

"It is a nonsense to suggest that the clearing of vegetation is undertaken indiscriminately or without a reasoned expectation that the farm business will expand as a result."

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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21 May, 2013

The Heat Is Going Out Of Global Warming

John Ross



GLOBAL temperature increases as a result of increased carbon dioxide levels in the Earth’s atmosphere are likely to be lower than previously thought, an international research team has found.

The Oxford University-led study found that a predicted doubling of CO2 concentrations, expected to occur later this century, is likely to raise global temperatures in the short term by between 1.3C and 2C.

Previous estimates, based on climate data from the 1990s, predicted steeper rises of up to 3.1C. The new study, published today in the journal Nature Geoscience, used data gathered more recently, when the average rate of global warming was slowing down.

The latest estimate is “arguably the most reliable”, the paper says, partly because it is less affected by the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in The Philippines, but caution is still required in interpreting the available data.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change previously estimated a temperature rise of between 1C and 3C, with increases outside that range described as “very unlikely”. The new study team, which included an oceanographer from CSIRO’s marine and atmospheric research division in Hobart, estimates this rise could be as little as 0.9C.

The researchers also found that some of the modelling being used for the fifth IPCC assessment report, which is due next year, could be inconsistent with their observations.

Ultimately, however, they found their new predictions suggested little difference to the global temperature increase in the long run. Their best estimate of the “equilibrium climate sensitivity” – the long-term temperature rise once the effects of higher CO2 concentrations had bedded down – was 2C, with an upper limit of 3.9C. This compares with other previous estimates, the study said.

More HERE





Big Green helps Big Wind hide bird and bat butchery

Why do taxpayers have to subsidize this? Why do environmentalists give it a free pass?

Ron Arnold

It uses tons of fossil fuels every day, emits a greenhouse gas that's like CO2 on steroids, can’t do the job it’s made for, costs taxpayers exorbitant fees, and makes the federal government look mentally ill for giving it outrageous subsidies. It also chops up birds, bats and scenery with roads and monstrous 400-foot-tall machines.

“It” is wind power, of course.

These harsh facts were condensed into a preliminary draft study of wind subsidies by researcher Teresa Platt, who circulated it to specialists for vetting. I obtained a copy of the extensively footnoted working draft, which gave chilling reality to the truth behind wind industry claims.

“Every year since the 1980s,” Platt’s study said, “the 5,000 turbines at NextEra’s Altamont Pass in California kill thousands of slow-reproducing red-tailed hawks, burrowing owls, kestrels, as well as iconic golden eagles, and bats.” The birds Platt mentions are raptors – birds of prey – particularly valued for their agricultural role in killing mice and other crop-damaging rodents. Eagles, both golden eagles and bald eagles, have long impressed Americans for their majesty, and the bald eagle was selected by our Founding Fathers as our national emblem.

I asked Bob Johns, spokesman for the American Bird Conservancy, about wind farm eagle mortality. He confirmed Platt’s study and told me the Altamont operation alone has killed more than 2,000 golden eagles. But that’s not all. “Nationwide, the wind industry kills thousands of golden eagles without prosecution,” Johns said, “while any other American citizen even possessing eagle parts such as feathers would face huge fines and prison time.”

Huge is right. Violate either the Migratory Bird Treaty Act or the Eagle Protection Act, and you could get fined up to $250,000 or get two years imprisonment.

Not a single wind farm operator has yet been prosecuted for killing birds, yet in 2009 ExxonMobil got whacked with a $600,000 fine for killing 85 common ducks and other birds that flew into uncovered tanks on its property. Other similarly outrageous revenge-style penalties have been assessed on oil companies by the viciously ideological anti-fossil fuel Obama administration.

So Big Oil clearly doesn’t have an Obama Big Wind Get Out of Jail Free card. This unaccounted wind industry bird-killer subsidy reveals a federal multiple personality disorder that must be cured.

Domestic oil and gas production is setting records – thanks to fracking on state and private lands, despite efforts by Obama, Cuomo, Brown and environmentalist lunatic groups to slow or stop it, and despite Obama and Comrades continuing to shut down ANWR, OCS and other federal drilling opportunities.

We could totally end reliance on Middle East oil, if we would drill more here and permit Keystone XL pipeline. Instead, Obama is still pushing wind and solar, and working with “green” industry to minimize or conceal impacts, while subsidizing renewable energy to the tune of $11.4 million per permanent job.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hedges its annual windmill bird death estimates at between 100,000 to 444,000 dead birds. That smells like political appointees and staff biologists had both insisted on publishing their numbers – and too many staff biologists promote Big Wind, don’t want bird butchery to hurt Big Wind’s “eco-friendly” image, and don’t want to cross swords with subsidy-hungry politicians.

This body count issue has become a genuine data war, with experts hurling “my data are better than your data” cudgels at each other in the press and scientific literature. For example, a 2013 report by K. Shawn Smallwood estimates that in the U.S. in 2012, some 573,000 birds (including 83,000 raptors) were killed by wind turbines, at a rate of 11 birds per MW of installed capacity.

That’s ridiculously low-balled, says Jim Wiegand, California raptor specialist and Berkeley-trained wildlife biologist. I asked Wiegand what the real number was. “At least 2 million birds per year,” he told me, “and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if over 10 million birds were killed each year by wind turbines.”

Wiegand is an on-the-ground, count-the-corpses type of wildlife biologist who does not take anyone’s word for the facts – a basic requirement of real science. Wiegand’s motto could be “Go and look.”

Therein lies Wiegand’s most potent argument for the Smallwood study’s underestimation: The wind industry has adopted bird-death counting standards that limit counts, so the results look lower than reality: Counters go and look only every 30 to 90 days – letting scavengers remove and devour large numbers of dead birds, artificially lowering the body count. Counters examine only a very small footprint around the windmill tower base – artificially lowering body counts. Rotor blade tips can be whirling at 200 miles per hour, enough to whack an unfortunate bird “out of the ball park” – far beyond the little counting circle, out where nobody looks, artificially lowering body counts even more. Some critics accuse counters of simply burying some troublesome corpses – the old “slice, shovel and shut up” routine.

Rebutting Smallwood’s report, Wiegand told me, “In my opinion, there are at least 35 bird deaths per megawatt per year across the country. Some turbines kill several hundred birds per megawatt, depending on their location. In high bird use areas like the Kenedy Ranch turbine site in Texas, I believe proper studies on would easily show several hundred bird deaths per megawatt per year.”

The wind power industry must also share responsibility for bird deaths caused by super-long high-tension lines from distant turbines to cities. A 2007 report estimated the number of such mortality due to collisions on the wing to be at least 130 million, possibly as high a 1 billion, birds per year.

And these numbers are just for birds. We don’t often think about bat benefits, but the U.S. Geological Survey estimates bats are worth $74 in pest control costs per acre – and windmills may have killed more than 3 million bats by last year. A small bat eats about 680,000 insects a year, so 3 million dead bats means 2 billion mosquitoes and other insects that shouldn’t be here are still flying around.

Those numbers are likely way too low, as well. Windmill-caused bat mortality statistics, like bird death numbers, are hotly contested with estimates running into the multi-millions every year.

Wind is usually touted as using no fuel, particularly no fossil fuel. That’s a clever deception. Windmills don’t work when it’s too hot or too cold, or when the wind blows too hard or not at all. So they need a backup, which is usually a coal- or oil- or gas-fired power plant.

Also, every windmill comes with a power line, which comes with a maintenance road, which comes with CO2-emitting traffic. Nobody’s counting that. Why not?

Then there’s SF6, sulfur hexafluoride, the most potent greenhouse gas evaluated by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with a global warming potential 22,800 times that of CO2. It’s used to insulate equipment inside wind turbines, their related infrastructure and transmission lines. It may leak during installation or maintenance. or from damaged, aging or destroyed equipment.

Speaking of which, the average service life of a windmill is between 10 and 15 years – not the 20 to 25 years claimed by turbine operators, says a 2012 study by Britain’s Renewable Energy Foundation.

Falmouth, Massachusetts has the right idea. The town voted 110-91 to remove its two 400-foot industrial wind turbines for health and nuisance reasons. The only problem is paying the $15 million price tag for removal. They need to borrow $8 million to get the job done.

Maybe some powerful Big Green group – think the Sierra Club or Natural Resources Defense Council – will step forward to save Falmouth? Fat chance. They’re in love with bird and bat butchering turbines.

Via email





Last time CO2 was this high, the world was underwater? NO, actually

OK, so levels of atmospheric CO2 are rising through 0.0004 (or 400 parts per million) at the moment. Disaster, right? The last time the world saw carbon levels like this, some three million years ago, the mighty ice sheets of Greenland and the Antarctic had melted from the heat and the seas were 35 metres higher than they are today. Anybody who doesn't live up a mountain will soon find themselves underwater. Aaargh!

Not so much, according to new research.

The idea that the seas were 35 metres higher 3 million years back comes mainly from scientists examining ancient high-tide marks found along coastal cliffs and scarps - particularly some often-used ones on the US eastern seaboard. By determining the ages of the rocks and marks, scientists have come to the conclusion that the seas were much, much higher then - and thus, that the Greenland ice and large parts of the Antarctic ice as well must have been melted at the time.

According to a crew of top boffins led by Professor David Rowley of Chicago uni, the problem with this is that over these sorts of timescales, areas of the Earth's crust rise and fall as much as the sea does. And nobody thus far has taken account of that - it has just been assumed that the rocky coasts have remained fixed with respect to the centre of the Earth, which means that the studies thus far have been - basically - wrong.

"No prediction of ancient ice volumes can ever again ignore the Earth's interior dynamics,” says Rowley.

The prof and his colleagues' new investigation has sought to reconstruct the behaviour of the crust along the oft-studied scarp running up the US coast from Florida to Vermont. And it turns out that over the past three million years, interactions in the Earth's mantle have lifted the entire coastline and the ancient tidemarks with it - giving a false impression of much higher sea levels.

Using the corrected, much lower sea levels, Rowley's team say that in fact the world's ice sheets didn't melt nearly as much back in the old days of 400+ ppm CO2 as people think. According to a statement [1] highlighting the new research:

"Until now, many research groups have studied this shoreline and concluded that during a warm period three million years ago, the Greenland, West Antarctic and a fraction of East Antarctic ice sheets collapsed, raising the sea level at least 35 metres. But the new findings by Rowley and his team suggest that these ice sheets, particularly the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (the world’s largest), were probably more stable."

The new paper has just been published [2] in hefty boffinry mag Science.

"It is the kind of study that changes how people think about our past climate and what our future holds," comments Rowley, bluntly.

SOURCE





Mega-pesky! New paper 'unexpectedly' finds CO2 and 'acidification' dramatically improved fish reproduction in coral reefs

A paper published today in Global Change Biology finds that increased dissolved CO2 and decreased pH [so-called "acidification"] had the completely unexpected result of dramatically increasing reproduction [by 82%] in a coral reef fish. According to the authors, "This study provides the first evidence of the potential effects of ocean acidification on key reproductive attributes of marine fishes and, contrary to expectations, demonstrates an initially stimulatory (hormetic) effect in response to increased pCO2."
Increased CO2 stimulates reproduction in a coral reef fish

Gabrielle M. Miller et al

Abstract:

Ocean acidification is predicted to negatively impact the reproduction of many marine species, either by reducing fertilization success or diverting energy from reproductive effort. While recent studies have demonstrated how ocean acidification will affect larval and juvenile fishes, little is known about how increasing partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) and decreasing pH might affect reproduction in adult fishes. We investigated the effects of near-future levels of pCO2 on the reproductive performance of the cinnamon anemonefish, Amphiprion melanopus, from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Breeding pairs were held under three CO2 treatments (Current-day Control (430?atm), Moderate (584?atm) and High (1032?atm)) for a 9-month period that included the summer breeding season. Unexpectedly, increased CO2 dramatically stimulated breeding activity in this species of fish. Over twice as many pairs bred in the Moderate (67% of pairs) and High (55%) compared to the Control (27%) CO2 treatment. Pairs in the High CO2 group produced double the number of clutches per pair and 67% more eggs per clutch compared to the Moderate and Control groups. As a result, reproductive output in the High group was 82% higher than the Control group and 50% higher than the Moderate group. Despite the increase in reproductive activity, there was no difference in adult body condition between the three treatment groups. There was no significant difference in hatchling length between the treatment groups, but larvae from the High CO2 group had smaller yolks than Controls. This study provides the first evidence of the potential effects of ocean acidification on key reproductive attributes of marine fishes and, contrary to expectations, demonstrates an initially stimulatory (hormetic) effect in response to increased pCO2. However, any long-term consequences of increased reproductive effort on individuals or populations remains to be determined.

SOURCE




New study concludes that Amazon has become wetter since 1990 due to rise in Atlantic sea surface temperature

Wasn't "climate change" supposed to be causing droughts in the Amazon?
Intensification of the Amazon hydrological cycle over the last two decades

By M. Gloor et al.

Abstract

[1] The Amazon basin hosts half the planet's remaining moist tropical forests, but they may be threatened in a warming world. Nevertheless, climate model predictions vary from rapid drying to modest wetting. Here we report that the catchment of the world's largest river is experiencing a substantial wetting trend since approximately 1990. This intensification of the hydrological cycle is concentrated overwhelmingly in the wet season driving progressively greater differences in Amazon peak and minimum flows. The onset of the trend coincides with the onset of an upward trend in tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures (SST). This positive longer-term correlation contrasts with the short-term, negative response of basin-wide precipitation to positive anomalies in tropical North Atlantic SST, which are driven by temporary shifts in the intertropical convergence zone position. We propose that the Amazon precipitation changes since 1990 are instead related to increasing atmospheric water vapor import from the warming tropical Atlantic.


SOURCE







GREENIE ROUNDUP FROM AUSTRALIA

Three current news reports below

Conservatives' plan to dismantle carbon laws

TONY Abbott would prepare for a double-dissolution election within five months of taking office if parliament blocked the repeal of the carbon tax, under a 12-month action blueprint to transform the nation's environmental laws.

A working draft of the plan, obtained by The Weekend Australian and confirmed by opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt, sets key dates to merge federal departments, introduce a direct action plan to offset or reduce carbon dioxide emissions and confirms details of a 35-year Great Barrier Reef protection strategy.

The timetable outlines how the Coalition's environment plans would be implemented. The federal environment department would be instructed on day one of an Abbott government to prepare legislation to scrap the carbon tax. The legislation would be introduced to parliament on day 30 and preparations would be made for a double-dissolution election after five months if parliament did not agree to repeal the carbon tax.

The government can seek a double dissolution of parliament, in which an election is held for both houses, when the House of Representatives and the Senate fail to agree on a bill twice in three months.

While double dissolutions are often threatened by governments struggling to have legislation pass a hostile Senate, there have only been six double dissolutions since federation, with the last in 1975 that led to the dismissal of the Whitlam government.

Mr Hunt said yesterday the federal election would be a referendum on the carbon tax and Labor must respect the views of the electorate and not block its removal if it lost the next election.

He challenged Climate Change Minister Greg Combet to commit to honouring any election mandate to scrap the carbon tax should the Coalition be elected.

Mr Hunt said it was the Coalition's preference for parliament to scrap the tax. But he said Coalition policy was to hold a double dissolution election within 12 months if legislation to repeal it was blocked.

Even if it won government, the Coalition would not have the numbers in the Senate to guarantee passage of legislation in the upper house until at least six months after the federal election when the new Senate numbers took effect.

Mr Hunt said advice to the Coalition was that a double dissolution could be forced after eight months and an Abbott government was committed to doing so within 12 months if parliament did not agree to scrap the tax.

"It is our preference for parliament to accept our legislation," he said.

The implementation timetable builds on the Coalition's election blueprint for Australia, "Hope, Reward and Opportunity", which nominates five key policy areas, economy, communities, environment, border security and national infrastructure.

Mr Hunt confirmed the timetable, which he said had been prepared for the business community late last year.

The Business Council of Australia has mounted a strong campaign to streamline environmental regulations to cut "green tape", which it said was adding to costs and jeopardising major projects.

Julia Gillard had supported the BCA push to delegate environmental powers to the states, but the federal government abruptly withdrew its support for an immediate handover of powers at COAG last November.

Mr Hunt said the federal opposition was having "very serious discussions" with all of the Coalition states to quickly implement one-stop-shop agreements for environmental approvals.

"Some matters would be reserved where the commonwealth would be the one-stop shop but overwhelmingly it would be the states," Mr Hunt said.

The areas where the federal government would retain ultimate control include offshore commonwealth waters, nuclear matters and projects for which the state was the proponent.

Mr Hunt said the reef strategy was still being finalised but would include funding for nutrient run-off reductions, a crown of thorns starfish eradication program and a dugong and turtle protection plan.

Environment groups were concerned about a lack of detail on port development. They said projected sediment from dredging was many times greater than what would be saved from expensive onshore run-off programs.

SOURCE

Survey finds a very "Green" public broadcaster

MORE than 40 per cent of ABC journalists who answered a survey question about their political attitudes are Greens supporters, four times the support the minor party enjoys in the wider population.

The journalism survey, the largest in 20 years, has found the profession is overwhelmingly left-leaning, with respondents from the ABC declaring double levels of support for the Greens compared with those from Fairfax Media and News Limited.

The survey of 605 journalists from around Australia found that just more than half described themselves as having left political views, while only 13 per cent said they were right of centre.

This tendency was most pronounced among the 34 ABC journalists who agreed to declare their voting intention, with 41 per cent of them saying they would vote for the Greens, 32 per cent declaring support for Labor and 14 per cent backing the Coalition.

In comparison, Greens voters represented 20 per cent of the 86 journalists who revealed their intentions both at News Limited, publisher of The Australian, and Fairfax. Labor was the most popular party at both major publishers, with 55 per cent support at Fairfax and 47 per cent at News Limited.

University of the Sunshine Coast senior journalism lecturer Folker Hanusch, who led the study, said the figures revealed a trend despite the small sample size.

"There is a statistically significant difference (from the ABC) to News Limited journalists and also Fairfax journalists, so we have a trend," Dr Hanusch said.

"Even though only a smaller number of journalists answered the voting intentions, which does increase the margin of error, it is still reasonable to conclude that there is a marked difference between the voting intentions of journalists at the three major media organisations. At least two-thirds of those journalists . . . would vote either Labor or the Greens. That's also interesting in terms of people accusing News Limited of a right-wing bias."

An ABC spokeswoman said the number of the broadcaster's journalists who responded to the survey was too small to draw any firm conclusions.

ABC radio presenter Mark Colvin described the result as "absolutely meaningless".

"Only a tiny proportion of ABC journalists were prepared to reveal their voting intentions," he said. "You don't know anything about the much larger percentage of ABC journalists who weren't prepared to reveal their voting intentions . . . it's absolutely ridiculous to draw conclusions from this survey on that subject."

About 61 per cents of all journalists surveyed agreed to disclose their voting habits, with 43 per cent saying they would give their first-preference vote to Labor, 30 per cent to the Coalition and 19 per cent to the Greens.

Among the 83 senior editors who took part in the survey, 43 per cent supported the Coalition, while 34 per cent backed Labor and 11 per cent supported the Greens. These figures closely matched the findings of last weekend's Newspoll, which put Coalition support in the wider population at 46 per cent, followed by Labor on 31 per cent and the Greens on 9 per cent.

Former Fairfax editor Michael Gawenda said the survey results mirrored his experience in journalism but could not be used as evidence of any bias in reporting.

Former Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief Peter Fray said it suggested a larger group of ABC staff might be willing to reveal themselves as Greens supporters. "That goes to questions around culture," Fray said. "I suppose for certain people it will confirm their views of the various positionings of the three main media organisations."

SOURCE

Big floods not so bad after all

Greenies regularly hail floods and droughts as unmitigated disasters -- ignoring their place in natural climate cycles. One example of a positive outcome from an extreme weather event below

THE devastating 2011 floods have given farmers a huge boost with many drought-hit groundwater supplies completely refilled.

Queensland University of Technology researcher Matthias Raiber has found the Lockyer Valley, often referred to as Brisbane's food bowl, has benefited enormously with water supplies having recovered by an average 70 per cent.

Dr Raiber, from the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, said water quality had improved markedly on pre-flood conditions which had seen such a grim situation that farmers were drawing water that was so salty it stopped production of some crops.

The Lockyer Valley produced $230 million in agricultural products in 2010-11.

Dr Raiber said the importance of groundwater was expected to increase in coming decades because rainfall patterns were tipped to become less predictable. He said this would impact on Australia's meagre surface supplies, which were stressed due to population growth, industry, agriculture and evaporation.

Researchers are trying to determine the extent of groundwater, which will help governments work out how much water can be drawn by irrigators.

Centre director Craig Simmons said most countries did not know how much groundwater they had or how long it took to recharge, which meant the resource could not be properly managed.

In other research, the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility has found that most people whose homes were impacted by the 2011 floods did not intend to make changes to reduce vulnerability to future floods.

Lead author Deanne Bird said many residents made general improvements, such as installing their dream kitchen, rather than making their home more flood resilient.

"We saw communities getting on with their lives and largely driving their recovery with stoic endurance.

"This does not necessarily translate to adaptation to future events but it does reflect strong resilience in the community," Dr Bird said.

Sue Gordon, who runs the Gordon Country camp ground and cabins, in the Goomburra Valley on the Darling Downs said her property was flooded in 2011 and then earlier again this year but there was little that could be done to flood proof it.

"We lost kilometres of fencing," she said. "We'd only just had it repaired and we were hit again. What can you do? We've got cattle."

Ms Gordon said tourism businesses were severely damaged post floods by customers' perceptions. "We got almost no bookings due to the belief we were not operating due to damage," she said.

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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20 May, 2013

Bob Carter shreds the myths



Even High School kids could follow this. Carter is an earth sciences professor at an Australian university so the talk does include some Australian references.

The Climate Lessons blogger says: "This should be recommended viewing for every teacher in the world.

I also think there are seeds in this video for ideas that could be used as and when the 'authorities' get round to creating a decent curriculum on climate for schools. That might have to precede publishers willing to risk new books aimed at the young, and suitable for schools, with a more realistic and optimistic view of our climate system and our impact on it.

That might include the fact that we have never been in a stronger position than we are now to cope with climate variations. So parents might like to take the initiative and tell their children that. There will be troubles ahead from climate, just as there have been in the past. But we are more ready than ever before to handle them. Our abundant supplies of affordable energy are part of that."





A bee in their bonnet

Anti-pesticide activists falsely blame new pesticides for bee colony problems

Paul Driessen (pkdriessen@gmail.com)

Chemophobic anti-pesticide groups are at it again. This time they’re attacking a widely used and safe new insecticide, but their assertions and real agendas are nothing new.

Radical environmentalism rose to ascendancy on opposition to pesticides, specifically DDT. “If the environmentalists win on DDT,” Environmental Defense Fund scientist Charles Wurster told the Seattle Times in 1969, “they will achieve a level of authority they have never had before.” Using Rachel Carson’s often inaccurate book Silent Spring to drive a nasty campaign, they succeeded in getting the Environmental Protection Agency to ban US production and use of DDT in 1972, leading to a de facto global ban even to combat malaria.

Trumpeting illusory or manufactured dangers of DDT and callously indifferent to the deaths of millions from this horrible disease, radical greens still battle its use, even to spray only the inside walls of primitive homes to keep most mosquitoes out, and keep those that do enter from infecting people.

Attacking a new class of insecticides for equally spurious reasons is thus no big deal, even if the chemicals are safe and vital for modern agriculture. Their real goal is to raise more money and acquire more power. As Saul Alinsky taught, they have picked their new target, personalized and polarized it, and attacked it relentlessly.

The target now is a widely used new class of safe pesticides – neonicotinoids – that Beyond Pesticides, Pesticide Action Network, Sierra Club and other “socially responsible” groups are blaming for bee population declines in various countries. But the real danger is a phenomenon called “colony collapse disorder,” which poses a serious threat to bees, crop pollination, flowers and food crops in many areas.

CCD and other bee die-offs are not new. What we now call colony collapse was first reported in 1869, and many outbreaks since then have turned scientists into Sherlock Holmes detectives, seeking explanations and solutions to this mysterious and scary-sounding problem. Fungi, parasitic mites and other possible suspects have been implicated, but none has yet been arrested or convicted.

That’s created a perfect Petri dish for anti-pesticide groups. They’re pressuring the United States and other countries to ban neonic pesticides, by blaming them for bee population declines. Their fear-mongering assertions are pure conjecture, but that hasn’t stopped activists – or news outlets – from promoting frightening stories implicating the chemicals.

“Neonics” are derived from naturally-occurring nicotine plant compounds and have been hailed as a low-toxicity pest treatment. They are often applied to seeds or on soils during planting, become part of the plants’ physiology, and work by giving treated plants internal defenses against invasive pests. That means neonics are toxic only to insects that feed on crops, which dramatically reduces the need to spray entire fields with other, less safe pesticides. It also curtails risks to farm workers and beneficial insects.

Claims that these insecticides could kill bees appear plausible at first blush, and laboratory studies have shown that high doses can affect bees in minor ways. However, doses that bees receive in lab studies “are far above what a realistic field dose exposure would be,” says Dr. Cynthia Scott-Dupree, environmental biology professor at the University of Guelph. The difference is akin to an 81 mg aspirin tablet versus a full bottle of 200 mg tablets, or light rainfall on a bee versus throwing it into a bucket of water.

Scott-Dupree helped coordinate a Canadian field study that compared hives exposed to neonics to those that weren’t exposed – and found no difference in colony health between the two groups. Another study by Britain’s Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs reached the same conclusion.

The DEFRA evaluation of studies purporting to link neonics to bee harm found that the lab work was conducted under extreme scenarios which would not occur under real-world conditions. “Risk to bee populations from neonicotinoids, as they are currently used, is low,” the scientists concluded.

That’s hardly surprising. Plant tissues contain only tiny amounts of neonics, bees are not feeding on the plants, and pollen contains barely detectable neonic levels.

Nevertheless, several beekeepers and activist groups have sued the Environmental Protection Agency, demanding that EPA immediately ban all neonicotinoids.

The lawsuit is not merely ill advised. By blaming pesticides, activists are ignoring – and deflecting attention from – a very real and serious threat to bees. The aptly named parasitic mite “Varroa destructor” threatens honeybees directly, while spreading and activating previously dormant or harmless bee viruses, which then become dangerous. The mites are not easy to eradicate.

“You can imagine how hard it is to kill a bug on a bug,” says John Miller, President of the California State Beekeepers Association, and sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. Treating Varroa requires insecticides that can be toxic to bees at levels high enough to be effective. Well-intentioned apiarists trying to combat Varroa can accidentally overdose hives with miticides.

Various neonicotinoids are widely used in Canada to protect its vast canola fields, and Canadian bee populations are thriving, notes science writer Jon Entine. Varroa-free Australia is likewise one of the world’s prime users of these pesticides, and its bee colonies are among the planet’s healthiest. By contrast, bee populations have been severely impacted by Varroa mites in areas of Switzerland where neonics are not used.

Multiple studies point to still other factors that explain why bees are struggling. They include bees developing resistance to antibiotics, funguses like Nosema, multiple bee viruses and parasites, bacterial infections like foulbrood, exposure to commonly used organophosphates, bee habitat loss, and even long-term bee inbreeding and resultant lack of genetic diversity.

Activists aren’t asking for investigation into these problems – which calls their science, sincerity and integrity into question. Their track record on DDT and malaria underscores this modus operandi. The activists get money, publicity, power and phony solutions – and end up hurting the very things (bees and people) they profess to care so much about.

Right now, no one knows why bees aren’t thriving. Studies have shown that neonicotinoids are innocent, and reflexive bans will harm farmers, whose crop yields will fall; consumers, whose food bills will rise and food safety will decline; and environmental values, as older, more toxic insecticides will have to be reintroduced to protect crops. The detective work needs to continue, until real answers are found.

The prudent, precautionary approach would be to avoid eliminating vital, low-toxicity neonicotinoids, while continuing to study their potential effects on bees, and other potential causes of die-offs and colony collapses. Right now we don’t have an equally low substitute for neonics. Sound, replicable science – not pressure group politics – must underpin all pesticide policies, or the unintended consequences will be serious, far-reaching, and potentially devastating to agriculture and food supplies.

We need to let science do its job, not jump to conclusions or short-circuit the process, as the media did in accusing Richard Jewell of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing.

Via email





The Green Enemies of Humanity, Science and the Truth

By Alan Caruba

Among the greatest liars on Earth today is the international organization called Friends of the Earth (FOE). It has engaged in the most scurrilous fear-mongering for decades, along with Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and the World Wildlife Fund, while all the time they pulled in billions in funding.

In May 2012, the Daily Caller noted that “The Congressional Research Service estimates that since 2008 the federal government has spent nearly $70 billion on ‘climate change activities.’” The leading critic in Congress, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) asked at the time, “Which would you rather have? Would you rather spend $4 billion on Air Force base solar panels, or would you rather have 28 new F-22s or 30 F-25s or modernized C-130s?”

“Would you rather have $64.8 billion spent on pointless global warming efforts or would you rather have more funds put toward modernizing our fleet of ships, aircraft and ground vehicles to improve the safety of our troops and help defend the nation against the legitimate threats that we face?’

On May 9th, I received an email from Friends of the Earth that repeated all the lies we have heard for years. Painting with a very broad brush that completely ignores the fact that the U.S. climate has always had highs and lows of temperature, FOE complained that “Last year the U.S. experienced record-breaking weather all over the country. But, the nightly news programs on ABC, CBS, and NBC barely talked about what was fueling this extreme weather—climate change.”

What FOE failed to mention was a record that was set in 2012-13; as of May, according to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, the U.S. had its longest stretch in recorded history—2,750 days—without a major hurricane landfall. The many claims of “extreme” weather are classic fear-mongering. I might also add that, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, the number of wildfires is at a ten-year low. Glaciers are not melting and seas are not rising, unless a millimeter or two worries you.

“Climate change” is the replacement name for “global warming.” Climate is measured in centuries. The weather is whatever is happening anywhere in the nation on any given day. Around the world, however, there has been a significant increase in cold weather and many are still waiting for spring to arrive.

Typical of the hyperbole that is representative of the lies we have heard from so-called environmental organizations, FOE fumed that “the nightly news programs at the major broadcast networks have largely ignored what is fueling this extreme weather—climate change.” Citing a Media Matters for America study, FOE noted that “ABC’s nightly news program did only one segment about climate change last year. Meanwhile NBC’s news show did only four and CBS just seven segments to this critical issue.” Perhaps this is because these notably liberal news organizations have concluded it is not a critical issue?

It gets better, FOE was angry, saying “What’s almost worse is that when these networks have covered global warming, they have often treated climate change as a ‘two-sided debate’ rather than what it really is; an issue in which there is overwhelming scientific consensus.” These are people who do not want to have a debate because, based on the facts, they would lose. As for scientific consensus regarding either global warming or climate change, there is NONE. If anything, leading scientists around the world have been debunking global warming now for years.

One of the leading think tanks in the effort to end the global warming hoax has been The Heartland Institute. It has sponsored several international conferences in which scientists and others have offered papers and addressed the topic. I recommend you subscribe to its national monthly, Environmental & ClimateNews. Its Managing Editor, James M. Taylor, J.D., provides the latest information on the environmental organizations greatest villain, carbon dioxide (CO2).

Two recent dispatches by Taylor noted in one that “Climate models supporting predictions of rapid global warming during the next century have performed miserably predicting global temperatures during the past two decades”, citing a comparison of computer model predictions and real-world temperatures by climate scientist Roy W. Spencer. In another, Taylor noted that “New data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue to rise, but global temperatures are not following suit. The new data undercut assertions that atmospheric carbon dioxide is causing a global warming crisis.”

Undismayed by the facts, FOE could only cite the taxpayer-funded PBS News Hour that “devoted 23 segments to covering climate change.” When the President is telling everyone that the climate is the greatest threat to the nation, PBS bureaucrats who know where the money comes from can be depended upon to broadcast his lies.

Ironically, the Wall Street Journal published an opinion by Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer on the same day the FOE email arrived. It was titled “In Defense of Carbon Dioxide.” Schmitt was an Apollo 17 astronaut and a former U.S. Senator from New Mexico. He is an adjunct professor of engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Happer is a professor of physics at Princeton University and a former director of the office of energy research at the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The cessation of observed global warming for the past decade or so has shown how exaggerated NASA’s and most other computer predictions of human-caused warming have been—and how little correlation warming has with concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide.”

No wonder FOE is upset that even the mainstream media networks no longer want to report on a global warming that does not exist. There’s real science and there’s the fulminations and lies of Friends of the Earth.

SOURCE






German newsmagazine trashes Australian climate survey

German flagship news magazine Spiegel Online today has an article authored by Axel Bojanowski which takes a close look at the recent John Cook survey. German alarmists like the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research hailed it as proof that climate science was settled and done.

But Spiegel draws a different a totally conclusion.

First Bojanowski describes how a large number of Americans have serious doubts when it comes to man-made climate change, and so surveys get conducted with the aim of trying to sway public opinion. The latest was carried out by John Cook of the University of Queensland in Australia, and the results were published in the journal of Environmental Research Letters: 97% of thousands of papers surveyed agree that climate change is man-made, it asserted.

But Bojanowski trashes the findings:

"There’s an obvious discrepancy between the public perception and reality. The authors speak about ‘consensus on man-made climate change’ – and thus this threatens to further increase confusion within the public. The survey confirms only a banality: Climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that man is responsible for at least a part of the climate warming. The important question of how big is man’s part in climate change remains hotly disputed.

In the draft of the next UN report that will summarize climate science knowledge in September, it is stated: ‘It is extremely likely that human activity is responsible for more than half of the warming since the 1950s.’ The estimations from scientists on the exact extent vary vastly – here the consensus ends.”

Bojanowski then gives Spiegel readers the results produced by Cook: “About two thirds took no position on the subject – they remained on the sidelines. 97% of the rest supported man-made impact.

Also in an additional step, 35% of the authors who took no position were left out of the survey results altogether.

A new German survey produces similar results: no consensus!

Bojanowski then reports on another still unpublished German survey conducted by the University of Mainz in Germany. Senja Post told SPIEGEL ONLINE that “123 of 292 climate scientists asked participated in the study“. The result (warmists may want to sit down before reading):

"Only 5% of those responding believed natural factors played the main role in the warming. However, Post then asked about the extent of the man-made warming. The result looked very different. Only 59% of the scientists said the ‘climate development of the last 50 years was mostly influenced by man’s activity. One quarter of those surveyed said that human and natural factors played an equal role’.”

Only 10% of German scientists say computer models are sufficiently accurate

Bojanowski then writes that skepticism is even far more widespread when it comes to the reliability of computer models. ”Only 10% said climate models are ‘sufficiently accurate’ and only 15% said that ‘climatic processes are understood enough’ to allow climate to be calculated.”

Bojanowski sums up: “There’s plenty of fodder there to continue the ideologically influenced debate about climate – no matter what is said about consensus.”

SOURCE





Global warming is freezing the Welsh

Government figures uncovered by the WalesOnline reveal that three areas of Wales were among the top five local authorities areas showing the biggest drops in electricity use between 2010 and 2011, while councils have slashed consumption of gas by up to 9.2% in a year.

The figures – which track energy consumption between 2005 and 2011 through a survey of meter readings across the UK – show Powys (6.3%), Ceredigion (5.4%) and Pembrokeshire (5.2%) were ranked among the top five areas in the UK for the biggest cutbacks in electricity use.

Newport also saw the fourth biggest fall in gas usage – down 9.2% in a year – while Denbighshire and Ceredigion are 9th and 10th with 8.9% falls.

The statistics come after energy giant Centrica posted profits of £602m.

Rising energy bills amid a squeeze on household incomes are prompting “thousands” to cut back on energy use, a consumer group warned in reaction to the figures, with fuel poverty now affecting one in three in Wales.

Despite huge cutbacks from some councils, Gwynedd registered the most expensive electricity bills in Wales with an average of £804 a year – £150 above the UK average – but had the smallest gas bills in Wales at £561.

Blaenau Gwent had the cheapest average in Wales, and third-cheapest in the UK, at £514 for electricity, but the biggest for gas at £707, against a British average of £649.

The figures came as Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb and Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon met with leaders of high-energy use industries in round-table talks in Cardiff about how business can cope with soaring prices.

The discussions in Cardiff Bay included Tata Steel, Valero, Toyota and Celsa, and concentrated on a consultation on the impact of energy costs on businesses’ operations, as well as complying with climate change obligations.

Lindsey Kearton, policy manager at Consumer Futures in Wales, said it was not a surprise that “thousands” are cutting back on their energy use.

“People are struggling to pay their bills against a backdrop of salary freezes, concerns about job security and rising food bills,” she said.

“Fuel poverty affects around a third of households in Wales. Those who are fuel poor are more likely to turn their heating down below the level adequate for their well-being, and more likely to live in energy inefficient homes which are poorly insulated and prone to dampness.”

William Powell, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on energy matters, said Welsh families were facing “increasingly unaffordable” energy bills, despite the cutbacks.

He said: “In order to tackle this problem effectively and protect people from fuel poverty we have to take further steps to ensure that our homes become more efficient, and that our energy network becomes less dependant on increasingly expensive fossil fuels such as gas – the rising cost of which is responsible for the majority of the recent price hikes we’ve been forced to endure.”

He added: “The British energy economy is getting close to a tipping point – in terms of energy production – where renewable technologies are likely soon to be cheaper to develop, install and operate than traditional fossil fuel alternatives.

“When this transition occurs, it is essential to the Welsh economy that we are on the right side of this decisive shift.”

Tory Shadow Communities Minister Mark Isherwood said suppliers had a responsibility to manage tariffs so consumers were getting the lowest one possible.

“Energy prices clearly have a huge impact upon households and recent hikes were another blow to many families already tightening their belts,” he said.

He added: “While the UK Government – through the Energy Bill – does all it can to support communities here, there is far more that Welsh Labour Ministers can – and should – be doing.

“Wales remains the only part of the UK without a fuel policy advisory forum and its reinstatement has been recommended by the UK Fuel Poverty Monitor.”

Plaid Cymru’s energy spokesman Llyr Gruffydd said: “Heating and energy costs are often higher here than in other parts of the UK due to older housing stock which contributes to the problem.

“Wales is an energy-rich nation and so it seems particularly unjust that Welsh families are finding themselves struggling to pay energy bills.

SOURCE






Scottish land owners to lose wind farm gravy

The green eyes of envy are positively fluorescent in Scotland

THE leader of the Scottish ­Government review of landownership yesterday pledged to examine ways of redistributing the cash wealthy lairds make from wind farms to benefit the less-advantaged.

Alison Elliot, chair of the Land Reform Review Group (LRRG), said the issue would be investigated amid concerns that aristo­crats are benefiting from the renewables revolution while the poor grapple with fuel ­poverty.

Dr Elliot, a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said: “We have got to the stage where this is one of the things which we will be looking at – investigating if the benefits people derive from large-scale renewable projects are distributed as well as they might be.”

She had been struck, she said, by a document submitted by the Kirk to the LRRG, which criticised the “inequitable” situation and the “unacceptable” levels of rural fuel poverty.

The Kirk’s response to a consultation launched by the LRRG was critical of a system that has seen landowners such as the Duke of Roxburghe and the earls of Moray and Glasgow earn large sums for renting their land to wind-turbine energy firms. Critics point out that landowners rent their land to renewable generators, whose wind farms are subsidised by extra levies on ordinary electricity consumers.

Tory MEP Struan Stevenson’s estimates suggest that the Duke of Roxburghe could net £1.5 million a year from a wind farm on the Lammermuir Hills. The Earl of Moray is estimated to receive £2 million a year from a wind farm near Stirling. The Earl of Glasgow could be earning upwards of £300,000 a year from turbines on his Kelburn estate.

In its submission, the Kirk said such figures represented a “significant transfer of income from domestic electricity consumers, including those living in fuel poverty, to landowners”.

It said: “The Church is concerned this redistribution of income is tending to promote inequality. The ownership of land in Scotland remains deeply inequitable and the new landed income from wind power entrenches that inequality.”

It added: “A paradox of life in rural Scotland is that the rapid growth of renewable energy is matched by a growth in fuel poverty… This is unacceptable and if landowners are gaining financial rewards from renewables while a growing number of households are living in fuel poverty, then the strong case for re-examining land reform to ensure the financial benefits of renewables are shared more equitably is strengthened further.”

