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

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

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

30 April, 2017

Motor vehicles and particulate pollution

The article below appeared under the heading "Toxic diesel particles penetrate right through to the heart, scientists warn".  But the research concerned showed no such thing. 

The article is part of a decades-long Greenie campaign to demonize motor vehicles by showing that they are harmful to health. And there have been countless studies showing that people who live beside busy roads do have more illness of various sorts.  It has been known for decades that that proves nothing but the studies keep rolling out. 

It proves nothing because it is mostly poor people who live beside busy roads.  Richer people can afford more leafy environments.  And the poor have more illness in general -- for reasons that I will glide over -- so the illnesses shown by road studies could well be poverty effects, not pollution effects.

So to the study below:  It was an experiment using particles of gold so was from the beginning inconclusive -- unless motor vehicles start spewing out gold for their tailpipes.

And even using gold no health effects were shown.   All that was shown was that nanoparticles can be very penetrative in the body, which we already knew.  There is a whole literature on the possible effects of nanoparticles too.

So if motor vehicle emissions cause ill-health we are still waiting on a study to show that. No doubt at some level they do cause harm but where is the cutoff?  Do such emissions cause harm in normal life? 

There is a reason why they probably do not.  We in fact breathe in all sorts of junk every day.  But our bodies are used to that and normally cope with it seamlessly.  They even cope with all the poisons in tobacco smoke pretty well. There are a lot of Jewish centenarians in NYC and about a third of them smoke.

So the only reasonable question about motor emissions is whether or not they increase the disease burden beyond the already low level that other atmospheric pollutants inflict?  Considering what we cope with already, it seems unlikely.

And note that even mesothelioma, a disease that stems from heavy exposure to asbestos fibres, is normally not fatal or even apparent until the patient is in his 60s.  Asbestos fibres are quite large particles compared with what we have been talking about here but even they are very slow to inflict harm.  If the body tolerates even asbestos fibres relatively well, why should we believe that much smaller particles are not well tolerated?

Toxic particles from diesel vehicles can work their way through the lungs and into the bloodstream, raising the risk of heart attacks and strokes, researchers have proved for the first time.

The nanoparticles, which cannot be traced by Government measuring equipment, stay in the body for months and tend to build up in areas that are most prone to disease.

Scientists have long known that air pollution is bad for the lungs, but until now they did not know whether exhaust particles were able to penetrate further into the body.

A team at Edinburgh University used harmless gold nanoparticles, at an equivalent size to diesel, in a human experiment that simulated cycling through a city.

By looking at surgically removed body samples they found that the gold had accumulated in the fatty areas inside blood vessels that are responsible for heart attack and strokes.

This tallies with previous research showing that cardiovascular disease, of which stroke is a form, accounts for 80 per cent of the roughly 50,000 premature deaths from air pollution each year in the UK.

The scientists say the findings are particularly worrying as officials only have the capacity to measure the overall volume of pollution particles in the air, rather than their number.

While the overall volume of pollution has been falling, they say the number of the most toxic tiny particles able to get deep inside the body is on the rise.

Dr Nicholas Mills, Professor of Cardiology at Edinburgh and one of the study’s co-authors, said: “We have always suspected that nanoparticles in the air that we breath could escape from the lung and enter the body, but until now there was no proof.

“These findings are of wide importance for human health, and we must now focus our attention on reducing emissions and exposure to airborne nanoparticles.”

While petrol particles are also able to penetrate the lungs, a petrol engine will throw out roughly 50 times fewer particles than a diesel engine of equivalent size, the researchers said.

The particles are also capable of penetrating the masks worn by some cyclists to avoid pollution.

Dr Mark Miller, who led the Edinburgh study, said: “It is striking that particles in the air we breathe can get into our blood where they can be carried to different organs of the body.

“Only a very small proportion of inhaled particles will do this, however, if reactive particles like those in air pollution then reach susceptible areas of the body then even this small number of particles might have serious consequences.”

It is possible to fit filters onto diesel vehicles to reduce the number of particles they emit, however these can make cars and lorries inefficient, burning more fuel overall, as well as more expensive.

The research team said a mandatory imposition of filters on all vehicles was premature.


Climate Bullies Take to the Streets for ‘People’s Climate March’

Most Americans are unaware of the vicious campaign waged by climate activists against people who do not recite the strictest tenets of the manmade-climate-change creed.                                                               The People’s Climate March is Saturday, April 29, and it will be the third iteration of an anti-Trump rally just this month. (April has been busy for the perpetually agitated.) It is a day when lefties accomplish little more than exposing their planet-sized hypocrisy on the environment: Eco-celebs such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo will walk arm-in-arm to lament the Earth’s destruction by greedy fossil-fuel companies, and then they will jet off to their next fossil-fuel-powered movie set to make millions. Jerry Brown, Andrew Cuomo, and other politicians will lecture us about the dangers of CO2 as they close zero-emission nuclear plants in their own states. Millennials will snap selfies on cellphones that operate off an electric grid powered by natural gas made abundantly available by the fracking they will protest.

    According to its website, here is the point of the People’s Climate March:
    On the 100th Day of the Trump Administration, we will be in the streets of Washington D.C. to show the world and our leaders that we will resist attacks on our people, our communities and our planet.

    Now set aside for a moment the comical idea that angry anti-Trumpers, who have been in attack mode since November 8, are themselves under attack. This statement reveals the height of hypocrisy from the climate crowd; they are the bullies attacking anyone who dares to question climate science or who doubts whether human activity is causing climate change. Most Americans are unaware of the vicious campaign — including character assassination, political witch-hunts, and media propaganda — waged by climate activists against people who do not recite the strictest tenets of the manmade-climate-change creed.

    When the New York Times announced a few weeks ago that it had hired Bret Stephens, a former Wall Street Journal columnist, the climate cult went insane. (Stephens has been critical of climate-change dogma.) Joe Romm, the editor of Climate Progress, and others demanded that the Times fire Stephens. Hundreds of people threatened to cancel their subscriptions to protest the hiring of a so-called climate denier, including leading climate scientist Ken Caldeira who accused Stephens of having a “reckless disregard for well-established scientific facts.” Michael Mann, a climate scientist from Penn State University and keynote speaker at the March for Science, tweeted this:

    “It should trouble everyone in the scientific community that the primary response of its leading voices when they encounter a voice they don’t like is to try to get that person fired from their job. That is doesn’t trouble anyone very much says something,” wrote Roger Pielke, Jr. in a blog post this month. Pielke is a scientist who concluded a decade ago that climate change was not contributing to more extreme weather events such as hurricanes and floods, a finding that was eventually supported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    By exposing this flaw in climate science, Pielke has since been targeted by powerful climate interests determined to destroy his career and reputation. He has been called a climate denier, even though he believes human activity is causing climate change and he supports a carbon tax. President Obama’s top science adviser, John Holdren, wrote a lengthy missive against Pielke, which prompted one Democratic congressman to call for an investigation into Pielke’s research (he is a professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder). The coercion was so great that Pielke left the field of climate science a few years ago.

    He’s back in the fray now, after some climate bullies, including Mann, who is suing National Review for alleged defamation, attacked Pielke for his testimony on Capitol Hill last month on climate science. Pielke will start posting a monthly blog about climate issues, mostly to fight back against the campaign of intimidation by climate activists and the complicity of the scientific establishment.

    “The science community not only allows this bullying, they applaud it. And the power brokers endorse it. There are no ordinary checks and balances in the profession,” Pielke told me. “There is a view among climate activists that if they can get everyone to believe the same thing, then the right policies will take place. It gives these people political standing.”

    And that is what most terrifies the climate tribe: the loss of political power and policymaking influence, as well as the government funding that goes with it. In a recent interview, Steven Koonin, a former undersecretary in Obama’s Energy Department and now the director of NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, said scientists are fearful of reprisals if they hold a different view of climate change: “If you get scientists in a room together, it’s a vibrant, alive science. But somehow that gets muted, if not suppressed, when you get out into the policy-making discussions,” Koonin said. “It’s very difficult to get into the club, so to speak, if you’re a contrarian. You might see your money cut off, but even more significantly, you’ll see opprobrium from your peers. If you speak up, you can be in big trouble.”

    Or even threatened with violence. After the March for Science this past Saturday, shots were fired at the office of John Christy, a climate scientist at the University of Alabama, Hunstville, and a well-known climate-change skeptic. Christy’s colleague, Roy Spencer, reported the shooting on social media on Monday: “When some people cannot argue facts, they resort to violence to get their way. Maybe the ‘March for Science’ should have been called the ‘March to Silence.’”

    This is the kind of thuggery climate leaders promote so they can keep their agenda intact. They play the victim by insisting that the Trump administration and Republicans are trying to oppress them, but they are the perpetrators, intimidating and coercing anyone who dares to defy them. Contrary to what they say, it’s about silence, not science.



Why the People’s Climate March Is a Farce

After watching the March for Science, we now need a March for Sanity. But that’ll have to wait because this weekend is the People’s Climate March, another opportunity for left-wing agitators to show off their ignorance on poster-sized tablets preaching the global-warming gospel. It’s unsurprising: Over the past eight years, we’ve heard nothing but alarmist rhetoric from the climactivist-in-chief, Barack Obama, and his PR department, the mainstream media.

The climate march’s website calls itself part of “the resistance” that prevented President Trump from repealing Obamacare and also “stymied his despicable Muslim ban.” And organizers say they will do the “same thing to his attacks on our climate, our air, and our water.” How Mr. Trump was attacking the environment is unclear, since our air and water have never been cleaner.

Everyone has a right to protest and march peaceably. But using factoids from an Al Gore or Leo DiCaprio movie is something that most climatologists would find embarrassing.

What’s becoming clear is that these marches aren’t about the climate but more about preventing Obama-era regulations from being rolled back. Activists don’t want to prevent a climate catastrophe; they want to force mankind to stop using fossil fuels by pressuring political leaders. That’s why the marches began under Obama’s tenure; organizations want to “keep it in the ground” and prevent fuel transport across the country through safe, efficient pipelines. They want the rest of us to accept their fantastical claims that carbon dioxide is a control knob for the planet’s climate.

The next time a warmist starts blathering on about carbon pollution, hand him a glass of tonic water and say “Here, have some carbon pollution.” Yes, that seltzer water contains plenty of the dreaded carbon dioxide. And because the media have warned of “carbon pollution” so often, the public now confuses CO2 with perceived soot emissions. But America’s modern coal-fired power plants use advanced scrubbers to remove mercury, nitrous oxide, sulfates, and particulate matter, leaving only a mixture of water vapor and carbon dioxide to rise up the “smokestack.” Of course, CO2 is also a key nutrient for all plant life and, according to NASA, is making the Earth greener.

So, let’s start with the “hottest year ever” claims. Why do the media refuse to show how much warmer 2016 was than 2015? And why do the media instead show melting icebergs, hapless penguins, and calving glaciers when discussing this crucial data point? According to the available satellite datasets, 2016 was warmer than 2015 by only 0.04 degrees. The margin of error is 0.1 degrees, meaning it’s statistically insignificant. What we can say is that since we left the Little Ice Age in 1850, the Earth has warmed by one degree Celsius. We’ll survive.

Pundits also refuse to tell their readers what drove the warming of the past two years: a particularly strong, naturally occurring El Niño that lasted from 2015 to 2016. El Niño events form during profound shifts in Pacific Ocean convection, with sea surface temperatures becoming warmer than normal for more than three consecutive months. Such powerful reversals of prevailing circulation can affect weather worldwide for many months at a time. As potent as the recent El Niño was, temperatures are now plummeting back to previous levels, according to both satellite and weather balloon data.

Unfortunately, stationary land and sea measuring stations have diverged from satellite scans. NASA has always referred to satellite temperature measurements as the "gold standard" — until they stopped showing net warming after 1998. But these satellite measurements are particularly important because there are no adequate temperature stations located in the tropical forests of South America or much of Africa. Antarctica has a few stations clustered at research stations on one side of the continent, while the Arctic is largely uncovered.

Prior to 1980, the United States possessed the most measuring stations of any nation. Most countries across Eurasia didn't bother to measure how warm or cold it was during both World Wars. U.S. data happen to be so robust that most meteorological organizations have integrated America's pre-1980 data. And by incorporating those data, these organizations have also inherited any corruptions or data-tampering in the 20th-century temperature records. That's because "adjusted" data sets have allowed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to cool the past in order to demonstrate more dramatic warming during the latter part of the 20th century. In fact, NOAA clumsily erased the nearly 30-year-long cooling period from the '40s to the '70s and tweaked the 1930s — the hottest decade on record — to make these years look less dramatic.

As meteorologist Joe Bastardi pointed out on Fox News this week, much of the warming over the past 150 years can be directly tied to sunspot activity, oscillating patterns of oceanic warming and cooling, and numerous sub-variables. But climate alarmists treat CO2 as the sole stove knob for changes in temperature and weather. Bastardi notes that, historically, CO2 and temperature have rarely correlated, including Ice Age periods with much higher CO2 levels.

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported former Energy Department Undersecretary Steven Koonin's claim that President Obama's administration manipulated scientific data to sway public opinion. "What you saw coming out of the press releases about climate data, climate analysis, was, I'd say, misleading, sometimes just wrong," he said.

As an example, Koonin pointed to the National Climate Assessment (NCA) of 2014, which showed an increase in hurricane activity from 1980 as an example of how federal agencies cooked the books. He said the NCA assessment was wrong because, "What they forgot to tell you, and you don't know until you read all the way into the fine print, is that it actually decreased in the decades before that."

He's right. According to NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, there has been no "detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity." And what about the intensity of tropical cyclones/hurricanes? None have gotten worse, according to the data mapped out by climatologist Dr. Ryan N. Maue. Al Gore once warned of a pending hurricane epidemic. But the facts indicate that there has been "no uptick in the global frequency of tropical storms or hurricanes" and "no trend in cyclone energy."

Koonin said it's a scientist's job "to put the facts on the table." And so, the worst offenders have been NASA and NOAA, with both using their data to politicize science. Koonin sees these agencies' actions as problematic because "public opinion is formed by the data that [come] from those organizations and appear in newspapers."

And so, a deeper dive into the data reveals a lack of support for the catastrophic global warming narrative. But that won't stop protesters from claiming that America's coastlines are quickly going underwater. Al Gore pointed to Hurricane Sandy's flooding of New York and New Jersey as proof of sea-level rise (and of his predictions). Actually, it was proof of a hurricane's storm surge.

Has sea-level rise increased? According to a study published in 2016 in Scientific Reports, it's actually slowed down to two millimeters per year, and "current altimeter products show the rate of sea-level rise to have decreased from the first to second decades of the altimeter era." You can look at coastal photographs from the early 1900s and those from today and see there are minuscule differences, even along rocky coastlines. One prominent study showed the Earth has added more coastline than it's lost.

And before you say Miami flooding, the occurrence is caused by a naturally occurring event known as a King's Tide, in which the moon and sun line up to create a higher-than-normal tide. This has been happening since Miami was settled. And because of land subsidence, it's gotten worse (the land is sinking, because altimeters show sea-level rise has actually slowed down.)

Have tornadoes increased? According to NOAA's climate-information website, there has been "little trend in the frequency of the stronger tornadoes over the past 55 years." The year 1974 is still the reigning champion and that was during the Great Cooling Scare.

Snow extent in the Northern Hemisphere? According to Rutgers University Snow Lab, snow extent has increased. And Al Gore said children wouldn't know what snow was by 2012....

Wildfires? According to the EPA and National Interagency Fire Center, wildfires haven't increased. Ironically, poor forestry management — which has emphasized actions to rapidly halt any forest fires — has yielded an excess of dry kindling, which has enabled subsequent, larger wildfires.

Floods and droughts have not grown in intensity or strength. More people have moved into flood zones and areas once not considered habitable. And such wealthy living has led to larger insurance payouts after catastrophe strikes. But because it's been so long since a large-scale event has occurred, people think it's safe to live in a flood plain or in the wild. Of course, when a massive flood or wildfire occurs, activists blame it on global warming. But the risk is on the occupants, who chose to settle in areas that do indeed face risks.

As for stronger storms or extreme weather, not a single government agency can say there has been any uptick in trends because the data don't back it up. Even the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's most current AR5 report said there have been few instances of extreme weather, which makes it premature to attribute severe weather events to global warming.

Everyone has a right to protest and march peaceably. But using factoids from an Al Gore or Leo DiCaprio movie is something that most climatologists would find embarrassing.

In science, nothing is ever settled. If it were, we'd still think trans fats are no big deal, the Earth is flat, and the sun revolves around the Earth. That's why real scientists cringe at the word consensus, and why politics should be kept as far from the lab as possible.


Shale Crushes Solar

The Promethean task of supplying energy to the U.S. economy and the rest of the world involves scales that are truly difficult to visualize. Many options appear to make sense until you crunch the numbers. That’s why Bill Gates said that people need to bring “math skills to the problem.”

Consider petroleum alone, which accounts for about one-third of global energy use. If the world’s current oil supply were delivered in a pile of actual barrels, that stack would rise up at a velocity of 1,500 miles per hour and reach the moon’s orbit in a week – and continue at that rate every week for years to come.

Meanwhile, solar and wind power are the two most discussed “disruptions” to our energy supply. It is true that solar/wind costs have gone down dramatically in the past decade. At the same time there’s a policy revolution in subsidies (more about policies in part 3 of this series) leading to a cumulative $100+ billion in the U.S. for solar/wind. The effect of this combination has been to proliferate solar panels and wind turbines sufficient to drive a nearly 10-fold increase in combined energy supplied from those sources.

While that’s quite remarkable, wind and solar together still supply less than 1.5% of America’s energy. Fast growth from a small number is like winning $100 in Vegas on a $10 bet. Nice, but not life-changing.

To find a “radical and pervasive” change in energy markets we have to look elsewhere. Over the same decade noted above, the amount of energy added to America from shale hydrocarbons was 2,000% greater than the additional supply from solar and wind combined.  That actual revolution also happened because of the maturation of new technologies. But, notably, in this case it took place without the stimulus of special subsidies.

The scale and velocity of the shale revolution is underappreciated. It is the fastest and biggest addition to world energy supply -- not just hydrocarbons, but all forms of energy -- that has occurred in history.  The only time something close to as dramatic has occurred was in the decade following the 1968 opening of Saudi Arabia’s giant Ghawar oil field.

This American transformation has far-reaching implications, not least of which is that the U.S. now exports crude – savor the word “exports” – at a rate north of 1 million barrels a day. That’s the highest rate of U.S. crude exports since 1958, by a factor of two, and outstrips the crude exports of five of OPEC’s members. Four decades of handwringing about import dependencies and serially misguided federal energy policies were upended overnight.

Looking to the future, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) “optimistic” forecast (which assumes subsidies continue) see solar and wind output growing three-fold by 2035.  EIA’s optimistic forecast for shale hydrocarbons for the next two decades (still no subsidies of course) has that industry replicating it’s growth of the past single decade. We’ll suggest, shortly, why that’s actually a pessimistic forecast. So by 2035, the American energy revolution will still be driven by oil & gas.

But the revolution with respect to shale goes far beyond ‘mere’ quantity. In many quarters, the enthusiasm for solar and wind has been animated largely by the notion that these sources democratize energy production. But in fact, wind and solar growth in the past decade is utterly dominated by utility-scale projects, and a Darwinian consolidation of the companies that produce the hardware. There are currently only a few major wind turbine vendors (only one in the U.S.); while a comparably small number (most in China now) of solar panel producers utterly dominate the market. In short, we’ve seen the emergence of “big solar” and “big wind.”

The shale story has been precisely the opposite. None of the “big oil” companies, the super-majors, were responsible for creating the new shale industry. The pioneers were all upstarts with names like Continental, Pioneer and Brigham. There are hundreds of shale drillers; more than four dozen relatively unknown companies comprise the top ranks. The majors, of course, have noticed and have started to get into the game, but they will still constitute a small share of that industry for the foreseeable future. The rapid emergence of a new, diverse and broad community of companies in the U.S. shale industry is a classic, American entrepreneurial bootstrap story culminating in a new industry that has truly democratized a huge swath of the energy landscape.

And second only to its staggering scale, the single most remarkable and revolutionary feature of the shale ecosystem is, in a word, velocity. It’s not just the speed with which that industry went from essentially zero to a $100+ billion per year business – about which we note: this was a faster and bigger growth in revenues than the contemporaneous rise in smartphone sales in the U.S. It is also the speed with which wells can be drilled. Rather than planning and development that can take not just multiple years but even decades for traditional billion-dollar hydrocarbon projects, each shale well is an individual decision involving nearly a thousand-fold less capital. Those decisions are made in weeks to months. And, critically the wells can be drilled in a week or two.

The world has never seen anything like this. The net effect of all this is a collective U.S. shale ecosystem that can respond organically and rapidly to price fluctuations. We’ve already seen the result of this in action. The huge oil price collapse that began in 2014 and lasted until only a few months ago did lead to a pullback in U.S. production, but only about a 10% decline. Now with a modest price rise of the past several months, investments, and drilling and production, have come roaring back and are on track and could reach  new record levels this year.

But the price collapse – a collapse, it bears noting, that was engineered by the Saudis to discipline markets – did result in some casualties in the form of bankruptcies and layoffs across the shale domains. Hydrocarbons will continue to be cyclical commodities both from manipulators and natural market dynamics. However, high-speed U.S. shale now becomes a throttle on price rises. What we have learned from this latest price cycle is that the staggeringly large shale system is in fact quite resilient.

Just see what happens if you propose that the solar and wind industry be subject to a cyclical and spot pricing system and have to deal with a 60% drop in revenues (as the oil business experienced) without the crutch of semi-permanent pricing and guaranteed off-take. That such a state of affairs would likely deal a deathblow to solar/wind growth is not speculative; it’s precisely what industry lobbyists tell policymakers on both sides of the aisle every time it is suggested.

So while solar/wind advocates ply the halls of Congress and statehouses to preserve access to the people’s capital, the total amount of capital committed by private entities to the shale fields rose by nearly $40 billion in the first quarter of this year.  That money is not coming from captive ratepayers, or government gifts. Shale financing comes from the America’s broad and distributed financial markets; the world’s most diverse, liquid, and resilient.

Resurgent investment in the shale fields will inevitably -- that’s the point of the investment -- result in another jump in hydrocarbon output, stimulating America’s economy, boosting jobs and exports, reducing the trade deficit, and enhancing federal and state treasuries with tax and royalty receipts. There is, after all, a kind of “free lunch” for policymakers.

What we have also learned from the cyclical downturn in oil prices is that the technologies involved in shale production are getting better at an amazing rate. The efficacy of shale rigs – the amount of physical production per capital dollar spent – has been improving by more than 20% per year on average. Put another way; the rigs are getting roughly twice as productive every three years. No other energy technology is improving that quickly. And EIA data shows that rate actually jumped during the last couple of years during the price downturn.

But many still believe that a future energy revolution depends solar and wind. Of course those technologies will get far better. But, as is clear from NREL data, both wind and solar are now experiencing a declining rate of improvement as those technologies start to approach their limits in terms of what physics permits. They still improve each year, but now necessarily at a slower rate than in the past.

Shale technology is a long way from its physics limits. In fact, the industry is at the beginning of what I’ve earlier termed Shale 2.0. Only now has the industry just begun to embrace the kinds of software and digital solutions that common in other industrial domains.

It is no longer speculative to suggest that shale production will soon be boosted, even radically, by digital tools.  Analysts at BofA Merrill Lynch in March 2017 released their report telegraphically titled, “The Internet of Oil.”  McKinsey thinks that a digital revolution in oil and gas is coming but is hidden (not for long). Goldman Sachs, and many others, has finally concluded that the shale revolution is structurally permanent. It’s taken time for the punditocracy to realize that the shale business more closely resembles a manufacturing industry than an “extractive” one, and it’s about to benefit from Silicon Valley-class tools as a spate of startup tech companies start chasing such a big prize.

The bottom line here is important. If you were interested in investing in genuinely revolutionary energy technologies in order to get the biggest bang for the buck, where would you place your bets?  This question is relevant for private investors in public companies and increasingly start-ups too. It should also be relevant for policymakers invoking the euphemism of “investment” when making bets with taxpayers' funds.


Bill Nye's View of Humanity Is Repulsive
Bill Nye has some detestable ideas about humanity. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Many environmental doomsdayers share his totalitarian impulses (he has toyed with the idea of criminalizing speech he dislikes) and soft spot for eugenics.

In his Netflix series, “Bill Nye Saves the World,” the former children’s television host supplies viewers with various trendy notions to adorn his ideological positions with the sheen of science. In the final episode, Nye and his guests contemplate a thorny “scientific” question: How can the state stop people from having “extra kids”?

All of this was pretty familiar to me, and not only because the panel sounded like a ChiCom planning meeting. The Nye segment, it turns out, was just a repetition of a 2016 NPR article on overpopulation featuring Travis Rieder.

“Should we have policies that penalize people for having extra kids in the developed world?” asked Reider and others who were pondering the “ethics of procreation.” The article is titled “Should We Be Having Kids in the Age of Climate Change?” In it, Rieder, a philosopher with the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University, scaremongers a class of college students about The End of Days and the immorality of having children. NPR describes: “The room is quiet. No one fidgets. Later, a few students say they had no idea the situation was so bad.” It’s not.

“Here’s a provocative thought,” Rieder says. “Maybe we should protect our kids by not having them.” This is provocative in the way a stoner wondering why airplanes don’t run on hemp is provocative. That’s because the entire case for capping the number of children rests on assumptions entirely devoid of scientific or historical basis.

In 1798, Thomas Malthus wrote that “the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.” At that point, there were maybe a billion humans on Earth, so we might forgive him for worrying. In 1800, the life expectancy of the average British citizen — Britain then being the leading light of the world — was 39 years. Most humans lived in pitiless poverty that is increasingly rare in most parts of the contemporary world.

Now, had Nye been around in the early 19th century, he’d almost surely have been smearing anyone skeptical of the miasma theory of disease. The problem is he lacks imagination; he’s unable to understand that science is here to help humanity adapt and overcome, not constrict it. Anyway, seven-plus billion people later, extreme poverty was projected to fall below 10 percent for the first time ever in 2015. Most of those gains have been made in the midst of the world’s largest population explosion.

Additionally, it is reported that because of the spread of trade, technological advances and plentiful fossil fuels, fewer people are hungry than ever; fewer die in conflicts over resources; and deaths due to extreme weather have been dramatically declining for a century. Over the past 40 years, our water and air have become cleaner, despite a huge spike in population growth. Some of the Earth’s richest people live in some of its densest cities.

It’s worth remembering that not only was early progressivism steeped in eugenics but early ‘70s abortion politics was played out in the shadow of Paul Ehrlich’s population bomb theory. Former Vice President Al Gore has already broached the idea of “fertility management.” Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg mentioned a few years ago, “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”

You thought right. Today, abortion is used as a means of exterminating a class of human deemed unworthy of life — those with Down syndrome.

We live in a world where Ehrlich protege John Holdren — who, like his mentor, made a career of offering memorably erroneous predictions (not out of the ordinary for alarmists) — was able to become a science czar in the Obama administration. Holdren co-authored a book in late 1970s called “Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment,” which waded into theoretical talk about mass sterilizations and forced abortions in an effort to save hundreds of millions from sure death. Nye is a fellow denier of one of the most irrefutable facts about mankind: Human ingenuity overcomes demand.

Now, just because something hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it can’t happen in the future. But the evidence against Malthusianism is stronger now than it has ever been. And, of course, not everything about human existence can be quantified. This is the point. Talking about humans as if they were a malady that needs to be cured is, at its core, immoral. And listening to a man who has three residences lecture potential parents about their responsibilities to Mother Earth is particularly galling.

Although many thousands of incredibly smart and talented people engage in real scientific inquiry and discovery, “science” is often used as a cudgel to browbeat people into accepting progressive policies. Just look at the coverage of the March for Science last week. The biggest clue that it was nothing more than another political event is that Nye was a speaker. “We are marching today to remind people everywhere, our lawmakers especially,” he told the crowd, “of the significance of science for our health and prosperity.” Fortunately, our health and prosperity have blossomed despite the work of Nye and his ideological ancestors.



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   main.html 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


28 April, 2017

Cold Comfort from Ice Core Records of Climate

The attempt to defend Warmism below would appear to have solved a problem -- but not the problem they think it solved.  The big problem for Warmists is to show synchrony between CO2 levels and temperature.  There is so little synchrony in modern times that their only recourse has been to look at paleoclimate -- the climate of many thousands of years ago -- as estimated from ice-cores etc.  And when they do that, they appear to find the synchrony they need.   CO2 and temperature seem to go up and down roughly in tandem. 

Skeptics however have always made the point that synchrony is not enough.  Following David Hume's notion of causation, you cannot say that X caused Y unless you can show that X PRECEDED Y.  And that is where Warmists became unglued.  If you looked closely at the paleoclimate record, you found that the causation was the other way around:  Warming preceded and hence probably caused CO2 increases, not the other way around.  Pesky!

A small puzzle was that the warming seemed to precede CO2 rises by a lot.  There was a gap of, for example, 800 years between a warming event and a CO2 event.  So the CO2 event and the temperature event were not connected at all.  They were not part of one continuous process. There seemed in fact to be NO causal relationship between the two variables. Skeptics didn't bother too much about that, though.  It was sufficient to show that the sequence required by Warmism did not occur in the record.

But that gap did of course burn Warmist up a bit in their rare moments of honesty and some recent research has gone into getting the timing of the various events precisely right.  The paleoclimate record is very imprecise so I was always possible that more precise measures of it might not show that pesky gap.

And so it seems to have happened. The report below from one of the few Warmist sites that tries to make a scientific case for Warmism lists several studies that essentially eliminate the gap. They find that warming events and CO2 rises were roughly synchronous.  And I am going to take that as read.  I am not going to take a critical look at the studies concerned.

And one of the reasons why I am going to take the "discovery" as read is that it makes sense.  Warming and CO2 levels SHOULD be pretty synchronous.  Warming should cause the oceans to outgas CO2 and thus should produce, more or less immediately, higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

So the new data do nothing to support the Warmist case.  Rather than show that CO2 causes warming, they are perfectly compatible with warming causing an atmospheric CO2 rise.  Warmists still have no proof anywhere that atmospheric CO2 rises cause terrestrial temperature rises.

It is always a bit of a thrill for me to look at posts on "Skeptical Science", from which the report below comes.  They always seem so sound and solid in their conclusions at first glance.  So it is a challenge to spy out the fast and loose bits that their arguments depend on.  Usually, they simply omit contrary evidence but on some occasions their fault is simply a fault of logic -- as below

When it comes to climate change imagery, the ice core record is kind of a rock star. Graphs of ice core data have become as common as pictures of polar bears and traffic-jammed Los Angeles freeways. And it’s easy to see why- atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, the most important long-lived greenhouse gas, and reconstructions of temperature at the core sites track each other beautifully. As ice cores have been pulled from deeper beneath the surface of polar ice sheets (the longest, in Antarctica, reaching nearly two miles down) the synchronized movement of temperature and greenhouse gases grows more compelling, stretching back more than 800,000 years into the past. In 2006, the ice core record made its big screen debut, with a sizable role in the documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Al Gore showed two lines, CO2 in red and temperature in blue, moving faithfully together across millennia. Matching peak for peak, dip for dip. The effect was mesmerizing. Suddenly, CO2 skyrockets almost straight up, the result of our modern emissions. The implication for future temperature is clear. Gore characterized the pairing this way:

The relationship is very complicated. But there is one relationship that is more powerful than all the others and it is this. When there is more carbon dioxide, the temperature gets warmer, because it traps more heat from the sun inside.

As the profile of the ice core record increased, it became the subject of attacks from those seeking to cast doubt on the reality of human-driven climate change. Some dismissed the data because they disagreed with older methods of estimating past levels of CO2, such as fossilized plant stomata. Others claimed that the coring process caused degassing that corrupted the data. Eventually, many contrarians seized upon a line in a paper (Caillon et al., 2003) published a few years before AIT to claim the entire premise of global warming, the whole enchilada, was wrong. They had found, or at least believed they had found, a loophole. An out. And they had it in writing.

They claimed that temperature and CO2 might move together, but rather than CO2 driving changes in temperature, changes in temperature actually preceded the changes in CO2. It said so, right there in the paper, “the CO2 increase lagged Antarctic deglacial warming by 800 ± 200 years”. And since effect can’t precede cause, CO2 can’t possibly be responsible for changes in planetary temperature. If CO2 “lags”, the contrarians said, it can’t lead. That big CO2 increase Al Gore showed in his movie? It was nothing to worry about. If CO2 was doing the leading now, temperature wasn’t going to follow, period. The contrarians were triumphant.

This “lag not lead” claim was echoed across blogs and online forums, made its way around the News Corp media empire, and appeared in a widely-watched anti-climate-science polemic The Great Global Warming Swindle. It was even championed by Congressman Joe Barton, former Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It remains one of the most common objections to the reality of man-made climate change to this day.

Climate scientists tried, vainly, to rebut this line of attack. They were quick to point out that, just as Gore noted, the CO2-temperature relationship is complicated. Greenhouse gases weren’t the initial cause of the temperature increases over the ice core record; subtle variations in the Earth’s position relative to the sun (called Milankovitch cycles) were. These orbitally-driven temperature variations eventually triggered changes in greenhouse gases, which then greatly boosted the initial temperature change. CO2 can be both a cause and a response- a forcing and a feedback, in the vernacular of climate science- depending on the circumstances. They also noted that there was still an enormous amount of uncertainty in the exact timing of the changes recorded by the ice cores, so that it wasn’t clear there even was a lag as large as the contrarians claimed. But more to the point, the physics of the greenhouse effect are well-understood and entirely uncontroversial. A guy named Joseph Fourier had it pretty much figured out all the way back in the 1820s (Pierrehumbert, 2004). This is about as solid as science can get, the climate scientists insisted. Our present increase of greenhouse gases will result in increasing temperature, and no amount of arguing about ice cores can negate that. You can’t cheat physics. The contrarians, convinced of their out, were unpersuaded. The arguments in comments sections of blogs and news articles raged on.

And then a funny thing happened- the lag disappeared.

Jeremy Shakun and some of his colleagues had an idea. Noting that the temperature data “leading” the CO2 in the ice core record were an estimation of local conditions near the core site in the Antarctic interior, they set out to reconstruct regional and eventually global temperature change as we thawed out of the Last Glacial Maximum (what most people call “the ice age”). Last year, they published a paper showing that global temperature change followed changes in CO2 rather than the reverse (Shakun et al., 2012). Milankovitch cycles initiated warming of the Northern Hemisphere, which melted a great deal of freshwater previously locked up in ice. This freshwater melting disrupted a global oceanic heat pump, resulting in a cooling of temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere and warming in the Southern Hemisphere. This hemispheric heat switcheroo is known as a “bipolar seesaw”. As the Southern Ocean warmed during this seesaw, it released CO2 into the atmosphere. This increase in CO2 then warmed the rest of the globe. CO2 was driving warming globally, even though it wasn’t the initial trigger. Shakun et al. further found that the Southern Hemisphere warming and CO2 increase were closely coordinated, happening within a few hundred years at most, and possibly simultaneously.

A few months later, a group of researchers led by Joel Pedro published a paper on the lag issue looking at another perspective. Noting the large uncertainty in timing associated with the longer ice core records from the interior of Antarctica, they turned to ice core records from the Antarctic coast (Pedro et al., 2012). These records don’t reach as far back into the past as the records from the interior, but were able to be dated more precisely. Like Shakun’s team, Pedro and colleagues found that the changes in Antarctic temperature did not lead changes in CO2 by 800 or 1,000 years, but rather the two changed pretty much together. This March, a third group of researchers led by Frédéric Parrenin independently confirmed this finding. Parrenin et al. attacked the lag issue from still another angle. Instead of reducing uncertainty in the timing of events by looking in other regions, they used the behavior of atmospheric nitrogen isotopes in settling within snowpack prior to freezing to better constrain the age of the existing data (Parrenin et al., 2013). In doing so they found, like Pedro and colleagues, there was essentially no lag between Antarctic temperature increases and CO2 increases.

These multiple lines of independent evidence were telling the same story- more or less what climate scientists had been trying to explain all along. Local temperature and CO2 increased together, a consequence of the orbitally-triggered warming up north and a resulting bipolar seesaw, while CO2 then drove warming globally. The greenhouse effect endures, vindicated and implacable.

The coupling of CO2 and temperature in the ice core record is a reminder that some technicality buried in the pages of a journal isn’t going to divorce our actions from their consequences. There is no loophole when it comes to physics. As we continue to drive CO2 levels ever higher, that’s something all of us- not just contrarians- should keep in mind.

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

Carbon tax proposals

The article below is by Jerry Taylor, a one-time libertarian and climate skeptic.  It is not clear why he eventually went over to the dark side but I suspect that when his hair began to grey, he found that his good looks could no longer pull in the chicks so he felt that he needed a boost to his social acceptability.  What he proposes below is certainly more rational than the thicket of regulations and policies that presently surround climate policies.  So he is a good critic of such policies.  I won't reproduce the whole of his post below as he simply takes global warming as read.  He gives no evidence for it at all. He is just playing establishment games

On April 11, I was invited by the Electricity Consumers Research Council (ELCON) to debate carbon taxation with the Manhattan Institute’s Oren Cass at their Spring workshop in Washington, D.C. Although the debate was not recorded, it is worth discussing. Cass is one of the most prominent and serious “anti-carbon-taxers” on  the right. His opinions, moreover, track those of Bill Gates, one of the most influential thought leaders in this field.

Our debate was a confrontation along increasingly familiar lines: Does the world need a clean energy moonshot to address climate change, or do we have the cost effective technology to do so right now? My opening remarks follow, after which I will spend a bit of time reflecting on Cass’s rebuttal.

Opening Remarks: The Dangers We Face, the Question of Uncertainty, and the Case for a Carbon Tax

Too many conversations about carbon taxation are bereft of any serious discussion about the underlying problem that we’re trying to address. So let’s begin with a quick review of our present situation, which is far more serious than Cass’s recent essay in Foreign Affairs (“The Problem with Climate Catastrophizing: The Case for Calm“) would have us believe.

According to a new study from MIT, the planet is presently on track to experience a warming of 3-5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by 2100. The range reflects our uncertainty about how quickly the planet will respond to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (a concept known in the profession as “transient climate sensitivity”). MIT’s central estimate, however, is that a 4 degrees Celsius warming is the most likely outcome in 2100.

Happily, Cass—unlike most opponents of climate action—accepts the findings of mainstream science and, in his Foreign Affairs essay, accepts the 4C warming projection for 2100. Turning up the global thermostat by 4 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit) is a very big deal. To put that warming into perspective:

Global temperatures during the last ice age were only 4C cooler than pre-industrial norms.

Increasing the global thermostat by 6 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels has in the past delivered unto earth its most epic hothouses (think “Age of the Dinosaurs”).

The last time the atmosphere had today’s high concentrations of greenhouse gases was during the late Pliocene Epoch, some 3 million years ago. Temperatures then were only 2°C to 3.6°C above pre-industrial levels. Under those conditions, there was no Arctic ice cap and sea levels were 30-65 feet higher.

4 degrees Celsius is not the endpoint of our warming under business-as-usual. It is simply a way-point. If we manage to stabilize atmospheric CO2 from then on, inertial warming of the climate will continue beyond 2100. It isn’t until anthropogenic emissions hit zero that we will begin to plausibly reverse course on global temperature.

The MIT report indicates that global emissions in 2100 will still be larger than they are today.

We have little idea how, precisely, the planet will respond to such an unprecedentedly rapid increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases. There are literally no data points either in human or pre-human experience to inform our analysis. Nassim Taleb’s parade of black swans is marching down the street. A long list of socio-economic shocks is plausibly on the horizon.

Given the uncertainty regarding transient climate sensitivity, where the various tipping points lie for warming-related climate shocks, what the economy will look like decades hence, and how that economy will respond, we cannot say with confidence what warming will cost us by the year 2100. Here are the best (if imperfect) guesses:

William Nordhaus’s updated DICE model finds that 4C warming will reduce global GDP by 3.6%. The majority of economists who publish in the peer-reviewed literature on this matter, however, suspect that his forecast is too conservative. They believe that 3C warming will reduce global GDP by 5-10%.

If it turns out that warming affects output growth rates rather than output levels, the cost of warming will increase by many orders of magnitude (for more on this, see economists Robert Pindyck and Geoffrey Heal and Jisung Park). A recent deluge of econometric analyses of temperatures and growth rates shows this could very well be the case. Incidentally, 78% of the economists who publish in the peer-reviewed literature in this field believe that climate damages will affect growth rates.

When those same economists were asked about the chances of low-probability, high-impact outcomes from climate change reducing global GDP by 25% or more (economic losses, in other words, on the order of the Great Depression), they put the odds of that happening at 10-20% given a 3C warming.

Cass has asked me to be concrete about the carbon tax I’m advocating. My preference is for an economy-wide $45 per ton carbon tax, rising 2% above inflation every year.

The tax would be applied or rebated at the border (as necessary) so that U.S. manufacturers are not rendered uncompetitive with imports from non-acting states or exports to the same.

Federal regulatory authority to address greenhouse gas emissions would be eliminated in sub-sectors of the economy where the tax is applied.

I am agnostic about how the federal government uses carbon tax revenues (about $2 trillion over ten years) for the purpose of this discussion. The immediate need is to reduce emissions to hedge against climate risks. How revenues from that undertaking are spent is an entirely separate (fiscal) matter.

Among possibly attractive uses are offsets for corporate income tax rate cuts, providing lump-sum rebates to households to compensate them for rising energy prices, paying down the national debt, offsetting expenditures for national infrastructure, investing in low-carbon energy R&D, and investments in climate adaptation (better that polluters rather than victims of pollution pay that bill).

The tax I propose would reduce U.S. emissions by around 40% relative to business-as-usual by the mid-to-late 2020s. That would put us on a path to reduce U.S. emissions by 50-80% by 2050 (relative to 2005)—the goal that would allow us to play our part in keeping global warming from going above 2C.


The Liberal Crusade to Redefine Science

It seems every weekend brings a march for one cause or another in D.C. Last weekend, folks marched for science. Or did they?

In his preface to “Mere Christianity,” C. S. Lewis explains what happens when words lose their original meaning. Take the word “gentleman.” Once upon a time, Lewis writes, a gentleman was “one who had a coat of arms and some landed property. When you called someone ‘a gentleman,’ you were not paying him a compliment, but merely stating a fact.”

Gradually, however, “gentleman” evolved into just that—a compliment. A true gentleman was no longer someone who met the objective qualifications, but a person whom the speaker liked. Thus, concludes Lewis, “gentleman” became a useless word.

I think another important word is undergoing this same redefinition. That word, alas, is science.

There was a time when “science” meant the systematic pursuit of knowledge through experimentation and observation. But it’s rapidly becoming a synonym for progressive politics and materialist philosophy.

To be labeled a “science-denier” in 2017 often just means you’ve upset someone who insists on teaching strict, Darwinian orthodoxy in schools, or who advocates particular climate legislation, or who supports ethically fraught research on embryos.

In contrast, being “pro-science” has become a shibboleth for supporting progressive ideology. Think of a recent ad by National Geographic with the caption, “Stand behind the facts. Stand with science. Stand for the planet.” But just weeks prior, National Geographic had run a cover depicting a nine-year-old boy dressed as a girl. Because, as we know, they stand with science.

But if there were ever going to be a ceremony inaugurating this new and useless definition of science, it’s got to be last weekend’s “March for Science” in the nation’s capital, co-chaired by Bill Nye, “the science guy.” Nye, a children’s TV host from the nineties with no formal training as a scientist, has recaptured the spotlight with his videos on climate change, abortion, women’s rights, and other topics.

To say his arguments in some of these videos are embarrassing is being kind. For instance, in one odd and rambling speech promoting abortion, Nye claimed that because many lives end through natural causes before they leave the womb that it’s okay for us to kill the unborn ourselves. That’s like saying it’s okay to kill adults, because millions die of natural causes. That does not stop Nye’s supporters from honoring him as a champion of science.

But not all of the marchers are fans. After issuing several revisions to his massive “Statement on Diversity and Inclusion,” the organizers of the March for Science are fending off critics who complain that Nye is a white male whose fame is the result of privilege. One wonders who, exactly, was in charge of this debacle. An official tweet, which has since been deleted, declared that “Colonization, racism, immigration, native rights, sexism, ableism, queer-, trans-, intersex-phobia, & econ[omic] justice are scientific issues.”

Heather Wilhelm at National Review got it right when she wrote that the whole event was collapsing into a civil war of competing left-wing agendas.

I hope someone—anyone—who still believes science has a definition independent of politics will speak up. Because whether it’s the denial that life begins at conception, the denial of sex and gender as biological facts, the denial of decades of research proving that children do best with their father and mother, or the denial of dissenting voices on Darwinism, the left has proven quite capable of ignoring science.

Language is powerful. Words matter. And “science”—real science—is too important a word for us to let go the way of “gentleman.”


The March for Science Fiction  

One of the asinine yet oft-repeated phrases in the modern progressive lexicon is “settled science,” an oxymoron that is the antithesis of the scientific method. The literal definition of the scientific method is “a method of procedure … consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.” Modification means alteration or change. Meaning that in science, many, many things are never “settled.”

Among the most well-known theories that have been debunked over time are that the world is flat, that the solar system is geocentric (it is heliocentric), that the physical world is made up of four elements (rather than more than a hundred currently known elements, including four new elements discovered just last year), and that atoms are the smallest units of matter. Each and every one of these was once universally accepted as infallible truth.

This makes the recent “March for Science” in Washington, DC, not only ludicrous, but an indictment of those marching while claiming to believe in science. It was not about science, but about publicly rebuking President Donald Trump behind the thin patina of ideology masquerading as science. The leftist mainstream media played its part well, praising the event while ignoring dissent from actual scientists.

With scathing wit, Jeremy Faust, an emergency medicine physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School, exposed the hypocrisy and lunacy of the march — in the lefty rag Slate, no less. He observed, “Being ‘pro-science’ has become a bizarre cultural phenomenon in which liberals (and other members of the cultural elite) engage in public displays of self-reckoned intelligence as a kind of performance art, while demonstrating zero evidence to justify it.”

Instead of elevating the quality of, and respect for, actual science, says Faust, this march “revealed the glaring dissonance of opposing that trough of ignorance by instead accepting a cringe-worthy hive-mind mentality that celebrates Science as a vague but wonderful entity. … There was an uncomfortable dronelike fealty to the concept — an oxymoronic faith that information presented and packaged to us as Science need not be further scrutinized before being smugly celebrated en masse. That is not intellectually rigorous thought — instead, it’s another kind of religion.”

Indeed, progressive Democrats claim to be the “Party of Science” yet, mind-bogglingly argue that sex/gender is determined by how one “feels” rather than by DNA and plumbing. They accept man-made global warming (now known as “climate change” to free themselves of the pesky fact that the Earth stopped warming for nearly two decades) as inarguable fact. These are the same people who chain themselves to trees to protest the “destruction” of Mother Earth, but refuse to acknowledge that a baby in utero is a living human being.

In short, they are modern-day pagans, worshipping “Gaia” while denying observable truths that conflict with their secular religion, and seeking punishment for the heretics who dare challenge their belief system with something so coarse, so crude and as unenlightened as mere facts.

The ultimate goal of the progressive religionists is to force compliance with their worldview, either through the coercive power of rigid, politically correct orthodoxy, or through punishment such as jail time for “climate change dissenters/deniers,” a position embraced by leftist celebrity and fake TV scientist Bill Nye “The Science Guy.”

CNN, in an interview with Nye and an actual scientist, physicist William Happer of Princeton, inadvertently displayed the truth behind the march with a caption that read “March for Science: Scientists Rally for EPA, Govt Funding and More.” Climate change hysteria is a big business. If you are a scientist, you have access to billions of dollars in federal grants so long as you produce “research” that proves the claims of the alarmists. Politicians pushing climate hysteria can usurp tremendous power over the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the name of saving the world from cataclysmic disaster.

The reality is that “science,” across a broad spectrum of disciplines, is not nearly as “settled” as its advocates would have us believe. In fact, the most-repeated claims have a habit of turning out to be spectacularly wrong. For example, as we’ve noted previously, leftist climate alarmists have been trying to scare us into giving up the abundant energy and higher standard of living that comes with industrialization. They warned that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years” (Harvard biologist George Wald, 1970), and that (due to scarce food supplies), “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years” (Paul Ehrlich, 1970), and that by 1980 “urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution.”

They are often insanely wrong in their predictions, and are so wedded to their ideology that they can’t even identify fake science even when it is specifically written to be obviously wrong. Time after time, robotically generated “gibberish papers” were accepted in supposedly peer-reviewed journals.

As amusing as this can be, it’s actually dangerous. The beauty of science is that it is ruthless. It cares not for sex, race, education or socio-economic status. It cares only about replicable fact. But when science — actual science — is hijacked by partisans and ideologues, and propaganda is passed off as science, it undermines our faith in science, and therefore the truth.

And that is never a good thing.


UK foreign office cut climate staff in half under Tory government

The UK foreign office has almost halved the staff it devotes to climate change over the term of the past two Conservative-led governments.

Staffing records, released by the foreign office under freedom of information laws, show the previous Labour government more than trebled the amount of time devoted by foreign office staff to climate and energy issues between 2007 and 2009.

As the world built momentum towards ultimately calamitous 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen, foreign secretary David Miliband headed an army of climate staff, the equivalent of 277 full time jobs.

No such recruitment effort took place under the Tory government of David Cameron – who came to power promising an environmentally friendly agenda under the slogan “Vote Blue, Go Green” – in the build up for the decisive talks that took place in Paris six years later.

On the contrary, over the six years of Cameron’s government, the amount of time foreign office staff spent on climate and energy fell by 46%.

When the Paris agreement was struck, the foreign office had between 149 and 158 full time equivalent jobs in climate-related roles worldwide.

The UK is a self-styled key advocate for greater ambition at climate negotiations. In the months leading up to the Paris conference, the foreign secretary’s special representative for climate change David King helped to develop Mission Innovation, a collaboration between 22 countries and the EU to double public funding for clean energy research and development investment over five years.

Foreign office embassy staff and UK-based officials also provide support for the energy department, which leads UK negotiations at UN climate conferences.

A spokesperson from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said: “Climate change and energy work is a network-wide priority. The FCO works closely in partnership with departments across Whitehall on the international climate change agenda.”

As campaigning begins for the UK’s June election, the Labour Party’s spokesperson on climate change Barry Gardiner said the “staggering cut in the number of FCO staff working on climate change shows that the Government is not serious about implementing the Paris Agreement”.

He referred to a report in the Times this month that prime minister Theresa May plans to “scale down” concern about climate change in order to win new trade partners post-Brexit.

“How can the public have any respect for politicians who are all too happy to sit there for the photo at the signing ceremony but then don’t deliver what is in the agreement? Theresa May has done the same on UK emissions and renewables. The implementation plan that was due last July has now been delayed indefinitely,” said Gardiner.

“Under Labour the UK led the world in climate policy. We need a Labour government that will transform our country at home into a low carbon high value economy; and abroad will give the resources and the leadership required to deliver the Paris Agreement.”



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   main.html 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, 2017

A very hungry caterpillar

Looks like plastic is "biodegradable" after all

Here is something interesting. A caterpillar that digests plastic. And it makes sense, because it is the wax moth caterpillar that digests the wax in bee hives.

I expect the enzyme that breaks down the plastic will eventually be isolated and reproduced artificially. Then waste plastic will simply be dissolved and turned into fertilizer.

I have never considered plastic to be a great long term problem, just something for Greenies to make a fuss about.

More HERE 

The EPA's Secret Human Experiments about particulate pollution

EPA officials first testified to Congress that small particle pollution is a huge health hazard.  Then, when challenged on ethical grounds, they say it is very safe

The issue of small particle air pollution human effects was discussed in a House of Representatives hearing in September 2011 by the U.S. EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson.  In a colloquy with Representative Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Ms. Jackson stated, "Particulate matter causes premature death.  It's directly causal to dying sooner than you should."

