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

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

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29 April, 2016

Munshi nails it again

Jamal Munshi is a very bright and very skeptical climate scientist.  He must have tenure or wouldn't get away with it. His latest paper is a new study of radiocarbon levels -- which shows that the increase in atmospheric CO2 is NOT the result of human activity.  Beat that!

Dilution of Atmospheric Radiocarbon Co2 by Fossil Fuel Emissions

Jamal Munshi


Post bomb period data for 14C in atmospheric carbon dioxide from seven measurement stations are available in small samples up to and including the year 2007. They do not support the theory that dilution by 14C-free fossil fuel emissions is responsible for falling levels of 14C in atmospheric CO2. We find instead that the observed decline of 14C in atmospheric CO2 is consistent with the exponential decay of bomb 14C. We also find that the attribution to fossil fuel emissions of the pre-bomb dilution of 14C in atmospheric CO2 in the period 1900-1950 found by Stuiver and Quay in tree-ring data is inconsistent with total emissions and changes in atmospheric CO2 during that period. We conclude that the data for 14C in atmospheric CO2 do not serve as empirical evidence that the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 since the Industrial Revolution is attributable to fossil fuel emissions.


Another failed Greenie prediction

One of the most enduring lies from the Greenies is that "sustainable" power will save you money in the long run.  They figure that only by making most unrealistic assumptions, usually ignoring maintenance costs, for instance.  But reality does catch up and the promised savings turn into costs.  The latest example below

Lake Land College recently announced plans to tear down broken wind turbines on campus, after the school got $987,697.20 in taxpayer support for wind power.

The turbines were funded by a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, but the turbines lasted for less than four years and were incredibly costly to maintain.

“Since the installation in 2012, the college has spent $240,000 in parts and labor to maintain the turbines,” Kelly Allee, Director of Public Relations at Lake Land College, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The college estimates it would take another $100,000 in repairs to make the turbines function again after one of them was struck by lightning and likely suffered electrical damage last summer. School officials’ original estimates found the turbine would save it $44,000 in electricity annually, far more than the $8,500 they actually generated. Under the original optimistic scenario, the turbines would have to last for 22.5 years just to recoup the costs, not accounting for inflation. If viewed as an investment, the turbines had a return of negative 99.14 percent.

“While they have been an excellent teaching tool for students, they have only generated $8,500 in power in their lifetime,” she said. “One of the reasons for the lower than expected energy power is that the turbines often need to be repaired. They are not a good teaching tool if they are not working.”

The college estimates it would take another $100,000 in repairs to make the turbines function again after one of them was struck by lightning and likely suffered electrical damage last summer.

Even though the college wants to tear down one of the turbines, they are federal assets and “there is a process that has to be followed” according to Allee.

The turbines became operational in 2012 after a 5-year long building campaign intended to reduce the college’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to fight global warming. Even though the turbines cost almost $1 million, but the college repeatedly claimed they’d save money in the long run.

“It is becoming more and more difficult for us financially to maintain the turbines,” Josh Bullock, the college’s president, told the Journal Gazette and Times-Courier last week. “I think it was an extremely worthy experiment when they were installed, but they just have not performed to our expectations to this point.”

Bullock states that the turbines simply haven’t been able to power the campus’ buildings and that most of the electricity wasn’t effectively used.

Lake Land plans to replace the two failed turbines with a solar power system paid for by a government grant. “[T]he photovoltaic panels are expected to save the college between $50,000 and $60,000 this year,”Allee told the DCNF.

Globally, less than 30 percent of total power wind capacity is actually utilized as the intermittent and irregular nature of wind power makes it hard to use.Power demand is relatively predictable, but the output of a wind turbine is quite variable over time and generally doesn’t coincide with the times when power is most needed. Thus, wind power systems require conventional backups to provide power during outages. Since the output of wind turbines cannot be predicted with high accuracy by forecasts, grid operators need to keep excess conventional power systems running.

Wind power accounted for only 4.4 percent of electricity generated in America in 2014, according to the Energy Information Administration.


Alarmists Censoring Sound Science again -- While Silencing Dissenters (of course)

Another recent study dispels the spirited, scaremonger-filled claim that fracking pollutes water supplies. But you probably haven’t heard one iota about it is because the ecofascist lobby wanted it buried. According to University of Cincinnati in Carroll’s Dr. Amy Townsend-Small, who spearheaded a years-long study on the effects of fracking on water reservoirs, “We haven’t seen anything to show that wells have been contaminated by fracking.” Townsend-Small made these remarks in February at a Carroll County Concerned Citizens in Carrollton gathering. But here’s the kicker.

At the same meeting, she gave a remarkably candid explanation for why the study won’t be made publicly available: “I am really sad to say this, but some of our funders, the groups that had given us funding in the past, were a little disappointed in our results. They feel that fracking is scary and so they were hoping this data could be a reason to ban it.” Give her props for honesty. Keep in mind, the study was partially taxpayer subsidized. Remember that next time a government official mentions “settled science.” It’s easy to find a consensus when you cherry the pick data to comport with a narrative.

Fracking is greener and more financially beneficial than alternate methods. This coupled with the aforementioned new research has National Center for Public Policy Research fellow Jeff Stier asking, “Why Are They Hiding the Good News About Fracking?” As he points out, “Back in 2011 … former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson admitted that there hasn’t been a ‘proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.’ Two years later, current EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy affirmed Jackson’s remark, stating, ‘I am not aware of any definitive determinations that would contradict those statements.’”

If only they’d actually look. “The University of Cincinnati’s fracking research further establishes what myriad studies have already shown: Concerns about groundwater contamination are baseless,” Stier concludes. Meanwhile, here’s another question: Why are greenies opposed to a greener world brought on by increased CO2, anyway? At the very least, Americans should be wondering why groups that once supported natural gas — like the Sierra Club — are suddenly trying to shut down the industry even though science supports it. They know they’re wrong — which is why they want to silence and criminalize climate dissenters. Who are the crooks again?


Obama Breaking U.S. Law to Push Climate Treaty

Current U.S. law prevents the United States from forking over money to a United Nations organization if a group that is not an officially recognized state is also a member. And while it may seem like the rule splits hairs, there’s good reason for it. As The Hill explains, the rule was established so that the Palestinians can’t pull a foreign policy fast one and leverage the UN to declare statehood without first sitting down and negotiating a lasting peace deal with Israel. But peace in the Middle East isn’t as important to Barack Obama as cementing a legacy of climate change policies that pander to ecofascists.

Senate Republicans point out that the U.S. cannot give $10 million a year to the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) because the Palestinian Authority also signed onto the framework. But as the whole climate change treaty wasn’t a treaty when Obama didn’t want to try winning approval from the Senate, Obama says the organization the treaty established is not an organization. “The UNFCCC is a treaty, and the Palestinians' purported accession does not involve their becoming members of any UN specialized agency or, indeed, any international organization,” State Department spokesman John Kirby argued. “Further, we do not believe that it advances U.S. interests to respond to Palestinian efforts by withholding critical funds that support the implementation of key international agreements, which could undermine our ability to pursue important U.S. objectives.” See? The ends justify the means.

But Obama’s arguments don’t hold water, according to The Heritage Foundation’s Brett Schaefer and Steven Groves. The two wrote that UNFCCC is an organization established by the treaty — one that employs about 500 people, similar to organizations like INTERPOL. As a result, Congress should exercise its power of the purse and pull the strings shut on this implementation of Obama’s ecofascist plan.


Welsh village to sue government over 'alarmist' rising sea level claim

A Welsh village is to sue the government after a climate change report suggested their community would soon be washed away by rising sea levels.  The document says Fairbourne will soon be lost to the sea, and recommends that it is "decommissioned".

Angry villagers say predictions of that the sea level will rise by a metre a year are alarmist, and have hit house prices and investment in the village. 

At a local meeting they voted overwhelmingly in favour of pursuing legal action over the controversial Shoreline Management Plan 2 (SMP2), saying it had "blighted" their community.

The plan for Fairbourne, in Gwynedd, surrounded by the Snowdonia National Park, was commissioned by Pembrokeshire and Gwynedd local authorities and signed off by the Welsh Government. It is not yet clear who would foot the bill should the legal campaign be successful.

Currently, Fairbourne is included in the West of Wales (SMP2) which recommends that, while the village will be protected against flooding over the next few years, in the longer term, as sea levels rise, it will undergo "managed realignment" and Farbourne will eventually be "decommissioned".

As a result, house prices in Fairbourne have plummeted and businesses have struggled for long-term investment.

The SMP2 plan states that Fairbourne will see sea levels rise by one metre in the next century, but Fairbourne Facing Change (FFC), a community action group looking to sustain the coastal village for as long as possible, has always dismissed this data as misleading.

The chairman of FFC, Pete Cole, said: "There are four Shoreline Management Plans for Wales, two of which, including the one covering Fairbourne, used the more aggressive sea level rise predictions of one metre in 100 years.

"The other two used more optimistic forecasts. If these had been used in Fairbourne the timeline would have been extended by many years.

The SMP2 plan states that Fairbourne will see sea levels rise by one metre in the next century

"It's ridiculous that had Fairbourne been separated by two different SMPs, one side of the village would be a metre under water 30 to 40 years before the other half - it's nonsensical.

"The 2016 sea level rise forecast produced by the esteemed National Tidal and Sea Level Facility concluded that sea levels could be exp¬ected to rise 50cm rather than one metre in the next 100 years and with only a modest 20 to 30cm rise in the next 50 years.

"FFC has never accepted the predictions used for our SMP2. Latest scientific evidence proves that we were right."

Seeking 'legal redress', FFC and Fairbourne are hoping to claim back the original value of all the properties and businesses in Fairbourne following the "enormously damaging" claims put forward by the SMP.

"We have been hurt by the actions of the agencies who adopted these plans without thinking of the ramifications," added Mr Cole.

"Serious questions should be asked about the 'due diligence' of these bodies which are overseeing a system which is not consistent across the whole of the country.

"A barrister from Gray's Inn Square Chambers in London, specialising in the fields of planning and local government law, has reviewed our situation and concludes that there could be a potential claim. "We could be looking at a substantial return, tens of millions, but perhaps even £100 million.

"The barrister has offered to undertake the legal work on a fixed-fee basis of around £20,000.

"Public meetings held on Friday, 5 February, agreed overwhelmingly to personally commit to contribute to the funding covering legal costs and that FFC would ask the barrister to proceed with the initial review and application of those facts to the law.

"We have already raised a four-figure sum towards the legal fees, almost a 10th of the amount required."


Greenies trying to stop oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight

It's Greenies doing what Greenies do and compromise is unknown to them.  But if drilling is to be banned there, drilling is impermissible anywhere.  For most of the length of the bight (over 1,000 kilometers), the land adjoining the Bight is basically desert.  There's nothing there.  So virtually no people to endanger in any way.  The land concerned is not called the Nullarbor plain for nothing.  Most people seem to think it is an Aboriginal name but it is in fact Latin -- meaning "No trees".   That's how barren it is. 

And the minimal runoff from the land means that there is not much to encourage life in the seas there either.  There will of course be marine life feeding off marine algae and the like but there is no reason to think any of it is unique, let alone importantly unique.  All deserts have creatures in them at low densities so the Greenies can claim that creatures on land and sea there are "endangered" but that is just a reflex.  Nobody that I know has shown that there are in fact unique creatures there, let along importantly unique ones. No doubt there are whales etc there but are there any whales there that are not found elswhere?  Even the Greenies have not yet claimed that

So if exploration even in a desert area is impermissible, where is it permisible?  To Greenies NO oil exploration or new production is permissible but less obsessed  people do not have to agree

When executives of the global oil giant BP fronted the company’s general meeting in London this month they knew they faced ­plenty of upset shareholders.

The mop-up from the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had just eaten up another $US20 billion ($25bn) of shareholder funds in a major legal settlement, and collapsing world oil prices had smashed the company’s full year profit, causing an investor revolt over an executive bonus scheme that seemed completely at odds with the financial performance.

But when the most senior BP executives faced investors, the level of hostility towards an oil ­exploration project 16,000km away took them by surprise.

“Gosh, this investment in Australia is not very popular today,” BP chief executive Bob Dudley said. But he couldn’t see why all the fuss. “The country had an area and invited people to participate in a bid,’’ Dudley said. “We do this around the world in exploration; ­it is not a particularly unusual or harsh area.”

BP’s plans, along with rival oil giants, to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight is highly contentious, but the potential rewards — up to 1.9 billion barrels of oil worth up to $110bn (at today’s depressed prices) are great. But so are the risks. It could be the next Bass Strait, enthusiastic backers claim. Or it could be the next Deepwater Horizon disaster, passionate ­opponents warn.

At the general meeting, BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg emphasised that the company was not trying to pressure governments. “To run Bight or not run Bight is not a decision for BP,” he said. “It is a ­decision for Australia.”

Now, as BP plans a $1bn exploration program and a $US750 million drilling rig nears completion in a South Korean shipbuilding yard, the federal Senate is taking a very keen interest.

Today, a Senate inquiry holds its first public hearings, hoping to determine how the contentious drilling permits were issued and administered and whether the great risks in drilling in such a ­hazardous environment as the Great Australian Bight were properly assessed.

The Bight drilling program is at a very early stage but is vigorously touted as being the next Bass Strait: an area containing billions of dollars worth of oil reserves that could transform Australia from a net importer of crude oil into an exporter.

For risk-hungry explorers it represents one of the world’s great unexplored deepwater oil regions, similar in potential to that of the Niger and Mississippi deltas. Major oil companies, led by BP, Statoil, Chevron and Santos, are lining up for a piece of the action.

But the calamitous events six years ago in the Gulf of Mexico, when an explosion on BP’s Deepwater Horizon well killed 11 wor­kers, spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into the ocean, killing countless wildlife, ruining fisheries and decimating local communities, mean that the Great Australian Bight drilling plans have put environmental groups on high alert.

Leading environmental groups have spent many months war gaming a major confrontation with BP over its Great Australian Bight plans. The campaign dovetails into a broader agenda to limit fossil fuel developments, most particularly in new frontier and ­potentially difficult areas like ­Alaska and deepwater targets such as the Great Australian Bight.

BP says in its submission to the federal Senate inquiry, it wants the matter concluded quickly “given the Senate has taken the unusual step of specifically naming our company and its proposed investments in Australia”.

Global oil and gas production will keep rising over the next two decades, it says, to help meet world demand for primary energy. It points out that Australia has produced oil since the 1960s with a history of drilling in Commonwealth Marine Areas, including the Great Australian Bight. And Australia is a net oil importer, as consumption keeps rising despite domestic oil production steadily falling. The whole nation would benefit from the discovery of a new oil or gas region, and not just through tax and other macro­economic benefits, BP says.

“Wood Mackenzie, an independent oil and gas analytical firm, estimates the potential resource in the Great Australian Bight to be 1900mmboe (million barrels of oil equivalent) of oil — more than 20 times the entire ­Australian production in 2014,” BP’s Senate submission says. “A new oilfield development could make a material difference to the balance of payments — and to tax revenues.”

Ironically, BP was granted special tax arrangements over its Great Australian Bight exploration program and can deduct 150 per cent of costs from its royalty obligations. But in response to publicity about the tax arrangements, the company said it “considers transparency an important requirement to increasing trust in tax systems around the world”. The company told an earlier Senate hearing into tax avoidance that BP Australia’s effective tax rate had averaged 28.4 per cent over the past five years with income tax payments alone exceeding $2.2bn.

Given the company’s recent history in the Gulf of Mexico, however, it is not tax matters that concentrate the minds of environ­mental groups.

The Great Australian Bight is an “extra­ordinary ocean and coastal environment of global conservation significance”, the Wilderness ­Society says in its Senate inquiry submission. “It is remote, wild and pristine, with more local marine life diversity than the Great Barrier Reef.

“While scientists are still trying to understand the diverse eco­logical values of the Bight, we know already that it is a major haven for whales, including the threatened southern right whale, and home to other significant ­marine wildlife such as the Aus­tralian sea lion, giant cuttlefish, dolphins, great white sharks and a vast array of seabirds. All of this life and ­immense natural beauty supports thriving fishing and ­tourism ­industries and a uniquely Australian way of life for the many ­coastal communities of the Bight.”

Both sides are haunted by the Deepwater Horizon disaster. ­According to BP, if the Bight was hit by a worst-case scenario — a loss of control of the well resulting in uncontrolled flow of petroleum into the ocean, “oil would take ­several weeks to reach shore and the direction in which it could drift ­varies due to seasonal differences in current and wind direction”.

But the Wilderness Society says an oil spill from a deep-sea well blowout could close fisheries in the Bight, Bass Strait and even the Tasman Sea while even a low-flow oil spill could affect all of southern Australia’s coast, from Western Australia right across to Victoria through Bass Strait and around Tasmania.

BP aims to begin exploratory drilling in October and has a $US750m harsh environment, semi-­submersible oil drilling rig nearly completed in South Korea and ready to ship to the Bight.

The Senate has a fortnight to investigate but given the looming federal election, it is feasible the Senate may not finish the task. The inquiry terms of reference call for an assessment of the potential environmental, social and economic impacts of BP’s plans, including the risks of something going wrong.

Submissions to the inquiry ­include local councils and fishing groups. The city of Victor Harbor thinks the risk of an oil spill within the Bight may be low but the ­consequences potentially catastrophic. It points out that the Bight is a pristine environment and a critical sanctuary for many threatened species that support two significant industries: fishing and tourism.

The South Australian Oyster Growers Association says it does not want to block potentially beneficial oil projects for the Eyre Peninsula and South Australia. But drilling for oil does pose a “significant risk to the currently pristine unpolluted environment and the image of this”.

“These are the features that our reputation and credentials in the marketplace are based upon, and have taken decades to ­establish and promote,” the association says.

Then there’s damning evidence by the world’s foremost engineering disaster expert, Bob Bea. Bea, nicknamed the “Master of Disaster”, criticises BP, saying there is not “sufficient information to determine if BP has properly ­assessed the risks”.

“The information that has been presented indicates that BP has apparently integrated the key ­aspects of what has been learned about drilling in high-risk environments,” Bea says. “However, the information is not available to ­determine if BP has properly assessed and managed the risks ­associated with an uncontrolled loss of well control.”

Bea, professor emeritus at the Centre for Catastrophic Risk Management, University of California-Berkeley, has worked for more than 55 years on offshore oil and gas industry operations in 72 countries.

The American ­Society of Mechanical Engineers journal says: “If Robert Bea turns up on your project, it’s not a good sign. Either you’re in the middle of a major disaster or someone is worried enough to send out the ­nation’s foremost forensic engineer to take a look.”

The Wilderness Society says BP has admitted containment booms and skimmers will not work in the Bight and that the area is “right on the edge of” the reach of helicopters. But of major concern is the level of secrecy ­imposed by the government-­sanctioned ­appro­v­ing authority, which has all of the environmental powers of the federal government over the offshore exploration area including endangered and listed marine species.

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority is an ­independent statutory authority that is the national regulator for health and safety, well integrity and environmental management for offshore oil and gas activities in Australian waters.

Green groups demand that BP release its environmental plan and that the federal government assemble an independent expert panel to look at oil drilling in the Bight. They claim NOPSEMA does not have necessary environmental expertise. “While we know the Bight is a pristine marine environment with at least 36 species of whales and dolphins, there is still much we don’t know as the GAB Research Project, which BP has partly funded, won’t report until mid-2017,” a Wilderness Society spokesman says.

The Wilderness Society is ­demanding a transparent process. “Instead, we have an Environment Minister who has handed off his responsibility to protect the environment to a poorly known regulator; one running a highly flawed and opaque process that fails to ensure the protection of our environment or properly assess the cumulative impacts of all potential oil development in the Great Australian Bight.”

BP is no doubt banking on the Senate inquiry falling victim to the electoral cycle. It wants to start drilling in October and the federal government has delegated the ­decision to its regulator.

In its own Senate submission, NOPSEMA says a final decision on the BP plans for the Bight is yet to be made. It notes that two statutory independent reviews found NOPSEMA to be a “robust, rigorous and competent regulator”.



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28 April, 2016

Percentage of Americans Who Identify as 'Environmentalists' Down 36 Points Since 1991

A Gallup poll released on Friday shows that the number of Americans who identify as environmentalists has dropped 36 points, from 78 percent in 1991 to 42 percent in 2016. There has also been a decline in Americans expressing concern about environmental problems, such as pollution.

The Earth Day poll is conducted annually by Gallup. The polling firm cites the politicization of environmental issues as one possible reason for the decline, highlighting the growing partisan gap in those who identify as environmentalists.

A large percentage of Americans (Republicans and Democrats) – 78 percent – considered themselves environmentalists in 1991. That number today is 42 percent.

Also, only 27 percent of Republicans identify as environmentalists, compared with 56 percent of Democrats, a partisan gap of 29 percentage points.

However, Gallup notes the “broader decline in personal environmentalism at the same time that the environment has turned into more of a Democratic than Republican issue,” citing the large decline in Democrats who consider themselves environmentalists -- 56 percent today versus 78 percent 25 years ago.

Gallup also notes a decline in Americans’ concern over environmental problems, such as air pollution and pollution of rivers, lakes and reservoirs. Concern over polluted drinking water is down from 65 percent in 1989-1990 to 61 percent today.

Concern over air pollution is down from 61 percent to just 43 percent today.

While concern over climate change has risen slightly (from 33 percent to 37 percent) since 1990, Gallup notes that, “on a relative basis, global warming is still of less concern than most of the other problems.”

Gallup’s poll results are based on telephone interviews conducted March 2-6, 2016, with a random sample of 1,019 adults, aged 18 and older.


Global warming hits a British spring

EVERYTHING is caused by global warming

Snow and sleet has fallen in many parts of the UK as temperatures struggle to get into double figures with the prospect of a Spring-like May a long way off.

Despite the time of year, forecasters are warning the unsettled picture will continue for much of the week with freezing conditions in many parts.

Thunder, lightning and sleet showers are expected with some in northern areas witnessing heavy snowfall, including on the North Yorkshire Moors and parts of Scotland.

The blizzard seen all over the UK were reminiscent of the bizarre scenes on the very same day 35 years ago, when snowstorms hit the British spring.

Cars were buried on the roads as the nation was blanketed in a thick layer of snow on April 26 1981, which saw the worst blizzards for that time of year in a century. 

Yesterday's downfall was the latest widespread snow has been seen in the UK since May 6, 1997, when more than 200 weather stations recorded it.

Before that forecasters have to go back to April 27, 1985 when several London weather stations recorded sleet.

Snow even stopped play at The Oval cricket ground this afternoon as the south was dusted in the white stuff.

The type of snow flurry seen in London is known as 'thundersnow'. It is a phenomenon caused by heavy showers accompanied by lightning storms.

Forecasters think parts of Britain will be colder than Siberia and Greenland this week. There is a strong risk of hail showers throughout the country, with a chance of snow settling down to 200 metres.


Clearing the Air on Fossil Fuels

A few years ago, Hal Willis, a scientist from the University of California, Santa Barbara, resigned from the American Physical Society after 67 years as a member. Why? He cited the global warming/climate change issue and the blind allegiance to global warming theory by so many of the Society’s members, as well as the organization’s failure to challenge these members in the name of true scientific investigation. Moreover, he noted that billions of dollars of research funding is a major reason the practice of true science on climate change has been replaced by ideological advocacy.

Of the climate change issue Willis said, “It is the greatest pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a scientist.” His position has support from other scientists, among them Dr. Ivar Giaever, a 1973 Nobel Prize-Winner for physics.

Giaever joined more than 70 Nobel Science Laureates in signing an open letter in October 2008 expressing strong support for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, who had proclaimed that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” Seven years later, Giaever believes Obama’s warning was a “ridiculous statement.” He told a Nobel forum last July, “I would say that basically global warming is a non-problem.”

Dr. Richard Lindzen is emeritus professor of Atmospheric Sciences at MIT. Citing the growing shrillness of the cries about “global warming” during his 30 years there, during which time he says “the climate has changed remarkably little,” he notes that the less the climate changes, the louder the warnings of climate catastrophe become.

In a recent video presentation for Prager University, Lindzen asserts that participants in the climate change debate fall into one of three groups:

Group One, he says, is associated with the scientific part of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Working Group 1), and are scientists that generally believe recent climate change is due to burning fossil fuels, which releases CO2 (carbon dioxide) and might eventually dangerously harm the planet.

Group Two is made up of scientists who, like Lindzen, don’t see the problem identified by Group One as an especially serious one. They say there are many reasons why the climate changes — the sun, clouds, oceans, the orbital variations of the Earth, as well as a myriad of other inputs, none of which are fully understood.

Group Three is made up of politicians, environmentalists and the media. Climate alarmism provides politicians money and power and environmentalists also get money as well as confirmation of their religious zealotry for the environment, while the issue satisfies the media’s need for a cause to support, money and headlines. As Lindzen put it, “Doomsday scenarios sell.”

From the climate alarmists' point of view, virtually every problem on Earth stems from climate change — as Lindzen said, “everything from acne to the Syrian civil war.”

The Director of the Center for Industrial Progress, and author of “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” Alex Epstein, shows us in another Prager University video presentation (complete with thorough sourcing for his assertions) that burning fossil fuels has improved the lives of millions in the developed world by helping solve their biggest environmental challenges, purified their water and air, made their cities and homes more sanitary and kept them safe from potential catastrophic climate change.

Could we have built reservoirs, purification plants, and laid networks of pipes to bring clean water to homes without fossil fuels, Epstein asks? Fossil fuels can do the same for those in the developing world, if the powers that be will allow it. More fossil fuel use equals more clean water.

Epstein further shows that despite an increase in fossil fuel use from 1.5 billion tons in 1970 to around 2.0 billion tons in 2010, emissions dropped from about 300 million tons to about 150 million tons during the same period. This resulted from using anti-pollution technology powered by … fossil fuels.

If CO2 emissions cause harmful changes in the environment, and if emissions have increased, then more people must be suffering “climate-related deaths,” due to things like droughts, floods, storms and extreme temperatures. But no, Epstein said. “In the last 80 years, as CO2 emissions have rapidly escalated, the annual rate of climate-related deaths worldwide has rapidly declined — by 98%.”

“In sum,” Epstein said, “fossil fuels don’t take a naturally safe environment and make it dangerous; they empower us to take a naturally dangerous environment and make it cleaner and safer.”

That understanding gets to the heart of the disagreement.

A large segment of the public has bought into the “we are killing our environment” idea put forth by the climate alarmists, and they now meekly accept it when the United Nations and their own governments advocate harmful solutions to climate change, ignoring the mounting pile of contrary data. Consequently, the economic damage done to regions of the U.S. and the thousands of American workers put in the unemployment line by the foolish policies of the Obama administration basically are considered necessary collateral damage.

A strong case has been made that fossil fuels aren’t significantly harmful, and that they have been and will be extraordinarily helpful to the people of the world, if only we will listen.


Sierra Club's Next Target Is Natural Gas

The Sierra Club has relentlessly, tirelessly and now successfully worked to smother the coal industry. Consequently, the effects are being felt in the form of higher energy bills. But if the Sierra Club gets its way, prices at the pump could also skyrocket. And it’s all thanks to the ecofascist group’s unnecessary disinformation campaign that’s now looking to quell hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).

Lena Moffitt, the director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign, tells S&P Global Market Intelligence, “We have moved to a very clear and firm and vehement position of opposing gas. Our board recently passed a policy that we oppose any new gas-fired power plants. We also have a policy opposing fracking on our books.” She added, “We are doing everything we can to bring the same expertise that we brought to taking down the coal industry and coal-fired power in this country to taking on gas in the same way.”

“That’s an amazing admission,” says Investor’s Business Daily, “given that natural gas is a clean-burning fuel that is reducing greenhouse gas emissions and real pollutants, too. There have been no reported cases of water contamination from fracking technology, as even the Obama administration has admitted.” Not to mention “the idea that America will be 100% reliant on green energy is a deeply delusional and dangerous fantasy. Even after more than $100 billion in government subsidies over the past decade, wind and solar power are so expensive and unworkable that they account for less than 4% of our energy supply. Is America really expected to give up on the other 96%?”

It’s eerily demonstrative of what Rick Moran recently wrote concerning Sanders' climate proposition: “His policies are not designed to deal with energy as much as they’re supposed to impoverish us by reducing output for reasons having nothing to do with generating electricity or fueling our cars.”

Democrats once loved natural gas. As recently as 2012, the Obama administration welcomed a future replete with liquefied natural gas. But behind all the Democrats' philandering is a strategic ruse. Columnist John Goodman makes an important insight when he writes, “We naturally assume that that public policy advocates actually want to achieve the things they advocate. But there are a lot of people both on the right and the left — but especially on the left — for whom that probably isn’t true. … Causes are vehicles to money and power.” Take away the cause, and “the donations would dry up. The jobs would go away. The research grants would vanish.”

Today, Democrats claim to hate natural gas. That’s probably because their prerogative isn’t to solve anything — rather it’s to keep the issues alive and milk them for all their political worth.


Victim of AGs’ Climate Change Inquisition Fights Back

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has launched a fierce counter-attack against Claude Walker, the attorney general for the Virgin Islands, who recently served a subpoena on CEI demanding documents related to CEI’s research on global “climate change.”

On April 20, CEI’s attorney, Andrew Grossman, filed a long and extensive objection to the subpoena and made it clear that CEI will not comply with it. Grossman, a lawyer at BakerHostetler and co-founder of the Free Speech in Science Project, told Walker in his cover letter that the attorney general’s legal action targeting CEI is “a blatant attempt to intimidate and harass an organization for advancing views that you oppose.”

The only reason to try to force CEI to turn over its internal research and documents on this issue is “to punish [CEI] for its public policy views, chill its associations, and silence its advocacy.”

Grossman cites Walker’s own statements at the press conference held by AGs United for Clean Power on March 29 to show that Walker launched this investigation to achieve political ends, not “carry out any law enforcement duty.”

Walker said his investigation was intended to “make it clear to our residents as well as the American people that we have to do something transformational” about climate change, stop “rely[ing] on fossil fuels,” and “look at reliable energy.” As Grossman says, Walker is entitled to his opinions on public policy, but Walker doesn’t have a right to wield his “power as a prosecutor to advance a policy agenda by persecuting those who disagree with” Walker.

The objection filed by Grossman on behalf of CEI not only points out the constitutional problems with Walker’s investigation, but some crucial procedural mistakes made by Walker. For example, Walker didn’t actually get a court in the Virgin Islands to issue the subpoena; he simply issued it himself.

Subpoenas that are not issued by a “court of record” and that are not part of a “pending judicial action” cannot be domesticated in another jurisdiction like the District of Columbia where CEI is located and was served with the subpoena. This is the type of basic error that one might expect from a young law firm associate, not the attorney general of a U.S. protectorate.

But more fundamentally, CEI is objecting on First Amendment grounds, citing to court cases prohibiting the compelled disclosure of the type of information and documents that Walker is trying to obtain. Grossman claims that the subpoena “violates the First Amendment because it constitutes an attempt to silence and intimidate, as well as retaliate against, speech espousing a particular viewpoint with which the Attorney General disagrees.”

CEI asserts that the subpoena is also “invalid because the underlying investigation is pretextual, is being undertaken in bad faith, is intended as a fishing expedition, and is in support of an investigation of charges that have no likelihood of success.”

In what may be a sign of the involvement of the plaintiffs’ bar in pushing these climate change persecutions in the same way it helped instigate the massive tobacco industry litigation, CEI says the subpoena is invalid and violates the Fifth and 14th Amendments because Walker has delegated “investigative and prosecutorial authority to private parties.”

CEI is referring to the fact that Walker’s subpoena was handled by a private law firm in Washington, D.C., Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, which has been called one of the “most feared plaintiffs’ firms” in the country. The firm itself brags about being the “most effective law firm in the United States for lawsuits with a strong social and political component” (emphasis added).

CEI says that Walker’s investigation “could result in penalties available only to government prosecutors.” Thus, delegating “investigative and prosecutorial authority to a private attorney, Ms. Linda Singer, and a private law firm, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, that are most likely being compensated on a contingency-fee basis, violates due process of law.”

That raises a very interesting question about “AGs United for Clean Power”—are they hiring private firms like Cohen Milstein on a contingency basis to target climate change deniers?

CEI’s objection also claims that Walker, Singer, and the Cohen Milstein firm may be subject to sanctions for violating a local court rule in the District of Columbia that required them to “take reasonable steps to avoid imposing undue burden or expense” on CEI, and that this broad, burdensome subpoena “plainly violates that duty given its facial invalidity, astonishing overbreadth, and evident purpose of imposing unwarranted and illegitimate burdens on CEI and CEI’s exercise of its constitutional rights.”

CEI says that Walker, Singer, and the firm “violated their ethical obligations” under a D.C. Bar Rule that prohibits an attorney from “knowingly us[ing] methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of” a third party.

CEI’s attorney concludes his letter to Walker by calling him (and all of the other attorneys general involved in this climate change cartel) out in very plain spoken terms: "Your demand on CEI is offensive, it is un-American, it is unlawful, and it will not stand"

He gives Walker a warning and a choice: “You can either withdraw [the subpoena] or expect to fight … the law does not allow government officials to violate Americans’ civil rights with impunity.”


Some news from Scotland


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

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


27 April, 2016

Biodegradable bags aren’t better than regular plastic bags, Australian report finds

CONSUMERS like to believe we’re doing the right thing for the environment. Purchasing plastic bags or coffee cups marked “biodegradable”, “compostable” or even plain old “environmentally friendly”, helps us sleep better at night.

But a new Senate inquiry into the threat of marine plastic pollution in Australia has found that “biodegradable” plastic bags are just as bad as regular plastic bags.

“While consumers might feel they are ‘doing the right thing’ by choosing biodegradable or degradable plastic, these products simply disintegrate into smaller and smaller pieces to become microplastic,” read the report based on the senate’s findings.

“The committee also notes that there is some community confusion regarding the differences between biodegradable, degradable plastic, compostable and traditional plastic.

“The committee strongly considers that education campaigns are required to ensure consumers make informed choices about the alternatives to traditional plastics being offered.”

Normal plastic bags are usually made from petroleum, while biodegradable bags are made from plant or organic material which can decompose much faster.

But UNSW biodiversity expert Mark Browne, one of several scientists who made submissions to the inquiry, says the biodegradable material has the “same level of environmental impact” as that in regular plastic bags.

“These pieces of microplastic can be ingested or inhaled by animals,” Mr Browne told “They can enter their lungs or guts and can transfer chemicals into the blood and surrounding tissues, which can affect how well they’re able to fight off infections.

“In plants, they can block the plant’s access to light, and plants need light to photosynthesise and produce food,” he said.
Plastic bags can kill marine life. Here a scuba diver swims over a discarded plastic bag tangled on a coral reef.

These microplastics can also affect how much food and water animals can consume. “The particles fill up the animals’ guts and they’re not able to consume as much water or food. They may die from dehydration or starvation or being infected because their immune systems have been reduced,” Mr Browne said.

“The public is buying or using these bags thinking that they’re a quick fix, but there is not enough testing to prove they’re safe.”

Clean Up Australia managing director Terrie Ann Johnson told the inquiry marine plastic pollution is a growing global threat to biodiversity. “[It’s already having a devastating impact on the Australian environment with significant potential to disrupt our lifestyle and lead to substantial economic loss,” she wrote in a submission.

Ms Johnson said it was a common misconception that marine debris and plastic pollution in Australia is a result of international pollution, or waste generated “at sea”.

According to the CSIRO, around 75 per cent of our marine debris is generated by Australian people, “not the high seas, with debris concentrated near cities”.


Earth Day Anniversary and the Balance of Nature Myth

The balance of nature theory, that nature without the influence of human beings is in harmony, is a myth. But in the wake of environmental disaster, it can be especially compelling. Case in point: the 1969 Santa Barbara, California oil spill, which saw images of oil-coated seabirds and poisoned seals and dolphins splattered on American television. The urge to do something to prevent similar catastrophes sparked unprecedented participation at the grassroots level, and a year later, on April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans celebrated the first Earth Day, marking the birth of the modern environmental movement. Soon thereafter, Congress codified the movement by passing the Clean Water Act (1972), the Clean Air Act (1973), and the Endangered Species Act (1973).

In nearly fifty years since that first Earth Day, U.S. environmental policy has been built on the assumption that nature returns to a state of harmony and balance when humans leave it undisturbed. But for all its appeal, the balance of nature theory is supported by neither historical nor ecological evidence, and most ecologists have not subscribed to it for decades.

There is no reason to believe that the Earth would be desolate in our absence, but that surely does not mean that Earth would be better off without us. Though it is commonly assumed that human beings are distinct from nature, the reality is that Homo sapiens is the result of the same natural selection process that resulted in everything else that we call nature. Far from being separate from nature, we are part of it.

If true, the balance of nature theory would indicate that the healthiest ecosystems are those that, undisturbed by humans, arrive at a climax ecology and change little from that state. Natural history does not support this claim. Rather, disturbance and change, not balance and harmony, best describe nature. To offer but one obvious example, four of the five historical mass extinctions were the result of natural causes, not human activity.

The process of survival has never been a harmonious one. Individual organisms, even entire species, that are unable to compete are ruthlessly weeded out by natural selection. Those that are adept at navigating changes in their environment survive.

When based on the evidence of natural history and ecological science, environmental regulation is one method of addressing pollution concerns. The politics of policy-making, however, mean that legislation can be heavily influenced by the mistaken assumptions of radical environmental groups, which results in inherently flawed legislation. T he balance of nature theory is particularly damaging when used as justification for environmental policy. When emotion and environmental mysticism, instead of historical evidence and ecological science, hold sway over policymakers, poor policy is the inevitable result.

This April 22 is the 46th celebration of Earth Day. It is an opportunity to reflect on the consequences of U.S. environmental policy since the Santa Barbara oil spill in 1969 and the first Earth Day in 1970. The idea that nature does best when we leave it alone is tempting, especially after the tragedy of human-caused environmental disasters. Despite its appeal, though, the balance of nature theory is a poor foundation upon which to build good environmental policy. Scientists have abandoned it, and it is about time legislators do the same.


The 'Settled' Consensus Du Jour

Authoritarianism, always latent in progressivism, is becoming explicit. Progressivism’s determination to regulate thought by regulating speech is apparent in the campaign by 16 states' attorneys general and those of the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, none Republican, to criminalize skepticism about the supposedly “settled” conclusions of climate science.

Four core tenets of progressivism are: First, history has a destination. Second, progressives uniquely discern it. (Barack Obama frequently declares things to be on or opposed to “the right side of history.”) Third, politics should be democratic but peripheral to governance, which is the responsibility of experts scientifically administering the regulatory state. Fourth, enlightened progressives should enforce limits on speech (witness IRS suppression of conservative advocacy groups) in order to prevent thinking unhelpful to history’s progressive unfolding.

Progressivism is already enforced on campuses by restrictions on speech that might produce what progressives consider retrograde intellectual diversity. Now, from the so-called party of science, aka Democrats, comes a campaign to criminalize debate about science.

“The debate is settled,” says Obama. “Climate change is a fact.” Indeed. The epithet “climate change deniers,” obviously coined to stigmatize skeptics as akin to Holocaust deniers, is designed to obscure something obvious: Of course the climate is changing; it never is not changing — neither before nor after the Medieval Warm Period (end of the 9th century to the 13th) and the Little Ice Age (1640s to 1690s), neither of which was caused by fossil fuels.

Today, debatable questions include: To what extent is human activity contributing to climate change? Are climate change models, many of which have generated projections refuted by events, suddenly reliable enough to predict the trajectory of change? Is change necessarily ominous because today’s climate is necessarily optimum? Are the costs, in money expended and freedom curtailed, of combating climate change less than the cost of adapting to it?

But these questions may not forever be debatable. The initial target of Democratic “scientific” silencers is ExxonMobil, which they hope to demonstrate misled investors and the public about climate change. There is, however, no limiting principle to restrain unprincipled people from punishing research entities, advocacy groups and individuals.

But it is difficult to establish what constitutes culpable “misleading” about climate science, of which a 2001 National Academy of Sciences report says: “Because there is considerable uncertainty in current understanding of how the climate system varies naturally and reacts to emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols, current estimates of the magnitude of future warming should be regarded as tentative and subject to future adjustments (either upward or downward).” Did Al Gore “mislead” when he said seven years ago that computer modeling projected the Arctic to be ice-free during the summer in as few as five years?

The attorney general of the Virgin Islands accuses ExxonMobil with criminal misrepresentation regarding climate change. This, even though before the U.S. government in 2009 first issued an endangerment finding regarding greenhouse gases, ExxonMobil favored a carbon tax to mitigate climate consequences of those gases. This grandstanding attorney general’s contribution to today’s gangster government is the use of law enforcement tools to pursue political goals — wielding prosecutorial weapons to chill debate, including subpoenaing private donor information from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank.

The party of science, busy protecting science from scrutiny, has forgotten Karl Popper (1902-1994), the philosopher whose “The Open Society and Its Enemies” warned against people incapable of distinguishing between certainty and certitude. In his essay “Science as Falsification,” Popper explains why “the criterion of a scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability.” America’s party of science seems eager to insulate its scientific theories from the possibility of refutation.

The leader of the attorneys general, New York’s Eric Schneiderman, dismisses those who disagree with him as “morally vacant.” His moral content is apparent in his campaign to ban fantasy sports gambling because it competes with the gambling (state lottery, casinos, off-track betting) that enriches his government.

Then there is Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., who suggests using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, written to fight organized crime, to criminalize what he calls the fossil fuel industry’s “climate denial apparatus.” The Justice Department, which has abetted the IRS cover-up of its criminal activity, has referred this idea to the FBI.

These garden-variety authoritarians are eager to regulate us into conformity with the “settled” consensus du jour, whatever it is. But they are progressives, so it is for our own good.


Most Americans Enjoy Global Warming Trend

Environmental concerns don’t exactly rank near the top of most Americans' worries. There are a few reasons for that. One is because there are far more urgent problems to deal with — like how to mitigate terrorism and kick-start the still-anemic economy. Junk science also has a lot to do with it. But another reason could be that most Americans actually enjoy the effects of global warming. (Imagine that!) In a new study published in the journal Nature, New York University’s Patrick J. Egan and Duke University’s Megan Mullin write:

“Using previous research on how weather affects local population growth to develop an index of people’s weather preferences, we find that 80% of Americans live in counties that are experiencing more pleasant weather than they did four decades ago. Virtually all Americans are now experiencing the much milder winters that they typically prefer, and these mild winters have not been offset by markedly more uncomfortable summers or other negative changes.”

Still, the authors say to enjoy the pleasant environment while it lasts. “Climate change models predict that this trend is temporary, however, because US summers will eventually warm more than winters,” they add. “Under a scenario in which greenhouse gas emissions proceed at an unabated rate (Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5), we estimate that 88% of the US public will experience weather at the end of the century that is less preferable than weather in the recent past. Our results have implications for the public’s understanding of the climate change problem, which is shaped in part by experiences with local weather.”

But if past climate models were right, the Arctic should be ice-free by now and its subsequent effects would be destroying the world. Of course, we already knew that a warmer climate is far more efficient than a cold one, and is therefore more beneficial to society. Plants, after all, could not survive without CO2, and studies show that plants thrive when more CO2 is in the air. That’s why even if global warming is causing some unwanted effects, a better response is to adapt rather than engage in a futile attempt to reverse it. If we really want to celebrate Earth Day and usher in a greener world, let’s stop trying to choke off its food supply — CO2.


Earth Day’s anti-fossil fuel focus could plunge millions into green energy poverty

Friday, April 22, marked the 47th Earth Day. You may think it is all about planting trees and cleaning up neighborhoods. But this year’s anniversary was closer to its radical roots than, perhaps, any other since its founding in 1970. Considered the birth of the environmental movement, the first Earth Day took place during the height of America’s counterculture era. According to, it gave voice to an “emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns on the front page.”

We did need to clean up our act. At that time “littering” wasn’t part of our vocabulary, The air in the Southern California valley where I grew up was often so thick with smog we couldn’t see the surrounding mountains.

Thankfully, that has changed.

Look around your community. You’ll likely see green trees, blue skies, and bodies of water sparkling in the sunshine. With the success of the environmental movement, its supporters, and the nonprofit groups it spawned, had to become ever more radical to stay relevant.

Environmentalism has changed.

The morphing of the movement may be most evident in Earth Day 2016 — which some are calling “the most important Earth Day in history.”

This year, on April 22, in a high-level celebration at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the Paris Climate Agreement will officially be signed. Thirty days after its signing by at least 55 countries that represent 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the agreement will take effect — committing countries to establishing individual targets for emission reductions with the expectation that they will be reviewed and updated every five years.

While news reports of Earth Day 2016 will likely depict dancing in the streets, those who can look past the headlines will see a dire picture — one in which more than 10 percent of a household’s income is spent on energy costs; one of “green energy poverty.”

To meet the non-binding commitments President Obama made last December in Paris, he is counting on, among many domestic regulations, the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

Last week, on the Senate floor, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, delivered remarks in advance of Earth Day on the unattainability of the U.S. climate commitments. He said: “The Clean Power Plan is the centerpiece of the president’s promise to the international community that the U.S. will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent.” It would “cause double digit electricity price increases in 40 states” and “would prevent struggling communities from accessing reliable and affordable fuel sources, which could eventually lead to poor families choosing between putting healthy food on the table or turning their heater on in the winter.”

The Heritage Foundation has just released a report on the devastating economic costs of the Paris Climate Agreement, which it calls “a push for un-development for the industrialized world and a major obstacle for growth for the developing world.” Because global warming regulations “stifle the use of the most efficient and inexpensive forms of electricity, businesses as well as households will incur higher electricity costs.” The report concludes: “restricting energy production to meet targets like those of the Paris agreement will significantly harm the U.S. economy. Bureaucratically administered mandates, taxes, and special interest subsidies will drive family incomes down by thousands of dollars per year, drive up energy costs, and eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs. All of these costs would be incurred to achieve only trivial and theoretical impacts on global warming.”

Real world experience bears out the both Inhofe’s observations and the Heritage Foundation’s conclusions.

Germany is one of the best examples of green energy poverty as the country has some of the most aggressive greenhouse gas reduction programs that offer generous subsidies for any company producing green energy. Based on an extensive study done by green energy believers in 2014, I addressed the program’s overall result: raised costs and raised emissions. I stated: “After reading the entire 80-page white paper, I was struck with three distinct observations. The German experiment has raised energy costs to households and business, the subsidies are unsustainable, and, as a result, without intervention, the energy supply is unstable.” At that time, I concluded: “The high prices disproportionately hurt the poor, giving birth to the new phrase: ‘energy poverty.’”

More recently, others have come to the same conclusion (read here and here). On April 13, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) opined: “Germany’s 16-year-old Energiewende, or energy transformation, already has wrecked the country’s energy market in its quest to wean the economy off fossil fuels and nuclear power. Traditional power plants, including those that burn cleaner gas, have been closing left and right while soaring electricity prices push industries overseas and bankrupt households. Job losses run to the tens of thousands.” Meanwhile, emissions over the past seven years have increased. Last month, Mike Shellenberger, President, Environmental Progress and Time magazine “Hero of the Environment,” tweeted: “people really want to believe good things about Germany’s energy shift, but … its emissions rose.” WSJ concludes: “The market distortions caused by overreliance on expensive but undependable power already have pushed German utilities to rely more on cheap and dirty coal-fired power plants to make up the shortfall when renewable sources can’t meet demand.”

Germany is not alone.

The U.K., according to Reuters, is facing “fuel poverty.” The report states: “The government is also under pressure to curb rising energy bills with 2.3 million of Britain’s 27 million households deemed fuel poor, meaning the cost of heating their homes leaves them with income below the poverty line.” Another account covers the U.K.’s cuts to solar subsidies, saying: “The government says the changes were necessary to protect bill payers, as the solar incentives are levied on household energy bills.”

The Netherlands, which is already behind in meeting its green energy targets, has, according to the Washington Post, had to build three new coal-fueled power plants—in part, at least, to power the high percentage of electric cars. Additionally, the country has hundreds of wind turbines that are operating at a loss and are in danger of being demolished. A report states: “Subsidies for generating wind energy are in many cases no longer cost-effective. Smaller, older windmills in particular are running at a loss, but even newer mills are struggling to be profitable with insufficient subsidies.”

Bringing it closer to home, there is über-green California—where billionaire activist Tom Steyer aggressively pushes green energy policies. Headlines tout California has the most expensive market for retail gasoline nationwide. But, according to the Institute for Energy Research, it also has some of the highest electricity prices in the country—“about 40 percent higher than the national average.” A 2012 report from the Manhattan Institute, states that about one million California households were living in “energy poverty”—with Latinos and African Americans being the hardest hit. With the Golden State’s headlong rush toward lower carbon-dioxide emissions and greater use of renewables, the energy poverty figure is surely much higher today.

This week, as you hear commentators celebrate “the most important Earth Day in history” and the global significance of the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, remember the result of policies similar to CPP: green energy poverty. Use these stories (there are many more) to talk to your friends. Make this “Green Energy Poverty Week” and share it: #GEPW.

We, however, do not need to be doomed to green energy poverty. There is some good news.

First, the Paris Climate Agreement is non-binding. Even Todd Stern, U.S. climate envoy, acknowledged in the Huffington Post: “What Paris does is put in place a structure that will encourage countries to increase their targets every five years.” While the requisite number of countries will likely sign it before the election of the next president, the only enforcement mechanism is political shaming. Even if it was legally binding, as was the Koyto Protocol, Reason Magazine points out what happened to countries, like Canada and Japan, which “violated their solemn treaty obligations”—NOTHING. The Heritage report adds: “History, however, gives little confidence that such compliance will even occur. For instance, China is building 350 coal-fired power plants, and has plans for another 800.”

Then there is the legal delay to the implementation of the CPP—which, thanks to a Supreme Court decision earlier this year, will be tied up in courts for at least the next two years. Inhofe stated: “Without the central component of (Obama’s) international climate agenda, achieving the promises made in Paris are mere pipe dreams.”

“President Obama’s climate pledge is unobtainable and it stands no chance of succeeding in the United States,” Inhofe said. “For the sake of the economic well-being of America, that’s a good thing.”


The Green War Against the Working Class

There was a time in America—and it wasn’t even so long ago—that liberals actually cared about working class people. They may have been misguided in many of their policy solutions (i.e., raising the minimum wage) but at least their heart was in the right place.

Then a strange thing happened about a decade ago. The radical leftwing environmentalists took control. These are people who care more about the supposed rise of the oceans than the financial survival of the middle class. The industrial unions made a catastrophic decision to get in bed with these radicals and now they—and all of us—are paying a heavy price.

The latest evidence came last week when another coal giant in America, Peabody Energy Corp., declared bankruptcy. This is the same fate suffered by Arch Coal Inc., Alpha Natural Resources Inc., and other coal producers that have filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors.

Peabody has stated that the lower cost of natural gas may have been a factor in their decline, and I am all for market competition, but this isn’t a result of free market creative destruction. This was largely a policy strategy by the White House and green groups.

They wanted this to happen. This was what Clean Power Plant rules from the Environmental Protection Agency were all about.

The EPA set standards by design that were impossible to meet and even flouted the law that says the regulations should be “commercially achievable.” This was a key component of the climate change fanaticism that pervades this White House.

Ideas have consequences. Obama has succeeded in decimating whole towns dependent on coal—in Wyoming, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.

Progressive liberals don’t seem to care that an estimated 31,000 coal miners, truckers, engineers, construction workers and others have lost their job since 2009 as a result of this global warming fanaticism. Another 5,000 or so could be given pink slips at Peabody.

To the left, the families whose lives are ruined are collateral damage to achieve their utopian dream of saving the planet. The Stalinists who now run the green movement believe the ends justify the ruthless means.

Investors have gotten crushed too as a result of coal’s demise. The coal industry has lost tens of billions of dollars in stock value since 2009—with many of these losses in union pension funds and 401k plans.

What is maddening about all of this is that coal is much cleaner than ever before. EPA statistics show that emissions of sulfer, lead, carbon monoxide, and smog from coal plants have been reduced by 50 to 90 percent in the last 40 years.

(The air we breathe is cleaner than ever. Carbon dioxide, by the way, is not a pollutant—it doesn’t make you sick.)

Global warming fanatics should ask themselves what they are accomplishing. For every coal plant we shut down, China and India build another 10 or so. Our coal is much cleaner and our environmental laws much stricter than China’s and India’s, so this shift of output and jobs from the U.S. to our rivals succeeds in making us poorer and the planet dirtier.

America is the Saudi Arabia of coal. We have an estimated 500-year supply. So for economic and ecological reasons, we should want American coal to dominate the world market, but the mindless environmentalists’ rallying cry is: “Keep it in the ground.”

Do liberals care that the demise of coal could lead to major disruptions in America’s electric power supply?

Coal still supplies more than one-third of our electricity, because it is cheap and highly reliable—much more so than wind and solar energy. Perhaps the millennials will realize their mistake when they won’t be able to power up their PlayStation 4s, their iPhones, and their laptops.

Republicans in Congress aren’t blameless here. They have controlled the House for five years and both chambers since 2015. But they have sat by while the EPA destroys an iconic American industry.

Why has Congress not overruled EPA rules on carbon, which is not a pollutant? Every poll shows Americans care most about jobs and the economy—and only about 3 percent care most about climate change. Yet, they refuse to stand up to Obama and take the side of the American worker.

It’s not too late to revive American coal, but that strategy starts with putting jobs first. I thought that’s what both parties have been promising.



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

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


26 April, 2016

The greatest false prophets of all time

Organic Fertilizer Is Great at Killing Bees

There have been huge Greenie panics about recurrent deaths among bees. They are all sure that modern insecticide and fertilizer usage is the cause.  But could it be that "organic" farming is the real culprit?

A given of the organic agriculture movement is that organic growers don’t use synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, like organophosphates and glyphosate (RoundUp). All that fear-mongering about pesticides is only possible because environmental groups only test for the synthetic kind, they don’t test for the pesticides and fertilizers used by organic growers.

Because those are safer? Absolutely not.

In the Journal of Economic Entomology, Brazilian scientists studied the effects of copper sulfate, a fertilizer and pesticide that is approved in the U.S. for use in organic agriculture and applied to the leaves of crop plants. Obviously the smarter approach is to treat seeds instead of using a broad spectrum pesticide, and that is the premise behind neonicotinoids, which environmental groups also protest — by treating seeds, which bees have no interest in, rather than plants, which bees do have an interest in, farmers get better yields with less environmental impact.

So why do organic farmers insist on carpet-bombing plants with chemicals instead? The science is clearly against them, so it’s for psychologists to figure out. The new paper adds to the literature showing that a targeted approach is just better, not just for honeybees, but also for stingless bees (Friesella schrottkyi), which are native to the Americas and not an introduced species like the honeybee. They are known to pollinate crop plants.

What did they find? The organic pesticide approach is incredibly toxic for bees.

The investigators compared the effects of copper sulfate and another leaf fertilizer mixture, as well as a commonly used insecticide (spinosad) on the stingless bees. They found that the copper sulfate was more lethal to the bees than the insecticide when the insects ingested it in a sugar solution.

They wrote: “[L]eaf fertilizers seem to deserve attention and concern regarding their potential impact on native pollinators, notably Neotropical stingless bees such as F. schrottkyi. Their heavy metal content is above the safety threshold for the stingless bee species studied, which may also be the case for related species. Furthermore, the mix of heavy metals in some leaf fertilizers and the presence of S[ulfur] and sometimes B[oron] may increase their risks. In sum, leaf fertilizers deserve proper risk assessment because of the isolated and mixed use of heavy metals in such fertilizers.”

So, the next time you read organic marketing claims about how synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are dangerous, be a little more skeptical. When they are applied by spray, there’s really no reason to distinguish between the two types.


A good reminder that Warmist climate predictions are all totally dependant on heroic assumptions about "feedbacks"

But the feedbacks are all highly theoretical and don't overall seem to work the way the Warmists say.  Video from 2013 by Dr. David M.W. Evans. Watch towards the end. It gets very interesting.

Sanders' Climate Policies Are Anything but Green

On Bernie Sanders' campaign website, he erroneously claims, “While fossil fuel companies are raking in record profits, climate change ravages our planet and our people — all because the wealthiest industry in the history of our planet has bribed politicians into ignoring science.” Yet ignoring science is exactly what he’s doing when he claims to have a magic formula for reversing global warming.