Dr Elliot said the Kirk’s submission was a “very creative” way of looking at land reform. She added that the LRRG, which will produce a final report next April, could make a contribution to overcoming fuel poverty, producing affordable housing and improving diet. The issue of wind farms, she said, would be looked at in the second phase of the LRRG’s review, which is about to begin.

The group was established by the Scottish Government to consider the further redistribution of land by extending right-to-buy legislation.

In an interview for Newscast magazine, published yesterday, Dr Elliot told Sir Robert Clerk of Penicuik, a consultant for Smith Gore and a landowner at the centre of a storm over plans for wind turbines on his estate: “Land is implicated in providing food, space for housing and in overcoming fuel poverty.

“We are an energy rich country so why do we have fuel poverty? That’s another lens through which to look at land reform and I think that the land and the people who own it can make a contribution to the better good of society through that lens as well.”

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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19 May, 2013

New paper finds remarkable correlation between SOLAR activity and the longest temperature record, spanning 350 years

A recent paper presented by Dr. Ka-Kit Tung, professor of applied mathematics, University of Washington, finds a remarkable correlation between solar activity [TSI or total solar irradiance] and the longest continuous series of instrumental temperature measurements in the world, the Central England Temperature [CET] record spanning 350 years since 1659. Dr. Tung also finds there has been no acceleration of alleged "anthropogenic" warming over the past 100 years, despite an exponential increase in CO2 emissions, and that the rate of alleged "anthropogenic" warming is "less than half of the accepted values." Dr. Tung finds much of the global and Northern Hemisphere temperature variability of the past 350 years can be explained by the natural Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation [AMO].
Evidence for a Multi-decadal Oscillation in Global Temperature and Its Impact on the Deduced Anthropogenic Warming Trend: A Review

Prof. Ka-Kit Tung

Our work was inspired by the paper of Wu et al. [2011] , who showed, using the novel method of Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition (Wu and Huang [2009 ]; Huang et al. [1998] ), that there exists, in the 150-year global mean surface temperature record, a multi-decal oscillation. With an estimated period of 65 years, 2.5 cycles of such an oscillation was found in that global record. They further argued that it is related to the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) and, if this oscillation is separated out, a monotonic trend emerges in the global mean temperature, with little acceleration of warming. Given the importance of this last implication on the recent anthropogenic global warming, it is quite natural that the scientific community is demanding more evidence that this oscillation is real, recurrent and natural, and in particular evidence that it is not a response to time varying anthropogenic forcing that happens to look like an oscillation.


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





Leading Russian scientist predicts global cooling

Paper from Habibullo I. Abdussamatov, Pulkovo Observatory, St. Petersburg, Russia below

Grand Minimum of the Total Solar Irradiance Leads to the Little Ice Age

Abstract

Quasibicentennial variation of the energy solar radiation absorbed by the Earth remains uncompensated by the energy emission to space over the interval of time that is determined by the thermal inertia. That is why the debit and credit parts of the average annual energy budget of the terrestrial globe with its air and water envelope are always in an unbalanced state, which is the basic state of the climatic system. The average annual balance of the thermal budget of the system Earth-atmosphere during long time periods will reliably determine the course and value of both the energy excess accumulated by the Earth or the energy deficit in the thermal budget, which, with account for the data of the forecasted variations of the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) in the future, can define and predict well in advance the direction and amplitude of the forthcoming climate changes with high accuracy. Since the early 90 has been observed a decrease in both the TSI and the portion of energy absorbed by the Earth. The Earth as a planet will also have a negative balance in the energy budget in the future, because the Sun has entered the decline phase of the quasibicentennial cycle of the TSI variations. This will lead to a drop in the temperature and to the beginning of the epoch of the Little Ice Age approximately since the year 2014. The increase in the Bond (global) albedo and the decrease in the greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere will lead to an additional reduction of the absorbed solar energy and reduce the greenhouse effect. The influence of the consecutive chain of feedback effects will lead to additional drop of temperature, which can surpass the influence of the effect of the TSI decrease. The start of Grand Maunder-type Minimum of the TSI of the quasibicentennial cycle is to be anticipated around the year 2043 ± 11 and the beginning of the phase of deep cooling of the 19th Little Ice Age in the past 7,500 years in the year 2060 ± 11. Long-term cyclic variations of the TSI are the main fundamental cause of the corresponding climate variations.

Journal of Geology & Geosciences, 2013, 2:2






Shock News from 1952: Polar Icecaps Melting At An Astonishing Rate – Earth To Drown



SOURCE






The inconvenient truth about GM

Genetic modification has so far mainly been confined to developing crops that tolerate herbicides and resist pests. It has done little to increase yields

Some 10,000 years ago, somewhere in the Middle East’s fertile crescent, happenstance sowed the seeds of much of modern agriculture. Pollen from a wild goat grass landed on primitive wheat, creating a natural – but stronger and more productive – hybrid. Alert early farmers saved its seeds for growing their next harvests, starting a long process of development that has led to all the modern varieties of wheat that feed a third of the world’s people.

Now scientists at Britain’s National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) have deliberately duplicated that ancient accident, with a different goat grass, in an attempt to restart – and enormously accelerate – the process with new genes. Early indications are that this could increase wheat yields by a dramatic 30 per cent.

The National Farmers’ Union president, Peter Kendall, describes the potential as “just enormous”. And it is indeed the sort of breakthrough we desperately need, since – in little more than 35 years – the world will have to increase food production by a challenging 70 per cent if it is to feed its growing population. In the next half century, adds the NIAB, we will have to grow as much wheat as has been harvested since that original hybridisation occurred at the dawn of agriculture.

Hunger is rapidly rising up the agenda. David Cameron missed this week’s crucial vote on the Europe referendum because he was in New York to co-chair a UN panel setting new targets for tackling it, and will host a special hunger summit next month. And two important new books outlining solutions will feature at a session on “feeding the world” at the Telegraph Hay Festival, opening next week.

One is by Prof Sir Gordon Conway, formerly both President of the Rockefeller Foundation and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department for International Development, who is one of the most thoughtful supporters of genetic modification. But what emerges from his book, One Billion Hungry, from this week’s breakthrough, and from a host of other evidence, is how little – so far, at least – GM technology is contributing to beating hunger.

It was not involved in the NIAB’s quantum leap, which was due to conventional breeding techniques. Nor was it involved, to give an example from Prof Conway’s book, in developing new varieties of African rice, called Nerica, which are up to four times as productive as traditional varieties, contain more protein, need a much shorter growing season, resist pests and diseases, thrive on poor soils and withstand drought.

The same is true of another of his superstars, Scuba Rice, which beats flooding by surviving 17 days underwater and still achieving enhanced yields – and, within three years, had been taken up by 3.5 million Asian farmers.

CGIAR – the international consortium of research centres that developed this miracle rice (and kicked off the Green Revolution more than half a century ago) – has also used non-GM techniques to produce more than 30 varieties of drought-tolerant maize, which have increased farmers’ yields by 20 to 30 per cent across 13 African countries; climbing beans that have trebled production in Central Africa; and wheats that thrive on salty soils. A host of other successes include blight-resistant potatoes and crops enriched with vitamin A, iron and other essential nutrients.

Genetic modification, by contrast, has so far mainly been confined to developing crops that tolerate herbicides (often manufactured by the same company, thus encouraging their use) and resist pests. They have done little to increase yields per se – though they have helped by controlling weeds and insects – while varieties designed to withstand drought and floods, and improve nutrition, are only now beginning to emerge.

GM may be able to do jobs that more conventional techniques cannot manage: conferring heat resistance to cope with global warming is one candidate. But the impression often given by its proponents that it is the main source of new crops, and thus essential to feed the world, could hardly be further from the truth.

Nor is biotechnology all GM. The Nerica rices, for example, owe their existence to cell tissue culture. Scuba rice was produced through the technique of marker-assisted selection, which identifies and enables the use of a whole sequence of genes.

But in the end new crops can only do so much. Most of the hungry, in a bitter irony, are themselves farmers who cannot produce, or afford, enough of it – and the new seeds are often beyond their reach. Prof Conway stresses the importance of helping such small, subsistence farmers grow more but it is the second book The Last Hunger Season – whose author, Roger Thurow, will be at Hay – that goes into detail on how to get them the help they need. Just as 10,000 years ago, the future rests on them.

SOURCE




German newsmagazine trashes climate "consensus"

German flagship news magazine Spiegel Online today has an article authored by Axel Bojanowski which takes a close look at the recent John Cook survey. German alarmists like the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research hailed it as proof that climate science was settled and done.

But Spiegel draws a different a totally conclusion.

First Bojanowski describes how a large number of Americans have serious doubts when it comes to man-made climate change, and so surveys get conducted with the aim of trying to sway public opinion. The latest was carried out by John Cook of the University of Queensland in Australia, and the results were published in the journal of Environmental Research Letters: 97% of thousands of papers surveyed agree that climate change is man-made, it asserted.

But Bojanowski trashes the findings:

"There’s an obvious discrepancy between the public perception and reality. The authors speak about ‘consensus on man-made climate change’ – and thus this threatens to further increase confusion within the public. The survey confirms only a banality: Climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that man is responsible for at least a part of the climate warming. The important question of how big is man’s part in climate change remains hotly disputed.

In the draft of the next UN report that will summarize climate science knowledge in September, it is stated: ‘It is extremely likely that human activity is responsible for more than half of the warming since the 1950s.’ The estimations from scientists on the exact extent vary vastly – here the consensus ends.”

Bojanowski then gives Spiegel readers the results produced by Cook: “About two thirds took no position on the subject – they remained on the sidelines. 97% of the rest supported man-made impact.

Also in an additional step, 35% of the authors who took no position were left out of the survey results altogether.

A new German survey produces similar results: no consensus!

Bojanowski then reports on another still unpublished German survey conducted by the University of Mainz in Germany. Senja Post told SPIEGEL ONLINE that “123 of 292 climate scientists asked participated in the study“. The result (warmists may want to sit down before reading):

"Only 5% of those responding believed natural factors played the main role in the warming. However, Post then asked about the extent of the man-made warming. The result looked very different. Only 59% of the scientists said the ‘climate development of the last 50 years was mostly influenced by man’s activity. One quarter of those surveyed said that human and natural factors played an equal role’.”

Only 10% of German scientists say computer models are sufficiently accurate

Bojanowski then writes that skepticism is even far more widespread when it comes to the reliability of computer models. ”Only 10% said climate models are ‘sufficiently accurate’ and only 15% said that ‘climatic processes are understood enough’ to allow climate to be calculated.”

Bojanowski sums up: “There’s plenty of fodder there to continue the ideologically influenced debate about climate – no matter what is said about consensus.”

SOURCE





Letter published in WSJ: 'The climate-change field has been dominated by poor science feeding a reinforcing political process for much too long'

Letters to the Editor published today in the print edition of the Wall Street Journal regarding the op-ed "In defense of carbon dioxide"

Kudos to Drs. Schmitt and Happer for their illuminating exposition on the role of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the plant world, thereby setting us straight on this much maligned molecule. It effectively counters attempts to brand CO2 as a "pollutant," the propaganda photos showing chimneys belching smoke (never mind that CO2 is odorless and colorless) and the bizarre government-created carbon markets that benefit a few rent seekers and speculators while costing much in economic growth and jobs.

Moreover, the beneficial effects of CO2 cited by the authors are much more than theory. Continuing satellite observations show that increasing atmospheric CO2 has been literally greening the planet. Measurements over the past 30 years record a major increase in vegetation across the world's land area, including equatorial regions such as the Amazon rain forest. A quantity called the "Normalized Difference Vegetation Index" is used to monitor plant growth, vegetation cover and biomass production. It shows a considerable net "greening" of the Earth, due largely to increased atmospheric CO2.

The climate-change field has been dominated by poor science feeding a reinforcing political process for much too long. The world has stopped warming for close to two decades now, forcing alarmists to scurry around for explanations and excuses. There are no trends in extreme weather events, despite the astrology that now feeds the attempts to make everything that happens fit the dogma.

We should bear these realities in mind when politicians, rent-seeking corporations and grant-seeking academics try to tell us otherwise.

Roger W. Cohen, Ph.D.
Washington Crossing, Pa.

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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17 May, 2013

German Ministry Of Environment Identifies, Targets American And German Enemy Skeptics

The Stasi lives on

When you look at what’s going on in some of the world’s leading democracies today, with some institutions running rampantly out of control without oversight, we should not wonder why people in droves are losing faith and trust in government.

Government issues pamphlet identifying enemy skeptics

The latest example comes from the powerful German Ministry for Environment: Umweltbundesamt (UBA) with the release of its latest 123-page pamphlet titled: Und sie erwärmt sich doch…Was steckt hinter der Debatte um den Klimawandel (It is indeed warming…What’s behind the climate change debate?). In the brochure the UBA (Germany’s equivalent of the EPA) insists the climate catastrophe is coming, and appeals to the public not to listen to skeptics.

In fact, the German government pamphlet specifically singles out, identifies and targets US and German skeptics, portraying them as “spreaders of half-truths and misinformation“. Welcome to open and tolerant debate in the Federal Republic of Germany!

You’ll recall that the UBA are the ones who recently admitted being baffled by the 15-year global temperature stagnation that has taken hold.

Government makes it clear: climate debate not welcome!

Reading the pamphlet, it is clear that this is a one-sided, catastrophe-obsessed propaganda piece that advocates completely the alarmist side of the debate and outright dismisses and marginalizes the growing non-alarmist side. The pamphlet is truly a disservice to the German taxpayers and a mass deception of the public. The Greens and the Ministry of Environment, as you will see, are brazenly targeting specific individuals and organisations whose only “crime” is having a differing opinion. Skeptics are being viewed as a threat.

I can’t imagine how intimidated those named in the pamphlet (especially the German skeptics) must feel today. The full power of the German government has them in its sights.

Only alarmists are cited as honest sources

Just a look at the references cited at the back of the pamphlet on page 116 already tells the story. Sources cited include radical environmental groups Germanwatch, Greenpeace and klimaretter.de, ultra-alarmist institutes like the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and dogmatic outlier scientists like Stefan Rahmstorf, Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, and Naomi Oreskes, just to name a few.

UBA has black list of American skeptics

According to the UBA, all the climate doubt stems mainly from the USA. Beginning on page 100, the UBA lists the Americans responsible for “spreading doubt and false information“, among them: ExxonMobil, Fred Singer, Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon, Frederick Seitz, Joe Barton, Pat Michaels, John Christy, Ross McKitrick and the Heartland Institute. The UBA cites the Union of Concerned Scientists and a one-sided Die Zeit smear from November 2012 as its reliable sources for this information.

The name “Rahmstorf” appears throughout the pamphlet. One quickly gets the impression that the pamphlet stems from the German Ministry of Rahmstorf. Little wonder that when taken as a whole, the pamphlet is a huge public deception. Then again, misleading the public is nothing new for Professor Rahmstorf, for German readers, see here

On page 106, the UBA claims that the Climategate e-mails “were stolen”, as if by criminals.

The UBA endorses RealClimate.org

On page 116, the UBA tells readers what it feels are reliable information sources of information on climate science. The German Ministry of Rahmstorf , of course, suggests Stefan Rahmstorf, who is ”an international renowned climate scientist who is often featured in up-to-date books, newspapers and television shows” against the “climate skeptical half truths and false reports“. The UBA also recommends Rahmstorf’s Internetblog Klima-Lounge and the Potsdam Institute.

Moreover, the UBA recommends the site of “a group of 11 American and European scientists, among them Stefan Rahmstorf and Michael Mann, RealClimate”. The UBA also suggests alarmist site Klimaretter.Info as a good source of all sorts of information.

Government black list of German skeptics

The UBA also tells us to whom not to go for information (the bad guys) and publicizes a sort of black list of skeptics. On page 110 it lists the “climate change skeptics in Germany“, which include the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), Fritz Vahrenholt and Sebastian Lüning, journalists and publicists Dirk Maxeiner and Michael Miersch, film-maker and publicist Günter Ederer, and newspaper Die Welt.

In government’s view, skeptics are crackpots

In a nutshell, here we have the German government informing the public which people to be on the look-out for. If this holds up legally, remains to be seen. It is not the job of the government to tell the public who the goods guys and bad guys are in a public debate.

In its closing statements, the UBA pamphlet writes (p. 113) that:

- Parts of industry are financing campaigns to spread doubt and a false information over the results of climate science; the target is to fool the public;

- Often scientists of foreign disciplines and without any knowledge of climate science appear in public with climate-skeptical claims.”

In the UBA’s view, those who publicly doubt the coming climate catastrophe are to be viewed as crackpots and industry hacks, and are thus to be ignored. The pamphlet reads like a declaration of war. I have a feeling that we have not heard the last of this story.

SOURCE





New paper suggests cosmic rays trigger lightning strikes

Cosmic rays are thought to have significant effects upon climate by increasing cloud formation and acting as amplifiers of solar activity [Svensmark's theory of cosmoclimatology]. A new paper may finally solve the mystery of what triggers lightening, finding cosmic rays interacting with water droplets within thunderclouds could play an important role in initiating lightning strikes. If confirmed, the finding could represent another mechanism by which tiny changes in solar activity can have amplified effects upon climate and weather via cosmic rays.

New insights into what triggers lightning

Cosmic rays interacting with water droplets within thunderclouds could play an important role in initiating lightning strikes. That is the claim of researchers in Russia, who have studied the radio signals emitted during thousands of lightning strikes. The work could provide new insights into how and why lightning occurs in the first place.

A cracking mystery

Although most people have witnessed a flash of lightning during a thunderstorm at some point in their lives, scientists still do not completely understand what triggers the discharge in the first place. Lightning has been studied for hundreds of years, yet while many possibilities for observation are available – there are about 40 to 50 lightning strikes per second across the globe – predicting the onset of a strike is difficult.

There are three basic types of lightning: lightning that occurs within a single cloud; lightning that occurs between two clouds; and lightning that occurs between a cloud and the Earth's surface.

In a typical cloud-to-ground lightning strike, scientists know that an electrically-conducting plasma channel forms between the cloud and the ground, which allows the discharge to occur.

However, the factors that cause the initial charging of the cloud and its subsequent discharge are not clearly understood.

Cosmic ray kick-off

Now, Aleksandr Gurevich of the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow and Anatoly Karashtin of the Radiophysical Research Institute in Nizhny Novgorod have suggested a new model that includes two crucial factors that could help explain the process: the behaviour of water or ice particles inside clouds, dubbed "hydrometeors"; and showers of ionized electrons that might be created by cosmic rays.

The theory that cosmic rays may cause the ionized showers that initiate lightning was first put forward by Gurevich more than 20 years ago. Known as "runaway breakdown", Gurevich suggested that the ionized particles create free electrons within thunderclouds that are then accelerated to extremely high energies by electric fields within the clouds. These electrons collide with other atoms in the air to cause an "avalanche" of high-energy particles within the cloud – and this provides the seed for the onset of lightning.

While the theory was widely discussed, Gurevich was not able to find proof that cosmic rays do indeed trigger the avalanche.

In a bid to gather more evidence, Gurevich and Karashtin have now done a new analysis using a radio interferometer of radio pulses emitted at the onset of 3800 lightning strikes across Russia and Kazakhstan. A long series of these short yet strong pulses is emitted just before lightning strikes and, according the researchers, the pulse data match Gurevich's model of electrical breakdown.

Pulses of information

The researchers also point out that the amplitude of a pulse is proportional to the number of secondary electrons, and so also to the energy of the initial cosmic ray that generates the shower. But when they calculated the cosmic-ray energy, Gurevich and Karashtin found it to be about 1017 eV – a surprising figure as cosmic rays of this energy are too rare to explain what was measured.

To explain why such high energies were observed, the researchers suggest that the hydrometeors they used become electrically polarized as the strong electric field inside the cloud builds up and that a further "micro-discharge" occurs at the hydrometeor as the field reaches its threshold, thereby effectively amplifying the cosmic-ray-initiated breakdown. When this is taken into consideration, then much more common cosmic-ray particles with energies of about 1012–1013 eV are sufficient to initialize a discharge.

Physicist and lightning expert Joseph Dwyer of the Florida Institute of Technology, who was not involved in the current research, said that the new model is "an interesting idea, but much more work is still needed, for example experiments to measure radio pulses and air showers at the same time", which is something that Dwyer and his colleagues are currently working on themselves.

Gurevich and Karashtin said that their observations show that the radio emissions are generated by the specific discharges in thunderclouds, which are different from the conventional electric discharges expected and that the “runaway breakdown” plays a significant role too. Further observations will be necessary to finally crack the mystery of the atmospheric crackle.

The research is published in Physical Review Letters.

SOURCE




Green energy 'folly will put £600 on bills': Annual charges to hit British living standards, says report

Britain's green energy ‘folly’ will cost every family an extra £600 a year by 2020, a report warned last night. The cost to consumers of green energy subsidies will exceed £16billion a year within seven years, according to a leading industry analyst.

Dr John Constable, director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, warned that the huge burden on taxpayers could lead to the first long-term decline in living standards since the Industrial Revolution.

He estimates that a third of the £600 annual cost will land on energy bills.

The rest will be borne by businesses who will pass on the costs to consumers by charging higher prices for their goods.

In a report titled Are Green Times Just Around The Corner?, he said: ‘Shifting to current renewables for the bulk of our energy would result in a reversal of the long-run economic trend since the Industrial Revolution.

'More people would be working for lower wages in the energy sector, energy costs would rise, the economy would stagnate and there would also be a significant decline in people’s standard of living.’

He added: ‘The annual additional cost to consumers will be upwards of £16billion a year in 2020, which is over 1 per cent of current GDP.

‘One third of this cost would hit households directly through their electricity bills, regardless of income, making it an intensely regressive measure.

‘The remainder of the cost would be passed through from industrial and commercial customers and eventually be met by households from increases in the cost of living. The total impact would be in the order of £600 per household per year, assuming there are 26million households.’

Under EU laws, Britain’s energy consumption from renewables needs to reach 15 per cent by 2020 – one of the largest proportional increases in Europe. It is currently around 6 per cent.

Dr Constable said the Renewables Obligation – the amount customers pay on their fuel bills to fund green energy – currently costs consumers £2billion a year.

This will have to rise to almost £8billion to meet the targets, he said – costing an average family some £200 extra a year.

The Carbon Price Floor policy, which is a charge on businesses for every tonne of carbon dioxide they emit, will cost an additional £1billion.

Experts say this will make Britain’s firms uncompetitive and force them to pass on costs to consumers.

Additional charges to help fund wind farms are likely to add around £5billion a year, the report claims.

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘With many families struggling to make ends meet in these tough economic times, taxpayers will be disgusted at how much of their cash is subsidising green energy.

‘Millions of people are worried about the cost of living, yet the Government’s own policies are making bills even more expensive for households up and down the country.

‘Ministers should be looking to reduce the burdens they are placing on people by scrapping expensive green taxes and subsidies which are unnecessarily pushing up our energy bills.’

Last night a Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: ‘We don’t recognise these numbers. The costs of renewables are coming down.

‘We’ve already cut the subsidies for onshore wind and solar and in future all green technologies will have to compete to deliver the best bang for the buck.

‘Renewable energy is helping support growth through jobs and investment.’

SOURCE




British Greenie doctor upsets mother

When Charlotte Comer went to her GP with a sore throat, she got more than she was expecting.

As well as being prescribed antibiotics for tonsillitis, the mother of two received an unwelcome lecture on family size.

Her doctor told her she would be ‘irresponsible’ if she had a third child, and went on to call for a limit on how many children couples can have, as happens in China.

Miss Comer said she was left ‘gobsmacked’ by the comments of Dr Justin Landen at the Hill Barton Surgery in Exeter, Devon.

The 21-year-old travel agent said she was leaving the surgery on Monday when Dr Landen questioned her about contraception and asked whether she wanted more children.

When she replied that she and her partner Lee Hook were thinking of having another child after they get married, the GP launched into a ‘lecture’ advocating a two-child limit on families, she said.

Miss Comer and Mr Hook, a 28-year-old courier, are parents to Harrison-Lee, two, and Freddie, 11 weeks.

The couple do not claim employment or housing benefits and Miss Comer is currently on maternity leave. ‘I was walking out with Freddie in my arms and he [Dr Landen] asked me if I wanted any more kids,’ she said. ‘I told him we were thinking of having another, but not until after we got married.

‘I started explaining that we both came from big families so we’d like more children but he said he didn’t think coming from big families justified having more children.

‘He then started talking about how the country is overpopulated and anyone who has more than two children is irresponsible. He started going on about how this country should be like China where people are allowed only one child.’ China’s one-child law has been used to control its booming population since 1979.

She added: ‘I was gobsmacked. I never cry, but as soon as I got out I just burst into tears. I was so angry.’

Miss Comer could not understand why the conversation was relevant to her visit but said Dr Landen told her it was his job to advise on such matters. ‘He started saying that in a few years’ time the Government wouldn’t be giving out benefits as much,’ she said. ‘I felt like I was being judged.

'I told him my partner works 70 hours a week as a courier and I am on maternity leave, and we weren’t on benefits.'

‘I don’t think he knew what to say to that, so he asked me why we would want more children if my partner works 70 hours a week and doesn’t have enough time with his children already. He used that as a reason for us not to have more children.’

She said Dr Landen, 43, contacted her after the appointment to apologise but she decided to lodge a formal complaint.

‘All the way through he kept saying, “I’m a doctor, I have to give advice on things like this, it’s my job”.

‘I was shocked to be having this conversation. I went in for some antibiotics and came out with a lecture. It upset me, as I already feel judged, being young and having two children, but to get this from your doctor – there’s no way anyone should be spoken to like this.’

A statement issued through the NHS said Dr Landen issued ‘advice’ regarding contraception.

A spokesman said: ‘There was no intention whatsoever to cause offence or distress and Dr Landen apologises if this has upset his patient. Dr Landen’s priority as a GP is always to meet the health needs of his patients and at no point was this advice ill intended.’

SOURCE





Maiden speech of Viscount Ridley in the House of Lords

We have another Viscount among us. And unlike Viscount Monckton, Matt Ridley DOES get to sit in the House of Lords

Listening to debates over the past few weeks, it has become clear to me that this is a House that not only respects but expects knowledge and expertise. This is something that my father made clear to me when he was enjoying a long and distinguished career in this House, but he would speak only on subjects that he knew something about—in his case, particularly the Territorial Army, the north-east of England and local government. When I spoke to the hustings a few weeks ago before being elected here, I said that if elected I would speak on three main issues: the north-east of England, science and technology, and enterprise and innovation.

I am here to fill the vacancy caused by the sad death of Lord Ferrers, and I pay tribute to that giant of a parliamentarian, who was on the Front Bench under no fewer than five Prime Ministers. I may hope to match his long legs but I do not expect to match his length of service.

I am that strange chimera—an elected hereditary Peer. As a result, I am acutely aware that I am here thanks at least as much to the efforts of my ancestors as to my own. I would not be human if I did not feel a smidgen of pride in being the ninth Matthew Ridley in direct succession to sit in one of the Houses of Parliament since the son of a buccaneering Newcastle coal merchant was elected to the other place in 1747. That brings me to the subject of my speech.

In 1713, exactly 300 years ago, the Newcomen steam engine was just coming into use all over the north of England. One of the very first was commissioned at Byker on the north bank of the Tyne by my buccaneering ancestor, Richard Ridley, in 1713. Within 20 years, more than 100 of these great clanking monsters were transforming the coal industry by pumping water from deep mines and vastly increasing productivity.

The effect of that innovation was momentous and global. By lowering the cost of energy and raising the wages of labour, it set in train a whole series of events, including the mechanisation of industry and the increase in demand for the products of that industry, and so the great flywheel of the industrial revolution began to turn. For the first time, an economy grew not through an increase in land or labour but through an increase in energy, because mineral energy from beneath the ground showed an unusual property that had not been shown by wood, wind and water or by oxen or people—that is, it did not show diminishing returns; the more of it you dug up, the cheaper it got.

At this point, I should like to declare an interest because I am still in the coal-mining business, albeit indirectly. However, my aim here is not to praise any particular kind of energy but to praise the cheapness of energy.

Today, an average British family uses as much energy as if it had 1,200 people in the back room on exercise bicycles pedalling away on eight-hour shifts. It is worth remembering that when people talk about how many jobs can be created in any particular sector of energy. We could create a lot more jobs by making energy on treadmills. What counts is not the jobs we create in producing energy but the jobs we create in consuming energy if we make it affordable—or, indeed, the number that could be lost if we make it unaffordable.

One reason why we in this country are falling behind the growth of the rest of the world is that in recent years we have had a policy of deliberately driving up the price of energy. To quote a recent report from the Institute of Directors:

“The UK’s energy and climate policies are adding more to industrial electricity prices than comparable programmes in competitor countries, putting UK industry at a disadvantage and making a rebalancing of the economy more difficult”.

Household energy costs have doubled in the past 15 years. In the US, where gas prices used to be the same as they are here, they are now one-quarter or one-fifth of the level here. That is an enormous competitive advantage to the US and a disadvantage to us. The chemical industry, as a result, is very keen to move to the United States, and other industries, including the cement industry, are feeling the pinch from high energy costs. Near where I live at Lynemouth on the north-east coast, the country’s largest aluminium smelter recently closed with the loss of 515 jobs, largely due to the rising cost of energy.

A nation can compete on the basis of cheap labour or cheap energy but if it has neither then it is likely to be in trouble. Surely these are not controversial remarks.

SOURCE




UK shale gas programme to 'accelerate', say ministers

Britain is on track to "accelerate” its shale gas programme, according to Michael Fallon, the energy minister, as he confirmed a new licensing round for oil and gas explorers will take place next year.

The Government will next year launch the UK’s 14th onshore licensing round, he said, announcing that engineering consultancy AMEC has been hired to do the environmental assessment of plots' suitability for exploration.

The last such licensing round closed in February 2008, meaning this will be the first to take place since the shale gas revolution in the US, which has been at the forefront of the drive to extract methane gas trapped in layers of shale rock.

Under each licensing round, companies take the first step towards developing land for oil or gas extraction, although they would need to get further permissions to carry out work such as fracking – hydraulic fracturing – to release shale gas.

“The Government is creating the right framework to accelerate shale gas development in a responsible way,” Mr Fallon said. “We announced fracking could resume with robust regulation last December and there is nothing now stopping licensees from bringing on new drilling plans.

“It is up to licensees to come forward with plans to explore the shale potential, engaging with local communities and gaining the necessary planning permissions and permits.”

More than 330 licences for the onshore exploration and exploitation of energy sources both conventional and unconventional – such as shale gas – have already been issued in the UK.

Considerable interest is expected under the coming round, as companies look to explore the potential for fracking in the UK, with the Government appearing keen to harness the economic benefits.

Opponents of the process, which involves using a mixture of water, sand and chemicals to fracture rock, allowing the gas or oil trapped within to flow out, worry about the environmental impact and upset to residents in affected areas. Tremors related to fracking activity near Blackpool led to initial work being halted.

“Shale gas has great potential and we have the right regulation in place so the UK benefits as quickly as possible in terms of energy security, investment and jobs,” Mr Fallon said. “But development must be done in partnership with communities. We are working hard with industry on a package of community benefits and to ensure that their concerns are properly met.”

Mr Fallon was speaking at the first meeting of the new All Party Parliamentary Group for Unconventional Gas & Oil (APPG) in the House of Commons, a forum to discuss unconventional oil and gas exploration and development, and its impact.

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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


16 May, 2013

Interior Department Spends $472,150 to Train Fish to ‘Recognize and Avoid Predators’

Worthy of Ripley, as they used to say

The Department of Interior is providing $472,150 grant funding to increase the survival of two endangered fish species by “training” them to “recognize and avoid predators.”

“The objective of the proposed project is to determine if training increases Bonytail and Razorback Sucker survival when exposed to predators,” the grant abstract states. “This proposal builds upon the 2012 Bureau of Reclamation assistance agreement with the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) tasked with investigating the potential for training Bonytail and Razorback Suckers to recognize and avoid predators.

“One of the early conclusions of the prior work is that the schooling behavior of Bonytail may allow untrained fish to show improved survival because they recognize predator avoidance behaviors exhibited by trained individuals,” the abstract states.

The funds, announced on Grants.gov on May 9, 2013 and set for a June 22, 2013 activation, will be given to the Bureau of Reclamation, Lower Colorado Region. The two species – Bonytail minnow and Razorback Sucker – are found in the Colorado River.

The grant abstract says that the funding is for the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program, and the Habitat Conservation Plan.

The abstract gives the three “components” of the almost half-a-million dollar project:

1) Pond restoration

2) Intensive predator avoidance training and marking

3) Remote sensing of marked fish to assess short-term post-training survival

“The effort will be coordinated with Valle Vista Golf Course (VVGC) in Kingman, Arizona, with whom AZGFD is establishing a long-term memorandum of agreement,” the abstract states. “The VVGC will provide a location for the ponds and access to the site for experimentation purposes.”

Inquiries by CNSNews.com to the Grants Officer in charge of the project seeking details about how fish are trained were not answered.

SOURCE






US shale oil supply shock shifts global power balance

Even the BBC (below) says so

A steeper-than-expected rise in US shale oil reserves is about to change the global balance of power between new and existing producers, a report says.

Over the next five years, the US will account for a third of new oil supplies, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The US will change from the world's leading importer of oil to a net exporter.

Demand for oil from Middle-East oil producers is set to slow as a result.

"North America has set off a supply shock that is sending ripples throughout the world," said IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven.

Canadian oil sands production is also contributing to the "supply shock", the IEA said.

The surge in US production will reshape the whole industry, according to the IEA, which made the prediction in its closely-watched bi-annual report examining trends in oil supply and demand over the next five years.

The IEA said it expected the US to overtake Russia as the world's biggest gas producer by 2015 and to become "all but self-sufficient" in its energy needs by about 2035.

The rise in US production means the world's reliance on oil from traditional oil producing countries in the Middle East, which make up Opec (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), would end soon, according to the report.
Slower growth

US production is set to grow to a level that is some 3.9 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) higher in 2018 than it was in 2012, accounting for some two thirds of the predicted growth in traditional non-Opec production, according to the IEA.

Meanwhile, global oil demand is set to increase by 8% which would be met mainly by non-Opec supplies, the report said

The IEA still expects production capacity among traditional Opec suppliers in the Middle East to continue to grow over the next five years, but at a slower rate.

Opec capacity, which counts for 35% of today's global oil output, is expected to rise by 1.75 million bpd to 36.75 million bpd in 2018, about 750,000 bpd less than predicted in the IEA's 2012 forecast.

The IEA cites the "growing insecurity in North and Sub-Saharan Africa" in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings as a key reason for the slowdown.

"The regional fallout from the 'Arab Spring' is taking a toll on investment and capacity growth," the IEA said.
Fracking

The sharp rise in US oil production is largely thanks to shale oil, a product many have hailed as the saviour of the US energy market.

Fracking, the process of blasting water at high pressure into shale rock to release oil (or gas) held within it, has become widespread in the US.

But critics of shale oil point to environmental concerns such as high water use and possible water contamination, the release of methane and, to a lesser extent, earth tremors caused by drilling.

The process has been banned in France, while the UK recently lifted a moratorium on drilling for shale gas

SOURCE




The EU green hell

Limits to growth ideology a self-fulfilling prophecy

The European Union’s utopian scheme of transforming itself into a green energy powerhouse is faltering as its fantasy plan is colliding with reality. As the EU’s economic and financial crisis deepens and unemployment continues to rise, what used to be an almost all-embracing green consensus is beginning to disintegrate.

The spectre of green stagnation, the loss of competitiveness and economic decline has replaced 20 years of collective wishful thinking. The green folly was founded on two apocalyptic fears: firstly, that global warming was an urgent threat that needed to be prevented at all cost, and secondly, that the world was running out of fossil fuels, which meant that oil and gas would inexorably become ever more expensive. Both conjectures, however, turned out to be bogus.

The unpredicted arrest of the global warming trend since 1997 has made clear that the IPCC’s climate models had artificially inflated the immediacy of any climate risk, while the sudden arrival of enormous amounts of shale gas and oil terminated the peak oil hysteria.

In the meantime, however, the EU and its waning economies have become prisoners of their own green shackles. The once thriving continent finds itself enslaved in a self-inflicted trap of renewable energy mandates and unilateral climate targets that are prohibitively costly.

The green ideology of limits to growth has turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ecological rejection of traditional industries, the obstruction of new technologies together with an almost all-embracing hostility to every form of conventional (let alone unconventional) energy generation is gradually shifting the centre of economic growth and innovation away from an ageing and depressed Europe.

Green prophecies of climate doom and salvationist central plans for the creation of millions of green jobs are no longer trusted. Instead of the blooming green economy promised by political leaders and activists, Europe is facing a competitiveness crisis and an economic nightmare with almost 27 million people out of work and many countries facing bankruptcy.

Europe’s manufacturers, who are rapidly losing ground to international competition, have announced plans to expand in the United States. Instead of investing in the energy-expensive EU, they are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the U.S. where energy prices have fallen to a third of those in the EU, largely due to the shale gas revolution. Industry leaders are warning that more manufacturing will move to North America unless energy prices come down significantly. They blame unilateral energy targets and the green opposition to shale gas exploration for the energy crisis and warn that it has become one of the biggest threats to European industry.

According to Austria’s energy regulator, European consumers have subsidized renewable energy investors by a staggering 600 billion euros since 2004. Germany’s green transition alone may cost energy consumers up to a trillion euros by 2020.

The naive faith of policy makers that Europe’s main competitors would follow this shift from cheap fossil fuels to expensive green energy has gone up in smoke. In reality, most nations are completely unimpressed by Europe’s approach. Europe, the Washington Post recently warned, “has become a green-energy basket case. Instead of a model for the world to emulate, Europe has become a model of what not to do.”

EU leaders are beginning to wake up to the enormity of the green energy fiasco. They will meet in Brussels for an energy summit on May 22 to discuss how to respond to the crisis. “High energy prices and costs hamper European competitiveness,” a leaked EU document says and indicates that the EU will have to re-consider its unsustainably costly climate policies.

Europe’s emissions trading scheme which has more or less collapsed in recent months has cost consumers more than 300 billion euros to date. Massive amounts of green investments that were originally projected on the back of a high carbon price have been shelved and are no longer feasible.

In most EU members states energy prices have skyrocketed while millions of families have been forced into energy poverty. Public protest against the growing cost of going green are forcing law-makers to renounce support for costly policies that are hurting ordinary families. The rapid decline in competitiveness has alarmed governments. For the first time, many are no longer willing to prioritize the green agenda which is publishing the green lobby back to the periphery.

As a result, there are signs that some governments are trying to shift policies away from the green agenda of the olden days towards economic realism. Yet the question remains whether European leaders can actually roll back the green belief system and overcome this self-inflicted eco-disaster. In particular the race for shale exploration will decide whether policy makers can win the battle against massive green rejectionism.

Without the development of new pragmatic policies and a forceful defence of a cheap energy strategy in face of green opposition, many governments will lack the will to free themselves from the green shackles that are hindering technological progress and economic advance. Even so, much of the green ballast that is holding Europe back will have to be thrown overboard if Europe wants to keep up with rest of the world.

Just as socialist central planning failed miserably before it was replaced by free market economies, green central planning will have to be discarded before Europe will be able to see a return to economic growth and technological optimism.

SOURCE







Galileo and the shale gas revolution

The news that Exxon is to build a $10 bn LNG export facility in Texas marks another significant step forward in the story of shale gas and its disruptive impact on the world energy market. Those who want a parallel for the painful process through which so many of the established forces of the industry on one side and the lobby groups on another have struggled to come to terms with the reality of shale gas over the last three years should read John Heilbron’s fascinating book on Galileo.

Back in the 17th century, those who had tied their reputations to old ideas used ever more elaborate and unconvincing arguments to deny the truth of new discoveries. Nothing but the old status quo could be conceived, particularly if new ideas threatened the very foundations of received beliefs. After all, didn’t the Bible say that the earth didn’t move? And, of course, if one idea was permitted where would it end? Rather than permitting open discussion, dangerous thoughts were suppressed. Galileo was tried by the Inquisition and forced to recant before being put under house arrest for the remainder of his life.