Markey asked, "How would you compare [the benefits of reducing airborne PM2.5] to the fight against cancer?"

Ms. Jackson replied, "Yeah, I was briefed not long ago.  If we could reduce particulate matter to healthy levels, it would have the same impact as finding a cure for cancer in our country."

Markey: "Can you say that sentence one more time?"

Jackson: "Yes sir.  If – um – we could reduce particulate matter to levels that are healthy, we could have identical impacts to finding a cure for cancer."  (Author note: Cancer kills a half-million Americans a year – 25 percent of all deaths in the U.S. annually).

The claim stated above by Ms. Jackson is the basis for the EPA's war on coal, fossil fuels, and internal combustion engines.  All other criteria air pollutants are minimal concerns for the EPA.  Surely small particles are a very toxic and lethal thing, as bad as cancer.  Right?   

EPA is discovered doing human experiments

The same month as Ms. Jackson's testimony, Milloy discovered a report in Environmental Health Perspectives, a journal published online and in hard copy by the National Institutes of Health, that reported an experiment on a 57-year-old lady subjected to small particle air pollution much higher than the EPA says is safe, in a chamber at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine EPA laboratory for human research.  A stunned Milloy showed the journal report to Dunn.  So little had come of the decade of human experiments before that Milloy and Dunn had not known of the EPA human exposure experiments project that was at least illegal and unethical, possibly a crime against humanity.  Humans are not guinea pigs.  

The Nuremberg Code; the Helsinki Accords; the Belmont Report; and U.S. common law, statutes, and regulations, to include state laws and the Federal Code "Common Rule" and EPA rule 1000.17, all prohibit human experimentation that might cause harm to the subjects.  Human risk can be considered only for the researchers themselves in circumstances where the research is essential and vital.  The civil or criminal offense of human experimentation that risks harm to the subjects would be either exposure to harm or the fear of harm by infliction of mental distress if subjects found out that the public position of the EPA is that small particles are toxic and lethal and cause cancer.  Which lie to believe?  That is the twist – you can't make these things up.

In 2011 and 2012, Milloy and Dunn wrote letters to the EPA, the NIH journal editor who published the article, the EPA inspector general, and the federal Office for Scientific Integrity.  They wrote to all the physicians in Congress, all the deans of the ten domestic medical schools doing human experiments, and state medical boards in North Carolina and Michigan, all attempting to stop the human experiments.

The authors have written about the EPA project of research that exposed human beings of all ages, even children, to that same small particle air pollution to see if they could cause some harm.  EPA sponsorship of these studies at ten domestic and six foreign medical schools was admitted under oath by an EPA official, Wayne Cascio, M.D., and it is unethical and illegal.  Senior EPA research scientist Robert Devlin, Ph.D. admitted in a sworn affidavit that the EPA epidemiology was unreliable, the reason for human experiments. 

EPA hires the National Academy of Science

The EPA, in response to a congressional inquiry and negative inspector general report, engaged and paid the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) contract subdivision, the National Research Council (NRC), to provide a whitewash investigation.  The NAS National Research Council Investigative Committee was convened in secret without notice and without contacting Milloy and Dunn, the complaining parties, or the congressional committee that had demanded an inspector general report that had gone badly for the EPA.

The closeted investigation continued with closed meetings attended only by NRC staff, committee members, and the EPA.  The docket by a year, June of 2016, had 50 documents, all submitted by the EPA or its allies.  In May of 2016, a congressional aide ran across information about the existence of the committee and informed Milloy.  Milloy demanded a hearing and allowance for submissions in June of 2016, which was granted by NRC officials.  Milloy found that 13 out of 19 members of the committee were significant grantees of EPA, amounting to tens of millions of dollars received, with the most extreme example being Charles Driscoll, discussed here.

On August 11, 2016, an internet audio conference  of the National Research Council Panel on EPA-sponsored human exposure experiments titled "Assessing Toxicological Risks to Human Subjects Used in Controlled Exposure Studies of Environmental Pollutants" was held, with two hours of testimony heard and submissions critical of the EPA human exposure experimentation.  After that, nothing was heard from the committee.  

The committee published its news release and a 150-plus-page report on March 28, 2017, ignoring the testimony and submissions of witnesses Milloy, Dunn, Young, Enstrom, and Donnay.  The report exonerated the EPA human experiments on the theory that small particles are not toxic or lethal or carcinogenic acutely – that is, they do not have any acute toxic effects, but rather just long-term deleterious effects.  They said that, knowing that the EPA asserts short-term acute death effects and justifies its regulations on the basis of Ms. Jackson's claim – that small particles kill people and kill them acutely.

The problem for the NRC committee is that they are trying to create cover for the EPA by misstating the EPA position on toxicity and lethality of small particles.  That is clear from this quote from the National Academy of Sciences Report press release:

To assess the level of safety provided by study protocols and the likelihood of participants experiencing any serious health effects with long-term consequences, the committee reviewed eight recent CHIE studies.  The committee concluded that the societal benefits of CHIE studies are greater than the risks posed to the participants in the eight studies considered, which are unlikely to be large enough to be of concern.  EPA applies a broad set of health-evaluation criteria when selecting participants to determine that there is no reason to believe that their participation in the study will lead to an adverse health response.  The health status of subjects is monitored shortly before, during, and immediately after the exposure studies and usually again about 24 hours later.

The NAS report is self-destructive, obfuscatory, contradictory gobbledygook.

The NAS report is so filled with errors, omissions, misstatements, misdirection, and general dishonesty that it would take days if not weeks to fully critique.  The NAS compromised its integrity to cover for the EPA, confirming Eisenhower's warning about the government-research complex that can produce science fraud and misconduct for a political agenda.  Scaremongering is important for justifying government growth and overreach.  After all, the aim of practical politics is to create scares so the populace will be anxious and clamor to be led to safety by government experts (paraphrasing H.L. Mencken).

If the EPA can continue to do these experiments, then it must not be true that any exposure to PM2.5 can kill within hours or days, or even weeks.  It must have only a "chronic" long-term effect that the NRC committee fails to define.  That destroys the basis for the EPA air pollution regulatory regime that has burdened society for three decades and more and is based on scientific misconduct. 

Who will reimburse society for the costs and burdens of this scam?  How about all those coal miners without jobs and the companies that had to spend millions to comply with regulations chasing a phantom small particle air pollution menace that was claimed to kill hundreds of thousands annually in the U.S.?

The movie Creature from the Black Lagoon, featuring the gill man, was scary, but corrupt researchers and politicians at the EPA-NAS-D.C. swamp are just despicable.

A comprehensive and informative narrative of the EPA wars and the EPA misconduct and what to do about it is found in Milloy's sixth and most recent book, Scare Pollution (Bench Press 2016). 

Dunn's long battle with the EPA on scientific integrity is told here.  


Fracking isn't contaminating groundwater, study finds

A major anti-fracking argument by environmentalists may not have the facts to back it up, a new study conducted by Duke University found.

Fracking has not contaminated groundwater in northwestern West Virginia, according to the peer-reviewed study published this month in a European journal.

“Based on consistent evidence from comprehensive testing, we found no indication of groundwater contamination over the three-year course of our study,” explained Avner Vengosh, the professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

The growing industry could help create as many as 3.5 million jobs by 2035, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

While the study concluded that fracking didn’t contaminate groundwater, the researchers did say accidental spills of fracking wastewater could be dangerous to surface water in the area.

”However, we did find that spill water associated with fracked wells and their wastewater has an impact on the quality of streams in areas of intense shale gas development,” Vengosh added.

“The bottom-line assessment,” he continued, “is that groundwater is so far not being impacted, but surface water is more readily contaminated because of the frequency of spills.”

To complete the research, water samples from 112 drinking wells in northwestern West Virginia were evaluated during a three year period. Twenty of the water wells were sampled prior to drilling or fracking started in the area in order to obtain a baseline for later comparisons.

Tests demonstrated the presence of saline groundwater and methane in both the pre-drilling and post-drilling well water samples. But the samples had a chemistry slightly but distinctly different from the methane and salts found in fracking fluids and shale gas. The findings indicated that the elements occurred naturally in the region’s permeable rock and weren’t related to the result of recent shale gas operations at the site.

The study appears in the journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.


UK: We’re All Victims Of The Great Green Swindle

A generation who thought they were doing the right thing by buying diesel and clean energy have been taken for a ride.

When I was three my parents moved next to one of the busiest roundabouts in Europe. Hogarth roundabout in west London leads to the M3 and M4 and the smell of car fumes was only overpowered by the aroma of hops from the brewery on the corner. It was the perfect place to grow up. We had a huge green in front where we could stand on the railings and count the number of cars whizzing past. No one in the 1970s worried about the lead pollution, only about being run over. Nor did we care about where our electricity came from unless the lights went out. Green issues were not high on our agenda nor was our health. Our neighbours happily smoked away and we ate tinned spaghetti hoops and Angel Delight without a care for the sugar content.

Now my family is as green and healthy as possible. We recycle our apple cores, the children play sport every day under the Westway flyover, we bought a second-hand diesel car and then a hybrid and take the train to Devon for holidays. But the children are probably less healthy than I was 40 years ago. When the youngest started to wheeze I took him to the doctor who said he had doubled the number of inhalers he hands out in the past three years, so many children are becoming asthmatic.

“It’s the diesel, all that nitrogen dioxide and those toxic pollutants,” he explained. “He’ll inhale the particles in the car even with the windows shut, when he’s playing football by a busy road and even from the trains at the station.”

Our obsession with cutting carbon emissions has had terrible consequences. Air pollution contributes to an estimated 40,000 premature deaths a year in Britain, mainly among the young, the frail and the elderly, according to the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Paediatrics and Child Health. It can also hinder brain development, raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes and cancer, and contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Our attempts to be altruistic have harmed rather than helped the most vulnerable. Almost as bad, those 11 million people who now own a diesel car are about to be penalised for following government advice a decade ago that the vehicles would help the country cut CO2 emissions. [...]

Gordon Brown’s budget of 1998 may have said in the small print that the government “recognises the adverse effect that the use of diesel has on local air quality” but first as chancellor and then as prime minister he shifted incentives towards diesel, until more than 35 per cent of cars were running on it, while manufacturers fiddled their engine management systems to cheat the testers. Japan, meanwhile, steered consumers away from polluting diesel, America stuck to petrol and India began switching buses to compressed natural gas (CNG).

The same mistake is now being made subsidising power stations to burn American wood pellets that are doing more harm to the climate than the coal they replaced, according to a recent Chatham House report. Drax in Yorkshire, once the largest, cleanest, most efficient coal-fired power station in Europe, has been converted to burn wood pellets with an annual £500 million public subsidy but it now pumps out more CO2. Wind farms are little better because we’ve had to build diesel power plants across the country to help on days when the wind doesn’t blow at the right speed.

One Scottish stately home owner boasted to me that he keeps his heating on in the summer as well as the winter because he is paid more in subsidies to use “green” wood chips for fuel than he pays out in heating costs. All this while the rest of us worry about our escalating energy bills.

Anaerobic digesters, which were sold to the public as a means to convert food waste into power, are now turning huge quantities of crops into small quantities of methane for the national gas grid thanks to yet more subsidies costing £200 million a year.

But it is car manufacturers who are still making the most money out of this great green swindle — consumers certainly aren’t. Diesel owners now face having to buy another car at vast expense. Scrappage payments of between £1,000 and £2,000 for the oldest diesel cars would help those hardest hit. However, if we subsidise new electric cars we will have to accept that much of the electricity used to charge their batteries comes from power stations using fossil fuels — or wood chips.

This week Andrea Leadsom, the environment secretary, shelved a new plan for air quality. But Downing Street policy advisers hint that Theresa May is on the side of the consumer, and sceptical of the latest money-spinning environmental fad. Last year, the prime minister’s joint chief of staff Nick Timothy described the Climate Change Act, which has been at the root of many of these misguided policies, as “a monstrous act of national self-harm”. He was right. As soon as the election is over Britain needs a coordinated energy strategy and a new Clean Air Act, to protect the environment and restore faith in government policy.


Settled science? 107 cancer papers retracted due to peer review fraud

The Warmist reliance on peer-review as a warrant of truth is badly flawed

The journal Tumor Biology is retracting 107 research papers after discovering that the authors faked the peer review process. This isn’t the journal’s first rodeo. Late last year, 58 papers were retracted from seven different journals— 25 came from Tumor Biology for the same reason.

It’s possible to fake peer review because authors are often asked to suggest potential reviewers for their own papers. This is done because research subjects are often blindingly niche; a researcher working in a sub-sub-field may be more aware than the journal editor of who is best-placed to assess the work.

But some journals go further and request, or allow, authors to submit the contact details of these potential reviewers. If the editor isn’t aware of the potential for a scam, they then merrily send the requests for review out to fake e-mail addresses, often using the names of actual researchers. And at the other end of the fake e-mail address is someone who’s in on the game and happy to send in a friendly review.

Fake peer reviewers often “know what a review looks like and know enough to make it look plausible,” said Elizabeth Wager, editor of the journal Research Integrity & Peer Review. But they aren’t always good at faking less obvious quirks of academia: “When a lot of the fake peer reviews first came up, one of the reasons the editors spotted them was that the reviewers responded on time,” Wager told Ars. Reviewers almost always have to be chased, so “this was the red flag. And in a few cases, both the reviews would pop up within a few minutes of each other.”

It’s not always the authors providing the reviews. "There is some evidence that so-called third-party language-editing services play a role in manipulating the reviewing process,” said a spokesperson for Springer, the company that published Tumor Biology until this year. Scientists who work in a language other than English may use editing services to polish their papers before submitting to a journal, and some of these services can be unethical and predatory, says Wager.

It might be naive, she says, but “if the authors didn't realize that this is what the editing company was doing, then I feel the authors should have a fair chance. There's probably nothing wrong with the research; it just hasn't been peer reviewed.” But of course, it’s difficult to assess whether the authors knew about it. “It is unclear whether the authors of the manuscripts were aware that the agencies were proposing fabricated reviewer names/e-mail addresses,” the Springer spokesperson told Ars.

This most recent avalanche of fake-reviewed papers was discovered because of extra screening at the journal. According to an official statement from Springer, “the decision was made to screen new papers before they are released to production.” The extra screening turned up the names of fake reviewers that hadn’t previously been detected, and “in order to clean up our scientific records, we will now start retracting these affected articles...Springer will continue to proactively investigate these issues.”

It’s best for editors not to rely on the contact details submitted by authors, but rather search for proper academic e-mail addresses themselves, said Wager. Some journals include this in their editorial guidelines, and other institutions recommend it as best practice. But there are other ways to game the system.

Tumor Biology changed hands in January, and the new publishers, SAGE, were aware of the problems when they took over. “[Springer] were open about the past instances of peer review fraud, and as part of the relaunch they wanted to address the underlying reasons,” a SAGE spokesperson told Retraction Watch. “The Tumor Biology editorial team have already introduced new robust peer review practices expected from all SAGE journals.” However, this doesn’t necessarily mean no more retractions for the journal, since investigations like this recent one may turn up more dirt from the past.

jooced wrote:

The U.S. EPA and Dept of Science should take note of this. This one example is but one of many of scientific fraud. EPA and Dept of Science: you wonder why too many people are skeptical of your work? 1. You are affiliated with the U.S. Government which has shown time and again how it cannot be trusted. 2. You do not hold your own to the highest standards -and- when there is an issue you are too slow to report it and/or out the fraudster.

This is on the scientific community - pure, plain, and simple.

Sigh, it is clear that 68 comments later some people still chose to spew their own nonsense without reading other comments first or having a basic understanding of the scope of this issue. Seriously, don't feel that you are now somehow justified in not believing in science because of anecdotes like this.

I really hate to reiterate the same point over and over, but this particular issue is exactly like what the other reader Veritas super omens stated: a three-year-old running her tricycle into the curb. It does not mean we need to stop all motorvehicles on the road.



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   main.html 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, 2017

Clean Energy’s Dirty Federal Cronyism

Earth Day started as a protest but has long been a mainstream institution. It’s therefore fitting that the cause it represents often reflects an even older American institution: politicization and cronyism in government spending. In recent testimony to Congress, Independent Institute Research Fellow Ryan M. Yonk explained how the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program exemplifies those unhealthy by-products of government intervention as it creates additional unhealthy by-products.

The loan guarantee program “has been used as a political tool, exposed taxpayers to unnecessary risk, diverted funding from alternative clean energy investments, and primarily benefitted large, politically connected corporations,” Ryan states in his written testimony. Moreover, the program is counterproductive. “The fundamental problem,” he continues, “is that the loan guarantee program makes it more difficult for new ideas to emerge since it further entrenches established ideas.”

Case in point: Solyndra. It was a struggling young company rather than an established firm with large market share, but the solar-systems manufacturer was the darling of a president and energy secretary who were so eager for a political win that federal bureaucrats approved its loan guarantees without completing essential steps required by other applicants. The loan guarantees program also diverts scarce investment funds away from firms who avoid feeding at the public trough. Writes Yonk: “Government support, as a previous chief marketing officer at Tesla Motors complained, may make it easier for those who receive support, but it also makes it more difficult for new ideas to gain private funding and grow.”


New Study Calls EPA’s Labeling Of CO2 A Pollutant ‘Totally False’

A new study published by seasoned researchers takes aim at the heart of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to issue regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

The study claims to have “proven that it is all but certain that EPA’s basic claim that CO2 is a pollutant is totally false,” according to a press statement put out by Drs. Jim Wallace, John Christy and Joe D’Aleo.

Wallace, Christy and D’Aleo — a statistician, a climatologist and meteorologist, respectively — released a study claiming to invalidate EPA’s 2009 endangerment finding, which allowed the agency to regulate CO2 as a pollutant.

“This research failed to find that the steadily rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 14 temperature data sets that were analyzed,” the authors say in the release for the second edition of their peer-reviewed work.

“Moreover, these research results clearly demonstrate that once the solar, volcanic and oceanic activity, that is, natural factor, impacts on temperature data are accounted for, there is no ‘record setting’ warming to be concerned about,” the researchers say. “In fact, there is no natural factor adjusted warming at all.”

The study is intended to bolster a petition Wallace and D’Aleo filed with EPA as part of the Household Electricity Consumers Council (CHECC), asking the agency to reconsider its endangerment finding.

The libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) also filed a petition with EPA to reconsider the endangerment finding. The Trump administration has not indicated whether or not they will reconsider the Obama-era finding. Any challenge would be met with legal action from environmental activists.

CHECC’s petition relies on findings from a 2016 study by Wallace and company that found the three lines of evidence EPA relied on for its 2009 endangerment finding weren’t scientifically sound.

Wallace’s new study makes a similar finding, arguing the “tropical hot spot” EPA claims will occur as humans pump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere “simply does not exist in the real world.”

EPA issued its endangerment finding for six greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, in 2009. The agency found that greenhouse gases from vehicles “endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations.”

The finding gave the Obama administration the legal cover it needed to move forward with regulations to clamp down on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, power plants, industrial facilities and agriculture.

President Donald Trump issued an executive order in March to roll back many Obama global warming policies and directives, but some say the administration needs to eliminate the endangerment finding to keep future presidents from regulating CO2.

“Claims like that rest entirely on the endangerment finding,” said Sam Kazman, CEI’s general counsel.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told Congress during his January confirmation hearing he saw no reason at the time to review the endangerment finding.

Sources have also told news outlets Pruitt got Trump to strip language from an executive order that would have ordered a review of the endangerment finding.

On the other hand, sources familiar with Pruitt’s thinking on the matter say he wants to review the endangerment finding, but is biding his time.

Wallace and his coauthors want to give Pruitt a reason to update the endangerment finding. Wallace and company say in their release that “there is no published, peer reviewed, statistically valid proof that past increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations have caused the officially reported rising, even claimed record setting temperatures.”

“And, EPA’s climate models fail to meet this test,” the authors say.


Bill Nye blows gasket when a real scientist schools him on facts about ‘climate change’

Bill Nye, known for his 1990’s science kid’s show who has since become an outspoken advocate on “climate change,” accused CNN of doing a “disservice” to its audience on Saturday by having a real scientist on their network to discuss climate change.

The CNN “New Day Saturday” panel, which included Nye and William Happer, a physicist at Princeton University,” became heated after Happer said the climate change that Nye talks about is a “myth.”

“There’s this myth that’s developed around carbon dioxide that it’s a pollutant, but you and I both exhale carbon dioxide with every breath. Each of us emits about two pounds of carbon dioxide a day, so are we polluting the planet?” Happer, who has advised President Donald Trump on climate issues, said.

“Carbon dioxide is a perfectly natural gas, it’s just like water vapor, it’s something that plants love. They grow better with more carbon dioxide, and you can see the greening of the earth already from the additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” he explained.

Nye hit back and said Happer didn’t understand the “rate,” or speed at which carbon dioxide is entering the atmosphere. Then he ripped CNN for not having only climate change alarmists on their network.

“And I will say, much as I love the CNN, you’re doing a disservice by having one climate change skeptic and not 97 or 98 scientists or engineers concerned about climate change,” Nye said.

When asked why he’s a skeptic, Happer — a real scientist — explained that climate change alarmism is built on a dishonest foundation.

“Let me point out that science is not like passing a law,” he said. “You don’t have a vote to say how many are for the law of gravity and how many are against — it’s based on observations. And if you observe what’s happening to, for example, the temperature, the temperature is not rising nearly as fast as the alarmist computer models predicted. It’s much, much less — factors of two or three less. So the whole basis for the alarmism is not true, it’s based on flawed computer modeling.”

Nye, who is not a real scientist, immediately shot back at Happer.

“That’s completely wrong,” Nye shot back. “He’s cherry picking a certain model. The heat ended up in the ocean. This is not controversial in mainstream science, everybody.”

Nye added that he “encourages” everyone to look at the facts.

For years, climate change alarmists said the polar ice caps would melt completely by the mid-2010’s causing the sea levels to rise by meters, which would then put low-lying coastal areas across the world under water. None of these things ever happened. In fact, ocean waters have not warmed on an overall average basis, despite claims made by people like Nye and former Vice President Al Gore.

Not only that, but a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the government agency that monitors the climate, whistleblower said the agency for years manipulated climate data for political reasons — meaning to show that climate change is happening when it really isn’t.

Still, Nye spouted his talking points and lectured Happer for being a “climate change denier.”

He said:

I encourage you to cut this out so we can move forward and make the United States a world leader in technology. We want advanced wind turbines…advanced concentrated energy plants. If we were to do that, we would have at least 3 million new jobs in the United States that could not be outsourced. We would not need to have our military on the other of the world defending what people call “our oil.” We could move forward and we could export this technology. We could be world leaders in this instead of wringing our hands and cherry picking data and pretending that this problem that’s obvious to the scientific community but it is somehow not obvious to you.

Later in the interview, Happer said the Trump administration should back out of the 2016 Paris Agreement, a global agreement made last year on greenhouse gas emissions. Happer compared the agreement to former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasements of Germany dictator Adolf Hitler in 1938, known as the Munich Agreement.

That agreement allowed Hitler to take over territory in what was then Czechoslovakia known as the “Sudetenland.” Hitler said he wanted the territory because it was occupied mainly by Germans and Austrians. We now know, however, that it was just one more step in Hitler’s plan to begin conquering Europe.

The comparison Happer made stunned Nye and the CNN hosts, who demanded that Happer explain his comparison.

“It is an appropriate comparison because it was a treaty that was not going to do any good,” Happer explained. “This treaty also will not do any good. Anyone who looks at the results of doing what the treaty says can see that the effect on the earth’s climate is — even if you take the alarmist computer models trivial — it will not make any difference and yet it will cause enormous harm to many people.”

The contentious exchange came on “Earth Day 2017,” also the same day that people across the world were marching “for science.”


Climate Marches Aren't About Science — They're About Trump

Organizers promised that hundreds of thousands would participate in an April 22 March for Science planned for hundreds of cities worldwide and an April 29 People's Climate March in Washington, DC.

These events have no more to do with science or climate change than do UN programs or the Paris climate treaty. Their own leaders make that perfectly clear.

A climate website asserts that marchers intend to mark President Trump's 100th day in office "with a massive demonstration that shows our resistance is not going to wane." They intend to "block Trump's entire fossil fuel agenda," with Berkeley-style tantrums and riots, most likely.

A science march website says this is "explicitly a political movement, aimed at holding leaders in science and politics accountable" for trying to "skew, ignore, misuse or interfere with science."

That pious language really means they intend to allow no deviation from climate cataclysm doctrines.

It means everyone must accept claims that fossil fuel emissions, not powerful natural forces, now govern Earth's climate; any future changes will be catastrophic; despite growing wealth and technological prowess, humanity will somehow be unable to adapt to future fluctuations; and mankind can and must control the climate by regulating emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide, regardless of costs.

Equally revealing, former UN climate convention director Christiana Figueres has said the UN goal is to "intentionally change the economic development model" that has reigned since the Industrial Revolution.

"Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection," former IPCC mitigation group co-chair Ottmar Edenhofer has stated. It is about negotiating "the distribution of the world's resources."

Indeed, under the Paris agreement, UN officials will oversee energy and economic "transformations" in industrialized nations, let poor countries develop using fossil fuels, and oversee the collection and redistribution of $100 billion annually in climate adaptation, mitigation and compensation funds.

Developed nations must de-carbonize, de-industrialize, and reduce their growth, job creation and living standards – while sending trillions of dollars over the coming decades to ruling elites in developing countries that are not required to decrease oil, gas and coal use or greenhouse gas emissions.

The Insurance Journal says the worldwide climate change and renewable energy industry is now a $1.5-trillion-per-year business empire. McKinsey & Co. says the world must spend $93 trillion by 2031 to build "climate-resilient, socially inclusive, sustainable, low-carbon" infrastructures.

Millions of politicians, bureaucrats, scientists, activists and corporate executives clearly have a huge stake in advancing this agenda. However, billions of people have other, more vital, even life-or-death interests that must be protected.

Free enterprise capitalism and fossil fuels have lifted billions out of poverty, disease, malnutrition and early death. They must continue doing so. Indeed, says the Energy Information Administration, carbon-based fuels will provide 75-80% of worldwide energy through 2040 – when total energy consumed will be at least 25% greater than today.

The marchers seem determined to block this progress, regardless of the consequences.

In the United States, their "green" energy policies would send gasoline prices soaring and at least double electricity costs – from Ohio rates to California rates. The cost of heat, lights, AC, goods and services would skyrocket for families, hospitals, schools, factories and businesses. Living standards would decline, jobs disappear, drug and alcohol abuse climb, and people die needlessly and prematurely.

330,000 German families had their electricity cut off in 2015, because they could not pay soaring bills. In Britain, 20,000 elderly people die from illness and hypothermia each winter, because they cannot afford proper heat.

Across Africa and India, over a billion impoverished people still have no access to electricity for lights, cooking or refrigeration. Instead, they burn wood, charcoal and dung in open fires. Millions die every year from breathing indoor smoke, drinking contaminated water, eating bacteria-infested food and having primitive healthcare.

The marchers and climate industry ignore this green energy poverty and death. They dismiss hundreds of scientists who present persuasive evidence that humans are not causing climate disasters, as CFACT detailed in its documentary film, "Climate Hustle."

Danish environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg calculates that implementing all provisions of the Paris accord would prevent a virtually undetectable 0.306 degrees Fahrenheit of global warming by 2100. Doing so would cost up to $946 billion annually, from 2030 to 2100 – another $66 trillion in total!

That money should be spent on electricity, clean water, modern housing and agriculture. Free enterprise capitalism will gradually devise reliable, affordable fossil fuel replacements.

The marchers claim they represent "social, economic and climate justice." It's nothing more than a twisted joke.


Drifting Back to Diesel Power

By Viv Forbes & Helpers

When I was a kid on a dairy farm in Queensland, we relied on green energy - horses and human muscles provided motive power; fire-wood and beeswax candles supplied heat and light; windmills pumped water and the sun provided solar energy for growing crops, vegies and pastures. The only “non-green” energy used was a bit of kerosene for the kitchen lamp, and petrol for a small Ford utility. We were almost “sustainable” but there was little surplus for others.

Our life changed dramatically when we put a thumping diesel in the dairy shed. This single-cylinder engine drove the milking machines and an electricity generator which charged 16 lead-acid 2 volt batteries sitting on the veranda. This 32 volt DC system powered a modern marvel – bright light, at any time, in every room, at the touch of a switch. This system could also power Mum’s new electric clothes iron as long as someone started the engine for a bit more power.

There were no electric self-starters for diesels in those days – just a heavy crank handle.

But all that effort, noise and fumes were superseded when every house and dairy got connected to clean silent “coal power by wire”, and coal was used to produce coke for the new slow-combustion stoves. Suddenly the trusty “Southern Cross” diesel engines disappeared from Australian sheds and dairies, AGA cookers displaced the old smoky wood-burning stoves in the kitchen, and clean-burning coal gas heaters replaced dirty open fires in the cities.

In just one life-time, human energy, wood, candles and kerosene were replaced by diesel, which was then replaced by coal via coal-gas, coke, and clean silent ever-ready electricity.

Today, after Aussies have enjoyed decades of abundant reliable cheap electricity from black coal, brown coal and hydro, green energy gambling has taken Australia back to the era which kept a diesel in the shed.

Tasmania is the greenest state in Australia. It once had a vibrant economy that created mines, saw-mills, farms, orchards, oil and metal refineries, dams, hydro-power and railways. It is now a green no-go land. Greens have stopped new hydro developments, opposed mining, crippled the timber industry, prevented new wood-chip developments and will probably celebrate when their last refinery closes.

Tasmanians get their electricity mainly from hydro assets created long ago by their more productive ancestors. But recently a long drought caused a shortage of Tasmanian hydro-energy - they became reliant for up to 40% of their electricity needs on the Bass-link undersea cable bringing electricity from reliable coal-fired stations in Victoria and NSW. However the overloaded Bass Link cable failed, and an old gas-powered station was brought back into service (importing gas from Victoria) to keep the lights on. Subsequently their politicians hurriedly put 150 diesel generators in their shed (costing A$11 million per month).

South Australia is the next greenest state in Australia, hosting about 35% of Australia’s wind turbines. These were force-fed into existence by mandatory green energy targets and tax benefits. In a burst of green destruction they also closed their gas-fired power stations and demolished their coal-fired station. However wind power failed recently and a storm tore down their life-line bringing reliable coal power from Victoria. Now Premier Weatherill is planning to install up to 200 megawatts of diesel generators in his shed. Many residents are following his lead.

As some wag said: Question: “What did South Australians have before candles?”  Answer: “Electricity”.

The UK has been badly infected by the green energy virus. Engineers warned that this intermittent and unpredictable supply had increased the risk of blackouts, so the UK government offered subsidies for emergency backup power. This subsidy, plus consumer concerns, put so many diesels in British sheds that they now provide a major backup capacity for UK electricity.

Many Spaniards found a diesel in the shed was very profitable. Their government had been drinking green-ale and offered attractive subsidies for solar power produced.

The subsidy was very successful - so successful that someone eventually noticed that some suppliers were even producing “solar” power at night. It was coming from diesels in their sheds.

Finally, our green media likes to feature some green energy enthusiast who is “off the grid”. But it usually emerges later in the show that there is a diesel in their shed too.

Those who remember the days of relying on a noisy smelly diesel in the shed and a smoky wood stove in the kitchen have no wish to be dragged back there by green zealots.



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   main.html 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


25 April, 2017

Warmists have just lost the Antarctic peninsula

The peninsula was the only bit of the Antarctic that suited the Warmists.  They gleefully reported glacial breakups there, quite ignoring that the Antarctic as a whole was certainly not warming and was in fact tending to cool.  The study below however shows that the warmer period on the peninsula was an atypical  blip that has now reversed

Recent regional climate cooling on the Antarctic Peninsula and associated impacts on the cryosphere

M. Oliva et al.


The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is often described as a region with one of the largest warming trends on Earth since the 1950s, based on the temperature trend of 0.54 °C/decade during 1951–2011 recorded at Faraday/Vernadsky station. Accordingly, most works describing the evolution of the natural systems in the AP region cite this extreme trend as the underlying cause of their observed changes. However, a recent analysis (Turner et al., 2016) has shown that the regionally stacked temperature record for the last three decades has shifted from a warming trend of 0.32 °C/decade during 1979–1997 to a cooling trend of ? 0.47 °C/decade during 1999–2014. While that study focuses on the period 1979–2014, averaging the data over the entire AP region, we here update and re-assess the spatially-distributed temperature trends and inter-decadal variability from 1950 to 2015, using data from ten stations distributed across the AP region. We show that Faraday/Vernadsky warming trend is an extreme case, circa twice those of the long-term records from other parts of the northern AP. Our results also indicate that the cooling initiated in 1998/1999 has been most significant in the N and NE of the AP and the South Shetland Islands (> 0.5 °C between the two last decades), modest in the Orkney Islands, and absent in the SW of the AP. This recent cooling has already impacted the cryosphere in the northern AP, including slow-down of glacier recession, a shift to surface mass gains of the peripheral glacier and a thinning of the active layer of permafrost in northern AP islands.

Science of The Total Environment. Volume 580, 15 February 2017, Pages 210–223

The coming British election: These are the great unmentionables of this election

As usual when another election comes along, I try to point out some of those hugely important issues which won’t be getting discussed, because all the parties agree not to notice them.

High on the list is the energy future we face under the Climate Change Act, where our politicians have all happily nodded through a “decarbonisation” policy whereby we shall before long be phasing out all those remaining fossil-fuel power stations which still provide more than half our electricity, to rely instead on grotesquely subsidised “renewables” and imaginary nuclear power stations which show little sign of getting built.

Scarcely any MP has yet shown any sign of recognising what a disaster this is heading us for. The only mentions it is likely to get in coming weeks will be virtue-signalling manifesto references to the need for yet more unreliable renewables.


Green Energy Poverty Week

A week dedicated to topics that underscore impacts environmentalists don’t want to discuss

Paul Driessen

April 22 was Earth Day, the March for Science and Lenin’s birthday (which many say is appropriate, since environmentalism is now green on the outside and red, anti-free enterprise on the inside). April 29 will feature the People’s Climate March and the usual “Climate change is real” inanity.

The Climate March website says these forces of “The Resistance” intend to show President Trump they will fight his hated energy agenda every step of the way. Science March organizers say they won’t tolerate anyone who tries to “skew, ignore, misuse or interfere with science.”

After eight years of government policies that killed jobs and economic growth – and skewed, ignored, misused, obstructed, vilified and persecuted science and scientists that strayed from alarmist talking points, to advance a climate chaos, anti-fossil fuel, anti-growth agenda – that piety is arrogant hypocrisy.

But their theater of the absurd gets worse. Some March for Science leaders were outraged that the recent MOAB bomb dropped on ISIS terrorists shows “how science is weaponized against marginal people.”

The rhetoric also recalls the annual Earth Hour, when people in rich countries are supposed to turn off their lights for 60 minutes, to repent for the sin of using fossil fuel, nuclear and hydroelectric power to electrify our homes, businesses, schools and hospitals. I personally promote Human Achievement Hour, by turning on extra lights, to celebrate humanity’s incredible innovations and advancements these past 150 years, our modern living standards, and the right of all people to improve their lives and life spans.

I was a campus organizer for the very first Earth Day, in 1970, when we had serious pollution problems. But since then we’ve cleaned up our act, air and water. Environmentalist groups, modelers and Obama regulators ignore these advances, real climate science and the Real-World climate outside their windows.

Far worse, while claiming to care deeply about the poorest among us, they ignore the harm their policies inflict: soaring electricity prices, fewer jobs, lower living standards in the West – and perpetual poverty, disease, malnutrition and premature death in developing countries. We pay more and more each year for de minimis further improvements in environmental quality, combined with ever-expanding government and activist control of our lives, and steadfast opposition to reliable, affordable energy in the Third World.

That’s why some folks who actually care about poor, minority, elderly, working class and developing country families again designated April 17-23 as Green Energy Poverty Week.

For industrialized nations, “green energy poverty” refers to households in which 10% or more of family incomes is spent on natural gas and electricity costs – due to policies that compel utilities to provide ever increasing amounts of expensive, less affordable, politically preferred “green” energy. It’s a regressive tax that disproportionately affects low and fixed income families which have little money to spend beyond energy, food, clothing, rent and other basic needs. Every energy price increase hammers them harder.

Beyond our borders, the concept underscores the lot of families that enjoy none of the living standards we take for granted. They have no electricity or get it a few hours a week at random times, burn wood and dung for cooking and heating, and spend hours every day collecting fuel and hauling filthy water from miles away. Corrupt, incompetent governments and constant pressure from callous environmentalist pressure groups in rich countries perpetuate the misery, joblessness, disease, starvation and early death.

In the United States, green energy policies affect the poorest households three times more than the richest households. In fact, rising electricity prices affect all goods and services, for all electricity users: homes, offices, hospitals, schools, malls, farms and factories. With 37 million American families earning less than $24,000 per year after taxes, and 22 million households taking home less than $16,000 post-tax, it’s pretty obvious why wind and solar mandates are unfair, unsustainable and inhumane.

Unbelievably, one million mild-weather California households now live in green energy poverty, the Manhattan Institute reports. In fact, the once-Golden State now has the USA’s highest poverty rate, thanks largely to government requirements that one-third of the state’s electricity must come from “renewable” sources by 2020, and one-half by 2030. No wonder California’s rising rates are already nearly double those in Kentucky and other states that use coal and natural gas to generate electricity.

Tesla electric cars also reward wealthy buyers: with free charging stations, access to HOV lanes, and up to $10,000 in combined tax rebates. They require batteries made from lithium dug out under horrendous or nonexistent environmental, health, safety and child labor rules in Africa. The batteries cost $325 per kilowatt-hour – equal to $350 per barrel for oil (seven times the April 2017 $50.40-a-barrel price).

Spreading California policies across the United States would send the cost of heat, lights, AC, internet, and all goods and services soaring. Jobs would disappear, living standards decline, depression rates increase, drug and alcohol abuse climb, and more people die from poor health, drugs and suicide.

Over in Europe, electricity prices are double California’s current rates: 30-45 cents per kWh! Green energy policies are hammering jobs, industries, healthcare, family budgets and future prospects.

British families pay “a whopping 54% more” for electricity than average Americans. Nearly 40% of UK households are cutting back on food and other essentials, to pay for electricity. One in three UK families struggles to pay energy bills. Up to 24,000 elderly Brits die from illness and hypothermia each winter, because they cannot afford proper heat; many are forced to choose between heating and eating.

In Germany, 330,000 families had their electricity cut off in 2015, because they could not pay soaring bills. In Bulgaria, 50% of average household income is spent on energy. Greeks are cutting down trees in protected forests because they cannot afford heating oil; hundreds of thousands of acres are being destroyed across Europe for the same reason. A tenth of all EU families are now in green energy poverty.

It’s infinitely worse for billions of parents and children in Earth’s poorest regions. In Africa, India and other impoverished regions, more than two billion people still burn firewood, charcoal and dung for cooking. Millions die from lung infections caused by pollution from these open fires, millions more from intestinal diseases caused by bacteria-infested food and water, more millions because medicines are spoiled and healthcare is primitive in clinics that don’t have electricity, refrigeration or window screens.

In Uganda, “entrepreneurs” burned a village down, killing a sick child in his home, to turn the area into new forest so that the country could claim carbon credits to prevent climate change. Chad’s government banned charcoal, the mainstay for cooking in that nation, out of absurd concerns about climate change.

Africa’s desperate families hunt and cook anything that walks, crawls, flies or swims, endangered or not. They have cut down trees and brush for miles around cities and villages – turning cheetah and chimpanzee habitats into firewood and charcoal. Poverty is undeniably the worst environmental pollutant.

For the wealthy and increasingly powerful radical environmentalist movement, it is no longer about addressing real pollution problems, protecting the environment or improving human health. As UN climate officials have proudly proclaimed, it’s really about ending fossil fuel use and capitalism, redistributing the world’s wealth, and controlling people’s livelihoods, living standards and liberties.

Of course, it’s all meant to save people and planet – from exaggerated or fabricated climate cataclysms and resource depletions. But ponder the Real-World consequences during Green Energy Poverty Week.

Environmentalists profess to care deeply about America’s and the world’s poor and middle classes. But their policies and actions too often speak far more loudly than their words. We might be forgiven for asking, With friends and protectors like these, do the world’s poor really need enemies?

Via email

Sea Ice Off Newfoundland Thickest In Living Memory

Amid reports that ice conditions between Newfoundland and southern Labrador are the worst in living memory, another polar bear was reported ashore in the area — just after biologist Andrew Derocher explained to the CBC that bears only come on land when sea ice conditions “fail.”

“Ice too thick for coast guard’s heavy icebreaker” said a 20 April 2017 CBC report on the state of ice in the Strait of Belle Isle. The pack is thick first year ice (four feet thick or more in places) and embedded with icebergs of much older, thicker ice. The ice packed along the northern shore of Newfoundland is hampering fishermen from getting out to sea and is not expected to clear until mid-May.

The same day that the above satellite image was taken (19 April), at the north end of the Strait on the Newfoundland side, a polar bear was spotted in a small community northwest of St. Anthony (marked below,  “Wildberry Country Lodge” at Parker’s Brook). It’s on the shore of north-facing Pistolet Bay on the Great Northern Peninsula, near the 1000 year old Viking occupation site of L’Anse aux Meadows.

There were no photos of the Parker’s Brook bear but lots of others have been taken this year of almost a dozen seen along Newfoundland shorelines since early March: see my recently updated post, with an updated map of reported sightings. Harp seals are now abundant in the pack ice of southern Davis Strait, providing polar bears with an ample source of food when they need it most and therefore, a strong attractant to the area.


13 Most Ridiculous Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970

Saturday was Earth Day — an annual event first launched on April 22, 1970. The inaugural festivities (organized in part by then hippie and now convicted murderer Ira Einhorn) predicted death, destruction and disease unless we did exactly as progressives commanded.

Sound familiar? Behold the coming apocalypse, as predicted on and around Earth Day, 1970:

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald

“We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner

“Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” — New York Times editorial

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich

“Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day

“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter

“In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine

“At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

“Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich

“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

“[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.” — Newsweek magazine

“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt



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   main.html 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, 2017

Solar ovens and sustained poverty for Africa

African families and hospitals cannot rely on limited solar power, instead of electricity

Steven Lyazi

Solar technology in Africa, including my country of Uganda, would bring good news to millions of people who today must use firewood, charcoal and dung for cooking. Millions of Africans die from lung infections caused by breathing fumes from these fires, millions more from eating spoiled food, drinking contaminated water and having spoiled medicines, because we don’t have electricity, sanitation or refrigeration. What we do have in abundance is extensive, sustained poverty.

Solar technologies could help Africa, because this multi-purpose energy can cook food, light homes, charge cell phones and even power tiny refrigerators. Even simple solar ovens can help reduce our deadly traditional ways of cooking. Renewable energy from wind turbines can deliver even more electricity to billions around the world who still don’t have this amazing, essential energy.

Those are huge benefits, and I applaud them. In addition, we can install little wind and solar systems faster than we can build big power plants and transmission lines to remote areas.

However, we must not look at wind and solar as anything more than short-term solutions to fix serious, immediate problems. They do not equal real economic development or really improved living standards. Our cities need abundant, reliable electricity, and for faraway villages wind and solar must be only temporary, to meet basic needs until they can be connected to transmission lines and a grid.

Only in that way can we have modern homes, heating, lighting, cooking, refrigeration, offices, factories, schools, shops and hospitals – so that we can enjoy the same living standards people in industrialized countries do (and think is their right). We deserve the same rights and lives.

That is why I react strongly to people and organizations that think wind and solar electricity and solar ovens should be enough, or the end of our progress, and everyone should be happy that their lives have improved a little. I do not accept that. But I see it all the time.

At least a dozen companies are selling solar ovens and other solar technologies in Uganda. There’s Blazing Tube Solar from Hawaii and Home Energy Africa, which sells Dutch products. Green Energy Africa is registered in Kenya. It says its renewable energy systems “provide electricity without depleting the earth’s limited resources.” (Of course, those systems generate very limited electricity and require raw materials that are limited in quantity and must be dug out of the earth and turned into products using fossil fuels. But we’re not supposed to think about that.)

There’s also Solar point Uganda Limited, Energy Made in Uganda, New Age Solar Technologies Ltd, New Sun Limited, Solar Assembly Plant for African Villages, and other companies.

Some just want to make money, and leave. Others plan to stay for years. They can help solve some of our electricity, cooking and indoor air pollution problems. But these are all just short-term solutions. We need real energy, real electricity – a lot of it, reliable and affordable. What we are offered is very different.

I watched a Blazing Tube Solar demonstration and asked some questions. Their system has a long shiny metal trough that holds a tube filled with vegetable oil. The hot oil heats up a small oven at the top, to bake bread and cook other food. It has handles and wheels, so it can be moved easily. The cooker is mostly metal, so it should last a long time. But it can take 45 minutes to boil some eggs, and it costs $260.

Most African village families live on a couple dollars a day and can hardly afford food for their children. They cannot afford $260, or even $100 for some other systems. So they watch the sales presentations and admire the cookers. But they are frustrated or angry that they cannot afford them. I saw this when I traveled to the northern, eastern and central parts of Uganda.

Another problem is the sunlight. Even in Uganda, which is on the equator, the best sun comes from October through February. Other times of the year, it’s not as good because of clouds and rains. So the solar companies mostly come around when the sun is best and their ovens perform the best.

When it’s cloudy for several days, families cannot cook at all, unless they have solar cookers that actually run on electricity from photovoltaic panels on their homes. But those systems are even more expensive, and the battery power only lasts a couple days. Then families have to go back to wood, charcoal and dung. (Small diesel generators would be a huge improvement, but they too are unaffordable for most.)

Parents are very aware of the deadly respiratory diseases. But they have no choice. And many just prefer the cheaper traditional means of cooking and surviving than the fancy, expensive solar innovations.

A major local preacher for solar energy stoves is a Ugandan native who now resides in Chicago, Mr. Ron Mutebi. He used part of the $100,000 he won at the African Diaspora Marketplace competition at an Africa Infrastructure Conference in Washington. The conference was sponsored by the Corporate Council on Africa, Western Union, USAID and President Obama’s Forum with Young African Leaders. Mr. Obama often said Africans should use wind, solar and biofuel energy instead of fossil fuels.

But I worry that Mr. Mutebi has forgotten how many people are starving, have no money, try to earn a living by digging metal ores with their hands, and almost have to feed their children with grass and dirt. Uganda’s New Vision newspaper recently reported that over 10 million Ugandans in seven districts are starving and many animals are dying of hunger. This sustained poverty and starvation cannot continue.

Many people also don’t know that Africa has some big dreams. One is a Trans East Africa railway that will link Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Horn of Africa countries. This will be a first of its kind electric railway, some 750 kilometers (466 miles) long, and it will need tremendous amounts of energy that cannot come from wind turbines and solar panels.

It will have to come from nuclear power plants – or coal or natural gas generating plants. Africa has these resources in great abundance. But so far we are barely developing or using them, except maybe to export oil to wealthy nations. We should use them. Right now, most of our natural gas from oil fields is just burned and wasted right there. Why not build gas pipelines to power plants to generate electricity for millions? Why not build nuclear and coal plants, and hydroelectric projects like the Bujagali and Karuma Dams on the Nile River in Uganda? Mostly because powerful environmentalist groups oppose these projects. They care more about plants, animals and their own power, than about African people.

What is an extra degree, or even two degrees, of warming in places like Africa? It’s already incredibly hot here, and people are used to it. What we Africans worry about and need to fix are malnutrition and starvation, the absence of electricity, and killer diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, sleeping sickness and HIV/AIDS. Climate changes and droughts have been part of our history forever, and modern energy and technology would help us cope with them better in the future. We must stop focusing on climate change.

African governments are not doing enough to build the energy, transportation and communication systems we desperately need. They are not standing up to Europeans, global banks or environmentalists who oppose big power plants in Africa. They need to do better at helping their people.

Our leaders also need to remember that Europe and the United States did not have a World Bank or other outside help when they modernized and industrialized. They did it themselves. National and local governments, groups of citizens and businesses, and various banks and investors did it. They invented things, financed big projects, and built their cities and countries. China and India have figured this out.

Now Africa needs to do the same thing – and stop relying on outsiders, bowing to their demands, and letting them dictate our future. We have the energy and other natural resources, and the smart, talented, hardworking people to get the job done. We just need to be set free to do it.

Via email

UK: Plugging in six electric cars may cause local power cuts

What fun!

Electric cars could cause local power shortages if just six vehicles are plugged in to charge on the same street, a leading think tank has warned.

Britain’s energy networks are unprepared for the growing numbers of electric cars and solar panels and ministers must intervene to prevent a “disaster” of “rising bills, blackout risk and angry consumers”, the Green Alliance said.

Uncontrolled charging of electric vehicles could cause “brownouts” at evening peaks in half of the UK by 2023, where the voltage drops and some household appliances stop working. Even now “as few as six closely located vehicles charging together at peak time could lead to local brownouts”, the report warned.


California again leads list with 6 of the top 10 most polluted U.S. cities

All their ponderous Greenie regulations would appear to have had no effect

California's smoggy reputation appears to be deserved: Six of the USA's 10 cities with the worst air pollution are in the Golden State, according to a new report.

Bakersfield, Calif., again holds the dubious distinction of having the USA's most days of highly polluted air, based on data from 2013-2015, the American Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report released Wednesday found.

In addition to the worst spikes of short-term pollution — led by Bakersfield — the report also lists the cities with the worst overall year-round pollution — led by Visala/Hanford, Calif.— and the worst ozone pollution, led by the Los Angeles/Long Beach area.

California's soaring population and topography allow air pollution to overcome the state's strict environmental laws, said Paul Billings of the American Lung Association. The boom in people brings with it an increase in cars and trucks on the roads, and many of those people live in valley and basins, right where pollution tends to settle.

Nearly year-round sunny skies also don't help: Those picture-perfect days are a major factor in high levels of ozone pollution, he added.

The state would be far worse off without its strict laws on tailpipe pollution and eliminating coal-fired power plants. "They've done more than any other state to counteract air pollution," Billings said.

Overall, the report is a mixture of good and bad news: While year-round pollution has improved, short-term spikes of intensely polluted air have increased.

"While most of the nation has much cleaner air quality than even a decade ago, many cities reported their highest number of unhealthy days since the report began" 18 years ago, it found.

Some 125 million Americans nationwide live with unhealthful levels of air pollution, the report said, placing them at risk for premature death and other serious health effects such as lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage and developmental and reproductive harm.

"Even with continued improvement, too many people in the United States live where the air is unhealthy for them to breathe," the report said.

Only six metro areas recorded no days when pollution reached unhealthy levels, according to the report: Burlington, Vt.; Honolulu; Wilmington, N.C.; Fort Myers / Naples, Fla.; Melbourne, Fla., and Elmira, N.Y.

Billings said he's concerned about Trump's plans to slash the Environmental Protection Agency's budget. "We have to keep the environmental cop on the beat," he said.

Trump's budget proposal contains a 31% cut to the agency, including weakening or eliminating the Clean Air Act, which the report says has been the most important tool in the fight for healthy air by driving emission reductions for more than 47 years.

“Everyone has a fundamental right to breathe healthy air," said Harold P. Wimmer, the president and CEO of the American Lung Association said.


British Tories make energy costs a central issue

Theresa May will attempt to capture the political centre ground by slashing £100 from the energy bills of 17m families and granting new rights for workers.

The prime minister will use the Conservative manifesto, to be published on May 8, to cap the gas and electricity bills for the seven out of 10 households that pay standard variable tariffs — dubbed a rip-off by watchdogs.

The policy is a centrepiece of a manifesto that will set out a bold social vision for Britain that parks Tory tanks on terrain usually occupied by Labour.