Writing in Foreign Policy, Keith Johnson and Molly O'Toole observe, “Fracking for natural gas has helped utilities mothball dirty coal plants. And nuclear power provides 20 percent of U.S. electricity — and all of it is emissions free. Both energy sources would be targeted by Sanders, yet very hard to replace.” Citing a study by the think tank Third Way, Johnson and O'Toole say “getting rid of nuclear power means U.S. carbon emissions would ‘go up dramatically,’ and in the worst-case scenario, could ‘wipe out a decade’s worth of progress’ and return U.S. carbon emissions to levels last seen in 2005. That’s because retired nuclear plants would almost always be replaced by natural gas or coal.”

Germany is a good example. While slowly weaning itself off of nuclear power, emissions are on the increase. As Rick Moran at PJMedia points out, “Today, solar power accounts for only one percent of the electric grid. Wind power is responsible for 5%. Despite tens of billions of dollars in grants and loans given to these ‘renewable’ energy companies over the last 8 years, nuclear power still generates more than twice the electricity as solar and wind put together. And Sanders wants to destroy the nuclear industry.” He adds that Sanders' ideals “are not designed to deal with energy as much as they’re supposed to impoverish us by reducing output for reasons having nothing to do with generating electricity or fueling our cars.” This is Socialism in a nutshell.


Climate Alarmists Alarmed Public No Longer Panicked About The Climate, Demand More Doomsday Headlines!

Climate science critics Dr. Sebastian Lüning and professor Fritz Vahrenholt present some findings that climate alarmists are not very amused over: Climate alarmism has waned and is no longer making any headlines.  The two co-authors of “The Neglected Sun” write at their site:

“People aren’t dumb. Climate alarmism just isn’t working. The public is fed up with the constant unending apocalypse, for which there are still no reliable indications. Gradually the alarm has been disappearing from the headlines.

Here the UN is getting very worried because with the help of climate panic they wish to justify huge finance transfers from the rich to the poor. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has expressed these concerns in a press release.

It is indeed absurd that the climate change is being hyped as the ‘greatest problem for humanity’ at a time when the world is currently suffering from rampant terrorism and migration crises.

What on earth is going through the heads of the climate romanticists? Do they not want to or are they just unable to see the reality? Is it all about money? Or power? Read the following from the IFAD press release April 6, 2016, which will leave you amazed:

‘Despite being “the biggest threat facing humanity” climate change and its impacts fail to make headlines, says IFAD study

Even as 60 million people around the world face severe hunger because of El Niño and millions more because of climate change, top European and American media outlets are neglecting to cover the issues as a top news item, says a new research report funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today.

“It’s incredible that in a year when we have had record temperatures, 32 major droughts, and historic crop losses that media are not positioning climate change on their front pages,” said IFAD President, Kanayo F. Nwanze. “Climate change is the biggest threat facing our world today and how the media shape the narrative remains vitally important in pre-empting future crises.”

The report, “The Untold Story: Climate change sinks below the headlines” provides an analysis of the depth of media reporting around climate change in two distinct periods: two months before the 21st session of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, and two months after. Specifically, it explores whether issues connecting climate change, food security, agriculture and migration made headlines, and if so, how much prominence these stories were given.

Among some of its key findings:

* Climate change stories were either completely absent or their numbers decreased in major media outlets in Europe and the United States before and after COP21.

* Coverage on the consequences of climate change, such as migration, fell by half in the months after COP21 and people directly impacted by climate change rarely had a voice in stories or were not mentioned at all.

* News consumers want climate change issues and solutions to be given more prominence in media outlets and, in particular, want more information on the connections between climate change, food insecurity, conflict and migration.

The release of the report comes just days before world leaders gather at the United Nations in New York to sign off on the Paris Agreement coming out of COP21. In December, the agreement made headlines and led news bulletins across the globe. But leading up to COP21 and in the months following it, coverage on climate change significantly fell off the radar of major media outlets across Europe and the United States. […]


Smelling blood in the political water

Having destroyed US coal industry, Democrats and eco allies are now attacking all fossil fuels

Paul Driessen

The great white environmentalist sharks smell blood in the water. It’s gushing from mortally wounded US coal companies that the Obama EPA has gutted as sacrifices on the altar of “dangerous manmade climate change” prevention and other spurious health, ecological and planetary scares.

Peabody Energy, Arch Coal and other once vibrant coal producers have filed for Chapter 11 protection, shedding some $30 billion in shareholder value and tens of thousands of jobs in their companies and dependent industries. The bloodletting has left communities and states reeling, union pension funds and 401k plans empty, and the health, welfare, hopes and dreams of countless families dashed on the rocks.

President Obama promised to bankrupt coal companies with punitive regulations, and he kept his word.

Hydraulic fracturing did play a role. It made natural gas abundant and inexpensive, and gas-fueled power plants increasingly attractive for utilities that were forced to shutter modern coal-fired units that provided reliable, affordable power, emitted little harmful pollution, and had years of useful life remaining.

However, as economist Stephen Moore noted, coal’s demise wasn’t “a result of free market creative destruction. This was a policy strategy by the White House and green groups. They wanted this to happen.”

“This was what EPA’s Clean Power Plan rules were all about,” Moore adds. “The EPA set standards that by design were impossible to meet, and even flouted the law that says the regs should be ‘commercially achievable.’ This was a key component of the climate change fanaticism that pervades this White House.”

To this president, the EPA and the Left in general, he concludes, “the families whose lives are ruined are collateral damage to achieve their utopian dream of saving the planet.” It’s a Climate Hustle.

It is today’s equivalent of New York Times Moscow Bureau Chief and Stalin apologist Walter Duranty’s favorite line: “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.” But after tens of millions of broken human “eggs,” where are the communist and green utopia omelets?

40,000 elderly Europeans died this past winter, because they could no longer afford adequate wintertime heat, after EU climate policies sent electricity rates “necessarily skyrocketing” more than 40% since 1997. Millions die every year in Africa from lung, intestinal and other readily preventable diseases, while President Obama tells Africans they should forego fossil fuels and rely on wind, solar and biofuel power, because “if every one of you has got a car and … a big house, well, the planet will boil over.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama joined Chinese, Indian and other world leaders in signing the Paris climate treaty on Earth Day, ignoring the requirement for Senate ratification. The hypocrisy and insanity are boundless.

The treaty will obligate the United States and other developed nations to slash their fossil fuel use, carbon dioxide emissions and economic growth. China, India and other developing economies are under no such requirement, unless and until it is in their interest to do so. For them, compliance is voluntary – and it should be. They simply cannot afford to eliminate fuels that supply 85% of all global energy and are their ticket out of poverty and into the world of modern health and prosperity that we enjoy, thus far.

In fact, while unaccountable EPA bureaucrats are shutting down US coal-fired generators, these countries have built over 1,000 coal-fired power plants and plan to build 2,300 more – 1,400 gigawatts of new electricity. China and India account for 1,077 GW of this total. They are also lining up for free energy technology and billions of dollars a year from developed nations for climate change “reparations.”

That is why poor countries signed the Paris treaty. It has nothing to do with preventing climate change.

But none of this has stopped the environmentalist sharks from starting a fossil fuels feeding frenzy. The bloodied American coal companies have them churning the water, chomping for more. They’ve launched a “keep it in the ground” movement, to make hydrocarbons off limits forever.

In fact, environmentalism is morphing into an anti-hydrocarbons climate movement that claims every weather event and climate blip is unprecedented, a harbinger of Armageddon – and caused by our using oil, gas and coal to power modern civilization and improve human health and living standards.

Drexel University sociologist Robert Brulle tallies and 20 other climate coalitions, comprised of 467 separate organizations, just in the USA. Funded and directed by Rockefeller and other wealthy liberal foundations, they increasingly rail against “dangerous manmade climate change” as an “existential threat” to humanity and planet.

President Obama is totally onboard. His policy and regulatory agenda confirms that. So are Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and most of an increasingly far-Left Democrat Party.

Sanders flatly opposes all “fracking” and has introduced legislation to keep America’s abundant fossil fuels locked up in perpetuity. Clinton opposes all fossil fuel energy extraction from federal lands, wants to block fracking by imposing countless regulatory obstacles, and intends to make the United States 50% dependent on renewable energy by 2030. As president, they would achieve this by executive decree.

The consequences would be disastrous: enormous acreage, water, fertilizer, pesticides and fuel devoted to producing biofuel, millions of birds and bats butchered by wind turbines to generate electricity, millions of jobs lost, millions of families sent into fuel poverty as energy costs rocket upward. For what benefits?

The rest of the world will continue using hydrocarbons. That means, even assuming CO2 now drives Earth’s climate, ]implementing EPA’s draconian Clean Power Plan would keep average planetary temperatures from rising an undetectable 0.03 degrees Fahrenheit, and seas from rising an imperceptible 0.01 inches, by the end of the century. (Oceans have already risen 400 feet since the last nature-driven ice age ended and all those mile-high glaciers melted.)  See CFACT’s Climate Hustle movie on Monday!

The “keep it in the ground” crowd doesn’t care about this or the mounting death tolls resulting from their anti-fossil fuel policies. The typical voter or street protester probably hasn’t thought it through. But the leaders have. They’re just callously indifferent. It’s one more depressing example of “the well-intentioned but ill-informed being led around by the ill-intentioned but well-informed.”

Politicians, environmentalists, alarmist scientists and renewable energy industrialists have built a $1.5-trillion-per-year Climate Crisis industry that gives them research grants, campaign cash, mandates, huge subsidies – and vast regulatory power to eliminate conventional energy; make electricity rates skyrocket; fundamentally transform economic systems; control lives, livelihoods, living standards and liberties; and redistribute the world’s wealth. Poor, minority and working class families will suffer most.

The ruling elites don’t care. They will do well, travel often, keep their pensions and get still wealthier. Climate rules, deprivation and “sustainability” are for the Little People.

This entire system is based on the unproven bald assertion that fossil fuels are causing dangerous and unprecedented weather and climate disruption … carbon dioxide has replaced the complex natural forces that drove drive climate change in previous centuries … there is no longer any room for debate over these “facts” … and the only issue still open to discussion is what to do to avert “imminent catastrophe.”

We “skeptics” challenge these claims. We point out that Earth’s temperature, climate and weather have always changed in response to powerful natural forces, and differ little today from what they have been for the past 50-150 years. We say the problem is not climate change, but policies imposed in the name of preventing climate change. We threaten the Climate Crisis Establishment, and its money and power.

That’s why they want to shut us up and shut us down – by prosecuting us for “racketeering,” and denying us our constitutional rights to speak out about policies that affect our lives. It is a disgraceful, un-American return to Inquisition tactics and fascist book burnings.

We must all take a stand, fight back and assert our rights. Otherwise, our children face a grim future.

Via email

Inhofe: Obama’s Wrong. Climate Change Is Not Our Biggest Threat

Last year, Vox pressed the president on the matter, asking if he truly believes it is a greater threat than even terrorism. He responded by saying “absolutely,” and his press secretary Josh Earnest reaffirmed a day later saying unapologetically, “the threat of climate change is greater than the threat of terrorism.”

Just a few days after the administration’s remarks, the Islamic State beheaded 21 Coptic Christians in the Middle East and posted it on the Internet for all to see. While the president is busy pushing climate change as the most important issue among international elites, the Islamic State is working to recruit its newest members using such tactics as this.

Whether in San Bernardino, Brussels, London, Madrid, Paris, Israel, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, Libya, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Chad, Mali, Philippines, Australia, or across the globe, deadly and violent attacks by radical extremists are happening on a regular and increasing basis.

To suggest that rising temperature is the cause for these efforts is not only disingenuous, but also dangerous.

The objective of these acts of terror is to destroy Western way of life, extinguish religious minority groups, drive out vulnerable and poor populations, and suppress women and children’s freedom and participation in society. To suggest that rising temperature is the cause for these efforts is not only disingenuous, but also dangerous.  

On April 13, I held a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to highlight the consequences of the Obama administration’s rhetoric that elevates the theory of man-driven climate change above the current threats our society is facing.

Retired Major Gen. Bob Scales provided an expert perspective on the tendency for liberals to compare climate change and war, saying that:

The administration’s passion to connect climate change and war is an example of faulty theories that rely on relevance of politically correct imaginings rather than established historical precedent or a learned understanding of war.

Gen. Scales went on to testify that the greater threat is the Obama administration’s syphoning off of defense dollars in order to pay for his climate change initiatives. The $120 billion spent by the Obama administration on climate change in the past seven years would have better served our national defense.

Instead the administration has put into motion $1 trillion in defense budget cuts while also using precious defense funds for wasteful green energy initiatives to include building biofuel refineries for the private sector—a job more suited for the Department of Energy.

Gen. Scales highlighted that as a result of this misprioritization of taxpayer dollars, our “soldiers and sailors today are bombarded by a series of global threats and diminishing resources. The additional distraction of focusing on climate change in the midst of all this is simply counterproductive.”

Today, the international community gathers once again in the name of climate change, this time in New York City to sign the Paris agreement. We will undoubtedly hear speech after speech about how today’s actions are necessary in order to save our children’s children from an imperiled future.

The U.N. is great at hyping up the legitimacy of photo-op diplomacy. But these actions are a distraction from the fact that climate change policies come at a high economic cost while having no actual impact on the climate change.

These actions are a distraction from the fact that climate change policies come at a high economic cost while having no actual impact on the climate change.

For the United States, the high profile distraction being led by Secretary of State John Kerry is meant to settle the concern among some international circles that President Obama will not be able to follow through on his emission reduction promises.

But these concerns are well founded, especially in light of the Supreme Court’s truly historic stay against his Clean Power Plan, which makes delivery of his 26 to 28 percent emission reduction promise wholly unrealistic.

It’s a shame the president and the U.N. will spend the day celebrating an agreement that has no legal weight and will ultimately fail just like the Kyoto Protocol.

Their time and our resources would have been better spent unifying the international community around a need to protect and defend our citizens from the real threat at the door step—radical Islamic extremism.



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

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25 April, 2016

The lying never stops.  Now krill are being used to push Warmist nonsense

If you read carefully below, you will see that it's only warming in the Western Antarctic that is at issue.  So if the warming is due to climate change why is the much greater bulk of the rest of Antarctica remaining stable and even gaining glacial mass?  Easy.  The Western Antarctic warming is NOT due to climate change.  It is now well-known that there is extensive vulcanism at both poles -- localized in the South mainly in the Western Antarctic. It is subsurface volcanoes that are causing the localised warming of the Western Antarctic, not CO2 emissions

'Krill is the power lunch of the Antarctic': But now the decline in numbers of the tiny crustaceans caused by climate change is killing penguins

Penguins, seals and whales in the Southern Ocean are being threatened by a declining krill population caused by climate change and melting Antarctic sea ice.

The inch-long crustaceans are considered the 'basis' of the Antarctic food chain and use sea ice to protect themselves and feed from the algae that grows from it.

Penguin-watchers say the krill are getting scarcer in the western Antarctic peninsula, under threat from climate change and fishing

The inch-long crustaceans are considered the 'basis' of the Antarctic food chain and use sea ice to protect themselves and feed from the algae that grows from it

'Krill is the power lunch of the Antarctic. It's a keystone species for everybody,' group leader Ron Naveen said.

Sea temperatures on the peninsula have risen by three degrees in the past 50 years, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature said the threat of declining krill populations was significant and claims 300,000 tons of krill is caught annually and used for farmed fish and 'Omega 3' oil supplements.

However, Norwegian fishing company Aker BioMarine said the amount of krill caught by humans is comparatively small, with just 0.5 per cent of the 60 million tons eaten each year by sea creatures.


Huge coral reef discovered at Amazon river mouth

More evidence of how poorly understood coral reefs are.  Warmists are dogmatic that recent bleaching on the Northern part of Australia's GBR is due to global warming but who knows? This recent discovery was apparently a huge surprise.  There were not supposed to be corals in that location.  So it shows how little we actually know about how corals work

What it does show is that corals are highly adaptable and can survive a lot of challenges.  It might also be noted that there are benthic corals in Icelandic waters that get no sunlight at all.  They have become filter feeders.  Some of the South American corals may be that too

Yup. Science is settled.

Scientists astonished to find 600-mile long reef under the muddy water in a site already marked for oil exploration
Scientists were ‘flabbergasted’ to discover the Amazon reef as coral usually thrives in clear, sunlit tropical waters.
A huge 3,600 sq mile (9,300 sq km) coral reef system has been found below the muddy waters off the mouth of the river Amazon, astonishing scientists, governments and oil companies who have started to explore on top of it.

The existence of the 600-mile long reef, which ranges from about 30-120m deep and stretches from French Guiana to Brazil’s Maranha?o state, was not suspected because many of the world’s great rivers produce major gaps in reef systems where no corals grow.

In addition, there was little previous evidence because corals mostly thrive in clear, sunlit, salt water, and the equatorial waters near the mouth of the Amazon are some of the muddiest in the world, with vast quantities of sediment washed thousands of miles down the river and swept hundreds of miles out to sea.
But the reef appears to be thriving below the freshwater “plume”, or outflow, of the Amazon. Compared to many other reefs, the scientists say in a paper in Science Advances on Friday, it is is relatively “impoverished”. Nevertheless, they found over 60 species of sponges, 73 species of fish, spiny lobsters, stars and much other reef life.


How Manitoba’s ‘green’ power dream became a nightmare of runaway costs

Since the early 2000s, Manitoba’s NDP government has committed the province’s power system to expand and profit from the fight against global warming. With the federal government now developing a national energy plan with the same objectives — and Manitoba’s NDP fighting for re-election on Tuesday — there’s no better time to take stock of the provincial government’s efforts over the last 15 years.

And the results so far are clear: power sold at a loss to U.S. buyers, calls for federal subsidies, new debts and losses for Manitoba Hydro, a less-diversified power supply, and expensive rate hikes forecast to keep rising for the next 20 years. The few winners have been contractors and construction unions and some northern First Nations.

It started with an experiment to replace the fossil-fuel-power that back-up Manitoba’s hydro-electricity with wind power in the province’s gusty south. After that ended up too costly, the government turned its attention to the Far North.

Its first big green initiative there was the 200-megawatt Wuskwatim dam built on the Burntwood Diversion near Thompson. Approved in 2004, the project was expected to cost $900 million and rake in profits from exported power to the U.S. When it was finished eight years later, the capital cost including necessary transmission, came in at $2 billion. After all that, the cost of generating and conveying power came in at roughly 13 cents per kilowatt-hour, but buyers are now willing to pay only around three cents per kilowatt-hour.

The rise of fracking and the collapse in natural gas and spot electricity prices, combined with American solar and wind subsidies and better U.S. energy efficiency all killed any hopes for the “green premium” that Manitoba had banked its renewable-power plan on. And yet Wuskwatim’s failure would not deter the NDP government from pursuing yet more costly additional northern hydro-electric and transmission projects.

After a review and a recommendation from Manitoba’s Public Utilities Board, the government did at least suspend immediate plans for the massive northern hydro dam, Conawapa, planned with about seven times the capacity of Wuskwatim. But it continues to barge ahead with the ongoing construction of the 695-megawatt Keeyask dam, and its massive new meandering transmission line, which runs through valuable farmland. The dam is currently estimated to cost $6.5 billion; the transmission line another $4.6 billion. Given recent experience, it’s possible they could end up costing almost twice as much.

And the government…will see a windfall from the levies it imposes on the utility, leaving ratepayers with decades of higher bills to cover those costs.

Some First Nations have done well thanks to these projects. To win their backing, the government gave them hundreds of millions of dollars in pre-construction inducements, along with one-third equity interests in Wuskwatim and Keeyask, acquired through no-risk loans from Manitoba Hydro.

And the government, as Manitoba Hydro’s sole shareholder, will see a windfall from the levies it imposes on the utility, leaving ratepayers with decades of higher bills to cover those costs. The Public Utilities Board’s review revealed that the provincial government could expect at least $25 to $30 billion of additional levies over the next five decades if these, and various other parts of Manitoba Hydro’s expansion plans all go ahead. The provincial levies include capital taxes, debt-guarantee fees, and water rentals, in addition to normal payroll and income taxes on contractors and Hydro employees and provincial sales taxes levied on consumer and business bills.

But for Manitobans themselves, the green future is looking dark. Thirty per cent of provincial households are lower income and the province has seen no major new industry spring up in 15 years. Meanwhile, there is downward pressure on domestic demand due to rising prices; export prices and demand are in the doldrums; and Manitoba Hydro is already sitting on 30 per cent more generation and transmission capacity than the province’s power demands actually require.

Back when oil was over $100 a barrel, then Manitoba NDP Premier Gary Doer frequently asserted that hydro-generated electricity was Manitoba’s oil. His government crowed about the “Manitoba Advantage” of cheap, green hydro power. Even as export prices and volumes fell, his successor, Greg Selinger, ignored the changing economics and continued to accept massive over-budget construction costs. That “advantage” is now fading fast, while Manitoba Hydro’s debt becomes instead an albatross around the province’s financial neck.


Senators Target U.S. Funding for Kerry’s Prized UN Climate Change Programs

Taking aim at one of Secretary of State John Kerry’s most cherished causes, a group of Republican senators is warning him that the administration will violate U.S. law if it does not cut off funding to the U.N.’s climate change agency and affiliated entities in response to its recent admission of the “State of Palestine.”

In a letter to Kerry, 28 senators pointed out that the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) decision to admit the Palestinians should trigger a funding cutoff in line with a 1994 law.

That’s what the administration – reluctantly – did in 2011 when the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization became the first U.N. agency to admit the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) as a member. The administration has been trying since then to obtain congressional waiver authority to enable it to restore funding to UNESCO, without success.

This time the target is bigger – and even closer to Kerry’s heart. Not only the UNFCCC is in the Republican senators’ crosshairs, but also the affiliated Green Climate Fund (GCF), whose aim is to help developing countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to various phenomena blamed on climate change.

While the administration has requested $13 million for the UNFCCC in fiscal year 2017, President Obama has pledged $3 billion to the GCF over four years. The first $500 million of that pledged amount was transferred on March 7.

Many Republican lawmakers also oppose the administration’s domestic and international actions on climate change, including its efforts to circumvent Congress in committing the U.S. to the Paris agreement.

When the administration transferred the first $500 million instalment of the promised $3 billion to the GCF last month, Barrasso questioned how what he called the “handout to foreign bureaucrats” could be justified in the current economic climate.

Challenging a State Department official during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Barrasso also noted that Congress had not authorized or appropriated any funding for the GCF, and charged that the payment violates legislation which prohibits federal agencies from spending federal funds in advance or in excess of an appropriation.

Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom said in response the department had “reviewed our authorities and made a determination that we can make this payment to the Green Climate Fund.”

Kerry, who has championed the climate change issue for decades, said after the Paris accord was struck that he did not believe Americans would ever elect as president a candidate who did not support the international climate change effort.

“I don’t think they’re going to accept as a genuine leader someone who doesn’t understand the science of climate change and isn’t willing to do something about it,” he said.


Scientists Build a Better Incandescent Light Bulb… Six Years After Last US Factory Closes

The bureaucratic way to save power is about to be superseded by a better method -- a technological innovation

Six years after the last incandescent light bulb factory in the U.S. shut down due to strict new federal energy conservation standards, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have come up with a technological breakthrough that could make incandescent bulbs twice as energy-efficient as their replacements.

MIT researchers discovered that by wrapping the filament of an incandescent bulb with a “photonic crystal,” they could “recycle” the energy that was typically lost as heat to create more light.

The new technique “makes a dramatic difference in how efficiently the system converts electricity into light,” said the research team led by MIT professors Marin Solja?i?, John Joannopoulos and Gang Chen. 

Their results were published online in the January edition of the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

“The heat just keeps bouncing back in toward the filament until it finally ends up as visible light,” MIT post-doctoral researcher Ognjen Ilic explained. “It reduces the energy that would otherwise be wasted.”

In 2007, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, which set new energy conservation standards for lighting fixtures and other products by 2014 in order to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The “new light bulb law”, as it was called, required “25 percent greater efficiency for household light bulbs that have traditionally used between 40 and 100 watts of electricity,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The stringent new standards effectively prohibited the manufacture of most ordinary incandescent light bulbs in the U.S. As a result, GE shuttered the last domestic incandescent light bulb factory in the nation in 2010, laying off 200 workers in Winchester, Virginia.

Since then, incandescent bulbs have been largely replaced with more energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light-emitting diode (LED) lamps. In February, GE announced that due to poor sales, it would no longer make or sell CFLs – which contain mercury - in the U.S., and will focus on the more expensive, but longer lasting LEDs instead.

But a new generation of incandescent bulbs could be twice as energy efficient as LEDs without the drawbacks, including higher initial cost and “inconsistent” white light.

“Whereas the luminous efficiency of conventional incandescent lights is between 2 and 3 percent, that of fluorescents (including CFLs) is between 7 and 15 percent, and that of most commercial LEDs between 5 and 20 percent, the new two-stage incandescents could reach efficiencies as high as 40 percent,” according to a press release from MIT.

The MIT researchers noted that the greater increase in energy efficiency also comes with “exceptional reproduction of colours and scalable power.”

In February, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) introduced the Energy Efficiency Free Market Act of 2016 (HR 4504), which would prohibit states and federal agencies from adopting “any requirement to comply with a standard for energy conservation or water efficiency with respect to a product.”

“This legislation eliminates the overreaching arm of the federal government that continues to force itself into the household of the American consumer,” Burgess said. “When the market drives the standard, there’s no limit to how rapidly manufacturers can respond when consumers demand more efficient and better-made products.”

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), commercial and residential users in the U.S. used 412 billion kilowatthours of electricity for lighting in 2014. Lighting accounted for 15 percent of their total electricity use.


Energy Sec.: ‘Legislative, Economy-Wide Approach’ Needed To Reduce CO2

Fairly cautious stuff.  The Greenies will not be much pleased

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says he believes the U.S. can achieve it’s goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2025, but will need “more arrows in the quiver” and “will require a legislative, economy-wide approach” in the future.

Moniz made the comments at the Christian Science Monitor Breakfast in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. There he discussed the 2005 U.N. international climate change agreement and what the U.S. will have to do to meet it’s goals in greenhouse gas reduction of roughly 27% below 2005 levels.

“I think we have the tools to meet something like a 2025 goal,” Moniz said. “But again the very deep de-carbonization is going to require more arrows in the quiver and ultimately, I believe, will require a legislative economy-wide approach.”

Moniz was asked if he thought the risks of failing to reach the 2025 greenhouse gas emission goals were political or technical.

“I think we have the technologies in hand combined with good policy, but policy I’m not talking now about - what I think we eventually need, which will be an economy-wide approach to carbon reductions and a legislative approach,” Moniz said.

“But I mean policies like, continuing to promulgate efficiency standards whether it’s for appliances, equipment or vehicles, buildings – etcetera. Things of that type, I think we have the tools that we need to meet something like the 2025 goal.”



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

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


24 April, 2016

"Renewables" are alone enough?

The bright-eyed Warmist guy below -- Mark Diesendorf  -- is triumphant in thinking that he has shown that there is no need for hydrocarbon-fuelled baseload power stations. What he  argues below (in summary) has some logic in that although renewable power sources have very uneven availability by themselves, a whole network of renewable sources is more reliable. So if everything is interconnected, you might be able to get power from solar cells when the wind isn't blowing and vice versa.  Because it does happen that all renewable sources are not always  available in the quantities demanded, he does however concede that reliance on other sources -- such as gas turbines -- would sometimes be required.

Clearly, however, such a system would require a lot of very tricky management and good luck for there always be some power source available.  And lot more transmission lines -- which are both costly and eyesores -- would be required to get the geographical spead needed to overcome the localism of things like clouds and wind.  The wind can be blowing in one place and not in another place nearby, for instance.  So to have a useful spread of inputs you would need generators scattered far and wide -- and all sorts of new and expensive transmission lines from them to a central core or elsewhere. And the NIMBYs would block you at every step along the way when you try to build those transmission lines.

And the backup gas-powered generators needed to fill in when nature is unobliging would have to be very powerful.  On those occasions at night when the wind isn't blowing, the gas generators would have to be capable of assuming the whole load.  So in the end you still end up with huge hydrocarbon-powered generators.  So where is the benefit?  A benefit to Warmist ideology only, it seems.   You would still have to double up your power generating capacity. 

And "renewable" power sources require much larger capital investment per megawatt so you are looking at spending something like three times what you need to in order to get an acceptable electricity service.  But money seems to grow on trees in the Greenie imagination so I suppose they dismiss that with a wave of their hands

I suppose I should briefly mention the main two other sources of "renewable" power -- solar furnaces and hydro-electricity.

Solar furnaces are easy.  They do not remotely live up to their promises and the two big ones -- Ivanpah in California and Abengoa in Spain -- have just been hit by huge cost over-runs.  Obama may bail out Ivanpah but it would just be pouring money down a hole if he did.  Its running costs far exceed what it can get for its power.  And the Spanish government will probably just have to switch their installation off -- if they have not done so already. 

And building new hydroelectric installations is a laugh. They all require big DAMS -- and, in their strange superstitious way, there is nothing a Greenie hates more than a dam.

So I think we have to conclude that Mr Diesendorf is up the creek in a barbed-wire canoe without a paddle -- as Barry Humphries puts it

The assumption that baseload power stations are necessary to provide a reliable supply of grid electricity has been disproven by both practical experience in electricity grids with high contributions from renewable energy, and by hourly computer simulations.

In 2014 the state of South Australia had 39% of annual electricity consumption from renewable energy (33% wind + 6% solar) and, as a result, the state’s base-load coal-fired power stations are being shut down as redundant. For several periods the whole state system has operated reliably on a combination of renewables and gas with only small imports from the neighbouring state of Victoria.

The north German states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein are already operating on 100% net renewable energy, mostly wind. The ‘net’ indicates trading with each other and their neighbours. They do not rely on baseload power stations.

A host of studies agree: baseload power stations are not needed

“That’s cheating”, nuclear proponents may reply. “They are relying on power imported by transmission lines from baseload power stations elsewhere.” Well, actually the imports from baseload power stations are small.

For countries that are completely isolated (e.g. Australia) or almost isolated (e.g. the USA) from their neighbours, hourly computer simulations of the operation of the electricity supply-demand system, based on commercially available renewable energy sources scaled up to 80-100% annual contributions, confirm the practical experience.

In the USA a major computer simulation by a large team of scientists and engineers found that 80-90% renewable electricity is technically feasible and reliable (They didn’t examine 100%.) The 2012 report, Renewable Electricity Futures Study. Vol.1. Technical report TP-6A20-A52409-1 was published by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The simulation balances supply and demand each hour.

The report finds that “renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today, in combination with a more flexible electric system, is more than adequate to supply 80% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2050 while meeting electricity demand on an hourly basis in every region of the United States.”

Similar results have been obtained from hourly simulation modeling of the Australian National Electricity Market with 100% renewable energy (published by Ben Elliston, Iain MacGill and I in 2013 and 2014) based on commercially available technologies and real data on electricity demand, wind and solar energy. There are no baseload power stations in the Australian model and only a relatively small amount of storage. Recent simulations, which have yet to be published, span eight years of hourly data.

These, together with studies from Europe, find that baseload power stations are unnecessary to meet standard reliability criteria for the whole supply-demand system, such as loss-of-load probability or annual energy shortfall.

Furthermore, they find that reliability can be maintained even when variable renewable energy sources, wind and solar PV, provide major contributions to annual electricity generation, up to 70% in Australia. How is this possible?

Fluctuations balanced by flexible power stations

First, the fluctuations in variable wind and solar PV are balanced by flexible renewable energy sources that are dispatchable, i.e. can supply power on demand. These are hydro with dams, Open Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGTs) and concentrated solar thermal power (CST) with thermal storage, as illustrated in

Incidentally the gas turbines can themselves be fuelled by ‘green gas’, for example from composting municipal and agricultural wastes, or produced from surpluses of renewable electricity. More on this below …

Second, drawing on diverse renewable energy sources, with different statistical properties, provides reliability. This means relying on multiple technologies and spreading out wind and solar PV farms geographically to reduce fluctuations in their total output. This further reduces the already small contribution from gas turbines to just a few percent of annual electricity generation.

Third, new transmission lines may be needed to achieve wide geographic distribution of renewable energy sources, and to multiply the diversity of renewable energy sources feeding into the grid. For example, an important proposed link is between the high wind regions in north Germany and the low wind, limited solar regions in south Germany. Texas, with its huge wind resource, needs greater connectivity with its neighbouring US states.

Fourth, introducing ‘smart demand management’ to shave the peaks in electricity demand and to manage periods of low electricity supply, can further increase reliability. This can be assisted with smart meters and switches controlled by both electricity suppliers and consumers, and programmed by consumers to switch off certain circuits (e.g. air conditioning, water heating, aluminium smelting) for short periods when demand on the grid is high and/or supply is low.

As summarized by the NREL study: “RE (Renewable Energy) Futures finds that increased electricity system flexibility, needed to enable electricity supply-demand balance with high levels of renewable generation, can come from a portfolio of supply- and demand-side options, including flexible conventional generation, grid storage, new transmission, more responsive loads, and changes in power system operations.”

A recent study by Mark Jacobson and colleagues went well beyond the above studies. It showed that all energy use in the USA, including transport and heat, could be supplied by renewable electricity. The computer simulation used synthetic data on electricity demand, wind and sunshine taken every 30 seconds over a period of six years.

Storage or ‘windgas’ could also manage fluctuations

The above ‘flexible’ approach may not be economically optimal for the UK and other countries with excellent wind resource but limited solar resource. Another solution to managing fluctuations in wind and solar is more storage, e.g. as batteries or pumped hydro or compressed air.

A further alternative is the ‘windgas’ scenario recently advocated by Energy Brainpool as a greener and lower cost alternative to the UK’s Hinkley C nuclear project. The idea is to use excess wind energy to produce hydrogen gas by electrolysing water and then convert the hydrogen to methane that fuels combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power stations.

In fact, not all the hydrogen needs to be converted into methane, and it’s more efficient to keep some of it as hydrogen, a useful fuel in its own right. Another option is to use the hydrogen to make ammonia (NH3) which can both be used as a fuel, and as a feedstock for the fertiliser industry, displacing coal or natural gas.

In Brainpool’s scenario, the system is used to replicate the power output of the 3.2GW Hinkley C nuclear power station, and shows it can be done at a lower cost. But in fact, it gets much better than that:

    as each wind turbine, CCGT, gas storage unit and ‘power to gas’ facility is completed, its contribution begins immediately, with no need for the whole system to be built out;

    the system would in practice be used to provide, not baseload power, but flexible power to meet actual demand, and so would be much more valuable;

    as solar power gets cheaper, it will integrate with the system and further increase resilience and reduce cost;

    the whole system creates grid stability and cannot drop out all at once like a nuclear plant, producing negative ‘integration costs’.

But in all the flexible, renewables-based approaches set out above, conventional baseload power stations are unnecessary. In the words of former Australian Greens’ Senator Christine Milne: “We are now in the midst of a fight between the past and the future”.

The refutation of the baseload fairy tale and other myths falsely denigrating renewable energy are a key part of that struggle.

SOURCE cites Bill Nye’s fake degrees to prove he’s a scientist

Because there are no other more important issues to fact check, the folks over at decided to investigate Sarah Palin’s claim that she’s “as much a scientist” as the star of the children’s television show, “Bill Nye the Science Guy.”

Of course they found in Nye’s favor:

But check this out. To help prove that Nye is a real scientist, they cited his honorary degrees. You know, degrees that are actually awards and not really degrees at all:

Nye has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Cornell. He also has six honorary doctorate degrees, including Ph.D.s in science from Goucher College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Sorry, guys, but that’s not how it works. Why not cite any of Nye’s numerous peer-reviewed papers instead?

Oh, that’s right … because he has none. From The Federalist:

It does not appear that Nye has published a single paper in a peer-reviewed journal of any kind; his chief scientific exploits of the past 20 years or so appear to be tinkering with sundials and making public speaking appearances to talk about how great science is.

His most recent high-profile contribution to “science” was to publicly debate a creationist over whether the Earth is 6,000 years old—a functionally useless endeavor, though I’m sure it made for a great Twitter hashtag.

Bill Nye: STILL not a scientist.


Earth Day — Signing the Paris Climate Agreement

(Originally posted Apr. 22, 2016)

For this year’s rendition of Earth Day, the stakes couldn’t be higher. More than 130 nations will gather to formally sign the Paris Climate Agreement at the United Nations in New York. Nothing could better signify Earth Day than a global gaggle of government leaders burning fossil fuels on their way to forcing us to spend a lot of green to preserve a little green, all while expanding their control over our lives.

While Congress has not ratified the agreement — nor are there any plans to — the Obama administration argues that its own assent is all that is necessary. Once 55 or more nations that represent 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions sign, the Paris accord can become effective as early as November 2017. The United States and China, which has also pledged to sign, together make up 38% of emissions. Meanwhile, a number of smaller nations are willing to sign in the hope of becoming beneficiaries of the inevitable wealth transfer the UN is sure to facilitate.

We’ve talked about the racket known as Earth Day many times on these pages, but climate alarmists are now shrieking that 2016 will be the warmest year on record, and that we have to DO SOMETHING before the global average temperature rises more than two degrees Celsius from pre-industrial values. “We are at a critical juncture when it comes to preserving our climate,” warned Michael Mann, the “climate researcher” who’s best known for the discredited “hockey stick” graph of global temperatures over the centuries, and for his omission of relevant data that failed to support his theory.

Unfortunately, no one has conclusively proven that our current climate is the optimal or “normal” one, either. Did you know, for example, as “skeptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg points out, that about 0.5% of all deaths are heat-related, while more than 7% are cold-related?

It’s worth noting too that climate alarmists aren’t the only ones predicting a record warm year. Climate “deniers” like meteorologist Joe Bastardi have been forecasting higher temperatures this year because of weather patterns.

Despite all that, Barack Obama is plunging head-first into the Paris agreement as a continuation of his quest to wipe out the coal industry through power plant regulations and keeping other abundant energy sources off limits.

Yet not only is there a cost in jobs lost in the energy sector, but also a real increase in what’s known as “green energy poverty,” an economic condition where families spend more than 10% of their income on heating and other domestic energy costs. While the relatively low price of natural gas helps keep heating costs down, government subsidies and outright mandates for “renewable energy,” such as wind and solar power, bend the cost curve upward — sort of like a hockey stick.

Yet a change in administration, such as one to Ted Cruz, or, to a lesser extent, Donald Trump, will provide little relief from the Paris provisions. Buried in the Paris Climate Agreement is language preventing any nation from withdrawing within the first three years after it takes effect, with a further cooling-off period of one year. In essence, given a possible effective date of November 2017, the next president is stuck with this agreement. One silver lining is that there is little in the way of strict enforcement, as that would make the agreement a treaty requiring Senate ratification, something Obama scrupulously sought to avoid.

So let’s recap: Today we celebrate a completely fabricated holiday (which, no small irony, occurs on the anniversary of Vladimir Lenin’s birth) by signing an agreement of dubious legality and limited enforcement mechanisms in order for do-gooders to try to solve a problem that mankind has little, if anything, to do with. Sounds like a perfect example of liberalism to us. (Read more about the Left’s “Real ‘Climate Change’ Agenda.”)


Obama’s Attack on Oil and Gas

How do you cap an oil gusher? If you were a wildcatter in East Texas during the 1930s, you would fashion a rig using any manner of tools available to contain the gooey liquid until you could profitably deliver it to energy-thirsty consumers. If you were President Obama, however, you might focus on one particular method: plugging up the wild well with the latest edition of the Federal Code of Regulation and hope that consumers didn’t notice at the gas pump. According to Independent Institute Senior Fellow William F. Shughart II, this is pretty much what the White House has done by enacting regulations that erode the benefits consumers would otherwise derive from the recent energy boom.

“The administration has zeroed in on the [oil and gas] industry with new rules on hydraulic fracturing, natural gas flaring, and methane emissions, to name but a few,” Shughart writes in American Thinker. Toss in the president’s nixing of the Keystone XL pipeline and moratorium on energy exploration in the Arctic and Atlantic coastal waters, and you have ample evidence that President Obama dislikes fossil fuels so much that he’s willing to inflict significant harm on the industry. Now the president is proposing to raise taxes on crude oil by $10 per barrel—a move that would push up gas prices about 24 cents per gallon, according to one industry analyst.

The administration sees the tax hike as an opportunity—to bolster his environmental street cred and to fund resource-wasting mass transit projects and subsidies to R&D on self-driving cars—as if Google, Ford and the other corporate behemoths currently pursuing that technology need the money. Doubtless his proposed tax hike will please special interests but not the economy as a whole. “Cronyism, whether to benefit renewables or fossil fuels, is a serious problem,” Shughart continues. “Robust economic growth will return if and only if Washington gets out of the way.”


Top 5 Reasons Congress Should Reject Obama’s Climate Change Treaty

Secretary of State John Kerry will join leaders from around the world to sign the Paris Protocol global warming agreement this Friday at the United Nations headquarters.

Here are the top five reasons Congress and the next administration should withdraw from the accord:

1) Higher energy bills, fewer jobs and a weaker economy.

The economic impact of domestic regulations associated with the Paris agreement will be severe. To meet America’s commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the administration will need to drive the cost of conventional fuels higher so households and businesses use less.

Because energy is a necessary input for almost all goods consumers buy, households are hit by higher prices multiple times over. Global warming regulations will increase electricity expenditures for a family of four by at least 13 percent a year. Cumulatively, they will cost American families over $20,000 of lost income by 2035 and impose a $2.5 trillion hit on the economy.

2) No impact on climate.

Regardless of one’s opinions on the degree to which climate change is occurring, regulations associated with the Paris accord will have no meaningful impact on the planet’s temperature.

Even if the government closed the doors to every businesses and CO2-emitting activity in the U.S., there would be less than two-tenths of a degree Celsius reduction in global temperatures.

Even Kerry admitted during the negotiations last December that:

If all the industrial nations went down to zero emissions— remember what I just said, all the industrial emissions went down to zero emissions— it wouldn’t’t be enough, not when more than 65 percent of the world’s carbon pollution comes from the developing world.

Though the Paris Protocol is an international agreement, there is little reason to believe that the developing world (India, China, etc.) will prioritize reducing cargo dioxide emissions over using affordable energy that provides their citizens with a better standard of living.

Yes, China and other developing countries have serious air and water quality problems from industrial byproducts. But do not associate those problems with carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a colorless, odorless and non-toxic. The focus of the Paris Protocol is to address catastrophic global warming. The developing world has more pressing tangible environmental challenges, which they’ll be able to address when they’re wealthier and have the necessary means to tackle them.

3) Massive taxpayer-funded wealth transfer for green initiatives.

An important part of the Paris agreement for the developing world is money. More specifically, other peoples’ money. In Nov. 2014, President Barack Obama also pledged to commit $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, an international fund for green projects in the developing world.

The administration and proponents of a Green Climate Fund have repeatedly called for spending $100 billion per year between the United States and other countries in public and private financing to combat climate change.

In March, the Obama administration made a $500 million taxpayer-funded payment to the Green Climate Fund despite Congress never having authorized the funding.

The Green Climate Fund is nothing more than a taxpayer-funded wealth transfer from developed countries to developing ones. The fund will do little to promote economic growth in these countries but instead connect politically-connected companies with taxpayer dollars.

4) Avoids review and consent from elected officials.

The Paris agreement is in form, in substance, and in the nature of its commitments a treaty and should be submitted to the Senate for review and consent. The executive branch has shown contempt for the U.S. treaty-making process and the role of Congress, particularly the Senate.

As my colleague Steven Groves writes and explains in great detail, “The argument that the U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution “targets and timetables” are not legally binding and therefore the Paris Agreement is not a “treaty” requiring the advice and consent of the Senate simply has no basis in law.”

5) A top-down, government controlled push for economic transformation.

To achieve their global warming goals, international leaders want to control an economic transformation. Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has said that:

This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution.

A top-down, concentrated effort to shift away from the use of coal, oil and natural gas will prevent millions from enjoying the basic energy needs Americans and the developed world takes for granted. In the industrialized world, the effects of moving away from conventional fuels have been devastating at times. Fuel poverty and pricier energy caused tens of thousands of deaths in Great Britain because families could not heat their homes. The world runs on traditional fuels because they are cost competitive and abundant. If and when any transformative shift away from these natural resources occurs, it will be driven by the market.

The Paris agreement, and U.S. participation in the entire framework convention on climate change is a raw deal for Americans. The next administration should not only withdraw from Paris but the entire United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.


Australian scientists write open letter demanding action on Great Barrier Reef as 93 per cent of the reef has been affected by coral bleaching due to climate change

But what CAN the government do if it's due to climate change?  They want the government to stop all coal usage but that would do nothing for the reef.  The proportion of CO2 added to the atmosphere by the burning of coal in Australia is minuscule.  The whole thing is just a cynical and dishonest attempt to push their usual barrows by exploiting something that is almost certainly due to the El Nino weather oscillation and not to "climate change"
Dozens of Australian scientists have penned a letter to express major concern for the Great Barrier Reef, which is currently undergoing its worst coral bleaching in history.

The letter signed by 56 scientists urged the government to make phasing out fossil fuels and coal a major priority to save the reef.

'We are now seeing first hand the damage that climate change causes, and we have a duty of care to speak out,' the open letter stated.

'Australia must rapidly phase-out our existing ageing and inefficient coal-fired power stations.

'In addition, there can be no new coal mines. No new coal-fired power stations. The transition to a renewables-led energy system, already underway, must be greatly accelerated.'

The letter, published in The Courier-Mail as an advert, cost the $14,000 to publish and was funded by a the Climate Council successfully raised money from 250 sponsors.

A report by noted the letter was published in the same week it was revealed 93 per cent of the world's largest reef was affected by coral bleaching, the worst case in recorded history.

Organisations are demanding further action from the federal government, with WWF Australia pushing for 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2035 and net zero carbon pollution before 2050, according to the report.



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

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


22 April, 2016

Blatant and dishonest propaganda from Bill Nye

So Bill Nye, the elementary “Science Guy” (we prefer the more accurate phrase “Science Lie”), is taking on Patriot Post contributor and veteran meteorologist Joe Bastardi. Posing with a fabricated hard copy of a Post publication in his latest video, Nye responds directly to Bastardi’s November column, “Some Questions for Bill Nye Six Years After Our ‘O'Reilly Factor’ Debate.” Nye’s challenge? “Mr. Bastardi, I will bet you $10,000. I predict that the year 2016 will be among the top ten hottest years ever recorded. … I’ll take it up a notch. I’ll bet you another $10,000 that the decade 2010-2020 will prove to be the hottest decade ever recorded.”

Bastardi has been quite public about forecasting a warm 2016 since last year. Nye is apparently unaware of this, so he resorted to a straw man. Why would Joe bet against his own forecast? Note also that Nye did not accept Bastardi’s challenge after the El Niño of 2010. Bottom line: The El Niño spike was predicted well in advance. Isn’t it ironic that Nye is responding to the piece several months later — once the spike occurred as forecasted? He should take the $20,000 he would have lost after 2010 and put it toward helping feed starving people, or the homeless — either is a far more pressing problem. Nobody denies that the climate is changing — in fact, with every breath you exhale, it changes. But on the assumption that global temperatures are warming, the question is, “Why is the climate changing?” Bastardi addresses that question here.

Nye calls Joe a “climate change denier,” which is the Left’s catch-all moniker for those who do not attribute “global warming” exclusively to human activity, or advocate the ecofascist prescriptions for dealing with that change. Recall that when global cooling trends challenged the “global warming” rhetoric of Al Gore and his ecofascists, they adopted the ubiquitous alternative “climate change,” which can encompass the whole range of climate phenomena — colder, hotter, wetter, dryer, calmer, stormier, etc. Of course, the Left’s real underlying political agenda is not about “climate change” at all, but big government control. The real deniers are those who refuse to recognize that the sun, the earth, stochastic events and the very design of the system far outweigh the effects of the increase of one molecule of CO2 out of every 10,000 molecules of air over a 100-year period.

On a final note, Mr. Conservationist printed a faux paper copy of The Patriot Post, which is an online publication. What a waste! Consider all the CO2 that did not get absorbed because a poor tree was butchered for a “climate change” prop.


Warmists in a tizzy when a leading newspaper breaks ranks

All the critics are long-time Warmists.  Only one has claims to be a climate scientist

Some of the world's most eminent scientists have written to the editor of UK newspaper The Times to complain about its coverage of climate science.

They suggest the newspaper may be unduly influenced by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which, despite its name, denies humans are causing climate change.

Baron John Krebs, a highly decorated biologist is behind the push, writing that the newspaper has become a "laughing stock" for publishing poor quality science.

"The implications for your credibility extend beyond your energy and climate change coverage," he said in the letter.

"Why should any reader who knows about energy and climate change respect your political analysis, your business commentary, even your sports reports, when in this one important area you are prepared to prioritise the marginal over the mainstream?"

The letter was signed by Krebs and 12 other peers, including:

    Baron Robert 'Bob' May, a former chief scientist of the UK

    Baron Martin Rees of Ludlow, the Astronomer Royal

    Baron Julian Hunt of Chesterton, former chief executive of the British Meteorological Office

    Baron David Puttnam, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind Chariots of Fire and The Killing Fields

The peers took particular issue with two articles by environment editor Ben Webster, both of which were republished by The Australian.

One article - Planet is not overheating, says Professor - reported on science which was sponsored by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation, which has five peers of its own on its board of trustees, describes itself as "open-minded on the contested science of global warming".

"[M]any of the sub-standard news stories and opinion pieces appear to concern, in some way, GWPF," it said.

"Whether any newspaper should involve itself repeatedly with any pressure group is a matter for debate; it would be deeply perturbing to find that a paper as eminent as The Times could allow a small NGO, particularly one whose sources of financing are unknown, a high degree of influence."

They said the second article - Scientists 'are exaggerating carbon threat to marine life' - misrepresented good science.

A follow-up opinion piece from a Times columnist "in either ignorance or disregard" failed to mention the scientist's criticism of the Times' report on his work.

"As Editor, you are of course entitled to take whatever editorial line you feel is appropriate. Are you aware, however, how seriously you may be compromising The Times' reputation by pursuing a line that cleaves so tightly to a particular agenda, and which is based on such flimsy evidence?" the peers wrote.

"Climate science has proven remarkably robust to repeated scrutiny, and multiple lines of evidence indicate that climate change and ocean acidification pose serious and increasing risks for the future."


Natural Gas as Environmental Threat?

The community of Warrenton, Oregon, successfully stonewalled the construction of a terminal that would have exported liquefied natural gas overseas in their town. Since 2012, Oregon LNG wanted to build the terminal and an 87-mile pipeline that would ferry the gas that originated in Canada. But over concerns that the terminal would gas the environment and damage the local economy, local government blocked the proposal that would have created 150 jobs in the area. So Oregon LNG decided to drop the project.

Democrat lawmakers like Sen. Ron Wyden celebrated the job-crushing news. “I am relieved that local voices prevailed,” he said in a statement. But Democrats and the Obama administration were not so hostile to liquefied natural gas in the past. Indeed, they used to see the stuff as a future green energy. In 2012, the Obama administration envisioned vehicles running on liquefied natural gas providing a clean-burning alternative to oil-guzzling trucks. But in a few years, gas has turned from hero to villain to the Left.

“Build the terminal in a more jobs friendly location and let them reap the benefits,” wrote Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw. “The good citizens in Warrenton, meanwhile, can smoke their corn cob pipes and stare out across their empty bay, enjoying the sounds of the wind, the waves, and the unemployed people camping out near the beach.”

Some way or another, this nation needs energy. Maybe the folks of Warrenton would like some wind turbines, that energy source that whines all the time and kills birds.


Global warming is making weather BETTER: 80 per cent of Americans are benefiting from nicer conditions than 40 years ago

The warming concerned is that which took place in the '80s and '90s

For years scientists studying climate change have issued doom-laden warnings about the catastrophic results of burning fossil fuels and emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

But four out of five Americans are experiencing far better weather now than they did forty years ago thanks to global warming, according to a new study.

Researchers say because of this most US citizens believe global warming is beneficial - but they also warn the good weather is not going to last.

Winter temperatures have risen substantially throughout the US since the 1970s, but at the same time, summers have not become more uncomfortable.

This means the weather has shifted toward a temperate year-round climate that most Americans say they prefer.

The study showed that 80 per cent of US citizens live in places where the weather has improved over the last forty years.

This is one of the reasons it has been difficult to motivate US citizens to tackle global warming, the authors of the new study have said.

'Weather patterns in recent decades have been a poor source of motivation for Americans to demand policies to combat the climate change problem,' said Professor Megan Mullin from Duke University, co-author of the study.

Professor Mullin and Professor Patrick Egan from New York University studied 40 years of daily weather data, from 1974 to 2013, on a county-by-county basis to evaluate how the population's experience with weather changed during this period, which is when climate change first emerged as a public issue.

They found that Americans on average have experienced a rise in January maximum temperatures, an increase of 0.58 °C (1.04 °F) per decade. By contrast, daily maximum temperatures in July rose by only 0.07 °C (0.13 °F) per decade.

Humidity in the summer has also declined since the mid 1990s.

This means, winter temperatures have become warmer for virtually all Americans while summer conditions have remained relatively constant.


Senate Committee Subpoenas EPA Over Gold King Mine Disaster

Senate Indian Affairs Chairman John Barrasso (R,-Wyo.) and Vice Chairman John Tester (D.-Mont.) agreed Wednesday to subpoena Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy or a top aide to appear at an upcoming oversight field hearing on the Gold King Mine disaster scheduled for April 22nd in Phoenix.

The subpoena - the first issued by the committee since its investigation into the activities of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff in 2004 – included Assistant EPA Administrator Mathy Stanislaus.

The committee said Stanislaus was “invited to testify at the field hearing, but the EPA declined to send him.”

Barrasso pointed out that during her confirmation hearing, McCarthy “agreed under oath” to appear before congressional committees with oversight authority over her agency.

 “It troubles me that this committee had to take the extraordinary step of issuing a subpoena to a confirmed federal official,” Barrasso said Wednesday.

“During the confirmation process, Gina McCarthy agreed under oath that if confirmed, she would appear before congressional committees with respect to her responsibilities.

“She further agreed under oath to ensure testimony in other documents would be provided to congressional committees in a timely manner.

"Despite the sworn testimony, the EPA refused to provide any witnesses – any witnesses - to the committee field hearing to be held on April 22, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona,” Barrasso said.

“That hearing would continue our oversight on the EPA’s response to the devastating toxic spill that it had caused, and of the agency’s responsibility to the Indian communities that it had harmed.

“I am troubled further that the EPA would disregard such failures and attempt to avoid the responsibility by refusing to appear before the committee and answer questions.

"This sort of behavior is unbecoming of any federal official and won’t be tolerated,” he continued. “The subpoena will be served on the EPA later today.” 

Mike Danylak, the committee’s press secretary, confirmed to that the subpoenas were served to McCarthy and Stanislaus on Wednesday afternoon, but that as of noon on Friday, the committee had received no response.

Last August 5th, EPA released three million gallons of toxic wastewater from the abandoned Gold King Mine, contaminating rivers and streams in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah as well as lands belonging to the Navajo Nation and the Southern Ute Reservation.

In a March 16 statement, Navajo Nation president Russell Begaye said that “the Navajo Nation has suffered due to the reckless actions of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other responsible parties, and the Obama Administration has turned down virtually every request we have made for greater assistance, each time referring us back to the EPA.”

On Dec. 9, 2015, following the Department of Interior’s (DOI) “technical evaluation” of the spill, Sec. Sally Jewell told Congress that “we did not see any deliberate attempt to breach a mine. It was an accident.” Jewell also said that “EPA’s trying to do a job of cleaning up a problem it did not create.”

However, an investigative report released February 11 by the House Natural Resources Committee “revealed that each of the three reports issued by EPA and DOI in 2015 contains numerous errors and omissions and demonstrably false information… [including the] false claim that the EPA crew was digging high when the plug [sealing the mine] somehow eroded on its own.”


Prof. Richard Lindzen Weighs in on Climate Change, Risking Prison Term?

Whom should one consult on the science behind climate-change alarmism? Maybe Bill Nye, “The Science Guy”? Or maybe Richard Lindzen, MIT Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Physics?

If you’re a politician, activist, or reporter (Group 3 as Lindzen calls it in the video), you should probably stick with Bill Nye.

Granted, Nye’s credentials aren’t nearly as impressive as Lindzen’s, and he often behaves like a rodeo clown, but he buys in to the climate change hysteria that is so beloved by politicians who seek wealth and power, activists who need a grand cause to champion, and those media that thrive on doomsday headlines.

In fact, Nye says he’s comfortable with jail terms for those who dare to challenge climate change “science”!

On the other hand, if you haven’t bought in to climate-change hysteria just yet, you may want to hear first from Lindzen in the Prager University 5-minute video below. After that, if you still want to jump on the climate-change bandwagon, thereby avoiding a Bill-Nye-recommended jail sentence, at least you’ll have done it with your eyes open.