Over the last few years, the assertions of the ancien regime in the energy business have become ever more strident. Shale gas would never be developed because fracking didn’t work. The resources were inadequate to make development commercial. Fracking could not be done safely even by the best engineers in the business. There would be mass earthquakes. The resource base would soon run dry. The infrastructure could not cope. And then, more recently, no other country could match what had happened in the US. There were no resources, no skills, no water, and even less infrastructure. And no, shale gas would never affect the market beyond the US because no US president would ever permit exports.

There will be winners and losers and surprise, surprise the losers have been the loudest voices in denial

One by one these assertions have become more desperate and further from reality. Shale gas development is now within reach of a dozen different countries around the world. Some development will no doubt be too expensive to be commercially viable but the technology is not static. Costs are falling not rising and companies are learning how to handle complexities such as the recycling of water.

Prices will be volatile – that is the nature of many new commodity market developments. There will a boom and then the first overinflated bubble will burst – which is what has been happening to a degree in the US. But then, as so many times in economic history, the pieces will be picked up and consolidated and an enduring industry will emerge around more stable prices. And beyond that there is tight oil to come as well.

The impact will be profound. The UK may not have as much shale gas as the US – but let’s just wait for the British Geological Survey to be finally released. The fact that such a reputable study is not being published is raising a lot of questions. Who exactly in Government is claiming to know more about geology than the BGS. ?

Some communities do not want shale gas development – and they should not be forced to accept it. France may never allow its shale gas (or tight oil ) to be developed. But because of trade, energy prices everywhere will be affected . This is where US exports are so important. Exxon is not a company to invest big money lightly. There is a market for gas in the Far East where the demise of the Japanese nuclear sector has left a supply gap which has to be filled. Now it will be filled. And in a world where all prices are linked that will drive down prices in Europe too.

Meanwhile companies like Centrica will bring gas from the US into the UK. There will be winners and losers and surprise, surprise the losers are been the loudest voices in denial of the reality and potential of shale gas. But they too will adjust – even relics such as Gazprom who for so long have been determined to try to maintain a price structure which ties gas to oil prices are starting to recognise that there really is gas to gas competition now.

The climate change lobby has to adjust too. The shale gas revolution is in the process of lowering the cost of using hydrocarbons just when they wanted the reverse to happen. Shale gas is not all bad. It has reduced coal use in the US, and could make a major positive difference in China and India – reducing emissions from their likely path by more than any other change which is in prospect.

Those prospective developments have yet to be proved commercial but the climate lobby should be hoping that they will be. Beyond that those who care about the climate have to adjust their strategy to a world in which hydrocarbons have a new lease of life and energy costs are significant lower than they have previously predicted.

On both sides the important thing is to start from reality. Galileo after recanting under intense pressure from Catholic authorities who wanted him to deny that the earth moved around the sun, is said to have whispered: “but still it moves”.

SOURCE





Britain 'faces energy crisis unless ministers abandon green policies'

Britain must abandon its bias towards green policies or face an energy crisis, a key parliamentary adviser has warned.

Peter Lilley, a member of the Prime Minister's Parliamentary Advisory board, has warned that the UK's hesitance to embrace shale gas comes at great expense to the country.

He cites decreasing gas prices in American as an example, where gas is a third of the price of what it is in Europe, and questions why Britain is "dragging its feet".

The UK is potentially sitting on enough shale gas reserves to heat all homes in Britain for at least 100 years, experts at the British Geological Survey claimed in April this year.

However, there has been resistance to excavate the fossil fuel amid concerns about the possibility of earthquakes and water contamination if gases are leaked into the water table while the "fracking" process is carried out.

In an article for The Spectator, the Conservative MP accuses the Department for Energy and Climate Change as being "in disarray" over the issue, with some ministers now beginning to question the direction green policies have been heading.

He claims that the green lobby is in control of the Department for Energy, dominates the EU and is institutionalised in Whitehall via the Climate Change Committee. He also accuses them of deploying "scare stories with reckless disregard for the truth" on a scale comparable to the MMR scare.

"Whatever the power of Big Oil in the past, it has been eclipsed by Big Green," he said.

Mr Lilley said the growing battle over shale gas is a prelude to an impending energy crisis, with the green lobby counting on green alternatives becoming cheaper as imported gas prices rise.

He argues that although viable alternatives to fossil fuels may be discovered in the future, any government policy based on the assumption that this will be imminent is "doomed to fail".

"The sooner we wake up to that fact and throw off the thrall of Big Green, the better," he added. "There are simply no affordable renewable technologies available [at the moment] to replace fossil fuels."

The case for decarbonising the EU economy has weakened, he added, because China, India, USA and other will not follow suit. "The idea of Britain going it alone is risible," he said.

SOURCE







Australia: Qld. State Government to pass laws for drought-hit farmers to feed cattle in some National Parks

"Stunned the conservation movement"

THE State Government will rush legislation through Parliament next week. Drought-hit graziers will be given access to 4400sq km - five existing parks and a further eight properties bought for the public estate.

Acting Premier Jeff Seeney said the worsening drought called for action. "This is a part of a range of drought-relieving measures the Newman Government will put together over the coming weeks and months, as we do everything possible to help those affected," he said.

Agforce chief executive Charles Burke said the move might help save the lives of 25,000 head of cattle.

The move has stunned the conservation movement, with Wildlife Queensland chief executive Des Boyland saying it was outrageous and yet another broken promise.

"Only last week the National Parks Association got an email from (National Parks Minister) Steve Dickson's office saying there will be no grazing in national parks," Mr Boyland said.

"I suppose this shouldn't come as a surprise, in view of the fact that this government is hell-bent on destroying hard-fought conservation gains."

Mr Dickson said the changes would see emergency hardship grazing authorities issued over land which had been selected on the basis of its previous grazing history and proximity to suffering properties.

"These arrangements are limited to only a select number of properties and national park land will only be available for graziers suffering from drought or wildfire and will only stay in place for a limited time to assist with the current crisis," he said.

The Nature Conservation Act will be amended so the eight properties bought with Federal Government funds will be grazed.

Moorrinya, Forest Den, Blackbraes, Nairana and Mazeppa national parks will become agistment paddocks until at least the end of 2013.

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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



15 May, 2013

Wind Energy Push Leaves Trail of Dead Eagles



Not so green: Obama administration allows wind-energy plants to kill eagles despite federal law





Stop The Presses: Carbon dioxide is allegedly causing the geographic north pole to begin "galloping east toward Greenland"!

Polar wander linked to climate change : Nature News & Comment

Global warming is changing the location of Earth’s geographic poles, according to a new study pending in Geophysical Research Letters...

From 1982 to 2005, the pole drifted southeast toward northern Labrador, Canada, at a rate of about 2 milliarcseconds —or roughly 6 centimetres — per year. But in 2005, the pole changed course and began galloping east toward Greenland at a rate of more than 7 milliarcseconds per year.

SOURCE





Report in major German newsmagazine: “Greenland Melting More Slowly Than Expected” …Sea Level Rise Alarm Called Off!

Online Spiegel magazine (SPON) has an article today by Axel Bojanowski titled: “Sea level rise: Greenland melting more slowly than expected“. Bojanowski writes: "Melting in Greenland is a decisive factor on how fast the sea level rises. Now research on five glaciers on the country are showing: The northern ice cap will indeed melt more gradually than assumed.”

This dumps cold water on the global climate catastrophe scenarios that the German government-funded climate institutes, media, and politicians of every party like to trumpet.

The Spiegel article cites a new study here that finds “melting Greenland glaciers will lead to less sea level rise over the next 200 years than earlier feared” and that “the accelerated ice loss of the past decades will not continue at the same rate.”

The Spiegel story contradicts an older 2010 New York Times 2010 doom and gloom portrayal of Greenland, which cited Stefan Rahmstorf, who said: "The past clearly shows that sea-level rise is getting faster and faster the warmer it gets. Why should that process stop? If it gets warmer, ice will melt faster.”

Of course we know that it hasn’t gotten warmer at all in 15 years, and may have even cooled slightly, and so the process naturally will not accelerate.

Rahmstorf is a leading scientist at the notoriously climate-catastrophe-obsessed Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He once accused Spiegel of “climate scientist bashing” and “defamation”. Why? Because Spiegel dared to question his brand of bed-wetting alarmist climate science.

Bojanowski at SPON writes that the scientists reported here at Nature that a melting calculated under strongly rising temperatures for all of Greenland would lead to a sea level rise of maximum 18 cm…”well within the prognoses of the UN IPCC.”

But with global temperature data showing no warming in 15 years, oceanic cycles like the PDO and AMO turning negative, solar activity tanking, and many scientists projecting a slight to moderate cooling over the next decades, these newest prognoses may very well turn out to be exaggerated as well, especially for the next 50 years. Many parts of Greenland are indeed thickening.

In summary, it’s all very much in dispute. But we know things just don’t disintegrate like they do in Rahmstorf’s wild collapsing-world fantasies.

Bojanowski writes that glacier behavior is complex, and that predictions are fraught with uncertainty: “…the strong increase in ice loss of the past years will not continue in a linear manner, but instead will tend to moderate, the scientists suspect“. Remember – the scientists are assuming strong warming, which is not even happening.

The scientists say their predictions are “only a rough estimation that has to be fine-tuned with respect to the strong individual different dynamics“. Spiegel adds: “Calculations over ice melt in Greenland fluctuate because only very few glaciers have been systematically observed over many years.”

SOURCE





Do 'environmentally friendly' LED lights cause BLINDNESS?

Eco-friendly LED lights may damage your eyes, according to new research.

A study has discovered that exposure to LED lights can cause irreparable harm to the retina of the human eye.

LED lights have been touted as a super-efficient alternative to traditional bulbs because they use up to 85 per cent less energy and each bulb can last up to 10 years. In April, Philips, the world's biggest lighting maker, reported a 38 per cent jump in LED light sales from last year.

They are already widely used in mobile phones, televisions, computer screens and can also be fitted as a replacement for traditional lighting in the home.

LEDs are much more expensive that traditional bulbs - costing around £25 for an equivalent 100w compared to around £1 for an incandescent bulb - although manufacturers claim that consumers make their money back because the use such little energy.

The government announced it was phasing out incandescent bulbs in 2007 after an EU directive banned their use. The 100w bulb was the first to go in 2009 and lower wattage bulbs continue to be phased out gradually.

The ban caused public outrage as customers were forced to spend large sums of money on lighting that not only gave an unpleasantly 'cold' light but also caused some people to report symptoms of itchy skin and headaches.

The government's Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme, which was brought in to help cut UK carbon emissions, is also pushing the use of LED lighting by offering businesses added tax relief if they use LED and other low-energy bulbs.

Dr. Celia Sánchez-Ramos, of Complutense University in Madrid and who led the study, explained that light from LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, comes from the short-wave, high-energy blue and violet end of the visible light spectrum.

She said that prolonged, continuous exposure to this light may be enough to damage a person's retina. The retina is composed of light-sensitive tissue that is responsible for detecting light and in turn allowing us to see.

‘This problem is going to get worse, because humans are living longer and children are using electronic devices from a young age, particularly for schoolwork,’ Sánchez-Ramos told

‘Eyes are not designed to look directly at light — they are designed to see with light,’ Sánchez-Ramos said.

Her comments are partly based on her 2012 study that was published in the journal Photochemistry and Photobiology.

The study found that LED radiation caused significant damage to human retinal pigment epithelial cells in vitro.

Sánchez-Ramos added that modern humans have their eyes open for roughly 6,000 hours a year, and are exposed to artificial light for the majority of that time.

Some experts have called for the LED lights to have built-in filters to cut out the blue glare.

This is not the first time energy-saving lights have come under scrutiny for safety reasons. Compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, have been criticized for the high levels of mercury they contain as well as the UV radiation they can emit.

LED lights have also been blamed for the changing hues of masterpieces in art galleries.

A study carried out by the University of Antwerp earlier this year found that LED lights were bleaching the paint on works by Van Gogh and Cézanne.

SOURCE






A survey of reasons why the current level of CO2 should not be of concern

The level of carbon dioxide, a trace essential gas in the atmosphere that humans exhale from our mouths, has come very close to reaching the “symbolic” 400 parts per million (ppm) threshold in the atmosphere. Former Vice President Al Gore declared the 400 ppm level “A sad milestone. A call to action.” New York times reporter Justin Gillis compared trace amounts of CO2 to “a tiny bit of arsenic or cobra venom” and warned that rising CO2 means "the fate of the earth hangs in the balance."

The New Yorker Magazine declared “Everything we use that emits carbon dioxide needs to be replaced with something that doesn’t.” And a UK Guardian editorial declared “Swift political action can avert a carbon dioxide crisis.”

But despite the man-made global warming fear movement’s clarion call of alarm, many scientists are dismissing the 400ppm level of carbon dioxide as a non-event. Scientists point out that there are literally hundreds of factors that govern Earth’s climate and temperature – not just CO2. Renowned climatologists have declared that a doubling or even tripling of CO2 would not have major impacts on the Earth’s climate or temperature.

Scientists also note that geologically speaking, the Earth is currently in a “CO2 famine” and that the geologic record reveals that ice ages have occurred when CO2 was at 2000 ppm to as high as 8000ppm. In addition, peer-reviewed studies have documented that there have been temperatures similar to the present day on Earth when carbon dioxide was up to twenty times higher than today’s levels. And, a peer-reviewed study this year found that the present day carbon dioxide level of 400 ppm was exceeded -- without any human influence -- 12,750 years ago when CO2 may have reached up to 425 ppm.

Princeton U. Physicist Dr. William Happer and NASA Moonwalker & Geologist Dr. Harrison H. Schmitt wrote on May 8, 2013 in the Wall Street Journal: “Thanks to the single-minded demonization of this natural and essential atmospheric gas by advocates of government control of energy production, the conventional wisdom about carbon dioxide is that it is a dangerous pollutant. That’s simply not the case.”

“The cessation of observed global warming for the past decade or so has shown how exaggerated NASA's and most other computer predictions of human-caused warming have been—and how little correlation warming has with concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. As many scientists have pointed out, variations in global temperature correlate much better with solar activity and with complicated cycles of the oceans and atmosphere. There isn't the slightest evidence that more carbon dioxide has caused more extreme weather,” Happer and Schmidt wrote.

Princeton’s Dr. Happer, who has authored 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers, explained in Senate testimony in 2009 that the Earth is currently in a ‘CO2 ‘famine.’ Happer explained to Congress: ”Warming and increased CO2 will be good for mankind…'CO2 is not a pollutant and it is not a poison and we should not corrupt the English language by depriving 'pollutant' and 'poison' of their original meaning,” Happer added.

“Many people don’t realize that over geological time, we’re really in a CO2 famine now. Almost never has CO2 levels been as low as it has been in the Holocene (geologic epoch) – 280 (parts per million - ppm) – that’s unheard of. Most of the time [CO2 levels] have been at least 1000 (ppm) and it’s been quite higher than that,” Happer told the Senate Committee. “Earth was just fine in those times,” Happer added. “The oceans were fine, plants grew, animals grew fine. So it’s baffling to me that we’re so frightened of getting nowhere close to where we started,” Happer explained.

The claim by global warming activists and scientists that CO2 is the global temperature “control knob” has been challenged in the peer-reviewed literature and the Earth’s geologic history.

[See: Peer-Reviewed Study finds ‘ancient’ Earth’s climate similar to present day — despite CO2 levels 5 to over 20 times higher than today! -- Geologists reconstructed Earth's climate belts between 460 and 445 million years ago and found 'ancient climate belts were surprisingly like those of the present' -- Also included 'a brief, intense glaciation' &

Ice Age At 2000+ PPM CO2: ‘Earth experienced an ice age 450 million years ago, with CO2 somewhere between 2000 and 8000 ppm’ &

New paper (March 2013) finds CO2 spiked to levels higher than the present during termination of last ice age — Paper published in Quaternary Science Reviews -- Study 'reconstructs CO2 levels during the termination of the last ice age and finds CO2 spiked to levels near or even exceeding those of the present, obviously without any human influence. According to the authors, 'The record clearly demonstrates that [CO2 levels were] significantly higher than usually reported for the Last [Glacial] Termination,' with levels of up to ~425 ppm about 12,750 years ago, which exceeds the present CO2 concentration of 395 ppm' ]

‘You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide’

Renowned atmospheric scientist Dr. Reid Bryson, (who died in 2008), explained in 2007: “You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide.” Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ, agreed with Bryson. “Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapor and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will,” Duffy wrote.

Climate change is governed by hundreds of factors, or variables, not just CO2.

UK Professor Emeritus of Biogeography Philip Stott of the University of London explains the crux of the entire global warming debate and rebuts the notion that CO2 is the main climate driver.

“As I have said, over and over again, the fundamental point has always been this: climate change is governed by hundreds of factors, or variables, and the very idea that we can manage climate change predictably by understanding and manipulating at the margins one politically-selected factor (CO2), is as misguided as it gets,” Stott wrote in 2008. It is not simply, the sun or CO2 when looking at global temperatures, it is the Sun, volcanoes, tilt of the Earth’s axis, water vapor, methane, clouds, ocean cycles, plate tectonics, albedo, atmospheric dust, Atmospheric Circulation, cosmic rays, particulates like Carbon Soot, forests and land use, etc. Climate change is governed by hundreds of factors, or variables, not just CO2.

Even the climate activists at RealClimate.org let this point slip out in a September 20, 2008 article. “The actual temperature rise is an emergent property resulting from interactions among hundreds of factors,”RealClimate.org conceded.

Former Harvard University Physicist Dr. Lubos Motl dismissed any significance to 400ppm of CO2 in an essay on May 12, 2013 titled “Why we should work hard to raise the CO2 concentration”: “CO2 is primarily plant food while its other implications for Nature are negligible in comparison. Humanitarian orgs should work hard to help mankind to increase the CO2 concentration,” Motl wrote. “'CO2 is the key compound that plants need to grow – and, indirectly, that every organism needs to get the food at the end,” he added.

Other analyses have shown CO2 loses any ‘warming’ impact as the levels increase. See: The effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas becomes ever more marginal with greater concentration – ’The effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas diminishes logarithmically with increasing concentration and from the current level of ~390 ppmv, (parts per million by volume). Accordingly only ~5% of the effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas remains beyond the current level’

In February 2013, global warming activists were stunned by the retreat of one of their former UN scientists. Top Swedish Climate Scientist Dr. Lennart Bengtsson, formerly of the UN IPCC, declared CO2”s “heating effect is logarithmic: the higher the concentration is, the smaller the effect of a further increase.” Bengtsson noted that global warming would not even be noticeable without modern instruments. “The warming we have had last a 100 years is so small that if we didn’t have climatologists to measure it we wouldn’t have noticed it at all’ -- Award-Winning Dr. Lennart Bengtsson, formerly of UN IPCC: 'We Are Creating Great Anxiety Without It Being Justified...there are no indications that the warming is so severe that we need to panic...The warming we have had the last a 100 years is so small that if we didn't have had meteorologists and climatologists to measure it we wouldn't have noticed it at all.”

In addition, New Zealand Climate Scientist Chris de Freitas revealed on May 1, 2009 that “warming and CO2 are not well correlated.” de Freitas added, “the effect of CO2 on global temperature is already close to its maximum. Adding more has an ever decreasing effect.”

Australian Geologist Dr. Ian Plimer wrote on August 8, 2009: “At present, the Earth’s atmosphere is starved of CO2.” Plimer, who authored the skeptical book Heaven and Earth, added, “On all time scales, there is no correlation between temps and CO2. If there is no correlation, then there can be no causation.”

Professor Dr. Doug L. Hoffman, mathematician, computer programmer and engineer, wrote on August 24, 2009: “There have been ice ages when the levels of Co2 in Earth’s atmosphere have been many times higher than today’s.” Hoffman, who worked on environmental models and conducted research in molecular dynamics, co-authored the 2009 book, The Resilient Earth.

Other studies have shown carbon dioxide does not control the Earth’s temperature, but it is actually the reverse. See: New Paper: Danish Physicist Dr. Henrik Svensmark’s Cosmic Jackpot: ‘Svensmark stands the currently popular CO2 story on its head…Climate and life control CO2, not the other way around’ -- 'Some geoscientists want to blame the drastic alternations of hot and icy conditions during the past 500 million years on increases and decreases in carbon dioxide, which they explain in intricate ways. For Svensmark, the changes driven by the stars govern the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Climate and life control CO2, not the other way around...'The UK Royal Astronomical Society in London publishes Svensmark's latest paper'

Many skeptical scientists point out that temperature leads CO2 in the ice core data. See: ‘The ice core data clearly reveal temperature increases generally precede increasing CO2 by several hundred to a few thousand years’

‘Temperature drives CO2’

Ivy League geologist Dr. Robert Giegengack, former chair of Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania, spoke out in 2007 against fears of rising CO2 impacts promoted by Gore and others. Giegengack noted “for most of Earth’s history, the globe has been warmer than it has been for the last 200 years. It has rarely been cooler.” (LINK) “[Gore] claims that temperature increases solely because more CO2 in the atmosphere traps the sun’s heat. That’s just wrong … It’s a natural interplay. As temperature rises, CO2 rises, and vice versa,” Giegengack explained. “It’s hard for us to say that CO2 drives temperature. It’s easier to say temperature drives CO2,” he added. (LINK) "The driving mechanism is exactly the opposite of what Al Gore claims, both in his film and in that book. It's the temperature that, through those 650,000 years, controlled the CO2; not the CO2 that controlled the temperature," he added. (LINK)

Meteorologist Tom Wysmuller: ‘The Recent Temperature and CO2 Disconnect’ -- Even going back ten centuries, there have been total disconnects between temperature and the CO2 impact, or lack thereof. From 1000AD to 1800, over a period of relatively stable CO2 values that bounced around the 280ppm level, temperatures plummeted in the Little Ice Age (LIA) and then rebounded over a century later. CO2 values neither led nor followed the temperature declines and recoveries…CO2 seems to have had little impact in EITHER direction on the observed temperatures over that 10k year period…If CO2 is to be considered a major driver of temperatures, it is doing a counterintuitive dance around the numbers.’

More HERE (See the original for links)







Australian conservative Senator fights the locking up of huge areas of ocean by Australia's Green/Left government

Queensland Senator Ron Boswell has called on Environment Minister Tony Burke to detail the costs of a Labor Government “propaganda film” about its looming marine parks.

“At the same time as Treasurer Wayne Swan is likely to announce a huge multi-billion-dollar deficit in the Budget, Tony Burke has launched a completely unnecessary propaganda video,” Senator Boswell said.

“It is eight minutes of pretty pictures and mostly foreign luminaries trying to justify shutting the Coral Sea and huge swathes of ocean round the rest of Australia to fishing.

“It is absolutely nothing but propaganda. It is a platform for Minister Burke to urge people to support the Government’s marine parks decision, which is opposed by millions of recreational and commercial fishers and other people in coastal communities.

“Imposition of the new marine parks by Labor will take the overall size of Commonwealth marine parks to 3.1 million sq km, by far the largest in the world, in fact a third of the total area of marine reserves across the globe. “

Senator Boswell said the video is a “shameless waste of money” produced simply as propaganda to try to generate support for the Government.

“Labor is sending the country broke and this glossy propaganda exercise is just another Government waste of money. Come on, Mr Burke, fess up and tell Australian taxpayers what this propaganda film has cost them.”

Via email from Sen. Boswell

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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14 May, 2013

With The Deepest Respect, Charles, Please Do Shut Up

Dominic Lawson

When Her Majesty read the Queen’s speech to the assembled houses of parliament last week, it was, as usual, impossible to tell whether she agreed with any of it, all of it or none of it.

We should make the most of this; for when or if her eldest son succeeds her, the coverage of what will then be the King’s speech will be full of informed speculation about Charles’s great displeasure at various aspects of it.

“My government will bring forward proposals to eliminate subsidies for renewable energy and therefore reduce the cost of heating for hard-working families”, for example, would provoke screeds about the monarch’s fury at such a proposal.

Or, worse, the absence of such a commitment, if it had been pledged in the election manifesto of the governing party, would immediately cause us to wonder if its excision from the gracious speech might have been a result of intensive lobbying by the King himself.

These thoughts are not provoked merely by the fact that for the first time the duty of attending the Commonwealth heads of government meeting has been passed to the prince, in recognition of the need to reduce the burden on the 87-year-old monarch.

Last week, at a conference at St James’s Palace, Prince Charles launched yet another attack on those who disagree with his views on the problems confronting the planet — in which he includes not just fossil fuels but all form of genetically modified crops. The prince criticised what he called “corporate lobbyists” for turning the Earth into a “dying patient”, and his intervention was praised at the conference by a member of the Spanish Socialist party’s think tank, who called such lobbyists “forces of darkness”.

Yet there is no lobbyist in the land with more access to government than Prince Charles himself. In this he is assiduous to the point of driving ministers to distraction (though none dares tell him so). And he gets results: if it were not for his obsessive efforts in the cause of homeopathy, successive governments would not have directed millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, via the NHS, towards the purchase of potions with no medical properties whatever.

Provoked by the scale of the prince’s behind-the-scenes lobbying, The Guardian has attempted to use the Freedom of Information Act to discover the true extent of his influence on ministers. Last September an FoI tribunal ruled that the public had the right to know how the prince had been seeking to alter or influence government policy. A month later the attorney-general, Dominic Grieve, overruled the tribunal and vetoed the publication of 27 letters between Charles and government ministers.

Grieve declared that the release of the prince’s “particularly frank” letters would “have undermined his position of political neutrality”; he added that “inherited monarchy could not be preserved” if the sovereign was seen to have abandoned such neutrality.

It was not hard to conclude that it was precisely because these letters demonstrated a ferocious partiality that their contents and effect had to remain secret. For the time being we must await the result of The Guardian’s appeal against Grieve’s decision, heard over two days at the High Court last week.

In the prince’s defence, his campaigns against GM crops and for “alternative” medicine — while they might, if successful globally, result in millions of avoidable deaths through starvation and inappropriate coffee enemas for cancer sufferers — are entirely public-spirited. He in turn should try to accept that those who take a different view from him are not all malevolent profiteers, but may also be concerned about what is good for the public as a whole.

The prince, indeed, might be summed up by that strangely disparaging term “do-gooder”, though he does not have the desperation for public approval that tends to characterise such people in political life. Moreover, his work with the Prince’s Trust is an admirable example of what such a sense of public duty can achieve, without courting controversy. Yet in the fields of medicine, agriculture, architecture and energy production, the prince is taking positions that are intensely partisan; and some of these are areas in which decisions have monumental economic implications for every family in the land.

Normally, when a highly influential public figure makes dramatic assertions on such topics — for example, Charles’s comment that industrial-scale food production will cause farmers to be “driven off their land into unsustainable, unmanageable, degraded and dysfunctional conurbations of unmentionable awfulness” — we would expect him to agree to debate and defend his views with John Humphrys on the Today programme. Charles is a controversialist who will never allow himself to be questioned in open debate.

Even if this is out of a proper regard for royal dignity on his part, rather than any insecurity in a man of intellectual instincts but without all the necessary equipment, such a rigorous encounter might still do the prince some good.

One of the observations that even his friends make of him is that, unlike his mother, he is incapable of taking criticism; and although he is in a wonderful position to hear from the best, on both sides of every argument, he tends to listen only to those whose views match his own primordial prejudices — what in this context we should term “yes, sir” men.

The prince certainly needs someone to point out to him that the planet is not “dying” and that it was doing just fine when CO2 concentrations were vastly higher than they are now or are ever likely to be as a result of whatever amount of fossil fuels we burn.

He might also be told that his duties do not extend to “saving the planet” and that he could find enough to occupy his time in the everyday activities of being seen by his people and performing the often mundane and even tedious public functions associated with his status as the monarch’s representative.

Yet this is the man who in his book Harmony declared that he “would be failing in his duty to future generations and to the Earth itself” if he did not preach in this way. Again, we should not doubt Charles’s genuine concern, however much such grandiloquent expressions might seem more properly the role of popes than of princes. He is an anguished man; agonised, even.

Unfortunately for him — and perhaps for us — a monarch really should be someone at ease with his (or her) station in life. In the meantime, the prince’s job, dreadful though it may seem to him as the decades go by, is just to be the heir to the throne.

It was Jeremy Paxman in his book on royalty who pointed out that Charles “consistently misunderstood or ignored a basic truth at the heart of the relationship between royalty and the people. He seemed to believe his significance lay in what he believed and did. The truth was simply that his significance lay in who he was.”

As a result, we know far too much about him and what he thinks. A period of silence on his part would now be welcome.

SOURCE






An historical perspective from Dr. Vincent Gray

Comment from New Zealand. Dr Gray is now 90 and still has his marbles so he has a perspective few can match

My professional career began during the war when science made a substantial contribution to its outcome. We had vigorous scientific discussions both in public and in the media. We published them in the journals. We enjoyed prestige, attractive salaries and public confidence.

It declined immediately the war ended. R V Jones, in his “Most Secret War” recounts that as soon as the war ended the military were no longer interested in measures to improve conditions of survival of pilots.

We have benefited from technical progress, based on scientific discoveries of the past. Chemistry, X-Ray diffraction have enabled molecules to be visualized. Combined with the genetic code it has led to modern medicine and our longer lives. Computers and solid state physics have changed our communications completely.

The environmentalists accept these grudgingly, but they reject nuclear power, chemical pesticides, genetically engineered crops, and even (current National Geographic article) nitrogen based fertilizers. They have rubbished Darwin’s theories of evolution and replaced them by The Environment and Sustainability

There have not been any revolutionary scientific discoveries for 50 years. Scientists now live on short term contracts, interspersed with press announcements which either scare the public or claims to have made world shattering discoveries, all in the aid of receiving the next grant.

The climate models that have been foisted on the public would have been rejected by all the journals I knew in 1940. They can only gain credance in an atmosphere where science education has been replaced by dogmatic endorsements of the pioneers, and, increasingly, of the charlatans who have taken science over.

They have confessed that they are frauds in the Climategate letters, and even, as I point out, in such items as Jim Hansen’s item on “The Elusive Surface Temperature”

But, who cares? They still routinely promote the views of environmental activists on every excuse, Prince Charles and Al Gore keep up their worrying. So, at last, to get to the point of this Newsletter, are we returning slowly to reality? There are currently a number of indications that the worm is beginning to turn.

Fracking

This is a method developed in 1947 for improving oil production which has been the deliverer of the United States economy where they now export oil, instead of importing. It has had the effect of making coal so cheap that it has boosted cosl-fired powers stations and made up the energy shortfall in Japan that followed their unwise abandonment of nuclear energy. European environmentalists and anti-nuclear Japanese must now face the fact that gas prices in the USA are now $3.32 per million BTU in USA, $11.77 in Europe and $I6.66 in Japan

The New Zealand Government seems at last to be encouraging oil exploration. Discouraging damaging protest and even approving the ming of gold in its traditional region, Waihi.

Temperature

I have spent much effort pointing out that you cannot measure the average temperature of the earth’s surface and that the “Mean Global Surface Temperature Anomaly Record” is a very poor substitute. It is not a temperature record at all, but consists of a series of multiple averages each of which is based on a different mixture of measurements from unrepresentative weather stations. It is also, like all of the ”data” favoured by the IPCC, subtly biased to enable it to support the greenhouse theory.

What is amazing is that they did not do a better job, and that the world could be made to cringe at the thought of an increased temperature of less than one degree in 100 years.

Yet it has now got stuck. It has stayed much the same for 17 years and Dr Pachauri is so worried that he thinks it might last another 15 years before his desired warming actually happens.

Apart from the infected Met Services, like the UK where they still keep predicting forthcoming warm winters and our own service which failed to predict the drought. Most ordinary meteorologists carry on with genuine science which does not depend on greenhouse gas concentrations

Windmills

The companies are going bust and the US is trying protectionism for its own dying manufacturers. Brian Leyland shows that windmills actually increase emissions of carbon dioxide because they have to be backed up with inefficient powere stations that can be frequently turned on and off.

Emissions

Only 15% of greenhouse gas emissions currently come from countries that signed the Kyoto Treaty. The New Zealand Minister, Tim Groser, recommends it should be ditched (Carbon Price is “Inching close to zero”)

SOURCE





Eminent German climate scientist Lennart Bengtsson says no need for panic about climate

Over the last two decades climate change has evolved into a key worldwide issue with major involvement of media,the political community at different levels and the public at large not the least on Internet. The views vary widely but the dominant opinion is that climate change is genuine and a potential challenge to the world community at least in the longer perspective. This is also an opinion shared by a majority of leading scientists in the field. At the same time there is an increasing tendency towards a polarization in the opinion on climate change with on one hand a preference for dramatic and extreme consequences such as so called tipping points and on the other hand a tendency to even question basic aspects of the physics of climate change.

However, because of the strong public interest we are now facing a dilemma as the public and the political community have become too much involved in the climate change debate influencing the actual science and this not necessarily in a positive way as it implies an arbitrary selection of priorities and preferential issues.

Natural processes drive climate and practically all kinds of extreme weather have always been part of the climate and are practically unrelated to the modest warming we so far have had. The effect of increasing greenhouse gases is a slow but relentless process that will have to be dealt with but will require more time and better insight in key processes.Some events are seen as very dramatic as the reduced Arctic summer ice, others, even more puzzling, such as the surprising lack of warming in the tropical troposphere is hardly discussed.

The global temperature has not increased steadily but in irregular intervals. Typical features are a distinct warming trend 1910-1940, a slight cooling trend 1945-1970 followed by the sharp warming trend until the end of the 20th century and finally the last 15 years without any clear warming trend. The lack of any significant warming in the tropical troposphere since the beginning of space observations in 1979 is particularly intriguing in particular as present models show a warming trend over the same time of 0.3-0.4°C in the average, figure 2.

Such results, scientifically very puzzling as they are, have hardly received any media attention but instead the public has been overwhelmed in recent years by excessive reports of a rapid and threatening global warming very soon running out of control, unless the most drastic steps are taken to stop it. If there are no obvious global signals available, suitable arguments are created from an endless number of extreme weather events. The fact that similar extreme weather has been found to be a property of the present or undisturbed climate is not recognized. The global warming has been taken out of the hands of the meteorologists and traditional climatologists and is now run by professional media experts and different well-recognized members (political or otherwise) of the general public that have found the present climate hype to be a suitable way to remain or be obtain a place in the media limelight.

In the very emotional climate debate today is it hardly possible to have a sensible and balanced exchange of views. If you do not support climate catastrophes as the one recently from the World bank, you are placed into a deniers box and accused to support the interest of the oil industry or alternatively that you are a man in a senior age and therefore unable to understand the concerns of the younger generations. Some of our colleagues are exposed to a powerful group pressure or that of a politically correct boss. The real genuine interest in climate and climate processes is fading away as the interest is confined to the concept of climate typical of the general public or rather I shall say the predominant or politically correct concept of climate.

However, the observational records are clear and the global warming is proceeding much slower than generally is anticipated.

Instead of being grateful for this comforting result the reaction is rather the opposite. In the almost hysterical climate hype of today a less dramatic warming is not very well received as all political correct members of the public would prefer to hide this uncomfortable fact by following the popular maxim of letting the ends justify the means. From the standpoint of the green movement all political efforts, even extreme ones, are required as they wish to abandon fossil energy as well as nuclear energy and this at a time when the world population is increasing and where the lack of suitable energy is a primary obstacle towards a better life.

We do not yet know how to best solve the Earth’s energy problems but many thing may happen in the next 100 years. A modest climate sensitivity that is supported by observations combined with a transition from coal to natural gas will provide the world with a waiting time of half a century or so but not very much longer. This will make it possible to avoid unnecessary and highly expensive panic-type subsidized investments driven by political whims and the expectations of quickly earned money and instead invest available means in a well thought-through long- term energy research programs.

More HERE





Italian Greenie paper does an about turn

April 10, 2013 will surely be remembered – at least in Italy - by the critics of the so called “consensus” on climate catastrophism as a memorable day, maybe a sort of “turning point”. It was the day when Repubblica, Italy's second most popular newspaper (330,000 copies/day) after the “Corriere della Sera," with offices and correspondents in cities throughout Europe, America, etc., published an unusual (for them) article, “The mystery of Earth no more over-heating” by journalist Elena Dusi.

The “meat” of the article was as follows:

“Between 2000 and 2010, 100 billion tons of CO2 have been released in the atmosphere. However, the “fever” of our planet remains unchanged. Earth is 0.75° C warmer than one century ago, but since 1998 no further increase of temperature was being recorded, in disrespect of all climate models forecasting a continuous heating by the greenhouse effect…”

Before commenting on these telling words, it seems necessary to inform the reader that Repubblica is one of the most “pro-greenie” Italian newspapers. In 2007 Repubblica devoted many articles and pages to the IPCC report (one of the most catastrophic ever!).

Let's be clear: usually Repubblica consumes a lot of column inches with interviews, analysis, graphics, comments, etc., regarding the issue of “global warming”. And needless to say, 100% of articles have been - till now - supporting the widely held opinions of the green community on melting Arctic ice, interviews with Al Gore, James Hansen, etc. All replete with comments from “experts” from the last conference on climate change; latest news on “eolian and photovoltaic” technologies, etc.,etc.

This is important to put forward, because for an Italian reader an article such as the above in Repubblica is so very surprising – more or less like finding a penguin crossing Death Valley in California; something that you never thought possible!

Although in the rest of the article the author is often quite cautious - interviewing meteorologists advising readers to still wait for some years yet before “acceptance” of this “unexpected” new trend - it is important to underline this new “change of mood.” It is a key change of opinions of even the most zealous supporters of climate catastrophism in the Italian media.

Now, the questions are: how could this happen? And – above all – is this also a signal foreshadowing a radical change in the so called “consensus” of the entire global scientific community regarding dangerous climatic warming?

In my opinion it is not so difficult to understand why this could happen. Although it is difficult to say how much time it will take for the whole scientific community to officially admit, after 20 years of doomsaying, that the anthropogenic climate alarm with its cornerstone "science" of the greenhouse gas theory is no more.

To summarize:

1) More and more scientists/researchers do not support anymore the “consensus” on climate.

It seems centuries ago when a scientist as eminent as the physicist Dr. Nir Shaviv in 2007 candidly admitted that in the past he believed that CO2 was causing a global warming because he was – like everyone – “listening to what the media was saying!”

After 2007 - the year of that most catastrophist report from the IPCC - more and more scientists began to release new studies criticizing as “not scientific” many IPCC statements and papers by man-made global warming/greenhouse gas obsessed supporters.

And many of them decided to form new scientific communities, as those who started Principia Scientific International, and others.

2) Public opinion is more skeptical regarding the issue of anthropogenic global warming

As in any sphere of cultural/scientific discourse it is very difficult to keep always a strong attitude and support favoring a wrong headed, yet widely held opinion, such as anthropogenic global warming.

When more and more scientists start to change their opinions, and when you have also powerful universal technological instruments – such as the Internet – to share new research challenging the “consensus," we should not be so shocked that the “wall” of supportive public opinion crumbles.

Actually, the height of public support for action on global warming came in the years between 1995 and 2005, and since then there has been a steady decline counterpointed by a growth in more skeptical attitudes.

3) The cold winters of the last 3-4 years

It should be remembered that particularly here in Italy at the end of ’90's and beginning of the new millenium – many persons were believing –according to the IPCC catastrophic forecasts – that winters were about to “disappear.” According to many newspapers there would have been no snow anymore up to 2,000 meters, and it would not be possible to grow “date-palm” and olives in the north of Italy (where the winters are cold), just as in Sicily and in the south.

Now, it has been enough for native Italians to see with their own eyes that the last three or four Italian winters were unexpectedly cold with lots of snow to persuade many of us that forecasts of man-made global warming alarmists were wrong.

Moreover, 5-10 years ago a scientist like Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov, probably the only one warning of an imminent new ice age, was judged as an amusing “eccentric” in the scientific community. Not today.

Now that more and more scientists are sharing the opinion that a new mini ice age is very likely in the coming years/decades, more and more people are waking up to what they see with their own eyes and abandoning any fears of global warming.

4) Impact of the economic crisis

Another important factor likely explaining Repubblica’s change of mood seems to be the huge economic crisis, not just in in Italy but across many European countries (Greece, France, Spain, etc.). Repubblica's readers are feeling the pain.