Australia: March for Science participants hoping to send strong message to political leaders

I heartily endorse this march.  We do need more science in public life.  More attention to the scientific fact that there is no correspondence between global temperature levels and global CO2 levels would be a start

Thousands of people have rallied across Australia as part of a global movement calling on political leaders to focus more on science.

Crowds gathered in cities and towns including Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Perth, Brisbane and Townsville as part of the inaugural March for Science, which is taking place in 500 locations worldwide.

The movement was started by scientists sceptical of the agenda of US President Donald Trump, but Stuart Khan, one of the organisers of the Sydney march, said it quickly went global.

He said marchers were calling on politicians to take note that the public wanted policy based on fact.

"The gaps that we see between what science tells us and what we actually see being translated into policy is very large, particularly when you look at things like climate change and the Great Barrier Reef," Professor Khan said.

"We're calling on politicians to make laws that are based on evidence that are appropriate for our future … Australians want to understand how science and how evidence is being incorporated into policy.

"Disease, famine, communicable disease, pollution of the ocean, climate change, all of these challenges are addressable by science."

Professor Khan emphasised that the march was not for scientists, but for anyone. "I'm participating as a community member, I'm participating as a dad," he said. "It is very important that the March for Science is a community-led march, it's a statement that is coming from the community.

"It's not led by the academics, it's not led by eminent scientists because it's not about them, it's about the community saying 'This is what is important to us'."

Among the thousands attending the Sydney rally was former Liberal leader John Hewson, who told AM ahead of the march he was concerned about "the lack of evidence being used as the basis of public policy".

"I think science is probably more useful and more relevant to society today than it's probably ever been. But there's been a widening gap between science and the public," he said.

"We need to stop and recognise the significance of science and the importance of funding it properly and using the evidence that it produces as the basis of good public policy."

Scientist and Macquarie University Associate Professor Josh Madin attended the Sydney rally with his young family and said politicians needed to pay attention to scientific evidence.

"We do a lot of work on the Great Barrier Reef and we've seen first hand the devastation up there and I just think there are some decisions being made that don't have the best interests of our children's future in mind," he said.

Among those throwing their support behind the March for Science is Luke Briscoe, chief executive of Indigi Lab, which works to get more recognition for Indigenous science.

Ms Briscoe said Indigenous science, a form of science in its own right, needed to be better understood in Western culture.

"The honeybee dance from where I'm from in Kuku Yalanji country in far north Queensland, that dance talks about how the bees are sustaining our ecologies," he said.

"It's passing on those customs and traditions that our sciences are embedded in and … it's hard to really put value and monetise the importance of that in a Western world."

Mr Briscoe said having Indigneous participation in the decision-making process would be the only way to ensure better recognition of Indigenous science.

"I think it's important that we ensure that Indigenous voices are heard in the science sector and are at the table in decision-making processes for how we roll out science programs," he said.

"In terms of the workforce, making sure that that it's not just a one-way science understanding — it's looking at two ways of learning and two ways of teaching science and practicing science."



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   main.html 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


23 April, 2017

The Other Poison Gas Killing Syrians: Carbon Dioxide Emissions

"If Trump and his cronies really cared about children killed by noxious gases, they wouldn’t be trying to spew ever more CO2 into the atmosphere"

Prof. Juan Cole goofs again below. The Leftist "expert" on the Middle East (a  professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History in the History Department at the University of Michigan), Juan Cole, gets shown up for the know-nothing he is here. And there is another scathing takedown of him here.  For more on that see Mark Kleiman.  We also read  here that Cole thinks  Iraq is on the Mediterranean!  And if  you read here you will see that the wacky Prof. Cole does not even know that a large part of what is the USA today was taken from Mexico! 

But his identification of CO2 below as a noxious or deadly gas is a low point even for him. Does he realize that he himself breathes out a noxious gas every minute? Cole calls his blog Informed Comment, in the fine old Leftist tradition of calling a thing by its opposite

And  it's just guesswork that attributes the severity of the Syrian drought to global warming.  The Sahara was once lush but went into drought.  Was that because of all those ancient Egyptians running around in SUVs when they weren't building pyramids?  Climates certainly change but nobody so far has been able to predict it

And drought usually goes with cooling, not warming.  Warm oceans give off more water vapour which brings rain.  So are we saying that the Middle East has been really cool in recent years?  Could be

UPDATE:  I should perhaps repeat here something I noted on 6th:

It is true that poor cropping conditions in the Middle East led to food shortages but that was  not because of global warming.  Why?  Because there was no global warming during the period concerned.  The drought (roughly from 2005 to 2011) behind the crop failures occurred in the middle of the 21st century warming "hiatus". So nothing at that time CAN be attributed to warming.  Neither droughts in the Middle East nor anything else can be caused by something that does not exist.

The gas attack in Syria on April 4 consumed the world’s attention and galvanized the Trump White House, leading to the launch of 59 cruise missiles on a small airport from which the regime of Bashar al-Assad has been bombing the fundamentalist rebels in Idlib province. The pictures of suffering children, Trump said, had touched him. Yet the president and most of his party are committed to increasing the daily release of hundreds of thousands of tons of a far more deadly gas—carbon dioxide. Climate scientist James Hansen has described our current emissions as like setting off 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs each day, every day of the year.

The Syrian civil war has left more than 400,000 people dead, among them graveyards full of children and innocent noncombatants. About half the country’s 23 million people have been left homeless, and of those, 4 million have been driven abroad (some of them contributing to Europe’s refugee crisis and its consequent rightward political shift). The war occurred for many complex reasons, including social and political ones. The severest drought in recorded modern Syrian history in 2007–10, however, made its contribution.   

The mega-drought drove 1.5 million farmers and farmworkers off the land to the seedy bidonvilles ringing cities such as Homs and Hama. In the northeast, 70 percent of the farm livestock died in those years. These displaced and dispossessed day laborers, who seldom found remunerative new work in Syria’s stagnant urban economy, joined in the demonstrations against the regime. Some were later drawn into the civil war as militiamen. Others in the end fled their country.    

A team of scientists found no natural explanation for how rapidly Syria has been drying out over the past century.

Of course, Syria has had milder periodic droughts all through history. Moreover, some countries in the region, such as Israel, have been much better at water management than the decrepit Baath state in Syria. It matters how such crises are handled. A team of scientists writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last year, however, found no natural explanation for how rapidly Syria has been drying out over the past century or for the withering severity of the latest drought. Human-caused climate change, which has raised the temperature of the planet 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, they concluded, made this Frankendrought as much as three times more likely to happen than if our coal plants, factories, and automobiles had left Mother Nature alone.


EPA begins Trump's process of weeding out workers

The Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with President Trump's plan to begin cutting staff at the agency by the end of the fiscal year, according to an internal memo.

A special task force has been created to oversee the process, with workforce reductions, including an employee buyout program, slated to go into effect by the end of September, according to a memo issued by EPA Deputy Administrator Michael Flynn.

"Streamlining and reorganizing is good government and important to maximizing taxpayer dollars," said EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman. "This includes looking at developing opportunities for individuals to retire early."

Bowman said it is a process "that mirrors what the Obama administration EPA did about four years ago." It was done "to ensure that payroll expenses do not overtake funds used for vital programs to protect the environment," she said.

Flynn sent the memo this week to guide regional administrators and other branches of the agency on complying with a separate April 12 memo from the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The OMB memo "requires all agencies to begin taking immediate actions on near-term workforce reductions," Flynn wrote. "In light of this guidance, we will begin the steps necessary to initiate an early out/buyout ... program."

He said the "goal is to complete this program by the end of fiscal 2017," which is Sept. 30.

EPA employs about 15,000 workers, 3,200 of whom are targeted to be cut under Trump's budget blueprint.

Flynn noted that the EPA would not be ending a hiring freeze at the agency, despite the administration lifting the government-wide freeze this month.

"Given our resource situation, we will continue a freeze on external hiring," the memo read, adding that "limited exceptions to this external hiring freeze may be permitted on a case-by-case basis."


Earth Day and the divestment campaign against humanity

The constant warnings about the adverse impacts of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, apart from being utterly inconsistent with the evidence, are similar to the ancient interpretation of destructive weather as the gods’ punishment of men for the sins of Man.

Is it confusion? Or is it malevolence? “It” is the driving force underlying the loud clamor for divestment from fossil fuel assets, a political pressure campaign that is growing in sound and fury—and international jet-setting—even as actual government actions to reduce the production and use of fossil fuels are proving futile.

The answer: It is both, so that divestment will be a central theme of Earth Day 2017. Note that current world oil consumption and production are around 98 million barrels per day (mmbd). The International Energy Agency projects global consumption over 103 mmbd by 2040, despite some dubious assumptions. The projection from the Energy Information Administration is almost 121 mmbd by 2040. Even BP and Exxon, driven by political pressures to be politically correct, project global oil consumption and production at 110 mmbd in 2035 and 105 mmbd in 2040, respectively.

So the campaign to “leave it (fossil fuels) in the ground” shows few ongoing signs of prospective success. As Pravda in its glory days would have put it: This inverse relationship between government action against fossil fuels and the divestment movement is no accident, Comrade, as there would be no need for the latter were the former meaningful.

Let us begin with confusion as a significant but lesser source of the divestment argument, as exemplified here. The argument used to be that high oil prices would suppress demand and thus make many investments in fossil fuel reserves uneconomic. Let me be blunt: That argument—high oil prices make divestment the wise choice—is rather silly, frankly, as reserves that can developed and produced in the context of high prices are an investor’s dream.

That silliness seems to have dawned on the divestment advocates because their new argument is that low oil prices will make it uneconomic to produce many fossil-fuel reserves. Low prices will “strand” those reserves, that is, make them unprofitable to produce, and those who invested in them will suffer losses. Better for investors to get out now before the coming crash. Note that this argument has been combined with the assertion that international action against (anthropogenic) climate change will reduce investment in fossil fuel reserves: “Oil companies must avoid destroying shareholder value by investing in resources that could be forced to the sidelines in a carbon-constrained world.”

Where to begin? It is dangerous to begin a conceptual experiment with a price assumption or change because the price is an outcome rather than a parameter. High oil prices might result from strong economic growth and resulting increases in the demand for energy, in which case the “demand suppression” assumption would be the opposite of reality. High oil prices, in other words, are not necessarily caused by supply disruptions or by analogous supply conditions yielding a reduction in consumption. But even in that case—a supply reduction yields high prices—existing and new reserves that can offset the adverse supply condition would be viewed as a godsend by the market, which would reward investors in these substitute sources of energy.

Similarly, low oil prices might result from an expansion of supply conditions—fracking and horizontal drilling perhaps?—in which case some reserves might prove unprofitable to produce, but which must result in an increase in oil output for the market as a whole. It is that overall increase in supply conditions that results in the lower price, which certainly might make some high-cost reserves uneconomic to produce, but which cannot result in an aggregate decline in oil consumption, and which is inconsistent with “international action” to “keep it in the ground” in any case. New discoveries, technological advances—tell any story you choose—low prices resulting from a supply expansion must have the effect of increasing consumption.

Let us turn to the malevolence dimension of the divestment campaign, equally confused in ways more subtle, but darker in its implicit but clear anti-human character. The global divestment campaign advertises itself as on a roll, having received pledges from about 700 institutions and 58,000 individuals to divest approximately $5.2 billion in fossil-fuel assets, in particular the 200 or so oil, gas, and coal producers with the greatest “carbon” content of their reported reserves.

“Divest” is a curious term; a simpler verb is “sell,” and it is a source of some interest that the divesting institutions and individuals are pledging to do so within three to five years. Why not just give the assets away immediately on a first-come/first-serve basis? The obvious answer is that those divesting—selling—the fossil-fuel assets prefer to get the highest prices that they can, an objective rather inconsistent with the purported moral imperative underlying a shift out of fossil fuels and toward the “new energy economy,” about which more below.

For now let us consider the implications of the divestment stance. The fossil-fuel sector is huge—about $5 trillion in market capitalization—because other sectors demand energy and fossil fuels overwhelmingly are the most efficient forms with which to provide it. To say that “other sectors” demand energy is to say that people demand it. So if investment in fossil-fuel sectors engenders some sort of moral quandary, does the same principle apply to investment in industries that use energy? After all, they are responsible for the very existence of the energy producers. Will the divestment campaign expand to agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, retailing, the household sector, and all the rest? Is investment in government bonds the only moral course? Well, no: Government too uses vast amounts of energy.

And let us not stop there: Precisely why do all sectors demand energy? Obviously, it is because people demand the goods and services made affordable by fossil fuels. Notice that the correlation between energy consumption and household income is high and rises as income increases; for the bottom three U.S. income quintiles, the respective correlations are about 0.75, 0.85, and 0.91. If fossil fuels are evil, so are rising incomes, as the latter drive up the demand for the former.

So let us be very clear that one central implication of the divestment campaign—remember, it is a moral imperative—is the desirability of poverty as a tool with which to dampen energy demands and thus incentives to invest in fossil-fuel sectors. This is separate from the impoverishing effect of substituting expensive energy in place of conventional energy produced with fossil fuels.

Accordingly, the divestment campaign has slipped into the anti-human trap that is the hidden but essential core of modern environmentalism: Far from being a resource, ordinary people are a scourge on the planet. They prefer cheap energy, strongly, but the moral imperative of divestment is diametrically opposed, and investments in people—education, health, etc.—make matters worse by increasing human capital and wealth, and thus the demand for energy.

Therefore, the moral imperative of the divestment campaign—its very logic—leads to disinvestment not only from virtually all economic activities, but also from investments in people, in particular in a third world desperate to emerge from grinding poverty.

Consider also one central dimension of what it means to be human: the application of intelligence to overcome the obstacles that define life outside the Garden of Eden. From backbreaking toil by hand to the use of animals and tools to the evolution of energy from wood to whale oil to coal to oil and gas to nuclear power to new technologies yet to be invented or proven competitive, the history of energy is a fundamental component of mankind’s evolution, reflecting the inventiveness that is uniquely human, a process utterly at odds with the underlying imperatives of the divestment campaign.

Supporters of divestment might respond that they too favor inventiveness in the form of the “new energy economy,” which means such unconventional technologies as wind and solar power. Let us therefore examine the “moral” dimension of that investment shift. Because unconventional energy sources are unconcentrated, they are expensive and cannot compete without large subsidies and guaranteed market shares. Because they are intermittent—sometimes the wind blows and sometimes the sun shines, and sometimes not—they must be backed up with conventional power units, which must be cycled up and down depending on wind and sunlight conditions. In a word, they must be operated inefficiently, yielding an increase—yes, an increase—in the emissions of conventional pollutants.

Even an impossible 20–30 percent decrease in global greenhouse gas emissions would reduce temperatures in 2100 by only about half a degree. Would an enterprising journalist somewhere please ask the supporters of divestment about the morality of a campaign that would (1) impoverish millions of people, (2) increase conventional pollution, (3) yield zero offsetting environmental benefits, and (4) forcibly extract resources from ordinary people, while (5) providing the environmental left with a rationale for moral preening?

Despite the constant appeals of the divestment advocates to climate “science” and their poor use of economic analytics, the reality is that the divestment campaign, like modern leftist environmentalism more generally, is essentially a religious movement. The constant warnings about the adverse impacts of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, apart from being utterly inconsistent with the evidence, are similar to the ancient interpretation of destructive weather as the gods’ punishment of men for the sins of Man. Just as the pagans for thousands of years attempted to prevent destructive weather by worshipping golden idols, so do modern environmentalists now attempt to prevent destructive weather by bowing down before recycling bins. At a more general level, consider the basic theological stance of the divestment campaign: In the beginning, Earth was the Garden of Eden. But mankind, having consumed the forbidden fruit of the tree of technological knowledge, has despoiled it. And only through repentance and economic suffering can we return to the loving embrace of Mother Gaia.

Let us not fail to take note of the breathtaking hypocrisy of some members of the current generation of Rockefellers, announcing loudly their decision to divest the fossil-fuel assets of their charity, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, while maintaining a deafening silence about the fossil-fuel investments of the far-larger family investment and wealth management firm Rockefeller & Company. Nor have we heard that they will divest themselves of the lavish lifestyles engendered in past Rockefeller generations by the historical growth of the oil and gas sector. Their central objective is loud applause at the upper-crust cocktail parties for a divestment that will have no effect on the fossil-fuel sector, that will cost them literally nothing, and that is part of a leftist campaign that views ordinary people as a liability.

Such are the dimensions of moral cowardice.


Your Choice: A Green America Or A Brown America


In celebration of Earth Day this Saturday, let’s review how the Sierra Club sold its soul and screwed the Earth for a $100 million donation. They must hate themselves for it, so why shouldn’t we hate them, too?

After Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration act began dumping millions of Third-Worlders on the country, the Sierra Club talked of little else besides reducing immigration.

In 1970, the club adopted a resolution complaining that the country’s growing population was polluting the “air, water and land” — to the point that “our very survival (is) threatened.”

In 1978, the Sierra Club adopted a resolution urging Congress to “conduct a thorough examination of U.S. immigration laws,” noting that the United States, Canada and Australia were the only countries admitting “more than a handful of permanent immigrants.”

In 1980, the club dropped its promotion of birth control, in order to focus on immigration. “It is obvious,” the club said, “that the numbers of immigrants the United States accepts affects our population size and growth rate,” even more than “the number of children per family.”

In 1989, the club’s Population Report expressly called for reducing the number of immigrants.

In 1990, the club’s grassroots leaders voted overwhelmingly to launch a major national campaign on the immigration problem.

Even people who don’t live in yurts can’t help but notice the environmental damage being done by hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans clamoring across the border every year, setting fires, dumping litter, spray-painting gang signs in our parks and defacing ancient Indian petroglyphs.

The problem isn’t just the number of people traipsing through our wilderness areas; it’s that primitive societies have no concept of “litter.” That’s a quirk of prosperous societies. The damage to our parks shows these cultural differences.

Writing in an environmental journal at New York University, Rosa P. Oakes described the “reprehensible” damage being done to “towering cactus, Joshua trees, flowering cactus varieties, colorful wildflowers and rock formations” by illegals. With accompanying photos, she noted that the immigrants’ litter included “abandoned vehicles … used needles, drug paraphernalia, plastic grocery bags, paper products, empty water containers, blankets, clothing, used disposable diapers, among other things.”

The Mexican cultural trait of littering is apparently well known to everyone — except American journalists.

As usual, when it comes to anything that reflects negatively on Third World immigrants, you have to be Agatha Christie to get at the truth. If the media can hide Hispanic child rape, it’s child’s play for them to ignore the Hispanic littering problem.

The best way to find out about garbage being dumped all over by our vibrant recent immigrants is to look at local news stories from any town that contains a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Here are three from last year:

Local politicians in heavily Hispanic Allentown, Pennsylvania, wanted to suck up to their constituents by renaming Seventh Street “Calle Siete.” Then it turned out that the Hispanic merchants on “Calle Siete” had no interest in this idea. Their No. 1 issue? Litter.

Dorcas Derivera, an immigrant from Guatemala, said in perfect English that if politicians wanted to do something useful, they would deal with the litter problem on Seventh Street, which she said she must pick up from the sidewalk before clients arrive.

“It’s embarrassing,” she told a local newspaper. “How am I going to do business?”

Also last year, in a classic MSM Hide-the-Mexican story, there were media reports of “racist” graffiti targeting “Hispanics and African-Americans” in San Leandro, California’s Marina Park. Obviously, graffiti directed at “Hispanics and African-Americans” could only have been left by one of those white supremacist gangs so prevalent on “Law and Order”!

Nope. It was Mexicans, again: The Nortenos, a Mexican gang. By “Hispanics,” the media meant “Hispanics other than the ones doing the graffiti.”

Then last October, the parks and recreation department in Decatur, Alabama, was again forced to remove goals from the soccer field because of the mountains of garbage routinely left behind. In the past decade, the soccer games had become “an increasingly popular social event among the Hispanic community.”

Would any of this be of interest to an alleged environmental group? It used to be — until the early 2000s.

That was when the Sierra Club was given $100 million by hedge fund billionaire David Gelbaum in exchange for never opposing immigration again. The club said, How dare you ask us to abandon our principles for filthy lucre!

Just kidding! It said, SURE! Did you bring the check?

Mass Third World immigration is a triple whammy for the environment because:

1) Millions more people are tromping through our country;

2) The new people do not share Americans’ love of nature and cleanliness; and

3) We’re not allowed to criticize them.

One big advantage of taking white Western European immigrants is that we’re permitted to complain about their grating cultural habits without being accused of “racism.” (Also, there aren’t that many of them.)

The Sierra Club didn’t anticipate the PC reasons for preferring non-Third World immigrants, but simply wanted to stop so many people pouring into our country and stepping on the flowers. Which is why the club used to be nearly monomaniacally focused on reducing immigration.

By now, it’s been a quarter-century since the Sierra Club cared about the environment. As is the fate of most groups that stick around long enough, today it’s just another left-wing, hate-America interest group. Unfortunately, among the things the Sierra Club hates about America are its rivers, mountains, hiking trails, parks and wildlife.

Give me your tired, your poor, your empties and pizza boxes, your Cheetos bags, your soiled diapers and abandoned couches …



By Isaac Orr

When it comes to renewable energy, there truly are numerous myths that perpetuate throughout the media and culture that are not supported by any fair reading of the available data.

Over the past year “alternative facts” and “fake news” have become regrettable buzzwords used to dismiss any viewpoint that does not support one’s own preconceived notions.

But when it comes to renewable energy, there truly are numerous myths that perpetuate throughout the media and culture that are not supported by any fair reading of the available data.

Renewable-energy advocates often argue that we don’t need jobs in the fossil-fuels industry because solar and wind have become “engines for green and sustainable jobs.” As evidence, many groups have cited a report published by the U.S. Department of Energy that purportedly shows more people are working in the solar industry than in fossil-fuel power generation.

According to the report, 374,000 people are employed by the solar-generation industry, approximately 102,000 are employed by wind, and just 187,000 people are employed generating electricity from oil, coal, and natural gas. On its face, it seems as if wind and solar truly are the job creators and fossil fuels are dinosaurs awaiting extinction. That’s not the case.

It’s true the DOE report says approximately 374,000 people work in the solar-energy industry, but this number isn’t just full-time jobs. It includes part-time. Only about 260,000 spend at least half their time working in the solar industry.

Economists, to compare competing industries, typically estimate how many full-time equivalent jobs exist or are being created. Unfortunately, the study did not use this metric, and the report is missing citations for footnotes 32 and 33, which are supposed to support their claims about jobs in the solar industry.

Another interesting “alternative fact” about the jobs created by wind and solar power is that a large portion of these jobs are construction jobs, the same kinds of positions that were routinely denigrated by renewable-energy advocates during debates about the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines. In 2016, 36.7 percent of jobs in the solar industry and 37.2 percent of jobs in the wind industry were construction jobs.

All we can truly conclude from the report is solar creates part-time, temporary jobs that come at a massive expense to taxpayers and consumers.

Many renewable-energy advocates claim solar and wind are cost-competitive with fossil fuels, but the facts show otherwise. A study from the Brookings Institution found electricity generated from wind costs at least twice as much as coal or natural gas, and solar costs at least three times as much as conventional sources. The only reason the wind and solar industries are still in operation, or were even built up in the first place, is because they receive more subsidies than every other form of energy combined.

According to data provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2013, wind received $5.9 billion in taxpayer handouts, mainly in the form of the Wind Production Tax Credit. Solar receives $5.3 billion annually, mostly from a 30 percent federal tax credit. Additional federal and state incentives for solar systems make buying these panels virtually free. These subsidies have continued to grow every year.

Even with all these subsidies, solar and wind provide just 0.4 and 1.8 percent of the United States’ total energy use, respectively. On the other hand, coal provides 18 percent of total energy use, natural gas provides 28 percent, and oil generates 35 percent of total energy consumption.

Wind and solar should be required to compete on a truly level playing field with other forms of energy, which would mean repealing the 30 percent federal tax credit for solar power and the other handouts keeping renewable energy afloat.



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   main.html 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, 2017

Earth Day Dopes

John Stossel
Expect more craziness this weekend. Earth Day is Saturday. This year’s theme: Government must “do more” about climate change because “consequences of inaction are too high to risk.”

They make it sound so simple:

1) Man causes global warming.

2) Warming is obviously harmful.

3) Government can stop it.

Each claim is dubious or wrong.

This weekend at a movie, I was surprised to be assaulted again by former Vice President Al Gore. In a preview, a puffy-looking Gore suddenly appeared, attacking Donald Trump and mocking critics of his previous movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” the deceitful documentary that spreads fear in classrooms today. Yes, teachers play it in class.

Now Gore claims “the most criticized” part of the film was his assertion that the 9/11 memorial site would flood. Then, during Hurricane Sandy, it did!

But Gore creatively misremembers his own movie. He had claimed the World Trade Center would flood because of a permanent 20-foot sea-level rise. Actual scientists called that nonsense. It would take hundreds of years for such a thing to possibly happen.

But since the area flooded, briefly, Gore spins that as confirmation of his exaggerations.

This preview was the first I learned that theaters will soon show a sequel to Gore’s film. Google tells us that “An Inconvenient Sequel” got a standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival. Trendy Hollywood is so dumb.

At least critics who’ve watched it gave it poor reviews.

Let’s go back to points 1, 2 and 3:

1) Man’s greenhouse gases contribute to warming, but scientists don’t agree on how much. Of 117 climate models from the 1990s, 114 overpredicted warming.

2) Warming is harmful. Maybe.

But so far it’s been good: Over the last century, climates warmed, but climate-related deaths dropped. Since 1933, they fell by 98 percent. Life expectancy doubled.

Much of that is thanks to prosperity created by free markets. But some is due to warming. Cold kills more people than heat.

Carbon dioxide is also good for crop growth. Even The New York Times admits, “Plants have been growing at a rate far faster than at any other time in the last 54,000 years.”

But what if Al Gore is right? Maybe our greenhouse gases will eventually cause Greenland’s icecaps to melt and flood our cities. Shouldn’t government act now? No.

3) Nothing we do today will stop global warming. The Obama regulations that Trump recently repealed, horrifying the Earth Day crowd, had a goal that amounted to a mere one percent reduction in global CO2. And that was just the goal.

Of course, some think any cut is better than nothing. But cuts are costly. They kill jobs, opportunity. All to accomplish… nothing the earth will notice.

If warming does become a problem, we’re better off if our economy is very strong when the science tells us clearly that action will make a difference.

We should be especially wary of expensive government projects given how often alarmists were wrong in the past.

As Cato’s Pat Michaels says, “I’ve lived through eight environmental apocalypses … overpopulation … resource depletion … Silent Spring … global cooling … acid rain … the ozone hole … global warming … the next one is going to be ocean acidification.”

In the ‘70s, environmentalist Paul Ehrlich won fame with his book “The Population Bomb.” Ehrlich predicted: “I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”


Ehrlich now admits: “When you predict the future, you get things wrong.” But he says there’s a grain of truth in his prediction, because: “If you look closely at England, what can I tell you? They’re having all kinds of problems.”

Give me a break.

Saturday’s Earth Day nonsense will include a “March for Science.” The media will hype it, claiming Trump’s proposed budget will poison the earth.

It won’t.

The alarmists claim they’re marching for “science,” but they’re really marching for a left-wing religion.

Instead of celebrating Earth Day Saturday, I’ll celebrate Human Achievement Hour. The think tank behind it, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, says Human Achievement Hour pays tribute to “our basic human right to use energy to improve everyone’s quality of life.”

Some ways to celebrate:

—Use your phone or computer

—Drive a car

—Take a hot shower

Good idea! Let’s celebrate progress instead of attacking it.


Federal Ethanol Policies Make Prairies Go to Seed

The prairies of the American Midwest are a vanishing “species” of ecological habitat. Although many blame its demise on the rise of industrial civilization, some of the worst culprits are products of the modern state: ethanol subsidies and mandates. As Independent Institute Senior Fellow William F. Shughart II explains in an op-ed for Investor’s Business Daily, the prairie has fallen victim to massive cultivation of corn for ethanol, fueled by federal policies such as the renewable fuel standard, “a congressional mandate requiring refiners to mix renewable fuel (mostly corn-based ethanol) with U.S. gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and heating oil products.”

The renewable fuel mandate—and the federal subsidy to corn farmers—arose from two concerns: fear of fossil fuels and fear of energy scarcity. The latter arose during the Arab oil embargo of 1973-74—long before the shale revolution that has unlocked vast reserves of shale oil and natural gas. The former is a by-product of environmentalism, most recently of climate alarmism. Ironically, it has also taken a toll on the environment, including its destruction of prairieland for the sake of corn ethanol.

“Currently, roughly half of the entire U.S. corn crop—which topped more than 15 billion bushels last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture—winds up in biofuels,” Shughart writes. Partly as a result, the vanishing prairie now covers only about 5 percent of the land area it once inhabited. “The ethanol mandate has triggered an environmental disaster,” Shughart continues. “Kicking the ethanol habit should be as much of a no-brainer as buckling up before starting the car.”


Coal's Colossal Comeback
Buried in an otherwise-humdrum jobs report was the jaw-dropping pronouncement by the Department of Labor that mining jobs in America were up by 11,000 in March. Since the low point in October 2016, and following years of painful layoffs in the mining industry, the mining sector has added 35,000 jobs.

What a turnaround. Liberals have been saying that Donald Trump was lying to the American people when he said that he could bring coal jobs back. Well, so far, he has delivered on his promise.

There’s more good news for the coal industry. Earlier this month, Peabody Energy — America’s largest coal producer — moved out of bankruptcy, and its stock is actively trading again. Its market cap had sunk by almost 90 percent during Barack Obama’s years in office. Arch Coal is also out of bankruptcy.

It turns out that, after all, elections do have consequences. The Obama administration and its allies, such as the Sierra Club, tried to kill coal because of their obsession with global warming. Regime change in Washington has brought King Coal back to life.

Donald Trump pledged to coal miners in small towns across America that he would be a friend to American coal and fossil fuels. As promised, Trump has lifted the so-called Clean Power Plan regulations and several other EPA rules that were intentionally designed to shutter coal plants, which it accomplished with ruthless precision. Hillary Clinton had promised her green allies that she would finish off every last coal-mining job in America.

The coal miners weren’t too happy about this, and her arrogant disregard for a leading American industry that hires tens of thousands of union workers contributed to her losing almost all the coal states — many of which were once reliably Democratic.

America was built on cheap and abundant coal. Fossil fuels powered the U.S. into the industrial age and replaced windmills and wood burning, which were inefficient, as the primary sources of electricity. America currently has access to 500 years' worth of coal — far more than any other nation. Despite the last decade’s war on coal, the U.S. still derives about one-third of our power from coal, making it second only to natural gas.

Liberals have argued that coal could never make a comeback, because of cheap natural gas. Clearly, the shale gas revolution — with prices falling from $10 to $3 per million cubic feet — has hurt coal producers.

But economic necessity is the mother of invention, and coal companies, including Peabody, have figured out how to become far more efficient in production. What’s more, clean coal is here. Emissions of lead, sulfur, carbon monoxide and other air pollutants from coal plants have fallen by more than half, and in some cases 90 percent, in recent decades.

The climate-change industrial complex pontificates that the U.S. has to stop using coal to save the planet. But even if the U.S. cut our own coal production to zero, China and India are building hundreds of coal plants. By suspending American coal production we are merely transferring jobs out of the U.S.

Renewable energy is decades away from being a major energy source for the world. Until that happens, coal and natural gas will compete as low-priced, super-abundant, domestically produced energy sources for 21st-century America. Nuclear power will, I hope, continue to play an important role, too. Meanwhile, for all the talk of the growth in wind and solar industries, they still account for less than 10 percent of our energy. Almost 70 percent comes from natural gas and coal.

Coal isn’t dead in America. It is unleashed. As a Washington Times editorial put it very well recently, “The left gave up on the 100,000 coal workers in America more than a decade ago. Donald Trump has not.” Remember this the next time Elizabeth Warren or Nancy Pelosi lectures us about how much they care about the working class in America.


ALG Foundation releases ‘Shedding Light on Solar Electricity’

Americans for Limited Government Foundation released a report today entitled “Shedding Light on Solar Electricity.” The report covers a number of problems that the solar industry has been causing its customers. It also makes a number of recommendations to state legislators about how to protect consumers and improve transparency in the solar industry.

Americans for Limited Government Foundation Director of Research Richard McCarty, who authored the study, stated in the report’s conclusion: “Consumers have a right to know the facts before they decide to have solar panels installed on their homes. Too many times, unscrupulous solar industry employees have omitted these facts or, intentionally or unintentionally, misled potential customers. That is why state legislators should enact sensible laws that require solar companies to be open and transparent with their potential customers about the advantages and disadvantages of solar panels. Even after legislators address these problems, it will still be necessary for consumers to do their own research to ensure that solar panels are the right choice for them; but until consumer protection laws are strengthened, this research will be even more vital.”

The report covers some of the ways in which solar customers have been scammed as well as problems customers have experienced. For example, some solar customers have not received the government rebates they were due because they were stolen by their contractor. Others have paid deposits on solar panels that were never installed. Many customers have not seen the savings on their utility bills that they were promised. A number of customers who have signed solar leases have experienced problems with selling or refinancing their homes. Those leasing solar panels and trying to get a reverse mortgage have learned it is simply impossible. Of course, all too often, these customers were not told of these risks.

To reduce the number of these cases and improve consumer protection laws, the report includes a list of recommendations for state legislators to consider. This list includes requiring solar contractors to provide customers with a written contract; requiring contracts to include the amount of any monthly payments and what, if anything, could cause them to rise; requiring that any promised savings must be written into the contract; and requiring that contracts specify who is to receive any solar incentives.

It is hoped that this report will be of use to consumers considering having solar panels installed and to state legislators and regulators concerned with consumer protection.


Why This Scientist Won't Be Attending The 'Science March'

A much-discussed "Science March," which germinated on the social news site Reddit and then experienced a meteoric rise on all social media in the past two weeks, now has an official date: April 22nd. While a march to support science sounds like a good idea, given the agenda, this scientist will not be attending.

I wrote previously of my concern that the Science March would be hijacked by the kind of political partisanship it should instead be concerned about – and that has indeed come true. This fear was based on not-so-subtle hints provided by its Twitter feed, such as embracing "intersectionality" (a concept taught in classes on feminism) as a core principle. To its credit, the march's Twitter account has stopped dropping hints; now, it's openly stating what its agenda actually is:

If you're wondering what this has to do with science, you're certainly not alone. The answer, of course, is nothing. These issues are the primary concern of revisionist historians and social justice warriors, not empirically-minded scientists.

The group's updated website* sheds no new light on its cause. The front page is full of trite platitudes, such as: "We are scientists and science enthusiasts... Our diversity is our greatest strength." This screenshot is from the diversity page:

It's curious that a website that seeks to include everybody conspicuously left men, whites, and Christians off the diversity list. Similarly, the site's mission statement is odd:

The march supports publicly funded science. That's good, but what about privately funded science, where the majority of basic research and the overwhelming bulk of applied research, is done? Non-academic science makes up the vast majority of research in America. According to R&D Magazine, last year the U.S. spent $514 billion on research and development, 64% of which ($328 billion) came from industry. Why don't those scientists count? Despite an enigmatic commitment to "diversity," the march leaves out the majority of scientists. And the private sector is actually far more diverse in science than universities are.

Claiming to support evidence-based policies is nice, but it's ultimately hollow if it doesn't specify which policies. Surely, we could learn something about the real intention of the march if we knew who the organizers are. Alas, no transparency is to be found. For privacy reasons, the site won't tell us who they are:

In summary: The Science March has now selected a date. But we don't know what they're marching about, who the organizers are, or what scientific policies they support. The only consistent message of substance from the group so far is an insistence on diversity, albeit a version that doesn't include white men or scientists who don't get government funding.

Is it too soon to conclude that the organizers never really intended this march to be about science in the first place?



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   main.html 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, 2017

For the first time in the recent past, human-caused climate change has rerouted an entire river (?)

That old apostle of Warmism, Chris Mooney, makes a muckle out of a mickle below. Glaciers advance and retreat all the time.  Where is the proof that this retreat is caused by global warming?  There is none.  It's all just the usual theory and modelling

A team of scientists have documented what they're describing as the first case of large-scale river reorganisation as a result of human-caused climate change.

They found that in mid-2016, the retreat of a very large glacier in Canada's Yukon territory led to the rerouting of its vast stream of meltwater from one river system to another - cutting down flow to the Yukon's largest lake, and channelling freshwater to the Pacific Ocean south of Alaska, rather than to the Bering Sea.

The researchers dubbed the reorganisation an act of "rapid river piracy," saying that such events had often occurred in the Earth's geologic past, but never before, to their knowledge, as a sudden present-day event. They also called it "geologically instantaneous."

The process that would ordinarily take thousands of years - or more - happened in just a few months in 2016.

The scientists had been to the edge of the Kaskawulsh glacier in 2013. Then the Slims River was "swift, cold and deep" and flowing fast enough that it could be dangerous to wade through, lead study author Daniel Shugar of the University of Washington, said. They returned last year to find the river shallow and as still as a lake, while the Alsek, was deeper and flowing faster.

Most of the water gushing from the large glacier last year suddenly switched from one river to another.

That changed the Slims River from a three-metres deep, raging river to something so shallow that it barely was above a scientist's high top sneakers at midstream.

The river wasn't what we had seen a few years ago. It was a faded version of its former self," said Shugar of the Slims River, which lost much of its flow due to the glacial change. "It was barely flowing at all. Literally, every day, we could see the water level dropping, we could see sandbars popping out in the river."

The study was published in Nature Geoscience. Shugar conducted the study with researchers from six different Canadian and US universities.

The precipitating event for all of this happened in summer 2016, when meltwater from the retreating Kaskawulsh glacier burst through a channel of ice, suddenly draining a glacial lake that had fed Slims river and directing waters into a different river that ultimately heads south toward the Gulf of Alaska. Previously, these waters had ultimately fed into the vast Yukon river, which empties on Alaska's west coast.

The researchers found only a minuscule probability that the retreat of Kaskawulsh glacier - which retracted by nearly half a mile from 1956 to 2007 - could have occurred in what they called a "constant climate." They therefore inferred that the events in question could be attributed to human-caused climate change.

The beneficiary of the change, in hydrologic terms, is the Alsek River, known for its whitewater rafting. It saw far higher flows than normal as a consequence - and empties eventually into the Gulf of Alaska, which should now be seeing a new infusion of freshwater.

These events have occurred in a relatively sparsely populated wilderness area, and so will not have ramifications for large human populations - but they give a sense of just how dramatic and sudden climate-linked changes can be. Similarly, recently mountain glacier changes in the Bolivian Andes have created the risk of dangerous outburst floods that could imperil communities below them.

The current study represents "a great example of a threshold response to warming over the last century-and-a-half," said Ken Tape, an Arctic ecologist at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, who was not involved in the research. "The glacier has been retreating gradually, but at a threshold encountered in summer 2016, the drainage abruptly changed in a matter of weeks and completely reorganised downstream ecosystems."

Tape cautioned that "most glaciers, when they retreat, do not have downstream consequences as dramatic as in the case presented here. Flows increase or decrease commensurate with glacier mass balance, but rivers are not usually lost or gained in the process, and change is more gradual."

The Kaskawulsh glacier, at only 60 degrees north latitude, is in a relatively temperate region well below the Arctic circle, helping to make it particularly susceptible to climate change. The researchers provided measurements suggesting that just before the river reorganisation, the glacier was experiencing quite warm temperatures for the springtime, which seems to have triggered a large burst of meltwater.

Shugar said that the researchers do not expect the glacier and the river system that depends on it to flip back - rather, it has entered a new state.

"We did some preliminary estimates of what it would take for the Slims River to be reestablished," said Shugar, "and it seems unlikely to occur in the current climate."


White House Floats Excuses to Break Trump’s Promise to Cancel Paris Climate Treaty

This week, White House senior advisers will meet to discuss the future of U.S. involvement in the Paris Climate Treaty. During campaign speeches, President Trump repeatedly promised the American public that if elected, he would cancel U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments to United Nations global warming programs. Since the agreement was signed in December 2015, CEI has made the constitutional, political, economic, and moral case for why the United States should withdraw from it.

The Paris Climate Treaty casts a long shadow on America’s energy producers and job creators as it keeps in place a framework for promoting a regulatory assault on affordable energy and supporting the EPA as the nation’s unlawful climate legislator.

Withdrawing the United States from this treaty would put a stop to Obama’s attempted end-run around the constitutional treaty process, and ensure that elections, not U.N.-organized, political pressure campaigns, determine the direction of U.S. domestic economic and energy policy. If President Trump fails to do this, domestic and foreign opponents of Trump’s energy policies and possibly activist courts can continue to invoke this “international commitment,” and any future U.S. administration will have free rein to pick up where Obama left off. ?

President Obama negotiated the Paris Climate Agreement to confer a treaty-like status on his domestic climate policies—often called the “war on coal” but effectively a war on affordable energy—without actually going through the treaty process, an acknowledgement that all parties knew would doom such a pact. The ultimate aim of the agreement is to make coal, oil, and natural gas increasingly uneconomical to produce, export, and consume. Remaining a party to the Agreement thus endangers the energy price edge underpinning the U.S. manufacturing renaissance President Trump seeks to launch.

Even when Democrats held the majority in Congress, President Obama knew any proposal to adopt new international climate commitments would be dead on arrival. To avoid the Senate’s constitutional role to “advise and consent” on treaties, Obama simply claimed the agreement was not a treaty. This end run around the constitutional treaty process is unlawful and reason enough to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. Failure to reverse this move, as candidate Trump promised, will entrench a constitutionally damaging precedent, encouraging future executives to avoid constitutional review of unpopular treaties just by deeming them to be non-treaties.

Above and beyond the unconstitutional manner of its adoption, the Paris Climate Treaty is inherently toxic to American institutions of self-government. The agreement provides a framework for a global, political pressure machine to exist for decades. The agreement is designed to gin up diplomatic and political “blowback” not once—as would happen if Trump withdraws—but incessantly. The Agreement is designed to organize political protest and diplomatic pressure any time U.S. policymakers fail to keep Obama’s “commitments” to de-carbonize the U.S. economy, pony up billions in “climate aid” for developing countries, and make increasingly “ambitious” emission reduction promises every five years, in perpetuity.

Failure to withdraw also invites climate policy litigation, because joining the Paris Agreement tacitly affirms the preferred narrative that climate change is humanity’s greatest peril and “inaction” threatens millions of lives. A Dutch court in The Hague recently ruled that these so-called “non-binding” climate pacts are no such thing but instead affirm an obligation to impose regulations consistent with their assertions of responsibility to do so. It likely will not be the last to engage in such activism, from which we have no guarantee we are immune.

Three “arguments” have been reported in recent weeks as being preferred among White House and administration staff, none of which make any sense. Each argument represents no more than an effort to rationalize breaking President Trump's campaign promise and stay in the Paris Climate Treaty:

    Avoid “diplomatic blowback” – Except that the Paris agreement actually builds this in as its “naming and shaming” means of obtaining U.S. submission every five years.

    The Trump administration can just adjust our (first) promised emission reductions – This undermines the concurrent pro-Paris talking point that the United States can just ignore its promise because it's “voluntary.” The Paris agreement is no more or less enforceable or voluntary than the Kyoto treaty.

    Membership in the Paris treaty offers an opportunity to argue for more carbon capture and storage (CCS) funding – this suggests we should sign the death warrant for the U.S. treaty process in exchange for the prospect of seeking a new subsidy or special interest scheme.

None of these new rhetorical inventions is an argument. Each is instead a tacit admission that there is no argument in support of breaking this very explicit campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Treaty.


Exiting the Paris Climate Agreement: Scant evidence of expected benefit

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt appeared on “Fox & Friends” April 13 and said, “Paris is something we really need to look at closely, because it’s something we need to exit, in my opinion.”

Why? “It’s a bad deal for America. China and India had no obligations under the agreement until 2030, we front-loaded all of our costs, at the expense of jobs.”

That’s a good start. It should resonate well with Americans who use electricity at home or work and gas or diesel in their cars — i.e., pretty much all of us.

But if Mr. Pruitt wants to expand public support, he needs to make six other important points.

First, Bjorn Lomborg, accepting climate-change advocates’ assumptions about how much warming comes from carbon dioxide, showed in a peer-reviewed study that implementing all provisions of all signers to Paris would prevent only 0.306 degrees Fahrenheit of global warming by 2100.

What would it cost? Unofficial estimates by the United States, European Union, Mexico and China amount to $739-$757 billion per year.

Those parties account for about 80 percent of signatories’ emissions reduction pledges. Other pledges would have similar costs per unit, implying something in the range of $185-$189 billion.

All told, $924-$946 billion. Per year. Every year from 2030 to the end of the century. “And that’s if the politicians do everything right. If not, the real cost could double,” Mr. Lomborg said.

So, for $65-$132 trillion, we might — if the alarmists are right — reduce global average temperature by a third of one degree by 2100. That’s $212-$431 billion per thousandth of a degree of cooling.

Second, if carbon dioxide’s warming effect is smaller than alarmists allege, two things follow: First, there’s not as much warming ahead to fear. Second, the cooling effect of reduced emissions will be less than thought, and the cost per unit higher.

Empirical evidence is mounting that the climate models on which climate-change advocates rely overstate carbon dioxide’s warming effect.

As University of Alabama climatologist John Christy testified before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee March 29, the models call for warming of 0.389 degrees Fahrenheit per decade. But weather balloon measurements find only 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit, satellite measurements 0.211 degrees Fahrenheit and re-analyses of data from major weather centers around the world 0.221 degrees Fahrenheit.

Observed warming is about one-half to three-fifths what the models predict.

It’s not just “climate skeptics” who see this. Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel, in an article meant to refute “climate skeptics,” reported that global temperature has been rising at 0.072-0.144 degrees Fahrenheit per decade — one-fifth to one-third the modeled rate.

This implies two things: First, carbon-dioxide emissions will drive only one-fifth to three-fifths as much warming as the models predict. Second, implementing the Paris agreement will reduce global temperature in 2100 by only one-fifth to three-fifths what Mr. Lomborg calculated, or 0.061-0.184 degrees Fahrenheit.

That raises the cost per thousandth of a degree of warming prevented to $353 billion to $2.16 trillion.

That’s money that could instead be used to provide electricity, drinking water, food, sewage sanitation, infectious disease control, health care, improved housing, expanded industry and other services to help the world’s poor far more than an imperceptible reduction in global warming.

Third, other empirical studies give even more reason to think carbon dioxide’s warming effect is even smaller.

The calculations above assumed that all observed warming 1979-2016 was caused by rising carbon-dioxide concentration. But carbon dioxide is probably not the sole or even primary driver.

In a peer-reviewed research report last fall, “On the Existence of a ‘Tropical Hot Spot’ and the Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding,” Mr. Christy teamed up with meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo and econometrician James P. Wallace III to show that “there is no statistically valid proof that past increases in Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations have caused the officially reported rising” temperatures.

Their analysis showed that, after separating out the impacts of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, changes in solar activity, and the 1977 “Pacific Shift,” no additional warming trend occurred over the relevant period.

Consequently, no correlation remained between carbon dioxide (rapidly rising) and global temperature trends (flat except those driven by El Nino-Southern Oscillation).

Fourth, that study implies that the “Tropical Hot Spot” implied by computer climate models does not exist. Since that was crucial to EPA’s carbon dioxide “endangerment finding,” the finding was unjustified and should be reversed.

Fifth, whatever the risks from its tiny warming effect, adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere has positive effects.

Plants need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. On average, every doubling of atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentration causes a 35 percent increase in plant growth efficiency.

Consequently, plants increase their ranges and make food more abundant. The world’s poor benefit most. One survey of hundreds of studies concluded that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide 1960-2012 added $3.2 trillion in crop yields and would add nearly $10 trillion more through 2050.

Sixth and finally, since the endangerment finding was wrong, the EPA should reverse it. There is no reason to call life-giving carbon dioxide a pollutant, and the Paris climate agreement really is “something we need to exit.”


Ignore the Critics: If Trump Withdraws from Paris Climate Agreement, He Will Demonstrate U.S. Leadership

Donald Trump made opposition to the Paris Agreement crystal clear during his Presidential campaign. Some supporters of the Paris Agreement are urging President Trump to break this promise.

Having other countries know that the U.S. President is resolute is valuable diplomatic currency.

In December, 2015, President Barack Obama signed the Paris Agreement on climate change. That signature did not come cheap. To satisfy its Paris commitments, the Obama Administration announced plans to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions anywhere from 26 to 28 per cent below what they were in 2005—plans that would steeply raise energy costs on American households and businesses and impede job growth.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, made opposition to the Paris Agreement crystal clear during his Presidential campaign: “We’re going to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.”

Now some supporters of the Paris Agreement are urging President Trump to break this promise. But they can’t really argue that the Agreement is an effective way to address climate change; MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change projects that, even if every country followed through with its promises, the Paris agreement would reduce warming by only 0.2 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.

Instead, the argument is that honoring the Paris Agreement is all about U.S. leadership.  As Timmons Roberts and Caroline Jones wrote in a recent Brookings Institution paper : “To renege on our commitments … in support of the Paris Agreement would weaken America’s ability to muster enthusiastic support on important international policies we might care about.“

This is fantasy. Gratitude is a rare commodity in international affairs – just look at the vast majority of U.S. foreign assistance recipients. They routinely vote against the U.S. most of the time in the U.N.

Those arguing for the U.S. to remain in the Paris Agreement are less interested in bolstering U.S. leadership than in ensuring that they have means to criticize Trump when he fails to follow Obama’s other ineffectual climate policies.

Repudiating the Paris Agreement would be akin to ripping off a Band-Aid – a small pain in the form of anger from the U.N. and other governments committed to the agreement, but after that, nothing.

How do we know this? Because President George W. Bush lived through discarding the Paris Agreement’s predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. The Clinton Administration signed the Protocol in 1998, despite unanimous Senate resistance. President Bush correctly concluded the Protocol would be ineffective in addressing the problem and impose heavy economic costs on the U.S economy, particularly to the manufacturing sector.

Despite strong pressure from the U.N. and European governments, Bush held firm by announcing that he would not ratify or implement the agreement.

What was the impact of Bush’s actions on American leadership role? Foreign governments criticized the decisions, but continued to cooperate and work with the U.S. More importantly, they learned that the U.S. was willing and able to resist diplomatic pressure in order to protect American interests.

Having other countries know that the U.S. President is resolute is valuable diplomatic currency, not recklessness.

There are broader U.S. constitutional and security interests to consider too. The Paris Agreement is a supplementary agreement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). President Obama misused the UNFCCC framework to avoid seeking Senate advice and consent for the Paris Agreement under Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.

Conservatives should insist that the President repudiate the Paris Agreement to correct that action alone.

But in addition, the Palestinian Authority is a party to the UNFCCC. As was the case when the Palestinians joined the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2011, this event should trigger a U.S. law prohibiting any future U.S. funding to the UNFCCC.

The Obama administration continued funding the UNFCCC based on the absurd argument that the UNFCCC is a treaty, not an international organization. In fact, the UNFCCC is a treaty-based international organization, just like UNESCO –and the United Nations.

So, in addition to the issues surrounding the Paris Agreement, if the Trump administration does not end funding for the UNFCCC in accordance to the law, it would signal to U.N. organizations that there will be no consequences if they grant membership to the Palestinians prior to a negotiated peace with Israel.

In fact, to prevent the accrual of financial arrears, it makes sense for the U.S. to withdraw from the UNFCCC, which would also lead to withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

U.S. presidents rarely face easy choices, but this one comes close.

Other governments will carp, but withdrawing from the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC would fulfill a campaign promise and send a welcome signal that, unlike the previous Administration, President Trump respects the treaty process outlined in the U.S. Constitution and will stand firmly with Israel.


POLL: Americans See Dems As The Party Of Global Warming And Abortion

Americans overwhelmingly point to the environment and abortion as two policies areas Democrats “do a better job” than Republicans, according to newly-released polling data.

“More say the Democratic Party could do a better job than the GOP when it comes to dealing with the environment (59% to 28%), abortion and contraception (53% to 33%), health care (54% to 35%) and education policy (52% to 36%)” than Republicans, according to Pew Research Center data.