In one sense, I suppose Lindzen has been a fool. He could have sacrificed his integrity long ago by falsifying data, perverting its interpretation, and/or outright lying in print in exchange for massive federal grants to “prove” the mythical “scientific consensus” about anthropogenic climate change (aka global warming).

Sadly, Lindzen has allowed himself to be swayed by hard data, objective analysis, and the scientific method. Apparently he is among those who insist that:

If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. And if it’s science, it isn’t consensus.

Too bad for Prof. Lindzen. He could end up in prison next to the other ‘deniers’.

How about you?


Okay, okay, so this article is kind of sarcastic and silly. Imagine comparing a science clown like Bill Nye to a top-tier atmospheric physicist like Richard Lindzen. No one should take this seriously, right?


See also this link or simply Google “climate change deniers Loretta Lynch” and see what comes up.

This is all deadly serious. The US Attorney General is giving serious consideration to prosecuting real scientists who dare to challenge the “settled science” of climate change. What’s next? Ordinary citizens who ask legitimate questions about it?

If American leftists/neo-Marxists/progressives/statists/Stalinists/Maoists/whatever-ists can criminalize scientific inquiry, what do you think they’ll do with political speech they don’t like?

How about:

Prosecuting Common Core critics for endangering the welfare of minors

Prosecuting Obamacare critics for creating a public health hazard

Prosecuting open border critics for hate speech

And so on, and so on …



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

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


21 April, 2016

Camera traps show animals have reclaimed Chernobyl's radioactive wasteland 30 years after the disaster -- and are in good health

Thus showing as completely wrong the Greenie claim that even tiny amounts of radioactivity are harmful.  Chernobyl shows that even quite high levels are not harmful.  Radioactivity has been much demonized for political reasons. Radioactive leaks from nuclear power plants will not do harm unless you are very close to them.  

In other evidence of low harm from radioactivity, Tsutomu Yamaguchi was one of a small number of Japanese to live through  both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear detonations.

He was only only 3 km away from the epicenter on both occasions. He was badly burned by the heat but he recovered from that and lived to 93.  

Exactly 30 years and one week ago, a small town in the former Soviet Union witnessed the worst nuclear disaster the world has seen.

Following a fire in one of its reactors, an explosion at the Chernobyl power plant in the former Soviet Union town of Pripyat leaked radioactive material into the environment and saw the surrounding area evacuated.

But while radiation levels in the region is still considered too high for humans to return, wildlife has moved back into the area and is flourishing.

Studies of the animals and plants in the area around Chernobyl are now providing clues as to what the world would be like should humans suddenly disappear.

The exclusion zone is still in effect around the site of the disaster in what is now Ukraine to protect people from the high levels of radiation which persist in the environment.

But in the absence of human activity, wildlife has flourished ­– making the site a unique habitat for biologists to study.

Scientists are monitoring the health of plants and animals in the exclusion area to see how they react to chronic radiation exposure.

Camera traps set up by researchers have captured a stunning array of local wildlife, including wolves, lynx, mouse, boars, deer, horses, and many others, as they wander through the area.

It shows that three decades on from the disaster, the area is far from being a wasteland. Instead life is thriving there.

Using the motion-activated traps to get snapshots of wildlife at a number of sites throughout the exclusion zone, researchers at the University of Georgia have recorded 14 species of mammal.

In a study published this week in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, the Georgia group reports it found no evidence to suggest that the areas with the highest levels of radiation were keeping their numbers down, and that populations inside the exclusion zone are doing well.

Sarah Webster, a graduate student working on the project and first author of the study, told UGA Today: 'Carnivores are often in higher trophic levels of ecosystem food webs, so they are susceptible to bioaccumulation of contaminants.'

'Few studies in Chernobyl have investigated effects of contamination level on populations of species in high trophic levels.'

The exclusion zone, which covers a substantial area in Ukraine and some of bordering Belarus, will remain in effect for generations to come, until radiation levels fall to safe enough levels.

The region is called a 'dead zone' due to the extensive radiation which persists. However, the proliferation of wildlife in the area contradicts this and many argue that the region should be given over to the animals which have become established in the area - creating a radioactive protected wildlife reserve.

It would be expected that carnivores would receive extensive radioactive exposure, both directly from the environment and water sources as well as ingesting it through eating contaminated animals.

In the long-term, this accumulation of radioactive material would be expected to be harmful to the top predators and would restrict their number, but findings from the latest study don't seem to support this.

'We didn't find any evidence to support the idea that populations are suppressed in highly contaminated areas,' said Dr James Beasley, a biologist at Georgia and senior author of the paper.

'What we did find was these animals were more likely to be found in areas of preferred habitat that have the things they need – food and water.'

Other research groups working within the area, including the TREE consortium, have found that endangered Przewalski's horses – released into the exclusion zone in the 1990s – are breeding successfully.

In addition, the camera studies have identified a number of protected bird species, including golden eagles and white tailed eagles.


NOAA's monthly deception again

Sure, there's been a recent temperature rise but is it caused by human activity?  They dodge that all-important question.  They admit that El Nino is partly responsible but fail to quantify or correct for its influence.  Scientists quantify.  They don't indulgle in hand-waving dismissals.  Ergo, none of the guff below is science. 

So what is the science?  The science is that the first 8 of their 11 months of warming were at a time when there was NO CO2 rise and hence no human cause.  So the recent rise is clearly an effect of El Nino only.  Below is a great coverage of El Nino effects, nothing more (excerpt only)

Last month marked the hottest March in modern history, setting the longest heat streak in the 137 years of record-keeping, US officials said.

The month's average global temperature of 12.7°C (54.9°F) was not only the hottest March, but continues a record streak that started last May.

The combined average temperature in March was the highest for this month in the 1880–2016 record.

The temperature was 1.22°C (2.20°F) above the 20 century average of 12.7°C (54.9°F).

This surpassed the previous record set in 2015 by 0.32°C / (0.58°F), and marks the highest monthly temperature departure on record.

March 2016 also marks the 11 consecutive month a global temperature record has been broken, the longest such streak in 137 years.


After Receiving $191 Million in Taxpayer-Backed Loans, Spanish Solar Company Files for Bankruptcy

A Spanish solar energy company benefiting from $191 million in financing from the Export-Import Bank declared bankruptcy last month, calling into question whether the embattled agency will see repayment of the tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer-backed loans on its balance sheets.

Abengoa, which operates worldwide, filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., and has until the end of October to restructure its $16.4 billion of debt.

According to Ex-Im’s records, the bank authorized more than $300 million in loans and loan guarantees to Abengoa and its subsidiaries, with more than a dozen transactions approved from 2007 to 2015.

Of the $316 million in financing Ex-Im authorized, the bank disbursed $191 million to Abengoa and its subsidiaries, its records show. The bank cancelled the remaining $125 million of outstanding credit, an Ex-Im spokesman told The Daily Signal.

Ex-Im’s board of directors approved financing for four loan guarantees—totaling $112.8 million—to an Abengoa subsidiary on June 29. The bank’s charter expired the next day, on June 30, marking the first time Ex-Im has experienced a lapse in its authority in its 81-year history.

According to the bank’s spokesperson, Ex-Im’s exposure to the solar company totals $66.2 million.

With Abengoa’s questionable financial future, some question whether the green energy company will be able to repay the taxpayer-backed financing it received from Ex-Im.

“If they’re going under, they’re not going to repay their loans,” Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, told The Daily Signal.

A spokesman for Ex-Im told The Daily Signal the bank is continuing to work with the company to ensure its outstanding debt is repaid.

“Ex-Im Bank has and will continue to closely monitor this situation, and continues to work with all parties and creditors to recoup the outstanding debt,” the spokesperson said in an email. “As with all transactions of this nature, the bank’s exposure is covered by reserves, which are funded by fees assessed on borrowers, not the taxpayers.”

Before Abengoa’s financial woes were made public, the company was scrutinized in media reports for violating U.S. immigration law, workplace safety codes, and environmental regulations, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Additionally, House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, pressed Ex-Im Chairman Fred Hochberg, R-N.Y., on ties between the bank’s advisory board and the Spanish green energy company last year.

In September 2013, the bank approved two loans totaling $33.6 million to Abengoa for solar projects in Spain and South Africa. When the bank authorized the loans, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, was one of 17 members serving on Ex-Im’s advisory board.

Richardson, who also served as secretary of the Department of Energy under President Bill Clinton, was also a member of Abengoa’s international advisory board at the same time.

Such ties between government agencies and private companies benefiting from taxpayer-backed financing are not uncommon, de Rugy said, and often times firms like Abengoa will “double dip” into several government programs.

“I think what we see with Abengoa, it’s a perfect example of decisions and due diligence that is not driven by how sound a project is, but that is driven by politics,” de Rugy said.

From 2007 to 2014, for example, Abengoa received $3 billion in financial assistance from both Ex-Im and the Department of Energy.

Through its 1705 loan program, the Department of Energy awarded the solar company more than $2 billion in loan guarantees for the construction of two solar plants in the U.S.: one in Phoenix, Ariz., and a second in California’s Mojave Desert.

It was through the Department of Energy’s 1705 loan guarantee program that the now-defunct Solyndra also received financing.

“It just tells you everything that’s wrong with these programs,” de Rugy said. “The decisions are made based on politics and who you know. The more your know, the more double dipping you’re able to do.”

According to the New York Times, Abengoa said $1 billion of the loans and loan guarantees it has received from the federal government have been repaid. The company did not return The Daily Signal’s request for comment.

Ex-Im provides taxpayer-backed loans and loan guarantees to foreign countries and companies for the purchase of U.S. products.

Bank officials often boast of Ex-Im’s 0.235 percent default rate and say it returns money to the Treasury each year.

But over the last year, Abengoa isn’t the only company to receive taxpayer-backed financing from Ex-Im and face financial woes.

NewSat, an Australian satellite company, benefited from $100 million in Ex-Im loans from 2012 to 2014. The company filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the United States last year.

The company’s bankruptcy—and the decision-making that led to it receiving Ex-Im financing—was scrutinized by Republicans during a June Financial Services Committee hearing, who said the deal was evidence that the bank is “beyond broken.”

Lawmakers said NewSat handed Ex-Im a “$100-million loss” at the “expense of the taxpayers.”


Vermont  Group files complaint against wind producers over green marketing claims

A group defending ridgelines against wind energy development has filed a complaint with the Vermont Attorney General’s office and the Federal Trade Commission accusing local wind-power producers of making false green marketing claims.

In a complaint filed March 15, the Irasburg Ridgeline Alliance alleges that Renewable Energy Vermont, Georgia Mountain Community Wind and the Burlington Electric Department engaged in consumer deception in their descriptions and marketing of wind-generated electricity.

The citizen-led alliance claims that the organizations — a trade association, a developer and an electric utility — advertise renewable energy in marketing and promotions despite selling renewable energy certificates, or RECs, to out-of-state entities.

“Despite warnings, industrial wind producers continue deceptive ‘green’ marketing claims,” the IRA said in a statement on Tuesday.

The group asserts that by selling RECs out of state, the organizations lose the basis for advertising their product as “renewable.” The complaint states the three organizations are marketing wind-generated renewable power in violation of the Vermont Consumer Protection Act, 9 V.S.A. § 2453(a), which prohibits “deceptive or unfair practices.”

“As far as what we know today, there is no so-called renewable project in this state that has not sold its RECs out of state,” IRA spokesman Michael Sanville told Vermont Watchdog. “That being (the case), there should not be any company within the state that’s advertising any of their energy generation as ‘renewable.’”

Sanville said at least one neighboring state, Connecticut, recently complained about “double-booking” — a term used for counting renewable energy twice — and considered prohibiting purchases of RECs generated in Vermont. Sanville said the controversy led Sorrell to issue warnings to the Vermont solar industry late last year. Likewise the FTC warned Vermont energy companies in February 2015 not to make deceptive claims.

According to the alliance, the warnings didn’t prevent Renewable Energy Vermont from continuing to promote “clean, green, and local” wind energy in television advertisements. In one ad released in November, Renewable Energy Vermont states that Vermont turbines power 46,200 homes with wind energy, even though certificates identifying that renewable power were sold to out-of-state entities for use in other states.

Also according to the alliance, a recent press release by the Burlington Electric Department makes the claim that Georgia Mountain Community Wind powers the local community with clean energy and provides “enough renewable energy to power more than 5,500 Vermont households.”

The complaint notes that Burlington Electric and Georgia Mountain Community Wind are members of the Renewable Energy Vermont trade association, and questions whether the name “Renewable Energy Vermont” also is an example of deceptive marketing.

The attorney general’s office is currently reviewing the IRA’s complaint. Sanville said the group wants Sorrell to issue a cease-and-desist order on all green marketing efforts, and to award monetary damages.

Sanville said the IRA intends to hold the wind-energy producers’ feet to the fire. He added that it would be hypocritical of the attorney general’s office not to enforce Vermont’s consumer protection laws against renewable energy producers after having investigated anti-big-renewables activist Annette Smith in January for allegedly “practicing law without a license.”

Dr. Ron Holland, of the IRA, said the producers have had “ample time and warning to learn the Federal Trade Commission guidelines.”

“We are tired of Vermont companies making illegal claims that their energy is renewable when it is not. That is why we took our concerns to the Vermont Attorney General and the FTC,” Holland said in a statement.

Watchdog reached out to representatives from Burlington Electric Department and Georgia Mountain Community Wind on Wednesday, but they did not return our request for comment.


Obama Moves To Bankrupt Energy Companies

“If somebody wants to build a coal power plant, they can, it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.” -- President Obama, 2008

It should come as no surprise that President Obama has succeeded in destroying the coal industry.

The latest evidence is the announcement by Peabody, the world’s largest private coal company, that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Peabody is one of a number of coal companies hit hard by the drop in demand for coal to make steel as well as the emergence of cheap and abundant natural gas supplied by the shale boom.

This is the conclusion of Nicolas Loris of the Heritage Foundation. Loris explains that the Obama administration’s destructive energy policies go beyond the coal industry by noting that there are two sets of energy companies.

First, there are companies such as Peabody, Arch Coal, Patriot Coal, Alpha Natural Resources, James River Coal and Walter Energy. Second, there are companies such as Solyndra, Abound Solar, Fisker Automotive, Beacon Power, and Vehicle Production Group. Both sets of companies have two things in common. They all have filed for bankruptcy and the federal government had a role in their failure.

“The government’s role in bankrupting energy companies speaks to two overarching problems with U.S. energy policy: overregulation and subsidization,” Loris writes. “Eliminating heavy-handed regulations that provide little to no environmental benefit and eliminating all energy subsidies will enable energy innovations and drive growth and success in the industry. Best of all, families and businesses will be the beneficiaries of the most reliable energy at the most competitive prices.”

Following are excerpts from Loris’s study of how regulation and subsidies destroy energy companies:

* According to a recent report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), more than 80 percent of the nearly 18 gigawatts of electric generating capacity retired in 2015 was conventional steam coal. The EPA cites the Mercury Air & Toxics regulation, which has enormous compliance costs and minimal direct environmental benefits, with 30 percent of coal retirement in 2015.

* Global warming regulations will prevent the construction of new coal-fired power plants and could cause more of America’s existing fleet to retire. The Department of the Interior recently announced a prohibition on leasing of public land to coal companies while it “reviews” the leasing process (a procedure that will inevitably result in making it more difficult and more expensive for coal companies to lease federal land).

* And the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) in the Department of Labor have promulgated a host of new rules that will increase the costs of mining coal and decision making authority away from individuals and instead empower Washington regulators to micromanage operations. Combined, the federal government’s regulations have had a Shaquille O’Neal-sized hand in driving out coal production.

* Then there’s the second set of companies. Each bankrupt company in the second group received taxpayer dollars as part of the Department of Energy’s loan and loan guarantee programs. The government played a role in their failures by dangling taxpayer dollars for investments in alternative forms of energy technology, such as wind, solar or electric vehicles. In each instance, DOE lent money to companies that could not survive even help from the taxpayer.

* Private investors look at taxpayer-backed loans as a way to substantially reduce their risk. Private companies can invest a smaller amount than they otherwise would have to. The government’s involvement in decisions that should be purely private investments skew the risk calculation and have resulted in economic losers.


Leading Australian conservative politician  questions climate change beliefs

Attorney-General George Brandis has questioned the science of climate change, saying he's not "at all" convinced it is settled.

Labor has seized on comments by the senior Turnbull government minister that there were a number of views about the cause of climate change, arguing it proves the deep climate scepticism in the coalition.

"It doesn't seem to me that the science is settled at all," Senator Brandis told parliament on Tuesday during debate on the tabling of documents relating to the CSIRO.

The attorney-general was addressing a recent CSIRO restructure - undertaken internally - which will move the focus away from collecting climate data.

About 200 jobs are at risk, however the overall head count is expected to return to current levels within two years.

Senator Brandis said he wasn't embarking on the climate debate himself, but challenging the illogical position of the Labor party.  "But I'm not a scientist, and I'm agnostic really on that question."

Senator Brandis said, if the science was settled - like Labor claims - why would Australia need climate researchers.

CSIRO head Larry Marshall said in an email to staff when announcing the restructure that the question of climate change had been proved and it was time to refocus on solutions to it.

However, scientists say without continuous data collection - some of which is undertaken by the CSIRO in partnership with the Bureau of Meteorology - huge gaps could form that could never be recovered.

Labor said the attorney-general's comments were breathtaking. "The commitment of Senator Brandis to addressing the impacts of climate change is so shallow, he hasn't made up his mind whether it actually exists yet," environment spokesman Mark Butler and shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said in a statement.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull lost the Liberal leadership in 2009 in part due to his commitment to climate change and an emissions trading scheme.  As a backbencher, he heavily criticised the coalition's direct action climate policy.

Senator Brandis' office referred AAP to an interview conducted in 2014 in which the attorney-general told a reporter he was "on the side of those who believed in anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming and who believed something ought to be done about it."



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

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


20 April, 2016

Could climate change lead to more food? Increased carbon dioxide could help wheat, rice and soybeans grow more efficiently

This study very cautiously states the bleeding obvious but it is a nice change to see the modellers getting closer to reality  -- after the barrage of one-eyed Greenie claims that global warming will create food shortages
Bringing drought and increased temperatures, climate change has been widely portrayed as a force that will leave staple food crops struggling in many areas where they are grown today.

But a new study has shown that increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may actually lead to greater yields of key crops like wheat, rice and soybeans.

Scientists say higher levels of carbon dioxide in the air helps plants build up greater biomass but can also reduce the amount of water needed to help them grow.

While the effects of a complex changing climate makes it difficult to predict exactly how crops in different parts of the world will grow, overall rising carbon dioxide levels could be beneficial.

Average levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have risen by more than a quarter since 1960, and now sit at around 400 parts per million.  Plants take in carbon to build their tissues through photosynthesis, and if there is more carbon around, the process is easier.

Leaves take in air through tiny openings called stomata, but in the process the stomata lose water. When more carbon is available, they don't have to open up as much, and this saves water.

Until now most research looking into climate change has focussed on changes in temperature and rainfall.

Many studies indicate that as temperatures rise, crops across the world will suffer as average temperatures become unsuitable for traditionally grown crops, and droughts, heat waves or extreme bouts of precipitation become more common.

But a large team of researchers have tried to predict the combined effect of a variety of changing factors caused by climate change to take into account the increase in carbon dioxide.

They introduced artificially heightened levels of carbon dioxide to farm fields, and measured the results on crop production.

Although the results are complicated, their research suggests some crops might grow better in 2080.

The study looked at how rising temperatures and carbon dioxide along with changes in rainfall and cloud cover might combine to affect how efficiently maize, soybeans, wheat, and rice can use water and grow.

The results confirmed heat and water stress alone will damage yields, but when carbon dioxide is accounted for, all four crops will use water more efficiently by 2080.

Based on the current biomass of these crops, the researchers predict water-use efficiency will rise an average of 27 per cent in wheat, 18 per cent in soybeans, 13 per cent in maize, and 10 per cent in rice.

This does not mean more of them will grow, however.

Taking it all into account, the study projects that average yields of current rain-fed wheat areas, mostly located in higher latitudes including the US, Canada and Europe, might go up by almost 10 per cent, while consumption of water would go down a corresponding amount.

But average yields of irrigated wheat, which account for much of India and China's production, could decline by 4 per cent.

Maize, according to the new projections, would still be a loser most everywhere, even with higher water efficiency yields would go down about 8.5 per cent.

'To adapt adequately, we need to understand all the factors involved,' said lead author Delphine Deryng, an environmental scientist at Columbia University's Centre for Climate Systems Research, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the University of Chicago's Computation Institute.

She said the study should not be interpreted to mean that increasing carbon dioxide is a good thing, but its direct effects must be included in any calculation of what the future holds.

Taking it all into account, the study projects that average yields of current rain-fed wheat areas, mostly located in higher latitudes including the US, Canada and Europe, might go up by almost 10 per cent, while consumption of water would go down a corresponding amount.

But average yields of irrigated wheat, which account for much of India and China's production, could decline by four per cent.

Maize, according to the new projections, would still be a loser most everywhere, even with higher water efficiency yields would go down about 8.5 per cent.

Agricultural scientists say losses could be mitigated to some extent by switching crops or developing varieties adapted to the new conditions.

But the researchers warned the uncertainties in the models are high, because field experiments, which involve blowing carbon dioxide over large farm fields for entire growing seasons, have only been done at a handful of sites.

The study is less conclusive on the overall effects on rice and soybean yields - half of the projections show an increase in yield and half a net decline.

Bruce Kimball, a retired researcher with the US Department of Agriculture who has studied crop-carbon dioxide interactions, said the paper does 'a good job on a huge scale,' but 'more data from more crops from more locations' is needed.

He also cautioned that previous research has shown that the benefits of higher carbon dioxide levels tend to bottom out after a certain point, but that the damage done by heat only gets worse as temperatures mount.

'Thus, for greater warming and higher CO2 the results would likely be more pessimistic than shown in this paper,' he said.


The ‘establishment’ is slow to learn; Senate Republicans pushing for more #GreenPork

By Marita Noon

In this election cycle, we hear a lot about the "establishment." Most people are not really sure who they are, but they are sure that they do not like them. The anger toward the establishment is not party specific and has propelled two unlikely candidates: Donald Trump on the Republican side and Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democrats.

The faithful following these outsiders may be more about "the grassroots trying to teach the establishment a lesson," as Gary Bauer posited last month, than about affection for either man. In an InfoWars video, reporter Richard Reeves, at the University of Texas in Austin speaks to Wyatt, a young man who’d just voted for Sanders. Wyatt indicates that most of his fellow students likely voted for Sanders as well. The surprise is his comment about the students’ second choice: "Donald Trump."  Why? He’s not "establishment." Wyatt admits he didn’t consider voting for anyone else — just Sanders and Trump.

The establishment has been slow to grasp the public’s rejection of an increasingly distrusted political class.

However, one might define the "establishment," it certainly includes long-time Washington politicians like Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — who have just engaged in the exact tactics that have fed the voter frustration aimed at them. Avoiding a vigorous debate, they are using a must-pass bill to sneak through millions in totally unrelated taxpayer giveaways to special interests in the renewable energy industry—and they hope voters won’t notice.

The bill is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act. On April 6, using an unrelated House bill (H.R. 636) that will serve as the legislative shell for the Senate’s FAA measure (S. 2658), the Senate began consideration to reauthorize the FAA for 18 months. It is expected that the bill will be voted on this week, followed by the House — which will take it up when it is back in session.

Funding for the FAA expired in September and received a 6-month extension—which expired again on March 31. Avoiding a shutdown, Congress passed another extension that President Obama signed on March 30. This legislation authorized federal spending on aviation and related aviation taxes through mid-July 2016.

Both the House and Senate have been grappling with a multi-year aviation bill. Now, FAA reauthorization only has about two weeks to be debated and approved before it will be shoved aside to make way for budget proceedings. One major point of conflict is the renewable energy tax breaks. Because the Senate FAA bill includes a tax title, it is open to unrelated tax amendments.

Many renewable energy tax credits were extended in the omnibus spending package that was passed late last year, but Democrats claim that in the chaos of last minute negotiations, some were "unintentionally" left out. According to Morning Consult, Thune said: "This is what [Democrats] always viewed as the best opportunity to get some of these things that were left out of last year’s extender bill." Senate Minority Leader Reid announced: "the inclusion of the provisions is a requirement for the legislation to move forward."

While many Republicans opposed the addition of the renewable energy tax credits, provisions supporting investments in fuel cells, geothermal and biomass were included in the Senate negotiations. Addressing the Senate’s scramble to "settle on a cohesive strategy" regarding attaching the renewable energy tax breaks to the bill, Politico reports: "House Republicans have made it clear they’re not interested in renewing any of the expired tax provisions this year." The bill’s coverage in Roter Daily states: "key Republicans have already warned fellow House members to oppose a deal on tax extenders if it comes out of the Senate, saying they have consistently failed to promote economic growth and create jobs."

As we have seen with the recent demise of government-funded, green-energy projects, such tax credits and subsidies have repeatedly failed to deliver on their promises of long-term job creation and economic viability. It is for this reason that, on April 5, a coalition of more than 30 organizations sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee expressing our deep opposition to the proposal. The letter, of which I am a signatory, states: "Congress considered the matter of expiring tax provisions less than 4 months ago. … It should also be noted that Congress extended significantly favorable tax treatment to renewable energy in omnibus appropriation legislation that accompanied the aforementioned tax extender package."

Andrew Langer, President of the Institute for Liberty, who also signed the letter, explains his position: "In December, Congress purposefully allowed a series of tax credits for so-called ‘green’ energies to expire. This was not some mere oversight as some have alleged, but a purposeful recognition that as the energy landscape has changed, the need to extend some two dozen of these credits was unwarranted. Others were allowed to continue — but roughly $1.5 billion were not."

If you believe, as all the signatories to the letter do, that American taxpayers shouldn’t have to prop up large, well-connected special interests through tax handouts, carve outs, and loopholes using unsustainable Washington spending, please let your representatives know now. Please urge Senate offices to oppose keeping in the tax extenders, and encourage House offices to oppose adding in extenders.

With our national debt totaling more than $19 trillion, the last thing we need is more corporate welfare. But our legislators are slow to learn. Senate Republicans, like Thune, who is the lead negotiator for the Republicans, have worked with the Democrats to include the renewable energy tax credits. Thune stated: "We’re listening to them and we’re working for them."

No wonder the electorate is angry. But Washington politicians don’t get it. While a battle rages over who will be the next president, unfazed, the establishment continues on.

Langer concludes: "the political ramifications are clear, as history has taught us. Republicans who give in to cronyism, who give in to profligate spending… they get nothing in the end. Worse, they do considerable damage to the concept that Republicans are the party of lower spending and less government. In a political cycle where the future is entirely uncertain for Republicans at all levels, those who are pushing for these tax breaks do their colleagues no great service."

Join us in educating the "establishment" by calling them and telling them: "No more green pork!" #GreenPork


Green Europe is Killing 40,000 Poor People a Year

Europe’s suicidal green energy policies are killing at least 4o,000 people a year.

That’s just the number estimated to have died in the winter of 2014 because they were unable to afford fuel bills driven artificially high by renewable energy tariffs.

But the real death toll will certainly be much higher when you take into account the air pollution caused when Germany decided to abandon nuclear power after Fukushima and ramp up its coal-burning instead; and also when you consider the massive increase in diesel pollution –  the result of EU-driven anti-CO2 policies – which may be responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths a year.

But even that 40,000 figure is disgraceful enough, given that greenies are always trying to take the moral high ground and tell us that people who oppose their policies are uncaring and selfish.

It comes from an article in the German online magazine FOCUS about Energiewende (Energy Transition) – the disastrous policy I mentioned earlier this week whereby Germany is committed to abandoning cheap, effective fossil fuel power and converting its economy to expensive, inefficient renewables (aka unreliables) instead.

According to FOCUS around ten percent of the European population are now living in ‘energy poverty’ because electricity prices have risen, on average, by 42 percent in the last eight years. In Germany alone this amounts to seven million households.

The article is titled: The grand electricity lie: why electricity is becoming a luxury.

The reason, of course, is that green energy policies have made it that way. Many of these have emanated from the European Union, which in turn has taken its cue from the most Green-infested nation in Europe – Germany.

Germany has long been obsessed with all things environmental. Besides having invented the dodgy ‘science’ of ecology in the 1880s it was also, of course, between 1933 and 1945 the home of Europe’s official “Greenest government ever” – the first to ban smoking on public transport, an enthusiastic supporter of organic food, national parks and population control.

The Greens have also since the early Eighties been arguably the most influential party in Germany. Though their percentage of the vote has rarely risen above the 10 percent mark, they have punched above their weight either as a coalition partner in government or as a pressure group outside it.

For example, the reason that after Fukushima, Chancellor Angela Merkel completely changed Germany’s policy on nuclear power was her terror of the Greens who were suddenly polling 25 percent of the national vote.

It was the Greens too who were responsible for Energiewende – the policy which is turning Germany into the opposite of what most of us imagine it to be: not the economic powerhouse we’ve been taught to admire all these years, but a gibbering basket case.

This becomes clear in an investigation by the German newspaper Handelsblatt, which reports the horrendous industrial decline brought about by green energy policies.

    Hit hardest, of course, are the traditional utilities. After all, the energy transition was designed to seal their coffin. Once the proverbial investment for widows and orphans because their revenue streams were considered rock-solid — these companies have been nothing short of decimated. With 77 nuclear and fossil-fuel power plants taken off the grid in recent years, Germany’s four big utilities — E.ON, RWE, Vattenfall and EnBW — have had to write off a total of €46.2 billion since 2011.

    RWE and E.ON alone have debt piles of €28.2 billion and €25.8 billion, respectively, according to the latest company data. Losses at Düsseldorf-based E.ON rose to €6.1 billion for the first three quarters of 2015. Both companies have slashed the dividends on their shares, which have lost up to 76 percent of their value. Regional municipalities, which hold 24 percent of RWE’s shares, are scrambling to plug the holes left in their budgets by the missing dividends.

    Thousands of workers have already been let go, disproportionately hitting communities in Germany‘s rust belt that are already struggling with blight. RWE has cut 7,000 jobs since 2011. At E.ON, the work force has shrunk by a third, a loss of over 25,000 jobs. Just as banks spun off their toxic assets and unprofitable operations into “bad banks” during the financial crisis, Germany’s utilities are reorganizing to cut their losses.

Why are the Germans enacting such lunacy? Aren’t they supposed to be the sensible ones?

Well yes, up to a point. As a seasoned German-watcher explains to me, it’s with good reason that one of Germany’s greatest contributions to the world’s vocabulary is the word Angst.

The Germans are absolutely riddled with it – always have been – and it explains the two otherwise inexplicable policies with which Germany is currently destroying itself.

One, of course, is Energiewende caused by a misplaced, but deeply-held neurosis about stuff like diminishing scarce resources and “global warming” and the evils of Atomkraft (Nuclear power).

The other are its similarly insane immigration policies – the result of the neurosis that if it doesn’t replace its declining population with a supposedly healthy influx of immigrant workers, then it will wither and cease to be the great force it was under people like Frederick the Great, Bismarck and that chap in the 1930s and that no one will know or care where Germany is any more.

Ironically, though, if national decline is what the Germans most fear then the two policies they are pursuing to avoid it happening to be the ones most likely to hasten it.

This is sad. Sad for Germany which, for all its faults, has produced some pretty impressive things over the years: Beethoven; Kraftwerk; Goethe; Porsche; autobahns; those two girls on Deutschland 83.

And even sadder for those of us who, through absolutely no fault of our own happen to be shackled politically and economically to a socialistic superstate called the European Union, most of whose rules are decided by Germans over whom we have no democratic control.

Oh and by the way, Greenies: as I never tire of reminding you, you insufferable tossers, not a single one of the “future generations” you constantly cite in your mantras as justification for your disgusting, immoral and anti-free-market environmental policies actually exists.

But the people you’re killing now as a result of those environmental policies DO exist.

Or rather they did, till you choked or froze them to death, you vile, evil, eco-Nazi scumbags.


German Government ‘Plans To Stop And Reverse Wind Power’

If the green energy plans by the German Federal Government are implemented, the expansion of onshore wind energy will soon come to a standstill and then go into reverse.

According to figures by the Federal Network Agency, in the twelve months from February 2015 to January 2016 new wind turbines with a net capacity of nearly 3,600 megawatts were installed. The 3600 MW correspond to about three nuclear reactors. […]

What is the future of wind energy in Germany?

This depends entirely on political developments. In early March, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel presented a draft for the amendment of the Renewable Energies Act (EEG). The new rules regulate the subsidy levels for renewable energy. The new regulations are to be adopted in coming months. The draft says, inter alia, that the amount of renewable energy in the electricity mix will be limited to a level of 40 to 45 percent by 2025. At the end of last year the level was already nearly 33 percent.

What does this mean for the expansion of wind energy?

A study by consultants ERA on behalf of the Green Party’s parliamentary group concludes that under these provisions the development of wind energy will collapse fairly soon: A target of 45 percent would mean that only 1500 megawatts could be installed annually after 2018, according to the study. That’s less than half as the average of wind energy installed in the past five days.

How does this affect the amount of electricity produced?

The 1500 MW of new-built wind turbines would be insufficient even to replace older ones against new ones, the ERA-authors write. This means that wind generation capacity is actually shrinking. “As a consequence, there will be an economic stagnation of electricity from onshore wind energy already in the 2020s”, the study claims. From 2022 onwards, the amount of wind power will begin to shrink. With a 1,500 megawatts limit the government would undermine its own goals of a so-called expansion corridor of 2400-2600 megawatts.

What would the 40 percent cap mean?

A 40% cap for wind energy completely stop the construction of new wind farms by of 2019, according to the ERA study. Overall, this would reduce onshore wind power by almost 6000 megawatts compared to the end of 2015 – which would mean a massive slump in wind power generation by 18 terawatt hours.

What does this mean for companies that build the plants?

“The domestic market for many manufacturers collapses completely,” says Julia Verlinden, spokesperson for Energy Policy in the Green Party’s parliamentary group. “With their plan, the federal government is killing the wind companies.” This although wind energy is a cost-effective technology which can replace nuclear and coal power plants, she adds.

Who are the vested interests behind the government’s new plan?

Julia Verlinden claims that Energy Minister Gabriel seeks to protect “old, fossil fuel power plants against green competition”. There is a core of truth in this argument. It’s about power plants by the big energy companies RWE, Eon, EnBW and Vattenfall. All four companies are badly damaged, because they have relied too long on coal and nuclear power. As a result, these sectors are now threatened by massive job cuts. Trade unionists are putting pressure on to support these companies. Moreover, the Quartet are to bear the costs for the demolition of nuclear power plants and the disposal of nuclear waste.

What plans for the transformation of energy mean?

“With the planned EEG amendment Sigmar Gabriel wants to set himself a monument as the wrecker of the green energy transition,” said Green Party Vice Oliver Krischer. While the rest of the world is investing in solar and wind power, Germany’s federal government is going into reverse – just at a time when renewable energy has become so cheap.


Polish Government Threatens To Kill Wind Industry, Critics Warn

Poland’s thriving wind energy industry has warned that it faces bankruptcies, rapid divestment and an end to growth under a bill that threatens executives with prison.

The wind power sector in Poland installed the largest amount of turbine capacity in the EU last year after Germany, taking total industry investment to €8bn. Turbines, including those owned by EDF, RWE and Eon, produce about 13 per cent of the country’s electricity.

But proposals submitted to parliament by the ultraconservative rightwing administration will tighten regulations to the point of killing off the industry, critics have said.

"For some projects, it will be terminal?.?.?.?it will kill them," said Wojciech Cetnarski, president of the Polish Wind Energy Association, an industry lobby group. "This will result in bankruptcies. That is for sure.

"No one will invest any more in this country’s wind energy industry if this law is passed."

The bill will make it illegal to build turbines within 2km of other buildings or forests — a measure campaigners said would rule out 99 per cent of land — and quadruple the rate of tax payable on existing turbines — making most unprofitable.

Another clause in the bill would give authorities the power to shut down each turbine for weeks at a time during monthly inspections, said industry figures. Violations would result in hefty fines or two years’ imprisonment.

Foreign investors are already viewing the bill with alarm.


GMOs and India: The Mustard Chapter

The oil makes up about 30% of mustard seeds and has long been  used for cooking in India.  Americans will be pleased to know that their wonderful bureaucracy has protected them from mustard oil by banning its sale in America -- as a threat to their health.  A billion Indians can be wrong apparently

Last month, anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) activists engaged in a war in the streets of India’s capital. The agitation is about the genetically modified (GM) variant of mustard — DMH-11 (Dhara Mustard Hybrid 11).


Proponents argue that it will increase crop yields by 25–30 percent compared to the varieties grown in the country now, a move that could help the country increase its edible oil production.

The opponents, though, put forward various arguments, a majority of which are about the yield percentage and the impact of GM crops on the health of the ecosystem, including on humans.

The DMH-11 variant was developed by The Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP) at Delhi University. It is directly regulated by The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), which comes under the Indian Government’s Environment Ministry. So it is an Indian government project aimed at genetically modifying mustard to increase yield, thereby directly addressing food security. The CGMCP was scheduled to distribute the seeds for free, after the approval for commercial cultivation from the government. It is at this juncture that the anti-GMO advocates have caused the disruption.

The most commonly debated issues are: productivity, economic contribution, and safety.

GM crops and Productivity: The Numbers

Developing countries constitute 54 percent of the total global GM crop area. Over the period of 18 years between 1996 and 2013, farm incomes have increased by a cumulative $133.5 million due to the use of GM crops. The direct global farm income benefit due to GM crops was $18.8 billion in 2012 and $20.5 billion in 2013.

Apart from improving the economic condition of farmers, the biotech crops have also reduced the use of pesticides. The amount of reduction in pesticide usage has been 550 million kg or 8.6 percent. Moreover, the environmental footprint of biotech crops was reduced by 19 percent.

Let us for example consider Bt cotton — the only GM crop allowed for commercial cultivation in India. The farm income benefit from that crop was $16.2 million between 1996 and 2013.

When a developed nation like the U.S. can benefit $58.4 billion from biotech crop-based farm income (1996 to 2013), why should poor countries like India not adopt similar measures?

Economic Contribution: India’s Import of Oil from GM Crops

India imports 14 million tons (mt) of edible oil, 24 percent of which comes predominantly from GM rapeseed oil and soybean oil. Surprisingly, the anti-GMO advocates have not protested against GMO oil imports. Rather they chose to protest against the genetic development and implementation of mustard that contributes to 25 percent of India’s edible oil production.

Even a meager conservative estimate of 10 percent increase in Mustard production (actual projection of 20-30 percent increase in yield) will help in reducing the import of GMO oil.

Safety of GM Mustard DMH-11

Anti-GMO activists have claimed that the GM variant is unsafe. But DMH-11 went through Biosafety Research Level-1 (BRL-1) tests between 2011 and 2013, in Rajasthan, under the coordination of the National Research Centre for Rapeseed-Mustard at Bharatpur, and BRL-2 tests at the Indian Agriculture Research Institute in Delhi and the Punjab Agricultural University in 2014-15.

It was deemed safe.

Yet the Anti-GMO campaigners had the single-minded objective of banning the seed. It is quite amusing, given that the GM variant has not been released for commercial farming, yet they have found “unsubstantiated” reasons to call for a ban. After the recent protests, the government of India ordered eight additional tests which will be included in the seed’s biosafety dossier.

Thus the GM variant of mustard satisfies the important standards regarding its use — productivity, economic contribution, and environmental safety. Far too many voices have been raised against GMO mustard without due consideration of the research behind its development and the role it will play in edible oil production.

The Indian government is neither a proponent nor a villain of GMOs. But it needs to be pro-active about food security. The government needs to stand firm in its commitment to food security and the development of scientific technology that will benefit millions. This should be achieved without risking the quality of the environment and the livelihood of many Indians.

My opinion is echoed by the Environment Minister of India, Prakash Javadekar: “We cannot let our people starve. But if there are other good alternatives available … our Prime Minister has repeatedly talked about organic farming, and using biotechnology in agriculture. But at the same time, scientific methods (GM) are also important.”



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

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19 April, 2016

Pity the Warmists: "Powerfully Cold La Niña" Coming At Us Like An Express Train …Could Set A New Record!

Schneefan (snow fan) at German climate science critical site here presents the latest analysis of the current ENSO, which shows a powerful La Niña in the works

Based on an array of data, Schneefan tells readers to expect a La Niña already early in the second half of this year and that there are signs it may turn into a Super La Nina – one that could persist until part way into 2018.

The consequence, he writes: "With a delay of 4 to 5 months, global temperatures will retreat over many years and fall below the long-term climate mean."

From earlier ENSO models, the La Niña originally was not very evident, but the NOAA has since drastically corrected its projections and the CFSv2 is now anticipating "unusual cold sea surface temperatures in the El Niño region of 3.4," the climate science critical site writes.

Schneefan reports that the latest models are now projecting "a powerfully cold La Niña is on the way" – one that could smash the earlier record set back by the La Niña of the 1970s.

The current CFSv2 projections are now pretty much in line with most of the other ENSO models, and foresees already La Niña conditions with an average of -0.9°K SSTA in August:

Schneefan also provides the numerical table from the NOAA showing past historical events since 1950:

The figures in the table, Schneefan writes, are actually the "falsified" ones. The coldest La Niñas occurred in 1998-2001 (-1.6°K) and in 1973 (-1.9° K). The latest projections for the coming La Niña show these may even be surpassed.

Also the energy content of the equatorial water mass down to 300 meters below the surface dipped into negative territory by mid April, reaching an anomaly of -0.7°K, thus already in the La Niña range.

The next chart is a poignant display of just how powerful the oncoming La Niña is threatening to be. The chart shows the cross section of the Pacific equatorial water down to 400 meters since January 2016:

Strengthening of the Humboldt currents. The warm El Niño water has practically fully disappeared! Source: 4-month sequence of Pacific Ocean equatorial temperature anomaly cross sections.

The complex, coupled ocean/atmosphere index MEI (Multivariate ENSO Index) also is pointing downward (see chart below) and will rapidly fall below zero in the months ahead, just as was the case for the super 1997/98 El Niño, but this time it’ll be earlier, Schneefan tells us:

Schneefan also writes that the upcoming La Niña will also coincide with a dying solar sunspot cycle, one that was a weak one to start with, and the fact that the earth is now moving further away from the sun in its orbit,. This will only make the cooling worse. He summarizes:

Thus so could the coming 2016/17 winter be as exciting as the 2010/11 winter: The Super La Nina and the Coming Winter.

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

Testimony before the Senate of Alex Epstein, author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels -- on 4.13.16


The energy industry is the industry that powers every other industry. To the extent energy is affordable, plentiful, and reliable, human beings thrive. To the extent energy is unaffordable, scarce, or unreliable, human beings suffer.

And yet in this election year, the candidates, especially the Republican candidates, have barely discussed energy. Thus, I am grateful for the opportunity to discuss my moral evaluation of this administration’s energy policies.

When we evaluate energy policies, such as President Obama’s efforts to forcibly restrict fossil fuel use and mandate solar and wind energy, it is always worth asking: Has this been tried before? And what happened when it was?

The answer is: much, much milder versions of the President’s energy policy have been tried in Europe—and resulted in skyrocketing energy prices every time. Take Germany. Over the last decade, Germany pursued the popular ideal of running on unreliable energy from solar and wind. But since unreliable energy can’t be relied upon, it has to be propped up by reliable energy--mostly fossil fuels--making the solar panels and wind turbines an unnecessary and enormous cost to the system.

As a result, the average German pays 3-4 times more for electricity than the average American. It’s so bad that Germans have had to add a new term to the language: "energy poverty."

The United States should learn from the failed German experiment; instead, our President is doubling down on it many times over. And, just as ominously, he is leading global initiatives that call for even the poorest countries to be forced to use unreliables instead of reliables. This, in a world where 3 billion people have almost no access to energy and over one billion people have no electricity. How could this possibly be moral?

The alleged justification is that fossil fuels cause climate change and should therefore be eliminated. But this does not follow. As with anything in life, with fossil fuel’s impacts we need to look at the big picture, carefully weighing both the benefits and the costs. And to do that, we need to clearly define what we mean by "climate change."

Because while nearly everyone agrees that more CO2 in the atmosphere causes some climate change, it makes all the difference in the world whether that change is a mild, manageable warming or a runaway, catastrophic warming.

Which is it? If we look at what has been scientifically demonstrated vs. what has been speculated, the climate impact of CO2 is mild and manageable. In the last 80 years, we have increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from .03% to .04%, and the warming has been barely more than the natural warming that occurred in the 80 years before that, when there were virtually no CO2 emissions.

From a geological perspective, both CO2 levels and temperatures are very low; there is no perfect amount of CO2 or average temperature, although higher CO2 levels do create more plant growth and higher temperatures lower mortality rates.

 To be sure, many prominent scientists and organizations predict catastrophe--but this is wild speculation and nothing new. Indeed, many of today’s thought leaders have been falsely predicting catastrophe for decades. 30 years ago, NASA climate leader James Hansen predicted that temperatures would rise by 2-4 degrees between 2000 and 2010; instead, depending on which temperature data set you consult, they rose only slightly or not at all.

30 years ago, President Obama’s top science advisor, John Holdren, predicted that by now we’d be approaching a billion CO2-related deaths from famine. Instead, famine has plummeted as have climate related deaths across the board. According to data from the International Disaster Database, deaths from climate-related causes such as extreme heat, extreme cold, storms, drought, and floods have decreased at a rate of 50%8 since the 1980s and 98% since major CO2 emissions began 80 years ago.

How is it possible that we’re safer than ever from climate? Because while fossil fuel use has only a mild warming impact it has an enormous protecting impact. Nature doesn’t give us a stable, safe climate that we make dangerous. It gives us an ever-changing, dangerous climate that we need to make safe. And the driver behind sturdy  buildings, affordable heating and air-conditioning, drought relief, and everything else that keeps us safe from climate is cheap, plentiful, reliable energy, overwhelmingly from fossil fuels.

Thus, the President’s anti-fossil fuel policies would ruin billions of lives economically and environmentally--depriving people of energy and therefore making them more vulnerable to nature’s ever-present climate danger.

Policies that cause massive, unnecessary human suffering, including increased climate vulnerability, are immoral. A moral energy policy is one that liberates all the energy technologies, including fossil fuels, nuclear, and large-scale hydro, and lets them compete to the utmost to provide the most affordable, reliable energy for the most people. A moral energy policy is an energy freedom policy.


More coverage of Epstein's appearance here

What They Haven't Told You about Climate Change

By Patrick Moore

Just another elitist

A day after Bernie Sanders claimed he 'introduced the most comprehensive climate change legislation' and said he would tax carbon use, the Democratic presidential candidate chartered a Delta 767 to fly him to Rome and back for less than 24 hours.

After attacking rival Hillary Clinton for her stance on fossil fuels stepped on Thursday, Sanders stepped off the plane on Friday in Rome for the Vatican conference with his wife, ten family members, a group of campaign staff, Secret Service detail and members of the press.

The total group of what is believed to be below 50, flew in a chartered Delta 767 for their trip, which can seat between 211 and 261 people, depending on the model. It is unclear if Sanders' aircraft had flatbed seats.

Sanders' wife, who is Catholic and ten of Sanders' other family members joined him for the 8,870 round-trip flight, including four of his grandchildren.

The group of campaign staff that flew with Sanders is believed to be small, as is the group of reporters.

A press officer from the Secret Service told Daily Mail Online that he could not disclose the number of Secret Service members who were with the presidential candidate.

With a range of 6,408 miles on a full tank of gas, it can be calculated that a 767 like Sanders' flying 4,435 miles from New York to Rome uses approximately 16,596 gallons of fuel. The round-trip flight will use approximately 33,193 gallons.

On average, an American flies only 7,500 miles per year, according to, 1,360 fewer miles than Sanders' round-trip Rome travel. Thus, an average American releases less carbon emissions via aircraft each year than Sanders did in 24 hours.

In comparison to vehicles, an average American drives approximately 13,476 miles per year, according to the Department of Transportation, 4,606 miles more than Sanders' Friday air travel.

It would take the average American between seven and eight months to drive as far as Sanders traveled.

The amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the flight is unknown.

An average round trip flight from New York to Europe can produce two to three tons of carbon dioxide per person, according to the New York Times.

An average person in the United States normally generates approximately 19 tons of carbon dioxide per year through driving, transportation and disposing of waste. 

It is unknown how much it cost Sanders to charter the plane for the one-day trip, but according to a 2012 article from the Wall Street Journal, many sports teams charter similar aircraft and pay as much as $200,000 for one-way domestic flights.


RICO for government climate deniers?

How corrupt and fraudulent is the government "science" that denies natural climate change?

Paul Driessen and Ron Arnold

A self-appointed coalition of Democrat state attorneys general is pursuing civil or criminal racketeering actions against ExxonMobil, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and other organizations. The AGs claim the groups are committing fraud, by "denying" climate change. The charge is bogus.

What we contest are false assertions that "humans are creating a dangerous climate change crisis." We do not accept false claims that "the science is settled" and will not be limited to discussing only "what we must do now to avert looming climate catastrophes."

That’s not just constitutionally protected free speech. It is the foundation of scientific progress and informed public policy.

Meanwhile, EPA and other federal agencies, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate activist organizations, state legal and environmental agencies, and legions of scientists who receive government grants for advancing the "manmade climate cataclysm" mantra are themselves engaging in what many say is truly misleading or fraudulent climate science, policy and regulation.

Millions in poor countries die annually from preventable diseases, because hysterical climate claims justify denying them access to affordable modern electricity and transportation that could be provided by coal, natural gas and petroleum products. In developed nations, climate hysteria has cost millions of jobs, adversely affecting people’s living standards, health and welfare. In European countries, thousands are dying each winter, because they can no longer afford proper heat.

The problem is not human intervention in the climate; it’s improper political intervention in climate science. It has corrupted scientific findings from the very beginning.

A 1995 document from the US State Department to the IPCC confirms this, or at least gives allegations of fraud and corruption sufficient credence to raise serious integrity questions.

When a recent FOIA lawsuit sought that 1995 document, the State Department said there is "no such correspondence in our files." But if we have a copy of the document, how come State doesn’t? Attesting to its bona fides, Our copy has State’s date-stamp, a Department official’s signature – and 30 pages of detailed instructions on how the Clinton Administration wanted the IPCC to change its scientific findings and summary for policymakers, to reflect US climate and energy policy agendas.

The document is too complex and technical to summarize. So we’ve posted it in PDF form – unchanged in any way and exactly as received from a well known and credible source who must remain anonymous to avoid retribution by people like the RICO prosecutors. You’ll be amazed at what it says.

It consists of a three-page cover letter to Sir John Houghton, head of the IPCC Science Working Group, from Day Mount, Acting State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Development, introducing 30 pages of line-by-line "suggestions" from scientist Robert Watson and others. One wanted a correct statement about warming rates changed to a flat lie. "Change ‘continue to rise’ to ‘rise by even greater amounts’ to provide a sense of magnitude of the extended change," it says.

Talk about agendas dictating science. Moreover, this "ominous" warming ended just a couple years later, there has been virtually no planetary warming since then, and the warming followed 30 years of cooling.

The document raises serious questions about State Department actions on subsequent IPCC Assessment Reports. What did State do? Where are the correspondence and instructions to change the science in other IPCC reports? What are the State Department, EPA and other Obama agencies doing now to further corrupt climate science and advance their radical energy, social, economic and political agendas?

We know they won’t answer truthfully. If they did, they’d have to investigate themselves under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Worse, the corruption, deception, manipulation, exaggeration and fabrication have grown with every passing year, as alarmists sought to obfuscate their shenanigans and preserve their $1.5 trillion Climate Crisis Empire. The AG actions are designed to punish and silence organizations that are revealing the scientific flaws and deceptions.

The IPCC was set up in 1988 to examine possible human influences on Earth’s climate, amid powerful natural forces that have always driven the complex, dynamic, turbulent, frequently changing climate. As we note in our book, Cracking Big Green, from the outset, Swedish meteorology professor and zealous warming advocate Bert Bolin wanted to help scientists "get global warming onto the political agenda."

By 1995, Bolin could finally say "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate." Of course, "discernible" merely means "detectable." But it gave the State Department license to dictate the "science." Then "discernible" morphed into "dominant," which morphed into "sole." Suddenly humans had replaced the complex, interrelated natural forces that had driven innumerable climate changes throughout Earth’s history. Voila. Climate hysteria began to drive the political agenda.

Behind the hysteria are carefully orchestrated efforts to find steadily increasing planetary temperatures, and claim floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, snowstorms and snowless winters are more frequent and intense – even though Real World records show they are not. Original data are "homogenized" with other data to create higher temperatures; student papers and activist news releases are presented as "peer-reviewed studies" in IPCC documents; computer models are presented as "proof" of chaos, even though actual observations contradict their predictions; and ClimateGate emails reveal more chicanery. As climatologist and professor David Legates explains, even the 97% consensus claims are fraudulent.

Organizations that pointed out these flaws and fabrications became a threat to politicians, activists, "warmist" scientists and bureaucrats who were determined to advance an anti-fossil-fuel agenda. Their money and efforts were not winning the non-debate. They needed a blitzkrieg counterattack.

In June 2012, the Union of Concerned Scientists and Climate Accountability Institute organized a "workshop" in La Jolla, CA for climate activists, scientists, lawyers and other experts. Their subsequent report detailed how successful attacks on tobacco companies could be used as a template for campaigns, RICO actions and other operations against "climate denier" companies and organizations.

By 2015, Senator Sheldon "Torquemada" Whitehouse (D-RI) was calling for RICO prosecutions. His actions prompted free market champion Alex Epstein to tell a congressional committee the senator should resign because of his "unconstitutional" attacks on free speech and the energy that powers our economy.

In January 2016, a secret meeting was held in the Rockefeller Family Fund’s Manhattan offices. It brought founder Bill McKibben and a dozen other anti-hydrocarbon activists together, to refine their legal strategies against ExxonMobil and others who dared to challenge "the scientific consensus" that fossil fuels have brought humanity and our planet to the brink of "climate chaos."

Then, on March 29, 2016, New York AG Eric Schneiderman headlined a press conference of 16 state attorneys general, who announced their intention to go after organizations that were "committing fraud" by "knowingly deceiving" the public about the threat of manmade climate change. Within days, he had launched a RICO action against ExxonMobil, and the Virgin Islands had done likewise against CEI.

It is difficult not to perceive a pattern of collusion here, among the activists and their financiers, among the AGs, and probably among all of them. We are eager to see what emails and other documents might reveal – especially since Section 241 of US Code Title 18 makes it a felony "for two or more persons to agree together to injure, threaten or intimidate" another person in exercising their constitutional rights.

We have only begun to fight – for energy, jobs, sound science, free speech and human rights. CEI and Exxon are vigorously battling the outrageous RICO suits, and CFACT will present its new Climate Hustle movie in a one-day May 2 extravaganza in hundreds of theaters across the USA. We will not be silenced.

Via email

Australia: Marxist paper says that barrier reef damage is being covered up by Murdoch newspaper

The main Murdoch paper in North Queensland, where the reef is, did cover the bleaching.  It was just the main Murdoch paper in the South, where the reef is not, that mostly ignored the alarms.

And the "Courier Mail" had good reason to ignore the Greenie shrieks.  Greenies have been crying "wolf" over bleaching almost incessantly for many years.  Another such cry is not much news. 

And the point is that corals always recover.  On Bikini atoll the corals re-grew even after sustaining a direct hit from a thermo-nuclear blast.  And even the chief reef alarmist said: I’d expect most of the corals from Cairns southwards to recover"

Coral bleaching is a complex event and it is only Warmists who are sure that global warming causes it. As NOAA says: "Coral bleaching is not well understood by scientists. Many different hypotheses exist as to the cause behind coral bleaching"

I grew up a short boat ride from the reef and as far back as I can remember (over 60 years) there have been alarms about damage to the reef, including bleaching. And that was long before global warming is supposed to have got going. 

Assuming that warmer water is the problem, however, note one thing:  Both the big 1998 die-back and the present die-back coincided with big El Nino events.  And Australia is right in the path of an El Nino event.  It's by far the most parsimonious hypothesis to say that the present problems of the reef are wholly an El Nino effect, and hence just another one of nature's cycles, nothing to do with global warming

But most of the people quoted below are well-known Warmists so they are too predictable to be heeded

The images went around the world. The snapshots of the Great Barrier Reef, from Cairns to Torres Strait, looked more like a pile of bones than coral. Professor Terry Hughes, director of the Australian Research Council’s centre of excellence for coral reef studies at James Cook University in Townsville, was surveying the reef by plane and helicopter. It was, he wrote on March 26, "the saddest trip of my life".