Actually, it seems now anachronistic to be so worried by “reductions in CO2 emissions," as it was strongly suggested by the media until three or four years ago, as trumpeted by reports on the Kyoto protocol, Rio conference, etc. Now we are in an economic crisis compelling governments, individuals and industries to make painful cuts in expenditure.

Such widespread economic angst seems to me to be the wake up call behind the sudden and unexpected change by a newspaper like Repubblica on the issue of anthropogenic global warming. Now it has been signalled in Italy we shall see whether the pressure of necessity will signal the final worldwide crumbling of the scientific consensus concerning global warming.

SOURCE






Nils-axel Morner on the latest findings about Greenland ice and sea level

With very great pleasure did I read the paper by Faezeh et al. (2013) just printed in Nature (May 9). After a careful study of four major marine-terminating outlet glaciers, collectively draining 22% of the Greenland Ice Sheet, they were able to estimate the annual dynamic losses at volumes corresponding to a mean global sea level rise of 0.01–0.06 mm per year. In 100 years this would only give a sea level rise on 1-6 mm, which is insignificant.

By applying a hypothetical future warming or 2.8 oC they increase this value to 19–30 mm rise by year 2200 (or about 9-15 mm by year 2100). Even this value is so low that it poses no threat whatsoever to humanity.

What did I say?

I could refer to numerous previous papers of mine, but especially the paper on “Setting the frames of expected future sea level changes” (Mörner, 2011), where the problem of the contribution of glacial melting is specially addressed (Fig. 1).

During the Holocene Climatic Optimum with a temperature 2.5 oC higher than today, the Greenland ice cap seems to have been of roughly the same dimensions as today. The Little Ice Ages of the last 600 years with significantly larger glaciers had small to insignificant effects on mean global sea level.

A sea level rise of today would never stay a chance to exceed that of the main melting phase at the end of the Last Ice Age which amounted to about 10 mm year-1 (i.e. 1.0 m in 100 years); on the contrary, it would have to be well within these frames.

Now, we can see that the present day melting of the Greenland Ice Cap provides sea level effects that are minute to negligible and fall well within the values of about 1 mm year-1 (Fig. 1) recorded during the last 300 years (Mörner, 2004).

SOURCE







Signs that warming scare is all hot air

by Andrew Bolt, writing from Australia

AND so the great global warming scare dies. Around Australia, bruised taxpayers will ask each other: "What the hell was that about?"

The 10 signs of the death of the scare are unmistakable. Now it's time to hold the guilty to account.

Just why did we spend the past year paying the world's biggest carbon tax, which drove our power bills through the roof?

Why were our children forced to sit through multiple screenings of Al Gore's dodgy scare-flick An Inconvenient Truth?

Why did we scar the most beautiful parts of our coast with ludicrously expensive windfarms?

And why did so many people swallow such bull, from the British Climatic Research Unit's prediction that "children just aren't going to know what snow is" to ABC science presenter Robyn Williams' claim that 100m rises in sea levels this century were "possible, yes".

Yes, we may yet see some warming resume one day.

But we will be wiser. We have learned not to fall so fast for the end-of-the-world sermons of salvation-seekers and the tin-rattling of green carpetbaggers. And here is why.

1st sign: The world isn't warming

Yes, the planet warmed about 0.7 degrees last century, but then halted.

Professor Richard Lindzen, arguably the world's most famous climate scientist, has argued for two years that "there has been no warming since 1997". Others date the pause as late as 2000.

Even the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admitted in its latest draft report that while its usual measurements of global temperature found some warming trends since 1998, "none of these are statistically significant".

2nd sign: The warming models are wrong

The weekend papers screamed alarm: "The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time in human history."

But wait. Lots more carbon dioxide, but no more warming? This isn't what we were told to expect.

See, predictions the world is heating dangerously are based on mathematical models of how the climate is meant to work. Add our emissions to the equation, and scientists are meant to figure how much the world should warm. But as Professor Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, told a US Congressional committee last month, those models guessed too high, and didn't predict pauses in warming longer than 17 years.

Ed Hawkins, of the University of Reading, found the global temperature since 2005 on the very lowest end of the widest range predicted by influential climate models.

3rd sign: Warming disasters aren't happening

In 2007, Chief Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery predicted "even the rain that falls isn't actually going to fill our dams and our river systems". But it did.

In 2001, the IPCC predicted "milder winter temperatures will decrease heavy snowstorms". But the US National Snow and Ice Data Center this year tried to claim global warming had now increased snowstorms in the US.

In 2008, Greens leader Bob Brown claimed data showed "drought is the new norm across Australia's greatest foodbowl", the Murray-Darling basin. But the drought quickly broke.

Same story with so many other scares. Al Gore was wrong - the critical glaciers of the Himalayas are not vanishing, with Bristol University researchers now finding "negligible mass loss". Nor are we getting more cyclones, bigger floods, worse diseases or greater famines, as some predicted.

4th sign: People are relaxing

People are now less prone to panic, as a Lowy Institute poll confirmed.

In 2006, two in three Australians thought global warming was so serious we should act now, even if it cost us plenty. Five years later, just one in three Australians thought that.

5th sign: The rest of the world is chilling, too

The Gillard Government told us it was not ahead of the world with its carbon tax. Other countries were just as scared of global warming and keen to stop it.

Rubbish. The US still won't agree to a national carbon tax, because voters won't wear it. China, the world's biggest emitter, doesn't have one either.

And Europe, home of the world's biggest carbon trading system, is now so broke and bored with global warming that the price of its permits has fallen to under $5, a fraction of our own $23 a tonne, leaving us looking like mugs.

6th sign: Even Labor hardly seems to care now

If the Gillard Government still believed "climate change is the great moral challenge of our generation", would it have tied our own carbon trading system from 2015 to Europe's, so permits could fall as pathetically low as $5?

Would it now be considering hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to green schemes in tomorrow's Budget?

7th sign: A bit of warming seems good for us

Global production of wheat, rice and corn have all doubled since 1970, when man-made global warming is said to have really taken off.

Perhaps it's because of better farming. But more warming also means more rain in most places, and more carbon dioxide means more plant food.

8th sign: Warming seems worth the price of getting richer

More carbon dioxide is what we get when lots more people become rich, helping themselves to more electricity and all things that use it.

That is why China's carbon dioxide emissions soared as it dragged hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. China now produces a quarter of the world's man-made gases and rising. It's the price of progress.

9th sign: "Stopping" warming isn't working

Australians pay a $9 billion-a-year carbon tax and billions more in subsidies for "green" technology.

If we keep paying these billions for the next seven years, what difference will we make to the world's temperature by the end of the century?

Australia's Professor Roger Jones, a warmist, says no more than 0.0038 degrees, and that's even assuming the climate models are right.

10th sign: Sceptical scientists now get a hearing

In 2007, ABC staff protested when the ABC decided to finally show one documentary questioning the warming scare, The Great Global Warming Swindle.

The ABC compromised. The screening was given a hostile introduction and was followed with an even more hostile panel session.

That's how hard it was for sceptical scientists to get a hearing.

That wall is now breaking. Dissent is being heard, with Professor Ian Plimer's sceptical Heaven and Earth alone selling more than 40,000 copies here.

Yes, the world may start warming again. Yes, our emissions may be partly to blame.

But, no, this great scare is unforgivable. It's robbed us of cash and, worse, our reason.

Thank God for the 10 signs that this madness is over.

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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13 May, 2013

Sorry Global Warmists, But Extreme Weather Events Are Becoming Less Extreme

Just about every type of extreme weather event is becoming less frequent and less severe in recent years as our planet continues its modest warming in the wake of the Little Ice Age. While global warming activists attempt to spin a narrative of ever-worsening weather, the objective facts tell a completely different story.

New Records for Lack of Tornadoes

New data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show the past 12 months set a record for the fewest tornadoes in recorded history. Not only did Mother Nature just set a record for lack of tornado activity, she absolutely shattered the previous record for fewest tornadoes in a 12-month period. During the past 12 months, merely 197 tornadoes struck the United States. Prior to this past year, the fewest tornadoes striking the United States during a 12-month period occurred from June 1991 through July 1992, when 247 tornadoes occurred.

The new tornado record is particularly noteworthy because of recent advances in tornado detection technology. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is able to detect more tornadoes in recent years than in prior decades due to technological advances. Even with such enhanced tornado detection capability, the past 12 months shattered all prior records for recorded tornadoes.

NOAA posted a list of the five “lowest non-overlapping 12 month counts on record from 1954-present.” Notably, each of these low-tornado periods occur since 1986, precisely during the time period global warming alarmists claim global warming is causing more extreme weather events such as tornadoes. According to NOAA, the lowest non-overlapping 12 month counts on record from 1954-present, with the starting month, are:

197 tornadoes – starting in May 2012

247 tornadoes – starting in June 1991

270 tornadoes – starting in November 1986

289 tornadoes – starting in December 2001

298 tornadoes – starting in June 2000

On a related note, a new record for the longest stretch of consecutive days without a tornado death occurred during 2012 and 2013.

New Records for Lack of Hurricanes

Hurricane inactivity is also setting all-time records. The United States is undergoing its longest stretch in recorded history without a major hurricane strike, with each passing day extending the unprecedented lack of severe hurricanes, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data.

It has been more than 2,750 days since a major hurricane struck the United States. This easily smashes the prior record of less than 2,300 days between major hurricane strikes.

Although global warming activists and their media allies often claim global warming is making extreme weather events more frequent and severe, virtually all extreme weather events are becoming less frequent and less severe as our planet gradually warms.

Droughts, Wildfires, Etc.

Pretty much all other extreme weather events are becoming less frequent and less severe, also. Soil moisture is in long-term improvement at nearly all sites in the Global Soil Moisture Data Bank. Droughts are less frequent and less severe than in prior, colder centuries. The number of wildfires is in long-term decline despite a recent change in wildfire policy that no longer actively suppresses wildfires. Just about any way you measure it, extreme weather events are becoming quite rare.

Anecdotes vs. Objective Data

Despite all this good news, a growing number of people believe global warming is causing an increase in extreme weather events. This is no accident. Fully aware of the objective facts, global warming activists are doing everything they can to distract people from the truth. Although extreme weather events are becoming less frequent, the Earth is a big place with a dynamic climate. There will always be some extreme weather events, even as they become less frequent and less severe. Global warming activists can always highlight some extreme weather event occurring somewhere on the planet and paint a false narrative that global warming must be to blame, even though extreme weather events are becoming rarer as the planet gradually warms and returns to pre-Little Ice Age norms.

Major hurricanes struck the U.S. Northeast on a fairly regular basis during the first half of the 20th century when temperatures were cooler. Now, as our planet warms, hurricanes of any sort almost never strike the U.S. Northeast. As a result, when even a minor hurricane like Sandy strikes the Northeast, it is a seemingly unheard of weather event. We can thank global warming for the fact that even a small hurricane like Sandy is a rare event in the U.S. Northeast. The same applies for tornadoes, droughts, etc.

Thank goodness science is conducted according to objective facts rather than activist propaganda!

SOURCE





The Donald is angry

For good reason



By Donald Trump

Next week, I have instructed my lawyers to launch an all-out challenge at the Scottish Supreme Court to ‘Mad Alex’, as I believe history will some day call Alex Salmond.

The First Minister’s obsession with turning his nation into the Saudi Arabia of ‘renewables’, as he refers to his plans for thousands of industrial windfarms, is a disgrace.

Windfarms are not only hideous, they kill birds and sea mammals, they destroy housing values, they are a danger to our health and tranquillity – and it is an absolute scam to claim that they save energy.

They raise electricity rates by at least four to five times. Much of England and Wales, like Scotland, is threatened by this unreliable, inefficient, discredited, obsolete technology, which continues to exist only because of enforced taxpayer subsidies. World opinion is turning against them because of the havoc they wreak.

There is a reason why banks don’t lend to build windfarms .??.??. they lose money.

This is a subject on which I reluctantly have become an expert: With the aid of a £34?million European Union grant, Mad Alex’s latest pet project is to be erected just off the beautiful stretch of coast where I am investing hundreds of millions of pounds in a major resort.

The Trump International Golf Links is much more than business to me. It is near and dear to my heart. My mother was born Mary MacLeod on the Isle of Lewis and grew up speaking Gaelic before she fell in love with my father, builder Fred C. Trump, during a holiday in New York.

For years, I dreamed of building a world-class golf facility in Scotland. It’s the home of golf, and there is no better links land in the world.

I felt that I was doing something special for my mother when I bought 1,400 acres north of Aberdeen. This was in 2006. Four years later, I learned that my dream was to be the latest victim of Mad Alex’s flawed ideas.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre will loom ominously from a platform in the North Sea just a mile and a half from my golf courses. Its sub-station will be built in the tiny nearby village of Blackdog, rendering that community unfit for healthy living.

Each of its 11 turbines will be 65 storeys high. That’s twice the height of Big Ben and eight storeys higher than Trump Tower, the Manhattan building that is my corporate headquarters and the setting for my US TV show, The Apprentice.

Because this windfarm is a ‘testing facility’, each turbine will be a different colour, shape and size. It will look like an industrial junk yard.

Mr Salmond says that windfarms ‘encourage tourism’, which shows the level of thinking, the kind of insane mentality we’re dealing with. People will come to Scotland to look into the trunk of one of these monsters? Faulty thinking.

It is ludicrous to even suggest that this horrible industrial zone would be compatible with a luxury resort that will eventually include hotels, restaurants and high-quality residences.

These turbines will be visible from the links and will be located so close that you will hear the whooshing of the blades. That is not a sound anyone wants to hear.

It will create a whole spectrum of health-and-safety issues, and when the sun hits the turbines it will cast shadows over wide areas of land in what is known as the ‘flicker effect’.

My company, the Trump Organisation, took out our first advert last year in Scotland to explain the destruction windfarms have wreaked elsewhere in the world.

Under the headline ‘Welcome to Scotland!’, it showed rusting wind turbines at a failed and closed windfarm on Hawaii and – using calculations made at the University of Strathclyde – warned: ‘Alex Salmond wants to build 8,750 of these monstrosities.’

Incredibly, the ad was banned by the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on the grounds that, although we made it clear that the photograph was not taken in Scotland, it gave a ‘misleading impression’.

The authority also claimed: ‘Although it was likely that some wind turbines would at some point in the future be decommissioned and others might stop working for a variety of reasons, we understood that Scottish regulations were in place to prevent the turbines from deteriorating to the condition shown in the photograph.’

It added that, if one believes Mad Alex’s government, a mere 5,645 turbines will be built, ‘significantly less than the claimed figure in the ad’. Actually, I believe the number will be over 12,000. Moreover, contrary to Mad Alex’s claim that this will create jobs in Britain, most of the equipment will be made in China.

We retaliated by taking out a second advert. Over a photograph of a bank of wind turbines that (as we plainly declared) stand on a hillside in California, we warned: ‘Is this the future for Scotland? Tourism will suffer and the beauty of your country is in jeopardy!’

The ad included a second image – of a smiling Alex Salmond. The intention was to shock and wake people up to a big problem. The politician who released a mass murderer – one of the world’s worst terrorists, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi – now was invading the Scottish countryside.

‘This is the same mind,’ we pointed out, ‘that backed the release of terrorist al-Megrahi “for humane reasons’’ – after he ruthlessly killed 270 people on Pan-Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie.’

We also gave Alex Salmond’s email address, for the benefit of those who might wish to exercise their constitutional right to join our protest. The ad was approved by the ASA’s sister organisation – the Committee of Advertisement Practice – and then, suddenly, it was banned.

I wondered: Is Scotland censored? Was Alex Salmond able to kill the ad? In what sounded uncannily like his words, the regulators said the photograph made windfarms look bad. I can tell you that the eyesore they are planning next to our resort will look much worse.

The windfarm in the advert is next to a busy American freeway. Can you imagine the blight that these turbines will impose on the peaceful and beautiful Aberdeenshire shores and bay?

The ASA also said it was ‘distasteful’ for me to draw parallels between Mr Salmond’s contempt for the wellbeing of the citizens of Scotland and the lack of compassion I believe he has exhibited for the victims of the Lockerbie atrocity and their families.

In the case we are filing next week in the Court of Session in Edinburgh, we intend to rebut this by seeking a judicial review of the decision to build the windfarm, in the hope that sanity will prevail and that the scheme will be scrapped.

We will lay down the full and embarrassing facts. We will reveal that, in this matter, the First Minister has been ruthless and cynical. He misled me and my company, even as he was secretly begging me to help him manipulate world opinion over the freeing of al-Megrahi.

I remember a dinner that the Scottish Government gave in October 2007 at Le Perigord, a New York restaurant. The invitation said it was to mark Mr Salmond’s first trip to the US as First Minister.

It was a small gathering and during the cocktail hour, my legal counsel, George Sorial, and I spoke at length with Mr Salmond about the possibility of a windfarm application and the First Minister promised us that this would not and could not happen.

If it were to be built close to land, it would interfere with shipping lanes, Mr Salmond said, and it would also interfere with military radar installations. No windfarms will be built there, he said.

My company continued to invest in the resort in good faith. It wasn’t until August 2009 that Mr Salmond began to show his true mindset. My son, Donald Trump Jr, and George got a call from the First Minister’s special adviser, Geoff Aberdein, lamenting the ‘terrible criticism’ over the release of al-Megrahi.

Mr Aberdein told them Mr Salmond wanted to phone me and ask me to support his decision. He said: ‘I’m going to send you a draft of a statement for Mr Trump to release.’

They emailed it over. It said: ‘It must have been a hugely difficult decision for the Scottish Government to make and, of course, for most of our own United States families who lost loved ones, it would always be impossible to accept.

‘However, I am certain that the Scots issued this release for good reasons and I would like to hope that it might help to break the cycle of violence around the world and replace it with reciprocal gestures.

‘In any event, it won’t stop my love affair with Scotland and the Scots. No one should ever demean that country. Too many Scottish soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan for the head of the FBI to lecture Scots on fighting terrorism.’

The statement was preposterous. I’m a New Yorker who lived through the September 11 attacks.

I couldn’t believe Mr Salmond would ask me to sign such a letter.

I am going to fight him for as long as it takes – to hell if I have to – and spend as much as it takes to block this useless and grotesque blot on our heritage.

By exposing the fallacy and danger of wind turbines, I will be honouring Mary MacLeod’s memory in an even more important way than building the greatest golf course anywhere in the world.

SOURCE






How Government Wrecked the Gas Can

The gas gauge broke. There was no smartphone app to tell me how much was left, so I ran out. I had to call the local gas station to give me enough to get on my way. The gruff but lovable attendant arrived in his truck and started to pour gas in my car’s tank. And pour. And pour.

“Hmmm, I just hate how slow these gas cans are these days,” he grumbled. “There’s no vent on them.”

That sound of frustration in this guy’s voice was strangely familiar, the grumble that comes when something that used to work but doesn’t work anymore, for some odd reason we can’t identify.

I’m pretty alert to such problems these days. Soap doesn’t work. Toilets don’t flush. Clothes washers don’t clean. Light bulbs don’t illuminate. Refrigerators break too soon. Paint discolors. Lawnmowers have to be hacked. It’s all caused by idiotic government regulations that are wrecking our lives one consumer product at a time, all in ways we hardly notice.

It’s like the barbarian invasions that wrecked Rome, taking away the gains we’ve made in bettering our lives. It’s the bureaucrats’ way of reminding market producers and consumers who is in charge.

Surely, the gas can is protected. It’s just a can, for goodness sake. Yet he was right. This one doesn’t have a vent. Who would make a can without a vent unless it was done under duress? After all, everyone knows to vent anything that pours. Otherwise, it doesn’t pour right and is likely to spill.

It took one quick search. The whole trend began in (wait for it) California. Regulations began in 2000, with the idea of preventing spillage. The notion spread and was picked up by the EPA, which is always looking for new and innovative ways to spread as much human misery as possible.

An ominous regulatory announcement from the EPA came in 2007: “Starting with containers manufactured in 2009… it is expected that the new cans will be built with a simple and inexpensive permeation barrier and new spouts that close automatically.”

The government never said “no vents.” It abolished them de facto with new standards that every state had to adopt by 2009. So for the last three years, you have not been able to buy gas cans that work properly. They are not permitted to have a separate vent. The top has to close automatically. There are other silly things now, too, but the biggest problem is that they do not do well what cans are supposed to do.

And don’t tell me about spillage. It is far more likely to spill when the gas is gurgling out in various uneven ways, when one spout has to both pour and suck in air. That’s when the lawn mower tank becomes suddenly full without warning, when you are shifting the can this way and that just to get the stuff out.

There’s also the problem of the exploding can. On hot days, the plastic models to which this regulation applies can blow up like balloons. When you release the top, gas flies everywhere, including possibly on a hot engine. Then the trouble really begins.

Never heard of this rule? You will know about it if you go to the local store. Most people buy one or two of these items in the course of a lifetime, so you might otherwise have not encountered this outrage.

Yet let enough time go by. A whole generation will come to expect these things to work badly. Then some wise young entrepreneur will have the bright idea, “Hey, let’s put a hole on the other side so this can work properly.” But he will never be able to bring it into production. The government won’t allow it because it is protecting us!

It’s striking to me that the websites and institutions that complain about government involvement in our lives never mentioned this, at least not so far as I can tell. The only sites that seem to have discussed this are the boating forums and the lawn forums. These are the people who use these cans more than most. The level of anger and vitriol is amazing to read, and every bit of it is justified.

There is no possible rationale for these kinds of regulations. It can’t be about emissions really, since the new cans are more likely to result in spills. It’s as if some bureaucrat were sitting around thinking of ways to make life worse for everyone, and hit upon this new, cockamamie rule.

These days, government is always open to a misery-making suggestion. The notion that public policy would somehow make life better is a relic of days gone by. It’s as if government has decided to specialize in what it is best at and adopt a new principle: “Let’s leave social progress to the private sector; we in the government will concentrate on causing suffering and regress.”

You are already thinking of hacks. Why not just stab the thing with a knife and be done with it? If you have to transport the can in the car, that’s a problem. You need a way to plug the vent with something.

Some boating forums have suggested drilling a hole and putting a tire stem in there and using the screw top as the way to close the hole. Great idea. Just what I wanted to do with my Saturday afternoon, hacking the gas can to make it work exactly as well as it did three years ago, before government wrecked it.

You can also buy an old-time metal can. It turns out that special regulations pertain here, too, and it’s all about the spout, which is not easy to fill. They are also unusually expensive. I’m not sure that either of these options is ideal.

It fascinates me to see how these regulations give rise to market-based workarounds. I’ve elsewhere called this the speak-easy economy. The government bans something. No one likes the ban. People are determined to get on with their lives, regardless. They step outside the narrow bounds of the law.

It wouldn’t surprise me to find, for example, a sudden proliferation of heavy-duty “water cans” in 1- and 5-gallon sizes, complete with nice spouts and vents, looking almost exactly like the gas cans you could get anywhere just a few years ago. How very interesting to discover this.

Of course, this law-abiding writer would never advocate buying one of these and using it for some purpose other than what is written on the package. Doing something like that would show profound disrespect for our betters in the bureaucracies. And if I did suggest something like that, there’s no telling the trouble that it would bring down on my head.

Ask yourself this: If they can wreck such a normal and traditional item like this, and do it largely under the radar screen, what else have they mandatorily malfunctioned? How many other things in our daily lives have been distorted, deformed and destroyed by government regulations?

If some product annoys you in surprising ways, there’s a good chance that it is not the invisible hand at work, but rather the regulatory grip that is squeezing the life out of civilization itself.

SOURCE





The Way Nature Intended

It turns out there’s an entire magazine aimed at sucking the joy out of parenthood. It’s called Green Child. Apparently, we aren’t smart enough to teach kids to respect Mother Earth all on our own. We need a preachy periodical to show us the way. A periodical whose mission is to help us “raise a child the way nature intended.”

I find that statement astonishing. Allow me to explain. Shortly after it appeared back in 1980, I read a book titled The Sceptical Feminist. It left an indelible imprint on my thinking.

For thousands of years, women were considered intellectually inferior to men. Our great-grandmothers were told that nature was responsible for this state of affairs, and that fighting for property or voting rights was therefore unnatural.

Shamefully, many feminists now employ similarly specious reasoning. For example, they believe women should get custody of the kids when a marriage breaks down because nature made the mother-child bond more intense than the father-child bond.

Rigorous thinking shining from every page, The Sceptical Feminist eviscerates this sort of shoddy analysis. In Radcliffe Richards’ view, equating what’s “natural” with virtue amounts to a cheap debating trick.

Chapter 2 is titled The Proper Place of Nature. Several pages in, Section 5 is headed: An Analysis of the Natural. Like a splash of cold water, it asks: "why should it be considered good to act naturally? The natural world contains quite as much evil as good."

Surely anyone who has spent an afternoon watching the Nature Channel has figured this out. Wild animals terrorize their prey before tearing it to pieces. Nature is vicious, cruel, heartless.

It is civilized human beings who believe that the weak, the sick, and the old deserve protection. Nature destroys those beings first. She cares not whether we suffer, whether we live or perish.

Getting to the heart of the matter, Radcliffe Richards challenges the “what nature intended” promoters to turn their backs on modern medicine. Dying in childbirth is perfectly natural. So is suffering brain damage due to infections such as syphilis.

In her words: "This sort of arguing from the natural is an unmitigated menace. If the people who use [these] arguments come to the right conclusions, it is entirely by accident and for the wrong reasons."

Amen to that.

Today is Mother’s Day here in Canada. A female acquaintance has long argued that green initiatives aimed at altering people’s everyday behaviour are another manifestation of busybodies using maternal guilt to push their own agendas.

Breast milk rather than formula. Cloth diapers rather than disposable ones. Homemade baby food rather than the sort that comes in jars. Packaging your child’s school lunch in a washable plastic container rather than a disposal sandwich bag.

Far too many decisions that should be matters of personal choice have become emotionally-charged opportunities for strangers to boss parents around. My friend is especially resentful of people whose “green solutions” invariably increase the amount of time the average mother spends on mind-numblingly boring tasks.

There’s a growing mountain of evidence, for example, that curbside, consumer recycling is close to pointless. In some respects, it’s actually worse for the environment. But every week millions of mothers sort (and, in the case of empty cans and jars, wash) their family’s refuse.

As if they had nothing better to do with that most non-renewable resource of all – their limited time on this Earth.

SOURCE





Greenie hatred of the world they live in on display

They really do want to impoverish us. Warmist Louise Gray writes below

At the moment the UK is committed to cutting greenhouse gases by a third by 2020.

However a new report from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research said these targets are inadequate to keep global warming below two degrees C above pre-industrial levels.

The report says the only way to avoid going beyond the dangerous tipping point is to double the target to 70 per cent by 2020.

This would mean reducing the size of the economy through a "planned recession".

Kevin Anderson, director of the research body, said the building of new airports, petrol cars and dirty coal-fired power stations will have to be halted in the UK until new technology provides an alternative to burning fossil fuels.

"To meet [Government] targets of not exceeding two degrees C, there would have to be a moratorium on airport expansion, stringent measures on the type of vehicle being used and a rapid transition to low carbon technology," he said.

Prof Anderson also said individuals will have to consume less.

"For most of the population it would mean fairly modest changes to how they live, maybe they will drive less, share a car to work or take more holidays in Britain."

More than 190 countries are due to meet in Copenhagen in December to decide a new international deal on climate change.

Speaking at an Oxford University conference on the threat of climate change, Profjkj Anderson said rich countries will have to make much more ambitious cuts to have any chance of keeping temperature rise below four degrees C.

"If we do everything we can do then we might have a chance," he said.

SOURCE






In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

The demonized chemical compound is a boon to plant life and has little correlation with global temperature

By Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer:

Of all of the world's chemical compounds, none has a worse reputation than carbon dioxide. Thanks to the single-minded demonization of this natural and essential atmospheric gas by advocates of government control of energy production, the conventional wisdom about carbon dioxide is that it is a dangerous pollutant. That's simply not the case. Contrary to what some would have us believe, increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will benefit the increasing population on the planet by increasing agricultural productivity.

The cessation of observed global warming for the past decade or so has shown how exaggerated NASA's and most other computer predictions of human-caused warming have been—and how little correlation warming has with concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. As many scientists have pointed out, variations in global temperature correlate much better with solar activity and with complicated cycles of the oceans and atmosphere. There isn't the slightest evidence that more carbon dioxide has caused more extreme weather.

The current levels of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere, approaching 400 parts per million, are low by the standards of geological and plant evolutionary history. Levels were 3,000 ppm, or more, until the Paleogene period (beginning about 65 million years ago). For most plants, and for the animals and humans that use them, more carbon dioxide, far from being a "pollutant" in need of reduction, would be a benefit. This is already widely recognized by operators of commercial greenhouses, who artificially increase the carbon dioxide levels to 1,000 ppm or more to improve the growth and quality of their plants.

Using energy from sunlight—together with the catalytic action of an ancient enzyme called rubisco, the most abundant protein on earth—plants convert carbon dioxide from the air into carbohydrates and other useful molecules. Rubisco catalyzes the attachment of a carbon-dioxide molecule to another five-carbon molecule to make two three-carbon molecules, which are subsequently converted into carbohydrates. (Since the useful product from the carbon dioxide capture consists of three-carbon molecules, plants that use this simple process are called C3 plants.) C3 plants, such as wheat, rice, soybeans, cotton and many forage crops, evolved when there was much more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than today. So these agricultural staples are actually undernourished in carbon dioxide relative to their original design.

At the current low levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, rubisco in C3 plants can be fooled into substituting oxygen molecules for carbon-dioxide molecules. But this substitution reduces the efficiency of photosynthesis, especially at high temperatures. To get around the problem, a small number of plants have evolved a way to enrich the carbon-dioxide concentration around the rubisco enzyme, and to suppress the oxygen concentration. Called C4 plants because they utilize a molecule with four carbons, plants that use this evolutionary trick include sugar cane, corn and other tropical plants.

Although C4 plants evolved to cope with low levels of carbon dioxide, the workaround comes at a price, since it takes additional chemical energy. With high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, C4 plants are not as productive as C3 plants, which do not have the overhead costs of the carbon-dioxide enrichment system.

That's hardly all that goes into making the case for the benefits of carbon dioxide. Right now, at our current low levels of carbon dioxide, plants are paying a heavy price in water usage. Whether plants are C3 or C4, the way they get carbon dioxide from the air is the same: The plant leaves have little holes, or stomata, through which carbon dioxide molecules can diffuse into the moist interior for use in the plant's photosynthetic cycles.

The density of water molecules within the leaf is typically 60 times greater than the density of carbon dioxide in the air, and the diffusion rate of the water molecule is greater than that of the carbon-dioxide molecule.

So depending on the relative humidity and temperature, 100 or more water molecules diffuse out of the leaf for every molecule of carbon dioxide that diffuses in. And not every carbon-dioxide molecule that diffuses into a leaf gets incorporated into a carbohydrate. As a result, plants require many hundreds of grams of water to produce one gram of plant biomass, largely carbohydrate.

Driven by the need to conserve water, plants produce fewer stomata openings in their leaves when there is more carbon dioxide in the air. This decreases the amount of water that the plant is forced to transpire and allows the plant to withstand dry conditions better.

Crop yields in recent dry years were less affected by drought than crops of the dust-bowl droughts of the 1930s, when there was less carbon dioxide. Nowadays, in an age of rising population and scarcities of food and water in some regions, it's a wonder that humanitarians aren't clamoring for more atmospheric carbon dioxide. Instead, some are denouncing it.

We know that carbon dioxide has been a much larger fraction of the earth's atmosphere than it is today, and the geological record shows that life flourished on land and in the oceans during those times. The incredible list of supposed horrors that increasing carbon dioxide will bring the world is pure belief disguised as science.

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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12 May, 2013

Let's have a laugh at Peter Gleick

Despite his acknowleged thievery a little while ago, Peter Gleick seems to be back in the good books of Warmists. Why not? Dishonesty is part and parcel of Warmism.

Peter hasn't got any brighter, though. He is one of the chorus noting the latest figures from Mauna Loa which catalog the relentless rise of atmospheric CO2 -- a rise which is already benefiting third world agriculture as plants find it easier to drag in their basic building blocks. The steady rise at Mauna Loa has passed what Warmists seem to see (for no obvious scientific reason) as a watershed mark -- the level of 400ppm. So Peter seems to be having a bit of an orgasm over this particular point in the rise of CO2

Peter fails to come to grips with another fact, however: That temperature is not rising too. Wasn't a CO2 rise supposed to cause a temperature rise? Wasn't that the basic thesis of Warmism? So if the present CO2 level is so remarkable, isn't it equally remarkable that temperature has not risen too? Surely what we are looking at is a remarkable disproof of Warmism?

And here's another bit of logic that seems to have slipped past Pete: His headine is "The Last Time Atmospheric CO2 was at 400 parts per million Humans Didn’t Exist". Taking that at face value, doesn't it show that humans are NOT the cause of the present "high" level of CO2? Last time we reached that level there were NO people! If both no people and 7.5 billion people (the present world population) produce the same level of CO2, where has the correlation between CO2 levels and human meddling gone? The data throw out the door another correlation central to Warmism. No correlation means no causal relationship. Even David Hume conceded that. "High" CO2 levels were natural last time so why not this time? Humans are not needed in the equation at all.

By his example, Peter shows clearly that Warmism rots the brain -- JR





Farewell to hedgehogs? Numbers in Britain plummet from 36million in 1950 to just one million

It's utter rot to attribute this to the weather. The real cause is a huge loss of hedgerow habitats in Britain as old fields are combined into large units suitable for fully mechanized farming. Any way, since there has been no warming, nothing can be attributed to it. It's just laziness to blame everything on global warming.

The number of birds and hedgehogs in the UK has fallen dramatically as a result of climate change and extreme weather, according to a new report.

The hedgehog population has dropped from 36million in 1950 to just one million today meaning the species is facing the same rapid decline as the tiger.

During the last 50 years numbers of birds have also fallen by 44million.

Warmer winters have affected species including hedgehogs and dormice, causing them to come out of hibernation at the wrong time of year.

Populations of wildfowl birds including Berwick’s swans, which winter in the UK, have also declined, while the Peak District’s golden plover is vulnerable as warmer conditions reduce the crane flies available for chicks to feed on.

Thousands of puffins starved to death this year after the coldest March on record for 50 years.

A new report by Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) has drawn together the latest evidence to provide information on the impact of climate change on the countryside now and in the future.

Many spring events, from frog spawning to leaves appearing on trees, bird eggs hatching and flowers blossoming are happening earlier, with the danger that the life-cycles of dependent species are becoming out of sync, the ‘terrestrial biodiversity climate change impacts report card’ drawn up for the government said.

The report also revealed many dragonflies, butterflies and woodlice are moving their ranges north, while new species of insect have colonised the UK from Europe.

And mountain plants which are adapted to colder conditions are at risk from a warming climate, as warmth-loving species colonise their habitats in response to higher temperatures.

But higher winter temperatures in the past two decades have contributed to higher survival rates among some breeding bird species, the report card said.

Climate change is also responsible for new pests and diseases which are having a major impact on the UK’s trees.

Trees are being hit by dangers such as the oak processionary moth, which can cause breathing problems in people.

And the UK’s climate will become more suitable to invasive pests and diseases, including those which have an impact on a wide range of native plant species, the report said.

Dr Mike Morecroft, from Natural England, who led the development of the overview, said: ‘This report card shows strong evidence from a large number of different scientific studies that the natural world has started to respond to climate change over the last few decades.

‘It also shows the range and complexity of these changes: some species and habitats are much more sensitive than others.

‘This is a challenge for conservation and we need to adapt our approach to reduce the risks and take advantage of any opportunities.

‘It is also another wake-up call about the seriousness of tackling climate change.’

SOURCE







Prince Harry's concern over 'visual impact' of wind farms



Prince Harry has voiced concerns about the visual impact of wind farms during his tour of America (note the usual adoring female in the background)

His comments came as he attended a reception in Denver on Friday night and his views are apparently shared by his father the Prince of Wales.

The event was hosted by Beverley Simpson, British consul general for Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming, and among the guests was four-time Olympic gold medal winning swimmer Missy Franklin.

Susan Reilly, chief executive officer of Renewable Energy Systems Americas, said after speaking to the prince that she had to reassure Harry about the benefits of wind turbines – just as she'd done with his father.

She said: "Prince Harry said he was worried about their visual impact, I told him that I had met his father some years ago and when we discussed wind farms he shared his concerns.

"But as with Prince Charles, I pointed out that we need to strike a balance between their visual impact and the need for renewable energy for future generations."

Harry's comments will be seized upon by critics of wind farms who have labelled them a blot on the landscape.

The Prince's grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh reportedly raised other concerns about the renewable energy source in 2011, labelling them totally reliant on subsidies.

When Esbjorn Wilmar, managing director of the wind farm firm Infinergy, suggested to the Duke at a reception that he should build wind turbines on royal land, he said Philip told him "they were absolutely useless, completely reliant on subsidies and an absolute disgrace".

The Department for Energy and Climate Change hopes that offshore wind farms can provide up to 15% of electric needs by 2020.

But that will require around £8 billion of investment in transmission infrastructure such as platforms, cables and substations.

SOURCE






Britain's great green bribe: Say Yes to a windfarm in your neighbourhood and get 20% off your power bill

Homeowners who live within a mile of proposed wind turbines could be offered a 20 per cent discount on their electricity bills in an attempt to reduce opposition to the green technology.

Residents could also get university fee bursaries, village halls and even free home improvements as part of attempts to allow communities to ‘see the windfarms and the windfall’.

They are part of a package of measures planned by Energy Secretary Ed Davey after he was impressed by a ‘local tariff’ scheme pioneered in Cornwall.

Those living within 1.2 miles of the Delabole wind farm now qualify for a fifth off bills – saving the average customer about £100 a year.

The Government hopes asking firms to provide community benefits will stifle planning objections for new developments, despite critics calling them ‘bribes for blight’.

‘Onshore wind has an important role to play in a diverse energy mix that is secure, low carbon and affordable,’ said Mr Davey. ‘We know that two-thirds of people support the growth of onshore wind.

‘But far too often, host communities have seen the wind farms but not the windfall. We are sensitive to the controversy around onshore wind and we want to ensure that people benefit from having wind farms sited near to them. In the next few weeks we will be publishing the results of our call for evidence, which has looked at ways to reward host communities and ensure that wider investment, employment and social benefits are felt locally.’

Millions of households could miss out on energy savings of more than £100 after ministers delayed the roll-out of so-called smart meters by more than a year.

The £11.7billion scheme to install the devices in 30million homes from next summer has been hit by technical issues.

Families are paying higher power bills in order to finance the project, but now many will have to wait longer to reap the benefits.

The technology ends estimated bills by supplying precise gas and electricity readings over the mobile phone network. Families could also be helped to cut spending on power as they see meter readings in pounds and pence.

Some estimates put average savings at £65 per year based on a 5 per cent reduction in energy usage, while others have calculated savings as high as £130 on a 10 per cent cut in domestic usage.

Tom Lyon, of uSwitch.com, called it a ‘blow’ to consumers, but Energy and Climate Change Minister Baroness Verma said the industry had to ‘get it right’ before introducing the meters.

Ministers also plan to adopt a similar approach to the development of new nuclear power stations and ‘fracking’ rigs that extract underground reserves of shale gas.Mr Davey is understood to be particularly attracted to the idea of discounted electricity bills as a way of neutralising the political backlash against developments after the expansion of onshore wind power has become a major source of tension in the coalition.

The Government has set a target of increasing the amount of power generated by onshore wind farms to 13 gigawatts by 2020, with about 3,800 turbines currently constructed. But although approvals for onshore windfarms have reached record levels and the 2020 target is on course, ministers have announced a 10 per cent cut to subsidies following a shift in policy.

Meanwhile, wind farm developers are being urged by ministers to increase the amount of community benefits to win over locals because there have been so many complaints about the impact on the landscape. Along with lower energy bills, each household close to the Delabole wind farm also gets a ‘windfall’ credit of up to £50 every year that the turbines exceed their expected performance.

Power company Good Energy now runs what was Britain’s first commercial wind farm when it opened in 1991.

Company boss Juliet Davenport said: ‘Wind power has a huge role to play in meeting the UK’s future energy needs, and we think that it’s only right that our local communities should be recognised for their contribution to tackling climate change and reducing the UK’s reliance on expensive imported fossil fuels.’