Pew reported Democrats were also “favored over the GOP on foreign policy (49% to 36%), immigration (50% to 39%) and government spending (48% to 40%),” but none of these policy areas had nearly as wide a margin as environmental issues, like global warming, and abortion.

The Democratic advantage on environmental issues grew from plus 23 percent in December 2015 to plus 31 percent in April 2017.

One reason for this perception could be that Republicans are seen as the party of business and less government, which voters see as incompatible with environmental protection or fighting global warming.

Other recent polls suggest Americans are becoming more worried about global warming and air quality with President Donald Trump in control of regulatory agencies.

A recent Gallup poll found that half of American adults are “concerned believers” of global warming, while the other 50 percent of Americans are in the “mixed middle” or ‘cool skeptics” category when it comes the issue.

“That contrasts with most years from 2001 through 2016, when Gallup found the majority qualifying as Mixed Middle or Cool Skeptics on the issue,” Gallup found.

The percentage of “believers” shot up from 37 percent in 2015 to 47 percent in 2016, which rose again in 2017 to 50 percent. Climate scientists declared 2014, 2015 and 2016 the warmest years on record.

In regards to air quality, American attitudes are interesting given the air has gotten much cleaner in the last 15 years, according to Environmental Protection Agency data. Though messaging from liberal groups has gotten much more dire on the issue.

The Trump administration has made a conscious effort to paint economic growth and environmental protection as going hand in hand. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has said in almost every public appearance there doesn’t have to be a trade-off between industry and environment.

“It’s been said that you can’t have your cake and eat it too, and I’ll tell you, whoever says that doesn’t know what you’re supposed to do with cake,” Pruitt told Pennsylvania coal miners Friday.



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   main.html 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


19 April, 2017

The Climate Change Speech Donald Trump Should Give (?)

U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis is a Republican who has drunk the global warming Kool-Aid. Below he offers a rather clever imitation of a Trump speech in which he proposes that old chestnut, a carbon tax.  The only new wrinkle in it seems to be that he proposes to levy the tax on imports only.  A small detail he omits to mention is that only 15% of the U.S. GNP is imports so the  "bite" of the tax would be small. But governments love taxes so that's OK.  Any tax is better than none.

There is however in the speech not one word about evidence of global warming.  Inglis is arrogant enough to think that he doesn't need to prove his case. Since there IS no evidence of anthropogenic global warming his omission is unsurprising.  It is as totally political as anything coming from Democrats.  We are supposed to take the word of our "higher-ups" on important matters

Many Trump voters have rejected climate action because they’ve figured that it would grow a government that can’t be trusted. Donald Trump could show them a small government way to beat climate change. Here’s how he could say it at one of his rallies:

You know that I was joking when I tweeted that climate change is a hoax and a Chinese conspiracy. But it has some truth in it, right? I mean, look at it. American factories gone. China polluting like nobody’s business. They took our jobs, and they’re gushing pollution. Meanwhile, Obama wanted to regulate our industries more. Think of it! More! More regulation! Hillary would have done the same thing--even worse. They don’t get it. They just don’t get it.

Beating climate change means beating the people who are ruining the air. And that’s not us. It’s China. It’s India. Have you heard about their air. They can’t breathe. They’re dying. Literally. Dying.

We want clean air. Crystal clean air. The best air.

The losers said they were going to fix it—with regulations. How stupid is that? Regulate more? Industries—the few that we have left—pick up and move from here to there. They go there, and they’re allowed to pollute. Are you kidding me? We lose jobs, and it does nothing to clean up the air?

If we’re going to do this, we’ve got to make it work for America. AMERICA! Rex Tillerson has told me that he had the best people study this at ExxonMobil. They said the answer is a simple thing. Just calculate the damages that pollution causes, and then price that cost in to the products that pollute.  But don’t stop there. If you do that through a carbon tax—and that’s what Rex Tillerson’s folks told him was the best way—you’ve got to give that money back to the people. To the people! Not to the government! If we’re going to add the cost of pollution to products through a carbon tax, you’ve got to give all of that tax money back to the people. All of it. Every bit of it.

And here’s the best part. China is going to pay. No more of them getting away with taking our jobs and polluting our air. They’re gonna pay. They’re gonna pay at the border—the AMERICAN border. They’re gonna pay our carbon tax. China will take us to the World Trade Organization. They’ll say it violates the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade. GATT. Wrong. Wrong. My trade people tell me—and I’ve got the best trade people, believe me—my trade people tell me we’d beat them in the WTO. Imagine that: America winning again. Winning.  After we beat them in the WTO, China would have a choice to make. They could keep on paying our carbon tax on entry of their goods into the United States, or they could do their own carbon tax. Either way is fine with us. Either way. If they want to keep on paying our tax on entry, tell them to go right ahead. We’ve got a deficit, and we could use their money.  But they’re not suckers like the losers who’ve been running our government. No, they’d impose our tax—our tax—internal to China and remit to Beijing. Fine. That would mean that our companies wouldn’t pick up and move to China. There’d be no reason to move to China, because they’d be paying an American-set price on pollution here or there. And we’d have cleaner air. Beautiful air. The best air. And we’d have jobs. Companies wouldn’t be leaving us anymore. We wouldn’t have the disastrous Clean Power Plan driving them overseas. We’d be un-regulating, not regulating.

This would be the American solution. The AMERICAN solution. There would be no international agreements. No sucking up to the UN. No hopelessly complicated agreements. Just a bold move by the United States. We’ve got the market power to pull this off. We’re the only country—the only country—strong enough to beat climate change. All the rest are waiting for us to act. They had hoped that we would be played for the patsies again. No way. No way. This time it’s on our terms. We’re going to beat climate change our way—the AMERICAN way. We’re getting rid of the Clean Power Plan. It’s gone. It’s gone. It was a bad deal for America.  We’re getting rid of cap and trade. It’s gone. Gone. We’re going to simply price-in the cost of pollution to products. China is going to pay. And we’re going to win. America is going to beat climate change.

More diplomatically, it’s a revenue-neutral, border-adjustable carbon tax that’s GAAT–compliant. With negative externalities internalized worldwide, 7 billion customers would drive innovation. America would win. The whole world would win.


Trump Takes on the Obama "Climate Change" Agenda

The leftist mainstream media are outraged that President Donald Trump appears to be sticking to his campaign promise to "cancel" U.S. participation in the Paris climate accord. The headline in The Washington Post is "Trump's energy review blocks Group of Seven from consensus." Politico's headline is "Trump's climate demands roil U.S. allies." This follows Trump's recent actions to rescind the foundation of Barack Obama's climate change obsession.

Once again President Trump is being called a radical, when he is, in fact, restoring common sense to government policy. As Forbes reports, Trump's recent seven-page executive order "lays the groundwork for rescinding" Obama's Clean Power Plan, which is currently "suspended by the Supreme Court while a Washington appeals court considers its fate." While Obama was known for his executive overreach (he lost in the Supreme Court more than any other president, including a record number of unanimous defeats), Trump is scaling back government interference in the marketplace that had been justified in the name of battling climate change.

"And so what President Trump did was he instructed the EPA to begin the process, through the regulatory process, of undoing something that should have been done through the legislature but wasn't," argues Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Chris Horner in a recent radio appearance. "This is the meta issue for the left," he added. "It gives them what they have been demanding in the name of so many things, in the name of saving the planet."

As Horner remarked in a 2010 Accuracy in Media Take AIM interview discussing his book, Power Grab: How Obama's Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America, climate change is "the latest vehicle to organize society."

"The left's objective never changes, that is to ‘organize society' in that creepy Orwellian rhetoric they've mastered," he said. The threat of climate change, thus, is used to rationalize central planning.

Far-left activist Michael Moore tweeted in response to Trump's executive order that "Historians in the near future will mark the day the extinction of human life on earth began, thanks 2 Donald Trump." The reception from The New York Times carries similar vitriol; an editorial describes Trump as "anti-science" and "strip[ping] America of its hard-won role as a global leader on climate issues." This position as global leader was, of course, earned by former President Obama. The editorial is titled, "President Trump Risks the Planet."

The media are overwhelmingly convinced of climate change's veracity-or at least they claim to be-often abandoning objectivity in their reporting in order to defend climate science. The Washington Post defended the Democrats' choice to testify before the House Science Committee last month, climatologist Michael Mann, as "clear and articulate but outnumbered by foes." In contrast, the Post reports that at the hearing "political theater upstaged almost all productive discussion of science."

The media have been complicit with radical climatologists such as Mann, calling anyone who opposes the climate change agenda a "skeptic," a "denier,"-or worse. And it has become popular to compare energy companies to big tobacco, or hype that each year was warmer than the last. This is shaky science, at best.

"The warming trend is over," said Horner in 2010. "It could resume, but it's turned to cooling and is predicted to be cooling for several decades now."

Horner's comments hold true today. As Marc Morano points out on his Climate Depot website, satellite data indicates that we are in a temperature pause. "The fact that there has been no warming for the last 18 years is a massive blow to the credibility of climate science," he writes. Other scientists point out that there is little statistical difference between the allegedly warmest years and other years: Morano quotes Dr. David Whitehouse as calling 2016 temperatures "statistically indistinguishable from 2015." Claims that we are experiencing the hottest years on record are blatantly bogus, and rely on statistically insignificant temperature changes.

Obama's own appointed undersecretary for science in the Department of Energy for the first two years of his administration, Steven E. Koonin, said that "The Obama administration relentlessly politicized science and it aggressively pushed a campaign about that politicized science." is an indispensable website that keeps track of all relevant global warming news, and provides both sides of the debate. One very useful service it provides is the names and quotes from environmentalists, including former "warmists"-global warming believers-such as physicist Freeman Dyson: "An Obama supporter who describes himself as ‘100 per cent Democrat,' Dyson says he is disappointed that the President ‘chose the wrong side.' Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere does more good than harm, he argues, and humanity doesn't face an existential crisis. Climate change, he tells us, ‘is not a scientific mystery but a human mystery. How does it happen that a whole generation of scientific experts is blind to obvious facts?'"

Then there is Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever: "Global warming is a non-problem," he argues. "I say this to Obama: Excuse me, Mr. President, but you're wrong. Dead wrong." He says that "Global warming really has become a new religion," and that "We have to stop wasting huge, I mean huge amounts of money on global warming."

Even if the Trump administration kept Obama's commitments to climate change policy, such measures would have been unlikely to affect global temperatures. Yet the media lauded Obama as keeping the world safe from climate change.

"Addressing climate change has been a core goal for the president and netting the Paris climate deal is considered a critical part of his environmental policy legacy," reported NBC News and Reuters in 2016, in a piece titled, "Obama: Paris Climate Accord Best Possible Shot to ‘Save' Planet." This is nonsense. It was just another phony Obama legacy item to check off his list that in reality is far more about the U.S. and other developed nations transferring $100 billion per year to developing countries that make no binding commitments. In addition, it would transfer significant regulatory powers to the UN and other international bodies, none of which would amount to anything measurable or provable in terms of tweaking the global temperature to reach some desired environmental utopian goal.

According to Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), "The Paris agreement also created a United Nations climate slush fund, largely underwritten by American taxpayers. In his final year in office, President Obama contributed $500 million from the State Department to this fund on two separate occasions. He did it without authorization from Congress."

Also, adds Barrasso, "According to National Economic Research Associates Economic Consulting, if the United States met all of its commitments as part of the Paris climate accord, it would cost the American economy $3 trillion and 6.5 million industrial sector jobs by 2040."

Obama designed his climate agenda in a way that touched each facet of the bureaucracy. "There is no single list of those programs or their cost, because President Barack Obama sought to integrate climate programs into everything the federal government did," writes Christopher Flavelle for Bloomberg. "The goal was to get all agencies to take climate into account, and also make those programs hard to disentangle, according to former members of the administration." Obama, Flavelle writes, tried to make "climate programs hard for Republicans in Congress to even find." To that end, an estimated $77 billion was spent from 2008 through 2013, spread over 18 federal agencies.

With this recent executive order, Trump is dismantling another of Obama's key legacy items, a policy that the media desire to protect from the new Republican president. As with Obamacare and the unsigned Iran deal, the test will be to see whether Trump continues Obama's disastrous policies or undercuts them. But you can expect that the media will fight every effort to roll back Obama's legacy.


The greed of green: PACE’s predatory lending on solar

By Peter Hong

Remember the raging predatory lending scandals that led to the mortgage crisis of the late 2000s? You couldn’t avoid reports of unscrupulous lenders and brokers exploiting the subprime market and offering adjustable rate mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them. As the housing bubble burst, the financial industry and the economy nearly went with it.

Facing an economic meltdown, Washington responded as it always does — in a frenzy.  The first decade of the new millennium ended with a taxpayer bailout (the ill-conceived Troubled Asset Recovery Program) and regulatory overreach (Dodd-Frank Act) — the consequences of which we are still paying today.

Good times.

Well, predatory lending is back. But this time, lenders aren’t just prowling for green; they’re wrapped in it under the façade of environmental “do-goodism.”

This latest scam is the so-called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) lending industry, which provides financing for energy efficiency or renewable energy upgrades, like solar panels and window insulation. PACE loans are placed on a homeowner’s property tax bill as an assessment. Rather than make a monthly loan payment, borrowers typically pay the assessment on an annual or semi-annual basis; local governments then pass these payments on to the lenders.

Because the loans are based on the value of the assessed property, the borrower’s creditworthiness is of little interest to PACE lenders. Also, the industry uses as its brokers plumbers and repairmen who pitch financing schemes to customers as a means of soliciting contracts and earning referral fees on the side.

Like their predatory lending brethren of the past, these lenders and their contractor-brokers appear to prey on vulnerable and unsophisticated homeowners — particularly the elderly.

A report by Elder Law & Advocacy, which offers legal services to senior citizens in the San Diego area, cited numerous accounts of misleading tactics being used by PACE lending brokers and sales personnel. One case cited a 79-year old widower who was offered new energy-efficient, noise reduction windows at a 1.5 percent financing rate with no payoff penalty, only to receive poorly insulating, noise amplifying windows — at a 26.99 percent interest rate!  Another account documented an 82-year old man who was never told that he would lose his ability to refinance his home if he took on a PACE loan.  And the horror stories don’t end there.

Complicating matters is the entanglement of government at all levels to promote the PACE lending industry. Local governments in PACE communities effectively serve as the industry’s collections agency for the payment of assessments, which the government distributes to the lenders. Also, because PACE loans are technically property tax assessments, they generally get creditor priority status in case of non-payment or default.

Yes, you read that correctly: in case of default, a loan for residential solar panels gets paid first — even before a homeowner’s mortgage. Non-payment of a PACE loan can result in a home or property being seized as collateral and sold to repay the PACE lender.

In other words, you could lose your home, not because you defaulted on the mortgage you assumed to buy the house, but to pay off a loan for solar panels or attic insulation or LED lighting.

In 2016 — the final year of the Obama Administration — the federal government fully bought into the PACE industry’s lending “green scheme.” In coordination with the Obama strategy to promote green industries, the Federal Housing Administration announced that it would begin using tax dollars to insure mortgages with PACE financing liens attached (so long as those liens did not have super priority creditor status).

And the Obama-Clinton influence games did not end there. A Washington Free Beacon article detailed an undercover lobbying campaign launched by PACE lender Renew Financial — and aided by a deep-pocketed Democratic donor and liberal environmentalist groups — to allow mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to guarantee mortgages with PACE-financed loans. This would have reversed the policy of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which regulates the government-sponsored enterprises.

While the FHFA did not appear to change its policy, the PACE lending industry did get a Presidential plug promoting this high-interest, private lending industry.

The meetings with President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and top campaign and government officials came to light through the hacked emails of former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta that were exposed by Wikileaks.

Finally, we are talking about big money.  While the PACE lending industry paints itself as warm, fuzzy, and green, it is projected to make off with nearly four billion dollars in 2017 alone — making it the fastest growing source of financing in the country. That business is booming should come as no surprise, given the industry’s political influence and the scant level of oversight it is paid by any level of government.

This will change on the federal level if Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas has his way.  Cotton just introduced legislation (S. 838) requiring that PACE lenders be treated under federal law like traditional mortgage lenders — including oversight by a federal regulator, such as the much-feared Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. According to Cotton, “[R]equiring disclosure will reduce the advantage that PACE loan sharks have over hard-working Americans. It’s just the accountability we need.”

Measures like the Cotton bill are a sign that the Obama era of political favoritism toward “green” industries may finally be coming to a halt. And with good reason: it shouldn’t be easy being green — and greedy.


Victory in Vermont: Community Defenders Crush Wind Power Outfit’s Plan to Destroy Pristine Mountain Range

Thanks to the hard work of local people, everyday Vermonters who love the land and, in particular, Annette Smith and Justin Lindholm, two people who worked like hell, we have a huge parcel of prime property in which to “ramble,” a large chunk of land that, if those people “hypnotized” by profits had their way, the mountain tops of that wild land would forever be marked by the languid swoosh-swoosh-swoosh of 60 giant windmills.

Instead, the forested tract of land that totals about 2,870 acres has been designated by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources as a rare and irreplaceable natural area. Fortunately, it is connected to the Bird Mountain Wildlife Management Area, about 770 acres, to bring the new, yet unnamed WMA to more than 3,640 acres.

In all, the land that makes up the new WMA encompasses three Rutland County towns — Ira, Poultney and Castleton.

Smith, the executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, said that, in order to preserve the values and purposes of the wildlife management area, no residential, commercial, industrial or mining activities will ever be permitted. “This is a valuable gem of a property to be held for the public in perpetuity,” Smith said.

Smith said that after the VCE worked with community members to save the land from development, it was conserved through the efforts of the Conservation Fund (Nancy Bell) and Vermont Fish & Wildlife (commissioners Patrick Berry and Louis Porter), along with donations from individuals and the federal Pittman-Roberson Act fund. The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the Vermont Land Trust are also participants in the purchase of the land.

So, what is the moral to this tale, this story about how people stood up to preserve what Lindholm, a Mendon resident who serves on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board, has described as a precious tract of land that is both “fragile and wild?”

Paraphrasing a quote from Margaret Mead, Smith said in an interview, “Never underestimate the impact one person can have. One person can make a difference.” She went on to say, “The one thing that Vermonters have in common is they love their mountains.”

She was so instrumental in preventing a series of ridgelines in Rutland Country from becoming littered with windmills that the Burlington Free Press, in January of this year, named Smith its “2016 Vermonter of the Year.”

The newspaper’s editorial board wrote: “As executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, the Danby resident has organized communities, testified before government boards and advised residents who felt powerless in the face of state bureaucracies and big business … A common thread among those who have sought out Smith is that she helps better the odds against a wealthier, more knowledgeable and better funded adversary.”

Lindholm and Smith teamed up early on because both of them had been involved in the proposed large-scale wind turbine project in Lowell. Today, 21 wind turbines, each 459-feet tall, have sprouted from the ridgeline of the Lowell Mountains.

“We learned from Lowell,” Smith said According to Lindholm, Smith does her homework and then goes after a cause with a fierce determination.

“When they wanted to put up those wind turbines, she gave them a voice,” Lindholm said of the landowners and property owners in Ira, Middletown Springs, Poultney, Castleton, Tinmouth, Clarendon and West Rutland who were affected by the wind turbine proposals. “She gives them a voice in the process, the whole process of figuring out whether they ought to be there. She finds weaknesses in the opposition. She becomes informative. Information is power, and that’s what she specializes in. She organizes. She organizes the town, informing the people. She puts everything on the table so that informed decisions can be made.”


Australia: Leftist leader's stance on new coalmine doesn’t stack up

Just because you’re spending other people’s money doesn’t ­excuse you from making choices.

Should the government lend $900 million to help lay 189km of heavy rail track in central Queensland capable of transporting 60 million tonnes of premium thermal coal a year?

Or would it be better to splash out on a 12km tram line to convey beret-clad Canberrans between coffee shops on Northbourne ­Avenue?

The carbon fearmongerers are implacably opposed to the first ­option but are crazy about the Gungahlin tram, a green vanity project adopted by the ACT Labor government that will fleece an ­estimated $937m from taxpayers during its lifetime.

It is the type of project that ticks all the boxes for the modern Labor Party, satisfying the romantic yearnings of its progressive base and the anti-competitive tendencies of its union sponsors. Construction work on Capital Metro is effectively a Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union closed shop — inflated pay packets, fanciful allowances and abundant rostered days off.

Fixed point-to-point transport projects are unlikely to “stack up”, as Bill Shorten would put it, in a city with a population 12 times smaller than Melbourne and one of the highest car ownership rates in the country.

Even on the most optimistic ­assumptions the line is expected to generate less than $340,000 a month in revenue across its first 20 years, meaning that for every dollar a passenger pays, the taxpayer will be throwing in a tenner.

If there were a prize for egregious public investment, the Gungahlin tram, cruising at a stately 29km/h across broad acres of Canberra’s median strips, would be hard to beat.

Enter Shorten, the leader of what was once called the workers’ party, who raves about public transport but is unsure if the business case for the Adani Carmichael line “stacks up”. “I am not convinced the taxpayer of Australia should underwrite the risk of the project through a billion-­dollar loan,” he told reporters in Brisbane last week.

Shorten’s decision to align himself with the fanciful claims of the fruitcake fringe and against the interests of private industry is a seminal moment for the ALP.

Labor’s ideological journey from a socialist party that merely wanted to take over the means of production to a deep green party that wants to close down the whole lot is complete.

Construction of the Carmichael mine would boost sluggish ­regional economies from Gladstone to Townsville, lifting wages and employment. A concessional government loan for the rail link would mean that up to five more mines might follow.

Yet Shorten is content to let the green reactionaries triumph and leave the Galilee Basin coal ­reserves untouched. The interests of the workers are sacrificed for environmental populism.

Labor’s flirtation with the green movement began in the early 1980s when Bob Hawke ­decided to stand with Bob Brown in opposing the Franklin Dam. It was a popular move on the mainland, where Hawke won the 1983 election with a 4 per cent swing. There was a 4 per cent swing against Labor in Tasmania, however, where the dam meant pro­gress and jobs.

Hawke’s finance minister, Peter Walsh, warned that no good would come from trying to satisfy the insatiable demands of ecological activists. Labor, he wrote in his memoir, had knowingly put Tasmanian blue-collar workers out of work “to appease the bourgeois left and middle-class trendoids in the gentrified suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne”.

What Walsh and others did not predict was that the workers would eventually be squeezed out by the middle-class trendoids, just as they were squeezed out from the workers’ cottages in inner-Sydney Chippendale.

Nor could anyone have foreseen in 1983 that the kayak-paddling nature lovers blockading the Franklin would spawn a protest industry with a nine-figure turnover, or that demonisation of dams would be eclipsed by the ­demonisation of coal, a combustible sedimentary rock that gave us modernity.

By the mid-1980s, the green movement, radicalised by its own success, was congratulating itself on locking away every hectare of untamed wilderness and was looking for new targets for its righteous anger.

The marginal, drought-prone pastures of the Galilee Basin ­became a cause worth fighting for once the Greens had succeeded in portraying coal as public enemy No 1.

The anti-coal campaigners met their match in Gautam Adani, a university dropout from India’s Gujarat state who set up his own diamond brokerage at 20 and traded his way to become a multi-billionaire.

The Adani Group’s stubborn refusal to let green spoiling tactics stop its plan to open Australia’s largest coalmine makes its tenacious chairman a true Aussie hero.

There is far more at stake in this fight than the fate of one coalmine, just as more rested on the Franklin campaign than the ­future of one dam. It is a test of strength between ideology and pragmatism, a choice between deep-green dogma and progress.

If the environmentalists were to win this fight it would put an ­effective moratorium on the ­expansion of coal for the next 30 years, just as Franklin put a stop to large-scale water storage.

By ­refusing to offer material support to the project, Shorten, on behalf of Labor, has effectively thrown in the towel. He presumes to know better than private sector ­investors prepared to risk billions of dollars of their own capital in the project by declaring that the project doesn’t stack up.

He is prepared to fight Malcolm Turnbull over the allocation of money from the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility, controlled by an independent board charged with offering concessional loans to projects that pass a public interest test on which they can reasonably expect a return.

In his 2016 book, For the Common Good, Shorten dismissed the future of thermal coal and instead declared his ambition to make Australia a “clean energy superpower”. The growth in mining ­exports is fading, he declared. ­Renewable energy is “the biggest business opportunity in the history of business”, and Labor, in time, will be shown to be “on the right the side of history”.

Now that Shorten has revealed his intention to put the kybosh on Adani, the portent of his extravagant rhetoric is a little less opaque.



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   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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


18 April, 2017

‘Global Warming Drought’ Over As Northern California Sees Wettest Year On Record

So this must indicate the end of global warming?

It is now the wettest year on record in the Northern California mountains, National Weather Service officials said Thursday.

An index of precipitation at eight sensors showed that just under 90 inches of rain and snow have fallen this winter in the northern Sierra Nevada.

The previous record of 88.5 inches was set in the winter of 1982-1983. The average for the region is 50 inches a year, according to the state Department of Water Resources.

The record was surpassed less than a week after Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared an end to California’s drought emergency — a largely symbolic pronouncement that left in place some water-conservation rules for the 40 million residents of the nation’s most populous state.

More snow and rain is likely to pad the record before the wet season ends.

A winter weather advisory was in effect for the northern Sierra for much of Thursday with forecasts for moderate to heavy snow along with rain at lower elevations. More storms were forecast for next week.

The measurements were taken from sensors spread from Mount Shasta near the Oregon border to Pacific House between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe.

Winter storms have blanketed mountains in snow, flooded urban areas and caused damage that could top $1 billion.

The weather also taxed reservoirs, dams and levees designed to control floods and capture winter rain and snow for agriculture and drinking water throughout the state.

The five sensors that make up the San Joaquin region have recorded 68.2 inches of rain — almost double the average for this time of year and roughly on pace with the 1983 record of 77.4 inches, according to the Water Resources Department.


This Isn't A March For Science This Is About Economic And Political Policy

One of those who organises the Union of Concerned Scientists has penned an explanation of the March for Science to take place next weekend. And it's entirely obvious that what he's actually irate about isn't science at all, it's the political and economic policies being put in place as a result of science that irks him. The two are not the same thing, not the same thing at all:

"So, why are they grabbing placards now? Because an unprecedented attack on science, scientists and evidence-based policymaking is underway in the US federal government."

An attack upon science or the scientific method would be worthy of a march of course. But that really just isn't what is being complained about:

"Nowhere is the attack more ferocious than on the issue of global warming, where the Trump administration has taken a wrecking ball to the modest but important policies put in place by President Obama."

Ah, no, that's not a complaint about science at all is it? That's a complaint about political and economic policy.

Good economic policy tells us that the political action to deal with climate change should not be what Obama has been doing. Reversing those regulations is not thus an attack on science it's an attack on bad policy. And do please note that this is true whatever we think of climate science itself. The truth of emissions causing warming has no influence at all upon the best method of reducing emissions and thus warming:

"My organisation, the Union of Concerned Scientists, with its more than 500,000 members and supporters, has joined with allies from the climate, environmental justice and labour movements to help organise both the March for Science and the People’s Climate March."

Again, that's not about science. That's about economic and political policies.

There's a much deeper point here too. Let's say that we really do want to be ruled by science. Personally, I don't think so, the people who tried scientific socialism didn't give that sort of thing a good name really. But let's say that we do want to be. OK, so, each scientist is an expert in their really rather small part of the overall endeavour. I know someone, in fact have funded some of her work, who is the world's great expert on the extraction of rare earth metals from the wastes of bauxite processing. Excellent--that doesn't mean that she's therefore who I would turn to on how competition policy should be crafted so as to ensure rare earth supply for the US military, just to mention something that is doing the rounds at present.

Similarly I'm absolutely delighted to take the word of that guy measuring atmospheric CO2 in Hawaii. That doesn't mean that he's going to be expert in how to change human behaviour in order to get that number going down again.

For we've another scientific specialty which deals with those sorts of things--economics. That's what it is about, the allocation of scarce resources so as to meet humans wants and desires. And thus if we want to change the way that humans are allocating resources then that's the science we're going to have to use. It's worth noting that pretty much all economists are against those uses of regulation to control emissions. Not because they don't believe or trust the climate scientists. But because the economists have their own expertise. Not in climate science of course--but in what you need to do to get humans to change their behaviour.

And that's the real point here. The complaint which is driving the march isn't about an attack on science at all. Far from it, it's one group of scientists not understanding that the policy they advocate is, by the scientific experts in the policy, considered to be a bad one which should be replaced.

If you like, this is the Union of Concerned Scientists not quite understanding that it is economics which is the science of what we do about things.


EPA Employees Billed Taxpayers $15,000 for Gym Memberships in Vegas

Environmental Protection Agency employees billed taxpayers roughly $15,000 for gym memberships, while numerous employees are upset over looming budget cuts.

An agency library in Las Vegas, Nevada, bought 37 employees one-year memberships to the gym 24 Hour Fitness, according to a receipt obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. The "super sport" memberships cost $399.99 each.

The employees work at the U.S. Environmental Science Division located at 944 East Harmon Ave. in Las Vegas. The address is home to the EPA's National Exposure Research Laboratory and a library on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) campus, which EPA scientists, postdoctorate researchers, and contractors use for research.

The receipt for "fitness memberships for EPA employees" totaled $14,799.63 and was created in April 2016.

The 24 Hour Fitness memberships include yoga and martial arts classes. The gym boasts "good vibes" where EPA employees can "sweat it out together."

The taxpayer funding for gym memberships comes at a time when numerous EPA employees are upset with President Trump's proposed budget, which would reduce the EPA's annual funding to $5.7 billion. Employees were coming to work in tears months after Trump's presidential victory. Recently, unionized EPA employees participated in "resistance" rallies on Capitol Hill.

The EPA office opted to purchase the expensive memberships from 24 Hour Fitness instead of utilizing the gym on UNLV's campus. The agency leases five buildings from the university.

The university has a 184,000-square-foot Student Recreation and Wellness Center that is available to EPA employees for $25 per month.

The campus gym includes a "state-of-the-art" relaxation room with massage chairs, fitness assessments, personal trainers for hire, a registered dietician, a spa and leisure pool, indoor jogging, and a "gender neutral bathroom."

Instead, the agency opted to bill taxpayers $400 per person. Request for comment from the EPA library and the Environmental Science Division were not immediately returned.


Elon Musk tells unhappy Tesla investors: 'Buy Ford'

Does not acknowledge that the value of Tesla shares is entirely built on hope of future electric car sales being huge -- a classic speculative bubble

Elon Musk has got into a Twitter row with a group of powerful investors after they urged the billionaire Tesla boss to strengthen the electric car company’s board.

Five major shareholders including the powerful California State Teacher’s Retirement System (Calstrs) wrote to Mr Musk at the start of the week to raise concerns about Tesla’s directors, highlighting the personal or professional links they have with the entrepreneur.

The letter came just days after Tesla overtook Ford as the most valuable US car company, when it market value hit almost $49bn, compared with Ford’s $45bn.

This was despite Ford delivering 6.6m cars last year, compared with Tesla’s 76,000. Hopes that Tesla's electric vehicles will dominate future transport have since seen the shares climb as high as $312 since then, pushing the company's value to beyond $50bn.

However, Mr Musk - who owns about a fifth of Tesla's shares - took exception at the letter from investors, tweeting in reply to a news report that “This investor group should buy Ford stock. Their governance is amazing …”

He added: “Besides, I already said we'd add more independent members during [Solar City] merger. Will announce soon, but this group has nothing to do with it.”


Greens urged to get real and  join farmers in push for quarantine improvement

Feral predators and introduced diseases have done more damage to Australia’s biodiversity than land clearing, fire or habitat loss, and it’s time the environmental movement joined farmers in pressuring the government for better quarantine laws, a new report says.

The study’s author, biologist and writer Tim Low, said green groups that put all their efforts into trying to halt environmental degradation would get more benefit per dollar spent from worrying about stopping the next lantana or cane toad as well.

“Australians think they’ve got the world’s best quarantine system, but really it’s a disaster in slow motion,” Mr Low said. “The conservation movement should be talking more about quarantine, even if that means saying a bit less about habitat loss.”

He pointed to the recent discoveries of myrtle rust (affecting trees) and white spot disease (at prawn farms) and said the Asian black-spined toad (a possible cold-climate cane toad) had been spotted in Australia. “There’s a widespread misconception habitat loss is causing most extinctions in Australia, but evidence doesn’t back that up,” Mr Low said.

He has recently produced a soon-to-be-released report for the Invasive Species Council showing that feral animals and introduced diseases pose a greater threat to Australia’s most vulnerable native wildlife than do most other factors.

The 20-page document, entitled “Invasive Species: a leading threat to Australia’s wildlife”, obtained by The Weekend Australian, summarises the work of dozens of authors. It shows that introduced feral animals, weeds and diseases pose a severe risk to more than three-quarters of all amphibian, mammal and bird species on the threatened species list and to more than half of all types of threatened plants, fish and reptiles.

Australia has lost more mammal species than any other country; feral cats and foxes are considered mostly to blame. The study points to only one extinct animal (the toolache wallaby) for which habitat loss is considered the primary driver of its demise.

Invasive Species Council CEO Andrew Cox said the danger was “not just ongoing, it is increasing”.

“The size of the threat is far bigger than what most people had believed. It is largely invisible and slow moving. As a result, government responses have been poor and often misguided, long after it is too late,” he said.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   main.html 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, 2017

NASA just photographed a new crack in one of Greenland’s largest glaciers

So what?  ALL the floating ice could melt without having any effect on the sea level

NASA’s Operation IceBridge has spotted a significant new rift in the ice shelf, near another longer, wider crack.

The first photographs of a new and ominous crack in Greenland’s enormous Petermann glacier were captured by a NASA airborne mission Friday.

NASA’s Operation IceBridge, which has been flying over northwest Greenland for the past several days, took the photos after being provided coordinates by Stef Lhermitte, a professor at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, who had spotted it by examining satellite images.

The NASA pictures make clear that a significant new rift has opened in the ice shelf — one that is not so distant from another much wider and longer crack that has been slowly extending toward the shelf’s center from its eastern side wall.

If the two cracks were to intersect, then a single break would run across more than half of the ice shelf. That might, in turn, cause the piece to begin to break away.

But in the image NASA also noted another feature in the ice that it termed a ‘‘medial flow line’’ that, it said, ‘‘may exert a stagnating effect on the propagation of the new rift toward the older one.’’ So it remains to be seen just how much, and how rapidly, the new rift — which has only just been discovered — could undermine the floating ice shelf.


At Last: Britain Preparing To Scrap EU Renewables Targets As Part Of A Bonfire Of Red Tape After Brexit

Britain is preparing to scrap EU green energy targets which will add more than £100 to the average energy bill as part of a bonfire of red tape after Brexit. Government sources told The Daily Telegraph that the target, under the EU Renewable Energy Directive, is likely to be scrapped after Brexit.
Brexit and EU regulation: A bonfire of the vanities?

The UK is currently committed to getting 15 per cent of all energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2020.

Ministers have long been critical of the targets because they exclude nuclear power, carbon capture or gains from energy efficiency.

The UK is currently on course to miss the target and incur millions of pounds in fines from the European Union.

Government sources told The Daily Telegraph that the target, under the EU Renewable Energy Directive, is likely to be scrapped after Brexit.

The Daily Telegraph has called on the Conservative Party to promise a bonfire of EU red tape in its 2020 manifesto to put Britain on a radically different course.

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has “applauded” the campaign and he backed calls to sweep away decades of “burdensome” EU regulations after Brexit.

It comes after civil service documents, photographed on a trade, revealed that Britain plans to scale down its concern over climate change after Brexit.

Details of the policy change were contained in the papers of a senior civil servant at the Department for International Trade (DIT) photographed by a passenger earlier this month.

The notes say: “Trade and growth are now priorities for all posts — you will all need to prioritise developing capability in this area.

Some economic security-related work like climate change and illegal wildlife trade will be scaled down.”

Earlier this month Bloomberg, the news agency, revealed that officials at the Treasury and department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have been discussing axing the renewables target.John

The EU Renewable Energy Directive requires the UK to generate 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 – up from three per cent when the directive was adopted in 2009.

The target has led to billions of pounds Government subsidies for renewable power sources such as wind, solar and biomass power plants, which are ultimately paid for by customers through their energy bills.

The National Audit Office estimated that green energy subsidies will cost every household £110 a year by 2020.

Owen Paterson, a Conservative MP and former Environment Secretary, said: “It’s distorting the whole energy market. It’s like the Sherrif of Nottingham – it transfers money from my poorest constituents to my wealthiest constituents who are putting up pointless wind turbines heavily subsidised.

I would be very happy to see the back of it.”


Real science must guide policy

Climate alarmists use faulty science and bald assertions to demand end to fossil fuels

Paul Driessen

All too many alarmist climate scientists have received millions in taxpayer grants over the years, relied on computer models that do not reflect real-world observations, attacked and refused to debate scientists who disagree with manmade climate cataclysm claims, refused to share their computer algorithms and raw data with reviewers outside their circle of fellow researchers – and then used their work to make or justify demands that the world eliminate the fossil fuels that provide 80% of our energy and have lifted billions out of nasty, brutish, life-shortening poverty and disease.

A recent US House of Representatives Science Committee hearing on assumptions, policy implications and scientific principles of climate change showcased this. Testimony by climate scientists Drs. John Christy, Judith Curry and Roger Pielke, Jr. contrasted sharply with that of Dr. Michael Mann.

Christy noted that Congress and the public have been getting biased analyses and conclusions that begin with and attempt to confirm the belief that human greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions drive climate change. He said government should “organize and fund credible ‘Red Teams’ that look at issues such as natural variability, the failure of climate models and the huge benefits to society from affordable energy, carbon-based and otherwise.” He demonstrated how average global temperatures predicted by dozens of models for 2015 are now off by a full half-degree Celsius (0.9 F) from what has actually been measured.

Curry discussed how she has been repeatedly vilified as an “anti-science” climate change “denier” and “disinformer.” But she focused on the role of the scientific method, especially as related to the complex forces involved in climate change – and especially when used to advise on policy and law. Real science means positing and proving a hypothesis with convincing real world evidence. Models can help, but only if they accurately reflect the total climate system and their results conform to real world observations.

Pielke discussed his own mistreatment as a “denier” and showed that there is “little scientific basis” for claims that extreme weather events (tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, droughts) have increased in recent decades due to GHG emissions. In fact, IPCC and other studies reveal that the USA and world have had “remarkable good fortune” with extreme weather in recent years, compared to the past: 23 major hurricanes hit the US East Coast 1915-1964; but only 9 in 1965-2016 – and not one since October 2005. He also offered 18 specific recommendations for improving scientific integrity in climate science.

Mann said the other three witnesses represent a “tiny minority” who stand opposed to the 97% who agree that “climate change is real, is human-caused, and is already having adverse impacts on us, our economy, and our planet.” He defended his “hockey stick” historic temperature graph, claimed climate models have been “tested vigorously and rigorously” and have “passed a number of impressive tests,” insisted that warming [of a couple hundredths of a degree] in recent years proves that manmade global warming “has continued unabated,” and accused those who contest these statements of being “anti-science” deniers.

The “97% consensus” is imaginary – a fabrication. One source was a survey sent to 10,256 scientists, of whom 3,146 responded. But their number was arbitrarily reduced to 77 “expert” or “active” climate researchers, of which 75 agreed with two simplistic questions that many would support. (Has Earth warmed since 1800? Did humans play a significant role?) Voila! 97% consensus. But what about the other 3,069 respondents? 75 out of 3,146 is barely 0.02 percent. Purported consensus studies by Cook, Oreskes and others were just as bogus.

Moreover, governments have been spending billions of dollars annually on climate research. The vas majority went to the alarmist camp. If $25,000 or $100,000 a year from fossil fuel interests can “buy” skeptical scientists, as we are often told, how much “consensus” can billions purchase? If many scientists who contest “dangerous manmade climate change” are harassed, or threatened with RICO prosecutions, how many will have the courage to speak out and challenge the “consensus” and “settled science”?

These are timely questions. On April 12, 1633 the Catholic Church convicted astronomer Galileo Galilei of heresy, for refusing to accept its doctrine that the Sun revolves around the Earth.

But far more important, the climate battle is not merely a debate over miasma versus germ theory of disease, AC versus DC current, or geologic mechanisms behind plate tectonics. It’s far more even than disagreements over how much humans might be affecting Earth’s climate, or how bad (or beneficial) future changes might be, on a planet where climate fluctuations have occurred throughout history.

Manmade climate catastrophe claims are being used to justify demands that the United States and world eliminate the carbon-based fuels that provide 80% of the energy that makes modern industry, civilization and living standards possible – and that continue to lift billions of people out of poverty and disease.

Climate alarmists want that radical transformation to take place right now. McKinsey & Company, the UN and assorted activists say the world must spend some $93 trillion over the next 15 years to convert completely from fossil fuels to “sustainable” energy! Or it will be too late. Our planet will be doomed.

Claims and demands like those require solid, incontrovertible proof that climate alarmists are right. Not just computer models, repeated assertions, “peer review” among like-minded researchers seeking their next government grant, or a partial-degree of warming amid multiple El Niños and cooling cycles. They require “Red Team” analyses and open, unfettered debate over every aspect of human and natural influences on Earth’s climate, the ways carbon dioxide improves plant growth, and the need for abundant, reliable, affordable electricity and motor fuel for every person in every nation.

We haven’t had any of that so far. Up to now, climate chaos is just one more Club of Rome supposedly looming disaster, supposedly caused by human intervention in natural processes, supposedly requiring immediate, fundamental changes in human behavior, to avoid supposed global calamities – threats to the very survival of our wildlife, civilization and planet. It’s all assertions, devoid of persuasive evidence.

It’s true that virtually all nations have signed the Paris accords. However, only President Obama signed it for the USA; the Senate never ratified the decision. And the US reduced its CO2 emissions by 12.5% since 2007, while Europe’s carbon dioxide emissions rose 0.7% in one year, 2014-2015.

Britain is looking into rescinding some 2020 clean energy targets and using more coal and natural gas. EU nations are realizing that overpriced, unreliable wind and solar power is hammering families and killing their jobs and economies. Virtually all the developing nations that signed onto the Paris (non)treaty did so because they were promised trillions of dollars in climate “adaptation, mitigation and reparation” money.

That brings us to another April anniversary: the 1815 eruption of Indonesia’s Mt. Tambora. This monumental volcanic explosion blew an inconceivable 4,650 feet off the volcano; sent 36 cubic miles of ash, rock, sulfur and other gases into the atmosphere; triggered tsunamis that killed over 10,000 people; and caused serious climate changes and crop failures that killed 80,000 more over the following year.

We may be about to witness another volcanic explosion. Under the Paris insanity, developed nations are expected to de-carbonize, de-industrialize and curb their growth – while sending $100 billion per year to ruling elites in developing countries that are not required to trim fossil fuel use or GHG emissions.

It cannot and will not happen. In fact, industrialized nations are already reneging on their pledges, refusing to contribute to the Green Climate Fund, or recasting current foreign aid as Paris climate money. China, India, Brazil and poor countries are outraged. They want new money, more money – or else they will walk away from their commitments, and the Paris house of cards will collapse. It should collapse.

Billions of people are still energy-deprived, impoverished, diseased and starving. Millions are dying needlessly every year. Faulty, authoritarian climate and “sustainability” claims are being use to perpetuate these travesties. It’s time to help poor countries get the same energy, technologies and opportunities we have – so that they can take their rightful places among Earth’s healthy and prosperous people.

Via email


WaPo Issues Wildly Misleading ‘Fact Check’ On EPA Head

A Washington Post fact checker went after Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt over a claim he made about China and India’s obligations under the Paris climate agreement, and it just might be the most wildly misleading fact check the paper has ever run.

Glenn Kessler awarded Pruitt four “Pinocchios” in the fact check Friday — the paper’s worst rating for truthfulness — for a claim he made that China and India had “no obligations” to cut greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris climate agreement. But Kessler seriously undercuts his conclusion by acknowledging in his review that the agreement in question is not legally binding, so China and India are not bound to follow its terms.

The fact check centers on comments Pruitt made on “Fox & Friends” Thursday morning, when he said the Paris agreement the U.S. joined under former President Barack Obama did not put America first, because “China and India had no obligations under the agreement until 2030.”

“Pruitt appears to be stuck in a time warp,” Kessler wrote in the fact check. “His concerns might have made more sense if he had been referring to the 1992 Kyoto Protocol, which did not require developing nations such as China and India to face legally binding requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Pruitt earns Four Pinocchios,” Kessler concluded, adding: “Pruitt clearly needs to brush up on the Paris Accord, as it’s false to claim that China and India have ‘no obligations’ until 2030.”

But early in the fact check, Kessler notes the Paris agreement itself is “not legally binding” because countries submit their own plans to cut emissions, which they can either follow through with or not. Whoops. No one is “obligated” to do anything in terms of emissions under the Paris agreement under any time period, even in 2030.

In fact, the Trump administration is in the process of undoing all the regulations Obama put in place to meet his Paris pledge of cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2030.

Pruit isn’t 100 percent right either, but he’s wrong for reasons WaPo didn’t bother covering. Pruitt qualified his comments by indicating those countries have no obligations until 2030, when the reality is those countries have no obligations, period, because the agreement is not binding.

China has pledged to “peak” emissions by 2030, which means it can increase emissions in absolute terms during that time. India has made no promise to cut its total emissions levels. China’s emissions are expected to grow nearly 32 percent through 2040, according to projections from the Energy Information Administration, while India’s is expected to skyrocket nearly 110 percent. That growth would wipe out any emissions cuts from the U.S. and other developed countries, so any pledge by China and India to cut emissions intensity of their economy really amounts to a bait-and-switch.

Kessler goes on to say Paris makes a distinction “between developing and developed countries in that developed countries are expected to reduce actual emissions, while developing countries would lower emissions based on units tied to measures such as gross domestic product or economic output.”

China promised to lower its emissions per unit of economic output, or GDP, 60 to 65 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. India pledged to cut emissions per unit of GDP 33 to 35 percent in that same time period. But those aren’t pledges China and India are legally obligated to work toward. Countries naturally reduce their emissions to GDP ratio as industries become more efficient over time and use less energy (mostly fossil fuels) to produce more goods.

Look at global emissions intensity data compiled by the World Bank — No Paris agreement necessary.

China had already cut its emissions per unit of GDP nearly 34 percent below 2005 levels before Paris went into effect in 2016. India had decreased its emissions intensity 12.5 percent by 2010. And despite promises of using more green energy, both China and India will be using way more coal and fossil fuels in the future.

EPA responded to Kessler after he published the fact check.

“Administrator Pruitt was referring to no emission reduction obligations,” an EPA spokeswoman said, adding “no one has any obligations regarding emissions reductions activities under the Paris Agreement because it is ‘non-binding.’”

“They are pretty clear that they aren’t really agreeing to do anything,” she said, referring to China.

Kessler in turn responded to the EPA statement, saying that China and India are taking steps, even if they’re not bound by the agreement. “This ignores that fact that China and India are actually taking steps to try to meet these commitments, with China on track to peak by 2025, if not sooner,” he said.

Kessler ignores China and India aren’t actually “taking steps.” Their economies are growing and their industries are becoming more efficient. It’s Econ 101.


Australia: A Dead Man Warns of a Dying Grid

Not long before his sudden and premature death, Australian Energy Market Operator chief Matt Zema spoke candidly at a private conference of power-industry executives. The enormous subsidies heaped on renewables, he said, mean one thing and only one thing: “The system must collapse”

Matt Zema, inaugural head of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), attended a meeting a year ago of the Regulation Economics Energy Forum at which a number of prominent electricity industry executives were present. Proceedings at the meeting were private, but the need for confidentiality was removed with Matt’s sad death three months later. The following were among his remarks:

“The renewable developments and increased political interference are pushing the system towards a crisis. South Australia is most vulnerable with its potential for wind to supply 60% of demand and then to cut back rapidly. Each new windfarm constrains existing ones and brings demand for more transmission. The system is only manageable with robust interconnectors, but these operate effectively only because there is abundant coal-based generation in Victoria…

… wind, being subsidised and having low marginal costs, depresses the spot price and once a major coal plant has a severe problem it will be closed…

… wind does not provide the system security. But the politicians will not allow the appropriate price changes to permit profitable supply developments from other sources. And the original intent of having the generator or other beneficiary pay for transmission and services over and above energy itself has now been lost so there are no market signals, just a series of patch-ups that obscure the instability and shift the problem to include Victoria. In the end the system must collapse…”

A month later South Australia’s coal-fuelled Northern Power Station was disconnected from the network because it was unable to operate profitably against subsidised intermittent renewable energy that has priority over other supplies.

In September, 2016, as a result of this capacity reduction, South Australia lost all its power when storms triggered outages and several wind generators were unable to “ride through”, causing the main interconnector with Victoria to shut down. A more limited loss of power took place in February, 2017, when wind supply dropped from 800MW to under 100MW in four hours.

The September, 2016, blackout is estimated to have cost the state $367 million. BHP, whose senior executives have long engaged in virtue-signalling in favour of carbon taxes and exotic “clean” renewables, reported a loss of $US105 million with their Olympic Dam project — a loss magnified by the company being forced to suspend its proposed doubling of the mine’s capacity as a result of power uncertainties.

Engie, the owners of Hazelwood announced in November, 2016, that the 1600 megawatt facility (supplying between 20% and 25% of the state’s power) will be the fourth big coal-fired power station to close. Hazelwood had been allowed to deteriorate as a result of subsidised wind making the plant unprofitable, which did not stop Engie being ordered to complete major repairs to at least five of the eight boilers in order to meet occupational health and safety regulations.

The bottom line is that the loss of the coal-powered stations has resulted in at least a doubling of the wholesale electricity price in the southern states and the concomitant loss of reliability.

Blame shifting between politicians has characterised the various events. Reliable coal plants are being forced to close due to competition from renewables which currently enjoy a subsidy of $84 per MWH, double the actual price received by coal plants. The forced closure of these plants has compounded the cost impost by forcing up pool prices. The subsidies favouring renewable energy include several put in place by state governments, but the most important regulations are at the Commonwealth level — especially those requiring increasing shares of wind and solar within the supply mix. These regulations give rise to the current subsidy for wind and solar, currently at $84 per MWh and capped at $92.5 per MWh.

The roll-out of new subsidised power is on-going. And various schemes are being floated for buffering and overcoming wind’s intrinsic lack of reliability. Among these is the mooted South Australian battery investment using the technology developed by Elon Musk and the proposal floated by the Prime Minister to augment the Snowy hydro system with “pumped storage”. These measures, should they go ahead, allow the transfer of power over time and, in doing so, reduce the gross power available.

New “solutions” using subsidised wind and solar abound.

Last week, for example, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill announced a new solar-battery combination, Lyon Solar in the Riverland, which promises 300 Megawatts of capacity. This is the equivalent of perhaps 80 megawatts of coal fuelled electricity and comes at a cost of one billion dollars.

The now-shuttered Northern Power Station had 540 megawatts, yet Weatherill declined to take up an offer that would, for a mere $25 million, have kept it open. Instead, he plumped to spend $500 million-plus on a gas generator of half that capacity and, plus Elon Musk’s much bally-hooed batteries!

On paper, the new Lyon Solar facility is profitable only because of the penalties imposed on coal. These include the subsidy under the Renewable Energy Target of $84 per MWh. In addition, the facility benefits from the forced closure of the coal-fired stations. This has resulted in the wholesale price of electricity rising to a new norm of $130 per MWh, compared with the average price in the four years to 2015 of $50 per MWh. The bottom line is that the consumer will pay $214 per MWh for $50-per-MWh worth of electricity from the new facility.