From March 22, Hughes criss-crossed 520 individual reefs in four days, covering 3200 kilometres by air. Just four showed no evidence of bleaching. The further north Hughes travelled, over what were once the most pristine waters of the reef, unspoiled by the runoff that pollutes the south, the worse the bleaching became. Fringing reefs in Torres Strait, he said, were "completely white".

The Australian Institute of Marine Science currently has 300 researchers swarming over the reef, complementing the aerial surveys. Reefs are scored on a scale of zero, which indicates no bleaching, to four, which means more than 60 per cent is bleached. Their observations have replicated Hughes’s. In the meantime, Hughes has continued southwards, trying to find a limit to the unfolding tragedy beneath him.

Like most scientists, Hughes prefers to talk in numbers. "I wouldn’t talk about the Barrier Reef dying or the killing of the reef or whatever. I think that’s overstating it," he says. "I’ll say what number of reefs we’ve surveyed, how many are severely bleached and how many are not severely bleached – but then often the language gets changed, depending on the style of reporting by particular outlets."

"It’s fair to say it’s getting more coverage outside Australia than inside."

To clarify, bleached coral is not dead coral. It’s just very unhealthy. Varying combinations of heat stress, bright sunlight and poor water quality cause coral to expel the algae, or zooxanthellae, on which it feeds, and which also gives it its brilliant colour. This exposes the limestone skeleton beneath. Different types of coral are more susceptible to bleaching than others.

Hughes is clear, though: this is really, really serious. "There’s a window of opportunity to survey the corals when they’re severely bleached, because after a few weeks they start to die, and then the skeletons get covered in seaweed and you can’t see them from the air anymore," he says. "We timed our northern surveys to coincide with the peak whiteness of the reefs, before there was significant mortality."

North of Cooktown, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is now reporting up to 50 per cent mortality rates. The full extent of the damage, Hughes says, will take months to unfold. "Different corals linger for longer before they die – and also, of course, some of them won’t die, they will recover. I’d expect most of the corals from Cairns southwards to recover."

When Hughes returned from his first sojourn north, his phone rang off the hook. In the week before April 7, according to the media monitoring company Meltwater, the story was reported more than 1000 times in 70 countries. Video footage given to ABC TV’s 7.30 and later used by the World Wildlife Fund has been viewed more than four million times. "It’s fair to say it’s getting more coverage outside Australia than inside," Hughes says.

By any objective measure, the bleaching of the reef is a massive story. It’s one of the seven natural wonders of the world – the only Australian environmental feature to be granted such status. It’s home to about 215 species of birds, 30 types of whales or dolphins, half a dozen kinds of sea turtle, and 10 per cent of the entire world’s species of fish.

Any potential danger to the reef is economic and diplomatic as much as environmental. According to a Deloitte study commissioned by the Australian government in 2013, its value to the national economy is about $5.7 billion annually. It attracts two million international visitors each year. It employs close to 70,000 people on a full-time basis.

There have been some efforts to inform people about the devastation under way on the reef in the media. News Corp’s The Cairns Post – with a local readership whose livelihoods are directly threatened – has reported the issue, as has Fairfax’s Brisbane Times. But in Queensland’s only statewide newspaper you wouldn’t have read about Hughes’s findings or their ramifications. Since his surveys began, The Courier-Mail hasn’t interviewed him, nor sent one of its journalists into the field to verify either his or his colleagues’ observations.

"It basically shows they’re either in denial about the science," says Ian Lowe, emeritus professor in the School of Science at Griffith University, "or they’re colluding in obscuring the science so the community don’t understand the threats being posed to the reef, both by climate change and by the associated acidification of the oceans, both of which put real pressure on corals."

On March 25, the day Hughes completed his survey of the northern section of the reef, the newspaper ran a short piece on page three, lambasting Greenpeace for sharing an image of bleached coral taken in American Samoa that was incorrectly labelled as being from the Barrier Reef.

Last week, on April 7, The Courier-Mail ran on its front page a story titled "David Attenborough’s verdict: Still the most magical place on Earth", accompanied by a picture of the famed naturalist and filmmaker standing atop some coral at low tide. Inside was a double-page spread headlined "It takes your breath away", with the sub-head "Reports of reef’s death greatly exaggerated: Attenborough".

Well, at least that was what the subeditor said. The lead quote came not from Attenborough, but from federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt, after he was granted a preview of the first part of Attenborough’s TV series on the reef that aired last Sunday. "The key point that I had from seeing the first of the three parts is that clearly, the world’s Great Barrier Reef is still the world’s Great Barrier Reef," Hunt said.

Had Hunt seen the third part, or had the reader progressed to the end of the article, they would have noted Attenborough’s conclusion: "The Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger. The twin perils brought by climate change – an increase in the ocean temperature and in its acidity – threaten its very existence. If they continue to rise at the present rate, the reefs will be gone within decades."

The Courier-Mail’s relationship with environment organisations has been frosty since the departure of long-serving reporter Brian Williams. Williams says these issues have always waxed and waned. "Not long before I left The Courier-Mail I was doing stories on the prospect of this bleaching occurring, and I actually spoke to some friends in the conservation movement and suggested that the debate would swing back again."

For now, though, the newspaper is running heavily in support of Adani’s massive Carmichael coalmine in the Galilee Basin, which had been given the go-ahead by the Queensland state government on April 3. "In the real world you need jobs," began an editorial on the same day, which lambasted "hashtag activism" and defended the regulations it claimed would protect the reef.

"The science on the health of the reef is plain," the paper said. "This great natural wonder loved by all Queenslanders faces a range of stresses – as it has during the entire past century – from agricultural runoff to the current coral bleaching."

No mention was made of climate change. The science on that is plain, too: according to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, bleaching is caused primarily by heat stress. The authority also notes that the reef has in fact been bleached only twice previously in the past century – and those events were in 1998 and 2002. This event is far worse. Hughes has said the reef is being "fried". It’s perhaps more accurate to say it’s being slowly boiled. Water temperatures are up to 35 degrees around Lizard Island, and about 2 degrees above normal summer averages generally.

Climate scientists say that in addition to 2015 being the hottest year since records began in 1880, water temperatures around Australia are at all-time highs. They point to more frequent El Niño events, and more intense cyclones. It’s not just the Barrier Reef that is suffering, either: corals are being bleached across the southern hemisphere, from the central and eastern Pacific across to the Caribbean.

Scientists usually fare poorly in the media for their struggle to speak in lay terms. Now, the government’s own experts are being dismissed as activists.

John Cook, a climate communication fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, says it’s a deliberate strategy. "It’s an attempt by people who oppose climate action to deliberately lump them together, and so when a scientist publishes empirical research about climate change, then they get labelled an activist." Politicising science, he says, is a way of casting doubt on it.

"I remember having conversations with editors about how climate should be covered, and being told that it was a political story," remembers Graham Readfearn, who launched his GreenBlog at The Courier-Mail in 2008, before resigning in 2010. "The politics are a distraction when the issue is quite literally staring you in the face, in the form of white coral."

The newspaper’s website has since deleted all of Readfearn’s posts. Questions to The Courier-Mail’s editor, Lachlan Heywood, went unanswered.

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a professor of marine science at the University of Queensland with a special interest in the communication of science issues, notes that the premiere of Attenborough’s series on Sunday night was watched by 10.6 million people in Britain alone. But in Queensland, there is an eerie silence. In politics and in the state’s most-read newspaper, no one wants to talk about what is happening in front of them.



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

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18 April, 2016

NASA lies and tergiversations

All the things denied by NASA below have been documented many times -- including on this blog.  Amusing, though, when they said "There is far too much focus on surface temperatures".  I wonder why they said that?  It wouldn't be because they haven't been rising, would it?  And what shows warming if global temperatures don't?

In many online forums involving climate change science, the discussions are frequently hijacked by  doubters making the same tired, debunked arguments. On Tuesday, NASA was having none of it.

When doubters began polluting a thread started by Bill Nye "The Science Guy" about his rejected attempt to place a bet about global warming, the Facebook account "NASA Climate Change" decided to pounce.

When one doubter claimed NASA had confirmed fossil fuels "were actually cooling the planet," NASA Climate Change fired back: "Do not misrepresent NASA. Fossil fuels are not cooling the planet."

NASA Climate Change also took on the doubter talking point that because global warming is happening on other planets, what’s happening on Earth isn’t anything special. "Other planets in the solar system are not warming," it countered. "There is a small amount of evidence of seasonal changes in parts of the solar system, but there is no evidence of global warming anywhere — except on Earth."

When it was accused of "fudging numbers" in producing global warming data, it retorted: "NASA does not ‘fudge’ numbers. All data requires statistical adjustments to remove bias."  NASA Climate Change then directed commenters to multiple independent analyses of temperature data which show global warming while reminding readers: "There is far too much focus on surface temperatures. They are but one measure of warming. All other measures . . . continue unabated."


How CNN covered the DC Premiere of the "Climate Hustle" film -- below:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin mocked Bill Nye on Thursday, using the premier of a film that criticizes climate change scientists to call into question Nye's credentials.

"Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am," the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee said, according to The Hill. "He's a kids' show actor, he's not a scientist."

Palin, who was speaking at the Washington premiere of the anti-climate change film "Climate Hustle," targeted Nye during a rant against the "alarmism" of climate change activists.

Scientists who study climate have an overwhelmingly consensus that the Earth is warming and humans are the cause, according to multiple peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Palin urged parents to teach their children to "ask those questions and not just believe what Bill Nye the Science Guy is trying to tell them" about climate change.

In "Climate Hustle," a clip of an interview with Nye is shown in which he seems to advocate investigating people who are responsible "for the introduction of this extreme doubt...about climate change."

"I can see where people are very concerned about this and are pursuing criminal investigations as well as engaging in discussions line this," he says in the clip.

Nye, who attended the White House Science Fair this week, is a vocal supporter of addressing climate change, and graduated from Cornell University's School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering.

But he is probably best known for his role in the popular educational TV series "Bill Nye the Science Guy," which covered a variety of science topics for grade-school children.


British bird charity has fallen into the hands of incompetent Greenie madmen

Theory put before reality and class hatred make a toxic combination.  A mainly upper class sport in Britain is grouse hunting so to spike those loathed "toffs" the RSPB want to "protect" grouse, mainly by killing them!

By Sir Ian Botham

Soaring high above my home county of Yorkshire is a very special bird. The extraordinary eagle owl with its 6ft wingspan is back in Britain a few thousand years after human pressure forced them from these shores.

What's not to like about these beautiful birds breeding once more in the wilds of Northern England? Especially when their scientific name is 'bubo bubo'?

The reported loss of England's last golden eagle means the eagle owl is now the country's biggest winged hunter – an 'apex predator' to be proud of.

Yet it has a most unlikely enemy, and it comes in the shape of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

No one is quite sure how our bubo bubos made their return, whether they escaped from private aviaries or made their own way from abroad. Either way, you would think that the charity would be delighted to see such a magnificent native bird back on home territory.

Far from it. Last month I read that the RSPB is not only hostile towards our new eagle owls, it wants to 'nip the colonisation in the bud'. The RSPB has been arguing for the removal of eagle owls before they become re-established.

This hostility is shared by a wider group of RSPB supporters and bird enthusiasts. On its website, the RSPB admits that eagle owls have been 'demonised' by some bird-lovers. Worse still, some people seem to be deliberately disturbing the birds' nests to stop them breeding.

In the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire, eagle owls abandoned their nests last year due to human 'visitors'. This spring, local eagle owl fans in the region have set up a watch on a nest because, they say, they fear that RSPB officials might disturb it.

So why is the RSPB hindering – if not actually harassing – the eagle owl? It comes down to that organisation's continuing battle with grouse moors and their owners.

The RSPB is rightly determined to protect the beautiful hen harrier, which feeds off grouse – but at the expense, it seems, of the eagle owl because, aside from rabbits, it occasionally attacks hen harriers!

For the RSPB this is a particular problem because hen harriers are a useful weapon. If there were enough hen harriers, they would force the grouse shoots out of business.

In this proxy battle, it is the eagle owl that is the victim.

Fortunately the bubo bubo has a friend in the shape of wildlife commentator George Monbiot, who wants them actively reintroduced in Britain as part of his vision of rewilding the countryside with top predators, such as the lynx or wolves.

Now these animals might make country walks with the kids a little hairy, but I am well up for George's plan to have more eagle owls.

Nature needs a balance. When we have too many medium-size birds of prey they will not just wipe out smaller species but also then face starvation because of lack of prey.

Top predators, such as eagle owls, can help keep smaller bird of prey numbers balanced just as lynx, if we had them here in Britain, could help control deer numbers. Since we don't, we have RSPB marksmen shooting excess deer to stop them overgrazing on its land.

Yet when it comes to the conservation of birds, the RSPB's leaders favour a few photogenic species at the expense of balance. This is not for ecological reasons but the result of fundraising targets and ideological prejudice.

The RSPB, for example, believes that all grouse moors are bad. Very bad. Earlier this year, the RSPB's vice-president, Chris Packham, even described grouse moors as an 'evil community'.

This is the same Chris Packham who is known to millions as a presenter on shows including Springwatch. This raises the question of how the BBC can pretend that he is an impartial TV presenter on matters such as this.

An internal BBC report has already found that the Corporation's nature reporting is over-reliant on the RSPB.

The sort of extraordinary language used by Packham does little to help build relationships between the RSPB and those who own or manage many of the UK's most successful bird habitats. For what it's worth, I am absolutely convinced that the grouse on my plate has had a far better life than the chicken on yours. Grouse live entirely in the wild and typically do so for a year or two before being shot.

A so-called 'free range' chicken is probably crowded into a barn with around 12 other chickens per square metre and lives just six weeks before being slaughtered – a point recently highlighted in The Mail on Sunday.

It is true, of course, that the RSPB contains many sincere people who bring deep experience and work well with neighbouring farmers and gamekeepers. They avoid the doctrine of their top brass and recognise that endangered curlews, for example, are thriving on grouse moors.

So are lapwings and golden plovers. Privately employed gamekeepers excel at protecting these ground-nesting birds from predators such as foxes and stoats.

It is a different story on land owned by the RSPB, however. RSPB doctrine means that its wardens are not allowed to be as tough on predators, and so their results fall short.

The RSPB's failure to look after hen harriers is particularly telling. Last September, The Mail on Sunday pointed out that, despite the RSPB having been in charge of seven of England's 12 hen harrier nests in 2015, it managed to successfully protect just one of the 18 chicks that fledged.

Was this the result of too many visitors near the nests? Were the parents scared by tagging attempts? Was it a hungry bubo bubo? Or was it, as the RSPB management implied, the fault of gamekeepers?

That doesn't wash with me. There hasn't been a single prosecution of a gamekeeper for persecuting hen harriers in England for 15 years. They have been putting their house in order.

I have zero tolerance for illegal shooting of hen harriers; attitudes in the game sector have been improving and I hope that will continue.

The same can barely be said of the RSPB, although recent months have seen signs of change. The leadership has only just started to realise how many organisations now see it not as the august body it ought to be, but as the blinkered bully of the conservation world.

For decades the organisation – which pulls in £133 million a year – has been in the hands of Left-wing Greens. Now it has so overtaxed the goodwill of our nation that its management's had no alternative but to learn the art of compromise. Climbdown number one was over hen harriers. For years the RSPB had been blocking a Government scheme to help this bird recover by raising chicks in aviaries. With evidence of the charity's own conservation failures mounting, the RSPB has offered a welcome to the initiative – through gritted teeth.

The second climbdown this year involved a widow's gift to the charity of 20 acres of farmland in the Cheshire village of Somerford. The RSPB, with its inexhaustible appetite for cash, had decided to ignore the widow's request that the land should not be built on and instead planned to take a £6 million profit by handing it over to developers.

The RSPB had to change tack after the case was highlighted in the press. Now, to the delight of villagers, 12 of the acres will instead be turned into a nature garden with an orchard and pond.

It is difficult to exaggerate the extent to which the RSPB has been used to getting its way. It has a lot of weight to throw around.

This bloated organisation has become so adept at milking public and private purses it now has as many staff, about 2,000, as the Government's conservation agency, Natural England. Many academics and officials have been intimidated by it.

Next month the elite scientific body, the Royal Society, will publish a scathing critique of the way the RSPB has been distorting science to suit its own political agenda against grouse moors.

In their article, a dozen of the world's top ecologists will say that RSPB press releases displayed 'only passing resemblance to the key findings' of scientific research.

So, in the space of a few months, the RSPB has got itself on the wrong side of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) over its objection to the Government's hen harrier recovery scheme and some of the world's top ecologists.

These reverses followed earlier rebukes from the Charity Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority for misleading donors. Donors had been told by the RSPB that it was spending 90p from every donated £1 on conservation. The regulators found the reality to be nearer 30p.

The other 70p had been swallowed by the RSPB's huge expenditure on fundraising, campaigning, and its catastrophic pension fund deficit. This deficit is now an eye-watering £86 million as the RSPB failed to match the contributions of its fast-growing staff with sufficient pension contributions of its own.

It means that of the £7 million of private donations the RSPB received last year, £4 million went straight out of the door to bail out the pension scheme.

Not that the waste ends there. Millions more are spent on lawyers as the RSPB tries to get involved in politics and bludgeons the Government with judicial reviews.

Even the RSPCA – that other activist-led charity with a penchant for putting politics before animal welfare – is better run.

I take particular issue with the RSPB's deeply flawed claim that the biggest threat of all to birds is climate change.

A rather basic problem with this thesis was revealed last month when RSPB research showed that British birds were thriving – because of climate change.

Despite that, the RSPB has gone ahead with the futile gesture of building its own wind turbine at its Bedfordshire HQ. Who knows how many birds will fall victim to its blades.

I won't be surprised if every morning the first duty of the RSPB press office will be to bury the feathered corpses.

I am encouraged that my You Forgot The Birds campaign – which I wrote about first in The Mail on Sunday 18 months ago – has helped start a process of change within the RSPB.

I hope that, after the climbdowns discussed above, it will do more to protect vulnerable eagle owl nests from visitors and predators, and – just as vitally – that it will take quick action when eggs are abandoned.

Yet I don't think that substantial change will come until the Charity Commission stops sitting on the fence and instead transforms itself into a bubo bubo and swoops down on the RSPB's inept trustees.

In sport, in politics and in business repeated failure means that you get the chop to allow better people to take the opportunities. The RSPB is one charity which would be improved by a cull.


Revealed! Feds' demands to manipulate global-warming data

It’s something climate skeptics have long suspected: Government involvement in science has skewed data to reflect the government’s agenda.

"Many have suspected that U.S. political intervention in climate science has corrupted the outcome," notes Ron Arnold in an essay posted on "The new emergence of an old 1995 document from the U.S. State Department to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms those suspicions, or at least gives the allegation credence enough to ask questions."

Though a FOIA request for the 1995 document came up empty ("No such correspondence in our files"), the pdf is available online. The 30-page document, entitled "U.S. Government Specific Comments on the Draft IPCC WG I Summary for Policymakers," gives detailed instructions on "how to change the IPCC’s science document and the summary for policymakers."

"The document itself consists of a three-page cover letter to Sir John Houghton, head of IPCC Working Group I (Science), from Day Mount, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Acting, Environment and Development, United States Department of State, along with the thirty-page instruction set with line-by-line ‘suggestions,’ written by scientist Robert Watson and others," writes Arnold.

He also notes, "Among the more revealing tidbits is a remark scolding a scientist for being honest about the weakness of aerosol forcing data: ‘We clearly cannot use aerosol forcing as the trigger of our smoking gun, and then make a generalized appeal to uncertainty to exclude these effects from the forward-looking modeling analysis.’ One instruction was to change a correct statement about warming rates into a flat lie: ‘Change "continue to rise" to "rise by even greater amounts" to provide a sense of magnitude of the extended change.'"

This verbal manipulation as far back as 1995 illustrates how government involvement in climate science is skewing the outcome to reflect an agenda.

NASA is noted to have altered its own temperature data by 0.5C since 2001. "NASA temperature data doesn’t even agree with NASA temperature data from 15 years ago," notes the article "Global temperature record is a smoking gun of collusion and fraud."

The article also chronicles similar manipulation by the Japan Meteorological Agency; and that much of the Southern Hemisphere data is "mostly made up."

"The claimed agreement in temperature data is simply not legitimate," it notes. "The people involved know that their data is inadequate, tampered and largely made up. They all use basically the same GHCN data set from NOAA (which has lost more than 80 percent of their stations over the past few decades) and E-mails show that they discussed with each other ways to alter the data to make it agree with their theory."

WND has reported extensively on global warming, including a few months back when, despite no rise in average global temperature for nearly two decades, some two-dozen scientists with major U.S. universities urged President Obama to use RICO laws to prosecute opponents who deny mankind is causing catastrophic changes in the climate.

That’s the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which can put people in jail.

The scientists said their critics’ methods "are quite similar to those used earlier by the tobacco industry," which was the target of a RICO investigation that "played an important role in stopping the tobacco industry from continuing to deceive the American people about the dangers of smoking."

Tim Ball, a former University of Winnipeg climatology professor, said global temperatures have been dropping since the turn of the century, prompting the change in terminology from "global warming" to "climate change."

Activists are also spending less time discussing temperatures and more time pointing to more extreme events such as tornadoes, droughts, cold snaps and heat waves. Ball said there’s a shred of truth there, but it’s being badly distorted.

Marc Morano is executive editor and chief correspondent for ClimateDepot, as well as host and producer of the upcoming film "Climate Hustle." In an interview with WND, he said, "These documents further reveal how the grand narrative of man-made global warming has been crafted and forged into a partisan like campaign cause. The U.N. reports were altered as needed to promote the ideological and political goals of the establishment pushing climate fears.

"Any talking points that did not fit their narrative were cast aside and any expression of uncertainty quashed," he added. "The ‘global warming’ movement is a pure lobbying movement on some levels. These old documents echo the 2009 Climategate scandal where the upper echelon of the U.N. scientists were exposed colluding on now to craft a narrative and mold the science to persuade the public, media and policy makers of the urgency of ‘acting’ on ‘global warming.'"

Manipulation of public emotion through various strategies influences public policy in massive ways, which makes the 1995 document noteworthy for how far back this goes.

"The 1995 document raises 2016 questions about the State Department’s actions in the subsequent United National IPCC Assessment Reports," notes Arnold. "What did they do? Where are the correspondence and instructions to change the science in all the IPCC Assessments? What is the Obama State Department doing to corrupt climate science to its forward its radical social and political agenda? Some of that is obvious. It’s the clandestine part we need to know."


Sanders Says His Climate Change Remedy Will Bring 'Economic Dislocation,' Job Losses

Climate change is a "global crisis," and addressing it will bring "economic disloation," including job losses, Sen. Bernie Sanders said at Thursday's CNN-hosted Democrat debate in Brooklyn.

"Pope Francis reminded us that we are on a suicide course," Sanders said. "Our legislation understands, ...that there will be economic dislocation. It is absolutely true. There will be some people who lose their job. And we build into our legislation an enormous amount of money to protect those workers. It is not their fault that fossil fuels are destroying our climate.

"But we have got to stand up and say right now, as we would if we were attacked by some military force, we have got to move...urgently and boldly."

Sanders has called for a nationwide ban on fracking, a phase-out of all nuclear power in the U.S., and a carbon tax. "We have got to tell the fossil fuel industry that their short-term profits are not more important than the future of this planet," he said.

Sanders also has introduced legislation calling for 10 million "solar rooftops," as he described them. "We can put probably millions of people to work retrofitting and weatherizing buildings all over this country -- saving -- rebuilding our rail system, our mass transit system.

Clinton told the gathering that she's set "big goals" for addressing climate change.

"I want to see us deploy a half a billion more solar panels by the end of my first term and enough clean energy to provide electricity to every home in America within 10 years.

"So I have big, bold goals, but I know in order to get from where we are, where the world is still burning way too much coal, where the world is still too intimidated by countries and providers like Russia, we have got to make a very firm but decisive move in the direction of clean energy."

Clinton said she would build on what President Obama has accomplished -- "building on the clean power plan, which is currently under attack by fossil fuels and the right in the Supreme Court, which is one of the reasons why we need to get the Supreme Court justice that President Obama has nominated to be confirmed so that we can actually continue to make progress."

She noted that Sanders  has not been able to pass his legislation: "And my approach I think is going to get us there faster without tying us up into political knots with a Congress that still would not support what you are proposing," she told the senator.


Coral reefs set to lose tolerance to bleaching as oceans warm

There's probably a few factual bits below but it's mostly just modelling crap.  They at least acknowledge that corals do adapt -- which is a great leap forward for them

The future is not looking bright. Coral reefs are set to become more vulnerable to bleaching as rising temperatures cripple their self-defence mechanisms.

Bleaching occurs when warm waters strip away the colourful photosynthesising algae that provide nourishment to corals.

This happens during unusually warm periods, such as during El Niño years, but doesn’t always kill coral, which can recover when waters cool again.

Corals are often able to survive heatwaves by developing resistance during periods of milder warming, when water temperatures rise and cool off again, says Tracy Ainsworth of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. The corals are essentially given a warning for what’s about to come, a sort of practice run.

A little stress can help corals

"Corals that undergo smaller stress prior to a bleaching event are able to retain more symbionts within the tissue, those algae which are crucial for nutrition," says Ainsworth. "This has major implications as to whether or not it can survive."

Now that climate change is driving up ocean temperatures, there are fears that these acclimatisation periods will become shorter or disappear completely.

To get an idea of how warming waters might affect corals, Ainsworth and her colleagues studied patterns of sea surface temperatures at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef over the last three decades.

They found that during that time, 75 per cent of heatwaves were preceded by moderately warm temperatures. These can help cut coral mortality by 50 per cent.

More heat, more stress

They then modelled future scenarios and found that this proportion may drop to 22 per cent if sea surface temperatures rise by 2 °C, as could occur by 2100.

What’s more, they found that an increase in local water temperature of just 0.5 °C can lead to loss of this adaptation mechanism.

"We will no longer be getting a situation where corals have a small stress, a period of recovery due to water cooling, and then a big stress," says Ainsworth. "What we’ll see is an accumulation of one big stress."

Survival strategies

Their experiments also confirmed the importance of practice runs, showing that corals developed a number of heat resistance strategies as the water warmed up.

"They upregulated their heat shock responses and all these other molecular mechanisms that prevented damage to the cells during the next stress," says Ainsworth.

But increasing sea temperatures caused by climate change will see that gap between the preparation period and the peak stress disappear, says study co-author Scott Heron of the US  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Not too late

"Those temperatures will no longer drop below the stress levels," says Heron. "So instead of a gap to recover between the preparation period and the peak stress, the corals have an extended period of stress."

If these predictions are born out, coral cover in the Great Barrier Reef could dwindle to less than 5 per cent by the end of the century.

Nevertheless, it is not too late to turn things around. The researchers’ modelling studies demonstrated that aggressive efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions would result in no net decline in coral cover by the end of the century.

"I think we do still have hope, we should never give up," says Ainsworth.



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

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


17 April, 2016

They're finally listening!

Skeptics have been pointing out for years that the ice cores from past geological eras show CO2 increases lagging BEHIND  temperature rises, disproving the alleged link to global warming.  Heretofore the Warmists have just ignored that in their high and mighty way.  But as the temperature "hiatus" gets longer and longer -- broken only by El Nino -- they are definitely getting more defensive.  So in the latest edition of "New Scientist" (the Warmist house magazine) Catherine Brahic and Michael Le Page try  to wriggle out of the pesky timing of past CO2 spikes.  See below.

Their argument is not totally illogical, just very implausible.  They say that past temperature rises were caused by "other things", not by CO2.  It is only recent temperature rises that were caused by CO2.  They realize however that a lot of people are going to say "Hee Haw" to that profoundly silly argument so end up saying:

"To repeat, the evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas depends mainly on physics, not on the correlation with past temperature, which tells us nothing about cause and effect"

But the physics is a weak reed to lean on as well.  Their theories regularly seem to overlook that a heated atmospheric molecule will radiate its heat in all directions -- so only a small percentage of the emitted radiation will hit the earth.  But CO2 is also small percentage of the atmosphere so only a small percentage of a small percentage of radiation will impact the earth.  So on theory as well as on observed fact, CO2 will have negligible effect on terrestrial temperature.

So every point of their argument is feeble and improbable -- far too feeble and improbable to support policy prescriptions

And their claim that "the correlation with past temperature tells us nothing about cause and effect" is very contentious.  David Hume held that regular temporal priority was the WHOLE of cause.  So there are respectable philosophical grounds for saying that warming DOES cause CO2 emissions, not vice versa.

Over to Catherine Brahic and Michael Le Page

That's Catherine, a New Scientist editor. Her research background is in neuroanatomy

And that's Michael Le Page.  Isn't he a handsome devil?

Sometimes a house gets warmer even when the central heating is turned off. Does this prove that its central heating does not work? Of course not. Perhaps it’s a hot day outside, or the oven’s been left on for hours.

Just as there’s more than one way to heat a house, so there’s more than one way to heat a planet.

Ice cores from Antarctica show that at the end of recent ice ages, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere usually started to rise only after temperatures had begun to climb. There is uncertainty about the timings, partly because the air trapped in the cores is younger than the ice, but it appears the lags might sometimes have been 800 years or more.

Initial warming

This proves that rising CO2 was not the trigger that caused the initial warming at the end of these ice ages – but no climate scientist has ever made this claim. It certainly does not challenge the idea that more CO2 heats the planet.

We know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas because it absorbs and emits certain frequencies of infrared radiation. Basic physics tells us that gases with this property trap heat radiating from the Earth, that the planet would be a lot colder if this effect was not real and that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will trap even more heat.

What is more, CO2 is just one of several greenhouses gases, and greenhouse gases are just one of many factors affecting the climate. There is no reason to expect a perfect correlation between CO2 levels and temperature in the past: if there is a big change in another climate "forcing", the correlation will be obscured.

Orbital variations

So why has Earth regularly switched between ice ages and warmer interglacial periods in the past million years? It has long been thought that this is due to variations in Earth’s orbit, known as Milankovitch cycles. These change the amount and location of solar energy reaching Earth. However, the correlation is not perfect and the heating or cooling effect of these orbital variations is small. It has also long been recognised that they cannot fully explain the dramatic temperature switches between ice ages and interglacials.

So if orbital changes did cause the recent ice ages to come and go, there must also have been some kind of feedback effect that amplified the changes in temperatures they produced. Ice is one contender: as the great ice sheets that covered large areas of the planet during the ice ages melted, less of the Sun’s energy would have been reflected back into space, accelerating the warming. But the melting of ice lags behind the beginning of interglacial periods by far more than the rises in CO2.

Another feedback contender, suggested over a century ago, is CO2. In the past decade, detailed studies of ice cores have shown there is a remarkable correlation between CO2 levels and temperature over the past half million years (see Vostok ice cores show constant CO2 as temperatures fell).

Rising together

It takes about 5000 years for an ice age to end and, after the initial 800 year lag, temperature and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere rise together for a further 4200 years.

What seems to have happened at the end of the recent ice ages is that some factor – most probably orbital changes – caused a rise in temperature. This led to an increase in CO2, resulting in further warming that caused more CO2 to be released and so on: a positive feedback that amplified a small change in temperature. At some point, the shrinking of the ice sheets further amplified the warming.

Models suggest that rising greenhouse gases, including CO2, explain about 40% of the warming as the ice ages ended. The figure is uncertain because it depends on how the extent of ice coverage changed over time, and there is no way to pin this down precisely.

Biological activity

The source of this extra carbon was the oceans, but why did they release CO2 as the planet began to warm? Many factors played a role and the details are still far from clear.

CO2 is less soluble in warmer water, but its release as a result of warming seawater can explain only part of the increase in CO2. And the reduction in salinity as ice melted would have partly counteracted this effect.

A reduction in biological activity may have played a bigger role. Tropical oceans tend to release CO2, while cooler seas soak up CO2 from the atmosphere as phytoplankton grow and fall to the ocean floor. Changes in factors such as winds, ice cover and salinity would have cut productivity, leading to a rise in CO2.

Runaway prevention

The ice ages show that temperature can determine CO2 as well as CO2 driving temperature. Some sceptics – not scientists – have seized upon this idea and are claiming that the relation is one way, that temperature determines CO2 levels but CO2 levels do not affect temperature.

To repeat, the evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas depends mainly on physics, not on the correlation with past temperature, which tells us nothing about cause and effect. And while the rises in CO2 a few hundred years after the start of interglacials can only be explained by rising temperatures, the full extent of the temperature increases over the following 4000 years can only be explained by the rise in CO2 levels.

What is more, further back in past there are examples of warmings triggered by rises in greenhouse gases, such as the Palaeo-Eocene Thermal Maximum 55 millions years ago (see Climate myths: It’s been far warmer in the past, what’s the big deal?).

Finally, if higher temperatures lead to more CO2 and more CO2 leads to higher temperatures, why doesn’t this positive feedback lead to a runaway greenhouse effect? There are various limiting factors that kick in, the most important being that infrared radiation emitted by Earth increases exponentially with temperature, so as long as some infrared can escape from the atmosphere, at some point heat loss catches up with heat retention.


Fascist Bill Nye

Bill Nye, "the science guy", revealed he is openly favorable to the idea of jailing ‘global warming’ skeptics at the Hague  as "war criminals." Nye was confronted with environmental activists Robert F. Kennedy’s call to jail climate skeptics for treason and lock them up at the Hague.

Nye openly pondered the idea that climate skeptics deserve jail. Climate Hustle’s Marc Morano asked Nye in an exclusive interview, "What is your thought on jailing skeptics as war criminals?"
Nye responded: "Well, we’ll see what happens. Was it appropriate to jail the guys from ENRON?"

Nye added, "For me as a taxpayer and voter — the introduction of this extreme doubt about climate change is affecting my quality of life as a public citizen."

Nye was interviewed in New York City’s Central Park for the upcoming May 2 nationwide theatrical release of the global warming skeptic film "Climate Hustle" which has its Washington DC Capitol Hill premiere on April 14 at the House Science Committee.

Climate Hustle‘s Marc Morano, asked Nye:

Morano: "We interviewed Robert F. Kennedy Jr. RJK Jr., the environmentalists. He said climate ‘deniers’, his words, Energy CEO’s belong at the Hague with three square meals and a cot with all of the other war criminals. What is your thought on that and do you think some of the rhetoric on your side — as I am sure both sides — gets too carried away. What is your thought on jailing skeptics as war criminals?"

Nye: "Well, we’ll see what happens. Was it appropriate to jail the guys from ENRON?"

Morano: "Interesting."

Nye: "So, we will see what happens. Was it appropriate to jail people from the cigarette industry who insisted that this addictive product was not addictive and so on?

And you think about in these cases — for me as a taxpayer and voter — the introduction of this extreme doubt about climate change is affecting my quality of life as a public citizen. So I can see where people are very concerned about this and are pursuing criminal investigations as well as engaging in discussion like this."

Morano also asked Nye about the "chilling effect" of threatening investigations and jail to scientists who dissent on man-made global warming claims.

Nye responded: "That there is a chilling effect on scientists who are in extreme doubt about climate change — I think is good. The extreme doubt about climate change people – without going too far afield here – are leaving the world worse than they found it because they are keeping us from getting to work. They are holding us back."


Pissing into the wind:  Telling people to give up red meat

What we put on our plates has a much greater effect on the emissions driving climate change than most people are aware of.

"The unsung contributor to climate change is the meat industry, which adds as much CO2 as the entire transport industry combined," said Pershin.

Total emissions from the livestock industry account for half of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, and a third worldwide once land-clearing is factored in.

If worldwide meat consumption continues to increase at current rates, we can expect a 76 per cent increase in agricultural emissions by 2050. This would neutralise the positive impacts of any other mitigation strategies, if and when they’re actually implemented.

Reducing per capita meat consumption by 25 per cent could, on the other hand, result in a 51 per cent decline in agricultural emissions over the same period. Such reductions in meat consumption are well within recommended nutritional guidelines.

By far the biggest footprint comes from beef and lamb, thanks largely to the land-clearing required for pasture. Reducing red meat consumption would result in savings not only for our overall carbon budget, but also the budget required to tackle climate change.

"If the average daily consumption of meat were to be reduced by 22 per cent, the cost of staying within the worldwide target of two degrees warming could be halved," said Pershin.

Saving emissions-intensive red meat for special occasions is one action that can keep us within our carbon budget without sacrificing the things we love.

The Climatarian Challenge

The Climatarian Challenge is a month-long challenge that begins with an allocation of points representing the individual’s ‘carbon budget’ – referred to as the ‘carbon foodprint.’

The app allows users to input the portion size and type for any meat included in a meal, and deducts points from the budget accordingly.

The higher the carbon footprint of a food item, the more points are deducted. Eating beef and lamb will quickly deplete a user’s budget while chicken is a relatively low-budget option. Meat-free meals keep the budget afloat the longest.

To survive the Climatarian Challenge, the user must reach the end of the month with at least a few points remaining in their carbon budget.


Former Army General Completely Dismantles Claim Global Warming Causes War

Former U.S. Army Gen. Robert Scales took on claims by the Obama administration that global warming is America’s biggest national security threat and that rising temperatures will cause more violent conflict to break out around the world.

"The administration’s new-found passion to connect climate change to war is an example of faulty theories that rely for relevance on politically-correct imaginings rather than established historical precedent," Scales told senators during a Wednesday hearing on environmental policy. "The point is that in today’s wars, politically-correct theories inserted into a battle plan might well extend war needlessly and get soldiers killed."

Scales is a decorated Vietnam War veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 34 years before retiring in 2000. While in the military, he commanded artillery and was eventually tapped to head the Army Training and Doctrine Command. Scales became the commandant of the U.S. Army War College in the late 1990s, just before he retired.

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Now, Scales is an author, historian and news commentator who’s been highly critical of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, and appeared before Congress this week to debunk claims that global warming would cause more wars.

"The theories linking climate change to war come from a larger body of political thought that ascribes human conflict to what we call the ‘global trends’ school," Scales said.

Acolytes "global trends" school argue environmental factors — like drought urbanization and disease — ultimately drive violent conflicts. Democrats and environmentalists, for example, have blamed global warming for causing the Syrian Civil War and rise of Islamic State.

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Obama himself has argued global warming will give rise to "dangerous ideologies."

"What we know is that — as human beings are placed under strain, then bad things happen," Obama told CBS News in 2015. "And, you know, if you look at world history, whenever people are desperate, when people start lacking food, when people — are not able to make a living or take care of their families — that’s when ideologies arise that are dangerous."

Earlier in 2015, Obama told the U.S. Coast Guard Academy the biggest threat America faces is global warming.

"You are part of the first generation of officers to begin your service in a world where the effects of climate change are so clearly upon us," Obama told Coast Guard graduates in May 2015. "Climate change will shape how every one of our services plan, operate, train, equip, and protect their infrastructure, today and for the long-term."

Scales disagrees and gave a lengthy rebuttal of the claim global warming would drive more people to desperation and warfare.

"Never in the written history of warfare — from Megiddo in 1,500 B.C. to the Syrian Civil War today — is there any evidence that wars are caused by warmer air," Scales said.

"At best, climate change might over centuries contribute minutely to the course of warfare — the key word is ‘contributed,’" he said. "Climate change will never cause wars, thus it can never actually be a threat to national security."

"Where does the administration get their facts about climate change and war? Well, first they contend that a warming planet causes draught, which leads to mass migration away from areas creeping desertification," Scales continued.

"To be sure, rising temperatures combined with overgrazing in places such as Central Africa have caused displacement of peoples, but the misery of these peoples leads to, well, misery, not war," he added. "Tribes striving to exert to exist in these often horrific environmental conditions have little energy left to declare war against their neighbor."

"The nations of Central Africa are gripped in conflict started by Boko Haram in Nigeria Al Shabaab in Somalia, but these transnational terrorists are motivated to kill by the factors that have always caused nations or entities masquerading as nations to start wars," Scales said, referring to things like hatreds based on ethnicity, culture and religion.

Scales also took aim at what he called the "hypocrisy" within the scientific community.

"It’s interesting to note the hypocrisy within the scientific communities that argue for a connection between climate change and national security," he said. "Scientists generally agree on the long-term consequences of global warming. Radical environmentalists delight in excoriating in the so-called ‘junk science’ espoused by ‘climate change deniers,’ but they’re less than enthusiastic in questioning the ‘junk social science’ that environmentalists and their beltway fellow travelers use to connect climate change to war."


Now Euro meddlers want a ban on garden weedkiller

Gardeners may have to dig out those nuisance nettles by hand after MEPs voted to ban a key chemical in weedkiller. They want the herbicide glyphosate outlawed after the World Health Organisation last year said it was 'probably carcinogenic'.

However, scientific opinion on the substance is divided, with the European Food Safety Authority insisting it is unlikely to cause tumours.

Britain also supports the continued use of the chemical, which is found in popular brands of weedkiller including Roundup.

The existing licence for glyphosate expires in June and the European Commission is set to decide whether to approve its use for another 15 years.

MEPs want the EC to allow farmers to use the chemical for another seven years, while banning it for 'non-professionals'.

Gardeners fear the proposals will force shops to stop selling most common weedkillers and force them to use manual methods.

Raoul Curtis-Machin, of the Horticultural Trades Association, told the Daily Telegraph that alternatives to glyphosate were 'not as effective'.

But organic food charity The Soil Association backed the vote by MEPs and urged gardeners to weed by hand instead.

The group, which has been campaigning against glyphosate, also suggested gardeners use 'livestock, such as pigs, chicken, geese' or weeding techniques using flames or hot water.

The Soil Association also proposed covering the ground with a mulch or designing gardens in a way that 'limit areas where weeds can become a problem'.

A spokesman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: 'We recognise the importance of effective pesticides to farmers and we remain entirely committed to making them available where the regulators are satisfied and scientific evidence shows they do not pose unacceptable risks to human health or the environment.

'The European Food Safety Authority did not find that glyphosate posed a risk to human health and UK experts agree. We now await the decision by the European Commission on the renewal of its approval.'

Monsanto, which manufacturers Roundup, said there was 'no scientific reason why glyphosate should not continue to be available for gardeners'.


Promise Kept: Barack Obama Breaks the Coal Industry

President Obama’s war on coal has bagged its biggest trophy to date: the bankruptcy filing by the largest U.S. coal company, Peabody Energy.

Make no mistake about it, though, Peabody’s management and that of the rest of coal industry bears much of the blame for its own demise. It ought to serve as a lesson for everyone else targeted by take-no-prisoners progressives.

Peabody’s bankruptcy filing follows that of other major coal companies including, Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal, and Patriot Coal. The irony is that coal is actually the world’s fastest growing source of energy, according to the International Energy Agency. So what happened?

Even before Obama vowed to "bankrupt" the coal industry in a 2008 interview with the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle, the coal industry had already allowed the seeds of its destruction to take root. It had failed to believe global warming hysteria was an existential threat. The industry thought the demand for cheap and reliable electricity combined with the power of politicians representing coal states would suffice as a defense against attack. But contrary to the myths propagated by global warming activists, the coal industry was never a serious funder of climate skeptics.

This strategy was completely upended when decidedly anti-coal Obama became president and Republicans lost control of Congress. Not only did an unprecedented coal industry-hating "progressive" government come to power, but also an up-and-coming new technology for producing natural gas was coming into its own. Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, commonly referred to as "fracking," began to change the U.S. energy market.

With respect to the anti-coal Obama administration and Congress, the coal industry thought that problem could be managed. Maybe even a deal could get cut. A senior Peabody executive told me in the spring of 2009 that it supported the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill because it would settle the issue and provide a path forward for the industry. At this time, much of the coal industry was operating under the illusion that carbon dioxide emissions could be affordably captured and stored underground, so the modest emissions cuts contemplated by the bill could be achieved.

Although Waxman-Markey squeaked by in a 219-212 House vote, it was never brought up in the Senate and other Senate efforts to pass a cap-and-trade bill faltered — thanks largely to the coincidental rise of the tea party. With the failure of cap-and-trade in Congress, Obama turned to the regulatory agencies he controlled to wage war on the coal industry, the most powerful of which was the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA began issuing a series of devastating anti-coal regulations.

The coal industry was ill-prepared to fight the EPA — an aggressively arrogant, if not entirely rogue, activist agency. The EPA took advantage of the fact that its rules didn’t target the coal industry directly, but instead pressured the coal industry’s customers — coal-burning electric utilities. The EPA’s regulations forced the utilities to reduce emissions from their coal plants.

The EPA regulation known as the Mercury Air Transport Standard was so expensive for utilities to implement that it made more economic sense just to shutter many of their coal-burning power plants — a task made easier by the surge in cheap natural gas and the fact that the moribund Obama economy has not expanded in such a way as to necessitate an meaningful increases in electricity generation.

It’s not that natural gas is necessarily a less expensive way to generate electricity, but it became cost-competitive with coal. And given the regulatory and political pressure on utilities to not burn coal, utilities began switching from coal to gas wherever possible. The natural gas glut has also placed a price ceiling on coal that dramatically thinned the profit margin from coal mining. As the Obama administration has slow-walked the approval of natural gas export terminals, the gas glut is here to stay.

What about exporting U.S. coal to the rest of world, which is in the process of building 2,440 new coal plants? The coal industry does export some coal, but that has been made difficult by environmental activists who have blocked new rail lines and coal export terminals. And while China and, especially, India are burning more and more coal, they are increasing exploiting their own domestic supplies for economic reasons. So global coal prices are way down, again, pressuring export profit margins.

While the entire story of the U.S. coal industry’s demise is worthy of much more discussion, it can be summarized as follows: The coal industry’s political enemies have successfully used expensive, heavy-handed, junk science-fueled regulation which, in combination with an unforeseeable coincidental glut of cheap natural gas, has virtually broken the coal industry’s back.

What is the future of the coal industry? About one-third of our electricity still comes from coal, though that may shrink further. Under current conditions — a natural gas glut, constrained energy demand and heavy EPA regulation — there will not be much profit in coal for the foreseeable future even though we will still rely on it for much electricity.

The best scenario for what’s left of the coal industry is if Republicans win the White House and maintain control of Congress. That would likely relieve the regulatory pressure on the industry and some of the natural gas glut since Republicans would greenlight natural gas exports.

Even if Democrats win, the coal industry is not likely going away, although its management will change dramatically. As I forecast here last year, no one will leave trillions of dollars worth of coal in the ground, especially since future governments will need cash to run the welfare state. So instead, Democrat-friendly billionaires will buy coal companies for a song, politically rehabilitate the fuel, donate to their political allies, and profit.



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

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


15 April, 2016

El Nino Collapses - Global Sea Ice Makes A Strong Comeback

North Atlantic Sea Surface Temperatures Back To 1980s Levels

Daily global sea ice anomalies versus 1979-2008 mean; data courtesy University of Illinois "cryosphere"

Global temperatures spiked during the last half of 2015 as a result of the strong El Nino and were still at very high levels relative-to-normal as recently as last month. In addition, global sea ice appeared to be impacted by El Nino as it took a steep dive during much of 2015 and remained at well below-normal levels going into this year. In the past couple of months, however, El Nino has begun to collapse and will likely flip to a moderate or strong La Nina (colder-than-normal water) by later this year.  In rather quick fashion, global temperatures have seemingly responded to the unfolding collapse of El Nino and global sea ice has actually rebounded in recent weeks to near normal levels. --Paul Dorian, Vencor Weather, 11 April 2016


Marc Morano on TV for DC Film Premiere – Teases Mystery Animal that Was Mascot for both Cooling & Warming fears

British Liberals' flagship 'Green Deal' for houses cost £240 million but saved no energy and actually led to bills going up

A flagship scheme to insulate homes cost taxpayers £240million but failed to deliver energy and carbon emissions savings and actually put bills up, a damning report has found.

Ministers set up the Green Deal four years ago to encourage homeowners to save energy by installing loft and wall insulation and more efficient boilers at no up-front cost.

But the National Audit Office said that while the 'ambitious' aim 'looked good on paper', it failed to deliver any meaningful benefit.

The scheme, pioneered by former Lib Dem energy secretary Chris Huhne, even increased suppliers' costs – and as a result energy bills – as firms paid out more money to meet the obligations.

Under the Green Deal, providers met the upfront costs of installing efficiency measures and householders paid the money back from savings they made on their energy bills.

It found that while 1.4million homes had benefited from measures ranging from new boilers to insulation by the end of the last year, just 1 per cent of households took out Green Deal loans. The 14,000 households which did fell far below expectations.

The figure was blamed on the Government's design and implementation of the scheme which failed to persuade householders energy efficiency measures were worth paying for, it was said.

The low take-up on the now abandoned scheme meant it cost the taxpayer £17,000 per loan plan, the report found.

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: 'The Department [of Energy and Climate Change] now needs to be more realistic about consumers' and suppliers' motivations when designing schemes in future to ensure it achieves it aims.'

Last year Energy Secretary Amber Rudd announced that the scheme would close with immediate effect because of low take-up and to protect taxpayers from further losses. Take-up was low because of high interest rates and the fact that loans were attached to a property, like a mortgage, so had to be paid off or passed on to the next owner if the applicant moved.

The scheme, which cost £240million to set up and run, including grants to stimulate demand, did not deliver additional energy or carbon savings, which would have been made anyway through other schemes.

An investigation into the Green Deal Finance Company, set up to provide finance for the scheme, also found a £25million loan from the Government was unlikely to be paid back by the company. The company paid 13 members of staff £1.3million in 2014. The NAO concluded the Green Deal did not achieve value for money and delivered 'negligible' carbon savings.

The design of the 'energy company obligation' (ECO), which requires suppliers to install energy saving measures in homes to cut carbon emissions, to support the Green Deal reduced its value for money too.

The £3billion ECO scheme, costs of which are passed on to consumer bills, saved only around 30 per cent of the carbon emissions of previous programmes.

Taken together, the Government's various energy efficiency schemes in the past few years cost £94 for each ton of carbon they saved, significantly more than the £34 per ton of carbon dioxide of the schemes they replaced.

Meg Hillier MP, chairman of the Commons public accounts committee, said the Department had been 'flying blind' when it came to implementing the scheme. She said: ' [It has] cost over £3billion to date, but the Department has achieved little energy savings compared to previous schemes.'


Obama's Climate Sleight of Hand

Expect Barack Obama to pull out all the stops before he vacates the White House in January. That includes a sleazy effort to handcuff the next president — assuming that person is not Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders — when it comes to decoupling the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. Here’s how:

The Washington Post says, "When at least 55 countries, who account for at least 55 percent of global emissions, have all moved to join the agreement … [it] then enters into force after a 30 day wait period. According to data just released by the U.N., the U.S. and China accounted for around 38 percent of emissions, meaning that if the two act swiftly, it will be much easier to meet the emissions threshold." The signing off process gets underway on April 22, and since the U.S. and China are already on board it won’t take much to authorize the accord.

But timing is everything, and the speed at which the Obama administration is pushing to formalize the agreement suggests it’s preparing for a worst-case scenario. Article 28 of the agreement states, "At any time after three years from the date on which this Agreement has entered into force for a Party, that Party may withdraw from this Agreement." Furthermore, explains the Post, "[T]he withdrawal itself doesn’t take effect until ‘expiry of one year from the date of receipt by the Depositary of the notification of withdrawal.’ So that’s 4 years — the length of a presidential term."

It’s a sordid strategy. The Obama administration insists the agreement is legally non-binding so as to avoid the whole "treaty" thing in the Senate. But that means, under normal circumstances, a successor can simply reject it. Still, Obama’s savvy play here is to create a situation in which deviating from the deal’s terms once it becomes official results in a severe backlash from international partners. Consequently, the repeal process becomes convoluted. Arizona State University’s Daniel Bodansky claims, "It was not negotiated by the U.S. (or any other country) as a means of binding the next president." Maybe, maybe not. But that’s not going to stop Obama from trying. Republicans had a chance to defund the measure last year, but ultimately failed. They will have only themselves to blame if the next president faces legal hurdles by trying to repeal it.


Weather Ripples and Climate Tides

Viv Forbes

Every time a north wind blows hot air over Adelaide, some Chicken Little cries "Global Warming". And when an El Nino predictably causes a hot year like 1998 or 2015/16, some sensation-seeking celebrity will trumpet "hottest year eevah".

They are watching short-term weather ripples and waves and ignoring the underlying climate tide. Daily, monthly and yearly temperature records will always be equalled or broken. That is what weather does – it fluctuates.

In the medium term, Earth temperature trends are influenced by variations in solar activities as evidenced by sun-spot cycles. These variations affect solar intensity, cosmic rays, clouds and Earth temperature, causing medium-term climatic events like the Little Ice Age and the Modern Warming. There are persuasive signs that recent solar activity has peaked. So maybe we can expect cooler weather soon.

But to see what the climate is doing we must look longer-term and study the glacial cycles. The Milankovitch cycles of Earth in the solar system control these.

We live in the Holocene warm interval within the Pleistocene Ice Age – a time of recurring cycles of ice separated by brief warm interludes. Earth’s climate is driven by solar system cycles, and climate changes appear first in the Northern Hemisphere which has more land in the sensitive sub-polar regions. The GRIP ice core from Greenland shows the long-term average temperature there peaked 7,000 years ago and has trended down for at least 3,000 years.

Greenland is now cooler than 8000 year ago:

We will still have hot days and heat waves, El Nino will still bring droughts and floods, sea ice will come and go, but the climate mid-summer has passed and the temperature tide is going out. Spreading alarm about short-term temperature fluctuations of a fraction of a degree is a distraction.

Promoting damaging energy and land management policies designed to prevent warming, just as the next climate winter approaches, will be seen by future generations as bizarre.

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

Climate Change Surveys Still Useless

Pollsters should ask how much Americans will pay to set an example to the world

Public opinion polls are regularly cited by politicians and activists to support government action on climate change. Yet these surveys rarely make meaningful contributions to the public policy debate since they ask about issues that do not matter, while ignoring issues that do matter.

Happily, most polling companies have matured to the point that they no longer ask respondents whether they think ‘climate change is real’ or whether they believe there is a scientific debate about the causes of climate change. Public understanding of the inevitability of climate change on a dynamic planet and the massive uncertainty about future climate states has rendered such questions pointless.

Yet pollsters still have a long way to go before their climate change surveys should be taken seriously.

Gallup’s annual environmental poll, the results of which were released throughout March, is a case in point.

It does not matter whether Americans have heard that "scientists recently reported that 2015 was the Earth’s warmest year on record," as Gallup misleadingly informed respondents in the preamble to one of its survey questions. While some scientists say 2015 temperatures were exceptional, many others do not. They understand that, due to the uncertainties in the early part of the record, no one knows if temperatures today are higher than in earlier decades.

But the issue is irrelevant anyways. What difference does it make if one year exceeded the previous warmest year by hundredths or even tenths of a degree? Changes of that magnitude are not noticeable in the real world and appear only after complicated manipulation of the data.

Similarly, Gallup’s question about whether Americans "generally believe these reports [about 2015’s supposed record] are accurate or not accurate" has no bearing on public policy formulation. The accuracy of computations of trivial changes is obviously unimportant.

Gallup asked respondents about the causes of the supposed "record temperatures in 2015." Again, aside from scientists working in the field, who cares? The reasons for such tiny variations are not relevant to policy discussions.

The question that does matter is:

Will emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from human activities cause dangerous global warming and other climate problems in the foreseeable future? It is only future climate changes that should be of concern to policy makers. The past is history. We cannot change it.

And for the issue to be worthy of public debate, let alone a billion dollars a day, the amount now spent around the world on climate finance, any forecast temperature rise would have to be expected to be dangerous.

Even then, we would have to know, with a reasonable degree of confidence, that such warming, if it occurs, will be as a result of our CO2 emissions. The issue at hand is not a generic "human-caused climate change," one of the possible answers provided by Gallup in its survey. The debate, and indeed the subject of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), concerns one particular type of human-caused climate change, namely that supposed caused by our CO2 emissions.

Of course, the answer from most of the public to the above hypothetical poll question would have to be, "I don’t know." How could they? Even the world’s leading scientists don’t really know the answer. "Climate is one of the most challenging open problems in modern science," according to University of Western Ontario applied mathematician Dr. Chris Essex, an expert in the mathematical models that are the basis of climate concerns. "Some knowledgeable scientists believe that the climate problem can never be solved."

A question that would make sense to poll Americans on would be:

"How much are you prepared to pay in increased taxes and other costs to reduce America’s CO2 emissions to encourage other countries to follow suit so as to possibly avert dangerous climate change that may someday happen?"