At the recently-opened Kelburn wind farm, near Largs, Scotland, the community is paid £1,600 per installed megawatt – or £44,000 a year.

Caroline Flint, shadow secretary for energy and climate change, said the community benefits scheme was a form of ‘bribery’ that would reinforce the dominance of big energy companies.

Labour favours a German model that allows local communities to own renewable energy developments and keep all the benefits.

SOURCE






Europe's Green Central Planning

State intervention to protect one industry begets intervention to protect another

The European Union looks set to join the U.S. in imposing punitive duties on imports of solar panels from China. It's the typical start of a trade war, but it's also a parable about the costs and complications of the "green economy."

As reported in this newspaper, EU trade chief Karel De Gucht this week proposed tariffs ranging from 37.3% to 67.9% on solar panels and panel components sold by Chinese firms. In the last few years, Chinese imports have come to represent 80% of Europe's market for photovoltaic equipment. European makers, many of them German, have been squeezed at a time when demand in Europe for solar power is booming.

But it's worth remembering why this market is booming in the first place. Since 2000, Germany has subsidized green power via "feed-in tariffs," which guarantee renewable-energy producers an above-market price for their electricity output. The cost of these subsidies is covered by a surcharge on household energy bills. Other EU countries, including Spain and the U.K., have adopted the German model for their green power initiatives.

The amount of Germany's feed-in tariffs is supposed to decrease every month as renewable-energy volume increases and green power gradually becomes more competitive with fossil fuels. But that's contingent on renewable-energy producers requiring less government support to stay in business. So the least the Commission could do is keep costs low for these firms and individuals.

No such luck. Duties on Chinese panel imports will mean higher up-front costs for solar generation in Germany, which could in turn mean higher electricity bills for households and businesses if Berlin decides to compensate energy producers by increasing feed-in tariff payments.

Import tariffs will, however, be a fillip for those beleaguered European photovoltaic-panel makers. The Bonn-based firm SolarWorld helped launch the anti-dumping complaints that led to duties last year by the U.S. Commerce Department and now by the European Commission.

SolarWorld is embroiled in a major debt restructuring and is petitioning Qatar for a lifeline. The company's stock closed up 9% after Wednesday's reports that the tariffs will be in place by next month.

The protectionist outburst comes at an awkward moment for Europe. Officials in Brussels and Berlin are urging the Continent's governments to improve their economic competitiveness—while insulating a particular European industry, a German-dominated one no less, from competition. It's becoming clear that Europe's "green economy" can be sustained only through constant state intervention, with subsidies and protections for one industry leading to subsidies and protections for others as the market distortions pile up.

There's a name for this sort of economic policy. It's called central planning.

SOURCE





Exaggerated Greenpeace Ad dumped in Australia

The Nine Network has been accused by Greenpeace of buckling under pressure from the beverage industry for the last-minute yanking of an ad promoting recycling from its Friday night football coverage.

A 45-second version of the ad on YouTube has been among the most popular in Australia, with more than half a million views since its launch this week.

It features people sipping soft drinks on the beach, as birds drop from the sky and wash up dead, with discarded plastic blamed.
Coke and birds

Birds and beverages don't go together, Greenpeace says.

"[The network] took the money and now they've bottled it,” Greenpeace campaigner Reece Turner said.

"There's something seriously wrong when TV networks are happy to show gambling, rape and pillage, but are too afraid to air an ad for recycling."

Mr Turner said the environmental group had taken pains to ensure the ad did not breach copyright rules and avoided the display of company logos. The online version of the ad, though, briefly shows the Coca-Cola brand.

Greenpeace paid $22,000 for the half-minute slot, to be aired during Friday night's NRL match between Wests Tigers and Cronulla Sharks. NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell is known to be a keen Tigers fan, and Greenpeace said it was aiming to get his attention ahead of a key meeting on a national recycling plan by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

'Offensive'

For its part, Nine said it dropped the ad after deciding its content was "offensive".

"We had no issue in taking the original booking from Greenpeace but on reviewing the content we deemed it to be offensive to our viewers and so advised the client we would not proceed with the placement on the network," said Peter Wiltshire, Nine Network director of sales and marketing. "We have refunded the original deposit."

Coca-Cola Amatil referred requests for comment to the Nine Network.

The US soft drinks giant, along with other beverage makers, has opposed a national recycling scheme modelled on South Australia's plan.

That state pays a 10¢ refund on most cans and bottles in a scheme that has operated for about 35 years. Versions of the scheme have lately won support elsewhere in Australia.

The decision on taking SA's plan nationally "really lies with O'Farrell", said Mr Turner. "We think if O'Farrell comes out in support of this scheme, we could have a national roll-out."

James Mathews, a spokesman for the Australian Food and Grocery Council, said its members – including Coca-Cola – were in favour of a national recycling scheme, but not one requiring container deposits.

Mr Mathews said the option was “a lot more expensive” than other measures, such as an expansion of roadside collection points – one of 10 programs being reviewed by COAG.

The "National Bin Network" would cost as little as $51 million compared with $1.76 billion for the deposit scheme. Average household grocery costs would rise 1.35 per cent under the latter plan, and have twice the inflationary impact of the carbon price, Mr Mathews said.

Greenpeace and its actions "put Evel Knievel to shame for the stunts that they perform", he said, referring to the late American daredevil.

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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10 May, 2013

Low quality theological dispute over global warming

The quality of the exegetical reasoning by the Democrat is as we would expect. He looks at each text only through the red prism of his conviction that global warming is a threat. He calls climate skepticism "iniquity" and "fruit of lies", for instance. Looking at the texts in their own context is beyond him

In a nearly 17-minute speech on Wednesday evening, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) blasted an unnamed senator for saying God would protect the Earth from climate change.

“I was recently at a Senate hearing where I heard a member of our Senate community say, ‘God won’t allow us to ruin our planet,’” he remarked on the Senate floor. “Maybe that is why we do nothing.”

Whitehouse said the senator and others who thought similarly were seeking “magical deliverance from our troubles, not divine guidance through our troubles.” He cited numerous biblical passages that contradicted the notion that God “cleaned up” for human’s thoughtless and misguided actions.

“We are warned in the Bible not to plow iniquity, not to eat the fruit of lies,” Whitehouse said. “Where in the Bible are we assured of safety if we do? I see no assurances of that.”

“So why then, when we ignore his plain, natural laws, when we ignore the obvious conclusions to be drawn by our God-given intellect and reason, why then would God, the tidy-up God, drop in and spare us?” he added. “Why would he allow an innocent child to burn its hand when it touches the hot stove but protect us from this lesson? Why would he allow a badly engineered bridge or building to fall, killing innocent people, but protect us from this mistake?”

Whitehouse concluded that ignoring climate change was not only bad public policy, it was also immoral. He said God would not grant humanity amnesty from its own folly.

SOURCE





Automakers warn new ethanol mandate could damage vehicles

Automakers warn the government's ethanol mandate could damage vehicles if it continues to grow. "We just feel that it is not safe for the consumer. It's not safe for their engines," said Charles Drevna, executive president of American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers.

The questions about ethanol arise after Congress first mandated it in 2007. Ninety-six percent of gasoline sold in the U.S. is now 10 percent ethanol, a high-octane fuel derived from corn. But under that bill and rules favored by the Environmental Protection Agency, refiners are now being forced to blend up to 15 percent ethanol into gasoline sold at stations around the U.S.

The auto industry, though, says E-15 -- as the blend is known -- corrodes pumps, fuel lines and injectors. And manufacturers say they won't cover damages caused by the higher blend.

The American Automobile Association agrees. "Ninety-five percent of today's cars are not suited for E-15 based on what people who make those cars say," said AAA CEO Robert Darbelnet.

The ethanol lobby claims automakers and refiners are overreacting. "E-15 has been sold in this country for the past nine months with no issues whatsoever. This is a lot of hysteria that's being driven by the oil companies," said Bob Dinneen, head of the Renewable Fuels Association.

While there have been no issues reported so far, the new blend has only been sold in a handful of stations in the Midwest. But refiners are mandated to use 13.8 billion gallons ethanol this year requiring the 15 percent blend. The EPA says it is safe for cars built after 2001, but acknowledges it is inappropriate for boats and small motors, including lawnmowers and chainsaws.

Automakers advise new owners not to fill up on E-15 and say doing so may violate warranty terms, leaving customers to pay costly repair bills. Toyota and Lexus even placed warning labels on gas caps and owner's manual instructions caution not to use E-15.

"We think ethanol is a pretty good product, up to a point," said Drevna. "But when Congress mandates such massive quantities that we can't put into the fuel system, that the autos and the lawnmowers people and the marine manufacturers are saying 'We won't warranty, we won't put this in our engines, there is a problem'."

Ethanol supporters dispute that and claim studies back them up. Ethanol blends of 25 percent have been used for years in Brazil with no ill effects on the same cars sold in the U.S.

"We support what the EPA did because we know that E-15 is safe for the vehicles for which they have approved," said Dinneen."Let the marketplace decide. Let consumers that have a newer vehicle, that want to use E-15, give them the choice. If they want to use E-15 because it is lower cost, because it's domestically produced, because it's the only thing we have that's going to reduce greenhouse gases, then they ought to have that choice."

After a lengthy comment period, the EPA is expected to decide soon whether or not to relax the blend mandate. Some lawmakers are considering similar legislation should the EPA fail to do so. Right now, it is a lobbying war pitting farmers against oil refiners and automakers.

"Look, this is pretty simple," said Dinneen. "It's about a battle for the barrel. Ethanol, renewable fuels, have been phenomenally successful over the last several years, and we are now 10 percent of the U.S. motor fuel market. And the refiners are saying, 'no more'. They don't want to see E-15 succeed. I think the American public still understands the value in reducing our dependence on imported oil and seeing more domestic renewable fuels used."

SOURCE






Obama’s Green Jobs Chief Resigns

The Labor Department chieftain responsible for the Obama Administration’s much-maligned green labor grants program has resigned effective May 31. Jane Oates oversaw a multi-billion budget for the Labor Department’s Employment Training Administration, the largest within the Department, overseeing such varied programs as Job Corps, the issuance of employment VISAs, and the nationwide network of career centers authorized under the Workforce Investment Act.

Recently, Oates has come under fire for the alleged mismanagement of the Job Corps program which was forced to freeze enrollments for three months due to overspending budgeted funds. Democratic Senator Robert Casey conducted a hearing in March featuring Oates and others trying to get to the bottom of the management failure and was left with more questions than answers.

Oates also became embroiled in controversy when her Agency awarded federal aid packages worth approximately $13,000 to former Solyndra employees, certifying that they were displaced due to foreign competition. Readers will recall that Solyndra was the California solar panel manufacturer which went out of business losing more than $500 million in taxpayer funds, becoming the symbol of Obama’s green energy investment failure.

Over the years, Oates has been an ardent advocate for the value of green job training programs awarding almost $400 million in green job grants, but has failed over the course of her four year tenure to show how a relationship between the training the Department provided and people getting jobs.

An Inspector General’s report released in October 2012 showed that under Oates’ leadership, the green jobs programs failed to meet many of the key metrics of success. Under the green jobs training programs only 38 percent of those who completed green job training getting jobs based upon that training, and a stunningly low 16 percent still had the job six months later.

Auditors for the Inspector General’s office very generously and maybe even sardonically reported, “Outcomes for participants were far less than originally proposed.”

OveThe agency she oversaw doled out billions of dollars in grants to targeted beneficiaries tasked with providing job training programs during her tenure.

No replacement is expected to be announced until after the Senate decides whether to confirm or reject Obama Labor Department Secretary nominee Thomas Perez.

SOURCE




Holding Energy Captive

For decades, Americans have been told of the evils of importing energy. It sends our money abroad, the argument goes, makes us vulnerable to supply disruptions, strengthens our enemies and weakens the economy.

Now, though, the tide is turning. Domestic natural gas production is booming. Not only will we no longer have to import the stuff, we'll actually have enough to start exporting. But to hear some people tell it, the only thing worse than importing energy is exporting energy.

Among those who have their doubts about this prospect is President Barack Obama. Current law requires the federal government to approve all sales of U.S. gas abroad, and that's not a sure thing. "I've got to make a decision -- an executive decision broadly about whether or not we export liquefied natural gas at all," he said recently.

Some congressional Democrats are discouraging him. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon warns that "major gas consumers could find themselves hit hard with energy price hikes and forced to sideline job-creating efforts" if producers can sell to just anyone. Shipping our homegrown supplies abroad "makes no sense," says Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

Really? Usually when politicians talk about international trade, it's to decry imports and cheer exports. But these senators act as though letting natural gas leave U.S. soil will sap our vital essence.

Some corporations also oppose what they call "unfettered exports." Among them are Dow Chemical, Alcoa, Nucor and Eastman Chemical. They argue that selling American natural gas to Americans is good but selling it to foreigners is bad. They fret that foreign buyers will bid up the price of something they buy in great quantity.

The correct response to that fear is: So what? It's not the job of the federal government to intervene to depress prices of a commodity just because someone prefers cheap supplies. We don't forbid exports of wheat to control bread prices. We don't ban exports of electronics to keep Best Buy in business.

Every dollar that export controls save one corporation is a dollar that gas producers won't get. There is no compelling reason for the Energy Department to favor one over the other. If buyers in Europe are willing to pay more for gas, American petroleum companies should be free to sell to them.

Dow complains that exports could "disrupt natural gas supply and pricing." It has not, however, objected to the "disruptions" that in the past five years have increased supply while slashing prices by two-thirds.

Besides, it's not clear that allowing sales abroad would have much impact on American purchasers. The Energy Department says that if exports climb, prices could increase by a quarter over the next five years. But that would leave them considerably below the levels that prevailed before 2008.

Our usual approach in matters like these is to let prices be determined by the free interplay of supply and demand. If American gas companies can get a better return selling abroad, who is the government to stop them? If a foreigner offered you the highest price for your house, would you want someone in Washington to veto the deal?

Some environmental groups oppose gas exports out of fear that more gas means more ecological damage. But utilities that rely on gas emit far less carbon dioxide than those that use coal. The U.S. shift to gas has already cut our greenhouse emissions to the lowest level since 1994.

As for any damage from hydraulic fracturing used to extract gas, exports are irrelevant. It occurs regardless of where the gas is sold. The right way to address it is by penalizing companies that contaminate groundwater or cause other destruction.

Behind the opposition to gas exports is the suspicion that shipping a vital commodity to foreigners instead of keeping it for ourselves must be a mistake. But international trade is built on people in each country producing and selling what people elsewhere want.

It's hard to argue that Middle Eastern oil states are exploiting us when they sell us fuel -- and that Europeans will also be exploiting us when they buy it. In reality, no one is getting hosed in either instance. The exchanges occur because they benefit both parties.

That's especially obvious in the case of natural gas exports. But some politicians have a gift for missing the value of trade. They call to mind H.L. Mencken's definition of a cynic: "A man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin."

SOURCE






Canadian follies questioned

"Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver should reject the pleas of twelve climate scientists, economists and policy experts who signed an open letter urging him to make greenhouse gas impacts “a central consideration” of Canada’s hydrocarbon resources development,” said Tom Harris, executive director of the Ottawa-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC).

“Energy plans should be restricted to addressing only the environmental concerns we know to be real, such as air, land and water pollution. The linkage between energy usage and climate is far too tenuous to be included in any serious national discussions about energy.”

“It is utter nonsense to say, as the open letter signers did, that ‘the responsibility for preventing dangerous climate change rests with today’s policymakers,’” said ICSC Science Advisory Board member, Dr. Tim Ball, former University of Winnipeg climatology professor. “We can’t even properly forecast global climate, let alone control it. The open letter’s advocacy of “avoiding 2?C of global warming” by altering our energy policy is ridiculous when cooling is more probable, and may have already started.”

“Spending billions of dollars to reduce Canada’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in a vain attempt to stop non-existent global warming is a tragic waste of our resources,” continued Ball. “By all means, we should work to control real pollution, but CO2, the greenhouse gas most under attack by climate campaigners, is a benefit to the environment, its rise resulting in more crop yield and a densification of forests.”

Speaking about the primary basis of the climate alarm, the forecasts of computerized climate models, applied mathematics professor and ICSC science advisor Dr. Chris Essex of the University of Western Ontario explained, “They can't predict the future because they are not comprehensive implementations of known physics. They are empirically based models of the type that would be used in an engineering problem, but without the empirical validation that must be done for engineering.”

“Many people, including people with PhDs, are very weak on this issue,” asserted Essex. "The big policy questions are beyond the best models we can currently make. Climate is far from a simple solved scientific problem, despite rampant proclamations and simplistic analogies suggesting otherwise. Policymakers, not to mention academics, must come to terms with that."

“Climate change appears to be driven primarily by natural variability,” said former Environment Canada Research Scientist and ICSC science advisor Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar. “The Earth has not warmed in last 16 years, despite about 250 billion tonnes of CO2 put out by human activity worldwide. Regardless, the net effect of any possible future warming and rising CO2 is most likely to be beneficial to humans, plants and wildlife.”

The real concern is possible global cooling, something that could have a disastrous effect on Canada, Khandekar, a contributing author to the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, warns. “Since the start of the new millennium, winters have become colder and snowier in Europe and North America. Winters in South America and South Africa have also become colder,” Khandekar explained. “North America may also quite likely see even colder winters in the next few years if forecasts of dropping solar activity prove to be correct.”

“The dozen academics who just signed the open letter to Minister Oliver are right about one thing: we do need a ‘serious debate about climate change and energy in this country,’” said Harris. “ICSC also encourages the Government to convene open, unbiased hearings into the state of modern climate science, inviting experts of all reputable points of view to testify. Only then will the public come to appreciate the vast uncertainty in this, arguably the most complex science ever tackled.”

SOURCE





Rich Greens Killing Jobs for Ordinary Americans

By Marita Noon

Last month, Earth Day came and went. Perhaps you missed hearing about it. For 2013, the theme was “The Face of Climate Change.” Other than a change in the Post Office cancellation mark on your letters from the usual wavy lines, to the four stick-like wind turbines and a sun symbol, there was little note of what was once an event celebrated by 20 million Americans. Tim Wagner, Utah representative for the Sierra Club’s Our Wild America Campaign, groused: “Media coverage of global warming has virtually disappeared.”

According to EarthDayCentral.com, one of the goals of Earth Day is to help you “Discover what you can do to save the environment.”

Perhaps, people no longer see the need for planetary salvation.

The Christian Science Monitor offered an Earth Day 2013 report card on global warming. The author starts with: “When Earth Day observances first began in 1970, Cleveland had recently doused a pollutant-fueled fire on a section of the Cuyahoga River. Cities were often shrouded in thick blankets of smog. And large portions of Lake Erie were so fouled by industrial, farm, and sewage runoff that sections of the 241-mile-long lake were pronounced dead.”And later, he reports: “Since that first Earth Day, the air over major cities is cleaner. Lake Erie is healthier. So is the Cuyahoga River, which groups in Cleveland would like to turn into a centerpiece of urban life. The improvements have come with ‘yes, but…’ as other environmental challenges have elbowed their way to the fore. But for the most part, tools are in place to deal with them.”

As Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, explains, the ‘80s ushered in the age of environmental extremism. The basic issues, for which he and Greenpeace fought, had largely been accomplished, and the general public was in agreement with the primary message. In order for the environmentalists to remain employed, they had to adopt ever more extreme positions. Moore says: “What happened is environmental extremism. They’ve abandoned science and logic altogether.” Their message today is “anti:” anti-human, anti-science, anti-technology, anti-trade and globalization, anti-business and capitalism, and ultimately, anti-civilization.

Moore’s view helps understand how the environmental movement has gone from trying to save the planet to killing the U.S. economy.

The American economy has some basic problems. We need more well-paid jobs, increased revenue, and our trade balance is out of whack. Each of these issues could be easily addressed, but environmentalists are doing everything they can to kill potential solutions. Three such examples are coal mining and exporting; natural gas extraction and conversion to liquefied natural gas (LNG) that can then be exported; and the Keystone pipeline—all of which face extreme opposition from environmentalists.

Coal

The U.S. has the world’s largest economically recoverable coal resources—with more than one-fourth of the world’s reserves. Unfortunately, our policies have stymied growth in the mining industry. Bill Bissett, President of Kentucky Coal Association, told me: “Our industry is accustomed to market fluctuations and competition with other fuel sources, but having a federal government place additional regulations on one geographic region (Eastern KY and WV) and one industry (coal mining) is absolutely unfair.”

Last month, environmental groups (including the Sierra Club and Greenpeace) sent a letter to newly confirmed Interior Secretary Sally Jewell calling for a moratorium on the leasing of federal lands for coal mining in the Powder River Basin (PRB) of Montana and Wyoming—which accounts for about 40 percent of U.S. coal reserves. The results of a recent lease sale in Wyoming, offers insight regarding the economic importance of leasing these federal lands for coal mining.

Peabody Coal paid nearly $800 million to the U.S. Government for the rights to expand an existing coal mine and maintain their current workforce. The $800 million was a “bonus payment” and gives them the right to lease the coal and pay 12.5 percent of the sales price as a royalty. According to data from the Bureau of Land Management, 13 active coal mines in the Wyoming portion of the PRB alone employ more than 6,800 workers.

While, as Bissett addressed, policy under this administration has harshly singled out coal and the coal miners for punishment, coal’s low cost and abundance continues to make it a highly preferential fuel for power generation in developing countries like China and India. And, as I’ve previously written, even Europe is increasing its use of coal for electricity generation, as they’ve discovered the prohibitively high cost of renewables. In 2011, exports to European and Asian markets represented 76 percent of total U.S. coal exports—up 31 percent compared to 2010.

Currently, U.S. coal is easily shipped to Europe from ports on the east coast, but the U.S.is missing out on the important Asian market—now being met by more expensive Australian competitors—due to infrastructure opposition from environmental groups. In the Los Angeles Times (LAT), Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and a legend in the world of climate activism, wrote: “Those exports can’t really take off, however, unless West Coast ports dramatically expand their deepwater loading capacity. … Environmentalists are trying desperately to block the port expansion.”

Addressing the situation, the Wall Street Journal states: “there are now no major coal exporting facilities on the U.S. West Coast. Washington State, with its proximity to coal-rich Wyoming and Montana, is seen as the best place to start.” PRB coal is being shipped to China and India through Vancouver. Additionally, the countries’ needs are being filled by Australian and Indonesian coal—so environmentalists’ fears that shipping U.S. coal will undermine “everything we’ve accomplished,” as Sierra Club spokesman David Graham-Caso says, are wrong.

The coal is being shipped and used—but the U.S. is losing out on the jobs (which would be mostly union jobs), the revenue, and the benefit to the trade deficit. The LAT/McKibben piece cites KC Golden, policy director of Seattle’s Climate Solutions group: “Can you imagine standing at the mouth of the Columbia River, watching ships sail in from Asia carrying solar panels and electric car batteries and plasma TVs, passing ships from America carrying coal?” Worse, can you imagine all those goods coming in—manufactured using Australian coal-fueled electricity, and nothing going out? That’s what we have now.

A report from the Energy Policy Research Foundation states: “U.S. production will merely replace higher cost production. … Neither net world coal combustion nor GHG emissions will change as a result of an expansion of U.S. coal exports.” The report concludes: “The higher net value received is in effect a wealth transfer from foreign consumers to U.S. producers and the national economy. This net gain to the national economy shows up in higher returns to invested capital, greater employment opportunities from expanded investment, higher revenues to state, local and federal governments, and higher lease values on coal reserves from federal and state lands.”

But environmental groups don’t want this “net economic gain to the national economy.” Apparently, they’d prefer that we continue to borrow from China’s Australian coal-fueled economy.

LNG

LNG faces a similar problem. Natural gas was once the favored choice of environmentalists—until privately funded hydraulic fracturing (or high-pressure drilling) advancements made it plentiful and, consequently cheap. The low-cost fuel snatched away the fossil fuel-free dream that seemed to be almost within reach. Now environmentalists oppose natural gas as well. The Sierra Club’s Beyond Natural Gas site claims: “Increasing reliance on natural gas displaces the market for clean energy.”

Many countries want U.S. natural gas. Unlike coal, natural gas cannot just be put on a ship and sent to the awaiting customer. It must first be liquefied—hence the term LNG. The liquefaction process requires costly facilities, which, for economic reasons, need a large customer base—many with which the U.S. does not have free trade agreements (though the Energy Department can permit them, provided it determines that such ventures are consistent with the public interest).

The International Business Times, on March 1, 2013, reported that: “As of this date, 17 applications for multi-billion-dollar facilities to turn the commodity into liquefied natural gas, or LNG, for export are under review by the Energy Department.” Let’s hope they don’t take as many years and as many reviews as the Keystone pipeline.

LNG exports could have a tremendous positive impact on the U.S. economy. A recent IHS global insight report concluded that LNG exports would “result in the creation of over 100,000 direct, indirect, and economy wide jobs and have an immediate economic impact resulting in $3.6 to $5.2 billion in potential annual revenues.”

More HERE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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9 May, 2013

Jim Hansen postpones the day of doom

But first he gives us a pleasant little surprise. He confirms something that I have been repeating for some years now: That the high surface temperature on Venus is not the result of runaway global warming but rather a simple adiabatic effect of the weight of the huge Venusian atmosphere. Hansen writes:

"Venus today has a surface pressure of about 90 bars, compared with 1 bar on Earth. The Venus atmosphere is mostly CO2. The huge atmospheric depth and CO2 amount are the reason Venus has a surface temperature of nearly 500 degrees C."

But Hansen has invented a "get out of jail free" card for terrestrial warming called "Climate system inertia". Now that past climate prophecies have been falsified by the temperature standstill of the last 17 years, there is an urgent need for Warmists to regroup. And Hansen has done that by moving the goalposts. He says that the climate is so slow to respond to input changes that it will takes centuries for the prophesied warming to occur. That of course make his prophecies effectively unfalsifiable. He writes:

"Climate system inertia means that it will take several centuries for the eventual extreme global warming mentioned above to occur, if we are so foolish as to burn all of the fossil fuel resources"

Why we should believe the new prophecies when the old ones have failed utterly, Hansen does not tell us. But we should clearly be most wary of statements that are not only unproven but unprovable.

But Hansen will continue to have fun in his own little world with his assumptions and models -- JR.

More Hansen HERE





Warmist secrecy again

With the connivance of the British government

Can the Internet help climate scientists? Not everyone thinks so.

"The Internet is a double-edged sword," Met Office scientist Peter Stott told a London courtroom last week. "There's a whole cacophony of voices on blogs, people with different opinions and people very motivated to dig around. But not in the 'big picture' details, frankly. That is not helpful to getting an overall balanced assessment."

Stott had just been asked whether widespread online participation in the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment-of-the-science process might improve it. The open source software development principle, that "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow", came to mind.

The occasion was an Information Tribunal appeal brought by one-man information Inquisition David Holland. The retired Mancunian engineer's previous enquiries were seen by many as the catalyst for the famous "Climategate" email leaks.

"My interest in this was never to do with climate. I'm trained as an engineer, and I know the scientific method," Holland told El Reg in 2011, when he had sought access to large amounts of information from the British climate-science establishment - and was denied. Holland's FOI requests set off a catastrophic sequence of prevarication and obstruction by the responding scientists, which ultimately appears to have triggered the Climategate leaks and massive discomfort for all the researchers involved.

Now it's the turn of Peter Stott of the Met Office to come under Holland's microscope.

I actually felt a bit of human sympathy for Stott; you can bet he would have rather been somewhere else, and it transpires that Holland didn't actually want him there at all. Holland had wanted to cross-examine the head of the UK delegation to the IPCC, a Department of Environment and Climate Change official called David Warrilow, head of climate science and international evidence.

The procedural questions under the spotlight are Warrilow's bailiwick, not Stott's, but Holland was refused his man. Stott, we learned, had been pressganged into appearing by the Met Office's lawyers. Stott also had to defend his and allied organisations' refusal to disclose material on a basis - as we shall see - that's highly questionable. No intelligent person should have to waste his own time, or anyone else's time, defending the indefensible.

And the mere presence of a Met scientist is a bit of a red herring, as it's really the IPCC that is on trial; the case for the defence is being organised by the Treasury solicitor, paid for by you.

Judge Anisa Dhanji was not impressed by the defence's refusal to find someone so very germane to the case to stand up to cross-examination, and demanded that a written statement by Warrilow be included in the record.

So. Here we all were. Why was this happening, exactly?
The case for transparency

The IPCC is the United Nations organisation's process for providing climate advice to policy makers. Every few years it updates this advice, which takes the form of three gigantic reports: one assessing the physical basis (called Working Group 1, or WG1); another considering the impacts (WG2); and the third the mitigation options (WG3).

None of the groups does any original science. They're supposed to write fair summaries of the state of the science - although you'll notice that WG3 already plays with loaded dice: it is about "mitigation", not "adaptation" nor "economic costs" or even "low carbon technological innovation". Each of these groups writes three drafts in a rolling process before they're signed off as official UN policy.

What Holland is seeking the "zero order draft" – aka Draft No. 1 - of Working Group 1. He couldn't care less what's in it, but wants to establish the principle that citizens can see it. As it happens, much of this material is already all over the web. But as Judge Dhanji pointed out, that's by-the-by.

Holland justified his request on the twofold basis that the WG1 zero draft must, and should, be publicly available.

The "must" is the statutory obligation of the UK as a signatory to the Aarhus Convention, or to give it its full title, the "UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters" and by signing up to EC directive 2003/4/EC (PDF) the UK has obliged all of its environmental regulations to be consistent with the Convention. (Not every EU country is a signatory, but the UK is: perhaps a case of civil servants' Euro-enthusiasm coming back to bite them.)

The Met Office argued back that the ZOD is most precious, and if ZOD material were to be disclosed, counsel argued, there would be grave damage to the UK's "international relations". Like the Sneetches, British environment bureaucrats would be stranded on the beaches: shunned, ostracised, and cast into outer darkness. Nobody would want to play with British climate scientists any more.

Yet this particular reason for refusing ZOD is a relatively recent one. It came about in the aftermath of Climategate, and a succession of other climate-related -gates, after which the IPCC's processes came under much-expanded scrutiny. The Inter Academy Council, a panel of dons, made recommendations, amongst others.

The international-relations grounds for climate secrecy first surfaced in 2009 and was used as a reason to knock back FOI requests, from various people including Holland himself. Its origins appear to lie in a request from University of East Anglia climate scientist Tim Osborne in 2009 to IPCC WG1 co-chair Thomas Stocker, which you can read here. Osborne asked Stocker:

"UEA must provide evidence to support its reasons for rejecting the original request. I've been asked if we can obtain a further statement about confidentiality ...

... it would be very supportive if someone who currently represents IPCC (or at least IPCC WG1) could indicate that this is also the view/position of the IPCC ...

There are four specific items that we would ideally like to have you view on:

(1) Does the IPCC WG1 expect authors to keep confidential the emails/correspondence/chapter text that they receive from fellow authors during the drafting process?

(2) Would there be an adverse effect on the IPCC WG1 if we were to break this confidentiality? (Note that we might be forced to break it *during* the drafting of the next report)

(3) Would there be an adverse effect on UEA's relationship with IPCC WG1?

(4) In providing views on items (1)-(3), are they your personal view or can we say that they represent IPCC WG1 position?"

"Can we say that" is particularly revealing.

It's a common misconception - a sign of the media's deference to scientists, perhaps - that the IPCC consists of a properly appointed actual panel somewhere. As Stott cheerfully confirmed, beyond a small technical administrative support team called the TSU, there isn't really "an IPCC" at all. Self-selecting scientists kick off the assessment process, often gatekeeping material by their friends and colleagues, hard-green campaign groups etc.

From the Second Draft stage of the review process the room is full of government officials - the international bureaucracy effectively takes over. The rules are set by the participants, making it up as they go along, Lord of the Flies-style. The Osborne-Stocker exchange illustrates a normal example of one scientist colluding with another in an attempt to prevent the public finding out how the process works.

Stott described in court the process which allows any member of the public to "self-certify" as an Expert Reviewer and join the process at the First Order Draft (ie, the second) stage. He pointed out that Comments generated at this stage were made public last time.

This is true, but bear in mind that the IPCC went to great lengths to avoid Draft Review Comments actually being read last time around - "making public" the comments by depositing an un-indexed paper archive in a library in Massachusetts. In the internet era, that's tantamount to "burying them in a hole in the ground", says Holland. Today, the Comments are indeed officially released on the actual interwebs - but too late to stop errors being spotted, Holland retorted. He cited Glaciergate as an avoidable error.

"On the internet, half of what I've asked for is already there," said Holland. "It's extremely boring stuff, and contains nothing confidential. I can see no reason for it not being released."

Holland's other argument, the "should", is an ethical one. He cited the former IPCC head John Houghton who wrote, "for assessments that inform public policy it is essential that things are seen to be done: the assessment should be completely open and transparent". He contrasted this with "indefinite confidentiality" implicit in refusing access to the ZOD.

Not to mention the small matter of compliance with Aarhus.

The IPCC's defence was twofold: the ZOD work needed to be kept from the public because the participants were learning the ropes, and because it offered a sanctity of private thought required for this vital education. Exposing the scientists to the public at this stage would be like mocking a Learner Driver for knocking over the traffic cones. This would be horribly cruel, defence argued.

"The Zero Order Draft is a training document we can take to a few people to tell us 'are we on the right lines here?' 'have we learned to write a document?' The lessons we learn we can then take on to produce the first First Order Draft to formal review," Stott said.

Judge Dhanji wondered what the harm was?

Stott replied:

"Well the issue can and does get misused and misrepresented as representative of the IPCC assessment. We've had that in the past with leaked drafts."

And again: "it's an internal document for our own internal use, we can expose our ignorance, expose our learning process, to learn how to write a document. That's the distinction between ZOD and the other drafts," he replied.

"Things that are said in the name of the IPCC during process may come back to haunt them in that people who disagree with the IPCC may scour material for inconsistency," he declared.

Defence counsel raised these concerns, which obliged Judge Dhanji to castigate him for coaching Stott.

"Too much leading," she warned.

Bear in mind that nothing in IPCC rules actually specifies that the ZOD stage is sacrosanct. Participants may prefer it, but rules is rules. Or not.

So Stott answered questions he couldn't, at one point offering his not-so-expert opinion on International Relations.

"It's a bit hypothetical, isn't this?" he replied at one point - surely the truest words spoken all day.

In contrast to the most recent climate-science-related FOI hearing I attended in October (Newbery vs the BBC), the judge was scrupulously exact with both parties, while the two lay judges actively engaged with very good questions, clearly intended to improve their understanding.

In Newbery's case, they asked no questions, and merely scowled. It later transpired that one of the lay judges was a former local government official whose huge redundancy payoff had only been exposed through FOI requests. The other was a former Labour councillor who had received money for campaigning on climate change - and whose views on "deniers" were well known.

It'll be interesting to see the Tribunal's decision in due course




EU leaders in a hole over energy costs

The costs of Warmist policies are becoming embarrassing

EU leaders will grapple with controversial issues including shale gas development and climate change mitigation at an energy summit on 22 May, documents obtained by EurActiv show.

As agreed at the 14-15 March summit (see background), EU leaders will meet to discuss how to lower energy prices and so improve the Union’s industrial competitiveness.

According to the draft guidelines for the summit conclusions, prepared by the services of Council President Herman Van Rompuy, the EU heads of state intend to focus on “key aspects” of energy policy aimed at boosting growth, productivity and employment to help overcome the effects of the economic crisis.

“High energy prices and costs hamper European competitiveness,” the document says. It invites discussion on how Europe could stay competitive globally and bring down energy prices at a time when Europe is facing massive investment shortfalls in energy infrastructure and generation capacity.

Van Rompuy’s services also call on the EU leaders to discuss ways of further increasing energy efficiency, developing "indigenous resources" and facilitating investment. The Commission will be tasked with developing a “predictable climate and energy policy framework post-2020”.

Re-thinking climate policies

An analysis of energy-price costs in member states will be requested from the EU executive by the end of 2014, highlighting the EU’s competitiveness with its global counterparts.

Competitiveness, in the EU energy policy context, translates into a re-thinking of the Union’s climate policies.

Recently, the powerful employers’ group BusinessEurope called on European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to radically shift the EU's energy policy away from climate change mitigation towards cost-competitiveness and security of supply. [more]

The Draft Conclusions say that the EU's goal is to ensure “a level playing field for business and industry”, so they can compete in the global marketplace, having regard inter alia to the impact of carbon leakage”.

“Carbon leakage" is jargon for the relocation of European businesses abroad because of the comparative advantage they may gain from looser climate regimes.

Shale gas

Leaders are also expected to task the Commission to assess a “more systematic recourse to indigenous sources of energy, both conventional and unconventional”.

Unconventional sources usually refers to shale gas, which many believe has triggered an industrial revival in the USA, but is viewed with suspicion by several EU countries.

Regarding conventional resources, several EU countries are exploring offshore fields for gas and oil, their industrial partners being companies from the USA or Israel. The Commission has rarely played a part in these ventures.

Van Rompuy’s services say that they aim at establishing a regular exchange of information between EU countries on “major national energy decisions with a possible impact on other member states”.

Although the document gives no details, sources told EurActiv that it primarily covers upcoming decisions on new nuclear plant builds. Austria, which decided not to develop nuclear energy, has complained about potential health and environmental risks from the Mochovce and Temelín nuclear plants, sited just across the border in neighbouring Slovakia.

Large sections of the Conclusions appear in brackets or underlined, which means that countries still have to give final assent to the wording. As an example, the “positive effects” of the unbundling provisions of the Third Energy package are praised “generally”, indicating a lack of unanimity.

More HERE




Cheap natural gas prompts U.S. states to sour on renewables

More than half the states with laws requiring utilities to buy renewable energy - including Arizona - are considering ways to pare back those mandates after a plunge in natural gas prices brought on by technology that boosted supply.

Sixteen of the 29 states with renewable portfolio standards are considering legislation that would reduce the need for wind and solar power, according to researchers backed by the U.S. Energy Department. North Carolina lawmakers may be among the first to move, followed by Colorado and Connecticut.

The efforts could benefit U.S. utilities such as Duke Energy and PG&E as well as Exxon Mobil, the biggest U.S. oil producer, and Peabody Energy Corp., the largest U.S. coal mining company. Those companies contributed to at least one of the lobby groups pushing the change, according to the Center for Media and Democracy, a Madison, Wis.-based nonprofit group. It would hurt wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems and First Solar Inc., which develops solar farms.

"We're opposed to these mandates, and 2013 will be the most active year ever in terms of efforts to repeal them," said Todd Wynn, task force director for energy of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a lobby group pushing for the change. "Natural gas is a clean fuel, and regulators and policymakers are seeing how it's much more affordable than renewable energy."

Hydraulic-fracturing technology opened aging reservoirs for natural gas drilling, driving prices down about 72 percent from their record 2005 high. That's making more expensive wind and solar power projects harder for utility regulators to justify, according to ALEC and its allies, which include the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

"The shale revolutions are not just having ramifications politically and economically in the U.S. but also around the world," said Michael Liebreich, chief executive officer of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. "In 17 years, not that far away, we could reach peak energy use. This is not generally accepted."

Killing support for renewable-energy policies threatens sales at companies from wind-turbine makers General Electric and Siemens to SolarCity Corp., the San Mateo, Calif.-based rooftop energy developer.

The push at the state level replicates efforts in Washington. Opposition from Republican lawmakers delayed the extension of a federal tax credit for wind power, prompting Vestas, the biggest turbine maker after GE, to fire 10 percent of its workforce at two Colorado factories.

"There haven't been any outright repeals yet, but we've seen some watering-down," said Justin Barnes, senior policy analyst at the North Carolina Solar Center. "Activity against renewable portfolio standards has been increasing in the past year. Their arguments are mostly on cost."

The Raleigh, N.C.-based research group is supported by the Energy Department and operates the DSIRE database of state incentives.

U.S. investment in renewable power and energy efficiency fell 54 percent last year to $4.5 billion as government support waned, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The level may slip again this year if states dilute their requirements, which have pushed utilities to contract power from renewable providers and scale-back use of coal- and natural gas-fired generation.

ALEC wants to repeal state mandates, arguing that the free market is a better way to determine the most cost-effective source of power, Wynn said. It typically drafts model legislation for state lawmakers to use as a blueprint when drafting bills, including the Electricity Freedom Act, which was published in October.