With that sort of money being littered around the industry for gee-whizz exotic projects it is little wonder that moochers are circling the state like moths round a candle. In the end, renewables require at least three times the price of the supposed dinosaur facilities they are displacing; consumers and industry will need to pay this and, in addition, fork out for grid additions to offset some of the inevitable deterioration of reliability the brave new energy world entails. Obviously many outfits, especially those in the energy intensive mining and smelting and agricultural processing sectors will not find it profitable to remain in an Australian market where wholesale electricity prices have more than doubles and the system’s reliability has deteriorated.

We are seeing the future with these renewable energy facilities and it is not working. The contagion that is undermining the South Australian economy and impoverishing the state’s households is spreading to Victoria.

Ominously, on the very day that Hazelwood closed, Victoria evidenced what will be the new norm.

Incredibly, with no heatwave or any other factor to inspire a spike in electricity demand, it had to import electricity from New South Wales and Tasmania.



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   main.html 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


16 April, 2017

Arctic meltdown: Sea and land ice are cracking up at a record pace (!)

I imagine that the figures below are all carefully cherrypicked in the usual Green/Left way but whether they are or not they are no disaster.  As Archimdes discovered over 2,000 years ago, melting sea ice does NOT raise the water level. And the only substantial land mass in the Arctic is Greenland. And while there is some melting of Greenland coastal ice the interior icecap is and always has been stable.  So it is only the coastal ice that could have some effect.  But in a recent study it was projected to raise global sea levels by a whole 1.5 inches by 2100!  So the shrieks of horror below are entirely without justification

The images from the Arctic ice death spiral are haunting. The impacts will be terrifying.

Driven by warming air and water temperatures, Arctic sea ice continues its death spiral. A big new crack has been found in a major outlet glacier of the Greenland ice sheet, whose disintegration is speeding up.

Last month set records for the lowest Arctic sea ice extent ever in March, as well as the lowest sea ice volume and lowest sea ice thickness.

The Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) at the University of Washington’s Polar Science Center provides monthly updates of Arctic sea ice volume. They using numerical modeling based on “observations from satellites, Navy submarines, moorings, and field measurements.”

Ice volume is determined by figuring out sea ice extent or surface area?—?and then factoring in the ice thickness.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) tracks sea ice extent with satellites, and this year has seen record lows set every month. Indeed, as this figure shows, sea ice extent has been unusually flat over the last three months, which is normally a time of significant refreezing.

But not only has sea ice extent been setting records for months, so has sea ice thickness.

Arctic sea ice is in a state of meltdown, and at some point soon will simply become too thin and fragmented to be called an “ice cap.”

Significantly, what happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic. Arctic amplification drives more extreme weather in North America, while accelerating the defrosting of carbon-rich permafrost, which releases CO2 and methane that each cause faster warming?—?a dangerous amplifying feedback.
Earth’s melting permafrost threatens to unleash a dangerous climate feedback loop
In addition, as the sea ice disappears and Arctic warming speeds up, that causes faster melting of the land-based Greenland ice sheet, which in turn causes faster sea level rise. A recent study found that Greenland ice mass loss has tripled since 1997.
So perhaps it’s not totally surprising that, as the Washington Post reported, “Scientists just found a strange and worrying crack in one of Greenland’s biggest glaciers.”

The implications of the ice cracking up at an accelerating rate are terrifying for humanity. The images created by it are haunting.


EPA chief calls for exit from Paris climate agreement

President Trump’s top environment official called Thursday for an exit from the historic Paris agreement, in what appeared to be the first time such a high-ranking official has so explicitly disavowed the agreement endorsed by nearly 200 countries to fight climate change.

Speaking with "Fox & Friends," Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt said, "Paris is something that we need to really look at closely. It’s something we need to exit in my opinion."

"It’s a bad deal for America," Pruitt continued. "It was an America second, third, or fourth kind of approach. China and India had no obligations under the agreement until 2030. We front-loaded all of our costs."

Pruitt had called the Paris accord a "bad deal" in the past but does not appear to have previously gone so far as to call for the United States to withdraw.

The Trump administration has previously said it is currently reviewing its position on climate change and energy policy and remains noncommittal, for now, on whether it will follow through on the president’s campaign pledge to "cancel" the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Trump’s recent executive order on energy policy, which set in motion the rollback of Obama’s domestic Clean Power Plan, was silent on the matter of Paris.

"You might have read in the media that there was much discussion about US energy policy and the fact that we’re undergoing a review of many of those policies," Energy Secretary Rick Perry said in Texas on Thursday, according to prepared remarks. "It’s true, we are and it’s the right thing to do."

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has said the administration will resolve its view on the Paris accord "by the time of the G7 Summit, late May-ish, if not sooner."

Amid this uncertainty, the statement aligns Pruitt with a more hard-line approach held by some in the Trump administration, such as Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon, rather than the more moderate take of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson said in his confirmation hearing that the United States should have a "seat at the table" in the Paris negotiations, and Ivanka Trump and her husband and Trump confidant Jared Kushner.

Tillerson’s former company, ExxonMobil, has also supported the Paris accord, and in late March wrote a letter to the White House reiterating its view that "the United States is well positioned to compete within the framework of the Paris agreement, with abundant low-carbon resources such as natural gas, and innovative private industries, including the oil, gas, and petrochemical sectors."

If the Trump administration wants to take a more moderate approach to the Paris deal, it could consider modifying the United States’ current pledge to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, rather than seeking to exit altogether.

That’s a tack advanced in a letter to Trump, previously reported on by E&E News, by Representative Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota, who argued that the United States “should present a new pledge that does no harm to our economy," including highly efficient and low-emission coal-fired generators and nuclear power plants.

It is far from clear how the Trump administration could actually "exit" the Paris agreement, if it determines that it wants to. Now that the agreement is in effect, it takes three years under its terms for a party to withdraw, followed by a one-year waiting period — a length roughly equal to Trump’s first term in office.


The Magic Disappearing $100 Billion Climate Fund

Walter Russell Mead

Shocking news—the magic $100 billion climate fund appears not to be taking shape! Even optimistic estimates sat the fund is $40 billion short, and developing countries say that understates the problem. The Financial Times:

Climate ministers from Europe, India, Brazil and South Africa have gone to Beijing in recent weeks, hoping to sustain momentum from the Paris talks despite the Trump administration’s dismantling of US regulations meant to limit American emissions.

But discussions have quickly run up against the issue of financing. “Developed countries have not met their commitments. In their reports a lot of their commitment is in the form of development aid. That doesn’t meet the commitment to contribute to new funds,” China’s top climate change negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, told a briefing on Tuesday. “A lot of countries don’t want to chip in. I said to the European minister: that’s your problem as developed countries. It’s your responsibility to work together and sort it out.”

First world donors have been busily relabeling other foreign aid as contributions to the climate kitty. For developing countries, this is a cheat—they expect $100 billion in new money.

Or, to put it more accurately, they are not nearly stupid and naive enough to believe the lies Western diplomats tell when trying to bamboozle naive green voters at home that they are “Doing Something” about climate change. So they don’t really expect all that money, but hope to use these commitments to pry something out of the West. Also, since the West will certainly default on these bogus commitments, developing countries have all the justification they need to blow off their own commitments when the time comes.

This, one notes, is the house of cards that the last Administration claimed was a big piece of its legacy.

In any case, China, who the clueless Western press has tried to spin as the new hero and leader of the climate movement, is craftily working to widen the north south rift, piously calling on the selfish northern countries to make good on the $100 billion in new money. This failure will, of course, provide China with justification to walk away from any targets it wishes. After all, the West welshed first.

Climate diplomacy has become the leading forum in our time for hypocritical posturing and the politics of pretense. Until the green movement wises up, develops a serious and pragmatic agenda, and pursues a strategically sound political approach, this sorry state of affairs is likely to continue.


Coal's Potential Comeback?

There are still signs of life in the industry, but it's going to take further deregulation and a favorable market.   

It’s the politically correct idea among many Americans that coal as a major industrial fuel is dead, or at least dying, and that “cleaner” fuels like natural gas, wind and solar energy (and maybe unicorn dust) are taking over. There is some reality there, especially for natural gas due to the advancement of technology making it cheaper. But there are other influences on coal’s recent decline.

Less costly natural gas has become the fuel of choice in power plants and for other industrial uses. That’s not entirely because of the natural relative price of the fuels, but because the regulatory overkill on mining and burning coal requires enormous investments that have priced coal higher than natural gas. Remember Barack Obama’s prediction: “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.”

These regulations produced the closing of more than 400 coal-burning power plants, which dropped the demand for coal. That in turn put 63,000 people in the coal industry, electric production industry and related support industries out of work in just the last few years.

At the same time hydraulic fracturing (fracking) became popular, after lying mostly dormant since its first commercial application in 1957. That produced a boom in natural gas production at attractive prices to compete with coal.

Many think burning less coal is a great thing, because burning coal fouls the air and is dangerous to our health. But that “truth” loses importance when you know the actual infinitesimal improvement in air quality derived from burning less coal.

However, considering all those factors, and paraphrasing a famous quote attributed to Mark Twain, the rumors of coal’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Coal likely will never regain its former dominance among industrial fuels. Time and technological/industrial evolution would just as certainly, although much more gradually, have eaten into coal’s popularity without the help of Obama’s War on Coal.

But several things point to a continued market for American coal: Trump’s regulatory relief, the growing acceptance of the idea that the climate change/global warming mania is dramatically overstated, the reality that coal is still the best fuel for many things, the fact that many countries that do not have domestic coal supplies depend upon it for fuel, and the improvement in coal-burning technology.

And let’s not forget that fossil fuels made up 81% of the fuels used to produce electricity in 2016, and coal is still the primary fossil fuel in electricity production.

Industry insiders like Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray see a partial resurgence in coal. “Coal will grow back,” he told Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney. “But we’re in a decline right now.”

He went on to say that Trump “can bring back at least half of those [63,000 lost] jobs as the economy grows and as he ends the regulations on coal.” He noted that we have not had a level playing field in coal because, instead, “the government has been picking winners and losers.”

And he told Maria Bartiromo, also on Fox Business Network, that Obama closed 411 coal-fired plants, and that the Clean Power Plan, which Trump ended recently, would have closed 56 more plants. That, he said, would have caused a steep spike in electric rates. “As [Trump] grows the economy [and] brings jobs back to America, coal will participate in that growth because we are one-sixth the cost of a windmill and one-fourth the cost of natural gas,” per kilowatt-hour, Murray said.

Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), “The coal industry knows and understands how to mine coal … and protect our environment. We don’t do it the way it was done 50, 60 years ago.”

Here are a few pieces of evidence that coal isn’t dead yet:

Reports from the Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia coalfield regions say that mines are cranking back up and miners are being rehired. Train yards are seeing cars filled with coal moving through them in greater numbers.

Kingdom Resources plans to take over operations of one of the old Enterprise mines in Knott County, Kentucky. The company plans to hire 60 workers.

A southern West Virginia college recently held a Job Fair to immediately fill 85 open coal positions in mines in two counties. The coal from these mines is used in making steel.

Coal exports through Hampton Roads last month rose more than 50% from last year’s level, led by a nearly five-fold increase at Newport News' Pier IX, according to the most recent Virginia Maritime Association statistics. “A lot of mines are open again,” said Harry Childress, president of the Virginia Coal and Energy Alliance.“

Fox News reports that in Wise County, Virginia, "A long-awaited revival is under way in this beleaguered Central Appalachia community where residents see coal as the once and future king. Trucks are running again. Miners working seven days a week cannot keep up with current demand.”

Few if any argue that the coal industry will return to its former greatness, but it will certainly endure for many years at a lower level if natural forces are allowed to work, free of politically correct environmental engineering. These aforementioned items represent the beginning of coal’s potential comeback.

When you replace regulations resulting from shortsighted ideological goals with a level of business regulations based upon common sense, good things can happen.


Australia: Another Greenie lie about coal

Green groups opposed to the $16.5 billion Adani coalmine have been accused of propagating “fake news” after circulating images of “coal dust” on beaches near the Abbot Point coal ­terminal that was revealed to be black mineral sand called ­magnetite.

Queensland government environment officials yesterday confirmed they had “no immediate concerns” about environmental damage near the north Queensland port, noting that beaches had “regular depositions of minerals”.

Aerial images depicting black streaks on Dingo Beach near the coal terminal were released by the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australian Marine Conservation Society and splashed across the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday.

The picture ran under the heading “black tide” and environmental groups used the photograph to rail against “Adani’s coal spill”.

They said the beach appeared to be “scattered with lumps of coal” that threatened a turtle ­nesting ground and the nearby habitat of the Australian Painted Snipe.

Green groups also warned about a “thick black sludge of coal” flowing from the Abbot Point ­terminal after satellite images, ­released by the Mackay Conservation Group, purported to show coal-laden water spilling into the neighbouring Caley Valley wetlands following tropical Cyclone Debbie.

The Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection said “no conclusions can yet be made”, but initial monitoring results indicated releases into the wetlands were “in accordance with temporary emissions ­licence conditions”.

A coalition of politicians, ­resources groups and Queensland’s peak environment agency yesterday dismissed suggestions that coal had washed ashore.

A spokeswoman for the Australian Marine Conservation ­Society said it was unable to verify the presence of coal on the beach before releasing the images.

Mike Brunker — a former mayor and current Whitsunday councillor who is tipped to win ALP preselection for the new north Queensland state seat of McMaster — said yesterday there was no coal in the wetlands.

He said the black deposits on the beach were magnetite and naturally occurring. He added that locals distrusted the claims made by the ACF and AMCS.

“I understand they are on the opposing side,” Mr Brunker said. “They want to save the planet but it’s the extremes they go to prove a point. They are losing credibility.

“It’s naturally there. You can see the formation of the sand. It’s a naturally occurring thing. If you get a magnet on it, the magnet picks it up.”

The Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection debunked the environmental groups’ claims, saying it had “no immediate concern regarding images in the media showing black deposits on beaches adjacent to the Abbott Point coal terminal”.

“Regional shorelines are known for regular depositions of minerals in sand,” a department spokesman said. “The department is undertaking sampling to confirm that it is mineral sand.”

Resources Minister Matt Canavan attacked the integrity of the groups campaigning against the Adani mine. “Unless Cyclone Debbie was so powerful it changed the chemical composition of coal, there’s no evidence at all that coal has washed up on the beach,” Senator Canavan said. “These green groups have absolutely no credibility now. And nothing they say can be trusted.”

AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign director Imogen Zethoven yesterday defended the decision to release the images, saying no one had yet tested the sand for traces of coal. “The purpose of us releasing those photos ... was to draw public attention to the issue and to call for an urgent transparent and independent investigation,” she said.

Ms Zethoven said the head of corporate affairs at Adani had ­offered the conservation group an opportunity to visit Dingo Beach, but withdrew the offer after AMCS asked to bring an ecologist, soil scientist and a photographer.

Adani spokesman Ron Watson said the sand along the beaches in the area varied between white and black. He also said preliminary testing of the Caley Valley Wetlands by the environment department, following the release of the satellite imagery, had found “the water quality was within the ­required limits”.

“It’s a basalt magnetite mix,” he said, describing the black sand. “It’s very heavy and magnetic in parts which is what Captain Cook discovered in 1770 when he sailed by the nearby Magnetic Island. We offered to take one of the environmentalists. But they refused on the basis that we wouldn’t allow them to take water samples.”

An Adani spokesman said last night police were called after an unknown vessel arrived at Dingo Beach yesterday, allegedly breaching security conditions.

Whitsunday Regional Council mayor Andrew Willcox took a magnet with him to inspect the beach on Thursday “to prove a point” after he heard about the aerial photographs. “What they need to do is just stick to the actual facts ... I took a magnet with me because coal is not attracted to a magnet but magnetite is,” he said. “I just ran it over different sections of the beach and that black stuff there is definitely magnetite.”

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane rubbished the claims.

Andrew Morrell, who is a Juru traditional owner and part of a nat­ive title claim covering one third of the wetlands, said he thought there “could be some coal among the magnetite” and pushed for an investigation because traditional owners were concerned.



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   main.html 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, 2017

A new shriek from an old shrieker

Prof. Lowe has long been a critic of Australia and a proclaimer of climate doom but has shown no prophetic skill.  An amusing thing about him is that he was taken in by the Chief Seattle hoax, a speech really written by Ted Perry for a film script.  That shows you how careful he is with checking the facts. He is a pseudo-scientist.  His statement that opening one more coal mine will “effectively guarantee the frying of the planet” shows you how loony he is

UNLESS the Australian government fully embraces renewable energy and moves to decarbonise our energy supply in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, parts of Australia like Bourke and Alice Springs will become unlivable in our lifetime.

That’s the warning from the highly decorated Professor Emeritus of the School of Science at Griffith University, and former president of the Australian Conservation Foundation, Professor Ian Lowe.

As public debate rages over the potential opening of the Adani coal mine in Carmichael, Queensland, Prof Lowe believes the government’s dedication to fossil fuels is taking the country in a troubling direction.

Speaking to he worried that the government’s intention to not only open up the controversial Carmichael coal mine but also open up the Galilee basin will “effectively guarantee the frying of the planet”.

“If we continue to expand fossil fuels — which is what things like opening up the Galilee Basin means — by 2050 the average global temperature will be at least two degrees more,” he said.

Under such a scenario, he expects parts of inland Australia to see average temperature rises that would make them virtually unlivable by the second half of the century.

“It’s difficult to imagine how life will continue in places like Alice Springs and Bourke under that sort of regime.”

In the coming decades, he believes countries including Australia who are not doing enough to combat global warming will receive backlash from the international community. “I think there’ll be increasing international pressure for Australia to get into line,” he said.

“I think there will be political and trade sanctions on countries that are not seen to be pulling their weight.”

Malcolm Turnbull’s Coalition government is backing the Adani coal mine, claiming it will provide 10,000 jobs for the state of Queensland. However other reports put that number as low as 1,464.

Union leaders and regional mayors in Queensland as well as the Labor state government have also thrown their support behind the project, despite federal opposition leader Bill Shorten’s opposition to it.


Climate alarmist agency says common myth about global warming is not true

During an October 2016 campaign stop, Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore repeated a common claim made by climate alarmists about the alleged link between increased global temperatures and hurricanes—one that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is now saying has yet to be proven.

“Hurricane Matthew was likely more destructive because of climate change,” Clinton said, according to a report by the Washington Post. “Right now, the ocean is at or near record high temperatures, and that contributed to the torrential rainfall and the flash flooding that we saw in the Carolinas. Sea levels have already risen about a foot, one foot, in much of the southeast, which means that Matthew’s storm surge was higher, and the flooding was more severe.”

Gore expanded on Clinton’s argument. “It spun up from a tropical storm into a category 5 hurricane in just 36 hours,” Gore said. “That’s extremely unusual.”

Although these and similar claims suggesting hurricanes have worsened or increased in frequency as a result of global warming have been used often and with certainty by climate alarmists, the NOAA is now saying there is no definitive evidence that proves the alleged link. The NOAA is a federal government agency in the Department of Commerce that argued in favor of the theory man is primarily responsible for rising global temperatures under President Barack Obama.

According to a new report by the NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory reviewing existing evidence, “It is premature to conclude that human activities–and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity.”

NOAA said despite the fact that there currently is no evidence to support the claim, it believes there will be at some point in the future (sort of).

According to the alarmist NOAA, “Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause tropical cyclones globally to be more intense on average (by 2 to 11% according to model projections for an IPCC A1B scenario). This change would imply an even larger percentage increase in the destructive potential per storm, assuming no reduction in storm size.”

They also said the odds are “better than even” (how scientific of them!) “anthropogenic warming over the next century will lead to an increase in the occurrence of very intense tropical cyclone in some basins–an increase that would be substantially larger in percentage terms than the 2-11% increase in the average storm intensity.”

However, NOAA’s report also says, “This increase in intense storm occurrence is projected despite a likely decrease (or little change) in the global numbers of all tropical cyclones.”

Put simply, NOAA says there is no evidence hurricanes are more intense or have increased in frequency because of global warming, but it believes hurricanes could become more intense (by 2-11 percent) by 2100, even though there will likely be less total tropical cyclones.


New global warming study is terrible news for alarmists, good news for plants, animals and people

A new study published in the highly influential journal Nature suggests rising global temperatures during the 19th and 20th centuries may be linked to greater plant photosynthesis.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California at Merced, estimated based on its models “the sum of all plant photosynthesis on Earth grew by 30 percent over the 200-year record captured,” according to an article published on the UC Merced website.

Photosynthesis is the process of converting carbon dioxide into carbohydrates, which power plants, using sunlight.

According to the UC Merced article, “The research did not identify the cause of the increased photosynthesis, but computer models have shown several processes that could, together, create such a large change in global plant growth.”

“The leading candidates are rising atmospheric CO2 levels, a result of emissions from human activities; longer growing seasons, a result of climate change caused by CO2 emissions; and nitrogen pollution, another result of fossil fuel combustion and agriculture,” the article also claims.

In other words, more carbon dioxide, which is being produced by humans at record levels, has improved plant growth, which in turn improves food production for humans and animals.

“The rising CO2 level stimulates crops yields,” said lead researcher Elliott Campbell, a professor at UC Merced.

Campbell said the evidence shows “a fundamental shift in the Earth’s plants” and that “global plant growth should be a central goal for the human race.”

However, don’t too excited, Campbell warns. He says despite the researchers’ findings, which clearly show global warming helps plants—and thus also helping humans and animals—global warming has many negative effects, too, such as causing “climate change, which will increase flooding of coastal cities, extreme weather and ocean acidification.”

The researchers’ study in Nature provided no proof of the claim global warming is caused by humans or that global warming will cause the severe problems Campbell said it will in the quotes provided by the UC Merced article. The study also offered no solutions for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions without causing severe economic and social problems for billions of people.

The study did, however, show increased carbon-dioxide levels have, generally, helped plants and crops.


Liberals bamboozle public into believing global warming

The public is being bamboozled into thinking that some liberal eggheads, like Al Gore, are the smartest people in the world, and we willingly give them ever more control over our lives. It seems we have forgotten how to use our own God-given commonsense. We’re like Chicken Little and her barnyard friends, so sure that the sky is falling that we end up being eaten by the fox, aka the federal government.

A 2012 op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal and signed by 16 scientists debunked the connection between global warming and carbon dioxide. The article states that CO2 is not a pollutant, but a “key component of the biosphere’s life cycle.” The column also notes that the alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many “providing government funding for academic research and a reason for government bureaucracies to grow.” It’s the old “follow the money” theme.

To quote Lord Christopher Monckton of the Science and Public Policy Institute when referring to the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “In the 19th century, British prime ministers used to say there were ‘lies, damned lies, and statistics.’ In the 21st century, we may say there are frauds, serious frauds, and IPCC Assessment Reports.”

The Earth is an amazing organism. It is not as fragile as the radical environmentalists claim. It has amazing powers to clean and heal itself. I do not mean to imply that we should squander natural resources or fail to protect our water or air. We all want clean water to drink and clean air to breathe, but this has nothing to do with man-made global warming or climate change. When I was growing up, it was simply called conservation. It has now morphed into radical environmentalism.

It just seems to me to be the height of narcissism to believe that we, as mere human beings, in the short time we have been on this Earth, could have the power to melt polar ice caps, cause the oceans to rise or fall, and cause extreme weather. I remember the warnings of “the coming ice age” back in the 1970s. That has not yet happened and, if it does, it will not have anything to do with humans.

It has been estimated that the Earth has been around for about 4.6 billion years, the modern form of human beings have been around for about 200,000 years, civilization is about 6,000 years old, and industrialization started only about 200 years ago. In that time, the Earth has gone through warming, cooling, rising oceans, earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions and other forms of climate disruptions. Species have come and gone. It is estimated that over 90 percent of species that once walked the earth are now extinct. And more are becoming extinct every day. By the same token new ones are being discovered all the time. And human beings, as much as we may like to believe we are that powerful, have nothing to do with any of it.

You can call me a “denier,” if you wish. But I prefer to think of myself as an “affirmer.” I affirm our God-given gifts of natural resources, such as oil, gas, and coal, contained in the Earth, were put there for our use — responsibly of course. But just leaving them where they are is to squander that gift.


Shedding new light on global warming

We are still warming slightly­­ from a minor Ice Age called the “Little Ice Age”. This was the coldest sustained period over the past 10,000 years and glaciers and sea ice advanced to record levels up to about 1700.

There has been some warming since that time and there is nothing unusual or unprecedented about the Earth’s recovery since then.

The warming since 1850 is about 0.8C, according to HAD 4 surface data, and that’s about 0.5C per century.

The latest data shows less sensitivity to CO2 and this shows up in PR studies. For example, there are a number of recent sea level rise and glacier studies that show a deceleration or little change since 1950.

And all models for Antarctica and Greenland show little sea level­ rise problems for the next 300 years.

But fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) have certainly changed our health and well-being over 200 years.

From the time of the first humans­­­ until 1810 the average life expectancy was less than 40 years.

As the industrial revolution progressed this life expectancy also rapidly increased and today the first world has an average life expectancy of about 80 years and developing countries are catching up fast.

And a baby born today in Aust­ralia has an average life expectancy of 90 years.

CO2 has also caused greening of the Earth over the past 35 years and this shows up in satellite data.  It is the best plant fertiliser and also helps with drought tolerance as well.

I’m not interested in silly religious dogma and I only refer to evidence, data and the scientific method, but please look up Dr Hans Rosling’s efforts to try to educate people right around the world. See YouTube for Rosling’s “200 countries since 1810” and his TED talk trying to dispel our ignorance.



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   main.html 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, 2017

Study offers a dire warning on climate change (!)

They're getting cautious:  New prophecy tells of the 23rd century, so is unfalsifiable to us. 

There is much to amuse in it in addition to the postponed disaster date.  For many years, Warmists claimed that it would be the clap of doom when we reached 400ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere  We have now arrived there and nothing has happened.  Thor/Zeus/Jehovah seems to have put away his thunderbolts.  So now 900ppm is the new arbitrarily chosen level of doom. 

And the whole article depends for its estimates of the levels of CO2 and the effect of CO2 on what other Warmists have written.  The authors get their estimate of climate sensitivity by using  that given in previous studies.  So there is no new data in the paper at all.  It is just an exercise in climate theology

But they makes some pesky admissions along the way.  They say that the historical trend is for CO2 levels to FALL.  See their graph below.  So if CO2 is a danger, we have got history on our side

I add the journal abstract to the summary article below

Continuing to burn fossil fuels at the current rate could bring atmospheric carbon dioxide to its highest concentration in 50 million years, jumping from about 400 parts per million now to more than 900 parts per million by the end of this century, a study warns.

And if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated beyond that point, the climate could reach a warming state that hasn’t been seen in the past 420 million years.

Some research suggests that, if humans burned through all fossil fuels on Earth, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations could hit 5,000 parts per million by the year 2400.

The new study speaks to the power of human influence over the climate. It suggests that after millions of years of relative stability in the absence of human activity, just a few hundred years of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are on track to cause unprecedented warming.

To come to these grim conclusions, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers constructed a continuous record of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations spanning the last 420 million years. They created the record by compiling more than 1,500 estimates of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations drawn from 112 published studies.

According to lead author Gavin Foster, a geochemistry professor at the University of Southampton, those estimates were constructed mainly using the carbon isotope composition of ancient soil samples or examining the abundance of pores on the leaves of fossilized plants, an indicator of how much carbon dioxide was available for them to draw from the air while they were alive.

The findings suggest that, until humans started rapidly burning fossil fuels with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, Earth’s climate had been relatively stable for millions of years, and carbon dioxide concentrations were declining. Thanks to the human emission of greenhouse gases, though, that’s all changing at a record-breaking pace.

Current concentrations of CO2 emissions are at their highest in human history, hovering around 400 parts per million and continuing to rise. Before the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide concentrations had settled into an average of about 280 parts per million.

On a business-as-usual pathway — in which greenhouse gas emissions would continue at their current rate — carbon dioxide concentrations would hit a level that hasn’t been seen in 50 million years, according to the research.

The warming that will be brought on by the continued emission of greenhouse gases will only be compounded by an increase in solar radiation as the sun continues to grow brighter, the researchers said.

A business-as-usual trajectory suggests that carbon dioxide levels could exceed 2,000 parts per million by the year 2250, concentrations that were last seen about 200 million years ago. But thanks to the combined influence of a hotter future sun, the planet’s resulting warming will probably be greater than at almost any point in the past 420 million years.

Additionally, at least one study has suggested that concentrations could be as high as 5,000 parts per million by 2400 if humans were to burn through all the fossil fuels on Earth, and that would result in both the highest carbon dioxide levels and the highest temperatures seen in the study period.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has presented estimates of how much the Earth might warm under a business-as-usual trajectory over certain time periods. It suggests that by 2300, the Earth could warm by nearly 48 degrees Fahrenheit. But there are many factors that could affect temperature trends in the long-term that remain uncertain, Foster suggested, such as changes in terrestrial vegetation or the amount of carbon dioxide the ocean has room to absorb in the coming centuries.

As a result, he said, long-term warming could end up being even more intense than we estimate now.

The study helps address a kind of paradox in the Earth’s climate history. Based on our knowledge of the way stars generate energy, scientists know that our solar system’s young sun would have been much dimmer millions of years ago. Over time, its intensity has increased, and is likely to continue doing so for millions or even billions of years.

If the sun has been getting hotter for millions of years, though, then one would expect the planet’s climate to have steadily warmed during that time, as well, Foster noted. But there is ample evidence from the fossil record to suggest the planet’s climate actually remained mostly stable for millions of years before humans began burning fossil fuels. Scientists have hypothesized that this stability came from a long-term reduction in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, which offset the warming caused by a brightening sun.

The new study supports this idea. The researchers’ record suggests that, while there have been fluctuations throughout history, the long-term average carbon dioxide concentration generally declined until the Industrial Revolution as a result of natural processes related to the formation of Earth. Thanks to human activity, carbon dioxide levels are rising again, on track to break millennial-scale records if mitigation efforts aren’t undertaken, the study says.

Foster emphasizes the new historical record is not perfect. But as far as we know, future warming “is going to be unprecedented."


Future climate forcing potentially without precedent in the last 420 million years

Gavin L. Foster et al.


The evolution of Earth’s climate on geological timescales is largely driven by variations in the magnitude of total solar irradiance (TSI) and changes in the greenhouse gas content of the atmosphere. Here we show that the slow ?50?Wm?2 increase in TSI over the last ?420 million years (an increase of ?9?Wm?2 of radiative forcing) was almost completely negated by a long-term decline in atmospheric CO2. This was likely due to the silicate weathering-negative feedback and the expansion of land plants that together ensured Earth’s long-term habitability. Humanity’s fossil-fuel use, if unabated, risks taking us, by the middle of the twenty-first century, to values of CO2 not seen since the early Eocene (50 million years ago). If CO2 continues to rise further into the twenty-third century, then the associated large increase in radiative forcing, and how the Earth system would respond, would likely be without geological precedent in the last half a billion years.

Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14845 (2017)doi:10.1038/ncomms14845

Paris Climate Treaty Garners Unlikely Supporters

The White House announced on March 30th that it would decide whether and how the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty before the G-7 begins to meet on May 26th. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee and a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, published an op-ed in the Washington Times on March 29th urging the President to withdraw from Paris. My CEI colleague Chris Horner also published an op-ed on getting out of Paris earlier in March.

On the other hand, considerable support for staying in Paris has emerged in recent days from unlikely places. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), a prominent Trump supporter during the campaign, has circulated a draft letter to President Trump for signature by his House colleagues that begins, “As you contemplate your actions related to the Paris Agreement, we would like to share with you the following conditions we believe should be met if the United States of America is to remain a party to the Agreement.”

The conditions set down in Cramer’s letter include: replacing the U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28% below the 2005 baseline by 2025 with a more modest target; ending funding of the Green Climate Fund while remaining a member of it in order to veto projects we don’t like; and using our “seat at the Paris table” to promote technologies such as carbon capture and storage that will ensure a future for coal.

Rep. Cramer has not yet released his final letter, so we don’t know how many House Members have signed it. Another letter to President Trump was released this week. The president and CEO of Cloud Peak Energy (a Rocky Mountain coal company), Colin Marshall, urges the President to stay in the Paris Climate Treaty in order to “use U.S. influence to ensure that fossil energy remains a driver of global prosperity while addressing climate concerns.”

Although Marshall quotes economist Richard Tol on the fact that climate policies have been more about rewarding allies with subsidies than with reducing emissions, his letter then goes on to request subsidies for the coal industry, including funding for carbon capture and storage technology. My comments on the Cloud Peak letter can be found in Michael Bastasch’s article for the Daily Caller News Foundation. To summarize, I think the reasons given in the letter for staying in Paris are unbelievably stupid. It has been reported that Peabody Energy and Arch Coal have also told the White House that they do not object to staying in Paris if the administration can secure more funding for carbon capture and storage.


Unknown Climate Cause and Effect

Climate curmudgeons claim there exists a near-perfect CO2-temperature relationship. They lecture that “the science is settled.” But it’s impossible to honestly say that the science is settled when absolute proof regarding carbon dioxide’s effects on temperature doesn’t exist. In a new paper published at the Hoover Institution, “Flawed Climate Models,” David R. Henderson and Charles L. Hooper explain in detail the widening divide regarding scientific proof.

As Henderson and Hooper point out, “[A] hypothesis is just that. We have virtually no ability to run controlled experiments, such as raising and lowering CO2 levels in the atmosphere and measuring the resulting change in temperatures.” In the field of science, that’s a critical problem. And what scientists are left with instead are extrapolations that are interpreted through the lens of computer models. “The problem,” the authors contend, “is that these models have serious limitations that drastically limit their value in making predictions and in guiding policy.” They narrow these flaws down to three primary obstacles: measurement error, solar energy and cloud imprecisions.

Concerning the first issue, they quote Stanford scientist Patrick Frank, who in 2011, according to Henderson and Hooper, revealed that “temperatures recorded by weather stations have been incorrectly handled. Temperature readings, he finds, have errors over twice as large as generally recognized. … The error bars are wider than the measured increase. It looks as if there’s an upward temperature trend, but we can’t tell definitively.”

On solar energy, they continue, “The sun’s energy that reaches the Earth’s atmosphere provides 342 Wm–2 — an average of day and night, poles and equator — keeping it warm enough for us to thrive. The estimated extra energy from excess CO2 — the annual anthropogenic greenhouse gas contribution — is far smaller, according to Frank, at 0.036 Wm–2, or 0.01 percent of the sun’s energy. If our estimate of the sun’s energy were off by more than 0.01 percent, that error would swamp the estimated extra energy from excess CO2.”

Then there are clouds. Write Henderson and Hooper: “Why are clouds hard to model? They are amorphous; they reside at different altitudes and are layered on top of each other, making them hard to discern; they aren’t solid; they come in many different types; and scientists don’t fully understand how they form. As a result, clouds are modeled poorly. … If our climate model’s calculation of clouds were off by just 0.9 percent … that error would swamp the estimated extra energy from excess CO2. The total combined errors in our climate model are estimated be about 150 Wm–2, which is over 4,000 times as large as the estimated annual extra energy from higher CO2 concentrations.”

The full article goes into even more detail on the unknown climate cause and effect and is well worth your time. But the bottom line is that global warming, though real, has not matched the modeled projections. Not even close. And the consequences of blindly making policy decisions does a great disservice to society.


Small-Engines vs. Ethanol Regs

As spring begins to spur lawns and trees into full grow mode, many folks find themselves heading into the garage or shed to crank up the old mower and weed whacker that have been sitting dormant since last fall. After the seemingly hundredth pull on the starter cord with not even the slightest sputter of engine life, a frustrated individual may wonder if the culprit is ethanol.

Ethanol has been around for quite some time. But especially since the passage of the Renewable Fuel Standards in 2007, the debate over the benefits or drawbacks of ethanol-infused gasoline continues, and nowhere does it rage more than within the world of small-engine equipment. Kris Kiser, the president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, is no fan of the supposed enviro-friendly regulation. Kiser says, “You’re putting alcohol into the fuel. They’re different atoms. They don’t like to stay married.” He continues, “This is a big deal, and everybody wants to downplay it. But we’re pretty sensitive to it.”

And while proponents of the ethanol blends point to the fact that manufactures are developing engines better suited to handle the higher percentages of ethanol, the truth remains that ethanol negatively impacts gasoline engines. Anyone who has recently bought a small engine can attest to the fact that most warranties are voided if a higher-than-10% ethanol blend of gasoline is used.

The ethanol fuel standards are a classic example of government-forced industry adjustment aimed at artificially propping up an industry that would otherwise cease to exist if not for the mandate. Not only are ethanol blends consistently less fuel efficient, they also heavily impact other aspects of the economy, such as food prices.

When the government attempts to pick winners and losers, the result is more losers. Let’s revoke the ethanol regulations and allow the free market to determine if the industry thrives or dies.


Australia: Greenie policy puts people in danger of crocodile attack

There are 100s of thousands of crocs in Qld. but Greenies don't want crocs disturbed, and certainly not shot.  And Qld. has a Green/Left government

IN THE latest instalment of sometimes-offbeat Queensland politics, the state’s upcoming May budget is being held hostage by two men from the outback.  And they are refusing to release it until the Premier agrees to start killing crocodiles.

The Sunshine State’s two cross bench Katter’s Australia Party MPs, Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth, helped Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk form a minority government in the state’s hung parliament in 2015.

The pair has largely supported the Labor Party in the ensuing two years, but over the issue of crocodile culling, they have put their collective feet down.

Mount Isa MP Mr Katter and Dalrymple’s Mr Knuth say they will not let Ms Palaszczuk’s May budget pass, unless she agrees to crocodile population control measures in the state’s north.

Among the measure the pair want the Premier to agree to are crocodile hunting safaris, similar to African big game hunts that attract tourists from across the globe.  “People think it’s unreasonable making threats on the budget, well how else do you get people to listen?” Mr Katter told reporters in Cairns.

“Our obligation is to go down there and vote for the interests of north Queensland, and if people are dying and you can’t get them to listen, what are you supposed to do?”

Queensland’s Labor government relies on the crossbench in the hung parliament, in particular the KAP, for support to pass supply bills.

The unusual ransom follows a number of crocodile attacks in north Queensland recently.

Cairns spearfisherman Warren Hughes, 35, was killed by a crocodile in shallow tropical waters near Innisfail last month, just hours before a teenager was mauled in the same area.

Wildlife authorities killed a four-metre crocodile believed responsible for Mr Hughes’ death.

Mr Knuth also released an image last week of the remains of a pet dog being consumed by one of the massive reptiles on a farm near Innisfail.

The KAP’s proposal includes managed culls, egg collection and movement strategies.

In particular, they are calling for local indigenous groups to run safaris for tourists, as a way of generating income while keeping crocodile populations in check.

They said they had the support of fellow northern Queensland crossbencher, Cook MP Billy Gordon.

“Attacks are on the rise, the crocs we’re seeing are big, aggressive and territorial, and crocs are surfacing in places they’ve never been before,” Mr Katter told the Cairns Post.

“People are petrified to get out and enjoy the waterways, even in safe areas, with membership dropping in water sport clubs and iconic events cancelled due to croc sightings.”

The issue of crocodile culling arises frequently in Queensland, however, Ms Palaszczuk has previously ruled adoption of the measure 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   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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


12 April, 2017

Falling Sea Level was the Critical Factor in 2015/2016 Great Barrier Reef Coral Bleaching!

That sea levels could fall is of course be unthinkable to a Warmist. In their religion sea levels only rise.  In fact sea levels both rise and fall all over the place worldwide.  There has even been a fall in recent decades in Moreton Bay, near where I live. 

And are we allowed to mention the remarkable sea-level testimony of Tasmania's Isle of the Dead?  Read the late John Daly on the matter.  He knew where all the skeletons are buried.  There's a whole graveyard of them. 

It is only highly theoretical isostatic "rebound" adjustments to the raw tide gauge data that enable  Warmists to produce any picture of global sea level rise. 

Sad below that it took Indonesian scientists to face what was actually going on

It is puzzling why the recent 2017 publication in Nature, Global Warming And Recurrent Mass Bleaching Of Corals by Hughes et al. ignored the most critical factor affecting the 2016 severe bleaching along the northern Great Barrier Reef – the regional fall in sea level amplified by El Niño. Instead Hughes 2017 suggested the extensive bleaching was due to increased water temperatures induced by CO2 warming.

In contrast in Coral Mortality Induced by the 2015–2016 El-Nino in Indonesia: The Effect Of Rapid Sea Level Fall by Ampou 2017, Indonesian biologists had reported that a drop in sea level had bleached the upper 15 cm of the reefs before temperatures had reached NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch bleaching thresholds.

As discussed by Ampou 2017, the drop in sea level had likely been experienced throughout much of the Coral Triangle including the northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR), and then accelerated during the El Niño. They speculated sea level fall also contributed to the bleaching during the 1998 El Niño.

Consistent with the effects of sea level fall, other researchers reported bleaching in the GBR was greatest near the surface then declined rapidly with depth. Indeed if falling sea level was the main driver in 2016’s reef mortalities, and this can be tested, then most catastrophic assertions made by Hughes 2017 would be invalid.

Indeed the Great Barrier Reef had also experienced falling sea levels similar to those experienced by Indonesian reefs.  Visitors to Lizard Island had reported more extreme low tides and more exposed reefs as revealed in the photograph above, which is consistent with the extremely high mortality in the Lizard Island region during the 2016 El Niño.

Of course reefs are often exposed to the air at low tide, but manage to survive if the exposure is short or during the night. However as seen in tide gauge data from Cairns just south of Lizard Island, since 2010 the average low tide had dropped by ~10 to 15 cm.  After previous decades of increasing sea level had permitted vertical coral growth and colonization of newly submerged coastline, that new growth was now being left high and dry during low tide. As a result shallow coral were increasingly vulnerable to deadly desiccation during more extreme sea level drops when warm waters slosh toward the Americas during an El Niño.

Furthermore, an El Niño in the Coral Triangle not only causes a sudden sea level fall, but it also generates a drier high-pressure system with clear skies, so that this region is exposed to more intense solar irradiance. In addition, El Niño conditions reduce regional winds that drive reef-flushing currents and produce greater wave washing that could minimize desiccation during extreme low tides. And as one would predict, these conditions were exactly what were observed during El Niño 2016 around Lizard Island and throughout the northern GBR.

Aerial surveys, on which Hughes 2017 based their analyses, cannot discriminate between the various causes of bleaching. To determine the cause of coral mortality, careful examination of bleached coral by divers is required to distinguish whether bleached coral were the result of storms, crown-of-thorns attacks, disease, aerial exposure during low tides, or anomalously warmer ocean waters. Crown-of-thorns leave diagnostic gnawing marks, while storms produce anomalous rubble.

Furthermore aerial surveys only measure the areal extent of bleaching, but cannot determine the depth to which most bleaching was restricted due to sea level fall. To distinguish bleaching and mortality caused by low tide exposure, divers must measure the extent of tissue mortality and compare it with changes in sea level. For example, the Indonesian researchers found the extent of dead coral tissue was mostly relegated to the upper 15 cm of coral, which correlated with the degree of increased aerial exposure by recent low tides.

Unfortunately Hughes et al never carried out, or never reported, such critical measurements.

However a before-and-after photograph presented in Hughes 2017 suggested the severe GBR bleaching they attributed to global warming primarily happened between February and late April. Their aerial surveys occurred between March 22 and April 17, 2016. And consistent with low tide bleaching, that is exactly the time frame that tide tables reveal reefs experienced two bouts of extreme low tides coinciding with the heat of the afternoon (March 7-11 & April 5-10). And such a combination of sun and low tide are known to be deadly.

A study of a September 2005 bleaching event on Pelorous and Orpheus Islands in the central GBR by Anthony 2007, Coral Mortality Following Extreme Low Tides And High Solar Radiation, had reported extreme deadly effects when extreme low tides coincided with high solar irradiance periods around midday. As in Indonesia, they also reported bleaching and mortality had occurred despite water temperatures that were “significantly lower than the threshold temperature for coral bleaching in this region (Berkelmans 2002), and therefore unlikely to represent a significant stress factor.” Along the reef crests and flats, “40 and 75% of colonies in the major coral taxa were either bleached or suffered partial mortality.

In contrast, corals at wave exposed sites were largely unaffected (<1% of the corals were bleached), as periodic washing of any exposed coral by waves prevented desiccation. Surveys along a 1–9 m depth gradient indicated that high coral mortality was confined to the tidal zone.”

The fortuitous timing of Ampou’s coral habitat mapping from 2014 to 2016 in Bunaken National Park (located at the northwest tip of Sulawesi, Indonesia) allowed researchers to estimate the time of coral mortality relative to sea level and temperature changes. Ampou reported that in “September 2015, altimetry data show that sea level was at its lowest in the past 12 years, affecting corals living in the bathymetric range exposed to unusual emersion. By March 2016, Bunaken Island (North Sulawesi) displayed up to 85% mortality on reef flats” and that almost “all reef flats showed evidence of mortality, representing 30% of Bunaken reefs.” Based on the timing of reef deaths and changes in temperature they concluded, “the wide mortality we observed can not be simply explained by ocean warming due to El Niño.”  They concluded, “The clear link between mortality and sea level fall, also calls for a refinement of the hierarchy of El Niño impacts and their consequences on coral reefs.”


And the fraud goes on: 2016/2017 bleaching on GBR

It seems that the 2015/2016 summer bleaching was repeated in summer this year (2016/2017).  Since water levels change only slowly, that is to be expected. 

But note the dishonesty below.  They are still attributing the bleaching to global warming -- while giving not a single number for either the global water temperature or the North Queensland water temperature. 

So let me supply some numbers: NASA/GISS Tell us that the global December 2016 temperature (mid-summer) was .77, which was DOWN on December 2015 (1.10)and even slightly down on 2014 (.79).  So in the period at issue, there was NO global warming.  So the guys below are lying through their teeth.  They say that the bleaching was caused by global warming but there WAS no global warming in the period concerned.

And they also don't give numbers for sea levels in the area.  They are zealously hiding the real cause of the bleaching

BACK-to-back bleaching is killing huge tracts of the Great Barrier Reef, with almost none of the coral effected in 2016 expected to recover.

Recent aerial surveys by the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies have revealed only the southern third of the reef is unscathed from the bleaching events.

Researcher Terry Hughes said mass bleaching happened in 2017 even without the assistance of El Nino, which normally brings warmer sea surface temperatures.

“The bleaching is caused by record-breaking temperatures driven by global warming,” Professor Hughes said.

“Ultimately, we need to cut carbon emissions, and the window to do so is rapidly closing.” Warmer water temperatures cause coral to expel their algae, turning them bright fluorescent colours and eventually bone white.

Marine biologist James Kerry said bleached corals were not necessarily dead but it was anticipated high levels of coral would be lost in the central region of the reef, which experienced the most intense bleaching this year.

“It takes at least a decade for a full recovery of even the fastest growing corals, so mass bleaching events 12 months apart offers zero prospect of recovery for reefs that were damaged in 2016,” Dr Kelly said.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie also destroyed parts of the reef around the Whitsundays, a popular tourist destination that had largely escaped the worst of the bleaching so far.

While cyclones normally cause the water temperature to drop, Prof Hughes said any cooling effects were likely to be negligible in relation to the damage caused by the slow-moving Category 4 system.

“Clearly the reef is struggling with multiple impacts,” he said. The Great Barrier Reef is known to have experienced four bleaching events in 1998, 2002, 2016 and 2017.


G7 energy ministers fail to agree statement on climate change because of 'US reservations'

G7 energy ministers have failed to agree a statement on climate change this afternoon because of 'US reservations', it has emerged.

Top officials from the Group of Seven industrial nations gathered in Rome, Italy today amid growing concerns over the US administration's moves to unravel policies aimed at stalling global warming.

Environmental activists fear US President Donald Trump is dismantling Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, which aimed at reducing carbon pollution from power plants.

Greenpeace was holding a sit-in outside Monday's meeting, calling on officials to maintain their commitments to reduce greenhouse gases under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

However, the US 'reserved its position' on the text about commitments made by G7 countries under the Paris accord, said Carlo Calenda, the Italian minister for economic development, who chaired the meeting in Rome.

The ministers' agenda had called for discussion of energy security, policies to move away from coal, natural gas routes and supply, sustainable development of electricity sources, alternative fuel scenarios and energy access and investments in Africa.

Lacking unanimity, Italy, which currently presides the Group of Seven, decided against proposing the joint statement, Calenda said.

The Paris Agreement, endorsed by members of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is a bedrock of international action against man-made global warming.

It vows to cap warming to 'well below' two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to late 19th-century levels - an effort that scientists say will require massive cuts in carbon emissions from coal and other fossil fuels.

It also pledges to provide hundreds of billions of dollars in aid for poor countries badly exposed to drought, flood, rising seas and other climate impacts.

In March, President Donald Trump signed an executive order rolling back some of the previous Democratic administration's policies on carbon emissions and climate change.

Experts have said his plan, which eases emissions limits for coal-fired power plants and scraps more stringent vehicle pollution standards, almost guarantees that the US will fail to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Trump has also said he does not intend to honour promises made by the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama, to provide financial aid under the Paris accord.

However, Trump's team is also deeply divided on whether to withdraw from the pact, according to US media reports. On March 30, the White House said a decision on whether to withdraw would be made ahead of the G7 summit in Italy in late May.

Under Obama, the United States, the second biggest carbon polluter, provided critical impetus for the Paris deal by concluding a precursor deal with China, the number one emitter.

The Group of Seven, gathering the biggest western democracies, comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.


Lawmakers Should Invoke the Nuclear (Reprocessing) Option

When President Jimmy Carter issued a federal ban on the reprocessing of nuclear waste in 1977, he thought it was a sensible trade-off that erred on the side of public safety. In hindsight, however, it was an abysmally bad move. While many politicians continue to demonize atomic energy, France has shown that nuclear waste processing can safely yield major benefits: It has enabled that country to sell billions of euros in electricity to other countries each year. It’s an instructive example that the United States should follow, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow William F. Shughart II.

“Reprocessing both reduces nuclear waste significantly and lowers the cost of nuclear-generated power,” Shughart writes in the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Nuclear waste reprocessing reduces but does not eliminate the need for a deep-storage site. Lawmakers should therefore get the $32 billion Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility back on track for completion, after former Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) unplugged it. “Implementing reprocess and finishing a waste repository take time,” Shughart writes, “but spent nuclear fuel is a commodity too precious to waste.”


Manual Provides Eco-Terrorism Tips on How to 'Make Someone's Life Hell'

A new eco-terrorism manual has been published and is being sold online by Earth First! Journal, which calls itself “the voice of the radical environment movement."

The new Direct Action Manual (3rd Edition) provides tips activism ranging from “soft pranks” to vandalism that will result in arrest:

“The DAM is almost 300 pages of diagrams, descriptions of techniques and a comprehensive overview of the role direct action plays in resistance—from planning an action, doing a soft blockade, putting up a treesit or executing a lockdown; to legal and prisoner support, direct action trainings, fun political pranks, and more. The DAM has been compiled and updated by frontline activists from around the US to help spread the knowledge and get these skills farther out in the world.”

Here are just some of the terrorist tips provided in the manual, according to

“The possibilities are really endless, and you should let your imagination run wild,”

“Slashed tires, paint stripper, and sand in the gas tank can certainly make them think twice,
“You’ll be sure to make someone’s life hell.”
“Fundraise ahead of time to put money aside for bail or bond.”
“the staggering forces of greed push consumerism and the wholesale destruction of the Earth to unheard of levels.”
The manual also provides instructions on how to:

Turn off lights and water at someone’s home or business,
Make stink bombs, and
Utilize dead animals as “critter bombs.”

The quarterly Earth First! Journal bills itself as a publication for news about the Earth First! Movement “and other radical environmental groups”:

“The Earth First! Journal is the voice of the radical environmental movement. Published quarterly, it contains reports on direct action; articles on the preservation of wilderness and biological diversity; news and announcements about EF! and other radical environmental groups.”



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   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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


11 April, 2017

The flawed thinking at the heart of the renewable energy swindle

Bjorn Lomborg

A new report revealing that using wood pellets to generate electricity can actually speed up global warming should be the final nail in the coffin for the flawed policy of biomass subsidies. Policies designed to incentivise green energy use are not only having a dubious effect on climate change, they are destroying biodiversity and even killing many thousands of people.