That is the real question. After all, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy has admitted that plans such as the CPP will have no measurable impact on global climate. She has repeated informed Congressional hearings that the purpose of the CPP is to set an example for the world to follow.

But developing countries, the source of most of today’s emissions, have indicated that they have no intention of limiting their development for ‘climate protection’ purposes. In fact, all United Nations climate change treaties contain an out clause for developing nations so that they need not make reductions if it interferes with their "first and overriding priorities" of development and poverty alleviation.

Most people would pay nothing at all to support an improbable hope that other countries follow America to possibly avert a hypothetical future problem. But pollsters have never asked the public about this important issue. It’s about time they did.



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

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


14 April, 2016

White House ‘Fact Sheet’ Says Climate Change Could Kill 27,000 Americans In Summer of 2100

They know what will happen nearly a century hence?  Sheer hubris

In a "fact sheet" issued by the White House in conjunction with a climate change report made public last week, one of the impacts of increasing temperatures is the deaths of thousands of American people over the course of one summer.

"Extreme heat can be expected to cause an increase in the number of premature deaths, from thousands to tens of thousands, each summer, which will outpace projected decreases in deaths from extreme cold," the fact sheet stated.

"One model projected an increase, from a 1990 baseline for more than 200 American cities, of more than an additional 11,000 deaths during the summer in 2030 and more than an additional 27,000 deaths during the summer in 2100," the fact sheet said.

The summary of the climate change report, titled "The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment," states that climate change is "a significant threat to the American people" and that the findings in the report "represent an improvement in scientific confidence in the link between climate change and a broad range of threats to public health."


World Bank Announces Effort to Combat Climate Change

More self-righteous internationalists doing what they do best -- waste money

The World Bank, whose goals are to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity worldwide by 2030, announced last week that it will turn its attention to climate change.

"The World Bank Group’s Climate Change Action Plan, adopted today, is designed to help countries meet their Paris COP21 pledges and manage increasing climate impacts," the World Bank said in a press release on Thursday, referring to the UN climate change summit in Paris.

The Climate Change Action Plan "lays out concrete actions to help countries deliver on their NDCs," or Nationally Determined Contributions, "and sets ambitious targets for 2020 in high-impact areas, including clean energy, green transport, climate-smart agriculture, and urban resilience, as well as in mobilizing the private sector to expand climate investments in developing countries." 

"Under the Plan, the World Bank plans to double its current contributions to global renewable energy capacity, aiming to add 30 gigawatts of capacity and to mobilize $25 billion in private financing for clean energy by 2020," the World Bank stated.

"The Bank Group will also quadruple funding for climate-resilient transport, integrate climate into urban planning through the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities, and boost assistance for sustainable forest and fisheries management," it stated.

Furthermore, by 2020, the World Bank plans to "bring early warning systems for natural disasters to 100 million people." It will also "step up advocacy and work with countries and companies to put a price on carbon pollution" and "help countries build climate change into their policies and planning."

"The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries, aims to increase its climate investments from the current $2.2 billion a year to a goal of $3.5 billion a year, and will lead on leveraging an additional $13 billion a year in private sector financing by 2020," the World Bank announced.

"Climate change poses an enormous challenge to development," the World Bank said. "By 2050, the world will have to feed 9 billion people, extend housing and services to 2 billion new urban residents, and provide universal access to affordable energy, and do so while bringing down global greenhouse gas emissions to a level that make a sustainable future possible.

"At the same time, floods, droughts, sea-level rise, threats to water and food security and the frequency of natural disasters will intensify, threatening to push 100 million more people into poverty in the next 15 years alone," the World Bank stated.


How Fracking Has Reduced "Greenhouse" Gases

The U.S. Department of Energy published data last week with some amazing revelations — so amazing that most Americans will find them hard to believe. As a nation, the United States reduced its carbon emissions by 2 percent from last year. Over the past 14 years, our carbon emissions are down more than 10 percent. On a per-unit-of-GDP basis, U.S. carbon emissions are down by closer to 20 percent.

Even more stunning: We’ve reduced our carbon emissions more than virtually any other nation in the world, including most of Europe.

How can this be? We never ratified the Kyoto Treaty. We never adopted a national cap-and-trade system, or a carbon tax, as so many of the sanctimonious Europeans have done.

The answer isn’t that the EPA has regulated CO2 out of the economy. With strict emission standards, the EPA surely has started to strangle our domestic industries, such as coal, and our electric utilities. But that’s not the big story here.

The primary reason carbon emissions are falling is because of hydraulic fracturing — or fracking. Some readers now are probably thinking I’ve been drinking or have lost my mind. Fracking technology for shale oil and gas drilling is supposed to be evil. Some states have outlawed it. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have come out against it in recent weeks. Schoolchildren have been bombarded with green propaganda about all the catastrophic consequences of fracking.

They are mostly lies. Fracking is simply a new way to get at America’s vast storehouse of tens of trillions of dollars worth of shale oil and gas that lies beneath us, coast to coast — from California to upstate New York. Fracking produces massive amounts of natural gas, and, as a consequence, natural gas prices have fallen in the past decade from above $8 per million BTUs to closer to $2 this year — a 75 percent reduction — due to the spike in domestic supplies.

This free fall in prices means that America is using far more natural gas for heating and electricity and much less coal. Here is how the International Energy Agency put it: "In the United States, (carbon) emissions declined by 2 percent, as a large switch from coal to natural gas use in electricity generation took place."

It also observes that the decline "was offset by increasing emissions in most other Asian developing economies and the Middle East, and also a moderate increase in Europe." We are growing faster than they are and reducing emissions more than they are, yet these are the nations that lecture us on polluting. Go figure.

Here at home, this market-driven transition has caused a pro-natural gas celebration by the green groups, right?

Hardly. Groups like the Sierra Club and their billionaire disciples have bet the farm on wind and solar power. They’ve launched anti-fracking campaigns and "beyond natural gas" advertising campaigns. But wind and solar are hopelessly uncompetitive when natural gas is so plentiful and so cheap. So are electric cars.

The media also have gotten this story completely wrong. Last week The New York Times celebrated the DOE’s emissions findings as evidence that governmental iron-fist policies are working to stop global warming. For the first time "since the start of the Industrial Revolution," the Times argued, "GDP growth and carbon emissions have been decoupled."

The Times pretends that this development is because of green energy, but that’s a fantasy. Wind and solar still account for only 3 percent of U.S. energy.

So here is the real story in a flash: Thanks to fracking and horizontal drilling technologies, we are producing more natural gas than ever before. Natural gas is a wonder fuel: It is cheap. It is abundant. America has more of it than anyone else — enough to last several hundred years. And it is clean-burning. Even Nancy Pelosi inadvertently admitted this several years ago before someone had to whisper in her ear that, um, natural gas is a fossil fuel.

Meanwhile, the left has declared war on a technology that has done more to reduce carbon emissions and real pollution emissions than all the green programs ever invented. Maybe the reason is that they aren’t so much against pollution as they are against progress.


How corrupt is government climate science?

Many have suspected that U.S. political intervention in climate science has corrupted the outcome. The new emergence of an old 1995 document from the U.S. State Department to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms those suspicions, or at least gives the allegation credence enough to ask questions.

It’s troubling that a FOIA lawsuit came up empty – "no such correspondence in our files" – when the old 1995 document was requested from the U.S. State Department late last year. This raises a certain ironic question: If I have a copy of your document, how come you don’t?"

State’s response is also somewhat unbelievable because the document that fell into my hands showed State’s date-stamp, the signature of a State Department official and the names of persons still living – along with 30 pages of detailed instructions on how to change the IPCC’s science document and the summary for policymakers.

The document itself consists of a three-page cover letter to Sir John Houghton, head of IPCC Working Group I (Science), from Day Mount, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Acting, Environment and Development, United States Department of State, along with the thirty-page instruction set with line-by-line "suggestions," written by scientist Robert Watson and others.

Among the more revealing tidbits is a remark scolding a scientist for being honest about the weakness of aerosol forcing data: "We clearly cannot use aerosol forcing as the trigger of our smoking gun, and then make a generalized appeal to uncertainty to exclude these effects from the forward-looking modeling analysis."

One instruction was to change a correct statement about warming rates into a flat lie: "Change ‘continue to rise’ to ‘rise by even greater amounts’ to provide a sense of magnitude of the extended change."

The entire document is too convoluted and technical to summarize here, so it is posted here in PDF form for your detailed examination. The document posted here is unchanged and unaltered in any way from exactly what I received from a well known and credible source that must remain anonymous to avoid harm or retribution.

There is evidence that the document is authentic based on a specific mention in the 2000 Hoover Institution report by S. Fred Singer and Frederick Seitz, "Climate Policy—From Rio to Kyoto: A Political Issue for 2000—and Beyond."

The 1995 document raises 2016 questions about the State Department’s actions in the subsequent United National IPCC Assessment Reports. What did they do? Where are the correspondence and instructions to change the science in all the IPCC Assessments? What is the Obama State Department doing to corrupt climate science to its forward its radical social and political agenda? Some of that is obvious. It’s the clandestine part we need to know.

I don’t expect our government to answer truthfully. If they did, they might have to start a RICO investigation of themselves.

Read the State Department document and decide for yourself whether these questions are worth asking.


CEI subpoenaed over climate wrongthink

The campaign to attach legal consequences to supposed "climate denial" has now crossed a fateful line:

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) today denounced a subpoena from Attorney General Claude E. Walker of the U.S. Virgin Islands that attempts to unearth a decade of the organization’s materials and work on climate change policy. This is the latest effort in an intimidation campaign to criminalize speech and research on the climate debate, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and former Vice President Al Gore….

The subpoena requests a decade’s worth of communications, emails, statements, drafts, and other documents regarding CEI’s work on climate change and energy policy, including private donor information. It demands that CEI produce these materials from 20 years ago, from 1997-2007, by April 30, 2016.

CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman said the group "will vigorously fight to quash this subpoena. It is an affront to our First Amendment rights of free speech and association." More coverage of the subpoena at the Washington Times and Daily Caller.

A few observations:

If the forces behind this show-us-your-papers subpoena succeed in punishing (or simply inflicting prolonged legal harassment on) groups conducting supposedly wrongful advocacy, there’s every reason to think they will come after other advocacy groups later. Like yours.

This article in the Observer details the current push to expand the probe of climate advocacy, which first enlisted New York AG Eric Schneiderman and then California’s Kamala Harris — into a broader coalition of AGs, with Massachusetts and the Virgin Islands just having signed on. More than a dozen others, such as Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, seem to be signaling support but have not formally jumped in. More: Peggy Little, Federalist Society.

CEI people, many of them longtime friends of this site, have been active critics of the Schneiderman effort, with Hans Bader, a senior attorney there, highly critical just a week ago.

In these working groups of attorneys general, legal efforts are commonly parceled out among the states in a deliberate and strategic way, with particular tasks being assigned to AGs who have comparative advantage in some respect (such as an unusually favorable state law to work with, or superior staff expertise or media access). Why would one of the most politically sensitive tasks of all — opening up a legal attack against CEI, a long-established nonprofit well known in Washington and in libertarian and conservative ideological circles — be assigned to the AG from a tiny and remote jurisdiction? Is it that a subpoena coming from the Virgin Islands is logistically inconvenient to fight in some way, or that local counsel capable of standing up to this AG are scarce on the ground there, or that a politician in the Caribbean is less exposed to political backlash from CEI’s friends and fans than one in a major media center? Or what?

I recommend checking out the new Free Speech and Science Project, which intends to fight back against criminalization of advocacy by, among other things, organizing legal defense and seeking to hold officials accountable for misusing the law to attack advocacy.

This is happening at a time of multiple, vigorous, sustained legal attacks on what had been accepted freedoms of advocacy and association. As I note in a new piece at Cato, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has just demanded that the Securities and Exchange Commission investigate several large corporations that have criticized her pet plan to impose fiduciary legal duties on retirement advisors, supposedly on the ground that it is a securities law violation for them to be conveying to investors a less alarmed view of the regulations’ effect than they do in making their case to the Labor Department. This is not particularly compelling as securities law, but it’s great as a way to chill speech by publicly held businesses.


Drought, El Niño, Blackouts and Venezuela

The original of the article below is graphics intensive so I refer readers to the original if they want to check anything

It’s fashionable these days to blame everything that goes wrong with anything on human interference with the climate, and we had yet another example last week when President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela fingered drought, El Niño and global warming as the reasons Venezuela’s lights keep going out. In this post I show that his Excellency has not a leg to stand on when he makes these claims, but that because no one ever looks at the data everyone believes him.

From International Business Times:  Venezuelan Leader Blames El Niño And Global Warming For Nation’s Energy Crisis

The fierce El Niño event under way in the Pacific Ocean and warming global temperatures have helped create the brutal drought now racking Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro said Wednesday night. Venezuela is facing its worst drought in almost half a century. The nation depends on hydropower for nearly two-thirds of its electricity, but the reservoirs that fuel its facilities are evaporating. Power outages in recent weeks have forced factories to send workers home early, slowing production, and many residents are now scrambling to secure enough drinking water supplies.

The fierce El Niño created the brutal drought now racking Venezuela, the worst in almost half a century. No pulling of punches. Boiled down to essentials, however, there are three issues here – a) is there really a "brutal" drought in Venezuela, b) if so, did the "fierce" El Niño cause it and c) has global warming made it worse? We’ll take a look at these issues shortly, but first it’s important to note that about 70% of Venezuela’s electricity comes from one massive installation, the Guri dam on the Caroni River (officially the Simon Bolívar Hydroelectric Plant) which holds back a 4,000 square kilometer lake, about the same size as Rhode Island or Somerset.

It’s hard to think of such a huge lake drying up, but that indeed now seems to be the case. According to this panampost article water levels are now so low that complete shutdown could result by early May if it doesn’t rain in the meantime.

But why is Lake Guri drying up? Time to review the possibilities:

1. Drought:

Rainfall is as always the key variable here, and to check on rainfall around Lake Guri I selected the five Global Historic Climate Network V2 records shown in the Figure 2 Google Earth image. They ring Lake Guri except to the south, where there are no stations.

So where’s the brutal drought? Maybe we’re standing back too far to see it, so let’s zoom in on recent years:

Ciudad Bolívar had a dry 2015 but rainfall at the other four stations was about normal. Clearly there is no significant drought in Venezuela at the moment, brutal or otherwise, or at least not in the area around Lake Guri.

2. El Niño

The fact that there is no drought in Venezuela makes the impact of the recent El Niño irrelevant, but I did some work to see how closely monthly rainfall at the five stations correlates with the Niño3.4 Index over time anyway. Here are the results:

Niño3.4 versus San Fernando, R squared = 0.00
Niño3.4 versus Ciudad Bolívar, R squared = 0.00
Niño3.4 versus Tumeremo, R squared = 0.02
Niño3.4 versus Santa Elena, R squared = 0.04
Niño3.4 versus Puerto Ayacucho, R squared = 0.00

We can conclude from these results that ENSO events have historically had little or no impact on rainfall in Venezuela.

3. Temperature:

President Maduro also claimed that warming temperatures are exacerbating the "drought", which indeed they could if a) there was a drought and b) the temperature increases were large enough. But temperatures in Venezuela haven’t increased that much, if at all. The trend line through the GHCNv2 temperature record for Ciudad Bolívar, the closest station to Lake Guri, shows a 0.2C increase at most since 1950:

We can conclude here that Venezuela is not suffering too much from global warming either.

4. Undersupply

This is of course the real reason. Venezuela does not have either the installed capacity or the reliable grid network needed to supply the country’s electricity demand (the retail electricity price in Venezuela in 2014 was only $0.02/kWh) and it’s being forced to drain Lake Guri to get whatever electricity it can.

5. Conclusions

President Maduro, that’s four strikes. You’re out.

But unfortunately he isn’t. If you do a web search for "Venezuela drought" you will be hard pressed to find a single story that questions whether there really is a drought there. Everybody accepts that there is. And while it’s widely acknowledged that Venezuela’s difficulties are largely a result of mismanagement of its electricity sector it’s still generally believed that there would be no electricity shortage if there were no drought. Indeed, it seems that all you have to do these days if your misguided energy policies happen to plunge your country into darkness is to go on television and blame it all on some aspect of climate change and you are off the hook.



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

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


13 April, 2016

Would global warming increase both  flooding AND drought?

That is the prediction that Warmists are attached to.  But it runs counter to basic physics.  Warming should cause more evaporation off the oceans which will in turn fall as rain.  So more flooding would be a reasonable expectation during warming.  So how is warming supposed to cause drought too?

The short answer is "models" but leaning on them is leaning on a  broken reed.  A more substantial answer is that warmer weather will not only evaporate water off the seas but also off the land.  So you may have an initial drying effect on the land.  But wherever the evaporation comes from, it will end up as rain.  So there can be no net loss to the land.  The clouds will give its moisture back plus more moisture from the oceans.  And the earth surface is two thirds ocean so we are looking at a LOT more rain.

So a recent paper (below) has caused heartburn among Warmists.  It says that the slight warming of the 20th century did NOT cause drought -- which is what one would on basic principles expect and which is borne out by other studies -- e.g. "the proportion of Europe experiencing extreme and/or moderate drought conditions has changed insignificantly during the 20th century". And another finding for a dry region during C20:  "We found no evidence for a decrease either in mean annual rainfall or in the incidence of drought".

Note also the greening of the Sahel in late C20 and early C21.  Instead of getting drier, the semi-desert Sahel got greener.

So professional Warmist Joe Romm has rubbished the paper.  He says the paper is discredited and shows that it's conclusions are contradicted by "findings" from Warmist studies.  That contradiction should bother us not at all so let us look at the academic criticisms of the paper:

ANY scientific paper is open to criticism,  No study is perfect.  So the issue is whether the criticisms discover a fatal error or make an improbable generaliztion.  The criticisms Romm refers to are here.  And they are far from totally dismissive.  A few quotes:

In a recent study (Donat et al., 2016, Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate2941) we found that, when aggregating over the dry and wet regions of the world, precipitation changes are consistent between models and observations over the past 60 years. Nevertheless, it is true that modelling and analysis of precipitation changes are still related to a number of uncertainties, especially when it comes to regional changes in precipitation. This is partly related to the large temporal variability in local precipitation time series, but also shortcomings in the models with simulating processes related to precipitation."


I am not too surprised that there is disagreement for the 20th century as there is a strong component of random variability evident in the observational record. The picture of the "wet getting wetter and the dry getting drier" is one that is very likely to emerge over the course of this century but has not been evident, or expected, during the 20th century.


If this paper’s conclusion about model overprediction holds up to further scrutiny it will be extremely interesting; my own work focuses on model-data discrepancies so I am particularly interested.  But due to the above aspects of the study, I am not convinced that this particular conclusion will hold up.  We shall see, as I am sure this result will attract lots of attention."

So the study is not at all as risible as Romm claims.  It is just one indication of what is going on.

Northern Hemisphere hydroclimate variability over the past twelve centuries

Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist et al.

Accurate modelling and prediction of the local to continental-scale hydroclimate response to global warming is essential given the strong impact of hydroclimate on ecosystem functioning, crop yields, water resources, and economic security1, 2, 3, 4. However, uncertainty in hydroclimate projections remains large5, 6, 7, in part due to the short length of instrumental measurements available with which to assess climate models. Here we present a spatial reconstruction of hydroclimate variability over the past twelve centuries across the Northern Hemisphere derived from a network of 196 at least millennium-long proxy records. We use this reconstruction to place recent hydrological changes8, 9 and future precipitation scenarios7, 10, 11 in a long-term context of spatially resolved and temporally persistent hydroclimate patterns. We find a larger percentage of land area with relatively wetter conditions in the ninth to eleventh and the twentieth centuries, whereas drier conditions are more widespread between the twelfth and nineteenth centuries. Our reconstruction reveals that prominent seesaw patterns of alternating moisture regimes observed in instrumental data12, 13, 14 across the Mediterranean, western USA, and China have operated consistently over the past twelve centuries. Using an updated compilation of 128 temperature proxy records15, we assess the relationship between the reconstructed centennial-scale Northern Hemisphere hydroclimate and temperature variability. Even though dry and wet conditions occurred over extensive areas under both warm and cold climate regimes, a statistically significant co-variability of hydroclimate and temperature is evident for particular regions. We compare the reconstructed hydroclimate anomalies with coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model simulations and find reasonable agreement during pre-industrial times. However, the intensification of the twentieth-century-mean hydroclimate anomalies in the simulations, as compared to previous centuries, is not supported by our new multi-proxy reconstruction. This finding suggests that much work remains before we can model hydroclimate variability accurately, and highlights the importance of using palaeoclimate data to place recent and predicted hydroclimate changes in a millennium-long context16, 17.


When you look at the big picture....

German State Of Bavaria "Puts Brakes On" Wind Energy

German Bavarian Broadcasting, Bayerischer Rundfunk, has a report on wind energy in the southeastern state that is famous for its Oktoberfest, dirndls and lederhosen. It appears the brakes have been effectively applied to the scenery pollution industry.

Bavaria is also home to some of the country’s most idyllic landscapes. But unfortunately Germany’s "Greens" have been pushing hard to industrialize this precious natural treasure – all with the aim of saving the planet. They have proposed the construction of dozens of wind parks of 200-meter tall turbines across the country side.

In the early days wind turbines were viewed as sort of a novelty and many communities even lobbied to get them. However, as wind parks sprouted across the country, people woke up to the natural destruction and overall inefficiency the wind energy has wreaked. Today, the BR report tells us that the tipping point has been reached: wind parks are no longer welcome; They’re too ugly, noisy, inefficient and only a very few profit from them at the expense of the many.

The BR report features one Bavarian village, Obbach, where a wind park with five 200-meter tall turbines was installed just 800 hundred meters away. Unfortunately for the village the park had been approved before Germany’s 10-H rule was enacted, and so construction went ahead much to the dissatisfaction of the village residents. The 10-H rule stipulates that no turbine may be closer to a living area than 10 times its height. Had the rule been enacted sooner, it would not have been possible to put up the park and the Obbach’s residents would have been spared the eyesore and noise.

Resident Andrea Lettowsky tells BR: "For me I keep thinking about how this used to be a beautiful landscape with open fields, and now it’s an industrial zone."

That’s pretty much the sentiment that has spread across Germany, and with the 10-H rule Bavaria is leading the way in the country’s growing resistance to landscape spoilage by inefficient wind power. Already over 300 citizens initiatives have formed to resist the construction of new parks across the country.

Moreover, recent reports tell us the German government is poised to scale back on renewable energies, aiming to cap it at 40 – 45% of total energy supply by 2025, according to the Berliner Zeitung.

The BR reports that although it is too late for Obbach, the new 10H rule is welcome and now gives communities the power to stop wind park projects that are aggressively pushed by deep-pocketed outside investors. Though it’s regrettable the park could not be stopped, Lettowsky is optimistic that other projects will be stopped elsewhere. The BR report concludes:

The fact is that the 10-H rule and the resistance from the citizens have pretty much put the brakes on further wind park construction in Bavaria."

Indeed, thanks to forward looking states like Bavaria, the renewable energy tide is changing for the better.


Sarah Palin Endorses Anti-Climate Change Film

Fathom Events and SpectiCast are giving a major push to the anti-global warming documentary "Climate Hustle," with plans for showings at nearly 400 theaters on May 2.

Variety has learned exclusively that former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is participating in the event. The screening of the documentary, produced by Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and Marc Morano’s, will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Palin, with opening remarks by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

The discussion will be moderated by Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center. Morano is planning to show clips of Bill Nye, best known as "the science guy," from an interview. Variety reported earlier that Nye was scheduled to appear but his rep for said he was not invited to participate.

The invitation-only panel discussion will take place Thursday in Washington, D.C., following a screening of "Climate Hustle."

"I’m very passionate about this issue," Palin told Variety. "We’ve been told by fearmongers that global warming is due to man’s activities and this presents strong arguments against that in a very relatable way."

Palin noted that, while governor in 2008, she sued the U.S. government over placing the polar bear on the threatened species list because of the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice. Palin pointed to the high population of polar bears in 2008 and dismissed climate models that predict continued loss of sea ice as "unreliable," "uncertain" and "unproven," but a federal judge backed the government scientists’ finding in 2011.

"I wanted facts and real numbers," Palin said. "The polar bear population is stable, if not growing and the designation would have stymied Alaska’s pursuit of developing its natural resources."

The "Climate Hustle" presentation by Fathom, which specializes in presenting live events for theatrical chains, represents a departure from its usual fare of music and family films.

Among the largest past presentations for the company, co-owned by AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings and Regal Entertainment Group: "The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary" at 800 locations; "Finding Noah: An Adventure of Faith" screened at 637 sites; "Ed Sheeran: Jumpers for Goalposts" at 584 theaters; and "Chonda Pierce: Laughing in the Dark," a documentary about Christian comedian, at 512 locations.

Palin said "Climate Hustle" offers a countering view to Al Gore’s global warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," which grossed nearly $50 million and won Academy Awards for best documentary feature and original song.

"People who do not believe in American exceptionalism have made this into a campaign issue, so it’s vital that the other side be heard," she added. "I’m very pleased that this is written and spoken in layman’s terms. My dad taught science to fifth and sixth graders, and it was very important to him that science be presented in an understandable way."

Marc Morano, host of "Climate Hustle" said, "This film is truly unique among climate documentaries. ‘Climate Hustle’ presents viewers with facts and compelling video footage going back four decades, and delivers a powerful presentation of dissenting science, best of all, in a humorous way. This film may change the way you think about ‘global warming.'"

The film profiles Georgia Tech climatologist Dr. Judith Curry, former NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. John Theon, and French physicist and Socialist Party member Claude Allègre.

"Climate change is certainly one of the hot-button issues at the forefront of some of the fiercest political debates. This event aims to shed light on varied perspectives and initiate healthy and timely conversation around this important topic," said Fathom Events Vice President of Programming Kymberli Frueh.

"‘Climate Hustle’ is an extremely timely event, especially given the relevant political discussion surrounding global warming," said Mark Rupp, co-founder and president of SpectiCast Entertainment. "We feel it is important to share all viewpoints on the climate change issue and ‘Climate Hustle’ provides a perspective not generally shared with the public at large in an informative and engaging way."

Morano founded the anti-climate change website in 2009. Media Matters for America, a politically progressive media watchdog group, named Morano the "Climate Change Misinformer of the Year" in 2012.


CHART: Power Is A LOT More Expensive Under Obama

The average American’s electric bill has gone up 10 percent since January, 2009, due in part to regulations imposed by President Barack Obama and state governments, even though the price of generating power has declined.

Record low costs for generating electricity thanks to America’s new natural gas supplies created by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, haven’t translated into lower monthly payments for consumers due to new regulations.

The price of generating electricity in the eastern U.S. fell by half under Obama, but utilities raised monthly bills for residential customers, according to government data.

The biggest price increase in the U.S. was in Kansas, where prices rose from 8.16 cents per kilowatt-hour in January, 2009, to 11.34 cents in January, 2015. That’s a 39 percent increase in the price of electricity during Obama’s tenure. States like Idaho, Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, Missouri, Utah, and Ohio saw enormous increases in the price of electricity as well, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.

States with large and developed natural gas and oil industries generally saw their average electric bill drop. The biggest price drop was in Texas, where prices fell by almost 10 percent during Obama’s tenure. States like Louisiana, Arkansas, Maryland, Florida, Delaware, New Jersey, Maine and the District of Columbia all saw the average electric bill fall since January, 2009.

"President Obama openly ran in 2008 on a platform of making electricity rates ‘skyrocket’ and bankrupting anyone who dared to build a coal plant in the United States," Travis Fisher, an economist at the Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. "Now, more than seven years into his presidency, it should come as no surprise that his efforts have taken a widespread toll in the form of higher electricity rates for nearly every state in the union."

Despite falling generation costs, electrical utilities are being forced by the government to pay for billions of dollars of government-mandated "improvements" and taxpayer support for new wind and solar power systems.

"The administration has subsidized our highest-cost sources of electricity–new wind and solar facilities–while shutting down a significant portion of our most economic source, which is the existing workhorse fleet of coal-fired power plants," Fisher continued. "In fact, rates are going up when they should be going down. For example, natural gas prices reached their peak in 2008 and have since fallen by two-thirds. Coal prices are stable. What’s really behind the increase in electricity prices is an increase in subsidized and mandated wind and solar power combined with a decrease in low-cost electricity from coal."

Most analysts agree rising residential electricity prices are also harmful to American households. Pricey power disproportionately hurts poorer families and other lower-income groups as the poor tend to spend a higher proportion of their incomes on "basic needs" like power, so any increase in prices hits them the hardest.

As essential goods like electricity becomes more expensive, the cost of producing goods and services that use electricity increases, effectively raising the price of almost everything. The higher prices are ultimately paid for by consumers, not industries.


Fracking ban looming in Australia

The Northern Territory government says the new regulations it's developing for mining will be more transparent and put the onus on companies to prove they're doing all they can to minimise any risks from fracking.

But environmental groups say companies can't be trusted to do that unless there's something in it for them.

The Senate Select Committee on Unconventional Gas Mining is sitting in Darwin on Tuesday, following previous hearings in Queensland and NSW.

Shale gas fracking is a big issue for the NT as it heads to an election in August, with Labor promising a moratorium if it wins, which has caused uncertainty in the local industry and raised concerns that it will cost more jobs.

There has been a groundswell of anti-fracking sentiment across the NT even as the current Country Liberals government talks up the economic benefits.

It says the science is in, and that there have been no reported instances of fracking in the NT causing any water contamination.

A report it commissioned in 2014 found there was no need for a moratorium if there was proper regulation in place, and the government is developing a new regulatory framework which it says will require companies to go above and beyond to minimise any potential risks, rather than meeting a prescribed minimum standard which may not adequately forsee all potential risks on every project.

"Built into this is significantly more transparency and stakeholder engagement through that approvals process than has ever been present before, so that everyone does have, we believe, a greater level of transparency and therefore hopefully confidence in the processes we're implementing," said Ron Kelly, CEO of the NT Department of Mines and Energy.

But all scientific reports on the practice say the industry is only safe if a robust regulatory regime is in place "and we're not there yet", said David Morris, principal lawyer with the Environmental Defenders Office NT.

Until that is developed, he supports a moratorium, he said.

"The other thing I have significant concerns about is the capacity of the regulator in an environment where we have a huge amount of onus placed on the operator to do the right thing," Mr Morris said.

"I'm not sure that history tells us we should have a great deal of confidence in oil and gas operators doing the right thing, unless they're required to or they see an incentive in doing so."



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12 April, 2016

The latest temperature data from Switzerland

It's got hotter in Switzerland.  From the early C20 to the early C21 it warmed more than twice as much as the rest of the world.  An average implies a range so that is not particularly surprising and the authors do not venture an explanation.  So all we have is a warning not to generalize from Swiss data.  The Warmists undoubtedly will, though

Emerging trends in heavy precipitation and hot temperature extremes in Switzerland

S. C. Scherrer et al.


Changes in intensity and frequency of daily heavy precipitation and hot temperature extremes are analyzed in Swiss observations for the years 1901–2014/2015. A spatial pooling of temperature and precipitation stations is applied to analyze the emergence of trends.

Over 90% of the series show increases in heavy precipitation intensity, expressed as annual maximum daily precipitation (mean change: +10.4% 100 years 31% significant, p < 0.05) and in heavy precipitation frequency, expressed as the number of events greater than the 99th percentile of daily precipitation (mean change: +26.5% 100 years 35% significant, p< 0.05).

The intensity of heavy precipitation increases on average by 7.7% K 1 smoothed Swiss annual mean temperature, a value close to the Clausius-Clapeyron scaling. The hottest day and week of the year have warmed by 1.6 K to 2.3 K depending on the region, while the Swiss annual mean temperature increased by 1.9 K.

The frequency of very hot days exceeding the 99th percentile of daily maximum temperature has more than tripled. Despite  considerable local internal variability, increasing trends in heavy precipitation and hot temperature extremes are now found at most Swiss stations. The identified trends are unlikely to be random and are consistent with climate model projections, with theoretical understanding of a human-induced change in the energy budget and water cycle and with detection and attribution studies of extremes on larger scales.


Data from China: Climate cycles correlate with solar output and ocean currents only

Tree-ring-width-based PDSI reconstruction for central Inner Mongolia, China over the past 333 years

Yu Liu et al.


A tree-ring-width chronology was developed from Pinus tabulaeformis aged up to 333 years from central Inner Mongolia, China. The chronology was significantly correlated with the local Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI). We therefore reconstructed the first PDSI reconstruction from March to June based on the local tree ring data from 1680 to 2012 AD. The reconstruction explained 40.7 % of the variance (39.7 % after adjusted the degrees of freedom) of the actual PDSI during the calibration period (1951–2012 AD). The reconstructed PDSI series captured the severe drought event of the late 1920s, which occurred extensively in northern China. Running variance analyses indicated that the variability of drought increased sharply after 1960, indicating more drought years, which may imply anthropogenic related global warming effects in the region. In the entire reconstruction, there were five dry periods: 1730–1814 AD, 1849–1869 AD, 1886–1942 AD (including severe drought in late 1920s), 1963–1978 AD and 2004–2007 AD; and five wet periods: 1685–1729 AD, 1815–1848 AD, 1870–1885 AD, 1943–1962 AD and 1979–2003 AD. Conditions turned dry after 2003 AD, and the PDSI from March to June (PDSI36) captured many interannual extreme drought events since then, such as 2005–2008 AD. The reconstruction is comparable to other tree-ring-width-based PDSI series from the neighboring regions, indicating that our reconstruction has good regional representativeness. Significant relationships were found between our PDSI reconstruction and the solar radiation cycle and the sun spot cycle, North Atlantic Oscillation, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, as well as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Power spectral analyses detected 147.0-, 128.2-, 46.5-, 6.5-, 6.3-, 2.6-, 2.2- and 2.0-year quasi-cycles in the reconstructed series.

Climate Dynamics, 2016, pp 1-13

Global Warming Will Kill Our Sex Drives

RICK MORAN below mentions some large holes in this latest attempted-scare but could also have mentioned the high birthrates among many human groups in the tropics

Is there anything global warming can't do? It's absolutely amazing the impact on our planet global warming will have just because the temperature rises a few degrees.

The latest on the catastrophe that will befall us comes from a befuddled academic who claims that warming temperatures will make us less inclined to have sex, thus reducing the number of births in the U.S. by more than 100,000 a year.

ABC Australia:

"Temperature impacts the sexual patterns of human beings for two reasons, according to Professor Barreca. One reason he gave was that human beings did not want to exert themselves physically in hot weather, due to possible discomfort"

The second reason was more scientific.

"The effect of temperature on the production of sperm — that's been shown to be pretty strong in animals," Professor Barreca said.

"When you expose a bull to high temperatures, sperm motility and sperm count fall right off."

He said with the onset of climate change and global warming, the implications could grow.

"According to a state of the art global circulation model, there is going to be about 90 hot days per year by the end of the 21st century — that's about 60 more days than we currently experience," he said.

"Using our estimates, we project that the number of births will fall by about 107,000 per year in the United States by the end of the 21st century."

He said this implied climate could have an impact on the seasonal variation of births, and ultimately change when we have to attend the most birthday parties.

I guess the good doctor never heard of air conditioning.

Are we doomed to a sexless future where "Not tonight, darling. I have a headache" is replaced with "Get your hands off me. It's too hot"?

No matter. I challenge the notion that hot weather deters people from having sex. An ice cube on warm skin can be very erotic. And it's clear our researcher has never done much with ice cream in the boudoir.

I can mention a few more creative ways to enjoy the heat during coitus but this is a family website and I'm already turning red.

I suppose if the scientists have it wrong and we're going to go through a long period of global cooling, we should get ready for another baby boom while stocking up on oysters and arugula to keep the fires of passion burning brightly.


David Legates on the "consensus"

(David R. Legates, PhD, CCM, is a Professor of Climatology at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware)

By now, virtually everyone has heard that "97% of scientists agree:  Climate change is real, manmade and dangerous." Even if you weren’t one of his 31 million followers who received this tweet from President Obama, you most assuredly have seen it repeated everywhere as scientific fact.

The correct representation is "yes," "some," and "no." Yes, climate change is real. There has never been a period in Earth’s history when the climate has not changed somewhere, in one way or another.

People can and do have some influence on our climate. For example, downtown areas are warmer than the surrounding countryside, and large-scale human development can affect air and moisture flow. But humans are by no means the only source of climate change. The Pleistocene ice ages, Little Ice Age and monster hurricanes throughout history underscore our trivial influence compared to natural forces.

As for climate change being dangerous, this is pure hype based on little fact. Mile-high rivers of ice burying half of North America and Europe were disastrous for everything in their path, as they would be today. Likewise for the plummeting global temperatures that accompanied them. An era of more frequent and intense hurricanes would also be calamitous; but actual weather records do not show this.

It would be far more deadly to implement restrictive energy policies that condemn billions to continued life without affordable electricity – or to lower living standards in developed countries – in a vain attempt to control the world’s climate. In much of Europe, electricity prices have risen 50% or more over the past decade, leaving many unable to afford proper wintertime heat, and causing thousands to die.

Moreover, consensus and votes have no place in science. History is littered with theories that were long denied by "consensus" science and politics: plate tectonics, germ theory of disease, a geocentric universe. They all underscore how wrong consensus can be.

Science is driven by facts, evidence and observations – not by consensus, especially when it is asserted by deceitful or tyrannical advocates. As Einstein said, "A single experiment can prove me wrong."

During this election season, Americans are buffeted by polls suggesting which candidate might become each party’s nominee or win the general election. Obviously, only the November "poll" counts.

Similarly, several "polls" have attempted to quantify the supposed climate change consensus, often by using simplistic bait-and-switch tactics. "Do you believe in climate change?" they may ask.

Answering yes, as I would, places you in the President’s 97% consensus and, by illogical extension, implies you agree it is caused by humans and will be dangerous. Of course, that serves their political goal of gaining more control over energy use.

The 97% statistic has specific origins. Naomi Oreskes is a Harvard professor and author of Merchants of Doubt, which claims those who disagree with the supposed consensus are paid by Big Oil to obscure the truth. In 2004, she claimed to have examined the abstracts of 928 scientific papers and found a 100% consensus with the claim that the "Earth’s climate is being affected by human activities."

Of course, this is probably true, as it is unlikely that any competent scientist would say humans have no impact on climate. However, she then played the bait-and-switch game to perfection – asserting that this meant "most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations."

However, one dissenter is enough to discredit the entire study, and what journalist would believe any claim of 100% agreement? In addition, anecdotal evidence suggested that 97% was a better figure. So 97% it was.

Then in 2010, William Anderegg and colleagues concluded that "97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support … [the view that] … anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been responsible for most of the unequivocal warming of the Earth’s average global temperature" over a recent but unspecified time period. (Emphasis in original.)

To make this extreme assertion, Anderegg et al. compiled a database of 908 climate researchers who published frequently on climate topics, and identified those who had "signed statements strongly dissenting from the views" of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The 97–98% figure is achieved by counting those who had not signed such statements.

Silence, in Anderegg’s view, meant those scientists agreed with the extreme view that most warming was due to humans. However, nothing in their papers suggests that all those researchers believed humans had caused most of the planetary warming, or that it was dangerous.

The most recent 97% claim was posited by John Cook and colleagues in 2013. They evaluated abstracts from nearly 12,000 articles published over a 21-year period and sorted them into seven categories, ranging from "explicit, quantified endorsement" to "explicit, quantified rejection" of their alleged consensus: that recent warming was caused by human activity, not by natural variability. They concluded that "97.1% endorsed the consensus position."

However, two-thirds of all those abstracts took no position on anthropogenic climate change. Of the remaining abstracts (not the papers or scientists), Cook and colleagues asserted that 97.1% endorsed their hypothesis that humans are the sole cause of recent global warming.

Again, the bait-and-switch was on full display. Any assertion that humans play a role was interpreted as meaning humans are the sole cause. But many of those scientists subsequently said publicly that Cook and colleagues had misclassified their papers – and Cook never tried to assess whether any of the scientists who wrote the papers actually thought the observed climate changes were dangerous.

My own colleagues and I did investigate their analysis more closely. We found that only 41 abstracts of the 11,944 papers Cook and colleagues reviewed – a whopping 0.3% – actually endorsed their supposed consensus. It turns out they had decided that any paper which did not provide an explicit, quantified rejection of their supposed consensus was in agreement with the consensus. Moreover, this decision was based solely on Cook and colleagues’ interpretation of just the abstracts, and not the articles themselves.  In other words, the entire exercise was a clever sleight-of-hand trick.

What is the real figure? We may never know. Scientists who disagree with the supposed consensus – that climate change is manmade and dangerous – find themselves under constant attack.

Harassment by Greenpeace and other environmental pressure groups, the media, federal and state government officials, and even universities toward their employees (myself included) makes it difficult for many scientists to express honest opinions. Recent reports about Senator Whitehouse and Attorney-General Lynch using RICO laws to intimidate climate "deniers" further obscure meaningful discussion.

Numerous government employees have told me privately that they do not agree with the supposed consensus position – but cannot speak out for fear of losing their jobs. And just last week, a George Mason University survey found that nearly one-third of American Meteorological Society members were willing to admit that at least half of the climate change we have seen can be attributed to natural variability.

Climate change alarmism has become a $1.5-trillion-a-year industry – which guarantees it is far safer and more fashionable to pretend a 97% consensus exists, than to embrace honesty and have one’s global warming or renewable energy funding go dry.

The real danger is not climate change – it is energy policies imposed in the name of climate change. It’s time to consider something else Einstein said: "The important thing is not to stop questioning." And then go see the important new documentary film, The Climate Hustle, coming soon to a theater near you.

Via email

‘Stalinist Conformity': Swiss Professor Says ‘Young Researchers Forced To Submit To Mainstream Theories’

So vulnerable, flawed, and under fire has climate science and other fields become that the only tactic left to defend the disintegrating positions is to use Stalinist measures to suppress dissident views, and even sicking state attorney generals on anyone expressing legitimate doubt – science truth by state legal decree.

Meanwhile in Europe dissident views in a variety of fields, especially climate science, are being suppressed by a power-abusive establishment. Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt report:

"In Weltwoche of 6 April 2016 Prof. Mathias Binswanger was very clear on why young university researchers are quasi forced to submit themselves to the trends of the day, i.e. the overriding mainstream in any particular scientific field:

Mathias Binswanger: ‘The principle is ultimately always the same: Foremost one has to be an often published and often cited figure in his/her scientific field in order to be able to contribute to the ranking of a university. But how does one often publish or become often cited in respected journals of his own field? The most important principles are: Adaptation to the mainstream and do not question any established theories or models.

All submitted articles first must go through a peer-review process where champions of the scientific discipline evaluate it. Under these circumstances a young researcher has no option but to go along with the mainstream theories represented in the top journals and to use the empirical processes that are currently in trend. Only in this way does he/she have any chance of having enough publications to make him/herself eligible to be a professor. Through this very kind of pressure to conform applied by top journals is science obstructed rather than promoted.'"

It is hardly necessary to mention that this principle promotes a "Stalinist conformity" with the highly politicized climate sciences for young researchers. typically today mostly only retired professors dare to speak up when it comes to doubt over the supposed imminent climate catastrophe. These professors finally beco0me free to openly express themselves without threats to their  careers threatened.


Rooftop solar companies will only play if the game is stacked in their favor

By Marita Noon

The past couple of weeks have highlighted the folly of the energy policies favored by left-leaning advocacy agencies that, rather than allowing consumers and markets to choose, require government mandates and subsidies. Three major, but very different, solar entities — that would not exist without such political preference — are now facing demise.  Even with the benefit of tax credits, low-interest loans, and cash grants that state and federal governments have bestowed on them, the solar industry is struggling.

We’ve seen Abengoa — which I’ve followed for years — file for bankruptcy.

Ivanpah, the world’s biggest solar power tower project in the California desert, is threatened with closure due to underperformance.

Then there is SunEdison, the biggest renewable energy developer in the world. It’s on the verge of bankruptcy as its stock price plunged from more than $30 to below $.50 — a more than 90 percent drop in the past year.

All of these recent failures magnify the solar industry’s black eye that first swelled up nearly five years ago with the Solyndra bankruptcy.

Worried about self-preservation, and acting in its own best interest — rather than that of consumers specifically, and America in general — industry groups have sprung up to defend the favored-status energy policies and attack anyone who disagrees with the incentive-payment business model. Two such groups are TASC and TUSK — both of which are founded and funded by solar panel powerhouses SolarCity and SunRun with involvement from smaller solar companies (SolarCity recently parted ways with TASC).

The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) is run by the lead lobbyists for the two big companies — both have obvious Democrat Party connections.

Bryan Miller is Senior Vice President, Public Policy & Power Markets at Sunrun (a position he took in January 2013) and is President and co-chair of TASC (May 2013). His LinkedIn page shows that he’s worked for the National Finance Committee for Obama for America and was Finance Coordinator/Field Organizer for Clinton Gore ’96. He’s also served as s senior political appointee in the Obama Administration and ran an unsuccessful 2008 bid for election to Florida’s House of Representatives, District 83.

Co-chair John Stanton is Executive Vice President, Policy & Markets at SolarCity. In that role, he, according to the company website, "oversees SolarCity’s work with international, federal, state and local government organizations on a wide range of policy issues." Previously, Stanton was Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)—the national trade association for industries that support the development of solar power—with which he oversaw legal and government affairs for the association. There he played a pivotal role in the 8-year extension of the solar investment tax credit. He was also legislative counsel for the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clinton administration.

A news report about the founding of TASC states: "First and foremost, the group will work to protect net-energy metering (NEM) rules in the 43 states that have them."

On March 25, the Wall Street Journal reported: "two dozen states are weighing changes to their incentives for rooftop solar…incentive payments have been the backbone of home solar firms’ business model." In the past several months, Nevada and Hawaii have ended their NEM programs. TASC has responded with lawsuits. In Hawaii, TASC’s case has already been dismissed with a report stating: the judge’s "ruling in favor of the Defendants has eviscerated TASC’s claims." Last year, Louisiana capped its "among the most generous in the country" solar tax credit. Arizona Public Service was the trailblazer in modifying generous solar policies when, in 2013, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved a fixed charge for solar customers.

As one of the first states to challenge the generous NEM policies, Arizona is still a battleground. That’s where TASC formed another group: TUSK — which stands for Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed. Lobbyist and former U.S. Congressman Barry Goldwater, Jr. was brought in to give a Republican face to the industry’s advocacy. TUSK even has an elephant, the Republican mascot, as part of its logo. The TUSK home page states: "Republicans want the freedom to make the best choice and the competition to drive down rates" — true, but a core value of the Republican Party is allowing the free markets to work rather than governments picking winners and losers.

While registered in Arizona, TUSK has recently been active in other states — including Nevada, Oklahoma, and Michigan.

The reoccurring theme in the TASC/TUSK campaign is to connect the word "kill" with "solar" — though the NEM modification efforts don’t intend to kill solar. Instead, they aim to adjust the "incentive payments" to make them more equitable. However, without the favors, as was seen in Nevada, rooftop solar isn’t economical on its own. Companies refuse to play when the game is not stacked in their favor.

TASC and TUSK are just two of the ways the rooftop solar industry — also known as a "coalition of rent seekers and welfare queens," as Louisiana’s largest conservative blog, The Hayride, called them in the midst of that state’s solar wars — is trying to protect its preferential policies. It has other tricks in its playbook.

In addition to the specific industry groups like TASC, TUSK and SEIA, third party organizations like the Energy and Policy Institute (EPI) are engaged to intimidate public officials and academics. EPI, run by Gabe Elsner, is considered a dark money group with no legal existence. It can be assumed to be an extension of what is known as the Checks & Balances Project (CB&P)—which was founded to investigate organizations and policymakers that do not support government programs and subsidies for renewable energy. CB&P has received funding from SolarCity. Elsner joined CB&P in 2011 — where he served as Director — and then, two years later, left to found EPI — which C&BP calls: "a pro-clean energy website." EPI produces material to attack established energy interests and discredit anyone who doesn’t support rooftop solar subsidies. I have been a target of Elsner’s efforts.

Then there is the Solar Foundation — closely allied with SEIA and government solar advocacy programs — which publishes a yearly report on solar employment trends across the country. Solar employers self-report the jobs numbers via phone/email surveys and the numbers are, then, extrapolated to estimate industry jobs nationwide. Though the reports achieve questionable results, threats of job loss have proven to be an effective way to pressure state and federal lawmakers to continue the industry’s favorable policies — such as NEM.

Together, these groups have a coordinated campaign to produce public opinion polling that is used to convince politicians of NEM’s public support. Such cases can be found in Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Kansas. They gather signatures from solar advocates and use them to influence legislators and commissioners. They engage in regulatory and rate proceedings — often creating, as I’ve experienced, an overwhelming presence with mob-like support from tee-shirt-wearing, sign-waving advocates. They run ads calling attempts to modify solar’s generous NEM policies a "tax" on solar and, as previously mentioned, attack utilities for trying to "kill solar." If this combined campaign isn’t fruitful, and NEM policies are changed, lawsuits, such as those in Hawaii and Nevada, are filed.

This policy protection process may seem no different from those engaged by any industry — as most have trade associations and advocacy groups that promote their cause. Remember "Beef, it’s what’s for dinner" and "Pork, the other white meat"? Few are truly independent and self-preservation is a natural instinct.

Yes, even the fossil fuel industry has, for example, the American Petroleum Institute, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the National Mining Association, and the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. And there are advocacy groups who support various limited-government, free-market positions, as Miller recently accused.

The difference is that fossil fuels provide, and has been providing, America with efficient, effective, and economical energy. Its abundance has lowered costs for consumers and increased America’s energy security. Advocates are not fighting for special favors that allow this natural resource to survive, but are rather attempting to push back on new rules and regulations aimed at driving it out of business.

By comparison, the solar advocacy efforts are, as acknowledged by TASC: "First and foremost, the group will work to protect net-energy metering (NEM) rules," as without them — and the other politically correct policies — rooftop solar energy doesn’t make economic sense. Because rooftop solar power isn’t efficient or effective, its major selling point is supposed savings that are achieved for a few, while costing all tax- and rate-payers.

With the potential of a change in political winds — remember the solar supporters all seem to be left-leaning, big government believers who want higher energy prices — the campaign for America’s energy future is embedded in the presidential election.

Will big government pick the winners and losers, or will free markets allow the survival of the best energy sources for individual circumstances?



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

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11 April, 2016

Uncovering the Corporate Influence Over Climate Change

An excerpt from a very elaborate "report" below.  It depends entirely on content analysis, a notoriously shaky procedure.  They collect documents issued by an organization and categorize  them in terms of whether the documents support or oppose the global warming religion.  But given past absurd content analyses from Warmists such as  Naomi Oreskes and John Cook, we have to expect vast mis-categorization this time around too. 

Even if done honestly, content analysis is very difficult.  I did a small bit of content analysis during my research career so I know where the skeletons are buried.  How for instance would they rate a statement that:  "there is some warming going on but we need more data to decide how dangerous it is".  My guess is that the galoots below would categorize that as anti-warmist even though it admits that warming is going on.  And that is just the first difficulty:  Deciding what goes into each category.  And then there is the problem of inter-rater reliability, rater objectivity and so on.

And the galoots below say openly that some organizations undermine the Warmist message in "ever-subtle ways" so they are obviously very inclusive in what they count as anti-Warmist.  Just a hint of being anti-Warmist is apparently enough for you to be consigned to the naughty bin.  The whole thing is prettily presented rubbish

Corporate influence over the climate change debate and policy process has at many levels been cited as a key reason for the relatively slow progress of both the UN COP process and national-level climate legislation. We have forensically evaluated the 100 leading, publicly traded companies along with 30 trade associations and have scored them according to the extent to which they are exerting this influence.

Our full ranking is now publicly available online. Below are some findings and analysis of what our scoring means for business.

More than lobbying

We use the term "influence" rather than lobbying for good reason. The capture of climate change policy by corporations extends beyond formal and financial interactions between lawmakers and corporations and their representatives. Since the 1990s corporations have invested heavily in messaging (advertising, PR, social media, etc.) to ensure their views on climate science and the appropriate policy response are heard loudly at multiple levels. Corporations try to ensure they are continuously engaging at all levels of the policy making process - from providing engineering expertise on matters technical, to CEO phone-calls to political leaders at key policy moments. All of these activities constitute corporate influence and we attempt to objectively assess as much as possible in our analysis.

Trade associations at the center

The role of trade associations and other influencers in controlling climate policy has been studied, by among others our collaborators USC in the US and our advisor Ben Fagan-Watson in the EU. The same rigorous method InfluenceMap uses on the analysis of corporations is applied to the leading trade associations they are affiliated with. In the US, the lowest scoring influencers in our system are ALEC and the American Petroleum Institute, closely followed by NAM and the US Chamber of Commerce. In Europe, powerful trade federation BusinessEurope and industry-specific trade groups CEFIC (chemicals) and ACEA (automotive) score poorly. Japan's powerful Keidanren openly opposes most climate regulations, suggesting industry can lead the way on its own terms. All of these organizations, and more, have consistently undermined climate regulations over the last decade in ever-subtle ways, increasingly arguing for a global treaty that maintains competitiveness while obstructing many of the key regulatory details needed to enforce it. Our system also assesses corporate links to these associations that results in a relationship score for each company along side its own score. In most cases these relationships greatly reduce the final performance band the corporation ends up in, in the system.


The Gore effect again

(He brings snow with him)

Something happened recently that always entertains: the Gore effect.

New York was predicted to see 3 inches of wet snow on Saturday

And the weather was so non-spring-like that when Al flew from New York to Harvard where he gave a sustainability talk, the flight was cancelled and he had to drive to Harvard

The Left’s Climate Inquisition’s New Target

Hans von Spakovsky

In a truly outrageous abuse of his authority and a misuse of the law, the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Claude E. Walker, has served a subpoena on the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) demanding documents related to CEI’s research on global "climate change." Walker is part of a network of state "AGs United for Clean Power" who have formed a grand inquisition to go after those they claim have lied about climate change—which is a contentious and unproven scientific theory.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute is a non-profit public policy institute (like the Heritage Foundation) that researches and publishes studies and reports on issues it believes are "essential for entrepreneurship, innovation, and prosperity to flourish." It is dedicated to the principles of "limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty." CEI is well-known for its high-quality, objective research on energy and climate issues, which clearly has made it a target of Inquisitor Walker.

Although Walker’s jurisdiction does not extend outside the Virgin Islands (a U.S. territory), he had a subpoena issued through the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, where CEI is located.

The voluminous, harassing 14-page subpoena says Inquisitor Walker is investigating ExxonMobil for "misrepresenting its knowledge of the likelihood that its products and activities have contributed to and are continuing to contribute to climate change in order to defraud the Government … and consumers." This supposedly violates the Criminally Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which is the Virgin Islands’ version of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, or RICO.

The subpoena demands that CEI turn over all documents, communications, statements, emails, op-eds, speeches, advertisements, letters to the editor, research, reports, studies, and memoranda of any kind—including drafts—that refer to climate change, greenhouse gases, carbon tax, climate science, and the like, in any way related to ExxonMobil or the "products sold by or activities carried out by ExxonMobil [that] directly or indirectly impact climate change." It covers the period between January 1, 1997, and January 1, 2007. And Walker wants donor information, too.

There are so many things wrong with this that it is hard to know where to start. First of all, the basis for the investigation is absurd. Walker is using a criminal statute designed to go after major drug dealers and mob organizations to go after a company that produces the gasoline and diesel fuel that Americans (and the rest of the world) use in their cars, trucks, boats, lawnmowers, and other equipment of every kind. And ExxonMobil and CEI are being targeted for having taken what these legal barons consider the wrong side of a scientific theory that is being actively debated and questioned.

The fact that ExxonMobil produces a relatively cheap, reliable energy source that helps power our world but is disfavored by Progressives and their political representatives like Walker seems to be what the company is really guilty of.

The root of what is going on here appears to be an effort to intimidate, harass, frighten, and possibly imprison or fine anyone who Walker and his fellow warders think is saying the wrong thing and who is standing in the way when it comes to forcing the rest of us to switch to politically correct and unreliable energy sources like wind and solar.

This investigation is intended to silence and chill any opposition. It is disgraceful and contemptible behavior by public officials.

This investigation is intended to silence and chill any opposition. It is disgraceful and contemptible behavior by public officials who are willing to exploit their power to achieve ideological ends. As CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman says, "it is an affront to our First Amendment rights of free speech and association."

Given the coalition that has been formed by state attorneys general to conduct a grand inquisition against climate change deniers, this subpoena from the Virgin Islands attorney general is probably just the first assault in their quasi-religious war against unbelievers. Researchers, scientists, think tanks, universities, and anyone else who works or speaks in this area should be aware that they may soon become a target of these malicious investigations.