More HERE





Global warming off the hook as cause of earthquakes

One religion replaced by another

Women who wear revealing clothing and behave immorally are responsible for earthquakes, this is what a senior Iranian cleric has to say.

The cleric's unusual explanation for quakes follows the prediction made by the country's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that a quake is certain to rock Tehran and many of its 12 million inhabitants should relocate to save their lives.

Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi told the country's media that women who do not dress in dignified manner "lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society".

According to Sedighi, the only way to escape the disaster is to take refuge in religion and adapt to Islam's moral codes.

Seismologists have predicted a major earthquake in Tehran in the near future. Tehran is located on several fault lines, including one more than 50 miles long, although it hasn't suffered any major quake in the last 180 years.

SOURCE





Australia's swamps not up to snuff, according to Greenies

Murray-Darling Basin lakes and the Coorong lagoons in South Australia would be deemed critically endangered under a new global system to rank the conservation status of ecosystems in the same way as threatened species.

In a paper published in the journal PLoS ONE on Thursday, a team of international scientists will outline the proposed system, which would act as a companion to the global "red list" of threatened species managed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Under the new system, conservation ratings would be given to ecosystems - a collection of plants and animals that exist in an area of land or water that interact - from critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, near threatened and least concern.

Instead of deeming an ecosystem extinct, as in an animal, they would instead be classified "collapsed". Examples of ecosystems include coral reefs, forests and lakes.

The team studied 20 ecosystems around the world to test the ecosystem red list. Eight were in Australia, including the Coorong lagoons, the swamps, marshes and lakes of the Murray-Darling Basin, and coolibah-black box woodlands.
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The researchers found one collapsed ecosystem among the 20 studied - the Aral Sea, in Central Asia. Once one of the largest lakes in the world, the Aral Sea was drained for irrigation in the 1960s and has since nearly disappeared

In Australia, the Coorong lagoons, near the mouth of the Murray, were found to be critically endangered.

Professor David Keith, of the University of NSW, a lead author of the paper, said the Coorong scored the rating because of the pace of fish species and vegetation decline, along with a rise in salinity, during the millennium drought between 2000 and 2010.

He said heavy rains in recent years had given Australia a second chance to better manage the lagoons.

The lakes, swamps and marshes of the Murray-Darling were deemed endangered to critically endangered, while coolibah-black box woodlands were classified endangered.

Professor Keith said the new ranking system was important because not enough was known about most of the world's plant and animal species. "Globally, only 3 per cent of species have so far been assessed for their status; we don't know much about the remainder yet," he said.

"What the ecosystem assessment does is step back to a more general assessment that includes some consideration of all the species that are components of those systems. "So it is a more general way of casting the net across a much wider set of biodiversity and the species that make up an ecosystem."

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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8 May, 2013

The current Warmist "explanation" of the temperature plateau of recent years

Below you have it: The greedy deep ocean is gobbling up all the heat. The warming is somehow bypassing the surface of both the land and the oceans and building up in the ocean deeps. It is an extraordinarily improbable theory. How does the warming slip past both the land and the ocean surface? And does not warm water rise? According to the ordinary laws of physics, it should be the surface where you find all the heat. No wonder it is only a few "dyed-in-the-wool" Warmists who are pushing this one

There are periods when the ocean heats up more quickly than the surface, and other periods when the surface heats up more quickly than the oceans. Right now we're in a period of fast ocean warming and overall, global warming is continuing at a very fast pace.

The confusion on this subject lies in the fact that only about 2 percent of global warming is used in heating air, whereas about 90 percent of global warming goes into heating the oceans (the rest heats ice and land masses). But humans live at the Earth's surface, and thus we tend to focus on surface temperatures. Over the past 10–15 years, Earth's surface temperature has continued to rise, but slowly. At the same time, the warming of the oceans – and the warming of the Earth as a whole – has accelerated.

This was the conclusion of a scientific paper I co-authored last year, in which our team found more overall global warming (of the oceans, air, land, and ice combined) over the past 15 years than during the prior 15 years. Just recently, another paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters found that the warming of the oceans since the turn of the century has been the most sustained in the past 50 years. They also found that, consistent with my team's research, about 30% of overall global warming has gone into the deep oceans below 700 meters due to changing wind patterns and ocean currents. This accelerated deep ocean warming is also unprecedented in the past 50 years.

We often hear from the media that the (surface air) warming has slowed or paused over the past 15 years. This isn't a puzzle; climate scientists are well aware of several contributing factors, as a recent Reuters article – "Climate scientists struggle to explain warming slowdown" – eventually discussed. The accelerated warming of the oceans is likely the main contributor.

During years with La Niña events, more heat is transferred to the oceans, and surface temperatures are relatively cool as a result. The opposite is true during El Niño years. During the 1990s, there were more El Niño than La Niña events, which resulted in more surface air warming. One of the strongest El Niño events of the century happened in 1998, which not coincidentally was 15 years ago.

When people say 'no warming in 15 years', they're cherry picking the timeframe to begin in an abnormally hot year. It's like arguing that your car must have broken down because it hasn't moved in the 15 seconds while you've been stopped at a red light. The argument selects a short timeframe that's not representative of the whole.

Since 2000, there has been a preponderance of La Niña events, which has acted to temporarily bury more global warming in the oceans. A new study published in Nature Climate Change found that by taking into account the short-term changes caused by factors like El Niño and La Niña cycles, they could accurately forecast the slowed warming at the surface several years in advance. The paper concluded:

"Our results hence point at the key role of the ocean heat uptake in the recent warming slowdown."

More HERE





Melanie Phillips reflects






Scientists hint that global cooling is the new pollution risk

Just in time for the cooler spring that has swept the nation — complete with unseasonal snow in the Rockies region — scientists with the University of Manchester said pollution actually brings on climate cooling, not warming.

The logic is that manmade pollutants make clouds brighter, and that impacts how sunlight is allowed to shine — and that brings about cooler temps, scientists say, TG Daily reported.

“We discovered that organic compounds such as those formed from forest emissions or from vehicle exhausts, affect the number of droplets in a cloud and hence its brightness, so affecting climate,” said one study author, Gordon McFiggans, from the University of Manchester's School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, in TD Daily.

The findings come as various regions around the nation are reporting near-record low temperatures for the spring months.

The Star-Telegram in Texas, for instance, reported that Friday brought record lows of 39 degrees. And in both March and April, temperatures for the North Texas region hit the lowest levels in three years. More than a foot of snow fell in the Rockies region last week, and Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin were also hit with record snowfall levels for May over the past few days

SOURCE





Anybody see any problems with 24 unelected people behind closed doors allocating $100 billion of public climate hoax money each year?

UN climate fund risks becoming 'a closed bank', warns NGO

It is estimated that by 2020 it will be channelling US$100 billion a year in climate finance to developing countries – to help arrest the advance of climate change whilst adjusting to its effects.
...
The 24 men and women at the GCF’s helm could emerge as a new brand of world leaders.

They are not democratically elected, yet will be managing vast sums of public money, destined for projects that will in some way or other affect all of us.
...
The March board meeting took place at Germany’s Foreign Office, a tightly guarded building with a strict door policy – UNFCCC-accredited organisations only.

Present were the board, their alternates and advisers, and four additional participants – two so-called active observers representing civil society – one from developing countries and developed countries respectively – and two from the private sector...Active observers – each acting in the name of half of the world’s citizenry – received key official documents a day or two in advance.

SOURCE




Not much has changed in polar bear country since the sea ice maximum

Lots of ice everywhere – even in Hudson Bay. A bit less ice in the Barents Sea (north of Norway) than there was two months ago at the sea ice maximum March 15 (see Fig. 1 below compared to the extent at May 5 in Fig. 2: both from NSIDC). But there is still quite a bit around Svalbard – that group of islands between NE Greenland and NW Norway (see Fig. 3 below a MASIE image, where this situation is more apparent).

Polar bears are eating and mating at this time of year – and right now, they have a huge, circumpolar ice platform for those activities.

More HERE (See the original for graphics etc.)




Australia: Small taxpayers suffer because of bad carbon tax bet. Lifting the tax-free threshold would have greatly helped the poor

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet has confirmed the 2015 tax cut associated with the carbon trading scheme will not go ahead because of the drop in the carbon price in Europe.

Mr Combet says the Government know thinks the carbon price will not be as high as the $29 per tonne originally forecast.

He says that means there will not be a need to increase the tax free threshold as promised.

"Those tax cuts were were to be in the order of a $1.59 per week for most people earning up to $80,000 a year," he said.

"I say they're deferred, because when the carbon price rises again in the future, those tax cuts will still be implemented at that point in time.

Last month the price of carbon in Europe plunged as much as 45 per cent after the European Parliament rejected an emergency plan that would have forced companies to pay more for polluting.

Carbon permits dropped to as little as 2.63 euros ($3.34) a tonne, and German power prices for next year fell to their lowest level since 2007.

At the time Mr Combet said the upcoming budget would need to take the EU price plunge into account.

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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7 May, 2013

The Soviet-style Royal Society

Their support for global warming is widely quoted. Interesting to see how they arrive at their conclusions

Last week, the Royal Society announced the list of new appointments to the fellowship for 2013. For climate geeks the only familiar name that of Imperial's Joanna Haigh, who specialises in the solar influence on climate and who, to the best of my knowledge, has not been associated with any kind of activism. I've spotted one other climate scientist, but not one I've come across before.

Unfortunately, the society seems to have got itself into a bit of a pickle over its decision to elevate Prince Andrew to the fellowship too.

Jonathan Leake, who broke the story in the Sunday Times (paywalled), noted that the election involved a ballot paper that only allowed existing fellows to vote in favour or to abstain. Apparently only 11% of the electorate voted in favour of the prince, with "a huge number" abstaining.

Leake has also got a choice quote from Lord May, who expresses his "dismay" at the vote and says that: "This is not the way to run an election. A ballot where you can only say yes is a bad idea and should be changed."

This takes a certain amount of chutzpah from the noble lord, who chose to retain this "bad idea" of an electoral system when he was in charge of the Royal Society.

Such Soviet-style shenanigans were mentioned in my Nullius in Verba report in connection with the election of Lord Rees as president, with Rees's the only name on the ballot paper. The electoral practices of the society have no doubt been central to its corruption by political activists.

Update: Christopher Booker notes the appearance of Joanna Haigh in his report on the BBC:

"Another BBC documentary about which the Climategate emails are very revealing was one called Meltdown: A Global Warming Journey (2006). When this was being shot, its producer Jonathan Renouf emailed Keith Briffa, one of Jones’s senior colleagues at the CRU, clearly expecting to be filming him the following day for what was intended to be a key sequence in the programme. He explained that his presenter Paul Rose, a scientist, was going to pose as someone dubious about the warming theory because he was troubled by talk of the Mediaeval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. What Renouf wanted was a sequence in which Briffa would explain how climate history had been dramatically rewritten by Mann’s ‘hockey stick’ graph, all but eliminating the MWP and showing how in recent years, in a way which could only be due to man-made global warming, temperatures had soared to levels quite unprecedented in the past 1,000 years.Briffa’s job, the producer went on, would be to "prove" to Paul that what we're experiencing now is NOT just another of those natural fluctuations we've seen in the past. The hockey stick curve is a crucial piece of evidence because it shows how abnormal the present period is - the present warming is unprecedented in speed and amplitude, something like that. This is a very big moment in the film when Paul is finally convinced of the reality of man made global warming.

In fact, for whatever reason, Briffa did not appear in the finished programme (which can still be seen on YouTube). Instead his part as the ‘talking head’ climate scientist was played by a young professor from Imperial College, Joanna Haigh. She went through precisely the routine Renouf had outlined to Briffa, enabling Rose to pose initially as something of a sceptic who, after hearing the argument, at last finds the evidence for man-made global warming wholly convincing. This is a formula with which we have become familiar in these pages; but rarely do we get such an insight into how calculatedly the BBC is prepared to stage such a charade, to put over the point the programme makers have wanted to make all along"

SOURCE





Does Big Green care about people or nature?

It's nothing new to see Big Green figures deploring the fact that people exist. Back in 1974, the elite Club of Rome published "Mankind at the Turning Point" with its infamous motto, "The Earth has a cancer and the cancer is man."

Today it has become routine for some well-funded Big Green group to block life-saving projects supposedly to save some allegedly threatened creature. In a previous column, I detailed a particularly outrageous example: a campaign that stopped an approved life-saving gravel road between two remote Alaska towns because it might annoy some geese.

The towns are Kings Cove, with the state's largest salmon processing plant, and Cold Bay, which has the only reliable medical evacuation airport in the region. Lack of an all-weather road between them has contributed to 11 deaths. Congress and President Obama had approved a carefully crafted Kings Cove-Cold Bay road plan and a gift of land for a wildlife refuge for the geese.

The culprits that killed the road were led by Rodger Schlickeisen (2011 compensation: $364,000), former president of Defenders of Wildlife (2011 assets: $35.3 million). Defenders spent $4 million on direct mail and $899,000 on telemarketing for a "get out the comments" campaign that cowed the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service into stopping the road.

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, had only one parting word for them: "Shameful."

Last week, Montana rancher Bill Hoppe awoke one day, walked to a river bank, and "all I could see were dead sheep," he told a reporter. There were 19 in all, five ewes and 14 lambs killed by two wolves, according to the evidence. "The grandkids, those were their sheep, their lambs," Hoppe said. "They had a lot of them named, could catch them,"

Hoppe has lived in Paradise Valley his whole life. Wolves had never attacked his livestock before. Hoppe blames the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for caving in to Big Green pressure groups to stop controlling wolf populations.

Steve Kelly of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies said, "Anyone in the sheep business knows it's not a good place to raise sheep."

I spoke about Kelly's crass remark with Frank DuBois, who was a deputy assistant secretary of interior under President Reagan.

DuBois told me, "The Hoppe family has been around for five generations, but this guy comes hippity skipping in with the audacity to tell him how to run his business and doesn't give a twit about the grandkids' sheep. Somebody needs to tell Kelly the Paradise Valley is not a 'good place' to raise little enviros. There are better places, although I can't think of one right now."

There is a saying that wildlife's worst predator is wildlife biologists. That has certainly been the case with jaguars in the American Southwest, where the big cats, largest in the Western Hemisphere, have long been considered extinct because settlers pushed them back to their core range in Mexico.

The last known female jaguar in the U.S. was killed in 1963, attracted by a predator call and shot by a Fish & Wildlife contract sniper, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

Then, on Feb. 18, 2009, a male jaguar known as Macho B (Macho A had disappeared years earlier) was captured in a wire snare set by Emil McCain, a subcontractor for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Game and Fish personnel tranquilized Macho B, attached a radio collar to him, and released him.

Twelve days later, the jaguar was observed ailing, was recaptured, diagnosed as terminally ill from kidney failure, and euthanized. McCain pleaded guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act and his superior in Arizona Game and Fish was fired for lying to federal investigators.

SOURCE





Congress working to strip presidential land grab power

If you think national monuments are statues of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, welcome to the crazy catalog of federal land grabbing tools.

These "monuments" are actually large areas that are supposed to be small, and can be created out of thin air by the president with the stroke of a pen.

This extraordinary power has been abused by presidents of both political parties time and again to bypass Congress in creating national park-size units -- a congressional power -- at his own whim to satisfy his Big Green constituents.

But parks are expensive to operate and monuments are budgeted like second-class citizens -- and they block resource use.

Members of Congress last week held a hearing on nine separate bills to rein in the president's national monument proclamations by requiring congressional approval or requiring a public National Environmental Policy Act comment process before taking effect.

National monuments are the brainchild of Teddy Roosevelt, the Rough Rider, who, as president, peddled his idea to Congress by pleading with members to stop the looting, desecration and destruction of Native American sites in the Southwest such as Chaco Canyon and Cliff Palace.

Congress fell for it and gave the president proclamation power in the Antiquities Act of 1906, an intentionally broad piece of legislation to set aside "historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest."

So TR rode roughshod over Westerners far and wide by designating 18 national monuments that should have gone through Congress as national parks, such as the Grand Canyon and Washington State's Mount Olympus (which Congress later designated parks), and only six of the 18 were major Native American sites.

Private property captured in national monument boundaries was not seized, but owners could sell to the feds if they wanted to -- and the caretaker National Park Service had ways to make them want to do so.

However, the private property rights to grazing, logging and mining within federal lands were seized. This enraged the locals, who were not consulted.

President Obama recently proclaimed five new national monuments without much local objection. Congress seems OK with that, but fears waiting for his other shoe to drop, largely because of a very bad experience with the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton.

Clinton established 19 national monuments covering more than five million acres and expanded three others, all except one designated in Clinton's last year as president.

He made last-minute designations of more than a million acres as national monuments, but had created the 1.7 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah in 1996 during his re-election campaign against Republican Bob Dole.

Clinton didn't know about the Utah area before he was scheduled to make the proclamation -- in Arizona, at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, to keep Utah's Republican members of Congress in the dark until it was too late.

The president was blindsided by White House official Kathleen McGinty, who colluded with Big Green advocates to pass off a fake letter making it look like the president wanted Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to help prepare the designation -- isolating its enormous deposit of privately owned low-sulfur coal.

The fraud was not discovered until after Clinton made the proclamation, when House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Don Young, R-Alaska, obtained a subpoena and federal marshals seized Katie McGinty's documents and email records. I covered the story at the time in a report available here.

Is there some similar Machiavellian plot afoot in the bowels of the White House today? Better to strip the power before Big Green pulls some strings and makes us sorry we didn't.

SOURCE






Scottish wind farms paid £1 million to SHUT DOWN down for one day

Wind farm companies operating in Scotland were paid more than £1 million to shut down their turbines for a single day last month, it has emerged.

A total of £1,146,614 was handed out to the operators of 13 Scottish wind farms, including almost £300,000 for a development built on land owned by the Duke of Roxburghe.

The money, which ultimately comes from electricity consumers’ bills, was given to wind farm companies to compensate them for not producing power during periods of high generation and low demand.

This can happen when it is too windy so as not to overload the National Grid. Anti-wind farm campaigners fear the payments will only increase thanks to Alex Salmond’s drive for a large expansion in the number of turbines north of the Border.

According to figures provided by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), a charity that publishes information on the energy sector, more than £1 million in such “constraint payments” were paid out on April 29.

The largest sum paid out on that date was £348,349, which was to shut off the Crystal Rig II wind farm operated by energy company Fred Olsen in East Lothian.

However, the second-largest beneficiary was the Fallago Rig Wind Farm run by EDF on land it rents from Roxburghe in the Lammermuir Hills. The French energy firm was handed more than £296,000 to shut down the turbines, which only started generating electricity at the end of January.

Murdo Fraser, a Conservative MSP and a prominent wind farm critic, said: “People struggling with rising electricity bills and growing levels of fuel poverty will be astonished to learn that millions are being paid to companies for power which isn’t even being used.

“This illustrates yet again the folly of the SNP government’s wind energy policy.”

Dr John Constable, the REF's director, said: “Constraint payments to wind are well in excess of the lost subsidy income, suggesting that the industry is taking advantage of the difficulties that they cause on the network.

“While perfectly legal, this is clearly unfair, and the regulator Ofgem needs to step in to protect the consumer.”

According to the REF figures, enough wind-generated electricity to power 10,000 homes was “dumped” by the National Grid last month. A total of £3.6 million of constraint payments were made to wind farm companies in April, the highest monthly total since September 2011.

EDF charged between £89 to £149 for every megawatt hour (MWh) of energy that was not produced, compared to £50 per MWh the company would have received for selling it.

Although the Duke of Roxburghe will not benefit from the constraint payments, a recent book by Struan Stevenson, a Tory MEP, suggested the landowner could receive up to £1.5 million per year in rent.

A spokesman for EDF said the constraint payments reflected the costs and lost revenues from shutting down the turbines.

He added: “All generators are required to have commercial agreements in place with the National Grid. These agreements cover periods when the Grid instructs generators to temporarily decrease the power they generate.”

A spokesman for the National Grid said the payments spiked while maintenance was carried out. A spokesman for Roxburghe refused to comment on its "commercial agreement" with EDF.

SOURCE





Sacrifice! Give all your meat to the great god Moloch global warming. Vegetarianism rules!

In case you missed the news, humanity spent the Earth Day week reaching another sad milestone in the history of catastrophic climate change: For the first time, measurements of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surpassed 400 parts per million—aka way above what our current ecosystem can handle.

Here's the good news, though: The fastest way to reduce climate change shouldn't seem impossible, because it requires no massive new investments, technological breakthroughs or long-term infrastructure projects. According to data compiled by former World Bank advisers Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, it just requires us all to eat fewer animal products.

In their report, Goodland and Anhang note that when you account for feed production, deforestation and animal waste, the livestock industry produces between 18 percent and 51 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Add to this the fact that producing animal protein involves up to eight times more fossil fuel than what's needed to produce an equivalent amount of non-animal protein, and you see that climate change isn't intensified only by necessities like transportation and electricity. It is also driven in large part by subjective food preferences—more precisely, by American consumers' unnecessary desire to eat, on average, 200 pounds of meat every year.

If you find it demoralizing that we are incinerating the planet and dooming future generations simply because too many of us like to eat cheeseburgers, here's that good news I promised: In their report, Goodland and Anhang found that most of what we need to do to mitigate the climate crisis can be achieved “by replacing just one quarter of today’s least eco-friendly food products”—read: animal products—“with better alternatives.” That's right; essentially, if every fourth time someone craved, say, beef, chicken or cow milk they instead opted for a veggie burger, a bean burrito or water, we have a chance to halt the emergency.

In light of that, I'm sure some conservatives will read this column and send me email smugly pledging to eat even more meat than they already do, just to make some incoherent point about freedom. What they will really be proving, though, is that no matter how straightforward a climate change solution may be, we will never be able to combat the crisis until everyone is willing to sacrifice just a little bit, and nobody pretends ecological survival is anything other than what is: an apolitical, transpartisan priority.

SOURCE





Environmentalists Killing US Economy

Last month, Earth Day came and went. Perhaps you missed hearing about it. For 2013, the theme was “The Face of Climate Change.” Other than a change in the Post Office cancellation mark on your letters from the usual wavy lines, to the four stick-like wind turbines and a sun symbol, there was little note of what was once an event celebrated by 20 million Americans. Tim Wagner, Utah representative for the Sierra Club’s Our Wild America Campaign, groused: “Media coverage of global warming has virtually disappeared.”

According to EarthDayCentral.com, one of the goals of Earth Day is to help you “Discover what you can do to save the environment.”

Perhaps, people no longer see the need for planetary salvation.

The Christian Science Monitor offered an Earth Day 2013 report card on global warming. The author starts with: “When Earth Day observances first began in 1970, Cleveland had recently doused a pollutant-fueled fire on a section of the Cuyahoga River. Cities were often shrouded in thick blankets of smog. And large portions of Lake Erie were so fouled by industrial, farm, and sewage runoff that sections of the 241-mile-long lake were pronounced dead.” And later, he reports: “Since that first Earth Day, the air over major cities is cleaner. Lake Erie is healthier. So is the Cuyahoga River, which groups in Cleveland would like to turn into a centerpiece of urban life. The improvements have come with ‘yes, but...’ as other environmental challenges have elbowed their way to the fore. But for the most part, tools are in place to deal with them.”

As Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, explains, the ‘80s ushered in the age of environmental extremism. The basic issues, for which he and Greenpeace fought, had largely been accomplished, and the general public was in agreement with the primary message. In order for the environmentalists to remain employed, they had to adopt ever more extreme positions. Moore says: “What happened is environmental extremism. They’ve abandoned science and logic altogether.” Their message today is “anti:” anti-human, anti-science, anti-technology, anti-trade and globalization, anti-business and capitalism, and ultimately, anti-civilization.

Moore’s view helps understand how the environmental movement has gone from trying to save the planet to killing the US economy.

The American economy has some basic problems. We need more well-paid jobs, increased revenue, and our trade balance is out of whack. Each of these issues could be easily addressed, but environmentalists are doing everything they can to kill potential solutions. Three such examples are coal mining and exporting; natural gas extraction and conversion to liquefied natural gas (LNG) that can then be exported; and the Keystone pipeline—all of which face extreme opposition from environmentalists.

COAL

The US has the world’s largest economically recoverable coal resources—with more than one-fourth of the world’s reserves. Unfortunately, our policies have stymied growth in the mining industry. Bill Bissett, President of Kentucky Coal Association, told me: “Our industry is accustomed to market fluctuations and competition with other fuel sources, but having a federal government place additional regulations on one geographic region (Eastern KY and WV) and one industry (coal mining) is absolutely unfair.”

Last month, environmental groups (including the Sierra Club and Greenpeace) sent a letter to newly-confirmed Interior Secretary Sally Jewell calling for a moratorium on the leasing of federal lands for coal mining in the Powder River Basin (PRB) of Montana and Wyoming—which accounts for about forty percent of US coal reserves. The results of a recent lease sale in Wyoming, offers insight regarding the economic importance of leasing these federal lands for coal mining. Peabody Coal paid nearly $800 million to the US Government for the rights to expand an existing coal mine and maintain their current workforce. The $800 million was a “bonus payment” and gives them the right to lease the coal and pay 12.5% of the sales price as a royalty. According to data from the Bureau of Land Management, 13 active coal mines in the Wyoming portion of the PRB alone, employ more than 6800 workers.

While, as Bissett addressed, policy under this administration has harshly singled out coal and the coal miners for punishment, coal’s low cost and abundance continues to make it a highly preferential fuel for power generation in developing countries like China and India. And, as I’ve previously written, even Europe is increasing its use of coal for electricity generation, as they’ve discovered the prohibitively high cost of renewables. In 2011, exports to European and Asian markets represented 76% of total US coal exports—up 31% compared to 2010.

Currently, US coal is easily shipped to Europe from ports on the east coast, but the US is missing out on the important Asian market—now being met by more expensive Australian competitors—due to infrastructure opposition from environmental groups. In the Los Angeles Times (LAT), Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and a legend in the world of climate activism, wrote: “Those exports can’t really take off, however, unless West Coast ports dramatically expand their deepwater loading capacity. …. Environmentalists are trying desperately to block the port expansion.”

Addressing the situation, the Wall Street Journal states: “there are now no major coal exporting facilities on the US West Coast. Washington State, with its proximity to coal-rich Wyoming and Montana, is seen as the best place to start.” PRB coal is being shipped to China and India through Vancouver. Additionally, the countries’ needs are being filled by Australian and Indonesian coal—so environmentalists’ fears that shipping US coal will undermine “everything we've accomplished,” as Sierra Club spokesman David Graham-Caso says, are wrong.

The coal is being shipped and used—but the US is losing out on the jobs (which would be mostly union jobs), the revenue, and the benefit to the trade deficit. The LAT/McKibben piece cites KC Golden, policy director of Seattle’s Climate Solutions group: “Can you imagine standing at the mouth of the Columbia River, watching ships sail in from Asia carrying solar panels and electric car batteries and plasma TVs, passing ships from America carrying coal?” Worse, can you imagine all those goods coming in—manufactured using Australian coal-fueled electricity, and nothing going out? That’s what we have now.

A report from the Energy Policy Research Foundation states: “US production will merely replace higher cost production. … Neither net world coal combustion nor GHG emissions will change as a result of an expansion of US coal exports.” The report concludes: “The higher net value received is in effect a wealth transfer from foreign consumers to US producers and the national economy. This net gain to the national economy shows up in higher returns to invested capital, greater employment opportunities from expanded investment, higher revenues to state, local and federal governments, and higher lease values on coal reserves from federal and state lands.”

But environmental groups don’t want this “net economic gain to the national economy.” Apparently, they’d prefer that we continue to borrow from China’s Australian coal-fueled economy.

LNG

LNG faces a similar problem. Natural gas was once the favored choice of environmentalists—until privately funded hydraulic fracturing (or high pressure drilling) advancements made it plentiful and, consequently cheap. The low-cost fuel snatched away the fossil fuel-free dream that seemed to be almost within reach. Now environmentalists oppose natural gas as well. The Sierra Club’s Beyond Natural Gas site claims: “Increasing reliance on natural gas displaces the market for clean energy.”

Many countries want US natural gas. Unlike coal, natural gas cannot just be put on a ship and sent to the awaiting customer. It must first be liquefied—hence the term LNG. The liquefaction process requires costly facilities, which, for economic reasons, need a large customer base—many with which the US does not have free trade agreements (though the Energy Department can permit them, provided it determines that such ventures are consistent with the public interest). The International Business Times, on March 1, 2013, reports that: “As of this date, 17 applications for multibillion-dollar facilities to turn the commodity into liquefied natural gas, or LNG, for export are under review by the Energy Department.” Let’s hope they don’t take as many years and as many reviews as the Keystone pipeline.

LNG exports could have a tremendous positive impact on the US economy. A recent IHS global insight report concluded that LNG exports would “result in the creation of over 100,000 direct, indirect, and economy wide jobs and have an immediate economic impact resulting in $3.6 to $5.2 billion in potential annual revenues.”

And, LNG exporting would not only create jobs and increase revenue, it would also reduce trade deficits. A just-released report from the Rio Grande Foundation states: “The United States currently runs a $6 billion trade deficit with Japan. That nation is particularly eager to import LNG from the US due to the nuclear accident at Fukushima.”

Once again, environmentalists oppose jobs, revenue, and trade-deficit reduction. Earlier this year, more than 40 groups and individuals took out a half page ad in the New York Times that said: “Exporting Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to overseas markets will mean more drilling and fracking on US land, which are dirty and dangerous practices.”

KEYSTONE

Like coal mining and export, natural gas extraction, liquefaction, and export, the Keystone pipeline would create thousands of union jobs and increased service employment in supporting communities; benefit local and state economies, and provide additional revenues to the federal coffers; and help balance the trade deficit, as some of the refined product would be exported. But once again, environmental opposition has targeted the pipeline—causing delay after delay that has now postponed the economic benefit of the pipeline.

Last week, Russ Girling, TransCanada, CEO, said: “I believe that those that are fundamentally opposed to our pipeline are getting louder and more shrill as we move towards a decision.” He announced that the potential start date must be moved from the previously planned late 2014 or early 2015 to late 2015.

The Keystone pipeline saga is the same song, another verse.

These are just three current examples of how the influence of environmental organizations is driving policy in the name of planetary salvation that is, in reality, resulting in economic devastation that could lead to humanity’s ultimate starvation. Environmental motivations are less about saving the planet and more about killing the global economy—while enriching themselves at taxpayers’ expense.

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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6 May, 2013

Plenty more where that came from



The list of faltering or already failed Green Energy companies:

Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*
SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
Solyndra ($535 million)*
Beacon Power ($43 million)*
Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
SunPower ($1.2 billion)
First Solar ($1.46 billion)
Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
Amonix ($5.9 million)
Fisker Automotive ($529 million)
Abound Solar ($400 million)*
A123 Systems ($279 million)*
Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*
Johnson Controls ($299 million)
Schneider Electric ($86 million)
Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
ECOtality ($126.2 million)
Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
Range Fuels ($80 million)*
Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*
Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*
GreenVolts ($500,000)
Vestas ($50 million)
LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)
Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
Navistar ($39 million)
Satcon ($3 million)*
Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*

More HERE






The disgraceful episode of Lysenkoism brings us global warming theory

Trofim Lysenko became the Director of the Soviet Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences in the 1930s under Josef Stalin. He was an advocate of the theory that characteristics acquired by plants during their lives could be inherited by later generations stemming from the changed plants, which sharply contradicted Mendelian genetics. As a result, Lysenko became a fierce critic of theories of the then rising modern genetics.

Under Lysenko’s view, for example, grafting branches of one plant species onto another could create new plant hybrids that would be perpetuated by the descendants of the grafted plant. Or modifications made to seeds would be inherited by later generations stemming from that seed. Or that plucking all the leaves off of a plant would cause descendants of the plant to be leafless.

Lysenkoism was “politically correct” (a term invented by Lenin) because it was consistent with certain broader Marxist doctrines. Marxists wanted to believe that heredity had a limited role even among humans, and that human characteristics changed by living under socialism would be inherited by subsequent generations of humans. Thus would be created the selfless new Soviet man.

Also Lysenko himself arose from a peasant background and developed his theories from practical applications rather than controlled scientific experiments. This fit the Marxist propaganda of the time holding that brilliant industrial innovations would arise from the working classes through practical applications. Lysenko’s theories also seemed to address in a quick and timely manner the widespread Soviet famines of the time arising from the forced collectivization of agriculture, rather than the much slower changes from scientific experimentation and genetic heredity.

Lysenko was consequently embraced and lionized by the Soviet media propaganda machine. Scientists who promoted Lysenkoism with faked data and destroyed counterevidence were favored with government funding and official recognition and award. Lysenko and his followers and media acolytes responded to critics by impugning their motives, and denouncing them as bourgeois fascists resisting the advance of the new modern Marxism.

The V.I. Lenin Academy of Agricultural Sciences announced on August 7, 1948 that thenceforth Lysenkoism would be taught as the only correct theory. All Soviet scientists were required to denounce any work that contradicted Lysenkoism. Ultimately, Soviet geneticists resisting Lysenkoism were imprisoned and even executed. Lysenkoism was abandoned for the correct modern science of Mendelian genetics only as late as 1964.

The Theory of Man Caused Catastrophic Global Warming

This same practice of Lysenkoism has long been under way in western science in regard to the politically correct theory of man caused, catastrophic, global warming. That theory serves the political fashions of the day in promoting vastly increased government powers and control over the private economy. Advocates of the theory are lionized in the dominant Democrat party controlled media in the U.S., and in leftist controlled media in other countries. Critics of the theory are denounced as “deniers,” and even still bourgeois fascists, with their motives impugned.

Those who promote the theory are favored with billions from government grants and neo-Marxist environmentalist largesse, and official recognition and award. Faked and tampered data and evidence has arisen in favor of the politically correct theory. Is not man-caused, catastrophic global warming now the only theory allowed to be taught in schools in the West?

Those in positions of scientific authority in the West who have collaborated with this new Lysenkoism because they felt they must be politically correct, and/or because of the money, publicity, and recognition to be gained, have disgraced themselves and the integrity of their institutions, organizations and publications.

The United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is supposed to represent the best science of the U.S. government on the issue of global warming. In January, the USGCRP released the draft of its Third National Climate Assessment Report. The first duty of the government scientists at the USGCRP is to produce a complete picture of the science of the issue of global warming, which is what the taxpayers are paying them for. But it didn’t take long for the Cato Institute to do the job of the USGCRP with a devastating line by line rebuttal, The Missing Science from the Draft National Assessment on Climate Change, Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute, Washington, DC, 2012, by Patrick J. Michaels, Paul C. Knappenberger, Robert C. Balling, Mary J. Hutzler & Craig D. Idso.

Check it out for yourself if you dare. Both publications are written to be accessible by intelligent laymen. See which one involves climate science and which one involves political science.

All the climate alarmist organizations simply rubber stamp the irregular Assessment Reports of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). None of them do any original science on the theory of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming. But the United Nations is a proven, corrupt, power grabbing institution. The science of their Assessment Reports has been thoroughly rebutted by the hundreds of pages of science in Climate Change Reconsidered, and Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim Report, both written by dozens of scientists with the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, and published by the Heartland Institute, the international headquarters of the skeptics of the theory of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming.

Again, check it out for yourself. You don’t have to read every one of the well over a thousand pages of careful science in both volumes to see at least that there is a real scientific debate.

The editors of the once respected journals of Science and Nature have abandoned science for Lysenkoism on this issue as well. They have become as political as the editorial pages of the New York Times. They claim their published papers are peer reviewed, but those reviews are conducted on the friends and family plan when it comes to the subject of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming. There can be no peer review at all when authors refuse to release their data and computer codes for public inspection and attempted reconstruction of reported results by other scientists. They have been forced to backtrack on recent publications relying on novel, dubious, statistical methodologies not in accordance with established methodologies of complex statistical analysis.

Formerly respected scientific bodies in the U.S. and other western countries have been commandeered by political activist Lysenkoists seizing leadership positions. They then proceed with politically correct pronouncements on the issue of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming heedless of the views of the membership of actual scientists. Most of what you see and hear from alarmists regarding global warming can be most accurately described as play acting on the meme of settled science. The above noted publications demonstrate beyond the point where reasonable people can differ that no actual scientist can claim that the science of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming has been settled or that there is a settled “consensus” that rules out reasonable dissent.

Indeed, 31,487 U.S. scientists (including 9,000 Ph.Ds) with degrees in atmospheric Earth sciences, physics, chemistry, biology and computer science have signed a statement that reads: “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.” See here. Some consensus.

Real science, of course, is not a matter of “consensus,” but of reason, with skepticism at its core.

The Decline and Fall of the Theory of Anthropogenic Catastrophic Global Warming

The alarmist claims of the UN’s IPCC are ultimately based not on scientific observations, but on unvalidated climate models and their projections of future global temperatures on assumptions of continued increases in carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the burning and use of fossil fuels. The alarmists are increasingly in panic because the past projections of the models are increasingly divergent from the accumulating actual temperature records. Those models are not real science, but made up science. And no way we are abandoning the industrial revolution as the Sierra Club is hoping based on model fantasies and fairy tales.

The Economist magazine, formerly in lockstep with the Lysenkoists, shocked them with a skeptical article in March that began with this lede:

“OVER the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar. The world added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. That is about a quarter of all the CO2 put there by humanity since 1750. And yet, as James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, observes, ‘the five-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade. . . .’”

Reality is not complying with the alarmism of the UN’s global warming models, just as it refused to do for Trofim Lysenko. Remember all that hysteria about melting polar ice caps and the disappearing ice floes for the cute polar bears? As of the end of March, the Antarctic ice cap was nearly one fourth larger than the average for the last 30 years. The Arctic ice cap had grown back to within 3% of its 30 year average. (The formerly declining Arctic ice was due to cyclically warm ocean currents). Global sea ice was greater than in March, 1980, more than 30 years ago, and also above the average since then.

Remember the alarm about the rising sea level? Yeah, that has been rising, as it has been since the end of the last ice age more than 10,000 years ago. Just exactly as it has been, at the same rate. And anyone you know that has been scared by this alarmist propaganda has been successfully played by whatever media the fool has been relying on.

More HERE





Al Gore in Hollywood

Joe Biden must have dressed up in his best Al Gore, Jr. suit for a Beverly Hills global warming pep rally, as the man who “invented the Internet” bemoaned that a modern day Thomas Paine would struggle to get his pamphlet “Common Sense” to the masses today due to the high cost of television airtime.

Is this the same Al Gore, who used his influence to get his environmentalist television station Current TV carried by most major cable networks, only to sell this access to Al Jazeera, which is owned by the Emir of Qatar?

Apparently, the Hollywood crowd is not as disillusioned with Gore who made a cool $100 million on the deal to sell television access to U.S. markets to the very Middle Eastern oil interests as his former staff at Current TV where the sense of betrayal was palpable when the sale was announced.

Beyond the obvious hypocrisy of the politician who would have been president if he had only won his home state of Tennessee, the very fact that Mr. High Tech apparently hasn’t noticed that the printing press has been replaced by this little www thing is stunning.

In 1776 when Thomas Paine wrote and published “Common Sense,” it went viral selling almost 100,000 copies at a time when the colonies only had 2.5 million people. This made the pamphlet the largest selling book in the history of the U.S. on a per capita basis.

And the 48-page booklet was a game changer. By writing in a style that was familiar to the average colonist and using familiar Biblical references to the God fearing populace, Paine’s work transformed American attitudes toward independence laying the groundwork for Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence that was finalized just six months later.

George Trevelyan’s History of the American Revolution highlighted the importance of Paine’s work writing: “It would be difficult to name any human composition which has had an effect at once so instant, so extended and so lasting [...] It was pirated, parodied and imitated, and translated into the language of every country where the new republic had well-wishers. It worked nothing short of miracles and turned Tories into Whigs.”

Today, Paine would not have been limited to a printing press or a television broadcast, his work would be a viral YouTube video that would reach millions based upon its powerful message and presentation.

The proof of the power of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter is all around us. Just one year ago, with zero money spent on promotion, the video “If I wanted America to fail” took many in the nation by storm with more the 2.6 million people viewing it — all due to the power of the message and presentation.

For the self-proclaimed “Inventor of the Internet” to not have a clue that his “child” had become the ultimate democratization of communications and was changing the world reveals just how out of touch he has become.