Wood (or to use the technical term covering wood, wood pellets and other burning matter like animal dung, biomass) is by far the most significant renewable energy source. In both the US and the EU, biomass is the single largest source of renewable energy. Owing to poverty, around three billion people globally cook and heat their homes with wood, twigs and dung. More than four million die prematurely each year because of the resulting indoor air pollution.

And yet, in rich nations we have the bizarre notion that burning biomass is ‘green’ and eco-friendly. Governments, including in Britain, have deliberately promoted greater biomass dependence. The Drax power station in North Yorkshire generates seven per cent of the U.K’s electricity, predominantly burning biomass, supported by government subsidies. Seventy per cent of the electricity produced – enough to power Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool – is made using compressed wood pellets felled in the US and imported by ship.

But a new report from Chatham House suggests that this policy is very problematic when it comes to its goal of cutting CO2. It finds that the government’s view of biomass as a carbon neutral energy source is a ‘flawed assumption’ that is based on ignoring the emissions from the burning of wood. The problem is that the European Union policy holds the fictitious position that biomass produces no CO2 whatsoever. ‘Emissions from the fuel in use shall be taken to be zero’, says a 2009 directive. New Scientist rightly calls this assumption a ‘scam’.

The assumption underpins the EU’s 2020 renewables goal and its €8 billion (£6.84bn) annual spend on biomass – which has led to reports of protected forests being cut down in places like Italy and Slovakia. The EU now gets 65 per cent of its renewable energy from biomass. The effects on biodiversity of this practice are also troubling. Environmentalists point out that some manufacturers harvest whole trees — including hardwoods from bottomland areas — that can take a long time to regrow. A European Commission report found that the policy risks from transatlantic wood energy trade include ‘biodiversity loss, deforestation and forest degradation’ in the U.S.

The increase in biomass goes far beyond power stations, and reaches into our own homes. Policy-makers are using subsidies and tax policies to make fossil fuel-based energy more expensive and wood and pellets cheaper. Northeastern US states have seen 50 per cent to 150 per cent increases in wood as the main heating source since 2005. The UK is using financial incentives to ensure 700,000 homes convert to biomass heating, and biomass boilers are increasingly being installed to meet renewable energy requirements.

As we have seen on a vast scale in the developing world, burning biomass is far from benign. Even in the rich world, burning wood – encouraged by rising energy costs from green policies – is becoming a leading cause of death. In Prague, 27 per cent of the dangerous air pollution in winter today comes from wood smoke; in southern Germany it can reach 59 per cent. In London, it constitutes more than ten per cent.

Outdoor air pollution is the biggest environmental challenge in the rich world. Smoke from wood fires now constitutes 10-30 per cent of the total outdoor air pollution in Europe, meaning it conservatively claims 40,000 lives each year, and possibly many more. These are deaths from renewable energy. To put this into perspective, 26,000 people die each year in traffic accidents in the EU.

It will get worse. It is estimated that in Europe, small-scale domestic wood and biomass combustion will become the dominant source of the most dangerous particulate air pollution by 2020. In other words, it will be a bigger source of killer pollution than cars or industry and much bigger than power generation. During the Paris climate summit, former Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger claimed that fossil fuels cause 19,000 deaths each day. He was far off. Around 3,900 deaths every 24 hours can be attributed to fossil fuels, whereas 11,000 deaths daily are caused by our reliance on biomass.

The problem comes from a governmental desire to transition to renewables before they are ready. We use biomass to cover for inefficient solar and wind, which need backup power when it isn’t windy or sunny. We will only solve global warming when solar and wind can compete with fossil fuels on their own merits. To achieve that, huge investment in green energy R&D, including batteries, is needed.

But in the meantime, biomass is a terrible short-term answer to global warming. In incentivising its use, policy-makers are having a dubious effect on climate change, likely destroying biodiversity, and killing tens of thousands from air pollution.


Energy policy will be about cutting costs, not emissions, says British government chief

The Government’s energy policy will focus on cutting costs to business as a Whitehall official admits it has ‘neglected industry for too long’. Peter McCusker reports.

UK energy policy has been view through the prism of the ‘trilemma’ since Ed Miliband’s 2008 Climate Change Act, but that is changing under Theresa May’s Government.

Nigel Pargiter, acting head of energy supply chains at BEIS (Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), told a North East audience that the emphasis is now on cutting energy costs to homes and businesses.  In a question and answer session at the annual NOF Energy Conference at the Sage Gateshead, he conceded the Government had ‘neglected industry for a few decades’.

Responding to a question from John Bruijnooge, site director at Teesside industrial giant Sabic, he said Whitehall ‘has had to take a long hard look in the mirror’.

“We have neglected industry for too long and we now have to have a keen focus on costs.”

He went to say the previous energy policies, which focused on balancing a trilemma of reducing energy emissions, cutting costs and delivering energy security, ‘had been the result of tensions’ between two Government departments.

He said: “Under the Coalition, energy policy was split between two different departments, the Department for Business and DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change), and there were tensions.

“We got stuck on the trilemma. This became a sticking point, there was not one department to think holistically and this resulted in tension.

“Our view now is that decarbonisation has a cost to domestic users and businesses and our focus now is on ‘how much can industry bear before it is too much, and decides to go elsewhere?’”

In his earlier address to the conference he said: “The key challenge for us all is how do we get costs down and away from the subsidy regime. This is the biggest challenge we face and one that can be tackled by Government and industry working together.”

The North East has experienced the pain caused by measures to cut emissions with the introduction of the Carbon Price Floor in 2012 increasing costs at the Alcan aluminium plant by £30m, leading to its subsequent closure with the loss of over 500 jobs.

Mr Pargiter’s address echoed the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper which talks about 10 key pillars for the UK economy; one of which is affordable energy and clean growth.

In this document the Government says it will continue to pursue a clean energy vision and is expected to confirm its latest Emissions Reductions Plan within the next few months.

Mr Pargiter said the Industrial Strategy will see Government ‘working with the devolved administrations and across all departments of Government’.

“The Industrial strategy is for the whole of the UK not just for London or specific sectors.

“We are trying to create networks and the right framework for business to grow and thrive, to deliver an economy that works for everyone, whilst also increasing productivity.”

He said the UK is good at research and development but often not so good at commercialisation of this knowledge. He said there will be an emphasis on deregulation and supporting exporters.

He went on to say there will be money available in a sector deal for energy and this will be focused on three things; energy costs, secondly to cut subsidies to zero and the third focus will be on innovation.

In working with business he said the Government ‘will favour an open door approach’ and businesses should ‘come forward and tell us what are the issues they face, that are hampering growth’.

“We want them to demonstrate a compelling case as to why they should benefit, one where it would be stupid for the Government not to get involved.”

Under the Coalition the industrial strategy for offshore wind said the Government would aim for a UK capital expenditure of 70%.

The average has been less than 30% and Mr Pargiter would not be drawn on the Government’s ambitions, although BEIS has previously told Journal Energy it is aiming for 50% lifetime UK content.

This a thorny issue for many who work in the sector, and has been cited as one of the reasons Newcastle offshore fabricators OGN went out of business, cancelling a £50m North East investment after losing out to Spanish-Government backed competitors for UK bill-payer subsidised contracts.

Mr Pargiter said: “We want to make sure UK companies are best placed and can operate on a level playing field.

“We are aiming up to open up the supply chain and more work needs to be done, there will be no percentage, but we are aiming to secure higher value contracts, not just ones for sandwiches and buses.”

This emphasis on cutting energy costs comes as further evidence of the UK direction of travel on energy has emerged in the last few weeks.

In the Budget Chancellor Philip Hammond said he will do all he can to prolong the life of the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Mr Hammond said he would look to resolve the tax issues slowing down asset transfers, with the current tax treatment of decommissioning making it harder for existing owners to sell mature assets.

Proposals could include making it easier to allow the transfer of tax history between buyer and seller.

Solar supporters who hoped the Budget would cancel a projected tax on companies with rooftop solar panels were left disappointed, and this fits in with the decision to end subsidies for what are deemed to be ‘established’ renewable technologies.

Last week the Government announced further support of what it calls ‘non-established’ renewable technologies such as geo-thermal and wave and tide, as well as offshore wind and biomass in its new Contract for Difference subsidy auction next month.


No Such Thing as a Conservative Carbon-Dioxide Tax Plan

Carbon-Dioxide Tax Would Make Everything More Expensive For Working Americans Without Guaranteed Environmental Benefits

A group calling itself the Climate Leadership Council (CLC) has issued a report that makes the case for a “sensible” carbon-dioxide tax, which it says would start at $40 per ton. Also included is a scheme to distribute revenues from this tax to American families via a dividend, border carbon adjustments on imports and exports, and a significant rollback of existing regulations of greenhouse-gas emissions.

CLC says the “evidence climate change is growing too strong to ignore,” and the “risks associated with future warming are too big and should be hedged.” According to CLC, a carbon tax would provide an ideal “insurance policy.” CLC says the tax would efficiently reduce carbon dioxide, encourage technological innovation, and shrink the size of government. Additionally, the “bottom 70% of Americans would come out ahead under such a program.”

Despite these grand claims, carbon-dioxide taxes are inherently regressive and disproportionally harm low-income families. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found a $28-per-ton carbon tax, much smaller than CLC’s $40-per-ton tax, would result in energy costs being 250 percent higher for the poorest one-fifth of households than the richest one-fifth of households. CBO reports the reason for cost discrepancy is “a carbon tax would increase the prices of fossil fuels in direct proportion to their carbon content. Higher fuel prices, in turn, would raise production costs and ultimately drive up prices for goods and services throughout the economy … Low-income households spend a larger share of their income on goods and services whose prices would increase the most, such as electricity and transportation.”

As my colleague H. Sterling Burnett has noted, CLC’s $40-per-ton tax would be even more burdensome than the Obama administration’s calculation for the estimated social cost of carbon dioxide, which it determined to be $36 per ton. “In other words, these old guard Republicans want to impose a tax on carbon that cost more than the costs carbon dioxide are supposed to impose on society,” Burnett said.

“Virtually all of the CLC assertions in support of its proposal are incorrect or implausible,” wrote the American Enterprise Institute’s Benjamin Zycher, who also said the study is “poor conceptually and deeply unserious.”

“The CLC provides no evidence that climate risks are ‘too big’ and assumes that the proposed tax would provide ‘insurance’ without examining the future climate effects of its proposal,” Zycher wrote. “The argument that an emissions tax is a more efficient method of reducing emissions relative to regulations is not correct. The dividend proposal is naive in that it ignores the coalition problem in Congress and the relative influence of concentrated and unconcentrated pressure groups. The border tax adjustment would be hugely complex given the international supply-chain system, leading to an increase in the attendant bureaucracy even if the regulatory bureaucracy is reduced in size. … Contrary to its assertions, the CLC proposal would increase the government allocation of resources and thus the size of government.”

Another problem with a carbon-dioxide tax is any environmental benefits that it might produce would be effectively meaningless without concomitant legislation enacted throughout the rest of the globe.

Oren Cass, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, says the environmental benefits that might come from passage of a carbon-dioxide tax would be minimal. “The effectiveness of a carbon tax as a matter of environmental policy [depends] not only on how it would directly alter the trajectory of [local] emissions but also on its ability to affect global emissions by driving globally applicable technological innovation or by influencing the behavior of foreign governments,” wrote Cass. “On each of these dimensions, the carbon tax fails.”

It is likely for these reasons the U.S. public finds the idea of a carbon tax so unpopular. A September 2016 poll conducted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research revealed 71 percent of respondents said they were unwilling to pay an extra $20 month on their electric bills to combat climate change, although this amount is “roughly equivalent to what the federal government estimates the damages from climate change would be on each household.” Further, almost half the respondents, 42 percent, said they would be unwilling to pay even one extra dollar.

A carbon-dioxide tax would make everything more expensive for working Americans, leaving them less to spend and save without any guaranteed environmental benefits. Lawmakers would be doing their constituents a favor by not pursuing such destructive proposals.


The irrelevance to Africa of global warming talk

"People aren't interested in rainfall projections for the next 100 years - they want to understand what's happening to them now”

More than 20 million people are at risk of dying from starvation within six months, the U.N. World Food Programme warned several weeks ago. Persistent armed conflict and prolonged droughts have crippled the economies of Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen and northern Nigeria, where communities are suffering the worst hunger.

That means we need to change the way we look at climate risk, Maarten van Aalst, director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, told a meeting in Nairobi this week.

Experts at the gathering called for the U.N.’s climate science panel to change the way it works, and examine how climate risk plays out locally and interlinks with other factors like the economy and health

“Rising levels of food insecurity are not just due to a lack of rainfall, but also because people are vulnerable to conflict,” van Aalst told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Kenya. “Climate is only one piece of a much bigger puzzle.”

He urged scientists and policy makers to focus on what matters to people in highly vulnerable places. “They aren’t interested in rainfall projections for the next 100 years - they want to understand what is happening to them now,” he told the event convened by the Climate Centre and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Debra Roberts, chief resilience officer for the South African city of Durban and co-chair of an IPCC working group on climate adaptation and vulnerability, sees a growing gap between local climate action and the scientific work of the U.N. panel.

“Most of the time, our assessment just doesn’t find its way down to the communities who need it most,” she said.

Van Aalst said knowledge needs to be organised “in a way that is helpful to people and allows them to make better decisions”.

Roberts called for a “value chain of actors to take these messages down so they can be refined and interpreted in the local context”. “Think of the IPCC as a stone we throw into a pond: What other organisations form the ripples?”

International NGOs, for example, can play a role as intermediaries between governments and the population, she added.

But the exchange of information must be two-way, she emphasised, with knowledge also being passed upwards by those working on the ground.

Ultimately it is local people who must manage climate risks - and they can help fill gaps in understanding as well as map out solutions, said van Aalst.

The Paris climate change agreement acknowledges its vision to curb global warming cannot not be achieved by national governments alone, he noted, but requires a “climate action agenda”, bringing in local governments, NGOs, businesses and individuals.

Roberts underlined the need for a better understanding of local contexts, both in rural areas and cities.

In Durban, for example, the poorest and most vulnerable residents live far from jobs and services, and are particularly exposed to environmental degradation such as worsening coastal erosion and water shortages.

“That is something policymakers cannot ignore when designing urban policies and trying to tackle climate risk,” she said.

Cities – which are responsible for an estimated three-quarters of planet-warming emissions, according to the U.N. Environment Programme – are key to bridging the gap between local climate risk and global policy decisions, she said.

But making that happen will take time, she added, not least because local communities tend to see themselves as recipients of expert knowledge rather than as “generators of knowledge themselves”.


Time for Australians to invest in emergency power, as coal-fired power stations shut down with no replacements

Robert Gottliebsen

All businesses and households in Victoria, NSW and South Australia need to seriously consider investing substantial sums in diesel generators, batteries or other sources of emergency power. Banks need to be ready to fund the massive investment required during the next nine months.

It is now absolutely clear that each of the state governments have not invested in sufficient emergency power to back their wind and solar installations and now have a network of wires that is unsuitable for the power generation grid they have established.

And the Commonwealth promises a partial solution in two or three years via the Snowy but has washed its hands of the looming disaster next summer.

That means that businesses and residents who need power in hot summer days are on their own. Prepare for massive food rotting and equipment (including computer) disruption for those who did not recognise the extent of the destruction of power security by three state governments.

Last week I wrote a three-part series stating that NSW, Victoria and possibly South Australia face a 75 per cent chance of blackouts because their once great networked power systems had been vandalised by politicians who made the easy decisions of plonking solar and wind generators in their state but not the hard and expensive but essential decisions of investing in the grid and providing back up. It was rank irresponsibility, although decisions were made complex by the different owners of the various parts of the network and the need to earn a return on investment.

Following my series, The Australian Energy Market Operator took the unprecedented step of announcing that Victoria faced an incredible 72 days of blackouts and power shortages if Hazelwood was shut this week (April 1).

Businesses in Victoria from restaurants to supermarkets and offices/factories that do not respond to the combination of my warning and that of the Australian Energy Market operator have only themselves to blame. Meanwhile, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews walks around with his proverbial fingers crossed hoping Victoria will have another cool summer.

But NSW is not much better. It went very close to blackouts last summer but was saved by Victoria’s Hazelwood power station, which is set to close on April 1. Assuming Hazelwood is shut should it be Sydney or Melbourne that gets hit by the likely combined power shortages? Last summer when Sydney ran short of power Bendigo was scheduled to be blacked out to cover the NSW government’s failure to ensure adequate power for a hot summer. Bendigo residents were outraged that they should pay the price for NSW mistakes but they were lucky and kept their power.

NSW made its own Hazelwood mistake three years ago by allowing the Wallerawang power station to shut (it was about two thirds the size of Hazelwood) without ensuring the necessary investments were made to ensure supply during a hot summer. The owner of Wallerawang found that for long periods during the year the station was not required so made a commercial decision.

So if it’s a hot summer in 2017-18 who should be blacked out – Sydney or Melbourne? It will actually be determined by how the grid is operating but let me hypothetically intervene. I think it fair that NSW suffer one third and Victoria two thirds of the blackouts given that the Hazelwood closure is bigger than Wallerawang

The NSW and Victorian governments are also presiding over the fastest growing populations in the country, which is multiplying the effect of their vandalism.

South Australia made similar gambles and was caught with blackouts last summer (partly storm related) but now says it will go alone to secure its power. Businesses in South Australia have to decide whether to punt their government’s assurances or do what the businesses in NSW and Victoria must do and invest in back-up generation and/or batteries.

As I emphasised in last week’s series that it’s not a question of carbon or non-carbon energy. If governments want to go non-carbon then they must do the job properly and change the grid and have back up.

Both the NSW and Victorian governments need to get hold of the world’s best engineers to see what can be done to repair their vandalism. As I understand it there are alternatives even at this late stage. Meanwhile when the lights, computers and refrigerators go down at Point Piper, Cronulla and Kooyong I suspect the Commonwealth members for those areas (Turnbull, Morrison and Frydenberg) will get a big chunk of the blame for not declaring a state of emergency and keeping Hazelwood open by giving the French owner of the station some relief on the $1 billion rehabilitation that is required.

Turnbull needs to warn power users that prices must rise much further to cover the state government mistakes. Instead, he talks about lower prices.



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   main.html 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


10 April, 2017

New study links carbon pollution to extreme weather

This is more Pablum from that old Warmist apparatchik John Abraham, a professor of engineering whose arguments were notably torn apart by Lord Monckton. He has so often been refuted that one wonders why he still bothers.  I guess he wants to feel that he is a prophet who can save the world. 

The stuff below is just another set of models and assumptions with no known predictive power.  And it depends on false premises such as "As humans emit greenhouse gases, the planet warms".  Except that it doesn't.  What happened in the long hiatus from 1945 to 1975?  It is central to Warmist theory that CO2 levels rose steadily at that time.  But there was NO warming to go with it.  Abraham simply ignores what doesn't suit him

It was only a few weeks ago that I wrote about changes to extreme weather in a warming world. That prior article dealt with the increase of extreme precipitation events as the Earth warms. I termed the relationship a thermodynamic one; it was driven by local thermodynamic processes. But extreme weather can also occur because of large-scale changes to the atmosphere and oceans. This issue is the topic of another just-published paper that makes a convincing case for a whole new type of influence of humans on extreme weather. In a certain sense, this study confirms what was previously reported here and here. With the march of science, the tools, methods, and evidence get better each year.

Before getting into the study, a little background. The jet stream(s) are high-speed rivers of air that flow in the upper atmosphere. There’s more than one jet stream; they blow west to east and they mark the separation of zones of different temperatures. A good primer on jet streams is available here.

If you were to stand at the northern pole and travel southwards, you would experience a gradual increase in temperature. However, when you reached the first jet stream (the Polar Jet), temperatures would rapidly become warmer. That is, the Polar Jet separates two different temperature air regions. Typically, if you are north of the jet stream, you are in a colder zone whereas if you are south of the stream, it is warmer. Sometimes, the jet streams undulate as they encircle the planet and these undulations move. So, sometimes you happen to be in a position north and sometimes south of the stream, even though your location is fixed.

The interface between warm and cold temperatures creates a lot of weather-pattern changes. In addition, if the undulations of the streams become fixed, it means your weather patterns will get stuck. For instance, you could find yourself in an upward undulation for weeks or longer and experience warm and potentially dry weather. Alternatively, if your location is north of a stuck jet undulation, you may experience persistent cold weather. Perhaps even more importantly, these stuck waves can become larger in their magnitude.

So, scientists really want to know what affects these undulations – both their magnitudes and their persistence. We also want to know whether these undulations will change in a warming planet. This is precisely where the new study comes in. The researchers used both weather observations and climate models to answer these questions. What they found was very interesting.

Using measurements, the authors documented what conditions led to extreme weather patterns that persisted for extended durations. They found that many occur when the jet stream becomes stationary with the undulations stuck in place. They also saw that under certain situations, the jet stream undulations do not dissipate in time; they become trapped in a wave guide.

Interestingly, this pattern of a stuck jet stream would occur when the number of undulations was between six and eight. When these circumstances all lined up, according to study co-author Stefan Rahmstorf:

"the same weather persists for weeks on end in one region, then sunny days can turn into a serious heat wave and drought, and lasting rains can lead to flooding"

And this is also how humans come into the story. As humans emit greenhouse gases, the planet warms. We know that, we predicted it, and it is occurring. However, the warming is not uniform. The Arctic, for instance, is warming more rapidly than the rest of the planet. As a result, the temperature difference between the Arctic and the rest of the world is reducing. It is this temperature difference that maintains the jet stream patterns. As stated by lead author, Michael Mann:

The warming of the Arctic, the polar amplification of warming, plays a key role here. The surface and lower atmosphere are warming more in the arctic than anywhere else on the globe. That pattern projects onto the very temperature gradient profile that we identify as supporting atmospheric waveguide conditions.

The authors compared the observations to computer models and they found similar patterns. The authors went on to say in a press release:

Using the simulations, we demonstrate that rising greenhouse gases are responsible for the increase ... We are now able to connect the dots when it comes to human-caused global warming and an array of extreme recent weather events.

This is really where the science is. We know humans are causing climate change and we know that weather will change as this process evolves. What we really want to know is how human-caused climate change will influence extreme weather. It’s extreme weather like droughts, floods, heat waves, etc. that cause high social and economic costs. These authors have concluded a convincing study that connects the dots. Perhaps the study is best summarized by Michael Mann, who said:

We came as close as one can to demonstrating a direct link between climate change and a large family of extreme recent weather events.


UK: Every Climate Initiative Imposed On Us By Politicians Has Ended In Disaster

Christopher Booker

‘The truth is that every single green scheme the politicians have fallen for has proved to be a total fiasco: failing to achieve any of the results claimed for them and costing us more billions with every year that passes.’
Image result for GWPF climate change act Miliband

What a parable for our times the great diesel scandal has been, as councils vie to see which can devise the heaviest taxes on nearly half the cars in Britain because they are powered by nasty, polluting diesel.

This week, it was announced many diesel drivers will soon have to pay fully £24 a day to drive into Central London, while 35 towns across the country are thinking of following suit. Already some councils charge up to £90 more for a permit to park a diesel car.

The roots of this debacle go back to the heyday of Tony Blair’s government, when his chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, became obsessed with the need to fight global warming.

Although he was an expert in ‘surface chemistry’ — roughly speaking, the study of what happens when, for example, a liquid meets a gas — King had no qualifications in climate science.

On one occasion he famously told an environmental audit committee of MPs that the world was warming so dangerously fast that, by the end of this century, the only continent on earth left habitable would be Antarctica.

His light-bulb moment came when he learned that diesel emits less CO2 than petrol. What a brilliant way it would be to save the planet, he thought, to manipulate the tax system to encourage motorists to make the switch — which millions did.

And here we are 15 years later, being told that, as an unexpected side-effect, more than ten million diesel vehicles on Britain’s roads are chucking out so much nitrogen oxide and other toxic pollutants they are being linked to 12,000 premature deaths a year.

This is only the latest in a seemingly endless flow of examples of supposedly ‘green’ government schemes which, one after another, turn out to have been standing common sense on its head, at a cost which is rocketing up by billions of pounds a year.

There may be other competitors for the title of the greatest scandal in Britain today, but this is so crazy that it is time we all woke up to how damagingly mad it has become.

Nine years ago, MPs voted almost unanimously for then Labour minister Ed Miliband’s Climate Change Act, thus making Britain the only country in the world committed by law to cut its ‘carbon emissions’ by 80 per cent in just 40 years.

Not one of those politicians bothered to wonder how in practice such an absurdly ambitious target could be met: which is why we have since seen successive governments thrashing about trying to adopt one dotty ‘green’ scheme after another.

Last week, I was asked in conversation: ‘Why is it that almost all these green schemes seem to end up as a fiasco?’ To which I replied: ‘You’ve only got one word wrong there. You can leave out the word “almost”.’

The truth is that every single green scheme the politicians have fallen for has proved to be a total fiasco: failing to achieve any of the results claimed for them and costing us more billions with every year that passes.

Consider the scandal of Drax in Yorkshire, until recently the largest, cleanest, most efficient coal-fired power station in Europe. Now, thanks to an annual half-a-billion pounds of public subsidy, Drax has been switching from burning coal to millions of tons a year of wood pellets.

Absurdly, these are shipped 3,500 miles to Britain from the U.S., where vast acreages of virgin forest are being felled, supposedly to be replaced with new trees that will eventually soak up all the CO2 emitted by burning them.

Unfortunately, a bright spark has just pointed out in a report for a respected think-tank that it could take a replacement tree hundreds of years to grow to maturity — which would be far too long to have any supposed effect on any climate change. (It should be noted that the former coalition energy minister Chris Huhne, having been released from prison for perverting the course of justice over speeding points, became the European chairman of a firm called Zilkha Biomass, which makes its money supplying wood pellets from North America to Europe.)

The bottom line is that a new report has just confirmed that, far from reducing its CO2 footprint, Drax is now emitting more than it did when it was only burning coal.

Meanwhile, why is Northern Ireland going through its worst political crisis since the end of the Troubles? Because of the collapse of its power-sharing government over another green scheme, the Renewable Heat Incentive.

When businesses discovered that for every £100 they paid for wood chips to heat their offices, warehouses and factories, UK taxpayers would pay them £160 in subsidies, not surprisingly they kept their boilers running round the clock as if there were no tomorrow.

When it was discovered that, by 2020, we will have paid those businesses £1 billion — even to heat buildings left empty for years — this created such a scandal that it brought down the government.

That example made headlines, but the same is happening quietly in the rest of the country, too, where owners of large houses openly boast that they are running their boilers flat out, even in summer, to cash in on the racket which gives them a 60 per cent profit on every £1 they spend on wood chips.

Some of that wood is now coming from clearing priceless ancient woodlands, such as a National Trust estate in Cheshire which the charity plans to turn back into open heathland.

Another scandal created under the same scheme is the way canny developers are plonking down large industrial installations called ‘anaerobic digesters’ in the middle of the English countryside, to turn huge quantities of crops into small quantities of methane for the national gas grid.

Official figures show that, thanks to subsidies costing us more than £200 million a year, 131,000 acres of maize are now being grown to feed the anaerobic digesters, on land formerly used for food crops.

Separately, toxic spills of the ammonia that is used in the process have repeatedly poisoned livestock and fish in nearby fields and rivers.

Then there was the dream of ‘carbon capture and storage’, for which Gordon Brown’s government offered £4 billion for companies to come up with a way of removing CO2 from the coal and gas used to make electricity, and then piping it away for burial in holes under the North Sea.

Only one Scottish power station took up the offer, spending £1 billion before it discovered that it didn’t work.

But even though geologists say it can never work, the Government still talks about it as the only way it can allow coal and gas-fired power plants — which still supply more than half our electricity — to stay in business.

Consider, too, the not-so brilliant idea of bribing motorists to switch to supposedly ‘green’ all-electric cars. So far, this has cost us more than £50 million in subsidies, for the mere 50,000 cars which have been sold, at £25,000 or more a time. This is only a fraction of the 26 million cars on Britain’s roads.

And what gets cynically hidden by the authorities is that much of the electricity used to charge their batteries comes, of course, from fossil fuels. Add in emissions from the manufacturing process and, unsurprisingly, these vehicles give out more CO2 than they are claimed to save.

Yet under the latest ‘carbon budget’, a five-yearly environmental plan nodded through by MPs to meet our commitments under Miliband’s misguided Climate Change Act, they still fondly imagine that, within 13 years, 60 per cent of all Britain’s cars will be electric. [...]

When we consider that colossal sum, most of us may well conclude that our politicians must have gone completely off their heads.

Except that, alas, our MPs live in such a bubble of unreality that few will even have looked at those terrifying figures, let alone at what they are allowing our money to be spent on.

It was exactly a year ago that Theresa May’s joint chief of staff Nick Timothy described the Climate Change Act as ‘a monstrous act of national self-harm’. It is high time his boss realised just how chillingly right he was.


Electric plane fantasy

By the 2020's, a new startup is planning on building a fleet of hybrid electric jets to fly between regional airports in the United States. Zunum Aero, with the backing of some major airlines, wants to finally make electric flying possible.

Just coming out of stealth mode, the Washington-state based company looks to make short trips, like flights to Boston to Washington, DC, or San Francisco to Los Angeles, with no need to refuel. The company believes this could reduce the costs of these short flights by 40 to even 80 percent.

The first class of aircraft will be small with a 10-passenger capacity and a range of up to 700 miles on a single charge. The Zunum (which apparently is a derivation of "tzunuum," the Mayan word for hummingbird) planes will have hybrid electric motors, a capacity to accept recharging power from a variety of sources, and hopefully a thirty-year lifespan.

The company expects electric batteries to improve as time goes on, so that by the 2030's they could build planes seating up to 50 passengers capable of 1,000 miles on a single charge, allowing for multi-region flights, like Portland, Oregon to L.A.

"We're entering the golden era where we'll have high-speed links to every community on the backs of quiet, sustainable hybrid-electric technology," CEO Ashish Kumar tells The Verge. "And that's going to happen really fast."

Kumar has won the confidence of fellow Washington-based aerospace giant Boeing, as well as JetBlue Technology Ventures, a subsidiary of JetBlue Airways, both of which have invested in the company. Kumar has not released the size of either investment, Zunum, which has been at work on the concept for three years.

Electric airplanes have many complexities that cars don't. Weight is exponentially more important in the air than on the ground, but Zunum completed work on its powertrain and preliminary design of its aircraft, saying it's now in "build phase."


Climate Change Fan Fiction From LA Times: Global Warming Caused The Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill

Environmentalists have pinned every one of Earth’s calamities on the presence of climate change, from terrorism to prostitution to drug addiction. Running out of chilling subject matter, activists are now retroactively blaming famous disasters on global warming in a crusade to punish “dissenters.”

A few years back, the Energy and Environment Reporting Project at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism wrote a series of pieces in the Los Angeles Times claiming that oil giant Exxon had engaged in a decades-long conspiracy to conceal the link between fossil fuels and climate change.

The entire series was thin gruel, but read it for yourself. You may immediately recognize reporters who are working backwards from preconceived notions. Broadly speaking, the series is predicated on the idea that corporations have a responsibility to embrace the most far-fetched and apocalyptic conclusions about global warming — notoriously unpredictable even for those who buy worst-case scenarios — and then peddle those predictions as fact.

The series was an excuse for a number of attorneys general — most notably, anti-free-speech advocate Eric Schneiderman of New York — to retroactively punish with investigations companies that failed to adopt liberal political positions on global warming. It was also meant as a warning for the future. What’s most ludicrous about these efforts is that they rely on a mythology: if only Americans had been aware of this crazy phenomena called “global warming,” they would have immediately abandoned all the comforts of modern life.

In any event, the tactic has not worked, for many reasons, including impediments like the pesky First Amendment. So the Energy and Environment Reporting Project at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and the Los Angeles Times rolled up their sleeves and created another piece of activism to buttress the cause.

Most of us remember the 1989 Exxon-Valdez oil spill, which was one of the costliest oil-spill disasters in history. The massive environmental destruction it inflicted on Alaska cost Exxon a total of $3.5 billion in cleanup and court costs it’s still paying off. It remains the second largest U.S. oil spill after Deepwater Horizon.

Well, The Los Angeles Times now claims the Valdez struck Bligh Reef because the Columbia Glacier had been shedding icebergs. So, in short, the Valdez crashed into a reef (not the ice) in Prince William’s Bay because Exxon had failed to warn people in 1989 about the dangers of global warming. This is so preposterous, the piece will probably win a Pulitzer.

First off, using this calculus, anyone can blame basically anything that happens to them on climate change. Did you avoid a puddle when you hit that telephone pole? Sue Exxon!

Somehow, since 1989, thousands of tankers have been able to ship oil from Alaska to California and avoid hitting the reef, even with the presence of a bay “riddled with icebergs” that were allegedly caused by Exxon failing to take responsibility for anthropomorphic global warming in 1980s.

You can read about the Valdez disaster all day long — the lawsuits and the stories and the investigations — and nowhere, as far as I can tell, will you ever run across the claim that the Valdez disaster had anything to do with Exxon denying climate change.

The Alaska Oil Spill Commission mentioned nothing about the icebergs in the bay being out of the ordinary. In its final report, the commission says “small icebergs from nearby Columbia Glacier occasionally enter the traffic lanes.” Nor did the government report blame ice. According to the National Transportation Board investigation, the crew was overworked and the radar system was not working correctly.

Who knows? Maybe the slight increase in temperature that day enticed the captain of Valdez to go binge drinking? Sue Exxon!

None of this is journalism — not even opinion journalism. It’s activism. It’s a concerted effort to rewrite history and create a new Big Tobacco.

Step one: Activists at the Rockefeller Family Fund help underwrite a partnership between the Energy and Environmental Reporting Project and the Los Angeles Times. According to The Wall Street Journal, part of the foundation’s broader agenda is “to establish in public’s mind that Exxon is a corrupt institution that has pushed humanity (and all creation) toward climate chaos and grave harm.”

Step two: Working from this starting point, The Los Angeles Times delivers the goods. (Now, that’s not to say that a story can’t have merit because a journalist is funded by a think tank or activist group. It’s to say that writing a story claiming the Exxon-Valdez oil spill was caused by global warming is a transparent way to create ammunition for a political crusade.)

Step three: The corrupt New York state AG coordinates with the Rockefeller Family Fund and uses the stories they funded to launch his politically motivated thought-police investigations.

Oil corporations should, of course, be held responsible for the messes they create. I don’t believe any reasonable person would disagree. But until humans stop running things, there will always be calamities and accidents. So we can debate the importance of fighting climate change. You can continue to mock “deniers.” But you can’t rewrite history to suit your contemporary political needs.

SOURCE.  A thorough debunking of the claim here

Off to a bumbling start at Interior

If this is the kind of housecleaning and swamp draining we’re going to get, we’re in real trouble

Paul Driessen

Was it because there were too few senior Trump Administration officials in place to catch and stop it? Or because Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was new on the job, and had so much on his plate, that this decision just slipped right past him?

Maybe it was because the new Administration faces so many battles with environmental activists already that it didn’t want another one?  Or perhaps Interior was intimidated by environmentalist lawsuits challenging President Trump’s 60-day delay of newly-issued Obama Administration regulations?

Whatever the reason, Trump’s Interior Department opened a real can of worms when it let the Obama Administration’s last-minute endangered species designation for the rusty patched bumblebee (RPB) take effect March 21 – exactly 60 days after President Trump issued his regulatory Executive Order.

The designation has serious adverse implications for Mr. Trump’s ambitious plans for infrastructure improvements, economic growth, job creation, and reining in regulatory abuse and overreach.

Already, officials in the Minneapolis area have delayed a road construction project – purportedly near a patch of potential RPB habitat – while they look for signs that the bees are actually nesting there. Another Minnesota group is trying to use hypothetical threats to RPBs to delay construction of a wastewater treatment plant that would prevent pollution from reaching sensitive state waterways!

And this is just the beginning. It will happen again and again as anti-development agitators use this designation to theorize that construction projects and even farming operations could risk harming an “endangered” bee species or its possible habitats.

In issuing the “endangered” designation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) advised that “The rusty patched bumblebee is likely to be present in scattered locations that cover only 0.1% of the species’ historical range.” Thus, government agencies need only be consulted or issue a permit for developers to “take” (disturb, harm or kill) the bees in these limited areas.

However, 0.1% of the RPB’s historic range is still an area of roughly 6,000 square miles: 3.8 million acres – equivalent to all of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. And that’s just the beginning.

The real kicker is that no one knows where that 0.1% area might be, scattered in tiny bits and pieces all across the 13 Northeast and Midwest states where the rusty patched bumblebee has supposedly been observed (by amateur entomologists) since 2000. That’s 378 million acres: equal to the combined land area of Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana!

That’s partly because the Obama FWS issued the endangered species designation without developing any protocols for actually identifying the ground-dwelling bee’s nesting sites. They could be anywhere in that 13-state area – which means environmentalists could delay, block or bankrupt every new power line, bridge, highway, pipeline, housing development, plowing operation or other project in the affected states.

The decision gives eco-obstructionists another powerful weapon against projects they oppose. They’ve already proven they are smart, determined, coordinated, well-funded opponents of President Trump’s infrastructure, energy, job and economic improvement agendas. Why give them more power?

Even worse, this insect designation opens the floodgates. Whether Secretary Zinke realizes it or not, waiting in the obstructionist wings, right behind the rusty patched bumblebee, are two more bumblebee species whose potential habitats spread across 40 states. The yellow-banded bumblebee has been found all the way from Montana east to New England, and down the Atlantic coast to Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina. The western bumblebee’s range includes the entire block of eleven western states plus parts of Alaska: nearly a billion acres.

Put together, we’re talking about nearly half of the United States!

That’s a monstrous new complication for property owners, states and communities – and for the Trump Administration’s economic plans – at the end of a long, painful decade of economic doldrums that require concerted efforts to get job and economic growth back on track. And there’s even more to come.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says over one-fourth of 47 native North American bumblebee species face possible extinction. Other radical greens now claim hundreds of wild bee species are “threatened with” or “headed for” extinction. The Center for Biological Diversity asserts that 749 wild bee species are in decline, and half of them face serious risk of extinction.

Real entomologists dispute this. A recent article notes that the CBD report was not peer-reviewed and presented no methodologies or data sources. It quotes Sam Droege, one of North America’s top wild bee experts, who calls the report “extremely misleading” and full of “statistical, taxonomic and natural history problems.” Assertions that some species are in decline are simply false and not based on any evidence, Droege explained. For other species, there simply is not enough data to make any accurate assessment.

This is the Pandora’s box that Secretary Zinke’s Department of the Interior has unleashed, by failing to keep a lid on the FWS actions or review the Obama Administration’s politically motivated, hurry-up designation. In fact, Zinke’s department had ample reason to revise the rusty patched bumblebee designation on January 9, when Team Obama announced its plans. The DOI just bumbled it.

When the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation originally petitioned the FWS for an RPB endangered species designation, it said the species’ decline was due to habitat loss and disease – specifically an intestinal parasite that was accidentally imported to the USA from Europe in the 1990s, during experiments on managed bumblebee hives. But Obama’s FWS arbitrarily contorted its justifications to blame pesticides (specifically advanced-technology neonicotinoid pesticides, a key target du jour of the Environmental Left) for the bee’s decline. There is virtually no evidence to support that.

“The exact cause for the loss of the rusty patched is unclear,” says University of Virginia biology professor T’ai Roulston, “but it’s almost certainly related to disease: the Nosema bombi fungal gut parasite, which can shorten the lives of worker bees and disrupt mating success and survival of queens and males.”

Even more absurd and outrageous, the same Obama USFWS has given wind turbine companies permits to kill hundreds of bald and golden eagles – and thousands of raptors, other birds and bats, many of them threatened or endangered – every year for the next 30 years. So now the mere possibility that insect species could inhabit tiny areas across hundreds of millions of acres can be used to shut down projects, but the FWS will ignore wind turbines that are “incidentally” or “accidentally” killing eagles.

Now that Secretary Zinke has let the rusty patched bumblebee endangered species designation take effect, what should he do? To paraphrase the physician’s oath, “First, do no more harm.”

The new Interior team needs to make doubly sure that no more of these dubious “endangered species” designations slip past them, especially when the less onerous and disruptive, but still protective, status of “threatened species” is available. Secretary Zinke should also take a long, hard look at the supposed justifications for the RPB’s endangered designation, and modify or reverse it as warranted. Terminating or “clean-desking” a few Fish & Wildlife ideologues and IED makers would also be in order.

Meanwhile, the House and Senate should evaluate this designation and its employment, economic and land use implications, pass a “joint resolution of disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act, and send it to the White House. President Trump should sign it forthwith, and support one more vital action.

In the hands of agitators, ideological bureaucrats and friendly judges, the Endangered Species Act has become a powerful weapon for controlling land use and obstructing projects. Reforming the act, to curb this kind of nonsense and abuse, would be a good next step once these immediate problems are fixed.

Via email

Retiring Staffer Claims EPA Employees Were ‘Insulted’ By Trump’s Recent Visit

Weren't public servants supposed to be impartial?

A retiring Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee said career staff were “frankly insulted” when President Donald Trump visited agency headquarters to sign an executive order rolling back global warming policies.

Michael Cox, a retiring EPA staffer who worked on global warming programs, wrote in a letter to Administrator Scott Pruitt that it “was beyond comprehension that an administration could be so arrogant and callous.”

Trump visited EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., in late March to sign an executive order asking the agency to review the Clean Power Plan (CPP) — an Obama-era regulation limiting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

The CPP was the cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s “Climate Action Plan.” Trump’s order also eliminated Obama-era directives to federal agencies on global warming and a Department of the Interior moratorium on new coal mining leases on federal lands.

Cox says these actions were an insult to EPA employees who work on these issues. Previous news reports highlighted the tension between career staffers and the Trump administration.

One former EPA official suggested career staff would boycott Trump if he ever visited the agency. That’s on top of reports staffers sent encrypted text messages to resist the administration’s goal, and news that employees would slow-walk or even ignore orders.

One unnamed EPA employee told ProPublica “more than a few friends were ‘coming to work in tears’ each morning as they grappled with balancing the practical need to keep their jobs with their concerns for the issues they work on.”

“One of the main purposes of my letter was to really get across to Administrator Pruitt that for him to be successful … the career staff have to really be a part of that whole thing,” Cox told Politico.

Cox’s letter comes after a leaked budget document revealed more details about where the Trump administration is looking to cut. The White House recommended cutting EPA’s budget 31 percent and reducing its workforce by 20 percent, or 3,200 employees.

Among those let go could be 224 full-time employees in EPA’s Climate Protection Program, according to the leaked memo. Cutting those positions would save $70 million.

Pruitt is set to meet with Trump in the White House Tuesday afternoon. It’s unclear exactly what the two will discuss, but budget issues and the recent executive order are likely topics.

Pruitt and Trump could also talk about nominating political appointees to fill positions at EPA. Republicans have expressed concern over not having political appointees in place to help Pruitt carry out Trump’s agenda.

“It’s not shaping out as well as it should,” Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe told Politico. “They’re not there yet where they can be very productive.”



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   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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


9 April, 2017

Australia: Cyclone Debbie snookers coral reef panic merchants

There had been daily predictions of doom for the GBR from the usual suspects.  It turns out that the cyclone was actually GOOD  for the reef. But false prophecies are a dime a dozen from the Green/Left so that is just a minor thing.  Far more interesting is what current tourist divers on the reef are saying.  It turns out that the Greenies declare a stretch of reef as bleached even if the bleaching is confined to a few small patches.  When have you ever heard mention of patchwork bleaching from Greenies? And what is left once you stop obsessing about those patches is still magnificent: "A million times better than the Mediterranean."

CYCLONE Debbie has been a breath of fresh air for coral bleaching on the hardest-hit parts of the Great Barrier Reef.

As the category-four storm wreaked havoc on Australia’s east coast, it also brought blessed relief to a mass coral die-off on prime tourist dive sites in the Coral Sea.

Surveys of the Ribbon reefs off Lizard Island this week show a dramatic drop of up to 3C in coral-killing sea surface temperatures off the state’s ­remote far-north.

“Cyclone Debbie looks like the turning point to allow the Reef to bounce back from this mass coral bleaching event,’’ marine biologist Jess Walker said. “With water temperatures down to about 28C, there will be less stress on the coral, less chance of bleaching, and less chance of coral mortality.’’

Free-diver Audrey Buchholzer, of France, on a three-day dive expedition aboard the Spirit of Freedom in the Coral Sea, said she was stunned by the “flashy” colours and ­kaleidoscope of marine life on the outer reef.

“I had to see it with my own eyes,’’ the 24-year-old said. “I’d heard negative reports the Reef was dead. That’s not true. There are patches of dead and bleached coral, but so much of it is alive and thriving. “It is an underwater wonderland,” she said.

Fellow diver Jennifer Petrie 31, of London, was disappointed to see the Great Barrier Reef is not like it was depicted in Finding Nemo.

“There was lots of dead bits, but still a lot of beauty,’’ she said. “It’s a million times better than the Mediterranean.”


Warmist can't even get vague generalities right

The head of the AMS has written a letter to Congress in which he pretends that what scientists should in general be doing is actually being done.  But it is not

The stars have aligned for a long-awaited debate about US climate, which was sparked by the March 29 hearing by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology: “Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method”. Previous posts described earlier volleys.  Today we see a letter by the Executive Director of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), Dr. Keith L. Seitter,  to the House Committee (PDF copy). A response follows by an eminent climate scientist.

Dear Chairman Smith:

The AMS was pleased to read in your opening remarks for the 29 March 2017 hearing …that you “believe the climate is changing and that humans play a role.” This captures, correctly, that people are causing climate to change. Your question on the extent of human influence is one that has been actively addressed by the scientific community on a continuing basis as we extend our knowledge of the climate system.

The scientific community has learned a great deal about Earth’s climate system over the past several decades, applying the scientific method rigorously to data analysis and to understanding the physical processes that affect global temperature and other aspects of climate change. Hypotheses have been developed and tested through scientific experiments. The results are then systematically challenged and synthesized through open debate in scientific conferences and the peer-reviewed literature. Critically, independent scientists are rewarded for uncovering flaws or shortcomings in the work of their colleagues, so the scientific process is inherently self-correcting over time. Results that withstand scrutiny, validation, and replication by independent researchers are the basis of our physical understanding of how the climate changes.

We can now say with very high levels of confidence, based on literally thousands of independent research efforts and multiple independent lines of evidence, that most of the warming our planet has experienced over the past 50 years is due to human activity. Indeed, to suggest that humans are not responsible for most of the warming we have experienced over the past 50 years indicates a disregard for the scientific process and the vast amount of testable evidence that has been amassed on this subject.

A fundamental aspect of science is prediction. The ability to predict the precise time and location of the swath of totality for a solar eclipse — many years in advance — based on our understanding of celestial physics is just one example of a success story for science. Another, from the AMS community of scientists, is our increasing ability to forecast the weather, and especially highly impactful severe weather, days in advance. This capability is a combination of increased understanding of the physical processes that influence weather; increased observational capabilities that provide the present state of the atmosphere, oceans, land surfaces, etc.; and increased computational power to take advantage of that physical understanding and observational data.

It is inconceivable that a human disaster like the Galveston hurricane of 1900 would occur today thanks to the observational and predictive power of the weather enterprise. Having predictive capabilities has been critical in reducing the loss of life and property, as well as reducing economic disruption from severe weather events.

As a reflection of the distribution of weather, climate is influenced by the same physical processes and our increasing understanding of those processes provides an increasing capability to project future changes in climate. While the characteristics of weather that matter to us most have inherent limits of predictability on the order of weeks, our understanding of the climate system shows us that projections of climate change over many years are possible. As noted in the AMS Statement on Climate Change:

“Climate projections for decades into the future are made using complex numerical models of the climate system that account for changes in the flow of energy into and out of the Earth system on time scales much longer than the predictability limit (of about two weeks) for individual weather systems. The difference between weather and climate is critically important in considering predictability. Climate is potentially predictable for much longer time scales than weather for several reasons.

“One reason is that climate can be meaningfully characterized by seasonal-to-decadal averages and other statistical measures, and the averaged weather is more predictable than individual weather events. A helpful analogy in this regard is that population averages of human mortality are predictable while life spans of individuals are not. A second reason is that climate involves physical systems and processes with long time scales, including the oceans and snow and ice, while weather largely involves atmospheric phenomena (e.g., thunderstorms, intense snow storms) with short time scales. A third reason is that climate can be affected by slowly changing factors such as human-induced changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere, which alter the natural greenhouse effect.”

Climate models simulate the important aspects of climate and climate change based on fundamental physical laws of motion, thermodynamics, and radiative transfer. These models report on how climate would change in response to several specific “scenarios” for future greenhouse gas emission possibilities.

Future climate change projections have uncertainties that occur for several reasons — because of differences among models, because long-term predictions of natural variations (e.g., volcanic eruptions and El Niño events) are not possible, and because it is not known exactly how greenhouse gas emissions will evolve in future decades. Future emissions will depend on global social and economic development, and on the extent and impact of activities designed to reduce greenhouse gas and black carbon emissions.

While the uncertainties inherent in climate projections mean the climate will never be as predictable as a solar eclipse, the basis of those projections on known physical processes allows the scientific process to be applied rigorously, which leads to increasing confidence in the envelope of possible future climate scenarios those projections provide.

The AMS community recognizes the critical importance of developing climate change policy based on the best possible information. We stand ready to assist you and the House Science Committee to ensure that the best available scientific knowledge and understanding on climate and climate change are used in policy issues facing the nation.

———————- End Letter. ———————-

A comment about the Director’s logic:

The core of it presents something resembling a syllogism.

Astronomers can accurately predict solar eclipses far in advance.
Meteorologists can accurately predict weather days in advance.
“{P}rojections of climate change over many years are possible.”
“{T}he basis of those projections on known physical processes allows the scientific process to be applied rigorously”.
“{W}hich leads to increasing confidence in the envelope of possible future climate scenarios those projections provide.”

But Dr. Seitter draws no conclusion for Chairman Smith from this chain of statements. Does this “increasing confidence” mean low but getting better — or high confidence, providing a sufficient basis for making vital public policy? They have different implications for Congress when making policy.

A climate scientist responds to the Director:

Professor Roger Pielke Sr. (bio below) sent the House committee a response to Dr. Seitter’s letter, looking at key excerpts.

(1)  “Hypotheses have been developed and tested through scientific experiments.”

This is incorrect. They are not doing “experiments” but are performing model-model comparisons (e.g. with and without added CO2) which is a fundamentally flawed approach as the a priori assumption is made that the natural runs are skillful. They have not, however, shown that skill. When hindcast multi-decadal model predictions are made (in which when the models are not constrained by real world observations) they do poorly as documented in numerous studies in the literature). See the ones listed in my powerpoint: “A New Paradigm for Assessing the Role of Humanity in the Climate System and in Climate Change” (2017).

(2) “Critically, independent scientists are rewarded for uncovering flaws or shortcomings in the work of their colleagues, so the scientific process is inherently self-correcting over time.”

Hardly, as exemplified by how Michael Mann behaved at the Hearing. If scientists object to the framing that Seitter presents in the letter, they are vilified or ignored. They are subsequently excluded from committees, etc that develop AMS statements and other assessments. Judy Curry and John Christy have clearly articulated this groupthink.

(3) “We can now say with very high levels of confidence, based on literally thousands of independent research efforts and multiple independent lines of evidence, that most of the warming our planet has experienced over the past 50 years is due to human activity. Indeed, to suggest that humans are not responsible for most of the warming we have experienced over the past 50 years indicates a disregard for the scientific process and the vast amount of testable evidence that has been amassed on this subject.”

This conclusion is based on the flawed assumption that the models without including added CO2 (and aerosols) can accurately predict the natural climate system. They cannot. Thus the claim of attribution is not scientifically rigorous.