Fortunately, CEI has already announced that it intends to resist and "will vigorously fight to quash this subpoena."

That is important, because if Walker and his "Axis" alliance succeed, "the real victims will be all Americans, whose access to affordable energy will be hit by one costly regulation after another, while scientific and policy debates are wiped out one subpoena at a time," according to Kazman.

CEI will be defended by the Free Speech in Science Project, which was founded by Andrew M. Grossman and David B. Rivkin Jr. to defend "scientists, writers, businesses and others targeted for speaking out on scientific issues and policy."

As they point out, the public needs to understand how actions like this threaten "our precious First Amendment rights," as well as "deliberative democracy, when scientists, think tanks, and private businesses are persecuted for their views."

Make no mistake about it. What is happening to ExxonMobil and to the Competitive Enterprise Institute is persecution. It is an affront to our grand tradition of free speech and vigorous scientific debate and should not be tolerated.


Donors Decline to Back More Fracking Research After Study Finds No Link to Water Contamination

The lead researcher in a study that concluded that fracking in Ohio didn’t contaminate groundwater told The Daily Signal that, contrary to her previous remarks, donors to the study did not pull funding because of "specific disappointment" with those results.

Amy Townsend-Small, an assistant professor of geology at the University of Cincinnati who conducted the three-year study, did acknowledge that some financial backers "have declined to continue funding past the initial study period." 

However, Townsend-Small said in an email Monday to The Daily Signal, those decisions not to donate more might be because the study didn’t establish a relationship between hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and water contamination in Carroll County and other areas that include the Utica Shale deposit.

Townsend-Small also said the results "show that fracking does not always lead to groundwater contamination, but that continuous monitoring is needed to ensure contamination has not occurred."

"The left likes to continually talk about settled science, but often it’s settled on a predetermined outcome," Nick Loris, a research fellow at The Heritage Foundation who studies energy issues, told The Daily Signal. "Politicians use that predetermined outcome to justify policies that drive up the costs of affordable, reliable energy—even though those policies have little to no environmental benefit."

‘Fracking Is Scary’

The Daily Signal sought comment from the Deer Creek Foundation on why it decided to stop funding the fracking study in Ohio, but its executive director did not respond.

The major goal of the study by the University of Cincinnati’s geology department was to measure the presence of methane (CH4) in groundwater prior to the onset of fracking, and to compare the results to methane measured during and after the process.

In fracking, engineers inject water mixed with sand and chemicals into a well at high pressure, producing a fluid that fractures the rock and releases previously trapped oil and natural gas.

The energy industry has used the fracking technique for several decades. What’s new is the use of hydraulic fracturing together with precision directional drilling, enabling wells to be drilled horizontally right through the oil or natural gas rock itself.

The initial results of the university’s study were released Feb. 4 on the Carroll Concerned Citizens website during a regular meeting of the group, which seeks to inform residents about the long-term health and economic effects of mineral extraction.

Townsend-Small, the lead researcher, discussed key findings during this meeting. Her presentation may be seen on YouTube.

"I am really sad to say this, but some of our funders, the groups that had given us funding in the past, were a little disappointed in our results," Townsend-Small was quoted as saying. "They feel that fracking is scary, and so they were hoping this data could be a reason to ban it."

‘We Did Not Find Any Changes’

The geologic research team concentrated its groundwater measurements in a rural farming area of Carroll County because that county has the largest number of hydraulic fracturing permits in Ohio.

The team also measured groundwater in  the state’s Belmont, Columbiana, Harrison, and Stark Counties, but less frequently than in Carroll. The study occurred in tandem with a sharp increase in the number of active gas wells in Carroll, from three in late 2011 to 354 in 2015.

"We measured dissolved salt, pH, methane concentration, and methane isotopic composition in groundwater over several years in the Utica Shale fracking region of Ohio," Townsend-Small said in the email to The Daily Signal, adding:

These measurements can indicate whether fracking fluid or natural gas was introduced into groundwater over the study period.  We did not find any changes in any of these measured constituents over the study period, in which the number of fracking sites in the region increased dramatically.  This does not mean that contamination did not happen in other parts of the region or has occurred after our study ended, but it does indicate that fracking can take place without contaminating water resources, as has happened in other regions.

We measured about 25 groundwater wells[.] … We found no relationship between CH4 [methane] concentration in groundwater and proximity to active gas well sites, and no significant change in CH4 concentration or isotopic composition, pH, or conductivity in water wells during the study period.  We also did not find evidence for natural gas in water wells, although we did have several study sites with CH4 concentrations in the dangerous range, but the CH4 in these wells was from coal beds, not natural gas.

Private donors to the three-year study included the Deer Creek Foundation and the David and Sara Weston Fund.

But taxpayers also covered some costs in the form of a $85,714 grant from the Ohio Board of Regents and federal funding from the National Science Foundation, which news reports said went toward an isotope ratio mass spectrometer.

State Rep. Andy Thompson, a Republican who represents a district that includes Carroll County, has called for the university’s study to be more widely circulated because it received taxpayer support.

‘They Declined to Renew Funding’

On the question of continued funding, Townsend-Small sought to modify her reported remarks that some donors were "disappointed" in the results because they hoped the findings would support a ban of fracking, which they consider "scary."

She told The Daily Signal in her email:

Just to clarify, none of our funders have expressed specific disappointment in our work, but some have declined to continue our funding past the initial study period. The study is not being suppressed, as has been published elsewhere.  A preliminary version of our report is available through my website at UC and the website of our community partner, Carroll Concerned Citizens.

Our study was funded by the Deer Creek Foundation and the David and Sara Weston Fund. The Weston group is continuing to fund our project at a small level. The Deer Creek Foundation never expressed specific disappointment about our findings.  They just declined to renew our funding and I assumed it was due to a lack of excitement about our results.

While the University of Cincinnati study did not find a connection between fracking and groundwater quality, Townsend-Small told The Daily Signal, this was not necessarily a hard and fast rule:

Other groups we have pursued funding from have expressed some confusion about why monitoring was needed if our initial results indicated a lack of contamination. It’s important to note that our results do not discredit previous studies that have linked fracking and groundwater contamination; rather, we show that fracking does not always lead to groundwater contamination, but that continuous monitoring is needed to ensure contamination has not occurred.


Methane mendacity – and madness

Radical green and government agitators slam methane in latest bid to terminate fossil fuel use

Paul Driessen

Quick: What is 17 cents out of $100,000? If you said 0.00017 percent, you win the jackpot.

That number, by sheer coincidence, is also the percentage of methane in Earth’s atmosphere. That’s a trivial amount, you say: 1.7 parts per million. There’s three times more helium and 230 times more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. You’re absolutely right, again.

Equally relevant, only 19% of that global methane comes from oil, natural gas and coal production and use. Fully 33% comes from agriculture: 12% from rice growing and 21% from meat production. Still more comes from landfills and sewage treatment (11%) and burning wood and animal dung (8%). The remaining 29% comes from natural sources: oceans, wetlands, termites, forest fires and volcanoes.

The manmade portions are different for the USA: 39% energy use, 36% livestock, 18% landfills, and 8% sewage treatment and other sources. But it’s still a piddling contribution to a trivial amount in the air.

Of course, the Obama EPA and Climate Cataclysm Industry ignore these inconvenient facts. They insist that methane is "a far more potent greenhouse gas" than carbon dioxide, and that its emissions must be drastically reduced if we are to avoid "runaway global warming." So EPA and other federal agencies are preparing to unleash a tsunami of new regulations to block natural gas drilling, fracking, flaring and production, while radical environmentalists orchestrate new assaults on petrochemical plants that create plastics, paints, fabrics, computer and vehicle components and countless other products for modern life.

They want us to believe that government regulators can decree Earth’s climate simply by controlling methane and carbon dioxide – regardless of what the sun, ocean circulation, recurrent planetary temperature cycles and other powerful natural forces might do. They say it’s pure coincidence that these two trace gases (CH4 and CO2) are the only climate-affecting mechanisms that are associated with the fossil fuels and industrialized economies they despise.

They also want us to believe reducing United States methane emissions will make a huge difference. But even if US manmade methane emissions are 20% of the worldwide total, the 39% US fossil fuel portion of that US portion means even totally eliminating US methane emissions would reduce global manmade methane output by a minuscule 7.8 percent. Under a best-case scenario, that might keep atmospheric methane below a still irrelevant 0.00020% (2.0 ppm; 20 cents out of $100,000) for a few more years.

This smells like fraud. And as New York AG Eric Schneiderman so kindly reminded the climate skeptics he’s threatening with RICO, "The First Amendment does not give anyone the right to commit fraud."

Perhaps EPA plans to go after America’s agricultural sector next. After all, as former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan intoned last year, red meat is bad for us (cancer) and for the climate (animal flatulence and manure). Moreover, "insects have a very good conversion rate from feed to meat," there are 1,900 species of edible insects on Planet Earth, and more than a billion people already make bugs part of their diet. Perhaps the IPCC and White House will serve roasted roaches at their next state dinners?

That would reduce US methane emissions a bit more. But it gets even more deceitful, more barking mad.

The un-ratified 2015 Paris climate treaty obligates the United States, Australia, Canada and Europe to continue reducing their fossil fuel use and emissions – even though they can hardly afford to kill more millions of jobs and further roll back living standards for all but their ruling elites.

Meanwhile, developing countries will not and cannot afford to lock up their fossil fuels, shut down their economic growth, and leave billions of people mired in poverty, malnutrition and disease. Indeed, under the Paris treaty, they are not required to reduce their fossil fuel use or "greenhouse gas" emissions; they need only take voluntary steps to reduce them, when it is convenient for them to do so.

That means slashing US methane (and carbon dioxide) emissions – and the jobs, living standards, health and welfare that fossil fuels bring – will have no effect whatsoever on atmospheric greenhouse gas levels.

But that is irrelevant to Mr. Obama and his EPA. The fact is, this methane mendacity and madness has nothing to do with stabilizing Earth’s climate. It has everything to do with hogtying and bankrupting US fossil fuel companies, controlling industrial activities and people’s living standards – and mandating a costly transition to renewable energy, while rewarding the hordes of scientists, activists and industrialists who benefit from the $1.5-trillion-per-year Climate Crisis, Inc. money train.

That raises a critical question: Just where and how will we produce those "eco-friendly" biofuels?

US ethanol production alone requires all the corn grown on an area the size of Iowa (36 million acres), and it makes up only 10% of the country’s E10 gasoline blends. Replacing all gasoline with ethanol from corn, sorghum or still-illusory switchgrass would therefore require ten Iowas: 360 million acres. But there is one other critical factor: ethanol has one-third less energy per gallon than pure gasoline.

That means we would need to plant an additional 120 million acres, 480 million acres in all, just to replace gasoline. That’s equal to Alaska, California and West Virginia combined!

Replacing all the liquid petroleum we use annually (291 billion gallons) would require twice as much land – some 45% of all the land in the United States: six times more land than we currently have under cultivation for all cereal crops – plowing even marginal croplands, deserts, forests and grasslands.

We’d also need far more fuel to grow, harvest and convert those crops into "eco-friendly" fuel. That would likely mean turning southern Canada into a vast biofuel plantation – unless, of course, the ruling classes simply impose lower living standards and vehicle ownership restrictions on us commoners.

Growing biofuel crops also requires hundreds of times more water than is needed to conduct hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations to produce the same amount of energy from oil and gas, on a tiny fraction of the acreage. Where on this water-starved planet will that precious liquid come from?

Biofuel crops also require prodigious amounts of fertilizer and pesticides. And if organic and anti-GMO factions have their way, far more land would be needed, pest control would be minimal or done by hand, and fertilizer would come from human wastes and animal manure – raising even more complex issues.

To put it bluntly, a biofuel future would be totally and disastrously unsustainable.

There’s another deep, dark secret about biofuels. Somebody needs to tell Obama, McCarthy, Clinton, Sanders and their army of "green" supporters that biofuels are hydrocarbons! They are composed of carbon and hydrogen, though in less complex molecular structures than what we pull out of the ground – which means we get less energy per gallon. And when we burn them, they release carbon dioxide!

We have at least a century of untapped oil and natural gas (and of coal) right under our feet. To lock that up, based on unproven, illusory, fabricated, fraudulent climate chaos claims, is utter insanity.

Even crazier, most anti-fossil-fuel zealots also oppose nuclear and hydroelectric power – and want future electricity generated primarily or solely with wind turbines and solar panels. To blanket our scenic, crop and wildlife lands with wind farms, solar installations and biofuel plantations – and destroy economies, jobs, living standards, health and welfare in the process – is nothing short of criminal.

President Obama and presidential candidates Clinton and Sanders assure us we can have 30% renewables by 2030, 50% by 2050, 100% by 2100 – or some similar magic, catchy, sound bite concoction.

Voters should demand to know exactly how they will make this happen. If they cannot or will not answer satisfactorily, a strong case can be made for the proposition that they are too ignorant and dishonest to hold office – and that their supporters are too stupid and anti-environment to vote. J

Via email

Radical environmentalists want museums to stop taking donations from conservatives

A group of prominent scientists have united for an odd quest: to reduce funding for science education. They’ve joined with environmental groups and progressive activists to demand that hundreds of museums of science and natural history "cut all ties with the fossil fuel industry and funders of climate science obfuscation," which means rejecting donations or investment dividends from anyone who doesn’t meet their standard of purity.
They began last year by demanding that the American Museum of Natural History in New York have nothing to do with the industrialist David Koch, a major benefactor and member of the museum’s board of trustees for more than two decades. There was no evidence that Koch had influenced the content of any exhibit at the museum—donors are prohibited from involvement—but the activists got their wish this year when Koch resigned from the board. Though he and the museum said his departure was voluntary, the activists are hailing it as a victory and pointing to other museums, including the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, that have divested themselves of fossil-fuel investments and banned donations from these companies.

Nearly 150 academics have signed on to the cause, including George Woodwell, founder and director emeritus of Woods Hole Research Center; James Powell, former president of the science museums of Los Angeles and of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia; and some prominent climate researchers, like James Hansen of NASA, Michael Mann of Penn State University, and Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. They claim to be concerned that museums compromise their integrity "by association with special interests," but some interests are obviously more special than others. The scientists and their allies haven’t objected, for instance, to the Boston Science Museum’s wind-energy exhibit being sponsored by an engineering firm that helps build wind farms or by a Massachusetts state agency with the explicit mission of promoting wind power.

Only fossil-fuel companies are targeted, supposedly because they’re causing climate science to be distorted or censored, yet the scientists and their allies can’t point to any damning examples. Their favorite accusation involves a Koch-sponsored exhibition at the Smithsonian on human evolution and adaptation that includes one panel asking if millions of years from now, some humans’ bodies might have adapted to various new environmental conditions—a hotter planet, a colder planet, or another planet with lower gravity. What’s wrong with asking those questions? Nothing, except that the mere mention of human adaptation is taboo to devout greens: There must be no distractions from their predictions that global warming will wipe out the human species.

If you’re looking for biased environmental science at museums, you can find it, but the bias goes the other way, toward eco-alarmism and left-wing politics. Before any more scientists denounce David Koch’s influence at the American Museum of Natural History, they might try visiting the place first. A good place to start the tour, for historical perspective, is in one of the least popular parts of the museum: the Hall of New York State Environment. It’s a quaint nook with a musty collection of dioramas from the early 1950s, long before Koch was on the board.

The human impact on the environment is depicted in a historical series of dioramas of Dutchess County in upstate New York.
First, there’s "The Forest Primeval," some of which is cut down to make room for "The Settlement" in the 1790 diorama. Most of the forest has given way to farmland in the 1840 diorama, titled "High Tide." But by 1870, some of the farmland is lying fallow, and by 1950, much of it has been covered again with forest. One cause of this trend is depicted in the tiny models of farming equipment, a progression from a simple ox-drawn plow to more elaborate machines drawn by horses and, ultimately, by a motorized tractor. By 1950, the diorama’s copywriter exults, "the invention of the gas engine" and "the remarkable development of specialized machines" enabled farmers to grow more food with less labor on less land, allowing farmland to revert to forest.

That is indeed a remarkable trend, but you would never guess it from the modern environmental exhibits at the museum—the ones that get a lot more visitors. In the Hall of Biodiversity, there are no homages to gas engines and machines. Fossil fuels and modern technologies are the great villains. Photographs and videos of gas pumps and smokestacks are juxtaposed with images of traffic jams, smog-filled skies, and vanishing woodland. Forests are shown being destroyed by pollution, burned by farmers, and bulldozed to make room for ranches, roads, and factories. Nowhere is there a hint that the rest of the world is going through the same transition that occurred in the United States: the rate of global deforestation has slowed and has already reversed in many places. Just as in upstate New York, the amount of forestland in China and India has been increasing.

Which message do the visitors take home? A few years ago, I went to the museum and gave a quiz to a class of high-school students who had just toured it. I asked about two long-term trends in the United States: Was air pollution getting better or worse, and was the amount of forestland increasing or decreasing? None of the students—nor their teacher—got both questions right. Most had no idea that air pollution has been declining for decades while the amount of forestland has been increasing.

You can’t blame them, given what they’d just seen at the Hall of Biodiversity. The message is unrelentingly gloomy, and sometimes just outdated or wrong. There’s an image of a forest supposedly decimated by acid rain, which was a much-proclaimed eco-catastrophe three decades ago—until an extensive federal study concluded that there was ‘"no evidence of widespread forest damage." There are warnings of resource shortages and admonitions to "reduce, reuse, recycle—and rethink."

One exhibit panel claims that "global warming has already resulted in more frequent and severe coastal storms as hurricanes," which is contradicted by both data and theory. There has been no upward trend in hurricanes over the past half century (the last decade has been especially calm), and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that "future changes in storms are likely to be small." A video shows much of Florida and Long Island disappearing under the rising ocean—representing a sea-level rise far beyond what IPCC projects.

The hype was even worse when the museum presented a special show on climate change in 2008. The exhibition, which toured other science museums in the United States and abroad, displayed a model of lower Manhattan under 16 feet of water, while the rest of the world was ravaged by storms, droughts, fires, and plagues.

In a review of the exhibition for the New York Times, Edward Rothstein criticized it for being concerned less with science than with frightening visitors. "What we need from a museum is not proselytizing but a more reflective analysis," he wrote, complaining that the exhibition "made me feel like an agnostic attending church and listening to sermons about damnation."

Unfortunately, that’s the trend in science museums, as Rothstein has documented over the past decade while writing about museums and exhibitions for the Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Curators pride themselves on promoting moral agendas. Showing the wonders of nature is no longer enough: visitors must be hectored to transform their lives, check their privilege and prejudice, respect native cultures, and save the planet. "Over the last two generations," Rothstein concluded in 2010, "the science museum has become a place where politics, history and sociology often crowd out physics and the hard sciences. There are museums that believe their mission is to inspire political action." And the political actions are inevitably the sort that academics deem "progressive."

Given this trend, why would anyone worry about the influence of donors like David Koch? Even if conservatives ever imagined they could use their money to promote their ideology, they’ve so obviously failed that they’d be idiots to expect any future returns on it. Since they’re not shaping science exhibits to their politics, why not use their money to make better museums that teach more people about science?

Because the current campaign against Koch and other donors isn’t really about science or museums. It’s about politics. The campaign is sponsored by a coalition of environmental and progressive groups, including and the Working Families Party. It’s being led by a group calling itself The Natural History Museum, which sends a bus around the country with exhibits about "the socio-political forces that shape nature."

The group is financed by various foundations promoting progressive causes like "the relationship between economics, racism, climate, gender and sexual orientation" (as one donor, Solidaire, describes its interests). The donors also include a group promoting the construction of green buildings (another apparently acceptable special interest) as well as the Queens Museum (New Yorkers’ tax dollars at work!). The Natural History Museum’s mission statement isn’t easy to understand—it reads like a sophomore trying to impress his Marxist professor of sociology—but it seems to be mainly about moving beyond the evils of "capitalist enterprises" to "a collective future."

To reach this future, the group is using the modern Left’s favorite method of debate: silence the opposition. The activists and the scientists allied with them are following the twelfth of Saul Alinksy’s "Rules for Radicals": "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." The letter to museums is part of the larger campaign to demonize David Koch and other conservatives, to deny them any public credit for their philanthropy, and to prevent any reputable institution from having anything to do with them. The goal is not only to punish David Koch for his support of conservative groups but also to intimidate other philanthropists. The letter is a warning shot to donors and corporations: if you give money to a conservative cause, you will be banished from museums and respectable society.

In this fight, the science museums are just bystanders. If their budgets suffer, if their visitors end up paying higher admission fees or seeing fewer exhibits, that’s just collateral damage. A dedicated leftist can excuse it as a small tradeoff to reach our glorious collective future. But the curators and scientists who have signed on to the cause have no excuse for the damage they’re doing. They’re supposed to give science priority over politics—or at least that used to be the professional ethic. These days, it’s looking as outdated as those dioramas from the 1950s.



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

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10 April, 2016

Meltdown: More Rain, Less Snow as the World Warms

One of the great tricks of chartmanship ("How to lie with graphs") is to choose carefully your starting and end points for any trend. And that appears to have been done here. Why start at 1950?  Surely precipitation records go a long way further back than that. 

And I think I know why they chose 1950. We know that there were more extreme weather events in the first half of C20 so the trends before and after 1950 were probably different -- thus obliterating their trend for the century as a whole.

And the end point is interesting too.  With all the admissions by Warmists themselves that C21 has seen a "hiatus" in warming, why were C20 and C21 results all lumped in together and presented as a single  continuous trend?  There WAS some slight warming in C20 so it is entirely open for us to conclude that the trends they observed were entirely located in the C20 data and there were no trends in our present century.  Most unimpressive work

As the world warms, the meaning of winter is changing. In the U.S., a greater percentage of winter precipitation is falling as rain, with potentially severe consequences in western states where industries and cities depend on snowpack for water, and across the country wherever there is a winter sports economy.

A Climate Central analysis of 65 years of winter precipitation data from more than 2,000 weather stations in 42 states, found a decrease in the percent of precipitation falling as snow in winter months for every region of the country. Winter months were defined as the snow season for each station, from the month with the first consistently significant snow, to the last.

In western states where snowpack is critical, we found decreases in the percent of winter precipitation falling as snow at elevations between sea level and 5,000 feet.  Above 5,000 feet there is clear regional variation.  In California, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico there was either no trend toward rain or a slight trend toward more snow at elevations 5,000 feet and higher. In stark contrast, between 5,000 to 8,000 feet in Montana, Idaho, and Arizona, from 75 to 78 percent of all stations report an increase in rain as a percentage of total winter precipitation. Oregon has only one station above 5,000 feet, but it too reported a strong increase in rain vs snow as winter precipitation. Washington has no stations at this elevation.

These very different results at elevations above 5,000 feet may stem from the different underlying climate and weather patterns in the two regions that has delayed the shift toward more rain above 5,000 feet in Rocky Mountain states, but accelerated it in the Northwest.

In virtually all states with stations below 2,000 feet, the data show a trend toward a higher percentage of rain during the winter precipitation season.


Hidden cost of climate change is unwanted carb boost in food

I am no botanist, though it was my favorite High School subject, but I know enough to suspect some very dubious botany below. I have already pointed out the flaw in the story about plant stomata and I can't help laughing about the alleged perils to food plants of a slightly raised level of atmospheric CO2. 

Why?  Because if it really were a hazard we should all be dead.  And why is that?  Because a lot of our vegetables these days are grown in greenhouses.  And what is the first thing a greenhouse owner does to boost his crops?  He pumps the CO2 level in them up to around 1,000 ppm, more than double what is in the outside air.  Yet somehow our health seems to have survived that awful "threat"!  Warmists do talk an incredible amount of shit.  It gets very wearing after a while

And for decades we were told by the health freaks that carbs were good and fats were bad.  The balance of opinion now seems to be the exact opposite of that but who knows the truth of it?  The various instances of people living happily on very limited diets suggest that the human body is very flexible and forgiving in what it needs to maintain health

And I am not even happy with the first sentence below.  The increase in CO2 levels halted completely last year.  Did all our factories close down for the year or is the increase in CO2 mostly natural?  Proxy studies into the remote past certainly show great natural variations in CO2 levels and even today CO2 emissions vary seasonally

Is that enough skepticism for now?

UPDATE:  My suspicions about bad botany were right. We read here that "Low protein in cereal grains is indicative of poor nitrogen supply to the grain during the grain fill period".  CO2 is not even mentioned.  Did I mention that Warmists talk an incredible amount of shit?

WE ARE undoubtedly pumping ever more carbon dioxide into the air. But did you know that this also silently adds unwanted carbs to bread, cereals and salad and cuts vital protein and mineral content?

This nutritional blow is now worrying the world’s most powerful nation. For the first time it forms a key finding in an official report on the health impacts of climate change in the US, drawn up by the Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and unveiled by the White House this week.

Why would more CO2 mean poorer food? Photosynthetic organisms, such as plants, are the carbohydrate factories of the world. They convert CO2 and water into gigatonnes of starch and sugars every year. And every year since the industrial age began, we have steadily fed them more CO2.

Plants respond by building more carbohydrates but less protein into tissues. This means a higher ratio of carbs to protein in plants, including key crops such as wheat, rice and potato. This is a double whammy: protein deficiency afflicts the developing world, while excess carbohydrate consumption is a worry in the obesity-riven developed world.

This is not the only nutritional impact. To capture CO2, plants open pores in their leaves. These stomata let in CO2 but allow water out: plants compensate by sucking moisture from the soil. Transpiration, as this process is called, is a major hydrological force. It moves minerals essential for life closer to the roots, nourishing plants and ultimately us. But plants respond to high CO2 by partially closing stomata and losing less water. This reduces the flow of nutrients to roots and into plants. Less minerals but more carbs creates a higher carbs-to-minerals ratio in crops and food.

In an elevated CO2 world, every serving of bread, pasta, fruits and vegetables delivers more starch and sugar but less calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, protein and other vital nutrients. Over a lifetime, this change can contribute to weight gain.

Hidden hunger – the result of diets rich in calories but poor in vital nutrients – was mainly a developing world problem. But in 2002, New Scientist predicted that "elevated CO2 levels threaten to bring the… problem to Europe and North America". Scepticism made it difficult to secure funding for testing this prediction and slowed progress by a decade.

However, the conclusion is now unequivocal: rising CO2 depletes protein and minerals in most food that underpins human nutrition across the world.

Sceptics like to claim that rising CO2 is a boon because it boosts crop yields. But as US Department of Agriculture scientist Lewis Ziska put it "elevated CO2 could be junk food" for some plant species.

There really is no such thing as a free lunch with climate change.


Global warming could be WORSE than experts think: Study says researchers have underestimated heating effect of clouds on climate change by 'at least a degree'

Nice to see a claim that all the previous climate models were wrong.  I could have told them that.  But what prices this new model being correct?  Not a good bet considering all the past failures, I would say

Most computer simulations of climate change are underestimating by at least one degree how warm the world will get this century, a new study suggests.

It all comes down to clouds and how much heat they are trapping.

According to the study published Thursday in the journal Science, computer model simulations say there is more ice and less liquid water in clouds than a decade of satellite observations show.

'We saw that all of the models started with far too much ice,' said co-author Trude Storelvmo, a Yale atmospheric scientist.

'When we ran our own simulations, which were designed to better match what we found in satellite observations, we came up with more warming.'

Storelvmo's lab at Yale has spent several years studying climate feedback mechanisms associated with clouds.

Little has been known about such mechanisms until fairly recently, she explained, which is why earlier models were not more precise.

'The overestimate of ice in mixed-phase clouds relative to the observations is something that many climate modelers are starting to realize,' Tan said.

The more water and less ice in clouds, the more heat is trapped and less the light is reflected, said the study.

She said even though it tens of degrees below freezing, the clouds still have lots of liquid water because they don't have enough particles that helps the water turn to ice crystals.

Because as the climate changes, there will be more clouds with far more liquid, and global warming will be higher than previously thought, Storelvmo said.

Equilibrium climate sensitivity is a measure used to estimate how Earth's surface temperature ultimately responds to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).

Specifically, it reflects how much the Earth's average surface temperature would rise if CO2 doubled its preindustrial level.

In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated climate sensitivity to be within a range of 2 to 4.7 degrees Celsius.

The Yale team's estimate is much higher: between 5 and 5.3 degrees Celsius.

Such an increase could have dramatic implications for climate change worldwide, note the scientists.

'It goes to everything from sea level rise to more frequent and extreme droughts and floods,' said Ivy Tan, a Yale graduate student and lead author of the study.

How much warming is predicted for the next 80 or so years depends a lot on if society cuts back on carbon dioxide emissions.

In the worst case scenario, with no carbon reduction, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sees temperatures rising by about 6.7 degrees by the end of the century and Storelvmo said the liquid cloud factor would add another degree or more on top of that.

While the study is 'well-reasoned' and 'sobering,' there are uncertainties with the satellite observations that raise questions for Chris Bretherton at the University of Washington, who wasn't part of the study.

He said if the Yale team is right and there's a bigger cloud feedback, why hasn't warming so far been even higher?

A record number of more than 130 countries will sign the landmark agreement to tackle climate change at a ceremony at U.N. headquarters on April 22, the United Nations said Thursday.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting the signing ceremony on the first day that the agreement reached in Paris in December opens for signature.

The U.N. chief, French President Francois Hollande and French Environment Minister Segolene Royal, who is in charge of global climate negotiations, have invited leaders from all 193 U.N. member states to the event.

The U.N. said signatures from over 130 countries, including more than 60 heads of state and government, would surpass the previous record of 119 signatures on the opening day for signing an international agreement. That record is held by the opening day signing of the Law of the Sea treaty in 1994.

The U.N. stressed that the signing ceremony is the first step in ensuring that the agreement enters into force as soon as possible.

It will take effect 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification or acceptance with the secretary-general.

The agreement sets a collective goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial times, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

It requires all countries to submit plans for climate action and to update them every five years, though such plans are not legally binding.

That's a legitimate question, Storelvmo said, but computer simulations may also be underestimating the cooling effect of aerosols that mask the warming but are diminishing in the atmosphere.

This is just the latest in a series of studies that have found that mainstream science may be too conservative in estimating the pace and effects of warming, including melting ice sheets in Antarctica.

'None of this is good news,' Storelvmo said. 'You always hope that climate isn't as sensitive to carbon dioxide as we fear, same with the ice sheets, but we're calling it as we see it. Several studies have come out and show that we've been too conservative up until now.'

Uncertainties in mainstream climate science are more 'on the bad side' than on the side of less harm, said climate and glacier scientist Richard Alley of Pennsylvania State University, who wasn't part of the study.

'Climate science thus is probably more open to criticism of being too conservative than being too alarmist.'


We Finally Know Why the North Pole Is Moving East

The  melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets is the probable cause but both seem due to vulcanism, not CO2 emissions

Something strange is happening to our planet. Around the year 2000, the North rotational pole started migrating eastward at a vigorous clip. Now, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have figured out what’s going on — and you’ll be shocked to learn that humans are behind it.

The rotational axis of any planet, including our own, is in constant flux. That’s because planets aren’t perfect spheres, but bumpy, pitted things whose mass is always on the move. "If you take a chunk of material from some area, you are breaking the symmetry, and the spin axis starts moving," Surendra Adhikari of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory told Gizmodo.

Through careful observations and mathematical models, Adhikari has discovered that our planet’s recent polar wanderlust has two causes: the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, and changes in the global distribution of water stored on land. Both of these are related to a single underlying phenomenon.

"The bottom line is that climate change is driving the motion of the polar axis," Adhikari said. His findings are published in Science Advances today.

Scientists have taken careful measurements of Earth’s spin axis since 1899. Prior to the 21st century, the pole wandered toward Hudson Bay, Canada, moving at a rate of about seven centimetres a year. This long-term migration is believed to be related to the loss of the Laurentide ice sheet, which blanketed Canada and much of the northern United States during the last ice age.

But around the turn of the century, our spin axis charted a new course. The planet’s north rotational pole is now heading east, along the Greenwich Meridian, and it’s moving twice as fast as it was before. "Scientists believed that this must be related to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet," Adhikari said. "That’s been the general understanding."


The White House launches a scary campaign about deadly heat. Guess what: Cold kills more people

BJORN LOMBORG sets it all out below.  I have already said similar things about the "report" he discusses but he says it better

The Obama administration released a new report this week that paints a stark picture of how climate change will affect human health. Higher temperatures, we’re told, will be deadly—killing "thousands to tens of thousands" of Americans. The report is subtitled "A Scientific Assessment," presumably to underscore its reliability. But the report reads as a political sledgehammer that hypes the bad and skips over the good.

It also ignores inconvenient evidence—like the fact that cold kills many more people than heat.

Climate change is a genuine problem that will eventually be a net detriment to society. Gradually rising temperatures across decades will increase the number of hot days and heat waves. If humans make no attempts whatsoever to adapt—a curious assumption that the report inexplicably relies on almost throughout—the total number of heat-related deaths will rise. But correspondingly, climate change will also reduce the number of cold days and cold spells. That will cut the total number of cold-related deaths.

Consider a rigorous study published last year in the journal Lancet that examined temperature-related mortality around the globe. The researchers looked at data on more than 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 areas: cold countries like Canada and Sweden, temperate nations like Spain, South Korea and Australia, and subtropical and tropical ones like Brazil and Thailand.

The Lancet researchers found that about 0.5%—half a percent—of all deaths are associated with heat, not only from acute problems like heat stroke, but also increased mortality from cardiac events and dehydration. But more than 7% of deaths are related to cold—counting hypothermia, as well as increased blood pressure and risk of heart attack that results when the body restricts blood flow in response to frigid temperatures. In the U.S. about 9,000 people die from heat each year but 144,000 die from cold.

The administration’s new report refers to this study—it would be difficult to ignore, since it is the world’s largest—but only in trivial ways, such as to establish the relationship between temperature and mortality. Not once does this "scientific assessment" acknowledge that cold deaths significantly outweigh heat deaths.

The report confidently claims that when temperatures rise, "the reduction in premature deaths from cold are expected to be smaller than the increase in deaths from heat in the United States." Six footnotes are attached to that statement. But one of the cited papers doesn’t even estimate cold deaths; another flat-out disagrees with this assertion, projecting that cold deaths will fall more than heat deaths will rise.

Further, the figure that made it into news reports, those "tens of thousands" of additional deaths, is wrong. The main model that the administration’s report relies on to estimate temperature-related mortality finds, in a worst-case scenario, 17,680 fewer cold deaths in 2100, but 27,312 more heat deaths—a net increase of 9,632.

Moreover, the model considers cold deaths only from October to March, focusing on those caused by extreme temperatures in winter. Most cold deaths actually occur during moderate temperatures, as the Lancet study shows. In the U.S., about 12,000 people die from extreme cold each year but 132,000 die from moderate cold. In London, more than 70% of all cold-related deaths occur on days warmer than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Although extreme temperatures are more deadly, they occur only a few days or weeks a year, whereas moderate cold comes frequently.

Thus, one of the central findings in the administration’s new report is contradicted by a large number of scientific studies from around the globe. A 2009 paper from the European Union expects that the reduction in cold deaths will definitely outweigh extra heat deaths in the 2020s. Even near the end of the century, in the 2080s, the EU study projects an increase in heat deaths of "between 60,000 and 165,000" and a decrease of cold deaths of "between 60,000 and 250,000." In other words, the effects will probably balance each other out, but warming could save as many as 85,000 lives each year.

An academic paper published two years ago in Environmental Health Perspectives similarly shows that global warming will lead to a net reduction in deaths in both the U.K. and Australia. In England and Wales today, the authors write, statistics show that heat kills 1,500 people and cold kills 32,000. In the 2080s, they calculate that increased heat will kill an additional 3,500. But they find that cold deaths will drop by 10,000. In Australia the projections suggest 700 more heat deaths but 1,600 fewer cold deaths.

Globally, one estimate of the health effects of climate change, published in 2006 by Ecological Economics, shows 400,000 more respiratory deaths (mostly from heat) by midcentury, but 1.8 million fewer cardiovascular deaths (mostly from cold).

In pushing too hard for the case that global warming is universally bad for everything, the administration’s report undermines the reasonable case for climate action. Focusing on only the bad side of the ledger destroys academic and political credibility.

Although there is a robust intellectual debate on heat and cold deaths, there is a much simpler way to gauge whether people in the U.S. consider higher temperatures preferable: Consider where they move. Migration patterns show people heading for warm states like Texas and Florida, not snowy Minnesota and Michigan.

That’s the smart move. A 2009 paper in the Review of Economics and Statistics estimates that because people seek out warmth, slightly more die from the heat, but many fewer die from the cold. In total, the actions of these sun-seekers avert 4,600 deaths in the U.S. each year. You won’t be surprised to learn that the study wasn’t mentioned in the administration’s half-baked report.


The Hydro Flask Challenge to Anthropogenic Climate Change

If you’ve ever used a Hydro Flask, you are probably as enamored with this product as I am.  Hydro Flask makes the claim that their containers will keep your chilled beverage cold for up to 24 hours and your heated beverage warm for 6-12 hours.  By my experience, this is not an exaggeration.  Imagine the pleasure of indulging in 40 ounces of ice cold beer at the end of a six hour hike into desert wilderness.  In fact, don’t imagine it, do it!  So good!


In this paper, I am going to reveal the secret of the Hydro Flask.  In order to do so, I must subject you to a fair bit of science.

To understand what it takes to keep things hot for 6-12 hours compared to keeping things cold for 24 hours requires a basic understanding of thermodynamics.  Sadly, much of this may be new to you.  This knowledge will also serve you well in understanding the natural forces which really do affect our climate.

Heat can only flow in one direction, from warmer to cooler.  It’s never the other way around. To do otherwise would violate the Laws of Thermodynamics. There are four methods by which heat can flow and each method has its own efficiency and hierarchy which is dependent on the environment in which it operates.  These four methods are evaporation/condensation, conduction, convection and radiation.

Evaporation is far and away the most efficient means of removing heat from a warm body.  Our bodies engage in this technique constantly as we sweat to maintain our desired body temperature. This is also the primary method by which the Earth cools its surface, be it land or water.  Condensation is just the inverse of evaporation or evaporation in reverse.

Evaporation is so incredibly efficient at cooling because it involves phase change, namely a liquid material converting to the gaseous form of that same material.  In the cases of our bodies and the Earth’s surface, we are talking about evaporating water.

For water, which gets my vote as being the most miraculous substance in the universe, we can witness one aspect of this miracle every time we boil water.  You have a pretty good idea how much heat you need to add to freezing water to increase its temperature to the boiling point, from 32 F to 212 F, a temperature increase of 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  Once the water hits the boiling point, it then takes over five times that amount of heat to convert all of that water to steam (water vapor) with essentially no temperature rise at all.

Another miracle of water is that it doesn’t have to boil to evaporate.  But it still takes that same amount of energy per unit volume to make the transition from liquid to vapor.  Your sweat is a case in point and the same thing happens with soil moisture and the water in our lakes, streams and oceans.  It is the evaporative process that carries most solar heating away from the earth’s surface.  It’s very efficient. Nature loves it.

Conduction, the second choice of Nature, occurs when a warm body is in thermal contact with another body.  This technique is used regardless of the phase state of the material.  It may be solid to solid, solid to liquid, solid to gas or any combination of the three states of material common to planet Earth.  The heat flow is always from warmer material to cooler material regardless of the phase states.

If the material receiving the heat from the other material is liquid or gas, thermal conduction usually results in convection.  When added to conduction, convection greatly increases the efficiency of heat transfer. If you have a convection oven and have compared the preheating and cooking times to that of a conventional oven, you know just what this means. Before diving into the subject of convection and how it relates to Earth’s climate, we need to know a bit about air, the stuff that makes up our atmosphere.

Because water vapor has the unique ability to change phases within our atmosphere it is found in extremely variable amounts from nearly zero to over 4% by volume.  For this reason it is standard procedure when discussing the composition of air to characterize it as being dry air with no water vapor.  Dry air is composed of 78% Nitrogen, 20.9% Oxygen, and 1% Argon.  CO2 and methane, both so called greenhouse gases, are also present in trace amounts at 0.04% and 0.0002% respectively.  Again, water vapor content in the atmosphere varies dramatically ranging from very nearly zero in arid regions to more than 4% being present in powerful hurricanes and typhoons. Atmospheric water content also varies greatly with altitude as the air within the troposphere (the portion of our atmosphere from surface to around 40,000 feet) becomes cooler with height and water vapor condenses out to form clouds and precipitation.

It is important to note here that all matter has the capacity to store thermal energy, even our atmosphere.  This concept of heat capacity is a fundamental property of all matter.  Nitrogen for instance has a specific heat capacity of 0.25 btu/lb 0F at sea level pressure.  As you may remember from science class, a btu is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of liquid water 1 degree Fahrenheit. At one quarter of this value, four pounds of nitrogen in our atmosphere can store the same amount of heat as one pound of liquid water. The total mass of our atmosphere is estimated at around 5.5 quadrillion tons. This is a lot of heat storage.

Water vapor has a specific heat capacity of 0.36 btu/lb 0F at sea level pressure, so 2.8 pounds has the same heat storage capacity as 1 pound of liquid water.  With water though we should never forget that in making the change in phase state from liquid to gas, each pound of water vapor is storing an additional hidden 970 btu of thermal energy that is not evidenced by temperature.  This energy storage associated with phase change is called Latent Heat. This latent heat can be released should the water vapor condense to form clouds or precipitation as it does typically high up in the atmosphere.

Let’s now take a look at how much heat on a percent basis is contained within the constituents of our atmosphere.

Average water vapor content in the troposphere is somewhere between 1% and 2%.  If we assume 1% water vapor and we take the specific heat capacities, the latent heat in water vapor and the proportional makeup of the atmosphere, we wind up with the following distribution of heat storage in the troposphere, ranked first to last: Nitrogen:   72%; Oxygen: 17%; Water Vapor: 10.5% ; Argon: 0.5%; CO2: 0.04%; Methane: 0.000%.

So in air containing 1% water vapor, Nitrogen contains 72% of the heat, oxygen is second with 17%, water vapor is third with 10.5% and so on.  CO2 and Methane are insignificant.  Forget them.  They are of no consequence in influencing atmospheric temperatures within the troposphere where life resides.  This basic physical fact may be contrary to what you have been told.  You have likely been told that CO2, methane and other so called greenhouse gases trap heat in our atmosphere.  This is not possible. Given that each CO2 molecule is surrounded by 1,950 nitrogen molecules and 522 oxygen molecules (based on air containing 78% nitrogen and 20.9% oxygen) which are in thermal contact with the CO2 molecule, CO2 has no ability to trap heat beyond the proportions previously listed.  Thermal contact requires that should they somehow be heated independent of their neighbors, they must instantly begin sharing that heat with the neighbors.  This in turn would induce convection which moves heat away from the Earth’s surface toward space.  It can be no other way.

On dry areas of the Earth’s surface, evaporation is absent due to the lack of moisture.  Nature’s second favorite means of heat transfer is active here. The air at the surface is in thermal contact with the ground and once the ground is heated relative to the air, the heat must flow to the air as nature always strives to equalize the temperature of adjacent matter.

Warming the air causes it to expand and it becomes less dense relative to the cooler air above it.  Like a hot air balloon, the warmer air becomes buoyant and rises above the surface thus being replaced with cooler air that in turn accepts heat from the warmer ground.  This process of rising warm surface air with replenishment by cooler air is called convection. Conductive heat transfer from the solid or liquid surface to the air layer with which it makes thermal contact initiates this convection. So long as the sun is shining, the solar radiation impinging the ground will continue to keep the ground warmer than the air above it and the conduction/convection heat transfer process will keep the air circulating with the temperature gradient moving heat away from the surface.  At night the convection process will eventually equalize surface and air temperatures and the air will become calm as convection grinds to a halt.

It is important that you understand that greenhouses work by allowing light rays to enter the inside of the greenhouse where the electromagnetic energy from the sun is converted to thermal energy within the molecular composition of the surfaces and air within the greenhouse.  The walls and roof of a greenhouse present a barrier to convection, just like your car with the windows closed, and this restriction allows the greenhouse temperature to rapidly rise to the point where thermal conduction between the glass and outside air equalize the energy flows and stop the temperature rise.  Even at greenhouse temperatures over 100 0F, radiant heat loss is not significant.  Because our atmosphere is completely open to convection within the troposphere, the term "Greenhouse Effect" is a complete misnomer.  The term is not just inaccurate, it is deceptive.

Radiation is the least efficient method of heat transfer and generally requires a very high temperature for the radiating source.  Radiation is of utmost importance in terms of getting heat to transfer across a vacuum.  The sun and light bulbs are good examples of high temperature radiating sources. Light bulbs are vacuum tubes and since the sun is surrounded by the vacuum of space, you may view it as a naturally occurring vacuum tube.  It is the fact that the presence of the vacuum precludes more efficient methods of heat transfer that allows the light bulb filament to achieve the high temperatures necessary to emit bright visible light.

Since as described earlier, the Earth’s surface is in thermal contact with the atmosphere and the surface of the Earth is not at a high temperature as compared to the sun or a light bulb, radiation can be ignored in terms of cooling the Earth’s surface.  Radiation is nature’s last resort when it comes to equilibrating temperatures. It is far, far less efficient than the other forms of heat transfer.

Now back to the Hydro Flask.


The Hydro Flask container is constructed of two stainless steel containers, one inside the other with the only point of contact being at the upper rim where they are connected.  The space between the two containers is filled with nothing meaning that a vacuum has been pulled on this space such that almost no air molecules are present.  As with the vacuum of space, there is no temperature present in this cavity between the inner and outer containers. Temperature requires matter.  No matter, no temperature.  This space is neither cold nor hot.  This is a mysterious concept because you can’t measure the absence of temperature. To do so would require the insertion of some instrument, but since a vacuum is defined as the absence of matter, inserting something into a vacuum renders it no longer a vacuum. It’s a mind bender.  You must use your imagination.  Nonetheless the heat transfer properties of a vacuum are very special.

As described, the Hydro Flask’s only thermal contact point is at the upper rim and of course the hollow stopper which is made of plastic with poor thermal conductivity.  This design, with the stopper in place and firmly sealed, eliminates evaporation and greatly reduces conduction / convection. At the temperatures desired for hot and cold beverages, radiant heat transfer is nearly non-existent.

With hot coffee inside the Hydro Flask at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and with room temperature at 70 degrees, the heat wants to get out and bring the coffee to room temperature.  The sides of the inner container are also at 140 degrees, but because of the vacuum next to the outside surface of the inner container, conduction is impossible and 140 degrees is too low for significant radiation of heat.  The only way for conduction to work is to pass through the contact points at the rim and stopper of the Hydro Flask.  The smallness of this area of thermal contact at the rim combined with the insulative properties of the stopper greatly limit conductive heat transfer.  The temperature of the coffee is sufficient to allow some heat to traverse the rim and stopper, but it is a slow and inefficient process taking 6-12 hours.  As the coffee cools, the rate of heat transfer slows as the temperature differential between the coffee and outside air diminishes. The power of a vacuum to stop conductive heat transfer is truly amazing.

With a chilled IPA at 40 degrees inside the Hydro Flask and outdoor temperatures at 100 degrees, the desert heat would love to warm up your beer.  As with the coffee example, conductive heat transfer is pretty much limited to the top of the flask.  Now the interesting question here is why the beer stay cold does for 24 hours but the coffee only stays hot for 6-12 hours?

Liquids are less dense at higher temperatures, so with coffee, the hottest coffee is at the top. As the coffee cools from heat conduction at the top of the flask, this cooling effect causes the top layer of coffee to become denser, so it moves toward the bottom of the flask.  Convection has been induced in the coffee.  As described previously, this convection enhances the heat transfer efficiency dramatically by always keeping the hottest coffee at the top.

With the cold beer, the warmest part of the beer is at the top as with the coffee, but the "warm" beer is becoming warmer, so it doesn’t sink and initiate convection. The warmest part of the beer stays put and doesn’t enhance cooling of the beer. Thus the beer stays cold much longer than the coffee stays hot.

The implication here is that if you turn your coffee flask upside down, so that the hottest least dense coffee is at the top, which is now the bottom of the flask next to the vacuum, the coffee should stay hot for much longer because you have stopped convection in its tracks.  Using this technique, you may get many more hours of hot coffee available to you.  The physics says this will work. Try it and see!

Now that you have a better understanding of the thermodynamics of heat transfer than 99% of the people on the planet, let’s conduct a brief examination of the radiative greenhouse effect (RGHE).

The Powers That Be (TPTB) want you to live in fear that catastrophic human induced climate change is at your doorstep.  Excessive burning of fossil fuels has been vociferously identified as the culprit.  We are all guilty, especially Americans, and we must change our evil ways.  Since this is a global problem, we will have to give up our national sovereignty and work together with all other humans on planet Earth.  No holdouts allowed!

The case for carbon based climate change, previously known as anthropogenic global warming (AGW), has at its foundation the Radiative Greenhouse Effect.  Every school child knows that the greenhouse effect is what allows the Earth to maintain the moderate temperatures which allows for life as we know it.  All of the fear mongering government agencies and university science departments whose funding is dependent on this climate of fear will give you their particular version of the greenhouse effect.  Let’s start with the agency with the forked tongue on their logo.


NASA says:

"When they absorb the energy radiating from Earth’s surface, microscopic water or greenhouse gas molecules turn into tiny heaters— like the bricks in a fireplace, they radiate heat even after the fire goes out. They radiate in all directions. The energy that radiates back toward Earth heats both the lower atmosphere and the surface, enhancing the heating they get from direct sunlight.

This absorption and radiation of heat by the atmosphere—the natural greenhouse effect—is beneficial for life on Earth. If there were no greenhouse effect, the Earth’s average surface temperature would be a very chilly -18°C (0°F) instead of the comfortable 15°C (59°F) that it is today."

There you have it.  The sun heats the Earth’s surface, the surface radiates to the atmosphere and the "bricks" which compose 0.04% of our atmosphere radiate back to the surface adding more heat than the sun did initially.  This is the radiative greenhouse effect and every purveyor of climate alarm uses some variant of this deception.  The deception as you now can see works by substituting radiant heating for evaporation and conduction / convection.  Back heating of the Earth’s surface is clearly impossible with evaporation and conduction / convection, but somehow "climate scientists" are able to make the case that back-radiative heating doesn’t violate the Laws of Thermodynamics. It does, but it’s not as obvious as with the other heat transfer methods.  It fools most of the people all of the time.  And yes, this makes those people FOOLS.

Now you may ask the question: "Why isn’t Hydro Flask smart enough to make a new and improved version of the Hydro Flask coffee mug that fills the vacuum space with carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor or even better, sulfur hexafluoride which has, as reported by EPA, a global warming potential on the order of 12,000 times that of CO2.  Surely it would keep the coffee hot for at least a year.  In fact, if we can back-radiate more heat than we started with, as the radiative GHE implies, we should be able to heat the coffee to boiling.  In fact, if you think this out logically, you should be able to warm yourself in front of a mirror just using your radiative body heat.  How’s that for NASA science?

Now that you know real thermodynamics and you are smarter than all of the astrophysicists at NASA, you understand that the Earth is surrounded by an atmosphere which has both mass and large thermal storage capacity.  This fact alone completely explains the moderate temperatures found on planet Earth. Not only is a greenhouse effect not necessary, but it is impossible given the extent of thermal contact within the troposphere and nature’s preferred methods of heat transfer.

So where does radiant heating or cooling become important in moderating temperatures on planet Earth?  Only in the upper reaches of the atmosphere where the vacuum of space abuts the thinness of our outer atmosphere.  This is the area where thermal molecular contact is lost and the only option for planetary cooling is radiant emissions.  Theoretically, greenhouse gases which are more radiatively active than nitrogen and oxygen, could enhance this cooling, but that would first require additional heat to get to this part of the atmosphere and that amount of heat is set by the mass and composition of the troposphere.  Additional greenhouse gases cannot upset the balance of heat flow from the Earth’s surface to space.  More CO2 means more plant food and that is a wonderful thing.

Within the troposphere, evaporation/condensation, conduction and convection rule our climate, and no greenhouse effect is remotely possible or needed. That’s Real Science!

The secret of the Hydro Flask reveals the deception hidden within the Anthropogenic Global Climate Change scam.  The truth is out!



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

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


8 April, 2016

Some Whales Like Global Warming Just Fine

What they are talking about below is Arctic warming, not global warming.  Arctic warming is not global.  It's way out of step with global temperature

Humpbacks and bowheads are benefiting—for now, at least—from the retreat of polar sea ice: It's making it easier for them to find food.

In May 2009, Ari Friedlaender, an ecologist with Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute, was cruising along the Western Antarctic Peninsula when he encountered something he’d never seen. In Wilhelmina Bay, the water was so thick with humpback whales that "we couldn’t count them fast enough," he recalls. 

In the end, he and his colleagues counted 306 whales feeding on an immense aggregation of krill. It was the highest density of humpbacks ever documented in the region. 

The humpback population has been recovering ever since commercial hunting was banned in 1966. But the whales are also being helped by another factor: climate change.

In the past, there wouldn’t have been any humpbacks at all in Wilhelmina Bay in May, because the sea would have been covered with ice. The whales typically departed their feeding grounds along the Western Antarctic Peninsula by April, migrating thousands of miles north to spend the winter breeding in tropical waters. 

But the sea ice is now advancing nearly two months later than it did in the 1970s and retreating a month earlier. Humpbacks can now stay in the Antarctic much later in the season and follow the krill moving inshore in large aggregations. Since that 2009 expedition, Friedlaender has been hearing the whales sing late in the season, a sign that they might be starting to breed right in Antarctic waters, without waiting to migrate north. That would be a fundamental change in their life history.

 "We are just beginning to paint the picture of how quickly and well the humpback whales are able to use this habitat that was probably not available to them in the recent past," Friedlaender says. 

A World With Less Ice

It’s not just humpbacks, and not just the Antarctic: Around the planet, as whale populations recover from commercial hunting, they’re coming back to a different world. In the Arctic, north of the straits that connect it to the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, the seasonal open-water period has increased over the past thirty years by between one-and-a-half and three months. 

For species such as polar bears, which depend on ice for their feeding behavior, that’s bad news. But humpbacks and other large whale species are benefitting from the change—at least for now. 

In the North Pacific off British Columbia, the humpback population has been growing steadily at a rate of about 7 percent per year and is now estimated at more than 21,000 animals. Two years ago the Canadian government downlisted the population from "threatened" to "species of special concern." 

In both the Pacific and the Atlantic, sub-Arctic species such as humpback and fin whales are spending more time in the Arctic waters around the Bering, Davis, and Fram Straits. Over the past five years researchers using underwater hydrophones to record whale calls have documented the increase in "summer" whales. 

"Recovering populations of summer whales are taking advantage of a productive and more open Arctic," says Sue Moore, a biological oceanographer with the Marine Ecosystems Division at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The retreat and the thinning of the sea ice, she says, has led to increased and earlier blooms of microscopic plant plankton. They in turn feed an increase in the tiny crustaceans—copepods and krill—that feed the whales. 

Like their Antarctic relatives, the North Pacific humpbacks are staying late on the Arctic feeding grounds. "They might be up there still in November," Moore says, "when people in Hawaii are starting to think that humpbacks should be coming down their way for mating." 

Good for the Natives Too

Bowhead whales, which spend their whole lives in and around the Arctic, are feeding better these days too. "It is a good time to be a bowhead," Moore says. 

The Alaska population, which migrates between the Bering Sea and the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, had been reduced to just a few thousand animals when commercial whaling ended in 1910. It now stands at 17,000. A population that lives in the waters off eastern Canada and Greenland is increasing too. 

"It is dramatic," says Craig George, a senior wildlife biologist with the North Slope Borough's Department of Wildlife Management, who has monitored bowheads for the last 35 years in Alaska in partnership with the Inupiat hunters who still harvest bowheads. "The hunters say that back in the 1940s they would wait all day and see a couple of blows. Now it is hundreds of blows." George has also documented a marked improvement in the body condition of young bowheads between 1989 and 2011.

Bowhead, humpback, and fin whales all use the same environment, but for now, not at the same time. Kristin Laidre of the University of Washington has studied the whales in Disko Bay in West Greenland. "You see bowheads leave, and within a week humpbacks move in," she says. "It is amazing." 

As the sea ice retreats and whales change the timing of their migrations, however, they may eventually overlap and start competing for food. Things could get confusing for bowheads and humpbacks, which are both remarkable singers, says Kate Stafford of the University of Washington: "Because bowheads are spectacular mimics, it wouldn't surprise me if a bowhead started sounding like a humpback."