The fact that the professionally vacuous of Hollywood could erupt in applause at the “great” man’s musings about the good old days when Johannes Gutenberg was king reflects just how far out of touch they both are.

Of course, Al Gore is too cool to be stuck in a printing press world when everyone else is tweeting. That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if, after the diamond encrusted crowd departed, Joe Biden pulled off his Al Gore Halloween mask and laughed out loud at the rubes of Rodeo Drive who bought his drivel.

SOURCE






The U.S. Has Much, Much More Gas and Oil Than We Thought

So the EPA is trying to stop it being accessed

The United States has double the amount of oil and three times the amount of natural gas than previously thought, stored deep under the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana, according to new data the Obama administration released Tuesday.

In announcing the new data in a conference call, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell also said the administration will release within weeks draft rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing, technology that has come under scrutiny for its environmental impact but that is essential to developing all of this energy.

“These world-class formations contain even more energy-resource potential than previously understood, which is important information as we continue to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil,” Jewell said in a statement.

The formations, called Bakken and Three Forks, span much of western North Dakota, the northern tip of South Dakota and the northeastern tip of Montana. The last time the United States Geological Survey assessed this area for its oil and gas reserves was in 2008. But that assessment did not include the Three Forks formation, which explains the substantial increase in the estimates. USGS estimates that these two formations together hold 7.4 billion barrels of undiscovered—but technically recoverable—oil and 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

The estimates were requested by Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., in early 2011. “This is clearly great news for North Dakota and great news for the nation,” Hoeven said in a statement. “It will further serve to enhance our state’s role as an energy powerhouse for the nation.”

The energy boom’s impact on North Dakota’s economy is undeniable. The state has the lowest unemployment in the country, at 3.3 percent.

These estimates don’t necessarily represent oil and gas resources that could be immediately developed or are even recoverable right now. Many factors must align to compel companies to access energy resources, including prices and environmental regulations.

Nonetheless, the data add more hard evidence of America’s energy boom, which was largely unimaginable just seven years ago. The estimates also underline the opportunities, including economic benefits and energy security, and the challenges, especially President Obama’s commitment to tackle climate change, that come with a major fossil-fuel boom.

“Combined with recent declines in oil consumption, foreign-oil imports are less than 40 percent of oil consumed in America,” Jewell said. “That’s the lowest level since 1988.”

Jewell also announced the department will release “within weeks” reworked, draft rules requiring stricter regulations on hydraulic-fracturing operations. She said the earlier version of the draft rules generated enough comments—roughly 100,000—to prompt the administration to allow for a second round of public input.

The symbolic importance of these rules could have a greater impact than their substantive effect. The regulations apply to oil and gas production only on federal lands, a small portion of the total amount of oil and gas produced in the U.S. According to the Interior Department, 11 percent of the natural gas produced in the country is on public lands, as is 5 percent of the oil.

The rules will provide a marker for states to implement individual regulations and for Congress to debate legislation that could create a federal standard.

“We must develop our domestic energy resources armed with the best available science,” Jewell said. “This unbiased, objective information will help private, nonprofit, and government decision-makers at all levels make informed decisions about the responsible development of these resources.”

SOURCE





New Green Scam: Climate Adaptation Specialists — 50,000 in the next decade

“As recently as a decade ago, the word “adaptation” was as dirty as coal in the environmental community.”

Salon.com reports in “Getting Rich Off Global Warming“:

“I predict there will be 30,000 to 50,000 climate and adaptation professionals in the next decade or so, up from the current low-single-digit thousands,” said Kreeger. “Already we’re seeing environmental studies and MBA programs integrate climate-related work. The ACCO will set standards and provide services, same as any other professional association.” In October, Kreeger will host a three-day “Climate Strategies Forum” at D.C.’s Wardman Park Hotel. Platinum sponsorships cost $25,000 and include a full-page program ad and a speaking slot."

SOURCE





Baffled German Government Concedes! “Global Warming Has Stopped…Warming Pause Is Remarkable…Unexpected”

Green Radio of the Umweltbundesamt – UBA - (German Federal Department of the Environment) recently had a radio interview with Henrik Kirchhof, some climate expert for the UBA I guess. Topic: Why has there been no warming in 15 years?

The host of the interview starts by telling the audience that “climate scientists have come under pressure because the average temperature indeed has not risen in 15 years“. Kirchhof:

"In the years leading up to the year 2000, the temperature curve rose very sharply. But since then it isn’t rising so, in fact it’s not rising at all, the curve. The average temperature has stagnated at a very high level – we sort of have a plateau, and that during a time when CO2 emissions have risen considerably.”

Kirchhof then claims the 15-year period of stagnation is indeed relatively short, and, to add authority to this, Prof. Jochem Marotzke of the warmist Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg provides an audio comment:

"What we are seeing here is a relatively short-term fluctuation, If one really wants to know how CO2 and global temperature are related, then you have to look at a longer time period.”

Marotzke refuses to say how long, though. We do know that CO2 was at about 280 ppm for 1000 years before the Industrial Revolution, and that during this time the global temperature fluctuated more than 1°C (in sync with solar activity). Of course Marotzke only wants to go back to 1900, as beyond that there is no correlation with CO2.

Kirchhof then adds (my emphasis):

"…there is no doubt about the greenhouse effect, but even so this warming pause is remarkable because the climate scientists with all their models did not expect this.”

At this point Kirchhof of Green radio of the German Federal Department of the Environment are finally admitting that there are suddenly many more unknowns than they first thought, that the warmist scientists are indeed baffled, and that the science is not settled after all.

At the 2-minute mark, a somewhat surprised host is forced to ask how can it be that the temperature has not risen even though more CO2 is being emitted into the atmosphere. Here Kirchhof, in summary, admits they don’t know why:

"Yeah, that’s the big question. The scientists here are not completely sure. But there are many possible explanations.”

Many possible explanations? That means they don’t have freaking clue! When it comes to complex systems like climate, it takes years and years of analyses and observation to untangle it all.

Kirchhof:

"A big role may be played by the oceans, which possibly are absorbing more heat, and so the additional heat is no longer being taken up by the atmosphere but instead is moving into the water. This can be measured. However if these surface water temperatures increased sharply until 15 years ago but now have stagnated, then it means that the ocean is absorbing more heat than it did before. You can suspect this, it’s very plausible, but you cannot prove it because of methodology reasons, says Jochem Marotzke.”

Marotzke:

"The problem is, although it is plausible, and it is in principle in agreement with model calculations, the problem is that we do not have enough good measurements from the past to say: ‘Ah, back then the deep oceans absorbed less heat and today it is taking in more heat. These observations are simply missing.”

It makes us wonder with so much missing data and so many unknowns, how could they even have dared to think the science was settled a few years ago? Suddenly they tell us they don’t know squat, that they are completely baffled, and that they are scrambling for explanations!

The host then asks Kirchhof if there are other possible explanations. Kirchhof:

"Yes. For example they have measured that the stratosphere has gotten drier. And when there is less water vapor up there in the stratosphere, then less heat is radiated back down. However, the scientists who have found this out have themselves said this effect is too small and only accounts for a quarter of the stopped warming.”

They can’t find the heat. Unknowns, mysteries, surprises…such is the life of a closed-minded climate scientist. But apart from all that, they are sure of the science.

The host then asks about the remaining three quarters of the heat. Kirchhof plays the aerosol card, which the IPCC loves to play whenever cooling isn’t supposed to happen, like from 1945 to 1975:

"Yes. there’s also a third theory that sounds plausible for laypeople, namely that more dust particles, ‘dirt’ in everyday terms, is high up in the atmosphere. As a result, less solar radiation reaches the Earth and so as a whole it gets cooler.”

Kirchhof then goes on to say that Chinese and Indian power plants may be to blame for this, and says that polluting the atmosphere is not the way to solve climate change.

The host then brings up the excellent question of how long a pause in warming is necessary before climate scientists really have to rethink their science. Kirchhof:

"There are in fact prognoses that this plateau could go on another five years, and if that indeed occurs, and meteorologist Jochem Marotzke also says the same, then there is something seriously wrong with the models, also when certain fluctuations cannot be precisely forecast.”

Five more years and all their arguments will disappear. And in ten years the climate scientists are going to be left standing there looking like total asses – because it’s not going to get warmer for another 30 years. The PDO, AMO and sun are all now beginning their cold phases simultaneously. One only needs to look at the past winters to see the first indications. If one major volcano blows then we are very likely back to the Little Ice Age conditions of the 17th century.

Amazingly, the alarmist scientists are looking at everything except what’s really obvious: the sun. Solar activity during the 20th century was at it’s highest level in 500 or more years, but today it is at its lowest level in some 200 years. Gee, you think that could matter? The data clearly show that it did in the past.

More HERE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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5 May, 2013

Book burners: Hitler's heirs are Green

From the Fahrenheit 451 department comes this indictment of California’s higher education’s “tolerance” for opposing views. When I first got the tip on this, I thought to myself “nobody can be this stupid to photograph themselves doing this” but, here they are, right from the San Jose State University Meteorology Department web page:



The caption from the SJSU website reads:

This week we received a deluge of free books from the Heartland Institute {this or this }. The book is entitled “The Mad, Mad, Made World of Climatism”. Shown above, Drs. Bridger and Clements test the flammability of the book.

I think Drs. Bridger and Clements have proved the point of the book quite well.

SOURCE







UKIP win freaks Greens in Britain

The Green Party was this morning celebrating a "positive night" following yesterday's local elections, securing gains across the country despite a headline-grabbing surge from UKIP.

The Greens secured two new council seats in Essex and also made gains in Bristol and Worthing. With fewer than half the number of councils being contested having declared a result, party sources said that they were confident of an increase on the 16 council seats they held going into the election.

However, the Greens' gains were overshadowed by those for UKIP, which by midmorning had secured 42 council seats across the country and commanded around a quarter of the vote.

Concerns are mounting among green groups that the UKIP surge could have a knock-on impact on energy and environmental policy, given that David Cameron is now under mounting pressure to tack to the right.

However, UKIP leader Nigel Farage has taken a vocally anti-green stance, slamming wind farm developments and questioning whether manmade climate change is happening.

Westminster observers are convinced that the growing popularity of UKIP is one of the main reasons some Conservative MPs have become more openly hostile to environmental policies.

Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg this week gave an interview ahead of the elections when he admitted that battling with his Conservative coalition partners over green policy had dominated much of his time in recent months.

SOURCE





Europe’s Green Agenda Goes Up In Smoke

Environmentalists, businesses and carbon market investors were watching last week’s conclave of environment and energy ministers in Dublin closely, hoping to see a plume of white smoke emerging to signal that the ministers had agreed to step in with bold support for the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). But no such signal of support came.

The proposal by the European Commission to rescue the flagging ETS by delaying some allowances in the next trading period, rejected by the European Parliament by just 19 votes on 16 April, was not revived by the ministers. It would seem that the dire warnings from analysts, who have said that the EU’s flagship climate policy faces extinction unless the low price of carbon in the scheme is fixed, were not enough to sway the reluctant ministers. The price of carbon in the scheme is now under €3 per tonne of CO2 – far lower than the €30/tonne that it is estimated is needed to reduce emissions.

Reacting to the ministers’ lack of support, carbon market analyst PointCarbon last week revised its price forecast for the next ETS trading period, 2013-20, down by 45%, predicting an average price of just €6/tonne until 2020. “[At this price] the EU ETS will not bring about any additional greenhouse-gas reductions”, said Stig Schjolset, an analyst with PointCarbon. The low pricecould actually provide incentives to invest in coal-fired power plants.

Ministers came out of the meeting insisting that the ball is in the European Parliament’s court, as the proposal has been referred back to the environment committee to be amended in the next two months before a second vote. “They have to act first,” said Phil Hogan, Ireland’s environment minister. “The matter is for the European Parliament, not for the Council at the moment.”

But analysts as well as MEPs on the committee say that the proposal is unlikely to pass a second vote in the Parliament unless the Council comes out in favour. “What can the environment committee do?” asked Dutch Green MEP Bas Eickhout. “It’s a one-line change. Finding a compromise there is difficult. We need other dynamics in the other institutions.”

Running out of time

Ireland, which holds the presidency of the Council of Ministers, says that ministers and MEPs need time to digest the vote on 16 April. A Council working group will discuss the issue on 27 May. But with little prospect of another vote in the Parliament anytime soon, real movement is unlikely until the autumn.

Even if the proposal were passed by the end of the year, that would probably be too late. “While there remains the possibility that the proposal may come back to plenary for a new vote before summer, it remains unlikely that backloading will ever be implemented,” concluded Haege Fjellheim, an analyst with PointCarbon, on Monday (29 April). Backloading was supposed to begin this year.

While the Parliament vote was preceded by fierce lobbying against the proposal from energy-intensive industries, in the Council the lack of support is more political. A majority of member states support the proposal, but the German government has refused to take a position.

SOURCE





Clean technology investors shift focus to drilling

A decade ago, large investors in so-called clean technology had a straightforward goal: finance companies that would help eliminate the world’s dependence on oil, natural gas and coal.

But as profits from wind, solar, biofuels and other alternatives consistently fell short of expectations — and as the fossil fuel business boomed — things got complicated. Venture capitalists and other investment funds started stretching the definition of clean technology almost beyond recognition in an effort to make money while clinging to their environmental ideals.

Today, clean technology investment funds are not trying to replace the fossil fuel industry, they’re trying to help it by financing companies that can make mining and drilling less dirty. The people running these funds acknowledge the apparent hypocrisy, but defend a more liberal definition of clean technology.

“Oil and gas will be with us for a long time. If we can clean that up we will do the world a great service,” says Wal van Lierop, CEO of Chrysalix, a Vancouver, Canada-based venture capital firm founded in 2001.

Chrysalix still backs companies that fit the more traditional definition of clean energy — including Bridgelux, which makes more efficient light bulbs, and Agilyx, which turns plastic waste into fuel. But the firm, whose website boasts that it is “100 percent focused on clean energy” is a backer of MineSense, which helps miners operate more efficiently by assessing the quality of ore as it is being scooped. It also supports GlassPoint, which helps drillers extract more oil by using steam generated with solar power.

Environmentalists have mixed feelings. They welcome technologies that reduce the environmental footprint of oil and gas development. But they worry the newfound abundance of oil and natural gas — and all the money that can be made helping drillers — has distracted clean technology backers from what once seemed to be their main goal: to make oil and gas a thing of the past.

Mark Brownstein, who runs the energy and climate program at the Environmental Defense Fund, says “some don’t have the stomach for that and are simply going with the flow.”

SOURCE





More Evidence That Nobody Believes In Climate Policy

The Economist notes that far from pulling back from the oil and gas business, governments - allegedly concerned with climate targets - are actually expanding their fossil fuel businesses and that exploration activity is expanding across the board:

"Such behaviour, on the face of it, makes no sense. One possible explanation is that companies are betting that government climate policies will fail; they will be able to burn all their reserves, including new ones, after all. This implies that global temperatures would either soar past the 2°C mark, or be restrained by a technological fix, such as carbon capture and storage, or geo-engineering.

Recent events make such a bet seem rational. On April 16th the European Parliament voted against attempts to shore up Europe’s emissions trading system against collapse. The system is the EU’s flagship environmental policy and the world’s largest carbon market.

Putting it at risk suggests that Europeans have lost their will to endure short-term pain for long-term environmental gain. Nor is this the only such sign. Several cash-strapped EU countries are cutting subsidies for renewable energy. And governments around the world have failed to make progress towards a new global climate-change treaty. Betting against tough climate policies seems almost prudent."

SOURCE






Woe! Australia has not "reported" to that great heap of corruption that is the United Nations

Just Greenies at work trying to impose their anti-human values on everyone else. To them, no proof is needed that human activity is harming the reef. That is just axiomatic to them -- they just want to stop everything. There's no such thing as a happy Greenie

THE Great Barrier Reef is set to be named as a World Heritage Site in danger by UNESCO next month.

A long-awaited assessment of the reef by UNESCO and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), released on Friday evening, says decisive action must be taken to avoid a listing in June.

The report claims the federal and Queensland governments have failed to improve water quality or halt coastal developments that could impact the reef.

Only one annual water quality report card has been published, in 2011, which covered 2009. A second report card was due in early 2012, but it's yet to be delivered.

The report also says there's been no clear commitment by the either federal or Queensland governments to limit port developments near the reef. Instead about 43 proposals are under assessment.

"The above-mentioned issues represent a potential danger to the outstanding universal value of the property," the report said.

"The World Heritage Centre and IUCN ... recommend that the committee consider the Great Barrier Reef for inscription on the list of World Heritage in Danger ... in absence of a firm and demonstrable commitment on these priority issues."

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the Federal Government was committed to keeping the reef a great heritage area for the world.

"In the last couple of weeks I announced a $200 million reef rescue commitment," she told reporters in Melbourne. "We are very committed and we'll continue to pursue those kind of commitments in the future."

But Greens Senator Larissa Waters called on Liberal and Labor to support a Senate bill which would adopt the World Heritage Committee's recommendations as law.

"The Newman and Gillard governments have continued to fast-track mega industrial ports alongside the reef," she said. "Protecting the Great Barrier Reef must be beyond politics and all parties should support my bill."

World Wildlife Fund spokesman Richard Leck said UNESCO had put Australia in the sin bin. "We will likely see a reef showdown this June," he told AAP.

The only other world heritage sites in danger that aren't in a developing country or an active war zone are the UK's Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City and Florida's Everglades.

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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3 May, 2013

Mathematical Analysis reveals six natural cycles driving temperatures, no man-made effect: predicts cooling

Ldecke, Hempelmann, and Weiss found that the temperature variation can be explained with six superimposed natural cycles. With only six cycles they can closely recreate the 240 year central European thermometer record. There is little "non-cyclical" signal left, suggesting that CO2 has a minor or insignificant effect.

The three German scientists used Fourier analysis to pick out the dominant cycles of one of the longest temperature records we have. The Central European temperature is an average of records from Prague, Vienna, Hohenpeissenberg, Kremsmnster, Paris, and Munich.

The dominant cycle appears to be about 250 years. There is also a cycle of about 60 years, corresponding to the Atlantic/Pacific decadal oscillations.

Data is of course, always the biggest problem. If we had 10,000 years of high quality global records, we could solve "the climate" within months. Instead, we have short records, and Ldecke et al, make the most of what we have. The European records are only 240 years long, or (darn) one dominant cycle, and only one region, so to check that the results are valid over longer periods they also analyze a the 2000 year Spannagel Cave stalagmites proxy, where the dominant cycle of roughly 250 years is confirmed. To show that the results apply to other parts of the world, they look at the German Alfred Wegener Institut (AWI), Antarctica series.

Ominously, the temperatures of the dominant cycle (in Europe at least) peaked circa 2000 and if the six-driving-cycles do represent the climate then things are going to get cooler, quickly. Wait and see.

Fourier analysis can't tell us what causes the cycles, but it can tell us the likely frequency, amplitude and phase of those cycles. If these are accurate, it can be used to rule out significant effects from man-made forces and ultimately to predict what will happen next.

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





Green Madness: Do British Ministers Know What They Are Doing?

British leaders are making some truly bizarre decisions in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and comply with European renewable electricity mandates. For example, they are converting a coal-fired plant to burn wood chips that are shipped from the United States. A wood burning plant qualifies under the European rules for meeting electricity generation mandates from renewable energy for the purpose of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from energy producing sources. But this move is sheer lunacy for it will increase rather than decrease emissions while increasing the price of electricity to consumers. Yet the British parliament has whole-heartedly embraced the move. Have legislators gone mad?

The British Drax Plant and Its Conversion

The Drax plant in Yorkshire, England is one of the biggest coal-fired power plants in the world with an almost 1,000 foot-tall flue chimney, 6 boilers, and 12 very large cooling towers. It consumes 36,000 tons of coal each day, providing 7 percent of the country's electricity. Starting next month, the plant will be converted to burn millions of tons of wood chips a year, costing œ700 million ($1.085 billion). [i]

Most of the wood chips will travel 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, coming from trees downed in the United States. Drax is building 2 plants in the United States that will turn the wood from trees into chips that can be transported by ship to Yorkshire and then hauled to the power station by railway trucks. In order to prevent spontaneous combustion, the wood chips must be stored in domes where the humidity is controlled before they can be pulverized into powder. (Wood is 1,000 times more prone to spontaneous combustion than coal.)

Despite the fact that coal is the least-expensive source of electricity generation in England, the owners of the Drax plant realized that a recently instituted carbon tax on fossil fuels would put them out of business if they continued to burn coal eventually making their electricity become twice as expensive. The political incumbents in Britain decided last year to give any coal-fired power station that switched to `biomass' the almost 100 percent `renewable subsidy' that owners of onshore wind farms get.

A British Carbon Tax and an EU Mandate

A new carbon tax introduced in Britain on April 1 is applied to every ton of carbon dioxide produced during electricity production. While the tax is starting out low, it will increase each year, making the cost of generating electricity from coal double within 20 years, at which point it will no longer be economical for Drax to generate electricity from coal. Along with the carbon tax, the British government will also be subsidizing electricity produced from its list of `carbon neutral' power sources that will further increase consumer electricity bills.

The U.K. carbon tax is defined as a carbon price floor (CPF) that will increase from 16 pounds per metric ton of carbon dioxide ($24.80) in April 2013 to 30 pounds per metric ton ($46.50) in 2020, in constant 2009 prices. The resulting carbon tax is calculated as the difference between the carbon price floor, adjusted for inflation, and the European Union allowance (EUA) price, which is the 12-month average settlement on the European Climate Exchange for the relevant EUA futures contract. The tax for this financial year is 4.94 pounds per metric ton of carbon dioxide ($7.66) and in 2014/2015, it is 9.55 pounds ($14.80). IHS CERA calculated the 2015/2016 rate at 18.29 pounds per metric ton of carbon dioxide ($28.35) resulting in an annual doubling for two successive years.[ii]

The conversion of the Drax plant to wood chips will significantly contribute to meeting a target imposed by the European Union (EU) that commits Britain to producing almost a third of its electricity from `renewable energy' within seven years. Upon completion, Drax will have the capability to generate 3,500 megawatts of electricity from a qualified renewable source, contributing more than a quarter of the EU target for the use of renewable energy. The reliability of the converted Drax plant along with its size will produce far more generation than the country's wind farms.

The Issues the U.K. Politicians Aren't Confronting

The energy policies that the United Kingdom has put in place have consequences that will affect the lives of its citizens and their pocketbooks. The country's energy policies mean the electricity will cost more, that electric supplies may not be sufficient to meet future demands, and that little will be achieved in emissions reduction because of actions of other countries and the consequences of biomass conversions on the life cycle of the fuel.

It will cost two to three times as much for Drax to generate about the same amount of electricity from wood as it does from coal, i.e. fuel costs will double or triple. The government is providing a subsidy that will eventually be worth over œ1 billion a year that make the Drax conversion to `biomass' economical. But for electricity consumers in Britain, bills have already increased by over œ1 billion ($1.55 billion) a year because of subsidizing wind farms; the Drax subsidies will increase them even more.

Those coal-fired power plants not converting to `biomass' are being forced to close. An EU anti-pollution directive has resulted in the closure of several coal-fired power plants such as Kingsnorth in Kent, Didcot A in Oxfordshire and Cockenzie in Scotland with a combined capacity of almost 6,000 megawatts, which leaves natural gas to back-up wind power that cannot be relied upon to generate power when needed. For example, on a recent windless day, the country's 4,300 wind turbines combined to generate just one thousandth of demand (29 megawatts).

But natural gas supplies from the North Sea are diminishing, making the country dependent on expensive natural gas from Qatar, Algeria, and Russia that will also be affected by the carbon tax when burned to produce electricity. Early in March, Britain's supplies of natural gas in storage were down to 2 weeks of coverage-the lowest amount ever. The low electricity supplies are worrying some that the country may face major power cuts that it cannot endure due to its dependence on electricity not just for home heating, but also computers, traffic lights, and a whole host of other needs.

The irony of the situation is that Britain is moving away from coal as other countries which have been big proponents of reducing carbon dioxide emissions are moving to build more coal-fired power plants. Germany is building 20 new coal-fired power plants to back-up its wind and solar plants and to replace its nuclear plants; the first of which (2,200 megawatts) came on line last September. China, the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide, is building at least one coal-fired unit a week and is planning to build 363 more coal-fired power plants to fuel its fast growing economy. India is also planning to build 455 new coal-fired power plants to fuel its growing economy.

And then there is Japan, who is building coal-fired power plants to replace its nuclear power after the accident at Fukushima in 2011. Japan is currently using idled oil-fired power plants, but expects to build cheaper coal-fired power plants in the future. Tokyo Electric just added 2,600 megawatts of coal-fired generating capacity from two new plants that started operation this month. Other new coal-fired plants are expected to follow as Japan works on decreasing the time for processing permits from up to 4 years to a maximum of 12 months. In order to consume more coal, Japan is planning on revising by this October its Kyoto Protocol commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent from their 1990 level by 2020.[iii]

There is no carbon dioxide benefit to burning wood at the Drax plant.

But the real lunacy in the U.K. is the reasoning for converting the Drax plant to wood. The entire point is a belief that burning biomass would, on net, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, especially compared to coal. But that's not the case in the real world, especially with the Drax plant. Any carbon reductions would take many years to be realized when dealing with the life cycle of the process of growing trees, making wood chips, transporting them to consumers, and combusting them into electricity. A researcher at Princeton University calculated that if whole trees are used to produce energy, they would increase carbon emissions compared with coal by 79 percent over 20 years and 49 percent over 40 years and that there would be no carbon reduction for 100 years until the replacement trees have matured.[iv]

Conclusion

The result of Britain's energy policy is ever-increasing energy bills and likely power outages. According to the UK Daily Mail, Britain's politicians "live in such a la-la land of green make-believe that they no longer connect with reality - and seem unable to comprehend the national energy crisis now heading our way with the speed of a bullet train. But the sad truth is that we ourselves should be neither laughing nor crying. We should be rising up to protest, in real anger, at those politicians whose collective flight from reality is fast dragging us towards as damaging a crisis as this country has ever faced."

Unfortunately, the United States could follow in Britain's footsteps if we are not ever vigilant in making our politicians aware of the energy system and how it works in this country. Germany's residences already play 3 times what we pay for electricity and almost 20 percent of England is in energy poverty, providing more than 10 percent of their household income to non-transportation energy needs. We need to learn from their mistakes and insist our policy makers do so as well.

SOURCE






A Crisis in UK Energy Policy Looks Inevitable: We Identify the Possible Triggers

Excerpt from an extensive report from Liberum Capital -- warning investors off British government energy follies

When the crisis hits there will be three possible casu alties, the government of the day, the consumer, and the investors who have funded the government's radical energy policy. Whilst no doubt there will be plenty of pain to go around, in our view investors should be under no illusions that the government of the day will seek to protect itself and the consumer (who are also the electorate) by heaping most of the financial pain on to investors.

* UK Energy Policy is not Plausible: in our view successive UK gove rnments have grossly underestimated the engineering, financial, and economic challenges posed by the drive to decarbonise the electricity sector by 2030. Moving from a largely fossil fuel based power system to one dominated by renewables and nuclear in just a decade and a half, whilst keeping the lights on and consumer bills affordable, may simply be impossible.

* Policy Cost: we estimate that the total required investment to deliver policy goals is œ161bn from now to 2020 and up to œ376bn by 2030. Even with the large increase in public support provided by the Energy Bill it is extremely hard to envisage that this finance will be forthcoming given that the large European Utility companies are actually reducing capex. If the inve stment does take place we see electricity bills rising by at least 30% by 2020 and 100% by 2030 in real terms.

* Economic Rationale Looks Weak: the fundamental economic argument for the EU's energy policy is that fossil fuels are scarce, and will therefore become ever more expensive. The belief is that those that move first away from fossil fuels will gain a substantial competitive advantage. But the arrival of unconventional gas and oil makes this assumption look shaky at best. Without clear economic benefits it is not at all certain that the public will be willing to bear the costs. Without public support the policy is bound to fail at some point.

* Re-nationalisation: the decarbonisation agenda has required the government to intervene in the energy market in ever more aggressive ways. The Energy Bill takes this to a new level and effectively re-nationalises the investment-making decision process in the power sector. But it is not clear that policy makers yet appreciate that this also means that the risks and costs associated with these decisions must also transfer to the public.

* Probable Triggers for the Crisis: we identify a number of possible triggers; a generation capacity crunch in the 2014-17 period leading to a sharp spike in power prices, a lack of dispatchable generation by the end of this decade onwards, and spiralling consumer costs / developer profits that a future government will find untenable.

* Utility Companies & Investors Should Limit Exposure: political risk looks certain to rise sharply in the UK energy space in the coming years as the implausibility and contradictory nature of policy is exposed by events. We welcome recent moves by both Centrica and SSE to take a more cautious approach to allocating capital to UK renewables. UK utility stocks have benefited in recent years by being viewed as having relatively low political risk, this may well change in coming years. Most exposed will be Drax, SSE and Centrica.

Much more HERE






A "Green" British bureaucrat with a storm-trooper mentality

Over-zealous council worker 'rips gate off its hinges' so he can check whether family is recycling

A couple has accused a council worker of ripping their padlocked front gate off its hinges so he could check if they were recycling properly.

The officer from Croydon Council, in south London, was sent to question Bharat and Sheila Gandhi, who had been reported to the local authority for not leaving paper, glass and plastics out for collection.

But when the officer arrived at the house in South Norwood and realised he couldn't get in, he allegedly forced the gate off its hinges.

Unbeknown to him, he was being filmed by the couple's CCTV camera which had been installed after the house was burgled in 2011.

Mr and Mrs Gandhi say they take their waste to Factory Lane recycling centre by hand and have accused the council of 'intrusion'.

Mr Gandhi, 60, said: 'The behaviour by the council person was inexcusable and even dangerous as he left our property vulnerable and without any reason.'

The council, which said the damage was accidental, has offered to refund the œ100 repair costs.

However, Mrs Gandhi, 56, said: 'It is not about money, it is about the principle. It would have taken a lot of force to break the gate. 'There is a bell for people to ring, which he did not.'

The couple run the local Neighbourhood Watch group and lost œ20,000 of possessions when they were burgled.

They also accused the officer of not having ID on him when he visited again on April 17.

A council spokesman said: 'We're waiting for details of the necessary repairs and we will compensate the homeowners appropriately for this accidental damage.

'Staff on the team have been reminded of the importance of carrying their ID at all times and if, as in this case, they have left it at home, a temporary form of identification will be arranged.'

SOURCE






Understanding the Political and Economic Realities of a Carbon Tax

On May 3, the George C. Marshall Institute will release a new study considering efforts to create a national carbon tax.

Authored by James DeLong of the Convergence Law Institute, the study summarizes the political and economic forces that undermine the case for a carbon tax. DeLong presents five reasons to reject carbon taxes:

* Lack of Effect on Temperature - A carbon tax is assumed to have the effect of reducing temperature, but DeLong argues the evidence shows the impact "would be tiny" at the tax levels being advanced.

* Lack of Specificity About Future Energy Sources - Tax advocates fail to show what energy sources will emerge to replace current sources of supply or how this transformation of a capital-intensive energy sector would be accomplished.

* Neglect of Benefits from Fossil Fuels and CO2 Emissions - The carbon tax debate is solely focused on the "damages" wrought by CO2 emissions, but a fair evaluation must account for the benefits associated with production of CO2.

* Problems with Models - The carbon tax relies on the veracity of two rounds of complex computer models - one modeling the environment and humanity's purported impact on it and the other modeling the economy and the impact of imposing a carbon tax. Both sets of models have significant limitations.

* Political Pressures and Practical Problems - DeLong summarizes the regressive nature of a carbon tax, the negative impact on GDP and jobs, the effects on manufacturing in highlighting some of the consequences of a tax. Further, he points to managing the interactions with other taxes and regulations, as well as international issues as practical obstacles to the construction of an efficient carbon tax. Added to these are the inevitable tensions that will arise from the uneasy alliance of "Bootleggers" and "Baptists" (i.e., crony capitalists and environmentalists) that must unite to pass a carbon tax.

"The tax will not be implemented in the politically aseptic world of academic modelers, but in the real world of intense political pressures," DeLong argues. "Its assumed purity will not survive the onslaught."

Via email






The real Malthus

"If . . . we come to the conclusion, not to interfere in any respect, but to leave every man to his own free choice, and responsible only to God for the evil he does . . . this is all I contend for." -Thomas Robert Malthus

I am constantly surprised that defenders of liberty and free markets love to bash Thomas Robert Malthus.

Maybe I shouldn't be, but consider this: Robert Malthus (his friends called him "Bob") was one of the primary interpreters of Adam Smith for the generation after Smith. Indeed, a lot of people who pick on "Thomas" Malthus get Bob Malthus wrong.

That's not to say that Malthus was right about everything. But even more than Smith, Malthus's economics built upon the idea that all humans similarly respond to incentives, and he thereby rejected the idea of natural hierarchy. Writing in a country that had excessive restrictions on labor markets-take a look at the poor laws-Malthus was an advocate of free labor markets. And Malthus argued that private property rights, free markets, and an institution that would ensure that both parents were financially responsible for the children they bore (that is, marriage) were essential features of an advanced civilization.

"Wait a minute," you may be thinking. "Are we talking about the Malthus who claimed back in 1798 in his book An Essay on the Principle of Population that population growth would decrease per capita well-being? Isn't this the guy who argued that the combination of population growth and natural resource scarcity would create catastrophic consequences, including disease, starvation, and war, for much of the human race? And didn't he miss the benefits of entrepreneurship and innovation, blinded as he was by the fallacy of land scarcity?"

That Malthus-let's call this one "Tom"-is more a creature of ideological opponents of markets than of Malthus's own writings. So maybe we should revisit Malthus and see what he actually said.

It all begins with a thought experiment: what would happen to human population in the absence of any institutions?

The answer is the population principle, which is the only thing most people know about Malthus. And it's largely correct. In the absence of institutions, humans are reduced to their biological basics. Like animals, humans share the necessity to eat and the passions that lead to procreation. To eat, humans must produce food. To procreate, humans must have sex. If there are no institutions, human population will behave like any animal population and increase to the limit of its ecology's carrying capacity.

The biological model is simplistic; it treats humans as mere biological agents. It is this biological model that produces all the results people usually associate with Malthus's name. And it's not very far off from people's conditions when their institutions have suddenly been disrupted by things like conquest, revolution, or war. (Consider the dual problems of war and drought that resulted in famine for Ethiopians in 1983-85, for example.)

But for Bob Malthus, the biological model is only a starting point. The model set up his next concern: the incentives created by different institutional rules for families' fertility choices (in Malthus's terms: the decision to delay marriage). The comparative institutional analysis that emerged from his further investigation became the basis for his defense of the institutional framework of a free society.

But to get there, Malthus needed a more complex model of the human being, one that viewed us as more than biological agents.

His more complex model included two additional things:

The first was human reason and foresight. (Darwin's model of natural selection actually came to him when he asked, while reading Malthus, what the biological response to the lack of foresight and reason would be.) Malthus asked, what happens when we recognize that humans have the capacity to anticipate the future and to respond to it? His answer was that individuals prudentially make changes in their choices in order to respond to potential opportunities and threats.

The second thing Malthus introduced was a form of contractarianism and the idea of institutional incentives. When we recognize that humans can contract with others to create rules that will structure our future options, then we are building social institutions that incentivize individual actions.

Malthus first employs both of his models in his criticism of William Godwin's Political Justice, at the end of his original Essay. Using the biological model, Malthus shows that Godwin's call to eliminate all institutions would result in rapid population growth, creating the threat of a population "bomb." But then he stops short of reducing humanity to Hobbes's tragedy of the war of all against all. (Garrett Hardin went further than Malthus would in his "tragedy of the commons" article, which has had such an influence on neo-Malthusians.) Why does Malthus not draw the obvious neo-Malthusian conclusion? Because he begins to employ his complex model instead.

Seeing the prospect of falling into a Hobbesian state of nature, people would rather "hold a convention" and establish property rights. And then, he argues, they would fashion a rule or institution (call it "marriage") that would require parents-especially fathers-to be financially responsible for their children. These institutional moves would allow society to create a sustainable future.

The institutional considerations of his more complex theory really come out, however, in subsequent editions of the Essay. In these editions, Malthus engages in a nascent form of empirical institutional analysis. Between his own travels and traveler reports from around the world, he assembles a comparative study of how different institutional settings handle population growth. His hypothesis is simple: Nations with civilized institutions will depend less on the positive checks on population growth because their citizens are provided with clear signals that allow prudential decisions regarding the delay of marriage. What he found was that in societies with private property rights, markets, and incentives that encourage responsible fertility choices (what he called marriage), the positive checks of disease and starvation never come into play, while in societies without those institutions, the positive checks operate in full force.

It turns out the mainstream view of Tom (as opposed to the real "Bob") was first created by opponents of markets, sustained throughout the nineteenth century by lovers of hierarchy, and resuscitated in the twentieth century by environmentalists committed to the view that there are natural limits to economic growth. These environmentalists picked out the bits they liked and scrapped the rest, as it suited their agendas.

But Bob Malthus thought institutions mattered. For Malthus, the institutions of a free society mattered for prudential fertility choices, as well as for human flourishing.

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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2 May, 2013

Obama’s smear misfires at GOP 'deniers': ‘The inconvenient truth is Obama & Democrats have made utterly ignorant & comical science claims’?

Climate Depot Responds to Obama campaign's climate smear of skeptics -- Morano: 'Bluntly stated, a man -- President Obama -- who declared his presidency would result in ‘the rise of the oceans beginning to slow’, has no business whatsoever claiming he understands, let alone champions science in any way' -- 'A president who claims Americans can ‘do something’ about floods, hurricanes, droughts tornadoes is not pro-science'

By Marc Morano

President Barack Obama’s campaign to smear and intimidate global warming skeptics in Congress is now in full swing. See: Obama campaign launches plan to shame climate skeptics in Congress: ‘It is time to call out U.S. politicians who deny the science behind climate change’ & Obama Tweets about global warming: ‘Climate deniers in Congress refuse to even debate the issue. Make sure they don’t get away with it’

Obama’s new campaign hopes to silence skepticism, despite the fact that the GOP is the party taking a pro-science stand when it comes to man-made global warming fears. See: Lord Christopher Monckton defends GOP from Obama campaign attack: ‘Obama climate video stars GOP truthsayers’ — Monckton says GOP ‘talking common sense about climate’

The inconvenient truth for Obama is that he and his fellow Democrats have made many utterly ignorant and often times comical climate science claims. Bluntly stated, a man -- President Obama -- who declared his presidency would result in ‘the rise of the oceans beginning to slow’, has no business whatsoever claiming he understands, let alone champions science in any way.

President Obama has also claimed he can “block the Sun’s rays to end global warming.” In addition, Obama made the completely scientifically indefensible claim that the Waxman-Markey climate bill in 2009 would stop global temperature increases of up to five degrees! Obama said on June 25, “A long-term benefit is we’re leaving a planet to our children that isn’t four or five degrees hotter.” But Obama’s own EPA said it wouldn’t impact global CO2 levels let alone global temperatures.

Obama goes full witchcraft by telling voters they ‘can do something about’ droughts and floods and wildfires — Climate Depot Responds -- Climate Depot's Morano reminds voters: 'Acts of the UN and the U.S. Congress or EPA, cannot control the weather'

Obama said Americans can ‘do something’ about floods, hurricanes, droughts tornadoes, as though, you can at the ballot box, you vote yourself better weather. He is implying we can legislate better weather.”