(4)  “Another, from the AMS community of scientists, is our increasing ability to forecast the weather, and especially highly impactful severe weather, days in advance.”

I agree, major advancements have been made. But they do not translate over into longer range forecasts, even seasonal as exemplified by the failure to predict the extreme rains in California this past winter.

(5) “As a reflection of the distribution of weather, climate is influenced by the same physical processes and our increasing understanding of those processes provides an increasing capability to project future changes in climate.”

This is wrong. Climate involves many more processes (biogeochemical, cryospheric etc) which are not important on multi-day time periods. Weather models also have initial real world observations which constrain the model predictions until that knowledge is lost as the forecast evolves. Multi-decadal climate predictions have no such constraint.

(6)  He gives this excerpt from the AMS Statement text (which was made by a small subset of AMS members and not voted on by the members): “Climate is potentially predictable for much longer time scales than weather for several reasons. One reason is that climate can be meaningfully characterized by seasonal-to-decadal averages and other statistical measures, and the averaged weather is more predictable than individual weather events.”

This is also in error. The statement assumes a difference in weather and climate that does not exist. It is just the averaging time for the forecasts that matter. With weather, it is daily average temperature, for example, while for climate it could be decadal average temperature. Analyses of longer term climate data show large variations and step changes even in decadal averaged climate data.

(7) The Statement also says “A second reason is that climate involves physical systems and processes with long time scales.”

He does not even seem to realize that the climate system also includes biological and chemical parts of the climate system, as was reported on in “Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties” by the National Research Council, 2005.

(8) “Climate models simulate the important aspects of climate and climate change based on fundamental physical laws of motion, thermodynamics, and radiative transfer.”

This is easy to show as wrong. The models have a fundamental part (e.g. pressure gradient force, advection,gravity) but clouds, precipitation, radiative flux divergence, turbulence, vegetation and so forth) are all parameterized using tuned constants and coefficients). I discuss this for one type of weather model is my book Mesoscale Meteorological Modeling (2013). The climate models are, therefore, not fundamental tools and it is erroneous to make such a claim. These models are the basis for claims on the dominance of added CO2 in changing regional and global climate.

(9)  “These models report on how climate would change in response to several specific “scenarios” for future greenhouse gas emission possibilities.”

The assumption that climate models accurately predict changes in climate due to increases in just one human climate forcing is absurd. The real world climate system has more variations on multi-decadal time periods than those models produce and there are a variety of other human climate forcings that Seitter neglects. Even the AMS itself has a Statement to show this: “Inadvertent Weather Modification” (Nov 2010). I was on this Committee. But Seitter ignored it.

Thus, I urge Congressman Smith to look at Keith Seitter’s letter very critically.

About the author

Roger Pielke Sr. is currently a Senior Research Scientist in Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science. He is also an Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, and now serves there as a Senior Research Associate.


Enough Protection Already

“Trump may have just signed a death warrant for our planet!” warns CNN host Van Jones.

“Disaster for Clean Water, Air,” says the Environmental Working Group.

Give me a break.

Regulation zealots and much of the media are furious because President Donald Trump canceled Barack Obama’s attempt to limit carbon dioxide emissions. But Trump did the right thing.

CO2 is what we exhale. It’s not a pollutant. It is, however, a greenhouse gas, and such gases increase global warming. It’s possible that this will lead to a spiral of climate change that will destroy much of Earth!

But probably not. The science is definitely not settled.

Either way, Obama’s expensive regulation wouldn’t make a discernible difference. By 2030 — if it met its goal — it might cut global carbon emissions by 1 percent.

The Earth will not notice.

However, people who pay for heat and electricity would notice. The Obama rule demanded power plants emit less CO2. Everyone would pay more — for no useful reason.

I say “would” because the Supreme Court put a “stay” on the regulation, saying there may be no authority for it.

So Trump proposes a sensible cut: He’ll dump an Obama proposal that was already dumped by courts. He’d also reduce Environmental Protection Agency spending by 31 percent.


Some of what regulators do now resembles the work of sadists who like crushing people. In Idaho, Jack and Jill Barron tried to build a house on their own property. Jack got permission from his county. So they started building.

They got as far as the foundation when the EPA suddenly declared that the Barrons’ property was a “wetland.”

Some of their land was wet. But that was only because state government had not maintained its own land, adjacent to the Barrons’ property, and water backed up from the state’s land to the Barrons’.

The EPA suddenly said, “You are building on a wetland!” and filed criminal charges against them. Felonies. When government does that, most of us cringe and give up. It costs too much to fight the state. Government regulators seem to have unlimited time and nearly unlimited money.

But Jack was mad enough to fight. He spent $200,000 on his own lawyers.  Three years later, a jury cleared Jack of all charges. But even that didn’t stop the EPA.

Jill Barron told me, “We won, but after we were home for a month maybe, the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA sent us another letter saying, ‘how nice for you that you won in the criminal court, but we still feel it’s a wetlands.’ And the decision made by the jury did not matter to them. ‘And if you don’t get off the property, we’re going to fine you (in) civil (court).'”

The EPA threatened a fine of $37,500 a day. The Barrons sold their home and moved into a trailer.  “We’ll be bankrupt, obviously.” Jill told me, “You have no idea what you’re up against. You don’t know the power that is the EPA.”

So I’m glad that Trump wants to limit the EPA. Scott Pruitt, the agency’s new director, understands that bureaucrats often abuse their power. When he was Oklahoma attorney general, he sued the EPA 13 times for regulatory overreach. I hope he cuts the bureaucrats back to proper size.

The agency was necessary in 1970, when it was created. At the time, cities dumped whatever we flushed into nearby waterways — with no treatment.

Smokestacks filled the air with actual pollutants: soot, sulfur dioxide, etc. In New York City, we didn’t dare leave windows open because filth would blow in.

The EPA required sewage treatment, scrubbers in smokestacks and catalytic converters in car exhaust systems. The regulations worked. America’s air and water is cleaner than it’s been for decades. I can even swim in the Hudson River, right next to millions of people — who are still flushing.

Now, in a rational world, the EPA would say, “Stick a fork in it, it’s done! EPA now stands for ‘ Enough Protection Already.'” But bureaucracies never say they’re done. “Done” means bureaucrats are out of work. Can’t have that.

So politicians keep adding unnecessary new rules and keep harassing people like the Barrons.


EPA Getting Its Just Deserts 

A recent headline in the LA Times reads, “At Trump’s EPA, going to work can be an act of defiance.” The article focuses on complaints from Environmental Protection Agency employees who find themselves in a state of despair “with morale plummeting … since President Trump took office.” Evidently, numerous employees at the agency have been calling former EPA California regional office director Jared Blumenfeld looking to find work elsewhere. Blumenfeld says, “The number one call I get everyday is, ‘Jared, can you help us find work somewhere else?’” There were also reports surfacing days after Trump’s inauguration of EPA employees “coming to work in tears.”

Experiencing a change in management can be challenging, but juxtaposed to distress experienced by many Americans who have been abused by the EPA’s unchecked power it quite simply doesn’t even compare.

Trump’s agenda is to cut the bloated bureaucracy down to size and challenge what has become an increasingly leftist bent within the agency. That could downsize the agency’s workforce by some 3,000. No one likes to lose their job, but how many thousands of Americans have lost their jobs due to the EPA’s heavy-handed unilateral action in the creation of oppressive business killing regulations under the dubious guise of fighting climate change? Or what about the litany of individuals who have lost their property rights due to the EPA’s action in declaring their private property to be protected lands? That’s followed by steep fines should property owners dare to engage in responsible use and development of their own land. The EPA complains of Trump being opposed to “science,” but in reality it is the EPA that has increasingly favored politically leftist pseudo-scientific policy over and against sound-scientific practice and policy. The agency has routinely hidden its research findings while continuing to press for increasingly burdensome “environmentally friendly” regulations.

The EPA has been the schoolyard bully for far too long and with Trump effectively hitting the agency in its proverbial nose, its career bureaucrats now seek sympathy as they sit and cry about how unfair life is.


Ireland going wishy washy on climate change

The State climate change watchdog says the Government’s draft plan for reducing carbon emissions lacks substance, detail and analysis about how the objectives are to be achieved.

John FitzGerald, chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council, says there must be “substantial changes” in the final version of the National Mitigation Plan due for publication in June.

However, Prof Fitzgerald he warns that delays that mean the draft version was only published 12 days ago will limit the council’s ability to offer useful advice for the final document.

The long overdue plan — the first climate action plan in 10 years — is meant to map the way for Ireland to drastically reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and cut the associated carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, as required by the EU.

Prof FitzGerald signalled the council’s concerns about it in a letter to Minister for Communications, Climate, and the Environment Denis Naughten on March 7, a week before the draft version was published.

He wrote in anticipation that the document would fall short of what was required to make clear the steps that must be taken by industry, transport, farming and the domestic sectors.

He said at the weekend that nothing in the draft subsequently published did anything to allay the council’s concerns.

In the letter, Prof FitzGerald had written that the council wanted the plan to “address the achievement of the 2050 national transition objective in a substantive manner”.

“The Council would expect to see further and more detailed analysis of policies,” he wrote, adding that this would require “analysis of costs and benefits of historic, current and planned policies; analysis of barriers to implementation; and analysis of projections for how far away Ireland is from meeting agreed emissions targets as a result of current and new actions under the National Mitigation Plan.”

Since seeing the draft, he was not reassured. “They did not deal with the issues which we raised in terms of them showing a path to 2050 so the points, I’m afraid, have not been addressed,” he said.

Prof FitzGerald added that the council had previously made the same points in their first annual report published last November.   “Then we reiterated it in the letter [of March 7] more clearly and I’m afraid there’s still a long way to go,” said Prof FitzGerald.

The letter also referred to the delays in publishing the plan.  "These delays limit the time available for the council to consider the draft National Mitigation Plan and, therefore, to provide meaningful advice to you as Minister with responsibility for the Plan, and to other Ministers who are responsible for key sectoral mitigation plans,” he said.

The draft plan is out for public consultation until the end of next month and there is a statutory obligation to finalise it by mid-June.

“Our concern in terms of timing is that for us to provide good comments on the National Mitigation Plan we need quite some time to do research because our comments will be based on evidence rather than back of the envelope calculations,” said Prof FitzGerald.



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   main.html 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, 2017

A regurgitation from the Earth Institute of Columbia university

It was written by Renee Cho, an apparatchik for the Earth Institute, a woman in her middle years with slight academic qualifications.  It appeared under the heading "How We Know Today’s Climate Change Is Not Natural"

It is just a regurgitation of common Warmist talking points with absolutely no apparent interest in the truth of those talking points.  It is too trivial an emission to warrant a thorough fisking but just a few points will show how low is the intellectual quality of her effort on behalf of Columbia.

She says: "97 percent of working climate scientists agree" but gives no reference for that assertion.  The reference is of course to the work of John Cook, an Australian psychologist.  If she had read Cook's paper she would know that two thirds of climate scientists took no position on anthropogenic global warming.  Only one third did, which is 33%, not 97%.  A big difference.  There is NO consensus.

She says: "Antarctic ice sheets are decreasing in mass".  They are not.  Even Warmist scientists such as Zwally concede that the Anarctic overall is gaining mass.

Then she goes on to the tired old nonsense about Methane.  What she says of Methane is only true in the laboratory, not in the actual atmosphere.  The radiative frequencies CH4 intercepts are also absorbed by the much more plentiful water vapor so any  effect methane might have is heavily masked.

And so it goes.  The whole thing is amateurish trash with no regard for the truth.  If that represents Columbia, Columbia has fallen far.  I reproduce below only the first half of it

Last week, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, chaired by climate contrarian Lamar Smith, R-Texas, held a hearing on climate science. The hearing featured three scientists who are dubious about the conclusions of the majority of climate scientists, and climate scientist Michael Mann, best known for his “hockey stick graph” of temperatures over the last thousand years illustrating the impact of humans on global warming.

This week, Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency administrator, who had said that human activity was not the primary contributor to global warming, acknowledged that it plays a role—but stressed the need to figure out exactly how much of one.

Despite the many climate “skeptics” in key positions of power today, 97 percent of working climate scientists agree that the warming of Earth’s climate over the last 100 years is mainly due to human activity that has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Why are they so sure?

Earth’s climate has changed naturally over the past 650,000 years, moving in and out of ice ages and warm periods. Changes in climate occur because of alterations in Earth’s energy balance, which result from some kind of external factor or “forcing”—an environmental factor that influences the climate. The ice ages and shifting climate were caused by a combination of changes in solar output, Earth’s orbit, ocean circulation, albedo (the reflectivity of the Earth’s surface) and makeup of the atmosphere (the amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases such as water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone that are present).

Scientists can track these earlier natural changes in climate by examining ice cores drilled from Greenland and Antarctica, which provide evidence about conditions as far back as 800,000 years ago. The ice cores have shown that rising CO2 levels and rising temperatures are closely linked.

Scientists also study tree rings, glaciers, pollen remains, ocean sediments, and changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun to get a picture of Earth’s climate going back hundreds of thousands of years or more.

Today, CO2 levels are 40 percent higher than they were before the Industrial Revolution began; they have risen from 280 parts per million in the 18th century to over 400 ppm in 2015 and are on track to reach 410 ppm this spring.

In addition, there is much more methane (a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than CO2 in the short term) in the atmosphere than at any time in the past 800,000 years—two and a half times as much as before the Industrial Revolution. While some methane is emitted naturally from wetlands, sediments, volcanoes and wildfires, the majority of methane emissions come from oil and gas production, livestock farming and landfills.

Global temperatures have risen an average of 1.4? F since 1880. Sea ice in the Arctic has thinned and decreased in the last few decades; the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are decreasing in mass. The North and South Poles are warming faster than anywhere else on Earth. Glaciers are retreating on mountains all over the world. Spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the last 50 years.

The number of record-breaking hot temperatures in the U.S. is on the rise. Oceans are the warmest they have been in a half-century; the top layer is warming about 0.2?F per decade. The oceans are also 30 percent more acidic than they were at the start of the Industrial Revolution because they are absorbing more CO2. Global sea levels rose an average of 6.7 inches in the last century, and in the last 10 years, have risen almost twice as fast.


Green/Left congressmen are the book-burning Nazis of this era

How’s this for hypocrisy? A group of House Democrats who call everyone else “Nazis” and “science deniers” are ordering the nation’s teachers to destroy books that fail to include political propaganda:

    Three ranking House Democrats on Monday urged teachers to throw away copies of a book written by climate scientists challenging the catastrophic global-warming view, saying the nation’s schools are “inappropriate” forums for such a discussion.

    The Democratic blast at “climate deniers” came in response to a campaign by the conservative Heartland Institute to distribute free DVDs and copies of the 2015 book, “Why Climate Scientists Disagree About Global Warming” to about 200,000 K-12 science teachers.

The Democrats who penned the letter are Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas). Scott’s condemnation of the book was particularly totalitarian:

    “Public school classrooms are no place for anti-science propaganda, and I encourage every teacher to toss these materials in the recycling bin,” said Rep. Bobby Scott, Virginia Democrat, ranking member of the Education and the Workforce Committee.

    “Successful high school graduates are aware and engaged global citizens with an understanding of and appreciation for scientific fact,” said Mr. Scott in a press release. “If the Heartland Institute and other climate deniers want to push a false agenda on global warming, our nation’s schools are an inappropriate place to drive that agenda.”

The three authors of the book — Craig Idso, S. Fred Singer, and the late Robert M. Carter — are all literal scientists who hold doctorates and taught science at the university level. But they don’t know better than the government, according to Scott.

Heartland Institute president Joseph Bast was floored by the liberal backlash. In a March 3 letter to teachers, he asked them to “consider the possibility that the science is in fact not ‘settled'”:

    “If that’s the case, then students would be better served by letting them know a vibrant debate is taking place among scientists on how big the human impact on climate is, and whether or not we should be worried about it,” said Mr. Bast. “That sounds pretty reasonable, doesn’t it? Not, apparently, to out-of-touch Democrats in Washington, DC.”

This is a crucial point that liberals miss: conservatives like Bast are not “climate deniers,” as Scott claimed. They don’t deny that climate change exists; rather, they challenge why it exists and whether or not and to what extent humans are the cause. But because liberals are as dogmatic as can be when it comes to the environment, any disagreement with their opinion is by default a denial.

But the irony award here belongs to Rep. Grijalva. Grijalva also branded the Heartland Institute as “climate deniers,” and chastised them for “lying to children about the world we live in to further corporate polluter profits.” However, back in 2015 Grijalva admitted to overreach when he demanded to know the sources of funding for University of Colorado Professor Roger Pielke Jr. because Pielke held a skeptical position on climate change.

If you want a modern example of fascism, look no further than liberal environmentalists.


The Environment: A True Story

For decades we’ve been told that mankind has only about 10 years to stop pumping out “greenhouses gases” or we will do irreparable harm to Earth’s climate. But the science behind this claim is extremely shaky, and good policy never comes from bad thinking. Help me set the record straight.

Earth’s climate has always been unstable. It has repeatedly changed dramatically, including in ways that would be problematic for humans if they happened today. But people certainly didn’t cause any of these changes before the glaciers last retreated 12,000 years ago, and indeed almost nobody claims we caused any before the 20th century. And it’s bad science to assert that the same processes have been going on for 500 million years or more, but the cause suddenly and inexplicably changed 75 years ago.

Many journalists and politicians say, or shout, that there is a scientific consensus around anthropogenic climate change. In fact there is lively debate about what is going on, and broad awareness of the limits of our knowledge and especially of our powers of prediction. Climate is not merely unstable, it is “chaotic” in the technical sense of not being susceptible to reliable mathematical modeling using linear algebra because it is “sensitively dependent on initial conditions” or in the once-familiar acronym, SDIC.

What scientists do know, what no informed person disputes, is that the Earth has been considerably warmer than it is today for most of its history, with intermittent cold periods. It has also had far more carbon dioxide in its atmosphere than it does today. Yet it was not essentially uninhabitable in, say, the time of the dinosaurs. And these higher concentrations of CO2 did not cause a “greenhouse effect” then. So the theory that rising concentrations of CO2 will render it both far hotter and far less hospitable fail the elementary test of correspondence with known facts.

For the past 2.5 million years the Earth has been unusually cold, with repeated glaciations whose periodic advances and retreats science cannot model or predict. In fact we are still in an “ice age” today, with significant polar ice, though in a relatively warmer “interglacial”. Fortunately. Civilization would be impossible without the warming that started suddenly 12,000 years ago, and would become very difficult if the glaciers began another sudden advance. If the Earth actually is now warming, relative to 15,000 years ago or indeed the “Little Ice Age” from the end of the Middle Ages into the mid-19th century, it would be neither surprising nor man-made.

Nor would it necessarily be alarming if it continued. But in any case, if we are not causing and cannot alter patterns of climate change, the intelligent thing to do is prepare to adapt rather than wasting vast resources on doomed ecological engineering projects on a planetary scale whose impact we cannot possibly predict. And examining the past history of the Earth, and measuring the claims of global warming alarmists against that history, we find that man-made global warming is a theory without proper scientific support, and a lousy basis for making policy choices.


The authors of the above summary want to make a movie about it so they are asking for funding from readers

VERDICT: Fracking NOT GUILTY in Dimock, PA

I wanted to let you know about this important development in the Dimock water trial.

As you probably know Dimock, Pennsylvania, has been the center of spurious allegations that fracking contaminates water. Josh Fox featured it in Gasland I and II. It has been on TV stations across the planet and Susan Sarandon and Yoko Ono have even traveled there to further spread the myths. They really, really don't like it when you challenge their myths.

Finally after all the allegations and media stories there was a trial last year which I covered in detail.

There was a shocking verdict where despite solid evidence and even the plaintiffs admitting their problems started BEFORE drilling the jury decided to award the two families $4.5m. Our coverage of the truth so enraged activists that they managed to get Facebook to suspend our page to stop the truth getting out. Even the plaintiffs "expert" had to hide under a woman's coat after his evidence lost all credibility under cross-examination.

Well now a little bit of sanity has been brought to the judicial system. A federal judge has overturned the verdict and ordered a retrial in the case citing "serious and troubling irregularities in testimony and presentation of the plaintiffs' case."

Judge Martin Carlson said the trial had been tainted by the unethical conduct of the plaintiff's lawyer. In a lengthy judgement he outlined how the gas company presented "uncontradicted evidence that undermined the plaintiffs’ very theory of liability in this case …The plaintiffs had no explanation for this scientific evidence.”

Email from Phelim McAleer []

Battery Baloney: Playing Snakes and Ladders with Australia’s Electricity Supply

Every day some green energy promoter or a battery salesman tells us how green energy with battery backup will supply Australia’s future electricity needs.

A battery stores energy. Energy can be stored using lead-acid, nickel/cadmium, lithium, molten salt, pumped hydro, hydrogen, flywheels, compressed air or some other smart gizmo. But NOT ONE battery produces new energy – they simply store and discharge energy produced by other means. They all deliver less energy than they consume. Moreover, to manufacture, charge, use and dispose of batteries consumes energy and resources.

The idea of producing reliable grid power from intermittent green energy backed up by batteries looks possible in green doodle-diagrams, but would be absurdly inefficient and expensive.

Solar works a Six hour day

Consider a solar panel which is rated to collect say 100 units of energy per day at full capacity, in full mid-day sunlight, with a clean panel, properly aligned to face the sun.

No solar energy arrives overnight and only minimal amounts arrive during the three hours after dawn or before dusk. That means that significant solar energy can only be collected for about 6 hours per day, providing it is not cloudy, raining or snowing. No amount of research or regulation will change this – the solar energy union only works a six-hour day and takes quite a few sickies. So instead of feeding 100 units of energy per day into the grid, at best, the panel supplies just 25 units.

Can the addition of batteries give us 24/7 power from solar?

To deliver 100 units of energy in 24 hours will require an extra 75 units of energy to be collected, stored and delivered by the batteries every sunny day. This will require another three solar units devoted solely to re-charging batteries in just 6 sunny hours.

Cloudy/wet days are what really expose the problems of solar plus batteries. (This is why isolated green power systems must have a diesel generator in the shed.)

To insure against, say, 7 days of cloudy weather would require a solar/battery system capable of collecting and storing 700 units of energy while still delivering 100 units to consumers every day. However if several consecutive weeks of sunny weather then occur, this bloated system is capable of delivering 7 times more power than needed, causing power prices to plunge, driving reliable generators out of business and wasting the life of solar panels producing unwanted electricity.

Solar energy obviously does best in sunny equatorial deserts, but that is not where most people live. And the huge Desertec Solar Power Dream for the northern Sahara has failed.

The report card on wind energy is different, but equally depressing.

When Australia had reliable, predictable coal-gas-hydro power in every state, the need for heavy interstate transmission was minimal. But green power will require robust and costly interstate transmission facilities to send large amounts of power at short notice from sunny coal-rich Queensland to cloudy Victoria, windless South Australia or droughted Tasmania.

We are told that wind/solar plus pumped water storage will provide adequate grid power. Unfortunately those huge hydro-pumps need steady continuous power – something not provided by intermittent green energy. So are the zero-emissions politicians planning to install huge chemical batteries or diesel motors to steadily re-charge the elevated water storages in order to get back less energy than was consumed by the pumps?

Both wind and solar are unpredictable, unreliable, intermittent and weather-dependent energy sources. They require large collection areas with a cob-web of access roads and transmission lines. Their output can change suddenly and cannot be managed easily to meet demand fluctuations. They need flexible backup power able to swing in quickly to maintain stability and supply.

Gas provides the easiest back-up for green energy, but gas exploration is banned in many areas of NSW, SAust and the whole of gas-rich Victoria. Canny residents of the green states are now investing in diesel generators.

Mother Earth has already given us the perfect solar battery for long-term storage of energy: it is called “Coal”. Solar power from sunlight is converted by photosynthesis into wood, and thence into coal for high-density long-term solar energy storage. The downside to this system is that it has tied up large quantities of carbon that is therefore unavailable to the natural world. The upside is that releasing the energy from coal also releases life-giving CO2 back into the biosphere, where it belongs.

Our growing energy crisis was caused by political interference – Australian politicians have not learned last century’s lessons of central planning in the comrade societies.

Robert Gottliebsen writing in “The Australian” 21/3/2017 puts it succinctly:

“The looming crisis is much worse than I expected. Three state governments, Victoria, NSW and South Australia, have vandalised our total energy system. The Premiers of each state clearly had no idea what they were doing. . .”

He also wrote: “My information from the best possible sources is that if Victoria’s Hazelwood power station is shut on April 2, there is a 75% chance of blackouts in NSW and Victoria next summer.”

The best solution would be to cease all government force-feeding of intermittent green energy, get politicians out of the energy business and allow the construction of any gas/coal/nuclear or hydro plants that stack up for energy companies, investors and consumers. This will eliminate all the land-loss, materials and labour involved in building, running and maintaining an unreliable, unpredictable, uneconomic, intermittent and absurdly expensive solar/wind/battery/hydro/diesel monstrosity?”

Intermittent energy with batteries or back-up should be used and paid for by those who find them useful. They should not be subsidised or forced onto power grids or reluctant consumers.

Society has better things to do with community cash than squandering it on massive green energy toys and battery baloney.



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   main.html 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, 2017

Interior Secretary: Ending War on Coal Necessary for Environmental Reasons, Jobs, National Security

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Monday at the White House that ending the war on coal was important for environmental reasons, jobs and national security.

Zinke said he signed directives on his first day in office to expand public access to public lands - “important if you’re in the west, especially in the far west as Montana is.”

“We made sure we increased opportunities for traditional hunting, fishing, and conservation efforts, and we’ve invested millions across 12 states on preserving our conservation efforts there,” the Interior secretary said.

“On energy, much of last week was held on energy. We held one of our most successful leases - 122,000 acres for wind development on federal lands off Kittyhawk, North Carolina,” Zinke said.

“We also stopped the war on coal by continuing a coal leasing program and established an oversight committee to review and analyze across the board rents, royalties on our federal lands with the objective of number one, being transparent, number two, being Reagan - trust but verify, and number three, making sure that taxpayers that own the public lands are getting fair value, he added.

Zinke was at the White House to accept a check from the president that represented his first quarter earnings, which the president donated to the National Park Service.

“For those that don’t know me, I get my inspiration from Teddy Roosevelt, and the motto now in the Department of the Interior if you got to Yellowstone and have the opportunity to look at the Roosevelt Arch, inscribed in for the benefit and enjoyment of the people, and that’s our pledge.

When asked whether ending the war on coal runs contrary to what former President Theodore Roosevelt would have wanted, Zinke said, “Three things. One is environmentally, it’s better to produce energy here under reasonable regulation than watch it get produced overseas with none. Secondly, jobs matter. There’s a social cost of not having a job. In some of our communities, coal, mining, forestry are the only job,” Zinke said.

And third, Zinke said, it’s about national security. “It is better to make sure we’re not held hostage on our energy needs in this country, and like you, I don’t want my kids, sons, and daughters to have to fight for war over energy resources we have here, so national security is critical in our energy picture,” he said.

“The world is safer when America is stronger, and America is strongest not being dependent on foreign sources for energy. We can do it here right, and we will,” Zinke added.

“I’m the steward, and certainly, we’re not going to sell or transfer public land, and I don’t pick winners and losers, so coal isn’t getting any more of a better deal than anything else. … I want to make sure that what we do is cost effective, and it produces reliable, abundant, and affordable energy,” he said.

When asked if would return the land to its original pristine condition, Zinke said during his time as a Boy Scout, he was taught “that when you leave a campground, you leave it in the same or better condition you found it, and that’s why we’re looking at royalties and make sure we have a reclamation program that makes sense.”

“All of us want clean air, clean water, and I’m concerned as well as you are to make sure what we’re doing is in the best interest of the public in perpetuity,” he added.


Judicial Watch Sues for Records Between Key Obama Scientists Involved in Global Warming Controversies

Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Commerce to obtain all records of communications between two top scientists in the Obama administration who "heavily influenced" the government's "climate change policy and its backing of the Paris Agreement," said the government watchdog group in a statement.

The records are being sought because they could shed light on a scandal about alleged misuse of climate data to hype global warming and because the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a component of the Commerce Department, refused to comply with a Feb. 6 FOIA request for the data.

"This new lawsuit could result in the release of emails that will help Americans understand how Obama administration officials may have mishandled scientific data to advance the political agenda of global warming alarmism," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

Judicial Watch is seeking all records of communications from January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017 between NOAA scientist Thomas Karl and John Holdren, the former director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Holdren, as reported by, has written in support of worldwide wealth redistribution, an end to the auto industry, economic de-development of the United States, and his view that born babies are not yet "human beings."

Judicial Watch quotes from a Daily Mail newspaper report about a scandal involving Thomas Karl, who was accused by then-fellow NOAA scientist John Bates of allegedly manipulating global warming data to refute the idea that there has been a pause in global warming since 1998, which apparently would undermine the idea that man-made greenhouse gases contribute to climate change.

Dr. Bates, who is highly respected and helped craft the NOAA's internal evaluation procedures, claims the NOAA "breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the U.N. climate conference in Paris in 2015," reported the Daily Mail.

"The report claimed that the 'pause' or 'slowdown' in global warming in the period since 1998 -- revealed by U.N. scientists in 2013 -- never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected," said the report. But Dr. Bates provided "irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, 'unverified' data," and "it was never subjected to NOAA's rigorous internal evaluation process, which Bates devised," reported the Daily Mail.

"His vehement objections to the publication of the faulty data were overridden by his NOAA superiors in what he describes as a 'blatant attempt to intensify the impact' of what became known as the Pausebuster paper," stated the report. Bates accused Thomas Karl, the paper's lead author, of "insisting on decisions and scientific choices that maximized warming and minimized documentation," said the Daily Mail, "in an effort to discredit the notion of a global warming pause, rushed so that he could time publication to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy."

The newspaper further reported that Thomas Karl had a "hotline to the White House through his long association with President Obama's science adviser, John Holdren."

In its statement, Judicial Watch also noted that it is suing for records of communications from NOAA officials about their data gathering and methodology used to justify the "Pausebuster" study, documents that had also been withheld from Congress.


Is Princess Anne right to disagree with her brother Prince Charles about the benefits of GM crops?

GM's are simply man made designer mutations. The outcry against them may have a very subtle but heinous motive. There is a whole Greenie culture that does not believe in aid to the poor and behind this is the intent to control world population through natural holocaust. What they fail to recognize is that healthy, educated cultures  develop their own population controls. But then there are those that are against everything. They fail to see good any anything and they revel at any movement that is against something. We live in hate-filled times.

Those who spread misinformation and lies about GM foods have caused the disabilities and deaths of millions. Any commercially available GM crop has been rigorously tested and found to be safe, and they are widespread in the US without incident.

Many could transform millions of lives. Golden Rice is modified to contain higher levels of Vitamin A, for the 2m people who die every year from vitamin A deficiency and the 500,000 children who go blind. Its patents are open source and licences are free, as with many other GM crops.

But its progress has been delayed needlessly. Environmentalist vandals have destroyed fields of it being used in safety trials and Greenpeace has lobbied the governments of poor countries to ban it. Delays in India alone have cost an estimated 1,424,000 life years.

Other GM crops can make food cheaper by withstanding frost better, growing more quickly, or rotting more slowly. Shame on Prince Charles for denying the science, and thank goodness his sister has a bit more sense.


Save the environment — don't buy local

Those who encourage us to buy locally often do so with the view that reduced transport distances will result in less CO2 emissions. Seems simple, but what such people neglect is the fact that the majority of emissions associated with getting products (particularly food products) from producer to consumer are not from transport. Rather, the majority of emissions come from production.

A paper published by Christopher L. Weber and H. Scott Matthews in 2008 found that the Greenhouse Gas emissions associated with food are dominated by the production phase which…

contributes 83% of the average American household’s yearly footprint for food consumption. Transportation as a whole represents only 11% of life-cycle Greenhouse gas emissions, and final delivery from producer to retail contributes only 4%.

Production is less energy intensive when it takes place in optimal weather conditions, on large scale farms with machinery and fertilizer to make things incredibly efficient.

Not too long ago, DEFRA released a report saying that the carbon footprint of Spanish grown tomatoes is smaller than that of UK grown tomatoes. Clearly something very similar is happens in the UK.

It might also be worth mentioning that food (especially food that must travel long distances) is generally transported in bulk, increasing efficiency. Further, the majority of food miles are from the supermarket to fridge, which will not change, even if your food is produced locally. Plus, food from far abroad is often cheaper than local alternatives. In this way, globalisation is saving you money, and saving the environment.

Another paper in 2000 revealed the exact same thing applies with flowers. Economists Vringer and Blok compared the energy use associated with Dutch and Kenyan cut flower production. Air freighted Kenyan roses transported to Europe were found to have a lower total energy footprint than the Dutch grown roses.

So perhaps this mother’s day, we should aim to buy both food and flowers from as far afield as possible, because we don’t just love our mothers, but we also love the environment.


The ‘longest war’ that Australia is not prepared for

It might more aptly be described as the "phoniest" war. The blurb below is inspired by a visit to Australia by a prominent  American Warmist and elitist schmoozer.  Her claims are at least mostly reported cautiously below.  It is all "is believed to have been" and "is thought to have created".  One is of course equally at liberty to believe and think the opposite.

It is true that poor cropping conditions in the Middle East led to food shortages but that was  not because of global warming.  Why?  Because there was no global warming during the period concerned.  The drought (roughly from 2005 to 2011) behind the crop failures occurred in the middle of the 21st century warming "hiatus". So nothing at that time CAN be attributed to warming.  Neither droughts in the Middle East nor anything else can be caused by something that does not exist.

And so it goes.  It is all false attribution below.  She predictably blames recent Barrier Reef bleaching on global warming.  And it may be true that waters in Northeastern Australia are warmer than usual at the moment, but that is NOT any part of anthropogenic global warming.

Why?  Because anthropogenic global warming is said to be caused by increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere.  But there have been NO increases in CO2 in the atmosphere recently. Cape Grim tells us that CO2 levels have been plateaued on 401ppm since last July (midwinter)  So anything -- including coral bleaching -- that happened in the recent summer is NOT due to a rise in CO2. 

It's all just BS unfounded assertions below

CLIMATE change is already acknowledged as a national security risk in the US but Australia seems unprepared for what some experts are calling “the longest war”.

Sherri Goodman, a former Pentagon and US Department of Defence official, has helped to develop groundbreaking reports on the links between climate change and national security.

While Australians may not yet recognise the risks, Ms Goodman told that in the US, the link was widely accepted within the military and national security leadership.

Even Donald Trump’s new Secretary of Defence James Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee last month that climate change was a threat to the country’s troops.

“Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today,” Mattis reportedly confirmed in a statement.

Ms Goodman, who coined the term “threat multiplier” to describe the climate change risk, said Australia is not immune to its potentially devastating impacts.

So far, climate change is believed to have been a factor in conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Egypt.

Ms Goodman said climate change would create prolonged instability and cause underlying tensions to seep out through a variety of conflicts.

Extreme drought is thought to have created conditions in Syria and Iraq for the rise of Islamic State, as well as the Arab Spring in Egypt.

“The food crisis was the spark that lit the match for the Arab Spring because there were wheat shortages in Russia and Ukraine, and Russia stopped exporting wheat after a prolonged drought,” Ms Goodman said.

“That led to a food shortage in Egypt and in other Arab Spring nations.”

Ms Goodman said Australia needed to better understand these types of connections so it could prepare and take steps, not just to respond when people’s lives were at risk during a natural disaster.

“We need to understand where droughts and water scarcity and extreme weather events are becoming forcing factors in conflicts,” she said.

“The climate is continuing to change because of the carbon that we’ve put into the system and so we need to understand these changes and then we need to be able to respond to them.”

She said Australia was not well prepared for this “longest war”, particularly as many political leaders did not accept climate change posed any problem to future prosperity.

Ms Goodman said she hoped recent extreme weather events like Cyclone Debbie, heatwaves and bushfires would be a “wake up call”.

“You have the capability, you have the power within in Australia to make the country more resilient,” she said.

“You’re already sort of a resource power house, but you want to be one that’s sustainable and continues its economic vitality for the rest of this century, and the way to do that is to appreciate the full range of both risks and opportunities.”


Australia has already been given a recent taste of the havoc that extreme weather can bring, with homeowners complaining of looting in the aftermath of flooding and wild weather created by Cyclone Debbie.

But while Australia is a robust economy and has a stable political regime, many of our neighbours are not so lucky.

“The Asia Pacific region is ‘disaster alley’ for extreme weather events and natural disasters,” Ms Goodman said.

“The intensity of these events have been increasing in recent years, most likely fuelled by higher Pacific Ocean temperatures,” she said.

As one example Ms Goodman highlighted the situation in the Philippines, which was one of the countries most at risk of climate change due to sea level rise and storm surges.

Importantly, it was also politically unstable, where insurgents are creating problems for an authoritarian government.

“It wouldn’t take that much to push that country over the edge and these are countries right in your region,” she said.

Climate change has also been established as the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef, which supports 70,000 jobs within the region.

“I had the great privilege 20 years ago ... to dive in the Great Barrier Reef and it’s one of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen in my life,” Ms Goodman said.

“Now that I know that the bleaching has changed the corals, I don’t know that I’d come back here right now. And I’m sure I’m not alone in my thinking.”

While Australia’s economy may be able to survive the loss of tourism if the Great Barrier Reef was to die, Ms Goodman said other countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, may not.

“Australia is a robust economy and a resilient society but you are here as part of the coral triangle,” she said.

“Can their economies withstand long-term and perhaps, permanent bleaching? I don’t know. But I think we should be all very concerned about that.”

Australia is also surrounded by low lying Pacific Islands where whole populations are at risk of being flooded and losing their sovereignty within our lifetimes.

“People get desperate when they lose their homes, their food, their shelter, their water,” Ms Goodman said.

“Climate change acts as an accelerant of instability,” she said.

While it may not be the only cause acting to create this, climate change can aggravate existing threats like terrorism, the development of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, corruption and political instability.

“So climate becomes a threat multiplier on all of these existing threats,” she said.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   main.html 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, 2017

Greenland's coastal ice is losing mass -- which is projected to raise global sea levels by a whole 1.5 inches by 2100

1). How can "coastal meltwater be filled to its capacity"?  Greenland is surrounded by ocean.  Any water added to that ocean will simply pass into the ocean as a whole.  It is not as if there is a bathtub waiting to be filled up.  The world's oceans as a whole are the only bathtub.

2). Most of the Greenland icecap is in an interior basin and has remained unmelted in past warming events.  There are however isolated blobs of ice along the coast -- and it is they that are being referred to below.  The main Greenland icecap is not affected. 

3). The data is arrived at via modelling and estimation so should be taken seriously only if you believe that Greenies are honest.  Their chronic secrecy about their data and calculations make that an heroic assumption. 

4). The future extension of processes in the coastal ice to Greenland ice as a whole is just a bit of speculation.  The only measurements mentioned below refer to the coastal ice

Journal Abstract and Introduction included below

Greenland's glaciers and ice caps have passed a 'tipping point' and are no longer able to regrow lost ice, experts have warned in a new study. The proverbial 'tipping point' was passed in 1997, when coastal meltwater was filled to its capacity.

Researchers predict that the subsequent melting of Greenland's coastal ice will raise global sea levels by about 1.5 inches by 2100.

Greenland's glaciers and ice caps have passed a 'tipping point' and are no longer able to regrow lost ice, experts have warned in a new study. The proverbial 'tipping point' was passed in 1997, when coastal melt water was filled to its capacity

The problem lies in a layer of snow called the firn, which lies between fresh surface snow and the ice. Normally, meltwater drains through gaps in the firn down to the ice surface. But when the firn became saturated in 1997, it froze through.

Since then, there haven't been any gaps to capture meltwater, and the ice hasn't been able to grow.

They found that, for the last 20 years, mass loss has been exactly equal to the amount of meltwater runoff lost to sea, with a frozen firn the most likely cause.

The study was conducted by researchers at Ohio State University, who looked at the glaciers and ice caps that dot the edges of the Greenland coast.

Twenty years ago, the island passed a tipping point, meaning the smallest glaciers and ice caps on the coast are no longer able to regrow lost ice.

The findings reveal exactly why the most vulnerable parts of Greenland ice are melting so quickly – the deep snow layer that normally captures coastal melt-water was filled to capacity in 1997.

That layer of snow and melt-water has since frozen solid, meaning all new melt-water flows over it and out to sea.

Fortunately, the findings only apply to a fairly small amount of ice along the coast, and not the Greenland Ice Sheet – the second biggest ice cache in the world.

Dr Ian Howat, who led the study, said: 'These peripheral glaciers and ice caps can be thought of as colonies of ice that are in rapid decline, many of which will likely disappear in the near future. 'In that sense, you could say that they're "doomed."

'However, the ice sheet itself is still not "doomed" in the same way. The vast interior ice sheet is more climatologically isolated than the surrounding glaciers and ice caps.


A tipping point in refreezing accelerates mass loss of Greenland’s glaciers and ice caps

B. Noël et al.


Melting of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its peripheral glaciers and ice caps (GICs) contributes about 43% to contemporary sea level rise. While patterns of GrIS mass loss are well studied, the spatial and temporal evolution of GICs mass loss and the acting processes have remained unclear. Here we use a novel, 1?km surface mass balance product, evaluated against in situ and remote sensing data, to identify 1997 (±5 years) as a tipping point for GICs mass balance. That year marks the onset of a rapid deterioration in the capacity of the GICs firn to refreeze meltwater. Consequently, GICs runoff increases 65% faster than meltwater production, tripling the post-1997 mass loss to 36±16?Gt?1, or ?14% of the Greenland total. In sharp contrast, the extensive inland firn of the GrIS retains most of its refreezing capacity for now, buffering 22% of the increased meltwater production. This underlines the very different response of the GICs and GrIS to atmospheric warming.


Covering a total area of ?90,000?km2, Greenland’s peripheral glaciers and ice caps (GICs) represent ?12% of the world’s glacierized area outside of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets1. Greenland’s GICs account for 14 to 20% of total current Greenland glacial mass loss2, although they only represent ?5% of the area and ?0.5% (?39?mm SLE) of the volume of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). In a scenario of continued global warming, Greenland’s GICs may lose 19–28% (7.5–11?mm) of their volume by 2100 (ref. 3). Despite multiple in situ observational campaigns since the early 1950s (ref. 4), glacier modelling5 and satellite-based2,6 estimates, large uncertainties remain in the spatial and temporal distribution of Greenland’s GICs mass loss. To fill these gaps, regional climate models (RCMs) are often used7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15, but their horizontal resolution (typically 5–20?km) fails to resolve the steep surface mass balance (SMB) gradients in the topographically complex regions in which GICs are often situated16.

To address this issue, we created a 1?km data set, statistically downscaled from output of the regional atmospheric climate model RACMO2.3 using regressions of SMB components against elevation estimated at the model resolution of 11?km. These regressions are then applied to a downsampled 1?km version of the topography and ice mask of the Greenland Ice Mapping Project (GIMP) Digital Elevation Model (DEM)17. The downscaling procedure also includes a bare ice albedo correction based on a 1?km MODIS albedo product to avoid underestimation of melt and runoff, especially on dark, low-lying glacier tongues. Earlier, the downscaling method was successfully applied to the GrIS16.

Here we use the novel SMB product at 1?km resolution to quantify Greenland’s GICs mass loss, assuming changes in solid ice discharge to be negligible18,19,20. The data set includes individual SMB components (precipitation, sublimation, melt, refreezing and runoff) for all GICs on a daily time scale (1958–2015), which is crucial for evaluation using irregular (in time and space) observations and to understand the drivers of mass loss. Using this product, we identify 1997 (±5 years) as a tipping point for the mass balance of Greenland’s GICs, which marks the onset of a rapid deterioration of inland firn capacity to refreeze meltwater, causing long-term mass loss

Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14730 (2017)    doi:10.1038/ncomms14730

EPA Administrator: Trump Is Keeping His Promise to Deal With Regulatory Overreach

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told “Fox News Sunday” that President Donald Trump is keeping his promise “to rollback regulatory overreaches” that have occurred during the Obama administration.

“I think what's important this past week is to recognize that the president is keeping his promise to the American people to rollback regulatory overreaches that have been occurring the last couple of years. And as you know, the Clean Power Plan is subject to a U.S. Supreme Court state,” Pruitt said.

“The steps have been taken by the EPA historically. They've equally been challenged several times with respective CO2 regulation, and each of those times, the Supreme Court and courts have said that the power that has been used has been an overreach,” he said.

“And so, the president is keeping his promise to deal with that overreach, Chris. It doesn't mean that clean air and clean water is not going to be the focus in the future. We're just going to do it right within the consistency of the framework that Congress has passed,” Pruitt added.

As previously reported, Trump signed an executive order last week rolling back environmental regulations enacted during the Obama administration, including the Clean Power Plan.

Fox News’s Chris Wallace noted that the American Lung Association said half of Americans live in counties with unhealthy air. He asked Pruitt how he planned to “remove some of the pollution restrictions, which will make the air even worse.”

“Well, Chris, a couple things, we are actually pre-1994 levels with respect to our CO2 footprint. So, this country is doing far better than most across the globe. As you know, also since 1980, we've got a 65 percent reduction in those key air pollutants, SOx and NOx and particulate matter and ozone, while at the same time growing our economy,” Pruitt said.

“I think what's happened the last several years is that we've adapted to and adopted this previous administration's views that if your pro-jobs and pro-growth, you can’t be pro-environment. If you’re pro-environment, you can’t be pro-growth and pro-jobs, and that simply is not the way we’ve done business as a country,” he said.


The Flimsy Statistical Models Obama Administration Used to Justify Environmental Agenda

President Donald Trump on Tuesday issued an “energy independence” executive order on energy and climate policy.

One provision of this order pertains to the social cost of greenhouse gasses—in particular, the “social costs” of carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide. The previous administration had used these social costs to justify its extensive regulatory agenda across the energy sector of the economy.

The Trump administration’s executive order stipulates that the Obama administration’s estimates of these costs should no longer be used for government policy. It also mandates that future cost-benefit analysis take into account the “best available science and economics” and specifically stipulates that recommendations outlined by the Office of Management and Budget be adhered to.

We have discussed these issues extensively in our research at The Heritage Foundation, and the Trump administration should be commended for making these decisions. The social costs of carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide come from a class of statistical models that the Obama administration used to supposedly quantify the economic damages associated with carbon dioxide emissions.

There are three statistical models that are used for estimating these social costs: the DICE model, the FUND model, and the PAGE model.

At The Heritage Foundation, we ran the DICE and FUND models and found them to be inherently unsound for regulatory policy and can be quite easily manipulated by user-selected assumptions. In fact, upon recalculating the social cost of carbon under the DICE model with much more reasonable assumptions, we found that the number arrived at can drop by well over 30 percent.

In addition to arbitrariness of essential components, their results are based on very questionable assumptions regarding the climate’s sensitivity, naïve projections reaching 300 years into the future, and ignorance of recommendations by the Office of Management and Budget regarding cost-benefit analysis.

We also examined the FUND model. After finding a mistake in the model’s initial specification, we found that it is not only just as sensitive, but can even produce a negative estimate of the social cost of carbon under very reasonable assumptions.

Those assumptions even include regulatory standards currently suggested by the Office of Management and Budget, and which the Energy Independence Act now requires policymakers to adhere to.

Ironically, this negativity would suggest that the government should subsidize, not tax, carbon dioxide emissions.

It became clearly evident that the Obama administration was using these flimsy models to rubber-stamp its environmental agenda and to manipulate and inflate the social cost of carbon.

Beyond the social cost of carbon, we also recently published research on the social costs of methane and nitrous oxide.

We found that the models used for these estimates are also extremely sensitive to very reasonable changes in assumptions. The estimates of the “costs” associated with these greenhouse gases can drop by over 80 percent under different, yet very plausible, assumptions.

Furthermore, evidence shows that the Obama administration’s assumptions regarding climate sensitivity were outdated, and this skewed its calculations regarding the social cost of carbon.

In additional peer-reviewed research, we found, alongside professor Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph, that more up-to-date assumptions regarding climate sensitivity make it possible to take into account proper interactions regarding the oceans, which if not properly accounted for, can artificially inflate the social cost of carbon.

While these models may be interesting academically, because they are so sensitive to very reasonable changes in assumptions, they can be easily manipulated by policymakers, regulators, and bureaucrats. As a result, they can form the basis for potentially burdensome energy regulations.

Trump’s newly signed executive order is thoroughly informed by the analyses described above. The administration should be strongly commended for recognizing the flawed nature of these old models, and for rescinding the Obama administration’s estimates of the social cost of greenhouse gases.


Global warming fail: Study finds melting sea ice is actually helping Arctic animals

Proponents of the theory humans are primarily responsible for rising global temperatures long claimed wildlife are harmed significantly by global warming, and that unless mankind stops producing significant amounts of carbon-dioxide emissions, the world’s animals will not be able to thrive.

While rising temperatures have certainly put a strain on species in some parts of the world, a new study by researchers at the University of Southern Denmark suggests animals in the Arctic region are thriving as because of higher global temperatures.

According to a press release touting the study’s new findings, warmer conditions have produced a larger number of life-sustaining “melt ponds” in Arctic waters.

“Melt ponds provide more light and heat for the ice and the underlying water, but now it turns out that they may also have a more direct and potentially important influence on life in the Arctic waters,” stated the press release.

“Mats of algae and bacteria can evolve in the melt ponds, which can provide food for marine creatures. This is the conclusion of researchers in the periodical, Polar Biology,” the press release said.

The researchers said nutrients are able to reach sea creatures in the Arctic more easily because of the melt ponds.

“Climate change is accompanies by more storms and more precipitation, and we must expect that more nutrients will be released from the surroundings into the melt ponds,” said Professor Ronnie Glud of the Department of Biology at SDU. “These conditions, plus the fact that the distribution of areas of melt ponds is increasing, can contribute to increased productivity in plant and animal life in the Arctic seas.”

Recent data released by scientists at NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center reveals sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are at their lowest recorded point since 1979, when satellite data first started estimating sea ice.

About 2 million square km of Arctic sea ice are estimated to have been lost since 1979. Current data suggest about 14.28 million square km of sea ice remain.

USA Today recently declared the loss of sea ice “terrifying,” but global warming skeptics have long suggested these claims are overblown when put into perspective.

As reported by Anthony Watts on his influential climate-change website Watts Up With That, the president of the Royal Society in London reported in 1817 significant reductions to arctic sea ice.

“It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated. … this affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations.”


Greenies using paid protesters for Australian campaign

THE Adani coal mine is already creating an employment boom – but for “professional protesters” based in Sydney and Melbourne.

The Stop Adani campaign is the latest green group to hire employees or contractors as part of a campaign to block the $21 billion central Queensland coal mine, which is expected to create thousands of jobs.

The group is advertising for a “digital ninja” and “basic-level meme-slinger” to be paid up to $65,000 for working fulltime on the campaign against “their dirty coal mine (which) is the fight of our times”, to be based in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, according to the ad.

It follows US-backed hiring professional protesters in Sydney and Melbourne.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan said “online inner-city activists” needed a reality check. “Here we go again, with professional protesters wanting to trample on jobs for regional Queenslanders,” he said.

“It’s a bit rich for a so-called ‘digital ninja’ to attempt to manufacture opposition to resources jobs in regional Queensland, all from the comfort of a Sydney office.”

He said eight regional mayors representing 500,000 ­people travelled to India last month to encourage the Adani board to sign off on the mine.

Despite the advertisement, Stop Adani Alliance spokesman Peter McCallum said the organisation had no paid fulltime or part-time employees.  “This position is for a consultant, paid for by the Alliance,” he said.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   main.html 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, 2017

Remote Sensing Systems lies with statistics

By carefully choosing your starting and end points you  can show almost anything with graphs.  Below is a graph from the RSS site:

We see a nice rising trend line showing global warming, right?

But look at this:

Where El Niño obvious as is a cooling afterwards. 2017 is back on the "no trend" average that prevailed before El Nino.  There is no steady warming trend, no steadily rising line.