Scientists Say New Study Is A ‘Death Blow’ To Global Warming Hysteria

A new study out of Germany casts further doubt on the so-called global warming "consensus" by suggesting the atmosphere may be less sensitive to increases in carbon dioxide emissions than most scientists think.

A study by scientists at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Meteorology found that man-made aerosols had a much smaller cooling effect on the atmosphere during the 20th Century than was previously thought. Why is this big news? It means increases in carbon dioxide emissions likely cause less warming than most climate models suggest.

What do aerosols have to do with anything? Well, aerosols are created from human activities like burning coal, driving cars or from fires. There are also natural aerosols like clouds and fog. Aerosols tend to reflect solar energy back into space, giving them a cooling effect that somewhat offsets warming from increased CO2 emissions.

The Max Planck study suggests "that aerosol radiative forcing is less negative and more certain than is commonly believed." In layman’s terms, aerosols are offsetting less global warming than was previously thought. And if aerosols aren’t causing as much cooling, it must mean carbon dioxide must be causing less warming than climate models predict.

"Going forward we should expect less warming from future greenhouse gas emissions than climate models are projecting," write climate scientists Pat Michaels and Chip Knappenberger with the libertarian Cato Institute, adding that this study could be a "death blow" to global warming hysteria.

Independent climate researcher Nick Lewis put out a study last year with Georgia Tech’s Dr. Judith Curry that found that the climate’s response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 levels — a measurement called "climate sensitivity" was 1.64 degrees Celsius.

Lewis revised his findings based on the Max Planck aerosol study and found something astounding: climate sensitivity drops dramatically. Lewis also looked at climate sensitivity estimates given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — often regarded as the world’s top authority on global warming.

The IPCC’s latest assessment put climate sensitivity between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees Celsius. The IPCC says that despite "the large uncertainty range, there is a high confidence that aerosols have offset a substantial portion of [greenhouse gas] global mean forcing."

Basically, the IPCC says aerosols deflect a lot of warming — the opposite of the Max Planck study’s finding.

But incorporating the results from the Max Planck study dramatically reduces the upper bound estimate of climate sensitivity from 4.5 degrees to 1.8 degrees Celsius.

To put this into perspective, atmospheric concentrations of CO2 currently stand at around 400 parts per million, if this were to double, according to the IPCC’s estimates temperatures could rise as high as 4.5 degrees Celsius.

But incorporate the Max Planck study results and warming would only be as high as 1.8 degrees Celsius — less than half what the IPCC originally predicted.

Michaels and Knappenberger say Lewis’s findings basically eliminate "the possibility of catastrophic climate change—that is, climate change that proceeds at a rate that exceeds our ability to keep up."

"Such a result will also necessarily drive down estimates of social cost of carbon thereby undermining a key argument use by federal agencies to support increasingly burdensome regulations which seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," write Michaels and Knappenberger.


British PM  decides to do without a climate change envoy

David Cameron has no plans to appoint a new climate change envoy, a role he created in the run-up to the landmark Paris climate summit.

Opposition politicians said it showed Cameron had given up any pretence of leadership on climate change and that he was sending out the wrong signals by not filling the role.

Lord Barker of Battle was appointed in September 2014 to the position, which Cameron created days before he addressed a high-profile UN summit and warned climate change was "one of the most serious threats facing our world".

Cameron told Barker in a letter last year that the role was an important post and thanked him for putting the UK in "such a strong position for international climate change negotiations".

Barker, a loyal ally of Cameron who accompanied him in 2006 to the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard where the then opposition leader was famously photographed hugging a husky, stepped down from the envoy role and as an MP last year.

It was then unclear whether a new climate envoy would be appointed to replace him, but Cameron said in a recent written answer: "The focus now is on implementation [of the Paris deal]. There are no plans to appoint a new envoy on climate change at this time."

The shadow climate and energy minister, Clive Lewis, said: "The prime minister promised the greenest government ever but he is axing carbon capture, cutting energy efficiency, blocking wind power, threatening the solar industry and selling off the green bank.

"Now he’s giving up even the pretence of leading the battle against climate change


Anti-Carbon Tax Movement Gains Momentum Around the Globe

Coalitions are rising up in the U.S. and Europe to oppose taxes on carbon dioxide emissions to keep industries from fleeing high energy prices.

In The U.S., conservative groups have joined together to oppose attempts by federal lawmakers to impose a CO2 tax, and in Europe, steel companies are fighting for their lives as high energy taxes and competition from cheap Chinese steel threatens their economic prospects.

In the United Kingdom the plight of the steel industry has moved at least one Conservative Party member to propose abolishing the country’s minimum carbon tax that’s hampering businesses.

"The carbon floor price must go," said Scottish Conservative Ian Duncan, who promised to write to British Business Secretary Sajid Javid to end the country’s carbon tax floor. Duncan and other conservatives are scrambling to stave off job losses from Tata Steel’s sell-off of U.K. plants.

 British manufacturers have joined Duncan’s calls to scrap the U.K.’s carbon tax scheme, especially those in energy-intensive industries like steel producers. The steel industry is under intense competition from Chinese producers and high energy taxes are cramping their business models.

India-based Tata Steel recently sold one of its British plants, and the one company interested in buying the plant will only do so if the U.K. reforms its carbon tax system.

"German and Italian producers are not subject to the same carbon tax giving them an unfair advantage and that discussion will need to be had," the company Liberty House told the U.K. paper City AM.

In Germany, steel companies are railing against proposed reforms to the European Union’s cap-and-trade system to boost the price of emitting carbon dioxide.

EU policymakers are proposing to raise the price of CO2 permits and reduce the number available in the government-mandated trading market. The EU wants to raise prices to make green energy more economical after the price of CO2 permits fell over the last few years — the price collapse made coal competitive with wind and solar.

"The industrial business model of the German economy is at stake," Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff, president of the German Steel Association, said of the EU proposal. "The consequences for the German economy would be grave."

Germany is already saddled with some of the highest energy prices in Europe, largely thanks to taxes slapped on electricity bills to pay for green energy production. Industry, however, gets compensation from the government to offset the higher energy costs, but companies are still required to comply with the EU’s cap-and-trade system.

Proposed EU reforms could cost Germany 380,000 jobs economy-wide, according to a steel industry-backed study, and as much as 30 billion euros in lost economic output.

Across the pond, some 21 U.S. conservative groups signed a petition opposed to a carbon tax. The anti-carbon tax petition, sent out by the American Energy Alliance (AEA), has even caught the attention of Republican presidential candidates who oppose President Barack Obama’s regulatory push to fight global warming.

Republican candidates Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz signed AEA’s petition opposing a carbon tax. The petition also included questions on whether the candidates opposed the federal ethanol mandate, energy subsidies and more restrictions for energy production on federal lands.

The U.S. currently has no federal tax on CO2 emissions, but there have been efforts by Democratic lawmakers to impose such a tax in recent years. Also, many conservatives see the Environmental Protection Agency’s so-called Clean Power Plan as a "backdoor" tax on carbon dioxide.

"The next president’s approach to energy will not only shape our nation’s policies, but will also determine the direction of our economy," Tom Pyle, AEA’s president, said in a statement. "The responses to our questionnaire provide the American voters with useful insight into how some of the candidates will handle the most pressing energy issues if elected."

Trump and Cruz aren’t the only Republicans to oppose taxing carbon dioxide emissions. The Republican National Committee recently passed a resolution opposed to a carbon tax.

"That the Republican National Committee hereby resolves that we should protect American families and businesses by not imposing a carbon tax but by opposing a carbon tax and federal and state regulations that create or lead to a carbon tax," according to the resolution.

The political fights brewing in the U.S. and Europe come after Australia voted in a conservative governing coalition in 2013 on the promise of repealing a carbon tax put in place by the country’s former Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The conservative coalition, led by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, ran on a low-tax, pro-energy platform promising to eliminate the carbon tax and lower people’s energy bills.

Aussie lawmakers officially repealed the carbon tax in 2014. The tax cost Australians an estimates $8.5 billion a year during its two years of life.

"I should say that at the election, we said to the Australian people, we said to you, that we wanted to build a  strong and prosperous economy for a safe and secure Australia, and every day that is what we have been working to bring about," Abbott said in a press conference following the repeal vote.


To Protect the Poor: Ten Reasons to Oppose Harmful Climate Change Policies

Dr. E. Calvin Beisner

As governments consider far-reaching, costly policies to mitigate any human contribution to global warming, Christian leaders need to become well-informed of the scientific, economic, and ethical debates surrounding the issue.

Consistent with the findings of A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor 2014: The Case against Harmful Climate Policies Gets Stronger, an analysis by professor of climatology David Legates and professor of economics Cornelius van Kooten, which argues that Abundant, affordable, reliable energy is indispensable to lifting and keeping people out of poverty and mandatory reductions in CO2 emissions would greatly increase the price of energy, goods and services. And would harm the poor more than the wealthy, we believe the following:

1.    As the product of infinitely wise design, omnipotent creation, and faithful sustaining (Genesis 1:1–31; 8:21–22), Earth is robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting. Although Earth and its subsystems, including the climate system, are susceptible to some damage by ignorant or malicious human action, God’s wise design and faithful sustaining make these natural systems more likely—as confirmed by widespread scientific observation—to respond in ways that suppress and correct that damage than magnify it catastrophically.

2.    Earth’s temperature naturally warms and cools cyclically throughout time, and warmer periods are typically more conducive to human thriving than colder periods.

3.    Athough human addition of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), to the atmosphere may slightly raise atmospheric temperatures, observational studies indicate the climate system responds more in ways that suppress than in ways that amplify CO2’s effect on temperature, implying a relatively small and benign effect rather than a large and dangerous warming.

4.    Empirical studies indicate natural cycles outweigh human influences in producing the cycles of global warming and cooling, not only in the distant past but also recently.

5.    Computer climate models, more than 95 percent of which point toward greater warming than has been observed during the period of rapid CO2 increase, do not justify belief that human influences have come to outweigh natural influences, or fears that human-caused warming will be large and dangerous.

6.    Rising atmospheric CO2 benefits all life on Earth by improving plant growth and crop yields, making food more abundant and affordable, helping the poor most of all.

7.    Abundant, affordable, reliable energy, most of it now and in the foreseeable future provided by burning fossil fuels, which are the primary source of CO2 emissions, is indispensable to lifting and keeping people out of poverty.

8.    Mandatory reductions in CO2 emissions, pursued to prevent dangerous global warming, would have little or no discernible impact on global temperatures but would greatly increase the price of energy and therefore of everything else. Such policies would put more people at greater risk than the warming they are intended to prevent, because they would slow, stop, or even reverse the economic growth that enables people to adapt to all climates. They would also harm the poor more than the wealthy, and would harm them more than the small amount of warming they might prevent.

9.    In developed countries, the poor spend a higher percentage of their income on energy than others, so rising energy prices, driven by mandated shifts from abundant, affordable, reliable fossil fuels to diffuse, expensive, intermittent "Green" energy, are in effect regressive taxes, taxing the poor at higher rates than the rich.

10.    In developing countries, billions of the poor desperately need to replace dirty, inefficient cooking and heating fuels, pollution from which causes hundreds of millions of illnesses and about 4 million premature deaths every year, mostly among women and young children. To demand that they forgo the use of inexpensive fossil fuels and depend on expensive wind, solar, and other "Green" fuels to meet that need is to condemn them to more generations of poverty and the high rates of disease and premature death that accompany it.

A Call to Action

In light of these facts,

1.    We call on Christians to practice creation stewardship out of love for God and love for our neighbors, especially the poor.

2    We call on Christian leaders to study the issues and embrace sound scientific, economic, and ethical thinking on creation stewardship, particularly climate change.

3.    We call on political leaders to abandon fruitless and harmful policies to control global temperature and instead adopt policies that simultaneously reflect responsible environmental stewardship, make energy and all its benefits more affordable, and so free the poor to rise out of poverty.


Want to fight global warming? Forget fuel economy standards and focus on land use

Having led and won the fight in the 1960s and ‘70s to reduce air pollution from automobiles, California's road regulators turned their sights on a more ambitious goal: curbing global warming at the tailpipe through fuel-economy standards. But powerful evidence shows that these standards are costly for consumers and have almost no impact on the environment.

Of course, one particular failure does not mean it's impossible to reduce the overall vehicular contribution to climate change. Rather than trying to make car trips more efficient, governments could help citizens reduce their reliance on long daily commutes.

One smart reform: Better land use policy. Let's take Los Angeles as an example. Despite a strong history of environmentalism and weather that is the envy of the world, the built environment in L.A. makes it unrealistic for most people to walk or bike to work.

Perversely, sprawl is encouraged by environmental review boards and neighborhood preservation campaigns. To allow denser, environmentally conscious construction, Sacramento should repeal the "private right of action" in the California Environmental Quality Act. The provision allows anonymous front groups to tie up construction projects in court, dissuading developers from investing in the first place. Los Angeles should also streamline its permitting processes and write more permissive zoning laws. None of these changes would hurt consumers; all of them would make residents less dependent on cars.

We don't need to pit the environment against prosperity.



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

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


7 April, 2016

An amusingly projective attempt to psychologize climate skeptics

Salty Jim from UCLA thinks AGW could not possibly be wrong so there must be something wrong in the heads of those who disbelieve.  He is one of many preachers of that gospel but see what his particular explanation is.  He says that we skeptics would be social outcasts if we accepted AGW.  It has apparently not occurred to him that exactly that situation applies to himself.  How long would he last at UCLA if he became a skeptic?

Seeing your own faults and problems in others is as old as the hills.  Sigmund Freud called it "projection" and identified it as maladjusted.  Take a bow, Salty Jim. 

James Salzman is the Donald Bren Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law with joint appointments at the UCLA School of Law and at the Bren School of the Environment.  "Salz" is Yiddish for salt

As Dan Kahan, a Yale professor who has long studied risk perception, puts it, people’s beliefs about climate change reflect not what they know but who they are. As he describes,

"Social-science research indicates that people with different cultural values — individualists compared with egalitarians, for example — disagree sharply about how serious a threat climate change is. People with different values draw different inferences from the same evidence. Present them with a PhD scientist who is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, for example, and they will disagree on whether he really is an ‘expert’, depending on whether his view matches the dominant view of their cultural group."

So why does this happen? "What an ordinary individual believes about the ‘facts’ on climate change has no impact on the climate. What he or she does as a consumer, as a voter, or as a participant in public debate is just too inconsequential to have an impact… But if he or she takes the ‘wrong’ position in relation to his or her cultural group, the result could be devastating for her, given what climate change now signifies about one’s membership in and loyalty to opposing cultural groups. It could drive a wedge—material, emotional, and psychological—between the individual people whose support are indispensable to his or her well-being.

"In these circumstances, we should expect a rational person to engage information in a manner geared to forming and persisting in positions that are dominant within their cultural groups. And the better they are at making sense of complex information—the more science comprehending they are – the better they’ll do at that."

Moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt has made a similar argument about how cultural priors shape our acceptance and interpretation of facts.

There may well be other explanations, and I’m eager to hear suggestions, but I think that Kahan and Haidt are both on to something that explains the views of many climate skeptics. It certainly seems that for part of the Republican party climate skepticism has become a proxy for membership. The challenge lies in how to disentangle one’s position on climate change from one’s cultural identity or sense of well-being.

In my view, this is the area with the greatest potential for engaging with skeptics and will require thoughtful re-framing of the climate debate. This is already happening to some extent, with the discussion shifting to energy security, green jobs, and strengthening community resilience. Things people from all ideological stripes can agree on.


WH Science Advisor: Farmers, Construction Workers Will Die From Climate Change

I grew up in the tropics, where daytime temperatures were in the '90s (F) for much of the year.  People just went to work in those temperatures as normal.  They even performed outdoor manual labor in those temperatures.  My father did for many years.  So I don't think America has much to fear from a rise of just a few degrees -- JR

White House Science Advisor John Holdren says because of the impacts of climate change, agricultural and construction workers "will basically be unable to control their body temperature and will die."

"In some parts of the world, when you look more broadly at this question, you see the likelihood that in the hottest times of the year it will be simply physiologically impossible to work outdoors," Holdren said at a White House event on climate change Monday.

"That means agriculture, that means construction, people who try to work outdoors will basically be unable to control their body temperature and will die. This is a really, really big deal. And it’s going to be a big deal in the hottest parts of the United States as well as the Middle East, in South Asia and other places."

The White House live-streamed the announcement of the release of the Obama Administration’s "The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment."

"The report projects that under middle-of-the-road emissions scenarios we could see from thousands to tens of thousands additional heat related deaths in the United States each summer," Holdren said.

The White House says the report was developed "by approximately one hundred experts in climate-change science and public health – including representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA)."

The Obama Administration is announcing a series actions to be taken as a result of the report. These include developing K-12 educational materials on climate change, designating May 23-27, 2016 "Extreme Heat Week" and the creation of a "Climate-Ready Tribes and Territories" iniative.


WH Warns of Deaths from 'Extreme Heat' as Weather Service Issues April Snow Advisories

The White House published a report Monday warning that "extreme heat can be expected to cause an increase in the number of premature deaths"--the same day the National Weather Service issued winter weather advisories for April snowstorms.

"From children to the elderly, every American is vulnerable to the health impacts associated with climate change, now and in the future," said administration's report.

It was released by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and John Holdren, head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the same day the National Weather Service predicted "another round of wintry precipitation" for the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes region that could dump up to 10 inches of snow on upstate New York.

Southern New England also remained under a Winter Weather Advisory until 8 pm on Monday with sub-freezing temperatures and up to six inches of snow predicted for some areas.

Another April snowstorm with 60 mph winds slammed into Massachusetts on Sunday, killing two people and downing power lines for tens of thousands of residents.


Dem Sen.: If Clean Power Plan Wins in DC Court, a 4-4 SCOTUS Will Uphold It

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) says that if the D.C. Circuit Court considering challenges to the Clean Power Plan makes a ruling in favor of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "a 4-4 (U.S. Supreme) court will clearly uphold the decision of the D.C. Circuit."

Whitehouse joined other Democratic lawmakers in filing an amicus brief Friday in support of the Clean Power Plan. During a conference call Whitehouse said he’s hopeful the brief will have some impact.

"I hope that with this brief we can come out of the D.C. Circuit with a very strong opinion- and with that very strong opinion a 4-4 court will clearly uphold the decision of the D.C. Circuit and we can go forward and do the people’s business.

"We need to protect our planet and our economy from the ravages of an industry that is out of control," Whitehouse said.

In February, the U.S. Supreme Court halted implementation of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, which limits carbon dioxide emissions from power sectors in each state, until the 27 states bringing a lawsuit against the EPA’s rules is heard.

The D.C. Circuit will begin hearing oral arguments on the case this June.

The U.S. Supreme Court is currently operating with only eight justices after the Feb. 13 death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

U.S. labor unions scored a major victory Tuesday with a tie vote in a high-profile Supreme Court case after the deadlocked 4-4 decision came in a case considering whether unions representing government employees can collect fees from workers who do not join.


Decline in Fracking Support Is Shortsighted

A new Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans are now opposed to hydraulic fracturing (more commonly referred to as "fracking"). According to the survey, when asked if they "favor or oppose … ‘fracking’ as a means of increasing the production of natural gas and oil in the U.S.," most of the responds, 51%, said they opposed it, while just 36% were in favor. Thirteen percent had no opinion.

These results stand in relatively stark contrast to the same survey taken last year, when the results showed a 40-40 split, with 19% expressing no opinion. Gallup notes, "One major reason the price of [oil] has remained so low is fracking, which now accounts for half of the oil production in the U.S." You would expect that to foster growing support for fracking, particularly among Republicans — many of whom subscribe to the "drill baby drill" philosophy. But the Gallup poll surprisingly found that it’s precisely this group that saw the biggest shift. In 2015, 66% of Republicans approved of fracking, but that dropped to 55% in the new poll. Meanwhile, support dropped by just 1% among both Independents and Democrats.

What to make of this? It’s unclear why Republican support is what’s dropping the fastest. But according to Gallup, there are two primary drivers likely at play. For starters, "Americans' turn against fracking comes as the percentage predicting there will be a critical energy shortage in the next five years has fallen to a new low, likely because of lower gas prices. With oil and gas relatively cheap, many Americans may not see the need to fracture the earth through fracking." Secondly "Fracking is potentially a cause of earthquakes across sections of the U.S. that are not used to these types of natural disasters. The U.S. Geological Survey said this week that 7 million Americans are at risk of experiencing earthquakes caused by fracking in the states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Arkansas. With more than 1,000 earthquakes in the central U.S. alone last year, these events could be linked to the rising percentage of Americans who oppose fracking."

However, researchers have discovered a major caveat on the issue of earthquakes that the media is largely ignoring. Last year a study by Stanford found that it’s not fracking, per se, that’s to blame, but rather the aftereffects of wastewater. As Stanford Professor Mark Zoback reported, "What we’ve learned in this study is that the fluid injection responsible for most of the recent quakes in Oklahoma is due to production and subsequent injection of massive amounts of wastewater, and is unrelated to hydraulic fracturing [emphasis added]." Even the the U.S. Geological Survey says, "Fracking causes extremely small earthquakes, but they are almost always too small to be a safety concern. In addition to natural gas, fracking fluids and salt water trapped in the same formation as the gas are returned to the surface. These wastewaters are frequently disposed of by injection into deep wells. The injection of wastewater and salt water into the subsurface can cause earthquakes that are large enough to be felt and may cause damage."

That’s a problem innovation would suggest can eventually be solved. If Americans want to continue enjoying low gas prices — which, ironically, Gallup suggests may be why they feel we no longer need fracking — they will need to embrace the technique that’s saving them dollars at the pump.


Global Warming in the Hot Seat With CLIMATE HUSTLE, Coming to Theaters This May

Produced in the unique, entertaining and informative style that has made CFACT (Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow) and Marc Morano's one of the world's most-sought-after sources for facts about climate issues, "Climate Hustle" will tear the cover off the global warming debate to further investigate this multi-billion-dollar issue. Fathom Events and SpectiCast present this thought-provoking event on Monday, May 2, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. local time. In addition to the feature, audiences will also view an exclusive panel discussion and opening remarks by Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, headlined by special guest Governor Sarah Palin (2008 Republican Vice Presidential Candidate, 9th Governor of Alaska), and including notable climate experts and an appearance by Emmy Award-winning educator Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Tickets for "Climate Hustle" can be purchased online by visiting or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in nearly 400 movie theaters through Fathom's Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Award-winning investigative journalist Marc Morano, host of "Climate Hustle," said: "This film is truly unique among climate documentaries. 'Climate Hustle' presents viewers with facts and compelling video footage going back four decades and delivers a powerful presentation of dissenting science, best of all, in a humorous way. This film may change the way you think about 'global warming.'"

"Climate Hustle" takes a probing look at the many questions surrounding global warming issues today. Is there scientific consensus regarding emissions from our cars, factories, and farms or is man-made "global warming" an environmental con job being used to push for increased government regulations and a new "green" energy agenda? This event will examine the history of climate scares and debunk claims by activists calling us to "act immediately before it's too late." This event also profiles key scientists such as Georgia Tech Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry, former NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. John Theon, and French physicist and Socialist Party member Claude Allègre, who used to believe in climate alarm but have since converted to skepticism.

"Climate change is certainly one of the hot-button issues at the forefront of some of the fiercest political debates. This event aims to shed light on varied perspectives and initiate healthy and timely conversation around this important topic," said Fathom Events Vice President of Programming Kymberli Frueh.

"'Climate Hustle' is an extremely timely event, especially given the relevant political discussion surrounding global warming," said Mark Rupp, Co-founder and President of SpectiCast Entertainment. "We feel it is important to share all viewpoints on the climate change issue, and 'Climate Hustle' provides a perspective not generally shared with the public at large in an informative and engaging way."



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

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


6 April, 2016

Rogue organization explains Australia's warm waters

Australia's BoM has often been caught out making unwarranted "adjustments" to Australia's temperature record.  They are so crooked that they couldn't lie straight in bed.  So the screed below is amusing. The seas around Australia -- and Australia has a lot of those -- have apparently warmed up a bit recently.  So that's got to be global warming, right?  They say so but in a very guarded way.  They agree that most of the causative factors are natural but slip in: "with a substantial contributor being human-caused climate change".

Hey!  No numbers?  These guys are supposed to be scientists and scientists quantify.  How much is "substantial"?  They can't say because they are afraid to say.  If "a substantial contributor is human-caused climate change", then CO2 levels must have risen a lot, right?  But we can easily check that.  Australia has its very own CO2 monitoring station at Cape Grim.  So what does Cape Grim tell us about recent CO2 levels?  It tells us that CO2 levels have been stuck -- completely plateaued -- on 398ppm for the last 7 months. Check it for yourself.  So the temperature rise was NOT caused by a CO2 rise and the human contribution was therefore zero.  More BoM lies

This summer’s sea temperatures were the hottest on record for Australia: here’s why

The summer of 2015-2016 was one of the hottest on record in Australia. But it has also been hot in the waters surrounding the nation: the hottest summer on record, in fact.

Difference in summer sea surface temperatures for the Australian region relative to the average period 1961-1990. Australian Bureau of Meteorology

While summer on land has been dominated by significant warm spells, bushfires, and dryness, there is a bigger problem looming in the oceans around Australia.

This summer has outstripped long-term sea surface temperature records that extend back to the 1950s. We have seen warm surface temperatures all around Australia and across most of the Pacific and Indian oceans, with particularly warm temperatures in the southeast and northern Australian regions.

Last summer’s sea surface temperature rankings for Australia. Australian Bureau of Meteorology

In recent months, this warming has been boosted – just like land temperatures – by natural and human-caused climate factors.
Why so warm?

These record-breaking ocean temperatures around Australia are somewhat surprising. El Niño events, such as the one we’re currently experiencing, typically result in cooler than normal Australian waters during the second half of the year. So what is the cause?

The most likely culprit is a combination of local ocean and weather events, with a substantial contributor being human-caused climate change.

In the north, the recent weak monsoon season played a role in warming surface waters. Reduced cloud cover means more sunshine is able to pass through the atmosphere and heat the surface of the ocean. Trade winds that normally stir up the water and disperse the heat deeper into the ocean have also remained weak, leaving the warm water sitting at the surface.

In the south, the East Australian Current has extended further south over the summer. This warm current flows north to south down Australia’s east coast. Normally it takes a left turn and heads towards New Zealand, but this year it extended down to Tasmania, bringing warm waters to the south east.

This current is also getting stronger, transporting larger volumes of water southward over time. This is due to the southward movement of high pressure systems towards the pole.

High pressure systems are often associated with clear weather in Australia, and when they move south they prevent rain. This southward movement over time has also been linked to climate changes in our region, meaning that changes in both rainfall and ocean temperatures are responses to the same global factors.

We’ve also seen high ocean temperatures in the Indian Ocean. Around 2010, temperatures in the region suddenly jumped, likely because of the La Niña event in the Pacific Ocean. The strong events during this period transferred massive amounts of warmth from the Pacific Ocean into the Indian Ocean through the Indonesian region.

The warmer waters in the Indian Ocean have persisted since and have influenced land temperatures. The five years since the 2010 La Niña are the five hottest on record in southwest Western Australia (ranked 2011, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012).
What are the impacts?

The world’s oceans play a major role in global climate by absorbing surplus heat and energy. Oceans have absorbed 93% of the extra heat trapped by the Earth since 1970 as the greenhouse effect has increased. This has lowered the rate at which the atmosphere is warming – which is a good thing.

However, it also means the oceans are heating up, raising sea levels as well as leading to more indirect impacts, such as shifting rainfall patterns.

As a nation that likes to live by the coast as well as enjoy recreation activities and harvest produce from the sea, warmer-than-usual oceans can have significant impacts.

Australia derives a lot of its income from its oceans and while such impacts aren’t often seen immediately, they become apparent over time.

Warm sea temperatures this summer and in the past have seen declines in coral reef health, and strains on commercial fisheries and aquaculture. The Great Barrier Reef is currently experiencing coral bleaching amid very warm water temperatures.

Our neighbouring Pacific islands have also seen the impacts of these very high sea surface temperatures, with recent mass fish kills and coral bleaching episodes in Fiji.

The impacts of warmer ocean temperatures are also felt on land, as ocean temperatures drive climate and weather. Abnormally high sea surface temperatures may have contributed to the intensity of Cyclone Winston as cyclone potential intensity increases with ocean temperature.


"Last Month Was The Hottest March In The Global Satellite Record, And The Arctic Is Still Sizzling"

So says professional Warmist JOE ROMM below, quite ignoring the fact that the warming was ENTIRELY due to natural factors such as El Nino. So let us have a look at that "sizzling" Arctic.  The picture below is from Summit Station in the middle of Greenland, where the temperature at the time of writing was 34 degrees Celsius BELOW zero.  Very strange sizzling!  Exaggeration is very common among liars.  They even claim that 97% of scientists agree with them.  Why not 100%?  Whoops!  Oreskes made that claim too

Last month was the hottest March on record, according to newly-released satellite data. And it followed the hottest February on record. The Arctic was literally off-the-charts warm last month, as we’ll see. It’s no surprise, then, that Arctic sea ice set a record for the lowest maximum extent.


Climate change threatens hearts, lungs but also brains, says US study

I sometimes feel like I am the boy who declared that the emperor had no clothes.  Nearly every day I find myself pointing out that a claim is GLARINGLY wrong.

The huge and fancy report by many authors described below is another example.  It is just solid BS.  It ignored the basic truth that cold is a lot more fatal than warmth, which is why hospitals struggle more in winter.  So warming should REDUCE illness. 

After that bad start they makes all sorts of links between global warming and other things that really ARE bad for you -- such as air polltion -- without provding any substantial evidence of such a link.  And the link asserted can be the opposite of the truth  -- such as the threat of more extreme weather events.  That the incidence of extreme weather events has in fact been declining for a century bothers them not a bit. 

They are arrant liars and crooks.  Don't they have a conscience?  Old-fashioned of me to think they should, I guess

Climate change can be expected to boost the number of annual premature deaths from heat waves in coming decades and to increase mental health problems from extreme weather like hurricanes and floods, a US study suggests.

"I don't know that we've seen something like this before, where we have a force that has such a multitude of effects," Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told reporters at the White House about the study.

"There's not one single source that we can target with climate change, there are multiple paths that we have to address."

Heat waves were estimated to cause 670 to 1,300 US deaths annually in recent years.

Premature US deaths from heat waves can be expected to rise more than 27,000 per year by 2100, from a 1990 baseline, one scenario in the study said. The rise outpaced projected decreases in deaths from extreme cold.

Extreme heat can cause more forest fires and increase pollen counts and the resulting poor air quality threatens people with asthma and other lung conditions.

The report said poor air quality will likely lead to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths, hospital visits, and acute respiratory illness each year by 2030.

Climate change also threatens mental health, the study found. Post traumatic stress disorder, depression, and general anxiety can all result in places that suffer extreme weather linked to climate change, such as hurricanes and floods. More study needs to be done on assessing the risks to mental health, it said.

The peer-reviewed study by eight federal agencies can be found here

Cases of mosquito and tick-borne diseases can also be expected to increase, though the study, completed over three years, did not look at whether locally-transmitted Zika virus cases would be more likely to hit the United States.

President Barack Obama's administration has taken steps to cut carbon emissions by speeding a switch from coal and oil to cleaner energy sources.

In February, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to the White House's climate ambitions by putting a hold Obama's plan to cut emissions from power plants. Administration officials say the plan is on safe legal footing.

John Holdren, Obama's senior science adviser, said steps the world agreed to in Paris last year to curb emissions through 2030 can help fight the risks to health.

"We will need a big encore after 2030 ... in order to avoid the bulk of the worst impacts described in this report," he said.


Quantification of the Diminishing Earth’s Magnetic Dipole Intensity and Geomagnetic Activity as the Causal Source for Global Warming within the Oceans and Atmosphere

David A. E. Vares et al.


Quantitative analyses of actual measurements rather than modeling have shown that “global warming” has been heterogeneous over the surface of the planet and temporally non-linear. Residual regression analyses by Soares (2010) indicated increments of increased temperature precede increments of CO2 increase. The remarkably strong negative correlation (r = ?0.99) between the earth’s magnetic dipole moment values and global CO2-temperature indicators over the last ~30 years is sufficient to be considered causal if contributing energies were within the same order of magnitude. Quantitative convergence between the energies lost by the diminishing averaged geo- magnetic field strength and energies gained within the ocean-atmosphere interface satisfy the measured values for increased global temperature and CO2 release from sea water. The pivotal variable is the optimal temporal unit employed to estimate the total energies available for physical-chemical reactions. The positive drift in averaged amplitude of geomagnetic activity over the last 100 years augmented this process. Contributions from annual CO2 from volcanism and shifts in averaged geomagnetic activity, lagged years before the measured global temperature-CO2 values, are moderating variables for smaller amplitude perturbations. These results indicated that the increase in CO2 and global temperatures are primarily caused by major geophysical factors, particularly the diminishing total geomagnetic field strength and increased geomagnetic activity, but not by human activities. Strategies for adapting to climate change because of these powerful variables may differ from those that assume exclusive anthropomorphic causes.

International Journal of Geosciences. Vol.07 No.01(2016), Article ID: 63199,13 pages 10.4236/ijg.2016.71007

After brief pause, China rushes to build more nuclear power plants

China briefly halted approval of new nuclear power plants as it reviewed safety standards in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, but is now deeply embracing the energy source.

The country is keen to tap cleaner power to fuel its power-hungry economy in a way that doesn’t destroy the environment

The nation gets about 2 per cent of its electricity from nuclear power and aimed to raise the level to 6 per cent by 2020. The country is operating 30 plants with a capacity of 26.9GW and another 24 are under construction. They will add another 28.8GW when they come online.

The nation’s latest five-year plan calls for a dramatic increase non-fossil fuel energy sources, in part by accelerating development of coastal nuclear power plants by 2020 to 58GW.

The head of the China Atomic Energy Authority, Xu Dazhe, was quoted recently by Xinhua as saying the country needed to speed up its nuclear power development while improving safety standards for the industry.

China General Nuclear Power and rival China National Nuclear plan to build four more reactors on mainland

President Xi Jinping detailed China’s nuclear security policies at an international conference in 2014. He said the nation would give top priority to the peaceful use of nuclear energy while managing nuclear materials and facilities by the highest standard. “China has maintained a good record of nuclear security in the past 50 years and more,” he said. Xi pledged to enhance the government’s regulatory capacity, increase investment in technology and talent while strengthening nuclear security capability.


Europe’s Global Warming Czar Ensnared In ‘Panama Papers’ Scandal

More evidence that the global warming scare can be very lucrative

European Union climate and energy commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete has been ensnared in the controversy surrounding the newly-released “Panama Papers,” which detail how the global warming czar’s wife invested in a shady Panama-based law firm.

Cañete’s wife, Micaela Domecq Solís-Beaumont, reportedly was “empowered to approve transactions of Rinconada Investments Group SA, a Panama company registered in 2005 which was in existence while her husband Miguel Arias Cañete held public positions in Spain and the European Union,” according to The Spain Report.

“She was listed as authorized signatory together with members of her Spanish aristocratic Domecq family. Six siblings were also connected to Rinconada Investments Group,” TSP noted, citing reports by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Documents showing Solís-Beaumont’s involvement with RIG were part of 11.5 million leaked documents from the Panama-based law firm obtained by ICIJ. The so-called “Panama Papers” detail hundreds of shell companies used by politicians and executives to hide their wealth and possibly engage in shady deals.

The papers also expose “the offshore holdings of 12 current and former world leaders and reveals how associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin secretly shuffled as much as $2 billion through banks and shadow companies,” according to ICIJ.

“The leak also provides details of the hidden financial dealings of 128 more politicians and public officials around the world,” the news group reported.

The papers reveal that Cañete’s wife involved with one such financial institution that may have been used to hide the financial dealings of public officials — though ICIJ noted there are legitimate reasons to hold money in an offshore company.

Solís-Beaumont’s lawyer told ICIJ “she had declared all of her income and assets to Spanish tax authorities” and noted “Rinconada is not active and that [Solís-Beaumont] has no power or attorney and is not “an authorized signatory for the company.”

Cañete’s spokesman said “since his 1978 marriage to Domecq Beaumont that each spouses’ assets at the time of the marriage and after that ‘belong and are administered separately, according to Spain’s Civil Code.’” The spokesman also said “the company had no activity for several years before he took office as a member of the European Parliament.”

What’s more, though, is ICIJ reports Cañete wife and her family benefited from government bull breeding subsidies while her husband was in office.

“He urged expansion of EU agriculture subsidies to cover bull breeding,” ICIJ reports. “During his time in the ministry, his wife’s world-renowned Jandilla bull operations, managed by their two sons, Pablo and Juan Pedro, and co-owned by her siblings, received well over $1 million in farm subsidies. Her other farm, forestry and winery businesses also received EU subsidies.”



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

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


5 April, 2016
Atmospheric ozone levels have neither declined nor grown since 1987




Latitudinally weighted monthly mean global ozone is estimated using total ozone data from sixteen ground stations at latitudes from 89 S to 71 N and longitudes 170 E to 170 W. Data from all sixteen stations are available without gaps for a 29-year sample period from January 1987 to December 2015. The monthly mean global ozone series does not show a sustained decline that can be interpreted in terms of the Rowland-Molina-UNEP theory of ozone destruction by man-made halogenated hydrocarbons. The findings validate the results of a prior work which used satellite data for trends in mean global total ozone over much shorter sample periods.


It is found that the OLS linear trend for the latitudinally weighted global monthly mean total ozone does not have a statistically significant trend. To test whether the absence of a linear trend can be explained by non-linear patterns that favored depletion in earlier times followed by accretion at later times we examined the pattern of Lustrum means over the entire sample period and found that Lustrum to Lustrum changes in latitudinally weighted global total ozone were random and did not follow a pattern that could be interpreted in terms depletion followed by accretion.


Prosecuting climate chaos skeptics with RICO

Al Gore, Torquemada Whitehouse, Democrat AGs threaten to silence and bankrupt skeptics

Paul Driessen

It’s been a rough stretch for Climate Armageddon religionists and totalitarians.

Real World science, climate and weather events just don’t support their manmade cataclysm narrative. The horrid consequences of anti-fossil fuel energy policies are increasingly in the news. And despite campaigns by the $1.5-trillion-per-year government-industry-activist-scientific Climate Crisis Consortium, Americans consistently rank global warming at the very bottom of their serious concerns.

But instead of debating their critics, or marshaling a more persuasive, evidence-based case that we really do face a manmade climate catastrophe, alarmists have ramped up their shrill rhetoric, imposed more anti-hydrocarbon edicts by executive fiat and unratified treaty – and launched RICO attacks on their critics.

Spurred on by Senator Sheldon “Torquemada” Whitehouse (D-RI), Jagadish Shukla and his RICO-20 agitators, and their comrades, 16 of the nation’s 18 Democratic attorneys general (the other 32 are Republican) announced on March 29 that they are going after those who commit the unpardonable offense of questioning “consensus” climate science.

If companies are “committing fraud,” by “knowingly deceiving” the public about the threat of man-made carbon dioxide emissions and climate change, New York AG Eric Schneiderman intoned, “we want to expose it and pursue them to the fullest extent of the law,” under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. “The First Amendment does not give you the right to commit fraud.”

Their initial target is ExxonMobil, but other companies, think tanks like CFACT and the Heartland Institute (with which I am affiliated), and even independent researchers and analysts (like myself) will be in their crosshairs – using a law intended for the Mafia. Incredibly, even United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch says her office has “discussed” similar actions and has “referred [the matter] to the FBI.”

These RICO investigations and prosecutions are chilling, unprecedented and blatantly un-American. They abuse our legal and judicial processes and obliterate the First Amendment freedom of speech rights of anyone who questions the catechism of climate cataclysm. The AGs’ actions are intended to browbeat skeptics into silence, and bankrupt them with monumental legal fees, fines and treble damages.

It is the campus “crime” of “unwelcome ideas” and “micro-aggression” on steroids. It is the inevitable result of President Obama’s determination to “fundamentally transform” the United States, ensure that electricity rates “necessarily skyrocket,” and carve his energy and climate policy legacy in granite.

Mr. O and his allies are on a mission: to rid the world of fossil fuels, replace them with “clean” biofuels (that are also carbon-based and also emit carbon dioxide when burned, but would require billions of acres of crop and habitat land) and “eco-friendly” bird-killing wind turbines and solar installations (that will require millions more acres) – and implement the goals of a dictatorial United Nations.

Former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres put it in the bluntest terms: “We are setting ourselves the task of intentionally to change [sic] the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years” – the free enterprise capitalist system. “The next world climate summit is actually an economic summit, during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated,” her UN climate crisis cohort Otmar Edendorfer added. “We will redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”

Thus, under the 2015 Paris climate treaty, developing nations will be under no obligation to reduce their fossil fuel use or greenhouse gas emissions. They will simply take voluntary steps, when doing so will not impair their efforts to drive economic growth and improve their people’s living standards. Meanwhile, they will be entitled to share $3 billion to $300 billion per year in “climate change adaptation, mitigation and reparation” money. In fact, Mr. Obama has already transferred $500 million in taxpayer money (illegally) from a State Department emergency fund to the UN’s Green Climate Fund.

No wonder developing nations were thrilled to sign the 2015 Paris not-a-treaty treaty.

Recent headlines portend what’s in store. EU electricity prices rise 63% over past decade. Rising energy costs, green policies threaten to kill steel industry and 4,000 to 40,000 jobs, as Tata Steel quits Britain. Thousands of Europeans lose jobs, as manufacturing moves to countries with lower energy prices. Unable to afford proper heat, 40,000 Europeans die of hypothermia during 2014 winter.

In Africa and other energy-deprived regions: Millions die in 2015 from lung and intestinal diseases – due to open cooking and heating fires, spoiled food and unsafe water, and absence of electricity.

Meanwhile, despite mandates, loan guarantees, feed-in tariffs, endangered species exemptions and other subsidies, renewable industries are barely surviving: SunEnergy, world’s largest green energy company, faces bankruptcy, as share prices fall 95% in one year. Solar company Abengoa US files for Chapter 15 bankruptcy. China stops building wind turbines, as grid is damaged and most electricity is wasted.

But Climate Crisis ruling elites pay little attention to this. They will be insulated, enriched, and protected from their decisions and deceptions – as they decide what energy, jobs, living standards and freedoms the poor, minority, blue-collar and middle classes will be permitted to have.

Equally disturbing, their drive for total control is based on a chaotic world that is totally at odds with what the rest of us see outside our windows. Even after “homogenizing” and massaging the raw data, climate alarmists can only show that global temperatures may have risen a few tenths of a degree (barely the margin of error) during the 2015 El Niño year, after 19 years of no temperature increase, following two decades of slight warming, following three decades of slight cooling and warming.

On the “extreme weather” front, tornadoes, snows, floods and droughts are no more frequent or intense than over the past century. No Category 3-5 hurricane has made US landfall in a record 125 months. Polar ice remains well within historic fluctuations, and sea levels are rising at barely seven inches per century.

Alarmists thus rely on computer models that predict even “worse catastrophes,” if global temperatures rise even 0.5 degrees C (0.8 F) more than they already have since the Little Ice Age ended and Industrial Era began. However, the models are hopelessly deficient, and totally unable to predict the climate.

They overstate the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide and methane, atmospheric gases chosen because they result from fossil fuel use (and from many natural sources). They assume these two gases have become the primary forces in climate change – and ignore or downplay changing solar energy, cosmic ray and geomagnetic output; major periodic fluctuations in Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean circulation; volcanic activity; regional and planetary temperature cycles that recur over multiple decades, centuries or millennia; and other natural forces that have always driven planetary warming, cooling and weather.

The models and modelers do this because these factors and their roles in climate change are not well understood, are difficult to measure, and do not fit the “humans are at fault” meme. They compound these errors by assuming that any warming will be dangerous, rather than beneficial for people and agriculture.

These oversights can be characterized as careless, recklessly negligent, or even “knowingly deceitful” and fraudulent. So can “nine inconvenient untruths” that a United Kingdom judge highlighted in Al Gore’s infamous fake-documentary movie – and Mr. Gore’s recent claim that atmospheric CO2 is fueling Zika outbreaks. Likewise for James Hansen’s repeated assertion that sea levels could rise “several meters” (117 inches) over the next century, and the bogus studies behind the phony “97% consensus” claims.

Can you picture the cabal of AGs filing RICO actions in these cases? If you want the facts, and a few chuckles about climate alarmism, see the Climate Hustle movie, coming May 2 to a theater near you.

Via email

Britain's race to go green is killing heavy industries

If the government really wants to save energy-intensive industries, it must delay setting new emissions targets for the fifth carbon budget, as the climate change act entitles it to do

Britain’s energy levies may be good for men in suits at conferences but they’re bad for the men in boiler suits.  British steel production is on the verge of vanishing.

Before [steelworks] Redcar and Port Talbot, remember Lynemouth, where Britain’s last large aluminium smelter closed in 2012. In aluminium, as in steel, China is now by far the largest producer, smelting five times as much as any other continent, let alone country. The chief reason aluminium left (though a small plant survives at Lochaber) was the sky-high electricity prices paid in Britain: electrolysis is how you make aluminium. For extra-large industrial users, British electricity prices are the highest in Europe, twice the average, and far higher than in Asia and America.

Britain has the highest electricity prices because it has the most draconian climate policies. Despite promises not to do so, the government insists on going faster than other countries in emissions reduction. As Lord Deben, chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, put it recently, apparently without intended irony, the British approach to climate legislation is the envy of most countries in the world. At green conferences maybe.

As well as paying huge and growing bills to subsidise those futile playthings of the rich, the wind and solar industries, energy-intensive industry also picks up the cost of the “carbon price floor”, a tax on fossil fuels used to generate electricity, which was introduced in 2013 and doubled last year to £18.08 per tonne of carbon, or more than four times the cost of the European emissions trading scheme, of £4 a tonne. This can have little impact on climate, however, not only because Britain’s emissions are less than 2 per cent of global emissions, but because it merely exports jobs and emissions.

Port Talbot’s blast furnace is less dependent on electricity than aluminium smelters, but those who say that high electricity prices are not contributing to steel’s collapse are missing three key points. First, downstream processes in the steel industry such as galvanising use a lot of electricity; second, steel production elsewhere is increasingly shifting to electric-arc furnaces, which recycle scrap steel — and generate fewer emissions. That’s not likely at Port Talbot because of Britain’s high electricity prices. The country’s one electric-arc furnace, run by Celsa in Cardiff, is struggling, and we mostly export rather than melt our mountains of scrap.

And third, as the Global Warming Policy Forum points out, climate policies affect the cost of all goods and services purchased by industry, including labour. According to government estimates, by 2030 medium-sized businesses would see prices 114 per cent higher than they would be in the absence of climate policies, and they would need to pass those costs on to customers.

So aluminium and steel are mere harbingers of heavy industry doom because of our costly energy. As the think tank Civitas reported at the time of Lynemouth’s closure, “There are still many other energy-intensive industries left in the UK, such as glass, chemical and ceramic manufacturing. Together these are worth £75 billion and employ 700,000 people and they are just as vulnerable to the future rises in energy costs.”

Lord Deben’s committee is tasked by Ed Miliband’s 2008 Climate Change Act with giving the government impartial advice on how to meet that act’s targets. No other EU member state has yet set a legally binding 2030 target, but the committee announced in November its recommendation for a fifth “carbon budget”, that by 2030, Britain should generate 57 per cent fewer carbon dioxide emissions (from heat, transport, electricity and industry) than in 1990. The government must respond by the end of June.

That’s awkward because, as Peter Lilley, MP, has spotted, the deadline is likely to precede any decision by the EU about how to share the burden of meeting the promise it made at the Paris climate conference in December to reduce European emissions by 40 per cent by 2030. If Britain is already committed to reductions of 57 per cent, it can hardly complain if the European Council agrees lesser reductions for other countries, so as to hit the target of 40 per cent for the union as a whole. It is, in effect, a unilateral gift of jobs to other countries — if we stay in the EU.

Speaking at the Institute of Public Policy Research shortly before the launch of his committee’s latest report, the impartial Lord Deben was asked about the impact on energy-intensive industry. He replied that “heavy energy users will have to find ways of being less heavy users”. Charming. This they are indeed doing, by putting steelworkers on benefits, where they emit less. But shifting the work to China may actually increase emissions since China gets more of its energy from coal. Lord Deben added, incredibly, that there is “no evidence at all of offshoring due to climate policy”. I wonder if he dares say that in Wales.


Hillary, coal and "alternative" energy

By now, most people probably know about one of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s biggest campaign gaffes to date: “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” As soon as I heard it, I tweeted: “Imagine a presidential candidate running for office based on putting people out of work?”

I wasn’t the only one shocked by the uncharacteristic clarity of her statement. Lacking the usual political-speak, her comments were all the more surprising in that they were not made at a fundraiser in billionaire environmental donor Tom Steyer’s posh San Francisco living room. They were made in Ohio—coal country, where coal production in 2015 was down 22 percent—at a nationally televised CNN town hall and just hours before the important state’s primary election.

In response, Christian Palich, President of the Ohio Coal Association sent this: “Hillary Clinton’s callous statements about coal miners, struggling under the weight of a hostile administration, are reprehensible and will not be forgotten. The way Secretary Clinton spoke so nonchalantly about destroying the way of life for America’s coal families was chilling. Come tomorrow, or next November, Ohioans in coal country will vote to keep their jobs and not for the unemployment line.”

US News reports that Democrats in the coal states of Wyoming, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio have tried to “distance themselves from Clinton’s comments.” Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, a Clinton ally who handily won his party’s primary election for Senator, called her slip, “unartful.” Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who, last April, endorsed Clinton, took issue with her comments and contacted her campaign.coal miners 1974

Facing the backlash, and in damage-control mode, Clinton sent a letter to Manchin: “Simply put, I was mistaken.”

But was she? I don’t think so.

Though her comments may have been “unartful” and, arguably, poorly timed, I believe they reflect private conversations and campaign strategy. It may be no coincidence that rumors of President Obama’s tepid support for Clinton—though the White House denies endorsing her—surfaced after her killing coal comments.

First, it is clear that Clinton needs President Obama’s endorsement. She needs him to generate excitement for her lackluster campaign—something Democrat voters are not feeling for her as they did for him. She needs his campaign machine to get out the votes.

But, he needs her just as much—his legacy hangs on her election. Because so much of what he’s done has been by executive action, his legacy can just as easily be undone—as every remaining Republican candidate would likely do.  Obama is, reportedly, committed to “a hard campaign of legacy preservation.” He is ready to “raise money to fill Democratic coffers and target the key communities that would make up a winning coalition for the party, including blacks, Latinos, educated single women and young voters, to encourage them to go to the polls.”

Following the voluntary climate agreement in Paris, Politico stated: “Barack Obama wants to be remembered as the president who saved the world from climate change.” For this legacy to stick, all of his anti-fossil fuel policies must stay intact. To get his endorsement, a Democrat presidential candidate must embrace what he started and promise to “build upon President Obama’s legacy of environmental protections and climate action,” as Clinton has.

While Obama frequently claims to support an “all of the above” energy policy, actions speak louder than words. From his 2009 stimulus bill throwing billions at speculative green energy projects, his killing coal efforts, his stand that we can’t drill our way to low gas prices, his rejection of the Keystone pipeline, and his threat to veto a bill to lift the oil export ban—just to name a few—he obviously meant “none of the below.”

The White House denies a “war on coal.” In December, after the Paris climate agreement was signed, former Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, Heather Zichal, defended Obama’s green platform: “Nobody’s screaming that their energy bills are on fire; jobs have not been lost.”

Bill Bissett, President of the Kentucky Coal Association called Zichal’s comments: “insulting and inaccurate.” He told me: “The Obama Administration and its allies have an intentional blind spot to the economic and social damage that their anti-coal policies are causing in the United States and especially in coal country. The top coal producing states in our nation not only benefit from the extraction of coal, but all of us benefit greatly from having low kilowatt-per-hour rates. But that economic advantage is eroding as Obama does everything in his power, and against the will of Congress, to move the United States away from coal production and use.” He added: “More than 8,000 Kentucky coal miners have lost their jobs since Obama took office and countless other Kentuckians have lost their livelihoods through indirect and induced job loss due to his anti-coal agenda. And, yes, our electricity rates are increasing in Kentucky as our country moves away from coal.”

“Ms. Zichal and the administration can spin it anyway they like but no one outside of their fringe enviro friends is clamoring for their energy policies,” said Mike Duncan, President of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.

While much of the electricity price increases associated with the Obama Administration will only be seen later, the fact is, according to an Energy Information Agency data set, the increase in retail electricity prices since 2008 is 12.8 percent.

Clinton’s anti-coal comments got all the press. But she didn’t stop there. Almost under her breath, a few sentences later, she added: “We’ve got to move away from coal and all of the other fossil fuels”—more pandering for Obama’s much needed (and, so far, withheld) endorsement.

But how realistic is the Democrat’s goal of moving away from coal and all the other fossil fuels?

“Unlikely,” according to new research from the University of Chicago. The authors wanted a different answer. Like Clinton, and Obama, they believe fossil fuel use is driving “disruptive climate change” that will lead to “dramatic threats to human well-being” and a “dystopian future.” Reading the 22 pages of the report on their findings, one can almost feel their dismay.

Yet, after discussing “supply theory”—which posits the world will run out of inexpensive fossil fuels—they state: “If the past 35 years is (sic) any guide, not only should we not expect to run out of fossil fuels anytime soon, we should not expect to have less fossil fuels in the future than we do now. In short, the world is likely to be awash in fossil fuels for decades and perhaps even centuries to come.” Complicating matters, the authors acknowledge: “a substantial penetration of electric vehicles would reduce demand for oil. Provided that the supply curve for oil is upward sloping (as it is in almost all markets), this drop in demand would translate to lower oil prices, making gasoline vehicles more attractive.”

Then, on “demand theory”—the economy will stop demanding fossil fuels as alternatives become more cost competitive—they lament: “In the medium-run of the next few decades, none of these alternatives seem to have the potential based on their production costs (that is without the government policies to raise the costs of carbon emissions) to reduce the use of fossil fuels below these projections.” Additionally, they conclude: “Alternative sources of clean energy like solar and wind power, which can be used to both generate electricity and to fuel electric vehicles, have seen substantial progress in reducing costs, but at least in the short- and middle-term, they are unlikely to play a major role in base-load electrical capacity or in replacing petroleum-fueled internal combustion engines.”

While the authors support “activist and aggressive policy choices…to drive reductions in the consumption of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions,” they reluctantly admit the proposed solutions are not apt to be the answer they seek. “Even if countries were to enact policies that raised the cost of fossil fuels, like a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions, history suggests that technology will work in the opposite direction by reducing costs of extracting fossil fuels and shifting their supply curves out.”

Perhaps, before Clinton—who accuses anyone who doesn’t agree with her climate alarmist view as ignoring the science—makes mistakes, like declaring that she’ll put coal miners and coal companies out of business, she should check the science behind her claims to “move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels.”

Making her March 13 comments seem even more foolish, the following days cast a shadow over the specter of funding more speculative solar power, as she’s proposed to do. Three stimulus-funded solar failures made big headlines.

On Wednesday, March 16, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ)  announced that the massive $2.2 billion ($1.5 billion in federal loans according to WSJ, but other research shows more) Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System may be forced to shut down because it has failed to produce the expected power. What it has produced: “fetched about $200 a mega-watt hour on average during summer months,” while “power from natural-gas plants went for $35 a mega-watt hour on average in California’s wholesale market.”

On the same day, SunEdison’s troubles worsened. After the company acquired stimulus-funded First Wind last year, it became “the leading renewable energy developer in the world.” Now, its “mounting financial woes” resulted in another delay to the filing of its annual reports. The company’s stock, according to WSJ, has “lost 67 percent over the past three months and 91 percent over the past year.” It “slid another 16 percent to $1.73 in premarket trading.”

The next day, March 17, the New York Times declared that Abengoa, the Spanish company hailed as “the world leader in a technology known as solar thermal, with operations from Algeria to Latin America” has gone from “industry darling to financial invalid.” I’ve written repeatedly on Abenoga—which is on the verge of becoming “the largest bankruptcy in Spanish corporate history.” Note: Abengoa was the second largest recipient of U.S. taxpayer dollars—more than $3 billion—from the green energy portion of Obama’s 2009 stimulus package.

It appears Clinton’s energy policies are aimed at trying to make winners out of losers. How can she help it? That is what the Democrat Party is trying to do with her.

Hopefully, voters know better. But then, as the University of Chicago’s study’s closing words remind us: “hope is too infrequently a successful strategy.”