The most surprising aspect of this attempt to intimidate the GOP over global warming claims is the fact that on virtually every measure, the scientific claims of the promoters of man-made global warming are failing to stand up to scientific scrutiny. See: Climate Depot Round Up: ‘The great warmist retreat has officially begun. The mainstream media cannot maintain the official man-made global warming narrative any longer' & CNN Climate Debate! Morano Debates Bill Nye on Piers Morgan & Listen Now: Morano Unleashed in One hour UK interview! ‘Do any cursory examination of who is behind this & how this warmist narrative was crafted and you will realize you have been conned by the global warming establishment’

As a result, many high profile scientists continue to dissent or reverse themselves. See: Top Swedish Climate Scientist Says Warming Not Noticeable: ‘The warming we have had last a 100 years is so small that if we didn’t have climatologists to measure it we wouldn’t have noticed it at all’ -- Award-Winning Dr. Lennart Bengtsson, formerly of UN IPCC: 'We Are Creating Great Anxiety Without It Being Justified'

‘Gaia’ scientist James Lovelock reverses himself: I was ‘alarmist’ about climate change & so was Gore! ‘The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago’

Climate Depot has assembled a very small sampling of Obama and Democrats mangling climate science to make cheap political points:

Climate Touchy-Feely: Dem Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2009: ‘Global warming creates volatility. I feel it when I’m flying. The storms are more volatile’ -- 'We are paying the price in more hurricanes and tornadoes'

Obama’s ‘Climate Astrologer’: Fmr Energy Sec. Chu claimed he knows ‘what the future will be 100 years from now’ – Morano response: 'Shouldn't Chu be touting these scary predictions of the year 2100 on a boardwalk with a full deck of Tarot Cards?'

Obama fails climate science in his 2013 State of the Union address — Climate Depot’s point-by-point rebuttal to the President’s global warming claims -- 'Mr. President, acts of Congress, the UN or the EPA cannot alter storms or weather patterns'

Congressional Weather-Makers: ‘Climate Astrologer’ Boxer warns of ‘droughts, floods, fires, loss of species’ — if Senate fails to pass climate bill – July 11, 2009

Dem Sen. Boxer: 2010 failure of cap-and-trade caused ‘hotter days’ and ‘more and more severe storms’

Sen Boxer: Global warming threatens 'the very lives of our grandchildren'

New York Times Columnist Gail Collins goes full medieval witchcraft! Declares ‘a carbon tax/fee is the key to controlling climate change’ — & keeping Arctic ice!

Carbon tax to keep U.S. safe from terrorism?! NYT’s Friedman urges carbon tax to fix America post Boston Terror!

Flashback 2009 NYT’s Paul Krugman accuses Congressmen who voted against climate bill of ‘treason against the planet!’

Gore Unhinged! Loses it on skeptical claims: ‘It may be volcanoes.’ Bullshit! ‘It may be sun spots.’ Bullshit! ‘It’s not getting warmer.’ Bullshit!’ — Climate Depot Responds! -- Climate Depot's Point-By-Point Rebuttal to Gore's Highbrow Scientific Arguments

Sen. John Kerry as Sec. Of State?! Be Afraid, Kerry’s Poor Understanding of Climate Science Poses Threat to U.S. National Security -- Climate Depot's Round up Debunking Global Warming/National Security claims -- Kerry has called Global Warming the Next 9/11 & Has Equated Soviet Nuclear warheads & Iranian Nukes to threat of Global Warming

Sen. John Kerry: Global Warming Is The Next 9/11

2010: Sen. John Kerry: ‘Equates nuclear Armageddon with fluctuations in a natural trace atmospheric gas’

Sen. Kerry: Climate change ‘as dangerous’ as Iran’s nukes; on the growth of climate skepticism: ‘I have to say it’s been a remarkably effective campaign, you can’t sit here and say it hasn’t worked’

‘Just When You Thought Global Warming Couldn’t Get More Stupid, In Walks John Kerry’: ‘Of all the ridiculous arguments in support of climate legislation, national security has to be the most idiotic’

Democrat Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz: ‘Now we can unfortunately rely on our own experience to confirm that the climate, and the weather, is getting worse’ -- 'Climate change is the challenge of our generation, and Congress must act' Senator Schatz claims government policy can improve the weather!

More HERE (See the original for links)





The most bizarre prediction of global warming doom ever

Thomas Lifson

When apocalyptic religious cults like Warmism fail the reality test, their devotees get desperate and unintentionally start producing self-parodies. The mass slow-mo mental implosion can be hilarious. We have just such an instance involving a group of House Democrats. The victim mentality is leaping to the rescue for the cause of global warming. Pete Kasperowicz of The Hill reports:

"Several House Democrats are calling on Congress to recognize that climate change is hurting women more than men, and could even drive poor women to "transactional sex" for survival.

The resolution, from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and a dozen other Democrats, says the results of climate change include drought and reduced agricultural output. It says these changes can be particularly harmful for women.

"[F]ood insecure women with limited socioeconomic resources may be vulnerable to situations such as sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage that put them at risk for HIV, STIs, unplanned pregnancy, and poor reproductive health," it says."

Global warming can make you a whore!

My colleague Rick Moran quipped, "What about transactional sex because of the lousy economy?"

This is so stupid it boggles the mind. Barbara Lee, in case you don't know, represents the good people of Berkeley in Congress.


Lee

SOURCE




Media Display Ignorance and Bias in Warming Debate

Suzanne Goldberg displayed the establishment media’s inexcusable ignorance and/or willful distortion of the global warming debate in a Thursday ‘news’ article in the prominent UK newspaper The Guardian.

Writing about an effort by the Obama administration to politicize the global warming debate and direct public ridicule at Republicans who are skeptical of alarmist global warming claims, Goldberg describes that effort as one that will “shame members of Congress who deny the science behind climate change.”

Expressing skepticism about alarmist global warming claims and alarmist future predictions by one segment of the scientific population whose prior alarmist claims and alarmist predictions have routinely proven to be false is not “denying the science behind climate change.” Subjecting theories, predictions, and scientific claims to critical scientific scrutiny is the lifeblood of science. Attempting to vilify, stifle, and shut down critical scientific analysis of scientific theories, predictions, and claims is the very definition of anti-science.

Goldberg’s distortion and bias merely grow worse as the article continues. Describing an Obama administration video that attacks Republicans on the topic of global warming, Goldberg writes that the video features Republicans “who are notorious for denying the existence of climate change, or positing bizarre notions about its causes.”

A key point made by global warming ‘skeptics’ is the Earth’s climate is constantly changing. The nature and extent of current climate change must be viewed within the context of the nature and extent of climate change that has occurred for billions of years. To the extent any faction in the global warming debate “denies the existence of climate change,” it is the alarmists who contend that any climate change that may be occurring now must be unprecedented and alarming. It is these alarmists – not skeptics - who deny climate change. Both factions agree the Earth’s climate is currently changing, but alarmists deny the longstanding and ongoing existence of past, present, and future climate change.

Regarding Goldberg’s comment about Republicans “positing bizarre notions about its causes,” she does not identify any examples. How convenient for Goldberg that she does not feel an obligation to factually justify derogatory opinions that she inserts in her ‘news’ columns.

SOURCE






Still Another Low Climate Sensitivity Estimate

As promised, we report here on yet another published estimate of the earth’s equilibrium climate sensitivity that is towards the low end of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) range of possibilities.

Recall that the equilibrium climate sensitivity is the amount that the earth’s surface temperature will rise from a doubling of the pre-industrial atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide. As such, it is probably the most important factor in determining whether or not we need to “do something” to mitigate future climate change. Lower sensitivity means low urgency, and, if low enough, carbon dioxide emissions confer a net benefit.

And despite common claims that the “science is settled” when it comes to global warming, we are still learning more and more about the earth complex climate system—and the more we learn, the less responsive it seems that the earth’s average temperature is to human carbon dioxide emissions.

The latest study to document a low climate sensitivity is authored by independent scientist Nic Lewis and is scheduled for publication in the Journal of Climate. Lewis’ study is a rather mathematically complicated reanalysis of another earlier mathematically complicated analysis that matches the observed global temperature change to the temperature change produced from a simple climate model with a configurable set of parameters whose actual values are largely unknown but can be assigned in the model simulations.

By varying the values of these parameters in the models and seeing how well the resulting temperature output matches the observations, you can get some idea as to what the real-world value of these parameters are. And the main parameter of interest is the equilibrium climate sensitivity. Lewis’ study also includes additional model years and additional years of observations, including several years from the current global warming “hiatus” (i.e., the lack of a statistically significant rise in global temperature that extends for about 16 years, starting in early 1997).

We actually did something along a similar vein—in English—and published it back in 2002. We found the same thing that Lewis did: substantially reduced warming. We were handsomely rewarded for our efforts by the climategate mafia, who tried to get 1) the paper withdrawn, 2) the editor fired—not just from the journal, but from Auckland University, and 3) my (Michaels) 1979 PhD “reopened” by University of Wisconsin.

Lewis concludes that the median estimate of the equilibrium climate sensitivity is 1.6°C, with a 90% range extending from 1.0°C to 3.0°C. (That’s almost exactly what we found 11 years ago.)

Based on this result, we welcome Lewis (2013) to the growing list of results published in the scientific literature since 2010 which find the climate sensitivity to be on the low side of the IPCC. God knows what the climategaters are emailing today.

No wonder the IPCC is reluctant to lower their best estimate of the actual value of the earth’s equilibrium climate sensitivity. If they did, they would be admitting that the collection of climate models they have chosen (there is choice involved here) to project the earth’s future climate are, well, how should we put this, wrong!…which would mean that so too is the rate at which the sky is falling, according to the USGCRP and the US EPA.

We, at Cato’s Center for the Study of Science, will continue our efforts to portray the evolving state of climate science and to convince the powers-that-be that national and international assessments upon which EPA regulations are founded (and loony proposals for a carbon tax are based) are fatally flawed. Or as we put it, in our recent (April 12) review of the USGCRP’s draft “National Assessment,” in its current form, “the NCA [National Climate Assessment] will be obsolete on the day of its official release.”

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




The Global Warmists' Last Line Of Defense: The Warming Must Be In The Bermuda Triangle

Where is all the rapidly accelerating global warming that is supposed to be gripping the world? It’s not in the air. Atmospheric temperature readings show global temperatures have been flat for more than a decade. It’s not in the upper ocean. Sea surface temperature readings similarly show no recent warming. It’s not in the polar ice caps. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite data show polar ice is currently more extensive than the long-term average.

Global warming activists have finally come up with a last line of defense they know nobody will able to prove wrong: The missing global warming is in the Bermuda Triangle. No, I am not kidding. This is what they are claiming.

You see, the alarmists have been telling us for decades that rapidly accelerating global warming was imminent and unavoidable. The problem for the alarmists is the warming that has occurred has been modest and decelerating. In fact, it has ground to a complete halt for more than a decade.

So how do Al Gore, Michael Mann and the rest of the global warming Chicken Little’s save face when their promised global warming apocalypse fails to occur? Easy, blame it on the Bermuda Triangle.

“Where did global warming go? The deep ocean, experts say,” claimed NBC News in an April 11 headline.

“Where’s the heat? In the oceans!” USA Today claimed in a headline the same day.

The headlines reflect a prominent global warming activist claiming that he developed a computer model by which global warming can bypass the atmosphere, bypass the upper ocean, and be entirely hidden in the deep ocean; you know, that part of our planet where we really can’t measure or find anything. The missing global warming is apparently hanging out at the underwater space alien base in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle, along with the missing files proving the 9/11 Truthers are right that George W. Bush bombed the World Trade Center, along with the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy files proving that Bill Clinton really did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky, and along with the missing film footage proving the seven Apollo astronauts and two Johnson Space Center directors who claim global warming is not a crisis really did stage their moon landings on a vacant lot somewhere in the Arizona desert.

The global warming activists, of course, do their best to make their Bermuda Triangle defense sound scientific. The paper claims all this phantom global warming really can directly bypass the atmosphere and the upper ocean if winds start blowing strangely enough and strongly enough to bury the warming deep in the ocean. Thankfully, we can spare ourselves the dizzying asserted logic of such claims by examining recent global sea surface wind data. As Bermuda Triangle-busting science would have it, NASA satellite instruments show global sea surface wind speeds have declined rather than increased during the past decade

. So much for the Bermuda Triangle….

Nevertheless, it has been quite interesting watching the alarmists go into conniptions imploring us to trust them on this final last line of defense. “No, you can’t objectively verify our claims, but you can’t objectively disprove the Bermuda Triangle either,” the alarmists argue. “Just trust us. And if you do, as a bonus, we’ll show you the secret undersea living quarters of Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison.”

SOURCE





Free market energy policies can end economic malaise

Non-comprehensive, none-of-the-below, Washington-dictated energy policies guarantee decline

Craig Rucker

“We can’t have an energy strategy that traps us in the past,” President Obama proclaimed in March 2012. “We need an energy strategy for the future – an all-of-the-above strategy for the Twenty-First Century that develops every source of American-made energy.”

At first blush, this sounds like common sense. The US economy and lifestyle “depend on inexpensive and plentiful energy,” the Congressional Research Service noted in a 2005 report, but people tend to forget this until world events cause gasoline prices to spike. Then Washington reacts, CRS continued – passing the Energy Policy Acts of 1992, 2005 and 2007. However, the US still does not have a “comprehensive long-term energy policy” that balances increasing supply with conservation and defines the proper interplay between government and market forces.

Forty years ago, President Nixon announced “Project Independence,” in response to the 1973 oil cutoff by Middle East and other OPEC nations, with the goal of ensuring that “Americans will not have to rely on any source of energy beyond our own.” His broad-based strategy begat the trans-Alaska pipeline (to get North Slope oil to Lower 48 markets), expanded onshore and offshore oil drilling, an all-of-the-above strategy for electric power generation that brought lignite mining and natural gas into prominence, and a host of conservation measures, including 55-mph speed limits.

President Carter brought very different thinking to Washington – policies that many believe led to declining US oil and gas production and economic “malaise.” President Reagan reversed Carter, but his successors, Congress, courts, environmental activists, regulatory agencies and disparate corporate interests launched American energy policies on a roller coaster ride. This history helps explain why comprehensive long-term energy policies and strategies are less logical and desirable than at first blush.

The term itself suggests policies devised and dictated by Washington, DC politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists and pressure groups – many of whom have no real knowledge of or hands-on experience with energy, economics, science, technology, business or job creation.

In too many cases, the policies, strategies, laws, programs and regulations are crafted to promote specific ideologies, benefit companies and organizations with the best lobbyists, and secure tax breaks, subsidies and preferential treatment for political cronies, campaign contributors and politically correct ideas.

“All of the above” too often means all of the above ground and little or nothing below the Earth’s surface: wind, solar, biofuels and wood, for example – but little or no oil, gas, coal or uranium. In fact, more than any other in history, the Obama administration is using its executive powers to delay, obstruct, hyper-regulate, penalize and bankrupt the proven energy that is the foundation of modern living standards.

Similarly, the notion that proven energy strategies “trap us in the past” fails to recognize that “past” energy technologies (oil, gas, coal, nuclear and hydroelectric) actually provide 94% of the energy that powers America today; are abundant, reliable and affordable; and represent a monumental improvement over the wind, solar, wood, dung and water wheel power that feebly energized mankind for millennia.

Suggesting that we can abandon these vital 94% energy sources – in favor of new variations on antique technologies that Mr. Obama promotes as energy of “the future” – ignores the fact that these politically correct sources are expensive, intermittent, heavily subsidized and wholly dependent on fossil fuels. Moreover, any honest and meaningful cradle-to-grave analysis of wind, solar and biofuel energy reveals that these PC sources are land- and resource-intensive, environmentally damaging, and unsustainable.

The “comprehensive long-term energy policies and strategies” slogan also ignores where the real progress of recent years has been made: in the private sector, especially the petroleum industry, where revolutionary horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies have unlocked centuries of oil and natural gas worldwide. In fact, “fracking” on state and private lands has sent US petroleum production to new heights – even as Washington politics and policies have ensured that production from federally owned and controlled onshore and offshore lands continues to decline.

Hydrocarbon, hydroelectric and nuclear have undeniable problems: oil spills, air and water pollution, radiation and accidents. But laws, regulations, technologies and greater corporate responsibility have greatly reduced their frequency and severity – and errors are quickly and severely punished.

By contrast, human health and environmental impacts associated with wind, solar and biofuel energy are routinely and systematically ignored, and almost never punished. The slaughter of millions of birds and bats annually by US wind turbines is a case in point, and when the impacts are considered in the context of the minimal energy produced via these “renewable” technologies, the damage is especially egregious.

These “alternative” technologies ALSO require perpetual subsidies, taken from hardworking taxpayers and productive sectors of our economy, and given to crony corporatists whose schemes slide repeatedly into bankruptcy. They employ rare earth metals and other raw materials that require vast amounts of fossil fuels, monumental earth removal and widespread land degradation – to build and operate facilities whose energy is so expensive it kills 2-4 jobs for every “green” job created, drives families deeper into poverty, and impairs human health and welfare.

Forty years ago, President Nixon actually sought to develop and utilize “all of the above” energy – every practical source on every list. Today, amid an anemic economy and joblessness far worse than official government figures admit, President Obama balks at approving the Keystone XL pipeline, cancels leasing and drilling on federal lands, tells our budget-sequestered military to buy $26 to $67-per-gallon ship and jet fuel, punishes refineries for not buying cellulosic ethanol that doesn’t exist, and happily lets EPA shut down coal-fired power plants and kill countless thousands of mining, utility and other jobs.

Thoughtful Americans find little comfort in these policies. Twelve million still cannot find work in this moribund, DC-dictated economy. Red-state Democrats like Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Begich (D-AK) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) tremble at the prospect of facing voters in 2014. And outrage is properly growing over the massive failures of wind, solar and biofuel startups whose executives (mostly Obama and Democrat campaign angels) skimmed millions of tax dollars for themselves but let their companies go bankrupt and their employees go on unemployment and welfare rolls.

And still President Obama and his minions push for punitive carbon dioxide regulations and carbon taxes, while the European carbon market collapses, EU jobs head to China and India, and thousands die of hypothermia in England. The European emissions trading system is “below junk status,” according to The Economist, and the collapse has been felt as far away as Australia, whose political leaders prepare to reap the whirlwind of carbon taxes that are now 5.5 times higher than in Europe. Is this America’s “future”?

Will ideology continue to trump sanity in the Obama energy and climate policy arenas? The President is putting all his eggs in the basket of “hope” that Democrats will “change” the House leadership and extend their Senate majority in 2014. He has shown little desire to compromise on energy and climate change.

America does not need “comprehensive” energy policies devised and dictated by Washington. It needs policies that unlock our creative genius and allow free enterprise and private sector innovators to operate on a level playing field – one that applies the same reasonable, responsible environmental, endangered species, tax, subsidy and other laws and standards to all companies, investors and energy technologies.

We need simple laws and policies that let our ultimate energy resource (our creative intellect) work – without ideologues, pressure groups and regulators promoting failed, subsidized energy schemes, while continuing to block affordable, dependable energy that actually creates jobs and generates revenues.

Via email

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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1 May, 2013

New paper finds IPCC models predicted decrease in Antarctic sea ice, which is currently near record highs

A paper published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres finds "most climate models from the [IPCC] archive simulate a decrease in Antarctic sea ice area over the recent past," however, "average Antarctic sea ice area is not retreating but has slowly increased since satellite measurements began in 1979."

Further, the authors find the latest generation of IPCC climate models "have not improved" over the prior generation, and "show an unrealistic spread in the mean state that may influence future sea ice behavior."

The paper, co-authored by Climategate co-conspirator Susan Soloman, attempts to save face for the models, claiming the increase in Antarctic sea ice is still within natural variability. With Antarctic sea ice currently near 'unprecedented' high levels, how long can this IPCC model flimflam persist?
Historical Antarctic mean sea ice area, sea ice trends, and winds in CMIP5 simulations

By Irina Mahlstein et al.

Abstract

In contrast to Arctic sea ice, average Antarctic sea ice area is not retreating but has slowly increased since satellite measurements began in 1979. While most climate models from the CMIP5 archive simulate a decrease in Antarctic sea ice area over the recent past, whether these models can be dismissed as being wrong depends on more than just the sign of change compared to observations. We show that internal sea ice variability is large in the Antarctic region, and both the observed and modeled trends may represent natural variations along with external forcing. While several models show a negative trend, only a few of them actually show a trend that is significant compared to their internal variability on the timescales of available observational data. Further, the ability of the models to simulate the mean state of sea ice is also important. There presentations of Antarctic sea ice in CMIP5 models have not improved compared to CMIP3, and show an unrealistic spread in the mean state that may influence future sea ice behavior. Finally, Antarctic climate and sea ice area will be affected not only by ocean and air temperature changes but also by changes in the winds. The majority of the CMIP5 models simulate a shift that is too weak compared to observations. Thus, this study identifies several foci for consideration in evaluating and improving the modeling of climate and climate change in the Antarctic region.

SOURCE






Church of Global Warming feels the heat



It is a bad time to be a global warming believer. Seventeen straight years of climate stability will straighten even the most ardent true believer's hockey stick.

Russian scientists have even expressed concern that the globe may be facing more than 200 years of global cooling even going so far as worrying about a mini-Ice Age. How very 1970s of them – maybe they will also be predicting a return of disco and the Brady Bunch.

Environmentalists had a plan on how to bring down western industrialized civilization under the weight of dire prognostications of environmental doom, and the darn planet just refused to comply. You’d think Mother Earth would be more grateful.

Of course, the global warming alarmists should have known that they could not trust the Russkies to play along with their clever ruse. After all, Russia is now going all nostalgic with a back to the 70’s Cold War theme, might as well go all the way and pull up some old Newsweek covers predicting an Ice Age.

In the same new Ice Age report, the Russian scientists reveal something their western European and U.S. counterparts hope no one in Washington, D.C. ever reads:

“According to the scientist, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere has risen more than 4% in the past decade, but global warming has practically stopped. It confirms the theory of “solar” impact on changes in the Earth’s climate, because the amount of solar energy reaching the planet has drastically decreased during the same period, the scientist said.”

If man-made carbon dioxide concentrations in the earth’s atmosphere cause global warming, and these Russian scientists assert that the CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere has increased by 4 percent, but global warming has practically stopped. Then there is clearly zero correlation between CO2 and global warming.

To make matters worse, even the U.S. climate is betraying the alarmists. With this past three months being deemed one of the coldest in history, and the darned continent of Antarctica is having the audacity of actually increasing the levels of ice on its bottom dwelling surface. Of course, believe it or not, the church of global warming explains away the growing Antartica sea ice as just one more bit of evidence for global warming.

What is even more shocking is that a cursory review of that revered scientific resource, Wikipedia, in the opening couple of paragraphs on the term “Ice Age” reveals the following:

“Glaciologically, ice age implies the presence of extensive ice sheets in the northern and southern hemispheres. By this definition, we are still in the ice age that began 2.6 million years ago at the start of the Pleistocene epoch, because the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets still exist.”

Woe is me, said the alarmist, even Wikipedia is in on the conspiracy, daring to actually use the real definitions of terms to declare that our current climate period is actually the end of the last Ice Age.

What is a good faithful servant to do with the facts that not even their most ardent leaders can deny?

How about blame weather events like Katrina or Sandy on global warming. That is the card President Obama pulled out of his hat during the recent State of the Union message to justify his continued administrative assault on so-called “fossil fuels.”

You could just feel the earth move during the speech as Al Gore took time away from counting the $100 million of oil money Al Jazeera gave him for the broadcast footprint his CurrenTV had established.

After all, there is no disputing that a Hurricane hit the mid-Atlantic, and because that hadn’t happened for a while, it must have been due to climate change.

And even though the temperatures haven’t increased for seventeen years, man-made carbon dioxide emissions have to be responsible for some catastrophic disruption, or else it is hard to justify trying to shut down the U.S. coal, oil and natural gas industries.

Too much time, money and effort have been put into indoctrinating the American public to accept climate change/global warming to allow inconvenient climate truths to get in the way.

So expect a full on assault from the Obama Administration over the next four years in a desperate attempt to wring every political advantage out of the public’s continued acceptance of a theory that has as many holes as the flag that hung over Ft. McHenry.

Perhaps using the same nimbleness that they used in changing the term “global warming” to “climate change” when environmentalists figured out the globe wasn’t warming, they could re-brand their effort once again.

Scientists in Russia might suggest, “Hey, it is getting really, really cold outside, America must be to blame somehow” as the next campaign slogan.

SOURCE





Environmentalism as the spear-point of socialism

Rich Kozlovich

An excerpt from Yuri Glazov’s "The Russian Mind Since Stalin’s Death"
In 1985, the USSR seemed immortal. Most of the observers of Soviet affairs were aware of the insuperable systemic tensions (in Hegelian-Marxist parlance, “contradictions”), but very few anticipated the regime’s imminent end. In fact, such insights existed especially among the small and beleaguered dissident enclaves in the Soviet Union itself and in East-Central Europe. Most Western academics, however, were too busy to scrutinize the arcane workings of the Politburo and regarded the dissident activities as marred by romantic daydreaming. Dissidents could be admired, but not taken too seriously……

Both thinkers understood that, once the ideological zeal was extinct, the system was doomed. The degradation of faith was a decisive catalyst for the demise of the whole system. From the original Marxist-Leninist utopia nothing remained but cynicism, confusion, and disgust with broken promises. For Glazov, the indication of the revolutionary breakdown was the fact that even party bureaucrats were treating the official mythologies as empty, soporific phrases. Nothing captures better the nature of that system than a joke quoted by Yuri Glazov– Radio Yerevan asks : “What is Marxism-Leninism, a science or an art? The answer: “It is probably an art. If it were a science it would have been tried out first on animals.”

This is one of the more profound articles I have posted over the years since it clearly outlines why leftism fails. One of my favorite phrases is; “It’s all about the basics!” Socialism in all its permutations such as fascism, communism, and environmentalism are a doomed because they are based on ideological zeal that has no sound moral, logical or factual foundation to support the gigantic structural programs of social engineering they create. When we give in to the greenies we are merely enablers to concepts that are failures in fact, failures in logic, failures in morality and failures in application. At some point we reach the "inevitability factor when reality reaches its zenith", which is when the world can clearly see the lack of rational structure because of the totality of their failure.

Leftism has failed everywhere at every point in history because it despises the individual and adores the collective. That creates a system that is irrational, misanthropic and morally defective. It has no sound stable moral foundation. How else can you explain the horrible abuses the left has heaped on humanity? The socialist monsters of the 20th century like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, Pot Pol have been responsible for the deliberate murder of over 100 million people, many of them deliberately starved to death by these leftist madmen. The environment movement, through their policies and programs has been responsible for at least that many deaths and they aren’t done yet.

Environmentalism is a true scion of the left. Currently it is the spear point of the world wide socialist movement, sharing the morally defective views of the left, their claims about concern for human health and conditions are nothing more than the same propaganda that the left has spouted for over 100 years.....and it is no less a lie now that it was when Marx spouted it in his life and the madmen of the French Revolution spouted it during The Terror.

We should recognize their cries about “it’s for the children” as nothing more than an emotional smoke screen to hide their real objectives because we have more than enough historical foundation to know what their schemes do “to the children”!

What we need is clarity of thought and definition. That leads to understanding. Understanding leads to solutions. Give me the history and I will give you the answer.

SOURCE






‘Smart' technology will cost Britons billions - and thousands of lives

The electricity industry is at the forefront of the Government’s eco-plans to reduce CO2 emissions by 20 per cent by 2020, and at least 80 per cent by 2050. To achieve that, our dependence on fossil fuels must be drastically reduced in favour of electricity generated by a mix of nuclear and renewables – which will involve defacing our country with at least 7,000 additional wind turbines.

The obvious problem with this ‘decarbonisation’ is that the wind doesn’t blow all the time.

In fact, it is common during the coldest periods in winter for there to be no windmills turning anywhere in the UK – just when energy demand is at its highest.

The simple answer is to build dozens of flexible gas-fuelled power stations, says Richard North

The simple answer is to build dozens of flexible gas-fuelled power stations to provide near-instant electricity when the windmills fail to deliver, so guaranteeing cheap and reliable electricity for industry, schools, hospitals and homes. But these have failed to materialise and it has become clear that what is in store for us is ‘demand management’ – effectively an advanced form of rationing.

‘Demand management’ turns the accepted priority of the electricity industry on its head. Rather than adopting a system capable of meeting flexible demand from a varied network of power stations, the nation’s electricity supply will be fixed, even though this means it cannot always meet demand. Instead, demand must be ‘managed’ by stopping customers from using electricity.

This is done by changing the price of energy, at five-minute intervals, according to supply-and-demand principles. Rates at peak times may be ten times or more that of the dead of night, when electricity use is at its lowest. And in an extraordinary Big Brother move, energy suppliers will effectively reach inside your homes to shut down appliances or prevent them being turned on.

To achieve this unprecedented degree of control, suppliers need to invest billions in a ‘smart’ grid, ‘smart’ meters, and ‘smart’ appliances. Unsurprisingly, consumers will foot the bill.

It is common during the coldest periods in winter for there to be no windmills turning anywhere in the UK - just when energy demand is at its highest

For the National Grid to become smart, it has to be modified at a cost of an estimated £27 billion – the price of two giant nuclear power plants – to enable it to collect information about the behaviour of customers and micro-manage power distribution.

This grid will talk to the smart meters, supposedly to be fitted to all of Britain 30 million homes by 2019, at a cost of at least another £12?billion, but probably much more.

When there is not enough electricity to go round – which will be routine in only a few years’ time – power cuts will be avoided by shutting down millions of individual smart appliances, using computer chips fitted by manufacturers.

These appliances will also be programmed to switch themselves on and off according to the electricity price, leaving the washing machine, for instance, only able to run at 2am or 3am when prices are rock-bottom – unless the owner pays a punitive premium.

If this all sounds like science fiction, it isn’t ....

At the end of last year, on the Danish island of Bornholm, a four-year, £17.5 million EU-funded experiment, EcoGrid, was set in motion. More than 2,000 homes were kitted out with smart meters, and washing machines, TVs and computers were networked, ready to be controlled by the local utility company.

The project hopes to tackle the problem of unpredictable wind by providing each household with an electric car. When the wind blows at times of low demand, the smart grid will divert this ‘wrong time electricity’ to charge the batteries of the cars. When the windmills stop turning and no electricity is produced, the grid finds all cars still coupled to the mains and takes the stored electricity back, a concept known as ‘V2G’ or ‘vehicle to grid’.

This, they hope, means black-outs will be avoided. The consequence is that at peak times, the cars may no longer be available for use.

But then there is the other side of the coin, the dark side of this ‘seismic shift’ in energy policy (the phrase used by former Energy Minister Chris Huhne before his career came crashing down around his ears.)

The plan is to double the price of electricity by the end of the decade, even though it is already twice as costly as it was a decade ago.

This will be done through George Osborne’s carbon tax, windmill subsidies and other levies, all to make the investment in the technology economically attractive – for those who can afford it.

That is where the fantasy falls down. Already, thousands of pensioners and families are being driven into fuel poverty. As a result of this year’s freezing conditions, more than 6,000 extra deaths were registered in February and March.

Campaigners at Age UK say 26,000 people die needlessly in winter every year, and for every one degree drop in average temperature, there are about 8,000 extra deaths.

The Government’s disastrous energy policies will cripple our industry and prove ruinously expensive for all but the wealthiest householders. Millions of us will be forced to choose between eating and keeping warm. But for hundreds of thousands of our most vulnerable citizens, the so-called ‘green revolution’ could be fatal.

SOURCE





A chill in the air for crony climate cash?

While Europeans bail on climate, Washington presses full speed ahead toward the iceberg!

The past 17 years of flat global temperatures are creating a big chill for lots of global warming doom-premised industries. Those experiencing cold sweats must certainly include legions of climate scientists who have come to depend upon the many tens of billions of taxpayer bucks for studies that would have little demand without a big crisis for the public to worry about….

Cooler temperatures blow ill winds for government bureaucrats, crony-capitalist rent-seekers, and other hucksters whose ambitions depend upon hot air. Even Western Europe, the cradle of carbon-caused climate craziness and cap-and-trade corruption, is feeling a cold draft. As Alister Doyle, reporting from Reuters in Oslo, recently observed: “Weak economic growth and the pause in warming is undermining governments’ willingness to make a rapid billion-dollar shift from fossil fuels. Almost 200 governments have agreed to work out a plan by the end of 2015 to combat global warming”….

…. There is good reason for this cooling climate consternation. As David Whitehouse at the Global Warming Policy Foundation points out: “If we have not passed it already, we are on the threshold of global observations becoming incompatible with the consensus theory of climate change.” Whitehouse notes that there has been no statistically significant increase in annual global temperatures since 1997. He goes on to say: “If the standstill (lower temperatures) continues for a few more years, it will mean that no one who has just reached adulthood, or younger, will have witnessed the Earth get warmer during their lifetime.” (Since 1997, atmospheric CO2 has increased from 370 ppm to 390 ppm.)

These observed developments have prompted the U.K.’s Met Office Climate Center (the national weather service) to quietly revise its projections. They now say: “The latest decadal prediction suggests that the next five years are likely to be a little bit lower than predicted from the previous prediction.” The predicted increase from 2013 through 2017 was 0.43º C above the 1971-2000 mean, while the previous prediction said temperature would increase 0.54º C from 2012 through 2016. Simply stated, it will be cooler than they expected!

The London Daily Mail published a chart that, as they say, “reveals how [the IPCC’s] ’95% certain’ estimates of the Earth heating up were a spectacular miscalculation.” Comparing actual temperatures against the IPCC’s 95% certainty projections, the lines track closely until recent years, at which point the line representing the observed temperatures “is about to crash out of” the boundaries of the lowest projections. They were supposed to climb sharply after 1990.

Whereas the IPCC has predicted that temperatures will rise by 3º C by 2050 if CO2 doubles from pre-industrialized levels of 1750, The Research Council of Norway plugged in real temperature data from 2000 to 2010 and determined that doubling would cause only a 1.9º C rise. Another study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences links temperature changes from 1750 to natural changes (such as sea temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean) and suggests “…the anthropogenic global warming trends might have been overestimated by a factor of 2 in the second half of the 20th century”….

Within the past two years, at least seven peer-reviewed studies published in the scientific literature have concluded that the influence of doubling the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere is likely to be substantially lower than IPCC has determined and have ruled out the high-end projections.

James Annan, formerly a strong defender of Michael Mann’s infamously flawed alarmist “hockey stick” graph and an expert on “climate sensitivity” to CO2 and other influences, recently concluded in his blog that the IPCC is increasingly acting in a wholly unscientific manner. He referred to a list of scientists polled as largely constituting “the self-same people responsible for the bogus analyses [he] criticized over the years, and which even if they were valid then, are certainly outdated now”.

Annan also said: “Since IPCC can no longer defend their old analyses in any meaningful manner, it seems they have to resort to an unsupported ‘this is what we think, because we asked our pals’…having firmly wedded themselves to their politically convenient long tail of high values, their response to new evidence is little more than sticking their fingers in their ears and singing ‘la la la I can’t hear you’”….

Reacting to hot temperatures in much of the U.S. last summer, former NASA employee and eternal anti-fossil fuel activist James Hansen warned us that August was “the kind of future that climate change would bring to us and our planet.” Echoing this, Al Gore lamented on his website, “dirty weather is created by “dirty energy” …” a lot of people are saying out loud, ‘I’m too hot!’ “. Even NOAA said that the lower 48 had seen the warmest year on record in 2012.

Yet as well-known Climate Depot blogger Marc Morano, recognizes: “NOAA can only claim that 2012 was the warmest single year on record through statistical tricks … including “adjusting” raw data and adding data to the overall data set from stations that did not exist when the record first started being recorded. Absent these illegitimate actions, the measured temperatures from the 1930?s still match or exceed the measured temperatures from the 1990?s and 2000?s.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, we haven’t heard much in the media about the fact that in June last year, 46 U.S. cities, including some in the Deep South, set or tied record lows … or that Alaska, which isn’t part of the lower 48, has been reporting some of the coldest winters on record since 2000. According to the Alaska Climate Research Center at University of Alaska-Fairbanks, that record has held true for 19 of 20 National Weather Stations sprinkled from one corner of the state to another.

The New York Times breathlessly reported: ”The temperature differences between years are usually measured in fractions of a degree, but last year’s 55.3º F average [in the contiguous United States] demolished the previous record, set in 1998, by a full degree Fahrenheit.” But somehow they didn’t see fit to mention that 2008 was 2º cooler than 2006, or that 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 were all cooler than 1998 by a larger margin than 2012 was hotter than 1998. And, by the way, don’t forget that the U.S. isn’t the globe. Those contiguous states, which omit Alaska and Hawaii, represent only 1.58% of the Earth’s surface.

During most of the 2011-2012 winter, the Bering Sea witnessed an ice extent between 20% to 30% above the 1979 to 2000 average, with the highest February expanse ever measured. James Taylor reported that Antarctic sea ice also set record, with the largest amount of ice ever recorded occurring on day 256 of the 2012 calendar year. In fact Antarctic sea ice has been growing ever since satellites first began measuring it 33 years ago, and the expanse exceeded the 33-year average throughout 2012.

Much of recent warming alarmism centered upon a temperature trend that began in the 1980?s, occurring less than a decade after our planet came out of a three-decade cooling trend that led many to fear a coming Ice Age. As climatologist Patrick Michaels recalls: “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.” Referring to recent alarmism, he observes: “This (greenhouse hysteria) is not the first climate apocalypse, but it’s certainly the loudest”….

It might be worth mentioning that some heavyweight U.S. solar physicists are once again predicting that Planet Earth may very well be heading into a period of protracted cooling due to a lengthy spell of low sunspot activity…potentially another “Little Ice Age”. This announcement that came from scientists at the U.S. National Solar Observatory and U.S. Air Force Laboratory was based upon three different analyses of the Sun’s recent behavior.

One of the world’s leading solar scientists, Habibiullo Abdussamatov, head of the Russian Academy of Sciences Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg and director of the Russian segment of the international Space Station, agrees that Planet Earth may be in for a long cold spell. He points out that deep cold periods have occurred five times over the last 1,000 years. Each is correlated with declines in solar irradiance, much like we are experiencing now.

Dr. Abdussamatov believes: “A global freeze will come about regardless of whether or not industrialized countries put a cap on their greenhouse gas emissions. The common view of Man’s industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect.” He predicts that a new Little Ice Age will commence around 2013/2014, the depth of the decline will occur around 2040, and a deep freeze will last for the rest of this century….

Let’s accept the fact that climate changes for many reasons without permission or help from us…it always has…always will…and not always for the worse. And let’s be skeptical about advice from alarmists who obviously depend upon scare tactics to sell us a hot bill of goods.

SOURCE





Skeptics strike back at campaign aiming to 'smear and intimidate' GOP lawmakers

A climate skeptic blog today denounced a liberal group's new campaign that spotlights congressional Republicans who don't believe in man-made climate change.

On his "Climate Depot" blog, Marc Morano, a former aide to Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), said the activist group Organizing for America was attempting to "smear and intimidate global warming skeptics" in Congress.

A video released yesterday to OFA's member email list showed 12 Republican lawmakers making statements about the science of climate change. These ranged from Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) statement that he has seen "reasonable debate" about the role human emissions may be playing in driving global warming to Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) declaring, "I don't think CO2 is a problem."

The video will be part of a larger effort by the group that is affiliated with President Obama to pressure lawmakers in hopes of paving the way for eventual legislation

"OFA believes that it is hard to make progress in Congress without confronting the challenge that there are still a lot of members of Congress who do not believe that climate change is caused by carbon pollution," OFA's Ivan Frishberg said in an email. "Despite the overwhelming scientific agreement that man-made climate change is real, there are climate change deniers all over Congress and we are going to call them out and start exposing just how dangerous and extreme this denial is."

But Morano cried foul.

"Obama's new campaign hopes to silence skepticism, despite the fact that the GOP is the party taking a pro-science stand when it comes to man-made global warming fears," Morano writes.

Morano cites a post by Lord Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, who in December was evicted from the United Nations climate change conference after impersonating a delegate from Myanmar so he could gain access to a microphone

In his post today on a blog maintained by the Science and Public Policy Institute, a skeptic group, Monckton offered a vindication of each of the 12 Republican statements in the OFA campaign. For example, he said, Barton was correct that carbon dioxide is not a problem because "even if CO2 were a problem, the cost of stopping it today would be 50 times the cost of adapting to it the day after tomorrow."

Monckton praised House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans for refusing requests by the "Donkey Party" to hold additional hearings on climate science. "The Eeyores are upset," he said, referring to panel Democrats led by California Rep. Henry Waxman who helped launch the OFA effort on a call Wednesday night.

SOURCE

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

Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here


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

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

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


WISDOM:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ABOUT:

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

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

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

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

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

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


SOME POINTS TO PONDER:

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

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

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

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

Greenie antisemitism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim Hansen and his twin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The inconvenient truth about biological effects of "Ocean Acidification"

The great and fraudulent scare about lead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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To be continued ....
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