Pretend conservatives for not so clean energy

Far-left ‘charitable’ foundations give millions to ‘conservative’ groups to drive climate agenda

Paul Driessen

More and more conservatives are proclaiming the virtues of clean energy. At least that’s what some groups want you to believe. In reality, far-left “charitable” foundations have given pretend conservatives millions of dollars to advance a climate chaos, renewable energy agenda – channeling the funds through intermediary groups, to OxiClean the transactions and limit transparency and accountability.

The huge Green Profiteers Network has to be at least somewhat bipartisan to ensure continued mandates, renewable portfolio standards, production and investment tax credits, regulatory exemptions and other subsidies that have made Climate Crisis, Inc. a $1.5-trillion international business. With global financial and insurance giants allying with that crowd and determined to procure some $93 trillion (!) by 2030 to create a “de-carbonized” and “sustainable” world economy, the effort has intensified.

But now it must contend with President Donald Trump. His growing list of executive orders and regulatory reviews is rapidly reversing eight years of Obama “Clean Power Plan,” “social cost of carbon” and other regulatory decrees; laying the foundation for reversing EPA’s absurd finding that plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide “endangers” human health and welfare; and putting the United States in a position to lead the world back from the brink of Paris pact pandemonium and wealth redistribution.

Other countries will likely follow these energy and climate actions, says Cornwall Alliance ethicist Calvin Beisner, thereby “sparing their citizens from the crushing costs of pointless policies to mitigate global warming, by raising energy costs and prohibiting the most reliable, affordable forms of energy.” These actions are vital, because “the greatest threat to the environment is not affluence. It’s poverty.”

Radical environmental groups are nevertheless preparing to battle every Trump action in our courts, legislatures, newsrooms … and streets. Preparing to join all the prominent big-name groups is a host of like-minded, tax-exempt, pseudo-free-enterprise outfits, many operating under the umbrella of the Conservative Energy Network. This 2016 creation includes Young Conservatives for Energy Reform, an environmentalist Christian Coalition of America, Citizens for Responsible Energy Reform – and Conservatives for Clean Energy (CCE), launched in 2014 as an “educational” and “charity” organization.

They all advocate the asserted need to “fundamentally transform” energy and economic systems, and switch from fossil fuels to “clean, renewable” energy, to save our civilization and planet from “dangerous manmade global warming, climate change and extreme weather.” The other thing they seem to have in common is funding sources that enable them to be so visible and active.

Prominent among those funding sources is The Energy Foundation. It launched CCE with a $350,000 grant in 2014, gave $535,000 to the Christian Coalition in 2013 and sent $925,000 to the North Carolina Solar Energy Alliance since 2008, the Civitas Institute notes, citing tax filings and other sources.

Between 2007 and 2014, Civitas points out, TEF also gave $4,476,000 to the Southern Environmental Law Center, a litigation factory that uses questionable climate and ecological claims to drive lawsuits against energy and other development projects, raising energy costs, killing jobs, and hammering the budgets, health and wellbeing of poor, minority and working class families.

As a 2014 US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee report explained, a virtual who’s who of ultra-wealthy leftist foundations and their “Billionaires’ Club” of donors is the financial force behind The Energy Foundation. TEF serves as a “pass-through” hub that helps donors make it seem that grant recipients have a more diversified base of support than they actually do; shields them from transparency and accountability; and at times hides contributions from donors that could raise serious “red” flags.

One such donor is the secretive Sea Change Foundation. Set up by billionaires Nat Simons and his wife, Sea Change has been exposed by multiple investigators as a shell corporation that funnels huge sums to radical anti-fracking and anti-fossil fuel activists from Vladimir Putin pals, giant Russian oil companies and investment groups, and more reputable sources like the Gates and Walmart Foundations.

The Energy Foundation received nearly $65 million from Sea Change between 1997 and 2015 – plus tens of millions more from the Hewlett, Packard, McKnight, MacArthur, Rockefeller, Pew, Bloomberg, Tomkat (Tom Steyer) and other foundations. All together, over 120 fat-cat foundations gave a whopping $534 million to the Energy Foundation between 1997 and 2015. During the same period, The Energy Foundation gave over $1.2 billion to more than 12,000 activist and agitator groups, investigative journalist Ron Arnold discovered.

It’s a bit daunting to have this kind of money and power allied with green, urban and government elites against Blue Collar America and the fossil fuels that still supply 81% of the USA’s energy.

This is the cabal of “consumer” and “environmental” groups that “Conservatives” for “Clean” Energy has in its corner. With offices in North Carolina and Virginia, CCE is heavily involved in fossil fuel and renewable energy political activism.

It is closely allied with the NC Solar Energy Alliance, to extend government mandates, tax credits and other government assistance to a marginal electricity source that brings higher prices, lower reliability, and reduced ability of families, hospitals, schools and businesses to meet tight budgets, says Civitas.

It has also partnered with the SELC and other groups pursuing new strategies to bankrupt and close coal-fired electricity generation plants, by generating misplaced fear about coal ash impoundments. Once public anxiety rose, activists demanded that the ash be dug up and moved “somewhere else,” regardless of the cost, which could be in the billions – and regardless of the fact that detected levels of chromium-6 (and other metals) do not pose health risks and come from natural rock formations, as well as from coal.

Keeping the ash where it is, and capping it with impermeable clay, is probably the best thing to do now.

But CCE then waded in with an opinion poll, which predictably found that North Carolinians want the ash moved but don’t want to pay for the removals, and support more wind and solar power. The groups are now poised to reprise the tactic in Virginia and other states with coal-fueled power generation.

TEF itself also weighed in, funding a study which predictably concluded that US renewable energy industries would “eventually” create 74,000 new jobs “from the ashes” of coal-related companies. Even if that were true, how many jobs would climate alarmism, chemical fear-mongering and costly renewable energy destroy in other sectors of our economy? Perhaps 740,000 or even 7,400,000?

President Obama’s Clean Power Plan alone could have imposed $1 trillion in lost output, 125,000 lost jobs and double-digit increases in electricity prices, the Wall Street Journal noted. The combined impact of all Obama Era climate and renewable energy programs would have cost the American economy $3 trillion and 6.5 million industrial sector jobs by 2040, Senator John Barrasso stated, referring to a National Economic Research Associates study.

To top it off, “clean” energy is not clean, renewable or sustainable. It requires perpetual subsidies, taken from taxpayers and consumers, and given to politically connected crony corporatists. It needs vast land acreage – for wind turbines, solar panels, long transmission lines … and backup fossil fuel generating plants. And all those facilities require enormous amounts of concrete, steel, copper, rare earth metals, fiberglass, fossil fuels and other non-renewable raw materials dug out of the ground, often in faraway lands that have few environmental, health or child labor standards.

Just imagine the tremendous good all those billions of dollars from all those “progressive” billionaires could do if – instead of lining the coffers of radical anti-energy agitator groups – they were devoted to actually helping poor families in the United States, other industrialized nations, and especially the most impoverished, energy-deprived, disease-ridden, malnourished countries on Earth? That would be real, long overdue social and environmental justice. If wishes were horses

Via email

First Amendment Rights Still in Peril Following Climate Change Probes

Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the day an army of Democratic prosecutors unveiled a coordinated campaign to hunt down so-called “climate change deniers.” Constitutional experts have described the initiative as one of the more egregious attacks on the First Amendment in U.S. history.

One year later, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s coalition of Attorneys General United for Clean Power has disintegrated in the heat of its own abusive law enforcement practices. The same fate seemingly awaits former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, caught in the crosshairs of the climate change coalition of the willing, marked the anniversary with a combination of celebration and vigilance.

“While pretending that this was a law enforcement investigation, Schneiderman made clear that he was pushing a policy agenda—‘to defend the climate change progress made under President Obama and to push the next president for even more aggressive action,’” said Sam Kazman, CEI general counsel, in a statement.

“Since then, Schneiderman’s coalition has fallen apart: most of its members have left, the subpoenas served on us and Exxon by Virgin Islands AG Claude Walker were quickly withdrawn, and the climate science debate that this gang tried to shut down is more energetic than ever,” Kazman added. “Ironically, nowhere is that better demonstrated than by [Tuesday’s] environmental executive order from the president.”

President Donald Trump announced the Environmental Protection Agency will begin unraveling the Obama administration’s carbon emissions reduction plan that critics have blasted as a job-killing government overreach.

Trump was surrounded by coal miners Tuesday as he signed the executive order. The president has said boosting U.S. fossil fuel production in pursuit of energy independence is a priority for his administration.

“My action today is the latest in a series of steps to create American jobs and to grow American wealth. We’re ending the theft of American prosperity and rebuilding our beloved country,” he said before signing the order at an EPA that clearly is moving in a different direction from the aggressive enforcement agency of the past eight years.

Not surprisingly, the climate change faithful are furious. Obama EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy sees all of her regulatory work going up in smoke.

“This is not just dangerous; it’s embarrassing to us and our businesses on a global scale to be dismissing opportunities for new technologies, economic growth, and U.S. leadership,” she said in a statement.

Nathan Richardson of the environmental extremist group Resources for the Future likened the executive order to the short list of America’s “truly shameful” days. Among them, “the Dred Scott decision, the Trail of Tears, Japanese internment, and Abu Ghraib—most of them symbolic of a larger national moral failure.”

As CEI pointed out, Richardson’s opinion was quickly endorsed by Vox explainers and a New York Times reporter.

Those entities need not fear the threat of a sweeping, state-sponsored investigation into what they said and who they associate with. But CEI and other research organizations that have challenged the flawed science of the climate change crowd have had such a probe hanging over them for months.

Former Vice President Al Gore was on hand March 29, 2016, when Schneiderman and 16 other Democratic attorneys general moved to take up their investigative campaign against Exxon Mobil and other alleged violators of “climate fraud.”

CEI soon after was targeted by Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker. The attorney general sought “kitchen sink” subpoenas that “plainly aimed at suppressing free speech and scientific inquiry” of the nonprofit think tank sponsors.

In June, Walker withdrew his subpoenas of Exxon Mobil and CEI. The attorney general claimed he was looking into whether Exxon Mobil had concealed its “understanding of climate change” from customers and investors.

“He served an astonishingly overbroad subpoena on a public policy organization, demanding that it reveal its internal communications and communications with allies,” CEI’s court motion stated. “He conceded, in his briefing, that his subpoena was unsupported by the statutory authority that he cited as justifying it. And he has undertaken a series of legal maneuvers to evade judicial scrutiny of his actions, even while continuing to threaten CEI.”

The legal battles go on.

In a similar legal battle, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, part of the so-called “Green 20,” sought 40 years of Exxon Mobil’s documents in a subpoena. The company’s attorneys in September argued in a Texas court that if Healey’s overly broad subpoena was allowed to stand, “nothing is to stop a state prosecutor from issuing a subpoena to a political opponent seeking decades of records on the theory that a disagreement about policy constitutes fraud.”

U.S. District Court Judge Ed Kinkeade agreed the New York and Massachusetts investigations were politically motivated. The lawsuit remains in play, with Healey refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas.

In November, a New York Supreme Court justice ordered Schneiderman to release common interest agreements with other state attorneys general that CEI had sought in an open records request.

“CEI’s court victory is a blow to the anti-free speech campaign led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman,” CEI’s Kazman said in a statement. “While the campaign by him and his cohorts that began in March (2016) continues against those who disagree with him on global warming, we are glad to see that it is being held subject to the basic laws of the land.”

Attorney Andrew Grossman has represented CEI in its legal actions against the attorneys general. Grossman and his Washington, D.C.-based law firm also represented Wisconsin conservative activist Eric O’Keefe in a federal lawsuit against prosecutors of the state’s infamous John Doe investigation.

The campaign finance probe, launched by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, a Democrat, targeted dozens of conservative groups and Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Investigators raided the homes of several citizens and seized millions of electronic communications in the secret dragnet ruled unconstitutional by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Grossman noted the similarities of the politically motivated investigations.

“In both instances you have law enforcement officials using the powers of their office to target people on the basis of their opinions,” the attorney said, adding that liberals increasingly have abdicated their position as defenders of free speech.

Grossman said the failure of the climate change prosecutors’ coalition should be the end of the story, but CEI isn’t taking anything for granted.

“CEI is going to continue to make arguments for First Amendment rights. Not just for themselves; they want to make sure everyone has that opportunity, even those with whom they disagree.”


China And Pakistan Join Forces For World’s Biggest Brown Coal Programme

In the dusty scrub of the Thar desert, Pakistan has begun to dig up one of the world’s largest deposits of low-grade, brown, dirty coal to fuel new power stations that could revolutionize the country’s economy.

The project is one of the most expensive among an array of ambitious energy developments that China is helping the country to build as part of a $55 billion economic partnership.

A $3.5 billion joint venture between the neighbors will extract coal to generate 1.3 gigawatts of electricity that will be sent across the country on a new $3 billion transmission network.

“When I came it was a mess. There was nothing here,” said Dileep Kumar, one of the first mining engineers at lead contractor Sindh Engro Coal Mining Co., standing atop the mile-wide hole in the earth, busy with yellow trucks and diggers on the floor below. “Now look at it. This wasn’t possible without the Chinese.”bs

On paper, Pakistan could be one of Asia’s top economies, with almost 200 million people spread over an area twice the size of California, from the ice-bound peaks of the Karakorum to the warm, dry shores of the Arabian Sea.

But it remains hobbled by corruption, political turmoil, terrorism and poverty, all underpinned by a crippling shortage of energy.

The country has natural gas reserves, four nuclear-power stations and the world’s largest dam. Some 700 kilometers north of the Thar mine another Chinese company is helping build a solar farm eight times the size of New York’s Central Park.

Yet power outages remain a way of life with blackouts of 12 hours or more even in Karachi and Islamabad. By one estimate, the shortage of electricity is wiping 2 percentage points off economic growth every year.

Thirst for energy is taking Pakistan in the opposite direction of Western countries that are trying to reduce coal power, or use cleaner-burning fuel and technologies.

Germany, which still relies on coal-fired stations for two fifths of its electricity, has promised to switch half of them off by 2030.

Pakistan, by contrast, relies on coal for just 0.1 percent of its power, according to the Pakistan Business Council. The Thar projects and others could see that jump to 24 percent by 2020, according to Tahir Abbas, analyst at Karachi-based brokerage Arif Habib Ltd.

Pakistan’s coal reserves would give the nation a cheap domestic alternative to expensive oil and gas imports.

The nation spends about $8 billion a year on imported petroleum and is one of the region’s biggest buyers of liquefied natural gas.

In an effort to curb the import bill and meet demand for power, Pakistan plans to dig up some of the world’s biggest known deposits of lignite, a lower-grade brown coal. But first, it must clear 160 meters of sand to get to the coal.


Australian energy 'crisis' predictable, says former Origin Energy boss

The so-called "crisis" confronting the energy sector was predictable and stemmed from the push for renewable energy as well as restrictions on accessing domestic gas reserves, Business Council of Australia president Grant King said on Friday.

"The first of those choices relates to the RET scheme," Mr King, the former boss of Origin Energy, told a business lunch.

The scheme was intended to prompt spending on renewable energy "to a level that equalled the expected growth in demand for electricity".

"As the growth in energy demand flattened, the scheme no longer provided the new energy investment we needed, rather it displaced existing generation – a risk that was understood because there was a loud call for the scheme to be reduced," he said.

The excess capacity resulted in baseload coal-fired power stations being closed earlier than many expected and the rise in intermittent energy such as wind and solar, which had reduced the reliability of the system and increased the cost of energy, he said.

The second choice was to start gas exports from Queensland, which was based on the expectation that there would be ongoing access to domestic gas reserves to be able to "develop it ... in an effective and timely basis", Mr King said.

"This did not occur, with access being frustrated or denied, particularly in Victoria and NSW," he said.

"The result was the delayed development of [gas] resources, the result of which is a market that is now short of gas, threatening the reliability of electricity supply (because gas is the balancing fuel for more intermittent renewable generation), and eroding Australia's competitive advantage in the cost of energy.

"These two choices more than any other explain why we are in the position in respect of energy that we are today."

But even though the reliability of supply in the national energy market remained high, the rising price of energy and the rising difficulty of accessing competitively priced gas meant "it should be no surprise we think the system has failed us", Mr King said.

"The key lesson must be: Why do we need a crisis before we listen to our experts?" he asked.

"When faced with important choices, we often take the easier path on the day (something we might call populism), yet find that in the fullness of time that path often comes at enormous disruption and cost to the community (something we might call a crisis)," he said.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   main.html 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, 2017

The Real Threat Is Environmental Extremism

We don't have to choose between protecting the environment and boosting American energy jobs

Recent events in Alaska in response to a low-risk leak in a natural gas line in Cook Inlet have shown, once again, that fringe environmental activists have an agenda that goes well beyond common sense environmental safeguards and conservation.

These wildly out-of-the-mainstream environmental groups, while wrong on the facts – not to mention the economics – of energy development, continue to ignore the positive benefits that oil and natural gas development create for Alaskans and for the country. Consider that, for example, the state of Alaska draws 90 percent of its revenues from oil and gas-related taxes and royalties.

With today's oil and gas production – driven by cutting-edge, modern technologies – we know that it's a false choice to suggest that we can either protect our environment or boost American jobs and our economy, which are both growing at rather anemic rates.

Alaska is an exceptionally special place. But history and the facts show we can access its abundant energy resources, both on- and offshore, while protecting the state's environment. We need clear-eyed decision-making at the state and federal levels, not fearmongering and hyperbole, which is what we continue to hear from the liberal "keep it in the ground" elitists who appear to be determined to destroy America's booming energy economy.

Such efforts played out during the Obama administration's efforts to kill offshore Alaskan oil and gas projects. And we're seeing similar tactics being utilized in light of the recent and very minor natural gas leak in Cook Inlet.

Let's consider the facts, as stubborn as they may be: Massive amounts of CH4 or methane – natural gas' main component – naturally rise from seeps and permafrost across Alaska. While the closely managed Cook Inlet incident is comparatively like a snowflake in a blizzard, harshly anti-energy activists are in overdrive using the event as a springboard for their extremist agenda to shut down energy development.

And while activists frequently claim that energy companies put profits ahead of the environment, the facts couldn't be further from the truth. After all, protecting the environment is good for business.

State environmental regulators have made it clear that the current icy conditions around the natural gas leak prevent divers from safely accessing the 8-inch natural gas pipeline in Cook Inlet. What's more, gas flow has been dramatically reduced in the pipe, and there have been no quantifiable environmental or wildlife impacts.

When the weather cooperates, the natural gas line will be quickly repaired, a course of action that has been approved by both federal and state regulators. Unfortunately, fringe environmental groups refuse to accept this pragmatic solution, calling for risky and costly shutdowns.

For environmentalists, who generate much of their funding on Arctic-related energy issues, the potential payoff is huge. The activist overreach explains why a comparatively minor gas leak is seen, through their eyes, as a payday.

Indeed, attempting to block any proposed fossil fuel infrastructure projects now appears to be the go-to tactic for activists. You only need to look at the countless protests over the Keystone XL, Dakota Access and other pipelines to see that all too often they have chosen blanket obstructionism as their preferred approach.

Natural gas has surpassed the once-dominant fuel source – and it's here to stay.

Having lost – and lost badly – in their well-funded efforts to ban fracking, which has delivered the single most important economic stimulus that America has experienced in many decades, fringe environmentalist are reassessing their failed strategies and tactics with an eye on energy infrastructure.

The most recent example is the campaign being waged by New York City ultra-liberal Josh Fox, who directed a widely debunked anti-fracking propaganda film, to block the appointment of new commissioners to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the agency that overseas many large-scale energy projects.

Fox's goal isn't to just block new commissioners – it's to throw sand in the gears of the regulatory process aimed at harming American energy development, which is part of our economy's lifeblood.

Activists cling onto the smallest issues and work to manufacture full-blown assaults on domestic energy production as well as the hundreds of thousands of good-paying American jobs the industry supports. It's their bread and butter. Yet as they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The response to the minor Cook Inlet leak is just the latest example.


Trump Administration Is Right: Open the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository

Some 70,000 metric tons to nuclear waste is still sitting at nuclear power plants

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry visited the mothballed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository site in Nevada on Monday. Earlier this month, Texas Attorney General by Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals asserting that federal government violated the law in failing to complete the licensing process for permanent storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. President Donald Trump's proposed budget allocates $120 million to restart the licensing process for the facility.

In 1982 Congress committed to finding a permanent site to handle the nuclear waste produced by America's nuclear power plants. In 1987, Congress designated Yucca Mountain as that site and something like $15 billion has been spent on readying it since it was selected. In 2002, the final environmental impact statement concluded that nuclear waste could be safely stored there for at least 10,000 years. The final supplemental environmental impact statement in 2008 came to the same conclusion. When it comes to highly politicized topics, nothing is ever really final final about decisions made by federal bureaucracies. So in 2010, President Barack Obama directed the DOE to close the facility as a favor to Nevada's Sen. Harry Reid.

Despite the Obama administration's attempt to kill the project, in 2013 the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington ordered the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to resume its review of the license application for Yucca Mountain. The court observed that the agency "is simply defying a law enacted by Congress, and the Commission is doing so without any legal basis." In May 2016, the NRC finally issued its assessment that noted:

This supplement evaluates the potential radiological and nonradiological impacts—over a one million year period—on the aquifer environment, soils, ecology, and public health, as well as the potential for disproportionate impacts on minority or low-income populations. In addition, this supplement assesses the potential for cumulative impacts associated with other past, present, or reasonably foreseeable future actions. The NRC staff finds that each of the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts on the resources evaluated in this supplement would be SMALL.

The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 requires nuclear power plant operators to pay a tenth of a cent per kilowatt-hour to the government in return for the DOE taking responsibility for spent nuclear fuel. As of 2014 when the Obama administration stopped collecting the fees, the power plants had paid $31 billion to the government to take care of their waste. Some 70,000 metric tons of nuclear waste is still sitting at their plants.

It's well past time to start the process of opening up Yucca Mountain.


Poverty--Not Affluence--Is Greatest Threat to Environment

By E. Calvin Beisner

President Trump’s “Executive Order on Energy Independence” will save the American people hundreds of billions of dollars every year that would have been wasted on purely symbolic efforts under former President Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” and other regulations.

Former President Barack Obama justified those regulations by claiming they would reduce global warming. But in reality, even according to his Environmental Protection Agency’s calculations, they would achieve no measurable reduction in global warming.

President Trump’s executive order will open the door to more development of America’s abundant resources of hydrocarbon fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—leading to lower energy prices, benefiting producers and consumers alike, and more jobs in those and related industries, while reducing our imports from unfriendly nations, and consequently their ability to finance ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other jihadist terror organizations.

The order will also set a precedent that other countries will follow, sparing their citizens, too, from the crushing costs of pointless policies to mitigate global warming.

I told the 12th International Conference on Climate Change, meeting in Washington, D.C., last week, the greatest threat to the environment is not affluence; it’s poverty. And the second greatest threat is tight government controls over what people do. Trump’s order promotes both greater prosperity and greater freedom, and so also a cleaner, more healthful, more beautiful environment.

Many people think government regulation is the chief protector of our environment. In reality, governments have much worse environmental records than private businesses and individuals. Property owners have incentive to take care of what they own so it serves them and their heirs for generations to come. Politicians’ top incentive is to get re-elected.

The executive order not only paves the way for the EPA to undo most or all of the “Clean Power Plan” but also

lifts a short-term ban on new leases for coal mining on public lands;

effectively blocks fulfillment of U.S. intentions under the Paris climate agreement;

requires recalculation of the “social cost of carbon,” probably resulting in low levels that would make it difficult to justify regulations restricting carbon dioxide emissions on a cost/benefit basis; and

eliminates a requirement that all federal agencies include climate-change effects in calculating costs and benefits of future environmental permits.

The order is both pro-energy and pro-environment, stops the EPA from picking winners and losers in the energy sector, and requires the EPA to pass rules that are within the framework that Congress has established—violation of which was a major reason that, as Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt was party to lawsuits against the EPA.


The liberal hysteria over global warming is hard for normal people to comprehend

Leftists don’t worry about deficits or about terrorists who are looking for any way to kill Americans. They don’t care about the health care costs they drove into the stratosphere, the way teachers’ unions have ruined public education, or the out-of-control growth of the federal government that takes more of our money and freedom every day.

However, the possibility of global warming 100 years from now freaks them the hell out. Then the rest of us get treated to people -- who don’t know anything about global warming other than “I heard it is scientific consensus” and “What about the polar bears?” -- screaming about how the rest of us are wrecking the planet.

Settle down, snowflake! There’s no reason to panic over global warming. Why?

1) There Is Actually No Scientific Consensus On Global Warming. The idea that 97% of scientists buy into the idea that global warming is happening and that it’s caused by man is simply untrue. For example, “A 2012 poll of American Meteorological Society members also reported a diversity of opinion. Of the 1,862 members who responded (a quarter of the organization), 59 percent stated that human activity was the primary cause of global warming, and 11 percent attributed the phenomenon to human activity and natural causes in about equal measure, while just under a quarter (23 percent) said enough is not yet known to make any determination.”

Then, last year, it was found that, “Nearly six in ten climate scientists don’t adhere to the so-called ‘consensus’ on man-made climate change, a new study by the Dutch government has found.” Do the majority of scientists buy into the idea of man-made global warming? Probably. But that’s a far cry from some “scientific consensus” that all of us should respect.

2) Even If Global Warming Is Happening And Mankind Is Responsible, It May Still Make Sense To Do Nothing.

Bjorn Lomberg has been the main proponent of this line of reasoning, so here’s an excerpt from him on the subject.

“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calls climate change ‘perhaps the most fearsome weapon of mass destruction,’ and claims that unless we act, it could pose ‘the most catastrophic, grave threats in the history of human life.’ Yet, the UN Climate Panel finds the total cost of climate change by the 2070s is less than 2% of GDP. This means global warming is a problem, but it is not by any means the end of the world. Its cost is equivalent to a single year of recession over the next 60 years.

Compare it to the very real challenges that the world faces right now. The world’s biggest environmental problem is indoor air pollution, which the World Health Organization estimate kills 4.3-million people each year. Almost 3 billion people cook and keep warm with polluting, open fires. The solution is to get cheap energy to the poorest half of the world, which inevitably means mostly fossil fuels.”

Put another way, obsessing over global warming is like worrying about a broken fingernail after you’re hit by a bus that breaks a dozen bones. If we’re going to pour titanic amounts of money, time and effort into something, global warming should be pretty far down the list.

3) Global Warming Theories Are More Art Than Science. We live in a world where scientists can’t tell us for sure whether it’s going to rain TOMORROW, but yet we still have people assuring us of what the weather is going to be like in 100 years. Wait, is that too much of a cheap shot? Then how about noting the fact that climate models used to predict global warming have been consistently and egregiously wrong for decades.

Climate models used by scientists to predict how much human activities will warm the planet have been over-predicting global warming for the last six decades, according to a recent working paper by climate scientists.

Michaels and Knappenberger compared observed global surface temperature warming rates since 1950 to what was predicted by 108 climate models used by government climate scientists to predict how much carbon dioxide emissions will warm the planet.

What they found was the models projected much higher warming rates than actually occurred.

...'This is a devastating indictment of climate model performance,” Michaels and Knappenberger write. “For periods of time longer than about 20 years, the observed trends from all data sources fall beneath the lower bound which contains 95 percent of all model trends and in the majority of cases, falls beneath even the absolute smallest trend found in any of the 102 climate model runs.'

What people don’t want to tell you is that no one really understands how our climate works. Don’t get me wrong, there are scientists who know an enormous amount about it, but there are huge gaps in their knowledge that make it impossible for them to predict what’s going to happen long term. Unfortunately, you don’t get on TV and get piles of grant money for saying, “There’s no way to know much about global warming until we can better understand the climate.”

4) We Don’t Have A Good Way To Even Know What Temperatures Were Centuries Ago. You often hear claims that every year is supposedly the “hottest on record.” Yet, we only started doing meaningful worldwide measurements in 1880 and many of those early numbers are considered to be unreliable. I guess the hottest year since 1880 – maybe – just doesn’t have the same ring. Moreover, much of the data from those early reports has been massaged to produce questionable results. For example, you can make a good case that the hottest years in the United States were in the mid-1930s, not today. Moreover, there’s a lot of speculation that may or may not be accurate that goes into the data. If you look at the “record breaking” heat of 2016, you find that it may not be “record breaking” at all.

But in reality, there’s just not much data at the poles. here are no permanent thermometers at the North Pole, since sea ice drifts are unstable, and melt in the summer, as they have for millennia. Weather stations can’t be permanent in the Arctic Ocean. So, the data is often interpolated from the nearest land-based thermometers.

...So you can see that much of the claims of 'global record heat' hinge on interpolating the Arctic temperature data where there is none.

...As for the Continental USA, which has fantastically dense thermometer coverage as seen above, we were not even close to a record year according to NOAA’s own data.

In other words, if you look at the reliable data we actually have, 2016 wasn’t even close to a record-breaking year. So, we get claims that it’s extremely warm in areas where there’s dodgy data, and that means it’s the “hottest year on record.” Do we really want to spend trillions of dollars and change our entire way of life based on that?

5) We’re In The Middle Of A Global Warming “Pause.” How can we be in a “pause” if liberals are claiming we just broke a new record every year? Because these “record-breaking years” are within the statistical margin of error. For example, no one can say definitively that 2016 was warmer than 1998.

This is a controversial topic, and there are plenty of liberals claiming that the global warming pause has been disproved – except it hasn’t. In fact, if the climate models were accurate – 2016 would have blown right past the 1998 numbers. Since it hasn’t, anyone who really cares about science – as opposed to just using it as a political cudgel – should be asking some hard questions.


Australia: Greenie opposition to big new coal mine (of course)

All reasonable objections have been taken into account by years of investigation by State and Federal governments.  But Greenies are not into "reasonable".  Note that it is a LEFTIST State government which has just given approval

SOON Australians will be asked to take sides as the opposition to the Adani coal mine reaches a crucial crunch point.

The owners of the proposed Carmichael coal mine in Queensland are due to make a final decision on its future after six years of delay caused by legal challenges to the $21.7 billion project.

The State Government this week gave Adani the final approval it needs to go ahead with the mine, a water licence that will give it access to 9.5 billion litres of groundwater.

A Department of Natural Resources and Mines spokesman said modelling assessed by the department found up to 4.55 gigalitres of groundwater could be taken per year.

“In granting this licence, the Department of Natural Resources and Mines has carefully considered a broad range of information,” he told in a statement.

He said Adani would have to fairly compensate landholders for impacts on water resources, and there were 100 conditions relating to groundwater.

On Friday, the head of Indian mining giant Adani said the company was ready to start construction this year.

Adani Mining chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj told a business lunch in Brisbane that the company expected to start engineering work on a rail line the mine needs to transport its coal to Abbott Point by June, and to start major construction by September.

While he was defending the mine against environmental concerns, about 200 protesters gathered outside the Hilton Hotel in Brisbane’s CBD to voice their opposition.

It’s just the first stage in what is expected to be a relentless battle.

While the “lawfare” may be wrapping up, environment groups say the matter is far from over, and will actually ramp up their efforts in coming months.

More than 4000 people attended #StopAdani roadshow events across Australia., with dozens of new groups forming to stop the mine from going ahead.

Former Greens leader Bob Brown is leading the next stage of the fight against the mine and has described the campaign as this generation’s Franklin River, referring to the decades-long protest movement that eventually stopped the Tasmanian river being dammed in 1983.

“This is the environmental issue of our times and, for one, the Great Barrier Reef is at stake,” Mr Brown recently wrote in an opinion piece.

Alongside millionaire businessman Geoff Cousins, a former Howard government adviser, Mr Brown announced that 13 community groups would form the Stop Adani Alliance to oppose the mine.

If the previous track record of the two leaders is anything to go by, Adani should be very worried.

Mr Cousins was also involved in the successful campaign to stop the Gunns pulp mill in Tasmania and the proposed Woodside gas hub in the Kimberley.

Before he was the Greens leader, Mr Brown led the non-violent campaign against the Franklin Dam.

Now the duo have their sights set on Adani.
Dr Bob Brown speaks to Tasmanians at a protest rally in 1983 to stop the Franklin Dam being built. Picture: Andrew de la Rue.

Dr Bob Brown speaks to Tasmanians at a protest rally in 1983 to stop the Franklin Dam being built. Picture: Andrew de la Rue.Source:News Corp Australia

They are already being supported by prominent Australians including Australian Test cricket captains Ian and Greg Chappell, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks and rock group Midnight Oil, who signed a letter to Adani chairman Gautam Adani, urging him to abandon the project

Adani however rejected the demand as “a motivated attempt by a very small group of 76 misled people”, the Press Trust of India reported.

While there are a couple of outstanding legal issues, including an appeal in the Federal Court and a bill that needs to be passed in Parliament, the mine looks to be on track.

The last major government approval needed is a water licence and the State Government is expected to announce its decision in the next few days.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland said the mine would be a big win for the state’s central and northern regions, particularly for Townsville where the project’s headquarters is expected to be located.

Charters Towers and Moranbah have also been earmarked as service centres for the mines, while Bowen is expected to be the base for rail construction.

“It’s about supporting our regions and not leaving them behind, creating new jobs and supporting our youth,” CCIQ policy adviser Catherine Pham said.

“Projects such as Adani is definitely a win for our regions, but all Queenslanders should see the positive economic impacts of the project once it kicks off.”

Not everyone agrees. GetUp environmental justice campaign director Miriam Lyons said Adani was a reckless company that threatened people’s lives and livelihoods across Australia.



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   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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


2 April, 2017

Russian Scientists: Greenhouse Gas Theory Dead, Global Cooling Coming

The above headline I have taken from here. I think it is misleading.  The academic paper concerned ("Cosmic Rays, Solar Activity, and Changes in the Earth’s Climate" by Y. I. Stozhkov et al.)  is fairly short and I have read it all several times.  It does NOT mention CO2 and does NOT say that the Greenhouse Gas Theory is Dead.

What the paper shows is a close correlation between cloud cover and the temperature of the near-surface atmosphere.  Clouds cool us down, unsurprisingly. It then goes on to study what causes variations in cloud cover and comes up with a version of Svensmark's theory of cosmic ray influence.

More interesting however is that the authors develop a theory which quantifies the causes of cloud cover variations.  And using that theory they are able to show a correlation of .62 between their predictions and experimental data.  A correlation of .62 is undoubtedly high and exciting but it still only explains 38% of the variance, leaving ample room for influences outside their theory -- such as CO2.

So the paper is a definite leap forward. It puts the poor predictive power of the anthropogenic global warming theory well and truly into the shade and looks like a new start for global climate studies.  Real climate scientists would immediately lose interest in anthropogenic global warming and take up the lead given by this paper.  But there are so few real scientists in climatology that that will not happen.  If the constant failures of their predictions are not enough to cause Warmists to desert their theory, nothing will.

An amusing aside:  One of the most basic premises in the new theory is that cloud cover has a cooling effect.  And since their theory predicts increased cloud cover, they predict global cooling.  But note:  Warmists also predict increased cloud cover.  Only they say that increased cloud cover will WARM us. It is an essential part of their catastrophizing.  I know of no research that shows a warming effect of clouds but who cares when you have got a planet to save!

So the claims in my borrowed headline above are reasonable inferences but they are not directly stated in the paper concerned -- JR.

Sun's impact on climate change quantified for first time

The Swiss scientists below have not got as far as Stozhkov et al. in examining alternatives to the anthropogenic global warming theory and still accept the theory in part.  They have however done something that Warmists have always strenuously denied: They have shown that natural changes in the activity of the sun are behind a lot of global temperature changes on earth

For the first time, model calculations show a plausible way that fluctuations in solar activity could have a tangible impact on the climate. Studies funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation expect human-induced global warming to tail off slightly over the next few decades. A weaker sun could reduce temperatures by half a degree.

There is human-induced climate change, and there are natural climate fluctuations. One important factor in the unchanging rise and fall of the Earth's temperature and its different cycles is the sun. As its activity varies, so does the intensity of the sunlight that reaches us. One of the key questions facing climate researchers is whether these fluctuations have any effect at all on the Earth's climate. IPCC reports assume that recent solar activity is insignificant for climate change, and that the same will apply to activity in the near future.

Researchers from the Physical Meteorological Observatory Davos (PMOD), the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG), ETH Zurich and the University of Bern are now qualifying this assumption. Their elaborate model calculations are supplying a robust estimate of the contribution that the sun is expected to make to temperature change in the next 100 years. For the first time, a significant effect is apparent. They expect the Earth's temperature to fall by half a degree when solar activity reaches its next minimum.

According to project head Werner Schmutz, who is also Director of PMOD, this reduction in temperature is significant, even though it will do little to compensate for human-induced climate change. "We could win valuable time if solar activity declines and slows the pace of global warming a little. That might help us to deal with the consequences of climate change." But this will be no more than borrowed time, warns Schmutz, since the next minimum will inevitably be followed by a maximum.

Strong fluctuations could explain past climate

At the end of March, the researchers working on the project will meet in Davos for a conference to discuss the final results. The project brought together various research institutions' capabilities in terms of climate effect modelling. PMOD calculated what is known as "radiative forcing" taking account of particle as well as electromagnetic radiation, ETH Zurich worked out its further effects in the Earth's atmosphere and the University of Bern investigated the interactions between the atmosphere and oceans.

The Swiss researchers assumed a greater fluctuation in the radiation striking the Earth than previous models had done. Schmutz is convinced that "this is the only way that we can understand the natural fluctuations in our climate over the last few millennia." He says that other hypotheses, such as the effect of major volcanic eruptions, are less conclusive.

Exactly how the sun will behave over the next few years remains a matter of speculation, however, since appropriate data series have only been available for a few decades and they reveal no evidence of fluctuations during this time. "To that extent, our latest results are still a hypothesis," says Schmutz, "and it remains difficult for solar physicists to predict the next cycle." But since we have been observing a consistently strong phase since 1950, it is highly likely that we will experience another low point in 50 to 100 years' time. It could be every bit as intense as the Maunder Minimum, which brought particularly cold weather during the 17th century.

Important historical data

The research project also placed great importance on the historical perspective. The Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Bern compared data series on past solar activity with other specific climatic conditions. People have been recording the number of sunspots, which correlates well with solar activity levels, for some three centuries now. However, it is much more difficult to quantify exactly how cold it was on Earth back then. "We know that the winters during the last minimum were very cold, at least in northern Europe," says Schmutz. The researchers still have a fair amount of work to do before they have a detailed understanding of the relationship between solar activity and the global climate both in the past and in the future.


Another prediction of global cooling

Based on known natural cycles

The coming cooling: Usefully accurate climate forecasting for policy makers

Norman J Page


This paper argues that the methods used by the establishment climate science community are not fit for purpose and that a new forecasting paradigm should be adopted. Earth’s climate is the result of resonances and beats between various quasi-cyclic processes of varying wavelengths. It is not possible to forecast the future, unless we have a good understanding of where the earth is in time in relation to the current phases of those different interacting natural quasi periodicities. Evidence is presented specifying the timing and amplitude of the natural 60?±?year and, more importantly, 1000 year periodicities (observed emergent behaviors) that are so obvious in the temperature record. Data related to the solar climate driver are discussed and the solar cycle 22 low in the neutron count (high solar activity) in 1991 is identified as a solar activity millennial peak and correlated with the millennial peak – inversion point – in the RSS temperature trend in about 2004. The cyclic trends are projected forward and predict a probable general temperature decline in the coming decades and centuries. Estimates of the timing and amplitude of the coming cooling are made. If the real climate outcomes follow a trend which approaches the near term forecasts of this working hypothesis, the divergence between the IPCC forecasts and those projected by this paper will be so large by 2021 as to make the current, supposedly actionable, level of confidence in the IPCC forecasts untenable.


How governments have destroyed the world’s most efficient energy market:  Australia's

The nation’s energy policy is in the hands of ideological tyros.

At the federal level Malcolm Turnbull is running the show with the equally green evangelist, his Departmental Secretary Martin Parkinson.

At the state level, we have a Victorian Government desperately promoting wind, to match Greens policies in the hope of retaining threatened inner city seats, while also killing coal, conspiring with the Liberals to close down gas supplies and otherwise using the electricity supply system to provide favours to key support groups.  And in South Australia we have a Premier who has drunk deeply from the well of Commonwealth subsidies, declared his jurisdiction at the cutting edge of the global renewable movement and, in denial of the evidence, is desperately trying to demonstrate the wisdom of this.

Electricity supply.

In a statement plumbing the depths of credibility, the electricity market manager, AEMO, maintains that  the closure of Hazelwood will not compromise the security of the Victoria electricity system nor the broader National Electricity Market (NEM) next summer.  Looking around it says that there are adequate supply sources available to cover the loss of Hazelwood’s 1600 MW of reliable baseload power.

Hazelwood’s closure takes out 11 per cent of the Victorian-South Australian capacity of fossil and hydro availability, 19 per cent of the total if the now short supplies of gas are excluded.  Hazelwood’s closure, having already triggered a doubling of the average wholesale price, places supply on a knife edge, especially when the 2900 MW of wind is not available.

In its final analysis of the events leading to the September 2016 South Australian black-out, AEMO re-affirms that the failure of the wind generators was the cause.  It argues that there are measures that can be taken to mitigate this.  Among these are payments to consumers to lower demand at crucial times and re-engineering the grid to accommodate the policy-induced reduction in fossil fuel energy.

One such proposed grid re-engineering is the South Australian plan to spend $150 million on short term battery storage.  But this would provide a buffer of just 4 seconds; fully supplying itself with wind energy buttressed by battery storage would according to Miskelly and Quirk cost $180 billion – about twice South Australia’s Gross State Product!

South Australia deliberately chose to close off its options of retaining a back-up supply of coal when it prevented the Northern power station from remaining open.  It now says it will build a new gas plant at a cost of $350 million to be used as a reserve unit only.  Good luck with getting the gas for this and in getting a return for the state citizen owners!

South Australia also intends to over-ride the AEMO allocation of electricity between different jurisdictions to ensure that power is delivered from Victoria in time of need.  Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosia may be clueless in the economics of electricity supply but she understands the political penalty of Victoria facing black-outs due to electricity being exported to another jurisdiction.  And so the national market would quickly unravel into state autarkies, at least until the Commonwealth invokes Freedom of Trade provisions of the Constitution (s 92) and takes over the market management.

Malcolm Turnbull’s “nation-building” proposals to create a pump storage scheme for the Snowy is an alternative to batteries smoothing the supply but, by losing 20 per cent of available energy in the pumping process, actually reduces the available resource.  Snowy Hydro already has pumped storage and has the option of increasing this but has never done so simply because it makes no commercial sense.  Turnbull’s costing of his proposal at $2 billion is ridiculous and the five year time frame would outlive his tenure of office.

Energy retailing: a smoke screen for policy incompetence

Perhaps under orders, Energy Minister Frydenberg has given the ACCC, under Rod Sims an institution marked by hostility to normal market operations, a task of finding out if the retailers are price gouging.  Frydenberg has cited an analysis from the government’s political adversaries at the Grattan Institute in support of this, saying there could be savings of $250 million a year for Victoria alone if the market was working properly.

With more retailers than in any other electricity market in the world, and with easy entry and smaller retailers going out of business, monopolistic price gouging possibilities defy rational analysis.

The cause of retail margin increase are solidly down to government regulations which involve costs that must be passed on.  Among these for Victoria are:

“Customer protection” requirements and hardship provisions
Disallowance of exit fees

Requirement to pay above market rates for solar buy-back

Support for the compulsory roll-out of “smart” metering

Various regulatory requirements to offer long life lighting and other virtue-signalling favours to customers

The fact is that government policy forcing the replacement of reliable coal plant by unreliable wind at three times the cost is at the heart of the energy crisis we face and Commonwealth measures along these lines are exacerbated by those of the states.

The Trump administration is pushing ahead with policies that will reduce energy costs.  Australia by contrast remains on the path of further penalizing coal and incurring additional costs to facilitate the growth of wind which already requires a subsidy that provides it a price three times that of coal power.  These policies are already exacting huge costs on consumers and industry.


Interior secretary reopens federal coal mining
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has ended the federal government’s Obama-era moratorium on coal-mining leases on federal land.

Zinke signed an order repealing the pause in leases Wednesday in his Washington, D.C., office, surrounded by Republican lawmakers, lobbyists and staffers.

The action implements parts of an executive order that President Trump signed Tuesday — focused on repealing environmental policies and restrictions on energy production — under the goal of increasing energy independence.

That means the Bureau of Land Management can now resume the process of allowing new coal-mining leases on its land.
Zinke signed two other directives Wednesday to implement Trump’s policy. One kicks off a two-year review of the fees and royalties that companies pay to produce energy like oil, natural gas, coal or renewables on federal land, to see if they’re fair to lessees and taxpayers, and establishes an advisory committee, including stakeholders, to help that process.

The other orders every agency in Interior to review its policies and regulations with a goal toward increasing the country’s energy independence.

"The coal moratorium that was set in place … is a waste of money," Zinke said shortly before signing the order in his wood-paneled office, which includes a collection of taxidermied animals and a portrait of President Teddy Roosevelt.

The coal moratorium was instituted early last year by Sally Jewell, the previous Interior secretary under former President Barack Obama. It was part of a review process Interior had launched to determine how to charge mining companies more to account for the climate change costs of the coal they took.

Zinke said that review is being ended, because it was unnecessary.

“We feel strongly that the current process on reviewing coal is appropriate,” he said.

“Rather than doing the social cost of carbon, you have to look at the social cost of not having a job too,” he continued. “All of us want clean air and clean water. And we’re going to make sure we ensure that.”

Federal land accounts for 40 percent of the nation’s coal production and about a third of its reserves. It includes areas such as the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming, the most productive coal area in the country.

The coal from federal lands, when burned, also accounts for 13 percent of the nation’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, or 769 million tons annually, according to the nonprofit group Resources for the Future.

Environmental groups slammed the Trump administration’s policy, and Earthjustice and a coalition of other green organizations sued Interior immediately over the coal leasing order after Zinke signed it.

“No one voted to pollute our public lands, air or drinking water in the last election, yet the Trump administration is doing the bidding of powerful polluters as nearly its first order of business,” Earthjustice attorney Jenny Harbine, the lead litigator in the case, said in a statement.

“Our legal system remains an important backstop against the abuses of power we’ve witnessed over the course of the past two months,” she said. “That’s why we’re going to court to defend our public lands, clean air and water, and a healthy climate for all.”

Experts also doubted that Trump’s policies, taken as a whole, would have any significant effect on jobs or energy independence.

Jason Bordoff, director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and a former aide in Obama’s White House, accused Trump of giving coal miners “false hope.”

“We’ve seen coal production and coal employment in decline for many years now, driven by market forces. And those factors will still be there,” he told The Hill.

But Trump’s supporters cheered the moves.

“Coal is such an issue for us back home,” said Sen. Steve Daines (R), who like Zinke hails from Montana. Zinke was the state’s sole House lawmaker until taking the reins at Interior last month.

“We have more recoverable coal than any state in the United States,” Daines said after the signing. “It’s been a huge source of jobs, economic growth and, importantly, tax revenues for our schools and infrastructure. So this is good news for Montana and good news for America.”

Zinke’s secretarial order will not immediately lead to any regulations being repealed, and the coal moratorium was not a formal regulation. But, in connection with Trump’s order, it starts the process of repealing four of Interior’s oil and natural gas drilling rules for federal land: one on fracking, one limiting methane emissions, one on drilling in national parks and one on drilling in wildlife refuges.

It could also lead Interior to rewrite the 2017 through 2022 plan for leasing offshore areas for oil and natural gas extraction, as well as other policies on offshore and federal-land fossil fuel production.

“This is also a full-scale review, looking at making sure we support the president’s objective,” Zinke said of the energy independence policy.

He said producing more energy domestically is good for the environment because it’s better to produce here than in nations with lower standards. It’s also good for the 6.4 million jobs that rely on the energy industry, and for the world’s security, Zinke maintained.

“The world is much safer when America is strong, and energy independence is what makes it strong,” he said.



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



Home (Index page)

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

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

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

And when it comes to "climate change", I know where the skeletons are buried

Antarctica is GAINING mass

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.

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.

Was Pope Urban VIII the first Warmist? Below we see him refusing to look through Galileo's telescope. People tend to refuse to consider evidence— if what they might discover contradicts what they believe.

Warmism is a powerful religion that aims to control most of our lives. It is nearly as powerful as the Catholic Church once was

Believing in global warming has become a sign of virtue. Strange in a skeptical era. There is clearly a need for faith

Climate change is the religion of people who think they're too smart for religion

Some advice from the Buddha that the Green/Left would do well to think about: "Three things cannot be long hidden: The Sun, The Moon and The Truth"

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

Global warming is the predominant Leftist lie of the 21st century. No other lie is so influential. The runner up lie is: "Islam is a religion of peace". Both are rankly absurd.

"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

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 claim that the "hiatus" in global warming that began around 1998 was caused by the oceans suddenly gobbling up all the heat coming from above. Changes in the heat content of the oceans are barely measurable but the ARGO bathythermographs seem to show the oceans warming not from above but from below


"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: As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: 'A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.'

Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough - Michael Crichton

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.”

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

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

"I always think it's a sign of victory when they move on to the ad hominem -- Christopher Hitchens

"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

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

The frequency of hurricanes has markedly DECLINED in recent years

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

97% of scientists want to get another research grant

Another 97%: Following the death of an older brother in a car crash in 1994, Bashar Al Assad became heir apparent; and after his father died in June 2000, he took office as President of Syria with a startling 97 per cent of the vote.

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

David Brower, founder Sierra Club: “Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license"

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"

Medieval Warm Period: Recent climatological data assembled from around the world using different proxies attest to the presence of both the MWP and the LIA in the following locations: the Sargasso Sea, West Africa, Kenya, Peru, Japan, Tasmania, South Africa, Idaho, Argentina, and California. These events were clearly world-wide and in most locations the peak temperatures during the MWP were higher than current temperatures.

Both radioactive and stable carbon isotopes show that the real atmospheric CO2 residence time (lifetime) is only about 5 years, and that the amount of fossil-fuel CO2 in the atmosphere is maximum 4%.

Cook the crook who cooks the books

The great and fraudulent scare about lead

How 'GREEN' is the FOOTPRINT of a WIND TURBINE? 45 tons of rebar and 630 cubic yards of concrete

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)

Many newspaper articles are reproduced in full on this blog despite copyright claims attached to them. I believe that such reproductions here are protected by the "fair use" provisions of copyright law. Fair use is a legal doctrine that recognises that the monopoly rights protected by copyright laws are not absolute. The doctrine holds that, when someone uses a creative work in way that does not hurt the market for the original work and advances a public purpose - such as education or scholarship - it might be considered "fair" and not infringing.


"Tongue Tied"
"Dissecting Leftism" (Backup here)
"Australian Politics"
"Education Watch International"
"Political Correctness Watch"
"Greenie Watch"
Western Heart


"Marx & Engels in their own words"
"A scripture blog"
"Some memoirs"
To be continued ....
Coral Reef Compendium.
IQ Compendium
Queensland Police
Australian Police News
Paralipomena (3)
Of Interest
Dagmar Schellenberger
My alternative Wikipedia


"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International".
"Leftists as Elitists"
Socialized Medicine
QANTAS -- A dying octopus
BRIAN LEITER (Ladderman)
Obama Watch
Obama Watch (2)
Dissecting Leftism -- Large font site
Michael Darby
Paralipomena (2)
AGL -- A bumbling monster
Telstra/Bigpond follies
Optus bungling
Bank of Queensland blues

There are also two blogspot blogs which record what I think are my main recent articles here and here. Similar content can be more conveniently accessed via my subject-indexed list of short articles here or here (I rarely write long articles these days)

Main academic menu
Menu of recent writings
Basic home page
Pictorial Home Page.
Selected pictures from blogs
Another picture page (Best with broadband. Rarely updated)

Note: If the link to one of my articles is not working, the article concerned can generally be viewed by prefixing to the filename the following:

OR: (After 2015)