A new study concludes that California could face more drought and extremely dry years

Indeed it could.  Much of CA is basically a desert climate

For three years, an area of atmospheric high pressure dubbed the “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” parked itself off the West Coast, keeping California hot and dry for month after month and helping to usher in one of the worst droughts in the state’s history.

Patterns similar to the ridge are happening more often now than they used to, a new study published Friday finds, suggesting a shift toward more extreme dry years and an increased risk of drought in California.

Stanford University PhD candidate Daniel Swain and his colleagues looked at patterns of high and low pressure over the Northeast Pacific and western U.S. during the October to May wet season from 1949 to 2015. They compared the patterns from the top five driest, wettest, warmest, and coldest years to those from all the other years in the record to see if they have tended to pop up more or less frequently over time.

While the patterns of high and low pressure from the wettest years didn’t show a significant change, the pattern of persistent high pressure ridges associated with the driest years happened more frequently in recent decades than in earlier ones, the team found.

That finding, detailed in the journal Science Advances, fits with the conclusions of an earlier study by Swain and his colleagues that suggested such persistent ridging was more likely to occur in a world with human-caused warming than one without it. The new study, however, doesn’t ascribe a cause to the apparent trend — Swain said that will be the subject of future work.

Having a ridge system stubbornly hanging around off the West Coast can be a major deal for California, which often depends on just one or two big storms to supply the bulk of its water and snowpack for the year. The ridge blocks those storms and shunts them farther northward, as it has over recent winters.

The patterns for dry years were more variable than those for the wet years, though most featured a persistent ridge somewhere along the West Coast.

“This finding suggests to me that California, because of it’s location relative to the average position and typical wanderings of the Pacific storm track, can get a dry year in multiple different ways,” Nate Mantua, a climatologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who wasn’t involved with the study, said in an email. This jibes with the fact that the ridging during the most recent drought also shifted in position, he said.

Because the study only deals with trends found in past observations, it can’t predict with certainty that such a trend will continue into the future. Mantua noted that it could simply be a sign of the variations of the climate that can happen naturally over decades.

But if it does continue, that could mean “that maybe we should be experiencing this increase in variability,” Swain said.

"What seems to be happening is that we're having fewer 'average' years, and instead we're seeing more extremes on both sides," Swain said in a statement. " "This means that California is indeed experiencing more warm and dry periods, punctuated by wet conditions."

Chris Funk, a climatologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and U.C. Santa Barbara who also was not involved in the study, noted that other work has also suggested this could be the case for California.

So while precipitation in California overall may not decline — climate models, in fact, suggest that it may increase, because a warmer atmosphere makes more moisture available to storms — the area could see a greater tendency toward drought because there could be more “bust” years.

Swain said that his team's study shows that focusing on how the average, or mean, climate is changing could miss impactful changes, since looking at the average for California would suggest an overall, if slight, tendency to become wetter.

“We need to be considering the extremes in addition to changes in the mean,” he said.



Three current reports below

Australia: March temperatures sets record as hottest ever, Bureau of Meteorology says

As Australia is in the South Pacific, it is a bullseye for El Nino -- and this is a strong El Nino that demonstrably pushed up 2015 temps up all by itself.  CO2 levels were static (they just oscillated around 400ppm) for the whole of 2015 according to Mauna Loa.   So the caution expressed below is commendable: "Climate change is thought to be adding to the unusual heat".  No harm in thinking

You could be forgiven for not noticing the end of summer — March was a hot one.

Information released by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) indicated it was the hottest March on record, reaching 1.7 degrees Celsius above the long-term average.

This eclipsed the 1986 record of 1.67 degrees above the average, BoM said in its monthly climate report.

The unusual heat was particularly noticed in the Top End, where the failure of the monsoon allowed temperatures to creep up.

This, coupled with a high pressure system off the east coast of Australia, caused a heatwave strong enough to prompt BoM to issue a special climate statement about the phenomenon.

March 2 became Australia's hottest day on record. Averaged across the country, it reached a top of 38 degrees Celsius.

There was no relief overnight either with minimum overnight temperatures the warmest ever, smashing the 1983 record by 0.83 degrees.

The hot March came on the back of the hottest February globally, and the hottest year for 2015.

A strong El Nino weather pattern prevailed at the start of the year, which has traditionally been associated with hotter weather.  Although the El Nino is weakening, the heat effects are expected to persist for a few more months.

Climate change is thought to be adding to the unusual heat.

The scorching start to 2016 prompted Australia's chief scientist Alan Finkel to warn that the world was "losing the battle" against climate change.


Qld government grants Adani coal mine leases

So the mine has now received both State and Federal approval  -- to the frustration of the Greenies.  Greenies have an instinctive hatred of ALL mines.  Rationality seems to play no part in that.  They want EVERYTHING to remain untouched, including the ground underneath our feet

The Queensland government has granted three mining leases for Adani's multi-billion dollar Carmichael coal mine, which will be the largest in Australia.

Green groups say the mine will fuel global warming and compound threats to the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, amid one of its worst coral bleaching events on record.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham made the announcement in Mackay today.

The premier put the value of the project at $21.7 billion and says the approvals mean thousands of new jobs are now a step closer to reality.

Ms Palaszczuk said the move marked a new era of the resources sector.

'Today is a very significant step because it demonstrates my government's 100 per cent committment to creating jobs across Queensland and jobs in regional Queensland,' she said.

'What we have been experiencing here especially here in central Queensland and the northern parts of our state, has been a downturn in the mining community.'

Earlier today, the Australian Conservation Foundation questioned whether Adani had pressured the mines minister to abandon his stated concerns about granting mining licences before court challenges had concluded.

Adani said the approvals meant it could proceed to the next stage of development but acknowledged ongoing uncertainty from unresolved legal challenges 'by politically-motivated activists'.

It said a final investment decision would not be made until the court challenges were resolved, and it had secured the final approvals it needs.

'Having previously sought to progress to the construction phase in 2015, Adani is keenly aware of the risks of proceeding on major works in advance of the conclusion of these matters,' the company said in a statement.

It also took a swipe at processes it said had held up a very significant project for Australia.

'The granting of the mining lease, coupled with strict and rigorous science-based environmental approvals, underlines the importance of major projects in Queensland, and in Australia more broadly, not being subject to endless red tape, after approving authorities have exhaustively examined them over some six years.'


Shriek over possible Australian investment in new coal mine

The shriek is below complete with all the wrong and stupid Warmist assumptions we have heard so often

It was all over the news in India. The Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley would be meeting Future Fund chairman Peter Costello to discuss using the Fund to help finance Adani’s Carmichael coal mine. There was no announcement of the meeting in Australia, but the questions must be asked: how should Australia’s sovereign wealth fund be used, and should it, a “future” fund, be considering the energy projects of the past?

The prospect of Costello dedicating sovereign funds to the massive coal mine in the Galilee Basin is so misguided. Future energy investment lies in renewables, not coal, and this trend is already playing out worldwide. The Australian economy already runs a real risk of becoming fossilised, caught in the past and missing out on the huge investment market in renewable energy as the world inevitably decarbonises and shifts to a zero emissions economy.

This global transition to renewables is an unavoidable condition for containing global warming below 2C. The future is renewables, the past is coal, and the economic benefits are easy to highlight.

In this transition, Australia stands to attract a major portion of the $2.3tn annual trade value from emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries, like cement, steel, and aluminium. In this era, countries with abundant, cheap, high quality renewable energy will attract these industries.

The Renewable Energy Superpower report to be released in Sydney on Monday 4 April shows that Australia is consistently in the global top three of countries with economic wind and solar energy resources, whether based on energy production potential per square kilometre, energy production potential from total land area, energy production potential from un-utilised land area, or energy production potential from rural land area.

Under various scenarios developed by the International Energy Agency for their World Energy Outlook, investment in renewables and energy efficiency will make up around half of the future investment in energy in the next two decades, with investment in coal only making up 1-2%.

Whichever scenario the IEA looks at, renewables and energy efficiency attracts more investment in the next two decades than coal, oil and gas combined. Some $28tn is expected to be invested globally in renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2035.

Investment in renewables and energy efficiency globally is already large – around US$390bn is estimated to have been invested in 2013 alone, according to the International Energy Agency. In order to contain global warming to the 2C, the IEA estimates the annual investment in this market to more than double by 2020 to around US$750bn annually, and then to grow exponentially to US$2,300bn annually by 2035.

It also estimates that the renewables dominated power sector and energy efficiency markets will be 20-40 times the value of future coal sector development. The other important point that is relevant to Australia is that power sector and energy efficiency investment is skewed towards Australia’s neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region (40%) compared to global fossil energy investment (25%).

So how large is Australia’s renewable energy resource? While it is widely accepted that the total renewable energy resource across Australia is significant, the Superpower report conservatively models only the solar and wind resource that is available within 10kms of Australia’s existing electricity grid and able to generate power at a price competitive with other new power stations.

This is the resource that is immediately available to the existing electricity grid. The results are staggering even when only this small portion of Australia’s total renewable energy resource is captured – it is equivalent to 5000 exajoules, enough to power the world for 10 years.

Put another way, this solar and wind resource is greater than Australia’s coal, oil, gas and nuclear resources combined.

Many proponents of fossil fuels argue that there are enough fossil fuels to power the world for hundreds of years, that coal is cheaper and is good for humanity. These arguments ignore the reality that burning fossil fuels is incompatible with meeting the globally agreed goal of limiting warming to 2C, that new renewables are cheaper than new coal and new gas, and that many developing countries want solar.

In the decarbonised world in which we are heading, Australia will be a renewable energy superpower if it plays its investment cards right. If we are serious about our Future Fund funding the future for all Australians, it is renewables – not coal – where the investments must be made.



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

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


4 April, 2016

Mauna Loa CO2

The Mauna Loa CO2 record seems to be the one most referred to by Warmists so I have for some time been greatly amused by what it shows for 2015, that "record" year for warming, according to Warmists.  It is so amusing that I think there is a fair chance that it will be "adjusted" -- as the temperature record often has been.  So I have decided to take a screen capture of it while it is in its original state.  See below.

The 4th column is the actual average CO2 level in ppm.  As you can see, the actual CO2 levels just bobbed up and down around 400ppm, showing that CO2 levels plateaued during that year.  There was no overall change.  There were slight increases but also slight decreases.

So it is perfectly clear that this "warmest" year was NOT caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions rising -- because total CO2 levels did not rise.  ALL the warming was due to natural factors, principally El Nino.

Instead of crowing that it proved their theory, Warmists should be in deep despond that this "warmest" year was TOTALLY natural.  CO2 levels did nothing.  Once again, there was no linkage between temperature and CO2 levels.  The facts are totally at odds with Warmism.

Petard in Warmist calls for a RICO investigation of companies

Exxon is particularly targeted as conspiring to hush up global warming information but other companies and groups could be dragged in.  A reader -- below -- is a bit amused at the whole idea

The Rico Act works both ways. Do the Green/Left not realize that false science perpetrated to promote a Climate Change Agenda is also a conspiracy that should be prosecuted equally. After all there seems to be more actual evidence that monkeying with data and distorted graphs and bogus models supported by non scientist is a bigger conspiracy than any corporate effort.

ExxonMobil is not really concerned that Wind and Solar will put them out of business anytime in the foreseeable future. The world is on a fossil fuel diet and nothing is going to change that as long as there are people who want to live warm, cool, mobile, watching TV, eating healthy in comfortable homes with all of the luxury that we can get.

The world leaders will always be the countries with the most cheap energy........USA, Russia, Australia,Canada and a few others. 

The Pause Update: March 2016 (Preliminary)

Industrious Australian graph-maker, Ken Stewart, has launched another banderilla at the Warmists -- below.  Probably because of the distortion caused by the El Nino phenomenon, Lord Monckton seems to have desisted from updating his graph of satellite temperatures -- probably until the La Nina cuts in later this year.  So Ken fills a gap.  His approach is quite different from Monckton's but is still very informative.  I reproduce below only his graph for the globe as a whole.  See the original for full details

Well my last post certainly stirred up some Global Warming Enthusiasts who found it difficult to get their heads around the continued existence of The Pause.  What will they make of this month’s update?  The Pause refuses to go away, despite greatly exaggerated rumours of its death.

Dr Roy Spencer has just released UAH v6.0 data for March.  This is a preliminary post with graphs only for the Globe, the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere, and the Tropics.  Other regions will be updated in a few days’ time when the full data for March are released.  (These preliminary figures may change slightly as well.)

These graphs show the furthest back one can go to show a zero or negative trend (less than +0.1C/ 100 years) in lower tropospheric temperatures.    I calculate 12 month running means to remove the small possibility of seasonal autocorrelation in the monthly anomalies.  Note: The satellite record commences in December 1978- now 37 years and 4 months long- 448 months.  12 month running means commence in November 1979.  The graphs below start in December 1978, so the vertical gridlines denote Decembers.  The final plotted points are March 2016.

Except for the Tropics, where The Pause has reduced by three months, in other regions it has remained at the same length.


Mar 16 globe

Sorry, GWEs, The Pause is still an embarrassing reality!  For how much longer we don’t know.

And, for the special benefit of those who think that I am deliberately fudging data by using 12 month running means, here is the plot of monthly anomalies, which shows that The Pause is over in monthly anomalies by my rather strict criterion:

I will continue posting these figures showing these scarey trends from monthly anomalies.  The Pause will return sooner with monthly anomalies than 12 month means of course.  Meanwhile, shudder at the thought of 18 years and 4 months with a frightening trend of +0.15C +/-0.1C per 100 years.

The Northern Hemisphere Pause refuses to go quietly and remains at nearly half the record.  It may well disappear in the next month or two.

For well over half the record the Southern Hemisphere has zero trend.

Mar 16 Tropics:  The Pause has shortened by three months, but is still well over half the record long.

In a few days the full dataset will be released and graphs for the other regions will be plotted as soon as possible. 


FALLING Sea Levels on U.S. East coast

Where's Al Gore when you need him?  And Jim Hansen, for that matter

Sea level has been falling on the Atlantic seaboard for the past six years.

Our top scientists say that Manhattan will be underwater no later than 2018, but this appears unlikely.

Sea level rise rates on the Atlantic seaboard peaked around 1950. There is no “human footprint.” None at all.


(Bigger graph here)


Enviro-Critical and/or Climate-Sceptical Websites

(About this List)

The starting place for compiling this list were the “blogrolls” or “links” sections of the better known climate-sceptical and/or enviro-critical websites. Many of the websites listed there have blogrolls of their own, which were also surveyed. Overall, about 100 such lists were perused. Only websites appearing on these lists were selected for the list below.

About 20 blogrolls contain over 100 entries each but there is a lot overlapping content. Moreover, the lists tend to be poorly maintained and thus include many broken links and dud sites. They also include websites with little enviro-content.

The Lord Monckton Foundation website has an impressive 300 hyperlinks, but over half of these link not to websites but to individual articles, papers, and data-sets, or to pro-global warming sites including one that calls Lord Moncton a “purple crested crackpot.” In fairness to Lord Monckton, he is not advertising his list as being exclusively a roll call of enviro-critical/climate-sceptical sites. Only about 70 of his entries fit this definition, which still makes it one of the longest such lists on the Internet.

U Climate is a noble effort to produce a universal climate website collection. The site claims to draw postings from 150 climate sites but actually seems to draw from about 100. Of its 52 skeptical sites, 2 are not sceptical. Nevertheless, U Climate is a great idea and a site worth visiting.

None of the lists perused contain over 90 currently-active, enviro-critical/climate-sceptical websites. The list below is four times longer than any other. This reflects a community that really does not know itself.

True, the list below could be pared back. It includes multiple projects that trace to common sources. For instance, four websites are produced by the Center for Organizational Research and Education; however, in this and other instances, each website is a stand-alone, semi-independent project and thus appears as a separate entry. In other cases where multiple websites replicate a single source, only the presumed master site is listed.

A greater quandary is the dormant website. The exemplar of this phenomenon is World Climate Report. This seminal website is the most common resident on sceptics’ lists despite being dormant since 2012. Regarding the list below, if a website has not had a fresh posting since 2013, it was usually struck. Applying this rule excluded several dozen websites that appear regularly on sceptics’ lists.

A still greater quandary relates to websites whose enviro-critical information constitutes only a small portion of the website’s overall content. While no strict cut-off line was drawn, this concern excluded scores of websites.

On the other hand, the ultimate list of climate-sceptical/enviro-critical websites is probably over ten times longer than the one offered below. The reasons for this are:

While almost all websites listed below hail from the English-speaking world, the list does contain entries from Germany, Norway, Sweden, France, Italy, South Africa, India, Argentina, Venezuela, etc. The Internet’s limited robot translation services renders sleuthing about in foreign languages problematic. Deeper investigation would no doubt generate many more entries. The Eco Tretas site alone links to 27 Portuguese eco-sceptical sites.

Scores of the websites listed below issue forth from the libertarian fountainhead. Libertarians oppose government intervention into the market, and such intervention is precisely what environmentalists aim to increase. There are many libertarian websites. The Atlas Economic Research Foundation alone founded 400 libertarian think-tanks across 80 countries. While many libertarian sites are listed below, a full inventory of such sites, even winnowed to those with significant environmental commentary, was beyond the scope of this project.

Similar to the previous point, there exist a large number pro-free-enterprise, limited-government, traditional-values, and/or classical-liberal pressure groups and webzines, each with a substantial Internet presence. Such groups lack the doctrinal purity of outright libertarians and tend to focus on practical political problems. Nevertheless, they all resist environmentalism. The State Policy Network is a coalition of 130 said groups. The Federalist Society has 75 chapters and other offshoots. Only a few representatives of this genre appear on the list below. As well, many Tea Party groups are not listed but could be.

Several of the listed sites are part of a little-known, grassroots groundswell opposing wind power – i.e. the form of electrical generation most favoured by climate activists. The European Platform Against Windfarms has 957 member organizations. The North American Platform Against Wind Power links to 120 supporting organizations but includes few from the 50-member Ontario Wind Resistance. Across the globe at least 1,500 structured organizations oppose wind power. One problem here is that some of these organizations are green NIMBY groups sporting names like Forest Ecology Network and Save Our Lakes.

While the list below includes a few mainstream media pundits and journalists, as a general rule such persons are not included. Celebs often do not have independent websites and are only contactable through their overlords and hence are incommunicado. Nevertheless, Tom Stossel, Rush Limbaugh, and about 40 others rightly belong on this list.

This list does not include any of the hundreds of associations representing the oil, gas, nuclear, coal, pipeline, forestry, fishing, construction, and mining industries. Too often such groups espouse an appeasing Corporate Social Responsibility line. The problem is not, as the enviros allege, that big industrial firms lavish funds onto the enviro-counter movement. The problem is that they are not spending enough to ensure their own survival.

About 150 of the entries below are for simple blogs, meaning “web-logs” of individuals unconnected to any larger, funding agencies. Some blogs have blossomed into substantial enterprises. Jo Nova was selected top Australian blog in 2014 after receiving 600,000 hits. This website launched The Sceptic’s Handbook (Volumes 1 and 2), 200,000 copies of which have been distributed. Watts Up With That is the clear champion in this regard. Its 263 million cumulative hits have earned it numerous Internet awards.

Jeff Id relays how in the heyday of the Climate Gate scandal his blog (The Air Vent) peaked at 15,000 hits a day but has since quieted down, in part due to his own divided efforts. Real Science’s producer openly bemoans his inability to attract funders for his site. The Climate Scepticism initiative was launched because its producer felt the climate blogosphere was getting so crowded individual bloggers could no longer maintain visibility. So far this coalition project has attracted seven “sceptics” – two of whom are too sketchy to make it onto the list below.

Dozens of the website producers have hard copy books on the market and several websites are entirely devoted to advertising recently published books. Presumably all bloggers would welcome greater success in the conventional publishing and media realms, but obscure sites such as Green Corruption Files and No Tricks Zone often make for the most interesting reading.

SOURCE. (See the original for links)    

A New Car Will Cost You at Least $3,800 Extra Because of Government Regulation

When Congress and the Obama administration passed and implemented extremely strict fuel economy regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claimed that it would save consumers a few thousand dollars on gas and add only $948 to the price of a new car.

The most modest of the independent estimates works out to $3,800 per vehicle, even after the fuel savings are taken into account.

Three teams of independent economists and engineers went up against the EPA’s analysts—finding much larger costs and smaller benefits. The most modest of the independent estimates works out to $3,800 per vehicle, even after the fuel savings are taken into account.

So whose predictions were more accurate?

Although we don’t know how prices would have changed if regulations had been left alone, there are several trends that all moved together before the law was changed in 2007.

The price index for vehicles (adjusted for quality improvements), published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, had been falling steadily since the 1990s.

The prices of other large consumer goods—“furnishings and durable household equipment”—had been falling even longer, as modern manufacturing and trade made things like dishwashers and sofas cheaper.

Prices for vehicles had been falling at about the same rate in the U.K., Australia, and Canada.

So what happened? Several of these trends showed turbulence during the 2008-2009 global crisis but then resumed their downward paths. The exceptions were car prices in the U.S. and Canada, which enacted similar new, more stringent fuel economy standards.

In a recently released Heritage Foundation research paper, we’ve compared the recent price trends to the scholarly predictions and found that if U.S. vehicle prices had followed one of the comparable trends, cars would be between $3,975 and $7,140 cheaper today than they are. This massive expense buys very little change in global warming: less than two hundredths of a degree, according to the Obama administration’s own estimate.

Congress should scrap Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards entirely—they cost consumers dearly while having a negligible impact on carbon emissions. Failing that, a new administration can freeze the standards at 2016 levels to prevent the Corporate Average Fuel Economy tax from doubling by 2025, as the Obama administration has planned.



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

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


3 April, 2016

Warmist fear of the truth

I won't go into details but I had an email conversation a few weeks ago with a woman whom I had last seen in the '70s.  I had a small item that she wanted so I suggested that she call in to pick it up.  She lives only about 15 minutes drive away so that would be no burden.  And she seemed keen to do that.

As part of polite catching up she asked me about my mathematician son.  One of the things I said was that he was like me in regarding global warming as absurd to the point of hilarity.

Since I had last seen her, however, she had become a global warming believer.  So I said that when she visited I would like to show her a graph.  I had in mind the graph at the head of this blog.

We closed the conversation shortly thereafter and I have heard and seen neither hide nor hair of her since.  Her interest in visiting me vanished as soon as she suspected that her beliefs would come under challenge.

And when they can't shut us up, that is what the Green/Left do.  They run away.  They HAVE to feel wiser than the rest of us "cattle" in order to prop up their self-esteem.  ANYTHING is better than feeling small and foolish, which is what they mostly are. So when conservatives present evidence to show that their wisdom is wrong, it is very distressing to them.  They just HAVE to shut all that out.  Sad.

CEI attorney cites chilling effect of state investigations of ExxonMobil

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is investigating ExxonMobil for possibly suppressing climate change research from the public and investors, is overstepping his bounds, a senior attorney for the Competitive Enterprise Institute contends.

Schneiderman has said he is not pleased that ExxonMobil questions the impact of global warming and that it donates to think tanks that occasionally challenge conventional wisdom.

“If you can intimidate people who take issue with the most alarming and maximal projections of global warming,” said Hans Bader, senior attorney for CEI in Washington, D.C., “you will end up with a skewed estimate of global warming that may also skew public policy and result in misallocation of resources.”

Schneiderman specifically disagreed with comments by Exxon that “switching over to renewables by the end of this century would raise energy costs” substantially, and that “ExxonMobil essentially ruled out the possibility that governments would adopt climate policies stringent enough to force it to leave its reserves in the ground," saying that rising population and global energy demand would prevent that. “Meeting these needs will require all economic energy sources, especially oil and natural gas,” it added.

Bader believes that the objective of the attorney general's investigation is not to uncover wrongdoing but rather to harass Exxon by subjecting it to bad publicity and the costs of producing thousands of pages of documents.

"I suspect that what is meant by 'promulgating misleading information,' is that oil companies declined to predict massive increases in temperature over the last 20 years that did not come true, and did not in fact occur," he said. "Failure to embrace exaggerated claims of global warming does not constitute '`deliberate deception,' when scientists have come up with widely varying estimates of how the climate will change, some conservative, and some exaggerated.

"Since climate-change predictions are not an exact science, the fact that one scientist comes up with a maximal, upper-bound projection of climate change does not obligate an oil company to believe it, much less trumpet it to the public. Nor does the fact that an oil company, which hedges against risk (including the risk of relatively improbable events, such as maximal, upper-bound projections of global temperature increases), takes such an estimate into account for contingency-planning mean that it accepts that estimate as being likely to come true, and thus render it deceitful for failure to publicly trumpet that projection of warming as if it were likely to come true."

Bader believes Schneiderman's investigation is part of a pattern of targeting individuals and groups with differing opinions about climate change.

"They are apparently aimed at people who are in the mainstream of climatology, who simply have a somewhat lower projection of global temperature increases than liberal state attorneys general find politically convenient," he said.

"For example, University of Alabama climate scientist John Christy was the target of liberal Congressional investigators, even though Christy doesn’t say global warming isn’t happening; and the brief he co-submitted to the Supreme Court says it is happening, but at less than half the rate projected by many other climate scientists."

Freedom of speech is the core issue for Bader.

"The First Amendment has long been interpreted as protecting corporate lobbying and donations, even to groups that allegedly deceive the public about important issues," he said. "So even if being a 'climate denier' were a crime (rather than constitutionally protected speech, as it in fact is), a donation to a non-profit that employs such a person would not be."

But Bader expects other states to take similar action.

"Maryland is and its attorney general has already prejudged matters by claiming that oil companies have contributed to the problem by intentionally promulgating misleading information, testimony and advertising," he said.

The ultimate victim, Bader argues, is freedom of expression.

"These investigations are a threat to mainstream climatologists who do not make exaggerated claims of global warming," he said, "and a threat to oil companies’ ability to engage in prudent contingency planning that takes into account maximal projections of global warming, without having to publicly tout those projections, which often turn out to be inaccurate years later."


Bogged Down in Water Regulation

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday for a potentially landmark legal case limiting the reach of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its zealous interpretation of the Clean Water Act. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co revolves around a peat farm operated by the Pierce family near the North Dakota-Minnesota state line. The Pierces drain bogs and scrape up the peat to sell to golf courses and football stadiums. As Kevin Pierce explained in a video, laying down peat creates a cushion on swaths of grass that will experience heavy use. It also reduces the amount of water it takes to hydrate said grass.

When the company tried to use a property in nearby Minnesota for its peat-harvesting operation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers swooped in. Bogs are wetlands, wetlands feed into navigable waterways, and therefore, the Pierce’s peat bog was under the corps' purview because it somehow affected the Red River, which lies 120 miles away. Sure, the Corps has jurisdiction over navigable waterways in the United States, but good luck piloting a boat through a peat bog. Recently, the Corps and the EPA tried to extend their power so that they control bodies of water as small as a ditch. The Pierces were yet another family affected by agency overreach.

But there was little they could do. They could cave to the Corps' demands, they could navigate the red tape and apply for a costly permit, or they could use the property anyway and risk major fines. The Pierces couldn’t take the Corps to court to challenge its determination, so the Supreme Court will decide whether the Corps is above legal challenge.

During the oral arguments, both liberal and conservative justices expressed skepticism over the Corps' arguments. For example, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg described the permitting process “arduous and very expensive.” The Pacific Legal Foundation, which is representing the Pierces before SCOTUS, say the amicus briefs from think tanks, businesses — even 29 states — have joined the Pierces' petition to the Supreme Court, none in support of the Corps. It seems this part of the environmental regulatory deluge is coming to an end.


Obama’s Clean Power Plan and EPA’s Emissions Rules Negatively Impact Indian Territory

Much debate and controversy surrounds the historic treatment of Native American communities by the U.S. Government.  There exists many federal programs specifically aimed at helping tribal communities.  Certainly government policies and programs should not hurt them.  However, the Administration’s new carbon emission reduction regulation does just that.

Although the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed a temporary reprieve to the states by granting a stay of Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed controversial carbon emissions rule, there is no doubt that as written, the president’s so-called Clean Power Plan impacts low and middle income communities the most, and especially singles out certain Indian nations.

The EPA has gone as far as to issue a supplemental proposal to address carbon emissions from the four electric generating stations located on Indian lands. These plants produce low cost electricity for sale into the grid, as well as, provide well-paying jobs for tribal communities.  In the case of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) in Arizona, the plant was established specifically to pump water from the Colorado River, under an existing water rights settlement, to areas on and off the reservation.  Additionally, the NGS utilizes coal mined on the reservation.

Unfortunately, the Navajo Nation, like too many other tribal communities, is plagued by significant economic challenges.  The lack of jobs, high unemployment, and limited opportunities hurt the young and old alike.  The EPA’s actions will directly impact one of the tribe’s most significant employers, and will have an economic ripple affect across the reservation.

The 27,000 square mile Navajo Nation extends into the states of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, and is larger than 10 of the 50 states in America.  Many Americans remember the heroic and patriotic acts of the Navajo Code Talkers during World War II in the Pacific.

Arizona State Sen. Carlyle Begay, a Navajo recently said, “The Navajo Nation’s unemployment rate is over 50 percent.  Currently, revenue from coal represents 60 percent of the Navajo Nation’s general funds and operating budget. Absent political restrictions on the use of coal, (coal) mining and the Navajo Generating Station on the Navajo Nation’s land would be expected to boost its economy by over $13 billion over the next 25 years!”

Employing nearly 500 people, the NGS plays a key role in improving the quality of life for residents of the Navajo Nation and surrounding cities.  The Kayenta Mine, which supplies coal to NGS, employs more than 400 employees. These facilities provide hundreds of Navajos with the opportunity to work. Like many corporate citizens, the NGS contributes to the quality of life in the region through targeted investments and grants to support educational scholarships, historic preservation, and environmental protection.

As part of the Salt River Project (SRP), the NGS not only provides electricity for consumers and businesses, but it provides the power needed to distribute water throughout the region.  SRP's water business is one of the largest raw-water suppliers in Arizona delivering approximately 800,000 acre-feet of water annually to a 375-square-mile service area.

The impact of the Clean Power Plan on the Navajo Nation is not insignificant and will impact them for generations.  These proud and patriotic people deserve better.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation has produced a compelling video -- in the Navajo’s own words -- that illustrate how the EPA’s plan impacts Navajo lives.


The Big Green job-killing machine

Environmentalists wield powerful Endangered Species Act to kill jobs, impoverish families

Ron Arnold                    

The abuse of environmentalist power to hurt people never stops.

“Another one gone,” began the Lost Coast Outpost’s report in late January. A.A. “Red” Emmerson, chairman of Sierra Pacific Industries, announced the permanent closure of its sawmill on Samoa Peninsula in Arcata, California – with the loss of 123 crew member jobs (and over 100 secondary jobs that depended on sawmill employment).

Regulatory burdens and reduced allowable harvests from federal forests are the primary reasons for the closure, Emmerson said.

The shutdown of the last mill on once-bustling Humboldt Bay this year was just the latest loss in the timber industry’s long and steady decline under relentless environmentalist pressure and U.S. Forest Service complicity.

A year earlier the North Coast Journal had sadly bid “Goodnight, Korbel” when Arcata’s neighbor lost its 131-year-old sawmill, its 106 direct jobs and numerous local indirect positions. The Pulp & Paperworkers’ Resource Council had previously released its 119-page “Mill Curtailments & Closures From 1990,” counting more than 1,700 nationwide timber-related casualties from 1990 through 2012.

All this damage was launched by the ionic 1991 Spotted Owl court ruling won by a local bird group, Seattle Audubon Society – initially with separate plaintiff Portland (Oregon) Audubon Society – against logging in Washington, Oregon and California.

The owl ruling has been so devastating because Judge William L. Dwyer, of Washington State’s federal district court, granted and stretched Seattle Audubon’s demands to the impossible.

Using the “regional biogeography” principle from a federal “Spotted Owl Task Force” decision, Dywer ruled, “The duty to maintain viable populations of existing vertebrate species requires planning for the entire biological community – not for one species alone. It is distinct from the duty, under the Endangered Species Act, to save a listed species from extinction.”

But even wildlife specialists did not know and could not explain what the “entire biological community” of the three-state area was.

Industry analyst Paul Ehinger & Associates of Eugene, Oregon found that, after just five years, Dwyer’s Seattle Audubon ruling had shut down 187 mills and wiped out 22,654 jobs throughout the three states.

The toll expanded like the Big Bang, and running totals are no longer tracked. A few well-off Seattle industry-haters and a liberal judge who paid little attention to the human toll set in motion a curse without end, the “progressive” destruction of the jobs, incomes, hopes and dreams of thousands.

The Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, Arizona is a legal action environmental group that sues to block human action and doesn’t care who gets hurt. The leader of its three co-founders, Kieran Suckling, had been an activist in the 1980s’ vandalism and sabotage group, Earth First! (The exclamation point was a mandatory identifier.)

Hatred of industry – and the people who ran it – prompted the founders to seek ways to permanently stop natural resource use and led them to form the CBD in 1994. With the help of environmental attorneys, CBD “weaponized” the Endangered Species Act against ranchers, loggers, miners, and human activity in general. That law now trumps virtually everything else.

In fact, about the only time the act doesn’t seem to apply is when gigantic wind turbines slaughter hundreds of thousands of eagles, hawks, falcons, other birds and bats, year after year, nearly eradicating them and “entire biological communities” across vast areas in California, Oregon and elsewhere.

The organization’s self-description says, “As the country's leading endangered species advocates, the Center for Biological Diversity works through science, law and creative media to secure a future for all species, great or small, hovering on the brink of extinction.”

Extremism is a mild term to describe CBD’s blanket enmity to human action. It has even crossed the traditional environmentalist line that protected and revered Native Americans as “people of nature.”

The group joined a federal lawsuit last year to block essential expansion of The Navajo Mine, south of Farmington, New Mexico. The mine sits on a Navajo reservation and is owned by the Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Navajo Nation’s sprawling tribal government.

The mine was established for the sole purpose of delivering all its coal to the nearby Four Corners Power Plants: five coal-fired power plants, majority-owned and operated by the Arizona Public Service Company, to provide electricity to California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

In the process, it generated 800 mine and power plant jobs, many of them Navajos, and $40 million in annual revenue to the Navajo Nation. NTEC was granted a federal permit to expand the mine.

However, the CBD was determined to stop the expansion and shut down the mine via a huge lawsuit. It helped organize a coalition of co-plaintiffs including little local groups such as Amigos Bravos, San Juan Citizens Alliance, and Dine [Navajo] Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, as well as the $100-million-a-year Sierra Club and the powerful Western Environmental Law Center.

The attack by CBD et al. won a Colorado federal judge’s order nullifying the expansion permit. The order was confirmed by the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals when NTEC lost an appeal for a stay on the lower court’s ruling. Even with that victory, the CBD gang insisted that ongoing mining must also halt, pending a new environmental review of alleged public health and environmental risks from the mine expansion: from pollutants that are actually a minor problem at these technologically advanced and well-run Navajo facilities.

Only the Navajo Nation’s sovereignty, an environmental review and agreements with the EPA to fight regional haze by closing three of the plant’s five units and installing emission controls on the remaining two plants saved some of the jobs and revenue – for now. Of course, all that could change as the CBD gang fights on, threatening to sue the federal permitting agency.

Lost jobs of course mean seriously impaired living standards, health and welfare for unemployed workers and their families. But for the CBD and judges, those concerns are irrelevant.

In January, the Farmington Daily Times reported that the town’s San Juan College received a $1.4 million federal grant to help retrain displaced coal miners and workers in other industries, including oil and gas. But oil and gas operations are also under assault by the CBD gang and various federal agencies, which are using climate change, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and other regulations to restrict or eliminate leasing, drilling and other resource extraction on western lands.

Clearly, even the sovereignty that comes with being a federally recognized Indian tribe on an established reservation provides no protection against a weaponized Endangered Species Act. Other communities, industries, workers and families are even more powerless.

Once again, poor, minority and working class families are at the mercy of wealthy ruling elites, for whom exaggerated and even fabricated environmental concerns are paramount. It’s wrong, and it has to end.

Via email

Coal fightback in Australia

Grant Goldman

The Hunter Coal Festival starts today and runs until Sunday 10th of April.  Tomorrow Saturday I shall be in Singleton compering Family Day which will be great.  It is all free and everyone is welcome.

Coal is wonderful and is a gigantic contributor to our prosperity.  Unfortunately there are people with wicked motives who are waging war on coal. 

For the past five years there has been a continuous propaganda campaign run internationally by the Greens and their allies against coal generally and in particular against Indian Companies involved in the coal industry.  The campaign has also embraced a raft of spurious lawsuits trying to destroy, damage or delay the plans of Adani and GVK to become significant producers and exporters of Queensland Coal.

One of the catch cries of the villains is the theme “CAN’T EAT COAL”. The truth is that coal is a huge contributor to the provision of food worldwide.  Without coal there would be No modern agriculture, No tractors or harvesters, No trucks, No fertiliser, No pesticides or herbicides, No refrigeration, No steel cans or bottles, No grain silos, No efficient transportation, No modern irrigation, No scythes or spades, No modern fishing fleets.  Without coal most of the world’s population would starve to death in the dark.

The enemies of coal are the enemies of 300 million people in India who don’t even have a light bulb. These people want their children to be able to study at night. They want to refrigerate food for themselves and their families. The enemies of coal exhibit a strongly racist view that these 300 million people should be deprived of the benefits of coal because they are only Indians.

As one example of this wicked war on coal, in May 2015 a bunch calling themselves “One Million Women” was operating a website which made this false claim:

The Indian company Adani is in charge of the coal terminal at Abbot Point - This is expected to destroy our Great Barrier Reef.

The One Million Women Website on Monday 11 May 2015 was displaying a photo of Sir Richard Branson and a headline asserting “Richard Branson Lobbies UN to List Great Barrier Reef as ‘In Danger’”.

On a very large percentage of Virgin Australia flights in and out of Brisbane Airport the passengers include men and women wearing hi-visibility outfits.  These are among the thousands of miners whose purchasing power helps Queensland and the rest of Australia prosper.  Another useful piece of information is that Brisbane Airport’s long overdue second runway now under construction has been made possible by a dredging program involving the delivery of eleven million cubic metres of sand sucked out of Moreton Bay.  That is nearly eighteen millions tonnes, and the massive dredging job was finished in December 2014.  So the founder of the Virgin group of companies is happy to sell thousands of air tickets to the mining industry and is happy to receive the benefit of dredging when it suits him.  I should mention that every concrete runway in the world has depended upon coal or a coal substitute for the production of the cement.

So what is the Australian Coal Industry doing to defend civilisation against these unworthy attacks on coal?  We know that the enemies of coal deliberately tap into the ancient racist assumption that everything that is black is somehow inferior, which you will admit puts coal rather at a disadvantage.

So Australian Coal Industry scientists working with their Indian Counterparts have developed a coal preparation process which at the front end changes the colour of coal to GREEN.   I have a lump of this amazing green coal on my desk and I am posting a photograph of this green coal on my website.

The good news is that green coal has all the calorific value of its black ancestor.  The only difference is the colour. Everyone loves Kermit the Frog.  The enemies of coal will have to find a different target.



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

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


1 April, 2016

Warmists now predicting the future 500 years from now

Ludicrous.  They've yet to get a prophecy right. It's just fantasy

Predictions about rising sea levels were already pretty dire, but the situation may have just got worse thanks to a climatological calculation oversight.

Previous estimates of global sea level rises may have underestimated the problem by half because they failed to incorporate the full effects of factors including the break-up of ice sheets.

Scientists claim that earlier predictions about the next 100 years, made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), are wrong and the actual rise could be around 5ft (1.5 metres).

Experts are warning that the oversight could prove disastrous for low lying coastal cities, such as Miami in the US, or Guangzhou in China.

The stark warning comes from climate scientists Professor Robert DeConto of the University of Massachusetts, and Dr David Pollard of Pennsylvania State University, writing in the journal Nature.

Mechanisms that were previously known about, but never incorporated into a computer model, radically changed the outcome of their projections.

DeConto and Pollard's study was motivated by reconstructions of past sea level rises including the inter-glacial period around 125,000 years ago and warm intervals, such as the Pliocene, around 3 million years ago.

High sea levels then, they said, imply that the Antarctic Ice Sheet is highly sensitive to climate warming.

'In the past, when global average temperatures were only slightly warmer than today, sea levels were much higher.' explained DeConto.

Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet can only explain a fraction of this, and the rest must have been caused by retreat on Antarctica.

The scientists developed a new ice sheet climate model that includes 'previously under-appreciated processes' which emphasise the importance of future atmospheric warming around Antarctica.

These include the effects of surface melt water on the break-up of ice shelves, and the collapse of vertical ice cliffs.

By focusing on the boundary between the ice and the seas - namely glaciers and ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland - DeConto and Pollard showed that instability of ice sheets and ice cliffs could be an important contributor to past and future ice retreat, leading to creeping sea levels.

They predict that Antarctica alone could contribute more than one metre of sea-level rise by the year 2100, and greater than 50ft (15 metres) by 2500 if atmospheric emissions continue unabated.

In this scenario, atmospheric warming will become the dominant driver of ice loss, rather than ocean warming.

The new estimate includes the new processes in the 3D ice sheet model, and was made by testing these against records of past high sea levels.

Scientists warn that, if substantial amounts of ice are lost, the long 'thermal memory' of the ocean will be curtailed and this will, in turn, inhibit the ice sheet's recovery for thousands of years.

'Research has focused on the role of the ocean, melting floating ice shelves from below. It is often overlooked that the major ice shelves in the Ross and Weddell Seas are also vulnerable to atmospheric warming,' the paper said.

'Today, summer temperatures are around 0?C (32?F) on many shelves, and due to their flat surfaces near sea level, little atmospheric warming would be needed to dramatically surface melting.'

If these protective ice shelves were suddenly lost, the researchers argue, exposed ice cliffs would quickly fail - exposing the huge ice sheet behind, with disastrous consequences.

[It's all just uncheckable theory]


Scientist was defunded for publishing inconvenient research results about CO2

Charles David Keeling (1928-2005) became famous for setting up a worldwide network of CO2 measurement stations that demonstrated annual increases of CO2 in the air.  The iconic Keeling curve, representing CO2 concentrations since 1958, is Exhibit One in every climate-related presentation, and one of the very few accurate and reliable datasets in climatology.  Ralph Keeling, his son, is continuing his work as CO2 Program Director in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD.

In September 2011 Ralph Keeling and his co-authors published results of their research, showing that the biosphere absorbs carbon dioxide much faster than was assumed in the IPCC texts. The article was very technical and used non-confrontational language.  A direct quote:

"Our analysis shows a rapid recovery from El Niño events, implying a shorter cycling time of CO2 with respect to the terrestrial biosphere and oceans than previously estimated. Our analysis suggests that current estimates of global gross primary production, of 120 petagrams of carbon per year, may be too low, and that a best guess of 150–175 petagrams of carbon per year better reflects the observed rapid cycling of CO2. Although still tentative, such a revision would present a new benchmark by which to evaluate global biospheric carbon cycling models"

This was a very significant result, because higher gross primary production means higher net primary production and a higher CO2 sink rate.  What happened next was not surprising:  the Obama Administration defunded Keeling for these research results, because they contradicted the climate alarmism line.

More precisely, the NSF defunded Keeling’s oxygen measurements even before the publication, in 2009–2010, probably after learning about the preliminary results.  Other agencies joined the boycott later.

See Nature, November 2013, Budget crunch hits Keeling’s curves ? Scientist struggles to maintain long-standing carbon dioxide record and more recent atmospheric-oxygen monitor.  This “budget crunch” was a lie.  The budgets of every research or study supporting or appearing to support the alarm have been skyrocketing in the last 7 years.  From the Nature’s article:

Late last month, officials at California’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography turned to Twitter seeking donations to maintain the iconic ‘Keeling curve’, a 55-year record of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. …

The complement to the Keeling curve is Ralph Keeling’s atmospheric-oxygen record, which NOAA does not replicate. …

Keeling says that he received around US $700,000 annually for the CO2 programme through paired support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DOE) until three years ago, when the NSF halted funding. With staff cuts, he has been able to maintain operations with a budget of around $350,000.

The NSF claims that it could not find $700,000 in its nearly $7 Billion budget, a huge chunk of which was dedicated to climate studies. Their pants must be on fire.

The primary target of the defunding was the oxygen isotopes record, which allowed Keeling and colleagues to make those inconvenient conclusions about the increased primary production.  But CO2 measurements suffered as well.  In particular, at least some CO2 samples were collected but not analyzed.  Yes, the CO2 measurements reported in 2011-2014 might have been of inferior quality, because the scientific establishment was punishing Ralph Keeling for doing inconvenient scientific research.

In the end, the Schmidt Foundation threw Keeling a few crumbs to continue CO2 (but not O2) measurements, apparently on the condition that he repent and participate in the alarmist propaganda. As announced on the Scripps website, September 2014 (my emphasis):


Supports continued operation of the iconic measurement series

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego today announced that Wendy and Eric Schmidt have provided a grant that will support continued operation of the renowned Keeling Curve measurement of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. The grant provides $500,000 over five years to support the operations of the Scripps CO2 Group, which maintains the Keeling Curve.

CO2 Group Director Ralph Keeling said the grant will make it possible for his team to restore atmospheric measurements that had been discontinued because of a lack of funding, address a three-year backlog of samples that have been collected but not analyzed, and enhance outreach efforts that educate the public about the role carbon dioxide plays in climate.

A three-year backlog of samples!  E pur si muove.

Recently, independent research has confirmed increased activity of the biosphere as a carbon dioxide sink.  Further, it became known that IPCC has been intentionally misleading public about carbon cycle.


New York’s AG Suggest Jailing Global Warming Skeptics?

New York’s Democratic attorney general (AG) made a chilling suggestion at an event he co-hosted this week: harsher penalties beyond fines for groups allegedly misleading the public on global warming.

“Financial damages alone may be insufficient,” Eric Schneiderman said during the event in New York City Tuesday. “The First Amendment does not give you the right to commit fraud.”

It’s unclear if Schneiderman meant those “misleading” the public on global warming should be thrown in jail or maybe just do community service — though it’s doubtful community service would be more “sufficient” than financial damages.

Schneiderman was joined by more than a dozen attorneys general from Democratic states, some of whom promised to join New York in investigating ExxonMobil for allegedly misleading the public about global warming. Former Vice President Al Gore even showed up to apparently show how serious state prosecutors are about the issue.

Schneiderman’s conference comes after the liberal AG launched an investigation into whether or not Exxon was accurately portraying to shareholders the risks global warming poses to the company’s operations. The New York AG’s office recently settled a probe into Peabody Energy, a coal company, for the same thing.

The investigation was prompted by reports by InsideClimate News and Columbia University alleging Exxon was misleading the public about global warming. The stories claim to show how Exxon knew oil production would make global warming worse, but continued to conduct business and fund groups skeptical of global warming regulations.


Global warming makes  luxury cruise through the Northwest Passage possible (?)

It would be more accurate to say that having an icebreaker sail ahead makes the cruise possible.  And even with that they are scared stiff

This summer, the Crystal Cruises' Serenity — the largest passenger cruise ship ever to attempt to navigate through the treacherous waters of the famed Northwest Passage — will depart from Seward, Alaska on August 16, bound for New York City via the top of North America.

The voyage is sold out, according to Paul Garcia, the chief spokesman for the cruise line.

“In terms of guest capacity, we would be the most guests to go through the Arctic in one vessel,” Garcia told Mashable. He said there is already "strong interest" in the planned 2017 cruise.

The Serenity's planned voyage presents significant challenges for search and rescue agencies that would be tasked with responding to any incidents at sea, particularly since the ship will be operating in remote locations and in harsh weather conditions.

To make things more interesting, it will also be traversing relatively uncharted waters and ice-covered seas.

In terms of leisure travel, only small expeditions — like Quark Expeditions and Polar Cruises — have taken on the Northwest Passage.

Companies like Crystal Cruises are taking the opportunity to pioneer expeditions that would have been deemed impossible just a decade ago. Until 2007, the Northwest Passage had never been considered ice-free in all of human history.

On Monday, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) announced that sea ice reached a record low wintertime extent after a bizarrely mild winter affected nearly the entire Arctic. This could set up the sea ice for a record melt in the summer, though this is not a guarantee.

Although Crystal Cruises, along with other companies, are intent on navigating the passage for profit, it's not a given that the route will be open for business even in milder-than-average summers.

The passage is unlike other maritime choke points like the Suez Canal or Strait of Malacca. It is not a clearly marked channel, but rather a loosely defined waterway that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean through North American Arctic waters. For example, the Passage includes the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, which contains 36,000 islands.

Even though sea ice cover across the Arctic Ocean is dwindling year-by-year, studies show there could still be enough sea ice present in the Northwest Passage to render the route infeasible for reliable navigation for another four decades.

A study published in 2015 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, for example, found considerable amounts of thick ice present in the Northwest Passage, with cooler-than-average air temperatures compared to other parts of the Arctic at that time.

As added insurance, the Serenity will be accompanied by an escort ship that will have a helicopter on board to look for ice ahead of the ship's course. This ship will also serve as an icebreaker.

Paul Garcia, director of public relations for Crystal Cruises, said the escort vessel will be capable of clearing the way for Serenity if it were to encounter significant ice floes.

“I can assure you it is a vessel that has the highest icebreaking capabilities,” Garcia said about the escort ship, noting that the contract for its use in 2016 has not yet been finalized.

“It is no stranger to the Arctic region," he said. “We’re taking all precautionary measures to make sure it is a safe voyage.”

There have already been several close calls involving passenger ships in the Arctic. In 1996, the cruise ship Hanseatic ran aground in the Simpson Strait, forcing an evacuation of 153 passengers.

In 2010, the vessel Clipper Adventurer ran aground in the Coronation Gulf of the Northwest Passage with 118 passengers and 69 crew aboard. It was rescued by a Canadian ice breaker which happened to be deployed relatively close to the vessel at the time.

The Northwest Passage offers few easy options for safe passage of a large ship like the Serenity. The so-called southern passage includes several narrow, shallow waterways that pose dangers for large cruise vessels, whereas the northern route, which tends to have more ice even at the end of the summer melt season, is more suitable for larger ships.

According to NASA, the northern route was considered mostly ice-filled for the sake of navigation during most of the 2015 melt season, despite the southern route's mostly ice-free status.

The Crystal Serenity weighs 68,870 tons and is 820 feet long, making it a challenge to navigate in the narrow, ice-choked waters that can be found even at the end of the summer melt season in the region.

And Crystal Cruises is requiring all passengers to purchase at least $50,000 in emergency evacuation repatriation insurance in order to participate in the cruise, due to the high cost of medical evacuations from Arctic waters.

The cruise company says it will be taking steps to minimize air and water pollution during the voyage, and enhanced safety measures including putting more trained personnel in ice avoidance techniques on the ship's bridge.

In addition, the cruise line says it is putting two ice searchlights, a high-resolution radar and other equipment on board the Serenity to search for underwater obstructions or uncharted rocks. Maritime charts in parts of the Arctic are considered to be unreliable because there have been so few ships transiting that area before.


17 State Attorneys General Form Coalition 'to Protect and Expand’ Climate Change Agenda

Seventeen attorney generals from around the United States have formed a coalition “to protect and expand progress the nation has made in combating climate change” in a first of its kind partnership of law enforcement officials.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced that he would be joining the coalition in a press release Tuesday.

“Attorneys General Eric Schneiderman of New York and William Sorrell of Vermont co-sponsored the meeting, with attorneys general George Jepsen of Connecticut, Brian E. Frosh of Maryland, Maura Healey of Massachusetts, and Claude Walker of the US Virgin Islands in attendance, along with former Vice President and leading climate activist Al Gore, and representatives from a total of 17 state attorneys general offices,” the release says.

"With gridlock and dysfunction gripping Washington on the generation-defining issue of climate change, it is up to the states to lead. We stand ready to defend the next president's climate change agenda and vow to fight any efforts to roll-back the meaningful progress we've made over the past eight years," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "And our offices will begin working together on important state-level initiatives, such as investigations into whether fossil fuel companies are misleading their investors about how climate change will impact their investments, fossil fuel companies, and our planet."

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh said, "Climate changes poses an existential threat to Maryland and to (the) nation. I am proud to join with my colleagues across the country in this important collaboration, and am willing to use every tool at our collective disposal to protect our air, our water and our natural resources. The pledge we are making today can help insure a cleaner and safer future."

Today, the Commonwealth of Virginia filed a brief to the DC Circuit Court in support of the Clean Power Plan.

The Clean Power Plan is a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s climate change agenda. It seeks a 32% reduction in carbon emissions from the power sector nationwide by 2030. The U.S. Supreme Court has delayed implementation while the D.C. Circuit court considers challenges.


Taxpayers Are Footing Bill for Solar Project That Doesn’t Work

As every 10-year-old who ever got a sweater for a birthday present has been told, “it’s the thought that counts.” That seems to be the guiding principle at the Department of Energy and the California Public Utilities Commission when it comes to solar power.

The latest example is the $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar thermal plant in California. (Note: Solar thermal plants do not use solar panels to directly convert sunshine to electricity; they use sunshine to boil water that then drives conventional turbines.)

Here’s the story so far. Ivanpah…

is owned by Google, NRG Energy, and Brightsource, who have a market cap in excess of $500 billion.

received $1.6 billion in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy.

is paid four to five times as much per megawatt-hour as natural gas-powered plants.

is paid two to three times as much per megawatt-hour as other solar power producers.

has burned thousands of birds to death.

has delayed loan repayments.

is seeking over $500 million in grants to help pay off the guaranteed loans.

burns natural gas for 4.5 hours each morning to get its mojo going.

Brightsource, which is privately held, is owned by a virtual who’s who of those who don’t need subsidies from taxpayers and ratepayers.

In spite of all this, Ivanpah has fallen woefully short of its production targets. The managers’ explanation for why production came up 32 percent below expected output is the weather. In addition to raising questions about planning for uncertainty, it is not all that clear how a nine-percent drop in sunshine causes a 32-percent drop in production.

More bizarrely, the natural gas used to get the plant all warmed up and ready each day would be enough to generate over one quarter of the power actually produced from the solar energy. Sorry, let’s not be haters.

The problem for Ivanpah’s customers (California power utilities) is that they planned on all those solar watt-hours to meet California’s renewable power mandates, which require that renewables produce a large and rising fraction of California’s electricity. That is why they pay so much more for Ivanpah’s output than for conventionally powered electricity.

Breaching their contracts with these California utilities threatened to shut down Ivanpah. More likely than permanently shutting Ivanpah down would have been a change of ownership at a price that came closer to reflecting reality.

But this would have been bothersome for Ivanpah’s investors and the Department of Energy’s ridiculous Section 1703 Loan Program, so the California Public Utilities Commission saved the day (for the fat-cat owners, of course, not for actual the electricity consumers) by granting the company an extension to meet the production targets.

The best part of the ruling is the section on the cost—it’s pretty succinct.

Here it is in its entirety:


But hey, Ivanpah’s plant is a shiny new technological marvel. That’s what counts, right?



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

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



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

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

Global warming has now become a worldwide political gravy-train -- so only a new ice-age could stop it. I am happy however to be one of the small band who keep the flame of truth alive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." --- Richard P. Feynman.

Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough - Michael Crichton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Was Paracelsus a 16th century libertarian? His motto was: "Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest" which means "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself." He was certainly a rebel in his rejection of authority and his reliance on observable facts and is as such one of the founders of modern medicine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.“ – Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation

“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Leftists generally and Warmists in particular very commonly ascribe disagreement with their ideas to their opponent being "in the pay" of someone else, usually "Big Oil", without troubling themselves to provide any proof of that assertion. They are so certain that they are right that that seems to be the only reasonable explanation for opposition to them. They thus reveal themselves as the ultimate bigots -- people with fixed and rigid ideas.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Warmist backs down: "No one knows exactly how far rising carbon concentrations affect temperatures" -- Stefan Rahmstorf, a scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Jimmy Carter Classic Quote from 1977: "Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of coal and permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power.


Today’s environmental movement is the current manifestation of the totalitarian impulse. It is ironic that the same people who condemn the black or brown shirts of the pre WW2 period are blind to the current manifestation simply because the shirts are green.

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

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

97% of scientists want to get another research grant

Hearing a Government Funded Scientist say let me tell you the truth, is like hearing a Used Car Salesman saying let me tell you the truth.

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

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

Greenie antisemitism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After fighting a 70 year war to destroy red communism we face another life-or-death struggle in the 21st century against green communism.

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

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

Jim Hansen and his twin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The inconvenient truth about biological effects of "Ocean Acidification"

Cook the crook who cooks the books

The great and fraudulent scare about lead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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